Is There an Underwater UFO Base
Off the Southern California Coast?
by Preston Dennett
Shortly after I began
investigating UFOs in the late 1980s, I started to receive reports of
unidentified ocean-going craft. Most of these reports came from a
certain stretch of California coastline, from about Santa Barbara south
to Long Beach. This particular body of water, I soon learned, had a
widespread reputation as a UFO hotspot. After several witnesses told me
they believed there was an underwater UFO base there, I decided to
conduct a more in-depth investigation to determine the truth.
My first step was to survey the
research of other prominent investigators. To my surprise, most of the
local researchers were already aware of the sightings. Writes Ann
Druffel, “This body of water lies between the coastlines of
Southern California and Santa Catalina Island, 20 miles offshore to the
southwest. The area has for at least thirty years been the scene of UFO
reports of all kinds: surface sightings of hazy craft which cruise
leisurely in full view of military installations, aerial spheres
bobbing in oscillating flight, gigantic cloud-cigars, and at least one
report of an underwater UFO with uniformed occupants.”
Another researcher, Robert
Stanley, editor of the now defunct magazine Unicus, writes, “Even
in the sixties, families were going down to the beach and waiting for a
UFO to pass by…. By the 1970s, whole families were going down to
the beach at Point Dume at night to watch the multi-colored UFOs [that]
would sink under the water at times.”
MUFON field investigator Bill
Hamilton writes, “For years witnesses have seen many types of UFO
cruising off the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California. UFOs
have actually been seen to come out of the water in the San Pedro
I had already uncovered several
firsthand cases myself. My next step was to put together a
comprehensive list of all the recorded ocean-going encounters in the
area. I came up with more than 50 sightings. These cases were next
categorized into different types.
The first and most common type
are cases that take place over the coastline. In these cases, people
see UFOs either from the shoreline or while they are out at sea. What
follows are several typical cases.
1953: Engineer Frederick Hehr and
several others are on Santa Monica beach when they observe a
“squadron of saucers” performing maneuvers in the daylight
sky over the bay. Later that day, the objects return and perform more
maneuvers for a period of about ten minutes.
July 10, 1955: Around 11:00 a.m.,
several fishermen off the coast of Newport Beach observe a
bluish-silver, cigar-shaped object flying overhead at a “moderate
speed and medium altitude.” Two and a half hours later, a
Washington family of three are sailing 13 miles off the coast of
Newport Beach on their way to Catalina Island when they observe a
“perfectly round, gray-white” craft about 2,500 feet above
their boat. When the object maintains its position over their boat,
they radio the Coast Guard, which sends out a plane. The object darts
away before the plane arrives.
November 6, 1957: Early morning
in Playa Del Rey, three cars driving along the Pacific Coast Highway
suddenly stall when a large “egg-shaped object” surrounded
in a “blue haze” lands on the beach only a few yards away.
Witnesses Richard Kehoe, Ronald
Burke, and Joe Thomas exit their cars and observe two strange-looking
men disembarking from the object. The UFO occupants have
“yellowish-green skin” and wear “black leather pants,
white belts and light colored jerseys.” They walk up to the
witnesses and begin asking questions. Kehoe and the others are unable
to understand the occupants, who are apparently speaking a foreign
language. After a few moments, the figures return to the object, which
takes off and accelerates out of sight.
That same day at 3:50 p.m., an
officer and 12 airmen from an Air Force detachment in nearby Long Beach
observe six saucer-shaped objects zooming across the sky. Two hours
later, officers at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station report seeing
“numerous” objects criss-crossing the sky. At the same
time, police stations in Long Beach receive more than 100 calls from
residents reporting UFOs.
December 1957: The crew of the
British steamship Ramsey observes a large metallic gray disk with
antenna-like projections off the coast of San Pedro. One of the crewmen
grabs his camera and captures a blurry photo of the object before it
1960: Actor Chad Everett and two
friends are on the rooftop of his Beverly Hills home one night when
they observe a lighted object moving back and forth at high speeds over
the nearby ocean. Because the object moves so quickly and at right
angles, the witnesses are convinced it is a genuine UFO.
