The trial of James McCormick on charges of fraud (for making and selling “fake” bomb detection devices) commenced yesterday at the Old Bailey. The trial is expected to take three weeks.
But what is coming out so far is not surprising and does not bode well for Mr. McCormick.
A British businessman imported novelty golf-ball finders and used the design to develop expensive devices that he claimed could detect explosives and drugs, the Old Bailey has heard.
James McCormick, who worked from a cramped office in Somerset, sold the devices to countries around the world, including Iraq, for as much as $40,000 each, it is alleged.
His publicity material claimed the devices could detect minuscule samples of explosives, class A drugs, ivory and human beings at a distance of up to 1km at ground level and from a plane flying 5km high.
As the lawyer noted, he must have KNOWN they didn’t work as he said.
The devices consist of a plastic handle and a retractable antenna. “The handle is connected via a wire to a pouch. In the pouch is a card that is said to encode information about the substance to be detected. McCormick claimed the device was powered by static electricity emanating from the user.” It’s a dowsing rod. There is no mechanism for this to work. While he made a handsome profit, people died.
For more on McCormick’s devices, go here.
Addition: James Randi, who played a role in exposing these devices, has something to say about it here. Professor Bruce Hood who also was a CRITICAL player in investigating McCormick currently can not talk about it due to the trial.
Tip: Peter Robinson