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33 Whatever happened to the Somerton Man’s brown knitted pullover?

Excerpt from The Unknown Man by Gerry Feltus.

‘The deceased stranger was wearing brown faun trousers, a white shirt with collar and tie (red white and blue), a BROWN KNITTED PULLOVER and grey brown matching double breasted coat ..’ (caps are mine)

If you were to list the images Gordon Cramer has generously posted on his blog of the Somerton Man’s effects it would be a long one indeed (link) and includes his slippers, ties, trousers, coat, shirts, comb, cigarette lighter, scissors, glass dish, knife, brush, Barbour Thread, dry cleaner marks, kiwi polish, dressing gown … etc, not all of them are there of course, like his singlets and jocks, but the major items are well covered, all except for the brown knitted pullover.

Then we have the clothing found on the body which was piled onto Detective Brown’s desk for Stuart Littlemore’s scrutiny in his ABC Story documentary.

I’m looking for something brown here, like a knitted brown pullover … and not seeing it.

Then we have the cover art of the Feltus book, something you could be sure passed critical muster before GF allowed it to be reproduced.

No knitted brown pullover here either.


So, you have to ask yourself, why are there so many failures in the evidential chain of the Somerton Man case?

As follows:

(1) PC Moss, the first attending officer, failed to find the Tamam Shud slip later discovered in TSM’s fob pocket.

(2) PC Moss failed to examine the part-smoked cigarette found on the body to ascertain if it was the same type as those in the cigarette pack found on the body.

(3) PC Moss failed to secure the part-smoked cigarette as evidence.

(4) PC Moss failed to find the box of matches that was later and allegedly established to be with the body.

(5) Detective Sergeant Leane failed to immediately alert the press when told by Prof Cleland in April 1949 that he had found the TS slip, thereby delaying any public participation in determining its origin.

(6) DS Leane failed to remember he had the TS slip for fifty-one days before finally alerting the press to its existence in June 1949, just prior to the inquest.

(7) DS Leane failed to have any of the items in the suitcase fingerprinted despite that many of them would have yielded clear results.

(8) DS Leane failed to have the Rubaiyat fingerprinted, despite that it had laid undisturbed in Freeman’s car glovebox for six months and was presumably only handled by his brother-in-law before being retrieved and handed over to the investigation.

(9) DS Leane failed to have photographs published of the actual Freeman Rubaiyat, thereby delaying any public participation in determining its origin and / or ownership..

(10) DS Leane failed to have photographs published of the actual torn page.

(11) DS Leane failed to keep the Freeman Rubaiyat secure as it was presumed lost under his care according to then Detective Inspector Len Brown.

(12) DS Leane failed to establish if chemist Freeman or any other local chemists sold the poisons Professor Hicks thought were responsible for the death of the Somerton Man.

(13) DS Leane failed to establish if any of the local bakeries sold a pasty to a well-dressed, broad-shouldered man wearing faun trousers, a jacket, brown knitted pullover and striped tie on the night of November 30th.

(14) Senior Government Analyst James Cowan failed to identify the black powder shaken from the bristles of the particle brush found in TSM’s suitcase.

Now we can add number (15) ..

What happened to the brown knitted pullover the Somerton Man was wearing?

Not to forget Coroner Cleland’s failure to properly consider Gordon Strapp’s deposition where it stated that the clothing worn by the man on the evening of 30 Nov was different to that of the man found dead the following morning.
That makes it (16).

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Perhaps the Brown knitted pullover was found to have traces of vomit on it, and it ‘disappeared’ from public view? Wasn’t the Left leg of the SM drawn up, per witnesses, not his right leg? Or, is GF trying to tell us something?

    December 8, 2021
    • GF knew as much about the case’s failings when he wrote his book as we do now. Make of that what you will.

      December 8, 2021
    • Barz #

      Wouldn’t it be tragic if the whole debate turned on the fact that Keane had barfed after all? All over his lovely knitted jumper. The damn thing might even have had a label and a name tag in it.

      And if you can lose an item of clothing, imagine the kind of mishap that could befall a little bottle of heart tablets.

      December 10, 2021
  2. Moral of that story being never buy a late night pasty in Adelaide.

    December 10, 2021
    • Barz #

      Or leave your pack of glycosides where the tide can wash it away.

      December 12, 2021
  3. Clive #

    Pity that Gordon & Olive didn’t get a bit closer to the SM, to see exactly what he was wearing.

    December 15, 2021
  4. vicky #

    The police officer has in one hand a grey item (jacket) brown trousers. And in the other hand, a white shirt and brown knitted pullover.

    January 15, 2022
    • Vicky … I see a brown suitcase on the brown desk and a brown tie on Det Brown .. I see brown office panelling and Littlemore’s brown hair (with attractive blonde hi-lights). I don’t see your brown pullover. Is it me?

      January 15, 2022

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