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It’s been almost a year since the Somerton Man’s body was exhumed and placed in the care of the specialists who were given the job of obtaining his DNA. Since then there has been no news. Professor Derek Abbott has gone to ground and his website offers nothing new.

The three women who might be able to assist in this DNA matter are Rachel Egan, her mother Roma and Jessica’s daughter Kate Thomson. However we are faced with the problems that (1) Rachel and her mother are apparently estranged and as a result it’s unlikely Roma would consent to be part of the DNA investigation, (2) Derek Abbott appears to be unwilling to take a second run using his wife’s DNA and (3) knowing Kate Thomson has always been opposed to the idea of having the body exhumed it’s also unlikely she’d be willing to donate her DNA to the cause. A cause which was helped immeasurably by the change of South Australia’s state government.

From this …

“There needs to be public interest reasons that go well beyond public curiosity or broad scientific interest for the Attorney-General to approve an exhumation.” SA Premier Raus. 2018. Labor.

To this …

“For more than 70 years, people have speculated who this man was and how he died,” South Australia Attorney General Vickie Chapman said. Last month Ms Chapman said the decision to exhume the body followed “intense public interest” in the case. SA Attorney General Chapman. 2021. Liberal.

The irony we are faced with here is that despite Professor Abbott’s diligent and all-encompassing research, his ready availability to be questioned by interested parties and generosity in sharing information, he appears unable to convince the women of his family to take the next and possibly defining step in identifying who the Somerton Man was. Or wasn’t.

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