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

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Old 23rd January 2010, 01:02 AM   #161
Questioninggeller
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Here's the link:

Quote:
'Bomb detector' maker Jim McCormick arrested
Saturday, 23 January 2010
BBC



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.

ATSC's Jim McCormick, 53, was detained on Friday on suspicion of fraud by misrepresentation, Avon and Somerset police said. He has since been bailed.
...
Full: BBC
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Old 23rd January 2010, 01:18 AM   #162
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I just saw this on SBS News on TV. I'm glad someone's beaten me to [posting about] it.

The whole thing's just crazy.

Quote:
The Iraqi government has spent US$85m (52m) on the hand-held detectors, now used at most checkpoints in Baghdad.

It is understood Iraq paid about US$40,000 for each device. No Western government uses them.

There's no way McCormick couldn't have known they're useless, and given how many hundred of people have died from the bombs these detectors have failed to detect, I hope he's put in jail for a very long time.
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Last edited by Brian-M; 23rd January 2010 at 01:20 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 23rd January 2010, 01:32 AM   #163
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http://www.ade651.com/datostecnicosin.html

From the manufacturer's website:

Quote:
Detection Range (in Tests)

☻ Above ground Up to 650 meters
in ideal conditions
☻ From Aircraft Up to 5000 meters (3+miles)
☻ Under Water Up to 30 meters (100+ feet)
☻ Underground Up to 10 meters (30+ feet)

Quote:
☻ Power Electrostatic500 - 3000V min) Readings taken by Electrometer
to ensure proper power levels.

☻ Signal Processing: Attraction input to moving directional barDetection at 90 across Operator's body.
☻ Calibration: Not required. Operator tests equipment prior to use by detecting a sample substance. Regular normal cleaning recommended.
☻ Detection Modes: Ion like-charged fluctuation, Passive receive
How utterly incompetent are those agencies who bought this crap?
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Old 23rd January 2010, 01:47 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by armageddonman View Post
How utterly incompetent are those agencies who bought this crap?
I don't know, but at the moment I'm working on developing a Bullsh!t Detector that works on the same principals as the bomb detector.
I'm going to make sure non of the agencies involved with being ripped off by useless, fraudulent, dangerous, devices are ever caught 'off guard' again.
All they have to do is use my device (available for only 4,500 each + P+P) on any salesman that walks into their offices and they will soon be able to pick out the conmen.... errrr.... after I've left with the money order/cash/cheque.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 02:07 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
I don't recall them saying that McCormick had been arrested - but they couldn't find him for their report.

I just saw it on SBS news about an hour ago, but I couldn't find it on their website. Here's a link to the BBC news instead: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8476381.stm

There's also a thread just started about his arrest: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=165515
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Old 23rd January 2010, 06:22 AM   #166
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Director of Fake Bomb Detectr company arrested - good

A man set up a company selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq.

God knows how many lives this piece of scum has cost. They should charge him with more than fraud.

Full story

Quote:
Mr McCormick has said the device, sold from offices in Sparkford, Somerset, used special electronic cards slotted into it to detect explosives.

But a BBC Newsnight investigation reported that a computer laboratory said the card it examined contained only a tag used by shops to prevent theft.

There are concerns the detectors have failed to stop bomb attacks which have killed hundreds of people.



The device consists of a swivelling aerial mounted to a hinge on a hand-grip. It does not operate by battery, instead promotional material says it is powered only by the user's static electricity.
Basically it is a dowsing rod with a security tag card attached to it.

The question should be how it was allowed to ever have been sold in the fist place.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 06:59 AM   #167
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Ah, I was going to post this yesterday myself and didn't get round to looking until today. I'm glad someone has.

It's also been announced that Lord Mandelson is asking the Depratment for Business to ban the export of the devices to Afghanistan and Iraq in order to protect the "boys". Heck it's taken them long enough to finally do something about it.

It's made The Times http://preview.tinyurl.com/ydryq7j

Quote:
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.”
Flashing lights eh? Well that'll impress 'em. They've made $52M from this scam, I wonder what finally made the powers-that-be take some notice. I'll bet it was because Iraqi security guards were keeping letting bombers through that were blowing up soldiers.

Last edited by Salerio; 23rd January 2010 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 07:19 AM   #168
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For those who can watch BBC iPlayer, the Newsnight report is viewable here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ht_22_01_2010/
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Old 23rd January 2010, 11:13 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by armageddonman View Post
How utterly incompetent are those agencies who bought this crap?
Couldn't agree more with that question.

How on earth does any agency spend that many millions on something that crucial to safety without ever caring even slightly if it works?

Someone in Iraq needs to be in colossal trouble as well.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 02:38 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by Ashles View Post
Couldn't agree more with that question.

How on earth does any agency spend that many millions on something that crucial to safety without ever caring even slightly if it works?

Someone in Iraq needs to be in colossal trouble as well.
This is an easy question to answer, the amount of bribes involved in this contract ensured a very smooth passage to purchase.
Please remember this has nothing to do whether it works or not, no-one involved was at all interested, all they were concerned about was how much in kickback they were getting.
Watch out for The New York Times tommorrow they are doing a followup story to this saga.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 04:28 PM   #171
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At last...

For some of you who are now catching up with this sorry tale, some of us have been running a campaign against this since Randi challenged McCormick back in 2008. Special mention to Techowiz for his sterling work!!

Let's hope McCormick goes down and has the proceeds of his crimes removed pronto.

Now we are after Gary Bolton at Global Technical, and his equally useless GT200. This guy used to be a partner of McCormick with the Mole. Someone in the U.S. might also like to track down Robert Balais who was also involved in the Mole.

In the U.K. we also have the purveyors of the Alpha 6 and the PSD 2.

In Germany there is David Vollmar who resurrected SNIFFEX. Go get 'em.
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Old 24th January 2010, 05:02 AM   #172
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Good News: A Blow to the ADE-651/Sniffex

Exports of the ADE-651 has been banned. The inventor, was imprisoned, but is out on bond right now.

I'd much prefer him to be sent to Iraq and put on trial for every life damage or eliminated due to a weapon or bomb getting through a checkpoint manned with one of these fraud devices.

Death or life inside an Iraqi prison, with transferring all his assets into the purchase of backscatter sensors and victim's funds would seem an appropriate punishment. Unfortunately, we know all too well he'll get a multi-million dollar fine, leaving him with a substantial profit in his pocket.

Can't post the URL since I don't post here often, but you can search google news for "Bomb detectors banned" and should get it.

EDIT: Looks like I wasnt' first with this. Other thread has more info and links.

Last edited by Wrathernaut; 24th January 2010 at 06:14 AM. Reason: Update, might as well delete this thread.
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Old 24th January 2010, 05:41 AM   #173
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Leave it to the experts

Quote:
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 knew more about bombs than the Americans:

"Whether it's magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs," he said.

The expert has spoken!

Last edited by Taz; 24th January 2010 at 05:42 AM. Reason: changed emphasis
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Old 24th January 2010, 06:16 AM   #174
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Definitely should be charged with negligent homicide, several hundred counts.

Life in an Iraqi prison would make me smile. Making sure his entire estate gets sold off and put into bomb-sniffing dogs and backscatter units would make me even happier.
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Old 24th January 2010, 08:31 AM   #175
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This is beyond stupid.


Quote:
Some Iraqi officials are insisting that a controversial bomb detection device works, despite a BBC inquiry in which experts said the item was useless. Britain has banned exports of the ADE-651 and the director of the company selling them was arrested and bailed.
But the device is still being used at checkpoints all over Baghdad.
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, whose department bought $85m of the devices, said the ADE-651 had detected 16,000 bombs, including 700 car bombs.

