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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.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: AN 'INNOCENT LETTER"




AN INNOCENT LETTER:
TRANSMITTING MESSAGES BY OTHER MEANS


This waiting business can be a little tedious but very much part of the task of investigation, we are right now are still waiting for further information that may or may not provide some vital links.

In the meantime here is yet another method of 'Clandestine Communications', the concealment of a message in what could be at first glance a totally innocent letter. It actually hides another code which is exactly what was found on the code page, a hidden code within the letters found on the code page. That method was known as 'INK H' which was, as is the Innocent Letter found in a WW2 SOE Manual.

I find the lateral thinking skills of these intelligence agents and the people who developed these various methods to be fascinating, to say the least. There is literally nothing that couldn't be used in Tradecraft of the day.

THE INNOCENT LETTER TECHNIQUE






In the next post, we'll look at the vast array of 'Secret Inks' that is, various liquids that can, were and probably still are used to conceal messages and commonly, instructions.





Saturday, 23 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: OLD CODES, NEW CODES AND CONCEALMENT 3. SOE CODES & CIPHERS, DOUBLE TRANSPOSITION MESSAGE EXAMPLE


Special Operations Executive

Whilst we are waiting for results from a couple of organisations, I thought I would continue with the release of various code and cypher information from a collection I have built over the years. I am doing this as a direct result of the very positive feedback received from the members of our private list and so I thought I would share more of these examples.

In this post we are looking at an excerpt from an SOE manual for field operatives, it shows how a Double Transposition message is created and deciphered, I hope you enjoy the following:










In the coming days we will post an 'Innocent Letter' example plus a fairly comprehensive list of Secret Inks with development techniques. In all I have perhaps 16 different examples that were in active use in WW2 and probably thereafter.





Friday, 22 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: THE SPY


THE SPY


Once he was young and brave and fair,
Free from the strain of guilt and care; His mind was pure, his heart was clean,
His face bore marks of happy mien;
His teacher looked with hopeful pride
Upon the joys that thrift betide;
And often said, "Life well begun,
Assures the laurels will be won."

He grew to manhood tall and fair,
With manly strength and shoulders square;
He stood six feet, and every inch
Was borne to work and not to flinch;
When others fainted by the way,
He did his part without dismay;
With all his mind and all his heart
He ever strove to do his part.

Then came the tempter and he fell Before the vile, seducing spell;
He learned to fetch and feint and lie, Which fitted him to be a spy;
Although oftimes he was dismayed,
From day to day he plied his trade,
But proved a traitor to his cause And wronged the mandates of the laws. 

He shrank from man. His silent mood
Made him but fit for solitude;
He hid his face and breathed a sigh,
When he met others eye to eye;
And when a sound came to his ear He trembled much with deadly fear;
And, as his dubious course he ran, He palled beneath the curse of man...



Sunday, 17 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: OLD CODES, NEW CODES & CONCEALMENT 2, THE POEM CODE


THE POEM CODE

This is the second in our series of WW1 and WW2 codes that were in use by British intelligence services, in fact this particular one was used with great effect by Leo Marks of SOE. An example of his work follows the first few paragraphs.

THE POEM CODE EXPLAINED

This is how a poem code works. Start with a poem which you have memorized: it needn’t be especially long, nor complete. For example, this fragment from Ulysses will do: “for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars until I die.” Select five words as a key from this: say, “for”, “sail”, “all”, “stars”, “die.” String them together and then number the letters, starting with “a” as 1, the second “a” as 2, etc.; or if there is no second “a”, then “b” is numbered 2; if no “b” then “c” gets labelled 2, and so on until we have numbered all letters. The result:


Now suppose we want to encrypt the message, “We have run out of cigars, situation desperate.” Incidentally, encoding must not be confused with encrypting—our message, for example, may be encoded, “Nothing left for Mark Twain to do, dammit” (where we hope the person hearing this is clever enough to figure it out). Since there are 18 letters in our poem selection, we write out the message in groups of 18 letters, padding the end with nonsense letters, like this:


Note the first letter from our poem snippet, an “f”; under it is a 6: the second letter is an “o” and under it is a 12. In our (padded, grouped message) the 6th column of letters is “eud”, and under the 12th is “tdk”. It was more or less standard practice to send the encrypted message in groups of five letters, which reduced (but of course did not eliminate) transmission errors. So the first part of our message would be:  eudtd koekc pmwrt.

