SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CA NAVAL AUXILIARY AIR STATION: 1941-1944
Aerial view of the old San Clemente NAAS, circa 1941-44. The original airstrip on the island was a hard packed gravel-dirt strip located in the center of the island. The date of its construction is not known. The above photo shows the reconstructed airstrip. Work started in 1938 and paved over that original strip. Completed in 1941. The San Clemente airstrip is the suspected touch down spot of the large airborne object of unknown origin typically associated with the UFO Over L. A.: The Battle of Los Angeles on February 25, 1942. (National Archives photo) Below is how it looks today.
San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the eight California Channel Islands. It lies 63 miles south of Long Beach and 78 miles almost due west of San Diego. Surface area is approximately 56 square miles. Thought to be volcanic in origin, the island stretches northwest to southeast for about 23 miles, and is around 7 miles wide at the widest point. From a geologists point of view, the island of San Clemente makes for a fascinating study. The east side faces the ocean with vertical cliffs, some 1,000 feet above the sea, while the west side rises in steps, which show how the island was successively raised over time. On top of some of these huge rock steps lie old sea beaches that once met the sea. On the northwest side of the island there are mysterious sand dunes, some 40 to 50 feet high, without a trace of their origin or a source for the sand there. On the southeast side of the island are huge bubble-like caves, formed by volcanic activity like the rest of the island, these caves are both above water and underwater, some as big as 150 feet across. About a quarter of a mile off of the northwest end of the island, lies what some believe to be the volcanic source for the island of San Clemente, Castle Rock, which is a vertical crater 40 feet deep.
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: 1942 UFO
The physical location and the physical aspects of San Clemente Island as so described could not have been a more perfect destination for the situation the huge flying object of unknown origin and unknown nature found itself in --- the island being surrounded by miles and miles of open seas, all but unpopulated, and for the most part, unlike the other channel islands, basically flat, and difficult for hostiles relative to itself to approach. Why then the object's semi-sudden initial turn eastward? Considering it had taken the bulk of over 1400 direct hits, if in need of repairs or evaluation such a turn in direction could be attributed to a couple of things. First, it may have been attracted toward the darkened inland sections of the desert southwest. However, seemingly not being able to maintain a sufficient high enough altitude, turned south once inland after facing a series of north-south mountains. Secondly, it may have always been on a southward trajectory all along but went inland to the east once reaching Redondo to by-pass Point Fermin's huge array of 16 inch coast defense guns, then swinging south toward the ocean just east of the city of Long Beach. Paul T. Collins picks it up in an article under the cover-blurb title UFO Attack on Los Angeles found on the front of the magazine it was published in as so cited:
"The object that triggered the air raid alarm had drawn 1430 rounds of ammunition from the coast artillery, to no effect. When it moved at all, the object had proceeded at a leisurely pace over the coastal cities between Santa Monica and Long Beach, taking about 30 minutes of actual flight time to move 20 miles; then it disappeared from view."
FATE MAGAZINE: World War II UFO Scare, Paul T. Collins, 1987
Giving an additional boost to the above that the giant airborne object turned inland only to head south out toward the ocean in the direction of San Clemente Island comes from an actual eyeballs-on eyewitness account of man named Albert Nozaki. Some minutes after the object passed over Redondo Beach it was out over the agriculture fields that existed in those days a few miles inland east and south of the beach cities. That same night Nozaki was helping guard a friend's field from vandals that had been ruining crops. His location at the time was inland from Redondo and north of Long Beach, some distance south and somewhat east of the city of Gardena. According to The Battle of Los Angeles: 1942 UFO the object eventually crossed somewhere between Palos Verdes on the west and Signal Hill on the east coming out over Long Beach heading south along the California coast toward Huntington Beach --- although at a much, much higher altitude than when it went over Lucia Street in Redondo Beach. The thing is, when it came out over the ocean slightly east of Long Beach none of the beach cities south along the coast reported seeing it. Nozaki describes what he saw that night in the early morning hours just before the object headed out to sea and disappeared south of Long Beach:
"(A)pproaching him well above the fields from the west, silhouetted against the slightly lighter night sky, was a fairly huge dark airborne object coming straight toward him at a fairly quick pace. At first it seemed as though it would take a path off to the right of where he was standing, but before it reached him it just barely began turning flatly toward the south, almost as in a controlled drift. By then he was just under the edge of the object as it went over him with the center off to his left, continuing its turn and eventually disappearing in the southern night sky while all the time gaining altitude. It was huge, dark, very long and wide with no lights or signs of windows. Although it did not have protruding wings like an airplane, the object's outside edges ominously curved down. As well, other than feeling a slight vibrational "hum" in his chest as it passed over, the object made no sound."
