The Skeptical Teacher

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

A Skeptical Investigation of the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 25, 2010

Recently, I was contacted by the Independent Investigation Group (IIG) out of Los Angeles, California, concerning an impromptu skeptical investigation my wife and I had conducted of the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery back in the summer of 2006 during our vacation.  Apparently, a man named Nick Nelson (whom I had met briefly at the site) – somewhat of a pseudoscientific guru regarding all New Age “vortex” claims – had contacted IIG about taking them up on their $50,000 Challenge. IIG’s prize follows in the spirit of James Randi’s famous Million Dollar Challenge:

The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) at the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles offers a $50,000 prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The IIG works with the applicant in designing the test protocol, and defining the conditions under which a test will take place. IIG representatives will then administer the actual test. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform an informal demonstration of the claimed ability or phenomenon, which if successful will be followed by the formal test. The IIG conducts all demonstrations and tests at our site in Hollywood, California, except in special circumstances.

Well, it seems the folks at IIG could be actually going to the Montana Vortex site, outside of Columbia Falls, Montana, at the request of Nick Nelson to test out the various claims by the proprietors.  If Mr. Nelson can come up with the money to fly some IIG investigators out to Montana and put them up for a couple of days, then perhaps there will be some serious investigation of the supposedly “paranormal” phenomena at the Montana Vortex.  I’m not sure, as of this writing, whether or not IIG and Nick Nelson have finalized any plans, so stay tuned for more info.

**Note: the IIG investigators want me to make clear in no uncertain terms that Nick Nelson initiated discussion of their $50,000 Challenge with them, and not the other way around!

Anyway, as I stated earlier, the IIG folks contacted me, because they heard (probably through this post I made on the JREF Forum) about my desire to send the results of my off-the-cuff skeptical analysis to James Randi.  They wanted my notes to see what I thought of the tricks & optical illusions (that’s all they are, in my professional opinion as a physics professor) taking place at the Montana Vortex, and I eagerly shared them with IIG.  And I shall also share them with you here.  I hope you enjoy the read… 🙂

Vortex Mania in Montana

During the first weeks of August [in 2006], my wife and I were traveling west, and we went through Montana.  Just west of Glacier National Park in the town of Columbia Falls we encountered the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery –  I wanted to stop because they had a tilted house, and I recall how much I enjoyed a similar thing as a child.

However, when we got there, we got much more than we bargained for than just a mere tilted house carnival sideshow.  Upon looking at the brochures being handed out at the gift shop, we knew we were in for a good time.  Contained therein are numerous claims of “the natural laws of physics” being bent or broken, “quantum & gravitational anomalies”, “trees that grow in weird shapes and odd angles”, and “orbs as seen on the ‘Sci-Fi Channel’”.  In addition, we were treated to all manner of gobble-de-gook that these phenomena could be caused by “geological faults”, “crossed gravitational fields”, or “navigational bearing points for extraterrestrials”, and that “Native Americans sensed the strangeness of this location and called it the ‘place of no return’”.

Since we both have scientific training, mine in physics and hers in geophysics, we thought that it’d be interesting to see what these folks had to say.  We were not disappointed.

When we got to the tilted house, we were shown what is probably the best illusion at the site.  This is much like the illusion at the Oregon Vortex of which Randi has recently written (, where two people stand at either end of a plank or slab and when they switch positions, it seems to all observers that one has grown in height while the other has shrunk.  We had photos of us taken when my wife and I stood on the cement slab.

This effect was observable to those who stood on the slab as well as those who were backed away from it.  We were told repeatedly that this was due to the “vortex energy field” supposedly going right down the middle of the slab between the two ends.  Of course, my wife and I were skeptical of such loony claims and we challenged the proprietors, Joe and Ali Hauser, about their assertions.

Since I thought that this was simply a variation of the famous Plank Illusion, I endeavored to show those present that it was, indeed, nothing more than an optical illusion.  A level was used to measure the cement slab, because I knew that in order for this illusion to work properly, there had to be a slight angle between the ends of the slab.  However, the folks at the Montana Vortex had come up with a way to try throwing the skeptics off.

Note carefully in the photos that there is not one cement slab, but three.  The participants stand on the two end slabs, while during the presentation of the illusion a level is used to show that – ta da – the middle slab is level.  When I challenged Joe Hauser in front of a group of tourists that I didn’t think the slab was level, we measured it.  Indeed, the middle slab is level, but I found that the two end slabs are not level.  In fact, they both dip downhill slightly at approximately the same angle, roughly 3 degrees.  When I pointed out this embarrassing fact to those present, unequivocally stating that the slabs were not level, despite the claims of the owners, Joe decided to call in the cavalry: his wife Ali.

While I was attempting to explain to the tourists what we’d found and how it worked, Ali was doing her best to distract them with all manner of crazy talk such as, “optical illusions won’t show up on film / camera” (they will and do), “reality isn’t what you think it is, you have to be open to it (alternate views)”, and (my favorite, in reference to my Skeptic’s Society T-shirt – which said “Science Rules” on the back) “Science rules only until it is proven wrong!  And it’s proven wrong all the time.”  Sure thing Ali.

There were also some other apparently strange phenomena at the site, which were seemingly impossible to explain unless the “vortex” was invoked.  These included…

* magnetic anomalies, which were curiously non-existent that day and didn’t show up on our compass.  We were told that such anomalies could manifest themselves as a normal reading, one completely backwards, or just any old random reading – essentially, any compass reading would qualify as evidence of the “vortex”.

* twisted trees, which “could only be explained by the vortex of swirling energy” and which also “could only be found at sites like this” – curious since we found similar trees everywhere on our trip, such as the ones in these photos [in locations well away from the Montana Vortex]…

* various supposedly “vortex induced” effects on light, such as the breaking of a thin stick’s shadow – this effect supposedly only occurred within a circle of the previously mentioned “vortex trees”, but I showed that it is a common effect of light interference that occurs whenever two shadows overlap.  I repeated this effect just days later at my mother’s house using two sticks…

* that the fuzzy outlines of our shadows were, in fact, evidence of our “auras” and not the result of light and penumbral shadows – I also showed that inanimate objects also apparently had such an “aura” whereupon Joe began to mumble on about Kirlian photography

The whole time, my wife and I expressed our skepticism and refusal to blindly accept the claims and explanation of the owners and other “researchers” (including the notable Nick Nelson) at the site.  When I told Joe Hauser that he’d shown us no evidence of anything that couldn’t be explained by well known effects of light and optical illusions, he responded in the way typical of the true believer:  “Skeptics will never believe, even if they see it with their own eyes” and “You cannot ever convince a skeptic (like James Randi).”

And lastly, when one other visitor in our party expressed indignation that I might question the claims of “vortex energy” and other flummery, I retorted with one of my favorite skeptical lines: “It’s okay to have an open mind, just not so open that your brain falls out.”

In closing, we had a fun time visiting this sideshow – the tilted house was a nice time, but the mental exercise we got out of watching the pseudoscientists weave their web of malarkey was well worth the price of admission.  One thing is for sure, at the Montana Vortex, there is certainly a lot of spinning taking place.

46 Responses to “A Skeptical Investigation of the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery”

  1. […] A Skeptical Investigation of the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery … […]

  2. Chuck B. said

    I was there and put a level on the supposed Marble rolling uphill. 3 of us proved it was an illusion and the rail was actually downhill but due to the houses tilted angle it has an appearance of a slight uphill grade. I even question the level they use for the outside plank of cement. A level can be adjusted so the inner mount is off a couple degrees. A complete hoax.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Hi Chuck. Yeah, all of their bogus “vortex energy” nonsense really started to get to me, especially since I’m a physics professor; I could see right away that they didn’t understand the terms “energy” and “quantum mechanics” from their butts. As for the cement plank you mentioned, their level wasn’t “fixed” – I know because when I was there checking them out, I insisted that we go to a local hardware store and buy my own level, compass, etc. And when I returned with the new level, the slab was balanced and level – or, I should say, the middle slab was level. Look at the photos I posted and you’ll see their setup has three slabs, and the middle one is where they placed their level; a closer analysis revealed that the two end slabs where the people stood were most definitely not level. I think this was a purposeful attempt on their part to throw off skeptics.

