Could Australia’s Greatest Mystery Finally Be Solved? | Answers With Joe

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The Somerton Man is one of the most popular internet mysteries of all time, so full of twists and turns it’s hard to believe it’s not fiction. But after 74 years of investigating, dozens of theories, and thousands of dollars in scientific tests, we are closer than ever to uncovering the identity of the man found dead on a beach in Australia in 1948.

Quick note, there are a handful of images used in this video that were from recreations or computer renderings that investigators and filmmakers have made over the years. I’ve pointed it out when possible in the video but I just wanted to make clear that there are some photos in this video that are not from the actual crime scene.

Ryan Twombly is the writer/researcher on this video.

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Here’s a link to the Rubiyat of Omar Kayyam if you want to read it in its entirety:

0:00 – Intro
1:10 – How the story begins
2:51 – The Body
5:57 – The Suitcase
8:30 – The Book
10:12 – Jo Thomson
13:05 – The Spy Theory
14:54 – The Progeny
19:05 – New Tests
20:25 – Sponsor Read & Close

Written by Joe Scott


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  1. Even if they prove that Robin Thomson was the son of the Somerset man, that doesn't answer the question of the man's name and who he was. However, DNA family search could find other living relatives and that could reveal his origins.

  2. You say "like" digitalis with no sign of a poison source in Australia… I think oleander. Oleandrin is close enough in effect to digoxin and grows well in hot climates and while it tastes vile, there have been cases of accidental (and intentional) ingestion.
    The average person where it is a common native or landscaping plant does know it's toxic, but a traveler from another location may not know that.
    Someone unknowingly gathering it in forage for a giraffe at a zoo ended tragically and all the oleander was then removed from zoo grounds.

  3. I mush have seen half a dozen or more videos and features about this case, but this was the most concise and detailed version I've seen yet. You touched on a few pieces that I've never heard anyone else mention. I'd say you not only picked the best place to begin this story, you told it in a way that was easier to follow and absorbed. Well done, sir.
    It's sad that he had to be exhumed, but I hope that this most recent inquiry lends some answers to this tale.

    One question, though; something that just occurred to me…
    Has anyone ever looked into the possibility of Jo Thompsons' husband having a sibling that could've either been separated at birth or, was the result of a secret affair involving one of his parents, perhaps an unknown half-brother? Could she have coincidentally had a fling with a long-lost relative? The irony would almost seem fitting, would it not? People got separated quite a lot back in those days, for one reason or another. It's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

  4. "Real life is just one darn thing after another."
    Every closing line in your videos either gives me chills, makes me laugh, brings a tear into my eye or leaves me slack-jawed.
    Quality content, Joe. Thanks

  5. I guess truth is stranger than fiction and I think that the DNA will finally tell who the man was. I bet donuts to dollars that it will not disappoint and we will all finally find out who the Summerton man was. Please tell us as soon as you know. Thanks for the wonderful video.

  6. This case is legendary here in Australia. I have spent many an hour over the years trying to understand it. For a long time I thought he was a Soviet spy now I’m unsure. Jo Thompson undoubtedly knew who The Somerton Man was but chose not to share. Hopefully we will get more information once the DNA results are made public.

  7. Somerton guy was my grandfather's brothers ex-wifes husbands brothers mate, an third officer world-travelling ballet dancer eskimo whose teeth had been genetically manipulated by eating seal meat who was killed because he lost his suitcase after finishing his last job at an airshow. A vicious swine who tortured penguins and humming birds, wore high heels carried a Derringer, loved codes and invented the term "spidersense", spoke Russian and Navajo, slept wrapped in a tortilla within a plastercase, had weird ear abnormalities and spoke with a lisp. He survived the autopsy and lived to 109yrs old dying in 2031.

  8. Yes, only your mother is allowed to call you by your real name in Australia. No one else would even know, including at work trying to send an email as their hard hat and shirts have their nick name.

  9. Awesome work as always, Joe! The recitation at the start was especially beautiful! 👌As the bearer of an Australian passport (I don't identify myself by nation-states; particularly ones founded in genocide), it's interesting that the Somerton Man mystery has become (or becoming) almost unknown here (aside from those who might've developed a particular interest in it). Which is something of a shame, it's such a fascinating and compelling story (arguably the most interesting to happen in Australia in the second half of the 20th Century, hehe 😜). I asked some colleagues today (ranging in age from 25 to 67) if they knew the story, and the majority of them didn't, and the best reply was "it rings a bell" from the eldest. The way you presented all the intriguing evidence (and also the lack thereof), the coincidences, the theories and conclusions just had me thinking, "that'd make one helluva film". It would also help the mystery take its rightful spot in post-colonial folklore ("folklore"?🤔) – it kinda surprises me that there aren't songs and poems written about it. Though, maybe my infatuation with the mystery when first hearing about it makes me biased.

    (Incidentally, your jokes about Australia being a little 'idiosyncratic' were very kind … when one considers just how totally backward this place actually is in many respects. Hehe.😂That said, the country's socialist legacy leaves many redeeming qualities, even despite our "representatives" best efforts to tear down public services and institutions, privatise publicly owned enterprises and destroy what was once the most militant labour movement in the "developed" world. *Sigh … *)

    Anyway, come to Australia to produce/direct a film about the Somerton Man … 😁

    Love your work! ❤

  10. He was definitely a Russian spy infiltrating the mob, who was really into doing ballet in high heels, and decided to commit suicide by knowing too much because of his unrequited love for his contact (Jo).

  11. Once i saw a theory about this that he was just a guy who wanted no evidence of his existence and he just wanted to be forgotten. He did this by getting rid of all the tags on his clothes and all forms of identity, then tried to swim out to sea and die, then he swept away by the waves. Unfortunately, his body came back to the shore and was found. But the evidence in this video and some of the newer stuff gave me thinking otherwise. Still interesting though.

  12. Looking at the handwriting found in the back of the book, i would say that it was written by someone used to writing in cyrillic.
    I think that there is someone alive right now who knows exactly what happened.

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