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Tags bomb detectors , dowsing , Gary Bolton , hal bidlack , Jim McCormick , Samuel Tree , sniffex

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Old 5th November 2009, 11:22 AM   #121
jimtron
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
Are they claiming that it works on a paranormal level?
I think they're claiming that it's scientific. From the NYT article:

Quote:
ATSC’s promotional material claims that its device can find guns, ammunition, drugs, truffles, human bodies and even contraband ivory at distances up to a kilometer, underground, through walls, underwater or even from airplanes three miles high. The device works on “electrostatic magnetic ion attraction,” ATSC says.
To detect materials, the operator puts an array of plastic-coated cardboard cards with bar codes into a holder connected to the wand by a cable. “It would be laughable,” Colonel Bidlack said, “except someone down the street from you is counting on this to keep bombs off the streets.”

Proponents of the wand often argue that errors stem from the human operator, who they say must be rested, with a steady pulse and body temperature, before using the device.
Then the operator must walk in place a few moments to “charge” the device, since it has no battery or other power source, and walk with the wand at right angles to the body. If there are explosives or drugs to the operator’s left, the wand is supposed to swivel to the operator’s left and point at them.
If, as often happens, no explosives or weapons are found, the police may blame a false positive on other things found in the car, like perfume, air fresheners or gold fillings in the driver’s teeth.
I love how it will detect guns, drugs, truffles, bodies, ivory, perfume, air fresheners, and gold fillings--but not everything else. What is it about the "ions" of those things that's common, but different than everything else in the world?
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Old 6th November 2009, 02:12 PM   #122
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The Dallas Morning News, which did a great expose on the similar Sniffex dowsing rod, and also used Randi as a reference, has a blurb in the editorial section about the ADE651.

Article

Quote:
Satisfaction guaranteed , or your money back

Someone in Iraq apparently has been watching those 3 a.m. infomercials where the fake audience erupts in applause while an enthusiastic guy demonstrates the latest in divining rod technology: "It's the ADE 651. It detects bombs! It detects nitroglycerine, morphine, cocaine, heroin and more! You might expect to pay $200,000 or more for this amazing technology, but if you order now, it's yours for the low, low price of only $16,000." Iraqi police swear by this potentially deadly quackery. The government reportedly has purchased $85 million of the devices, which offer all the bomb-detecting precision of a Ouija board. Defenders of the manufacturer, ATSC in Britain, insist they've never found a dissatisfied customer. Perhaps they haven't checked the morgues.
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Old 16th November 2009, 05:43 AM   #123
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The Ministry of Truth blog, which has also been writing about the ADE651 scam, has an interesting tidbit on the people who might possibly be behind it.
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Old 16th November 2009, 02:32 PM   #124
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Hi Sophia,

It is no secret who is behind this scam, we have been trying to close down ATSC and Global Technical (GT200) for over 12 months now. To read how we have been getting on and for full details of the people behind this scam, go to:

http://www.skeptics.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?p=47058

Best regards
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Old 16th November 2009, 02:36 PM   #125
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Hi Jimtron,


Jimtron states
'I think they're claiming that it's scientific. From the NYT article:


Quote:
ATSC’s promotional material claims that its device can find guns, ammunition, drugs, truffles, human bodies and even contraband ivory at distances up to a kilometer, underground, through walls, underwater or even from airplanes three miles high. The device works on “electrostatic magnetic ion attraction,” ATSC says.'


They have changed the working principle to:
Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance
Apparently electrostatic magnetic ion attraction was just not sexy sounding enough!!!!
regards
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Old 29th November 2009, 04:09 PM   #126
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Iraqis spent $80million on ADE651 bomb detectors.
The Times, UK
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle6935574.ece

Quote:
Jim McCormick, the managing director of ATSC Ltd, a former Merseyside police officer, developed the device ten years ago despite having no scientific or technical background.
He insists that ATSC “only” received $12 million, and the price paid was inflated by commissions and training courses for the operators. He said: “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.” Another reason for the doubts is that apart from the aerial the device contains no working parts at all.
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Old 30th November 2009, 08:07 AM   #127
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'commissions' is that business speak for bribes?
Just cannot wait for the upgraded model with, 'flashing lights', suppose it will be a lot more expensive though
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Old 2nd December 2009, 01:31 AM   #128
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I came across this story about a week ago and just couldn't believe it. It blows my mind that such an amount of money was spent on something that is totally useless. Of course the flashing lights will make it completely legit.....
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Old 2nd December 2009, 04:20 PM   #129
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ADE651 agrees to a test!!!!

The scammer in chief of the dowsing rod explosive scam has agreed to a test.
He has invited Dr Bruce Hood to a demonstration, apparently it is after 'christmas'.
see below:
http://brucemhood.wordpress.com/2009...ctor/#comments
regards
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Old 8th December 2009, 12:25 PM   #130
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Looks like the innocent public are once again victims of stupidity and greed, as over 120 are killed and over 500 injured in Baghdad bombs (see BBC Lead).

