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Old 17th February 2007, 10:28 AM   #1
Moochie
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Is the U.S. Navy Really That Dumb?

Sorry!

Last edited by Moochie; 17th February 2007 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 3rd April 2007, 03:03 AM   #2
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Just an update on my complaint --

I called the IG and they've received my complaint. The next step is for them to send me an official confirmation that they've received it (I love bureaucracy). So far I haven't gotten that, but that's the stage I'm at. More updates as they come.
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Old 5th April 2007, 08:09 PM   #3
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I probably finish my sentence before you ever get a reply.
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Old 10th April 2007, 12:14 PM   #4
CynicalSkeptic
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post
Just an update on my complaint --

I called the IG and they've received my complaint. The next step is for them to send me an official confirmation that they've received it (I love bureaucracy). So far I haven't gotten that, but that's the stage I'm at. More updates as they come.
They're probably forming a committee to decide on a date, when they can schedule a meeting, to talk about forming the committee to send you the official confirmation.
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Old 11th April 2007, 03:11 AM   #5
Jackalgirl
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Originally Posted by CynicalSkeptic View Post
They're probably forming a committee to decide on a date, when they can schedule a meeting, to talk about forming the committee to send you the official confirmation.
ROFL! No doubt. And they'll have to design the committee logo and assemble the committee to determine who'll print the t-shirts before they can actually get to the confirmation business. ; )
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Old 12th April 2007, 09:15 PM   #6
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...and I just got my official confirmation, plus case number. I'm going to keep taking a look at the Homeland Safety website to see if there are any overt repercussions to my report, and give them about another month before I call to see if there's a status update (the IG will not contact you with any information. They'll just tell you if the case is open or closed. If it's closed, you have to submit a FoI request to get whatever details are appropriate to release which, of course, I will do.
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Old 16th April 2007, 07:03 PM   #7
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The Dallas Morning News published an article today about Sniffex. Thankfully it looks like they talked to Randi as a source. The Navy does not seem to be too happy with their recent purchase.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...x.39c48dd.html
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Old 16th April 2007, 07:22 PM   #8
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I also found this blog about Sniffex. It has a collection of good articles and links to the manufacturers user manual. The links include many to JREF of course.

http://sniffexquestions.blogspot.com/
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Old 16th April 2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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Biff, you are a wonderful, wonderful person. Thank you so much for the links! : )
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Old 16th April 2007, 08:42 PM   #10
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Wow. And I used to wonder how someone could get sucked into a scam. Til it happened to me.
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Old 18th April 2007, 03:05 PM   #11
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No problem. I was just happy to see the mainstream media picking up on something Randi has warned about. IMHO they should do so more often.
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Old 12th May 2007, 08:29 AM   #12
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That Sniffex site now has another report by someone who set up a double blind test of the Sniffex. And once again it failed.

http://sniffexquestions.blogspot.com/

From what I have read, the sellers have used the following excuses for Sniffex not working:

- Contamination from past explosions
- The salesman was poorly trained
- These two devices we are using now that worked earlier have now stopped working
- Two Sniffex rods in the same area will interfere with each other
- The potted or artificial plants have too much nitrogen fertilizer
- The sample we were looking for was not large enough, even though we could find the same ammunition an hour ago when we hid it from ourselves.
- The gunpowder does not contain enough nitrous oxide
- Users of Sniffex can carry a gun, but nobody else in the area can

Notably absent from the list is - Dowsing rods do not work!


Maybe we should have a contest to see who can give them the best new excuse.

- My chiropractor said my left leg is shorter than the right so I will keep tilting the rod to the left

- The quantum magnetic resonance is bad today because of the sunspot activity

- The molecular vibrations from my homeopathic cold medicine are interfering with my human energy field, which has completely ruined the zero field gradient from Container 19

- James Randi's skeptical thinking is interfering with the device by altering the magnetic fields and the amount of nitrous oxide present
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Old 28th May 2007, 04:35 PM   #13
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Jackalgirl,

I was just looking back at that SniffexQuestions blog and noticed they have a link on there that mentions an old Department of Energy OIG investigation into the DOE purchasing dowsing rods. Maybe the Navy OIG would be interested in that old report.

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/j...231110,00.html

Perhaps the scariest parts of the article are the mention of a dowsing "cabal" at the DOE and "scientifically-illiterate politicians" running national laboratories.
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Old 29th May 2007, 01:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Biff Starbuck View Post
Jackalgirl,

I was just looking back at that SniffexQuestions blog and noticed they have a link on there that mentions an old Department of Energy OIG investigation into the DOE purchasing dowsing rods. Maybe the Navy OIG would be interested in that old report.

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/j...231110,00.html

Perhaps the scariest parts of the article are the mention of a dowsing "cabal" at the DOE and "scientifically-illiterate politicians" running national laboratories.
Good stuff! I was planning to call the DODIG tonight to see if the ticket is still open (I presume that I'm going to get a message to let me know when it's been closed) and I will definitely give them the URL. Thanks for pointing that out, Biff! : )
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Old 29th May 2007, 04:03 PM   #15
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Always glad to help. I hope they give you a copy of the report that you will be able to post here. Either that or if they don't, maybe you or Randi could file a request under the Freedom of Information Act to get a publicly releasable version.

I am curious to what convinced someone to buy the Sniffex, especially without checking with their own EOD team. Better yet, hopefully the OIG will come up with a way to reduce the chance of this happening in the future.
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Old 30th May 2007, 12:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Biff Starbuck View Post
Always glad to help. I hope they give you a copy of the report that you will be able to post here. Either that or if they don't, maybe you or Randi could file a request under the Freedom of Information Act to get a publicly releasable version.

I am curious to what convinced someone to buy the Sniffex, especially without checking with their own EOD team. Better yet, hopefully the OIG will come up with a way to reduce the chance of this happening in the future.
I'm certain I'll have to file a FOIA request to get the report; the DoDIG says they'll only let me know when the case is closed. But of course, I will do so.

I'm curious, too, about the backstory -- which I fear we'll never get. I mean, who actually bought off on this stuff? Wasn't there someone in that chain of command who said, "wait a minute, Quantum? Smells like bs!" But I don't know...
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Old 30th May 2007, 04:38 PM   #17
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In some ways it reminds me of Randi saying sometimes the scientists are the easiest to trick, since they think they know what to watch for. I think it is probably the same with the police and the military. I would guess the vast majority of sales of this are based on product demonstrations. People think the most obvious trick would be a staged demonstration, where the salesman intentionally points the antenna at the sample. One of the simplest ways of preventing this is for the customer to hold the device. HE knows he is not pointing the antenna intentionally at the sample, so when it does point that way, he thinks the device must be working.

Of course we know the answer is the ideomotor effect, but most people are not aware of this phenomenon and readily accept the salesman's contention that the device works. Next thing you know, you are signing a purchase order for 8 Sniffex devices
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:05 PM   #18
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I am a bit puzzled by the purchase (probably for trials only) of this thing
by the British MoD (for the Royal Engineers). I'm not really astonished at
MoD procurement buying <rule8> that doesn't work but Randi's assertion
that the REs "swore that it worked" is a bit hard to swallow.
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:12 PM   #19
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Actually, I'd like to own one ... no, two ... of these things. Not for what the manufacturer claims it can do (which it can't -- the claims are false), but for the shear conversational value.

I'd pay all of eleven cents for each!

The only trouble is that they may not be durable enough to ever show up in a garage sale, flea market, or swap meet.

Maybe make my own? Whaddaya think?
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Old 30th May 2007, 05:38 PM   #20
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Fnord,

But just think! Even if you do find one twenty years from now at a pawn shop, at least you won't have to worry about a dead battery. That is the best part of not having any electronics inside!

Although, according to the company, the Container 19 must be replaced periodically. Don't ask me why, it just does. It is all probably too complicated for you folks on this forum to understand, so we will just have to trust the company

But then again, how do you tell it stopped working if it never worked in the first place? Does it all of a sudden start working?
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Old 31st May 2007, 05:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
I am a bit puzzled by the purchase (probably for trials only) of this thing
by the British MoD (for the Royal Engineers). I'm not really astonished at
MoD procurement buying <rule8> that doesn't work but Randi's assertion
that the REs "swore that it worked" is a bit hard to swallow.

Was that just coincidence?
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Old 31st May 2007, 08:35 AM   #22
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If only I could get a detailed photo (or drawing!) of one from all sides, I could fabricate a few of my own for the next WooCon.

"You know, some say that they've used thse thing for dowsing rods, but I personally can't vouch for that (* NUDGE, WINK *). That'll be $14.99, plus tax, please..."

Cha-CHING!

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Old 31st May 2007, 04:49 PM   #23
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Maybe Jackalgirl can just keep an eye out for the Navy garage sale. The DRMO, DMRO, or whatever they call it when they get rid of the old military stuff. At this point the Navy might be glad to sell you all 8 of theirs for less than $14.

I wonder if Sniffex gave them a refund? Perhaps the Navy was too embarrassed to ask for one.

On the previous thread, my suggestion was to sell Magic 8 balls for explosive detection. It has the same accuracy as Sniffex, but with the advantage you can do it from much farther away. They are also just as effective at finding gold, silver, lost socks, lost pets, and answering any of life's questions. Heck, I could even use one of those to replace Sylvia Browne!
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Old 1st June 2007, 08:32 AM   #24
Fnord
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Originally Posted by Biff Starbuck View Post
On the previous thread, my suggestion was to sell Magic 8 balls for explosive detection. It has the same accuracy as Sniffex, but with the advantage you can do it from much farther away. They are also just as effective at finding gold, silver, lost socks, lost pets, and answering any of life's questions. Heck, I could even use one of those to replace Sylvia Browne!
How do you think I conducted some of my own 'cold call' readings? A client would call in to ask just one question, expecting a quick answer...

Caller: "Is my boyfriend cheating on me?"
8-Ball: "Better not tell you now."
Caller: "I thought so! That lying bast...*CLICK!*"

Ahh ... the good old days ...
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Old 1st June 2007, 02:42 PM   #25
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Wow. I had heard of the Sniffex, but given it's exposure and those who have tried it out, I was expecting it to at least seem plausible at first glance. If it was some large piece of equipment with an air sampling inlet and the explanation was something like "It takes multiple samples of the atmosphere and looks for certain volitile organics. It uses this combined with a high sensativity magnotometer which can detect the direction of magnetic field disruptions as would be cuased by a large matelic.."

Okay at least then I'd think "Well, I can see how someone might fall for that"

But this? This is a joke right? It's not. Oh... that's sad.
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Old 1st June 2007, 05:44 PM   #26
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I know that it's a hollow chunk of machined aluminum with a telescoping antenna attached. Simply a techy-looking dowsing rod.

Inside the block is ... what? The demensional details also escape me.

Maybe if I machine a pair out of T304 surgical grade stainless steel, add a few fins and protrusions, and make it look like something you'd see in a 1950's SciFi movie, I could sell them for ... what? ... 25% less than the Sniffex people?

Only what to call it? Can't infringe on any (*NUDGE/WINK*) copyrights or patents, eh?
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Old 1st June 2007, 07:22 PM   #27
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It looks like brass to me, not aluminum. But maybe you could sell an aluminum one as a new lightweight version. As for what is inside, it is magnets and Container 19 of course! Maybe yours could be filled with that liquid that makes the Magic 8 ball so special. A reassuring sloshing sound has to mean it works.
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Old 21st June 2007, 03:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Biff Starbuck View Post
In some ways it reminds me of Randi saying sometimes the scientists are the easiest to trick, since they think they know what to watch for. I think it is probably the same with the police and the military. I would guess the vast majority of sales of this are based on product demonstrations. People think the most obvious trick would be a staged demonstration, where the salesman intentionally points the antenna at the sample. One of the simplest ways of preventing this is for the customer to hold the device. HE knows he is not pointing the antenna intentionally at the sample, so when it does point that way, he thinks the device must be working.

Of course we know the answer is the ideomotor effect, but most people are not aware of this phenomenon and readily accept the salesman's contention that the device works. Next thing you know, you are signing a purchase order for 8 Sniffex devices
A pleasure to read.

I have deprogrammed scientologists and at one time the toughest line to deal with was the "Scientology Works" "Try it" routine - previously one might quip that I don't have to try heroin to know that its use, wont enhance my life, but there is a better attack of this silly statement.

Hubbard was a master stage hypnotist, and hypnosis works... Scientology doesn't.

You mention "Randi saying sometimes the scientists are the easiest to trick" ( clears throat ) to go a step further, In my efforts to deconstruct Hubbard, I located every book on hypnosis and feel good therapies from 1940 thru 1952 - having made the assumption that these would have been his source materials for crafting his scam, and I'm now convinced I have that part right, and want to share a tidbit.

A master stage hypnotist from that era named Harry Arons stated that the one characteristic that determines whether a person can be easily hypnotized is:

Any guesses??


you will like this...


It is a function of intelligence - of "IQ"!

Harry said that "smart people can control their minds better"

And Bill, the following is not directed at you or your post, but is merely a statement in closing, after my brief introduction to this forum in the politics threads and after reading some threads here.

One point in bringing this up, is how quickly those with differing ideas get dismissed here as stupid or kooky. It has been my experience that if you want greater success in changing another person's ideas to ones that are more rational, that you must try very hard not to insult them, and I know it is hard, especially if there appears to be a performance culture.

In cults, group think rules, and once you have someone who is in need - once you have their attention, realize that you might not get another chance to handle their fallacies.

A dismissive attitude will send them back to their cult, WTC conspiracy forum, or wherever they have mutual agreement to re-enforce their delusions.

And you have an opportunity to fix a seriously distorted view of reality... If you do not handle it, and instead dismiss it out of hand, you will have wasted an opportunity to do something that really needs to be done, and you might not get another chance, until that person has infected a few more people with lies.

And it is really nice being right, isn't it? but it is downright noble to admit error, even if only to oneself.

Doing the right thing in dealing with fallacious logic is far more important than merely being right.

A marker for stupidity is the inability to learn even when presented with hard evidence presented using thoughtful argument.

You guys are doing deprogramming here, don't waste the opportunities presented by those in need who come to this forum by blowing them off so easily. When I deprogram a scientologist, despite scientology's false claims, I cannot duct tape people to a chair, I have to hold their attention long enough to learn a new way of thinking.

Thanks for listening.

Arnie Lerma
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Old 21st June 2007, 05:54 AM   #29
BillyJoe
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Originally Posted by ArnieLerma View Post
One point in bringing this up, is how quickly those with differing ideas get dismissed here as stupid or kooky.

It has been my experience that if you want greater success in changing another person's ideas to ones that are more rational, that you must try very hard not to insult them, and I know it is hard, especially if there appears to be a performance culture.

A dismissive attitude will send them back to their cult, WTC conspiracy forum, or wherever they have mutual agreement to re-enforce their delusions.

And you have an opportunity to fix a seriously distorted view of reality... If you do not handle it, and instead dismiss it out of hand, you will have wasted an opportunity to do something that really needs to be done, and you might not get another chance, until that person has infected a few more people with lies.

Doing the right thing in dealing with fallacious logic is far more important than merely being right.

Sad but true in many cases.
There are exceptions though.
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Old 22nd June 2007, 07:07 PM   #30
Biff Starbuck
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Originally Posted by ArnieLerma View Post
A pleasure to read.

...Hubbard was a master stage hypnotist, and hypnosis works... Scientology doesn't.

...One point in bringing this up, is how quickly those with differing ideas get dismissed here as stupid or kooky. It has been my experience that if you want greater success in changing another person's ideas to ones that are more rational, that you must try very hard not to insult them, and I know it is hard, especially if there appears to be a performance culture.

..And it is really nice being right, isn't it? but it is downright noble to admit error, even if only to oneself.

...Doing the right thing in dealing with fallacious logic is far more important than merely being right.

Thanks for listening.
Arnie Lerma
Quote snipped for length.

Thanks for the kind words Arnie. I certainly agree we can be too quick to judge and blame victims of scams for being naive or gullable. One of the main reasons I participate on the JREF site is to remind myself I can be tricked too. I love being tricked! Things like the Color Changing Card Trick that Randi linked to recently show me I too can very easily fall for such things. More importantly, JREF reminds me that I can trick myself, as people do with the ideomotor effect or magical thinking. If you have not seen some of Randi's older videos on Google Video and elsewhere, he has some great examples of how we make assumptions without even realizing it.

One of the things I admired most after I worked a few times with the US Military was their after action reviews. They would gather and very candidly discuss what went well and what needed to be improved upon. Individuals who made mistakes often were the first to point them out, and otherwise the person who did raise the issue would phrase it as an area where the unit could improve rather than blame an individual.

But the idea of not blaming people in general for falling for these scams, cults, and con-artists does bring up the question though of how much culpability is there for a victim. Should they have known better? What about someone who buys a Sniffex dowsing rod and then people are killed by a bomber? What about someone who sees a Sniffex demonstration and signs up to be a local distributor? What about the inventor or the president of the company?

On the http://sniffexquestions.blogspot.com blog, there is a link to a site about the DKL Lifeguard dowsing rod that quotes Carl Sagan quoting The Ethics of Belief by William Clifford, written in 1874. The author of that site, also wondered about this issue.

"A shipowner was about to send to sea an emigrant ship. He knew that she was old, and not overwell built at first; that she had seen many seas and climes, and often needed repairs. Doubts had been suggested to him that possibly she was not seaworthy. These doubts preyed upon his mind, and made him unhappy; he thought that perhaps he ought to have her thoroughly overhauled and refitted, even though this should put him to great expense. Before the ship sailed, however, he succeeded in overcoming these melancholy reflections. He said to himself that she had gone safely through so many voyages and weathered so many storms, that it was idle to suppose that she would not come safely home from this trip also. He would put his trust in Providence, which could hardly fail to protect all these unhappy families that were leaving their fatherland to seek for better times elsewhere. He would dismiss from his mind all ungenerous suspicions about the honesty of builders and contractors. In such ways he acquired a sincere and comfortable conviction that his vessel was thoroughly safe and seaworthy; he watched her departure with a light heart, and benevolent wishes for the success of the exiles in their strange new home that was to be; and he got his insurance money when she went down in mid-ocean and told no tales.

"What shall we say of him? Surely this, that he was verily guilty of the death of those men. It is admitted that he did sincerely believe in the soundness of his ship; but the sincerity of his conviction can in nowise help him, because he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him. He had acquired his belief not by honestly earning it in patient investigation, but by stifling his doubts.


Personally, I think the sellers of Sniffex do have a measure of culpability under the fraud statutes, at least in the United States. And certainly if someone died as a result of the use of Sniffex, reckless endangerment or criminally negligent homicide would probably apply. While perhaps someone at a security demonstration could not be blamed for believing the product worked, anyone actually using the product to screen for explosives, much less selling them, should know better and do more research. There is a mountain of evidence, including the report by the Department of Justice flat out calling products like Sniffex and the Quadro Tracker "Bogus." And while you can't prove a negative, there was no glimmer of evidence the Sniffex worked in the testing by the US Navy, to the point where I think they literally said it did not work.
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Old 2nd July 2007, 09:56 AM   #31
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Jackalgirl,

Any word back yet from the IG office? I know the government is slow, but c'mon already. Besides, it looks like that Dallas Morning News article did a lot of the investigation for them already.

I added this thread to Digg. I figured more people should know about this than just the people in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. If the IG does not take the complaint seriously, maybe the GAO would. What is the point of having Navy experts test things if the Navy buys them even after the experts tell them not to.
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Old 8th September 2007, 08:17 PM   #32
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I noticed a new message in the comments about Sniffex on Bruce Schneier's blog about security, encryption, etc. It is from someone purporting to distribute the ADE 650 in the Middle East. Of course this is the product Randi mentioned along with the ADE 100, Alpha 6, and MOLE that are all just renamed versions of the Quadro Tracker that Randi exposed as a fraud in the 1990's. To see the quote in context, you can click on the link below.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...ghouse_sn.html

