The Tamám Shud case, a.k.a the Somerton man has been an unsolved case of an unidentified man found deceased in 1948 that has since perplexed online discussion boards and investigative agencies for years.
Reviving An Unidentified Man
Just recently, Daniel Voshart, a cinematographer and virtual reality specialist with credits from Star Trek and various other films has used his talent to recreate the Somerton man.
The results from the animation are incredible.
How it was made
To quote Daniel himself;
“I drew on all of Derek Abbott’s research and list of things of what to pay attention to,” Canada-based Voshart told ABC News.
“I was given a list of his hair colour, what his teeth were like, what his eye colour was, his skin tone.”
Thereafter, the artist used AI software with all the given case file resources to resurrect this mysterious figure.
Incase you are unfamiliar with this case; allow us give you the rest of the details to get you caught up to speed.
On December 1st 1948, a man was found lifeless on the Somerton Park beach, in Australia near Glenelg.
The man was still and cold. He was lying in the sand on his back, and was spotted in the early hours of the morning.
His legs were seen extended and crossed with an unlit cigarette hanging on the brim of his coat.
His pockets contained:
- A railroad ticket from Adelaide to Henley beach
- A bus ticket
- An Army Club cigarette pack
- A USA made comb
- A pack of Juicy Fruit gum
- A box of Bryant & May matches
The man was 5 foot 11 inches tall and was in good physical condition. (besides being dead)
The man was estimated to have been in his 40’s and notably all of the tags of his clothing were missing.
Some people in the local area reported seeing the man at that particular spot, a full two days earlier.
Another set of witnesses saw him on that same evening, this particular witness noted that they saw him move his arm until it went completely limp.
Witnesses thought that the man was drunk or asleep and as a result did not check the scene earlier.
Another witness told the police she had seen another man looking down at the Somerton man from the top of the beach steps, but no further interaction was noted.
A final witness had come forward a full 11 years later and reported that they had seen three well dressed men carrying the man on the beach that night.
This eyewitness account failed to identify who these other three were.
Cause of death was hard to determine when it came time for the autopsy. The only item inside the man’s stomach was a patsy eaten three and half hours before death.
All tests conducted failed to determine any kind of substance in the body.
The official documents regarding the incident writes:
“No doubt minimal doses of certain common poisons could have caused death and have been eliminated from the body before death.
But on the expert evidence no such minimal dose could have caused death so quickly, and a more massive dose would certainly have left traces which would have been detected on analysis”Page 34 – Official Somerton Man Inquest
On paper, this death looked “natural”, according to one of the doctors. However, the rest of the details surrounding this incident point to a far more dubious situation.
The man carried no identification his dental records had no match, and his identity would baffle investigators for decades to come.
On January 14th 1949, a suitcase that had all branding removed was discovered at the Adelaide railway.
The case had been checked in sometime around 11:00am on November 30th.
Given the timeline of events, and the ticket found on the man’s person; it was believed this suitcase belonged to the Somerton man.
The suit case contained the following:
- A red checked dress gown (size 7)
- A red pair of slippers
- Four pairs of underwear
- Shaving items
- A pair of brown pants (unwashed, had sand in the pant cuffs)
- A screwdriver
- A table knife that had been sharpened
- A pair of scissors (sharpened)
- Stenciling brush
- Card of thread (Barbour brand)
- This was the same thread used to repair the pants of the Somerton man.
Notably, all of the tags had been removed from the clothes except for the name “T. Keane” found on a tie, “Keane”, on a laundry bag, and “Kean” on a waistcoat.
As it would turn out, there was no “T. Keane” found by the investigation.
After the train records were checked, investigators believed the man had taken an overnight train from either Melbourne, Sydney, or Augusta.
At some point after presumably the night of 29th or early morning of the 30th, the man is believed to have showered shaved.
At about 10:50 am the man bought the railway ticket to Henley Beach, however, for some reason he never decided to take the train.
Instead he checked his suitcase around 11:00AM at the station and caught a bus to Glenelg
At this point after, we don’t know the specifics of what caused him to be found deceased.
As the investigation would continue on in 1949, two notable discoveries would be made.
After further examination of the man’s clothes it was noted that his shoes were in pristine condition.
This would be uncharacteristic of a man supposedly wandering the streets all day, This seems to add credence to the one witness account of three men carrying the man.
Moreover; the second discovery was the discovery of a tiny piece of rolled paper, sewn into a hidden portion of the man’s trousers.
It read, “Tamám Shud”.
Eerily enough, “Tamám Shud”, when translated meant “Ended”, and was found on the last page of a book titled Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Interestingly, the back side of this note was blank and did not contain any writing from the opposite page.
As this investigation gained some traction, a nationwide search for a version of this book with this particular page missing was launched.
To everyone’s surprise, the book was found.
While various accounts conflate how and where the book was found the most settled on location was an unlocked car on Jetty road in Glenelg.
The contents of the book contained some light writing on one of the rear pages of the book.
It appeared to be an encoded acrostic as Cipher Mysteries pointed out ; however it’s full meaning have never been properly decoded.
The Encoded Message In Plaintext:
Among the other writing found in the book, it also included the telephone number of a former nurse, Jessica Ellen Thompson.
She lived on 90A Glenelg St, not far from where the man was found.
Jessica denied any knowledge of who the Somerton man was, however when shown an image of the man she seemed unable to contain herself.
Jessica did tell police however that she had given a copy of Rubaiyat to a man by the name of Alfred Boxall in 1944.
Alfred was alive and well making this connection even more peculiar.
The Daughter Speaks Out
In 2005 the daughter of Jessica Ellen Thompson would speak out after her mother’s death.
She would appear on 60 minutes stating that her mother likely knew the identity of the Somerton man.
She claimed her mother spoke Russian and may have been involved in spy activity after retiring as a nurse.
This has caused speculation to spiral ever since then however any concrete evidence outside circumstantial has yet to be confirmed.
What do you think about this Case?
Was the Somerton Man A Spy?