      • For anyone actually interested scroll back up to the pictures of Matt and his wife on the three-piece platform, and then literally measure his wife’s height on both ends of the platform. Next measure Matt’s height on both ends. Did you notice that his wife changed size but he didn’t? Both of them alternately occuped the same ends of the same platform in two pictures taken from the same place and distance, yet only one of them changed. Did Matt’s height not change because Matt is mired in a dogma of belief he has taken on as a near religion? His wife, evidently not burdend by an unchallenged acceptance of Matt’s sacrosanct “knowledge” did a pretty good shrink and grow! So, his wife was affected BY the “Vortex”, but Matt AFFECTED the “Vortex”! This dual phenomenon has long been known. Anyway, this is a great example of a paranormal event that he inadvertically helped prove!
        These are photos taken with Matt’s camera by a neutral tourist that happened to be there that day.
        The question?
        How did Matt fail to see an obvious truth exibited in his own photographs? Isn’t he supposed to be a scientist, not the blindfolded lady-law holding her scale? Perhaps a certain physics professor/teacher just lacks simple curosity, which created a blind spot that disallowed him from seeing beyond the end of his own egocentric certainty.
        I hope that’s all it is.

  3. Matt,
    You provide interesting reading…for sure, worth the price of admission!
    Note: In the fall of 2006, already knowing, without your astute observation that we had a problem with the three-piece shrink and grow slab, we finally got around to digging it out and replaced it with a new single-piece version; a version that is now dead level along its whole length. Since then the S&G effect has been working quite nicely without benefit of those two short pieces we inherited from the old owners in 2005. You know…the two ends about which I speak? The two ends that both titled down…and, Matt, how would that have worked since they both titled, “DOWN”? Wouldn’t one of them have had to go, UP? OH, and I did enjoy your answer to Chuck about how YOU demanded that you and Joe go get the new level. I was there, Matt, remember, and it was Joe who nearly had to drag you to town in his truck to get the level…he paid for it, and refused to touch it until after you were forced to come up with that secondary, cockamammy theory of the platform ends causing the effect. BTW, We still proudly use that level and get great laughs when we tell the story of how we came by it.
    Honesty, Matt…honesty makes the best science…don’t you think? And thanks for letting me know that the IIG wanted your opinion on this subject…I DON’T THINK THEY REALLY WANTED ME TO KNOW ABOUT YOU! Anyway, after reading your nonsense they decided to visit us after long telling me that they didn’t think it was a good idea to come to Montana…they’d been worried about having “control” of the situation. Evidently the IIG believed you and they now think I’m a pushover. Thanks again.
    So, with great affection, still remembering 20 or 30 tourists laughing at your feeble attempts to save face after the new level didn’t work out,
    Nick Nelson

    • mattusmaximus said

      Hi Nick. Even with a single, level slab the Plank illusion still works; I just thought it was worth mentioning that you had a three-slab setup (nice to know you’ve replaced it). For the lurkers, here’s a video showing the effect & explaining it all – No “vortex energy” required.

      Besides, Nick, despite all of your claims about these phenomena being unique to the Montana Vortex, it seems quite clear that these things can all be replicated and/or observed rather easily in random locations far away from the Montana Vortex. So much for the “mystery”.

      • Chuck B. said

        I must have a vortex in my house because marbles roll “down hill” in my house as well. Honesty does make the best science!

    • YoMomma said

      Nick, before you try to convince anyone of your nonsense, learn how to spell, otherwise anything you say loses credibility really fast! Quite pathetic really!!

    • YoMomma said

      Nick, before you try to convince anyone of your nonsense, learn how to spell, otherwise anything you say loses credibility really fast! Quite pathetic really!! Just like all the religious nuts one can spot right away by their comments further down. With minds so open, their brains completely fallen out!

  4. Kimber said

    I visited the House of Mystery on a vacation last week. let me start by saying I am a believer in what I experienced. I am just going off my senses and the energy I felt, perhaps it has to do with thoughts if I thought it was real, it was real (kinda like the law of attraction). If a person goes into it believing it wasn’t real then it wont be. Life is too short to argue about it or try to prove or disprove. As a matter of fact this was the best part of my trip. I enjoyed the positive energy, the positive messages and being reminded of how powerful the mind can be if you think it to be true. So thank you for an amazing experience, one that I wrote in my journal and for allowing me to remenber to play.

