The theories surrounding the Taman Shud Case range from the unidentified man possibly being a missing husband to a Russian spy.
Regardless of new advances in science and additional investigators, zero progress has been made in finding the real identity of the Somerton Man.
The Scene At The Taman Shud Case:
Neil Day was riding his horse down Somerton beach in Adelaide (Australia) on December 1, 1948.
While riding on the beach, he found the dead body of a man around 6:30 am.
The man was clean-shaven, in a brown suit and was laying on his back while against a wall near the shore. According to Day, he looked like he was staring at the stars when he died.
The surprising thing about the body was that the officials didn’t find any ID or an apparent cause of death. This is where the mysterious occurrences with this case started to accumulate.
After detailed searching, there was a clue found four months later. This was in the form of a piece of paper with ‘Taman Shud’ written on it. This phrase is Persian for ‘The End,’ which fueled the theory of suicide further.
In fact, it’s also this hidden note that gave this case (and its victim) its name.
Along with Day, there were two more groups of people who saw the man the night before. According to the written statements, the passersby saw the same man sitting in the same place as the unidentified man around 7:00 pm on November 30, 1948.
They didn’t see the man move at all and one of them thought that this was due to the man being drunk.
What Did The Investigators Find At The Scene?
The unidentified man was 5’ 11”, had green eyes and blondish red hair and was wearing a nice suit.
He also had an expensive British cigarette behind his ear, indicating that he was well-off since the cigarette brand wasn’t sold in Australia at the time.
Another half-smoked cigarette was lodged between his cheek and collar. However, these expensive cigarettes were stored in his pocket inside the case of a cheaper brand.
Along with the case of cigarettes, his pockets also turned out to contain a box of matches, a used bus ticket to Glenelg, and a ticket to Henley Beach that was left unused.
One more interesting fact about the evidence was that the tags of his clothes were removed.
Furthermore, his shoes seemed to be unusually clean for someone at the beach.
The Mystery Book:
There was only one piece of paper with ‘Taman Shud’ on one side hidden in the lining of his suit.
Later in the investigation, the investigators were able to find the exact book that the piece of paper was torn from. This was a poetry book written by Omar Khayyam called “The Rubaiyat.”
According to the police records, a man found the book discarded in his car’s backseat with no idea how it got there.
The mysterious thing about this book that’s got people going in circles for decades is a list of letters written in pencil.
The authorities thought it was a code and many people have tried to crack it, with no success yet.
Here’s the sequence:
Along with the sequence was a woman’s phone number and name, Jestyn.
This woman was tracked down, and the police found that she used to own a copy of “The Rubaiyat” which was given to another man, Alf Boxall.
The police then tracked down Mr. Boxall and found that he was still in the position of his copy.
The exciting thing about this event is that her name was hidden from the public, even when the police admitted that she had nothing to do with the case.
Along with the book, the man’s suitcase was another puzzling piece of evidence.
This suitcase was left in the coatroom of the Adelaide train station the day before his death.
The suitcase contained:
- Suit jacket
- Pants with sand in the cuff
- Dressing gown
- Stenciling brush
- Scissors (with sharpened points)
- Shaving kit
- Laundry bag
The only piece of information that was found was the name T. Keane with it spelled as Kean in one case.
The Autopsy Results Of The Somerton Man:
On December 2, 1948, Dr. John Dwyer, a government pathologist, performed the post-mortem.
The autopsy showed no clear indication of how he died. He looked to be in excellent health expect the congestion and bleeding in a few of his organs.
Dr. Dwyer also concluded that he wasn’t a laborer but more of an athlete like a dancer or runner. This was because of his soft and pristine hands.
The body was also checked for poisons, but no indication was found. However, the doctor admitted that it might have been a dangerous poison that was difficult to identify after so long.
That said, he also didn’t rule out the chance of suicide either. Plus, he also said that it might have been a natural death.
Simply put, the autopsy proved to be fruitless, and no definite conclusion was drawn by the end of the investigation.
Possible Identities Of The John Doe:
The lack of information on the as well as the mysterious pieces of evidence led to several theories on the identity of the Somerton Man.
- Jack Thomas McLean: A former boxer and seaman.
- Tommy Reade: A missing ship hand. But the ship’s crew told the police he didn’t look like the Somerton Man.
- Titus Kean: E. C. Collins claimed Titus was the Somerton Man, but Titus was too young to be the missing man.
- Kliment Voroshilov: A Russian Marshal who would have been 67 at the time of the Taman Shud case.
- Tim Reed: A body turned up at Thevenard in April 1949. It was later identified as Tim Reed by Harold Francis of Plympton.
- Alf Boxall: The man whom Jesyn gave the copy of the Rubaiyat who went missing (thought of as dead) and later was found alive and well.
- C. Johnson: Suspected to be the Somerton Man but ended up coming forward to the Police station to declare that he was alive.
- Carl Thompsen: Keith Waldemar Mangnoson thought he found the identity of the Somerton Man but was an old work colleague from 1936, Carl Thompsen.
- Keanic: A Bulgarian going by the name, Keanic.
- Solomonson: A possible surname of the missing man. But was ruled out since the body was uncircumcised.
- Bailey: In August 1948, the husband of Mrs. P. Bailey from Mildura went missing.
- Robert Walsh: A woodcutter who was found to be too young to be the Somerton Man.
The Finale Of The Taman Shud Case:
Several detectives and criminal investigators tried to find more information about the Taman Shud Case.
They even tried to track down the origin of his American jacket back to the US. However, even that failed to pan out.
By the end of the case, there was no reliable evidence pointing towards any particular conclusion. This is even after the book cipher, expensive British cigarettes, and other evidence were available.
Even the place where the Somerton Man died was unclear.
So, it’s clear to say that the Taman Shud Case will continue to be one of the mysteries of our century.
The Taman Shud Case follows a mysterious death in South Australia that rocked the nation which led to many theories about the mysterious man.