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SS Tiger
12-22-2005, 11:09 PM
In the Second World War, before electronics became cheap and miniature, the psychologist B. F. Skinner did some research on pigeon-guided missiles. The pigeon was to sit in a tiny cockpit, having previously been trained to peck keys in such a way as to keep a designated target in the centre of a screen. In the missile, the target would be for real.

The principle worked, although it was never put into practice by the US authorities. Even factoring in the costs of training them, pigeons are cheaper and lighter than computers of comparable effectiveness. Their feats in Skinner boxes suggest that a pigeon, after a regimen of training with color slides, really could guide a missile to a distinctive landmark at the southern end of Manhattan Island. The pigeon has no idea that it is guiding a missile. It just keeps on pecking at those two tall rectangles on the screen, from time to time a food reward drops out of the dispenser, and this goes on until... oblivion.

Very intresting idea of using a "Biological" computer. It would be intresting too have seen it used and see how effective it could have been.

Link (http://www.rationalistinternational.net/article/rd_25092001.htm)

Ignore the the religion bit at the end, and I think it links in with the 9/11 thing so ignore that aswell.

BDL
12-23-2005, 03:57 AM
If you can catch 'Crafty Tricks of War' with ****ie Strawbridge on one of the Sky History channels (UK History I think), he covers pigeon missiles on one of them.

SS Tiger
12-23-2005, 08:17 AM
If you can catch 'Crafty Tricks of War' with ****ie Strawbridge on one of the Sky History channels (UK History I think), he covers pigeon missiles on one of them.

I saw that, that was the same episode they made the rocket propelled explosive wheel!

Topor
12-23-2005, 07:24 PM
Coo!

:P

Cuts
12-23-2005, 10:40 PM
If you can catch 'Crafty Tricks of War' with ****ie Strawbridge on one of the Sky History channels (UK History I think), he covers pigeon missiles on one of them.

I saw that, that was the same episode they made the rocket propelled explosive wheel!

Not seen the programme, but was the item you mention the Panjandrum ?

SS Tiger
12-23-2005, 10:46 PM
If you can catch 'Crafty Tricks of War' with ****ie Strawbridge on one of the Sky History channels (UK History I think), he covers pigeon missiles on one of them.

I saw that, that was the same episode they made the rocket propelled explosive wheel!

Not seen the programme, but was the item you mention the Panjandrum ?

Yep, thats the one!

http://www.nevilshute.org/DMWD/PANJANDRUM_html_m6717b67f.jpg

PLT.SGT.BAKER
12-26-2005, 08:22 PM
http://www.nevilshute.org/DMWD/PANJANDRUM_html_m6717b67f.jpg[/quote]

what an odd little gadget you got there :wink:

FluffyBunnyGB
12-27-2005, 04:56 AM
The Great Panjadrum was another of those wonderful ideas that didn't work.

It was supposed to roll across the beaches propelled by a series of rockets set at angles around the outer circumference. The idea was to clear mines.

There is a well known piece of film of it being tested, which exposes its weakness. The rockets don't quite fire at the same rate, so the wheel starts bearing to one side, then one of the rockets comes off and chases a dog up the beach, followed by the machine toppling over.

However, there is a school of thought that it was actually a project to distract the Germans from what was really being developed (CRAB etc) and that the Great Panjadrum would have been more useful on the beaches of Calais and not Normandy, again trying to distract the Germans.

The fact it was tested on a fairly public beach has perhaps increased suspicion this was the case.

LargeBrew
12-28-2005, 10:28 PM
I wonder what German intelligence made of the construction of the mullberry harbours.

Firefly
12-29-2005, 04:34 AM
I'm not sure they even knew anything about the Mulberry Harbours.

They were made in sections far from the South Coast and then sunk until the time came to transport them.