Thursday, April 3, 2014

Robert Morningstar predicts

Morningstar posted this today:

"The 8.1 magnitude EQ in Chile yesterday is merely a harbinger of many more to come within the next 3 weeks, with the most severe quakes, volcanic activity and electrical storms to come between Mars' opposition to Earth on April 8th and the Lunar Eclipse of April 14-15 when Mars and Saturn will be in line with the Moon, Earth and Sun.

Stay alert locally, report your observations by email, FB and Twitter.

The worst is yet to come and will continue to unfold in the aftermath of the Martian opposition and the lunar eclipse. Terrible weather and electrical storms will ensue during the weeks following their passage."
        Let's see how accurate he is as April plays out. There's already been a major aftershock off Chile, but there's nothing unusual about that.

        I might also point out that there's an electrical storm somewhere on this planet at any given moment, so I hereby declare in advance that only extremely severe and widespread storms count.

| Gravitational attractions, in Newtons
| Earth-Marsmin (Mars at conjunction, both at aphelion)  1.58 × 1015
| Earth-Marsmax (Mars at opposition and perihelion, 
| Earth at aphelion)  8.75 × 1016
| Earth-Saturnmax (at opposition) 1.45 × 1015
| Earth-Moon avg. 1.98 × 1020
| Earth-Sun avg. 3.55 × 1022

Update 1,  apr 3:
M* added:

"There was another one in Panama today, moving north along a predictable path. The next sequence of tremors and EQs should come in the next 3 day in Costa Rica , and more strongly in Nicaragua near Managua or the Honduras border. As April 8th - 15th approaches, Mexico and Southern California will begin to feel the effects of "The Martian Maelstrom". -> "
 Trekker confirms the 5.8 off Panama yesterday (see second comment).

Update 2,  apr 7:
Morningstar on FB today:

"As I pointed out 2 days ago, Mars approach was making things percolate in Oklahoma. A series of small earthquakes has just rippled through OK."

        He's correct about the 'quakes in Oklahoma (and the corn is as high as an elephant's  eye, too) but they're irrelevant to the sequence he predicted. And as Dee points out in comments, his prediction for April 3-6 is already a FAIL.

Update 3,  apr 9: (from James Concannon)
Morningstar cites these three quakes as fitting his prediction:

4.7, Guatemala 6 April
4.4, Honduras 7 April
4.5, Veracruz 8 April

        There was also a 3.0 near Maneadero, Baja California Norte, yesterday. Nothing in Costa Rica or Nicaragua, so that part of his prediction fails. At any rate, the Mars opposition came and went and we're still here.

Update 4,  apr 11:
Nicaragua finally got hit.

6.1, Nicaragua 10 April
4.3, Nicaragua 11 April

Update 5,  apr 12:
Another whopper (6.6) in Nicaragua.

That's  three mag 4.5+ in two days.

credit: USGS
Figure shows all mag 4.5 or greater in last 7 days.

Update 6,  apr 14: (from James Concannon)
Morningstar posted this last night:

"The Martian Maelstrom is unfolding as predicted. I said the "Ring of Fire" was ringing last week. It just went "GONG!" in the Solomon Islands, which was hit with a 7.6 Mag EarthQuake"

        Just as things were looking a bit promising for the prediction, he spoils it all by citing a biggie that was thousands of kilometers from his prediction area. Duhhhhh....

Update 7,  apr 16:
Here's a summary map of the whole region over the time since Morningstar's prediction:

credit: EMSC

You could say, if you wanted to be generous, that the swarm up the coast of California fits right in with Morningstar, but these are all small. The yellow color indicates mag < 3. The real activity is up in Alaska and the Aleutian chain. Morningstar said nothing about that.

Update 8,  apr 17:
Yesterday Morningstar posted that everything was following his prediction exactly, and added this warning:

"Stay alert on the West Coast through tonight and tomorrow. Might be a good night to camp out, weather permitting."
         So we'll see how that goes. So far, spread of the >4.5 quakes up the California coast is exactly what has not happened.

