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Divining used to find bodies.

WARWICKSHIRE Police used water-divining to find bodies buried under water and rubble, according to recently declassified files.

The files in the Public Records Office show an officer known only as PC 319 Terry used the method, also called dowsing, to find the bodies of James Hiatt, 20, and Harry Marston, 21, who were buried under debris after bombs fell on St Mary's Common, Warwick, at 1.30am, Saturday, May 17, 1941.

An officer named only as Sgt 226 J Hall was on the scene in 1941. Reporting on events, he said he watched PC Philip Terry fashion a forked stick with a knife, wrap a handkerchief around one of the forks and walk over the bomb craters: "He came to a standstill and I noticed the stick wriggle very violently. He had great difficulty holding it.

"PC Terry released his hold on the stick and I could see he was suffering from a severe nervous strain. He pointed to a portion of heaped soil near to one of the craters and said: 'They are under there.'

"A quarter of an hour later the bodies of both men were recovered."

PC Terry also helped locate the body of Lewis Bluck, 45, in a river.

A Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said: "We don't use water-divining or other unconventional methods now because technology has come on in leaps and bounds."

The cases are reported in Strange Secrets: Real Government Files of the Unknown, published by Paraview Pocket Books.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 24, 2004
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