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Old 16th July 2007, 04:59 PM   #1
MattusMaximus
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Montana Vortex and House of Mystery

Howdy all,

Has anyone gone to the Montana Vortex?

www.montanavortex.com

My wife and I went last August (2006) because I just wanted to see their tilted house. Little did we know that they were going to try convincing us that all their loony claims were real! Little did they know that I had a Masters degree in physics and my wife had a Masters degree in geophysics - big mistake on their part

While there I met the infamous Nick Nelson, and we challenged both he and the proprietors of this place about all their claims. I even went so far as to do some on-the-spot measurements and debunking. Their claims are all easily explained through an understanding of optical illusions and other effects of light. Of course, power of suggestion is rampant as well.

In case anyone is interested I can provide you with my notes, photos, and a brief synopsis that I wrote up about the experience. And if you every happen to be out that way in Montana, feel free to drop by the Vortex and enjoy the freakshow.

Does anyone know how I can submit my "skeptical research" to Randi so that perhaps he'd post it on his regular updates on www.randi.org ?

Cheers - Mattus
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Old 16th July 2007, 05:01 PM   #2
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Hi Mattus.

Randi did a few articles on another one of the "Vortex" tourist traps a few months back.

You can email him at randi@randi.org.
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Old 16th July 2007, 05:23 PM   #3
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I'd be willing to wager that the Montana HofM looks exactly like the HofM at the Oregon Vortex and the house at the Cosmos Mystery Area in Rapid City, SD. I haven't seen the one in Montana, but I have seen the other two and they are nearly identical in construction.

http://www.oregonvortex.com/photographs.htm

http://www.cosmosmysteryarea.com/
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Old 16th July 2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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Here is one of the times Randi wrote about the "Oregon Vortex" in his commentary: http://www.randi.org/jr/101003.html

As a kid (back in the 60s) I went to Knott's Berry Farm, and they had something much like this, an old crooked shack with the water flowing uphill in a trough and such. Fun optical illusions.
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Old 16th July 2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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In a truly astounding coincidence, these miraculous quantum-vortex zones that defy the very laws of nature are always located near major highways...
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Old 17th July 2007, 04:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tube View Post
In a truly astounding coincidence, these miraculous quantum-vortex zones that defy the very laws of nature are always located near major highways...
And in rural areas that, just before the... er... 'museum' opened up, experienced a severe, prolonged, local economic depression.
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Old 18th July 2007, 02:53 AM   #7
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The challenge application and discussions about it can be found by following the "Nick Nelson" tag.
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Old 19th July 2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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When Six Flags over Mid America (near St. Louis) first opened, they had a nifty one called the Tiltmore Hotel. It was great--water flowing uphill illusion, way cool billiard table, and you'd frequently throw yourself against the wall ('cause the visual info was way different than vestibular info).

I can't imagine anyone believing these things are anything more than fun illusions. :::sigh::: Sadly, they do.

Edit: I wonder what the woo crowd makes of funhouse mirrors. Like a warped mirror that makes your head look gigantic and distorted. Must be space aliens or indigo children messing around with the "quantum" in your DNA. . . .
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Old 20th July 2007, 03:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
As a kid (back in the 60s) I went to Knott's Berry Farm, and they had something much like this, an old crooked shack with the water flowing uphill in a trough and such. Fun optical illusions.
They've got one of these in the science museum in Ottowa.
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Old 20th July 2007, 03:41 AM   #10
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The website includes photos of "orbs" that were photographed at the house. I understand that these people are trying to make money in hard times, but couldn't they choose to be something less embarassing like prostitutes or bookies?
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Old 20th July 2007, 05:33 PM   #11
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Just like to once again mention the "Electric Brae" near Dunure in Scotland, only a few miles from my home. Probably the most amazing natural optical illusion in the world. And we don't have ANY tourist shops or other people trying to make a quick buck. It's just there and is a normal, in-use road.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Brae

http://www.eureka4you.com/magnetichi...yrshire-UK.htm
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Old 21st July 2007, 10:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
Here is one of the times Randi wrote about the "Oregon Vortex" in his commentary: http://www.randi.org/jr/101003.html

As a kid (back in the 60s) I went to Knott's Berry Farm, and they had something much like this, an old crooked shack with the water flowing uphill in a trough and such. Fun optical illusions.
Knott's Berry Farm has replaced that with a much more expensive Native American religion-themed attraction.

However, the Knotts bought Calico ghost town (northwest of Barstow) and did some restoration, eventually giving it to San Bernardino County as a park. There's a version of that shack there, today. I think it costs a dollar to be shown through.

Of course, no one is serious about the illusions there, but they're the same illusions. Across the street from it is an opportunity to take a "forced perspective" photograph where the subjects apparently grow and shrink. That's free.
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Old 21st July 2007, 04:46 PM   #13
Pipirr
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
They've got one of these in the science museum in Ottowa.
Super! I'll have to go check it out.
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Old 21st July 2007, 05:37 PM   #14
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Here's a youtube vid of the electric brae. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBnB1NaJcjE
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Old 21st July 2007, 06:03 PM   #15
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It's fitting that the "scientific" link is "coming soon" and that it's been that way since sometime in 2006. Methinks it to be oh so funny, in an ironic way of course considering previous posts and their abundance of orb and ecto information.
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Old 21st July 2007, 06:29 PM   #16
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We visited the Mystery Spot in California some years ago, and, though I'm 6'5", I watched amazed as a short Japanese grandmother quickly grew to my height simply by switching places on a stone platform. Okay... it was a fun illusion, and I suppose some people take it too seriously, but it's entertainment, and, if viewed from the right perspective somewhat educational in the elements of optical illusions. I did not realize, however, that there were so many "amazingly unique" places in the world, lol.
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Old 21st July 2007, 06:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tube View Post
In a truly astounding coincidence, these miraculous quantum-vortex zones that defy the very laws of nature are always located near major highways...
I grew up in Havre, MT, where Hwy 2 runs through town as 1st street. I got a laugh out of it being called a "major highway".
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Old 23rd July 2007, 03:03 AM   #18
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Excellent youtube monoman, I have added it to my MySpace page.
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Old 24th July 2007, 09:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Howdy all,

Has anyone gone to the Montana Vortex?

www.montanavortex.com

My wife and I went last August (2006) because I just wanted to see their tilted house. Little did we know that they were going to try convincing us that all their loony claims were real! Little did they know that I had a Masters degree in physics and my wife had a Masters degree in geophysics - big mistake on their part
Just curious.

I'm going to be leading 30-some people on a skiing trip in the area next January (Big Mountain, recently renamed Whitefish Mountain), which is apparently less than ten miles away. Most people don't ski every single day on a week-long trip, so I'm thinking it might be a fun "off-day" excursion.

Assuming you keep your head on straight and don't start doubting the laws of physics, is it worthwhile? In other words, do the illusions look genuine? Or is it ten bucks better spent at the hotel bar?
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Old 24th July 2007, 09:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BPSCG View Post
In other words, do the illusions look genuine? Or is it ten bucks better spent at the hotel bar?
This one looks pretty good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a4jCrckXgw
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