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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.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017




Legend has it that a local 'businessman' had parked his car in a street not far from Somerton Beach that fateful night and at some time during that night, someone had tossed a copy of the Rubaiyat into the back of that car. Not just any copy but a copy from which the two words TAMAM SHUD had been torn from it's last page.

Put yourself in the position of the person who has been given instructions to the effect that if things go wrong at your scheduled meeting, you are to quickly make your way to this street where you will see a Holden car parked outside  number 28, throw the book in the back of that car, the window will be open. Oh, and be careful, you might be pursued and that book is ultra important, it contains highly secret information.

The street's just ahead, two similar cars and yes, you are being hotly pursued, you turn into the street and head for number 28, there's a car parked outside but unbeknown to you, someone had parked a Hillman Minx outside number 28 and the Holden had to be parked outside number 26, never mind, they're two different models so you're bound to know the difference, aren't you?

You would have been doing what you had been trained to do as part of your Tradecraft course, they called it 'The Car Toss'. This technique was very much a part of tradecraft and it is documented in a number of manuals and you'll even find a wiki article that includes it.

What's been described here is not a flight of fancy, it's the most likely scenario and it's based on an actual technique used by agents of all persuasions and for different purposes including passing on vital information.

It is the only real reason why the book would have been thrown into the back of that car that night, they just got the wrong car, they got the one that belonged to a policeman.

Does anyone seriously think that a high level meet up, with some hugely valuable information at stake, would have been organised without there being an escape route and a way of safeguarding the prize?

Monday, 19 June 2017



Someone very kindly gave me copies of 3, miniature, newspapers dating back to the 1880's and 90's. The copy of The Echo above is in fact an 8 page version, 1 sheet folded in 4 and then both sides printed. The examples I have show printed letters at a height of between .25 mm and .5 mm, interestingly you can actually make them out with the naked eye and quite clearly see them with spectacles or a small magnifying glass.

This conclusively proves that such sized lettering is not on the edge of perception as those lacking in knowledge would have you believe. Writing of this size is very definitely doable and legible.

All by itself it's very interesting to see the result of skills and a craft probably now long forgotten. But there are other aspects that will be of interest to the followers of the Somerton Man case.
First of all, how was this micro type actually achieved? It was a photo process, in fact it was called the 'photo-zinco' process first developed in the 1850s, there is some argument as to who developed it first, an Englishman, Sir Henry James or an Australian, John Walter Osborne. In the end it was all but a tie but Sir Henry won the day by a smidgen and he had to acknowledge the work of Captain A. de C. Scott head of the photography department at Southampton who had in fact done much of the research and development.

The motivation for the invention was Ordnance Survey maps, the long used method of pantagraphs were clumsy and often produced inaccurate results. 

Photo-Zinco Tools

It didn't take long for this new technique to spread across the printing world and many works of literature were quickly converted and in one famous example, The Domesday Book was copied in this way. Of course it wasn't long before the world of banking and banknotes were suitably enamoured with the development. One of the major drawbacks was the fact that the process only produced outcomes in mono tone, so no colour with early maps produced by the process being hand coloured.

The bank notes struck a chord, was this or a similar process used by George Teltscher of Hay Banknote fame? It seems to have been a fairly simple process and the basics would have been available to him. The banknotes at Hay were duo-tone as in Green or Red or Blue so that should not have presented a problem.

On another point for consideration, the process relied on a camera set up for certain but it also required zinc plate and a camel hair brush or similar. A screwdriver would have been handy and even a sharpened knife to trim and perhaps add some fine details. The sorts of things found in the Somerton Man suitcase.

Effectively, this was an early form of a photocopier, I wonder whether this method could have been used to copy and produce false imprints of well known books?

You can read more about Photo-Zincography here:

Sunday, 18 June 2017



Part of the ongoing task that we have faced is verifying that Pavel Fedosimov disappeared after his return to Russia in August 1948.

When we first published  the Fedosimov story, we stated that there was another person of the same name who appeared 11 years later as a delegate of the USSR at the first International Atomic Energy Authority conference in 1959 and subsequent years. We have exhausted all the channels for finding anything that would show that this person was the same man or was a different person. Despite contacting the IAEA, we have drawn a blank in that we did not receive a response.

This video clip came from, a large historical film archive. We found one other clip but this time from the 9th conference but again drew a blank as far as recognising anyone in the clips.

We have not been able to find any further photographs of Pavel, we know that the FBI certainly had images of the man but our request for a copy has so far failed to receive a positive response. We will keep looking.

The position therefore remains the same, in the absence of any information to the contrary, I am of the opinion that Pavel Ivanovitch Fedosimov is the best candidate for being the Somerton Man, I rate him as 98% with a 2% chance that we find anything to the contrary,

I base this on the facial matching we have done including the eyes, nose, teeth and ears as well as the written description shown in the book, The Atom Spies which was indicated by the late Senator Cavanagh to support his paper delivered in the Australian Parliament regarding the Somerton Man.

Friday, 16 June 2017



The image to the left is an Artists impression of the Somerton Man which was commissioned some 6 or more years ago by Professor Abbott.

I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to see how this image would compare with the image that we have of Pavel Fedosimov.

Given that only pic we have of Pavel has him wearing a hat, I 'borrowed' Pavel's hat and imposed that over the Artisits impression which you can see just below.

The next step is to take a look at Pavel with hat but this time in colour, to do that I used an online resource which other researchers may be interested in and you will find the link at the end of this post:

The next thing I did was to organise the two faces side by side, first in colour:

For the purists, I wasn't able to get the angles quite right, it would probably need a skilled digital artist to do that work so my apologies, the budget doesn't quite run to that just now! 

I followed up the coloured image with a standard black and white version:

In the artists image the man is not smiling whilst in Pavel's pic, he is making an effort to do that so his mouth is open slightly and the eyes lifted. In addition, his head is at an angle. Apart from that, the nose is very similar, as I have pointed out before, in the original photograph I have Pavel's nose has a shadow on it making it appear that his nose is slightly bulbous but that is not the case. the distance between the nose and the upper lip is very similar and the set of the eyes is almost identical. We must remember of course that the image on the left is an artist's impression of the deceased Somerton Man and that he or she
had provided us with the impression they had of the man when he was alive.

There are a few more things we could do such as copying Pavel's mouth across to the impression and altering the impression's eyes such that they were across to the right.

A quick update on the Fedosimov search, both Clive and I have made extensive searches for the Fedosimov who attended the IAEA conferences commencing 11 years after SM was found on the beach at Somerton. There are no photographs or descriptions of that Fedosimov to be found. We did find some old film archives but none contain images of the Russian delegation to the conference.

As promised, here's the link to the online colorizer: