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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.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017



This is a close up of the ends of the two crossed lines found near the centre of the code page. The image itself was taken using a UV backlight with an Olympus camera set to macro and a 3X optical magnification. You can make out from this image the tightly packed micro written numbers and some letters. All are done in block caps.

The image below uses an image editor, Techsmith Snagit. This editor gives you the ability to magnify regions within an image as you can see here:

Next, the same method was used to examine the full image of the two crossed lines. First the close up:

Now with magnification:

And above, here's another for good measure, in this pic, apart from the crossed can see some of the micro-writing that exists in the letters B and O below the lines.

For the record, these images came from the  'new scans' apparently discovered in somewhat dubious circumstances and which Nick Pelling has thus far failed to disclose. Anyway, the point is that Nick, as erudite as ever, declared that we should all use his newly discovered scans, which are in fact just scans of the original scan, and we should all test them. So, I have and above are some results with much more to come. This, of course, means that by default Nick now agrees that there is micro writing on the code page! Many thanks, Nick. Can we get down to some serious code breaking now? That's your skill area, isn't it?

Last point, Nick, if you are going to attempt, yet again, to disprove what is quite definitely there, may I suggest that you put forward the full results of your tests together with a detailed description of how you conducted them? Disclosing the precise source of the 'new scan' would be a plus of course but I wouldn't expect you to want to do that.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Gordon332 said...

This is in response to a comment from a person who is acting like a troll and thus will be treated that way. More on that shortly but first let me address what I think is griping our troll friend.

He doesn't get why microwriting was 'readable' with 1940's technology but hard to see with '2010' technology.

In discussions with Gerry Feltus some 6 years ago, he said that the police had found indentations on the back of the book and it was these that were photographed. The process of finding the indentations came about as a result of the page being inspected with an ultra violet lamp. Finding indentations is one thing, lifting them so that they would be visible is yet another. I believe that a chemical may have been used to do that, possibly iodine vapour. This has the effect of turning the indentations into a rust colour. The chemical acts progressively so the page would, having been first removed from the book, have gradually changed colour indentations first I believe. The camera would have been set up ahead of time and the photograph taken at the optimal point such that the entire page and it's now coloured indentations, would have been visible. Gerry also said that part of the process was to turn the photo negative but I don't know at what stage that would have occurred. (At this point we should bear in mind that Detective Brown had subsequently stated in an interview with Professor Abbott that Jestyn's phone number was written in 'tiny handwriting'.) So now we have our tiny micro writing visible and photographed, this is what we now see as the code page. The Adelaide Advertiser has the only known digital copy of that image. For security reasons the indentations found were then written over although I believe it was more a case of being 'brushed' over. More on that in a forthcoming post.

At this stage the microwriting was very hard to see especially in the 1940s. Fast forward to current times and we have technology that can lift the microwriting so that it can be seen albeit with a degree of difficulty for some. Why it's difficult for some and not for others is down to a few factors. Firstly, if you have an older computer monitor it will have a low resolution and so fine details would be hard to view. Next, if you have printed out a copy you need to make sure that it is at as high a quality as you can get from your printer. The printer model can also be an issue, some have only 4 colours of ink and some have six or more. I know we have a greyscale image but it is made up of hundreds of different shades of colours and the more colours of ink you have the better the quality of the printed image even though it's greyscale. Finally, if you have glasses, it may be that they need to be updated. Having said all of this, there are more images to be posted in the coming days which will show greater detail.

I hope that answers your questions.

Turning to your comment, if you write a comment to a blog and it is written in a civil and respectful tone then you will be responded to in the same tone. If you you use baits and barbs your comment will never be published in this blog. On this blog we deal in facts, evidence and reality. We are not a showcase for would be soap opera writers.

peterbowes said...

Gordon, what would have been the iodine vapour application process, as far as you know, and would the vapour, once settled on the paper, have puddled in the indentations?

Gordon332 said...
Pete, the link above is to a good article on secret writing and detection techniques including a reference to iodine vapour with an image. There are a few references on this blog that supplement that article.

Anonymous said...

If the theory is that the phone number was in tiny handwriting, has it been identified where it is, and have we even managed to unmask that? Have you tried to clarify with him since then that that's what he meant and/or asked where abouts on the page it might be?

Gordon332 said...

The comment came from Derek Abbott in a press article. I confirmed it with the professor so I have no doubt that it was said, therefore it is not a theory but a statement of fact. It actually confirms part of a discussion with Gerry Feltus in which he said that the telephone number was in the top right of the code page. When you look at the page you will see what looks like a stain at the top right but which is in fact another example of the police or whoever marking over tiny writings. You will find 3 more examples of. This kind of marking being a small triangular mark at the top and approximate centre of the page and one top and left of the page, the final such mark is the so called ' flourish' at the base of the page. We have made efforts to contact Mr Brown to no avail at this time.

Anonymous said...

apologies, I should have worded that better....

I use the word 'theory' not because I question whether it was said, but rather that "tiny handwriting" === "microwriting"

My point (which I think you've addressed to some degree), was whether it was confirmed that "tiny handwriting" refers to microwriting (as opposed to small but not indiscernible to the naked eye writing); and whether there had been any inquiry as to WHERE that writing would have been (which seems to be the easiest way to instantly prove these theories - at least in part). To me, that would seem the most concrete lead to follow - once the phone number was proven to be microwriting, many of us 'nay-sayers' might quieten down....

Gordon332 said...

I guess it's down to the use of the English language, there is large, there is small and then there is tiny. Tiny in my estimation would be just that, meaning 1 mm in height and smaller. Micro writing isn't always indiscernible to the human eye, in fact much of it can be viewed with just the aid of spectacles, I would agree some examples are challenging. In the earlier response I mentioned the Police or whoever writing over various apsects of the code page, I tend to think that the fluid used may in fact be similar to that used by mail censors during after WW2. Close examination of the letters and markings on the page show variations in depth, its application was not uniform which leads me to think that it was applied quite skilfully with a fine brush. I did mention that the tiny writing referred to by Detective Brown and by Professor Abbott was found on the top right of the page, that being the case I suggest that the 'stain' at the top right is where the number would have been and I have spent quite some time looking and photographing that particular area and the small triangular stain above the B and D on the first line. I hope to publish the results of that in the coming week.

With regards to 'naysayers', it is everyone's right to have a view and to express it as you have done. The nature of investigation doesn't always follow the easiest path and given the wide ranging and in depth work that has been done on this blog by myself and Clive, it is bound to take time.

In closing, can you please answer this, have you actually ever tested any of the letters and markings on the code page? If so what methods did you use? This is an honest question with no ulterior motive other than to gain an understanding of what is shaping your questions.