1970: As investigated by Bill
Hamilton, an anonymous gentleman sailing from Catalina Island to San
Pedro Harbor observes a metallic saucer with four “hemispherical
pods” underneath it flying only a few hundred feet above his boat.
May 1973: Art director George
Gray (pseudonym) observes an object sending down a beam of light while
driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica in the pre-dawn
hours: “The UFO was over where the beach was…hovering I
would say maybe a hundred, two hundred feet in the air. It was silver.
It was your basic UFO…it was definitely completely metallic with
a silver dome on top and a silver dome on the bottom of it, like two
plates put together. And it had little lights around it.” Gray is
able to bring in additional witnesses before the object moves away.
Summer 1988: Professional
photographer Kim Carlsberg observes a darting, star-like object while
relaxing in her Malibu beachfront home. Suddenly, the object moves
directly toward her. “The brilliant point of light advanced until
it became a luminous sphere some fifty feet in diameter,” reports
Carlsberg. “It ominously hung in the air a hundred feet from my
window…the apparent standoff lasted no more than a minute before
the sphere departed as quickly as it appeared. It tore away diagonally
through the night sky and vanished.”
Summer 1990: Private pilot Toshi
Inouye and his student observe a large, red, glowing cigar-shaped
object hovering near their plane as they fly over the Santa Monica Bay
in late afternoon. “It was standing still in the air, glowing
red,” says Inouye. “We were kind of stunned. We
didn’t know what to do.” Inouye considers calling the
nearby airport control tower when the object suddenly darts away.
May 4, 1990: Early in the
morning, two Malibu surfers are lying on their surfboards waiting for
the next wave when they observe a “brushed aluminum saucer with a
bump in the middle [which] approached the shoreline from out of the fog
bank sitting about a mile offshore.” The object darts back and
forth then moves back out to sea.
1998: Adam (pool-cleaner) and
Mario (military private) are driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in
Malibu when they see six black, diamond-shaped objects darting at high
speed up and down the coast. The two men are so impressed by the brief
sighting that they spend the next hour driving up and down the coast
hoping for a repeat appearance. While they don’t see any more
UFOs, they do find other UFO watchers. Says Adam, “We did come
across a couple of people who were just sitting in their lawn chairs
along the road. I don’t know if this has anything to do with it,
but they were just sitting there along the side of the road, just
January 3, 2004: Young Chyren is
standing along the Santa Monica coast at midday when he observes a
metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering only a few thousand feet
directly above a small yacht less than a mile out at sea. He quickly
grabs his camera and snaps a photograph.
Into the Ocean
From the reports cited above, it
should be clear that UFOs are witnessed over this coastal area in
disproportionately large numbers. In most cases, they are observed a
few thousand feet or less above the surface of the ocean. It is
therefore plausible to speculate that these craft may be traveling into
and out of this body of water.
As we shall see, the next
category involves UFOs that have been observed doing exactly that.
These much rarer cases provide further evidence of an underwater UFO
base off the California coast.
November 21, 1951: As reported by
researcher Harold Wilkins, several witnesses observe “an
unidentified burning object” descending into the ocean somewhere
off the coast of California.
August 8, 1954: The Japanese
steamship Aliki is off the coast of Long Beach when several
members of the crew observe an underwater UFO. As the intercepted radio
message from the ship reads, “Saw fireball move in and out of sea
without being doused. Left wake of white smoke; course erratic;
vanished from sight.”
1955: Residents from the northern
California coastal town of Santa Maria observe a “long silvery
object” emerging from the ocean and taking off into space.
January 15, 1956 (Evening):
Residents of Redondo Beach report seeing a large, glowing object glide
down out of the sky and float on the surface of the ocean about 75
yards off shore.
Dozens of witnesses converge on
the scene, including a local night watchman, Redondo Beach lifeguards,
and police officers from adjacent Hermosa Beach. As the crowd gathers,
the water around the object starts to “froth” and the UFO
sinks beneath the surface. The glow of the object, however, remains so
intense that it can still be seen.
