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No. 7: June 1979

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Bpm Equals Dowsing

It is remarkable that this article appears in a reputable scientific journal. Williamson was stimulated to write about dowsing by apparent recent Russian successes with BPM (Bio-Physical Method) in locating minerals. BPM has created quite a stir in the USSR, with all the scientific trappings of conferences and journal papers. The Russians evidently use BPM in conjunction with aerial photogeological surveys in pinpointing mineral deposits. BPM anomalies are detected on foot by hand-held BPM de tectors (read: divining rods).

Williamson goes on to describe the ridicule heaped on dowsing in the West. The negative experiments of Foulkes with trained dowsers shoved dowsing out to the lunatic fringe. But recently, a little-mentioned American study by Chadwick and Jensen seems to contradict Foulkes. Chadwick and Jensen, highly skeptical at the beginning of their experiments, were surprised to discover that their 150 novice dowsers were actually sensitive to the small magnetic field changes one expects in the neighborhood of mineral concentrations. The dowsing effect is weak but apparently real.

(Williamson, Tom; "Dowsing Achieves New Credence," New Scientist, 81:371, 1979.)

From Science Frontiers #7, June 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss