ADE 651 – Remember Them?



ADE-651 bomb dowser in use Bagdad. March 2013.

Well here’s, if you’ll excuse the poor choice of words, a blast from the past. Watching the distressing news today about bomb blasts in Bagdad I spied a soldier scanning cars with this hi-tech looking device. Wait! It’s one of those bomb detecting dowsing devices isn’t it? A quick scan of the interwebs reveals that yes indeed it looks very similar to the ADE 651 of recent infamy. This device, sold for upwards of $60k a piece is nothing more than a glorified dowsing rod. The carĀ aerial on the top of the handle swings towards the substance being detect. That substance can be specified by adding sciencey looking cards into the handle. All properly conducted tests on these devices have shown them to be completely ineffective.

Export of the ADE 651 to Iraq and Afganistan was banned by the British government in 2010. Using these pseudoscientific frauds in a place where real bombs are killing real people is a disgrace and may well have contributed to the deaths of over 50 people today.


5 thoughts on “ADE 651 – Remember Them?

  1. Good spot!

    Not having seen this news piece today, the first question to ask would be if this was old footage, rather than filmed since the 2010 export ban? The beeb have a habit of using very old stock shots for modern stories.

  2. I live in Beirut and most of the major malls here scan cars on entry with these things. Or maybe it’s better to say, they point these things towards cars and let you past when they amazingly don’t find bombs in your car

  3. normally the Beeb would put “archive” or “library pictures” if it was old – an especially if it was that old (I used to work for them) so it’s very probably current

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