You felt it coming: Hoaxers jump on Yellowstone quake news

Oh, yeah, we expected a few religious nuts to claim it was the end times when an interesting, but so far harmless swarm of small earthquakes hit the Yellowstone Caldera again.

But who expected such nuttiness?

Legal action is being taken against a Web site operator who has misrepresented the U.S. Geological Survey in a warning that the area around Yellowstone National Park should be evacuated out of concern that the park’s supervolcano could erupt.

“We started to take action as soon as we found out about it,” said Jessica Robertson of the USGS, adding that the agency was notified on Friday.

The issue has been referred to the USGS’s solicitor’s office which is pursuing charges of impersonating a federal official as well as violation of the agency’s trademark.

“The main issue we have is we don’t want people to believe it’s coming from us,” Robertson said.  [From the Billings (Montana) Gazette]

It’s a hoax, but a very pernicious hoax.  In a world where people believe in all sorts of things that do not happen and take actions that hurt themselves and others as a result, hoaxing is not a good game to play.

(Update, evening of January 11, 2009:  Here’s the site complained about; it appears he’s removed material that would make the site look like a USGS site.)

Was this guy under a belief that what he said was correct?

The issue highlights Nash’s concerns about where people get their news.

“There is a legitimate place to get this information; this is not it,” Nash said of the Web site [ Al Nash, the Yellowstone National Park’s chief of public affairs]. “The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory is out there. You can find it. It is run by three really bright geologists. There’s really good monitoring in the park. Our offices would be the secondary place to go for information.”

Robertson said this isn’t the first time USGS has been falsely used in such claims. She said in June a YouTube video used the agency’s logo to lend legitimacy to a claim about the end of the world.

Earthquakes are very interesting.  The Yellowstone is fascinating.  These are good reasons to study the facts and events of nature.  Hoaxes like this one, urging people to panic, play on the wealth of ignorance about science and nature, and scientists.

The only firm defense is good education and good information.


  • From the Billings Gazette’s sidebar on good information:
    Latest quake info
    “According to the latest information from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, about 900 earthquakes occurred between Dec. 26 and Jan. 8 in the Yellowstone Lake area.
    “Five hundred of the earthquakes (including all greater than magnitude 2.0) have been reviewed by seismologists. There were 111 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 2.0 and 18 earthquakes greater than 3.0. About 400 smaller earthquakes have yet to be reviewed.
    “The largest earthquake during the swarm was a magnitude 3.9 on Dec. 28. One of the analyses seismologists use to talk about earthquakes and swarms is the cumulative seismic moment, which is a measure of the earthquake energy. The cumulative moment (the energy from all the analyzed earthquakes in the swarm) for the Yellowstone Lake Swarm is equal to the energy of a single magnitude 4.5 earthquake.
    “Earthquakes with magnitudes less than 3.4 are generally not felt by people unless they are very shallow and you are standing very close to the epicenter. For perspective, earthquakes of magnitude 3.4 to 4.5 are often felt and there were multiple reports of felt earthquakes during this swarm. A magnitude 5 or greater is generally required to produce damage to buildings or other structures.
    “For more information, log onto the observatory’s Web site at:
  • Powell (Wyoming) Tribune blog, with an e-mail interview with the hoax perpetrator — note the nonchalance with which Chris Sanders, who appears to be the perpetrator, acknowledges his pirating of the USGS log, claims connections to soon-to-be-President Obama, and otherwise suggests he’s the smartest scientist even touching geology in the U.S.
  • Good, solid reporting on the seismology, from the Salt Lake Tribune
  • Bozeman (Montana) Daily Chronicle coverage of the hoax
  • Finding Dulcinea blog
  • Associated Press story of January 9, 2009
  • Also see other posts here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub on the Yellowstone Caldera:  Not likely to blow, first post with best links, “swarm finished?” and all Yellowstone posts

Acknowledgement to High Boldtage.

22 Responses to You felt it coming: Hoaxers jump on Yellowstone quake news

  1. […] “You felt it coming:  Hoaxers jump on Yellowstone quake news,” January 11, 2009 […]


  2. […] yeah — that was the series of earthquake swarms in late 2008 and early 2009, […]


  3. bikerbernie says:

    I am not saying that it will but it never hurts to follow the Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared.” The lake is shifting and the ground is quaking does this mean it will happen? NO of course not, but it does not mean it will not.

    There are interesting thing about Yellowstone like it is due to erupt. What does this mean? Well, within the next 80,000 years this is a very short time period. Will it who knows? I say that within the next 10 years interesting this will happen even if it is a lava flow but again volcano eruptions are not an exact science, hey it might not give a warning at all (I doubt it) but again no one knows. Doing the speculation is fun, unfortunately if I predict this in my lifetime and it does happen I will not have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so” because all of our tech will be gone but what the hay, for the giggles of it I will say it now I told you so! LOL

    More reading and fun predictions:

    In fact I am due to write another update on this subject.



  4. […] all the flap about a flurry of earthquakes in the Yellowstone Caldera over the Christmas holidays?  Volcano […]


  5. Ed Darrell says:

    If you feel ridiculed, my apologies. My point was, simply, that your claims are not Biblical, and not part of Christian tradition (at least, not prior to about 1910, and then only a small minority of Christians).

    I don’t know how anyone could expect to calculate it down to the exact hour and day, either, but on the work of Bishop James Ussher someone did. Ussher noted that adherence to the King James Bible strictly would yield a creation date 4,000 years prior to the birth of Jesus, which was later calculated to have been figured incorrectly in the Gregorian Calendar — so it would have been 4004 B.C. If 6,000 years is the magic number, 1996 was the year the 6,000 expired. That was 13 years ago. If it’s off by 13 years, it may as well be off by 13 billion years, no?

    Coincidentally, Nostradamus predicted disaster for the planet in 1996.

    Beyond the Biblical issues, there isn’t a shred of evidence to support a very young Earth. We have hard, physical evidence of Big Bang, and of a universe in the nature of 14 billion years old.

    Yes, Jesus had difficulty with the Pharisees, who were certain of their dogma despite all the physical evidence. But on that issue, you’re looking through your telescope the wrong way.


  6. Steven Smth says:

    I find it hard to believe that anyone can point out the exact day when 6000 years was up ha,ha,ha .Well unless you personally knew Adam and Eve he,he .Even if you are not religious and believe in God to come up with a date like that is almost impossible .
    Man is just starting to understand things of ancient histories of that nature . So how can you say that date is not a couple decades of hmmmn ?
    Anyway I see that anyone of a different opinion is for sure to be ridiculed here ha,ha .Sort of like what Jesus Christ went through with the Pharisees when he came with His .Good day


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    I don’t see anything in scripture, anywhere, to suggest 6,000 years is any sort of magic number. Our 6,000 years would have been up in 1996, by the way.

    That’s not in the Bible. It appears to be contradicted by Psalms, which speaks of an everlasting creation, and it’s certainly contrary to what is observed in God’s creation.

    In any case, Steven, the Yellowstone quake swarm seems to have tapered off. This week we worry about Mt. Redoubt in Alaska — but again, there is no connection to scripture, the scripture writers having absolutely no knowledge of Alaska at all.


  8. Steven Smth says:

    1000 years = 1 day ,sorry for the type o my friend (:


  9. Steven Smth says:

    I see your point completely . What most people that read the bible seem to miss ,is that the end spoken of in scripture is not the end of the world ;just the end of an age . Man’s rule over the earth .

    One thing that really amazed me mightily is how God sets up the 7 day week . God gives us 6 days for our selves . Then He makes the 7th day holy for all coming generations .

    Now that being observed in 1 or 2 Peter in the new testament , Peter mentions that a day is a thousand days to the Lord . Now that is pretty plain ,right .
    Well in Zechariah of the Old Testament it prophecies that the Christ will come and rule for a thousand years at the end of man’s rule over the earth after what the bible describes as the Day of the Lord or the Tribulation .

    Now if that is true of a thousand year being a year to God then To God the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ would be a day .So going back to God’s 7 day plan for man . I would have to guess that the last 100 years or to God ,” the last day would fit into the 7th day ,and with his son ruling it truly would be His Holy Sabbath .

    So that leaves the Other 6 days . Interesting enough guess how many recorded years has man gotten through . Give or take a few ? I am not including things that man has embellished . The civilizations of Egypt and Mians have kept time for around 5 or 6 .

    Now this is all from the bible and not some hear sayer . Now ,why wouldn’t the almighty God make his whole plan revolve around the 7 day week or 7000 year plan . God is perfect and everything that he does makes perfect harmony with everything that fits along side with everything else in this crazy big but beautiful Universe that our Creator built for us to help him beautify and build when we become part of His Family ,

    So hey I am just pointing out what is in the bible .Not just making this up by any means .

    We have just lived (and when I say we I mean Man or all of us in existence on this planet) 6000 + years give or take a few hundred years year and there . Now it only seems logical that Jesus’s reign should be coming at any time . To add to all the doomsday stuff it really blows my mind .

    So 6000 years for us to live our own way .Which we did basically destroying our planet !

