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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, 14 June 2018



Above you can see the enhanced image of Tibor's last letter, in many ways it appears to be a sad but simple suicide note but, as followers of this blog would know, when we passed this letter through an Acrostic decoder, we found a name hidden in the words/letters of the first paragraph. See below:

The name was Danetta and you can see how the individual letters were, I believe, skillfully placed and they conformed to the standards of acrostic codes being the first letters of specific words. It is important to note that no other names or suspect words were found by the decoding exercise within this letter.

We should also take note of the fact that the message itself started in the second sentence of the letter, not the first. Neither did it commence in the salutation, 'Dear Sir'. This complies with the general guidelines given by SOE for example about avoiding obvious keys or indicators to the existence of a secret message in what should be to all accounts an 'Innocent Letter'. In fact, they specifically made mention of the dangers associated with the salutation in particular.

Hidden codes can comprise a number of techniques, acrostic, and its variations were discussed in the last post on this subject. Agents were encouraged to use flexibility in the way they built their messages to minimise the likelihood of discovery.


Closer examination of the letter revealed a numerical sequence associated with the name DANETTA. As you have read, various techniques and combinations of techniques were used in clandestine communications. Acrostic is one, Playfair codes another and anagrams played a part in some coded messages.

To the point, when a code is first put together, the person who creates it uses a draft to help plan the layout and location of the letters to be hidden. In this case, it appears that Tibor may well have used numbers to plan his message.

The basic aspect of an Acrostic code is that it would normally use the first letter of specific words and that these words would be positioned in a paragraph, a sentence or a line. The exact position would be numbered. I decided to check the numbers that may be associated with the name DANETTA in the first paragraph of Tibor's letter. Bear in mind that the locations referred to could be within the paragraph, within one of the five lines or within a specific sentence.

To add a little spice, Tibor reversed some of these characters, that is he started the letters in the word from the bottom working upwards to the top and then down the paragraph.


The task was to spell out DANETTA. He opted to commence the message with the second sentence and with the 4th line of the message as the starting point:

Line 4, the 8th and 9th words from the last word of the paragraph, 'decision' and 'a'. We now have the first two letters of the name and the numbers are 8 and 9.

Line 3, the 10th word of the second sentence of the message 'Nobody'. We now have the letters DAN and the numbers 8,9 and 10 associated with them.

Second sentence and Second line in the paragraph, line 1 of the message, 5th word 'end', we now have the 'e' and a part name DANE. The number tally thus far is : 5,8,9,10.

At this point Tibor 'reversed' the code and started working down the paragraph.

Line 2 of the message (line 3 of the paragraph), 6th word, 'tablets'. This gives us the part name DANET and the number tally is now: 5,6,8,9,10.

Again line 2 of the message, 7th word in that line, 'The', we now have the part name DANETT and the number tally: 5,6,7,8,9 and 10. For the uninformed, two of the same letters normally cancel each other out in a coded message but this is not a standard code, this is an acrostic which is about all of the letters to be found and an anagram which mixes the various letters so the word is not instantly revealed.

We are left with a missing letter 'a'. Move down another line to line 4 of the message (line5 of the paragraph) and the 4th word in is the letter 'a', it has been used twice but there are no known rules about that :). We now have the full name DANETTA and we have a set of 'positioning' numbers:

4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10

Earlier in this post, I mentioned the use of anagrams and so if we look strictly at the sequence of letters moving from top to bottom we would have: ETTNADA with the A repeated as shown.

A coincidence? I think not.

There is another exercise underway that looks very promising. Anyone is welcome to do some research and attempt to find and crack open any hidden content in this, Tibor's last letter. 

For those interested, below is a 3-page excerpt from the SOE Innocent Letter tutorial:


  1. For JS, I see that you're struggling with the code that we revealed here. John, and please don't be offended, you should remember the comments you made elsewhere about 'null' values and how a repeated letter wipes both letters out, well that applies to a different kind of code to this one. You see this one is an 'ACROSTIC' code, I know it's a big word and obviously a new concept for you but read what follows carefully and you can learn something new:

    "An acrostic is a poem (or other form of writing) in which the first letter (or syllable, or word) of each line (or paragraph, or other recurring feature in the text) spells out a word, message or the alphabet.[1] The word comes from the French acrostiche from post-classical Latin acrostichis, from Koine Greek ἀκροστιχίς, from Ancient Greek ἄκρος "highest, topmost" and στίχος "verse").[2] As a form of constrained writing, an acrostic can be used as a mnemonic device to aid memory retrieval."

