Why "dowsing for bombs" may land you in jail…

I ranted a little while ago about the cheap, useless dowsing rods being used by Iraqi security forces to detect bombs. These units, being sold for tens of thousands of dollars each, were being manufactured by ATSC in the UK. It now seems that scumbag Jim McCormick, managing director of ATSC, may get what he deserves, as he’s been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

It is sickening and appalling that these people have made millions of dollars selling fake bomb detectors in a highly volatile area. People DIE when these dowsing rods ultimately fail. The news media is being far to generous is supposing that these detectors “may not work.” They are based on a pseudo-scientific concept that fails objective testing. James Randi, and later the JREF, has tested numerous dowsers under controlled conditions, and not one has succeeded better than chance. As can be expected, the JREF has responded to this story (twice). Rebecca over at Skepchick also weighs in on the harm of dowsing, including the following important investigative report on British TV:

I have little to add to the story except to say, score one for reason if these devices actually get recalled and if McCormick is properly punished. Seriously, these ATSC people have either completely bought into the myth of dowsing, or they are immoral jerks that have no place in decent society. And that’s being polite…

2 comments for “Why "dowsing for bombs" may land you in jail…

  1. January 25, 2010 at 00:32

    This has been in the back of my mind for three months; and while I’m glad it’s *finally* starting to draw attention and heat, it is immeasurably depressing that it has taken so many deaths for it to happen. We can only exercise our vigilance and our freedom of speech.

  2. Jeb
    February 7, 2010 at 02:06

    Dowsing for Landmines at Sandhurst!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This paper is written by John Living, who was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham. He was commissioned as an officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers, and was taught dowsing at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham – reported to have the world’s largest collection of material on dowsing.

    John Living has been a Member of the Institute of Royal Engineers, Member of the Institute of Engineers, Jamaica, Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (and Chartered Civil Engineer) in the United Kingdom, and a Professional Engineer registered in the Provinces of Ontario and Alberta, in Canada.

    He has more than 40 years experience of dowsing, and is a member of the Canadian Society of Dowsers, the Canadian Society of Questers and the American Society of Dowsers. John Living can be contacted by email at ‘jliving@direct.ca’.



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