Introduction. This is part #11 and the final post of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89), on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. Previous posts in this series were parts: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9 and #10. See my new series, "Steps in the development of my radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud hacker theory." It is my emphasis below unless otherwise indicated.
[Above: (enlarge): Professor Harry E. Gove (1922-2009), the co-developer of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, who must have realised that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date, but in his book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud" (1996), although he circled around the leak of Arizona's "1350" date, and even by a process of elimination concluded that the leaker of that date had to have been "someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement", he studiously avoided stating that Linick was the leaker of that date to Sox, and so covered it up (see below).]
In this part#11, I will provide evidence of a cover-up by Gove and the laboratories, that after Linick's name was found in David Sox's 1988 book, "The Shroud Unmasked" (see part #5), they must have realised that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date (see part #6), but covered it up. And then after Linick's presumed suicide on 4 June 1989 (see part #6), I will provide evidence that Gove and the laboratories knew, or at least suspected, that Arizona's radiocarbon dating had been hacked by Linick. But Gove and the laboratories may have thought that didn't matter because they could not see how Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's dating.
• David Sox's August 1988 book, "The Shroud Unmasked," [Right (enlarge)] was the first book published on the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. [see part #5] The book's Introduction states that it had been written by "August 1988", and the London Sunday Times had a copy of it by 18 September 1988, more than three weeks before the official announcement on 13 October 1988 that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was "1260-1390!".
• Those in the laboratories would surely have read Sox's book and discovered in it his quote of Linick. Sox's book would surely have been read by those in the laboratories who had been involved in the Shroud's radiocarbon dating. And on the facing page opposite (p.147) where Sox recounted the very first radiocarbon dating of the Shroud at Arizona laboratory on 6 May 1988 (p.146), and therefore seen by almost everyone who had even partially read the book, Sox quoted Linick:
"Timothy Linick, a University of Arizona research scientist, said: `If we show the material to be medieval that would definitely mean that it is not authentic. If we date it back 2000 years, of course, that still leaves room for argument. It would be the right age - but is it the real thing?'".The context is the days before Arizona's first dating of the Shroud. On the day of that first dating, everyone present, including Linick, signed a confidentiality agreement "not to communicate the results to anyone":
"The next morning at about 8 am (6 May 1988) I arrived at the Arizona AMS facility ... I would be the only one present outside the Arizona AMS group. Doug [Donahue] immediately asked me to sign the following statement: `We the undersigned, understand that radiocarbon age results for the Shroud of Turin obtained from the University of Arizona AMS facility are confidential. We agree not to communicate the results to anyone-spouse, children, friends, press, etc., until that time when results are generally available to the public.' It had been signed by D J Donahue ... P E Damon, Timothy Jull ... before I signed. My signature was followed by T W Linick ... ".• Sox was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to the media [See part #5] Then BSTS Newsletter Editor Ian Wilson publicly concluded that Sox, an American living in London, was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to the British media:
"Hardly had this wave of publicity died down before on 26 August the London Evening Standard ran as its front-page lead story `Shroud of Turin Really is a Fake'. Accompanying this was a seemingly authoritative article by librarian Dr. Richard Luckett of Magdalene College, Cambridge, cryptically remarking that `laboratories are rather leaky institutions' and `a probable date of about 1350 looks likely'. This again generated media stories all round the world ... When in a telephone enquiry to Dr. Luckett I asked whether the Revd. David Sox had been his source, he hastily changed the subject. ... On 18 September the Sunday Times carried the front page headline `Official: Turin Shroud is a Fake' ... I complained to the Sunday Times Editor with particular regard to the `official' headline. This prompted a conciliatory phone call from the Science Correspondent who when challenged directly, admitted that his source had been the Revd. David Sox. He said he had in front of him the Revd Sox's already complete book about the Shroud's mediaeval date, awaiting publication the moment this news becomes formally released ... It seems clear that ... the true source of possibly all the leaks is the single non-English clerical gentleman whose identity will now be self-evident".Gove himself (as well as Arizona's Paul Damon (1921-2005) and Doug Donahue) had by 27 September all come to realise that Sox was the leaker of Arizona's "1350" date to the media:
"David Sox called me from London on 23 September 1988 to say that Ian Wilson had charged him with being the source of all the leaks. Sox vigorously denied the charge. On 27 September I phoned Donahue. He told me that Damon had phoned Gonella and that Gonella had conceded that the rumours were correct but that it was not yet official. Gonella also told Damon that he believed the rumours came from me to Sox. Damon himself believed that Sox was the source of the leaks. I assured Donahue that I did not tell Sox the date".• When the laboratories found Linick's name in Sox's 1988 book they must have realised that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox, but covered it up Sox's book was publicly launched on 15 October 1988, only two days after the official announcement on 13 October 1988 that the Shroud had been dated to "1260-1390!". However, as we saw above, by 18 September Sox's book had already been printed and a complimentary copy had been given to the London Sunday Times. And as we shall next, the sudden realisation by Arizona's Damon and Donahue, Turin's Luigi Gonella, and Gove, that Sox was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to the media, and (except for Gonella) that Linick was the leaker of that date to Sox, was due to them having received by 27 September, a complimentary copy of Sox's book, and reading in it Sox's quote of Linick.
• Evidence from Sox's book that Gove and the laboratories had found Linick's name in it and realised that he was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox
— On the last page of Sox's book, page 160, Sox had written:
"Section XIX Most of the observations in this section come from Harry Gove."That section begins on page 143 with the arrival of Gove and his partner Shirley Brignall in Tucson on 5 May 1988, the day before Arizona's first dating of the Shroud on 6 May, and it ends on page 147 with the AMS computer's calculations of the Shroud's age being displayed on the computer's control console screen, and that Gove won his bet with Brignall that the Shroud's age would be nearer 1000 years old against her 2000 years old:
"At 9.50am what matters to the layman was available - the results of the measurements, the first carbon dating test on the Turin Shroud. ... The night before the test Damon told Gove he would not be surprised to see the analysis yield a date around the fifth-century, because after that time the crucifixion was banned and a forger would not have known of the details depicted so accurately on the Shroud. Timothy Linick, a University of Arizona research scientist, said: `If we show the material to be medieval that would definitely mean that it is not authentic. If we date it back 2000 years, of course, that still leaves room for argument. It would be the right age - but is it the real thing?' Donahue's wife, who believed the Shroud was genuine, was going for 2000 years. So was Shirley Brignall. She and Gove had a bet. Gove said 1000 years although he hoped for twice that age. Whoever lost was to buy the other a pair of cowboy boots. The calculations were produced on the computer, and displayed on the screen. Even the dendrochronological correction was immediately available. All eyes were on the screen. The date would be when the flax used for the linen relic was harvested. Gove would be taking cowboy boots back to Rochester."— Sox's "Most of the observations in this section come from Harry Gove" (above) explains why "Gonella ... believed the rumours came from me [Gove] to Sox" and why Gove had to assure "Donahue that I did not tell Sox the date" (above).
— The quote of "Timothy Linick, a University of Arizona research scientist..." is in the middle of that most important part of Sox's book, and could not have been missed. Arizona's Damon and Donahue, and Gove, would know as soon as they had read it, that it meant Linick had been in direct contact with Sox, and therefore Linick must have communicated Arizona's "1350" date to Sox.
— Sox's quote of Gove's bet with Brignall, that the Shroud was "1000 years" old, against Brignall's "2000 years" old, when as Gove later revealed in his 1996 book that Arizona's first uncalibrated date of the Shroud was "640 years old", which was then calibrated to "1350 AD", and so Gove won the bet because he was closer to the computer screen's date, shows that Gove did not tell Sox the "1350" date, so Linick must have.
[Above (enlarge): "Those present at the Arizona AMS carbon dating facility at 9:50 am on 6 May 1988 when the age of the shroud [sic] was determined". The alleged hacker, Timothy W. Linick, is the one in a black shirt standing (significantly) most prominently in the foreground.]
