Was the state of the Somerton Man’s health a factor in his death?
As far as the records show it appears nobody took any serious interest in the state of TSM’s health and whether it was a factor in his death. The picture of the Somerton Man we have learnt to live with is one of an extremely fit man of about middle-age. Well-muscled, broad-shouldered, clean-skinned, clear-eyed.
To back up this view the inquest papers were heavily invested with the learned opinions of Sir Stanton Hicks – Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology – with regard to the various poisons that were found not to be present in TSM’s body.
The unsuccessful efforts taken by Dr Cowan to find a common poison which may have been responsible for TSM’s death and after failing to do so said “I think that death is more likely to have been due to natural causes than poisoning.” But as to what natural causes we are left to guess, there were plenty of them.
Dr Dwyer’s dispassionate listing of TSM’s many ailments and finally the ruling by Dr John Burton Cleland who grandly announced that …. “I have read the account of the post-mortem, and there is nothing to indicate death from natural causes.”
In other words, Professor Cleland is asserting that none of the nine ailments* described in the autopsy report as being present in the Somerton Man’s body might have been an indication or even the possible cause of his untimely death, remembering that this was the chap who forgot where he found the TS slip and had to have a bit of a think about it before finding it in the same place the second time.
*A massively oversized and congested spleen, acute gastric haemorrhage, extensive liver congestion, congestion of the pharynx, deeply congested stomach, congestion of the duodenum, renal congestion of both kidneys, a great excess of blood in the liver and signs of cerebral thrombosis. Imagine coming out of a doctor’s surgery with that diagnosis.
that was that for us laymen and for the next seventy-four years the talk has mainly revolved around the possibly red-herring code and lately, Professor Abbott’s very well-documented and apparently doomed attempts to link his wife and children’s DNA to the dead man. As far as discussions on TSM’s ill-health and the possibility it contributed to his death, nothing.
There’s only one answer: