Above and below the ground
The first published description of the dowsing rod is Georgius Agricola’s “De Re Metallica” published in 1556. In the past, dowsing was used to detect subsoil water veins and metal ores. Since the advent of the New Age movement, dowsing is used for almost anything, from finding lost pets by map dowsing to detecting “spiritual lines” in the landscape, and even for finding “demons” inside human beings.
In the nineteen thirties and forties, Dr. E. Jenny from Aarau, Switzerland, did a series of experiments over a twelve year period with plants and white mice to find out what the influence of a “dowsing zone” (geopathic zone) was on plants and animals. He found out that plants growing on the geopathic zone were about half the size of the ones growing on a “neutral” zone. Jenny did a similar experiment with white mice. They were put in a big cage, partly on a geopathic zone. The mice avoided and never slept in the part of the cage located above the geopathic zone.
In the nineteen fifties, the Dutch professor of geology Dr. S.W. Tromp conducted tests to determine dowsers’ sensitivity to magnetic fields in the laboratory. For many of the tests, they used a U-shaped rod. Tromp found that dowsers could detect changes in the strength of an electromagnetic field. His experiments showed that sensitive dowsers could detect gradients of less than 0.1 gauss per meter (the strength of the earth’s field is around 0.5 gauss). In other tests conducted with the magnetic fields created in the laboratory, dowsers used pendulums. Tromp found that persons not sensitive to the artificial fields when using the dowsing rod, were sensitive when using the pendulum. He reported moreover that dowsers could detect electrostatic fields.
Tromp also tested dowsers under field conditions. They were led along a path in a house, and locations where dowsing reactions occurred were noted. For most of the experiments, dowsers used pendulums as dowsing instruments because Tromp found that they produced the quickest reactions. A magnetic survey was made afterward along the same path. Definite correlations were found between the ‘dowsing zones’ and the magnetic disturbances. Dowsers were also tested out of doors to determine if they could locate subsurface discontinuities which could not be predicted by even very experienced geologists or botanists. They traversed a pre-assigned path and their reactions were recorded. A soil resistivity survey (indicating underground discontinuities) was made after the dowsing tests. In nearly all the surveys statistically significant correlations were reported between low soil resistivity and dowsing reactions.
Another investigator of dowsing was the French physicist Yves Rocard (1903-1992), who researched water dowsing intensively. Rocard's theory was very simple: the dowsers did not detect the water itself, but the magnetic field variations to which it was generally related. “Water that filters in porous areas under the action of a pressure difference, brings about electrokinetic potential through the Quincke effect which is well-known since 1850. These potentials cause electric currents to circulate in the earth. In addition, in many cases, nearby phenomena related to the presence of water cause consequential potential differences in the ground which are often more important." Human cells contain magnetite crystals, as discovered by two American biologists, Dr. Gould and Dr. Kirschvink. Rocard claimed to have located magnetically sensitive points on the body, such as brow ridges and the bony protuberance of some vertebrae. From Rocard’s point of view these bones are crucial receptors of information and energy when dowsing. The pineal gland and the “magnetic organ containing minute crystals of magnetite” are connected to the nervous system. So this might explain why humans can be sensitive to electro-magnetic radiation.
The above scientific research clearly shows that the dowser’s reaction is caused by physiologic processes, and not by psychic ones.
De Re Metallica (1556)