  5. Nick Nelson said

    Ames Room? There’s a dandy Ames Room in the San Francisco Exploratorium. Been there? You must view the effect through a slit or peep hole using only one eye denying your binocular vision. We have no such restriction. A camera 30 inches to one side or another doesn’t even need its horizontal position to be otherwise manuvered, the person to whom the misaligned camera favors will obviously show a decided size advantage. We know that, and our recomended camera position is precisly 14 feet from both subjects (not to one side or the other). You should visit us again…you can use our hand or sight level at each end of the the platform, or better yet bring your own. Place the cross hair on, say my nose on one side as the bubble shows level, and then on the other side ask why the cross hair is now at the middle of my forehead when the bubble still shows level. Is the bubble influenced by the lay of the land in the background? Hummm. Perhaps the “vortex” influences the sight level? But wait! If it does effect the level wouldn’t that in itself be kinda…paranormal?
    Sorry Kimber, I know I shouldn’t be bracing true believers in their own church, and I usually don’t…it’s just that it’s so much fun.
    Oh Matt, you didn’t address the trip Joe took you on to acquire the brand new level. Or does your memory now include an acquired belief that it actually was you who insisted on the trip to the hardward store? This, Chuck, is what my comment about science needing honesty was basically about; Anyone fudging the truth about little otherwise unimportant things…just to make themselves look better to their friends? And why would you, Chuck, think that we try to convince people that a marble actually rolls uphill? My comment after everyone has had fun with the “uphill” marble illusion is, “I hope no one here actually believes that marbles roll uphill. They don’t, you know. Not even here.” You must try to stop assuming things and use questions instead; like, “Do you tell people that marbles roll uphill?” With a little curiosity you might prevent putting words in our mouths that we haven’t uttered. If you want to know what we actually say pay at least as much attention to what I say as you do to what Matt says…then judge. Did Matt insist that Joe take him to town to buy the level, or would it have made more sense that it was Joe who “twisted” his arm? Joe knew the outcome, so he couldn’t lose!
    Nick Nelson

    • mattusmaximus said

      If you are really so sure of your claims, Nick, then pay to have the IIG come up to Montana to perform a more detailed analysis. Put your money where your mouth is – talk is cheap.

  6. Nick Nelson said

    Dang! So much to keep track of. When did I ever make claims that these phenomena were “…unique to the Montana Vortex”? I have made the opposite claim many thousands of times. To get it right you must really listen.

    • mattusmaximus said

      You didn’t make those claims, Nick – I was in error in my earlier comment. Actually, I only spoke with you very briefly while there. It was Jim Hauser who made those claims, if I recall correctly. I spent the vast majority of my time talking with him.

  7. Nick Nelson said

    This is true, you did spend most of the time talking to Joe. 2006 was just Joe’s second year of operating the attraction, so as a neophyte to Vortex ownership he might have said that the phenomena was unique to the Montana Vortex, but if he did I’m sure he was refering to the TYPE of things we do as compared to the other attractions that he did know at that time existed. We do things here that are different from the others, mainly because the owners of the other 8 or 9 attractions don’t know what they are doing. I’ve been to all of them. Not to mention that some attractions are just crooked shacks…fakes.
    Anyway, I did stumble on to your conversation with Joe late, but early enough to hear who suggested going to town for the new level…have you worked that one out yet in your four-year-old memory?
    About all I said to you was that you should have your photos taken with your camera by someone of your choice in the audience, which after a three mentions, plus some loud encourgement from the considerable auidence you agreed to do. I then offered some advice to the chosen photographer that he or she (there goes my memory) should take one shot from a spot indicated and then not move (their) feet or camera for the second shot. Looks like (they) didn’t follow my advice or someone later enlarged the picture where you stood next to the rock wall…the signs in the background in that shot are about 3% larger than they are in the first shot. Curiously, you didn’t change much if any at all from shot to shot, but your wife did. I’ve seen that kind of thing before. The brochure that you had from 2006 contained two photos of Ali Hauser and her son, and neither of them changed size! Ood that you didn’t pick up on that. The Hausers hadn’t yet learned about the need to (how to say this without ridicule?) sort of set the stage before shrinking and growing people on that particular platform. They used those photos in the brochure without consulting me. They’ve learned since to pay attention to their resident expert.
    About putting my money where my mouth is: My original offer to the IIG was that I would put up the money to freight two of their number to Kalispell from Hollywood via big silver birds to conduct the test, but now all of a sudden they demand that I do it twice! When I asked why, the fellow on the phone nicely mentioned that they needed to see, “…what you have up there,” so that they can then fly back and discuss things at the next Saturday meeting. I detect a great magical hand from Fort Lauderdale moving the chess pieces now. The first thing to do? Try to discourge him via his back account. I counter offered that if all they needed to do was just see what we have then only one member of the IIG should be sufficient on the first trip. This drama will no doubt continue with other parries and thrusts..and continent crossing phone calls. Since I have always happily offered the most stringent protols possible the IIG may have been a bit leery of my confidence. Hence their outreach to someone like yourself. I’ll stay tuned here if you like…I do owe you for convincing the good folks at IIG that I deal in easily detected fakery. I’ll bet your confidence raised their confidence.

