Part of the extensive East Bay Wall network

Unravelling the Mystery Behind the East Bay Walls: Who Really Made Them and Why?

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One of the many old stone walls that appear around the San Francisco Bay area. This one in the foothills of eastern Santa Clara County.

One of the many old stone walls that appear around the San Francisco Bay area. This one in the foothills of eastern Santa Clara County. ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The Physical Evidence

Are the other theories possible? Could it have been the Chinese? The one problem with it being the Chinese is that if they had come and settled the land at all, they would have left more than just culturally ambiguous walls. We would find Chinese tools, Chinese domesticated plant and animal species, and likely the remains of archaeologically Chinese houses and villages. We do not find any of these features or artifacts, only the walls which do not tell us much. It is certainly possible that a Chinese ship may have been shipwrecked off the coast or decided to stay and over the centuries have built a settlement but we do not have any indisputable evidence of a Chinese presence in California before Europeans established a presence there and to count the walls as such would essentially be an ad hoc argument since it is the walls that need to be explained in light of the theory.

The problem is the same for Lemuria and Mu. If these walls were built by settlers from those continents, we should find more artifacts, features and perhaps introduced wild-life or domestic species that are not associated with either European settlers or Native Americans. There are a few odd finds, but not enough to warrant an entire culture.

Map from undated newspaper clipping of one supposed position of the lost continent of Mu

Map from undated newspaper clipping of one supposed position of the lost continent of Mu ( Public Domain )

Another more serious problem is that we have no geological evidence that there ever was a continent identifiable with either Mu or Lemuria. The geographic rationale for the existence of Lemuria has also been eliminated since geologists now have gathered considerable evidence for the tectonic explanation that India and Madagascar used to be one landmass and then drifted apart as the plates moved. Furthermore, according to plate tectonics, continents do not simply sink into the ocean over a short enough time span except due to sea level rise and there are no undersea plateaus or shallow depth areas that could be identified as a sunken continent, at least not in the areas suggested for the drowned continents. We would have to assume that plate tectonics was wrong in order for this explanation to be correct. Plate tectonics could be wrong of course, but the amount of evidence in its favor makes it unlikely, which causes Occam’s razor to count against the idea of sunken continents like Lemuria or Mu being the home region of the builders of the East Bay walls.

For the time being, the balance of evidence supports the more mundane explanation that it was made by ranchers during the middle to late 19th century to clear fields for their cattle. We at least have evidence that there were ranchers in the area at that time and known associated cultural practices of the ranchers that would have produced such walls. Currently, we do not have any evidence for the presence of Chinese settlers or refugees from Mu or Lemuria let alone the existence of Mu or Lemuria themselves.

Feature Image: Part of the extensive East Bay Wall network (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

By Caleb Strom


“The East Bay Walls Continue to Confound” by Linda Hervieux  (2016). Newser. Available at:

“Berkeley Mystery Walls’ origins not so off the wall” by Bay Area News Group (2015). The Mercury News. Available at:

“East Bay Walls, Enigmatic Feature or Part of the Remnants of a Lost Civilization in Northern California” (2014). Paranoia Magazine. Available at:

“East Bay’s mysterious rock walls: Paranormal? American Stonehenge? Theories abound” by Lisa Krieger (2016). The Mercury News. Available at:

Nield, Ted.  Supercontinent: Ten billion years in the life of our planet . Harvard University Press, 2007.

Powell, Arthur E.  The solar system . Health Research Books, 1963.

Churchward, James, and David Hatcher Childress.  The lost continent of Mu . Adventures Unlimited Press, 2007.


I used to wonder about those walls when I saw them as a kid. My father told me that ranchers had probably built them to separate property, Kind of like all the rock walls in Ireland. It's good to know that there are fanciful stories about the walls as well as logical ones. If ever I hear anyone telling Mu stories about them, I'll have an idea where the story came from.

--Still learning--

Anyone from New England could tell you made those. Here in New Hampshire, as in the six other New England states, there are miles of similar stone walls throughout the landscape and woods. Made by whom? Colonists, settlers and farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries clearing the land for agriculture and livestock. It's that simple; no need to invoke Chinese adventurers or refugees from the Lost Continent of Mu.

Yep, they've been built here in NE for centuries. Nothing odd.

Can anyone imagine why Natives of the Chinese (there is plenty of evidence of them)(i.e. "native" rose is Chinese) would build the wall, what function? As above the function was removal of rocks from pasture or tillable fields. American farmers everywhere did that.

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