Monday, 8 August 2022



...This post addresses that issue by reviewing what we know of the man and then, importantly recalling posts from this blog made in 2014...

But first, let's look at what kind of skilled work was being done in Victoria and South Australia during WW2 in particular, the enormous task of aircraft production...

The organization diagram describes the production of the Beaufort Bomber in Australia during WW2.

I hasten to point out that other weapons were also produced in Australia including tanks for example. but as you will read later in this very lengthy post, there is a specific reason for focusing on aircraft production.

Some background for you, the main player in aircraft production was the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation until 1939 when the new Department of Aircraft Production set up the main hub at Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne. After the war, there was a name change to the Government Aircraft Factories.

You can see that production of these aircraft was a coordinated scheme between Victoria, South Australia, and NSW. and listed below are the main manufacturing locations:

State Rail Workshops - Newport, Victoria
Rear fuselage, tail plane, elevators, fin, rudder

Department of Aircraft Production - Fairfield, Victoria
Gun turret

State Rail Workshops - Chullora, New South Wales
Front fuselage, stern frame, undercarriage, nacelle structure, observer's screen and pilot's top
structure (perspex and frame).

National Motor Springs - New South Wales
Oleo legs.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation - Lidcombe, New South Wales
Pratt & Whitney R-1830 twin-row Wasp engines (2-stage).

De Havilland Australia - Sydney, New South Wales
Curtiss-Electric propellers.

State Rail Workshops - Islington, South Australia
Centre section, port and starboard main planes, bomb cell floor.
General Motors Holden - Woodville, South Australia

Wing leading and trailing edges, wing tank doors, wing ribs, wing tips, tail assembly, flaps.
Department of Aircraft Production - Fisherman's Bend, Victoria
Final assembly and fitting out of aircraft.

Department of Aircraft Production - Mascot, New South Wales
Final assembly and fitting out of aircraft.

3 Main Manufacturing Points In South Australia:

1. South Australian Railway’s Workshops, Islington. 
2. General Motors-Holden’s, Woodville. 
3. Richards Industries, Keswick, and Mile End. 

In addition, the following contractors were engaged: 
• British Tube Mills, Kilburn. 
• Carr Fasteners, Royal Park. 
• Fireproof Tanks, Light Square, Adelaide. 
• Kelvinator, Keswick. 
• JA Lawton & Sons, North Terrace, Adelaide. 
• Perry Engineering, Mile End.

Manufacturing points and contractors who contributed in Victoria at the relevant times are being researched at the moment, if you have some specific knowledge that would be helpful.

All in all, there were approximately 600 companies in the Southern States that fed into and were part of this massive undertaking. 

At the end of this post we will be looking at one particular Melbourne-based business.

The Travelling Men:

We can assume with some confidence that the work would have required regular travel between Victoria and South Australia in relation to the manufacturing process. Just who went and when may possibly turn up in the records of the main organisations as well as perhaps a list of employees.


OCTOBER 14th. 2014 POST

As you will read, nearly 8 years ago we took a look at the Australian manufacture of military aircraft during WW2. At the time we had the name KEAN/E and a find on the code page that gave us the name of an aircraft still on the drawing boards, The Venom. It was followed by this: X4512. As it turns out that could have been a reference number for a call for tenders for the Venom or a Melbourne telephone number. I could find no trace of an Adelaide telephone number to match that on Trove. That of course does not mean there wasn't one, it is just that it hadn't appeared in a Trove advert or similar.

However, we did get the name of H.Marks 332 St. Kilda Road. This was a lady who was involved with the Red Cross, that surname was also mentioned in an Intelligence file as being associated with the Communist Party. Let me stress that Marks was a fairly common name and the Intelligence file referred to a family with Communist connections in Melbourne and also in Ballarat.

The post is again relevant because of the information that it shares about the strength of the CPA within the aircraft manufacturing industry. It also shows a South Australian link that could possibly mean that some employees working on aircraft construction would have travelled to and from Adelaide. 

