Stan Deyo is one of those self-promoting “psychics” who claims, in his case, to be able to predict earthquakes days in advance. Deyo says his system of monitoring global ocean temperatures permits him to forecast when and where earthquakes are likely to hit about 75% of the time. Me, I’m doubtful, since geologists are lucky if they get an inkling just hours in advance.
Deyo made this prediction on his site last week:
February 3, 2006
By Stan Deyo
San Francisco is the hot spot of today’s forecast. There is a STRONG signal between Mendocino and San Francisco along the San Andreas Fault. The signal shows the stress is from the Pioneer Fault Zone just below the Mendocino Fault Zone. People in the immediate area of this location should prepare to leave their homes should a major quake strike SF in the next 5 days…. possibly even tonight.
Well, it’s been six days and, unless I’ve missed the news, the Bay Area seems OK. In fact, I wonder if anyone has independently verified his success rate. There are a lot of people who seem to think he’s the shiznit when it comes to earthquake forecasting.
To be fair, Deyo does not claim infallibility. He includes this disclaimer after his forecasts:
Disclaimer: Some of the forecast stress areas can be in error up to 30% due to cloud cover variations and false signals from buoys.
With that in mind, he could have missed the SF quake by 1.5 days either way. I may be premature then in discounting his abilities, but I’m not too worried.
Deyo does not apparently attempt to make money off his predictions; he offers them as a public service. He publishes books, makes appearances at fringe-science/doomsday/UFO/end times conferences and gives radio interviews, so the earthquake forecasting is just a sideline. He’s a real end-times kind of guy, and his wife, Holly, seems to be some kind of emergency preparedness expert/marketer, so the earthquake gig must bolster the family business some.
Deyo has a pretty sizeable following, and I expect his fans in the Bay Area got out of town in a hurry, which worries me. Someone with confidence in his system should be willing to have an independent observer measure his success rate, though. It’s reckless to tell people to move out in a hurry when there is such a large margin of error. No one panicked that I know of, but in these days of constant nagging fear, Deyo should be more circumspect.