Narendra Nayak

Secretary, The South Kanara Rationalist Association,

Microwave Station Road, Mangalore 575 006 (Karnataka).

Identifying minerals, sources of water, oil, treasures etc., using a forked stick of metal or wood has been claimed to be a "science" by many. There are various societies formed to promote these "sciences" in UK and U.S.A. In India they have an association of Water Diviners.

Recently, two of our members had the occasion to attend a lecture demonstration conducted for the benefit of the passing out students of a professional college. This lecture demonstration was supposed to be an eye opener for the students and a means to train them in unorthodox methods of science!

The lecturer dwelt at length on the merits of his science and explained its application in various fields like medicine. A few diseases were also claimed to be diagnosed by this method. He also expounded on how the forked rod could be used to find out minerals, oil and water. Further expositions on the "sciences" of pyramidology (by which diseases could be cured and things preserved indefinitely by "Pyramid" power) and energies of various sorts both beneficial and harmful followed. At the end of the lecture, a practical demonstration on how the forked stick reacted when taken near a tumbler of water followed. A pendulum was also shown which according to the "scientist could even find out water sources when held over a map of the area!

At this juncture we suggested a test for the powers of this water diviner. A row of twelve beakers was placed and covered by a cloth. Only one of them contained water which was to be pointed out by using the divining rod. The position of the beaker containing water was changed after each trial. In all, five trials were conducted, the results being recorded after each. When the results were checked, it was found that the water diviner was 100% in error. That not even one trial was successful! Immediately a number of excuses were handed out like the presence of unbelievers etc. It was also mentioned that the concrete buildings are not suitable for such trials, though only a few minutes back a successful demonstration had been made in the very same building!

Our association would like to go into the "science" of dowsing and water divining. We would like any water diviner or dowser to come forward and agree for public trials of their "science". We also promise a reward of Rs.50,000 to anyone who can successfully demonstrate this science. Further details of these can be had from us. However we have to specify that the demonstration has to be conducted in Mangalore at a public place!

The University of Regensburg neither approves nor disapproves of the opinions expressed here. They are solely the responsibility of the person named below.

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Last update: 22 July 1998