“The Last Days of Tolemac” is a book of prophecy. It deals with events that are happening in the world today and shows how they fulfill prophecies that were made many centuries ago. The book is set out in a series of questions and answers, and explains in detail:
As the book explains, our world is about to be transformed. We are about to experience “a new heaven and a new earth” where there will be no more suffering and no more pain. However all of us are faced with a choice. Do we wish to inherit the new world that is coming? Or will we fall victim to the catastrophes that will herald its arrival? What we need to do to survive is explained in the pages of this book.
Allan, Oracle of Tolemac, November 21, 2014, 9:13 pm
For the information of readers, The Last Days of Tolemac is now available on Kindle Books as a Digital Download, as well as Allan’s major work entitled The Cosmic Web.
The Cosmic Web explains the mysteries of life, and shows how we all have within us hidden powers that will transform our lives in the coming age. Many of the stories that appear on this Blog, as well as articles on esoteric aspects of life, have been taken from this book. And as usual with Kindle books, if you click on the cover of either book, you can read part of the contents for free.
For the benefit of readers who might be looking for information on specific subjects related to prophecy, the following articles have been included here for easy reference. They can be found in “Articles” listed under the heading “Categories” in the column on the right:
The Apocalypse Unveiled
The Rapture Revealed
The Lost Years of Jesus
The New Golden Age
The Last Pope
The Death of the Pope
The Doomsday Prophecies
The Kachina Prophecies of the Hopi
Rebuilding the Temple of Solomon
What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?
What is “Mystery Babylon” in the Book of Revelation?
Why America is not Mentioned in “End Time” Prophecy
Scott: My name is Scott Paton. I am joined today by Allan Colston. He is the author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac”. This is a book dealing with prophecy.
For those listeners who may be new to this topic, this Podcast is another in the series “Signs of the Times”. Hello Allan and welcome to the Podcast.
Thanks Scott, it’s good to have the opportunity to talk to you again.
Scott: So Allan, what do you plan to talk about today?
Well Scott, I thought it was about time I returned to a topic that I have not addressed for over a year now. Back in June of last year you and I talked about affairs in the Middle East in a Podcast entitled “Arabian Entropy“.
Scott: Yes, I recall that conversation. Didn’t you talk about how the situation in Egypt and other countries in Northern Africa had deteriorated since the onset of the “Arab Spring”?
You have an excellent memory Scott. Well since that time, the situation in the Middle East has changed dramatically, and in ways that seem to me ever more likely to confirm that the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets are coming true before our eyes.
Scott: Perhaps you could begin by reminding us what the Old Testament prophets predicted would happen in the Middle East during the “End Times”.
Certainly Scott. As I explained in my book “The Last Days of Tolemac“, the “Latter Days” described by the prophets refer to a period of seven years which they call the “Great Tribulation”. Jesus himself said that this time would be the greatest period of human suffering since the beginning of the world.
It is important to note that Israel is central to an understanding of the “End Times”, not only because it was the land where Jesus lived and taught, but because Israel was the place where the prophets predicted that the events of the final days would begin and end.
We need to remember that the Mount of Olives, located just outside the ancient city of Jerusalem, was the place where Jesus ascended into heaven, and that it was also the place where angels told the disciples who looked on in wonder, that Jesus would return.
The Old Testament prophets said that this seven year period of tribulation would begin with an event that would involve the land of Israel. They referred to this event as, and I quote, the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”. And they went on to describe what this event would be.
This seven year period would end with the battle of Armageddon that would take place in the valley of Jezreel in Israel, followed by the return to earth of the long-awaited Saviour, who would lead the world into a new Golden Age of peace, that was predicted to last for a thousand years.
As I explained in my post entitled “The Invasion of Israel“, the tribulation would begin when Israel was threatened by a coalition of nations, and the armies of these nations would surround Israel on every side. These armies would come from, and I quote, “the north parts”, and from countries like “Persia, Libya and Ethiopia”.
So you can see Scott why Israel is so important in “End Time” prophecy, and why Old Testament prophets focused on the events of the Middle East. And if they are correct, we may only have a few years left before the entire world is plunged into chaos and misery.
Scott: How do we know that Israel will be surrounded by the armies of its enemies?
Well if you will just bear with me Scott, in case some of our listeners think that I am making this up, or that I am misinterpreting the words of Biblical prophecy, I’d like to quote from the relevant parts of Chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel.
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, thus saith the Lord God; in that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army.”
“And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.”
According to Ezekiel, this vast mechanized army would assemble on the borders to the north, south and east of Israel. Their goal would be to wipe out the Jewish nation once and for all, and take over their land. The Jews would be powerless to stop the mighty forces that would be arrayed against them on every side.
But just when all hope seemed to be lost, and the entire nation seemed to be doomed, the Jews would be saved by a supernatural event. A comet would appear in the skies of earth that would cause earthquakes throughout the land, as well as “hailstones, fire and brimstone” that would rain down on their enemies. Ezekiel goes on to write:
“And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.”
Scott: Does Ezekiel say what will happen to these armies?
According to Ezekiel, the armies that are gathered on the borders of Israel will be caught on the open plains. They will be defenceless, and will be exposed to the full fury of the meteorites and the fiery hail that will descend on them from the sky. As Ezekiel writes:
“And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone.”
As a result of the earthquakes on the land, and the aerial bombardment from the skies, the armies that gather on the borders of Israel will be decimated. Those few who survive these disasters will either be unable, or unwilling, to pursue their assault.
Ezekiel writes that only “a sixth part” of the invading armies will survive the onslaught of the comet.
“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee.”
“And I will smite the bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beast of the field to be devoured.”
Ezekiel goes on to write that, after the comet has passed, the countryside will be littered with the wreckage of the armaments and the bodies of the dead. So many people will die on the open plains that it will take the Israelis seven months to bury them all.
Anyway Scott, the main point I want to emphasize here is that the “hailstones, fire and brimstone” that Ezekiel predicted would destroy the armies gathered on the borders of Israel, will not be confined to the land of Israel. They will cause destruction all over the world.
Scott: What makes you say that, Allan?
In Chapter 8 of his Book of Revelation, John describes a vision in which he saw seven angels with seven trumpets. As each angel sounded their trumpets, so the earth was assailed by a specific disaster. Verse seven of this chapter begins (and I quote):
“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up. “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.”
So what John is describing here is a global disaster emanating from the sky, which not only causes “hail and fire” to rain down from the heavens, but also an asteroid to plunge into the ocean, destroying “a third part of the ships”, as well as “a third part of the creatures in the sea.”
I have written about this in greater detail in my Post entitled “What is Wormwood in the Book of Revelation?“. And it is because of the world-wide destruction caused by the asteroid slamming into the ocean that the prophets called it “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”.
So based on the Biblical passages that I have quoted from here, the attack on Israel by the armies of its enemies is the key to understanding the time-line of events of the “End Times”, because it is this attack that sets in motion the final seven years of tribulation leading up to the return of the Christ.
So as you can see Scott, the events that are unfolding in the Middle East at this time have a crucial bearing on predicting the last days of the world as we know it. Jesus also warned his disciples that the Day of the Lord would come suddenly, “like a thief in the night”, when people least expected it.
Scott: So Allan, do you think there will be a land invasion of Israel any time soon?
Well Scott, that’s the 64,000 dollar question. But when you look back on the events that have happened in Israel over the last year, together with events that have taken place in neighbouring countries, they seem to be making such a confrontation not only likely, but inevitable.
When President Obama was elected to his second term in office, he made a concerted effort to try to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that had been festering pretty much ever since Israel became a nation in 1948, by getting Secretary of State John Kerry to set up a series of negotiations.
These negotiations between the government of Israel on the one hand, and the Palestine National Authority on the other, were hamstrung right from the start by the fact that the Palestine National Authority was split into two opposing groups.
There was the Fatah group headed by Mahmoud Abbas which governed the West Bank, and there was the Hamas group which ruled the territory of Gaza. The basic problem was that Israel, as well as the United States and most of the European countries, regarded Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Nevertheless, John Kerry was instructed to go ahead without Hamas, and he ordered both Abbas and Netanyahu to authorise a series of secret negotiations over a nine month period ending in April of this year, using the pre-1967 borders as a basis for negotiation.
The hope was that, with the assistance of the United States, both parties would come to an agreement on the boundaries of their respective countries, as well as their capital cities. Kerry’s view was that West Jerusalem would be the capital of Israel, with East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.
Although it had already become clear to outside observers that nothing of any consequence was likely to come of these negotiations, affairs came to a head when Abbas suddenly announced that there had been a reconciliation between himself and Hamas, and that in future he would be negotiating on behalf of both groups.
Israel immediately pulled out of these negotiations, and as a result of a crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank, tensions soon boiled over leading to the third Israeli-Gaza conflict in eight years. The fighting, which caused extensive damage in Gaza, continued for forty days until Hamas finally agreed to a ceasefire.
Scott: So was anything substantial agreed upon during those nine months of negotiations?
Unfortunately Scott, nothing significant was achieved, even though both parties appeared to be motivated by similar goals. They both wanted to have a defined territory, bound by secure borders, with capital cities that would be recognised by each other, as well as by the international community.
