Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #10: Summary (10)

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction. This is part #10, Summary (10), of my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker. See the previous parts #10(1), #10(2), #10(3), #10(4), #10(5), #10(6), #10(7), #10(8) and #10(9). Other previous posts in this series were parts #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9, which this part #10 summarised. This is the last post in that series. It will be continued in my concluding summary series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking." It is my emphasis below unless otherwise indicated.

[Above: "Sergei [or Sergey] Markov in February 2012"[2]. The Soviet official who the German hackers (including Koch) sold their hacked secrets to was a "Sergei Markov":

"For both Dob [Dirk-Otto Brezinski] and Carl [Peter Carl] it became apparent after an hour or so of being questioned that Pengo [Hans Heinrich Hübner] and Hagbard [Karl Koch] 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. ... Both were taken into custody. ... prosecutor 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"[3].

The Sergey Markov in the photo above has been described as "Putin's man"[4]. In 2009 this "Sergei Markov" admitted to being behind a hacking cyber-attack on Estonia [5, 6]. 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[7].


• 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:

"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. ... 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, citing Article 72 of the USSR constitution, which stated that any constituent republic was free to secede."[8].
And in fact the USSR did collapse in late 1989, epitomised by the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989[9].

[Above: Germans on and around the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, 10 November 1989[10].]

• A first century radiocarbon date of the Shroud would have been a threat to the atheist USSR. The Soviet Union was an atheist State[11]. Yet, despite its attempts to eradicate religion since the 1917 revolution, the USSR continued to have a large Christian population[12]. In the 1980s, three Christian denominations alone, had a total of about 56.5 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 ... In the late 1980s ... had ... an estimated 2.5 million followers ... The Armenian Apostolic Church ... In the 1980s ... had about 4 million adherents ..." [13]

And that does not count the 5.5 million Roman Catholics mainly in the satellite republics:

"Catholics formed a substantial and active religious constituency in the Soviet Union ... 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."[14].

Nor does that count the Roman Catholics in Poland, which were about 30 million in the late 1980s.

That totals about 92 million Christians in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. And if Protestants and other Christian denominations are included, that means there could have been about 100 million Christians in the crumbling, officially atheist, Soviet Union in the 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 #10(7)) 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"[15].
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 #10(1)), the Soviets would certainly have accepted that offer.

• Linick was found dead of suspected suicide on 4 June 1989 Linick was found dead of suspected suicide in Tucson, Arizona on

[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" of fraud in the radiocarbon dating.]

4 June 1989. (see #10(7)).

• Koch had been murdered by the KGB (or East Germany's Stasi on the KGB's behalf) between 23 and 30 May 1989, i.e. between 12 and 6 days before Linick's `suicide.' The German police on 3 June publicly identified the charred body as that of Koch. So Linick's `suicide' was one day after the KGB would have learned that Koch's burned body had been found! (see #10(9)).

• Koch and Linick were allegedly killed by the KGB to prevent them confessing the Soviets Union's hacking of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating. According to my theory, Koch and Linick were killed by the KGB (or the East German Stasi at the KGB's behest) to prevent them confessing their part in the Soviets Union's hacking of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating. Koch's murder was disguised as suicide, presumably by the KGB (or East Germany's Stasi at the KGB's behest), since no one else is known to have had a motive to kill Koch. But that the KGB (or Stasi) 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 (see #10(9)).

But it is explicable if the KGB/Stasi executed Koch (and then Linick) for fear they would betray the USSR'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"[16], Koch would (according to my theory) have realised what his hacking into the Oxford and Zurich university computers and running a program on them had done, as he had since "embrace[d] ... conventional religion" [17].

That Koch had started to talk about his hacking for the USSR of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating is supported by his fellow hacker Pengo (Hans Hübner), complaining that Koch was "talking of nothing but conspiracies and [was] having religious hallucinations"[18].

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 #10(9)), they would have realised what Koch was saying and silenced him permanently. And then also silenced Linick permanently because if he learned of Koch's `suicide,' out of fear/remorse Linick might confess his hacking for the Soviets to the USA authorities.

• Koch is not essential to my theory. Nevertheless, as I have previously stated many times, Karl Koch is not essential to my theory:

a) If Koch could not have travelled to Zurich and Oxford to hack into their AMS computers, it would not falsify my theory.

"... Koch's role is not essential to my theory. If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have personally travelled to Zurich and Oxford to access their radiocarbon laboratories computers, it would not falsify my theory."[#10(9)]
b) Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's AMS computer some other way:
"...Karl Koch is not essential to my theory, as Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's AMS 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"[#10(9)]

"If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have been involved, either directly or indirectly, in installing Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford laboratories' AMS control console computers, then my theory would not be falsified. In that case I would have to maintain that Linick's program was installed on those laboratories' computers by some other way. For example, Linick himself could have flown over to Zurich and Oxford, installed his program clandestinely on their computers, and returned to Arizona, in a few days. This is why my theory always has been `that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker' (singular)."[#10(9)]
c) Linick could have acted alone:
"Koch is not essential to my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, as Linick could have acted alone. But that both Linick and Koch (who need not have known each other) were involved in hacking the Shroud's radiocarbon date for the KGB is supported by the fact that Linick died of `suicide in mysterious circumstances' on 4 June 1989 and Koch's inexplicably burnt body which was made to look like suicide, had been publicly identified by the German police only a day earlier on 3 June 1989![19]

d) It is not essential to my theory that Linick knew Koch or vice-versa:
"Also, as I have also previously stated, it is not essential to my theory that Linick knew Koch, or even about Koch (and vice-versa): `... I don't claim that the laboratories, or even Linick, knew about Koch'"[#10(9)]
e) I have included Karl Koch in my theory because of the striking coincidence that Linick's `suicide' on 4 June 1989 was only one day after Koch burnt body was publicly identified by German police on 3 June 1989, and other reasons as follows:
"I have included Karl Koch in my theory, despite there being as yet no confirmed link between Koch and Linick, because of: 1) the striking coincidence that both Koch and Linick died of suspected suicide within days of each other (and indeed Linick's `suicide' on 4 June 1989 was only one day after Koch charred body was identified and publicly announced as his by German police on 3 June 1989 ...; 2) Koch's death was almost certainly the work of the KGB, or the East German Secret Police (Stasi) at the behest of the KGB; 3) the KGB had no reason to kill Koch unless he had been involved in an entirely different type of hacking for them which they did not want to become public knowledge; 4) Koch's expertise would have been useful in hacking into Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers; and 5) Koch's living in Germany would have made it comparatively easy for him to travel to Zurich and Oxford to install Linick's program on their computers (although that too is not necessary to my theory as Koch may have only provided expert advice on how to hack into those computers and a KGB operative may have entered the laboratories clandestinely and installed Linick's program on their AMS computers, or Linick himself may have installed it)."[#10(9)]
f) So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a "conspiracy theory," knowing my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly:
"So, apart from the fact that the term `conspiracy theory' says NOTHING about whether a theory is TRUE or not, and indeed `the skepticism of conspiracy theorising ... is akin to a modern day SUPERSTITION' (!):
"A conspiracy theory is an explanatory hypothesis that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an event or situation which is typically taken to be illegal or harmful. Although the term `conspiracy theory' has acquired a derogatory meaning over time and 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, such as U.S. President Richard Nixon and his aides conspiring to cover up Watergate. ... [and] some thinkers, particularly philosophers, have argued that belief in conspiracy theories can be rational and that the skepticism of conspiracy theorising (the generation of conspiracy theories) is akin to a modern day superstition." ("Conspiracy theory," Wikipedia, 30 May 2015)
my hacking theory, at its most basic, does not require `two or more persons, a group, or an organization,' as Linick COULD have acted alone." (capitals original)[20]

"So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a "conspiracy theory," in the full knowledge of my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly."[#10(9)]

To be concluded in "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking."

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 heading 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. "Sergey Alexandrovich Markov," Wikipedia, 15 April 2015. [return]
3. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, pp.292-293. [return]
4. "Putin's Man Warns Finland About NATO Membership and Russophobia," Finbay, 9 June 2014. [return]
5. Coalson, R., 2009, "Russia admits to Cyber Attack on Estonia," La Russophobe, March 9. [return]
6. Leyden, J., 2009, "Russian politician: 'My assistant started Estonian cyberwar'," The Register, 10 March. [return]
7. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.293. [return]
8. "Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 30 June 2015. [return]
9. "Berlin Wall," Wikipedia, 27 June 2015. [return]
10. Ibid. [return]
11. "State atheism: Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 21 June 2015. [return]
12. Ibid. [return]
13. "Religion in the Soviet Union," Wikipedia, 23 May 2015. [return]
14. Ibid. [return]
15. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.226. [return]
16. Damon, 1989, p. 611. [return]
17. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.301-302. [return]
18. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.316. [return]
19. Jones, S.E., 2015, "Locations of the Shroud: Turin 1918-Present: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia," The Shroud of Turin blog, June 3. [return]
20. Jones, S.E., 2015, Comment under, "`Ga-Gm': Turin Shroud Dictionary," The Shroud of Turin blog, May 24. [return]

Created: 30 June 2015. Updated: 15 August 2015.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Topic index: The Shroud of Turin blog: "A-G"

I have abandoned this Topic Index because it was too time-consuming.

This is page ("A-G") of a topic index in alphabetic order of my posts to

[Right: Xrays of Dr. August Accetta after injecting himself with a radioactive isotope to show its similarities to the Shroud's image.]

this my The Shroud of Turin blog. It was formerly page "A-Z" and then "A-M" but it grew too large and so I split page "N-Z" and then page "H-M", etc, off from it. This topic index complements the date order "Index to this blog's posts." I will continue adding to these topic index pages in the background, working forwards from my first 30 June 2007 post, identifying topics and linking back to index posts where those topics occur. This index is complete up to and including 28 Mar 12 (partly). When this page becomes too long, I will split it, and subsequent topic index posts, into "A-D," "E-H," etc.

[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H-M] [N-R] [S-Z]

A [top]
Abgar V: 08Dec09
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS)-see "radiocarbon dating"
Accetta, August: 29Oct07, 10Oct08
Acts of Nicodemus: 11Jan11
Acts of Pilate: 11Jan11
ad hominem: 17Apr10
Adler, Alan: 15Feb08, 18Mar11
Akhenaton, pharaoh: toe: 07Feb12
Allen, Nicholas: 13Jul07, 14Jul09
anti-authenticists: self-deceived: 06Jan12
Antonacci, Mark: 13Jul07
Archbishops: of Turin: Ballestrero, Anastasio: 28Feb08; Poletto, Severino: 01Dec07, 02Jan08, 04Jun10
argument from silence: 11Jan11
Arizona C14 laboratory: 12Feb08, 28Feb08; sample (undated): 13Dec08
art: work of: 26Jun08
atheists' fallacy: 05Jan11, 11Jan11
authentic: Christianity: 06Jan12; could be: 22Dec11; evidence: enough: 16Nov10; overwhelming: 10Oct08, 13Dec08, 04Jun10, 04Oct10, 22Dec11, 06Jan12; is Jesus': 08Dec09; millions of visitors: 04Jun10; proof beyond reasonable doubt: 04Jun10

B [top]
Babinski, Ed: 05Jan11, 11Jan11
Baima-Bollone, Pierluigi: 18Mar11
Ball, Philip: 01Dec07
Ballabio, Gerardo: 03Apr08
Balossino, Nello: 03Apr08
Barberis, Bruno: 04Jun10
Barbet, Pierre: 02Jan08
Barclay, Jacob: 07Nov08
Baruch, Uri: 26Nov08
bas relief: 21Jul07, 01Nov08, 03Mar12; no powder: 01Nov08
Benford, Sue: 10Oct08
Benford & Marino: 13Dec08, 06Jan12, 15Jan12
Bernstein, Joel: lecture: 07Aug11
Besançon: Shroud of: 11Jan11
Bible: Shroud: 25Jun08, 08Dec09
Blanrue, Paul-Eric: 03Mar12
blood: 21Jul07, 16Nov10
- before image: 08Oct09, 18Mar11, 03Mar12
- clots: intact (see resurrection): 03Mar12
- real: 01Nov08, 08Oct09, 18Mar11
- type AB: 16Nov10, 18Mar11*; consistent with Jewish: 16Nov10, 18Mar11; Sudarium of Oviedo AB: 18Mar11; old blood AB?: 16Nov10, 18Mar11; old blood not AB: 07Feb12
bloodflows: arms: 25Apr09
bloodstains: arms: 22Nov11; back: 22Nov11, 14Dec11; chest: 14Dec11; feet: 22Nov11, 14Dec11; hands: 14Dec11; head: 22Nov11, 14Dec11; legs: 22Nov11, 14Dec11; side: 22Nov11, 14Dec11
bogus?: "Bogus: Shroud of Turin?": 08Aug07, 13Nov08, 19Nov08, 22Nov08, 21Jul09
book (my online): "The Shroud of Turin": 06Aug07, 09Aug07, 11Aug07, 30Oct07, 02Nov07, 06Nov07, 09Nov07, 14Nov07, 18Nov07, 24Nov07, 26Nov07, 04Dec07, 10Dec07, 19Dec07, 10Jan08
British Society for the Turin Shroud: Newsletter: 02Nov11
Bucklin, Robert: 21Jul09
burial: secondary: 17Dec09
burns: 22Nov11
Buso, Luciano: 04Feb12, 27Feb12

C [top]
Calvin, John: 05Jan11, 11Jan11, 06Jan12
camera obscura: 13Jul07, 14Jul09
carbon 14: 28Feb08
Carduus argentatus: 26Nov08
cathedrals: St John the Baptist: 04Oct10, 28Oct11, 14Nov11; Turin: 08Dec09
CED blog: 30Jun07, 18Mar11
cellulose: 06Jan12
Chevalier, Ulysse: 11Feb12
Chinon Parchment: 14Apr09
Chivers, Tom: 06Jan12
Christ: See "Jesus"
Christ Pantocrator: See "Pantocrator"
Christianity: 30Jun07; authenticity of Shroud: 06Jan12; extrabiblical evidence: 06Jan12; important first 1500 years: 07Oct11; not article of faith: 04Jun10
Christians: indifferent: 09Oct07, 07Oct11; oppose are "fighting against God": 07Oct11
Cistus creticus: 01Nov08, 22Nov08
cloth collapse theory: See "Jackson, John": 18Jan12
cloth: hand spun: 01Nov11; hand woven: 01Nov11
coins: Justinian II solidus: 23Feb12
coins over eyes: 01Dec07, 21Jul09
colour or color: image: : accelerated aging; laser: 22Dec11; yellow: 01Nov11
computer enhancement: 03Apr08
conferences: 2008 Ohio: 10Oct08, 01Nov08
Constantinople: 28Feb08, 10Oct08, 22Nov08, 11Jan10
copyright law: plagiarism: 11Feb12, first 30 June 2007 post, identifying topics and linking back to index posts where those topics occur. This index is complete up to and including 18Mar12
creases: 22Nov11
crucifixion: 06Nov07; cross: not stake: 25Apr09; wounds: 04Jun10
crown of thorns: 04Jun10
cubits (see "dimensions")

D [top]
d'Arcis, Pierre: 14Apr09, 04Jun1011Feb12
Danin, Avinoam: 08Aug07, 01Nov08, 22Nov08, 26Nov08
Dawkins, Richard: 06Jan12, 04Feb12
Dayvault, Philip: 09Oct07
Delage, Yves: 25Jul07, 25Jun08
de Charny, Geoffroy (Templar): 29Oct07, 14Apr09
de Charny, Marguerite: Shroud to Savoys 1453: 11Jan11, 07Oct11
de Molay, Jacques: 29Oct07, 14Apr09
de Poitiers, Henri: 14Apr09, 04Jun10
de Wesselow, Thomas: 28Mar12; book "The Sign" claims Shroud authentic but was Jesus' resurrection 28Mar12!
deposition: 06Aug07, 02Nov07, 11Jan10
della Rovere, Giovanni: 06Aug07, 11Jan11, 11Jan11
di Costanzo, Jacques: 01Nov08
di Lazzaro, Paolo: 22Dec11, 06Jan12, 07Feb12
Dickinson, Ian: 01Nov11
dilemma: authentic or artifice: 10Oct08, 08Dec09, 18Mar11, 06Jan12
dimensions: ~14ft 3in by 3ft 7in: 28Oct11; 8 x 2 cubits: 04Jun10, 01Nov11; ~4.4 x 1.1 m: 28Oct11, 01Nov11; 437 x 111 cms: 04Jun10, 04Oct10
DNA: 29Jul08, 16Nov10
documentaries: 29Jul07, 28Feb08, 13Dec08, 14Jul09
duplication: 01Nov08

E [top]
Edessa image: 08Dec09
ENEA: 22Dec11, 06Jan12, 15Jan12, 07Feb12
Enrie, Giuseppe: photos: 13Nov08
excimer laser: 22Dec11, 06Jan12; ten thousand: 06Jan12; 34 thousand billion watts: 22Dec11, 06Jan12
exhibitions: 29Jul07, 29Oct07, 01Dec07, 13Dec08, 07Feb12
expositions: 1998: 12Apr08: 2010: 01Dec07, 02Jan08, 07Jun08, 04Jun10

F [top]
fake?: 01Nov08, 06Jan12; not: 28Feb08, 03Apr08, 04Oct10
Filas, Francis: 21Jul09
fifth gospel: 04Feb12
fires: 1997: 08Oct09
flax: 13Dec08
flower images: 01Dec07, 01Nov08
fluorescence: 21Jul07
Flury-Lemberg, Mechthild: 29Sep07
Fontanille, Jean-P : 21Jul09
forensic science: 22Dec11; forensic evidence: 06Jan12
forger: 25Jul07
forgery: how? who? when? why?: 04Jun10; medieval: 26Jun08, 04Jun10; not: 28Feb08, 06Jan12; not possible with medieval technology: 06Jan12
forgery theory, problems: 08Jul15, 17Apr10; nails in coffin: 22Dec11
Frale, Barbara: 14Apr09
Frei-Sulzer, Max: 02Aug08, 26Nov08
FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy): 10Oct08, 15Jan12

G [top]
Garlaschelli, Luigi: 08Oct09
Garza-Valdès, Leoncio: 18Mar11
Ghiberti, Giuseppe: 12Feb08, 10Oct08, 19Nov08, 04Jun10
Gibson, Shimon: 17Dec09
Giotto, di Bondone: 04Feb12, 27Feb12
Google: Translate: 22Dec11
Goska, Danusha: 09Oct07
Gospel of Gamaliel: 11Jan11
Gospel of Peter: 11Jan11
Gospel of the Hebrews: 11Jan11
Gospels: 03Apr08, 04Oct10
- matches Jesus': beatings: 14Dec11; 28Oct11: burial: 04Oct10, 10Jan12; crown of thorns: 14Dec11; crucifixion: 14Dec11; death: 04Oct10, 10Jan12; nailed: feet: 14Dec11; hands: 14Dec11; resurrection: 04Oct10; scourging: 14Dec11; speared in side: 14Dec11; suffering: 04Oct10; 14Dec11
- silence on image: not visible in NT era?: 06Jan12
- silence on Shroud saved: 05Jan11, 11Jan11
Gould, Stephen Jay: 06Jan12
Gove, Harry: 12Feb08, 25Aug11
Grail, Holy: 30Jan11
graveclothes: 11Jan11
Green, Maurus: 25Jul07
Guarini Chapel: 08Oct09
Gundelia tournefortii: 08Aug07, 01Nov08, 22Nov08, 26Nov08
Guscin, Mark: 08Aug07, 17Apr10

Posted 29 June 2015. Updated 5 November 2023.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shroud of Turin News - June 2015

Shroud of Turin News - June 2015
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: May 2015] [Next: July 2015]

This is the June 2015 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. I will add excerpts from Shroud-related news articles to this post, latest uppermost, with my comments in [bold]. There will usually be overlap, e.g. excerpts from May and even April Shroud articles in this June issue. See the April 2015 issue for more information about this re-started series.

"How did the Turin Shroud get its image?," BBC, Philip Ball, 19 June 2015.
"Join the Turin crowd: Head for northern Italy this summer as an industrial duckling of a city reveals itself in its very finest colours," Daily Mail, Jenny Coad, 19 May 2015.
"Hazlett: Seeing Shroud of Turin a life-changing experience," Susan Hazlett, Pantagraph.com, May 16, 2015.
"Why Shroud of Turin's Secrets Continue to Elude Science," Frank Viviano, National Geographic, April 17, 2015.

"How did the Turin Shroud get its image?," BBC, Philip Ball, 19 June 2015. On Sunday, Pope Francis will "venerate" the famous Shroud of

[Right (enlarge): The Shroud as viewed by the public at the 2015 exposition.]

Turin, which is thought by some to be the burial wrapping of Jesus Christ - and by others to be a medieval fake. Whatever it is, it's a mystery how the cloth came to bear the image of a man. [This is a significant admission because Philip Ball is a former editor of Nature, the same science journal which in 1989 claimed that radiocarbon had provided "conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval. ... AD 1260-1390. But such an admission is not new for Ball. In 2005 he wrote:

"And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious relics to have a justifiably mythical status. It is simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was made. It does not seem to have been painted, at least with any known historical pigments." (Ball, P., 2005, "To know a veil," Nature news, 28 January. My emphasis)
And in 2008, Ball admitted:
"It's fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever. Not least, the nature of the image and how it was fixed on the cloth remain deeply puzzling." (Ball, P., 2008, "Material witness: Shrouded in mystery," Nature Materials, Vol. 7, No. 5, May, p.349. My emphasis).]
... In a carefully worded announcement, the Archbishop of Turin says that the Pope "confirms the devotion to the shroud that millions of pilgrims recognise as a sign of the mystery of the passion and death of the Lord". You'll notice that this says nothing about its authenticity. The Catholic Church takes no official position on that, stating only that it is a matter for scientific investigation. [As I have stated previously:
"... it is duplicitous, i.e. two-faced, of the Vatican to refuse to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic. By its actions of spending the equivalent of tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and exhibiting it to millions of people as though it is authentic, the Vatican clearly does believe that the Shroud is authentic, so it should say so. Shroud anti-authenticists cite the Vatican's refusal to state that the Shroud is authentic as evidence that it is not. I am not being anti-Catholic in this, I am being pro-truth!"]
Ever since radiocarbon dating in 1989 proclaimed the 14ft by 4ft piece of linen to be roughly 700 years old, the Church has avoided claiming that it is anything more than an "icon" of Christian devotion. [An "icon," in Roman Catholic theology is merely a humanly created representation of the real thing:
"ICON ... from the Greek eikon meaning image, is a word now generally applied to paintings of sacred subjects or scenes from sacred histories" ("Icon," New Catholic Encyclopedia 2003. My emphasis)
as opposed to "relic" which is the real thing:
"RELICS The material remains of a saint or holy person after his death, as well as objects sanctified by contact with his body." ("Relics," New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2003)
So by continuing to refuse to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic, and in fact calling the Shroud a mere "icon," the Vatican is effectively claiming that the Shroud is a fake!] But regardless of the continuing arguments about its age ... the Shroud of Turin is a deeply puzzling object. [If the Shroud were a fake, it would not be "a deeply puzzling object" after 117 years of intensive study by modern science (see below). Therefore the Shroud is not a fake, but authentic!]Studies in 1978 by an international team of experts - the Shroud of Turin Research Project (Sturp) - delivered no clear explanation of how the cloth came to bear the faint imprint of a bearded man apparently bearing the wounds of crucifixion. [See below that STURP was inhibited by the dominant scientific philosophy of Naturalism (`nature is all there is, there is no supernatural') from stating the obvious, that the Shroud is Jesus' burial Shroud and the simplest explanation of its image is that it was formed by Jesus' resurrection.]There's no shortage of hypotheses. Some suggest that the image came about through natural processes; some impute considerable ingenuity to medieval forgers of relics; others invoke wondrous physical processes associated with the Resurrection. But do any have any merit? 1. It's a painting If this were true, it should be possible to identify the pigments used by chemical analysis, just as conservators can do for the paintings of Old Masters. But the Sturp team found no evidence of any pigments or dyes on the cloth in sufficient amounts to explain the image. Nor are there any signs of it being rendered in brush strokes. [So the Shroud image is not a painting. This already is a major blow to any forgery theory, because the most likely way that a medieval or earlier forger would have created the Shroud image is by painting it. Why would he go to all the trouble of a hot or cold statue/bas relief, or hanging a dead body in the sun in a camera obscura room, etc, etc, when the simplest and easiest way to forge a front and back image of Jesus' dead body would have been to paint it? It also means that the major argument by Shroud sceptics is false, that Bishop Pierre d'Arcis' claim in his 1389 memorandum, that the Shroud "had been cunningly painted" and that his predecessor, Bishop Henri de Poitiers, had discovered "the artist who had painted it."]In fact the image on the linen is barely visible to the naked eye, and wasn't identified at all until 1898, when it became apparent in the negative image of a photograph taken by Secondo Pia, an amateur Italian photographer. [This is not strictly true. The image had always been identifiable, as it is today (e.g. in the above photograph), but not with the realistic clarity that Secondo Pia 1898 negative photograph revealed.]The faint coloration of the flax fibres isn't caused by any darker substance being laid on top or infused into them - it's the very material of the fibres themselves that has darkened. And in contrast to most dyeing or painting methods, the colouring cannot be dissolved, bleached or altered by most standard chemical agents. [This fact drastically reduces the claimed medieval forgery methods to a physical (not chemical) process that selectively darkened individual flax fibres, to a uniform depth of "less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual fiber" (see below).] The Sturp group asserted that the image is the real form of a "scourged, crucified man… not the product of an artist". There are genuine bloodstains on the cloth, and we even know the blood group (AB, if you're interested). There are traces of human DNA too, although it is badly degraded. [Ball is right about the Shroud blood being "genuine" with the "blood group ... AB" but the "traces of human DNA" could have come from anyone who had handled the Shroud down through the centuries. That the Shroud man's blood is genuine, is another major constraint on medieval or earlier forgery theories.]That didn't prevent the American independent chemical and microscopy consultant, Walter McCrone, who collaborated with the Sturp team, from asserting that the red stains attributed to blood were in fact very tiny particles of the red pigment iron oxide, or red ochre. Like just about every other aspect of the shroud, McCrone's evidence is disputed; few now credit it. [McCrone found some paint particles on STURP sticky tapes that been pressed on the Shroud. He then, unscientifically, extrapolated from those paint particles to the whole image. But STURP later showed that the particles McCrone found do not comprise the image but were probably from later artists pressing their copies of the Shroud into the Shroud to `sanctify' them. This was explained to McCrone but he unscientifically and self-deludedly simply refused to accept it.]Another idea is that the image is a kind of rubbing made from a bas-relief statue, or perhaps imprinted by singeing the fabric while it lay on top of such a bas-relief - but the physical and chemical features of the image don't support this. [There is nothing rubbed onto the Shroud that comprises it image. And, apart from the fact that singes and scorches fluoresce and the Shroud image doesn't, it is impossible, absent a computer-controlled laser, to singe or scorch a whole body image on linen to the uniform depth of "less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches)".] 2. It was made by a natural chemical process If the coloured imprint comes from the darkening of the cellulose fibres of the cloth, what might have caused it? One of the doyens of scientific testing of the shroud, Raymond Rogers of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, argued in 2002 that a simple chemical transformation could do the job. He suggested that even very moderate heat - perhaps 40C (104F) or so, a temperature that post-mortem physicians told him a dead body could briefly attain if the person died from hyperthermia or dehydration - could be enough to discolour the sugary carbohydrate compounds that might be found on the surface of cotton fibres. It doesn't take a miracle, Rogers insisted. This is a reassuringly mundane idea, but there is little evidence for it in this particular circumstance - it's not as if it happens all the time on funeral shrouds. [So much for Ray Rogers' Maillard reaction theory.] Another idea is that the discoloration of the fibres was caused by a chemical reaction with some substance that emanated from the body. The French biologist, Paul Vignon, proposed in the early 1900s that this substance might have been ammonia, produced by the breakdown of urea in sweat. That won't work, though: the image would be too blurry. [And so much for Vignon's vaporographic theory, which he himself gave up because the Shroud blood clots are intact and he couldn't think of a naturalistic explanation of how the Shroud could separate from the man's body without tearing the clots.] In 1982, biophysicist John DeSalvo suggested instead that the substance could be lactic acid from sweat. This compound is one of those responsible for so-called Volckringer images of plant leaves, left for years between the pages of a book: substances are exuded from the leaf and react with paper fibres to produce a dark, negative image. [Ball doesn't say why this is wrong, but the key is in the words "left for years." The "Volckringer effect takes time, perhaps decades. Jesus, however, was in the tomb for perhaps twenty-four to thirty-six hours." Also Ball's "it's not as if it happens all the time on funeral shrouds" applies also to deSalvo's Volckringer effect theory.] 3. It's a photograph Secondo Pia's photograph showed that the image on the cloth is a negative: dark where it should be bright. This deepens the mystery, and Pia himself casually suggested that the shroud could have been made by some primitive kind of photography. That idea has been inventively pursued by South African art historian Nicholas Allen, who argues that it could in principle have been achieved using materials and knowledge available to medieval scholars many centuries before genuine photography was invented. ... Allen's idea is a triumph of ingenuity over plausibility. [Other major problems of Allen's primitive photograph theory are: a) a body hung in the sun for days would obviously decompose but the Shroud image shows no sign of decomposition (which also is a problem for Rogers' Maillard reaction theory); b) Allen's image shows sunlight on his man's upper surfaces, but the Shroud image doesn't have them; c) being an albedo image it has no three-dimensional properties (as the Shroud image has); and d) Allen's method requires the blood to be applied after the image, but the blood on the Shroud was there before the image. This is also a refutation of hot statue/bas relief theories.] 4. It was made by some kind of energy release According to an international team of scientists and other interested folk called the Yahoo Shroud Science Group, hypotheses about the genesis of the shroud "involving the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth cannot be rejected". Among them, the group members write, "are hypotheses correlated to an energy source coming from the enveloped or wrapped Man, [and] others correlated to surface electrostatic discharges caused by an electric field". Since these hypotheses appear to invoke processes unknown to science, which presumably occur during a return from the dead, it's technically true that science can't disprove them - nor really say anything about them at all. [So "science," defined as fully naturalistic, would prefer the least worst but false naturalistic explanation for the Shroud's image than the true supernaturalistic explanation!] Some, however, are not deterred by that. Italian chemist Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua has proposed that the image might have been burnt into the upper layers of the cloth by a burst of "radiant energy" - bright light, ultraviolet light, X-rays or streams of fundamental particles - emanating from the body itself. Fanti cites the account of Christ's Transfiguration, witnessed by Peter, John and James and recounted in Luke 9:29: "As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning." [See below. I didn't realise (or remember) that Fanti had himself cited the Transfiguration as evidence that the Shroud image was caused by light from Jesus' resurrection, as I do.] This is, to put it mildly, rather circumstantial evidence. [Ball should be honest and admit that as a Philosophical Naturalist, he personally cannot accept light from Jesus' resurrection as an explanation for the Shroud image, even if it were true!] But Fanti suggests we might at least test whether artificial sources of such radiation can produce a similar result on linen. According to Raymond Rogers, all kinds of pseudoscientific theories have been put forward that invoke some mysterious radiation, which not only made the image itself but distorted the radiocarbon dating. In general they start from the notion that the shroud must be genuine and work backwards from that goal, he said. [The boot is on the other foot. It is the Philosophical Naturalists like Rogers (or if he was a Christian, Methodological Naturalists) who start with Naturalism's premise that `nature is all there is - there is no supernatural' (or Methodological Naturalism's premise that God only, ever works through natural processes), and work backward from that.] Little has changed in the decade and more since Rogers made this complaint. But still it has to be said that the piece of cloth Pope Francis will venerate is genuinely and stubbornly perplexing. How old is the Shroud of Turin? In 1989 it looked for a moment as though the link between the Turin Shroud and the burial of Christ was finally broken. Three independent teams of scientists had been given scraps of the linen, which they analysed using radiocarbon dating - a technique that uses the decay of a natural, radioactive form of carbon to figure out how long ago a once-living sample ceased to be alive (and thus in this case when the cloth was made from plant fibres). The verdict: the shroud dates from between about 1260 and 1390. It was a medieval item. But almost at once, objections were raised. Some argued that the samples tested had come from later additions to the original cloth. Others said that the radiocarbon "clock" had been reset by a fire in the 16th Century that damaged parts of the shroud, or that the findings were distorted by the more recent growth of bacterial or fungal "biofilms" on the threads. The authors of the 1989 paper have discounted those possibilities, but the controversy won't die down. [They rightly "have discounted those possibilities" but that leaves my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick (see below) as the only viable theory to explain how the first century Shroud of Turin, had a radiocarbon date of "between about 1260 and 1390."] In 2013 Giulio Fanti described dating studies on the shroud using a non-standard method involving spectroscopy (absorption of light of different colours), which he says place the age instead between 300 BC and 400 AD: perfect for true believers. [Ball is not self-aware that he, and his ilk, are the real "true believers" in Naturalism and therefore in the Shroud's in-authenticity!] Unpacking the Shroud of Turin The first historical reference to the shroud was in 1357 in Lirey, France It was sold to the Duke of Savoy in the 15th Century. His descendant donated it to the Catholic Church in 1983 The 14ft-long cloth has survived a number of fires, the first in 1532 and the last in 1997 It has religious meaning to many Christians who see it as a reminder of Jesus' suffering Does it matter if the Shroud of Turin is fake? [It certainly matters if the Shroud is not a fake, and the image on it is Jesus, formed by His resurrection (which it is). Because that would mean Christianity is true (which it is) and Acts 17:30-31 would apply to "all people everywhere " (including Philip Ball):
"God ... now ... commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."] [top]

"Join the Turin crowd: Head for northern Italy this summer as an industrial duckling of a city reveals itself in its very finest colours," Daily Mail, Jenny Coad, 19 May 2015 ... Often seen as an industrial outpost, Turin is one of Italy's less loved cities ... This summer. the city's most famous relic, the Turin Shroud, is on show. Millions are making the pilgrimage to

[Left (enlarge): "... seeing it today, guarded by soldiers in plumed hats, is mind-boggling."]

Turin this summer to see the Holy Shroud, Pope Francis among them. The cloth, said to bear the imprint of Christ’s body after his Crucifixion, is on display in the city’s cathedral until June 24. ... Unsurprisingly, the queue to see the Shroud is long (at least two hours). ... In the Eighties, scientists dated it to between 1260 and 1390, suggesting it is a medieval forgery [They didn't only "suggest" it - they claimed it, and in Oxford's Prof. Hall's case, triumphantly:

"`There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century," he bluntly told a British Museum press conference. `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.' And again, `Some people may continue to fight for the authenticity of the shroud, like the Flat Earth Society, but this settles it all as far as we are concerned.'" ("Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," The Independent, 16 August 2001)]
But just as "Pride goes before ... a fall" (Pr 16:18), so according to my theory, the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick.] but Benedict XVI, Pope Francis’s predecessor, described it as an icon ‘written with the blood’ of a crucified man and said it represented ‘full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus’. [Of all the modern Popes, Benedict XVI (1927-) at the 2010 exposition, came the closest to confirming that the Shroud is authentic:
"Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus," Christian Science Monitor, Nick Squires, May 3, 2010 ... Dismissing skeptics on Sunday when he visited the Shroud of Turin, Pope Benedict XVI said the burial cloth was none other than the same robe that once 'wrapped the remains' of Jesus Christ. Rome - In the centuries-old debate over the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday diverged from his predecessor and weighed in favor of those who believe that the burial robe once cloaked Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict described the shroud, which allegedly bears blood stains and the facial imprint of a long-haired, bearded man, as an icon that once `wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus.' ... Pope Benedict joins the ranks of those who believe the sepia-colored shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ ..." ]
It was first displayed in France in the 14th century and seeing it today, guarded by soldiers in plumed hats, is mind-boggling. Standing in the dark before the illuminated cloth, the crowd falls silent. [I have not yet seen the Shroud, but it is noteworthy the effect it has on modern people. Even nuclear physicist, Dr. then, Prof. now, Michael Tite, the British Museum coordinator of the 1988 radiocarbon dating, was clearly moved by the Shroud when he saw it, as he let slip in this interview:
"Chantal Dupont. What did you feel when you saw the Shroud? Dr. Tite. [long pause] - Ah! - [pause] I mean... it is a remarkable image. I never looked at it the way I look at paintings of Christ; that is just an aesthetic experience rather than religious. I was there to do a specific job. It is different when you are in an art gallery or in churches. I did not see it as an aesthetic experience. It's tied in with my work." ("An Interview with Dr. Michael Tite - by Chantal Dupont," BSTS Newsletter, No. 25 - April/May 1990.]
... Turin is often dismissed as an industrial city, but it is also very green, full of art and not as touristy as Italy’s other big hitters. And no other city claims to have in its midst such an important piece of cloth. [Not just "an important piece of cloth," but the most important cloth in the world. Indeed, the most important thing in the world. Because that cloth has on it, not only the image of Jesus, but His shed blood, which is the blood of God (Acts 20:28)!] ... [top]

"Hazlett: Seeing Shroud of Turin a life-changing experience," Susan Hazlett, Pantagraph.com, May 16, 2015. ... Five years ago I stood in line

[Above (enlarge): "Pilgrims stop by the Holy Shroud, the 14-foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, displayed at the Cathedral of Turin, in Turin, Italy, in April. The shroud will be on display until June 24: Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP" [i.e. Today!]]

in Turin, Italy, with thousands of other people waiting to get a five-minute glimpse of an ancient piece of cloth. That piece of cloth, blood-stained and mysterious, is known as the Shroud of Turin. It is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, [The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is "the burial cloth of Jesus Christ"!] and is on display again this month through June 24 in the northern city of Turin. [That is today!] The current event is only the sixth exhibition since the late 1800s. [According to Shroud.com's "Shroud History," there have been 7 previous Shroud expositions since 1898, including 2 which were televised only: 1898, 1931, 1933, 1973 (TV), 1978, 1998, 2000, 2013 (TV)] The debate about the cloth’s authenticity has not subsided over the years. Is it real or not? The fervor generated every time the cloth is displayed suggests many people believe it to be the genuine relic. [While this can be dismissed by sceptics, what other Roman Catholic relic generates such "fervor" among millions of 21st century people of all Christian persuasions (including evangelical Protestants like me) and even non-Christians?] In 2010, at the last special exhibition, I went with my daughter and parents to see it. What makes this oblong piece of linen so mysterious is an image of a crucified man. For hundreds of years, people who gazed at the cloth saw only the blood stains (still red, not darkened with age) and burn marks from a fire in 1532. With the naked eye, you can see the image of a long-haired, bearded man who has been severely beaten and crucified. You can see the marks on his hands and feet. It wasn’t until 1898, with the invention of photography, the reverse negative image was revealed. An Italian photographer, Secondo Pia, was given access to photograph the cloth. As he developed the negative plate, he was shocked to see the clear image of a man’s face staring back at him. He was so stunned, he almost dropped the negative. [See Secondo Pia's 1898 photo below] Critics say the image is a forgery, but no one has been able to explain how it was produced. [See below where the hypothetical forger would have to, in negative, "create a front and back image of a human body that is a uniform thickness of `less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual [flax] fiber'"!] Just 35 years ago, scientific tests revealed the image contains 3-D data, like a hologram, giving clues to the dimensions of the body [And encode "3-D data" when even true perspective was not used in art until the 15th century.]Many people believe the data was produced by some kind of radioactive experience. A resurrection maybe? [See John Jackson's "Cloth Collapse" theory, which comes closest to explaining all the major features of the Shroud image:

"We must assume that ... the Shroud initially covered a body shape, but, for some reason, that body did not impede the collapse of the Shroud during the time of image formation ... in the case of the Shroud image, the cloth did collapse into and through the underlying body structure. ... we must assume that the body became mechanically `transparent' to its physical surroundings and, second, that a stimulus was generated that recorded the passage of the cloth through the body region onto the cloth as an image. With regard to the latter assumption, it is unclear in an a priori sense what to assume for the physical nature of the stimulus. However, we at least know that it was able to interact physically with cloth; otherwise, image discolorations would not have been formed. I propose that, as the Shroud collapsed through the underlying body, radiation emitted from all points within that body discolored the cloth so as to produce the observed image. ... this assumption explains the superficiality of the Shroud image ..."
While Jackson does not use the word "resurrection," Jesus' "body became mechanically `transparent' to its physical surroundings" is what the effect of His bodily resurrection would have been to the Shroud over and around His body.] What startled me when I saw the cloth in person are the significant blood stains. Most crucifixes are modest portrayals of Christ’s death. But this cloth is covered in blood. This man, whoever he was, suffered greatly. Signs of flogging are evident as well as cuts on the crown of his head. [As one who has never seen the Shroud, I find this very interesting. Most accounts of seeing the Shroud, talk about the image. But to me the blood on the Shroud would be the most significant, since it actually is Jesus' blood! The very "precious blood of Christ" which "ransomed" me:
1Pet 1:18-19. 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.]
Since seeing the shroud, Easter has taken on new significance for me. We read about the cloth used to wrap Jesus’ body in all four Gospels. Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen wrapping (John 20:3-11). It’s kind of amazing to think that perhaps I may have laid eyes on that very fabric.[There is no "perhaps" about it. The writer Susan Hazlett, has "laid eyes on that very fabric"!] Several people from Central Illinois, including readers of this column, went to Turin in 2010. Many wrote to me about their experiences and one man, a criminal investigator, even painted a replica of the shroud’s “face” for me. Likewise, I’ve shared my own thoughts on our visit. It was dark inside the cathedral in Turin where the shroud was displayed; the only light came from the case holding the cloth. Standing nearby was a petite woman speaking into a microphone. In a soothing voice, she recited a prayer, over and over again. My Italian is not the greatest, so I asked a man standing next to me to interpret what she said. “Hope through suffering,” he said. “God’s love brings us through the darkest despair.” My family and I left the cathedral knowing we had seen something special. Real or not, the shroud tells the story of one man’s extreme agony. [Again, there is no "or not." The Shroud is "real" in the sense of genuine. So the Shroud "tells the story" not just "of one man’s extreme agony" but of Jesus' "extreme agony" (who was God come in human flesh (Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1,14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Php 2:5-6; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1Jn 5:20) and for our sakes became "obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross":
Php 2:8. "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."]
And yet, the woman’s prayer told us that love carries us through our pain. The combination of the blood-stained cloth and the message of love made it a moving experience. In the years since, I’ve come across various news articles, still debating the validity of the shroud. For me, the authenticity no longer matters. [I disagree totally with this. If the Shroud were not authentic, it would be a monstrous fraud that would have duped millions of Christians (including me) down through the ages. And, as I have stated before, Jesus, who is ruling over all (Acts 10:36; Rom 9:5; Eph 1:21-22; Php 2:9), would not have allowed that to happen.] The impact of the lesson -- of experiencing hope through suffering -- is enough. [It might be "enough" for Ms Hazlett, "experiencing hope through" faked "suffering" but it would not be enough for me, who cares about truth. But the issue doesn't arise: the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic and not a forgery!]... [top]

"Why Shroud of Turin's Secrets Continue to Elude Science," Frank Viviano, National Geographic, April 17, 2015. As the venerated

[Right (enlarge): "Photograph by Francois LeDiascorn, Gamma-Rapho, Getty Images." This is Secondo Pia's 1898 negative photograph of the Shroud face. The Shroud man's features being photographically positive, showed that the Shroud image is a photographic negative-but photographic negatives were an "unknown unknown" until the early 19th century!]

relic goes on public exhibition, its origin remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma. ... The 53-square-foot rectangle [The Shroud's dimensions are "437 cm long by 111 cm wide" which equates to ~52.2 sq. ft.] of linen known as the Shroud of Turin is one of the most sacred religious icons on Earth, venerated by millions of Christians as the actual burial garment of Jesus Christ [Not only "Christians." So strong is the evidence for the Shroud being "the actual burial garment of Jesus Christ" that Barrie Schwortz, the owner of the world's largest Shroud website, Shroud.com, is a non-Christian Jew. And Thomas de Wesselow, an agnostic art historian, was forced by the evidence to accept that the Shroud is authentic.]. It is also among the most fiercely debated subjects in contemporary science, an extraordinary mystery that has defied every effort at solution. [If the Shroud were a fake, modern science would have discovered that it was, in hours or at most days, let alone in "117 years" (see below). That the Shroud has "defied every effort at solution" by science to prove it is not authentic is "positive proof" that the Shroud is authentic:

