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Rogers, Raymond N. 1927-2005. A chemist with Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories, Rogers joined the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which examined the Shroud in July 1978. He initially believed the Shroud to be a painting and that it would take him only 20 minutes to prove it! Rogers task was to collect particles from the Shroud's by pressing sticky tape on its surface and then later help analyse them. Rogers authored a number of important scientific papers on the Shroud. Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin," Analytica Chimica Acta, 135, 1982, pp.3-49, reported STURP's finding that the Shroud's image was not a painting and the bloodstains really were blood. Rogers, R.N., "Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin," Thermochimica Acta, Vol. 425, 2005, pp.189-194, found that the sample radiocarbon-dated in 1988 was not part of the original Shroud, and therefore could not validly be used for determining its true age. Obituary, In Memoriam, Ray Rogers FAQ, Wikinews & Wilipedia
PS: See `tagline' quotes below which will be about each person, in alphabetic of surname, and then in date order (most recent uppermost).
"A chemist who worked on testing of the Shroud of Turin says new analysis of the fiber indicates the cloth that some say was the burial linen of Jesus could be up to 3,000 years old. The analysis, by a scientist who was on the original 1978 team that was allowed to study tiny pieces of the cloth, indicates the shroud is far older than the initial findings suggesting it was probably from medieval times, and will likely be seized on by those who believe it wrapped the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. ... Raymond N. Rogers, a retired chemist from the University of California-operated Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a telephone interview Friday from his home. `The chemistry says it was a real shroud, the blood spots on it are real blood, and the technology that was used to make that piece of cloth was exactly what Pliny the Elder reported for this time,' about 70 A.D. ... Rogers, whose findings were published recently in the scientific journal Thermochimica Acta. Rogers wrote that in 2003, the scientist advising the cardinal of Turin, where the shroud is kept, provided him with pieces of thread taken from the radiocarbon sample before it was distributed for dating. The American chemist said he decided to analyze the amount of vanillin, a chemical compound that is present in linen from the flax fibers used to weave it. Vanillin slowly disappears from the fiber over time at a calculated rate, he said. Judging by those calculations, a medieval-age cloth should have had some 37% of its vanillin left by 1978, the year the threads were taken from the shroud, Rogers said. But there was virtually no vanillin left in the shroud, leading the chemist to calculate it could be far older than the radiocarbon testing indicated, possibly some 3,000 years old. Asked why carbon-dating might have been off, Rogers contended that `the people who cut the sample didn't do a very good job of characterizing the samples,' that is, taking samples from many areas of the cloth. .... Disputes have flourished over the 1988 declaration by the scientific team that carbon-dating indicated the cloth came from medieval times. Researchers at The Hebrew University has said that pollen and plant images on it put its origins in Jerusalem sometime before the eighth century." ("Shroud of Turin could date to time of Jesus, examiner says," USA Today, January 29, 2005).
"The most recent scientific study of the Turin shroud will not surprise anyone with even a passing interest in this mysterious bit of cloth. Retired chemist Raymond Rogers claims that the sample used for radiocarbon-dating studies in 1988 - which suggested that the shroud was a medieval forgery - is quite different from the rest of the relic. Rogers, who worked on explosives at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory, presents chemical arguments for the shroud being much older than those datings implied. It is, he says, between 1,300 and 3,000 years old. Let's call it somewhere around the middle of that range, which puts the age at about 2,000 years. Which can mean only one thing... But it would be unfair to imply that Rogers has steered his study towards a preconceived conclusion. He has a history of respectable work on the shroud dating back to 1978, when he became director of chemical research for the international Shroud of Turin Research Project." (Ball, P., "To know a veil," Nature news, 28 January 2005).
