Dowsing

ArthurASCII

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#91
Gyrtrash said:
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.
Was there any water flowing through the drain at the time ?

(drains are built on a slope, so are normally empty of water until it is introduced by a flush or other means).
 

stu neville

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#92

jonnash4

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#93
Don't know how much this will help but....
....last week i was 'training' (sort of) for a guiding job from salisbury to stonehenge. While at stonehenge the guide i was following took out some dowsing rods and across the axis of stonehenge they came together. She then re demonstarted with her eyes shut and again at the same point they crossed. I was a little sceptical despite my interest in all fortean, tried it and it worked...thought it might be my subconcious, tried again (determined that it wouldnt work) and they once more crossed. The other thing is that the wind as blowing moderately in the opposite direction to the one the rods moved in. bizzare. 2 or 3 other people that day who she let have a go were also successful, including a quite sceptical person......

more things in heaven and earth and all that.........
 

gyrtrash

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#94
Arthur ASCII said:
Was there any water flowing through the drain at the time ?

(drains are built on a slope, so are normally empty of water until it is introduced by a flush or other means).
Good point!
I'll ask him next time I see him!

(The times I've looked in drains, there's sometimes a bit of standing water.)


Out of interest (to me anyway!), I dowsed the area where I'm building a stone circle in a customers garden. Every time I entered the marked-out perimeter, the wires crossed. That happened to a colleague too who was trying it for the first time.
It also happened in a few other parts of the garden, there are land-drains there.

Dunno why they crossed each time the circle perimeter was crossed though... it's not even built yet :confused:
 

dreeness

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#95
an overview of dowsing research (circa 1982):
link


A few nagging questions that may prey on enquiring minds:

If someone has been taking water from a dowsed well, and it can be established that dowsing is unscientific, should that person be required to put the water back?

A "million dollar prize", is that a million in the generally accepted sense of "one thousand multiplied by one thousand"?

Could using a search engine be considered a form of "cyber dowsing"?
For example, if someone was to Google for the phrase

"Randi should have paid the $1000, but he never did"

would that be considered a form of dowsing, and would the results of such dowsing be potentially deleterious to dialectic rationalism, if not flagrantly counterrevolutionary and downright impertinent?
:confused:
 

ArthurASCII

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#96
If someone has been taking water from a dowsed well, and it can be established that dowsing is unscientific, should that person be required to put the water back?
Calm down......

No-one says that dowsing is unscientific. Dowsers repeatedly fail to gain more than a statictically average amount of success in scientifically controlled tests. That doesn't necessarily mean that dowsing doesn't work per se.

A "million dollar prize", is that a million in the generally accepted sense of "one thousand multiplied by one thousand"?
It's a million dollars as generally accepted by millions of americans (how ever many that is).


Could using a search engine be considered a form of "cyber dowsing"?
Only by using the most twisted logic.
 

KeyserXSoze

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#97
Source
Can you really find water with a forked stick?

BY JEFF ELDER

Q: Can you really find water using a forked stick? - (KRT) - Tim Manis

A: Tim, this is called dowsing, and people have been doing it for thousands of years. Skeptics say it has always been phony.

Dowsers use all kinds of equipment to search for all kinds of things. Richard Crutchfield is president of the Appalachian Chapter of the American Society of Dowsers, based in Asheville, N.C. He uses an L-shaped rod of bent wire and says he finds what he's seeking - often water - 80 percent of the time. He calls it "a life calling" and "great fun."

Dowsers often say the stick or rod or pendulum they use mysteriously moves to indicate the location of underground water or another sought-after object.

Scientists and skeptics say "horsefeathers!" - or use another barnyard-related term to indicate disbelief.

The James Randi Educational Foundation, a Florida not-for-profit organization that scrutinizes supernatural claims, identifies dowsing as one of the world's most common - and bogus - "mystical" practices.

Randi, who offers $1 million to anyone who can demonstrate supernatural powers in a controlled scientific test, writes this on his Web site:

"The dowser is unknowingly moving the device of choice, exerting a small shaking, tilt or pressure to it, enough to disturb its state of balance. This has been shown any number of times to be true, but the demonstration has meant nothing to the dowsers, who will persist in their delusion no matter how many times it is shown to them that dowsing DOES NOT WORK."

Ray Hyman wrote "Water Witching U.S.A." (University Of Chicago Press, 2000) with Evon Z. Vogt. "No matter how many ways we find to poke a hole in their claims, they have ready-made ways to seal these holes and protect their belief," Hyman said in an interview with PBS.

Crutchfield's response?

"It's a psychic energy. You can't explain it through science."

Does dowsing work? Scientists and journalists are paid to be skeptical. What do you think?

---

© 2005, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.).

