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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.

Sunday, 23 July 2017


Members of M Special Unit, 1945, Beaudesert, Queensland

This image is from the Australian War Memorial website, it shows what is believed to be the entire complement of men of M Special Unit on the date of their disbandment. at 'Tabragalba' on 10th November 1945. I would assume that some may not have been present due to illness which was an issue for many men serving in the islands. The M Special Unit was, in fact, the renamed and to an extent repurposed Coastwatchers organisation

These men sometimes working alone and sometimes in small groups, were the eyes and ears of the renowned Z Special unit who took the fight to the enemy in many locations in the islands and notably at Singapore Harbour. The men of M special unit were under orders not to engage the enemy directly except in extreme circumstances. Their role was to remain hidden and carry out surveillance n Japanese troop and ship movements.

Spend a moment and think about these men and the work they did along with their native guards and bearers. There was a lot more to the job than being a skilled radio operator although that did necessarily form an important part of the job. Imagine their day, they might well head off into the bush to find a convenient location where they might construct a rough hide and from where they could clearly see the waters below and the flow of waterborne traffic or patrol boats carrying men and materials from one location to another. Whilst the traffic of most interest would be under a Japanese flag, they would also see and record the movements of allied shipping.

The information they gathered needed to be detailed with ship/hull types, ship names and numbers if possible, the nature of the cargo if visible, the number of guns and types, the numbers of troops and their equipment, dates, times, locations and more.

Think about this carefully, how would they record all of that information? A book to lean on, small flimsy message slips and a pencil or three. The task would be done hurriedly and with paper in short supply, they would fit as much as they could on to each precious piece. 

The format would be arranged in shifts, a line for each period of time and then finished off with a coded message at the bottom.

The Somerton Man code page image below shows that sort of format. Pay attention particularly to the letters 'M' circled and the last line that starts with the letter V and ends with AR. There are two kinds of M used in the first lines and two kinds of M in the last line. The last line V is a prosign in radio operators lingo, it tells us who the message is from. The AR at the end of that line is the prosign for 'This is my last message, no reply is expected or required'. These are the pro signs used by members of M Special unit.

Who do we know that plied the waters of the islands sometimes ferrying men and materials from one island to another in small boats?

A Coastwatchers experience:
'However, I should note that on a recent cruise to Milne Bay a native tour guide described the conditions of 1942 as being ‘the place of hell’. It reminded me of a brief stint I had there when a mobile dental unit caught up with me! During two consecutive days, I suffered gruelling drillings of four molar teeth on each day with no anesthetic needles and driven by foot pedal power. Occasionally the dentist had to stop when the drill jammed and he had to crank it up again. It was indeed a ‘place of hell’! Apart from that experience, I came home missing about eight teeth, finishing up with one in each corner of my mouth. Remarkably, I passed as dentally fit as well!'

We have more information to be published shortly on this topic, a busy few weeks ahead.

Saturday, 22 July 2017


About a week or so ago, I came across a press announcement regarding the release of a new historical account of Australia's involvement in the massive code breaking efforts of the Allies in the Pacific Theater of War.

I was able to contact the author, David Dufty to congratulate him on the release and told him that I was looking forward to reading it as I had a particular interest in the topic. He kindly wrote back and I believe we will continue our discussion.

I acquired a copy and immediately I started reading it, it was clear that the author wasn't just writing an account based on pure academic research, he had completely immersed himself in the subject and the complexities of relationships between enemies and friends during this time of a war the likes of which no one had ever experienced. 

Being involved in the Somerton Man case, like many others, you get used to reading texts about WW 2, and the early Cold War years and, of course, about espionage and the work of the intelligence services. They all seemed much the same.  However with this work, right from the get go, I wasn't just reading a book, I was being taken on a fascinating journey and became quickly engaged with its content. Those others involved in the SM case will know that when researching if you can find just one nugget of information amongst the many hundreds if not thousands of pages we all must read, you will have done well. With David's book, you feel like you've struck the mother lode. Page after page of really useful and relevant information is contained within its covers.

One example of this relevant information relates to the leaking of top secret information from the higher levels of the Australian Government which had a significant impact on the nature of the relationship between the US and Australia to the extent that information sharing between these Allies was greatly reduced and became even more closely monitored. It turns out that leaks from Australia were detected much earlier than 1948 when Roger Hollis and Percy Sillitoe paid their visit to the Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley. A series of Japanese reports, The Harbin Special Spy Reports, contained secret information that in the end could only have come from Doc Evatt's department or from that of the Minister of Supply and Shipping, John Beasley. This information had come via the Russian Embassy in Canberra. The date was Christmas Eve 1944.  Even though it was to be 1954 before this detail was made public, it was obvious even then that the US, UK and Australia knew of the problem years earlier than the MI5 visit.

