Editor's Note: the Almanac includes the following as fun speculation - not established fact. Much of this story is indeed factual (such as geological and scientific descriptions), however, the speculative portions are featured here, with other stories in Mysterious L.A., as a part of the cultural and folklore fabric of Los Angeles County.
If there is anything to be learned from the early 2020s, it is to never underestimate the ability of people to have runaway imaginations. We don’t, however, want to get in the way of a little harmless runaway imagination (as long as it doesn’t threaten life, health, property, or democracy).
Less than three miles off the Ventura County coastline, or just under five miles southwest of Malibu in Los Angeles County, exists an unusual underwater geologic formation, about 2,000 feet below the ocean surface. Geographically named Sycamore Knoll, it is located at geographic coordinates 34° 1’23.31″N 118° 59’45.64″W. It is enormous. Close to three miles across and more than two miles wide, it covers almost five square miles, just a little smaller than the area of Culver City. According to geologists, it is simply an unusual geologic formation. To some, however, Sycamore Knoll is a giant underwater alien base.
Sycamore Knoll appears to stand out from surrounding underwater topography. It is easy to see how one can imagine it to be a giant, artificially-constructed, flat roofed, oval-shaped structure with supporting columns. Jimmy Church of the “Fade to Black” podcast apparently thought so. In 2014, he featured a video contended that Sycamore Knoll is not natural, but rather extraterrestrial. He speculated that it could be the biggest center of UFO activity found since Roswell, New Mexico. It should also be noted that, according to the privately-operated National UFO Reporting Center, nearby Malibu has had a relatively high number of UFO sightings (see box below), including a number along the coast and some of unidentified objects emerging from the ocean.
Also see: UFOs Over Los Angeles.
In 2014, Lee Speigel of the Huffington Post, wrote an article about speculation surrounding Sycamore Knoll. He reached out to David Schwartz of the U.S. Geological Survey, who wrote a 2009 paper for the Geological Society of America on the geology of Southern California’s offshore coastal region. Schwartz maintained that Sycamore Knoll is entirely natural and, and despite its unusual appearance, was shaped by the geological and ocean forces at play along our coast.
Statements from credible scientists like Schwartz usually have a way of taking the steam out of accelerating imaginations. Nevertheless, the idea of an underwater UFO base, operating right off our coastline, with alien craft ascending and descending the depths, does seem pretty exciting.
The following are actual Google Earth images.
The Truth Behind The Malibu Underwater ‘Alien Base’, by Lee Speigel, HuffPost;
An Underwater 'Alien Base' Off Malibu by Rachel Bozek, A&E;
Alien base found off the coast of Malibu?, Rob Hayes, ABC7;