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An earthquake sensitive is a person who claims to have the ability to predict earthquakes. Notable sensitives include American geologist Jim Berkland, who proposes that sensitivity should be scientifically employed in earthquake prediction.
There is no evidence that earthquake sensitives are genuinely able to predict earthquakes, and the so-called symptoms of sensitivity remain at best highly controversial. No scientific proof of these abilities has been demonstrated. Jim Berkland's claim to earthquake sensitivity was formally investigated and appeared to be groundless. Gene Emery keeps track of psychic predictions and has discussed Clarisa Bernhardt's failed predictions as well as those of other alleged earthquake sensitives. In 1976, Clarisa Bernhardt falsely predicted a very large earthquake, expected to be of magnitude 8, for North Carolina.
According to therapist Reneau Z. Peurifoy, the supposed causes of human sensitivity to earthquakes are similar to the causes of earthquake sensitivity in animals. When pressure builds up prior to an earthquake, the quartz crystal in Earth's interior is deformed and creates an electrical charge. This phenomenon, known as the piezoelectric effect, can send electrical signals to animals. It is theorised that some earthquake sensitives may also be reacting to a change in the electromagnetism of an area caused by rising stresses on geological faults. There is also the possibility that radon is emitted prior to an earthquake, enough to be noticed by sensitive humans.
One earthquake sensitive mentioned in sensitive Cal Orey's The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes: Jim Berkland, maverick geologist suggested that the different crystal makeups of different regions account for distinct sounds from different areas. She thought that pressure also determined sound, and provided an example, saying how granite sounds were different from those of quartz.
- Ringing of the ears (ear tones)
- Random visions
- Other pains/aches
Since the 1970s, a variety of earthquake sensitives have attracted attention. In November 1974, sensitive Clarisa Bernhardt correctly predicted a magnitude 5.2 earthquake on Thanksgiving. In January 1980, Mark Waterman, of Walnut Creek, California, experienced ear tones and predicted an earthquake would hit nearby. The following day, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck in Livermore. In May 1980, sensitive Charlotte King of Oregon predicted the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens 12 minutes prior to the event, after experiencing severe pain. In July of the same year, Jim Berkland allegedly had a vivid dream of "being trapped in a dark mansion with false doors, long halls, and countless rooms" as well as a man asking him about an earthquake. A few days later, he had a déjà vu experience when his friend asked him exactly the same question about an earthquake of magnitude 5.1 which had occurred in Sharpsburg, Kentucky. On October 17, 1989, journalist Cal Orey suffered a splitting headache. Later that day, the magnitude 7.1 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or World Series earthquake, hit California. The earthquake was also predicted by Berkland on October 13. In 2003, Berkland of California, along with two other sensitives, correctly predicted an earthquake of magnitude 8.3. In September 2004, Clarisa Bernhardt felt disoriented and expected an earthquake; the magnitude 6.0 2004 Parkfield earthquake occurred shortly after. In October 2004, Berkland predicted an earthquake between magnitude 3.0 and 5.0 after hearing ear tones. The following day, a magnitude 3.6 earthquake hit California. In November 2004, Lee Cheng-chi of Taichung, Taiwan heard ear tones and predicted an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 would strike Taiwan on November 12. On November 12, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck. Earlier that year, on October 15, 2004, Cheng-chi had accurately predicted a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which struck later that day. In 2005, a sensitive allegedly predicted a magnitude 5.4 earthquake in Southern Alaska two days prior to the event, after allegedly hearing intense ear tones.
Notes and references
- Orey, p. 73
- Skeptical Inquirer, 30.5
-  Gene Emery
-  Psychic Forecasts Were a Big Flop (Again)
-  Failed Earthquake Predictions
- Orey, p. 66.
- Orey, p. 72.
- Orey, p. 76.
- Orey, p. 64.
- Orey, p. 69.
- Orey, p. 67.
- Walsh, Jim (October 16, 2009). "Loma Prieta predictor Jim Berkland still picking quake dates". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- Orey, p. 70.
- Orey, p. 77.
- Orey, p. 68.
- Orey, p. 71.
- Orey, Cal (2006). The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes: Jim Berkland, Maverick Geologist: How His Quake Warnings Can Save Lives. Sentient Publications.