Update 9,  apr 19:
        Obviously we've got to give him the Acapulco biggie, it fits right in. Nothing much in California yet, however. Mag 4.3 near Bodfish at 05:00. Probably very few people even felt it--Bodfish is the boonies, with fewer than 1000 households. And since the bars would have closed only three hours earlier, one imagines the Bodfishians were mostly snoring loudly.

 Bodfish street scene, from Google Streetview

Update 10,  apr 24:
        Mag 6.6 Vancouver Island yesterday -- no reports of damage. Way outside Morningstar's prediction. On FB he seems to be claiming it, however. A brilliant example of the "Texas Sharpshooter" fallacy.

Final assessment, May 3:
        Here's the 'quake summary over the whole 30 days since Morningstar's original prediction:

image credit: USGS

        There were 28 events mag 4.5 or greater over the area of the prediction. The biggest was the mag 7.2 off the Mexican coast on April 18.  However, as far as I know there were no injuries, and certainly no loss of life.

        Morningstar's major FAIL was his sensationalist prediction for California. It never happened, Robert. He said the most severe 'quakes would occur between 8th and 15th April. In fact, over that period only 11 events are recorded by USGS, the largest being mag 6.6 in Nicaragua.

        I'll give him 3 points (out of 10) for the fact that the general progression of seismic events up the coast from  Panama to Mexico followed his predicted pattern.

        The interactive map put out by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre shows that, over the whole of North and Central America from 3 April to 3 May, there were 58 quakes mag 4.5+. For the same period in previous years, there were:

2013 - 37
2012 - 53
2011 - 42
2010 - 59
        As for the "terrible weather and electrical storms", no doubt he'll be claiming a hit for the devastating series of tornadoes that ripped through the southern USA in the last days of April, causing 35 deaths. With all due sympathy for those who suffered loss, as the opposition and eclipse were planetary phenomena we would expect planet-wide weather repercussions if his idea was at all correct. So the tornado sequence falls a bit short, but maybe I'll give him one point.

        4 out of 10, Morningstar. Hope your next bit of alarmism fares better.


astroguy said...

I've listened to his last two C2C interviews about space. Let's just say that very little of what he's stated is correct/valid. Some of course is, but when he says wrong things right in line with right things, without missing a beat, one wonders what's going on in his mind. His appearance last time and statements about NASA hiding things dealing with Mars is just standard conspiracy bunkum that has been shown to be false time and time again.

Why should his craptastic earthquake prophecy be any different, especially when he doesn't seem to understand how gravity works and that the force on Earth from Mars is so tiny as to be practically zilch.

Trekker said...

There was actually a 5.8 earthquake off the coast of Panama yesterday. No damage or injuries.

and here:

expat said...

Thanks Trekker. I've updated.

Trekker said...

You're welcome!

expat said...

Added a sidebar displaying gravitational attractions Earth/Mars/Moon/Sun for comparison

Dee said...

"Practically zilch" but there are known serious effects like Earth's eccentricity. Yes, this is mostly due to the presence of Jupiter and Saturn and works on larger time scales, larger even than one full Hoagland Article Series. Morningstar does mention Saturn for April 14-15 but it still sounds more like a variation of the infamous "Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect".


Strahlungs Amt said...

So the attraction from Mars is one millionth the attraction from the Sun. Yeah, that'll trigger a mass extinction all right. Better stock up on food and guns just in case.

Does anyone remember 5/5/2000? The day when all the planets were supposedly lined up and the End of the World was nigh? Or 21/12/2012 when the World was going to end?

Does anyone remember any prophet saying "I'm sorry" after their predictions failed? Funny how the media hypes up the prophesy beforehand (when books are being sold) but go totally silent after the event fails to pass.

Is there a failed prophecies blog anywhere?

Dee said...

A "failed prophecies blog"? It would need a large database considering the ease of making one and the lack of qualifications or little to no proven skill of the prophet required by most audiences.

Morningstar and Hoagland seem just two more exponents of a media landscape where sentiments are becoming the main thing what is being sold while not as much any information -- that remains wholly "collateral" and incidental to the cause. Yes, I don't see that much difference between what these "false prophets" do and the average popular news networks are doing. They go hand in hand, pseudo-news and pseudo-science. What is sold to us is just a feeling, that's the only business in town. And even science itself suffers from this effect increasingly when reaching out.


