Glory Hole: Black Hole, Wormhole, Dangerous?

 Is Glory Hole a Black Hole or a Wormhole - Or Both?  Is it Dangerous to Birds and Humans? 

by Peter Kilkus

Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived. Physicists at the University of Lake Berryessa believe the Glory Hole phenomenon at Lake Berryessa might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, a hypothetical features of space-time which could provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the lake to another - or to a different universe altogether.

Quantum entanglement, as mentioned in the previous section of this report, occurs when a pair or a group of particles interact in ways that dictate that each particle’s behavior is relative to the behavior of the others. The “spooky” part is that, as past research has confirmed, the relationship holds true no matter how far apart the particles are – across the room or across several galaxies. If the behavior of one particle changes, the behavior of both entangled particles changes simultaneously, no matter how far away they are.


Recent research indicated that the characteristics of a wormhole are the same as if two black holes were entangled, then pulled apart. Even if the black holes were on opposite sides of the universe, the wormhole would connect them.

 If two black holes were entangled, a person outside the opening of one would not be able to see or communicate with someone just outside the opening of the other. The way they could communicate with each other is if one jumped into his black hole, then the other person must jump into her black hole - then the interior world would be the same. Therapists in ULB’s Psychology Department have already begun to use this analogy to develop a whole new marriage counseling program (© 2019).

Unfortunately a too-enthusiastic ULB graduate student, apparently undergoing communication problems with his girlfriend decided to try the process empirically rather than as a theoretical thought experiment. (See Photo Below)


This was the point at which ULB scientists decided to create warning signs and turn to their intrepid science cat staff for assistance.



Profiles in Smartyness: Science Cats at the University of Lake Berryessa

 A cat was used to test the survival odds of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel more than 100 years ago. Cats have long been employed in science pursuits. The Ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, the penalties for injuring or killing a cat were severe. Without them, civilization as we know it might have never survived! The photo below shows one of the science cats employed at the University of Lake Berryessa’s laboratories beneath Big Island. The final photo is of a science cat leaping into Glory Hole to determine if it is a black hole or a wormhole.


Glory Hole Quantum Broadcast System & Bird Water Slide

Glory Hole may act as a magnetohydrodynamic motor creating electromagnetic waves which affect birds and communicate with other civilizations. In 2017, after 10 years of drought, the flowing water created a new quantum electromagnetic field when it dropped through the dry Glory Hole.

People of a certain age will remember the fad of daredevils going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The first person to do it and live to tell the tale was a widowed teacher named Annie Taylor. Taylor was struggling financially when she seized upon the idea of riding over the falls in a barrel to secure fame and fortune. She used an oaken barrel with a crudely cushioned interior, which she tested by sending it over the falls with a test cat stuffed inside - it survived.

On Oct. 24, 1901 Taylor climbed inside her barrel. Less than twenty minutes later, she was recovered from the bottom of the falls, bleeding from the head but otherwise uninjured.

cat in waterfall  barrel copy

A Facebook video was posted at the end of February, 2019 showing a cormorant swim over the edge of Glory Hole and disappear. The video went viral spawning  many social media comments and local news stories.

Niagara Falls is only 167 feet high compared to the Glory Hole’s total 245 feet total, but Glory Hole has a much smoother exit tunnel, which starts at only 150 feet below the spillway, compared to the rocks below Niagara Falls. Survival of the Glory Hole Bird was a hot topic for days.

On Monday, March 18, 2019 I spoke with a Solano County Water Agency engineer who was interviewed in the video. He said the video was taken at the highest level of the lake this year  (444.1 feet on February 27, 2017).

Coincidentally, I was delivering the March issue of the Lake Berryessa News on Friday, March 1, when I stopped at the Glory Hole. I talked to a couple who had just seen a bird which they described as a grebe swim right over the edge of the Glory Hole. They were actually a bit distraught because they thought they had seen the death of the beautiful creature. Apparently this is not a rare event.  Below is a collage of screen grabs of the actual event.

The engineer said that he ran to the other side of the observation area as soon as he saw the bird go down. He made it to a point right above the Glory Hole output where he claims he saw the bird pop out and recover. Although you can’t see the output structure itself at that location, you can easily see the turbulent white water coming out of it.

My calculations show that the water falling to the bottom of Niagara Falls is moving at about 70 miles per hour when it hits the river and rocks below. This is about the same speed as the water into Glory Hole when it hits the smooth ninety degree curve which begins about 150 feet below the lip of the spillway and begins to turn turbulent.

Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon so it can create a significant force if it hits a stationary object. Imagine someone throwing a 5 gallon (40 pound) bottle of water at you to catch. (Author’s Personal Health Note: To anyone 40 pounds overweight, say 240 pounds when you should be 200 pounds, I hope you understand that this is the same as carrying around a 5 gallon bottle of water in your arms.)


But that’s not what’s happening inside Glory Hole. Remember when you were body surfing in big waves at a beautiful beach somewhere? You moved with the waves and tumbled around in the surf when the wave broke. If you’ve gone river rafting, you probably have not been torn up by the current, but floated along on top of it at the same speed as the water.

When my boys threw me out of a raft on the American River in some turbulent white water and I surfaced under the raft, I was not “torn to pieces” by the flow. I simply floated along through the rapids. An object falling into Glory Hole is doing the same thing - falling at the same speed as the water then bouncing along floating in the white foam to the exit.

