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Magnetic and Gravity Hills In The News
* Please contact us if you know of any newspaper articles published about 'your' magnetic or gravity hill.
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Burlington, ON. Magnetic Hill
16 August 1985 The Hamilton Spectator © The big pull. Burlington's own 'magnetic hill' could .....
17 August 1985 The Hamilton Spectator © Magnetic hill attracts tourist promotion idea
27 May 2003 The Hamilton Spectator © Web master hopes site draws people to magnetic hill
30 May 2003 Moncton Times & Transcript Hard-to-find 'magnetic hill' now has its own Web site
Also in 2003: Vancouver Sun (31 May), Times Colonist (Victoria, 31 May), (2 June), (6 June), National Post (7 June), Kitchener Record (20 June), Waterloo Record (24 June)
5 May 2004 Toronto Sun Hidden attraction. Travel Briefs, page 61
Princeton, KY. Gravity Hill
12 June, 2004 The Times Leader Gravity Hill listed on the Internet

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Magnetic Hills, Gravity Hills, Mystery Hills and Magnetic Mountains





The Big Pull
Burlington's own 'magnetic hill' could be top draw for tourists.
By LINDA JACOBS, The Spectator © ...16 August 1985

MOVE OVER, Moncton. Here comes Burlington! Well maybe.
For three generations we Upper Canadians have been hearing about Moncton's Magnetic Hill, right?
Just turn your car's ignition off and marvel at the magic as you seem to coast uphill. Sure, it's all just an optical illusion as the folks in Moncton readily admit - but then they're laughing all the way to the 'top' of the bank, aren't they?

Well Moncton, sorry to spoil the party, but Burlington has its own Magnetic Hill - on city owned King Road. And three veterans of the Moncton tourist Mecca agreed yesterday that the force of Burlington's 'magnet' is far stronger, pulling cars apparently uphill surprisingly quickly. But Burlington hasn't exactly been quick to exploit the story of its Magnetic Hill which has been known to locals for almost as long as Moncton's.
While Monton has spent years buying 350 acres around its Magnetic Hill so it can get even more tourist dollars, Burlington for years operated its city dump along the road. And it may become a dump again - it's the possible site of the Halton regional dump.
Yes, now we we'll tell you how to get there but a word of warning first. This is a public road and there is a blind hill at the south end of this optical illusion. So anybody who tries it without posting a scout at the apparent crest of the hill to watch for oncoming cars is asking for an accident.
When told about the Magnetic Hill in Burlington Mayor Roly Bird agreed to come out and have a look, saying stories about it have circulated for years and he too was curious. Though he coasted in his car and even rode a skateboard apparently uphill, Mr. Bird proved his eyes wrong by walking up and down with his eyes closed. "You can tell by the feel of your legs whether you're walking up or down hill" he said.
Though interested in the phenomenon, Mr. Bird was cautious about seeing Burlington's Magnetic Hill developed. "The question of whether it becomes a tourist attraction would have to be worked on by a lot of people," he said.
Burlington city planner Al Ramsey notes that "a landfill site and a tourist attraction would be incompatible."

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Magnetic Hill Attracts Tourist Promotion Idea
By LINDA JACOBS, The Spectator ©...17 August 1985
BURLINGTON'S MAGNETIC HILL may be just an optical illusion but the so-called magnet has drawn the interest of one major landowner in the area.
Toronto businessman Ted Sherman who owns about 42 hectares (100 acres) on the west side of King Road, admitted yesterday that he'd never heard about his 'magnetic' neighbour. But though it caught him by surprise, MR. Sherman didn't hesitate to answer the next question: Would he consider developing his land as a tourist attraction?
"If it makes sense, certainly. I've owned this property for several years, so anything I can do to generate something from it, I would.
Burlington Mayor Roly Bird, a native of New Brunswick, is cautious about seeing too much of a carnival atmosphere develop in Burlington. But a major tourist attraction may be preferable to what appears to be in store for the land. Halton Region - casting about for a place to dump its garbage for years - has zeroed in on that very site.
(Mr. Sherman) "I'm not in the dump business and not in the tourist business either, but it wouldn't take me long to get in the tourist business. Or the city of Burlington can buy my land and create their own tourist business"
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Web master hopes site draws people to magnetic hill
By Emily Bowers The Hamilton Spectator © ...27 May 2003
A mysterious secret is hidden in the rolling green between Burlington and Waterdown.
To those in the know, it's the hard-to-find magnetic hill, rumoured to be a magical happening defying the laws of gravity. Or it's little more than a clever optical illusion.

Wherever beliefs lie, the stuff of local lore has now been thrust into the wide open for the whole world to decide. Burlington resident Mark Visser has launched an all-you-need-to-know Web site about the King Road hill at
Visser, a home inspector, created the site in part because he wanted to help promote Burlington with his newly-honed skills of Web design. But it was more because of the 18 years he spent wandering the Halton region countryside, searching for the rumoured hill. Not that he's devoted his life to it. Working in the construction business, Visser said, meant that on occasion he'd be in the area around Bayview Park, north of Highway 403. He knew it was somewhere around there, though like plenty of other local residents, he wasn't exactly sure. "I never found it," he said. "Until the article popped up."

