Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mary Statue Photo, Catholic Cathedral, Christchurch 22.02.11 Quake

03.10.17. Blog reader's email request for a high resolution photo of the Mary statue, which moved 180 degrees during collapse of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament north tower, 22.02.11 Christchurch quake:

I have been scouring the 'net for a photo of the Catholic Cathedral taken between 2010 and 2011 quakes to put to rest a 'discussion' about whether the statue of Mary in the upper window of the north Tower actually did a one-eighty during the Feb 22nd quake. On your blog... down the bottom of the page you have a photo of the Cathedral but its not high enough resolution to be sure the statue is facing inwards (if it is we expect to see the white veil at the top and the blue cloak down from there - If facing out, it will be predominantly white.

[My referred to pic was a N angle shot taken of Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St, on 15.09.10, post 04.09.10 quake, the 7.1 mag Darfield quake, shaking Christchurch to hell, the first of 15 000 quakes shaking Christchurch in a 3+ year period. If the emailer had clicked on the pic he would've seen the white inward facing veil & blue cloak underneath. If he'd searched my blog further, he would've found Mary statue pics I took during Mar 2011, post 22.02.11 quake, showing the outward facing Mary statue. See blog post link below]. 

I would love to see a high res copy of this - I'm certainly not wanting to prove a miracle or anything, but the truth is important to me. So either it is a remarkable seismic phenomenon or maybe someone went into the Cathedral even though it was closed to the public and turned the statue - admittedly unlikely. [Agreed. There was tons of collapsed rubble on the roof of the tower office housing the Mary statue].

But as you can imagine, dated photographic evidence is what speaks to me as a scientist... A photo from early February 2011 would be the absolute clincher... [My clicked on 15.09.10 blog photo IS the clincher!]

See Wednesday 15.09.10. Day 12 after Christchurch Quake, Dallington.

See Now You Know, Red Zone, Christchurch Quake

See Ferry Road Demolition & RC Cathedral.

My email reply:

... I took and blogged over 20 000 quake pics before / as soon as citizens were allowed into Christchurch quake trashed CBD. My pics are not as high resolution as you want / need, as I used 3 cheap digital cameras (1 Nikon, 2 Samsungs) in my quake wanderings over 3 years in Chch & surrounding quaked towns 2010-13 incl.

It was impossible to wander quake trashed, Chch CBD for at least 28 months post 22.02.11, as there was a military state of emergency, then CBD military cordon, with numerous cordoned / arbitrarily changed checkpoints into the CBD where the quake trashed RC Cathedral was / is.

Unauthorised entry into the cordoned CBD red zone invited instant arrest by cops or NZDF soldiers. Post quakes, only CERA officials, cops, military & a few Council & govt personnel & vetted media & contractors were allowed into Chch CBD red zone, where the RC Cathedral was / is. At times bldg owners were allowed military / cop escorted entry to their quake trashed bldgs in the CBD red zone to retrieve belongings. Over many months post quake, CERA opened parts of the CBD to citizens when perceived safe, after many demolitions of quake trashed bldgs.

Should you want high resolution pics of the Mary miracle spin, I suggest you research The Press / Stuff Co articles. I remember one article which had pics of the Mary spin, maybe better resolution than mine. I saw & photographed many heavy objects twisted & spun on their vertical axes by quakes, like houses, stone gateposts, war memorial obelisks & granite grave obelisks. Check out my 2 Selwyn St Cemetery blog posts showing many grave obelisks toppled or spun on their vertical axes by the quakes. Much heavier than the Mary statue.

See Selwyn St Ghosts, 5 Months Post Quake

Many bridge horizontal concrete spans were rotated on their horizontal axes, 1 000s of tons weightier than the Mary statue. Check out my Bridge St Bridge post, Avon Estuary.

See Ten Avon River Bridges, Spans & Quakes.

Trust this resolves your skepticism. I was 82 kgs weight during quakes, spun & twisted quite a lot while trying to walk / run to safety during quakes.

BTW the Mary statue faced inwards in the RC Cathedral tower office window pre quakes, but faced outwards towards Barbadoes St post 22.02.11 quake, a 180 degree spin of the statue on its pedestal caused by the quake. No miracle, just quake physical forces. Check out EQC's Geonet website, if you want details of seismic scales, vertical accelerations, etc during quakes.

See Geonet.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Trip To Wellington

02.10.17. A letter to my adult sons summarizing Leah's & my trip to Wellington:

Sunday: Parked our car at Timaru airport for the week. Sunny flight Timaru - Wellington. Grand views of snowy Alps, farms, roads & Pacific. Flying over Christchurch, we saw the quakes' red zone along Avon River & how CERA had demolition gutted Christchurch - great swathes of green - Avon loop where you'd flatted Jake - Dallington, Horseshoe Lake, Bexley...

From Wellington airport, bussed to CBD. Checked in Cambridge Hotel, Cambridge Tce, near Queen Victoria statue. Wandered Courtenay Pl, Dixon St, Manners St, mingling with tourists & locals. Lots of cafes, restaurants, hoboes & barber shops. New World shopped, Wakefield St near our hotel.

Monday: Stormy. Te Papa, Our Place. Meals at museum cafe. First floor, I disliked the Gallipoli exhibition glorifying war, a couple of giant ANZAC soldier statues, few artefacts, a series of wall photos & descriptions. Top floor, I preferred the Darkness & Light, Maori exhibition, better Maori artefacts & descriptions. I gave short shrift to a bearded volunteer trying to explain Waitangi Treaty to me. I said: "I'm deaf. You're wasting your time!"

Tuesday: Stormy. Visited Wellington Museum, Jervois Quay - Harbour Board bldg, old wooden warehouse. Interesting 100 Years exhibition & artefacts. We ham steered an old sailing ship's wooden wheel & sat on giant, wooden, Harbour Board chairs. Lunch at Mojo cafe, escaping the rain. Visited old, wooden St Pauls church, near Parliament. Explored Parliament bldgs, incl the Beehive. Saw Minister Brownlee scuttling off behind the Beehive. Ilam constituents re-electing him daft, due to CERA excessive, post quake demolitions, EQC & CBD Blueprint debacles & delays.

Wednesday: Cloudy & cool. Walked Leah along Vivian St to her teacher conference at QC Hotel, Cuba St. QC Hotel was built on Salvation Army land as Peoples Palace 1904. Enlarged 1906. Revamped, enlarged again 2003. Reopened by PM Helen Clarke as Trekkers Hotel. I mingled with tourists and locals along Cuba Street, a death trap in future quakes, due to old, quake prone bldgs, loose brick walls, facades & parapets. Whenever I wandered Cuba St I got that creepy feeling I felt post Christchurch quakes near dangerous bldgs.

By Lambton Quay, caught the Cable Car to Botanic Gdns. Grand view of Wgtn. Lovely tulip show at main gates. Botanic labels few throughout. Cafe supper, Cuba St, crap steak.

Thursday: Walked Leah to QC Hotel. Visited War Memorial below Massey University. Found Gallipoli, Simpson & Henderson, stretcher bearers' & donkey statue on War Memorial steps. I'd seen it 23 years ago, forgot how small it was, compared to the giant War Memorial tower. Didn't pay ripoff admission fee to the Memorial Museum. New WW1 unknown soldier's grave at top of War Memorial steps, black polished granite.

Across War Memorial square, new ANZAC Memorial: raw red stone columns, Australian ground, amongst grey flagstones, NZ ground. Polished, grey granite panels on the red columns, engraved with ANZAC campaigns & aborigine carvings. Visited Wgtn Art Gallery & Library. Leah had teachers' supper at Te Papa. I dined at McDonald's, Courtenay Pl.

Friday: Walked Leah to QC Hotel. I breakfasted at Felix Cafe, bottom of Cuba St. Snapped CBD pics. Some bldg windows were boarded due to recent Kaikoura quake. Also old, brick bldgs with EARTHQUAKE PRONE BUILDING, yellow stickers. A 6 storey, modern bldg was being demolished near the Beehive, similar design to the CTV bldg which lethally collapsed during the 22.02.11 Christchurch quake. Halfwit Wgtn was slow to learn Christchurch quake lessons.

Saw opening ceremony, Maori Darkness & Light exhibition, Te Papa: PC history - Good Maori natives, bad Euro colonials. Many Maori in traditional costumes, dancing & singing. Some male dancers with spiral tattoos on their naked bums. Wondered if they knew how similar those spirals were to Celtic spirals? Boring speeches on live video near the whare exhibit. No mention on exhibit artefacts about ancient Maori cannibalism.

After Leah's conference ended we sunny afternoon wandered Oriental Pde, grand harbour & caldera hill views. Plenty joggers & beautiful people, same as I saw 23 years ago when I'd freedom camped there below Norfolk pines. Supper at Pasha Cafe, Dixon St, with a Korean friend.

Saturday: Return flight, Wgtn - Timaru, delayed 2 hours due to Marsden Refinery pipeline break. Jet refuelling took precedence over our small prop plane refuelling. Air crew were embarrassed & apologetic days after the pipeline break. Dumb fuel security organizing by NZ govt & farmer digging up stumps by the pipeline causing the break. Arrived back at Pleasant Point after dark.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.