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Thread: dousing

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    dousing

    Do you believe in it?

    My husband is a douser (or is it dowser) - he uses coat hangers or a metal ring hanging from a string

    they don't cross or swing for me unless he puts his hand on my shoulder -

    creepy cool stuff, imho

    or is this one of those bad threads? LOL

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I haven't the foggiest clue as to what you are saying.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    woops, okay -

    dowser
    1: someone who uses a divining rod to find underground water [syn: water witch, rhabdomancer]
    2: forked stick that is said to dip down to indicate underground water or oil [syn: divining rod, dowsing rod, waterfinder, water finder]

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I remember reading once about a controlled study where they tested people who claimed to be dowsers and a control group. The results were that the 'dowsers' were no more successful at locating water than the control group or blind chance. I don't think there have been many studies done on dowsing. So I don't know how much evidence (apart from anectdotal) is out there for or against.

    I've never actually watched anyone dowse. I know there are lots of people who are positively convinced they have the ability and some even make a living doing it.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Hogwash!!
    I've seen guys swear by it and actually use it to mark utilities. 2 hours later, they were out fixing the water main they mismarked by 20 feet

    Very early in my career, we were supposed to find a field tile with a probe. After an hour of nothing, the chief said screw it and got the rods out. He took off through the field and I followed marking the line with flags. Low and behold, here comes the boss and saw how he was doing it and flipped out. He grabbed the probe and stuck it in the ground about 3 times and hit the tile. We were off by 50 feet at the farthest point

  6. #6
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I've never actually watched anyone dowse. I know there are lots of people who are positively convinced they have the ability and some even make a living doing it.
    actually it's unethical to take money for dousing so I'm surprised to hear that

    I've heard stories on both sides - but I do know that dousers were used to find the underground tunnels during the Vietnam War but again, who knows?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    actually it's unethical to take money for dousing so I'm surprised to hear that

    Says who? Is there an American Dousing Professional Association or something? I have heard and known of dousers taking money. More significantly though is when they are wrong and the client digs a $20,000 dry well.

    I think it's cool and creep stuff and I don't proclaim to know enough to call it hogwash.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    During my undergrad I took a world religions class and the professor was and Indian Shaman and swore by this type of stuff. We tried it and I don’t know how well it worked but she claimed that the magnetic field created by the water atoms reacts somehow with an internal compass similar to that expected to guide birds in migration. That change in the “Force” causes the wires to cross or the rings to rotate around a pivot point.

    I personally believe in it more now knowing the science behind it, but I don’t think that many of the people who claim that they can do it have the sensitivity needed to truly rely on it.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  9. #9
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    imaplanner - yes! no $#!*, really there is!

    http://www.dowsers.org/

  10. #10
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    imaplanner - yes! no $#!*, really there is!

    http://www.dowsers.org/
    LP--can your husband wear a watch or is he like some people whose inner magnetics make the watch stop?
    My sister can't wear a watch, they always stop when she puts them on and we think it's 'cause of some magnetic field inside her.
    Since dowsing is thought by some to be based on the practitioners' body magnetics, I wonder if most dowsers have the same problem with watches as my sister.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Dousers get work here in Montana and some people swear by them. Don't believe in them myself. You could probably have as much luck just looking around your property and seeing which way the land tilts (groundwater, like surface water tends to move from higher elevation to lower) then drilling somewhere in the middle elevation (of course you want your septic field to be lower).

    Here too drilling a well in the hills is a complcated matter, because essentially if you are outside of the valley aquifer, you are likely drilling for a crack in bedrock, where water moves - a chancy endeavor.

    If a douser works for you, go for it.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  12. #12
         
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    When I worked for a utility company we would dowse underground lines when all else failed. We used two bent cooper wires held in each hand like a gun facing forward. When a certain point was crossed the wires would swing to the side. Someone else would do it and it would happen at the same point again. I can't explain it but I have seen it happen more than once.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    My mom and dad hired a native dowser when getting ready to drill their well on their property. Worked great! We watched him do his thing, and it was quite interesting. He used metal rods that would cross at certain points, and then I think he swung something around above the site to say how deep they'd have to drill and how much pressure they could expect. Interesting stuff.

    I just re-read the thread and was surprised that taking money is considered unethical for the services. I am positive we paid this guy... but it is California, so maybe the ethics are a bit skewed there.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    My dad used to do it on the farm when I was a kid. Used pieces of a wire hanger to find water pipes before digging. Always seemed to work.

  15. #15
    In ohio we call it Witchin', never hear it called dousing. Anywho, my uncle is pretty good at it. Uses hangers bent at 90 degrees. He claims he has located gold with it.......He lives in mizzouri and smokes the funky green stuff, so that (gold) part I take with a grain of salt. But I have seen him locate utility lines, as has my dad.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  16. #16

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    lp - have you read Chris Bohjalian's novel "Water Witches?" A New England story including dowsers.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Not sure what I think about it, but I've had two experiences with it:

    1) walking in the woods with willow sticks in my hands. No luck.

    2) walknig through a friend's house with two coat hangers in my hands. They swung inward and outward above a certain spot on the floor. I was told the bathroom was below me. Happened time after time and it was NOT the "weegee board" (no idea how to spell that) phenomenon.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    I learned to do it from my grandfather and great grandfather, yup 2 coat hange wires cut and bent at 90 degrees or a Y looking set up. learned in the front yard by finding the septic field. Thats how they dug wells on the farm and it worked. The one time my mother got a professional company to come did they messed up after 3 digs.

    Mom was one of those people who cant have a watch on, found the chepo kids watches lasted the longest-a week at best.

    Course she could also tell you who was calling just as the phone rang, or if someone just died before the phone ever rang. CREEPY
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    A dousing story

    The Mattoon YMCA is getting ready to expand. One old map shows a cemetery where they are proposing to expand. The map is wrong, the cemetery is on South 16th not North 16th. Anyway, the Public Works Director meets a guy on the property who says he can show him where the graves are (again, there are no graves, the map is wrong). The PWD shows up and the guy is out there with a screen door spring dousing for graves.

    To start out with, he lines up with an old railroad and marked water valve and shows the PWD where the water line was. He pointed along the RR toward the valve. The water line goes under the RR, he was off.

    He marked about 30 graves and said they were all female. Said if he had more time, he could tell if their race. (once again, the cemetery is 4 blocks south of here)

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