May his family be comforted, and the fact that the body was found and may now be buried give them closure.
Sources told YWN that approximately 5:00AM on Monday morning, a group of 10 Rabbonim gathered on a boat on the lake, and performed a Segula in the hope of finding the body of Naftali Z”L. Apparently, a flat bread was baked in his Zechus, and the bread was set afloat on the lake with a lit candle on it.
Certain Tehillim and other Tefillos were then said until the bread stopped moving. At that precise location a stone was dropped into the water, and shortly later the body rose to the surface!
This calls to mind the story in which Elisha, a miracle worker empowered because he was a Navi Hashem, brought up an axe-head from the water. In II Melachim 6:
This does not seem like my Judaism.
What about the particulars of the case? It truly seems miraculous, no?
Well, they are leaving out or glossing over a bunch of details, which are revealed in the comment section.
1) The park ranger said that it takes about 1 week to 13 days for a body to come to the surface. This was 1 week later, so it is entirely within derech hateva for the body to have come up yesterday.
2) This was not the first time they tried this segulah. They tried it on previous days, with no results. This was the third time they tried it. And I guess, the third time was the "charm."
3) This was kept secret until success, at which point someone leaked it. Had it not succeeded, we would have heard nothing about it. Which means we will only hear success stories to bolster the belief in the segulah, and no contrary evidence. Indeed, even when it worked the first time, the published story made no mention of the previous attempts.
4) The body did not immediately float up. They left the lake at 8 AM and the body was found at about 11:30 AM, which is 3 and 1/2 hours later.
5) They did not find the exact spot. Depending on which comment you are relying upon, the body was spotted floating about 150, or else 300 yards away from where they dropped the rock with the message attached. That is either 3, or 1 and a half, football fields away. If the flat bread segulah was supposed to divine the spot the body was, why did it not float an additional 150 t0 300 yards?
6) Also, Chazal talk about agunah situations involving a body lost in and mayim sheyesh lahem sof and mayim sheain lahem sof. See e.g. Yevamot 115a. Why didn't they use this segulah to simply find the body?
So we have a segulah which looks like divination and witchcraft, and the particulars, when you actually examine them closely, are none too impressive. Of course, when it is told over years from now, these particulars will likely not be mentioned, and it will be much more difficult to discover them. I don't think that this kind of inspirational story is the type that should be spread.
Cross-posted to my new blog, segulahwatch.
Update: In the comment section, moshe points out that this is a mistaken pseudo-scientific belief, based on the properties of quicksilver, and is mentioned in Huck Finn and covered in the New York Times.
Further Update: See DovBear's take.