"Rogers has pursued another objection. ... the suggestion that the carbon-dated fragment was taken from a patch repaired in the sixteenth century did not look promising. The shroud was indeed damaged by fire and patched up in 1532, but those patches, called the Holland cloth, are obvious. Rogers thought that he would be able to `disprove [the] theory in five minutes'. But he now says that there is something in it. Luigi Gonella, the Archbishop of Turin's scientific adviser, provided Rogers with a few threads from the piece cut for dating, which he compared with the samples he collected during the Shroud of Turin Research Project. The radiocarbon sample, but not other parts of the shroud, seems to have been dyed with madder, a colorant not widely used in Europe until after the Crusades, Rogers writes in Thermochimica Acta [Rogers, R.N., "Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin," Thermochimica Acta, Vol. 425, 2005, pp.189-194]. This suggested that the fabric could have been inserted during repair, after being dyed to match the original, older cloth. Well, maybe. Perhaps more compelling is that most of the shroud lacks vanillin, a breakdown product of the lignin in cotton fibres. There is vanillin in the Holland cloth, and in other medieval linen. Because it decomposes over time, this suggests that the main body of the cloth is considerably older than these patches. By calculating the rate of decay, Rogers arrives at his revised estimate of the shroud's age." (Ball, 2005).
"The Shroud of Turin, the piece of linen long-believed to have been wrapped around Jesus' body after the crucifixion, is much older than radiocarbon tests suggest, according to new microchemical research. Published in the 20 January issue of Thermochimica Acta, a peer-reviewed chemistry journal, the study dismisses the results of the 1988 carbon-14 dating. At that time, three reputable laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona, concluded that the cloth on which the smudged outline of the body of a man is indelibly impressed was a medieval fake dating from 1260 to 1390, and not the burial cloth wrapped around the body of Christ. `As unlikely as it seems, the sample used to test the age of the shroud in 1988 was taken from a rewoven area of the shroud. Indeed, the patch was very carefully made. The yarn has the same twist as the main part of the cloth, and it was stained to match the colour,' says Raymond Rogers, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratories and former member of the STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) team of US scientists that examined the Shroud in 1978.The presence of a patch on the shroud doesn't come as a surprise. The linen cloth has survived several blazes since its existence was first recorded in France in 1357, including a church fire in 1532. Badly damaged, it was then restored by nuns who patched burn holes and stitched the shroud to a reinforcing cloth now known as the Holland cloth. ... In his study, Rogers analysed and compared the radiocarbon sample with other samples from the controversial cloth. `As part of the STURP research project, I took 32 adhesive-tape samples from all areas of the shroud in 1978, including some patches and the Holland cloth. I also obtained the authentic samples used in the radiocarbon dating,' Rogers says. It emerged that the radiocarbon sample has completely different chemical properties than the main part of the shroud, Rogers says. `The radiocarbon sample had been dyed, most likely to match the colour of the older, sepia- coloured cloth. The sample was dyed using a technology that began to appear in Italy about the time the Crusaders' last bastion fell to the Mameluke Turks in 1291. `The radiocarbon sample cannot be older than about 1290, agreeing with the age determined by carbon-14 dating in 1988. However, the Shroud itself is actually much older,' says Rogers. ... Evidence came from microchemical tests ... These revealed the presence of vanillin in the radiocarbon sample and in the Holland cloth, but not in the rest of the shroud. Vanillin is produced by the thermal decomposition of lignin, a chemical compound of plant material including flax, and levels decrease and disappear with time. It is easily detected on medieval linens, but cannot be found in the very old ones, such as the wrappings of the Dead Sea scrolls. `A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300 and 3000 years old,' Rogers writes. According to Tom D'Muhala, the president of the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research, the new chemical tests produced `conclusive evidence'. `They indicate that the linen shroud is actually very old, much older than the published 1988 radiocarbon date,' D'Muhala says. ... In 1988, the Vatican approved carbon-dating tests. Three reputable laboratories concluded that the shroud was medieval, dating from 1260 to 1390, and not a burial cloth wrapped around the body of Christ. But since then a growing sense that the radiocarbon dating might have had substantial flaws emerged among shroud scholars. The history of the cloth has been steeped in mystery. It has survived several blazes since its existence was first recorded in France in 1357, including a mysterious fire at Turin Cathedral in 1997." (Lorenzi, R., "Turin shroud older than thought," ABC/Discovery News, 26 January 2005).
