Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study
A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.
Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New Yorkcompared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.
The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”
Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.
One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.
The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.
“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”
The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.
Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”
The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.
The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.
Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.
“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”
New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:
Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.
Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.
New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.
Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered  in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.
The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.
Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.
Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.
In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Russian Horn Prepares to Make Ukraine a “Nuclear Zone”: Revelation 16

Photo de la centrale nucléaire de Zaporijjia
Photo de la centrale nucléaire de Zaporijjia. /Photo prise le 29 mars 2023/REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Russia to evacuate more Zaporizhzhia nuclear workers – Ukraine’s Energoatom


KYIV, May 10 (Reuters) – Russian forces are planning to evacuate more than 3,000 workers from the town that serves the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, resulting in a “catastrophic lack” of personnel, Ukraine’s state-owned Energoatom company said on Wednesday.

Last week, the head of the U.N.’s nuclear power watchdog, Rafael Grossi, said the situation around the Russian-held nuclear station had become “potentially dangerous” after Moscow-installed officials began evacuating people from nearby areas.

Russia’s TASS state news agency said on Monday the Moscow-installed governor of the Russia-controlled part of the surrounding region had suspended operations at the plant.

Ukraine’s Energoatom said it had received information about preparations for the evacuation of about 3,100 people from the southern city of Enerhodar, including 2,700 workers who had signed contracts with the Russian-installed company.

“The Russian occupiers are proving their inability to ensure the operation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, as there is now a catastrophic lack of qualified personnel,” it said in a statement on the Telegram messaging service.

“Even those Ukrainian workers who, having signed shameful contracts, … are going to be ‘evacuated’ soon. And this will exacerbate the already extremely urgent issue of having a sufficient number of personnel to ensure the safety of operation of the NPP (nuclear power plant) even in the current shutdown state.”

Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports. Russia did not immediately comment.

Ukraine is widely expected to soon launch a counteroffensive to try to push back Russian forces, and commentators say retaking the whole of the Zaporizhzhia region is one of its aims.

Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia plant days after President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Exchanges of fire have frequently occurred near the facility, with each side blaming the other.

Iranian Horn Is Closer to Building a Nuclear Bomb Than It Has Ever Been: Daniel 8

Donald Trump, surrounded by a crowd of people, yells into a voice recorder.
Donald Trump speaks to the press during a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Iran Is Closer to Building a Nuclear Bomb Than It Has Ever Been

Five years after Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, we’re still living with one of his greatest blunders. Why hasn’t Biden fixed it?


MAY 08, 20233:30 PM

Exactly five years ago, Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in one of the dumbest moves of his presidency—the dumbest when it comes to foreign policy.

This is not a partisan statement. It’s also true that President Joe Biden’s failure to reverse Trump’s misstep ranks as the most puzzling—and may prove to be most catastrophic—decision in his term of office so far.

But Trump’s move on May 8, 2018, set the stage for whatever disasters may come of it. By the time he pulled the plug, Iran was well on its way to dismantling its nuclear program. International inspectors, who were granted full access to suspect sites, said in all of their routine reports that Iran was in full compliance with the deal’s terms.

Now the inspectors are gone, and Iran is closer to building an atom bomb than it ever has been.

Why did Trump abrogate the deal? First, he didn’t much like arms-control agreements of any sort. Second, he particularly distrusted Iran, a view bolstered by his friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (ignoring the fact that most Israeli military and intelligence officers supported the deal). Finally, and perhaps most significantly: To Trump’s mind, nothing Obama ever did could be touted as a success, so the Iran deal—a resounding success by all objective measures—had to be pummeled as (in Trump’s oft-repeated words) “the worst deal ever.”

It’s worth recounting here what the Iran nuclear deal—formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—did and did not do. Basically, it required Iran to dismantle almost all of its nuclear program; in exchange, the U.S. would lift almost all of its economic sanctions. In the main clauses, Iran had to:

• Destroy all of its uranium enriched to 3.75 percent and limit further enriched uranium to 3.5 percent. (Weapons-grade uranium is enriched to 90 percent.)

• Cut its uranium stockpile by 90 percent (to 300 kilograms, not enough to build one A-bomb).

• Destroy two-thirds of its centrifuges—the devices that enrich uranium—and refrain from building advanced models, which spin faster.

• Export the spent fuel from its research reactors, which could otherwise be reprocessed into plutonium.

• Stop all work on metallurgy related to the casings for uranium or plutonium bombs.

• Allow officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect all known and suspected nuclear sites with 24 hours’ notice.

The limits on uranium would expire in 10 years (by 2016) but those on centrifuges would last 20 years and IAEA’s monitoring of uranium mines and mills would last 25 years.

In exchange, the U.S. would lift sanctions, which it had imposed when Iran started developing its nuclear program—but it would not lift the sanctions that had been imposed as a penalty for producing ballistic missiles or for sponsoring terrorism.

When Trump pulled out, he reimposed all the economic sanctions—not only on Iran but also on any country doing business with Iran. For nearly a year, Iran’s diplomats tried to find ways around the restrictions—as did several EU countries, though to no avail. (The Europeans weren’t willing to be barred from transactions in dollars for the sake of their paltry trade with Iran.)

Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders continued to abide by the deal’s other terms—they continued to dismantle their nuclear program and to allow intrusive inspections. Finally, though, seeing no way to break through the sanctions, they resumed enriching uranium and, gradually, the other once-banned activities as well. They did so, citing Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA: If one signatory finds that others “were not meeting their commitments,” then, after consultations, it would have “grounds to cease performing its commitments.”

Republicans complained that Iran was violating the nuclear deal. The irony was twofold. First, Iran was only reacting to Trump’s abrogation of the deal, and doing so in a way that the deal allowed. Second, if the deal was as bad as the Republicans claimed it was, why did they see Iran’s violations as so egregious?

Then Biden won the White House. Having been Obama’s vice president, Biden of course supported the accord, as did his top aides, some of whom had been deeply involved in the talks with Iran during Obama’s administration. Many in Congress would have opposed a resumption, but the deal was a “multinational executive arrangement,” not a treaty, so Congress had no formal say in the matter. Another crucial fact: The Iranian leaders who’d signed the deal—President Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, both reformers, relatively speaking—were still in office. Elections, which would likely (and ultimately did) restore harder-line clerics to power, were scheduled for June. In the five months till then, Biden could have re-initialed the deal or at least reopened talks.

True, around this time, Tehran was stiffening its resistance to resuming diplomacy. European officials tried to get the ball rolling again. Iranians refused to meet with any Americans directly. The EU offered to be an intermediary. Preliminary talks got underway in Vienna, but they soon broke down. The impasse was almost juvenile. Biden officials wanted Tehran to dismantle some of its nuclear program before they lifted some sanctions; Iranian officials wanted Biden to make the first move. A reasonable case could be made that Washington should go first. After all, the U.S., not Iran, had scrapped the deal; Biden was in the process of reversing several of Trump’s executive orders. He could have done the same with JCPOA. But he didn’t. Why didn’t he?

I have asked this question in many quarters over the past two years. So have several other reporters. I have neither heard nor read a persuasive answer. Some officials have said Biden’s plate was full, as indeed it was, but he managed to extend New START—the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms reduction treaty, which Obama had signed in 2010 and which was about to expire—two weeks after Inauguration Day. He could have at least reopened talks on JCPOA with nearly as little difficulty.

It is now nearly impossible to get back on course with the Iran nuclear deal, and it has been for at least the past year. Tehran’s leaders have decided it’s not worth trying to suck up to the U.S., and for good reasons. First, they see no reason to trust Washington; even if Biden were to act in good faith (and, from their point of view, he hasn’t), his successor might not, especially if it’s Trump. Second, they have managed to strike alliances with other countries, notably Russia and China, whose leaders have also figured out ways to bypass U.S. sanctions.