SOE Poem Code

The 'Slideshare' presentation below is courtesy of Derek Buff, it discusses a Leo Marks Poem, in fact it is the one he gave to an SOE operative, Violet Szabo, you may recall her name, a film was made of her work and her sad passing, CARVE HER NAME WITH PRIDE. It is an excellent presentation and one I hope you will enjoy.

We have a number of upcoming posts in this same vein and all related to various war time codes including the Cold War and agents such as the Somerton Man, Pavel Ivanovich Fedosimov..

Friday, 15 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: OLD CODES AND NEW, POSTCARDS, STAMPS & THE CIA


OLD CODES, NEW CODES AND CONCEALMENT

It seems to me that there are only two blogs who seriously pursue the Somerton Man case, being this blog and Pete Bowes over at Toms By Two, there is a difference between what we write and what we actively pursue. Pete has always been upfront about his style and content which is meant to be part truth and part fiction and it does make interesting reading. This blog has at its focus just the actual evidence, the pursuit of factual information, the hard evidence that was left behind and still exists. That includes the code page, Alf Boxalls book and various documents and images.

As regular followers of this blog will know, we have for some time been pursuing the case of the man TIBOR KALDOR whose story was discovered by Clive almost 12 months ago. The work has been ongoing and laborious and has yielded some most interesting additional facts that have a bearing on the Somerton Man case. Right at this moment we are awaiting responses from a number of organisations regarding Tibor and his possible links to other known players in the case. It takes time.

My thought is that it would be interesting to examine examples of some of the codes that were in use during WW1 and WW2 as well as perhaps some more recent ones, below is the first of them:

POSTCARDS, STAMPS AND THE CIA

Way back when, I posted some documents that had relatively recently been released by the CIA. Amongst them were some notes about the use of 'Secret Writing' , how to create it and where and how to find it and hide it.

One particular aspect I found fascinating not because it was clever, which it undoubtedly was, but because it referred to micro writing over the top of a stamp, an orange stamp in this case to be precise. The method was to use a red coloured ink to write in miniature across shaded areas of the stamp.

This where the story starts to evolve a little, amongst the items found in the suitcase that was recovered from Adelaide Railway Station was a suitcase and in amongst the many items there were some pre paid airmail letter cards. These letter cards had orange coloured stamps. That was an interesting item but nothing conclusive about it, purely that there were some cards with orange stamps and the CIA many years later released some notes that discussed how they could be used to communicate with little chance of being discovered. Nothing had been found on those cards, they were unused.

That was that until quite recently when I came across a postcard that dated back to 1943. This was one was from Spain in fact and it to bore an orange coloured stamp of General Franco. What was also interesting was that the postcard with its stamp was headed for a destination in Melbourne and its colour was red. I managed to chase down the addressee, James Roberts, he was apparently a labourer at the time.

Nothing wrong with that except that he had never been outside of Australia and there is no sign of the writer: Luis Santasulagna, ever having visited Australia and yet the writing clearly suggests otherwise. You can also see that the censor has been at work which was very common in those times. You might also look at the censored lines, the felt or paint brush used leaves an effect not that dissimilar to that used on the Somerton Man code page. In addition you can see the handwriting and it is quite normal even under magnification, the franking though, well we'll leave that for another time.




Here's the grey scale version:


And now the negative version:

And finally, this version has been turned negative and to grey scale:




Two questions for those interested, if you were involved in espionage where and how would you hide a message in this postcard?

After some chasing around I found another Franco stamp from the same era, in fact the stamps were the same but they bore different colours and different values.

I am posting two of the stamps here because there is something more than a little amiss about the Orange Franco stamp and I thought it might be a good exercise to have the site visitors take a look at them and see if they can spot the differences between what are essentially the same stamp apart from the colour and value issues.


This is the Orange stamp dating back to 1943 and which was affixed to a postcard heading for Melbourne from Spain. The franking, no pun intended, that you see is from two sources, in fact on the postcard there are a total of four. One is the normal circular frank and the others are all censor franking.

Take a good close look at this stamp and bear in mind the CIA suggested method of writing in red ink and in shaded areas across the face of orange or red coloured stamps.
 Now on to the second, control, stamp. It is from the same era and as you can see the colour and values are the only differences, well at least on the face of it they are.

On this stamp look closely at the forehead, there are some other areas worth inspecting but for now, take a good look at the forehead in particular.












To help a little, we also have a side by side, in colour, comparison.









Here's a negative shot of the red stamp, there are some quite distinctive 
markings to be seen here.

