The mystery surrounding a World War II code, found attached to a dead carrier pigeon in a fireplace, is claimed to have been solved by a Canadian researcher though Britain’s top code breakers remain unconvinced and insist that it is “unbreakable”.
Gord Young of Lakefield Heritage Research in Ontario was reported in the British media as claiming that it took him only 17 minutes to decipher the message that had left experts stumped.
If he were to be believed, the message was sent by a 27-year-old Sergeant, William Stott, and it identified German troop and panzer tank positions in Normandy pinpointing “Jerry” headquarters and observation posts as target for attacks.
According him to it read: “Hit Jerry’s right or reserve battery here. Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here. Counter measures against panzers not working.”
He believes that Sergeant Stott was dropped into Normandy with pigeons to report on German positions.
“It’s not complex,” said Mr. Young.
“We have been able to unravel most, but not all, of the so-called unbreakable code of the pigeon remains.”
The message prompted headlines around the world when it was discovered by a retired probation officer, David Martin (74), while renovating the chimney of his house in Bletchingley, Surrey. It was concealed in a red canister attached to a leg of the dead pigeon with the words “Pigeon Service” at the top and 27 handwritten blocks of code.
Mr. Young, who claims to have broken it with his great-uncle’s codebook, said it relied heavily on acronym.