Pisgah Crater. Image Source: Department of Geology, California State University, Long Beach.
The rash of volcanic eruptions and large earthquakes have collided with Millennial conspiracy theories, like Godzilla clashing with King Kong. After Haiti, New Zealand, Chile, and Fukushima Japan (just a few of the seismic events that have rattled people, which have awakened worries about the nuclear industry everywhere) nerves are raw about California. About an hour ago, dutchsinse on Youtube posted a video (see it below the jump) claiming that a volcano is erupting in Southern California, at the Pisgah Crater near Barstow. It's a young volcanic crater that last erupted about 2,000 years ago. If you travel on the famous Route 66, you will pass through the Pisgah Crater lava flow field (see a video of this journey below the jump). Adventurous cavers have explored the interiors of the Pisgah lava tubes (see here and here).
Since there's no evidence of an eruption on the official sites, dutchsinse seems convinced there is a cover-up. In the comments section beneath his post, site visitors are currently arguing whether this eruption is real, and heralds a big California quake - or whether the smoke near Barstow is just a forest fire. Some people think a volcanic eruption is causing the forest fires! This is a great example which demonstrates how abundant Web-driven information can obscure reality.
We have access to massive amounts of information, so much so that it becomes difficult to interpret the information accurately. Dutchsinse may be interpreting this information correctly. For me, the red flag is not the possibility of a Californian seismic event, but the subtext. Beyond the possible volcanic eruption, the vlogger's subtextual question is: why has the event not been reported? Why has the government Website of the US Geological Survey not issued a comment? The mainstream media and government have their problems, but most people still look to them to validate popular interpretations of online and local information. Because there are no common standards or regulations for the tweeting, Facebooking, blogging and vlogging practices of online info junkies (and most would fiercely resist any professionalization), conspiracy theorists tend to dominate topics not covered by official statements on what is happening in the world around us. This is why a wealth of information breeds lack of trust.
UPDATES: Dutchsinse has posted additional videos regarding an FAA aviation warning over this area and he has looked at online government seismic records for the past 24 hours (Hat tip: Before It's News).
Alert! Volcanic event possibly happening in Southern California. Video Source: Youtube.
FAA warning, July 23, 2011. Video Source: Youtube.
Seismic records, July 24, 2011. Video Source: Youtube.
Passing through the Pisgah lava field on Route 66. Video Source: Youtube.
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