Here is the next installment of the dowsing test.

(DOWSER- TOM – not his real name)
Let’s make the Dowsing experiment into a kind of performance piece/party! I'll bring plenty of dowsing rods - I know that after I prove that dowsing is true, everyone will want to learn how. Maybe even you!

A test at a party would be great but not at the one coming up. We have not yet come up with the protocol for the experiment. And as the Wicked Witch of the West has said, "These things have to be done delicately."
I would love to learn how to dowse. You may not know this but there are a number of science organizations around the world which will award you large sums of money (we are talking a million dollars) if you can demonstrate to them that you can do what you claim. But we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Why don't we see if you can dowse first? Then we can have a dowsing rave because you are going to be rich.
From what I have read these science groups usually start out their tests with a questionnaire to get the applicant to specify their claim, so that is what I am sending you.
I want to do this questionnaire thing through email because I think this experience would make a good article for one of those ponderous Skeptic magazines I'm always trying to get published in. Don't worry; I won't use your name. In fact, I'm hoping to get drunk enough at the dowsing party that I won’t want to use my name either.

PS, you can dress up like a guinea pig if you think that will help.

As a licensed science TV watcher I feel I am eminently qualified to administer this test. The following is a series of questions to help us agree on a protocol. Once you answer these questions, we can come up with some suggested parameters for the experiment. Feel free to email back to me any ideas you think might help, any rules that you would like to change, or any rules you cannot agree to. Also please add any excuse to drink alcohol during the test. I don’t think this will help the results but it will certainly make the experimenting more interesting.
Please answer the questions fully. Add any information or qualifications that you see fit. If you do not know the answer to a question or are unsure feel free to include that in your response. Or say “this is a dumb question.” Please include curse words only when needed.

1) As I understand it, you claim that by holding two bent metal surveyor flags in your hands (one in each hand) and walking around in a field, you can detect a pipe made of ferrous metal buried in the ground in that field. Is that correct? If you would like, please feel free to describe your ability in your own words.
2) What would you estimate is your success rate?
3) How far away from the point you indicate (radius) can the pipe be for you to still consider it a successful detection (hit)?
4) How deep can the pipe be for you to still consider it a hit?
5) If you pointed to a spot and did not find a metal pipe but instead found a terracotta, cement, plastic or PVC pipe would you still consider that a hit?
6) Are the pipes you detect always water pipes or can they be pipes carrying wires, sewage, fiber optics or gas?
7) Does electrical power running through the wires in the pipes affect your results?
8) Does your body act as an antenna and somehow focus energy in a way that facilitates detection?
9) Do the metal rods move in your hands by themselves or do you move them (even if just subconsciously)?
10) As you walk and search, do you continue standing straight up or do you have to crouch close to the ground? In other words, how much does distance from the ground affect your abilities?
11) How long does it typically take you to perform a detection?
12) Can you always perform this action or do you have good days and bad days?
13) Does the season or time of day affect your results?
14) Does rain, temperature, or weather affect your results?
15) If you are tired will your results change?
16) Does repeated testing affect your results?
17) Does the presence of other people or animals affect your results?
18) Does jeweler worn by other people affect your results?
19) Does drinking affect your results?
20) Will I be allowed to hold and inspect the surveyor flags before the experiment begins?
21) Will I be allowed to wear a lab coat while doing so?
22) Will what I am wearing under the lab coat affect your results?
23) Do you have favorite surveyor flags?
24) Do they have names?
25) Are the surveyor flags you use magnetized?
26) Will I be allowed to test whether they are magnetized by bringing them in contact with some other ferrous metals?
27) You mentioned that the force that you are detecting may or may not be magnetism. Will bringing your surveyor flags in contact with ferrous metals before the experiment have any effect on the results?
28) Does the presence of trees or nearby power lines affect your results?
29) Does the presence of drunken people affect your results?
30) I understand that the pipes you are able to find are made of ferrous metals. Am I correct in understanding that those pipes do not have to de magnetized for you to be able to detect them?
31) Would the presence of any of the following materials affect your results? water, wire, fiber optics, sand, cardboard, paper, cloth, wood, plastic, ice or alcohol.
32) As part of this experiment (and if you agree) I think I will be hiding a length of pipe in one of a number of cardboard or plastic boxes. If I use a pipe made of ferrous metal as the object of the test, what would you say is the shortest length that you would feel confident in detecting. Although I would like you to specify a short length to facilitate the test, I also want you to pick a length that would make you perfectly comfortable. What is the shortest length of pipe (and suggested diameter) that you feel that you can detect in a cardboard or plastic box?
33) If I did hide the pipe in a box, would a plastic box or a cardboard box be ok?
34) If we do use a metal pipe you will be allowed to approve and inspect the pipe. Before the beginning of the experiment the pipe will be checked to make sure it is not magnetized. If the pipe is checked for magnetism by bringing it in contact with other ferrous metals will that affect the outcome of the test.
35) Would putting sand in the boxes with the pipe (to equalize the weight and prevent the pipe from rolling in the box) affect the results?
36) Since I will suggest we perform this test in Claire and my backyard does the presence of a lake affect your results?
37) Since we will be, (I hope), in a party situation, when this experiment is performed, would people passed out in the backyard affect the results?
38) Will nudity affect the results? (I would like to make it clear that that last question is in no way related to what I will be wearing under my lab coat.)


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