Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #3

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #3 of my series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker." Previous posts in this new series were, part #1 and part #2. As we saw in those previous posts:

[Right: Clifford Stoll's "The Cuckoo's Egg" (1989)[2], which documents the hacking due to poor computer and physical security at universities in the 1980s (see below).]

• The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is authentic.

• Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "AD 1260-1390" was wrong.

• But the improbability that the 1st century Shroud has a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 is "astronomical," about "one in a thousand trillion," indeed "totally impossible";

• The midpoint of 1260-1390 is 1325 ± 65, which `just happens' to be ~25-30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in the 1350s.

• Pro-authenticist explanations of the discrepancy (e.g. contamination with newer carbon, invisible repairs with 16th century cotton, neutron flux, etc) fail.

• Therefore fraud of some kind in that radiocarbon dating of the Shroud is the only plausible explanation.

• But claims that the carbon-dating project leaders (e.g. the British Museum's Prof. Michael Tite) switched samples are implausible.

• However, there is a type of fraud which does not seem to have previously occurred to anyone: computer hacking, which was rife in the 1980s.

• There is evidence (not yet proof) that each of the three laboratories' AMS control console computers was hacked, to replace the Shroud's first (or early because of contamination) century date, with dates which, when calibrated, clustered around 1325; and

• that the hacker allegedly was Arizona laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick

[Left: Timothy W Linick (1946-4 June 1989)[3].]

assisted by Karl Koch (1965–3 June 1989 [but see 17May15]), a self-confessed hacker who had worked for, and was probably executed by, the KGB in a simulated suicide[4].

[Right: Karl Koch. "He was involved with the KGB scandal that involved hackers being bought by drugs in exchange for breaking into key NATO and corporate installations ... Koch, of Hanover, West Germany, died Friday, June 3 [1989] [but see 17May15]"[5].

within days (or even on the same day) of Linick's "suicide in mysterious circumstances"[6].


3. COMPUTER HACKING IN THE 1980S Computer hacking was rife in the 1980s (see below).

[Above (click to enlarge): Extract of "Timeline of computer security hacker history"[7]. As can be seen, 1988, the year the Shroud was claimed to have been radiocarbon dated as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" was also a peak year for early computer hacking against poorly secured, online computer systems.]

• Computer and physical security was poor at universities in the 1980s Clifford Stoll was a astronomer turned computer Systems Manager (who earned

[Left: Clifford Stoll[8].]

his Ph.D at Arizona University)[9] and was in 1986 redeployed to manage a large computer network at Berkeley University's Lawrence National Laboratory. In his "The Cuckoo's Egg" (1989), Stoll explained from personal experience (which includes Arizona University) how lax was the computer security at universities in the 1980s:

"Our laboratory's computers connect to thousands of other systems over a dozen networks. Any of our scientists can log into our computer, and then connect to a distant computer. Once connected, they can log into the distant computer by entering an account name and password. In principle, the only thing protecting the networked computer is the password, since account names are easy to figure out. (How do you find account names? Just use a phone book-most people use their names on computers)" (my emphasis)[10].

Stoll recounts that it was easy to hack into computers at "universities where no security was needed" (both computer and physical):

"Every few months, I'd hear a rumour about someone else's system being invaded; usually this was at universities, and it was often blamed on students ... Sure, it's easy to muck around computers at universities where no security was needed. After all, colleges seldom even lock the doors to their buildings" (my emphasis)[11].
German hacker ring. The hacker whom Stoll detected, Markus Hess, was actually a German, in Germany,

[Right: Markus Hess in 2013[12]. Hess was, like Karl Koch, selling Western computer secrets to the KGB. But Koch, unlike Hess, was murdered in a simulated suicide probably by the KGB (see above).]

dialing in via a pre-Internet network to the USA, from where he could hop from one university and military network to another, due to their then lax security in the 1980s. Hess hacked into about "400 U.S. military computers":

