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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.


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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.

Somerton Man Image Gallery


Over the last several years I have managed to amass a collection of images related to the Somerton Man case. They range from the suitcase contents to possible SM candidates and whole lot more.

Acknowledgement
I want to acknowledge those people who freely gave input and provided some of the research and sometimes images that will appear in this gallery. More than happy to include their names with their permission. The background is that we all belonged to the original Facebook group, 'World Search for a Rare Copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam' set up by Professor Abbott and then later we set up our own group known as 'Inner Sanctum'. The bottom line is that I make no claim to being the sole author and I am grateful for having had the experience of working with a super team of researchers.

In the end there is no one person who can rightly claim that they are the premier source with perhaps one exception and that being Detective Sergeant Gerry Feltus (Retired) who had the Somerton Man case on his desk as a Cold Case and who actually knew and interviewed Jestyn.

Anything I do here by way of extending the range and depth of information on the case will have its roots in the work done by Gerry in his book, The Unknown Man. You'll see a link to Gerry's website to the right of this page.

This page starts off the Gallery and I will be adding more links over the coming days and weeks. I thought that the best approach would be to show some of the images here and then place a link to Google Drive where you can find more from the files described.

First off the rank is a collection of images of the suitcase items.


Scarf, more like a shawl? Notice label bottom right of scarf
Image enhanced view of suitcase and contents


Video still
Negative view, sometimes negatives
show up additional information






Lamonte Tartan










This Lamonte Tartan is similar to the SM version, however so is the Black Watch tartan.













McDonald/Keane Tartan. This was found on a tartan search, web based, the notation made mention of Mcdonald and Keane families.


Irish variation of the Keane tartan












Dressing Gown

With regards to the dressing gown, some research unearthed the details to be found on the sleeves of similar gowns to SM's





Ties


SMs ties.
Tootal Ties Ad from 1948

                     Elasta Strap trousers



Negative of inside of trousers

















Elasta Strap Trousers 



















Trousers, button missing


Close up of trouser pocket/laundry labels. Very feint.


Laundry Marks









Sundry Contents


Soapdish
Group, toothbrush, loupe, tie.

Loupe? Notice the 'grips' within the
loupe..



Razor Strop Close Up, adjacent to brush handle below




One effort to identify the toothpaste, unsuccessful



Lion Toothpaste? Razor Strop




Engraved brush end













Cigarettes

The man was found with a packet of Army Club cigarettes which had Kensitas cigarettes inside it. This was apparently common practice in those days, the idea was to not let others know that you had a better quality cigarette in order to conserve your supplies. Another option was to make others think that you were ex service.

Just below you can see an image of a 1948 style packet of Army Club cigarettes and the same year packet of Kensitas.
Kensitas 1948

The Lighter

The lighter was Australian made by Green & Co. It came in 2 variations, one was military as you will see below and the other was civilian. What you will notice is that this is not a throw away 'zippo' style of lighter. this lighter has a separate fuel tank into which lighter fuel was poured, a wick that extended into the tank and of course wheel and flint.

The question is that, given that SM was a relatively heavy smoker, what happened to the packet o flints and lighter fluid that every smoker with a lighter, especially one with a fuel tank, would carry with them?








      







                                   
Fuel Tank and Lighter fluid advert together with a similar ad for lighter flints.

                                           A 1953 Ad for Lighter fluid




Group

















New Pelaco, Australian made, Shirt from case


Close up of scissors

Scissors maker








Toothpaste









Canadian Army 'housewife' kit
including Barbour's Thread. Slightly different card shape
           
               
Barbour's Waxed Thread.
The only item that tied SM to the suitcase, this thread was 
in common use. Of note, is that Barbour's threads were military 
issue items and included in 'housewife' packs.      



Feather Stitch Jacket. The machines capable to do feather
stitching only existed in the US at the time.

Glass dish and button


Button

Labels Removed



LETTER CARDS

Contrary to common belief, the 'envelopes' found in the suitcase 
were in fact pre-paid letter cards

Example lettercard





Negative of a lettercard





Pencils

Note the scissors, brush handle, knife, scabbards ( made from wrapped zinc) and the black case to the right is believed to be for the 'cut throat' razor. You can just see the corner of the razor strop above the piece of zinc plate.

Notice how bright and shiny the lighter is..


Pencil sharpener




John Lobb, London & Paris. Similar shoes to SM
I contacted Lobbs and John Lobb told me that the number 204B was one of theirs but, that number belonged to a pair of mens riding boots.





SM's shoes

Negative of SM's shoes, Wide Welt


SM Shoes, close up and colour enhanced
Shoe Polish


Typical shoe ID marks location












US Military Issue








Case and contents
Detectives show case and contents


This next part of the Gallery is dedicated to the Torn Piece and
the book.