Yet another example is that of Australian Code-Breaker, Eric Nave, a man, who of late, has been the subject of much, heated, discussion between two rivals in the blog space covering the Somerton Man case. As David reveals, whilst Eric Nave was a well-respected member of the team at Central Bureau, there were doubts held about his proficiency to the extent that his superiors were disinclined to recommend him for an award at the conclusion of hostilities. The reason given was that whilst Captain Nave had made significant break throughs with Japanese air to ground codes there were thoughts by some that he had breached security on a number of occasions and that his work constantly required supervision.

For me at least, both of these examples, and by the way, there are many others in the book, have shed further light on the background to the Somerton Man case. It is a great resource and I am sure I will be using it as the trusted book of reference it undoubtedly will be. David's 'human' touch made it a thoroughly readable account and an engaging experience. I thoroughly recommend it to all who are serious about following not only the Somerton Man case but also the many other intelligence aspects of the world's greatest conflict.

David Dufty

David Dufty is a Canberra-based writer and researcher. He completed a psychology degree with honours at the University of Newcastle, has a PhD in psychology from Macquarie University, and has worked as a statistician and social researcher at the University of Memphis, Newspoll, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. His previous book, How to Build an Android, described modern developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


In Clive's interview with Mr Lawson, a lot of ground was covered including Paul's comments on the nature of the environment within the CIB office. In his view, it was indeed a divided camp when it came to the Somerton Man case. There were those officers who were decidedly very protective of Jestyn and those that wanted to pursue the case with her as the prime suspect. As we all now know, Jestyn's supporters won the day.


Digging a little deeper, Paul referred to one of the officers as a version of 'Sergeant Schulz' of Hogan's Heroes fame. It was this officer who controlled the case and who either allowed or disallowed the inclusion of various evidence presented to him. 'Sergeant Shulz' did not act alone and we are left to consider who else might have been in his faction. Those familiar with the case will have little problem identifying 'Sergeant Schulz'.

As the discussion progressed, Paul went on to talk about the verse that Jestyn had written in the book she gave Alf Boxall, specifically he referred to the signature and the letter 'E' that seemed so unusual. He believed that according to those involved in the case, the use of a second capital letter may have had something to do with Jestyn's association with the Persian religion he had mentioned at the earlier interview. As best we can make out, that religion was probably Zoroastrian, more details in the first post on Clive's discussions with Paul. We are following up on the signature issue with members of that religion currently.

The picture is emerging and it increasingly suggests that Jestyn's supporters were following specific instructions from on high. I say that because I would find it difficult in the extreme to believe that anyone could effectively block the progress of an investigation in what appears to have been a murder without some kind of direction from above.


The above image is dated June 1948, it shows SA Police first radio car and in the image, I believe the gentleman on the right is Detective Sergeant Leane, not certain of the identities of the other 3. These radio cars were operated by CIB and were on the road between 4 p.m. and 6 a.m. Whilst this vehicle was operative from June, the new SA Police Radio centre did not kick in until August 1948.

The car itself is a General Motors Model, you can tell that by the emblem on the hub cap, the predecessor of the GM Holden released in December 48. Interestingly the Holden company was in existence for some years prior, they were the vehicle body makers for many of the cars/chassis' imported from the US and the UK and who were eventually acquired by GM hence the name GM Holden



Over the years, so much time and so much effort has been applied to the question of just who was Mr Francis?

So, when Clive was doing what he does best, he came across a certain Mr Francis and he is connected to the Somerton Man case. Here we have someone who, possibly, had the name that was later applied to the owner of the car in which the copy of the Rubaiyat was found.

This Mr Francis, full name Harold Clayton Francis, had a record, he served 9 months for indecent assault in 1944. Reading through the brief report it would seem that 'Clayton' is quite an appropriate name for the man.

The 'Francis' referred to in the case is a 'Ronald Francis' and it was not his car but that of his brother in law according to the Sydney Morning Herald, November 28th. 2012:

'Amazingly, on July 22, a Mr Ronald Francis recalled seeing a copy of The Rubaiyat in the glovebox of his brother-in-law's Hillman Minx. When Mr Francis called to inquire, his brother-in-law told him he had discovered the book lying in the back of his unlocked car. On November 30, the car had been parked in Moseley Street, the street above Somerton Beach.
The next day, Mr Francis took the book to the police. The torn-out page matched the book and, what's more, the book contained a code and a telephone number written in pencil. The case had just become even more complicated.'
This account is at odds with Gerry Feltus's account which attributes the ownership of the car to Mr. Ronald Francis and not his brother in law.

