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Disparities …

‘His body was very robust. Very Strong. His body a beautiful shape. A real wedge shape. Broad shoulders. Narrow hips, Well-formed legs. Obviously a man of considerable strength. Strangely enough there were no body scars or signs of hard work. The hands didn’t show any signs or callouses you would expect from handling tools. They were quite smooth.’  Paul Lawson:


Rationing in Australia was enforced by the use of coupons and was limited to clothing, tea, sugar, butter, and meat. From time to time, eggs and milk were also rationed under a system of priority for vulnerable groups during periods of shortage.

Date of gazettal for coupon rationing in Australia

Item Date gazetted Date abolished Quantity per adult
Clothing 12 June 1942 24 June 1948 112 coupons per year
Tea 3 July 1942 July 1950 1/2 lb per 5 weeks
Sugar 29 August 1942 3 July 1947 2 lb per fortnight
Butter 7 June 1943 June 1950 1 lb per fortnight
Meat 14 January 1944 24 June 1948 2 1/4 lbs per week


‘If he (Carl) lost he would be sullen and rude to me, or anyone else, if he lost at cards, he would become unpleasant to everyone,’ Mrs Webb said in documents.

She described him as living a quiet life and being in bed by 7pm each night and that he sometimes ‘refused’ to speak to her.

Dr Colleen Fitzpatrick suspected Mr Webb had mental health issues and would ‘spiral down’.


“I suspected right from the beginning of this case – because a lot of the spy theories came around in the ’40s. I thought, ‘That’s all very well, but it’s more likely to be something banal, really.’ And that’s what it turned out to be, all quite pedestrian.”  Derek Abbott


All quite pedestrian says the Professor of a middle-aged man whose ‘beautiful’ physique and missing teeth defied the food restrictions of the time, whose hands showed no signs of labour, who wore American and Australian clothing, whose body was moved after his death, who had no identification, who had a small slip of paper with two Persian words printed on it secreted in his pocket, whose proven connection with Jessica Harkness remains a mystery and whose whereabouts in his final years are unknown. Whose method and date of arrival in Adelaide are also unknown, whose suitcase was found unlocked and more important of all – according to the Professor – contained no spare socks.

All quite pedestrian says the Professor despite the many, many basic and inexplicable failures of the police investigation, despite the absence of any proof – other than hearsay – that the Rubaiyat the slip was torn from was actually found as claimed by Chemist Freeman and despite the secrecy surrounding the identities of both Freeman and Harkness, both of whom it was said requested such to preserve their privacy and not be hounded by the press. An anonymity that lasted long beyond their deaths.

The roll up for the public release of the deceased Freeman’s name as the man in whose car the Rubaiyat was found. Lawson front row left. Feltus up on the left, white shirt and coat.


Then there’s this …

During a chat with Clive Turner on the 22nd of May 2020, Lawson said Detective Sergeant Leane had told him he knew The Somerton Man’s identity.

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