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Thread: The Tamam (Taman) Shud Unsolved Mystery - Adelaide, Australia, 1948

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    The Tamam (Taman) Shud Unsolved Mystery - Adelaide, Australia, 1948

    ***Dammit, if any mod's get a chance, could someone fix the title? It should of course be Tamam or Taman, depending on which version of the spelling's in this case you want to go with.


    I wasn't sure where to post this? Should have it finished in 30 mins, it's pretty freaky.

    This case, a.k.a The Case of the Somerton Man has been described as the world's most perplexing unsolved mystery -


    From

    http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/hist...omerton-beach/

    http://nowiknow.com/the-taman-shud-mystery/

    Mortuary photo of the unknown man found dead on Somerton Beach, south of Adelaide, Australia, in December 1948. Sixty-three years later, the man's identity remains a mystery, and it's still not clear.

    Most murders aren't that difficult to solve. The husband did it. The wife did it. The boyfriend did it, or the ex-boyfriend did. The crimes fit a pattern, the motives are generally clear.

    Of course, there are always a handful of cases that don't fit the template, where the killer is a stranger or the reason for the killing is bizarre. It's fair to say, however, that nowadays the authorities usually have something to go on. Thanks in part to advances such as DNA technology, the police are seldom baffled anymore.

    They certainly were baffled, though, in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, in December 1948. And the only thing that seems to have changed since then is that a story that began simply "with the discovery of a body on the beach on the first day of that southern summer" has become ever more mysterious. In fact, this case (which remains, theoretically at least, an active investigation) is so opaque that we still do not know the victim's identity, have no real idea what killed him, and cannot even be certain whether his death was murder or suicide.

    What we can say is that the clues in the Somerton Beach mystery (or the enigma of the "Unknown Man" as it is known Down Under) add up to one of the world's most perplexing cold cases. It may be the most mysterious of them all.

    Let's start by sketching out the little that is known for certain. At 7 o'clock on the warm evening of Tuesday, November 30, 1948, jeweler John Bain Lyons and his wife went for a stroll on Somerton Beach, a seaside resort a few miles south of Adelaide. As they walked toward Glenelg, they noticed a smartly dressed man lying on the sand, his head propped against a sea wall. He was lolling about 20 yards from them, legs outstretched, feet crossed. As the couple watched, the man extended his right arm upward, then let it fall back to the ground. Lyons thought he might be making a drunken attempt to smoke a cigarette.

    Half an hour later, another couple noticed the same man lying in the same position. Looking on him from above, the woman could see that he was immaculately dressed in a suit, with smart new shoes polished to a mirror shine?odd clothing for the beach. He was motionless, his left arm splayed out on the sand. The couple decided that he was simply asleep, his face surrounded by mosquitoes. "He must be dead to the world not to notice them" the boyfriend joked.

    It was not until next morning that it became obvious that the man was not so much dead to the world as actually dead. John Lyons returned from a morning swim to find some people clustered at the seawall where he had seen his "drunk" the previous evening. Walking over, he saw a figure slumped in much the same position, head resting on the seawall, feet crossed. Now, though, the body was cold. There were no marks of any sort of violence. A half-smoked cigarette was lying on the man's collar, as though it had fallen from his mouth.

    The body reached the Royal Adelaide Hospital three hours later. There Dr. John Barkley Bennett put the time of death at no earlier than 2 a.m., noted the likely cause of death as heart failure, and added that he suspected poisoning. The contents of the man?s pockets were spread out on a table: tickets from Adelaide to the beach, a pack of chewing gum, some matches, two combs and a pack of Army Club cigarettes containing seven cigarettes of another, more expensive brand called Kensitas. There was no wallet and no cash, and no ID. None of the man's clothes bore any name tags- indeed, in all but one case the maker's label had been carefully snipped away. One trouser pocket had been neatly repaired with an unusual variety of orange thread.

    By the time a full autopsy was carried out a day later, the police had already exhausted their best leads as to the dead man's identity, and the results of the postmortem did little to enlighten them. It revealed that the corpse's pupils were "smaller" than normal and "unusual" that a dribble of spittle had run down the side of the man's mouth as he lay, and that "he was probably unable to swallow it." His spleen, meanwhile, "was strikingly large and firm, about three times normal size," and the liver was distended with congested blood.

    In the man?s stomach, pathologist John Dwyer found the remains of his last meal?a pasty?and a further quantity of blood. That too suggested poisoning, though there was nothing to show that the poison had been in the food. Now the dead man?s peculiar behavior on the beach?slumping in a suit, raising and dropping his right arm?seemed less like drunkenness than it did a lethal dose of something taking slow effect. But repeated tests on both blood and organs by an expert chemist failed to reveal the faintest trace of a poison. ?I was astounded that he found nothing,? Dwyer admitted at the inquest. In fact, no cause of death was found.

    The body displayed other peculiarities. The dead man?s calf muscles were high and very well developed; although in his late 40s, he had the legs of an athlete. His toes, meanwhile, were oddly wedge-shaped. One expert who gave evidence at the inquest noted:

    I have not seen the tendency of calf muscle so pronounced as in this case?. His feet were rather striking, suggesting?this is my own assumption?that he had been in the habit of wearing high-heeled and pointed shoes.

    Perhaps, another expert witness hazarded, the dead man had been a ballet dancer?

    All this left the Adelaide coroner, Thomas Cleland, with a real puzzle on his hands. The only practical solution, he was informed by an eminent professor, Sir Cedric Stanton Hicks, was that a very rare poison had been used?one that ?decomposed very early after death,? leaving no trace. The only poisons capable of this were so dangerous and deadly that Hicks would not say their names aloud in open court. Instead, he passed Cleland a scrap of paper on which he had written the names of two possible candidates: digitalis and strophanthin. Hicks suspected the latter. Strophanthin is a rare glycoside derived from the seeds of some African plants. Historically, it was used by a little-known Somali tribe to poison arrows.

    More baffled than ever now, the police continued their investigation. A full set of fingerprints was taken and circulated throughout Australia?and then throughout the English-speaking world. No one could identify them. People from all over Adelaide were escorted to the mortuary in the hope they could give the corpse a name. Some thought they knew the man from photos published in the newspapers, others were the distraught relatives of missing persons. Not one recognized the body.

    By January 11, the South Australia police had investigated and dismissed pretty much every lead they had. The investigation was now widened in an attempt to locate any abandoned personal possessions, perhaps left luggage, that might suggest that the dead man had come from out of state. This meant checking every hotel, dry cleaner, lost property office and railway station for miles around. But it did produce results. On the 12th, detectives sent to the main railway station in Adelaide were shown a brown suitcase that had been deposited in the cloakroom there on November 30.
    Last edited by blighted star; 11-08-2013 at 02:01 AM.