"The fallacy of ... argument from ignorance ... is committed whenever it is argued that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false, or that it is false because it has not been proved true. ... A qualification should be made at this point. In some circumstances it can safely be assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence for it would have been discovered by qualified investigators. In such a case it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence." (Copi, I.M., 1986, "Introduction to Logic," pp.94-95. My emphasis)]
Over the 117 years since a photographic negative of the linen unexpectedly revealed the image of a tortured body, ranks of physicists and chemists have weighed in on the fabric's age and the image's composition. Forensic pathologists, microbiologists, and botanists have analyzed its bloodstains, along with specks of dirt and pollen on its surface. .... The sum result is a standoff, with researchers unable to dismiss the shroud entirely as a forgery, or prove that it is authentic. [See above. The failure of modern science to "dismiss the shroud ... as a forgery" is itself proof "that it is authentic":
"Of course, the proof here is not based on ignorance but on our knowledge that if it had occurred it would be known. For example, if a serious security investigation fails to unearth any evidence that Mr. X is a foreign agent, it would be wrong to conclude that their research has left us ignorant. It has rather established that Mr. X is not one. Failure to draw such conclusions is the other side of the bad coin of innuendo, as when one says of a man that there is `no proof' that he is a scoundrel. In some cases not to draw a conclusion is as much a breach of correct reasoning as it would be to draw a mistaken conclusion." (Copi, 1986, p.95. My emphasis)]
... On April 19, the shroud goes on public display at Turin's cathedral for seven weeks, its longest exhibition in modern history. To readers of the New Testament gospels, the mysterious man of the shroud evokes the slain Christ, complete with signs of scourging, crucifixion, and puncture wounds caused by a crown of thorns. [See my previous post where I list 17 features which are common to both the Gospels/New Testament and the Shroud. In one of them, the Sudarium of Oviedo, there is an "exact fit of the stains" on it "with the beard on the face" of the man on the Shroud, which means that the Sudarium of Oviedo, which has been in Spain since the early 7th century, is the "the face cloth [Gk. soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head" (Jn 20:7) in the empty tomb. This is a `two factor authentication' which proves beyond any reasonable doubt that both the Shroud and Sudarium are authentic.]... Scientific inquiry into the shroud began in 1898, with the startling image captured by Italian amateur photographer Secondo Pia. Under normal conditions, only the vague sepia blur of a human body appears on the fabric. But when Pia examined the reverse negative of his photographic plate in the darkroom, he discovered the detailed likeness of a bearded man with visible wounds on his body. [See above. Since even the concept of a photographic negative was ~5 centuries in his future, a 14th century or earlier forger, could not have forged the Shroud. Watch Thomas de Wesselow's video at https://vimeo.com/117793165 on this and other evidence of the Shroud's authenticity.] ... the U.S.-led Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) ... was granted an unprecedented five days of continuous access to the shroud itself in 1978. The project's 33 members ran the gamut of scientific disciplines, and their credentials included high-level posts at 20 major research institutions. They arrived in Turin with seven tons of equipment and worked in shifts 24 hours a day. ... Their analyses found no sign of artificial pigments. "The Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist," the project's 1981 report declared. [But then, as Shroud arch-sceptics Steven Schafersman and Joe Nickell admitted: "Either the shroud is authentic ... or it is a product of human artifice... `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No ...." So since the Shroud "is not the product of an artist" it must be authentic.]"The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin." But the report also conceded that no combination of "physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances" could adequately account for the image. The Shroud of Turin, the STURP team concluded, "remains now, as it has in the past, a mystery." [STURP here, "captive" (Col 2:8) to the dominant scientific philosophy, Naturalism, `nature is all there is, there is no supernatural,' was unable to state the obvious, that the Shroud is Jesus' burial Shroud and the simplest, Ockham's Razor, explanation is that its image was formed by Jesus' resurrection:
"Ockham's Razor again: Jesus is the only person of whom it is credibly claimed that He was resurrected. The Shroud of Turin is credibly claimed to be Jesus' burial shroud and it only has an image of a body that has wounds and bloodstains consistent with the Gospels' description of Jesus' suffering and death. The simplest explanation is that the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' burial shroud and the body image on it is Jesus' caused by His resurrection." (Jones, S.E., 2015, "Comment: `Gn-Go': Turin Shroud Dictionary," 13 June).]
The Carbon-14 Bombshell. In 1988, the Vatican authorized carbon-14 dating of the shroud. Small samples from a corner of its fabric were sent to labs at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (RAU), the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. All three found that the shroud material dated to the years between 1260 and 1390, more than a millennium after the life and death of the historical Jesus. [Since: 1) the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that the Shroud is authentic, i.e. 1st century; 2) the probability of the Shroud being 1st century, yet having a radiocarbon date of 13th/14th century is "about one in a thousand trillion'"; 3) the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date must be the result of some type of fraud; 4) a form of fraud that was rife in the 1980s was computer hacking; and 5) there is much evidence that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Arizona physicist, Timothy W. Linick.] ... Looming above all other issues is what physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro calls "the question of questions": how the image was produced, regardless of its age. Every scientific attempt to replicate it in a lab has failed. Its precise hue is highly unusual, and the color's penetration into the fabric is extremely thin, less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual fiber in a single 200-fiber linen thread. [This is the extreme superficiality of the Shroud image. Clearly no 14th century or earlier artist/forger could create a front and back image of a human body that is a uniform thickness of "less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual [flax] fiber."] Di Lazzaro and his colleagues at Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) conducted five years of experiments, using state-of-the-art excimer lasers to train short bursts of ultraviolet light on raw linen, in an effort to simulate the image's coloration. The ENEA team, which published its findings in 2011, came tantalizingly close to approximating the image's distinctive hue on a few square centimeters of fabric. But they were unable to match all the physical and chemical characteristics of the shroud image. Nor could they reproduce a whole human figure. ... The ultraviolet light necessary to do so "exceeds the maximum power released by all ultraviolet light sources available today," says Di Lazzaro. It would require "pulses having durations shorter than one forty-billionth of a second, and intensities on the order of several billion watts." If the most advanced technologies available in the 21st century could not produce a facsimile of the shroud image, he reasons, how could it have been executed by a medieval forger? [It couldn't! So the medieval forgery theory is false.] For believers, the radiation thesis suggests that a "divine light" in the tomb might have seared the crucified form of Jesus Christ onto the shroud. [I agree with this. There is no evidence that Jesus' resurrection was a nuclear event, that produced a neutron flux. There is, however evidence, in The Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-2; Mk 9:2-3; Lk 9:28-29), where Jesus' "face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light," "his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them," that Jesus' resurrection (implied by Lk 9:30-31 where during The Transfiguration "Moses and Elijah ... appeared in glory and spoke of his [Jesus'] departure [Gk. exodus] which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem") produced intense light which imprinted His image on the Shroud.] "One could look at hypotheses outside the realm of science, a sort of miracle," says Di Lazzaro. "But a miracle cannot be investigated by the scientific method." [ENEA, using "the scientific method," effectively demonstrated that "a miracle" occurred in the imprinting of the image of a "whole human figure," front and back, on the linen of the Shroud! And since the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud man is Jesus, ENEA, effectively demonstrated, by "the scientific method," the miracle of the Resurrection of Christ!] [top]

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]

Created: 23 June 2015. Updated: 2 May 2021.

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Gn-Gq": Turin Shroud Dictionary

Turin Shroud Dictionary
© Stephen E. Jones


This is page "Gn-Gq" (formerly "Gn-Gz") of my Turin Shroud Dictionary. The next page in this series will be "Gr-Gz". For more information about this dictionary see the "Main index A-Z" and page "A."

[Index] [Previous: "Ga-Gm"] [Next: "Gr-Gz"]

[Gonella, Luigi] [Gospels] [Gove, Harry]

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[2]. 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)[3]
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.

[Right (enlarge): "... the markings on the Shroud are ... consistent with the Biblical accounts of the crucifixion of Christ."[4].]

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:

"Either the shroud is authentic ... or it is a product of human artifice."[5]
But no human artificer (i.e. a 14th century or earlier artist/forger) could have, or would have, produced all 17 of these features above which are common to both the Gospels/New Testament and the Shroud of Turin. Therefore, the Shroud of Turin, IS authentic!

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

[Left (original): Professor Harry E. Gove, co-developer of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon dating[6].]

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"[7]
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"[8]
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"[9]
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."[10]
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)[11].
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.