Visit The Charlotte Observer on the World Wide Web at http://www.charlotte.com

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services
 

Breakfastologist

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#98
Arthur ASCII said:
Could using a search engine be considered a form of "cyber dowsing"?
Only by using the most twisted logic.
No, it could be quite rationally if you held a forked hazel twig above the keyboard and let it's twitching press the keys to create your search terms...
 

MrRING

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#99
Interesting book on Dowsing, looks like it draws together many different strands of the story. It's called The Divining Hand:: The 500 year-old Mystery of Dowsing by Christopher Bird:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...5/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-8106268-0579003
And a review:
An informative history of the oft misunderstood dowsing art., September 2, 1999
Reviewer: A reader

I first read this book in 1992, and I have referred to it so many times since that I now know it's content backwards. The late Christopher Bird took a documentary view of the whole subject of dowsing, from it's earliest history to the present day, in the fields of water divining, mineral and oil exploration, tunnel and cave location, missing objects, animals and people, geopathic stress, and medical diagnosis, including both physical and remote sensing.

As a Geologist, I found the book quite fascinating, and packed with useful information and guidelines for the would be dowser. Although one does have to cut through a lot of misconcieved mysticism and folklore, and religious and scientific taboo, to get to the core of this subject, the basics and the details of practical dowsing are all there in "The Divining Hand".

There is a long history of water divining in my family, but for many generations there have been no practising diviners. I was inspired by this book to explore the potential of divining in the modern context of the earth sciences, and I found it to be so effective and successful that in 1994 I started in business as a professional diviner or dowser.

Divining is a great asset in geological mapping and in the location and assessment of mineral, oil, and gas resources. For groundwater source location and assessment it can not be equalled even by the latest state-of-the-art geophysics.

I have developed a systematic exploration method called Geodivining, utilising both remote-sensory map-dowsing and field divining techniques, which is successful world-wide. I have found most of the claims made for divining in Christopher Bird's book to be verifiable, and the success of my own work adds a powerful testimony.

Geodivining is so much in demand by drilling contractors and clients in the UK, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, that I and my trainee Geodiviners are hard pressed to keep up with the work.

Bird's book "The Divining Hand" changed my life for the better; and whilst it may leave some readers cold, for anyone with a genuine interest in learning more about the subject of dowsing, this book is an excellent place to start.
But a question - is dowsing supposed to find any water/oil/mineral, or just naturally occuring water/oil/mineral? It seems like it would be hard to test adequetly if it's only naturally occuring stuff, because people could study up on the land beforehand...
 

krobone

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All I can say is that if dowsing really worked they'd all have well-paid jobs for the oil & mining industries.
 

rynner2

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Krobone said:
All I can say is that if dowsing really worked they'd all have well-paid jobs for the oil & mining industries.
Many of them have: the (apparently anonymous) reviewer of the Divining Hand (see above) says:
I have developed a systematic exploration method called Geodivining, utilising both remote-sensory map-dowsing and field divining techniques, which is successful world-wide. I have found most of the claims made for divining in Christopher Bird's book to be verifiable, and the success of my own work adds a powerful testimony.

Geodivining is so much in demand by drilling contractors and clients in the UK, North America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, that I and my trainee Geodiviners are hard pressed to keep up with the work.
 

MrRING

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I wonder if this is the guy who wrote the review?

http://www.geodivining.com/
This Web site is designed to be of interest to a broad range of visitors; and we hope all our visitors will find useful information of general, educational, technical, and scientific interest in these pages.

For private and business clients, for professionals in groundwater development, mineral exploration, and oil & gas exploration, and for all aid agencies, NGO's, and UN or government departments; there are easily accessible sector-specific pages that go straight to the brass tacks of how we can help you to discover and evaluate the groundwater and mineral resources you need to find.

We declare both commercial and altruistic interests, and we therefore do offer a free advice service within the practical limitations of our ability and resources, alongside our professional consultancy services. There's a wealth of links to related web sites where more diverse and detailed topics may be found, but if you can't find what you're looking for, please just ask.
We'll always try to help you find what you need.

Clients wishing to arrange a survey are invited to visit our easy "Request a Survey" page, and tell us what you'd like us to help you with; and visitors who want to ask a question or make a comment, are invited to visit our guest book. If you prefer, you can write, or e-mail us directly at the address given below.

We hope you will enjoy browsing these pages, let us know what you think of our new web site, and share your interest with your friends and colleagues.
 

many_angled_one

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I always thought of dowsing as the same as the "aerial effect".
By that I mean you have a portable tv with a small aerial on top, you get a fuzzy picture and you try to touch it, as soon as you touch the metal the picture clears up, only to go fuzzy when you let go. Basically your body serves as an extension of the aerial enabling it to pick up more signals thus a better picture reception.

I always thought of dowsing the same way, using your body to "tune in" to certain signals via the rods.
 