How are these bombers getting cars full of explosives past the checkpoints? The Iraqi police are using incredibly expensive dowsing rods to check them...
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Old 9th December 2009, 08:44 AM   #131
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dlorde,

Spot on. This scam has now cost nearly 250 lives in Iraq. When will they realise, as the bombers have, that it doesn't work?
regards
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Old 9th December 2009, 10:05 PM   #132
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The bombers were probably sold an equally expensive scrambler to disguise their bombs so they could get past the detectors.
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Old 10th December 2009, 07:10 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by jimtron View Post
I love how it will detect guns, drugs, truffles, bodies, ivory, perfume, air fresheners, and gold fillings--but not everything else. What is it about the "ions" of those things that's common, but different than everything else in the world?
If I remember right, they say you have to insert a special card into the unit for the specific material you want to detect.

As you can guess, they’re probably just plain old carboard.

I’d love to make a video spoofing these devices; at some point, I’d try a hockey card in mine.
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Old 12th December 2009, 07:16 PM   #134
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Here is a good spoof from a Mexican blogger. The GT-200 has sold many units to the Mexican government for detecting drugs and weapons. Given how bloody that fight has become, no doubt some lives have been lost there too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5h2GAV-bI
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Old 23rd December 2009, 09:21 AM   #135
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Oh no another bloody one,

David Vollmar formerly of Sniffex Plus, has now brought out another scam device now calling it the HEDD1.
Check out the link below:

http://www.unival-group.com/hedd1.htm

The smell of easy money must be overpowering.
A verry happy Christmas to all and a wonderful new year, and let us see how difficult we can make life for the scammers next year.
regards
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Old 23rd December 2009, 05:29 PM   #136
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I have a proposed test for these devices:

Place the operator (the person selling the device) in the middle of a circle. Place 3 identical boxes on the perimeter of the circle, equally spaced. One of the boxes will contain 10Kg of explosives wired to a pressure plate so that it will detonate if moved. The operator simply has to pick up the two empty boxes to pass the test. The size of the circle and type of explosive will be consistant with the claimed abilities of the tested device.

- David
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:25 AM   #137
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Head of ATSC 'bomb detector' company arrested

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6997859.ece

Quote:
The boss of a British company that has sold million of dollars worth of “bomb detectors” to Iraq’s security forces has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Jim McCormick, 53, the managing director of ATSC which is based in a former dairy in Sparkford, Somerset, has been questioned by detectives from Avon and Somerset Police after a complaint that he misrepresented the devices.

In November, Mr McCormick, a former Merseyside police officer, told The Times that his devices, which consist of little more than a telescopic antenna on a molded plastic handle, are able to detect explosives in the same way as a dowsing rod finds water.

Thousands of the devices are in use at military and police check points across Baghdad where they are used to search vehicles and pedestrians for explosives. In recent months hundreds of people have died after car bombers were able to penetrate the security cordon supposed to protect the centre of the Iraqi capital.
(Continued)
They should have noted that not only have hundreds of people died after car bombers penetrated security cordons, but hundreds of people have allegedly died after bombers penetrated security cordons using these "detectors."
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Old 22nd January 2010, 06:41 AM   #138
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Hats off to all gentlemen and ladies on this forum - what a great thread, and judging by the last post, a great result! Makes me proud to be a JREF member.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 06:53 AM   #139
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Drat, I thought I'd be first!

Good result
I like the quote:
McCormick hit back, however, telling the paper that “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.”

Because flashing lights make everything work better don't they?

Jim
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Old 22nd January 2010, 07:28 AM   #140
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...ht/8471187.stm

From the BBC website, seems theres a newsnight report tonight.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 07:58 AM   #141
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From the BBC article:

Originally Posted by BBC
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.
Edit:

Just wanted to add a well done to everyone involved with bringing this to the attention of the UK authorities, you may have helped save lives.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 08:03 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by KarlG View Post
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...ht/8471187.stm

From the BBC website, seems theres a newsnight report tonight.
And not only that, they even mention the MDC
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Old 22nd January 2010, 08:06 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by KarlG View Post
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programme...ht/8471187.stm

From the BBC website, seems theres a newsnight report tonight.
Yeah, I just saw that and was rummaging around trying to find a thread on this, since I was sure there would be one. I am absolutely aghast that this situation has developed; I hope they throw the book at him.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 08:25 AM   #144
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I will be watching Newsnight tonight with interest.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 08:44 AM   #145
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Grist for the mill:

Code:
timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6997859.ece
Arrested for woo? The implications are boundless . . .

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Old 22nd January 2010, 09:11 AM   #146
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GREAT NEWS, first the exposure in the New York Times now the fraudster-in-chief has been arrested. I may have a drink or 10 tonight to celebrate.
Don't forget the other fraudsters, namely Gary Bolton og the GT200 fame, let's get them all arrested.
regards
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Old 22nd January 2010, 10:08 AM   #147
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I spotted the Sniffex on the website of 'Light Aircraft Pty Ltd' today. The site gives their location as Mosman in New South Wales.

