Somerton Man: The Tamam Shud Mystery

krakenten

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#3
Stephen King said it best, commenting on " The Colorado Kid", his take on this mystery-he doubted it would ever be solved, the important thing was that the investigation continues.

Many mysteries date yo WWII, and just after. The massive dislocation of people, the destruction of records, cover ups and the beginning of the Cold War all fostered strange stories and distortions of the truth.

Perhaps he was a spy. Or a disappointed lover. A mentally disturbed person who plotted out a suicide that would puzzle the authorities? Or a combination thereof? All have been suggested.

There are marginal people who live messy lives and meet untidy ends. The suggestion of some connection to merchant marine employment is interesting.

No conclusion presents, and the case remains open.
 
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#6
There's an article on the Tamám Shud case on Mike Dash's blog: The Body on Somerton Beach.

(Am I sufferning from an early morning bout of déjà vu? I thought the case had been discussed relatively recently, but there doesn't seem to be a dedicated thread and I can't for the life of me think where else it might have been.)
 
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#9
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#10
ramonmercado said:
Its a planted memory. THEY are experimenting on you again.
As long as it's not those bloody probes again - I couldn't sit down for a fortnight.

I tell you, if you're ever approached by someone who says they live on Saturn, don't ever use that traditional northern expression of disbelief, 'My Arse!!' - it's liable to misconstrued as an invitation.
 
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#11
Spookdaddy said:
ramonmercado said:
Its a planted memory. THEY are experimenting on you again.
As long as it's not those bloody probes again - I couldn't sit down for a fortnight.

I tell you, if you're ever approached by someone who says they live on Saturn, don't ever use that traditional northern expression of disbelief, 'My Arse!!' - it's liable to misconstrued as an invitation.
Suggest Uranus instead.
 

krakenten

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#12
A few aspects of the case are less important than might seem-the 'secret pocket' was a watch pocket,common at the time, and as for dental records, in the days before computers, and even now, knowing where to look is most important.

The oddity of the feet might come from wearing western boots, or Cuban heels.

Espionage? A wartime romance?

One of the classics.
 

Loquaciousness

The misuse of the word "fact" annoys me
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#15
Thanks for those other links - they made for interesting reading over lunch !
 

GNC

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#16
Spookdaddy said:
(Am I sufferning from an early morning bout of déjà vu? I thought the case had been discussed relatively recently, but there doesn't seem to be a dedicated thread and I can't for the life of me think where else it might have been.)
Yeah, we discussed it in a thread about secret writings of some sort, but it was part of a larger discussion so don't ask me where it is now!
 

krakenten

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#19
I wonder who put Stephen King on to this one? His "The Colorado Kid" is this case translated to the USA.

Too many facts can be worse than too few.

Many cases are swamped by irrelevant details that seem important, but turn out to be coincidence or random chance.

Great case!
 

krakenten

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#20
From reading everything on the web, I get the idea this may be a simple suicide.

Some people will go to great lengths to make their suicide a mystery. Perhaps a last bit of spite? A bid for attention from the grave? Some suicides are accomplished with complex devices, often called ''Goldbergs'', after Rube Goldberg's cartoons.

Nothing about the case makes much sense, but a fellow taking a lethal dose of digitalis and smoking a last cigarette, perhaps after being rejected by his lover? That makes sense. With a 'secret code' for a red herring? Or some other,mundane explanation, such as a puzzle to while away some travel time?

Does anyone know if Jestyn is pronounced 'Justine'? If so, other avenues open, but offer small help.

The early Post-War years were unsettled and turbulent.
 

krakenten

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#21
Before people think I'm some troll, just spouting foolishness, may I say that I've had over thirty years experience in investigations, civil and criminal and more than fifty years looking into mysteries on my own, as a hobby. I'm a skeptic, but a thoughtful one. I have also published many horror stories, I've gotten a few good ideas here.

When I read this story something tickled my memory. Then I recalled a case from about ten years ago. Two artists were having some drinks in a new home in a neighborhood 'in transition'.

A man entered with a large knife-neither man knew him- and the homeowner blew him up with a pistol grip shotgun, and tied him up while waiting for the police. He died on the way to the hospital.

There was a trial, in the course of which it was revealed that all efforts to identify the man were futile, he remains unknown to this day.

Even today there are people who live on the margins, and have rather tenuous identities.
 

MercuryCrest

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#25
I just ran across this little gem (thanks, Reddit!):

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 que­stion 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.

"She told the police that she didn't know who he was and certainly I know nothing," Kate tells 60 Minutes .

"She did (know) and she told me that it is a mystery that was only known to a level higher than the police force."

The Somerton Man is one of Australia's most enduring and baffling Cold Case mysteries since his body was discovered on December 1, 1948.

According to 60 Minutes he was last seen knocking on the door of Jessica's house but she was not home.

He walked in the direction of Somerton Beach where his body was later found lying against a seawall.

Numerous items were found in his pockets , including a used bus ticket an unused rail ticket to Henley Beach. All labels to his clothes were cut off. His wallet was missing.

He died of unnatural causes, most probably due to poisoning.

Police later found a piece of rolled-up paper with the words "Tamam Shud", meaning "it is finished", found deep in a fob pocket sewn within the dead man's trouser pocket.

It was torn from a copy of the Persian book The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam - which was thrown into a doctor's car, parked outside his home at Somerton Beach, on the night of November 30, 1948.

The book had Jessica's unlisted phone number inside.

All police records relating to the case have been destroyed and Jessica, the one tangible link to his identity, is dead.

Jessica also had a son, Robin, to another man.

Robin's wife Roma Egan and their daughter, Rachel, have now come forward claiming Robin was the progeny of the Somerton Man and Jessica Thomson.

They are backing a new bid by Adelaide University physicist and Somerton Man expert Professor Derek Abbott to exhume the Somerton Man's body from his West Terrace Cemetery grave.

"It may be confronting, it may not be pleasant but I'd rather find out the truth," Rachel tells 60 minutes.

"Somerton Man is potentially my grandfather. So that to me is very important."

Prof Abbott has lodged a fresh application with Attorney-General John Rau to have the body exhumed.

"The imperative to identify this unknown man is on par with the current practice of identifying unidentified WWI and WWII graves for bringing closure to their families, and there is a considerable general public interest in the case to do so," he wrote in the November 21 letter to Mr Rau.

"In terms of specific public interest, there is a potential descendant of the unknown man living in Australia and I am now able to verify a compelling likelihood of this based on both historical proximity and anatomical evidence."

In October 2011, Mr Rau rejected a similar application stating that there needed to be "public interest reasons that go well beyond public curiosity or broad scientific interest".
That's the relevant bit from this article: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/...sh-claims-emerge/story-fni6uo1m-1226766905157
 

GNC

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#26
Even if they do prove a DNA link with these women, there will still be big questions about the case. Could be a step in the right direction, though nobody's left alive to make facts certain one way or another, I'd have thought, unless there's a top secret file hidden in a dusty cabinet somewhere.
 

krakenten

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#27
If true, this opens many avenues.

There were many parts of the Soviet Union where travel by horseback was commonplace. The odd condition of the man's feet might be from dancing, which is a Russian tradition, to include 'knuckle dancing' done on the joints of the toes. Lord knows what that does to a person's feet.

Remember, it was suspected that he was a dancer?

If he was a Soviet agent, also remember, the mariner's unions were full of Communists, and that being a seaman is a very good cover for a spy.

The police handled the nurse very gingerly, could it be she was in fact, counter-intelligence?

This one is far from dead.
 

Password_denied

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#28
Somerton Man

Mysterious dead body known as 'Somerton Man' that washed up on a beach 67 years ago with a strange note in his trouser pocket will be exhumed

(OK the article is from the Daily Mail)
 
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#29
After years of forensic investigation, Somerton Man's identity remains a mystery (Part 1: History and Code)

(Phys.org)—As one of Australia's most infamous cold case mysteries, the enigma of the Somerton Man deals with a haunting situation: a man is found dead on a beach, and no one steps forward to identify him. While it's common for people to go missing and never be found, this case is the opposite: a person's body is found, but no one seems to have missed him.

Who was the Somerton Man, and where did he come from? Many people have been trying to answer these questions for a long time with little success. Recently, investigators have applied the latest forensics science techniques to the case in hopes of finding some answers, although the mystery is still far from being solved.

Over the past few years, one of the principle scientific investigators of the case has been Derek Abbott, a professor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, the city in which the incident occurred. ...

http://phys.org/news/2015-06-years-forensic-somerton-identity-mystery.html
 
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#30
(Phys.org)—This is the second part of a two-part story about the forensic investigation of the Somerton Man. Read "Part 1: History and Code" here.

DNA testing

If the cryptographic analysis reaches a dead end, the question of the Somerton Man's identity can also be approached by testing his DNA and comparing it to that of millions of other individuals on genealogical databases.

For now, Abbott and other investigators have access only to DNA from the man's hair samples, which are preserved in a museum. Although the teeth would provide the best source of DNA, so far it has not been possible to exhume the body, since this involves fulfilling various legal requirements from the Attorney General of South Australia.

As Abbott explained, three types of DNA can be tested: mtDNA (inherited maternally), YDNA (inherited paternally), and autosomal DNA (inherited from both sides).

"Autosomal DNA is what's needed, and that's how adopted kids can find their biological parents, by a blind search," Abbott said. "It is inherited from both sides of the family, and when you put it in a genealogical database, you can get matches with recent relatives going up to about fifth cousin. By finding your web of cousins, you can triangulate their family trees and work out your unknown parents."

But the catch with autosomal DNA is that the concentration levels per human cell are much lower than the levels of mtDNA and YDNA. When dealing with human hair that is more than 60 years old, sufficient DNA extraction is a very difficult problem. ...

http://phys.org/news/2015-06-years-forensic-somerton-identity-mystery_1.html#ms
 
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