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dave rundle exhibits a masterful insight into australia’s most profound mystery ..

Everyone has heard of Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll and Mick Dooley but not so many have heard of Dave Rundle which is surprising in that over his long life he has amassed a handsome collection of derogatory nicknames from a large number of undisciplined individuals, like the Missile, or MX (which is a missile), or Disaster Dave .. these alone give you the picture that in surfing terms old Rundo wasn’t the safest bloke to be around with in the water. But that was then. Before the old lad copped two swift strokes one morning. Blood clots. Nasty.


Word has it he insisted on taking his breakfast with him in the ambulance. Two chorizo sausages, three eggs done soft with chilli flakes, a couple of roma tomatoes, some baked beans and five rounds of raison toast with honey and peanut butter and coming from someone who has spent some time in cars on surfing trips with Dave I can say fearlessly that he could have done better.

But what is remarkable about the ‘new’ Dave who came home from hospital is that he now has what can only be described as a fiercely accurate dis-integration rewind capability to see what others cannot. Then he stifled my laughter by proving it after sending me an image over the phone.

This one.

If a bloke was to have read the Adelaide Advertiser recently he might learn that the SA Govt has decided to dig up the 72 year-old remains of The Somerton Man. This was the unidentified bloke found dead on Somerton Beach which only gets surf in a cyclone like the one they had in 48, the year they found him.

He had a little slip of paper in his pocket that matched a hole in the back page of a book found nearby. The piece of paper had printed on it the two words Tamam Shud. The book had this ^ code written on the back cover.

‘It’s Farsi,’ Dave says and Dave knows, he’s travelled the Persian roads as an untrustworthy youth on a suspect motorbike all the way to the borders of Afghanistan without being killed or accepting an offer of cheap hashish, but that was before he smuggled a couple of rifles onto a plane from Port Moresby to Sydney. One with a slug in the breech. Disaster Dave, did I say that?

Then he asked me what I thought of this code. Which is not a lot and I’ve been trying to work out the bastard for twenty years and even wrote a book about it that nobody understands.

‘There’s no Q in the Arab alphabet,’ says Dave, so it cannot be a Persian verse acrostic.’


This is from the reasonably educated bloke (Barker College) who dressed up two wild pig kills for the country table, even put serviettes under their bloodied snouts That was after he tried to blow up a very lovely young woman in a hotel toilet in Bourke.

‘Look at it,’ he said, ‘can you see it?’

‘No Dave. See what?

‘What do you reckon it might mean,’ says Dave – his new-found incisive brilliance too impatient to answer my see what? – ‘especially given the times, spies and counter-spies, double agents turned triple. That sort of stuff. Everyone knocking off secrets from the weapons farm up at Salisbury. Missiles and stuff. Commos under the bed.’

This is not the specialised knowledge Dave would have possibly been credited with in his earlier years, I mean how could a man who could be dissuaded from expressing his overloaded bladder successfully by having six or ten close friends tossing small stones and large boulders onto the tin roof of the dunny he was occupying at the time at Collers in 1975 have such a decisive logic? Six foot that day and only four out. Sweet stuff.

‘So that’s what the code is then, a bunch of secrets?’ Me.

Now that’s another new thing about my old mate, he has acquired a sardonic laugh when realising his listener isn’t exactly up to scratch in the dis-integration rewind capability stakes.

‘No,’ he says, sardonically laughing, ‘There’s a signature in the code. A sign. A symbol. A message for whoever might wonder if the scheme (re spies, secret messages, missiles, bombs, weapons) to exchange information illegally obtained had been infiltrated.’

‘Meaning what?’

‘Well, if that had happened what I’m seeing wouldn’t be there.’

There you have it.



If a certain table of disreputable (old) gentlemen in the Avalon area are challenged on this subject by the man Rundle himself – providing he has the time to fit in an idle hour drinking coffee with a group of individuals whose mental aptitude has effectively been dismantled by his current freakish abilities – they will no doubt wonder at the depth of mental acuities Dave has accrued in the last little hospitalised while. Current estimates by the Ponds Institute are that as a whole the Avalon table may take another 72 years to spot what Dave saw overnight, and he isn’t about to give it away too easily.

Because Dave found it. And Dave owns it.

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