Dowsing

gyrtrash

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#62
I was doing a bit of local history research into weird things and came across this:-

In 1934, A. Reginald Smith, well-known watercolour artist, lost his life in the raging torrent of the famous Strid at Bolton Abbey, in the Yorkshire Dales.
His disappearance was a mystery at the time. According to the local newspaper the Telegraph & Argus;-

The body was recovered from a deep crevice which last week was indicated by a water diviner, Mr R. Brotton, of Richmond, as the point where a body would be found.
This quite surprised me. I thought the use of 'diviners' was a relatively recent thing, seeming to recall stories from the seventies or eighties where the Police employed their services. How did they do it? Pendulem over a map? Can anyone remember any details of the cases?
 

TheQuixote

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#63
David Raven said:
I was doing a bit of local history research into weird things and came across this:-

In 1934, A. Reginald Smith, well-known watercolour artist, lost his life in the raging torrent of the famous Strid at Bolton Abbey, in the Yorkshire Dales.
His disappearance was a mystery at the time. According to the local newspaper the Telegraph & Argus;-



This quite surprised me. I thought the use of 'diviners' was a relatively recent thing, seeming to recall stories from the seventies or eighties where the Police employed their services. How did they do it? Pendulem over a map? Can anyone remember any details of the cases?
If you look on page three of this thread, right at the bottom, I've quoted a case from the 17th C, I was just as surprised myself to find how long divining has been around. Plus the link I've posted, if you scroll right down the page it will also give historical time periods/dates of known use of divining.
:)

IIRC clearly when 'dowsers' wish to locate bodies such as in police investigations, it usually done by pendulum and map. I can remember reading instances of it 'apparently' being of help in investigations but cannot give any solid reference to it. Which is of course no help to you, but I hope you find what you are looking for!;)
 

gyrtrash

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#64
Interesting, Quixote.
Does your book say if the french 'peasant' was employed by the police? I assumed divining per se had been around for ages, it was the early use in aiding law enforcement that surprised me.

Have you noticed, the funny thing with 'research' is how you come across things that tie-in with so many other things...?I'm not sure I know what I'm looking for anymore! So many interesting roads to follow...not enough time to pursue them all...
 

anne_of_28_days

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#65
I may have missed it, but I haven't seen any mention of dousing for graves. If you take metal dousing rods into a cemetery, they will cross over the graves. Maybe a subconscious thing, but I also know of mass unmarked graves being located and flagged -- by the highway department -- using this method.
 

TheQuixote

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#66
David Raven said:
Interesting, Quixote.
Does your book say if the french 'peasant' was employed by the police? I assumed divining per se had been around for ages, it was the early use in aiding law enforcement that surprised me.
Doh! Sorry, slow on the uptake. :goof:

Yes he was employed by a 'Procureur du Roi' and the 'Leiutenant-criminel' which would be akin to magistrates I believe.

I quote:

"His renown caused him to be summoned to Lyons by the Procureur du Roi and the Leiutenant-criminel to help them discover the murderers of a wine-merchant and his wife who had been found in a cellar with their throats cut. "His rod twisted rapidly at the two spots in the cellar where the two corpses had been found," wrote Pierre Garnier, physician of Montpellier, in his Dissertation physique sur la baguette, published at Lyons in 1962, the very year of the crime."

In this case he did use the divining rod to follow the trail of the murderer only to find the criminal had already been arrested for another crime and the trail had lead straight to a prison, where the murderer confessed to the double killing.

Bearing in mind how dowsing could easily be misconstrued as the 'devil's work' in 1692, I think this Jacques Aymar was a pretty brave guy to be doing this kind of thing considering the fate of proven 'witches' etc..

I know this use of the rod totally contradicts my earlier post where I said I recall only pendulums being used etc. but I have only heard of contempory dowsers using said pendulum and map in aiding the police. It would be interesting to find out if that is correct or not.
 

gyrtrash

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#67
Play Dead said:
I may have missed it, but I haven't seen any mention of dousing for graves. If you take metal dousing rods into a cemetery, they will cross over the graves. Maybe a subconscious thing, but I also know of mass unmarked graves being located and flagged -- by the highway department -- using this method.
Never thought of that.
Er, do you get many 'mass unmarked graves' in your locality?:eek!!!!:

It struck me the other day, because we live on such a tiny overcrowded island, we're probabley never too far from the final resting place of someone. Who knows what happened where you are sitting right now, in centuries past...
 

anne_of_28_days

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#68
David Raven said:
Never thought of that.
Er, do you get many 'mass unmarked graves' in your locality?:eek!!!!:
LOL!

