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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, 26 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: UV Light Reveals More Microwriting on Code Page & Jestyn's Verse 70

This Post will be updated with sharper images on 1st August.

Some while ago I did some work on the code page using UV lighting and this is an extension of that original post plus some other images from Verse 70..

UV reveals more than normal lighting and separates colours particularly well. On this page you will see examples of microwrting from the Code page and from Jestyn's Verse 70, whilst some of examples are faded, they are visible and more work is planned to lift and enhance what you currently see.

Code Page Examples

This is the second letter A from line 4 of the code page, the microwriting is quite clear under UV and in its normal B/W appearance.

In this image of the letter B from the MLIABO sequence in line 4, the microwriting was not covered by the Police trace marks. This means that if you look carefully at the letter on the original image of the code page you should be able to make it out. UV light enhances the letter and its markings including what appear to be rough drawn circles around the microwriting.

Pete Bowes has commented on this image to the left, it looks almost to perfectly shaped and the letters look almost as if they had been typed. I have no explanation as to why that should be and would welcome any input or feedback on this.

Verse 70 Examples

The first example is a close up of Jestyn's sign off, the microwriting is faded as the image was taken some 30 years after the events. However you should be able to make out 2554 from the sequence highlighted. the colouring of these numbers seems to be a few shades different to the rest of the image.

Below is the first of 2 images of the dash in line 2 of the verse, it is faded but the microwriting is just visible, you can see the importance of lighting source in highlightiing the second half of the dash, more work to do on this and other images

In this second image the camera was focused on the first, left, half of the dash:

Just visible in the cross bar of the letter 't' is a set of 5 numbers. 

Another cross bar on a letter 't', this appears to be 2554 again as in the first image in this section found within the word JESTYN sign off. 

The upright of a letter 't' from verse 70, faded but just visible is a small X in the bottom left hand corner of the highlighted box and there appears to be 6 numbers to the right of the X..

I will be posting comparison images using another example of pen and ink cursive handwriting from 1944 in the next few days.

Clandestine Communications

This is the first time that we have both code page and verse 70 in the same post with both showing micro-writing. Given this information, what this demonstrates is a knowledge of micro writing in what is termed 'clandestine communications' that links Alf Boxall, Jestyn and the code page which in turn is linked to the Somerton Man. or those interested, if you google the term you will find a vast amount of information on the subject, there's even something there for my sparring partner Nick Pelling.

A message for Byron, great work on the oblique writing, it was good to read of your approach and to come to the conclusion that that was the process used to take the image of the code page. As you would expect I have some differing views but I respect your work.  I noticed that you actually took some pics, if you would like to post them here please email me or leave a comment and I would be happy to put them up with credits to you of course.

On the image of the letter B I have pointed out two markings surrounding what appears to be micro numbers, not sure where those circular markings came from, they could be from the original or the could be digital artefacts.

Whilst UV light has differing results for indented writing when it comes to any form of coloured writing it performs quite well as you will see in the images below.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Was The Code Page Written With Water? A discussion and summation.

Was the TAMAM SHUD Code Page Written With Water?

An earlier method of seceret writing which was both secret ink and indented writing was the most simple and didn't involve the use of chemicals, the 'secret ink' was water. It is possible that the Somerton Man Code page was in fact done in this way, it is still indented writing and the same process of Iodine Vapour treatment could be applied as shown in this 1931 image courtesy of Modern Mechanix magazine.

If this was case, the writing could have been applied directly onto the back of the book as recovered with no intervening page.

Apart from Iodine Vapour we have looked at Ammonia as a possibility but the information on Ammonia describes it as a 're-agent' which infers that it promotes a chemical reaction. Some background, the case in point was raised by me when my thoughts were that the 1942 Dasch German Saboteur case was also one where Iodine Vapour was used, that was incorrect as a very uesful comment made by Ralph pointed out, the Dasch evidence discussed Ammonia. Ammonia reacts with Copper Sulphate which was the nature of the secret ink used by Dasch to write in his list of contacts as you will see in the Spy Museum link here..

I am not of the belief that Ammonia was used on the Somerton Man code page, in a discussion during the last week with Gerry Feltus, ex Detective Sergeant of the SA Police and who had the Somerton Man Case in his charge, he was quite certain that part of the process was turning the image of the Code page negative.

When you consider that comment from Gerry and then consider the use of Iodine Vapour which leaves a dark mark where indentations are present, then turning the page negative would turn the dark mark into a paler shade. Is that the case with the Someron Man Code page? I have some images that show lighter colouring within the larger letters on the Code page that were not traced over, they were missed.

The SA Police courtesy of the very experienced Jimmy Durham wrote over the indentations thay had found with what was possibly a form of laundry marker/felt tip pen. My understanding is that such markers were first patented in 1910 by Lee Newman with another style of felt tip being introduced in 1926 by a Benjamin Paskach, this one was referred to as a fountain paint brush, it had a handle and a sponge tip and was available in various colours.

In the same discussion mentioned earlier that I had with Gerry Feltus and on a somehwat morbid note, Gerry recalled writing the name of corpses in the Police morgue on their left shoulder using an indelible pencil. That was an experience we had both had only in my case we wrote on toe tags with a laundry marker. It's amazing how talking with a fellow ex Police officer brings back many memories. One thing we all have in common, apart from hands on experience and the knowledge you gain from it, is that we all recall our observation training. That applies whether you were 'in the job' for one year or twenty, amongst the first lesson you had was how to observe.

Every ex  policeman I know has said the same, you are taught thoroughly to observe in detail, whether that's suspicious behaviour or an image that you see or a conversation that you are part of or overhear or in these days, view, you never forget your powers of observation and the details that you then absorb. With regards to conversations, there were often occasions when a 'likely lad' tried their best to confuse issues with a flurry of fine sounding words, a 'snow job' as it was termed; but when you review those conversations and question them you quickly find that they were words without substance, hollow and meaningless and without any form of substantiation. The minute they start to attempt to divert attention to another topic is a sure sign there's something to hide. Signs of a criminal mind? No, not necessarily but quite likely a sign of someone who is out of their depth, dealing with their personal insecurities and struggling to regain acceptance.

The lessons I have learnt from my own experiences have stayed with me and I am sure with others. I hope that visitors to this site will maybe think a little longer and harder when recalling and perhaps viewing discussions as a result.  The more you practice the skill, the more it becomes second nature and then we refer to it as 'intuition' or a feeling in the bones but in fact it's nothing more than experiences that all add up and your conclusions are seldom wrong. Once a Copper, Always a Copper :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: When Was The 'Code' Written?

When was the code written?

What do we have that could point us in the right direction? The code page and micro writing to start with, according to one report the back of this book had been torn off which could mean that the impressions left were from the original writing done on the real back of the book. Here's the thing, the process for agents using secret writing techniques was to write the code or message on one piece of paper possibly in invisible ink and then to write over it again in normal handwriting or as we have discussed, used the larger letters as a guide and written the microcode into them.

The next step would be to remove any indentations from the page beneath and that was done by steaming/iron and water. That didn't happen as is evidenced by the fact that the Police were able to lift the indentations from the inner page and it's those markings that they traced over.

The question is why wasn't the next step taken by the person who wrote the 'code' to remove the indentations by the steam process?

A possible answer is that there wasn't time, so the complete book was grabbed and possibly during an escape the back was torn off and sent in one direction and the rest of the book tossed into an open window of a nearby car hopefully to be collected later.

That could mean that the 'code' was written on SMs last day. It doesn't necessarily follow that it was SM that wrote it. Given this scenario is correct that would make it on November 30th 1948. That may be a date worth bearing in mind as we get on to the Venom or Venona post.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: How Did The Police Examine The Code Page?


