British military comes to its senses, bans useless “bomb detectors”
If you’re not a regular visitor to randi.org (that’s famous skeptic James Randi’s website), you might not know about their fight against dangerous quackery; more specifically, their attempts to expose bogus “bomb detectors” that are nothing more than dowsing devices. The device in question, called the ADE-651, has no electronic components to speak of and has a rather unimpressive looking antenna on it. This didn’t stop the Iraqi military from dishing out a massive $85m dollars on the piece of junk. If you’re wondering how they could spend such an exorbitant amount of cash on a handle with a TV antenna on it, it’s because each device costs about $40,000.
I can’t imagine how many people have died as a result of using this expensive piece of shit. Not only does it fare worse than random chance at detecting anything (the only thing I would venture to say it detects is complete gullibility), it’s based entirely on dowsing “principles”. You might remember dowsers as the old fogies who run around with a stick thinking it leads to water that you used to point at and laugh as a child. Well, laugh no more, as its use has put hundreds and thousands of peoples lives at risk. There’s no telling what kind of damage this thing has done, or how many deaths can literally be attributed to it.
The CEO of ATSC who produces the ADE 651 was recently arrested on suspicion of fraud, but he continues to defend his product, claiming the only reason people don’t like it is it looks crude:
Mr McCormick told The Times that his device was being criticised because of its crude appearance.
He added: “We have been dealing with doubters for ten years. One of the problems we have is that the machine does look a little primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.”
Is this fucking guy for real? No, we don’t need flashing lights on your piece of junk; we need you to give all the money back, followed immediately by your long incarceration, where I hope you’ll be beaten senseless on an almost daily basis for the terrible pain you’ve inflicted, fuckface.
(props to Kevin for the find)