"The thing is, the instrument is being operated by a user," he said.
"Not all those who use the instrument are fully trained, the user needs to be alert and adept at using it."

Quote:
Another explanation for the current controversy came from a senior Iraqi interior ministry official, Assistant Deputy Minister General Tareq al-Asl, interviewed by the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat.
"The reason the director of the company was arrested was not because the device doesn't work, but because he refused to divulge the secret of how it works to the British authorities, and the Americans before them," the general was quoted as saying.
"I have tested it in practice and it works effectively and 100% reliably."
More here:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/8477601.stm

Last edited by Rrose Selavy; 24th January 2010 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 24th January 2010, 09:21 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Dubious Dick View Post
For some of you who are now catching up with this sorry tale, some of us have been running a campaign against this since Randi challenged McCormick back in 2008.
Details/links please!
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Old 24th January 2010, 10:04 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by JimTheBrit View Post
Details/links please!
There's this post over on UK Skeptics forums and more info in that thread.
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Old 24th January 2010, 10:23 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by ohms View Post
There's this post over on UK Skeptics forums and more info in that thread.
From that thread, worth repeating here, I think:
Quote:
I'm Meirion from Newsnight and I just want to clear up a couple of things.

First is as we all know the person who deserves the credit for first calling attention to these bogus detector scams is James Randi back in the mid 1990s. That's why when we broke our story on Friday at 14.00 GMT on the BBC Online website we said...

"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."
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Old 24th January 2010, 10:42 AM   #179
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From the New York Times article, yesterday (I couldn't see one for today)
Quote:
An associate of ATSC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said the devices were manufactured at a cost of $250 each by suppliers in Britain and Romania. “Everyone at ATSC knew there was nothing inside the ADE 651,” he said.
$250 each? Seems like they're being ripped off, as well as their customers.

Quote:
The Iraqi government, according to its auditors, paid $40,000 to $60,000 for each device, although it determined that ATSC was marketing the device for $16,000. The additional money was said to have been for training, spare parts and commissions.
I guess that explains a little of the discrepancies in counting the devices and per item costs. Doesn't explain why the company's website only claims to have sold a few, but that could be down to incompetence; a lot of companies don't know how to keep their websites up-to-date.
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Old 24th January 2010, 11:26 AM   #180
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There's another aspect closer to home, here in the UK that the papers etc don't seem to have taken up.
Randi says in the video that a similar useless device was used in Northen Ireland.


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Old 24th January 2010, 12:34 PM   #181
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No wonder all those mad muslim suicide bombers got through the checkpoints to murder innocents.
Charge the purveyors of those useless devices with murder somewhere where they have the death penalty
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Old 24th January 2010, 01:04 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
$250 each? Seems like they're being ripped off, as well as their customers.
I expect they were paid a little extra to keep quiet about this secret device being made for security reasons. When you're making $39,750 profit each on a scam, it pays to keep your suppliers comfortable.

Quote:
Doesn't explain why the company's website only claims to have sold a few, but that could be down to incompetence; a lot of companies don't know how to keep their websites up-to-date.
They've apparently been sold to just about every corrupt regime out there, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, etc. Perhaps the web site trainee just can't keep up
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Old 25th January 2010, 06:17 AM   #183
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Iraq will continue to use them...

Quote:
BAGHDAD (AP) - An Iraqi security official on Monday defended a bomb-detecting device that Britain banned for export to Iraq because of questions about whether it works, saying it would be a "big mistake" to withdraw it from checkpoints.

The ADE651, made by the British company ATSC, is used at security points across Iraq, including outside the protected Green Zone that includes the Iraqi parliament and the U.S. and British embassies. Britain halted the export of the machine to Iraq and Afghanistan after a BBC report challenged its effectiveness.

But Col. Hato al-Hashemi, a senior explosives expert at the Interior Ministry, said the estimated 2,000 devices used by Iraqi security forces would not be taken out of service.