• Gove deduced that the leak of Arizona's first "1350" date came "from someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement" but he covered it up that the leaker was Linick In his 1996 book, Gove gave his own account of the media leaks of the "1350" date of the Shroud:
"Meanwhile, the story that the Shroud of Turin was a fake was getting increased attention from the press. The original rumour that the shroud was medieval appeared in the article by Kenneth Rose in the London Sunday Telegraph. ... there was not much reaction to the Rose report. However, this changed when the 27th August 1988 edition of the Washington Post carried a story by Tim Radford of the Guardian that `The furor began after Dr Richard Luckett of Cambridge University wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 "looks likely" for the 14-foot piece of linen which appears to bear the imprint... of Jesus. He also referred to laboratories as "leaky institutions".' ... the Evening Standard on 26 August ... claimed that Oxford had found the shroud to be a fake which dated only to 1350 AD. ... [but] the Oxford result ... gave a mean several decades less than 1350 AD."(I have been told by someone who knew Sox, of a likely connection between Sox, Rose and Luckett, but I am not at liberty to reveal it.)
"An Associated Press story appeared in the 9 September 1988 issue of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle headlined 'Shroud's age remains secret Oxford research chief says', with the subhead 'He claims forgery report was just a guess'. Teddy Hall was quoted to this effect in the Oxford Mail. The article went on `But Dr Richard Luckett, a Cambridge University professor, said he stood by his word, adding, "I had an absolutely marvellous leak from one of the laboratories and it wasn't Oxford."' ... I must say I wondered about Luckett's date of 1350 because it was the date Donahue announced to me when I was present at the first radiocarbon measurement on the shroud in 6 May 1988. ... However, I still assumed Luckett had said he got the number from Oxford. When I read that he claimed he got it from one of the other two labs I worried that it might have come from someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement."The above is correct as to what Gove knew up to early September 1988. But that changed in late September, when Gove, Damon and Donahue read Linick's name in Sox's book (see above). Gove, writing in 1996, knowing that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox, continued "it did not really matter now" and so covered it up:
"However, it did not really matter now since all three labs had submitted their results to the British Museum and so none of them could be influenced by this real or imagined leak."Gove's "imagined leak" is a lie, because he knew by late September 1988, after he had read Linick's name in Sox's book, that Linick must have leaked Arizona's "1350" date to Sox. The laboratory leaders would have asked Linick to "please explain" why his name was in Sox's book and if he had leaked Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox, and if there had been a plausible, innocent explanation, Gove would have mentioned it. The scientific world through the journal Nature, and the general public, had a right to know that Timothy W. Linick, the scientist in charge of the actual AMS computerised dating process at Arizona laboratory (see ), had leaked Arizona's first "1350" date of the Shroud to Sox, who in turn had leaked it to the media. The laboratories' and Gove's failure to do so, but rather cover it up, adds weight to my evidence (see next) that after Linick's presumed suicide on 4 June 1989, Arizona laboratory had (or may have) discovered evidence that Linick had also hacked Arizona's radiocarbon dating, but they had also covered that up!
• Evidence that the laboratories knew or suspected that Linick had hacked Arizona's radiocarbon dating of the Shroud but covered it up
— The prompt response by Professors Jull and Ramsey to my mere blogger's post is itself evidence for my hacker theory. As summarised in my post of 03Nov16, the anti-authenticist Hugh Farey had emailed Arizona's Prof Jull and Oxford's Prof. Ramsey one of my early posts, presumably that of 07Mar14, and Dan Porter had posted Jull's response to his blog on 09Mar14 and later Farey had added Ramsey's response as a comment under that same post. But as I had previously pointed out, e.g. 29Mar16, the very fact that Profs Jull and Ramsey responded to my anonymous (to them-Farey said he did not include my name) blog post is itself evidence that Jull and Ramsey knew, or suspected, that Linick had hacked Arizona's dating of the Shroud. Since when do Professors of Physics, let alone Directors of two of the world's leading radiocarbon dating laboratories, Arizona and Oxford, deign to respond to a mere blogger's post? If Jull and Ramsey knew that there was no truth in my hacker theory, they would have simply ignored it.
— Prof. Jull's response [see 13Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15 & 29Mar16] was self-contradictory, misleading and false. In it Jull stated: "the software for the calculations is offline," yet in the very next sentence Jull contradicted himself by stating "the calculation does NOT require software" (his emphasis)!
