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!!! Water Locating_Water Witching/Dowsing - can it be scientifically explained?  RSS feed

 
Jason Vath
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I was listening to Paul Wheaton on Diego Footer's  Permaculture Voices Podcast
Titled: Hacking Kickstarter, PDCs, Haters, Failure, and Doing Epic S*** (V224)

The subject of water dowsing was brought up and the idea of it not being scientific bothered me as I've learned otherwise.
I want Paul and everyone to be aware of this explanation. It should makes sense.

Please watch this short to-the-point scientific explanation:

Water Locating, Water Well, Water-Witching, Magnetic truth


Water Locating, Water Wells Part 1 of 4 "Where Should I Drill"


Website:
WaterLocating.Com
 
Devin Lavign
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I don't have time to watch the videos in full now (but skimmed them), so can't comment on the accuracy of the explanations. But thanks for posting this info. It is interesting to hear that there might be some science behind the dowsing.

I look forward to coming back and giving the videos a watch in the next day or 2.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The longer I listened, the more convinced I became that he doesn't really have a clue. Humans aren't able to sense the big magnetic pull from the poles. It seems even more fantastic, that someone would be able to feel a very slight variation from the rock in a given location.

I think it's a confidence game. They try to tell you that they possess some natural ability that others do not. Whether it's mind-readers, or ghost hunters, there will always be those who try to convince us that they have some special ability.

His next video begins with a statement that having a well-drilled will cost somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000. I had a 300-foot well drilled. It cost $3,500. My neighbor spent less than $1,000, drilling a relatively shallow well. This is highly variable by region, and type of rock.
 
Jim Fry
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The American Society of Dowsers is the national organization of dowsers. Across the U.S. there are many regional groups of dowsers. One such group is the Ohio Buckeye Dowsers. This group has been meeting at my farm in Richfield in N. Ohio the fourth Sunday of the month for the past 29 years. Some of the members of the present group belonged to the earlier Jim Perkins Dowsers that met decades ago near Mansfield, Ohio. In the forty plus years I have been dowsing I have been fortunate to know some of the best dowsers in America. I originally learned to dowse at Cattaraugus Reservation in N.Y. (Seneca). There I also met some of the best dowsers from England and Europe. In that time I have learned that dowsing is an art and skill that can be taught to anyone, --except of course those who make the simple choice not to learn.

Dowsing at one time was nearly as common as breathing or sleeping. All ancient peoples made good use of the ability to dowse. There is no limit to how you can practice the skill. Some folks use L. Rods, some a forked stick, others feel hot or cold on the palm of their hand, some use pendulums. I tend more towards sight or sound. I see on the ground, usually by differences in colors or vegetation, what I am looking for. And sometimes I hear a voice that gives an answer. These are all common methods used for thousands of years. It is still commonly used by some native peoples of this land (who have not lost their teachings). There is also no limit for what dowsing can be used for. Any question you can ask that has a yes/no answer can be answered by dowsing.

Unfortunately, such an ability gives a great deal of independence to the practitioner. If you can seek and find answers for yourself, you have less need of authority. This the early Christian Church did not care for. So dowsing, along with many other traditional skills and knowledge, was banned. But the church also realized that that some of dowsing was useful, particularly the finding of water. So the early church allowed that one form of dowsing to continue. But, just to make sure it did not empower folks too much, the church made it sound slightly dirty or wrong, so the great and useful and common skill and art (of a limited part) of dowsing became to be called water witching. People could still seek water, ...but you better be careful or you might be named a "witch" and suffer for it. To me it is somewhat amusing that the folks who most loudly declare for science often unknowingly find common cause with the church. They simply declare it is not so, so for them it is not.

Over the years our group of dowsers have practiced this skill. And we have proven it over and over by any number of tests. Because dowsing can be used for anything, you don't need to drill a well for proof (although through our findings many successful wells have been dug). Among the tests anyone can do is to line up five or six buckets. Have someone put things under the buckets. You could put a glass of water under one, wine under another, orange juice under a third, milk under the fourth and maybe nothing under the last. Or you could use coins, or tools, or plastic/paper/glass/tin foil. Or nothing at all under all of them. Then dowse what is there (or isn't). For those science minded folks it makes a rather quick and noticeable test. One time we had a skeptical newspaper reporter come to do a story. He hid his car keys high up in a tree far across the farm. It took one of our better dowsers less than five minutes to find them. The "science" based reporter was dually impressed.

