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Animals and Earthquakes

Interview with James Berkland


James Berkland is a geologist who worked for the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) from 1973 to 1994. He is well-known for his controversial earthquake prediction methods that include calculating the number of missing pets ads in the newspapers of earthquake-prone areas.

Berkland’s interest in geology began as a child, as he says his dad was a “rock-hound”. After earning his BA in Geology at U.C. Berkeley in 1958 he went directly to work for six years with the U.S. Geological Survey, involving laboratory and fieldwork throughout the western United States, including Alaska. Then, after earning his Masters degree in Geology at San Jose State University in 1964 he accepted the position of Engineering Geologist with the U.S. Bureau or Reclamation, based in Sacramento, and for the next five years worked on engineering projects involving the storage and moving of water at a number of dam sites, tunnels and canals in California and Oregon.

Berkland worked on his Ph.D. in geology at the University of California at Davis until 1972, and although he passed his Ph.D. orals, he didn’t complete his dissertation within the required seven years. However he published more than 50 scientific papers, many of which utilized his Ph.D. studies, including a paper delivered at the International Geological Congress at Montreal in 1972.

Berkland was Assistant Professor of Geology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina until 1973, where he shared in the discovery of evidence for Pleistocene glaciation in the Southern Appalachians. Berkland then moved backed to California and worked for the U.S.G.S. for over twenty years. He was the first County Geologist for the most populous county in northern California, Santa Clara County. Besides helping to establish geologic ordinances widely held as models in the field, Berkland served on many committees and advisory boards. He also held a position for two years as an adjunct professor at San Jose State University, and he received distinguished member awards from the Santa Clara County Engineers and Architects Association and the SABER Society at San Jose State University.

Berkland claims that he can predict earthquakes with over 75% accuracy by calculating the number of lost pet ads in the newspaper, and observing the lunar-tide cycles. He has been meticulously saving and counting lost pet ads for many years, and he says that the number of missing dogs and cats goes up significantly for as long as two weeks prior to an earthquake. Berkland also noted that many earthquakes occurred at the time of maximum tidal forces associated with the twice-monthly alignments of the Sun and Moon. In the 70s he began to make informal predictions, scoring six out of eight during 1974, including the 5.2M Thanksgiving Day Quake of November 27th. This one hit the day after he had predicted it at a meeting of U.S.G.S. geologists, and it synchronistically shook him and his daughter while they were attending the movie Earthquake.

Despite Berkland’s successes in earthquake prediction he found it almost impossible to publish on the subject in scientific journals. His career began to suffer although his credentials included fellowship in the Geological Society of America and membership in the Association of Engineering Geologists, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi Science Honor Society, Peninsula Geological Society, Seismological Society of America, and others.

Gravitational variations due to the lunar cycles, he says, create “seismic windows” of greater earthquake probability. When the number of missing pets also suddenly rises, then a quake is likely to happen. Berkland said he thinks the U.S.G.S. won’t accept unusual animal behavior data because it doesn’t fit with their current scientific paradigm. (Researchers who attempt earthquake prediction are often lumped into the same category as fortune tellers and scam artists by traditional geologists.) It is not surprising then to hear that Berkland was suspended from his position as Santa Clara county geologist for claiming to predict earthquakes--such as the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in Northern California, which was preceded by numerous reports of odd animal behavior.

When I did the research for Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s book Dogs That Know When Their Owner’s Are Coming Home, I set out to replicate Berkland’s findings, and I sat in the Santa Cruz Public Library for several weeks counting the Lost Pet ads in the San Jose Mercury News microfilm collection. I confirmed that Berkland’s calculations were indeed correct; there was a significant rise in the number of missing dog and cat ads in the weeks prior to the 1989 quake. The trouble was that when I checked the number of missing pet ads for the year before, during the same time period, there was also a rise--yet an earthquake didn’t follow the rise that year. So more counting needs to be done to determine whether seasonal effects might influence this phenomenon or not, but it does appear that Berkland is on to something significant with his method.

Berkland has made many media appearances. He was interviewed on the Art Bell radio show, and has appeared on Frontline, Sightings, Strange Universe, Northwest Afternoon, Town Meeting, Bill Cosby Show, The Other Side, Two at Noon, Evening Matinee, Jeff Rense show, George Putnam Show, Mitch Battros Show, Laura Lee Show, and many other broadcasts. In 1991 he was featured in the Farmer s Almanac, and his annual predictions are now published in the Dot Tide Tables.

Berkland also publishes his predictions in a newsletter called Syzygy, and he maintains Quakeline, a 900-line telephone information service that was originally nationwide, but is now restricted to the San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about Berkland’s work visit his web site: www.syzygyjob.com

I interviewed Jim at his home on November 1, 1996, when he was living in San Jose, California. Jim is a very friendly guy, and he gets very enthusiastic when he talks about geology and earthquakes. We spoke about his career in geology, his methods of earthquake prediction, and what he thinks the animals are picking up on that is causing them to disappear prior to earthquakes.
 



David: How did you get involved in earthquake prediction?

James: As a county geologist I came out here in September of 1973, directly from Appalachian State University, where I was a Assistant Professor for a year. But I'm a native Californian, raised in the Bay Area. I was born down in Glendale, but we moved to Somoma Valley when I was six years old.

David: How did you first become interested in geology? Why don't we start with that.

James: Well, my dad was a rock hound, and I was brought up in the country, with animals and hikes, hunting and fishing all around there. I'd see different terrain, and pick up rocks, different pretty rocks, stick them in the pocket. My dad was interested in lots of things, and was frustrated in a number of ways. He was an electrician, a store-keeper, and never had gone to colleges. He almost started in medicine, but didn't.

I went directly from high school to a local Santa Rosa Junior College. Then I was going to work for six months and earn money to go to Berkeley in forestry, but it turned into almost six years. I worked at the biggest industry in Sonoma County, which is Sonoma State Hospital for the mentally retarded. I almost didn't get out of there. It was handy, only a mile a way from where I lived, and I had kind of a pleasing job. It was like having Boy Scout troop. I would take the kids up in the hills for hikes and things.

Of course, my colleagues there were tickled, because suddenly instead of 120 kids on the ward, there would have maybe 75 or less. It was a lot easier to handle while I was away for four or five hours. I would pack the kids lunches, and go up and fish up at the creeks. We'd look at the wildlife, and turn over rocks to see what's underneath. So I finally I decided there's got to be a little more. I'm trained for more than this. It was easy, but it wasn't challenging, and there was so "many things that I was interested in, but couldn't seem to follow up on. So I went down to become a forester.

When I got to Berkeley in the middle of Spring semester it turned out that I'd already received all of the prerequisites for upper division, and there were no more courses available to me, without taking the forestry field camp, involved in measuring logs, timber country, and working in a logging mill. So I said, well, what does that pay,?

Well, no, they said, you pay us. It costs you $200. 1 said, no, next summer I've got to work again. Well, sorry you can't take any upper division classes until you've had this summer field camp. Well, my buddy was taking geology at Berkeley, and he said, we don't have to have our geology field camp until the end of our senior year. So because all of the prerequisites were identical I just shifted right into geology, and never looked back. After two years at Berkeley I went directly to the U.S.G.S., were I worked as a non-professional for almost six years, maybe a little over, during 1958 to 1964.

David: Had you earned your Ph.D.?

James: No, I just had a bachelors. I thought, well, I'll just work at the U.S.G.S., work my way up, show them what I can do, gradually become a geologist, and go from there. Well, it turned out, it didn't work that way. To get with the U.S.G.S. you pretty much had to have a Ph.D., except under times of national emergency or something, when they hired a few people with bachelors during the uranium boom because they needed feet to go out there and walk around.

But there was no way that I could advance. I could have worked as a technician for my whole life there. So I went back to school, got my master's at San Jose State, and then just after I'd completed that suddenly the offers began coming. I could be going to the State Water department, or Bureau of Reclamation. Then the U.S.G.S. wanted me possibly to go up on an ice island by myself for six months, just to make bottom measurements on arctic ice flow, check their radioactivity, and atmosphere-- just read instruments all by myself, until the ice got cold enough in August or September to freeze up and they could land the plane.

Well, anyway all these things came down, but I had made a decision and signed up with the US Bureau of Reclamation as a professional engineer and geologist. I worked with them for over five years, in dams, tunnels, and canals in Oregon and California mainly. At this time came the revolution in Earth Sciences-- the plate tech tectonic in evolution. But from all of my courses through Santa Rosa Junior College, Cal Berkeley, and San Jose State, plate tectonics was just a figment of the imagination. It was just coincidental-- that word I hear all the time-- that it looks like you could fit South America and Africa together. There's no mechanism. It's just some wild idea from this German geographer, who is not even a geologist. So what's he know about this continental drift?

So it was laughter that was associated with the theory. My professor would always talk about it, show the map, and ha ha. You know, there's this idea some geographer believed, but it really doesn't make any sense. We'd have to change our whole understanding geology developed over the last 200 years if we were to accept this. Well, so be it. But they didn't accept it until the late 60's after notable conference at Monterey, where they brought geologists from all around the world. They now had space-age data, bottom -of - the-sea data, new fossil data, and it all began to jive. They realized that we're not all little islands; everything in it connects at some point. The unified theory of geology developed at that meeting in 1969.

Well, it was too much for me to avoid anymore. I'd been getting little glimpses of this from talking to people, and seeing things in the paper, or the Geological Society Bulletin. But when I last left the U.S.G.S. in 1964 they didn't buy it at all. There was no such thing as continental drift. Movement of the magnetic pool might explain things, not the movement of continents- So that also added fuel to my understanding, with light to my understanding about seismic windows.

David: How did you get interested-involved in earthquake prediction)

James: I came out from deciding I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life back on the east coast, when all of my previous life was here. I told my wife don't bother to come back with the little daughter, because I'm coming back to California. So I came, without a job. We'd taken a tour around the country, and after we'd got back to my mother's place up in Sonoma County, there was a little postcard from San Jose's County. Mr. Berkland, if you're still interested in this job you might come for an interview.

I had flown out to take the orals in February of 73, by then in June my appointment was over back there, and they wanted me to come back. I said, no, I'm going back to California. We had a couple of possibilities, but they dwindled. And I hadn't heard from the county. So here's this postcard-- if you're really interested, call us by August 31st, and this is like September 2nd. So not to leave any stone unturned I called up the county engineer, and I said, well, I just back from the east coast, and I'm available now if that position is still open. Yeah, c'mon down. I'll prompt you.

So next day I come down and talk to him, and three days later I'm County Geologist, the first one for Santa Clara County, the first one in Northern California ever. They had most of the major counties in Southern California, and they have their own staff of County Geologists. But not here, and there was a crying need for one, because of the geologic hazards, the landslides and earthquake problems, and subsidence developing under the Santa Clara Valley. So for the first few months I was interested- through the earthquakes I felt, and several others that had been reported to me in the Bay Area-- but not until January 8th. 1974. after I'd been there for six months, did it all begin to jive.

I saw an article in the newspaper that we might expect local flooding around the San Francisco Bay due to an unusual astronomical alignment. I got out my almanacs. (I've always been an almanac buff.) Say, what is this? First full moon of the year on January 8th was on the same day as the closest perigee in about eight years. And the two events were only an hour and a half apart. Very unusual for them. What I call "synchronaity", that close together; between the syzygy-- the lining up-- and the perigee- closest approach. That was causing extreme tides. Also, it was just a week after the closest approach of the earth and the sun, the perihelia, that happens once a year, in through January.

So that combination was close to the conditions of January 4th, 1912, when we had the maximum force in 600 years. This was the maximum force in several years. And I thought, huh, if the ocean waters are being pulled up and down by the gravity, and the earth is sort of rotating underneath the bulge of water and high tide. Then six hours later it's over here where there's a deficiency of water, and then six hours later it's down under here, another bulge. So that's why you have two high and two low tides a day.

I didn't understand all that, really. I didn't have the geometry that clear. In fact, I wasn't really sure what the difference between a new moon and full moon was. All I knew was they were lined up. The clearest analogy is that if the moon is rising just as the sun is setting, that's when you have the full face of the moon lit up. like the sun's a big flashlight. So you see the full moon, but if the moon is up here at the zenith, when the sun is rising or setting, it's obvious you don't see the whole face of the moon. You can only see the part that's near the moon.

So that's full moon. When the moon rises and the sun's setting, that's best you can do. And you might even get an eclipse, and that's a perfect syzygy. I love the solar eclipse. I've seen three, and I expect to see another one in February of 98. 1 went down to the Galapagos Islands, and up into the Caribbean. It'll be a beautiful total eclipse, lasting over four minutes. We saw the ones in Mexico in 91, and I flew down to Peru in 94 and saw the one there. The first one I saw with my daughter back in 79, with the last one to hit the United States, 48 states. There won't be another one here until 2017. 1 hope I'm still here.

David: How did you notice that the association between this and earthquakes?

James: Okay, so I said, hey if that's causing the ocean tides to go up, maybe the solid earth has a tide in it. Indeed it does, about three feet. I didn't know about it at the time. Well, if the earth is bulging up and down, maybe that's limbering up the fault lines. And if they're meta-stable-ready to fail-- this little extra stress of the movement of the earth, the undulation, underneath this gravitational stress, might trigger the fault into action. So I said, hmm, we've had six quakes here-- the day of the full moon, two days after the full moon, on the day of perigee, six days after the new moon and perigee.

All six quakes that hit the Bay Area from my arrival there in September until January 8th confirmed this wild idea. So I thought, well, if it continues like this, we should have a quake within the next week. I told the folks around the office that there was likely to be a quake around here in the next few days. They said, how big? Well, these others were mainly 3's and low 4's, and since this is even a higher tidal force, probably a 4 to a 5. Two days later 4.4 hit down in Buellor, and I said to myself, boy, this is simple. What's so tough about predicting quakes? Why isn't everyone using this method? I still don't know why everybody isn't using it.

When I went to Peru in November of 74, 94, our Peruvian of Inca descent said after the eclipse, I am so happy you were able to see our eclipse. We in Peru have a tradition we watch the eclipse, and then we wait for the earthquake. I said, would you say that again for my video camera, please? Totally caught me by surprise- my idea, maintained by the Incas. So I had an interview with her for like ten minutes with the video camera. No doubt, they could see the relationship. She said, what's unusual is that we already had the quake. Koosco shook with a 4 magnitude quake, three hours after the moment of totality, she said. Usually it takes a day or so, and it's possibly bigger.

The next day a 6.2 hit Peru, and there was no quakes as strong for the first half of November. The strongest quake in the world occurred the day after the total eclipse, which lasted about four and a half minutes. The one in Mexico lasted six minutes, and there was no announced Mexican quake. But there was a Peruvian quake on that same day, even though there only saw a partial eclipse.

David: So this gave you some additional confirmation that you were onto something.

James: Yeah, time and again. I mean, if you go into the computer and ask for all the literature showing earthquakes and tides, over three hundred titles come up. So when a reporter goes from me to the U.S.G.S. or to Berkeley, and they say, oh no, we don't support what Berkland's doing. There's no evidence, no correlation- it just shows they are blindly ignorant of the world literature. They're just ignorant of it, and so I no longer consider it my problem. I think it's their problem. They're not looking at the evidence, and I see it time and again. There's John Mack, Galileo, whatever. If your idea doesn't match the ruling theory, the mainstream opinion, there's something wrong with you. So we have to have legislation, and off with his head.

David: According to Thomas Kuhn novel approaches tend to appeal to younger scientists, people in graduate school, whereas the older establishment, which has more invested in the past, is less open to new ideas.

James: Yes, so I've had a lot of good advice. My old mentor with U.S.G.S. said, Jim, you know you probably will never convince your severest critics. Your goal should be to outlive them, or have your ideas outlive them. And I've been so pleased because I have been doing this since 74 with. My first couple years I kept it under wraps because I valued my scientific reputation. I didn't want to be iconoclast really. I want to do my work, try to increase public safety on geological matters, and try to resolve differences between property owners in area or between different scientific branches, and try to bring the Santa Clara County up to speed. So with my work in the U.S.G.S., my friends there, a lot of friends with the California division of Mines and Geology and the Bureau of Reclamation, I really felt needed. And for the first fifteen years with the county I had hit my ultimate niche. Everyday I was was excited to get up, and was ready to go, thinking, what's today going to bring?

David: You'd been predicting earthquakes since 1974, but this was primarily with tides and the moon. You hadn't gotten interested in animals or the lost pet ads yet?

James: No, not until 79, after five years. A lot of things happened in 79. One thing I learned of was a U.S.G.S. study that lasted four years, taking predictions from numerologists, astrologers, psychics, dreamers, whatever the source, and filing their predictions. This is because they were being troubled by having to answer all these wild ideas that people come up and say, okay, there's going to be a quake that's going to destroy Los Angeles. California is going to slide into the sea. The last days of the great state of California. That was called "The Book". Then for several years it really disturbed the U.S.G.S., because they had to answer all these people that read the book and loved it as gospel truth.

So, they decided, let's establish a track record, which is the way to go. Take all of these people, and say they're predicting. Okay, what did you say last time? How come you missed that one? Why should we believe you know? Good approach, that's great. So I heard about this, and I sent my predictions into them, with the newspaper articles and everything. And they were trying to get me, while I was out in the field a number of days, and they finally got through to me, and they said, Jim, Jim, the computer spit out your name, you've got the 99th percentile level, which means there's only one chance in a hundred that what you're doing is accidental.

But we think you've been lucky you know. Keep on predicting and you fall back in the grass with the rest of them. I said, well, gee that's good news. Well, so fine, but if you tell some media person I told you this I'll deny it. And that didn't bother me too much either, because you know this is kind of informal, and okay at least I'm achieving something that caught his attention, and I'm sure they're going to do something with this.

When they closed the program about a year later I read in the summary that no one had achieved the 99th percentile level, and no scientist had even bothered to submit a prediction. I quickly called him. I said Roger Hunter at the U.S.G.S. in Golden, Colorado. Roger, how could you say that nobody hit the 99th percentile? I know you told me not to tell the media, but I hit it. And how could you say no scientist even bothered to submit a prediction? I'm a fellow in the Geological Society, and I'm a scientist. I published over 55 papers, and had responsible positions.

Well, yeah, that was a little wrong, he said. I meant to say that an insufficient number of scientists submitted predictions to make it statistically meaningful. Well, that is certainly is far different from saying none had done it, or none had hit 99th percentile. He said, well, we'll probably correct that in the final version or something. He never did.

The same thing happened when I joined Earthquake Watch at SRI under contract with the U.S.G.S. to see if they could reproduce what the Chinese had done. Before the Haichang earthquake they had a system there, of maybe a hundred thousand peasants measuring water levels, checking radon with it's film exposure, measuring little tilt-meters, doing simple things. So they just day after day said, oh little tilt in the ground here. Or they would see where the patterns of earthquakes were. And animals especially-- farm animals, wild animals, pets. And because of the accumulation of data just before March 3, 1975 they evacuated the city of Haichang of about 100,000 people. They had lectures on communism, and had tents and blankets and things up on the hill.

David: They evacuated everybody on the basis of what?

James: Mainly animals.

David: What did they notice?

James: There was water-level changes. There was radon gas sudden increase. There was a pattern of small earthquakes in an area where they hadn't had big earthquakes before, and suddenly they stopped. Meanwhile the zoo animals were pacing back and forth. The birds were crying. Turtles made noises, like they were shrieking. Fish were jumping out of the aquarium. I've got the complete listing. I have probably a dozen or two different things. The pheasants were crying at night, and would not sleep on the ground like they normally would do. The common thread, what I actually have never seen anyone else even mention, but it's quite clear in all these reports-- is that animals try to leave their normal places of security prior to an earthquake, on first awareness of an earthquake, which sounds weird.

Why don't they go into security? Well, some do, but those are not considered anomalous. If a cat jumps on your lap and wants to be petted, that's not as interesting as if he jumps up on top of the shelves, leaps to the TV, knocks things down, and just runs around the house like he's crazy. If he runs off, and gets hit by a car or something, people say that's unusual. There are many aspects of it.

So you say why do they run away? Why don't they head for some kind of security? Well, look what people do. When the ground begins to shake, if we suddenly get rocked here, really like a repeat of Loma Prieta, we're not going to want to stay in here and take a chance that it's going to topple over on us. We're really going to be startled. Books are going to start bouncing. The refrigerator may hop across the floor. Things are falling. Noise all over the place. You hear the swimming pool out here, which we filled in, because it lost about four feet of water out of that. Some people lost more than that, so you want to get outside, away from what is normally your place of security, your office, your home. The tendency is to get me out of here, so we rely on instinct instead of natural thought processes.

David: What do you think it is the animals are picking up on?

James: I am very confident that the major phenomena that they are detecting is a change in the magnetic field. I didn't know by what means they were detecting it.

David: Why do you think that?

James: When Antonio Nefaradi first called me, interrupting my dinner, I said, how long you been doing this? And he says since April, and now this is September. Well, how long in advance? A week to ten days in advance they seem to run away, and then show up in the Lost and Found column. And when he said that, suddenly the light flashed on. A lot of my skepticism began to recede, because six days before the 5.9 quake at Coyote Lake on August 6, 1979, six days before on my birthday, July 31st, our cat Rocky disappeared. We'd had him for about two years. He never had never run away before, but he was gone. I thought, gee he's been hit by car or something. I didn't even think about putting an item in the paper. I didn't even bother putting a poster up. I asked a few of the neighbors if they'd seen Rocky. No, nobody had. And the quake happened, six days later- the strongest quake in the Bay Area since 1911.

And I didn't associate it with the earthquake until a month later when Antonio called me, and suddenly I could just picture the light bulb over my head. Well, Rocky followed this outlandish hypothesis, that the animals ran away, and Rocky never appeared as a Lost and Found item. But twelve other cats showed up in the paper's Lost and Found. The normal was two or three at that time, and suddenly it was twelve- the most he'd ever seen in watching this for six months. So that made me think that a lot of other cats didn't show up in the paper either, and maybe there was something to this.

For the few months I would look at the Lost and Found column much as you would look at the horoscope. You know, I don't believe stuff, I just want to see what it says, and there were no significant quakes. Then on the 20th of January, 1980, following the 79 quake, I got a call early in the morning from my daughter who was just about to head for high school. Daddy, Rocky's home. Six months he'd been gone. I picture this poor emaciated scrawny cat crawling in out of the woods or something. He was sleek and fat,. Somebody had taken excellent care of him. But he'd fled that veritable paradise four days before the next five magnitude quake in the Bay Area.

It didn't matter which home he was living in, he fled it prior to the two biggest quakes since 1911. And when I came home Rocky was there. He stayed around home for one month, and then disappeared on the 20th of February, two days before the strongest February shake in the Bay Area. So we haven't seem him since. Not likely to, but he fit the pattern. And from that point on I became a believer, and daily, the first thing I turned to in the paper, was the Lost and Found Column.

And I was startled this morning to see 21 missing cats, the most in one year. That probably means a significant quake within three weeks.

David: When you make a prediction, what are all the different factors that you take into account?

James: Basically, I look at the tides. So I have this tide calendar. I have the almanacs, and I get the calendars that show the daily fluctuations of the tides in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Of course, they're mostly peaked at the same day, although the amplitude of the tide varies tremendously as you go north. Here the normal tide is between four and four and a half feet, between high and low for a single day, the same as Los Angeles. But up in Seattle the normal tide's about eight or nine feet, and the peak tide's around sixteen or seventeen feet. Here the peak tides are eight or night feet, and in Alaska the high tide is thirty feet, instead of the normal fifteen or twenty. And, of course, in the Bay of Fundy, where my wife was born, 55 foot tide.

So back in 1962, I'd just been at this like three years with the animals. I noticed we were going to have a 8.9 foot tide on the ninth of January, the highest I've ever seen. Year after year, the highest would be 8.4, 8.5, next year it's going to 8.3, so 8.9 is a tremendous tide. I expected we'd have a quake around here during that seismic window, and we didn't. But back in New Brunswick on the next Bay of Fundy they had a 5.9, the strongest in 126 years. And that previous one was a time of extremely high tide. In fact, it was covered in the world literature on tides.

So that summer we went back to visit my wife's folks, and I stopped off at the university. We were in a window there, and I was noticing the seismograph in the university hall suddenly began to bang and bang. It was a 7.0 magnitude quake in Panama, and I predicted that the world would see a 7 during that period. Normally you get one 7 a month. So if you have an 8 day period, you have a one in four chance of being right that hit the seven.

So I called the Geology Department, and the geologist came down to talk me. I said, how do you do? I'm a geologist from California, and I have an idea about timing of earthquakes in general, and yours in particular. And, he said, well, it was on the day of this 55 foot tide in the Bay of Fundy, the day of an eclipse of the moon, and these extra stresses from the tide forces we think triggered a weak place in the fault. I said, well, congratulations, that's my same idea. I'd wish you'd come to California and talk to some of my colleagues.

David: So that's what you think is happening. That there's a weak point along the faults that's just waiting to happen, and then when the extra gravitational pull comes, it gives it that extra nudge to just push it into action.

James: Yes. My clearer picture involves three factors. One is the pure fluction of this island earth up and down about three feet under the full moon. We're pulled up about three feet higher. The earth is about. three feet greater in diameter. Maybe it's six feet, on either side. But anyway on one side of the earth it's about three feet higher than it was at low tide when the moon's rising or setting. So just that fluction may cause a change. Also the ocean tide is coming in and out. Every foot of water adds a load to the earth's crust of about one million tons per square mile.

So if you've got six hundred square miles of it the San Francisco Bay in the delta, and every six hours it comes in, six hundred times. Say it's an eight foot tide, between high and low, a change of 8 X 600 X one million tons-- tremendous shift of load. And boat-lines are parallel to the coast, and a tide comes on. And it's on this block, and then it's on the block in back there. It's a relatively fast period. It's like taking a wire between your fingers, especially copper, and you wiggle and wiggle it, until somewhere around wiggle ten and twenty, you get a quick friction, and you get the metal taking a pop.

David: How do you see the relationship between that and what you think the animals are picking up-- which you think is a change in the magnetic field-- as being related?

