A former United States Geological Survey scientist says a major quake on the West Coast is imminent.
Jim Berkland predicts earthquakes…accurately.
Never heard of him? Perhaps you should—especially if you live on or near the West Coast of the United States, or know someone that does.
Anyone with an average 80 percent success rate predicting earthquakes should command attention, and lately Berkland has been in the limelight of the national media.
"The people that say you cannot predict earthquakes, they don't know what they are talking about," Berkland told the Santa Cruz Sentinel during a 2009 interview.
Appearing on late night radio shows for many years, since the great quake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan the retired geologist has been finding his booking calendar full. His unpronounceable and difficult-to-spell website, syzygyjob.com, has crashed several times after his latest appearances on FOXNews with Neil Cavuto and the popular talk radio host Michael Savage's show.
While Berkland has scored many direct hits with earthquake predictions—they fall within his self-described "seismec window"—his greatest claim to fame was his accurate prediction of the powerful 1989 temblor that rocked San Fransisco four days before it occurred.
Now the earthquake prognosticator admits he's worried about the prospects of a strong quake hitting the West Coast of the US sometime during March 2011, particularly around March 19th.
The "ring of fire" that encircles the Pacific rim includes the region from Alaska south to South America. During the past several years earthquake and volcanic activity has been on the upswing all along the rim except on the northeastern perimeter.
Berkland believes that's about to change. He told as much to Cavuto: "The month of October, March, and April are the three most devastating earthquakes in terms of damage in the San Francisco Bay Area in history. And we are having on the 19th of this month not only the full moon, but within an hour the closest approach of the moon to the earth until the year 2016. The next day is the equinoctial tides. So you're bringing together three of the maximum tide raising forces. We know about the ocean tides. But there is also an Earth tide. And there is a tide in the ground water. All of these help to release sudden, built up strain, and cause earthquakes."
Although thought by many of his peers to be a maverick, Berkland remains unfazed. His track record far outstrips any of his critics.
His approach to predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is certainly non-traditional. Using tidal flooding tables based upon lunar perigees—times when the moon is closest in its orbit to the earth having a measurable impact on gravitational pull—and the bi-monthly alignment of the sun and moon, he calculates percentage risk of probable events in given regions.
He also takes other things into consideration like the measurement of change in the magnetic field that he says are indications of changes in the earth;s core and mantle. Tip offs of such changes can be seen in strange animal behavior such as lost pets and the mass beaching of whales and other sea creatures. Birds also provide clues.
Recent research on the geomagnetic field and its relation to tectonic plates, earthquakes, and volcanic action tends to support his hypotheses.
Berkland says that the approaching seismic window is one of the largest in many years. He sees it developing between the 19th to the 26th of March 2011.
In the FOXNews interview he stressed, "I'm saying we just had a massive fish kill. Maybe a million fish died in Redondo Beach. They had a massive fish sweep in Mexico. We just had a bunch of whales come in close to San Diego."
Berkland is convinced that subtle changes in the magnetic field are the precursors to large earthquakes.
"Changes in the magnetic field often precede larger earthquakes. Most animals have the mineral magnetite in their bodies, including people." Magnetite, a form of ferrous oxide, is very sensitive to magnetic fields.
"Just before the World Series quake," he explained, "there was very unusual beaching of rare whales in the Ocean Beach, in San Francisco. Just after that, an equally rare pygmy sperm whale washed up at Santa Cruz, within about five miles of the epicenter of the World Series quake. That kind of beaching had never occurred before nor since. So we're looking for strange fish coming into from deep water to the shallow water, wild animals coming into cities.
"I used to just scoff at these kinds of things, because I was a mainstream geologist until I found out that earthquakes are fitting a pattern. The big earthquake in the Indian Ocean followed massive beachings of whales in Taiwan—and not [just] Taiwan, but New Zealand and Australia and Tasmania. And then within couple of days, they had a 8.3 in south of New Zealand, and then came the 9.1 in the Indian Ocean, with the big tsunami, on the very day of the full moon."
The last really big quake that occurred on the northeastern rim of the ring of fire occurred in Alaska.
"The previous big quake and tsunami was in Alaska, which was a 9.2 magnitude event, on the day off the full moon, on the 27th of March."
That mega-thrust earthquake, known today as The Great Alaskan Earthquake, hit at 5:36 P.M. Alaska Standard Time on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. The ground split open, highways buckled, entire buildings collapsed and several tsunamis were generated. About 131 people died.
When asked if the quake that's coming will be another 9.0 event, Berkland admitted he just didn't know.
Video link: Jim Berkland on FOXNews