In reality, however, there never was any hope of an agreement on any of these issues. For starters, Abbas was never in a position to guarantee the security of Israel following the creation of a Palestinian state, despite John Kerry’s assurance that the United States would act as the protector of Israel.
After all, the Israelis had already learned the hard way that peace with the Palestinians was no guarantee of their own future safety. They learned this lesson in the Gaza strip, which they had captured from Egypt during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Israelis occupied and ruled Gaza until 1993, when it was agreed that Gaza would be governed by a new administrative body called the Palestinian Authority, while Israel would retain control over airspace, territorial waters and all border crossings except the one between Gaza and Egypt.
This arrangement continued until 2005, when Israel decided unilaterally to withdraw all of its people from Gaza. When elections were held and Hamas became the newly elected government in July 2007, the first thing they did was to expel their rival party Fatah from Gaza.
From the start Hamas refused to accept the existence of Israel, and committed itself to the extermination of the Jews. With funding obtained from the Arab state of Qatar, and armaments provided by Iran, Hamas soon began the first of its many wars with Israel.
So the net result of handing over control of Gaza to the Palestinians, was to find themselves under constant threat of artillery and rocket fire. So as you can see Scott, there is no appetite in Israel today to negotiate a new Palestinian state where similar hostilities could break out much closer to Jerusalem.
Scott: Why is the city of Jerusalem so important?
Well Scott, as I have already pointed out, John Kerry had hoped that he could persuade both parties to share the city of Jerusalem, with the Western part being the capital of Israel and the Eastern part the capital of Palestine, largely because of its historical association with both countries.
What he failed to take into account was that Jerusalem remains at the core of the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and has been pretty much ever since the state of Israel was first created. At that time it was an independent city administered under the mandate of the United Nations.
When the Israeli war of independence broke out in 1948, the Jews seized the western part of Jerusalem as well as certain areas originally allocated to the Arabs, while Jordan took control of the old city of Eastern Jerusalem, along with what is today known as the West Bank.
During the Six-Day War of 1967, Jordanian forces attacked West Jerusalem. After hand-to-hand fighting on the Temple Mount, the Israeli army repelled this attack, and went on to capture East Jerusalem along with the entire West Bank of the river Jordan.
When the war ended, Jordan was allowed to retain control of the Islamic holy sites located on the Temple Mount, such as the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. However, Israeli troops guarded all of the entrances and controlled who could obtain access to the Temple area.
Then in July 1980, the Knesset, or Israeli Parliament, passed the “Jerusalem Law” which declared that Jerusalem was the capital city of Israel and the seat of its government. Although this has never been accepted by the international community, it remains the Jewish capital to this day.
So the present reality is that despite nine months of negotiations overseen by John Kerry, nothing has changed. The Palestinians are no nearer to having their own country with designated borders, nor do they have a capital city. In their day-to-day affairs they still remain under the control of Israelis.
Scott: So where does this leave the present state of negotiations?
Well Scott, at present there are no ongoing negotiations, and Mahmoud Abbas has been left with little choice but to appeal to the United Nations and the international community to intervene on their behalf. However, there is little that either group can do to change the existing stalemate.
Of course President Obama was infuriated by what he saw as Israeli intransigence coupled with a refusal to negotiate in good faith. Israel in turn countered by blaming the United States for the breakdown in negotiations, by refusing to accept the realities of the region, and by making demands on Israel which their people would never accept.
So Israel continues to thumb their noses at the Palestinians, by approving new housing projects throughout East Jerusalem as well as increasing areas of the West Bank. But this is a policy that carries great risk, and makes it ever more likely that the predictions of the prophets will come to pass.
Scott: Why do you say that Allan?
Well Scott, the immediate outcome of the breakdown of negotiations will be to isolate Israel from the international community. Already Sweden has decided to recognise the State of Palestine, declaring that this is the only way to end the conflict.
Soon, the Parliaments of France, Denmark and the European Parliament in Belgium will vote on similar resolutions, because of the increasing frustration felt by these nations at Israel’s disregard for their protests about the expansion of Jewish settlements in areas set aside for the Palestinians.
Furthermore, the Swedish resolution urges all European Union member states to recognise the State of Palestine on the basis of borders that existed before the 1967 war, and with the City of Jerusalem as the capital city of Palestine.
It is also likely that this movement to recognise the State of Palestine will spread to the United Nations, where other nations hostile to Israel will no doubt choose to follow the lead of the European Union. But far from improving the present situation, it will only serve to inflame it.
International support for an official State of Palestine will not help in bringing Mahmoud Abbas and Benyamin Netanyahu closer together, but will only drive them farther apart, leaving both to withdraw into ever more extreme positions. More and more acts of violence will follow.
Besides, the reality is that no matter how many resolutions are passed by these various bodies, neither the European Union nor even the United Nations have the power to resolve this Middle-Eastern impasse. Even the threat of international sanctions will prove ineffective.
The United States will find itself equally handicapped. Since the breakdown of official negotiations orchestrated by John Kerry, two things have changed in Washington. First of all, President Obama’s focus has switched from Israel to the challenge of fighting the forces of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, as well as the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.
And secondly, the Democratic Party has just suffered a resounding defeat in the mid-term elections, leaving the Republican Party in complete control of Congress and the Senate. Any move by Obama against Israel now will be met with fierce opposition from those who are staunch supporters of Israel.
The threat to Israel will come not from the West, but from the East.
Scott: What sort of threat are you referring to?
Well Scott, the reality is that Israel is sitting pretty at the moment. It is true that they face continuing threats of violence from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. But essentially they are ensconced once more in their own ancestral land, exactly as the prophets of old predicted.
The threat that I am talking about is something that could not even have been imagined just a few short months ago. It is the threat of ISIS, or ISIL as President Obama prefers to call it. Whereas ISIS refers to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIL refers the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
And it is the Levant that we all need to be aware of right now. The Levant is a word of French origin that was used in the Middle Ages to refer to the lands of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Israel.
The difference between ISIL and other terrorist groups spawned by the civil war in Syria, is that they formed an alliance of Islamic extremists that unleashed a war of undreamed of brutality under the banner of religion. They have begun a new crusade designed to recapture the glory of the past.
The goal of ISIL is to create an Islamic Caliphate, or Islamic State, that will stretch from Southern Turkey all the way down to the borders of Egypt, including all of Israel and Palestine. So from their point of view, the present impasse between Netanyahu and Abbas is of no consequence.
According to their plan, they will both be swept away when the all conquering forces of ISIL sweep over the land. And they have a rallying cry that unites all who fight for them, and that is to recapture the ancient city of Jerusalem and make it the Capital City of their new Islamic Caliphate.
This is the threat that hangs over the land of Israel. And because of their coming isolation as a result of their continuing incursions into Palestinian territory, when the Islamic armies appear at their gates, they will find that they have no one to help them defend their country but themselves. The prophecies of the Old Testament will be vindicated.
So while the world watches and waits to see how the events of the Middle East will turn out, the wheels of Fate are grinding remorselessly towards their long prophesied conclusion, exactly as the prophets of old foretold.
Finally Scott, if anyone has any comments or questions on this or any other subject, they are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott: Thanks Allan. This has been a fascinating insight into the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how this fits in with ancient prophecies of the “End Times”.
You have been listening to Allan Colston, author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac”. Do join us for our next Podcast in the series titled “Signs of the Times”.
Allan, AUDIO, Signs of the Times, November 17, 2014, 9:31 pm
In my last Blog post I referred to a Poll conducted recently by the Barna Group, a research firm that focuses on matters of religious faith. In this Poll, they asked a selection of American churchgoers if they thought they were living in the “End Times” as prophesied in the Bible.
The Poll found that 54% of Protestants and 77% of Evangelicals answered “Yes” to this question, while 73% of Catholics said “No”. This is hardly surprising, since the Catholic Church actively discourages speculation about End Times. Evangelicals and Protestants are far more open to this idea.
Many Christians question whether it is even possible to know if we are living in the End Times, or whether there is any Scriptural evidence that would indicate that this is the case. Fortunately, for those who are willing to investigate, the Bible offers many clues that could help us to decide.
Are we living in End Times?
According to the gospel of St. Matthew, as Jesus sat upon the mount of Olives, his disciples came to him and asked him to tell them when the end of the world would be, and what would be the sign of his coming. He replied that it would be a time of “wars and rumours of wars”.
He went on to say that it would be a time when “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24: 7)
However, during the two thousand years since Jesus died upon the cross, there has hardly been a time when nations have not been at war with one another, or when pestilence, plague, hunger and want have not afflicted humanity, along with earthquakes and other natural disasters.
So the fact that all of these conditions happen to be present in the world at this time is not in itself compelling evidence that we are living in End Times. But Jesus did not just point to outward phenomena alone, he also talked about a falling away of faith at the time of the end.
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold“. (Matthew 24: 10-12)
Again, although many would agree that this is a fair assessment of the current state of the world, others might argue that the above words of Jesus are too vague to be of help in clarifying whether or not we are actually living in the End Times prophesied in the Bible.
However, a far more definitive answer to the question of how people would behave at the time of the Last Days has been offered by the apostle Paul, in his second epistle to Timothy, when he wrote:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)
While it is difficult to generalise about behaviour in a world with a population of over seven billion people, we should ask ourselves whether there is any correlation between what is going on in the world today, and the types of behaviour outlined by St Paul in the above epistle.
People will be lovers of themselves
Paul is referring here to people who place their own interests ahead of the needs of society at large, particularly in the way they spend their money and prioritise their resources. They will also be people who like to draw attention to themselves, by striving always to be first.
People will be covetous
Covetous people are those who want to acquire as many possessions as possible, believing them to be the mark of success in life. Wherever possible, they look for the latest and best of everything, and are jealous of those who have more than they do.
People will be boastful and proud
Boastful people are those who consider their own talents and achievements to be better than others, and who enjoy pointing out the shortcomings of other people. Proud people are those who are haughty and arrogant, and who reject any form of self-criticism.
Children will disobey their parents
This speaks of a time when children in general will disobey their parents, and resent their attempts to educate them and guide their behaviour. They will lack respect for their elders, and flaunt their rejection of the accepted customs and standards of society.
People will be ungrateful
These are people who believe that whatever hardships they experience in life are the fault of others, rather their own shortcomings. They expect society to provide. They take things for granted, are quick to criticise, and show no gratitude for the many blessings they enjoy in life.
People will be unholy
During the End Times few people will be drawn to living a “holy” life, or one that is devoted to understanding and practising the things that have always been central to a holy way of life. They will be distracted by a host of other things, and turn away from “the straight and narrow path”.
People will lack natural affection
At the time that Paul wrote this epistle, “natural affection” was regarded as the love between a man and a woman. So according to St Paul, the time of the end would be characterised by the widespread practise of homosexuality, and its acceptance within the wider framework of society.
People will be trucebreakers and false accusers
This will be a time when a person’s word will no longer be their bond. They will break their word whenever it suits them. People will hide behind legal jargon, and use the Courts to get what they want. They will also be quick to accuse the innocent whenever they get in their way.
People will despise those who are good
During the End Times, those who devote their lives to a virtuous life, living simply and humbly and devoted to the common good, will be despised by the majority. Humility will be dismissed as weakness, and simplicity as being out of step with the modern world.
People will be lovers of pleasure
At the time of the end, the quest for inner happiness, discipline and denial will be supplanted by the desire for pleasure. Everything that people do will revolve around food, fashion, products, social activities and recreation that bring them instant gratification and superficial pleasure.
Using the above criteria given by St. Paul as a guide, there seems little doubt that we are now living in the End Times. For as Dr. Chuck Missler, noted Christian evangelist reported in a recent article entitled “The Encroaching Darkness“:
“We continue to see corruption everywhere: throughout the highest levels of government, in our entertainments, in our schools, and even in many of our churches.
“Many of those in the corridors of power should be incarcerated for treason—legislators that sign bills they haven’t read; executives who are allowed to ignore the laws; judges who reverse juries, amend laws, and indulge in social engineering; and, leaders who fail to exhibit the most elementary ethical conduct.
“The entertainment industry celebrates every imaginable evil and attacks all the family values which God has established for our welfare. And the educational establishment deliberately dumbs down and corrupts our youth.
“There was a day when you could rely on the fiduciary posture of your advisors, counselors, and professionals. Today that would be naïve and hazardous. Every day the litany of unconstitutional abuses continues unabated. Every day self-destructive polices extend their reach. Every day it grows darker.” (View Source)
What St. Peter had to say
Another indicator of the End Times was given by St. Peter, when he said that it would be a time when people would reject the words of the Bible, and scoff at those who talked about the return of the Christ, as well as such things as the coming judgement and tribulation.
“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3: 2-7)
We are reminded of Peter’s words whenever critics dismiss talk of End Times by saying that people have been predicting the end ever since the death of Jesus, only to be proved wrong again and again over the centuries. They contend that since nothing bad happened then, no harm will happen now.
However, talk of End Times today is not simply a matter of theoretical debate. The Book of Revelation makes it clear that when the End Times do finally occur, the world will be afflicted by such terrible trials, that even the most hardened sceptics will find them impossible to ignore.
The Book of Revelation
In the first verse of the Fifth Chapter of his Book of Revelation, the apostle John had a vision in which he saw a book “in the right hand of him that sat upon the throne”, which was “sealed with seven seals”. He then went on to describe what would happen as each seal was opened.
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
“And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
“And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
“And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6: 1-8)
The various horses and their riders described by St. John in the passage above have come to be known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, because they will appear in the period of time leading up to the return of the Christ. These four horsemen have been interpreted in the following way.
The first rider on the white horse is described as a “Conqueror”. Although this passage is usually believed to refer to conquest in war, when used in a wider sense it could also be interpreted as “Pestilence” or “Plague”, that “conquers” or ravages entire regions of the planet.
The second rider on the red horse is directly linked to war, with the power to cause different countries all around the world to rise up against one another, and to kill each other by means of weapons and munitions, described by St. John as “a great sword”.
The third rider on the black horse has “a pair of balances in his hand”. Because this was the customary way of selling food at that time, this is interpreted as referring to hunger and drought, because the prices quoted by John were so much higher than those commonly paid at the time.
The final rider is described as riding upon a “pale horse”. It is worth noting here that the actual Koine Greek word used by St. John was khloros, which has the same root as the English word “chlorophyll”. So it seems likely that what John was actually referring to here was the colour green.
The name of this rider was “Death”, and he was given the power to destroy a quarter (the fourth part) of the human population on the earth at the time, which at current numbers would be close to two billion people. They would be killed as a result of war, famine, and the “beasts of the earth”.
So in the vision described by St. John in his Book of Revelation, it is evident that at the time of the end, the earth will be assailed by a series of disasters which will lead to widespread destruction, as well as the death of one in every four people alive on the planet at that time.
What evidence exists today?
So in light of the above predictions made by St. John, we need to ask ourselves whether any of these signs of the End Times are evident in the world today. In other words, is there evidence of these four horsemen, bringing with them “Drought, Disease, War and Death”?
As has been mentioned previously, since there has hardly been a time during the last two thousand years when nations have not risen up against one another, leading to the death of literally millions of people, it could well be argued that the existing state of the world is little different from the past.
And as far as disease is concerned, a case could well be made that, as a result of scientific progress over the last few centuries, humanity is better prepared to handle outbreaks of deadly disease (of which the current crisis with Ebola is a suitable example), than it has ever been before.
However, it is a different story when it comes drought. People may argue over whether or not the world has become a more violent place. They may bicker over whether there are more wars today than ever before, or whether disease is a greater threat today than it was in the past.
But there can no longer be any difference of opinion when it comes to drought. Over the last three or four decades it had become evident that the climate of the world is changing.
At first a world-wide debate ensued around the topic of “global warming”, discussing whether or not this was a reality, and if so, whether this was attributable to human activities, particularly carbon emissions and their impact upon the surface temperature of the earth.
Lately however, scientists have begun to focus their attention on the central issue of our time, which is the change in our environment as a result of the phenomenon of “climate change”.
Researchers everywhere are finding out that “climate”, which can be summarised as the combined effects of heat, cold, moisture and dryness, is changing all over the planet, and that more and more extreme weather events are being experienced all over the world.
And nowhere has this been more noticeable, or more threatening to the future survival of humanity, than the changes in rainfall patterns around the globe. Instances of extreme flooding in some areas are matched by cases of extreme drought in others, and for prolonged periods.
The growing spectre of drought
In a world where the annual growth in population is equivalent to the entire population of the country of West Germany (80 million people), any threat to the future production of food is a matter of the gravest concern. Yet the threat of starvation not only exists now, but is growing worse by the year.
According to statistics published recently by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), an estimated 8 million people in Ethiopia (out of a population of 60 million), are at immediate risk of starvation, as are over a million people in the neighbouring country of Eritrea.
Elsewhere in Africa, continuing years of poor harvests have led to deteriorating food production in countries like Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Morocco, which have experienced extremely dry conditions for the better part of a decade. But the problem of drought is not limited to Africa.
In the northern Shanxi province of China, nearly three million people don’t have enough water to drink, and the area has suffered from massive drought, affecting one-third of the province’s wheat crop. According to UNICEF, more than 60% of its soil lacks water.
The same is true of Afghanistan, where large parts of the south have been affected by severe drought, where up to 80% of the livestock have died. While in Iran, the government is looking for international aid to provide water tankers for drought stricken areas.
In India, the government has had to provide relief in regions like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya and Andhra Pradesh, where about 130 million people have been seriously affected by what local officials have termed the “worst drought in a hundred years”.
In Pakistan hundreds of thousands of people have fled the southern Thar desert region due to the drought that has devastated crops and livestock. The government estimates that nearly three million people. mostly villagers, face possible starvation. (View Source)
Tales of drought, crop failure and starvation in Africa and Asia tend to attract little publicity in the Western Media. However, they now do not need to look far to find evidence of even greater threats that are located very much closer to home.
The Great North American drought, which began in 2012 in the midst of a record-breaking heat-wave followed by consecutive years of low winter snowfall, now affects most of the United States, as well parts of Mexico and central and eastern Canada.
According to Wikipedia, this drought is now on course to be the costliest natural disaster in American history. And nowhere have its effects been more pronounced than in California’s Central Valley, known as the “bread basket of America”. (View Source)
Central Valley, covering an area the size of Scotland, normally produces over 50% of all the fruit, vegetables and nuts consumed in the United States, including 90% of strawberries, olives, celery, broccoli, nectarines, garlic, canned tomatoes, cauliflower and pistachio nuts.
The valley also used to produce 90% of the world’s almonds. But due to the fact that some parts of the valley only got about 20% of its usual rainfall, some 500,000 acres of land have been left fallow, while thousands of withered almond trees have had to be bulldozed. (View Source)
The situation is so bad that the Governor of California has already declared a state of emergency, and called on everyone to cut their water use by 20%. Restaurants now only serve water when specifically asked, and homeowners “paint” their lawns green because they are forbidden to water them.
In the last year, several California cities have received less rain than Death Valley, and state reservoirs have now been reduced to little more than a third of their total capacity. The largest, Lake Shasta, is at 25%, and Lake Oroville, the second largest, is at 28%.
Taken as a whole, these signs are surely evidence that the world is on the threshold of calamity. In fact, recent research published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences warns that we are now at risk of simultaneous droughts, famines and epidemics, just as St. John foretold. (View Source)
Truly, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are beginning to ride.
Allan, Signs of the Times, October 25, 2014, 8:52 pm
In a Poll conducted toward the end of last year by the Barna Group, a research firm that focuses on matters of religious faith, it was reported that 41% of Americans over the age of 18 believe that the world is currently living in the “End Times” period, as prophesied in the Bible.
Yet the Poll revealed an interesting dichotomy. While 77% of those people who consider themselves to be Evangelicals supported this view, an almost equal percentage of people who profess to be Catholics (73 %), felt that the “End Times” are not upon us at this time. (View source)
But while there may be conflicting opinions about whether or not we are now living in Apocalyptic times, both groups were in agreement on one point. And that is the question: “Why is there no mention of the United States of America in “End Time” prophecy?”
In fact, Pastors, Preachers and Ministers from across the United States confess that this is the question that is most commonly asked of them by their congregations. It is an enigma that appears to defy conventional explanation.
As noted in Charisma Magazine, when the New York Times best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg tells his audiences that America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy, many ask in amazement how the wealthiest, most powerful nation in history can play no part in the events of the Last Days.
While numerous countries are specifically mentioned in Biblical texts concerning the events of the Last Days, such as Israel, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Persia, modern Turkey and Iraq, as well as references to Russia and even China, there is nothing at all about America.
As Joel Rosenberg himself explains:
“The Bible doesn’t say what happens to us. But by the absence of us being clearly defined in the text, it means something has happened. The question is what—what will happen to us that will neutralize our ability or desire to be an influential player in the last days of history before the return of Jesus Christ?” (View source)
Billy Graham, doyen of American evangelists, has for many years warned that the world is living in the End Times, and that the Second Coming of Jesus is not far off. His son Franklin, has gone even further. He predicts that America is about to experience God’s wrath because of its wickedness.
“In the last four years, we have begun to turn our backs on God. We have taken God out of our education system. We have taken him out of government. You have lawyers that sue you every time you mention the name of Jesus Christ in any public forum.
“What has happened is we have allowed ourselves to take God out everything that we do – and I believe that God will judge our nation one day“. (View Source)
Exactly what form this judgement will take is something that Franklin Graham has not gone on record to say. But that has not stopped numerous other preachers around the country from weighing in with their own opinions.
For example, Greg Laurie, who is Pastor of the Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, contends that there are three plausible reasons why America does not feature in End Times prophecy. The first is that the United States might be devastated by a nuclear war.
In support of this possibility, he cites the continuing threat posed by Russia, as well as other hostile nations that now possess, or may soon possess, nuclear weapons. He even foresees the possibility of a series of nuclear strikes carried out by terrorist organizations.
The second reason quoted by Laurie is that the country may simply decline as a world power. As he writes:
“As our country becomes more and more secular, systematically eliminating God and the Bible from our education system, courts, and the arts we will begin to reap the inevitable results of sin. We will begin to rot from the inside“.
Laurie suggests a third reason why the United States is not mentioned in Scripture, and that is because the country might experience a great religious revival, which could lead to a vast number of its citizens disappearing off the earth at the time of the end. As he writes:
“When the Rapture of the church takes place, don’t you think there would be an impact on the United States if 78 million people disappeared? If people in every level of government, the military, the economic sector, business, agriculture, medicine and communications suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, it undoubtedly would have a crippling effect on our infrastructure as a nation.
“For all practical purposes, when the Rapture takes place, it will impact every nation. It will cause the entire world to suddenly shift. This could be the scenario for the United States in the last days“. (View Source)
Unfortunately, not everyone who studies Bible prophecy is as sanguine about the future of America as Laurie is. Others suggest dire scenarios ranging from economic and political chaos, caused by the collapse of its debt-based economy, to military defeat at the hands of the armies of the Anti-Christ.
What all of these Biblical preachers share in common is that they base their views solely upon the writings of Scripture, believing them to be the direct word of God, and the final authority on all matters relating to the Last Days before the return of the Christ.
Yet if they could only bring themselves to be a little more eclectic in their research, these good Christian ministers might well discover the true answer to the question of why the United States does not appear to play any part in the End Times prophesied in the Bible.
Within the span of the last hundred years or so, there have been two men who have demonstrated a profound insight into the future of the North American continent, as well as what will happen to it in the coming years. Perhaps fittingly, both of these men were born in America.
The first of these unusual men was Edgar Cayce. While there are many people who acknowledge Cayce today as an important mystic and healer, there are relatively few Americans who actually know much about who he was, what he did, or how he did it.
Edgar Cayce was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1877, and died in 1945 at the age of 67 at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Those who do recall his name tend to associate him with the best-seller written about him in 1967 by author Jess Stearn, who called him “The Sleeping Prophet“.
Yet the reality was that Cayce was neither “asleep”, nor was he a “prophet”. Instead, he was a man who discovered that he possessed an extraordinary gift that has so far never been matched by any other person. It all began when he developed an acute case of laryngitis.
His condition was so serious that it affected his ability to speak. Finally, after suffering from this condition for many months, he sought help from Al Layne, a local homeopathic physician. It was Layne who suggested that he place himself in a state of self-imposed hypnosis.
So, on 30th March, 1901, the young Cayce lay down on a couch and settled into a relaxed state. Then, to the amazement of his parents and a few others who were present in the room, he proceeded to describe exactly what was wrong with his throat, as well how to treat it.
Following his own advice, Cayce was soon completely cured of his disease. News of his remarkable recovery, which was publicized in the local press, soon attracted people from surrounding areas, all of whom were anxious to see if he could help them recover from their own illnesses.
In dealing with these cases, Cayce would always follow the same procedure.
He would lie down on a couch, place his arms across his chest, and relax. Then, just as his eyelids began to flicker, someone would ask him a question. All Cayce needed to know was the name of the person that the reading was for, and where that person was at the time of the reading.
It didn’t matter how near or far the person for whom the reading was conducted happened to be at the time. Cayce would then begin to intone an answer to the question. Although most of these questions related to health matters, over time they covered a host of other topics.
It should be noted that Cayce never actually “fell asleep” during any of his readings. To observers, he seemed to be in a trance-like state. And when he opened his eyes at the end of a reading, he remembered nothing. It was his secretary who recorded every word that had been spoken.
Nor did he ever charge for a reading. He merely invited those who wished to do so, to make donations. During his lifetime he gave over 14,000 readings, including such notable historical figures as President Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Nelson Rockefeller and George Gershwin.
Readers need to understand, as Cayce himself went to great lengths to emphasize, that he was not the author of the material contained in his readings. He said that much of the information that he gave came to him from the subconscious mind of the person for whom he was doing the reading.
He also attributed the source for most of the historical and esoteric content of his readings to the Akashic Records, which he claimed was a universal source of knowledge that was a repository of everything that had happened in the past, as well as everything that would happen in the future.
On many an occasion Cayce’s answers were in direct conflict with his own personal beliefs, such those dealing with astrology and reincarnation. But in each case he chose not to interfere, and left it up to the individual for whom the reading was given to decide on its value and validity.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the Cayce story, the following video provides a compelling summary. Although this video also refers to other healers, the section dealing with Edgar Cayce begins at 12 minutes and 55 seconds into the video.
What has made Cayce an important interpreter of End Time prophecy was that, in the course of his readings, he was occasionally asked questions about the future of America, especially about events that were predicted in the Bible to occur during the days leading up to the return of the Christ.
One of his most famous readings about the future of America took place on August 13, 1931, when the question he was asked was: What is the shape of the world to come? Part of his reply is quoted below:
“In the next few years lands will appear in the Atlantic as well as the Pacific. And what is the coast line now of many a land will be the bed of the ocean. Even many of the battle fields of the present will be ocean, will be seas, the bays, the lands over which the new order will carry on their trade as one with another.
“Portions of the now east coast of New York, or New York City itself, will in the main disappear. This will be another generation, though, here, while the southern portions of Carolina, Georgia – these will disappear. This will be much sooner.
“The waters of the lakes will empty into the Gulf, rather than the waterway over which such discussions have been recently made. It would be well if the waterway were prepared, but not for that purpose for which it is at present being considered.
“Then the area where the entity is now located (Virginia Beach) will be among the safety lands, as will the portions of what is now Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and much of the southern portion of Canada and the eastern portion of Canada; while the western land – much of that is to be disturbed – in this land – as, of course, much in other lands.” (Reading 1152-11)
It is clear from this reply that the continent of North America would undergo dramatic geological changes at the time of the end. This message was reinforced in subsequent readings when his source said that the earth itself would be convulsed as a result of a change in its axis.
And this is where the second American possessing unusual talents enters the scene. His name is Gordon-Michael Scallion. And just as in the case of Edgar Cayce, Scallion’s unusual ability manifested itself unexpectedly in his life as a result of a health crisis affecting his throat.
In 1979, as explained in previous Blog posts under the heading Future Flooding, Gordon-Michael Scallion, or GMS as he prefers to be called, was is the middle of delivering a public lecture when he suddenly lost his voice completely “in a split second”.
He was taken to hospital where doctors conducted a series of comprehensive tests on his vocal chords, larynx and throat. However, since they were unable to find anything wrong, they dismissed his symptoms as psychosomatic. Yet stranger things were to follow.
Within a few hours of leaving the hospital, GMS found that his physical vision had changed. He now began to see colours and lights around animals, plants, trees and people. He had no idea what these colours meant and he thought that his vision was to blame.
It was only later that he realised that what he was seeing were the “auras” of people, plants and animals. And like Cayce before him, he discovered that he had the ability to look into people and see what was wrong with their physical, mental or spiritual bodies.
Then in 1991, he found that he was able to sense what was wrong with the earth itself. He began to experience nightmares in which it appeared as if the earth was a sentient being, just like a human, and that it was in great pain.
He also began to get visions of changes that would take place to the existing continents of the earth in future times and, in particular, changes that would take place on the North American continent. As he later wrote:
“Since 1979 I have had ongoing visions concerning the Earth, sometimes as many as ten or more in a day, lasting from a few seconds to minutes. In 1982, I began to sketch a map based on the visions, and I updated it through the years as new information was presented to me.
“This map is the culmination of a major ongoing effort to consolidate all the Earth change information I have received. As a result, the “Future Map of the World” is the most comprehensive and up to date representation of Earth Change visions and information presented to me over the past seventeen years.”
Scallion’s future map of North America is of particular interest, because the information which he received in his visions so closely matches that of Edgar Cayce in his readings half a century before. This map is shown below:
The Future Map of North America: Courtesy www.matrixinstitute.com
As can be seen, large parts of the East Coast have been swamped by the ocean, along with major parts of West Coast, and the Great Lakes drain into the Gulf of Mexico, just as Cayce predicted in his reading 1152-11 quoted above.
But Scallion has gone further. Not only has he compiled a map of what his visions suggest will be the future outline of the United States, but he has also gone on record to indicate how these changes will occur on the Pacific Coast, as shown in the video below:
Scallion indicates that the reason for the above earth changes is a change in the alignment of the tectonic plates, such as might be caused by the interaction between the earth and a large comet. And this is where his visions match the descriptions given by St. John in his Book of Revelation.
As I explained in my article entitled What is “Wormwood” in the Book of Revelation?”, the different plagues associated with the seven angels with their seven trumpets described by St. John, are actually the predictable effects of a close encounter with a comet.
Now Scallion was not the first person to link disasters in North America with an encounter between the earth and a comet. As far back as the 12th century AD, a Christian mystic known as St. Hildegard of Bingen in Germany, was advocating just such a scenario during the End Times.
Just as Scallion’s predictions have been based on visionary experiences, so St. Hildegard, who came to be known as the Sibyl of the Rhine, had a series of visions about future events. And in 1141 AD, she had a vision in which she was instructed to “write down that which you see and hear“.
She subsequently published her first theological text under the title of “Scivias” (“Know the Ways of the Lord”). In this work, which dealt with things that would occur during the days leading up to the return of the Christ, she referred to the coming of a comet and its impact on “the great nation”.
“Before the Comet comes, many nations, the good excepted, will be scoured with want and famine. The great nation in the ocean that is inhabited by people of different tribes and descent by an earthquake, storm and tidal waves will be devastated. It will be divided, and in great part submerged.”
As she went on to record:
“The Comet by its tremendous pressure, will force much out of the ocean and flood many countries, causing much want and many plagues. [After the] great Comet, the great nation will be devastated by earthquakes, storms, and great waves of water, causing much want and plagues.
“The ocean will also flood many other countries, so that all coastal cities will live in fear, with many destroyed. All sea coast cities will be fearful and many of them will be destroyed by tidal waves, and most living creatures will be killed and even those who escape will die from a horrible disease. (View Source)
So here we have evidence, written almost eight centuries before the readings of Edgar Cayce, of a “great nation” that will be “divided” (split into two parts), and devastated by “earthquakes, storms, and great waves of water”, and “in great part submerged”.
It takes little insight to recognise that the “great nation” that St. Hildegard was referring to here was the United States of America, especially since her predictions match almost exactly what Cayce said in his reading 1152-11 quoted above, and what Scallion has illustrated in the above video.
There seems little doubt, therefore, that the reason why America is not mentioned in Biblical prophecy about the events of the “Last Days”, is because the entire country has been devastated by a series of natural disasters, robbing it of its former influence and power.
And for those who scoff at the idea of America splitting into two parts, it is worth remembering that three of the greatest earthquakes to have hit the continental United States, occurred in 1811 and 1812 in the Mississippi valley region of the New Madrid seismic zone.
The New Madrid fault line is a series of faults that run for 150 miles (240 Kms) beneath the continental crust of the North America plate. Earthquakes that occur in this zone threaten parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
In the case of the earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, windows shook as far afield as Washington, D.C., waking the President, while church bells rang in Richmond, Virginia. Those closer to the epicentre, such as Ohio, fled their homes in terror, as the ground continued shaking for more than ten minutes.
The entire town of Little Prairie was destroyed by liquefaction, as seismic waves caused the water-saturated soil to turn into liquid that was incapable of supporting those structures built upon it. An idea of the vast area affected can be seen from the diagram below.
Note how much more damage was caused by the 1895 6.0 New Madrid quake than the larger 6.7 quake in California in 1994
And when will all this happen? It will begin on the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”, when a giant asteroid, almost a mile wide, will slam into the Atlantic Ocean not far from the island of Puerto Rico, setting off a series of towering Tsunamis that will devastate all the coastlines of the world.
When that time comes, the judgement of God that evangelists like Billy Graham have long warned about, will strike America with a series of hammer-blows that will leave it a mere shadow of its former glory and might, and no longer able to influence the affairs of the world.
In 1983, shortly after arriving in Vancouver, I was invited to a Hallowe’en party. Having spent all of my growing years in South Africa, this was a tradition that was new to me. I was not exactly sure what this would entail, or what I should wear for the occasion.
Since it was going to be a costume party, I decided to wear a mask. But when I visited the local party store, I found that I had left it much too late, and all they had left was a mask of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had recently gained notoriety by capturing US hostages in Iran.
And so, girded up in flowing robes, and completely hidden under the formidable mask of the Ayatollah, I made what I imagined was a suitably menacing entrance at the party. Since all that could be seen through the mask were a few holes in strategic places, I was confident of my ability to remain incognito.
Imagine my surprise therefore, when within a short time of arriving, I was greeted by a vivacious young lady whom I had never seen before, who came up to me and said: “I know you“. She then proceeded to regale me with what I still regard as the most amazing story I have ever heard.
The Hallowe’en Story
The story that she told related to an incident that had occurred to her on the night of Monday, October 23, 1978. At that time, she was living on the thirteenth floor of an apartment building, in a gated community overlooking the Capilano River in West Vancouver.
The incident began shortly after 11:30 pm. The lady, whom I shall refer to as Elise in order to protect her identity, was in the habit of watching the “Johnny Carson Show”. On this particular night, she found that there was nothing that particularly interested her, so she switched off the TV and walked across to the window.
As she gazed out of the dining room window facing toward the East, the sky suddenly appeared to light up, and the stars seemed to shine with unusual brightness. Astonished at this unexpected sight, she phoned a friend and asked her to look out at the night sky.
Her friend was not interested, however, as she had just retired to bed. She told Elise to forget about the sky, and go to bed herself. But returning to the dining room window, Elise was struck by the fact that she could see the texture of the plaster on the outside of the building with incredible clarity.
Then, as she looked out towards the horizon, she saw a series of small clouds begin to drift across the sky, coming from the West. As she continued watching, these clouds began to take shape into recognisable objects. And as she recognised them, so they dissolved and moved off to the East.
