The Archaeology Sub-Interest Group is a quietly active group fitting events in around the General and Health dowsing group activities – weather permitting.
Most of our meetings take place on Saturday mornings. If you would like to find out more or to join us on one of our activities please contact – [email protected]
Dowsing has been used as a tool to aid archaeological research for many years and in a wide variety of situations. The skilled archaeological dowser can discern underground remains and will often draw a plan of walls and settlements which are then handed on to professional archaeologists. Although it is not always publicly acknowledged that dowsing is being employed the shortage of time, of human and material resources and the often overwhelming size of a site of potential interest lend great weight and value to the guidance and focus that dowsing can bring.
Phillip De Jersey’s talk on the Alderney Archaeological dig – January 2020
Alderney could contain the largest unbuilt-upon Roman settlement in Europe, according to our speaker, States Archaeologist Phillip de Jersey. In a fascinating illustrated talk he walked us through his team’s excavations opposite the Roman Fort called the Nunnery. These took place in 2018 and 2019 led by the now-retired Dr Jason Monaghan. ‘We are planning to continue on the site this year,’ Phillip revealed. He explained that it all began when workmen for Alderney Electricity, using a digger, unearthed Iron Age graves. When Archaeologists started excavating the site they found, not only pre-historic skeletons, but also numerous Roman walls. ‘We have evidence of a thriving Roman community,’ Phillip told us. ‘We have an area of 40,000 square metres to examine. This could be a significant site of major importance.’
Photos courtesy of David Nash
Metal detector confirms our finds
When chairman Nigel took 10 of us to a secret location in the Forest little did we know we were in for one of the best field trips ever! Joining us on site (which has to remain secret) was Guernsey metal detectorist and founder of Guernsey Heritage Keepers, Shane Le Page. Shane told us the field was a likely repository of artefacts from a variety of eras, including Roman, Iron Age, Victorian and the German Occupation. He also asked if we could locate an ancient track which, he felt, must have been used by earlier populations. So, armed with marker flags of different colours we set about dowsing with L-rods and pendulums asking for buried evidence of previous human activity. After about an hour there were 20 flags planted amid the stubble. Usually on our archaeological trips we can’t get immediate validation of our results. But this time Shane fired up his detector, complete with GPS, and checked our findings. With our hearts pounding we trailed after him awaiting his verdict. Wow! Of the 20 spots individuals among us had marked Shane reckoned 18 of them had something buried beneath the surface! What an exciting confirmation of our dowsing skills. When he has the time Shane will return with his shovel and uncover the truth. Watch this space.
Note: because of the need for confidentiality, we could not show a picture of the actual field we dowsed. But it was very similar to this one (but without the cows!)
21st July 2019 – OUR VISIT TO A ‘TREASURE ISLAND
What a wonderful island Alderney is! When 10 of us ‘invaded’ our sister isle for a day in July, we were captivated by the beauty of our surroundings and the warmth of our welcome from everyone we met. We were there to fulfill a long-held ambition to dowse the Iron Age and Roman remains which are in the process of being excavated by Archaeologist Philip De Jersey and his team.
So, with Philip’s kind permission we wielded our dowsing rods and pendulums to see what we could find in advance of their latest dig, due to take place in August.
Did we succeed? Well, we think so. Our team located what we felt were Roman walls and pottery as well as older (and deeper) Iron Age relics. Of course our success, or otherwise, will be proven when the physical dig happens. But we believe there is stuff to be found under the fields opposite the Nunnery and the far edge of the golf course.
And, talking of the Nunnery – what a magnificent example of Roman architecture that is. Surely it must be the jewel in the crown for historians interested in that period of history? Where else in Europe is there such a fine example of a small Roman fort? And, apparently, it still conceals an archaeological treasure trove within its curtilage.
The inner accommodation block served us dowsers well as a base where we could cool off and compare notes over a cup of something refreshing. And, boy, did we need it. Is the weather in Alderney always so magnificent? The sun beamed down on us from a clear sky as we sweated in the fields trying to focus our minds on what lay under our feet from thousands of years ago. When we had the opportunity, during our occasional breaks, to lift our eyes we’d be treated to a breathtaking view of the coastline, the curve of the bay and the Caribbean-like sea.
