Interview with Dr. Motoji Ikeya
By David Jay Brown
Dr. Motoji Ikeya is a Japanese interdisciplinary researcher, using electron spin resonance (ESR) in geosciences and radiation dopsimetry, with a research interest in the cause of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes. His laboratory experiments at Osaka University have shed an enormous amount of light on the possible mechanisms that may be operating during this unexplained phenomenon.
Dr. Ikeya majored in Electronics and then Nuclear Engineering at Osaka University. He worked at Nagoya and Yamaguchi Universities, was a research associate at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He is a recipient of the Asahi Newspaper Grant for Encouragement of Science (1981) and the 4th Osaka Science Prize in 1986.
Dr. Ikeya’s major field of specialization has been in quantum geophysics. He has researched Electron Sin Resonance (ESR), which is used for dating geological and archaeological materials, and in the future these techniques may be used for dating materials on icy planetary bodies. He has also researched radiation dosimetry and assessment of the paleo-environment. Dr. Ikeya began his earthquake precursor studies after the Kobe Earthquake in 1995.
At Osaka University Dr. Ikeya was chair of the Quantum Geophysics Laboratory, and is the author of more than three hundred scientific papers. He was Professor of Graduate School of Science at Osaka University’s Department of of Physics since 1987, and of Earth Space Science since its foundation in 1991. Dr. Ikeya retired from Osaka University in 2004, and is now helping young people in ESR on a part-time basis.
Dr. Ikeya is also the author of *Earthquakes and Animals: From Folk Legends to Science* (World Scientific, 2004), which is the most important book on the subject of unusual animal behavior and earthquakes since Helmut TrIbutsch’s classic work on the subject *When the Snakes Awake*. This meticulously researched work is an interdisciplinary treasure trove of folk legends, historical anecdotes, interview surveys and subjective reports, geophysical science facts, and most importantly, a fascinating summary of Dr. Ikeya’s own laboratory research. (To order a copy of Dr. Ikeya’s book click here.)
Ikeya’s laboratory experiments were conducted to see if exposure to an electrical field or electromagnetic pulses could elicit animal behavior similar to what has been reported prior to earthquakes. Ikeya’s experiments produced very interesting results. For example, fish showed panic reactions, and earthworms moved out of the soil and swarmed when current was applied. These are very similar to the behaviors that are reported before earthquakes. Dr. Ikeya’s work also sheds light on other mysterious pre-earthquake phenomena–which he was able to recreate in the laboratory–such as strange plant growth, earth-lights, fogs, atmospheric distortions, and unusual phenomena with electric appliances, such as televisions and cell phones.
I interviewed Dr. Ikeya on October 12, 2004. Dr. Ikeya has a great deal of curiosity, open-mindedness, and the rare ability to bridge scientific disciplines. We discussed how his laboratory experiments help us to understand the causes of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes, why so many scientists are resistant to this idea, and whether or not a reliable earthquake forecasting system is possible.
David: What motivated you to start studying the relationship between unusual animal behavior and earthquakes?
Dr. Ikeya: The Kobe earthquake in 1995. I live 30 km from the epicenter and thought it strange that many earthworms dug themselves up in my small garden. At the time, I did not know the legend that a number of emerging earthworms is a sign of a large earthquake. Many people noticed this, including my neighbors.
David: How have your laboratory experiments with electric fields and electromagnetic pulses helped to shed some light on what may cause unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes?
Dr. Ikeya: First, theoretical calculation of EQ light, which was seen by my graduate students and associate professor. EQ clouds and fogs in legends may naturally be produced in super-cooled atmosphere. Then, it dawned on me that animals might be sensing such atmospheric discharge and electric field as electric field effects.
David: How do you think animals detect electromagnetic waves, and why do you think this cause them to behave in peculiar ways?
Dr. Ikeya: Electric fields may be sensed by the force on the animal’s hair. Induced current in the body may cause changes with some neurotransmitters.
David: Your research provides strong evidence for the theory that electromagnetic changes are causing the unusual animal behavior and other unexplained phenomena that are sometimes reported to occur prior to earthquakes. Do you think that this is just one possible explanation or the only one?
Dr. Ikeya: Probably most of the unexplained phenomena (80 – 90%) reported by lay citizens would have electromagnetic causes. Old legends of bent flames, and rice cooking anomaly, as well as animal and plant anomalies, are definitely electromagnetic in origin. However, the Moses’
phenomenon [reports that great bodies of water will suddenly and temporarily split apart, creating a valley to the ocean floor, and two massive walls of water] is due to natural hydrodynamic causes.
David: Why do you think so many scientists are resistant to the idea that unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes is a real phenomenon?
Dr. Ikeya: Because there are people who link trivial events to large earthquakes, and afterthoughts are inevitably involved in the statements by lay citizens, especially at a distance larger than 100 – 200 km for a
M7 earthquake. I explain this in Chapter 5 of my book *Earthquakes and Animals*.
For countries like New Zealand, the focal depth is 50 km or so.
Electromagnetic (EM) intensity would be less, and so there would be less unusual phenomena. Granite bedrock in Japan might play a role due to the involvement of piezoelectric quartz grains, while basalt may generate less intense EM waves. Fluid movement in the boundary of granite might be responsible for the generation of EM waves, rather than the piezoelectricity.
David: What do you think are the most important experiments that still need to be done in order to shed more light on the nature of mysterious earthquake precursors?
Dr. Ikeya: Experiments of less intense EM exposure to human being, which is not allowed since we are not medical doctors. Some people might be very sensitive.
David: Do you think that it is possible for observations of animal behavior to ever be part of a reliable earthquake forecasting system?
Dr. Ikeya: No! Once we know that EM pulses are responsible, electronic detection will be better at forecasting earthquakes than observations of animal behavior. However, additional information about unusual phenomena–collected by an automatic observation system, rather than a collection of reports from lay citizens–would increase the reliability of a forecast of a disastrous earthquake. Collected data on cattle healthcare from farms in different areas, which are transmitted over the Internet, may be useful for studying the cattle’s response to weather changes, including an impending earthquake. They may provide additional information.
David: What are you currently working on?
Dr. Ikeya: I am a visiting professor of nano-science at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research on a part-time basis since my retirement. There is no job at the university if a professor is behaving unusually. However, I am developing my theory on generation and propagation of seismo-electromagnetic signals (SEMS) since my book, *Earthquakes and Animals*, is for the general public. Scientists need some mathematical equations that explain the phenomena quantitatively.
It is a bit tough for an old professor to work on two entirely different subjects, though both
Interview with Marsha Adams
By David Jay Brown
Marsha Adams, at the Time Research Institute in San Francisco, developed sensors that measure low-frequency electromagnetic signals, which, she says, allow her to predict earthquakes with over 90% accuracy. Adams set up a network of electromagnetic sensors along some of the major faultlines in California, and from the input she receives–which Is analyzed by specialized computer software–she issues weekly earthquake forecasts. Adams suspects that low-frequency electromagnetic signals-created by the fracturing of crystalline rock deep In the earth along fault lines can have biological consequences, and that her instruments are picking up the same signals that sensitive animals do.
As a result of this technology–which is supported by private subscription, not public funds–Adams says that her system makes unusual animal behavior observations obsolete. However, since It has not been clearly determined what it Is that the animals are picking up on, complete confidence in the electromagnetic sensors may be premature, and Adams’ 90% accuracy claim hasn’t been confirmed by an Independent study.
As part of my research with Dr. Rupert Sheldrake we subscribed to Adams’
earthquake prediction service for four months. Since there weren’t any earthquakes during this period we can’t confirm her accuracy rating.
However, she didn’t make any false predictions. Adams’ work deserves more serious attention, and further support for her belief Is provided in the section below on electrical field theory.
This interview with Marsha occurred in 1997.
David: How did your career focus switch from biological research to studying earthquakes?
Marsha: When I was doing research at Stanford Medical School I had some experiments that I couldn’t repeat, and some variability in the data that I couldn’t explain. I was using chick embryo hearts– from four day old chick embryos. These embryos were so tiny that had to be dissected under the microscope. We actually had to anchor the hearts with human hairs to string gauges in the basement of the building, because the vibrations from being on the upper floor of the building would swamp the effects that we were looking for, which was the contraction of these little hearts.
