A WARNING: Those site visitors of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Culture should be aware that there are photographs and images of the deceased.

The author of this blog is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and as such the views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the views and opinions of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, its staff or Directors.

Learn more about the Association including membership requirements at

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.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

SOMERTON MAN: THE HIDDEN CODES> OTP? Updated 17/09/16, 1700




The image above is of a Hay Banknote, it's actual size is 136 mm  X 76 mm. On first glance it looks like a neat and well-designed bank note, nothing outstanding, fairly normal, but given the fact that it was designed in an Internment Camp, well it deserves full marks for its appearance. You may notice the cryptic message in the \barbed wire outer border, 'We are here because we are here' if you get to watch the video 'The Dunera Boys' you will hear and see more of that phrase.

That was, in fact a WW1 song and one that was recently performed extensively in the UK as part of large-scale reenactment about troops who never came back.

If that is all there was to it.

But there is more to it, quite a deal more to it as you will see in this next image which I have adjusted for contrast/brightness and highlighted the two vertical columns that sit left and right of the darker red rectangular inner border:

And here's a close-up of the top left and right corners of the columns:

Note 39711
Note 39711

As you should be able to see, the apparent straight lines that form the rectangle are in fact strings of characters. A little hazy for now but we do have some better images on the way.

The question is, are these part of some kind of One Time Pad arrangement?

One time pads as many will know, are in use on just one occasion and then destroyed.

The other rule is that there are two duplicate codebooks, one for the agent and one for the handler. A fair question would be 'if the banknote contained the agents copy then where is the second one?'

When you think about it, whoever brought the design and the columns together would have had the originals for all of the notes.

Is it possible that these columns or strings that look like code, hadn't been put to use?

An important feature was found, there are images of 3 similar value notes and thus have been able to compare each to the other. From what I have observed, the columns of characters are each different.

Here's are the comparisons of notes numbered E 39711 and E40282:

Note 40282
Note 39711
This is a difficult task. The job now is to look at each line in sequence and you should see that they are different. Look for the apparent small gaps in each line.

For example, the 13th line down on the 39711 note to the right shows a distinct gap that is not apparent in the image to the left, note 40282.

The differences are minute but important.

The top of the letter T in the right-hand image bears a noticeable set of darkened letters/numbers. In the left-hand image, there are much lighter markings that extend the full width of the top of the T.

A more direct comparison here:

And a fine comparison here from a 6 Pence and 1 Shilling note:

Note that the images show the original colour first and then turned to B/W to highlight the concealment effect. I stress that we are awaiting the arrival of higher quality images that will allow us to show better detail than in these current images.

Here's a Reverse side of the 39711 Hay banknote:

Each of the Merinos has a name within it, skillfully disguised as you might expect. There are 25 names in total and I have highlighted some of them,  they are not all in the same locations and nor do they necessarily run left to right. You can download this example and see if you can find more. The names of the 25 are on a short list that Clive is working feverishly on at the moment.

There is something special about these names, they belong to men who shared the same hut, Hut 26, at Hay camp 7. They had something else in common, they named the hut 'Roebuck' after a pub in Hampstead although there is another in Chiswick., this was the name of a pub that the men knew well and used to frequent in happier times.

It is more likely to be Hampstead as it was just a short distance from Parliament Hill, the one-time home of Tibor Kaldor.

Why these differences? What made George Teltscher design these notes in such a way that they disguised and concealed so much information? Was it just overkill? The fact that in each of the images of the notes we have, there are apparent micro pencilled letters and numbers which would have been added after the printing process. And there is, without a doubt, an example where micro letters/numbers have been inserted into the signatures at the base of each note.

Even more interesting is the fact that at least one internee became an OSS agent who was successfully parachuted into Germany in 1944. We will be posting images of this man as he is on our short list at present. Bear in mind that this is a work in progress and as/ if new information becomes available about this man we will update it.

It is a fact that because of the extremely small size of these letters/numbers, you will need to firstly condition your mind to see things that you wouldn't normally see and secondly to allow your eyes to focus.

Some other information for you to consider is that it is believed that Mr. Teltscher used each prisoner's ID number for the notes and did not follow a strict numerical sequence. The notes were 'personalised' to that extent.

In all, there are in excess of 30 locations on the face of these notes that carry disguised/concealed information in the form of letters and/or numbers. All are in the micro size range being sub .5mm as best as I can make out. Indeed some of the writing is in the .25 mm in size. Some of the micro-writing appear to be in pencil in some areas, could it be that these notes were used for training purposes and that internees were being instructed in the art of concealment?

A well respected and knowledgeable source has suggested that given the environment and circumstances, it could well be that what we are seeing here is the fruits of the labour of men who had lots of time on their hands and they put that time to use by creating these notes. There's no arguing with that logic and it could be the case. This same source specifically mentioned that these men were likely skilled engravers.

View this Post on 'The Engraver', it includes the fingerprints believed to be those of SM. The post was loaded 2 years ago.

However, what these notes prove beyond any doubt is that the techniques involved in concealed micro written codes and communication were known and in use in Australia at a time that was very relevant to the SM case. There would be no doubt that the various agencies were well aware of it. More on that in a post yet to come.

Some will be wondering what all this has to do with the Somerton Man case, this will become more apparent in the posts that follow, I want to assure you that it is very relevant and has a great deal to do with the case by virtue of its micro written code and the way in which codes were concealed and disguised.

There is a book: The Hay Internment Camp Notes & War Savings Certificates by Michael P. Vort-Ronald. I spoke with Michael and whilst the copy I bought was the last available, he assures me that another edition is on its way. You can view some of his many works here:

A reminder that these current posts are a joint effort and the commitment and skill of Clive is fully acknowledged. He has worked extremely hard on a number of leads that we have with one, in particular, that could provide an astonishing result. More in the days to come.


Henry Mayer Christmas Day 1941 Tatura Camp.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon
Am looking forward to seeing the clearer images and to read how this all unfolds. One thing I can see though is the name Eppstein in the sheep's wool.
Good luck!

peterbowes said...

Gordon, Hebrew script?

Gordon332 said...

Thanks, I am glad that you are getting something from these posts. It is a fascinating topic and whilst the codes may or may not be a one time pad, they are none the less an amazing example of skill and a clear demonstration of concealment using micro writing. In the end, that is the point for the blog, proving beyond doubt that the technique was in use at the relevant time for the SM case and was no doubt known to the various agencies. I will post the clearer images when they arrive and look forward to any feedback you may have.

Gordon332 said...

Hi Pete, It could be, I can certainly make out some ordinary roman script and numbers whilst others as yet cannot be readily seen. I wouldn't discount your thoughts on their being Hebrew Script.