Quote:
Dear All (above). Those of you who know, will know who I am. I'm the guy who marketed the ADE 650 (in he beginning) and in particualar with several departments in the Middle East (as well as elsewhere). You all have valid comments and concerns but despite all these (and in particular I am referring to the 'negative' dialogue) there are still, several Companies manufacturing and promoting their version of these "be aware of....swinging-antenna detectors". As a manufacturer myself, I too became skeptical of 'certain' other-manufactures equipments and therefore, made a point of testing them myself. To my surprise, they ALL actually work but, there are some serious concerns as to how they work and why it is that they 'appear' to work for some people, and not for others. Well, I am pleased to say that I now know the reasons. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient time, or space, to explain why such systems come under continued criticism but, from what I have observed, there are valid and explainable differences between the eqipmments offered. Government and Independent 'testing-authorities' have done evaluations on some of these but, sadly, the testing methods they have used and applied to these type of equipments, will NOT work under the conditions they have applied. For example, a "double-blind" test is OK in principal but, in practice, it will fail such devices in nearly all cases.....why? well again, I haven't the time or space to fully explain but having done my own independent tests, they will not function correctly under that current 'test-method'. So, how does it work then? (I hear you all cry out), well, if I told you that, I'd be shooting myself in the foot (so to speak) and open up a whole new avenue for our Chinese friends to copy and produce their own variant. So, at this time, I will not let the 'cat' out of the bag too much....(rest-easy you 'other manufacturers')...and will instead, carry-on improving my own version with the continued success it has been awarded. One thing I would say though is; it does require training and unless you can provide the very best support for the product you will, sadly, have continued debates and "Expert" advice from those 'reputed scientists, (and the like), categorically refuting any possibility that any of these 'gadgets' can actually work. OK, you may say that this is another attempt to 'pull the wool over evryones eyes' but like every new concept, there's a period (sometimes long-period) where there is always an "Expert" who knows best and I do not doubt that they have their valid point and opinion but, instead of trying to refute this technology, (and that is what it is, it's not 'mumbo-jimbo'), why don't you offer your assistance? Why?, well could it have anything to do with the 'Big Manufacturers' of Vapor Tracer Technology products putting pressure on their respective Govenments to stop the 'little-guys' gaining any ground on 'their-turf'?....hummmm..............Anyway, and as a final comment: Don't 'knockabout' what you don't know about.....take the time to learn....afterall, why is it that there are 100's, (if not possibly combined, 1000's), of very happy users out there?
A renown French scientist; Prof. Edmund Locard; a 'pioneer' of forensic science, died in 1966 and was considered by some as a 'Quack', but was recognised for his efforts into what we now know as "DNA" which, until the early 1980's was a 'technology' that could not "possibly work"...........as the Eminent philosopher Confucius would say; "Man who goes to bed with sex on mind......will wake up with solution in-hand"........without a doubt, this debate will go on........
Posted by: MrJim at September 6, 2007 10:47 PM
There are so many logical fallacies in that argument it would take a while to refute them all. Straw men, conspiracies, a special technology untestable by double-blind studies and not understood by scientists. You name it, it's in there. If I recall correctly, the Quadro Tracker said they were photocopying the photos of cocaine onto black paper so the Russians (or some other scary foreign country) could not reverse engineer the technology if they opened the device and found the piece of paper used to tell the tracker what to look for. Now we have to watch out for the Chinese.

Ironically, most of those same arguments were already shot down in the National Institute of Justice report from 8 years ago that was mentioned previously several times in the same thread.
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Old 9th September 2007, 08:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Moochie View Post
Sorry!
Hmmm.... This is a dousing rod right? Anyway, the army fell for the same stupidity too. There was a special on woo woo therapies that had James Randi. They described the armies involvement. Anyway, if I were setting up for a sniffex study I'd point the device at the salesman and call the bomb squad.

