Unsolved Taman Shud Case

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Gordon1552

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71 years today an unknown man was found dead on Somerton Beach in Adelaide.

I've looked at part 1 and they seem to have done some in depth research in some of the areas of the case.

They have a letter from Len Brown one of the original detectives, who congratulates the production and says "Ät present the office is agog at the very commendable 'journalistic' twist of a spy link - very well done. Sounds like he agrees with this direction the programme goes in.

It's Len Brown who shows Littlemore the suitcase of SM and it's contents in the docu before it is supposedly destroyed. Not sure that happens when the case is still open?

They traced the other army officer Alf Boxall said was at Clifton Gardens in a gathering before he says Jo Harness gave him the copy of the Rubyaiat. His name was TE Musgrave and they research information about him and his army service.

They try to find the other nurse Boxall says was with them at the first meeting, but found no record of her or "Jestyn"registered as nurse trainees at the North Shore hospital. However Jo Harkness wasn't known as Jestyn and wasn't registered there in that name. Littlemore at that stage did not know her real name.

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There were a number of training units that recruited young nurses as code breakers, a technique picked up from Mr. Marks in MI6. I heard from Professor Abbott that Jess didn't complete her training at RNSH when she was there but did some years later in Adelaide. Jess's name appears on the list of nurses on the RNSH course.
 

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There were a number of training units that recruited young nurses as code breakers, a technique picked up from Mr. Marks in MI6. I heard from Professor Abbott that Jess didn't complete her training at RNSH when she was there but did some years later in Adelaide. Jess's name appears on the list of nurses on the RNSH course.
Jo or Jessica Harkness's name?
 

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BlueE

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These notes on the 1978 Stuart Littlemore documentary was a good find by Redacted. Not only did they get vision of the suitcase and its contents they interviewed as many as possible of the people involved at the time and they researched many avenues of information.

There is a written record of what was included in Lionel Leane interview which didn't make the final cut I don't think.

Det Sgt Leane describes finding a hypodermic syringe close to where SM was found. The police took it into evidence and Leane thinks it was used by the unknown man in a few strange theories he has. However he repeats that he found a hypodermic syringe and police have (had?) it a few times.

Interesting that Ira Harvey who said the man stayed at the hotel she worked at, had what looked like a hypodermic syringe in a black case in his room.

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Actually the Inside Story documents on NAA were brought to my attention via a 7 year old post by BDeveson on the Smithsonian site. I've been wading through both volumes. I note that police thought that he was Eastern European, long before Ira Harvey came forward, but the ticket seller didn't say anything about an accent. Also interesting is that he was seen to wait for the train, watch people board it, watch it leave, and then left the station to board the bus. Police opinioned that this action demonstrated classic spy craft behaviour. Today we call it OPSEC.

However, any former boy scout who read Baden Powell's book on spying which was fairly popular would also know about this little trick anyhow. And if so the connection to T A Keane, the former boy scout, former Army cadet, possible EYL member, and definitely a communist ARU member at Newport Workshops can't be ruled out as yet.

One thing I did note from my couple of years working at the Newport work shops in the early 80's was the multicultural workforce. There were many Greeks, Russians, Maltese etc. So SM could've been both Eastern European and Australian. As noted earlier, white Russians had migrated to Australia long before the war. How he became acquainted with T A Keane has a myriad of possibilities.

However, there's another possibility, that I need time to explore, that's related to a multinational organisation that moved people around the world, and they weren't soldiers. Time might tell.

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Is there a database of defrocked Roman Catholic clergy, padres or novice priests from the 1940's? Just going on a hunch.

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BlueE

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Actually the Inside Story documents on NAA were brought to my attention via a 7 year old post by BDeveson on the Smithsonian site. I've been wading through both volumes. I note that police thought that he was Eastern European, long before Ira Harvey came forward, but the ticket seller didn't say anything about an accent. Also interesting is that he was seen to wait for the train, watch people board it, watch it leave, and then left the station to board the bus. Police opinioned that this action demonstrated classic spy craft behaviour. Today we call it OPSEC.