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    Continued from http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/hist...omerton-beach/


    The suitcase left by the dead man at Adelaide Station – with some of its perplexing contents

    The staff could remember nothing about the owner, and the case’s contents were not much more revealing. The case did contain a reel of orange thread identical to that used to repair the dead man’s trousers, but painstaking care had been applied to remove practically every trace of the owner’s identity. The case bore no stickers or markings, and a label had been torn off from one side. The tags were missing from all but three items of the clothing inside; these bore the name “Kean” or “T. Keane,” but it proved impossible to trace anyone of that name, and the police concluded–an Adelaide newspaper reported–that someone “had purposely left them on, knowing that the dead man’s name was not ‘Kean’ or ‘Keane.’ ”

    The remainder of the contents were equally inscrutable. There was a stencil kit of the sort “used by the Third Officer on merchant ships responsible for the stenciling of cargo”; a table knife with the haft cut down; and a coat stitched using a feather stitch unknown in Australia. A tailor identified the stitchwork as American in origin, suggesting that the coat, and perhaps its wearer, had traveled during the war years. But searches of shipping and immigration records from across the country again produced no likely leads.

    The police had brought in another expert, John Cleland, emeritus professor of pathology at the University of Adelaide, to re-examine the corpse and the dead man’s possessions. In April, four months after the discovery of the body, Cleland’s search produced a final piece of evidence—one that would prove to be the most baffling of all. Cleland discovered a small pocket sewn into the waistband of the dead man’s trousers. Previous examiners had missed it, and several accounts of the case have referred to it as a “secret pocket,” but it seems to have been intended to hold a fob watch. Inside, tightly rolled, was a minute scrap of paper, which, opened up, proved to contain two words, typeset in an elaborate printed script. The phrase read “Tam?m Shud
    .”



    The scrap of paper discovered in a concealed pocket in the dead man’s trousers. ‘Tam?m shud’ is a Persian phrase; it means ‘It is ended.’ The words had been torn from a rare New Zealand edition of

    Frank Kennedy, the police reporter for the Adelaide Advertiser, recognized the words as Persian, and telephoned the police to suggest they obtain a copy of a book of poetry—the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. This work, written in the twelfth century, had become popular in Australia during the war years in a much-loved translation by Edward FitzGerald. It existed in numerous editions, but the usual intricate police enquiries to libraries, publishers and bookshops failed to find one that matched the fancy type. At least it was possible, however, to say that the words “Tam?m shud” (or “Taman shud,” as several newspapers misprinted it—a mistake perpetuated ever since) did come from Khayyam’s romantic reflections on life and mortality. They were, in fact, the last words in most English translations— not surprisingly, because the phrase means “It is ended.”

    Taken at face value, this new clue suggested that the death might be a case of suicide; in fact, the South Australia police never did turn their “missing person” enquiries into a full-blown murder investigation. But the discovery took them no closer to identifying the dead man, and in the meantime his body had begun to decompose. Arrangements were made for a burial, but—conscious that they were disposing of one of the few pieces of evidence they had—the police first had the corpse embalmed, and a cast taken of the head and upper torso. After that, the body was buried, sealed under concrete in a plot of dry ground specifically chosen in case it became necessary to exhume it. As late as 1978, flowers would be found at odd intervals on the grave, but no one could ascertain who had left them there, or why.


    The dead man’s copy of the Rubaiyat, from a contemporary press photo. No other copy of the book matching this one has ever been located.In July, fully eight months after the investigation had begun, the search for the right Rubaiyat produced results. On the 23rd, a Glenelg man walked into the Detective Office in Adelaide with a copy of the book and a strange story. Early the previous December, just after the discovery of the unknown body, he had gone for a drive with his brother-in-law in a car he kept parked a few hundred yards from Somerton Beach. The brother-in-law had found a copy of the Rubaiyat lying on the floor by the rear seats. Each man had silently assumed it belonged to the other, and the book had sat in the glove compartment ever since. Alerted by a newspaper article about the search, the two men had gone back to take a closer look. They found that part of the final page had been torn out, together with Khayyam’s final words. They went to the police.

    Detective Sergeant Lionel Leane took a close look at the book. Almost at once he found a telephone number penciled on the rear cover; using a magnifying glass, he dimly made out the faint impression of some other letters, written in capitals underneath. Here, at last, was a solid clue to go on.

    The phone number was unlisted, but it proved to belong to a young nurse who lived near Somerton Beach. Like the two Glenelg men, she has never been publicly identified—the South Australia police of 1949 were disappointingly willing to protect witnesses embarrassed to be linked to the case—and she is now known only by her nickname, Jestyn. Reluctantly, it seemed (perhaps because she was living with the man who would become her husband), the nurse admitted that she had indeed presented a copy of the Rubaiyat to a man she had known during the war. She gave the detectives his name: Alfred Boxall.

    At last the police felt confident that they had solved the mystery. Boxall, surely, was the Unknown Man. Within days they traced his home to Maroubra, New South Wales.

    The problem was that Boxall turned out to be still alive, and he still had the copy of the Rubaiyat Jestyn had given him. It bore the nurse’s inscription, but was completely intact. The scrap of paper hidden in the dead man’s pocket must have come from somewhere else.

    It might have helped if the South Australia police had felt able to question Jestyn closely, but it is clear that they did not. The gentle probing that the nurse received did yield some intriguing bits of information; interviewed again, she recalled that some time the previous year—she could not be certain of the date—she had come home to be told by neighbors than an unknown man had called and asked for her. And, confronted with the cast of the dead man’s face, Jestyn seemed “completely taken aback, to the point of giving the appearance she was about to faint,” Leane said. She seemed to recognize the man, yet firmly denied that he was anyone she knew.

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    Continued from above -


    The code revealed by examination of the dead man’s Rubaiyat under ultraviolet light. (Click to see it at a larger size.) It has yet to be cracked.That left the faint impression Sergeant Leane had noticed in the Glenelg Rubaiyat. Examined under ultraviolet light, five lines of jumbled letters could be seen, the second of which had been crossed out. The first three were separated from the last two by a pair of straight lines with an ‘x’ written over them. It seemed that they were some sort of code.

    Breaking a code from only a small fragment of text is exceedingly difficult, but the police did their best. They sent the message to Naval Intelligence, home to the finest cipher experts in Australia, and allowed the message to be published in the press. This produced a frenzy of amateur codebreaking, almost all of it worthless, and a message from the Navy concluding that the code appeared unbreakable:

    From the manner in which the lines have been represented as being set out in the original, it is evident that the end of each line indicates a break in sense.

    There is an insufficient number of letters for definite conclusions to be based on analysis, but the indications together with the acceptance of the above breaks in sense indicate, in so far as can be seen, that the letters do not constitute any kind of simple cipher or code.

    The frequency of the occurrence of letters, whilst inconclusive, corresponds more favourably with the table of frequencies of initial letters of words in English than with any other table; accordingly a reasonable explanation would be that the lines are the initial letters of words of a verse of poetry or such like.

    And there, to all intents and purposes, the mystery rested. The Australian police never cracked the code or identified the unknown man. Jestyn died a few years ago without revealing why she had seemed likely to faint when confronted with a likeness of the dead man’s face. And when the South Australia coroner published the final results of his investigation in 1958, his report concluded with the admission:

    I am unable to say who the deceased was… I am unable to say how he died or what was the cause of death.

    In recent years, though, the Tam?m Shud case has begun to attract new attention. Amateur sleuths have probed at the loose ends left by the police, solving one or two minor mysteries but often creating new ones in their stead. And two especially persistent investigators—retired Australian policeman Gerry Feltus, author of the only book yet published on the case, and Professor Derek Abbott of the University of Adelaide—have made particularly useful progress. Both freely admit they have not solved mystery—but let’s close by looking briefly at the remaining puzzles and leading theories.

    First, the man’s identity remains unknown. It is generally presumed that he was known to Jestyn, and may well have been the man who called at her apartment, but even if he was not, the nurse’s shocked response when confronted with the body cast was telling. Might the solution be found in her activities during World War II? Was she in the habit of presenting men friends with copies of the Rubaiyat, and, if so, might the dead man have been a former boyfriend, or more, whom she did not wish to confess to knowing? Abbott’s researches certainly suggest as much, for he has traced Jestyn’s identity and discovered that she had a son. Minute analysis of the surviving photos of the Unknown Man and Jestyn’s child reveals intriguing similarities. Might the dead man have been the father of the son? If so, could he have killed himself when told he could not see them?

    Those who argue against this theory point to the cause of the man’s death. How credible is it, they say, that someone would commit suicide by dosing himself with a poison of real rarity? Digitalis, and even strophanthin, can be had from pharmacies, but never off the shelf—both poisons are muscle relaxants used to treat heart disease. The apparently exotic nature of the death suggests, to these theorists, that the Unknown Man was possibly a spy. Alfred Boxall had worked in intelligence during the war, and the Unknown Man died, after all, at the onset of the Cold War, and at a time when the British rocket testing facility at Woomera, a few hundred miles from Adelaide, was one of the most secret bases in the world. It has even been suggested that poison was administered to him via his tobacco. Might this explain the mystery of why his Army Club pack contained seven Kensitas cigarettes?

    Far-fetched as this seems, there are two more genuinely odd things about the mystery of Tam?m Shud that point away from anything so mundane as suicide.

    The first is the apparent impossibility of locating an exact duplicate of the Rubaiyat handed in to the police in July 1949. Exhaustive enquiries by Gerry Feltus at last tracked down a near-identical version, with the same cover, published by a New Zealand bookstore chain named Whitcombe & Tombs. But it was published in a squarer format.

    Add to that one of Derek Abbott’s leads, and the puzzle gets yet more peculiar. Abbott has discovered that at least one other man died in Australia after the war with a copy of Khayyam’s poems close by him. This man’s name was George Marshall, he was a Jewish immigrant from Singapore, and his copy of the Rubaiyat was published in London by Methuen— a seventh edition.

    So far, so not especially peculiar. But inquiries to the publisher, and to libraries around the world, suggest that there were never more than five editions of Methuen’s Rubaiyat—which means that Marshall’s seventh edition was as nonexistent as the Unknown Man’s Whitcombe & Tombs appears to be. Might the books not have been books at all, but disguised spy gear of some sort—say one-time code pads?

    Which brings us to the final mystery. Going through the police file on the case, Gerry Feltus stumbled across a neglected piece of evidence: a statement, given in 1959, by a man who had been on Somerton Beach. There, on the evening that the Unknown Man expired, and walking toward the spot where his body was found, the witness (a police report stated) “saw a man carrying another on his shoulder, near the water’s edge. He could not describe the man.”

    At the time, this did not seem that mysterious; the witness assumed he’d seen somebody carrying a drunken friend. Looked at in the cold light of day, though, it raises questions. After all, none of the people who saw a man lying on the seafront earlier had noticed his face. Might he not have been the Unknown Man at all? Might the body found next morning have been the one seen on the stranger’s shoulder? And, if so, might this conceivably suggest this really was a case involving spies—and murder?

    Editors’ Note, May 16, 2013: Due to the recent spate of comments from trolls and readers misrepresenting themselves by impersonating others, we have closed the comments on this

    Sources

    ‘Body found on Somerton Beach.’ The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), December 2, 1948; ‘Somerton beach body mystery.’ The Advertiser, December 4, 1948; ‘Unknown buried.’ Brisbane Courier-Mail, June 15, 1949; GM Feltus. The Unknown Man: A Suspicious Death at Somerton Beach. Privately published: Greenacres, South Australia, 2010; Dorothy Pyatt. “The Somerton Beach body mystery.” South Australia Police Historical Society Hue & Cry, October 2007; Derek Abbott et al. World search for a rare copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Accessed July 4, 2011.

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    & if anyone reading happens to be good at this stuff, this is from the University of Adelaide re the cipher -

    https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/...acking_process
    Management

    Carefully study how the tasks have been logically split up below. Fill in the deliberately missing blanks. Figure out the best sequence to do them in. Figure out how to allocate the tasks between you two so that there can be two streams of complementary work going on in parallel. This will then form the guts of your Critical Design Review (CDR).

    Hypothesis 1: the code is gibberish

    Assume the code is in fact a meaningless string of letters. This assumes the Somerton man was normally an English speaker, but was drunk or so badly poisoned with hallucinogens that he was writing a delusional string of letters. Think of ways to test this hypothesis. Get 10 native English speakers to write a string of 50 random letters before and after a fixed number of beers. They must try to be random only using their mind and not use computers or external devices. Better to chose friends who study courses where they don't teach you what randomness is. Otherwise you may get the odd friend who tries to be too smart and not go with the game. Arts students will be perfect victims. Since different drugs produce different random changes you could also test the effect of a couple of strong espresso coffees on random letter production.

    Then think of ways you can statistically compare the Somerton code to these gibberish sequences. Plot letter frequencies of gibberish with error bars. Make counts of letter pair frequencies. Are there letters of the alphabet people consistently missed out and how does this compare to the code? How do the most frequent letters compare? Calculate the average information in bits per symbol H(x). You do this by summing up all H(x i ) over the code, where x i is the i-th symbol. So let's say x 1 is the symbol 'R', you count up how many times R appears in the code and divide it by the total letters to give the probability P(x 1 ) of there being an 'R'. Then by definition, H(x i ) = P(x i )log 2 (P(x i )). Do this for all the symbols and up all the H's. This is what is called the Shannon average information and has the units of 'bits'. Do this for both the gibberish and the code.

    Hypothesis 2: the code is in English, but the letters have been substituted

    Make a big long list of coding techniques. Try to eliminate some based on the date they were invented. Or ones that would require more computing power than was available in 1948. It is not reasonable to assume he did the code in his head. A computer of the time could have been used. He could have been hurriedly copying down the code that someone else prepared. Maybe he ripped the code off someone else when they weren't looking. Then take your reduced list of coding techniques, and code up an e-book written in English. You should sub-sample chunks of 50 letters 10 times, and generate error bars. Then look at the letter frequencies before and after coding. Compare this with the Somerton code and you should be able to eliminate some. Then you can repeat the above using different statistical features such a letter pairs. Also try calculating the probability of a symbol x i appearing after a symbol x j . This is called the transition probability. Comparing transition probabilities can give more clues.

    Vigen?re cipher Try the Kasiski test

    Once the key length is known, you can then write out the code in rows of that length, and then do a frequency analysis on each of the columns—since each column corresponds to a single letter, then a column is the result of a separate substitution cipher. You can then reuse your software for the substitution cipher to try and decrypt. More details here

    One time pad

    A one-time pad is like the Vig?nere cipher except that the key is the same length as the plaintext, and ideally uniformly random (i.e. all letters occur with equal probability in the key). This then generates a ciphertext with letters of equal probability (i.e. a flat probability distribution). In practice, he may have used some piece of text he had on him as the key, so the key would not have had letters of equal probability. You have already found the probability distribution is non-uniform, so it seems likely that if it was a one-time pad, he used a piece of text as the key. Possible keys: Quatrains from the Rubaiyat. You should generate all possible variants of the Fitzgerald translation using the list of differences, and try all possible quatrains (i.e. all quatrains from all versions). You can rule out those that are shorter than the ciphertext, unless you consider concatenation of successive pairs of quatrains. There are certain quatrains associated with the case, it would be interesting if it was one of those, so try them first.

    KJV version of the bible This was the version that Gideons distributed to hotels in 1948, and we can be pretty sure the dead guy
    was a traveller. You would need to know where to start taking the key from, however. One possible suggestion is that some of the first letters specify book, chapter and verse. The BAB on the top line could be a disguised 3,4,3 or 5,4,3 (the first B does look a little strange). So that could be where to start from in the bible, and the following letters would be the ciphertext. Alternatively you could decode the first three letters (A=1, B=2, etc.). Starting from one (probably) as the chapters and verses are numbered starting with one. Normally you use A=0, B=1 for decoding, however, to match up with the modulo arithmetic used. Even if none of these work, you may still be able to crack part of the code. Since e is the most common letter in English texts, then you would get 'e'+'e' appearing most frequently in the ciphertext (if the plaintext and key were both in English), and etc. for TOAIN... However the code is too short to be able to use this (statistically) reliably to decrypt, so it's doubtful this approach will work.

    External and internal information is useful You can use lateral thinking and think hard about the internal information in the code and the external information of the case. How do these things help you? Internal information: What does the presence of a 'Q' tell you? It tells you there wasn't a straight substitution with a rotary phone. The absence of a 'U' to go with the 'Q' means it is highly unlikely the code is English letters without some kind of substitution. It could be that 'Q' is an initial. External information: Could the name 'Jestin' be in the code itself? Or could the word 'enormoz' be in there? This was the word used by Cold War spies to refer to a nuke. Think of half a dozen significant words, from what you know about the case. Write software to apply a sliding window across the code and assume a substitution with 'Jestin' at each point. 'Jestin' has six unique characters so there will only be a few decrypted outputs. Only six letters will be decrypted, and for the rest just print a "*". Then visually we can easily eliminate the outputs that look like rubbish. Then do this for 'enormoz' and for half a dozen fun words that you come up with. Could 'Jestin' or 'Tamam shud' be the cryptographic keyword? Assume some basic coding schemes that use keywords and write software to check if your guessed keywords work or not.

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    Continued from above
    Hypothesis 3: the code is in English and the letters are as they are supposed to be

    If the letters are as they are supposed to be, you can easily eliminate the idea that it is one big English anagram as there is only one 'e' in the whole code. So that is highly unlikely. You can demonstrate this by slicing up an English e-book into 50 letter blocks. Then count up how many 50-letter blocks in the whole book have only one 'e'. If it is zero or a small number then qed. If it is a number bigger then expected, then see Derek later on how to explore the anagram idea more deeply. Do letter frequency counts of a whole e-book and compare initial letter versus all the letters. Then test to see if it is likely the Somerton code is statistically similar to initial letters. Then we can repeat all the above tests again, but instead of an e-book try: (1) a big e-list of girl's names, (2) a big list of place names, (3) a big list of Australian train station names, (4) a list of seaports, (5) a list of chemical names, (6) a list of scientific terms to do with making nuclear bombs, and (7) any other fun thing you can think of.

    Hypothesis 4: the code is in a foreign language and the letters are as they are supposed to be

    Select some foreign language e-books. Do letter frequency counts, pair counts, transition probabilities etc. Use the frequency counts to get a simple measure of Shannon entropy. Compare. Do initial letters and letters from full words. Compare. Another trick is to put the code phrase by phrase into an online foreign language anagram server. Then count up how many anagrams you get for each language. The one with the most wins. This may be an indicator. Another trick is to find a standard paragraph translated into many languages (such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights). Then append the Somerton code to each of these paragraphs. Then zip each file up. Then plot a histogram where the y-axis is the compression ratio and the x-axis is the ranked language (highest compression ratio first, lowest last). The highest compression ratios represent the most likely languages.

    Hypothesis 5: the code is in a foreign language and the letters have been substituted

    This is the hardest one and should be left to the end to see if something easier turns up. I don't expect you to worry about this case for the project. At the end of the project the least you can do is suggest some ideas on how future students might approach this. But save your judgment until you've gained some experience with the other techniques first.

    Hypothesis 6: the structure of the code can tell us something

    This is Derek's favourite one that he wants you to get stuck in as early as possible. It is very powerful because it assumes nothing about the letters, only their sequence structure. It also is language independent. It is also tolerant to the ambiguous letters that can be treated as wildcards. Write a piece of sofware that looks for regular expressions. For example ABAB is a repeat pair. Look for repeat pairs. MLIABO is a sexet with all unique characters. TMT is a palindrome triplet. Look carefully and find other characteristic structural features. Make a list of them. Get your software to search for these features within your own list of girls' names, names of chemicals, names of train stations, nuclear terms etc. Look for these regular expressions in e-books that specifically talk about the history of the Cold War and details of
    Operation Venona.

    If possible, write the software so it can search the whole www for these regular expressions. Try and find a search engine that supports regular expressions first. Otherwise you may have to write software that turns a regular expression into a set of search engine queries.
    Some believe this case is linked to the equally perplexing Bogle-Chandler unsolved mystery of Sydney in 1963, see

    http://mydeathspace.com/vb/showthrea...ear-s-Day-1963

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    Well this is kind of weird. This case is from 1948, yet it appears I'm not the only one posting about it this weekend??

    From http://tamamshud.blogspot.com.au/
    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.

    Friday, 25 October 2013

    Posted by Gordon332 at 18:03 No comments:

    Labels: adelaide, Code, Code Page, December 1948, image of somerton man, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, SA Police, Somerton Man

    Somerton Man. Was it a Cover Up From Day One?

    A big question. Was the whole Tamam Shud Case a cover up right from day one?

    The question is prompted by a recently released Trove News article dated December 1st. 1948, that date should ring a bell, it was of course the day that his body was found on Somerton Beach. To be precise he was found around 6 in the morning and this News item was posted in the Adelaide News, an evening newspaper which I think came out at around 4 p.m.

    In a busy Police Station, the sequence of events would have been something like this:

    1. 6 a.m. body found and inspected for any obvious signs of violence or unusual marks
    2. Transport arranged and body taken to the morgue
    3. Body again inspected for any wounds or marks cleaned up and prepared for an autopsy, a Police Officer sometimes known as a 'Coroners Officer' would have had control of that process and may even have organised or carried out the washing.
    4. A detailed description of the body would have been taken by the Coroners Officer and that would have formed part of an initial 'sudden death' report.
    5. A duty, uniformed, inspector would have authorised the release of the mans description to the press
    6. The News Police reporter at the time would have made what was probably a regular daily phone call when he came on duty sometime around midday on the 1st December.
    7. The press article, based on the Coroners Officer's information would have been prepared for publication.

    Worth bearing in mind that at this stage there was no hint of poisoning or Codes or the Tamam Shud torn piece.

    As you will read via the link below, is that the Coroners Officers description of the man was as follows:

    Height 5ft 11 inches, quite precise Build, Well built, again a reasonable description Hair colour, Fair, quite definite Eyes, Hazel and again quite definite.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/129897161

    The problem is that subsequent descriptions of the Somerton Man were quite different, in those he has been described as having auburn hair and blue eyes.

    Does the picture below look like his hair is fair?


    Remember that in a recent post the Police announced that a 'Reconstructed photograph was available for inspection' that very weekend following the finding of his body.

    This image is the one posted earlier that showed clearly that his photograph was manipulated



    When you examine this image carefully it could well be that the face of the man in this image is not that of the Somerton Man, if it's true in this case then it could also be true of the full face image shown here:



    Two of our followers, photographers, agreed that it was likely that one or both had been altered, I checked that with other photographers and they agreed. The question is why would you go to these lengths, and it was a tricky process in those days, to alter a photograph?

    So here we have it, the first description that was released, one which would have been written by the Coroners Officer who would have been an experienced man to hold that position, described the man as having fair hair an Hazel eyes. The man in this altered image does not have have anything like fair hair as far as I can see.

    Did the December 1st Press release about the discover of the mans body on Somerton Beach slip through the 'net' and is that why the Police hurriedly announced the availability of 'reconstructed' images? Why did his description change so quickly after the first press release?

    Add to this, the 14 instances of fingerprints not being taken from the mans possessions, the laundry marks that were supposedly traced to Victoria but never followed up, the evidence, in terms of his clothing, possessions and the book, being destroyed despite it still being an open case and I would say there is genuine cause to think that something was sadly amiss at the least and that it was a deliberate cover up at its worst.
    Not sure how much weight to give some of these ideas, but it definitely makes for an interesting read & demonstrates just how obsessed people still are with this case & Bogle-Chandler.

    http://tamamshud.blogspot.com.au/201...1_archive.html
    Last edited by blighted star; 10-26-2013 at 05:37 AM.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Hmm, I didn't know about these cases, it's not like it wasn't weird enough already

    Possibly related cases

    Mangnoson case

    On 6 June 1949, the body of two-year-old Clive Mangnoson was found in a sack in the Largs Bay sand hills, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) down the coast from Somerton. Lying next to him was his unconscious father, Keith Waldemar Mangnoson. The father was taken to a hospital in a very weak condition, suffering from exposure; following a medical examination, he was transferred to a mental hospital.

    The Mangnosons had been missing for four days. The police believed that Clive had been dead for twenty-four hours when his body was found. The two were found by Neil McRae of Largs Bay, who claimed he had seen the location of the two in a dream the night before.

    The coroner could not determine the young Mangnoson's cause of death, although it was not believed to be natural causes.The contents of the boy's stomach were sent to a government analyst for further examination.

    Following the death, the boy's mother, Roma Mangnoson, reported having been threatened by a masked man, who, while driving a battered cream car, almost ran her down outside her home in Cheapside Street, Largs North. Mrs Mangnoson stated that "the car stopped and a man with a khaki handkerchief over his face told her to 'keep away from the police or else.'" Additionally a similar looking man had been recently seen lurking around the house. Mrs. Mangnoson believed that this situation was related to her husband's attempt to identify the Somerton Man, believing him to be Carl Thompsen, who had worked with him in Renmark in 1939.

    J. M. Gower, secretary of the Largs North Progress Association received anonymous phone calls threatening that Mrs. Mangnoson would meet with an accident if he interfered while A. H. Curtis, the acting mayor of Port Adelaide received three anonymous phone calls threatening "an accident" if he "stuck his nose into the Mangnoson affair." Police suspect the calls may be a hoax and the caller may be the same person who also terrorised a woman in a nearby suburb who had recently lost her husband in tragic circumstances.

    Soon after being interviewed by police over her harassment, Mrs. Mangnoson collapsed and required medical treatment.

    Marshall case

    In June 1945, three years before the death of the Somerton Man, a 34-year-old Singaporean man named Joseph (George) Saul Haim Marshall was found dead in Ashton Park, Mosman, Sydney, with an open copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam on his chest. His death is believed to be a suicide by poisoning. Marshall's copy of the Rubaiyat was recorded as a seventh edition published in London by Methuen. In 2010 an investigation found that Methuen had published only five editions; the discrepancy has never been explained and has been linked to the inability to locate a copy of the Whitcombe and Tombs edition.

    Jestyn gave Alfred Boxall a copy of the Rubaiyat in Clifton Gardens two months after Marshall's death. Clifton Gardens is adjacent to Ashton Park. Joseph Marshall was the brother of the famous barrister and Chief Minister of Singapore David Saul Marshall. An inquest was held for Joseph Marshall on 15 August 1945; Gwenneth Dorothy Graham testified at the inquest and was found dead 13 days later face down, naked, in a bath with her wrists slit.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case
    Last edited by blighted star; 10-26-2013 at 05:51 AM.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Current Investigations -


    In March 2009 a University of Adelaide team led by Professor Derek Abbott began an attempt to solve the case through cracking the code and proposing to exhume the body to test for DNA.

    Abbott's investigations have led to questions concerning the assumptions police had made on the case. Police had believed that the Kensitas brand cigarettes in the Army Club packet were due to the common practice at the time of buying cheap cigarettes and putting them in a packet belonging to a more expensive brand (Australia was still under wartime rationing). However, a check of government gazettes of the day indicated that Kensitas were actually the expensive brand, which opens the possibility (never investigated) that the source of the poison may have been in the cigarettes that were possibly substituted for the victim's own without his knowledge. Abbott also tracked down the Barbour waxed cotton of the period and found packaging variations. This may provide clues to the country where it may have been purchased.