    • mattusmaximus said

      Good luck, Nick. Get back to me when (if) you are able to convince IIG to come look at your claims. Until then…

  8. Hi Mark,
    Question: Is there some way I can email you a picture? Email greenhorn here. Thanks.

  9. amber said

    Wow, you clever dogs 🙂 How did you ever crack that mystery? Did you need a secret decoder ring for that? You must be the same genius that figured out Santa wasn’t real? Or maybe the two of you share the same genes? Good job. You figured out an amusement park for children and mentally challenged motor-tourists. Where would the world be without you?

  10. Chris Robbins said

    You know before you go running your fine tooth comb over the Montana Vortex you should do a little more research. Not until Joe hauser became owner did anyone with any brains caretake the vortex. It was used as a run down roadside attraction for years and years. That is why it has some of the cheesy visual effects for the kids to say ooh and aww. Now the shrink and grow platform, the laybrinth, and the octagon shrink and grow are no doubt very real and not a optical illusion. I have found that not eveyone can feel the energy of the vortex so it makes them a skeptic. It took me a while to start feeling a diffrence in my personal energy while I was on and off the property. It was when I started living on the property in the woods on the south part of the property did I feel the biggest diffrence in the energy. I had very vivid dreams and had some great visuals of enery realeases from the ground. I saw many peoples auras in the aura spot that were very bright. You cant get the full effect of the Vortex unless you go there muliple times I know from doing my own experiments while living there.

  11. […] 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 […]

  12. Kevin said

    Sure, “malarkey” works here, but what you observed was Sophistry.

  13. jaren said

    I appreciate being skepticism and am of the persuasion that such tourist attractions are unambiguously non-paranormal.

    However, I find it wholly upsetting that you would go out of your way to embarrass a business owner and challenge his benign world view just because you can’t stand the idea of someone thinking differently than you because you “know” your right.

    What’s worse is that you would drag other tourists into your while paradigm power trip. I hope in a very sincere way that no children were around. Because that’s the amazing beauty that characterizes childhood — innocent awe sparked by imperfect knowledge. And that’s the whole appeal of these attractions. Giving grown men and women an opportunity to be bewildered the way we were as children.

    In short, being scientifically minded is important but its equally important that you don’t be a douchebag about it.


    • Justin said

      I felt the exact same way. I’m sure most people there know it isn’t real, it’s just a bit of fun. Once the guy starts a cult and asks for tax exempt status, I’ll get concerned. Until then, I don’t think he’s hurting anyone. James Randi you are not, buddy.

  14. Ella said

    I first saw those illusions at the Mystery Shack at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA in the early 1960’s. It has since been moved to Calico Ghost Town. They weren’t trying to say it was a vortex or paranormal, because after the demonstration of the “magic,” they demonstrated how the illusion worked. The fun thing was that even when you knew how it was done, the illusion still worked. There are at least 20 of these illusion shacks around the country. There’s a list of them at this website: That’s a lot of vortices.

