The quick answer is that no one really knows – not even experienced dowsers. Some theorize there is a psychic connection established between the dowser and the sought object. All things, living and inanimate, the theory suggests, possess an energy force. The dowser, by concentrating on the hidden object, is somehow able to tune in to the energy force or “vibration” of the object which, in turn, forces the dowsing rod or stick to move. The dowsing tool may act as a kind of amplifier or antenna for tuning into the energy. –About
The Iraqi government spend $85Mil on these devices, produced by Englishman, Jim McCormick. One Iraqi general strongly defended its use. But, of course, if I had spent $85Mil of my country’s money on a device, I might be pretty defensive, too…especially if I was getting some of that money given back to me.
This failure to be skeptical, from many, has led to the death of hundreds. “Hmmm, that’s odd, cars, trucks, and busses stuffed with explosives have gotten through our checkpoints, despite the use of our magical (and magically expensive) detection devices!” Of course, the real bad guy here is Jim McCormick, whose trial began on March 6, 2013. It seems he based his design on bogus golf ball detectors. But if numerous people hadn’t been “asleep at the wheel”, so to speak, this terrible human being couldn’t have profited massively while people died.
How did this happen? I don’t know. It is obvious there was a lot of credulity involved. James Randi, in the For Good Reason interview, suggested that a good deal of “political correctness” was probably the cause of people’s lack of skepticism. One has to be “open-minded”, you know…rather reminds me of an old quip about “if you’re too open-minded your brain will fall out”. For years I just thought it was a play on words about “open-minded” being equated with “open-skulled”. But now I see a deeper truth in the saying–if you’re too open-minded, your brain really will “fall out”; you will stop using your brain, stop being skeptical, stop asking the important questions like “does this bomb detector really work? Where is the evidence?”
In this case, some people being too open-minded has caused other people’s brains to fall out…onto the street. So please, please be skeptical–it could easily save someone’s life.