But, to the point, was Harold Francis's surname used in part as a pseudonym for the finder of the book or was there another connection? I understand that the clipping from the News has been talked of before but, as far as I am aware, no one has linked this Mr Francis to the finder of the book.

Saturday, 15 July 2017



Have to admit, I never saw this but thankfully the eagle eyed Clive most certainly did!

This was the code page as published in the Adelaide Advertiser on 29th August 1949, page 2. Apart from the apparent numbers and letter X at the end of the PANETP sequence, the edges are entirely different and there are traces of what appear to be more letters and numbers in numerous locations on the page.

Make no mistake though, this is decidedly a low-resolution image, 38 pixels per cm, but it is showing details that are just not visible on later versions of the page shown in the press.

Here's the full article:

Pete Bowes, you may be interested in the wording of the article. 'The letters appear on the back cover of a copy of the Rubaiyat....'

Friday, 14 July 2017



Over the years I have published a fair number of images and comparisons of the 4 different faces of the Somerton Man. There were a number of things that troubled me, the major difference between the full face images post autopsy and pre burial, the two images to the left above, and then full face image differences between the bust and the IR 3D organised by Professor Abbott.

I pointed out in 2013that the post autopsy image had been altered and backed that up with information from TROVE which clearly stated that the Police were working on a 'reconstructed photograph' of the man. It's now generally agreed that the image had been altered, the question is by how much? I believe they were major alterations, which may go some way towards explaining why those that came forward to identify the man from the picture in the press thought he looked quite different when seen in the morgue.

Prior to Clive's recent interview with Mr Lawson, we had discussed what questions he might put to him and one was seeking to know whether or not Mr Lawson had used the early post autopsy photographs as an aid when he made the bust. His answer was quite simply 'Yes'.

If you look closely at the plaster bust image and compare it to the IR 3D scan, you'll see that they bear little resemblance to each other and the bust does not look anything like the pre burial image and also different to the post autopsy photograph on the far left above.

Mr Lawson went on to say that the body looked smaller than he thought it would be, the nose was markedly different, he put these things down to dehydration. Given that the body had been in deep freeze I wonder whether that would have been possible. We need to check out the date that the body was actually placed in the freezer which would have been following closely behind the time that the embalming took place at least one would think that would be the case.

He went on to describe how the body quickly became very wet and that he had three detectives to assist him in turning the body whilst he applied the plaster which was done in a piece meal way. They first had to towel an area dry and then the plaster was applied one small area at a time.

Interestingly he said that when the plaster had dried, they literally had to break it away from the body. I am sure that was the case but how then was the plaster bust made if the mold was broken?

We are left with more questions, not the least being which photographs did Mr Lawson use? I and, I am sure, many others, have the view that there were more than the two that have been published.

There is still more to come from this latest interview. Many thanks to Clive once again for doing such an outstanding job as well as to Mr Lawson for sharing his unique insight and knowledge on the Somerton Man case.

Monday, 10 July 2017



Thought I would post this latest image of micro code found on the code page. It is the letter T from the sequence TGAR, it is in fact a comparison image because it shows the authentic image on the right alongside the now recognised fake image from the ciphermysteries blog.

You can see micro code in both but the fake one on the left shows blurring due to the injection of another 850 pixels per cm into the source image, the image to the right is much clearer. It is important before you attempt to alter an image that you do your homework, read up on it or maybe attend a class or two and then be prepared for a learning curve :). More pixels don't always add up to a more detailed image, they may smooth the edges but the detail is lost or blurred in the process.

The image on the right came from the authentic, un-doctored image of the code page and clearly shows a long string of numbers across the top bar and feint examples in the upright.


Note that the Venom  X4514 has a particular style of X, it is similar I believe to a mathematical symbol in shape.

There will be more attention paid to these letters as the case continues to unravel. The latest interview with Mr. Lawson marks a real breakthrough, this man is one of two still living who were there at the time and as a bonus he has been keenly interested since that time, his knowledge of the case is amazing.

We have more information yet to publish from the last interview conducted by Clive and most interesting it is at that.



A small sample of US minor combatant ship types

According to Mr. Lawson, Jestyn had received information on Allied ship movements...

