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Dowsing rods have been used for hundreds of years and have reportedly been the cause of many finds from underground water sources to rich oil strikes. People have used them to locate ore deposits such as gold and silver and have used them as metal detectors at the beach to find stray coins and jewelry. In the paranormal community they are used to locate spirit activity and even the bodies of the dead. But what is it that makes these ordinary brass and metal rods respond to such a wide variety of uses? My theory starts with the human brain. The brain is a remarkable tool. Is it the largest storage computer device known to man, it has consciousness, and is the operator of the most complex machine on the planet, the human body. It controls this machine by electrical impulse. The brain sends a jolt of energy down the nervous system via a neural road network to the area it wishes to respond. The finger twitches, the toes tap or the legs walk. The electricity then travels back down the nervous system to return to the brain to let it know that the message was received and carried out. But does all that energy stay within the body? Brass is a high conducive metal and is the most widely used material in the construction of dowsing rods. When we are using these rods we hold them loosely in our hands allowing them to move freely in response,so we assume, to the object we are seeking in the ground. I can understand to a point the rods responding to the presence of metal ore,jewelry,coins and the like as these are metal objects and will contain a small charge picked up from the earth itself. Water also is a good conductor of electrical current which may be why the rods seem to be able to locate this element within the ground. But what of elements such as oil, spirit or the body of the deceased? Why should the rods pick up on them? In my opinion they can’t. It is my opinion that it is we, the user of the rods that manipulate them. Not as a conscious act of will, although scam artists are known to do this, but as an involuntary act of nature. We hold the rods loosely in our hands and concentrate on them,our brain sends signals down the neural road way to our hands to not move the rods, but in the back of our minds is also the thought that we want to find what we are looking for. This unconscious thought travels down to our hands and…goes where? Into the highly conducive brass of the rods. In our tests at Brunckow’s Cabin and the Tombstone Cemetery we found that indeed the rods crossed at certain points. At Brunckow’s at an area that we assumed was a hot spot because another member said it was and at the cemetery over the graves of people buried there. However we took it a step further. When we concentrated on a spot at the cabin we knew had no reason to have the rods crossed we were able to cross them just by THINKING there was something there and then making them uncross by thinking there was nothing. At the cemetery the rods crossed over the grave UNTIL we thought about nothing being under the ground then they remained straight. Again as soon as we thought about there being a person buried there the rods would again cross. I believe that the reason some people find water or gold and the like when using the rods may have more to do with a latent psychic ability rather than a “rod” ability. The person looking for water for their homestead uses the rods while hoping and praying they find it and all this electrical energy pours out of the brain and into the hands, then the rods and a then “bang” they cross and there is the water. It is my opinion that the emotional state of the user is more important than any other consideration. Hope and desire are too potent human emotions. So the next time you use dowsing rods please keep these consideration in the back of your mind, but as always keep that mind open, after all, this is just my opinion. Brian Clune
The theory put forth is not necessarily that of the other members of PLPI.
To me, dowsing could be a variety of things. Brian has proposed his theory in that electromagnetic pulses from our bodies are influencing the metal rods, but what about non-metal dowsing rods? For years, dowsing rods were made of tree branches and twigs, particularly those from peach and willow trees. If these materials produce the same effect that conductive metal rods do, then what is the common link?
Let’s take a look at the technique of most people using dowsing rods. You loosely hold your hands around the handles of the rods, making sure that they are non-restricted so that they may move freely. Since you are not holding the rods tightly, small movements of your hands cause exaggerated movement from the rods. With this in mind, apply the ideomotor effect. From Wikipedia, the ideomotor effect is defined as “a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motions unconsciously. As in reflexive responses to pain, the body sometimes reacts reflexively to ideas alone without the person consciously deciding to take action. For instance, tears are produced by the body unconsciously in reaction to the emotion of sadness.”
Skeptics have explained dowsing, automatic writing, Ouija, and many other paranormal phenomena as being cause by the ideomotor effect. My belief is that in many, I may go so far as to say that most dowsing and Ouija results are caused by this. For example, when using a Ouija board, you are concentrating very hard on making the planchette move. After a letter or two, you already have an idea in your head of what the word may be, so your subconscious takes over and finishes spelling the word or name without your conscious minds notice. Strange? Yes. Paranormal? No, I’m afraid not.
With this is mind, I will never say for sure that this is the cause of all reported activity from divining tools such as Ouija, dowsing rods, and pendulums. But, I believe in most cases, it is. Remember to decide everything for yourself. Test these things. If you try a Ouija board, blindfold whoever is touching the planchette and have someone else write down all of the letters without announcing them. If you still get words, then your results will be much more compelling.