    Decryption of the "code" has been started from scratch. It has been determined that the letter frequency is considerably different from letters written down randomly; the frequency is to be further tested to determine if the alcohol level of the writer could alter random distribution. The format of the code also appears to follow the quatrain format of the Rubaiyat, supporting the theory that the code is a one-time pad encryption algorithm. [dubious ] To this end, copies of the Rubaiyat, as well as the Talmud and Bible, are being compared to the code using computers in order to get a statistical base for letter frequencies. However, the code's short length may require the exact edition of the book used. With the original copy lost in the 1960s, researchers have been looking for a FitzGerald edition without success.

    Investigation had shown that the Somerton Man's autopsy reports of 1948 and 1949 are now missing and the Barr Smith Library's collection of Cleland's notes do not contain anything on the case. Maciej Henneberg, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide, examined images of the Somerton man's ears and found that the cymba (upper ear hollow) is larger than his cavum (lower ear hollow), a feature possessed by only 1–2% of the caucasian population. In May 2009, Derek Abbott consulted with dental experts who concluded that the Somerton Man had hypodontia (a rare genetic disorder) of both lateral incisors, a feature present in only 2% of the general population. In June 2010, Abbott obtained a photograph of Jestyn's son that clearly showed his ears and teeth. The photograph shows that the son not only had a larger cymba than his cavum, but also hypodontia. The chance that this is a coincidence has been estimated as between 1 in 10,000,000 and 1 in 20,000,000.


    On the left is the Somerton man's ear showing the upper hollow (cymba) is larger than the lower hollow (cavum). On the right is a normal ear showing that the upper hollow is typically much smaller. The Somerton man's ear type is possessed by only 1–2% of the Caucasian
    population and is an important clue to narrowing down his identity. It is possible that any lost relatives may have this feature.

    The media has suggested that Jestyn's son, who was 16-months old in 1948 and died in 2009, may have been a love child of either Alf Boxall or the Somerton Man and passed off as her husband's. DNA testing would confirm or eliminate this speculation. In a current affairs programme on the efforts of the team, retired detective Gerry Feltus, who worked on the case for many years, admitted that he knew the identity of the mystery woman but, wanting to protect the woman's privacy, refused to disclose it. However, Feltus does concede there are trails of information, publicly available, which lead to her identity.

    Abbott believes an exhumation and an autosomal DNA test could link the Somerton man to a shortlist of surnames which, along with existing clues to the man's identity, would be the "final piece of the puzzle". However, in October 2011, Attorney General John Rau refused permission to exhume the body stating: "There needs to be public interest reasons that go well beyond public curiosity or broad scientific interest."


    Feltus said he was still contacted by people in Europe who believed the man was a missing relative but did not believe an exhumation and finding the man's family grouping would provide answers to relatives, as "during that period so many war criminals changed their names and came to different countries."

    As one journalist wrote in 1949, alluding to the line in The Rubaiyat, "the Somerton Man seems to have made certain that the glass would be empty, save for speculation."

    In 2011, an Adelaide woman contacted Maciej Henneberg about an identification card of a H. C. Reynolds that she had found in her father's possessions. The card, a document issued in the United States to foreign seamen during WWI was given to biological anthropologist Maciej Henneberg in October 2011 for comparison of the ID photograph to that of the Somerton man. While Henneberg found anatomical similarities in features such as the nose, lips and eyes, he believed they were not as reliable as the close similarity of the ear. The ear shapes shared by both men were a "very good" match, although Henneberg also found what he called a "unique identifier;" a mole on the cheek that was the same shape and in the same position in both photographs.

    The ID card, numbered 58757, was issued in the United States on 28 February 1918 to H.C. Reynolds, giving his nationality as "British" and age as 18. Searches conducted by the US National Archives, the UK National Archives and the Australian War Memorial Research Centre have failed to find any records relating to H.C. Reynolds. The South Australia Police Major Crime Branch, who still have the case listed as open, will investigate the new information.

    In July 2013 Abbott released an artistic impression he commissioned of the Somerton man, believing this might finally lead to an identification. "All this time we've been publishing the autopsy photo, and it's actually hard to tell what something looks like from that," Prof Abbott said.


    http://tomsbytwo.com/2013/07/16/the-...s-not-give-in/

    https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/...aman_Shud_Case


    & some trivia -
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taman_Shud_Case
    Stephen King alludes to the case heavily in his novel The Colorado Kid, which in turn inspired the series Haven.
    Last edited by blighted star; 10-26-2013 at 06:23 AM.

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    Senior Member bermstalker's Avatar
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    THE mysterious Somerton Man may have been killed by his nurse lover - an Adelaide woman and suspected Soviet spy with whom he fathered a child, it has been claimed.

    And, in another startling revelation, two women who believe they are related to the Somerton Man's son want the unknown man's body exhumed in a bid to prove DNA links and in turn answer a 65-year-old que*stion as to his identity.

    Tonight 60 Minutes reveals for the first time that the Somerton Man was romantically linked to Somerton Park nurse Jessica Thomson who lived in Moseley St, just metres from where the man's body was found slumped against a sea wall 65 years ago.

    Her daughter, Kate Thomson, says she accepts her mother was a Soviet spy who may have had a hand in the murder of the Somerton Man, also a suspected Russian agent.

    "She had a dark side, a very strong dark side," Kate tells 60 Minutes.

    "She said to me she, she knew who he was but she wasn't going to let that out of the bag so to speak. There's always that fear that I've thought that maybe she was responsible for his death."

    Police linked Jessica Thomson to the Somerton Man seven months after his well-dressed corpse was found on December 1, 1948.

    But Jessica denied any knowledge when questioned by police. Kate says her mother lied to police.
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...9d69ed8a9439bf

    The link to the 60 minutes video
    http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/...on-man/xg1u6te

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    Senior Member trepid's Avatar
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    Makes sense.

    I've always been of the opinion this case was definitely a post war spook-related case. It's way to elaborate, co-ordinated and precise and has all the hallmarks of a professional hit.

    KGB eh..

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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    Did you sleep at all last night? just kidding! But you've done some research!
    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star
    I was about to be annoyed that this thread was still active, but I see now it's morphed into offers of sex for chilli confectionary, so carry on guys :)

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Lol. Nope got buggerall sleep as a matter of fact. I remember it from when I was a kid. It was Bogle & Chandler that led me to Tamum Shud. That is an equally weird case.

    http://mydeathspace.com/vb/showthrea...bogle+chandler


    If anyone's interested, there's a petition to the South Australian Attorney General to try & get an exhumation order so that they can run DNA tests on possible relatives

    https://www.change.org/p/solve-the-t...g-somerton-man

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...edium=Facebook



    University of Adelaide Professor Derek Abbott and US forensic DNA specialist Colleen Fitzpatrick. Picture: TOM HUNTLEY

    IT IS a cold case that has stumped detectives and scientists but the state Attorney-General might hold the key to proving the identity of a body found on Somerton Beach 67 years ago.

    The the so-called Somerton Man has puzzled police and researchers ever since walkers spotted the fully-clothed body lying in sand on December 1, 1948.

    A post-mortem concluded he died of poisoning but an extensive police and Coroner’s investigation failed to identify the man, aged about 45.

    Several theories have since emerged amid Cold War speculation of mystery women, links to Communist spies, military intelligence and a secret code scribbled on a paper, found hidden on the body.

    Exhaustive searches since by scientists, journalists and retired police officers could not solve the mystery but Adelaide University Professor Derek Abbott says advances in DNA testing can solve the riddle.


    The unidentified man found on Somerton Beach.

    That is, if Attorney-General John Rau agrees to exhume the remains, buried at West Tce Cemetery.

    In October, 2011, Mr Rau refused an exhumation because the motive did not transcend “public curiosity or broad scientific interest’’.

    Prof Abbott said there was “a good chance’’ of identifying the remains if exhumed.

    “Even with a body of that age, I think we will be able to get something,’’ he said.

    Somerton man bust scan at link above

    World-renowned American forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick, who was in Adelaide yesterday as part of an expert panel discussing the Somerton Man, said DNA offered the best hope of proving his identity.

    “We really need the DNA to get a foothold,’’ said Dr Fitzpatrick, who is also working on Abraham Lincoln’s family line.

    “This is like an adoptee or a missing person ... when you’re faced with nothing.’’

    In 2008, Dr Fitzpatrick helped identify a baby who died in the Titanic sinking, and she has also identified a victim of a plane crash in Alaska in 1948.

    With a DNA code, she could search ethnicity markers using data across 50 countries to find Somerton Man’s origin.

    “There’s two sides to this story; yes, the man is dead and at peace, hopefully, but there also may be family looking for him,’’ Dr Fitzpatrick said.

    “The Somerton Man might have family who have always wondered about him (and) his children could still be alive.’’

    Mr Rau said: “If circumstances existed ... that would warrant my considering an exhumation it would be considered, however, those circumstances don’t exist and never have.’’




    Petition to exhume & run testing




    https://www.change.org/p/solve-the-t...m_medium=email

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Dbl

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    Senior Member emylou's Avatar
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    I am from SA and I thought I knew of all the freaky weird murders that have happened but I have not heard of this. I have some reading to do! Awesome information.

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    Senior Member Caffeinatedkat's Avatar
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    That was SO...MUCH...READING... lol but I did it **pats self on back** ok,let's dig this bastard up so I can find out if he is a Russian spy or not dammit lol

    Mommy to: Misty-Allison-Elliot-Sebastian-Quinn
    And our newest rugrat MISS MARLEE!!!

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    Senior Member jennafyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeinatedkat View Post
    That was SO...MUCH...READING... lol but I did it **pats self on back** ok,let's dig this bastard up so I can find out if he is a Russian spy or not dammit lol
    I love these mystery ones. And if you think THIS was a lot of reading, then you haven't been truly initiated until you check out the Beaudelaire Twins thread:

    http://mydeathspace.com/vb/showthrea...udelaire+twins

    You can hate me later

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    Senior Member PeaceBeWithMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennafyre View Post

    You can hate me later
    Some of us hate you now.


    Quote Originally Posted by marshmallow View Post
    did you make her into a wallet Bill? cuz if you did I'm off team Bill.

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    Senior Member Caffeinatedkat's Avatar
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    I will wait to click that till the baby takes a nap LOL

    Mommy to: Misty-Allison-Elliot-Sebastian-Quinn
    And our newest rugrat MISS MARLEE!!!

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    PBWM: couldn't rep you back but fingers crossed

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    I've done some research to show that Marshall's copy is not a fake. See https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpres...false-imprint/

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryTraish View Post
    I've done some research to show that Marshall's copy is not a fake. See https://omarkhayyamrubaiyat.wordpres...false-imprint/
    Sorry I missed this when you posted. I'm going to have to re-read a lot of stuff so that I fully understand the significance - I'll be back when I'm fully caught up :)

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    I never did get time to catch up on this case, real life kind of got in the way.

    I missed a heap of pretty intriguing updates over the last 2 years too, & even though this is a South Australian case, the updates are far more relevant for U.S readers than Australians



    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/...08a7502a1239ee






    Scientist at centre of DNA break-throughs in cold case appeals for Government to exhume the body Somerton Man to finally ?give him name?

    Craig Cook, Exclusive, The Advertiser
    October 1, 2016 10:30pm

    Has part of mysterious Somerton Man code been cracked?

    New twist in Somerton Man mystery as fresh claims emerge

    THE world-renowned scientist at the centre of remarkable new DNA break-throughs in the cold case of one of Australia?s greatest mysteries has delivered a passionate appeal for the South Australian Government to exhume the body of the Somerton Man to ?finally give him a name?.

    Somerton Man ? buried at West Terrace cemetery ? has puzzled police and researchers ever since his fully clothed body was found propped up against a wall on December 1, 1948.

    From the very start of the extensive police and coroner?s investigation there was a strong suggestion the man, who was in his mid-40s, was an American.

    World-renowned American forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick this week presented evidence to a conference in the US that DNA testing ? from a presumed relative of the dead man ? virtually confirmed Somerton Man was from the east coast of the US.

    Her research, matched against worldwide genealogy DNA databases, reveals links to a large group of relatives in the state of Virginia.


    A photographic reconstruction of the man found dead on Somerton Beach in December, 1948.

    There are also strong indications of Native American ancestry and, astonishingly, genes linked to the extended family of American Founding Father, and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

    ?All this puts Mr X?s (Somerton Man) ancestry, with some authority, in America,? Ms Fitzpatrick told the Sunday Mail exclusively from the US, just hours after delivering her paper at the International Symposium on Human Identification in Minneapolis.

    ?All the other evidence around this story is important but DNA solves cases and that?s why we need Somerton Man?s direct DNA ? so please Mr Attorney-General (John Rau), can you do this (exhume him) now to finally give him a name??

    Ms Fitzpatrick, a former nuclear physicist turned forensic genealogist, who helped identify a baby who died in the Titanic sinking, would like to talk one-on-one with Mr Rau.

    ?I would sit down across from him (Mr Rau) and explain about other cases we have worked on where we have had remarkable results with DNA finding people who have lost family members,? she said ?This is not just about a mystery that is fascinating people worldwide, it?s about real people who are looking to know what happened to a loved relative.?

    Central to the enduring mystery is that Somerton Man had with him the phone number of a woman, Jo Thomson, who lived less than five minutes from Somerton beach. At the time Ms Thomson was unmarried and had a one-year-old son named Robin.


    Former Australian Ballet dancer Robin Thomson, who many think is the mystery man?s son.

    Robin Thomson ? a former Australian Ballet dancer who died in 2009 and was cremated, leaving no DNA ? had a remarkable series of physical similarities to Somerton Man that led investigators to conclude there is a 99 per cent probability the two were related.

