GCHQ code breakers stumped by D-Day pigeon that got lost

Retired intelligence officers are being sought to crack a coded message sent during the Allied invasion of France

LAST UPDATED AT 11:35 ON Fri 23 Nov 2012

CODE breakers from World War II are being asked to take on one last mission: deciphering a message found on a dead carrier pigeon sent by Allied forces during the D-Day invasion.

The remains of the pigeon and the small red container carrying the message, were discovered in the chimney of a house in Bletchingley, Surrey, almost 70 years after its fateful flight. The house is only 80 miles from Bletchley Park, the UK's main code decryption centre during World War II, and experts believe it may have been trying to return there when it died.

Code breakers at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham have tried to translate the message but admit they're stumped because it's written in a code long-forgotten by security services, says The Daily Telegraph.

GCHQ wants retired intelligence officers who worked at Bletchley Park to come forward and offer their expertise.

Historians believe the message was almost certainly sent from France on June 6, 1944, during the invasion that would ultimately free Europe from Nazi occupation. Due to a radio blackout, messenger pigeons were used by the Allies to relay information about the campaign to the top brass running the war.

A GCHQ historian, known only as Tony for security reasons, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the type of coded message carried by the pigeon was designed to be read only by the sender and the recipient. "Unless you get rather more idea than we have about who actually sent the message and who it was sent to, we are not going to be able to find out what the underlying code was," he said.

The remains of the pigeon were found earlier this month by home owner David Martin while he was renovating his fireplace.

The pigeon 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 · 

Disqus - noscript

I've cracked it... It says whatever you do DO NOT land on Normandy beaches... There is a quite beach up the coast which is not... I repeat NOT defended... ;)

early windows activation keys :)

Pigeon miss read the road signes of Bletchingley for Bletchley..stupid bird. Lives may have been lost!

GCHQ want "old" Intelligence Officers - they'll have more luck finding another homing pigeon instead . . .

What silly posts from muhv, Francoise Siobahn, Dave C and DrLuck. This message is serious history.

The pigeon 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

There are 27 ‘words’ comprising 5 letters each –
1525 = 1st, 5th, 2nd and 5th
letters of each ‘word’;

ANON HDVD FWNW YCIC

RRQR DPJP GNON MXIX

PZAZ WPYP CWMW HHJH

NGLG MKEK OBNB AQKQ

WAAA RHBH DMJM THPH

LHKH RTGT JQRQ FQNQ

KSLS FWQW ANON

Every
6th letter;

DWRP
XZWN EAAD PTQS W

OR DISCOUNT 1ST AND
LAST ‘WORDS’ AND EVERY 6TH LETTER IS THEN;

WCPN
ZPHG BQHM HTQS

OR 1525/6 COULD BE DISCOUNT 1ST
5TH 2ND 5TH THEN USE JUST THE 6TH
LETTER;

DWRPXZWHKBAHHHQQWN

OR
it just goes on and on and on
.....................

CORRECTION TO MY EARLIER COCK UP!
The pigeon 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

There are 27 ‘words’ comprising 5 letters each –
1525 = 1st, 5th, 2nd and 5th
letters of each ‘word’;

ANON HDVD FWNW YCIC

RRQR DPJP GNON MXIX

PZAZ WPYP CWMW HHJH

NGLG MKEK OBNB AQKQ

WAAA RHBH DMJM THPH

LHKH RTGT JQRQ FQNQ

KSLS FWQW ANON

1525/6
COULD BE DISCOUNT 1ST 5TH 2ND 5TH
THEN USE JUST THE 6TH LETTER;

DWRPXZWHKBAHHHQQWN

OR DISCOUNT 1ST AND
LAST ‘WORDS’ AND EVERY 6TH LETTER IS THEN;

WCPN
ZPHG BQHM HTQS

OR
it just goes on and on and on
.....................

Cocked that one up! See later post :)

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