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boxall and harkness

Paul Lawson stated that he was made aware Jessica had been collecting information on allied ship movements through Sydney Harbour, and he believed this information was passed to Jessica by Alf Boxall.*

That short statement has to be the foundation of any further speculation on the Somerton Man Mystery. Has to be, no argument, but that doesn’t mean PL was told the whole story.


Jessica Harkness was recruited by allied intelligence on the strength of her good looks, occupation and intelligence, then aimed at the local Communist Party. A petite, attractive young woman, not knowing anybody, looking around for somewhere to sit at her first meeting. Later on she will be approached by an official, probably over the tea urn, a woman perhaps.

”Were you thinking of joining the Party?’



She would, of course, have asked Jessica where she worked.

Georges Head Officers Quarters

Jessica worked shifts in this convalescent hospital, situated just above the Georges Head Army Water Base.

‘The Clifton Gardens hotel, do you know it?’

Then, after half a dozen or so meetings and marches, and after seeing her fully involved in their cause, the woman might ask Jessica if she was willing to do something to help foreshorten the war. They had a man at the Army base, a sympathiser, he too wanted to help foreshorten the war.


Alfred Boxall was recruited by allied intelligence on the strength of his war record in the north, his natural reticence and sense of duty. Boxall, no stranger to left wing infiltration and influence into the transport unions after his years in the engineering sheds. He too was pointed at the communists.

After being transferred to the Georges Head base an an engineer, Boxall’s covert job was to write up allied shipping movements through Sydney Harbour for the communists: coded information written on a piece of paper then slipped inside┬áthe copy of the Rubaiyat he was using, the one he had been given by the communists┬ábefore being passed to Jessica at one of their meetings in the Clifton Garden Hotel.

What the communists didn’t know was the shipping lists were doctored.


The stage is set. The parcel in hand. Now Jessica must meet the man the Communist Party official said would be there.

At a certain place, and at a certain time

He would have something to identify himself.

.. and so would Jessica.


*stated after a series of interviews with Clive and first published by Gordon Cramer two days ago.

Header pic is the Georges Head end of the Sydney Harbour submarine net.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Given the nature of the information being passed, it may well be worth following up on a WW2 Naval organisation, ‘ Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders’, they apparently kept records of all naval ship movements. Based in Melbourne I believe.

    July 10, 2017
  2. Gordon, if Alf was writing the information under the instructions of his communist controller, could the acrostic level of the code be examined in another way?
    They would have had precautions built in .. something to alert them to a foreign hand if Alf was exposed and replaced.
    Or if Alf was the one doing the replacing.

    July 10, 2017
  3. If it’s an acrostic then it could be a set of letters that’s known only to them, rather like a book code. As to whether Alf was working under the directions of the CPA I don’t honestly know, lots of games were being played and whose to say that Alf and Jestyn weren’t on the same side but not divulging it to their handlers? If that were the case then it would go a long way to explaining why Jestyn was pretty much a protected species, more on that in a post update shortly.

    July 10, 2017
  4. Ellen #

    Why would Boxall reveal himself on TV in the seventies, if he spied along with Jess? He could have declined. Lying to Communists was not without risk.

    July 15, 2017
    • Go back a step … why did Jessica give him up?

      July 15, 2017

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