Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island

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Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, is one of the few coves on this island with fresh water. Through the years it was home to a succession of fishermen, including Alec O’Leary followed by Al Shade. It is located on the southeastern portion of the island, facing the mainland toward San Diego.

From November 23-26, a contingent of the sixth Los Angeles County Channel Islands Biological Survey, including Don Meadows, Theodore Reddick, Russell Sprong, M. B. Dunkle, Lloyd Martin and E. C. Williams, made its base camp at the head of the canyon leading to Mosquito Cove, while others in the survey worked at the southern end of the island.



In the News~

June 30, 1879 [Stehman Forney to Mr. Carlile Pollock Patterson, Superintendent, U.S. Coast Survey]: “…13-1/2 miles southward from this point [Wilson's Cove] on the eastern shore of the island, there is a small cove called Mosquito Harbor. This is a good shelter for boats of ten tons and under, during the summer months …”


July 1, 1891 [LAH]: “On Thursday, June 25th, the yacht San Diego, A. M. Hayward, master, sailed from Santa Catalina Island with a jolly party on board, for the purpose of fishing and gathering Indian relics at that island. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. F. P. Francis, Miss Jennie Francis, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Kelsey and son, Miss Eva Barce, Miss Louise Francis, Robt. Mansfield, John Winder, Robert Flournoy, Delbert Hammel, and Harry Polley. A fresh breeze enabled the party to make good time, and as the fishing was excellent, the party did not lack amusement. Coming to anchor at Mosquito Harbor the party passed the night on board, and early Friday morning landed at the house of Mr. Gallagher, the only inhabitant of the island, and took a long tramp over the hills to the isthmus hunting for Indian curios, of which a large variety was brought on board at night. Among the relics obtained were some fine specimens of black whalebone, Indian skulls and other bones in a fine state of preservation, stone hammers, spears, mortars and other implements, together with various kinds of coral, flint and petrified wood. The homeward voyage was pleasantly spent with music, dancing, games and pleasant chat, and Avalon harbor was reached on the evening of Saturday, the 28th. Upon dropping anchor, a salute was fired from about a dozen rifles and revolvers, and three hearty cheers were given for Captain Hayward and the San Diego. Every one was sorry that the cruise was ended and all wished that it might be repeated in the near future.”


December 21, 1892 [LAT]: “San Clemente Wool Company vs. Alexander O’Larrey; suit in ejectments to recover possession of part of San Clemente Island and for $500 damages.”


December 21, 1892 [LAH]: “San Clemente Wool Company vs. Alex O’Larrey. The plaintiff claims to have been in possession of all of San Clemente Island for 20 years past, and alleges that within the last year the defendant has unlawfully taken possession of Mosquito Harbor on the island. The plaintiff sues for restitution of the premises and $500 damages.”


February 27, 1894 [LAT]: “The San Clemente Wool Company gained judgment for possession against O’Larrey yesterday in Department Five.”


June 30, 1895 [LAT]: “To San Clemente… Proceeding down toward Mosquito Harbor, the scenery momentarily becomes more bold and beautiful. The shore gradually rises into lofty peaks cleft with rugged canyons leading down to the sea, and, in winter, cascades of water come dashing down these gorges like miniature Niagras…”


October 15, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “This morning Jim Gardner and T. V. Hardwick sailed for San Clemente Island in the sloop Violet, taking with them a supply of provisions for Alex O’Leary at Mosquito Harbor. The island belongs to the government, and in anticipation of its being thrown open to settlement some day, O’Leary five years ago located at Mosquito Harbor, where there are about two acres of available land and a stream of water…”


October 24, 1897 [LAT/SCat]: “T. V. Hardwick and Jim Gardner returned from San Clemente Island yesterday morning in the sloop Violet. They brought back several goat skins and report Mosquito Harbor as being filled with yellowtail in the mornings in quantities unlike anything they had ever seen.”


May 12, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “Alex O’Leary, the hermit of Clemente Island, who has been at Avalon for two weeks, started yesterday morning for that island on the sloop, Violet, accompanied by Clark Reeves, the owner of the boat, and Montague Foster. When almost midway in the channel a heavy wind came up, and the party was soon drenched to the skin. So much water was shipped that they had to take up the bottom boards and bail her out. They were compelled eventually to return, reaching Avalon at 7 P.M. Only O’Leary’s skill kept the little craft afloat.”


October 6, 1898 [LAT/SCat]: “The Violet, Captain C. F. Reeves, returned last night from a trip to Clemente, having taken over three months’ provisions for Alex, the hermit of Mosquito Harbor.”


January 31, 1900 [LAT/SBer]: “Messrs. E. L. Doran, L. Bloodgood, E. P. Averill and Al Shade returned yesterday from a week’s outing on San Clemente Island. They explored the island from end to end, and incidentally employed a portion of their tine in searching for Indian relics, and were richly rewarded, bringing back enough to stock a small museum…”


October 25, 1901 [SBI]: “Al Shade and Ernest Morris, who left here a week ago on the little sloop Bertha to look up the wreck of the schooner La Gironde on San Nicolas Island, returned yesterday. They found a party of five men from San Pedro in possession of the craft, and they refused all comers permission to board the boat. When the boys reached the site of the wreck they found the men busy dismantling it. They took out the masts and sails and a few other things, and carried them ashore, and then desisted from the work and are contenting themselves with holding the fort. The captain of the Gironde, with his first and second mate, is on Nicolas awaiting some legal process by which he may regain possession of his ship. The schooner is high up on the beach, each end resting on rocks, and at low tide is completely out of the water. It looks like a physical impossibility to float her, and the first storm will break her in two.”


January 17, 1904 [LAT/SCat]: “End of a hermit. Alex O’Leary, one of the queer characters which drift into out-of-the-way places, and who for ten years lived a hermit life on San Clemente Island, has recently died at Manila, Philippine Islands. He lived there in seclusion as he had here and his death was unnoticed until ants had almost made away with the body in his lonely cabin. O’Leary attempted to take up a government claim on San Clemente and notwithstanding the efforts of the government officials to dispossess him, he kept his residence there for many years under rather adverse circumstances.”


March 29, 1908 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. After a twelve days’ camping trip at San Clemente, F. A. Fenger, D. R. Whitacre and M. O. Bolsen of Pittsburgh, Pa., reached here with intentions to return as soon as provisions and other necessary paraphernalia can be obtained… The party was encamped at Mosquito Harbor.”


July 25, 1908 [LAH]: “Avalon, Catalina Island, July 24. Captain George Michaelis’ gasoline launch Juanita, shortly after midnight this morning, brought to Avalon Andrew B. Nelson, bleeding profusely from deep cuts inflicted with a razor. After two surgeons had sewed up the ghastly wounds and stayed the flow of blood, he was sent to the marine hospital at San Pedro for treatment. The man said he had been attacked while acting as crew aboard the schooner Lou of San Diego, and that her captain, Iverson, had wielded the razor with murderous intent. In consequence of alleged admissions by the victim to the effect that the boat’s business at San Clemente was seal catching, and, possibly, taking some Chinese to the mainland, the United States authorities have become interested in the case, as they have for some time been on the lookout for the leaders in the underground scheme by which Chinese are smuggled into the United States from Mexico… Last reports were that the Lou was at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente, but it is not known whether Captain Iverson is aboard…”


1909: “There is a small camp at Mosquito Harbor, where Alec O’Leary once lived… Al Shade, a boatman, had a few fig trees at his camp at Mosquito planted, I fancy, by O’Leary, and one little spring on the south side; and these trees were continually filled with finches and mockingbirds…” [Holder, 1910, p. 145, 159]


August 31, 1909 [LAH]: “Gifford Pinchot, chief forester and chairman of the national conservation committee, who is now conducting a political campaign in the northern part of the state, is due to reach Avalon September 3, en route for a two weeks’ fishing trip to San Clemente Island. As guests of Mr. Pinchot, Prof. C. F. Holder of Pasadena, Senator Flint, Dr. Houghton of Boston and F. W. Fisher of New Haven, Conn., will compose the party. Camp will be pitched at Mosquito Harbor where it is reported that several tuna have been recently taken with handlines.”


September 17, 1909 [LAT/SCat]: “…This was the greeting accorded a little boat party that broke in upon the slumbering camp of Forester Pinchot and his companions, Pardee and Holder, at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, shortly after midnight this morning… For two weeks, the party, which, until last Monday, included Senator Flint and Stewart Edward White, has been exploring, tramping and fishing in and around the island. They have seen spectacular sights…”


August 21, 1909 [LAH]: “…So elated are the members of the Catalina Tuna Club that their pet fish [tuna] has returned after an absence of four years that today they have announced their intention to build two new structures which will be used as annexes for the benefit of the club members. One annex will be located at Mosquito harbor, San Clemente Island, and the other will be built at the Isthmus. The building to be erected at San Clemente will be an eight-room bungalow and will have modern conveniences for the benefit of anglers desirous of staying several weeks. Work will commence upon this building at once.”


August 31, 1909 [LAH]: “Gifford Pinchot, chief forester and chairman of the national conservation committee, who is now conducting a political campaign in the northern part of the state, is due to reach Avalon September 3, en route for a two weeks’ fishing trip to San Clemente Island. As guests of Mr. Pinchot, Prof. C. F. Holder of Pasadena, Senator Flint, Dr. Houghton of Boston, and F. W. Fisher of New Haven, Conn., will compose the party. Camp will be pitched at Mosquito Harbor, where it is reported that several tuna have been recently taken with handlines.”


September 24, 1909 [LAT/SCat]: “Captain William Banning, owner of the palatial craft, El Compañero, called Sunday at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, and invited Gifford Pinchot, former Governor Pardee and Dr. C. F. Holder to go to San Diego, but they were just leaving for Catalina. On the Compañero were Mr. and Mrs. George Patton, Miss Patton and Miss Banning.”


June 22, 1910 [LAT]: “Completing a ten days’ cruise around San Clemente Island, Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Eldridge of New York City put into this port yesterday on the launch Clover. Both Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge are expert anglers and have taken many different varieties of fish at San Clemente Island. The record for one day’s catch taken last Thursday was twenty-three white sea bass, eight yellowtail and one black sea bass. The fish were taken on light tackle at Mosquito Harbor…”


June 25, 1910 [LAT]: “Avalon, June 24. Ten days ago the Dorothy L and a small launch left Long Beach for a two weeks’ cruise around San Clemente Island. Supplied with ample provisions all went well until the boat reached Mosquito Harbor. At this point, the party intended to take their outfits ashore and camp for several days. They were unaware that they must obtain written camping privileges before they would be permitted to land. Those in charge refused to accept any verbal statements of the party, and would not allow them to land on the east side of the island… Preparations are being made here by Mexican Joe, Catalina’s oldest and most noted boatman, for a ten days’ cruise to San Clemente, with Col. Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, Dr. Garrett Newkirk, Prof. C. F. Holder and Maj. Frederick Burnham of South Africa. The chartered boats will leave Avalon on or about September 20. The party will encamp at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, making this headquarters and supply center…”


July 6, 1911 [LAT]: “Long chase to San Clemente… With a view of giving his favorite refinement in sea-angling methods, the Three-Four-Five, a thorough and practical try out against the big, husky yellowtail of Mosquito Harbor and the lee of San Clemente Island generally, Roy F. B. Shaver left San Pedro in his home-made boat, the Roncador… laying a course for Al Shade’s camp at Mosquito Harbor…”


October 17, 1912 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. The torpedo boats Hull, Whipple and Stewart called here today on their way to San Clemente Island… It is thought by some that these fast destroyers from the torpedo fleet have been called into commission for the purpose of assisting the revenue officers in running down some of the strange craft which have been seen in the vicinity of San Clemente Island recently. From the fact that officers from the customs office at San Pedro are now encamped at Mosquito Harbor at San Clemente would strengthen the idea of an expected apprehension of smugglers.”