At about three to six days a chick embryo is nothing but really a blood spot with a little pumping heart. So, we were looking at how cardio-active drugs work, and we were testing drugs are used on the market today, and were in use then. Some of these drugs were supposed to stimulate the heart, and from time to time we would have days were the drugs didn’t stimulate the heart, and we couldn’t figure out why. I essentially dismantled the laboratory, and put it back together again, thinking, gee, maybe the stock solutions were bad or something of that nature. I even got as far out as thinking that the air solution that we bubbled through-an isolated muscle preparation– to oxygenate the muscle had settled out, and that the heavier carbon dioxide had gone to the bottom.
But that’s really grasping at straws, and nothing I could do would change that. Sometimes they just simply refused to work. But if I sat around long enough they would start to work again. It’s kind of like when your car doesn’t work right, and you take it to the repair shop, and all of a sudden it works fine. It’s the same type of phenomenon. If I sat around long enough the experiment would start to work again.
So after going through several episodes of this I began to wonder what was going on, and I came to the conclusion that there was something in the environment that had a very strong effect on biological processes that we biologists were not accounting for in our experiments. I became very curious as to what that was, began reading up on it, and came to the opinion that the most likely candidate would be low frequency electromagnetic fields. I became more interested in so-called control experiments, looking at the variability that you get when you do nothing to a biological experiment– looking at the variability that just occurs anyway.
David: How did you study that?
Marsha: I studied it in several different ways. I started collecting large data bases, at both the micro and the macro end of things, if you will. One of the other things that I did when I was at Stanford was animal surgery, and I experienced the same things with that basically.
On some days you’d see a lot of bleeding, and other days you’d see like no bleeding at all, even repeating things in the same animals. So I started collecting large databases. I collected 10,000 cases of surgical bleeding. I collected some human behavioral data eventually. I looked at crime statistics. I looked the incidence of deaths. I also looked at something called the humaticrit– which is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood– and looked at day-to-day variability.
While I was collecting these databases my plan was to– and I did-correlate these with a lot of commercial, and not commercially, but federally available data sets of solar terrestrial data. But in the mean time I was giving an in-service at a clinic. I left Stanford and became the research director of a medical clinic. I was giving an in-service to the staff there, and said, gee, you know it’s kind of strange that…
You remember last Thursday, when we had that high amount of bleeding?
This was followed by an earthquake. Isn’t that curious?
And they saw that that wasn’t all that happened. We noticed that the patients were having more allergic reactions to the drugs, and there even seemed to be a lot of chaos in the operating room. The doctors were dropping instruments. The patients were hard to manage. They were emotional. So and so forth. And they said, gee, we think we can predict earthquakes by looking at the behavior of the operating room. So I said, well, if you think you can, you tell me the next time that happens. When it happened again they told me, and sure enough another earthquake followed.
So with that I started to become more interested in looking at earthquakes, and including them in the data that I was screening and collecting at the time. “One of those days” is what would happen. So people became very interested having a place to report when they had some of the symptoms. And these were very clear symptoms. This was not psychic. It wasn’t intuitive or anything of that sort. It was just clear malaise basically. People having headaches and acting irritable. That’s when I started looking at the crime statistics and things like that.
David: What did you notice about the crime statistics?
Marsha: I did a lot of statistics screening. I think it was probably about at least six weather variables, and six geophysical variables. I found that correlations were easy to find. I think there were about twelve crime categories. I was particularly interested in the violent and spontaneous crimes. I found routinely that although the crime levels seemed to correlate with weather variables, the correlations to the geophysical variables, like the geomagnetic index, was stronger. And I found correlations to the geophysical variables more often than with the weather variables, with which we’re more familiar.
And I did look at the incidence of earthquakes with regards to these data sets. Not as thorough as I would have liked to, but there was some indication that there was a connection there too. Seeing that both the medical data bases, and some of the human behavioral data bases, seemed to reflect odd activity at around the times of earthquakes, kind of stoked the fire, as far as my original hypothesis being correct of something electromagnetic in the environment. I came to the idea that there was probably a direct connection between the electromagnetic environment and earthquakes, and that earthquakes might even be contributing to the measurements that people make, which were thought at the time to be just strictly of solar origin.