However, any former boy scout who read Baden Powell's book on spying which was fairly popular would also know about this little trick anyhow. And if so the connection to T A Keane, the former boy scout, former Army cadet, possible EYL member, and definitely a communist ARU member at Newport Workshops can't be ruled out as yet.

One thing I did note from my couple of years working at the Newport work shops in the early 80's was the multicultural workforce. There were many Greeks, Russians, Maltese etc. So SM could've been both Eastern European and Australian. As noted earlier, white Russians had migrated to Australia long before the war. How he became acquainted with T A Keane has a myriad of possibilities.

However, there's another possibility, that I need time to explore, that's related to a multinational organisation that moved people around the world, and they weren't soldiers. Time might tell.
Still looking through but the Lionel Leane interview in the second volume sticks out for me with the mention of finding a hypodermic syringe nearby.

Leane was only attached to the case on 14th January 1949, so he couldn't have found this at the time. Possible the initial investigating cops found it, but there has been no mention of it, although Leane repeated three times that it was being held by police in evidence.

I think the poison that caused his death has been established and this was confirmed for me with the Philips review where the medical evidence was looked at again by professors in forensic science.

So was there something in the syringe that could have been connected to what he was there for or nuclear facilities at the time?
 

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Still looking through but the Lionel Leane interview in the second volume sticks out for me with the mention of finding a hypodermic syringe nearby.

Leane was only attached to the case on 14th January 1949, so he couldn't have found this at the time. Possible the initial investigating cops found it, but there has been no mention of it, although Leane repeated three times that it was being held by police in evidence.

I think the poison that caused his death has been established and this was confirmed for me with the Philips review where the medical evidence was looked at again by professors in forensic science.

So was there something in the syringe that could have been connected to what he was there for or nuclear facilities at the time?
Nothing is confirmed for me about his death. There's a lot of conjecture and opinion within the volumes of the interviews and letters. I think tunnel vision had derailed much of the investigation, more so than any possible conspiracy. Someone died. We don't really know why or who he is. An imputation is made that he was known to Jessica Harkness and is the father of her child. Whether they met that fateful day has been taken to her grave. Her surprise at seeing the bust would suggest not to me, but the possibility should not be discounted. I have taken a view that the only way to identify him now is simply to follow every lead and every association, search every record, find names, search them. When I first came across this mystery a few years ago, I had thought that the evidence would give us clues. But the brand of matches, cigarettes, clothes or shoes hasn't given us anything solid. There's no magic list of people who bought these items, no list of train passengers on the interstate trains, no passenger arrival lists, nada. The post mortem has many details. One thing I can deduce is that he's probably right handed as the nicotine stains are on the fingers of his right hand. This would suggest that he is unlikely to be whoever wrote the HC Reynolds ID card, however the prospect of him being a merchant seaman lead me to discover other mysteries such as the woman allegedly trying to fence one of the lost crates of Peking Man fossils at the top of the empire state building in the 70's who alleges that 2 people had been murdered in relationship to the smuggling of these artifacts. Keeping an open mind is probably the hardest thing to do in any process of investigation as impatience encourages our minds to want to cut to the quickest path of resolution, and thus we will discount the improbable and categorize the too hard as far fetched or deluded, until we're forced back to those paths once the easy path hits the dead end. Just as I originally discounted Thomas Ambrose Keane of Williamstown, because he was still alive well after 1948. But something kept nagging me about that old army cadet record. It was the handwriting of whoever filled out his details. The T Keane written upon that form is nearly the same as the T Keane written upon that tie in the suitcase found at Adelaide railway station! So an intriguing possibility is that SM had items gifted or bought from this T Keane. Will searching T Keane's associates yield results? Too early to tell, and hampered by the lack of digitised records and photographs, it will be laborious but is probably the easiest lead, considering that if this mystery does have something to do with espionage then T Keane of Williamstown Victoria also was involved in the same communist party apparatuses as Horace Pile who was sent to Adelaide 2 years after SM's death to spy at Woomera. Why might Pile be Important to this story? He is related via marriage to Harkness.

