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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.

Monday, 19 September 2016





This is the second in a series of 3 posts dealing with microcode within the context of the Somerton Man case. Part 1 is here

A familiar sight for many, it's Verse 70 from the Rubaiyat that Jestyn had apparently handwritten into the version of the Rubaiyat that she handed to Alf Boxall at their meeting in the Clifton Gardens Hotel way back in August 1945.

Just a normal handwritten verse? Not quite, the whole verse is an example of the use of microcode in much the same way that the Hay Internment Bank Notes had microcode hidden and disguised throughout each denomination of each note, the Verse 70 note written by Jestyn, as you will see, is similarly filled with microcode.

To the right is the number 70 written by
Alf Boxall. It is a little faded but quite viewable.

Alf had written this some time after his 1978 interview with Stuart Littlemore. We know this because at the time of the interview, an image was shown of Verse 70 and the number was not at the bottom of the verse, it must have been added at a later date.

The image above was an exciting find, super small, around .4mm code and possibly less. Proof, if more proof were needed that microcode was a tool with which Alf and probably Jestyn, were both very familiar.

The following is a larger set of close-up images from Verse 70. Some of these were obtained using the Ink H development technique namely, the high-quality printout was immersed in bleach. At the base of the page, you will find a selection of images from the same verse. It's important to note that the Ink H method of concealment of clandestine messages was, at the time, very much a secret method and yet this is what appears to have been used by Alf and Jestyn.

A close up view shows microcode within the highlighted letters. In fact, this appears in every single dashes, inverted commas, the question mark, and commas
letter of every single word and includes

Feint but readable, the letter 'b' in 'but was I sober when I swore?'

You can make out the end of the dash just left of the 'b'.

By now this may be starting to look familiar, it is the exact same technique that was used to enter micro letters and numbers into the signatures on the Hay Internment Camp notes.

This shows the upright in the last word of the vese, 'tore'. Apologies for the grainy look but we are dealing with extremely small numbers.

As a matter of interest, having pored over this verse for a number of years and having observed the microcode, I believe the tiny letters and numbers were written using a 'crow quill' nibbed pen that had been sharpened. It would also have required rapid drying ink.

Below is the last image in this post, this is the bottom left of the verse and includes the Number 70 you should be able to see the code in the letter Y from 'My'. Again these numbers are very small and hard to capture.

The questions we are left with are simple, did Jestyn write the code into the words of the verse or did Alf do that after Jestyn had written the verse out? If it was Jestyn, was this part of a training exercise? 

Jestyn had been studying to be a Nurse since 1942 but never completed her exams, This is something she had in common with members of the Nursing Yeomanry in the UK who, whilst apparently studying nursing, were also employed by SOE in the code field.

Remember that Alf had stated that he was in Intelligence, there are some unusual gaps in his records on NAA and a mention of special duties.

What we have done thus far across the recent posts, is to show you the microcode used in the Hay Internment Bank Notes and now in Verse 70, Jestyn's note to Alf Boxall. Worthy of note is the fact that the number 70 was written by Alf, sometime after the 1978 interview with Stuart Littlemore. We can say that because this verse was displayed in that interview and there was no sign of the 70 at that time.

Belt from the Fez lady in Verse 70 inscription.

Larger version, there are other examples of microcode within this image including the wrist decorations, ring, and trim.

In this image to the right, you can see code hidden within the slanted cursive writing, the best example would be the upright of the letter 'h' in the word 'when' to the lower right.

Left is from the first two lines, again the 'h' is highlighted and the misspelt 'off' before should have been 'oft' before. Wonder why no one noticed that mistake?

A wider shot showing surrounding examples, the top left letter 'g' from 'spring'., the coma and all marked letters contain code.

Everywhere you look on the Verse 70 inscription, you'll find code.

The next post is due this coming Thursday, 22nd September. We are getting much closer to our aim of identifying the Somerton Man, but a few hurdles yet to overcome.

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