David: What was the sample of people that you were using then? Was this just the people at this medical clinic, or was there a larger sample?
Marsha: Well, it started out with that, and one day I ended up with much more. I kind of straddled this medical clinic job and SRI at the same time. During the transition I worked at both places for awhile. I was on the governor’s earthquake preparedness task force, and the head of the task force had become familiar with my work. He was impressed by it,
Interview with James Berkland
by David Jay Brown
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
Interview with William Kautz
by David Jay Brown
William Kautz, Sc.D. was one of the principal research coordinators for ”Project Earthquake Watch”– a four Year USGS-funded SRI study into whether unusual animal behavior can be used to help predict earthquakes, which ran from 1978 through 1982. (The Final Report was published in August, 1985, and is available at the USGS Menlo Park library as an open file report.) He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at MIT, and got involved in computer science soon after that. In 1977 Kautz founded the Center for Applied Intuition, a research organization dedicated to studying the intuitive process. He is also the co-author of Channeling: The Intuitive Connection, and the author of Opening the Inner Eye. I interviewed Dr. Kautz on May 27, 1997 over the telephone, while he was in Prague, Czech Republic.
David: Tell me about your educational background.
William: My college degrees are in electrical engineering and
mathematics, all at MIT. And my doctor’s degree is from MIT in
electrical engineering- specializing in communications, filter theory
and all of that. But I got into computers within a year after I was out
of MIT, and that was the whole career thing until 1985 when I retired.
David: How did you first became interested in earthquakes, and what
inspired “Project Earthquake Watch”?
William: Well, this is going to be interesting because the most
important thing I think I did with animals and earthquakes is not in the
USGS reports at all. (laughter)
I began to get bored with computer science some time around the
mid-seventies, and started looking out for other things. One thing I did
was to just start snooping into other fields– medicine, health, and
earthquakes. The other thing I did was I got interested in creativity-
where good ideas and breakthroughs came from– and that lead me into a
study of intuition. So that was the second career, running from around
the late seventies until I left that in 1992. I formed a Center for
One of the first studies that we did at the center using what I called
“intuitive consensus”– which is a method of intuitive inquiry–was on
earthquakes. The study indicated that the common understanding from
geophysicists about earthquakes was largely correct, but very
incomplete, and wrong on a few points.
So I got this idea. I gathered a lot of intuitive information about
that, from many intuitive sources, and it all began to fit, together. I
tried to validate some of it, and this is what lead to the earthquake
project with the USGS. I didn’t tell them I was working with information
I got from intuitives, but that didn’t matter. They didn’t need to know
where the ideas came from; they just found the hypothesis attractive. Of
course, the animal behavior part of it had been around a long time, and
nobody had ever done it right. So I teamed up with a biologist at SRI.
We proposed it to them and they bought it.
David: That’s extremely interesting. If you had the project to do over
again– knowing what you know now– what changes or improvements would
William: Oh, I wouldn’t do it. I guess I would work on some other aspect
of the intuitive hypothesis than that one.
David: When you say that you wouldn’t do it– is that because you’re no
longer interested in the phenomenon, or because you don’t think that
William: It’s not workable. It’s too slippery an area. The problem is
that the hypothesis is too broad. That’s the best way to put it. We’re
not talking about a specific animal. We’re talking about animals in
general, and they are sensitive to a whole host of factors in their
environment besides any specific thing that we’re testing for. And on
top of that, there are all different kinds of earthquakes- deep ones,
medium ones, and shallow ones. All of them seem to have different
characteristics about them–that is, they have different physical
So here you’ve got three different areas where there’s a big range of
variability–the animals, the earthquakes themselves, and the kinds of
behaviors that the animal might exhibit, which is obviously very broad.
So what is the hypothesis that we’re testing? It’s just all over the
David: But you actually got strong results though.
