3 DECEMBER 1948, Page 18


Sm,—Regarding the remarks in Country Life in The Spectator of November 26th, I gather from a practical dowser with a unique record for the successful location of underground water, who was present at the meeting of the British Association referred to, that the tests described were of a kind which were most unlikely to have been successful. It may therefore be assumed that the scientists concerned were not conversant with the history of dowsing, past and present, and the conditions essential to its successful performance.

It does not require a profound knowledge of any science to carry out the tests to which certain dowsers in New Zealand appear to have incautiously submitted themselves. The all-important qualifications are a general knowledge of the practice of dowsing, ordinary powers of observation, common sense and an unprejudiced outlook. " Scientific " tests carried out without these qualifications assume the form of a crude attempt to discredit a few individuals whose claims are in all probability perfectly genuine, without making any contribution to science.—Yours faithfully, A. H. BELL, President, The British Society of Dowsers. York House, Portugal Street, W.C. 2.