Graham said...

I don't think there is a failed prophecies blog as such, but Exposing PseudoAstronomy did cover some of the 2012 failed predictions in Episode 77, the link to the shownotes is below.

Dee said...

This one for the list?

Throat of Fire volcano in Ecuador erupts explosively

"Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupted powerfully and explosively on Friday (April 4, 2014), sending a 6-mile (10-km) column of ash skyward"

Of course a bit of context might question its relevance for the Morningstar hailshot announcement:

"Its eruptions have been ongoing since 2013, with several major eruptions since then, the last one prior to yesterday’s starting on February 1 of this year."

Dee said...

USGS lists the Panama of the 2nd as 6.0 now.

Things are still shaking daily in Chile and some minor ones in Mexico (which was forecast by RM for April 8+) but NOTHING in Costa Rica or Nicaragua between April 3 and April 7 ("next 3 days", he wrote).

This is a great mapping tool:

James Concannon said...

Updated today

Dee said...

I don't agree with listing the 4.4, 4.5 and 4.7 as "more strongly tremors" for "Costa Rica and more strongly in Nicaragua near Managua or the Honduras border."

The Guatemala quakes were several 100km's away from claimed target area. So that's moving goalposts right there.

The Honduras quake was 100 miles before the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea, let alone near any border of Nicaragua.

Mexico as I mentioned was expected only from the 8th but those could get a pass.

Bigger problem is the statistical significance. There were the last 30 days in that (now slightly enlarged) area at least 15 4.5+ earthquakes which would match to similar "hits", the majority occurring in March.

When searching the archive for the area one can find in the period 2014/01/01 - 2014/03/31 around 215 quakes of 4.0 Richter and above, distributed reasonable over that time frame. Most of them can be located before the coasts of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico. This is because the Caribbean Plate and Cocos Plate are rubbing (check out the poster here for illumination in text and image). The strongest in Mexico (5.2) was on 3/22 by the way.

All the seismicity is therefore normal so far for that region and the general condition of the plates and there's nothing which needs explanation or would be odd considering the prophecy. Of course, anything can happen still and the goalposts ended up being wide enough to drive a continental plate through.

California remained below 3.0 Richter so no show. Good for them!

James Concannon said...

Dee, I agree. I think his evidence is very weak but I thought it only fair to post it. It came from FB personal messaging.

Today he's also talking up a 2.3 in S. California, which is totally ridiculous. Nothing at all unusual about that.

Trekker said...

Then there's a report from Fox on the Galactic Federation sending a ship to light the sky during one of those earthquakes!

Dee said...

Thanks James! I was disagreeing with RM's listing of course and it remains interesting to see what would remain of it.

And he could have done so much better, for example with the current solar cycle maxing and papers like Influences of solar cycles on earthquakes there's so much room for speculation and wild prediction. And then we get "Mars" instead. So I'm disappointed as the subject interests me.

Give us Hoagland back! :-)

Dee said...

Trekker, thanks for that galactic spaceship video. Great stuff! Here's my favourite picture of something similar, since it's in daylight.

Lights observed minutes before deadly 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Sichuan, China in 2008.

It remains interesting to research or speculate on its actual causes. Good to have some mysteries left!

FlightSuit said...

Did anybody hear Mike Bara on C2C tonight talking about the alleged light on the Martian terrain that had been photographed by the rover?

Great stuff. Bara made reference to some animated GIF that apparently proves something, but he said he wasn't going to mention the name of the GIF's creator because "I dislike him intensely."

I wonder who he could have been talking about?

Trekker said...

Thanks, Dee. Earthquake lights, like ball lightning, are one of those perennial mysteries that can't easily be dismissed.

expat said...

Flight: That would have been Phil Plait.

Mike was not at his worst last night -- he went through the possibilities in a reasonably sane way, and he's right that the fact that the "light" appears in two different frames is a problem for the cosmic ray hit theory.

Dee said...

FlightSuit: "I wonder who he could have been talking about?"

Immediately the name "Phil Plait" entered my brain. Must have been beamed into it there since I didn't wear any protective gear today (the planets were properly alignment for me this week so I thought it would be all right).

And behold: No, That’s NOT an Artificial Light on Mars.

