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Bizarre History of Clipperton Island

June 18, 2015 from 7:00pm

The Bizarre History and Fascinating Marine Life of Clipperton Island: The Most Interesting Place You
Never Heard Of

Lecture by Steven Trainoff

Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California
When: Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 7 pm
Members only Reception at 6:15 pm
Cost: Free (members), $10 (non-members).

To Register: Go to or call (805) 962-8404 x115

Lecture Series Sponsored by Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, Silvio Di Loreto, D’Angelo’s Bakery and Jordano’s

Clipperton Island is a barren atoll 850 miles south of Baja California.  It is a French possession although during its tumultuous history its ownership was the source of conflict among the Americans, British, Mexican, and French. It has a fascinating history that is a microcosm of human maritime history.  It is filled with bizarre events including: pirates, buried treasure, hurricanes, shipwrecks, betrayal, forgotten colonists, mental illness, commercial exploitation, and a top secret WWII military base. 

Trainoff will tell this island’s amazing history and show the beautiful marine life photographed during a recent expedition there.  It also is a cautionary tale about overfishing and ecosystems that are over-run by invasive species.  It is so far off the beaten track, very few people have ever heard of it, let alone been there. 

Steven Trainoff Ph.D. earned a BS in physics from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in physics from UCSB. He is the Chief Scientist for Wyatt Technology Corporation and designs optical instruments for pharmaceutical and material science research. In his free time he has been traveling the globe photographing the strange and beautiful creatures that inhabit our underworld.


Event Details

  • Organizer/Sponsor: SBMM
  • Starts: June 18, 2015 7:00pm
  • Location: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
  • Website: