To see the results of our 2nd Forensic Genealogy Survey, click here!
Answer to Quiz #61 - May 21, 2006
Another astronomy quiz....sort of.....
33 deg 33.917' N, 117 deg 40.435' W
In what annual event are these people participating?
Answer:  The 26th Annual Mooning of Amtrak, 2005
Laguna Niguel, CA
Second Saturday in July
Don't miss this year's event!

The 27th Annual Mooning of Amtrak
All Day Saturday, July 8, 2006
Laguna Niguel, (Orange County) California

LOCATION: Along the chain link fence adjacent the train tracks,
across the road from:

Mugs Away Saloon, (949) 582-9716
27324 Camino Capistrano, #102
Laguna Niguel, (Orange County) California 92677
Estimated Amtrak Train Passing Times, PDT, July-2005
July-2006 train schedule to be updated in June-2006.  
Day Mooning
7:35 am North
2:18 pm North
8:34 am North
3:14 pm South
8:41 am South
4:17 pm South
9:47 am South
4:27 pm North
10:53 am North
5:25 pm North
11:01 am South
5:30 pm South
11:59 am North
6:26 pm South
12:26 pm South
6:43 pm North
1:27 pm North
7:43 pm North
1:39 pm South
7:52 pm South
Night Mooning
9:49 pm South
11:24 pm South
10:43 pm North

How It Got Started

Twenty years ago (1979), at The Mugs Away Saloon, a K.T.Smith told his buddies
he'd buy a drink for all who would run outside to the rail road tracks and "moon" the
next train, which many did. The mooning tradition has prevailed, but there is no longer
a volunteer to buy free drinks for thousands of "Mooners".

Amtrak Passengers

The Amtrak trains will be filled to capacity with passengers to see the "moon show"
between the stations of "Irvine" to the North and "San Juan Capistrano" to the South.
The mooning is on the EAST side of the tracks, and most trains will slow down at this
point. For a photo of the view from the train passenger's perspective, see or If you
wish to see the show from the train during time of peak demand at mid-day, board at a
more distant station to better secure an available seat for you. Amtrak's web site is: Sorry, on the train you'll only be able to photograph or video
through the glass windows as only the train crew will have access to the vestibules of
the train which have windows that open. The "Mission Viejo - Laguna Niguel"
Metrolink train station is one mile South, however, only Metrolink trains stop there
Monday to Friday, NOT Amtrak.

Night Mooning

After 8pm, Night Mooning starts. Bring a flash light with plenty of batteries, or better
yet, bring a Coleman propane or gasoline fuel camping lantern. Bring a wire coat hanger
to make a hook to hang your lantern from the chain link fence. An electric
engine-generator with lights would be outrageous, if anyone has this to bring. The area
is dark at night as there aren't any street lights along the road here. Night Mooning is
better because: it is less crowded, cooler temperature, and more authentic.

Selected Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1. Must I "moon", or can I just watch?
No, You can watch.

2. Does It get hot here in July?
Yes, mid-day it is usually about 95°F (35°C) and humid.

3. I'm overweight, in fact very obese, is it O.K. if I moon?
Yes yes, please "moon" with us. We need people like you for the extra high
intensity mooning you can provide.

4. Can I decorate my butt?
Yes, that's O.K.


Attending this event may be hazardous due to the large concentration of silly people,
cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, concrete vehicle wheel-stops, potholes in the
parking-lots and dangerous pets. Everyone present is responsible for their own actions.
If you trip on something, or hurt yourself, you alone are responsible. There is no one to
sue. No one either promotes this nor charges admission. If you do come, act safely! If
you're accident prone, go somewhere else where you'll be safer. Neither Mugs Away
Saloon, The City of Laguna Niguel nor Amtrak are responsible for this event, nor for
assuring your safety. The City & the railroad would rather you didn't bother coming to
this event. No one is carrying public liability insurance for this. Besides, would any
insurance underwriter insure an event called, "Mooning Amtrak"?
This has to rank among the wackiest event
to ever have originated in a bar. Moon
Amtrak draws hundreds people to a chain
link fence between the Mugs Away Saloon
and the railroad tracks on the second
Saturday in July. Otherwise respectable
people then do something they normally
wouldn't dream of doing - they drop their
drawers and "moon" the two-dozen
passenger trains that pass by that day. When
it gets dark they moon by flashlight and by
lanterns hung on the fence, hundreds of bare buns glowing in the flickering light. The
mooning, which has been going on since a bar challenge started it all 25 years ago,
draws crowds to both sides of the fence. The trains are booked solid months in
advance for moon day. No one actually sponsors or organizes this event; it just has a
life of its own.

See also

For a video of the event (Nudity alert), see (wmv format) (Quicktime format)
Our readers who live in Maryland, please note:

A court in Maryland recently determined that mooning is a form of expression protected
by the constitutional right of freedom of speech. However, the decision has not yet been
confirmed by a higher court, so it may not have set a legal precedent.
Notable Incidents of Mooning

- During the Battle of Crécy in 1346 when King Edward III of England took Caen, on
the way to Crécy, several hundred Normandy soldiers exposed their backsides to the
English archers and many of them paid a high price for doing so.

- On one of Giovanni da Verrazzano's trips to North America in the 1520s, he and his
crew were mooned by a group of Abenaki Indians, who had already been soured by
previous contact with Europeans. Although willing to trade their goods for steel and
cloth, they denied Verrazanno permission to land, insisting on doing business on the
open water, transferring the goods with ropes. Once the last items had been sent over,
the Abenaki "began showing their buttocks and laughing."
This is the first recorded
incident of American mooning.

- A legend of Nice (now in France, then part of Savoy) holds that the 1534 siege of the
city by French and Turkish forces was repelled by a washerwoman named Catherine
Ségurane, who led the townspeople to victory and
drove away the Turks by mooning

- During a visit by
Queen Elizabeth II to New Zealand, Tame Iti, a Māori, mooned the
queen. His defense in court was that it was a traditional Māori form of protest and he
could therefore not be charged with indecent exposure.

- In June 2000, a mass mooning event was organised outside of Buckingham Palace in
England by the Movement Against the Monarchy (M'AM). The idea was for anti-
monarchists to show their dislike of the British monarchy by performing a mass
mooning at their home. However, a large police presence prevented a large scale
mooning, but even so, a few individuals mooned (although there were many more who
turned up to the event but were put off mooning by the large police presence). Some of
them were arrested, but others managed to pose for various newspapers etc. This event
is known as the
Moon Against the Monarchy event.
Some of the cheeky comments we received from our readers were shear lunacy.

Mary Fraser - ROFL. First thing I did was to google on the train ##, and found that it
ran in California.  One of the web pictures mentioned San Juan Capistrano, so at first I
thought it might be the return of the swallows, but I couldn’t see how that fit in with
the trains.

John Chulick - This is just weird.

Elaine C. Hebert - That is just a RIOT!!!

Loren Godburn - That would be something I didn’t know anything about!  Thanks for
expanding my horizons, Colleen!

Bill Burrows - Hi Colleen.  It is the annual Mooning of the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak
train near the San Juan Capistrano Depot.  I don't think this event could be held in
Iowa!  I found the info at,  I also indulged my curiosity
and looked a some of the pictures taken from the train.

A voyeur, are you? I agree it could not possibly happen in Iowa.  For one thing
it's too cold and you might get frost on the pumpkin.

Pinky Palladino - I will NOT be there!

Well if you aren't going, neither am I.

Alice Hix - Will you be there?

No, not if Pinky isn't going.

Susan Fortune - I pray that my descendants find a photo like this of me, and say,
"Wow--she was quite a gal!

Well, Susan, they won't find one if you don't go.

Rick Mackinney - I don't think I'll bless the class with this one..."Mr. Rick, if it's not
the thing in the sky, then what is it...Show us, show us"...Nope a pass on this one!!

Marty Guidry - The annual mooning sounds neat.  Might even rival our crawfish
eating contest.  It seems that this event has a lot of "exposure".  I imagine the Amtrak
passengers are quite surprised at all the "exposure".