The book in which the Code Page was found was handed into SA Police in response to a published request for anyone to come forward who had or who knew of a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that was missing the two last words 'TAMAM SHUD'. To be precise the words were torn out.

Image of Torn Piece

What would the Police have done when they received the book? One of the first things would have been to see whether the torn piece of paper found on the Somerton Man matched the space that was apparent in the handed in copy. There is some ambiguity, par for the course in this case, because we have a copy of a report that states that the paper type was the same in both the torn piece and the book. What they didn't say was whether the piece matched precisely the torn out section.

The Advertiser newspaper had published an image of how the page looked that showed a torn out section but according to Gerry Feltus, the ex Detective Sergeant who had the case on his desk and author of the Unknown Man book, he believes that the copy shown in the newspaper was not the one held by the Police. His reason for saying this was that the book shown was too large in the first instance and that he has a copy of the Whitcomb and Tombes book and it is a pocket sized version meaning it measured approximately 110mm by 145mm, just the right size to fit into a coat pocket. Gerry also had the actual torn piece in his possession and he was able to prove that the printed words 'TAMAM SHUD' were exactly the same size in both the torn piece and in his pocket sized copy of the Rubaiyat. He would also tell you that according to Detective Brown, the torn piece matched the torn section of the book precisely. As you can see in the image on the left, there is quite a difference.

I carried out an experiment to see whether it was possible to tear out a piece of paper without tearing from the outside edge of the page as per the image above and the result was that it can be done and the piece came out surprisingly similar to the shape of the 'TAMAM SHUD' torn piece. On the left is the torn piece and below is the page with the piece removed.

It's an interesting experiment and it shows that it would have been quite possible to tear the piece out in one hit without resorting to tearing from the outer edge of the page.

The Police were actually very concerned about not revealing the shape of the piece so much so that they folded over the edges before photographing it for distribution to the press.

The Process

UV Lighting

On receiving the copy of the book and given the suspicious circumstances of the mans death, not the least of which were the apparent deliberate removal of any form of identification and finding the small torn piece with the cryptic words 'TAMAM SHUD' (It Is Ended), the Police would have been well justified in thoroughly examining the book to the extent that they would have looked for any trace of writing including 'INDENTED' writing marks. This kind of writing consists of the impressions left when you place one sheet of paper over another, write on the top sheet and then a copy of the words you wrote will appear in an indented form on the page beneath. The process for this step was to firstly examine by eye from different directions and at different angles. The next step is to examine the pages under UV light as shown in the 
image just above.

In June 2013 I posted on the use of UV light and some of the results I obtained then. As you will read I had a result of sorts but not what I expected. That could be because the Police may have been using specialised equipment along the lines of this UV machine shown below:

The FBI had a Lab that contained many devices used for fingerprints and Indented Writing. As you can see in this case it appears that the UV light detected secret writing done in invisible ink. This device was in use in 1938.

UV light can have the effect of highlighting indentations and this was reportedly the case for the book that had been handed in. On the last page of the book, (It was reported that the actual back page had been torn off), two telephone numbers were found plus what appeared to be 5 lines of random letters. One of the phone numbers was for a local Adelaide bank and the other belonged to Jestyn and her husband.

There are a couple of options as to how the writing was written in the first instance, either it was written on the real back outer page of the book and transferred as an indentation from there, or, the back having been previously torn off, the letters and telephone numbers were written on to a separate piece of paper with the back of the book used as a rest. My view is the former and that is based on the significant number of micro letters and numbers found within the larger letters which in turn were indented onto the back page. More on that shortly.


Another device in use by the FBI from 1928was a 'spectograph' this device worked  as described by breaking up light into its various colours/wave lengths to reveal indented/impressed writing:

FBI Spectograph 1938

Having established the presence of indented writing, the next step would be to enhance the information and lift it so it became visible. A process used at the time was to apply Iodine Vapour. This technique was used first in 1863 and developed with some speed during WW1 and then WW2.

