British millionaire sold fake Iraq war bomb detectors

Iraqi soldier with an ADE 651

This photo shows an Iraqi soldier with an ADE 651. If there is a bomb in that car, then that device won’t detect it.

After Tony Blair spending British taxpayers’ money on searching paranormally for non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq … after non-scientific conmen landing top “scientific” bureaucratic jobs in the government of Israel and of New Zealand … now this.

From Popular Science:

How A Millionaire Sold Fake Bomb Detectors To Governments All Over The World

The British businessman’s fraud likely killed many soldiers who relied on the bogus devices to detect explosives.

By Kelsey D. Atherton

Posted 04.24.2013 at 4:23 pm

It turns out someone can make millions in defense technology without any skill, innovation, or relevant expertise. Instead, as businessman James McCormick found out, it just takes some snakeoil, salesmanship, hubris, a couple bribes, and a lack of scruples. A London court found McCormick guilty of fraud on April 24.

McCormick sold his product as a bomb detection tool to governments experiencing internal violence and bomb attacks, including Iraq. Commonly labeled ADE 651, it was also sold as GT2000 or Alpha 6, with a $40,000 price tag.

The science behind the device is simple: It doesn’t work. It lacks any working electronic components that could conceivably resemble something that worked. Based on a $20 novelty golf ball finder, the device resembles nothing so much as a dowsing rod.

How did he manage to sell $75 million worth of useless product? In 2010, McCormick’s company was under investigation in Iraq, with a report by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior noting “that many lives have been lost due to the wands’ utter ineffectiveness.” That report and investigation was later quashed. Why? The fact that “75% of the value of the contract went to kickbacks received by [Iraqi] officials” might explain some of it. Corruption was also involved in sales of the device to Mexico and Thailand.

Watch James Randi discuss the magical thinking that allowed McCormick to sell so many fake devices:

This video says about itself:

Jan 23, 2010

James Randi discusses James McCormick and his arrest on fraud charges for his “bomb dowsing” device, the ADE 651.

20 August 2013. A conman who sold cheap and “useless” bomb detectors for thousands of pounds around the world has been jailed for seven years: here.

Exclusive: Iraq still using bogus bomb detectors – and thousands pay the price. More than 4,500 people have been killed since the conviction of UK businessman, James McCormick, in April: here.

The fake bomb detectors that have cost countless lives and over $800 million.

Egypt plane crash: ‘Fake’ bomb detectors being used by hotel security guards searching for explosives. The devices seen are believed to be similar to British fakes like this one, manufactured by a couple in Bedfordshire: here.

8 thoughts on “British millionaire sold fake Iraq war bomb detectors

  1. Reblogged this on Ban Tear Gas Now! and commented:
    One more example of why we should stop trusting military suppliers to tell us what’s safe. With even MORE direct evidence of soldiers being harmed (since foreign civilians seem to go unnoticed), will the public finally step up and demand accountability from our leaders? What will it take to get the public off their butts and on the phones with their representatives? Or better yet, when will more citizens start actively protesting government offices for an end to irresponsible military spending?


  2. Fake bomb detector man jailed for decade

    Conman James McCormick, who is estimated to have made £50 million from selling fake bomb detectors, was jailed for 10 years today.

    Mr McCormick was found guilty at the Old Bailey last week of three counts of fraud after jurors heard he had flogged off “novelty golf-ball detectors.”

    He sold three different but all equally useless models to Iraq, Belgium and even the United Nations for use in Lebanon.


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