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ron ll
06-25-2009, 10:56 AM
I was chatting with an engineer at coffee this morning who has spent his career in hydro engineering of some sort, dealing with wells, water treatment plants, supply systems, etc. He is a pragmatic realist as most engineers are. So just out of the blue I asked him what he thought of water witching, thinking he would be a good person to dispel the myths. To my surprise, he said he doesn't know why, but it works. He went on to describe several projects he had worked on where the geologists couldn't find water but the witchers did.

Does anyone know why it seems to work? Not interested in spiritual woo-woo type explanations, but what real factors might be at work here. Anybody have any experience with it?

PS. I wonder if "Mythbusters" has ever done a test of it.

cbcc
06-25-2009, 11:08 AM
I was chatting with an engineer at coffee this morning who has spent his career in hydro engineering of some sort, dealing with wells, water treatment plants, supply systems, etc. He is a pragmatic realist as most engineers are. So just out of the blue I asked him what he thought of water witching, thinking he would be a good person to dispel the myths. To my surprise, he said he doesn't know why, but it works. He went on to describe several projects he had worked on where the geologists couldn't find water but the witchers did.

Does anyone know why it seems to work? Not interested in spiritual woo-woo type explanations, but what real factors might be at work here. Anybody have any experience with it?

PS. I wonder if "Mythbusters" has ever done a test of it.


Why do you think the "spiritual woo-woo" might not really be why it works?

John of Phoenix
06-25-2009, 11:08 AM
My wife's uncle was a both a geologist and witcher. He was an Arizona pioneer and people all over the state sought him out to witch wells. He said the geology helped locate likely spots but it was the stick that found the water. He never could explain it other than to say, "It's a gift."

ron ll
06-25-2009, 11:11 AM
Why do you think the "spiritual woo-woo" might not really be why it works?

Because it doesn't for anything else in the universe.

Paul Pless
06-25-2009, 11:27 AM
Our home inspector located our sceptic tank and 4 field lines by witching. I bugged him about it, but he couldn't explain it.

switters
06-25-2009, 11:40 AM
I used to put my teeth under my pillow when they fell out and when I woke up there was a quarter there. Cant explain it.

Have any idea how much a geotech report costs? If witching were legit there would be some very rich stick wavers, and I've never met one in the last 4 years of occasionally writing alternative water resource reports.

Mrleft8
06-25-2009, 12:09 PM
I can witch for water, but I can't tell you how it works. I hear there are people who can witch for minerals, but I've never seen it.

John of Phoenix
06-25-2009, 12:15 PM
I've known a couple of water witches. One of them literally could not wear a watch for any length of time-- her body's electrical field would make it quit within just a few hours.

It's my theory, insofar as I've formulated one, that dowsers have a stronger EM field than most other people, that this somehow reacts to the presence of water. But there may be some mumbo-jumbo involved that I know nothing about, too.
That's interesting. My wife, her sister and mother all have a tendency to fry electronic devices. Cell phones and remote controllers seem to be most susceptible. I call it the "Sladish Womens’ Cosmic Force Field".
==============

If witching were legit there would be some very rich stick wavers...
Unlce Les always did it for free. Part of that "it's a gift" thing. He figured he didn't pay for it so he wasn't going to charge for it. But you're right if he charged, he would have been a very rich man.

There's an old saying - "Out here in the West, we fight over whiskey but we kill over water."

ron ll
06-25-2009, 12:19 PM
I used to put my teeth under my pillow when they fell out and when I woke up there was a quarter there. Cant explain it.

Have any idea how much a geotech report costs? If witching were legit there would be some very rich stick wavers, and I've never met one in the last 4 years of occasionally writing alternative water resource reports.

:D :D :D
I'm with you. I don't think it works and all the "evidence" is anecdotal. But it amazes me that so many people believe it. If by some slim chance it is real, then it must be some bizarre heightened sense like they smell it on a VERY sensitive level or something. I can smell rain, but only when its raining. :D

J P
06-25-2009, 12:20 PM
Works for me, don't know why.
Intent?

Fitz
06-25-2009, 12:22 PM
Bunk.

Discussed at length on the forum in the past.

http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73896&highlight=dowsing

If you can do it, apply for a chance for the One Million Dollars:

http://www.randi.org/library/dowsing/

ron ll
06-25-2009, 12:22 PM
I hear there are people who can witch for minerals, but I've never seen it.