The first cloud formed the object of a dove, closely followed by a serpent. Then came an upturned hand, followed by a racing car. Elise said she noticed that the driver’s hair was flowing in the wind. Finally, there came the image of a lamb followed by two little lambs.
As Elise was trying to make sense of it all, she became aware of a voice within herself. The voice spoke in clear English, saying: “You are protected by the hand of God, and driven by the lamb“.
The voice then told Elise to look at the sky and memorise the positions of the stars. When she found it difficult to remember the positions of them all, the voice told her to write them down. So she got a pen and paper and marked down the positions of the visible stars in the northern sky.
Vancouver in Turmoil
The voice then told her to look towards the downtown area of Vancouver. As she did so, a warm, red, misty glow settled over the city. The voice then directed her to look closely at a series of “markers” which now appeared. Elise was told that these “markers” outlined “safety zones”.
Without warning, Elise found herself floating high above the entire Lower Mainland area of Vancouver. As she looked out towards the sea, she became aware of two enormous masses of rock beneath the ocean that were pushing against one another with unbelievable pressure.
Suddenly these two masses of rock split, and she saw a crack in the ocean floor that seemed to curve towards the city of Vancouver. It was then that she saw the entire region being convulsed by a gigantic earthquake. Violent winds sprang up that tore the roofs off buildings.
Elise could see the Lions Gate Bridge shaking and then collapsing completely. In the downtown area, she could see tall buildings begin to crumble under the forces unleashed by the earthquake. She could also hear the cries of people caught up in the mayhem.
It was then that the voice inside her said: “You have twenty minutes to escape to safety“. And as she looked towards the West, she could see gigantic Tsunami waves pounding the cliffs of the University of British Columbia at Point Grey.
These waves then swept around the cliffs, engulfing the low lying suburbs that flanked the city. In particular, Elise noticed automobiles being swept along the rooftops of houses in Kitsilano, extending down to False Creek and surrounding areas.
Looking down, Elise said that she could see no sign of Stanley Park. Further afield, the suburbs of Richmond, Tsawwassen, and low lying areas of Delta, White Rock and Surrey were swamped by the towering waves. The international airport of YVR was nowhere to be seen.
On the North Shore, large swathes of commercial and residential buildings all along the shore were swept away, including the North end of the Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) bridge, meaning that the North Shore was entirely cut off from the rest of the Lower Mainland.
In addition, Elise could see rocks tumbling down the North Shore mountains, as landslides demolished those house that had been built higher up on the mountain slopes.
Further up Howe Sound, the highway from West Vancouver to Garibaldi Highlands had been buried by rock falls and ravaged by landslides, while the communities of Squamish and Horseshoe Bay were drowned by the all-engulfing Tsunami.
And everywhere, the damage caused by the waves was compounded by the battering ram effect of all the automobiles, boats and other debris that were being swept along by this horrifying tide of destruction.
Elise continued to talk to me about the events of that night. We must have made a bizarre sight. A young woman standing together with the “Ayatollah Khomeini” in the middle of the dance floor, engrossed in deep conversation for the better part of two hours.
I should mention that her story was not limited to the earthquake and Tsunami. As she went on to explain, the events of that night continued to unfold for several hours, and even led to her going outside the apartment building with her baby in her arms. But that is a story for another time.
Another thing that Elise pointed out was that throughout these ghastly scenes of chaos and destruction, she felt an overwhelming sense of inner calm. It was as if she was watching a video of some catastrophic event involving places that she knew well, yet felt strangely unaffected by it all.
When I asked her later about the “safety zones” she mentioned, Elise said that the “markers” that she saw started from the Grain Elevators located on the South side of Vancouver harbour, close to the Second Narrows bridge, and extended back as far as Burnaby Mountain to the East.
I also asked if she could recall any details about the weather or time of year at the time of the earthquake. She said that it seemed to be a fine, sunny day, with blue skies and a few clouds. In fact she said that it seemed to her similar to a crisp day in the Fall (Autumn).
There was one other thing that puzzled her. When the events of that night were finally over, Elise said that she was left with the memory of two numbers. They were one and four. The strange thing was that whenever she looked at her watch in the weeks that followed, the hands frequently pointed to the numbers one and four.
Elise told me later that she had never previously discussed the events of that night with anyone, until she met me at the Hallowe’en party. Yet as soon as she saw me, for some inexplicable reason, she felt that she could talk to me about this, and that I would understand.
From my own point of view, no sooner had Elise finished telling me her story, when I realised the significance of the pattern of stars that she had been told to write down, and why they might possibly be a vital clue in predicting when these events might occur.
While there have been numerous people throughout history who have had visionary experiences of future disasters, the problem has always been that these visions never come with a date, so that those who might be affected by these events could be warned in advance.
This case, however, was different, because Elise got to write down the star pattern. I also knew that I might possibly be the only person in Vancouver who could solve the riddle of the stars, because I had recently joined the staff of the Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association.
Several weeks later, with the kind help of Jim, the Assistant Director, I was able to arrange for Elise to visit the Planetarium to see if she could recognise the stars that she had seen from her apartment window on the night of her experience. There was just Elise, Jim and myself present.
What made this test so realistic for her was that the skyline projected by the Vancouver Planetarium is an exact replica of what can actually be seen around the city, and includes all of the North Shore mountains. So Elise could easily orientate herself towards the North.
At first she had difficulty picking out the different constellations, as so many stars were visible on the dome of the Planetarium. But after Jim reduced the luminosity, she was able to see the major constellations as they appeared in the Northern sky.
I then asked Jim if he would rotate the projector and display the stars as they would appear on a night by night basis. I also asked Elise to tell us to stop the projector as soon as she felt there was an exact match with what she remembered seeing on the night of her experience.
There was hardly a sound for the next ten minutes or so as the stars on the dome continued to rotate.
Then Elise suddenly shouted “Stop!”. When I asked her if she was sure, she said she was positive. The key indicator for her were the positions of the Big Dipper and the constellation of Orion, together with a bright star located slightly above a “C” moon, as she called it.
We were then able to establish that the “C” moon she was referring to was a Waning Crescent moon, and that the bright star was the planet Jupiter. When I asked Jim the date when this alignment had occurred, I was surprised to learn that it had already happened.
I had been expecting to find that the star pattern that Elise had been asked to write down, referred to a date sometime in the future, and that this would be the date that the earthquake and Tsunami would occur. Instead, it turned out to the exact day on which Elise had her strange experience, on October 23, 1978.
I then asked Jim if he could tell us when this same star pattern would come around again. To my further surprise, I learned that because it takes the planet Jupiter 12 years to orbit around the sun, this particular alignment would not happen again for another twelve years, in October 1990.
Well this date came and went, and nothing alarming happened. Neither did anything out of the ordinary occur when the next anniversary came around in October, 2002. I recently contacted the Planetarium, and asked if they could tell me when the next anniversary is due. They said it was due on:
Friday 17 October 2014
The Subduction Zone
As Elise was telling me about the scenes of destruction that she had witnessed on that night, I had no doubt in my mind that she was describing the predictable events that would follow the next rupture of the Cascadia Fault, as outlined in my previous Blog post.
Seismologists have for years been warning that the entire Pacific Northwest is in danger of calamitous destruction when the next mega-thrust earthquake occurs along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. They warn that it could measure 9.0 or more on the Richter scale.
How much damage this would cause to the coastal region of Southwest British Columbia is open to question, simply because there has never been an earthquake of that magnitude within the recorded history of the region. But that does not mean that one cannot estimate the potential damage.
In an article published in BCBusiness in August, 2013, author Steve Burgess wrote:
“The Cascadia fault—also known in more paranoid circles as the Cascadia Subduction Zone—runs offshore from somewhere near the top of Vancouver Island to northern California. Over the past five millennia it has ruptured with terrifying frequency. It will certainly rupture again, but this time with a string of 21st-century cities—high-rising, dense-with-people, globally interdependent regional capitals—stacked squarely in its impact zone.
“The human and economic devastation of the coming West Coast earthquake is unimaginable. Whether it’s the magnitude-9 Big One that strikes first, or smaller—but equally deadly—temblors, recovery will take years, not weeks. Almost half of small businesses will fail. Hundreds of thousands of British Columbians will leave and never return.” (View source)
As Burgess pointed out, a study conducted by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission concluded that some 10,000 people would be killed, and damage amounting to $32 billion would occur in an area ranging from Vancouver Island all the way down the coast to Northern California.
Some of the shrewdest analysts of the probable damage that might be incurred are the Actuaries of Insurance Companies, since they are the ones who are on the hook for covering most of this loss. These actuaries have therefore compiled maps of areas that are most at risk.
In Canada, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction has an actuarial map that ranks regions according to their seismic risk, and then lists these regions by their Postal Codes. Thirteen areas in British Columbia fall into the “Extreme” category, all of which are located in Victoria, Delta and Richmond.
Also included in this “Extreme” category is the Postal Code V7B for YVR Airport, the main point of entry into Western Canada, and an airport that handled nearly 18 million passengers in 2012. It also contributes about Cdn$2 billion annually to the Canadian GDP, and employs over 23,000 people.
