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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.

Monday, 15 April 2019

SOMERTON MAN: CROSSING THE Ts'







Not talking about this T, but suggesting that just maybe we should take a look at some other Ts. The Ts that are contained in Verse 70. Have you ever noticed them? Do they strike you as being a little unusual perhaps?






Here are a few notes made recently and I thought I would share them with you:

THE Ts!

Line 1 has two T's, RepenTence and ofT, the T in repentence is not crossed but it is in ofT

Line 2 has one T in buT, not crossed

Line 3. has two Ts, Then and Then, the first T is crossed and the second one is a 'floating' cross well away from the T.

Line 4. has 3 Ts, Thread 'floating' cross, Penitence, not crossed, Tore, a 'floating' and extended cross.

Signature, one T in JesTyn, 'floating' shortened cross.

The inconsistency in the way the T has been written is unusual I think. We have 3 Ts not crossed, we have 2 that are crossed and we have 3 floating crossed Ts , 4 if you count Jestyn

Looking a little further and differently at the Ts:

Repentence oft, but, then (and) then, thread penitence tore.

First letter sequence:ROBTTTPTJ including JESTYN

Last letter sequence: ETTNNDEEN if you count JESTYN

Following words: Oft before, was, and came, bare a tore

Clive had a great thought that maybe the T was used as a message prompt as in the book being exchanged with no crossed Ts and then crossed to be returned and as a way of acknowledging the receipt of the book, perhaps indicating that a message was on its way?

Whilst it's fair to say that people sometimes write and form their words inconsistently, it's a matter of degree. Is it common or less common to show such variations within a relatively short paragraph?

There's something not sitting right here, can't quite put my finger on it but please feel free to share your thoughts...



Thursday, 4 April 2019

SOMERTON MAN: USEFUL DOWNLOADS & LINKS



USEFUL DOWNLOADS & LINKS

Whilst of late we've published a number of images from Service records, it crossed my mind that many may not have had an opportunity to view the source materials, so, here are 3 PDF downloads which contain the information that has been used to substantiate the contents of recent posts.

First though, here's a comparison of the Alf Boxall book that shows the handwritten verse 70 signed by 'JESTYN' alongside an image of my copy of the exact same published book which of course is minus the handwritten verse:


Verse 70 on the right was in my opinion signed and quite probably written in its entirety by Major William Jestyn Moulds. Every word in the verse and, indeed, the image of the Fez Lady, contains micro written letters and numbers as per previous posts and images.

As an aside, I bought my copy online from a small shop in North Wales, when it arrived and to my amazement, the book had once belonged to a former teacher of mine. Small world.

Downloads:

1. Major William Jestyn Moulds Service record. In this document, you'll be able to view all 26 pages of the published service record, you'll notice some duplications as well as a number of examples of the Major's handwriting and signatures. This is a PDF download

2. Lieutenant Alf Boxall's Service record. Examples of handwriting and signatures as well as various Army forms, are included, there are nominally 22 pages in this record. Please note, this is a link to the NAA service record and not a download

3. Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Otto Muller Service record. There are 48 pages in total, they contain the usual service record information as well as examples of handwriting and signatures. This document is being shared whilst Clive and I are still working on its contents. I can tell you that there are a number of interesting aspects of this document. It is a downloadable PDF of the NAA record. Lieutenant Colonel Muller was Major Moulds Commanding Officer. for a time. You will note that at least one set of handwriting is a very close match to another written record in Major Moulds document.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

SOMERTON MAN: DID MAJOR MOULDS WRITE THE ENTIRE VERSE 70 & SIGN IT? THE EVIDENCE SAYS YES....



THE HANDWRITING COMPARISON
VERSE 70 & MAJOR MOULDS




The first image above is from the Major Moulds file which contains some good samples of his handwriting and the second image is of Verse 70 in the copy of the Rubaiyat supposedly written into by Jessica Harkness and given to Alf Boxall.

In the previous post, we were able to show the distinct similarities between the signature shown in verse 70 and that of Major William Jestyn Moulds.

The comparison shown below focuses on just two letters for now, the 'R' in Verse 70 compared to the 'R' in Retirement from Major Moulds' file and then the letter 'b' in 'but' from line of Verse 70 compared to the letter 'b' in the word 'be' the third letter on the top line of the Major's file:


And now a close-up view:



And there you have at least some of the evidence that yet again shows the similarities between the handwriting of Major Moulds and that writing found on Verse 70.

I am as sure as I can be that Major Moulds was the person who wrote the inscription in the Rubaiyat given to Alf Boxall. 

As usual, there's more work to be done on this comparison. We will bear in mind that a handwriting example is rarely an exact match even from the same hand so allowances should be made for slight variances and for the difference in the writing instruments used. The two examples above are extremely close in this instance and they stood out from the first examination.

If you are going to use the term 'explosive' then this evidence is just that. It turns the whole case on its head, more questions need to be asked and answers found:

1. What role did Jessica really play?
2. Why did Alf go to such lengths to conceal the truth?
3. Why did the Police not pursue questioning of Alf?
4. Did the Police know the truth all along?
5. What role was played by Major Moulds?
6. Is this another example of The Association in action?

I am sure there will be more questions but right now there's further work to be done on this and on other issues.



