Divining Rods for Bombs

Despite major bombings that have rattled the nation, and fears of rising violence as American troops withdraw, Iraq’s security forces have been relying on a device to detect bombs and weapons that the United States military and technical experts say is useless.
The small hand-held wand, with a telescopic antenna on a swivel, is being used at hundreds of checkpoints in Iraq. But the device works “on the same principle as a Ouija board” — the power of suggestion — said a retired United States Air Force officer, Lt. Col. Hal Bidlack, who described the wand as nothing more than an explosives divining rod. Still, the Iraqi government has purchased more than 1,500 of the devices, known as the ADE 651, at costs from $16,500 to $60,000 each.
Link: NY Times

The high price is probably part of the marketing psychology that helps sell these things. Buyers figure that, at that price, they must work.
(Thanks, Bob!)

Military Technology

Posted on Wed Nov 04, 2009


I think you've put your finger on at least part of it, Alex. People see the high price and think, "Who would have the balls to charge that much if they didn't work?"

As long as we're on the subject of divining rods, I've seen the local People's Utility District (yes, that's the official name for it) using a divining rod to find a water line under the street. This was in Pacific City, Oregon, about a hundred yards or so from the beach. You might think that the World's Largest Body of Water so close by might throw the divining off, but apparently not. Funny how that "works," huh?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 05, 2009  at  01:30 AM
Wasn't there a similar device being sold to police forces and schools? Herew in the states?
Posted by mario  on  Thu Nov 05, 2009  at  09:51 PM
Are you thinking of the Sniffex, Mario?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Nov 06, 2009  at  04:15 AM
All I can say is the secret ascension otherwise he would probably sue them for stealing the central idea of his book "Time Out Of Joint" and it's protagonist Ragle Gumm, who was a human diving rod for atomic attacks.

Oh, "The Secret Ascension" is the title of the book by Tim Powers that was origiabnlly called "Philip K Dick Is Dead, Alas" until the executors of PKD's estate got upset about it.
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Tue Nov 10, 2009  at  02:17 AM
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