Matching the Somerton Man
I often use the Betaface demo to search for a matching face. So when I (or you) search with the face of the Somerton man one face will always appear.
If you don’t know about the Somerton man it is best to read this account first:
The Body on the Beach: The Somerton Man - Taman Shud Case
On the morning of December 1, 1948, a body was found on the shore of Somerton Beach. The man was resting against the…
But returning to the face that always appears it is Rudolf Mons.
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0052, Rudolf Mons.jpg
From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Researching Mons leads to a pilot awarded a Knights Cross of the Iron Cross who died or disappeared in the Mediterranean in an airplane on the 26th November 1943 during WW2 but was listed as missing in action on the 1st August 1944. It was determined he had crashed his plane somewhere near Cape Bougie, Algeria.
“at dusk on November 26, 1943, II./K.G.40 struck again. This time 21 Heinkels set off with glider-bombs to attack convoy KMF 26 as it passed Cape Bougie on the Algerian coast. Almost immediately after take-off, one of the bombers suffered a broken crankshaft in one of its engines; it was burnt out following the subsequent crash landing”.
Göring was so incensed at the failure of this attack and loss of key personnel he supposedly said “To avenge the enemy terror attacks I have decided to intensify the war over the British Isles”.
But to prevent the Nazis from knowing how effective the guided bomb had been against the Rohna ship, the entire matter was classified. This may be why Mons also disappeared. Officially it didn’t happen! It was not until 2000 this was made official.
Mons was flying a Heinkel long-range heavy bomber. The Knights Cross of the Iron Cross he was awarded was one of the highest awards for a Nazi. Going back over Mon’s military past he started as a soldier as an Alpenjäger almost equivalent to the SAS in the UK but based in the Austrian mountains. They wore an edelweiss emblem on their uniform. Somerton man had strong calves like an alpine soldier and unusual toes like a mountain climber.
Mons, Rudolf (KG 40) - TracesOfWar.com
Date of birth: October 2nd, 1914 (Vienna, Austria) Date of death: November 26th, 1943 (Mediterranean Sea) Nationality…
Testing images of the Somerton Man’s clay death mask we can see (according to Betaface) that Rudolf Mons is a much better likeness than an AI software-generated image of the Somerton man or an artist's impression. Mons is in the green box zone with Betaface whereas the AI image and artist’s picture are in the red box zone.
But can Rudolf Mons be the Somerton Man?
It would be easy to imagine that Rudolf Mons was shot down in a flaming aircraft with a badly burnt face even removing the dimple on his chin. Somerton man’s ears look like they were badly damaged at some time. Perhaps even fire damaged.
Comparing Mons’ ear with the Somerton man:
Mons looks like he had a normal ear. So you could imagine that would mean he was not the Somerton man. But the Somerton man’s ear seem to have a cut or fold on the inner ears. Like he had undergone extensive surgery. Perhaps it was an ear reconstructed. The Somerton man could have known people can be identified by their ears and had it rebuilt.
But the investigation of his ‘potential son’ the ballet dancer Robin Thomson shows that the ears were likely a genetic factor. His potential son had inherited the same ears. Meaning Mons was unlikely to be the Somerton man. But it could be possible that someone thought he was. It could be that someone poisoned the Somerton man thinking he was Rudolf Mons.
This average image of the clay death mask and Rudolf Mons (improved and colourised in myheritage.com) is more like the Somerton man than all other images of him. This is a better likeness of him than all other sketches, according to Betaface. But the fact that Mons still scores higher suggests the clay death mask was allowed to shrink in heat. It is not a perfect clay death mask.
But there is one late twist to this story. I was talking with a specialist who identifies bodies in war zones or conflicts. He looks for specific features on a face often birth marks or scars.
The expert said “There is also a feature in the glabellas area which is interesting!”
The Somerton Man and Rudolf Mons share a common feature. Unusual creases or scarring above the nose and between the eyes. What would be the chance of two men having deep facial marks or scars in the same place?
Research of genealogy shows no one with the name of Rudolph Mons was born in 1914 in Vienna. It was likely it was a fake backstory either created by himself or the Nazis. But why would someone change their name? What could be in a person’s name that would change them from hero to enemy?
Potentially (not conclusively) Rudolf Mons was born Monsberger. His dad had perhaps been a military colonel in WW1 or a professor with the same name Rudolf in Vienna. But you have to think why the name Monsberger would have been a dangerous name after the rise of Hitler.
The pathology report of Somerton Man says he was not Jewish. It is amazing how they could work that out in the 1940s without DNA or why it was typed on a pathology report and not by a medical description. The medical description was put on later in pencil. When you know he was carrying an Iranian poem why didn’t they say he was not Iranian? Over 71% of American men are estimated to be circumcised so it was not a good indicator of religion. In fact, Iran has a slightly higher circumcision rate than Israel.
It is also curious that the woman the Somerton man likely met Jestyn (Jo Thomson) took up the Jewish faith. Her daughter also claimed she spoke Russian. It would be unusual for someone who had been a nurse all her life in Australia to learn Russian.
One other piece of evidence is that Nazis were allowed to work in Australia after the war. According to the Guardian newspaper 1999 “Two of the Germans worked on Australia’s guided-missile rocket tests at Woomera in the 1950s”. Who better than the expert Rudolf Mons on guided bombs. He had tested guided glide bombs working out the best height and distance to launch them from a heavy bomber. The Woomera rocket site was started to be built around May 1948 and then the Somerton man was wandering Australia searching for a nurse he may have located by December 1948. The nurse Jo Thomson who had given him a copy of the Rubaiyat.
One possible scenario is that Jo Thomson was originally Mrs Mons in Germany. Perhaps her real name was Justine Mons (not Jestyn) or Justine Monsberger. That after the war she ended up in the Russian zone and had to learn Russian to survive. But that is all highly speculative.
But the evidence does show that a younger Rudolf Mons looks more like the clay death mask than the Somerton Man himself. All other suggested candidates' scores are lower. Surely it means that Rudolf Mons was the Somerton Man. That Mons was setting up the site at Woomera in 1948 to test guided rockets as he had done in 1943 for the Nazis. The Australian government must know this in some secret file.