© Stephen E. Jones
Gonella, Luigi. Luigi Gonella (1930-2007) was an engineer, nuclear physicist, and a Professor of Metrology (the science of measurement) at Turin Polytechnic University. He was the chief scientific adviser to the Archbishop of Turin.
[Right (enlarge): Luigi Gonella (C) in 1978 receiving an official complaint by STURP's John Jackson (R) about Max Frei's (L) attempt to press his pollen collecting sticky tape onto the face of the Man on the Shroud. See Prof. Harry Gove's objection below on "Jackson ... wearing a rather large wooden cross around his neck" in this photo.]
In 1978 Gonella coordinated the scientific investigation of the Shroud by the Shroud of Turin Project (STURP). In 1983 the Shroud's owner, ex-King Umberto II of Savoy (1913-83) died and his will stipulated that the Pope and his successors was to be the Shroud's owner and the Archbishop of Turin its custodian. Therefore when in 1986 it was agreed that the Shroud was to be radiocarbon dated, Gonella had to reluctantly negotiate with the Pope's scientific adviser, the eminent Brazilian biophysicist, Professor Carlos Chagas (1910-2000). Chagas had agreed with the laboratories that seven laboratories would date the Shroud, five using the new AMS method and two using the new generation of small gas counter method which did not need large cloth samples. The unofficial leader of the laboratories, Prof. Harry Gove (1922-2009) arrogantly regarded Gonella as "a second rate scientist" and naively assumed he could bypass Gonella and the then Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (1913–98) and deal directly with Chagas and the Pope [see "Gove" below]. But Gonella rejected the "absurd" proposal that it needed seven laboratories to date the Shroud, as there is "no other archaeological dating for which more than two laboratories have been used, and that three is therefore more than adequate." So in 1987 Ballestrero, on Gonella' advice, announced that only three AMS laboratories: Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, would date the Shroud. Gove's Rochester AMS laboratory was excluded, despite it being the most experienced of the three because of, as Gove later admitted, his lack of "diplomacy," in riding roughshod over Gonella and Ballestrero. Further, instead of the laboratories' chosen textile expert, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, choosing where to cut the Shroud sample and then cutting it, Gonella himself chose the sample site and had a Turin microanalyst, Giovanni Riggi (1935-2008) cut the sample. And consistent with Turin's evident priority as custodian to minimise damage to the Shroud, Riggi was ordered by Gonella to cut the sample from Raes' corner, the most damaged and contaminated part of the Shroud. However, inconsistent with Turin's priority is that "Riggi cut double what was actually going to be given to the three labs ... divided one half into three segments, the other half being retained as a `reserve piece.'" Presumably this reserve piece was to let the laboratories know that Turin could arrange a check of their results if necessary. In 1988 and 2003 Gonella sent STURP members Alan D. Adler and Ray Rogers, respectively, threads from the `reserve sample'. And in 1993 Riggi gave threads from the `reserve sample' to Leoncio Garza-Valdes [see "Garza-Valdes, Leoncio"].
At a 2000 Shroud symposium in Turin, Gonella repeated his support for the accuracy of the 1988 dating. However, in this he shows he has the same blinkers on that his fellow nuclear physicists Gove, Hall, Tite, etc., had. Gonella sounded like Gove and Hall in his arrogant dismissal of the objections to the "mediaeval. ... AD 1260-1390" radiocarbon date of the Shroud:
"Actually, none of the objections is scientifically valid, and they were mostly raised by incompetent people. These objections come under three main headings: (a) refusal to accept the validity of the radiocarbon dating method itself; (b) substitution of the samples; (c) `rejuvenation' of the Shroud fabric by one or more of several processes ... for the Shroud of Turin ... we have no real evidence before the 14th century ..." (my emphasis)But apart from simply dismissing physicists like Jackson and chemists like Adler as "incompetent people," Gonella's point "(a)" above is simply false. None of those who objected to the Shroud's 13th/14th century radiocarbon date, refused to "accept the validity of the radiocarbon dating method itself." Even more false and a symptom of Gonella's (like Gove and Hall's) nuclear physicist blinkers is Gonella's absurd claim that "for the Shroud of Turin ... we have no real evidence before the 14th century." However, Gonella is correct in "(b) substitution of the samples" and "(c) `rejuvenation' of the Shroud fabric by one or more of several processes" for which he gives good (if not devastating) arguments. See also my "Accusations of conventional fraud (sample-switching) fail" and "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail." Gonella and Ballestrero's decision to reduce the laboratories from seven, using two different methods, to three using only one method, AMS, motivated no doubt to cause the least damage to the Shroud, made it possible for a hacker, allegedly Timothy W. Linick [see future "hacker" and "Linick"], to write a program to substitute the Shroud's first (or early because of irremovable contamination) century date with computer-generated dates which when calibrated, combined and averaged [see future "Hacking"], would make the Shroud wrongly appear to be a medieval fake in the eyes of the duped laboratories, Gonella, the media and the public!
