|The Truth About Petra's Continuous
Erroneous Claims Of A Hoax
- With Proof -
| For some time now
Petra Challus has been posting on the internet
via chat forums and her own web sites that the Earthquake Dart Board
program was a hoax I perpetrated in collusion with Roger Hunter, and
that Roger evaluated and scored the results.
The fact is, this whole thing was originally her idea. Further, she knew and agreed to what I was doing and even congratulated me as to the conclusions I drew about the program. The proof is still online as public information.
Roger Hunter attempted to evaluate the results but was unable to do so accurately due to the overlapping nature of the predictions. No score was issued.
Back in late 2005 I was posting messages to the usenet group sci.geo.earthquakes regarding the uselessness of earthquake predictions made by Stan Deyo, who issued quake predictions on his website www.millennium-ark.net based on ocean surface temperature charts published on a US Navy public website.
My contentions were that his circled locations were so large, so frequent, and in some cases overlapping in time, that he was bound to get 'hits'. Further, I also took issue with his claimed hits due to these issues.
On October 15th, 2005, in a reply to one of my posts about Deyo claiming more 'hits', Petra challenged me to make my own predictions.
"I don't know what Deyo's method is, but it would kind of fun if you did the same thing for six months." - Petra
You can read the entire thread, as publicly archived on Google Groups, where we discussed vagaries of the prediction parameters regarding what kind of predictions I'd have to make compared to the ones Stand Deyo was making.
After some bantering about both in my mind and online I decided to accept the challenge.
THE EARTHQUAKE DART BOARD GOES 'LIVE'
The program went online on October 25th, 2005 - ten days after Petra's challenge.
Published at the bottom of the main page was a list of rules. These rules outlined how the predictions would be issued and hits would be determined. It was very important to outline the rules in advance in order to eliminate any doubts from those who may be watching. Two rules in particular were very important.
First, I stated that,
"...a final analysis will be published along with the reasoning behind the rules and how I decided where to put my circles." - Skywise
At the time I was not revealing the method by which I chose my predictions. This was further elaborated in one of my usenet posts in the thread where I announced the beginning of the prediction program.
"My exact method is going to be a secret for a while. When I've got a few months of maps and
hit statistics I'll write up an analysis and explain how it works." - Skywise
That entire thread is publicly archived on Google Groups at,
The second rule of importance here was,
"Lastly, this project is just for fun. It should not be taken seriously and most definately
should not be relied upon to make any sort of decision." - EQDB Rules
This was important as I was not seriously issuing predictions and didn't want anyone to think that I was. This was the last rule listed.
Petra acknowledged this rule in her reply to my announcement of the Dart Board going online, which can be found in the previously mentioned Google Groups link.
"...love the rules! Especially the last one." - Petra
So this is how things got started. In summary,
After three months of daily predictions it was time to do an analysis of the predictions and to reveal the method by which the predictions were made. The report is available on the EQDB web page and was announced on the usenet group sci.geo.earthquakes on February 7th, 2006.
That thread is archived and publicly availble on Google Groups at,
One of the major points I was trying to make with the quake prediction program was that having a lot of 'hits' meant little if the statistical odds were in your favor, or the predictions were otherwise of little value.
Petra acknowledges this point in her post in the same thread,
"You made an excellent case in regard to people who just want to make hits
versus making predictions which are valuable." - Petra
"I would say it is indeed an important work and you did a splendid job..." - Petra
I continued to issue predictions for over another year after the report, as well as posted the occasional update on the results of the program.
Not only was this whole thing originally Petra's idea, but it would appear that Petra had no problem with the method I used to make the predictions nor the conclusions I made regarding the program. In fact, she praised me on all aspects.
The question then is, why does she now go around saying the program was a hoax? I've replied to her accusations several times, often with much of the above proof, yet there has never been a reply nor explanation.
ROGER HUNTER'S "EVALUATION"
Roger Hunter did make an attempt to evaluate the predictions of the Earthquake Dart Board. However, due to the nature of the predictions, his program was unable to give a reliable score. I stated as such in sci.geo.earthquakes when the question came up in a thread I started on the one year anniversary of the EQDB.
"An attempt was made at doing a statistical anlysis of my method, but it resulted in a ridiculously high
significance, which is obviously wrong given how I do the predictions. What that showed was that the
analysis method was not up to snuff and could not account for the way I spiked the punch." - Skywise
This prompted me to e-mail Roger privately to ask if he had any further information as to why the predictions could not be evaluated properly. His reply was, quoted with permission,
"The program assumes you are following the rules, so it's looking at a set of 5 day windows whereas what you really
have is a set of 365 day windows. Naturally, I get a wrong answer." - Roger Hunter
This reply is entirely in line with the report I published on my own website regarding the results of the first 90 days of the program, wherein I also revealed how the predictions were made. Again, as demonstrated previously, Petra took no issue with this method.
