US tested 'Tsunami Bomb' off New Zealand Coast
January 6, 2013
Jonathan Pearlman / The Telegraph & Meredith Bennett-Smith / The Huffington Post
The US and New Zealand conducted secret tests of an underwater "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive 33-foot-high tidal waves. The top secret plot to build this weapon of mass destruction, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests.
'Tsunami Bomb' Tested off New Zealand Coast
Jonathan Pearlman / The Telegraph
SYDNEY (January 1, 2013) -- The United States and New Zealand conducted secret tests of a "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves. The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city.
The top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.
The plans came to light during research by a New Zealand author and film-maker, Ray Waru, who examined military files buried in the national archives.
"Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," said Mr Waru.
"It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami ... and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked." The project was launched in June 1944 after a US naval officer, E A Gibson, noticed that blasting operations to clear coral reefs around Pacific islands sometimes produced a large wave, raising the possibility of creating a "tsunami bomb".
Mr Waru said the initial testing was positive but the project was eventually shelved in early 1945, though New Zealand authorities continued to produce reports on the experiments into the 1950s. Experts concluded that single explosions were not powerful enough and a successful tsunami bomb would require about 2 million kilograms of explosive arrayed in a line about five miles from shore.
"If you put it in a James Bond movie it would be viewed as fantasy but it was a real thing," he said.
"I only came across it because they were still vetting the report, so there it was sitting on somebody's desk [in the archives]."
Forty years after the joint testing, New Zealand faced a dramatic breakdown in its security ties with the US after it banned the entry of nuclear-armed ships from entering its territory during the 1980s. The dispute led to the US downgrading its relationship with New Zealand from an "ally" to a "friend".
In his new book Secrets and Treasures, Mr Waru reveals other unusual findings from the archives including Defence Department records of thousands of UFO sightings by members of the public, military personnel and commercial pilots.
Some of the accounts of the moving lights in the sky include drawings of flying saucers, descriptions of aliens wearing "pharaoh masks" and alleged examples of extraterrestrial writing.
'Tsunami Bomb' In Development During World War II, Documents Note
Meredith Bennett-Smith / The Huffington Post
(January 2, 2013) -- A New Zealand author has rediscovered evidence of top secret tests carried out by the United States and New Zealand during World War II. The tests explored the creation of a "tsunami bomb" capable of flooding coastal cities of the Allies' enemies.
Ray Waru came across the material while digging through old military files for his new book, "Secrets and Treasures," which details some of the historical artifacts available at Archives New Zealand in Wellington, the AFP reports.
"It was absolutely astonishing," Waru told the outlet. "First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami...and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked."
Dubbed "Project Seal," the materials document the joint effort by the US and New Zealand to develop a device that might rival the destructive power of the atomic bomb. According to the Telegraph, 3,700 bombs were detonated during testing that took place between 1944 and 1945 off the coast of New Caledonia and Auckland.
The results showed that such a weapon, deployed in the form of a series of 10 large underwater blasts, could have created a 33-foot tsunami.
"Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," Waru told The Telegraph.
Auckland University Professor Thomas Leech, who was held in high regard by US military officials, helped conduct the experiments, according to a previous New Zealand Herald story about the project.
The tsunami-as-weapon idea had been floated even earlier than 1944, according to The Herald, which reported that they considered sending Leech to Bikini Atoll to watch the early atomic bomb tests.
Neil Kirton, a former colleague of Leech, said that, "Whether it could ever be resurrected … Under some circumstances I think it could be devastating." (This quote has since surfaced on various conspiracy theory blogs.)
The news of "Project Seal" follows renewed interest in a top-secret plan to detonate an atomic bomb on the moon. That plan, researched during the Cold War, was designed as a show of force to the Soviets, who were fresh off their Sputnik triumph.
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