Saturday, December 3, 2011

Animals as Earthquake sensors. Do dogs have precognition?

Ever since the March 2011 Earthquake in Japan that significantlydisrupted the Embedded Supply Chain, I have been fascinated by watching the real time seismology reports from various places around the world, such as The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) that covers Europe, and the these two U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) sites: Latest Earthquakes in the World - Past 7 days and Latest Earthquakes M1.0+ in the USA - Past 7 days. The USGS says that Earthquakes must be in at least the 2.5 to 3.0 range and above to be felt by humans.

There is also the Volcano Live site, as there is significant correlations between Volcanoes and Earthquakes in regions that have both.

More importantly than just watching the numbers as they are happening, would be a way to know when they are coming in advance. At the first of the month [Dec/2011] Victoria Gill published the article How animals predict earthquakes, that makes reference to the 2010 study Predicting the unpredictable; evidence of pre-seismic anticipatory behaviour in the common toad by R. A. Grant and T. Halliday, published in the Journal of Zoology. This brought to my mind the conversation I heard my Mother telling my Niece over the Thanksgiving Holiday, about my late dog Diamond.

Picture of my dog Diamond

My late father had some chronic heart problems from an industrial accident that burned his lungs in the Steel Industry years ago. He said Diamond, our eight year old dog at the time, saved his life. Alas we had to euthanize her due to liver cancer. Sad.

Apparently Dad had not been feeling well. He actually told Mom to take him to the hospital that morning, but then changed his mind. I knew nothing about this.

That night Diamond started behaving very oddly, unlike anything she had ever done. She kept pawing and whimpering at me, which she just did not do. She took me to the telephone and sat down, continuing to whimper.

For some reason I had the feeling I should call my parents. I got their answering machine. I left a message saying how Diamond was behaving, and asked them if every thing was okay at their place. Out of character for me as well, I've never felt the need to check up on them before. They frequently ate Sunday dinner at my Uncles so there was nothing unusual about them not being home right then.

When they got home about forty-five minutes later, Dad called. He said he was going to the hospital. Dad told Mom "that the Dog knows better than I do. Take me to the hospital."

He told me that Diamonds behavior had scared him in to going to the emergency room. They told him that he had a silent heart attack. One that has none of the classic symptoms. [I once had a classmate that thought he had the flu. The next morning Max was dead of a heart attack. None of us recognized the symptoms. Do NOT assume you know the symptoms of heart problems, find out the many things they can be.]

Diamond calmed right down after the phone call and was fine after that, never to repeat that behavior again.

We were told Dad would not have made morning if it was not for Diamond. Diamond got him almost an other eight years.

Dad always called Diamond his 'Grand-doggie' as we don't have any kids to be grand-children. She loved it when he itched her ears, seems no one else did it as well. We live sixty miles from parents. How did Diamond sense anything at that distance?

Perhaps my personal experience is unconvincing, however others have looked at such phenomena in the past, such as Rupert Sheldrake in his study: Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.

If you are still skeptical get yourself a copy of Mind Machines You Can Build by G. Harry Stine. If the simple devices do not work for you (unlikely), they probably will work for your younger children. From around the time that a child becomes sentient around two to three years of age, to about the age of seven, they exist in a predominately dream like state of Alpha Brain Waves.

The point that I'm truly trying to make with this blog entry is summed up by Sheldrake:

"Science as it's usually practiced is too narrow. At any given time, science works within a paradigm or model. Things that don't fit in are anomalies. There are a lot of things that scientists can't explain, and I believe we can learn the most by studying them."

Our instruments only measure the things that we know how to measure, the true question comes down to How did Diamond know? Now do we make such instruments...


  1. I don't know too much about alpha brain waves etc. but I do know that dogs are amazing, sensitive & intelligent creatures. One of my co-workers at Motorola was prone to epileptic seizures. He had a border collie, and I know (from him & confirmed by his wife) that the 2 times he had a seizure when the dog was around, the dog gave off early warnings. I saw one of his seizures at work, and it was surreal & disturbing (fortunately we had an engineer who moonlighted as a paramedic & knew what to do).

    I've also heard of dogs being able to "smell" cancer, and when you figure that cancerous cell mutations probably result in by-products, gases, etc. & also considering how sensitive dogs are to scents, it doesn't surprise me.

    By the way, your dog Diamond looks awesome. We're all better people for sharing our lives with wonderful animals (specifically, dogs) like these.

  2. Thank you Dave. They are called Seizure Alert Dogs.

    I just found there is a new edition of the Dogs book as well:

    It covers some of the controversies about this research and an invitation to readers and their animals to take part in ongoing investigations.