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Friday, 17 October 2014

Somerton Man: Fingerprinting Somerton Man, Professor Abbott Was Wrong..


How Fingerprints Are Taken From the Deceased


Professor Abbott Was Wrong

In a comment on Reddit yesterday, Professor Abbott was asked about the Somerton Man's fingerprints, the questioner focused on the fingerprint card with it's missing signatory and other information and also on the actual fingerprints.

The following question was put to him:

"I can see that you are really busy here but if I could ask you again about the markings on the thumb, first and middle fingers, they appeared to be consistent with an engraver's or similar hand. In particular I am referring to the grip between the thumb and fingers. Would you agree that at least it substantiates the claim that the fingerprints were of a right handed man?"

To which the Professor replied:


"It is a stretch to draw any conclusions from the blotchiness of the prints. It is not easy fingerprinting a dead body and getting all the prints lined up on a neat little chart. There are many other ways to substantiate that he was right handed. I have discussed these in my replies further down this page. I would rely on those and disregard the prints on the issue of handedness."

The Truth is...

FBI Ima
The Somerton Man fingerprints were taken by James Patrick Durham, an acknowledged expert in his field as a scenes of crime man and lauded for his achievements. It is apparent that either Professor Abbott has been misguided by someone or he simply did not do the research, either way he got it significantly wrong. I say this because taking fingerprints from deceased persons is par for the course in Police work, it is easy to take fingerprints from the deceased, and the Police have and had at the time numerous ways it can be successfully done. Jimmy Durham knew his job and did it well. He would have had the tools to do it.


The Clues

The clues provided by the Somerton Man's fingerprints are vital, they tell us about his handedness and possible occupation. The markings on the right thumb, first and middle fingers show signs of wear which would support the view that he was right handed and that his occupation would have involved gripping a tool or instrument between his thumb and fingers. 

It has been already suggested that he may have been involved in engraving or leather work, we can add to that that he possibly was a violinist, cellist or a guitarist all of whom have similar grips however the fingers on the left hand would also show signs f wear due to the strings of the various instruments.









There are tools designed for the job called 'spoons' for example and even special ink rollers for the purpose:














There are other less savoury ways in which this can achieved but not wishing to spoil anyone's meal I'll limit the description to 'snippers' and 'straighteners'.

In the same series of questions the Professor did not know how fingerprints were distributed, the questioner, JAFO4, rightly said by photographs and referred to wire transfer of images but doubted their use for fingerprints. Here's an image of a Western Union early facsimile machine that was used to transmit fingerprints from the late 20's onwards:

Western Union Early Facsimile Machine Circa 1926


With all due respect to you Professor Abbott, this is an error on your behalf and your statements could mislead people who are genuinely doing their best to find answers. They put great faith in you and your statements, it behoves you to live up to their expectations and deliver complete answers minus any generalities and plus supporting evidence.


There are other blogs who, with a wave of their inexperienced, ill informed, unconsciously incompetent hands and surrounded by trolls 'wash over' and otherwise distort sound information in the Somerton Man case to the extent that it has taken on elements of cyber bullying in some instances. It simply is not tolerable and needs to be faced down whenever it appears and by whomever it is published.


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Monday, 13 October 2014

Somerton Man: Keane, Secret Aircraft Production, The Code Page & A Communist

de Havilland Venom


More to come on this post, not as simple as some would think. 8th October 2014

About This Post

This is a lengthy post and there's great deal of background information that I wouldn't normally include but in this case I think it is particularly relevant. To give you an exec brief of the post, what we have is a known communist whose files have been held by ASIO since March 1949, Edward John Rice. He is before a Commission of Enquiry and a man named Keane is referred to as speaking out against Rice's political position and inflammatory statements by reporting him. We also have some detail on Lawrence (Lance) Louis Sharkey the then Chairman of the Communist Party in Australia on record as having suggesting the use of killing 'scabs' and strike breakers. Six years after this Commission of Enquiry, a man with the name Keane written on some of the clothing found in his suitcase, is found dead on Somerton Beach, he had been poisoned. This man has never been identified.