"Hess's initial activities started at the University of Bremen in Germany ... via ... the Tymnet International Gateway. Tymnet was a `gateway' service that a user called into that routed him to any one of a number of computer systems that also used the service. Tymnet ... provided local telephone numbers, where directly accessing the computer would have been a long distance call. ... Once he accessed Tymnet, Hess branched out to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and to the Tymnet Switching System. It was through this switching system that he accessed the LBL [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory] computers. Hess was able to attack 400 U.S. military computers by using LBL to `piggyback' to ARPANET and MILNET. ARPANET was a civilian wide area network created by the Department of Defense which would later become what is now known as the Internet. MILNET was its military counterpart"[13].
Hess had for several years been selling information gained through his hacking to the KGB":
"The hacker's name was Markus Hess, and he had been engaged for some years in selling the results of his hacking to the Soviet KGB" (my emphasis)"[14].
Hess was an associate of Karl Koch, who was also "involved in selling hacked information ... to the KGB":
"Koch was loosely affiliated with the Chaos Computer Club. He worked with the hackers known as DOB (Dirk-Otto Brezinski), Pengo (Hans Heinrich Hübner), and Urmel (Markus Hess), and was involved in selling hacked information from United States military computers to the KGB. Clifford Stoll's book The Cuckoo's Egg gives a first-person account of the hunt and eventual identification of Hess. Pengo and Koch subsequently came forward and confessed to the authorities under the espionage amnesty, which protected them from being prosecuted"[15].
Note that "Pengo [Hans Heinrich Hübner] and Koch subsequently came forward and confessed to the

[Left: Hans Heinrich Hübner (Pengo) in 2011[16].

authorities" (in mid-1988)[17].


Karl Koch's `suicide' But (again) "Koch was found burned to death" in a simulated suicide while neither Hübner nor any of the other KGB hackers who also confessed were harmed. It is a reasonable inference that "Koch was killed in order to keep him from confessing more to the authorities" but then "Why Koch would be targeted, and not Pengo [Hübner] and Urmel [Hess], is unknown" (my emphasis):

"Koch was found burned to death with gasoline in a forest near Celle, Germany. The death was officially claimed to be a suicide. However, some believe there is little evidence supporting suicide and many believe that Koch was killed in order to keep him from confessing more to the authorities. Why Koch would be targeted, and not Pengo and Urmel, is unknown"[18]
My theory is that Koch (and Linick) was murdered by the KGB to prevent him talking to the authorities about his role in hacking into the AMS control console computers in the radiocarbon laboratories at Zurich and Oxford universities, to install Linick's program which Linick had used at Arizona laboratory to ensure that the 1st century Shroud of Turin returned a 13th/14th century date. Only that explains why: 1) Koch `suicided' and none of the other hackers did; and 2) Linick `suicided' only a few days after Koch (and it could have been on the same day).

Continued in part #4.

Notes
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.Stoll, C., 1989, "The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage," Amazon.com. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E. , 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 30 March 2014. [return]
5. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010. [return]
6. Galeazzi, G., 2013, "Never solved the enigma that still divides the Church," Vatican Insider, 1 April . [return]
7. "Timeline of computer security hacker history: 1980s," Wikipedia, 16 February 2014. [return]
8. "Clifford Stoll and The Cuckoo's Egg," David Bolton Strikes Again, 6 July 2007. [return]
9. Stoll, 1989, p.ii. [return]
10. Stoll, 1989, p.8. [return]
11. Stoll, 1989, p.12. [return]
12. Jangra, A., 2013, "Famous Hacks that made Headlines," 20 August. [return]
13. "Markus Hess," Wikipedia, 18 November 2013. [return]
14. "The Cuckoo's Egg," Wikipedia, 8 February 2014. [return]
15. "Karl Koch," Wikipedia, 2014. [return]
16. Guasch, J.A., 2011, "Interview with Hans Hübner (Pengo)," February 18. (See English translation following the Spanish original). [return]
17. Clough. B. & Mungo, P., 1992, "Approaching Zero: Data Crime and the Computer," Faber & Faber: London & Boston, p.183. [return]
18. "Karl Koch," Wikipedia, 2014. [return]

Posted: 3 June 2014. Updated: 26 September 2016.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Intriguing as it is to watch someone document their crisis of faith, you must realise by now that you've descended into conspiracy theory territory.