Other areas rated in the “Very High” category include V8N and V9B in Greater Victoria, V4L in Delta, V4R in Maple Ridge, as well as V2S and V2T in Abbotsford. Then there is V7P in North Vancouver. And this is where this actuarial map becomes intensely personal.
I should mention that I now live in North Vancouver, just a few hundred yards from the sea, and about twenty feet above sea level. Any Tsunami generated by a Cascadia mega-quake would almost certainly swamp the area where I live for miles around.
Was this a premonition?
So the question then becomes, was the experience that Elise described to me in such graphic detail on that Hallowe’en night all those years ago a premonition? And if so, what are the chances of a Subduction Zone mega-quake actually happening on Friday October 17, 2014?
Based on the fact that nothing has happened on the previous two anniversaries of the star pattern that Elise observed, one would have to say that this is unlikely. Yet, according to seismologists and other experts who have studied the Cascadia Fault, there is nothing to suggest that it couldn’t.
After all, three hundred and fourteen years have elapsed since the last recorded rupture. And, perhaps even more important, since 1960, the Cascadia Fault is the only Subduction Zone in the entire Pacific Ring of Fire that has not experienced a mega-quake. All of the others have.
And then there is the strange feature of the numbers that Elise spoke about. She said that for several weeks afterward she had been left with the strong impression that the numbers one and four were important. Could these numbers perhaps refer to the year 2014?
Either way, this leaves me in a quandary. What should I, and all those other thousands of others who are living in harm’s way, do about it? Should I ignore Elise’s story in the hope that, because nothing catastrophic has happened thus far, nothing dangerous will happen now?
According to the local Emergency Management officials, the answer is simple. Because a mega-quake is certain to strike the Pacific Northwest at some point in the future, everyone who is at risk needs to have a plan of action drawn up now, on what to do when the “Big One” finally happens.
As I am advising my friends, as soon as the shaking stops, if you are living in a vulnerable area, you need to get to higher ground. You need to reach a height of at least 100 feet (30 metres), but preferably twice that height, remembering that Tsunamis rise in height when they reach the shore.
And you need to do so quickly. As the voice warned Elise: “You have twenty minutes to escape to safety“. Those who take their time are risking their very lives. And of course you need to have a Grab-n-go bag that you can take with you with essential provisions.
As local Emergency Management officials warn, be prepared to be on your own completely for the first three days, to which I would add that it is more likely to be at least a week before outside help could be expected to arrive. So you need to have sufficient quantities of food and water.
After lengthy consideration, I have now reached a decision about what to do. I already have my Grab-n-go bag packed, ready to leave at a moment’s notice. I also have an escape route planned which hopefully would take me to safety.
However, because of a variety of possible obstacles, such as fallen power lines, gridlock on the roads, and a landscape buckled by the forces of the mega-quake, I have decided to adopt a more pro-active response, and that is to leave the area beforehand.
For a few days before and after October 17, 2014, therefore, I plan to be out of town staying with friends some two hundred and fifty miles away.
Meanwhile, as I lie in bed at night, I cannot help wondering whether we may be just days away from the greatest natural disaster that has ever struck the North American continent.
Allan, Signs of the Times, September 13, 2014, 12:40 pm
The surface of the earth is a bit like a cracked egg. The Lithosphere, which forms the crust and upper mantle of the earth, is broken up into various sized pieces called Tectonic Plates. There are considered to be eight major plates around the earth, and many more minor ones.
Each major plate varies between about 50 and 250 miles (80 and 400 km) in thickness. Although we are normally unaware of it on the surface, these plates constantly stretch, move, slide and collide with one another. In doing so, faults can develop along the boundaries of these plates.
There are different types of faults, depending on the direction of the movement of these plates. Plates move as a result of a process called Continental Drift, which is based on the concept of seafloor spreading that was accepted by the geo-scientific community in the late 1950′s and early 1960′s.
It is the movement of these tectonic plates that leads to such geological phenomena as ocean trench formation along plate boundaries, as well as volcanic activity and mountain-building. But by far the most destructive feature of plate tectonics is the manifestation of earthquakes.
There are four different types of earthquakes. They are explosion earthquakes, collapse earthquakes, volcanic earthquakes and tectonic earthquakes. Explosion earthquakes are those that are set off by the detonation of nuclear or other types of explosives.
Collapse earthquakes occur in underground caverns and mines as a result of falls and other movements of the underlying rock. Volcanic earthquakes are those that are generated by volcanic activity. But by far the most destructive earthquakes are those that are caused by the movements of tectonic plates.
Ring of Fire
Although it is commonly referred to as a “Ring of Fire”, this region of the Pacific Ocean is actually shaped more like a horseshoe. It is the most seismically active region on the planet, and it accounts for about ninety percent of all the world’s earthquakes in any given year.
This Ring of Fire extends over a distance of some 25,000 miles (40,000 kms), and is associated with a nearly continuous series of ocean trenches, volcanic arcs and volcanic belts, as can be seen from the diagram below.
The Pacific Ring of Fire
This belt of fire flanks all the countries that border on the Pacific Ocean, and contains 452 active and dormant volcanoes. These volcanoes are the direct result of plate tectonics, as a result of the movements and collisions of these different plates.
Subduction zones occur wherever two tectonic plates collide with one another, in a way which causes one plate to ride over the top of the other. What happens is that the younger plate rides over the older plate because it is less dense.
The older, heavier plate then bends and plunges steeply into the earth. As it does so, it forms a trench that can be as much as 70 miles wide, over a thousand miles long, and several miles deep.
An example of this is the Marianas Trench near the Marianas Islands, which is the deepest sea floor in the world, descending to 36,000 feet below sea level. It is caused by the Pacific Plate moving underneath the leading edge of the Eurasian Plate. But this is not the only example.
Off the Pacific coast of South America, the Nazca Plate is being subducted beneath the westward moving South American Plate, while the Cocos Plate is being subducted beneath the Caribbean Plate in Central America.
Farther to the north, a portion of the Pacific Plate, together with the small Juan de Fuca Plate is being subducted beneath the North American Plate. And to the west the northwest-moving Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Aleutian Islands.
Finally, off the eastern coastline of Japan, the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Okhotsk Plate. The most significant feature of these various subduction zones is that they generate Megathrust Earthquakes, which are the most destructive kind.
As the name suggests, megathrust earthquakes are capable of generating gigantic forces within the surface of the earth, which is the reason for their destructive power. Since the year 1900, there have been six megathrust earthquakes, and all have been rated above 9.0 on the Richter scale.
While a seismograph is a device used by scientists to detect movements in the earth, the relative magnitude of these movement is measured on a sliding scale, called the Richter scale. Because this scale is open ended, there is no upper limit to the size of earthquakes.
The Richter scale is a measure of the energy released by an earthquake, and is measured in increments of ten. What this means in practice is that an earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale is ten times greater than one rated as a 3, while an 8 is ten times greater than a 7.
As a guide, earthquakes rated below the number 5 are generally considered to be minor. Those between 5 and 7 are considered to be moderate, while earthquakes measuring between 7 and 8 are regarded as major, and those above 8 are considered to be catastrophic.
All megathrust earthquakes occur within subduction zones, where one tectonic plate is forced underneath another. As can be imagined, the subduction process can generate colossal forces within the earth, particularly when two colliding plates become locked together.
When this happens, instead of moving smoothly past one another, the overhanging plate begins to buckle as the pressure of their respective movements builds. Finally, when the pressure becomes too great, the plate boundary ruptures and a megathrust earthquake occurs.
The effect of this sudden release of pressure beneath the sea bed is to release a series of seismic waves that radiate outwards from the fault in all directions. When these pressure waves reach the surface, they shake the ground, and it is these convulsive movements of the earth that cause all the damage above the ground.
When these megathrust earthquakes occur beneath the sea, the sudden release of energy distorts the sea bed itself. The pressure waves then generated by this release of energy cause a succession of massive ocean waves called Tsunamis, which then fan out in all directions from the source.
The word Tsunami is a Japanese term which literally means “Harbour wave”. It gained this meaning because it is seldom noticed by fishermen operating out at sea, but only becomes evident once it approaches the land – hence the use of the term “Harbour wave”.
A Tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by the pressure waves of an undersea earthquake. When they strike the land they can cause widespread destruction of coastal communities. About 80% of all Tsunamis occur within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”.
A Tsunami can travel at the speed of a modern airliner, or about 500 miles (800 kms) an hour. At that speed it can race across the entire Pacific Ocean in less than a day. While in deep ocean Tsunami waves may be hardly noticeable, but as they approach the land they grow in energy and height.
As a Tsunami approaches the coast, the shallow waters cause the waves to slow down in speed to about 50 miles (80 kms) an hour. However, this also causes them to grow in size, where they have been known to reach up to hundreds of feet in height.
Because a Tsunami’s trough, or low point between waves, can sometimes reach the shore first, this produces the well-known vacuum effect, where coastal water is sucked out to sea, exposing the sea floor. This can often be a vital warning sign before the arrival of the wave itself.
