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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, 5 February 2017

SOMERTON MAN: SUDDEN DEPARTURES 1948. PART 1. A BIGGER PICTURE


SUDDEN DEPARTURES


Russian Liner Pobeda

The year of 1948 was marked, amongst other things, by a series of departures. Some of these departures were of people, some were of organisations and some were of roles, some were temporary and some were more permanent in nature.

For the purpose of this post, we are focusing on those events that we think may have some bearing on the Somerton Man case.

1. July 29th. 1948, Elizabeth Bentley is named and thus she departed her role as a Russian Spy, her statements led to the fall of many communist spies who had buried themselves deep into the Manhattan and other major projects.

2. Pavel Ivanovich Fedosimov, Russian diplomat and known spy. He is believed to have first landed in the US in 1940 and records show that he was officially transferred to the US in 1943. His name appears in a number of Venona cables the first from Ottawa in 1943.  In one of those cables he makes mention of a meeting with HDW, Harry Dexter White. Ottawa is widely regarded as the place at which the Cold War commenced.

Pavel boarded the Russian ship Pobeda on 31st July 1948, there have been no sightings of him since that date.

3. A different kind of departure was that of Oksana Kasenkina, a Russian teacher employed to teach the children of Russian staff at the United Nations in New York. This lady wrote to the editor of a Russian language newspaper in NY and asked for refuge. She was taken to Reed Farm a property owned by the White Russian Tolstoy Foundation. The reason for her fleeing to the farm was to avoid being put on a boat back to Russia, that boat was the Pobeda, due to sail on 31st July with fellow passengers including Pavel Ivanovich Fedosimov.

Oksana did not catch the boat, instead, following a raid led by the the Russian Consul General, Jacob Lomakin, Oksana was taken back to the Russian Consulate from where she subsequently escaped by leaping from the 3rd storey of the building. She was rescued by two NY Police officers and hospitalised with quite severe injuries, it was from her hospital bed that she asked for asylum, she defected to the US on August 7th 1948.

4. Harry Dexter White, economist and US Director of the International Monetary Fund, left this world on August 16th 1948 just two weeks prior before he was due to answer allegations that he was a Russian Spy. There is an account that states that HDW was visited by two unknown men just hours before his death. HDW had been suffering from a heart ailment and amongst his medications was Digitalis.

5. Jacob Lomakin, Rusian Consul General to the US, following the debacle of the raid and subsequent defection of Oksana Kasenkina, was given 3 days to leave by the US President Harry S. Truman. On 28th August 1948, Lomakin set sail for Russia. He was last heard of in the early 1950s at the Russian
Embassy in Peking. He died in 1954.

6. September 3rd 1948, this time it is not a person who departs, it is a whole organisation. It was on this date that moves began to declare the Communist Party of Australia an illegal organisation. The following year saw its leader, Lance Sharey, imprisoned for sedition. Whilst the Party was not in fact banned, this date proved to be the turning point and the Party went into decline despite one last throw of the dice in the Coal strike in 1949.

A bigger picture is emerging, a global picture and there is more  to follow as we move towards the events in Adelaide in December 1948.

Check back soon...

With thanks and acknowledgement to Clive for his contribution and commitment, progress is being made with much more ahead. 

3 comments:

  1. Isn't Venona is written on the code page ? In micro writing that is.. Arnin

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    1. That's correct, beneath the letters SA in the last line of the 'code' page. Thanks for the comment!

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    2. then it increases the posibility that this Fedosimov is our guy. And if i look the Venona description from Google it says "Venona was a top-secret U.S. effort to gather and decrypt messages sent in the 1940s by agents of what is now called the KGB and the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence agency" do you think the code page have any connections to U.S somehow? i am getting more and more interested in this. Arnon

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