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 “If the (Somerton Man’s) body had been taken to the place where it was found, the difficulties disappear.”

“I have been discussing the circumstances on the footing that the body found on the morning of the 1st December was that of the man seen in the evening of the 30th November. But there is really no proof that this was the case.”

“None of the three witnesses who speak of the evening of the 30th saw the man’s face, or indeed any part of his body that they can identify. If the body of the deceased was not that of the man mentioned 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.”

Coroner Thomas Erskine Cleland.

https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/The_Taman_Shud_Case_Coronial_Inquest

~~

Imagine if you were to interrupt the Coroner’s summing up at this point – Stuart Littlemore style and courtesy of H.G.Wells – stride up to his judicial chair and slap these three documents on his table.

‘If it may please Your Honour,’ says Stuart silkily, ‘I believe that it might be in the interest of furthering your ‘speculation’ if you were to peruse these documents, one of which you have already seen and signed.’

Littlemore retires to his seat. Cleland grunts, gives a cursory glance at the documents then checks his time-piece.

Item 1 … taken from the Unknown Man by Gerry Feltus.

Item 2 … taken from The Unknown Man by Gerry Feltus

Item 3 … part of the sworn deposition by Gordon Strapps.

The Coroner then decides on a two hour adjournment, Court to reconvene at 2:30 pm.

Then, at 2:31 pm precisely.

The Coroner returns, calls the Court to order and gravely intones the following ..

Point One.

“The original assumption that it was the deceased who left the suitcase at the luggage room now requires revision.”

Point Two.

“The original assumption that it was the deceased who was seen by the three witnesses on the evening of the 30th now requires revision.”

Point Three.

“The original assumption that it was the deceased who bought the rail tickets now requires revision.”

Point Four.

“The original assumption that it was the deceased who removed the clothing tabs now requires revision.”

Point Five.

“The original assumption that it was the deceased who put the printed words “Tamam Shud” in a pocket now requires revision.”

BANG !!

~~

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I remember reading years ago of Professor Abbott’s comment on the ‘Final Twist’ account where he wrote that the witness O’Doherty interviewed couldn’t possibly have had such a clear and accurate recollection of an event that had taken place ten years earlier … Well, all I can say in response is ‘buttoned-up cardigan.’

    February 26, 2022

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