A former regional editor has uncovered secret military evidence about plans for a third atomic bomb during the Second World War.
Don Hale, a former editor of the Bury Messenger and Matlock Mercury, gained a copy of a US military transcript that shows a third bomb would have hit Japan on 19 August 1945 if the country had not surrendered four days earlier.
He discovered that a succession of 12 further A-bombs was also in production with the aim of hitting the country throughout September and October of that year.
The revelations by Don, who is well-known as an investigative journalist, come amid celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, which have been held across the world.
He said there had been claims of a third atomic bomb before but no specific evidence, following the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed at least 129,000 people between them.
Don, pictured above left, said: “I have been involved with some high profile stories over the past year with newspaper, TV and radio and many have included alleged government cover ups.
“I have since been contacted by several retired military and intelligence officers, and once met a former Japanese POW who told me about a third bomb that was prepared but never used.
“I did some more checking with these contacts as the anniversary of the surrender approached and obtained some other previously unknown facts and a transcript of a secret conversation between top US military chiefs that took place on 13 Aug 1945, with confirmation that a third bomb was being assembled, and that they had a production line of about 12 others being prepared.”
The transcript uncovered by Don was a conversation between two top level military commanders and was marked “top secret”.
It reveals details of the “third shot”, which would have been dropped on 19 August, and a production line to prepare around 12 further atomic bombs.
Don is best known for his investigative work as Matlock Mercury editor when he helped clear the name of Stephen Downing, who spent 27 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of murder.
He also claimed that former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath was named in a child abuse document which was handed to him in 1984, when he edited the Bury Messenger, before it was seized by police.