US

Dowsing practitioners tap into far more than water at annual convention in Vermont

  • In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, Richard Roy of Laval, Quebec, Canada, demonstrates the use of a Y-rod at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. Practitioners of dowsing use metal rods, forked sticks and pendulums and what they say is their subconscious to tap into a universal natural knowledge. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, Richard Roy of Laval, Quebec, Canada, demonstrates the use of a Y-rod at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. Practitioners of dowsing use metal rods, forked sticks and pendulums and what they say is their subconscious to tap into a universal natural knowledge. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, a participant uses a pendulum to locate water using a map during a beginner's class at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. Dowsers believe pendulums can be used for a wide variety of tasks from locating items to testing for freshness of food and determining compatibility between people. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, a participant uses a pendulum to locate water using a map during a beginner's class at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. Dowsers believe pendulums can be used for a wide variety of tasks from locating items to testing for freshness of food and determining compatibility between people. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, Anny David from Blue Bell, Penn., participates in a healing exercise at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. "You relax, you let everything go out of your mind and you let the tree talk to you," she said. "I felt like I had a baby in my hands." Practitioners of dowsing use metal rods, forked sticks and pendulums and what they say is their subconscious to tap into a universal natural knowledge. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    In this Thursday, June 4, 2015 photo, Anny David from Blue Bell, Penn., participates in a healing exercise at the American Society for Dowsing's annual convention in Lyndonville, Vermont. "You relax, you let everything go out of your mind and you let the tree talk to you," she said. "I felt like I had a baby in my hands." Practitioners of dowsing use metal rods, forked sticks and pendulums and what they say is their subconscious to tap into a universal natural knowledge. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)  (The Associated Press)

Dowsing — an ancient practice of identifying underground water sources and lost objects — has a devoted following.

More than 300 people are attending the 55th annual convention held by the American Dowsing Society in northern Vermont. The six-day event runs through Monday.

Practitioners of dowsing use metal rods, forked sticks and pendulums and what they say is their subconscious to tap into a universal natural knowledge. They say they can find water or minerals hidden deep underground or lost objects like a set of keys.

Scientists who have studied dowsing say it is no more reliable than guessing. The United States Geological Survey points out that underground water is so prevalent in many places that it would be difficult not to find water.