This is another lesson of Trump’s great blunder. His withdrawal from the deal was part of a new policy called “maximum pressure.” As applied to Iran, the idea—encouraged by his then-new national security adviser and secretary of state, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo—was that the renewed sanctions would have one of two effects. In public, they said they hoped to push Tehran back to the table to negotiate a “better” nuclear deal. In fact, though, they knew there was no better deal to be had; their real motive was to devastate Iran’s economy so harshly that the people (or some faction of the elite) would rise up and oust the regime.

It didn’t work. Though its economy is far from robust, Iran is now exporting as much oil as it did just before Trump pulled out of the deal. It is on the verge of becoming a nuclear-armed power, if its rulers want it to be. And if they do, it will be Trump’s fault for pushing them over the ledge—and, to some degree, Biden’s for not doing enough to pull them back.

China’s Nuclear Horn is on High Alert: Daniel 7

American, South Korean and Japanese warships sail in waters off South Korea’s east coast in April during a missile defence exercise. Photo: EPA-EFE

China’s military told to be on ‘high alert’ as US, Japan and South Korea move closer

PLA researchers warn the alliance will lead to more confrontation and undermine security in the regionThey also say the nations aim to set up a trilateral intelligence sharing network similar to the Five Eyes

Amber Wang in Beijing

Published: 9:00pm, 8 May, 2023

American, South Korean and Japanese warships sail in waters off South Korea’s east coast in April during a missile defence exercise. Photo: EPA-EFE

China should be on “high alert” as the US, Japan and South Korea move closer militarily, the official PLA newspaper has warned, saying it would undermine security in the region.

It comes as the United States has been conducting more frequent drills with its two Asian partners and amid a push for more intelligence sharing between them, while Seoul and Tokyo seek to mend ties.

The PLA Daily article, written by two researchers from the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences, said the alliance being forged by the three countries would lead to more confrontation and tensions in the region and that it would have a serious impact on security.

It pointed to recent military cooperation between the nations including drills, information sharing and joint weapons programmes, and their military expansion plans.

China’s military mouthpiece does not often call for the PLA to be on “high alert”, though it previously did so in response to the US intensifying military exercises with other countries in the region.

The latest warning came after the US, South Korea and Japan held anti-submarine drills in April, followed by joint naval missile defence exercises aimed at threats from North Korea.

The PLA researchers said the countries aimed to set up a trilateral intelligence sharing network similar to the Five Eyes – comprising Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

They said that with impetus from Washington, Seoul and Tokyo were trying to cooperate more and overcome obstacles in their relationship.

Leaders of South Korea and Japan commit to stronger ties despite lingering historical disputes


Leaders of South Korea and Japan commit to stronger ties despite lingering historical disputes

A Precuror of the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

In 1791 a large earthquake hit Connecticut, possibly originating in the Moodus area of East Haddam.
In 1791 a large earthquake hit Connecticut, possibly originating in the Moodus area of East Haddam.ZU_09/Getty Images/Connecticut Magazine

The 1791 earthquake that was CT’s largest ever recorded—and the legend that “predicted” it

Erik Ofgang

May 9, 2023

A stranger is said to have arrived in East Haddam at some point in the 1700s. No one knows when for sure. His name was Dr. Steal, but in later decades that would be misspelled as Steele. Some said he was an alchemist, others called him a wizard. Whatever he was, it was clear he understood forces beyond this world, and it was those forces that had drawn him to Connecticut. 

For some time before the stranger’s arrival, the town of East Haddam had been plagued by eruptions of strange and haunting noises that sounded to some as though the earth itself were an animal crying out in pain. These sounds seemed to emanate from the area of town now known as Moodus, a name derived from a longer Native American term for “place of bad noises.”

The cataclysmic cacophony had brought Steal to town. After locals gave him directions to the Salmon River, he searched where it met with the Moodus River and dug out two carbuncles, mystical stones that had infected the land and were the source of the mysterious noises. Dr. Steal departed with the stones but warned that there were seedlings buried in the same wet sand that would eventually grow, and the sounds would return. 

This piece of Connecticut folklore explains the Moodus Noises, a phenomenon that has been observed off and on throughout the region’s history and which we now know is caused by earthquakes. But the first known version of Dr. Steal’s story appeared in 1790 in a letter that was published in New London’s Connecticut Gazette. The following year the murmurs in the earth would indeed return, but this time with more fury than they had before or since. 

On May 16, 1791, the earthquake started “with two very heavy shocks in quick succession,” recalled one contemporary witness, according to the Today in Connecticut History website. “The first was the most powerful; the earth appeared to undergo very violent convulsions. The stone walls were shaken down, chimnies [sic] were untopped, doors which were latched were thrown open, and a fissure in the ground of several rods in extent was afterward discovered.” 

The quake, the worst Connecticut has witnessed in recorded history, came on an unusually clear and moonlit night. On a boat in what is modern-day Clinton, a ship’s captain reported seeing fish jump out of the water. More minor shocks were felt as far away as Boston and New York City. 

Seismologists today estimate that the quake would have registered between 4.4 and 5 on the Richter scale. While the epicenter is impossible to identify for certain, many believe it originated in the Moodus area of East Haddam. 

As I researched the story of the May 16 earthquake, I came across the story of Dr. Steal. Noting the timing between its emergence and the earthquake, I could not help but wonder: Had the story of Dr. Steal predicted the quake? 

The short answer is almost certainly not, though the timing is undeniably eerie. The story of Dr. Steal is fiction, and perhaps more to the point, it follows a folklore motif that predates the version of the tale told in Connecticut. “The story of a learned man who enters a river, mountain, or underground chamber to discover a treasure — often a carbuncle — was a notable folk narrative in Europe from the medieval period. It continued well into the age of exploration and colonization,” writes University of Massachusetts Amherst folklore professor Stephen Gencarella in his book Spooky Trails and Tall Tales Connecticut. “The legend of Doctor Steele presumably hitched a ride with sailors or with immigrants — carbuncle lore was extremely widespread in Ireland, for example. These motifs mixed with regional lore and inspired variants with local flair.” 

References to the Moodus Noises predate the emergence of the tale of Steal. However, the Moodus Noises are not as clearly connected to Indigenous culture as European colonists depicted. “Archaeological evidence and land deeds from the late 1600s suggest that the area served as a seasonal camp and hunting ground for a number of Indigenous people, including the Wangunk, Mohegan, Pequot, and Niantic,” Gencarella writes. “We do not know with certainty what stories these people told about the noises, but the Mohegan Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon once speculated that a culture hero, Moshup, might have played a role.” 

This lack of certainty about the native traditions associated with the noises didn’t stop generations of European settlers from making up supposedly Indigenous legends about the noises that often contained colonial and racist overtones. 

As for the story of Steal and his mysterious errand in Moodus, that too would be repeated and take on new forms many times over the years, including in an 1819 poem by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard. The Moodus Noises would also be heard again throughout the years including during quakes in 2011 and 2015. While the story of Steal is only a story, if you happen to hear of a mysterious stranger arriving in Moodus and digging up a stone near where the Salmon and Moodus rivers meet, it might be time to find refuge in a sturdy doorway.

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad vow response to Israel’s strikes outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Palestinian protesters take cover amid clashes with Israeli security forces during a raid in the old city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, on May 9, 2023. - The Israeli army said it killed three leaders of the Islamic Jihad militant group on May 9 in air strikes on Gaza, which left a dozen dead according to the Palestinian territory's Hamas-controlled health ministry, adding that women and children were among the dead. (Photo by Jaafar ASHTIYEH / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)

Hamas, Islamic Jihad vow response to Israel’s Gaza strikes as West Bank erupts

Three leaders of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad were killed in the Israeli strike that came in response to rockets fired into Israel.

