Sunday, May 4, 2014

Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?: Revised #3

Finally I am back on track with this Revised #3 of my series, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" I have updated my previous two posts in this series, Revised #2 and Revised #1. Earlier posts in this series were, part 1, part 2, part 3, "Summary," "My replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey," and "Further to my replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey."

[Above (click to enlarge): Schematic of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating system at the University of Arizona in 2005[1]. Note the "Control Console" at bottom left next to the photograph of a computer. While this is presumably not the actual system used to radiocarbon date the Shroud of Turin in 1988[2], both then and now it is the control console computer which actually reports a sample's radiocarbon date.]

Again, the reason I am documenting this historical evidence of the Shroud's existence from the 13th to the 1st century is to prove, beyond

[Right: Prof. E. Hall, Dr. M. Tite and Dr. R. Hedges announcing in 1988 that the Shroud had been radiocarbon dated to "1260-1390![3].]

any reasonable doubt, that the Shroud is authentic and therefore the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" is wrong.

Then the key questions will be: 1. "How could a 1st century cloth (absent fraud) carbon-date to the 13th-14th century?"; and 2. "How could the midpoint of that date range, 1325 ±65, `just happen' (absent fraud) to be a mere ~25 years before the Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in the 1350s"? Especially given that Prof. Harry Grove, the leader of the Shroud carbon-dating project, pointed out that the improbability of the Shroud being first century, yet its radiocarbon date was "between 1260 and 1390," is "about one in a thousand trillion"[4]. I will then document how law courts decide, on the basis of high improbability, that a scientific fraud must have occurred.

Having then proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there must have been fraud in that radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to 1325 ±65, I will: 1) present the evidence for the fraud having been perpetrated by computer hackers; and 2) I will tentatively identify the hackers as Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), aided by Karl Koch (1965–89), a self-confessed hacker who had spied for the KGB,both of whom died from suspected suicide within days of each other, and it could even have been on the same day!

c. 1100 Late eleventh century portable mosaic, "Christ the Merciful"[5], in the former Ehemals Staatliche Museum[6], now Bodemuseum, Berlin.

[Left (click to enlarge): "Christ the Merciful" mosaic icon (1100-1150) in the Bodemuseum, Berlin[7].]

The icon has a number of Vignon markings (see Revised #2), including a wisp of hair where the reversed `3' bloodflow is on the Shroud, a topless square, wide open staring eyes, a forked beard and a line across the throat, but they are more stylized[8].

1092 A letter dated 1092 purporting to be from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1056-1118) to Robert II of Flanders (c.1065-1111)[9], appealed for help to prevent Constantinople falling into the hands of the pagans[10]. The letter listed the relics in Constantinople including, "the linen cloths [linteamina] found in the sepulchre after his Resurrection"[11]. Although the letter is probably a forgery, concocted at the time for propaganda purposes, this need not invalidate its description of the relics then in the imperial collection[12].

c. 1090 Late eleventh/early twelfth century Byzantine ivory of the threnos, or lamentation scene of Jesus being mourned as he is laid out

[Above (click to enlarge): "Scenes from the Passion of Christ ...The Lamentation"[13]: Part of larger carved ivory panel in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Note that Jesus' arms cross awkwardly at the wrists, right over left, exactly as they are on the Shroud, in this 11th/12th century Byzantine icon. This alone is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud existed at least a century before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud.]

in death, in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London[14]. Jesus' hands are crossed awkwardly at the wrists, with the right arm over the left, exactly as on the Shroud[15]. Moreover, Jesus is lying on a double-length cloth[16] which has a repeating pattern of Xs similar to those that accompany reproduction of the image of Edessa[17] and hinting at the Shroud's herringbone weave[18]. This late eleventh century threnos or Lamentation artistic style of depicting Jesus laid out in death on a double-length shroud coincides with the first references to the burial sheet [sindon] in Constantinople's relic lists[19].

c. 1080 Eleventh-century Christ Pantocrator mosaic in the dome of the monastery church of Daphni near Athens, Greece[20]. It has 13

[Left (click to enlarge): Christ Pantocrator Mosaic from Daphne, Greece, ca. 1080-1100: Wikipedia]

of the 15 Vignon markings[21] (see Revised #2). In this and some other icons, some of these Vignon markings, for example the `topless square,' are more stylized than on the Shroud, having been rendered more naturalistic by very competent artists[22] copying these features second and third hand from the master-original[23], the Shroud face[24].