The image on the left shows an initial treatment for a document being examined by the FBI for indented writing. Iodine Vapour was and is still used in some cases to lift fingerprints from paper. A Silver Nitrate solution, developed in 1933, was another way that fingerprints could be lifted from paper and it does beg the question why no mention of fingerprints being taken from the book was ever made.

The image on the right is of a handkerchief, it is believed to have been one handed to the FBI by the Commander of German U Boat, U234, that surrendered to the US Navy in May 1945. You should be able to make out code letters that were in fact indentations left by whatever writing instrument was used to apply the 'secret' inks. There was another case, George Dasch, a German Spy landed by submarine as part of a team of saboteurs and who surrendered to the FBI in early 1943, he also had a similarly marked handkerchief which in his case contained a list of his US contacts, this handkerchief was treated in a different way in that it had been written using a process that included copper sulphate and thus another technique, Ammonia fumes, was used. Read more on George Dasch here..

In this next image you can see US Government Censors at work examining some of the millions of letters and other documents during WW2 looking in particular for signs of  secret writing, inks and codes.

In fact in this image they are examining Military personnel letters. In one year during WW2 it is said that this effort produced 400 examples of secret writing.

Notice the way the documents are hung to dry and the use of pegs. The Code Page shows a couple of marks that could well be from it having been treated with Iodine Vapour and then dried out in this way.

It is possible that because of the nature of Iodine that the original code page would have been damaged and could well have 'rotted' so that it no longer exists. Having said that, my belief is that a photograph of the code page, prior to its being marked up by the Police, would have been taken and that may still be in existence.

Oblique Lighting

This kind of light is simple to use, it's a matter of havong a variable strength light that you can apply in nuemrous locations around the object and detect indentations in the process.

There is a long list of options that could have been used including simple light shading with a pencil to reveal the white indentation marks left by another writing instrument.

Gerry Feltus is sure that part of the process was to turn the image negative and that is what we see on the code page now, a kind of negative image.

The Code Page

Notice how light in colour this code page looks and then compare it to the quite dark rust colour of the Iodine treated handkerchief. Notice also the dark marks in the top corners especially the the one on the right. Why would that be? Talking with Gerry Feltus he believes that part of the process used was to turn the image of the code page negative in which case, given this was treated with Iodine vapour, the darker area would turn light in colour and the lighter areas, the letters, would turn darker. It was this image that was then marked over by the Police as you see here and it was probably done over glass or acetate.

Having been processed, the next step for the Police was to send a copy of the marked up code page to Naval Intelligence in Melbourne. I admit to having a problem understanding why a marked up photograph photograph was sent and suspect that this may not have been the case but that is for another, later, post.

Naval Intelligence were apparently unable to decrypt what they saw on the code page and informed the SA Police accordingly.

How Secret Writing Was Concealed

When people think of 'Secret Writing' they often think about vinegar, milk or even certain bodily fluids that can be used to create 'invisible writing'. Whilst there is truth in that, the real world of espionage took the whole notion of invisible ink and writing to another level. They developed smart chemicals that would, for example, need to be processed two or three times at hourly intervals before the message would be visible. Ingenious ways of concealing the raw materials of ink were developed including washing a shirt in a fluid containing the ink such that when needed you simply washed it again and kept the liquid for your secret writing needs. Starched, detachable, collars were known for that particular method.

Was the Code Page Written With Water?

An earlier method was the most simple and din't involve the use of chemicals, the 'secret ink' was water. It is possible that the Somerton Man Code page was in fact done in this way, it is still indented writing and the same process of Iodine Vapour treatment could be applied as shown in this 1931 image courtesy of Modern Mechanix magazine.:

Having done their writing they didn't always just leave it on a page or a handkerchief as shown in the earlier example, they were smarter than that. They would write their message in secret ink and then they would write over it in normal letters or handwriting. Is that ringing any bells? This in my view is how the code page was written in the first instance.

