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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, 25 October 2017


A private moment for Bob Wake and family, his good lady wife and two sons, one of whom was Val Wake, an author but more on Val in a later post.

In August 2016, in this blog, here, you can read how Bob Wake had been amongst the founding Directors of the newly formed ASIO. In more recent times more has been written about the man by others on the Cipher Mysteries blog. Whilst I found that information interesting, in my view and with great respect, so much more could have been included that would have provided a fuller and more accurate description of this man and his contributions to the War effort, specifically the field of intelligence.

But how does the Colonel link to the Somerton Man case?


In March 1942, it was Bob Wake in his role as deputy DMI, who made a tour of the top end and produced a report that shook more than the odd politician. That report, which today would have been regarded as racist in the extreme, made a number of recommendations amongst which was the formation of a rapid deployment force which went on to become the North Australia Observer Unit, The Nackeroos. Pete Bowes in his blog has often covered aspects of this unit's history as it pertains to Alf Boxall. That's one albeit tenuous link.

But it is this next link that should arouse more interest on followers of the SM case. Around about the same time as his top end trip, Bob was involved in the arrest and internment of one Dr. Arthur John 'Jappy' Ross, and the place of his internment? Loveday, South Australia.



A good title for a book as indeed it was, you can find out more about the book and the author here on the Facebook page. It deals with the 1938 disappearance of a public servant, the social secretary to the wife of the then Premier of Queensland.

A relatively recent and informative article in the Courier Mail is online, if I link to it it will ask you to subscribe, better to google it using the search term: Marjorie Norval book.

There isn't time nor space for me to write the full account which is more than adequately covered by Ken Blanch within his book. What I will say is that the case of Marjorie Norval is one that contains political and military intrique at the highest levels of the then Queensland and Federal Governments.
Within its pages, you will read of how one witness to the disappearance of Marjorie Norval was arrested and interned right at the time when he was needed to give evidence in the case. The man who ordered the internment was Lieutenant Colonel Bob Wake.

Well planned and executed was it a conspiracy? A cover-up? Who knows but Marjorie's body has not been found to this day.

What intrigued me most were the mechanisms, the apparent use of the political, legal and military apparatus which swung into action following Marjorie's disappearance and the later suicide of a senior Government Minister associated with the case.

For my friend, JS, when you see a stone, turn it over, look underneath it, over it from every direction and in every light, study it carefully and don't be tempted to hurry on to the next lead until the one in hand has been thoroughly examined and documented. I learnt that from two very experienced Detectives with whom, many years ago, I had the privilege of working. You see JS, I was just your normal copper, trained as such with an emphasis on observation. Was I trained in investigation techniques? Yes. Was I in CID? Yes. Did I arrest people for various crimes from petty theft to murder? Yes. Was I involved in a number of investigations? Yes. Do I use my real name? Yes.

As far as AFIO is concerned, you'll read all you need on every page of this blog, it's an organisation which anyone can join provided they complete the application forms and meet the approval of the organisation. Many members I understand are Professors and academics, ex-intelligence officers and yes ex-police officers. Even you could join. They have a regular newsletter filled with current and historical information which might otherwise be difficult to find. They also have a website.

So, there's mine JS, where's yours? And why not Milongal's?

With regards to the Note on the top of the pages, it's a matter of respect for our indigenous peoples, nothing more nor less, I'm surprised you asked that.

Once a copper always a copper is a very true adage, it gets in the blood, ask any ex-copper they'll tell you the same.

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