With just 45 inches of annual rainfall, our farm tended to
get quite dry during the hot summer months, and the grasses
became brittle and crackling underfoot. Strangely, the dam
furthest from our homestead never dried up. Somewhere, deep
below the surface, water kept seeping in, although very slowly.
There might well be other underground streams, and much bigger
ones, we considered.
Over the years I had dowsed for many an underground stream,
water pipes, oil, gold nuggets and more, and if not in open
terrain, on maps. That can, at times, be just as easy. What
I would not trust was my dowsing on my own property, and
an old farmer called Giles came to dowse our little farm.
It being for the most covered with Eucalyptus trees, there
was only about 45 acres he could check out, because the drill
rig would hardly get into the forest part, and we wanted
to clear none of our lovely trees.
Giles was walking around with
his converted 15-cent metal coat hangers. I followed him
wooden pegs and
a hammer. Suddenly I told him, “You’re close
now, Giles.” Search me where that came from, but some
10 feet further along Giles found a stream at about 145 feet
down, and running from west to east. Moments later he found
one running from south to north, at 180 feet down, and we
then marked the precise junction of the two streams. He questioned
my sensing the strike just seconds prior, but I just laughed
and I told him, “It walked in on fresh air.”
"That’s the Indicator!"
Just a few weeks later, the
drill rig arrived. 180 feet in our kind of sandstone country
only take four hours,
five hours at most. Two of the three-men crew independently
checked out Giles’ dowsing, and confirmed it was marked “right
on the button.” With the rig installed, drilling for
some hours, and getting close to the 145 feet mark, the crew
all fell silent, ears pricked for a change in sound from
the drilling rig. Their boss kept his hand on the drill shaft,
feeling for the vibrations. Suddenly he raised his arm, and
said, “Got ye!” To me, however, it seemed he
had hit a slab of tough granite.
The drill went round and round,
and a pencil held against the shaft showed it was hardly
any headway. Suddenly
the drill fell trough the hard crust, and the boss-man explained, “Every
one of those underground streams has an iron-hard capping
on the top. When you hit those crusts, you can be almost
certain of there being running water right below it. The
crust is the indicator.”
“When you hit water,” I told him in one breath, “you
can be certain to have earlier found vitrified sandstone
right above it. Lightning strikes! And it either runs north/south,
or east/west, at depth. Further lightning strikes extend
the channel right to the ocean, any distance, and there you
have your underground stream taking up position below the
vitrified soil, not above it, of course.”
The drill crew all looked
at me in surprise. “Greatest
theory I ever heard!” one of them remarked. “The
only bloody theory we’ve ever heard in all our years!” the
boss-man noted, but we all knew that glib answer of mine
had “walked in on fresh air.” It had come much,
much too fast to have been a carefully thought-out theory.
It was an unexpected gift from the 1,111.