Consider the finding of micro writing on the code 
page. here we have one example where you can make out what are very small letters and numbers apparently written into the shape of a larger letter. This seems to be very much akin to the methods used by espionage agents. The coded message is written and then written over or it could be that the larger letters are written first and then the micro code added within the guidelines now provided by these larger letters. Could it be that what we see here is exactly that? Could it be that the real message was written on to the back of the book and the micro code added perhaps in special ink and what we see now is the indentation from that writing? I believe that's just what it is and the evidence is here to support that view.

There are those who have suggested that the micro writing shown is in fact not microwrting but 'digital artefacts'. These artefacts somehow take on the shape and form of letters and numbers and then wrap themselves rather neatly within the confines of the larger letters of the code. To date no one has been able to demonstrate that or produce any images showing the effect. In the next post I will deal with that theory and show how exactly why what we have found on the code page are not digital artefacts, they are real micro letters and numbers.

SOMERTON MAN: Where Did Micro Writing Come From? A Short History

The existence of micro writing and whether or not it could be written small enough to be 'concealed' within larger letters has been a question often asked by readers of this blog. In this post you'll find a number of examples of Micro Writing going back more than 2500 years.

Cuneiform Writing on Clay Tablets

Possibly the first known example of micro or miniature writing used in Mesopotamia and as you can see it is quite small even by todays standards. It was used mainly for letter writing and contracts. The British Museum has many examples and to date more than 2 million of these Cuneiform tablets have been discovered with a relative handfull having been translated. You can read more about these tablets and their various uses here

Hebrew Micrography

There are thosuands of examples of Micrography to be found in Jewish culture. Extraordinarily finely done and presenting as amazingly detailed works of art. Every aspect of the images above has been done using the written word, every flower, crown, facial detail, hair on the head of a subject, clothing everything created using micro or miniature writing. Other religions also used a simlar approach to the creation of works of art. There are some fine examples here

Chinese Examples of Miniature Writing

Created by Chinese artist Zhou Changxing and his daughter Zhou Liju, these incredibly detailed mico words were hand carved into the surface of the stones that you see in the image above are housed in their museum of miniatures which you can find in Qibao Old Street in Shanghai, no website that I can find at this time but you can Google the museum and artist and you'l find hundreds of examples of fine miniature works.

Japanese Miniature Writing on Pottery

Astounding skill would be required to not only write in miniature on porcelain but to do within a cup or a bowl. This art form is known by a few names but perhaps GUIYO is the better known. The images above show a number of very fine examples, bear in mind that many of these characters were done with brush and not always pen.

Rice Writing

A well known type of miniature writing, believed to have originated in Ancient Turkey and India. Whilst it is indeed small, about .5mm in height, it is not the smallest handwritten example as this video might suggest. It is quite common to see this kind of writing being sold in markets but there are also some very skilled proponents an example of which is shown here and is to be found in TopKapi Palace in Istanbul.

Miniature Writing Machine

Peters Miniature writing machine as the first known attempt to automate or greatly reduce in size normal handwriting. The machine was quite a complex affair that had the ability to reproduce handwriting at a scale of 1:6250. Mr.Peters, the inventor, was in fact a banker, absolute proof of bankers having invented a way to create even smaller print. You can find more on this form of writing here:

For interest, there is a modern day example, an electronic pantagraph machine also pictured.

18th Century English Miniature Writing

In these images you can see the works of a person who it is believed was one of three illustrators for Oliver Goldmsiths Novels. Three of the works show excerpts from one of Goldsmiths works, The Bishop of Wakefield, written into and shaped into rural scenes. These examples were found by Don Shelton of New Zealand, you'll find his blog here with many fine examples of miniature portraits

Prison Gangs and Micro Writing

Above you can see an example of Prison Gang use of micro writing, in many cases it is used to set out rules by which new inmates must abide. New gang members are taught how to write and then conceal these messages and documents some of which contained instructions for a prison 'hit'. This particular example is from Phoenix, Arizona.

