At 6:30AM on December 1, 1948, a body was found at Somerton beach, Adelaide, Australia. In an unsolved case spanning more than 60 years, his identity
has still not been ascertained.
The body was found roughly 250m south of the bus stop where the victim presumably got off. The body was reported to be undisturbed by the police
who found him. In his pockets were the bus ticket he presumably used to get to the beach, an unused rail ticket to Henley Beach, a partially empty
pack of Juicy Fruit gum, sixpence, an Army Club cigarette pack containing Kensitas cigarettes, and an aluminum comb.
He was dressed inappropriately for the previous day's weather, wearing a tie, white shirt, brown trousers, socks and shoes, a knit brown pullover
and a grey-and-brown double-breasted coat.
Witnesses reported having seen a similar-looking man the previous night, in the same location where the body was found. He was assumed to have
been asleep or drunk, so they did not disturb him. Another witness reported having seen him raise his arm and drop it back limply.
An autopsy was preformed to attempt to determine the cause of death. Capillaries in the brain were congested, the mucus lining of the esophagus
was white and ulcerated in places. The stomach and duodenum were also heavily congested, and blood was found in the stomach. The man's spleen was
enlarged to 3 times the normal size. The lobules of the liver were also damaged. The coroner's conclusion was death by poisoning, by barbiturates or
Many people were named as possible victims, but each was either discarded or proven false.
Another bizarre turn would come on January 14, 1949. A suitcase was found at the Adelaide train station, deposited at roughly 11PM the night the
man died. In it were some rather odd items, including an electrician's screwdriver, a cut-down, sharpened table knife, a stencilling brush and
scissors. The clothes in the suitcase were tagged with T. Keane, Keane and Kean.
But it keeps getting weirder. in June 1949, a scrap of paper with the words "Taman Shud" written on it was found in a secret pocket in the
man's trousers. This phrase is found in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, in a rare translation. A copy of the book was tracked down. It was indeed the
origin of the paper. On its back, what is presumed to be a cipher of some sort was found. It reads:
MRGOABABD MLIAOI MTBIMPANETP MLIABOAIAQC ITTMTSAMSTGAB
with MLIAOI struckthrough. This code has never been deciphered. Also found in the book was the phone number of a former nurse.
This man has yet to be identified, but a theory that seems credible is that he was a Soviet spy.