Dowsing

lkb3rd

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
296
Likes
2
Points
34
I work for the phone company, and a co-worker showed me how to use it to find buried telephone wires, and I'll be damned if it didn't work.
 

Cochise

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
4,886
Likes
4,415
Points
159
When you think about it, the basic dowsing ability - to detect boundary changes in the soil below - is not so odd - we have no trouble detecting similar changes in the air.

I'm no advocate of the more esoteric claims for dowsing such as searching for things via a map, but I don't see why the basic concept of a human being able to detect changes in the ground under his/her feet should be impossible, just that the sense is so subtle that we no longer notice it unless we have some implement to focus on.
 

Rushfan62

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
328
Likes
146
Points
59
Yesterday, we had a team of three blokes come to our school to carry out a ground survey prior to some proposed building work (to help decide type of foundation materials etc).
Imagine my surprise to learn that they intended to "Dowse" in order to ascertain certain aspects of the their survey and one of the team was apparantly adept at using divining rods (bent welding rods he told me!)
They werent bulling me, I saw them doing it and while they admitted it wasn't official company policy, they said it was the most effective method, particularly for finding water and drain runs etc. I'm gobsmacked that this apparantly unexplained phenomena has a practical use and it seems is in use on a daily basis! Thoughts?
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
12,031
Likes
142
Points
114
My dad was a plumber, he used to use bent wire coat hangers. Very useful for finding lost water mains, or old tram lines, apparently.

I think that dowsing is probably used by the likes of electrical engineers, plumbers, farmers, road engineers and etc. more often than might be officially recognised.
 

ginoide

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Sep 7, 2001
Messages
775
Likes
81
Points
59
i once met a guy from sardinia who told me it was common usage in certain parts of the island to call in a dowser to find water when they had to decide whether a certain patch of land was good for agricultural use or for building new houses etc
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
34,844
Likes
20,462
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I remember years ago there was a TV program featuring James Randi.
He invited various psychics, diviners etc onto the show to find the location of hidden objects.
During the course of the show, an old dowser came on and successfully found 2 of the 3 items.
I was quite tickled to see Randi rattled for a few moments before he regained his composure - clearly, it was a result he hadn't been expecting.
 

Patrick30

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
127
Likes
221
Points
49
Water Witching

My grandfather was a water witcher. He located all the wells for people in the community that knew him. He used to take me with him on these outings when I was small. He would go cut a forked willow branch and hold it palms down knuckles-in, in front of him and crisscross an area, around a 1/4 ac at a time. He got indications of the depth and vol of the water.
He tried to teach me with the willow stick, but I had difficulty.
He was able to show me the bent coat hangers, and I can find water with those to this day. Grandaddy said they were easier to use but told you less about the depth and volume to the water, and were better for finding underground pipes and such. Anytime I move to a new place I find and make a note of all the water lines. If Im gonna dig near one I dowse and mark its exact location. Ive never had a failure.
My father never had the gift at all, tho he did not doubt his father's ability or mine either for that matter.
It's funny the ability was never really considered divination by my family or my grandfather. It was just a natual abilty that some peple could do and some could not.
It wasn't until I was older and my gradfather had already passed when I read about people dowsing for things besides water, or to tell the future or whatever. I sure would have loved to talk to my grandfather about that.
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,271
Likes
8,908
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
An interesting first post, Patrick! Welcome to the MB!

Do you have any ideas of the mechanism of dowsing? Or do you worry that too much analysis might destroy your talent? (Rather like the millipede who tried to explain how he kept all his legs synchronised, and then found he couldn't walk properly!)
 

Patrick30

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
127
Likes
221
Points
49
rynner2 said:
An interesting first post, Patrick! Welcome to the MB!

Do you have any ideas of the mechanism of dowsing? Or do you worry that too much analysis might destroy your talent? (Rather like the millipede who tried to explain how he kept all his legs synchronised, and then found he couldn't walk properly!)
Its something I've thought about, but really have no idea.
I've always considered it to be perhaps electomagnetic in nature, nothing really supernatural. Like some animals get nervous just before an earthquake or approaching bad weather. But then I was raised by practical white Southern Prodestants. No hocus pocus, be it real or bullshit, is to be summoned except the Father/Son/Holy Spirit.

I still carry those beliefs around. While I've always been open to the idea of spiritual realms, I've always kept the attitude of "don't mess with it or you'll most likely find it, and it most likely wont be a pleasant experience".

So the only "guides" I summon are the good old Holy Trinity.
Works for me. Keeps the boogy man at bay if I listen.
edit: didnt mean to imply that I(or my Grandfather) pray or anything before dowsing for water. The activity is a practical everyday thing, not a spiritual one.

I registered a while back, but just have been lurking from time to time.
While I have an interest in things Fortean I don't have a lot of experience in such matters. This was a subject that I do have some personal experience with.
 

Human_84

Somewhat human
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
1,299
Likes
80
Points
64
Why doesn't someone create a testing ground. A large field with just a few bits of water or metal underneath. If several people in a row (experienced dowsers) can pin-point these things, then mystery solved - right? All you have to do is prove that their odds of locating the items are well above chance (70% or greater) - something like that.

