Friday, November 18, 2011

Dowsing Competition Pits Believers against Skeptics

Dowsers who claim to be able to locate archaeological features from maps are invited to enter a specially devised competition. Most challenges issued by paranormal "skeptics" are rigged in favor of the skeptic, but this one seems as if it might be fair.
Mention the word dowsing and most people will think of a chap in muddy wellies trudging around a farm with a stick, looking for a good place to sink a borehole, or a fey type in a tie-dye T-shirt wafting about looking for mystical ley lines.

For centuries there have been believers in dowsing, a form of divination traditionally used to locate groundwater sources, and argument rages in the archaeological community about whether dowsers, armed with no more than a bit of bent copper wire and the power of faith, can also locate long-vanished Roman roads, Bronze Age barrows or prehistoric rock carvings.

However, even believers in the muddy wellies type of dowsing often have grave doubts about map dowsers, who claim to be able to locate such features just by holding a pendulum over a Google Earth satellite view taken from miles above a site. The debate has rumbled on through many archaeology forums, with believers and sceptics equally passionately engaged.

A website dedicated to prehistoric archaeology called the Megalithic Portal is now launching a competition to try and resolve the question, with would-be psychics and scoffers invited to join a hunt for archaeological remains from the comfort of their own armchairs. Read more


Sublimed said...

I've got a question for you. One that I'm not sure you can answer but anything is worth asking once right? My paranormal invesitgations team has toyed with the idea a performing a seance during an investigations. What are your thoughts on this? Some see it as a link to the dark side of things but I'm skeptical of that. If so could you explain how to best perform a seance in an investigation scenario?

Caitlin MacKenna said...

I think the key to a good investigation is having audio and video recording of the séance, which normally is not allowed by mediums. If phenomena did occur, having it recorded would add credibility that subjective accounts can't. Otherwise, observe the normal protocol since it's proven to work.