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(How) Do divining rods work?

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SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
Wished I lived near Texas
Well, I'm sure there is one near you since the Wikipedia page has a long list of them, international even. The funny thing is no one has ever won any of them. You would think that in a city of 7 million (with a 3-4 more million in a few hours drive) someone would be able to do it.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,954
16,414
136
Well, I'm sure there is one near you since the Wikipedia page has a long list of them, international even. The funny thing is no one has ever won any of them. You would think that in a city of 7 million (with a 3-4 more million in a few hours drive) someone would be able to do it.
There's too much electromagnetic interference in urban areas.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
1,230
136
Oh, I don’t think it works at all. I was just trying to help a guy out by providing an excuse for why no ones taken the prize money yet. :)
I know. Just shooting down the excuse. I'd be really excited if someone could actually prove it works. Maybe they just need some motivation :p
 

HeXen

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2009
7,821
33
91
Working in utility construction, there has been times where we were forced to use this method. I once witnessed my foreman find a 3 inch clay tile from the 1800's using two locate flags which were metal.

We had to plow some fiber down this county road stretch. This farmer told us about an old tile and we were required to dig up any estimated field tiles that land owners tell us about. So he has a hand drawn map from like 1880 or something that shows a tile. However, everything on the landscape has changed since then. The road has changed, houses not there, etc.

So basically we had over 3000 ft of area to cover in a ditch line along a plain corn field. The map was useless, only providing us that within that 3000ft stretch, there is a tile. Normally the owner has to pin point it but my foreman was nice enough that he would at least attempt to narrow it down and test dig a spot, otherwise we would have to plow through and just fix it later after the hole sunk in.

I often make fun of his "witch sticks" method but I can't take away his credit for his years of accuracy. He walks back and forth, like 4 times and keeps getting a hit over the same spot. I shit you not and be damned if two feet deep, at that exact spot, I found and exposed a 3 inch clay tile. Say whatever the hell you want but that's quite a feat. Him and other guys are not always 100% of course but after 20 years of doing this work, I would say they are 90% being dead on with 10% not finding anything at all. We use these during times when the utility locator has marks on the ground, but nothing is found or when there are no locates period for whatever reason. Statistically these are pretty large areas to cover so getting it right and hand digging on a spot is similar to hitting the lottery and it's rare that we don't find it on the first try....as long as certain guys are doing it. I don't have much luck with it but it's not like there is some secret to knowing exactly where a single line underground is. There is no blueprints or anything with accuracy enough to hit it on the first dig attempt like that. All blue prints will show, if they do at all, is that a line travels x direction from this utility termination point to another. Field tiles are worse, most farmers can't remember exactly unless they have a air vent above ground, good memory or defined map but in all cases where we divine rod it's always because we have nothing else to go on other than knowing something is within point A to point B.

And don't think construction companies won't ever use devine rods. BS, they ALL do if they can't find something. I see them do it often in my 20 years.

While it seems like there would have to be a repeatable and reliable method for science to prove or disprove divine rods, I don't think anyone has actually setup a real world example. Running water into a pipe on the lab floor with 20 empty pipes is not a very good method IMO plus some people like me just can't make them work. Some people can make them work with generally favorable reliability and others can't. I can't do it for jack but have witnessed a few guys at work do very well. Granted everyone here is likely heavily biased against anything that science can't measure but really no one ever done any in depth analysis and research, likely due to poor funding for such things.

In science, you have to get grants to perform research and often a convincing reason for a University or entity to give you one. Scientists want a paycheck so they often go where the money is, which is not going to be anything that has a hint of stigma associated to it. Often that stigma is feared to get attached to whoever is providing funding so what we're left is nothing but chump change for research into anecdotal evidence
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,298
1,230
136
Working in utility construction, there has been times where we were forced to use this method. I once witnessed my foreman find a 3 inch clay tile from the 1800's using two locate flags which were metal.

We had to plow some fiber down this county road stretch. This farmer told us about an old tile and we were required to dig up any estimated field tiles that land owners tell us about. So he has a hand drawn map from like 1880 or something that shows a tile. However, everything on the landscape has changed since then. The road has changed, houses not there, etc.

So basically we had over 3000 ft of area to cover in a ditch line along a plain corn field. The map was useless, only providing us that within that 3000ft stretch, there is a tile. Normally the owner has to pin point it but my foreman was nice enough that he would at least attempt to narrow it down and test dig a spot, otherwise we would have to plow through and just fix it later after the hole sunk in.

I often make fun of his "witch sticks" method but I can't take away his credit for his years of accuracy. He walks back and forth, like 4 times and keeps getting a hit over the same spot. I shit you not and be damned if two feet deep, at that exact spot, I found and exposed a 3 inch clay tile. Say whatever the hell you want but that's quite a feat. Him and other guys are not always 100% of course but after 20 years of doing this work, I would say they are 90% being dead on with 10% not finding anything at all. We use these during times when the utility locator has marks on the ground, but nothing is found or when there are no locates period for whatever reason. Statistically these are pretty large areas to cover so getting it right and hand digging on a spot is similar to hitting the lottery and it's rare that we don't find it on the first try....as long as certain guys are doing it. I don't have much luck with it but it's not like there is some secret to knowing exactly where a single line underground is. There is no blueprints or anything with accuracy enough to hit it on the first dig attempt like that. All blue prints will show, if they do at all, is that a line travels x direction from this utility termination point to another. Field tiles are worse, most farmers can't remember exactly unless they have a air vent above ground, good memory or defined map but in all cases where we divine rod it's always because we have nothing else to go on other than knowing something is within point A to point B.

And don't think construction companies won't ever use devine rods. BS, they ALL do if they can't find something. I see them do it often in my 20 years.

While it seems like there would have to be a repeatable and reliable method for science to prove or disprove divine rods, I don't think anyone has actually setup a real world example. Running water into a pipe on the lab floor with 20 empty pipes is not a very good method IMO plus some people like me just can't make them work. Some people can make them work with generally favorable reliability and others can't. I can't do it for jack but have witnessed a few guys at work do very well. Granted everyone here is likely heavily biased against anything that science can't measure but really no one ever done any in depth analysis and research, likely due to poor funding for such things.

In science, you have to get grants to perform research and often a convincing reason for a University or entity to give you one. Scientists want a paycheck so they often go where the money is, which is not going to be anything that has a hint of stigma associated to it. Often that stigma is feared to get attached to whoever is providing funding so what we're left is nothing but chump change for research into anecdotal evidence
Why can't they prove it?

Why does it find water AND tiles AND basically anything you could pretend to be looking for?
 

Sgt. York

Senior member
Mar 27, 2016
798
207
116
Has there ever been a peer reviewed scientific study of this phenomenon? If so, where is it? If not, why not?
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
61,095
9,171
126
www.uovalor.com
I wonder if some of this stuff sorta works at the subconscious level. Someone with experience can more or less guess pretty well where utilities are without using anything special but the rods somehow help. Like before I got cable locates on my property I pretty much had a very general idea of where all my utilities would be as well as the main ones. When I got the locate done I was pretty much within 1-2m of my guesses, and that's probably good enough for someone that said they found with divining rods.
 

Sgt. York

Senior member
Mar 27, 2016
798
207
116
I wonder if some of this stuff sorta works at the subconscious level. Someone with experience can more or less guess pretty well where utilities are without using anything special but the rods somehow help. Like before I got cable locates on my property I pretty much had a very general idea of where all my utilities would be as well as the main ones. When I got the locate done I was pretty much within 1-2m of my guesses, and that's probably good enough for someone that said they found with divining rods.
I believe you are on the right track and the 'rods' are just for drama.
 

Adamkmiller

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2021
8
0
6
I've experienced dowsing rods twisting in my hands. It was pretty creepy.

I was at a new jobsite and the plumber handed me the rods and told me how to use them. He had me walk around for a minute while he unloaded his truck. At some point they crossed, I could feel a force being applied to them, and I marked the spot on the ground with a piece of lumber.

He took me about a hundred feet away to an open trench and showed me the end of a 1" PEX water line that headed directly to the spot I marked and continued directly on to the water meter cover at the street.

I had no idea what I was looking for or if there was even anything there to find. It was in a freshly graded area that I had never seen before. For some reason the rods crossed on there own at a spot over a water line buried 4' below the surface.

I don't know what any of it means other than I experienced something that many other people think is BS.
I'm new to this but yes divining rids do actually work I've used them several occasions I'm a general contractor and have startled many peoples thoughts by using them They are very accurate much more than electronics locators I just used again yesterday to locate hurried communications I just used Twp field flags and bent handles on them
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
I'm new to this but yes divining rids do actually work I've used them several occasions I'm a general contractor and have startled many peoples thoughts by using them They are very accurate much more than electronics locators I just used again yesterday to locate hurried communications I just used Twp field flags and bent handles on them
No they don't work. I've seen them used. I've tested people that claim they work, and never seen anything better then random out of them in any type of challenging situation.

If you really believe they work, and that you can work them, there is a million dollars waiting for you. With them being so easy to use, and so effective, I wonder why no one has ever claimed it?
 
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Reactions: DAPUNISHER

Adamkmiller

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2021
8
0
6
No they don't work. I've seen them used. I've tested people that claim they work, and never seen anything better then random out of them in any type of challenging situation.

If you really believe they work, and that you can work them, there is a million dollars waiting for you. With them being so easy to use, and so effective, I wonder why no one has ever claimed it?
I'll take your money any day of the week I promise
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
I'll take your money any day of the week I promise
Not mine, this is a real thing. They are willing to pay 1 million USD for proof of anything supernatural and specifically list dousing as an eligible candidate. The link to it has been posted several times in this thread.

That one group is not even the only one, I think the North Texas Skeptics Society still has a $12,000 prize to anyone that can prove that they can reliably douse for anything. I've assisted in several attempts, all that failed badly.
Here is the link: The North Texas Skeptics Paranormal Challenge | North Texas Skeptics (ntskeptics.org)
 

Adamkmiller

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2021
8
0
6
Not mine, this is a real thing. They are willing to pay 1 million USD for proof of anything supernatural and specifically list dousing as an eligible candidate. The link to it has been posted several times in this thread.

That one group is not even the only one, I think the North Texas Skeptics Society still has a $12,000 prize to anyone that can prove that they can reliably douse for anything. I've assisted in several attempts, all that failed badly.
Here is the link: The North Texas Skeptics Paranormal Challenge | North Texas Skeptics (ntskeptics.org)
Well that sounds inviting But truly I do use the rods and have never had them fail me I did electric a couple years ago communication just the other day I have used call before you dig They give marks 4' I'm serious when I say you can get 4" with the rods I swear by them Now I'm not saying I go looking for birdied lines but when I'm digging I will check to be sure where I suspect the burial is and have offset my hole because my rods told me there was something there In one instance my employee laughed now mind you I stripped 12/2 copper quick from our tool trailer and marked the underground electric in multiple places we dug our deck post hole off our mark a few inches and hand dug 3" tops to expose electrical conduit He bout shit his pants Have you ever tried it? Where you live? I'm in northern Ohio
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,385
3,087
136
Well that sounds inviting But truly I do use the rods and have never had them fail me I did electric a couple years ago communication just the other day I have used call before you dig They give marks 4' I'm serious when I say you can get 4" with the rods I swear by them Now I'm not saying I go looking for birdied lines but when I'm digging I will check to be sure where I suspect the burial is and have offset my hole because my rods told me there was something there In one instance my employee laughed now mind you I stripped 12/2 copper quick from our tool trailer and marked the underground electric in multiple places we dug our deck post hole off our mark a few inches and hand dug 3" tops to expose electrical conduit He bout shit his pants Have you ever tried it? Where you live? I'm in northern Ohio
Not only have I tried it, I've helped run several experimental trials for it.

I'm fairly sure I've already told the story about that in this thread, and I'm not the only one to have done research on this. Also detailed in this thread is a large scale study that is published in a peer review paper.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
3,074
272
126
Well that sounds inviting But truly I do use the rods and have never had them fail me
Nobody would claim they work, then see that people are offering thousands to anyone who can prove they work, then just say "oh neat, but yeah they totally work but I won't be doing anything to claim my free money". I had a family friend who wouldn't shut up about being psychic and after she was informed about James Randi's offer of a million dollars to anyone who could prove it, she had the same exact attitude and then told us she didn't need to prove herself to anyone. Nobody in the world would pass up free money and the chance to disprove skeptics at the same time.
 

Adamkmiller

Junior Member
Oct 12, 2021
8
0
6
Nobody would claim they work, then see that people are offering thousands to anyone who can prove they work, then just say "oh neat, but yeah they totally work but I won't be doing anything to claim my free money". I had a family friend who wouldn't shut up about being psychic and after she was informed about James Randi's offer of a million dollars to anyone who could prove it, she had the same exact attitude and then told us she didn't need to prove herself to anyone. Nobody in the world would pass up free money and the chance to disprove skeptics at the same time.
I will prove it to anyone I will tell you it does not work for every person there is but I will also say you pull cash out of your pocket and ask me to mark an electric , communication line that is where you're going to dig? I will take you're money any day I'm in northern Ohio and it works for me I'm starting to get addicted to the negative thoughts of people that don't think it's possible Where are you located I skimmed through the link of ( free money) I'm not so sure it's free money If you all want to see it properly done I welcome anyone to come to my door and see me do it We can drive to any address around here and I will mark underground utilities Again I don't go walking around looking for burried lines but in fact I locate where I'm going to dig/drill and it has never failed me It's not psychic it's something that I can't explain but it's real
 

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