Somerton Man Identified?
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Categories: Modern, Not an expert

Somerton Man Identified?

From a happier time: Verona Bikeshare in April 2017

Like many bookish people I grew up with books on Oak Island and ghosts and mysterious disappearances. I don’t think any of them covered Somerton Man, who was found dead on a beach in Australia in 1948 with a scrap of the Rubiyat of Umar Khayum in a pocket. Younger me would certainly not have recognized that 1948 was the perfect time, because many of the things which feed paranormal television today were invented between 1945 and 1975 (Bigfoot, flying saucers, and grey aliens for example; D.B. Cooper also hijacked his airplane in 1971). Things stay in this category because they are inherently hard to understand, so mainstream institutions do not take over investigation. Larry Kusche thought he had solved the Bermuda triangle mystery in 1975, but the sea is so wide and unknown that people who want to see mystery in a lost ship or plane can see it. Following these topics can be frustrating because there are many excited cranks for each new tidbit of information. But one of these cases has moved forward!

The police took a death mask of Somerton Mask before he was embalmed and buried, and some hairs were trapped in the plaster. Recently researchers used DNA in those hairs to tentatively identify the deceased as a Carl “Charlie” Webb. As far as I can tell, this theory is considered plausible, although not much is known about Webb. You can read more on the Cipher Mysteries blog

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