    Are you getting it? Yes! It is based on letters and words and they all count, you don't discount or nullify any of them, that's actually the point of the method. Clever isn't it?
    Where this acrostic differs just a little more is that it's a true 'clandestine' acrostic and one that follows the rules that were published in recent posts and in particular it has a 'reversed' element, that means it flows up the paragraph and back down again. It does appear, given the nature of this example that our man, Tibor Kaldor, was very probably under duress when he wrote it which makes it all the more remarkable. It also has a unique numeric association, 4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 now that really is amazing. Rather like picking all seven numbers of the lottery; it was partially that aspect that led us on to the next major discovery, but more of that in a later post.

    Keep up the good work and keep learning. Oh! Nearly forgot, you keep managing from your end and we'll keep leading from ours. Cheers for now :)

  2. For Milongal. Had a read of your comment on Verse 70/Danetta issue. First off, I can see that you put some serious effort into it and I think that's admirable. Next, it may be that I did not explain the nature of the acrostic code found in the first paragraph Tibor's last letter as well as I could. So, in case I have fallen short in that area, here's the low down:

    The Acrostic code found in the first paragraph is a 'standard' format to a large degree. I should clarify that we have two main components to this acrostic code, one component is the 'carrier' word, i.e words that contain specific letters; the other component is the letter found in each 'carrier' word.

    Following the standard format, this particular acrostic code places the individual letters as the first letter of each 'carrier' word. For example, the first letter in the sequence for DANETTA is the letter D and it is the first letter in the word 'DECISION'.

    So what I have done is to use that information to find and then numerically locate each word that contains the rest of the letters in DANETTA.

    In your account and in comparison, we see that you allocated the numerical sequence such that the letters of the name DANETTA are matched to a word but the letters themselves fall inside the carrier words in a random fashion.

    I am not able to release any further information on this topic for the moment. Suffice it to say that both Clive and I have a great deal of confidence that what has been found is indeed a code and further that we are not far away from identifying who it was that taught Tibor Kaldor his skill.

    Thanks again for your input, I have always been impressed by your ability and your logical thinking.

  3. For JS, Apologies for the delayed response, sorry to say that we must discontinue this discussion no time for the sideshow, too many important issues to follow up. I wish you all the best mate, take care of yourself mate and look out for those Zika carriers :)

  4. Milongal, An answer of sorts to a question raised as to why start at the second letter and not first.

    In Tibor's letter example it starts at the 4th word, but it used the first letters of each carrier word. We gave a fair bit of thought to that and whilst there are probably other reasons our thoughts are that given 'typical' acrostics start with the first letter of the first word in a line or a sentence, it would be an immediate red flag for the code hunter. We ended up with a numerical sequence of 4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 which represented the positions of each carrier word in the piece.

    In the gold watch ad example, the word Tudor is the 4th word in that part of the sequence, two letters of that 4th word are effectively replaced by the second letter in the first word and the 3rd letter in the third word giving us the name of TIBOR. In this case we had the number sequence 1,2,3,4,5 all based on the positions of individual letters within words.

    Your verse 70 had more in common with the gold watch example in that the solution relates to the individual letter placement within words. However, and here's a difference just picked up this morning, whilst there is no logic to the 'flow' or direction of the words themselves there is a second sequence. If I can explain, in Tibor's letter the words start and are placed starting from the base of the lines, move immediately to the top and then work downwards which is a reversal. This does not occur in the Verse 70 example.

    However, in your Verse 70 example, Thread, Repentance, Hand, Indeed, Penitence, Then, Came. You were able to show how letters sat within words in a numerical sequence. But that's not all when you look at the word placements within each line, there is another numerical sequence:

    THREAD 6th word from the right, bottom line
    REPENTANCE 3rd word from the left or right, top line
    HAND 1st word from the right, 3rd line
    INDEED 2nd word from the left, top line
    PENITENCE 4th word from the left or the right, bottom line
    THEN 7th word from the right, 3rd line
    CAME 5th word from the left, 3rd line (counting the mini ampersand)

    The sequence is therefore 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7

    It seems we have 7 letters with a sequence, 7 words with a sequence and, of course, they're both in Verse 70 :)

    'checksum' comes to mind.

    I know this is to an extent complex but given, as I seriously believe, that this is a clandestine method of communication, great lengths were gone to in order to conceal messages which sometimes would contain extremely sensitive and high-value information.

    What are your thoughts?