Alternative History
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Clipperton Island
Île de Clipperton or Île de la Passion (French)
(Part of French Polynesia, a territory of the RTFA)
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday
OTL equivalent: Clipperton Island
Location of Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean.
Official languages French
Ethnic groups  French, Polynesian

Clipperton Island (French: Île de Clipperton or Île de la Passion) is a minor 9 sq km (3.5 sq mi) coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean, south-west of Mexico, west of Costa Rica and 2420 km north-west of Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, at 10°18′N 109°13′W. It is an overseas possession of France, a part of the French territory of French Polynesia, and a part of the Republic of the French Southern Territories.

The island is largely barren and of low elevation, covered lightly in scattered grasses and a few groves of coconut palms. Clipperton Rock, a small volcanic outcrop rising to 29 m (95 ft) resides on its south-east side. Before Doomsday the atoll has been occupied at various times by miners, settlers and military personnel, mostly from Mexico, which claimed it until international arbitration awarded it to France in 1931. After 1945 it ceased to have any permanent residents, occasionaly being visited by fishermen, French Navy patrols, scientific researchers, film crews, and shipwreck survivors. It was also a popular site for transmissions by ham radio operators.


Pre Doomsday

See: Pre Doomsday History of Clipperton Island

In 1711 the island was named Île de la Passion (English: Passion Island) by French discoverers Martin de Chassiron and Michel Du Bocage, commanding the French ships La Princesse and La Découverte. The island was annexed to France and the first maps were created of the island and nearby ocean. In 1725 a scientific expedition under Frenchman M. Bocage arrived on the island, who took up residence for several months.

The island began to be known as Clipperton Island after John Clipperton, an English pirate and privateer who is said to have passed the island while fighting the Spanish during the early 1700's. It is believed that the island may have even been used as a base for his raids on shipping, although this is unproven.

The island was also claimed by the United States, whose American Guano Mining Company claimed it under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Mexico would claim it due to activities undertaken there as early as 1848–1849. In response to this, Emperor Napoleon III annexed the island as part of French colony of Tahiti on 17 November 1858. On November 24, 1897, French naval authorities found three Americans working for the American Guano Company, who had raised the American flag. U.S. authorities denounced their act, assuring the French that they did not intend to assert American sovereignty.

Mexico re-asserted its claim and on 13 December 1897 sent the gunboat La Democrata to occupy and annex it. The Mexicans established a colony on the island, and a series of military governors were posted, the last one being Ramón Arnaud (1906–1916). France insisted on its ownership, and a lengthy diplomatic correspondence between the two nations led to the conclusion of a treaty on March 2, 1909, to seek the arbitration of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, with each nation promising to abide by his determination. His decision would not be rendered until 1931, in which the island was granted to France. Following the decision the French rebuilt the island's lighthouse and settled a military outpost, which remained for seven years before being abandoned.


On doomsday the island and the surrounding Pacific went completely unscathed, like much of the French Pacific. Clipperton Island remained a part of French Polynesia in the next few months, and would be passed by naval patrols operating in the area. Over the next few years ships from the other French Polynesian Islands brought people to the island, often stating for short periods of time for various reasons. Despite the occasional visitor, the island has gone almost completely untouched by mankind since Doomsday.

In 1999 the assembly of French Polynesia and delegates from New Caledonia would meet to discuss a union of French territories. The République des Terres Française Australes, or Republic of the French Southern Territories, was founded as a collection of former French-administered territories outside of the European continent. The territories of the republic remained mostly autonomous, with regional capitals in Papeete, Tahiti; Nouméa, New Caledonia; Saint-Denis, Réunion, and Fort-de-France, Martinique, however the territories grew to become more united, sharing a common currency, military, which operated mostly as a coast guard to protect trading interests around the islands, and an assembly which represented all territories of the republic.

See also