AppendixI include here screen captures of the usenet threads discussed above as they appeared on Google Groups on October 30th, 2010. Click on the thumbnails to see the full size image.
WARNING!!! They are large images.
|Inception of the Idea||Going Online||90 Day Report|
Further Musings Regarding Petra Challus
Due to the ongoing false accusations and misinformation Petra has been posting about myself on her personal website blog, I felt it necessary to request that she discontinue the act and remove and incorrect information, stating that I felt the remarks where to a degree slandersous and libelous. It took some time for her to finally respond. I honestly never expected one anyway.
Since she did reply I thought I would attempt to open a dialog in an effort to come to an understanding with her on the points she brought up. In a way I offered an olive branch. What I received in return was what amounts to a "fuck you".
My orignal request was made in January 2011, and the final exchanges occured in February. Due to her reaction I felt it best at the time to remove myself form the Earthboppin chat forum where other of her attacks were being made. I posted the content of these emails there so all the others could see what kind of person she was. I purposefuly posted them in a forum where they would "scroll off" - that is, after a time they would no longer appear on the forum and would disappear from view. It was my hope that by 'going away' and then the messages themselves disappearing the whole issue would drop.
In the meantime I have continued to monitor Petra's activities and with good cause. She continues to attack me on her blog even though it has been several months. She cannot let it go. It's sad, really, because many of her blog postings are quite good and address important topics in a very well written and logical manner. Yet, she's like a rabid dog and cannot let go of the past. She'd rather dredge up old crap and keep recycling it.
Therefore, for the record, so the message is still there for those who seek and find it, I now post that same email exchange so that others may determine for themselves what kind of a person Petra is. I am not concerned for making these 'private' emails public. They are a statement of fact and therefore not slander or libel. They are presented in whole and not edited in any way, thus removing any bias from a 'hatchet job'. I simply want the the facts and the record to speak for itself.
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2011 13:38:54 -0700
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Removal of slanderous and libelous statements required.
This email is CC'd to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On your page on "Junk Science" at,
You have the following text,
"And as for Hunter, of the long list of those reviewed only one
person, “Skywise” as he is known throughout the Internet and is
Hunter's personal friend has received the same beneficial courtesy,
though on 10/13/09 Hunter made a public admission the prediction
program was a hoax and his evaluation was assigned a score of 94%.
As most are aware a hoax is not a valid method of prediction and
thus consensus of opinion is that it should not be scored as it is
not comparable to valid "prediction issuance."
The statement is false and I consider it defamatory. That it is also
published on your website, makes it libelous as well.
It is also a violation of the terms of service of yola.com, which is
hosting your website.
"By using the Service, you agree that:
* You may not upload, publish, post, distribute or disseminate any
material that defames, abuses, harasses, stalks, threatens or
otherwise violates the legal rights (such as rights of privacy
and publicity) of others."
The Earthquake Dartboard program, located at (http://www.skywise711.com/quakes/EQDB/index.html),
was not a hoax. You know this as the program was your idea in the first
place. Further, you approved of the results and methods used, as well as
my conclusions. This is documented in public record and on my website.
Finally, Roger Hunter did attempt to evaluate my results but his program
was unable to do so and therefore no score was even available to be
If the statement is not removed or amended to reflect facts, I will
request that yola.com take action.
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 12:43:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Petra Challus
Subject: Re: Removal of slanderous and libelous statements required.
Please excuse my late response.
I think your problem lies with Roger Hunter as he is the one who designated your
program as being a hoax. I simply reported what he wrote in a public forum, thus
if slander occurred it originated from him.
However, as to favoritism following a review only you and Dennis Gentry were the
only two ever treated favorably after receiving a review while the rest of us
have had our personal characters maligned.
And as to character malignment there's a post on sci-geo-earthquakes which you
wrote about me which says "what would she know, she's only an insurance
agent." My professional career is well beyond anything you may be aware of
and thus your assessment of my only being an insurance agent as though it were a
lowly occupation is very much less than informed. And it does not include my
work at Cutter Laboratires in Berkeley either. My time spent in bio-med was most
Yet, today, your post on sci-geo-earthquakes cannot be removed and I care not to
post my personal information on that web site, thus for all time your note
demeaning me via my professional career stands.
But should we ask about your professional life? Do we know your career track?
