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


AFIO DISCLAIMER:
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.

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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.

Friday, 7 October 2016

SOMERTON MAN: INTERNEE PROFILE. JUMPED SHIP AT PORT PIRIE 1928. TOOK PHOTOS OF AIRPORT AND BRITISH SUBMARINE



THE WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER & SPY?

Louis Otto Willi Reese (Reise)

Born 1903, Keil. Germany. Height 6' 1/2"
HairL Fair, Eyes Grey/Blue



This post will be updated over the next two days. 

This man is of interest in our research due to his involvement with a known German Intelligence operative in the time leading up to WW2. He was interned at Tatura and could have associated with many of the original Dunera internees at that location. We are still researching the man but do not believe that he was SM. We do think that he had the opportunity to meet and interact with other people of interest.

More information will be published including an unusual letter that he received from Germany and other documents.



Amongst the documents found on the NAA site is an exchange of letters during 1938 with the German Consul General a Doctor Asmis. Both The Doctor and Louis were in the habit of signing off their correspondence with 'Heil Hitler'. In one note, Louis wrote of his meeting with Count Von Luckner and mentioned that a crew member/cameraman of the Seeteufel, Herr Osterreich, had his 'cinema equipment' stolen.



To all accounts, Louis was a keen amateur photographer and on one occasion a man matching his description was stopped walking in company with another man carrying cameras and headed for a location overlooking Cairns Harbour. The British Submarine HMS Phoenix, was docked there at the time. The other man was a Julius Schroder who was later also to be interned.



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In this section we will be looking at Louis' association with the man on the left in this image,

Count Graf Felix Von Luckner, Gentleman, and Spy. At this time we do not have a name for the man on the right.

In WW 1 the Count was the captain of the German raider SMS Seeadler during 1916 and 1917. The Seeadler disguised itself as a Norwegian Wood trader, most of it's crew spoke Norwegian. In it's brief career, the Seeadler captured some 15 vessels before running aground in French Polynesia, the Captain and most of the crew were subsequently captured and imprisoned on an island just off Auckland.

But it was the visit of the Count to Australia in 1938 that aroused most interest from the Queensland, and CIB Inspector Bob Wake who maintained surveillance of the Count, his wife and crew. The inspector dutifully attended a number of public functions and noted the names of all who attended who, on the outbreak of war were subsequently arrested including Louis Reese. After first being interred at Loveday in the South Australian Riverland near Barmera, Louis was transferred to Tatura in 1940.

According to records Louis enjoyed a day at sea on the Seeteufel and spent quite a deal of time talking with the Count.

It was generally thought that Count Von Luckner was on a mission to make contact with German Nationals in Australia and to check out sea traffic in the area off the East Coast of Australia.

We have mentioned Louis because of his connections to a known spy and for his photography activities that seemed suspect.

He would have been in touch with many ex Tatura men and could well have visited with them on his trips on the Mundella during 1947 between Sydney and Perth with calls into Adelaide.

He and his contacts are worth keeping in mind as we progress with our search.

It is worth bearing in mind that there were a  considerable number of Nazi sympathisers in Australia during WW2 and afterwards. Adelaide and surrounding areas had a reasonable sized population of such people.

You can read all 137 pages about Louis, some of which are duplicated, on the NAA.gov.au website by entering the name 'Louis Reese' into the first page search box.



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