MAC has been informed that Mexico’s state-owned oil and gas company, Pemex, and its navy continue to use discreditted ‘bomb detectors’ which use the same principle as the popular ‘ouiji board’ psychic game. The Mexican navy refused to have the device examined or tested at a recent meeting between scientists and members of the country’s senate.
The device, the GT200, consists of a swivelling telescopic radio antenna on a hollow plastic grip and is one of a number of similar devices whose use has led to hundreds of deaths in Iraq and Thailand. In December 2008 Pemex bought five of the devices at a cost of $34,500 each.
Among the Pemex companies using the device at high-value terrist target facilities are Pemex Petroquímica, Pemex Gas y Petroquímica Básica and Pemex Exploración y Producción. The devices were purchased without undergoing technical review or testing.
The Mexican Navy says that under its contract of purchase it is forbidden to open the device or to allow the GT200s to be tested for effectiveness.
Like the ouiji board, the GT200 and similar devices depend on a principle of the user’s unconscious muscle movements which result in the aerial swinging in the direction the user knows or suspects the target to be located. A similar principle is the basis for dowsing which, like the GT200, fails scientific tests.
In April this year Pemex security guards and Mexican navy personal used a GT200 during a bomb scare and Pemex security teams used them in two drills in 2009.
The use of these devices might be considered unhelpful given the current state of ongoing drug-related terrorist attacks in Mexico and increase the threat of bombings or other terrorist attacks on terminals and offshore platforms.