Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Greatest Cold War Secret Never Told - UFOs - Creation of a Myth

This is a document from a good site: 

Interesting and concerns Tsunami as well! ENJOY! 

As I have investigated the UFO
over the years, I
found mysel
in awe at the dedication of so
whose passion for the truth
became a
lifelong endeavor
For many, this
trying to piece
together the puzzle of what is decidedly the greatest mystery of our times.
Soon I
found myself on the edge of this same
obsessive precipice, looking into the vast darkness of
data, knowing
that there had
to be s
omething real to this subject
My rational mind although not
discounting the anecdotal information, longed for real evidence that could prove or dispro
ve the reality
of this phenomenon
One area that is still virgin
the role of Government in the UFO
field. To avoid
accusations of conspiracy mongering, let me
arify what I mean when I use the word
The U.S. Government like any other large organization is no
t a single entity but is made
up of
many agencies and within these agencies v
arious organizational units.
Therefore, w
hen I use the
I do not refer to a monolithic entity but to those agencies or sub organizational
, named or unnamed
, official or unofficial,
who have involved themselves in the UFO field
to mee
their own
operational goals related to National Security
Also bear in mind that this definition
describes a dynamically evolving authority. In 1946, the
“Government” would have comprised the intelligence units of the War Department
the Navy, the
ntral Intelligence Group and the Office of the President. In 1947, the evolving entity would now be
d of the intelligence units of the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency as well as
the National Security Council.
When dealing with a
moving target, research can get complicated,
especially when contending with 60 plus years of UFO history. I could replace
the term “Government”
with something less
sounding like
“UFO Authority
” but this would
only serve to
create even
more conf
My Research
oming from a military intelligence background
, I have a particular interest in the
role of Government in
the UFO field.
fortunately, when discussing this
role with both Uf
O believers
and UFO debunkers, I
often hear the same
pro and con for Government involvement
. These
fall i
nto their
own spectrum of belief
on the
one end is
the belief that the Government
is riddled with incompetence
and couldn’t possibly keep secret something as widely
as UFOs and o
n the other end of the
the belief that an ultra
secret and efficient cover up of cosmic proportions is being
perpetrated by an elite authority.
er Pyle
is on
one end
of this spectrum
the mysterious and
Men i
n Black
on the
other end
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between
The competence argument in my opinion is the one that is most easily addressed. I
f you have ever
worked in a large organization or for that matter been a member of our armed forces, you know that
re are varying degrees of competence throughout. For example, it would be ridi
culous to base an
estimate of
the readiness of our entire military by observing the maneuvers of a single military unit.
a similar note
elite forces like the Navy Seals or Ar
my Special Forces are capable of doing things normal
units would not even dream of doing.
To state this
the level of
of an
organizational unit
is directly proportional to
the importance of that
World War 2
is replete with examples of special military and government units whose missions were so highly
their ranks were made up of handpicked men and women who were
up to the task.
men and women who broke
the German code under
Project Ultra and the
Japanese Code
under the
Magic cryptanalysis p
were part of such elite organizations
The secrecy
issue can also be
quite easily
It is historical fact that t
here have
whose s
ecrecy was
closely guarded that
even the presidential
of authority
broken to maintain this secrecy. The two most notable examples are the Manhattan Project, which
President Roosevelt knew about but Vice President Truman did not
until he became President
and the
National Security Agency’s Venona Project which
the Pre
was not
aware of.
he level of
secrecy of a project is directly proportional
to the perceived damage that will be caused by its revealing
ecrecy can be maintained indefinitely if
the “need to know” compartmentalization security
carefully followed.
To understand the role of the Government in the UFO field, we need to go back to the very beginning
when UFOs first became a national security concern.
War 2
so called
foo fighters were
cause for alarm
but understanding what they were was not pivotal to the war effort
as it quickly
became apparent to allied commanders that they
were not a weapon of war.
It was
the 1946 ghost
caused real alarm
as the U
that perhaps the Soviets were experimenting
with recently acquired German
Government concern was evident in 1946,
UFOs did
reach the consciousness of most Americans
after June 24, 1947
newspapers worldwide
reported on
Kenneth Arnold
As the old adage goes, there is nothing new under the sun, and an equally true axiom is that nothing
happens in a vacuum.
o p
ut into context the
appearance of strange phenomena
United States
it is important
to understand
he socio
political atmosphere of
post World War 2
to modern
and the Internet, you
can put
into the shoes of the
average American
by reading digitized cop
of newspapers from this era
While skimming the
front page
headlines of
spring 1947 using NEWSPAPERARCHIV.ORG,
I found
some interesting news stories
serve as a backdrop to the
UFO events of June and July of that year
, including:
May 16, 1947
rocket crashes
lamed on “
peculiar p
May 21, 1947
plane is d
May 30, 1947
rocket crashes
in Juarez, Mexico
June 3, 1947
Bell Aircraft XS
1 faster than sound plane completes preliminary tests
June 3, 1947
Soviets raiding US atomic secrets
June 5, 1947
warns that atomic race with Soviets is u
June 5, 1947
Soviet agents have infiltrated Oak Ridge atomic facility
June 13, 1947
Contract to Douglas Aircraft to build plane that can fly 2,200 mile
s per hour
June 20, 1947
0 breaks air speed record at
But it w
as the headlines of June 13
, 1947 that really caught my eye
he International Press
that a secret weapon, that
the atomic bomb had been jointly developed by th
e US,
Britain and New Zealand.
is caused a subsequent
flurry of
speculation as to what this new
weapon could be. I was intrigued by this
story that was reported just two weeks prior to
Arnold’s UFO sighting and
I wondered if there may be so
me connection,
so I
decided to dig
June 1947
Secret Weapon
If you piece together
newspaper articles
from June 13
15, 1947
story emerges of a
weapons project
that was not the atomic bomb
but equally destructive
How the
first got involved with the story is not entirely clear, but someone
possibly from the press
questioned why a New Zealand scientis
, Thomas Da
vid James Leech was receiving a Commandership of
the British Empire
the birthday honors of King George VI of England.
else then
revealed to
the press, that the honor was being given to Mr. Leech because he had headed up a secret weapons
project during World War 2
that a
ccording to the Canadian Press
rivaled the at
omic bomb
was top
secret, and
for which
was still ongoing
June 13, 1947
On J
une 13, 1947
a number of
covered the story including the
Amarillo Daily News
Science Tries for New Weapon Matching Atom Bomb in Power
he weapon did
not reach the stage of practical application during the war, but work still is
being pursued in the strictest secrecy by scientists in the United States, Britain and New
Zealand. No hint of the details of the weapon has been revealed but it is stated that
one means
of application would ha
ve some similarity to one method
of using the atomic bomb.
The article further elaborated that:
The project was to have been carried out in Florida but was moved to New Zealand and Pacific
areas owing to the fears of espio
nage. Leech was selected to lead the research because he had
previously done work distantly related. He had a team of 170 American and New Zealand
experts, most of whom were given no idea of the ultimate o
bjective, for security reasons.
Gettysburg Time
discussed how
New Zealanders speculated today on the nature of a new weapon
approaching the atom
bomb in importance
which the New Zealand Herald described as a joint development of
scientists from this country, Great B
ritain and the United States.
e Herald said its source of
information about the new weapon was most reliab
le, but could not be disclosed.
Coshocton Tribune
quoting the
New Zealand Herald
Had the project been competed in time, it might have played a role as effective as the a
bomb in s
ubjugating Japan.
Wondering who Leech was, I found the answer in t
Wisconsin State Journal
Leech is engineering professor at Auckland University. During the war he was chairman of the
Zealand munitions advisory b
oard and direct
or of scientific development.
Informants said the
weapon he helped develop was still a top secret among Allied nations. They gave no clue of its
nature, British, American, and New Zealand scientists, engineers and naval officers were said t
be associated in the project.
What an intriguing story! A weapon on par with the atomic bomb and as compartmentalized as the
Manhattan Project but one that had not been infiltrated by Soviet Intelligence agents. A weapon
could have won the war agains
n had it been completed on time!
What could this weapon possibly
June 14, 1947
The very next day, on June 14, 1947, the newspapers were rife with speculation.
Charleston Daily Gazette
in a length
speculative article
Radiation May
Factor in Latest Secret Weapon
There is one clue in the reports of the secret Anglo
American weapon said to outrival the atom
bomb as credited today to Prof. T. D. J. Leech in New Zealand. That clue points to a ray or
radiation of some sort. The
sentence reads "One means of application would have some
similarity to one method of using the atomic bomb."
There are two methods of using the power of the atom; one in an explosive bomb, the other in
the radioactive rays, from common substances that are
transmuted into temporary
radioactivity. These would form a gas in the same sense as poison war gases. Most of the latter
are not gases, but fine dusts or mists. The atomic poison gases would be the same.
