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Two delays in the investigation – Two explanations.

Professor Cleland’s two and a half month delay in finding the Tamam Shud slip after being given the clothing by DS Leane about end Jan 1949.

Leane probably knew Cleland would take some time to begin an examination of the suitcase’s contents and wouldn’t have expected an immediate response. The Professor at one stage of his career worked on over 500 autopsies in one year. He was also a prolific writer and a frequent traveller to the northern regions where he remained for weeks at a time. His tales of the far north would have rivalled those of Bill Stanner.

DS Leane’s fifty-one delay delay in publishing an image of the Tamam Shud slip after receiving it from Cleland.

Detective Sergeant Leane had no real appreciation of the assistance the newspapers might have offered him when he received Prof C’s news of finding the TS slip. He probably just filed the slip away, knowing it would be needed at the inquest.

Barry Traish’s collection of newspaper clippings is interesting in this respect – it shows articles about the Somerton Man to be shorter and buried deeper as the inquest approaches, and there are few images accompanying them. The first newspaper mention of the TS slip was June 9, a week before the inquest. My guess is that Leane was putting all the evidence together for the inquest and until then had forgotten about Cleland’s find.

Chemist Freeman handed in the Rubaiyat six weeks later and after what could only be considered in 1949 as a deluge of articles in both the local and national newspapers, all a result of the inquest proceedings.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. пожалуйста #

    Interesting analysis, Pete – especially of the detail of media coverage. Sterling work.

    It seems to point away from both cock-up or conspiracy, which are perhaps our modern-day go-to theses? In fact, like you say, it seems to point more toward “1949 and all that” instead.

    Perhaps the most important thing that’s got lost over the 70 or so years isn’t the physical evidence, but our feel for the times.

    “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”, as we say here in Yekaterinburg.

    January 9, 2021

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