 Now here's a negative image of the grey stamp. Again the markings are quite clear


And now here's a side by side comparison of the negative images of both stamps:


Now the differences that you may see could be accounted for by the variations in colour and the way the stamps were printed no doubt in different batches but using the same plates I would have thought.

Now here's some good news, I have been able to track down other examples of this 45 CTS stamp and here it is. This as you can see is unused and quite a lot of detail can be seen.



See if you can spot the differences between these two stamps could be a raised eyebrow and maybe more?

Similar techniques are being used here as were used in the Hay Bank notes.

NEXT POST: THE POEM CODE



Wednesday, 13 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: DID TIBOR"S LAST LETTER CONTAIN ANOTHER CODE?



ANOTHER CODE?




The previous post showed a video of Tibor's last letter, it was written on thin, air mail style paper and the sheet size was believed to be foolscap, an old British and Commonwealth standard and with Australia being a Commonwealth country it would not be unusual to see that size available here.

Many months ago, I ran the contents of that letter through an acrostic decoder, many will recall that the exercise resulted in a single name emerging, DANETTA. In Clive's last visit to the SA Archives, he examined the actual letter as much as he could given the lack of suitable facilities, and he found what appeared to be part of that name 'etta' written beneath one of the words on the first page.

Given that we have shown the presence of micro written letters and numbers on both sides of the sheet of paper on which the letter is written, it begs the question whether or not there is yet another code to be found within the letter. We had some success with the acrostic decoder but could there be yet another code hidden within the writing?

Another question that is raised relates to the manner of Tibor's demise. Was it suicide or did he meet with foul play? Tibor was Jewish, he stated it on his various forms, yet in his letter, he requests a form of burial/disposal which falls well outside the norm for those of the Jewish faith. Was he trying in his last hours, to tell us that something was very wrong?

Look closely at his signature above, look at the smudging around the signature itself and compare it to the other words, no smudging. Is it possible that the signature had been traced?  Some research into forensic document examination techniques of the time may give us a better idea.

The Youtube video clip below, whilst heartrending and sad in the extreme, shows the ingenuity of one of the poor souls who was held in Auschwitz. In these horrendous situations, people found ways to conceal things of value. Tibor escaped his possible fate in the camps but did he conceal things just in case? And were those things later hidden amongst his personal possessions? We probably will never know but we do know that he used an Acrostic code to pass on a name, what else did he leave us?


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR'S LETTER, COMPARISON/OVERLAY VIDEO



TIBOR'S LETTER


Tibor Kaldor's last letter was written on very thin paper, much like air mail paper and was a then standard foolscap page. He had in fact written on both sides of the one page which measured approximately 330 mm X 200 mm. This was a standard size in the UK and Commonwealth countries prior to their standardising on the A4 page that we now have which measures 210 mm X 297 mm.


In the video, you can get a good idea of how Tibor Kaldor's last letter may have looked to Clive Turner when he examined it in early September. Effectively what was done was to first take the 2nd 'page' of Tibor's letter and flip it horizontally so that for all intents and purposes you would be looking at it from the back of that page. Next, we imported the first page and overlaid that on the reverse view of the 2nd  page.

You should be able to see the faint outlines of micro- writing in spaces to the top right and down the right side and base of the page.

BLOG VISITS: A sincere thank you for all the audience of this blog, we have just ticked over 300,00 visits since commencement in February 2013 with 150,000 of that number visiting in the last 12 months.


Sunday, 10 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR, CLIVE"S VISIT TO SA ARCHIVES





With thanks to Clive for his notes on his recent visit to the SA Archives, that should be the SA Archives revisited because it was almost 12 months ago when Clive made his first trip there and gathered a good deal of valuable information regarding Tibor.

1. The first thing that Clive did was to gain permission to see the actual files rather than just the scans. That turned up an interesting fact immediately. What we had considered to be two pages of a letter from Tibor was in fact a single page but written on both sides.

2. The paper itself was very thin, rather like air mail paper and you could see through it if held up to the light. That would reflect perhaps the general shortage of paper at that time but also it might mean that Tibor was in the habit of writing air mail letters as indeed he most probably did when he 'informed friends in London' as he put in his letter.  We have no other hard evidence that supports regular writing of air mail letters, at least at this stage we don't.

3. Clive had taken a UV lamp in the hope he would be able to make use of one to examine the letter more closely, sadly he wasn't offered access to a darkened room which meant that the UV light was all but useless.

4. On examining the letter in normal light, Clive was able to confirm that there were indeed examples of tiny writing on the paper and further, he was able to make out the following:

'On the first line, under  the words "to cause" it looked like a figure '625', above the same words, I thought I could make out a part word, "etta", which I thought, for a moment, could be Danetta!  But, I just couldn't make it out.