Palestinian protesters take cover amid clashes with Israeli security forces during a raid in the old city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, on May 9, 2023. – JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images


May 9, 2023

Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip vowed on Tuesday to respond to the Israeli airstrikes that killed three senior members of Islamic Jihad as clashes erupted in the West Bank following the attack. 

Background: The Israeli air force conducted airstrikes on the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning targeting leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad — an ally of Hamas based in Gaza.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement that the following members of the group’s armed wing — Al-Quds Brigades — were killed:

Khalil al-Bahtini — secretary of Al-Quds Brigades’ military council

Jihad al-Ghanam — head of the “northern region” for Al-Quds Brigades

Tariq Izz ad-Din — leader in Al-Quds Brigades in the West Bank

Islamic Jihad said in another statement to the Hamas-affiliated Safa news agency that the Israeli airstrikes hit residential buildings in Gaza City and Rafah near the border with Egypt. The Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry said 10 others were killed in the attack, including four women and four children.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also said that they killed Bahtini, Ghana and Din. The Israeli airstrikes came in response to Islamic Jihad firing more than 100 rockets into Israel last week following the death of one of its senior members, Khader Adnan, who died in an Israeli prison after an 87-day hunger strike.

Reactions: Islamic Jihad said in the statement to Safa that a response to the airstrikes is imminent.

“The Palestinian response to this heinous, aggressive massacre will not be delayed. Al-Quds (Brigades) and the resistance will never back down in front of this,” the group said, adding that the strikes “represented a dangerous violation of the cease-fire.”

Hamas responded similarly. The group’s political leader Khaled Meshaal called the strikes a “treacherous crime against all our people that will be met with the firm response by the unified resistance,” according to a statement on Hamas’ website.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other like-minded groups typically refer to themselves as the “resistance.”

The Lebanese military organization Hezbollah also released a statement via its news outlet Al-Manar on Tuesday declaring its “full solidarity” with Islamic Jihad.

Why it matters: The airstrikes constitute only the latest in a series of escalations between Israel and Palestinian armed groups recently. Last week, the IDF killed three Hamas operatives in the West Bank city of Nablus. The three men were responsible for the deadly shooting of three British-Israeli women near a West Bank settlement in April.

The violence in the West Bank continued on Tuesday following the Gaza airstrikes. Israeli forces conducted a raid in the old city of Nablus, IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee said on Twitter. The Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency reported that 13 Palestinians were injured during an Israeli military raid in the city. WAFA also reported clashes between the IDF and Palestinians in Hebron in addition to arrests throughout the West Bank.

Know more: Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cut short his trip to India on Tuesday due to the Gaza escalation. Israeli authorities have instructed people living near the Gaza Strip to prepare for retaliatory rocket fire, according to local media.

No New Obama Iran Nuclear Deal: Daniel 8

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian shake hands before their meeting, in Tehran on March 5, 2022 [File: AP Photo]

Five years after Trump’s exit, no return to the Iran nuclear deal

Trump’s slew of sanctions and a changing political climate have contributed to JCPOA remaining in limbo.

Tehran, Iran  Five years ago today, President Donald Trump held up a signed executive order for the cameras at the White House, announcing a unilateral withdrawal from a nuclear deal the United States had signed in 2015 with Iran and world powers.

Despite years of efforts, and after many ups and downs, the landmark accord known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has not been restored, contributing to rising tensions across the region.

The Trump administration’s many designations of Iranian entities and institutions, specifically aimed at making it difficult for his successor Joe Biden to undo his damage, worked in tandem with a changing political climate to prevent a restored JCPOA.

The then-US president had argued that the deal was not doing enough to permanently keep Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and Trump rejoiced as he undid one of the most important foreign policy achievements of his predecessor Barack Obama.

