(How) Do divining rods work?

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dkozloski

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,005
0
76
Tell the guy with the dowsing rods to find you a place where you won't hit water. It's easy to explain why the mark doesn't complain with all manner of swindles. Nobody wants to admit that they're dumb enough to have been gulled.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,564
3,384
136
Ah, it is time again for our monthly dose of stupid.
Anyone want to regale us with their evidence that dowsing rods work? Maybe you watched your best friends uncle find a water pipe in your aunts back yard, and there was NO WAY he would have known it was there?
 

windyrobbo

Junior Member
Oct 31, 2014
1
0
0
Hi Guys,

I thought I would comment on this as I had an experience on site a few years ago and was just thinking about it. I looked up divining and saw the posts so here goes:

I'm a chartered civil engineer (UK) and am a scientific kind of guy.

Anyway I was on site looking for an underground water pipe and there were no manholes where they were shown on the plans. One of the supervisors got some copper cable (10mm dia) with rubber outer sleeve out of his van, cut it into 2 L shapes (short section in hand ~100mm and long section pointing forward ~300mm) and then began to divine for them....HOW WE LAUGHED!!

But the ends started crossing and he said he'd found the pipe.

Yeah yeah..OK..funny I cried, so he asked me to have a go....."hold them very loosely in your hands and slowly walk around the area" he told me.

I swear for a while I thought I was in the film Polergeist!

I was walking around and the rods would move themselves in my hands... I wasn't even gripping them, just letting them rest in my hands, sort of balancing at the point of the bend on the top edge of my forefingers. It felt really wierd. No strange physical feelings or anything, just the fact that the rods would move from pointing parallel forwards to crossing over.

We marked out various locations where the rods crossed, which formed a line across the site, and this was later confirmed to be the exact line of the pipe by trial hole.

So...I previously thought it was a load of rubbish, but hey, it works!

How does it work you may ask??

Well I don't know, which was why I was searching the net.

But I thought I would share my experience and would urge anyone to have a go, don't just dismiss it. You can make your own rods (I would suggest the same way as above as I know that worked.

If anyone knows how or why please let me know ( I have thoughts in my head about the bodies electromagentic field etc reacting with water/metal cable pipes and causing a reaction in the copper rods...but you know I just don't really swallow it....but I know what I experienced).

Personally I willl try it again.

Hope that was of interest.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,564
3,384
136
Well, we missed September, but here we are in October and ready for our monthly dose of dumb.

I'm a chartered civil engineer (UK) and am a scientific kind of guy.
Congratulations first time poster, engineer, and scientific kind of guy, you just got taken in. Someone played you for a fool, and you bought it hook line and sinker.

We marked out various locations where the rods crossed, which formed a line across the site, and this was later confirmed to be the exact line of the pipe by trial hole.
And so, with out any type of control, or even thought about what else might have been influencing you, you just accepted 'divination' as the answer.

How does it work you may ask??

Well I don't know, which was why I was searching the net.
How does it work? It doesn't. If you had read this thread you would see that there has been documented some controlled tests with thousands of test subjects, with tens of thousands of data points, that show that dowsers can do no better then random.

But I thought I would share my experience and would urge anyone to have a go, don't just dismiss it. You can make your own rods (I would suggest the same way as above as I know that worked.
I would suggest that you look up good experimental design and then test it yourself, under good rigor, to see that it does not actually work. It is simple. There is no known force that can account for dowsing, and it is very unlikely that we have missed a force which effects are so easy to document.

Also, if you really think you can dowse then there is a million USD prize waiting for you.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
...
Also, if you really think you can dowse then there is a million USD prize waiting for you.
I was going to suggest this. :)

$1,000,000 is ready and waiting.


The money is real. It is held in an account at BNY Mellon. The JREF is a “tax exempt” organization, so we are required by law to provide annual public disclosure of our finances. That means that the public can review copies of JREF's tax return (Form 990). You can go to http://web.randi.org/our-financials to view JREF's 990, which was prepared by an independent CPA firm. Part X, Line 11 shows the amount of Investments in Publicly Traded Securities which is greater than a million dollars.

