The Land of Mu – Lost City of the Lemurians
On the western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, not too far from the tiny beach houses of Malibu, lies what one researcher believes may be the most spectacular hidden archeological site in North America.
Robert Stanley, a journalist and publisher of UNICUS magazine, had traveled around the world in search of ancient mysteries and lost ruins. But he never suspected that he’d find the remnants of a lost world (almost) literally in his own back yard, on the slopes of these chaparral-covered mountains that bisect the Los Angeles basin.
In 1985, Stanley was hiking through the Santa Monicas, when he began to notice odd and unnatural-looking formations in their western reaches, around the Los Angeles/Ventura county line. He noted gulches that looked like sculpted ramparts, stone walls on rocky hills never occupied by houses or livestock, and floor-like flat surfaces at the tops of windswept peaks. There was also a huge rock outcropping that resembled the outline of a human face staring out to the Pacific, which Stanley dubbed “The Sphinx.”
Researching the history and lore of the area, Stanley found a local Chumash Indian legend of a “First People” who had lived in the mountains long before the Chumash arrived in around 3,000 B.C. The Chumash said that these mystery people were long gone, but certain of their artifacts––crystalline sculptures of strange animals and the like – could be found in certain mountain caves. As with the Anasazi ruins of the Southwest, the “First People’s” remnants were avoided by the local Indians.
What was most intriguing about the Chumash legend, to Stanley, was the story of the “First People’s” demise. The Chumash claimed that the civilization had been called “Mu,” and had been wiped out in a catastrophic flood. This exactly paralleled the legend of Lemuria, the Lost Continent of the Pacific.
Geologists and oceanographers believe that at the end of the last Ice Age, the Malibu sea level was at least 200 feet lower than today. This would have made the Channel Islands a far-western extension of the Santa Monicas, and allowed for a large lowland region––the Mu of the legend––to exist in what’s now the California coastal shelf of the Pacific Ocean. That prehistoric peoples lived in this area is beyond dispute: one of North America’s oldest human remains––the 13,000 year-old “Channel Islands Woman”––was found on Santa Rosa Island, 25 miles west of Malibu.
Stanley thinks that Mu’s lowlands were wiped out by the rising post-Ice Age sea levels. The higher regions of the civilization, whose traces he says still exist in the Santa Monicas, may have been destroyed by a tsunami––a fast-moving, powerful tidal wave created by an earthquake or a collapse of the submarine ocean floor shelf. Such a wave would have devastated coastal hillside settlements, and left countless tons of silt and debris in its wake.
Mu may be the Californian equivalent of underwater archeological sites like Japan’s Yonaguni, Egypt’s Alexandria, or Wisconsin’s Rock Lake. Stanley believes that the Malibu site most closely resembles Peru’s Marca Huasi, a strange, ancient place high in the Andes that boasts a giant stone “Face of Humanity” that resembles Mu’s “Sphinx.”
Although he has become an expert on the Mu site, and has involved both professionals and laypeople in explorations of the area, Robert Stanley has not revealed the exact locations of the area’s most peculiar features, fearing their destruction by vandals or curiosity-hunters.