Fake ‘Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick and others charged with fraud

This is incredibly good news! So many people have died because Jim McCormick made a bullshit device. There is a long line of people who dropped the ball in this disaster but hopefully it is coming to an end.

BBC News – ‘Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick faces fraud charges.

A businessman who sold a bomb-detecting device to 20 countries, including Iraq, has been charged with fraud, Avon and Somerset Police said.

Jim McCormick, 55, has been on bail for two-and-a-half years while police examined the sale of the device.

A BBC Newsnight investigation in 2010 showed the ADE-651 did not work and led to the British government banning its export to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tip: Tim Farley and Bruce Hood

For the entire story, see this new post by Professor Bruce Hood who was instrumental in bringing this shocking fraud case to justice.

In 2009, I was shocked to discover that a British company ATSC Ltd had been selling bomb-detecting devices to security forces around the world. The devices were nothing more than dowsing rods, a supernatural practice believed to reveal the location of water and minerals that has been around for hundreds of years. Despite the claims of various associations and practitioners, dowsing is nothing more than a psychological phenomena known as the “ideomotor effect.”

That was nearly two and a half years ago. In the meantime, ATSC Ltd continued to trade with other countries not covered by the ban including Mexico. It looked like all our efforts had been to no avail. However, in February this year, I was visited by detectives from the Avon & Somerset police and asked to give a statement. Yesterday I got a phone to say that Jim McCormick was due in court to face six counts of fraud. I await the outcome but sincerely hope that this is not considered a simple lapse of magical thinking when it comes to dowsing but an act of deliberate profiteering that has indirectly cost thousands of lives.

Do not miss his earlier post: How To Make A Killing With the Woo Bomb Detector. It will make you livid and will make this news today feel VERY satisfying.

Mr Jim McCormick, who generally does not return calls, is reported as saying, “We have been dealing with doubters for ten years. One of the problems we have is that the machine does look a little primitive. We are working on a new model that has flashing lights.”

More people being charged with fraud of these so-called bomb detectors

Five more charged over ‘bogus’ bomb detectors

Five more people have been charged over an alleged scam involving the sale of phoney bomb detecting devices to governments around the world.

The charges came as the man behind the company which made the devices appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

In a related move, City of London Police on Thursday charged Gary Bolton; Samuel Tree; Joan Tree; Simon Sherrard and Anthony Williamson with various fraud charges relating to a variety of bomb detecting devices.

The five will appear before City Of London Magistrates’ Court on 18 July.

  13 comments for “Fake ‘Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick and others charged with fraud

  1. Kiljoy616
    July 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Why is he out on bale is what gets me heated up.

  2. Fastmover01
    July 12, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I think he should be open to extradition and criminal charges to any of the countries he sold the device to if the failure of his”device” can be linked to a death. This guy is a piece.

  3. joe
    July 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    In England we all get bail except if the crime is what you call a”felony”.

  4. Sawdust Sam
    July 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Just as guilty: purchasers who didn’t bother to – or chose not to – do due diligence before spending public money.

  5. July 12, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Adding flashing lights will not make these effective – unless they also add a beeper that sounds at random intervals.

  6. Dougie
    July 13, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    I remember seeing a BBC piece on this a few years ago and wondering how on earth they were managing to get away with this. I may be wrong but my understanding is that there would need to be a government licence to trade “military” equipment with foreign powers.
    So (and again I may be wrong) there seemed to be 2 places at the very least that this should have been stopped and lives saved. Obviously at the company no-one had any human decency or humanity, but surely either the UK government (if a licence was needed) or the buying parties would have conducted trials before risking lives.
    I can only hope that he has every death that can be attributed to him added to his charge list.

  7. July 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    For the avoidance of any doubt, and not taking away anything from Bruce Hood, James Randi, or anyone else who has pursude this down the years, including people like Lumpy Low (sniffexquestions blogspot) and many more, can I give a proper mention to Techowiz.

    I can assure you that without him the campaign to get these guys would never have gone anywhere, and it is highly unlikely they would have been charged with fraud without him.

    So three cheers to Techo, and all the others who helped get there in the end, despite much apparent official apparent apathy in the four years he has fought to get action, against some odds I cannot even tell you about.

    So, let’s hope for the lenghtiest possible jail sentences, as much money as poss recovered, and some lessons well and truly learned. There are many loose ends and if you can bear me promoting these non-profit blogs please feel free to peruse for more detail.





  8. Carl
    July 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Fraud? That’s rather gentle. Selling fake equipment to allies is no better than selling real weapons to the enemy. They should hand this bastard over to us so we can ship him off to be tortured in a secret CIA prison like the rest of the terrorists.

  9. July 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Some have speculated in past that it would be rather nice if McCormick was sent to Iraq for his punishment! If he is guilty of course! Trial date to be set. He will try to wriggle of course! Lots of mopping up to do.

  10. Bob
    July 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Great! That’s all they need when using these things at night: flashing lights to give their position away! It would be more stealthy if it just vibrated in their hands. Of course, often the operator is wearing gloves, shich could make it difficult to pick up on the vibrations. Perhaps a loud BOOM sound when they get near an explosive device… Oh, yeah, they’re already getting those.

  11. Bob
    July 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Sorry, ‘shich’ should be ‘which’, and ‘those’ should be ‘that’.

  12. July 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    18 July 2012

    The following attended City of London Magistrates Court yesterday.

    Gary Bolton – GT200. Deferred a plea awaiting sight of prosecution files. September Bail date.

    Simon Sherrard – ALPHA6. Plead Not Guilty. September Bail Date.

    Sam Tree and Joan Tree – Quadro Tracker/MOLE/GT200/ALPHA6. Plead Not Guilty. September bail Date.

    Anthony Williamson – XK9. Plead Not Guilty. September Bail Date.

    Further info as possible.

    All best.


  13. July 26, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    A Brief History of the Fake Explosives Detectors Campaign available here:


    Skepticism-UK.org has recently launched as a resource and forums. Plese support by signing up!

    All best,


Comments are closed.