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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.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Somerton Man: Micro writing Revisited, Ink H the answer

Over the past week there has been a flurry of activity in the press regarding the Somerton Man case. Numerous theories have been put forward by Professor Abbott and in all fairness he is uniquely positioned to have access to information on the case. (Please read last paragraph in this post re the Crowd Funding Project)

That said, it does not in any way affect the fact that Micro writing is present within the letters of the so called 'code page'. Followers of this blog have seen examples published here and particularly the letter Q in line 4.

I thought it timely to re post the image of the Q above which clearly shows letters and numbers as do the other images in this post

These are not instances of pareidolia and whilst I have submitted these several times over the years and included a description of the process of recovering these examples, no one has actually been able to disprove what I have said. Another blogger made an attempt of sorts but his approach was to 'cut out the interim steps' as he put it, that I had shared with him and limited his efforts to adjusting contrast and brightness. What seemed to elude him was the fact that like the  indented writing recovery techniques that were used by the Police, or whichever other agency that were involved, this is a process. I included a description of the process on this blog here:

The bottom line is that it appears that the 'code' including the micro writing is an example of the SOE, (Special Operations Executive British Intelligence in WW2 SOE Manual technique known as 'Ink H', effectively it was created using inked letters in the first instance, penciled letters added within the inked letters and then an overlay of ink once more. A casual observer would see only ink, someone who knew what the letters really were would immerse the paper carrying the letters into a strong bleach solution which would remove the ink and leave the penciled micro letters. Simple really but very effective and apparently enough to baffle the fine minds of a University. The action of writing on the paper would by default leave indentations on whatever surface was being used as a rest.

But in this case we are not able to use bleach because what the Police had found were indentations in the back of the Omar book. They recovered the indentations, (this was revealed to me by ex Detective Sergeant Gerry Feltus author of the book 'The Unknown Man),using one or more of a number of techniques including oblique lighting, back lighting and possibly iodine vapour. This revealed the markings, the impressions left by the pencil in the larger letters. They were able to photograph that using sophisticated cameras for the time and turned the image negative. Think about this, when you press a pencil into a piece of paper, it leaves an indentation on one or more of the surfaces which you may be using as a rest, in this case the back of the book. The book was white and therefore the indented marks would have also been white until you treated it with Iodine vapour or another recovery chemical. The application of the chemical would turn the paper dark and leave the indentations even darker which is why the image was turned negative. The markings were then inked over for release to the public, a press photographer actually took a high resolution image of the 'code' page and that's what we see today.

All it would take now is for a dedicated organisation to spend a little time and follow the process described in this blog and they would be able to reveal all of the micro writing on the page. It baffles me why this has not been done by Adelaide University.

Update- Crowd Funding Project

I do know that the Professor has been looking for funding to pay for additional in depth research and of course to cover ongoing costs associated with the DNA aspect of the case. In that regard I have just received a request from him to publish this link to Indiegogo, a crowd funding website where people may contribute to the Professors research. Whilst I do have opinions and views that differ from the Professor's I do think that the cause he is pursuing is correct and will be of benefit to all serious researchers on this case, I will be contributing and I hope everyone who reads this will consider it as well:

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Somerton Man: Verse 70 revisited Jestyn's note to Alf Boxall

In response to a number of requests, here's the original Verse 70, Jestyn's notation in Alf Boxall's copy of the Rubaiyat. I have added all of the images taken, some of which you will see have been highlighted to show just where the micro writing is to be found. You should be able to note the 'whispy' appearance of the micro written characters, this is typical of lightly written letters of this size.
Original short image

Image showing figure of woman, this is the most recent image and shows sign of wear with less detail than the original image now visible.

Careful examination shows the outlines of micro writing within the ordinary letters, no enhancement here just oblique angles and lighting.

No Enhancement

Highlighting no enhancement

Highlighting only

Highlighting only, no enhancement

No enhancement




No enhancement


Unusual example of alignment of strokes







Comparison of the letter R from Verse 70 and the code page.  This was carefully executed and scaled such that they are both in the same ratio of size. You may note the outlines of micro letters within the code page 'R'

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Somerton Man: Dinner with the Professor

Breaking into my break so to speak. I thought I would provide an update following a dinner I had recently with Professor Abbott in Brisbane.

As it happens it was Derek's birthday and it marked an auspicious occasion, apparently it was the day that marked his being in Australia for 50% of his life, almost a local :)

We had a very pleasant evening and the food, Italian, was a delight.

We covered a number of topics, some of which I would like to share here as they relate to the SM case.

1. The Keane tie. This tie was found in the suitcase along with 2 other items that bore the name Kean/e being a singlet and a laundry bag. Of note is that the laundry bag had the name printed or stenciled on it but no service number or any further text. The question was what sort of circumstances would there be for a man to have his name marked on a laundry bag but nothing else, just the name?

I posed a question on the tie, when examined it appears to have a woolen texture to it and it does not have a brand name on it and the question was why would you write your name on a tie? The tie appears close in colour to that of a US army tie, a light fawn colour. Did other countries have similar coloured military ties. I do have some pics of US military ties and will post them. Would it be normal for US military ties not to have a brand name? Were they produced in such large quantities that no one manufacturer could cope with the demand and therefore a decision was made to leave the brand off? When you think about it the production of military ties during wartime could be sensitive information especially if the regiment and location was specified so it would have to go through central stores who would not want to be bothered sorting out ties by manufacturer. Any thoughts?

2. Lead. The hair recovered from the bust has apparently yielded better results than expected in terms of DNA and it does seem that SM is of European origin and likely to be from the UK or Ireland. Having said that, the Professor went on to say that, of course, many inhabitants of the US are also of UK origin. On the
issue of lead I raised the possibility of hairdressing lotion, brylcreem was mentioned, and whether it had lead as one of its ingredients. I recall a discussion a few years ago in the Inner Sanctum group when it was thought to be the case.As a matter of interest, Brylcream was the theme for the 1947 Brylcream Summer of Cricket so it was a highly popular product. It seems that SM's hair did not have any dressing as such, this could possibly support the lowering of lead levels shown in his hair in the last weeks of his life. If you recall the lead presence was at a high about 1 month prior to death but then reduced significantly.

3. The third point of interest and discussion was about what wasn't found. This has been the topic of discussion recently with Pete Bowes. It seems to me to be unusual that smoker with a taste for reasonable quality cigarettes and who had what appeared to be a fairly new lighter, had no lighter fuel, no spare flints and no spare wick. Many years ago when I used to smoke it was very common to have a smokers kit promoted by Ronson and others which would include these items. But SM had none of those, lighter fuel could simply be because he had run out but the flints and wick? If we could establish whether the Green & Co lighter was sold with spare flints and wick that may confirm the situation.

Thinking further along these lines, SM wasn't carrying any keys either, I am assuming that he would have locked his suitcase and a key should have been found.

4. We did discuss the matter of micro writing and it is still something on which we have differing views, but that does not affect the association we have had for more than 20 years. In fact the reason for the dinner was to catch up and an opportunity for Derek to repay a meal I once bought for him at Alphutte Restaurant in Adelaide many years ago when we worked together at Technology Park. A great meal on that occasion too.

We talked about a range of other related matters including what might have been the fate of the copy of the Rubaiyat. We also discussed a matter which I was delighted to hear about and which will be revealed in the next few weeks by Derek. Very newsworthy and I offered my congratulations.

For the information of interested parties, I've included the images below being of SM's shoes and  the tie being an example of a US service tie, note no manufacturers label: