The “Somerton Man” gained his epithet from Somerton Beach near Adelaide, which was where his dead body was discovered in the early morning of 1st December 1948. Yet despite the mass of forensic evidence (his body and, more recently, an analysis of one of his hairs) and physical evidence (his clothes and possessions, plus his suitcase), his real identity has never been determined.

Police investigators were then led down into not so much a ‘rabbit hole’ as a labyrinthine warren of ‘twisty passages all alike’ by the tiniest of objects half-concealed in the man’s fob pocket… a tightly-furled slip of paper with the words “Tamam Shud” printed on it:

Tamam Shud Slip2

A cropped version of this appeared in the 9th June 1949 edition of the Adelaide Advertiser, just before the first Coronial inquest was due to start:


Police determined that these two words were Persian for “The End”; that they were the concluding piece of text in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (a popular book of poetry at the time); and that they were printed in a font that was specific to the editions put out by Whitcombe and Tomb’s (a New Zealand publishing company).

As a result, the police took the opportunity of the flurry of publicity surrounding the inquest to ask anyone in the general public to come forward if they just happened to have a copy of the specific edition of the Rubaiyat from which the final two printed words (“Tamam Shud”) had been ripped out by hand. A picture of the original Rubaiyat’s front cover appeared in the 26th July 1949 Adelaide News:


Amazingly, a Rubaiyat that exactly matched this description was quickly brought forward by a publicity-shy local “businessman”: it had been discovered in the back of his car parked in Jetty Road in Glenelg, not too far from the beach where the dead man’s body had been found. And when police photographers carefully examined indentations on the back of that (now long-lost) Rubaiyat, they uncovered not only something that looked like a mysterious code, but also one or more phone numbers (and possibly even a name, though this item remains completely unconfirmed).

What of these two wonderfully specific pieces of evidence? The code-like text was speedily passed to a top Australian code breaker (almost certainly Eric Nave), but proved indecryptible. As for the phone number(s), one led to a local nurse called Jo Thompson, who denied all knowledge of the Somerton Man when asked by the police (though we now know that she did know more than she said).

At the time, however, the code and the phone-numbers were the police’s two last-gasp hopes of cracking the mystery: and when those leads went cold, so too did the case. Despite all the wild and unfounded speculation (ranging all the way from romance and illegitimacy to Cold War espionage) that the decades since have seen, this is as much as we genuinely know… the rest is just guesswork (and often highly fanciful guesswork at that).

All the same, what these very public dead-ends did manage to achieve was to intensify the mystery surrounding the unidentified dead man on Somerton Beach. Who was he? Why was he there? How did he die? What had happened?

The Rubaiyat

One of the few non-speculative research avenues open to investigation is the Rubaiyat itself. What was its story? Where did it come from?

Retired detective Gerry Feltus, the man who (literally) wrote the book on the investigation into the Somerton Man cold case, spent years trying to find Whitcombe and Tomb’s editions of the Rubaiyat (as described in his Appendix 5). Here’s a picture of what he was looking for (note the highly ornate border):

Rubaiyat W&T SM Last Pages

After a great deal of searching, Feltus eventually managed to locate “two first edition copies”. One, however, “was printed in a different font and there was no ‘Tamam Shud’ at the end”, so was of no direct help to his search (p.168). The following is a scan of a different copy of this same particular edition:

Last page of Rubaiyat

Yet though the other copy Feltus found was a much better match, it too was not identical: the font and layout was the same, but the front cover was smaller and squarer than the image of the cover that appeared in the media at the time, while “the page positioning differed”. (p.169)

How could it be that Feltus’s years of diligent searching had produced a copy that was nearly-but-not-quite identical? What was going on?

Whitcombe and Tomb’s

Founded in 1888 in New Zealand, Whitcombe and Tomb’s (now merged and reborn as “Whitcoulls”) was by 1948 something of an institution: it printed text books and all manner of serious-minded stuff. Here’s a photo of its Dunedin store in 1931 (which I found here):


But as WWII approached, W&T was struggling to find an edge over its many rivals: it was perceived as being staid and somewhat boring, while its competitors were building up reputations for having a stylistic edge over W&T.

If you look again at the edition above, I think you can see W&T’s inner bore emerging: even though it uses a nice enough font, overall the pages themselves are rather dull-looking – though professional, it’s completely unremarkable. The final page states:


By way of comparison, the other edition not only has a highly-decorated border on every page, it finishes with a triangular design that stresses the artistry involved in the new production – that it is “A W&T Art Production“:


Something seems to have changed…

Rubaiyat Advertisements

I suspect we can learn a lot more from the press advertisements the company took out to try to sell its Rubaiyats.

The sequence of advertisements in New Zealand Papers Past (a Kiwi version of Trove) starts with a 24th December 1936 W&T advert for a Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam at 4/6. However, I’m not sure what to make of it.

Papers Past then has the following advert from 22nd November 1941:

Pretty Booklets

The Courage and Friendship Booklets, produced by Messrs Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. (Auckland), are enveloped ready for post, a very attractive means of conveying a Christmas greeting, The five titles issued are Bracken’s Not Understood, Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, some songs and poems of Robert Burns gathered as Sprigs o’ Heather, an anthology of Great Thoughts from famous books, and Golden Threads drawn from Trine’s “In Tune with the Infinite.” The booklets are prettily designed, two being printed in a decorative letter.

According to this November 1941 advert, these booklets were priced at 1/6 (or 1/7 posted). The posted price went up to 1/8 in 1943, when a sixth title was added to the list (“Falling Leaves, thoughts for shadowed days”).

However, an advert from 22nd April 1944 announced a new – and much more upmarket – edition:


Delight again and again over, this wise old Persian’s verses; you can never exhaust their pleasures: they carry you far beyond the four walls of everyday life – singing with sheer beauty of love, and life’s riches – The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. New edition bound in dark green cloth, with illustration. 12/6

21st December 1944 saw them advertising their cheaper (1/6) Courage and Friendship version, and now with “Merrie England, songs from Shakespeare” (a seventh title) added to the list.

Similarly, the following year (29th November 1945) saw them selling the same series at 1/6, but this time with “Forget-me-nots, an anthology of friendship” (an eighth title) added to the list.

Trove aficionados can also find Australian adverts, e.g. for the Courage and Friendship series:
* 5th December 1942 (Courage And Friendship, 5 titles, 1/6 each, 1/8 posted)

Once you get to 1944, the second luxury edition appears on sale in Australia:
* 22nd January 1944 8/6, 8/10 posted
* 26th January 1944 8/6, 8/10 posted

And then there’s a third leatherette-bound W&T Rubaiyat we’re not otherwise aware of:
21st December 1946 and 25th December 1946: “THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM. A delightful leatherette-bound volume, suitable for presentation. Price, 5/6 (posted 5/8).”

And is this 1947 version the same as the Courage And Friendship edition, but at a slightly higher price?
* 3rd May 1947 “RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM 2/5. Postage, 2d. A compact, well illustrated edition of this evergreen classic”.


This 1947 version sounds like the 1944 luxury edition again:
* 27th September 1947 “RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM, Large gift edition, beautifully illustrated. A Whitcombe and Tombs art production. 8/6. (Posted 8/10.)”

As for this 1948 mid-price version, I’m guessing that this was the Rubaiyat published in London by Frederick Muller Ltd, because George Buday (1907-1990) was an artist and printmaker who emigrated to Britain from Hungary in 1937, and ended up living in Coulsdon (ten miles from Surbiton):
* 27th March 1948 “RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM. 3/2, postage 3d. An attractive little gift book, Illustrated with engravings by George Buday.”

So Many Rubaiyats, So Little Time!

Even though I have tried to collect as many of the Whitcombe and Tomb’s advertisements together as I can, I think it should (“Shud”?) be clear that it would take a far more determined book detective to reconstruct the exact sequence of books being published here.

The dull-looking “Printed by Whitcombe and Tombs” edition that Gerry Feltus found might conceivably be the 1936 Rubaiyat: or it might just as well be a very early version of the Courage and Friendship series.

Regardless, it seems to me that we can reduce most of Whitcombe and Tomb’s Rubaiyats into two basic families:
(1) the smaller and more compact, Courage & Friendship pocket Rubaiyats (low-end, cheap stuff for gifts)
(2) the taller and generally fancier deluxe presentation Rubaiyats (high-end, 5+ times more expensive!)