James: Almost any rock on earth is going to have some magnetite in it--spirel magnetic metal, the most highly magnetic natural substance on earth. If you are panning for gold, most of the black sand is magnetite-- it could be chromite, franklinite or some of the spinels, which are the most magnetic materials. But they're also dense, and very resistant. So that's why they end up in the dregs at the bottom along with gold. The gold is quite a bit heavier, but the sand-- after you wash away most the quartz and the felsbar, the micas and these layer things, you got these real dense ferrel-magnetic minerals in the bottom.

So you could run a magnet in gold pan and it'll pull away all this magnetic material. And if you're lucky you have a little ring of gold underneath that's not magnetic. So if you have a rock, and you put it in a compressor in the laboratory, and you have a magnet nearby, it will change its magnetic properties under stress. And if you heat or cool it, the same thing. If you heat minerals too much they lose there magnetic force over the curri point of around 570 degrees centigrade. So that's why you may have heard that when lava comes out of a volcano, you reverse the magnetic field, and they freeze that magnetic field within the lava.

The first work I did with the Survey was paleo-magnetic studies in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. These lava flows are stacked up nearly flat, so obviously the ones on top are younger than the ones down below, unless you've had a huge unusual fault. So you go deep down in these big canyons, which may be eight thousand feet deep you know, Snake River Canyon or something. You go down deeper and deeper, and you get these older and older lava flows.

By getting samples of these rocks, and orienting them just as they are in the field when you get back to the laboratory, you can see where the magnetic field was when the lava cooled. So a recent flow of crater lakes, crater moons, or Mt. St. Helens, and you will get today's magnetic field, but when when you get down deeper and deeper, about 700,000 years ago, all of the of the magnets were seeking south. There was definitely a shift, very rapidly. It happens within a thousand or four thousand years. So when the magnetic field goes through the null point, zero point, no ionosphere, we get an area with a tremendous amount of radiation. It causes a lot of genetic changes, and a lot of mass extinctions. New forms are created.

So there genetic changes at the time of a magnetic shift-over. Now it's not like some people think, that whole crust shifts abruptly and brings Greenland down to the equator or something. I mean, those people are really not scientists, and they read this stuff and they think they hear about this pole shift or something, and they think the whole crust shifts. It moves slowly through plate tectonics, but it doesn't shift thousands of miles in a week, or whatever they may think. So but then it shifts back, the deeper you go, the further back in time. The pole has shifted periodically.

It's not that weird when you realize that on the sun, the magnetic poles shift every two sun spot cycles, about every 22 years. So it just takes longer for the earth, but it's not nearly as accurate. But it's a real phenomena. And then in-between the pole is slowly moving around, so you have to adjust your compass. Here, I guess was around 18 degrees, which 23 years ago was only about 17 and a half degrees, I think a declamation between true north and magnetic north. If you go to Egypt, magnetic and true north are the same, so you don't have to make any adjustment, which explains partly why they could build the pyramids exactly north-south and east-west. The Sphinx is facing due east at the rising sun on the first day of summer.

So the magnetic field is a very important aspect. Now, I have an old compass-- this is a compass here from Frigit, the Japanese Navy. See this compass. North is right there, and it hasn't shifted from the north. Well, I expect that it can, because I was getting calls from some kind of a furniture factory or something, a fellow up in Aptos. He had a big captain's compass in his study, set it exactly north, and he'd notice it'd be off a half a degree or up to a degree and a half.

He reported that to the U.S.G.S., and they finally said, don't bother us with that, there's absolutely nothing to it. The reverse magnetic field does not change that much. They told him that he must have bumped his compass. He said, I'm the only one who lives there, I don't bump it. But I saw the change, and it would go back to normal after the quake. So he started calling me, and he hit about four out of five. So I know there's a local change in the magnetic field prior to quakes, and it can be read.

Now I also have an item that was sent to me Christmas time of 1974 called a "Magnetic Stress Indicator". It was done by a fellow who just died early this year, back in Missouri. If we line this up with the seven, so we know we're looking at it, we can see it's about a 7.3, around in there. Okay, it was originally at 6 when I first set it up, and it sat here for two or three weeks, did nothing. I said, bad place. Or it just doesn't work, as it looked like just kind of a phony-looking contraption anyway. All of a sudden it went from 6 to 6.4, and the next day up to 6.6, and the next day it dropped back to 6.5. That night we had a earthquake of about 3.8, about four miles from here.

David: And you think this is what the animals are picking up on?

James: Yes. See, I could say I'm awful close to knowing that's what the animals are picking up on, but there may be other things too. But I'm convinced that that's one of the more important things. Another aspect is homing pigeons. They've known for fifteen years or so that homing pigeons have the mineral magnetite behind their eyeballs. Now this used to be almost unacceptable that animals create minerals in their bodies. If they get into streams, with all the various rocks which have magnetite in them, but don't tell me animals can make it. Well, yes, you can tell me that they do.

I used to raise homing pigeons. When I was in high school I would take a couple in my nap sack with me. The little sweaty critters were kind of disheveled, and I would pet them. Okay, you know there's my home? And they wouldn't fly straight home. What would they do? As you've seen birds, these pigeons at the Olympics and so forth. Instead of flying in a V-line, what do they do?

They can have a flock of a thousand birds, like they do sometimes in pigeon races. All the cages are released immediately-- pah, pah, pah, pah-- and they finally begin to form in a big flock. And they begin to circle-- three, four times-- and then they start to head for their various homes.

Why are they circling? If you have magnetic material, and you move it around in a magnetic field, you're generating electric current. So their little pea-brain picks up on this sensitive magnetite moving around in a magnetic field around the earth. Then they say, aha, north is that way, and this is the way we fly home. But if we've just had a big solar flare, pigeon racers will cancel all races. Pigeon racers pay close attention to what they hear about the sun. Pigeons get lost in big solar flares, and these birds are $1500 or more.

David: Have you heard that homing pigeons can find their way back home, even if the home is moved?

James: No.

David: During World War 11 there were these traveling caravans that the homing pigeons lived on in conjunction with the military. Even though they kept moving the bases, the pigeons were able to find their way back the moving caravan. There's a whole chapter in Rupert Sheldrake's new book just about this. Also near-blind homing pigeons are pretty accurate in finding their way back too.

James: Oh, no problem. But if they put a magnet around their neck then they're hopeless.

David: Oh really?

James: Yeah, a full-time magnet, unless they're old experienced birds, and able to use the sun. But if they're at night, or in in fog, they're helpless. Now, I'd imagine if they'd moved-- the birds aren't restricted to one point, and they use their eyeballs, so if they recognize what the caravan or the truck or whatever that that they live in looks like, they'll go back to where they're supposed to. And if you're not there, then they'll probably spiral out and look for you.

But time and again birds get lost after solar flares; sometimes just during a great windstorm, or thunder and lightening, that same sort of thing. They just sit down and wait it out. But the mysterious thing was back about ten years ago I saw an article about this homing pigeon fancier in Morgan Hill. I'd already had inklings about earthquakes and homing pigeons, so I called him, and we're still in contact. I wrote an article for his homing pigeon thing, because he's president of the international, or national group, and then secretary for the local homing pigeon fanciers for 30 years or more.

So I said, have you had any smashed races lately?-- which is one of these times when half the birds don't get back, or they're very late. He says, well, yeah we had one-- and he gave me a couple of dates. This was back in 1980, and they were racing in from in Nevada, and he said, gee, they normally come in about four and a half hours. This time the winner took six and a half hours, and some haven't gotten back yet. Well, they were flying right over Mammoth Lake, just before the 92 quake, so the faults there were under stress. Changes in the magnetic field, and they got lost.

So he said, but we're not the only place that gets these smash races. They had a bad one last year in Los Angeles. So this must be about 82. 1 said, what was the date? He said, oh, let's see, it was November 24. And I said, my gosh, the day after Thanksgiving, and it was the day of this 5.8 quake up at Mammoth and Bishop, that was felt in the Bay Area. I hear this pause at the other end of the line. He said, Bishop? That's where the race began. It was Bishop to Los Angeles. So that was the clincher for m e.

He said but we really had the worst smash race in our history a long time ago. I'd have look it up. We got around 10% of our birds back. And I said, what was the date? A week later he said, well, you still interested in that date? I had to do a lot of checking. I went to his house, and he's got volume after volume of the race records, the ancestry, and the wind, and the humidity, and all this stuff on all these races. He said the worst race we ever race we ever had was March 24, 1964. Boy the trembles went up and down my back-- when you get one of these Ultimate Truth kind of things. Yeah, that was three days before the strongest quake we ever measured in North America, the Good Friday earthquake on March 27, which was on the day of the full moon. So it all ties in.

David: Why do you think it is that traditional geologists fail to acknowledge, or brush aside your work in earthquake prediction?

James: Well, I used to think it's just ignorance. They hadn't heard. They thought I was just making this up. In each of these little aspects I've gone to into with rather a skeptical attitude, because I'm a scientist, and it's like-- show me. But when these little things begin to click, and it begins to tie in. And if it gets positive results, how can you ignore it?

When we started to charge $1.49 a minute for quake prediction information somebody wanted to sue us for being charlatans. So the sheriff's department, and the D.A.'s office said prove it, because I said these are the best earthquake predictions that I was aware of in the state. I'm the number one earthquake forecaster in the state.

So I had to show where I'd predicted all 21 of the 5 magnitude quakes that we've had around here. The last one didn't quite hit 5. 1 predicted we'd have a 5 this summer. The newsletter that predicted it was down at the printers the day this house shook. We had a 4.8 about five miles from here. My newsletter was predicting we were going to have it, and it happened. So I don't call that a buy, but that's a pretty close prediction, and we haven't had one anywhere near that close nor big here since then.

On January 15, 1994 there was a 5.8 down here in Tiger Lake, and it was on the last day of my seismic window. That day out here was a windy day. I was being interviewed by this new TV network- the Science Fiction Network. They hadn't started up yet, but I was going to be on their show. So they were interviewing me for a couple of hours or so, and they left around 4:00 in the afternoon. And they said, you still think that quake's going to happen before your window ends at midnight tonight?

I said, yeah, sure. The conditions looked right. We had a lot of missing cats and dogs, and the tides were high So that night at 10:40, just an hour and twenty minutes before my window was over, we got this 5.5. It came rolling through. They were still in a motel, as they hadn't gone back to LA yet, and it scared the heck out of them. So when I got a copy of the show, at the end it said, "while in Northern California Berkland's predicted quake happened while we were on location." So that was pretty timely.

I had another one that hit with the strongest quake-- there was an aftershock over 6.2-- in 1984, the first 6 in the Bay Area since 1911. 1 had said it would happen in 1984, following the highest record rainfall we'd ever had here in 1983-- seven inches over the all-time record of 1889. So that happened 1890. The following year on April 24 we got a 6 magnitude quake, so we broke that 1889 record in 1983. 1 said, boy, looks we're due for the first 6 around here since 1911. 1 talked about that to Seek Technology, and to the Campbell Chamber of Commerce. They've all written that, yes, I predicted that it happened.

A couple of them pressed me-- okay, when? Just next year. But when? Can you pin it down better? And I said, it will probably happen in March, April, or October, which are the big earthquake months around here. Well, what day? I said, well, I think I may know by the animal action just before, and there are some other indicators, such as water level, and a pattern of small earthquakes. There are about forty different phenomena that tell you its getting close.

Well, we were in Hawaii, the whole family in April of 84. When I came back I had stack of newspapers nobody gone through. I was backing through the Lost and Found, and you can see where in 1984 1 got 41 missing dogs. The next day a 6.2 hit. It was April 24th, the same day as the 1890 quake, the earlier record rainfall here. So this one was April 24th, following the new record. So I got all this print, and people saying congratulations.

David: Have insurance companies ever taken an interest in your work?

James: Yeah, they've given me calls. I'll tell you one of the happiest things was when I made this prediction of the World Series earthquake in 89. Apparently it made a big difference to Lockheed Corporation. Last year I got a call from someone who was working with Lockheed. He said, you know Mr. Berkland, I've been wanting to call you for sometime, you saved Lockheed hundreds of thousands of dollars. I said, tell me about it. He said, well, you know when you made that prediction before the World Series Earthquake? I went to my boss, and I said what about this guy? And they said, oh forget it, we went to the U.S.G.S., and they said he doesn't know what he's talking about.

But I thought it made sense, and I took it upon myself to batten down the hatches on the solar panel where it was about to be shot-- the final inspection to shoot this rocket out with a solar panel. It was all laid out in a very vulnerable condition, he strapped things down, and moved things apart, so when the quake hit, it was safe. Otherwise this multimillion dollar array would have been badly damaged, I feel sure. I think you saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars. I said, that's good to hear. I wish I'd heard about it a little sooner, like when the county was trying to fire me.

I was quoted in USA Today after the earthquake. After the earthquake a reporter came out and says, well, what good does it do to predict earthquakes? And I said, well, there's lots of people that want to know. Maybe strap up their hot water heater, or stir up water. Make sure the generator's good, or whatever. I said well, there's this lady in Campbell who called me before the quake and said, do you think I should do anything with my china and crystal. And I said, if you've ever seriously considered doing it, now is the time. So she went to her china cabinet, took everything out, wrapped it up, and put it in cardboard boxes. The whole china cabinet toppled on the day of October 17th. So USA Today reported to her, and she said, yes that happened. She said, I don't care if he reads chicken entrails, he's been accurate too often for me to ignore. Six thousand dollars worth.

David: But no insurance company has ever approached you more seriously?

James: There's not any reason for them to do it. It would cost them money, and they get their information for free, by calling me on the phone, asking me, what do you think? I've always had the remote hope that I would be like a weather forecaster, and be on the evening news, just like the earthquake.

If I get a little paper from Sonoma Valley, where I was raised and planned to return to, the Valley of the Moon, Jack Lennon's home. Longrange dry-day forecast October- November 1996. The risky days are the black days. That's the thing that I think. Notice it says, neither weather services nor the publisher guarantees the accuracy of these forecasts and no liability should be devolve upon either. So they're saying these are higher risks than normal, and this extreme here, this would be up around October-November, so that's Thanksgiving time. The Thanksgiving day earthquake of the year 1974 was the culmination of that year for me. I had six out of eight in 1974, my first year.

The night before Thanksgiving day, The day before Thanksgiving I was at the U.S.G.S. library. and I saw posted there that we're having a meeting at the Pick and Hammer Club that night in Mountain View. I'd been a member for six years of the Pick and Hammer Club, and participated in their yearly frolics, their parody-satire of plays and things They have monthly meetings were a lot of ideas come out, and occasionally turn into meaningful papers. But it's a beer-drinking time, and everybody has a good time. They hear a couple of papers, and see the slides, and so forth.

So I saw that that night, on November 27th of 1974, there was a meeting of Pick and Hammer Club with the subject: Earthquake Prediction: A State of the Art. Three methods: magnetic field, tilt of the ground, a pattern of small quakes down south of Hollaster were suggesting that maybe a quake was due down there. So I went to this meeting, But before I went I quickly made a table of the several quakes I'd predicted that year, and showed the only large earthquakes of the year, and where they fit with the windows, even if I hadn't predicted them. I made a projection that these high tides, with the eclipse of the moon on the 28th of February, just hours after that Thanksgiving day is going to produce a high stress, and probably a quake of four and half, give or take one.

So I asked the speaker if I could talk to the group when the three scheduled speakers were done. He said, oh sure Jim. Bob Christianson is a former head of the department over at U.C. Santa Cruz. So the meeting was supposed to be over at ten, and it was still going on at 10:30. He came by and said, Jim I have to catch you next month. I said, this is really hot. Just give me five minutes. No, I'm sorry, it's really too late. So I handed out xerox copies of my prediction, and what had been happening to about ten people.

I'd driven up there with my former master's thesis adviser at San Jose State, Bob Rose. All the way up we talked about my new ideas, and the prediction. On the way back he said, well, too bad that at a meeting on earthquake prediction nobody actually made one. And I said, yeah, I knew I was in the lion's den. I thought at first about raising my hand, and asking a question. then it turning it into my theory. But I chickened out.

So the next day my wife was fixing Thanksgiving day turkey, and to get out of all the action. I took my young daughter, then about six over to watch the movies at Century 21. While we were at the movies the predicted quake hit. 5.2. It came rolling through the valley, the strongest around here in about three years. It was nine hours early, but we didn't recognize the quake, because we were in the movie watching the first run of the movie Earthquake.

David: With "sensoround". (laughter)

James: That's right, exactly. We thought it was part of the special effects. So we see the movie, come out., and I turn on the car radio. It said, yeah the quake was felt from Santa Rosa to Monterey and Madesto. I said, wait a minute, we just saw Los Angeles destroyed. who's this Orson Wells? No the real quake. Oh darn. it's only 3:00. It was supposed happen after midnight. So I was nine hours off. In those days I would never open up my window before the new or full moon. figuring we had a static situation. We got to have the maximum stress from the maximum gravity, but even the day before you could have the stress that the world hasn't seen for six months or so.

So the fault doesn't know that tomorrow is going to be even stronger. This may be enough to put you over the top tonight. So then I began adjust, because also the Coyote Lake quake in 79 was a day early. I'd said the 7th to 14th, and it was on the 6th. So learning from those two quakes, I now open up the window up to three days before the new or full moon, and it will close three days early. But it's depending on the tidal action. So my seismic window always includes syzygy, the highest tides of the month, and usually includes perigee. But sometimes perigee is right between the new and full moon. That's eight days here, and seven
days there, and can't fit within the window. I want to include ocean tides.

David: So you look at the tides first, and then the Lost and Found?

James: Yeah, a year in advance. I've already even been asked by the tide table people, Top's Tide Table to issue next year's windows.

David: The tide tables allow you to do long-range prediction, and the animals help you to narrow it down, to pinpoint more precisely when it will be.

James: Yes. Also for past earthquakes I could go back and look. Like the biggest quake in Europe that ever hit was in Lisbon in 1755 on November 1st. Just like today-- All Saint's Day. That's what Halloween is-- Hallow evening before All Saint's Day. So all the people were in the cathedrals when the 8.9 destroyed Lisbon, with all of its art and fine treasures gathered from around the world. The people that survived the failing buildings went to shore to get away from it, and this sixty foot wall of water came from the big tsunami. Some forty, fifty thousand people were killed there at least, and caused tremendous changes in Europe. It caused lakes in Switzerland to slosh back and forth several times, and up in Scandinavia, hundreds of miles away. Kant wrote. "don't talk about earthquakes, you'll only encourage them." (laughter)

In some part of Germany, there was jeweler, working with fine magnet to pick up little pieces of things. It stopped working the day before the earthquake. The same thing happened in Tokyo in 1855. He had a big magnet hanging in the window to attract people's attention. because he had slivers of metal hanging on it. He's working on his jewelry. and all of a sudden-- crash!

David: Oh. it all came down at once.

James: Yeah, it all just fell. And he thought, what's going on? This magnet's lost its power. Oh darn. The next days its got its power back. I had a call after the Whittier earthquake from a little old lady in Pasadena (laughter). Really. She said, I called Coltish. and they said they weren't interested, but you might be. She lives in Southern Pasadena, maybe five miles from the epicenter. Before the Whittier quake, she said, the refrigerator magnets dropped off. She said, I've never heard that before.

I said, well, there are a couple of mentions of this in the book When the Snakes Awake, and this Helmut Tributsch from Germany, from the Max Plank Institute. He ran into the same problems about the same time I did. He had relatives in Northern Italy, in a little German colony up there. He was born there. And he's working down in the Andes, and heard about this terrible earthquake that's killed about a thousand people. He went dashing back up there. Luckily his family were still alive, but he lost some friends.

And he got these strange stories from people. They said, a whole herd of deer came down and clustered around the village the day before the quake, much like they would do before a big storm. They'd come down off the mountains. They didn't seem to have any fear of people. There were three reports of mother cats taking kittens out of their homes, and depositing them out in the shrubbery before the quake. One farmer was amazed to rats and mice running in broad daylight just hours before the quake. He looked for his five cats, and they were no where to be seen. They came back two days after the quake.

So. he came to this country, gathered up information from around the world. He showed how the catfish would jump out of aquarium. Deep sea fish come into shallow water. Water wells would change. And he tried to publish, but no publisher would handle it because the U.S.G.S. says its nonsense. This is old wives' tales. It's worthless. We need these multimillion dollar instruments. That's where absolute truth comes from. He tried to publish in England. Same thing. So he gave up, went back to Germany, and published in German.

When the Snakes Awake turned out to be such an excellent work that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology translated it into english, and published it on their press. It's so clearly written. Especially read those first couple of chapters where he shows the persecution he received. He said, I value-- just like I do-- I value my scientific reputation, and I heard that this was considered foolish, and one should just keep quiet about this. But, he said, when you hear incidents from your friends and family who have no reason to try to deceive, and you realize the implications this has for lives and property protection. then not to divulge this arises serious questions conscience. So he took the only route.

Same as I did, my career had been really going, I was in many committees. officers in all these clubs. But after earthquake prediction came in, suddenly I was persona non grata, object of ridicule sometimes. I would say, okay, I don't need any condescension from you. I mean, there's people ahead of you to talk to. You still looking up cats? Yeah, I'll say I am.

David: Did you see in Science about two weeks ago there was an article about slow frequency waves that are produced prior to some earthquakes?

James: Sure. Well, it's not really slow waves. It's slow movement. The slow wave idea was twenty years ago-- that the p wave would slow down relative to the s wave. It was fashionable, but it turned out not to work, and time after time you see these rages come out. This slow wave idea is just nothing but watching the creep. We already know about fault creep, where the fault slips, often without earthquakes. You may not feel a thing. Or you may get a small quake or two. But that's happening south of San Juan Batisto on the San Andreas. But north of that, it's been, it's locked, from 1906 to Loma Prieta. And in Loma Prieta the mountains moved up about five feet, and sideways about three feet. Mountains are about five feet higher now. Well. because of the slope, maybe three feet higher than before the quake. So a lot of the growth of the mountain continues. The activation is periodical. with abrupt movements, some of it is very very slow, up and down, or sideways.

David: You don't think that's what the animals could be picking up on?

James: No, because we know the mechanism behind how they do it. We see with the pigeons. And we saw, the last time that Humphrey [the whale] came in the bay. Go back to the newspapers. It was 1980. On the computer you can go back to all the local papers. In 1980 in October, the 23rd I believe. Humphrey came in the bay after not having been here for five years or so. And I said, oh boy. when whales get disoriented it often means a quake is due. He was here for three days.

He got stuck in the mud at Candlestick Park, and people went out at night and covered him with blankets, and kept him wet him and everything. All the people tried to preserve Humphrey, and they did. They hauled him off the mud bank, and the next day he cruised out the Gold Gate Bridge. So a lot of people took pictures of Humphrey. and he waved his giant flukes goodbye to San Francisco. This picture was in the paper right next to a column that read 5.8 Quake Shakes Bay Area. Coincidence, coincidence. all these coincidences.

David: Have you found that there are some animals that are more sensitive than others?

James: The Chinese think the pheasants are the about the best. The Japanese like catfish, because in their myths a catfish is supposed to be what's holding up the earth, and it becomes disturbed underneath. When it gets disturbed that's when the earth shakes. Nobody knows exactly what the barbells-- the whiskers on a catfish-- do. They're probably sensitive to the electromagnetic field. Sharks pick up changes in the magnetic field, so they can pick up prey in pure darkness. We all have a field around us, the so-called aura.

I had a very good friend come here, and unbeknownst to him we had a surprise party for his fortieth birthday. It was on the Saturday before the Loma Prieta quake, and it would supposedly we were just going to surprise him. His wife had been preparing this for two months. A year or so earlier she had been identified as having multiple sclerosis, and had been improving after going to Germany, getting some shots, and doing some special medication which isn't allowed in this country. She had thrown away her crutches and her cane, and was doing quite well. She came that night, and was in terrible pain. She had to hold onto the chair in order to stand up. She tried to participate in the festivities, but was having a great problem. Then the quake happened, and she went back to her former level.

David: So there are some people who are also sensitive to this?

James: Yes, and that was emphasized about a week later. I didn't put that together at the time. A week later I got a call from a Doctor Eon, an osteopath in Hollaster and Aptos, both cases right on the San Andreas fault. He said, Mr. Berkland I've heard you're dealing with animals, and so forth. I think we ought to set up a medical hot line. And I said, why? He said, all ten of my multiple sclerosis patients deteriorated rapidly before the earthquake, and they returned to their former level back after the quake. So why did this happen? It became instantly clear. Multiple sclerosis is something like AIDS, where the body's antibodies attack the nervous system, the little myelin sheathing around the nerves. So you have all these little gaps in the insulation.

David: And there's poor electrical conductivity between the nerves without the insulation.

James: Yes, and you're definitely susceptible to stray electronic interference. So your brain sends a signal, and all gets zapped out, especially if you're in a field that's changing abruptly.

Then another even clearer picture emerged after that quake in New Brunswick, Canada on the day of the extreme tides. The tides were so high that the ferry boat was way above the slip. He had to wait for the tides to go down. He had to wait for an hour or so for the tide to come down so the ferry could fit into the slip, and drop the people and the cars off. So that's one heck of a tide. A week after that quake I got a call. That quake was on a Saturday, and on a Monday afternoon I got a call. Stan Friedman, a UFOlogist, and his wife live in Madensa. Canada. where she was born, like my wife. They both went to the university there, and he had a science program. So he told some people at the radio station that that quake fit my theory, and I got a call on Monday afternoon after the Saturday quake.

Ah, Mr. Berkland did you predict our quake? I understand it fits your theory. I said, well, I didn't predict the place. I said any seismically-active area was more likely to get a quake at this time then during any other eight day period just randomly chosen, but I didn't have any local information. She said, what do you mean? I said, like the tilt of the ground, water level changes, radon gas releasing, electromagnetic field changes, and weird animal behavior. She said, oh that sounds interesting, do you mind if I roll a tape? I said, no, go ahead. And all of a sudden I hear, oh my god, oh, oh, oh.

For about fifteen seconds she's out of it. Then she says, that was really unsettling. Now, where was I? Oh darn, I wish I'd caught my own reaction. She hadn't quite started. Anyway she went on, and I told her animals stories. The show was that night back in New Brunswick, which is four hours later than we are. Meanwhile Stan was taping his own show, or doing it live, down in the basement of that radio station, and the quake hit. That looks like we'll get an aftershock, and the other guy was all unsettled. So I just took it all in stride.