Assumption: The shroud is genuine
Assumption: The evidence that is isn't is unquestionable.
Conclusion: The evidence is an elaborate hoax.

So what else has to be true if it's a hoax? An astonishing amount, none of it provable.

Take a reality check and realise one of the assumptions must be false.

Start by asking whether it's even important that the shroud date from Jesus's time.

Does your faith really hang just on a piece of cloth?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Intriguing as it is to watch someone document their crisis of faith,

Sorry to disappoint you but I am not having a "crisis of faith." Which is more than I can say for Shroud sceptics like yourself:

"A comment by a bishop to one such skeptic really puts the whole significance of the Shroud in perspective. The bishop told him, `If the Shroud turned out to be 2,000 years old, it wouldn't really affect my faith, but it might affect yours'. Thus in a real sense, the Shroud is more important for skeptics than it is for Christians. It penetrates to their deepest philosophical levels" (Marino, J.G., 2011, "Wrapped up in the Shroud: Chronicle of a Passion," pp.272-273).

>you must realise by now that you've descended into conspiracy theory territory.

Yes, my theory alleges that there was a conspiracy to discredit the Shroud by an Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick, who installed a computer program on Arizona's AMS control console computer, which ensured that its Shroud sample returned a calibrated radiocarbon date closely before the Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France in the 1350s.

It also alleges that there was a conspiracy between Linick and the KGB to ensure that Linick's program was also installed on Zurich and Oxford's radiocarbon dating laboratories' AMS control console computers to ensure that their Shroud samples also returned a calibrated radiocarbon date of closely before the 1350s.

As Wikipedia points out the term "conspiracy theory" is "an explanatory proposition that accuses ... persons ... or an organization of having caused ... through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation":

"A conspiracy theory is an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an illegal or harmful event or situation." ("Conspiracy theory," Wikipedia, 18 June 2014).

My theory "that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker" is covered by that definition.

Wikipedia then goes on to point out that "conspiracy theory" was "Originally a neutral term" which has since "acquired a ...derogatory meaning" which is then used "to automatically dismiss claims that the critic deems ridiculous ":

"Acquired derogatory meaning. Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning ...The term is often used to automatically dismiss claims that the critic deems ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, or irrational."

And that a conspiracy theory can be correct, such as Watergate:

"A conspiracy theory that is proven to be correct, such as the notion that United States President Richard Nixon and his aides conspired to cover up Watergate, is usually referred to as something else, such as investigative journalism or historical analysis"

So "Although the term `conspiracy theory' ... is often used to dismiss or ridicule beliefs in conspiracies ... it has also continued to be used by some to refer to actual, proven conspiracies:

"Although the term `conspiracy theory' has acquired a derogatory meaning over time and is often used to dismiss or ridicule beliefs in conspiracies including ones that turn out to be real, it has also continued to be used by some to refer to actual, proven conspiracies, such as U.S. President Richard Nixon and his aides conspiring to cover up Watergate."

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

So your use of "conspiracy theory" in a derogatory sense to dismiss or ridicule my theory does not in itself entail that my theory is false. It may (and I believe it will) turn out to be, like Watergate, an "actual, proven conspiracy[y]."

In my next post I will produce strong (if not conclusive) evidence that Linick conspired with a David Sox to leak Arizona's 1350 date to the media.