I didn't read the 9 pages so maybe someone already discussed this and it's old news.
 

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
9,324
Likes
6,939
Points
294
There was a Dowsing machine at a Fortean Exhibition at the Croydon Clocktower years ago. It had a central drum split into six sections, one of which contained water. On top, there was a choice of twigs and rods. I remember having a go. I pressed the start button and the drum span round and stopped. I walked around it with the rods until they crossed and pressed the button on the one which I thought contained water. It gave a green light. I did this about five times getting it right each time. As I put the rods back I noticed a small crowd had gathered behind me looking rather bemused by the whole thing.
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,271
Likes
8,908
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
If you click the Local News button on the BBC News website you can select your location (eg, Cornwall http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/cornwall/ ) and there's a useful panel there on Things to Do.

Here's one of Fortean interest:
SUN 17 MAR
Try Dowsing
Kit Hill Country Park, Callington

Run by: Cornwall Council

Have a go at the ancient art of dowsing. We will look for water, archaeological remains, minerals, ley lines and more.

10:00–13:00
Suitable for any age

£2.00 adults/£1.50 concessions/£6.00 family (2A+3C)
Kit Hill is a mile or so north east of Callington, and maybe 12 miles from Pymouth (less from Tavistock or Liskeard).
 

milk23

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
333
Likes
50
Points
59
My pal in Majorca was having a well dug recently and a local fella dutifully came along to find the underground water source. In no time flat (according to my pal) the man successfully pendulum dowsed the source. Quite taken a back his wife inquired how in the name of all things scientific he'd located the water? By way of demonstration he took his pendulum and stood over the hose pipe lying unused. He bid them, turn on the tap and as the water passed through the pipe the pendulum turned. My pal's wife wanted a go at this and repeated the sequence of events with the empty hose followed by the tap turned on. Not a sausage. Whereupon the fella placed his hands on her shoulders and what do you know? Success, the pendulum rotated.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,866
Likes
10,690
Points
279
My pal in Majorca was having a well dug recently and a local fella dutifully came along to find the underground water source. In no time flat (according to my pal) the man successfully pendulum dowsed the source. Quite taken a back his wife inquired how in the name of all things scientific he'd located the water? By way of demonstration he took his pendulum and stood over the hose pipe lying unused. He bid them, turn on the tap and as the water passed through the pipe the pendulum turned. My pal's wife wanted a go at this and repeated the sequence of events with the empty hose followed by the tap turned on. Not a sausage. Whereupon the fella placed his hands on her shoulders and what do you know? Success, the pendulum rotated.
Could he do that if he didn't know when the water was on or off?
 

AnnieOly

Fresh Blood
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Messages
14
Likes
20
Points
4
I had to get a well dug several years ago in an area that is notoriously difficult for wells - either there is no water, it ends up being salty, or has a very low GPM. So I was pretty anxious about it turning into a very expensive problem.
I hired an older gentleman who said he was a water witcher. He came out, broke a forked branch off of a nearby tree, and started at the bottom of the hill by the neighbors well. He witched the underground stream flowing to that well and followed it zig zagging halfway up the hill on my property, stopped and pointed and said 'right here'. I gulped and said 'sure why not'. The whole process barely took five minutes with no hint of woo-woo about it.
Sure enough, when he drilled it turned out to be exactly the right spot less than 150 ft down and good water with 12 GPM (good for that area).
The interesting thing is that he told me it was only after having a recent heart attack that he was able to develop this ability, and he had been in the well drilling business for many years before then. Doesn't a heart attack disrupt ones electromagnetic field? Maybe that field is the key...
 

Tribble

Furry Idiot
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
1,920
Likes
3,496
Points
154
Many years ago, I was working as a volunteer steward for Fringe Sunday (a day of free entertainment, held in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival). One marquee was run by the Edinburgh Science Festival. Curiously, they were running a dowsing experiment in a large, roped-off area by the side of the tent. Somehow I ended up helping out and showing members of the public how to dowse for a water pipe using metal rods. Fascinating results, too - throughout the day, many people (including myself) would get the crossed rods at the same points, marking a diagonal line in one corner of the square. This was, according to a person from the Science Festival, where the pipe was. Interestingly, the people who had an open mind about the whole thing got the best results - the "pah this is nonsense" people only got random twitches.
 

Coal

Polymath Renaissance Man, Italian Wiccan Anarchist
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
8,866
Likes
10,690
Points
279
I've tried this myself (in the past) with home-made rods (broom handle and welding rod). At the time, I thought it interesting that I could get 'hits' with no conscious awareness of moving the rods. It occurred to me then (and again now), that it ought to be a simple matter to rig up a few electrodes on the arms and do some double-blind testing to see if some folk can detect pipes or water in this way.

As the nervous system is more of less electric, it's not out of the realms of possibility that a pipe or water body can interfere with the body's standing electrical field and with training we might recognize this.

