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If you just want to find the Rubaiyat analyser script, click on the 'Files' tab above!

Very interesting case about an unresolved death that occurred in Glenelg (suburb of Adelaide) in 1948. A man was found on the beach at around 6.00am, dead, dressed well, with polished shoes and a scrap of paper torn from a very rare version of a book. The paper had the words "Taman Shud" written on it, which means 'ended' in Persian. On autopsy the man's spleen was found to be three times normal size, and organs engorged with blood consistent with poisoning, however no trace of poison could be found in his system. Police were never able to identify the man even after releasing details of the case nation wide with many viewings of the body.

A detailed read is available here: http://brokenmeadows.hubpages.com/hub/The-Mystery-of-the-Somerton-Man-Taman-Shud-Case

In the files section you will find a python script (parser.py) that I wrote to comb through a text version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam - a book linked to the case. The python script converts letters that were found written on the back of the book into numbers. It then starts at the first word in the book, and increments by the number corresponding to the letters in the code, outputting the word it finds into a file. It does this for all the letters in the code, and then moves on to the next word in the book and does the same.

Here's an example:
Code: MLIAOI
Numbers: M=13 L=12 I=9 A=1 O=15 I=9
Rubaiyat verses:

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night 
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: 
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught 
The Sultán's Turret in a Noose of Light.

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky 
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry," 
Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup" 
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry." 

Output from first word:
that East of Light. the the
Output from second word:
puts has Light. Dreaming Tavern Cup"
... and so on, until we hit the limit of words in the rubaiyat. Note that the parser doesn't wrap, e.g. once we hit the last word in the last verse, it stops trying to parse.

parser.py should be relatively easy to modify if you want to change it to try your own combinations.

The 'two-hyphens' and 'all-hyphens' text files with the codes in the names, are just the output of the parser.py program from two different versions of the First Edition Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. That is, one version has ALL hyphens '-' changed to whitespace, and the other is only where two successive hyphens are turned to whitespace. This is because a hyphen is counted as a 'word' in the parser.py program, so each of these versions of the rubaiyat produces differing results.

Acronym style code

Another idea is that the code could instead be an acronym style code. That is, each letter of the code is the first letter of a word. Listed below are some names, or interesting things about the case that could help with this idea:

  • Taman Shud
  • Jessica Thompson nee Powell / Jessica Powell (Apparently Jestyn's name)
  • Prestige Johnson
  • Alfred Boxall
  • Moseley Street
  • South Australia
  • Glenelg
  • Woomera
  • Rubaiyat
  • Robin (Apparently Jessica's son's name)
  • Adelaide
  • Digitalis (possible poison used)
  • Death
  • Love
  • Life

Random ideas relating to acronyms

Persian Shorthand Code

An interesting idea is that the man may have spoken Tajik, which is similar to Persian (the language the original Rubaiyat was written in). In Persian/Tajik apparently some of the letters if said out loud together sound like some Persian words.
See here

Useful links

Another site which also contains a timeline: http://inbetweenthemadness.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/tamam-shud/

University of Adelaide which did a study on the case:
https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/Timeline_of_the_Taman_Shud_Case
https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/Final_report_2009:_Who_killed_the_Somerton_man%3F
https://www.eleceng.adelaide.edu.au/personal/dabbott/wiki/index.php/List_of_facts_we_do_know_about_the_Somerton_Man

Updated by Kamikaze over 2 years ago · 15 revisions