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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.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Somerton Man. Proof that miniature writing and use of Iodine were established techniques.

In a recent post it was suggested that iodine may have been used by the SA Police to reveal the indentations found on the back of the Omar book.

The image below is an example of Iodine, being used to reveal secret writing on a handkerchief handed over by a German Submarine Commander, the U234 I beilieve when he and his crew surrendered to the Americans in 1945. There is another case from 1942 when a German spy, George Dasch, surrendered to the FBI and amongst his possessions was a handkerchief with invisible ink writing on it that gave a list of contacts. Iodine vapour was used to reveal the information.

This next image shows US agents examining postal items using iodine and other chemicals in their search for secret writings:

This image shows the use of UV light by US censors:

First some history on this and just why this post is important. Almost 2 years ago on a site dedicated to finding out who the Somerton Man was, what he did and how he died, I put forward some findings I had made related to the existence of miniature writing as in very small, microscopic letters and numbers found both on the free spaces on the so called 'Code' page and interestingly also found beneath the 'letters' of the code. I didn't get the response I expected, the idea and even the images were met with derision and outrage.

I later found that this is quite a common occurrence when people who have dedicated much time and effort in the pursuit of a theory which would be destroyed should this new idea be accepted. It is a classic example of resistance to change and is to be expected. If you are ever faced with this, you simply need to have faith in yourself and pursue your ideas until eventually the idea becomes the truth and is accepted. If you know you are right, that is what will happen. Be understanding of those whose ideas have been sidelined, in my case I believe that their contribution has been massive and is not be derided.

Worthy of note is the fact that I had no idea that there was such a thing as miniature writing at the time, it was a surprise for me as well as anyone else. Neither did I have any real idea of the techniques used to reveal 'secret' writings whether done in ink or as miniature writings or, as it turns out, as both.

About two weeks ago, whilst doing some research I came across an article from a US newspaper dated 1936. You can read the full text via the link but for the purpose of this post, I can tell you that miniature writing and Iodine as a detection method are both mentioned in the article. Here's the link:

What this does is to prove that the use of miniature writing was a known technique around the time, it was in the public domain as our legal eagles might say. In fact, so was the use of Iodine to detect secret writing and used to to an extent that totally surprised me. The image earlier in this post describes the US Censors work in examining letters and postal items for secret messages. In the example they were using chemicals to highlight their findings not just UV light.

The point and how it relates to the Somerton Man case is this. The use of both miniature writing and iodine were widely known techniques. It would not be hard to accept that the US and Australian agencies cooperated in this field even before the 2nd World War, it was peacetime in 1936. How much more would they have cooperated in 1948 at the outset of the Cold War?

The SA Police would have been well aware of these techniques especially having just been through WW2.

This newspaper article and the earlier posts covering the way the case was investigated really do support the view that there was very probably some kind of cover up happening in the Somerton Man case. The Police must have known of the techniques, they would have examined the Omar book thoroughly, they knew how it was done, and would have found what has been found since, miniature writing. The larger 'letters' of the code were not real, they were a feint to make others think that they weren't on the track.

What appears on the 'code' page is a series of indentations and markings picked up by the use of Iodine, some of those markings were 'joined' by the Police for whatever reason. An actual copy of the code page is below, you are very welcome to download it and examine it for yourself. Remember that the 'letters' were put there by the Police.

Examine it carefully, you are looking for miniature letters and numbers that vary in size between .2mm and .4mm in height, some are in the open spaces between and around the 'letters' of the code and some are actually found beneath the markings made by the Police.

Somerton Man:Confirmation that his picture had been reconstructed?

A very interesting newspaper article from the time, December 1948, has surfaced that seems to substantiate the view that perhaps the Somerton Man's profile image had been altered.

In a post dated 24th February, the question was asked whether the profile image of the Somerton Man was real or had been 'doctored' in some way.

The first image shows the markings highlighted on the profile that appear to be the result of a superimposition of the face:

In this second image you can see what appears to be the 'superimposed' face:

In this last comparison image below, you'll see highlighted areas of the front view of SM that show signs of having been modified. It is difficult to match the profile image on the left to the full face view on the right, from my perspective they do not appear to be one and the same person.

The question came about as a result of close examination of this particular image which showed markings that appeared to prove that the image was in fact a compilation of 2 images, the face did not 'fit' with the rest of the profile of his head, it had different colouration and a different 'texture', it looked as though the face had been superimposed onto the original image of the man's profile.

This article from the Advertiser dated December 4th 1948, just a few days after the discovery of the Somerton Man's body on the beach makes specific reference to the Police having created a 'reconstructed photograph' for viewing by the public.

It is obviously an interesting choice of words. If the Police had been talking about SM having been dressed up, would they have said reconstructed? It doesn't seem likely that they would have chosen the words 'Reconstructed Photograph', it would have been more accurate to have said a 'Reconstruction of how the man looked when found' and they would have done that to prompt someone's memory perhaps. But no, the words used were quite specific.

