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Yellowstone Journal: How Accurate is Earthchanges TV Reporting?

YOWUSA.COM, 28-February-04
Dave Wright and Marshall Masters

Earthchanges TV Reporting?Since the beginning of this month, YOWUSA.COM has been receiving E -mails from Earthchanges TV subscribers requesting third party confirmation of the seismic activity reported on that site.  In response to those queries, we have vetted information regarding Earthchanges TV reports for quakes "near" the Yellowstone Park area on: 06-Feb, (5.3),15- Feb 15 (3.5), 21- Feb  (3.6), and 21-Feb (3.5) of this year.

We understand the requests because we found discrepancies.  Marshall Masters, publisher of YOWUSA.COM twice sent the following request for clarification to Mitch Battros of Earthchanges TV:

February 23, 2004

TO:  Mitch Battros, Publisher
     earthchangestv.com/

FR:  Marshall Masters, Publisher
     yowusa.com

Hi Mitch:

We've been receiving mail from several of your readers over the last month asking us about seismic information reported on your site.  We getting ready to publish a seismic update this Wednesday and we plan on addressing the issues raised by your subscribers.

In response to your subscribers, we vetted your reporting of three quakes reported by your site during the last month.  Here are the discrepancies we found and are asking you to address in your reply to this query:

06-Feb-04: According to your site, a 5.3 earthquake occurred near Yellowstone at latitude 43.5N, longitude 105.1W.  We referenced your coordinates with the world aeronautical chart and USGS web site and determined that the actual location of this earthquake to be near the East Wyoming border. 

17-FEB-04: According to your site, a 3.5 earthquake occurred near Yellowstone at latitude 42.94N, longitude 105.40W.  We referenced your coordinates with the world aeronautical chart and USGS web site and determined that the actual location of this earthquake to be near the East Wyoming border.

21-FEB-04: According to your site, a 3.2 (later upgraded to 3.6) earthquake occurred near Yellowstone at latitude 43.58N, longitude 110.37W.  We referenced your coordinates with the world aeronautical chart and USGS web site and found this earthquake was near Yellowstone.

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the meaning of "near Yellowstone."  Would you please clarify this with a comment?  We'll need your response by Tuesday   If you decline to comment, we will note that accordingly.

Best regards,
Marshall Masters, Publisher
YOWUSA.COM

As of this publication, Earthchanges TV has not replied.  Therefore, our present concern is that inaccurate reporting will inoculate public interest in what we see is a broader systemic issue for the Western United States.  For this reason, we are publishing our findings so that our readers can make an informed decision on their own.

Earthchanges TV Reporting

At YOWUSA.COM, we've been following Yellowstone seismic events very closely, trying to detect any trends.  When we received email from several YOWUSA and Earthchanges TV subscribers telling us that Earthchanges TV sent them email on earthquakes that occurred near Yellowstone on February 6, 15, 21, and February 25, we immediately followed up since we didn't see any information previously reported on earthquakes near Yellowstone, except for the February 21 (3.6) earthquake.

Here are the relevant Earthchanges TV reports forwarded to us by Earthchanges TV subscribers

Date: 2004/02/20
From: "Mitch Battros"
To: "Breaking News"

Subject: ECTV/Breaking News - New 3.5 mag. EQ Hits Yellowstone Area on Sunday

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004

New 3.5 mag. EQ Hits Yellowstone Area on Sunday...02/17/04 by Mitch Battros (ECTV) 

Just when I think we had made progress in our investigation regarding the 5.3 mg quake that was reported in the Yellowstone area on Feb. 6th, I receive notice of a new 3.5 mg. quake which hit this past Sunday. This new quake just happens to be almost in the "exact" location as last weeks 5.3. Is this a coincidence?

In my investigation, I spoke directly to the two high governing officials which would have the answers to my questions. Mr. Jim Case is the lead supervisor at the "Wyoming State Geological Survey" located in Laramie, WY. Read his comments later in this article.

I also spoke to Heidi Koontz, who is the assistant administrator of the  USGS Center located in Golden, CO . When I questioned Ms. Koontz as to the confirmation of the Feb. 6th 5.3 mg. event, she stated that "yes, it did occur. Our scientist have looked into it, and after consulting the team led by Pam Benfield, seismologist at the USGS Center, it was determined the 5.3 EQ did in fact occur, and was caused by a "mine collapse" or "mine blast"…

Mitch Battros
Sent : Thursday, February 26, 2004
To : "Breaking News"

Subject : ECTV/Breaking News - Near Asteroid Collision, Current X-Class Flare, New EQ So. of Yellowstone

New 4th EQ 200 Miles So. of Yellowstone Measures 3.5 mag. (2/25/04)

USGS is reporting a 3.5 magnitude quake occurred approx. 200 miles south of Yellowstone Super-Volcano. It registered near the Utah - Wyoming boarder. Notice has not been produced to determine if it is another "mine-blast" or earthquake. Interesting to say the least of this sudden implantation by the USGS of describing recent seismic activity as "mine-blast"…<<

Comments by Former
USGS Geologist Jim Berkland

Two comments by Mitch that stood out immediately: "…the 5.3 mg quake that was reported in the Yellowstone area on Feb. 6th" and "Our scientists have looked into it, and after consulting the team led by Pam Benfield, seismologist at the USGS Center, it was determined the 5.3 EQ did in fact occur, and was caused by a ‘mine collapse' or ‘mine blast'…"

Jim BerklandMarshall Masters contacted Jim Berkland of the Syzsgy web site on Friday, February 27, 2004 and the following quotes are take directly from his conversation with Jim:

MARSHALL: Jim, we're trying to get a definition for the word "near" and we see that you often mention the distance of 140 miles on your web page when making predictions.  Is that a safe be for "near?"

JIM: 140 miles is two degrees, or 111 kilometers.  It is not near.  Near is 20 miles.

MARSHALL: According to Battros, a USGS geologist stated that a mine collapse or mine blast in the Wyoming area generated a recent 5.3 magnitude quake.  Is this possible?

JIM: It would take a nuclear detonation equivalent to the force released by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan to create a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.  Not a "mine collapse" as Pam Benfield of the USGS suggests.

However, a 2-mile deep mine in South Africa did collapse back in the 70s, and generated a magnitude 5 earthquake, as I recall.  However, the mines in Northeast Wyoming are primary coalmines and nowhere as deep or extensive as the mine that collapsed in South Africa. 

Further, the geology of the area in question is barely enough to store the energy required for 3-magnitude quake, let alone a 5.3 magnitude quake for a mine collapse.  Likewise, quarry blasts will generate a 2 magnitude to 3 magnitude quake.  In general, a mine collapse or blast could not generate a 5.3.  It would take a tectonic event to create a 5.3, which would have been felt throughout much of the state.

As we examine the Earthchanges TV reports, let's keep Jim Berkland's definition of "near" in mind, as well as the size of the state of Wyoming. From border to border, it is 360 miles long and 280 miles wide.

Just for good measure, let's assume that any seismic event within 140 miles of Yellowstone is good enough to be called "near" and see what we get.

February 6, 2004 (5.3)

  • Latitude = 43.5N, Longitude = 105.1W.
  • Near east Wyoming border.
  • Near same location as February 15, 2004, 3.5 earthquake according to Earthchanges TV.
  • Over 140 miles from Yellowstone.

February 15, 2004  (3.5)

Yellowstone Event

  • Latitude = 42.94N, longitude = 105.40W.
  • Near east Wyoming border.
  • http://wwwneic.cr.usgs.gov/neis/qed/qed_exag.html
  • Over 140 miles from Yellowstone.

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