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BLOG: Enough is enough

Philip Duncan blogs about Ken Ring for the first time since his March 20th prediction was made. 

For weeks the Ken Ring debate has been going on, and personally, I’m over it…and from both sides too. I’m sick of hearing about it, I’m sick of reading people fighting about it, I’m sick of hearing people saying “I hope there is a big earthquake to prove him right” – which is sick considering what has just happened in Christchurch and Japan.

I was quoted in the Herald on Sunday yesterday saying Ken’s predictions have brought a lot of “genuine fear and that’s not a good thing”. Some supporters of Ken will defend his prediction saying the 5.1 quake last night was proof. But we all know that earthquake last night was not the one Ken predicted. He predicted something worthy of leaving town, something catastrophic. Last night’s quake was also not a new earthquake – but instead one of the many aftershocks the city has experienced since September of last year of which GeoNet has accurately predicted – and warned us of last week even.

Last night’s aftershock was the third biggest one since the big 6.3 quake on Feb 22 – two aftershocks that day were greater. This was only .2 on the richter scale above being described as “a light earthquake”. Hardly the big one.

I’m tired of this debate – and am aware writing this will spark it again to some degree – but I’m tired of this debate going around in circles. First the date was March 20th then it was “around that date”, then it wasn’t a prediction it was just an opinion. Then on the other side Nick Smith smugly stepped in with his skeptics lunch yesterday – an act which did little more than fire up more debate and put more focus on the very thing they wanted people to ignore.

The fear in Christchurch at the moment reminds me of the fear American’s had after 9/11. When people suffer from fear they will believe anything to make them feel better – how else can you explain why George Bush was re-elected?

The media have been attacking Ken relentlessly since day one – many of you will say with good reason too – but hell, the guy is alternative not mainstream – so why is he getting so much attention this time around? The media made this so called ‘monster’. Ken has been making these predictions for years – and now he is personally receiving threats on his well-being. Whether you believe in him or not – you simply cannot accept a threat on a human life is a valid form of action in this case.

A disastrous earthquake simply did not occur yesterday – end of story. Ken’s entitled to his predictions, and for the sake of mankind I hope he’s stumbled on something remarkable here – but he needs a history of accurately pinpointing these big quakes (and not the highly predictable aftershocks like yesterday). For his predictions to then be accepted by the general public he needs to factually, scientifically and accurately replicate his predictions time and time again. He doesn’t have to get it right everytime, but he does need to have a good track record that others in society deem accurate and not just himself.

The scientists aren’t after him either – they have actually looked at what he does and concluded it doesn’t work. This is how we have evolved as an intelligent species – we try things over and over. If they don’t work we move on and find a new way. I cannot believe scientists today would ignore something that worked simply because they didn’t like the person who discovered it.

It’s time for us all to leave Ken alone and it’s time for the media to stop promoting his earthquake predictions. Ken is allowed to predict earthquakes – and his supporters can go to his website and be prepared and leave town each time Ken makes one. That is their choice. But it is not the role of the media to advertise these predictions.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of this whole debate. Since when did the main focus on Christchurch shift to Ken’s prediction? Sometimes I feel like we’re stuck in the dark ages when I hear people blindly ignoring the facts, while on the flip side others attack Ken as if he’s evil. Really? The guy who had a photo in the Herald on Sunday yesterday dressed up in a magicians outfit entertaining sick or dying kids at Starship Hospital – this is the guy who is evil and scary? Actually that is an unselfish act of someone with a big heart.

And it’s maybe this big heart that has Ken genuinely convinced he is doing NZ a service…but as far as I’m concerned enough is enough – and it’s time to finish this debate. Let the focus be back on the identification of the remaining 40 bodies….the rebuilding of the city…and the support of people who have lost their friends and loved ones on that tragic day back on February 22nd.

– Philip Duncan

Follow Philip Duncan on Twitter


Paul Owen on 22/03/2011 8:53pm

Remember that stuff about hiding under a table or standing in a doorway? Well, forget it! This is a real eye opener. It could save your life someday.


My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ), the world’s most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years, and have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene — unnecessary.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them – NOT under them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life’. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the ‘triangles’ you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.


1) Most everyone who simply ‘ducks and covers’ when building collapse are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different ‘moment of frequency’ (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads – horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn’t collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible – It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone’s life…

The entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!

‘We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly’

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did ‘duck and cover,’ and ten mannequins I used in my ‘triangle of life’ survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions , relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the ‘triangle of life.’ This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV

Celtickiwi on 23/03/2011 9:24am

Hey yeah, i got this by Email after the September earthquake. Brilliant information and its great you found it to put on here for those who may not have recieved it.
Im still hearing of people running to doorways when EQ hit. Im suprised this has not been taught instead.

Cheers Paul

j9 on 21/03/2011 8:11am

Probably not but it gets everyone reading, and thats what media is about. Freedom of speech is everyones right including Ken Rings and if people want to listen to him thats OK. Yesterday certainly saw several earthquakes around NZ at least in the 4 and 5 range so maybe he’s on to something but has not perfected it just yet.
Science may have looked at what he does and say it does not work but its a brave statement coming from a bunch that did not even know the destructive fault line under Christchurch existed. How can they be so certain the moon plays no part in our planet’s earthquakes. I thought science was about discovery and keeping an open mind.
Next year is 2012, and I have heard a prediction that its the end of days in December, what fun the media are already having with this prediction. Get ready for the frenzy.

Judy on 21/03/2011 7:20am

Enough IS enough. The media fueled peoples fear

Guest on 21/03/2011 4:21am

My daughter monitored TV reporting on what her children 8 & 5yrs watched re the earthquakes, to minimise fear. Taught them on were to stand in an earthquake and other safety procedures. They have practised at school. To have my grandson tell me there is going to be a big earthquake on the 20th as if it was a fact was upsetting. When asked where he heard that said at school, Ken Moon said so. My daughter had to say well you wont be at school that day. How many parents would have kept there children home if it had been a school day. We need to give children confidence to get back into a routine. So please Ken Moon keep your predictions to yourself.Even if there had been a major one we cant prevent them.As for being prepared WELL WE ALL SHOULD BE BY NOW!!! (Food water etc). We have been told for ages about being prepared weather it is a pandemic or earthquake.

sharon on 21/03/2011 4:02am

Good on you i totally agree with all you have said, its a persons opinion not the truth and i agree he is a man with a big heart and has never intented to harm or scare anyone. enough is enough leave ken alone people…

WW Forecast Team on 21/03/2011 1:59am

Thank you all for the feedback – it’s good to get back to the weather!

Phil 🙂

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