Dowsing for Bombs

Hey everybody, I just found some more pseudoscience for you all.  This time it has to do with the effect known as dowsing.  For anyone out there that doesn’t know dowsing is a very old pseudoscience where a dowser will use Y or L shaped sticks to find water or some other substance.  Like many pseudosciences dowsing was debunked long ago but still hangs around to this day.  Many believers say that things like ghosts, people, treasure, radiation and pretty much anything else they can think of can be found using this technique.  The newest form of dowsing comes in the form of a bomb detector.  The idea of this pseudoscience being used for bomb detection is almost laughable till you found out that the ADE-651 is being used in Iraq.  The ADE-651 is basically a  metal stick with a “black box” attached to it that senses the “frequency” of explosive material.  A card with a label on it designates what you want it to look for such as TNT and this card is put into the box.  When this card is cracked open what you find is nothing more than a cheap security device that would be found on a CD case at Target.  These security devices can’t be programmed and have no type of memory and lets not forget that these devices have no batteries and are powered by the users static electricity, WOW.  The problem is these things have allowed many bombs to slip past checkpoints despite their $40,000 price tag.  At least people are starting to notice how ineffective these devices are and investigations are being conducted on the UK company that produces them.  In the end this is all just a modern twist on an ancient way of magical thinking.   As always for more info check it out here BBC News

SkepticsGuide

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7 thoughts on “Dowsing for Bombs

  1. That’s some pretty interesting/funny/sad stuff right there. Also, paragraphs Eroc, use your paragraphs!!!! You could have at least cut that into two of them 😛 Otherwise, good post.

  2. I like this post.

    I have not been listening to the new SGU podcasts. I have been concentrating on the old ones. So this is a good update!

  3. speaking as a dowser , it would be better to have a dowser with a stick wearing a rucksack containing a few different types of bombs and devices ,or samples,as dowsers call them.

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