-Countries carried out covert tests of a device designed to use underwater explosions to trigger massive tidal waves
-Testing saw almost 4,000 bombs detonated in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War
-Details of top secret Project Seal unearthed in military files in New Zealand’s national archives by an author researching a new book
The U.S. and New Zealand collaborated on a top-secret plan to develop a ‘tsunami bomb’ capable of devastating coastal cities, it has emerged.
The countries carried out covert tests of the potential weapon of mass destruction – designed to use underwater explosions to trigger huge tidal waves – in waters around Auckland and the Pacific island of New Caledonia during the Second World War.
Details of the secretive operation, code-named Project Seal, were discovered in military files buried in New Zealand’s national archives by author and film-maker Ray Waru.
Mr Waru, who came across the files while carrying out research for his new book, described the evidence of the plot to create a possible rival to the nuclear bomb as ‘absolutely astonishing’.
The files revealed how around 3,700 bombs were exploded during testing, which was launched in June 1944, and indicated that the weapon was feasible.
The tests also revealed a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially result in a 33ft tsunami that would wreak havoc on a coastal city, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Waru said: ‘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.’
He explained that while initial testing was positive, Project Seal was shelved in early 1945.
Experts concluded it would be necessary to arrange around two million kilograms of explosives about five miles from a shoreline in order to create a successful tsunami bomb.
Details of the shadowy project are included in Mr Waru’s new book Secrets and Treasures, which also incorporates other bizarre findings from his trawl through New Zealand’s national archives.
As well as Project Seal, Mr Waru discovered Defence Department records detailing thousands of UFO sightings.
Members of the public, military personnel and pilots were among those who reported seeing moving lights in the skies over New Zealand.
Kerry McDermott, Daily Mail.co.uk