Jan 6, 2011 0
Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to read far more random Wikipedia pages than anyone needs to read, and as a result, have become a little obsessed with a most peculiar mystery.
In December 1948, the body of a man was found on Somerton Beach in Adelaide, South Australia. The identity of the man remains unknown. The investigation encompassed a code, two copies of a rare copy of a book of poetry, an unnamed nurse and the paternity of her child, a mysterious poison, spies, wild speculation, a stored suitcase, and ultimately many more questions than answers.
If you wish to appreciate this baffling time-drain with me, here are some good places to start:
1. The Wikipedia article on the Tanam Shud case.
2. A fascinating set of pages from Honours students at The University of Adelaide, focusing on students’ attempts to understand and crack the code associated with the mystery. They also include a great timeline, a list of common misconceptions about the case, and a list of known facts about the dead man.
5. Some clarification and amended statements from a witness originally interviewed for the 1978 documentary.
I have no further insights to add to the content linked above, but I hope you enjoy puzzling over this very strange tale as much as I have!