Brainwave Tracing

by Jim Lyons

The aspiration to try and understand what dowsing is all about and how it relates to other branches of Science is an ongoing activity for the specialist groups in the BSD – the Dowsing Research Group and The Earth Energies Group. Besides the theoretical studies underway for some time, technology is now becoming available at affordable costs which enable us to look at problem areas we have so far been unable to address.  It has been known, at least to the aficionados of dowsing, that the phenomenon involves a significant inbuilt conscious element.  If you do not ask the right question, the resulting answer is meaningless.  To help address the mind/brain involvement in the process, the BSD Council has made available a grant towards the purchase of suitable field equipment for recording the brain responses of dowsers while in action. 


The subject under test standing on an area of neutral ground away from any underground water or detrimental energy lines. Muscle resistance remained strong to end of test.

In principle, this is not new – the Maxwell Cade Mind Mirror has been available for some years but lacks suitable data processing capability.  The equipment we have purchased consists of the latest lap top computer technology together with specialist software interfacing with head mounted electrodes, With recent improvements in brain wave detection techniques, only four electrodes are needed – one behind each ear, a third on the forehead and a fourth reference electrode usually attached just above the bridge of the nose.  The software records global responses from the left and right hemispheres displaying them separately for comparative analysis.  The brain recording package is the latest version of equipment which has been evaluated in tests of asthma patients during the past year in the health department of a UK University.

Application of the technology to dowsing went through its initiation ceremony in early July. This was carried out by an EEG team consisting of Chairman Billy Gawn, Jim Lyons, Tony Hathway and John Irwin.  It was Billy’s aspiration to measure changes in the brain wave patterns of persons standing at specific positions in relation to under-ground water flows that provided the inspiration for these initial tests.  The tests were carried out in the open at a Country Park near to Northampton.  It was soon discovered that operating in an open environment presented its own problems.  The (now) obvious ones included – equipment interfering with the tests, the difficulty of simply seeing the computer screen in the open air and a lack of seating for the operators.  It certainly took four people to undertake the experiment – one suitably wired up subject, the experimenter, the computer operator and the video recorder operator.

Several preliminary runs were required to check out the equipment and establish some sort of experimental protocol which still has plenty of room for improvement.  After a couple of hours of testing, it did appear that the effects of underground water and their corresponding rising fountain like jets of subtle energy were indeed producing detectable changes in brain wave responses of the subject undergoing a raised arm muscle strength test.  The software allows a number of data presentation formats to be adopted.  Whereas the power spectrum responses in both brain hemispheres covering the Delta (0-3 Hz) band up to the Beta(l 5-30 Hz) band is the most usually used display format, this software also enables a brain-scape format to be displayed.  The sample results shown indicate the changes seen in a subject at the onset of muscle testing some 3 seconds after the commencement of the test and its completion after about 8 seconds.  This is quite different from the ‘resting’ pattern which is more uniformly spread in time and frequency. (1st 3 sec)


When standing over the crossing point of edgelines of two underground streams of water, muscle resistance failed after about 2 seconds of pressure. Note increased brainwave activity.

Although much remains to be done, these initial tests were encouraging.  The next outing for the equipment is the Dowsing Weekend in July when hopefully results should be obtained for subjects standing near or against the Stones at Avebury.

© 1999 Jim Lyons & BSD EEG