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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 January 2019


A little bemused and even a little surprised to watch the shenanigans happening over at Nick Pelling's Blog aided and abetted by friend Pete Bowes.

What they were doing was a series of 'Dorthy Dix' type questions aimed at revealing the mystery of just how the Code page came into being. After some searching questions, they came to the conclusion that the page was probably photographed using glass plate photography and amazingly they also arrived at the conclusion that UV light figured in the process.

What surprised me was that this exact same subject was broached and openly discussed by me and others on the Cipher Mysteries Blog some 4.5 years ago, here's the link:

I went back and checked it today and whilst there appears to have been some alteration to some of the comments in between times, the conversation was there. How odd.


On Pete Bowes's Toms By Two Blog there was another odd interaction, this time Nick Pelling was describing how I had manipulated the image of the letter Q and relied on adjusting the brightness and contrast which resulted in artefacts being produced which, he inferred, gave the appearance of letters and numbers within the said letter Q. First comment and a major fail.

I did not adjust brightness and contrast to arrive at the letter Q and its micro written content, I used oblique camera and lighting angles only. In earlier days I tried numerous ways to extract the shadows that appeared to be within a number of letters and as time went on I improved and simplified the techniques as described in a number of forensic examination of questioned documents manuals and courses.

So, wrong again Nick!

The discussion moved from Pete's Blog to Nick's blog and again the same uninformed opinion on how the Q came to be was expressed by Nick, lauding his finding of 'two new scans' which of course is quite misleading, they are not new scans, they are rescanned COPIES of the original and authentic code page image as found on the University of Adelaide wiki, view and download here. Someone and Nick professes that he doesn't know who or where the scans came from except a robotics man had them in his possession, had passed them on. 

In cases like this, the professional thing to do is to research a little and try and establish some kind of provenance which would give them credibility. Nick has not apparently taken that step. So now he is left with two rescanned images of the code page which magically managed to have their resolution considerably increased from the 157 pixels per cm of the authentic and original code page to a massive 1000 pixels per cm.  The known effect of injecting massive additional pixels to an image is to distort it and it can do that in a number of ways.

I intend to continue with this post, it will be updated in a day or two and it will address the issue of inflated pixel images at that time.

It does get a bit tiring, Nick, this is your third or fourth attempt to disprove the existence of micro writing and whilst I seriously admire your persistence, it's time now for you to get over it and to recognise that micro writing is real, it was and probably still is a known and well-used method of clandestine communications. 

Nick, you have a confirmation bias, of that there can be no doubt. In support of that statement, it is obvious from the fact that you have never posted any examples of the work I have done on your blog. Perhaps most interestingly, you have never posted any images of ANY micro writing even though it exists. A classic example of that is the Pigeon Code, you wrote some amazing words about Carrier pigeons following David Martins discovery some years ago with some great photographs of the birds in various situations and with equipment including cameras but you never once published an image of one of the messages that they carried. Such images were available and I have published one here in recent months. I believe that this is because these carrier pigeon messages were written in micro-writing, some as small as that found on the SM code page:

I must move on now, I have a great deal of work on my plate within my business and other projects. Nick, I hope that you can get past this block that you seem to have, there is so much that can be done working together instead of yet again being confrotational and regurgitating stuff from years ago. The definition of madness is, I understand, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  I wish you well.

1 comment:

  1. JS, Re the top right corner marking. At first I thought it was a peg or clip marking but closer examination shows more, if you have access to a small camera with macro lens, print out a copy of the code page on an inkjet printer at best quality and at 400 DPI, the best version of the code page to use is the authentic original from the wiki. Take the image over to a window and take a couple of close up images at an oblique angle, take shots using direct sunlight on to the area of the page, i.e. top right corner. You will get to see what's under the ink marking, albeit quite dark, in your view finder, sunlight will illuminate it for you. I have some new camera equipment arriving hopefully this week which will improve on images obtained thus far. I think Clive read your comment re Det brown. Hard to get his address I understand.