However, in a 2013 interview for the Australian “60 Minutes” current affairs TV programme, her daughter Kate revealed that her mother had told her that she indeed did know more about the Somerton Man, but had deliberately not revealed it to police.
She also revealed that her mother was able to speak Russian; suggested that her mother may have been involved in some spy-related activity; and that her mother thought that the whole Somerton Man affair was above “a State Police level”.
Careful analysis of this suggests that it is more likely to be an ‘acrostic’ (i.e.
the first letters of a text or poem, possibly as a mnemonic aid for remembering it) than a cipher, because its letter frequencies are more similar to the letter frequencies of the first letters of English words than to those of normal English text.
Tucked into a tiny fob pocket in the dead man’s trousers was a small scrap of printed paper ripped out of a book: mysteriously, it contained the Persian phrase (i.e. This was quickly recognized as being the final words of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, quite a popular book at the time.
And then some months later, a particular copy of the Rubaiyat surfaced with part of the final “Tamam Shud” page removed: it was claimed that the book had been thrown into a car parked near the same beach where the man had been found.Even so, useful and actionable facts about the case remain painfully few, very far between, and continue to be difficult to connect with each other.It’s true that if we could identify the man himself, we might gain enough context to understand his cipher: but based on the evidence we currently have, I think the odds would seem to be strongly against either mystery being resolved any time soon. * ABC Inside Story documentary, episode “The Somerton Beach Mystery”, first screened Thursday, August 24th, 1978: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, all on You Tube. * Professor Derek Abbott’s primary evidence page (includes scans of the inquest reports, etc).However, apart from three items marked “Kean”, “Keane”, and “T.Keane” (), nothing indicating the man’s identity was found in those belongings.This has, of course, unleashed a torrent of speculation, though with not a shred of external evidence to back any of it up.Also: one unusual feature of Boxall’s copy of the Rubaiyat is that the nurse had apparently signed it “Jestyn”, though her name at the time was actually Jessica Ellen Harkness.However, getting from there to “Jestyn” still seems something of a stretch (if not an outright leap): so perhaps there may yet be more to be uncovered here.In many ways, the whole Tamam Shud case is a perfect murder mystery (), to the point that there’s no way of knowing whether a murder actually took place (many people propose suicide as an explanation for many features of the mystery), who the victim was, what the murder weapon was (if indeed it was a murder), or who the perpetrator was.If you want to know more – OK: much, more – about the Somerton Man, this is surely the first thing you should buy for yourself.It’s a little bit pricey (mainly because of Australian book taxes), true, but well worth the money, in my opinion.