A Cautionary Note on Magnetoreception in Dowsers
In his discussion concerning human magnetoreception, Baker (this volume) cites the work of Harvalik (1978) on human dowsers as an example of prior work suggesting a magnetic sense in humans. This is a poor example. Harvalik claims to have measured the sensitivity of his subjects by passing direct electric current through the ground between the copper electrodes separated by about 20 m. With the current on, the dowsers walked between the electrodes and gave signals and claimed to detect the small field present. In one publication (Harvalik, 1975), he built and used a “randomizer” to make things double-blind. In several other papers published in The American Dowser (Harvalik, 1973, 1974,1976), he describes localizing the site of the receptors in the pineal and adrenal glands and measuring field sensitivities down to an astounding 0.00001 γ (10 −14 Tesla).
- Harvalik, Z. V., 1973, Sensitivity tests on a dowser exposed to artifical dc magnetic fields, The American Dowser 13: 85–87.Google Scholar
- Harvalik, Z. V., 1974, Locating the dowsing sensors by the high-frequency beam method, The American Dowser 14: 4–9.Google Scholar
- Harvalik, Z. V., 1975, The randomizer, The American Dowser 15: 19–21.Google Scholar
- Harvalik, Z. V., 1976, Locating the dowsing sensor-processor in the Brain, The American Dowser 16:106–108.Google Scholar
- Randi, J., 1980, Flim-Flam! The Truth about Unicorns, Parapsychology and Other Delusions, Lip-pincott & Crowell, New York.Google Scholar