Bird-Brained Secret Projects

Posted by: Nick Redfern on June 29th, 2013


My latest Lair of the Beasts article at starts like this…

“This weekend, I thought I’d share with you something very strange. Namely, the way in which military agencies have secretly used animals in bizarre but intriguing projects designed to defeat hostile, enemy nations. They sound too weird to be true. Actually and incredibly, they’re not!

“In 1999, Britain’s intelligence-gathering agency, MI5, declassified into the public domain long-classified papers expressing grave concern that, at the height of the Second World War, Hitler and his cohorts were planning on taking the ingenious step of employing pigeons to ferry top secret data to Nazi spies that were hiding out in Britain.”

And here’s the rest of the article, on weird ways in which birds have been used in warfare…

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

4 Responses to “Bird-Brained Secret Projects”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    The military trained dolphins to deliver mines to enemy ships! I don’t doubt ANY of this for one second!

  2. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    There was also the U.S. Military’s attempt during WWII to attach small incendiary devices to the backs of bats and then drop them, en masse, over Japanese towns & cities during the early-morning hours. Special canisters held approx 1,000 hibernating bats, cradling them during release and then slowly descending, via parachute, to several hundred feet above the ground. At that point, the “bombs” opened to disperse the the now-active bats.

    The bats would naturally seek-out shaded resting places, hopefully in the attics and under the eaves of Japanese structures; largely built of wood, bamboo and other flammable materials. Each incendiary device included a small timer. Once the bats had roosted for the day the “bomblets*” would burst into flame, hopefully causing widespread fires.

    They actually came up with a working prototype and, when several dozen “armed” bats escaped and subsequently roosted under various buildings and a fuel tank at the test range, their effectiveness was confirmed. However, ensuing delays resulted in the project being swept aside by the much more “effective” atomic bomb project and the Bat Bombs were never deployed in combat.

    *One unfortunate side note: the “brave” U.S. bats were unavoidably incinerated when the devices ignited. 🙁

  3. Goodfoot responds:

    Almost too perfect a result to hope for. I’m not saying…..

  4. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    @ Goodfoot: I had no idea the U.S. was training dolphins for military purposes.

    Looked into it a bit… The depth and breadth of the program is fascinating – not to mention a little scary. Good catch!

    I know we’ve banged heads in the past, but thanks for motivating me to learn something new today.


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