Their possibility was explained to President Roosev
elt by scientists in 1939 and more recently
Glenn Martin mentioned them as bombs that American militar
y authorities are studying. Half
mile radius is the generally stated distance for such radioactivity to be effective in war.
No new sources of death ray
s were reported during the war, but such rays were known to
electrical theorists before the war. They were considered useless even as possibilities.
Plane Check Considered
wave radio rays were one. It was considered possible to make such a ray that w
ould be
effective at four miles, not for killing that far away, but for crashing planes by interfering with
the electrical portion of their engines.
The difficulty was, for such a ray, the need of power equal to about 10 times that of Niagara
Falls, and th
e reflector, perhaps of pure aluminum, 200 feet in diameter. Close by, this sort of
radiation was expected to be fatal. These engineering dreams were made before the great
advances in very short radio waves that came out of the war.
If there is any possibi
lity of concentrated radar or other short wave length rays that will kill men,
no hint of that lethal power has leaked out. Nicola Tesla, the father of induction in electricity,
asserted frequently before his death a few years ago, that he knew, how to pro
duce what he
called curtains of force that no plane could fly through. He never explained them.
The Germans during the war printed some speculations on how to build a sun gu
n. This would
be a huge burning
glass, or plastic, floating several hundred or thou
sand miles above the earth's
surface which could be focused to destroy life by fire in vast areas.
The scientific principles of producing such a satellite of the earth, really equivalent to a tiny
moon, are known, but there is nothing at all in present sc
ientific developments to overcome the
difficulties of launching or even of construction.
war secret weapons have included a cosmic ray bomb. This had its origin in
misunderstandings on the part of laymen and never came from any scientific source. A st
bomb would be easier to conceive of, because total starlight is many times more energetic than
the total energies of cosmic rays. A single cosmic ray is millions of times more energetic than
any single beam of starlight but there is no known possib
ility of concentrating them.
Defense Against Bacteria
Biological warfare frequently has been declared to be as bad as atomic bombs. But these claims
omit the
act known to all biologists that
man's own body, conditioned for
eons of time to germs
of all kin
can be protected rather quickly
from any conceivable forms of bact
Death rays in general are almost
inconceivable for effective
military use because of the well
stopping power of
the air
for waves that are shorter than
, o
r the invisible ultra
. Although scientists have been trying for some time to produce manmade cosmic
rays, they have not succeeded, and when the planned great electrical energy machines
producing billions of volts are built, it is not expected t
hat they can produce anything more than
the very weakest sort of cosmic rays.
Daily Capital News
reported that:
British Re
fuse To Talk About Secret Weapon”
British government ministries declined comment today on New Zealand reports concerning the
purported development of a super
secret super
weapon approaching the atomic bomb in
The defense ministry, the air ministry, the war office, the admiralty and the ministry of supply all
refused to discuss storie
s out of Auckland which quoted
t reliable sources as saying that
research on such an offensive weapon was started in 1944 and still was being pursued in the
strictest secrecy by scientists in New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States.
"Had the project been completed in time it mi
ght have played a role as effective as the atom
bomb in the subjugation of Japan," the
New Zealand Herald,
of Auckland, reported.
"Without discounting the effectiveness of the project as an offensive weapon," the paper
continues, "it does not offer such a
threat to world peace as the atom bomb. This may not be
amplified further than saying that things pertaining to it are under control
Scientists were reported thoroughly examining all possibilities. They were said to have
exchanged ideas and information. So
far as is known, no details of the project have been
revealed to countries other than New Zealand, Britain and the United States.
The Herald said it learned that development of the project to the stage of practical application
would cost much less than th
e development of atomic energy production. However, the project
was understood to be too complex for a small country like New Zealand to carry out the
development unaided. New Zealand, however, was said to have the necessary equipment and
establishment and
would be able to make useful contributions.
