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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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987