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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: The Code Page Was A Negative Image

The Code Page Was A Photographic Plate Negative 

This is a very short post to clarify how the image of the code page was created by the SA Police. Based on the advice of Gerry Feltus that the Code page image was a negative, it is now apparent that what we see is the result of the then Police practice of using photographic plates, not film, to take evidentiary images.

Photographic plates turn out as negative in the first instance and the code page is an image of the negative plate that was used.

This explains the darkened areas to the left and right that we see at the top of the code page image above and to the lower right adjacent to and slightly lower to the last letter in the last line as you look at the page.

Below you will see the image of a photographic plate, notice how light in colour and how detailed the left hand side and lower central area of the image is. All that was dark is turned a lighter colour and all that was light has become a darker colour:

I don't profess to be an expert in photography, but for me the image above is a good indicator of how a document/ page from the Omar book would look after it had been photographed using a photographic plate process. These photographic plates respond to 2% of light received, are well suited to research quality images, extremely stable and less likely to bend or distort especially for wide field imaging, read more here:

What this means is that the micro writing was:
1. Photographed and processed using the photographic plate method
2. Which captured and displayed extremely fine detail for the image
3. Then highlighted the lighter coloured indentations on the page
4. Which became a darker colour in the image we now see as the Somerton Man code page.
5. The end results are the micro letters and numbers that were discovered and shown here by the author of this blog.

You can verify this with an expert in Police Photography methods of the 1940s.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: UV Light Reveals More Microwriting on Code Page & Jestyn's Verse 70

This Post will be updated with sharper images on 1st August.

Some while ago I did some work on the code page using UV lighting and this is an extension of that original post plus some other images from Verse 70..

UV reveals more than normal lighting and separates colours particularly well. On this page you will see examples of microwrting from the Code page and from Jestyn's Verse 70, whilst some of examples are faded, they are visible and more work is planned to lift and enhance what you currently see.

Code Page Examples

This is the second letter A from line 4 of the code page, the microwriting is quite clear under UV and in its normal B/W appearance.

In this image of the letter B from the MLIABO sequence in line 4, the microwriting was not covered by the Police trace marks. This means that if you look carefully at the letter on the original image of the code page you should be able to make it out. UV light enhances the letter and its markings including what appear to be rough drawn circles around the microwriting.

Pete Bowes has commented on this image to the left, it looks almost to perfectly shaped and the letters look almost as if they had been typed. I have no explanation as to why that should be and would welcome any input or feedback on this.

Verse 70 Examples

The first example is a close up of Jestyn's sign off, the microwriting is faded as the image was taken some 30 years after the events. However you should be able to make out 2554 from the sequence highlighted. the colouring of these numbers seems to be a few shades different to the rest of the image.

Below is the first of 2 images of the dash in line 2 of the verse, it is faded but the microwriting is just visible, you can see the importance of lighting source in highlightiing the second half of the dash, more work to do on this and other images

In this second image the camera was focused on the first, left, half of the dash:

Just visible in the cross bar of the letter 't' is a set of 5 numbers. 

Another cross bar on a letter 't', this appears to be 2554 again as in the first image in this section found within the word JESTYN sign off. 

The upright of a letter 't' from verse 70, faded but just visible is a small X in the bottom left hand corner of the highlighted box and there appears to be 6 numbers to the right of the X..

I will be posting comparison images using another example of pen and ink cursive handwriting from 1944 in the next few days.

Clandestine Communications

This is the first time that we have both code page and verse 70 in the same post with both showing microwriting. Given this information, what this demonstrates is a knowledge of microwriting in what is termed 'clandestine communications' that links Alf Boxall, Jestyn and the code page which in turn is linked to the Somerton Man. or those interested, if you google the term you will find a vast amount of information on the subject, there's even something there for my sparring partner Nick Pelling.

A message for Byron, great work on the oblique writing, it was good to read of your approach and to come to the conclusion that that was the process used to take the image of the code page. As you would expect I have some differing views but I respect your work.  I noticed that you actually took some pics, if you would like to post them here please email me or leave a comment and I would be happy to put them up with credits to you of course.

On the image of the letter B I have pointed out two markings surrounding what appears to be micro numbers, not sure where those circular markings came from, they could be from the original or the could be digital artefacts.

Whilst UV light has differing results for indented writing, when it comes to any form of coloured writing it performs quite well as you will see in the images below.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SOMERTON MAN: Was The Code Page Written With Water? A discussion and summation.

Was the TAMAM SHUD Code Page Written With Water?

An earlier method of seceret writing which was both secret ink and indented writing was the most simple and didn't involve the use of chemicals, the 'secret ink' was water. It is possible that the Somerton Man Code page was in fact done in this way, it is still indented writing and the same process of Iodine Vapour treatment could be applied as shown in this 1931 image courtesy of Modern Mechanix magazine.

If this was case, the writing could have been applied directly onto the back of the book as recovered with no intervening page.

Apart from Iodine Vapour we have looked at Ammonia as a possibility but the information on Ammonia describes it as a 're-agent' which infers that it promotes a chemical reaction. Some background, the case in point was raised by me when my thoughts were that the 1942 Dasch German Saboteur case was also one where Iodine Vapour was used, that was incorrect as a very uesful comment made by Ralph pointed out, the Dasch evidence discussed Ammonia. Ammonia reacts with Copper Sulphate which was the nature of the secret ink used by Dasch to write in his list of contacts as you will see in the Spy Museum link here..

I am not of the belief that Ammonia was used on the Somerton Man code page, in a discussion during the last week with Gerry Feltus, ex Detective Sergeant of the SA Police and who had the Somerton Man Case in his charge, he was quite certain that part of the process was turning the image of the Code page negative.

When you consider that comment from Gerry and then consider the use of Iodine Vapour which leaves a dark mark where indentations are present, then turning the page negative would turn the dark mark into a paler shade. Is that the case with the Someron Man Code page? I have some images that show lighter colouring within the larger letters on the Code page that were not traced over, they were missed.

The SA Police courtesy of the very experienced Jimmy Durham wrote over the indentations thay had found with what was possibly a form of laundry marker/felt tip pen. My understanding is that such markers were first patented in 1910 by Lee Newman with another style of felt tip being introduced in 1926 by a Benjamin Paskach, this one was referred to as a fountain paint brush, it had a handle and a sponge tip and was available in various colours.

In the same discussion mentioned earlier that I had with Gerry Feltus and on a somehwat morbid note, Gerry recalled writing the name of corpses in the Police morgue on their left shoulder using an indelible pencil. That was an experience we had both had only in my case we wrote on toe tags with a laundry marker. It's amazing how talking with a fellow ex Police officer brings back many memories. One thing we all have in common, apart from hands on experience and the knowledge you gain from it, is that we all recall our observation training. That applies whether you were 'in the job' for one year or twenty, amongst the first lesson you had was how to observe.

Every ex  policeman I know has said the same, you are taught thoroughly to observe in detail, whether that's suspicious behaviour or an image that you see or a conversation that you are part of or overhear or in these days, view, you never forget your powers of observation and the details that you then absorb. With regards to conversations, there were often occasions when a 'likely lad' tried their best to confuse issues with a flurry of fine sounding words, a 'snow job' as it was termed; but when you review those conversations and question them you quickly find that they were words without substance, hollow and meaningless and without any form of substantiation. The minute they start to attempt to divert attention to another topic is a sure sign there's something to hide. Signs of a criminal mind? No, not necessarily but quite likely a sign of someone who is out of their depth, dealing with their personal insecurities and struggling to regain acceptance.

The lessons I have learnt from my own experiences have stayed with me and I am sure with others. I hope that visitors to this site will maybe think a little longer and harder when recalling and perhaps viewing discussions as a result.  The more you practice the skill, the more it becomes second nature and then we refer to it as 'intuition' or a feeling in the bones but in fact it's nothing more than experiences that all add up and your conclusions are seldom wrong. Once a Copper, Always a Copper :)