SYZYGY...An Earthquake Newsletter
Sizz-a-Jee (Linked by a common need & interest)
Editor: Jim Berkland
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James O. Berkland


MAY 1997

Vol. 8. No. 5

Hello Folks,
My, how things change and connotations shift! Do you remember how my November 1996 SYZYGY began? Let me remind you:

SKY ALERT! Hale-Bopp is upon us ...Hale-Bopp is much larger than Halley's and it should peak out about April 1, 1997 (no fooling) ...Comets have been correlated by mystics with disasters and governmental overturnings, but the tidal effects are negligible on the Earth because of their low masses and great distances, so there is no physical explanation for such correlations. However, because of the duration of this performance of Hale-Bopp, there are bound to be several major earthquakes during the first half of next year, typically seven of 7M----and one half of one 8M. (No, that's not equal to a 4M.)
There is no doubt that Hale-Bopp will have the world's attention. (emphasis added).

World attention to the Heaven's Gate suicides was predictable and so were the suicides themselves (based upon similar unfounded fears at the time of the first millenium as well as during previous cometary conjunctions.) Even so, the ratrling of Heaven's Gate was shocking. Yet it would be foolish to blame the comet, the internet, or Art Bell, or amateur astronomer Chuck Schramek, whose notorious photo of the Hale-Bopp "companion" started so much speculation. The 39 members of the cult chose the time of their death, as well as the means. They happily died for a cause they believed in and did not take with them any children or reluctant adults. Also in their relatively short lives, they were relatively productive. Thus, they are not subjects for sympathy or ridicule or antipathy. We are all subject to certain death at uncertain times, and the Heaven's Gate cult chose to remove the uncertainty. For that they at least deserve our understanding.

Ringing Art's Bell: As expected I was inundated with more than 1000 letters following my last appearance on the Art Bell late-night radio talk show (March 10-11, 1997.) I am pleased to have received nearly 50 new subscriptions, so far, which justifies my burning the midnight oil night after night in order to fill SASE's with sample copies of my newsletter. One request came from Charles Boutwell of Pascagoula, Mississippi, (I just love the poetic sound of that trochaic pentameter.) I brought his letter with me during a late March trip to Gulf Breeze, Florida, where I attended an excellent convention. Following the meeting my wife, Jan and I joined nuclear physicist, Stan Friedman and his wife, Marilyn for a first-time trip to New Orleans (now my favorite city.) Half-way there we passed through Pascagoula and I stopped by to hand-deliver a copy of SYZYGY to Charles. Unfortunately, he was ill and I wasn't able to meet him, but did have a pleasant chat with his mother, who promised to relay the letter requested by Bill. (I also returned the 32 cent stamp from his S.A.S.E.. thus frustrating the U.S. Postal Service.) However, in the case of the 1OOO-plus other letters I received. I responded in the usual fashion, through the mails, although it took me about a full week to do so. (This is retirement?)

Many of the newsletter requests were incorporated within beautiful letters and I would be remiss if I did not show you examples of nice people who appreciate the forum provided by Art Bell and recognize me for what I have trying to do in de-mystifying earthquakes and increasing safety awareness.

Dear Mr Berklond: We heard you on Art Bell's show the other night and it was interesting, to say the least My husband is disabled and since we discovered Art Bell, I can go to sleep easier. He has Art to keep him company on his sleepless nights, and great guests like you are what make the show so great "Mahalo" for the information.
Aloha, Laura & Milton Kaneho, Keaau, Hawaii.

Jim B. PIease send a copy of your newsletter as offered on Art Bell's "Coast to Coast Show." If any info is available about Vancouver island and Victoria this would also be appreciated Your interview was enlightening. It's good to know at least some men of science are able to put common sense and intuitive feeling ahead of ego and prestige. What ever happened to logic and the sense of discovery? Keep up your good work and I hope you have made plans to pass on your expertise and knowledge, so that, when the "mainstream" is finally ready to acknowledge your wisdom, it will be there for us.
Thank you, sincerely, Jay Kukakusa, Victoria, B.C. Canada.

Dear Mr Berkland: I listened to your very interesting program with Art Bell tonight and would appreciate a free copy of your newsletter, along with subscription data and other info that you may offer. Enclosed is the S.A.S.E. that you reguested Thank you for your time and an excellent interview.
Sincerely, Rosemary Picallo; Big Lake, Alaska.

Dear Jim: Thank you for your "courtesy call" to inform me of the quakes you felt coming during the March "Window" and that there might possibly be a good sized one, if all the conditions that cause one are met. Enclosed is my check to renew my subscription and some cash to pay for the phone call you made to our house and to help cover a little of the costs of other "courtesy calls" you made to other subscribers. Keep it up! you were right again!!! I went to an italian dinner at an 'old neighborhood reunion' in with my Dad on March 8th. When he came to pick me up. I had my first aid kit and a backpack with granola bars, water, t.p. and a few other items packed by the door to put in his car it made me feel more comfortable and as you know. there was no quake that night, but the next morning they hit. My Dad phoned from work and said, "Keep that emergency stuff in your car! That guy was right as there were four earthquakes last night!!" Jim, "that guy" is you so you have convinced my Dad, too! Bye for now----
Mrs. D. Andersen, Pleasanton, CA.

Hi, Jim: Heard you on Art Bell's show and thought it one af his best. Here in mid-Missouri, we saw at least a dozen housecats dead on the highway, plus skunks, a couple of dogs and several other animals on March 5 & 6, 1997. Thought you would like to know this.
(Ed: Those are good observations that may be significant. The New Madrid Seismic Network shows the following events that may or may not apply to the roadkills:
March 6th, Ridgely, TN (2.4M); March 7th, Perryville, MO(1.8M); March 13th, Columbia, IL (2.2M); March 16th, Catron, MO(2.OM); March 16th, W. Arkansas, (3.4M). The last shock was the strongest listed for the area since last November 29th, when a real jolt of 4.3M hit near Blytheville, Arkansas.)
Thanks for the newsletter. Luella Coan, Eugene, Missouri.

Greetings Jim: I enjoyed our brief telephone chat today. I called you after listening to your radio interview with Art Bell. It was very informative and most enlightening. I look forward to reading your newsletter and following your work with greater detail. I was most interested in your discussion about the relationship between crystal formations and the sights and sounds currently being revealed by our planet. There is a great deal of living revelation that is coordinating geology with a number of other fields in science. I humbly agree with your statement that the planet is trying to communicate with us. You are developing a good set of 'cosmic ears' that are tuning into celestial broadcasts. Spiritual experience is the real soul of man's cosmos.
Sincerely, Santeen, Sedona, AZ.

Dear Jim, I first "met" you on WGN Chicago Eddie Schwart's show.) Used to enjoy his visits wilh you. It's nice to re-discover you on Art Bell's show. All the best to you and thanks for the free newsletter!
Barbara J. Plank, Mount Prospect, ILL.

Dear Mr. Berkland, I heard you on the Art Bell Show. Very interesting and informntive. Please send me a copy of your newsletter as vou advertised on the radio. Thank you for having the fortitude to say things as you see them. This is a rare quality among scientists today. We need more people like you on this planet.
Sincerely, James Heuser, Maple Valley WA.

Dear Mr Berkland, I live 8 miles SE of Desert Hot Springs. What kind of summer are we looking at? I listened to you on the George Putnam show in L.A. for years.
Good luck! Ilse Borchardt, Desert Hot Springs, CA.

Jim--- Really enjoyed listening to you on Art Bell. In sending a SASE for a copy of your newsletter. Keep up the good work.
Sincerely, Mindy Pappas. Anchorage,AK.

Jim Berklund: I enjoy Art Bell's shows and would like to have a free copy of prophecy offered. I would also like to know the cost of subscription.
Thank you, Marguerite Lewis, Dunedin, Florida.

Jim: A free copy of your letter please! I enjoyed the Art Bell interview very much.
Blessings! Bill Bard, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
(ED; With a name like "Bard", I made sure he got a sample of SYZYGY with poetry.)

This section was created with the special interests of Puget Sound residents in mind, but the infomration is applicable to any seismically active area, and often for areas where earthquakes are not the significant hazard. Emergency preparedness in 'general' can be usual for the troops as well. Part of the problem here is to convince people that prediction is possible and that some action is advisable. The following letter dealing with this issue came from the Puget Sound area in fact from the epicenter of the January 28. 1995 quake of 5.IM, which I had predicted six days earlier on the KOMO TV production, Town Meeting.

Dear Jim, I tried addressing this to Mr. Berkland, but for some reason, that just seemed too formal. I feel as though I know you after subscribing to Syzygy for two years now. I Just subscribed shortly after our 5.1 earthqanke in January of 1995. At that time, my husband was a skeptic. I would read your newsletters to him and everything I said went in one ear and our the other.
However, after the past two years, he has slowly become one of your promoters. He looks forward to your newsletter as much as I do. He used to laugh at my numerous earthquake kits at home and in our vehicles, but quietly accepts them now.
I just don't know how anyone who reads your newsletter and takes note of your accuracy can dismiss what you do! I'm all for modern science, but it seems that there are too many scientists ignoring the facts that you have laid on the table. I myself refuse to ignore those facts! Please renew my suhscription for a year and keep up the good work!
Sincerely, Kelli & Tim Hancock, Federal Way, WA.

Sometimes the best part of planning is to involve other people in data gathering and information distribution. Here is a letter that includes a bit of this aspect:
Dear Mr. Birkland--- Enjoyed hearing you on the Art Bell show tonight! I'm writing to request a copy of your newsletter. Enclosed is a self-addressed stamped envelope.....and another one for my sister, who will surely ask why I didn 't request one for her when I call her in the morning. So I'm sending a self-addressed stamped envelope for her as well. Hope that is all right.
My eight-five year old husband has Alzheimers, so l'm in charge of earthquake preparedness. I've had the house bolted have extra water supplies that I keep renewing, have flashlights, with batteries distributed throughout the house and butane in our R.V. if the power is out, etc. etc! But having some warning of a "red alert" period would be so helpful! My current "bible" is Super Quake by David Ritchie.
I look forward to receiving a free copy of your newsletter and will probably be subscribing.
Thank you for being there! Kathleen Westrum, Palo Alto, CA.

What's in a name? My surname, Berkland, is somewhat anglicized from the Norwegian, Birkeland, Iand of the birches. In 1983 my daughter, Krista, and I toured Norway and visited my grandfather's former Farm (which he had sold in 1884 to finance his family's emigration to Eagle Grove, Iowa. It was surprising to me that the Norwegian property north of Haugesund is still known as "the Birkeland Farm." It was a very educational, as well as emotional trip for me, as it had been just 100 years since my father's father had "worked the soil" there.
The name. Berkland is not a common one and my son, Jay, is the only male in my grandfather's direct lineage to carry on the family name. When the name is pronounced over the radio, there are innumerable possible combination that people consider when addressing a letter to me and only about half of those I received following the Art Bell show spelled it correctly. Those that came close were: Berkeland, Bergland, Berglund, Berklund, Birklund, Birkland, Birklind, Birklund, Birkelund, Berland, Burklan, Burkland, Burklund, Berklynn, Burklin, Burglen, Berklin, Berkline, Berkley, Borkland, Buckland, Bierkman, Burklandt, Burkewin, Kirkland, Mr. Newsletter, and Art Burkeland. The important thing is that all of these variations found their way to the right box and on receipt of the requested newsletters, the recipients now know the right spelling. Perhaps by my next appearance, Art may learn how to pronounce SYZYGY.

SEISMIC SENTRIES (Pet of the Month)
In recent issues of SYZYGY I have mentioned how seagulls fly miles inland prior to significant coastal shocks in Chile, Alaska and northern Calfornia. Another such report came in mid-March from southem California:

Dear Jim Birkland(?) Please forgive spelling of your last nnme, but Art Bell sometimes skims over a name. Thank you for your interview on his show. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts. (ED Just how psychic is this lady?)
During the past two weeks I noted something most unusual A huge flock of seagulls were flying in three series of inter-twining circles for ten minutes before they flew off toward the canyons of Laguna Beach. This past week in Laguna Nigel, some ten minutes inland from the ocean, the very same thing happened. Any thoughts on what is happening or is this common?
Thanks again, Myrna Corday, Laguna Niguel, CA.

Myrna, Birds contain the mineral, magnetite, in their heads, making them sensitive to magnetic north. When the magnetic field is disturbed, so are they, and they try to remove themselves from troubled waters. The strongest quake in years in Inglewood just hit early on April 4th, frightening many sleepers, as well as Art Bell show candidates (the insomniacs.) Anticipation of this quake may have contributed to the unusual behavior of the seagulls. At least it is the type of thing we need to study further.

This section started with the current volume eight of SYZYGY where I began to venture down a side road seldom traveled by scientists. Now I question, "Why did I wait so long?" Truth is always a proper route, no matter where it leads. This true story begins early on July 13, 1980 when I experienced an unusual dream that seemed to last for hours. I was in a large old house and there seemed to be no way out. Each long, dark hall led to another, or to an empty room, or to a blind staircase (as in the Winchester Mystery House, here in San Jose.) It was not frightening, but it was prolonged and exasperating. Suddenly, an outside door opened and a shaft of light penetrated the darkness, revealing a figure about the size and shape of my long-dead father. A familiar matter-of-fact voice asked me, "Did you hear about the big earthquake back East?" I answered "No. how big was it?" "A 5 1/2 to 6!", came the response. "Wow, that was big for back there. Was it in the Boston area?" I went on. I heard only a muffled "mblgrble sondem" or something equally unintelligible, as I abruptly woke up at about 5:00 a.m., and I couldn't get back to sleep. At the office that morning I scribbled a memo to my geologic colleague at Appalachian State University, where I had taught during the 1972-73 academic year. In essence I wrote, "I don't know what you think about dreams, but if there is anything to it. you should have a pretty good jolt back there before long." And I briefly described to him my recent dream.
Exactly two weeks later on a Sunday aftemoon, we were having a barbecue at our former home in the Evergreen District of San Jose. I was alone in the living room about 2:00 p.m. when the outside door opened and, with his arms loaded with foodstuffs, in came my friend Stanton Friedman. His first comment was, "Did you hear nbout the big earthquake back East?" As the chills went up my spine, I heard myself respond, "No how big was it?" "A 5.8," Stan answered. "My God, I told him. Ijust had this conversation in a dream two weeks ago."
As it tumed out, the magnitude was later lowered to 5.2 with a MM Intensity VII, but the initial report coincided exactly with the details in my dream. In either case it was the largest ever recorded with an epicenter in Kentucky (near Maysville, where damage exceeded $1 million.) It was felt in 15 states, the Canadian province of Ontario and as far south as Birmingham, Alabama. Although perceptible in western Pennsylvania and New York, it was not felt in Boston. However, at an afternoon American League baseball game in Detroit, Michigan, the Tigers and their fans were non-plussed by the strange ground motion. However, their opponents, the Oakland, "A's" knew full well what was happening. Interestingly, my dream-quake-come-true had an sharp intensity of MM IV in Boone. North Carolina. at Appalachian State University. Of equal interest to me is that fact that it occurred on the day of a total lunar eclipse, when tidal forces were unusually high. All of this account is true. How much can be ascribed to "coincidence?"

This issue is an appropriate one to describe another historic earthquake located East of the Mississippi, as the subject of "Moodus noises" came up on the art Bell show. in the unlikely location of Middlesex County along the Connecticut River, on May 18, 1791 there was a VIII intensity quake of about 5.5 magnitude, the strongest in the history of the state. This one was felt in Boston, as well as in New York City. It decapitated chimneys, knocked down stone walls, and opened fissures in the ground. Rocks of several tons were moved and, at Clinton, " were observed leaping out of water." (Ed: I wonder if this piscatorial performance preceded the quake, as has been reported prior to a number of quakes in other parts of the world.) There were more than 100 aftershocks, and significant jolts followed in 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1805. The indians had long noted the area as a place of noises" (or Morehemoodus), and considered it a place to be avoided. The noises are probably related to the P-waves, which are essenially sound waves in the Earth. They have a "push-pull" motion or compression-rarefaction, just as do sound waves in the air. The P-waves are the fastest moving type of seismic energy and when they arrive they are often described as "feeling like a truck hitting your building."
When I checked on the status of the Moon at the time of Connecticut's largest quake I was pleasantly surprised to find that it occured on the day of the Full Moon, the day of the closest perigee and the closest synchroneity between 3/30/1790 and 7/4/1792. In other words it was in the outstanding Seismic Window in 2.2 years. But, of course, that was another "coincidence."