1058 The Christian Arab writer Abu Nasr Yahya recorded that he saw the cloth of Edessa in Hagia Sophia, Constantinople [25]. But it was not then publicly exhibited full length[26] as it was still regarded as too holy for ordinary gaze[27].

c. 1050 Eleventh-century mosaic bust of Christ Pantocrator in the narthex of the catholicon church (c. 1010) within the Hosios Loukas monastery[28] near the town of Distomo, Greece[30].

[Right (click to enlarge): Christ Pantocrator, c. 1050, Hosios Loukas monastery, Greece[29].]

The late art historian, Professor Kurt Weitzmann (1904-1993), who specialised in Byzantine and medieval art[31], noted that this icon had facial "subtleties" similar to the sixth-century Christ Pantocrator icon portrait in St. Catherine monastery, Sinai[32] (as we will see). In particular Prof. Weitzmann noted:

"...the pupils of the eyes are not at the same level; the eyebrow over Christ's left eye is arched higher than over his right ... one side of the mustache droops at a slightly different angle from the other, while the beard is combed in the opposite direction ... Many of these subtleties remain attached to this particular type of Christ image and can be seen in later copies, e.g. the mosaic bust in the narthex of Hosios Lukas over the entrance to the catholicon ... Here too the difference in the raising of the eyebrows is most noticeable ..." (my emphasis)[33].

Those facial "subtleties" that Prof. Weitzmann noted were "attached to this particular type of Christ image and can be seen in later copies" are Vignon markings which are all found on the Shroud!

c. 1050 The mid-eleventh-century Old French "Life of Saint Alexis"[34], the first masterpiece of French literature, contains the passage[35]:

"Then he [Alexis] went off to the city of Edessa Because of an image he had heard tell of, Which the angels made at God's commandment..." (my emphasis).

[Left: Miniature and text of the "Chanson de St Alexis" or "Vie de St Alexis," in the St. Albans Psalter (c. 1120-1145)[36].]

As philologist Linda Cooper has shown in a scholarly paper[37], the "image" referred to is the Image of Edessa, and from the various versions of St. Alexis's life it is clear that this was the Shroud[38].

Continued in Revised #4.

1. "Basic Principles of AMS," NSF-Arizona AMS Facility, University of Arizona, 2005. [return].
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return].
3. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.7 & pl.3b. [return].
4. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," p.303. [return].
5. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.160h. [return].
6. Ibid. [return].
7. Mosaic icon, "Christ the Merciful (1100-1150), in Museum of Byzantine Art, Bode Museum, Berlin, Germany: Wikipedia (translated by Google). [return].
8. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return].
9. Wilson, 1979, pp.166-167. [return].
10. Ricci, G., 1981, "The Holy Shroud," Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud: Milwaukee WI, p.xxxv. [return].
11. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.177. [return].
12. Wilson, 1979, p.314n31. [return].
13. "Scenes from the Passion of Christ; The Crucifixion, the Deposition from the Cross, The Entombment and the Lamentation," Victoria & Albert Museum, London. [return].
14. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.151. [return].
15. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.183. [return].
16. Wilson, 1991, p.151. [return].
17. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.195. [return].
18. Scavone, D.C., 1999, "Greek Epitaphoi and Other Evidence for the Shroud in Constantinople up to 1204," in Walsh, B., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, pp.204-205. [return].
19. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.88. [return].
20. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.77. [return].
21. Ibid. [return].
22. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return].
23. Wilson, 1991, p.168. [return].
24. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return].
25. Wilson, 1998, p.270. [return].
26. Currer-Briggs, N., 1987, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.63. [return].
27. Wilson, 1979, p.257. [return].
28. "Hosios Loucas (Stiris)," Pausanias Project, 29 August 2013. [return].
29. Ibid. [return].
30. "Hosios Loukas," Wikipedia, 13 March 2014. [return].
31. "Kurt Weitzmann," Wikipedia, 3 February 2014. [return].
32. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.107. [return].
33. Weitzmann, K., 1976, "The Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai: The Icons," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, p.15, in Wilson, 1986, p.107. [return].
34. Bauer, B.L.M. & Slocum, J., 2013, "Old French Online: Lesson 3," Linguistics Research Center in The College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, 11 December. [return].
35. Wilson, I., 1987, "Recent Publications," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter 16, May, p.14. [return].
36. "St. Albans Psalter," Wikipedia, 16 April 2014. [return].
37. Cooper, L., 1986, "The Old French Life of Saint Alexis and the Shroud of Turin," Modern Philology, Vol. 84, No. 1, August, pp.1-17. [return].
38. Wilson, 1987, p.14. [return].

Posted: 4 May 2014. Updated: 25 November 2015.

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