Moreover, from other stuff (to come in a follow-up post), it seems that the Courage & Friendship pocket Rubaiyats were reprinted in slightly different colours from year to year, both inside and out. For example, the decorative page borders were cream in one year and beige in the next, while the border blocked around the text was green in one edition and yellow in another. And the inside page of the front cover was reprinted at different times, because different Courage and Friendship Rubaiyats list different numbers of titles in the C&F range.

So it seems to me that if only a picture had been taken of the inside cover of the Somerton Man’s Rubaiyat, we’d be able to date it simply by the number of other Courage and Friendship titles listed in the same series. But perhaps there’s a note still in the police file somewhere.

Courage and Friendship Covers

The very nice “An Empty Glass” Somerton Man Wiki has rather splendidly managed to somehow collect a sequence of Whitcombe and Tomb’s Rubaiyat front covers in its page on the Somerton Man’s Rubaiyat.

Its key picture looks like this:


Here you can see different printing colour schemes being used in different years: and the substantial difference between the (compact) Courage and Friendship editions on the left and the deluxe version on the right.

So, What Is Going On, Nick?

I think it’s reasonably simple. What Whitcombe and Tomb’s were doing with the Rubaiyat was dipping their corporate toes into the oversize paddling pool of design aesthetics: which is why they tried different price-points, different materials, different techniques, different sizes, etc. By and large, it seems to have been an experimental time for them.

Each Courage and Friendship printing batch seems to have had its cover printed in a different colour: if only we had a record of the list of other Courage and Friendship books in the series that appeared on the front inside flap of the cover of the Somerton Man’s book, we would be able to tell which year it had been printed.

Gerry Feltus had found the right book: just not the right year’s edition of that book, it would seem. And the reason that there was so much year-to-year variability is simply because Whitcombe and Tomb’s was trying to extricate itself from the staid, boring corner of the market it had painted itself into so relentlessly for so many years. Even though it wanted to develop its arty side, it didn’t really know what was going to work in the wider book-buying market. (Frankly, it seems to me that it never quite managed this particular trick).

And so we have reached our almost-paradoxical conclusion of the day: that even though Whitcombe and Tomb’s deluxe version of the Rubaiyat (with its gilt lettering or hand-stitched lettering) would be a more desirable book to own from the point of view of a collector, it is very probably from the far more cheap-and-cheerful 1/6 Courage and Friendship edition that the Somerton Man had ripped out his “Tamam Shud”.

And quite why he did that at all is another matter entirely! 😐

53 thoughts on “The search for the Somerton Man’s Rubaiyat…

  1. Dave on June 21, 2016 at 7:42 am said:

    I managed to get a lead for my scanner today. I have just emailed you scans of the two books. You are very welcome to use the images on your website. I am still putting together some information on Gran and her story etc. The above post is really good by the way. 🙂

  2. nickpelling on June 21, 2016 at 9:33 am said:

    Dave: after 2000 words of other Rubaiyat-related stuff here, I hadn’t even got as far as your Gran’s Rubaiyat(s), so decided to push that on to a separate post.

    Incidentally, I use a separate site (the Cipher Foundation – ) as a repository for evidence to do with historical ciphers, so I’ll probably split that post between the two sites, if you see what I mean.

  3. Zodiac on June 22, 2016 at 12:04 am said:

    Weird… I read this article this morning, then a few minutes later saw this by chance:

  4. milongal on June 22, 2016 at 12:51 am said:

    I don’t really follow what’s (almost) paradoxical about the cheaper version? We’ll assume for a second that the copy found is the copy the Tamam Shud came from. The book has been discarded. The book was ONLY required for the fragment, and nothing more (this is why the microcode stuff doesn’t make sense to me either – if the book was discarded by anyone other than SM, then there must be a reason they took it from him in the first place. This suggests they realise some value in it, and given such a realisation, even when you can’t find anything obviously valuable about it, you either keep it in case you find something later, or DESTROY it so it doesn’t connect you with anything).
    So if we assume that the book and the TS are a match then the SM ripped a page (if a perp did it, surely the fragment wouldn’t have been so well hidden) and concealed the fragment [em]and disposed of the book[/em]. So why would he want anything but a cheap version?
    Another thing that occurs to me, though (and it has been sort of danced around elsewhere) is – what if the clothes weren’t his? Whether you follow the idea that he may have picked them up in a charity shop, or been dressed up by someone post mortem – or even borrowed clothes once he’d showered at a friends place (or any other of a myriad of possibilities). It’s entirely possible that SM is not directly related to the Rubaiyat, but rather the owner (or original owner) of the clothes is. Perhaps this is why Jestyn reacted so funnily at the morgue. Perhaps she had expected to see someone else (other than Alf, of course) and was freaked out that it was someone she didn’t know but who wore clothes she did (or something).
    I’m not sure I particularly think it’s a good explanation, necessarily, but we make a lot of the Rubaiyat being “definitely related to SM”, when in fact the fragment was so well hidden it wasn’t found straight away – so isn’t it possible that someone wears clothes belonging to someone else and also doesn’t realise the hidden contents – particularly if they’ve only happened across those clothes that day (or recently)? It might perhaps help explain how the Rubaiyat was found before SM arrived in town (although people’s memories could be messed up too). People (perhaps not on this site) seem happy enough to promote ideas of a body-swap at some stage in the investigation (or even pre-mortem at the beach, based on something I saw recently), but surely a clothes’ swap is (slightly) more plausible.

    I guess what I’m saying is we don’t really even definitively know that SM was aware of the fragment any more than the police were on their first pass – and given certain aspects of the clothes (not least the Keane/Kean/Keanic tags – or lack of them) there would surely be some question as to whether they were his – which then casts some questions about the link to TS….


  5. Dave on June 22, 2016 at 5:50 am said:

    I’ve exchanged a few emails with Derek Abbott today. He believes the softcover Rubiayat that I have to be the same as the book connected to the Somerton Man.

  6. nickpelling on June 22, 2016 at 9:46 am said:

    Dave: “the same edition”, or “the same short print run of the same edition”? That’s the more pressing question… 🙂

  7. nickpelling on June 22, 2016 at 9:55 am said:

    milongal: that the book was “discarded”, that the book was “only required for the fragment”, that it was taken by someone other than the SM, that the person realised there was some value to it, that it was bought specially for ripping the ‘Tamam Shud’ from… these are all assumptions. By which I mean not that they’re right or wrong, but rather that they’re shifty sand to be building arguments on top of…

    The problem with the suggestion that the SM may not have known about the Tamam Shud fragment in his fob pocket is that this was connected to a Rubaiyat with the phone number of someone who (we now know) did know who he was, and (presumably) what the man’s back story was. So the pieces are all connected… just perhaps not in the way or ways we expect. 🙂

  8. nickpelling on June 22, 2016 at 10:17 am said:

    Dave: I thought calling it a “pressing question” was a nice pun. Just in case nobody noticed. 😉

  9. Dave on June 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm said:

    I’m just laughing at the other bloggers trying to wriggle their way out of the all the horrible things they have said about me. Im refusing to even contribute to their stupid, amateur childish blogs. I’ve produced a video and scans on of my book now. I wish they would stop using my images because they don’t have my consent. I should have your fact busting email to you by the end of the weekend. It’s very long. I hope we can start cross referring shipping lists and movements to narrow down a name. FYI A cold case detective from Auckland acting as a courtesy for Australia is speaking with Gran in the week and collecting oral evidence. Due to my grans age and good health it’s good to make records of the conversations

  10. Dave on June 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm said:

    My pages are also a light blue color and not black and white. You can see that by the scans I emailed you, Gerry and Derek. 🙂

  11. nickpelling on June 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm said:

    Dave: I hope you vetted your “cold case detective from Auckland” carefully- I wouldn’t like you or your Gran to get trolled. 🙁

    As to the rest… please understand that researching things properly almost always take significantly longer than you think. If something is there to be found in the archives, I’d like to think that there’s a good chance we (collectively) will get to it: but given that nothing else about researching the Somerton Man has proven easy since 1948, who can tell? =:-o

  12. Dave on June 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm said:

    I rang the police to check. He’s a former NZ homicide and missing person detective. He is going to put together all the fact and memories etc.

  13. Dave on June 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm said:

    After much consideration I’ve accepted [a large amount] for the blue hardcover book. My gran approved and that’s all that counts. We will be keeping the softcover one for the time being. I would be crazy not to say no to that kind of money. It leaves to a private collector / Hedge fund in a few weeks.

  14. nickpelling on June 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm said:

    Dave: as always, just make sure that you have checked out the buyer… plenty of trolls out there. 🙁

  15. Dave on June 23, 2016 at 1:10 am said:

    I’ve not had any problems with Trolls Nick. I am using the service Escrow just to make sure.