October 19, 1912 [LAT/SCat]: “With their ships anchored in Smugglers’ Harbor, San Clemente Island, the officers and men of the torpedo destroyers Whipple, Stewart and Hull scoured the hills thoroughly last evening in search of a band of men reported to be smugglers… Almost as soon as the tenders struck the beach at Mosquito Harbor, on the east side of the island, Lieut. Metcalf of the U.S. destroyer Whipple, sprang from the boat and was soon lost in the hills. A number of men have been left on the island to look for any strange craft…”


1913 [USNIP March 1944]: “Lieutenant Commander S. E. Flynn, (M. C.), U.S. Navy, described Mosquito Harbor on the east coast as "the most picturesque spot on the island." In 1913, as a boy, the author visited Mosquito Harbor soon after Al Shade, a veteran boatman, had established a small fish camp there for use of sportsmen. Today the fig trees which Shade planted more than 30 years ago are among the largest to be found in California. There is just enough water from a near-by spring to support these two trees,” notes Lieutenant Commander Stanley A. Wheeler.


April 14, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Arrangements have been made by the Long Beach Tuna Club to weigh fish caught at Clemente Island at Camp Shade, Mosquito Harbor. Captain Shade has been appointed official weigher of this club. It would be a great convenience to Avalon anglers if some such arrangement could be made by the Catalina Tuna Club, for it would allow anglers to remain for several days longer, instead of having to cross the channel with the first record fish the angler caught.”


April 21, 1914 Ornithologist Henry H. Kimball collected birds on San Clemente Island: “Guiraca caerulea lazuna. Western Blue Grosbeak. Two males observed feeding on wild oats near Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, April 21, 1914. Dendroica townsendi. Townsend Warbler. A male secured near the same place on April 18, 1914.” [Condor XXIV: 97, May 1922].


May 12, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Captain I. L. Newberry made a hurried trip to Mosquito Harbor Sunday, to get Captain A. Shade to finish the refrigerating system installed by William Judd.”


August 18, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Zane Grey, the author, is encamped at Mosquito Harbor collecting material for a new book with the island harbor as a setting.”


September 25, 1914 [LAT]: While fishing at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, Tuesday, N. B. McMillan brought to gaff a swordfish weighing 201 pounds after a hard battle, which lasted fifty-seven minutes…”


July 21, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “After a battle in a rough, awkward sea for over three hours with a monster swordfish, Felix Kahn of San Francisco, landed the catch Sunday afternoon and is now the proud possessor of several prizes from the Tuna Club, also a gold button, and is eligible for membership to this famous club. The catch which was made from the launch Leta D, Captain O. I. Danielson, was an excellent specimen of the marlin variety, weighing 217 pounds and measured over ten feet in length and is the first of its kind caught this season. With the sea running heavy from Mosquito Harbor, the swordfish towed the launch and its occupants several miles out into the channel…”


August 24, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “The season’s record swordfish weighing 284 pounds was brought to gaff Saturday by Zane Gray of New York, while fishing at San Clemente with Captain Danielson. The fight lasted for eight hours. Over 32 pounds was lost in transit. Mr. Grey is still in camp at Mosquito Harbor.”


July 18, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Pete Snider [Snyder] has signed a 5 year lease for the camping rights at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, and has taken over possession of the camp. For many years, ‘Pete’ has cooked for campers on Catalina and San Clemente islands. He is known by many sportsmen in the hospitable capacity of a first class cook and caterer. And Pete is arranging to install a 25,000-gallon water tank. At present he has accommodations for 20 persons. Captain A. Shade who formerly owned the camp has left for the mainland. Mosquito Camp is used by Mr. Z. Grey, W. C. Boschen, Gifford Pinchot and almost every member of the Tuna Club.”


July 3, 1917 [TI/Avalon]: “Captain O. I. Danielson and Captain I. L. Newberry have just returned from San Clemente Island, where they participated in ‘Opening night’ at Snyder’s Swordfish Camp at Mosquito Harbor. It is well worth a trip to this beautiful spot, with its new buildings and colorful tents, surrounded by fig trees and flowers, backed up by the precipitous cliffs and furrowed canyons, just to sit in the warmth of ‘Pete’s’ genial smile, and gaze far out on the placid, mirror-like surface of the channel…”


January 22, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Pete Snyder, of San Clemente [Island] fame, is managing a café and restaurant for the National Ship Building Co. at Orange, Texas, and The Islander is informed that he is catering to 800 men, in thirty minutes, three times a day, and anyone who has visited the Snyder Camp at San Clemente knows that Pete is some caterer. He expects to return to California about May 1st, and will again take care of his aristocratic resort on Clemente, which is patronized by some of the most notable anglers in the world.”


March 5, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Pete Snyder of San Clemente, who is wintering at Orange, Texas, is some booster for Catalina Island. He writes: ‘Send me four copies of The Islander weekly, as everybody here likes to read the Catalina Island paper.’”


March 28, 1918 [B. W. Evermann field notes/CAS]: “Mosquito Cove has a good club house built a year or two ago for Peter Snyder, an ex-commissary chief or cook, who established this camp where he entertains swordfishermen in the season, (July-October). Besides kitchen and a small room or two there is one good sized room sealed nicely in which are several cots. The place is now in charge of a caretaker, Frank E. Shroyer of Avalon. Shroyer has been here all alone since last October. He came originally from Pennsylvania. Is about 65 years old, rheumatic and crippled. Snyder is now in New Orleans cooking for a fish company or something. Will be back here in June…”


May 14, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Pete Snyder of San Clemente fame expects to open his camp at Mosquito Harbor about June 20th. Mr. Snyder has been spending the winter in Texas.”


May 14, 1924 [TI/Avalon]: “Mosquito Camp, San Clemente, Burned. San Pedro, May 10. One of the most complete collections of marine specimens in the country was destroyed late yesterday in a fire which burned the resort for yachtsmen at Mosquito Harbor, on the island of San Clemente, 56 miles from San Pedro. Goerge Michaelis, sole occupant of the island at the time, was badly burned, but was rescued from the flames by Captain George Meshley, skipper of the Betty Bob, they lying in the harbor, who swam ashore when he saw the building on fire. The loss is estimated at $20,000. The fire originated from the explosion of a gas stove on which Michaelis cooked his meals. The island is owned by the government, but has been a rendezvous for yachtsmen. The fireboat Amazon was sent out from San Pedro today with supplies for Michaelis.”


September 28, 1924 [LAT]: “Wild dog has isle worried. Half-dozen San Clemente inhabitants seek sheep-killer. A wild dog has the half-dozen inhabitants of San Clemente Island on the run. For three months, employees of the San Clemente Cattle Company and George Michaelis, the hermit of Mosquito Harbor, have been attempting to catch sight of the mysterious canine. The dog, apparently faring abroad only at night, is said to have killed more than 300 sheep on the island…”


October , 1924 [TI/Avalon]: “ A Los Angeles paper is responsible for the assertion that George Michaelis is going to leave the camp at Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island. The sheep men want to kill his collie dog, it is said, because they think he kills sheep. Michaelis, on the other hand, says a police dog left on the island by visitors, is doing the killing. Rather than have his dog killed, it is said Michaelis will leave the island.”


