In April, a line of seemingly high-tech bomb detectors used around the world were revealed to be a myth. Their creator and marketer, James McCormick, was convicted of three counts of fraud in a British court and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The so-called bomb detector, marketed as ADE 651, was said to be able to detect not only bombs but guns, ammunition, money, drugs, human bodies and even illegal ivory. The detectors were also said to work through walls and underwater. The devices were neither faulty nor defective: They were instead completely useless. They had no working electronics in them that could detect bombs or anything else.
McCormick sold the devices for up to $40,000 each. At least 800 of the detectors were purchased by the Iraqi government and used at military checkpoints throughout the country, as well as in Mexico, Syria, Pakistan, Lebanon and Niger. It's unclear how many innocent lives McCormick's bogus products cost, but with the fake detectors off the market and this myth busted, the world is a safer place.