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WWII carrier pigeon remains found in UK chimney

Thursday, Nov 01, 2012 - 01:18

Nov. 2 - British man finds carrier pigeon skeleton in his fireplace with a canister attached to the leg containing an encrypted WW2 message. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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The remains of a World War II carrier pigeon, found during renovations at a southern England home. David Martin found the bird when he was cleaning out a Victorian fireplace he's unearthed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID MARTIN, SAYING: "As we pulled them out, bits of bird came out with it the breast bone first, then the head and the leg with an aluminium ring round it, obviously a racing pigeon, then we found a red capsule attached to it and I said 'I wonder if it's a a secret message' and it was. After we took the spool off there was a cigarette paper with coded writing on it." Martin's home in Surrey is close to a hotel where Britain's General Montgomery planned the D-Day invasion of France. World War II experts are now trying to decipher the message. Sent by a Sergeant W. Stott, the message was meant to reach a mysterious 'X02' - a possible code name for 'Bomber Command'. Homing pigeons were often used by Allied forces to send messages during World War II. Flying at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour, pigeons can travel distances of up to 1000 kilometres.

WWII carrier pigeon remains found in UK chimney

Thursday, Nov 01, 2012 - 01:18

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