Have you ever needed a license(s) to perform your work, security checks,
extensive background checks and have you in the past or in the present performed
work with the affluent or major commercial interests? Of the little I am aware
of, your working as a warehouseman isn't quite the same, though should we judge
a person by their professional life alone? I think not because everyone has a
job to do, it's just that some require more education and the ability to work
with persons of every background imaginable.
And do we know anythng about your ever working with volunteer organizations in
fund raising and donating 7 years of your life possibly to better our world to
help those less fortunate and have you ever been given an honor by a city for
But where have you been the past decade? Sitting on the Net offering pot
shots. You've never been to visit a scientist, not been mentored by one, never
gone to their offices to be taught how to use and read equipment and a myriad
number of other things. Nor did you go to school either nor have you been on
science field trips and learned enough to offer your own geology related field
trips either. My decade of education came at a cost of $32,000 and I plan on
making sure it has a value because well respected scientists gave me their time
when I made myself available to learn from them and I want to see it go further
than just in my head.
But you stood in judgement of me via your words that I was but a lowly insurance
agent and indicated I knew nothing and you are so wrong. Yet, it cannot be
reversed. Thus as long as Google groups exists people may well read your
assessment of me and I don't appreciate it.
Perhaps you might wish to have a talk with Hunter about his remarks made in
public about all of us and ask him to curb his tongue via his fingers so issues
of this nature won't arise in the future.
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2011 19:38:54 -0700
To: Petra Challus
Subject: Re: Removal of slanderous and libelous statements required.
First, let me say that I am more than willing to let by-gone's be
by-gone's and let it rest. The ONLY reason I have said anything
to you or about you online of late is because I feel as if you
are dragging me into your arguments with others and I feel it
necessary at times to make a statement to defend myself against
things you have said.
If you have a spat with Roger. Fine. I really don't care any more.
But please stop dragging me into it?
Yes, I have my opinion of you and your work, and it's not necessarily
all negative. There are some things you have wrote about that I
think are very good. You have made some very legitimate points and
arguments at times.
But I don't express those opinions because, frankly, the attitude
that I see from you of late is that I could hand you a Nobel Prize
and you'd find some way to bite my head off. I take the attitude
that you seem to think I'm "in on the conspiracy to beat you down"
so it doesn't matter what I say - good or bad - you'll take it bad.
I may be wrong, but that has been my perception of you lately.
But one opinion I would like to express to you is that I think you
are taking Roger's opinions of you far too seriously. You seem to
spend an enormous amount of time and energy fighting with him. Sure,
you may not like what he has to say, and you may be right in specific
issues, but is it honestly worth all this effort on your part? Does
it really eat at you this badly? Surely you could have spent that
time and energy doing something more useful? I have even tried to
point that out to you online.
Now to address your comments...
Petra Challus wrote:
> Dear Brian,
> Please excuse my late response.
> I think your problem lies with Roger Hunter as he is the one who designated your program as being a hoax. I simply reported what he wrote in a public forum, thus if slander occurred it originated from him.
If those were his words, then it was a poor choice of words on
his part. So, because he may have used that word does not mean
it was actually so.
I am somewhat dumbfounded that you would take such a stance against
my prediction project when it was your idea in the first place, that
you approved of my method once it was revealed, approved of the
results, and approved of my conclusions.
I can only surmise at this point that you have latched on to Roger's
words that I perpetrated a hoax simply as a tool in your struggle
I don't appreciate being a pawn in your fight.
> However, as to favoritism following a review only you and Dennis Gentry were the only two ever treated favorably after receiving a review while the rest of us have had our personal characters maligned.
I was not around when Dennis was active although I know of him from
other's references, so I cannot honestly form an opinion on this part.
As for Roger's review of my program, of course he gave favorable
comments because it showed very succinctly the point that a bunch of
hits means nothing - which was the sole purpose of the exercise. Unless
I've misread your postings, I believe you agree that numbers of hits
means nothing. I have seen some of your arguments against other
predictors and I do believe you have expressed this point.
He did try to analyze my predictions with his program but the program
crashed. It couldn't do it. We think it was because of the way my
predictions worked. They were made in a way so they overlapped in both
time and space. This resulted in what was effectively a single giant
prediction like saying, "there will be an earthquake somewhere on the
planet sometime in the future". As an analogy you could say that
mathematically it resulted in an infinity. Not a surprise, really, since
that was what I was trying to do.
> And as to character malignment there's a post on sci-geo-earthquakes which you wrote about me which says "what would she know, she's only an insurance agent."
I recall this post because I have taken the time in the past to review
some of our discussions from back then. More on that at the end.
