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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.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Somerton Man: The Code Is a WW2 Technique Used By SOE

Thanks to a great piece of work by Barry T. we now have supporting information that the Somerton Man Code was a technique used by British Inteligence during WW2. To be more precise this method of hiding pencil letters behind inked letters was used by the Special Operations Executive and is described in an SOE Manual released in 2014.

The method known as the 'INK H' technique is quite simple. First you select the letters you intend to use as the carriers and write them down in ink, next insert your code letters into the inked letters in pencil and then write over the lot once more in ink. The pencil letters are not visible to the naked eye.

The next step is 'develop' the hidden code and this is done by soaking the paper containing the inked and hidden pencil letters in a strong bleach. The result is that the bleach removes the ink leaving the revealed pencilled code.

The method can be used for hiding micro letters and larger letters. Readers of this blog would know that the SM code was recovered using UV light which revealed indentations whch turned out to be the code letters. These indentations showed up as the darker markings behind the overwriting in the image above as done by the SA Police. I was able to identify numerous micro letters written within the larger letters because of the indentations, sadly we do not have the original document and this post tells us that it is highly unlikely that we will ever recover that.

Now that we know this, what exactly does it do for us? Quite simply it gives us a lead that says whoever wrote the above code had knowledge of the SOE method. Personally I am not certain that SM wrote the code, however it is possible that his role may have been to recover it. It is possible that the same or similar technique was used by other agencies but at this time we have no information to support that.

This is an exciting development and one that provides us with another extremely strong indication that this is an Espionage case.

More to follow.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Somerton Man: Professor Abbott's Lecture Video Flawed..

Professor Abbott very kindly sent me links to his video lectures about the Somerton Man. Whilst I am grateful for the links I have to disagree with some of his statements regarding the post autopsy images of the Somerton Man and the use of images of both Marilyn Monroe and JFK to support his case.

This is a short post for now but I hope it will be enough for followers of the case to make a fair judgement on the likelihood of SM being recognisable after his Post Mortem examination.

Marilyn Monroe

First here are three images of Marilyn Monroe two taken not that long before her death and the other just after the autopsy:


I think that if you knew Marilyn before her death and had seen her without makeup, then there is a good chance that you would recognise her after the Autopsy.

With great respect what Professor Abbott did wrong in my view is to take a widely known and publicised full glamour and heavily made up photograph of Marilyn and then compare it to a selected image from the range taken after her autopsy, no glamour and no makeup.


Now here is a comparison image of JFK, again one was taken within days of his assassination and then one at the autopsy:

My view once more is that if you had known the man when he was alive, you would very likely have been able to recognise him after the Autopsy.

Somerton Man Image Comparison

Noticeably absent from the Professor's video is the image supposedly of the Somerton Man just prior to the cast being taken for the plaster bust.

Each of the images below are purportedly of the same man, the bottom right image is the widely publicised profile view of the Somerton Man just after his autopsy and the other two are the profile image of supposedly the same man just prior to the mold being taken for the plaster bust to be made.

Points to examine:
1. No ridge mark on the forehead on pre bust
2. Longer nose on pre bust
3. Protruding chin/longer face on pre bust
4. Different shape where nose meets the forehead on pre bust

In my view, these images are not of the same man, if you look closely you will see that the image purportedly taken after the post mortem has had a face super imposed on to the original image as shown below:

If you look carefully at the above comparison image, you will note several markings and you will  see a definite line where the facial image has been imposed on the real image. And that is why he has a 'bump or ridge across the forehead.

In the facial image above you can see quite clearly that the man has a very relaxed looking face and is almost smiling. Now try and compare that to the full face image from the post autopsy pic below:

Hard to compare the two, you will see apparent markings on the face that don't match the profile, Professor Abbott will tell you that these are 'artifacts' from the photographic process. I suggest that we get a professional forensic photographer to tell us more about that. Once more if you look closely near the top of the forehead you will see a distinct line across to where it apparently overlaps on the right within the marked circle. This is another instance of a facial photograph being superimposed.

The next image I will post will be of the plaster bust, I think you will find that most interesting.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Somerton Man: Micro Writing link to MI6 & a Harkness connection

Micro written message in symbol code
beneath a WW1
Dutch postage stamp contained a 1600 word intelligence report.

The actual size of this stamp was
 approximately 30 mm X 34 mm

Magnified image, please note whilst the base image is as
found, I have added colouration to the stamp to reflect the actual appearance.
This image was found as the result of research amongst UK Military Intelligence files and confirmed by other documentary evidence dating back to WW1. At that time MI C, the forerunner to MI6 which was based in a one time hotel in Folkestone in  UK.

One of the many people recruited by this section was Louise de Bettignies who formed the highly successful 'Alice Network'. Louise recruited some very special people including the man who prepared this coded micro written message, a Paul Bernard, Belgian Map Maker, The code translated to a 1600 word intelligence report and is believed to have warned the British of the locations of a number of German gun emplacements. As a result these locations were themselves bombarded.

A Harkness Connection

Another valued member of Louise's team was Marie-Leonie Van Houtte. There is a lengthy story of the exploits of Louise and Leonie and we will be discussing that further in posts to follow. For now though the focus is on the use of Micro Writing by the British MI C section and the link via Leonie to her great niece, Marie-Ann Harkness who lives in the US. The surname could be coincidence of course, it is her married name and at this time little is known of her husbands connections. I should also say that I have attempted to contact Marie without success to date, I am hoping that someone may know of her and her family if to do nothing more than to discount any connection to the relatives of Jestyn. I gratefully acknowledge the input and assistance of Byron in the initial investigation stages.

Back to the postage stamp, the size of the letters is around .5 mm and as you can see the writer was able to pack a significant number of them behind the postage stamp. Until the rediscovery of this stamp it was thought that clandestine messages were actually written on the back of the stamp however there is a good reason why that shouldn't be the case and it relates to the issue of ink types and the nature of adhesive on the stamp itself as well as the size of the letters. The 'glue' on the stamp would have formed ridges and whilst it would be possible to write larger letters, 1.5 to 2 mm in height, directly on to the stamp, writing at the micro letter level would have presented difficulties.

What does the code that has been written on the stamp actually mean? Thanks to input from Nick Pelling of Cypher Mysteries, we now that this is a simple 'PIGPEN' code comprised of symbols and each symbol equates to a letter of the alphabet. Referring back to the source documents, it is known that the Alice Network were particularly efficient at their work and were in the habit of adding another level of encryption to their codes. If that is the case here, then the letters that result from decoding the above stamp message could belong to another cipher, Playfair or Vigenere were in use at that time.

So, how would you go about decoding what lies beneath the stamp? Below is the key and an example for you to follow:



In our research we uncovered many other examples of Micro Writing used by MI6 and its predecessors, below is one example complete with another concealment method:
Micro Written Intelligence Report

Micro Message Concealed in a Pen.
Not wishing to be unkind to the learned detractors to the existence of Micro Writing, it does seem that they were well off track and perhaps now they will review their findings and may even set about some further valid research of their own.

It must surely follow that if these incredibly smart people back in WW1 could do what they did with micro writing, encoding and concealment, and there is a lot more to come on that topic, it would be a very short step indeed to have them conceal their writing within larger letters as per the Somerton Man Code.

Who knows, maybe we will post an example of that in the near future.