Bandy is a dowser who plies the inscrutable art of finding objects and liquids with a divining rod or stick. He says he can locate, with something approaching regularity, just about anything—water, gold, drugs, oil, dead bodies—with his nylon dowsing rods. Today, he’s headed to dowse a well six miles west of Rapelje, a ranching community in south central Montana. “This is tough country for dowsing,” he observes. “Lot of bad water. Sulfides. Sodium and salt.”
After we pull into a pasture that is being transformed into a homesite, Bandy heads to the hatch of his trusty Buick SUV (he puts 35,000 miles on it annually) and straps on an equipment belt loaded with flagging, spray cans, hammer, and five sizes of rods. He developed these in conjunction with the late Charlie Bowman, a professor of agricultural engineering at Montana State University who claimed dowsing rods helped him locate perch while he was ice-fishing.
Gear clacking, Bandy takes out his smallest rod and walks a straight line; when he feels the rod pull to earth, Bandy marks the spot with a flag. He continues walking until the end of the rod rises. He takes out another flag and marks the width of what he calls the water “vein.” Then, using a stouter rod (if one of his bigger rods pulls hard, it means more water), he flags the vein until he’s found the area of greatest concentration of what he calls “heavy water,” a term that would tickle any nuclear physicist. There, he hammers in a piece of rebar, which he sprays at the bottom with orange and at the top with blue: his trademark.
What comes next addles the mind.
Using his smallest rod, Bandy stands over the newly marked well, silently, for perhaps a minute, his jaw trembling slightly and lips moving. He is talking to the stick, measuring depth and volume. The dowsing rod rises and falls like some priapic oracle. There is no scientific evidence supporting Bandy’s ability to find anything by dowsing. Still, he has kept records (which he’ll show to anyone) that he says support his claim to have dowsed over 4,000 water wells with 90 percent accuracy, and hundreds of gas and oil wells. He says he’s roughly 70 percent accurate on depth and volume.
Just ask Dale Price. In the 1950s and 1960s, Price’s father pin-cushioned his 3,000-acre wheat farm looking for water. Eventually, he dug up a piece of damp ground with a backhoe, sunk in a perforated piece of culvert, and siphoned the water half a mile through a hose to his house. Price’s mother wouldn’t drink it.
Price inherited the farm and wanted to build houses on a portion of the land. Water, however, remained a problem. In 1992 Price hired Bandy, who dowsed 60 wells. Thus far, Price has drilled and hit good water at acceptable rates of flow in 18 out of 20 wells. In essence, a dryland wheat farm has been transformed into a parcel of ground with 18 possible homesites.
Bandy takes his powers in stride. He eats fried food with impunity, favors lots of sugar, has no fear of excess coffee, and is a deacon in the Presbyterian church of Bozeman. Despite being skinny and wiry, Bandy has the inner thermostat of a polar bear. He’s been seen happily dowsing in shirtsleeves in the midst of a snowstorm.
He was born in 1931, in Ekalaka, Montana. His father held Montana well-driller’s license number eight. Bandy worked with his father during the summer in Carter and Powder River counties—dry places where wells made the difference between survival and being starved out.
Bandy is devoted to protocol and routine. He never lays his stick on the ground. The back of his SUV is laid out like an engineer’s closet, including records from previous dowsings, tools, and long cloth bags containing various rods. Even some drillers, notoriously dismissive of dowsers, concede Bandy’s skills. Troy Hauser of Red Dragon Drilling in Manhattan, Montana, says he’s worked around dowsers most of his life “and wouldn’t give a dime for a dozen of them.” Except Vern, he says. “Does he scare the hell out of you? He scares the hell out of me.” - UTNE
NOTE: I have known of several 'dowsers' over the years...most lived in Texas. I have also observed it practiced in-person...with very good results. Do all methods of divination follow a basic principle? I have added additional information below...Lon
HOW DOES DOWSING WORK?
The quick answer is that no one really knows - not even experienced dowsers. Some theorize there is a psychic connection established between the dowser and the sought object. All things, living and inanimate, the theory suggests, possess an energy force. The dowser, by concentrating on the hidden object, is somehow able to tune in to the energy force or "vibration" of the object which, in turn, forces the dowsing rod or stick to move. The dowsing tool may act as a kind of amplifier or antenna for tuning into the energy.
Skeptics, of course, say that dowsing doesn't work at all. Dowsers who seem to have a track record for success, they contend, are either lucky or they have good instincts or trained knowledge for where water, minerals and the like can be found. For believer or skeptic, there's no definitive proof either way.
Albert Einstein, however, was convinced of the authenticity of dowsing. He said, "I know very well that many scientists consider dowsing as they do astrology, as a type of ancient superstition. According to my conviction this is, however, unjustified. The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time."
Dowers say that anyone can do it. Like most psychic abilities, it may be a latent power that all humans possess. And, like any other ability, the average person might become better at it with practice. However, there are some people whose dowsing powers are extraordinary:
Emmy Kittemann, daughter of a dowser, was one of the most acclaimed dowsers in Germany. In her most famous case, she correctly dowsed the location of a mineralized spring for the village of Tegernsee. All previous drillings found only water with heavy sulfur content. Yet Kitteman accurately predicted the depth at which the water would be found as well as its iodine-rich content.
In 17th century France, Jacques Aymar Vernay, a stonemason by trade, used his dowsing talents to successfully track criminals. His dowsing rod, on more than one occasion, led authorities to the whereabouts of murderers.
In December, 1992, a Mr. and Mrs. Anders and Berith Lindgren were hunting with their friends when their dog ran off and disappeared. An extensive search proved fruitless. A few days later they sought the help of dowser Leif Andersson. His dowsing techniques led the hunters to a small lake where they indeed found the body of the dog, where it had apparently fallen through the thin ice and died.
Dowsing is one of the few psychic talents that can be applied directly for profitable result or as a business. Some well-known names from history practiced dowsing, including Leonardo De Vinci, Robert Boyle (considered the father of modern chemistry), Charles Richet (a Nobel Prize winner), General Rommel of the German Army, and General George S. Patton. "General Patton," writes Don Nolan in his article A Brief History of Dowsing, "had a complete willow tree flown to Morocco so that a dowser could use branches from it to find water to replace the wells the German Army had blown up. The British army used dowsers on the Falkland Islands to remove mines."
Dowsing, the Ancient Art relates this remarkable information:
Professor Hans Dieter Betz (professor of physics, Munich university) headed a team of scientists that investigated the ability of dowsers to find underground drinkable supplies, taking them to 10 different countries and, on the advice of dowers, sank some 2,000 wells with a very high success rate. In Sri Lanka, where the geological conditions are said to be difficult, some 691 wells were drilled for, based on the advice of dowsers, with a 96% success rate. Geohydrologists given the same task took two months to evaluate a site where a dowser would compete his survey in minutes. The geohydrologists had a 21% success rate, as a result of which the German government has sponsored 100 dowers to work in the arid zones of Southern India to find drinkable water.
TYPES OF DOWSING
There are several types or methods of dowsing:
Forked stick: The most traditional method uses a small Y-shaped tree branch (most often from a willow). The dowser holds the branch parallel to the ground by the top of the Y shape, then walks over the area to be probed. When the dowser passes over the sought object, the end of the branch is drawn down, pointing to the spot at which the object can be found.
Rods: An alternate method uses two L-shaped metal rods, one held in each hand parallel to the ground and parallel to each other. In this case, when the dowser passes over the sought object, the rods either swing apart or cross each other. You can easily make dowsing rods from wire coat hangers.
Map dowsing: Some dowsers don't even have to visit the location to be dowsed. For them, a map of the area is sufficient over which they hold a pendulum. They know they have located the target area when the pendulum begins to move in a circle or back and forth.
Y-rods, L-rods, pendulums and other dowsing equipment can be purchased from the American Society of Dowsers. - paranormal.about.com
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