The post itself could possiblyly provide us with a link from a specific Melbourne engineering company to another death in Adelaide.

Here's the 2014 Post:

About This Post

This is a lengthy post and there's great deal of background information that I wouldn't normally include but in this case I think it is particularly relevant. To give you an exec brief of the post, what we have is a known communist whose files have been held by ASIO since March 1949, Edward John Rice. He is before a Commission of Enquiry and a man named Keane is referred to as speaking out against Rice's political position and inflammatory statements by reporting him. We also have some detail on Lawrence (Lance) Louis Sharkey the then Chairman of the Communist Party in Australia on record as having suggesting the use of killing 'scabs' and strike breakers. Six years after this Commission of Enquiry, a man with the name Keane written on some of the clothing found in his suitcase, is found dead on Somerton Beach, he had been poisoned. This man has never been identified.

Does this mean that the man on Somerton Beach was the man 'Keane' from Fisherman's Bend? Does it mean that the Communist Party of Australia had a hand in the events leading up to the discovery of the body? The only way we will find out is to investigate the information provided here, There are numerous leads to be followed up not the least of which is information and photographs of the man Keane. There are a number of links and other starting points in this post and I look forward to comments and feedback from our audience which, by the way, has now cracked 2000 visits per month.

There are a number of links at the bottom of this page that those interested can follow and find additional information.

But first, here's the text version of  a Newspaper article:


'Once a Communist, Says Machinist SYDNEY.-He ceased to be a member of the Communist Party before it was declared an illegal organisation, Edward John Rice, machinist, said at the inquiry today into his suspension five weeks ago by the management of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.
In his evidence Rice told the Commissioner of Inquiry that stewards.had made a round of the various departments, and had called for applications from employees willing to join the Volunteer Defence Corps in the factory. It was considered by shop stewards that a V.D.C. should operate. Not quite 60 applications had been received. Replying to Mr. Lamaro (assisting the Commissioner). Rice said he had no knowledge whether 70 or 80 per cent. of the applications had been from members of the Communist Party. 

Referring to a report of the personnel superintendent (Mr. Edmonds) that Rice and his colleagues had tried to control the air-raid precaution organisation In the factory. Rice said that the only approach they had made to the Minister for National Emergency Services (Mr. Heffron) was through a shop committee. The statement by Edmonds that he had told Naylor, a company official, that he had been to V.D.C. headquarters and had obtained permission to form a unit was more or less correct. 

NOTE THE AUTHOR Rice said that an article in 'The Bomber' dealing with canteens was not written by himself. He was only one of an editorial board of four members which had passed it for publication. Questioned regarding the evidence by Mrs. Dawkins. manageress of a benefits society controlled by the employees, Rice denied that he had asked her for paragraphs for the paper dealing with gossip-and scandal, or that he had threatened her that if she did not give him the materials he wanted he would influence the committee controlling her activities to withdraw support from her. Rice also denied a statement made by Mrs. Dawkins that he had spoken to her about the insecuritv of her position. 

Mr. Ashburner (for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation).- What is the organisation that you report to at Daking House every afternoon when you leave this court? Rice--I never visit Daking House. Isn't it a fact that you are in favour of a revolution in this country?---No. I am not. Do you remember when you were distributing literature in the factory telling a man named Keane that, "'My one wish above all is to lead a revolution in this country, and when the shooting starts you want to shoot fast"?- No. I never said anything like that. You produce this man- Mr. Ashburner·-Don't worry. he will be produced. (Proceeding)'

Lance Sharkey

NOTE: For researchers, There is a trail that leads by default to Lance Sharkey who was Chairman of the CPA
(Communist Party of Australia) until 1948. This included the years 1940 to 1942 when the Communist Party was driven underground as a result of it being a banned organisation. It is said he directly contributed to the Malaysian insurrection in 1948 and in one instance is said to have told Malaysian Communists that the way to deal with 'scabs', (strike breakers) was to eliminate them. He qualified that by saying that this should happen only in the country areas and not the big cities. In particular he mentioned the mining industry.

