Geologist’s dream predicts state quake
Dec. 12, 2012 (12-12-12) might not be the Mayan Day of Prophecy (most agree that would be 12-21-12) but it may have a deeper significance beyond mere symmetry.
Jim Berkland had a dream. Three years ago. In this dream, the numbers 12-12-12 flashed to him over and over again.
Yes, lots of people have dreams.
Berkland is not lots of people. He’s something of a maverick geologist, who served as county geologist for Santa Clara for 21 years and was a geology professor prior to that before retiring to Glen Ellen. And though he no longer serves in his official capacity, Berkland has continued to make a name for himself in the world of earthquake prediction. He’s worked out his seismic window theory, taking into account many natural factors – among them tides, moon phase, animal behavior (things such as fish beachings, runaway pets and even increased reports of headaches in humans) and hydrogeological activity – to predict when earthquakes are most likely.
And the thing is, he has a habit of being right.
For instance, he correctly predicted the Bay Area earthquake that hit just before game three of the 1989 World Series between the A’s and Giants, noting, among other things, beached whales in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, homing pigeons getting lost and the eruption cycle of the Calistoga geysers changing in the days leading up to the quake. He says he even called USGS four days before the earthquake happened and predicted it would be between 6.5 and 7 in magnitude. It was 6.9.
Now back to that dream.
Berkland has had dreams in the past. In 1980, he dreamt he swam underwater to pass through one of the submerged natural bridges in Santa Cruz, which was, at that time, still very much above the water. A week later it collapsed.
This dream, though, the one he had in 2009, is more mysterious. He says he saw, “something like a neon sign flashing 12-12-12 and 12-12-12.” The jarring dream woke him up and left him wondering what it could mean and searching for clues. It stayed in his mind when he saw that Dec. 12, 2012 was going to be the day of perigee, the second closest approach of the moon to the earth all year, and that day there will be a 9-foot range of tides in the Golden Gate, close to the all-time record of 9.2. Dec. 13 is the new moon.
“I’ve been waiting now for these three years to see what other clues there might be,” he said on Friday as the day of his premonition came closer. “Now we’re sitting here, and I’m not sure we’re talking about a great earthquake,” but still he’s watched with interest as an earthquake drought – he says the tectonic energy stores up –worldwide led to a 7.3 magnitude quake in Japan, Friday.
With everything he’s seen, Berkland calls next week a “top seismic window.” He’s adamant about the fact that the moon can affect seismic activity on the earth, though his colleagues do not always agree. “Scientific progress is not achieved by majority vote,” Berkland says.
The increase in tidal range is what has Berkland most convinced that there will be seismic activity. The tides in Golden Gate normally range from 4 to 4-1/2 feet so this one of 9 will be significant and put significant pressure on already stressed fault lines.
Berkland has calculated a near record tidal force in the Bay Area for 12-12-12. “A foot of water over a square mile weighs almost 1 million tons,” said Berkland. “If you look at a nine-foot tide coming in and surging back out: 9 million tons times 500 on 500 square miles across the delta is a huge load transferred rapidly over the fault lines around the bay.”
Berkland stresses that his goal is for people to be prepared. “It’s all a matter of understanding what can happen. I don’t know if it’s going to happen,” said Berkland, but he puts this at a 90 percent likelihood.
“People that want to go for the abalones, this is the time to go,” he said. “But you better look over your shoulder for a tsunami.”
The abalone season, by the way, is closed. But if Berkland’s worst-case scenario comes true, that may no longer matter.
End of the world?
Bill Tinker, the Boyes Hot Springs believer who bore witness last year outside City Hall to the impending end of the world, said Monday he sees no significance in the date Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12) and that the approach of Dec. 21, 2012 – the date in the Mayan calendar some believe heralds the end of the world – might presage a “change in the world” but not the end.
Tinker is a follower of the teachings of Harold Camping, the East Bay owner of Family Radio, a Bible-based broadcasting company with as many as 60 radio stations.
Camping famously predicted two different dates for the end of the world, the last one May 21, 2011, which he later revised as Oct. 21, 2011. Camping has since withdrawn from most public appearances and has acknowledged that his predictions were both inaccurate and “sinful.”
Tinker said Monday, “We were wrong about the end of time. We thought judgment day was going to be May 21 (of last year) … But I do not believe there will be any more salvation after May 21, 2011. Satan took over all the churches in 1988.”
Tinker said he believes that those who have not been saved can no longer gain salvation in Christ, but that no one will know who will be saved and who will perish until the end actually comes.
And when will that be?
Tinker isn’t sure, but he said, “I think it’s going to happen very soon. I think it might be next year.”
Tinker said all the signs point to an imminent end to Earth.
“We have a boom in homosexuality, that’s a sign of the end. And the Bible states that in the end time there will be scoffers, and we have created lots of scoffers. And we’re already destroying the world … the water, the air … it’s all going down the tube.”
So now, Tinker says, “We are just waiting for the end of time. I don’t know when that is going to be, but God is going to do it in his time.”
– David Bolling