ADE651: wtf?

November 14th, 2009 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, utter nonsense | 102 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, Saturday 14 November 2009, The Guardian

It’s always interesting when people take pseudoscience out of its natural habitat – Islington – and off into a place where the stakes are quite high. Like the polio vaccine scare in Nigeria. Or Aids denialism in South Africa. Or detecting bombs in Iraq, where the New York Times and magician James Randi have uncovered a nonsense of truly epic proportions.

A British company called ATSC are selling a device which can detect guns, ammunition, bombs, drugs, contraband ivory, and truffles. The bomb detection equipment that you see in airports weighs several tons, and can only operate over tiny distances. The ADE 651 uses “electrostatic magnetic ion attraction” and can detect these things from a kilometre away, through walls, under the ground, underwater, or even from an aeroplane 5km overhead.

ATSC’s device is pocket sized and portable. You simply take a piece of plastic-coated cardboard for your chosen target, which has been through “the proprietary process of electro-static matching of the ionic charge and structure of the substance”, pop it into a holder connected to a wand, and start detecting. There are no batteries and no power source: you hold the device to “charge” it with the energy of your body, becoming perfectly relaxed, with a steady pulse and blood pressure. Then you walk with the wand at right angles to your body. If there is a bomb on your left, the wand will drift to the left, and point at it. Like a dowsing rod.

Similar devices have been tested repeatedly and shown to perform no better than chance. No police force or security service anywhere in the developed world uses them. But in 2008, the Iraqi government’s Ministry of the Interior bought 800 of these devices – the ADE 651 – for $32m. That’s $40,000 each, rather brilliantly, and they’ve ordered a further shipment at $53m. These devices are being used at hundreds of checkpoints in Iraq, to look for bombs.

Dale Murray, head of the National Explosive Engineering Sciences Security Center at Sandia Labs, which does testing for the Department of Defense, has tested various similar devices, and they perform at the level of chance. On Tuesday, two people working for The New York Times went through 9 Iraqi police checkpoints which were using the device, and none found the rifles and ammunition they were carrying (with licenses).

Major General Jehad al-Jabiri is head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives. “I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them,” he says. “Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs.”

How would you know? There are no independent tests of the ADE651 that I could find. The simplest explanation is that nobody could really be bothered. Magician James Randi can. He has carried a cheque for $1m in his jacket pocket for many years, in an admirably expensive act of passive aggression, and he will give this cheque to anyone who can provide proof of supernatural phenomena. Last year he invited the manufacturers of the ADE 651 to come forward, and see if their device works better than chance. They have not.

I guess if you’ve trousered $85m, you don’t care about The Amazing Randi and his puny cheque. We all have our excuses. General Jabiri, meanwhile, challenged an NYT reporter to test the ADE 651, placing a grenade and a machine pistol in plain view in his office. Every time a policeman used it, the wand pointed at the explosives. Every time the reporter used the device, it failed to detect anything. “You need more training,” said the general.


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102 Responses



  1. montimer said,

    November 14, 2009 at 1:57 am

    While I agree that it is utterly abhorent for this to happen, there may be one benefit to these devices. If somebody is carrying a bomb it is a possibility that the sight of a person checking for explosives may discourage them from passing through, even if the method to check is catastrophically flawed. This is particularly true if all parties believe that the ‘bomb sniffer’ genuinely works.

    While it is no excuse for selling these devices, they may well work better than no device.

  2. dw said,

    November 14, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Randi is offering $1m to ATSC if it can prove the effectiveness of its devices (your post didn’t make that explicit).

    ATSC’s website is “under repair”: www.ATSCLTD.co.uk/

    What do you think the chances are that some of the $20m in kickbacks apparently related to this deal ended up in Maj-Gen al-jabiri’s pocket? We could be looking at another BAE-style corruption investigation.

  3. William M. said,

    November 14, 2009 at 3:35 am

    I may not be able to detect bombs, but my bull-o-meter just exploded.

  4. CoralBloom said,

    November 14, 2009 at 3:38 am

    This is a joke, surely. Please tell me this is a joke…

  5. fontwell said,

    November 14, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Just like with dowsing, which is what it essentially is, this kind of equipment is very good at finding material when you already know where is or it is or when it is ubiquitous. Using it to check for something which may or may not be present seems to upset its delicate mechanism :)

    I was thinking that by having something at check points which everyone believes will work there maybe a deterrent effect anyway, which is a good thing. However, it doesn’t need to cost millions of dollars and it especially doesn’t need to line the pockets of these undeserving bastards.

  6. thatgingerscouser said,

    November 14, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Wow. I’m actually strangely impressed by the balls of these guys.

  7. misterroy said,

    November 14, 2009 at 6:35 am

    So thats what Tony Blair used to detect the WMD.

  8. Damien P said,

    November 14, 2009 at 7:02 am

    This is a rather brilliant scam, with all the key ingredients for success.

    Most crucial is the ludicrous price; it’s an important part of convincing the mark.

  9. twaza said,

    November 14, 2009 at 7:20 am

    This is the neutron star of scams.

    Where does the money come from?

  10. le canard noir said,

    November 14, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Typical.

    People come up with a natural, holistic and safe version of bomb detectors that have no side effects and Goldacre sides with Big Scanna and their cancer-causing X-ray machines that everyone knows are just a charade and a pantomime.

  11. juliang said,

    November 14, 2009 at 8:43 am

    If the bombers believe it, which they may well do given they have plenty of barmy beliefs, perhsps it’s worth it.

  12. markwe said,

    November 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    It is likely there are very few supernatural beliefs at work there. Such countries have a long tradition of “buyers commissions”. And such companies have very large “marketing budgets”, considering the thousands of percent margins they are operating on.

    People on both sides of the purchasing process are now likely to be much richer.

  13. Soarhead said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Well perhaps they’ll learn the error of there ways when a bomb explodes after going through a checkpoint.

  14. BobP said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

    “The simplest explanation is that nobody could really be bothered. ”

    No, there’s a simpler explanation. Much of the money has been laundered back to the people who placed the contract; the FBI should take a look at this.

    (Hope this comment isn’t libellous!!)

  15. T said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:37 am

    my small feeble mind cannot actually take this in…is it April 1st? Its not even funny really is it. thats such a vast amount of money.