  16. John sanders on June 23, 2016 at 8:13 am said:

    A little on coincidence if I may indulge. On another SM website they are looking at Tom Bede as a likely SM candidate. Also a Tom Bede-Kenny VC is being touted for some reason to confuse the situation. In my humble opinion neither of the said gentleman are a good match for our main man. However there is another chap who is also a VC recipient and with the name Tom Kenny and a coal miner from England. That is not the coincidence but this is. Mr. Kenny VC shares one thing with our SM. They both died on the same day in 1948 if you allow for the international dateline conversion 29/30-11-48. My reason for posting this may become clearer in another post re coincidence and hopefully have more to do with ‘the heart of the matter’

  17. nickpelling on June 23, 2016 at 9:48 am said:

    John sanders: presumably you’re referring to Reddit? Given that the guy with a VC died in a hospital in 1953, I think we can rule him out as the Somerton Man. 😐

    Just to be sure, here’s a link to a picture of him alive in 1949:

  18. John sanders on June 23, 2016 at 10:38 am said:

    No Nick sorry Mr. Thomas Bede Kenny was the Australian VC winner who certainly died in 1953. Mr. Thomas Kenny VC a Briton definitely left us on 29/11/48 in UK which equates to 30/11/48 Somerton time. Another thing I noticed whilst checking photographs of the first Thomas Bede was another of a fellow that I recognised immediately as being ‘The Bookmaker’ who is apparently a character in an upcoming novel about SM. Our man named as Herbert ‘curly’ Ellis cuts a dashing figure in his three piece and blocked hat but was we are told only a petty criminal who subsequently went down hill after his non studio portrait was taken around 1920.

  19. nickpelling on June 23, 2016 at 11:20 am said:

    John sanders: ah, I see. But the Australian Police photograph that triggered it all was of a Thomas Bede, so how does that connect with [the British] Thomas Kenny VC?

  20. John sanders on June 23, 2016 at 1:48 pm said:

    My connection lies with the logical progression from Thomas Bede the Oz crim. to Thomas Bede Kenny the Oz VC hero to Thomas Kenny the British. VC hero. I’m really just saying that the fact that the aforementioned Kenny’s demise on the given date is to me a coincidence considering the name similarities and that both of the ‘good fellows’ earned VCs in WW1 which sustained the belief amongst the good professors contributors that No’s 1 & 2 were one in the same. Hope that this gives some clarification and please bare in mind that I’m new to all this and my reasoning may be a little outdated not to mention my rusty English and thought train.

  21. milongal on June 23, 2016 at 11:10 pm said:

    “…the phone number of someone who (we now know) did know who he was…”

    Perhaps I missed something (I assume the “someone” you mean is the nurse, if not please correct me). We know there was a peculiar reaction to seeing the body reported which may suggest some recognition, but isn’t it equally possible that such a reaction is caused when someone EXPECTS to see the body of someone, but actually sees a different corpse? That the nurse didn’t know SM, or wasn’t somehow linked to him may be unlikely, but not impossible (and I think in a case like this you have to do a Sherlock Holmes (paraphrase)”eliminate the impossible and whatever remains [em]no matter how improbable[/em] is the answer”.
    Why would the nurse react strangely at seeing the corpse if she didn’t know SM?
    Perhaps she expected to see Boxall (didn’t the police still assume it was him at that time?).
    Perhaps she recognised the outfit which had once belonged to an acquaintence.
    Perhaps there was something odd or gruesome from the autopsy she noticed.
    Perhaps she was freaked out at seeing a dead person (I’ve never been to the morgue to identify someone, but I can’t imagine it being a particularly pleasant experience no matter how much you prepare yourself.
    Perhaps her reaction is inaccurately reported, or misinterpreted by those present
    Perhaps she suddenly felt ill from the smell of formaldehyde (or similar)
    Perhaps something else I haven’t thought of….

    I think you keep reminding the readers here that given the coincidences and strangeness nothing should surprise us, so I’m a bit surprised how easily we can dismiss some ideas.
    I’ll accept that given the number of coincidences you’d need for them NOT to be somehow linked, the more plausible idea is certainly that she knew who he was (or at least how he fit in her circle of friends and acquaintances (eg “colleague” of her husband)), however I don’t think we can entirely dismiss the idea that these were two ships that pass in the night that only had a very coincidental connection but were otherwise unaware of and unrelated (in all senses, not just the literal) to each other. And I think almost any scenario that anyone’s come up with to date would have a similar number of coincidences for it to actually work – perhaps that’s not surprising, after all, most of our daily interactions with the world are simply a collection of coincidences.

