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Can anyone explain the height change at Oregon Vortex?

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Can anyone explain the height change at Oregon Vortex?

Postby Scepcop » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:10 pm

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Hi all,
Have any of you ever been to the Oregon Vortex or Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA? It's a tourist attraction that feature anomalies that defy science and logic. Balls roll uphill and heights change on level platforms by simply switching places. I've never been able to figure them out. The staff there say that there is a "gravity anomaly" that NASA investigated and can't explain either. They claim that NASA scientists shot a laser beam there which curved. Skeptics say the whole thing is an optical illusion, but their explanation as to how an optical illusion can explain all this is incomplete, and in fact the visitor center at the Oregon Vortex has a refutation of these skeptical arguments and optical illusion explanations on their walls. lol

Anyhow, I've been to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz several times, but I didn't take pictures there, only of the Oregon Vortex. So here are some pictures I took there, showing you what I witnessed about the height changes on the level plank.

First, here is the plank that I'm talking about. As you can see, the level tool shows that it is level, and I even balanced a coin on it to show how level it is.


Image

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Now here are some height comparisons. As you can see, when the people switch sides, their height relative to each other changes by about an inch or so.

Image

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Me and another guy trying it. As you can see, there's a noticeable difference in our height comparison when we switch sides.

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What do you think? Any explanations?

I have videos of the ball rolling uphill on a plank, but not on the computer. I will see if I can find it on YouTube though.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged






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Re: Mystery Spot: Space/time distortion or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:03 am


Here are some youtube videos about it. This one shows the ball rolling up the plank. It's not a trick ball by the way, cause I've brought my own ball there before and it did the same thing.



And this one shows the level plank demonstrated by the level tool, yet the heights look different when switched.

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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby ProfWag » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:37 am


Prinzmetal said that scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with new appreciation for the strength of these visual illusions, now are working to make the displays for artificial horizons much more obvious.
http://berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/1998/0909/spot.html

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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:29 am


ProfWag wrote:Prinzmetal said that scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with new appreciation for the strength of these visual illusions, now are working to make the displays for artificial horizons much more obvious.
http://berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/1998/0909/spot.html


Nice article, but it doesn't explain how or why the carpenter level tool showed that the beam was level. Remember I even balanced a coin on it. The article never bothered to address that. Too bad.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby quantumparanormal » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:09 am


Scepcop wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Prinzmetal said that scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with new appreciation for the strength of these visual illusions, now are working to make the displays for artificial horizons much more obvious.
http://berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/1998/0909/spot.html


Nice article, but it doesn't explain how or why the carpenter level tool showed that the beam was level. Remember I even balanced a coin on it. The article never bothered to address that. Too bad.


I did notice, however, that the level is slightly tilted. If you were to put a smooth ball on a very smooth surface at such a small incline, the ball would probably still roll, especially a coin, since the side of a coin has a large weight-to-side ratio when put on its side (the smallest side, thickness), making it very easy to roll.
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:17 am


quantumparanormal wrote:I did notice, however, that the level is slightly tilted. If you were to put a smooth ball on a very smooth surface at such a small incline, the ball would probably still roll, especially a coin, since the side of a coin has a large weight-to-side ratio when put on its side (the smallest side, thickness), making it very easy to roll.


Perhaps. But the coin didn't roll. It was standing on its edge, remember? Look at the photo again. Wouldn't it have to be very level to keep a coin standing like that?
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby quantumparanormal » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:36 am


Scepcop wrote:
quantumparanormal wrote:I did notice, however, that the level is slightly tilted. If you were to put a smooth ball on a very smooth surface at such a small incline, the ball would probably still roll, especially a coin, since the side of a coin has a large weight-to-side ratio when put on its side (the smallest side, thickness), making it very easy to roll.


Perhaps. But the coin didn't roll. It was standing on its edge, remember? Look at the photo again. Wouldn't it have to be very level to keep a coin standing like that?


I can't tell from a still picture whether or not the coin is actually rolling.

Scepcop wrote:Wouldn't it have to be very level to keep a coin standing like that?


I'm not sure how level, but yes, level. The lines on the side of the coin will serve as friction to any roll, but the weight-to-side ratio is large enough that it shouldn't matter. Is your point that the coin rolled on a level surface?
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:20 am


No, I NEVER claimed that the coin rolled. I don't know where you got that. I said I placed it on there and it stayed up. It was stationary. Doesn't that prove that it's level? How come the skeptic articles don't account for this?
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Nostradamus » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:47 am


Nice pictures, but an illusion. I superimposed the first 2 photos over each other. I aligned the photos so that the people could be compared visually. The young man is taller than the woman in both cases. The same is true when I compared the 2 men in the photos. The man in gray top is always shorter.

The illusion appears to be based on the camera position. The camera appears to be above and away from a plane that would bisect the place where the men are standing. Perspective comes into play here.

I'll upload my composite images when I get a chance.
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby quantumparanormal » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:16 am


Nostradamus wrote:Nice pictures, but an illusion. I superimposed the first 2 photos over each other. I aligned the photos so that the people could be compared visually. The young man is taller than the woman in both cases. The same is true when I compared the 2 men in the photos. The man in gray top is always shorter.

The illusion appears to be based on the camera position. The camera appears to be above and away from a plane that would bisect the place where the men are standing. Perspective comes into play here.

I'll upload my composite images when I get a chance.


Woman? That's a woman? :o
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Nostradamus » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:11 pm


It is clearly a woman in the first set of photos.
I also drew lines between features on the people in the sumperimposed photo pairs. On the second pair of people I drew lines from the nose of a person in photo to the nose of the same person in the other photo. The lines are parallel.

To be clear this does not say that the height did not change. Rather it illustrates that the height change is linear. A prosaic explanation for this linear change is that it is an apparent height change due to perspective, which is a liner transform.

This reminds me of the Ames room: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_room

When I was young I went to a place like this in NY state. I was so excited to see it. My dad was dead set against it. I could see it in his face. We went there. Everything bored him except for this place with the height change and seeing people appear to change in height. it was the only thing that wasn't obvious as to how it worked. The water running uphill and the ball rolling uphill were so easy for my dad to figure out. It turned out good in the end because my dad had to think about this height issue for a while before he realized how he had been confused. I think he was a bit surprised that the solution was so hard for me to understand. I was 13 at the time.

I find this is an interesting illusion because it is simple and yet compelling.
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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby ProfWag » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:48 am


Nostradamus wrote:It is clearly a woman in the first set of photos.
I also drew lines between features on the people in the sumperimposed photo pairs. On the second pair of people I drew lines from the nose of a person in photo to the nose of the same person in the other photo. The lines are parallel.

To be clear this does not say that the height did not change. Rather it illustrates that the height change is linear. A prosaic explanation for this linear change is that it is an apparent height change due to perspective, which is a liner transform.

This reminds me of the Ames room: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_room

When I was young I went to a place like this in NY state. I was so excited to see it. My dad was dead set against it. I could see it in his face. We went there. Everything bored him except for this place with the height change and seeing people appear to change in height. it was the only thing that wasn't obvious as to how it worked. The water running uphill and the ball rolling uphill were so easy for my dad to figure out. It turned out good in the end because my dad had to think about this height issue for a while before he realized how he had been confused. I think he was a bit surprised that the solution was so hard for me to understand. I was 13 at the time.

I find this is an interesting illusion because it is simple and yet compelling.

Wow, a simple explanation for this mystery? I'm shocked... ;-)
Thanks for the explanation Nostradamus.

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Re: Mystery Spot: Space/time distortion or optical illusion?

Postby ciscop » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:16 am


Scepcop wrote:Here are some youtube videos about it. This one shows the ball rolling up the plank. It's not a trick ball by the way, cause I've brought my own ball there before and it did the same thing.



And this one shows the level plank demonstrated by the level tool, yet the heights look different when switched.



now you are using theme park attractions as evidence of the paranormal??
man... you should take a look at universal studios haunted house
i heard that you can see ¨ghosts¨ there


and thanks for the explanation nostradamus
didnt know how it was called

i heard teller, from penn and teller has rooms with this kind of optical illusion to entertain his guests
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)

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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:07 pm


Nostradamus wrote:Nice pictures, but an illusion. I superimposed the first 2 photos over each other. I aligned the photos so that the people could be compared visually. The young man is taller than the woman in both cases. The same is true when I compared the 2 men in the photos. The man in gray top is always shorter.

The illusion appears to be based on the camera position. The camera appears to be above and away from a plane that would bisect the place where the men are standing. Perspective comes into play here.

I'll upload my composite images when I get a chance.


Sure the man is taller, but when you superimposed the two images, was his height the same in both? What about the pictures of me and that man? Did you try superimposing them to see if our heights were the same in both images?

How do you explain the level and the coin balanced?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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Re: Mystery Spot: Gravitational anomaly or optical illusion?

Postby Scepcop » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:20 pm


Nostradamus wrote:It is clearly a woman in the first set of photos.
I also drew lines between features on the people in the sumperimposed photo pairs. On the second pair of people I drew lines from the nose of a person in photo to the nose of the same person in the other photo. The lines are parallel.

To be clear this does not say that the height did not change. Rather it illustrates that the height change is linear. A prosaic explanation for this linear change is that it is an apparent height change due to perspective, which is a liner transform.

This reminds me of the Ames room: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_room

When I was young I went to a place like this in NY state. I was so excited to see it. My dad was dead set against it. I could see it in his face. We went there. Everything bored him except for this place with the height change and seeing people appear to change in height. it was the only thing that wasn't obvious as to how it worked. The water running uphill and the ball rolling uphill were so easy for my dad to figure out. It turned out good in the end because my dad had to think about this height issue for a while before he realized how he had been confused. I think he was a bit surprised that the solution was so hard for me to understand. I was 13 at the time.

I find this is an interesting illusion because it is simple and yet compelling.


I found a Wikipedia entry on Mystery Spot too.

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

Also one on the Oregon Vortex (where my pictures were taken)

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

They mention that the illusion is due to "forced perspective" but I'm not quite sure I understand how it works or how it could show up in pictures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_perspective
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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