That ‘Impossible to Decrypt’ Message Found Tied to WWII Carrier Pigeon May Have Just Been Cracked…in 17 Minutes
In November, reports of a mysterious, coded message dating back to World War II found tied to the leg of a dead carrier pigeon in a U.K. home’s chimney was stumping intelligence officials. But now a Canadian man said he was able to decode the message in 17 minutes, according to BBC.
Gord Young of Peterborough, Ontario, was reportedly able to crack the code using a code book he inherited. He found the message provides details from a British paratrooper about the location of Germans, the Daily Telegraph reported.
BBC reported a spokesman for the Government Communications Headquarters saying it will maintain its Nov. 22 statement that the message is “impossible to decrypt” without the right codebook, but they’re happy to look at the solution Young thinks he found.
Young on the other hand told BBC, ”folks are trying to over-think this matter” and that “it’s not complex.”
Here’s how the message in its original state reads, according to the Telegraph:
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
The Telegraph reported that the message is from Sergeant William Stott in German-occupied Normandy. The message sent from Stott was intended for HQ Bomber Command at RAF High Wycombe. Here’s Young’s translation of the coded message:
“Artillery observer at ‘K’ Sector, Normandy. Requested headquarters supplement report. Panzer attack – blitz. West Artillery Observer Tracking Attack.
“Lt Knows extra guns are here. Know where local dispatch station is. Determined where Jerry’s headquarters front posts. Right battery headquarters right here.
“Found headquarters infantry right here. Final note, confirming, found Jerry’s whereabouts. Go over field notes. Counter measures against Panzers not working.
“Jerry’s right battery central headquarters here. Artillery observer at ‘K’ sector Normandy. Mortar, infantry attack panzers.
“Hit Jerry’s Right or Reserve Battery Here. Already know electrical engineers headquarters. Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here. Final note known to headquarters.”
Young told the Telegraph that the message itself, although in readable English now, might have still been confusing in case German’s obtained it.
More than 250,000 birds were part of the National Pigeon Service in WWII, flying at up to 80 miles per hour for as far as 1,000 miles, according to the Telegraph.
Here’s the CBS report about the message from earlier this month:
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