Careful analysis of this suggests that it is more likely to be an ‘acrostic’ (i.e.the first letters of a text or poem, possibly as a mnemonic aid for remembering it) than a cipher, because its letter frequencies are more similar to the letter frequencies of the first letters of English words than to those of normal English text.
* Professor Derek Abbot’s secondary evidence page (includes newspaper reports, transcripts of a 2009 ABC Stateline TV documentary, etc).
Finally: the best book on the whole Tamam Shud mystery is without much doubt Gerry Feltus’ detailed (2010) The Unknown Man.
However, in a 2013 interview for the Australian “60 Minutes” current affairs TV programme, her daughter Kate revealed that her mother had told her that she indeed did know more about the Somerton Man, but had deliberately not revealed it to police.
She also revealed that her mother was able to speak Russian; suggested that her mother may have been involved in some spy-related activity; and that her mother thought that the whole Somerton Man affair was above “a State Police level”.
On the morning of 1st December 1948, an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton Beach just south of Adelaide: he is usually referred to as “The Somerton Man” or sometimes “The Unknown Man”.
Six weeks later, a suitcase apparently containing the same man’s property was retrieved from Adelaide Railway Station’s cloakroom, where it had been deposited at around 11am the day before his death.
At this point, the mystery of the case was compounded by the discovery of some faint writing on the rear page of the book.
This included a local phone number (“X3239”), and several lines of cipher-like writing.
If you want to know more – OK: much, more – about the Somerton Man, this is surely the first thing you should buy for yourself.