Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By stevesmithx
  • 1 Post By Adak

The Unbreakable Pigeon

This is a discussion on The Unbreakable Pigeon within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Anybody seen the news about this pigeon that was found - WWII carrier bird, remains discovered in a chimney, with ...

  1. #1
    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    1,406

    The Unbreakable Pigeon

    Anybody seen the news about this pigeon that was found - WWII carrier bird, remains discovered in a chimney, with an enchipered message still attached to its leg - GCHQ boffins unable to break it - they have made a public appeal!

    BBC News - WWII pigeon message stumps GCHQ decoders

    For my money I don't think it will be broken - sure to be one time or day key based and if there is no record of that or context that may help then its gone - maybe only a pigeon can decipher it?
    Thought for the day:
    "Are you sure your sanity chip is fully screwed in sir?" (Kryten)
    FLTK: "The most fun you can have with your clothes on."

    Stroustrup:
    "If I had thought of it and had some marketing sense every computer and just about any gadget would have had a little 'C++ Inside' sticker on it'"

  2. #2
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    21,310
    Yeah, I saw the news about the pigeon, but not the appeal for more information from the public. Guess there's no harm in hoping that someone could give a clue, but then if their own pad data or code books have been destroyed, it would probably be fruitless even with more information.
    C + C++ Compiler: MinGW port of GCC
    Version Control System: Bazaar

    Look up a C++ Reference and learn How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  3. #3
    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    1,406
    absolutely - thing is if anbody still alive could shed light on it - they might know something from the document id's, may give a clue to why it was sent - what was going on in terms of mission, at least would give some more historical info to enjoy, but like you say - its gone, no operator is going to recall that key, or if was code book , then forget it, barring a miracle.
    Thought for the day:
    "Are you sure your sanity chip is fully screwed in sir?" (Kryten)
    FLTK: "The most fun you can have with your clothes on."

    Stroustrup:
    "If I had thought of it and had some marketing sense every computer and just about any gadget would have had a little 'C++ Inside' sticker on it'"

  4. #4
    Registered User rogster001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    1,406
    apa macam - selamat jalam :->
    Thought for the day:
    "Are you sure your sanity chip is fully screwed in sir?" (Kryten)
    FLTK: "The most fun you can have with your clothes on."

    Stroustrup:
    "If I had thought of it and had some marketing sense every computer and just about any gadget would have had a little 'C++ Inside' sticker on it'"

  5. #5
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    493
    Apparently, the message was,
    Sergeant,
    Be sure to drink your pigeon soup.
    Col. Ralphie
    So Ralphie did join the military with his BB gun?
    laserlight likes this.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
    - Albert Einstein.


    No programming language is perfect. There is not even a single best language; there are only languages well suited or perhaps poorly suited for particular purposes.
    - Herbert Mayer

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8,868
    The military has had that message since 1982, and just this Fall, gave it to GCHQ to try and decode it.

    Why don't they look up Sergeant Stott's service record, and see what he was involved with? Maybe he's not alive, but his family knows what happened to him that day he sent the pigeon?

    Having a representative just come out with an appeal for help from the public, after 30 years seems very disingenuous to me. I'd love to work on it, but don't know enough about cracking codes to be of much use.

    Very intriguing problem.

  7. #7
    TEIAM - problem solved
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    1,323
    If it's a one-time pad, it can't be broken. That means that it's key is as long as the message length and could quite literally be any combination of letters.

    I'm guessing that the numbers at the end refer to a location of where the one-time pad key starts in a booklet (i.e. Page, line/character)
    Fact - Beethoven wrote his first symphony in C

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8,868
    That seems to be the consensus. I can understand why it can't be broken, but I thought they could confirm definitively that it WAS a one-time pad, and give a bit of the military operation that Sergent Stott was involved in.

    Was he in a bomber crew that went down? They took pigeons with them. Was he with operation Market Garden and knew his unit was about to be captured by the Germans?

    Just some context to the whole mystery would be good.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8,868
    A history buff in Canada, with the help of some WWI books left by his great Uncle, says that he has broken the pigeons' message - and it never was in code - it just used a lot of acronym's like they used in WWI.

    The first and last acronym was "AOAKN", which in WWI parlance, meant:
    Artillery Observer Area K in Normandy".

    He states that is why the author spelled his rank of Sergeant with a j, - because he was trained by a WWI veteran, who had taught the author (Stott), to spell Sergeant that way.

    He states that Stott was parachuted into Normandy with pigeons, in advance of Normandy, to give updated reports on the effects of the Allied bombing, that was meant to not obviously show our intended landing point, but to still disburse and disrupt the heavy weapons and communications, in that area.

    Stott was killed about one week after the landing at Normandy.

    Neither GCHQ nor the military have had a chance to review this claim, to see if it's authentic.

    The other parts of the message that he has figured out:
    AOAKN - Artillery Observer At "K" Sector, Normandy
    HVPKD - Have Panzers Know Directions
    FNFJW - Final Note [confirming] Found Jerry's Whereabouts
    DJHFP - Determined Jerry's Headquarters Front Posts
    CMPNW - Counter Measures [against] Panzers Not Working
    PABLIZ - Panzer Attack - Blitz
    KLDTS - Know [where] Local Dispatch Station

    Hard to say if it's a hoax or not, just yet. BBC report on it is here:

    BBC News - Has World War II carrier pigeon message been cracked?
    stahta01 likes this.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8,868
    Just today, the BBC has an interview with the curator of the code breaking museum in the UK. Without any specifics, he says the code was NOT successfully decoded after all - that the decode by the Canadian history buff with the WWI code books, is unbelievable, having no credible information.

    He suggests the code is actually full of acronyms that would have been used for this mission, but then those letters have been encoded - so a double enciphering was used, not a single one. The second cipher used would have been the one time pad - which makes it unbreakable if it was used correctly.

    So, the message here may be the REAL enigma of WWII.

  11. #11
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    7,403
    It indeed seemed far fetched. My main contention was "PABLIZ - Panzer Attack - Blitz". Blitz in Normandy? Really?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21