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, 12 November 2017



A Most interesting Paper...

Recently I posted on the issue of the code page and the fact that Pakies Club had, in 1948, organised and hosted an international Chess tournament to be played on the radio. In those days they used morse code for the purpose of transmitting various moves.

The information about the Pakies Chess game came from Rowan Holmes, a quick-witted, intelligent and enthusiastic follower of all things Somerton Man and in fact many of those things that surround the case. Whilst I knew of the association with some high profile chess players, Fedor Nosov comes to mind, it was the first time I personally had heard mention of the use of radio and ipso facto, morse code.

It was Clive who found a reference to a recently published and very interesting paper on the Somerton Man, and I gratefully and yet again acknowledge Clive's invaluable input.

Clive found the paper on the website it had been written by Rowan. In it he demonstrated his extensive knowledge on the subject, he tested some of the notions in the field and put forward a number of ideas for consideration.

I contacted Rowan and we have had a number of online discussions on various topics within the range of the SM case and sometimes extending out from there.

My view is that Rowan is someone who can add a great deal to the whole SM conversation, he has an open mind and brings a fresh and engaging approach to the table.

I heartily recommend that you read Rowan's paper:

I will mention that in his paper he spoke about the use of Microcode and subsequently it became a topic of one of our conversations. I put forward some information that Rowan was not aware of at the time of his writing and he very kindly acknowledged certain aspects, here's his comment:

I have been asked to add some clarificatory remarks to my paper by Gordon Cramer, administrator of the 'Tamám Shud' blog mentioned in the text, and I am more than happy to do so.

In the first place Mr Cramer asks me to point out that his own background is that of a police detective rather than an intelligence worker.

Secondly, I would like to correct a possible misapprehension regarding the potential presence of micro-writing within the letters of the still-unsolved code found in the back cover of the Rubáiyát associated with the dead man. On p. 154 of my article I stated my opinion that claims about the existence of this writing “seem hard to sustain” given their provenance in a heavily enlarged photograph of ink tracings of the code. The tracings were derived from inscription marks made on the back page of the book as the original code passage was written above it on a page which was then torn out of the book and has never been recovered.

Mr Cramer has discussed his views with me and I think it only fair to pass them on to the audience. The particular technique of micro-writing writing which he feels was being used, the 'Ink H' method, was a known component of the repertoire of the WWII British covert operation, the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Details of this method of micro-writing can be found in the official operations manual of the SOE, recently released by the Imperial War Museum. Mr Cramer believes that the special physical properties of this method would survive the technical limitations I have mentioned, and yield themselves to analysis of the sort that he has done.

The reader will already have gathered that I respect the research of Mr Cramer in a general sense; for instance, I spend some time discussing his identification of 'Somerton Man' as Pavel Fedosimov, which my own research suggests is at least one of the best possibilities, and which should be made the subject of further research by those unfortunates taking an interest in this very strange case. I do not have the expertise to evaluate the specific claims of micro-writing, and I take note of various objections made by various parties, but at the same time it should be said that it would at least be extremely difficult to prove that there is not micro-writing present in the code and possibly in other material connected to the case, as suggested by Mr Cramer. It is still an open question which awaits further research. 

Welcome aboard Mr. Holmes, I am sure that your contributions will be very welcome, I am sure that Clive and  Pete Bowes over at the TomsByTwo blog will join me in acknowledging your work and in stating that we all look forward to hearing more from you.


  1. Speaking of synchronicity: I am reading Mr. Holmes piece when I got to the part about the unfortunate death of the woman who ran Pakie's Club and got distracted from happened next because did I not, for some reason I can not remember, just read about this place I've never before heard of just yesterday? This is what I read: Clubs such of this might be an area to look harder at!



  2. I have read this site with interest for a number of years but never felt that I had much to contribute but I was interested by the comment in the Micro-history referred to 'her boyfriend joked that the man would have to be dead drunk to be able to ignore the mosquitoes clustering about him' (p.141). I don't recall seeing anything in the autopsy report, or in the photographs or the bust to suggest that Somerton Man had been ravaged by mosquitos. Does death inhibit any manifestation of mosquito bites and if so does this indicate anything about the time of death - or are we dealing with different bodies?