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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, 16 January 2019

SOMERTON MAN: LETTER P & MORE CLOSE UP, NEW CAMERA. UPDATED



P and A Sequence LINE 3




The above image was taken in direct LED light, no backlighting, oblique camera angle. I rotated the image on the right a little so that you can clearly see a short number set reading from left to right across the crossbar of the letter A. 

I read: 7 2 8 2 8 5 or possibly 3. Not clearly visible here but the 'dot' beneath the crossbar contains two characters. Will take more pics of this letter. This is the first time that I have noticed this particular instance. When the lighting kit arrives I am sure we will get an improvement, even sunlight will bring this up quite well.


First Letter P, Line 3.


First of a number of images using a new camera, just waiting for lighting to arrive. This was taken in sunlight, obviously needs to be done again but I think you can see at least part of the numbers/letters. Needs better focus, still learning some of the controls, complex but some good results thus far.

I won't be spending too much more time on this, it's been well proven that there is micro writing found on the code page. Another post on that subject and then I have to be getting on with other more important issues.

Monday, 14 January 2019

SOMERTON MAN: The Code Page Was A Negative Image: UPDATED 15th January

UPDATED
15th January 2019

I thought that with all of the comments and posts on the issue of the code page it would be helpful to review long-standing information, this particular page was first published on 30th July 2014, 4.5 years ago.

In it you will read of how the code page photograph was taken, you'll also see that it was a glass plate image which always turns out negative in the first instance. That means that the background page image would have been black and the darker markings would have been white. As Gerry Feltus once told me part of the process was to turn the image negative, that means that the original negative glass plate was photographed and in turn, it was changed to a negative photographic image. The background code page would now be far lighter in colour and the paler markings were turned black. That is what is seen beneath the marked over letters and the lines.

You can read what was very probably used to do the markings, it was a particular kind of marker invented by a Benjamin Paskach, it was known as a fountain pen brush and had a sponge tip. That information appears in this blog post. dated 23rd July 2014.

Brush pens or felt tip pens were around in 1944 for certain and were sold in the US and elsewhere, they were not patented but the patent was applied for. It is thought that they may even have been around in the late 1930s. They were in use by US servicemen for example.


Date appears to be 1946 on this flyer


Example Speedry brush pen

Popular Mechanics February 1944 Ad for agents



But, as per the much earlier posts, my view is that the mark over was done by a member of the police using a brush and more than likely directly on to the surface of a finished photograph. You can see evidence of brush marking by virtue of the number of instances where quite fine lines have been marked. In fact here's an exercise, can you spot the tiny arrow and what it is pointing to?

It is entirely possible that a brush pen may have been used to mark over the laundry marks on SM's pants.

Yet again. old information is being regurgitated dated 23rd July 2014 and various blogs and commenters are proudly announcing their 'new finds'. I do wish they would get up to speed and find something genuinely new, there's more out there.

Time for me to go, as might be expected, it's troll season again and I have lots to do and forms to fill in.

The Code Page Was A Photographic Plate Negative 

This is a  post that clarifies how the image of the code page was created by the SA Police. Based on the advice of Gerry Feltus that the Code page image was a negative and it involved the revealing of indentations on the page. As you will read, it looks now to be that what we see is the result of the then Police practice of using photographic plates, not film, to take evidentiary images.

First an example of how the micro writing was done and the process of making it visible follows that used by SA Police in 1948. To be fair, I do not have the same kinds of equipment including camera, lighting and photographic processing that existed in that time and defintely not the skills. Please note the image below is of indentations in the negative view and not directly written characters.


Rotated 90 Deg showing effects of lighting


















For the purpose of the exercise I used some very basic tools including a standard digital camera (Pentax OPTIO VS 20), a fluro light, a couple of HB pencils, (one very sharp and the other less so) and finished the process off using a free photo editing tool. The tools used by Jimmy Durham, the orginal photographer for the Somerton Man case, at the time were far superior to what I have here even now. Lighting is a big issue, from what I can see in the original code page, oblique lighting was used around the image and from different angles, very probably a lightbox.. I apologise in advance for the low quality of the images here but they will improve as I now have access to equipment very similar to that used at the time and the assistance/guidance of a forensic photographer.You should also try this yourselves and if there's any further information you need then please message me or leave a comment.

