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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, 4 July 2015

Somerton Man: The T from Tamam Shud torn piece, the key?

What do we have here?

Look carefully at the cross bar of this letter T above from the torn piece. There is a string of numbers reading left to right. Still working on the rest of the letters and feel that I should be able to improve on this and others. This one was taken using the Olympus camera and oblique as well as some back lighting. 

Something that I found late last year that frankly has puzzled me. This is a close up, backlit and enhanced by contrast/brightness, of the upright of the letter 'T' from the Tamam Shud torn piece. Look carefully within the highlighted area and you'll see a short string of numbers in a block type format it is admittedly quite feint but the numbers are there.

I made some enquiries from a long time friend who is a printer, I asked him whether it was common to include serial numbers on a letterpress font. The short answer was 'No' and decidedly 'No' on the print face.

So, what do we have here?

Above is a scaled image showing the torn piece superimposed on an image released at the time purportedly of the actual Omar book. However there are some who think that this image was one of a similar book found and used by the press. It poses an interesting question, if a similar book has not been found in all these years then you would have to wonder how the press got hold of another copy at the time.
Once again you should ensure that you have your screen resolution set to the optimum high res. You may find it best to print the images out and if you do so make sure that you have the printer settings on Best quality.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, I wonder if the slip of paper "Tamam Shud" actually was torn out of the back of the book? Or, was it a one off "special" printing using the same paper as used in the book. However, if the slip was torn out of the book, then it would imply that the book itself had verses/words with micro-writing? Clive

Gordon332 said...

Hi Clive, I have added another pic in the post above showing the torn piece and an image of the actual book or is believed it is of the actual book.

It's an interesting point you raise and I can't honestly provide an answer to that question. It would have to be a possibility of course. I aim to get some more pics here this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, Thanks for the info. If the slip was from the book, as you have shown, it looks as if the page was held down and, it's been torn from the right hand side of the page towards the left hand side, hence the odd shape of the area torn, Seems that the title was torn out of the book in a hurry?, most people would have simply cut out the title in a rectangle. Can only think what else might have been written on the torn sheet! Clive

Gordon332 said...

That's correct, torn form the outer edge inwards, the piece torn out must then have been trimmed perhaps to make it a more manageable and uniform size to fit neeatly into the seam area of the fob pocket with the aim of concealing it's presence.

A couple of things to note:
1. There is no certainty that this is the actual book as per the post above. I experimented with tearing the piece out in one without tearing from the outer edge and that's possible meaning that the torn piece would have fitted the gap in the book that was found. That, according to Detective Len Brown, was how they matched the piece to the book. However the evidence given was that it was the matching of the type of paper that proved it was the correct piece.

2. If you look carefully at the distance between the outer edge and the inner framed area that contains the text, that distance appears to be greater at the top than it is at the bottom. The rest of the alignment on the top and bottom of the page and the inner edge all seems correct. That could be because of the angle that the pic was taken from and the outer edge was cropped, but the other 3 edges suggest that may not be so. In other words, it's possible that the framed text area was not properly set up when printed. Hope that all makes sense :)