Unsolved Taman Shud Case

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BlueE

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Eighteen questions about the case ... and not too many answers.

Plug follows.

https://tomsbytwo.com/2019/01/24/18-questions/
The inquest seems to have contradictions and whether they were deliberate or not? I find the theory that Professor Cleland was possibly in the Communist party very interesting and a possible reason if there were cover ups.

Photographer took photos of the Tamam Shud slip of paper on the 3rd December, in a sworn statement. This Exhibit number of the photo of the Tamam Shud is crossed off the statements, but not initialized as all the other changes were. The coroner then states at adjournment of inquest that the slip of paper wasn't found for some time afterwards and the coroner was satisfied that it was from a second edition of Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubiayat. Again, the detective (Leonard Brown) supposedly investigating the tamam shud paper and the story of finding finding of the actual Rubiayat book (that the tamam shud printing doesn't match) leaves a lot of questions.

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BlueE

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BTW, there's no such thing as a 'direct relative' as stated by the author of that page. I presume he means Robin is from one of the tail lines, males all the way back to Randolph or females all the way back.
Possibly does mean that. I thought I'd read somewhere that many of the Presidents of the US are related in some way to Jefferson.

Many relatives in Virginia. George HW Bush and Pierce (Barbara Bush's) families came from around there.
 
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"Photographer took photos of the Tamam Shud slip of paper on the 3rd December, in a sworn statement. This Exhibit number of the photo of the Tamam Shud is crossed off the statements, but not initialized as all the other changes were"

BluE ... do you have any copies of the photographer's sworn statement and the crossing off of the exhibit number?
 

BlueE

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"Photographer took photos of the Tamam Shud slip of paper on the 3rd December, in a sworn statement. This Exhibit number of the photo of the Tamam Shud is crossed off the statements, but not initialized as all the other changes were"

BluE ... do you have any copies of the photographer's sworn statement and the crossing off of the exhibit number?
I posted a copy in a previous post and will repost. Links to .pdfs from 1949 and 1958 copies of the Inquest are also in previous posts by another user, I'll try to find.

I'm curious why no Exhibits were attached to the 1949 copy of the Inquest and only a few of the 18 were attached to the 1958 copy. Photographer says copies of the writing found on the decd. were shown in C6 and C7 and "I took a photograph of the paper found on the decd., and I produce copies of that." (Exhibit numbers crossed out).

I presume copies of the writing found on the deceased is the ripped paper with Tamam Shud. There was a copy of this writing which attached to the 1958 copy of Inquest. This is the same of pictures shown elsewhere on this thread. However this writing does not match any of the writing in the Tamam Shud book that was found and said to match the writing. I think the book is genuine but the photos of Tamam Shud writing isn't.

Actual Photographs of the paper with the writing seems to be deleted for some reason.

I would also question if the photos of the body, face and side face shown post mortem were from Somerton man. Was the photographer was shown a different body which he photographed and fingerprinted, or the photos switched switched at some stage? The plaster cast with actual hairs from the man show "ginger blonde" hair. Sworn witness statements describing the face, hair and body of Somerton man also don't match the brown haired man in photos.

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I posted a copy in a previous post and will repost. Links to .pdfs from 1949 and 1958 copies of the Inquest are also in previous posts by another user, I'll try to find.

I'm curious why no Exhibits were attached to the 1949 copy of the Inquest and only a few of the 18 were attached to the 1958 copy. Photographer says copies of the writing found on the decd. were shown in C6 and C7 and "I took a photograph of the paper found on the decd., and I produce copies of that." (Exhibit numbers crossed out).

I presume copies of the writing found on the deceased is the ripped paper with Tamam Shud. There was a copy of this writing which attached to the 1958 copy of Inquest. This is the same of pictures shown elsewhere on this thread. However this writing does not match any of the writing in the Tamam Shud book that was found and said to match the writing. I think the book is genuine but the photos of Tamam Shud writing isn't.

Actual Photographs of the paper with the writing seems to be deleted for some reason.

I would also question if the photos of the body, face and side face shown post mortem were from Somerton man. Was the photographer was shown a different body which he photographed and fingerprinted, or the photos switched switched at some stage? The plaster cast with actual hairs from the man show "ginger blonde" hair. Sworn witness statements describing the face, hair and body of Somerton man also don't match the brown haired man in photos.

View attachment 612000
What's crossed out at the bottom there is "I understand that [xxx]".
 

BlueE

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What's crossed out at the bottom there is "I understand that [xxx]".
Thats for that. "I took a photograph of the paper found on the decd., and I produce copies of that. I understand that ..."
He was about to say something but didn't and although saying he was producing copies of the photos of the paper, he didn't. The writing (C7 or C8) was added to the 1958 copy of the Inquest and was the following. However taking photos of the paper found may suggest there was something on the reverse side of the actual paper that Tamam Shud was written on.

While it was the mystery of trying to solve the codes that initially interested me in this case, I think by expanding your thinking rather than drilling down into details will solve the identity of Somerton man, and also possibly who killed him.
 

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BlueE

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Or copies of the writing was the code written in capital letters, and the Rubaiyat was found at the same time as the body.

I've not doubt there was a cover up and most probably the Rubaiyat was to help write or decipher code.

I support the idea that some that proposed that Russians communists were responsible. Helped that Professor Cleland who conducted the Inquest seems connected to the Communist Party and Jessica Thompson fluent in Russian also involved. However this gives the biggest change of solving who the Somerton man was, with her son almost certainly fathered by him.
 

BlueE

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The Communist Party loaned Johnson 50,000 pounds which Johnson used to found the Adelaide law firm Johnson and Withers. Johnson also bought a house and a flash motorcar. The loan was forgiven for services rendered.

In 1947 a man was found dead on Somerton Beach in Adelaide. This murder remains unsolved. The victim was a GRU man working for the USSR. He was collecting information on the development of British weapons in Australia. The Communist Party of Australia supported him and other Soviet agents (such as HV Evatt) with sexual services. The GRU man had been paired up with a local woman communist who he got pregnant. The naive chap then thought that he could marry the woman and live a family life in Australia. He contacted the Dept of External Affairs (called DFAT now) and asked for advice. However that Dept had been so penetrated by communists that the GRU man was betrayed. He was told to attend the woman’s house and await the arrival of Commonwealth security officers. Instead he was attended by Elliot Johnson (with fake ID) and two Communist Party thugs dressed up in suits and ties.

Johnson then poisoned the man with OLEANDER extract. This provides a deadly (cardiac) poison that kills within hours. As the man sickened he was stripped and left to die. His corpse was then washed and redressed (by the woman – a nurse) and then transported to Somerton Beach by Elliot Johnson in his motorcar. This was one of the rare private cars in Adelaide at that time. The police had a couple of dozen model T Fords and Morris Minors.
https://pedophilesdownunder.com/2017/01/12/elliot-johnson-australias-pedo-communist-party/


I don't know how much of this can be believed although the first paragraph should be able to be confirmed.

Given 50,000 pounds around 1949 when he founded his law firm and bought his big house and flash car is equivalent to $4-6 million today. Who knew the Communist Party had so much money to give away? The loan was forgiven for services rendered?

Or was it a bribe to keep his mouth shut because he knew the real identity of Somerton man and this knowledge was not only worth this much to someone to keep secret. Johnson was able to progress to Supreme Court Judge while being a proud Communist Party member. After the war the Communists were feared and despised more that the Nazis were.
 
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BlueE

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So who was Somerton man?

Otis Pierce? Toured Australian and NZ in 1939 with the Russian Ballet company, although there was only one recorded performance “the gesturing but non dancing Evil Genius”. https://tomsbytwo.com/2018/02/11/alosha/

When the company returned from New Zealand to Australia for a second Melbourne season, Pearce travelled on the Union Steamship Company ship, the Maunganui.

Australian passenger records show “Pierce, Otis, born 27 December 1912; nationality American; travelled per Maunganui, arriving in Melbourne on 25 March 1939”. http://dancelines.com.au/tracing-path-mystery-man-ballets-russes-australia/


No record could be found of him after leaving Australia for America just months before WW2 started. An Otis Pierce (or Pearce) was found supposedly born 1912 and died around 1970.

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Otis Pierce / Somerton man? Rachel Egan grand daughter of Somerton Man.
 
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BlueE

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Who was he really?

He wouldn't have been the first spy caught and there was a spate of similar deaths around the time, another holding another rare Rubaiyat book. However they all were easily identified. Pierce seemed to have disappeared after leaving Australia although fellow dancer, Pat Dolin was able to be traced when the company reached the US. https://tomsbytwo.com/2018/02/11/alosha/

Dolin’s days with de Basil’s Ballets Russes were over.

In 1940, in the United States, he joined the new company, Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre), where he remained until 1946.


Come across this photo which maybe young Otis is in.
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BlueE

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I have a link for the photo which came from Otto Skorzeny's belongings.

Skorzeny b 12th June 1908 in Vienna. In addition to his native German, he spoke excellent French and was proficient in English. Lieutenant colonel in the NAzi Waffen-SS during World War II. Lead many SAS type operations during war, including daring rescue of Mussolini from mountain top. Surrender after Nazi defeat but acquitted of charges, after Allies testified on his behalf. Worked missions for Egypt, Israel and possibly CIA after war. Had large scar on his left cheek from a fencing accident at University. Respected by his own men and enemy and would have no reason to lie about who the people in photo was.
View attachment 614328 View attachment 614329
 

BlueE

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Martin Bormann is holding "Mother Sherrifs" hand like his Mum and she may have been. Born in Wegeleben (now in Saxony-Anhalt) in the Kingdom of Prussia in the German Empire, Bormann was the son of Theodor Bormann (1862–1903) and Antonie Bernhardine Bormann (nee Mennong - born circa 1861). She was around 38 when she gave birth to Martin. Her first marriage and his second. He had a son and daughter from first marriage and second son after Martin.

Became very important and personal secretary to Hitler. Had 10 children himself, most of whom disapeared after war finished and some said to have been fostered with different families in America. Look at those teeth!

Interestingly both Martin Bormann and George Sherrif jr are wearing US navy uniforms.
 

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BlueE

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Josef Mengele has no known link that I could find to Bormann unless his Mum was the illegitimate daughter of mother Bormann, if she had a child at 19 before having Martin Bormann at 38.

Josef, born 1911 had two younger brothers. Karl Thaddeus (known as Karl jr) either born 30 Jan 1914 as a twin to his brother Alios. Some sources say Karl jr was born June 1912, and whether he was a twin or not, I'm not sure.

There is not much on his brothers' involvement in the war. However Karl jr married Martha (who quickly got rid of her husband William Einsmann) and they had a son Karl Heinz Mengele in 1944. Karl jr died in December 1947, apparently from a heart attack.

In 1958 Martha married Josef (who after escaping to South America married in his own name) and became step mother to Josef's son Rolf.
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Karl Heinz Mengele, his mother Martha and Rolf Mengele
 

BlueE

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This is quite a fantastical tale. I'm sure Alf Boxall knows, and some others high in government do. Jessica and Prosper Thompson knew, Elliot Johnson and also possible Rasmussden.

Is it possible that Somerton Man is Otis Pierce?

But really is he was Karl Jr Mengele?

Could not find any photos of Karl Jr and only two of Otis.

This wouldn't be such a big thing and if a predominant Nazi was caught spying you might think someone would want that feather in their cap?

Unless that American Nazi was also linked to other Americans that became the highest members of Government??

Research the Scherrifs.

DNA can solve this, if Mengeles can be guaranteed. Also DNA from the American side of the equation. I hope they move forward and test the DNA from the grand daughter of SM to solve this puzzle.

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1. Otis Pierce/SM? 2. Grand daughter of SM 3. Jenna Bush. Grand daughter of George HW Bush
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Josef Mengele on left (look at teeth) Karl Heinz Mengele (son of SM?)
 
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GreyCrow

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Intriguing stuff Blue but some caution before going down the rabbit hole

I can find many older and newer pictures of randoms and find close identicals

You state Skorzeny has no reason to lie about the names in the picture yet a question mark is placed on Otis Pierce? It is either him identified by Skorzeny or Skorzeny didnt identify him and someone else is using this 'Skorzeny tells the truth' to muddy the water
 

BlueE

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Intriguing stuff Blue but some caution before going down the rabbit hole

I can find many older and newer pictures of randoms and find close identicals

You state Skorzeny has no reason to lie about the names in the picture yet a question mark is placed on Otis Pierce? It is either him identified by Skorzeny or Skorzeny didnt identify him and someone else is using this 'Skorzeny tells the truth' to muddy the water
Believe it or not, I've avoided the main rabbit hole so far!

It's me that labelled Otis, questioning if that is him. The photo has surfaced recently after being in Skorkeny's decendent's possession, along with many others. The Scherrif's were identified by Skorzeny by their American names as well.

I was firstly trying to establish whether that was Skorzeny in the photo and find out as much as I could about all the others. The research that I did (much more that I've posted) lead me to believe in all probability Otis Pierce is or was Karl Mengele Jr.

In trying to figure out the truth from the Australia end I found the deposition of Lawson the taxidermist who made a plaster cast of SM body and his detailed description, as well as the bust and blonde hairs left in the plaster, a strong indication of SM's identity. Lawson also mentions in his diary a note something about the "original body"

I have no doubt there was a cover up to the level that I wouldn't trust who is buried in SM's grave. However DNA from the grand daughter could blow this wide open, if they choose to.

Another interesting fact about Skorzeny was that his and his men's war crime was dressing up in American uniforms to infiltrate behind enemy lines. He would have been convicted except allied soldiers testified that they did the same in Nazi uniforms. Him and his men were acquitted but imprisoned until they were set free by a group of "American" soldiers who tricked their jailors into releasing them!
 
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Ten indicators that he may have been a ballet dancer

(1) His wedge-shaped feet. A physical peculiarity often shared by ballet dancers.
(2) The unusual, muscular development of his calves. A physical development often shared by male ballet dancers.
(3) His highly developed physique. A physical development often shared by male ballet dancers.
(4) His large hands, smooth palms and well-tended fingernails. A common adjunct to the overall appearance of professional male ballet dancers.
(5) The tools found in his suitcase. Suitable for making / repairing ballet slippers.
(6) The dark powder shaken from a brush found in his suitcase. Possibly dark rosin powder of the type used by ballet dancers to prevent slippage.
(7) His lower body suntan. Not unusual to be found on the bodies of male ballet dancers, many of whom were known to visit metropolitan beaches whilst performing in Australia.
(8) The heavy metal traces found in his hair. A ingredient present in make-up compounds commonly used by ballet dancers.
(9) Sand found in the cuffs of a pair of his trousers. Not unusual to be found in the clothing of ballet dancers who were known to visit metropolitan beaches whilst performing in Australia.
(10) A possible influence on Robin Thomson, his alleged son, who became one of Australia’s better known ballet dancers.

Lifted from here:

https://tomsbytwo.com/2019/02/22/what-evidence-is-there-that-he-was-a-ballet-dancer/
 

BlueE

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Ten indicators that he may have been a ballet dancer

(1) His wedge-shaped feet. A physical peculiarity often shared by ballet dancers.
(2) The unusual, muscular development of his calves. A physical development often shared by male ballet dancers.
(3) His highly developed physique. A physical development often shared by male ballet dancers.
(4) His large hands, smooth palms and well-tended fingernails. A common adjunct to the overall appearance of professional male ballet dancers.
(5) The tools found in his suitcase. Suitable for making / repairing ballet slippers.
(6) The dark powder shaken from a brush found in his suitcase. Possibly dark rosin powder of the type used by ballet dancers to prevent slippage.
(7) His lower body suntan. Not unusual to be found on the bodies of male ballet dancers, many of whom were known to visit metropolitan beaches whilst performing in Australia.
(8) The heavy metal traces found in his hair. A ingredient present in make-up compounds commonly used by ballet dancers.
(9) Sand found in the cuffs of a pair of his trousers. Not unusual to be found in the clothing of ballet dancers who were known to visit metropolitan beaches whilst performing in Australia.
(10) A possible influence on Robin Thomson, his alleged son, who became one of Australia’s better known ballet dancers.

Lifted from here:

https://tomsbytwo.com/2019/02/22/what-evidence-is-there-that-he-was-a-ballet-dancer/
I agree with all of this. I've attached the "What happened to ballet dancer Otis Pierce?" thread as well. https://tomsbytwo.com/2018/02/11/alosha/

Otis seemed to disappear presumably after reaching USA, although Anton Dolin the principal dancer mentioned was easily traced during the war. Someone called Otis Pierce was found at a later date and there is a death certificate, if that was the same person.

However I think there's more to this.
Almost certainly a spy or holding secrets for some Secret Entity? Yes.
Cover up of his real identity with a few very high up knowing? Yes.
Was the father of Jessica Thomson's son? Yes

The last point can solve who Somerton man really was with DNA, and the people who have this information may already know.
 
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This particular theory is all based on known facts.

Alf B suckered SM into visiting Adelaide to see their old contact, Jessica. Adding some juice by saying there was a baby in the picture, father unknown. Might be could be who knows.
Shut it and her down Alf had been told .. that particular game well over and the Randwick Municipal repair shed needs you more than we do.
So Alf rings J’s mum, gets an address. Sets things up.
SM, being a suspicious old lad only took the trip south after believing everything was kosher. Which was after he was passed a coded Rubaiyat, just like the old days. Jessica’s phone number right there on the back cover – though writ very small.
Ring me, baby, I’m home.

He arrived. Was met by persons unknown. Cue in Ina Harvey and the Kensitas / Army Club recognition routine. And who checks into a hotel for a couple of days with no luggage except a violin case? And that was no needle in there. Google violin cleaning equipment + looks like a needle.
Find this ………….

Later that day our man was killed by the same persons unknown. Carried to the steps, lividity etc etc ….. didn’t die sitting up as found … this we all know. The TS slip in his fob a touch of genius, good enough for Prof. Cleland to bolster his original opinion that SM was a suicide …
The Rubaiyat taken from him under instructions to be handed in to the police only after the inquest, the code a complete furphy except for that certain phone number.
Then ..
The Inquest is done and dusted. Nobody done nothing out of the ordinary. Everybody home free.
Then ..
Cue the local plod knocking on Jessica’s front door saying they have a body to show her and is this your phone number on the back of this book?
{gulp}
Later ..
Jessica is dropped off home after the exhibition, shaking in her boots, pharmacology needed.
Thanks Alf. Good job.
 

BlueE

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Alf definitely has to be involved. He looks more like the person in SM photos than the descriptions and bust of SM does, in my opinion. Apparently only enters war in 1945 just after getting a copy of Rubaiyat from Jessica. Engaged in Intelligence or spying for Aust?

Alf was born in 1906, in 1945 August, Jestyn gives Alf Boxall an inscribed copy of the Rubaiyat over drinks at the Clifton Gardens Hotel, Sydney.
1945 September, Alf Boxall sent to military service (Cairns, Port Moresby, Bougainville).
1946 October 18th, Alf Boxall returns to Australia from military service.
1946 December 31st, Alf Boxall is detached to the Services Training Centre in NSW.
1947 April, Under Operation Venona, American crypt analysts, at the US Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, crack messages transmitted from the Russian Embassy in Canberra to Moscow. They detected leaked intelligence information, and this results in a ban of US classified information in Australia during 1948.
1947 July, Jestyn's son is born.
1948 April 12th, Alf Boxall is discharged from military service.

https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/Timeline_of_the_Taman_Shud_Case

Interesting that SM almost certainly is American. Inquest told that as well as the angle on his tie stripes, the cut design and stitching on his coat was only available in America but I'm curious that the girl that talked to him in the Hotel didn't mention his accent or this information wasn't included.

The Rubaiyat was a the subject of a sworn statement presented to the 1949 Inquest on June 17th, so the book wasn't handed in after the inquest, Also the photographer is his sworn statement on 3rd December 1948, says

"I also have some copies of the writing found on the dead." And ...

"I took a photograph of the paper found on the dec'd and I produce copies of that."
 
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Alf definitely has to be involved. He looks more like the person in SM photos than the descriptions and bust of SM does, in my opinion. Apparently only enters war in 1945 just after getting a copy of Rubaiyat from Jessica. Engaged in Intelligence or spying for Aust?

Alf was born in 1906, in 1945 August, Jestyn gives Alf Boxall an inscribed copy of the Rubaiyat over drinks at the Clifton Gardens Hotel, Sydney.
1945 September, Alf Boxall sent to military service (Cairns, Port Moresby, Bougainville).
1946 October 18th, Alf Boxall returns to Australia from military service.
1946 December 31st, Alf Boxall is detached to the Services Training Centre in NSW.
1947 April, Under Operation Venona, American crypt analysts, at the US Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, crack messages transmitted from the Russian Embassy in Canberra to Moscow. They detected leaked intelligence information, and this results in a ban of US classified information in Australia during 1948.
1947 July, Jestyn's son is born.
1948 April 12th, Alf Boxall is discharged from military service.

https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/Timeline_of_the_Taman_Shud_Case

Interesting that SM almost certainly is American. Inquest told that as well as the angle on his tie stripes, the cut design and stitching on his coat was only available in America but I'm curious that the girl that talked to him in the Hotel didn't mention his accent or this information wasn't included.