Originally, wasn't dowsing done with a hazel fork which was kept under some pressure so that it'snapped' down when passed over water?
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,271
Likes
8,908
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
I've heard it said (probably on this thread!) that dowsing implements act as 'amplifiers' for tiny physical responses in our hands. We are the dowsers; rods and twigs are just tools that help pinpoint what we detect. The tools themselves have no special properties.
 

Krepostnoi

really ought to be translating.
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
2,588
Likes
4,520
Points
159
I've heard it said (probably on this thread!) that dowsing implements act as 'amplifiers' for tiny physical responses in our hands. We are the dowsers; rods and twigs are just tools that help pinpoint what we detect. The tools themselves have no special properties.
I think there's something in that. I've never tried dowsing for water, but I have been able to get the rods to show me yes or no responses - I retain an open mind as to what is actually prompting the responses, the rods - to me - are just indicators. They were just bent bits of coat hanger, and I was sitting at a friend's kitchen table, rather than doing or using anything more esoteric. The thing that only just occurred to me tonight is that I have been shown a couple of kinesiology techniques (no rods necessary), both of which revolve around yes/no responses. So is kinesiology just dowsing with A-levels?
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,271
Likes
8,908
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
Well, here's a cross-threader, but I guess it starts here...
Penzance dowsing chimney sweep seeks help in proving autism theory
By cmjohnw | Posted: June 16, 2016

A West Cornwall dowser wants the parents of children with autism to contact him so that he can help prove a life-changing theory.
Donald Rowe, a chimney sweep and brother to Jethro and Les, the former landlord of The Dock Inn, says he is also a 'dowser'.

He claims that when dowsing he can detect hotspots ('geolographic points') of the 'power-flow' (earth energy) structure which will in some cases cause autism spectrum disorder.

"These geolographic points don't occur in a very significant concentration in the earth and are manifest at about 95 paces apart," said Mr Rowe. "I need to find more homes where there has been, or is an autistic person so that I can confirm my earlier findings.

"All I will need is the occupier's permission to walk around the outside of the house where an infant was first affected by the disorder with my divining rod in order to establish whether or not the specific vortex exists which could have caused the condition.
"As well as identifying the hotspots which potentially help cause autism, Mr Rowe believes that he can suppress them safely and cheaply and hopes that the medical establishment will take his research seriously.

"It is not yet known whether or not my work will create healing in existing autistic children," he added.
"Further research, I anticipate, will make the process next door to free and will be available right across the world."If you are a parent of a child with autism who would be happy for Mr Rowe to dowse outside your property, email [email protected]

http://www.cornishman.co.uk/penzanc...utism-theory/story-29408611-detail/story.html
 

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,175
Likes
5,876
Points
219
Location
Tejas
We had a fun and instructive dowsing adventure last week. Not dowsing for water, though. We were dowsing for phones. :)

My 15 year old son had lost his phone and had run out of ideas where it might be. Since he only uses the phone with wi-fi, there's no SIM card - so we couldn't call to locate it. I also searched for it but came up with nothing. All we knew was that it must be in the house.

At this point in the search, I decided to resort to my tried and true method, pendulum dowsing. I also decided to get son in on tne action. He's very interested in this sort of thing, and it was his phone, after all.

I drew two simple maps of the house, and cut two pieces of thread. I used my ring for a pendulum, son used a doodad from his keychain. We went into seperate rooms so we wouldn't influence each other, and hovered over our maps hoping for a result.

We both had a very strong ndication that the phone was in a certain area of the living room, to the right of the couch. There is a small table/ bookcase there, but we'd already searched it several times. The pendulum had been insistant, though.

We took all the books out and moved the table to search the entire area. Voila, phone! It had slipped down a crack in the back of the bookcase and been hidden from view.

Son was overjoyed - he had his phone back and had a Fortean experience. A fine way to start the morning. :D
 

AriB2123

Fresh Blood
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
2
Likes
2
Points
19
https://www.theguardian.com/busines...t-using-divining-rods-to-find-leaks-and-pipes

Ten of the 12 water companies in the UK have admitted they are still using the practice of water dowsing despite the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

The disclosure has prompted calls for the regulator to stop companies passing the cost of a discredited medieval practice on to their customers. Ofwat said any firm failing to meet its commitments to customers faced a financial penalty.

Dowsers, or water witchers, claim that their divining rods cross over when the presence of water is detected below ground. It is regarded as a pseudoscience, after numerous studies showed it was no better than chance at finding water.

Some water companies, however, insisted the practice could be as effective as modern methods.

The discovery that firms were still using water diviners was made by the science blogger Sally Le Page, after her parents reported seeing an engineer from Severn Trent “walking around holding two bent tent pegs to locate a pipe” near their home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Le Page asked Severn Trent why it was still using divining rods to find pipes when there was no evidence that it worked.

Replying on Twitter, the company said: “We’ve found that some of the older methods are just as effective than the new ones, but we do use drones as well, and now satellites.”
 

RaM

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
1,256
Likes
1,857
Points
154
Location
NW UK
The bought rods I have seen for sale seem to be just bent welding rods
or rather one cut in two with a loose plastic sleeve over the bit you hold
so they swing with less friction.
 
Top