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AUSTRALIA TAMAN SHUD CASE: W/M, 40-50, found on Somerton Beach, Adelaide - 1 Dec 1948

Discussion in 'Australia: Missing & Unidentified' started by Dobrev, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

    The Tamam Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man:

    The Tamam 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 Somerton beach, Glenelg, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. It is named after the Persian phrase tamám shud, meaning "ended" or "finished", printed on a scrap of paper found months later in the fob pocket of the man's trousers. The scrap had been torn from the final page of a copy of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, authored by 12th-century poet Omar Khayyám. Tamam was misspelt as Taman in many early reports and this error has often been repeated, leading to confusion about the name in the media.


    A coronial inquest found a roll of paper hidden in a secret pocket in the man’s clothing.

    On it was printed Tamam Shud, or “finished” in Persian. It was torn from a book of Persian poetry — the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyáma. A Glenelg doctor found the book thrown through the open window of his car.

    When the back page of the book was treated with iodine during a coronial inquest, five lines of code appeared — letters that have mystified police, code-breakers and amateur sleuths the world and internet over.

    The phone number of a local nurse, Jo Thomson, was found in the book. Her home was five minutes’ walk from where he was found dead.

    Ms Thomson identified the body as one Alf Boxall, to whom she said she had given a copy of the Rubáiyát.

    But Alf Boxall came forward, alive and with his copy of the Rubáiyát intact.

    Mr Cramer, who lived in Adelaide from 1977 until 1990 and now lives on the Sunshine Coast, said a line of the micro-writing appears to refer to a British post-war jet.

    Professor Abbott is urging the State Government to exhume the Somerton Man, to solve one of the other big mysteries — whether or not he and Jo Thompson had a child together.

    In January, the family of the nurse, who died in 2007, told 60 Minutes she may have been a spy and had a son with the Somerton Man.


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  2. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

    3.png 2.png 1.png

    Pictures of the "Taman Shud" reference that was ripped out of the poetry booked.
    The book ripped.
    And the writing investigators are trying to decipher.

    The man died on the beach with his feet crossed, with no signs of struggle or distress to mark his end. Passersby had mistaken him for a drunk. The labels had been clipped from his clothing. His pockets held chewing gum, combs, and unused bus and train tickets.

    An autopsy failed to find a cause of death, and noted that the man was in his forties with a fit physique. (A coroner’s assistant said the man possessed strong and high calf muscles.) The coroner suspected that the man had been poisoned or killed himself, but couldn’t find any evidence for this theory.

    Investigators did find one bizarre clue: a scrap of paper tucked in the man’s watch pocket, printed with the words “Tamám Shud,” which means “finished” in Persian. The scrap came from the last words of the last page of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, an 11th-century poetry book about life’s transience.

    Police recovered the man’s suitcase from the train station (a spool of thread inside the case matched the thread used to repair one of the man’s pockets), yielding more incomplete clues. It held only a few tools, a shaving kit, and clothes, including a coat with feather stitching that bespoke US tailoring. It also held Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum, which American men chewed back then, but Australian men didn’t. The Australian police consulted FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, but the agency couldn’t find a fingerprint match of the man.

    The Cold War was on, leading some journalists to later speculate that the Somerton Man was a murdered spy, either American or Russian.

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  3. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

    Chasing another avenue, Abbott turned back to the copy of The Rubáiyát that had been found in the car, which had a phone number scrawled on its back cover. At the time, the number belonged to a 27-year-old local woman named Jo Thomson. When police originally contacted her, she denied knowing the dead man. And she remained coyabout the man’s identity, despite decades of speculation, until her death in 2007.

    Abbott started asking her family about the case. She had a son, Robin, born in 1946, who had two distinctive facial features — an oddly shaped ear, and two missing incisors that left his canine teeth parked right next to his two front teeth — that Abbott learned were shared by the Somerton Man. Robin Thomson was also a dancer in the Australian Ballet, blessed with strong calves. All of those things, Abbott thought, pointed to Robin as the son of the Somerton Man.

    Robin Thomson died in 2009, but he was survived by his ex-wife, Roma Egan, and a daughter, Rachel. Abbott wrote a letter to Roma, asking if she knew anyone who resembled the Somerton Man. Yes, she replied: her ex-husband. Abbott went to see her and convinced her of the genetic link, which is how Fitzpatrick, the DNA genealogist, entered the investigation.

    Abbott had heard of Fitzpatrick’s work tracking down people’s relatives, including a boy who died on the Titanicand a Colorado man living with amnesia in search of his family.

    If Rachel is the granddaughter of the Somerton Man, then she inherited about 25% of his DNA. Fitzpatrick compared DNA from Rachel and her mother to identify which portions of her genome came from her father. Then the scientist ran those segments through massive DNA databases (maintained by genealogy companies such as Ancestry.com) to try to find out more about her father’s father — the suspected Somerton Man.

    As Fitzpatrick will present at next week’s meeting, Rachel’s paternal line traced back to the Mid-Atlantic states of the US, centered around Virginia.

    “We see traces of Native American ancestry and chromosomes linked to relatives of Thomas Jefferson,” Fitzpatrick said. The Native American genes tied to the Somerton Man also come from tribes living along the East Coast, she said. “That puts Mr. X’s ancestry, with some authority, in America.”

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  4. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

  5. Kimster

    Kimster Administrator Staff Member

    What an interesting story! I'm anxious to see how the DNA analysis sorts out. I definitely believe he was an American.
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  6. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

    Me too! I get so drawn into these odd cases, then it annoys me that we don't know the answer lol.

    I'm assuming that Robin is his son. The connection between the UID and Robin's mother seems the most logical.
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  7. Kimster

    Kimster Administrator Staff Member

    I wonder why Robin's mum was so evasive about it?
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  8. Dobrev

    Dobrev Well-Known Member

    She was unmarried and had previously lied about being married (to Alf, the guy she says she gave the book too) which of course, was frowned upon in the 40's. She was also in a relationship with a new guy, who she planned to marry once his divorce went through. So, it is my opinion that she kept it a secret to not be looked down on, and to also have her child believe her now husband was his father.

    All of this could be wrong, that's just my opinion.
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  9. Kimster

    Kimster Administrator Staff Member

    I forgot about the times of the day. She probably was trying to save her reputation, and Robin's!
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