For real?

I have not read every post on dowsing but have always thought it was witchcraft. Mind you I know nothing of it. Don't mean to offend those who are involved, but can someone give a scientific outline on how sticks held in the hands can react to water many feet below?

And how does a person search for minerals with sticks? Not trying to be a nay-sayer, I'm curious is all.

dont know how it works but i have seen my dad (RIP) do it and my grandpa had a well dosed and it was a gusher
good luck


Active Member
i have no idea how it works...... but it does. my grandpa and my dad taught me. i use it quite frequently to find underground sewer and water pipes and about 75% of the time it's pretty accurate. I just use 2 copper rods bent at a 90 degree angle on the ends for handles and hold them loosely with the tips angled sligtly down.


TQ's Master Pirate
My education was in the sciences but I chose to be a commercial builder by profession. Once while building a hotel in a remote area, the life of the project depended upon finding water in sufficient volume to support a 78 suite hotel. The site was waterfront so you would think it would be easy to get sufficient water but we drilled numerous dry holes by following the advice of the hydrological engineers. The financiers were about to pull the plug on the project and the owners were so frustrated that they were going to give up as well - so I brought in a water witch. I took a lot of ribbing from the engineers, architects, etc. but the water witch gave 2 locations for holes to be drilled and they both produced lots of water when science had produced nothing but dusty holes. The project went ahead and everyone was happy.
Why this works is not something science has been able to measure but as a scientist I have to remember that science doesn't have an answer for everything as it is still evolving and learning. Perhaps in time science will be able to quantify why water witching works but the important thing is that it works.

Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic. Isaac Assimov

tom duley

Active Member
I live in the Texas Hill Country there is allot of Granite and Quartz rocks in this area using copper rods for find anything is a bad option but the man who drilled my water well uses a limb from a willow or peach tree to find water. He told me that in this country he does not believe the limb finds water but a crack in the rock where water could be hope this helps:icon_conf
Thanks all. I've heard similar anecdotal accounts too. Pretty hard to disparage so many positive accounts.

bda, I have a degree in biology and physics and tend to doubt just about anything I can't see or measure in some fashion. To hear another person with a technical background, and who works in a field dependent on water, endorse dowsing is rather convincing. This is not to say I discount the lay person's view, however. I've learned more from old orange grove planters about weather and the effects on our fruit trees than from all the "learned book jockeys" at UVof Miami. And few of those old planters could even spell meteorology.



TQ's Master Pirate
BSc (Microbiology/Genetics) BA (Management Economics), university is a good place to start learning but it can also limit the range of a person's thinking as well. I remember profs from the biology department that would go into the amazon and central america to get specimens for the pharmaceutical companies. Some old witchdoctor did all the work of pointing out which flora had pharmaceutical properties but the 'scientists' took the credit and the money when they passed along the plant to big pharma companies.
I decided not to go into advanced studies when I realized that I was making more than my professors doing something I loved:laugh: but I took away from university a love for learning and an open mind.:cool:

An old favorite of mine from when I was just a kid:
With enough faith, anything is possible. There are some things that will never be explained to the satisfaction of the scientific community.
Not quite anything. I sent some photos of me to Victoria's Secret hoping to make some extra cash. They sent back an address to an outfit that makes farm clothing up in Indiana. And they won't answer any further inquiries by me.

Jane in a baggy brown jacket.


TQ's Master Pirate
Awesome Song with a awesome story too Eric, sometimes ya just have to look outside of the box and theres your answers or help.
I bought that 45 record when I was perhaps 12 years old and even then the irony of the stupid villagers trying to 'save' the witch by bringing him into their small minded village was not lost on me.:pbiggrin: One minute they want to lynch him and the next minute they want to save him; certainly they weren't going to save him from their ignorance and old Hattie knew it would be just a matter of time before those knuckle draggers would find a new excuse to try and lynch him.:pconfused::rofl:
ive met some pretty smart people that didnt have a lick of common sense
what good is all that knowledge if you cant change a flat tire or a light bulb

Jason in Enid

Well-Known Member
I have seen a guy use willow limbs to find water. Water pipes, sewer pipes, underground rivers. Strangest thing wasn't that he could find it, he could tell you how deep too. After finding the spot, he would "bounce" the willow and the number of bounces was the number of feet. I know it sounds crazy but it' been witnessed.


TQ's Master Pirate
I have seen a guy use willow limbs to find water. Water pipes, sewer pipes, underground rivers. Strangest thing wasn't that he could find it, he could tell you how deep too. After finding the spot, he would "bounce" the willow and the number of bounces was the number of feet. I know it sounds crazy but it' been witnessed.
True enough, the water witch I used on the Rama Hotel said we would hit water at 41 feet but he was wrong. We hit water at 44 feet, had us worried for a few minutes but he remembered he hadn't factored in the 3 feet between the rod and the ground.:lol:


Active Member
Ive worked with water well drillers for over 20 years, some do on occasion use well dowsers (normally at the request of the property owner). We had one of the drillers show up at our office last week and he mentioned drilling a 320 foot well at the direction of the dowser, not only was the quality poor the well was very low production. The property owner wasted a good sum of money on bad advice. The driller said they drilled to the exact depth and in the exact location the dowser specified.
In another case I worked for a surface mining coal company we had a guy show up that said he could find coal by dowsing. The guy was a real likable character the coal company owner asked me to take him out to some sites where we had drilled and some where we had already mined. His predictions were not close to what was there he told me on the site we already mined its hotter than a pistol at 40' we mined the property to a depth of over 100'.
We do have a guy at our office that I think might be a littler better than chance at finding pipes in the ground using bent wire Ive seen him get really close then Ive seen him be off by quite a bit. Bacisally if he says there is a line where I am excavating or drilling I have the air vac brought in to clear the hole before we proceed.