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Robert Cowan, senior SA Govt. Analyst and the unavoidable conclusion that he too played a part in hiding the identity and purpose of the Somerton Man.

Robert Cowan (1900 – 1959) was Director of Chemistry, Government Analyst, Chief Inspector of Explosives, and Chief Gas Examiner in South Australia. He was also Deputy Government Analyst from 1947 and Government Analyst from 1950 for the South Australian Government Department of Chemistry. Cowan was educated University of Melbourne (BSc).


Paul Leland Kirk (1902-1970) was a professor of Criminalistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Kirk earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California in 1927 and spent his entire career at Berkeley, with the exception of a leave of service during World War II when he worked on the Manhattan Project from 1942 to 1945.


The agencies leading up to the Manhattan Project were first formed in 1939 by President Roosevelt after U.S. intelligence operatives reported that scientists working for Adolf Hitler were already working on a nuclear weapon. The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons.


The V-2 rocket was developed in Germany from 1936 through the efforts of scientists led by Wernher von Braun, it was first successfully launched on October 3, 1942, and was fired against Paris on September 6, 1944. Two days later the first of more than 1,100 V-2s were fired against Great Britain (the last on March 27, 1945). Wernher von Braun was later convinced to come to America and assist with their space program.


In Quebec City on August 19, 1943, the America and Great Britain sides signed the Quebec Agreement, adopting most of Churchill’s five point plan. To ensure “full and effective collaboration,” the agreement established a Combined Policy Committee (CPC) with representatives from the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. It also gave the Manhattan Project the resources of British (Canadian and Australian) uranium, established a research center in Montreal, and ensured the participation of British scientists.

Many prominent British scientists were soon transferred to the United States to work on the project..



Simply put – after reading the above one could say the initial objective of the Cold War was to develop the means by which this American made B-29 delivered nuclear bomb …

Fat Boy

… could be re-engineered to fit into this German made rocket.

Close up of a German V2 rocket being placed into position by soldiers prior to a launch. Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images


James Cowan sailed from Australia to America in 1940 for a period of 10 months, his manifest states Prof. F.L. Kirk of the University of California was his contact for this period.

The question inevitably arises as to why would someone with a scientific pedigree such as that enjoyed by James Cowan be found trying on the footwear belonging to an unknown man found dead on Somerton Beach?

The shoes taken off the deceased made an excellent fit to Mr. Cowan, but the slippers in the suitcase he thought a trifle smaller.” Feltus P65. Taken from Professor Cleland’s evidence at the inquest.

I wrote the following six days ago while wondering who ASIO might have co-opted into assisting them with protecting Australia’s National Security.

It then follows (in this fiction) that ASIO was responsible for placing the Tamam Shud slip in the fob pocket of the Somerton Man’s trousers during the many weeks his clothing was in the possession of Professor Cleland …….

… and I think I’ve found him.

Robert James Cowan

Thanks misca .. you’re a legend.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Byron Deveson #

    Cowan’s presumed training with the foremost forensic scientist of the day and fellow chemist Prof. Paul Leland Kirk, plus his training and his likely experience do not sit comfortably with the poor showing that he made with analysing the autopsy samples. I won’t labour the point other than to point out just one example of Cowan’s apparent lack of diligence. The black powder that was removed from the brush found in the suitcase was apparently not tested with the most rudimentary tests, most of which could have been performed by a prospector in a bush camp. Cowan apparently did not even look at the black material under a magnifying glass, let alone a microscope. Prof. Kirk specialised in microscope examination of forensic material and Cowan spent ten months with Kirk in his laboratory. And Cowan didn’t even think of looking at the black material under a microscope?

    My feeling is Cowan had been instructed to play with a dead bat.

    August 23, 2021
  2. Note: Byron – being a prospector himself – probably wrote the above from his own bush camp.

    August 24, 2021

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