On the second line, under the word "inconvenience" it looked like a figure '45'.

On the seventh line, above the words "fairly simply" it looked like a figure '39'

Under other lines I notice what looked like the figures 3289 and 3345-But, it was nearly impossible to be sure.'

Is it possible that invisible ink was used to write between the lines?

The short answer for Invisible ink was yes it is possible but without proper testing, it would be hard to show.

Another point to consider is that because the page was written on both sides of the same sheet of thin paper, could it be that the micro writing that Clive saw was just the writing on the other side of the page? Possible but not sure how likely, Clive says that he was able to make out part of a word and then numbers, that would mean that the figures he saw could be read from left to right, had the figures and part word been from the back side of the page they would have been reversed. They would also have been noticeably sloped in the opposite direction and finally, there are no numbers written on either side of the page.

Personally, I think that given Clive had no tools that he could use to get a clearer view, this was an amazingly good result. We now know that it was a single sheet and that it was similar to air mail quality. Micro writing in the letter has been confirmed by viewing the actual letter as well as the scans. We have some specific areas to target more closely, wouldn't it be something if it was Danetta! It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that we may even uncover a telephone number.

In conjunction with this work, we are still waiting for feedback from Melbourne that may give us a positive link between Tibor and Jestyn, too soon to be sure but it is a possibility.
Many thanks Clive!


Thursday, 7 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: NUMBERS STATION TRANSMISSION AUDIO TRACK, STRINGS OF MICRO NUMBERS EXPLAINED



Numbers Stations have been in existence since WW1, these are transmitters that send out strings of numbers, codes, via short wave radio. They are an audio equivalent of a one time pad in many ways.

In the case of the code page, the crossed out line and the two crossed lines as well as the 'flourish' at the base, contain numbers strings.

However with Tibor's last letter, the indented writing close ups show strings of numbers and sometimes letters only in this case they haven't been overwritten by any other agency.

The example below is of an actual numbers station transmission.

 


You can listen to many more examples of numbers station transmissions on The Conet Project website.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR LAST LETTER, FIRST CLOSE UPS


THE LAST LETTER



























In the previous post, we discussed the finding of very small writing/indentations on both pages of Tibor's last letter. If you look carefully at the images above you will see a series of lines running across the top of page 1 and in numerous locations on page 2.

It must be said that getting close ups is quite difficult but we have managed to retrieve some examples. I should point out that this is the first of a number of posts on this topic and the next will be a summation of Clive's findings following his recent return visit to the SA Archives.

 The image to the right is the top right corner of page 1. You can see the faint indentations of numbers and letters reasonably clearly.


To the left, quite a number of examples of indented micro written letters and numbers are visible on page 2 just below the last line.













On the left is an image from page 2, this time further down the page beneath and to the right of the signature.


To the right, page 2 image close to the base of the page and to the right.

You will note that in these images thgere is what appears to be examples of overwriting, that is because there were a number of previous pages on which the original micro writing had appeared and the indentations, of course, are transferred from several pages onto the two pages we see above.


AND THE QUESTION IS...


The big question is what does this all mean? What we have is yet another example of micro written letters and numbers completing the chain from:

1. The Hay Bank Notes
2. Jestyn's verse 70
3. The 'Code page
4. And now we have an example that ties Tibor Kaldor firmly into the picture

Tibor whose body was found in a Hindley Street hotel in Adelaide 2 weeks after the discovery of the Somerton Man not more than a 15-minute drive away from the hotel.

The Somerton Man was found just a 5 minute walk away from Jestyn's home and Tibor was found a 2-minute walk away from Jestyn and Prospers Hindley Street office.

The next post will be a joint one from myself and Clive, and as you might expect, he has some additional and very interesting information to share.



Friday, 1 September 2017

SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR"S LAST LETTER, READING BETWEEN THE LINES


READING BETWEEN THE LINES

Above we have a copy of the first page Tibor's last letter, and below, is that same page but this time enhanced to provide a more readable version of that same page. FYI, JS, you can see that the letter is dated, top right of the page. 
Now look very closely at the image above, in particular, focus on the area between the date and the top of the page. What do you see? It's very faint but glad to say that we can improve on that. What you can see is line after line of tiny writing, at least half the size of the handwriting in the letter itself and smaller. There are other instances in various locations on the page.




Below is page 2, again, first, we have the original as scanned by Clive and ever so faintly you can see markings over the surface of the page.