The Steps:

1. I wrote the letter A down, on a sheet of standard 100 gsm copy paper, at a size of approximatley 5mm in height. I used fly leaf of a 1942 book to rest on whilst I wrote the letter A and its later added micro writing example
2. I then wrote within the bounds of the strokes of the letter with micro writing. The letters and numbers were in the .5mm range in height.
3. The indentations left by the writing I had done were visible as in the left image without first drawing the outline of a letter 'A' with just micro writing in the shape of the letter then took another photo using an outline of the letter A as a template and into which I entered the microwriting as per the image on the right above.
4. I took a photographs first of the indentations without shading and then of the shaded area and then turned them to negative using Paint Net, a free photo editing software that I can thoroughly recommend.
5. As you can see the indentations made by the micro writing show up as a very dark grey to black. 

You may see other markings surrounding the A, these are background noise and are clearly not as well formed or visible as the micro writing shown.

For the record the 1942 book is in fact a copy of Mission To Moscow written by Joseph E Davies a one time US Ambassador to Moscow.

As a matter of interest, I recently had a discussion with Professor Abbott at Adelaide University when I stated that it was very possible that on the one image you could have authentic micro writing and the presence of digital noise. This image proves that statement.

SA Police Photography Method


The following describes the process that I believe was followed by the SA Police photographer for the Somerton Man case, Jimmy Durham.

Photographic plates turn out as negative in the first instance and the code page is an image/photograph of the negative plate that was used.


This explains the darkened areas to the left and right that we see at the top of the code page image above and to the lower right adjacent to and slightly lower to the last letter in the last line as you look at the page.

Below you will see the image of a photographic plate, notice how light in colour and how detailed the left hand side and lower central area of the image is. All that was dark is turned a lighter colour and all that was light has become a darker colour:


I don't profess to be an expert in photography, but for me the image above with its shades and textures is a good indicator of how the page from the Omar book was created/photographed using a photographic plate process. These photographic plates respond to 2% of light received, are well suited to research quality images, extremely stable and less likely to bend or distort especially for wide field imaging, read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_plate

What this means is that the code page was:
1. Photographed and processed using the photographic plate method
2. Which captured and displayed extremely fine detail for the image as a negative
3. Which highlighted the lighter coloured indentations on the page
4. Which was now a darker colour in the image, due to it being a negative.
5. The resultant negative photographic plate was photographed
6. The now darkened indentation marks, micro letters and numbers, that showed on the plate and now on the photograph were traced over by the Police giving us the larger letters of the code that we see today.
5. The end results are that the micro letters and numbers within the larger 'code' letters show up as indentations and appear as black in colour on the code page photograph.

The micro writing or micro code was first discovered by the author if this blog, Gordon Cramer, almost 3 years ago and has been the subject of numerous attempts to discredit it without success. There is micro writing within the larger code letters and this post proves how it was done.

You can verify this with an expert in Police Photography methods of the 1940s.


Thursday, 10 January 2019

SOMERTON MAN: REGURGITATION? CIPHER MYSTERIES TURNS BACK THE CLOCK 4.5 YEARS, WHY?




A little bemused and even a little surprised to watch the shenanigans happening over at Nick Pelling's Blog aided and abetted by friend Pete Bowes.

What they were doing was a series of 'Dorthy Dix' type questions aimed at revealing the mystery of just how the Code page came into being. After some searching questions, they came to the conclusion that the page was probably photographed using glass plate photography and amazingly they also arrived at the conclusion that UV light figured in the process.

What surprised me was that this exact same subject was broached and openly discussed by me and others on the Cipher Mysteries Blog some 4.5 years ago, here's the link:

I went back and checked it today and whilst there appears to have been some alteration to some of the comments in between times, the conversation was there. How odd.

FALLING AT THE FIRST FENCE, ANOTHER PELLING FAUX PAS...

On Pete Bowes's Toms By Two Blog there was another odd interaction, this time Nick Pelling was describing how I had manipulated the image of the letter Q and relied on adjusting the brightness and contrast which resulted in artefacts being produced which, he inferred, gave the appearance of letters and numbers within the said letter Q. First comment and a major fail.

I did not adjust brightness and contrast to arrive at the letter Q and its micro written content, I used oblique camera and lighting angles only. In earlier days I tried numerous ways to extract the shadows that appeared to be within a number of letters and as time went on I improved and simplified the techniques as described in a number of forensic examination of questioned documents manuals and courses.

So, wrong again Nick!