William: Well, our results were not that strong. If we’d had more
earthquakes we might have gotten some better results. But look at the
effort that we had to go through just to get those little results.
David: I wondered why your conclusion wasn’t stronger with those
William: The reason for that is because the statistical model that we
were using was pretty complicated, and statistics simply isn’t
believable when you use models which are that complex. After we’d
collected all the data I couldn’t see any alternative–we just had to
develop that statistical model in order to work with the data. But if
we’d planned that ahead of time we might have realized that it was going
to be really hard to make a solid case when we had such a mass of data,
that was spread out over forecasting capacity that has a sound
scientific basis, and–even though it’s not perfect–here’s a way to
work that data into public warning.
So alerts are given out to different kinds of people that are more at
risk, but to try to do that with earthquakes is going to be really
difficult. I don’t know really know how you’d do it. First of all,
there’s a terrible fear of earthquakes, and this biases people’s good
judgment in any kind of a warning possibility. One of the basic public
beliefs is that it’s not possible to predict earthquakes, and whether or
not it’s true, that’s what people believe. So that when somebody comes
out with a prediction, it induces fear but it doesn’t help solve the
David: Tell me about the Center for Applied Intuition.
William: I started the center around 1977 with the idea being to try to
learn how intuition works–to try to find people who are highly
intuitive, and to see what we could do with them. What it turned out was
that I discovered that what intuition really is is a form of direct
knowing. In other words, the capacity of the human mind to gain access
to knowledge, without using the rational faculty. And that this is
what’s responsible much of scientific breakthroughs, although there’s
always a rational component of course.
David: Without the rational mind or the normal five senses.
William: That’s right. Intuition is in those terms a sixth sense.
Many–if not most–of the major scientific discoveries (as opposed to
inventions) have been achieved with a heavy reliance on intuition. The
rational mental activity has been mainly to prepare the ground and to
verify the finding once it’s found. But there’s a step there where
totally new knowledge comes into the mind that could not have been
generated by any rational means from what happened before that. There’s
dozens of documented cases that this is what actually takes place.
So that lead me to appreciate the power of the intuitive faculty. I
started looking around for the people that had strong intuitions, and I
found them. I started working with them, mainly in teams, though they
never met each other. I would prepare questions and ask the intuitives
these questions. They would give me answers, and then I would compare
the answers among intuitives. After a year or so of fumbling around in
which I discovered I was asking questions in the wrong way, we started
to get very good cooperation between the different sources. So then I
started working in a number of areas, like the earthquake area, to try
to generate new knowledge that could verified by independent means like
David: What were some of the other scientific questions that you had
posed to these people?
William: You mean in other areas? Well, I looked into the cause of
crib-death, also know as sids, and manic depression.
David: What kind of answers did you get about manic depressive illness?
William: Well, we asked what was the cause of it, what was the mechanism
of its function within the human mind and body, and then what we could
do about it to treat it. I worked on this topic with a psychiatrist from
Canada–a very fine guy and very helpful–who actually ran a clinic for
mood disorders and had a lot of manic depressiveness in it. So he had a
strong motivation. In fact, he’s the one that came to me before I even
thought of that area. It turns out that what is called manic-depression
is actually one symptom, but it corresponds to a variety of different
(what we would call) mental diseases.
In other words, the disorders within the mind and brain are very varied
even though it all comes out as either primary depression or the bipolar
type which is manic-depression. So our first round of questions–not
anticipating this—didn’t generate an awful lot, because we were
assuming that it was a single disease. But finally we got all that
straightened out. We found out there’s a genetic component, a chemical
component that works through neurotransmitters, and diet– that is, poor
nutrition–is a strong contributing factor.
David: I’m particularly curious about information which you collected
from intuitives about scientific matters that were unknown at the time,
which you later verified.
William: Oh absolutely. This is most evidential in the course of what we
did. The earthquake area was a good example because we had around a
dozen different factors that could be verified, which came out of that
study in addition to a general description. I went back to older
literature of reports of earthquake observations
Unusual Animal Behavior Prior to Earthquakes: A Survey in North-West California
by: David Jay Brown & Rupert Sheldrake
During November of 1996 a telephone survey of 200 Santa Cruz County households was carried out in North-West California to find out how many people have observed unusual animal behavior prior to an earthquake. 15%
(N=30) of those surveyed reported that they have witnessed at least one occurrence of an animal acting unusual before an earthquake. Common observations included reports that the animals appeared frightened, agitated, excited, disoriented, or were missing. 66% (N=132) of households surveyed had pets. 57% (N=17) of those people who observed this phenomenon were pet owners, while 43% (N=13) were non-pet owners.
This phenomenon was observed 53% (N=1!9) of the time in dogs, 19% (N=7) of the time in cats, 6% (N=2) of the time in chickens, 6% (N=2) of the time in other birds, 6% (N=2) of the time in horses, 6% (N=20) of the time in cows, and 3% (N=I) of the time with possums. The lead times prior to the earthquake ranged from several seconds to a week, with the most frequent observations occurring between several minutes and several days prior to the earthquake. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to the possibility that some animals may possess a sensitivity to certain earthquake precursors, which could serve to help warn people of an approaching earthquake.
Observations of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes have been reported around the world since the beginning of recorded history (Tributsch, 1982). In particular, the Chinese and Japanese have recorded these observations for many hundreds of years (Lee, Ando, and Kautz, 1976), and have made attempts to incorporate these reports into an earthquake warning system with some success (Allen, 1976). For example, on February 4, 1975 the Chinese evacuated the city of Haicheng several hours before a 7.3 magnitude earthquake largely on the basis of unusual animal behavior observations (Allen, 1976).
The anomalous behaviors most frequently reported include restlessness or excitability, a heightened sensitivity to mild stimulation, vocal responses, a tendency for borrowing, premature termination of hibernation, and leaving their normal habitats. The precursory lead times vary from just a few seconds to more than several months. (Lee, Ando, and Kautz, 1976). These unusual behaviors have been reported in a wide diversity of animal species, including many varieties of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects (Tributsch, 1982).
However, only a limited number of scientifically credible accounts of this phenomenon are available. The vast majority of observations are anecdotal, and are usually classified as folklore. One well-researched book on the subject– When the Snakes Awake– details much of what is known historically and scientifically about earthquakes and unusual animal behavior (Tributsch, 1982). Scientific accounts of this phenomenon through the mid seventies have been summarized in the “Proceedings of the 1976 USGS Conference on Abnormal Animal Behavior Prior to Earthquakes” (Evernden, 1976).
Some compelling evidence comes from Japan, where it has been reported that certain fish develop a heightened sensitivity to stimulation due to electrical changes prior to some earthquakes (Hatai and Abe, 1932; Suyehiro, 1968; Suyehiro, 1972.).
However, perhaps the most important evidence comes from a five year study conducted by the Stanford Research Institute– Project Earthquake
Watch– which obtained statistically significant results indicating that reports of unusual animal behavior increase prior to some earthquakes.
(Otis and Kautz, 1985).
The study reported upon in this paper was carried out as part of an international investigation into the unexplored abilities of animals, which began with the publication of Seven Experiments that Could Change the World (a book by one of this paper’s authors). One primary thesis of the book is that there are many valuable research opportunities available which are relatively simple and inexpensive to carry out (Sheldrake, 1995).
This survey was done in order to find out how common these observations of unusual animal behavior are among the population of an earthquake-prone region. The survey was conducted by telephone in Santa Cruz County, California during November of 1996, and it involved 200 randomly-selected households.
Data were collected by means of telephone interviews conducted by David Brown (D.B.), following a standard questionnaire format.
The households surveyed were in Santa Cruz County. Most were in and around the university-beach town of Santa Cruz, population 52,700, between Boulder Creek and Watsonville, in north-central California.
Santa Cruz was chosen because of its proximity to the epicenter of the
1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and the San Andreas Fault. Santa Cruz is also within D.B.’s local proximity, and calling within the area helped to minimize the cost of the study.
Households were selected from the Pacific Bell Santa Cruz County 1996 telephone directory (area code 408) using an electronic random number generator to determine the page and column number, as well as its position on the page.
D.B. introduced himself as follows: “My name is David Brown. I’m conducting a survey on pets and animals. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?” Approximately 20% of the people reached by phone agreed to partake in the survey. When a cooperative subject was found, D.B. then asked a series of questions and recorded the answers on a standard form as follows.
1) Do you or does anyone in your household own a pet? Yes No
If yes, then: 2) What type of animal?
2a) If dog, then: What breed of dog?
3) Have you ever noticed your pet or any other animal exhibiting any type
of unusual behavior prior to an earthquake?
If yes, then:
4) What type of behavior did you notice?
5) How long prior to the earthquake did you notice this behavior?
6) When and where was the earthquake
7) Where were you when this occurred?
Statistical analysis was carried out… [Rupert]
Out of 200 households surveyed, 132 had pets. Cats were the most common pet followed by dogs. The figures were as follows:
Birds 7 (excluding chickens)
Most of these households had one kind of pet: 49 had cats only, and 38 had dogs only; 23 had both dogs and cats; 6 had cats and other pets (excluding dogs); 2 had dogs and other pets; 5 had cats, dogs, and other pets; 9 had only other pets.
The percentages of households with pets in Santa Cruz County was 66%, which is higher than the U.S. national averages of 57.9%. [Rupert-- I'm in the process of obtaining California state averages for pet owners.] There were also more cats represented in the survey than the national and state. The U.S. national averages are as follows: 37% own dogs, 31% own cats, 6% own birds, 3% own fish, and 1.5% own rabbits (Jaegerman, 1992).
Observations of unusual animal behavior prior to an earthquake were noticed in the following species:
Wild Birds 2
Unusual Animal Behavior & Earthquake Prediction
by David Jay Brown
I began researching the strange and mysterious behaviors of animals that are often reported prior to earthquakes in 1996 as part of a collaboration with British biologist Rupert Sheldrake. The initial research that I did became the backbone for the section on this subject in Dr. Sheldrake’s bestselling book on the unexplained powers of animals, Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home. (This information was updated, with a summary of the earthquake data that has accumulated since Dogs That Know was published, in Dr. Sheldrake’s more recent book The Sense of Being Stared At.) Since I compiled more material than Dr. Sheldrake could fit into the section in his book on this subject, I summarized much of this material in an earlier version of this essay, portions of which have been widely reprinted in books, magazines, and numerous web sites on the Internet.
As a result of this article–which presently comes up as the first item on Google’s search engine when one types in the phrase “unusual animal behavior”–I have received many hundreds of reports from people all overthe world. Almost every time there is a major earthquake somewhere on the planet, I receive a number of reports, sometimes a dozen or more. The many anecdotes that I have received have been carefully saved in an ever-growing database. To follow is a revised and updated version of my earlier article, which incorporates material from the many reports that I have received, as well as a more thorough examination of the theories that have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, and a look into someof the new research findings.
There is much anecdotal evidence suggesting that some animals have the ability to detect sensory stimuli which humans can not–even with our most sensitive technological instruments. That many animals have access to a perceptual range exceeding those of humans is scientifically well-established, but it also appears that many animals have sensory abilities not currently explained by traditional science. For example, homing pigeons have remarkable abilities to navigate to their desired location using abilities that are not fully understood.
Perhaps most significantly, Dr. Sheldrake and colleagues (such as myself) have demonstrated how some pets appear to anticipate the arrivalof their owner. Regardless of the time of day, some animals appear to sense when their human companion is returning, without receiving any known physical signals. The animals usually express this by waiting in the same spot each time–such as by the door or window–shortly before their owner arrives home. This research is documented In Dr. Sheldrake’s book on the unexplained powers of animals, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.
Researching the unexplained powers of animals with Dr. Sheldrake turned out to be an extremely fruitful endeavor. In the initial stages of our research, Dr. Sheldrake brought to my attention the following fact, which made a great impression on me. Animals have been very carefully studied In laboratory settings, as well as In the wild; however, the unique bond that forms between human and pet had never been carefully explored scientifically. This glaringly obvious, empty niche in the history of science, which had eluded me and many others, seemed to hold great promise.
