Somerton Man – What Little Information We Have

The Somerton Man has been an Australian mystery since 1948. Nearly 73 years later as they exhume his body from a grave paid for by the Salvation Army, might we finally get some answers? What led him to take his own life or to be murdered is still very much unknown.

What we do Know – A Dossier of the Somerton Man

Name – Unknown

Date of Birth – Unknown, c. 1905

Ethnicity – Caucasian

Height – 5’11”

Features – Gray Eyes / Fair Hair / Clean Shaven / Broad Shoulders / Clean Hands and Nails

Distinguishing Characteristics – High, Well-Toned Calf Muscles / Big and Little Toes met in a Wedge Shape / Cymba Larger than the Cavum in Both Ears / Hypodontia (a rare genetic disorder) of Both Lateral Incisors

Likely Profession – Ballet Dancer / Spy

Last Known Meal – Beef Pasty

Items Found in His Possession – Pockets

  1. Unused second-class rail ticket from Adelaide to Henley Beach.
  2. Bus ticket from the city (Possibly unused).
  3. US-manufactured, narrow aluminium comb.
  4. Half-empty packet of Juicy Fruit chewing gum.
  5. Army Club cigarette packet (Containing seven Kensitas’ cigarettes).
  6. Quarter-full box of Bryant & May matches.
  7. Unlit Cigarette found on coat collar (Different brand than the ones retrieved from pocket).
  8. Scrap of paper with the words Tamám Shud printed upon it.

Items Found in His Possession – Suitcase

Somerton Man's Personal Belongings
  1. Red checked dressing gown.
  2. Red felt pair of slippers (Size-seven).
  3. Four pairs of underpants.
  4. Pajamas.
  5. Shaving kit.
  6. Light brown pair of trousers (sand in the cuffs)
  7. Electrician’s screwdriver.
  8. Table knife (cut down into a short, sharp instrument).
  9. Pair of scissors (points recently sharpened).
  10. Small square of zinc (possible protective sheath).
  11. Stenciling brush.
  12. Thread card of Barbour brand orange waxed thread.
  13. Neck tie (T. Keane written on it).
  14. Laundry bag (Keane written on it).
  15. Singlet (with Kean – no e written on it).

Tamám Shud?

Once the scrap of paper with the words ‘Tamám Shud’ was found sewn into the man’s suit, the mystery only deepened. Police located the copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that it had been torn from and etched into the last page were various phone numbers and the code you see below.

Listen to Episode 17 – Trouble Down Under Part 2, to learn more about the Somerton Man story. As of this week they are exhuming his body to check for viable DNA. Seventy plus years later and the case remains open.

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