Gospel of the Hebrews (see "Servant of the Priest").
Gospels (and the New Testament). The Shroud of Turin is fully consistent with the Christian Gospels and the rest of the New Testament.
1. Jesus was scourged [Gk. phragelloosas] with a Roman flagrum (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15). The man on the Shroud has over 100 dumbbell-shaped scourge marks on his body consistent with him being flogged with a lead-tipped, three-thonged, Roman flagrum.
2. Jesus had a twisted `crown' [Gk stephanon] of thorns put on His head (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2,5). The Shroud man has numerous bloodflows from puncture wounds around his head consistent with a cap of twisted thorns having been pressed down over his head.
3. Jesus with His hands bound (Mk 15:1; Jn 18:12) was struck on His face and about His head on several occasions by a Jewish official (Jn 18:22), Jewish guards (Mt 26:67; Mk 16:65; Lk 22:63-64) and Roman soldiers (Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Jn 19:3). The man on the Shroud has a heavily swollen right eye and damage to his nose, left cheek and the chin, consistent with having been repeatedly struck in the face and beaten around the head.
4. Jesus' clothes were put back on him (Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20), as a concession to Jewish sensibilities against public nakedness, and He was made to carry His own cross (Jn 19:17), presumably only the crossbeam or patibulum, to Golgotha (Mt 27:33; Mk 15:22; Lk 23:26). The Shroudman's shoulders have chafing and the scourge wounds there are abraded away, from carrying on his shoulders a heavy object, like a wooden crossbeam.
5. A passerby, Simon of Cyrene, was compelled by the Romans to carry Jesus' cross behind Him (Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26). Jesus would have been weakened by unusually severe scourging He had been subjected to, which had been originally intended by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to be in place of crucifixion. The man on the Shroud has cuts and bruises on both knees, but especially the left knee, indicating that he fell repeatedly to his knees on a hard surface.
6. The Roman soldiers divided Jesus' garments among them (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23), which means they stripped Jesus naked before crucifying Him. The man on the Shroud is completely naked.
7. Jesus was crucified (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18) by nailing Him to a cross (Col 2:14) through His hands and feet (Lk 24:39-40; Jn 20:20,25). The Shroud man has wounds and bloodflows from large nails in the base of his hands and his feet.
8. Jesus died on the cross (Mt 27:50,58; Mk 15:37,43; Lk 23:46,52; Jn 19:30,33). The man on the Shroud is dead. His body is stiff from rigor mortis and some of his bloodflows are post-mortem. See below on "legs not broken" and "speared in the side."
9. Jesus' legs were not broken by the Roman executioners (by an iron club called the crurifragium) to hasten His death by asphyxiation, because He was already dead (Jn 19:30-33). The Shroud man's legs are not broken.
10. One of the Roman soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear to make sure that He was dead, and out flowed blood and water (Jn 19:33-34). The man on the Shroud has a large stain of blood and watery fluid from a wound in his right side to his heart, which matches a Roman lancea (lance).
11. A small cloth (Gk soudarion) was placed over Jesus' face (Jn 20:7; 11:44), probably while He was hanging dead on the cross. There is an "exact fit of the stains" on the Sudarium of Oviedo "with the beard on the face" of the man on the Shroud (my emphasis). This can only reasonably mean that Sudarium of Oviedo, which has been in Spain since the early 7th century, is the "the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head" (Jn 20:7) in the empty tomb.
12. Jesus body was enfolded in a "linen shroud" [Gk sindon] (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53).
13. Preparation of Jesus' body for burial was hasty and incomplete because of the shortness of time between Jesus' death at about "the ninth hour" (3pm) and the imminent sabbath which began at sunset (Mt 27:46,50; Mk 15:33,37; Lk 23:44,46). In the interim, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for permission to be granted Jesus' body (Mt 27:57-58; Mk 15:43,45; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38); Pilate sent for the centurion in charge (Mt 27:54; Mk 15:39) to confirm that Jesus was dead (Mk 15:44-45); Joseph and presumably Nicodemus (Jn 19:39) took Jesus' body down from the cross (Mt 27:58-59; Mk 15:45; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:38), pulled out the nails from Jesus' hands and feet (Lk 24:39-40; Jn 20:20,25; Col 2:14); laid Jesus' body on the linen shroud (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53) and carried it to the nearby tomb (Jn 19:41-42). There is no mention of washing Jesus' body as was normal in Jewish burials (Acts 9:36-37). That the women prepared spices after the sabbath and brought them to the tomb early Sunday morning to anoint Jesus' body (Mk 16:1; Lk 23:56-24:1) shows that Jesus' burial preparation had been incomplete. Similarly the man on the Shroud's burial was incomplete. According to the Mishnah, a Jewish male's body had to be washed and the hair and beard shaven before burial. Even though the late Dr. Fred Zugibe (1928-2013) claimed that the Shroudman's body was washed (wrongly in the opinion of most Shroud scholars), there can be no dispute that his hair and beard were not shaven, which is enough to establish that his burial was incomplete, which could only be because there was not time to complete it, which in turn could only be if a sabbath prevented further work.
