Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Radio-Controlled Pigeons Mooted by MI5


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


drunk pigeon.jpg

Ukrainians discuss plan to get pigeons drunk then deport them


Swedish pigeons riding subway


Bird Nests Inches Away From Railway Track



The new bike lock that will literally makes thieves sick

The SkunkLock sprays a vomit-inducing chemical when cut

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

Watch Donald Trump meet Saint & Greavsie to do the Rumbelows Cup draw

Did this really happen?

21 Oct 2016

Baby Jesus statue in Canada criticised after 'shocking' restoration

A holy cock up

by Tom Fordy
21 Oct 2016

This man tried to shoplift a venetian blind stuffed down his trousers

Fair play

20 Oct 2016

Great men tells us about the greatest beer they ever had

Irvine Welsh, Idris Elba, Frank Turner, Ken Loach & more

20 Oct 2016

This letter from George Bush to Bill Clinton shows Trump what class is

From one President to another

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Charlie Brooker on nostalgia, social media and Black Mirror

The Black Mirror creator has his say on the filmmaker's criticism of modern TV

20 Oct 2016

An ode to Kumbuka, the gorilla who escaped and downed 5l of squash

Let's take a moment to savour ZSL London's great primate escape, the hero we all want to be

by Tristan Cross
20 Oct 2016

30 times Gary Lineker said what we were all thinking

Unafraid to speak his mind - and usually right

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Stephen Hawking thinks A.I. could be worst thing to happen to humanity

Run for the hills, the machines are about to take over

by Tom Fordy
20 Oct 2016