Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category

Did Sniffex Work When Tested By The US Navy?

June 23, 2007

http://sniffexquestions.blogspot.com

James Randi has extensively talked about Sniffex over the past two years, as well as previous similar products.

In February, Randi posted some of a report showing the results of testing of the Sniffex by the US Navy.
http://www.randi.org/jr/2007-02/021607failure.html

Here is an excerpt from the report as provided by Randi:

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The test objectives were to evaluate the vendor’s claims concerning the device’s ability to detect explosives. Testing was performed in a manner consistent with the specifications of the SNIFFEX, and was designed only to evaluate the device’s principles of operation, not to test its limits. Thus, explosive weights were considerably more than the minimum detectable amounts (20 or more pounds vs. 0.1 pounds), while distances were kept well within the maximum delectable ranges (10-25 feet vs. 300 feet) and the vendor was given the opportunity to take multiple passes prior to making a determination vs. 2-3 as stated in their literature. As shown in Table 1, the SNIFFEX handheld explosives detector performed no better than random chance over the course of testing…

The SNIFFEX did not detect explosives.
A summary of the results is shown in Table 2. Every effort was made to meet the vendor’s needs to allow the device to operate under ideal conditions…The vendor never suggested that the SNIFFEXs were malfunctioning during any test despite the fact that the devices were not correctly identifying the location of explosives…

On one occasion, the vendor wondered if the building was influencing the accuracy of the device, even though their device is purported to be able to detect explosives through most any barrier. In response to this, the operator proceeded to walk around the outside perimeter of the building while twenty pounds of TNT were inside. As he walked, the SNIFFEX indicated that explosives were present within the building as evidenced by a clear antenna deflection. [Randi comments: The vendor/operator had already been informed that there was an explosive target stored somewhere within that building.] However, as he was noting the positive indication of explosives in the structure, two explosives trucks containing a total of 1,000 pounds of explosives drove up behind him to a distance of approximately twenty feet away. The SNIFFEX failed to show any indication of this much larger quantity of explosives…

Based upon the observed test results,the SNIFFEX handheld explosives detector is not capable of detecting explosives regardless of the distance between the device and any explosives…

The antenna [on the SNIFFEX] is prone to deflection from slight breezes, magnetic influences, and improper handling. Furthermore the device is extremely susceptible to a well-documented phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect…

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James Randi has talked about Sniffex on several other occasions, explaining his well reasoned opinion that the product does not work as advertised.

More Questions About Sniffex

June 17, 2007

To learn more about Sniffex, the bogus explosives detector bought by the US Navy after their own experts determined it did not work, go to http://sniffexquestions.blogspot.com