If ATSC's ADE-651 worked, it could save hundreds, maybe thousands of lives. Unfortunately, it seems the device is a hoax. If the Beeb is to be believed, the device is nothing more than a radio antenna connected to a plastic handle. The whole thing is hooked up to a card reader that more than likely does nothing. It doesn't have a PSU and it does not require batteries. The London Times reports that last November, Jim McCormick told the newspaper his device was able to detect explosives in the same way as a dowsing rod finds water.
Now, a lot of people are skeptical of dowsing for water, so it's no wonder there was plenty of naysayers who refused to believe this worked when it was first launched. And, now that the BBC has shed considerable doubt on the matter, police have opened up an investigation. A ban has been placed on exporting the device from the UK and police arrested the McCormick.
A force spokesman told the times, “We are conducting a criminal investigation, and as part of that, a 53-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by misrepresentation. That man has been released on bail pending further inquiries."
ATSC claims the device can detect even a small amount of explosives from distances of up to one kilometer, be it underground, above ground or even in the air. When the Times tested the device, they found it was unable to detect fireworks in a paper bag a few feet away.
For those of you wondering how Iraq managed to spent $85 million on these things; each one reportedly costs $40,000.
Watch the video below for the BBC expose and a demo (at 4:58).
Image via CrunchGear
Read more on the Times Online.