Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Mission Accomplished: WWII Carrier Pigeon Finally Delivers Message

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

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.”

[Discovery News]

“Transformers! Roll Out!” Life-Saving, Wind-Powered Landmine Destroyer!

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The Mine Kafon (teaser) from Callum Cooper on Vimeo.

Looking like a cross between a Transformer sea anemone robot and a giant 1960s-styled light fixture in some swank space-lounge of that era, this strange-looking object is set to save a lot of lives on the battlefield.

What you’re looking at is the Mine Kafon. Created by Massoud Hassani, the Kafon is made to do something that, if we didn’t tease it in the headline for this article, you wouldn’t expect…it’s a landmine clearer.

Powered by the wind, the Kafon can take quite a bit of punishment before being retired. In the center of the porcupine-like ball is a small core ball containing a GPS sensor to track the Kafon’s whereabouts.

Designed to clear up to up to 4 landmines, Hassani is looking to begin mass-producing the Kafon once a contract is approved. Before that begins, Hassani is about to open a KickStarter to help move production of the Kafon forward. Currently it costs about $1200 (USD) to get rid of a single landmine. The cost of the Mine Kafon? Just shy of $90!

The cost of saving civilians and soldiers’ lives? Priceless.

[MassoudHassani.Com]

Crazy Civil War Secret – The Coal Torpedo!

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

When you think of something called a torpedo, you generally think of something that looks like a missile…but in the water.

The word torpedo has morphed over the years. During the Civil War most booby traps or incendiary devices were called a torpedo….even the lumpy, meteorite-looking thing in this picture.

Surprise! That’s not actually a meteorite. It’s a coal torpedo…used by the…get ready for awesomely potential book material…Civil War Secret Service!

The thing is actually a hollow iron ball filled with gun powder, musket balls then its hole is sealed with beeswax and the entire thing is covered in coal dust. In order to sabotage the enemy’s steam-powered boats, trains and other vehicles that would make current steampunks grin like children at Willy Wonka’s place, operatives would sneak this primitive IED into the coalbox of those particular vehicles. Once shoveled into the boiler, it was only a minute or two before the explosives hidden inside ignited and things got ugly.

These things were apparently no joke when they went off either. The equivalent of four Civil War-era hand grenades, these deadly 4 inch balls of unhappiness contained around 24 musket balls nestled in gunpowder. When it went off, the shell of the coal torpedo would become deadly flying shrapnel as well. Secondary explosions caused by these things were even more disastrous once the boiler blew.

Because of their camouflaged appearance and the resulting damage caused to the original torpedo, evidence of what caused an incident completely disappeared.

[TYWKIWDBI]

Rail Gun Punches Through Steel At Mach 5

Friday, April 15th, 2011

At zero degrees elevation, this thing went 7 kilometers downrange – AFTER punching a hole in a steel plate.

[Gizmodo]

Behold The Soviet Laser Tank

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

The Soviet 1K17 laser tank used 66-pound synthetic ruby rods to produce lasers designed for blinding pilots and enemy weapons systems.  It doesn’t melt incoming missiles, but still, laser tank!

[Gizmodo]

Special Forces Dogs Parachuting Into Afghanistan

Friday, November 12th, 2010

“Members of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) special forces have begun parachuting into enemy strongholds in Afghanistan with Taliban-seeking German shepherds strapped to their chests.  Once on the ground, the dogs hunt for Taliban insurgents in buildings and — with cameras strapped to their heads sending back video — act as forward scouts for the British special forces unit.”

Cry havoc, indeed.

[Wired]

Navy Making Breakthroughs on Directed Energy

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Not to be outdone by the Air Force and its Mind Warfare research, the Navy is pouring money into directed energy weapons. It is making breakthroughs with the Free Electron Laser which will melt incoming projectiles with 100 kilowatts of energy and the Electromagnetic Rail Gun that can fire a bullet into space at Mach 7.

The scope and vision of the Navy research was perhaps best summarized by Rear Admiral Nevin Carr who said “We all, of course, want the multi-megawatt death ray.”

Godspeed, Rear Admiral.

[Wired]

Breakthrough Could Lead To Printable Body Armor Tougher Than Kevlar

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

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Israeli researchers have discovered a way to assemble transparent nanospheres that unite to form the stiffest biological material the world has ever seen. This could lead to printable body armor, tougher steel and more bullet-proof bulletproof glass.

Frank Castle wants to know the shipping cost from Tel Aviv to Brooklyn.

[Pop Sci]

It Has Begun! Yetis Fighting “War” With Bears In Russia!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

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You are not ready for this, the coolest battle between animals in the history of recorded civilization. Due to forest fires, Yetis have unnaturally migrated to a new area of Russia. The problem? Local bears haven’t taken to kindly to their new neighbors and a full scale GD war has broken out!

This year’s expedition to Mountain Shoria is already the third. One of its participants, the director of the International Center for Hominology Igor Burtsev assures that yetis leave traces of their stay in the taiga and fight with local bears.

“They make strange pyramidal constructions of trunks and branches in the wood – sometimes 3 or 4 meters, sometimes only 30 cm high. Sometimes they bend huge trees and twist their trunks like wheels. A human being is just not strong enough for that, and there seems to be no need for bears to do this. At first, we thought that yetis do this to make shelters, but then we came to the conclusion that this is a sort of landmark for them. Or, maybe, this is a way for a yeti to say something to its congeners.”

Hardest part about sussing out the truth in this front line story? Many local farmers have been confusing Yetis for Wood Goblins. This quote is too good not to re-quote. Prepare yourself…

“Folk beliefs say that the wood goblin is the master of the woods. All animals, even bears, submit to him. The wood goblin has a strong hypnotic power, thus he is not afraid of any animal.”

I am so moving to Russia.

[Voice of Russia]