Blame Derek Abbott and his University of Adelaide researchers.
Five years ago, when it was suggested that the mystery of the Somerton Man might make a fair fictional read if someone could put it all together, I found DA’s UoA site and began reading it up, thinking that a professor of engineering and his students would have all the facts.
They wrote (it has long been corrected) that a ‘Tom Keane’ was a sailor on the steamship Cycle, which was in Adelaide at the time, and a couple of the crew had come by to view the body because Keane was reported missing.
The two crew members said the body was not Tom Keane and that was the end of that.
‘Why,’ I shouted at my computer screen, ‘didn’t someone go on with it and find out where this Tom Keane had gone?’
I didn’t get a response.
Derek Abbotts’ students had got it wrong. The missing seaman was Tom Reade.
There were two Toms.
Now you know.