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-   -   WWII Homing Pigeon Found (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=670968)

toofs 11-03-2012 10:35 AM

WWII Homing Pigeon Found
 
WWII homing pigeon with coded message found in Bletchingley, Surrey.

What's the message say?

Elmer J. Fudd 11-03-2012 10:47 AM

"Send more pigeons!"

DMark 11-03-2012 10:48 AM

Considering the pigeon was found in a chimney:

"Send blankets. Very cold. Even pigeons are freezing..."

levdrakon 11-03-2012 11:16 AM

Now we know where all the dead pigeons go.

blondebear 11-03-2012 11:27 AM

What does the message say? "Roast in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Season to taste."

Jackmannii 11-03-2012 11:41 AM

"May 12, 1942. A member of Hitler's security detail will assassinate him for cash. Reply to box #3472 if interested."

Dang.

From the linked article: "About three handfuls of rubbish later, down came the leg with the red capsule on it, with a message inside. Unbelievable."

"It was like Christmas," his wife said"

Holidays at their house must be grand.

panache45 11-03-2012 11:57 AM

"If I can't get this capsule off my leg, I'm gonna die in this fucking chimney."

Northern Piper 11-03-2012 12:09 PM

Paging Captain Ridley's Shooting Party!

qualityleashdog 11-04-2012 09:34 AM

Wash. Biol. Surv.

Boyo Jim 11-04-2012 02:03 PM

It was like Christmas?

"Well, we had asked Santa for a pigeon with meat still on it, but he's a busy fella", said the starving homeowner. "Still, maybe we can suck some marrow out of the bones."

Boyo Jim 11-04-2012 02:12 PM

This story is getting a lot of press. They think the message was intended for RAF Bomber Command, because the addressee code was "XO2", but they don't yet know the conents.

BTW, has anybody ever heard of RAF bombers carrying pigeons to return to England if the bomber was shot down. I've never read that and I've been reading WWII histories all my life. Can a pigeon even survive being tossed out of a 150 mph plane? Is it supposed to struggle out of the crushed and burning wreckage on the ground and them return home with the sad news? Which crewman had the job of releasing the pigeon before saving himself? Color me skeptical.

Unfortunately, this very story is making a Google search about the history problematic. Searching for WWII carrier pigeons and bombers is hitting on tons of news stories to wade through.

Jamicat 11-04-2012 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by levdrakon (Post 15657406)
Now we know where all the dead pigeons go.

Long time passing...

Boyo Jim 11-04-2012 02:23 PM

Gone to chimneys, every one...

Filbert 11-04-2012 02:52 PM

Damn that's some bad phrasing- 'the preserved pigeon bones of a bird', are they sure it wasn't the pigeon bones of a kipper?

Ashes, Ashes 11-04-2012 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 15657503)
"If I can't get this capsule off my leg, I'm gonna die in this fucking chimney."

127 Hours the Prequel?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 11-04-2012 05:15 PM

Quote:

WWII Homing Pigeon Found
Correction!

"Remains of WWII Homing Pigeon Found"

Correct & re-deliver.

With a different bird.

Obviously.

Ethilrist 11-04-2012 05:23 PM

"Secret treasure hoard of A.H. found in Poland. Location to follow."

Count Blucher 11-04-2012 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondebear (Post 15657440)
What does the message say? "Roast in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Season to taste."

well, the secret is a little more complex than that...

SPOILER:

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Rub pigeons with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper.

Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each pigeon. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around pigeon s. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over pigeons. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until pigeons are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.

Transfer pigeons to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent pigeons with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut pigeons in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around pigeons. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.



...but it does of course explain why there were no pigeons left to use in the next conflict.

Tangent 11-04-2012 06:59 PM

Dastardly and Muttley will be pleased.

Battle Pope 11-04-2012 07:05 PM

"Send three and fourpence. We are going to a dance."

Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party 11-05-2012 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 15657523)
Paging Captain Ridley's Shooting Party!

:p

aceplace57 11-05-2012 11:11 AM

I' surprised at the delay in translating the message. WWII codes should be in old books on cyphers. They have the RAF guys name. That should be a quick computer lookup. He might still be alive.

AHarris 11-05-2012 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aceplace57 (Post 15662774)
I' surprised at the delay in translating the message. WWII codes should be in old books on cyphers. They have the RAF guys name. That should be a quick computer lookup. He might still be alive.

It depends. If a one-time pad was used properly when writing the message, it would be extremely difficult to de-crypt it without the original key (which may have been destroyed after the war).

Morbo 11-05-2012 06:58 PM

OK, after looking at the linked picture, I've cracked it. The results are still in some sort of cypher, maybe someone else can help with it:

WRGOABABD
MLIAOI
WTBIMPANETP
MLIABOAIAQC
ITTMTSAMSTGAB

GuanoLad 11-05-2012 07:07 PM

Rofllmfao
istmlol
iircbrb
afkppor
ttfn

GuanoLad 11-05-2012 07:08 PM

D'oh! Joke ruined by enforced lowercase.

Boyo Jim 11-05-2012 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morbo (Post 15664944)
OK, after looking at the linked picture, I've cracked it. The results are still in some sort of cypher, maybe someone else can help with it:

WRGOABABD
MLIAOI
WTBIMPANETP
MLIABOAIAQC
ITTMTSAMSTGAB

That IS the message, unencrypted. It was part of a British deception campaign intended to tie up German code breakers by sending random nonsense. :p

Tangent 11-05-2012 07:26 PM

Maybe the secret message is what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.

Bumbershoot 11-05-2012 07:43 PM

"I just flew in from Germany and boy are my wings tired."

eschereal 11-05-2012 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bumbershoot (Post 15665085)
"I just flew in from Germany and boy are my wings tired."