Last edited by technoextreme; 9th September 2007 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11th September 2007, 10:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
Hmmm.... This is a dousing rod right? Anyway, the army fell for the same stupidity too. There was a special on woo woo therapies that had James Randi. They described the armies involvement. Anyway, if I were setting up for a sniffex study I'd point the device at the salesman and call the bomb squad.
Yes, the Sniffex, ADE 650, ADE 100 and Alpha 6 all seem to be just as much dowsing rods as the previously exposed DKL Lifeguard, Quadro Tracker, and MOLE. A bent coat-hanger would be just as accurate, work the exact same way, and cost thousands of dollars less. If people want to believe in magic, at least they should believe in affordable magic

My hope is fading that Jackalgirl's report to the Navy's Office of Inspector General will go anywhere as far as stopping Sniffex from being sold in the US. It is always sad to see how many fall for these dowsing rods, and how many are willing to capitalize on that fact.

Technoextreme, do you remember which army used the dowsing rod?
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Old 11th September 2007, 12:54 PM   #35
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Ah Biff, that's great! Not only does he pull out the old "double blind tests don't work" gag but he then goes on to say "but I can't tell you why right now."

It's a sad day when the woos are too lazy to make stuff up.
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Old 14th September 2007, 01:35 PM   #36
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Yisidro,

Some days I am in awe of how oblivious some people are. Especially in a case such as this where the debater mentions the idea of double-blind studies, but can yet dismiss them as if they are non-working magical spells. I guess it goes to the human tendancy to find an explanation for things, even if a wrong one, just to ease the discomfort of not knowing something.

Other days I pound my head in frustration.
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Old 15th September 2007, 12:57 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Biff Starbuck View Post
Yes, the Sniffex, ADE 650, ADE 100 and Alpha 6 all seem to be just as much dowsing rods as the previously exposed DKL Lifeguard, Quadro Tracker, and MOLE. A bent coat-hanger would be just as accurate, work the exact same way, and cost thousands of dollars less. If people want to believe in magic, at least they should believe in affordable magic

My hope is fading that Jackalgirl's report to the Navy's Office of Inspector General will go anywhere as far as stopping Sniffex from being sold in the US. It is always sad to see how many fall for these dowsing rods, and how many are willing to capitalize on that fact.

Technoextreme, do you remember which army used the dowsing rod?
No. The only thing I remember is that it was durning Vietnam and it was a special on PBS that had James Randi on it. I would guess armed forces because they were being used to disale traps in Vietnam.

Last edited by technoextreme; 15th September 2007 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 5th October 2007, 10:03 AM   #38
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MrJim posted a reply to me on Schneier.com

Quote:
As a follow-up to the above comment, I noticed a response on another website from someone calling themselves "Biff Starbuck". Well Biff, I'm not registered with the Randi Org and have little intention in doing so as it would appear (from your pseudonym) that you all maybe taking in too much caffeine!
It is exactly what I would have expected by people like yourself who have been convinced that all of these ‘reports’ are set firmly in ‘stone’. I don’t claim to have all of the answers and I certainly do not agree with all of the reports but, as mentioned, there are logical reasons as to why these ‘Tests’ did not work out…….unfortunately, your comments give one the impression that I am trying to Warn you against the Chinese when in fact, the text in which was meant was in relation to the Chinese’s renown ability to ‘copy’ other manufacturers equipment.
I will not support nor condone what may, or may not, have happen in the 1990’s with respect to Quattro but I stand by my comment that, I have tested ALL of these products and they ALL work………however, most of them have serious flaws in either their design, function or operational use and I am a firm believer in the fact that most of the ‘scientific’ fraternity associated with your ‘blog’, also know, very well, the reasons for their failure. Hence why I comment about their ulterior motive…….again, for sure, the dialogue will continue…….Biff, don’t be like the others, take time to find out….be a leader, not a follower….Ask yourself, if these were 'supposed frauds', why are companies still out there being allowed to market and sell these products......why? Well, in my opinion, it is because they have been unable to catagorically refute them NOT working either!
Again......this dialogue will continue.......

MrJim,

Thank you for your response. I am curious why you used quotation marks around the words "'reports'" and "'tests,'" implying they were not legitimate. What was wrong with the tests at Sandia Laboratory of the MOLE or the Navy testing of the Sniffex?

You say the scientists on this forum will already know the answer as to why these appear to detectors fail the tests. My hypothesis is that the detectors fail the tests because they cannot detect explosives. Please tell me why you think these detectors will work for your customers, but not when a scientist is testing it. If the the scientists on this forum actually do know this fact very well as you say, wouldn't the Chinese scientists and manufacturers have figured it out also?

