x-ray vision

Strange People

The Man with X-Ray Vision - J. Raoul Derosiers 

J. Raoul Derosiers, a Canadian businessman, allegedly had one of the strangest talents on record, he could, apparently, see deep into solid earth. This x-ray vision was at one time known as 'water witching', but nowadays is more commonly called water divining or dowsing.

According to the story, Derosiers had often suffered from acute stabbing pains under his lower ribs but, although the attacks were painful, they never lasted long, so he didn't take too much notice of them. In 1940, however, the attacks started to occur more frequently and for much longer durations, convincing him that he needed to visit a doctor. The doctor though the problem was mainly psychological, and would be cured by rest. Accordingly he prescribed Derosiers sleeping pills, and indeed, this appeared to work for a while.

After he'd been taking the pills for about a month, Derosiers visited a cousin's farm in Quebec. The relative complained that lack of water was pushing him out of the cattle business, but although he felt sorry about the situation, Derosiers could do nothing. A few months later, while the two men were walking across a field behind the barns, Derosiers got one of his awful pains in the ribs. As it was happening, he said to his cousin: 'Don't ask me why I say this, for I can't explain it - but I feel that I am standing over a stream of underground water . . . good water. It is seventy feet down and it runs over the top of a layer of slate three inches thick. Don't drill through that slate or you will lose the water.' Three weeks later, the well was drilled in the place Derosiers had indicated using his mental x-ray, and an abundant supply of drinkable water was discovered only a foot deeper than he had specified. Underneath the water was a layer of slate three to four inches in thickness.

News of this miraculous 'water witching' spread quickly and Derosiers found his x-ray vision very much in demand. He chose locations for over six hundred wells, without failure, simply by walking over the land and stopping when he felt the stabbing pain in his ribs. 

If accounts of Raoul Derosiers are accurate (sources for the case are slim on the ground and rather sensatiionalist in nature), then what remains is that somehow  he developed a kind of x-ray vision, a seemingly supernatural ability to accurately describe the layers of rock, slate and sand that lay underneath him when he was struck by the sharp pain in his ribs. Apparently, his clients said he never missed. Perhaps the doctor's prescribed sleeping pills occasioned some change in him which facilitated this extraordinary skill. Or perhaps, which is the most likely, the case is merely a modern folktale.

Though his strange x-ray method of detection was bizarre to say the least, Derosiers' ability is not totally unique, there have been and are dowsers who claim similar skills. French dowser Barthelemy Bleton accidentally discovered his own talents at the age of seven because he always felt sick and faint when sitting on a particular spot. Allegedly, subsequent digging at this spot revealed a powerful underground spring. 

Sources and Further Reading

Edwards, Frank.  Strange People. London, Pan Books. 1966, pp117-18.

Wilson, Colin.  Mysteries. London, Granada Publishing Ltd. 1979, p123.

Copyright 2003 by Brian Haughton. All Rights Reserved.

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