ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags madeleine mccann , dna , danie krugel

Reply
Old 23rd August 2006, 03:44 AM   #1
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
It’s either hide or hair, but not both!

Last night a weekly investigative TV programme – one generally respected for its uncompromising approach – featured the story of a man, Danie Krugel, who claims to be able to locate a missing person with nothing more than a DNA sample from that person and his “magic box.” Mr Krugel was determinedly tight-lipped about the science behind said “magic box,” but indications were given that it derives from some geological or geophysical exploration equipment and uses available GPS infrastructure. Throughout the programme, the DNA samples were cuttings of hair or forensically collected individual hairs of the target person, only tiny amounts of which hair seemed necessary, and location accuracy of a few tens of metres were reported.

An earlier, 18–month old article – the only one I could find – can be viewed here.

Following a brief description of the purpose and operation of the procedure, a lone physicist was asked his opinion on the apparent operation of Mr Krugel’s invention, and offered that it seemed to violate many well–established principles; several witnesses, each of whom had supposedly thus been aided in searching for a loved one, stepped forward to laud the effectiveness of the new technology; some informal and impromptu tests of Mr Krugel’s abilities were undertaken by the reporters (more on this to follow), and the country’s Safety and Security Minister unreservedly hailed the invention as a significant breakthrough for crime prevention.

Now, being the inveterate sceptic that I am, I couldn’t help noticing that the “tests” conducted by the reporting crew suffered from a variety of procedural flaws, not least of which was the fact that either the crew, in the presence of Mr Krugel, knew where the missing person was, or the target locality was trivially obvious or constrained, given knowledge of who was being sought. To their credit, the reporters did qualify their observations by saying that these tests did not constitute any validation of Mr Krugel’s claims, and that such was the province of suitably qualified scientists. Clearly, they are ignorant of the JREF and the $M1.- challenge, a deficiency I would like to rectify if appropriate.

It is important to note that Mr Krugel does not appear to be making any overt claims of possessing supernatural powers, but something supernatural seems to be afoot in his location technique if the description given in the TV programme is accurate and complete. Moreover, it seems that Mr Krugel, should he win it, could well use the JREF’s reward for further development, refinement and patenting of his technology.

All of which of course assumes that Mr Krugel qualifies to apply for the JREF prize, and this really is my question: does he so qualify?

If yes, I will write the producers of the TV programme and request that they inform Mr Krugel accordingly.

Thanks in advance.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 04:00 AM   #2
brodski
Tea-Time toad
 
brodski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15,516
I would say that this clearly does qualify as "paranormal" in the same way the free energy machines qualify. However I suspect that if approached Mr Krugel will claim that his device is non-paranormal, and therefore doesn't qualify, and will probably continue to do so even if the JREF publicly stated that his device specifically qualifies for the challenge.
brodski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 06:10 AM   #3
socialsniper
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 20
If healing magnets and those rings that are supposed to make wine taste better are eligible I don't see why this device wouldn't be. I think the JREF Challenge used 'paranormal' in it's broadest possible sense.
socialsniper is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 06:29 AM   #4
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,469
Originally Posted by brodski View Post
I would say that this clearly does qualify as "paranormal" in the same way the free energy machines qualify. However I suspect that if approached Mr Krugel will claim that his device is non-paranormal, and therefore doesn't qualify, and will probably continue to do so even if the JREF publicly stated that his device specifically qualifies for the challenge.
Finding bin laden would make him more money anyway. But winning Randi's million would be a good way to get someone to give him a bin laden sample
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 06:30 AM   #5
ponderingturtle
Orthogonal Vector
 
ponderingturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 46,469
Originally Posted by socialsniper View Post
If healing magnets and those rings that are supposed to make wine taste better are eligible I don't see why this device wouldn't be. I think the JREF Challenge used 'paranormal' in it's broadest possible sense.
Oh this device certainly would be eligible the sugestion was what his dodge would be to avoid a real test of its function
ponderingturtle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 06:39 AM   #6
Loss Leader
I would save the receptionist.
Moderator
 
Loss Leader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,466
Here's what's required to extract DNA from human hair:

Quote:
DNA extraction from hair roots
1. Suspend hair roots (up to 50) in 500 ul of 10mM Tris HC., pH 8.0, 100mM
NaCl, 1mM EDTA (STE).
Add 25 ul 10% SDS.
Add 20 ul Proteinase K (10 mg/ml).
Incubate for 2 h at 56C.
2. Add 0.1 volume 2M sodium acetate, pH 5.6.
Extract with phenol/chloroform (2X).
Extract with chloroform (1X).
Add 10 ul glycogen (10 mg/ml) to the aqueous phase.
Add 1 ml ethanol.
Mix by gentle inversion.
3. Centrifuge for 10 s.
Decant supernatant.
Resuspend pellet in 0.2M sodium acetate pH 7.0 (200 ul).
Add 500 ul ethanol.
Mix by gentle inversion.
4. Centrifuge for 10 s.
Decant supernatant.
Add 1 ml 80% ethanol.
Centrifuge for 10 s.
Decant supernatant.
5. Dry pellet under vacuum for 5 min.
Dissolve pellet in appropriate restriction enzyme buffer.
So, step one is a magic box in which hair is deposited and the entire process of targeting, isolating and coding the DNA is accomplished automatically.

That right there would be more than just a scientific breakthrough. It would basically be Gattaca.
__________________
I have the honor to be
Your Obdt. St

L. Leader
Loss Leader is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 07:06 AM   #7
Ladewig
I lost an avatar bet.
 
Ladewig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 26,469
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Here's what's required to extract DNA from human hair:



So, step one is a magic box in which hair is deposited and the entire process of targeting, isolating and coding the DNA is accomplished automatically.

That right there would be more than just a scientific breakthrough. It would basically be Gattaca.
Indeed, a breakthough of Nobel Prize proportions. Why use the device to locate people when the device contains the far more useful technology of being able to instantaneously compare two different DNA samples to see if they came from the same person?
Ladewig is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 07:53 AM   #8
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Here's what's required to extract DNA from human hair:
Thank you for this information. Do you have a source and/or link for it?

I was peripherally aware that extracting DNA is rather more complicated than seemed to be implied by Mr Krugel’s assertions. That fact alone merits some considerable suspicion. In addition, some of the samples used were clippings that included few, if any, hair roots.


Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
So, step one is a magic box in which hair is deposited and the entire process of targeting, isolating and coding the DNA is accomplished automatically.

That right there would be more than just a scientific breakthrough. It would basically be Gattaca.
and
Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
Indeed, a breakthough of Nobel Prize proportions. Why use the device to locate people when the device contains the far more useful technology of being able to instantaneously compare two different DNA samples to see if they came from the same person?
Well, it wasn’t by any means made clear whether or not the “magic box” performed the DNA extraction and analysis. No mention of timeframes was made, nor of any preparatory procedures; only that the hair samples were handed over to Mr Krugel, who some unspecified time later proceeded to take “measurements” with the “magic box” at a series of three-or-so positions surrounding the assumed target area.

As I tried to make clear in the OP, there was an insufficiency of hard facts presented in the programme to allow any reasoned assessment of the low-and-dirty of what Mr Krugel is actually up to.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.

Last edited by Anacoluthon64; 23rd August 2006 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Improved clarity, I hope.
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 08:30 AM   #9
brodski
Tea-Time toad
 
brodski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15,516
Even finding OBL would be just the start, can you imaging how this would revolutionise criminal investigations? You find a tiny DNA sample from a criminal at a crime scene, and suddenly you have their home address or current location! Bail jumping will be a thing of the past, and surveillance operations will become much easier, as you remotely locate and track the movements of anyone you can get a DNA sample from!
brodski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 08:44 AM   #10
Loss Leader
I would save the receptionist.
Moderator
 
Loss Leader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,466
Originally Posted by Anacoluthon64 View Post
Thank you for this information. Do you have a source and/or link for it?

Sources:

Here.

And here.

I noted that the guy never really said that the hair goes in the box and the box sequences the DNA but the guy never really said what the heck the box does. In any case, automatic sequencing of DNA is a whole lot easier than anything else the box is supposed to do. I mean, how does it find the person and not just a hairbrush the person used or a cup he drank from? For that matter, how does it find anything?
__________________
I have the honor to be
Your Obdt. St

L. Leader
Loss Leader is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd August 2006, 09:10 AM   #11
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Sources:
Again, my sincere gratitude.


Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
... For that matter, how does it find anything?
It is precisely this that Mr Krugel won’t talk about. So, in the absence of any exposition of its inner workings, the next best one may hope for is a clear demonstration of it under suitably controlled conditions, which in turn relates back to my question in the OP re Krugel’s eligibility for the JREF challenge.


Originally Posted by brodski View Post
Even finding OBL would be just the start, ...
Yes, it all sounds too good to be true, which usually is a solid indicator that it is.

