Was the Somerton Man seriously unwell?
From a layman’s point of view it appears that the internal condition of the Somerton Man didn’t match his appearance. Dr Dwyer must have filled a notebook with the physical irregularities he found when conducting the autopsy as he noted the body had a massively oversized and congested spleen. Acute gastritis haemorrhage. Extensive congestion of the liver. Congestion of the pharynx. Deeply congested stomach. Congestion in the 2nd half of the duodenum. Congestion of both kidneys and the liver contained a great excess of blood.
“But his heart was of normal size, and normal in every way.”
Then we have the known effects of Glycoside poisoning:
The predominant features of acute (glycoside) poisoning include gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea), hyperkalaemia (a higher than normal level of potassium in the bloodstream), generalized weakness, drowsiness and, importantly, cardiotoxicity (bradycardia and heart block, dysrhythmias). These may appear within a few hours of acute poisoning.
The discrepancies between the effects of Glycoside poisoning and the condition Dwyer found the Somerton Man to be in may have indicated he was not only seriously unwell but in need of regular medical assistance prior to his sudden and unexpected death.
And if that was the case, it might follow that the reason for the inexplicable delays and apparent procedural failures in the police investigation, the decades long non-publication of the names of those involved together with the failure of the Australian authorities to find any records of the Somerton Man’s existence was due to the fact he was one of the many ex-Nazis given a new identity and employed at the Salisbury Weapons Complex. Something both the state and federal governments had gone to great lengths to hide given the secrecy provisions of the Australian Anglo Project. The political fallout would have been catastrophic if it was ever found out that the Australian Govt was secretly paying and accommodating German Nazis and in some cases their families so soon after the end of WW2.
And may also provide an explanation for (Nursing) Sister J E Thomson’s reaction when she viewed the bust as well as explaining the decades of secrecy surrounding the identity of Chemist Freeman if it transpired that Thomson was not only treating the Somerton Man but was using Freeman’s pharmacy for medications prescribed for the various ailments Dr Dwyer found, as well as providing an explanation for the absence of glycoside induced vomiting or diarrhoea about the body seeing as he may have died from one or a combination of some of his myriad illnesses.
It appears that Thomson J E Sister wasn’t above advertising her medical qualifications as well as phone number and address in the local phone directory. Perhaps that’s all it took for him to find her, which may explain why Thomson’s phone number was found written on the back of his Rubaiyat and it was him who called by a Moseley Street neighbour some weeks (?) earlier, enquiring about a nurse who lived locally.
And lastly, if the Somerton Man had indeed died somewhere other than where he was found and was taken to the beach already dead, as the perspicacious Coroner Cleland so elegantly surmised, the difficulties would disappear.
“If the body of the deceased was not that of the man mentioned (seen the previous evening) and if the body had been taken to the place where it was found, the difficulties disappear. If this speculation, for it is nothing more, should prove correct, the original assumption that it was the deceased who left the suitcase at the luggage room, bought the rail tickets, removed the clothing tabs, and put the printed words “Tamam Shud” in a pocket, would require revision.” T E Cleland.