MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - British code-breakers were stumped by a secret Second World War message that was recently found attached to the leg of a dead pigeon, British satellite news broadcaster Sky News reported on Friday.
The handwritten code was discovered in a small red canister attached to the bird's leg bone. David Martin, who was renovating his house in Bletchingley, Surrey, England, found the pigeon's skeleton up the chimney and alerted UK intelligence agency GCHQ to the message.
GCHQ said the message consisting of 27 five-letter encoded words cannot be deciphered without its code book.
A GCHQ spokesman praised the skills of wartime code-makers, who, he said, “devised a code that was indecipherable both then and now” despite “working under severe pressure.”
Some 250,000 pigeons were used by all arms of the services during the Second World War, according to Sky News. Special code books contained keys allowing specialists to decrypt the groups of letters.
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