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I had a go at dowsing with a pendulum a few years ago, following TC Lethbridge's book and scientific experiments on the subject. He had worked out 'rates' for certain substances by measuring the distance of string unravelled before the pendulum would start its characteristic circular swing.

Trying not to look at his chart of rates I set out with my own pendulum and carefully tried to test a variety of objects. I took at least the best of three for each and averaged the result.

I found that my rates (I took about 8 objects in the end) were surprisingly in good agreement with Lethbridge's. I wish I had continued the experiments, but I needed privacy to do these things (people tend to think your're nuts, strutting round your garden with a big marble tied to a piece of string).

I recognise that feeling that people have described that they are somehow slightly controlling the movement and I got this feeling too, but it felt more like I was responding to something, and there was a sort of 'feedback' element to it that I can't explain very well. Also, I was not consciously aware of Lethbridges rates, unless of course I did unconsciously take them in, which is always feasible. I'd like to do the experiments again sometime, and this time I'll do it properly and put the results through some strict statistical analysis.
 

rynner2

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theyithian said:
Free and instant subscription necessary.
Oh no it isn't!

I watched about 15 minutes of it before becoming irritated to bits.

Clearly Randi hasn't changed his opinions in 26 years, so I'm damned if I'll change mine! 8)

Smug bastard!

(And you can apply that to him or me, as you choose! :D )
 

gyrtrash

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Apparently, Ty Nant (that fancy water in the trendy bottle, that appears in James Bond films) was discovered by a dowser...

Source!
 

rynner2

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Water engineer who relies on divine intervention

Upton Steve Robinson, a water engineer, does not bother with high-tech radio waves to detect broken pipes – he uses the ancient art of divining with a couple of old welding rods.

Mr Robinson, 47, from Upton, Wirral, who was taught his technique by a retired colleague, is so accurate that other workmates call on him for help.

“I just hold the rods and let them go where they want,” he said.

“When I hit water, they cross over.”

His employers, United Utilities, said that divining rods were not standard issue but added: “We can’t deny that Steve has achieved some uncannily accurate results.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/e ... 792748.ece
 
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My dad was a plumber, he used to use a couple of bent wire coathangers, for dowsing hidden water pipes. That was back in the days before those pocket pipe detectors, that you can buy in DIY stores and trade suppliers.
 

djoltes

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rynner2 said:
Water engineer who relies on divine intervention

Upton Steve Robinson, a water engineer, does not bother with high-tech radio waves to detect broken pipes – he uses the ancient art of divining with a couple of old welding rods.
The problem with dowsing for water is, well, in many locations you're likely to hit it no matter where you dig. I once saw a utility worker using dowsing rods at a building on (of all places) Harvard University's campus. I asked what he was looking for and he said "water." I reminded him he was 1 block from the Charles River, and likely to hit water anywhere as all the local buildings were heavily sealed with hydraulic cement to keep said substance out. He was very miffed.

In another incident, I saw how dowsing does NOT work and is pretty obviously guided by the practitioner. A sewer problem at my own house required locating the outflow pipe; a plumber walked the front garden, spotted the exit point for said pipe, and produced his dowsing rods. He walked around the area where, if the pipe projected straight away from the house, it might have been found. The rods crossed a few times and he confidently put a stake in the ground.

He then produced his shovels and said he was going to dig. I told him no, and that I wasn't having my lawn dug up based on such testing. Another bloke showed up the next day, did the same thing (I'd removed the stake) and came up with a location over a metre from the first.

I hired another company with a radio-based camera/snake system. They ran the snake down the pipe to the location of the blockage, turned on the radio unit, and walked the grounds with the receiver. It finally went off -- 20 metres from either of the "dowsers'" marks. They'd been completely wrong, and were relying on visual cues based on the presumed route of the pipe from house to street.

I suspect most successes with dowsing are due to either luck or a well-developed sense among people who regularly work with such things...visual and other cues they're probably not even aware of.

Randi _did_ test dowsing, in Italy, about 25 years back. The three professional dowsers he brought in (I've seen the films) had a 0% success rate. And the test was definitely fair.

All this said, I'd love to see someone show how the practise actually works.
 
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61 comments at the link so far.

Why dowsing makes perfect sense
www.newscientist.com/article/dn17532-wh ... sense.html
14:08 29 July 2009 by Michael Brooks

Last week, I went dowsing. Also known as divining, this is the ancient practice of holding twigs or metal rods that are supposed to move in response to hidden objects. It is often used to look for water, and farmers in California have been known to ask dowsers to find ways to irrigate their land.

Yet despite many anecdotal reports of success, dowsing has never been shown to work in controlled scientific tests. That's not to say the dowsing rods don't move. They do.

The scientific explanation for what happens when people dowse is that "ideomotor movements" – muscle movements caused by subconscious mental activity – make anything held in the hands move. It looks and feels as if the movements are involuntary. The same phenomenon has been shown to lie behind movements of objects on a Ouija-board.