The discussion moved from Pete's Blog to Nick's blog and again the same uninformed opinion on how the Q came to be was expressed by Nick, lauding his finding of 'two new scans' which of course is quite misleading, they are not new scans, they are rescanned COPIES of the original and authentic code page image as found on the University of Adelaide wiki, view and download here. Someone and Nick professes that he doesn't know who or where the scans came from except a robotics man had them in his possession, had passed them on. 



In cases like this, the professional thing to do is to research a little and try and establish some kind of provenance which would give them credibility. Nick has not apparently taken that step. So now he is left with two rescanned images of the code page which magically managed to have their resolution considerably increased from the 157 pixels per cm of the authentic and original code page to a massive 1000 pixels per cm.  The known effect of injecting massive additional pixels to an image is to distort it and it can do that in a number of ways.

I intend to continue with this post, it will be updated in a day or two and it will address the issue of inflated pixel images at that time.

It does get a bit tiring, Nick, this is your third or fourth attempt to disprove the existence of micro writing and whilst I seriously admire your persistence, it's time now for you to get over it and to recognise that micro writing is real, it was and probably still is a known and well-used method of clandestine communications. 

Nick, you have a confirmation bias, of that there can be no doubt. In support of that statement, it is obvious from the fact that you have never posted any examples of the work I have done on your blog. Perhaps most interestingly, you have never posted any images of ANY micro writing even though it exists. A classic example of that is the Pigeon Code, you wrote some amazing words about Carrier pigeons following David Martins discovery some years ago with some great photographs of the birds in various situations and with equipment including cameras but you never once published an image of one of the messages that they carried. Such images were available and I have published one here in recent months. I believe that this is because these carrier pigeon messages were written in micro-writing, some as small as that found on the SM code page:


I must move on now, I have a great deal of work on my plate within my business and other projects. Nick, I hope that you can get past this block that you seem to have, there is so much that can be done working together instead of yet again being confrotational and regurgitating stuff from years ago. The definition of madness is, I understand, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  I wish you well.

Monday, 7 January 2019

SOMERTON MAN: THE COVER UP BEGINS, MAJOR WILLIAM JESTYN MOULDS SIGNATURE. UPDATE 7 January 2019


THE COVER-UP BEGINS

SEE UPDATE AT BASE OF THIS POST 7 Jan 2019



This is a copy of the Verse 70 which was until recently believed to have been written by Jo Harkness, the nurse before she handed it to Alf Boxall at their meeting at the Clifton Gardens Hotel.

There was an earlier image of this particular verse on which the name 'Jestyn' had been covered over using a piece of paper and sellotape.

In the image below you can see the outline of that tape:



Why was that done? Why was it covered up? That name would have meant nothing to anyone, as far as I am aware, there was no record of her ever being called that name prior to the meeting with Boxall.

The answer I believe is because the police weren't trying to protect Jo Harkness, they didn't want to risk exposing Major William Jestyn Moulds. I think that the cover-up began here.


WRITING COMPARISONS

I have spent some time looking at and comparing the signature 'Jestyn' on the verse 70 page and also the signature and other writing by Major Moulds:

 As you can see there are distinct similarities between the two signatures, the lower loop of the J is one example with the YN , most especially the way the N is formed is very close.


Next:


You can see the two joined letters AN, on the left are the letters 'an' is from an Army form completed by Major Moulds and on the right you can see the word 'and' from the verse 70 example of Alf Boxall's copy of the Rubaiyat as given to him by Jo Harkness:


These letters are so similar that it would be easy to say they were written by the same hand.

Next:


Here we have a comparison of the letter D, on the left is the example from Major Mould's Army form and on the right, from Verse 70.




You can see how the lower section of the 'd' is almost separate from the upright in both images, the shaping is very similar, the angle is a little different but not that couldn't be accounted for by virtue of the environment in which they were written. One, the Army form was quite formal and the Verse 70 was not.


UPDATE 7 Jan 2019

I agree with Milongal's comment that it is likely that two different pes were used, I suggest that the original form that was filled in and signed by the good major was likely filled in at his office, he was an architect, and he may have used a dipping pen, standard for architects at the time, to complete it. The second signature was written with a broader nibbed pen, could have been a ballpoint or a fountain pen, I lean towards a fountain pen which would explain the 'flooding' that occurs in the last parenthesis to the right slightly above the 'Jestyn' signature.

Here's the original form:



Below is a cropped version showing only the signature panel:



Note the stylised letter in 'Engineers', it's a calligraphic style and whilst I certainly recall being taught that style at school, it was as a formal style and not for everyday cursive writing. Major Moulds was trained to write formally for his professional needs.

I have been asked by a few people about Major Moulds and what associated him with the SM case. The answer is simply this, Alf Boxall.

Major Moulds was in the Royal Australian Engineers and so was Alf Boxall, the water transport company he was attached to was part of the Royal Australian Engineers Regiment, they were brother officers in the same Regiment.


Belonging to the same regiment would mean that they both would have undergone similar courses including those on Security and Intelligence as well as others of perhaps a more mundane nature. Did they attend any courses at the same time and place? At this stage, I don't have any hard evidence to support that, still awaiting more details on Major Moulds' service record from NAA which can take a while. As soon as I have it I will post it.

Some further information of interest, at the end of hostilities in the Pacific, many of the 1800 boats used by the Water Transport section were scuttled in situ just a few miles South of Lae, New Guinea. Major Moulds was stationed in Lae. Alf Boxall, as far as I am aware, was in that area at the time.



Sunday, 6 January 2019

SOMERTON MAN: JOINING THE DOTS, COMMANDER LONG, RAN INTELLIGENCE LINKED TO CODE PAGE


 COMMANDER LONG


There is another and recent post on Commander Long, 'V', he was a very talented and capable Intelligence Chief for the RAN. But apart from that role, he also represented both British MI6 and SOE organisations in Australia.

Here are some notes made during recent research:

  • We have documented evidence that during 1942, SOE and MI6 sent copies of codes and techniques used in Europe to Australia, they would have been sent to commander Long as their Australian representative. I would not doubt that amongst those documents there would have been training manuals including the SOE manual that contained the description of various codes including the INK H method of ink/micro pencil and an ink cover. I have demonstrated and proven beyond doubt that the INK H micro written code method was used in the creation of the SM code page. This information links Commander Long and Naval Intelligence to the Somerton Man Code page.

  • The Commander would have been responsible for the distribution of the SOE codes and methods and quite probably for organising training sessions.
  • Commander long had a strong link to Captain Eric Nave, the RAN code breaker. Nave was in Adelaide in 1948 and 'may' have been the Navy code expert that reviewed the code page. It is believed that Captain Nave was also a member of The Association.
  • Commander Long had a strong link to Captain Harkness RN, he was the Chief of Intelligence, Far East for the Royal Navy 1940 to 1942. We are still researching the background for Captain Harkness to see what if any link there may be to Jess Harkness/Thompson.
  • The association between Commander Long and Colonel Bob Wake was far from being a happy one. Wake criticised Long for his attendance at various clubs in Sydney, I wonder if one of those clubs was Pakies? 
  • It was Bob Wake who had secretly kept records on Commander Long and others and it was Commander Long who had organised for the temporary release from prison of a good 'safe' man who promptly broke into Bob Wake's office and retrieved the records from his safe and which were duly delivered to Commander Long. An embarrassing incident for Bob Wake methinks :)
  • There was a link to AWA radio, 'X' crystals were developed specifically for Naval intelligence operatives, and coast watchers and their teleradios. These sets worked at unusual wavelengths and their signals were hard to detect.
  • All messages sent via these radio sets were known as 'X' messages.
  • Within the RAN, the role of 'Paymaster' was Navy speak for an Intelligence officer.
  • A possible coincidence is that a Captain Webb, a harbour master in NG, was also a part of Long's network. Not at all sure that this was the same or someone related to the Salvation Army Captain C J R Webb who led the funeral sermon for the Somerton Man.
An excellent resource that I can recommend is the Biography of Commander Long by Professor Barbara Winter, the book is called: The Intrigue Master. It is in good supply here in Australia via numerous libraries.


What Now?

Where does this lead us? A picture is slowly but surely being drawn together that gives us a clearer idea of just what was happening in Australia at the time and in the years leading up to the discovery of the body at Somerton Beach. The use of secret codes and their source has now become apparent, we know what was used and have a good idea of who organised them. We know that Australia was under threat of a possible communist takeover and we know that there was a highly motivated group, The Association, who stood ready to defend the country, the organisation was led by one of Australia's most famous military men, Field Marshall Blamey with its senior ranks being drawn from Australia's wartime intelligence organisations including Commander Long.

One of the interesting questions that's raised is, just who handed the copy of the Rubaiyat to the police that day? As Jess said to her daughter, this goes much higher than the local Police...

The scene is set, more to follow.