How a British businessman named James McCormick made millions selling fake bomb-detectors to the Iraqi government:

“When Dale Murray arrived in Denver a few weeks later, he knew he’d seen the Mole before. It was identical in every way to the Quadro Tracker—down to the patterns of stippling on the plastic handle. ‘It looked like someone had taken the injection molding from one location to another and just put a different label on it,’ he says. Although he was confident the Mole was as ridiculous as its predecessor, Murray subjected it to a carefully devised double-blind experiment, with Balais seeking a sample of C4 explosive hidden in the offices. ‘I knew that without doing a rigorous scientific test, there would be people that would be unconvinced,’ Murray says. ‘So we treated it exactly the same way we would any other piece of scientific gear.’

“Only Balais seemed surprised when the Mole failed. At the start of the trial, when he could see where the C4 had been placed, the equipment scored perfectly; once the double-blind sequence began, it performed no better than chance. When Sandia published its results, Balais, McCormick, and the manufacturers in the U.K. were furious. They protested that the experiment had been mishandled. Balais lost his franchise arrangement, and the manufacturers withdrew the Mole from sale soon afterward. But another detector just like it soon appeared on the market under a new name, the GT200.”