We'd argue that other countries are more sensible, but Estonia used dowsing rods to detect roadside bombs ahead of a visit to the country by George W. Bush in 2006. The Marines also had "marked success" with dowsing during the Vietnam War; using straightened-out coat hangers and antennae, soldiers were able to ferret out everything from enemy tunnels and traps.
via Practical Skepticism
Dowsing found traps everywhere! Because there were traps everywhere.
When the military heard about these successes, they subjected dowsing to a battery of experiments that, unfortunately, couldn't prove anything about its effectiveness because the results were too inconclusive. So really, who can tell if dowsing isn't a perfectly valid way of conducting investigations? (That was sarcasm, it's scientists. It's always scientists.)
The Nazis Were Obsessed With A Spear That Guarantees World Domination
Remember the bad guy Red Skull from Captain America? Well, it turns out that the only unrealistic thing about him was his death mask of a face. All those mythic artifacts he liked to chase around the world? The real Nazis loved that shit.
They invaded Russia because they heard the Tesseract was in Siberia.
Red Skull's relic-hunting HYDRA gang had a real-world counterpart: the Ahnenerbe, meaning, "Inheritance Of The Forefathers." The Ahnenerbe was tasked with recovering just about anything vaguely magical or mystical that might help save the Third Reich a tank or two while taking over the world. In Iceland, they looked for Thule, a magical land that Hitler and his Nazi pals genuinely believed was the birthplace of the Aryan race and, uh, mind-reading giants. Also on Hitler's magical shopping list were a yeti from Tibet, the Ark Of The Covenant from Ethiopia, the Holy Grail from Languedoc and, most importantly, the Spear Of Destiny -- also known as the Holy Lance. We're started to think he only bombed London so much because they wouldn't give him Excalibur.
The only magic they discovered was chocolate under the foil.
The Spear Of Destiny is what religious historians named the spear that pierced Jesus's side and finally sent him back to live at his parent's place. The Spear has supposedly passed from ruler to ruler, including Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa, King Alaric of the Visigoths and Charlemagne, who (supposedly) fought 47 battles with the Spear and immediately died upon dropping it. Legend has it that the holder of the Spear has the power to shape the fate of the world -- until he stops being the holder of the Spear, whereupon he falls down dead as a doornail and gets rejected at the Pearly Gates for being the unholiest of butterfingers.
Think about it: If Jesus had died of diabetes, Hitler would be chasing a mystical pot of honey.
As you've already surmised, that's a pretty sexy story for anyone with dreams of world domination and the ego to back them up. Even Napoleon tried to get his hands on the Spear. But Hitler was the first to think he actually obtained the mythical sharp stick. Of course, all he had found was some expensive Austrian knock-off, though that did not stop him from planning to use it to become Holy Roman Emperor of Nuremberg, the place he held to be the spiritual center of Nazidom. When, in 1945, General Patton's men snatched the Spear for America, Hitler spent little time grieving his loss, because he died in his bunker not long after. Guess some legends are true after all, even if the artifacts aren't.
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Also check out 6 Insane Stories of a Magician Who Helped Win WWII and 5 Nazi Plans That Prove They Were Dumber Than You Think.
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