Of course your question might have been rhetorical as well, I realize now...

Dee said...

Expat beat me to it, this time. But how could it not show up on both left and right together camera's then? Would it be angle or elevation differences between both nav cams? Or a very narrow beam only hitting one side of the vehicle?

Trekker said...

Stuart Robbins is dealing with the light on Mars in his current blog:

expat said...

If it was a cosmic ray hit, you wouldn't expect it to show on both cameras, obviously. If it's something glinting in sunlight, it's perfectly reasonable for parallax to mask it from one camera, too.

Here's the picture from a day earlier. This is what's hard to explain.

expat said...

Updated with 2 major earthquakes in Nicaragua

expat said...

Now there's this from Emily Lakdawalla on the Marsglints.

Dee said...

While I don't want to sit on the chair of Morningstar but perhaps this is all building up to the first "blood" moon on April 15 (Passover)? Next year April 4 will be the third one, also during a Passover, if I understood correctly all the hype on it. And the other two on the Jewish "Sukkot" for each year.

Hmmpf, no wonder every prophet chimes in these days. But isn't the Jewish calendar moon based and are both holidays not calculated to start at full moons?

And didn't it happen seven times earlier in history with only two during some significance year, for the Jews at least (therefore not for most of the prophets who chime in) based on some unclear selection criterion?

There are eight such "tetrads" this century alone. What's the chance any tetrad falls with its first moon on Passover (and therefore aligns with the three other events automatically)? Since there were in total 62 tetrads since the start of the Common Era and only 8 started on Passover so far, one could say that around 1 in 8 starts at Passover with a large error margin +/- 2 perhaps. For some reason the distribution does not seem completely random but that might be because of some orbital thing? Or we need more tetrads to find out.

Not sure what this has to to with earthquakes really but people do seem to expect bad things overall to start this month so it might be related to the fever.


Chris Lopes said...

What gets me is that C2C did a whole show on the topic of anomalies and artifacts on Mars and Hoagland had no part of it. He's either completely on the outs with Noory, or very ill. Since I'd hate for anything bad to happen to him, I hope it's the former.

Trekker said...

And a third glint from March (sol 568)in roughly the same area:

Dee said...

Expat's latest update: "That's three mag 4.5+ in two days."

When I select last 30 days for that area I count 21 earthquakes of 4.5+ in that map area. And around 60 4.5+ for 3 months.

Here's the 3 months map and list.

You can see a lot of clustering there, for example around March 2-3, probably starting with a 6.2 in Nicaragua. Which I think means that having first the 8.0 in Chile would make it rather easy to predict instability across the fault line for weeks or even months to come. It's a common pattern for released pressure to move down the fault, sometimes triggering other medium to heavy earthquakes.

But while increases are nearly always measured, the strength and precise locations are still a gamble. This is where Morningstar gambled and lost unless he will count each heavy earthquake in the coming months as some delayed hit. But it would also confirm rather standard earthquake science at the same time...


expat said...

Thanks, Dee. And if you restrict the map to "significant" for that same area, you're left with the 6.6 Nicaragua only.

James Concannon said...

Update #6

Dee said...

The following is slightly unrelated but then again, Robert Morningstar shines in that respect as well.

A Map Of Every Earthquake Over The Last Century

"Using USGS stats, Yau plotted 72,000 earthquakes topping magnitudes of 5.0 scale from the last century, each represented by a white dot. The 10 largest quakes of the last 100 years are highlighted in lime green."

I thought this brings some needed birth eye's perspective (although most reading here are quite the birds of prey already).

Dee said...

Posted not the right link in my last comment, here's the map directly and some code to generate it as well.

Mapping a century of earthquakes

Dee said...

"As April 8th - 15th approaches, Mexico and Southern California will begin to feel the effects of "The Martian Maelstrom".

Okay so today's 7.2 in Mexico qualifies then as "aftermath of the Martian opposition and the lunar eclipse"? But terrible weather and electrical storms? Some places, sure. What is "worst" by the way, which measure?

I'd like to know when "the weeks following their passage" will end. Everything under a month? But RM is back in his business for now.

expat said...

Final assessment added today. I ave him 4 out of 10, being generous.