"In 1988, radiocarbon laboratories at Arizona, Cambridge, and Zurich determined the age of a sample from the Shroud of Turin. They reported that the date of the cloth's production lay between A.D. 1260 and 1390 with 95% confidence. This came as a surprise in view of the technology used to produce the cloth, its chemical composition, and the lack of vanillin in its lignin. The results prompted questions about the validity of the sample. Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow-brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud." (Rogers, R.N., "Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin," Thermochimica Acta, Vol. 425, Nos 1-2, 20 January 2005, pp.189-194).
"THE year 1978 marked the 400th anniversary of the Shroud's transfer from Chambery to Turin. To celebrate this occasion, the newly-appointed Archbishop of Turin, Anastasio Ballestrero, through the diplomatic efforts of Fr. Peter Rinaldi, a Salesian priest stationed in New York, had the Shroud exposed for public veneration from August 27-October 8. Following this exposition, over forty scientists from Italy and America were given five days to carry out non-destructive tests on the Shroud. The thirty-plus members of the American group known as the `Shroud of Turin Research Project,' or STURP, were headed by Dr. John Jackson and Dr. Eric Jumper, two United States Air Force captains and physicists. The team brought with them seventy-two crates of equipment. The group was composed of specialists from different disciplines: Donald Lynn headed a group from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena, including Jean Lorre, and Donald Devan from the Oceanographic Services, Inc., of Santa Barbara. Bill Mottern, from the Sandia Laboratories, led the team of specialists who carried out a series of radiography exams of the Shroud with the following group from Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories: Robert Dinegar, Donald and Joan Janney, Larry Schwalbe, Diane Soran, Ron London, Roger Morris, and Ray Rogers who took various sticky tape samples of dust particles from the surface of the Shroud. Joseph Accetta from Lockheed Corporation coordinated the group that inspected the Shroud with infrared rays. Roger and Marion Gilbert from the Oriel Corporation of Connecticut examined the light spectrum emitted by fluorescence beneath ultraviolet lighting." (Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.60-61).
"More importantly, the single most significant conclusion of STURP was that the Shroud image cannot possibly be a painting. Two of STURP's members, Rogers and Schwalbe, state for the team: `The primary conclusion is that the image does not reside in an applied pigment. The reflectance, fluorescence, and chemical characteristics of the Shroud image indicate ... some cellulose oxidation/ dehydration process.' [Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin," Analytica Chimica Acta, 135, 1982, pp.3-49, p.60] Naturally speaking, some form of drying, aging (advanced decomposition) process has occurred on the image." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, 1990, p.29).
"In terms of religion, STURP members belong to various Protestant churches or are Roman Catholics, Jews or even agnostics. However, what they have in common is that each one is the type of person who is challenged by puzzles and `unsolvable mysteries,' and is unwilling to believe that any problem can stump him for long. When chemist Ray Rogers joined the organization, he was quoted by Cullen Murphy in `Shreds of Evidence,' published by Harpers in 1981, as having said, `Give me twenty minutes, and I'll have this thing shot full of holes.' That was several years ago. As this seemed to be a common opinion among members of STURP, they soon began to feel the need to observe and to study the Shroud at first hand, and they took steps toward that end. ? in July, 1978, when the Shroud was once again shown to the public, time was reserved for members of the STURP committee." (Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Patrick Walsh Press: Tempe AZ, pp.94-95. Emphasis original).
"Conclusions The evidence seems to be sufficient to conclude that the Shroud `blood' areas are blood. The presence of protein, bilirubin, and albumin, the optical absorption and fluorescence characteristics of individual fibrils, and the iron concentrations determined by x-ray fluorescence, all support this hypothesis. This contradicts earlier tentative conclusions that were drawn mainly from the negative results of less sensitive tests." (Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., 1982, "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Reprinted from Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, No. 1, pp.3-49, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co: Amsterdam, 1982, p.40. Emphasis original).