London: British counter intelligence agency MI5 was seriously considering using radio-controlled homing pigeons with experts after the Second World War for minor bombings, a former spy chief's diary has revealed.
Guy Liddell, then deputy director general of MI5, wrote on October 3, 1946, how he had a meeting with Captain James Caiger, who ran the Army's pigeon loft.
"He is our pigeon expert. He talks, thinks and dreams about them. He has had pigeons since he was a boy and his father had pigeons before him," the Daily Mail quoted him as writing in his diary.
"I asked him about the homing instinct. He said 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 radio-active particles - though how they affect the pigeons' homing instinct nobody knows. This gives some colour to the suggestion that pigeons might be able to home on an electric beam, in other words that you might have radio-controlled pigeons," he wrote.
Previously released MI5 files have referred to plans for training pigeons to carry explosives to fly into enemy searchlights.