The contract between the claimant and JREF is binding enough that the JREF must pay the prize if someone wins it. This is a published, legal obligation, not just a casual offer. Also, if JREF were not able to hold up its end of the bargain, the IRS could investigate and revoke the JREF's tax exempt status. It could mean severe penalties for the JREF. Rest assured: The money is there.
Yes, they have tested alleged dowsers. The $1M remains unclaimed.
 

mizzou

Diamond Member
Jan 2, 2008
9,734
54
91
I used a willow branch when I was little for divining. I felt I accurately located the well and sewer lateral lines of our home. Granted, I knew exactly where they were to begin with.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
I used a willow branch when I was little for divining. I felt I accurately located the well and sewer lateral lines of our home. Granted, I knew exactly where they were to begin with.
Now get a Ouija board, except for a language you don't know. (Something that uses alphanumeric symbols, maybe something like Russian if you don't know that language.)
Then see if you even manage to spell out a proper word. ;)



:)hmm: What if you end up trying to communicate with an illiterate ghost?)
 

Matt1970

Lifer
Mar 19, 2007
12,320
2
0
Now get a Ouija board, except for a language you don't know. (Something that uses alphanumeric symbols, maybe something like Russian if you don't know that language.)
Then see if you even manage to spell out a proper word. ;)



:)hmm: What if you end up trying to communicate with an illiterate ghost?)
Don't ya love how Parker Brothers figured out how to communicate with the dead?
 

ronbo613

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2010
1,237
45
91
This is a slam dunk. Divining rods work by hocus pocus.

I live in an area where getting water from wells is common. Finding out where to dig is mostly experience. Some of the drillers use divining rods but I'm pretty sure it's just for show or an inside joke. Do you know that drilling a well, even in a place that has plenty of water, usually costs between ten and twenty thousand dollars?
 

quackagator

Senior member
Jul 1, 2002
913
22
81
My buddy needed a well and had a guy come over with a willow branch to find a spot.
He found a spot. I tried it and couldn't hold the branch fom turing down. It was weird. My buddy tried it and it didnt work for him. I'v also located pipes in the ground with coat hangers.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
My buddy needed a well and had a guy come over with a willow branch to find a spot.
He found a spot. I tried it and couldn't hold the branch fom turing down. It was weird. My buddy tried it and it didnt work for him. I'v also located pipes in the ground with coat hangers.
So go get the million dollar prize. ;)
 

saver509

Junior Member
Apr 2, 2015
2
0
0
I want to apologize first for the spelling error that you will undoubtfully see... Lol.. I am writing this on a cel phone....
I have read the posts here and thought that I could help clear up so issues for the original poster and the other folks on this thread...
I have been doing utility locating and subsurface utility engineering for almost 20 years. I have used "witch wands" or "divining rods" hundreds of times. They absolutely work if you know how to use them properly. I use multiple types of utility locating equipment everyday. I have searched for conductive and noncondusive utilities. My company does vac test holes (or soft digs) on my findings every day and I am very sucessful. If I have no luck finding a connection point to hook my transmitter up to so that I can push a radio signal through the facility then I attempt to use my equiptment to induce from above the facility. If the facility is nonconducive then I will use a divining wand to determine a general location of the facility and look for other means to locate it such as gpr (ground penetrating radar) which I am a certified, trained, and experienced in using.
But if for some reason the facility that I am searching for is completely impossible to locate by using any of those methods then I will locate it entirely by using divining rods... After I locate a line my vac truck operator will come and test pit (dig a hole) over the facility. This is done to determine depth and size. We also survey (shoot) the utility to mark the exact location for engineering purposes. After years of doing this I am usually within a 6-12 inches of my mark.
I have used divining rods for years and have come to realize that like the ground penetrating radar or radio detection devices, the divining rod is picking up multiple things such as, soil inconsistencies, electrical current, pressurized water flow, radio current, etc... There are forces in everything. It is not magic. Even a trench in the soil creates some sort of consistent flow. That is how pvc or poly pipes are located without inserting a tracer tape through them.
The use of the diving rod has skeptics. But think of it this way. How can we feel a tv that is left on in a dark house in the middle of the night. The current and radio waves, right? It is the same pricipal.
But with most utility locators it is common sence and process of elimination. If you can find one access point for a facility then you can track a general direction. Then using the rod you can ensure the path has not deviated. I will have to admit that this method is not perfered or in any way a first option, but I most certainly works. It is not magic... It is science.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
I want to apologize first for the spelling error that you will undoubtfully see... Lol.. I am writing this on a cel phone....
I have read the posts here and thought that I could help clear up so issues for the original poster and the other folks on this thread...
I have been doing utility locating and subsurface utility engineering for almost 20 years. I have used "witch wands" or "divining rods" hundreds of times. They absolutely work if you know how to use them properly. I use multiple types of utility locating equipment everyday. I have searched for conductive and noncondusive utilities. My company does vac test holes (or soft digs) on my findings every day and I am very sucessful. If I have no luck finding a connection point to hook my transmitter up to so that I can push a radio signal through the facility then I attempt to use my equiptment to induce from above the facility. If the facility is nonconducive then I will use a divining wand to determine a general location of the facility and look for other means to locate it such as gpr (ground penetrating radar) which I am a certified, trained, and experienced in using.
But if for some reason the facility that I am searching for is completely impossible to locate by using any of those methods then I will locate it entirely by using divining rods... After I locate a line my vac truck operator will come and test pit (dig a hole) over the facility. This is done to determine depth and size. We also survey (shoot) the utility to mark the exact location for engineering purposes. After years of doing this I am usually within a 6-12 inches of my mark.
I have used divining rods for years and have come to realize that like the ground penetrating radar or radio detection devices, the divining rod is picking up multiple things such as, soil inconsistencies, electrical current, pressurized water flow, radio current, etc... There are forces in everything. It is not magic. Even a trench in the soil creates some sort of consistent flow. That is how pvc or poly pipes are located without inserting a tracer tape through them.
The use of the diving rod has skeptics. But think of it this way. How can we feel a tv that is left on in a dark house in the middle of the night. The current and radio waves, right? It is the same pricipal.
But with most utility locators it is common sence and process of elimination. If you can find one access point for a facility then you can track a general direction. Then using the rod you can ensure the path has not deviated. I will have to admit that this method is not perfered or in any way a first option, but I most certainly works. It is not magic... It is science.
Go get your prize then:

http://web.randi.org/the-million-dollar-challenge.html
 

saver509

Junior Member
Apr 2, 2015
2
0
0
What is the definition of “paranormal” in regards to the Challenge?

“Paranormal” is a generic term used to refer to occurrences beyond the scope of conventional experience or scientific explanation. It implies that certain phenomena are to be understood independent of science’s present measure. Paranormal experiences are different from certain hypotheses, i.e. dark matter or String Theory, because the paranormal events are not consistent with our current scientific conception of the way the world works through empirical observation and the scientific method.

This is the definition in regards to the $1,000,000 "PARANORMAL" Challenge....
Read what I wrote. Then read this again. Everything I stated is scientific and in no way. paranormal. I am a firm believer that any occurance on this planet can be explained by science. That is why I wrote what I did, to show people that it was I no was magic.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
What is the definition of “paranormal” in regards to the Challenge?

“Paranormal” is a generic term used to refer to occurrences beyond the scope of conventional experience or scientific explanation. It implies that certain phenomena are to be understood independent of science’s present measure. Paranormal experiences are different from certain hypotheses, i.e. dark matter or String Theory, because the paranormal events are not consistent with our current scientific conception of the way the world works through empirical observation and the scientific method.

This is the definition in regards to the $1,000,000 "PARANORMAL" Challenge....
Read what I wrote. Then read this again. Everything I stated is scientific and in no way. paranormal. I am a firm believer that any occurance on this planet can be explained by science. That is why I wrote what I did, to show people that it was I no was magic.
I did read it, and I don't believe it. Hence, paranormal.
 

Mr. Pedantic

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2010
5,039
0
76
What is the definition of “paranormal” in regards to the Challenge?

“Paranormal” is a generic term used to refer to occurrences beyond the scope of conventional experience or scientific explanation. It implies that certain phenomena are to be understood independent of science’s present measure. Paranormal experiences are different from certain hypotheses, i.e. dark matter or String Theory, because the paranormal events are not consistent with our current scientific conception of the way the world works through empirical observation and the scientific method.

This is the definition in regards to the $1,000,000 "PARANORMAL" Challenge....
Read what I wrote. Then read this again. Everything I stated is scientific and in no way. paranormal. I am a firm believer that any occurance on this planet can be explained by science. That is why I wrote what I did, to show people that it was I no was magic.
If you can demonstrate that your method of dowsing is accurate with respect to finding buried objects of which you have no prior knowledge, that should be sufficient to win you the prize.
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
17,875
35
91
But think of it this way. How can we feel a tv that is left on in a dark house in the middle of the night. The current and radio waves, right? It is the same pricipal.....It is not magic....It is science.
Ehhhhh....yeah.....
 

MongGrel

Lifer
Dec 3, 2013
38,751
3,067
121
If you can demonstrate that your method of dowsing is accurate with respect to finding buried objects of which you have no prior knowledge, that should be sufficient to win you the prize.
Find a Bigfoot with one for extra points.
 