Nozaki, who later went on to be an Oscar nominated art director, apparently drawing upon his experiences in the field that night in 1942, designed the terrifying Martian flying machines seen in the 1953 movie War of the Worlds. In a personal one-on-one interview Nozaki said he incorporated some of the ominous-like aspects of the object he saw such as the curving down contours into his 'War of the Worlds' craft wanting to capture some of the fear he felt as the real-life dark object came toward him --- as though he was going to be clutched up by it. So too, how it mysteriously remained aloft, apparently with some sort of technology or power we did not have. In Wells' novel the machines were held upward by three robot like legs. In the movie he tried to make it seem they were being held off the ground and "walking" by three invisible force-field legs. That is why they appeared to tip to one side and fall over when they began crashing.
----- A NUMBER REPORTED SEEING SOMETHING THAT LOOKED LIKE A GIANT BUTTERFLY
(RENO EVENING GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 26, 1942)
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: 1942 UFO
NOTE: The above article titled "The 'Attack' on Los Angeles" can, for easier reading, be increased in size by clicking it then clicking it again.
Any of you who have read my online material have more than likely come across the fact that at onetime I owned an immaculately restored 1940s wooden Ford station wagon (see). One day I parked the woodie outside a small restaurant when a man came running in yelling at the top of his voice asking if anybody in the restaurant owned the wooden station wagon out front. Instantly seeing in my mind's eye tiny little bits and pieces of wood flying into the air and scattered all over the parking lot thinking he or somebody else had smashed into it breaking it to smithereens, I jumped from my seat, brushing the man aside, and ran out the door.
The woodie was not touched. Matter of fact it was just as I left it.
The man doing all the yelling was the skipper of a marlin boat come yacht owned by mulit-millionaire David J. Halliburton. The skipper just wanted to know who owned the wagon out front and who the person was that was responsible for maintaining the wood on it. Showing a huge sigh of relief that the car was not demolished beyond repair in some fashion I told him the person responsible for keeping the wood in such great shape was me. The skipper asked if I would be interested in doing, as he called it, the brightwork, on his boat --- meaning, basically, sand, scrape, and spar varnish all the natural-color wood on the boat over and over for the rest of my life. My answer was no, but it did lead me, out of curiosity, to go to where the boat was moored and look it over.
It just so happened the day I was there a young woman was walking along the dock with several small children in tow when one of them, a very little girl who I guess could not swim, missed her footing somehow and slipped off the edge of the dock into the water. For all practical purposes she was drowning. The mother started yelling like crazy and since I was probably the only person really within earshot close enough to respond, I leaped off the boat onto the dock and into the water. While still in the water I handed the little girl up to the skipper, who had been running all the way along the dock only a few steps behind me. In the process, due to all the commotion, a small crowd gathered.
Amongst the crowd was a woman that recognized me, a former Rose Marie Reid swim suit model that I knew as Sullivan, but since married to the son of a renowned ocean explorer.(see) They had a boat in the harbor and since we had not seen each other for ten years or so, after everybody was sure the girl was OK, she asked me to join her for drinks on her yacht, get into some dry clothes and get caught up. As I was leaving later in afternoon Sullivan asked if I would be willing to go to a party she was throwing in a couple of weeks. As I slowly strolled away down the dock I halfheartedly turned back and nodded in agreement that I would attend. Little did I know at the time that anything related to what was going on would eventually involve the woman on the dock with the prophecy of an ancient tribal elder and Navajo Code Talkers.
I duly showed up at the designated time and duly circulated and engaged in small talk. Unexpectedly, during the chit-chat sessions two things related to the L.A. UFO came up --- both from the same person, a diver by the name of "Jack" --- who would one day become a highly respected, albeit non-academically affiliated, marine archaeologist. At the point in time we are talking about here however, he was a low level player in the field working his way up the ladder and on his degree. Even so, he was still well known up and down the California coast for his diving expertise and underwater archaeology skills.
We got to talking and one thing led to the next, eventually the conversation turning to the L.A. object. He told me although he was too young to have participated in any original dive related to the object --- actually he had not even been born yet --- he had met a couple of old timers, hard hat guys, who had. They told him they participated in a retrieval effort of a highly secret nature off San Clemente Island a few months after the start of the war --- not between the coast and the island proper, but on the east open ocean side. They told Jack, to their knowledge nothing ever came of it and nothing of any size was found or located, although over the years they heard rumors to the contrary. For one thing, apparently whatever they were looking for sonar was not able to detect it. So too, they had been diving during the day which was fairly typical, doing so in conjunction with the civilian contracted Navy salvage vessel ARS-1 Viking. However, the regular daytime teams were pulled and sent back while a so-called specially trained night diving crew was brought in moving to the deep open V-shaped trench directly off the southeast tip of the island. What they found, if anything, was not known.
Secondly, Jack told me even though San Clemente Island was run and controlled by the Navy and off limits HE could, if I was so interested, get me on the island. Which needless to say, I took him up on. So, even though some may talk about San Clemente using my ideas, unlike most, I have actualy been there and looked the place over to see if any of it was remotely possible.
AND NOW THIS:
It should be noted for the reader that since the article this page is referenced to was put online several years ago, in of which brought up the idea that the L.A. object landed on San Clemente Island, many people have taken the idea and ran with it --- and done so nearly always without citing sources or giving credit. However, the only reason San Clemente Island ever came up in the first place is because of the conversation I brought up between me and the marine archaeologist and then making that conversation known in UFO Over Los Angeles article. The fact that San Clemente Island was a potential landing site for the object after it disappeared out over the ocean south of Long Beach was extrapolated directly by me from my Uncle through personal conversations with famed and meteorite hunter and astronomer Dr. Lincoln La Paz.
Now while it is true La Paz never paid much attention to me personally, basically because I would guess, I was "just" a kid when we met, he did become fascinated with my story of the L.A. object because I said it was "thick." The following is from the source so cited:
"(A)ccording to my uncle, after La Paz had his own experience near Fort Sumner he became fascinated with my account of the Los Angeles object because, not unlike the one he saw, it was huge --- most such phenomenon reported falling into the somewhat smaller disc-like or saucer-shaped object category. La Paz especially liked the fact I had said the rear or stern was rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat on the bottom and top and fairly thick. He liked the thick part, because he determined the object he saw to be a 100 feet thick --- an unusual statistic at the time."(source)
La Paz's own experience occurred on July 10, 1947. Relative to that experience he reported seeing a huge elliptical-shaped object flying in the sky near Fort Sumner. According to his calculations the object was huge, being some 235 feet long and 100 feet thick, its horizontal speed ranged between 120 and 180 miles per hour and its vertical rise between 600 and 900 miles per hour. It was because of hearing what I had to say about the L.A. object, being thick and all, that La Paz shared with my uncle --- and with me in attendance --- what he knew, possibly top secret stuff, about the UFO associated with the so-called Battle of Los Angeles and it's eventual connection as I have described it with San Clemente Island.
In an interesting twist of fate, five years after the UFO over Los Angeles and unrelated to any it as far as I was concerned, my uncle, after a quick heads up from his friend, the aforementioned meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz, took me along with him to the suspected crash site at Roswell, my uncle walking much of the then nearly fresh debris field wanting to see if there was any truth behind the so called hieroglyphic writing reported by many to have been found on some of the metal scraps. For more on walking the fresh debris field by getting through the supposedly heavily miltarized, well-guarded, and cordoned off the Roswell crash site see: Frank Edwards
ABANDONED AND LITTLE KNOWN AIRFIELDS:
San Clemente Island, California
LITTLETON VS THE WANDERLING:
Battle of Los Angeles or UFO Over L.A.?
THE JAPANESE SECRET WAR
IV INTERCEPTOR COMMAND
PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR
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