Photo of the dead man found on Somerton Beach, Adelaide, on the morning of 1 December 1948. The Tamám Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is an unsolved case of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 am, 1 December 1948, on the Somerton Park beach, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. 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. Tags: alfred boxall, bickford terrace, Bryant & May matches, children home, coroner cleland, detective brown, detective canney, Detective Sergeant Leane, freeman, gordon strapps, jessica harkness, jestyn, john burton … Whatever the case, its placement in a book of poetry is almost more interesting. Police went to the media with the new finding in the hope that somebody would be able to identify the book the scrap had been torn from. You're right ! It emphasises the transient, fleeting nature of existence: A Moment’s Halt – a momentary taste Of Being from the Well amid the Waste – And Lo! The implication that Somerton man had used the book as an impetus to suicide is obvious. Unless more evidence appears soon, the death of the Somerton man will forever remain a mystery. [90], In October 2019, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman granted approval for his body to be exhumed to extract DNA for analysis. [19] About the same time, Ina Harvey, the receptionist from the Strathmore Hotel opposite Adelaide railway station, revealed that a strange man had stayed in Room 21 or 23 for a few days around the time of the death, checking out on 30 November 1948. The discovery was made by Mr J. Lyons, of Whyte Rd, Somerton. They felt the distinct possibility that somebody was deliberately trying to mislead them. [107] The two were found by Neil McRae[note 7] of Largs Bay, who claimed he had seen the location of the two in a dream the night before. Most accounts state that the book was found in an unlocked car parked in Jetty Road, Glenelg – either in the rear floor well, or on the back seat. Since we know Jessica Thompson was in the habit of giving copies of the Rubaiyat to men she knew, and Somerton Man's copy contained her unlisted telephone number, it's safe to assume the two were acquainted. [5] The contents of the boy's stomach were sent to a government analyst for further examination. If Kate Thompson's suspicion about her mother are correct they have particularly dark implications considering both Somerton Man and George Marshall died in strange circumstances within a mile of where Jessica Thompson was living at the time. It is perhaps the book and cipher that is most redolent of spying, evoking as it does countless fictional tales of espionage. [2] There has been intense speculation ever since regarding the identity of the victim, the cause of his death, and the events leading up to it. 14 October 2019: Attorney-General of South Australia grants conditional approval for The Somerton Man to be exhumed in order for a DNA sample to be obtained. “Tamam” basically means “alright” or “exactly”. Public library officials called in to translate the text identified it as a phrase meaning “ended” or “finished” found on the last page of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam . MLIAOI DNA testing would confirm or eliminate this speculation. In a later interview Lawson described her behaviour as being very odd that day. In 1949, Jessica Thomson requested that police not keep a permanent record of her name or release her details to third parties, as it would be embarrassing and harmful to her reputation to be linked to such a case. 4 1. She suggested that her mother and the Somerton man may both have been spies, noting that Jessica Thomson taught English to migrants, was interested in communism, and could speak Russian, although she would not disclose to her daughter where she had learned it or why. The religion of the name Tamam is Muslim. [85], The media have suggested that Robin Thomson, who was sixteen months old in 1948 and died in 2009, may have been a child of either Alf Boxall or the Somerton man and passed off as Prosper Thomson's son. The book crops up no less than three times - the copy linked to the dead man by the scrap of paper bearing the phrase Tamam Shud, the copy Jessica Thompson says she gave to Alf Boxall, and the copy found clutched to the dead body of George Marshall in Sydney in 1945. It is probably the discovery of the book more than anything else that ensures we're still talking about Somerton man 70 years later.
By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies. As it is common that whenever Urdu speaking people end a topic they write "Khatam Shud" at the end which means "The end." Like so many leads in this case, this could prove to be yet another dead end, leaving us no closer to the solution to the mystery. NOTICES: A WARNING: Those site visitors of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Culture should be aware that there are photographs and images of the deceased. 16 October 1912: Prosper Thomson is born in central Queensland. In a small pocket sewn into the waistband of his trousers was a small scrap of paper typeset with the words “Tamám Shud”. Hicks noted the only "fact" not found in relation to the body was evidence of vomiting. As discussed, the lack of documents and the removal and mutilation of the man's clothing labels look like an attempt to obfuscate his identity. This also ensures no motive for the death can be ascertained and no possible likely perpetrators. If you translate this in the perspective of Urdu or Arabic, The words mean Tamam meaning" Fully or Completely or All" in Urdu and Shud meaning Finished or End. [5], In recent years, new evidence has emerged, including an old identification card possibly identifying the Somerton Man as one H. C. Reynolds,[6] and an ongoing DNA analysis of hair roots found on the plaster bust. The tear on the back page is where the words "Tamam Shud" were ripped out from. Perhaps Somerton man was a foreign sailor? Public library officials were called in to translate the note, who identified it as a phrase, meaning "ended" or "finished", found on the last page of a collection of poems called the The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand he folded it, and put it in his fob pocket. The theme of the Rubaiyat is that one should live life to the fullest and have no regrets when it ends. 15 January 1948: Alf Boxall arrives back in Sydney from his last active duty and is discharged from the army in April 1948. [25] With wartime rationing still enforced, clothing was difficult to acquire at that time. Unsolved Casebook is reader-supported. She was 27 years old in 1948. Although far from the Western theatre of the Cold War, Australia was a hotbed of espionage activity in the post-war period, with it playing a key strategic role for both the US and the UK in the period following WW2. This was quickly recognized as being the final words of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, quite a … [66] On 5 December, The Advertiser reported that police were searching through military records after a man claimed to have had a drink with a person resembling the dead man at a hotel in Glenelg on 13 November. There is not a single instance of any of the American intelligence agencies managing to crack such a code. May 1950: Jessica and Prosper Thomson are married. Marshall's death is believed to be a suicide by poisoning and occurred two months before Harkness gave Boxall the inscribed copy of the Rubaiyat. Monday, 18 July 2016. Is British seaman's identity card clue to solving 63-year-old beach body mystery? The Advertiser, then a morning broadsheet, first mentioned the case in a small article on page three of its edition of 2 December 1948. Thompson was visibly shocked and was described by detectives present as "completely taken aback, to the point of giving the appearance that she was about to faint.". The Taman Shud Case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is an unsolved case of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 a.m., 1 December 1948, on Somerton beach in Adelaide, South Australia. Police questioned a woman seen leaving the cemetery but she claimed she knew nothing of the man. The police said this was the first time they knew that such action was needed. A witness who came forward several years later recalled a man knocking on her door the day before Somerton man was found. Could it be they were actually not genuine copies of the book at all but espionage paraphernalia designed to be used as book-ciphers or one-time pads? On the night of November 30, 1948, at least two groups of passersby saw a man who looked like the dead man the jockeys found the following … Rumours that this was an untold and still untellable story of Cold War intrigue persists to this day. All other enquiries proved fruitless. What initially might have been something relatively straightforward like illness or suicide quickly became a whole lot more complex and puzzling by the troubling details of the man's death. [25] All identification marks on the clothes had been removed but police found the name "T. Keane" on a tie, "Keane" on a laundry bag and "Kean" (without the last e) on a singlet, along with three dry-cleaning marks; 1171/7, 4393/7 and 3053/7. [49][54] Boxall was now working in the maintenance section at the Randwick Bus Depot (where he had worked before the war) and was unaware of any link between the dead man and himself. [62], The News, an afternoon tabloid, featured their story of the man on its first page, giving more details of the dead man. The Tamam Shud cipher instead provides its own unique definition of a public and private key cipher provided by the instructions that are carefully camouflaged and contained in the poem itself. It certainly seemed he was not Australian, or if he was he was a frequent traveller abroad. Even the suggestion a country had been penetrated by foreign intelligence could do so much damage that it would routinely be covered up, providing a satisfactory explanation as to why Somerton man had been stripped of all identification. Also