Having given the anonymous “Ayuverdica”‘s claim the oxygen of (a small amount of) publicity here a few days ago, a number of things quickly came to light (indeed, possibly even in record time):-

(1) As Debra Fasano speedily pointed out in a comment to that page, the man being flagged was not “Thomas Torance Keane” (as listed in the index) but rather “Thomas Lawrence Keane”, born 20 June 1892 in Queensland: his older sister Ada married Frank Charles Toten. Notices of Keane’s death appeared in the newspaper on the 26th March 1949:

KEANE.—The Relatives & Friends of Mr. & Mrs. F. C. Toten, Mr. & Mrs. L. Fuller (Argents Hill), Miss Dorothy Toten, Mr. & Mrs. A Dixon, Mr. & Mrs. J. Lohfin, & Mr. E. Toten, are invited to attend the funeral of her beloved Brother, his Brother-in-law, & their Uncle, Thomas Lawrence Keane, of 110 Terrace St., New Farm, late 15th & 57th Bns., 1st A.I.F., to move from Alex. Gow’s Funeral Chapel, Petrie Bight, This (Saturday) Morning, at 11 o’clock, for the Crematorium, Mt. Thompson. Service 10.45 a.m.
ALEX. GOW, Funeral Director.
KEANE.—New Farm Sub-branch, R.S.S.A.I.L.A. —The Officers and Members are invited to attend the Funeral of their late Member, Mr. T. L. Keane, to move from Alex. Gow’s Funeral Chapel, as per family notice. A. L Beeston, Secretary.

(2) As Debra also helpfully pointed out, the claimed link between Thomas Lawrence Keane’s mother (Isabella Beaumont) and the Beaumont family related to Jestyn via her brother’s wife Peggy Beaumont fails to stand up to closer examination.

As a result of all this, it is hard not to conclude that our anonymous informant “Ayuverdica” had only indirect (archive-based) and incomplete knowledge of Thomas Lawrence Keane, as opposed to direct (family or friend) knowledge. As such, the notion that the various pieces might be connected broadly in the way he/she proposed now seems excessively hopeful or speculative at best.

All the same, such historical ghosts can – in the ever-suspicious world of Somerton Man researchers – be hard to pacify once summoned. And it is difficult to disagree with the point that if (and I acknowledge that this is a big ‘if’, of course) the Somerton Man was indeed “T. Keane” as the labels on some of his clothes seem to imply, then we would be foolish to rule this particular Thomas Lawrence Keane out without checking him out properly.

And so for the sake of completeness, I’ve just paid 19 AUD to the NAA to get Thomas Lawrence Keane’s WW2 records (“1939-1948″) examined, digitized and placed online. The website says that this will take up to “90 days”, but I’ll post a link to it here as soon as this happens. 😉

Finally, “RSSAILA” stands for the “Returned Sailor’s Soldier’s Airmen’s Imperial League”, which later became the “Returned Services League” (RSL): but even though the National Archives of Australia’s MS 6609 contains a rather scary-sounding 205 linear metres of RSL archives, there doesn’t yet seem to be any online finding aid within it, and it’s not at all clear to me whether district-level (rather than state-level) archives are included in there.

Hence I’ve also contacted the relevant district-level RSL branch to see if they have any historical records (newsletters, minutes, correspondence, etc) stretching back as far as 1948-1949, just in case there’s any mention of Thomas Lawrence Keane during that period. As always, it’s a bit of a long shot but we shall hopefully see what emerges there…

5 thoughts on “Revised Somerton Man id claim – Thomas Lawrence Keane…

  1. Hi Nick,
    Yesterday I went for a look at a local second hand bookshop near me (in Perth, Western Australia) that is closing down and found an old copy of the Rubaiyat.
    I remember reading somewhere that there was points to look out for but I can’t find the page. So here is what I can tell you about my copy.
    It does have Tamam Shud written in the same font.
    It is a first edition translated by Fitzgerald.
    It is on white paper, although slightly brown with age.

    Something that strikes me as odd but maybe is a normal thing, is that at the back there is a 2nd edition translation, but many pages are blank where verses are supposed to be.
    Eg: 1 and 2 are blank, 3,4,5,6 are there, 7,8,9,10 are blank and so on.

    Let me know what you think and if this copy is of any help.

  2. Minstrel Janet on October 7, 2013 at 11:54 am said:

    I don’t understand, is it a reprint

  3. The Mockingbird on October 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm said:

    The Somerton man was clearly a Soviet agent; look at the man’s eyes in the picture. That’s the genetic heritage of someone whose ancestors went through the Tatar yoke.

    Also – the stencil brush, the sharpened scissors? That’s spycraft circa the early Cold War.

  4. Minstrel Janet on October 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm said:

    The answers can only be found through Harkness. Why, for example, did someone with purely Scots heritage suddenly convert to Judaism, as we can reliably presume? The answer is that she was recruited by pro-British Israelis (Palestinians as they then were) or by anti-British/pro-Soviet Jews (eg the Marshalls). By finding out which we can determine who she was working for.
    Since she was probably connected to George Marshall, was she in the anti-British camp? Was that why she was so upset when she found that one of her fellow Soviets (Somerton Man) and lovers was found dead on Somerton Beach?
    Or was she the agent who terminated Marshall for the British? Did she also terminate Somerton Man?
    Or was she just the honey trap, played by either side in order to lure each man unwittingly to his death?
    We must use every available resource to find out all available evidence about Jessie Harkness/Thomson, because this is the only line of enquiry which could shed any light on both mysteries. Once the information is known the conclusions will become obvious, as may the meaning of the code.
    For the record, I don’t believe Prosper Thomson was involved in the murder of Somerton Man, nor do I believe that the Harkness family had any involvement. As for the Beaumonts, if they were taken by Jestyn’s brother then I would be very surprised.
    It has to be one or the other.

  5. Ken Blacksill on August 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm said:

    My comments about his alleged history are in this case only addressing the elements of physique that some suggest point to his being a dancer or similar. Given it’s global popularity, could not a man with such particular muscle tone yet soft unweathered hands be a soccer player? Not only does the law of averages apply but also many non English speaking Euro nations have teams within the forces.

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