But, back to the business at hand. We received useful background information from our driver and host John Horton from Alderney Bird Observatory. He gave us a quick rundown of the Nunnery’s history before explaining that the scratches on his arm were not from a battle with a gorse bush but rather a tussle with some gannets he’d been ringing. However, our main collaborator for the day was Rick Ball who, as a fellow dowser, wielded his impressive-looking L-rods to confirm, or not, our ‘finds.’ And the generosity of Alderney just kept on giving – this time in the shape of island resident, and former British Society of Dowsers accredited water dowser Aaron Bray, who gave us some demonstrations and tuition.
Our most enjoyable stay was punctuated by regular visits by The Alderney Press’s David Nash, who kindly photographed our progress during the day, diligently marking on the prints the locations of our ‘discoveries.’ Rick has promised to compare the results with the outcome of the dig to help us validate our findings.
So, all in all, an action-packed day, in delightful surroundings with the friendliest of natives. As we thanked Richard Keen, skipper of our charter ferry, we all agreed we wanted to return to this ‘treasure island’ with our only ‘mission’ to relax and enjoy the plentiful delights on offer. So ‘A La Perchoine’ Alderney, we will be back!
Pictures show the team (Rick Ball far right), marking out the Roman walls and homeward bound.
Photos courtesy of The Alderney Press
Mirus Battery at La Houguette School 7th September 2018
Our Dowsing evening at the Mirus Battery at La Houguette School in St Peter’s was a very interesting event especially since the tunnels and structure are used by the school. The gun emplacement had been turned into a seating and play area for the children and had been planted very sympathetically.
Fifteen of us investigated the area and dowsed for underground streams, or energy lines, trapped souls etc. The tunnels and area had been well maintained by the school and the interior of the tunnels were whitewashed and well lit with interesting facts noted throughout the complex. We all had a super time dowsing but the general opinion was that these tunnels felt like they had much lighter energy than the “sister” Mirus Battery down the road which had been visited in May. The general opinion was that the lighter atmosphere was due to the happy lighter energy coming from children playing in the vicinity.
A fascinating evening was had by all. Our thanks to La Houguette School for allowing us access and to Geoff Marson for being our official photographer.
Miras Battery May 2018
Nobody planned it this way but our Dowsing evening at the Mirus Battery in St Peter’s turned into a bit of a spooky event. Fifteen of us were ready to seek underground streams, or energy lines, undiscovered underground hidey-holes, or even the odd forgotten German helmet. But invisible entities, still stuck fast in their wartime activities, had other ideas – they wanted us to know they were there and produced various cold spots to confirm their presence.
Sue sensed a spirit in an old section overgrown by trees where a trolley track is still visible. ‘As I stood there… I felt that someone was standing behind and then next to me but there was no one there. It was very cold and my torch kept cutting out and flashing on and off.’ She dowsed that it was the spirit of a German soldier who admitted he was causing the torch to malfunction. And there were now five spirits in the vicinity! Later Anita’s phone camera did not work at the same spot.
Several of us felt spooky presences in the room (we think a dormitory) adorned by an eagle and swastika. The temperature dropped and torches cut out. Despite these goings-on, no-one found the bunker sinister. In fact in one room Marilyn and Carol found the atmosphere light. They dowsed that souls/ghosts frequented the room but were not there at that moment – ‘they were waiting for us to leave!’
Lorraine dowsed that trapped souls were in some sort of time loop – slave workers wanted to be taken to the light but definitely some Germans did not want to leave. A fascinating evening and some voted to make a return visit when possible. Our thanks to Mrs G Lenfesty for allowing us access and to Steve of Battletec for hosting us and Geoff Marson for being our official photographer. Pictures: Sue & Anita, a spooky passageway and the eagle and swastika on a dormitory wall.
Victor Hugo’s House Visit 2015
THE PERSONALITY OF VICTOR HUGO STILL BROODS HERE
Like Hauteville House’s many tapestries, the spirit of Victor Hugo hangs heavily in his Guernsey home of exile. And the dozen members of the Guernsey Society of Dowsers, on a guided tour, could sense the swirling energies – even without getting out our rods and pendulums.
From the billiard room on the ground floor, once packed by Hugo with his collection of mementos of the past and portraits from his Paris life, to the glass lookout on the third floor , evidence of the man’s creative genius is everywhere.
What story would the temple-like Oak Gallery, dominated by the writer’s Tree of Fire, tell? Or the Blue Drawing Room decorated with mirrors and articles from China? Or the hushed, tapestry-clad room with its concealed photographic laboratory?
Oh for the chance to prowl around this brooding, baroque shrine without the attendant swarms of visitors and eager French students! As it was, all we could do was quickly dowse a detrimental energy spiral here and a beneficial line there. Not to mention that haunting feeling left over from many of Hugo’s melancholy emotions, which still adhere to the fabric of the rooms. Which is not surprising after the tragic deaths of two of his five children and his youngest daughter, Adele, becoming mentally unstable.