Consider that knowledge that is new to us but for Mr. Lawson, it goes back to 1949 when he first heard of what is essentially an act of espionage, question is who was on which side and how was the information passed from Alf Boxall?

Let's review what we have, there's Jestyn, Alf, Somerton Man and, nearly forgot! We have the book and a 'code' page:

All those letters staring out at us, tempting us. What could they mean? Acrostic code? Mnemonic ? Shopping list reminder?

Ship movements, Espionage, Sydney Harbour, Wartime, Cold War, Lots of Ships and lots of ships of different types...

Could it be that simple?Is it just possible that, discounting the first letter in each line, the other letters are the first letters for the different ship types that passed through the harbour at varying times?

Some light reading and research should reveal a list of ship types whose names begin with those letters. And what of the micro code? Each letter has letters and numbers in micro code, could that relate to details of the particular ship? If Alf was the sender, wouldn't he, as a man deeply involved with boats and stationed near the harbour, be privy to daily documents showing anticipated arrivals and departures together with related information?

I realise it might see the end of my earlier post on the WW2 Radio Operators Manual but ...

At this point this is purely an idea, it seems to fit well but it certainly needs to be researched and discussed. What do you think Mr. Bowes?

Anyway, I thought I'd just float the idea :)

Friday, 7 July 2017




Clive's ongoing discussions with Paul Lawson have yielded some surprising results and the input of both these men is gratefully acknowledged.

It is generally known that Jestyn was a member of the communist party of Australia and attended numerous meetings. But to what extent was she involved with the organisation and what tasks may she have undertaken on their behalf?

During this weeks discussion, Mr. Lawson made an astonishing statement and one that leads to apparently only one conclusion.


Mr. Lawson's statement was that he was made aware that Jestyn had been collecting information on Allied ship movements through Sydney Harbour and that he believed that the information on these movements was  passed to Jestyn by Alf Boxall.

 Mr. Lawson went on to say that his thoughts were that Jestyn was 'stringing' Alf along and did not offer any further information at this stage.

Let me make it clear, in Clive's view and I have absolute faith in that, Paul Lawson though of advanced age has a clear, sharp and active mind. He has not been given to making careless nor ill thought out statements or answers.

The whole Somerton Man case is and always has been an espionage case, this latest and unprompted statement by Mr. Lawson underlines that fact.

A good question to ask would be what part did the Rubaiyat's, yes, both of them, have to play in this apparent espionage activity? Jestyn's verse 70 should now be viewed in quite a different light by those that have had doubts about the presence of micro writing. The same can also be said about the code page and its micro written code.

I wonder whether this is why the code page was handed to Naval Intelligence for examination?

The Implications

Extending on this revelation, there are implications regarding the likely existence at that time of a network of agents all feeding back to the one source being Jestyn. It would not be beyond the realms of possibilities that each capital city as in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Hobart, would have had someone collecting information on ship movements through their harbours. The question would be, how would that information be communicated? Too sensitive to be sent by post, too lengthy to be sent by Morse code it would seem that a humble book would be an ideal method even though it would require a courier to transport it. Someone who did or would travel extensively and someone who would simply blend into the background, possibly someone like Tibor Kaldor for example?

The strange 'one way' ads in the Adelaide papers begin to make more sense now, one wonders whether similar ads are to be found in other States media. Lost and Found ads could be a rich source of information.

Given the events of December 1st in Adelaide, what other events took place in other States over say, a 6 month period commencing in November 1948 through until May 1949? We know we have Tibor Kaldor's demise, but could there have been others?

There is obviously a lot more to be done and further research is underway. Friend Pete Bowes at TomsbyTwo has already seized the moment and no doubt will be pursuing all the avenues he can find.

Yet again we have found another way forward, from micro code, verse 70, the code page, Pavel Fedosimov, Tibor Kaldor and now this major breakthrough, we have information that shows Jestyn and Alf Boxall were involved in the transmission of valuable military information. To be continued.

Thursday, 6 July 2017



Some years ago, Professor Abbott introduced a theory that Jestyn’s son Robin, was in fact the son of the Somerton Man, his hypothesis was based around Robin’s ear shape and his teeth which according to Professor Abbott, matched those of the Somerton Man.

Some years ago, I was given an image of the ear of Jestyn’s grandson, he had an ear type not dissimilar to that of the Somerton Man but the grandson’s mother was born after SM’s time. That meant that there were no grounds to suggest that Robin had a similar ear to SM, his ear shape was genetically linked to his family, more particularly his mother.

