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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.

10 comments: said...

Sterling find GC ..

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, mm, I'm wondering if the SM and Boxall knew each other and Jestyn was in the middle? Clive

Gordon332 said...

Very pleased with it Pete, it should but probably won't silence the naysayers :) Great work by Barry.

Gordon332 said...

I'm inclined to think you're right on that Clive. Maybe known of each other? Don't know whether you noticed but the code page image is a very high-resolution version, much higher than we had before, might be worth a closer look do you think? :) I found it interesting to say the least.

Gordon332 said...

It would be well worth another look at Jesty's poem, Verse 70 given this information Pete. Would explain those mistakes and overwrites. Be great to do a forensic examination on the page behind the verse, I am not counting on that book being handed over though. Probably got enough from it anyway, just needs an update.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, On Line 3 is the first letter 'P' really letter 'B'?; Between 3rd and 4th line-'X' over two lines there appears to be another, fainter 'X' to the right, above the letter 'A'?; Line 5-the 2nd letter 'M' is a mite suspect? Clive

Gordon332 said...

It's open season on the code page. Look to the right of letter D line 1. Adjust your viewing angle. Prettyuch everywhere you look there are letters and numbers maybe even a word or two. Needs lots of input and discussion
I should mention that this code came annonymously. I believe it to be valid. said...

I still like Wednesday Monday Wednesday Monday for the 1st 4 lines -

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, On 1st line, under 1st letter 'A' looks like "tom"? Same line under 'B & A' word starts with 'S'? (could be sapol?) On 4th line, the letter 'O' with the 'X' above it seems to have a curved line inside it, making it look like a finger/bullet? Same line to the right of last letter 'C' looks like a word starting with 'S'? Street?

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've noticed this case only few minutes ago but first thing I was wondering about these 'words', if somebody mentioned that this code symbolizes sentences in book which scrap of 'tamam shud' is from.
I mean each letter of code could stand for specific word in this book. As i've found this book is only written of short poems, each line of code could symbolize specific poems.

For example:
MLIABOAIAQC - Man Lies In A Bottom Of...etc.

What do you think about that?