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29 July 2008, JellyBean @ 3:36 am

IMG_0275 by nickandnoraDo you ever dream of going to a place where the improbable is commonplace? Where everyday physical facts that we take for granted are reversed? Well, there is such a place! You can go and visit it.

Just outside of Gold Hill in Oregon, you will find a roadside attraction named the Oregon Vortex. Here, you can witness objects seemingly roll uphill or balance at odd angles. The attraction’s proprietors claim that it is the result of paranormal properties in the area. Sceptics claim that it is merely an optical illusion.


The phenomenon is only about 165 feet in diameter and has been mentioned in the earliest Oregon historical records. Apparently the native Indians named the area “The Forbidden Ground”. This was partly due to animals refusing to enter the area. In fact today, you will still notice an absence of birds and even insects within the vortex.

In 1890, the Old Grey Eagle Mining Company built a gold assay’s office in the vortex. Miners would come to the office to get their gold weighed and get paid. Historical records show that many miners distrusted the place and believed that the mysterious forces affected the scales. In fact, recent experiments have shown that scales are indeed inaccurate within the vortex.

A few years later, this assay office slid off of its foundation and came to rest at an angle against a maple tree. It has been that way ever since. Later this office became known as ‘The House of Mystery’.

In the 1920s, a Scottish mining engineer and geologist, John Litster, conducted thousands of experiments in the area. He discovered that the vortex is a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground. However, he always maintained that this phenomenon was caused by an optical illusion.

In 1930, John Litser opened the vortex to the public and people flocked to visit this strange place. Once in the vortex, many people reported feeling strange and to those outside the vortex these people appeared to be leaning at an angle of about 7-1/2 degrees towards magnetic north. The people inside the vortex did not seem to notice this.

Here is another example of this strange phenomenon: as another person, on a level platform, recedes from you towards magnetic south, they appear taller. When they approach you, coming towards magnetic north, they become shorter.

These phenomena are not exclusive to this area. In fact, there are many such spots throughout the world! Most of these are called ‘magnetic hills’ or ‘mystery hills’, where it appears that objects defy gravity and move uphill.

Wikipedia lists many of these places including:

Australia: Toowoomba, Queensland; a part of Prince Henry Drive, known as Gravity Point, it appears to be on a slope but a car won’t move when placed in neutral!

Canada: Dacre, Ontario; Highway 41, near intersection with Highway 132, known as Magnetic Hill.

China: Gansu; a 200ft (60m) slope at an angle of 15 degrees where water runs uphill, in a desert region of Yugur County. Site has been tested by scientists and physicists who are unable to explain the phenomenon.

: Penteli mountain; on the road from Athens to Nea Makri, near the crossroad to Daveli’s Cave.

Ireland: County Louth; Cooley peninsula, located north of Dundalk. Known locally as Magic Hill.

South Africa: Johannesburg; Lombardy East, Modderfontein Road c/o Curie Road. When entering Lombardy East from the east (i.e. Edenvale) end, a car left in neutral, rolls towards oncoming (Eastbound) traffic.

England: Buckinghamshire; Aston Clinton, on Dancer’s End Lane, off the B4009.

USA: Moorpark, California There is an alleged “Gravity Hill”, north of Moorpark, near California State Route 23. Legend says that in the 1940s a school bus broke down at the bottom of a hill, and the children got out of the bus to help push it back up the hill. A tractor from a nearby farm ran over some of the children by accident and killed them, so today, if you put your car in neutral at the bottom of the hill, the ghosts of the children should push you back up the hill. (This is a dangerous thing to do, as the hill is near a rock quarry, and there is a chance of getting hit by a semi truck carrying the rocks)

USA: Trumbull, Connecticut: Exit 7 on Route 25 North. Stop your car on the crack a few feet behind the stop line and you will roll backwards “up” the ramp. Legend has it that a school bus full of children was stuck on the railway tracks and was struck by an oncoming train. Today, the spirits of those who perished are still attempting to rescue those stopped in the same spot they were.

Oregon Vortex Homepage
Wikipedia: Gravity Hills
The Enigman Project: Gravity Hills
Science Daily: Physicists show antigravity “mystery spots” are optical illusions

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