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(BBC)   WWIIM STDCP JABOA (Encrypted World War II message strapped to dead carrier pigeon were just a bunch of acronyms)   ( bbc.co.uk) divider line
    More: Followup, World War II, Mr. Young, GCHQ, pigeons, chimneys, Peterborough  
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4477 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Dec 2012 at 3:27 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-12-16 09:50:33 PM  
2 votes:
OMG!!! WTF???

2012-12-17 07:55:20 AM  
1 vote:

Yaxe: It was no uncommon for a coded message to have a number of layers of encryption. The acronyms mean something, but that meaning may be lost to time.

No. Those aren't acronyms. This guy is in essence "making shiat up", inventing acronyms to fit what he thinks are the message.

As for coded messages having a number of layers of encryption, this is a field cipher, made to be done simply using paper and pencil by a person of relatively average intelligence. Because it is being transmitted through a relatively secure means (carrier pigeon) and because it wouldn't likely carry identifying information, and the information is probably of limited time sensitivity (if you are arranging a supply drop for June 30th, if the Germans manage to break it on July 1st, it doesn't do them much good), you wouldn't have layers of encryption.

The normal field cipher for SOE at the time was a double transposition cipher, or perhaps a one time pad. If it's a double transposition, which seems unlikely given the high incidence of Q and X unless they were used as word separators or periods. Might be an OTP, in which case it will remain undeciphered forever, or if it is double transposition, it may have been enciphered monoalphabetically at first (which the frequency count does kind of suggest).
2012-12-16 08:43:11 PM  
1 vote:
Stories like this are endlessly fascinating to me. I'm glad the media in the UK continues to follow-up on this one.
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