News Notes

Zip Dobyns

My collection of earthquake material continues to grow. The May 29, 1993 issue of Science News presents a new theory to explain the great quakes which occurred in the area of New Madrid, MO in 1811-12. Three of the largest tremors in the history of the U.S. occurred there, far from the edges of the continent where plate tectonics explain the jolts. The new theory suggests that there is excess heat under the New Madrid region which has weakened this part of the North American plate, making it more susceptible to earthquakes. The only other site in the stable eastern half of the North American plate which has been rattled by a large jolt is Charleston, SC. Though the city is on the coast, it is several thousand kilometers from the plate boundary in the mid-Atlantic.

Geologists say that New Madrid sits on a scar where a great rent started about 600 million years ago but failed to rip the North American plate in two. The authors of the new theory say that in addition to the scar underlying the region, the earth’s crust is weaker there because of the extra heat coming up from the mantle, so the region is being squeezed more than the rest of the eastern U.S. by the continuing pressure against all of eastern U.S. P. 342

The June 26, 1993 issue of Science News presented a new theory of earthquake cycles. Barbara Romanowicz of the University of California, Berkeley, observed a pattern of quakes with two different types alternating every 20 to 30 years since the early part of this century. She says that huge thrust shocks which develop where the leading edge of one plate dives beneath another plate at a subduction zone alternate with the great strike-slip quakes which occur along the sides of plates, where they slide past one another horizontally. California’s famous San Andreas fault is the latter type. Romanowicz noted in an article in the June 25 issue of Science that a decade or two of large activity in subduction zones is followed by relative quiet during which the strike-slip quakes occur. The 1950s and 1960s had a string of the largest recorded earthquakes and since then, there have not been any giant subduction quakes. Strike-slip quakes were more common before and after the ‘50s and ‘60s. The 1980s especially were marked by large strike-slip quakes.

Romanowicz also noted that the leading edge of the Pacific plate was most involved in the mid-century subduction quakes. The strike-slip quakes which followed that period were focused on the sides of the same plate. Romanowicz thinks that the current strike-slip quakes will soon die down and be followed by more thrust quakes. That would be good news for California which has had several good-sized strike-slip quakes during the past decade. Since relatively good data is only available for the past 80 years, considerably more time is needed to properly evaluate the theory. P. 404

A recent book by John McPhee called Assembling California is one of the strangest I have ever read. It is supposedly about the geological history of California, but it is the most unorganized book I have ever seen. It is not disorganized. It is totally unorganized, including geological evidence and theories about almost every part of the earth and every era of geological time in every chapter in the book. It is divided into chapters but they are untitled and there is no Table of Contents or Index. The reason for the lack of chapter headings and a Table of Contents is obvious. Every chapter includes miscellaneous bits of information which range all over the earth and all through geological time. It reads as if the author had dumped his years of wandering around with geologists discussing almost anything in the subject into a spray can and then sprayed a little into each of the different chapters.

The book is actually full of interesting bits of information, but if any of our readers decide to read it, make notes with page numbers as you go if you want to go back and relocate anything. Among the items which got my attention was the theory that the series of major quakes in the California desert might be opening up a new fault line running more due north than the San Andreas which angles north-west. If this actually happens, it might reduce the danger to the more populated areas of California since the region east of the Sierras has relatively few inhabitants.

McPhee also quoted one of his geologist friends who thinks that Alaska is the main land area which pushed up the Rocky mountains and then moved on to its current northern position. India is still pushing up the Himalayas which continue to grow in height, and the force of the plate it is riding on is so great that it may also be pushing the countries east of it even farther east. But the actual movement is only about 2 inches a year which is faster than most tectonic plate movements. The peaks of the Himalayas are marine limestone, showing that the rocks were once an ocean bed. The theorists say that California was assembled from many pieces of land which were pushed into place accompanied by tens of thousands of earthquakes as big as the 1906 San Francisco quake plus many millions of smaller ones. McPhee writes that it takes about 50 thousand major quakes to move something about one hundred miles, and the time required is measured by the geological clock in millennia.

I have been unable to locate my most recent issue of a publication on earthquakes and volcanoes which comes from the U.S. government. There was an interesting article in it comparing a fault running under Turkey with the San Andreas Fault under California. Though the faults are said to be very similar, both strike-slip with two plates grinding past each other, one town in Turkey has suffered 60 quakes of 6 or larger magnitude in the past 53 years. Maybe the psychics who keep bombing out with their predictions for California should focus on Turkey.

The May 1993 issue of Cycles, the journal of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, has a translation of an article by Gurgen Tamrazyan, a Professor at the Institute of Geological Sciences in the Republic of Armenia. Tamrazyan has analyzed earthquakes according to the number of humans killed rather than the more common focus on their magnitudes. Most of the quakes included occurred between 1900 and 1989, but he also looked at a few earlier ones in which many people died. Five quakes killed over 100,000 people each. Twenty-two quakes between 10,000 and 99,999 people. Sixty-five quakes killed between 1,000 and 9,999 people. One hundred and twenty-three quakes killed between 100 and 999 people. Two hundred and thirty-seven quakes killed between 10 and 99 people. Six hundred and twenty-eight quakes killed 1 to 9 people.

