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Last updated at 17:22 GMT, Thursday, 10 January 2013

Messenger bird from the past

Part of the coded message found attached to the bird's leg

Can you crack the code?

A message from the Second World War attached to the leg of a dead pigeon has proved difficult to understand.

Callum and Neil learn more about secret codes and messenger birds.

This week's question:

Who was the first person recorded to use written codes to keep his communications secret?

a: Julius Caesar

b: King Harold

c: Tutankhamun

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme.



End of Section


a pigeon

a common bird which can be trained to fly back to a particular place from wherever it is released

a chimney

a brick structure in a house which takes smoke from a fireplace up and out of the house, usually through the roof

to crack / break (a code)

to work out the meaning of a hidden message

a one-time pad

a tool or technique for creating unbreakable codes


unique, unpredictable, without any pattern



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