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Still Waters

California farmers hire dowsers to find water

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With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.

Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden “divining rods” that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals underground.

http://www.washingto...222c_story.html

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It works but its a bit futile when they have drained most of the aquifers.

Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

I've water witched succesfully. Maybe I should head down to Cally and make some extra bucks.

It works but its a bit futile when they have drained most of the aquifers.

Br Cornelius

Br, I'm surprised you believe in this. Edited by OverSword

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I've water witched succesfully. Maybe I should head down to Cally and make some extra bucks.

Br, I'm surprised you believe in this.

I have done it me lad. If it works then I believe in it.

Br Cornelius

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Okay nay sayers...

My dad used to do this for well drilling companies back many-many years ago...was pretty good at it as he always had a waiting list...

I don't know how it works...never tried it myself...but...you can poo-poo and say what you will...I've seen it in action. And...it works.

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One time while buying a used car the owner brought up dowsing, and that it works.I said show me.He took two bent welding rods, and walked over his septic tank.The rods swung open.I tried it as per his instruction, and they swung open for me.It was weird, but I tried it for Gold.It did not work for Gold so that was the end of my trials.

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Farmers in drought-stricken Northern and Central parts of CA are desperate for water, they also blame government-imposed environmental regulations to restricted water access, all because of an endangered species of small fish in the San Joaquin River. To hire dowsers possessing a supernatural technique would arouse some skeptical responses from farmers, then you realize some farmers are open-minded and will try anything to locate new sources of essential water for their crops.

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Killing the habitat of water dependent species to satisfy the short term needs of farmers is the very essence of stupidity.

This is why we have environmental regulations.

Br Cornelius

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Absolute and utter poppycock.

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^That's what I expected to find when I entered this thread, post after post of contempt for the idea but instead I find near unanimous expression of approval. :huh: Quick, somebody check the temperature in hades...

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I have done it me lad. If it works then I believe in it.

Br Cornelius

I have seen it done. Don't know if it was skill or dumb luck, but we got water. Of course, we might have found water no matter where we drilled.

Doug

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One time while buying a used car the owner brought up dowsing, and that it works.I said show me.He took two bent welding rods, and walked over his septic tank.The rods swung open.I tried it as per his instruction, and they swung open for me.It was weird, but I tried it for Gold.It did not work for Gold so that was the end of my trials.

I used to know an old local dowser (he died a couple years ago), he said that he could dowse for gold from a helicopter.

Everyone thought that he just liked free helicopter rides. :)

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Absolute and utter poppycock.

What is, my statement is an obvious statement of fact. Once you drain a habitat for irrigation water, certain aspects of that habitat will never recover. Some species have only a very few populations and so allowing their habitat to be destroyed is criminal ecocide. This is why we have environmental legislation and these are the specific situation the legislation is design to protect.

Br Cornelius

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I have seen it done. Don't know if it was skill or dumb luck, but we got water. Of course, we might have found water no matter where we drilled.

Doug

I dowsed a standing stone and got strong signals which is even weirder. Our brains and our ancestors knew things which modern man has forgotten.

Good dowsers have been used by minerals companies and that should tell you something about their cost benefit.

Br Cornelius

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We lived on water dowsed by my grandfather, without him and his skills, we would have had to walk half a day to get water then back again.

Used an eel to purify the subsequent well though sometimes it got stuck in the pipe running down to the house.

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If it's genuine then Randi's million dollars is there for the taking.

The Australian Skeptics $100,000 is also up for grabs if you're in Oz, and the Australian Skeptics test more dowsers than all other hopeful claimants put together.

One such test was conducted in the town of Mitta Mitta a few years ago. Something like a couple of dozen people came to test their skills. Their talents worked fine when they knew where the water was, and they all confirmed they were happy with the format of the test. They were also all pretty confident they'd win the money. Only, when it came to the real test the results were about the same as if they'd guessed.

Then one of the dowsers came to the conclusion that he'd been thrown off by an underground stream, and several others agreed. They were then asked to determine the location of the stream and plot it on a map. The six dowsers placed the stream in seven different locations (one of the dowsers determined there were two streams).

I'll try to find a write-up of the test. It's online somewhere.

To that end, the Australian Skeptics came up with a simple five step self-test that people could use to determine how good their dowsing skill is.

1. What can you dowse for? Place it on the ground, uncovered. Can you detect it?

2. Place it on the ground and cover it. Can you detect it?

3. Place it on the ground and get someone to cover it while you watch. Can you detect it?

4. Place four covers on the groun and get someone to put it under one of the covers while you watch. Can you detect it?

5. Place four covers on the ground and get someone to put it under a randomly selected cover while your back is turned. Can you detect it?

If you can consistently succeed at test 5 then you have an ability worth examining further.

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it's common in my area for dowsers to be used before drilling a well. whether that is just old school attitude or what i don't know, but it's taken seriously by a lot of people.

do i believe it's possible to find water this way? hmm, i'm on the fence actually.

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One such test was conducted in the town of Mitta Mitta a few years ago. Something like a couple of dozen people came to test their skills. Their talents worked fine when they knew where the water was, and they all confirmed they were happy with the format of the test. They were also all pretty confident they'd win the money. Only, when it came to the real test the results were about the same as if they'd guessed.

Then one of the dowsers came to the conclusion that he'd been thrown off by an underground stream, and several others agreed. They were then asked to determine the location of the stream and plot it on a map. The six dowsers placed the stream in seven different locations (one of the dowsers determined there were two streams).

I'll try to find a write-up of the test. It's online somewhere.

Here it is: http://www.skeptics.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/theskeptic/2001/4.pdf

The article starts on page 40, and the map of the streams is on page 42.

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I have seen this done on many mining sites looking for water and types of rock, and to be fair its quite successful! Although not everyone seems able to do it! The human body is a mysterious fascinating machine, and I do believe its capable of alot more than we give it credit for!

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I dowsed a standing stone and got strong signals which is even weirder. Our brains and our ancestors knew things which modern man has forgotten.

Good dowsers have been used by minerals companies and that should tell you something about their cost benefit.

Br Cornelius

Does it work for oil? My daughter's company just had a well go bad: three million dollars gone. A dry hole. Maybe they could use a good dowser about now.

Doug

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Posted (edited)

My Aunt and my grandmother were both successful water witches in the Pacific Northwest in a region where bedrock was uneven and could vary between a few feet and a few hundred feet. I never talked to either of them much about it but both are down to earth ladies and don't make too big a deal about the ability. They say water is the easiest because everyone is "tuned in" to water naturally. To find other stuff takes the ability to tune in to those things.

I'm not saying it works, just reporting anecdotal evidence. I've never personally held a pair of dowsing rods.

Edited by Calibeliever
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Very interesting topic. I'd like to try this sometime, but I'm in NYC the concrete island. :/

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Very interesting topic. I'd like to try this sometime, but I'm in NYC the concrete island. :/

What's under the concrete?

Doug

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I'm trying to think of what would have to be happening for dowsing to work. Something would have to be pulling down on the hands, or the rod.

My grandfather had some rods that were two steel wires barely thicker than coat hangers. They were bent at a 90* and slid into tubes you held. When the Ross crossed it meant water.

That would mean that your wrists would be turned toward center in relation to finding water.

I remember him showing me when I was young. He had me walking around with them until I gently turned them inwards just so I could say "wow, it works" and get on with something else.

If dowsing were based on science, there would e a measurable effect of a large body of water on the weight of a person above it.

Otherwise you'd have to believe that the water was trying to twist our limbs in some way.

I don't buy it. If there's any truth to it then I'd expect it has something to do with a human's ability to simply feel the presence of a large body of water, and the rods, witching stick, or whatever are a conscious manifestation of the subconscious sensing water. It is necessary to all life on earth.

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I'm trying to think of what would have to be happening for dowsing to work. Something would have to be pulling down on the hands, or the rod.

My grandfather had some rods that were two steel wires barely thicker than coat hangers. They were bent at a 90* and slid into tubes you held. When the Ross crossed it meant water.

That would mean that your wrists would be turned toward center in relation to finding water.

I remember him showing me when I was young. He had me walking around with them until I gently turned them inwards just so I could say "wow, it works" and get on with something else.

If dowsing were based on science, there would e a measurable effect of a large body of water on the weight of a person above it.

Otherwise you'd have to believe that the water was trying to twist our limbs in some way.

I don't buy it. If there's any truth to it then I'd expect it has something to do with a human's ability to simply feel the presence of a large body of water, and the rods, witching stick, or whatever are a conscious manifestation of the subconscious sensing water. It is necessary to all life on earth.

According to those I've spoken with on the matter, the rods have nothing to do with it. It is your body's sensitivity to the water that causes the rods to move. Purely anecdotal, I've never tried it. I have some problems with the premise of dowsing in general but I suppose it's not completely outside the realm of possible physics. I will remain on the fence, respectfully.

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