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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.

Thursday, 10 May 2018



Taking a longer look at what seems to be the first image published of the laundry marks, you can see quite clearly in this magnified version of the image, that the first number is indeed a 7.

Let's look at the second image:

In this image, there is no sign of the first number being anything like a number 7.

Why is that important?

Let's look at the third and last image of the sets of numbers:

Here you can see that in the last set, 3053/1, there is now a break between the 5 and the three, it's not there in the previous images though. Could that break have another meaning?

Are the laundry marks a code?

Firstly let me acknowledge you Milongal, I know that you were not sure about that first number but hopefully, now you can see that it is quite definitely a number 7 and not a 1.

So what we have are 3 sets of numbers:

1. 7171/7
2. 4393/3
3. 3053/1

Set 1: 7171/7. There are 2  numbers 7 in the first part of the set and that number 7 is repeated after the virgule (forward slash).

Set 2. 4393/3. There are 2 numbers 3 in the first part of the set and that number 3 is repeated after the virgule.

Set 3. 3053-3/1. We do not have a repeated number in the first part and the number 1 only appears after the virgule. Is that just a dash between the 5 and the three or is it a minus sign?

Given the similarity between sets  1 and 2 and not in 3, I wondered whether there was another way that you could, by using the first 4 numbers in each set, arrive at the end number shown in each set.

Here's what I came up with:

Set 1. 7171...7+1+7+1 = 16. If we add the last two digits, 1+6 we get 7

Set 2. 4393...4x3+9x3= 12+27 = 39 = 3+9 = 12 = 1+2 and we get 3

Set 3.3053...30+5-3 = 32 = 3-2 and we get 1

I don't pretend to be a code breaker but I am able to find codes as per the micro writing on the code page and verse 70, this example is screaming out for an experienced code breaker to take a good look at what we have here and contribute to the furtherance of the work or take it off the list.

A couple of additional thoughts in closing, well one thought and then a set of images.

Is it possible that these number sets are some kind of poem code? Are the numbers referring to pages, quatrains, paragraphs, lines and words? The intention this weekend is to test that out.

Now that image, within reason, you can improve/enhance some aspects of images by reducing them in size. When I looked at the third image above, I could make out some odd markings in the background:

Here are two smaller versions of this image plus a super small version:

What do you see in the backgrounds to these images? 


  1. Looking at the first, original set of figures '7171/7'. From Left to Right, it almost looks like the 3rd figure is a 1, then it's been amended into a 7? And why are the first and second sets of figures one below the other, whilst the third set of figures are larger and below the black(?) horizontal looking line? Could it be that the possible positions of these three sets of figures somehow correspond to writing on a page? Clive

  2. Yes, it does look like the third figure was marked as a 1 in the first image, also note that in the second somewhat cleaner looking image there is no background as such and the black line is absent. Not sure what photographic manipulation processes were in place in those days, there were definitely some, but that second image looks as though the image was turned negative first then scrubbed and turned back positive against a 'clean' background.

    It wouldn't be hard to imagine that the pocket was resting on some other pages or a book when the numbers were written.

  3. Forgot to mention, looks like a number of figures/letters, especially around the third set of figures. In fact, there looks to be some sort of post office stamp, i.e. circular, showing through-or am I mistaken? Clive

  4. Yes, there does appear to be a series of numbers lower down the image and just below the black line. Regarding the circular pattern, I wondered whether it could have been an impression of a coin? There are similarities to that mark and ones found on the code page. but nothing like it on the torn piece.