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Naval Auxiliary Air Station San Clemente Island, CA. 32.95 North / 118.53 West.

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 Los Angeles on February 25, 1942. (National Archives photo)

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.