Quadro bites the dust....

James Randi --- Wizard (randi-hotline@ssr.com)
Wed, 24 Apr 1996 19:08:28 -0400


Yesterday, the 22nd, US District Judge Thad Heartfield handed down a
permanent injunction against the Quadro Corporation and its officers,
Wade L. Quattlebaum, Raymond L. Fisk, and Malcom S. Roe, from selling,
advertising, or otherwise offering their silly "Tracker" device. My
regular readers will recognize this as the toy that was sold to police
departments, schools, and customs agents for the purpose of detecting
and locating drugs, explosives, gold balls and coon dogs.

That was the civil case, the Quadro Corporation being charged and
convicted of being engaged in a mail and wire fraud scheme to defraud
customers, under statutes 18 U.S.C. 1341 and 1343. Now we will wait
to see whether criminal charges are brought....

I can't resist quoting from some of the Quadro literature that was
produced in court. You may recall that they had a selection of "tuned
frequency chips," one of which was to be fastened to the empty plastic
handle of the Tracker, to make it "zero in" on the sought-after
substance. Describing the "scientific basis" for the device, the
defendants said:

"The frequency chip is oscillated by static electricity produced by
the body [of the user] inhaling and exhaling gases into and out of
the lung cavity. This static electricity is propagated on the
surface of the body to the tracker which utilizes the charge to
oscillate the chip....[A]ll matter contains exact molecular
frequencies. When a magnetic field is created by a contained
electrically charged body moving through space at a perpendicular
angle moving to its direction, and that field is brought into
alignment with another exact field, resonating at the identical
frequency modulation, then both objects attract, just as two bodies
are attracted toward each other in a gravitational field."

Until I read this, I had no idea of how abysmally inadequate was my
knowledge of science....!

I'm told that at one point, an endorser of the Quadro device who spoke
on the witness stand, was asked why he had not taken advantage of my
offer to pay anyone the (at that date) $500,000 prize, if they could
just show that it worked. The answer? "Mr. Randi refused to show up
with the half-million in the form of cash."

Damn right.
James Randi


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