The Pickled Egg Library

This is the place for posts that don't fit into any other category.

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

This maybe explains it, but maybe not. It refers to Gilnahirk County Down as the location of the "Y" station, although Belfast does straddle County Down, and County Antrim.

"Gilnahirk's best kept secret" by benvista
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peoples ... 3811.shtml

I think the article in is own right is worth a cataloging and deposit on the Pickled Egg Library shelves.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 06 Dec 2016, 18:52, edited 2 times in total.

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CitroJim
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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by CitroJim »

..Overlooking Belfast...

In the book, one potential VI (Voluntary Interceptor) spoke of how he was taken there for a Morse test from Belfast and it was a 30 minute bus ride so on that basis - about right for the location I'd have thought... Poor chap failed his test... He did not realise where he was taken until many years after the war when he was out for a drive with his wife and accidentally stumbled across it again and recognised it... All very secretive... One wonders if he was taken there blindfold. On leaving he was told very strictly to 'forget all he had seen and where he had been' It was well hidden...

Pictures in the book show the station in the middle of nowhere. I can understand how Belfast's urban sprawl has likely encroached from how Darwin in the Northern Territory did the same to what I remember as remote countryside when I lived there 25 years ago. Now it is just another part of urban Darwin!
NewcastleFalcon wrote: I think the article in is own right is worth a cataloging and deposit on the Pickled Egg Library shelves.
Absolutely!!! That is an excellent article :D

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CitroJim
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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by CitroJim »

I've just finished reading 'The Spies at Gilnahirk' and it truly is an excellent book... I enjoyed it tremendously...

To carry on feeding my deep interest in the subject I'm just about to start this book...

Image

This book is written by a radio amateur and goes into a bit of the technical detail of the reception of wireless intercepts for Bletchley Park...

There’s not a lot about it on the web at all - as far as I can find but I know you will find more Neil ;) - an no mention of it's very secret role in WWII.

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

CitroJim wrote: So.. Blue for 1000 Posts, red for 2000 Posts, orange for 3000, yellow for 4000, green for 5000, purple for 6000, Purple and white for 7000, brown for 8000, brown and red for 9000 and for 10,000 black (Shodan) !!!
That makes me a Sandan...
CitroJim wrote:There’s not a lot about it on the web at all - as far as I can find but I know you will find more Neil ;) - an no mention of it's very secret role in WWII.
When you are a humble Orange belt striving towards your Yellow belt, and a Sandan gives you a task on the path to enlightenment, there's no choice.....you have to come up with the goods :!: :-D

So the task, one fascinating/random fact about Fort Bridgewoods or linked to Fort Bridgewoods, or linked to the author.....here goes :!: :-D

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 09 Dec 2016, 11:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Tell you what this path to enlightenment is easier than I thought :-D

Image

For a secret station not sure if it really needs a huge sign announcing its presence, and telling you where it is :-D .

There's a wiki page on it, but I have to rule out taking any fact from that, as just too easy.

I wonder if a fuzzy plan from elsewhere will cut the mustard.

Image

Regards Neil

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

There may be something pick-outable from this discussion on the Kent History Forum entitled "Chatham" Y station. The most recent post is at the top, and the original post at the bottom!

here is a quote from that thread
I went there on occasions as a Trainee Electrician for the RE’s, where we maintained the emergency generator as well as doing general electrical maintenance. As civvy employees we wouldn’t have been told what was going on there, of course, but I’ve always assumed it was a general communications station – it might even have been part of Operation Fortitude, the deception that made the Germans think that we had forces concentrated in Kent ready to invade the Pas de Calais, and involved bogus radio traffic between imaginary military formations.


http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index ... ic=15735.0
Regards Neil

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by CitroJim »

Neil, an excellent set of results indeed :D Well done.... I'm most happy to award you your Shodan for your Internet ferreting-out skills which in my opinion are absolutely second to none ;)

The Wiki page on Fort Bridgewoods is worse than useless and tells absolutely nothing...