  16. thepoisongarden said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Not only is their website ‘under repair’ but, it seems, the phones aren’t working either.

  17. latsot said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Randi doesn’t actually carry a cheque in his pocket any more and hasn’t for years. Anyone could do that with no guarantee that they had the funds to back it up. Indeed, Randi’s detractors can be relied upon with tedious monotony to claim erroneously that he doesn’t have the mil.

    The money is kept in the form of immediately negotiable bonds held by Goldman Sachs, who can produce a statement on demand. You can also see a statement here: www.randi.org/challenge/goldmansachs.pdf although the one they have up at the moment dates from March.

    Sorry to harp on about what might seem a trivial point, but the accusation that Randi doesn’t have the money is so frequent and nauseating that it’s worth pointing out the sensible and entirely transparent arrangements his organisation has made to ensure the money is there.

    There is more information about this ‘device’ on the James Randi Educational Foundation’s site here: www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/763-when-antiscience-kills-dowsing-for-bombs.html

  18. SteveGJ said,

    November 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

    This isn’t pseudoscience, it’s surely an out-and-out fraud. Or it’s an elaborate hoax of a hoax.

    I found this web site which, despite initial appearances, is not a UK one. The “tt” as the end is Trinidad & Tobago

    www.atsc.co.uk.tt/

    There surely must be some UK law that is being broken here.

  19. BobP said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Free information from Companies House:

    ATSC UK Ltd is registered Company No. 03407495 in the UK. Founded in 1997 as “Broadcasting & Telecommunications Ltd”, name changed 18 months ago. No accounts filed.

  20. cajsa_lisa said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:17 am

    What are the differences about models ADE650, ADE651, ADE101 and ADE75?

    Can any of them detect swine flu?

  21. latsot said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:19 am

    @SteveGJ:
    “This isn’t pseudoscience, it’s surely an out-and-out fraud.”

    It’s both. The firm’s description of it is psuedoscientific and (presumably) fraudulent.

  22. littleplonky said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I am most offended. Islington is a district where rationality thrives: organic food IS the way to save the world, and the more you pay for it the better it is for you.

  23. littleplonky said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:42 am

    p.s only Brighton beats Islington in the ‘rational people’ stakes.

  24. SteveGJ said,

    November 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

    @latsot

    I’m aware it is using pseudo-scientific language, but my real point was that we shouldn’t put this into the same category as belief systems which practitioners of things like Homeopathy and the like are involved with. For the most part, I suspect those people are deluded in their understanding of scientific method, but really do believe what they are doing (that doesn’t mean they all do – major companies are involved with selling homeopathic “remedies” where they surely know about the lack of credible scientific evidence).

    I think by calling this pseudoscience we are in danger of diguising the motives of the people behind this. It seems that there is a very strong likelyhood that is simply just a moneymaking fraud – that is an act of criminality (and, a dangerous one). It would be dangerous territory for a newspaper (in the UK at least) to put it that way as the lawyers will be worried about libel cases (and proving intent is near impossible). But, at the very least, the vendors of this stuff are criminally irresponsible through the lack of proper research and objective evidence.

    Look at James Randi’s site, there are some people that have done some digging around, and from what they have found, the UK company is merely a front, as you might expect. There is some evidence that this has originated through people in Jordan. If so, it’s not exactly stretching things to think that there is some local fraud that is being hidden through an apparently credible commercial front.

  25. Deen said,

    November 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    @SteveGJ:

    I’m aware it is using pseudo-scientific language, but my real point was that we shouldn’t put this into the same category as belief systems which practitioners of things like Homeopathy and the like are involved with.

    I don’t see the difference. Homeopaths give pseudo-scientific explanations for why their stuff works. So does ATSC. Homeopaths won’t properly test their stuff, and reject negative tests by third parties. So does ATSC. One is selling overpriced water, the other overpriced dowsing rods. In both cases you can’t reliably tell whether they are self-deluded or fully aware that they are selling stuff at high prices that is shown not to work.

  26. SteveGJ said,

    November 14, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    @Deen

    While I’d agree that it isn’t always possible to tell the difference between the self-deluded and those that intentionally mislead, then there are certainly cases where it is possible. For other than “strict liability” cases criminal law has a mens rea requirement. That is, there has to be an intent, or at least reckless disregard to be convicted (in this it differs from civil law). That’s the difference between a fraud (a criminal act) and one that caused a loss through incompetence.

    In this particular case, should somebody care to do so, then it might well be possible to find evidence of criminal intent. A lack of properly documented tests in such a safety critical area would be a good start – at the very least that would be reckless, but I think it could go further. The fact that legal bodies are often unprepared to do so is, I believe, disgraceful.

    In the case of Homeopaths, there are a whole bunch of people that beleive this stuff with a passion and without any obvious way they would gain financial advantage. I don’t really think Prince Charles believes that stuff primarily because of financial benefit, but because he’s living in some fantasy world in that respect. There is also a case that some who visit homeopaths gain benefit, albeit not from the stated mechanism. (Some will argue non-working bomb detectors have an affect two, much like mock burglar alarms – but then they don’t cost 10s of thousands of pounds each).

    If something looks like it was an intentional criminal act, then it should be investigated as such, and called what it is should it be proven.

    Nb. on the subject of “strict liability”, the scope of legistlation covered by this is ever increasing. The current government, and especially recent Home Secretaries, are increasingly favouring it. It used to be largely confined to minor offenses, albeit some with serious consequences. In fact Ben was campaigning against just such a law that applies to pharmacists where they can be made criminally liable for mistakes (rather than recklessness) made in filling prescriptions, although erroneously he described it as unfair as such mistakes didn’t apply to other professions (it does – lorry drivers for instance can land up with a serious criminal conviction for a driving mistake).

  27. SteveGJ said,

    November 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    too not two….

  28. Sili said,

    November 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    misterroy, please don’t say that. Now you’ve actually convinced me that something akin to dowsing was in fact the reason Blair was so certain. It fits all too well with the descriptions of his and Cherie’s woowoo-ousity.

    Those saying that perhaps it’s not so bad if the ‘placebo effect’ deters some of the bombers, seem not to have read the news. Part of the prompt for the NYT article was the very severe bombings in Baghdad recently.

