The Locator Locates! (Danie Krugel)

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Owen Swart (January 16, 2008, 11:34:27 AM):
Indeed. Perhaps my prior posts (which were far more sarcastic in tone) burned that bridge. Oh well.

bluegray (January 28, 2008, 08:44:34 AM):
Brushing aside the sceptics, South African senior systems engineer Johan Booysen believes Krugel was "spot-on" in the co-ordinates he gave last month to locate his missing father, pilot Dirk Booysen.
The wreckage of his plane and the charred body of Dirk Booysen were found in the dense Baviaanskloof mountains shortly after Christmas.
"At first we misinterpreted his co-ordinates, but when we looked again, we saw he had been spot-on," said Booysen.
"It was very difficult terrain and Danie never gave us any false hope about my father. He just offered to help - for free - and that's what he did.

What do you know, he was spot on all along... ::)
How do you misinterpret coordinates?
Mefiante (January 28, 2008, 10:46:50 AM):
Yah, we spotted the streetlamp-mounted “Saturday Star” headline posters which read something like, “‘I Know Where Maddie Is’ - SA Cop.” Thinking it might be Krugel, we immediately bought a paper and, sure enough, there he was on page three.

We think the article could have done with quite a bit more sceptical counterbalance, and we found two issues particularly bothersome:
Quote from: ‘Maddie lies here’ by Glynnis Underhill, Saturday Star 26/01/2008, p. 3
… the ex-cop - dubbed “The Locator” as a result of his high rate of success in tracing missing people in SA - has broken his silence…
No. The epithet “The Locator” first arose here in this very forum. It had absolutely nothing to do with Krugel’s alleged success. Had Underhill bothered to do a little actual research, rather than twiddling the public’s wowee knobs, she’d have discovered that Krugel’s so-called “successes” do not withstand scrutiny, being based on hype, testimonial, anecdote and a convenient disregard for the man’s several failures.

The second point is the one raised by bluegray V: how, exactly, does one misinterpret coordinates? It seems a safe bet that Krugel uses GPS (i.e. global) coordinates (rather than, say, SA cadastral survey coordinates), because the article states that his equipment makes use of satellite technology. Also, if he was using a less common coordinate system, one might expect him to make this clear to the searchers.

Interestingly, the article quotes Krugel as saying that his equipment is in the process of being patented. We’ll see whether that’s true or not. Elsewhere, the point is made that Krugel does all his “locating” at no charge, and much is made of his “concern” for missing persons. Ultimately, these rhetoric devices are meant to suggest that Krugel is a generous, giving person whose main concern is helping people with little thought for himself. While all of that may be true, it does not – and cannot – affect our scepticism towards the physical claims he is making with regard to hair and his “Matter Oriented System” until he puts forward some real evidence, for example a double-blind test conducted by a credible authority.

At the same time, it must again be reiterated that the Star has served the reading public poorly with this article that has a decidedly credulous flavour. Just what will it take for journos and editors to understand that when a few eminently qualified experts say that there is no known way Krugel’s device can work as he describes, it isn’t a case of two or three opinions against Krugel? Because they seem to have a hard time with the idea that there are tens, even hundreds of thousands of scientists rallied behind those dissenting experts. Moreover, the “suppressed genius inventor” myth à la Galileo is, while very romantic and appealing, an outdated, easily punctured fairytale, which, more importantly, says precisely nothing about whether Krugel can do what he says he can.

slowcheetah (February 05, 2008, 08:38:10 AM):
If by “yet to be debunked” you mean exposing exactly what Krugel is up to, then you’d be correct. But if instead you mean that Krugel’s methods still need to be shown to be ineffective and based on hype, you’d be wrong: There are several cases where he has failed abysmally and it is in the nature of people and the popular media to push our collective “wowee!” button by punting the successes (without properly investigating them, either) and disregarding the failures. Moreover, the scientific approach demands that we regard such an implausible claim as false until the evidence in its favour compels us to change that view. Krugel’s only evidence is anecdotal, which is a kind way of saying “at best feeble.”

Well neither actually. I'm merely showing interest in what the hell this guy is doing. You've got to admit that there's something strange and unprecedented in the way he operates. And yes it does activate the 'wowee' switches in most people but I don't think you can blame them. It's some strange shit.

What I would like to see is either him getting properly exposed as a fraud or his methods being made public.

Also how long is he going to take to get his device patented. Or is that where the problem is?
ArgumentumAdHominem (February 05, 2008, 09:28:19 AM):
You've got to admit that there's something strange and unprecedented in the way he operates.
I don't see any novelty in what he does, it is the same trick that psychics use but with a background in police investigation it means that he can make (slightly) better guesses.

What I would like to see is either him getting properly exposed as a fraud or his methods being made public.

Also how long is he going to take to get his device patented. Or is that where the problem is?
In applying for a patent, an inventor is required to expose every facet of the functioning of the device, the more explicit the better because in order for another person to copy the idea they would need to make at least six fundamental changes for the law to recognise that it is not a violation of the patent. If Danie's patent application is "It uses quantum 'n stuff" then it will be thrown out because it would easily violate other patents from the word go.

The patent application is mostly posturing, because an application makes the POS (I mean MOS) seem credible. Even if the patent application is rejected, he can go on for years continuing to say that it is in the process of a patent application (simply by submitting a "It uses quantum 'n stuff 'n shit" amendment - or even by NOT resubmitting and ignoring the rejection). You have to remember that although patents are very public; the patent application process is very private (the idea is not yet protected by law). You are not even allowed to call the patent office and confirm that a patent has been submitted by a particular person.

But what weight is added by having a patent? It can be used as a "parking space" for a future idea. There are patents for the perpetual motion machine (US20070246939), free energy devices, and so on. Does that mean that the device works or that the person is "reserving" the (ridiculous) idea?


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