  22. nickpelling on June 24, 2016 at 5:45 am said:

    milongal: the connection was revealed by Jo Thomson’s daughter Kate in the “60 Minutes” TV documentary segment that aired in 2013.

  23. Dave, what part of Poland was your Gran in when (the European side of) world war two started?

  24. Dave on June 24, 2016 at 1:51 pm said:

    Robert: I’m not in the habit of giving out personal information regarding my living relatives to strangers in a public forum. I am currently having a few discussions in private regarding this matter and I do not wish to include anymore people at this stage.

  25. milongal on June 24, 2016 at 11:17 pm said:

    Oops, my bad she was shown the bust, not the body…..although in my mind that makes it all the more peculiar. And either way the police (who often manage to get people to fess up for stuff they didn’t do) didn’t manage to make her admit anything….either the reaction is exaggerated and wasn’t thought much of at the time (so the police didn’t press), or we’re subscribing to some of the super-spy conspiracy theories where this lady is the ultimate spy and the best liar in the world….

    I’m not sure a relative on TV claiming an old cooky relative knew someone is hard and fast proof. There’s been a plethora of people on this site claiming similar. People will say anything on TV, partly for fame, patly because they’re nervous and don’t want to admit they don’t know something, and partly because reporters (especially Channel 9’s 60 minute crowd) will lead them which way they want and then tell them what to say….

  26. milongal on June 24, 2016 at 11:20 pm said:

    For a recent example of 60 minutes ethical journalism, google “Tara Brown” (try the news section of google)

  27. John sanders on June 25, 2016 at 6:51 am said:

    Can someone please advise me on the following . Was SM wearing the Marco trousers or the other UN-labelled ones. Which pair had sand in the cuffs and which ones had been repaired with the carded Barbour thread. Most importantly in which of the two did Mr. Cleland find the Tamam Shud remnant from the Omar Khayam book. If we could straighten out this bit of confusion at least then we might make some headway although I’m starting to agree with Jo’s alleged statement that the business is at a higher level than the SA police. What sort of tweedle Dee tweedle dum investigation forgets to take readable post mortem prints (from what we have been shown) and compounds this travesty by doing no comparisons from the suitcase contents etc. Someone needs to be dug up and hauled over the coals over this. The only person that I have any respect for in this whole sad affair is poor old Keith Mangnosson. Although he got shafted royally for his ‘co-operation’ and spent a number of years in the funny farm he kept mum and apparently lived till a good age.

  28. Barbara on June 25, 2016 at 7:23 am said:


    Good idea and the best way to conduct yourself.

    I’ve noticed that xlamb who comments on other blogs is expressing an interest in you and your family. Please don’t engage in any form of communication with her. She had a habit of suddenly remembering things out of the blue. Next she will be saying that her father knew your gran or she has something connected to you. She has been doing it for years and people are well aware of it.

    Xlamb had no connection to the Somerton Man Case whatsoever and any theories she has conjured up it the past have been well researched and dismissed.

  29. Dave on June 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm said:

    Thanks Barbara. And I received your very long email today. I have had plenty of these from people. I’m working on my grandmothers story right now and piecing together her life. It’s going to take some time because I’m a detailed person and I like to have the facts before I say things. I also have a very busy job owning and running a farm and my family as well. This means I have certain priorities and commitments.

  30. John sanders on June 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm said:

    Cheers Dave and gran dry those eyes have a cup of tea a Bex and a good lie down you’ll be good as gold in no time. As for me I’m OK but I’m little nonplussed by this new turn of events. You see I’m trying to get some answers to questions that I feel may have some bearing on an important matter. In this case it seems that if a certain piece of parchment was located in the wrong duds then all bets are off as far as evidence goes. That includes your book which would be a dambed shame and whats more it would lose considerable value. Try to hold up remain stoic and hopefully things will be hunky dory. Best to you & Dave

  31. You’re not related to Commissioner R G Sanders (‘Sanders of the River’) are you John? My grandfather knew him and said he was ‘absolute dynamite in a dugout’. My grandfather and my father, of course, had gammy legs. One each. They run in our family, on the male side. And you know what’s odd? They alternate left and right with each generation.

  32. Rosina on June 26, 2016 at 8:13 am said:

    How would everyone feel to a clairvoyant and psychic giving her opinion on what happened to the Somerton Man. No charge for my opinion.

  33. Rosina on June 26, 2016 at 8:34 am said:

    John Sanders your writing and style is very similar to Pete Bowes. Are you related?

  34. John sanders on June 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm said:

    RN. Close Robert and I thank you for the compliment but I must confess I’m more closely related to Bosambo. My tan is quite similar but alas my religion and politics do not conform to those of Mr. Robeson. As for you Rosina what can I say you’ve caught me out and your intuition is to be commended. Good fun kids but we have a job to do and so lets on with the motley and kick some ass for the good guys.

  35. Of course, Bosambo: ‘boy’ plus ‘sambo’. You can’t get away with that stuff any more. What a name to conjure with! Greatest black dugout vocalist since Al Jolson sang ‘Paddlin’ Madeleine Home’ (1928). Gather Bosambo not happy with final cut of fillum. They told his name was going to be Reginald after he had earlier rejected Rastus.

  36. Rosina on June 27, 2016 at 8:23 am said:

    In one of my visions I can see the Somerton Man having a bath at Jestyn’s house in Glenelg. And in another I can see a visitor leaving the crippled children’s home through the gate and walking down the street. She passes a man. The man isn’t Prosper or The Somerton Man. He is in the area for some reason. An outsider. Someone who was watching Jestyn for some reason. Something about the flats next door to Jestyn comes up. It almost if Jestyn was being watched.

  37. Rosina on June 27, 2016 at 8:25 am said:

    Who were the occupants of the flats next door to Jestyn in 1948?

  38. John sanders on June 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm said:

    Rosina there was a time when I was in need of a good detailed map of the Somerton Beach Glenelg town & foreshore area which I eventually got off one of the physic websites. It was fantastic and you could literally breath the vibes in its compilation also the sincerity and verve of the people who were doing the readings. Seemed to be more scientific then hocus pocus but alas their cases usually involve missing people buried bodies and such. As for the clairvoyants well I don’t think their success rate is anything to write home about particularly in the Glenelg/Somerton area. Maybe one of you psychic sleuth people might like to give our SM a shot pro bono of course.

  39. John sanders on June 28, 2016 at 12:36 am said:

    Robeson’s rendition of ‘song of the Volga boatman (trad) ah when I hear that my knees start to shake and I’m ready to take up the cause once more. I wonder if SM had any homing thoughts like that in his last hours and if he may have expressed them in a certain manner ie MLIABOAIAQC (motherland I am a bolshi over all and I am quitting cigarettes) or something similar. By the way I think in future postings I would prefer to call SM Fred unless there be any strong objections. I feel its time he had a name of his own and it gives him a sense of being…..and just suppose nah forget it.

  40. John sanders on June 28, 2016 at 7:44 am said:

    M.L. could be Mikhail Luibimov Elli’s boss. + over O (or cross over Oscar)
    is a sort of crypto symbolic spy pun which can get out of hand at times.
    Don’t quite understand the boy & girl bit I thought that Robin was it in 48.
    I don’t believe that Oscar is a person but more of an entity (top secret)
    The crossed out piece of the puzzle has nothing to do with the third line.
    MIGHT LEAVE IT AT 0 INTEREST is as you can see a deleted conditional
    clause supportive of line one. *Oscar which is phonetic for the letter O
    may be a vehicle or some mechanical device or even a living thing like a triantiwontigongalope.

  41. B Deveson on June 28, 2016 at 7:53 am said:

    Rosina, the flats (Shandon Flats) were situated at 88 Moseley Street. The Sands and McDougall Directory for 1948 lists P.&J. Thomson at 90A, E.T. Shipman at 90B and F.K.Farrer at 90. There were flats (Beacon Lodge and Flats) more or less directly across the road at 101 Moseley Street. Occupants listed as Ellen Kennely, Angus S. McLean, Bessie L. Little, Lily Baldwin, Douglas Marshall, Anthony Kidman and an Edward surname unknown.