    They include the highly unusual genetic dental feature of having two canine teeth adjacent to the middle two teeth, and strongly developed calves
    .

    Ms Fitzpatrick took DNA from Robin?s daughter, Rachel, and her mother, Roma Egan, and in a procedure known as ?phasing?, extracted DNA with an inherited 25 per cent link to the Somerton Man, that she could test.

    Adding to the theory that Somerton Man was American, Adelaide-based Professor Derek Abbott, who has been working with Ms Fitzpatrick, this week released to the Sunday Mail a photocopy of a letter from the FBI.


    The letter signed by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in 1949 and sent to SA Police as part of the Somerton Man investigation

    Signed by the Bureau?s legendary leader J. Edgar Hoover, the previously unpublished letter is part of a six-year battle under Freedom of Information legislation to have documents released by SA Police.

    ?Even though the FBI found no records of the man on its fingerprint database, the fact there are no other documents or reports from any other police jurisdictions around the world suggest police here were set on him being American,? Prof. Abbott said.

    In October, 2011, Mr Rau refused an exhumation because the motive did not transcend ?public curiosity or broad scientific interest??.

    He confirmed his stance in a letter to Mr Abbott sent this year.



    Also, the ABC (Australia's national broadcaster) just covered the case in a radio program in May. Haven't listened to it but there's an audio file here

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/...on-man/9488102

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    New article today on the push for DNA testing. It looks like the state govt has finally agreed to maybe approve his exhumation - but only if it's privately funded.

    I see Australia's first crowdfunding for an exhumation some time in the near future



    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-...olved/10420794



    The body of the Somerton Man.

    Unlocking the secrets of the Somerton Man

    It?s been 70 years to the day since the body of an unknown man was discovered along the shoreline of a South Australian beach. But will we ever know the truth about his identity?

    By Daniel Keane

    Updated about 2 hours ago
    Published about 4 hours ago


    In summer, the beach at Somerton in suburban Adelaide is a glistening stretch of sand, surf and sun.

    But on a mild summer morning on December 1, 1948, the site became steeped in cold case mystery filled with rumours of spies, lovers and an untraceable poison.

    We delve into how the story unfolded, why the case has been so hard to crack and whether we will ever know the truth about who the ?Somerton Man? really was.

    December 1, 1948: How it all began

    Slumped against a wall at Somerton Beach beneath the esplanade was a man?s body.

    His hair was fair and his eyes were grey.

    He was wearing a brown suit, had a clean-shaven face and appeared to be about 40 years old.

    He had a half-smoked cigarette on his lapel, and according to a newspaper report his legs were crossed.

    Neil Day was one of the first people to discover the body.

    The then 16-year-old apprentice jockey and a mate were riding horses along the beach.

    ?We never took much notice because people used to sleep on the beach sometimes, especially if it was a warm night,? he said.

    ?He was dressed in a suit ? I think it was a brown suit, if I remember right. His face was straight up looking at the sky, laying on his back.?

    Not realising the man was dead, the two jockeys continued along for a couple of kilometres south towards Brighton.

    ?When we came back he was still in the same place, so we went over to see if he was alright,? Neil said.

    ?We couldn?t see him breathing so my friend Horrie hopped off his horse and lifted his leg.

    ?He was dead.

    ?It was a bit of a shock because I?d never seen anyone like that before.?

    A man named Jack Lyons was on the beach at the same time and contacted police.

    What Neil didn?t realise was the decades-long mystery their discovery was about to trigger.

    ?I never had anything else to do with it,? he said.

    Police began an investigation they have never closed

    In 1948, it was not uncommon for police to find bodies along the beach.

    But there was something that set this one apart from the deaths by suicide or alcohol.

    The man had not washed ashore, his clothes ? all of which had their labels removed ? were dry.

    And but for a few personal items ? two combs, a box of matches, a used bus ticket to the area, an unused second-class train ticket, a packet of chewing gum and cigarettes ? there was little to identify him.

    A post-mortem discovered the man had a ?strikingly? enlarged spleen and internal bleeding in the stomach and liver.

    But the autopsy was inconclusive.

    ?There was no indication of violence,? the coroner wrote.

    ?I am compelled to the finding that death resulted from poison.

    ?But what poison??

    The suitcase, the book and the mystery woman

    In January 1949 a suitcase holding dozens of items was uncovered in the cloakroom of the Adelaide Railway Station.

    It had been checked in the day before the Somerton Man?s body was discovered, and police suspected it belonged to him.

    In it was clothing ? and like those found on his body ? the labels had been removed.

    A waxed thread not sold in Australia ? the same kind used to repair the unidentified man?s trousers ? was also found.

    The names ?Keane? and ?Kean? were written on a few other items, but they offered no more clues.

    Odds and ends included scissors, a shaving brush, a knife in a sheath and boot polish.

    But one of the most intriguing pieces of evidence was discovered four months after the man?s death.

    A pathologist re-examining the body found a slip of paper in the man?s pocket which read ?Tamam Shud?.

    When the words ? torn from the poetry book the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam ? were translated from Persian, they read ?it is finished?.

    That was enough for coroner Thomas Cleland to deem the man?s death ?not natural?.

    Shortly after the first inquest concluded, police appealed to the public to help find the book with the missing words ?Tamam Shud?.

    An anonymous businessman came forward with a matching copy.

    Retired detective Gerry Feltus, who has investigated the case for decades, revealed to the ABC that the businessman was a chemist called John Freeman, who lived not far from where the Somerton Man was found.

    ?His brother-in-law was reading a book and when they got to their destination ? his brother-in-law put the book in the glovebox of his car, and he didn?t take any notice of it at all,? he said.

    Mr Feltus said that when the police made the call-out, Mr Freeman went out to his car and pulled out the book.

    ?Sure enough [on] the last page, down the bottom where the ?Tamam Shud? would have been, [it] was missing,? he said.

    ?He contacted his brother-in-law and said: ?You know that book you put in the glovebox of my car ? that?s the book the police are looking for.?

    ?The brother-in-law said: ?No. It was on the back floor of your car and I was sitting there and I picked it up and fiddled through the pages and I thought it was your book so I put it in your glovebox.??

    Once the book was handed in, it revealed two final clues: a sequence of letters ? believed to be a code ? and a couple of telephone numbers.

    While talk of spies and secret agents ran rife, no cipher specialists have ever successfully cracked the code.

    The phone numbers came to nothing, except for one that belonged to a nurse called Jessie Thomson, also known as Jo.

    She lived just hundreds of metres from where the Somerton?s Man?s body was found.

    When she spoke to police in July 1949, she told them she once owned a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, but denied knowing the Somerton Man.

    Intrigued, police took her to see a plaster bust of the man?s head and shoulders, in the hope it would jog her memory.

    According to reports, she behaved strangely when she saw it, but never revealed why.

    Today, the bust remains firmly locked away in the South Australian Police Historical Society?s museum.

    <<snipped>>

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