Bismark Tribune
quoted Leech associate W.A. Miller of the Sydney
epartment as saying
he new secret weapon mentioned in Auckland, N.Z. reports “might be in the nature of an
airborne missile such as the German rocket bomb”. Miller further stated that he himself had no
indication of the nature of the project and that he made the comment only because he knew
Professor Leech to have “an expert knowledge of and enthusiasm for aero
Indiana Evening Gazette
also quoted Miller in an article
New Weapon May Be Airborne
Miller said Leech in both aerodynamic and hydrodynamics had made a great contribution to the
work of Sydney University’s Civil Engineering Department bef
ore he went to New Zealand in
In Auckland today, Professor Leech said he was “surprised” to hear that a London newspaper
headline had stated that the atomic bomb had been rendered obsolet
e, but made no further
This fascinating story took ano
ther strange twist
on June 14, 1947
American e
ngineer, James Marion Snodgrass as one of the persons
who worked on this new weapon
in 1944. How newsmen were able to make the connection
Snodgrass is not clear.
terviews with the media, Snodgrass had some interesting
observations about his participation.
Alton Evening Telegraph
U.S. Scientist Backs Secret Weapon Tale
Herald Tribune
quotes a 39
ar old American scientist it said
shared in the development of
the secret Anglo
American weapon r
eported from New Zealand as say
ing that the weapon exists
and that first reports although exaggerated, are substan
tially true.
The scientist, James Marion
Snodgrass of Cincinnati, is further q
uoted as saying that the weapon was not connected in any
way with the atom bomb and that it was not a biological weapon.
Existence of the weapon first was reported by Prof. T. D. J Leech of New Zealand. Later
dispatches mentioned a Prof. J. M Snodgrass of
the University of California as a co
Original reports said the secret
weapon outrivaled the atom bomb. The
Herald Tribune
ays it
reached Snodgrass in Cincinnati
and quoted him as saying that he
worked on the weapon in
Zealand and that he beli
eved it to
be a weapon of tremendous importance.
"But farther than that he would
not go," the paper says. "He
would not discuss its
nature or
whether it was for use against
personnel or vessels."
Herald Tribune
quotes Snodgrass
as saying the
avy holds
reports on it "although he
having spoken to Dr. Vannevar
Bush, wartime scientific leader
about it."
An article in the
Daily Inter Lake
Snodgrass gave the only hint as
to the nature of the weapon as he disclosed its development
arted after American forces landed on Tarawa
sland in the Pacific. He
turned to a reporter and
said: “remember there was heavy loss of life." The newsmen asked if the weapon
ad anything
to do with the casualties or some military problem encountered on t
he Island and Snodgrass
replied: "Could be."
Snodgrass who is chief engineer of the motion picture sound division at the Dayton
Cincinnati consultant engineering firm, said he joined British and New Zealand scientists in the
development of the weapon while he was a civilian
attached to th
e National Defense Research
Council. Prof. Leech headed the project, he added.
He said the weapon was conceived by the British although United States naval officers were not
enthusiastic the British pressed the work, first on an obscure Pacific island in 1
943 and later in
New Zealand.
Lowell Sun
had this
Is A
Bomb Passe? U.S.
Scientist Helped Make New Secret Lethal Weapon. America and Britain
Keep Details Hidden But Leave No Doubt Device Exists
June 15, 1947
June 15 n
ewspaper articles focuse
d on six major points that
were able to extr
act from James
Marion Snodgrass
concerning the secret weapon
. The
Abilene Reporter
listed these as:
1. It is not connected in any way with the atomic bomb.
2. It is not a biological warfare weapon.
Development of the weapon, started during the war, was not completed until after hostilities
were ended.
4. Snodgrass was a civilian attached to the National Defense Research Council when he joined
British and New Zealand scientists in development of the w
5. The weapon was conceived by the
British and although United Stat
es naval officers were not
enthusiastic, the British pressed the project, first on an obscure Pacific island and later in New
6. The U. S. Navy received reports during devel
Council Bluffs Nonpareil
also had this to add to the six main points:
“Confirms New Secret Weapon
As Awesome as Atom Bomb"
Asked ab
out the weapon as an alternate
to the atomic bomb, Snodgrass said only: "First
reports are substantially true but
perhaps they are exaggerated a little."
Fears of espionage resulted in centering the experimentation in New Zealand, Snodgrass
said, although it had been planned to transfer work on the project to Florida. The U. S.
avy received reports on the weapon, he
Syracuse Herald Journal
also added:
Snodgrass insisted in an interview he was "in no position to give any detailed clue as to the
composition or structure of the development." Questioned about the classification of the
development, he said that
"under a broad classification" it might be described as a weapon.
However, the handsome scientist, now conducting television research, said he had been back in
the United States since last July and declared that he "knows nothing of the present stage of it
refinement or development."
Snodgrass described the weapon as "top secret" and declined to answer any "leading" question
about the research, development, composition or tests.