Thursday, 14 March 2019

SOMERTON MAN: MAJOR WILLIAM JESTYN MOULDS & THE RSL



MAJOR WILLIAM JESTYN MOULDS
& THE RSL

The story of the good Major is becoming increasingly complex. The first thoughts were and still are that this man was the same man that took part in the writing of the now famous Verse 70 supposedly written by Jessica Harkness in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that she gave to Alf Boxall, the then young Army lieutenant. Again, supposedly, she had signed off that verse with the name JESTYN.


THE SIGNATURES

The following 4 signatures of the Major have each been copied from his recently acquired service record :

1.

2. 

3.

4.


The enthusiasts amongst the audience will immediately notice, though similar, there is a variance between each signature. Nothing unusual in that, not many of us will write exactly the same style of signature each time we sign off. You may notice that signature 4 appears to have been overwritten, specifically the 'e', the 's' and the 't'. On close examination, you are right, it has been overwritten but for what purpose?

Now to the Jetyn signature found beneath Verse 70:

5.


I think that all signatures were made by the same person, the letter 'E' in example 5, was done for reasons partially unknown but more on that in a later post. the last letter 'N' is almost identical in each example and the Y is not that different at all. The T and the Y in the verse 70 signature is very similar to examples 2, 3 and 4 from the Major. The J is slightly different in each case, if I were to compare it then the examples 1 and 2 have similar lower portions to the verse 70 example.

The letter T has a joined crossbar whilst in verse 70 example it 'floats', again there is a reason for that which will be addressed in a later post.

This discovery is extremely important, firstly because it puts the lie to the previously held views that Jessica signed off Verse 70 herself. She did not, Major William Jestyn Moulds did that. Secondly, this now puts Major Moulds very probably in some sort of association with Alf Boxall and quite probably Jessica and the Musgraves.

As you will shortly read, we can also now make another partially qualified assumption, we can now link Major Moulds, Alf and Jessica to the anti-communist organisation, THE ASSOCIATION

COINCIDENCE & THE RSL

The coincidence began with the realisation that both Lieutenant Alf Boxall and Major William Jestyn Moulds both belonged to the same Regiment, The Royal Australian Engineers.

In recent discussions with Clive regarding the Major's service record, we talked about one of the entries:


Here you can see the notation made on or about 13th September 1945 where Major Moulds is placed upon the RSL Retirement list.

Why would that be? Having viewed a number of service records I cannot recall having seen that notation before. A later notation mentions his being added to an 'x' list, that list is all about ex-service members being added to a category of reservists.

So, why the RSL and why a particular category of reserves?

By the way, this handwriting in the example above is believed to be Major Moulds, it seems to match other examples in his record and maybe even another document? 

On that issue, the letter 'R' in 'Retirement' looks vaguely familiar. as does the missing crossbar from the 't' also in 'Retirement'. Any Takers? Well just in case, the handwriting in this example above can be seen as closely matching the handwriting in Verse 70. You might also consider the way the letter 'W' has been written. There will be a follow up post on this specific topic.



SOME RSL DATA & LITTLE KNOWN HISTORY

The RSL in its prime years had a large membership, 337,000 in 1946 for example.  Its ranks were made up of ex NCOs, other ranks and junior officers with others, mostly, but not exclusively, of the rank of colonel and above, being recruited into the upper echelon of The Association. The Association used to boast about having between 100,000 and 130,000 members some of whom were armed with rifles and machine guns were available to them according to their own accounts.

The RSL had what might best be called 'satellite' organisations, these were charged with dissemination of printed materials and the propaganda offensive as well as counterintelligence work against the rise of communism in Australia. One splinter group undertook some more extreme tasks.

Monday, 11 March 2019

SOMERTON MAN: MAJOR WILLIAM JESTYN MOULDS, THE FILE, PART 1 UPDATED.5.40pm



MAJOR WILLIAM JESTYN MOULDS



Some time ago I requested and purchased a copy of the official file from NAA of Major Moulds. Above is his file image, you can see that he wasn't a particularly tall man, his file also tells us that apart from a short illness, he was very fit.

He served at El Alamein and Tobruk as well as in PNG. It was at the latter part of his service that he was awarded the MBE for outstanding bravery and extraordinary devotion to duty. The citation will be published here in the next post.

What we can say is that we have more examples of his writing and that confirmed for me that this is the man who signed the Verse 70 in the copy of the Rubaiyat purportedly given to Alf Boxall By Jess.
The discovery of Major Moulds and his signature now not only calls into question but throws into grave doubt the statements of Alf and Jess.

We have also found details of a number of 'Special' courses attended by the Major and have noted that there is a specific mention of him in relation to an RSL involvement at the latter end of the war. There is a mention of what appears to be an attachment to 8th Water Transport but the page is a little unclear.

All in all, a most interesting document that was worth the wait. those with search skills will be able to access the full file at NAA.

UPDATE 5.40 pm. 12 March 2019

The Major's signature has been the focus of a lot of attention, the hig resolution version below clearly shows the similarity between the written name Jestyn on his enlistment form and that found on Verse 70:
1. Enlistment signature:



2. JESTYN signature:



3. JESTYN signature from Verse 70:


BUT! What about that capital 'E'?

This from a form signed by the good Major, you'll find it on page 19 of the Major's file:



And here's the 'E': 





Next Post by the weekend.