May 9, 1927 [LAT]: “Four rescued in storm off coast… Fifty-six persons who went in a dozen yachts on the annual San Clemente cruise were in great peril when the gale became so heavy that they were forced from Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente, into the open sea… The Peggy had to be towed from Mosquito Harbor…”


September 7, 1930 [LAT]: “Lost yacht appears again. At a time that about forty-five steam yachts started a search for Robert Jump, 38 years of age, said to have been lost in the steam yacht Ranger… the small boat headed for Avalon. Jump, the son of James Jump, a wealthy sportsman and yachtsman, and a leader of the Jonathan Club and a member of the Tuna Club… left San Pedro last Thursday for San Clemente Island to pick up Phillip Utter and others of his party at Mosquito Harbor…”


Janaury 6, 1932 [TI/Avalon]: “A report from the mainland states that the Island of San Clemente, leased by the San Clemente Sheep Co., until 1934, may change hands after the present lease expires. It is understood that two former students of the University of California, Kenneth T. Grumbles and Edgar L. House have been proposed by Congressman W. E. Evans to take the lease after 1934. The island, owned by the government, is twenty-one miles in length and six miles wide. Grumbles and House plan to stock the island with game for hunters and also conduct a combination farm and pleasure resort, with a landing pier at Mosquito Harbor or Gallagher’s Beach. It is also planned to establish a biological station for the University of Southern California and build a museum for Indian relics collected on the Channel Islands.”


February 27, 1933 [LAT]: “Seven in motor boat rescued from island. Rescued from San Clemente Island after four days without food or water, seven occupants of a small motor boat were returned to their homes in Long Beach last night after the Coast Guard patrol boat No. 253 found them stranded in Mosquito Harbor on the island…”


March 1, 1933 [TI/Avalon]: “Rescued from San Clemente Island after four days without food or water, seven occupants of a small motor boat were returned to their homes in Long Beach Sunday night after the Coast Guard Patrol Boat No. 253 found them stranded in Mosquito Harbor on the island. Those rescued are George Gardner, owner of the motor boat; Paul Marino, Paul Anderson, Charles Andrews, the Misses Kay Johnson, Opal Roberts and Dixie Lamarr. Weak from hunger and thirst, the seven were given food on board the rescue patrol boat and returned to San Pedro. The patrol boat was sent to the island Sunday to search for the bodies of William Galvin and Charles Taylor, Long Beach lobster fishermen who were drowned in a storm several days ago, and it was in the search for the corpses that the seven were sighted frantically waving for help.”


May 12, 1933 [LAT]: “Wigwag tells of trio’s death… Trying to row a little skiff through high seas and in a howling wind out to a forty-two-foot speedboat anchored 300 yards offshore in Mosquito Bay at lonely San Clemente Island Wednesday morning two men and a woman found their little craft borne relentlessly away from their goal and out to the open sea, and probably were drowned not long after, according to a story first wigwagged from the shore of the island to a destroyer and then relayed here by wireless yesterday…”


