We all watch movies like National Treasure and secretly hope that something cool like that might actually be out there in the world or even better that it might, out of some cosmic chance, actually happen to us.
David Martin of England had a small bit of such wishful awesomeness fall into his lap when he began renovating his 17th century fireplace. Inside the chimney were the remains of a pigeon….but not just any pigeon…
David Martin uncovered the remains of a carrier pigeon…and not just ANY old remains of some random carrier pigeon…
These particular remains were attached to a small red cylindrical container…and not just ANY small red cylindrical container…oh no, kids…Mr. Martin had found the remains of a World War II carrier pigeon that was still clutching a little red container which held a small, cigarette paper-sized encrypted message!
Martin found this mysterious container in 1982 and sent it off to have it solved. Intelligence officials believed that it was impossible to break because the code books from back then that might hold the answers to this particular code had been lost or gone missing.
Addressed to the mysterious “X02″ from the more mysterious “Sjt W Stot”, the message, sent during the Allied invasion, continues to baffle codebreakers who are working on the message. Bletchly Park, once a highly secretive location where the Nazi’s Enigma Code was broken and now features a museum about pigeons’ role in the war, has more than 30 messages carried by pigeon and not a single one is written in code which causes many of those involved to believe that this message was of utmost importance and urgency.
Just how important was the information this little bad-assed bird o’ war was carrying?
When Martin showed the bird to a counter-espionage specialist who was actually THE inspiration for Ian Fleming’s infamous agent 007?
“When I showed the bird and code, the blood drained from his face and he advised us to back off. He said nothing would ever be published.”