Fata Morgana Sighting in Northern California
Richard Toronto

Over a dinner of Thai food, we interviewed Michael Sanders, an eyewitness to the phenomenon known on the Northern California coast as the "Emerald City," and in other parts of the world as the Fata Morgana. The following interview took place back in 1992. Sightings of mysterious, airborne cities have been described by Charles Fort. The phenomenon occurs in select places in the world, one of which happens to be near Bodega Bay, California.

Shavertron: Can you describe the weather at the time of your sighting?

Michael: It was a brisk fall day. It had been raining that week, but not on the day in question. That day was extremely clear, very few clouds, and bright. A fairly good wind was blowing as well.

S: The time?

M: It was in the late afternoon/early evening. My friend and I were cruising up Highway 1 in the MG, going toward Jenner. We noticed on the way up that there seemed to be a lot of people standing around, as though they were looking at something. We paid little attention to that, and it wasn't until we came back down the coast highway and reached Bodega Bay that we became aware that there was a strange phenomenon that these people were observing. So we stopped, and chatted with those around us, who began to point out things to us.

S: What did you see?

M: It looked like a Flash Gordon city ... a Wizard of Oz type of place. You could see spires and turrets. It was of a pinkish cast. I'm not sure whether this was caused by the sun setting or what. It was not made up of clouds, you could see it out on the horizon line, far out into the ocean. My eyes aren't that great, but people were looking with binoculars, and probably saw more than I.

S: What kind of shape was it, that is, did it look like a square window, or an oval shape?

M: Well, it's hard to describe. The edges seemed kind of misty, and toward the center the spires went highest, like a medieval city should look. It was a vignette of an old city of strange proportions. It was illuminated, but I can't be sure whether it came from within or was reflected light. From that distance it was hard to tell.

S: So there were many other witnesses to this?

M: Yes. We were later under the impression, reading about this in the paper, that it went on for a period of time. Like a few days. At the time we were there, quite a few people had observed it. Some seemed very familiar with it and were pointing out different aspects of it, which I failed to see; as I said my eyes aren't all that great, but there may have been more to it than the actual "city" itself.