Does this mean that the man on Somerton Beach was the man 'Keane' from Fisherman's Bend? Does it mean that the Communist Party of Australia had a hand in the events leading up to the discovery of the body? The only way we will find out is to investigate the information provided here, There are numerous leads to be followed up not the least of which is information and photographs of the man Keane. There are a number of links and other starting points in this post and I look forward to comments and feedback from our audience which, by the way, has now cracked 2000 visits per month.

There are a number of links at the bottom of this page that those interested can follow and find additional information.


But first, here's the text version of the Newspaper article above:


TEXT VERSION:

'Once a Communist, Says Machinist SYDNEY.-He ceased to be a member of the Communist Party before it was declared an illegal organisation, Edward John Rice, machinist, said at the inquiry today into his suspension five weeks ago by the management of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.
In his evidence Rice told the Commissioner of Inquiry that stewards.had made a round of the various departments, and had called for applications from employees willing to join the Volunteer Defence Corps in the factory. It was considered by shop stewards that a V.D.C. should operate. Not quite 60 applications had been received. Replying to Mr. Lamaro (assisting the Commissioner). Rice said he had no knowledge whether 70 or 80 per cent. of the applications had been from members of the Communist Party. 

Referring to a report of the personnel superintendent (Mr. Edmonds) that Rice and his colleagues had tried to control the air-raid precaution organisation In the factory. Rice said that the only approach they had made to the Minister for National Emergency Services (Mr. Heffron) was through a shop committee. The statement by Edmonds that he had told Naylor, a company official, that he had been to V.D.C. headquarters and had obtained permission to form a unit was more or less correct. 

NOTE THE AUTHOR Rice said that an article in 'The Bomber' dealing with canteens was not written by himself. He was only one of an editorial board of four members which had passed it for publication. Questioned regarding the evidence by Mrs. Dawkins. manageress of a benefits society controlled by the employees, Rice denied that he had asked her for paragraphs for the paper dealing with gossip-and scandal, or that he had threatened her that if she did not give him the materials he wanted he would influence the committee controlling her activities to withdraw support from her. Rice also denied a statement made by Mrs. Dawkins that he had spoken to her about the insecuritv of her position. 

Mr. Ashburner (for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation).- What is the organisation that you report to at Daking House every afternoon when you leave this court? Rice--I never visit Daking House. Isn't it a fact that you are in favour of a revolution in this country?---No. I am not. Do you remember when you were distributing literature in the factory telling a man named Keane that, "'My one wish above all is to lead a revolution in this country, and when the shooting starts you want to shoot fast"?- No. I never said anything like that. You produce this man- Mr. Ashburner·-Don't worry. he will be produced. (Proceeding)'

Lance Sharkey

NOTE: For researchers, There is a trail that leads by default to Lance Sharkey who was Chairman of the CPA http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=2248
(Communist Party of Australia) until 1948. This included the years 1940 to 1942 when the Communist Party was driven underground as a result of it being a banned organisation. It is said he directly contributed to the Malaysian insurrection in 1948 and in one instance is said to have told Malaysian Communists that the way to deal with 'scabs', (strike breakers) was to eliminate them. He qualified that by saying that this should happen only in the country areas and not the big cities. In particular he mentioned the mining industry.

You will note the interesting ear shape, this man could not be SM as he survived until 1968. The Ear may be of interest for other comparisons hopefully carried out by a properly qualified person/organisation. There are few images found of this man thus far, this particular one dates to the 1930's, he would have been around 52 years old in 1948.

In 1949, Sharkey was put on trial for sedition and was imprisoned for 3 years with hard labour. Was he guilty? Here's a link to an article written by Harold Rich, Sharkey's solicitor at the trial:
https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sections/australia/1949/sharkey-trial.htm
There is ample further information to be found on the web.

Keane

The name of Keane or  T. Keane has long been associated with the Somerton Man Case with case being the operative word as it was in the suitcase found at Adelaide Railway Station that this name was found on a number of items including a tie, a white laundry bag and some items of underwear,

People have searched far and wide for this person who has proven to be quite elusive. Local searches extended to Australia wide searches with numerous candidates put forward; to this point, all have been eliminated. Adelaide University has long ago given up the search which I suspect is more down to the attitude of  'If it isn't a simple answer then it must be wrong'.  

Having said that, giving in when you hit a hurdle is not something that I nor colleague Pete Bowes can live with and so I put forward yet another Keane only this time, we have a link that in my view brings together a man named Keane, the Communist Party, secret aircraft manufacture and a union organiser called Edward John Rice. The link to the Somerton Man Case is via the code page where an aircraft name, the Venom, was detected adds to the puzzle, read more below. (You may recall that some time ago we posed the question of Venom or Venona, we have dealt to an extent with the Venona possibility and now we have the Venom to investigate.)

Edward John Rice

This man is of great interest and this is not meaning any disrespect to his descendants. He was a known Communist prior to the hearing described in the newspaper article that heads this post and he does have a file on NAA which you are able to search. You will find it is held by ASIO and it has been since March 1949 so we do not know much about this man nor have I been able to find any images of him. I am sure there are some quality researchers out there who could find the appropriate information and perhaps images as well as details on the Victorian Branch of the Communist Party.

That's the summation of the newspaper article, top secret aircraft production at the time of the newspaper article, Communist activity suspected and two names; KEANE as a witness to the pro Communist activities of EDWARD JOHN RICE. There are a number of other leads in the article including the Volunteer Defence Corps issue, 'The Bomber' publication and Mrs. Dawkins, the Manageress of the Employee Benefits Society.

The Code Page & The Venom

Regular visitors to this blog will recall a post made some time ago regarding the finding of the following micro words and numbers on the Somerton Man code page and beneath the letters S and A in the last line of the code:

2YRS 42

Venom X4512


Earlier investigations suggested that the X4512 closely matched a tender document for the
De Havilland Venom aircraft which was issued in 1942.

1942 was the same year that the DH Vampire Jet first flew in the UK, the Vampire being the forerunner to the Venom. Read more on the Vampire below.

For those who are interested, the orange colour is applied on to the base image on the right to highlight aspects/characters on the code page.

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation had a facility at Fisherman's Bend in Victoria and it's main purpose through the war years was to firstly produce Wirraway fighters then Beaufort Bombers and later Beaufighters for the RAAF. In the post war years they progressed to Stirling Bomber assembly and then on to the building of components for the de Havilland Vampire, at the time the world's fastest Jet fighter and forerunner to the Venom.

The Vampire first flew in fact in 1942 in the UK and it is believed that first tenders/expressions of interest for building the Venom were also released in 1942, it taking many months and even years for an aircraft to be designed and built. An example would be the Vampire which although first flying in 1942 it was 1945 before it was in front line service in the UK and 1947 before it was produced in Australia,

Fisherman's Bend Production

The place where it all came together, all the components including engines were assembled here and each aircraft flew from the airfield adjacent to the factory.

Below is a rare promotional video showing the operations at Fisherman's Bend in 1941:

video


Fisherman's Bend Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.


 

An Adelaide Connection

The smartness of the design was such that the Beauforts and later, Vampires were actually made in separate sections and in different locations including Fisherman's Bend in Victoria, Chulora in New South Wales and Islington Railway Workshops in Adelaide. In Adelaide they made the Main Plane or central components of the aircraft. What makes this information of value is that this assembly method gives us an Adelaide connection, it could be that Rice and perhaps even Keane would have travelled between Fisherman's Bend and Islington as part of their employment.

This being the case then you could ask the question, would they as employees of the CAC have
needed a railway ticket or would they have been issued with a travel warrant that was handed in on completion of their journeys?


