I have decided to retrospectively split part #4 of my series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker" into two parts. So this part #5 is what was previously the latter half of part #4, expanded. Other previous posts in this series were part #1, part #2, and part #3. The reason that I split part #4 is I later realised that Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper (see below), is a very important item of evidence for my theory that the radiocarbon dates of the Shroud were not real dates, but were computer generated random numbers within limits so that when calibrated to take account of past variations in atmospheric CO2, their midpoint was 1325, just before the Shroud's first appearance at Lirey, France, in the 1350s.
[Above (click to enlarge): Carousel wheel of the CEDAD (CEntro di DAtazione e Diagnostica) AMS radiocarbon dating facility at the University of Salento, Italy. The target and control samples are converted to pure carbon and then compressed into tiny carbon pellets inside the holders on the carousel wheel:
"Next the sample became a target. The powdery graphite was ... loaded into tiny target holders, and thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch was applied with a drill press. The Shroud sample was now a target for the beam of caesium atoms which was to be fired at it".]
This CEDAD carousel wheel has 12 target holders and is of unknown diameter. Arizona's (and presumably Zurich and Oxford's) carousel wheel had ten holders and its diameter was "a little larger than a two pence coin" (about 26 mm or 1 inch):
"Like gunpowder packed into a bullet casing, the Shroud sample now reduced to graphite is compressed into metal pellets one millimetre in diameter. A drill press with thousands of pounds of pressure is used for this task. Ten pellets with graphite are loaded into holes in a small carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin. ... The carousel is loaded into the end of the accelerator, and under a vacuum, a beam of caesium atoms is fired at the graphite target" (see below).
This small size of the carousel and all the samples being on it together and irradiated one after the other in close succession is very important evidence of my theory as we shall see below.]
[Above (click to enlarge): Table 2 in the 1989 Nature paper showing that Sample 1 (the Shroud)'s average radiocarbon age for each laboratory was widely different, unlike the non-Shroud samples (2, 3 and 4). See my comparison table and chart below. This is even more important than I first realised as evidence for my theory that the Shroud samples' radiocarbon dates were not real dates like those of the non-Shroud samples, but were random numbers generated by a hacker's computer program which, when calibrated, would cluster around 1325.The computer hacker, as I have alleged, was Arizona Radiocarbon Laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-4 June 1989), aided by self-confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–3 June 1989 [but see 17May15]), who both died of suspected `suicide' within days of each other (or even on the same day).
laboratories for samples 2, 3 and 4 [not the Shroud] is exceptionally good" but "The spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted" (my emphasis):
"The mean radiocarbon dates and associated uncertainties for the four samples, as supplied by each of the three laboratories, are listed in Table 2 and shown in Fig.1. ... An initial inspection of Table 2 shows that the agreement among the three laboratories for samples 2, 3 and 4 is exceptionally good. The spread of the measurements for sample 1 is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted".
Below is my spreadsheet table showing the age ranges (before 1950) and the years they equate to:
[Above: Spreadsheet table showing minimum and maximum year ranges of each of the three laboratories' average for Sample 1 (the Shroud). As can be seen, Oxford's 780-720 (years before 1950) age range (1170-1230) doesn't overlap either Arizona's (1273-1335) or Zurich's (1250-1298). And Arizona's and Zurich's ranges only overlap by 25 years (1273-1298). This is clearer in my spreadsheet bar chart below.]
[Above: Bar chart, based on the years in my spreadsheet table above, which in turn is based on the average age ranges for each laboratory's dating on Sample 1 (the Shroud) in Table 2, showing visually the wide differences between the three laboratories' dating of the Shroud sample. As can be seen, Oxford's year range of 1170-1230 does not overlap the year ranges of the other two laboratories. And Arizona's (1273-1335) and Zurich's (1250-1298) ranges only overlap by 25 years (distorted by limitations of the spreadsheet).]
I later realised that the above are uncalibrated ages. Since there does not appear to be calibrated years for each of the laboratory's dating of the Shroud I have now converted the above to calibrated years using the graph in Fig. 2 of the Nature paper below.
