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Spy chiefs fail to crack secret message tied to leg of dead WWII pigeon

Last Updated: Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 15:41

London: Top code breakers from Britain have been unable to decipher the message that is believed to have been sent from Nazi-occupied France in June 1944.
Experts admit that the note attached to the leg of a dead pigeon found in a chimney has left them baffled, and they have asked any former code crackers to help.
Homeowner David Martin discovered the bird’s remains when he was refurbishing his house in Surrey and spotted a little red canister containing the message on Pigeon Service paper.

Spooks at GCHQ have spent weeks trying to fathom out what it means.

“We didn’t hold out any hopes because the sort of codes that were constructed to be used during these operations were designed only to be able to be read by the senders and recipients,” the Mirror quoted one as saying.

“Unless you get rather more idea than we have of who actually sent this message, and who it was sent to, we are not going to find out what the code being used was.

“There are still quite a lot of people alive who worked in ¬communications centres during the war and who might have some knowledge about this.

“It would be very interesting if anyone did have information if they could put it in the pot and we could see if we could get any further with it,” the spook said.

About 250,000 pigeons were used during the Second World War to pass on vital messages by the military, and the one found in the chimney has 27 handwritten blocks of letters.

It is being assumed that it may be based on a specific code book put together for a particular operation, which would probably have now been destroyed.


First Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 15:41
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