This is part #9 of my theory that the three laboratories (Arizona, Zurich and Oxford) which in 1988 radiocarbon dated the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval... AD 1260-1390" were duped by a computer hacker, Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick. Previous posts in this series were part #1, part #2, part #3, part #4, part #5, part #6, part #7 and part #8. Newcomers should read those previous posts as this part of my theory will be brief and will rely on evidence provided in some of those previous posts. In my next and final post in this series, part #10, I will summarise my theory, bringing together my evidence and arguments in the previous nine posts in this series.
"For both Dob and Carl it became apparent after an hour or so of being questioned that Pengo and Hagbard had gone to the authorities. Eventually, both of them confessed to espionage. But they weren't to be accorded the same leniency that Markus Hess got. Dob and Peter Carl had previous arrests on their records, and both were considered flight risks-Carl for his plans to go to Spain and Dob for his avoidance of military duty. Both were taken into custody. Carl's ex-wife came forward to say she would take out a loan for 1,000 marks for bail, but prosecutor Kohlhaas felt uneasy about setting Carl free and urged the judge to deny bail. Kohlhaas saw his case strengthen when, during the search of Carl's apartment, a Casio pocket calculator was found. It contained the telephone number for one Sergei Markov".
The Sergey Markov in the photo above has been described as "Putin's man". In 2009 this Sergey Markov reportedly admitted to being behind a hacking cyber-attack on Estonia . While I can as yet find no evidence that this Sergey (or Sergei) Markov was a former KGB agent (he need not have been), I assume that he is the "Sergei Markov" who was the Soviet Union's point of contact with the German "KGB hackers" which included Karl Koch.
• The Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse in the 1980s. By the mid-1980's the former Soviet Union (USSR) was on the verge of collapse:
"In October 1977, the third Soviet Constitution was unanimously adopted. The prevailing mood of the Soviet leadership at the time of Brezhnev's death in 1982 was one of aversion to change. The long period of Brezhnev's rule had come to be dubbed one of `standstill', with an aging and ossified top political leadership ... Two developments dominated the decade that followed: the increasingly apparent crumbling of the Soviet Union's economic and political structures, and the patchwork attempts at reforms to reverse that process ... In 1988, the Soviet Union abandoned its nine-year war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces ... In the late 1980s, the constituent republics of the Soviet Union started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories ...".See also "1988 Soviet Union centre – starting to lose control". And in fact the USSR did collapse in late 1989, epitomised by the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989.
• A first century radiocarbon date of the Shroud would have been a threat to the atheist USSR. The Soviet Union was an atheist State. Yet, despite its attempts to eradicate religion since the 1917 revolution, the USSR continued to have a large Christian population. In the 1980s, four Christian denominations alone, had a total of about 61 million adherents:
"According to both Soviet and Western sources,in the late 1980s the Russian Orthodox Church had over 50 million believers ... The Georgian Orthodox Church ... [had] an estimated 2.5 million followers ... The Armenian Apostolic Church is an independent Oriental Orthodox church. In the 1980s it had about 4 million adherents ..." 
And that does not count the 5.5 million Roman Catholics mainly in the satellite republics:
"The majority of the 5.5 million Roman Catholics in the Soviet Union lived in the Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Latvian republics, with a sprinkling in the Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Russian republics".
"There are 44 Catholic Dioceses in Poland ... Ever since Poland officially adopted Latin Christianity in 966, the Catholic Church has played an important religious, cultural and political role in the country ... As of 2005 a majority of Poles, approximately 88%, identified themselves as Roman Catholic, and 58% said they are active practicing Catholics, according to a survey by the Centre for Public Opinion Research. ... The CIA Factbook gives a number of 87.2% belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in 2012".
were about 30 million Roman Catholics in Poland in the late 1980s.
That totals about 96.5 million Christians in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. And if Protestants and other Christian denominations are included, that means there would have been over 100 million Christians in the crumbling, officially atheist, Soviet Union in the mid- to late 1980s!
So a first-century radiocarbon date of the Shroud of Turin would have been perceived as a huge threat by the embattled Soviet leadership.
• If Timothy W. Linick had offered the Soviets a 14th century carbon-date of the Shroud they would have accepted it. So if Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick (see part #6) had approached the Soviet Union (through for example the Soviet consulate in San Francisco):
"Since most of what they [the Soviet Union] were interested in, especially technology for advanced computing, was on a list of highly restricted technologies maintained by a consortium of Western nations known as COCOM, the Soviets had long since resorted to extralegal means of procuring hardware and software. The FBI liked to maintain that Northern California's Silicon Valley, where much of American computer innovation resided, was crawling with KGB agents. The FBI claimed that one of the primary missions of the Soviet consulate in San Francisco was to funnel U.S. technology into the Soviet Union".with an offer to guarantee that the Shroud would be radiocarbon-dated to about 25-30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in the 1350s (see part #1), the Soviets would certainly have accepted that offer.