[Above (click to enlarge): Calibrated ages and dates of Arizona (red), Zurich (green) and Oxford (orange) laboratories based on the ages (before 1950) and years in Table 2, drawn on the calibration curve of Fig. 2 of the 1989 Nature paper, and corrected. See my spreadsheet table and bar chart below for these calibrated years.]
[Above: My spreadsheet table showing calibrated years of the Shroud (sample 1) based on Table 2 and Fig. 1 of the 1989 Nature paper, and corrected. See my bar chart below for a clearer view of the still wide differences between the three laboratories' dating of the same `postage stamp' sized sample of the Shroud divided between the three laboratories and dated by the same AMS method].
[Above: My bar chart of the Shroud samples' calibrated years based on my table above, which is turn is based on Table 2 and Fig. 1 of the 1989 Nature paper, and corrected. As can be seen, there are still wide variations between the three laboratories' dating of the Shroud, with Oxford's years still not overlapping Arizona's and Zurich' and those two laboratories overlapping by only 8 years (1285-1293), again distorted by limitations of the spreadsheet.]
This is inexplicable given that the laboratories' Shroud samples were all from the same `postage stamp' size sliver of linen, and all were
[Above (click to enlarge): Drawing of the approximately 8 x 1.2 mm sample area, from A1 (Arizona 1), O (Oxford), Z (Zurich) to A (Arizona), with a photo of the 8 cm x 1.2 cm sample superimposed over the drawing on the bottom right hand side. Clearly there can be no significant difference in contamination between samples in such a tiny area. This is also very important (see below).]
dated by the same AMS method. Indeed, in their AMS dating method the three laboratories were effectively clones:
"Also to be discounted is the argument that the credibility of the shroud carbon dating is hugely reinforced by having been arrived at by three theoretically independent laboratories. This is totally vitiated by the fact that as users of Gove's accelerator mass spectrometer technique all three laboratories are clones of each other. Furthermore, instead of having received samples taken from different areas of the shroud, they all received sections of a single portion taken from one edge of the cloth. Effectively they were almost bound to achieve the same result, a weakness of the original decision on the choice of laboratories as made in Turin"
The three laboratories, dating one-third each of the same `postage stamp' size sample, indeed "were almost bound to achieve the same result." But in fact, as Table 2 shows, they didn't! Even Wilson was taken in by the 1989 Nature paper's "95% chance that the Shroud was made between 1260 and 1390 A.D." when in fact it is based on "statistical sleight-of-hand" and "internal massaging of numbers":
"The widely reported `95% chance that the Shroud was made between 1260 and 1390 A.D.' sounds impressive, but it is the result of statistical sleight-of-hand. ... It all amounts to internal massaging of numbers which hides certain warning signals. In fact the wide range of dates among the three labs obtained in the Shroud sample as compared to the much narrower range in the three control samples indicates that the Shroud test gave an anomalous result. The report in Nature hints at the problem when it notes (in Table 2) that there is only a 5% probability of attaining by chance "a scatter among the three dates as high as that observed, under the assumption that the quoted errors reflect all sources of random variation." In plain English this means that all the statistical manipulation in the world can't get rid of the fact that the range of dates is much too large to be accounted for by the expected errors built into radiocarbon dating".
But "all the statistical manipulation in the world can't get rid of the fact that the range of dates is much too large to be accounted for by the expected errors built into radiocarbon dating" (my emphasis)!
That "the spread of the measurements for the Shroud" is "greater than would be expected from the errors quoted ... demands the existence of a variable which the statistical analysis did not take account of":
"Set out in extremely technical terms [in the Nature article of 16th February 1989] the idea of odds was nonetheless missing from the abstract, the mediaeval date being presented as an indisputable certainty: 'Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. As controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated. The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud is mediaeval' ... the odds figured strongly in the conclusions, indeed forming the major plank on which the credibility of the mediaeval date was based. ... The real curiosity, therefore, is that these attestations were inverted in the main text of the paper, the spread of the measurements for the Shroud being stated to be 'somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted.' This demands the existence of a variable which the statistical analysis did not take account of, and which, unhappily, is impossible to identify".
But there is no other variable possible (see below), so this is evidence for my theory that the Shroud samples' dates of all three laboratories were computer-generated by a hacker's (Timothy W. Linick's) program.
