During the Second World War, an American behavioural psychologist working with pigeons discovered that the birds could be trained to recognise an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target. Pigeon-Guided Missiles reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history destined to change the world we live in, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers -ú49 million, why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank, and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, over a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end.
The Jefferson Image in the American Mind
University Press of Virginia