A forgotten oddity - it reminds me of the phonies publicised by Spielberg.
I vaguely read about 'The Passion of Saint Eatherly' in a collection of pieces by Malcolm Muggeridge, a British journalist with a nominally Christian outlook who even then seemed outdated. It was a review of William Bradford Huie's 'The Hiroshima Pilot', about Major Claude Eatherly of the USAF who posed falsely as the dropper of the atom bomb. He seems to have turned to crime, as of course some demobilised military types do. His story started in a Fort Worth paper, and was taken up by Newsweek and NBC. I don't have the dates of these events, but Huie's book was published c. 1963.
Another review of the same book is available online as a PDF, in a file titled called 'AmericasDecline', dated 1964 - for its date, astonishingly revisionist in its attitude to civilian bombing and the culpability of the British (i.e. Churchill). '.. an elaborate and influential imposture which, although it may have originated in the mind of one man, was knowingly propagated over the whole world by legions of scribblers, barkers, and "artists" for the benefit of the Bolsheviks.' Note the reluctance of the USAF to comment. Eatherly was supposed to have piloted a weather plane, but looking back one wonders if he might have been one of the pilots who, if we're right, firebombed Hiroshima. He was supposed to have joined the Israeli Air Force, and to have had a couple of pensions made in his favour. Maybe he in effect blackmailed the US government?
I've just noticed another book was published on this topic, in 1989; a reprint of the correspondence between Eatherly and Gunther Anders (who had worked with Bertrand Russell's Peace Foundation). Anders was a German Jew and this exchange of letters seems to have been published in German in about 1962. I posted a review on Amazon pointing out that Anders had been taken in, but it hasn't appeared. I realise now it may have just been a money-making fraud all along. It's interesting to see how stories can be perpetuated by dishonest publishers.