Ten days later I got a letter from a lady back there who had heard me on me on that radio station. Ah, Mr. Berkland, I hope you have an explanation for what happened to me. Otherwise, I fear I'm losing my mind. I'm native to New Brunswick. I'M 48 years old, and I've never felt an earthquake before. And I have never had any kind of sinus problems before. But four days before that Saturday quake hit my head stuffed up, my eyes watered, and I got a terrible headache centered in the middle of my forehead, between the eyebrows. On Thursday I was seated with some teacher friends at lunch, and I couldn't stay. I was just up and down, up and down. On Friday I couldn't go to work, but I felt compelled to clean my house from top to bottom. I'm normally quite content to leave the books on the dust balls, and the dishes in the sink, and go to my studio and paint, she said.

But she was like pregnant woman about to give birth, got to get the nest all ready for something. That night she was so nauseous she went to bed without supper. The next morning she tried to get up, and she had the same problem. She lay back on the bed, and she says, suddenly it was like passing over a mountain peek. Why the pressure disappeared. The pain disappeared. Then the first tremors hit. And I've heard similar things like this, but I never had followed it. So I called to try get in touch with her, and tell her she's not losing her mind, that some animals seem to detect this. I heard of some people, and it might be useful. She should check into the university back there. She has a gift.

Well, he did get in touch with her, and I didn't hear anything for three months. On March the 31st she phoned me directly at the office. Mr. Berkland, excuse me for troubling you at work, but yesterday all the symptoms came back, and this morning we had a 5 magnitude quake, the strongest in three months. She got fine for three months, then got another 5 magnitude quake. I don't believe I can take this anymore, she said. I believe I'm going to put my home up for sale. Now hang on there, I said, if you don't like quakes you'll find New Brunswick's a great place to be, and the magnitude and the intensities is going to decrease with time. The aftershocks almost show that pattern. Well, I don't know, she said. Beside we're coming back to visit my wife's folks this summer, I said, and I'd like to talk to you. Well, we'll see.

So, when I was in New Brunswick I got a rental car, left my wife her mom, and went out to the ferry boat to see this woman-- Simmie Cuttyback. I stopped at the grocery store and asked, can you tell me where the Cuttyback's live? Oh yeah, you go over here, and then over a railroad track, and then... So I pull in, and a guy's unloading the trunk of car. And I said, good afternoon. Have I found the Cuttyback residence? Well, it was until two weeks ago. They moved to Virginia. She did what the animals do, She left her normal place of security because she couldn't handle what was going on.

So that was kind of a unique instance, until five years later I got a call from a lady in San Jose. And I wish I'd written her name down. It was kind of busy afternoon when she called. She said, I've heard you're looking at the animals and predicting quakes. She said, you know, I've been able to predict earthquakes around here since I was in high school. I said, how do you do it? She said, well, I get this terrible headache about three or four days ahead of the quake. I said. oh, is there a particular place it seems to be centered? Yeah, kind of in the middle of my forehead, kind of low down. And I said, does anything unusual happen just before the quake? Yeah, the pain disappears, and that's how I know the quake is really eminent. I'm ready for it before get hits. It really tells me. I said, I had this exact call five years ago, four thousand miles away.

In between those calls. in December of 1984. 1 attended the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Society in San Francisco. That year they met, and somebody read a paper announcing for the first time the discovery of the mineral magnetite in the human body. Guess where it is? Right over the pineal gland, where the mystical third eye is supposed to be, where the Indian ladies paint the red spot.

David: So if some human beings are more sensitive to pre-earthquake disturbances than others, than it probably varies among individual animals of a particular species as well, I would imagine. I've heard stories from people in dog kennels who were there before and during an earthquake, and the dogs didn't appear to act unusual prior to the quake. I've heard a number of stories like that.

James: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Well, it depends exactly where they are relative to the fault line. The second quake at Livermore was supposed to be stronger than the first, and we barely felt it. But up in Napa it caused the draw bridge to fail, and up in our house in Sonoma Valley the well broke. We've had that well since 1943. It was serving two properties. Suddenly they stopped from that 5.5 magnitude quake down in Livermore, fifty or sixty miles away.

We claimed that as a casualty loss, and the IRS officer said, oh come on now. Maybe if some geologist will sign a statement along that line. I said, well, I don't think that will be too difficult. So I gave him a research paper, and I found what happened before the 1906 earthquake, before the Bakersfield earthquake, and before the Coyote Lake quake. Wells and geysers definitely stop flowing or increase their flow, They definitely change prior to the quake, and then reflect it after. So they accepted it. Instead of having to pro-rate the loss, it was instant casualty loss during the earthquake deductible. That really came in handy. I think it was the first time I ever won over the IRS.

David: Do you have a theory to explain what people have referred to as earthquake lights? What do you think they are?

James: Same thing-- electromagnetics. If you have a piece of quartz... Here's a big piece of quartz crystal. Now, if you have another little piece of quartz, and you rub this at night, this whole thing glows. It's called piezoelectric, and this was not known until thirty years ago. I went out on cross-coast ranges field trip with H. G. Anellan, who was 92 at the time. He's a famous old geologist from Nevada, who's written lots about earthquakes. He told me two great things on that trip that I learned.

One was-- Son, he said. when I was a young sprout, this old timer told me don't take bay leaves and rub in your hand and breath them like that. He says if you do that you'll get the worst headache you've ever got. And he said, I didn't believe it, so I had to try it. He says, believe me it's true. So I have never tried it. You know, sometimes you get under a pungent bay tree and you really sense it. It doesn't feel smell too good, so I believe it.

He also said, when I come down the quartz-site mountains there in Nevada after sunset, I'd notice this light under my feet. It wasn't sparks. It was the grinding of the rocks, and it was glowing. So I came home, and I've got quartz from various places, like Brazil and Alaska. It doesn't matter where it came from it, if you rub it they all do the same thing. Tribal luminescence is the term for this. The piezoelectric is the giving off of radio signals like quartz crystals do. But they also are tribal luminescent, a feature that's supposed to be only from unusual crystal like tremaline, banitarite, a few rare oddballs. Quartz is the most common mineral in the world.

How could this phenomenon never have been reported before? In fact, Vince said, he had gone back to a geological meeting ten years earlier or so, and met with Rogers, one of the leading mineralogist in the world at Princeton. As he was in there getting ready to go, he said, you know quartz is tribal luminescent? And Roger looked at him and says, what are you talking about? I'm a mineralogist, this can't be. Yeah, yeah, it happens with any kind. He said, well, let's go look. So they go into the darkroom. Well I'll be damned says Rogers. And suddenly it gets into the textbooks. But at the time that I talked with him back in about 1971 it was not in any textbook. Live and learn. So old wives' tales are more often true than not, and to just put it down because you're not used to it, you haven't seen it, is not scientific. A lot of weird things happen.

David. Skepticism is only one of the requirements for science. The other is curiosity.

James: Sure. Enthusiasm. Keeping the ears, eyes, and mind open. Otherwise you're on what call high science. High science is a so-called scientist that's got himself so high up on the ivory tower he has lost touch with the roots, the earth. He's working from memory, like I was asked to do for my last couple of years with the county. They started making it more and more difficult. Got out field-time notebook, fieldwork, smaller quarters. You know, hint, hint, hint. Get out of here. So I couldn't do my job the way I should've done. You have to get into trenches, across faults. You have to see what the landslide has done, instead relying totally on somebody else's work. I'm supposed to be reviewing somebody else's work in the blind.

So I didn't rely on my previous experiences and photographs, and things like that. Preposterous. No geologist in the state ever was put on those conditions of my last couple of years with the county. For the first fifteen-- utter euphoria, I was just walking on clouds here. I was getting almost twice the salary of what I'd gotten as an assistant professor. I was participating in important decisions, and working liaison between cities and counties, and federal and state governments. I was on various panels, and was deciding who's going to be employed over there. Then suddenly because of earthquake prediction I became persona non grata.

David: If you were given all the funding and manpower that you considered optimal to create a full-scale, worldwide earthquake prediction network. how would you go about doing it?

James: Oh I'd have a half a dozen staff, a couple of professionals, and have an 800 line. Maybe more than one line, to take these calls from the people with the weird animal reports and the headaches, and the lights in the sky, and the rumbles underground. Around five miles from the Loma Prieta epicenter. one month after the quake, the people in that area had a survivor's party. Someone said, boy, you know, I can hardly sleep because of these booming noises down under the ground for about a month before the quake, You heard those too? I wasn't going to say anything about them. Oh you heard those? There were sounds being generated deep down in the ground.

David: Somebody told me that they heard the earth growling for around a month prior to the Loma Prieta quake.

James: There you go. It's absolutely accepted. But the U.S.G.S. geologists hadn't heard that. They may have read it somewhere, but they just put it down, or just skimmed over it. Accepting new data, or at least considering new data with an objective frame of mind, and not just buy everybody's story. because there's an awful lot of garbage out there.

One night here on KGO, a few days after Loma Prieta, a leading officer from the U.S.G.S. was on describing what could happen as a result of the earthquake. This one lady called and said, I was driving north on Bay Shore, by San Carlos, and I looked in the rearview mirror, and I saw this rolling wave coming at me up the pavement. It was a few inches high, and it went under the car with a bump, and rapidly disappeared up the road. And David Ocompimer said, well, ma'am, I'm afraid that was an optical illusion, because the actual ground motion was only a fraction of an inch, and you couldn't have seen it. He tells her, but she said it happened.

Now, I saw it happen in 1957 with the Daly City quake. I was sixty miles away, and I hear a big boom! I was in the kitchen, putting away the groceries., and I thought a big explosion hit downtown. I go to the door, and all of a sudden the groundwaves come in-- the first was a p wave, that was essentially a sound wave. Then the s wave, which comes more slowly. An s wave has set speed slower than the p, just like lightening and thunder. You count to five, and you know how many miles away it is. The p wave arrives, and then you count to the s wave. If it's five seconds, it's about 25 miles away.

David: I can always hear an earthquake before I feel it. I hear a rumbling off in the distance that appears to be moving closer.

James: That's the p wave. It's a sound wave. It's push-pull, push-pull, push-pull, not a snakey S wave. So one goes five miles a second, the other about three mile. So if it takes five seconds between p and s, it's 25 miles away from the epicenter. Ten seconds. about fifty miles away. So it was about ten seconds by the time I put my groceries down , and I head for the door, and this mmmvvvaway, the wavy drama hits. I look out there and here's ten acres undulating like a choppy ocean, maybe up and down a foot. I was kind of naive at the time. I was waiting for the ground to open. Let me see these big cracks open up you know. And, yeah., nothing.

So after about fifteen seconds it just stopped. It's like you feel when the total eclipse is over-- darn, I wish it lasted longer. That was really great. So living in the country. the nearest person was about a hundred yards away, talking over the fence with some visitor. Nobody was home so I go up there and see these people and say, whoa, that was some earthquake wasn't it? First one I ever saw. I was 27 years old. As a native Californian, I had really felt left out. I had finally experienced a pretty good jolt. So one of the ladies-- the visitor, who was apparently from Eureka-- said, it was nothing we like we had in Eureka two weeks ago. They'd had a 6.5. And so I realized then there was earthquake snobbery out there. (laughter)

David: A married couple told me that during an earthquake back in 1979, they both saw the glass in the door, waving like water.

James: Yes, no question. In fact, I saw the wave preserved in the frame of a glass door in an unfinished house. It had fallen out, and it had a bulge in it, a wave about at least an inch, clearly. It seemed to be waiting for maybe the sun to shine on it. It was just going to pop with a little more stress.

David: Why didn't it shatter?

James: It's the length of time you have. It's like Silly Putty. If you pull it. it's like taffy. If you jerk it, it breaks. If you if you hit it with a hammer, it shatters like glass. So it's the length of time you act on it.

David: I remember being told as a kid that glass is actually a liquid. That's why if you look at old houses the windows are sometimes thicker on the bottom.

James: Yes, exactly. It's non-crystalline. Opal is a non-crystalline form of silica. Quartz is a crystalline form. Then there's intermediate forms. You can see if you run an x-ray, you get a beautiful high crystalline peak on quartz. With the opal you just get a broad mound; the peak is going to show later on. In between you get into estrobolite, high grade calcite, which is partly crystallized.

So yeah, glass will eventually crystalize and shatter too. That's why it doesn't survive very long in nature. if you see obsidian that's glass. If you take a chunk of granite and cook it up to about 600 degrees centigrade it would melt. If you take that granite melt and throw it on the ground, and if you gave it maybe a week to cool down, it would be like a lava flow, like ireilite, with maybe tiny little crystals begin to show. Maybe give it a million years to cool under pressure you get vanities. So the same chemistry, but it depends on the physical conditions that it went through as to what kind of rock you're going to get.

David: What do you think you can do to improve your earthquake predicting methods?

James: As I say, the more information the better. Now computers are helping. I have been desperate for a long time to get a good graphics program.

David: What kind of graphic modeling is a computer helpful with?

