The Santa Cruz Mountains of central California are a hotbed of paranormal activity.
According to numerous reports, these thickly-forested mountains are filled with haunted mansions, secret extraterrestrial bases, hidden bigfoot tribes, and mysterious gravitational vortexes.
Believe what you will about these unusual reports, but I’ve seen some of what people are talking about with my own eyes.
Several years ago, I spent a scary night at the (supposedly haunted) Brookdale Lodge on Highway 9, with a few friends, a Ouija board, and a shimmering column of light that appeared in the room with us.
On another occasion my girlfriend and I witnessed a dazzling display of colorful ‘earthlights’ and tiny UFOs, flashing and strobing like a psychedelic laser light show in my own backyard.
And whenever out-of-town guests come to visit, I love taking them to a beloved tourist attraction here in the Santa Cruz mountains called the Mystery Spot.
The Mystery Spot, located off of Branciforte Drive near Santa Cruz, is small area of forested terrain, where gravitational forces, and other physical laws, appear to be oddly distorted.
One enters the attraction with a tour guide, and treks up a small hill--which feels significantly steeper than it appears--to a crocked wooden cabin, that’s been resting on the slanted ledge of the hill there since 1940.
The tour guide performs a series of demonstrations around and throughout the cabin, which supposedly show phenomena that defy the laws of physics.
Tennis balls seem to roll uphill, and people seem to shrink and grow in height as they switch positions on a wooden plank.
People look oddly slanted at the Mystery Spot, like everyone is standing at a tilted angle that’s leaning sideways, and it appears that people can bend over into impossible positions.
There are a number of similar tourist attractions along the West coast, with comparable folklore attached to them--such as the Oregon Vortex in Gold Hill, Oregon and Confusion Hill in Piercy, California--which also offer tours and demonstrations that supposedly show gravity distortions.
Skeptics are quick to point out that these cabins are all built on an angle, in relationship to an environment that is itself slanting.
They say that all of the apparent gravity distortions are merely optical illusions, created by viewing a tilted environment from a tilted floor, which causes misperceptions in how we judge people’s heights.
However, most people who visit the Mystery Spot will tell you that there really appears to be something odd going on there that conventional science is at a loss to explain.
Trees grow leaning clockwise into the center of the Mystery Spot, and birds avoid the area. Compasses don’t operate properly.
Most eerily, one simply feels different there. It feels like one is standing at an angle, and if one pours water out of a cup, it will pour down at an angle.
I suspect that the Mystery Spot combines carnival sideshow theater with a genuine unexplained natural phenomena.
It seems like there really is an odd distortion of gravity there and that the structure is built at an angle in order to exaggerate the effect.
It also appears that genuine unexplained effects could be used to create the illusion of other effects.
For example, a common demonstration at the Mystery Spot involves the use of platforms that are supposedly level, which show people changing in height when they switch positions.
How do we know that these platforms are actually level? They don’t appear to be so.
Mystery Spot tour guides point out that any carpenter’s level will show the ‘level’ bubble resting in the middle when placed on these wooden boards.
However, if the gravity at the Mystery Spot is genuinely distorted, then how can we trust the level readings?
Nonetheless, there really appears to be a bona fide mystery, and there have been some serious attempts to study these odd places scientifically.
Fringe science author Douglas B. Voght conducted a series of electrical experiments at the Mystery Spot and other “gravitational vortex” locations with intriguing results that supposedly show “gravitational anomalies” and distortions in the “flow of time.”
These results, summarized in his book Gravitational Mystery Spots of the United States, appear to demonstrate that there is some unusual natural phenomena occurring at these places.
According to the tour guides at the Mystery Spot, renown physicist Albert Einstein once visited the strange roadside attraction and was genuinely perplexed by the phenomena there and at other similar attractions.
In 1930, Scottish mining engineer John Lister opened up the Oregon Vortex as a tourist attraction in Gold Mine, 10 years before the Mystery Spot opened.
Lister studied the place, which is similar to the Mystery Spot, for more than 40 years, and also claimed to have corresponded with Einstein about it.
However, according to an ABC News report, Lister was so frightened by what he discovered in his studies that he burned all of his notes before he died.
To learn more about the Mystery Spot see: www.mysteryspot.com
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