Oddly enough
in the
Cumberland Times
adjacent to the
article w
as this story:
Supersonic Weapon Is Forecast
Another Secret Device Greater Than Atomic Bomb
Weapons as terrifying as the atom bomb
super sounds that would upset the nervous
systems of whole populations, light waves, and shooting clouds out of the sky t
o control
were raised as possibilities today in any war of the future by an American Air
Force commander.
General George C. Kenney, head of the Strategic Air Force, cited the dog whistle as an
example of the effectiveness of sound waves in a pre
pared address before
Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates. "An airplane equipped with a sort of
super dog whistle," he said, "conceivably could fly around a city for awhile and upset the
nervous systems of the whole population.
"I believe we ne
ed to do some research along this line. It may be just a fantastic dream.
It may not." Light waves, he said, offered a similar field. "Below the infra reds and above
the ultra violets there may be weapons of future warfare as devastating as the atomic
," he asserted. "Other nations may find them. We must keep in pace in order to be
able to counter or defend against such threats."
General Kenney said that at present clouds could be broken up and start rainfall at a
specific place on a limited scale, and
added: "Instead of allowing rain clouds to drive
past arid and semi
arid sections, we should be able to shoot them down and put the rain
where we need it. If we can extend this process we can stop rain from falling where it
has been falling for ages."
26, 1947
The most astonishing articl
I found
is that of the
Frederick Post
of June 26, 1947 which has
both the secret weapon project and the Kenneth Arnold sighting on the same page
and side by side
Researching the Facts
First, let’s
examine in more detail the lives of the
two major players in this story: Thomas David James
Leech and James Marion Snodgrass.
Who wa
s Thomas David James Leech?
Thomas David James Leech was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He was a lecturer in Ci
Engineering at the University of Sydney. In 1940, he was appointed as Professor of Engineering at
Auckland University College in New Zealand
where he worked as the Dean of the F
aculty of Engineering
from 1940
During World War 2, Professor Leech
the acting Director of Scientific
Developments fo
r New Zealand in
support of the war effort and he
did work on a
secret research project
named Project Seal that explored the use of explosives in triggering artificial tsunamis. After
ng Project Seal’
s final report in Decem
ber 1950, Professor Leech vacated his position at
Auckland University
to work as the Chief Engineer
at the
Scientific Services Division on the Snowy
Mountains Hydro
Authority in Australia. Professor Leech
also the author of a
The principles of flight: A
n Introduction to Aerodynamics
Who was
James Marion Sno
James Marion Snodgrass
was born in Marysville, Ohio in 1908. He received an
Artium Baccalaureatus
(A.B.) Degree
in Physic
from Oberlin College in 1931, and
did graduate work
at both the University of
Pennsylvania as well as at Harvard Medical School.
During the war, he served on the National
Research Council (NRDC):
rom 1942
43 as a member of
the technical staf
f, Division of
War Research,
Columbia University and from 1943
46 as a Research Associate and Field Representative, Division of
War Research, University of California. After the war, he worked as the Chief Engineer, Motion Picture
and Sound Division of the Dayton Acme
Company before taking a position as a Senior Marine Biologist at
the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Dieg
o where he eventually became
Research Engineer and
head of the Special Developments Division at the Scripps Inst
Upon his
retirement from the University of California in 1974, he became the Senior Technical Director of Ocean
Data Systems, Inc.
Professor Snodgrass was awarded a
by Admiral Nimitz and was authorized to
wear the
Pacific Area
Campaign ribbon for the work he did on anti
submarine warfare from 1943
45. In
1968, Professor Snodgrass was also awarded the U.S. Navy’s highest civilian honor, the Navy
Distinguished Public Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the Navy i
n the field of
oceanographic communications and instrumentation.
Professor Snodgrass was also a member of a number of professional societies including
a fellow of the
IEEE, was listed in the
World Who’s Who in Science
, as well as
American Men and Women of
was the author of more than 50 technical and scientific papers and the holder of many patents.
Project Seal
So now that we know that both Professor Leech and Snodgrass had the proper credentials to be players
in the secret weapon story, let’s
examine the secret project itself.
Project Seal was a secret World War 2
research project that explored how explosive
could be used to trigger an artificial
as an
offensive weapon.