Jim Berry - In my former life I was part of the volunteer crew for the Elizabeth II, a
sixty-nine foot, square rigged sailing ship berthed in Manteo, NC.  She is a replica of
the Elizabeth, the ship that brought the 'Lost Colony' to NC in 1585.  On her maiden
voyage in 1985 we were anchored somewhere in Pamlico Sound one night when the
cook decided that she was going to take a late night skinnydip.  She slipped into the
water quietly and easily enough but when it came time to get back on the ship, she
couldn't climb up over the rail!  She finally had to call to the watch who, to her dismay,
awoke the rest of the crew with cries of, "Moon over the yardarm"!

Jim Kiser - The quiz was way too easy. During my college days, our fraternity guys
were known to press a lot of ham.  In fact, I had to stop the cops north of Hattiesburg
from putting a couple of our guys in the clink.  I was behind them on the road about 10
min and came upon them pulled over. Two guys were pressing ham on each side of the
car in the back seat while going thru a small town. What memories!

Jim, I'm worried about you.

Elaine C. Hebert - And I thought Mardi Gras got a little crazy ... although the mooning
seems harmless enough!!  Sorry I'll miss this year's event, but I'll keep it in mind for
the future!

Judy Pfaff - What a Hoot!! Only in California!!

Elizabeth Mackie - The annual event is called "Moon Amtrak".  This is my first ever
entry and I am excited that I found the answer. If only I had remembered that in the
USA it is called mooning it may have been a quicker search!  This little Aussie gal calls
it flashing.

Carol Phillips - Haha....can you imagine the unsuspecting passengers from another
state??!!  I can relate only in the last cruise we took from Tampa Florida, when a small
boat load of fishermen mooned the cruise ship and our 13 year old daughter was quite
appalled!! (I laughed and turned away, of course.)

Maureen O'Connor - This was a riot to research.  You have to love a country (or a
state) that can come up with this and get participants.

Kelly Fetherlin - Why am I not surprised that you hadn’t heard of the Moon-a-thon?  
I took a good look at all the participants, and decided that you weren’t among any of
them!  It’s probably a generational thing, and you’re definitely been missing a lot of fun
there!  You should go down there for the 26th Annual Mooning, and see what really
happens.  After all, it is an astrological event, of sorts, and shouldn’t you be covering
those?  I wonder if there might be any ‘stars’ there?  And, you might witness a lunar
eclipse if you were standing on the other side of the train tracks when the train passed
the many moons of California!  I’m sure this could be parlayed into an astrological
event! I’m sure you remember ‘streakers’, right?

Did you take a good look at the front or the back of the participants when you
decided I was not there?  :-)

Well, there really wasn’t too much to see of the backs of the participants, and you
should worry if I could identify anybody from that view!  LOL!  Did I miss you in that
picture?  Oh, yes, you were the one taking the picture, right?  LOL!

Sherry Marshall - Kelly [Fetherlin, my cousin] was working on the quiz when I
telephoned her yesterday morning. I could hear the computer keyboard and asked what
she was doing - Forensic Genealogy Quiz. Kel was working on the GPS coordinates.

I took one look and said, "They are mooning Amtrak 453."  She is an excellent
'googlier' and got the link within one minute. That site is a
riot. I am not certain what that says about me. Apparently 'mooning' wasn't a subject at
Kelly's college.

You must have gotten an "A" in astronomy.
For songs about the moon, see:
Congratulations to our winners!

Mary Fraser                Deedee King
Fred Stuart              M. Diane Rogers
Pat Snyder                Jim Kiser
Margaret Waterman                Carol Haueter
Mark D. Brzys, aka Rudolph Jenko
Pinky Palladino                Marty Guidry
Jim Berry              Alice Hix
Stan Read                Patti Kaliher
Delores Martin                Jon Fox
Carol Epp                Rick Mackinney
Randy Seaver                Edee Scott
Carol Phillips                Judy Pfaff
Neil Ferguson               Elizabeth Mackie
Kelly Fetherlin                Sherry Marshall
William Hughes                Maureen O'Connor
Anonymous (You know who you are.)
Vicki Hilb                Jim Davis
Bill Burrows
If your name has been omitted from our list of winners, please let me know. It was unintentional.
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Quiz #61 Results