On LENR Forum, maryyugo bloviated:
When James Randi’s foundation exposed Sniffex as a fraud, he was sued. The suit was similarly dropped before independent technical experts could perform tests on the device. Strange how that works. You may recall that Sniffex was sold as an explosive detector but was really a dowsing rod which when tested by many different agencies, detected nothing. It and similar devices did and probably still do maim and kill many people who rely on them to detect explosives and IED’s, especially in S. E. Asia and the Middle East and IIRC Africa where they can still be promoted and sold. Amusingly, Lomax the abdominable snow man, still thinks these things have merit. I propose giving him one and turning him loose with it in a minefield so he can prove it if he thinks we are slandering the makers.
I know the Sniffex case and have researched it fairly deeply. Much of what Mary Yugo has claimed is not verifiable, but some is. It does appear that the Sniffex was a very expensive dowsing rod (about $6,000, though there are sources saying as high as $60,000).
However, dowsing rods can detect something, this is where Mary goes too far. What they detect is entirely another issue, I call it “psychic.” Meaning “of the mind,” not meaning woo. A “psychic amplifier” or “sensor” will fail a double-blind test, the kind that Mary considers golden. However, in real life, there are often what are called “sensory leakages,” in parapsychological research. Information that comes through in ways that are not necessarily expected.
In medicine, there is the placebo effect, but, then, are there approaches which amplify the placebo effect? Clinical manner certainly would. Anything else?
I never claimed that the Sniffex “had merit.” This is Mary’s corrupt interpretation, radically misleading, like much of what Mary writes.
And I never claimed that Yugo was “slandering the makers.” Mary made all that up.
Mary does not understand what is in front of “her”, the actual conversation with a real person, but imagines that “she” can understand far more difficult issues.
There is one circumstance where the Sniffex might work better than an obvious dowsing rod: where someone hiding a bomb worries that the Sniffex will work, looking high-tech and all that. The mechanism then would be the same as with any border security: the border guards become very skilled at detecting nervousness or other signs of something being concealed. Someone practiced in this might even move the Sniffex accordingly, just like subconscious motor activity can move a Ouija Board.
To a pseudoskeptic, it is all pure bogosity, but to a genuine skeptic — which Mary is not –, there is curiosity and interest in how something works or might seem to work.
Sniffex does not kill people as Mary claims. Bombs would, and naive guards who rely on something outside themselves for what really would be, to work at all, their own knowledge and intuition, might fail to prevent those deaths. In our time, anyone who relies on something like a Sniffex as anything other than some kind of support for intuition is not smart, and stupid guards cost lives.
Was the company a scam? Did the Sniffex people know it “didn’t work”? I found a story on one guilty plea, but it was in connection with securities fraud, it was not about the device itself being a fraud. There was also an SEC settlement.
Having said that, I would not walk a mile to see a Sniffex demonstration, unless I needed the exercise, then I might for the lulz. Or not. Remarkably, though, for a device that sold for thousands of dollars, I have been unable to find any for sale used. Does that mean that the owners don’t want to let go of their precious Sniffex?
Sniffex detectors are still being sold, apparently. Total BS.