This is believed to be an image of the actual torn piece which is still in existence. Note the staining to the left side and the various crease marks which suggest that perhaps the paper was tightly folded up at one time. Please note that according to a well respected printer, this was done with a Letterpress and the font was made from pure lead not a lead alloy

The following 8 images show how the paper may have been removed/torn from the page of the book so as to not tear from the edge and to produce a similar shape to the actual torn piece.
 The page above represents the two pages in the book


 A fold is made part way in to the target page..

A small starter tear is made into the crease/fold..

A shape is torn..

 The page is flattened...

 The piece is torn out...
 Here's the result, a piece similar to the actual torn piece...



Finally here's the shape left in the page similar to what the Police would have seen when the book was handed in and that enabled them to match the torn piece to the book. 

Interestingly Detective Brown maintains that this was the case and others who apparently have better knowledge state that a large tear was made into the page and that's why the Police had the paper type matched and no mention was made of the torn piece shape. If that was the case, why did the Police go to the trouble of preparing a number of folded edge versions of the torn piece to photograph and hand out to the Press?



Below is an image believed to be of the front cover of the actual book:




This is an image believed to be from The Adelaide Advertiser in 1949:


You can see how much different the torn area is, a copy of the actual torn piece has been inserted for demonstration purposes.  It is generally believed that this was a similar copy acquired by the Advertiser who then tore out the section. Bear in mind all they had was a rectangular image that had been folded at the edges so they wouldn't have known the actual shape. It may be worth talking further with News Ltd to see if they have any more images or even the actual copy of the book somewhere in their archives?

This next image on the left is of a similar version of the book but in a different colour courtesy of JW. here you see the left hand page next to the Tamam Shud page. There is a copy of the words 'Tamam Shud' from this version and a comparison image will be uploaded shortly. The comparison shows distinct differences between the font images in close up.

11 comments:

  1. It's great to see so much detail. Thankyou! Any ideas on what the loop might be used for ?

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    Replies
    1. From my perspective the loupe was used to aid reading micro writing.

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    2. There are those who suggest that it's not a loupe but perhaps the half scissors mentioned in the documents. I have searched extensively for a matching pair of scissors that shows what appears to be a corded style handle but without success. If you search for 'antique loupe with neck cord' on google, you will find a number of items that get close in that they are corded and the loop is a perfect circle. However, finding one that has a cord attached in exactly the same way is proving elusive.

      Delete
  2. I do not mean to contradict you as you have obviously put a ton of effort in here, and I respect that. Had anyone given any thought to the fact that the man may simply have bought the zippo lighters and tossed them when they ran out, or maybe recently acquired that one as It looks so new? I realize the cost of buying and throwing out Zippo's may have been prohibitive, but maybe money didn't matter to him. This would at least explain why someone who was obviously thorough may not have had the implements to maintain the zippo.
    Just thoughts, all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No problem at all, your well thought out comments are more than welcome. There are a couple of issues surrounding the Green & Co lighter, in an earlier Police image the lighter showed up as being dulled and in the image above taken many years later it's nice and shiny. That could be an issue with the photograph of course. He could have bought Zippo lighters, this one isn't I think it sold for around 1 pound in those days which was quite expensive, but as you say the money may not have been an issue for him. If he had bought it recently then there should have been a packet of spare flints, some lighter fuel, a spare wick along with it but no trace of those items. A good discussion point and one pursuing further, please keep your thoughts and comments rolling!

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  4. Greetings, Mr. Gordon.
    One thing that has surprised me the pictures of the suitcase is the deal that gave the police as valuable evidence. Notice how thrown away carelessly down the elements of the case, especially ties, brushes, scissors and more.
    In the 1978 video, on the other hand, if the care with which things are stored note. For what is this? And by the way What is the source of these rare photos?
    To me they are not 1979, but a date close to 1986, year in which was supposedly destroyed the suitcase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Hector, That's an interesting comment, I had not honestly ever thought about the age of the images. These pics I understand came from Police files. Are you able to say how you can date the images to the 1986 era?

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    2. Maybe the lighter wasn't his. He borrowed it as he lost his, and that is why he didn't have the flints etc

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  5. Thanks for your reply. The appearance of the pictures gives the feeling of being recent, also careless shape of objects (shoes and aged suitcase) differ greatly from how they look in 1979. I think that the photos must be taken in the 80s, perhaps in 1986 or shortly before being destroyed suitcase. Definitely not adequately keep police evidence, which speaks of his lack of interest in the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I will do is to place the suitcase and contents type images in a comparison image so you we see them all alongside each other and will include dates where known. Might be the weekend before I can do that. If you have any further thoughts or input, let me know before the weekend. Thanks for your comment Hector!

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  6. Hello. The dressing gown among SM's possessions reminds me very much of a vintage Beacon Blanket Robe from the 1930s. Google "Big Bang Theory Leonard's robe" for an example and for links to the Beacon Blanket Robes. Best of luck in your inquiries.


    ReplyDelete