    And frankly, I think big ‘portals’ akin to whatever the Eastgermans used would be a far better deterrent – even if they too were completely empty. The bigger the show, the bigger the effect.

  29. adamk said,

    November 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    bw and BobP have got it – I bet most of the money is heading back to the buyers.
    Do we as a nation donate money to the Iraqi government in the form of aid? It would be nice to know my hard earnt income tax is being spent on something more useful than cleaning MPs moats.

  30. maus said,

    November 14, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    “here may be one benefit to these devices. If somebody is carrying a bomb it is a possibility that the sight of a person checking for explosives may discourage them from passing through, even if the method to check is catastrophically flawed. This is particularly true if all parties believe that the ‘bomb sniffer’ genuinely works.”

    Ridiculous. Dowsers the terrorists are not aware of would not even have a placebo effect.

  31. maus said,

    November 14, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    “something akin to dowsing”

    It *is* dowsing. You don’t have to hold a two-pronged stick for it to be identical in every other aspect.

  32. cristal said,

    November 14, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    completely off topic … but i dont know where else to ask

    can anyone direct me please to a good source of information to counter the anti vaccination lobby. Two reasons, firstly i have a new baby and would like to be fully up to speed regarding immunisations and any search in google seems to lead to staunchly anti websites. And secondly I asked some ‘friends’ via facebook if they could provide evidence for their anti vaccination stance and i would like to be able to judge the links they sent more clearly.
    Sorry , i know this is off topic .

    Thanks

    Chris

  33. cristal said,

    November 14, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    applogies

    I have just found the forum links

    i guess i should ask in there

    Cheers

  34. timbod said,

    November 15, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Dear Doctor Goldacre,

    if an Iraqi suicide bomber reads the Grauniad and realises that they can get through the Iraqi police security checks by simply keeping their nerve as they walk through the security cordon, then it is you who has blood on your hands for publicising this security hole.

    The good people of ATSC are simply trying to reduce the violence in Iraq and deserve to be handsomely rewarded for their innovative methods. This is yet another example of how no matter how political considerations are more important than scientific method.

    Yours Sincerely
    Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson M.P.

  35. SimonW said,

    November 15, 2009 at 2:57 am

    > p.s only Brighton beats Islington in the ‘rational people’ stakes

    You’ve never been to Totnes have you?

  36. Craig said,

    November 15, 2009 at 3:53 am

    @#14, BobP:

    “the FBI should have a look at this. Hope this comment isn’t libellous”.

    No, but it is a bit misguided. An Iraqi government official (probably) taking bribes from a UK company is rather outside the jurisdiction of the US FBI…

  37. Martin said,

    November 15, 2009 at 8:07 am

    @#14, BobP and #36, Craig:

    The CIA might be monitoring the situation (and this website) though!

  38. Michael Gray said,

    November 15, 2009 at 8:55 am

    …A British company called ATSC are selling a device which can detect guns, ammunition, bombs, drugs, contraband ivory, and truffles…Ben Goldacre

    (Emphasis mine)

  39. copperfield said,

    November 15, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Isn’t selling equipment which falsely claims to detect explosives actually aiding and abetting terrorist activity? Isn’t this crime under UK law?

  40. Weaver said,

    November 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

    [quote]Mortimer #1 said:
    While I agree that it is utterly abhorent for this to happen, there may be one benefit to these devices. If somebody is carrying a bomb it is a possibility that the sight of a person checking for explosives may discourage them from passing through, even if the method to check is catastrophically flawed. This is particularly true if all parties believe that the ‘bomb sniffer’ genuinely works.
    While it is no excuse for selling these devices, they may well work better than no device.[/quote]It’s not like there weren’t already checkpoints all over Iraq before these devices were purchased – there’s no deterrent effect behind using quackery instead of inspections – and, given the successful infiltration of large IEDs into the Green Zone recently, I’m sure that AQI is fully aware that these BS devises don’t work.

    [quote]Timbod #34 wrote:
    Dear Doctor Goldacre,
    if an Iraqi suicide bomber reads the Grauniad and realises that they can get through the Iraqi police security checks by simply keeping their nerve as they walk through the security cordon, then it is you who has blood on your hands for publicising this security hole.
    The good people of ATSC are simply trying to reduce the violence in Iraq and deserve to be handsomely rewarded for their innovative methods. This is yet another example of how no matter how political considerations are more important than scientific method.
    Yours Sincerely
    Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson M.P.[/quote]
    Unbelievable. If you really are a member of government, you should be ashamed. All resonable military efforts failed to close the security hole, and to educate the Iraqi military as to the scientific certainty that they were employing fake detectors, as did various media efforts – yet you would accuse Dr Goldacre of having blood on HIS hands?

    And you think that idiotic Iraqi Army General should be REWARDED for buying into this crap? Because it’s INNOVATIVE? OK, sure, that makes sense – doesn’t matter that it doesn’t work, or that there are devices (and dogs!) to detect explosives which DO work and are cheaper – no, we should reward innovation on the part of an IA officer who believes in dowsing rods. That, sir, is simply absurd. There’s no innovation here, only fraud and gullibility.

  41. quasilobachevski said,

    November 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Weaver,

    Er… Timbod’s post was obviously a joke.

    (And btw, html tags go inside angle brackets.)

  42. littleplonky said,

    November 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    >You’ve never been to Totnes have you?

    Noooo, because that is way to far away from London, and what kind of rational born-and-bred Islingtonian would travel far away from London? it makes no sense.

  43. progjohn said,

    November 16, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Glastonbury is the holistic heart of natural organic science (with anti-oxidants), no doubt because the ley lines enhance empirical reasoning.

  44. NeilHoskins said,

    November 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Montimer’s appraisal (1st post) is, in fact, the logic behind this type of “detection”. It’s like a kind of placebo effect for terrorists. If you delve deeper you’ll find that many of the precautions and “equipment” in use in the UK is similarly useless. However, point this out at your peril, as you are likely to be detained under various anti-terrorist or official secrets legislation.

  45. synau said,

    November 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I’m not sure to me, but I don’t think we should be taking this quite so literally. What I mean is the science of this machine doesn’t matter, to me it’s obvious that it’s a farce – and the Iraqi government would know that as well. It really just seems like a laundering of money rather than a scam.