    Now there is the 1000 years for God ,which we are to make Holy which Jesus Christ reigns any way .

    So this was just some biblical facts that interested me .
    Again I am not a prophet but I do try to love God with all my heart ,soul and mind (:


  10. Rock Dad says:

    Ed wrote:
    It’s always puzzled me why end timers, who so delight in woe and mayhem, ever bother to buy and hold a Bible.

    Why start a long book when you know the world will end before you can finish it?


  11. Steven says:

    Actually from what I got from scripture was that only those that the Father called could walk in Christ ways . The fact that God is in some eternal fight to save souls is also a pagan based beliefs .God is the Almighty creator of the universe .God is in complete control of his plan for mankind.
    Even the belief of an eternal place that people will go to suffer is blasphemy. Hell truly means grave or hole in the ground . Most of the Modern Theologists know that scriptures were not translated correctly and even twisted to support doctrine OF CERTAIN POWERFUL CHURCHES AT THE TIME .To say that the great God of love would send His creations some where that He will have to watch them suffer is quite disturbing.That would make Him no better than the evil that we are all supposed to over come . Scripture does not support it .The Pagans are responsible for the teaching of an eternal place of torment .Again the Catholic Church was responsible for inter grading the belief system.It is all quite sinister actually.They were responsible for killing many of the early men who were God’s ministers .
    I will say that I do see the importance of following all the Laws of 10commandments.All the Apostles followed them .We are supposed to follow Christ as He walked with God ,and He followed all the Laws and rebuked those who did not .
    People are quick to use the name of God and of our passover Jesus Christ until they hear they have to obey Him .Our Passover set us free from the sacrificial system and made it possible to be given audience with the God of this Universe at any given time after we are called by God and baptized by one of His ministers.
    God is not the author of confusion Man is .That sad thing is that we all have sinned against our Creator .Why do we want it our way,when He gives us the very air that we breath .
    The answer is the PRIDE in man ,which we all think we are the center of the universe WHICH IS THE TRUE EVIL OF MAN AND THE CAUSE OF EVERY BIT OF SUFFERING EVER TO HAPPEN ON THIS EARTH .
    I suspect that many would not agree with me but if they would just test and truly seek out these truths for themselves then they would see things a bit differently I would guess .Although I do feel for those who grew up with such false beliefs,in which the crime is truly against them seeing we all had to grow up with many of the deceptions in religion,which is provably the biggest deception ever to be laid out in front of us.
    It does falls into prophecy perfectly.Satan leads the whole world astray(Revelation 12 :9)

    I do appreciate your view of thinking me legalistic . I follow all His laws and all the annual Sabbaths and Feasts . I have had my share of persecution because of following the bible correctly .Not like the past disciples by any means but being ostracized and looked at differently because of wanting to live God’s way of life .

    I am far from knowing much about the other religions like Islam and such but what I do understand is that religions for the most part do not follow the bible .Which the Good New clearly tells us not to take away
    Better yet I feel I should quote the New International Version ,Revelation 22:18
    I warn everyone who hears the warning of this prophecy of this book:If anyone add anything to them.God will ad to him the plagues described in this book. And if any one takes words away from this book of the prophecy God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city ,which are described in this book
    As many say it is always good to read before and after scriptures that are quoted but few actually do as that is a great deception of many traditional churches of today.
    They tell us the bible is a mystery and for us to trust them .The Holy Bible is a revelation that is granted with God’s Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ .

    Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha ,wow that WAS A LITTLE long winded wasn’t it he,he,he.

    It is just I had learned this by much study and revelation . You sound like a balanced mind person from our conversation .I am curious if you have read Hebrews 4 .People try to say that the 7th day Sabbath was nailed to the cross,when that scripture clearly tells us in the New Testament not to fall short of it .Legalistic or not shouldn’t we do what God has commanded us and is part of the 10 commandments .
    Now if I wanted to sacrifice a lamb or a dove as done in the old days THEN I would like I was trying to be Legalistic but to follow God as He inspired our Passover to teach us is to walk toward the Kingdom of God


  12. red hatter says:

    it also talks about the pharises and not to make a “show” of everything i think that our great GOD would rather us to go out soulwinning than to sit and observe all that he might have wanted us to do but it clearly states that the great commission is greater a task than any of all the other tasks as seeing that GOD JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR did when he was on this earth all he didi was try and get people savved even till he was moments frove his three day “death”


  13. steven says:

    The thing about trying to find a religion that is the most biblical correct ,the answers lie mostly in the old testament . Jesus Christ fortold that His church would be under the name of His Father and not His .The name of the church that was started at Petecost 13 A.D was the” Church of God “. It is mentioned many times in the New Testament .