Interestingly, the forum extract talking about Op. Fortitude may not have been far off the mark.. Gilnahirk's radio direction finding (DF) abilities, for instance, allowed it to help in pinpointing the position of several German battleships, including the Bismarck, thus allowing them to be sunk. Even though they could not 'read' the radio traffic from the ships, each ships radio transmissions had a distinct unique 'fingerprint' which allowed them to be identified... Morse operators using a hand key to send have a distinct 'fist' and this is unique to each operator and is analogous to handwriting - that alone allowed many stations to be identified and followed...

As I get into the book, tucked up in the Pickled Egg snug each evening in front of the fire enjoying a nice decaff latte and a lump of smelly cheese, I will let on what it tells me here...

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

That same 'fist' is how Bletchley Park worked out how to crack the Enigma machine. Some operators always signed off their messages the same way. Once Station X sussed this out, they started looking for those phrases. If they cracked one message they were in for the whole day.

We got lucky when cracking the Lorenz system. It was so complex that we never would have cracked it (using the technology of the time) within any meaningful timescale. However, early on in the life of Lorenz a large message was sent (believed to be a test message). Station X recorded this (they recorded everything in the hope that they could get in). However, the destination station did not get it all, and asked for the source to send it again. This they did. If the second message had been an exact copy we still could not have cracked Lorenz. Luckily there were a few typos, and these differences let Station X in. They ended up managing to build a Lorenz of their own, and (on a high number of messages) were reading the message before the destination stations were.

Our secure system (between London and Washington) was unbreakable, and (as far as I know) still is. What code cracking systems need to work is for there to be some pattern in the messages. Our system was able to put a truly random element into the messages. What we did was to aim a radio telescope at the Sun, and record the white noise (making two copies, across a lot of recording discs). Then we sent one copy to Washington. Whenever a very secret message needed to be sent it was recorded (in a voice form), and then the disc of the day was used to overlay the white noise onto the recording. This was then transmitted. The receiving station then recorded the message and used their disc to remove the white noise, ending up with the voice message nice and clean again.

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by dnsey »

Is that, perhaps, why Morse 'bugs' were invented, automatically sending a dot when keyed one way, and a dash the other? Machine code, but not as we know it!

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by CitroJim »

dnsey wrote:Is that, perhaps, why Morse 'bugs' were invented, automatically sending a dot when keyed one way, and a dash the other? Machine code, but not as we know it!
Primarily for speed I believe but the mechanical ones still have a distinct signature, as do the fully iambic electronic keys if you go deeply enough but it's nowhere so obviously pronounced as with a traditional hand key...

Indeed, Morse was the first electronic digital transmission medium. Semaphore too is digital and that goes back a long way. Smoke signals too!

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

CitroJim wrote:Neil, an excellent set of results indeed :D Well done.... I'm most happy to award you your Shodan for your Internet ferreting-out skills which in my opinion are absolutely second to none ;)
Thanks Jim I do enjoy a ferret from time to time, I'll take that as a compliment, but look forward to working my way through the "colours" and orange suits me right now!
CitroJim wrote:The Wiki page on Fort Bridgewoods is worse than useless and tells absolutely nothing.....
Its interesting that the first post if I recall right on that forum discussion also ointed out to some glaring errors in another account of the Y stations.
CitroJim wrote:As I get into the book, tucked up in the Pickled Egg snug each evening in front of the fire enjoying a nice decaff latte and a lump of smelly cheese, I will let on what it tells me here...
If the domino players get too loud the Landlord can supply ear defenders!

Regards Neil

Thanks Jim

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by CitroJim »

The problem with Y Station history is that at the end of the war all records and evidence of their existence was quickly destroyed and even recently those still alive refuse to talk so seriously did they take their oath of secrecy.

The whole story has been pieced together from tiny scraps of evidence and even now a lot remains best guesses and surmise...

I'm pleased the landlord can keep the domino players in order. I do like my peace and quiet when I'm reading :)

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by white exec »

It still annoys me, years on, when playing with our Mexican Train Dominoes that they couldn't have got the colour order right. Black...brown...red...orange etc etc. would have been so much nicer.

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by Peter.N. »

That's OK if your not colour blind like me, although I survived 50 years in the TV trade. :-D

Peter

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Re: The Pickled Egg Library

Post by white exec »

Promise I won't tell, Peter :wink: