Questions About Dowsing For Water

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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 09:28:41 -0700, "Ulysses"

I wonder how much kickback he gets from the witchers....
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About ten years ago I worked on a project removing underground fuel storage tanks and checking for contamination for a small city or big village sized area.
In the process I ended up drilling a couple hundred wells, logging the soils, and measuring the depth to water.
At the end of that time, I could go anywhere in the area and just by looking at the terrain, tell you what depth I'd hit water and what acquifer.
If I'd been a dowser, I'd have been sure I was doing it with the sticks. But it was just experience and local knowledge.
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wrote:

again
No, no. That method is for finding water lines, pipes, and telephone cables. The correct method for dowsing is to use a very limber willow branch shaped like a long wishbone, with the point up and the 2 branches held in each hand with your palms rotated outward. As you walk over the correct spot, the willow point will rotate from up to down. Have done it many many times with the willow always indicating the same spot and not random as one might expect. I admit I never dug a well to prove it was correct, but it was uncanny how the willow always reacted to the same spot.
Red
I must be confusing witching and dowsing again. I didn't have any pipes, power lines, phone wires, etc. I've never tried the willow but I remember Walter Brennon using one on The Real McCoys quite a few years back. What do dowsers use if there are no willows in the area? Buy one on eBay? I have some trees down by my creek that might be some kind of willow. I guess I'd better look up what they are so I can make a divining wand or rod or whatever they are called. That reminds me--I found a very strong signal with the welding rods and was thinking of making a long drill with a 2" arbor bit and see if I hit anything. The bushes in that area stay very green when there is a drought.
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I had no problem locating my utilities with a pair of bent wires. The wires crossed when I stepped over the trench they were buried in. Just now I wa looking at a google earth photo of my lot and from above the location of the trench is clearly visible but you wouldnt notice it from the ground. I am wondering if what the wires are detecting is me tipping slightly or me unconsciuosly correcting for the tip as I stept down into a depression. Perhaps this is also the reason for the slight tug I feel while crossing the same area while swinging a pendulum in a circle.
Jimmie
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Ulysses wrote:

Tell the witcher about the million dollar challenge - in an early post by HeyBub. No need to explain how it works, you just have to demonstrate you have the ability. Maybe the witcher will give you $100,000 as a finders fee when he wins.
A friend has a cabin and had to replace his septic system about a month ago, which under current regs had to be much different. I was there for the install. The contractor didn't get a locate on the underground high voltage cables (dumb) and did not want to dig-into them. He had a local witcher locate them. The contractor hand dug a trench across the path to get an exact position where the cable crossed the drainfield pipe. He didn't find it. He wound up digging down to the cable over a 50 foot length away from the utility pole where the cables came up. The path was completely different from what the witcher plotted (and away from the septic system). The high voltage cable was in one location, unlike aquifers.
--
bud--

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The National Ground Water Association, though, dismisses the idea of water dowsing as "totally without scientific merit" and recommends instead "the use of proven hydrogeological and geophysical techniques for groundwater reconnaissance when its presence is not easily recognizable by drilling contractors"
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Dwight wrote:

They are frauds. You can find water anywhere you drill.
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wrote:

...
    In real life, I believe you will find that the good ones knowingly or unknowingly use clues as to the proper location and that knowledge results in a higher than random results.
    I broke trough a plastic gas line from the street to my home once. I called the gas company and they came out and were looking for the shutoff valve. The first guy could not find it using the electronic finder they had. He called in his boss who had a different finder, but it was dead, so he took two welding rods, bent them and dowsed his way around my lot until he found the shutoff valve.
    I don't know if the other guy believed him, but when I cornered him he explained how he did it. They put a small current through a wire that is installed with the plastic pipe and it makes a very small magnetic field that those welding rods in the right hands can detect. He also told me what I needed to patch the pipe and where to get it, saving me a fair amount of money. He was a nice guy.
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It rains so much in Washington state, I would challenge anyone to NOT find water anywhere!
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I'm late getting in on this thread, but here goes anyway. I recognize some of the names on this thread from other newsgroups and have a great deal of respect for them, Doug, Dan.. In any case I did not know there was so much controversy about water dowsing, or witching or whatever you like to call it until I read this. I read The Skeptical Inquirer several times as an undergrad when I worked in the library..don't recall any articles about this topic, but, if there were, I probably skipped over them for juicier stuff like bashing Uri Geller.
Anyway, wife & I buy a place in the "country" 10 years ago. A month after I moved there I had to find which way the water line came to our house. My boss, who was there one day, suggested he could find it with two bent coat hangers. I didn't believe him and thought him to be a dolt, but he did find it and he had never been there before. Skip ahead 2 years and I have my back yard torn up to put in a french drain. I needed to find where the underground power line ran to our house. I tried the bent hangers myself just for fun. I found the power line but I also kept coming across something separate from it, running from what seemed to be straight out from the house then angling off parallel, nearly exactly where I was going to dig the drain. I dug down slowly and found a septic line that came from a bathroom off the garage. Prior to this I thought (actually counted on) all the plumbing being in the house (we have a full basement) and I knew and could see in the basement where the main drain line went out from there to the septic tank. The garage bathroom was in an area I had to crawl under and just never looked to make sure about the line. Since the basement ceiling is covered with drywall, I had no idea the line did not go to the main line and was a separate line out from the house to the septic tank.
Flash forward to 1 month ago; we're having tremendous rainstorms. My gutters were continually overflowing, dumping water into the window wells of the basement, then into the basement. There was a drain in the basement that when this water finally reached it, would not drain. The drain was clogged somewhere. I knew where the gutters drained into a PVC pipe several dozen yards away from the house and always thought the gutters and the basement drain all went into the same 4" drain pipe that was visible coming out of the ground. With no flow coming out of it, I wondered if there was a second line (and what in the world this line went to!). I pulled out the bent wires again. Now there is a low spot in the yard I thought might have been a drain exit that always kept water in it. This is where it must be, and must be clogged up with a little dirt. I'd been meaning to dig it out for years, but never had a problem with the gutters before so I was lazy and didn't. I used the wires, criss-crossed and back and forth looking for the line that led to this low spot. Nothing. I was so convinced the line was there and the wires were wrong I dug down about 4' in a about a 5' length. Still nothing.
I went back to the house and started using the wires again walking around the house in a circle. I kept coming across not one, but 3 separate "lines" from the house. Remember now the ground is saturated with several days of rain giving no clue to the location of the drain exits (and I only thought there was 1). I located the exit points of two of the three lines (the third being the one I thought was the one for all previously), covered with years of dirt. Turns out there was one drain line for the gutters, one drain line for the basement, and a third for a drain at the bottom of a basement stairwell. I never knew these lines existed up until then.
Now I don't claim anything at all, but I know it worked in these cases. I have degrees in math and computer science, was raised in the "city" and moved out to the country at the young age of 35 so I'm not a country boy that has lifelong tales of relatives like Aunt Lurleen or Cousin Booger doing this stuff. If you have a better explanation of how this worked in these cases, let me know. Why don't I write Mr. Randi? Well I might, but I'd prefer he or someone in his circle just come out to my place and explain how this works, and how it happens. For fun today and (mainly) because this whole thread made me question everything I had seen, I had my wife walk me around in the yard while it was hot as hell, blindfolded. Walked around & around and the wires did their thing again. Same place. The skeptics claim it "doesn't work", yet I know that it did in these cases. I didn't know where the lines were, I didn't even know the lines existed. I do not claim any super-powers or religious intervention. Nothing of the sort. It just is what it is. Sorry, Randi.
Cheers
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[snip long (and possibly tall) tale]
If you're convinced you can do it, just contact the James Randi Educational Foundation, and demonstrate your ability under controlled conditions. You'll become an instant millionaire.
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On Jun 22, 4:55pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Yes, Doug, I said it was a long post in the subject line.
So, having written such a long post, what would I gain from making it up (what you meant by "tall tale"), walking around in the 95 degree heat at noon today seeing if I was crazy? I'll ask again, what is the explanation for finding things I didn't know were there? I want to know for my own benefit, since I cannot find an explanation other than "it just is". Just like lots of other things science hasn't explained yet. Not "can't",..just "hasn't yet". And the invitation stands for anyone.
I'll exit here since this is already degenerating to what sounds like "I don't need to know or see you to know you're lying" and going back to the homebrewing and ww'ing groups.
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On Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:26:28 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

Some things are just tradition and "just is". No need for an "explanation".
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I can explain it: It's like drinking Pepsi and flipping a coin and having it come up heads 5 times in a row and concluding that Pepsi- drinking causes heads to come up more than pure chance.
The logical test of this would to do it a lot more and see if it holds. It has been tried with dowsing (the "best" dowsers) and it does _not_ hold. You are one of those people who have not done the testing yet beyond your initial hypothesis
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And you sound like anohter of those who won't even try it.
Harry K
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This subject is just like arguing politics or religion - neither side will change their viewpoint. Those of us who have had it work on many occasions and know it works will never convince those who will never get off their dead asses and try it. We're falling to level of the alt.hvac or sci.geo.geology groups in arguing this subject.
Red
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wrote:

Why don't you go win the million dollars?
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Perhaps you could try reading and understanding what I have written. I direct your attention to my repeated "half-skeptic'
Harry K
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On Tue, 23 Jun 2009 13:17:30 -0700 (PDT), harry k

So what? You seem to think they work. It costs you basically nothing to try. So what's stopping you? Randi's had this offer out there for nearly 20 years, not just for dousing but for ANY paranormal claim. There have been several people who have tried. They all agree before the test even starts that they understand what is being tested and what will constitute success or failure and the believers all think they can do whatever it is they do, that it's a cake walk. Yet when they actually have to demonstrate for real that their results rise above the level of chance they all fail. These are not hard tests if you believe what these people claim, yet they fail consistently. And Randi isn't the one doing the testing, so to speak, he's just establishing the agreement, the results stand or fall on their own.
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I'll be convinced as soon as I see it demonstrated under controlled conditions. You claim to "have had it work on many occasions" -- go claim your million dollars.
Or explain why you're unwilling to be tested under controlled conditions.
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