From: James Randi --- Wizard
Subject: "Quadro Tracker"
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 23:25:00 -0500
TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORNS....
Today I mailed out very specific, individualized letters
to 19 persons who have been specifically named and quoted
by the Quadro Corporation of Harleyville, South Carolina,
as endorsing their "invention," a supposedly high-tech
dowsing-stick that was first described in the year 1538,
and didn't work then, either. This device has been sold
to school systems and police departments all over the
U.S.A., despite the fact that the prestigious Sandia Labs
in Albuquerque, New Mexico, took one apart and discovered
that there is nothing inside it at all. It's a chunk of
black plastic with a telescoping radio antenna sticking
out of it, but nothing more. It costs about $2 to make,
and sells for just less than a thousand.
Sandia Labs have now been threatened with legal action,
and their lawyers, before pulling their heads back into
their shells, have issued a "safe" edict instructing
scientists there not to discuss their findings or to
release their official written report. The First
Amendment is once again subject to the intimidation
tactics of those to whom Truth is the greatest enemy.
The First Wimp of 1996 Award goes to the Sandia legal
department for making sure that science once again is
silenced. But, Political Correctness has been properly
satisfied, Quadro goes right ahead selling these useless
toys to the taxpayers at $955 apiece, Sandia is safe, and
the lawyers have sent in their bill for advocating this
glorious retreat of reason and progress. So, relax! We
have nothing to worry about!
(Apparently, the news from Sandia got out before the Dome
of Silence descended. The city of Albuquerque had
intended to invest $200,000 in the Quadro gimmick, but
decided against it when the facts became known.)
The 19 persons who receive my letter will be therein
informed about my offer to pay the challenge prize (now
at $495,500) to any of them (first winner takes the whole
prize!) who can support their endorsement. The Quadro
folks were notified on November 27th, 1995, that I am
offering this prize money to any of Quadro's staff or
distributors, any purchasers of the product, or any
person Quadro might care to designate. It appears that
Quadro has chosen not to communicate this happy news to
anyone! Perhaps these 19 chosen individuals should ask
Quadro why they have failed to inform them? Surely
Quadro believe that the Tracker really works? If not, it
may be that we have some deception going on! Could that
I warned the Chosen Nineteen that if they were to contact
any official of the Quadro Corporation after receiving my
letter, they would very probably be eloquently urged to
ignore this offer. But, we'll see, won't we?
The Chosen Nineteen are:
William Koopman, Val-Comm Inc., Albuquerque, NM
Steve Lassiter, Drug Task Force, Albuquerque, NM
Larry DeWees, Principal, Farmington High School, NM
Clifford Weber, School Supt., Bloomfield, NM
Nancy Radford, Vice-Principal, Bloomfield H.S., NM
Troy Daniels, Resource Officer, Bloomfield H.S., NM
Ralph Navarre, Principal, Mesa Alta H.S., Bloomfield, NM
Capt. Ben Boozer, Dept. of Corrections, Crozier, VA
Raymond Gomes, Inspector General, Richmond, VA
Sgt. Marilyn Chambers, National Guard, Richmond, VA
Jim Morrison, National Guard, Richmond, VA
Brian Clements, Dir. of Security, Galena Park, Houston TX
Michael Ferdinand, Interquest Group, Inc., Houston, TX
Lt. Bill Munk, Police Department, Austin, TX
Don Plybon, US Customs, Charleston, SC
Cpl. Billie Johnson, North Charleston PD, SC
Bruce Parent, FL Dept. of Trans., West Palm Beach, FL
Pip Reaver, Adlerhorst Training School, Riverside, CA
Pete Blauvelt, Nat. Alliance for Safe Schools, Lanham, MD
Anyone who believes that a dowsing-stick can locate guns,
drugs, explosives, missing persons, treasure, stolen
cars, U.S. currency, and golf balls (I'm serious!) and do
it from 2,000 miles away, through metal and brick walls,
will want to become very friendly with the 19 listed
above, because one of them will soon be half-a-million
richer, if that belief is correct!
And, just as a footnote to this riduculous scenario, I'm
now told that Wade Quattlebaum, the "inventor" of this
wondrous Quadro toy, showed up four or five years ago at
Sandia Labs and announced that he had a device which
would detect explosives, no matter how well concealed.
Ever willing to examine a claim, and in the true spirit
of science, Sandia scientists put him to the test. It
was a resounding flop, and Quattlebaum told the
researchers that he would work on it some more, then
return. He never came back.
But don't ask Sandia about this. The muzzle is on.
And Mr. Quattlebaum is today making a fortune selling
that same toy.
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