    But, I could be wrong, I know nothing about this company.

  46. billyo said,

    November 16, 2009 at 11:38 am

    @Simon W:

    A touch harsh on Totnes me thinks. They may be a bit too keen on the organic produce. But trying to encourage people to use local businesses rather than multinational corporations is hardly irrational. Neither is enouraging people to buy produce produced locally (organic or not) rather than going to the supermarket to buy Sweet Potatoes that have been flown half-way around the world.

  47. engti said,

    November 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    From looking at the pictures on the NYT site, it looks like the same detectors were used during the Champions League T20 cricket tournament that happened in India recently.

    I am assuming that the same detectors were used to slander a young under-22 cricketer who was arrested and harassed for carrying explosives based on “evidence” from these detectors….

    cricketnext.in.com/news/pervez-rasool-given-clean-chit/44906-13.html

    The news reports just mention bomb detectors but I was present at the matches and I saw them using equipment similar to the NYT pics.

  48. mikewhit said,

    November 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I think we need to start calling X-ray machines and other such weapon-detecting technology “allopathic” don’t we ???!

  49. shoi said,

    November 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    On my first visit to China about 12 years ago, the X ray scanner was completely empty inside just a conveyor going through it, and the screen on the outside was showing like ducks sailing along a lovely river etc.

    I’ve certainly been nabbed at airports often enough for coins in my pocket, liquids etc, even dangerous cheese wrapped in silver foil (it was dangerous too), I think the machines do something. Mind you if anybody waved a gun or a knife around on any flight nowadays, they would just get their head kicked in by the nearest passengers inside a minute, so it seems to me that explosives are the only thing worth checking for.

    Which MP might be prepared to take this up do you think?

  50. huey said,

    November 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    montimer — unfortunately, even this is a flawed argument, especially when it comes to the kind of terrorists we are dealing with – ie suicide bombers and the like. Its the same priciple as drugs mules, they know some will get caught but more will get through. Additionally, these kinds of terrorists are unlikely to be discouraged by the prospect of getting caught, they undoubtedly think god and fate are on their side, and they will get through the checkpoint.

    As stated in the NY times article its clear that the recent large bombs in Iraq must have passed through these checkpoints, showing that they are hardly discouraged.

  51. molyneux1000 said,

    November 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

    The manufactures website notes that “It is extremely easy to aperate”. Aperate? Must be a woo word. That or bad English.

  52. Musher said,

    November 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Aperate? Isn’t that Harry Potter’s magical version of teleporting? I guess it cuts down on delivery costs.

  53. montyford said,

    November 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I have a company that has made a device. It detects bullshit.

  54. jeffpickthall said,

    November 18, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Their website declares the gizmo can recognise:

    “Black Powder, Used Weapons, Fireworks, all types of Ammunition, Ammonium Nitrate (ANFO-ANNIE), Chinese Czech and Russian Semtex, Plastic (C4, C1, …), Dynamite, RDX, TNT, Nitroglycerine, Tetryl, Grenades, Mines, Amphetamine, Cocaine, Crack, Heroine, Marijuana, Cannabis, Morphine, Ivory, Human research, Bank notes, …”

    Human Research? WTF – it can detect abstract concepts?

  55. paladin said,

    November 18, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    What is this? Weapon detection from the world of Harry Potter? “wand turns and points”? whithout batteries at that!

  56. MrNick said,

    November 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Except of course the film “The Men Who Stare at Goats”.

    I would quite admire their balls for such an outrageous scam if it wasn’t costing lives.

    It seems to be a “big lie” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie) and I wonder how they got some kind of credibility to get going?

    Nick

  57. prescott said,

    November 18, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    It is good that the technology is advanced, and can detect it, as bombs, .drugs, weapons, and that thus the security in the world will be better, hopefully this is having all countries, especially the underdeveloped because where there are all sorts of things come.

  58. Veronica said,

    November 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    As regards Tony Blair and WMD. It wasn’t dowsing. It was the Voice of God that told him to follow George Bush all the way to disaster. After all, they prayed together, and God doesn’t play tricks on his people.

    Although, it might have been God’s way of showing how he felt about the comment “we don’t do God” though…

  59. bodenca said,

    November 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Woohhh! This is N-squared times worse than dowsing.
    N-times for potential consequencies – facilitating multiple deaths, injury and destruction. An appropriate reaction to dowsing is a smile. To this it is outright rage.
    N-times again for total lack of substance. This has not a hint of an explanation. At least with dowsing there is plenty of physics to be considered as possibly providing explanation.

  60. quasilobachevski said,

    November 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    bodenca,

    At least with dowsing there is plenty of physics to be considered as possibly providing explanation.

    Really? Care to give an example?

  61. Jbags said,

    November 19, 2009 at 4:01 am

    #55

    you know, lots of physics. Tachyon beams, dilithium crystals… or maybe its just more of that electrostatic magnetic ion attraction.

    In the words of Chris Morris in the Brass Eye special ‘Paedogeddon’:

    “There’s no scientific proof of this, but it is Science Fact”

  62. billyo said,

    November 19, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Bit off topic I know – but thought you’d like to see this about how footballers are getting cured by some quack in Belgrade.

    www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1228751/Five-follow-Robin-Van-Persie-Manchester-City-Liverpool-stars-fly-Belgrade-placenta-cure.html

    For those who don’t want to read the nonsense I’ll summise; Quack rubs essance of Horse placenta into footballers in exchange for vast quantities of cash.

    My favourite part is the scientifically accurate, but totally out of context second last paragraph, which is the pseudo-science explaination of their placebo of choice;

    “Fresh placenta is rich in stem cells, which can divide and develop into different types of tissue, like nerve, muscle and bone.”

    So there you have it.

  63. Robert Carnegie said,

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    At a guess, the magic detector stick is meant to discover “human remains” in your pockets, car, or suitcases, not “human research”. At a further guess, a spelling check is responsible for the surprising entry. How it distinguishes human remains, I suppose, from living human beings, I don’t know. It’s hokey-wokey though, isn’t it?