You will note the interesting ear shape, this man could not be SM as he survived until 1968. The Ear may be of interest for other comparisons hopefully carried out by a properly qualified person/organisation. There are few images found of this man thus far, this particular one dates to the 1930's, he would have been around 52 years old in 1948.

In 1949, Sharkey was put on trial for sedition and was imprisoned for 3 years with hard labour. Was he guilty? Here's a link to an article written by Harold Rich, Sharkey's solicitor at the trial:
There is ample further information to be found on the web.

There's another link that leads to yet another Newspaper article here:


The name of Keane or  T. Keane has long been associated with the Somerton Man Case with case being the operative word as it was in the suitcase found at Adelaide Railway Station that this name was found on a number of items including a tie, a white laundry bag and some items of underwear,

People have searched far and wide for this person who has proven to be quite elusive. Local searches extended to Australia wide searches with numerous candidates put forward; to this point, all have been eliminated. Adelaide University has long ago given up the search which I suspect is more down to the attitude of  'If it isn't a simple answer then it must be wrong'.  

Having said that, giving in when you hit a hurdle is not something that I nor colleague Pete Bowes can live with and so I put forward yet another Keane only this time, we have a link that in my view brings together a man named Keane, the Communist Party, secret aircraft manufacture and a union organiser called Edward John Rice. The link to the Somerton Man Case is via the code page where an aircraft name, the Venom, was detected adds to the puzzle, read more below. (You may recall that some time ago we posed the question of Venom or Venona, we have dealt to an extent with the Venona possibility and now we have the Venom to investigate.)

Edward John Rice

This man is of great interest and this is not meaning any disrespect to his descendants. He was a known Communist prior to the hearing described in the newspaper article that heads this post and he does have a file on NAA which you are able to search. You will find it is held by ASIO and it has been since March 1949 so we do not know much about this man nor have I been able to find any images of him. I am sure there are some quality researchers out there who could find the appropriate information and perhaps images as well as details on the Victorian Branch of the Communist Party.

That's the summation of the newspaper article, top secret aircraft production at the time of the newspaper article, Communist activity suspected and two names; KEANE as a witness to the pro Communist activities of EDWARD JOHN RICE. There are a number of other leads in the article including the Volunteer Defence Corps issue, 'The Bomber' publication and Mrs. Dawkins, the Manageress of the Employee Benefits Society.

The Code Page & The Venom

Regular visitors to this blog will recall a post made some time ago regarding the finding of the following micro words and numbers on the Somerton Man code page and beneath the letters S and A in the last line of the code:

2YRS 42

Venom X4512

Earlier investigations suggested that the X4512 closely matched a tender document for the
De Havilland Venom aircraft which was issued in 1942.

1942 was the same year that the DH Vampire Jet first flew in the UK, the Vampire being the forerunner to the Venom. Read more on the Vampire below.

For those who are interested, the orange colour is applied on to the base image on the right to highlight aspects/characters on the code page.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation had a facility at Fisherman's Bend in Victoria and it's main purpose through the war years was to firstly produce Wirraway fighters then Beaufort Bombers and later Beaufighters for the RAAF. In the post war years they progressed to Stirling Bomber assembly and then on to the building of components for the de Havilland Vampire, at the time the world's fastest Jet fighter and forerunner to the Venom.

The Vampire first flew in fact in 1942 in the UK and it is believed that first tenders/expressions of interest for building the Venom were also released in 1942, it taking many months and even years for an aircraft to be designed and built. An example would be the Vampire which although first flying in 1942 it was 1945 before it was in front line service in the UK and 1947 before it was produced in Australia,

Fisherman's Bend Production

The place where it all came together, all the components including engines were assembled here and each aircraft flew from the airfield adjacent to the factory.

Below is a rare promotional video showing the operations at Fisherman's Bend in 1941:

Fisherman's Bend Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.