How would you suggest demonstrating your product in a way that would prove the device works?
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Old 6th October 2007, 02:42 AM   #39
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I should have read this earlier. It explains everything perfectly!!

http://www.sniffex-eu.com/description.htm

After the SniffexQuestions blog made fun of Sniffex for wrongly saying for the past two years nitrous oxide, N2O, was the basis for all explosives, at least they now say they search for nitrogen dioxide, NO2. Should I be surprised by the fact they got the chemistry wrong again?

Quote:
SNIFFEX® is reacting on the presence of any type of Explosives or Powder that contain Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). Almost 100% of today's Explosives and Powder contain NO2 as stabiliser
NO2 is not a stabilizer, it is what most explosives have in common that makes them go BOOM. Explosives generally have a rapid exothermic reaction involving the nitrogen, oxygen and carbon in the material which produces gases and heat. Take for example TNT. Toluene is much more stable than trinitrotoluene. The nitro groups do not stabilize the toluene, they make it into an explosive. It turns it from a flammable liquid like gasoline, petrol, or benzene and makes it into a high explosive.

Once again Sniffex fails the test.
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Old 26th October 2007, 08:05 PM   #40
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On Bruce Schneier's Blog, MrJim posted another message.

Quote:
Dear M Y, and Mr Lumpy and everyone else involved in these 'blogs'......as I commented before, this debate will continue....and maybe for a long time to come. I must apologise for not writting sooner but, fortunately or unfortunately, I have a business to run and this still invoolves my equipment. However, I will, (in my "dense" nature) attempt to explain some of the comments I have noticed.
1. I know very well what a 'double-blind-test' is but, the principal applied to this test, (and this is in particular to the tests that have been done on both the "Mole Programmable System" as well as the SNIFFEX) is that 4 or 6 'cardboard' boxes were used causing a micro-contamination of such boese for a short period of time....I need not elaborate further as you are bound to ridicule this comment to suit.
2. LIVE landmines (to be more accurate, 'cluster bombs') were detected using my equipment, in the Southern part of Lebanon. These were also defused and this has been documented.....again, I need not say any more on this except to say, Yes, it does work!
3. Lumpy asked why I don't explain how it works and as I have commented before, it is not something I know nothing about, it is something I know extreemly well and it is not that I do not know why it doesn'y work for some people, I know very well why and in fact, the reason it does not work (apparently) for some people is down to the training given on the equipment.
You all seem to be convinced that this is being sold as some form of new 'rocket-science'....it's not...it's not rocket science at all and although opens comments like: 'its a hoax, rubbish, etc; etc;' you have to see it in a real-case scenario......all thse tests are well and good but speak with those entities that have, and use, the equipment on a daily bases. Don't listen to me, ridicule me if you like, but I a confident in what I have works....however, I will emphasis, IT DOES NEED TRAINING....and once you are trained, you will understand the principals of why, and how, it works.
Finally.....several have commented on 'how can it possibly work without power', well it can't...but this is because 'there is POWER' and that come from the individual in the form of 'static-electricity' and all of these equipments rely on the amount of 'static' delivered to it.....sounds simple? well thats because it is.....but the intellectual principal is something I will not discuss....and not because I don't know, but because this is not for public release.......yet.
You all will know where my website is and therefore you are free to address me directly with your comments.....as I have said before, I am sure this debate will continue but let me apologise in advance if I cannot reply to you 'blog-comments' as soon as you would like...

Posted by: Mr. Jim at October 26, 2007 01:34 AM
I still would like to know how Mr. Jim would propose to impartially test his ADE 650 rod. Randi said in one of the SWIFT articles about Sniffex he would accept the test described in the Sniffex training manual, repeatedly finding explosives hidden in one of four identical boxes, as the basis of a test for the million dollar prize. If training is so important for using the ADE 650, how do they see if the customer is using it correctly, if they do not do a test where the customer can only find the explosives using the device?

Would using brand new boxes for each test eliminate the chance of "micro-contamination"? Where is the contamination coming from?

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