The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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{ }  85 source would be than random chance. However, according to Mondavi, he is able to find these water sources using his copper divining rods with great accuracy. The USGS even employs the use of water diviners, though they admit that there is no scientific evidence to back up the accuracy of the craft. Their explanation of "successful" water dowsing is that there is so much underground water everywhere that it would be pretty hard to drill a well and not find water. Mondavi argues while this may be true in many cases, he can go one step further and determine the details of the water flow and that there has to be more to it than just luck. If science says that dowsers predictions are no better than ran- dom chance, how can you explain the highly accurate predictions by diviners like Marc Mondavi? Put aside all skepticism and try to understand what could be going on here. For the sake of argument, let's say water divining is not just "hocus pocus" and that water witches can actually predict with some accuracy where the water will be. Here are some ideas to toss around: Geomagnetism One possible explanation for water dowsing is related to a physical interaction between the earth's magnetism and the metal content of the divining rods. Specifically, studies have shown that there is a change in the magnetic gradient when moving water is present. Theoretically, if an object that is made up of a material that is attracted or repulsed by magnetic forces, like a copper divining rod, then as these rods are passed along a transect they should move when the magnetic force changes over an underground water source. One exploratory study done in the 1970s found that the accuracy of inexperienced individuals finding underground water sources significantly increased when metal hangers and copper rods were used, indicating that it is possible that what small dows- ing effects may have been observed were amplified when metal- based dowsing rods were used. Gravitational Force While the geomagnetism theory is certainly plausible, how can you then explain seemingly successful dowsers who use non-metal objects such as tree branches as their divining rods? One theory is that the dowsing rods are interacting with a change in the gravita- tional pull as they cross over an underground water source. According to NASA, the gravitational pull of the earth var- ies from place to place, depending upon many factors including elevation of the land and the thickness of the earth's crust at any given point, as well as the material under the surface. So, in theory, as someone walks along a path with a divining rod, regardless of the material of that object, as they pass over an underground water source, the gravitational change will act upon that object and pull it closer to the ground. Human Magnetosensitivity Let's say that there is something to this magnetism theory, but it's not actually an interaction between the divining rods them- selves and is somehow related to the actual person holding the rods. One study tested this idea by shielding different parts of a dowser's body from magnetic forces and found that his ability to find water sources actually decreased when he was no longer Marc Mondavi dowsing in the vineyard.

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