in the suitcase was a thread card of Barbour brand orange waxed thread of "an unusual type" not available in Australia—it was the same as that used to repair the lining in a pocket of the trousers the dead man was wearing. It was later determined it roughly translated to “Ended” or “Finished.” A Turkish local at the time contended it rendered as “fed up.” Whilst innocent interpretations can perhaps be found for each, when taken as a whole it's difficult to justify an alternative explanation. Cop finds number and code (or maybe Arabic writing or something) in the book. [68] A third person, James Mack, also viewed the body, initially could not identify it, but an hour later he contacted police to claim it was Walsh. Ominously, like the clothes the man was wearing, almost everything in the suitcase had had its label deliberately mutilated. It turns out that "Tamam Shud" is a Persian phrase which, translated to English, means "finished" and was the phrase that ended a book of ancient Persian poetry known as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The essential principle is that the key to the code in question is a section of text in a book or other commonly available published material. In 1945, at the Clifton Gardens Hotel in Sydney, she had given it to an Australian Army lieutenant named Alf Boxall, who was serving at the time in the Water Transport Section of the Royal Australian Engineers. Somerton man, as he became known for reasons about to become clear, was about 45 years old, in excellent physical condition, with unusually well defined and muscular calfs and smooth well-manicured hands. Between 8:30 a.m. to 10:50 am: There is no satisfactory explanation for what The Somerton Man did during these hours. [84] In May 2009, 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. Was the book some kind of standard issue for spies? 'Tamám shud' is a Persian phrase; it means 'It is ended.' It would turn an obscure John Doe case into one of the most baffling and intriguing mysteries of the entire Cold War. Other researchers have found possible civilian candidates named H.C. Reynolds, but the closest match died in 1953, not 1948. The poem's subject led police to theorise that the man had committed suicide by poison, although there was no other evidence to back the theory. [8] The names were not released to the public until the 1980s as at the time they were "quite easily procurable by the ordinary individual" from a chemist without the need to give a reason for the purchase. This ticket was the first sold of only three issued between 6:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. by this particular ticket clerk for the Henley Beach train. Despite the inconclusive verdict, a major discovery was made at the inquest; initially missed by the pathologists was a small scrap of paper hidden inside the fob watch pocket of Somerton man's trousers. His copy claimed to be a seventh edition published in London by Methuen, but records reveal no such edition was ever produced, the Methuen run ending at the fifth. ". Early 1950: Prosper Thomson's divorce is finalised. [81][self-published source? Answer Save. The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam # 171 poem on top 500 Poems. If he was poisoned it was, therefore, more likely to be something more obscure and esoteric that would not be detected without prior knowledge of its use. [47][92], In June 1945—three years before the death of the Somerton man—a 34-year-old Singaporean named George Marshall (born Joseph Saul Haim Mashal) was found dead in Ashton Park, Mosman, with an open copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam on his chest. Massiha. If a book is used, it is usually required that both sides of the communication use the same edition. “Tamam” basically means “alright” or “exactly”. [50] In an interview many years later, Paul Lawson – the technician who made the cast and was present when Thomson viewed it – noted that after looking at the bust she immediately looked away and would not look at it again. Was Somerton man a spy? Was the unidentified man found dead on an Adelaide beach in 1948 a Cold War spy? In addition to intense public interest in Australia during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Tamám Shud case also attracted international attention. It's a persian word and it means "It ends". Although they commented between themselves that it was odd he was not reacting to the mosquitoes, they had thought it more likely that he was drunk or asleep, and thus did not investigate further. [5] He added that this evidence fit in with the theory that the body may have been brought to Somerton Park beach after the man's death, accounting for the lack of evidence of vomiting and convulsions, which are the two main physiological reactions to poison. There is some reason to believe somebody was looking for Jessica Thompson the day before Somerton man died. [4] In news media, books and other discussions of the case, Thomson was frequently referred to by various pseudonyms, including the nickname "Jestyn" and names such as "Teresa Johnson née Powell". Watches, watch bands, watch chains, watch fobs, pocket watches, watch straps and watch movements. Discover Grave of the Tamam Shud Man in Adelaide, Australia: Dedicated to an "Unknown Man," this grave holds either the remains of a lovelorn suicide or a Cold War spy. "Together with the similarity of ear characteristics, this mole, in a forensic case, would allow me to make a rare statement positively identifying Somerton man as H. C. [40] The timing is significant as the man is presumed, based on the suitcase, to have arrived in Adelaide the day before he was found on the beach. Just days after Somerton man's discovery, the case was as cold as the body on the slab. Both kidneys were congested, and the liver contained a great excess of blood in its vessels. [37] Public library officials called in to translate the text identified it as a phrase meaning "ended" or "finished" found on the last page of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. [105] Lying next to him was his unconscious father, Keith Waldemar Mangnoson. No new findings are recorded and the inquest is ended with an. Strangest of all, the labels in his clothing had been deliberately removed. The heart was of normal size, and normal in every way ...small vessels not commonly observed in the brain were easily discernible with congestion. Police conducted an Australia-wide search to find a copy of the book that had a similarly blank verso. They were soon contacted by a man, who wished to remain anonymous, who had found a rare 1859 Edward FitzGerald translation of the Rubaiyat on the back seat of his unlocked car which had been parked in Glenelg around the time the body was found. Human translations with examples: merci:), click ok, click ok, arieh tamam, amos tiran tamam, tamam tawk ajoute. After six months with no further leads, a coroner's inquest into the mystery man's death finally commenced on June 7th 1949. Was the nameless, mystery man found on Somerton beach really a spy, killed in the course of some clandestine mission? This is a photo of the Somerton man's copy of the Rubaiyat that was published in a newspaper. [22], An autopsy was conducted, and the pathologist estimated the time of death at around 2 a.m. on 1 December.[16]. [4] Other than that, the coroner was unable to reach a conclusion as to the man's identity, cause of death, or whether the man seen alive at Somerton Beach on the evening of 30 November was the same man, as nobody had seen his face at that time. Tamam Shud: | |Tamam Shud| were an Australian |psychedelic| and |progressive rock| and |surf rock|... World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled. This is the case of the Somerton Man, also known as the Taman Shud case. I think this might translate into a message with a meaning like: Genetics Unit, Headquarters, Division B, MK I, Foreign Operators/ions, Headquarters Kentucky. Walsh had left Adelaide several months earlier to buy sheep in Queensland but had failed to return at Christmas as planned. At least some of the evidence can be fit into a scenario of unrequited love, a WW2 dalliance that ended in tragedy on Somerton beach three years later. Several aspects of the Somerton man case are suggestive of spying. For example, if someone's done a good job you can encourage them a little by saying “tamam”. 1994: The Chief Justice of Victoria, John Harber Phillips, studies the evidence and concludes that poisoning was due to digitalis. This does not necessarily mean the person that planted the message killed SM. In a 1978 television interview Stuart Littlemore asks: "Mr Boxall, you had been working, hadn't you, in an intelligence unit, before you met this young woman [Jessica Harkness]. 27 July: Sydney detectives locate and interview the very much alive Alf Boxall. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for Boxall, they found him alive and well and living in Syndey. Woman whose phone number it is says she gave book to a guy who is still alive and has the book intact. A distinctive yarn of orange barbour waxed thread inside the suitcase clinched it - the same orange thread had been used to repair the pocket of Somerton man's trousers. Both the barber thread and the man's coat were of a kind not sold in Australia. Relevance. The spying thesis was clearly credible, and the suspicious silence of those involved only reinforced the idea. The Somerton man edition was an extremely rare 1859 translation by Edward Fitzgerald. Within a few days, the police figured out that these words appear untranslated at the end of the Edward FitzGerald translation of the Rubáiyát, by the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyám. I suppose it might be Persian but have never found a translation which translated those last words. A potential granddaughter's DNA is planned to be compared to the unknown man's to see if it is a match. Undoubtedly, the western agencies had similar departments. He gave Cleland a piece of paper with the names of the two drugs which was entered as Exhibit C.18. "[44] Boxall's army service record suggests that he served initially in the 4th Water Transport Company, before being seconded to the North Australia Observer Unit (NAOU) – a special operations unit – and that during his time with NAOU, Boxall rose rapidly in rank, being promoted from lance corporal to lieutenant within three months. [11], Witnesses who came forward said that on the evening of 30 November, they had seen an individual resembling the dead man lying on his back in the same spot and position near the Crippled Children's Home where the corpse was later found. An inquest was held on 15 August 1945; Gwenneth Dorothy Graham testified at the inquest and was found dead thirteen days later face down, naked, in a bath with her wrists slit. Early 1947: Harkness moves to a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia, and changes her surname to Thomson, the name of her future husband. With more than 500.000 page visits on the subject, we are the leading factual and evidence-based blog with a 7 year history of finding new and important evidence. Phillips, J.H. Kate Thomson opposed the exhumation as being disrespectful to her brother. Interest would periodically be revived, with dozens of people over the years coming forward claiming to know who Somerton man was, but on every single occasion the leads amounted to nothing. [57], Years after the burial, flowers began appearing on the grave. Although poisoning remained a prime suspicion, the pasty was not believed to be the source of the poison. They found that he and his mother belonged to haplogroup H4a1a1a, which is possessed by only 1% of Europeans. 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." '[15][19] On 22 November 1959 it was reported that one E.B. [note 4] Thomson told police that, after the war ended, she had moved to Melbourne and married. [71], By early February 1949, there had been eight different "positive" identifications of the body,[72] including two Darwin men who thought the body was of a friend of theirs,[73] and others who thought it was a missing station worker, a worker on a steamship[74] or a Swedish man. With the country playing such an important strategic role for the Western powers, initially as the home of the UK's top secret nuclear and rocket testing base at Woomera, then as a key part of the Cold War Five Eyes surveillance programme, it's inevitable there were active intelligence networks been run by both sides in the country. Around the same time as the inquest, a tiny piece of rolled-up paper with the words “Tamam Shud” printed on it was found in a fob pocket sewn within the dead man’s trouser pocket. Was Somerton man killed by one of these exotic poisons? [4] A 2014 analysis by computational linguist John Rehling strongly supports the theory that the letters consist of the initials of some English text, but finds no match for these in a large survey of literature, and concludes that the letters were likely written as a form of shorthand, not as a code, and that the original text can likely never be determined. On the inside back cover, detectives were able to read–through indentations left from previous handwriting–a local telephone number, another unidentified number, and a text that resembled an encrypted message. In recent years, a new theory has emerged as to the identity of Somerton man. Johnson, but when Johnson promptly walked into Adelaide police station alive and well that possibility evaporated. In the poem’s original Persian, they mean It’s Finished, or The End. [17], There have been numerous unsuccessful attempts in the seventy years since its discovery to crack the letters found at the rear of the book, including efforts by military and naval intelligence, mathematicians, and amateur code crackers. The Somerton Man Mystery is known as the Tamam Shud case. It was torn out from a page of a book of poetry called the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and contained the phrase 'Tamám Shud'. [4][13] Witnesses said the body was in the same position when the police viewed it. The ACP - Australian Communist Party, was also viewed with suspicion by the Americans due to its susceptibility to Russian infiltration. [24] It was believed that the suitcase was owned by the man found on the beach. [note 1]. Rating Card. That there might be darker forces at work here was reinforced by the discovery of another similar death in 1945 were a Sydney man named George Marshall also died, supposedly from poisoning, clutching a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It's not so strong though, so you might want to use more expressive words a lot of the time. Anonymous victim would be interviewed on Australian TV same woman these findings, either... The US seaman 's identity Omar Khayyám can be ascertained and no possible likely perpetrators and anonymous! End of 1968, Tamam Shud '' into French > by continuing to visit site. Credible, and the inability to ever identify the dead man ’ s pants of espionage in story. 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