[Right: Photograph of Linick and report that "He died at the age of forty-two on 4 June 1989, in very unclear circumstances, shortly after the campaign of the Italian press reporting our [Bonnet-Eymard's] accusations" (my emphasis).]
4 June 1989. (see part #7).
• Koch had been murdered between 23 and 30 May 1989, i.e. between 12 and 6 days before Linick's `suicide.' The German police would have needed to identify the charred body as that of Koch (see part #8) before they publicly released the information that Koch's burned body had been found. So Linick's `suicide' would have been very soon after the KGB learned that Koch's burned body had been found.
• Koch and Linick could have been killed by the KGB to prevent the Soviets' hacking of the Shroud's dating being revealed. Koch's murder was disguised as suicide, presumably by the KGB, since no one else is known to have had a motive to kill Koch. But that the KGB had killed Koch seemed inexplicable because Koch had long since finished confessing his hacking for the KGB, as had his fellow hackers for the KGB, but none of them were killed (part #8).
But it is explicable if the KGB executed Koch (and then Linick) for fear they would betray the KGB's own secret, as hacking the Shroud of Turin's radiocarbon dating would have been. With the publication of the Nature paper of 16 February 1989, which claimed that the Shroud was "mediaeval ... 1260-1390":
"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 of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 ..."Koch may have realised what his hacking into the Oxford and Zurich university computers and running a program on them had done, and as he had since "embrace[d] ... conventional religion" (my emphasis):
"It looked as if Hagbard [Koch] was beginning to straighten out his life. Before the news of the KGB activity broke, a friend had helped him get a job as a messenger in the Hannover office of the conservative Christian Democratic Union ... Even after his spying came to light, along with his dependence on drugs, the CDU office kept him on, convinced that he deserved another chance. Some of Hagbard's friends viewed the CDU job as further proof that this erstwhile social democrat's political perspective had gone completely awry. Others saw the job as Hagbard's first small step toward folding himself back into society. His life, at least to outsiders, seemed more stable. After years of rootlessness, he was finally planning to move into an apartment of his own. And a recent embrace of conventional religion had probably added to his calm bearing".
"After that first trip, Pengo testified, he waited for Sergei's feedback. To his great disappointment, none came, and by the beginning of 1987 Pengo's role in the enterprise had fizzled. Carl continued to drop by 'for coffee' and ask him for source code, but Pengo couldn't deliver them. 'The whole thing was more hot air than anything else,' he declared. After a while, Carl stopped calling. By that summer, Pengo said, he and Dob were no longer speaking, and he had never had much contact with Hess. Hagbard, he said, was completely `outgespaced,' talking of nothing but conspiracies and having religious hallucinations".
But if, according to my theory, the KGB had arranged for Koch to install Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratories' AMS computers (see part #8), they would have realised what Koch was saying, and silenced him permanently. But then because Linick (who may have had to communicate with Koch on how to run his program) would probably learn of Koch's `suicide' and out of fear and/or remorse, might confess his hacking to the US authorities, the KGB would have to permanently silence Linick as well, by a second contrived `suicide'.
To be concluded in part #10.
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. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E. , 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Sergey Alexandrovich Markov," Wikipedia, 22 June 2014. [return]
5. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, pp.292-293. [return]
6. "Putin’s Man Warns Finland About NATO Membership and Russophobia," Finbay, 9 June 2014. [return]
7. Coalson, R., 2009, "Russia admits to Cyber Attack on Estonia," La Russophobe, March 9. [return]
8. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.293. [return]
9. "Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 29 August 2014. [return]
10. "Dissolution of the Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 22 August 2014. [return]
11. "Berlin Wall," Wikipedia, 16 August 2014. [return]
12. Ibid. [return]
13. "State atheism: Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 19 August 2014. [return]
14. Ibid. [return]
15. "Religion in the Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 16 August 2014. [return]
16. Ibid. [return]
17. "Roman Catholicism in Poland," Wikipedia, 23 August 2014. [return]
18. "Demographics of Poland," Wikipedia, 12 August 2014. [return]
19. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.226. [return]
20. Damon, 1989, p. 611. [return]
21. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.301-302. [return]
22. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.316. [return]
Posted: 3 September 2014. Updated: 26 September 2016.