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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, 16 July 2016

Somerton Man: The Image of SM Improves & Raises Questions

Plain & Inverted Image of SM Bust

In this image above, I trimmed the areas around the face as shown in the plaster bust and inverted the one on the right as you look at it. I left the other, plain version in white for comparison purposes.

More detail here than in the standard bust images. The next artist's impression will be based on these as well as a side profile image.

And here we have all three images, the 3D scan, the white plaster bust and the inverted plaster bust.
What's striking, for me at least, is the incredible and unexplained difference between these full face images and the full face image supposedly taken immediately before the Bust was made:

Here is the Quad image which attempts to align all four images for comparison. Importantly, the ears will not match as in the bust, Lawson had problems modelling the ears to the exact shape for SM. Note that I have attempted to follow the same chin line for the photo image as for the other 3. Al;so note that in the photo of SM, his head was apparently slightly tilted backwards.

The mouth appears to me to be quite different in shape and in width, the bridge of the nose does not seem to match. The face seems significantly broader in the photograph even with trimming.

From this comparison, it is not 100% certain that the man in the photograph is the same as the person of whom the bust was made.

More to follow..


  1. His nose looks broken - it's indented on his left side.

    1. Yes, I think you're right. Not as noticeable without the inversion. Wonder how the good Professors missed that.

      Something else missing, the 'ridge line' across the forehead has gone. In relation to the latter, I don't think the ridge line was ever there, the line that shows on the original profile and face shots was where the superimposition of the other face was poorly joined.

    2. Just backtracking a little, the light is coming from the left
      hand side of the face so the apparent indentation may not be anything more than the normal line of the nose where it 'thins' towards the fleshy part of the nostrils. You can test it out by running your left index finger along the mid top left of the your own nose.

      So, it could be that the nose is broken or just the way the light is highlighting the shape.

  2. Would his facial skin slip down as Lawson cut it at the hairline? There wouldn't be much flesh under the embalmed top-skin after six months, and he did make the bust when the corpse was sat up on a bench.
    GF has a picture of the mess he was in on page 153, bottom left.

  3. We crossed over Pete! I added the 4th image just now for comparison. During the mold process, the body would have been properly supported, I have some images and a video somewhere that shows the entire thing from start to finish. I would not be 100% certain that this is the same man, hard to visualise that being the case. But, there would be contributing factors that shgould be taken into account. My role as I see it is to present what's there and make comments. Attended my fair share of PMs, messy affairs. Only ever seen one embalming and that although messy, had an impressive outcome.

    I am still unsure why the bust was made, I have not been able to find another case of that in the 1940's as yet.

  4. Why not blow out the others faces to suit the width of number 4, he's a bit skinny in the shot.

  5. Well, it's about aspect ratio's, the man's head was at an angle and the area beneath the chin was too 'heavy so I trimmed that and compensated for the angle shot. As per previous, his face is much broader in reality but there are some aspects that make you concerned and they include the apparent match of the left eye. I will see what can be done.

  6. Blowing the other 3 images out would be of no value. They are exact in terms of aspect ratio and to change them would produce no worth while result. You're welcome to give it a go but I really don't see how it would help.