Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Radio-Controlled Pigeons Mooted by MI5

Pigeon.jpg

Pigeons are the ultimate survivors: fighting for scraps, living in squalid conditions, and constantly avoiding being kicked up in the air by children. So it seems only logical that they should have been signed up to the country's armed services.

Newly declassified documents reveal that British spy division MI5 toyed with the idea of creating 'radio-controlled' pigeons to use in the aftermath of the war. The idea came from the knowledge that pigeons' natural homing instinct is corrupted during sun spot years; times when the sun has increased magnetic activity and gives off radioactive particles. Taking that logic, they thought it might be possible to use electric beams to guide pigeons to where they wanted them, in order to carry out raids, or transport communications.

The plans were revealed in the post-war diaries of Guy Liddell, who was deputy director general of MI5, having discussed the idea with Captain James Caiger, the Army's 'pigeon expert' who ran their pigeon loft. It seems the plan was never brought to fruition; a shame, since a few extra squadrons of Trafalgar Square's finest would really have put the (evil) cat amongst the pigeons in the Battle of Britain.

[via Sky News]

Image: Rex Features

Related

drunk pigeon.jpg

Ukrainians discuss plan to get pigeons drunk then deport them

pigeon-rex.png

Swedish pigeons riding subway

SeagullHero2.jpg

Bird Nests Inches Away From Railway Track

Comments

More

This Scottish newspaper just destroyed Donald Trump's inauguration

Need some ice, Donny?

by Emily Badiozzaman
16 Jan 2017

These 8 men are richer than the poorest half of the world

The richest bunch from the 1%

by Emily Badiozzaman
16 Jan 2017

Theresa May is about to appear on the cover of a 'fashion bible'

Don't you have other things to be getting on with?

16 Jan 2017

What to do if you ring the police but aren't able to talk

Useful info to know

by Dave Fawbert
16 Jan 2017

Why all men should be more like Joe Biden

His mother always told him that “Nobody is better than you. You're not better than anybody, but nobody is better than you."

by Emily Badiozzaman
13 Jan 2017

New guide reveals the best places to travel for each month of the year

Don't book a 2017 holiday without reading this first

by Emily Badiozzaman
13 Jan 2017

Freddos will now cost 30p - is nothing sacred?

2017 shows its true colours

by Tom Fordy
13 Jan 2017

Scientists find lasers can be used to turn mice into killers

So that's something else to be scared of, then...

by Sam Diss
13 Jan 2017

Masturbation breaks at work are good for you, apparently

2017 is the year of wanking in the office

12 Jan 2017

Danny Wallace: "The traffic cone is a test of moral strength"

Another life lesson from our award-winning columnist

12 Jan 2017