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10:02 PM on 05/02/2013
This is actually very interesting...too bad they didnt crack the code 70 years ago
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srheard
Life is full of a number of things.
11:22 AM on 05/03/2013
I feel certain that MI9 decoded all of his letters before his family ever got to see them. A letter from a POW, in particular, would have been red flagged for examination as soon as it was passed to Allied hands.
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SharpForceTrauma
Film Noir; Rockabilly; Gene Tierney
03:56 PM on 05/03/2013
I'm sure they did know and cracked the codes back then. When it comes to codes the intelligence community don't like to reveal anything, even if it is out of date.
See: Navajo code talkers.
08:03 PM on 05/03/2013
You never know when you'll need it again.
09:56 PM on 05/02/2013
The US had men that were trained to do the same thing if they became POW's of the Germans. They had special codes that they put into their letters going back stateside giving information they got from guards about the surrounding area, factories nearby, etc with bribes of coffee, chocolate and the ever popular American cigerettes that were worth their weight in gold to a German.
09:33 PM on 05/02/2013
What happened to the remains of the pigeon?
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SharpForceTrauma
Film Noir; Rockabilly; Gene Tierney
04:00 PM on 05/03/2013
I've seen pictures of the skeletal leg and the little red "code vial (?)" displayed as if in a museum.
08:59 PM on 05/02/2013
I was thinking that these codes were sent by Hogan Hero's back in the 60's.
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the woodman
is it me, for a moment?
09:32 PM on 05/02/2013
of course, why else would they have put a microphone in the coffee.... now - make a fist... put it up to your elbow, slip on a monocle, and yell "HOGAN!!!!".
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TakeSake
The United States for All Americans
01:20 PM on 05/04/2013
Jolly jokers.
01:07 PM on 05/03/2013
the message were always send more booze and redheads- we are tired of colonel klink's blonde secretary
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cuoi
I wish everyone happiness.
08:08 PM on 05/02/2013
That makes me remember about a code wheel I carried during missions to identify folks on the ground and vice versa. Forget the popular name, cac wheel or something. Never had to use it. Seemed like a glorified cryptoquote thing. Any Viet vets out there recall this thing?
06:59 PM on 05/02/2013
What annoying voices these HP news girls have. Must drive dogs nuts.
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carledgar
Eschew the passive voice in breaking news stories
08:08 PM on 05/02/2013
I couldn't agree more. I gave up watching the videos after a couple of similar experiences. Very student Union and they blather on congratulating each other for awhile befoire they actually get going
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08:22 PM on 05/02/2013
I get the same feelings about some newscasters who have whiney, nasal voices.
T u r n t h e c h a n n e l....
06:03 PM on 05/02/2013
This sounds like MIS X. I know of a cryptographer that was flown back from North Africa to Bolling Air Base where MIS X was based and after a while transferred to Love Field, Dallas, Texas where I assumed he trained pilot trainees.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
GaryNOVA
Fear My Micro-bio!!!!!!!!
05:15 PM on 05/02/2013
" Overheard guards.... I think they are doing something with juice "
05:04 PM on 05/02/2013
If thats a code Ive got a great one for you! 570,711,1484 + 430=1914 + 100= Winter 2014! Now that is the most important code for the last 6K years!..The code ive given you will save you and your family a lot of heartaches.Take it or Cast it away
04:48 PM on 05/02/2013
Code used in World War II finally decoded? In 2013? Almost 70 years later?

Somebody's gotta do it: Better late than never.
06:06 PM on 05/02/2013
You haven’t run into the latest crypto machines have you? The ones used in the ‘60’s were fairly amazing and what they can do now runs circle around what was used in the ‘60’s.
06:59 PM on 05/02/2013
In ran into a "crypto machine" about 2-3 days ago as a matter of fact.

Shocked the you know what outta me! I didn't know what is was at first, but figured it out after it told me what I'd BE thinking--on June 18th at exactly 3:14 P.M.

Spit out a print-out so I could verify it too.

Technology today is a trip, hey!
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tssays
Some say an empty microbio fits me!
07:22 PM on 05/02/2013
If you can read the technical manual!
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srheard
Life is full of a number of things.
06:25 PM on 05/02/2013
MI9 surely examined and decoded these letters before family received them, per protocol. If not, they were not doing their job. I wish that this article had been more explicit about that point.
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09:39 PM on 05/02/2013
Yeah, makes no sense. The father "has" or "had" the letters when he got home from war, having sent them to his family during war. But no mention of them having been first decoded during war, perhaps enroute to family, or after family receive and turned over to intelligence, and no mention if info used. And why was the code key lost if it was, I assume, so widely used among prisoners.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
MontaniSemperLiberi
I love the editors who allow my expression. Thank
04:39 PM on 05/02/2013
and this mans was a fellow country man of the band that gave us the song lyric "we don't need no education..." LOL...a mind taught to think in depth did this work....Long Live Pink Floyd!
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05:42 PM on 05/02/2013
just another brick in the wall
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minnehot
Tear Down This Wall!
04:32 PM on 05/02/2013
HuffPost! We need more stories like this one!

Thank you
steves1709
Your bicro-mio is empty
09:56 PM on 05/02/2013
Agreed! History is cool.
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Jeremy Bursac
You're not the bossa nova me.
04:07 PM on 05/02/2013
So by the time the POW got around to writing his memoir he couldn't remember how to crack his own code.

Hellllow! My huffpost password...?

It must be written down somewhere around my desk....
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srheard
Life is full of a number of things.
06:29 PM on 05/02/2013
I would guess most vets don't remember all the things they were trained to do 70 years ago. It doesn't effect the outcome of the war, as he coded it correctly at the time, and MI9 would have decoded the messages as the letters passed through their offices on the way to his family. The family members receiving the letters would never have known how important they were to the success of the War.
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sailka
honesty, morality, societal concern always
09:53 PM on 05/02/2013
Millions of detailed codes and messages are what Won the war, especially German and Japanese codes early. Our Intelligence knew the coded mesage about the Dec 7 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor just before.
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marrapash
It is what it is.
03:39 PM on 05/02/2013
I could be wrong but I think that they've cracked the code just a little too late to help him out.
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srheard
Life is full of a number of things.
06:31 PM on 05/02/2013
I'd be astonished if these letters were not all decoded by MI9 in transit to his family.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
The living legend
Proud American...Proud Veteran
10:44 PM on 05/02/2013
I don't know..It's very possible that these POW's made their own codes then sent the letters hoping M19 would decipher. It's possible they were so well written, M19 never noticed or checked to see if there were hidden messages. They just passed them on the the families.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
sailka
honesty, morality, societal concern always
09:56 PM on 05/02/2013
It was the Writer 70 years before who knew part of the codes, that revealed it to his son, with University decoders.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
mrhandyman3105
Independent Voter
03:25 PM on 05/02/2013
Great! Now Germany can find out what their POW's are planning these days.