Map Dowsing

What follows was previously posted on Stout Standards in the Malamute Saloon. It’s weird stuff for sure, but for some, it works.

If you’d have been caught doing this stuff in Salem in 1692 you’d have been neck-deep in doo-doo – the Devil’s doings; a black art. Practitioners say it only works if you truly believe it does. Seemingly, there’s no in-between position; either you’re ‘in’ or ‘out’. Don’t ask me to explain how it works, I simply don’t know. Map-dowsing, the subject herein, is spooky off-the-wall stuff.

I first encountered this hocus-pocus some years ago when I was asked to recover a couple of buried vintage shotguns. During the search I was asked if I could find a wooden cap to a very deep well (located somewhere on the gravelled forecourt of a large 17C house) which posed the danger of collapse. No one had any idea of its location, hence the urgency to find it. The idea being that any iron bolts in the cap might register on my metal detector. The search failed to locate the well-cap.

On behalf of the mansion owner, I contacted a friend who had the reputation as an accomplished map-dowser so I sent him a chart of the area in question, about half an acre. It came back to me with a single ‘X’ marked in a circle. When the ‘X’ location was later examined by the building contractors, the wooden, and by now rotten cap, was uncovered!!

Significantly, my map-dowsing friend was totally unaware of the mansion’s location. Equally staggering was that he’d previously located the positions of treasure sites, which in turn and following searches with metal detectors, proved accurate. He claimed that he could even give the depth for that which was searched for! Some practitioners claim they can even narrow down the precise type of treasure – gold, silver, or whatever, even burial sites.

In every case the final recovery is made at the marked position using a metal detector.

For more information on map-dowsing your local library, or, online, will prove a good starting point. Good luck.



7 thoughts on “Map Dowsing

  1. Hi John,

    It’s done with a pendulum. Perhaps companies will start selling pendulums for doing that — updated every so often with pendulums said to measure things at a greater depth or be able to detect only precious metals 😉




    • Hello John:
      Ha, ha! And maybe smaller ones for ‘pinpointing’ eh? Seriously though, I understand there are pendulums available that are hollow, in to which a small sample of the metal to be discovered is placed, then dowsed over the map.

      I still need to be convinced that map dowsing works, although I’m given to understand Tarot Cards are currently in vogue with some in the archaeological world.

      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a money-making scam to me. As for the Tarot cards, I didn’t know that — I thought they used tea-leaves 😉


  2. Hi John! You and I have spoken of this before. I used to be pretty good at dowsing, including map dowsing, and I used it on many occasions when I was much younger. It no longer works for me at all, now. United Stated Marines used dowsing in Vietnam to locate VC tunnels. My father one day told me I was full of it, when I spoke of dowsing, and said flatly it did not work. I told him it did work, just fine. I told him I would prove it to him…to go out in the back yard (about a 1/2 acre) and place a US copper penny anywhere, and I would find it…and I’d sit with my mother in the house and talk with her until he got back. He returned about 5-minutes later and told me he’d give me $20 if I found it! I went out back and started looking for the cent with a strong picture of the penny held in my mind. I swung across the entire back yard and didn’t get a “hit” of any kind…the rods didn’t move! So I did a complete 360, and the rods crossed as they passed the carport. Moving forward, i finally found the penny placed in the vertical hollow of a concrete cinder- block on the carport floor! I told my father that this was certainly NOT in the backyard as we’d agreed and he owed me $40 for the deception. He quietly handed me $40, and his mouth was still hanging open as I drove off. I had other adventures in dowsing, but it worked well for a long time…too bad its gone for me now. Good post John!


    • Hello Jim:
      I’m agnostic far as map-dowsing is concerned; I simply can’t believe you can find anything from a location remote from the actual site. The only time I ran across it was the when the well-cap was located and I’ve put that down to luck/coincidence. I need a tad more evidence!

      However, dowsing with wire rods or metal coat hangers really does work and is a damn sight cheaper than the latest two grand metal detector!!!



  3. Dowsing is Real old ads in newspapers paid them well. Look up abbe mermet, France.
    Mormon dowsers found water in Nevada when gov. Hydro could not. Too many cases to dismiss read up on lt. it’s very old.


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