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The Somerton Man Case .. an uncommon timeline.


Body found on December 1.

Autopsy completed by December 2.

Fingerprinting and photographing the corpse completed on December 3.

Copies of the official reports containing photographs and including a set of the deceased’s fingerprints posted to all English-speaking countries on December 21.


Official documentation including photographs and finger prints forwarded to all police departments in Australia on January 3.

Laurie Elliott commenced embalming the body on January 10.

Suitcase found on January 14.


Given that at the outset the Somerton Man Case appeared to be nothing more than the unexplained death of an unknown man found on a beach near the small coastal town of Glenelg in South Australia, why would the police have considered it necessary to send the official documentation, including his photographs and fingerprints to all English-speaking countries almost two weeks before sending the same documentation to all the police departments in Australia?

Surely there was a compelling argument for alerting the Australian police before making international enquiries, but seeing as this was not the case, what reason could have been put forward to do the opposite?


The FBI was included in the December 21 mailing list and their negative reply, signed by J.Edgar Hoover was received back on January 17th. As far as the other English-speaking nations are concerned we have no idea when they responded, if at all.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Which makes me think that there was an over riding(?) reason/clue as to why overseas English nations were deemed to be more important than Australia?

    March 18, 2022
    • Well, that’s the first place they looked. Interesting too how GF published the timeline, separating the two events by a chapter describing the many instances of people viewing the body. Completely out of sync.

      March 18, 2022
  2. The Sly Dog #

    I just can’t get my head around the juxtaposition of a muddled and turgid police investigation with the extra-ordinary steps taken to embalm the body and make a highly detailed (if not slightly misshapened from the freeze-thaw) plaster bust of the SM. If there was someone from higher powers pulling the strings and calling the shots from early on the investigation, surely they would not have allowed the body to be preserved with a delayed burial and a plaster likeness made of the dearly departed!! The uncommon timeline needs to take into account plaster bust and delayed burial… very special technical attention but shoddy police work!!

    March 22, 2022
    • Then you’re going to like today’s effort …

      March 22, 2022

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