14. A large quantity of spices [Gk aroomatoon] were placed around the linen shroud in which Jesus' body lay (Jn 19:40). Traces of the spices aloes and myrrh have been detected on the Shroud.
15. Jesus, wrapped in a linen shroud, was buried in a "tomb ... cut in the rock" (Mt 27:60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53), with a large rolling stone to seal its entrance (Mt 27:60; 28:2; Mk 15:46; 16:3-4; Lk 24:2). The rocks around Jerusalem, from which Jesus' tomb was cut, are of a comparatively rare form of limestone called travertine aragonite. The dirt on the feet of the man on the Shroud contains the same comparatively rare form of limestone, travertine aragonite. Moreover, the chemical signature of trace elements including strontium and iron, matches very closely the travertine aragonite in the dirt on the feet of the man on the Shroud.
16. Jesus' body was raised from the dead "on the third day" (Mt 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; 27:64; Lk 9:21-22; 18:31-33; 24:36-46; Acts 10:39-40; 1Cor 15:4). That is, He lay dead in the tomb from sunset Friday to at, or before, dawn on Monday, a maximum of about 36 hours. Therefore Jesus' body "did not see corruption" (Acts 13:37; 2:22-31; Ps 16:10). There are no signs of decomposition on the Shroud man's body.
17. Jesus' body instantly changed state at His resurrection (1Cor 15:51-53; Php 3:20-21). The blood clots which had adhered to both the Shroud cloth and the man on the Shroud's body are intact, which could not happen by any human means, or naturally, without breaking or smearing the clots. This could only happen if the man's body became "mechanically transparent" to the Shroud cloth, as in the Resurrection of Christ.
The "exact fit of the stains" on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud, together with all these other above matches between the Gospels and the Shroud of Turin, prove beyond reasonable doubt that it is that "linen shroud" which once covered the dead body of Jesus! Shroud sceptics Steven Schafersman and Joe Nickell admit that:
Gove, Harry. Harry E. Gove (1922-2009) was a nuclear physicist and Professor of Physics at Rochester University, New York State. Gove was a pioneer of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) in
radiocarbon dating. This method allows the radiocarbon dating of much smaller samples, and since radiocarbon dating necessitates the destruction of a sample in reducing it to pure carbon, AMS dating is eminently suitable for dating precious artifacts, such as the Shroud. In 1977 Gove was approached privately by the Rev. David Sox, then General Secretary of the British Society for the Turin Shroud, who later turned anti-authenticist, and anti-authenticist microscopist Dr Walter McCrone (1916-2002), asking if Gove's new AMS method could date the Shroud. Gove replied that it could but that it was too early in AMS' development to do so. Gove had never heard of the Shroud but from then on he became interested in the idea of his AMS method being the first to carbon date the Cloth. In 1979 Gove wrote to the Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (1913–98), on behalf of a Rochester-Brookhaven laboratories consortium, formally offering to radiocarbon date the Shroud by AMS and the new generation of conventional decay counting, but Gove's letter was never delivered to Ballestrero. Gove attended STURP and Shroud conferences, met STURP members, as well as Turin's Luigi Gonella (1930-2007) and Ballestrero. However, unknown to them Gove, by his own later admission, had a "disdain for those scientists who were 'true believers'" in the Shroud's authenticity. Unknown to STURP who supported Gove in his efforts to radiocarbon date the Shroud, Gove had an almost fanatical, and certainly unscientific, hidden agenda to exclude STURP from the carbon dating:
"...the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP). They comprised mainly true believers in the shroud's authenticity ... Like all the scientific investigations that had gone before, their results were inconclusive and generally of negligible importance despite the time and money expended. I believed STURP's members to be so convinced it was Christ's shroud that I was determined to prevent their involvement in its carbon dating, if that were ever to come about. I feared the most important measurement that could be made on the shroud would be rendered less credible by their participation. Fortunately in this I was successful"Apart from this being a false statement (some, if not most, of STURP's members were initially sceptical that the Shroud was authentic), it shows Gove's anti-authenticist and indeed anti-Christian bias that he apparently was blind to. At a STURP meeting to which he had been invited, Gove falsely dismissed it as a "motley mixture ... a group of kids playing with expensive toys":