Remember that Sample 1 (the Shroud) and Samples 2, 3, 4 (the control samples) were all on the same "small carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin" about 26 mm (~1 inch) diameter (see above).
[Right (click to enlarge): A British two pence coin (called "new pence" from 1971-1981) held by fingers to show how small the laboratories' "carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin" was.]
And each run consisted of a one minute ("10 second measurement of the carbon-13 current and a 50 second measurement of the carbon-14 counts") measurement of each sample on the same "small carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin":
"There were three or four members of the AMS team there when I arrived and they had almost finished the five minute per sample cesiation. This consisted of rotating each of the ten samples, located on the ion source wheel, into the cesium beam ensuring that the sample was coated with cesium. During this cesiation process the carbon-12 beam is measured and it was running approximately 12-13 microamps for each. At Rochester we would consider this a very good carbon beam intensity ... The first sample run was OX1. Then followed one of the controls. Each run consisted of a 10 second measurement of the carbon-13 current and a 50 second measurement of the carbon-14 counts. This is repeated nine more times and an average carbon-14/carbon-13 ratio calculated. All this was under computer control and the calculations produced by the computer were displayed on a cathode ray screen".
Given these facts it is even more inexplicable why the Shroud samples would return such widely different dates, with Oxford's not even overlapping the others and the dates of Arizona and Zurich only overlapping at `top and tail' by a mere 25 years uncalibrated and 8 years calibrated.
It can't have been due to faulty AMS machinery because samples 2, 3 and 4's dates (on the same ~26 mm diameter carousel wheel, and dated only minutes apart) were "exceptionally good." And it couldn't have been due to different pretreatment because, as the Nature paper stated:
"From these data it can be seen that, for each laboratory, there are no significant differences between the results obtained with the different cleaning procedures that each used".
And it couldn't have been because of differing degrees of contamination (including by 16th century invisible repairs) because each laboratory's sample was a one-third sub-sample cut from the same `postage stamp size' sample, and so they would have the same amount of contamination. Besides, Arizona laboratory still has some of their Shroud sample as it came from Turin, uncleaned and undated and it has "no evidence for either coatings or dyes, and only minor contaminants" (as can be seen in the photomicrograph of it below):
Abstract. We present a photomicrographic investigation of a sample of the Shroud of Turin, split from one used in the radiocarbon dating study of 1988 at Arizona. In contrast to other reports on less-documented material, we find no evidence to contradict the idea that the sample studied was taken from the main part of the shroud, as reported by Damon et al. (1989). We also find no evidence for either coatings or dyes, and only minor contaminants"
[Above: Photomicrograph of one of Arizona laboratory's remaining undated Shroud sub-samples, presumably as it came from Turin with no pretreatment, photographed by Barrie Schwortz in 2012. As can be seen, it has no obvious contamination or foreign fibres, whereas, as Prof. Harry Gove noted on an earlier black-and-white photograph of the same sample, if the Shroud were first century and subsequent contamination produced the fourteenth century radiocarbon date, then "this sample would have to be two thirds shroud and one third contamination":
"Photograph of one quarter of the shroud sample received by the University of Arizona. The dimensions are about 1/2 cm by 1 cm. The original sample was four times this area. It was divided into four pieces for separate measurements. Note the lack of any contamination. If the shroud were actually first century and modern contamination produced the 14th century result this sample would have to be two thirds shroud and one third contamination".
If the Arizona laboratory is confident that the "mediaeval...AD 1260-1390" radiocarbon date of the Shroud was correct, why doesn't it radiocarbon date this sample? I predict that if it did, the date would not be 13th-14th century, but rather 1st (or an early because of irremovable and invisible younger carbon contamination which has become absorbed into the Shroud's linen fibres) century date. That would be a test of my theory.]
In fact from what Gove, Hall, and Benford & Marino have elsewhere said, Gove probably meant one-third Shroud and two-thirds contamination would be needed to cause a first century cloth to have a fourteenth century radiocarbon date!