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BlueE

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Nothing is confirmed for me about his death. There's a lot of conjecture and opinion within the volumes of the interviews and letters. I think tunnel vision had derailed much of the investigation, more so than any possible conspiracy. Someone died. We don't really know why or who he is. An imputation is made that he was known to Jessica Harkness and is the father of her child. Whether they met that fateful day has been taken to her grave. Her surprise at seeing the bust would suggest not to me, but the possibility should not be discounted. I have taken a view that the only way to identify him now is simply to follow every lead and every association, search every record, find names, search them. When I first came across this mystery a few years ago, I had thought that the evidence would give us clues. But the brand of matches, cigarettes, clothes or shoes hasn't given us anything solid. There's no magic list of people who bought these items, no list of train passengers on the interstate trains, no passenger arrival lists, nada. The post mortem has many details. One thing I can deduce is that he's probably right handed as the nicotine stains are on the fingers of his right hand. This would suggest that he is unlikely to be whoever wrote the HC Reynolds ID card, however the prospect of him being a merchant seaman lead me to discover other mysteries such as the woman allegedly trying to fence one of the lost crates of Peking Man fossils at the top of the empire state building in the 70's who alleges that 2 people had been murdered in relationship to the smuggling of these artifacts. Keeping an open mind is probably the hardest thing to do in any process of investigation as impatience encourages our minds to want to cut to the quickest path of resolution, and thus we will discount the improbable and categorize the too hard as far fetched or deluded, until we're forced back to those paths once the easy path hits the dead end. Just as I originally discounted Thomas Ambrose Keane of Williamstown, because he was still alive well after 1948. But something kept nagging me about that old army cadet record. It was the handwriting of whoever filled out his details. The T Keane written upon that form is nearly the same as the T Keane written upon that tie in the suitcase found at Adelaide railway station! So an intriguing possibility is that SM had items gifted or bought from this T Keane. Will searching T Keane's associates yield results? Too early to tell, and hampered by the lack of digitised records and photographs, it will be laborious but is probably the easiest lead, considering that if this mystery does have something to do with espionage then T Keane of Williamstown Victoria also was involved in the same communist party apparatuses as Horace Pile who was sent to Adelaide 2 years after SM's death to spy at Woomera. Why might Pile be Important to this story? He is related via marriage to Harkness.

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What's confirmed for me is what he died of because of the detailed post mortem evidence which was further analysed by Professor Stanton Hicks and further investigated and analysed in the Phillips review in 2004.

The 2004 Phillips review, written by a Professor of Law had the co-operation of the SA Coroner at the time and two Professors of forensic medicine from Victoria (I gave more details in the post where Gordon attached the report back in the thread).

They came to the conclusion backing Professor Stanton Hicks that the cause of death was plant glycosides and probably digitalis. It was interesting that in the original Inquest Professor Hicks did not mention the names in his evidence for fear of public using the poisons as they were easily accessible. Hicks said in evidence he wrote the name of the poison on a piece of paper and it was put into evidence as Exhibit 18. However in the Phillips review they found that this piece of paper was lost.

It explains that Exhibit 18 which was attached to the Inquest in 1955 (not in 1949) says glucosides which is something entirely different and wouldn't affect the heart causing death. Then two unintelligible words which were supposed to represent the two classes of glycosides, plant and animal were misrepresented. The handwriting of Exhibit 18 did not match Prof Hicks and it seems if the original piece of paper was lost someone without medical training has written what they thought Hicks said at the Inquest (glucosides instead of glycosides) and included this to replace the lost note.

Anyhow for me because of the medical evidence, the cause of death is confirmed.

Other than that there is disinformation whether on purpose or not which I think only DNA will solve.

I did find the former Det Sgt Leane's interview notes for Stuart Littlemore very interesting. Leane was putting forward random theories and seemingly disjointed ideas but his repeated claims that SA police had a hypodermic syringe found close to the body of SM something you don't make up.

It's quite an outstanding claim if true and could be related to how SM died or could confirm what Ira Harvey said SM had in his room in a black medical type case in the days before he died? If so what did it the hypodermic syringe contain?
 

