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Christopher Bird papers

Identifier: MS-0107

Scope and Contents

Alphabetical files, research files, and a scrapbook.

The alphabetical files, which were housed in two towers of filing cabinets, are largely correspondence but also some topical files.

The rest of the files in these papers were recovered from unlidded boxes on the floor of an on-site storage area at his home. The bulk of Bird's research files, which he maintained by a letter and number system, were heavily insect damaged and could not be retrieved. The research files that were able to be recovered included topical files and correspondence files that were not housed in the filing cabinets.

Correspondence, which is the bulk of both the alphabetical files and the research files, is distinctive in the Bird papers. He was a voluminous and descriptive correspondent with scientists and friends in an array of fields that interested him. He corresponded with a number of scientists in Russia since he was both fluent in that language and generous in providing translations of documents. In several of the files of correspondence with these Russian scientists, he provides an English language transcription of their resume and of their letters to him. Important correspondents include Olivier Costa de Beauregard, Alexander P. Dubrov, Andrija Puharich, Larissa Vilenskaya,and Arthur M. Young.


  • Approx. 1950-1996


Conditions Governing Access

Open to all users

Conditions Governing Use

Rights transferred to the University of West Georgia

Biographical / Historical

Christopher Peter Bird (1928-1996) was an author and researcher in plant sentience, soil health, and dowsing, other fields that he called the “frontiers of science.”

Bird was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 11 May 1928 to Charles Sumner Bird II and Julia Appleton. He was twin to brother, David, and had an older brother, Charles Sumner III. His paternal grandfather was Charles Sumner Bird (1855-1927), a businessman and twice candidate for Progressive party for Governor of Massachusetts, and his paternal grandmother, Anna Child Bird (1855-1942), a women’s suffrage leader and the first woman from Massachusetts to serve on the Republican National Committee.

After attending the Milton Academy in Massachusetts, Bird worked in France from 1946-1947 in the resettlement of French families displaced by World War Two. Bird obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Harvard in 1951, during the time of his studies he lived with Colonel and Mrs. Sergei Boutourline who were from Russia.

From 1951 to 1954 he was trained and served in U.S. Intelligence, spending two years in Japan. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army and served until 1956 in the Psychological Warfare unit in Vietnam. After being discharged he worked as an arts critic at the Honolulu Advertiser in Hawaii, then in 1958 began serving as a personal assistant to Dr. James H. Rand at the Rand Corporation in Washington D.C. In 1965 Bird obtained a Master of Arts in Soviet Studies from American University. He then spent 1967 to 1968 as a foreign correspondent for TIME/LIFE in Yugoslavia.

In 1973 he co-authored with Peter Tompkins the Secret Life of Plants (first edition by Harper and Row). In 1979 he published The Divining Hand: The 500-Year Old Mystery of Dowsing (first edition by Dutton). Secrets of the Soil, also co-authored with Tompkins, was published in 1989 (first edition by Harper/Collins). All three books were published in languages around the world and in multiple editions. In 1990 his book The Persecution and Trial of Gaston Naessens was published.

Bird was married three times. The first marriage to Mathilda Goodwin in 1954 ended in divorce in 1964. They had four children together. The second marriage ended with the death of his wife, Lois. In 1991 he married Shabari-Lynda Boland.

He settled in Blairsville, Georgia and with his wife established Birds Nest (alternately spelled Bird’s Nest, Birds’ Nest, and BirdsNest), which was first envisioned as the Christopher Bird Research Center to support inquiry into the fields of water and water technologies, dowsing, health and healing technologies, orgone, ether, consciousness, personal growth, applied quantum physics, and other emerging perspectives on ourselves and our world.

Bird served on the Board of Trustees for the American Society for Dowsers and for ten years co-edited its journal, The American Dowser.

Bird died in the spring of 1996 at the age of 68 in Blairsville, Georgia.


13.94 Linear feet (32 boxes, 1 OV flat box)






Correspondence and research files of Bird, author of books about dowsing, plant sentience, and health of soil.


Original order is largely maintained. Bird kept his correspondence alphabetically. His research papers and other miscellanous files and materials are arranged alphabetically by his file name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Shabari Bird in March 2023.

Separated Materials

Serial publications and copies of books authored by Bird have been separated for cataloging

Christopher Bird Papers
Finding aid written by Blynne Olivieri Parker and Danielle Jett
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
This acquisition was generously supported by the Swann-Ryder Acquisitions and Collaborations fund.

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States