James: Well, with all this data here. It's hard to see what's happening in four cities at once, with dogs plus cats and lost plus found. As I say, you start to see a lost animal showing up in the papers maybe three to five days after it's gone. Here's how clear it is, and I did do graphics. If you can see the visuals, here's the most missing dogs in the history of the Bay Area from normal things other than quakes. Here's July 8th, 85, that's 72. Then there's 85 missing dogs. Look it was only 36, 30 there, and then it rapidly increases to 85. What's going on? The highest is 1980, July see there 45 lost and 43 found, that's 88, and it's on the 9th of July. So these are the two highest, the 88 and the 85. The third highest was 81 missing on the 27th of October. Now if you go to the month of July every year you'll see a very high number right around this period, and often no quakes to explain it. And it happens in every city. Why? Because of what happens here.

David: Oh, because of the Fourth of July celebration fireworks.

James: Yeah, it drives the dogs batty. We had a big Samilee out here that ripped out our screen door about this time. After the centennial they eased off on restrictions on fireworks, and now its gradually quieting down a bit, so we don't see these kinds of numbers. Usually it's in the fifties or sixties. But every year on the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, you hit the peaks. Then it kind of wedges down, because some people put an ad for one day, or three days, or two weeks. So I don't pay attention to the number of new ads, but the total ads. Otherwise I'd be spending all my time doing this.

But I do notice that when you suddenly see an abrupt change it's usually on the found side first. This is because the person immediately recognizes this dog or cat on their doorstep is not their's. Also, in the last fifteen years or so many papers have allowed you to put a found ad in for free, a two maybe three day found ad. You can call then up right away and say, we got this dog here in our garage, and it doesn't have a collar. So you put it in free, that attracts other people to look at the Lost and Found ads, and then you can put your ads in. It works well.

Before they did that you have almost no found ads, because most people are not going to spend those kind of bucks for somebody else's dog. So you see the founds pick up instantly because people recognize it. But the lost side will wait a few days as people look around the neighborhood. and finally after judging they might put an ad in. So every year-- and I've back to July's in the sixties and so forth-- Fourth of July produces this tremendous reaction of missing dogs. This is not so much for the cats, as they're not as ear oriented.

David: Have you ever seen the Fourth of July numbers coincide with preearthquake missing dog numbers?

James: Quake at the same type? Yes, and usually you get a double-peak. They had a big one in Oceanside at the same time as they had one in Palm Springs. So the LA missing dogs responded at about 86. So here, 44, 49. See, it'd been down here 13, 14, 23, 20, 18-- wham-- up to 49! 1 didn't get the numbers there, it may have been even higher, but here's the ocean tide quake of 5.6. So we had 44, 49, 44, 28, oh the double peak doesn't show there. Oh well. But Oceanside here, and Palm Springs right here. The 6.5 in Palm springs caused quite a bit of damage down there. A lot of roads blocked by landslides and things.

The 4th of July is here. Now, meantime here's 64 missing on the 9th of July. See, that's usually the date-- the 9th. It gives you enough time after the 4th for an average to build up. Now, here it goes down. Now, see when goes down-- this is what I'm saying, 64, 48, 48, and then back up to 62. That usually indicates there was secondary signal. I don't know that we had anything that significant around here. San Palukay is right over here with 2.9, but that's not good enough. It doesn't show up. But it could have been this, because look at that one-- 6.4, 5.6 and 6.4 up in Bishop.

Now, this was hot one. This was the Dog Days. I predicted a quake a here in the newspapers. The San Jose Mercury News carried my prediction. And on the day of this 5.6 that shook the Bay Area they said, "Berkland wrong. We're lucky." Now, sure it wasn't centered here, but we had quake because the ground shook. That's an earthquake- ground shakes. I said it would happen within 70 miles, and it happened 160 miles away. But that's a pretty good quake-- the strongest in Northern California for many months-- and to say, Berkland totally missed is bad reporting. I wouldn't call it a miss, even though it certainly wasn't a total hit.

David: Do they generally carry your predictions in The Mercury News?

James: Not anymore. No they definitely ruled against it. The Morgan Hill paper and the Gilroy paper. She was very good. and almost every year they'd call me. Okay, how did you do last year? I'd give them a summary of the data, and I give them a new window. One guy had gone to his professor who in just a random way set up an eight day window based on the birthdays of his students. In fact, he never reported his results. But that's fair. You know, give it a test.

David. What's the most common criticism that you receive, and how do you respond to it?

James: That earthquakes happen every day, and it's easy to predict them. And I say, it depends on the magnitude you're talking about. Here's the statistical data I have-- all the quakes between 1963 and 1977 from the year 1979 by the U.S.G.S.. I did a hand count, and saw one 3.5 every 35 days, and one 3.0 every 18 days. Most of those quakes are really aftershocks following a main event, so its hard to pick the timing of a quake if you don't have something consistent. And the something consistent is the periodicity of the tides.

I found the same phenomena in a book called The Earth by Ellis A. Leacluot, which I discovered in an old second hand bookstore. It has some beautiful etchings, and they showed the Ring of Fire. It was just a thing of interest in 1872. There actually was a French edition in the 1860's. Finally, when I got this idea about quakes, I suddenly saw this book up there, and I said, I wonder what he thought about earthquakes? Well, the study of the earthquakes, even those small earthquakes only detectable through the delicate instruments of USA de Bailey, seem to occur at the time of the syzygies, especially when the moon is close to the earth, that's perigee. My idea-- 100 years before I had it. And he also talked about continental drift, the Ring of Fire, and the relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes.

He spoke of the age of the earth in terms of billions of years, and said that the drift and debris found around the poles in the northern or southern hemisphere was not the result of a universal flood. It was the result of radiation. He supposedly had about five 20th Century developments that he had developed in the 1860's and 70's, and was almost totally ignored. His books were burned by the French mainly. He hated Napoleon III so much that he took arms on the side of Russia against Napoleon III, and was captured in the first battle. His books were burned. Luckily I found one. But they didn't even have a copy of it in the U.S.G.S.. So I wrote a paper about him, and the tremendous contributions he had made. But Ellis A. Reclue's name has been reclusive. In fact, Alfred Regner is given credit for talking about continental drift in 1912 or so. Then he pursued it until he died on a Greenland ice cap the year I was born-- 1930.

Bregner never mentioned Ellis A. Reclue fifty years earlier. Could it be because he was French versus German? Could it be that he was just totally ignorant? But how could it be? Ellis A. Reclue was called the French Darwin, and was considered to be the most prolific writer in the history of mathematical physical science. But because of his persona non grata status he doesn't get any credit. So in this paper that I wrote I mentioned all these things he had done and how.

Just as the earth changes through a charming drapery of foliage over the years, so the earth herself has her seasons. Through the slow lapse of the ages, the continents and the cities change their positions on the surface of the earth. He had it all down. So I write about it in Geology magazine. Three or four months later somebody else talks about the creators of continental drift, and he doesn't even mention his name. His book should be reprinted. I've got my copy around here. So his ideas outlived him, without correcting most of his critics. But they still never named him for his achievements, and that's a real shame.

David: Have you heard people say that moments right before an earthquake in a forest all the animals- birds and insects- get completely silent, and everything gets really quiet and still.

James: Sure. Oh yeah, that's very common. I hear that all the time prior to Loma Prieta. They said there was a deathly silence. That people just suddenly say, what's happening? And it's nothing. (laughter)

David: What do you think is causing that?

James: I think there's a confirmatory signal. The first signal ends up a week or two in advance for a moderate quake, but three weeks in advance for a biggie. You were familiar the Stanford professor that set up instruments near Aptos to detect natural ground signals, in order for us to communicate with his nuclear submarine fleet 200 feet below the surface. Once you go about ten feet below the surface of the water normal radio waves are hopeless. So by extremely high powered, very low frequency waves, you can get through the oceans and communicate with their nuclear submarines.

So in order to find when the maximum interference periods would be because of radar or whatever, they went to a remote area of the Santa Cruz mountains, coincidentally about five miles away from the epicenter. They installed these instruments, and had current coming in there to record continuously. And about two months before Loma Prieta this background full rose up to a secondary plateau, and when the quake happened it knocked off the power. So he went rushing up to what his instrument was like, and he was amazed to see that about three hours before the jolt it went off scale. It got nothing for a couple of days. He turned it back on it, just as the aftershocks and settling down occurred.

So it's the first solid evidence of these extremely low-frequency waves associated with quakes. But Tony Fraser-Smith at Stanford has been very resistant to take a strong position on this. He's like, well, it's probably coincidental, but we'll continue to study this. I'm sure, deep down inside he feels this is very real.

David: These are low-frequency waves. That's what I saw in that Science paper two weeks ago.

James: ELS, Extremely Low-Frequency waves. Oh, this was known for years before by Marsha Adams.

David: She's on my list of people to interview.

James: Yeah, okay, you'll have a problem with her. She used to be very open, and I used to communicate all the time with her. Our predictions would match time after time. She would get extremely low frequency signals, and I'd get my animal changes. And if I get high tide coming then I'll make my prediction. Then about six or eight years ago she got some private funding, and everything has become proprietary. You can't get the time of day really anymore. I can't. It's very unfortunate, because who benefits? Science is not benefiting. The populace is not benefiting.

They keep this secret just like those deaths in 1906. 1 could see it. If I had been the county geologist in San Francisco county, and the president or Governor Pardy or Mayor Schmitts comes to me and said, Jim, this is a terrible terrible accident and a tragedy, do you think it'll happen again in ten years? No. Fifty years? Maybe. A hundred years? Probably. Well, it's a long time away. We have to look to the living, and to encourage people to invest and to rebuild. It's a very important part of the country, and there's just a remote chance of it reoccurring this soon. It's not going to help anybody. So let's put this in time capsule, and open it up in 25 years, so future people can know about what really happened, not that nothing happened in terms of deaths or very little.

In fact, it was emphasized by William Randolph Hearst back in New York American had about the quake. It's three hours later there. So he called his staff in and said, they had this terrible quake in San Francisco, but don't overplay it. They get quakes there all the time. Besides, it was the fire that did most of the damage, and a fire can happen to the best run city. So they showed a picture of the Baltimore fire of 1902 on the front page. (laughter) Yeah, so they downplayed it.

What put me on to that was reading several things in the 1907 Whitiker's Almanac in England- April 18, San Francisco was visited by a frightful earthquake that caused more than sixty million pounds damage, five bucks a pound, pretty close to four or five hundred million dollars. But more monumental was the loss of several thousand lives, and I read that in this old almanac and I felt potentially outraged. What do they think we are, some kind of a banana republic? I know the facts. I've had ten years of college, and I know that only a few hundred died there. What are are those English telling us that we lost thousands- hah.

And then I ran into a great international disaster book, that said that in Iran in 1968 they had a 7 magnitude quake, and it said at least six thousand people were killed. There were some reports that 18,000 or more were killed, which may be true, but we'll never know due the reluctance of the Iranian government to admit to shoddy construction. Now, I said, I don't have a problem with that, it sounds perfectly logical. But when they tell us we lost that many, well, I wonder what the truth is. So I went to library, and I said, have you got a microfilm of 1906?

Oh, earthquake time huh? And I said, yeah, I think there was a coverup of the deaths. Oh. So I get there, and start cranking through. There's April 24th, and there's this article in The New York Times by one of the reporters, James Randall of Buffalo, New York. In the first column, interviewed in Kansas, Topeka, he said, any talk of mere hundreds being killed is ridiculous. As anyone would tell you that was there, he said, I saw several hotels and apartment houses, each with several hundred in them, totally collapse, and only one or scattering of people got out, and everything burned up right away.

So nobody could prove what happened. The military had it all under Marshall Law. They moved out 220,000 people, about half the population, anybody left that was idle there was put work hauling rubble and bodies. The temperatures had hit 2700 degrees fahrenheit, and totally burned up anything there. It melted cast iron, nails fused together. So there was nothing left, and it became very easy to ignore all of those thousands that died. The thing that gripes me is that they continue to this date.

I was asked to give a talk to Mensa down in Monterey, the same place where the big plate tectonic revolution developed. I talked about the earthquakes, and a little bit of all this for about an hour an a half. Also Edward Teller was down there, and he got a lot applause. He must have been 85 or so. He gave a nice talk. I was one of the first ones that asked a question. I said, given all of your experience with the U.S. government and secrecy, would you say it's possible that the U.S. government could have kept secret a UFO crash in Rosswell, New Mexico in 1947?

He says, yes it's possible. So, I said, thank you, and I sat down. And he says, one chance in a trillion. Everybody laughed, they thought well, he really put me down. So, I wrote in my newsletter, I said, given that overreaction to my question, two things are obvious. Either the eminent Dr. Teller knows nothing at all about statistics, or he's part of the coverup. (laughter)

David: In terms of the animals acting unusual, what's the time frame that they usually start to act strange in?

James: A week to ten days. You can tell for sure from the fireworks, see? They don't know what's coming before the fireworks. They know what the fireworks did to their senses.

David: And we see there's a five day lag basically with the firework responses.

James: Three to five days, yeah, when it starts to show. But it peaks out about-- well, 4th to the 9th-- yeah, about five days for the peak. With the earthquakes I'm sure there's a signal a week to ten days in advance. And now I'm becoming sure there also may be a three week advance warning for a larger quake. Then there seems to be a confirmatory signal about twenty minutes before. Time and again this seems to come. About twenty minutes before, suddenly all the horses and cows try to get out of the barn, or the dogs begin to howl.

David: What else do they do?

James: For a couple of weeks before the earthquake egg production goes down in chickens, and milk production goes down in cows.

