Baffled museum bosses are appealing for help to decipher mystery codes discovered on the side of a World War Two kamikaze plane.
The cryptic markings were discovered when the Ohka 2 Japanese aircraft was removed from the rafters of the museum where it has been hanging for 30 years.
Closer inspection of the plane – one of only two complete examples in the world – revealed two sets of symbols.
One of them is etched into the hatch-cover, which would have held one-and-a-quarter tons of explosives in the nose of the aircraft.
Puzzled staff at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil, Somerset, are now appealing for help to translate the codes to better understand their meaning.
Curators also found a marking of a cherry blossom on the aircraft, from which the Ohka takes its name – a Japanese symbol of flowering and rebirth.
The Ohka 2 aircraft were used towards the end of World War Two and were fixed to the underside of bombers before being flown to a height of 12,000ft and released.
They reached speeds of up to 475mph over a distance of 21 miles.
Only 800 were built and they were used by Japanese suicide pilots who crashed them into allied ships.
The museum was loaned the Ohka 2 by the Science Museum in London in 1982 and it has been on display ever since.
It is thought it was captured in the Pacific by allied forces.
Jon Jefferies, head of marketing at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, said: “It is chilling to look through the cockpit window of this piloted rocket and through the ringed sight.
“There’s a grab handle fixed to the inner wall of the cockpit as acceleration generated by the three solid fuel rockets would have been incredible.”
The aircraft will eventually undergo a detailed forensic process where its pain will be stripped back to return it to its original colour and markings.