ISLINGTON RAILWAY WORKSHOPS 1942



Chulora NSW

Chulora appeared to have been the busiest of the three locations charged with making the rear fuselage and central/cockpit/forward areas of the Beaufort:










For all researchers, Fisherman's Bend is in Victoria and the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation was set up in 1936 to head off a perceived gap between Australian and Japanese military aircraft production capability. As things transpired it was an extraordinarily wise move given the vents in Dunkirk and the UK notifying Australia in 1941 that they could not expect any further shipments of weapons or military aid for the foreseeable future.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Aircraft_Factories

For those interested, here's a link to a large photo gallery of Marxists over the years: 
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/album/index69.htm

Northern Star, Lismore NSW, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
Dismissal of Worker COMMUNIST ALLEGATIONS DENIED

Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
NO LONGER A COMMUNIST Dismissed Man's Evidence

Daily Advertiser, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
RICE INQUIRY V.D.C. UNIT FORMED FOREMEN "ON THE MAT"

West Australian, Perth, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
AIRCRAFT EMPLOYEE. Inquiry Into Suspension.

Barrier Daily Truth, Broken Hill, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
SUSPENSION INQUIRY AT COMMONWEALTH AIRCRAFT FACTORY SYDNEY, August 3.

Canberra Times, ACT, Tuesday 4th August 1942:
AIRCRAFT WORKER Suspension Inquiry SYDNEY, Monday.

Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Saturday 1st August 1942:
SUSPENSION INQUIRY "Political Issue Feared"

Daily Advertiser, Wednesday 5th August 1942:
Rice Suspension, Security Department Intervention
Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 5th August 1942
Inquiry Into SuspensionYou will notice that in the Daily Advertiser dated 5th August link that another man's name is mentioned, a Mr. Charles Keenan, however in another article from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 5th August he is also referred to as Frank Keenan, whether this is the same man we have as Keane is a matter to be researched. Which reporter got it right? The only definitive way to prove that it was not Keane is to research the employee names of CAC at the time. Any experienced takers?

I would stress that this at this point is a tenuous link and further research is being undertaken in the UK and here in Australia but it does seem more than coincidental that we have Adelaide, Keane, secret aircraft manufacture, ASIO and the CPA all mentioned and connected in the one post.


Somerton Man: Keane Tie, Trousers & Laundry Marks


Keane Tie With Laundry Marks?





I first posted on this subject 3.5 years ago whilst involved with an Adelaide University Facebook page. What you read here is a summation of the post and additional work done since that time.
In this post we'll look at the Keane Tie, the difference between laundry marks and dry cleaning marks, evidence that suggests that the marks have been written over, view more evidence that supports the Somerton Man was indeed right handed and show the brand name on the man's trousers.
More than a few people have been searching to find a T. Keane, the name and initial actually came from this tie, From my perspective that is not a letter T, it is more likely to be a number 7.

Let's go through the logic:
1. The other items bearing the name are two singlets and a white laundry bag, one with a spelling KEANE and the other apparently with the name spelt without the 'E' at the end. Having said that I would agree with Professor Abbot when he suggests that the 'E' may have washed or worn off, quite possible.

2. The image at the head of this post is a tie which looks to have been of a coarse material, but possibly man made, we do not know the kind of material from which the other garments were made. The laundry bag I believe was linen or similar.

The image to the right is a set of US Army Officer's ties with the 2nd in from the left being similar in texture to the Keane tie.


3.  The fact that it's a laundry bag is our clue, underwear would normally be laundered and not dry cleaned. The practice at the time to my best understanding was put them in a bag with a name on it then to identify each item to be laundered and place them in the bag.

4. Having said that it was quite common in those days for both dry cleaning and laundry to be processed on the same premises, the owner would bag everything up and hand their items in. 

5. Here's one view, the number '7' I referred to earlier could represent the 7th. item in the bag, singlets, underpants perhaps a shirt/collar  and a pair of trousers? That would make up the 7 items.