    Another thing I noticed is that Jesus Christ followed the 7th day Sabbath and all the Holy Days and Festivals .The Apostles are also mentioned waiting to travel out of cities and towns until the Feast of Unleavened Bread was completed .They all followed the annual Sabbaths as well as the weekly Sabbath which was from Friday Sundown till Saturday sundown.

    Passover was the day befroe the Feast of Unleavened bread and is the time that followers of Christ are commanded to come together for the taking of unleavened breaqd and wine in memory of Christs body and His blood .

    The Catholic Church cahanged Passover to Easter as well as Changed a pagan winter feestival of Saturn and changed the name to Christmas. People have been following Easter and Saturn(now called christmans)for thousnds of years)
    Easter even kept the pagan godesses name.She is also known as the queen of heaven,and mother nature .She is known in many languages and cultures.Eggs and rabbits were a symbol of fertility in bringing in the spring each year.

    Now the Catholic Church was an outside organization . That is actually spoken of a couple times ,when the apostles are warning of false beliefs being spread around .
    Their is mention of a man who’s name was Simon the Sorcorer.I may not to totally correct about his name but I do remeber it starts with ” S ” and I think I am correct ,if not please forgive me . I had to dig a lot of information to research all of this .Which any one with a little gumption can do if they decide to do a little digging .
    Anyway Simon managed to be babtised .He was amazed at the healing power of the Apostles.Since he was into the dark arts ,which are pagan beliefs ,he wanted to pay for the gift of healing that the Apostles had
    Of course they rebuked him and told him that the gift of healing was not theirs to give ,and that only God had the power to give such a gift .
    Simon left and started a counterfiet religon under the name of christainity .He mixed the biblical beliefs with pagan ideals . It took a few years to get going but it eventually interested Roman Rulers .Hence the Roman Catholic Church .
    If you are interested look up the Nicaea Council of 325 . There was almost a terrible war because of the Catholic Church doctrine not being correct.
    The Church of God still continued all along .But it was small and very persacuted .
    It exist till this day .The Church of God -pkg (pkg-preparing for the kingdom of God)
    Everything I have shared can be looked up . I have to admit I was floored after researching these truths.
    It is all at our finger tips .The bible tells us seek and you will find. I never dreamed of something that has such a fantastic meaning .
    The thing about the Babtist type churches is that tey do have a very important pease to the puzzle .Babtism! Total submersion. Drown the old man of sin and come up a new man clean and forgiven . But they still are a counterfiet .God commanded us to follow the Holy Days and all 7 of the Annual Sabbaths .The plan of God is explained through the holy days.The bible tells us that to follow them we will be given a joy and the Sabbath is not a burden.
    The bible has the key to happiness.It starts with the 7th day Sabbath and ends every year with the last great day,after the Feast of Tabernacles.
    It is unlike anything or any church has to offer us ,but their is one church as I said that follows God’s commandments .Church of God-pkg , the- is another link to research such things,along with the biblical truth .

    You see from where I sit and see the world there is not alot of churches out there that are true to God’s commandments.The funny thing is that everyone wants to nail the first 4 comandments to the cross .But the one that deals with us we make into our own laws .Idolitry ex.Crosses mmmmn,isn’t that a commandment breaker he,he,he

    God tells us not to have other God’s before Him so I wonder whee mixed up religions that are based on pagan gods fit in ? SIN !

    o I could go on but I do not want to over load you my friend .May I just say in closing that it is nice to share ideas,Although I know they are not your ordinarry ones.But all based on the true stories of the Holy Bible he,he,he,he

    Thank you for letting me share a few lines ,although I might of gone on too much .
    I might of got a name wrong here or there but like I said it is all at or figer tips to find .

    Thank you again


  14. evolution is false says:

    true that is why the BIBLE way is to build the church around the BIBLE not the BIBLE around the church the Bible should be what the churches beliefes should rest in that is why every religion is against the bible but you can only look for the religion that is mostly in a bibilical way (only the purest bible 1611 which is the closets translation to the trrue bible i presonoly beleive it is the best translation) the closset religion that is most biblical that i find is independat fundemental seperated hell damming baptist with confrentational soulwinning like in acts


  15. steven says:

    A million years is a long time . All I know is that there are signs all around the world to coinside with bible prophesy . Yellowstone is something as far as I have read something that even the scientist do not totally understand . I not saying it will not blow .I would lean to the side that it will .Taking many people with it . But I am not a prophet , and can not see into the future . All I am giving is my opinion .Which being on the spiritual side of things offend many people ,depending on if they have other religous beliefs or they are of a more scientific mind .
    The old Testament has many prophesies that speak of the last days of mans rule of the earth .Most describe a horrifying end by which sound like a terrible war and something that sounds like a nuclear war of sorts.
    The problem with most religions is that they take things from the bible and through the rest away.Things like Christmas ,Easter, the Trinty doctren,and the big daddy of all deceptions SUNDAY .
    None of the things I just mentioned have any biblical truth.The were started because of pagan belief rituals .Of course as the years went by they were intergrated into many religions practices.The sad thing is that many people today don’t even know that they are deceived,which falls into a biblical scripture in Revelation 12. Satan is the master deceiver and leads the whole world a stray.
    I am sorry about leaving the subject of your question but it falls into what I wanted to say . Yellowstone could very well blow up and I wouldn’t be surprised if it changed much of the earth. As I said I am not a prophet but it is easy to see that we ae living in the last days,but not the end of the world.Just the end of Man’s rule . I sudpect that millions of people are going to die in the next 3 or so years . The earth is changing around us and we are all responsible for why the earht has gotten so bad .
    Our sins have destroyed the earth . Look at what we have brought ourselves to . Israel is going t use nuclear weapons.If they do not then the other side will .I suspect that many other countries will get involved and when the States is attact on their own home land ,it will be the end of their economy.They can not kep printing money with nothing to back it up.Look what happenned in Zimbabwi .
    It isn’t the fact that Yellostone is acting the way that it is.It is all the other things happenning in the world at the same time.Everything is getting ready to blow.Imagine when they do .
    The whole world depends on the American dollar .The United States will take many countries with them .

    So I find it hard to look a head a million years ,because we are already living in the Tribulation writen of in scripture . Try reading the bible with out any religous ideas .I know it is hard to do . The funny thing is that alot of fanatical religous people ae waiting for the end times to come. But what I am saying is that we are already living them .
    Scripture tells us that it will be like in the days of Noah . People will be going about thei busines marrying and partying until the very last day . It speaks of wars and rumars of war .Natural disasters and such which turn the moon to blood .

    So I have to follow my faith I can appreciate others views that would call me crazy.Thee wonderful thing about forums like this one we can voice our opinions as long as we do not offend anyone to much. I hope I didn’t bore you to much.Thank you for your time


  16. […] Read more from the original source:  You felt it coming: Hoaxers jump on Yellowstone quake news … […]


  17. says:

    Blogring for yellowstone+caldera…

    Related Blog Entries…


  18. Ed Darrell says:

    And, if the end didn’t come after that three month swarm several years ago, why now, with a swarm of only a couple of weeks?


  19. Mark Duigon says:

    According to the US Geological Survey, there were about 193 earthquakes in the past 7 days (>=2.5 in US & adjacent areas, >= 4.5 in the rest of the world). Compare that number to other weeks, or check out their Web page for lists of significant earthquakes each year since 1990. What has changed to suggest that the End of the World is nigh?


  20. Ed Darrell says:

    So, Steven, you’re saying that the Biblical signs show we’re going to be around another million years at a minimum, since Yellowstone isn’t going to blow?

    Odd end times — 10 times as long as the beginning times for humans.

    Steven: Is this your site?

    Do you guys revel in every tragedy, or only those that kill significant numbers of humans, or have the potential to do so?

    It’s always puzzled me why end timers, who so delight in woe and mayhem, ever bother to buy and hold a Bible.


  21. Steven says:

    Well you are certainly correct about people seeing the biblical significance of such events occurring on the earth . I find it very sad that people would put themselves out there in a manner that mocks the Almighty God . Not that it is usual for Man to want to mock and ridicule our Creator.
    These events in themselves are only the beginning of what is going to happen on the earth .The Financial Crisis is a sister event that coincides with these end -time events .Gaza is a major Thunder of the end times.The Thunders of Revelation are so loud it is not any wonder that more people are not starting to realize what is taking place in our planet .
    The sad thing about everything that is taking place is that people are so deceived about the true biblical truth and false teachings of Traditional Christianity that they can not possibly understand how the end-times are supposed to unfold.
    As I said before you are certainly correct about one thing people are definitely going to see this as End Time events ,but not the end of the world ,just Man’s rule over it.
    I am no one to judge the way anyone sees what is occurring and why all the earth quakes around Yellowstone have been happening but I just want to warn those who would mock the Almighty God seeing what is happening around the earth .After all maybe you are wrong and God is behind what is happening ?


  22. Mark Duigon says:

    Yet another example of why schools need to teach Earth Science. And just think, 2007-2009 is the International Year of Planet Earth (


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