Hodges, Greg. (2005). Voodoo Methods: Dealing with the Dark Side of Geophysics. 315-327. 10.4133/1.2923476.



The exploration industry has been plagued since the dawn of technology with near‐magical oil, gold and waterfinders. They do untold damage to the reputation and business of honest geophysical applications and research. A geophysicist with sound scientific knowledge can usually recognize when geophysics is “from the dark side”, but it can be difficult to convince non‐scientists. Exposing the voodoo methods can be a complex and expensive nightmare of politics, marketing, and litigation. Some common characteristics of voodoo geophysical methods are: dubious theoretical bases, fantastic levels of instrument sensitivity, phenomenally accurate interpretations, extraordinary levels of secrecy, and combative or evasive response to challenges. The evaluator should also determine whether the questionable method is the product of over‐zealous marketing, misguided science, or fraud. Funding agencies and corporations must insist on assessment and approval by technical experts before investing in a new system. The technical investigators must be open‐minded, but rigorous. The tests must be definitive, and the testers must have the right to publish results. Fraudulent methods shy away from technical testing and publication, and refusal of the purveyor of a new system to comply with evaluation and publication of results must be viewed with the greatest suspicion.