Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dowsing Rods: I've Gone Low-Tech!

by Kim Frith, a NAPS Team Dowser

In the field of paranormal research, there are many wonderful pieces of equipment that enable us to see and hear activity while on an investigation or during an outing. (We NAPS members are notorious for impromptu trips and outings.) We are still learning subtle details on the capabilities and technical aspects of some of the high tech equipment that we have had for a long time. Michael Delorenze, our Lead Technical Mr. Fix-It, is constantly explaining features of such high-tech equipment that we have yet to take full advantage of in the field.
As we employ the latest cutting edge equipment and techniques in our quest to help those facing paranormal activity or participate in spirit rescue, I am compelled toward both ends of the spectrum: from complexity on one end, to simplicity on the other.  Truly, when the full spectrum of available technology is given consideration, evidence cross-substantiation then occurs, making for a stronger case and a more definitive resolution or finding.
For me, the simplistic or low tech piece of equipment I prefer is a set of homemade dowsing rods. I am speaking of polarity dowsing, and not "divination" dowsing. I will forgo the history and past uses of dowsing rods, to focus on the journey I have taken to understand, learn, and become efficient with their use in the realm of paranormal investigation.
It all began with Don Estes, one of our NAPS consultants, dowsing for human remains during an investigation last winter. It took all of thirty seconds for me to be interested in the concept of polarity and understanding what information the rods were communicating.  After NAPS concluded with that case, I contacted Don to see if he would be open and interested in teaching another NAPS investigator and me how to dowse.

A couple of weeks later, we were in the historical Natchez City Cemetery, freezing our tails off but otherwise elated to have our first dowsing lesson. Don said that we must find our “sweet spot” and to practice, practice, practice! In the cemetery that day, we were dowsing marked and unmarked graves, learning to distinguish the gender of those buried beneath us and measuring the length of the bodies. Did I mention that we were told to practice, practice, and practice? As our lesson progressed, Don said that both of us had a natural ability to dowse. By the end of our session, we both had found our “sweet spot” and were able to repeat our tests with accuracy. We left the cemetery with homework. You guessed it! We were instructed to practice, practice and practice.
Over the next several months, I dowsed every chance I got. In my yard where pets are buried, overgrown cemeteries, public parks, friend’s houses and investigation sites provided diverse environments for me to sharpen my skills and learn the difference between buried remains, water lines and power lines.  Dowsing rods operate on polarity, meaning opposite properties such as positive and negative. This is why it is important to find your “sweet spot”. For me, that is a place of neutrality. When I can hold my rods and they remain neutral, then I am ready to dowse. As the rods move out of the neutral position, there is a shift in polarity which requires energy. In grave dowsing, this energy comes from the polarity of the remains beneath me.
Photo at Left:
FLIRi7 photo of Kim's mentor Don Estes dowsing for remains on a case in Franklin County, Mississippi. Don was successful in locating the remains of a female, 5'7" tall, on the exact spot where a landowner said she saw the apparition of an Indian telling her, "My mother is buried here."

Now, let’s shift gears to paranormal investigations. I wanted to expand the use of dowsing rods to include my role in NAPS. Since the rods work on polarity and a shift in energy, wouldn’t it stand to reason that they would be reactive amid paranormal activity? I had to find out!
During the next few outing with NAPS members, I began to take my dowsing rods and experiment with them. As I would walk around grounds of abandoned old homes, historical site and grown up cemeteries, the rods would awaken me to numerous things present but unseen to the naked eye. Discoveries were made including unmarked graves, underground water tables and unconventional uses in ghost hunting.
It is a universal belief in the paranormal community that a spirit may draw from the atmospheric energy, batteries, and even people to manifest and communicate with living humans. As this energy is being drawn, manipulated and concentrated for use, investigators measure this activity or ask the spirit to operate a piece of equipment such as light up LEDs, speak into a recorder, turn something on or off, etc. As a fan of low tech equipment, I simply ask for this energy to be used to move the rods.
What an amazing display of energy and intelligence when an investigator asks a question and you can see the rods respond. It’s important to note here that only yes or no questions work with dowsing rods as they only move inward toward one another or outward away from each other. Changing the wording of questions or indicating the desire for the direction of yes/no responses to suddenly be reversed, helps to authenticate the communication.
Another vital piece of information to note is that you, as an investigator, must absolutely trust your dowser. Whereas water, electricity and graves can be confirmed by more than one dowser on more than one occasion, intelligent spirits may prefer to communicate with one dowser over another or may altogether stop communicating during an investigation.  Knowing that your dowser is going to be honest above all is paramount to the integrity of the investigation and the team.
I admit that dowsing isn’t an exact science. There has been much debate about dowsing and the useful techniques involved. Don Estes was right. It takes lots of practice to become proficient with your dowsing rods. If a person doesn’t spend the necessary time building the skill set for accurate and efficient dowsing, I would say they are a dowsing hobbyist and recommend you find a committed dowser to assist you in your investigation.
There has been some scientific evidence that NAPS members have gathered during dowsing rod use on investigations and outings. During a recent outing, the rods started to pulsate and “dance”, as I call it. I felt this energy and the movement of the rods and mentioned it to my team. Kimberly Delorenze immediately turned around and snapped a photo using our full spectrum camera. Upon review, a ball of energy can be seen between the two rods that I was using. Also, there are temperature differentiations seen with the FLIR when the rods are used in question and answer sessions.
Photo at Left: A close view of the photo reveals an energy orb right between the ends of the two rods. This photo was taken because the investigators suddenly sensed a presence.
As dowsing rods become more of a standard piece of equipment for NAPS, others on my team have picked up my rods and asked for instruction. As their faces light up in amazement and they say to me, “I’m not moving these rods,” I tell them that I know and watch as they discover just as I have. Then it is understood just how exhausting it is to hold them perfectly still so that your work as a dowser is pure.
I enjoy demonstrating the techniques of dowsing and watching the faces of those astonished by the movement of the rods. Michael, our Lead Technical Mr. Fix-It, is committed to educating the public concerning all investigation equipment, high and low tech, and is always ready to volunteer in demonstrations. I think he enjoys it as much as I when people learn about who we are, what we do, how we do it and the equipment we use.
As the uses of dowsing rods expand in NAPS, other investigators have come on board to learning and broadening their awareness of dowsing usefulness. It does make me happy to hear our team members now explain the use of dowsing in normal and paranormal aspects. 
If you would like more information or to schedule a free demonstration for your group, please feel free to contact me. [For Kim's contact information go to our Main Website -link below- and click on the Contacts page].

Editor's Note: Other forms of low-tech equipment NAPS uses are trigger objects, era cues, spirit test items, Christian symbols and sacramentals. We maintain a large inventory of such objects and cues in a variety of categories (such as Civil War era, music, and Native American), and have been successful during investigations having a few of them manipulated by unseen spirits.

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