Dowsing

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.
 

drbastard

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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
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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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.
 

ramonmercado

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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
 

Robbrent

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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!
 

Jen_O

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I've deleted the last post. Keep it civil people please. Or at least legal.
 

Nazreel

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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!
 

lkb3rd

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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.
 

Mythopoeika

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Years ago, I saw a James Randi program on TV that was trying to debunk psychics.
There was one man, a dowser, who kept getting it right. Randi was visibly a bit put out by this, because it was most unexpected... :D
 

Cochise

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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

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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?
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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