There are plenty of sites claiming that part of Himalayan mountain Kangtega is a secret base:

First, this could be an open area only visible with high end digital equipment. Meaning this could be a entrance way for UFOs to enter and exit, but a holographic wall is created to cover up so no one will notice it. Its actually on the wall of a cliff, so that not the direction any climber would take.

Second, Google may have deliberately covered up this area so that we cannot see a top secret US govt military facility. You say Area 51 is secret...no, thats old school. There are newer and more secret bases located around the globe.

Secret Base Found In Nepal Himalaya Mountains, But Is It Govt Or Alien? Jan 2016, Video, UFO Sighting News.


Why is part of Himalayan mountain Kangtega blacked out on Google maps? Is it a secret UFO base?

I strongly doubt it is a UFO landing area, as has been claimed.


2 Answers 2


I am asked to interpret satellite and air photos on a regular basis for my job and sometimes for the press. People spot things in them all the time and almost always misinterpret them. A funny one recently was the Nazi South Pole interpretation of a location in Antarctica. Actually the shape is quite similar.

Imagery from planes or satellites is often off-nadir. That is the object on the ground is not directly under the device capturing the image. Famously after 9/11 I heard a newscaster (Jennings if I remember) stated it was fortunate the satellites were overhead to capture images of lower Manhattan. Then when they showed the images it was clear they they were in now way overhead and were completely off-nadir, indeed they came in almost sideways!

This is what you have here. The camera was not able to capture this portion of the terrain as well as other nearby terrain so it is difficult to ascertain the object. It is not a base but merely a what appears as normal very steep terrain. Check it in Landsat archive and it is fine, ditto for other satellite systems. The more sheer the face is the more likely this is to happen as a non-overhead system will have issues. Usually Google corrects this by mosaicing numerous images from different flights, but not here. It may be so steep it would be very difficult to capture even when perfectly at nadir.

Now one more thing. Google drapes its imagery over a DEM to get the 3D effect. You often have "holes" in DEM data in steep locations as SRTM (the most used draping DEM) and other remotely sensed elevation products struggle to capture elevation, and hence slopes, at angles close to 90 degrees. It is possible from the lower image to ascertain that this is so steep that no DEM slope can be obtained to drape the google image. Indeed just look around the google image is terribly distorted in this region. The paper Comparison of new and existing global digital elevation models tells you than SRTM (the most likely DEM here) has problems in regions greater than 25 degrees! This is close to 90. and that, "in high mountainous areas with steep slopes, SRTM-3 typically has many missing data (Figure 2)." Without a good DEM you cannot stretch the image to get that nice 3D effect.

Below is it in Bing Maps. Again more of a shadow than anything, but no different than the other shadows in the region.

Bing Feature

I have a really good close-up of the shadow in this image (thanks FlickR coordinate search).

The hole in FLickR

I can tell you this is a very steep location.

The Google image uses an off-nadir image that is missing this location or at best does not capture it well.

Other systems capture it slightly better (Bing, Landsat, FlickR background below).

Just a normal steep location in shadow with a camera angle making it difficult to view the terrain and the google image has given up trying to even do this and hence the black oddly shaped object.

So that is it basically. You have a great close-up in the lower image. Shadow, steepness, sun angle, and camera angle. Get a different angle and get the object nice and clear. No alien bases.

Please note in the original question the poster has rotated the google image 180 degrees (see the red part of the north arrow) so north is down! On my maps north is up so you need to rotate everything 180 degrees in your head for it to match.

  • 1
    What you say seems reasonable. But why don't they intentionally use "off-nadir" photos (from the right angle) to show steep surfaces. (And correct for perspective.) Is the problem here more the dark shadow on a north slope than just the slope angle only? I don't think they have this problem with buildings? I can understand rumors start since most slopes can be imaged, though.
    – cvr
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 2:25
  • @ycc_swe It is the combination. Camera location, combined with steepness, combined with sun angle, combined with a sole source image. yes the shadow is a big factor here. okay I added another image to show you this from a better angle, does this help? You do have it with buildings by the way, just they have more images in urban areas to get "all sides" but not so many for rural high elevation Nepal. By the way, this is close to 90 degrees, very steep and in shadow. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 2:36
  • This answer is in need of specific evidence. It is original research and likely to be removed because of it unless fixed.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 8:05
  • Can you link to the Flickr and Bing source of the images?
    – Christian
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 14:05
  • @Christian sure added them both. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 20:35

Kangtega has been explored enough to rule this out:


  Ascents and references from 1900 to 2000

  Year   Route                       Journal  Year    Volume  Issue Page
  1963   E Face from Hinkhu Glacier  AAJ      1964    14      38    31
  1963   E Face from Hinkhu Glacier  AJ       1964    69      308   23
  1963   E Face from Hinkhu Glacier  NZAJ     1963    20      50    24-35
  1979   N Face                      AAJ      1980    22      54    613-614
  1979   N Face                      DieAlp   1980                  53-54
  1984   SW Ridge                    AAJ      1985    27      59    274
  1984   SW Ridge                    DieAlp   1985                  100
  1985   from South                  AAJ      1986    28      60    223
  1986   NE Buttress                 AAJ      1987    29      61    41
  1986   Right side of NW ridge      AAJ      1987    29      61    227-230
  1986   NE Buttress                 CACJ     1987    70            62-63
  1986   Right side of NW ridge      CCJ      1986/87 20      107   75-81
  1986   Right side of NW ridge      CR       1986    25      10    10,30-3
  1993   S E.Flank                   AAJ      1994    36      68    215-217
  1993   S E.Flank                   High     1994            138   6-15
  1998   NE Face - new route         AAJ      1999    41      73    374-376
  1998   NE Face - new route         High     1999            198   34-41

enter image description here

If there's anything big up there, we would have seen it.

Note: I'm not a mountaineer and cannot quickly identify slopes an directions; others may want to add that information.

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