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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, 30 July 2016

Somerton Man: The Code Page Instances

Highlighted Code Page

Highlighted are a number of instances of micro written letters and numbers, some are clearer than others.

These are just some of the instances, there are more. The average size of the characters is around .5 mm in height.

The details show up reasonably well in this 400 dpi image which is exactly as you will find from the University of Adelaide Wiki site. 

According to Detective Brown, Jestyn's phone number was written in 'tiny handwriting', his words, and the same words were quoted by Professor Abbott in a recent radio interview.

Below, two close up views from the main code page:

There is a place name 'YER', in fact it's proper name is Kar-Yer in Russia. Could be, a 'YER' is also a letter/vowel from the Cyrillic alphabet and thus this could have been an overheard word? See map:

For the erudite, is that X within a circle a mathematical symbol? Or could it be part of a map?

My thoughts are that the back of the book was in use regularly as a resting place and on which other paper was placed and then written on such that we see numerous instances of what appears to be micro written words and numbers. You should also take into account the fact that whilst the code page was at 400 DPI, a moderately high resolution, it was of an original image that had been taken with glass plate photography. In other words, we have a good image of an excellent image.

Others have tried to infer that because this was a scan from the Adelaide Advertiser files then it would have collected digital 'artifacts'. Not so, the entire process of photographing an original, taking a scan of that photograph at both 400 DPI and 1200 DPI has been replicated on this blog. Further it was done using the INK H technique as used by SOE in WW2. The end result at both 400 DPI and 1200 DPI provided the exact same result as in we were able to show micro-code beneath the inked letters.

What that confirms is that micro-code exists as described in the SOE manual and indeed in an earlier CIA document as well as there being countless other examples of micro-written words, codes and numbers going back centuries. All that's been done here is to show it's use once again in an espionage setting. It is worthy of note that the person who most loudly complains about its existence is the same person that was forced to admit that he had not tested the method that I provided to him and in fact had misled his own audience to the effect that he had tested it. I find that sad. As Einstein said, "Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance".


  1. If I've understood correctly, the code page is from inside the book. It's not the book cover, which might have been made from board or at least thicker paper. Why then, in your estimation, would that page be used as a "resting place" for other pieces of paper on which micro-writing was done?

    Or are you inferring that the ink h technique used this upper sheet of paper to ensure only indentations were left (deliberately) on the code page?

    If this is the case, how do you explain the seemingly random, disconnected distribution of the numerous instances of micro-writing indentations you claim to have identified? How are they to be read?

  2. Mamboscope, re the back of the book, the information you have is incorrect. Let me explain If you research Professor Abbot's Reddit comments and previous ones he has made on this issue, you will find that he refers to the top edge of the 'code' page as being 'yapped'. It is bent over a little and indeed in the image of the code page, there is a distinct line a few mm from the top which is lighter in colour and that represents the 'bent over'edge of the page. If you then look closely at the left side of the page, you can just see where the edge has been slightly turned whilst on the right side it is less obvious until you get near the base of the page where the page again appears to have been slightly bent over. It was a method used in some bookbinding techniques to protect the edges of the inner pages. The 'Yapped' edge only appears on the outer cover of the book and therefore what we are looking at is the outer cover/back and that's where the indentations and other markings appear. You will also find references in Gerry Feltus's book to the finding of the code on the back of the book.

    Your next point relates to the 'thickness' of the cover.

    If you have an understanding of bookbinding techniques, you will know that in a paperback yapped edge book, the two end papers are of the same size as the inner book signatures and abut them front and rear. The outer cover is normally of a similar 'quality' to the core of the book but is slightly larger so that it overlaps a little all round with the top and bottom edges being clipped and folded inwards at the spine, then the 3 outer edges are also folded in place so that it would be a few mm larger than the inner block of the book. The last step is to place the book block including its end pages squarely and centred onto the prepared cover and glue it in place. This means that the cover is around twice as thick as the inner pages and the edges are slightly larger than the book block affording protection for the inner pages.

    So, now you have a reasonably firm and convenient base on the back of the book on which to rest your writing/code paper.

    Where I think you have gone wrong is that you have made an assumption, based on what you have read that said the code was on an inner page, that assumption is incorrect for the reasons outlined above.

    There is no implication or inference that could be drawn as you suggest. It's quite simple really, the book was used as a resting place for whatever was being written and, sometimes, other things would be written directly on the back of the book. I would be fairly certain that someone using this particular method of clandestine communication would have taken normal precautions that were used to hide any trace of indentations and probably thought that by using a base layer of ink followed by another layer of ink on top of the microcode it would obscure any indents. A wrong assumption. We all make them.

    Just as an aside, the most common method of hiding indentations was to steam and iron the page, not always successful especially if a well sharpened pencil was used. Much depends on the indented writing recovery method used. In this case I believe that it is likely that iodine fuming/vapour was used to highlight the indentations after first being discovered by the use of an oblique angled UV light.

    The instances highlighted could well be completely random, jottings, a word here, a symbol there. It has been suggested that some of the symbols may have been from a drawing of a map. Some of these instances would be pure indentations and some may have been a direct pencil mark which would also be an indentation by default.

    Consider this, Detective Brown in an interview with Professor Abbott specifically mentioned that Jestyn's telephone number was written in tiny handwriting on the back of the book. I think that the telephone number very probably lies behind the dark mark near the top right corner of the page.