On Saturday, December 4th 2010 I joined a psychogeophysics workshop by Martin Howse in Worm (Delfshaven, Rotterdam). Martin had brought an interesting collection of experimental electronics.
Martin was in Rotterdam with Kathrin Günter, a German artist who does original things with film and photography and who had given a workshop the previous day.
As evening was falling we went outside with the receivers and laptops - and with a collection of improvised "dowsing" objects. These were built from random urban debris that were found the previous day.
It is difficult to describe the atmosphere of a Martin Howse workshop. Maybe the best approximation is the following story from the Internet. It is one of my favourites. Martin Howse's style comes close to the "research" that is described in the story, but it does not use pendulums or dowsing rods. But Martin's electronics simulate dowsing ... and inspire further research.
My favourite dowsing story. I give a few excerpts below. You can read the full story here.
Another "Taos Hum" aspect from Stefan Lofstrand in Sweden
In the fall of 1996 I first noticed the sound that is dubbed "The Taos Hum". Since I have one of the major air force bases in line of sight and major war industries less than 12 kilometres away on the other side of the mountain, my first assumption was that the humming sound emanated from a secret tunnelling operation.
Mysterious sounds and hums are quite common and we even have one in Rotterdam.
... Soon the snow covered the Hunneberg. I did not care for stamping my foot prints on the flat mountain roof, so for the winter I traced the progress of the tunnel boring machine with my pendulum on the map. After a couple of months I had logged the speed of the tunneling rig to some 1.2 km/month.
Dowsing and remote viewing are interesting techniques. Invisible objects are revealed. They may not be real, but they are always surprising.
... I came across a complex of buildings that were not marked on the map - with a function and proprietor that I feel legally prohibited to divulge in a public medium - hidden in the woods close by the tunnel. At the opposite side of the tunnel I found a major asphalt production plant run by the Swedish Road Administration, situated in a day break where macadam evidently had been produced for several decades. There was also an entrance to the underground with a conveyor belt for crushed rock, which lay in huge mounds on the premises. Whether these mounds had a connection with the present tunneling operation, or with earlier excavations, I cannot say. Only that asphalt production is a convenient way to dispose of excavated rock.
Mysterious - possibly secret - building complexes are always worth visiting. We have a few in Rotterdam also.
When you are stalking "secrets" you simply feel and follow the pull of your object of gravitation, until you have reached the sign "Secret". If it is a secret that the object is secret, you will soon be discretely stalked upon. Pulling the spiders web of surveillance always attracts the spider. To consummate my field trip I first picked up a tail, then made a sudden U- turn. Since it is also a secret that you are being observed, this inverts an unwritten rule I did not co-author. Let it be no secret: reckless driving is my hobby. I also carry a formidable weapon. A camera.
Building conspiracy theories and creating an artificial state of paranoia is a positive creative process. I'm not very good at this, but I admire it in others, who are more talented. And who knows ... maybe yhe paranoids notice phenomena that escape us. Let's give Stefan Lofstrand the last word:
Perhaps those who can not hear the hum should have their ears examined. But the cure for not being able to hear the hum is often very simple. I believe it is due to "myopic hearing (myotic?) caused by the urbanized life style. City people are not used to listening. They tend to only detect sounds carrying immediate information from sources near by. When I have instructed people that could not hear the hum to stop listening for a plastic duck sitting on the table in front of them, saying "yap yap", but to listen for a hundred horses running across a wooden bridge five kilometers away, everybody could hear the hum.