His administration set out a dozen conditions to renegotiate a deal more favourable to Washington with Tehran, which would effectively amount to a total political capitulation by Iran.

Former President Donald Trump
Trump delivers a statement saying the US is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, May 8, 2018, in Washington, DC [File: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

Unsurprisingly, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei chose a path of “resistance” in the face of Trump, whose corpse he said “will nourish worms and rodents” as he will take his perceived wish to topple the Islamic Republic to the grave.

The so-called “maximum pressure” policy of the Trump administration, which included imposing the harshest-ever sanctions on Iran, has since significantly affected the Iranian economy. Biden administration has continued with his predecessor’s policies on Iran despite denouncing them initially.

Runaway inflation continues to squeeze average Iranians and the national currency has been on a downward spiral, even as Tehran has gradually boosted its oil sales despite the sanctions.

Iranian leaders, however, have not surrendered their doctrine of defying the US, and attacks by pro-Iran groups on US interests across the region have only multiplied in recent years, according to Washington.

The US assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in early 2020 took tensions to new heights, with Tehran and Washington teetering on the edge of war.

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Most recently, Iran seized two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman in the past two weeks, which Western media said came in response to a US seizure of another tanker carrying Iranian oil.

Meanwhile, President Ebrahim Raisi had the first trip by an Iranian president to Syria in 13 years last week, with Iranian state media hailing it as a “strategic victory” for Iran in the face of US defeats.

Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and delegations wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna
Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and delegations wait for the start of a JCPOA meeting [File: EU Delegation in Vienna/EEAS/Handout via Reuters]

JCPOA in the region

Since its inception, Israel has been the JCPOA’s biggest foe, incessantly lobbying Washington to declare the deal dead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump after his reneging on the deal, and Tel Aviv has repeatedly pushed against efforts by other signatories – namely China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – to restore the accord through now-stalled talks that began in 2021.

Israel has also warned it will attack Iran to stop it from acquiring a bomb, and Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, last week said the US president is willing to recognise “Israel’s freedom of action” if necessary.

The comment drew ire in Tehran, prompting security chief Ali Shamkhani to deem it a US admission of responsibility for Israeli attacks on Iranian facilities and nuclear scientists.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, many Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, also cheered for Trump as they expressed concern over Tehran’s nuclear programme – which it maintains is strictly peaceful – and its support for proxies across the region.

But as Tehran also ramped up the pressure, and the US gradually saw its role in the region diminished, Arab leaders recognised a need for change.

The 2019 attack on Saudi oil facilities by the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen, and the subsequent non-response from Washington, appeared to be a turning point for Arab nations.

After two years of direct talks, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed in March to restore diplomatic relations in a deal mediated by China, and embassies are expected to be reopened this week.

More challenges ahead

At least for now, JCPOA stakeholders appear to be content with maintaining the status quo while managing tensions.

The passing of two Western-introduced resolutions last year at the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that censured Iran – and Tehran’s response – and a deadlock in talks since September have not prompted any side to declare the JCPOA dead in the absence of a better alternative for the accord.

The deal’s fate, however, promises to produce more confrontations between Tehran and the West in the coming months.

The Western parties have already reportedly warned Iran that if it further increases its enrichment of uranium to levels that could be potentially used to produce a bomb, it will prompt them to activate the deal’s so-called “snapback” mechanism that will automatically reinstate the United Nations sanctions on Iran.

Iran and IAEA representatives
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian speaks with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi during a round of talks in Tehran [File: AP Photo]

Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement in Tehran in March to increase cooperation, which could potentially prevent another resolution at the upcoming board meeting of the nuclear watchdog in June.

Another major deadline arrives in October when the JCPOA is set to lift a number of restrictions on Iran’s research, development and production of long-range missiles and drones.

With Israel also pushing for snapback and the West accusing Tehran of selling armed drones to Russia for the war in Ukraine, stakeholders will have their work cut out for them in managing tensions during the coming months.