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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, 1 October 2016



But read the article carefully...

This very recent newspaper article sounds really convincing. A lot of effort was put in by the reporter to make it 'pop'.

On reading the headline, you would think that at long last the DNA project has come up trumps, so to speak.

But read on carefully, here's an extract from the Daily Telegraph dated October 1st 2016

'THE world-renowned scientist at the centre of remarkable new DNA break-throughs in the cold case of one of Australia’s greatest mysteries has delivered a passionate appeal for the South Australian Government to exhume the body of the Somerton Man to “finally give him a name”.

Somerton Man – buried at West Terrace cemetery – has puzzled police and researchers ever since his fully clothed body was found propped up against a wall on December 1, 1948.

From the very start of the extensive police and coroner’s investigation there was a strong suggestion the man, who was in his mid-40s, was an American.

World-renowned American forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick this week presented evidence to a conference in the US that DNA testing – from a presumed relative of the dead man – virtually confirmed Somerton Man was from the east coast of the US.'

It seems in the announcement we are not talking about DNA from the Somerton Man, we are talking about DNA from a 'Presumed relative of the dead man'. I do not understand how that could confirm anything virtual or otherwise.

The DNA they tested is from someone who believes they are related to the Somerton Man and that just doesn't stand up without confirmation that the relationship is a fact and is real.

If it turns out in the end that there is a DNA relationship then all well and good, but in the meantime any serious effort to identify the man must be based on fact or at the very least be very clear on the nature of the statement. This did not happen in this case.

Personally, I would have expected far better from Professor Abbott.


  1. Anyway this news is very important because it coincides with the fact that some of the clothes of the dead and their metal comb, were of US origin. Personally I think Colleen Fitzpatrick doctor is right, even though their evidence is indirect. Of course, I agree that the final resolution of the mystery is in the exhumation and study. Greetings and congratulations for this blog.

    1. Thanks for your comment Hector. I think that the Professor has put a lot of work in over the years and he would know it in every detail. My issue is with the fact that it was stated that the DNA was not from SM but from a 'presumed' relative and anyone could be presumed to be a relative and it adds spice if that person has US relatives. In this case, my understanding that Prosper had US relatives, could that be the source of the DNA? The right answer to that would be we don't know.

      We should also be mindful that the presence of US heritage via DNA, does not mean that SM was an American citizen. For example, George Teltscher was Austrian and Jewish who was arrested and deported to Hay Internee camp in Australia, however his mother had a maiden name of Adams and was an American. In fact she was a descendant of John Adams, the second President of the US. So I just we need to exercise some caution in assuming SM was an American especially based on a 'presumed' relative. Even if that relative is later proven to be descended from SM, he may still not be an American. Thanks for the comment Hector.

  2. Any idea who is this so called relative? Arnon

    1. Renoarnon, that's a fair question but I would suggest that you visit the Professor's Facebook page:

      You could put the question to the Professor there. Thanks for the comment.

    2. Im Sorry before Gordon if my toughts are worth it or even not at all, i just wanna ask from your point of view.

      From the statement of the announcement, its stated that the DNA testing was taken from presumed relative of the dead man. What bother me of course the DNA is not from SM himselff.

      Second, its also stated that they had strong suggestion that SM is an American, what suggestion ? Plus how did they know if that SM was from east cost of the US? Even from your yeaars of torough inveestigation we still dont have his real nationality. Yet they do specifically.

      Third, Why even this article should even be exist in the first place. After decades this case have gone cold, and the DNA testing result announced just now? Why not earlier? Once again im sorry its just these tought disturb me about this case.. Maybe u got something another on your end about this.. By the way i cant join the prof. Abbot's group no one accept my join request there.... Arnon

    3. Well, it's a very fair question and as you might expect, nothing is as straightforward as we would like it to be.

      From the article, they are not talking about any DNA from SM but from the presumed relative. There are samples of DNA from SM and they were taken from the plaster bust, those samples apparently showed that they were consistent with samples of DNA with a US origin but the samples were not sufficient to prove that conclusively and neither could they be used to match against a person such as the presumed relative. But, there may be a problem with just who was the bust taken from? The work done here by Clive and myself suggests that the bust may in fact be of Tibor Kaldor. We have not as yet verified any US ancestry for Tibor.

      In addition, a number of items found on the man suggest they were of US origin, a US made steel comb but available in Australia, the jacket he was wearing had feather stitching of a type only found in US made clothing, however that jacket had been repaired around the collar suggesting that it was quite old. The Internees at Hay and Tatura were given lots of donated and second hand clothing, it is possible that the jacket was a donated item. So whilst there are indications of US links, there is nothing definite. The word I would use is that these are questionable links as indeed are the points I make about Tibor. We suspect that the bust is of Tibor and with good reason which we are not able to publish at this time; we cannot as yet prove that.

      the DNA testing was announced a few years ago, nothing conclusive about it though. It showed high lead levels but that could have been down to lead water pipes such as you might find in older style homes. Tibor stayed in one such older home in Windsor, Victoria.

      Sorry to hear that you were unable to join the group. I hope this response helps.