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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.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Somerton Man: A Major Breakthrough? How the code page was written, Ink H Developed

This Is How The Code Page Was Written

The example above is of a line of numbers and one letter hidden behind a layer of ink having first been written onto a straight inked line, in other words, it is like a sandwich of pencilled characters between two layers of ink. I wrote the additional line above to give you an idea of the size which is around .8mm in height.

Next we have the same piece of paper and same lines of characters and numbers, this time, the piece of paper has been treated with a fairly strong solution of bleach to the extent that the paper becomes almost transparent and you can see letters on the underside of the paper. And you can also see the blue ink has now turned to a magenta colour and, importantly you can make out the letters and numbers that were hidden in the first image.

Two Break Throughs

Moving on, we are now going to see the finished item as far as the bleaching process is concerned and it does look as though we have something of a breakthrough. Here are two images of the same piece at the same stage of the process, breakthrough number 1 is that the image immediately below is 1200 dpi and is quite visible, image 2 is 400 dpi with very little discernible difference from the 1200 dpi image.

So, what is so important about the image dpi? Those who have been following the case and this blog will know that there have been a number of loud voices crying out in anguish about the fact that the dpi of the code page, 400 dpi, was insufficient to be able to make out any micro writing and, therefore there couldn't be any there. I await their apologies eagerly :)

Another breakthrough of sorts, and it does need more work, is the nature of the paper once it has been treated with bleach.Look closely and you will see a similarity between the actual code page image of the background paper and the images of the bleached paper above.

I am hoping that the detractors won't find it too hard to replicate what has been done here, effectively all that has happened is that the Ink H process has been followed using micro written letters and numbers, the results photographed and Voila!

I would like to encourage those who are avid followers to try this experiment, even our friends from Adelaide University. It is a simple but highly effective clandestine communication tool and a superb lesson in concealment of information in plain sight.

In the next post later this week, I will show the outcome of creating a photograph as above using glossy paper, then I will overwrite the micro letters and numbers with a felt tip pen and finally I will use the lighting techniques together with standard image editing to show how the whole thing comes together from the Ink H process to the recovery of hidden micro writing as per the code page.

What's really significant about this post is that for the first time to my knowledge, there is evidence to suggest that the technique used to create the code page was Ink H, a method developed and used by SOE, British Intelligence and at that time the method was secret. Further, the evidence also suggests that the code page was processed using the Ink H developing method again from SOE.

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