Below is the enhanced version of page 2 of Tibor's letter. 


On page 2 we can see yet more examples of faint writing, some are very small, near the top right of the page,  and other examples somewhat larger. Some are written horizontally across the page and some, mid way up the page on the left, are diagonally written.

How did this get there? The fact appears to be that this letter was written whilst the paper was still on the writing pad thus some of the faint writing on page 2 will be indentations from the page 1 writing, but some aren't. It will have come from previous pages.

Similarly, the faint writing on page 1 will have come from pages that were previously written, hopefully, those pages were about the inventory to be found in Tibor's suitcase and maybe more. A telephone number or two perhaps?

Thankfully, this letter still exists and Clive has undertaken to revisit the archive and to get some clearer images. In the meantime, I will continue to work on the copies we already have with the aim of further enhancing the details. More to come.

SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR, A RED CROSS LINK


At the outbreak of WW2 in 1939, the Australian Red Cross mobilised. With a huge range of services to offer, the number of volunteers rapidly grew until, by 1944, its membership reached a staggering 450,000.

Where is the link for Tibor Kaldor and the Red Cross? In his final letter, he made specific mention of the organisation to the effect that he asked that any of his belongings should be donated to the Red Cross which was one amongst many such organisations operating in Australia during and after the war years The question is, why the Red Cross?

Apart from the better-known aspects of the services offered by the Red Cross as in food parcels, for example.


They handled donations of used clothing and, interestingly, they also had tutors in quite a range of subjects including languages with German to English and Russian to English, from what I know to this point, volunteers were found amongst ex-internees and also amongst the general population. Those who have been following this blog especially the life of Tibor Kaldor, will recall that the internment camps at Hay and Tatura actually had their own 'Universities' and no shortage of tutors to cover a wide range of subjects including maths, languages and even nuclear physics.

It is possible that Tibor was amongst the Red Cross Volunteers as a Tutor of languages and that in that position, he would have met other tutors perhaps even in the Russian to English field.

We are still following this line and hope to have more information in the coming weeks.


SOMERTON MAN: TIBOR KALDOR, A MAN OF LETTERS


GRAZ UNIVERSITY SEAL

With thanks to the writer, WEDNESDAY, of a message left on this blog, we have dutifully followed up on the suggestion that was given.

Clive made the inquiries of Graz University and found that indeed, a man called Tibor Kaldor had attended there and had in fact been awarded his Phd in law, Doctor.Jur. in early 1933. Our man, it appears, was a lawyer. 

Whilst it does look very much like this is our man, we must also be mindful that in 1945, two men of similar age and also named Tibor Kaldor, died in Vienna after being released from one of the camps. The records from Graz have yet to reveal a description or photographs for us to compare.

The University was an imposing building and had at it's center a vast reading room which still exists today:


We now have 'probably' filled in a time gap, on the assumption that Tibor's University education would have taken some years to complete, we can make a qualified assumption that he would have been resident in Graz from around 1927 to at least early 1933. 

1933 was also the year that saw the beginnings of the expanded Nazification of Germany and Austria:



For Graz at least though, the years between 1933 and 1938 were relatively peaceful and life went on fairly normally for the Jewish inhabitants, Graz had been viewed as one of the oldest centers of Jewish culture dating back to the late 12th Century. Was it this then that attracted the young, and Jewish Tibor Kaldor to Graz to further his education? It does seem at odds with the contents of his last note which all-but outright denied his Jewish heritage and customs.

Apart from the cultural history of Graz, it was and still is a centre for advanced manufacturing although in the 1930's their main claim to fame would have been the PUCH cycle and motorcycle factory. A strong competitive spirit led to the formation of many motorcycle clubs and what we call these days, 'dirt bike' riding.

Then in April 1938, the city was visited by this man:


Within weeks the once idyllic life of this beautiful city began to decay as Nazism and a wave of 'patriotic' fervor accompanied by extreme anti-Semitism spread throughout Austria. 

November the 9th and 10th 1938 saw the culmination of this tide of evil, Kristallnacht: 



Both the main synagogue and the Ceremonial Hall in the Jewish Cemetry at Graz were burnt and with those events, the hopes and dreams of the entire Jewish population perished.

It was at this time, according to the records we have, that Tibor Kaldor began his journey first to Italy and then to London.

To this point, we do not know here Tibor lived or worked between 1933 and 1938, Clive is continuing his efforts to uncover more information.

For those interested you can read more on the History of Judaism in Austria here:
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/graz