Jull's "In any case, the calculation does NOT require software, it was done offline and plotted on a graph" is false. What was "plotted on a graph" was what Sox, describing the same first Arizona Shroud dating, called "the dendrochronological correction" (see above), i.e. annual tree growth rings, and is merely the calibration of a carbon dating calculation for past variations in the atmospheric ratio of carbon-14 to carbon 12.. So it was false of Jull to call what was "plotted on a graph" a "calculation" because it is what I did on the calibration graph provided in Fig. 2 of the 1989 Nature article (see 13Jun14, 11Feb15 & 18Nov15) and there is no "calculation" involved in that.
Jull's downplaying of the importance of "software" in the Shroud's dating was misleading and significant, because, as Gove, a co-inventor of AMS radiocarbon dating, who was also there with Jull at Arizona's first dating of the Shroud, wrote:
"All this was under computer control and the calculations produced by the computer were displayed on a cathode ray screen."And since a computer does only what its "software" directs, it means that the AMS dating was all under "software" control, and "software" is hackable! Since Jull must know this, his misleading and even false attempt to deny that it was "software" behind the AMS computer's dating "calculations" of the Shroud, is consistent with the actions of someone who knows, or at least suspects, that Arizona's radiocarbon dating had been hacked by Linick.
This together with Jull's, "Indeed, in 1988 the internet (as we know it today) didn't exist – there was a pre-existing network run by the US government which was quite restricted," sounds like the words of one of those who, even if they knew or suspected that Linick had hacked Arizona's dating, could not see how he could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's dating, so it didn't materially change the overall result that the Shroud was medieval, and therefore it was best to cover it up!
— Prof. Ramsey's response [see 13Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15 & 29Mar16] was fallacious, misleading and false. He began with "Yes – I agree with all that Tim says" which means that either Farey sent Jull's response to Ramsey, or Jull had contacted Ramsey to present a united front in their responses. That Ramsey agrees with "all" that Jull said, means that Ramsey agrees with Jull's self-contradictory, misleading and false response (see above)! Therefore, surprising for an Oxford Professor, Ramsey is more concerned with presenting a defensive united front with Jull than the truth.
Ramsey's next, "This would seem to be a suggestion from someone who does not know what computers were like in the 1980s" is an ad hominem, 'shoot the messenger', personal attack on me. And what's more it is completely false! As I have previously stated [13Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15 & 29Mar16]: 1) I bought my first computer in 1980; 2) I pioneered the introduction of computers into Western Australian rural hospitals in the 1980s; and 3) in the late 1980s/early 1990s I was the System Administrator of a wide area network of 7 rural hospital UNIX computers which each served a local area network of computers at those hospitals. Moreover, Prof. Ramsey knew that the AMS computers were powerful "DEC computer system[s]" [see 05Jul14], i.e. Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-11 [right] or VAX-11 mini- computers. So Ramsey had no point in claiming I was "someone who does not know what computers were like in the 1980s" and can only have been attempting to deliberately downplay the power of the AMS computers in order to deny that Arizona's AMS computer (at least) had been hacked. But in doing so, Ramsey has provided more evidence that Arizona's computer (at least) was hacked by Linick, and the laboratories knew that (or at least suspected it), and have covered it up!
Ramsey's, "In the case of Oxford the AMS had no connection to any network (and indeed even today our AMS control computers have no network connections)," and Jull's same point about Arizona (above) leaves open the possibility that Zurich's AMS computer was online. Nevertheless, I had accepted Jull's and Ramsey's assurances that their AMS computers were never on line and had early modified my theory, that the hacking program would have to have been installed "manually and locally in each of the three laboratories" [07Mar14]. And a few weeks later I discovered that Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick and German hacker Karl Koch had been found dead of presumed suicide within days of each other and so I included them in my "manually and locally" hacker theory [31Mar14].
Ramsey (like Jull above) downplayed the "software" as "very simple just outputting counts of 14C and currents measured." But as I pointed out [see 13Mar14, 27Apr15 & 29Mar16], it was software and therefore could have been hacked by simply modifying the program to output bogus "counts of 14C" for the Shroud samples at all three laboratories:
"Nevertheless, it WAS `software' on each lab’s AMS control computer, which outputted `counts of 14C' which were, according to Gove’s eyewitness account, displayed on the AMS control computer’s screen ... It is those `calculations produced by the computer' which when calibrated, yielded a date of `1350 AD'. So all that a hacker would have to do is modify the program which displayed those `counts of 14C', to replace those coming from the Shroud samples, with bogus `counts of 14C' ..."which when combined and averaged across the three laboratories, yielded a false, computer-generated calibrated date range of 1260-1390 = 1325 ±65 of the Shroud [see 30Jan15, 31Mar15, 22Sep15, 30Dec15 & 22Feb16].