Another aspect of the discovery of this news article is the date, just 4 days after the event. The Police were right on the job and following through, they were being efficient. This would appear to be in stark contrast to the way they later acted when on 14 different occasions they didn't take fingerprints from items associated with SM which could have helped solve the case.

Yet another question in need of an answer, why would the Police have reconstructed this image by superimposing a face into the man's profile?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Somerton Man: 14 items could have been dusted for fingerprints but weren't. Why?

There are so many inconsistencies related to this case, lots of unanswered questions, many of which could remain that way. However that does not mean we have to stop asking questions in an effort get at the truth.

Fingerprints, or rather the lack of them, being taken apart from the Somerton Man's, is a case in point:

Somerton Man's Fingerprints ( we think)

A small point worth considering is that the same chemicals and techniques that were used to lift fingerprints from paper or soft materials were also used to reveal secret writing, the chemical being iodine. Was this the technique used by Detective Jimmy Durham in an earlier case when he famously found and recovered fingerprints from a book and proved his case?

Read more here:

At least 14 items that could have and should have been fingerprinted but apparently, not one of them was.

Given that experience, why was it that the Omar book and the torn piece were apparently never examined for fingerprints? Would the Somerton Man's prints have been found on them? or would someone else's? Perhaps more than one?

To all accounts that torn piece still exists and when enquiries were made of a person well connected wuth this case, they were dismissed as being too difficult or just impossible after all this time.

In short, the technology existed to lift fingerprints from the book and the torn 'TAMAM SHUD' piece from the book and other items.

Here's a list of those things that could have and should have been subject to fingerprinting:
  • The Omar book
  • The torn piece
  • The Bus and Train tickets
  • The Letter cards
  • The handles of the brush, the knife, the scissors and other tools from the suitcase
  • The glass dish
  • The suitcase
  • His shoes
  • The lining of the pocket that had laundry marks
More than that Jimmy Durham had specific experience in the techniques necessary to lift prints from difficult surfaces but not a word of prints being taken is to be found amongst any of the documents. Why?

In the next post I will publish a summation and an account of what I believe really happened on that night.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Somerton Man: Just what did the SA Police send to Naval Intelligence?

Given the times and what is known about Australian Military intelligence and its close connections with MI5, MI6 and earlier SOE, do we really think that the discovery of a book with a code written into it would be treated so lightly as to send a single photograph of what the local Police had found using UV light?

 Let's put this into perspective, imagine being in what is arguably amongst the most tumultuous times in history with a Cold War getting chillier, Israel in turmoil, open distrust of the Australian Government by a major ally, the British Navy announces the relocation of a Submarine Squadron to Sydney, in South Australia Atom Bombs are being developed ready for testing as well as a whole raft of other weaponry including rockets and radar, the fastest jet fighter in the world publicly put through its paces at Parafield, the Prime Minister of our country visits Adelaide on the day before SM turns up and apparently later a book is found and associated with the the man and it contains what appears to be a mysterious 'code' written onto it. And the SA Police send a photograph of what they have found to Naval Intelligence in Melbourne?

 It strikes me that both Naval Intelligence and the SA Police were not exactly wet behind the ears, both had relatively recently emerged from WW2 and would have been throughly trained and familiar with the tricks, tools and techniques of those involved in espionage.

When you think about it why was it Naval Intelligence in Melbourne that was informed? Who was it that suggested the code; finding should be sent there? You would think that South Australia, because of it's involvement with massive weaponry developments, would have been alive with counter intelligence agencies.

Wouldn't you at least think they would have sent a group of images showing the original book with its markings plus what the book looked like under UV light prior to being marked up by the Police? On that issue, the use of iodine vapours was a common way to uncover secret writing, given the markings on the 'code' page it seems to be entirely possible that was in fact the method used. At that time it is also likely that the technique was still under wraps and not for public knowledge. But no mention is made of anything other than the marked up image being sent. Would our smart and advanced Naval intelligence people really leave it to Mr. Plod in South Australia to decide what was or what wasn't written on the book? I don't think so.

Where does that leave us?

Somerton Man: Line 4 of the 'Code' page

After receiving numerous requests about line 4 of the 'Code' page and what it shows, I've decided to publish the full version here. A few notes for you, these 'letters' of the code as full of smaller letters are and numbers, you will need to focus carefully on what you see and be aware that the characters are very small, probably around .25mm in height and possibly less.

You also need to consider that,apart from micro dots that were used to transmit miniature photographs of whole pages of information, there were 'in between' methods that were neither micro dots nor micro writing, this could be what you will see here.

I have made an in depth study of examples of handwriting and nothing I have seen looks anything like the images you will see in the following images.

Come back again soon, there will be another post very shortly that will add yet another puzzling and extremely curious aspect to the Somerton man case.