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MMD > Archives > August 1998 > 1998.08.27 > 11Prev  Next

Dowsing For Water
By Andy LaTorre

I read Dan Wilson's posting with interest because, although a professor
at a university here in North Carolina, USA, I was taught to water
dowse by another professor 15 years ago.  He did not get into any of
the intricacies but just showed me how I can also detect the presence
of a water pipe or spring.  I had recently moved from New York to the
mountains of North Carolina at that time and had never seen dowsing.
I was amazed that this educated man actually believed in such things.

He took two 1/8" diameter steel welding rods, bent each into an "L"
shape, held the short end vertical in each hand and let the long end be
the horizontal pointers.  As he walked, the pointers pointed straight
ahead.  Then, all of a sudden, the pointers rotated parallel to one
another and seemed to cling to each other.  He stated, "You have water
here".  Now, this was on my property and I knew that he was discovering
the underground pipe I had put in the year before to divert the spring
water and keep it from swamping up the back acre of land.  Incidentally,
the pointers ended up parallel to the pipeline.

When I tried it I was amazed to see the pointers turn as I passed over
the pipe.  I teach electronics, among other courses, and I was at once
reminded of the way a magnetic field behaves.  Those pointers moved
with a vengeance and seemed to want to connect to each other.

Once, a few years back, I wanted to discover the source of a spring.
So I brought with me a bunch of flags (2-foot long wires with a 4"x4"
piece of plastic attached to one end).  As I dowsed and detected
pointer movement, I planted a flag and then moved to another location.
After planting about 10 flags in a area of about 100 feet square, I was
amazed to find out that these flags all lined up perfectly in a
straight line.  I dug a trench and found the water -- too much of it.
I should have left well enough alone.

Amazing stuff.  Especially so when science can not explain it.  On TV
once, they tried to do a scientific experiment.  The results: only 50%
of the experiments to find water worked.  I suppose it is something
like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (the act of measuring changes
the item you are measuring).  It is so wonderful that we still have
mystery and magic in our lives.

By the way, I tell my students that there is still magic in their
lives.  No one can really explain the force of gravity and magnetism.
Yes, we certainly know how to make good use of these forces, but
exactly what they are is still a mystery.  Wonderful.

Andy LaTorre

 [ I remain a skeptic  ;-)   Some years ago when I owned a small "ranch"
 [ I needed to get a new well drilled.  I had a local well driller come
 [ out to give me a quotation.  He offered to dowse for water for
 [ free.  I told him I was skeptical but that he was welcome to
 [ demonstrate.  He retrieved from his pickup truck an old one-piece
 [ "whip antenna" from his truck that had a big spring at the base of
 [ it.  He held it by the spring and wandered around on the property
 [ with the antenna bouncing up and down in front of him.  He did
 [ this for quite a while and the finally said:  "Here".  Well, what
 [ do you know ?  My property, which was quite large, was extremely
 [ uneven and had very few flat places which were accessible from the
 [ road.  Somehow he managed to dowse his way to the only "flat spot"
 [ which was near my driveway and big enough for his well drilling rig.
 [ I was amused, but not convinced.  We ended up not drilling a well
 [ after all, so I never learned if it was a good spot...   -- Jody

(Message sent Thu 27 Aug 1998, 16:30:35 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Dowsing, Water

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