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(How) Do divining rods work?

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[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
9,357
5,483
146
So these seams (maybe a 3 foot wide crack in the limestone) probably extend about 100 feet deep (typical depth of limestone here). Limestone has a dielectric constant of 7 (4-8 if saturated). The clayey soil filling the cracks is likely somewhat saturated and would have a dielectric constant of ~15. Air (cave) has a dielectric constant of 1 and water 78.
None of which has anything to do with what happens to a stick of metal held in a sweaty, meaty palm of an animal. Muscle spasms and shifting weight make metal sticks move, not 'electrical fields'.
 

eddman

Senior member
Dec 28, 2010
239
87
101
If you have these rods then test them this way: mount them next to each other in an elevated position, say 40 cm above the surface, in a fully balanced position so that they won't be moved by gravity. Make sure that you set them up in a small, closed space to make sure there is no air movement.

Now fill a very large bucket with water, attach a rope to it and drag it from some distance under the rods. Do they move?

If these things really work, every single time, then why corporations don't use them, instead of spending a lot of money on other methods?
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,946
16,398
136
I've run electrical resistivity surveys on alluvial deposits over limestone and have been a pole bearer on surveys over limestone caves. Yes, there are electrical signatures for caves and sediment filled fractures that can be detected using electrodes. The key here is that electrical resistivity surveys induce voltage gradients in the subsurface by applying low frequency (~4Hz) AC currents into the ground and then measuring voltage differences between sets of passive electrodes. Air filled caves are indicated by high resistivity anomalies while water filled caves are much harder to detect with the method as the salt content of the cave water tends to match that of the water in the smaller fractures in the limestone. Back when I used the method, it could take half a day to run a single line plus days of modeling to interpret the data. Modern methods use multiple frequency generators, programmatic electrode switching, and really cool modeling software to provide real time subsurface imaging in the field.

As for dousing with rods, sticks, or ostrich feathers, pure bunk. What isn't bunk is that dousers can learn to recognize surface expressions of subsurface fracture zones and filled sinkholes in karst terrains. It isn't as mysterious if you tell the client that you just noticed the grass was taller over the sinkhole.
 
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rthbear

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2019
3
0
6
At the risk of having countless unfounded accusations made against me I offer this to those with a genuine interest in this phenomenon. I am not psychic. paranormal, or 'gifted' in any way nor do I believe in such hogwash. I to would greet any announcement of possession of such abilities by anyone as a signal to guard my wallet. I am what I guess you would call a 'construction' worker and have used two bent coat hanger wires, welding rods, heavy gauge copper wire, silfoss (a type of brazing rod) and countless other things that happened to be lying around and fit the description of metal, light, smooth, and bendable to find countless buried plastic conduit pipes containing wire, water, and sewage as well as metal pipes containing water or air or gasses. I have no ability to my knowledge to find subterranean water deposits and admit to believing even with my belief in what I can do to be full of CaCa especially when they start telling you depths of water and gallons per minute nor can I tell the difference between any of these previously listed items or the depth thereof by the reaction I get. The reaction i speak of is simply the fact that the two L shaped rods, wires, etc. I've been loosely holding, one in either hand, pointing straight ahead will suddenly on their own volition swing in towards each other till they are perpendicular to their original orientation and pointing at each other. As I previously stated I have no clue what they are crossing over from any of the reaction and care must be taken not to start marking overhead lines that I've walked (while looking down) under as I have no clue as to what I'm detecting. Now someone is gonna say well your drawing a mental line between known points A and B and claiming a physically induced reaction as "OOOHHHHH spooky kids!". I am not going to bother to enumerate numerous experiences disproving this and hear/see it anyway, suffice to say I've had no clue as to a or b or both and still found the above listed items. I found this thread as I once again was looking for a rational scientific explanation for this personally observed/performed ability. OHH and on the subject of 'my ability' , ownership of such is BS. I've found that most anyone who is taught to hold the rods correctly (loose and balanced) can do it however not all. With the failures they seem to not be holding them right what I mean is it's a physical not supernatural problem. Now the old man who showed me how to do it 30 years ago used to say "They have to have the mojo" would laugh his "That was B$#@S*%#" laugh every time he said it so I believe he knew the truth to his statements. He did sell a genuine pair of divining rods to an Army Corp of Engineers civilian inspector (at said inspectors exasperated insistence) for 40 dollars so that he could do it to. At least they were brass brazing rods and not coat hangers. It would probably surprise you of how much it is common knowledge among underground utilities workers of a certain age. It's sure enough being done everyday with success all across this country if not the world everyday. So someone else is going to ask why do they have all of that expensive electronic equipment if all they need is coat hangers? Well for starters NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN OR QUANTIFY IT, thus guarantee it, insure it, license it, teach it (in a certifiable manner) ie package and sell it. Also as I've stated you've no idea what or how deep whatever they're reacting to is, a pipe underground feels the same to me as overhead power lines. Also to be fair I've gotten hits on things that were never found by digging to the expected depths of the item we were looking for. Often these can be discounted before digging in various ways. For example the reaction is intermittent, terminates at a point (thus not a contiguous pipe), or logical reasoning (yes I realize some will feel that term has no place in this discussion) discounts it as being what your looking for. I want an explanation for it and it has to better than "Your Nuts!" I would lean heavily on a subconsciously induced reaction made correct by a subconscious educated guess (in my case)except for the fact that I've found my targets in places I've never been and had no clue as to a start and end point even finding a random 90 degree turn, in the pipe, in the middle of an empty lot. I would welcome an impartially conducted, double blind, scientific study of me doing this even if the results were that i was making it happen on a subconscious level through various means to explain my personally observed accuracy. At least I would not be alone in my disappointment of my publicly proven self delusion. I know for a fact that humans are incredible in their ability to lie to themselves but I am positive that the rods move on their own (HMMM famous last words?)

Instructions for divining buried pipes with coat hangers.......
take 2 coat hangers and cut 1 rod from each using the long straight bottom piece and one side up to hook cutting at base of hook where twisting stops and your down to 1 wire.
bend these wires as straight as possible except for a 90 degree bend 6 inches from one end.
form a 'OK' hand signal with both hands except close it up tighter by sliding the top side of the tip of your forefinger down towards the base of your thumb making a circle the size of a nickle to a quarter at the same time using the remainder of your fingers to close together side by side following your pointing finger in forming the circle like you did to pantomime binoculars when you where a kid.
hold your forearms straight out with your elbows held tight to either side of your side at a comfortable approx waist high level with your circle forming hands turned with your thumb and forefinger on top and the distance between hands being dictated by the width of your body. If someone set a tray of glasses on your forearms and circle forming hands you would be able to carry it level with no spills.
now the hard part
drop the short end of the 90 degree bent wires down through the hole you've formed with your fingers and the long ends pointing straight ahead. Now the long parts need to be level not dipping down or pointing up achieve this by angling your hands slightly in the desired direction with the short end going down through your hand resting against your palm with the force coming from the extended weight of the long end stretching out unsupported in front of you. having the rod bend area resting both on top of your forefinger and resting against the crook formed by the second bend from the tip in your finger. Don't squeeze the wire at all. the wind should be able swing the rod back and forth if there was one, ideally no wind. if you rotate your hand the least bit off plumb the wire should move unfettered by tactile friction whichever way gravity dictates. Hold it very gently and if your doing it right it should naturally favor staying straight ahead due to the influence of the v shape of the crook in your two forefingers at the top and the bottom part of the short wire being pushed against the lower part of the palm of your hand by the force created by the long ends unsupported overhang. This is where people give up or insist it doesn't work. They're either holding it to tight (you shouldn't be holding it it should be resting there on its own) or they're holding it off plumb and gravity is affecting it.
holding the rods as described start walking and when passing over something they'll swing 90 degrees towards each other.. you can even do it in your home, wiring or piping in the floor or ceiling will have the same effect for playing around with it purposes but you can't find things under concrete because rebar or reinforcement wire fowls you up but will cause reactions for proof of concept testing. Now cue the individuals saying "I tried it it does not work it's BS" I said I have not been able to teach everyone, just most and the most often observed failure reasons as I've seen are (I just can't believe you need MOJO if it works for me it's science or an amazingly intricate self delusion)
1 a less than honest, patient effort at an attempt. You want it to fail, take 3 steps dropping your arms halfway through and say awe screw this..
2 improper grips which can cause it to be held back from free rotation or provide an insurmountable bias to staying in a certain position or 'falling to another'
3 a combination of 1 and 2 (the most common one)
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
1,230
136
At the risk of having countless unfounded accusations made against me I offer this to those with a genuine interest in this phenomenon. I am not psychic. paranormal, or 'gifted' in any way nor do I believe in such hogwash. I to would greet any announcement of possession of such abilities by anyone as a signal to guard my wallet. I am what I guess you would call a 'construction' worker and have used two bent coat hanger wires, welding rods, heavy gauge copper wire, silfoss (a type of brazing rod) and countless other things that happened to be lying around and fit the description of metal, light, smooth, and bendable to find countless buried plastic conduit pipes containing wire, water, and sewage as well as metal pipes containing water or air or gasses. I have no ability to my knowledge to find subterranean water deposits and admit to believing even with my belief in what I can do to be full of CaCa especially when they start telling you depths of water and gallons per minute nor can I tell the difference between any of these previously listed items or the depth thereof by the reaction I get. The reaction i speak of is simply the fact that the two L shaped rods, wires, etc. I've been loosely holding, one in either hand, pointing straight ahead will suddenly on their own volition swing in towards each other till they are perpendicular to their original orientation and pointing at each other. As I previously stated I have no clue what they are crossing over from any of the reaction and care must be taken not to start marking overhead lines that I've walked (while looking down) under as I have no clue as to what I'm detecting. Now someone is gonna say well your drawing a mental line between known points A and B and claiming a physically induced reaction as "OOOHHHHH spooky kids!". I am not going to bother to enumerate numerous experiences disproving this and hear/see it anyway, suffice to say I've had no clue as to a or b or both and still found the above listed items. I found this thread as I once again was looking for a rational scientific explanation for this personally observed/performed ability. OHH and on the subject of 'my ability' , ownership of such is BS. I've found that most anyone who is taught to hold the rods correctly (loose and balanced) can do it however not all. With the failures they seem to not be holding them right what I mean is it's a physical not supernatural problem. Now the old man who showed me how to do it 30 years ago used to say "They have to have the mojo" would laugh his "That was B$#@S*%#" laugh every time he said it so I believe he knew the truth to his statements. He did sell a genuine pair of divining rods to an Army Corp of Engineers civilian inspector (at said inspectors exasperated insistence) for 40 dollars so that he could do it to. At least they were brass brazing rods and not coat hangers. It would probably surprise you of how much it is common knowledge among underground utilities workers of a certain age. It's sure enough being done everyday with success all across this country if not the world everyday. So someone else is going to ask why do they have all of that expensive electronic equipment if all they need is coat hangers? Well for starters NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN OR QUANTIFY IT, thus guarantee it, insure it, license it, teach it (in a certifiable manner) ie package and sell it. Also as I've stated you've no idea what or how deep whatever they're reacting to is, a pipe underground feels the same to me as overhead power lines. Also to be fair I've gotten hits on things that were never found by digging to the expected depths of the item we were looking for. Often these can be discounted before digging in various ways. For example the reaction is intermittent, terminates at a point (thus not a contiguous pipe), or logical reasoning (yes I realize some will feel that term has no place in this discussion) discounts it as being what your looking for. I want an explanation for it and it has to better than "Your Nuts!" I would lean heavily on a subconsciously induced reaction made correct by a subconscious educated guess (in my case)except for the fact that I've found my targets in places I've never been and had no clue as to a start and end point even finding a random 90 degree turn, in the pipe, in the middle of an empty lot. I would welcome an impartially conducted, double blind, scientific study of me doing this even if the results were that i was making it happen on a subconscious level through various means to explain my personally observed accuracy. At least I would not be alone in my disappointment of my publicly proven self delusion. I know for a fact that humans are incredible in their ability to lie to themselves but I am positive that the rods move on their own (HMMM famous last words?)

Instructions for divining buried pipes with coat hangers.......
take 2 coat hangers and cut 1 rod from each using the long straight bottom piece and one side up to hook cutting at base of hook where twisting stops and your down to 1 wire.
bend these wires as straight as possible except for a 90 degree bend 6 inches from one end.
form a 'OK' hand signal with both hands except close it up tighter by sliding the top side of the tip of your forefinger down towards the base of your thumb making a circle the size of a nickle to a quarter at the same time using the remainder of your fingers to close together side by side following your pointing finger in forming the circle like you did to pantomime binoculars when you where a kid.
hold your forearms straight out with your elbows held tight to either side of your side at a comfortable approx waist high level with your circle forming hands turned with your thumb and forefinger on top and the distance between hands being dictated by the width of your body. If someone set a tray of glasses on your forearms and circle forming hands you would be able to carry it level with no spills.
now the hard part
drop the short end of the 90 degree bent wires down through the hole you've formed with your fingers and the long ends pointing straight ahead. Now the long parts need to be level not dipping down or pointing up achieve this by angling your hands slightly in the desired direction with the short end going down through your hand resting against your palm with the force coming from the extended weight of the long end stretching out unsupported in front of you. having the rod bend area resting both on top of your forefinger and resting against the crook formed by the second bend from the tip in your finger. Don't squeeze the wire at all. the wind should be able swing the rod back and forth if there was one, ideally no wind. if you rotate your hand the least bit off plumb the wire should move unfettered by tactile friction whichever way gravity dictates. Hold it very gently and if your doing it right it should naturally favor staying straight ahead due to the influence of the v shape of the crook in your two forefingers at the top and the bottom part of the short wire being pushed against the lower part of the palm of your hand by the force created by the long ends unsupported overhang. This is where people give up or insist it doesn't work. They're either holding it to tight (you shouldn't be holding it it should be resting there on its own) or they're holding it off plumb and gravity is affecting it.
holding the rods as described start walking and when passing over something they'll swing 90 degrees towards each other.. you can even do it in your home, wiring or piping in the floor or ceiling will have the same effect for playing around with it purposes but you can't find things under concrete because rebar or reinforcement wire fowls you up but will cause reactions for proof of concept testing. Now cue the individuals saying "I tried it it does not work it's BS" I said I have not been able to teach everyone, just most and the most often observed failure reasons as I've seen are (I just can't believe you need MOJO if it works for me it's science or an amazingly intricate self delusion)
1 a less than honest, patient effort at an attempt. You want it to fail, take 3 steps dropping your arms halfway through and say awe screw this..
2 improper grips which can cause it to be held back from free rotation or provide an insurmountable bias to staying in a certain position or 'falling to another'
3 a combination of 1 and 2 (the most common one)
Haven't read this yet, but I'll ask: Why haven't you claimed your cash prize for proving your ability?
 
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rthbear

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2019
3
0
6
I did see that and couldn’t help myself and investigated, it’s been discontinued. I don’t see it as a gift I’m down to mass hysteria or an as yet unexplained reaction to some type of field be it electromagnetic or what, I and apparently everyone else knows not. I think anyone can do it if they hold the rods right plus as I said I get reactions where there is no pipe or at least nothing shallow enough to find which would lead someone with a million dollars to keep it. It would be nice to have but I think I’ll just keep going to work everyday, work that in no way needs divining rods for anything except maybe hanging your coat on.
 

rthbear

Junior Member
Feb 1, 2019
3
0
6
Better question is why post all of this on a topic over two years old?
Because it wasn't closed out, nor did I see anywhere a "stop it". I am not looking for an argument or belittlement, or for that matter anyone's money, just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I was looking for an answer when I found this but it appears that's not in the cards. And giving instructions for private attempts was just to see if anyone came back and said "damn something did happen". If its a problem I would not mind dropping the subject and going on with my life as there is plenty there to keep me busy that I'm putting off in order to explain why I don't have the money and why I bothered to reply to a subject in a forum discussion that starts with the subject I'm curious about rather than the subject itself. I did however recognize the risk I was taking and want to thank you for for not insulting me. Could you please give me a web address for the rule book that denotes the 'time limit' so that I do no other wrong things like attempting to participate in an old discussion, it would be a big help. Thank you for your time
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
Because it wasn't closed out, nor did I see anywhere a "stop it". I am not looking for an argument or belittlement, or for that matter anyone's money, just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I was looking for an answer when I found this but it appears that's not in the cards. And giving instructions for private attempts was just to see if anyone came back and said "damn something did happen". If its a problem I would not mind dropping the subject and going on with my life as there is plenty there to keep me busy that I'm putting off in order to explain why I don't have the money and why I bothered to reply to a subject in a forum discussion that starts with the subject I'm curious about rather than the subject itself. I did however recognize the risk I was taking and want to thank you for for not insulting me. Could you please give me a web address for the rule book that denotes the 'time limit' so that I do no other wrong things like attempting to participate in an old discussion, it would be a big help. Thank you for your time
How is it that in 2019 people still believe in magic wands?
Really? You have magic powers to find things using only two sticks, none of that fancy billions of dollars of equipment and trained personnel that all those silly companies use to do the job, and you have decided to spread the word to all of us all about how to do it on a sub-forum of a board dedicated to computer technology. I find this quite convincing.
 

CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
24,190
852
126
I have located pvc pipes and drain tile with coat hangers.
No, you haven’t. That’s textbook confirmation bias. The controlled testing and huge bounty with literally hundreds of years testing has already proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
I did see that and couldn’t help myself and investigated, it’s been discontinued.
While the JREF prize has been withdrawn there is still a list of organizations offering prizes, most of which will consider proof of successful dowsing as a win condition. Most of these prizes are in the $100,000USD range. If you can dowse for bigfoot you can even win a house.
 

wwwwhat

Junior Member
Mar 2, 2019
3
1
6
soundcloud.com
yeh... i didnt read this entire topic,,, but is a metal detector or a near field probe technically a divining rod? anyways i would think that divining rods can work by harvesting and affecting electromagnetic fields for an electromagnetically sensitive user. if you guys have done freshman level physics you would understand that the magnetic and electric fields are present throughout space and that the presence of matter can allow dipole moments or some such phenomena to exist in a gradient along a rod.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
1,230
136
yeh... i didnt read this entire topic,,, but is a metal detector or a near field probe technically a divining rod? anyways i would think that divining rods can work by harvesting and affecting electromagnetic fields for an electromagnetically sensitive user. if you guys have done freshman level physics you would understand that the magnetic and electric fields are present throughout space and that the presence of matter can allow dipole moments or some such phenomena to exist in a gradient along a rod.
Metal detectors and probes work using scientific principles that are understood. More importantly, their effectiveness can be conclusively demonstrated in a controlled test.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
if you guys have done freshman level physics you would understand that the magnetic and electric fields are present throughout space and that the presence of matter can allow dipole moments or some such phenomena to exist in a gradient along a rod.
That would be a really simple thing to test for, and it has been. If that was the case it would be easily replicable and able to be studied with out much problem at all. All you would have to do is find a few people that are able to detect the gradient and set them some tasks to see which ones they can do. If they are detecting magnetic flux then they should be able to do so with some degree of consistency. But we don't see that. In large scale tests of people that claim they can douse what we actually see is that they do no better than random even in tests set up to their standards.

If someone could actually find water, or anything else, using divining rods it should be easy to prove. Simply put no one has ever been able to show the ability to do so in a controlled environment.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,946
16,398
136
yeh... i didnt read this entire topic,,, but is a metal detector or a near field probe technically a divining rod? anyways i would think that divining rods can work by harvesting and affecting electromagnetic fields for an electromagnetically sensitive user. if you guys have done freshman level physics you would understand that the magnetic and electric fields are present throughout space and that the presence of matter can allow dipole moments or some such phenomena to exist in a gradient along a rod.
For the sake of discussion, let's say that there exists an electromagnetic gradient along the rod or between the tips of the rods for two rod divination. In the case of a single rod, how would an electromagnetically sensitive user detect such a gradient when holding only one end of the rod? Likewise for two rod divination, how would an electromagnetically sensitive user detect a gradient between the two rod tips when holding the near ends of the rods together? The practitioner effectively would be a bird on a power line.
 

Johnny Maxim

Junior Member
Mar 26, 2019
4
0
6
On Sunday my mother, sister that just turned 55 on Monday and myself went to my brother's to celebrate her birthday, in the family room sitting around talking, the topic of divining rods came up my brother within minutes made two of them out of coat hangers,a number of us seated on both sides, my brother 4 ft in front of him placed a bottle of water on the floor, held the rods and walked towards the water the rods crossed, he then placed his green lighter about 3 ft past the water ,went back to were he first started he spoke to the rods telling them to cross at the lighter, no word of a lie ,he passed the water bottle and they crossed at the lighter ,we were all saying WTF, his hands were not moving or twisting to show us he was doing anything for the rods to cross.may lightning strike me I did it and it worked water bottle and lighter, somehow the bottle of water ended up under were I was sitting and I walked slowly over it the rods crossed, believe me I did not manipulate them in any way, any answers ,
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
1,230
136
On Sunday my mother, sister that just turned 55 on Monday and myself went to my brother's to celebrate her birthday, in the family room sitting around talking, the topic of divining rods came up my brother within minutes made two of them out of coat hangers,a number of us seated on both sides, my brother 4 ft in front of him placed a bottle of water on the floor, held the rods and walked towards the water the rods crossed, he then placed his green lighter about 3 ft past the water ,went back to were he first started he spoke to the rods telling them to cross at the lighter, no word of a lie ,he passed the water bottle and they crossed at the lighter ,we were all saying WTF, his hands were not moving or twisting to show us he was doing anything for the rods to cross.may lightning strike me I did it and it worked water bottle and lighter, somehow the bottle of water ended up under were I was sitting and I walked slowly over it the rods crossed, believe me I did not manipulate them in any way, any answers ,
Demonstrate in a controlled test. Get paid. Get contracts. Keep getting paid.
 

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