According to the
Final Report on Project Seal
written by Professor
Thomas David
James Leech himself, dated December 18, 1950
declassified in 1971
Project “Seal”,
or the investigation of the potentialities of inundation by means of artificially
produced tidal waves arose from a suggestion made by Wing Commander E.A.
Gibson to
Lieutenant General Sir Edward Puttick, Chief of General Staff (N.Z.) on the 13
January 1944.
The former had noted, whilst engaged upon surveys of the Pacific Area during the period 1936
to 1942, that blasting operations upon submerged coral for
mations occasionally were attended
by unexpectedly large waves. General Puttick instructed Colonel C.W. Salmon, the N.Z. Chiefs of
Staff Representative in the South Pacific area (Enzedsopac) to place the proposal before Admiral
W.F. Halsey, Commander of th
e South Pacific Area (Comsopac). Arrangements were made for
Wing Commander Gibson,
Professor J.M. Snodgrass
, University of California, Division of War
Research, who was then in the area investigating certain problems relating to submarine
warfare, and
essor T.D.J. Leech
, who was acting Director of Scientific Developments, New
Zealand, to examine the idea at Noumea in February 1944.
New Caledonian Experiments
It was decided to test the suggestion by ad hoc trials under the guidance of a team comprising
aptain W.L. Erdman, U.S.N, Colonel Salmon, Wing Commander Gibson,
Professors Snodgrass
and Leech.
The results were incorporated in a report dated 31
March 1944, which was approved by
Admiral Halsey and transmitted by him to the New Zealand Chiefs of Staff with a request that
New Zealand undertake further investigations, as shown
y the following extract:
“The results of these experiments, in my opinio
n, show that inundation in amphibious
warfare has definite and far reaching possibilities as an offensive weapon. It would be
very desirable to have further developments carried out to establish a practical method
and procedure which could be used in offen
sive warfare. I would be grateful if this
development could be continued to completion by New Zealand officers. All practicable
assistance of facilities and personnel in this Command will be at your disposal.”
Admiral Halsey’s request was examined by New Z
ealand Chiefs of Staff Committee, and
proposals for implementation
were submitted to and approved by the War Cabinet on the 5
May. They provided for the establishment of an Army Research Unit
under the command of
Professor Leech
, who would be directly re
sponsible to the Minister
of the Armed Forces and
War Co
ordination, Sir William Perry.
The establishment of the Research Unit, known as the 24
Army Troops Company was manned primarily
by New Zealanders with the US Navy contributing a small number of explosive experts.
The Project Seal final report further elaborates that:
Experimental Research Station
The original suggestion for utilizing the f
ortress site of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in
the Haruaki Gulf, New Zealand was adopted. It was reasonably close to Auckland and
the existing Army buildings had recently been reduced to a “care and maintenance”
basis. From the viewpoint of security it was
situated. Close to the area, there
were several sites suitably located in for the larger experiments proposed. To cater for
the small scale work, designed to determine the principles involved, an earthen dam
was constructed in one of the valleys,
which provided an experimental pool
approximately 1,200 ft. long, 200 ft. wide and with depths varying in steps to 24 ft.
In addition to provision for basic development at Whangaparaoa, plans were laid for an
operational test in New Zealand at Taronui Bay
, North Auckland, between the Bay of
Islands and Whangaroa. This was later abandoned.
It was originally intended that Leech would be assisted by a senior group comprising
Professor Snodgrass
and two eminent hydraulic engineers, Messrs. T.A. Lang and F. de
L. Venables. After protracted negotiations these gentlemen were not able to join the
team, and the technical direction of the whole project remained throughout the
responsibility of Leech.
The report goes on to detail the assistance provided by British sci
s who helped
with mathematical
but who were overall pessimistic about the project.
Project Seal
however ambitious
short lived
as Leech’s report details
Some Difficulties
Shortly after the “SEAL” Unit commenced operations on the 6
June 1944, there was a
change in the Command of the South Pacific Area. This, combined with the many
suggestions by senior officers, resulted in changes of policy, without having due regard
to the technical difficulties involved.
It did not appear to be
realized that time is required to plan and implement
experimental programs. As a result much effort was wasted.
It was also unfortunate that the majority of the U.K. authorities were originally
pessimistic. Subsequent events clearly demonstrated that, bec
ause of the absence of
personal contact, they had based their decisions upon the effects of charges placed at
the greater critical depth, and were at the time unfamiliar with the existence of the
second and more pertinent critical depth near the surface. T
hese factors, combine with
the growing ascendency of the Allied Nations in the Pacific theatre, reduced the
operational priority of the project and caused the New Zealand Government to close it
down in January 1945, before the full experimental program was
completed and the
fundamental scientific problems were solved.
