Dowsing

gyrtrash

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Breakfastologist

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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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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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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. ;)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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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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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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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?
 

gyrtrash

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Arthur ASCII said:
What does he hope to detect?

Dunno!

'Energy' lines?
Underground water courses?


I'll let you know...
 

Mighty_Emperor

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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
 

brianellwood

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The tests I did (though hardly "scientific") with myself and my son, where performed around the water storage tank which supplies the town of St. Just. The tank is on the highest point and surrounded by farm fields and scrub. There were certainly no indicators of water courses, the water flowing in buried pipes some 3 metres down. Too deep to show vegetation marks I would have thought. I would agree that a trained eye could detect anomolies, in the same way as a good fisherman will pick a productive spot on a river. I reckon our brains must process a lot of information that is subconsciously dealt with which will include many minor details etc. adding up to a conscious decision based on what we would call intuition, feeling etc.
 
A

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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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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.
 

Pete Younger

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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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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:
 

ArthurASCII

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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).
 

jonnash4

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 
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