  15. It seems there has been a little derailment: I’m not convinced anyone is saying magnetic filed anomalies or even vortices are “paranormal”. I don’t believe in the “paranormal” because all reality is normal and we don’t know it all or understand most of it. I admire Mr. Nelson’s study of magnets, and I like these kinds of places. The real point is, do we respect each others views enough – I don’t think we do as often as we should. Let’s try that, respect others’ views.

  16. I meant to say “field” where it says “filed”- am such a dweeb sometimes.

  17. Beau Bongiani said

    I agree with some of these comments. Especially the one from Jaren. Really, does it matter at all if its real or fake? The point is the same as a “magic trick.” We don’t quite understand it but its very pleasing to the mind and eyes. It lifts our spirits, if even for a short time. And the memories last forever. The only basis for trying to prove it wrong is if a violent cult following errupted from it and started hurting people and taking lives. This is innocent fun and a way of living for these people and you’re trying to destroy it all. You people are heartless bastards who’ve lost their childhood. i feel sorry for you and hope you never have children of your own. And if you do, God help them. Then again you don’t believe in God either, do you. 😉

    Rev. B. Bongiani

  18. Wendy Holum said

    Who cares?!!! Its a fun attraction. I lived 5 minutes from there before the current owners took over. At least they have made it into a fun experience (previous owners let it go to crap). I certainly hope you didnt ruin the illusion for any kids that may have been present. Lighten up and have some fun!

  19. Matt Flink said

    Dang,, $9 for adults to go visit this fake mystery

  20. Robert Dixon said

    I viewed the childlike test demonstration video. Not good science, and the sound discredited the testors, who proved nothing actually. I repeated the illusion at *******. I am the senior inspector at *********. Why did I do this? Because I assure you, the testers know very little of metrology! To make it all short, the effect was easily duplicated by two V blocks, of the same size (within .oo1″) on a marble inspection slan flat to.ooo5″ lapped surface, at 7 feet seperation . The effect was reproduced perfectly, without any magnets at all.

    This is my observation.

  21. Jay Stanton said

    You, Mattusmaximus, are an as*hole. I’ve just returned from Glacier this very day. You and your wife get your rocks off going into these fun tourist attractions and “debunking” them as though anyone’s falling for this anyway? Wow, you’re so intelligent, so skeptical, so smart. It’s entertainment, of course they’re illusions. Their own website describes it as an entertaining attraction and “family fun.” Get over yourselves. And this Ali person is right–science IS proven wrong all the time, constantly being updated, invalidated, revalidated.Your only response to her seems to be sarcasm, which means it’s you yourself who don’t have a leg to stand on. Science is just another belief system to which you and your wife personally choose to subscribe so stop being a killjoy for tourists. Next you’re going to tell me that Houdini didn’t really have superpowers or that David Blain sometimes uses illusions to pull off his stunts. Because, you know, he’s an ILLUSIONist. Why don’t you go do some actual science instead of smugly bullying a couple who run a hilarious tourist trap.

  22. […] ago I performed an impromptu investigation of the Montana Vortex, a roadside attraction whose proprieters claim that there is actually some kind of weird adjustment […]

  23. Professor Tom said

    Science is not any sort of “belief system” at all, Jay Stanton. It is an exacting, rigorous METHOD of thinking, asking questions, presenting a hypothesis, planning tests of that hypothesis, and critically evaluating the results. It is the opposite of blind BELIEF SYSTEM. geesh…

  24. Brian McCloud said

    Professor Tom (and all the other science loving responders), to say that science is not a belief system is not objectively fair to say at all. It’s my understanding that NO hypothesis is technically PROVED to true, just that it has not been rejected YET. It sounds silly to say because you drop the pen laying on your desk right now (say) a million times there is a great probability it is going to drop to the floor every time: gravity, right? I guess this is where this house gets it’s distinctiveness from, is that things you think PROBABLY will happen in it appear not to. In fact, as someone as already made a roundabout statement, I think the entire blog is a passionate defense of that scientific belief system: How dare thou take the name if science in vain! I take myself pretty seriously, but good Lord, as the proprietor is not claiming wormhole time travel or that his vortex cures cancer, let him give his customers a good time.

  25. werner said

    If everyone believed scientists/academics to have the last word, the earth would still be flat and Einstein would still be considered a ‘nut case’

    • Woody said

      Was it religious groups who did the physical research and spread the word that the earth is round?
      Was it ghost-hunters or pseudo-medicine supporters or ‘vortex’ believers who saved Einstein’s work from eternal ridicule?
      Maybe i’m getting your meaning wrong, Werner, but I can’t see much sense at all in your statement.

  26. said

    Assuming the slab is inclinded at 3 degree angle, and the distance between two persens is 36 inches, that contribut to a height difference of 36*tan(3) = 1.88 inches. Considering two persons swithcing places, the change of height caused by the slope will be twice of 1.88 inches, which is 3.76 inches. Do not know if it is what you experienced during test.

  27. Reina Michelle Bluth

    A Skeptical Investigation of the Montana Vortex & House of Mystery « The Skeptical Teacher

  28. When you were 8 did you run and tell everybody that there was no Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus? Just because you’re skeptical, does not mean you have the right to take away the fun of other people.

  29. Ulysses said

    I think the best way for IIG to settle the question once and for all would be to set up their own test site in precisely identical surroundings as at the Oregon or Montana vortexes and replicate the illusions for all of us to see. It was also a bit disappointing that IIG insisted Mr. Nelson to “come up with the money to fly some IIG investigators out to Montana and put them up for a couple of days” before they would condescend to conduct “some serious investigation”. Does it then imply that Mr. Matt’s “impromptu” investigation is not to be taken seriously?

  30. raven bear rob said

    raven bear rob said; I had the opportunity to visit the vortex area back in 2011. I was asked to lead the group of maybe 30 people down the path to the first speaker and push the button to start the tour. As I started down the path,approximately 9or10 steps down,iwas immediately hit with the sensation of a freefall moment,the kind that you would experience in a elevator desending rapidly. I asked when we got to the speaker if anyone had felt anything funny in their stomachs or head, no one had. I by nature am a skeptical person ,however I rely heavily on personal experience whether or not it flies in the face of accepted science or not. The other anomilies that manifest themselves at the site are influenced by the changing electromagnetic energy moving up and down the lay lines that cover this planet. Its not airy fairy stuff,just yet to be understood by mainstream science. Try thinking outside the usual parameters that we as a species take for granted,because there is sooo much that we have to learn to catch up. If you do your research,you’ll see that there are many areas around the globe that demonstrate this anomaly. Connect the dots and do your own research open your eyes . A good read about vortexes,portals,the sasquatch mystery,ets see jack kauwanee lapseritis; the psychic sasquatch and their ufo connection; and the sasquatch people and their interdimentional connection. Both are excellent reads by an accredited research investigator who has been studying this area for 58 years; more at Keep asking the questions…..

  31. Fiona Feeney said

    I visited the vortex in August 2003. Spent a good hour there mostly alone and when I left, felt off-kilter and nauseated for the next 3.5 hours. U figure it out. I enjoyed all but the nausea. Montana is a beautiful state, just too long of a drive from Ohio.

  32. Fiona Feeney said

    I visited the vortex House of Mystery in August 2003. Spent a good hour there mostly alone and when I left, felt off-kilter and nauseated for the next 3.5 hours. U figure it out. I enjoyed all but the nausea. Montana is a beautiful state, just too long of a drive from Ohio.

  33. colin jones said

    Of course it’s not real…..but you pointing it out to everyone means you completely missed the point. I’m pleased you weren’t there when we went or you would have ruined our fun. It must be great to be as clever as you.

  34. I went here in September of 2014. DO NOT GO HERE and then get on an airplane right after. I got so sick from the optical illusions. A similar thing happens- mild dizziness-when I look down a mountainside, but this was INSANE. I puked four times in 24 hours I was so nauseous. Couldn’t get my connecting flight and had to be wheelchaired around the damn airport bc I could not WALK. Stayed the night in Colorado then back to Texas, cost me $220, all told. At least when I started to get nauseous after about 10 minutes or so, they gave me my money back from the tour. I go on rollercoasters and all kinds of rides with no issue, but this place was a very expensive roadside stop for me.

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