Months before the end of World War II, an American intelligence agency launched a top-secret project aimed at devising ways to trigger massive earthquakes and tsunamis that would wreak havoc among enemy civilian populations, recently uncovered documents reveal.
According to a detailed report, project planners from the Office of Strategic Services, the nation's first intelligence agency and precursor to the CIA, concluded that the United States could use its "new atomic bomb" to trigger massive earthquakes and tsunamis, thus creating "massive destruction, death and unchecked hysteria."
As the report's subtitle, "Against Japanese Homeland," clearly indicates, the island of Japan was the selected target. Queried the report, "Scientifically can heavy bombing, pinpointed on known earthquake areas, bring about an underground condition within fault sections which would step up the expectancy and possibly bring about a calamitous earthquake in a selected area?"
Answered N. H. Heck, assistant director of the U.S. Coast Geodetic Survey, "This question has been asked several times, so it should receive a serious answer. All that could be applied is trigger force, and this can only advance and set the time for an earthquake which is about to occur. It is conceivable, however, that an explosion at exactly the right time and place might have the correct effect."
A letter cited in the report from the Seismological Laboratory of the University of California to Dr. L.H. Adams of the U.S. Geophysical Laboratory and OSS scientists reads: "… we would have to get (bomb) within less than 5 miles of that place on the fault which is destined to break within a year."
Top-secret wartime experiments were conducted off the coast of Auckland to perfect a tidal wave bomb, declassified files reveal.
An Auckland University professor seconded to the Army set off a series of underwater explosions triggering mini-tidal waves at Whangaparaoa in 1944 and 1945.
Details of the tsunami bomb, known as Project Seal, are contained in 53-year-old documents released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Papers stamped "top secret" show the US and British military were eager for Seal to be developed in the post-war years too. They even considered sending Professor Leech to Bikini Atoll to view the US nuclear tests and see if they had any application to his work.
Professor Leech, who died in his native Australia in 1973, was the university's dean of engineering from 1940 to 1950.
News of his being awarded a CBE in 1947 for research on a weapon led to speculation in newspapers around the world about what was being developed.
It is unclear what happened to Project Seal once the final report was forwarded to Wellington Defence Headquarters late in the 1940s.
Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
Just skimmed the documents. The author appears to be extremely confident, based on tests conducted, that bomb-triggered earthquakes are plausible and achievable.
I'll digest it further after work.
Originally posted by dh
Original OSS documents reproduced here