Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
Iben browning

Dr. Iben Browning

Real Name: Dr. Iben Browning
Occupation: Seismologist
Place Of Birth: Edna, Texas
Date Of Birth: January 9, 1918
Location: San Francisco, California


Background: Dr. Iben Browning is a climatologist who claims to have accurately predicted seven earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the last decade. He claims to have predicted the earthquakes and eruptions by studying lunar and tidal patterns and the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon.
During the Unsolved Mysteries segment, he predicted that an earthquake would occur in the Midwest in the next three weeks (December of 1990).
Case Files:

  • 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes - he studied the earthquakes that struck the New Madrid fault during 1811 and 1812. He believes that the cause of the quake can be traced back to tidal forces. However, most scientists disagree. One scientist studied earthquakes and corresponding tidal patterns. He could find no correlation between the two.
  • Mount St. Helens - he allegedly predicted the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
  • 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake - occurred at 5:04PM on October 17, 1989 in San Francisco. It registered as a 7.1 on the Richter Scale. Almost five years earlier, Browning projected heavy seismic activity for northern California on or about October 16, 1989.
  • 1990 New Madrid Earthquake - he predicted with 50% certainty that an earthquake would occur in the Midwest on the New Madrid Fault on either December 2 or 3, 1990. He also predicted with around 50% certainty large earthquakes around that same time period in San Francisco and Tokyo. Certain scientists have stated that people should heed Browning's warning, saying that the fault has been overdue for a large earthquake. However, many scientists and geologists dismissed his claim, saying that it lacked scientific basis.


  • Browning was featured in a segment of the November 7, 1990 episode.
  • It was excluded from the FilmRise release of the series.
  • Browning's prediction of an earthquake in the Midwest was proven wrong as no earthquake ever occurred. However, Browning's accurate predictions of the other earthquakes is yet to be explained.
  • Dr. Browning passed away in July 1991 at the age of seventy-three.