My own ruminations on this matter and the responses posted thus far seem to agree that it is worthy of the JREF’s attention. I will compose an appropriate note with the necessary links to the producers and urge them to invite Mr Krugel to accept the challenge. Developments (if any) will be reported as they arise.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2006, 11:12 AM   #12
Dirk
New Blood
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
I would like to receive any information as it becomes available regarding this topic.

I am of the same culture, ethnic group, and speak the same language as Mr Krugel and my best friends are from the same town as he is; I also share to a great extent the same religious background etc.

I was perplexed and puzzled about the whole thing.

I thought to myself, if it is true, he will get killed soon, or he will disappear or he will be in a fatal “accident”, or he will capitulate and have some silly explanation why it was one big mistake.

But the next morning after reading the stuff and comments here, as I walked up the stairs to our office to start the day’s work, one thing dawned on me:

Whatever who says, Danie Krugel as far as I could discern from his body-talk mannerisms, etc – was absolutely sincere.

He is obviously an intelligent person and head of a department at an Academic institution and he served in the Police-force for quite some time.

It may be that he and his partners are perfectly well aware of the dangers and consequences they could face after such a “revelation”.

I wonder what mechanisms they felt were in place to protect them?

It would also be very interesting to know who contacted who first, the producers of the documentary or they? Or were they facilitated by an intermediary?

I would appreciate any information.










Dirk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2006, 11:51 AM   #13
Kopji
 
Kopji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 7,990
The most obvious answer is that is just one more fraud, this one designed to take advantage of people with missing relatives. That the media chose to participate in the fraud only reinforces an already low opinion of 'feature' writers.

He is saying he could help you in some nearly godlike way, but for some soopersekret reason chooses not to. The original article was two years ago and a website promised soon. So where is it? Surely such a device would be easy to test and 'prove'. Nothing like two years.

Comeon, he's a liar or worse, (maybe a kidnapper?) taking advantage of people's lack of knowledge of technology to steal their money.

Quote:
Experts are skeptical, but it's too early to prove or disprove.
Yeah right. It is really up to him to prove this outrageous and probably predatory claim, not anyone else to disprove it.

If he shows up again he should be arrested.
Kopji is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th December 2006, 12:15 PM   #14
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
The fact that the first reports I could find are just over two years old without this marvellous technology burgeoning locally or internationally should twiddle one's suspicion knob towards the higher registers. If Krugel really is, as Dirk suggests, worried about the repercussions of unleashing such earth shattering technology upon the world, then surely the optimal policy would be for him to zip his lip instead of promoting, as he does, his services.

Regarding the recent (03 Dec., 2006) Carte Blanche report, it is worth remembering that Ruda Landman and Derek Watts, though sober most of the time, exhibit, like all of us, occasional lapses of reason. Some years ago they fell for that non-Newtonian motor (which had, remember, been given the imprimatur of a mechanical engineering professor) from Potch, and of which nothing has since been heard. Again, such a marvellous invention would rewrite large tracts of science.

I wrote the producers of 3rd Degree late in August, asking them to bring the JREF Challenge to Mr Krugel's attention, alternatively facilitate contact between he and I, but to no avail. Instead, we got Landman and Watts making fools of themselves, because Danie Krugel did much the same as in the 3rd Degree programme, and we don't know the precise details of the demonstrations given.

ETA: This JREF forum thread also addresses the Danie Krugel topic. Here and here are some delightfully sane assessments.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.

Last edited by Anacoluthon64; 12th December 2006 at 12:44 PM. Reason: 'cos Danie and I can't find the keys' DNA...
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2007, 09:12 AM   #15
moonflake
New Blood
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Quote:
He is obviously an intelligent person and head of a department at an Academic institution and he served in the Police-force for quite some time.


As far as I can tell, it seems that the department of which he is 'head' is the campus security department. He is not an academic. He is a campus rentacop.
moonflake is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2007, 10:00 AM   #16
CynicalSkeptic
Master Poster
 
CynicalSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,608
Originally Posted by moonflake View Post
He is a campus rentacop.
Hey now, he's not just a rentacop, he's head rentacop; he gets to carry a flashlight.
CynicalSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2007, 12:45 PM   #17
baron
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,627
How could this possibly work? Has he got another set of boxes in orbit? And even if he did, what's the relevance of the DNA? This sounds like something Tom Bearden might dream up. Maybe this is the same guy that tried to sell the US Navy a machine that would locate anything on earth simply by giving it a photograph.
baron is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th January 2007, 08:29 AM   #18
moonflake
New Blood
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Amazing. It appears Carte Blanche has taken note. I received this response to the suggestion I made that they follow up on Danie's story:

Quote:
Thank you for your input. We are planning to broadcast a follow-up programme on Danie Krugel's invention towards the end of January. Hope you will be watching.


