The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:35 AM
toofs toofs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
WWII Homing Pigeon Found

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

What's the message say?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:47 AM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
"Send more pigeons!"
__________________
Elmer J. Fudd,
Millionaire.
I own a mansion and a yacht.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-03-2012, 10:48 AM
DMark DMark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Chi NYC Berlin LA Vegas
Posts: 13,725
Considering the pigeon was found in a chimney:

"Send blankets. Very cold. Even pigeons are freezing..."
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:16 AM
levdrakon levdrakon is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Now we know where all the dead pigeons go.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:27 AM
blondebear blondebear is online now
Shouting Grasshopper
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 10,166
What does the message say? "Roast in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Season to taste."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:41 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
"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.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-03-2012, 11:57 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 21,965
"If I can't get this capsule off my leg, I'm gonna die in this fucking chimney."
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:09 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The Glitter Palace
Posts: 16,660
Paging Captain Ridley's Shooting Party!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-2012, 09:34 AM
qualityleashdog qualityleashdog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Wash. Biol. Surv.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:03 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,183
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."
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:12 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,183
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.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:18 PM
Jamicat Jamicat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by levdrakon View Post
Now we know where all the dead pigeons go.
Long time passing...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,183
Gone to chimneys, every one...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-04-2012, 02:52 PM
Filbert Filbert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-04-2012, 04:07 PM
Ashes, Ashes Ashes, Ashes is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
"If I can't get this capsule off my leg, I'm gonna die in this fucking chimney."
127 Hours the Prequel?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:15 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,369
Quote:
WWII Homing Pigeon Found
Correction!

"Remains of WWII Homing Pigeon Found"

Correct & re-deliver.

With a different bird.

Obviously.
__________________
"The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer, and the vessel of state is driven between anarchy and despotism."
~~~~(Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1821)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-04-2012, 05:23 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
"Secret treasure hoard of A.H. found in Poland. Location to follow."
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-04-2012, 06:33 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-04-2012, 06:59 PM
Tangent Tangent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Dastardly and Muttley will be pleased.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-04-2012, 07:05 PM
Battle Pope Battle Pope is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
"Send three and fourpence. We are going to a dance."
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:29 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Paging Captain Ridley's Shooting Party!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-05-2012, 11:11 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-05-2012 at 11:15 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:58 PM
AHarris AHarris is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
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).

Last edited by AHarris; 11-05-2012 at 05:59 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-05-2012, 06:58 PM
Morbo Morbo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: 123 Fake Street
Posts: 8,972
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
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:07 PM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 19,343
Rofllmfao
istmlol
iircbrb
afkppor
ttfn
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:08 PM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 19,343
D'oh! Joke ruined by enforced lowercase.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:11 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:26 PM
Tangent Tangent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Maybe the secret message is what "14 k of g in a f p d" means.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-05-2012, 07:43 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
"I just flew in from Germany and boy are my wings tired."
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-05-2012, 08:12 PM
For You For You is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbershoot View Post
"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.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 11-05-2012, 08:19 PM
dimmy derko dimmy derko is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
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?

Last edited by dimmy derko; 11-05-2012 at 08:19 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:09 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbershoot View Post
"I just flew in from Germany and boy are my wings tired."
Quote:
Originally Posted by For You View Post
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"?
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:28 PM
BMalion BMalion is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbershoot View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:33 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
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....
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:33 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
I thought it was funny as hell myself.
Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:42 PM
For You For You is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbershoot View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:50 PM
Bumbershoot Bumbershoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by For You View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:55 PM
BMalion BMalion is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,481
Quote:
Originally Posted by For You View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:08 PM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
"Me name is Speckled Jim"

Last edited by Koxinga; 11-05-2012 at 10:09 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:25 AM
Zebra Zebra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
We've go pigeon legs.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 11-06-2012, 04:11 AM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2010
"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.
__________________
Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, & Derision
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:24 AM
ftg ftg is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:00 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-06-2012 at 08:01 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:03 AM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by dimmy derko View Post
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?
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:28 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 27,237
It's clear to me that this pigeon was the forerunner for a general coo.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:14 AM
BMalion BMalion is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,481
He flipped us the bird!
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:44 PM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
"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."
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 11-07-2012, 10:42 AM
Dervorin Dervorin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
"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."
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 11-07-2012, 12:15 PM
BMalion BMalion is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,481
You shot my Speckled Jim?!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.