Author Topic: Dowsing: Underground river discovered  (Read 4538 times)

Offline Laura

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« on: March 26, 2006, 04:17:45 PM »
http://www.examiner.com.au/story.asp?id=335631

Sunday, 26 March 2006  


The search for water has made a big splash at Marrawah. Helen Kempton reports. Water diviner finds `legendary' Marrawah water table

FOR TWO centuries, the farmers of Marrawah have mulled over a theory that an underground river flowed below their sandy soil.

Many have looked for it over the years but came up dry.

However, two months ago, water diviner and Marrawah publican Peter Benson found the "legendary" subterranean river as he looked for water on the property of Circular Head Mayor Ross Hine.

He found it using just two copper-coated steel rods and a great deal of patience.


And what he found surpassed all expectations.

The underground river is 30m wide, runs for many kilometres from near Dismal Swamp to the sea and is now spewing out five million litres of fresh water a day on to Mr Hine's property.

"Since this area was settled there has been talk that there was an underground river somewhere in the district," Mr Benson said.

"People have tried to find it over the last two centuries. And now I have."

Don't ask him how the rods work - Peter Benson doesn't really know.

But then again, when inventor Thomas Edison was asked what electricity was, he replied: "I don't know, but it's there so let's use it".

"I don't know how it works really, if it is connected to magnetic forces or perhaps electricity. Maybe a lack of water in the body makes you seek it out," Mr Benson said.

"That would make sense in my case.

"I can find water but can't abide the stuff myself. It makes me sick - I have had one glass in the past 15 years and it made me vomit.

"I have better things to drink."

The art of water divining is shrouded in mystery and attracts a fair degree of scepticism.

But people do find water using divining rods or willow twigs and have done so for more than 7000 years.

They have also found missing people, rivers of oil and minerals using the same technique.

The Egyptians and the ancient Chinese kings used images of forked rods in some of their artwork and in the Middle Ages divining, or dowsing, was used to find coal deposits.

Last century, dowsing was used in archeological and geological work and by utility companies looking for damaged pipes and cables.

"I certainly don't roll around on the ground having convulsions and foaming at the mouth when I find water," Mr Benson said.

"There are a lot of diviners out there but they don't advertise the fact for fear that they will be called a crackpot.

"I suppose you could call it a gift but I understand that one in every 20 or so people have the ability."

A hole has been drilled 40m down into the earth on Mr Hine's property to access the river below.

About five million litres a day (or 1825 megalitres a year) is coming to the surface without the aid of a pump.

The water is worth millions of dollars and its discovery has the community talking.

Mr Hine said that he would call for expressions of interest in an irrigation scheme to water Marrawah pasture.

"We must use it in the best possible way," Mr Hine said.

This far North-West tip of Tasmania receives 52 inches (about 1300mm) of rain a year.

"But that is still not enough because it doesn't always fall when you need it," Mr Benson said.

"With an underground supply you can regulate water output."

Marrawah's sandy soils do not support dam building and there are no above-ground creeks or rivers in the area.

But there are underground river system throughout Tasmania, Mr Benson said, even in the dry Midlands.

"The Great Lake has to drain somewhere," he said.

"You simply cannot tell from above ground what is happening below. There is fresh water on top of Table Cape and on the Nut.

"But I can't find where farmers want it all the time. I can only find it where it is."

The rods tell Mr Benson how wide and deep an underground water course is and how much water it contains.

"Water is are most precious resource on the planet," he said.

"There will be world wars fought over fresh water one day."
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2006, 05:21:28 PM »
I once read about a method of self-inquiry using a pendulum suspended over a sheet of paper where simple answers are marked out on eight spokes of a drawn wheel. The method does not require any paranormal abilities as the body tends to respond with micro-motor responses below a certain threshold of consciousness.

Similarly if a stimulus is too subtle to be processed by the conscious mind, the body can express its presence through similar micro-movements that certain tools such as the dowsing rod and pendulm can amplify. Traditional psychology admits that one can ask questions of the subconscious (similar to being hypnotized) and get rudimentary and revealing answers by trailing spontanous motor responses.

Science, apparently does not support that there can exist a medium of stimulation so subtle that it can only be detected by micro-motor response. This assertion of officialdom is unscientific in itself because the hypothesis is valid given all the rest we know of the world. Water carries charges, humidity can be detected by the body, the earth is filled with conductors and insulators that also have magnetic and/or electric properties that the body can detect being an electrolytic solution itself.

Debunking dowsing fits with the other two articles in this section, where belief in "paranormal" phenomena is discouraged (often by people who practice the development of such phenomena on the side such as parts of government and church). I think debunkers consider that paranormal phemonena can be an evolutionary advantage for those having them and cannot abide the implied disadvantage on their part.

Regarding dowsing, however, there is a form where lost items, artifacts and material deposits can be found also by dowsing over a map (using a pendulum) instead of directly over an area. This would be more diffult to explain in conventional terms, and would imply some kind of holographic association between subject and dowsed object through the intermediary (map), or some other non-local interaction.

Offline Rhansen

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 07:59:27 PM »
I worked as a well driller for more than a dozen years and have had some experience with dowsing (we called it "witching"). It seems to work best in relatively undisturbed soils - our typical use was to locate utility trenches and old excavations. Never tried it to locate an aquifer.
In highly disturbed areas the reliability of this method severely declined (at least with respect to utility locates) and when working in southwest Missouri we could not get it to work at all. I thought it may have been due to the nature of the soils - residual limestone soils in southern MO. vs. (loess over) glacial till in Iowa/Illinois/Nebraska, etc...
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Offline Laura

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 08:49:48 PM »
I dowsed for a well driller once and he hit water at 17 feet.  It was strange because the rods crossed on top of a hill which I thought was counter-intuitive, but there it was.  I later learned that aquifers usually follow the land elevation.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

Offline Rhansen

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 11:48:27 PM »
That is a bit odd, sounds like it was a perched water table to me (without knowing the specific geology). Do you know if there was a sand seam around 17 feet?
I used to do more shallow monitoring well installations (for environmental cleanups) than private/municipal production wells and often there are multiple perched water tables before you get to an aquifer that would be useful for a private water supply.
A: Learning is fun!

Q: (L) Well, my night would not have been complete without
   that!

Offline Laura

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Dowsing: Underground river discovered
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2007, 04:16:05 PM »
Quote from: Rhansen
That is a bit odd, sounds like it was a perched water table to me (without knowing the specific geology). Do you know if there was a sand seam around 17 feet?
Well, it was mostly sand for about 12 feet, and then several feet of limerock.  It was in Florida.
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus