2 3 Throwback Thursday and the Somerton Man Mystery | Ballet Webb

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Throwback Thursday and the Somerton Man Mystery

Throwback Thursday and the Somerton Man Mystery

One of Australia’s greatest mysteries is the identity of the Somerton Man. He was found dead on Somerton Beach in Adelaide in November 1948, but no one knew who he was or how he died. And, as time went on the mystery only deepened. Was it suicide? Or was he murdered?

One clue was the man’s strong and high calf muscles. Many theorized that this meant he must have been a ballet dancer. He was in top physical condition and only in his forties, according to the coroner.

In his pocket was a scrap of paper with the words “Tamám Shud,” which means “finished” in Persian, and comes from the book The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam. There was also a phone number, belonging to a local woman named Jo Thomson who denied knowing him. But maybe she did… according to https://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/who-is-the-somerton-man?utm_term=.jyKmrBmBKB#.saboxRoRbR :

“She [Jo] had a son, Robin, born in 1946, who had two distinctive facial features — an oddly shaped ear, and two missing incisors that left his canine teeth parked right next to his two front teeth — that Abbott learned were shared by the Somerton Man. Robin Thomson was also a dancer in the Australian Ballet, blessed with strong calves. All of those things, Abbott thought, pointed to Robin as the son of the Somerton Man.”

Of course, the only way to know for certain is to do DNA testing on the body of the Somerton man, and that has not been done. And so, the mystery remains.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #131:
“Was the Somerton Man a ballet dancer?”

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I'm comfortable with the unknown -- that's the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them.”
- Brian Cox

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