Recording Very Low Frequency Earthquake Precursors

In the short time span of roughly 15 hours, Humboldt County California experienced three major earthquakes. April 25th, 1992 at 11:06 am – an earthquake measuring 6.9 (later upgraded to a 7.1) on the Richter scale; April 26th, 1992 at 12:42 am (roughly 12 hours later) – an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale; and at 4:19 am – another earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of these quakes was in each case near Petrolia, California, and they were felt from just past the Oregon border all the way down to some parts of San Francisco. An estimated $60,000,000 in damage reported, with the local towns of Petrolia, Scotia, Rio Dell, and Ferndale very heavily damaged.

I have never felt tremors that could even compare to the sheer power unleashed by these quakes. Here, in the areas surrounding Garberville, California, these quakes were strong indeed and many long time locals said they never felt anything that could even match one of these. Some people are leaving.

Well, I do not wish to downplay the devastation to the area or to our emotional well-being, but we here at Borderland Sciences (1992) are researchers and of course these incidents afforded the opportunity for analysis. The following then is an examination of experiments prior to, during and after these incredible telluric events with a complete summary of my experiences.

During the last few months I had been engaged in research pertaining directly to earth energies. These experiments were wide ranging – covering many facets of the properties of the earth itself. The first of these experiments were concerned with the possibilities of drawing potentials of energy from the earth, and experiments dealing with radio wave propagation thru the natural medium (earth) in the fashion of Nikola Tesla. While this was interesting and rewarding work, I found myself more fascinated with the idea of listening to these earth energies. My monitoring system very simply included the use of two rods placed in the ground and connected to an audio amplifier. Although I had developed a filtering arrangement, I preferred listening to all of the frequencies possible (approx. 0 to 20,000 KC). These experiments were set up with a recording apparatus to record all of the various sounds emanating from the earth itself. What I found most interesting was that the sounds I obtained were the same as those attributed to the atmosphere (called “sferics”). In an attempt to correlate these findings I rigged up several types of antennas used for VLF (Very Low Frequency) reception, and found that the signal was much stronger with the ground rods (the rods also defeated alot of artficial electrical noise). This fact led me to the belief that these sounds actually originate in the earth. To make sure I was not misled, I used very short wires connected to copper screens buried deep in the soil completely negating any antenna effect and the results were the same (the dog decided the screens did not belong there and promptly dug them up).

One of the things I was very interested in hearing were the so called ‘whistlers’. These sounds can be heard in the VLF range and are attributed to distant lightning. The idea is that lightning generated on one part of the globe transmits these whistling sounds electrically to another part of the globe via the earth/ionosphere waveguide, with the lightning bolt itself being the transmitting antenna. After my earlier experiments with
earthly electrical potentials and in radio wave propagation thru the natural medium, I was sure that I would find these sounds in the earth as well, and that they, too, were truly a product of telluric (earthly) emanation. In this case the lightning would need to actually strike the earth for proper transmission to occur. It was discouraging at first for I did receive these sounds, but they were very faint and for days at a time none at all would appear. Until the earthquakes.

After being thrown about by the first quake – the 7.1, and after the initial shock had subsided, I immedately began to recount any anomalous occurences that had taken place prior to the event. At once I remembered telling people of the incredibly loud, almost subsonic sounds which had awaken me two nights earlier. These very low tones seemed to originate in the North and came in three distinct bursts. After this happened I could not sleep the rest of the night. No one I related this to on the following day had been aware of the same sounds. I also noted the abundance of wildlife out on the roads on the evening prior to the first quake. This wasn’t the usual number of deer or domestic animals normally encountered in my rural area; it was the bounty of stranger creatures such as opossum and skunks that caused me to relate my observations to others. Another peculiarity was the presence of the so-called “earthquake weather” all during the interval of earth activity. Everything became quite still and the air had thickened as if rains were forthcoming but with no attendance of humidity. Looking about the countryside, myself and others noted the presence of a certain darkness issuing forth from the ground and trees, and the early evening ushered in the most foreboding blackened clouds. We knew something was still there.

Upon arriving home after a long drive up north on the day of the first quake I directly began to record the sounds of the earth. My reasons for setting up the equipment were for the possibility of recording the sounds of aftershocks related to the first quake. It wasn’t long after the machine had started that I heard two very strong whistlers. These continued all night – tape after tape of whistlers. Needless to say I
was astounded and somewhat confused as well. Why were these happening in such abundance now? Could it be that the quake had actually triggered them? Now, inertialistic physicists may scoff at the notion, but I had to conclude by this experiment that these whistlers are a direct emanation from the earth. Could it be that they were indeed a product of some subsurface energy? I think it likely.

About 12:00pm on the 25th of April, the recording machine was still running and the whistlers were increasing in number. I walked out on to my deck overhanging the mountain and noted a bizarre white light on the eastern horizon much resembling the auroras of the North. I had oftentimes noted flashes of light in the sky around this place but this was a steady emanation and was limited to a small section of the distant horizon. This vision provoked me to note my pets’ behavior as well. Although my two cats were acting a bit uneasy and restless, I noted no difference in their mannor from that observed during a full moon. Neither they nor the amplified sounds gave any warning of the impending disaster.

At 12:42 am on 26 April, the Great Dragon weilded its power once more. The quake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, caused myself and my companion to flee our mountain top cabin. The cabin sat facing east and was perched atop a sizeable hill with only one side actually in contact with the ground. The remainder of the cabin was leveled off by supporting 4X4s some 10 feet off the ground. After bolting from the possibility of tobogganing down the mountainside, we saw the most incredible lightshow coming from the city below. Flashes of blue lights started to appear everywhere (I was later informed that these were transformer explosions) and the sky immediately above the city became aglow with a phenomenal luminescence. Returning to the cabin after things had settled, we found it to be in total disarray (all three quakes left the insides a scrambled chaos). The recording device had been hurled to the floor crushing a number of previously recorded tapes. With some haste, I grabbed the box and began to play back the event. The sounds that were recorded during the quake had the most impressive musical quality of which I had never heard before on any recordings of the earth. The usual static discharges became quiet and were overcome by a most incredible interplay of arhythmic tones. The playback continued for a few seconds until it was abruptly cut off (when the device was tossed to the ground). I rewound the tape several times to see if there was any indication or warning that the quake was soon to come but nothing out of the ordinary could be discerned. This brings up an interesting conversation I had (following the quakes) with Carl Schleicher of Mankind Research. He stated that they had developed an ELF (Extra Low Frequency) device that would warn of impending earthquakes and that they had presented their findings to the USGS who showed no interest. I then asked him that supposing this device really worked (my findings indicate that it doesn’t) why wouldn’t he offer the information to the public. He replied that the project needed the kind of funding that only the government could afford. Contradicting himself a few sentences later, he stated that they could by made up as small hand held devices and could be made available in supermarkets across the country for consumer use. I then inquired about the actual frequency range of the device and other simple layperson details. He couldn’t seem to recall any information about it an quickly ended the conversation.

On the day following the tremors I listened to the local radio stations. I was surprised to hear many reports of people seeing the strange earthquake lights. There were even two eyewitness accounts of actual lightning bolts shooting from the surface of the earth near the quakes’ epicenter. An excellent source for these geophysical anomalies is Earthquakes, Tides, Unidentified Sounds and Related Phenomena by
William R. Corliss. Everything from animal response, electrical phenomena, weather, etc. in relation to earthquakes has been compiled in this volume. One of my interests is the association between nuclear tests and earthquakes and there is much information to connect the two. I checked around and found that a nuclear test was in fact sceduled for the 24th of April but that it had been postponed due to major protests? Continued…

(The complete article is now lost. Myself and researcher Gerry Vassilatos produced an audio tape from these experiments entitled, “Earthtones” that included the recordings of these earthquakes, but it appears to be unavailable at this time.)