  64. bodenca said,

    November 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    OK. Dowsing, for water in particular.
    The electrical flux across the surface of the earth is approximately 1 picoAmp per square metre. While it is the atmosphere that gives by far the greatest resistance to this flux, the greater variability of electrical conductance is subsurface. In particular, specific conductivity of earth materials can increase up to 20 times with – guess what – water content. Where such variations occur close to the earth’s surface, they cause spatial perturbations of the electrical potential field.
    The electrical potential gradient above surface is roughly 100volts/metre, sufficient that even small fractional perturbations of it are significant.
    The earth also has a magnetic field. If I move an electrical conductor, such as a sappy birch rod, through this field, a potential difference is induced between the two ends. With the electrical potential field, this gives torque on the rod. If I traverse an area of perturbed electrical field, there may be abrupt changes in magnitude of this torque.
    If you’re still with me, you will realise that this won’t work near the equator. (Think about it!)
    I haven’t given any consideration to magnitudes, to signal to noise ratio or to how small an abrupt change in torque can be felt as “twisting in your hands”.
    However, the above is surely “physics to be considered”.

    OK. Now for confession. I mentioned dowsing as deliberate provocation. I wanted to make an important point. Scepticism needs to be nuanced. It’s not so long ago that I would have been sceptical about superconductors, semiconductors, or generating electrical power with a load of metal rods. Now we live by them. As for curing disease by injecting extract of green cheese mould – well! We need to keep the door ajar for such things more than for sensing bombs with plastic coated cardboard.

  65. quasilobachevski said,

    November 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    bodenca,

    I couldn’t agree more that “Scepticism needs to be nuanced”. (AIDS denialists, for instance, seem to do a nice job of hiding behind a front of “healthy” scepticism.)

    Thanks for that nice account – I’m very glad I asked!

  66. bodenca said,

    November 19, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    There’s also the danger, particularly with medicine I guess, that if we dismiss some “alternative” long shot, and it turns out to work, the claim will go up “alternatives work just as well as science” implying “in general”. Unfair, I know, but better that we distinguished between “long-shot unlikely” and “complete rubbish” in the first place; pre-emptive damage limitation, rather than shoot science in the foot that way.

  67. quasilobachevski said,

    November 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I keep wheeling this quotation out, but it’s just so damn apt I’ll do it again.

    To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection. – Henry Poincare

  68. jesroddy said,

    November 20, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I note that the ade651 site says the device can detect (among others) “…Tetryl, Ivory, Human research, Bank notes, ..”

    Human Research?? Presumably none was detected on its own site!

  69. Jbags said,

    November 20, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Ok, classic pseudoscience mumbo-jibbles. There is no evidence that dowsing works and it *has* been tested. My particular favourite study can be found here

    www.phact.org/e/z/kassel.htm

    (a similar experiment was broadcast on British TV a few years back, but I can’t remember as part of what programme)

    and if a single trial isn’t enough for you, try:

    R. A. Foulkes (1971) “Dowsing experiments,” Nature, 229, pp.163-168); M. Martin (1983-1984). “A new controlled dowsing experiment.” Skeptical Inquirer. 8(2), 138-140; J. Randi(1979). “A controlled test of dowsing abilities.” Skeptical Inquirer. 4(1). 16-20; and D. Smith (1982). “Two tests of divining in Australia.” Skeptical Inquirer. 4(4). 34-37.

    None found dowsing as any better than chance. Regardless of the mechanism, if it works, it should be evidenced.

    I agree its always good to question our assumptions (which is why I assume most of these studies were carried out), but how much evidence is enough to start spending time on more worthwhile areas of science? As an intelligent person, I’m sure you have a significant contribution to make, my advice would be not to waste your time with dowsing.

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  71. bodenca said,

    November 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    #69. Oh dear! Oh dear!
    Jbags. J’accuse.
    You wrongfully suggest that I have wasted time on dowsing. Really? I had hardly given it a moment’s thought until I picked it up on this site a couple of days ago. I threw together a prima facie plausible hypothesis to help make a more general point here. I told you, I haven’t even bothered to do an order of magnitude estimation. I have a life.
    You dismiss my ideas wrongfully. To recap, we have a hypothesis dependent on atmospheric electrical flux and potential field being varied by high subsurface conductance with electrical connectivity to depth. Condider the first couple of tests to which you referred me. (I have not spent time on the rest.)
    1. They test for pure-liquid-phase water, which if of low ionic solute concentration (We are not told.) has lower conductivity than a porous solid with plenty of mineral-water interfaces (Double layer theory, blah, blah …).
    2. This is suspended, or laid on soil which may be dry (We are not told.) and fail to give electrical connectivity to depth.
    3. These are separated by insulating plastic pipe.
    4. In some cases, the experiment was inside a tent (with metal poles? We are not told.) which could electrically shield the whole set-up at constant earth potential.
    It is no loss to the stature of the great Randi and others that their experiments did not happen to test for a hypothesis I hadn’t put forward.
    Again, it is not the particulars that matter. I illustrate a general point. You dismiss a hypothesis on the basis of experiments that did not test it. You aggrevate that wrong by throwing inapplicable references. You bandy derogatory comments about “classic pseudoscience mumbo-jibbles”. That is Bad Science. This here site deserves better.

  72. Arten said,

    November 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    What does Randi who earns his living by tricking and deceiving people, have to do with Science.
    He is merely employed to be a gatekeeper he will rubbish any claims regarding phenomena not explained by the consensus model of Science.
    Being a rational Deiest people need to think a little more regarding Chalmers and the Hard problem of Consciousness.
    You cannot get inside the mind of another person and their experience is unique to them. The senses themselves are unreliable so we cannot rely on them either.
    To paraphrase Einstein, everything begins and ends in experience. If I have a God experience it does not mean it did not happen and God’s existence does not depend on fallible human proofs no matter how much Atheist insist on them.

  73. Jbags said,

    November 23, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I won’t get bogged down by #72 although the temptation is strong.

    #71 bodenca

    I apologise if you took my tone as combative or derogatory, I meant no offence. My point was I’ve seen enough pseudo-science smokescreens to spot one when I see one, and your prima facie hypothesis smells distinctly fishy.

    However, in the world of evidence based science “smells a bit fishy” does not constitute evidence or a rebuttal, I’ll be the first to admit. My point was, this is not an untested area, and never has dowsing been shown to be effective.

    I also accept that may be due to bad testing, I admit the testing method you chose to inspect is not ideal for your hypothesis, however if my skepticism about a technique utterly unsubstantiated by evidence is bad science, then I’m guilty as charged.

    But by all means test your hypothesis, or find someone else who has, show me a little evidence and I’ll happily reconsider my position.

    And perhaps my opener was a little more based on that “fishy smell” than proper consideration of the hypothesis and for that, again, you have my apology. I have nothing against you, and enjoy this blog and the comments, I hope we can both continue to do so, differences of opinion and all.

  74. bodenca said,

    November 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    #73. Thanks Jbags. And I mean that sincerely. Thank you very much.

    I came back at you because I really believe that waverers should be invited cordially to the cause of science. The opposite is achieved by combative comments and by self-congratulatory stuff that gets posted here. So, I played defensive waverer.

    My (interim) view of dowsing, if it’s of interest:
    1. The ADE651 has nothing to do with it. That’s entrepreneurs demonstrating free enterprise at its most spectacular.
    2. A quick google shows thousands of sites willing to sell you a crystal, a bit of wood, a shell, or ivory, or anything. Hang this from a thread of – well – anything that you know is good (or they sell) to make a pendulum. Use it to find earth energies, or absolutely anything else that you just know gives energies.
    The fact that, what the hell, it doesn’t really matter what you do, or what with, just confirms the obvious. This is New Age gobbledygook, plus a lot of hangers-on trying to cash in.
    3. The old water dowser is such a markedly different case. With honest intent, he/she is strictly keeping a centuries-old tradition that is still alive and well. It is very specific about target, tool and method. Intriguing!
    I am sceptical because its success is social more than technical. (1) Unless you are stupid enough to dig at the top of a steep ridge, or above a cliff, at least in Britain you will probably hit water. An eye on vegetation and landform helps aswell. (2) The dowser succeeds at a really useful social function. He stops dead all the village or family bickering about where somebody should and shouldn’t dig a well by a method that deprives them of a basis for reasonable challenge to his decision. (Well. It does around here.)

  75. Jbags said,

    November 24, 2009 at 1:41 am

    #74 Bodenca, thanks for coming back with a reply.

    I should explain I’m overly skeptical about this kind of stuff because my father is now living in Australia peddling this stuff for a living (phials of coloured water with supposedly meaningful but pointless slogans on them “Yellow Infinity” is a favourite of mine for sheer awfulness).

    I agree its also a prime example of a “brand” being hijacked by nutters. You have the “brand” of ‘Downsing’, it has connotations, almost everyone is aware of its existence, and the quacks tap into that by creating some nonsense and branding it ‘Dowsing’, essentially nicking the weight of that brand for whatever is lining their pockets this week.

    I find that fascinating because it shows forethought and intelligent thinking, and makes me wonder how many the people who were putting hard work into marketing snake oil could actually be doing something much more important. That said, it only takes one person to have a bright idea and a hundred others to copy it to make it the standard.

    The social implications of dowsing you mentioned in point 3 definitely gave me food for thought, I had not thought about it like that before. A little ‘Darwinism of ideas’, since successful or not in that case dowsing improves community function.

    But back to topic, these are all interesting social, economics and scientific digressions; the fact is the ADE651 is absolutely criminal, and downright embarassing. By all means test dowsing (I would like to see some genuine testing of your idea, I would be intrigued by the results), by keep it in the realm of journals and scientific interest, don’t put peoples lives on the line. The price tag as well, beggars belief. No shame.

  76. panshuiping said,

    November 27, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Good work, thanks! My sister received the Ugg Classic Cardy I bought her for her birthday, she adores them. I was a little worried the calf would be tight around her legs but it hasn’t been a problem. I’ll be back before Christmas.Ugg Classic Cardy!

  77. salimfadhley said,

    November 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I’ve been following this story for a while.

    Sure it’s pseudo-science but it’s not the kind like homoeopathy where the practitioner believes themselves to be doing good. This is blatent fraud. If I was a betting man I’d presume the deal works like this.

    The General has a budget to spend on anti-terrorist fortifications. He realises that if he spends this money on actual bomb-detection (e.g. dogs, training) he will not see a penny of this money back.

    Alternatively if he spends his money on a product he knows to be worthless but has a near zero cost of construction he can demand a huge kickback – possibly in excess of 80% of his costs.

    Meanwhile the guys who make bombs (Al-Queda in Iraq & pals) – remember that these guys know how to make bombs from household materials. Some of them may be fundamentalists but they are not stupid. They will have had volunteers smuggle small quantities of explosives past the ADE651 users and will know by now that they are utterly useless.

    Any time they see one of these gizmos in action they know which checkpoint to use – it’s an indicator of inept security.

  78. Henryk said,

    December 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Jbags said,

    November 20, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Ok, classic pseudoscience mumbo-jibbles. There is no evidence that dowsing works and it *has* been tested. My particular favourite study can be found here

    www.phact.org/e/z/kassel.htm

    (a similar experiment was broadcast on British TV a few years back, but I can’t remember as part of what programme)

    and if a single trial isn’t enough for you, try:
    Randi.org or Randi.org

  79. jac said,

    December 19, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Good point about the kickbacks Salimfadhley, after all money is what its all about, no one can possibly believe these things work. Check out Loretta Napoleoni (there’s a video on the TED website)and the economics of unregulated credit and terrorism.

  80. Jeffreysnj said,

    January 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Did anyone see Newsnight ? They had an “exclusive” on this!!
    Failing to mention Ben, The Guardian, The New York Times and James Randi. The reporter represented this as an original investigation! Whereas I am pleased that the issue got a wider airing, I still somehow dislike blatant plagiarism. This must mean that the Friday 30 min Newsnight must now be the tabloid version.

  81. CoralBloom said,

    January 23, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I saw it – was indeed pretty awful that credit wasn’t given.

    Why did it take Newsnight to report on this before anything was done?
    It is being reported on various online news sites that McCormick has been arrested tonight.

  82. idczvlw02 said,

    January 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Jeffreysnj – you’re right, they presented it as if it were an exclusive, brand-new discovery.

    www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00q9hx6/Newsnight_22_01_2010/

    At least the government has banned export to Iraq and Afghanistan. Better than nothing, but not as good as putting McCormick in jail where he belongs.

    Maybe he’ll get there now:

    Head of ATSC ‘bomb detector’ company arrested on suspicion of fraud
    www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6997859.ece

  83. idczvlw02 said,

    January 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Iraq Official Warned Against Anti – Bomb Device Buy

    By REUTERS
    Published: January 24, 2010
    Filed at 1:28 p.m. ET

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s interior ministry was told two years ago not to buy an explosives detector that Britain says does not work, and the purchase of the sensors was tainted by suspected fraud, a senior official said on Sunday.

    www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/01/24/world/international-uk-iraq-britain-explosives.html

  84. HenryS said,

    February 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    As seen on Newsnight just now…

  85. Jeffreysnj said,

    March 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Marvellous Obfuscation!

    The response to my complaint about Newsnight’s exclusive claim an lack of acknowledgement of published sources!

    Dear Mr Jeffreys

    Thank you for your recent e-mail. Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

    We forwarded your complaint to ‘Newsnight’ Editors and Meirion Jones who explained in response that:

    “We first published our exclusive report at 14.00 on Friday January 22nd with an article by Meirion Jones and Caroline Hawley and a video clip of the Cambridge Computer Lab computer lab test.

    In that article we went out of our way to explain the history of this and that concerns had gone back to 1995 and indeed that James Randi had been the first to express them. Although such concerns had been raised for many years the Iraqi authorities were not acting on those concerns because they said there was no proof that the detectors did not work. What was exclusive was that we proved beyond doubt that the devices being used in Baghdad could not work which forced the British government to immediately bring in an export ban.

    This is the relevant part of the article where we talk about the history:

    14.00 22 JANUARY BBC ONLINE

    “Concern over the use of dowsing rods to detect bombs was first raised by American sceptic, James Randi. Mr Randi has confirmed to the BBC that he is still offering Mr McCormick $1m if he can prove that the ADE-651 works. In 1995, the Sandia national labs and the FBI raised the alarm over a dowsing rod device called the Quadro Tracker which they described as “a fraud” and the FBI warned: “All agencies should immediately cease using the device.
    “In 1999, the FBI put out another alert: “Warning. Do not use bogus explosives detection devices.” In 2002, a test by Sandia labs in the US found that a similar dowsing rod device, called the Mole detector, did not work and performed “no better than a random selection process”. They concluded that it did not work and that it looked “nearly identical” to the Quadro Tracker. Last month, a senior Iraqi officer involved in bomb-prevention defended the ADE-651. Major General Jehad al-Jabiri, who appeared at a press conference with Mr McCormick following the December explosions, said he did not “care about Sandia” and knew more about bombs than the Americans: “Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs,” he said.”

    The history section in the film broadcast on Newsnight was more brief but again made the point that concerns had been repeatedly expressed since 1995, an excerpt from the programme below:

    22.30 22 JANUARY BBC NEWSNIGHT

    “Since the mid-1990s, a succession of dowsing-type detectors — like the
    ADE-651 — have come onto the market. In 1995, the FBI tested a device called the Quadro Tracker. It warned: The Quadro Tracker is a fraud. All agencies should immediately cease using the device.” Another warning about “modern dowsers” followed in 1999. “WARNING: DO NOT BUY BOGUS EXPLOSIVES DETECTION EQUIPMENT”. In 2002, a test by Sandia national labs in the US found that a similar device, the Mole Detector, didn’t work and performed:
    “… no better than a random selection process.”

    I had been vaguely aware of bogus dowsing devices being sold as drug and bomb detectors over the years. I’ve interviewed James Randi in the past and I’ve produced pieces which investigate bogus claims. For instance my investigation of homeopathic cures for malaria has led to disciplinary hearings at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for the pharmacists who prescribed them. However it was not until Rod Nordland’s piece in the New York Times on November 3rd 2009 that I realised that dowsing devices were being used on checkpoints as the primary protection against car bombs in Baghdad. Like most people I assumed that something would be quickly done – it was only after the December 8 carbombs that Caroline Hawley and myself realized that nothing had changed and that unless we could prove beyond doubt that the ADE651 and GT200 were incapable of detecting bombs they would continue being exported from Britain and used in Iraq.

    We tested the ‘programmed substance detection cards’ for the ADE651 and scientifically proved in a laboratory that the claims made for them could not be true and that it could not detect explosives or anything else. We obtained a GT200/Mole and opened it up showing that there were no working parts in it that could possibly detect anything.

    We then told the Government about our evidence and they rushed in a ban on exports to Iraq and Afghanistan because of the risk that the so-called bomb detectors posed to British and allied troops. And on Tuesday 16th Feb the Thai PM banned the purchase of any more GT200s following tests as a result of our report.”

    I hope this has gone some way toward addressing your concerns.
    Nevertheless, I fully appreciate that you feel strongly about this matter.
    Therefore I would like to assure you that we have registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your views.

    Regards

    Paul Hunter
    BBC Complaints
    __________________________________________
    www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

    —–Original Message—–

    {Complaint:} An “exclusive” report on the use of wand detection of explosives was labelled exclusive and completely failed to acknowledge the

    media reports on the same subject report in the Guardian on the 7th November which in itself was a report following revalations in the New York Times and James Randi !!

    Poor tabloid Journalism for such a serious subject.

  86. cristeadriana10 said,

    June 24, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    There is no final sentence pronounced against McCormick by a judge, so until that the man is under the presumption of innocence like any other citizen. From my point of view they have nothing, there is no incontestable proves against the man so all this is just a scam trying to denigrate the device.

  87. Ernst Filibert said,

    June 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I think they don’t have proves against him and device so they try to put both in a bad position with mass media “help” which I don’t think is disinterested.

