1993-10-13 - Native American Encryption?!

Header Data

From: Arthur Chandler <arthurc@crl.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: c2cbcbe0e85581ffbdbbb5b1320c5e3cbcc47b695856dcb0b21e12250f922729
Message ID: <Pine.3.05.9310121729.A27002-a100000@crl.crl.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-13 00:29:55 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 17:29:55 PDT

Raw message

From: Arthur Chandler <arthurc@crl.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 93 17:29:55 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Native American Encryption?!
Message-ID: <Pine.3.05.9310121729.A27002-a100000@crl.crl.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

  I remember hearing many years ago that one of the branches of the armed
aervices during WWII used a native American -- Cherokee? Apache? --
language to communicate. The Japanese (the story goes) went nuts trying to
crack the code -- unsuccessfully.
  Two questions:
  1) Can anyone give me a reference for this story (assuming it's true)?
  2) If one used a natural language for encryption, and the would-be code
crackers did not know it was natural language (say, Hittite), could they crack
it? I seem to remember that hieroglyphs were undecipherable until the
Rosetta Stone was discovered. But maybe current techniques would do a
better job....?