I most certainly will be watching.
moonflake is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th January 2007, 08:39 AM   #19
brodski
Tea-Time toad
 
brodski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15,516
Originally Posted by baron View Post
How could this possibly work? Has he got another set of boxes in orbit? And even if he did, what's the relevance of the DNA? This sounds like something Tom Bearden might dream up. Maybe this is the same guy that tried to sell the US Navy a machine that would locate anything on earth simply by giving it a photograph.
Hey I can do that without any new technology, you provide me with a photograph of anything on earth and I will be able to give you its location. *

*
results only accurate to within 12,500 miles, accurate readings cannot be taken from photographs of objects not on earth
brodski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2007, 12:33 AM   #20
Mastermind
New Blood
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
They are at it again and this time they added the "services" of a "clearvoyant", Please also look at my forum post here :

I cant seem to post url's so just describe where on the forum it is :
Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
|
|-- Crackpot device - please help debunk
Mastermind is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2007, 02:19 AM   #21
brodski
Tea-Time toad
 
brodski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 15,516
Originally Posted by Mastermind View Post
They are at it again and this time they added the "services" of a "clearvoyant", Please also look at my forum post here :

I cant seem to post url's so just describe where on the forum it is :
Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
|
|-- Crackpot device - please help debunk
Linky linky http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=70055

Welcome to the forum.
brodski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2007, 02:50 AM   #22
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
The Carte Blanche transcript lives here. It mentions one Marietta Theunissen who says she can clairvoyantly converse with those elocution-challenged dead people, à la John Edward. She also had her own TV show.

Danie Krugel, hair locator extraordinaire, also featured big in the programme. Madeleine McCann's name was not mentioned, even among the tumult of lower jaws slapping to the ground.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2007, 08:57 AM   #23
BPSCG
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 17,539
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I mean, how does it find the person and not just a hairbrush the person used or a cup he drank from? For that matter, how does it find anything?
Originally Posted by Anacoluthon64 View Post
It is precisely this that Mr Krugel won’t talk about.
No matter. The JREF Challenge doesn't care, anyway:
Quote:
3. We will consult competent statisticians when an evaluation of the experimental design, is required. We have no interest in theories nor explanations of how the claimed powers might work; if an applicant provides us with such material, it will be ignored and discarded.
BPSCG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2007, 12:13 AM   #24
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
I watched the Carte Blance re-run last night. Ruda Landman laments the fact that they don't have sufficient funds to continue to excavate for the bodies that Theunissen and Krugel claim to have pinpointed.

I am writing to Carte Blanche, to tell tham that a million dollars should be more than enough to complete the excavations, and that it is readilly available. All they have to do is prove that their equipment works.

I'll even buy the airticket for Krugel to get to the USA for the tests HOWEVER, if Krugel fails the test I want a refund for the airtickets, and I want Carte Blanche to actively pursue a conviction against Krugel, or at the very least, to lay charges with the Office of the Public Protector to confiscate Krugel's possesions as having been bought with the proceeds of criminal activity (In this case, fraud).
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd August 2007, 04:44 AM   #25
Anacoluthon64
Defollyant Iconoclast
 
Anacoluthon64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,018
Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
I watched the Carte Blance re-run last night. Ruda Landman laments the fact that they don't have sufficient funds to continue to excavate for the bodies that Theunissen and Krugel claim to have pinpointed.

I am writing to Carte Blanche, to tell tham that a million dollars should be more than enough to complete the excavations, and that it is readilly available. All they have to do is prove that their equipment works.

I'll even buy the airticket for Krugel to get to the USA for the tests HOWEVER, if Krugel fails the test I want a refund for the airtickets, and I want Carte Blanche to actively pursue a conviction against Krugel, or at the very least, to lay charges with the Office of the Public Protector to confiscate Krugel's possesions as having been bought with the proceeds of criminal activity (In this case, fraud).
I'm quite prepared to join you in this (you can PM me if you wish). I've written to Derek Watts directly as well. Krugel and Carte Blanche both know about the JREF's MDC – it's been brought to their individual attentions several times. And, as M-Net subscribers, we paid for this airheaded tripe.

But don't expect anything significant to come of your actions: Krugel and Carte Blanche have been challenged repeatedly to put up or shut up, but they just soldier on towards woo-woo land regardless.

'Luthon64
__________________
"The cynics were watchdogs terrifying malefactors. They tried to expose falseness and conceit. That's why their name is still spoken with a snarl." — Petr Skrabanek, In Defence of Destructive Criticism.
Anacoluthon64 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th August 2007, 06:41 AM   #26
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
I am sorry for not replying earlier. I haven't enabled e-maili alerts for this forum, and didn't realise there was a reply.

I posted the following in another thread of this forum. I can't post a URL link because I have not yet had 15 posts.

"I tried to get a journalist from the Sunday Independant fired up about the situation, but it seems that's fizzled out.

Here's a 2 suggestions, and I'd love feedback:

1) I am prepared to buy Krugel a Business Class ticket to the USA and pay for his accomodation while he takes the million dolar challenge. However, if he fails, he must repay me the full value of the ticket and the accomodation. If he he wins the million dollars, then I will have no claim on him, but I would like him to spend a few thousand dollars on excavating the site he identified as the burial place of the Van Rooyen victims. (Ruda Landman did say that the reason they didn't continue with the excavation was a shortage of money).

2) I kinda prefer this idea. I would like to somehow publicly denounce Krugel in the most demeaning terms as a fraud and con man. If he responds with a defamation charge, then I will have won because he will have to PROVE that he ISN'T a fraud. If he doesn't respond, then he clearly IS a fraud and I will ask the Assests Forfeiture Unit to confiscate any property he bought with the proceeds of criminal activity. In other words, if he has been paid to find bodies and did so under fraudulent conditions, then his car, house, clothing etc. were clearly illegally obtained and can be seized.

Any suggestions? Does anyone have an idea of the best vehicle to use to publicly attack the guy?

In South Africa we are always complaining about high crime levels and that we need to fight back. Well, here's a guy who's clearly breaking the law, fleecing people out of money, and misleading the public. Let's take him on.

Marc"
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th August 2007, 04:25 PM   #27
blutoski
Penultimate Amazing
 
blutoski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 11,634
Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
2) I kinda prefer this idea. I would like to somehow publicly denounce Krugel in the most demeaning terms as a fraud and con man. If he responds with a defamation charge, then I will have won because he will have to PROVE that he ISN'T a fraud. If he doesn't respond, then he clearly IS a fraud and I will ask the Assests Forfeiture Unit to confiscate any property he bought with the proceeds of criminal activity. In other words, if he has been paid to find bodies and did so under fraudulent conditions, then his car, house, clothing etc. were clearly illegally obtained and can be seized.
Check with a lawyer to confirm that this is the case: libel laws work differently in different countries. The burden of proof may be yours in ZA.

The second concern is that he may prove he's telling the truth by referring you to his TV coverage, which has an example of the device working in front of witnesses. If this satisfied a court, you may be on the hook in proportion to the effectiveness of your press coverage.
__________________
"Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness." - Terry Pratchett
blutoski is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2007, 12:55 AM   #28
moonflake
New Blood
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
I think the problem with nailing this guy is that it appears he's not actually charging anyone for anything. I'm not actually aware of anyone paying him for his services. I don't know the law, but it seems it would be hard to pin fraud on someone who is doing something for free. Not that I don't think he should be exposed - what he does is no different than psychics who insinuate themselves into investigations, wasting time and resources and providing false hope.

Here's what I think is going on, for what it's worth: Danie Krugel retires from the Bloemfontein police force, and ends up running campus security at a local college. He desperately misses being involved in police work, and the new generation just aren't doing things right, but there's no reason for an ordinary civilian, no matter how experienced, to insinuate themselves into an investigation. So he invents a reason. If he has a device that can help find missing people, then the police have to let him help, because he's not just an ordinary civilian anymore. The device doesn't need to be real, they just need to believe it is.

It's likely that Danie was a good cop. He's almost certainly using his experience to find these missing people, not any magic device... with the added fallback that if his experience fails him and he doesn't find them, well, the device is still experimental and it's not really his fault. And I suppose his old cop buddies welcome him with open arms, refusing to believe that it's all a fraud because Danie is, in their words, 'a good christian'. He wouldn't lie to them just so he could feel like he was part of the team again, would he? And since it's Bloemfontein, it's unlikely the rest of the country is going to notice, so Danie figures he's safe in his little white lie.

The problem with this sort of thing is that it becomes a 'human interest' piece... people tell people who tell other people, and before you know what's happening, reporters start popping up wanting to know about the device (Carte Blanche came to him, he claims). How do you tell them that you made it up just so you could feel like a cop again? You can't, or you lose everything... so your story becomes more elaborate, more involved... you have to find excuses for why you won't let anyone study it or why you haven't applied for a patent. The problem is, you're no scientist, so you use what you've seen on TV, and maybe that's enough to fool the reporters and the simple folk, but then some people with an education start pointing out the holes in your lies... and then it's the grandstanding, and the conspiracy theories, and the rumours of sale, and calling it quantum because nobody understands that, surely....

and at the end of the day you have a sad old man with his sad little box, who's so deep in his own lie he can't escape it without earning the hatred of an entire nation. The saddest thing is, he still thinks he's helping.

It would make a pretty good Hallmark movie, with a classic redemption just in time for the closing credits. Such a pity it's real life - it's unlikely to have a happy ending.
moonflake is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2007, 01:03 AM   #29
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
You don't think this is just a case of a loony looking for his 15 minutes of fame in a country where loony ideas are reasonably popular?

This is such an obvious fake which wouldn't stand up to any scrutiny at all.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2007, 02:01 AM   #30
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by moonflake View Post
It's likely that Danie was a good cop. He's almost certainly using his experience to find these missing people, not any magic device...
I think you're not far off the mark in your assessment of Krugel's situation. My own thoughts were essentially identical, but I assumed that he was charging for some of his services.

But however sad and pathetic Krugel's reasons are, there's still no reason NOT to expose the man. In fact, there's every reason TO expose him. We certainly don't need to foster false hopes and encourage beliefs in pseudo-science in this country.

I read on some other blog (can't find the link at the moment), that a woman basically said that she didn't care if his device worked or not, but that she was cutting a lock of her daughters hair just in case she goes missing and that she'd contact Krugel first in the event of her daughter going missing.
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2007, 02:53 AM   #31
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
You don't think this is just a case of a loony looking for his 15 minutes of fame in a country where loony ideas are reasonably popular?
There's nothing new about Mbeki's thoughts (and those of his former, and current, Ministers of Health) regarding AIDS, but I think that referring to South Africa as "a country where loony ideas are reasonably popular" is frankly, quite insulting to me.

Most (if not all) countries are riddled with loony ideas, involving most of the people of the country, the leaders included.

1) George W. Bush's President's Fund has made countless millions of dollars available for organisations that push abstinence as an AIDS prevention strategy in spite of the enormous wealth of evidence which shows that abstinence-based programs do not work. Meantime, hundreds of organisations who follow prevention and education programs with scientifically reliable statistics and research are struggling to survive financially.

2) North Korea's Kim Jong-il is a complete nutter who believes that silver chopsticks will warn him about poisoned food, that his birth was heralded by flights of swallows.

3) Wasn't it the Australian Premier of Queensland, Jo Bjelke-Petersen, who said "There are NO homosexuals in Queensland"?

4) Most countries in the world are led by leaders who, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, continue to believe that the universe was created by a mythical being. And this brings me to why I feel insulted by your comment. Mbeki has a cultural background that you don't understand at all. He was brought up in a culture steeped in ancestor worship flavoured with christian missionary beliefs. He almost certainly saw a traditional healer long before he ever consulted a western doctor, and I'm fairly certain he believes in witchcraft. The only difference between Mbeki's beliefs and those of the leaders of Italy, Israel, Australia, UK, USA, Canada etc. etc. is that YOU don't understand the cultual context of the beliefs. I'm not excusing Mbeki's crackpot ideas, simply understanding them in the context of his cultural background.

Marc
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd September 2007, 03:05 PM   #32
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
There's nothing new about Mbeki's thoughts (and those of his former, and current, Ministers of Health) regarding AIDS, but I think that referring to South Africa as "a country where loony ideas are reasonably popular" is frankly, quite insulting to me.
Wasn't intended to be insulting, but it is factual. As you note, Mbeki's lunacy was well known before he was voted in. That alone would make lunacy somewhat popular.

Not to mention the entirely salient point that it's still well under a generation since Apartheid ended. You wouldn't really count Apartheid as a sane policy, would you? Just remember that many successive RSA governments were voted in with strong Apartheid policies, RSA was at no stage a dictatorship during the entire Apartheid era - notwithstanding a case could maybe made for Smuts' was government. (Holy crap, last week I was an apologist for Apartheid, apparently!)

Isn't this precisely why so many of your countrymen are leaving? Because they see the lunacy becoming all-pervading in the future, so get out now while they still can?

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
Most (if not all) countries are riddled with loony ideas, involving most of the people of the country, the leaders included.
An assertion not worth bothering with, unless you'd like to present some facts to back it up.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
1) George W. Bush's President's Fund has made countless millions of dollars available for organisations that push abstinence as an AIDS prevention strategy in spite of the enormous wealth of evidence which shows that abstinence-based programs do not work. Meantime, hundreds of organisations who follow prevention and education programs with scientifically reliable statistics and research are struggling to survive financially.
Naive rather than lunatic, though.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
2) North Korea's Kim Jong-il is a complete nutter who believes that silver chopsticks will warn him about poisoned food, that his birth was heralded by flights of swallows.
How many people voted for him?

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
3) Wasn't it the Australian Premier of Queensland, Jo Bjelke-Petersen, who said "There are NO homosexuals in Queensland"?
He also advocated life imprisonment for possession of a single cannibis seed. (He was also a Kiwi, but we knew he was nuts and exported him to Oz)

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
4) Most countries in the world are led by leaders who, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, continue to believe that the universe was created by a mythical being.
Firstly, I don't know of any evidence to the contrary of the sky-daddy, but it's a different point and not to be debated here.

I'd also dispute the "most countries" idea as well. Asian, African and European leaders will be among many who don't think along those lines. Plus, I do see a little gap between belief in the sky-fairy and telling people that AIDS doesn't exist.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
And this brings me to why I feel insulted by your comment. Mbeki has a cultural background that you don't understand at all.
Completely and utterly wrong. You'd be surprised how well I understand cultural and tribal influence on Africans. Can I suggest you take the insult less personally and see it for what it is - simply the way it's been in South Africa for many, many years. It's just that you've recently swapped a few generations of white-man-god-supported myth for the next few generations of black-man-________-supported myths.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
He was brought up in a culture steeped in ancestor worship flavoured with christian missionary beliefs.
Now, now; don't be playing the "dumb darkie" card with Mbeki - as far as was able in those days - he had a privileged upbringing for a black man, being the son of a university-educated teacher father and a teacher mother, both socialists, ANC supporters and fervent Marxists. Karl Marx was his god, not some mumbo-jumbo witchcraft bollocks.

Do you not even know about Mbeki's childhood?

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
He almost certainly saw a traditional healer long before he ever consulted a western doctor,...
You sure you want to bet on that horse in view of his background? Looks a bad bet to me - I can't imagine many Marxist schoolteachers taking their kids to a witch-doctor.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
...and I'm fairly certain he believes in witchcraft. The only difference between Mbeki's beliefs and those of the leaders of Italy, Israel, Australia, UK, USA, Canada etc. etc. is that YOU don't understand the cultual context of the beliefs. I'm not excusing Mbeki's crackpot ideas, simply understanding them in the context of his cultural background.
Whoops! Well, since you just got pwned on Mbeki's background, do you really want me to go on? I suspect not.

Brought to you from a country with an openly atheist/agnostic Prime Minister.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2007, 07:58 AM   #33
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Completely and utterly wrong. You'd be surprised how well I understand cultural and tribal influence on Africans. Can I suggest you take the insult less personally and see it for what it is - simply the way it's been in South Africa for many, many years. It's just that you've recently swapped a few generations of white-man-god-supported myth for the next few generations of black-man-________-supported myths.

SNIP

Whoops! Well, since you just got pwned on Mbeki's background, do you really want me to go on? I suspect not.
I'd like to state at the outset that I don't think that this forum in general, and this thread in particular, is the place for this argument to continue, but I do need to comment on your previous post.

I am well aware of Mbeki's background. He is MY president after all. I know he was born outside Idutywa and went to primary school in Butterworth, both places that I know reasonably well, and was in fact in that area in January this year as it happens. I know he was pulled from school to be taught at home in the mid 50's, and I'm prepared to bet that he was one of the abakwetha around that time too.

As for his lunatic beliefs about AIDS being well known before he took office as President, you are not correct. During his term as vice President between 1994 and 1999 AIDS was in his portfolio, and he dealt with it in a very conventional manner indeed.

I am no expert on South African tribal cultures, and know very little about the "cultural and tribal influence on Africans" from outside of Southern Africa, in spite of the fact that I have lived in Southern Africa my whole life, and have a fascination with the history (modern and ancient) of this area. So in this area I have to bow to your obviously superior knowledge which frankly, I am surprised to hear you posess.

I don't know what "pwned" means ("Well, since you just got pwned on Mbeki's background") but no, I'd rather you didn't go on.
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th September 2007, 12:54 PM   #34
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
I'd like to state at the outset that I don't think that this forum in general, and this thread in particular, is the place for this argument to continue, but I do need to comment on your previous post.
Well, the forum is exactly the right place and the thread? It appears dead to its original intent and it's not worth its own thread, so why not?

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
I am well aware of Mbeki's background. He is MY president after all. I know he was born outside Idutywa and went to primary school in Butterworth, both places that I know reasonably well, and was in fact in that area in January this year as it happens. I know he was pulled from school to be taught at home in the mid 50's, and I'm prepared to bet that he was one of the abakwetha around that time too.
Well, if you're aware of his background, you'd clearly be aware of the Marxist connection, so I'm surprised you made such a misleading post.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
As for his lunatic beliefs about AIDS being well known before he took office as President, you are not correct. During his term as vice President between 1994 and 1999 AIDS was in his portfolio, and he dealt with it in a very conventional manner indeed.
I was fairly sure I'd seen him connected with Duesberg earlier than 1999, but either way, he was certainly re-elected with those views being known, if not when he became president.

Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
So in this area I have to bow to your obviously superior knowledge which frankly, I am surprised to hear you posess.
Let's leave the strawmen for the Danes, eh?

I didn't claim to be an expert; you questioned whether I understood it at all, and I was pointing out that I do have quite a good understanding of the cultures.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2007, 05:08 AM   #35
Mastermind
New Blood
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6
Calm down people, were of topic now and a flame war is not far of

Quote:
It appears dead to its original intent and it's not worth its own thread, so why not?
If this is the case does that means you speak for all the members here ? Do they share
the same sentiment ? If yes then I ask a moderator to either lock or even delete this thread !

Otherwise lets get back to our Danie and his device. Remember this wont be the last time
we're going to find him in the news again. Just wait when Carte Blanche airs another episode
of the Fearless Danie and his Incredible Machine 2

Last edited by Mastermind; 10th September 2007 at 05:18 AM.
Mastermind is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th September 2007, 11:26 AM   #36
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
Originally Posted by Mastermind View Post
If this is the case does that means you speak for all the members here ? Do they share
the same sentiment ? If yes then I ask a moderator to either lock or even delete this thread !
Threads only get locked when really bad stuff happens and they never get deleted. A thread dies when nobody bothers posting to it. That's where this one has been - no legs at all, fewer than 30 [on topic] posts.

Originally Posted by Mastermind View Post
Otherwise lets get back to our Danie and his device. Remember this wont be the last time
we're going to find him in the news again. Just wait when Carte Blanche airs another episode
of the Fearless Danie and his Incredible Machine 2
I'm sure it won't be the last time, paranormal stupidity is composed of 99.99% hot air; it will always rise. In the case of Danie, it's plain that he's a nutter and so is everyone who believes a millisecond of his garbage. Plenty of nutters around and this one appears to have few people bothered by it. As I said, if discussion on RSA and lunacy is going to happen, Mbeki's a good place to start, maybe followed by looking at how Apartheid parties were voted into government a dozen[ish] times in a row, finishing off with South Africans propagating their racism through NZ, UK and Australia.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2007, 01:52 AM   #37
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
The reason why this thread has so few posts is because it only concerns a very small group of people. It is neither dead, nor exhausted.

The reason I haven't posted for a while is that I've been in the Congo for some time, and didn't have easy internet access.

I think that The Atheist doesn't quite understand Marxism in the Southern African context, but that a subject that is better discussed on a different thread.

Likewise the issue of apartheid. (But I MUST point out in response that South Africans NEVER voted for the apartheid regime. In fact, about 85% of South Africans couldn't vote prior to 1994) White South Africans have exported racist views to Australia and NZ, where they were welcomed with open arms by their new-found countries.

The issue of racism being exported from South Africa into Australia/NZ is probably not an appropriate subject for this particular forum, and however pugilistic I feel, I would certainly not like to see it hijacking this thread.
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th September 2007, 08:38 AM   #38
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
Originally Posted by Marc Lurie View Post
(But I MUST point out in response that South Africans NEVER voted for the apartheid regime....)


Man, I am learning so much in this thread - Mbeki being brought up in a thatched hut, treated by witch-doctors, while successive governments seize and retain control of RSA without ever having an election.

Malam obviously conducted a coup in 1948.

And all the successive governments since then, until after FW de Klerk...

Funny nobody ever noticed.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th September 2007, 12:08 AM   #39
Marc Lurie
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8
I will not be drawn into a foolish debate which has degenerated into sarcasm.
Marc Lurie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th September 2007, 12:16 AM   #40
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,486
Very wise, and certainly far easier than trying to show that no Apartheid government was ever voted into power in South Africa.
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:01 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.