The “Glory Hole Bird” was actually a cormorant. Cormorants feed by diving and swimming underwater. They are very light and buoyant. They can dive to depths of 5 to 60 feet below the surface and stay under water up to 70 seconds. The Glory Hole cormorant would be traveling at the same speed as the water when it reached the “water slide” at the bottom and was enveloped in severe turbulence.

Then it and the water slowed drastically and it would be washed away horizontally through a smooth concrete tunnel to the output. Although it would have to swim through a lot of turbulence, there is no real “pressure” at the bottom - it's not like being 200 feet under water.

The bird wouldn’t "hit" the "bottom" at high speed as if it had jumped from a 245 foot building. And it would not have been “torn to pieces” as some speculated. The Glory Hole is essentially a circular waterfall. Theoretically, the bird could have survived.

The SCWA engineer believed the cormorant did survive because he saw it. A local ornithologist he spoke with recently also believed survival was possible. I also think survival was possible. To actually determine the time from input to output a light, bright object would have to be tossed into Glory Hole and the input-to-output time measured by observers. An object which included an accelerometer the g-forces experienced by the object as it was bounced around on its trip. Time for a science experiment?

Who knows what strange electromagnetic signals fill the air when water is flowing through Glory Hole with its steel internal structure and unique chemical composition?


One scientific study being pursued by scientists at the University of Lake Berryessa is whether Glory Hole is actually a Black Hole or a Worm Hole. However, it does seem that that Glory Hole's signal has beckoned to gathering water birds of all types. Apparently the thrill ride of what has become known to them as the Glory Hole Water Slide is now a major attraction on the Pacific Flyway, fostering bird traffic jams approaching those of human tourists gaping at the famous spillway.



 Glory Hole’s Bird Takes on Schroedinger’s Cat

As described above, a cat was used to test the survival odds of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel more than 100 years ago. Cats have long been employed in science pursuits. The photo below shows an example of a science cat at ULB studying the forces of gravity as applied to falling mice.

The most famous cat in science, of course, is the notorious Schrödinger's Cat in a thought experiment put forward by the physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935 to express what he thought were the truly bizarre implications of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics. In this morally questionable experiment, Schrödinger's cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat.

The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after awhile the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. Before the observer opens the box, the cat's fate is tied to the wave function of the atom, which is itself in a superposition of decayed and un-decayed states. According to Schrödinger, so long as the box is not opened, the cat can be considered to be simultaneously alive and dead before the observer opens the box, observes the cat, and “collapses” it's wave function. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

 Schrödinger actually put this forward as a self-evidently ludicrous demonstration of how silly he thought that the Copenhagen interpretation was, but many physicists since have taken it entirely seriously, and single atoms or subatomic particles have been demonstrated in real-world experiments to behave as if they are in two states simultaneously. Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated, interact, or share spatial proximity in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the other(s), even when the particles are separated by a large distance. It is also involved in the science underlying the possibility of quantum supercomputers.

Schroedinger’s Cat may be analogous in some ways to the recent viral phenomenon of Glory Hole’s Bird. Everyone knows the cormorant in the video described above swam over the edge and into Glory Hole. But the subsequent debate about whether the bird survived was driven by the concept of “observing” the bird exit the Glory Hole output torrent alive. Many people, based on an understandable misunderstanding of basic science, were convinced that the cormorant could not have survived. So for a certain amount of time in the real world, the bird could be considered simultaneously alive and dead. But there was a single observer who did see Glory Hole’s Bird shoot out of the exit tunnel and subsequently fly away. He was apparently the person responsible for collapsing the Glory Hole Bird’s quantum wave function and sending it on its way.

This incident raises the specter of a deeper phenomenon underlying the functioning of Glory Hole.

Glory Hole: Awesome, Frightening, But Dangerous?

There's been a lot of news coverage of Lake Berryessa during the last few years after Glory Hole spilled again for the second time in three years. The photos and videos taken by the Lake Berryessa News Drone have amazed, and frightened, people who have never seen the Glory Hole in action before. Inevitably the question is raised about the danger of the structure.

It's difficult to get close to the Glory Hole at any time due to the barriers in place. And only a fool would cross the buoy line to get close to it when it's flowing strongly four feet over the edge, as it is now. The Glory Hole has only spilled 25 times in 60 years. 2017 is the 26th. But back in 1997 a woman did die when she “fell” in.

In the story from SFGATE below you can see that the water was not very high if she were able to grip the top for so long.There was speculation at the time that she had purposely pushed herself over the edge, not been "sucked" in.

Witnesses had tried to talk the lady for many minutes to convince her to swim to shore, but she refused. Data shows that the lake level was only a few inches above the lip of the spillway. She was never “sucked” into the spillway. Her body was found several hours later in Lower Putah Creek.



SFGate EDITOR'S NOTE - 2017 Update: This story is from 1997. It is being resurfaced by other sites and on search due to current coverage of the Lake Berryessa Glory Hole spilling over in February 2017.

ORIGINAL STORY: Woman Sucked Into Lake Berryessa Spillway (Wednesday, March 12, 1997)

Napa -- Emily Schwalek, 41, of Davis was killed Sunday when she was sucked down a spillway at the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa. The spillway, which drops straight down more than 200 feet, is known as the Glory Hole. It routes excess water from the lake into a 72 foot diameter entrance structure known as the Glory Hole down to a 28-foot-wide exit pipe. Authorities said witnesses reported seeing Schwalek swimming toward the spillway at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The woman dropped out of sight after gripping the edge of the hole for about 20 minutes, witnesses said. There has never been a documented case of anyone else falling through the Glory Hole, said Don Burbey of the Solano Irrigation District.                       © Peter Kilkus 2020