Well I'm sure THEY must be wealthy.

ron ll
06-25-2009, 12:26 PM
Discussed at length on the forum in the past.



Thanks, I missed that. I like Paladin's explanation that it is just a matter of learning to pay attention to very subtle clues in the geology.

Kaa
06-25-2009, 12:32 PM
It's my theory, insofar as I've formulated one, that dowsers have a stronger EM field than most other people, that this somehow reacts to the presence of water.

EM field is easy to measure.

I don't think this hypothesis flies :-)

Kaa

J P
06-25-2009, 12:58 PM
Our home inspector located our sceptic tank and 4 field lines by witching. I bugged him about it, but he couldn't explain it.

Who says you can't find sh!t by dowsing? :p

Popeye
06-25-2009, 01:29 PM
EM field is easy to measure.

uh .. no

Kaa
06-25-2009, 01:51 PM
uh .. no

Uh.. why not?

Kaa

Popeye
06-25-2009, 01:54 PM
many competent scientists have tried and failed , to measure em fields

what bandwidths are you searching in ?

Kaa
06-25-2009, 02:13 PM
many competent scientists have tried and failed , to measure em fields

what bandwidths are you searching in ?

Um, all of them. Detecting EM radiation (or magnetic fields) doesn't seem to be a problem for modern science. Sure, you might need to utilize several different instruments to check different bands, but that is not an insurmountable problem.

Kaa

TimH
06-25-2009, 02:21 PM
http://www.diddakoi.com/bullwinkle_magic-hat.jpg

Popeye
06-25-2009, 02:23 PM
Um, all of them. begs the question , how many are there ?


you might need to utilize several different instruments to check different bands, but that is not an insurmountable problem.actually , it is

a simple example would be submarine communications , another would be light at water depths over a few hundred meters , another example would be millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths , a fourth example would be gravitational (very long) wavelengths , five is very low signal / noise stuff ..

shall i go on ?

here , read this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attenuation) , there will be a quiz in the morning

BarnacleGrim
06-25-2009, 02:36 PM
begs the question , how many are there ?

actually , it is

a simple example would be submarine communications , another would be light at water depths over a few hundred meters , another example would be millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths , a fourth example would be gravitational (very long) wavelengths , five is very low signal / noise stuff ..

shall i go on ?
Sure, but in this case range isn't an issue.

By the way, what do you mean by gravitational wavelengths? Aren't we talking EM here?

Popeye
06-25-2009, 02:40 PM
in this case range isn't an issue.then surely you can tell me exactly what the range of measurement is .. :confused:


what do you mean by gravitational wavelengths? Aren't we talking EM here?yup ..

"Although gravitational radiation has not yet been directly detected, it has been indirectly shown to exist. This was the basis for the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize_in_Physics), awarded for measurements of the Hulse-Taylor binary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulse-Taylor_binary) system. Various gravitational wave detectors exist."

BarnacleGrim
06-25-2009, 02:51 PM
But that's not a viable hypothesis. Is it EM or is it gravitational?

Why don't we throw in strong and weak nuclear interactions as well, to increase the already overwhelming number of variables. :rolleyes:

jonboy
06-25-2009, 02:51 PM
Most well diggers, to use a Tom Waites expression, use dowsers here though not all. Reputable, staffed-by-geologists set-ups used by individuals , govt agencies, local councils, you or me types often send in a dowser first and claim success..... and by that I mean the dowsers say 'drill here' . They strike, invariably. I called a local concern about a a bore hole I want on the land and asked if they used a dowser...(knowing beforehand they didn't) and their response was.... we will if you want but we don't usually.... We have never sunk a borehole in twenty years and not found water... just a matter of how deep you go...

Popeye
06-25-2009, 02:53 PM
Is it EM or is it gravitational?


i asked you , barney , for a range of measurement to search for em fields , you seemed to know ..

or not

BarnacleGrim
06-25-2009, 03:06 PM
You talked about EM propagation under water, which for higher frequencies is severely limited. That's what I meant by range, and it shouldn't be a problem in air, close to the dowser. If I understood correctly we were talking about measuring EM fields around the dowser.

Let's leave gravity alone for now and pursue the EM hypothesis. So what does EM interaction mean in the context of water witching? The water content in the ground should change everything from conductivity to magnetic permeability of the ground. Could this be detected by people?

Keith Wilson
06-25-2009, 03:11 PM
Analysis of a very extensive experimental study of dowsing in Germany. (http://www.csicop.org/si/9901/dowsing.html)

ron ll
06-25-2009, 03:19 PM
From the conclusions in Keith's citation:

"In fact, it is difficult to imagine a set of experimental results that would represent a more persuasive disproof of the ability of dowsers to do what they claim. The experiments thus can and should be considered a decisive failure by the dowsers."

This meeting is hereby adjourned. I'm going boating. :)

BTW, it's a wooden boat and it usually points to and finds water.

Kaa
06-25-2009, 03:21 PM
a simple example would be submarine communications , another would be light at water depths over a few hundred meters , another example would be millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths , a fourth example would be gravitational (very long) wavelengths , five is very low signal / noise stuff ..

LOL. We're not talking about measuring EM fields of underground water. If you paid some attention, you would have noticed that the question of EM fields came up because of Captain Blight's remark that some people have an extra-strong EM field.

I don't see significant problems in measuring EM fields/radiation of a human in a laboratory environment.

Kaa

BarnacleGrim
06-25-2009, 03:31 PM
That "earth ray" thing sounds like hypochondria to me. Or pseudoscience, at best.


LOL. We're not talking about measuring EM fields of underground water. If you paid some attention, you would have noticed that the question of EM fields came up because of Captain Blight's remark that some people have an extra-strong EM field.

I don't see significant problems in measuring EM fields/radiation of a human in a laboratory environment.

Kaa
Ah, that's even easier to verify.

You can increase your EM field any time you like by standing on a rubber sheet while touching the sphere of a Van de Graaff generator. I doubt it gives you the ability to detect underground water, though.

ron ll
06-25-2009, 03:43 PM
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/photos/water_witch-iii.jpg

The third Water Witch—a wooden-hulled, sidewheel gunboat—was launched by the Washington Navy Yard in 1851 and was commissioned during the winter of 1852 and 1853, Lt. Thomas Jefferson Page in command.

k4lmy
06-25-2009, 04:47 PM
One can witch for water or buried cable/pipe.. All I know is after quite a few finds of water, telephone lines and gas/water pipe it has helped me quite a few times..

:)

Henry

contented
06-25-2009, 06:37 PM
there are no dowsers in the desert..........

Big Woody
06-25-2009, 06:39 PM
I was at my brother's place when he had a well drilled. The drilling company had recommended a renowned water witcher. The old man claimed he had helped thousands of people find water and had never been wrong before. He claimed he found two good strong veins of water crossing at a spot close to my brother's house. After the witcher left the drillers drilled on the exact spot and produced a 100 ft deep dry hole.

All it takes is a forked stick and you can get money from suckers! :D

2MeterTroll
06-25-2009, 07:08 PM
ahh well there you have it. its amazing what folks will do when they reexamine data.

I wonder if they drilled in that barn?

Woxbox
06-25-2009, 10:54 PM
I don't know. I thought it was hookum until a neighbor who grew up in the hills said anyone can dowse. He put two bent pieces of wire in my hands and had me cross the yard. They swung together every time I crossed a waterline. I knew there was one under there, but not exactly where. When I dug, the dowsing proved accurate.

I've also heard anecdotal tales of road crews using it instead of studying the engineering drawings and measuring. At any rate, the above mentioned German study does include this line:


Some few dowsers, in particular tasks, showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance ... a real core of dowser-phenomena can be regarded as empirically proven ... (5)

Ian McColgin
06-25-2009, 11:19 PM
The great dutch author - novelist and playwright Jan de Hartog wrote a lovely novel about divining, "The Centurian." It's a bit broader than water divining and based very much on experiences de Hartog had while living in England.

For folk here, his several sea novels are outstanding. Start with "The Captain." He also became a Quaker and wrote a fantastic trilogy ending with "The Peculiar People" that gives some of the best insights into that wonderful spirituality.

S B
06-26-2009, 01:13 AM
Animals know, long before it comes on the radio, an electrical storm is brewing. That someone can sense water under them, is not witchcraft. Because they cannot do it every time, with a camera interfering, doesn'tmean it is all a hoax. Geologist usually refer to the interpretation of geophysical anomalys as witchcraft. Lets 'em off the hook when they are wrong.

Popeye
06-26-2009, 08:02 AM
Because they cannot do it every time, with a camera interfering, doesn'tmean it is all a hoax. .

i can't repeat yesterday , therefore yesterday is a hoax

BarnacleGrim
06-26-2009, 08:13 AM
But you can repeat an experiment that you did yesterday.

Popeye
06-26-2009, 09:55 AM
unless i can repeat the event known as yesterday .. hoax it is

jonboy
06-26-2009, 10:55 AM
[quote=Big Woody;2239618]I .....After the witcher left the drillers drilled on the exact spot and produced a 100 ft deep dry hole.



100ft....not worth setting up the rig for... s'nuthin ......try 250 metres you'll get water

BarnacleGrim
06-26-2009, 11:26 AM
My question is why haven't anyone done an experiment to debunk the EM field hypothesis once and for all?

Take a large number of subjects, give them wellingtons and charge up half of them and set them out to dowse in an indoor dowsing lab. The other half will only touch a placebo generator. Neither group will be allowed to touch anything, setting off the painful spark that will give away their status.

Popeye
06-26-2009, 11:54 AM
While I agree with Kaa that the EM effects are easily measured, have they been?

which em effects do you mean , i asked kaa for a bandwidth for example and suddenly she declined further comment

Kaa
06-26-2009, 11:58 AM
which em effects do you mean , i asked kaa for a bandwidth for example and suddenly she declined further comment

Still suffering from highly selective blindness, I see :D

Bandwidth, by the way, in this context is the width of the range of frequencies. You want an example? Sure, how about 42?

Kaa

Popeye
06-26-2009, 12:04 PM
Still suffering from highly selective blindness, I see i give up ... eunuch ?


how about 42? what units ?

http://www.historyofsupremecourt.org/images/justiceblind.JPG

hansp77
06-26-2009, 01:01 PM
I am an atheist and a skeptic- just thought I would say that:D
Aside from some dim memories of having water dowsing demonstrated to us as kids by someone, and playing around with it ourselves- I don't know much about it.
What I have experienced is some rather astounding sessions of Kinesiology by one particularly skilled (and multi skilled) practitioner which I will not name (MBBS MD PhD). I don't doubt that there are many quacks out there operating as such (and growing up where I grew up, I have known and experienced my fair share of alternative quacks), but from my experience (luckily with someone highly skilled and sensitive, and versed in many different schools of practice and knowledge, traditional and non) there was definitely something to it. Undeniable. I am not going to try to convince anyone- I would not have been convinced myself unless I went through it myself, found out the things I did through it that were later verified by discoveries of my early life and events (prior to completely unknown to me and the practitioner), and felt and experienced hundreds and hundreds of times my body and muscles 'involuntarily', strongly and repetitively reacting to the questions and stimuli it was given. I don't expect the hardliners here to believe a word I am saying, and I expect to be ridiculed for it. Whatever. Internet skepticism is easy, have at it.

It was interesting- actually quite fascinating- in a way it strangely raised and bridged some sort of form of deeply buried psycho(and physio)analysis- it worked- I don't know how- for arguments sake I don't really care- and I don't buy into the mumbojumbo that some attribute to it.

here is an interesting article, somewhat related, and hardly proving my point if I do have one. I was starting to post the whole thing, but it is a bit big. It goes through a lot of the to and fro of water dowsing, the attempts to prove and disprove, the overall inconclusive results, debates about methodology etc, indications of moments of statistical relevancy, and also into its development/incorporation into various 'medical' practices- historically and contemporary.

Pendular Diagnosis: From Dowsing to Diagnostic Methodology?
Jarva Chow B.A
Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), Georgetown University, Washington, DC

http://camprogram.georgetown.edu/Chow.pdf
html (http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:8-0_1dIqBnUJ:camprogram.georgetown.edu/Chow.pdf+%22Enright+concluded+that+water+dowsing+w as+ineffectual+and+any+anecdotal+evidence+....+Fou nded+by+Dr.+George+Goodheart,+applied+kinesiology+ is+based+on+the%22&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au) version of the same

Popeye
06-26-2009, 01:04 PM
I am an atheist and a skeptic-

my point exactly

BarnacleGrim
06-26-2009, 01:17 PM
If I had a Van de Graaff generator I could try the EM field theory myself. I'm just a bit worried what the neighbours might think, walking around with a twig wearing wellingtons with my hair standing up :rolleyes:

Popeye
06-26-2009, 02:24 PM
If I had a Van de Graaff generator I could try the EM field theory myself.

describe your theory ..