The locations of these especially deadly quakes are partly connected to the major fault zones on earth, including Asia, the Mediterranean rim and Near East, and Central and South America. But they are also very connected with areas which have large populations and which lack the money to build earthquake-proof buildings. The U.S. has never experienced such extreme loss of life. 25 quakes in which 10,000 or more died include 8 in China, 2 in Japan, 2 in India, 2 in Iran, 2 in Italy, and 1 each in Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Turkmenia, Armenia, Morocco, Chait, Ashkhabad, and Turkey.

Tamrazyan’s article is of interest to astrologers because he connects the earthquakes with the largest loss of life with the diurnal and synodic positions of the Moon, and diurnal positions of the Sun. A figure in the article shows a plot of lunar phase and time in a lunar day measured from culmination to culmination with almost all the deadliest quakes in the upper-left half of the figure (around new Moon and moving toward culmination). Diurnally, most of the most deadly quakes clustered during the time when the Sun and/or the Moon was rising in Greenwich, moving from the IC to the MC. The pattern was stronger for the Moon in this part of its daily cycle than for the Sun, but it was most emphasized when both Sun and Moon were in this area, just before the New Moon or within eight and a half days after it. 75.6% of the fatalities occurred during this part of the Moon’s synodic cycle. We are still looking for clues that will help us predict major quakes, and maybe this is another tiny piece of the puzzle, but I am puzzled by the connection to Greenwich. Astronomers picked that spot on earth as the zero point for longitude and I can’t figure any reasonable relationship to earthquakes which have occurred in many parts of the earth.

At the recent ARC conference in MI, another participant gave me a newspaper article from the June 24, 1993 New York Times about asteroids passing near earth. One came within 90,000 miles of earth, probably in May, 1993, the closest near collision ever observed. The Spacewatch team of astronomers at the University of Arizona has been watching for asteroids which cross earth’s orbit since 1991 and they have discovered more than 40 in a belt so close to earth and in nearly the same orbit so that many are bound to collide with us sooner or later. Fortunately, most of the nearby asteroids are small enough to be burned up in our atmosphere before they hit the earth. A paper by Dr. Chyba states that stony asteroids with diameters less than 50 meters (which includes a large part of those in the new belt) are not able to do any damage. Iron asteroids are rare but more dangerous. They could cause serious damage along with the stony chondrites which are larger than 50 meters. Some larger ones have hit earth in the past. Most scientists now think that the destructive explosion in Siberia in 1908 was a small asteroid which exploded in the upper atmosphere.

I was fascinated with the latest list of newly named asteroids which we received from the Minor Planet Center in June. Three of the new names may be related to possible past impacts and I doubt that the astronomers are aware of the synchronicity of this set of names. They would, of course, know of the connection with 5471 Tunguska which was named for the area in Siberia which was destroyed in 1908. The name was given in honor of the 85th anniversary of the explosion there on June 30, 1908.

4860 Gubbio was named for the city in Italy which dates from the 7th century B.C. and which is one of the best-preserved Italian medieval cities. The Minor Planet Circular does also mention that it was on a hill above the city that geologist Walter Alvarez found an iridium-rich layer originating at the transition between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. His father, Luis Alvarez, interpreted the possible source of the layer as an impact from an asteroid hitting earth.

But I doubt that the astronomers who named asteroid #2281 for the Austrian military officer and astronomer Biela knew of the theory that parts of the comet named for him struck the earth and caused the catastrophic fires in MI, WI, and Chicago on October 8, 1871. I have previously written about the evidence from the intense fires which swept parts of three states on the same night, suggesting that they were set by fragments of Comet Biela.

I believe that the cosmos is meaningful, and it is not a coincidence that within the interval of a couple of years astronomers have begun a continuous watch for earth-crossing asteroids, have discovered a previously unknown belt of asteroids orbiting near earth, and that three previously discovered asteroids have been given names connected to possible earth impacts by heavenly bodies in the past. Maybe mundane astrologers should start a cooperative effort to check their cycle charts (ingresses, eclipses, major planetary conjunctions, etc.) to watch for the possibility of another hit? Since astrology shows principles rather than details, indications of a local crisis might mean quite a variety of events. If, as we theorize, the cosmos manages to have asteroids given appropriate names, these three new ones might be among our best clues to a future heavenly body hitting earth.

P.S. Newly discovered asteroids are given a number until their orbits are firmly established, after which the discoverer has the right to name the asteroid. Their numbers show their order of discovery. Sometimes, as with this recent group of names, asteroids discovered much earlier are finally getting names along with much more recent discoveries.