Ramsey also (like Jull above) downplayed the "Age calculation" as having been "done offline and could just be done with a calculator, or by a simple program into which you typed the numbers from the AMS." This also is both false and misleading. It is false because, as we saw above, the only age "calculation" was that which was done by the AMS computer, and what was done "offline" was calibration for past variations of atmospheric carbon-14, as Ramsey well knows being the author of the "OxCal" radiocarbon dating calibration program [see 31Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15 & 29Mar16]. Indeed, Ramsey's own words state that "the numbers [were] from the AMS" and calibration of those numbers was not done by "a calculator, or by a simple program" but as Prof. Jull stated above they were "plotted on a graph" which involved no calculation. Ramsey's downplaying of the AMS computer's role in the "age calculations" was also misleading, and in fact some on Porter's blog were misled by it and gained the wrong impression that the AMS computer was little more than a calculator, and Porter himself questioned whether it was even programmable[31Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15]! When as we saw above, the AMS computers were very powerful DEC minicomputers, which Ramsey, like Jull well knew.
Conclusion So the anti-authenticist Hugh Farey's sending one of my early posts, presumably my summary of 07Mar14, to Profs Jull and Ramsey, intended for them to refute my theory, backfired because their surprisingly prompt, misleading and false, replies contained evidence for my theory! As we saw above, Gove, Jull and Ramsey must have read Linick's name in Sox's 1988 book and realised that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox, but they covered that up! And Jull and Ramsey's attempt to downplay the role of the AMS computers in the "calculation" of the Shroud's radiocarbon date, and that the computers were controlled by "software," and therefore hackable, is consistent with my theory that after Linick's presumed suicide on 4 June 1989, Arizona laboratory discovered evidence that Linick had hacked their dating of the Shroud. But they could not see how Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's dating, so the laboratories assumed that the Shroud was medieval anyway and covered up Linick's hacking of Arizona's dating of the Shroud.
This is the final post of this series. See my new series, "Steps in the development of my radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud hacker theory."
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [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. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 30 August 2016. [return]
5. Extract from, "Dr. Harry Gove Co-developer, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," El carbono 14, por Manuel Carreira, Sabana Santa, 2013. [return]
6. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.279. [return]
7. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.147. [return]
8. Sox, 1988, p.6; Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.95. [return]
9. Wilson, I., 1988, "Recent Publications," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 20, October, p.19. [return]
10. Ibid. [return]
11. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.6-7. [return]
12. Sox, 1988, p.147. [return]
13. Ibid. [return]
14. Gove, 1996, p.262. [return]
15. Wilson, I., 1988b, "On the Recent `Leaks'," British Society for the Turin Shroud, 23 September. [return]
16. Gove, 1996, p.281. [return]
17. Wilson, 1998, p.310. [return]
18. Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p.109; Paci, S.M., 1990, "The case is not closed!," Shroud News, No 60, August, pp.4-11, 8; Wilson, 1998, p.234. [return]
19. Sox, 1988, p.160. [return]
20. Sox, 1988, pp.146-147. [return]
21. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
22. Gove, 1996, p.265. [return]
23. Gove, 1996, p.176H. [return]
24. The 1989 Nature article in footnote 9 acknowledges that Linick wrote the paper which described in detail the AMS radiocarbon system at Arizona: Linick, T.W., et al., 1986, "Operation of the NSF-Arizona accelerator facility for radioisotope analysis and results from selected collaborative research projects," Radiocarbon, Vol. 28, No. 2a, pp.522-533. That Linick is standing in front of his laboratory leaders and colleagues in this historic group photograph (above) of the first dating of the Shroud at Arizona laboratory, is evidence that Linick was in charge of the actual AMS computerised dating process at Arizona laboratory and those present were acknowledging that. [return]
25. Jull & Suess, 1989. [return]
26. Gove, 1996, pp.276-277. [return]
27. Gove, 1996, pp.278-279. [return]
28. Gove, 1996, pp.279-280. [return]
29. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
Posted: 22 November 2016. Updated: 23 January 2017.