Besides the spirit of Victor Hugo some of our party could sense other entities occupying the building. It is less well known but, besides being a renowned writer, artist and designer, Hugo was also a keen ‘table-turner’ and held regular séances in his home. After each, he transcribed the ‘conversations’ he reckoned he had with Shakespeare, Byron, Robespierre, Rousseau, Voltaire and many others.
Although Hugo died in 1885, apparently his spirit still communicates today. He is one of the three major saints of Vietnam’s third-largest religious movement, Cao Dai, and regularly appears to followers in séances.
Pictures of the house: The Tapestry Room and the glass ‘lookout’ from where Victor Hugo could see his ‘beloved France.’ And one for the album – Victor Hugo and family outside his newly acquired Guernsey home.
German Underground Hospital 2015
STILL TRAPPED UNDERGROUND AFTER 70 YEARS
Guernsey’s German Military Underground Hospital offers the dowser a choice of divining experiences – to either see it purely as an archaeological dowsing exercise, or as an opportunity to connect with any trapped earthbound souls left there after their harsh treatment by the Occupying Forces.
The nine of us who gathered on a still but overcast Saturday morning opted for the spiritual experience and, after a briefing by Tony, entered the dank, forbidding tunnel complex with rods and pendulums ready to detect, and then help if possible, any wandering spirits still anchored to this earthly dimension by their misery.
Tony told us, ‘Mentally connect with the location and then let your dowsing tools tell you if there are any earthbound entities who need to be moved on. Ask how many there are and ask if you, personally, can guide them to the light and to the next phase of their life’s journey.’
So, in we walked through the entrance of this the claustrophobic complex, built by enforced labour during World War 11, under the fields of St Andrew’s. With its network of passages, containing hospital wards, an operating theatre, mortuary, kitchen, ammunition store, and even a cinema, it is the largest structure built by the Germans in the Channel Islands.
As we ventured along the warren of concrete and brick structures we split up and individually became engrossed in our own bubbles of endeavour. ‘Are there any souls here that I can move to the light today? ‘ – Yes.
‘How many would be willing to go to the light now?’ Four.
Human consciousness is a very powerful force. Through visualisation it can create a column of light into which any lost soul can enter and resume their karmic journey. ‘They cannot do this without the intervention of human consciousness’, Tony explained.
The labyrinth of cold, sinister passages, dripping with moisture, contained many ‘hot-spots’ of heavy, detrimental vibrations which we transmuted to light, beneficial energy as we went. An hour and a quarter later we emerged into the comparative warmth of the outside world to share in a general ‘de-briefing.’
‘I helped four trapped spirits to the light,’ said Pam.. ‘I dowsed lots of human remains buried in the walls,’ said Sue. ‘I found different spirits in different parts of the tunnels,’ said Jerry
Tony concluded what had been a thought-provoking dowsing experience with a final entreaty to the spirit world to help any remaining trapped beings find the light. Our job done, it was time for a coffee to warm the bones of folk still very much a part of this earthly plane.
Herm Island 2015
A TREASURE TROVE IN HERM – IT’S ALL IN THE MIND
With our pendulums dangling over our maps we were about to find buried treasure in Herm!
‘I have hidden gold, silver and bronze in this area,’ said Chairman Nigel Clarke waving his arm to indicate a rectangle the size of a football pitch, the bottom edge of which encompassed the island’s famous neolithic graves.
Eleven of us had made the trip across the water that summer’s evening lured by promises of a fish and chips supper, fun and friendship and, not to forget, some challenging dowsing.
Think of our excitement when Nigel revealed unimagined riches waiting for the one whose dowsing instrument could accurately seek out his hidden treasure.
Sadly, our excitement was short-lived.
‘To make it especially challenging,’ said our leader, ‘I have not ACTUALLY buried any gold, silver or bronze but just THOUGHT about doing it. Ah well, we wanted a challenge and here it was: Locate invisible hoards buried somewhere in this rectangle of tussocks by the focused intent of Chairman Nigel. Like our ‘Psi-tracks experiments two years ago we were engaging with thought energy. Not so easy-peasy.
