This is the personal blog of Adam J. Schirling, the founder and editor-in-chief of Drunken Absurdity, a revolutionary ezine. For the best in alternative literature, poetry, art, movies and more go to This blog is strictly for my personal rants, some dirty pics, and the occasional cool story or sweet tunes.

The strange case of Taman Shud

>> Friday, November 18, 2011

On December 1, 1948, an unidentified human body was discovered on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia. After an autopsy was performed on the corpse, it was determined that the man was of British heritage and aged 40-45. He was in top physical condition and was 180 centimeters (5 ft 11in) tall. The body was dressed in “quality clothing,” including a white shirt, a tie, brown trousers, socks, shoes, and a fashionable European grey and brown double-breasted coat. All labels on the clothing were removed and the man was clean-shaven. The corpse had an unlit cigarette behind the ear and a half-smoked cigarette on the right collar of the jacket.

The coroner was unable to determine the man’s identity or cause of death. His organs displayed intense congestion and his spleen was strikingly large. During the investigation, a tiny piece of rolled-up paper with the words “Tamam Shud” printed on it was discovered sewn within the dead man’s trousers. The paper was neatly trimmed. The phrase Tamam Shud was identified as meaning “ended” or “finished.” It is found on the last page of a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The theme of the poems is that one should live their life to the fullest and have no regrets when it is over. With pressure to solve the case, the Australian police decided to have the mysterious corpse embalmed on December 10, 1948. It was the first time in history that such a situation had occurred.

Official Explanation
The discovery of the note was made public and a man came forward to reveal that he had found a rare first edition copy of Edward FitzGerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat in his unlocked car in Glenelg on the night of November 30, 1948. The book was missing the words “Tamam Shud” on the last page. Also found in the book was a telephone number belonging to a former nurse. The woman was tracked down and denied all knowledge of the man’s identity. In a TV program on the case, the woman’s name was given as Jestyn (which is an alias used for the show). The name was apparently obtained from the front of the book. Researchers investigating the case have attempted to track down the woman named Jestyn and found that she died in 2007. Evidence recovered in 2009 linked the images of the Somerton Man to the family of Jestyn
 Australian newspaper archives on the case


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Freelance writer and poet. Founder and Editor in Chief of Drunken Absurdity. President of Drunken Absurdity LLC

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