When I began this research I already knew that many pet owners believe that they have powerful “psychic” bonds with their pets, and often describe their connection with the animal as “telepathic”. Dr. Dolittle isn’t the only person who claims to be able to communicate with animals;
many people say that they can do this, and, in fact, numerous books have been written on the subject. Some people claim that their pets have precognitive abilities, and, of course, others have noticed that some animals act in peculiar ways just before an earthquake strikes.
I personally experienced the latter phenomenon myself prior to a Los Angeles earthquake In 1990. I was in graduate school at the time, working in the learning and memory lab on the fifth floor of the University of Southern California’s Neuroscience Building. I was working with three other graduate students and three calm rabbits. Suddenly the rabbits became noticeably agitated. They started hopping around in their cages wildly for around five minutes. Then a 5.2 earthquake sent the whole building rolling and swaying.
After my experience with the anxious rabbits I have learned that, since the beginning of recorded history, virtually every culture In the world has reported observations of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes (and–to a lesser extent–volcanic eruptions), but conventional science has never been able to adequately explain the phenomenon. Nonetheless, the Chinese have employed such sightings for hundreds of years as an important part of a nationally-orchestrated earthquake warning systems, with some success.
Perhaps most significantly, on February 4, 1975 the Chinese successfully evacuated the city of Haicheng several hours before a 7.3 magnitude earthquake–based primarily on observations of unusual animal behavior. 90% of the city’s structures were destroyed in the quake, but the entire city had been evacuated before it struck. Nearly 90,000 lives were saved. Since then China has been hit by a number of major quakes that they were not as prepared for, and they have also had some false alarms, so their system is certainly not fool-proof. But never-the-less, they have made a remarkable achievement by demonstrating that earthquakes do not always strike without warning.
Helmut TrIbutsch’s classic work on the subject of earthquakes and unusual animal behavior–When the Snakes Awake–details numerous consistent accounts of the phenomenon from all over the world. Although these behavior patterns are well-documented, most geologists that I have spoken with at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) don’t take it very seriously. The official word from the USGS is that there aren’t any earthquake prediction techniques–unusual animal behavior observations included–which perform any better than chance.
This is ironic and unfortunate, because the USGS itself funded a Stanford Research Institute (SRI) study for several years, back in the early eighties, which showed promising results. inspired by China’s success. In 1975 William Kautz (Click here to read an interview with Kautz) and Leon Otis created “Project Earthquake Watch”. They recruited hundreds of volunteers from all over California to observe their animals for any unusual behavior, and call a toll-free hotline number to record their observations. Kautz and Otis got significant results–that is, before some earthquakes more people reported unusual animal behavior–but the USGS stopped funding the study for reasons that no on that I’ve spoken to so far seems to know. Even harder to understand is why today the official word from the USGS, and the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, is that no form of earthquake prediction performs better than chance.
In fact, the notion that odd animal behavior can help people predict earthquakes is perceived by most traditional geologists in the West as folklore, or an old wives tale, and is often cast into the same boat as sightings of poltergeists, Elvis, and the Loch Ness Monster. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, considered an understanding of the relationship between unusual animal behavior and earthquakes to be an esoteric form of Secret Knowledge. In ancient Persia (what is now Iran) there were wise men who predicted earthquakes using a forecasting process that included digging wells, looking at the moon/stars, and observing animal behavior. That such strong support for the application of this knowledge still exists in the East–in long-lived civilizations like China and Japan–is testimony to the reality of the phenomenon, as they have witnessed many more earthquakes in their long histories than has a comparatively young country like the United States.
But not all Western geologists are close-minded with regard to the phenomenon. James Berkland–a retired USGS geologist from Santa Clara County, California–claims to be able to predict earthquakes with greater than 75% accuracy rate simply by counting the number of lost pet ads in the daily newspaper classifieds, and correlating this relationship to lunar-tide cycles. This maverick geologist has been meticulously saving and counting lost pet ads for many years. Berkland says that the number of missing dogs and cats goes up significantly for as long as two weeks prior to an earthquake. I Interviewed Berkland (Click here to read the interview with Berkland), and spent many hours in the local library,