June is the month of Father’s Day. We are also into the high tide of summer weather as daylight hours continue stretching to their limit. In the third week of this month we’ll experience the least hours of darkness and longest period of daylight for the entire year. Then a little further along comes that important day when we celebrate our nation’s 146th year since confederation. Here’s the first verse and refrain from “Happy First.” It has several additional verses that go on to tell when remaining provinces and territories joined the initial four.
Back in 1867,
Nova Scotia and N.B.,
With Ontario and Quebec,
A Dominion they would be.
Happy First, July first,
Let’s shout it out with joy and mirth,
Happy First, July first,
It’s Canada’s day of birth.
DOWSER, DIVINER, WITCHER, SWITCHER
The above four words are interchangeable but refer to the same subject. I, Ted, have discovered there’s a bunch of water dowsers scattered out there across the country and the interest is quite high. The balance of this Grainews column focuses on pictures, perspective and personal experiences shared by one dowser named George McKenzie Box 3, Brownvale, Alta. T0H 0L0. He’s a pioneer and experimenter in this field. Also, a followup on Grimshaw Gravels Aquifer later on.
We’ve spoken via phone several times and George also writes: “I read your article about the lady who was witching and notice there is a lot of interest in the witching rod. When I hold a 10-inch or longer piece of metal or copper or brass in my left hand and go over some water or metal, nothing happens. If I put a piece of metal or copper or brass such as small pliers in my right hand and reach out over water or metal; the thing in my left hand will start going up and down. This motion will keep repeating as long as I hold the right hand over the object, water or metal. I assume that it would work if I switched hands.”
He continues, “When I put an old house broom in my left hand with metal in my right hand, the broom starts to go up and down when I hit on something. The broom finds the same things for me as does a metal rod. This is a fascinating gift and the way I found out was I do a lot of welding and I was carrying a pipe across the yard and the pipe was going up and down and my friend said we’re going over water and that was the start of it. I know others who do it but I don’t know anyone as active as I am.”
Here are some of his discoveries. “I have found things such as a small gold ring in three feet of grass and buried animals. Also found out that a Y-shape willow stick will work; not any other kind of wood such as aspen. I went and cut a willow stick and the bark just peeled off when I hit water. I’ll have to get my battery tester out and see if I can find out more about this gift. I can hold the wrist of others who can’t do it and then it will work for them. Am I charging up their body? I don’t think it has anything to do with witchcraft. A new witcher will often let rods sag down making them swing around so keep them level.”
There’s more! George has tried using a lot of other things too, including a carpenter square balanced on his second finger. “It would swing back and forth when over metal, brass, water, bones, gold rings etc. I can take my grandfather’s gold watch and hold it by the chain. It will start swinging back and forth up to 90 degrees with a strong pull that might be close to 50 pounds.” George even plays with forks and knives at the dinner table. He calls them all “novelty things.” Seems his sensitivity is so sharp that almost anything he tries will react for him in some fashion. George extends good luck in finding water or gold or whatever to his fellow dowsers.
EXCERPT FROM AN EMAIL
Geophysicist Gary Johnston who lives near Onoway, Alberta writes: Ted: I enjoy your column in Grainews. In the April 15 copy you had a picture of a trio holding large potatoes. The caption stated that they lived on the Grimshaw Gravels, the largest underground lake in the world. I hate to break their balloon. It is not the largest in Alberta. The Grimshaw Aquifer is 466 square kilometres. The Paskapoo Aquifer in Alberta is 150 times larger at 70,000 square kilometres. The largest in the world is the Guarani Aquifer in South America at 1.2 million square kilometres. There are also very large aquifers in Australia and Africa. The Grimshaw Aquifer would not appear on the list of the 1,000 largest aquifers in the world.
Ted’s response: Gary is correct and we thank him for bringing the above to the attention of our readers and the Grimshaw Gravels Committee agrees. Poof goes the balloon that Gary mentioned. Gary is 69 years old and still working. He has done environmental and mineral consulting work for the past 30 years and enjoys the challenge of finding something hidden underground. His work record includes well over 1,000 spill sites. It also appears Gary likes to grow tomatoes although he was not impressed with selection of tomato bedding plants he saw at four greenhouses. His solution: “Next year I need to plant my own from seed.” †