A WARNING: Those site visitors of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Culture should be aware that there are photographs and images of the deceased.

The author of this blog is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and as such the views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the views and opinions of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, its staff or Directors.

Learn more about the Association including membership requirements at

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.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

SOMERTON MAN: THE RED BOOK, A LIST OF SPIES. TIBOR's name found on the code page Updated 17.15 hrs Monday 28/11/2016


(View updated information at base of this post)

The image above is the cover page from a document marked SECRET, It was prepared by the Royal Australian Air Force,  it details a list of 76 men who were deemed to be members of the German Secret Service and who operated in Iran up until their arrest and internment by British Military in 1941.  This document is quite brief having some 21 pages in total.

It was found almost by accident, there had been mentions of the existence of this list and of the interrogations but nothing cropped up using the usual keywords for the NAA website. That is until one day a couple of weeks ago, I happened to enter some hitherto unused words and Voila, the list appeared.

It is a fascinating document, providing as it does, the names, some of which were misspelt, and the outcomes of their interviews.

The note above is from the Red Book file and I suggest you read it in its entirety. It mentions the 'luke warms' and the 'activists', stool pigeons', 'Austrian refugee friends' and their visits to the compounds where these men would be interned. It is in this document that we found the mechanism by which TK and others may have met known agents.

Of particular note is that amongst the list of 76 men, there were some who are referred to as 'Russians', men who, whilst German, had ben 'taken over' by the Russians and who operated on their behalf in Iran.

Working with Clive, the list was scanned for any immediate 'suspects', anyone who would jump out from the list either because of their name or because of their activities. The first one was a known Nazi and agent of the German Secret Service and for employment, he headed up the Iranian Telephone company in Teheran. Of particular interest was a short description of his interests as an agent, his focus was on the Zoroastrian Persians. In a recent post covering Clive's interview with Paul Lawson, you may recall that Mr Lawson made mention of Jestyn, her leaving flowers at SM's grave and her telling a Detective that the act was related to an old Persian religion.

In that scrap of information, we could see the connection between Jestyn, the Rubaiyat, (Often quoted in the Zoroastrian sphere) and a possible and hitherto unknown aspect of SM's religious leanings.

On the list, the man's name first appears as 'Fritz Mecheer', we were unable to find anyone by that
name on the NAA site. Thanks to some great work by Clive, we turned up the man's real name, 'Fritz Mechler' and below is a copy of a document from his NAA files:

This clip is from the Red Book SECRET document.

The files for most of the men on the list include photographs and fingerprints. From the main image, you can see that Fritz does not match the description of SM.

Fritz, along with more than 400 other German men and women from Iran were put on the Rangitiki and arrived in outer harbour on the 19th November 1941. They were all interned at Camp Loveday near Barmera in South Australia's Riverland. Fritz remained there along with his fellow travellers until he was transferred to Tatura Internment Camp on 1st February 1945. In January 1947 he was moved from No.1 camp at Tatura to No 3 Camp, Rushworth near Tatura.

Fritz was repatriated to Germany on 24th November 1947 and travelled on the USS General Stuart Heintzleman, a US Army Transport. At this time, we don't know whether he ever returned to Australia.

There will be more items posted from this book and another set of 3 very relevant manuals discovered quite recently.

UPDATED. 17.15 Monday 28 November 2016. But first a composite image made from some of the letters of the Somerton Man code page:

Hmm, what if the first letter R in line 1 was really a K? What if someone added the outer flourish? The last letter on line 5 is the R that I showed some time ago. Raises the stakes on the set of initials perhaps?

George Teltscher, the designer of the Hay Bank Notes, used many different techniques to hide names and other information within his designs. What if the letters of the code page had another layer of information woven into them? The Pro Sign theory would remain as would the microcode. I am sure that other names can be found amongst the letters, the question would be, would those names be relevant as is the case with Tibor? What is the probability of Tibor Kaldor's name being spelt out with  letters from the code page? Not, quite spelt in total but incredibly close., we are appaently one letter short being that 'K'.