Residents of coastal communities need to know that Tsunamis are usually composed of a series of waves, so the danger does not end once the initial wave strikes. In fact successive waves often grow in destructive power, making it even more important for people in the area to escape to higher ground.
The Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960
The greatest earthquake ever recorded took place on a Sunday afternoon on May 22, 1960, off the coast of Chile, and measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. It has come to be known as the Great Chilean earthquake, or the Valdivia earthquake, as Valdivia was the city that experienced the most damage.
This megathrust earthquake was caused by a rupture under the sea of the Nazca plate subducting beneath the South American plate. The shaking continued for almost ten minutes in places, and was so violent that people were unable to stand, and many experienced severe motion sickness.
The undersea rupture at the boundary of these two plates occurred at a depth of 20 miles (33 kms), and was between 530 and 625 miles (850 and 1,000 kms) in length. The width of the undersea rupture was 125 miles (200 kms) wide.
It was this sudden release of energy that generated the main Tsunami which then radiated outwards in all directions, as well as a series of localised Tsunamis which battered the Chilean coast with waves of up to 82 feet (25 metres) in height.
The main Tsunami raced across the Pacific Ocean and devastated the town of Hilo in Hawaii, killing 61 people. Waves as high as 35 feet (11 metres) were recorded 6,200 miles (10,000 kms) away, affecting countries as far away as Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
The earthquake also triggered numerous landslides in coastal Chile, particularly in the glacial valleys of the southern Andes. In the city of Valdivia, it was estimated that about 40% of the houses were destroyed, leaving some 20,000 people homeless.
The earthquake was also believed to have led to the eruption of the Cordón Caulle volcano some thirty-six hours later. Powerful aftershocks continued to be experienced throughout the region for many weeks after the initial earthquake.
The Alaska Earthquake of 1964
The Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 is also referred to as the Good Friday earthquake, as it struck the city of Anchorage, Alaska, at about 5:30pm on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. It was the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
Like the one that had occurred four years earlier in Chile, this was a subduction zone megathrust earthquake caused by the Pacific Plate being pushed beneath the North American Plate. It measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, and the ground continued shaking for four and a half minutes.
The undersea rupture occurred at a depth of 15 miles (25 kms) below sea level, and affected an area between 500 and 530 miles (800 and 850 kms) in length. This rupture was even greater than that of the Chile earthquake, as it had a slip width of 125 miles (250 kms).
The main undersea rupture point generated Tsunami waves that were reported from over 20 countries, including other parts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, as well as Peru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan and Antarctica.
106 people died as a result of Tsunami waves in Alaska, five in Oregon, and 13 in California. The largest Tsunami wave was recorded in Shoup Bay, Alaska, where the wave reached a height of 220 feet (67 metres). Many coastal villages along the Alaskan coast were swept away.
In the city of Anchorage itself there was enormous damage, particularly in the downtown area. Houses, buildings and other infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, water and sewer mains, electrical systems, etc), were virtually torn apart by the violent shaking of the ground, and the aftershocks that followed.
In the first 24 hours after the initial rupture, eleven major aftershocks were recorded measuring 6.2 or more on the Richter scale, and nine more of similar magnitudes over the next three weeks. In fact, diminishing aftershocks continued at sporadic intervals for almost a year afterwards.
The Japanese Earthquake of 2011
When it comes to the damage caused by Tsunamis generated by megathrust earthquakes, the images that immediately come to mind for most people are the Boxing Day event off the coast of Sumatra in 2004, and the destruction caused by the Japanese earthquake in 2011.
The megathrust undersea earthquake that struck off the Japanese Island of Honshu, took place at 2:46pm local time on Friday, March 11, 2011, and measured 9.0 on the Richter scale. It was the most powerful earthquake to have hit Japan since modern record-keeping began in 1900.
The undersea rupture occurred at a point where the Pacific Plate was being pushed beneath the Okhotsk Plate, about 43 miles (70 kms) east of the Oshika Peninsula, at a depth of about 19 miles (30 kms). The rupture affected an area 310 miles (500 kms) long and 125 miles (200 kms) wide.
In many areas, the ground continued to shake for more than six minutes. The earthquake triggered Tsunamis with waves that reached heights of up to 130 feet (40 metres) in places. Some of these waves travelled up to 6 miles (10 kms) inland.
The resulting Tsunamis devastated large areas of the Pacific coastline of Japan. Thousands of lives were lost when entire towns were swamped. The waves reached as far as the west coast of both North and South America, but due to prior warning by the authorities, relatively little damage was done.
It was a different story in Japan, where the size of the waves exceeded the retaining walls built to protect citizens in many places, causing immense destruction to buildings and infrastructure, and loss of life. In total, almost 16,000 people died in the disaster, with another 9,000 injured or missing.
According to subsequent analysis, some five hundred thousand buildings were either partially or completely destroyed, along with extensive structural damage to roads and railways. Numerous fires continued to burn for days afterward, and a dam collapsed as a result of the damage sustained.
Worst of all was the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and the escaping radiation led to the imposition of an exclusion zone of 12 miles (20 kms) around the plant, as well as the evacuation of over 200,000 people.
Estimates of the total damage caused by both the earthquake and the resulting Tsunamis have been estimated by the World Bank to be in the region of $235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in world history up to that time.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone
As we have seen, the Ring of Fire surrounding the Pacific Ocean has been the source of some of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. These undersea earthquakes have in turn generated Tsunamis that have devastated entire cities and caused immense damage to the areas affected.
All of these earthquakes have been caused by convulsive ruptures at the boundaries between various tectonic plates. Yet of all the subduction zones that have ruptured in recent years, none has been as potentially catastrophic as the zone that lies off the west coast of North America.
This zone is referred to as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This megathrust fault is a long dipping fault where the Juan de Fuca Plate is being pushed beneath the North American Plate. It extends over a distance of 625 miles (1,000 kms), stretching from Northern Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, down to Cape Mendocino in California.
The width of the Cascadia Subduction Zone varies along its length, depending on the temperature of the subducted oceanic plate, which heats up as it is pushed deeper beneath the continent. As it becomes hotter and more molten, it eventually loses the ability to store mechanical stress, which then manifests as a megathrust earthquake.
Because there had been no record of any powerful earthquake in the region ever since the first Western navigators had begun to explore the Pacific Northwest almost 300 years ago, it was assumed that there was no subterranean threat, and that the undersea plates moved smoothly over one another.
However, when geologists discovered that red cedar trees had been killed by the submergence of coastal forests into the tidal zone, they began to suspect that this might have been the result of a Tsunami generated by a large undersea earthquake in the distant past.
Further analysis of their tree rings indicated that the trees had stopped growing in the year 1699. This was then matched with an ancient Japanese record that showed that an “orphan” Tsunami (a Tsunami without an accompanying earthquake), had struck the coast of Japan on January 26, 1700.
It was only then that scientists realised that the Cascadia Subduction Zone had the potential to cause vastly more damage than all of the other vulnerable areas of the Ring of Fire combined.
That is because, in the period of time since the last Cascadia megaquake took place, the entire length of the fault zone had become the focus of enormous population growth and industrial activity. So all of this would now be at risk when the next megaquake occurred.
Analysis of the subsurface soil along the coast of the Pacific Northwest, reveals that there have been six mega-quakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone over the last 2,500 years. These are estimated to have occurred in 1700 AD, 1310 AD, 810 AD, 400 AD, 170 BC and 600 BC.
Seismologists now believe that when the Cascadia Subduction Zone next ruptures, there will be a subsea earthquake measuring 9.0 or greater on the Richter scale, that will generate mega-Tsunamis that will strike the coast of Northern British Columbia all the way down to California.
Although they claim that the major coastal cities of Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma and Portland are located on inland waterways that would be sheltered from the full brunt of these Tsunamis, the same would not be true for Victoria on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island, where the Tsunamis could reach heights of 100 feet (30 metres) or more.
However, all of these coastal cities do have many vulnerable structures such as bridges and unreinforced brick buildings. Most of the damage would be the result of the earthquake itself, especially as the ground shaking is predicted to last for a full six minutes or more.
What these seismic ground waves would do to a modern skyscraper for that length of time is still an open question. While many are no doubt capable of withstanding such lateral forces, many more are not, and these would contribute to the heavy overall damage and loss of life.
What is certain is that the regional transportation routes would be wrecked. Highway 101 along the Washington, Oregon and California coasts would be destroyed by the Tsunamis, while Interstate 5 would be inoperable due to collapsed bridges and overpasses all along the route.
Readers can gain an idea of the severity of the next Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, together with the damage it is likely to cause, by viewing the following documentary which was produced recently by the BBC.
So when will the Cascadia Subduction Zone next rupture?
Seismologists have as yet no way of predicting this. All they can do is speak of percentages and probabilities. However, all are agreed that it might not happen for another hundred years or more. Or it may happen tomorrow.
Either way, residents of the Pacific Northwest would do well to take the necessary precautions now, in the knowledge that certain disaster awaits them at some point in the future. It lurks beneath the waves that wash along their shores.
Allan, Signs of the Times, September 1, 2014, 1:50 pm