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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.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Somerton Man: Another Letter With Microcode, Mind Your Ts and Qs

The letter Q with it's micro writing is now joined by another letter, the letter T:

In the highlighted cross bar of the letter T found in the sequence MTB on the third line of the code, the three letters V X D are clearly seen. The image was first found more than 3 years ago and has been kept along with others for publication at what I believe to be the best and most appropriate times.

Below left you can see how the image was first found using back-light and colour enhancement. The right hand image was better focused and an image 'sharpening' tool was used together with contrast enhancement.

More images of microcode will be released over the coming weeks and months.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Somerton Man: The Books, The Code Page & The Aspect Ratio

"O! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive.."

Sir Walter Scott: Marmion

Was there a deception in the Somerton Man Case?

The devils in the detail and deception is the devils work 

In this case, the 'detail' primarily relates to the proportions of the book, for those who may be unaware, it's called the 'Aspect Ratio' and what that means for the copies of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is the ratio of the width of the book to the length of the book. The book was printed and published by Whitcombe & Tombs and it is thought that the print run was 1942.

For the enthusiasts, Whitcombe & Tombs had printing, retail and wholesale facilities in all major cities in New Zealand with offices in Melbourne and Sydney which city also had a retail shop.

Importantly, there was also a distribution office and later retail store in London from 1930 onwards. Read more.about W&T history. It raises the question, could SM have bought his copy in the UK?

Let's first take stock of the available evidence from the case and then arrange that into a form where we can draw some reasonable conclusions. 

The Evidence

1. An image of what we believe to be the copy of the book as found and associated with the Somerton Man. This book was identified as being from a Whitcombe & Tombs Courage and Friendship series, Edward Fitzgerald First Edition, a pocket edition in fact. It is assumed that the pages of the book, which appears to be in good condition, were white in colour with each page having a distinctive and elaborate background design. This image to the right shows a torn out area just beneath the last quatrain of the book.

2. On the left, an image of a book cover said to be from the same book that was associated with the case; this is a very grainy image and of poor quality: More recently, another image of that same cover of the book has been released, it is a 'cleaner' image and was organised by Professor Abbott. He informs me that this was arrived at by first reducing the size of the older image.

3. A full set of images of every page of a Courage & Friendship series Rubaiyat known as the JW version is contained in this link to a PDF download. This book is a paperback version with yapped edges. ('Yapped' means that the book cover is slightly larger than the interior pages of the book so that it folds over the edges of the assembled book block within the cover thus affording additional protection for those pages. This book contains images of the Copyright page, a Biographical Note page and also a Triangular Trade Mark with a written phrase beneath it found on the back of the last page of verses. The book and images are of good quality. In particular note the back page to the left, it shows the Yapped edges quite clearly as a squarish inner area of the page.

4. This is where it gets interesting! The image below is of the back cover of the JW Rubaiyat, you can see the darker lines that indicate the location of the 'yapped' edges: You can also see that it's been rotated and is on its side. The image has an aspect ratio of very close to .79:1, that is the width as you now see it is equal to 1 and the height is.79 in comparison.

5. Now here's the code page, it also has an aspect ratio of .79:1. This is really important because the code page matches almost exactly the ratio of the back cover of the JW Rubaiyat:

5. This next image below highlights the 'Yapped' edge which matches the Yapped edge surround of the JW Rubaiyat. What has been done here is to match the code page to a copy of the Courage & Friendship series produced by Whitcombe and Tombs. Why is this important? Because as far as I am aware the code page has always been thought to have come from a copy of the Rubaiyat as represented in item 2 above showing the grainy covers. That book cover has a ratio of .75 to 1, well short of the .70 ratio of the JW version.

6. This image below shows how the code page could have looked on the back cover of the paperback book, I have edited it so that it has a transparent background, that allows us to view the letters of the code in place on the back of the book. You should still be able to make out the faint lines of the Yapped edges beneath. Bear in mind that the Police say they only saw indented writing and that with the aid of a UV light.

You can download the next image, the transparent image of the code page:

There is a free editing tool you can download, IrfanView, that you can use to view and magnify the above image. I think you may be surprised at what you see amongst the letters and the shaded areas when magnified. The image that you see here is a transparent one against the black background of the blog page

7. The final image for this post shows the complete book as it was said to have been found by a Mr. Francis.

The Code page as published on the University of Adelaide Wiki, and as obtained from the Advertiser Newspaper had dimensions of 1800pixels X 1402 pixels and at 400 DPI which converts approximately to 11.4 cms X  9.2 cms. The aspect ratio was based on that set of dimensions. The dimensions of the back page of JW Courage and Friendship version of the Rubaiyat are 11.4 X 9.2 cms. You can expect a slight variation in dimensions due to wear and tear on the book cover

This completes the first of a few such posts that hopefully will provide everyone with a clearer understanding of the nature of the Rubaiyat that was found. Comments are very welcome.

The next post will look more closely at another most interesting aspect of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam book found and associated with the Somerton Man.

I use a number of different software tools including IrfanView, it is a free photo viewing tool that you can download here.

With this tool you will be able to quickly load and enlarge any of the images you find in this or other posts. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Somerton Man: A Note for Dave

Well Dave, the followers of your site have been busy! Lots of troll-type comments, slander and defamation running amok.

The sadness is that you started off with some good information and quickly went downhill. I wrote a decent article and left it open for people to make their own decisions, in fact, you commented on that. Unfortunately, on that same day, the trolls began their attacks on this blog and via the contact us page. That led me to believe in quick order that you and the trolls were linked.

A comment was made on your blog about the fact that IP addresses and other information is tracked and recorded here which it most certainly is and it is done to protect the privacy and security of the many good people that visit this blog.

As you know, Trolls also have a habit of hacking email accounts, facebook accounts and have even been known to take bank details from their unsuspecting victims. I owe it to visitors here to look after their interest as best I possibly can and prevent Trolls accessing this blog.

On that subject of recording information, I have to tell  you that all email addresses, telephone numbers, physical coordinates, addresses and IP addresses are being recorded on your blog right now. Every name and contact details are captured and have been pretty much from day 1.

I suggest that you inform everyone who visits your blog that this is the case and that the information could well be shared. There is no hiding place for the slanderers and those that would defame and denigrate me or anyone else that is mentioned on your blog for that matter.

Remove the defamatory and slanderous remarks Dave.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Somerton Man: More on Dave's Rubaiyat?

The Cover From Dave's ROK

MISCA & DIANE, This could be of interest for you both, I think you can see what the situation is and that at least here you will find factual information.

As you can see, the cover contains a list of 9 titles that were in the Courage & Friendship series published by Whitcombe and Tombs.

At the base of the list and highlighted, it clearly states that all 'Attractively Produced in Two colours' Yet, on the right of the page in the second highlighted area you can see that it is in black and white or grayscale.

W&T established in Christchurch in 1882 with offices in major cities in NZ and an office and distribution facilities in 332 Collins Street, Melbourrne dating back to the 1930s I understand, produced thousands of books with printing work for the Australian Government including Miltary Manuals (12)(Tommy Gun, Rifle & Bayonet), can you honestly see a large and expanding company put their reputation at risk by producing shoddy, amateur work as is shown in Dave's hardback copy?

I had advised Dave he should do two things:

1. Have the book examined by the NZ Print museum, they would be able to immediately tell him the nature of the book.

2. Produce images of the Copyright and Publisher information page that are in all of W&T's books.

To help out a little, here's a link to a download of a full copy of a Courage & Friendship series version of the Rubaiyat. You will see that it does indeed have a Copyright and Biographical Note page and even an inscription. This is a later version having 11 titles in the Courage & Friendship series. Notice, in particular, the quality of the binding and the spacing. I have placed hidden watermarks etc in this downloaded version.

For the serious minded, I did a local library search and there is a 1942 W&T Fitzgerald first edition copy of the Rubaiyat in Melbourne University Library and available to the public. I do not know what series it is or whether it is hardback or paperback. Worth a call.

For all those who have posted derogatory comments on Dave's site regarding this blog and myself, get your facts straight and read what I have said carefully before launching into personal attacks.

I publish facts here, I don't stray from that and I will continue to stand by that rule.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Somerton Man: Infrared Luminescence Images, Initial Results

Initial Images: IR Project

The image above is an example of what can be achieved using Infrared Luminescence as a method to uncover obliterated writing. As you can see the results can be quite astounding. The advent of LED IR lights plus strobe effects certainly does make a big difference for those involved in forensic document/image examination

The equipment requirement for effective recovery of obliterated writing is quite expensive so at this stage, we have to innovate and adapt to the current situation.

The first image is the word 'Repentance' from line 1 of Jestyn's verse 70 to Alf Boxall. I have marked up two areas, the R and the t, that have shown up quite well given that this is the first effort with the IR technique. Bear in mind we are talking about code that is sub .5mm in height.

Next, the focus is on the dash from line 2 of Verse 70 written by Jestyn for Alf Boxall. For the first effort with an improvised IR rig, it is not too bad. You should be able to make out the string of micro numbers beginning with an x in the lighter area of the dash, the sloped line into the letter B next to the dash also contains microcode but not as clear.

Finally a group of letters from lines 3 and 4 of Verse 70. The C and then the S from the word 'Spring' and then the upstroke of the letter P and the T from 'Penitence'. In each, you will be able to see microcode.

I would like to make it very clear, that the formation of letters and numbers all properly aligned within larger letters in a digital format is not present by accident. The microcode was put there by hand. I have read recently how one untrained, unskilled and unqualified observer made the totally incorrect statement that 'letters and numbers can be found in any digital image' Well, that's called unconscious incompetence, you don't know what you don't know. 

There is more work to do and some learning ahead in getting the right settings to ensure a clear output and hopefully, we can get to the standard shown in the first image at the top of this post.

I have done some initial views of the torn piece and the code page and they are showing a lot of promise. In particular, the code page top right, the area between the end of the first and second lines and the dark stain, has some really interesting numbers showing up. Again, more work is needed at this time.