On December 1st, 1948, a man was found dead on Somerton Beach in Australia.
He seems to have come from nowhere.
He was found with no visible signs of injury, wearing a suit with all the labels cut off of it, and no hat. He had a cigarette tucked behind his ear and another one, half smoked, next to his head as if it had fallen out of his mouth.
In his pockets were a used bus ticket to the beach, an unused train ticket to Henley Beach, an American comb, a pack of Juicy Fruit gum, sixpence, an Army Club cigarette pack with Kensitas cigarettes in it, and a box of matches. His body was found 250 meters from where the bus stop apparently let him off.
Apparently, a few people saw him the night before at the same spot- one couple saw him moving his arm around, and another saw him lying motionless on the beach.
When the autopsy was done, it was found that he had eaten a pasty four hours before his death. And there’s more!
The stomach was deeply congested…There was congestion in the 2nd half of the duodenum. There was blood mixed with the food in the stomach. Both kidneys were congested, and the liver contained a great excess of blood in its vessels. …The spleen was strikingly large .. about 3 times normal size …there was destruction of the centre of the liver lobules revealed under the microscope. …acute gastritis haemorrhage, extensive congestion of the liver and spleen, and the congestion to the brain.
It was concluded that he most likely died of poisoning, but from what? The Scottish Yard posted this guy’s picture everywhere, but there was no response. They reasoned that the dead man might have been missing local man E.C. Johnson, but then E.C. showed up. Many other possible IDs came up locally, but all were disproved.
A few months later, a suitcase was found at a nearby train station that had been checked in on the morning of Mystery Man’s death. The suitcase’s label was removed, and inside it was a red-checked dressing gown, a pair of slippers, four pairs of underwear, pajamas, shaving gear, a pair of pants with sand in the cuffs, a screwdriver, a stenciling brush, a table knife that had been fashioned into a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, and a package of waxed thread. All the labels on everything had been removed, but on several items of clothing it said “T. Keane”. Police believed that someone purposefully left the Keane tag on the clothes knowing it was not the dead man’s name, because when they searched for T. Keane, they couldn’t find anyone of that name that was missing anywhere in the world. There was one missing sailor named Tom Keane, but friends of his that viewed the body and the suitcase firmly believed that was not their friend.
Police were doing all sorts of searching and theorizing, and had started wondering if the body had been just dumped on the beach, when they found a secret pocket in the man’s pants. Inside the secret pocket, a piece of paper with the words “TAMAN SHUD” typed on it.
Now this part is crazy.
Apparently this phrase came from the book The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and Taman Shud roughly translates to “the ending”. They released this info to the media, and a man in the town where the body was found came forward, saying that on November 30th, the night before Mystery Man died, he found a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in the back of his unlocked car, and the final page, which was supposed to read “Taman Shud”, was torn out. Yup, Mystery Man apparently ripped out a page and shoved the book into a random car.
There was weird lettering on the front cover that looked like code, and a phone number, which was traced to a woman in the same town who once dated a man who was rumored to be a spy, but that man eventually surfaced, and his copy of the book still had that last page.
The man was buried, finally, and a strange woman was seen putting flowers on his grave several times. An inmate in New Zealand revealed that he knew the name of the name of the dead man, but it could never be corroborated. Mystery Man has been linked to more spy stuff, so much so that it prompted Australia to create its own anti-espionage task force, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
The man’s identity is still unknown. Go to the Wikipedia to read WAY more about it, and then see if you can crack the case!