Rising to the occasion we hunched over our crude sketch plans and connected with the Universal Mind (or was it Nigel’s?). Twenty minutes later the job was done. Did anyone’s X mark the mystery spots? All would be revealed later. Meanwhile, to give Nigel’s fevered brain a rest Tony took over, instructing us to find beneficial and detrimental energies around the ancient graves and note how they made our bodies feel. Muscle-testing Annie later he demonstrated how negative energies had drained her strength. Then he converted the negative to positive and, Hey Presto! Annie’s vigour returned.
‘We are surrounded by these energies, ‘ said Tony. ‘The trick is engaging with the good ones and avoiding the bad.’
Back in the congenial surroundings of the Mermaid we eagerly compared our treasure maps. Wow! Sue’s pendulum had the magic touch tonight. If the gold had been real she would have hit the jackpot. Not only that, but in another challenge Sue correctly dowsed the sex of four out of five plant cuttings.
Picture: After Annie dowses detrimental energy Tony converts it to beneficial and uses muscle-testing to demonstrate the transmuted energy’s strengthening effect on the body.
La Vallette 2015
After an hour or so of dowsing we think we’ve uncovered the true purpose of the mound of earth and set of ‘steps’ at La Vallette, opposite the bathing pools. Some said there was a fountain and waterfall there at one time. But if it was a fountain and waterfall where did the water come from? And where was it stored? Pacing the site with pendulums swinging and L-rods crossing we discovered the water was funneled from gulleys above the cliffs into pipes which, after filtration, fed into one collecting point – the pond itself (now the earth mound with phormium atop).
In a continuous cycle, the water in the pond was pumped up to the top of the steps where it cascaded down again and back into the pond.
‘The Victorians were wonderful engineers,’ said Chairman Nigel. ‘They would have used their skills to make this a spectacular feature of what would have been a beautiful walk on a summer’s evening.’
Castel Cornet 2014
CAN ICY PRESENCE ON A GORGEOUS SUNNY EVENING
With 800 years of history behind it, Castle Cornet was bound to be a fascinating place to dowse. And so it proved. With a brilliant Guernsey sun glistening on the glass-flat sea surrounding our eyrie it was difficult for the 15 of us to detach our minds and not just drink in the unique beauty of the evening.
‘Set your conscious brains aside, ‘ instructed Tony, ‘and commune with the energies here. There’s something special for each one of us.’
So, with rods and pendulums at the ready, we prowled around Middle Ward seeking the ghostly remanent (the energy signature that remains after the object or person has gone) of the skeleton recently unearthed by archaeologists. The bones were not that of an enemy killed in one of the many skirmishes with the French, and then dumped, because it had two coins placed over its eyes.
Many of us fell into that old trap and did not ask the right question. ‘Show us where the skeleton was buried,’ we asked our rods and pendulums. Accordingly, we dispersed all over the site finding remains everywhere.! Yes, we all probably found the location of old bones but not ‘the skeleton with the gold coins found in its eyes.’ We had forgotten the dowsing couplet: ‘For results that are terrific – it pays to be specific.’
Our guide Colin explained all when we homed in on the grassy lawn opposite the Amherst Room. ‘This is where THE skeleton was buried but, over the years, bodies have been dropped everywhere – in any handy gap in the walls,’ he explained. So our rods were only following instructions! No time to dawdle (Colin had to close the gate in half an hour) so it was off to Prisoners” Walk. Oh, those heavy energies left by the hundreds of hapless and hopeless souls awaiting their fate and just allowed out from the dungeon for a brief breath of air and exercise.
Finally it was to the top lawn. We rose to Tony’s challenge of dowsing the date when the Donjon, filled with gunpowder, was struck by lightning, blowing up and killing 26 people. Was it in the 13th Century? The 14th? The 15th? No it was in 1672, the 17th. There was a whoop of joy, as several of us claimed a dowsing success.
We left with a true story from Colin ringing in our ears. ‘A few nights ago I was just locking up when I felt the ghostly presence of a woman with a toddler and infant. The door creaked and an icy feeling ran up my back from feet to head,’ he said. ‘I am a bit psychic so I think this presence was real.’
Tony said he dowsed that there were scores of unsettled souls still prowling the battlements. Ooo-er!
With appetites whetted, some of us are going back for another session.
Delancey Visit March 2014
Group had visited Delancey on Saturday March 29th 2014 where they did tunnel dowsing and had found medieval stuff and stones. This visit linked into the Drop-in Session held straight after the visit.
GUERNSEY – A ‘ROCK STAR’ WITH DOWSING APPEAL
By Tony Talmage
The Channel Island of Guernsey could be said to be Europe’s undiscovered gem, when it comes to dowsing opportunities. Besides coastal forts, watchtowers and a military cemetery left over from the German occupation during the Second World War, there are a variety of older structures that reflect human occupations across the ages.