Modern Day Examples

Whilst not that many people still practice the art of micro writing there are some very calligraphers that have superb skills as shown in the image above, whilst not the smallest writing it is still fine work and some of the letters in lower case are of the .6 mm range, similar to those found on the SM code page.

CIA Manual on Secret Writing

No image at this time but you can read about ways in which Microwriting was used by CIA operatives in a recently released CIA manual which you will find here on this blog.

Amongst other things it discusses how micro wrting can be used across the face of a postage stamp and concealed by virtue of the colour of ink used, in the case quoted it was an orange postage stamp and red ink writing which could only be seen using a rose tinted lens. Other examples include writing within a column divider on a printed page or even in an advert as well as other secret writing methods. View here..

Carrier Pigeon Messages/Miniature Writing

1942 example of a micro written clandestine message sent by carrier pigeon to MI 14 by a Belgian resistance group. Most carrier pigeon messages were in small writing due of course to the nature of the capsule and the weight limitations:

 This image was found by Gordon Corera, BBC Security correspondent and features in his book 'Operation Columba'.

Still to come, images and information about:

Ksivy From Concentration Camps

Nelson Mandella and Micro Writing

James W Zaharee

Public Miniature Writing Competitions

Monday, 14 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Jestyn Verse 70. The Dash Held A Secret...

Verse 70, The Verse Given to Alf Boxall By Jestyn at the Clifton Gardens Hotel

An apparently innocent meet up of 2 young nurses and 2 Army officers, but one of the officers as in Intelligence, a trainer maybe?

The Dash and other letters in this verse as well as the Verse Number placed there by Alf Boxall some 30 years later,  all kept a secret...

It's a matter of connecting up the dots, initially we had the code page and its microwriting and now here we have the Verse 70 written into a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam just a few short years earlier. What do you see? I think it's on the edge in terms of size, possibly below .4mm in height. Bear in mind that the writing in the book was more than 50 years old when this image was taken.|

Now just take a moment if you will, imagine that you were an analyst looking at this image for the first time. What s it that stands out to you? Is it the way that the markings are so clearly defined in terms of where the 'pale' area starts and finishes and where the darker area begin? Is that normal? Now look again, how about the consistency of the grey colouring that seems to form letters in the 'paler' section and the darker markings in the darker shaded areas? How about the almost ramrod straight line that appears to run from left to right along the base line of the dash?

The answer is it's all of the above. You see an analyst looks for more than one 'unusual' instance and oin this case there are at least 5 things that would make an analyst think twice. 

More images from the verse will be added to this post.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Code Letter Analysis, 'G' from GAR sequence

Letter G from GAR Sequence Last Line of Code Page

First Close up Image of G from GAR sequence, last line of code

Image taken of the letter G, this is the best we have been able to do thus far with a reasonably clear, but a little blurred, string of letters and numbers within the curve of the letter. The next one will be clearer.

My reading of this section is:

IRY27V  X235560  5X?D 23

I will gladly leave the code to others, not my strong suite! If you are seeing a different set of letters/numbers then please advise and we can post your views if you wish.

In the background you may be able to make out some of the numbering on the S and the T.

This is further and in my view overwhelming evidence of the existence of microwriting on the code page with much more to come.

Again I am using a high resolution screen and printer where necessary together with LED lighting and I have use of a 2800 Lumen data projector with which the micro writing is quite clear.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Venom or Venona? More Micro Writing From Code Page


Found between the S & A in the last line of the code page

If true, this find puts a whole new perspective on the nature of the Code page.

In a recent interview with the Advertiser down in Adelaide, I discussed various aspects of the Somerton Man Case with a particular focus on the Code page as you might expect.

We covered a lot of ground with the reporter, Lynton Grace being extremely interested so we delved a little further than would normaly have been the case.

I mentioned to him that apart from the micro writing found within the 'letters' of the code page, there were also reasonable examples to be found in the open space surrounding the letters.

One of those examples lay between the S and the A of the last line of the code and slightly beneath them.

