Bomb Detector or Divining Rod? Device Widely Used in Iraq Denounced by Experts As Useless

The BBC is reporting on a bomb detector in Iraq that is being denounced by experts as little more than a glorified divining road (what the Brits call a “dowsing rod”). The deployment of the ADE-651A was called “absolutely immoral” and could be the basis for the loss of lives.

Experts say that the ADE-651 is virtually useless. However, it is found at checkpoints throughout Iraq. Iraq bought the device from a British company in mass — spending 85 million dollars. Experts say that it has never been shown to work in independent testing, according to the BBC.

The BBC says that the training manual claims that it can also, with the right card, detect elephants, humans and 100 dollar bills. Here are some of the claims from the website.

For the full story, click here.

7 thoughts on “Bomb Detector or Divining Rod? Device Widely Used in Iraq Denounced by Experts As Useless”

  1. I’ve no doubt this “product” is a sham. However, “dowsing” or “divining” is not always a sham. When I was a boy, there was an old man who our family was friends with (in his 80’s back in the mid 1960’s) who had spent his entire career as a “water witch” for a railroad company. His job was to find water for the railrod. He could do this with a stick, a piece of metal or just about anything and though I cannot say how it worked, the man could locate water as though it were magic which is, of course, how he was able to make an entire career of it. It was a marvelous thing to witness and I did witness it many times as I often asked the old man to show me and he never said no. The water witch I knew was no fraud.

  2. Well heck, a few snake oil salesmen do exist. Isn’t commerce good for everyone involved. Hell, we invaded Iraq for the Oil. Why not take back some of the money that we are paying them for the oil as well.

  3. Millsapian,

    Since they’re relied on as part of the process of granting or denying security clearance in the various agencies of the Fed. Government, I beg to differ.

    At the very least, livelihoods, careers, reputations, etc. depend on the results.

  4. “dousing” –> “dowsing”

    I’m having a hard time believing that this thing was ever approved for use, and I’m a Bayou Bandit!

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