David: What about human beings, or any other mammal that produces milk?

James: It hasn't been measured. But often married couples get on each other's nerves very much. They get very edgy. Marsha Adams is the one that told me about that. She and her husband would start yapping at each other, and they'd say, uh oh, I guess we're in for one.

David: They'd get agitated?

James: Yeah, uncomfortable, disoriented. Well, not so much. I've had a couple people tell me about losing their way in the city. They normally just follow their nose, and this time they just really got disoriented.

Were you in Santa Cruz during the Loma Prieta quake?

David: I was living in Santa Cruz up into until the end of August of 89, and I moved down to LA two months prior.

James: Good move.

David: Well, I was actually sorry that I missed it. I had been living right in downtown Santa Cruz for years, and I moved away just two months prior to the quake.

James: You wouldn't want to experience that. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't mind reexperiencing the Loma Prieta quake where I was-- in the 7th floor of the county building. Ironically, almost everybody had left, and there were only about three people left on the floor. Most everybody rushed out to watch the World series before 5:00. About three minutes after 5:00 1 said, well, I guess I better head on off. It's going to take a half hour to get home, and the game begins at 5:30. They had taken my phone away from me at this point, so I didn't have a phone at the desk.

There was a phone at the public counter. I wondered if my quake had happened, because I said it'd be a 3.5 to 6, and it could have been a 5 way off in the boonies and I wouldn't feel it. So before I left I just dialed the Berkeley Seismographic Station. I got about two punches away from the number selling what happened during the day, and the quake hit. And for about a second and half I said, I got my quake! Ohhh...ahhh...I mean, it was really crash, crash, crash. The bookcases, the rocks, and all around the desks were crashing.

I could hardly stand up, and was swaying back and forth. Here I am trying to hold myself up. Then the fear about what was happening at Candlestick and every place else. I said, we've got a major quake here. This is a 7. 1 said, boy I hope it's closer to here than Candlestick.

And my goddamn coworker told me later that I had done a jubilant dance and was shouting in glee during the disaster. He claimed that, even though he went under his desk. If he was under his desk there's no way he could see through this five foot screen that I was on he other side of. So how did he know about the dance? I didn't do any dance.

David: Maybe just trying to maintain your balance and stay standing during the quake looked like a dance. (laughter)

James: Yeah, maybe so. My excitation was less than two seconds. But this was significant. That's one of the reasons I was suspended. It cost me thousands of dollars, and I had an attorney. I thought, sure, I had a great case against the county, because they said, well, his work is fine, it's this prediction of an 8 magnitude quake that's supposed to follow this.

David: Maybe they thought you were causing the quakes? (laughter)

James: That's right. Well, I sometimes get that kind of reaction from foreign born people. Oh, he predicts quakes? He does. Oh... Then they give me a weird look.

David: Have you seen any evidence that tribal cultures or more indigenous peoples are more tuned into earthquake warning signals?

James: Well, they have noticed this thing about earthquakes and eclipses.

David: The Incas down in South America.

James: Yeah. I looked at the history of the earthquakes in Egypt, and about 40, 50 B.C. An army came up towards Thebes, after the capital of Egypt, and a solar eclipse hit and a big earthquake hit. They said let's get out here.

David: Are you writing a book?

James: I'm planning to do that, absolutely. We're supposed to move back up to my home valley, in the Valley of the Moon. One thing, I've got 83 issues of Syzygy, each with a section on "Just for Fun", a section on past earthquakes during that particular month, what happened during the previous seismic window, what's expected to happen next window, and then I have aftershocks. I'll talk other things that seem to be coming up, and maybe have some additional quotes. I describe new books that are coming out, or new agencies that have opened up. So each of these segments of the Syzygy are amenable to collection- like the best of Syzygy. That's what I've looking at.

I've had a lot of people come and say, oh I got to right your story. I've had this happen six or eight times. They start looking into it, and I predict some quakes for them, and they happen. Oh this great. Then they will go up to the U.S.G.S.-- Berkland, don't mention that name around here. And they'll go back to Denver, and they're very cooperative until my name comes up. It's just one of those things.

You've heard about The Body Electric by Dr. Becker? He experienced the same kind of thing- the deceit, the rivalries, and the animosities. It seems to be fairly common, and it takes a long to accept that it can be this severe. I mean, I was very naive, and for years I'd just spill my brain and expect somebody else to reciprocate, and not hold back all this. If you don't agree, fine. Let's hear about it. Let's discuss it. But not to black flag them or deny that you told somebody something.

The worst was 1980, which was the total shock to me, because until then I thought politics was largely out of science. I'd seen a lot of individual disputes, like when U.S.G.S. denies somebody or keeps somebody out the field for an assignment because they disputed on something. Little petty things, but nothing that's important really to life and limb. So in 1980, on November 7th, I looked in the Lost and Found Column and suddenly saw 14 missing cats, the most of the whole year. It didn't get higher for the rest of November or December, so I didn't know it wouldn't get higher. But I saw the most the whole year. It happened to be on the day of the new moon, and the previous new moon had a disastrous quake to Algerians. 25,000 were killed.

Then there were no major quakes anywhere in the world for two weeks. When they had the full moon, on that day there was the 300 killed in a 7 magnitude quake down in Mexico. Then there were no major quakes until the next new moon. So I called Olga Colga at the Calistoga Geyser, because this geyser normally erupts every 40 or 45 minutes. It;s a great tourist attraction, right at the face of Mt. St. Helena. You got the mud packs, the hot springs, the geyser water and all that. Here's this geyser beautifully set up now, and it used to erupt about every 40 or 45 minutes. They bought it in 72, and it acted very nicely until 1975.

Then on August 1st it shut off for two and a half hours. People couldn't wait around, and they had to refund money. Where's your damn geyser? It was very important to their livelihood. Then rolling in from Borville was a 5.8 quake about sixty miles away, at least. Then the the geyser returned to normal, and it acted normally for a few years. In 1978 it began acting very weird again, and the Mercury News picked up on it. I had a window open, so they said, look we want to fly you up there. And I said, great, fly me to the geyser, and I'll talk to people there.

And here's a young student from Humboldt State, and she's monitoring the eruptions. This was because the head of the geology department up there had passed through the geyser a few weeks earlier, I guess, and it had been erratic, and then they had a strong quake. So he said, hmm, maybe there is something to this, and he sent her down record this. Within a year he set up a infrared device that every time it would erupt it would set off time signals in a strip joint to record it, so they didn't have wait there and watch it all the time, which is great for the middle of the night, vacations, and so forth.

So this two and a half hour gap on August the 1st was the longest they'd ever seen. Then later on, when I was up there they had a two hour and fifteen minute gap, and then they had a 5.8 quake up at Bishop. It seems that their geyser is sensitive to quakes between the northern border and about the 36th parallel, which is just about from Monterey up to Bishop, and but not south of there. I am convinced that it was very active up until the extreme rainfall of 1982-83, and then it seemed to flood it out, eased its sensitivity, and I haven't any confidence in her since.

But anyway, by 1980 1 called her at noontime on the 7th of November, and I said, Olga how's your geyser doing? We got the new moon, and the most missing cats I've ever seen. And she said, Jim, I was about to call you. This morning there was three hour and twelve minute gap, the longest we've ever had by far. The previous record was two and a half hours. And I said, uh oh, it looks like a big one for Northern California. And she said, that's what we think. I said, I'm going to call the U.S.G.S. and predict it. She said, if you don't, we're going to. So I hung up, and I told my assistant to pick up the extension phone if you want to hear how you make a prediction.

Up until then I was a member of Earthquake Watch, which was set up by the U.S.G.S.. They had a contract with SRI to check missing or strange animal behavior, to try to do what the Chinese did for four years. They had up to eighteen hundred volunteer observers watching wild animals pets, and domestic animals. And for the first time I used that 800 line to make a prediction. I said, normally I would just say, oh, the dogs howled all night, or we had twelve missing cats, or something like, and let them draw their own conclusions. But this time three really separate things were pointing in the same direction, with discreet kinds of information. So, I said, based on these three factors, I believe there's going to be a 6.5 or better in Northern California within a week. I recorded that on Friday at noon.

The next morning, at about 2:30, a 7.2 hit Eureka, about 150 miles north of the geyser, convinced me that this was really a sensitive phenomenon. So on Monday I called the U.S.G.S., the SRI guys-- Dr. Otis and Dr. Kautz, who were the two running it. And I said, hey, did you listen to that tape? I'm on there. I predicted this quake, the first 7 magnitude quake I think ever predicted in the country. Oh Jim, we're not in the earthquake prediction business, we're in the animal observation business. And I said, okay. They could file these away. Just advancing science, learning

So at the end of the year you normally got a print-up of your transcripts on these taped phone conversations. The previous two years I'd gotten very nice printouts. I talked about that, and sure enough this quake happened, and that one happened. So I actually went and typed it
all up, and I sent in the results of my calls, which I hadn't to them predicted quakes. But I had elsewhere, and it fit the theories. And in this case I didn't get my transcripts.

So in July of 1981 1 call them. I said, did you mail out transcripts this year? Oh Jim, we mailed them out in February or March. You should have had them long ago. And I said, well, I didn't and that's why I'm calling. Oh, I'll check into that. Nothing happened. So August I called again. Oh yeah, I meant to check on that. I will Jim. So about two or three days later I got a phone call. It looks it looks like the computer just overlooked you. We'll send those along. And I said, fine. So a few days later I get nine of my ten transcripts. The tenth one was the one in which I made the prediction of this major quake.

So I call them and say, thank you for what you sent me, but what about that critical one where I predicted the Eureka quake? Oh, I don't know. We'll look into it Jim. So about a month later, almost a year after the prediction, I called again. I wasn't really trying to harass anyone, but every so often I'd think, hey, what did they do with it? So I called them, and I got hold of a very carefully prepared secretary, I'm sure of it. They stayed up nights. Oh, Mr. Berkland, I believe your call was on that tape we lost in the mail. Oh, how many have you lost in the mail in your four years of operation? Well, that's the only one, and I don't understand it, because I remember wrapping it so carefully in Styrofoam.

What a memory-- after a year-- about a particular envelope. Where did he mail it to? Menlo Park to Palo Alto. Well, such a long distance. You could skid across the border you know. Oh, you could see how you could lose a tape there. No way they lost that tape. They thought that the documentation of the first prediction of a major quake in this country was lost. They didn't know I had my assistant on the extension phone, who heard the whole thing, and wrote a very nice supportive letter for me. Plus the people at the geyser know that I was going to make that prediction.

So then I knew I was up against deceit. This is not science, and not scientific, but I'm afraid it's marked an awful lot of past science, and probably future science as well. Of all the bureaucratic bullshit, and scientific censorship in this day and age, I can't believe this going on. Maybe someday people will be more open. So that was my awakening. And I said, I don't need this. I'll do it on my own.

David: I studied neuroscience in graduate school because of my curiosity in the brain and consciousness. I went in with the assumption that the universe was about 99% mysterious, and about 1% understood. I was amazed to discover that most of my professors believed the reverse to be true, and that we would have the final 1% figured out by the end of the year.

James: That was my attitude through high school and college until I got to Berkeley. I always thought that all the answers were in the right book, or in somebody's head. But when I got to submarine canyons, and started going into that and seeing the motions involved in each theory, I said, hey, there's things out there to find and discover. Really, that was the first time I realized that there was all this science waiting to be developed, and that really got interested. That's one of the reasons I was so glad I got into geology, because there was so many aspects that effected daily life, the future, and the past.

A children's hospital was looking at a case where a younger girl had lost the tip of her finger, like when kids put their hands under a lawn mower. Usually they would treat it, clean it, put gauze on it for two days, then they would have the wound closed by microsurgery. Now somehow this little girl got lost in the computer, or whatever they had there in the sixties, and after like ten days they said, oh my God, we've forgotten her. She came in saying, aren't you going to do anything with this? She still had the original dressing on it. So they pull off the dressing, and the finger bone and flesh are regrowing. They continue to observe it, and it regrew with nail and all. There was not a sign that this had ever happened.

David: How far down was it?

James: To the first knuckle. It would never work below the first knuckle, and you had to be no more than eleven years old for it to regrow. They've done it hundreds of times since they picked it up. So finally New York Children's Hospital there picked up on it, and they're so confident now that if a kid comes in, and the finger's just dangling, they just snip it off, and wait for it to regrow.

Probably the most intriguing thing about animals and quakes came to my attention just before I had to address the Santa Clara County Surgical Society. They had their Christmas dinner in 1989 after the quake. I was still suspended at this time, so I was looking for any kind of income. So they offered to give me $500 to come and talk to the surgeon's group, and videotape the whole thing. Well, just before, in November, I was starting to get calls from this lady near Watsonville, very close to the San Andreas fault. She had a little toy poodle that was a fastidious extremely intelligent animal, and he had a big Offish setter as a companion. He just ordered this big dog around you know. It was, I guess, kind of comical. But the little dog got to sleep on the bed every night.