The Rubaiyat was a the subject of a sworn statement presented to the 1949 Inquest on June 17th, so the book wasn't handed in after the inquest, Also the photographer is his sworn statement on 3rd December 1948, says

"I also have some copies of the writing found on the dead." And ...

"I took a photograph of the paper found on the dec'd and I produce copies of that."
Alf definitely has to be involved. He looks more like the person in SM photos than the descriptions and bust of SM does, in my opinion. Apparently only enters war in 1945 just after getting a copy of Rubaiyat from Jessica. Engaged in Intelligence or spying for Aust?

Alf was born in 1906, in 1945 August, Jestyn gives Alf Boxall an inscribed copy of the Rubaiyat over drinks at the Clifton Gardens Hotel, Sydney.
1945 September, Alf Boxall sent to military service (Cairns, Port Moresby, Bougainville).
1946 October 18th, Alf Boxall returns to Australia from military service.
1946 December 31st, Alf Boxall is detached to the Services Training Centre in NSW.
1947 April, Under Operation Venona, American crypt analysts, at the US Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, crack messages transmitted from the Russian Embassy in Canberra to Moscow. They detected leaked intelligence information, and this results in a ban of US classified information in Australia during 1948.
1947 July, Jestyn's son is born.
1948 April 12th, Alf Boxall is discharged from military service.

https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/Timeline_of_the_Taman_Shud_Case

Interesting that SM almost certainly is American. Inquest told that as well as the angle on his tie stripes, the cut design and stitching on his coat was only available in America but I'm curious that the girl that talked to him in the Hotel didn't mention his accent or this information wasn't included.

The Rubaiyat was a the subject of a sworn statement presented to the 1949 Inquest on June 17th, so the book wasn't handed in after the inquest, Also the photographer is his sworn statement on 3rd December 1948, says

"I also have some copies of the writing found on the dead." And ...

"I took a photograph of the paper found on the dec'd and I produce copies of that."
Now here's the thing about whether the man who stayed at the Stratham had an accent ... I haven't got a copy of the Ina Harvey interview with me right now but I do remember her saying that he 'didn't exactly mangle the English language.' Or words to that effect.
Make of that what you will.
 

BlueE

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Now here's the thing about whether the man who stayed at the Stratham had an accent ... I haven't got a copy of the Ina Harvey interview with me right now but I do remember her saying that he 'didn't exactly mangle the English language.' Or words to that effect.
Make of that what you will.
Not sure what to make of that, other than to add it into the cover up file. 'didn't exactly mangle the English language.' English with an accent? British, American or German.

While I'm confident they do have a photograph of the actual writing found on SM as the photographer said he took on 3rd December 1948, because it had Jessica's phone number included in very small letters, I suspect much of the story about the Rubaiyat book was concocted for the Inquest. This sworn statement by Det Leonard Brown was actually removed in the later 1956 copy of the Inquest as it didn't fit with the cops then saying when they found the Rubaiyat book.

For me the fact that the written descriptions given by both the coroner and Lawson, the taxidermist who made the plaster copy of SM, match each others description, but not the photo (except for the ears).

How many men would fit this description? He was in “top physical condition”. He was 5 foot 11 inches tall, with hazel eyes, fair to ginger-colored hair, slightly grey around the temples, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, hands and nails that showed no signs of manual labor, big and little toes that met in a wedge shape, like those of a dancer or someone who wore boots with pointed toes; and pronounced high calf muscles like those of a ballet dancer. These can be dominant genetic traits called dystonia of the toes and they are also a characteristic of many middle and long-distance runners.”

Otis Pierce does.
 

BlueE

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http://dancelines.com.au/tracing-path-mystery-man-ballets-russes-australia/http://dancelines.com.au/tracing-path-mystery-man-ballets-russes-australia/
Someone has a dig for information and put together an incomplete profile of Otis Pierce who was listed as “an accompanying person” on the 1938/39 Ballet Russe tour.