The writing appears to spell out 2YRS  42 and then beneath that another word which is either VENOM or VENONA with the following alongside: X4561. I told Lynton that the options were Venom which was the name of a British Jet Fighter which at the time was a top secret project, still on the drawing boards in 1948 but tenders had been called to my understanding and I also understood that these tenders had a numbering system with an X prefix followed by 4 numbers.

The other option which was extremely secret at the time was that this find could relate to a project known as VENONA, what's very interesting about this project was that it also used a numbering system with an X prefix and importantly these numbers were allocated by US intelligence. That would mean that if the word was VENONA then there is only one source from which it could have come, a US intelligence officer. My words to Lynton were that I still had work to do on this option.

You can download a copy of the National Security Agency PDF, The Venona Story, here..

Of interest is the stylised nature of the letter X, it is quite unusual and I suspect it may yet be found elsewhere and associated with this case.

I have to say that the work done by the Advertiser and Channel 7 in Adelaide has added greatly to the level of public interest and awareness of the Somerton Man case, I think it a good possibility that someone may come forward with more information.

Coincidentally a keen eyed follower of this blog had asked the question as to whether it could be VENONA at around the same time as the interview.

There's another post in the next few days that dicusses the VENONA project and it's Australian links in more detail.

Note: All are welcome to view and download any material found on this blog including images and documents. All I ask that if you are going to quote any of the posts then please do so as much as possible in their entirety and please clearly acknowledge the source. There have been instances were part posts have been selectively quoted leaving the new reader with an entirely different view of the thrust of the original information.

SOMERTON MAN: Micro Writing Latest Release of Letter Q.


8X32505683 EX3K
This is the latest view of our fist letter, the letter Q from line 4 of the code page. You should be able to make out the string of letters/numbers in the lower area of Q and in the upper curve area there's a lengthy string of letters/numbers which are just about visible on screen, stiil working on those and should be able to show them a little clearer by tomorrow. To get to this stage, I used, it's a free image editing tool, and its colour replacement tools with a tinted filter as you can see.

I will be publishing an extended list of the letters/numbers  from the letter Q in the next day or so. In the meantime, the letters/numbers in the first part of the lower half commencing next to the line stroke are:

I make it out to be 8X32505683 EX3K after this the writing is much more difficult to make out as follows:

In the upper curve area I am able to make out most of the string as follows:|

X4423546 X28V806 X754382 2025849345V

I will be doing more work on these and they may need to be recitified.

By the way, in order for me to make these out I am using a very high resolution screen. It may not be possible for you to see it the same on a standard PC or laptop screen, an Iphone is good though. You can achieve the same effect if you have access to a Data Projector, I would recommend 2800 lumens +

I feel confident that the recovery process will improve so please be patient with me as we gather momentum.

Note how the individual letters and numbers are closely packed together and then note the insertion of the letter X at intervals. I suspect that the X is a separator between the coded letters/numbers. There is a precedent for this type of micro writing, a German WW2 agent was interviewed a few years after the war and he spoke of his work and demonstrated his ability to a reporter at the time, unfortunately there weren't any images in the article but here's the link for your information: Heinrich Schmitz, it's an amazing story. A few years later a man of the same name was arrested, he had been a member of the Gestapo and was found guilty of war crimes.

I have borrowed some techniques used by the US National Library of Congress who recently were succesful in 'lfiting' a handwritten word from behind another handwritten word found on the draft of the Declaration of Independence. Amazing stuff. Unfortunately I don't have the tools that they have so we just have to improvise.

I will be putting up a special page which you will find shortly to the right of the post area, the idea is to place eah image with a short description and list of letters and numbers found. Please bear in mind that some of the characters may not be readily recoverable and it may take a little time to achieve reasonable visibility.

