The ADE 651 is a device that the Iraqi military has invested a lot in. We’re talking about a purchase order of 1,500 individual devices that cost about $16,500 to $60,000 each. These devices can detect bombs, guns, drugs, and human bodies from up to a kilometer away.
Sound too good to be true? According to the U.S. military, it is! Head of the National Explosive Engineering Sciences Security Center at Sandia Labs, Dale Murray, says that he “tested several devices in this category, and none have ever performed better than random chance”.
The company ATSC, which makes the ADE 651, has refused to talk to the New York Times about this, which is not a good sign.
This whole incident really demonstrates how easy it is to believe that technology can solve our problems. If someone tried to sell me this particular device, I would have to test it out several times before I would even consider hurling money at it.
However, if you get people who really want to stop the violence in Iraq, then they might be willing to believe just about anything.