My point in writing all of this is simply, there is a great deal more in this world than our minds can comprehend. There are connections that can be made, things that can be known, other lessons that can be learned, far beyond what our temporary thoughts would limit us to. At one time it was thought that cars would be unsafe because the human body could not tolerate such speed, ...and that was then current "science". At one time the Sun revolved around Earth and Earth was flat, ...and that was the "science" of the day. It has turned out that those ideas were more prejudice than science. And, I suspect, that much of today's "science" will be found just as wanting. Because, as the advanced physicist was heard to say, "the more I learn, the more convinced I become there is God.". Please consider not confining yourself to the mere limits of the brain. There is so much more to know. So many "fantastic" things some of you have trouble imagining.

Come visit us in Ohio anytime. Come to a dowser meeting. We'll be glad to show you something you've always wanted to learn, or show you something you did not think possible. We love the teaching, and we're sure you'll enjoy the experience.








 
David Livingston
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That they are things that some folks can do I don't understand I accept . That does not mean that I accept their explanation whilst there are genuine sincere  people out there such as the group mentioned above  others inhabit the fraudster / nutcase spectrum .
Bit like UFO s they exist as in there are things we cannot / have not yet identified but weather they are green/ grey / bug eyed monsters behind some of them  I doubt. Particularly since is now fairly common knowledge that a lot of reports of ufos were put about by the CIA and the other alphabet soup agencies to hide missile and other weapons testing .
 
Todd Parr
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This ties in perfectly with the discussion I posted in in another thread.  If I were a dowser, I would contact James Randi, have him set up a simple test like the one Jim mentions, prove I could do it, and take home my $1,000,000 check.  I'm surprised no one has done that yet.
 
Mark Tudor
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Another thread had a video showing the test of 6 buckets, 1 with water and 5 with sand, and using double blind testing. The dowsers couldn't perform better than chance, getting 1 in 6 correct guesses. I recall going to a farm in Ohio as a kid for a field trip and we all tried it. I couldn't feel any response from my forked stick, others said they did. Whether that proves anything right or wrong, I don't know.

Growing up I had experiences now and then which were interesting, like once I was in my room doing homework and suddenly there was this sort of tinnitus ringing in my ears, and felt like someone was right behind me. I turn around suddenly and find my friend trying to sneak up on me, about 15 feet away. Didn't hear him come in the house at all, but felt his "presence" as soon as he turned the corner and was looking at me. Reminds me of a scene in Crocodile Dundee.

So I think humans likely have some instinctive abilities which we ignore or which have subsided due to our modern upbringing and lifestyles which are mostly out of touch with nature. It wouldn't surprise me if some folks are just more "in tune" with these latent abilities than others. Just because science hasn't found it or proven it with black and white facts yet doesn't worry me. So long as we aren't manipulating each other for gain it's all good.
 
Marco Banks
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Jim Fry wrote:
Unfortunately, such an ability gives a great deal of independence to the practitioner. If you can seek and find answers for yourself, you have less need of authority. This the early Christian Church did not care for. So dowsing, along with many other traditional skills and knowledge, was banned. But the church also realized that that some of dowsing was useful, particularly the finding of water. So the early church allowed that one form of dowsing to continue. But, just to make sure it did not empower folks too much, the church made it sound slightly dirty or wrong, so the great and useful and common skill and art (of a limited part) of dowsing became to be called water witching. People could still seek water, ...but you better be careful or you might be named a "witch" and suffer for it. To me it is somewhat amusing that the folks who most loudly declare for science often unknowingly find common cause with the church. They simply declare it is not so, so for them it is not.



I know quite a bit about church history, patristics, through the middle ages, and particularly post-reformation.  I have read hundreds of books on church history, theology and ecclesiology.  Nowhere in my library of hundreds of books have I ever read a single word on church doctrine against dowsing or any practice seeking to suppress it.  I'm very familiar with the doctrines, practices and ecclesiology of the Roman church, the Celtic church, and various branches of the Orthodox church.  If you could direct me to the text where you are getting this information, I would be very interested. 

Your beef may be more with modernity than with the church.  The enlightenment cast a skeptical eye on anything that could not be verified and explained by scientific method.  For the past 140 years or so, scientific naturalism has been the predominant worldview of the academy.  Empirical research put the final nail in the coffin of all manor of non-verifiable practices in medicine, agriculture, astronomy, and every other field of human inquiry.  It is commonly understood that the reformation and the enlightenment swept across Europe in much the same era, thus casting aside many church practices (what is now known as the Roman Catholic church) even as modernity cast aside many other former 'traditional" practices.  Perhaps dowsing was one.  What is fascinating today as you travel Europe, you can see the extent of the reach of the reformation as you move east and south in the architecture and prevailing churches, but also in the reach of science and technology.  By the time you get to certain parts of Romania, for instance, it feels a bit medieval.  People are afraid of drafts and wrap a shawl around their kidneys in the middle of the summer-- that sort of thing..  When I visit those countries (Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, Romania . . . ) the contrast of those people with the German, Danish or Dutch worldview is night and day.  I'm sure you'll still find dowsers in SE Europe --- not because the church doesn't exist there (Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant), but because Modernity/the enlightenment took its sweet time changing the prevailing worldview of those peoples.