The June 7, 1993 issue of Newsweek had an article on Ross Perot’s new army, subtitled how he is building his machine behind the scenes. Material for the article was gathered by a cooperative effort of Newsweek and ABC News “Nightline.” Their conclusions are listed on page 24: UWSA (United We Stand America)

“is a carefully crafted legal entity—a not-for-profit ‘civic league’—that allows Perot to raise funds and act the role of an undeclared candidate without having to disclose his list of contributors. According to election-law experts, only Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson have used this organizational tactic.”

“The organization, while fueled by grass-roots energy, is tightly directed from the top by Perot and a handful of lieutenants in Dallas. The only board members—at least for now—are Perot, his son-in-law Clayton Ross Mulford, and his financial adviser, Mike Poss.”

“As Perot seeks to find a loyal core of local leaders for UWSA, former Perot movement officials in nearly a score of states have left in frustration, accusing Perot and his aides of dictatorial methods.”

“Privately, Perot insiders say their goal is to amass the names and numbers of at least 10,000 UWSA members in each of the nation’s 435 congressional districts. What will Perot do with these lists? Perot himself refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this report.”

Some insiders want UWSA to endorse candidates next year and to provide them with lists for fund- raising and organization. Others think Perot will save the lists for his run for the Presidency in 1996.

Meanwhile, Perot is making progress with the Republicans, including Newt Gingrich who has joined UWSA and John Doolittle who is the first member of Congress to swear open allegiance to Perot and his agenda. Perot is also gaining strength with the public at large, running neck and neck with Clinton in a presidential trial heat.

Apparently, the ideas now being implemented in action have been germinating in Perot’s mind for about two decades. (Individuals like Perot with a Cancer-Capricorn emphasis and a strong Pluto can persist while fire-air people keep exploring new ideas.) The Newsweek-”Nightline” investigation found a 1970 videotape on which Perot was interviewed by John Scali and Ted Koppel. Perot described his ideas about how to get people “deeply involved” in public issues. He had a group called “United We Stand” to arouse and inform the American people using “electronic town halls on television.” The organization folded in the early 1970s, but the name was again used for Perot’s campaign committee last year.

A former Perot polltaker suggests that Perot’s model for UWSA is his old company (EDS) and the rapid-strike military. “The keys are a very short chain of command and a tight control of information.” Many of the loyal lieutenants in Perot’s current small circle of power share Perot’s own history: computer service business and military-academy training. As a sign of the power already mobilized, when Dallas insiders got word of the investigation described in this article, the UWSA executive director Darcy Anderson, a West Point graduate and former recruiter in Perot’s computer business, faxed a warning to state leaders that the ABC show might be negative. “Within hours, the ABC switchboard in Washington was immobilized by incoming calls. ABC producers begged UWSA officials to desist—and the lines cleared.” p. 25

The magazine article has much more material and I recommend reading it if you are concerned about a potential dictator gaining power in the U.S. Do you see any hint of Uranus coming to Aquarius in the preceding material? Do you think that Uranus is always democratic? An evolved Uranus is, but someone with Uranus in Aries in the Capricorn house, Saturn in Capricorn on the Descendant, and a chart dominated by Cancer may be convinced that he knows better than the people he says he represents. The Newsweek article describes Perot’s regular weekend trips during which he makes five stops in three days, has Boy Scouts, POW-MIA and veteran groups near the stage, a color guard, and a group to sing his theme song. Perot speaks for 90 minutes and departs before taking questions though each chair has a form that solicits questions for The Boss.

Perot has a powerful chart in 1996. If he joins up with the Republican Party and gets Stormin’ Norman as his VP candidate, watch out! My NY informant tells me that a recent poll says that the Perot supporters listed jobs as their highest concern and right-wing religious fundamentalists as their biggest fear. If the three “preachers” who are using similar tactics, Jackson, Robertson, and Perot, confront each other in 1996, what a scene that will be! If Clinton can’t turn the economy around, and at this point I think it will take a miracle to do that, the fat will be in the fire.

The July 1993 issue of Harper’s magazine also has an article on Perot, but the author is so consistently negative in his evaluations of public figures, I am inclined to put less faith in his conclusions than in the Newsweek article. Still, there are some interesting bits in the Lapham article on pages 4-7. He writes that he has talked to about 40 people during the last six months who declare their belief in Perot but who do not agree on anything else except perhaps their aversion to higher taxes. The only consistency he could find in their theories, programs, policies, issues, plans, initiatives, or philosophies, was aversion to Bill Clinton and agendas of miscellaneous complaints.

Lapham comments that Perot “clearly didn’t know as much about the practice of democratic government as the average tenth- grade student in a second-rate public school in downtown Waco. The book that he published during the 1992 presidential campaign appeared on the best-seller list only because he bought 200,000 copies, and he changed his economic remedies as often as was necessary to answer the alarms of the newspaper headlines.” p. 7

Copyright © 1993 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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