Subyman

Moderator <br> VC&G Forum
Mar 18, 2005
7,876
32
86
Funny seeing this back at the top. Had a talk with a union plumber. He said it is a running joke within the unions to use dowsing on people for fun. ;)

windyrobo said:
One of the supervisors got some copper cable
A supervisor eh? Like the person with the blueprints for the site? Hmmmm.... Haha, I bet he had a real good laugh.
 
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Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
Funny seeing this back at the top. Had a talk with a union plumber. He said it is a running joke within the unions to use dowsing on people for fun. ;)
...
A guy at work told a story of when he went to work for a machine shop.
"Hey kid, I need you to go get something for me. The spot welder ran out of spots. Go talk to Steve and get a bucket of them."

So he spent awhile being passed from person to person to get the spots, until someone finally cut him some slack and let him in on the joke.





I want to apologize first for the spelling error that you will undoubtfully see... Lol.. I am writing this on a cel phone....
I have read the posts here and thought that I could help clear up so issues for the original poster and the other folks on this thread...
I have been doing utility locating and subsurface utility engineering for almost 20 years. I have used "witch wands" or "divining rods" hundreds of times. They absolutely work if you know how to use them properly. I use multiple types of utility locating equipment everyday. I have searched for conductive and nonconductive utilities. My company does vac test holes (or soft digs) on my findings every day and I am very successful. If I have no luck finding a connection point to hook my transmitter up to so that I can push a radio signal through the facility then I attempt to use my equipment to induce from above the facility. If the facility is nonconductive then I will use a divining wand to determine a general location of the facility and look for other means to locate it such as gpr (ground penetrating radar) which I am a certified, trained, and experienced in using.
But if for some reason the facility that I am searching for is completely impossible to locate by using any of those methods then I will locate it entirely by using divining rods... After I locate a line my vac truck operator will come and test pit (dig a hole) over the facility. This is done to determine depth and size. We also survey (shoot) the utility to mark the exact location for engineering purposes. After years of doing this I am usually within a 6-12 inches of my mark.
I have used divining rods for years and have come to realize that like the ground penetrating radar or radio detection devices, the divining rod is picking up multiple things such as, soil inconsistencies, electrical current, pressurized water flow, radio current, etc... There are forces in everything. It is not magic. Even a trench in the soil creates some sort of consistent flow. That is how pvc or poly pipes are located without inserting a tracer tape through them.
So it'll conveniently pick up anything you want it to find? Polymer detection, soil density variations, electricity, radio waves, water pressure changes....that right there would require a sensor suite well into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on range and resolution.

Forces in everything? Yeah, Qi says the same thing. It's also in the same realm as homeopathy, astrology, and divining rods.
The only other forces you've got that are found across all types of matter are nuclear binding forces. If you've got some method of detecting binding forces from several feet away, I'm sure that CERN would love to get some pointers from you.




The use of the diving rod has skeptics. But think of it this way. How can we feel a tv that is left on in a dark house in the middle of the night. The current and radio waves, right? It is the same principal.
No.
1) In the days of CRT TVs, the whine of the electromagnetic coils was right at the upper edge of human hearing. I could walk into a room and usually tell that a TV was turned on because I could hear it, though a few of them were either too high-pitch, or just too quiet. Changes in electric current will indeed generate magnetic fields. Humans have no known way of detecting these, nor can we detect radio waves. If we can, it has never been consistently demonstrated to science.
2) Maybe you had some shred of a memory that you left a TV turned on, and went to check it out.
2a) Confirmation bias: The times you go downstairs to check on a TV and it's not turned on will be forgotten. But, the times when you turn out to be correct are more apt to be remembered. It's like a kid with his back turned and is saying "...nnnNOW!" to guess when the microwave will be beep that it's finished. (A watched microwave never beeps.) Eventually he'll be within a second or two of the beep, and be so thrilled with himself for guessing correctly. The 15 times that weren't correct will be quickly forgotten. Adults do it too, but they pay money to play the game. "Slot machines have to pay out eventually, right? Well this one's due to pay up. That's how random chance works!"



But with most utility locators it is common sense and process of elimination. If you can find one access point for a facility then you can track a general direction. Then using the rod you can ensure the path has not deviated. I will have to admit that this method is not preferred or in any way a first option, but it most certainly works. It is not magic... It is science.
The scientific method requires that something be repeatable in a controlled environment. If you can repeat it reliably, there are industries out there, like anyone in mining or fossil fuels, that would pay you a lot more than you're earning right now, and I know that the scientific community would be very interested in knowing the mechanism through which it works.
 
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