My Somerton Man Wish List

This page holds my ever-fluctuating wish list of “known unknowns” for the Somerton Man historical mystery: that is, all the pieces of archival evidence that I know (or strongly suspect) exist and which might well be highly informative, but which I haven’t yet seen.

Crew lists

Ericbank
* 16 Sep 1948 – Incoming crew list – Sydney (arriving from Nauru) – [?]
* 20 Nov 1948 – Outgoing crew list – Sydney (departing for Honiara) – [?]

Annam
* 02 Oct 1948 – Incoming crew list – Port Adelaide (from New Zealand) – D3064
* 29 Oct 1948 – Outgoing crew list – [*] Melbourne (for Hobart) – [?]
* 01 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – [*] Hobart – P2005
* 07 Nov 1948 – Outgoing crew list – [*] Launceston – P2004
* 15 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – [*] Port Pirie – D3064
* 20 Nov 1948 – Outgoing crew list – Fremantle (for Genoa) – PP1/1

American Producer
* 18 Oct 1948 – Incoming crew list – Brisbane – BP120/1
* 29 Dec 1948 – Outgoing crew list – Sydney – [?]

Note: I’d particularly like to know if the American Producer’s Master “J. Dixon” left with the ship, because I have only the briefest of records for him.

City of Delhi

* 11 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – Fremantle (from Beira) – PP1/1
* 15 Jan 1949 (or thereabouts) – Outgoing crew list – Fremantle (for UK and Continent) – PP1/1

Lanarkshire

* 14 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – Fremantle (from Mauritius) – PP1/1
* 30 Dec 1948 – Outgoing crew list – Fremantle (for Liverpool) – PP1/1

Incharran

Note that the Incharran was a British-registered ship (or rather a Hong Kong-registered British ship) with a largely Chinese crew, hence there is a reasonable chance it would be required to register its crew movements between Australia and Hobart. If so, this may be precisely what we need, because I think – putting all the pieces together – that there’s a good chance the Somerton Man came across from Tasmania on the Incharran on the 29th November 1948.

* 18 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – [*] Port Pirie (from Risdon) – D3064
* 18 Nov 1948 – Outgoing crew list – [*] Port Pirie (for Risdon) – D3064
* 23 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – [*] Risdon (from Port Pirie) – P2005
* 24 Nov 1948 – Outgoing crew list – [*] Risdon (for Port Pirie) – P2004
* 29 Nov 1948 – Incoming crew list – [*] Port Pirie (from Risdon) – D3064
* 09 Dec 1948 – Outgoing crew list – [*] Port Adelaide (for Risdon) – D3064

Desertions and Discharges

If the Somerton Man was a merchant seaman working in Tasmania, and had to go on some kind of sick leave, then this would very probably have been recorded in a ledger. The one I’d particularly like to check for October – December 1948 is:-

* Tasmanian desertions for this period in P2562, VOLUME 1 at the NAA (held in Hobart).

Company Archives

Electrolytic Zinc Company at Risdon

If the Somerton Man was a wharfie or longshoreman (rather than a merchant seaman) working at the Electrolytic Zinc plant in Risdon, then there is a good chance that we might find his details among the company’s personnel files.

* NS3753 – The Hobart files on the Electrolytic Zinc Company (whose lead plant on Risdon might be involved here), in particular…
* NS3753/1/93 – The staff files for the Electrolytic Zinc Company in Risdon.

6 thoughts on “My Somerton Man Wish List

  1. Pingback: Risdon, zinc, and known unknowns... -Cipher Mysteries

  2. Didn’t the chemist, doctor, dentist, professional’s children say that they had found the book on/around November 20th? Somehow, they connected it to the RAAF Air Pageant that was going on that day??? Perhaps we should be looking for information starting from that date?

  3. Nick – Sorry, I don’t mean to confuse – I mean this in reference to your specific comment about SM coming in on the 29th. He might have been there earlier as well.

    Incredible research going on here!

  4. Misca: I don’t think what we’re doing here is genuinely incredible so much as “sensible but a bit late”. Given the long-standing (and actually very reasonable) suspicion that Somerton Man was a merchant seaman from overseas, it does seem a bit ‘lightweight’ to me that nobody has yet got round to cross-referencing all the crew lists going into and out of Port Adelaide (and its outports) from October 1948 to December 1948.

  5. Misca: who really can say with any certainty that the Somerton Man had anything to do with the book while he was alive? 🙂

  6. If he was alive when the Tamam Shud slip was pushed into his fob pocket, then yes Nick, I can say with some certainty that he did have something to do with the book.
    Whoever did it.

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