I’ve sworn myself to secrecy about a most revolutionary discovery in telecommunications – until today.
Now, as simultaneous launches occur in Mexico City and London, I can reveal details of what has engagingly come to be known by a group of elite scientists as the “Coo Coup”…
I discovered this unbelievable technology while visiting Mexico in January. There I met Professor Amante de Pombo, head of a Venezuelan delegation at the British Embassy.
The professor, who is director of ‘Avian and Technological Research’ at the University of Caracas, found that the common pigeon can be harnessed to supply reliable internet technology to the world – at a fraction of current costs.
Food pellets create pigeon internet
The solution relies on a food pellet he formulated which has the effect of morphing the bird’s amazing and renowned ability to navigate using brain sensors which detect the earth’s electro-magnetic fields.
The area affected – the magnetite in the frontal lobe of the pigeon’s brain at the top of its beak – can then act as a receptor for electromagnetic IT signals which are re-transmitted to relay stations.
Britain’s share of the world pigeon population of about 400 million is an estimated 8 million – half of which are airborne at any one time. And with railway stations – places where pigeons often congregate evenly distributed throughout the UK – it’s forecast the effect of a pigeon-internet should be universal above these islands.
First trials of this unbelievable technology take place at noon today at London’s Trafalgar Square and at the feather-festooned Buenavista Railway Station, Mexico City.
The choice of Trafalgar Square for the UK launch will be seen by some as a pat on the back for the Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons Organisation. It was formed in the year 2000 when Ken Livingstone, then Mayor of London, tried to clear the birds from this part of the capital with a feeding ban. That “battle of Trafalgar” on behalf of pigeons has been fought ever since (see footnote 1).
Joint financing of de Pombo’s project by the British and Mexican governments follows five years of research by geneticists and neuro-scientists. Other birds, including starlings, rooks and even Venezuelan parrots were investigated to see whether the food pellets would work on them.
But it became clear that a pigeon’s complex navigation system was the most developed and ripe for the genetic changes needed for the task. Prof de Pombo stressed that behavioural tests proved no other bird could detect magnetic anomalies to the same extent of 186 microtesia – units showing a high density of magnetic flux.
The professor quipped: “A pecking order quickly established itself. Parrots were no good. Every time email signals were beamed to them, they came back time and again – repeating themselves!”
This bit of licensed levity comes as all involved need occasional release from the seriousness of the discovery. It’s reckoned telecommunications companies will save around $80 billion in costs over the next five years as expensive satellite launches will be replaced by what some are already calling ‘high flybre’.
Ironically, satellites were used for a major part of the Coo Coup research – in tracking the migration routes of pigeons. Three white-crowned pigeons captured on 4 September, 2013 at the Key West Tropical Forest in the Florida Keys were tagged with satellite-tracking implants.
Sadly, only one, fondly named ‘West’ is still with us and transmitting. However, the experiment’s findings encouraged scientists to continue work on the “magic pellet” and as a result international interest grew.
Heading up the British team, which partnered the research, was Professor Simon Brown, scientific adviser based at Chesterfield.
Smiling wryly, Prof Brown said. “I am proud to have been associated with this tremendous ‘beakthrough’.
“Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, would be thrilled to see how his creation evolved from organic to bio-technology, with magneto biology and quantum biology driving it. The biggest hurdle I foresee is to change the paradigm for how we regard the pigeon’s role. Somehow our perception of the pigeon must u-turn from pest to hero.
“And it can be done. During World War One carrier pigeons transported life-saving messages between trenches and their stock remained high. Then over the next century the birds dived from hero to zero. Cities like New York declared outright war on pigeons – in part due to their relentless ability to excrete an annual 25 lbs of acrid guano.
“Fortunately, pigeon excrement carries no lasting memory of message so information in coo-poo will be secure,” continued Prof Brown. “Indeed an element in the pellets allows all trace of ‘stool pigeon’ to be erased easily, possibly just by the washing action of rain.”
This ought to be welcomed by the owners of black cars as well as local authorities which spend millions of pounds a year cleaning up. “One perception that won’t need to change,” he said, “was the edibility of the bird. For 5,000 years mankind has regarded it as a favourite food.”
He added: “No human will be harmed in the eating of pigeon pie, because none of what is consumed is in the brain area and therefore no one will find themselves ingesting its magnetite.”
But Prof Brown also pointed out that legislation may be needed to limit cull numbers to ensure that Internet coverage is not adversely affected.
Further coups planned
Prof De Pombo summed up his presentation by saying great achievements were attained in spite of funding authorities initially putting the project low on the financial pecking order.
He added: “They soon changed their call when they appreciated our high flybre innovation was so flocking brilliant. And for this brainchild I also have my esteemed Caracas University colleague, Dr Tolo Abril, to thank. His entrepreneurial endeavour, determination to woo the Mexican and British Governments and not suffer fools gladly means this unbelievable technology is here today.”
And as our chance meeting ended at the Embassy, Prof De Pombo remarked that work was continuing in order to create a tailor-made pigeon search engine, called Coogle.
He estimated that providing today’s launch goes well, the coo-isphere could be up and flying above Europe and Central America by the first of April next year.
Footnote 1. As this unbelievable technology is being released into the air, a pigeon-monitor air pollution scheme is also getting off the ground in London on the same date. Unbelievable technology is everywhere it seems.