Gordon1552

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Posted 4 examples of an Acrostic code found in the SM docs including the one for Tibor Kaldor, the Code page, Verse 70 and the Gold Watch ad.:
/forum/threads/rubaiyat-suspicious-deaths-codes-spies.1231844/page-3
 

Gordon1552

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Somewhere in the NAA folder you'll find some notes from John Ruffles, he describes the meeting between Harry Gold and an unlnown Russian man at the Earle Theatre in the Bronx. JR immediately thought that the man matched SMs description and said so. The man later turned out to be Pavel Fedosimov. Funny old world :)
 

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The American DNA had me perplexed for awhile. How could this piece of evidence involve communists, Russians, espionage or hiding his identity?

Unless, an identity swap.
It's one way to hide a high value defector, going him a new life with an existing identity.

Find a volunteer who has very few people outside of the know, who could identify him. and he's dying, so he volunteers to commit suicide so that the defector can assume his identity and life. So for all intents and purposes we'd have a hard time to identify the deceased, because to all the world, he was still alive, albeit it was someone else now living as him. Stage it in a foreign country where he's been stationed with a decent paying job where he's not too well known. Maybe he's 2nd in charge. Maybe an equilivant rank and existing job to the defector.if the object is to hide the defector rather than pretend he's dead, then the only identity they'd have to hide is the corpse's.

I have a suspect as the volunteer, James Montgomery-Gilchrist Jnr. We need before and after photographs to prove an identity swap occurred in 1948 of course, but circumstances surrounding James Montgomery Gilchrist Jnr and his connections to people that were likely involved in the SM case might strongly suggest that he is a good contender for having died and been rebirthed.

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You have a very good understanding of the cold war situation against the Communists that existed in Australia and many Western countries post WW2. So if you want to expand your thinking, I'm posing serious questions about Elliot Frank Johnston.

How did this man who was a card carrying communist party organisor in Adelaide, someone who was under ASIO (or it's predecessor) surveillance and even now has only 70 documents out of 300 available to view, thrive in his business and become a QC and SA Supreme Court judge?

An acquaintance of his who knew him in 1948 has written a letter suggesting he was involved in the death of SM (among other accusations) using plant poison. This person also allege Elliot was given 50,000 pounds in 1949 which he bought a flash car and big house. In an oral interview Johnston talks abut being a Communist organisor for much of the 50's and not working again as a lawyer until 1957. He also travelled to different countries around the world, including Russia, China, India and Korea during this time.

Was Elliot Johnston driving a flash car, and what was it?
Was this money he was alleged to be given connected to the SM case? Hush money for keeping a secret about SM identity or his purpose in Adelaide?
Did EJ have information only known to the top at ASIO that could compromise Australia or Allies in USA (CIA) or MI5 that gave him a free ride even though he was a card carrying communist?
Johnston resigned from the CPA before taking up the role of sitting on the bench.
You'll find the reference in this attachment.View attachment 1.pdf

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The American DNA had me perplexed for awhile. How could this piece of evidence involve communists, Russians, espionage or hiding his identity?

Unless, an identity swap.
It's one way to hide a high value defector, going him a new life with an existing identity.

Find a volunteer who has very few people outside of the know, who could identify him. and he's dying, so he volunteers to commit suicide so that the defector can assume his identity and life. So for all intents and purposes we'd have a hard time to identify the deceased, because to all the world, he was still alive, albeit it was someone else now living as him. Stage it in a foreign country where he's been stationed with a decent paying job where he's not too well known. Maybe he's 2nd in charge. Maybe an equilivant rank and existing job to the defector.if the object is to hide the defector rather than pretend he's dead, then the only identity they'd have to hide is the corpse's.

I have a suspect as the volunteer, James Montgomery-Gilchrist Jnr. We need before and after photographs to prove an identity swap occurred in 1948 of course, but circumstances surrounding James Montgomery Gilchrist Jnr and his connections to people that were likely involved in the SM case might strongly suggest that he is a good contender for having died and been rebirthed.

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Apparently, I am related to the Gilchrists through my wife's lineage so I was able to do some genealogy research and it looks unlikely that James Montgomery Gilchrist jnr could be a swapped identity as he had live relatives who would've recognized an imposter.


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BlueE

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Johnston resigned from the CPA before taking up the role of sitting on the bench.
You'll find the reference in this attachment.View attachment 807420

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Can't open your attachment but I'm aware that Elliot Johnston didn't resign from the Communist Party (CP) until 1983, when 65 years old, because he had to resign to accept the role of Judge in SA Supreme Court.

He was an open, active member of the CP officially since 1941 and CPA organisor exclusively being paid for this within Australia and overseas after the war, and didn't go back to his law practice until 1957 (from his oral interview at State Lib). This was at the height of the cold war against Communists in Australia, and he did all of these activities and then became a prominent lawyer and Queens Counsel all while being a card carrying Communist leader.

He left the army suddenly at the start of Jan 1945, was under ASIO surveillance until around 1960, (most of the 300 pages they have on him and his activities are permanently closed) and if there were any suspicions that the Communists might have been involved somehow in the death of the SM, then EJ must come under consideration for his role.
 

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Can't open your attachment but I'm aware that Elliot Johnston didn't resign from the Communist Party (CP) until 1983, when 65 years old, because he had to resign to accept the role of Judge in SA Supreme Court.

He was an open, active member of the CP officially since 1941 and CPA organisor exclusively being paid for this within Australia and overseas after the war, and didn't go back to his law practice until 1957 (from his oral interview at State Lib). This was at the height of the cold war against Communists in Australia, and he did all of these activities and then became a prominent lawyer and Queens Counsel all while being a card carrying Communist leader.

He left the army suddenly at the start of Jan 1945, was under ASIO surveillance until around 1960, (most of the 300 pages they have on him and his activities are permanently closed) and if there were any suspicions that the Communists might have been involved somehow in the death of the SM, then EJ must come under consideration for his role.
1983 is the year quoted in the attachment also.

PS. One minute the files you mentioned are closed. Next minute via another search route 1st of 3 digitised volumes are there



3 of 20 volumes. Volume 20 is 1973.

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BlueE

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1983 is the year quoted in the attachment also.

PS. One minute the files you mentioned are closed. Next minute via another search route 1st of 3 digitised volumes are there



3 of 20 volumes. Volume 20 is 1973.

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I've read all of the 66 available from 300 pages and noted before he was under surveillance and almost prosecuted for avoiding war service, but there are two years of notes from just before SM death that are permanently closed that could be very important in this case.

His abrupt exit from Papua New Guinea and completely from service a short time later on 03/01/1945 is not commented on.
 

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I've read all of the 66 available from 300 pages and noted before he was under surveillance and almost prosecuted for avoiding war service, but there are two years of notes from just before SM death that are permanently closed that could be very important in this case.

His abrupt exit from Papua New Guinea and completely from service a short time later on 03/01/1945 is not commented on.
My Grandfather's cousin was in New Guineas at that time as a war correspondent . He covered some court marshalls for the Argus and such. Google up Cyril Burley in NAA and see if Johnston gets a mention. Anything that was newsworthy may be in Cryril's record. I haven't found anything yet about Johnston's repatriation specifically, other than there were a lot of diggers impatient about returning home.

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Genealogical entry of Prosper McTaggard Thomson started by a Grand Nephew
He needs to pad it out and add birth date, death date, partners and children etc. So it added sources for him, but as I'm not connected to the tree, i can't do any more than that.
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I think this is the cousin of Thomas Ambrose Keane (Thomas Ambrose Keane > http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/AutoSearch.asp?O=I&Number=30986094 ), who was once listed as staying at his Aunty Annie's place at 2 Speight St Williamstown / Newport in the 1920's.
(Thomas Leonard Keane> ).
If this his cousin, then this picture might give some semblance to what Thomas Ambrose Keane might've looked like.
I will note that TL Keane's wife's name is listed as Marie. Doesn't give his mother's name, but he was born in Newport.

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Passport photo of Charles Mikkelsen

Charles genealogy
source https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=31709342
source https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scr...=31817302&Module=SearchNRetrieve&Location=SNR

First mention of the name Charles Mikkelsen being nominated as Somerton Man.



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Passport photo of Charles Mikkelsen

Charles genealogy
source https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=31709342
source https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scr...=31817302&Module=SearchNRetrieve&Location=SNR

First mention of the name Charles Mikkelsen being nominated as Somerton Man.



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Riddle me this.
If he died on the way back to Norway in 1940, then how does he show up in the Denmark Census, later that same year?


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