BarnacleGrim
06-26-2009, 02:37 PM
It's not my own hypothesis, but a number of people seem to claim that some people have a stronger EM field than others, which enables them to detect water.

While I don't see it to be very likely, it's still a viable hypothesis because it is falsifiable. Just charge up a bunch of people and see if it improves their divining performance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_de_Graaff_generator

Popeye
06-26-2009, 02:54 PM
Just charge up a bunch of people and see if it improves their divining performance.a very well thought out plan of attack , thanks

Mrleft8
06-28-2009, 07:01 PM
Just showed Shane and Phillip Allen how to dowse today..... Shane was amazed. Phillip still thinks it's hocus pocus.......

ishmael
06-28-2009, 07:23 PM
Back in the eighties I worked for couple of years at a four hundred acre nuclear research facility. One day an assignment came to my boss and me to find some abandoned iron piping. We had a general idea where it ran off an old map, but nothing specific. Dick, my boss, made up a couple of L rods (a dousing tool consisting of bend steel rods) and within minutes, an hour from setting out, he had the layout of the piping drawn on the map -- staked out and ready to dig. I was skeptical, but the back hoe dug where he said to dig and there was the piping.

Don't ask me how it works, but seeing is believing. You might counter that Dick was just playing with my head and knew where the piping was all along, but you didn't know Dick. Nope, that wasn't what happened. Interestingly, when I tried it I couldn't make it work.

Fitz
06-28-2009, 09:10 PM
But I thought the rods were pointing to the water table, or no wait, ore deposits, or no.. wait, treasure, or no wait, old aunt sally's grave, or no wait...what is it the rods were pointing to how are they discriminating???

I'm sure there is no shortage of underground piping at a nuclear facility, you had a "general idea" of where you wanted to find the pipes, etc. etc....

Did you dig where the rods said there was nothing?

We had guys "clear holes" with rods. I would ask them if they would pay for the repairs to the utilities if the rods were wrong. End of discussion.

I won't change anyone's mind, it would be nice if we could see underground with a stick, that's why it is so appealing. But much of the myth is based on misunderstanding of hydrogeology and in the case of "locating" utilities it could be dangerous. I have an open mind, but I haven't seen anything that couldn't be explained either.

Lefty: What did you find with Shane? Water table, treasure, ore deposits, old Aunt Sally?

Here is the water table post from the anecdotal thread:

The water "table" is basically a layer of soil or fractured rock that is saturated with water. So, if you drill a well perpendicular to this "table", you can't miss.

In New England, for example, you can drill a well absolutely anywhere and hit water.

Since you can't miss, this makes dowsers look pretty good - No?

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/graphics/gwflowproblems2.gif

Also notice that if you know the elevation of nearby surface water bodies relative to your potential well location you can get some idea of the depth to the groundwater table. At my house, it is about 9 ft and I didn't drill a well or use a dowser to get at that. Surface water bodies(ponds, rivers, streams etc.) are places where the groundwater table intersects the earth's surface.

ishmael
06-28-2009, 09:58 PM
Fitz,

We were working maybe an acre of ground at the back of the complex. We didn't know where the pipes were, but we knew they were there. Dick made a couple of dousing wands, walked the ground, and where they crossed he said, here. I marked it with a stake. He walked back, a few meter's over, and said, here. I marked it with a stake. We did that, for maybe an hour, and had the layout of the old pipe. Not within a yard or two, within inches.

You can believe what you want about its efficacy, but I'm not making it up out of some desire. I was pretty fresh out of a good science curriculum, skeptical, and it blew me away.

Something real is going on there. I don't know what it is.

Rigadog
06-30-2009, 07:02 AM
I can witch for water, but I can't tell you how it works. I hear there are people who can witch for minerals, but I've never seen it.


Saw a fella witch for opals at Lightning Ridge once. His kids (Jacob & Ezeikial) could do it to and didn't need sticks, just their hands. BTW, most crop circles are found over aquifers.

Rigadog
06-30-2009, 07:05 AM
Some dowsers, by account can dowse using a pendulum over a map and dowse for things besides water such as missing corpses.

Mrleft8
06-30-2009, 09:26 AM
Curiously enough, When I tried to show Jim Ledger, and Dan LaVallee how to dowse.....Neither one could do it. Tracy Ledger had no problems.

Popeye
06-30-2009, 09:31 AM
i can dowse a camp fire from six feet