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The indignities of an exhumation

Three months ago the SA Attorney-General indicated she was willing to allow the Somerton Man’s body to be exhumed in order to prove Derek Abbott’s self-researched theory* that he married into the dead man’s family.

Abbott has gathered an exclusive coterie of supporters to assist in his aims but requires about $20,000 to get the job done. A target he remains confident of reaching.

We can only suppose the reason for the delay is that the money has not yet reached the level necessary to engage grave-diggers.


Few have witnessed or assisted in the exhumation of a seventy-one year-old corpse. The fragility of the discoloured bones, the spectre of horror imagined in its gaping black eye-sockets. And the dust of its flesh.

Dust finer than ash, drifting out of the coffin as you work and into your eyes and hair, your mouth.

Exhumation is a dirty business.

Abbott’s risk is to have married into the wrong family.

That being the case, and what would be immeasurably worse is that the real members of the deceased’s family played no part in the exhumation of his body.

It would appear this has never been considered, at least not publicly, but it may have been the reason the last two South Australian AG’s didn’t give Abbott permission to raise the body.


* When they first met at a fancy restaurant in Brisbane, Ms Egan thought the professor was a “nerd” who showed an unusual interest in her ears and teeth.

“He wanted to look at my ears and my teeth. He was also after my DNA,” Ms Egan says. “It’s probably the first request I’ve had from a man to do that.”

But the intrigue quickly went from the professional to the personal. Before the sun set the next day, they had decided to marry.

“People have said that possibly Derek married me for my DNA,” Ms Egan laughs. “And I think there is some truth to that.


‘Just to clarify: It is unclear at this point if funds need to be really raised, despite the narrative in the media. Hence there is no campaign (at the moment). Permission has not been granted for an exhumation...there is a large gap between reserved approval on a TV camera and signing on a dotted line.

Therefore it is wise to continue with the above campaign to raise signatures (not funds).’

Derek Abbott – Somerton Man FB Group – 11 Dec 2019

(my bold)


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    I suppose it’s possible that the ‘real’ members of the SM’s man family are known, and that’s the reason the last two Attorney Generals in SA have ‘road blocked’ any exhumation attempt? Perhaps DNA may mean something different “Derek’s Not Aware’?

    December 9, 2019

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