Accidental Swastika at Coronado Navy Base – Coronado, California - Atlas Obscura

Accidental Swastika at Coronado Navy Base

Coronado, California

They insist it wasn't intentional. 


In 1967, before modern satellite imagery, the U.S. Navy constructed four three-story barracks at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado just outside of San Diego. Little did they know that four decades later, it would be clearly evident via Google Maps that when viewed from above, these four buildings form a shape that looks just like a swastika.

To conspiracy theorists, this discovery raised a lot of questions. Is the U.S. Navy actually a Nazi entity? The far more likely explanation, of course, is that in the age before Google Earth, how a building would be viewed from outer space wasn’t a top concern. But intentions aside, the shape of these four buildings have come back to haunt the U.S. Navy and are now regarded as the largest (if not the only) swastika to ever be propped up by U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The public response to the discovery of the swastika shape was so bad that the Navy proposed a $40 million renovation to give the barracks a square shape with a cross in the middle. This cost, however, was determined to be too high for the government to agree on, and the swastika shape is yet to be changed. Consequently, of course, this has reaffirmed the suspicions of many conspiracy theorists, making the Navy’s PR nightmare even worse.