Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Ian Pegler wrote:P.S. Just noticed that the book has a stamp on the inside. It appear that it came from the Geology library at the Facutly of Sciences at the University of Rennes!
As an aside, when the book arrived the pages had not been cut. In other words the book had been sitting on the shelves at the University of Rennes for decades with no-one taking an interest. Shame.

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Ian Pegler wrote:Just discovered that there is a Spanish translation of the Victor Mertens dowsing book. So it was available in at least three different languages.!

http://www.worldcat.org/title/radiestes ... /432634280

The Spanish translation of the Victor Mertens book contains the following text:

"VICTOR MERTENS
INGENIERO

Presidente de la Federación belgo-luxemburguesa de Asociaciones de Radiestesistas. - Caballero de la Orden de la Corona, y de la Orden de Leopoldo II, de Bélgica."

Google translates this as:

"VICTOR MERTENS
ENGINEER

President of the Belgo-Luxembourg Federation of dowsers. - Knight of the Order of the Crown and the Order of Leopold II of Belgium."
According to one source, Herge was also admitted to the Order of the Crown, 20 or so years later:
Tintin: Hergé and His Creation by Harry Thompson wrote:In the early 1970s he had been decorated by the Belgian government, as an Officer of the Order of the Crown.
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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The Spanish translator S R Andreu seems to have translated other dowsing books including Pere Bourdoux's Radiesthesie pour Missionaires: Notions pratiques see Christopher Bird's The Divining Hand, p.288-9 for more on Bourdoux.
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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A random peruse in the coffee shop and I came across what appears to be a reference to an energy grid, discovered by a monsieur F. Orcel from his "La Radiesthesie agricole" (1939)

Quote from the Mertens book:
"une série de bandes se dirigeant que la Terre comporte habituellement de l'Est a l'Ouest, ainsi que des faisceaux Nord-Sud, perpendiculaires a ces bandes."
rough translation from Google:
a series of bands pointing that the Earth usually comprises from East to West, as well as North-South beams, perpendicular to these bands.
Pre-dates the Curry and Hartmann grids, I think both were 1950s?

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

Post by Grahame »

Ian Pegler wrote: Pre-dates the Curry and Hartmann grids, I think both were 1950s?
Wow, good find, Ian!
You are correct on the Hartmann & Curry grids - Curry was actually 'discovered' by Siegfried Wittman in 1950 according to this site, and Hartmann in 1954.
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Grahame Gardner wrote:
Ian Pegler wrote: Pre-dates the Curry and Hartmann grids, I think both were 1950s?
Wow, good find, Ian!
You are correct on the Hartmann & Curry grids - Curry was actually 'discovered' by Siegfried Wittman in 1950 according to this site, and Hartmann in 1954.
Worth further investigation I think!. :P

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Here is the whole paragraph:
M. ORCEL, Agent consulaire de France en Gambie, a decouvert que la Terre comporte une série de bandes se dirigeant habituellement de l'Est a l'Ouest, ainsi que des faisceaux Nord-Sud, perpendiculaires a ces bandes. Celles-ci proviennent de courants d'eau souterrains profonds dont elles sont les paralleles; elles sont ou negatives ou positives, et alternent; les experiences de M. ORCEL lui font conclure que seules les bandes positives conviennent a une bonne vegetation, et que les bandes negatives sont a rejeter pour toutes plantations. La polarite des bandes peut etre trouvee soit au pendule, soit a la baguettes.
Google translation:
M. ORCEL, Consular Agent of France in The Gambia, discovered that the Earth contains a series of bands usually moving from East to West, as well as North-South beams, perpendicular to these bands. These come from deep underground water currents of which they are parallel; they are either negative or positive, and alternate; Mr. ORCEL's experiments led him to conclude that only positive bands were suitable for good vegetation, and that negative bands should be rejected for all plantations. The polarity of the bands can be found either at the pendulum or at the rods.
Sounds like a grid to me...!

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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M. Orcel is Francois Orcel

Worldcat entry for the book by Francois Orcel:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/radiesthe ... ef_results

Note, the title is simply "Radiesthesie Agricole", not "Radiesthesie Agricole et Humaine", that's another book, also by Orcel.

The following text was taken from a website (accessed 7.2.18), apparently the text is from:

Journal officiel de la République française. Lois et décrets
Éditeur : Journaux officiels (Paris)
Date d'édition : 1913-08-03
Les importations de tissus en Gambie, - Les renseignements suivants sont extraits d'un - rapport de M. Orcel, agent consulaire do France à Bathurst : La Gambie importe annuellement pour 3mil- lions 260,000 francs de tissus, chiffre qui a une tendance à augmenter tous les ans. Les principaux pays qui prennent part à ce trafic sont : l'Angleterre (81 p. 100), la France (14 p. 100) et l'Allemagne (3 p. 100).
Google translation:
Imports of Fabrics in The Gambia, - The following information is taken from a report by M. Orcel, Consular Agent of France at Bathurst: The Gambia imports annually for 3 million 260,000 francs of cloth, a figure which tends to increase every year. The main countries taking part in this trade are: England (81%), France (14%) and Germany (3%).
The passage in Mertens concerning Francois Orcel is also in the first edition of his book and also in the Dutch translation.

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Just been translating one of the many letters of attestation given in the appendix of the Victor Mertens book.

It seems that the enquirer, a M. Jules Crahay, had asked about a missing lady.

Victor Mertens had dowsed and replied that she had been killed during the bombing of Dunkirk. Mertens also dowsed the nature of her wounds, he also dowsed where she died and where she was buried.

The whole thing was done with great accuracy according to M. Crahay.

I assume that this was all done remotely. Mertens says that he used a photograph as a witness.

The letter is dated 3rd of December 1941. The correspondent was from Veriers, which is in the province of Liege, Belgium.
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Just been reading another of the examples from the letters of atttestation printed in the Victor Mertens book.

(see the modern reprint, pp.298-301)

In this particular example Mertens was first contacted late in 1940 by a Mrs Decafmeyer who was concerned about the whereabouts of her son.

Using his pendulum, Mertens discovered that that the soldier was dead and resting in the cemetery of Gravelines in Northern France.

The family drew up a long paper roll, divided into 97 rectangles, each one representing one of the graves in the cemetery.

Mertens dowsed that the soldier was in grave 49.

The body in grave 49 was exhumed and returned to Brussels. It had been buried as an unknown soldier.

A lettter from the soldier's wife confirmed that Victor Mertens had dowsed correctly the number of the tomb of her husband. (p.300).

Not bad eh?
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

Post by Grahame »

Ian Pegler wrote: Mertens dowsed that the soldier was in grave 49.

The body in grave 49 was exhumed and returned to Brussels. It had been buried as an unknown soldier.

A letter from the soldier's wife confirmed that Victor Mertens had dowsed correctly the number of the tomb of her husband. (p.300).
Was there any actual confirmation that the body exhumed was actually the husband? Did the widow positively identify it (a gruesome and traumatic task I guess), or was there some personal item that she recognised? Without something like that, this story is no better than hearsay. Of course nowadays there would be DNA testing...
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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Was there any actual confirmation that the body exhumed was actually the husband? Did the widow positively identify it (a gruesome and traumatic task I guess), or was there some personal item that she recognised? Without something like that, this story is no better than hearsay. Of course nowadays there would be DNA testing...
The letter from the widow is signed Vve Decafmeyer which just means "Widow Decafmeyer". The address is given as 165, rue de Haerne, Etterbeek and the letter is dated 14 December 1940. There may some census record somewhere which identifies her and that might lead to finding out other information. I think we are in the wrong country to do the research but it could be done.

The letter from her says that she went to Gravelines, based on the dowsing done by Mertens. I presume the corpse was identified by her before being taken back to Brussels. If they went to the bother of taking the body of Decafmeyer home then he must have been someone important, so we might expect that there must have been a newspaper report or something.

There are quite a few letters of thanks, all with names, addresses and dates, from people for whom Mertens helped find their missing relatives.

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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Another letter of attestation from the Mertens book, from a Mme Barbier of Etterbeek. Dated 27 July 1940. (p.275, modern reprint)

She has had news of her husband whom she has been to see in a hospital in Antwerp where he is being treated.

She confirms that during the course of her consultation with Mertens, he had dowsed that the husband had been injured as predicted by him.

She ends off:
"Je tiens tout spécialement a vous remercier pour m'avoir dit une chos si reellement etonnante"
translation:
"I would especially like to thank you for telling me such a really amazing thing."
The dowsing was done using a photo as a witness.

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Re: Dowsing in "Herge's Adventures of Tintin"

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With the 50th anniversary of the first real Moon Landing just around the corner, an exhibition in Spain will be celebrating the link with Tintin:

http://www.telemadrid.es/programas/tele ... 92928.html

Ian
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