Taman Shud/Somerton Man Decoding

SomertonMan2[1]The Tamán Shud Code is also known as the Somerton Man Mystery. On December 1, 1948, a warmly clothed man was found dead on the summer-like Somerton Beach in Adelaide, Australia. To date, the man’s identity, cause of death, and a viable interpretation of a puzzling missive found in his fob pocket from the final page of a rare book associated with the case are still unknown. The interpretation of the missive is where I come into the picture. As I decipher the message, you will conclude the same thing as I–that the Somerton Man was indeed a spy, or more appropriately, perhaps a spy looking for spies. He outlines certain departments of the American, Australian, and British military by pseudo-military acronyms that contain many small details that have been overlooked for years. I will not call this a typical decoding but more of an interpretation. Nevertheless, I think I sufficiently interpreted the missive within a good comfort zone or at least the acronyms. The mystery of unidentified man and the cryptic note are coined the "Tamán Shud Case" from a scrap of paper ripped from the final page of Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám book of poetry containing the handwritten code. Over and above the code, the paper had the phrase Tamán Shud, which is Persian for ended or finished. Below is a copy of the cryptic message.

SomertonManCode[1]

I’ll start with the graphic found at the bottom of the Somerton Man’s cryptic message of a hand-drawn line that looks like a lightning bolt. In fact, the curved tail of the B in the line above is pointing to this lightning bolt. On the left and above the lightning bolt is a little upright number 7, and to the right below the line is a sideways 7 facing down. The tails of the two above Ss in the last line are respectively pointing to the 7s. The message is citing 14 spies: seven from Lines 1, 2 and 3, and seven below the sideways chopstick-like lines with a supposed X to the left that separate Lines 1, 2, and 3 from Lines 4 and 5. I'll work through the interpretation line by line.

Line 1 M/W RGOABABD
Is for Men/Woman Regimental Ground Operations, Amphibious & Airborne Division (acronym ABD) of the American Army. The large M has a small W inside is for M/W that translates into Men/Woman, and if you look real hard, you can also read a small A for Army in the middle of the W or perhaps it means American. The RGOABABD translates to Regimental Ground Operations, Amphibious (AB) and Airborne Division (acronym ABD). With the lack of any names on the acronym letters, I believe the dots and only in this case an x could indicate a military persons' initials for his or her last name, and the level of the dot (high or low by the letter) indicates the rank from top military commander to lower ranking personnel. In this case, there is a small dot mid-left of the R, and actually an x near to the top left of the second A (but very hard to see unless you zoom in very closely), and a dot mid-right dot after the D. This could be indicating one higher-ranking commander and two middle managers but the small x could also indicate a separation of the Airborne Division (ABD) from the others. The dots and x are hard to read from the fuzzy photograph (especially it being quite fuzzy at the top) but this is what I’m taking into account at this point.

Line 2 MLIAOI
Is for Man Liaison with the Office of Intelligence (American). The first three letter of LIAison in this case is an abbreviation and not an acronym. There's a dot midpoint by the last I. The line crossing it could indicate he was restationed, dead, or perhaps promoted. The line across these letters appear to be more of separation than marking out of the missive, so I am interpreting this that he is a part of the American’s from the above line. This line is only citing one man.

Line 3 WM & N TBI MPANETP
Is for M/W Men/Woman and the N represents Navy and TBIMPANETP is for To or Territorial British Intelligence and Men (were) part of (note the curved line for an “o” on the left top inside of the P, indicating of) Australian Naval Expeditionary Force Troop. There is a dot lower left of the first P, a dot inside the A mid-point, and a dot lower left of the last P. Therefore, we have one middle manager and two lower ranking personnel. Under the E there is an iffy dot but I’m leaving that one out. There are three dots in this line, one person is cited in the line above and three are cited in the line above that for the seven as indicated by the number 7 on the lightning line at the bottom of the missive.

SomDivisionThis is the dividing symbol line between Lines 1-3 and Lines 4-5. Here he is saying AT. The two streaking chopstick-like lines are a distraction. The supposed X on the left is actually an A that also outlines an oblique T for the word AT.

Line 4 MLIABO AIAQC
Is for Men Liaison (of) British Operations/Office (of) Australian Imperial Air (Force) (Head)Quarters Command, Central or CORP. Note there are three very small dots to the left of the first A of AIAQC and a small dot after the C. Because the photograph is grainy, I am unsure if I can definitely identify all the intended dots. In this line, either three of the four all have the names that start with an A, or he is unsure of the names of who is working as insiders at the Australian Imperial (Air) Force (Head)Quarters or AIFHQ.

Line 5 VTTMTSAMS(this S with a slash)TGAB
This is where it gets interesting. The skinny V is for the 21st Special Air Service Air Regiment (Artists Rifles mantle) formed in January of 1947 as part of the British Territorial Army and was known as SAS 21st Regiment V. The skinny V is also saying to me two and one for the 21st. During WWII, they were exclusively known as the Special Air Service or SAS. The TTMTSA is for Technical Training Man (for) TSA. TSA is the squadron code for RAF’s St. Athan Airbase located in south Wales that hosted the RAF No. 4 School of Technical Training. Note the dot over the first S indicates a man of high rank. The top of the first S is also shaped like a “C,” which could mean something like Command or Commander but could also indicate an initial. The MSTGAB means Men (of) SA or Special Air Service (Training) of the Army (British). Do you see the “o” in the middle of the M and the slash on the S that could be translated to a small “f” for the word “of” the Special Training Group of Air Regiment/Airborne for AR or AB (because they appears to be saying both AB and AB), either one would be fine. Notice that he carries the mid-tail of the G over to AR/AB as a connection to the lightning bolt line. In reality, he is indicating the SAS if you take the M out between the two Ss. I believe the other two dots are hidden in the B or R at the end of the line.

The dot method of interpretation for initials is nebulous with the grainy nature of the original paper as well as the photograph, but I'm assuming intel had already gained access to a personnel roster or rosters and had targeted certain people as suspected spies, so weird-funny, a spy looking for spies; that's pretty risky business. Unfortunately, I have no idea who wrote this acronym missive, who the Somerton Man is, or his country of origin. Secrets notes such as this have no signature. If you like this site, click on one of my advertisements to purchase something from Amazon through my advertising portal to keep this site up and running. 

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Update! The Cosmic Forum plugins have been deleted because right after I published my Taman Shud Decoding, the Forum and the Shud webpages were taken over by a Russian hack site, and interestingly, the last person to sign up for the Forum had a Russian e-mail address.