I love carrier pigeons for a lot of reasons: their smarts, beauty, and war effort. The battlefield code below was attached to a pigeon’s leg whose skeletal remains 3 decades after D-Day were found in a Sussex chimney. It bore, still intact, an urgent Nazi troop movement message….
From THE (Britain) TELEGRAPH: “The message was sent to XO2 at 16:45 and contained 27 codes, each made up of five letters or numbers. The destination X02 was believed to be Bomber Command, while the sender’s signature at the bottom of the message read Serjeant W Stot. The message reads:
AOAKN HVPKD FNFJW YIDDC
RQXSR DJHFP GOVFN MIAPX
PABUZ WYYNP CMPNW HJRZH
NLXKG MEMKK ONOIB AKEEQ
WAOTA RBQRH DJOFM TPZEH
LKXGH RGGHT JRZCQ FNKTQ
KLDTS FQIRW AOAKN 27 1525/6
“According to the Canadian researchers the message was sent by Sergeant William Stott, a 27-year-old paratrooper from the Lancashire Fusiliers who was parachuted into occupied Normandy on a reconnaisance mission.
They claim he was sent there to assess the strength of the German occupation in that area, and then sent the message to HQ Bomber Command at RAF High Wycombe. His message told RAF officers that he was updating as required, and he was also requesting information after being parachuted behind enemy lines early in the morning.
“He was killed in action a few weeks after sending the message.
“The letter was discovered by David and Anne Martin while they were ripping out a fireplace at their house in Bletchingley, Surrey, thirty years ago. They discovered the bones of a pigeon and were about to throw them away when they noticed there was a red container attached to one of the bird’s legs.
It is now believed the message, which had stumped Britain’s finest codebreakers, was battlefield intelligence from a British Army paratrooper pointing out German tank and infantry groupings to RAF Bomber Command.”
See what you can do with this! Nobody’s been able to figure it out yet. And set any computer savvy five year olds in your vicinity on it. Then write Scotland Yard.