> Yet, today, your post on sci-geo-earthquakes cannot be removed and I care not to post my personal information on that web site, thus for all time your note demeaning me via my professional career stands.
I honestly think you've taken that post too much to heart. I agree with
you that one's professional career and background do not necessarily
have any bearing on their ability to do other things - either making
earthquake predictions; OR analyzing them.
In the context of that statement I was trying to point out to you that
very concept. You were making demands of those analyzing your prediction
efforts claiming that there had to be a certain level of qualification
to do so. I was attempting a retort by implying how could you possibly
be qualified to judge us since your qualifications were in insurance.
I was trying to turn your own argument against you to show you that it
was an invalid argument. It obviously backfired.
Yet, I gladly apologize to you for those words. Yes, it was meant as a
jab to you, yet it was not meant to be so hurtful. I'm sorry.
> But should we ask about your professional life? Do we know your career track? Have you ever needed a license(s) to perform your work, security checks, extensive background checks
I have held secure jobs and had background checks done. In some of
my work I had access to personal information including credit card
numbers. In another job I had access to criminal records.
> But where have you been the past decade? Sitting on the Net offering pot shots. You've never been to visit a scientist, not been mentored by one, never gone to their offices to be taught how to use and read equipment and a myriad number of other things. Nor did you go to school either nor have you been on science field trips and learned enough to offer your own geology related field trips either.
I may not have "met the scientists" as much as you have, but that does
not mean I don't have a good grasp of sciences and scientific equipment.
I have been interested in science all my life. As we all sometimes dream
that if we had a life-do-over, I often find myself wishing I had chosen
a more scientific path in life. But I'm not going to beat myself up over
But so you are aware, I did go to school for electronics engineering.
I have a personal saying, "Knob, buttons, and dials. Oh my!!!" This is
meant to express a natural ability I've found myself to have when it
comes to technology. I grasp it very easily, and it seems the more
complex something is, the more I enjoy it.
I have a tendency to figure out equipment very easily. In one job I had
at a CD manufacturing plant I got to 'play' with some very high tech and
very expensive manufacturing equipment. I took to it like a duck to
Yes, there are things I don't understand very well. I do not know it all
and I hope I don't come across that way. I try to only speak when I feel
I have something to offer. I try to only say things I know are factually
correct. I sometimes even labor over what I say to make sure I am saying
what I mean to make sure my words are not misunderstood. It doesn't
There are many discussions I could weigh into but I've learned that in
many instances it's better to say nothing. I do not post as much as I
> Perhaps you might wish to have a talk with Hunter about his remarks made in public about all of us and ask him to curb his tongue via his fingers so issues of this nature won't arise in the future.
I think you misunderstand the relationship between Roger and I. Yes,
we are on the same side more-or-less. But I do not hinge myself on his
every word. Nor he, mine. We do not have constant communication nor do
we conspire to work against any body.
When we do communicate on matters pertaining to earthquake predictions
(yours or anyone else's) it's mostly of a technical nature - discussing
vagaries of programming or methods of analysis.
He really is trying to make sure that his methods are correct as
possible. Perhaps he doesn't always present himself in a way that
expresses that very well. But I have never seen any hint that he is
purposefully trying to deceive anyone. He's human. He's made some
mistakes. Haven't we all? But he has tried to correct them. Not everyone
does so. (I'm not implying you, just to be clear, I'm referring to some
others in the online community)
Also know this, I have made various suggestions to him on occasion
regarding points that have been brought up regarding his work. Just
simple things like, "what if you did....?"
You may ask why I do not express any opinions against him. Well, as I've
alluded to above, it seems most think were are "in on the conspiracy
together" so would anything I say even be considered? As I said before,
I've found at times it's better to just stay quiet.
And now on to something else. I am glad you have contacted me. I have
given thought to contacting you several times but was unsure how you
would take it. I still am not sure, but I'm going to take a chance
I do not understand the issue you appear to have against me. As I
mentioned above I have gone through some of our previous discussions
trying to understand why you suddenly have taken such a negative
attitude towards me. It seems as if one day many years ago a switch
was thrown. We did not always agree but we were on good terms. Then
suddenly you were telling me what to go do with myself. And I have
to be honest in that it hurt.
I have never figured out what went wrong. But I have given up trying
to understand. I would be happy to agree to disagree and to say, "you
stay in your corner, and I'll stay in mine." But perhaps we can come
to some understanding beyond this.
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 21:45:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Petra Challus
Subject: Re: Removal of slanderous and libelous statements required.
What you wrote sounds terribly nice, but what you recently wrote on Earthwaves
about Lowell's college degree is beneath contempt. Lowell wasn't a man who was
born with a silver spoon in his mouth like Vidale and he had to work for his
degree and he didn't get it from a second rate college either and it's obvious
you know little of the work that took place over the years in Boulder and who's
been and who's done. Yet of theorists their work often goes unacknowledged for
years, yet already Lowell's work is gaining momentum and acceptance and you
think you have the right to demean a man you don't even know. This is what burns
my buns about you, Vidale and Hunter. For some reason you think you are in some
Ivory Tower looking down on the rest of the world and you think you have a right
to diminish the characters of persons you don't even know.
From what I've ascertained Hunter and Jones work is a crock of shit and Hunter
reinforces it by never issuing reports because he loves to taunt people. It
makes him terribly happy to keep yanking that chain year in and year out, but
other scientists don't perform that way.
And fortunately with the new work underway in Europe with teams of scienitsts
working on evaluations these guys will be replaced and put out to pasture as
they are way behind the times. Yet as to validating what they've already done,
no, it can't be done and thus without validation their work has no value and
that's an important thing to know if you're the subject of a review. So while
Gentry gets by when no one in attendance ever asks but one question about his
equipment he scores beating random chance and gets a hit on a quake in Egypt and
that's not possible and yet his work got papered, yet it's bogus. And while Dr.
Shou is a very well respected scientist and rather brilliant at that, his
endeavors related to publishing end up in Hunters hands with no good reason and
six years later he's still under attack. And this has got to come to an end and
all in good time it will by two means, my publishing it and replacing them by
new programming. Yet in all of these years I'm the only person who ever fully
researched their work and came to know it's worthless.
And though I've never done anything to you nor diminished your character in
public you've made a decided effort to diminish mine and I note you did not
offer an apology for the post you issued sci-geo about my professional career
either. I could have come back at the time and mentioned your work, but as
you'll note, I didn't because I thought your being unkind did not mean that I
should stoop to your level.
But when you were on Bopps Board little more than a year ago both you and Trish
wrote one hell of a message to me all in caps stating I should give up
earthquake prediction, so when Twinkie brain asks me a question she best expect
to look to you, the man who thinks he knows it all and then you can answer it.
She's so ignorant she can't even tell Jack Coles or Luke Thomas' predictions are
worthless and she goes out and gets them and posts them on Bopps Board. Talk
about one stupid woman, she's it in spades, but both of you are or have been
paying guests at Bopps Board so no matter what you do, you'll always have the
At one time we used to be friends as were the whole lot at Earthwaves, but all
it took was for one man to walk in the door 'Vidale' and all of you turned
against me for no good reason and it's painful to realize I was fooled for years
by people who seemed like they should be respected and I thought they were
caring persons. It's been a true awakening. And Todd's in for one too when I
publish his e-mail from his accusation that I was faking cancer. I never
received a public apology for that either, but he didn't act alone and I know
who was behind it and he is not what everything thinks. I had him investigated
and he too has a colorful past.
There's an old saying I admire very much "The mills of God grind slowly, but
ever so exceedingly fine" and all in good time, that fineness will become part
of a light shined on the ills of earthquake prediction and the whole mess will
finally be explained and then people will know they're dying for no good
reason. But you folks don't care about that because death to you means nothing
so long as it's someone else and for some odd reason you seem to think someone
else means it will never happen to anyone you know and that's very peculiar. But
perhaps you don't have the capacity to love anyone and maybe that explains
it. Yet, it fits well with your Ivory Tower personalities; alone up their in
your nest assessing the lesser value of humanity.
And did you notice when I mentioned you in my junk science article I never used
your given name. The point was to make a point, not to diminish you as a
person. But have you acted kindly toward me, no, you haven't and since you've
been with that nasty lot of from EW's you've been hell bent on treating me like
dirt and I do not appreciate it nor am I deserving of it either. But let Hunter
come after me at any time and I know you'll be right there behind him
reinforcing his clap trap.
So just keep writing those naty notes about people and I'll keep pointing out
what kind of people you really are and then the public can decide if they think
you're being fair. Yet, what none of you see is that the reading public doesn't
think highly of persons who write nasty noes about a person who cannot defend
themselves and in time they get the gist about you in the process and that
explains why the readership at EW's was 10,000 readers a month when Lowell was
there to the much diminished readership that site has today. IE: You're reducing
your readership all on your own. Seems kinda silly as does the fact that the
site says it's for prediction, yet anyone who dares go there is trashed.
Frankly, no one could have disappointed me more greatly than you. I saw a young
man with a bright future, someone I thought would be well liked, an achiever and
honest and I see I was wrong. You've become a first class ass and a Net bully.