"We have great confidence in this device," al-Hashemi said. "They have proven their effectiveness in discovering and seizing many car bombs and cars that were loaded with explosives and weapons."

...
http://my.att.net/s/editorial.dll?pn...ne+topnews&ck=
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Old 25th January 2010, 09:01 AM   #184
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Some clarifications

Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
From that thread, worth repeating here, I think:
Hopefully clear to all that I started this thread and the one on UK Skeptics solely due to Randi challenging the ADE 651.

Since then I and others have kept up a steady campaign against McCormick and others. Much of it behind the scenes disrupting McCormick and his agents e.g. Prosec in Lebanon, and Gary Bolton at Global Technical with the GT200.

We tried to get media interest here in the UK for a long time, but no one picked up on this until Rod Norland did his NYT piece back in Nov last, from where the snowball rolled on.

It is fantastic that the story has finally broken, and indeed the credit does need to be very largely with Randi and the JREF for keeping on this all the way back to the Quadro Tracker. Hopefully our campaign did help to keep the story rumbling until it was finally discovered.

Anyway. Please do join in with the efforts to get McCormick brough swiftly and fully to justice, along with the GT 200 guys etc. Anyone in Romania? You may be interested to know that last reports suggest that McCormick has fled there and is consorting with his fellow directors at Miratelecom, an apparently respectable telecomms company, but tarred with having taken on agancy for the ADE 651. If you are in Romania, or know anyone there perhaps the story can be broken there as well. Let's hope so.

Go get 'em folks.
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Old 25th January 2010, 09:10 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by Dubious Dick View Post
Hopefully clear to all that I started this thread and the one on UK Skeptics solely due to Randi challenging the ADE 651.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest otherwise, just pointing out that Newsnight were acknowledging Randi's involvement, and not claiming this as all their own work.
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Old 25th January 2010, 10:43 AM   #186
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No problemo Zooterkin

Wasn't suggesting you were suggesting anything. Just that a bit of a hoo ha has developed over whether others apart from Randi (me included) should have been credited.

Fact is don't care about credit for me even if I did deserve some. We know that our campaign has helped to keep the issue rumbling along, and that we have caused disruption and grief to McCormick, Bolton and others involved, which has been pleasing in itself.
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Old 25th January 2010, 03:52 PM   #187
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James Randi speaks on youtube regarding the arrest of McCormick and his scam device the ADE651, make sure everyone watches to boost the ratings for Google, check the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruTmqfGJhTI

regards
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Old 26th January 2010, 07:43 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Iraq will continue to use them...
This is infuriating. They're putting people's lives at risk relying on something that simply doesn't work.
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:00 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by AvalonXQ View Post
This is infuriating. They're putting people's lives at risk relying on something that simply doesn't work.
They have dug themselves into a big whole with their ridiculous statements of support, that they will loose tto much face if they now admit they have been scammed/bribed. The also risk being hanged of course and if it is a choice between the generals lives and that of the Iraqi population, well as we all know they are still using the scam device ADE651.
regards
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:14 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by Wrathernaut View Post
Definitely should be charged with negligent homicide, several hundred counts.

Life in an Iraqi prison would make me smile. Making sure his entire estate gets sold off and put into bomb-sniffing dogs and backscatter units would make me even happier.
I suspect that one reason these, er, "devices" became so popular is that dogs are very unpopular in that part of the world. Canines are unclean, you know.

It would not surprise me one bit of Christopher Hitchens turns this into a column. A religion-based objection to dogs leads to embracing a bogus technology that provides nothing but a lame bluff to the bad guys and a false sense of security to the good guys. Dogs have a proven track record for sniffing out bad stuff, but ancient texts say that the Creator of the Universe frowns upon dogs, and so dogs are not employed.

Hitchens has already written how religious objections to swine has had unintended consequences for public health in Egypt. This story may be another in that vein.
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:37 AM   #191
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So are dogs the only alternative to "devices"?.
How does the rest of the world detect bombs?