Now, 6 years on, in an interview that Clive had with Paul Lawson, the man who worked on the Somerton Man bust, we learn that sometime in the early 1950s, Jestyn took Robin to London and to a dental specialist to have orthodontal work carried out. We do not have the precise date and we do not have the details of the work done. We do know that, according to Paul that the trip took place, that information alone is sufficient to cast significant doubt on the statement that Robin’s teeth matched those of the Somerton Man.

There is more to be posted on the content of this latest interview which I think you will find more than interesting, fascinating in fact.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017




Legend has it that a local 'businessman' had parked his car in a street not far from Somerton Beach that fateful night and at some time during that night, someone had tossed a copy of the Rubaiyat into the back of that car. Not just any copy but a copy from which the two words TAMAM SHUD had been torn from it's last page.

Put yourself in the position of the person who has been given instructions to the effect that if things go wrong at your scheduled meeting, you are to quickly make your way to this street where you will see a Holden car parked outside  number 28, throw the book in the back of that car, the window will be open. Oh, and be careful, you might be pursued and that book is ultra important, it contains highly secret information.

The street's just ahead, two similar cars and yes, you are being hotly pursued, you turn into the street and head for number 28, there's a car parked outside but unbeknown to you, someone had parked a Hillman Minx outside number 28 and the Holden had to be parked outside number 26, never mind, they're two different models so you're bound to know the difference, aren't you?

You would have been doing what you had been trained to do as part of your Tradecraft course, they called it 'The Car Toss'. This technique was very much a part of tradecraft and it is documented in a number of manuals and you'll even find a wiki article that includes it.

What's been described here is not a flight of fancy, it's the most likely scenario and it's based on an actual technique used by agents of all persuasions and for different purposes including passing on vital information.

It is the only real reason why the book would have been thrown into the back of that car that night, they just got the wrong car, they got the one that belonged to a policeman.

Does anyone seriously think that a high level meet up, with some hugely valuable information at stake, would have been organised without there being an escape route and a way of safeguarding the prize?

Monday, 19 June 2017



Someone very kindly gave me copies of 3, miniature, newspapers dating back to the 1880's and 90's. The copy of The Echo above is in fact an 8 page version, 1 sheet folded in 4 and then both sides printed. The examples I have show printed letters at a height of between .25 mm and .5 mm, interestingly you can actually make them out with the naked eye and quite clearly see them with spectacles or a small magnifying glass.

This conclusively proves that such sized lettering is not on the edge of perception as those lacking in knowledge would have you believe. Writing of this size is very definitely doable and legible.

All by itself it's very interesting to see the result of skills and a craft probably now long forgotten. But there are other aspects that will be of interest to the followers of the Somerton Man case.
First of all, how was this micro type actually achieved? It was a photo process, in fact it was called the 'photo-zinco' process first developed in the 1850s, there is some argument as to who developed it first, an Englishman, Sir Henry James or an Australian, John Walter Osborne. In the end it was all but a tie but Sir Henry won the day by a smidgen and he had to acknowledge the work of Captain A. de C. Scott head of the photography department at Southampton who had in fact done much of the research and development.

The motivation for the invention was Ordnance Survey maps, the long used method of pantagraphs were clumsy and often produced inaccurate results. 

Photo-Zinco Tools

It didn't take long for this new technique to spread across the printing world and many works of literature were quickly converted and in one famous example, The Domesday Book was copied in this way. Of course it wasn't long before the world of banking and banknotes were suitably enamoured with the development. One of the major drawbacks was the fact that the process only produced outcomes in mono tone, so no colour with early maps produced by the process being hand coloured.

The bank notes struck a chord, was this or a similar process used by George Teltscher of Hay Banknote fame? It seems to have been a fairly simple process and the basics would have been available to him. The banknotes at Hay were duo-tone as in Green or Red or Blue so that should not have presented a problem.

On another point for consideration, the process relied on a camera set up for certain but it also required zinc plate and a camel hair brush or similar. A screwdriver would have been handy and even a sharpened knife to trim and perhaps add some fine details. The sorts of things found in the Somerton Man suitcase.

Effectively, this was an early form of a photocopier, I wonder whether this method could have been used to copy and produce false imprints of well known books?

You can read more about Photo-Zincography here:

Sunday, 18 June 2017



Part of the ongoing task that we have faced is verifying that Pavel Fedosimov disappeared after his return to Russia in August 1948.

When we first published  the Fedosimov story, we stated that there was another person of the same name who appeared 11 years later as a delegate of the USSR at the first International Atomic Energy Authority conference in 1959 and subsequent years. We have exhausted all the channels for finding anything that would show that this person was the same man or was a different person. Despite contacting the IAEA, we have drawn a blank in that we did not receive a response.

This video clip came from, a large historical film archive. We found one other clip but this time from the 9th conference but again drew a blank as far as recognising anyone in the clips.

We have not been able to find any further photographs of Pavel, we know that the FBI certainly had images of the man but our request for a copy has so far failed to receive a positive response. We will keep looking.

The position therefore remains the same, in the absence of any information to the contrary, I am of the opinion that Pavel Ivanovitch Fedosimov is the best candidate for being the Somerton Man, I rate him as 98% with a 2% chance that we find anything to the contrary,

I base this on the facial matching we have done including the eyes, nose, teeth and ears as well as the written description shown in the book, The Atom Spies which was indicated by the late Senator Cavanagh to support his paper delivered in the Australian Parliament regarding the Somerton Man.

Friday, 16 June 2017



The image to the left is an Artists impression of the Somerton Man which was commissioned some 6 or more years ago by Professor Abbott.

I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to see how this image would compare with the image that we have of Pavel Fedosimov.

Given that only pic we have of Pavel has him wearing a hat, I 'borrowed' Pavel's hat and imposed that over the Artisits impression which you can see just below.

The next step is to take a look at Pavel with hat but this time in colour, to do that I used an online resource which other researchers may be interested in and you will find the link at the end of this post:

The next thing I did was to organise the two faces side by side, first in colour:

For the purists, I wasn't able to get the angles quite right, it would probably need a skilled digital artist to do that work so my apologies, the budget doesn't quite run to that just now! 

I followed up the coloured image with a standard black and white version:

In the artists image the man is not smiling whilst in Pavel's pic, he is making an effort to do that so his mouth is open slightly and the eyes lifted. In addition, his head is at an angle. Apart from that, the nose is very similar, as I have pointed out before, Pavel's nose has a shadow on it making it appear that his nose is slightly bulbous but that is not the case. the distance between the nose and the upper lip is very similar and the set of the eyes is almost identical. We must remember of course that the image on the left is an artist's impression of the deceased Somerton Man and that he or she
had provided us with the impression they had of the man when he was alive.

There are a few more things we could do such as copying Pavel's mouth across to the impression and altering the imression's eyes such that they were across to the right.

A quick update on the Fedosimov search, both Clive and I have made extensive searches for the Fedosimov who attended the IAEA conferences commencing 11 years after SM was found on the beach at Somerton. There are no photographs or descriptions of that Fedosimov to be found. We did find some old film archives but none contain images of the Russian delegation to the conference.

As promised, here's the link to the online colorizer:

Sunday, 28 May 2017


An innocuous little book dating back to the 1940s, it was the sort of book you would find on many coffee tables throughout the land and wouldn't arouse too much suspicion, unless of course you knew the key, much like the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

This book was chosen by one Bill Miller, Bill had been called up at the beginning of the war and joined the Royal Corps of Signals as a wireless operator. It was from his base in Kent that he was recruited into MI6, amongst his first duties was the purchase of a novel, in fact any novel that would be used as part of his new role. Bill selected 'Poet's Pub' a popular read at the time and in fact he was instructed to buy 5 copies of the same edition but from different locations.

The book was to be used as a cipher, he was taught how to create codes from its content and secret messages using this code would be sent back to London.

Bill Miller, Tangier 1943
To cut a long story short, Bill served initially in Spain and then Tangier, he spied on French and German ship movements and that was the subject of his coded messages.

Our interest in this is, of course, the use of a book code and whilst there have been some descriptions of book codes posted in various locations, I think that this example provides us with an additional insight into the way in which these codes were actually created.

It has long been thought by many that the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was in fact used as a cipher tool, and here we have an example of such from the same era and in use by MI6.

The Code

Using phrases from the book containing between 12 and 15 letters, Bill would construct his messages.

At this point we'll hand over to Mr. Richard Lewis, a one time archivist at Bletchley Park:

'A page is selected at random from the book and its page number is recorded. A line is then chosen where the first few words have approximately 12 to 15 characters.

The page (turned into 3 figures) and the line (turned into 2 figures) then provide a 5 figure number. This is then added to the senders personal key, which is also a 5 figure number, and it is this that produces an encoded indicator group.

A grid is then formed using the words selected to specify the placing of the letters. The person receiving the message would subtract the sender's key to get the page and line numbers and allowing them to re-create the grid and read the message.'   