Your comments and input is very welcome especially f you are able to make out more information than I have posted here. Lots more to come.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Code Letter Analysis: Right Lower Quadrant & Q stage 2

The Individual Letter Project is Underway

Lower right quadrant images

This is a group of 7 letters from the lower right quadrant of the code page, I've uploaded this image to give you some idea of the scale of the task and just how much work needs to be done. You may notice the letters all have content and some are reasonably visible but work still has to be done to bring up the detail that everyone wants. Note the line that continues through the A, Q and C. Does that mean that it wasn't actually a letter A?

Letter Q Initial and Stage 2 Comparison

As you can see the image on the left is from the original Somerton Man Code page from the copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam found and associated with him and on the right, the image is the same one but with color shades partially removed and this is what you see. There is a question as to whether the SA Police were actually able to see this detail to the same extent as we see it here, subject of another post at a later time.

Obviously more work to do to lift and properly identify the letters and numbers but their markings are visible all the way around the letter Q in the right hand image. In fact if you look carefully, you can just about see darker grey markings in the left hand image.

A word of caution, there will be at least another version of this image and it will be clearer, I've released this one to show progress to date.

The process is slow and quite tedious, removing the various shades of grey from a number of areas around this one letter takes time. The letter Q has taken a number of hours to get to this stage, there are 50 letters in total plus other markings to be analysed in this way.

These are not smudge marks, they are deliberately written micro letters and numbers.

I should point out that the original image file of the code page came from the University of Adelaide and is a 400 DPI version. I have a copy of that for download from this blog or you may prefer to use the University version.

Your comments, input and thoughts are welcome, I will be doing further work on this and then listing the letters/numbers on the blog. Call back in a few days and that should be done and then on to the next letter.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Absolute Proof of The Presence of Micro Writing? The Truth, So Simple...


So Simple and Yet We All Missed It...

Letter S Last Line Showing Micro Writing

Letters T & G Showing Micro Writing Quite Legible
A, Q and C Sequence in Line 4 of the Code page Showing Micro Letters and Numbers..

66 YEARS...

All the small markings you can see within the larger letters above are micro letters and numbers and they were placed within larger outline letters using those letters as carriers.

For so many years, 66 years now in fact, everyone, and I do mean everyone with myself included, overlooked the obvious. The obvious things being the similarity of the letter R in both the code page and Jestyn's Verse 70 Inscription made in the copy of the Rubaiyat handed over to Alf Boxall at the Clifton Gardens Hotel. Next, the fact that the last letter in the last line of the code page was not a B but an R making the last two letters of the code now AR and not AB. That in turn matches the AR Prosign code from a US Military Radio Operators Manual which means 'This is my last message to you, no reply is expected or required'. The latter is corroborated by the presence of the letter V at the beginning of the last line with the Prosgn V meaning 'From' And finally the presence of Micro Written Letters and Numbers in both Jestyns Inscription and the Somerton Man Code Page.

So Simple and Yet We All Mised It..

1. When the Police received the book, the back page was missing, it had been torn off.

2. That left the next inner fly leaf page that was examined under UV light and it was that examination that revealed indentations. Indentations under UV Light show up as white.

3. The Police photographed  the page whilst it was under UV light which would have shown a bluish tinge across the page and the white indentations all lined up.

4. In order to enhance the appearance of the white indentations, they produced a negative, this means that the bluish tinge would turn a light to mid grey just like the code page and the white indentations would turn to black. In fact given the statement in the next point, they may have found two shades of colouring within the indentations.
5. THE CLINCHER is this, now that we have a negative image which shows the indentations as being black and they made the shape of letters, it is also very possible that larger letters were drawn by the author of the page to act as a guide for the smaller, micro letters and numbers.


The answer of course is that you wouldn't, the only reason the Police would need to mark over the negative markings on the image would be that they were covering over the many smaller micro written letters and numbers. They would have liked the public to give feedback and what these marked over letters might mean but they certainly didn't want to tip off others or show that micro writing had been found.

That's it in a nutshell, it was staring us all in the face and we all missed it until now.

In another Post I will describe what I believe to be the process used by Police to create the photograph of the code that we are all familiar with.

The Truth Was Hidden In Plain Sight All The Time..