The Seismic Window of April 6-13, 1997 missed by two hours of being a perigean spring tide, as the New Moon of April 7th followed just 38 hours afer the perigee on April 5th. A mild, but startling 3.3M quake along the Newport-Inglewood Fault hit early on April 4th, awakening a great many people in the Los Angeles basin, and causing some minor damage, such as cracked windows and fallen shelf goods. There were no other quakes exceeding 3.0, let alone 3.5M during the Window in Southern California Similarly, the S.F. Bay Area maximum was only 2.9M (at the Pinnacles on April 7th). Also at Puget Sound the strongest was a mild 2.3M (near Snohomish on April 7th.) At least there was a 4.0M event off the Oregon coast on April 12th, and a 4.3M tremor near Mono Lake early on the morning of April 14th. It was located about 180 miles east of the Bay Area.
World wide there was a destructive earthquake in Xinjiang, China on April lOth that killed at least nine people and injured many. However, it only was rated at from 6.1 to 6.6 on the Richter Scale. As usual, my MOSS prediction also failed as there were no 3.5M quakes along the Ohio River, the closest one being a rare 2.8M at Grayville, Illinois on April 10th. In summary, the usually active month of April has been remarkably quiet through the first two weeks, and I hit no bullseyes. Perhaps the secondary window of April 21-2tlth is where the action will be. If additional clues occur I will use the 900 lines to bring you up to date. Otherwise, stand by for May.

The Seismic Window for May 6-13th is based upon the New Moon of May 6th, and the monthly maximum tides of 7.3 to 7.4 feet at the Golden Gate and Los Angeles on May 7th (and 35.1 ft. in Anchorage.) The perigee is now moving closer and closer to the time of the Full Moon so that this will be the last month for 1997 that the preferred Window is associated with the new phase.
For May 6-13, 1997 I predict with 70% confidence that there will be a 3.5-6.0M quake: (1) within 70 miles (1-degree) of San Jose, CA; (2) within 140 miles of Los Angeles; (3) within 140 miles of Seattle; and (4) somewhere within the Pacific Ring of Fire I forecast a major event of +7M.
For my Monthly Outright Seismic Speculation (MOSS) I expect the State of Missouri to "show me" some seismic activity of at least 3M during the first half of May.


During my last year at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1951, I felt I had a pretty good understanding of life and the world around me. What I really had was a pretty good case of hubris, but I didn't even know the meaning of the word until much later. Anyway, while president of "Vita Lampada", our college writing club, I produced a number of poems on various subjects and in various styles. One ofthese was:


Now where are you going, my wee Little man?
I'm heading for nowhere as fast as I can.
And how will you get there, if I may inquire?
By going this same way until I retire.
And what will you be, if you do as you plan?
Why, simply a dead little, wee little man.....


I recently thought of that terse verse in contrast to the much more optimistic philosophy I found in a 1996 book published by G.P. Putnam & Sons entitled Conversations with God by Neal Donald Walsch, of Central Point Oregon. His writing reminds me of the style and insight contained in The Prophet of Kahlil Gibran. See if you are as moved as I by the clarity and cadence and love of Nature exemplified by Walsch in the closing lines of his book of 211 pages:

"This is not the only way I speak to you. Listen to Me in the truth of your soul. Listen to me in the feelings of your heart. Listen to Me in the guiet of your mind. Hear Me, everywhere. Whenever you have a question, simply know that I have answered it already.
Then open your eyes to your world. My response could be in an article already published. In the sermon already written and about to be delivered. In the movie now being made. In the song just yesterday composed. In the words about to be said by a loved one. In the heart of a new friend about to be made. My Truth is the whisper of the wind, the babble of the brook, the crack of the thunder, the tap of the rain. It is the feel of the earth, the fragrance of the lily, the warmth of the sun, the pull of the moon. My Truth---and your surest help in time of need---is as awesome as the night sky, and as simply, incontrovertibly, trustful as a baby's gurgle. It is as loud as a pounding heartbeat--and as quiet as a breath taken in unity with Me. I will not leave you, I cannot leave you, for you are my creation and My product, My daughter and My son. My purpose and My.....Self. Call on Me, therefore, wherever and whenever you are separate from the peace that I am.
I will be there

with Truth,

and Light,

and Love. "


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