But it is explicable if the Shroud samples' dates were, unlike those of the non-Shroud samples, not real ages but were random numbers generated by a hacker's computer program within limits to ensure that the Shroud's radiocarbon dates, when calibrated, would cluster around 1325. A problem with randomly generated numbers is that for a small number of `rolls of the dice' (as there were with each laboratory's few Shroud dating runs) there can be wide variations. For example, with dice one could by chance throw two double sixes in the first two throws, but over a large number of throws it would even out. It is also evidence that all three laboratories' AMS control console computers were hacked, not only Arizona's.
Even though my theory at this early stage is entirely circumstantial, lacking as yet a `smoking gun', by a process of elimination of "the impossible," my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, "however improbable" it may seem to be, "must be the truth":
"`How came he, then?' I reiterated. `The door is locked, the window is inaccessible. Was it through the chimney?' The grate is much too small,' he answered. `I had already considered that possibility.' `How then?' I persisted. `You will not apply my precept,' he said, shaking his head. `How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. Whence, then, did he come?' `He came through the hole in the roof,' I cried. `Of course he did. He must have done so. If you will have the kindness to hold the lamp for me, we shall now extend our researches to the room above, - the secret room in which the treasure was found'" (emphasis original).
Which is not to say that there won't be comparatively minor, non-essential changes to it as new information comes to light. For example, Karl Koch is not essential to my theory, as Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's computer some other way, e.g. by issuing them with a program `update', or one of the KGB's own operatives could have entered those two laboratories clandestinely and installed Linick's program on their AMS control console computers.
Continued in part #6.
1. This post is copyright. No one may copy from this post or any of my posts on this my The Shroud of Turin blog without them first asking and receiving my written permission. Except that I grant permission, without having to ask me, for anyone to copy the title and one paragraph only (including one associated graphic) of any of my posts, provided that if they repost it on the Internet a link to my post from which it came is included. See my post of May 8, 2014. [return]
2. 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. [return]
3. Ibid. [return]
4. "Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," CEDAD, University of Salento, Italy, 27 June 2006. [return]
5. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.142. [return]
6. "Two Pence Coin Designs and Specifications," The Royal Mint, 10 June 2014. [return]
7. Sox, 1988, p.145. [return]
8. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, pp.611-615, p.613. [return]
9. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E. , 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
10. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010. [return]
11. Damon, 1989, p.613. [return]
12. See note under "FIG.1 ... Ages are given in yr BP (years before 1950)." Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
13. Damon, 1989, p.614. [return]
14. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.94. [return]
15. Wilson, 1998, p.189. [return]
16. Wilson, I., "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, 1991, p.178. [return]
17. Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH, p.32. [return]
18. Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, M.C, 1991, "The Dating of the Shroud to the Middle Ages," BSTS Newsletter, No. 29, September, pp.8-9. [return]
19. "A List of All The Foreign Currency On My Table At This Very Moment," Open Urbanism blog, 28 February 2013. [return]
20. Gove, 1996, p.262. [return]
21. Damon, 1989, p.613. [return]
22. "Investigating a Dated Piece of the Shroud of Turin," Freer-Waters, R.A. & Jull, A.J.T., 2010, Radiocarbon, Vol 52, No 4. Note that the "dated" in the title is misleading, because to be "dated" by radiocarbon dating entails that the sample be reduced to pure carbon. What the authors presumably meant was that this undated sample is identical to a sample which was split from it and that sample was dated. [return]
23. "New Photographs Of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Samples," Shroud.com, November 21, 2012. [return]
24. Gove, 1996, p.265. [return]
25. Damon, 1989, p.613. [return]
26. Wilson, I., 1988, "So How Could the Carbon Dating Be Wrong?," BSTS Newsletter, No. 20, October, pp.10-12. [return]
27. Gove, 1996, p.302. [return]
28. Wilson, I., 1989, "Lecture by Professor Hall of Oxford," BSTS Newsletter, No. 21, January/February, p.10. [return]
29. Benford, M.S. & Marino, J.G., 2008, "Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud," Chemistry Today, Vol 26, No. 4, July-August, pp.4-12, p.9. [return]
30. Doyle, A.C., 1923, "The Sign of Four," Penguin: London, reprinted, 2001, pp.42-43. [return]
Posted: 13 June 2014. Updated: 25 September 2016.