Police officers radio for
assistance and divers are brought in to investigate. Unfortunately, by
the time the divers arrive, the object is gone. Another police officer
tests the area with a Geiger counter, which fails to register any
radiation. Another search the next day also yields no results.
February 9, 1956: Military
personnel observe a fireball descending into the ocean off the coast of
Redondo Beach. One year later, UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield
obtains an official report on the incident, which says only:
“Fireball hits water. Submerges.”
July 28, 1962: The captain of a
chartered fishing boat notices lights floating in a stationary position
in the water about six miles south of Catalina Island. Upon closer
observation, the captain is startled to see what he assumes at first is
a Russian sub: “It appeared to be the stern of a
submarine,” he says. “We could see five men, two in white
garb, two in dark trousers and white shirts, and one in a sky-blue jump
suit. We passed abeam at about a quarter mile and I was certain it was
a submarine low in the water, steel gray, no markings, decks almost
awash, with only its tail and an odd aft-structure showing.”
Suddenly the submarine heads
straight for the fishing boat as if to ram it. The captain makes an
emergency turn as the sub moves past them at high speed, emitting no
noise and leaving no wake except for a “good-sized swell.”
The captain contacts the navy, which is unable to positively identify
UFO researchers Coral and Jim
Lorenzen hear about the case and speculate that it may have been a UFO
and not a submarine: “The high speed, lack of wake and sound, and
the huge swell make this object suspect.” One might also mention
the odd shape of the submarine itself, its lack of fear of observation,
and its aggressive maneuvering.
February 5, 1964: Eleven
passengers are rescued by the Coast Guard from their emergency raft
following the unexplained sinking of their yacht, the Hattie D. The
crew was sailing south down the coast of California from Seattle,
Washington, when their yacht either struck or was rammed by an
unidentified “metal object.” Crewman Carl Jansen says,
“I don’t care how deep it was…what holed us was
steel, and a long piece. There was no give at all.”
December 2, 1965: Mrs. Irwin
Cohen and her son observe a glowing red object descending into the sea
off San Pedro, setting off a large cloud of steam. As the object
descends, the witnesses snap a few photos. They wonder if they
witnessed a Navy missile or some other unknown object.
October 1968: George Hiner is
fishing in his boat off the eastern end of Catalina Island when he
spots a “white-domed shaped object” (sic) through his
binoculars. As he watches, the object rises ten feet above the surface
of the water, then descends and rises again. He notices a strange
parachute-like device beneath the object, which gently descends and
then sinks beneath the waves.
June 1980: Therapist Linda Susan
Young and a friend are driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa
Monica at night when Young observes an unusually bright light floating
in place several miles out to sea. Young was puzzled by its appearance
and turned to tell her friend: “I said to the guy with me,
‘What do you suppose this is?’ And he turned around and
looked at it. And he only saw it for a second when it just shot
straight up in the air and blinked out. It didn’t look like it
went far enough to disappear from view, like a distance. It just sort
of stopped. It just stopped being there…I have always assumed it
was a UFO.”
1980s: An anonymous gentleman (a
senior electronics engineer) sailing on a foggy day between Santa
Barbara Island and Santa Cruz Island observes a “fluorescent
green colored light” ahead of him in the mist. Thinking it was
another ship using bright lights to navigate the fog, he stops and
waits for it to pass. As it approaches, however, he is still unable to
distinguish any detail. When it is a quarter mile away and heading
directly toward him, the witness discovers why: “I finally
realized that this dumb thing was underwater…I’m guessing
it was—I don’t know—maybe 300 feet in diameter, but I
couldn’t get any vertical dimension on it because it was under me
in the water. It literally passed directly underneath me.”
The witness is sailing a fully
equipped, 38-foot sailboat. As the object passes beneath him, he takes
several readings from the depth sounder, determining that the object is
about 100 feet deep. At this point, both depth sounders quit
functioning. The witness checks his compasses. “All three of them
were slowly rotating and I wasn’t…I tried calling the
Coast Guard and the radio was dead.”
The object moves away and
disappears, leaving the witness badly frightened. A later check on his
equipment reveals that all the compass mountings were broken. Says the
witness of the incident, “It was weird. I was just too damned
petrified to move.”
