TESTING THE VALIDITY OF DOWSING FOR APPLICATIONS IN FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY
Dowsing is a method of locating buried items using rods that react as the user walks over an object. There has been controversy surrounding this practice because of the lack of understanding and empirical data available. Forensic anthropologists are interested in dowsing for possible application in clandestine grave recovery because 1) it is cheap and easily accessible, 2) it does not require specialized knowledge, 3) it is not time consuming, and 4) it is not destructive to the crime scene. Prior to its implementation in a forensically significant context, empirical research must be done to meet the Daubert Standards of court admissibility. This study investigates the validity of dowsing rods through empirical experiments taking place at the Forensic Anthropology Field Lab at Kennesaw State University. In the first phase of this study, nine participants were asked to dowse the fields and drop pin-flags at every indication they received from the L-shaped rods. Our preliminary results revealed that all participants felt indications from the rods, and a map of all of the pinflag locations revealed little consistency between participants. There were six 2 sq.ft. areas where more than half of the participants dropped flags, and three 8 sq.ft. areas where no flags were dropped at all. This preliminary data warrants further research on the validity of dowsing.
Department of Anthropology and Geography, KSU
Owens*, Ariel; McCray*, McKayla; and Gooding, Alice
"TESTING THE VALIDITY OF DOWSING FOR APPLICATIONS IN FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 127.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/127