The memory of an elephant, or a Scot! (#19)

Screen Capture B

By Alan Hamill

Who is The Somerton Man? Why was he in Adelaide? What happened on Somerton Beach? Was Charters Towers the site of the masterplan?

Back to Home Page

Take me to the Index Page please!

Let me introduce you to one of the luckiest “toe-rags” of the period.

Well, for as long as his luck held anyway. And you know good things don’t last forever.

    This is Malcolm!  Mal A Raff 2

This is supposed to be Charlie! Pic face 1

This is Malcolm!  Mal A Raff 1

This is Malcolm Anstice Rafferty.

Mal Hat1

(p.s. I apologise for the quality, it’s the best I have at the moment but he looks a bit familiar)

His father (below) was Lt Col Rupert Anstice Rafferty, DSO

Rupert 1

Lt Col Rupert A Rafferty, DSO (1875-1945)

Malcolm Rafferty was the eldest son of Rupert and Sarah Rafferty and started life in Tasmania on 15th February1902, having only a sister older than him and 5 younger siblings.

Malcolm was gay and bi-sexual and found himself up in front of the bench many times and in many states in Australia.

“Malcolm, you are entitled to one phone call, would you like to call your solicitor?”

“No, Gov, I’ll call father.”


“Constable, mark the Rafferty file N. O. D. please, I’ve just received a call from the top”

“Sir, we’ve got this sod cold, he’s NOT A NODDY”

“N.O.D. son, and now please”


Up until Malcolm’s father’s passing in April 1945, Malcolm’s life was colourful and the silver spoon was gleaming in the sun when he took it out, but that would change.

Soon after his father’s death Malcolm would be jailed for 6 months for his misdemeanours against both men and women. He would be slotted for behavioural and sex crimes committed Australia wide. He could no longer rely on Rupert keeping him out of gaol.

Headstone 1


He makes a significant mistake on 25th May 1944 when he follows a woman off a bus in Adelaide.

And could it prove to be a fatal mistake when he assaults and bashes her?

Assault 1944

You see, Clarice Eva Eleanor Sutherland was the wife of someone we know well in this saga.

Scan A

Malcolm bashed Clarice Sutherland who was the wife of William Sutherland. But that name may not ring any bells.

We know William better by the name of Scan Sutherland or “Scotty” Sutherland, the Constable to the Coroner.

Do the crime, do the time and Malcolm gets 6 months, takes up a short residence in Sydney, but then nothing. Malcolm disappears till he re-appears in 1959 in the South Pacific. Or should I say re-disappears?

Muniara 1959 A

Muniara 1959 B

Despite the reports of bodies on the beach (they were 44 gallon drums) the ship and its crew were never located. The crew were non-english speaking islanders and there was only Captain Smith and Rafferty who spoke English.

The only debris found was 1 life jacket with the name “Muniara”, 1 hatch cover and 1 piece of the cargo of timber and 2 life rafts. The authorities believed the ship should have floated at (or just below) the surface as the entire cargo was dried timber and it was all stowed below deck.

The only official statement about the loss appears to be the Steamships Trading Company of Port Moresby’s Annual Report were it lists the loss as a cost to the company.

But was it Malcolm Anstice Rafferty or was it Charlie Webb who, with the help of Jessi and Alf in being placed with Captain Smith, was able to enjoy the private cruising life of the South Pacific till he felt safe enough to again disappear in 1959 and turn up as someone else in the UK?

There is still a need for Alexander Arthur Dowling to be the man on the beach as Charlie and Alex are 5″ 11″ but Malcolm Anstice Rafferty is 5″ 5″ (6″ closer to the ground).


To take you to the Home Page …………  click here.

To backtrack and brush up on what this case is about, go to Wikipedia here


Tags:- adelaide, alexander, barbour, blood, carl, charlie, code, cutlack, dowling, ect, electro, hamill, jessica, jestyn, kean, keane, khayyam, lipstick, loneranger6, lonerangeraus, omar, pathology, poison, prosper, shud, somerton, spy, tamam, webb

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