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Developing the Boxall theory

J Harkness was a person of interest in the death of the Somerton Man.

This interest ceased when the Sydney police found and interviewed Alf Boxall.

This interview provided them with a copy of an inscribed Rubaiyat Boxall said was given him by J Harkness. This confirmed what she told the police the day they first interviewed her, six months after an unidentified body was found two hundred yards away from her home.

Neither Harkness or Boxall admitted to knowing who wrote the inscription.

Neither admitted to knowing who the “Jestyn” was who inscribed the Rubaiyat.



12 Comments Post a comment
  1. John Smith #

    It seems only for me the signature and number “70” are written with different pen ? Just IMHO…

    July 12, 2019
    • You have to admit, John Smith, the inscription as a whole is a mess. Nibs and inkwells, ever tried them?

      July 13, 2019
  2. misca #

    I vaguely remember reading or hearing (documentary) that Boxall penned in the “70” after the fact to highlight the quatrain that what quoted. It wouldn’t be controversial for him to have done so – would it?

    July 14, 2019
    • Apart from indicating to a reader unfamiliar with the book where the inscription came from, no.

      July 14, 2019
  3. gordon1552 #

    Correct Misca, You will find two images of the page, one was from the Littlemore interview which does not show the number 70 and the other from a photograph taken by the Prof which does show the number 70. I found that about 4 years ago now and posted it, others may have claimed it of course 🙂

    Clive would recall that I think. You do need to look closely at the 7 in particular and you will see why it was controversial, as the title says it was Alf’s little joke.

    July 15, 2019
    • Gordon, I can understand why Naval(?) Intelligence overwrote the code before allowing it to be published, but cannot understand why Boxall would have done the same with the 70.

      July 15, 2019
  4. gordon1552 #

    Pete, the difference is that Boxall didn’t overwrite the code, he wrote into the cursive letters, that was the INK H method developed by SOE in 1942/3. It’s described in their manual. Ink first then pencil within the ink, another layer of ink over the top sometimes to complete the concealment. I have tested it and have done successfully.Why he did it? I think he he was having a shot and he succeeded 🙂

    July 15, 2019
    • Boxall, as demonstrated in the his Littlemore interview, was a man of instinctive reticence when it came to admitting any connections to Intelligence – that being the case, who do you think the ‘joke’ was aimed at ?

      July 15, 2019
  5. gordon1552 #

    Probably Littlemore and anyone else who was unable to look past the apparent handwritten and very ordinary number 70 and for that matter the rest of the verse. I’ve sent you a short demo video showing how it is done. You should be able to simply add it to your post, its an MP4 file.

    July 15, 2019
    • Well, the last argument I’ll put up against that proposition is that it would have been unlikely. Boxall, we are led to believe, was a man trained in the Intelligence craft and selected by HMG to represent the Allies in subterfuge. Documents would have been signed. Binding documents. And I cannot imagine Boxall providing any evidence that might implicate him further. Dead or alive.
      You and I have opposing views of his character.

      July 15, 2019
  6. gordon1552 #

    Without documentation, the only reference we have to Alfs involvement with official intelligence relates to his duties in the top end with the Nackeroos. He does refer to one mission undertaken into the war zone which was of a secret nature. Are there any other instances that you’re aware of?

    July 16, 2019

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