"During this whole meeting, I had been taking notes as if what this motley mixture of scientists, priests, ministers, and peacetime warriors were reporting provided significant information regarding the real question of the authenticity of the shroud. They seemed to me to be a group of kids playing with expensive toys, hoping they would reveal some ultimate truth - a truth of which most of them were already convinced"Gove evidently was not self-aware that as an "agnostic" he also had an "ultimate truth" (`it cannot be known if God exists') of which he was "already convinced"! Gove's anti-Christian bias is evident in his petty objection that at a STURP meeting four members were "wearing crosses around their necks":
"Throughout the whole of the day's discussions I kept wondering to myself why Jackson, Jumper, and another member of the STURP team were all wearing crosses around their necks. Hardly evidence of the dispassionate scientists they professed to be. So far as I knew, they were neither priests nor ministers. One, of course, should never knock piety, but its ostentatious display by these shroud scientists did nothing to recommend their scientific detachment. I suppose if I had not been on my best behaviour I would have baldly asked them the reason for this Christian ornamentation, but I refrained"Gove shows symptoms of a bad case of `God-itis' because again he mentioned "Jackson ... wearing a rather large wooden cross around his neck" (in the photo above):
"During the morning we visited Barrie Schwortz' photographic shop to look at his collection of 35 mm colour slides taken during STURP's five day examination of the shroud in 1978. ... One I find very amusing is a shot of Jackson and Max Frei - the Swiss forensic expert - examining the shroud ... Frei is about to apply a piece of sticky tape to the surface of the shroud to pick up pollen samples. Jackson is again wearing a rather large wooden cross around his neck."As if it would magically change Jackson's "scientific detachment" if he was not wearing a cross! It apparently never occurred to Gove's "agnostic" mindset that if Christianity is true (which it is), then the Shroud is more likely to be authentic (which it is), and that Christians with their bias are more likely to recognise that truth than "agnostics" like him. [See "Gonella" above for Gonella's reaction to Gove's lack of "diplomacy" towards STURP and Turin].
The most revealing part of Gove's 1996 book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," is his description of the very first radiocarbon dating of the Shroud at Arizona laboratory on 6th May 1988:
"The first sample run was OX1 [an oxalic acid control]. 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. The age of the control sample could have been calculated on a small pocket calculator but was not-everyone was waiting for the next sample-the Shroud of Turin! At 9:50 am 6 May 1988, Arizona time, the first of the ten measurements appeared on the screen. We all waited breathlessly. The ratio was compared with the OX sample and the radiocarbon time scale calibration was applied by Doug Donahue. His face became instantly drawn and pale. At the end of that one minute we knew the age of the Turin Shroud! The next nine numbers confirmed the first. It had taken me eleven years to arrange for a measurement that took only ten minutes to accomplish! Based on these 10 one minute runs, with the calibration correction applied, the year the flax had been harvested that formed its linen threads was 1350 AD-the shroud was only 640 years old! It was certainly not Christ's burial cloth but dated from the time its historic record began" (my emphasis).As I have pointed out, this fully computer-controlled and results displayed AMS process, plus Gove's and the other scientists' uncritical acceptance of this "1350 AD" first date, is evidence that Gove and the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Timothy W. Linick. [see future "Hacking," "Linick," "Koch" and "Radiocarbon dating"].
Continued in page "Gr-Gz."
1. This page, and each page in my Turin Shroud Dictionary, is copyright. However, permission is granted to quote from one entry at a time within a page (e.g. "Gove, Harry," not the whole page "Gn-Go"), provided a link and/or reference is provided back to the page in this dictionary it came from. [return]
2. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.82-83. [return]
3. Gonella, L., "Discussant's contribution," in Scannerini, S. & Savarino, P., eds, 2000, "The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future," International scientific symposium, Turin, 2-5 March 2000," Effatà: Cantalupa, p.510. [return]
4. Brooks, E.H., II., Miller, V.D. & Schwortz, B.M., 1981, "The Turin Shroud: Contemporary Insights to an Ancient Paradox," Worldwide Exhibition: Chicago IL, p.13. [return]
5. Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. [return]
6. Extract from, "Dr. Harry Gove Co-developer, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," El carbono 14, por Manuel Carreira, Sabana Santa, 2013. [return]
7. Gove, H.E., "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, 1996, pp.6-7. [return]
8. Gove, 1996, p.51. [return]
9. Gove, 1996, p.53. [return]
10. Ibid. [return]
11. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
Created: 12 June 2015. Updated: 27 August 2015.