Meet the dowser

I knew all this when I went to meet John Baker, who is supervising a dowsing workshop at Sissinghurst castle in Kent, UK, tomorrow. What I didn't realise is just how hard it is to believe the science.

Baker specialises in dowsing for hidden archaeological structures. By the time I had finished my couple of hours with him, my scepticism about dowsing was getting shaky.

When I arrived, Baker was standing in front of an array of blue flags he had planted in a grassy area in the castle grounds. The flags marked out something his rods had revealed: the outline of a long-forgotten building. Baker held his L-shaped dowsing rods like a pair of sixshooters and walked back and forth across the lines. As he "entered" the building, the rods swung across his body. When he exited, they uncrossed.

At this point, I was neither impressed nor surprised. He could see the line of flags, and he knew what he expected to happen. It would only take a small unconscious movement of his hands to make the rods cross, I thought. What would be impressive and surprising is if the rods crossed when I tried it.

So I had a few goes. Nothing happened. Baker looked untroubled, but I had begun to feel that I was wasting my time.

Just relax

Baker suggested I try to relax, shake out my shoulders, and maybe visualise something to do with buildings, since that was what I was dowsing for. I did – and it worked.

First the rods started to feel "jumpy" in my hands. Though they didn't cross as I walked forward, they felt as if they might want to. So I tried it again. Eventually, they crossed every time I "entered" the building. They even uncrossed at the other side.

I have to confess, however much I might be able to rationalise what was happening, my newfound ability freaked me out a little.

So what happened? Baker's explanation is that by relaxing, and suppressing all my rationalisations, I allowed my brain to tune into a kind of "energy" associated with the buried structure. I think there's a simpler explanation.

Subtle illusion

I was frustrated when nothing happened, and stimulated (and amused) when something did. It seems that a part of me wanted it to work. In other words, the atmosphere was the perfect set-up for the ideomotor effect to kick in and move the rods.

Scientifically minded sceptics often express deep dismay at the credulousness of people who believe in dowsing, extrasensory perception and other "inexplicable" phenomena. They should not be so harsh. The illusions that make them seem plausible are astonishingly subtle and powerful.

It is only human to attribute such observations to something beyond the normal senses. Even if science is your thing, a brief immersion in the world of the "unexplained" can be enough to inject a little doubt.

A final confession: I am still slightly disappointed that the scientific explanation stands up so well. I had a great time with Baker at Sissinghurst, and I'm sure tomorrow's apprentice dowsers will too.

We take pleasure in things that confound our senses, which is why conjuring tricks are delightful and science can seem a killjoy. The physicist Richard Feynman once said that science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. What he didn't say was just how much fun fooling yourself can be.

Michael Brooks is the author of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense (Profile/Doubleday)
 

avakana

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I decided to try dowsing with my father, an atheist, sceptic, doctor and medical administrator... I use metal coat-hangers, straightened and 90 degree handle and challenged him to walk my garden, where previously I had marked with hidden objects, an underground stream. As he walked slowly over, at the first mark the coat-hangers swung open, at the second, they swung closed.... I asked him to repeat it... and take note of where it occurred... being a man of science, he begrudgingly followed instructions.

I then showed him the prior markings, which corresponded exactly to his observations and congratulated him on his success at dowsing... after considerable hmmrpths, he muttered, a coincidence, and marched into lunch!

Make your own rods, you don't need to pay for them and have a bit of fun...
Ava
 

Ducado

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Here is a good experiment, get someone to hide an object (Gold works well) and use a pendulum/rods to find it, then you will know if it works or not
 

MsQkxyz

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Ive not learnt how to read the rods. I mess around with pendulums quite often though, mostly for trivial stuff like trying to predict how much money Im going to make or to find out what time my partner will arrive home and stuff like that. I go through phases of being stunningly accurate and then phases of being quite wrong. I think it has something to do with concentration, but who knows. The accurate times are so acurate to the minute or to the $, I cant put it all down to guess work.
My son was also treated once by a natropath who used dowsing to diagnose and prescribe. We almost walked out when he started pacing up and down with rods, but he proved to be very accurate and his treatments worked like a dream!
 

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My mother could dowse. I've seen her do it on a farm where the farmer who was a friend of ours needed a new water source. He was really skeptical and then really impressed!

She used a couple of twigs that he gave her.

Don't know if I can do it - never tried.
 

Cochise

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What I find interesting about dowsing its its general acceptance in rural communities, not as something weird or religious, but as a practical tool. My next door neighbour uses it to detect cables, pipes, etc. before digging holes. He doesn't see anything odd about it. Mind you, he's also one of those people who is totally fearless about heights - I mean totally - and I find _that_ weird!
 
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