The idea that aikiken training as conceived by Ueshiba ever
used the bokken as a striking implement and not a sword is really the more outlandish claim. Ueshiba was a swordsman. His primary teacher was certainly a swordsman. An aikiken system that treats the bokken as a club or staff instead of a blade seems deprived and deranged to me.
I have a little collection of photos here:
of the founder with weapons. Currently I have only one with something which looks like a shinken. I'd be interested to see more photos of founder with a steel sword.