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'[OT]: Sensing a current - diving rods'
2004\10\25@062316 by Alan B. Pearce

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>One danger with such things is that we overlook a
>good physical explanation for an apparently arcane
>ability. While I have no idea if there is such an
>explanation in many or any such cases, I would be
>wary of completely rejecting the art as bogus.

One explanation I have heard of is being able to detect magnetic fields due
to electric currents which are generated by the flow of water. I heard of an
experiment to verify this, where a number of wires were taped across a hall,
and each wire could have the current separately switched off or on unbeknown
to the person doing the dowsing. It provided a "proof of concept" result as
I understand it, in that they could consistently detect which wires had
current flowing through them. I do not know how much current was involved.

____________________________________________

2004\10\25@070153 by Jinx

face picon face


> >One danger with such things is that we overlook a
> >good physical explanation for an apparently arcane
> >ability. While I have no idea if there is such an
> >explanation in many or any such cases, I would be
> >wary of completely rejecting the art as bogus.

There are many cases of humans having "freakish" powers. Who's
to say that some do not possess substances like magnetite in their
sensory organs, such as homing / migratory birds or bacteria do for
example. Said to guide them along magnetic fields. Genetics can be
responsible for outstanding sporting and artistic and academic
achievements, why not so for the "black arts" too

____________________________________________

2004\10\25@083340 by Russell McMahon

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Subject: Does Dowsing work ?

> One explanation I have heard of is being able to detect magnetic fields
> due
> to electric currents which are generated by the flow of water. I heard of
> an
> experiment to verify this, where a number of wires were taped across a
> hall,
> and each wire could have the current separately switched off or on
> unbeknown
> to the person doing the dowsing. It provided a "proof of concept" result
> as
> I understand it, in that they could consistently detect which wires had
> current flowing through them. I do not know how much current was involved.

Unfortunately, the tests on which such reports are based are almost always
untraceable. I would love to be able to point to a hard test carried out
under double blind conditions with appropriate controls and methodology.

*** STOP PRESS *** : see google results at end.

So far I am unaware of the details of any such test. Usually when you start
to trace back a "too good to be true" / "I hope it's true" story you find
the path peters out.

I'd be extremely interested in any substantiated results of Dowsing tests
under controlled conditions, positive or negative. In the meantime, the well
diggers who depend on getting it right for a living are a step in the right
direction. People who don't want to believe there is anything there at all
tend to completely ignore accounts like the one on this list a day or so
ago. I'm a sceptic/skeptic but not a total decrier, so I add it to my
information store and wait for further input.


               RM

________________________________

Google to the rescue:        dowsing "double blind"

And here is a superb test and associated commentary.
Large German state funded trial.
500 candidate dowsers. Best 43 tested in depth.
Thousands of preliminary tests.
It's interesting to note how the conclusions of the original scientists is
at variance with those of this paper's writer.
I agree with him generally, although it would have been useful to retest the
'best of the best" to see if their ability was transient (as it probably was
if one thinks it through). This is an excellent demonstration of how an
apparent positive can be lifted out of a sea of noise OR ho a genuine result
can not be substantiated with certainty because it could have been due to
noise. It is a shame that the researchers did not analyse their results more
carefully as, in the very slight chance that they had a positive result,
they could easily have conducted further tests to prove consistency. In fact
it is almost dereliction if they did not do so before publishing results.

       http://www.csicop.org/si/9901/dowsing.html


Semi scientific attempt to test a related phenomena
Claims apparent positive results

       http://www.newphys.se/fnysik/3_1/dowsing/

Formal controlled  double blind homeopathic dowsing trial.
Negative results

       http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11934908&dopt=Abstract

More negative comment

       http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/d/do/dowsing.html


       RM

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2004\10\26@065954 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Mon, 25 Oct 2004, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>> One danger with such things is that we overlook a
>> good physical explanation for an apparently arcane
>> ability. While I have no idea if there is such an
>> explanation in many or any such cases, I would be
>> wary of completely rejecting the art as bogus.
>
> One explanation I have heard of is being able to detect magnetic fields due
> to electric currents which are generated by the flow of water. I heard of an
> experiment to verify this, where a number of wires were taped across a hall,
> and each wire could have the current separately switched off or on unbeknown
> to the person doing the dowsing. It provided a "proof of concept" result as
> I understand it, in that they could consistently detect which wires had
> current flowing through them. I do not know how much current was involved.

The currents that travel through underground water are very low. The
larger part of the current travels through the wet earth below or above
the water, where the salt concentration is much higher than in the free
water. This also explains the 10ft error between the dowsing and the
prospection result someone else mentioned. I don't know how the dowser did
it but if anyone can detect a magnetic field generated by about 50mA of
current at 30 meters depth imho he should go crazy in the average fields
in a normal house with power and television.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\26@070005 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004, Jinx wrote:

>>> One danger with such things is that we overlook a
>>> good physical explanation for an apparently arcane
>>> ability. While I have no idea if there is such an
>>> explanation in many or any such cases, I would be
>>> wary of completely rejecting the art as bogus.
>
> There are many cases of humans having "freakish" powers. Who's
> to say that some do not possess substances like magnetite in their
> sensory organs, such as homing / migratory birds or bacteria do for
> example. Said to guide them along magnetic fields. Genetics can be
> responsible for outstanding sporting and artistic and academic
> achievements, why not so for the "black arts" too

I agree but there are way too many dowsers imho. Also the field to be
detected is unbelievably small. It is drowned by the earth field by a few
orders of magnitude.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\26@081611 by Jinx

face picon face
> > example. Said to guide them along magnetic fields. Genetics can
> > be responsible for outstanding sporting and artistic and academic
> > achievements, why not so for the "black arts" too
>
> I agree but there are way too many dowsers imho

Whereas birds' incentive and instinct is to just get where they
intended, humans have other motives. Greed, status, or simply
mad or dillusional. Quacks. It's what separates us from the
birds (ducks excepted)

> Also the field to be detected is unbelievably small. It is drowned
> by the earth field by a few orders of magnitude

Animals with bio-magnetic sensors seem to do OK ? Although
there are doubts whether simple magnetite is the mechanism

A discussion of human magnetoreception

http://www.scientiapress.com/trbc/trbc.htm

____________________________________________

2004\10\26@090708 by Lawrence Lile

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face
>I don't know how the dowser did
> it but if anyone can detect a magnetic field generated by about 50mA of
> current at 30 meters depth imho he should go crazy in the average fields
> in a normal house with power and television.
>

The dowser sis it like this, a random lucky guess.  There is no evidence as to whether there was a better or worse vein of water 100' in any direction.

-- Lawrence Lile, P.E.
Electrical and Electronic Solutions
Project Solutions Companies
http://www.projsolco.com
> {Original Message removed}

2004\10\26@094620 by Strshttr

picon face
 My grandfather started digging wells by hand in the 1930's in south west
Iowa. The average depth of the wells here are between 25-75 feet deep.  Now in
the 30's it was a very dry period of time. These veins were not part of a
massive aquifer but rather a series of small veins mostly associated with springs
and such.

 Because he dug these wells by hand it would make sense that he would not
waste time on a technique that would yield a dry hole after a day of hard labor.
He used the traditional "witching stick" a wish bone shaped willow branch
held in his hands to find the vein.

 He could not wear a watch. It would magnetize and stop.

 I worked with him for 13 years and we would go to a new customer's place
and would need to find the pipe line.  He could find it and he could tell me how
deep to dig before I would hit it.  Time after time.  For this he would use
two 36 inch brass rods bent in an ell.

 I know I cannot convince educated people that this witchcraft is worth
anything, but grandpa was just doing his job for 60+ years not bragging and it
save him and my father and me many hours of time.

Steve Sullivan
____________________________________________

2004\10\26@101350 by Ake Hedman

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I think more people should be open minded and try this for them selves. It works for me and did for my father and also for my wife. But I also know a lot of people that it does not work for. To hold the willow branch in your hands and have it bend so you cant hold it is something that is hard to explain. I don't know why it works for some and not for some but there are plenty of historys like this one.

/Ake

spam_OUTStrshttrTakeThisOuTspamaol.com wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>____________________________________________

2004\10\26@121617 by Support - KF4HAZ

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My Uncle used 2 copper rods 90 degree L to locate buried pipe and cable
funny thing cable carrying current causes them to cross, pipe causes them to swing apart.
He was doing this for the US gov't for about 30 yrs.
I can not explain it, and have tried to no avail to build a circuit that would detect whatever field causes this phenomenon.
All I can say is I have seen him do it and it worked.
I even went so far as to have him "walk out an area" where I had buried a cable years before,
I knew there was a cable there, he thought I had him looking for water, the "L's" crossed as he passed over the cable...

KF4HAZ - Lonnie

----- From: <Strshttr@

{Quote hidden}

> ______________________________________________

2004\10\26@152436 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 .....StrshttrKILLspamspam@spam@aol.com wrote:

>  I know I cannot convince educated people that this witchcraft is worth
> anything, but grandpa was just doing his job for 60+ years not bragging and it
> save him and my father and me many hours of time.

This is not about convincing. There are always exceptions. It is possible
that your grandpa had a great deal of experience with the way people did
things in those times and in that place, and had a 'feel' for where one
would lay a pipeline or where a water vein would most likely be from
looking at the land features and vegetation around the site.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\26@152438 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Wed, 27 Oct 2004, Jinx wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I think that you missed my point: The point was that no animals sense
underground water by magnetism. Some insects and desert animals can do it
by 'smell' apparently, but only if it's not too deep.

The earth field is fairly strong and much stronger than any field set up
by telluric currents in average places. So a pigeon that uses the earth
field to navigate would be a couple of orders of magnitude too 'deaf' to
'hear' the field of water 100 feet deep in the ground.

'Modern' electronic dowsing relies on measuring voltage, not magnetic
field. One sets up artificial earth currents by driving stakes into the
ground and applying dc or ac up to a couple of thousands of volts and by
measuring 'step' voltages using a separate set at several points between
the injection stakes, using two (or more) other stakes. The resulting
chart can be interpreted by hand or by computer and gives a vertical
conductivity profile in the earth, to a depth equal to about 1/2 of the
distance between the injecting stakes. If there is water there, and if
there is no clay stratum that seals it off completely from above, then it
will be found.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\26@221320 by Dave VanHorn

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During the wolf pack days of WWII there was a technique, which worked
better than anyone hoped, for finding german u-boats.
Basically, they asked everyone where they thought the u-boats were.
Where everything overlapped, that's where they frequently found them.

Read this somewhere, fairly reputable source, but I'm not at home so I
can't find it and quote.

____________________________________________

2004\10\27@025134 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> During the wolf pack days of WWII there was a technique, which worked
> better than anyone hoped, for finding german u-boats.
> Basically, they asked everyone where they thought the u-boats were.
> Where everything overlapped, that's where they frequently found them.

That's the 'expert opinion' method. Used often to get data that is not
otherwise obtainable, like 'what do you think the failure rate for a
Mars expedition will be?'. One of my professors specialised in this
field. From his reseach, which involved mainly getting numerical data
(not U-boat locations):

- don't ask humans extremely large or extremely small numbers (so the
Mars expedition question should probably be rephrased you yield a number
in a reasonable range, maybe 'with 1000 expeditions/year, how many
failures per year, or how many years per failure?')

- when you ask humans to estimate the certainty (N-sigma interval) of
their estimate they will be over-confident. This overconfidence factor
is roughly a constant for each human, so you can calibrate using known
data!

- when you have a set of experts in a certain field don't average their
estimates. Use known data to find the best expert and use only his
opinion.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


____________________________________________

2004\10\27@145041 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004, Dave VanHorn wrote:

> During the wolf pack days of WWII there was a technique, which worked better
> than anyone hoped, for finding german u-boats.
> Basically, they asked everyone where they thought the u-boats were.
> Where everything overlapped, that's where they frequently found them.

Was this the official cover for their being able to *really* tell where
they were, knowing that Enigma had been broken by that time ?

> Read this somewhere, fairly reputable source, but I'm not at home so I can't
> find it and quote.

It's probably true too (but not for the published reason ...)

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\27@204004 by Russell McMahon

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>> During the wolf pack days of WWII there was a technique, which worked
>> better than anyone hoped, for finding german u-boats.
>> Basically, they asked everyone where they thought the u-boats were.
>> Where everything overlapped, that's where they frequently found them.

> Was this the official cover for their being able to *really* tell where
> they were, knowing that Enigma had been broken by that time ?

The German's naval enigma code was never broken in the manner that the other
enigma codes were.
The navy used a more complex and flexible version of the basic machine which
gave them about 1000 times better message security, used better key handling
procedures and took far greater care with message content. The Allies only
managed to access their codes by contriving to steal code books without the
Germans' knowledge - no easy task. Ian Fleming of James Bond fame contrived
a plan to crash a German aeroplane near a German ship and then have the
rescued "Germans" take over the ship. This was put into action but cancelled
before implementation. They finally managed to raid light ships and similar
and hide the loss of the code books by destroying the vessel afterwards.

Sound too strange to be true? War tends to be like that. Information (true
or not) from Simon Singh's  fascinating "The code book - the secret history
of codes and code-breaking". Worth reading.




       Russell McMahon

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2004\10\28@212130 by Dave VanHorn

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At 01:34 PM 10/28/2004 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
>>>During the wolf pack days of WWII there was a technique, which worked
>>>better than anyone hoped, for finding german u-boats.
>>>Basically, they asked everyone where they thought the u-boats were.
>>>Where everything overlapped, that's where they frequently found them.
>
>>Was this the official cover for their being able to *really* tell where
>>they were, knowing that Enigma had been broken by that time ?
>
>The German's naval enigma code was never broken in the manner that the
>other enigma codes were.

RADM Dan Gallery wrote a book on the capture of the U-505, which resulted
in possession of the code books and their enigma machine.
All of his books are a good read.
b

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2004\10\29@115148 by gacrowell

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Dave VanHorn wrote:

>
> RADM Dan Gallery wrote a book on the capture of the U-505,
> which resulted
> in possession of the code books and their enigma machine.
> All of his books are a good read.

Been a long time since I've read them, have to go dig thru boxes.  I've
been in the U505 at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  Pretty
neet.

GC

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