Moon Man quiet on protest lunch

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 05:00 14/03/2011

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Moon Man Ken Ring, who has predicted a large earthquake in Christchurch next Sunday, is refusing to comment on a "non-event" gathering planned in the city.

The Aucklander yesterday declined to comment on the "Moon Man Non-Event Lunch" in Christchurch's Port Hills, saying the media had treated him unfairly since news of his March 20 prediction went viral. He also said media criticism had "compromised my security and that of my family".

His claims had scared many in the city, with reports of a planned exodus that day. However, a "Moon Man Non-Event Lunch" is planned for Sunday to defy his claims.

Members of the New Zealand Skeptics, geologists, earthquake engineers, MP Nick Smith and broacaster Sean Plunket will gather for the lunch on top of the Port Hills. When asked to comment, Ring said he was giving no more media interviews "until after the 20th".

"The media have been far too unkind to me. Geologists too are predicting a large earthquake but no-one seems to be attacking them," he said.

Skeptics spokeswoman Vicki Hyde said the lunch, at the Sign of the Kiwi tearooms, aimed to quell "unfounded fears".

"There may well be a tremor then – we're getting multiple aftershocks every day after all – but it will have nothing to do with with the phase, the position of Jupiter, dolphins beaming solar signals to the moon ... or any of the other truly odd ideas that Mr Ring has espoused."

Ring had received a great deal of "opportunistic publicity" on the back of having allegedly predicted the February 22 earthquake. However, Hyde said his predictions had been very vague beforehand "and are given a veneer of accuracy only after the event".

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