June 1934 [Esquire Magazine]: “Believe it or not, Southern California’s San Clemente was once a sea serpent haven. The June 1934 issue of Esquire Magazine For Men featured an intriguing article by A Ralph Bandini who spoke quite openly of his two encounters with the San Clemente Monster. In his article, I Saw a Sea Monster, Bandini comments: ‘San Clemente Island is a lonely, wind-swept bit of rock and sand lying some fifty miles south of Los Angeles Harbor. It is little frequented except by fishermen. Its waters are lonely too… The Thing itself appears to like this remote bit of ocean—that windy channel between San Clemente and Santa Catalina.’ During the early 1900s there were rumors that a strange creature was roaming the Avalon waters, and that some thirty people had seen the monster, but spoke little of it. Bandini was tuna fishing in the southern California channels when the beast emerged from the water about a mile away. It was no whale. No sea elephant. It was a monster. It was a glistening, dark beast that rose out of the water, and remained exposed for a minute or so before sinking majestically back into the depths. Bandini chose not to speak of the sighting, despite the possibility of some publicity and small fortune. He respected others who’d seen the beast, and all witnesses he could track down sketched a monster that matched every other sketch he’d seen. Then, in the September of 1920 Ralph had a very close encounter with possibly the same form. He was swordfishing with a Mr. Smith Warren. They’d been positioned at Mosquito Harbor and were passing White Rock when something caught Mr. Bandini’s eye. Just three-hundred yards away he saw what he described as, ‘a great barrel-shaped Thing, tapering toward the top and surmounted by a reptilian head strangely resembling those of the huge, prehistoric creatures whose reproductions stand in various museums. It lifted what must have been a good twenty-feet. Widely spaced in the head were two eyes—eyes such as were never conceived of even in the wildest nightmare.’ These eyes were around a foot in diameter, like dinner plates, belonging to some great, hulking monster seemingly spewed from one of H. P. Lovecraft’s fictional terror tales. But this was real. The men headed for the creature and got to within one-hundred feet. It appeared as thought it was covered in short, dark bristles, and it had a reddish hue. All that protruded from the water was a huge neck and head. Goodness knows what length and mass lurked beneath the waves it frothed around it. And then it was gone… slipping back into the murky domain. Only a few witnesses to the San Clemente sea monster remain today. Many have surely never spoken of the great beast, and others died with their secrets. However, what we do know is that out there, somewhere, there still may be one, two, or more sea serpents eluding science, and stirring the waves of legend.” [Weird Los Angeles: The San Clemente Sea Monster]


November 27, 1934 [Fresno Bee The Republican]: “U.S. Cutters find three hurt in island crash. San Pedro, Nov. 27. — Three Los Angeles hunters, reported missing after a flight to San Clemente Island to hunt goats, were found slightly injured on the island by Coast Guard patrol bot No. 260. The patrol boat reported to headquarters here that the airplane had made a forced landing in Mosquito Cove. Vernon Morse, one of the hunters, received a broken arm, the patrol boat radioed, and Wilton Probert, the pilot, and Sparks A. Bennett received minor bruises.”


August 3, 1935 [LAT]: “False lead marks lost plane hunt. Wreck that of another craft… Charles Swedeborg, a fisherman at Mosquito Harbor, on San Clemente Island, also had advised the Coast Guard the wreck is an old one…”


October 30, 1935 [LAT]: “Missing pair back from sea. After having been the objective of a hunt by Coast Guard and Navy craft for more than a week, George A. Lannon, 40 years of age, and Ralph W. Noble, 34, Venice fishermen, were safely back at their home… Rough weather had caused engine bolts to pull through the hull of their twenty-nine foot Monterey special launch, they said, and they had been forced to run for shelter in Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, where they waited for better weather, sharing their food supplies with five other storm refugees.”


February 21, 1936 [LAT]: “Thirty-nine foot San Pedro fish boat Sanyo sank in three fathoms in Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, yesterday, according to word from John Swedeborg, island resident, to the U.S. S. Chicago. The latter relayed word to the Coast Guard, which dispatched the Aurora to the scene. The Sanyo’s personnel is safe ashore.”


May 16, 1937 [LAT]: “…Something of an epoch in swordfishing for either sex was started in 1911 when Mrs. J. Pharazon, an English-born Australian, while fishing for yellowtail near Mosquito Harbor, San Clemente Island, hooked and landed the first marlin ever taken on light tackle…”


December 7, 1939 [TI/Avalon]: “Word comes from San Clemente Island that work is progressing well with the Museum scientists who are engaged in their biological survey. The entomological and botanical units have returned after successful work in the region of Mosquito Harbor. They report considerable dryness in the region and many of the insects were in summer hibernation; but, in spite of this fact, a sizable collection of new species was made. The most satisfactory collecting is being done by Jack Von Bloeker, who is taking small mammals. Arthur Woodward reports that anthropological work is progressing satisfactorily in Big Dog Cavern, although it is too early yet to make any report on is findings. The entire party will return to the mainland on December 9.”