This approach would I think result in a string of numbers that could, for example, have been transmitted by a 'number station'

Could this have been done with the Rubaiyat? Entirely possible, is the key to the code to be found perhaps concealed in the torn piece? I think so.

What better place to rest your message pad than on the back of the book that you were using as a cipher tool? From there on the letters produced by the sender could be formed and the micro code inserted as per the Ink H method developed by SOE. This method was simple, you wrote out your words in ink, you then added your micro code in pencil and then finally covered the now coded letters with ink once again. To 'develop' the code, all you need to do is to immerse the paper containing the writing in a fairly strong bleach solution. You can find examples of that here on the blog.

Thursday, 25 May 2017



This document was found by researcher Clive in an FBI archived file. It contains a list of known Soviet agents or, to be more precise the names of agents who had photographs in a 'Spy Album'.

You will notice the date shown is 1959 and also that the list contains the name of Pavel Ivanovich Fedosimov.

The question is, does this mean Fedosimov was alive in 1959? The document doesn't actually say that, it talks about an informant being shown photographs of individuals from a Soviet Intelligence Album. No dates are supplied for any of the named spies. Having said that, we have to be cognisant of the fact that Pavel's photograph was shown, which could mean that the FBI didn't know whether Pavel was still alive or that they knew otherwise. I have made a start on seeing if we can find any further information of the others on the list. It could be that one or more of them was no longer around in 1959.

Another name of interest within the list is Jurgen Kuczynski, this man was introduced to Klaus Fuchs by a fellow internee, Hans Kahle, it was Jurgen that then introduced Fuchs to the GRU.

The more I read of the various intelligence services and of the missions and methods employed, the more I understand that there were and are no rules. Spies did change names and descriptions, a good example of that could even be the photograph that we have of Pavel at La Guardia airport in 1947, was not really Pavel. We have to take the word of Pravda that this was indeed him.

For the record, thanks to Clive's digging, we have found articles about Pavel appearing at meetings in Denver and Chicago in the period pre 1947 as a guest speaker for American /Russian Friendship organisations. Sadly and once again, no photographs were published with those articles. Those appearances raise the question of what else was this named Russian Spy was doing in Chicago and Denver. Then again, that's not a question to pursue at this time, maybe down the track it will have some relevance.

Many thanks Clive!

Friday, 19 May 2017


APRIL 25th 1947

As per a previous post, I have the original hard copy photograph in my possession and these images are high resolution scans of it. Scanned at 236.22 pixels per cm. and at 600 DPI for printing.

If you look carefully at this image you will notice that there is a definite shadow commencing about midway up on Pavel's right ear, it curves down perfectly to around the halfway mark of his right cheek then curves up again over the nose and then down the left side of his nose along the line of his mouth. You can see that more clearly on the marked up image a little further down the page.

What seems unusual about this image is that it suggests that there is more light beneath the shade of his fedora than there is on the lower half of his face. Maybe a 5 o'clock shadow. But going up and over his nose? Ideas welcome.

Unusually, the photograph appears to have been torn right down the right side as you look at it and not cut with scissors as you might expect.

Marked up image:

Rear of image:

There are a number of notations on here, most of which are quite legible but one beneath the time stamp is a little hazy. It reads:

'Received Daily Times' and the time stamp is 5 o'clock. I have adjusted the contrast on this image to improve the legibility of the typed description. 

Incidentally, the description has a cellophane type cover and the whole strip has been glued to the back of the picture.

The thought struck me that when examining the image, that just maybe Novikov and/or Fedosimov may have seen and handled this very image. My understanding is that this kind of photograph was taken by Pravda or similar Russian organisation.

Thanks to Clive for the input and discussions related to these pictures.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017



After a few false starts, I received the actual hard copy photograph of Pavel Fedosimov from the US today. It is a fascinating document in and of itself. The photograph is an original and not just a printed off digital image. It carries with it a series of markings on the rear of the photograph and Clive is working on some hitherto unknown information that was found there. We will be publishing more close up images from this photograph in the coming days.

I can confirm that what was thought by some to be a toothpick in his mouth is not that at all. I can also confirm that the teeth are quite unusual and it looks as though the canines are adjacent to the two incisors with teeth missing.

But possibly the most important discovery is what appears to be a mole to the right of Pavel's mouth as you will see in the image below:

The mark that is highlighted in this image is in the same place described by Professor Abbott of Adelaide University and is to be seen in the full face image of the post autopsy picture of the Somerton Man. It is faint in this image but later close ups to be published will hopefully show it in better detail.
The question we would all have now is, is this mark a skin blemish/mole or is it a mark on the photograph?

