Alarmist web site uses a fake USGS logo and tells people to evacuate-

USGS to fight fake Yellowstone warning. By Brett French. Billings Gazette.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

20 Responses to USGS to fight fake Yellowstone warning

  1. I’ve been following this with some interest since I noticed it on Jan. 2. I was very angry to see it because I could see it was going viral.

    They’re going after the guy who posted it, a guy named Chris Sanders, who used his real name. What’s funny to me, though, is that Al Nash, the Yellowstone communications guy, talks about how there are legitimate and illegitimate places to get information. He then says that his office is a good place to get legitimate information. And, I had to laugh, especially as I think about things like bison numbers, and how information is held and doled out.

    That article is here:

    And, as with all things Yellowstone, there’s a lot more from the sobering to the absurd in my “paper.”

  2. Salle says:


    I had to laugh at this guy’s video as well. He gives a lot of misinformation in the geologic sense, to begin with and if you look at some of the other YouTube vids in the menu below, you’ll see one that is produced by National Geographic that has some pretty sensationalist info on “supervolcanoes” accompanied by some pretty “out-there” music to capitalize on the content.

    IMO, NG has gone way over the edge. I remember confronting Bob Landis on his first wolf documentary and the music placed in the scenes. I was upset that whenever the wolves were depicted in scenes where pups were frolicking around in cute shots, the music was some “happy jingly stuff”. But when they were depicted in the hunting scenes, the music was a simple series of Native American instruments like rattles and drums played in a “sinister” sounding motif. He said that he had nothing to do with that, the producers put that stuff in after he submitted the footage. I believe Bob, and have spoken to him many times since. I respect and am thankful for his diligence in his work, I do question the NG’s production practices that inject some pretty staggering jingoism into the natural history that the cinematographers work so hard to record in a neutral fashion.

    To quote the Wicked Witch of the West, “Oh, what a world, what a word…!”

  3. Salle,

    I read or heard somewhere that the different divisions of NG are completely different shops, and the quality you get – in say the magazine – you shouldn’t necessarily expect from the television network, etc.

    Anyway, that it wasn’t something to take seriously I understood immediately – you don’t find out about evacuation warnings from someone’s blog. But, then it went viral. And, I think that’s one reason I’m still seeing record visitors even though the earthquakes have died down considerably.

  4. buffalorunner says:

    FYI ya’ll…a 3.0 quake just occurred within YNP about 32 miles SE of Gardiner in the last hour.

  5. Salle says:

    Wow, cool!! Didn’t feel it down along the SW edge of the park 40 miles from the lake, well maybe just a little snap of the building that sounded just like it does when it gets around -40F, but that’s nothing. Besides, the majority are near the surface, poorly constrained and the surface wave activity is minimal. When stuff starts flying off the wall and shelves, I’ll be a little concerned. Been through that in SoCal, lost some dishes and pottery… and toilet cracked.

    San Bernadino, CA had a 4.5M quake last evening, and there have been several of that magnitude in Central America ~ Costa Rica ~ in the last 48 hours.

    I ain’t a-scared, hell I live close enough to be one of the first to get fried! And I moved up to the Northern Rockies after living in Southern Calif. for seven years. Aside from SoCal ~ the rock ‘n’ rollin’ capital of the lower 48, this is the second most seismically active place! Until they hit something >5.?M, it’s not really anything to be too upset about. We’re sitting on a volcano after all. (Sounds like geology should be a mandatory subject in grade school.)

  6. Buffaloed says:

    This is great check out this guy’s other video!

    Roswell New Mexico UFO and Orbs

  7. Salle says:

    Wow, this clown really likes to be filmed. Even if he doesn’t have anything of value to say. Maybe he should take up “air guitar”!!

  8. buffalorunner says:

    He is an “entertaining” guy I guess…probably trying to make a name for himself. Yippee for YouTube!

    BTW…there have been al least 4 quakes recorded in YNP within the last hour around the same area: 1.4, 3.3, 1.4, & 2.4.

  9. Salle says:

    Hoo! Just had a quick rattle at 6:33pm. I just looked it up, was just north of Missoula and only 3.0M. Guess it’s the location along the mountain fronts, can’t feel those in the park ~ much closer to where I am ~ but this one was more noticeable than any of those. Interesting, I did check to make sure it wasn’t just a snow-load falling off the roof, that feels like earthquakes too.

  10. Yes Salle was a 3.3 quake, but it wasn’t north of Missoula. It was inside the Park.

    There were 11 quakes on Jan. 9 after two days of no quakes.

  11. buffalorunner says:

    Anybody out there got the qualifications to interpret this current seismograph from Pitchstone Plateau, YNP? It looks crazy!! Could these be harmonic tremors or what? Click on link below to see what I’m talking about:

  12. Save bears says:

    Can’t even connect to it right now..

  13. buffalorunner says:

    Weird, the website was working a few minutes ago….

  14. Salle says:

    I couldn’t get it to load either.

  15. buffalorunner says:

    I tried to link to the site again and it is not loading for me right now either…maybe it will be back up again later.

  16. buffalorunner says:

    The site is back up again…

  17. Salle says:

    I went to the page with samples… and I was, just last evening, looking through a bunch of those from the past week.
    The “shaggy” lines seem to represent wind vibration, which is almost always present up on the plateaus.
    I think that since there has been considerably high winds in the region, and different types of precipitation, the features on the moniitor could actually represent microbusts of wind with possible frozen water particles, like the stuff that has been flying off the plateaus lately could actually be what’s recorded there. Haven’t had any quakes show up on the update pages.

    Think about an instrument getting pummeled by a long stretch of sustained high wind AND ice particles with some nasty gusts… could account for that. Look through the samples and see what you think after accounting for weather conditions. Or maybe a non-sleeping bear found it and decided to beat it up. Unexpected things happen to technical instruments in harsh environments.

  18. There haven’t been any quakes in Yellowstone today.

    There are a lot of seismic sites, but this one is certainly current

  19. Alex says:

    Anyone watched the BBC`s documentary about Yellowstone supervolcano ?

    They stated, characters fictional – but events FACTUAL.

    Strange then really, how (in their fictional-come-FACTUAL) documentary NO real warning was given to the people lol.

    I was always led to believe we ought never to shoot the messenger lol, whilst what may appear off-beat today can soon become reality tomorrow.

    It`s my belief that the movies that get released, and which ppl often pay to see, thinking they are merely entertainment, are (in reality) education as to what is going to take place.

  20. stan Wharton says:

    I just found these just posted movies by USGS about the Yellowstone deal. Each one is the Jake Lowenstern guy talking about the geology and volcano stuff of Yellowstone. It seems nicely clear and simple. I learned more here than from all the cable tv movies and other web stuff on Yellowstone. Thought your readers would enjoy.


January 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey