in some animal brains, Berkland thinks that it is possible that animals may be reacting to their own headaches caused by changes in the earth’s electromagnetic field. He said that a dog was observed chewing on willow bark–the plant from which aspirin In derived–prior to an earthquake, and he believes that this was an attempt by the dog to self-medicate himself for the headache.
Berkland also told me that some people with Multiple Sclerosis–a disease caused by Improper insulation around the electrically-conductive fibers of the nervous system–experience an increase in symptoms weeks before an earthquake. Since the nervous system is an electrochemical system, it doesn’t seem surprising that geologically-based electrical field changes would disrupt it’s functioning.
Besides unusual animal behavior, other mysterious phenomena are often connected with earthquakes. The regular eruptions of geysers have been interrupted. Well levels have been reported to change, or the water In them has been known to become cloudy. Magnets have been said to temporarily lose their power. Many people report that there is suddenly an unexplainable stillness In the air, and that all around them everything becomes completely silent. Strange lights are often seen glowing from the earth, and unusual fogs have been reported. (Several years ago my girlfriend and I once witnessed a spectacular display of “earth lights” for around a half hour one evening in the Santa Cruz mountains of California, which are riddled with fault lines. Click here to read an account of this experience.)
These phenomena are all consistent with the notion that the odd animal behavior may result from changes In the earth’s electromagnetic field, or the release of electrically-charged particles due to Intense pressure on crystalline rock. It’s interesting that a number of people claim to have sighted UFO’s hovering around earthquake sites. Even more puzzling to explain are the reports of unusual animal behavior prior to so-called
“alien abduction” experiences, which Karen Wesolowski–Executive Director of PEER (Program for Extraordinary Experience Research)–told me about. (PEER Is an organization that was founded by Harvard psychiatrist John Mack to study people who claim to have been abducted by alien beings.)
The UFO sightings are probably due to a phenomenon called “selsmoatmospheric luminescence”, where the release of electrically-charged particles from the earth causes auras and lights to be seen. This, and other electrical anomalies, like interference in radio and television broadcasts, seem best explained by the electrical changes that occur prior to earthquakes.
Disruptions in The Mind Field:
A possible explanation for the psychological effects underlying the strange animal behavior arises from the fact that electrically-charged ionic particles have been shown to change neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) ratios in animal brains. More specifically, electrically-charged ionic particles have been shown to alter serotonin (a neurotransmitter responsible for neural inhibition) levels In animal brains. Since charged ions may be released prior to some earthquakes, It has been suggested that this may explain the two seemingly contradictory behavior patterns discussed earlier, where normally-calm pets seem to become frightened, and wild animals often appear to lose their sense of fear.
Serotonin levels In the brain help to mediate an animal’s fear response. This Is why serotonin re-uptake antidepressants like Prozac are prescribed for people with social anxiety. By increasing serotonin availability the brain, the emotion of fear is reduced. Pre-earthquake electrical field changes may effect neurotransmitter levels In different species of animals’ brains In different ways, and this may account for the difference In reactions between wild and domesticated animals. However, it does appear that serotonin is, at least, one of the primary neurochemical variables that’s being altered prior to earthquakes. There could be others.
These neurotransmitter changes could possibly help to explain another related phenomenon. I’ve noticed that earthquakes (like solar eclipses) sometimes trigger an intense consciousness-altering experience in people. People often feel energized, emotionally open, and acutely sensitive following earthquakes. Powerful bonding experiences often occur between people In the aftermath of a quake. It’s Interesting that people almost seem like they’re under the Influence of MDMA (Ecstasy, the controversial “rave” drug which floods the brain with serotonin) after earthquakes. Earthquake victims often walk around after the quake In a euphoric daze, hugging one another and expressing feelings of love.
Although this is likely to be true for any natural disaster that people share, there may be more going on. Subjectively, earthquake experiences often take on dreamlike qualities, or have a sense of unreality about them. Perhaps this is because our most cherished notion of what is safe and solid in the world–the very ground upon which we rest–becomes wobbly and unstable. Our whole sense of reality is shaken with the earth, as one is suddenly lifted up out of the mundane, and thrust into the center of what seems to be an immensely important drama. This experience can be quite intense, so it’s not inconceivable to suppose that geologically-generated electrical signals stimulate our nervous systems in ways that heighten this experience by altering our neurotransmitter levels.
Extrasensory Perception and Precognition Theories:
Other possible explanations for unusual pre-earthquake behavior come from the realm of parapsychology. It could be that what the animals are actually experiencing is a form of precognition, or they could be perceiving and responding to stimuli that currently science has no way to measure. Support for the notion of precognition is increased when one compares the reports of unusual animal behavior with the even more puzzling reports of strange animal behavior reported in England during World War II (which Dr. Sheldrake–who has built up a database of such accounts–told me about). Animals were said to act with fear and agitation prior to aerial bomb raids, long before they could have possibly heard or felt the vibrations from the approaching aircrafts. More recent evidence comes from a woman I visited In Israel (Savyon Liebrecht, a popular writer), who told me that during the 1991 Persian Gulf War her dog always ran into the bomb shelter before the air raid siren sounded.
There Is actually considerable scientific support for psi or psychic phenomena such as telepathy and precognition, although much of the public, and even many scientists, are unaware of this. Some of the most convincing evidence for these types of phenomena were uncovered by Dean Radin, a renown psi researcher and author of The Conscious Universe. (Click here to read an interview with Radin.) Through a series of cleverly designed experiments, Radin and his colleagues have demonstrated that some people can receive information about the future in ways that conventional science is currently unable to explain. For example, in one of Radin’s experiments subjects became physiologically aroused a few seconds before they were presented with an
emotionally-stimulating image. (Radin, 1997) A galvanic skin response (GSR) monitor measured the electrical conductivity of the subjects’ skin while they sat before a video screen that displayed a random series of Images. Most of the images were of pleasant natural landscapes or cheerful people, which generated a calming physiological response. However, every so often, a disturbing or emotionally-arousing image (an autopsy photo or an erotic photo, for example) would pop up on the screen, which would generate a measurable response of increased electrodermal activity. Although the computer was programmed to wait five seconds before displaying the image (after it was randomly chosen), the subjects’ GSR changes began several seconds before the image was actually displayed.
One way of interpreting this sort of phenomenon is to suppose that there are time-reversed information flows. Perhaps information can travel backwards through time. However, this possibility brings with it all the notorious time-travel paradoxes that are well-known in science fiction, and there may be a simpler explanation. An alternative is to reexamine our normal concept of what we call the “present moment”. Perhaps this is too limited. What we call “now” is a moment that has a certain “thickness” in the space-time continuum, some fraction of a second. But what we consciously experience as “now” may be much shorter than what unconscious parts of ourselves–or other animals–experience as “now”.
It may be that some animals experience a “thicker” awareness of the present moment than we do, one that expands farther into the past and future than we are normally capable of. By this same notion other animals may experience a “thinner” slice of the present “moment”