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Radio-controlled pigeons mooted by MI5

BRITISH secret services debated the idea of “radio-controlled pigeons”, newly-released records have showed.

The post-war diaries of Guy Liddell, then-deputy director general of MI5, showed that in the aftermath of the Second World War he discussed the idea with Captain James Caiger, who ran the Army’s pigeon loft after the war.

In an entry for October 3, 1946, Mr Liddell described how Capt Caiger came to see him. “He is our pigeon expert. He is, in fact, the nearest thing to a pigeon that I have ever seen. He talks, thinks and dreams about them,” he wrote. “He has had pigeons since he was a boy and his father had pigeons before him. I asked him about the homing instinct. He said that the matter is quite unsolved. There is however, one curious fact, namely that in a sun spot year all pigeons go haywire. Sun spots are, of course, minute radioactive particles though, how they affect the pigeons’ homing instinct, nobody knows.

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