In 1985, The Spectator ran a few stories about the hill and attempts to turn it into a tourist attraction akin to the well-known Magnetic Hill in New Brunswick. It's the same idea as the Burlington hill, just promoted much more. Back then, Visser remembered driving to the site with dozens of other cars, and the drivers trying it out for themselves.
What he found was a sharp right turn just after the park and a tree-lined road with a pair of gently sloping hills.
At the bottom of the second, there's a spot just big enough to turn around a car in a fenced-off entrance to a rough side road. Forgiving locals wait as Visser wheels around into position, under a yellow street sign warning of deer.
And then, silence. Some might even call it eerie. Visser puts his grey Oldsmobile in neutral and cuts the engine -- he's done this time and again for friends and out-of-town visitors. "Every time we have company," he said. The c
ar rolls slowly up the slope, catching speed and then tapering off at the top. Or, make that the bottom. It's all part of the optical illusion, Visser laughs. "I just played a little bit into the people who really believe," he said.
In all, it's a few seconds of rolling on a busy public access that's used as a shortcut between Waterdown and Burlington.
On his Web site, Visser cautions people to remember that the hill is on a narrow, winding road and to check rear-view mirrors when doing the cruise. Visser said he didn't create the site to make money, more to create awareness of the hill and to let other residents have an easier time finding it than he did.
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Gravity Hill listed on the Internet
By Chip Hutcheson, The Times Leader © ... 16 June, 2004

Periodically we can count on someone calling our office for some information on Gravity Hill. While most people in Caldwell County are familiar with that landmark, its fame has now spread to the Internet.
For years, teenagers have been fascinated with Gravity Hill, located just off U.S. 62-West on the Crider-Dulaney Road. Stop under the Western Kentucky Parkway underpass, put your vehicle in neutral and it appears to go uphill.

Ironically, it wasn’t someone from our neck of the woods who is spreading the “Gravity Hill” fame to the world. A Canadian, Mark Visser, contacted us wanting a photo of the site. We sent a photo last week, giving him the final piece to the web site.

So how does someone from Canada get interested in places like Gravity Hill?

“I got involved in this because there is a Magnetic Hill in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, where I live. The thing that bugged me was that just about nobody seems to know that there was a magnetic hill or if they did nobody seemed to know where it was.”

He developed a home page and put up a website for the Burlington location. After the site was up and running, he received numerous emails about magnetic or gravity hills from around the world.

He determined that many purported ones were hoaxes. “But I also received positive information and that is when I decided to set up the International Directory of Magnetic and Gravity Hills.

“This is a hobby for me and after the directory was up (on the Internet) I don’t spend too much time on it anymore, although I have partial information on about another 30 hill locations in Europe, North America and Asia. The day after I received the Princeton pictures from you I received an email from a couple who visited New Hampshire and went across the border into Quebec to visit a magnetic hill in that area. Once back home in England they found my site about the magnetic hill in Chartierville QC, noticed that I didn’t have pictures for that site and sent me some!

“So what started out with one site about our local magnetic hill has grown into a well-respected directory which draws a lot of interest from around the world.

“Part of the reason for our success is that all information is true and has been verified by others. Even though there are a lot of people out there who believe that there are dark powers out there who pull cars and other objects ‘up’ the hill, we know that it is not so. All 24 hills listed in our directory carry this note: ‘After trying this natural phenomenon you may question its causes. We don’t want to disappoint you, but whether it is called a Magnetic Hill, Gravity Hill, Mystery Hill or Electric Brae it is an optical illusion. It has nothing to do with magnetic fields, electricity or unknown forces working along mysterious lines."

Mark’s home page gives some more details…

“Usually it is a stretch of road in a hilly area where the level horizon is obscured. Objects such as trees and walls which normally provide visual clues to the true vertical, may be leaning slightly. This creates an optical illusion making a slight downhill look like an uphill slope. Objects may appear to roll uphill.

“Spots where the illusion is especially powerful often become tourist attractions. Tour guides may like to claim that the effect is a mystery or that it is due to magnetic or gravitational irregularities or even that it is a paranormal phenomenon which science can not explain. This is not true of course.

“There are several things which enable us to sense which way is up. The balance mechanism in our inner ears is one system we have, but visual clues are also important and can be overriding. If the horizon cannot be seen or is not level then we may be fooled by objects which we expect to be vertical but which aren’t really.

“People often overestimate the angle of a slope. If you are standing on a slope of 1 degree it will seem like a slope of 5 degrees and if you stand on a slope of 5 degrees it may seem like you are on a slope of 30 degrees. Because of this effect the anti-gravity illusion can seem stronger than it should be even when you know the cause.

“Even when the true cause is understood it can be difficult to believe. If you think there is a magnetic anomaly just use two plumb lines, one made of iron and one of stone. They would hang at different angles if a strong magnetic field was acting horizontally.

“However, it is not always easy to demonstrate that a slope which appears to go uphill is really going downhill. The only reliable way of determining the true horizontal is by careful surveying. If a good topographical map of the area is available it may be sufficient to show which way the land is really sloping. The results will confirm the illusion.”

The site on Gravity Hill is well done, giving a map and directions. There is also a brief history of Princeton and Caldwell County. Hey, we’ll take tourists any way we can — even if it’s to see a car coast uphill.

Princeton Gravity Hill
International Directory of Magnetic and Gravity Hills
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