By Alan Hamill
Why was the Somerton Man in Adelaide? What happened on Somerton Beach?
Such a small book, yet it held so much information. It asks so many questions that are still yet to be answered.
The top section of this page is Quatrain 23 marked up in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam found laying opened across the forehead of Yosef Chaim Saul ben Yisroel (aka Joseph “George” Saul Haim Marshall) in Sydney on the 20th of May 1945 at Potts Point.
The lower section of this page is Quatrain 70 marked up in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam handed to Alf Boxall by Jessica Harkness at the Clifton Gardens Hotel in Sydney a few months after “George” met his end.
Boxall reportedly could not remember any details about the young lady who handed him this book, yet Jessica had an almost perfect recollection of the transaction.
Jessica Ellen (Ella) Harkness and son Robin
The words “Tamam Shud” (as shown above) were found in the fob pocket during a second search of the Somerton Man’s trousers. The piece of torn out paper bearing these words was not much larger than the current 20 cent coin and was missed during the earlier search. Although it is claimed to be the original piece, the slip below is likely to be an attempted copy.
Also found on the last page of the Rubaiyat was an imprint of the notorious “Somerton Man Code” and two phone numbers, although that is disputed between many so called experts with others claiming there was only one number. This number, X3239, turns out to be the number of Jessica and Prosper Thomson of 90A Moseley Street, Glenelg.
The copy of the lettering (below) retrieved from the ROK, was obtained by lightly rubbing the flat lead of a pencil over the page to cause the indentations to be revealed. The text you see was done by Police then pencilling in the letters and marks.
To get an understanding of the code you may want to visit the post “Somerton Man – Just Letters? Nope! They’re a message! (#4) Tamam Shud …… here
During his time as Head of “The Manhattan Project”, Robert Oppenheimer would refer to the “Bhagavad Gita” texts when he found any personnel who were having trouble doing their work inside the atomic bomb workforce. If those people became aware of what the final product of their work was to be they sometimes became very anxious, depressed, a security risk or otherwise unhealthy, and Oppenheimer would hand them a copy of this Hindu book and ask them to reflect on the inadequacies of life and the shortcomings and issues associated with death and dying in much the same way Persian Omar Khayyam did in the same era.
The Gita has always been cherished by many Hindus for its spiritual guidance, but it achieved new prominence in the 19th century, when the British in India lauded it as the Hindu equivalent of the New Testament and when American philosophers—particularly the New England Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau—considered it to be the pivotal Hindu text.
It was also an important text for Mohandas K. Gandhi, who wrote a commentary on it.
Bhagavadgita, (Sanskrit: “Song of God”) is an episode recorded in the great Sanskrit poem of the Hindus, the Mahabharata. It occupies chapters 23 to 40 of Book VI of the Mahabharata and is composed in the form of a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Krishna, an avatar (incarnation) of the god Vishnu. Composed perhaps in the 1st or 2nd century CE, it is commonly known as the Gita.
Biographies of Oppenheimer portray him as a complex, contradicted man, and something of a poet himself. His love of poetry became well known when, in a 1965 interview, he famously claimed that his first reaction to the bomb test was a recollection of a line from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Linkin Park’s 2010 concept album entitled “A Thousand Suns” captures Oppenheimer himself reciting these lines from Bhagavad-Gita scripture on recollecting the Trinity atomic bomb test in Utah, US.
British and Australian Military heirachy issued copies of “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” to personnel who they felt were not coping with the work they were doing in secret to cause an end to the War in the Pacific.
This is likely to be the subject of the death and dying discussion we have encountered when the mental condition of (Carl) Charlie Webb is raised. It is nothing more than counselling, by the military, of effected personnel.
Aaghaz – Tamam ………. (#go to Home Page)
Aaghaz 1930’s – Tamam 1980’s (#1) ……… click here.
A foggy day in Old London Town (#2) ………. click here.
Hiding in plain sight (#3) ………. click here.
Just letters? Nope! They’re a message! (#4) ………. click here.
Care for a walk on the beach dear? (#5) :- click ………. here.
Imagine, one day we’ll use power from the sun! (#6) :- ………. click here.
