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The Somerton Man Case. The body of a man found on an Australian beach close to a major Atomic Testing ground, he was probably poisoned, a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and an unbroken Code page found and associated to him. Set against a Cold War background in 1948, was this man a spy? We think so and this blog focuses on the evidence that was left behind and in some cases missed, the Code page, Dry Cleaning numbers, A Poem and a small, torn piece of paper bearing the words TAMAM SHUD.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Somerton Man. Was it a Cover Up From Day One?

A big question. Was the whole Tamam Shud Case a cover up right from day one?

The question is prompted by a recently released Trove News article dated December 1st. 1948, that date should ring a bell, it was of course the day that his body was found on Somerton Beach. To be precise he was found around 6 in the morning and this News item was posted in the Adelaide News, an evening newspaper which I think came out at around 4 p.m.

In a busy Police Station, the sequence of events would have been something like this:

1. 6 a.m. body found and inspected for any obvious signs of violence or unusual marks
2. Transport arranged and body taken to the morgue
3. Body again inspected for any wounds or marks cleaned up and prepared for an autopsy, a Police Officer sometimes known as a 'Coroners Officer' would have had control of that process and may even have organised or carried out the washing.
4. A detailed description of the body would have been taken by the Coroners Officer and that would have formed part of an initial 'sudden death' report.
5. A duty, uniformed, inspector would have authorised the release of the mans description to the press
6. The News Police reporter at the time would have made what was probably a regular daily phone call when he came on duty sometime around midday on the 1st December.
7. The press article, based on the Coroners Officer's information would have been prepared for publication.

Worth bearing in  mind that at this stage there was no hint of poisoning or Codes or the Tamam Shud torn piece.

As you will read via the link below, is that the Coroners Officers description of the man was as follows:

Height 5ft 11 inches, quite precise
Build, Well built, again a reasonable description
Hair colour, Fair, quite definite
Eyes, Hazel and again quite definite.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/129897161

The problem is that subsequent descriptions of the Somerton Man were quite different, in those he has been described as having auburn hair and blue eyes.

Does the picture below look like his hair is fair?



Remember that in a recent post the Police announced that a 'Reconstructed photograph was available for inspection' that very weekend following the finding of his body.

This image is the one posted earlier that appears to show that his photograph was manipulated:


When you examine this image carefully it could well be that the face of the man in this image is not that of the Somerton Man, if it's true in this case then it could also be true of the full face image shown here:




Two of our followers, photographers, agreed that it was likely that one or both had been altered, I checked that with other photographers and they agreed. The question is why would you go to these lengths, and it was a tricky process in those days, to alter a photograph? Any other photographers out there, your input would be appreciated.

So here we have it, the first description that was released, one which would have been written by the Coroners Officer who would have been an experienced man to hold that position, described the man as having fair hair an Hazel eyes. The man in this altered image does not have have anything like fair hair as far as I can see.

Did the December 1st Press release about the discover of the mans body on Somerton Beach slip through the 'net' and is that why the Police hurriedly announced the availability of 'reconstructed' images? Why did his description change so quickly after the first press release?

Add to this, the 14 instances of fingerprints not being taken from the mans possessions, the laundry marks that were supposedly traced to Victoria but never followed up, the evidence, in terms of his clothing, possessions and the book, being destroyed despite it still being an open case and I would say there is genuine cause to think that something was sadly amiss at the least and that it was a deliberate cover up at its worst.













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