Food for thought.

Next Post

On this coming Thursday 1st December marking 68 years to the day when the Somerton Man's body was found on Somerton Beach near Adelaide in South Australia, we will make available a range of manuals and related documents and links for those that are interested in this story and the facts that lay behind it.


  1. Maybe it's not so surprising a Rubaiyat was used to carry messages. Perhaps the capital letters represent something in another tongue.

  2. Dear Gordon,

    I am a big fan of your blog and I really appreciate what you do. But honestly speaking, one thing I find rather frustrating. Me and as I believe most people are looking for the answer. The name or at least reasons and leads. I guess that this should be a progress, a step by step process of finding lead by lead that would unveil the truth or at least part of the mystery. But instead this great blog shows some pieces of big puzzle jumping from one idea to another. This concept may be a bit confusing for eveyrone who prefer narrative and classic mystery resolving process.
    Please, do not get me wrong I am pretty sure that this blog is the best insight for everyone who is in the Taman Shud case, however I still cannot figure out the whole picture or at least idea. It would be extra helpful for me and everyone if you would show the whole picture just as you see it. It could be one big post or an analysis in 3 posts that would tell us what really happened that year in Adelaide and who was the Man.
    By now, having read all your posts I have more questions than answers. But I hope that you seize at least a guess or some picture of the whole story. This may be a wrong hypothesis but otherwise your blog is the best analysis of the case so far.

    I will be really thankfull for any kind of big insight from you and if you decide to share your vision with the audience.

    Kind regards,

  3. Hi Anton, Many thanks for your comment and suggestions, I very much appreciate them.

    There are a number of challenges associated with the case, not the least of which is its age. Because of that, there are so many different tacks that have been taken over the years and I have made an effort to understand the reasoning behind them. After a fair amount of deliberation, it became obvious to me that the best thing to do was to step away from what had been done and look towards the less obvious but base it on hard evidence and not so much on 'hunches'.

    To cut a long story short, this has resulted in what appears to be a multi channel approach which in no small way is down to Clive and his discovery of the death by poisoning of Tibor Kaldor in a Hindley Street hotel. It was this that led to the finding that Tibor had been an internee and not an 'ordinary' internee but a 'Dunera' boy.

    These 2400 men were arrested and shipped to Australia in 1940, docking first at Fremantle where we found little in anything in the way of records, and then Melbourne where 200 plus were disembarked and taken to Tatura Camp in Victoria. Thus the Dunera Boys/ Internees formed one channel.

    Next, we found that more than 400 German internees were in fact arrested in Iran and shipped to Australia in 1941 via the Rangitiki. Simultaneous to that discovery Clive had spent some time with Paul Lawson in Adelaide and it was Paul's comment about an 'Iranian' religion that caught our attention. This led to the discovery of the Red book containing the names of 76 known German spies amongst the internees from Iran. This then formed our next channel.

    Both new channels were added to the earlier work of this blog which included the issues surrounding the plaster bust, microcode and the uncertainty of the images of SM.

    So it is a big puzzle and the intention was to find out the name of the Somerton and why he died. Tibor's arrival on the scene necessarily in my view, meant that we would need to find out why he died as his reported suicide did not ring true.

    If I were to describe the approach I would say we are examining the issues of German Internees, the camps at Hay, Tatura and more recently Loveday in South Australia, Suspected agents and spies of the time, the Hay bank notes and secret writing, All of this is being done because I believe that the Somerton Man was an Internee. It is surprising that to this point at least, no record has been found in the Police documents or the press of the time that even mentions the possibility of internees being involved.

    That's a quick tour! I take your point and will bring it all together and quite probably in 3 posts. The first of which will be either over this coming weekend or early next week.

    Thanks again Anton, good comment and input.