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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, 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.

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