Military use of Dowsing

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Paul Mellor
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Royal Engineers

Post by Paul Mellor »

Found this reference to a member of the Royal Engineers who I would asume learnt to dowse in the army
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... James.html
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Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

If I find any more I'll post it here.

Dowsing at Gallipoli: https://britishdowsing.net/Dowsing%20at%20Gallipoli.pdf (OCR'd from Dowsing Today Sept. 2006 - GG 7/2020)
Dowsing for landmines: https://pe2bz.philpem.me.uk/Detect-Sens ... ndmine.htm (new link as old website has vanished - GG 7/2020)
Dowsing in Vietnam: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/remote_vie ... -matacia-1 starting at 24:50 (link broken)
Louis Matacia's military dowsing manual (PDF): Solutions Through Dowsing

See also Dowsing for Mines by Keith Chamberlain, published in Dowsing Today, June 2007, p.19. (not online yet)

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Last edited by Grahame on Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: replaced some links
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

Youtube video: "Technical Dowsing in the Military - Paul H. Smith" features a short interview with Louis Matacia.




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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Don't forget this old forum thread concerning water dowsing in Malaysia.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

Another old forum thread:

Do water companies, police etc dowse?

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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

from the How did you discover dowsing? thread:
B.J.C.Courtney wrote:When I was a young child back in late nineteen Fifties my Dad who was a long term serving Non Commissioned Offer in the British Army, the REME Regiment was stationed in Kulalumpur Malaya, the site of the camp was built on a Second World War Japanese Supply station, a huge compound was fenced off by the camps residential compound, anyways my band of little friends aged between 4 years old and 6 years old use to wander around the camp, playing and exploring what parts we were allowed to visit, one day I had grazed my knee and took myself of to the camps small medical station, on being told off and cleaned and my graze treated I found parked outside was several Army Royal Engineers trucks, by the side of one a radio van was this Officer using wooden Y Rod to do what I was told was dowsing, he was searching for a hidden underground water drain that had wild dogs nesting inside, we had a problem there of a wolf like pack of dogs raiding the camp at night, they were looking for the nest and sadly were going to block all entry points to the nest, one the dogs that previously been shot was suspected of having rabies, thus the need to contain any possible risk, that what I was told by my dad, we left soon after as my dad had decided to leave the army after serving 26 years.
That is how I first witnessed and discovered dowsing.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

an obituary for Major Phillip James, from the Telegraph, 2009 ...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... James.html

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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

Another entry from the How did you discover dowsing? thread:
DowserJohn wrote:In August 1952 I was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, into the Corps of Royal Engineers; we were known as Intake #9, Harvey's Batch - the first lot of officers commissioned by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
We then attended the School of Military Engineering at Chatham, Kent, where our instructor was a Captain from New Zealand.
One afternoon he lined us up on the rugby pitch, gave each 2 pieces of bent wire, told us to hold each piece in our hand with our elbows at the side of our body and the long part of the wire in front of us, and then told us to walk forward.
My wires suddenly crossed - as did those of most of my fellow officers.
So we asked what had happened ?
"Gentlemen, you have now learnt to Dowse - there is a water pipe running where your wires crossed, and you located it by Dowsing !"
Note that there was no hint to us about Dowsing before we did the exercise, so no prejudice prevented us from having our first Dowsing experience.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Some documented military dowsing exploits of early BSD members (thanks to Nigel Twinn for researching this info):

On his death, aged 98, the obituary in the Daily Telegraph stated that Colonel Kenneth Merrylees OBE, MI Mech E (BSD President from 1964-66) 'had worked as a bomb disposal expert during the second world war, when he used his dowsing skills to find unexploded bombs with delayed-action fuses, which had penetrated deep into the ground . . . (of which) one 500-pounder had burrowed under the swimming pool at Buckingham Palace.'

Colonel (then Major) Merrylees was also employed by Army Headquarters in France in 1939/40 to find water supplies for the allied troops at the front. Of sixty sites selected by him, 58 were successful.

Major Charles Aubrey Pogson (whose name now graces one of the BSD Awards) was employed as a Military Water Diviner in the UK, but was seconded from his regiment to work for the Bombay Government, where he worked for four and a half years. A pamphlet he issued as an advertisement listed some 94 wells that were successfully drilled in India following his advice.

A comprehensive article in a 1956 issue of The (BSD) Journal details how Colonel H Grattan used his dowsing skill to identify sources of water for the British Army on the Rhine, near Monchengladbach, which would be secure from potential enemy contamination.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Ian Pegler »

Just came across another article about Dowsing in Vietnam...
Steve Hansen: Teaching soldiers about dowsing during Vietnam

Drought in California has brought the practice of dowsing, or “water-witching,” back into vogue. ...
I knew some of my colleagues in the Marine First and Third Divisions were using dowsing to locate enemy tunnels and weapons caches. I also knew it was not the first time the military had engaged in this practice. Gen. Patton reportedly used dowsing to find new water wells to replace those destroyed by the Nazis. The practice also appeared in Russian Army manuals during the 1930s as a method for finding water in uninhabited areas.
CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Last edited by Grahame on Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Just came across this rather sceptical report from the Express on Army uses of dowsing in WW2:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/history/5 ... er-s-Nazis

The report of the Dorset trial is interesting as it is definitely on record that dowsing was used to successfully detect mines in Aden (see first post in this thread), so it may have followed on from there.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by simonwheeler »

secret experiments to see if the supernatural could be harnessed
Dowsing, divination and other super­ natural powers sound like some­ thing from The X­Files. “Yet during wartime the Brit­ish government was prepared to consider all kinds of unconven­tional methods to gain a tactical advantage over the enemy.
I do so wish they wouldn't put "supernatural" and "dowsing" in the same sentence....it just promulgates further ignorance...
Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out. LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI

www.simongordonwheeler.co.uk

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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Not much new here, but this is a short article by Walt Woods ("Letter to Robin") and Mardi Gieseler from the archives of the Canadian Society of Dowsers:
According to a New York Times article, October 11, 1967, U.S. Marine engineers used dowsing to help save American lives in Viet Nam. The Marines dowsed to locate tunnels, hidden ammunition, booby traps, and enemy food caches. ASD trustee, Louis Maticia, was the dowser who ran the program and taught the Marines to dowse.

This was not the first time the U.S. military used dowsing to help the troops at war. General George Patton used dowsing to find fresh water for his advancing troops in North Africa during World War II. The Germans had blown up the water wells when they retreated to prevent the American troops from having water to sustain the army in the desert terrain.
Click here for full article.
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Some further links to military dowsing reports:

Dowsing in Vietnam - 1967 article about Louis Matacia's training of marines to dowse for tunnels etc.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1968 ... -twig#text Chicago Tribune article from 1968 about Vietnam dowsing and also a discourse on water dowsing. NB - click the 'Read selected article >' for a plain-text version of the full thing.
**ed - it looks like that link has been removed - GG 3/12/17**
**edit 10/18 - found it by doing a site search but it's now behind a paywall!** - GG


Royal Engineers dowsing for water supplies in WW2 (various)

Dowsing for bombs in Estonia in 2006 for George W. Bush's visit to the country.

Video of Col. Harry Grattan dowsing a water supply for the Rheindahlen military base in Germany featured on 'Arthur C Clarke's World of Strange Powers'



- video continues here:
Last edited by Grahame on Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added YouTube embed codes
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Re: Military use of Dowsing

Post by Grahame »

Just found this article in The Spectator about Nazi Germany's use of pendulum dowsers during WW2 to locate naval convoys and other stuff...

Did Hitler's Obsession with the Occult cost him the War?
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