First time I've seen one of these products being peddled by an Australian business.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 11:27 AM   #148
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Listening to the Radio 4 six o'clock news, the export of these devices is to be banned.

Dave

ETA I notice that "banned" has been given a forum meaning.

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Old 22nd January 2010, 11:44 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Dave_46 View Post
Listening to the Radio 4 six o'clock news, the export of these devices is to be banned.
But from I've just heard on TV - only to some countries namely Iraq and Afghanistan. The owner of the company,Jim McCormick, is currently on a sales trip to Romania

Last edited by Stuart; 22nd January 2010 at 11:56 AM. Reason: detail added
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Old 22nd January 2010, 12:04 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
But from I've just heard on TV - only to some countries namely Iraq and Afghanistan. The owner of the company,Jim McCormick, is currently on a sales trip to Romania
Yep. you are correct about the export restriction. Pity it doesn't come into force until next week.

Dave
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Old 22nd January 2010, 01:59 PM   #151
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It seems this follows a BBC investigation.
Pity they didn't just read this thread.
Or did they?
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Old 22nd January 2010, 03:11 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by KarlG View Post
From that link:

Quote:
The training manual for the device says it can even, with the right card, detect elephants, humans and 100 dollar bills.
You'd think that would be ludicrous enough to tip people off.


ETA: Clearly not. According to the Newsnight programme, the Iraqi government has spent $85 million on these devices.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 04:13 PM   #153
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Police arrest MD of dowsing-rod 'bomb detector' firm El Reg has picked up on it as well.

Quote:
When a reporter couldn't get the dowsing rod to work, the general blithely stated:

"You need more training."
Tragedy is close to comedy.

Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
According to the Newsnight programme, the Iraqi government has spent $85 million on these devices.
Could be an advertising feature. I found $85 million just with the help of my dowsing rod (and a poor grasp of morals and a willingness to see the conned get killed or maimed for trusting me).

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Old 22nd January 2010, 04:35 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
It seems this follows a BBC investigation.
Pity they didn't just read this thread.
Or did they?
That is what I want to know. What was the role of this forum and this thread in all of this? Did some people who are involved in the investigation at least read this thread? It would be great if they could give a plug to this forum if they did.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:26 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
That is what I want to know. What was the role of this forum and this thread in all of this? Did some people who are involved in the investigation at least read this thread? It would be great if they could give a plug to this forum if they did.
The Times Online did mention that Randi had challenged McCormick to prove his device works ($1m). There are a couple of other forums that have been following and campaigning on these detectors for some time. Thailand and Mexico, among other countries, are major buyers. Pretty much every corrupt regime...

BBC's Newsnight headline story was pretty thorough, mentioning various US military and civilian laboratory tests of similar devices (all judged fraudulent or ineffective) - although they gave the impression it was their 'scoop'. I don't recall them saying that McCormick had been arrested - but they couldn't find him for their report.

The Independent (UK) newspaper gives this story their full front page, so it's safe to say it's well and truly broken to the public... Yess!

However, I find it amazing that despite the clearly fraudulent claims, these devices can only be banned from export to countries where British nationals are at risk.

Last edited by dlorde; 22nd January 2010 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:39 PM   #156
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The BBC newsnight programme for our non UK supporters can be found at the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ht_22_01_2010/

regards
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:41 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Techowiz View Post
The BBC newsnight programme for our non UK supporters can be found at the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ht_22_01_2010/

regards
Sadly I suspect that link won't work outside the UK.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 06:00 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
BBC's Newsnight headline story was pretty thorough, mentioning various US military and civilian laboratory tests of similar devices (all judged fraudulent or ineffective) - although they gave the impression it was their 'scoop'.
They did achieve one scoop though: Getting hold of a set of the "programming" cards which are claimed to tune the device to whichever compound it's required to detect. For those who didn't see it - when they peeled one (labelled "TNT") apart it just contained a dumb RF tag like those used to prevent shoplifting.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 06:44 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
<snip>
The Independent (UK) newspaper gives this story their full front page, so it's safe to say it's well and truly broken to the public... Yess!
<snip>
None of which mentions the forum or any other forum which may have helped the story get to the front page. Maybe this thread and others like it are an irrelevance to the outside world?


Originally Posted by Techowiz View Post
The BBC newsnight programme for our non UK supporters can be found at the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ht_22_01_2010/

regards
Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Sadly I suspect that link won't work outside the UK.
I fixed your quote for you.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 12:26 AM   #160
armageddonman
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'Bomb detector' maker Jim McCormick arrested

Quote:
'Bomb detector' maker Jim McCormick arrested
Jim McCormick
Jim McCormick sells the hand-held detectors from his offices in Somerset

The director of a company which sold a bomb-detecting device to 20 countries, including Iraq, has been arrested.
I'm pretty sure I saw an article about this device a while back on JREF.

I wonder how he was able to convince anyone that his device was actually working.
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