This is a short, rather amusing account about the kind of practical dowsing that was common in the early journals of the BSD. (It contrasts sharply with the more “spiritual” accounts that one finds in more recent publications).
In the account, the author (a military man, many of the members of the early BSD were from the military) wanted to locate through dowsing, additional water supplies for the city of Aden in Yemen.
However, he was a self-confessed amateur, having dowsed for just one well in his own garden in England. But despite holding the rather singular theory, that the dowsing effect was aided by uric acid in the blood, and therefore believing that success would be enhanced by imbibing a considerable amount of whisky, he also held to the idea that: “The tyro who has induced self-confidence is more likely to succeed than he who is dubious of his abilities.”
Despite a struggle with the disbelief shown by his superiors, his amateur findings finally proved successful.
The article is “Dowsing in Arabia”, by Commander C. Craufurd