An adventure by Walt F.J. Goodridge

On April 7, 2014, I helped arrange a trip to Pagan for a scientific research group. I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along and ended up spending a few days on the Northern Mariana island of Pagan. Here are photos and videos from my once-in-a-lifetime adventure!—Walt F.J. Goodridge

Where is Pagan?


Pagan is a volcanic island in the Mariana Islands archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, belonging to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The island was formerly inhabited*, but the inhabitants were evacuated due to volcanic eruptions in 1981. Pagan is located about 320 kilometers (200 mi) north of Saipan, the main island of the Northern Mariana Islands. With an area of 47.23 km2 (18.24 sq mi), it is the fourth largest island of the Northern Marianas. The island is a double island consisting of two stratovolcanoes joined by a narrow strip of land with a width of only 600 meters (660 yd). The southern volcano 18.075°N 145.725°E, is 548 m (1,798 ft) high with a caldera approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) in diameter, consisting of four craters joined together.

*While there has been no official re-settlement of the island, there have been “pioneers” over the years who have embarked on individual and group-sponsored return to the island.


My adventure to Pagan!

Here are some random video clips of the trip to and several days I spent on the Northern Mariana island of Pagan in 2014! This first video—published in June 2020—has previously unreleased clips.


This next video “Meet the Pioneers on Pagan” is the most-viewed on the DiscoverSaipan Youtube channel with over 25,000 views as of June 2020


Help Save Pagan from Military Use!

If you care about preserving pristine planet earth, read this:

"[Pagan] is culturally important, anthropologically important, and biologically important," says Dr. Michael Hadfield, a zoology professor at the University of Hawaii. "[And] when the military takes an island for live-fire training, they destroy it."

A local human rights lawyer, Julian Aguon, underscores this point: "I situate what is going on now as… the latest incarnation of a much longer geopolitical process, and that’s been the militarization, the nuclearization, and colonization of this whole side of the ocean, this whole western Pacific.""This is our home," adds Camacho. "We really look at it not just as fighting for dolphins and whales, but we are trying to protect resources that have belonged to our people for thousands of years, before the US military."

Learn More and Help

Read about military's plans

Sign the CHANGE.ORG petition: Say no to US war games on Pagan!

Learn about Chamorro Culture