  42. nickpelling on June 28, 2016 at 10:12 am said:

    John sanders: I feel privileged and honoured to have the word “triantiwontigongalope” on my site. 🙂

  43. John sanders on June 28, 2016 at 1:51 pm said:

    Can’t make any claims for that one Nick. Everyone should get into C.j. Dennis another South Australian patriot and one of my inspirational heroes but sadly long forgotten. How’s the brexit party going or shouldn’t I ask. This should pick you up if anything can after Iceland.
    If England were what England seems an’ not the country of our dreams but only putty brass and paint she’d stick with Euro but she aint. (With aps. to
    RK) … hope no one took my SM thing seriously but its food for thought and might encourage other contributors to have a crack.

  44. nickpelling on June 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm said:

    John sanders: your comment made me laugh, quite the contrast from the Iceland game. Oh well! =:-o

  45. Tiago Rodrigues on June 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm said:

    Hi Nick,

    just a note on the translation of tamam shud. Probably not too relevant to the discussion at hand but just thought someone might find it interesting.
    Please note my Persian is far from perfect but I’d expect “the end” to have been written as tamam kard (تمام کرد). This is a composite verb, where tamam means “whole/complete/full/all”, and kardan “to do”, so having the meaning “all done/finished/the end”.
    The verb shodan (شدن) means “to become”, so some possible translations of tamam shud (تمام شود) besides “finished”:
    – Come to an end
    – Completed
    – Wasted or consumed
    – Run out
    A native persian speaker can probably double check this.

  46. milongal on June 29, 2016 at 12:41 am said:

    @Tiago: I think most accounts I’ve read agree – that it suggests “It is finished” (almost biblical, eh?) rather than “The End”.

  47. nickpelling on June 29, 2016 at 8:28 am said:

    Tiago: I’m sure you’re correct. In English, “The End” is a formulaic expression, not too far from “And They All Lived Happily Ever After” (which I haven’t yet seen used in any of the Brexit coverage, oddly enough): my understanding was that “Tamam Shud” was, broadly speaking, a similar kind of formula marking the end of the text. But I think getting to the core of what it actually meant would be an exercise more in linguistic archaeology than in modern translational prowess. 🙂

  48. Polly on June 29, 2016 at 2:07 pm said:

    I’ve just found a copy here:

    I don’t think it’s that hard to locate a copy. It’s just a matter of putting the time and effort in to become a ‘book sleuth’. I found a book site called world books that scans just about every other book site on the Internet.

  49. nickpelling on June 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm said:

    Polly: TradeMe I know, but “World Books” I don’t – can you give me a link?

    The issue now is not getting hold of a copy of a Courage & Friendship Rubaiyat, but getting hold of copies of the various printings (I’d call the Rubaiyat you linked to a “CFR9”, because it has nine books listed on the inside front cover), so that we can make our best judgment as to which particular print run the Somerton Man’s Rubaiyat was part of.

  50. Rosina (Clairvoyant) on June 30, 2016 at 7:19 am said:

    I would never charge for intuitive advice.

    I’m slowly tapping into this case.

    I see Jestyn. It’s winter and for some reason she is struggling financially. I know it’s winter because the leaves are not on the trees. She is on her own for some reason. Where is Prosper?. I see her wearing the same coat as she is wearing in the photo with her son Robin. She is leaving her house and she is stood at the gate. She turns right and she is walking past the flats and crossing the road towards the shops. Robin is in his pram. A man says hello to her. Why is Jestyn being watched and why is Jestyn so alone?

  51. Rosina (Clairvoyant) on June 30, 2016 at 9:14 am said:

    1 – In 1948 it was a luxury to have a telephone line installed to your property. Telephone companies keep records of customer accounts. Most are transferred to archives and microfiche now. The records of the Moseley St property need to be checked.

    2 – Why was Jessica advertising as a ‘Sister’ in the directory?

    3- Can the lease and land records be obtained for the Moseley St address.

    I have asked the spirit of Jessica to talk to me but she is only letting me in occasionally and slowly. I feel she is the victim here.

  52. Helen Ensikat on July 14, 2016 at 12:39 am said:

    I’m sure this has been checked and dismissed, but there’s a Christchurch/Fitzgerald copy in the NSW State Library dated ‘194-‘ that I’ve run out of time to take a look at, every time I’ve been in Sydney recently:


    Does anyone happen to know which edition this one is?

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