The Water Witch of Wyoming

Romie Nunn (1903-1988) is a well-known figure in the history of Wyoming, and there's a town named for him. Nunn was a rancher and ran several businesses and also worked for oil companies, and he was an active member of the Caspar Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations. But among those who knew him, he was also an amazing water witch, or dowser. Skeptics dismiss dowsing as nonsense, but even though no one can explain how it happened, Nunn found water when it was desperately needed.

The more Nunn witched, the more water he found. “It got to a point where he could tell the difference between an underground pool of water and an underground stream,” says Jack. “He would follow the stream aboveground and at a certain point, based on how he felt the copper rod was reacting, he could give you a fairly good estimate of depth and possible output.” “It always amazed me,” says Jack’s sister, Peggy Nunn Nicolls, “that when he would find something he could also figure out the size of the stream and how deep.” “He was actually pretty accurate,” concurs Jack. “Word just spread.”

Collectors Weekly has an extensive article on Romie Nunn and his abilities, plus the history and controversy of dowsing. Link

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"But several scientists have now computed that the speed of thought is 10,000 times faster than the speed of light."

If only I could use dowsing to find a citation... might be an interesting read.

"One of the first things we learned was that it should be impossible for a bumblebee to fly because its wing span can’t generate enough aerodynamics to lift its body weight. "

This one is always rather annoying. A bumble bee was said to not generate enough lift, if you applied principles that made a bunch of assumptions. It could be a useful lesson in checking your assumptions, but has become instead a false lesson in the hubris of science (maybe more appropriately of hubris of taking things out of context, or not remembering the details...).

"Scientists can’t accept it because they don’t understand how it works."

Scientists find and publish phenomenological results that lack explanation all the time. Although, being open to new effects without explanation is not the same thing as being motivated to invest time into something. That is where the word salad explanations can factor into things, that they make a scientists question how observant and attentive the person making the claims are, and likely figure there are better uses of time.

Still a well written article I think. It is just unfortunate that dowsing has moved on from a curiosity that at worst could lose a lot of money, to something that could now cost people's live.
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