  88. Ernst Filibert said,

    July 5, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    The technologies used by ADE are Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance which has been used to detect landmines and explosives concealed in luggage all over the world with great success. NQR is a radiofrequency (RF) technique in which the observed frequencies depend on the interaction between the electric quadrupole moment of the nucleus and the electric field gradient generated at the nuclear site by external charges. All common high explosives contain 14 N, a quadrupolar nucleus generating three sets of resonance frequencies, providing an unequivocal method of detecting and identifying an explosive, as well as estimating its quantity and depth. Because of its high specificity there is little or no interference from other nitrogen-containing material that may be present – such as the mine casing or fertilizer in the soil.
    The device is working and McCormick is not guilty. If they could prove it is not working he was in jail by now.

  89. hellnombre said,

    July 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    hahahaha

  90. zeno said,

    July 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Ernst Filibert

    Is there a website that automatically generates that gobbledegook nonsense or did you make it up yourself?

  91. the_real_dr_bob said,

    July 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I don’t normally but Ernst, you know that anything containing nitrogen contains N-14, it’s 99.6% abundant in nature. So yes a quadrupole mass spectrometer, which is what you describe to begin with, could identify N-14 but I am unaware of any portable quadrupole mass spectrometers on the market as they are fairly delicate bits of kit.

  92. Sili said,

    July 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Nuclear quadropole moments are a real thing, but they’re not that readily accessible.

    Just think about what it takes to do dipole spectroscopy on the nucleus.

    If QMR was so easy it’d be all over the place. Chemists would love nothing more than probing to 12-C instead of the most rarer 13C.

    So the words are real – the use is still gobbledegook, though.

  93. Slov01 said,

    July 5, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    14N nucleus is indeed quadrupolar having a nuclear spin of 1 and there is likely to be more nitrogen in a bomb than say, a bottle of Evian. Using a f-off BIG expensive superconducting magnet, an NMR spectrum of a solid sample would probably be broad (ie containing a lot more than “three” frequencies) and sh*t after hours of data acquisition. Ernst: having read a book is no excuse for defending this magical dowsing which is beyond a joke.

    (Sorry the_real_dr_bob. NMR not really the same as the quadrupole detector on a mass spec.)

  94. drunkenoaf said,

    July 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    @the_real_dr_bob — also, getting the sample through the quardrupole mass spec would be fun. Would the explosive substance be introduced by electrospray ionization by the ADE651 device, or is it a plasma instrument? LC/GC?

  95. Ernst Filibert said,

    November 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Take a look at their site there is all explained
    www.ade651.co.uk/

  96. techowiz said,

    December 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    @ernst,

    So now I find you polluting this site with your nonsense. The ade website is full off unsupported statements by the man currently on bail for fraud regarding the ade. I notice you also failed to point out that you are from the Romanian company that sells this scam. Perhaps you can, at last, name the government agencies your website alleges tested the ade and stated it works? Or perhaps you can explain to everyone how the ade allegedly changed it’s working principle from EMA to NQR then back to EMA?
    Or perhaps you can point to 1 single scrap of evidence to support your claim the ade works as claimed?
    Wherever you go on the web I will counter your nonsense with the words you fear, EVIDENCE, TRUTH & FACTS.
    Bye Ernst

  97. bobcouttie said,

    January 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Sniffing around a bit I discovered that some of these devices are being marketed to the maritime industry and ports. They are probably very attractive to third world countries trying to achieve the 100 per cent scanning of all containers being imposed by the US.

    maritimeaccident.org/?p=13862

    We’re now trying to determine the level of these devices in the maritime and offshore industry as well as sending alerts to bring attention to the hazard they present to seafarers, ships and cargo, and to port state control authorities.

    Bob Couttie
    Maritime Accident Casebook

  98. suzwriter said,

    January 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    This is being covered in tonight’s Newsnight – looks like you beat them to it, Ben!

    www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y14s3

  99. diohuni said,

    February 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Great to see the Newsnight investigation last week. Look slike we should now see some proper action after Techowiz and I started the campaign here in the UK 2.5 years ago following the Randi revelations.

    For those who haven’t seen it the link for Newsnight is now

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxArxIgB9oA&feature=player_embedded

    We reckon that proper action will now follow, particularly to identify who was responsible at MOD for supporting this rubbish.

    And by the way, to anyone who thinks that they have a deterrent effect, please say that to the realtives of people blown up after these stupid swivel dowsers fail to work!

    So, to Jim McCormick, ade 651, Gary Bolton, GT200 and David Vollmar Hedd1 (ex Sniffex Plus) as well as a number of other secondary players like the seriously dumb Wyatt at SDS geoup, looks like the end of the line. We promised you it would come to this. Shame you didn’t listen guys.

    Dubious Dick

  100. dorus said,

    February 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Belive or not they had a site dedicated to ADE 651!
    www.ade651.co.uk/
    I have readed almost all their sciencific explination and understand nothing. Is there someoane who can explain what is that? Is this possible?

  101. diohuni said,

    February 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Dorus. Nothing to explain. No credible working principles.

    Anyway, great news!!

    uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/17/uk-iraq-britain-explosives-idUKTRE71G3H120110217
    This is great news. For those of us who have been at the campaign to get this trade shut down, it is especially great news for Techowiz, who has been tenacious in keeping this stroy burning while we waited for the mainstream media to pick it up.

    Now we just want all the rest of the crooks rounded up. More good news to come soon.

    The foolowing still are at large:
    James McCormick and the ADE 651, Gary Bolton and the GT200. David Vollmar and the HEDD1, General Pierre Hadji Georgiou at ProSec in Lebanon, Ilie Stelian at Mira Telecom, John Wyatt at SDS, Malcolm Roe, Sam Tree, Yuri Markov, Horizon Group India, Simon Sherrard at Comstrac, and quite a few others. They should not be sleeping too well now.

  102. diohuni said,

    March 30, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Hi. please sign the petition against the fake detectors and get a couple of friends as well. If they do same we can get a big number. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    www.change.org/petitions/demand-action-and-justice-in-fake-explosive-detectors-scandal#signatures

    A potted history of the fraud here:
    www.scribd.com/full/51676711?access_key=key-11r7th4aq0zgvhd6q2b4

    HISTORY

    www.scribd.com/full/51703923?access_key=key-231darif3gwjtk07acrp

    FED ACCOUNTING

    www.scribd.com/full/51676708?access_key=key-119dzmlzr6r8yaww7fid

    PICTURE GALLERY

    www.scribd.com/doc/51719307

    ROGUES GALLERY

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