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Who has the ‘Freeman’ Rubaiyat?

To begin:

(1) Feltus writes that a photograph of the letters (code) was sent to the Director of Naval Intelligence on the 29th of July 1949 together with a copy of a similar Rubaiyat. (P114)

Naval Intelligence coding / intelligence personnel weren’t offered the opportunity to see the ‘Freeman’ Rubaiyat regardless that there may have been something in book’s interior that might have assisted them.

.. meaning

The Freeman Rubaiyat was withheld from any scrutiny by Naval Intelligence in 1949.


(2) In the Littlemore / Brown 60 minutes interview in Brown’s office in 1978, Detective Brown placed a tied bundle of clothing on his desk as Littlemore looked on. These were undoubtably the clothes the Somerton Man was wearing when found dead. Brown then turned to a table behind his desk and lifted up a suitcase, placed that on the table and took out several items then arrayed them on the table for Littlemore to examine. (minute 7:07).

One of the smallest pieces of evidence shown Littlemore is partly visible on the edge of the top frame of the pic below, the Tamam Shud slip, but there is no sign of the book it was torn from.

.. meaning

The Freeman Rubaiyat was withheld from any scrutiny by the 60 Minutes program in 1978.


(3) In Feltus’ book his illustrations list (a) a photo of the ‘Actual torn piece of Tamam Shud and (b) a photo Comparison of two Rubaiyats. In this case the Actual is missing.

On P169, where the photo comparison can be found Feltus notes that one of the Rubaiyats was a copy printed in the media, the other a copy purchased by himself. Neither of them was the original Freeman Rubaiyat.

(b) A copy printed in media soon after the Rubaiyat was handed in to Det. Leane

.. meaning

The Freeman Rubaiyat was withheld from any scrutiny by the Detective in charge of the cold case and from any publication in the newspapers from as early as 1949.


(4) This was confirmed when Feltus describes the widely published picture of the torn page as ‘a copy produced in media depicting the actual copy of the Rubaiyat.’

This image was published on the same day the Freeman Rubaiyat was handed in to DS Leane

.. meaning

The Freeman Rubaiyat was not made available for Jimmy Durham, the official police photographer. And that is not his finger!


Finally, a comment written by Byron Deveson posted eight years ago on the Smithsonian Somerton Man site.

It has been pointed out on this site that the apparent loss or destruction of the physical evidence, and nearly all of the file material relating to this case, is unusual and suspicious. But there is a possible reason for this, and this reason, if it is indeed the reason, casts fresh light on the Somerton Man mystery.

In 1977 Justice James Michael White of the Supreme Court of South Australia was commissioned by the Premier, Don Dunstan, to report on the activities of the Special Branch, which was a semi-secret section of the SA police force detailed to conduct intelligence work on possible subversive activity.

Justice White’s report was extremely unfavourable regarding the activities of the Special Branch, and it was disbanded and the intelligence files destroyed (28,500 files according to one source).

So, is it just coincidence that nearly all the Somerton Man case material apparently disappeared about this time? If there is a connection, then it indicates that the Special Branch were involved in the Somerton Man investigation, and this would indicate that the police believed that there were security implications.

One way of discovering if this is the case, or not, is to look at the police involved in the case. Were any from the Special Branch? I don’t know, but it might be discoverable even though the identities of Special Branch officers were generally not made public.

During WW2 intelligence regarding subversive activity was handed to the military, but with the end of WW2 this responsibility was handed back to the South Australian police (ASIO did not start up until early 1949) who established a “Subversives Section” in 1947. This was re-named “Special Branch” in 1949.*


*Oh yeah!

Were any of the Detectives working on the Somerton Body Case transferred to the Special Branch in 1949? Someone give us the good news.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alan H #

    Wow, I like your SA Special Branch detail. To that end would you be suggesting that SM (based on his physical features) was just an innocent man caught at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to patch up relationships with Jo?

    May 18, 2021

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