An Adelaide Connection

The smartness of the design was such that the Beauforts and later, Vampires were actually made in separate sections and in different locations including Fisherman's Bend in Victoria, Chulora in New South Wales and Islington Railway Workshops in Adelaide. In Adelaide they made the Main Plane or central components of the aircraft. What makes this information of value is that this assembly method gives us an Adelaide connection, it could be that Rice and perhaps even Keane would have travelled between Fisherman's Bend and Islington as part of their employment.

This being the case then you could ask the question, would they as employees of the CAC have
needed a railway ticket or would they have been issued with a travel warrant that was handed in on completion of their journeys?


Chulora NSW

Chulora appeared to have been the busiest of the three locations charged with making the rear fuselage and central/cockpit/forward areas of the Beaufort:

For all researchers, Fisherman's Bend is in Victoria and the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation was set up in 1936 to head off a perceived gap between Australian and Japanese military aircraft production capability. As things transpired it was an extraordinarily wise move given the vents in Dunkirk and the UK notifying Australia in 1941 that they could not expect any further shipments of weapons or military aid for the foreseeable future.

For those interested, here's a link to a large photo gallery of Marxists over the years:

Northern Star, Lismore NSW, Tuesday 4th August 1942:

Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
NO LONGER A COMMUNIST Dismissed Man's Evidence

Daily Advertiser, Tuesday 4th August 1942:

West Australian, Perth, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
AIRCRAFT EMPLOYEE. Inquiry Into Suspension.

Barrier Daily Truth, Broken Hill, Tuesday 4th August 1942:

Canberra Times, ACT, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
AIRCRAFT WORKER Suspension Inquiry SYDNEY, Monday.

Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Saturday 1st August 1942:
SUSPENSION INQUIRY "Political Issue Feared"

Daily Advertiser, Wednesday 5th August 1942:
Rice Suspension, Security Department Intervention
Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 5th August 1942

Inquiry Into SuspensionYou will notice that in the Daily Advertiser dated 5th August link that another man's name is mentioned, a Mr. Charles Keenan, however in another article from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 5th August he is also referred to as Frank Keenan, whether this is the same man we have as Keane is a matter to be researched. Which reporter got it right? The only definitive way to prove that it was not Keane is to research the employee names of CAC at the time. Any experienced takers?

I would stress that this at this point is a tenuous link and further research is being undertaken in the UK and here in Australia but it does seem more than coincidental that we have Adelaide, Keane, secret aircraft manufacture, ASIO and the CPA all mentioned and connected in the one post.



The Somerton Man post-Autopsy image full face 1:

Profile comparison:

The quality of the Roy Webb image is not the best, so my apologies. I should also point out that photographs are notorious for misinterpretation.

Having said that at least in these images, the ears look quite different in shape The hairline is very similar and Roy had just had a short back and sides military haircut, a basin cut.

The description given by Professor Abbott states that they had similar eye colors with Roy having hazel-colored eyes but in the University wiki for the Somerton Man his eyes are grey. Hazel is a combination of green brown and gold.

We are also comparing a younger Roy Webb with what is as yet to-be-proven an older Carl Webb

Thursday, 4 August 2022




....Below is a photograph of Carl Webb:


The image above is of the man of whom Paul Lawson created the now famous plaster bust. By default, that means that this is a photograph of Carl Webb.

And the following photograph is the one taken by Jimmy Durham, Police photographer, on Thursday 2nd December 1948. It is of the man found on Somerton Beach, The Somerton Man:

 And this next image shows them side by side, the Somerton Man on the left and Carl Webb on the right:

SOMERTON MAN                                                                  CARL WEBB

According to the announcement made by Professor Abbott last week the DNA match he made was of the man in image 2 on the right, with a Melbourne man known as Carl Webb. I have no reason to doubt that, there is no apparent evidence to the contrary.

