Here’s a quick work-in-progress timeline for the hypothesis linking Broken Hill to the Somerton Man case.
Sunday 19 Sep 1948.
* Prosper Thomson drives his out-of-town-only taxi sedan to Broken Hill.
Saturday 25 September 1948.
* Prosper Thomson places a small ad to sell his 12-h.p. Vauxhall sedan, or to swap it for a sedan more suited to taxi runs.
Friday 26 November 1948.
* Evening: an unnamed boy steals a motorbike (belonging to William Horace Coffey, of 637 Lane Lane, Broken Hill) outside Broken Hill Central Power Station.
Saturday 27 November 1948.
* Unnamed boy dumps a suitcase on Somerton Beach.
* Unnamed boy dumps the stolen motorbike in the sand dunes at Glenelg.
Sunday 28 November 1948.
* Unnamed boy walks 12 miles to Port Noarlunga and steals a motor car (belonging to Maxwell John McCormack), but then gets arrested by police while driving North towards Adelaide.
* A man’s three-piece suit, sports trousers, a shoe, several pairs of socks and an overcoat plus a rifle stock are all found by police near the water’s edge on Somerton Beach.
* Unnamed boy confirms to police that these items were indeed all in the suitcase that he had dropped there, but that at the time the rifle still had its rifle barrel with it.
Monday 29 November 1948.
* Unnamed boy appears in Adelaide Juvenile Court and is remanded until Tuesday 6th December 1948.
Tuesday 30 November 1948.
* Broken Hill Express arrives at Adelaide Railway Station at 9.17am.
* Between 11am and 12am: Somerton Man checks a (different) suitcase into the Adelaide Railway Station cloakroom
* Between 6.15am and 2pm: Somerton Man buys a one-way train ticket to Henley Beach (from Douglas George Townsend, a student “temporarily employed by the S.A.R. as a ticket clerk”), but does not use it. (Trains to Henley Beach left at 9.30am, 10.50am, and 11.52am that morning: oddly, Henley Beach is about 10km north of Glenelg and Somerton Beach.)
* 11.15am: Somerton Man catches a bus to St Leonards from South Terraces, roughly a 2km walk from Adelaide station. (Oddly, he can catch a tram directly to Glenelg instead, but he does not do so.)
* 7.30pm: a man is seen lying on his back on the beach.
* 10.30pm: a man is seen being carried on another man’s shoulders near the beach
Wednesday 01 December 1948.
* 6am – the Somerton Man is found dead on Somerton Beach, near where the man was seen lying down the previous evening. He has no hat, no wallet, no cash, no ration cards, no identification cards: and shiny shoes. He also has no luggage docket for the suitcase he left at the station the previous day, and no onward or return train ticket.
Tuesday 06 December 1948.
* The unnamed boy (presumably) appears in Adelaide Juvenile Court again. Outcome currently unknown.
14 January 1949.
* An unclaimed suitcase is found in Adelaide Railway Station’s luggage office: mysteriously, it contains no socks. Police quickly link this to the Somerton Man.