If the truth be told, I have been sitting on this one for quite a while. A few years ago when I was a devoted student researching everything I could about the Adler commandos' WW2 mission, I came across further tales and clues but did not know how to progress with them at the time. This particular tale concerned the Eagles' final escape, after the complications of their main mission. The legend told that they managed to commandeer an aircraft, but that audacious success was short-lived as there was a good reason why the plane was relatively easy to purloin: it was in a maintenance hangar and was not airworthy. So, shortly into the flight, the Fallschirmjäger were forced to bail out for the second time in their mission.
That is, more or less, all I discovered. For many months I searched for potential sites, to no avail. But a couple of years later I happened to get into conversation with an elderly gentlemen in a pub in Batheaston, and he revealed that his uncle used to tell him a similar tale. His uncle had been a teenager at the time of the incident and he claimed to have witnessed some paratroopers descending into woodland; furthermore, he told me that he had a couple of things in his attic that his uncle had left him and I was welcome to take a look. Obviously I keenly accepted the offer.
The belongings comprised three items: a tiny fragment of an old book's title page, from which only "ckens" could be ascertained; a larger fragment of a familiar grid of sequentially shifted alphabets; and long stream of hastily scribbled letters, which I assumed were ciphertext.
I imagined that the cipher could not be too complicated, given that it was most likely generated by hand in the field at short notice, but for a long while I could not decipher the code and I put it aside. But more recently I was reading an excellent cryptology book called Secret History. I tried an approach detailed there for a running key using probability combinations and eventually had some success, which was very satisfying, after staring at this for so long.
The decrypt seemed to detail a number of clues at the landing sites of the escaping paratroopers; unfortunately, because they landed in woodland, all the locations are very high up in trees.
ALOVR KVKLI IWZLI GNWHC JEVVB OJDUR TLEAA KKJRF WBOPR WHPXH XNAKZ XBDTV WNEEC PTFWD IHTXJ WHSUU XTXSH MGSAP GWVIO BLAQM ONRZW QIRNW XOHTP IZXLH BJIVM DNFVO MYGJJ BQIII GFDHG CPJZB YVQYY QSGDS ZTUKP IDSWC PHIVR GCZKZ IAFIA BXBGG AHMHB XTECH XAVAQ GBGWW ZTGNI GXHWG IZBNY AWSIN DQGZE YUCEZ CUWBX TVHPE OMQTM IOQHT PWSWZ RUVBP XIARQ OLZLV BKIBP ADMEL IKFXU JEYNX JWYIV FJLZS XEHEM TYECD IVTQP BATIM NPNQC UMFIV MEEES KUIEG RBHLO ATZAW GBTCF TJGDE VGSBO SPUWG IPLIL KIFGE BMOEK ZIKFR FVVDM SDIEJ NOLLY TZXKL QIYGX IMROZ IZKRQ XQHPS KTYTN WQCHK YHVZX LVNVR NKZFT VQAWZ QPVKA USYIS VQMDW LLEEM GQHPP FIARR WMILL VRVBG LKSJZ ITTPK BGBNL CECMG BWVIH COZFD BXKPK IELBT MZLUU RMPWG NNUSG XRRMO IESKL ACHLT VJGFL ZEXHI QULKN EGEWH VHUAY QMKVG HUASU BALEV AJZJL TVFGI YXPKS TBIIV HUENP WWHQM WHGKY QCEFV BVRKE PRBOD COCEL YSFZN MQIOD IZSOU HYMHF STVZV IIGGZ AMMMT SPDBF LAXZV PWGCQ YRRVC MIEHK VAYWL QSENR SBFKE MXHDI IGLKL IDASN UXVJK OSCGV FJLAX SDNSM NKJBL HUIVK YEMMK SDRVG JRGUP QALWP SEQQG OHQMA BTJGR HDAEW IFGIX JUFFL KPXZO QQWGY JVOXK OHAVS WFTFY KLITR HOWAI IZZBR IRZIC TAWGB WPGKY KWYJU WAKWG UAAEA BGPXU IAYRW ZSFKB ILLEF GOTYW LRKCC DHFGZ UKARB GBFNF VDSSW MMOIJ VHREN EMAGF NRNAG WALFS VVVNW WMMHQ QKJXJ YGSEC ADOCP ZIARV ZBQTN FOJCE WWQSS LWTUH AGTRR YCULS BULLU FLSWN BVAVR XIFTI XTZCA IFYKH GKMVY TJLSA UIBHL TIWLO UXAAP WSGCA IEXUX FYOWQ ZMGNQ CSZAL LUUZX JHEMC IYRCY XRWCV WTLRA YGBZS NWPPG STXLA EJSPQ JJDHO OPASJ HMHVV QAIOS PXIPQ AGTPP ETBBN EDWUI HVUGP OLVQL SIKAK EUUUF TJGQY IJZPR ZGPAL VKRPL EIKAM JHONI CGAID GDLSK RQDQQ AIIKW IODXA TKWWK ASGUU NXFTW LCKHB QQZVZ NCAER TPBKY LHPDT AGCCI YKBEO JOLZZ MXYHZ GCFGQ NAINL PEBAU TRHAA CUTRE GNZZB JNVTC LZULF KGCYW ALQBS RABXL CGVRR QAJVS ALLYK GKDRU NOKXX BCVOO PUPNX OHFIE OAKUB ZAJHV LUXMV XAALQ OJOWX ALXLO VJCBN XWYGT ZIJFR LEXMI LIDAI CTWTU IPRPM UAHIA MSKOW JLLOO PPIMS AITHN NMQZG LPVNV HKAXW CNWCX FMOUM CWWFC ESWUL CUUES PXMWY MJEWB BNHCG HVVUM JIMLZ BZLOC HFKNJ PWACI QMGYU HDVQF VRHOP HGHQY BUKZT ZISQY IWMAL JGJEY LMHKW
Note: such is the depth of the Eagles' cover and preparation that all text is in English, not German!
Warning: if you are thinking of undertaking this mission, it takes place entirely in tall trees for which you will need proper equipment and experience, undertaking everything at your own risk. You should also allow a reasonable amount of time for completion, as it would take me several hours on my own; however, if there is more than one climber it would be possible to attempt stages in parallel, reducing the overall time.