A friend of mine has a business digging ponds and culverts for people. He owns a big bulldozer and a couple of other large pieces of strange-looking construction equipment. He frequently calls to ask if my son would like to come with him for the afternoon, to help survey or because he found something interesting on the property he might want to explore. It gives my son something to do for the afternoon, and gets him away from his sisters for a while, which is good for both him and them. Today my friend said he was going to "witch some water" and thought my son would enjoy the experience.
I've heard of water witches. Those are people who claim they can find water in the ground with a forked stick. Called witches because this trick actually worked for some people, and anything unexplainable is magic, and anyone performing that magic is a witch. I don't know that anyone was burned at the stake for it, but it's certainly worth recognition nonetheless. I asked my friend how he did this, hoping to the hills he didn't mention a forked stick, since some much more advanced method has certainly been invented by now.
He told me he uses two metal rods, and that as you walk across an underground stream or buried water line, the rods move to the right and left. "Okay," I say, with more-than-obvious disbelief in my voice. "No, I'm serious," he says, "I didn't believe it either when I first saw it. I thought the guy telling me about it was putting me on, but then I tried it. And it works." Now my curiosity was sparked. I asked how it worked, and he said he didn't know, but he knew that it did and had been using this method to locate buried sewer and and water for years. Huh. This friend is a reputable person. If he says it works, I believe him.
When my friend got here, he was ready to demonstrate this technique, but the rods were moving constantly. He said either there was lots of water in the ground, or the kids weren't holding them level. My son immediately declared the whole thing "stupid" and proceeded to act like a jerk the next few minutes until they left. I was hoping he'd be really intrigued, but apparently he thinks it's a trick.
I thought I could certainly find some believable information online about the "dowsing" process, but almost every site I found talked about how it "might" work, and that research has been inconclusive. I'm bummed because I'd like to know for myself if this works, and how, and share that with my kids. I mean they are homeschooled, so it might be nice if they learned something once in a while ;)