There are churches and chapels (including the world’s smallest), some going back to the middle ages, holy wells, abandoned mills, bronze age sites, evidence of the Roman occupation and ley lines galore. Another factor that excites archaeologists is that Guernsey is situated on top of something called a gabbro fault. Gabbro is a dark, dense rock similar to basalt which forms when magma cools. This imparts a magnetic quality.
In the words of Professor Colin Renfrew, a prominent English archaeologist, ‘The gabbro fault in Guernsey is one of only five or six of its kind in the world. My theory is that they believed in the past that there was a high level of energy here.’
Perhaps this is why Guernsey is truly one of the world’s ‘rock stars.’ In its 25 square miles it has no fewer than 30 megalithic sites. One, Les Fouaillages, is said to be older than Stonehenge besides being one of the oldest man-made structures in Europe.
So is it any wonder that 31 members of the newly-formed Guernsey Society of Dowsers had an unforgettable evening of dowsing under the guidance of visiting BSD vice-president Adrian Incledon-Webber.
Our first port of call was the above-mentioned Les Fouaillages where many of us found varying energy lines and spirals. ‘I felt a sense of sadness here,’ said one member pointing to the roof of a small chamber. Another in the party said, ‘I definitely feel a sense of peace.’ Even though the packed itinerary did not allow much time for engaging deeply with the Spirit of Place, perhaps each in his or her own way, was picking up something of the history there.
The site was only discovered in 1978 when a gorse fire on the Common disclosed a granite slab. Excavations thereafter uncovered a spectacular record of human activity going back 8,000 years. A tiny fraction of the 60,000 artefacts found are now on display at Guernsey’s museum.
After a quick dowse at the nearby La Platte Mare, the remains of two small dolmens which feature a rare example of prehistoric art – twelve cup marks – we moved on to La Varde, a ‘stunning’ cromlech, or tomb. The adjective ‘stunning’ was used by Adrian who told our dowsing party, ‘This is one of the most spectacular passage graves I has seen anywhere.’ The interior was roomy enough to allow all of us to enter and savour the energies that swirled about us. Many of us vowed to return alone to engage more meaningfully with the genius loci, who was probably somewhat overwhelmed by 31 keen dowsers all demanding some of his (or her) time! During excavations in 1837 two layers of human bones were found on the floor, parents and children’s remains mingled together, along with urns, stone and clay amulets and boar tusks.
‘But I’m not getting any sense of suffering here, ‘ said a fellow dowsing explorer. ‘Whoever was buried here seems to be at peace.’
Off we set in convoy to our final destination – probably the most publicised and visited site in Guernsey, Le Dehus. It is claimed to be the most impressive passage grave in the island, partly because it features the world famous ‘Le Gardien du Tombeau’ (guardian of the tomb). This is a prehistoric carving on the underside of one of the capstones featuring the face of a man with, uniquely, a beard. As we bent low to access the inner chamber we entered a timeless dimension in which it was easy to imagine life before the invention of the wheel.
As Guernsey is 80 miles from the coast of England but only 30 from France its megaliths are a microcosm of North European prehistory. The representation of a figure in Le Dehus can be compared with the stone figures in the churchyards of the nearby parishes of Câstel and St Martin. All three seem to be part of the iconography of pre-Christian Europe’s ancient religion.
In Le Dehus, Adrian was able to demonstrate so many energy lines and spirals we all agreed that a future revisit in ones or twos was a must.
So, there you have a taste of our very own ‘rock star’ destination. Perhaps this could be a worthy location in the future for some serious dowsing from our colleagues on the mainland?
Captions: Le Dehus, Guernsey’s best-known passage grave; Guernsey dowsers on Le Dehus mound; La Varde passage grave; Les Fouaillages, a site older than Stonehenge
Earth (Subtle Energies)
The ancients were often able instinctively to detect natural emanations from the environment and often built their stone circles, megaliths and barrows to enhance their therapeutic effect. These days the earth’s natural energies, caused by underground streams or geological faults, and nature’s electromagnetic spectrum are competing with human-made frequencies from satellites, mobile phone masts, microwave ovens, radio and radar transmissions and myriad other sources. The result is that we live in a constant resonating ‘smog’ of invisible energies, some of which are harmful to health and are referred to by dowsers under the general heading of ‘geopathic stress.’ The subtle energy dowser can detect these frequencies and can often neutralise them. Other emanations, not yet detectable by science, can also be located.