About a week before Loma Prieta the little dog and the big dog disappeared. They were gone, and had never disappeared all day before. They came back before sunset, and the little dog was absolutely coated with mud. He had this just forlorn expression in its eyes. The big dog was fine. So she washes the dog, shampoos and dries him, and he's back on the bed that night. Next day he's gone again, and comes back muddy. Okay, this time you suffer. She spent all night in the garage whimpering. The next day she took pity and washed him up again. A day or so later, gone again. Comes back muddy. Then the quake happened. He seemed okay for a week or so, and then before some of the larger aftershocks, he did the same routine. She said what is going on with this dog? I said, I don't know.

You know sometimes dogs will immerse themselves in mud if they have to draw wounds. It's a curing thing. But she just kept calling me, and she had most of the larger earthquakes. It was very reliable. Then one day just before I was leaving she called me and said, today he came back, and I thought I was losing him. He was convulsing on the ground, chocking and gasping, and he's muddy all over. Finally, I open up his mouth, and I pull out a three or four inch long willow stick in his throat. What is going on? And I said, well I'll have to think about that one.

So I was driving home, and I had just gotten to about the driveway, when suddenly I'm click, click, click. I had botany in class in forestry, and I recalled that willow is of the genus salics. And it just occurred to me-- is it possible that has anything to do with salicylic acid? So I look in my books here, and found that willow bark contains salicylic acid, and indians would chew it to alleviate pain. Have you ever heard of dog with a headache? Is there any reason why they wouldn't? Is there any reason why they wouldn't self-medicate. It fit 100%.

So I called my daughter, who was studying animal psychology at UCLA, and I asked her to check with a couple of her professors to see if this idea sounded reasonable. She said, oh Dad, I'd be embarrassed to even say anything like that. I said, lay it on me, I can handle it. So about a half an hour, maybe an hour before I had to go down and give this talk she called me. You know Dad, she said, I can't believe it. They said it sounded perfectly reasonable. I said great, and then went off to give my talk. Well, I went on like I usually do for an hour and a half, but the one thing that drew more table-talk, and caught their attention more than anything else, was what I had to say about that incident. So I have no doubt that some animals get headaches, in relation to earthquakes, just like the nine people I know about now who have had it.

I was telling the first two stories I had after the Loma Prieta quake to a Time-Life photographer, who had come down from Marin County to interview me. He'd seen me on channel 2 the day after the quake, about the time I was suspended, so I guess it was about a week after the quake. I was on their noontime show, and he had seen me. He called me on the phone, and said, I'd like come down and interview. I said fine. So he came around four in the afternoon, left around midnight, and we had dinner and everything. He said that he's always been interested in earthquakes, and natural science stuff, so I was telling the story about the gal in New Brunswick, followed by the gal in San Jose, and boy did he fix interest on me.

When I got those two stories out of the way, he said let me tell you Jim, I had the worst headache of my life four days before Loma Prieta. I was living Advil, and it was really horrible. I was driving along the Richmond--San Raphael Bridge, and I had an important meeting down in Oakland on the night of the 17th. I was going to the bridge, and I suddenly noticed that the pain and pressure had gone away. And I said, whoa, that's really a relief. There's this important meeting, and I'll keep my thoughts straight. He went about fifteen more minutes, and the quake hit. Had he been a little bit earlier, he would have been on the bridge.

So these are totally independent repetitions of this center-of-the-forehead headache that can occur a few days before the quake, and end just a half hour or so before. And that's the only male I've had. There was another chiropractor, a lady who lived in the Santa Cruz mountains, that this was so bad for, that she gave up her practice here and moved to Hawaii.

I'll tell you another animal story, which should have been on "Unsolved Mysteries", because they kept me up there all day. I brought in all these people with dogs and pets that had done reactions before the quakes, and all of us wound up on the cutting room floor, because they were only interested in Irving Browning's prediction of a big quake to hit the midwest in December of 1990, which I shot down. I said, I believe with Irving Browning that tidal forces from the sun and the moon have a lot to do with timing of earthquakes, but I don't believe that you can locate a particular place in the world to have a big quake, a year in advance, based on the tides. The tides are worldwide, and to pin down a particular place you have to wait as you approach the statistical dates, and see what the local effects are.

How can you pin down a particular place, where they haven't a big quake there since 1895 when they had about about a 6. Then since 1811 or 1612, the biggest ever to hit 48 states happened. It caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. There were some really great earthquakes of around 8.5. So since I didn't go along with this frightening prediction, they didn't want to hear about it. I said, I gave a it a less than one half of one percent chance of that. I said, I wouldn't say that it's totally impossible, but unlikely in a particular place.

Prior periods of the country have had similar situations to what we just went through in the last two weeks, where its been amazingly quiet, which may the quiet before the storm. I believe that within three weeks, we're going to have a 5 plus, probably in the middle of November, but anytime now-- because of the animal reactions, the magnetic stress indicators, and the seismic quiescence. This is probably the quiet before the storm. It's very frequent. It's one of the things the Chinese and Japanese talk about.

So up on top of the Santa Cruz mountains there's a stable, Sunset Ranch or something like. They had a horse up there that was in 'the stable, in the corral, and their neighbor had just driven up in a brand new Mercedes to show it off. Suddenly, Andy, the horse, began to go berserk. He was running around and neighing. He was leaping up, and his ears were back and his eyes were wide. They said, he wasn't neighing, he was shrieking. Their biggest problem was that it was the driest time of the year, and the dust was going all over this new Mercedes. Suddenly the quake hit, and the corral dropped down about two feet. Big cracks developed on either side.

Meanwhile, there were about six or eight other horses there which seemed to be immune to this. It was only Andy that was acting up. Then finally his fear was beginning to transmit to them just about the time the quake hit. Andy had been very reluctant to walk along a certain path they would take him for a couple weeks prior to the quake. He would get to certain place on the trail, and then he would stop. They would have get off and lead him over. After the earthquake, they went up along that trail, and it had a big crack in it right where was he so reluctant to go.

I encouraged somebody to go out to draw this gag-shot thing, and put it in the Syzygy about five six months ago. This other dog was a very big dog, and he seemed to be sensitive to earthquakes. Before them he'd try to hide in the bathtub. Then he would dig under things before earthquakes. That's what he did before the big one, and before one of the aftershocks. The night before, I think, he came in the middle of the night and got up on on their bed. The husband (Dean) said to the dog, Duke, there better be an earthquake coming, or Duke is history.

So in the cartoon you see the 3:00 a.m. alarm clock, and this guy. Here's Duke going up. "There better be a earthquake, or Duke is history." But he saved himself that time. Latter on he began to dig holes in the hardwood floor. They put up looking at him for a couple of years after the quake. Then they moved to Mt. Phoenix. Now, there's been a report, of course, that Phoenix is going to be a seaport, after the whole of California slides in the sea. I've had about a couple of lines on it. It suddenly occurred to me, and I said in one of my newsletters, I've heard that Phoenix is going to become a seaport. I think that's rather unlikely, but, of course, I've always heard that the Phoenitions were very good sailors.

David: People have been saying for a long time that California is going to slide into the ocean one day, but I've always thought just the opposite could be possible-- that one day the rest of the continent could slide off into the sea, and California will become an island.

James: That's the other thing I said. That's the first line that have before I saw this one. Then I came up with another. You've been over El Tamont Pass, or the San Bergonio Pass, one of these places where all these wind generators are? So, I said, not to worry, because the minute we start to slide, they're just going to turn on all those propellers.

David: Tell me about how you got suspended from the U.S.G.S..

James: I get in from this one day, and they say don't answer those calls, go back and talk to the boss. I get back, and she said, Jim, I'm really concerned about your recent announcements. Of what recent announcements? That we're going to have an 8 magnitude quake next month. I said, I didn't say that. I don't believe that. Where did you get that?

Well, the U.S.G.S. said that you said it. And I said, well I didn't. Maybe you're confused with the false statement in the Mercury News that I was predicting a 7 to follow this first 7. And I said, I already called them, and they printed the retraction this morning. Here's a copy of the paper, and I don't even know about that. So it was definitely a paper from the U.S.G.S. that I claimed that I had predicted the World Series quake, and now I was calling for another, an 8 to follow it. It's just preposterous and false.

She tells me that I've got to explain this to the board of supervisors. Meanwhile, she says, you better read this. It said: Because of stress caused by recent announcements, so effective immediately you are suspended, go home and do not speak to the media about earthquakes. I don't know what happened to free speech. How long is this going to be for? Oh, three or four days, until I explain to the board. It turned in to two and half months.

So I immediately picked up the phone at 6:15 at night to call my wife. Jim, you won't believe what happened here today. She said, I know all about it. My friend just saw it on the evening news. She heard about it before I had. You'd think that an attorney might see this as a ripe field to make a name for himself, because these charges were totally false. I could show that there was no evidence. So after about of month of hemming and hawing they backed off the charges that I was predicting a larger quake. Instead they said, he's been a problem for some time with these predictions, he has messy desk, and he's behind in his work.

I was behind three days because I had taken vacation to the Banolian's International Convention, and I'd taken a trip to the West Indies. I was gone for almost a month, so naturally you get a little behind in your work. I got back in in August, and so this was October, and I was three days behind in my work, after being a month behind. So also a classic charge- you're not available just when the county needed you most. They sent me home. (laughter) Oh, and also you couldn't get along with your colleagues and the public, but they later dropped that charge. We did detect tenseness in your colleagues when we discussed your situation with them.

I wrote about a six page moment-by-moment explanation of this whole theory, and my representative from the Engineers and Architects Association said, oh no, we don't need that. And we lost the case. We essentially lost the case, partly because, instead of going for a three man board, we just went for one person. And the charges had dragged on, and dragged on, and we had to go. We had our second one six months later, and at that time, I was asked to start to testify. And my representative somehow was on drugs or alcohol or something, I don't know. He just got extremely nervous. He said, I don't believe I can handle this.

We hadn't had my side of it, so then they had to postpone it again for another six months. So a year later, I'm already, I'd back to the county, and tried to put up with all this crap. The gal, I guess, had forgotten a lot of the evidence, and didn't have my written statement about what happened.

When I started the 900 line in the early 1990 it was in The Wall Street Journal. They interviewed me, and talked about it. Then they went to the U.S.G.S., and a spokesman at the U.S.G.S. said we known this guy for his entire career, and he's been nothing but a clown. So with that I went to attorney, paid him $500 to write a letter. This was Pete McClaucy, who ran for president a few years ago. He wrote them a letter and they realized that these personal attacks aren't okay; you don't call somebody a clown. I'm not a clown. I'm very serious scientist. I try to keep a sense of humor about it. They used to say, Berkland's not a scientist, he's just an enthusiast. So, I said, well I guess you've never heard of an enthusiastic scientist. It was a little better than reading tea leaves, merely matching two random series of events. I have never heard that celestial mechanics was random, but they remarked that way. Okay.

David: Is there anything else that you think we should add?

James: We could go for about two, there days, there are so many exciting things happening.

Oh, I've got a copy of the latest Syzygy. I just brought it down to the printers. This is 96, and I had told you I reported to the Geological Society in the middle of December that the best window I'd seen in awhile was about to open up between the 29th of December and January 4th of, at about 7:30 in the morning. Bang-o it hit-- 4.6, the strongest quake of the year. And 45 minutes earlier I had heard my recorded voice on the radio station predicting this week. I'd said, there'd be an 8.3 foot tide. And somebody's going to say I'm predicting a 8.3 magnitude quake.

So I wanted to get my tape recorder next to the radio, but before they replayed the tape, the quake hit. And in that afternoon's paper, the U.S.G.S. spokesman said, maybe the tides did have something to do with the quake. The very next day he completely denied it. He said, well, no, after all it's on a very active fault anyway. And the reporter said, well, what do you think about that change, And I said, well, that comment is about like saying the ten car smashup on the Bay Shore Freeway had nothing to do with the cloud burst that hit at the same time, because it's a very active highway. I mean, here you get a correlation, and you turn your back on it. That does not silence. It's not proof, but it's evidence.

I hope you tune into the Art Bell show on Midnight, on Sunday he's on a decent hour, 7-10:00. KSFO 56. Art Bell is one of the better interviewers around, in that-- like you-- he'll let a guy just ramble, and insert interesting little points. But he has gotten all the people in the UFO business there, and earthquake predictions. I was on for five hours. One night back on June 30th, early in the morning I had the ear plug in my ear, and listened to Art Bell as I was going to sleep. Suddenly I hear, I wish Jim Berkland would call me. So, whoa, I got up, and I put on the fax. I had his fax number, and I faxed him a couple pages of my newsletter, and I said, I'd be very happy anytime.

About nine in the morning I get a call-- hey Jim, finally got hold of you. How would you like to be on my show tonight? I said, love it. Okay, you better go take a nap before. So 11:00 he calls, and I'm on until four in the morning. And I've got 1050 letters. I had said, if anyone wants a sample copy of my newsletter send a self-addressed stamped envelope. So I got 1050 letters in about the next two three weeks. But out of all those people only about five subscribed.

In the case of the prediction regarding Washington last year, and this year, the two strongest quakes in 31 years. More than half of my subscribers came from there, because it hit them directly, right after on radio and TV. We heard all the skeptics say, oh, it's impossible. Then bang on they hit, and it's just so funny. But, you know it just keeps happening. The Rebellious Geologist Insists Upon a Fair Shake, that's going to be the title of my book-- A Fair Shake. Oh, and I've got my epitaph-- Jim Berkland. Geologist. He searched for truth, but here he lies. (laughter)

 

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