If there is anything to dowsing, I'm sure that in our largely post-modern culture, there will be plenty of people interested in learning the practice. 

Again, if you can point me to any text where this supposed anti-dowsing doctrine is discussed, I would be very interested in reading it.  Thank you.
 
David Livingston
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Marco
Yup been to Albania too , medeavil is a good word for it particularly in the north
I have read that Martin Luther condemned dowsing along with other witchcraft type activity but I cannot remember the source .
I wonder if you are looking in the right direction at this I know that the early church in the UK based on the Celtic /St Patrick / St Columba often appropriated many of the older pagan sites based on wells and fountains and water based worship as far a field as Brittany / luxemburg / holland and I suspect that dowsing could have the same cultural back ground . I am talking about 600 to 960 AD ( effectively I have been told the catholic church took over the Celtic church and subsumed it's followers after the synod of whitby )

David
 
Todd Parr
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Another test was done that used very large pipes buried underground.  The location of the pipes was clearly marked.  The pipes could be filled or drained, and dowsers tried to tell whether the pipe had water in it or not.  As I said, they didn't have to find the pipes, just tell if they were filled with water.  They did no better than chance in that test either.
 
Dale Hodgins
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As an atheist, I pride myself in not being taken in by what are essentially beliefs without verification. I was exposed to many Dowsers when I lived in the Bible Belt of Ontario. All of them professed belief in supernatural beings. To me, it's a quasi-religious notion. And just like religion, as scientific knowledge advances, explanations attempting to make it fit within known science, develop.
 
Marco Banks
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Dale Hodgins wrote:As an atheist, I pride myself in not being taken in by what are essentially beliefs without verification. I was exposed to many Dowsers when I lived in the Bible Belt of Ontario. All of them professed belief in supernatural beings. To me, it's a quasi-religious notion. And just like religion, as scientific knowledge advances, explanations attempting to make it fit within known science, develop.


You and I are not that far apart, Dale.  As a Christian, I also pride myself in not being taken in by beliefs without verification.  My faith has only been sharpened by science.  This is why I cast a skewed eye toward the claims of biodynamics and other things like planting by the phase of the moon.  To those who wish to practice these beliefs (by Rudolf Stiener or any other folk or neo-pagan tradition) more power to you, but I find the claims of these "preparations" to be without any empirical validation.  Given that this thread is positing the question "Can dowsing be scientifically verified?", I think it's fair to broaden the question to other quasi-religious practices. 

Knowing what we know about geology and water tables, the difference between sinking a well right in this spot or in another spot 50 feet away is minimal, as underground variation is minimal in such close proximity.  So walking back and forth across an acre or two looking for the perfect spot to drill a well most likely means walking back and forth across the same underground geology.  It just doesn't matter.  Site your well-head where it's most convenient to you and then drill till you reach the water table.  If you want to know how deep you'll need to drill, ask your neighbors how deep they had to drill before reaching water.  They'll tell you, and your well will be within 10% of what their depth was. 






 
Dale Hodgins
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It can sometimes make a difference to move a well only a few feet in a certain direction, particularly with shallow wells that capture surface water. My tenant, Randy, operates an excavator. He looks at the lay of the land, the angle of any exposed strata and the type of trees growing in an area, to pick the right spot. In mountainous terrain, the rocks can be tilted this way and that. They often form a barrier, and direct water just like a big tarpaulin. When excavating, you can often see tree roots that have crawled along the surface of rocks that are on an incline. He doesn't go for the witching idea, but he has tolerated downtime associated with it on several occasions.

I agree that the Steiner stuff has no basis in science. However, his adherents tend to be a very observant bunch. While constantly watching for changes, to justify the practice, they are likely to notice other things. Positive things get attributed to the practices and negative things indicate that more needs to be done. I imagine that if I gave that much attention to the condition of my car, I would notice every little thing before it gets out of hand. The fact that I rub the wax in 21 circles in one direction, followed by 21 circles in another direction wouldn't really have anything to do with mechanical condition.
( I have never waxed a car, ever.)
 
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