I’ve come across two explanations for the 11 March Japanese earthquake. One struck me as rather more plausible than the other.
The plausible explanation was that of the ‘Supermoon’, which is what happens when a full moon or a new moon coincides with a time when the moon is closest to the earth. Both the sun and the moon exert gravitational forces on the earth which cause oceanic tides. These tides reach their highest when the sun and moon and earth are in line with each other. The tides are even higher if the moon or sun are closer to the earth than usual.
And, according to Jennifer Marohasy it wasn’t just that the sun and the ‘Supermoon’ were lined up, but that also the solar system’s two largest planets – Jupiter and Saturn – were also in opposition (i.e. on the other side of the sun from each other) and roughly in line with the earth. If so, that would have increased the tidal forces a notch higher.
On March 1, 10 days before the earthquake, Accuweather raised the possibility of extreme weather events or earthquakes around the time of the 19 March Supermoon.
AccuWeather Facebook fanpage member Daniel Vogler adds, “The last extreme super moon occurred was on January 10th, 2005, right around the time of the 9.0 Indonesia earthquake. That extreme super moon was a new moon. So be forewarned. Something BIG could happen on or around this date. (+/- 3 Days is my guess)”
But on 11 March, Accuweather reports Deborah Byrd of earthsky.org saying:
“Apogee was March 6. Perigee is March 19. Today, the moon is about halfway between its closest and farthest point to Earth. But, the point is, the moon isn’t particularly close today. The supermoon-earthquake connection, as I understand it, depends on two things. First, an extra close moon. Second, a moon at the full phase – when the Earth, sun and moon make a line in space. Neither condition exists today. The moon is not close to Earth, and the Earth, sun and moon aren’t aligned. In fact, we’re only a day away from first quarter moon – so the moon is more or less at right angles to the Earth/sun line. It’s nearly as far from being aligned with the Earth and sun as it can be. In other words – both in the sense of its distance from Earth, and also in the sense of an Earth/moon/sun alignment – the moon is very far from the condition of “supermoon” today. It’s nearly as far from being a supermoon as it can possibly be. And yet there was this massive earthquake. So where’s the connection?”
All the same, a very large earthquake did actually occur around the time of the supermoon, and the possibility that it might cause earthquakes was being discussed. Furthermore, the gravitational forces at work here have visibly large effects simply in the form of oceanic tides.
The other (conspiracy) theory was that it was deliberately triggered by a secret US weapon system known as HAARP which emits a high-energy, low-frequency signal which can vibrate the atmosphere, and induce earthquakes.
And this struck me as thoroughly implausible. For while a source of sound waves like a loudspeaker may vibrate strongly, and emit sound waves, it’s very difficult to get sound waves to make loudspeakers vibrate strongly. Karl Popper, in his autobiography, Unended Quest (30) described the problem
The typical case is an expanding spherical light wave, or a process like an explosion that sends particles to infinity (of Newtonian space). The opposite – a coherent spherical wave contracting from infinity (or an implosion from infinity) cannot occur – not because such a thing is ruled out by the universal laws of light propagation or of motion, but because it would be physically impossible to realise the initial conditions.
Same with HAARP. In principle it’s possible to start earthquakes with sound. In practice it’s next to impossible.
But both explanations are sort of slightly, vaguely plausible. The tug of the supermoon. The vibrations of HAARP. But both rely on small influences having large effects.
And doesn’t that ring a bell? The global warming hypothesis is that trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere have huge long-term effects on climate. The smoking hypothesis is that trace amounts of tobacco smoke in the atmosphere have enormous long-term effects on human health.
Modern ‘post-normal’ science seems to be all about making ever-so-slightly, vaguely plausible explanations for events not only seem completely plausible, but to become unquestionable truths. It’s no longer what actually causes things that matters, but what people believe causes them. And the less educated people are, the more easily they can be duped into believing physically impossible explanations of events. i.e. they can be made to believe in magic.