The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Nick Nelson Fails IIG Test to Produce “Vortex Energy”

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 3, 2011

As I outlined mere days ago, the master spinner of all things having to do with so-called “vortex energy” – the notable Nick Nelson – had finally agreed to be tested by the Independent Investigation Group from Los Angeles.  Mr. Nelson traveled to IIG’s headquarters – claiming that he could bring his “vortex powers” with him from the Montana Vortex (a location that I investigated in 2006 and found to be hilariously full of woo & nonsense).  And after he got to IIG, he allowed himself to be tested according to the protocols that both he & the IIG team agreed to ahead of time.

The result: Nick Nelson failed.  Badly.  And he admitted it.

And it’s all on video:

Nick Nelson talks with the IIG’s Jim Underdown before the test begins.

In addition, Mark Edward – a member of the IIG team that tested Nick Nelson – put together a very nice & detailed blog on the whole experience at Skepticblog.  Here’s a couple of noteworthy excerpts…

… Hours of set-up, conferences and phone calls finally paid off with even more long hours of watching a grown man move magnets around the floor, stand stock still while swinging a pendulum over his hand and listening to albeit some great anecdotes about how his world has so many times “blinked” when he has experienced what he calls the “vortex phenomena.’

Unfortunately when the rules of science are applied, in this case careful measurements (really careful: using engineering calipers) of photographs; first before the creation of the fabled vortex using eight foot high wooden poles, then photos snapped and immediately developed, nothing showed up other than what would be expected from discrepancies consistent with human eye variation that were averaged mathematically and compared. …

… The best part for me as Lead Investigator was watching Nick get flustered and finally state to all present the he “…felt like a fool” when nothing happened. What did he expect?

It’s a freaking optical Illusion!

Well said, Mark.  While I must admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude at Nick Nelson’s failure (I had, after all, figured out five years ago, on an impromptu investigation of my own, how his tricks at the Montana Vortex worked), I also feel just a wee bit sad for Mr. Nelson.  I get the sense that he probably believes what he says, and that he has believed it for so long that he is going to have a helluva time trying to rationalize away the stone cold fact that his “vortex energy” claims simply don’t work.

Perhaps Mr. Nelson and others like him who have their paranormal claims tested by folks like the IIG and fail at those claims should consider the wise words of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick:

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

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2 Responses to “Nick Nelson Fails IIG Test to Produce “Vortex Energy””

  1. Terrance Wilson said

    Matt you’re an ass. The failure of Nick to recreate the vortex in a hotel in LA says nothing about the Montana vortex. Anyone with any basic idea of scientific theory can recognize that.

    If the IIG is truly interested in investigating his claims and disproving “paranormal” activity they should travel to Montana themselves and not be afraid to leave the comfortable confines of their urban West coast life.

    Nothing has changed from the results of this experiment.

    • mattusmaximus said

      I actually did do some impromptu testing of my own at the Montana Vortex back in 2006 (you can find my notes on this blog), and I found the claims to be quite dubious. Having been trained in science (physics specifically), I was able to – within two hours – account for pretty much every “unexplained phenomena” going on there, with no need to invoke any kind of mysterious vortex to explain things. I think Nick Nelson and his fellow vortex believers are simply seeing what they want to see, whether it is really there or not.

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