Ovilus III – The Evolution of a Scam

Well, the madness continues.  It seems there’s an all new technological wonder on the market, one that might give you a sense of déjà vu.  With all the fanfare of a root canal, Digital Dowsing presents its 2013 ghost hunting line-up, staring the Ovilus III.

A remake of the original Ovilus I and cousin to the I-phone app I-Ovilus (I’m never disappointed by the creativity of their product naming strategy), the Ovilus III is the most recent version of the famous ghost box or puck.  Paranormal Investigators have been using the Ovilus as a mainstay of their technological bag of tricks for years now, touting some quite unbelievable results.

I’ve previously written about the Ovilus and was less than charitable with my review of the product, and today will be no different.  In its current iteration, the Ovilus III boasts some technological updates that will make its users happy:

“The Ovilus III features a built in 6 line display for words No DTD need , Multiple operating modes Including Dictionary and Phonetic Modes. Built in Word Display for Dictionary mode. Built in Thermal flashlight changes color to indicate different tempertures !”[1] (Spelling and grammar is theirs, not mine)

In case you couldn’t tell from the above description, Digital Dowsing, the company responsible for the Ovilus in all its glory, does a bang-up job of marketing their wares.  The original Ovilus enjoyed a great deal of popularity among the paranormal community, but was unavailable for purchase except through Ebay and Craigslist for used units for quite a long time, to the disappointment of many I’m sure.  This new incarnation will surely fill a desperate need for quality ghost hunting technology, as though it did anything more than blink and beep in random fashion.

The Ovilus III, with its blinking lights, its six line LCD screen and its highly satisfying knobs and buttons, much like the Ovilus I, is a useless piece of crap.

Yes, you read that right…a useless piece of crap.  As I explained in my first and second critiques of this technology, the Ovilus is a scam, it cannot possibly do what Bill Chappell and his cronies at Digital Dowsing claim.  Well, actually, they don’t claim that it can do anything really…it’s the Ovilus consumers who make most of the claims, and they do so with a high degree of credulity.

It is not possible to build a device that detects or communicates with ghosts, because no one, and I mean no one in the entire world, has any idea how to prove that ghosts exist, let alone how they communicate.  I may not have the technical expertise to fully analyse and explain how the Ovilus comes up with its output results, but as discussed in the comments of my article Ovilus I – 21st Century Snake Oil, one doesn’t need a degree in electronic engineering to see that it’s a random output generator with some other clever bells and whistles incorporated for added value.

Now, I fully expect a litany of verbal backlash for my comments, but I believe if you think about it for a minute, you’ll see that I’m right.  That is unless you need to believe that the Ovilus and other devices like it have harnessed the supernatural in some fantastical way.

Do ghosts exist? Maybe, and truthfully this is as far anyone can go with that question.  As much as some people, or even many people, believe that they do exist, their belief does not constitute proof.  There may be a great deal of anecdotal or circumstantial evidence to support the assertion that there is such a thing as ghosts, but none of it provides any explanation for what, exactly, they may be, what they might consist of, where they come from or how, or even if, one can communicate with them.  To quote myself (from my first post on the Ovilus): “We cannot have a machine that defines an unknown phenomenon, when a definition of the phenomenon is required to build the machine in the first place.”

In closing, I simply ask you; if Bill Chapell or any of his colleagues has found a way to empirically detect and communicate with ghosts, which is precisely what the Ovilus III and its predecessors are purported to do, wouldn’t that technology qualify them for a Nobel prize, or at least a nomination?


[1] Source: Digital Dowsing’s website, sales page: http://www.ghostshop.com/gear.html

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