Wednesday, 17 February 2016

SOMERTON MAN: V70 Micro Code clearly captured

VERSE 70 Part 1

Revised technique example

There are two main focuses of attention for forensic examination. One being the code page and we have scored some success with that, and the other being Verse 70 from the inscription in a copy of the Rubaiyat given by Jestyn to Alf Boxall.

Basically there are 3 techniques we can use to lift and show hidden markings. 

We can use bleach as demonstrated in an earlier post. 

We can address the lighter shaded areas of say the code page letters to make them lighter thus bringing the darker markings beneath those letters into relief, a little extra work and we can show the micro codes,

The next thing we can do is to address the darker shaded areas as we have done below and then make them darker, black in fact. This is the best result achieved thus far as you can see the micro written letters and numbers relatively clearly in the highlighted boxes. I used the colour change tool with fine settings and then slowly picked out the darker areas which changed to black as you can see in the image below. I should point out that there is as always, more work to be done but this does represent a significant improvement to earlier posts on this subject.

In each of these 3 cases, you can make use of various lighting techniques including oblique lighting, back lighting and UV light to enhance the visibility and you can also use some of the functions found in digital image editing tools such as, a free downloadable image tool, which I have used in this instance

I am not at all sure that this is actually a code, I suspect it's just practice work. The challenge we have is that whilst we know that Jestyn wrote the inscription, we don't know when the micro code was added with one exception, that being the number 70 at the base which was done by Alf Boxall sometime after the Stuart Littlemore interview. 

For this image, the approach was to carefully choose the settings for the colour change tool such that the effect was only applied to areas within the inked cursive letters and then to apply the most appropriate colours, sensitivity/hardness for each letter in turn. You will note that the number 70 and its contents shows up quite well whilst the other letters are not quite as sharp. The reason for that being the number 70 was added some 30 years ago to the older original document which dates back to 1944. That makes the number 70 somewhat 'fresher' and less faded.

I will add a screen capture video to this post which will show how the colour change tools work to reveal the micro code. In the interim though, I did not write any of the tiny letters and numbers into the cursive writing or the number 70, it was simply a matter of using the colour change tool to highlight what was already there.

What's the impact of this post? It underscores yet again that Alf Boxall and very likely Jestyn knew of this, secret at the time, SOE technique. By default we can link SM via the torn piece to the code page which also contains micro code only in that example I don't think it was done for practice.

Hopefully Professor Abbott will take a close look at this and perhaps task his students to get to work on the actual book.

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