1990: According to investigator
Bill Hamilton, starting in late 1989 numerous witnesses in Marina Del
Rey begin to have repeated encounters with “strange blue-green
lights in the water.” As Hamilton writes, “In 1989 and
again in 1990, witnesses have seen as many as twenty events an hour.
One large light appeared to be as much as 100 feet in diameter. This
large light spawned babies no larger than 10 to 12 feet in length.
These lights were seen to move swiftly under the ocean’s surface
some 500 to 1000 feet from the coastline in Abalone Cove…one of
the lights was reported to have emerged from the water.”
Spring 1991: In the early morning
hours, Tony X. looks out the window of his Malibu beachfront home and
observes a brilliantly lit object floating on the ocean’s surface
about two miles away. “It looked like a big prism,” says
Tony, “kind of various colors out there. I got a telescope out
there and looked at it.” After a few hours, the light winks out.
Two years later, in January 1993,
the object returns. “I got the telescope out and looked at it,
and it was the same kind of thing…the colors seemed so pure for
lack of a better word. They seemed real coherent.” Tony calls up
the Coast Guard, but they deny having any information.
May 5, 1992: Two friends walking
along Malibu Beach observe a “sort of light/fireball”
descend from the sky and into the ocean. Says one witness, “It
was going at an incredible speed and it was less than a mile away. It
looked like it hit the ocean…. Once the object made its way to
the ocean’s surface, it disappeared, so my guess is that it went
1994: Two men walking near the
coast of Rancho Palos Verdes at night see several “glowing
disks” floating in the water. One of the witnesses returns at a
later date and sees the disks again. On this occasion, he observes
several black helicopters in the area. Later, he is confronted by
unnamed individuals (men in black?) who tell him in no uncertain terms
that this area, off Abalone Cove, is off-limits.
January 11, 2002: An anonymous
gentleman camping along the coast at Point Mugu sees a light moving
back and forth 100 feet above the water, and two other lights beneath
the surface of the sea. The objects dart back and forth in tandem for
30 minutes (moving unlike any plane or helicopter), giving the witness
the impression that they are searching for something. Afterwards, the
light in the sky accelerates out of sight and the two objects in the
water dive down and disappear.
much underwater UFO activity in one place is undeniably unusual and
strongly points to the possibility that there is an underwater UFO base
somewhere in this area. While the above reports alone provide
considerable evidence, further confirmation of this possibility comes
from another source.
only is there an unusually large number of sightings, landings, and
ocean-going UFOs here, there are also cases of abductions. Normally,
when somebody reports being abducted by aliens, they claim to have been
taken inside a UFO. However, in this particular area, some abductees
report that they have been taken to what is apparently an underground
base. Could it be that these witnesses were taken into the underwater
base in the Santa Catalina channel?
Two 11-year-old boys experience an episode of missing time while on
their parents’ boat in Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island. Years
later, one of the witnesses, Paul Nelson (pseudonym) goes under
hypnosis and recalls that he and his friend were abducted to an
apparently underground base where they were examined by
praying-mantis-type ETs: “I was taken into a round-walled room.
It seemed to me more underground than it did onboard a ship. The walls
had kind of a rock-like facet to them…rock-like walls rather
than craft-type walls. It gave the impression that I was in a cavern
[rather] than a ship…it was more of an underground
the examination, the boys are returned to the boat with no conscious
memory of the abduction.
1990s: As recounted in her autobiographical book Beyond My Wildest
Dreams, Kim Carlsberg experiences a series of UFO abductions from her
Malibu home starting in the early 1990s. On each occasion she is
examined by Grey or praying-mantis-type ETs.
August 30, 1992, Carlsberg recalls being taken to what appears to be a
vast underground complex where she sees many other abductees and ETs of
various types. “…I woke up in a lobby where many humans
were milling around. They reminded me of patients waiting to endure
their turns in a dentist’s chair.” Carlsberg also recalled
sitting in a large “auditorium” with many other abductees
where she was told by the ETs that she was being “prepared for
final piece of evidence for an underwater or underground base comes
from the Topanga Canyon UFO wave of 1992 though ’94.
Canyon has been a UFO hotspot for more than 50 years. However, on the
night of June 14, 1992, hundreds of unidentified craft were seen in the
canyon, which is situated along the Southern California coast.
Seventeen adult witnesses have independently reported seeing UFOs on
that evening. One couple, who live high on a ridge overlooking the
ocean, observed approximately 200 craft rising up, one by one, from
behind the ridge east of them, and then moving to various locations in
the canyon. As one of the witnesses said, “You know when you
watch something for a while…you can figure out where
they’re coming from? After watching them, you got the feeling
that they were going all over this area from that certain spot right
certain spot is the same location where so many underwater UFOs have
been seen. And what makes this particular sighting so important is that
the objects were not seen coming from above. Instead, these 200 craft
came from below, either underground or underwater. Where else could so
many UFOs come from except for some kind of base?
can be seen, the evidence is pretty strong that there is an underwater
UFO base in the Santa Catalina channel. Hundreds of UFOs have been seen
in the area. A significant portion of these cases involve objects going
into and out of the water. And there are cases where people have
apparently been taken inside this very base.
hard to say exactly where this base is, but judging from the geographic
distribution of encounters, the highest density of cases is along the
Santa Catalina channel. It would have to be very deep to avoid
size of the base is again a matter of speculation, but because of the
large number of UFOs that have been seen at one time and from the
reports of the abductees, it seems safe to assume that this base is
extremely large, perhaps the size of several city blocks or more.
long has this base been here?
modern age of UFOs began in 1947, when a huge wave of sightings swept
across the United States and the world. This was the year of the famous
Kenneth Arnold sighting and the alleged UFO crash at Roswell. That year
also featured a strange mystery off the California coast.
began on July 7, 1947, just days after the Roswell crash. At 3:10 p.m.,
two teenagers walking along the beach at San Raphael watched as a
“flat, glistening object” emerged from the ocean, flew for
a short distance, then dove back into the water 400 yards from shore.
month later, in August 1947, the Coast Guard received reports of a
“strange flaming object,” which fell into the sea.
this incident, steamers going into and out of San Francisco Bay
encountered an “undersea mountain” that appeared and
disappeared in various locations in the bay. Several ships reported the
mysterious mass, calling it a “reef” or “submarine
mountain” that had apparently appeared overnight. Another ship
reported “a large mass under water, off the Golden Gate.”
Following that, the mass disappeared.
perhaps it just moved again. Around this time, the naval survey ship
Maury and other craft were sent to investigate another report of a
“phantom reef” that had appeared about 400 miles off the
coast of Southern California. No charts listed any such mass in the
area. And when Captain Hambling of the Maury arrived, the
“mass” was gone. The crew immediately surveyed the
surrounding area and, to their shock, they found that the mass had
moved again. Says Hambling, “Our echo sounders did pick up a
strange echo when we were about three-quarters of a mile off the
reported location of the ‘reef.’ It seemed that the
sounders had got an echo from a mass about 1,600 yards away. We changed
course, and started right towards it. Four hundred yards away from it,
we found it had vanished, and we got no other echo. We tracked and
re-tracked the area, using fathometers and echo sounders. We covered
five square miles very carefully, and another five miles round the
outside of the area.”
“mass” however, had gone. Or perhaps it had moved and found
a more permanent residence closer to shore. Considering the huge number
of underwater reports that started in the 1950s, this may have been the
time when the alleged base was constructed. In any case, underwater
UFOs have been encountered in this area starting in 1947 and continuing
to the present day.
it may seem hard to believe that ETs are living beneath our oceans,
these types of accounts have turned up all over the world. Ocean-going
UFOs have been seen in all of the seven seas, reaching back nearly a
thousand years and continuing to the present day. With their ability to
travel through the oceans and skies with ease, these cases show just
how advanced the visitors are. Remember, most of our oceans remain
unexplored—at least by humans.
Dennett is a MUFON field investigator, the author of four books, and a
long-time Fate contributor.<>(
source Fate Magazinne, February 2006 )
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