The Hands of a Sous Chef! (#7) :- ………….click here.
Is that lipstick on your collar Chuck? No, it’s all my blood! (#8) :- .. click here.
More pages and posts will be here soon ………… click here
Hey Ronald, the Medics have come to clean up your town again! (#) :- …click next.
Back in the day, my mates at the 8th Light Horse would’ve taken care of it. (#) :- …click next.
I’ll open our orders Mr Bickford? Yes Colonel. (#) :- …click next.
If you need Barbour, Birks and Cleland, they’re down at Piccadilly. (#) :- …click next.
Tumby Bay Retirement Home – Hurry, it’s in great demand! (#) :- …click next.
A new Sheriff comin’ to town. And he’s one of yours! (#) :- …click next.
The Hatfields v The McCoys v Who wins? (#) :- …click next.
The gardener’s job at Wolston Park? NO WAY! (#?) :- ………. click soon.
Nothin’ leaves here with tags! OK? Nothin’! SIR, YES SIR. (#?) :- ..click soon.
Could I get some more diallers please Jimmy? (#) :- …click next.
Jessie and Tiny Tina? (#?) :- ………. click soon.
When Jessica meets Dorothy! Hello! (#?) :- ………. click next.
H C Reynolds was a local. (#?) :- click ……….
You’re a loose cannon Dwyer! Lt Col (Dr) Matthew John (Barb) Dwyer ME. (#?) :- click ……….
So, Cleland and Bickford run the SAJC! There’s trouble! (#?) :- click ……….
She’s the poet, not me! (#?) :- click ……….
Boy, I’ve said it before! It’s for the greater good, the bigger picture! (#?) :- click ……….
Painter? Painter? I’m not after a Painter! (#?) :- click ……….
I’ll let you know at the Lodge meeting tonight? (#?) :- click ….
Need a car, false statement, new wife, or.. ? (#?) :- click ……….
Now? But I’ve only done half my task! (#?) :- click ……….
The Snake Group (#?) :- click ……….
My Ol’ Kentucky home! (#?) :- click ……….
Meet the Curr Sisters! (#?) :- click ……….
Get out of jail free card. Was it handed down after ’66? (#?) :- click ……….
So, you both work at a Bank? Which Bank? (#?) :- click ……….
Everything in his pocket had a reason to be there! (#?) :- click ……….
When is a tie not a tie? When it’s a tie! (#?) :- click ……….
Flowers for the mother of my Grandson! (#?) :- click ……….
May I offer you a Kensitas Frank, my MI6 friend? (#?) :- click ……….
Was Pakie my aunty, mum? (#?) :- click ……….
Neighbours! Everybody needs good neighbours! (#?) :- click ……….
The Mail Truck is always on time! (#?) :- click ……….
Allow me to replace your ribbon! (#?) :- click ………
Pie Floater? No, a Gibbs Super Pastie please! (#?) :- click ………
You met my brother Wednesday! (#?). :- click ….
Comb your hair please, both of you! (#?) :- click ….
To backtrack and brush up on what this case is about, go to Wikipedia here
Some relevant reading that is on the same search path :-
The Unknown Man by G. M. (Gerry) Feltus 2010 ISBN 978-0-646-54476-2
Tamam Shud – The Somerton Man Mystery by Kerry Greenwood 2012 ISBN 9781742233505
City Of Evil by Sean Fewster 2018 ISBN 978-0-7336-2883-2
Spies and Sparrows by Phillip Deery 2022 ISBN 9780522878301
The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair 2021 ISBN 9781489296931
Actors Blood by Alastair Duncan 2004 ISBN 978 0 9751510 4 5
The Bookmaker From Rabaul by Peter Bowes 2016 ISBN-13 978-0995430211
You could also view some of the more relevant blogs listed below!
Tamam Shud / Somerton Man – Cipher Mysteries
University of Adelaide Wiki page
TAMAM SHUD The Somerton Man Mystery
Identifying the Somerton Man | Facebook
(Note – The site or sites may require subscription, or joining the site, to load fully)
To backtrack and brush up on what this case is about, go to Wikipedia here