The basic facts are these: Pierce was a rich American, born in December 1912, very amusing, good company, much travelled, a fabulous party host, had a “sweet baby face” and drove a large black Buick.

It’s highly likely that Pierce, rather than the Ballets Russes’ tour managers, J C Williamsons, paid for Dolin’s flight from Europe to Australia and just as likely that he travelled with Anton Dolin (the 20th century ballet dancer who was the first Englishman to establish a major career as a principal artist) on the flight.

The journey from England to Australia began on 19 September 1938. Dolin wrote: “I was the first person in the world of theatre to fly, in September 1938, from London to Australia. We stayed in Amsterdam the first night and the real flight by KLM began from there. The schedule was to get up at dawn each morning and fly for between twelve and fifteen hours a day, for six days”. (The plane was a KNILM Super-Electra airliner).

Dolin had known Pierce as far back as the mid-1930s. Dolin’s book, Ballet Go Round, published 1936, includes this snippet: “Otis Pierce [spelt this way in the book] decided to spend his summer with me at St Anne’s. He is, like most Americans, a much travelled young man and I was afraid he might be bored by the quiet life there, but, on the contrary, he seemed thoroughly happy and was a most wonderful help to me, always ready to drive or to take my mother [Helen] to a theatre or film…”

In Last Words, Pierce makes another appearance when Dolin recalls the Ballets Russes’ Australian tour.

After the Ballets Russes’ season in Melbourne “we went to the Theatre Royal, Sydney, and after a highly successful season of six weeks, we left by boat for New Zealand…my friend, Otis Pearce, (was) travelling with me as assistant to Sevastianov…”

(German Sevastianov, known as Gerry, was the manager of the tour, and one of the right hand men of the Ballets Russes’ boss, Colonel de Basil.)

Sevastianov, and his wife, the ballerina, Irina Baronova, moved into a house in Toorak, Melbourne, for the duration of the Melbourne season. As soon as they arrived at their new temporary home, Baronova was contacted by Anton Dolin who, she wrote in her memoir, Irina, that Dolin “had arrived the previous day with his friend, the sweet baby-faced Otis Pearce”.

Dolin invited Baronova and Sevastianov to meet him and Pierce at their hotel. Baronova remembered their “jolly lunch with Pat and Otis at their most elegant hotel near our theatre…”
The Argus reported on 15 November, 1938, that a Miss Valerie Purves had 90 guests to her Toorak home to meet Anton Dolin and “Mr and Mrs Larry Adler”.

“Noticed” among the guests was Otis Pearce.

By Christmas, the company was in Sydney, where, wrote Baronova, “Pat and Otis found a plant vaguely resembling a Christmas tree and decorated it richly..we had some great parties around it…”

On 30 December, after the premiere of David Lichine’s Prodigal Son, with Dolin in the role of the Son, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, “Mr Dolin was a member of a party which was entertained by Mr Otis Pearce at the Carl Thomas Club”.

After the Sydney season ended the company sailed to New Zealand for a tour that began on 1 February.
When the company returned from New Zealand to Australia for a second Melbourne season, Pearce travelled on the Union Steamship Company ship, the Maunganui.

Australian passenger records show “Pierce, Otis, born 27 December 1912; nationality American; travelled per Maunganui, arriving in Melbourne on 25 March 1939”.

The Ballets Russes’ tour ended in Adelaide but the principal artists, including Dolin, travelled back to Sydney for a midnight farewell performance at the Theatre Royal on 27 April, 1939.

Among the ballets performed was a scene from Swan Lake in which Pierce made his first, and possibly his last, stage appearance.

In his book on the Theatre Royal, Ian Bevan described Pierce’s role as “the gesturing but non dancing Evil Genius”.

Pearce’s name is listed in the program as “a dancer”.

Most of the principal artists, along with Pierce, sailed from Australia to Los Angeles on the luxury liner, the SS Monterey.

World War II was just over four months away.

Dolin’s days with de Basil’s Ballets Russes were over.

In 1940, in the United States, he joined the new company, Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre), where he remained until 1946.

What happened to Otis Pierce?

Well that’s where my trail comes to an end.
 
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