I wrote this up a few years ago and it's been in the draft section of the blog. It's based on an old Persinger paper covering "UFO" lights secondary to plate tectonic stress release...visible energy.
UFOs and Earthquakes
I recently came across an old (1988) research paper authored by Michael Persinger titled, "Geophysical Varibles and Behavior: Epidemiological Considerations for Incidence of Cancer and Depression in Areas of Frequent UFO Reports."
Persinger's paper was published in Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1988. The crux of the paper deals with radon gas and electromagnetic fields releasing as a precursor to seismic activity (earthquakes). Though this paper is 24 years old, researchers are still looking at the validity of increasing electromagnetic field spikes prior to earth quake activity. Persinger's paper has a UFO angle.
Pesinger briefly explores the following:
1. Anomalous luminous displays, often described as verified UFO reports, hypothesized to be generated by local, intense and brief tectonic strain fields.
2. Luminous displays are an extreme manifestation of tectonic strain fields.
3. In an active region of seismic activity, intense electromagnetic fields might occur briefly, but with increase frequency over a prolong period of time, lasting months to years.
4. From an epidemiological stand point, it is possible that tectonic strain fields may have two possible causation for cancer: a) penetrating magnetic component of extremely low frequency or pulsed radio frequency ranges and b) the release of radon gas.
5. Time varying exposure to these magnetic fields may correlate to increase psychiatric disorders.
a. nocturnal alterations in pineal melatonin, effecting serotonin pathways.
b. variants of temporal lobe dysfunction/lability.
c. brief seizure activity affecting the brain's limbic structures further affecting cognitive functioning, ie, changes in memory and behavior.
d. if above is true, then after each tectonic event there should be an increase of psychiatric disorders in the affected geographical region.
6. Noted areas in which luminous phenomena were highly localized for several months:
a. Uinta Basin (1967)
b. Carman, Manitoba (1975-76)
c. Zeitoun, Egypt (1968-69)
d. Hessdalen, Norway (1984-85)
e. Historically, possible most intense single focal display occurred in 1917, several thousand viewing bright luminosity near Fatima, Portuagal (the vision of Mary).
7. Two high-risk groups : individuals who have a singular very intense close encounter with luminous phenomena, and those who have intermittent, frequent exposures over a lifetime.
a. UFO field investigators due to working in the vicinity of luminous phenomena.
b. UFO field researchers would be predicted to be prone brain tumors, testicular cancer, and leukemia.
c. Temporal lobe dysfunction symptoms: delusions, extreme egocentric interpretation of events, belief in personal destiny, and a sense of presence.
8. Per Persinger's closing statement, "The magnitude of the effect is difficult to predict in light of the likely variable exposure schedules and unclear dosimetry of tectonic strain fields; many UFO investigators have no actual history of close proximity of luminous phenomena...Obviously not every field investigator or person who has had a single intense exposure to such phenomena would develop these disorders. However, at such expected incidence levels, the presence of a tectonic strain factor should be evident in a controlled epidemiological study."
After mentally digesting Persinger's key elements presented above and keeping in mind that this is a 24 year old paper, certain components need to be looked at in today's understanding of the subject matter.
Is there evidence that prior to earthquake activity there is spiking of electromagnetic fields?
From Wired Magazine, 12/14/2007, "Evidence Mounts for Electromagnetic Earthquake Precursors":
Scientists revealed data Thursday that an electromagnetic alarm might have preceded a 2007 earthquake in Northern California. The evidence could offer support to a controversial theory that mysterious and little-understood signals might offer fair warning for imminent catastrophic earthquakes.
If some UFO reports are luminous phenomena secondary to increase emission of electromagnetic fields, then there should be evidence of increase UFO reports in a given region prior to the earthquake event.
Note to Reader: This blog post was written and held in draft before the strong Easter Sunday earthquake of 2010 which was centered near El Centro, Ca/Mexicali area of Mexico. It was felt in San Diego with a magnitude in the 6s.
I had checked UFO sighting data bases for any "UFO" activity leading up to the event and found nothing for the El Centro area.