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Secret World War II Code Stumps UK Cryptographers

A dead pigeon, dated back to World War II period, was recently found out in a chimney in Surrey. The discovery was extra-ordinary in that it was a carrier pigeon and had a secret message tied to its leg which it was supposed to relay to some destination. Cryptographers at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in UK have been trying to decrypt the message but have failed so far. Cryptographers say that they need original cryptographic material related to this particular message in order to decipher it.


Secret message

To accomplish this, the authorities will have to track the identity of the carrier pigeon back to its origin. Thankfully, the message on the pigeon reveals two such numbers which could be the pigeon’s identity: NURP.40.TW.194 and NURP.37.OK.76.

Cryptographers at GCHQ have also eulogized the skill of the war-time cryptographers for having devised such complex secret messages which couldn’t be easily decoded even after so many years have elapsed. According to pigeon specialists, this particular bird was probably flying towards British from France some time around the Normandy landings in 1944.

According to a GCHQ historian, “We didn’t really hold out any hopes we would be able to read the message because the sort of codes that were constructed to be used during operations were designed only to be able to be read by the senders and the recipients. Unless you get rather more idea than we have of who actually sent this message and who it was sent to we are not going to find out what the underlying code being used was.”

The code that is contained in the message is as follows.

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

Do you think you can decode it?

Source: BBC

Courtesy: TNW

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