The image to the below is of a shirt with the owners name written on the collar, I found this some 3 or 4 years ago when first looking at the Keane issue. You will note that the band arund the shirt is actually from a dry cleaners but the shirt has been laundered indicating that it's one of those dual purpose shops that did both laundry and dry cleaning.

 




Dry Cleaning & Laundry Marks
I differentiate between Laundry Marks and Dry Cleaning marks, here's a close up of the Dry Cleaning marks found written on the rear pocket of the man's trousers:


Dry cleaning marks have numbers and apparently the last number represents the number of items in this particular order for dry cleaning. So, in the above you can see 3 sets of numbers, the first interestingly has 7 items, the next set has 3 items and the last set has just one item.

Laundry marks, to all accounts, were quite different often with a name being written directly onto the fabric. There are some very well experienced people including Byron Deveson who have carried out extensive research into this specific issue. If you are viewing this Byron, your contribution would be greatly appreciated.

The practice at the time was to write directly on to the items being cleaned. My understanding is that it was quite common to have both laundry and dry cleaning carried out in the same premises so a joint laundry/dry cleaning order was likely.

This being the case then the first number set of 1171/7 could be the same order which the tie formed a part of and hence the number 7 ahead of Keane.

Now let's look a little closer. Did you notice anything different or odd about the tie marking and the dry cleaning marks?

They're all quite dark, let's illustrate that, here's a picture of the trousers with a Detective pointing out the dry cleaning marks:

Notice how in the image to the right, the markings look to be quite faint, one reason for that is that the trousers had been cleaned of course and thus the numbers would have faded. In fact three sets of numbers suggests 3 separate cleaning events over a period of time which in turn means that one set would be relatively new and the other two progressively older and therefore more faded. At least they should be but they're not. Why is that?

I think this is due to the numbers and the marking on the tie and the trousers being overwritten by the Police to make them more readily visible.







In the image to the left you  may notice that the forward pocket has been folded over, you can see that to the right of pocket being pointed out. If you download this image and enlarge it you will be able to see where the right hand trouser pocket was repaired purportedly using the Barbour's thread found in the suitcase. The fact that it's the right hand pocket that needed repair supports the notion that the Somerton Man was indeed right handed.

The reason why a dry cleaning number wasn't placed on the tie is because it wasn't dry cleaned, it was laundered. Some items were simply not suitable for dry cleaning dependent on the nature of the fabric so the logic says that the items that can be dry cleaned will have numbers written on them that will with stand the harsh chemicals used in dry cleaning. However those items that are not able to be dry cleaned according to their type will need to be put through the laundry which requires a different kind of marking.

If this theory is correct then the initial 'T' never actually existed. The name KEANE is what everyone should be looking for.

For the record, if you look carefully at the image of the pocket with the laundry marks, you should be able to make out the brand name on the trousers, which I make out to be 'Elasta Strap'.  This is mentioned in the Gerry Feltus book, The Unknown Man, well worth reading and you can see the link to the right of this post.

To view the wording on the label you will need to rotate the image 180 degrees.You will also see that the material near to the seam is quite rough, apparently that was a method used at the time to provide a level of re-enforcing seams. Many garments similar to these trousers were made on a contract out sourced basis where women would take this kind of work into their homes and make the make the garment up.

Of note is that according to legend, laundry and dry cleaning marks were used by espionage agents as were handkerchiefs. There is no record of the SA Police having subjected any of the clothing to tests that would have revealed anything unusual or suspicious.

There is as always more research that can yet be done including finding out more  about dry cleaning and laundry methods of the time and how common it was for dry cleaning and laundry establishments to be combined. Maybe Byron will see this and lend a hand. I know we have a number of schools and colleges that follow this blog and I hope this makes an interesting part of your projects.

Please feel free to comment on this post, your contributions and thoughts are always welcome and valued.

Useful Links:

Popular Science June 1940, Laundry Marks

Searching Librarian, a mention of John Ruffles who did an enormous amount of research on this subject. I was privileged to be on a Facebook group with John, a very knowledgeable man who appears in one or two of the documentaries.

Modern Mechanix 1936