Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sniffex test with one ounce (30 grams) of hidden smokeless powder

If you only have time to view one video segment, please start with the SECOND video clip below. You can return to the main article by using the BACK button on your browser or by clicking here.

In the first clip below, you can see that I placed 10 small manila envelopes along a hallway of the convention hotel, about 10 - 15 feet apart, in accord with directions by Mr. Johnson. Nine of these envelopes contained table salt. One contained one ounce of smokeless powder (about 30 grams). You should be able to see the envelopes on the floor, along the far wall in the video.

Although you will hear Mr. Johnson say that this is a "small amount", it's the same amount of explosive contained in about 15 bullets or in a small anti-personel landmine. In a later clip, you will hear Mr. Johnson and Mr. White claim that they found a single bullet in an entire prison ward. In several advertisements for Sniffex, it is advocated for land mine detection.

In the above video, you can see how Sniffex is used. You can also see that although the process of searching for explosives with this device is very slow, it gives no clear indication. Mr. Johnson repeatedly mentions that he is experiencing "user error" but does not explain what it is or how to eliminate it.

In the next clip below, Mr. Johnson is unable to explain why in an earlier demonstration of Sniffex, his associate, Mr. Griesser, was able to locate just four 9mm cartridges and now, Sniffex can not seem to find an amount of smokeless powder sufficient to fill more than 15 such cartridges. Finally, Mr. Johnson selects three envelopes as likely and one, number 9, as the most likely candidate. We take these three envelopes to another even longer hallway and spread them about 50 feet apart. We place all the "rejected" envelopes into a single plastic bag and that bag is also placed in the hallway. Mr. White then searches these four items for the explosive.

Finally, Mr. White and Mr. Johnson agree that one envelope, number nine, contains the explosive. The envelope is opened and contains salt. All envelopes in this set of ten are then opened to prove that one contained gun powder.

It's a bit less than 5 minutes in length.

Sniffex clearly failed this test. You can return to the main article by using the BACK button on your browser or by clicking here.

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