You know, when I hear that line play in my head, because of the delivery, it teeters on the precipice of astoundingly bad taste.

dimmy derko 11-05-2012 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boyo Jim (Post 15660109)
This story is getting a lot of press. They think the message was intended for RAF Bomber Command, because the addressee code was "XO2", but they don't yet know the conents.

BTW, has anybody ever heard of RAF bombers carrying pigeons to return to England if the bomber was shot down. I've never read that and I've been reading WWII histories all my life. Can a pigeon even survive being tossed out of a 150 mph plane? Is it supposed to struggle out of the crushed and burning wreckage on the ground and them return home with the sad news? Which crewman had the job of releasing the pigeon before saving himself? Color me skeptical.

Unfortunately, this very story is making a Google search about the history problematic. Searching for WWII carrier pigeons and bombers is hitting on tons of news stories to wade through.

I can't concentrate on what the code possibly meant as I'm still trying to get my head around a bomber crew taking an Emergency Homing Pigeon with them. Did they have little cages for them or were they tucked in the rucksack as standard kit?

Bumbershoot 11-05-2012 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bumbershoot (Post 15665085)
"I just flew in from Germany and boy are my wings tired."

Quote:

Originally Posted by For You (Post 15665197)
You know, when I hear that line play in my head, because of the delivery, it teeters on the precipice of astoundingly bad taste.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how my post demonstrates "astoundingly bad taste". It was nothing more than a variation on the old stand-up comedy cliché, described in this TV Tropes article on Stock Shticks (example #1). Far from hilarious, I admit- but "astoundingly bad taste"?

BMalion 11-05-2012 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bumbershoot (Post 15665388)
For the life of me, I can't figure out how my post demonstrates "astoundingly bad taste". It was nothing more than a variation on the old stand-up comedy cliché, described in this TV Tropes article on Stock Shticks (example #1). Far from hilarious, I admit- but "astoundingly bad taste"?

I thought it was funny as hell myself.

SCAdian 11-05-2012 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morbo (Post 15664944)
OK, after looking at the linked picture, I've cracked it. The results are still in some sort of cypher, maybe someone else can help with it:

WRGOABABD
MLIAOI
WTBIMPANETP
MLIABOAIAQC
ITTMTSAMSTGAB

<snicker>

Knew that sounded familiar - I was just reading about that this summer....

Bumbershoot 11-05-2012 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMalion (Post 15665465)
I thought it was funny as hell myself.

Thanks!

eschereal 11-05-2012 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bumbershoot (Post 15665388)
Far from hilarious, I admit- but "astoundingly bad taste"?

I always hear an accent leaning toward Yiddish. In the context of WWII Germany, that makes me a bit uneasy, pardon me for being overly sensitive.

Bumbershoot 11-05-2012 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by For You (Post 15665512)
I always hear an accent leaning toward Yiddish. In the context of WWII Germany, that makes me a bit uneasy, pardon me for being overly sensitive.

No problem.

BMalion 11-05-2012 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by For You (Post 15665512)
I always hear an accent leaning toward Yiddish. In the context of WWII Germany, that makes me a bit uneasy, pardon me for being overly sensitive.

Oy.

Koxinga 11-05-2012 10:08 PM

"Me name is Speckled Jim"

Zebra 11-06-2012 12:25 AM

We've go pigeon legs.

6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 11-06-2012 04:11 AM

"I hate my job. I just wanna... pull my leg off just so that I can have something to throw at it."



And kudos, Koxinga. Choked on that.

ftg 11-06-2012 07:24 AM

The British have a very strong Official Secrets Act that kept a lot of basic info about WWII secret for a long time. It prevented publication in the UK about Bletchley Park and Engima until the 1980s, I think. This message might still fall under the Act and we might not know its contents any time soon.

aceplace57 11-06-2012 08:00 AM

I noticed there isn't any sharp complete images of the message. Theres plenty of amateur cryptologists that would enjoy the challenge.

I recall vaguely last year they found a coded tablet or maybe pottery? Cracking the code became a big internet project for awhile.

But, even 70 years later I guess even WWII still has its secrets. Those spooks are so paranoid you know. :D

Freddy the Pig 11-06-2012 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dimmy derko (Post 15665216)
I can't concentrate on what the code possibly meant as I'm still trying to get my head around a bomber crew taking an Emergency Homing Pigeon with them. Did they have little cages for them or were they tucked in the rucksack as standard kit?

Just because the message was addressed to bomber command, is there any reason to think it was released from a bomber? (My workplace is blocking the linked article so I can't read it.) Isn't it more likely it was released from a coastal or offshore spotter?

Elmer J. Fudd 11-06-2012 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig (Post 15666728)
Just because the message was addressed to bomber command, is there any reason to think it was released from a bomber? (My workplace is blocking the linked article so I can't read it.) Isn't it more likely it was released from a coastal or offshore spotter?

A spotter on the coast or even an island would likely have a landline to HQ.

Chefguy 11-06-2012 10:28 AM

It's clear to me that this pigeon was the forerunner for a general coo.

BMalion 11-06-2012 11:14 AM

He flipped us the bird!

Nunzio Tavulari 11-06-2012 12:44 PM

"Just picked up a shortwave transmission from Amelia Earhardt. Her plane has gone down over the Pacific but she and the navigator are fine. Reports that they have enough food and survival supplies for eight months. She requests pickup at the following coordinates when convenient."

Dervorin 11-07-2012 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Koxinga (Post 15665587)
"Me name is Speckled Jim"

Dammit, I came here to post "I was on my way home from Flanders when I was cruelly MURDERED by Capt. E. B."

BMalion 11-07-2012 12:15 PM

You shot my Speckled Jim?!!


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