Hikers found a message dropped by a clumsy carrier pigeon more than a century ago

  • A couple walking through a field in France stumbled across a rare find — a tiny aluminum capsule with a  note describing WWI training exercises.
  • The message was likely dropped by a carrier pigeon more than a century ago.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A couple in Eastern France were taking a walk in grassy fields when they made a historic discovery. 

Jade Halaoui told  French newspaper Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsacethat when he looked down, he saw a tiny aluminum capsule poking out of the ground. He dug it out of the ground and opened it to find a small piece of fragile paper with script handwriting, the paper reported. 

Halaoui and his partner, Juliette, took their find to the Linge Memorial Museum, where the curator was stunned. 

"When he described the object to me, I was like a madman," Curator Dominique Jardy told the local paper. "It's a rare find." 

In a photo printed in the French outlet, Halaoui is seen holding the capsule between his pointer and thumb. It measures only 5 centimeters long.

After being translated and studied, Jardy deduced that the message, likely written by Prussian infantry officer, was either sent on July 16, 1910, before the start of World War I, or in 1916, when it was raging.

It contained information about military drills that took place between Bischwihr, France, and Ingersheim, Germany, according to Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. 

It was common at the time to send messages about military operations by carrier pigeon, as it was a secure mode of transport. This message was written on four notes that were attached to four different birds to assure its arrival. This note was likely dropped by the carrier pigeon.

In a phone interview with The New York Times, Jardy said he believes that the note was likely sent before the war, based on its language and reference to a training ground. He plans to study it further over the winter. 

"I've never seen this in 40 years," he told The Times. "It's a little report on a battle simulation."

The strip of paper is too delicate to show, but a copy will likely be put on display, the curator told Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. 

Source: Read Full Article