We have more information on Pavel and can put to rest the comments by some related to a person of the same name being present at an IAEA conference in the late 1950s, The name Pavel Fedosimov is quite common and to stake a claim that because someone of the same name turns up ten years later then it must be him is, how can I say this, a little light on. My name is not that common but there are at least 18 men of the same name in Australia, a country with a population of 22 million or so. What chance do you think there would be of finding a Pavel Fedosimov in amongst 98.5 million population of Russia in the 1950s or 60s?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

SOMERTON MAN: MICRO CODE: CLOSE UP & CLEAR: Crossed lines & Verse 70


The new camera lens and lighting has helped to lift the code images. I used the authentic version of the code as originally supplied by the Adelaide Advertiser to Gerry Feltus 

Slightly hazy but still about legible, the writing is very small and almost whispy in nature, it may take a few moments for your eyes to focus. Remember that you are viewing something that your eyes are simply not used to seeing.

Extract from Verse 70 below was written into a copy of the Rubaiyat for Alf Boxall by Jestyn.

For those following the full story here on this blog, in the FBI file interview with Harry Gold, he stated that the packages of documents handed to him by Klaus Fuchs were all in very small handwriting. Yet again very small handwriting makes an appearance, Detective Brown stated that Jestyn's phone number was found on the back of the book and was in tiny handwriting. In addition we have shown that the Hay Internment Camp banknotes contain micro code in the signatures. By default, this also means that Fedosimov was aware of very small/micro writing.

The bigger picture is coming together and more will be posted shortly. I apologise for the slowness of the appearance of posts, Clive and I have been working on a number of leads that have cropped up during the research.

Monday, 1 May 2017


We have put a lot of work into this research thus far especially from the perspective of the FEDOSIMOV finding and the image match.

Thanks to Clive beavering away, he has found a direct reference to Fedimosov in the FBI files that cover the Fuchs case. We have a PDF of the Fuchs file from the FBI vault and you can download it via the link below if you have an interest. You will find a large selection of names which we are working through in the pages of this PDF, the reference to Fedosimov is to be found on page 95 of the document, it does say that there were two images on file one which we presume is one that was shown to Harry Gold at the time.

Main Fedosimov Image

A note for Milongal, the date for the Fedosimov photograph was in fact April 1947, 19 months before the discovery of SM's body on the beach at Somerton so there isn't a 5 year difference. The image comparison tool that you have used is not at all accurate, given that this is a free online tool, it does a fair job but it is based on fairly straightforward algorithms and is not up to the standard needed for the level of detail we are pursuing. I had looked at it and others and the only way we can achieve a reasonable degree of accuracy is to use the merge tools that were used in the earlier posts. the differences between the images, eyes and mouth closed versus the same being oopen, plus the various angles are things that the comparison tools don't cope with that well. An example would be that you could put two images of SM side by side with one having an altered viewing angle and it drops the rate down from 100% to 63%. I hope this helps, let me know if there is anything more I can help you with.

Saturday, 29 April 2017


KLAUS FUCHS Circa 1945


A little known fact, although it hasn't been a hidden one, is that Klaus Fuchs, German born nuclear physicist and atom spy, was amongst the thousands of German men arrested and interned in June 1940. Like many of his compatriots he was initially interned in the Isle of Man before being put aboard a ship bound for Canada with the eventual destination of the Sherbrooke Internment camp.

Briefly, his history involved his membership of the Nazi party before he was expelled in 1932. He joined the German Communist Party in 1933 which was the same year that he escaped from Nazi oppression and took up residence in the UK. He attended at the University of Bristol and then Edinburgh University before his arrest in 1940.

Not much is known of his time on the Isle of Man as the vast majority of records from that time were destroyed in the early 1950s which interestingly coincided with Fuchs' departure from Harwell and subsequent arrest for spying.

The fact that he was an internee brings up the connection between a man who would become a formal atom spy in 1941 and other internees that were staged on the Isle of Man before shipping out to Canada or Australia and the Hay internment camp. Tibor Kaldor comes to mind.


The opportunity for links is clear:
1. Via the Isle of Man internment camp to internees who later boarded the Dunera headed for Sydney, Hay and finally Tatura.

2. Via his eventual 'cut out' courier, Harry Gold, to Major Pavel Ivanovich Fedosimov.

3. It is recorded that whilst at Sherbrooke, Klaus met with a contact who gave him a list of left wing associates.