>Assumption: The shroud is genuine

Your irrational prejudice towards the Shroud of Turin is noted in that you cannot apparently bring yourself to use correct English and capitalise the word "shroud" which in this context is a "proper noun" because you clearly are referring to that particular "unique entity" and not to "a class of entities" in which latter case your sentence above would be meaningless.

"Proper noun ... A proper noun is a noun that in its primary application refers to a unique entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft, as distinguished from a common noun, which usually refers to a class of entities (city, planet, person, corporation), or non-unique instances of a certain class (a city, another planet, these persons, our corporation)." ("Proper noun," Wikipedia, 2 June 2014).

But no, mine is a not an assumption that the Shroud is genuine. As I state on my blog's masthead, "I am persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ."

"I am an Australian evangelical Christian in my 60s. I am persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image.

>Assumption: The evidence that is isn't is unquestionable.

No. I am more than happy for the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity to be questioned.

>Conclusion: The evidence is an elaborate hoax.

I note that you don't state: 1) Who perpetrated this alleged "hoax"?; 2) When was the alleged "hoax" perpetrated? and 3) How was the alleged "hoax" perpetrated?


>So what else has to be true if it's a hoax? An astonishing amount, none of it provable.

Your sentence above doesn't make sense.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Take a reality check and realise one of the assumptions must be false.

It is Shroud anti-authenticists like yourself who need to take a reality check. If the Shroud is not authentic, then it should be easy to prove that. But it isn't.

Of the two main (indeed only) items of evidence that ant-authenticist have relied upon:

1) Bishop d'Arcis 1389 memorandum to the Pope claiming that the Shroud was painted in 1355, has been discredited because the Shroud image has been proven not to be painted; and

2) the 1988 radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 was already tottering, and if my theory that those dates were the result of a hacking is proved true,

then there would be no evidence left to support the anti-authenticist case.

You could be the first Shroud anti-authenticists to propose a comprehensive and coherent anti-authenticist theory that plausibly:

1) Positively accounts for all the major features of the entire full-length, front and back, Shroud, with technology that was indisputably in use before the 1350s. Such an account should include a reproduction of the Shroud and its image that has all the major features of the entire Shroud, with technology that was indisputably in use before the 1350s.

2) Negatively explains away all the historical and artistic evidence for the Shroud having been in existence from the 14th century, all the way back through to the first century.

If you do that you will be famous, because you would be the first to do if. If other anti-authenticists have attempted to propose such a comprehensive and coherent anti-authenticist theory, they must have quietly given up, because no such complete anti-authenticist theory yet exists.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Start by asking whether it's even important that the shroud date from Jesus's time.

That starting point reveals your anti-authenticists priorities. You are more interested in erecting a thought-barrier so that you don't have to deal with the evidence that the Shroud does date from Jesus' time.

The right place to start is with that evidence, without preconceptions that rule out the Shroud being authentic before you even get to the evidence.

But then, as the agnostic but pro-authenticist art historian, Thomas de Wesselow found out from personal experience, if you "start studying the cloth" you will in `danger' of coming to the conclusion "that the Shroud might very well be ... the winding sheet of Jesus":

"`Too good to be true' - that is a regular response to the Shroud of Turin. Without even looking at it, most people make a rough calculation (based on all sorts of hidden assumptions) that it is plainly incredible, not even worth considering. The doubts creep in only when and if - a rare event they start studying the cloth. Surprisingly, perhaps, the overwhelming majority of those who consider the matter carefully (including atheists, agnostics and non-Catholic Christians with a healthy disregard for religious relics) conclude that the Shroud might very well be what it purports to be: the winding sheet of Jesus." (de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," p.132).

>Does your faith really hang just on a piece of cloth?

No. As I have written previously, I had been a committed Christian for almost 40 years before I discovered in 2005 that the Shroud was authentic. So my Christian faith does not "hang" on the Shroud being authentic. If the Shroud were proven to be false then I would still be the same committed Christian that I was before, and after, I discovered the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones
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