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The Locator Locates! (Danie Krugel)

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« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2007, 19:48:13 PM »

Hark! Herewith my vision of the future...
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2007, 12:43:13 PM »

Last night’s 3rd Degree programme on e–TV featured a rebroadcast of the piece on Danie Krugel by Charlene Stanley & crew from a little more than a year ago.  The report apparently won some journalism prize or other and this fact was, of course, taken to mean that the report is actually good, responsible coverage of the issue.  The programme followed its customary format with a live lead-in by Debora Patta, followed by the report.  In her lead-in, Patta gave the reason for the rebroadcast (the prize), before posing the question whether this was revolutionary or a hoax, a question not pursued any further.  Unfortunately, we don’t have the necessary means, otherwise we would have recorded the episode for subsequent closer scrutiny.  However, we took down some notes while the programme was on air, so here’s a brief outline thereof with occasional comments.

After the rolling of the title, the viewer is informed via subtitles of the shocking missing-persons statistics in SA, especially those of children.  The narrator (Stanley) suggests that it would be wonderful if these people could be located by using a few strands of their hair.  She goes on to say that “some inventors” in Bloemfontein have cracked just this problem: tracing the source of a sample of “signature material.”  We may easily be mistaken in this, but both Dr 'Luthon64 and I seem to recall that it was at around this point that DNA was first mentioned in the original broadcast a year ago, but there is no mention of it this time.  Dr Matie Hoffman, a physicist of undisclosed affiliation, is shown, saying that there is no known way such a device can work as described.  Hoffman speaks for less than 15 seconds and his words mark the only moment of scepticism in the entire report.

Next up is a shot of Danie Krugel toying with a radio-controlled helicopter, about to take off in a grassy field.  His voiceover intones gravely that one hundred years ago flight was thought to be impossible, just as now his technology is thought impossible.  Bad analogy, Danie: scientists had at that time already figured out many of the basics of fluid dynamics; that’s why they kept on glueing wings with an airfoil cross-section on their experiments.  They knew theoretically how flight should be achievable, while there is no known science, past or present, that can account for what you’re claiming.  Anyway, Krugel intones a dire warning to offenders that they can run but not hide because he’ll be onto them.

Danie then goes on to describe how the Leigh Matthews case was the turning point for him that prompted him to adapt some “navigational equipment” to human hair, which equipment he had previously used for locating minerals.  He says that using a “proper hair sample,” its source can be traced in a “very short time.”  A testimonial is then provided by one Pierre Honnibal whose son disappeared.  Krugel allegedly found him in “20 minutes” and this convinced Honnibal that Krugel’s canonisation is a mere matter of time.  Honnibal’s endorsement is followed by a further endorsement, this time from an investigator named Erasmus speaking Afrikaans, while subtitles give an English translation.  Erasmus asserts in no uncertain terms that Krugel “helped” him, and that while he doesn’t know how Krugel’s technology works, he is totally convinced that it does work.

The next section then reports on some impromptu testing of Danie by Stanley and her crew.  The first test involves a crew member hiding in the vicinity of a small hill.  They take a cutting of his hair.  The viewer is told that the target’s cell ’phone is left behind and that he only has a small video camera and a GPS to be used for later verification of his position identified by Krugel.  Meanwhile, Krugel himself is located “about four kilometres away,” taking measurements after the hair sample has been handed to him.  Stanley tells us that Krugel won’t allow them to film him during the test.  There is no mention of any safeguards against cheating, e.g. a third party watching and relaying information to Krugel.

The second test again involves a crew member hiding in a coffee shop in downtown Bloemfontein.  Krugel is told that the target is somewhere in a suburb called “Pelissier,” while actually in a neighbouring suburb called “Fichardtpark.”  We are shown a tuft of hair held between a thumb and the first forefinger joint (presumably cut from the target’s head) and it is clear that very few, if any, hair roots are included.  This is handed to Krugel who takes a few measurements, allegedly “gets a signal” and eventually locates the target to within a few hundred metres, though it isn’t reported just how long the procedure took.  A picture of a map is shown indicating Krugel’s prediction and the actual location of the target but it is shown too briefly and indistinctly to conclude anything useful.  This time no comments are made about what equipment the target had, and again no mention is made of any safeguards and/or controls against cheating by Krugel.

The next test involves a “smaller version” of Krugel’s equipment, deployed in the search for an infant who had been hidden earlier under a blanket in a house.  A hair cutting is given to Krugel who then locates the child but again many important details are simply skipped over in favour of the wow-factor.  The fourth test is a real case in which a domestic servant had stolen jewellery and other goods from her employer and then disappeared.  Krugel is shown inspecting a bucket of dirty water, presumably the remains of a mopping operation of the servant’s quarters.  We are told that Krugel finds “three strands of hair.”  He then sets his gear up at night, supposedly “to give the suspect enough time to get home.”  Or maybe to line up his ducks – take your pick.  Next thing, Leon Rossouw appears.  Rossouw is a private investigator and occasional partner to Krugel, and he specialises in locating people using their cell ’phones and the cell infrastructure, an important piece of information that is simply omitted in Stanley’s report.  Rossouw investigates for the “next few days,” and eventually finds the suspect “about 200 metres” from Krugel’s pinpoint.

Continued…
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« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2007, 12:44:25 PM »

… Continued.

The fifth and final test is again a real case in which four teenage girls went missing in Bloemfontein.  Pictures and a hairbrush are given to Krugel who “asks around” if anyone has seen the girls, but without any success.  Why, one wonders, would Krugel need to “ask around” if he has this magnificent invention?  After all, it is almost a certainty that there would be at least some hair on the girl’s hairbrush Krugel was given, a point that wasn’t raised at all.  The girls turned up later that evening at a shopping mall (so they couldn’t have been all that missing).  They were asked where they had been between 14:00 and 16:00 that day, which was when Krugel did his location shimmy.  It turns out that the girls weren’t far from the place Krugel had identified.  It wasn’t made clear whether the girls had been moving around during the period in question, nor what other attractions besides shopping malls there were in the area, nor whether any of them had cell ’phones.

At the end of the report, Charles Nqakula, SA’s Minister of Safety and Security, is shown saying how magnificent Krugel’s invention is, how criminals must beware, how much this will do to advance respect for SA’s science in the world, and how they are “collaborating closely” with the inventors.  Oh, and Nqakula briefly mentions getting DNA from hair as the signature material.

Now that we have listened fairly dispassionately to what Stanley and Krugel would have us believe, we have the following urgent request to anyone who wants to put Krugel to the test: get two or three performing magicians to help design and observe the tests because they know what to look for and how to avoid being tricked.  Because as long as reporters like Stanley pretend that (a) their “experiments” and “tests” are credible, and (b) that they have done their job properly by airing a single physicist’s dissenting voice, they are lying to both the public and to themselves.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2007, 19:08:26 PM »

Thanks for the summary - I never caught the original 3rd degree show, or this rescreening, and unlike that paragon of journalistic integrity, Carte Blanche, they don't seem to think it's worth offering online transcripts. So it was interesting to see that they didn't really do anything different in their piece than CB did in theirs... Susan Puren must be mightily miffed at being passed over on this one, seeing as her stories might as well have been filmed from the same outline.
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« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2007, 20:55:58 PM »

The Stanley report on Krugel predates the first of the two Carte Blanche inserts by about four months and is the first TV report we're aware of that covers the topic, apart from it possibly giving Carte Blanche the impetus for their efforts.  What puzzles me is that 3rd Degree's Debora Patta can be such a bloodhound when challenging social or political injustices and abuses, and simultaneously such a puppy in matters where confrontation is equally apropos.  As I hint at in my summary, the situation is portrayed in such a way that the casual observer would be tempted to think that the orthodoxy is reluctant to acknowledge, let alone accord due recognition to, the lone genius inventor for whose claims there are heaps of substantial evidence.  That is, the man is Galileo Krugel.

Sad, such ignorance. Sad

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« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2007, 20:50:23 PM »

I didn't get to see carte blanche's two stories about Danie, but fortunately was able to read the transcripts.  I recall from this story that the camera man was sent to a cemetery to hide and be found.  This bothered me for a long time, especially in light of forcing techniques which many "mentalist" magicians use (one of your crack debunking team in addition to the "sleight detectors", I'm sure).

If we entertain this idea for a little while, consider that it is very likely that the cameraman thought that he had come-up with the idea himself.  The reporter and crew on the scene would all be very impressed (as impressed as when the mentalist asks "were you thinking of the 3 of diamonds?").  So how could it be achieved?  Cleverly constructed sentences can be used to place an idea in a person's head, usually by absence which gets the participant to "fill-in" the missing word or by use of similar-sounding phrases.  You might talk for a while and drop-in these sentences:

"... my device was used on a case where the sample was found under six feet of cementry on a construction site ..." (we usually tune errors like that out in our daily conversation having understood the real meaning: cement).

"... I received a lot of criticism in the early days and they were grave.  Digging through books I found that Einstein suffered the same criticism ..." (said fast enough it is not detected and with the right emphasis can be "received").

You could construct any number of disguised sentences and use cliches like "dead centre" to hammer-home the idea.  But instead of waving your cape and writing a prediction on a card, you ask them to go "find a place of rest for a while so that you can be comfortable while we try to track you down".

Forget about the hair, it's too easy, this guy's "signal" will be very strong.

Of course we are ascribing some amazing abilities to someone who isn't known to have had magical interests in his past (did he work as a police entertainer perhaps Tongue).  Maybe it's all a lot more ordinary than that, are cameramen in he habit of bringing GPS devices on shoots?  Perhaps Danie was kind enough to provide them with a spare unit he had available and it would prove useful when later they could correlate the results with his actual coordinates.

The transcript has only six lines about this entire experiment, no information on who suggested the test, every item that went with the camera man, were there other guesses before the cemetery was chosen, were they told when to start looking (cameraman phone in) or did they agree to wait "5 minutes" (which indicates to the cameraman that he should be in place, ready to be located within the time limit)?  There are too many questions and not enough description of the test.


On another forum, someone suggested that maybe it's all a big ruse that the Minister and the media are in on, a way to tell the less educated criminal out there that the days of getting away with it are over - the police have a new weapon.  Maybe that's why Mazarakis was so vehement in support of Danie.

But again, we may be ascribing too much to Danie Krugel.

Oops, on that classic example of Argumentum-Ad-Hominem, I will leave it for a day.
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« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2007, 11:58:30 AM »

Forget about the hair, it's too easy, this guy's "signal" will be very strong.



There are too many questions and not enough description of the test.
Indeed.  There are, as you suggest, far too many specific factors that haven't been adequately controlled for in these "tests."  That's why they don't – and can't – count as evidence.  But I think it's human nature (not wanting to appear the fool) that has the reporting teams all uppity and defensive about their reports.  It seems their minds were already made up about Krugel when they assembled their "tests" and so any criticism of the "tests" is perceived as personal criticism and rejected as such, a perception that is, of course, plain twaddle.



On another forum, someone suggested that maybe it's all a big ruse that the Minister and the media are in on, a way to tell the less educated criminal out there that the days of getting away with it are over - the police have a new weapon.
Hmm, it's possible, yes, but I don't think it's likely, given how convoluted the story is, but then it could be a case of the crime fighting equivalent of steganography.  In the SA context, it would be more effective, I think, to invoke another mode of magical thinking, say one in which the spirits of ancestors feature as "supercops."  There may be some obscure family – or similar loyalty – ties between Krugel and the report producers, but again this is pure speculation.

The real problem is how easily many people accept those reports as gospel (or simply are apathetic) instead of seeing through them and loudly challenging Krugel and the purveyors of the reports to put forward some actual evidence (instead of anecdotes and a host of kindergarten "tests").  By playing coy, Krugel is milking this propensity that many people seem to have.

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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2007, 15:35:11 PM »

I'm new to these parts, so don't bite me.
What I would like to know if this Danie chap's invention is so bloody marvellous, why isn't somebody sending him over to Portugal to find Madeleine McCann?
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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2007, 16:02:57 PM »

I'm new to these parts, so don't bite me.
Welcome, welcome!  Biting, when it happens, usually comes later…



What I would like to know if this Danie chap's invention is so bloody marvellous, why isn't somebody sending him over to Portugal to find Madeleine McCann?
Send him?  Considering the substantial reward for returning Madeleine McCann, it's telling that Krugel didn't leap at the chance immediately.  Plus, he's been repeatedly invited to do so – check out the rest of this thread and the News and current events sub-forum for more about this.  moonflake's blog has quite a bit on Krugel too.

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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2007, 12:53:02 PM »

Danie Krugel is involved in the Madeleine McCann disappearance.  He is featured in a Bad Science blog entry:
Quote from: Bad Science Blog
Psychics telling your future at the fairground are fine. When it comes to newspapers printing horoscopes, I couldn’t care less. But exploitative misreporting of this scale on this subject is contemptible. You’re as capable as I am of reading about Krugel’s work, and so are the Observer, but still this reputable UK newspaper is presenting magic quantum box tomfoolery as serious DNA evidence on the whereabouts on a little girl who has disappeared and may well be murdered.
The bottom line, then, is that many newspapers are happy to peddle sensationalist bunkum, despite the protestations of many qualified experts.  They seem to think that contrasting one expert's view against that of an unknown like Krugel plus anecdotes is sufficient to qualify as "balanced reporting."  What they have evidently lost sight of is the sheer volume of experts and expertise arrayed behind the objector, while Krugel stands largely alone.

But what else is new?

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« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2007, 13:29:35 PM »

Quote from: Danie Krugel, as cited in UK Sunday Mirror
My machine has a 90 per cent success rate, so I am convinced this is the place where Madeleine is buried.
Any evidence for this high success rate, Danie?  I mean other than your say-so?



Quote from: Danie Krugel, as cited in UK Sunday Mirror
Krugel became a household name in South Africa when he created a DNA tracking device which solved a 19-year mystery about the whereabouts of six schoolgirls snatched by a paedophile.
No.  No, he didn't.  They found some bones that could have been human.  Nothing was actually validated.  So please check your facts and stop lying to your readers.



Quote from: Danie Krugel, as cited in UK Observer
Krugel, of the University of Bloemfontein, claims that his technique is able to locate a missing person anywhere in the world using only a single strand of hair. He became famous in South Africa after helping a television crew locate the whereabouts of five South African girls who went missing during the Eighties.
Krugel is a glorified rent-a-cop at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.  He's not a scientist or an engineer.  He didn't become famous here by locating the "five South African girls who went missing during the Eighties," presumably the Gert van Rooyen victims.  Was it five or six he claims to have found?  So please check your facts and stop lying to your readers.



Quote from: Danie Krugel, as cited in UK Sunday Mirror
Respected news programme Carte Blanche introduced Krugel's invention last year showing how it helped recover the remains of six children killed by a paedophile in the late-1980s.
It was 3rd Degree that first brought Krugel onto TV, not Carte Blanche.  And the thing about those "six children" has yet to be authenticated.  Lies do not become true just because you repeat them over and over.

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« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2007, 14:08:36 PM »

Sanity of sorts seems to be prevailing on the Sky website
http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91210-1287380,00.html


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« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2007, 09:39:41 AM »

The latest (October) issue of the SA edition of marie claire magazine has an article on Gert van Rooyen's six victims.  The article, titled "Do You Recognize these Women?", features digitally processed photos of the six missing girls.  The photos show what the girls might look like were they alive today, which is the selling point.  The story, however, is mostly about the facts surrounding the disappearances themselves and van Rooyen's alleged role therein.

Danie Krugel isn't mentioned at all.

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« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2007, 16:31:13 PM »

I'd just like to clarify that this guy has been around a long time. I first saw an SABC 2 progamme about his amazing machine around 2004 (?) which utterly disgusted me that they could air such nonsense. Then coincidentally just a couple of months before Carte Blanche aired their show I saw an article in the paper about how the parents of a student who had gone missing had been led on a wild goose chase all over the country when Danie told them their son was "travelling north" and all sorts of other rubbish. A couple of months after he'd gone missing his body was found in the Knysna forest where he'd died of a fall or something, and lain undiscovered.

Even for journalists as shocking as South African's appear to be, it surely wouldn't take very long to find these people and interview them about what they think of DK. I doubt it would be complimentary.
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« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2007, 15:47:04 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Bast. Smiley

Thanks for the correction re Krugel's first TV appearance.  Your date estimate seems to coincide with an SABC news item dated 8 December 2004.

Googling "Danie Krugel" (incl. the inverted commas) at present returns about 14,200 hits.  A month ago it was less than 50.  Thus are legends born.

'Luthon64
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