This was along the Oregon Trail -- and it was surmised that an entire wagon train may have been wiped out by an epidemic.
 

ArthurASCII

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#69
Michael Wason said:
Arthur, try it yourself, all you need is a couple of welding rods with the ends bent at 90% to make hand holds, hold them in front of you and wander about ,see what happens, this is so easy its something everyone can do. And Stonedoggy I dont know if your serious or taking the piss.
Tried it.

Didn't work.

Dowsing does not appear to be a scientically proven ability. You'd think that if "it's something everyone can do" someone would have done it!

If you really can do it. Go earn a million dollars. I'll be rooting for you.
 

Bullseye

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#70
Arthur ASCII said:
Tried it.

Didn't work.

Go earn a million dollars. I'll be rooting for you.
Really suprised it did'nt work, try again?.
As for the million Dollars, the contract's probably got even more loopholes than an insurance policy.!.
 

anne_of_28_days

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#71
Michael Wason said:
Arthur, try it yourself, all you need is a couple of welding rods with the ends bent at 90% to make hand holds, hold them in front of you and wander about ,see what happens, this is so easy its something everyone can do. And Stonedoggy I dont know if your serious or taking the piss.
This can also be done cheaply with metal clothing hangers simply straightened and bent. Unlike dowsing with twigs, which to my knowledge are held tightly, the long section of the metal rods are just rested across your forefingers, the handle against your palm.
 

gyrtrash

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#72
THIS SITE has an article on the 'water witches', including info on a German study to prove dowsing can work...

Some of the strongest evidence for dowsing comes from Germany and the so-called "Scheunen" or "Barn" experiment. In 1987 and 1988, more than 500 dowsers participated in more than 10,000 double-blind tests set up by physicists in a barn near Munich. (Scheune is the German word for barn.) The researchers claim they empirically proved "a real dowsing phenomenon." Jim Enright of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography evaluated the data of the so-called "real dowsing phenomenon” and attributed it to chance.
Further evidence for water witching has been presented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) [the German Society for Technical Co-operation] sponsored by the German government. They claim, for example, that in some of their water dowsing efforts they had success rates above 80%, "results which, according to responsible experts, could not be reached by means of classical methods, except with disproportionate input." Of particular interest is a report by University of Munich physicist Hans-Dieter Betz, ‘Unconventional Water Detection: Field test of the Dowsing Technique in Dry Zones’ published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 1995.

Betz ruled out chance and the use of landscape and geological features by dowsers as explanations for their success. He also ruled out "some unknown biological sensitivity to water." Betz thinks that there may be "subtle electromagnetic gradients" resulting from fissures and water flows that create changes in the electrical properties of rock and soil.
Water witches or dowsers, he thinks, somehow sense these gradients in a hypersensitive state. "I'm a scientist," says Betz, "and those are my best plausible scientific hypotheses at this point.... we have established that dowsing works, but have no idea how or why."

One water expert and former regional water adviser of the World Health organization, Dr. Edwin Lee, had this to say when asked about water witching, “There is no empirical basis for water divining, yet it works. Water witches have not studied hydrogeology academically, but they know it intuitively.”
 

ArthurASCII

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#73
Michael Wason said:
Really suprised it did'nt work, try again?.
As for the million Dollars, the contract's probably got even more loopholes than an insurance policy.!.
I take it that's a NO then?

You old sceptic you ;)
 

brianellwood

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#74
This chat could go on for ever!:D I believe dowsing works, what I would like to know is some sensible theories of how it could.
 

Bullseye

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#75
My theory is this, this is my theory, dinosuars were very very thin at one end ........sorry wrong sketch....Best I can come up with is that the body acts as some sort of ariel, in the same way that when you try to tune an old ariel type TV the picture often gets much better when you are holding the lead, same as old radio's
 

brianellwood

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#76
One suggestion I've come across is that the body detects some kind of radiation field (hard to see how it could be an e.m. field or we would detect the earth's constantly changing field, with many reports from the recent solar storm of the effect) which is changed or stressed by the presence of water, minerals etc. The result is very slight movement of body muscles.The rods are used to 'amplify' this movement in the manner of a galvanometer mirror and light or a long meter needle. Some dowsers have told me that they can eventually - after a few years of dowsing - dispense with the rods as they can feel a minute movement in the wrist muscles on detection. For me all I can find is water using the standard metal rods.
However, a friend of mine, who is a sculptor, tells me he can find ancient artifacts using dowsing. I've never been along on one of his quests, but he certainly has found a large number of flint arrow heads etc. in the last year or two. Also he says he can detect quartz crystals and has given me several large specimens that he found.
 

intaglio

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#77
Dowsing and tests.

Why is dowsing used by practical people like farmers, water companies, oil companies and the like? Because for them; at that time; it works.

Yet when such "non-rational" methods are put to a rational test, why do they show no effect?

I am reminded of the medical use for leeches which was discontinued in the UK about the time the NHS was formed despite anecdotal evidence that it worked because there was no rational evidence that it worked. But now ....

I am lead to wonder if conflicting beliefs are the cause of the confusion
 

ArthurASCII

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#78

Breakfastologist

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#79
Yet when such "non-rational" methods are put to a rational test, why do they show no effect?
I have heard the statistics quoted that in some tests (I don't recall the source, but I seem to remember it was quite reputable) of psychic ability people who believed themselves psychic were typically able to score significantly higher than statistical average results, whereas people who were determinedly sceptical scored significantly lower than the average results. Could it be that being surrounded by people who don't believe something is possible will actually suppress the effect, either directly, through causing some kind of "doubt field" or indirectly by undermining the confidence of the person being experimented on?

If this is the case it is likely to be nigh on impossible to ever come up with any kind of scientifically acceptable test of any paranormal effects.

(edit: bad punctuation)
 

brianellwood

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#80
AA. Had a look at both sites. The first is interesting ( though, as u say sceptical). I can't say I could believe in a 'grid system' of rays of different sorts, grids are mathematical concepts set up for convenience (i.e. os grid) and I'm sure cannot exist naturally. Fields must surely have smooth gradients and don't interact except through non-linear devices. Though obviously they can be bent and twisted. E rays ( and their earlier form Zwann rays, have never been satisfactorily shown to exist, but then neither did 'cosmic' rays until fairly recently. Feng Shui, unfortunately, like daily newspaper horoscopes, offers a licence to print money, even if there may be something in it. After all, radiation from granite was not detected for years, and now radon is supposedly a health hazard, mind you, I haven't seen any Cornish babies around with pointy ears, twooheads or whatever, in spite of the warnings! Randi's offer seems straightforward enough, though implicit is the promise of making you into a right arse if you fail. I, for one would like £1 mill icognito, but if you won it you would be a world celebrity... and I've seen first-hand what the media can do to you for life :(
 

brianellwood

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#81
Testing dowsing should be simple, surely all you need is a game of 'cherchez la femme'? Stick water glasses, minerals, a gold ring, whatever, under identical covers laid out in a grid system in a large space such as a school hall. Bring in the dowser to look for the target. Probably need to check for anomalies beforehand, such as pipes etc under the floor. All covers would need to be moved after each replacement. Enough covers, and the statistical chances against success are enormous But, I'm sure it's been done... and what if there is a so-called 'quantum' effect, the observers influence the result, (as breakfast suggests) maybe stop it working, then you're up the creek, but that used to be the mediums' excuse in Victorian days for failure to perform..."there's a non-believer in our midst!"
Maybe I should try it! However, I still believe dowsing can work, and that muscular movement is the cause of the rod movement, though what I'm detecting over stones in a stone circle and not detecting over peoples' granite gate posts(see earlier thread)
I can't say. ;)
 
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#82
Another article by our own Mark Pilkington (and a bit of a merge):

Water witching

Mark Pilkington
Thursday June 17, 2004
The Guardian

"Call me old-fashioned, but I rely on my rods," engineer Dougie Scriven told journalists as he retired from Yorkshire Water in 2001. "I've used them for 24 years now and they have come up trumps when everything else has failed." Before leaving, Scriven trained several new employees in the use of dowsing rods, just as he was taught to use them on joining the firm in the 1970s.

Divination for water, oil, minerals and other objects - traditionally using a forked twig of hazel or yew, copper wire, a pendulum or even a bent coat-hanger - is still practised all over the world. Known as water witching, radiesthesia, rhabdomancy, divining or dowsing, it's a skill that has been carried out for thousands of years across every continent. There are numerous historical accounts of successes, from the 1692 case of Jacques Aymar in Lyon, who used divining rods to track down three murderers, to US engineers finding tunnels and traps in the Vietnam war.

The forces behind the ability have been ascribed to everything from electromagnetism and radiation to subconscious readings of the landscape or human body language, but ultimately remain unidentified.

They are also temperamental. Typically, when studied under controlled conditions, the dowsers are unable to perform as well as they had expected, often scoring results close to chance. As yet, no dowser has claimed the million dollars offered by arch-debunker James Randi to anyone satisfactorily demonstrating paranormal abilities.

One famous study, carried out near Munich in the late-1980s, saw 500 dowsers perform almost 10,000 double blind trials detecting pipes buried underground. While the physics professor behind the experiment, Hans-Dieter Betz of Munich University, declared that he had incontrovertible evidence of the dowsers' abilities, hardline statisticians have since called the findings into serious question.

But for every doubting scientist there's a success story. In 2003, a dowser hired by the Ysgol Gyfun Preseli school in Pembrokeshire located an underground water supply which, it is hoped, could save them £10,000 a year in water bills.

It's likely that the Munich experiments will remain the most extensive for some time, but we can be sure that forked twigs and copper rods will be part of the well-digger's toolkit for generations to come.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/farout/story/0,13028,1240010,00.html

Stu: Did you ever hear back from Randi on your dowsing challenge?:

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2315

Emps
 

gyrtrash

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#83
I'm hoping to accompany a local guy when he dowses the ancient sacred sites on Ilkley moor, in August.
I've never seen a dowser at work before, it'll be fun to see how it works (if it does!)...:D I'll let you know if he 'detects' anything!
 

ArthurASCII

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#84
Gyrtrash said:
I'm hoping to accompany a local guy when he dowses the ancient sacred sites on Ilkley moor, in August.
I've never seen a dowser at work before, it'll be fun to see how it works (if it does!)...:D I'll let you know if he 'detects' anything!
What does he hope to detect?
 
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#86
Or Nazi gold??:

Dowser to solve Nazi gold mystery

THE mystery of what happened to the Nazi gold could be on the brink of being solved by a Chorley dowser.

Jim Longton, from Euxton, believes his trusty dowsing rods have already pointed him in the right direction and now all he has to do is travel to Hitler's lair in Germany to uncover the gold.

He will begin his journey on June 21. Jim claimed: "I already know where it is."

The gold is believed to have been stolen from banks and individuals from countries occupied by the Germans during 1945-47.

Many experts have attempted to discover its whereabouts but Jim hopes his rods, which he uses to create positive energy fields and to find things, can finally unravel the 60-year-old mystery.
http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/lancashire/chorley/news/CHORNEWS11.html
 
A

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#87
http://www.helenair.com/articles/2004/08/22/helena_top/a01082204_04.txt

Water, water everywhere

By EVE BYRON - IR Staff Writer - 08/22/04

Florence Young knew since she was 10 years old that she could tap into some powerful things.

Her ability scared her and she pushed it away for a while, but the former school teacher from Decker eventually embraced her abilities, and for the past 50 years one way she's used her skills is to detect water underground.

At 73, with soft white hair framing her thoughtful face and mischievous blue eyes, Young looks more like somebody's favorite grandmother than a mystical conduit. But on Saturday, at the Silos Inn north of Townsend, Young was surrounded by others like herself who believe that a higher force guides them when they're dowsing for water.

"You are a tool, I'm going to say, of a higher being," Young said, her gentle smile not quite masking the seriousness behind her statement. "I can't do this myself; I'm only a tool. It's like I asked people who came here today — how did you come in this room? They say ‘I came in through the door.' But before they came through the door, they had to open the door. Do you know what I'm saying?"

Their trade is a mix of spirituality and mysticism, although most of the 40 people at this 28th annual meeting of the Big Sky Dowsers Association are quick to say there's nothing magical about finding water underground, and they look about as down to earth as a group you'd find at the church bake sale.


"I tell people to tell themselves that ‘If Guy Hockett can dowse, then I know I can do it too,' " says Hockett, who traveled from Lebanon, Ore., for Saturday's conference. "You can use anything — I've seen people dowsing with saw blades and I've used saw blades. I saw them using shovels and I've used shovels. I saw them use crowbars and I've used crowbars. Tire chains, logging chains — most anything will work."