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Old 26th January 2010, 09:47 AM   #192
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When I was explaining this issue to a friend, he did suggest that charging up with static electricity and then pointing a metal wand at a suspect device might actually detect some explosives...
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:56 AM   #193
One Skunk Todd
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Well thank goodness Iraqi security forces are using these things, otherwise stuff like this might happen:

Car bomb kills 18, injures dozens in Baghdad
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Old 26th January 2010, 01:54 PM   #194
Brown
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Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
So are dogs the only alternative to "devices"?.
How does the rest of the world detect bombs?
As I understand, dogs are not the only means for detection of explosives. They are, however, relatively inexpensive and they have a pretty good track record.

They are also hard to bribe, blackmail or talk out of an accusation with a really good story.

There are mechanisms on the market that detect explosives too, mechanisms that actually WORK. (Whether they work as well as a dog's nose, however, is a matter for debate.) But these mechanisms are generally much more expensive than the phony-baloney dowsing rods that this joker sold to the guards. My bet is that expense was one of the reasons why the phony-baloney devices were such a big sell... for the cost of one actual working device, you could get ten (or more) phony-baloney devices. What a bargain. BOOM!

Some detection mechanisms that work are also inconvenient. The phony-baloney devices, however, have convenience going for them. Nobody has to get out of a car, or get sprayed with puffs of air, or pass through a special opening, or be subjected to confined claustrophobic spaces. What convenience. BOOM!
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Last edited by Brown; 26th January 2010 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 26th January 2010, 02:46 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Techowiz View Post
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
The scammers that make the ridiculous HEDD1 have issued a statement distancing themselves from the exposure of the ADE651. It is so funny I can't stop laughing with such classic statements as, "THE RESULT HAS BEEN DISASTROUS AND THEY HAVE CREATED A MASSIVE SCAM, WHICH IS DESPICABLE"
It is good to see they don't let hypocrisy get in the way of their scam!!!
Check the link for a good laugh.

http://www.unival-group.com/images/s...D1_ADE651.pdf

regards
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Old 26th January 2010, 02:48 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by One Skunk Todd View Post
Well thank goodness Iraqi security forces are using these things, otherwise stuff like this might happen:

Car bomb kills 18, injures dozens in Baghdad
How much evidence do the Iraqis need before they realise, as the bombers have, that the ADE651 does not work?

regards
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Old 26th January 2010, 03:43 PM   #197
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The CNN website now had a video story about the, er, "device" in question, and mentions that bombers have successfully passed a "multitude" of checkpoints. More than 300 people have been killed as a result.
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Old 27th January 2010, 01:00 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
The CNN website now had a video story about the, er, "device" in question, and mentions that bombers have successfully passed a "multitude" of checkpoints. More than 300 people have been killed as a result.
Link please Brown.
regards
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Old 29th January 2010, 07:45 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Techowiz View Post
Link please Brown.
regards
I don't know how long CNN will continue to have the video, but as of this writing, it is still available. Go to CNN.com, use the search feature to find videos using the search word "detector." You should get a link to a video entitled "Fake bomb detectors."
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Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
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Old 4th February 2010, 02:55 PM   #200
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I don't know if this is a rehash of earlier articles, but one can hope it's new and shows some progress:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35239295...eastn_africa//

<snip>Handheld wand criticized
But Iraq also had faced charges of relying on flawed devices — a wand-like, handheld mechanism known as ADE-651. Last month, British authorities banned its export to Iraq and Afghanistan after a BBC report raised serious questions about its ability to detect explosives.

Iraqi officials initially defended the hand-held machine, but now appear to be backing down and looking for alternatives.

American commanders have been strongly urging Iraqi forces to abandon the ADE-651, repeatedly telling security officials they did not work following major bombings against government sites in August, October and December, according to a high-ranking U.S. military officer with knowledge of the discussions. </snip>

Ya think?!?!?
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