Correlation flowmeters have been used in the scientific field for many years and are actually gaining greater commercial importance due to an increasing number of applications in industrial plants. The importance of the correlation method is based on the fact that essentially no alternatives exist for measuring velocity and mass flow rate in pneumatic conveyors. However, the hitherto employed transit time correlation method leads to results which are clouded by uncertainties. The commonly used theoretical model of the measurement process does not explain these effects satisfactorily. Therefore, the theory of non-intrusive flow sensors is reinvestigated from a physical standpoint. The derived model permits a discussion of the transit time correlation method in some detail. Furthermore, this model leads to an alternative sensor arrangement and signal processing scheme which makes it possible to measure the true mean velocities. Examples of experimental results are given.