Heck, just tell Hockett your name and general location of where you live, and he'll concentrate for a moment, then tell you where to drill for water on your property, how deep you'll go and how many gallons per minute you'll find.

"After a couple of years, it gets kind of weird, but I just know where water is," said Hockett, whose blue baseball cap shades eyes that look like they've pierced the earth looking for water a time or two.

"There's nothing scary about dowsing, though, and anyone can do it if they believe they can do it."

The techniques vary a bit, but most of the dowsers at the convention say that when they begin their search, they concentrate and start to ask themselves questions, either internally or out loud.

"I want to know about quality, depth and quantity — whether it will provide water year-round, 24 hours a day," Hockett said.

They test their techniques outside of the Silos, in what must be an odder convention ritual. One man slips on a leather glove with a rawhide cord wrapped around the forefinger, with a nut dangling from its end, and dangles it over the ground.

A couple walks back and forth, 30-inch lengths of a broken off fishing pole bobbing in their hands, waiting for it to circle over the water source. Another group carries L-shaped metal rods in each hand, which swing to and fro, crossing above another underground stream.

Most of the traditional Y-shaped willow branches have been replaced with nylon or fiberglass tubes, and a line of eight dowsers slowly walk forward, hands hip length holding the tubes' ends, waiting for the tell-tale dip signifying a hit.

Vern Bandy of Bozeman — a retired financial analyst — is perhaps the best equipped dowser here. He straps on what looks like a carpenter's belt, but instead of a hammer and screwdriver, his tools include a wide range of nylon tubes.

One Y looks like it has a balloon with gravel stretched over its end and another holds sand; these are called "witnesses" and help the dowser detect those elements underground. A thicker wand is used for volume detection.

"Interpretation is 70 percent of it," Bandy notes. "You can use just about anything."

"Remember that guy who used a pitchfork?" says John Young.

"And what about that girl from Ekalaka who did it with a pliers?" Bandy responds.

"And then there was that guy with the fishing pole," Young said.

Along with searching for water, Clayton and Charlotte Johnson of Helena use their abilities — mostly Clayton's, Charlotte says — to find specks of gold using a rod with a bit of gold on the end, or small sections of petrified trees.

Mary Baenen of Libby stands out in this group, as one of the few people at the convention who is younger than 50 and whose tie-dyed shirt isn't the traditional ranching attire. She's been a member of the dowsers association for four years and is here with her friend Gerald Luhrer of Idaho.

They're here to learn more, not just for themselves but to possibly bring the information to a new generation."

"I don't think it's a dying art — I think it's here to stay, but they are trying to keep more young people interested," Baenen said. "These people have been so generous with their time and talent; to pass this on is really neat."

But the dowsing convention is about more than just water underneath the surface.

If you're wondering if you have the ability to dowse, Florence Young will take your hand and search for what she says is a telltale sign — an "x" in a particular place on the palm. She'll also tell you, if you ask, about any illness you may be harboring, judging by the lines on your fingernails or fingers.

And Hockett is happy to channel a healing touch to a shoulder or vertebra, which he says will help balance your energy, just to round out your day.

"It's all about faith," Hockett says. "And if you have faith, you can do it."
 

ArthurASCII

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#88
I really don't see how the article above moves the story on.:confused: It's just a story. Without some comment to stimulate debate, the message board is in danger of becoming no more than a library of press cuttings.
 

The late Pete Younger

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#89
Our local paper reprints articles from a hundred years ago, one last week was about a test of dowsing, the first test seemed quite successful but then they did the obvious, blindfolded the dowser spun him round and set him off, the result was complete failure.
Here's an article that tries to prove how it works.
 

gyrtrash

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#90
I tried dowsing for the first time a few days ago.

Got a couple of bent fencing-wire rods off a very nice gardener who's been dowsing for years. He showed me the best way to hold 'em and stand. We went into his garden and I walked through it looking for water courses and the wires crossed every time I walked over a certain bit of the garden. Turns out that's where the drain is.

(Sorry, still no irrefutable evidence or hard scientifically-provable data to support the concept of dowsing - just more second-hand stories. But I had to try it for myself).

:rolleyes:
 
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