The challenge though stems from the man on the left, image 1., this is the photograph we know to be the Somerton Man. We have no DNA sample taken at the time from this man because that hadn't been discovered, and, judging by his physical facial features, he does not bear a great resemblance to the man on the right, image 2, Carl Webb. You could make an argument about the ears but to me, they differ in placement and angle, if you look closely the ears are higher set and the left ear is set closer to the head on the Webb image. There is a slight incline on the SM image.

The ears as shown on the profiles of both SM and Webb below, appear to be precisely the same even though according to Paul Lawson, the ears on the man of whom he made the bust, were in a very bad condition to the extent he couldn't make a mold of them. Here's the ear comparison via the profile images:

CARL WEBB                                      SOMERTON MAN

It's quite possible that the ear on the Webb profile was superimposed on to an image that showed the ear to be in a state of decomposition, you can see where the image on the left had been 'touched up ' quite a lot but probably for the sake of presentation. For that reason, we may not be seeing the profile as it was in reality.


Another 'courageous' statement. What you have seen here casts sufficient doubt on the claimed identity of the Somerton Man and there is a need if we are to be totally certain, to prove that the man in image 2 is the same man as shown in image 1. There is no DNA match available for that. But there is a way.


Those familiar with the case will know that it was Dr. Dwyer who performed the autopsy on the body of the Somerton Man and it was he who had the foresight to take a Dental chart of the man's teeth. It showed that there were 18 teeth missing. Quite a few, enough to make chewing difficult you would think, and perhaps that is why only soft food, potato, was found in the contents of the man's stomach. In fact, because of a difficulty in chewing, our man may have been mostly vegetarian.

It is the Dental chart alone that can either prove or disprove that the Somerton Man is or is not Carl Webb...

Here's the actual chart:

You can see that Dr.Dwyer has told us that the numbered teeth are the missing teeth. Back, chewing teeth, are mostly missing as are the upper two front incisors. 18 missing teeth in total, Dr. Dwyer saw no evidence of a dental plate being used.

The Police examination must provide the information, more than that, it must provide the physical evidence by way of showing the actual skull and teeth structure of the body currently being examined. 

If they cannot do that then there is no proof that Carl Webb is the Somerton Man.

To add a further complication, when I interviewed Paul Lawson, he was adamant that when he was asked by the Coroner to retrieve the skull of the man, he was shocked to find on removing the skin from the head, that the sewing up of the skin had been done very professionally, expertly. On inspecting the skull he found that it had been thoroughly cleaned, pristine was a word he used. There was no sign of any organic material. The skull had to have been removed in order to do that.

That leaves the possibility that the skull may have been removed and replaced. That being the case, then no one will be able to match the dental chart of the man exhumed with that of the one taken by Dr. Dwyer.

The bottom line is that if the physical evidence of the exhumed man's teeth is produced and the chart matches that taken by Dr.Dwyer, then we have confirmation that the exhumed man is the Somerton Man. It is then that the DNA will provide the final evidence on the question of whether the man was indeed Carl Webb.


Wednesday, 3 August 2022




....In date order

1. Image 1 on the left shows the face of the man as photographed by Jimmy Durham on Thursday, 2nd December 1948

2. Image 2 in the centre is the same full face view taken from a similar angle, unknown photographer and an unconfirmed date. It has been said that this was the pre burial image of the man but, as the image shows below, his appearance is quite different from the first image and the bust.. Possibly this was taken around the middle of December 1948 and after the body was embalmed. This photograph, to my knowledge, was never published in the press at the time. This would explain to an extent the statements made by some of those who viewed the body, that he did not look like the photograph in the press.

3. Image 3 is of course the, by now, very familiar full face view of the plaster bust created by Paul Lawson in June 1949.

In this comparison, the plaster bust bears little resemblance to image 2. This is in line with Paul Lawson's comment when I interviewed him that he in fact used the post autopsy photographs to model the face of the bust. Image 2 is of the body from whom the bust was made, that is also the body from which the sample hairs used in the DNA examination carried out by Professor Abbot, were taken.


On examination it seems to me that the pre burial image was heavily modified. The ear is identical on each which makes me think that it was lifted from the autopsy image. I say that because of Paul Lawsons comments during an interview, were that the ears were bad condition and yet in this image it's perfect. You can also see that in the pre burial image, the ear does not seem to be 'attached'' the lobe is quite clearly visible.



As you can see, it is not easy to get a comparison between the two. That, I suspect, is down to the fact that the profile image on the left, had been heavily modified.

There may be other reasons why the face in image 2 at the top of the page, differs significantly to the autopsy photographs. Part 2 of this post to follow.


Monday, 1 August 2022




Some years ago I posted about the issue of the Telephone number found on the 'code page'. Some may recall that this number was said by Detective Brown in an interview with Professor Abbott (source Adelaide University WIKI) that the number was in tiny lettering and it was beneath the code.

The question posed then was in regards to the fact that the number X3239 existed in other states at the time including in Victoria where a number of adverts were run with that same X3239 contact number through the 1930s/1940s. 

It appears as though that number was in the suburb of Brighton just South of the city of Melbourne. In fact, one advert gives us an Address which looks like Seacombe Grove Brighton.

The interesting thing is this, how did the SA Police decide that it was an Adelaide number? No mention whatsoever of it possibly being from another State...

Thursday, 28 July 2022




....The Google Map grab above shows the approximate distance between the homes of Carl Webb and Tibor Kaldor and the time taken by today's tram service between the 2 locations is just 20 minutes. It's a 10-minute car drive but a longer walk, 45 minutes or so, a couple of lengthy streets, and a walk across Fawkner Park for Tibor. 

For the record, Tibor lived at 10 The Avenue for some time and Carl at Bromby Street in South Yarra.

Tibor Kaldor,  followers will recall, was found dead in a room at the Victoria Hotel, Hindley Street Adelaide barely 2 weeks after Carl Webb, (The Somerton Man) was found on Somerton Beach.

Did they meet? Did they share a common interest? Did they have similar jobs perhaps?

The images below are examples in response to a request:


The above image shows the presence of microcode within the letters of the word THE, it is actually from the title page of the Alf Boxall Rubaiyat and it is just one example, there are more.

In its present state, it hasn't been 'cleaned up' to remove the 'dusty' areas around each letter.

Let's look at each letter as numbered:

1. The letter T and in the upright you can see the darker markings I believe these to be pencil markings inside the inked typeface. If you look closely, you can see that the various numbers actually overlap the edge of the typeface letter T very slightly. Note also that each number is close to vertical in placement

2. Again an arrangement of numbers within the first upright of the letter H, but in this case, there isn't an overlap, The characters have slightly more of a forward incline or slope than those in the letter T.

3 & 4 are similarly stacked with characters

Because the human eye is not accustomed to seeing this kind of concealed writing, you should let your eyes rest on each example and allow them to focus.

In some instances, there will be scattered print artefacts but when I show them you will see that they are quite different in shape. 

This is the INK H method as described in an SOE manual as a clandestine communication tool.

I hope you will understand that I can only show so much here as I do have an obligation to my publishers but I will publish what I can.


Best I can do for the moment, it was very faded on Trove.


Wednesday, 27 July 2022




.....This manual includes a list of 'PRO-SIGNS' that are effectively single-letter shortcodes for longer words. It also has details of Radio operators processes and procedures. I understand that similar manuals existed for Australian forces. The letters found on the Somerton Man code page are found amongst these Prosigns and it is p[ossible that they may have been used as letters that direct the recipient to take certain actions with the concealed codes found on the code page.

The manual was printed in 1945, there would have been a previous version but have been unable to track that one down.

Given the huge spike in interest overnight, a number of requests have been received for certain files that I have accumulated over the past 12 years. I'll add more to this page in the coming days


Learn more about, when the blog started our location plus a long list of 'finds' and new ei=vidence discovered by this blog