HEY MA, THEY LOST 900 EARTHQUAKES!
AND THAT WAS JUST IN ALASKA
By: Dorothy Anne Seese
[Ed note: approximately 18 hours after this was published on the web, the
original Alaska map was restored to the USGS site showing nearly 900 quakes
during the previous week. Quakes are normally displayed for one week and
then removed to make room for new activity.]
Yes, I watch earthquake maps and yes, it doesn't take much to amuse some
people, so let's get that settled at the start.
It isn't amusing when you go to the United States Geological Survey web
sites and find that there are over 1200 earthquakes in the 50 states plus
Puerto Rico, you are offline for awhile tending to other business, and
return to find that approximately 900 earthquakes have vanished. At this
writing, There are only 42 listed earthquakes in Alaska, all 4.0 or larger,
in the area between Fairbanks and Kodiak Island. That did actually happen
this afternoon, some time possibly between 4 and 6 p.m. MST.
California and the rest of the US show earthquakes of magnitude 1 and above.
All the quakes less than 4.0 seem to have vanished from the Alaska map,
perhaps because the sheer volume of them had increased to the point where it
was no longer practical to try to keep the Alaska site updated with anything
less than a 4.0.
An explanation of how the Alaska map went from 900-plus quakes on that
particular map (the URL is
just over 300, lumped together in larger squares, and then when you click on
the list, you get only the most recent quakes of 4.0 and above.
It isn't that the government would ever disseminate disinformation ... it's
just puzzling how they could lose over 900 quakes on a Tuesday afternoon and
not post an explanation. I know the nation is on a wartime footing, but
since when has earthquake data become classified information? Or could this
have anything to do with a call made by a listener to the Art Bell program
the other night where the listener wanted to inform Art that the USGS site
never registered certain quakes in the Sumatra and Japanese Islands areas,
something I also noticed but at the time didn't consider really relevant.
There was also one .. as in (1) or uno ... mention this morning on network
radio about two huge solar flares being observed at opposite sides of the
sun, an event described as each equalling hundreds of thousands of tons of
dynamite, many times the force of a nuclear explosion. Such an occurrence
of the sun bursting out on equal and opposite sides with raging force was
said to have never been before observed, it was a strange phenomenon but the
significance was at this time unknown.
I think this information may have been left on the same crashed hard drive
where someone stored the earthquakes that vanished.
It isn't that science isn't being truthful, it's that the truth evaporates
like a wet sponge in an Arizona summer once it gets on the web ... if it is
discomfiting to someone. Or, it may just never make the world of the wide
web other than the one of hidden information. Not that our government would
hide anything from us (heaven knows, the Chinese probably have it all
recorded and stored in the same locker) but they just don't consider some of
this to be beneficial human knowledge. You know, some things have to be
"filtered out" to protect the children, particularly those under 90.
Since I'm a quake map watcher, I noticed the daily increase of quakes in a
line from the tip of the Aleutian Islands northeast to Fairbanks, Alaska,
before the seven-niner hit a couple of weeks ago. The 7.9 did not surprise
me. What is surprising is that California has not also had a seven-niner or
something in that range. But then California's count of map-quakes has gone
down to about 211 at last map-check, from well over three hundred. That has
happened before and may signify nothing. Or it may be an adjustment in
which quakes get counted and which don't.
We wouldn't dare call it disinformation or request an explanation from the
USGS ... they're government.
Since a highly unusual storm front just passed through the United States
from the Pacific to the Atlantic, leaving at least 35 dead, many injured,
and some tornadoes were thought by observers to be F-3 or greater in Ohio
and Tennessee, we wouldn't want the people to panic by thinking some strange
events were occurring en masse to the mighty United States. After all, the
volcanoes of last month did not occur here, they were in Italy or somewhere
else. The only active one of which most Americans are aware, in an American
state, is Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii.
We had a summer of devastating fires that set records for number of acres
burned. We've had drought. We've had unusual storms, two of which were
back-to-back hurricanes (Isidore and Lili). Now we're getting freak storms
in the middle of November and earthquakes by the bushel.
It's time to shut up about solar flares of extreme force, possible effects
on the weather, and above all, earthquakes.
At least the USGS can do something about earthquakes. It can lose them.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this
notice and hyperlink intact."
Dorothy Anne Seese is a freelance political writer for Patch Work papers
and a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Dorothy Anne Seese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the November 20, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2002 Ether Zone.
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