The experimental station at Whangaparaoa was closed down on the 8
January, 1945.
At this time some 3,700 experiments had been carried out with charges ranging from
0.06 lb. to 600 in. weight
. T.N.T. was used generally, although C.E., nitro
starch and
gelignite were employed in some cases.
In 1946 Dr. Karl Compton, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Evaluation Board, visited New
Zealand and discussed the Seal project with Leech, who had been
invited to represent
New Zealand and Australia in a technical capacity at the second Bikini atom bomb trial.
The latter was unable to accept the invitation because of the critical conditions at the
Auckland University College. However, he supplied data rel
ative to the location of the
charge a
the critical depth nearer the water surface together with forecasts of wave
amplitudes at predetermined points at which wave recorders were to be established.
The records were, it was reported subsequently in agreemen
t with the forecasts within
the limits of experimental error.
In February 1947, Leech was invited by the Assistant Secretary, U.S. Navy, to work with
the Dean M.P. O’Brien, Professor
charge of the Department of Engineering,
University of California, upo
n the analysis of records obtained at Bikini. Again, the
continuous critical conditions at the Auckland University College forced the Council to
withhold its permission. During 1948, the University of California published a number of
papers relating to cer
tain phases of the project. Since 1948, several requests for the
final report have been made by Dr. E. Marsden, N.Z. Scientific Liaison Officer, London,
and the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand.
During 1950 circumstances changed sufficiently to permit an effort
being made to
complete the report.
The investigations lead to the conclusion that offensive inundation is possible under
favorable circumstances. Given low lying forshores and a shelving bottom off
wave amplitudes of the order of those for recorded
tidal waves, which have been
disastrous, can be obtained. While T.N.T. or other explosives can be used, the
engineering work
involved introduces difficulties of considerable magnitude.
The use of atomic bombs as multiple charges may be more prac
A Conundrum
The Project Seal report c
onfirms that a
secret weapon story leaked in mid
June 1947
was real
confirms the participation of our two protagonists. However,
we compare the quoted
of both Professors Leech and Snodgrass
o the historical record
both elements of truth as well as
misinformation becomes
as sum
marized in the following tables:
What T.D.J.
was quoted:
Project Seal Report:
Existence of the new weapon was
disclosed when Prof. T. D. J. Leech
New Z
aland was mentioned in the
birthday honors list of King George VI
in London. Later
a dispatch quoted
Leech as saying he received the honor
for his work in connection with a
secret weapon
that was an effective
alternate to the atomic bomb.
exaggerated. The project explored the generation of
waves by means of explosives and led to the conclusion that
“offensive inundation is possible under favorable
director of research for the
weapon project
“Admiral Halsey’s request was examined by the New Zealand
May. They provided for the establishment of an Army Research
Unit under th
e command of Professor Leech, who would be
directly responsible to the Minister of the Armed Forces and
War Co
Ordination, Sir William Perry.”
but work still is being pursued in
strictest security by scientists in the
United States, Britain and New
, the Canadian Press said.
The weapon definitely did not reach the stage of practical
application, but all work on the project had stopped in January,
There is one cl
ue in the reports of a
secret Anglo
American weapon said to
outrival the atom bomb as credited
today to Prof. T.D.J. Leech in New
Zealand. That clue points to a ray of
radiation of some sort. That sentence
"One means of application
would have some si
milarity to one
method of using the atomic bomb."
Newspaper speculation on the radiation ray
is not accurate
T.D.J. Leech’s answer is true:
“While T.N.T. or other explosives can be used, the engineering
be more practical.”
, Prof. Leech said he
was "surprised" to hear that a
London newspaper headline had
stated that the atomic bomb had
been rendered obsolete
, but m
ade no
further comment.
T.D.J. Leech knew that Project Seal would not make the atomic
bomb obsolete and that this was a ridiculous assertion.
The Winnipeg Free Press article of
June 13, 1947 states that T.D.J. Leech
was selected to lead the project
e he had done work before that
was distantly related to it
Leech was the Acting Director of Scientific Developments for
New Zealand. He was also an authority on aerodynamics and
hydrodynamics and
was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at
Auckland Universit
y College from 1940
It was his expertise in aerodynamics that led to the later
speculation that the weapon may be airborne.


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