Thursday, October 15, 2015

Shroud of Turin News - September 2015

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

[Previous: August 2015] [Next: October 2015]

This is the the September 2015 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. See the April 2015 issue for more information about this series. Following my editorial, I will add excerpts from Shroud-related September news articles to this post, latest uppermost, with the articles' words in bold to distinguish them from mine.

Contents (click on a link below to go to that article):
"From the archive, 27 August 1988: Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row"

"From the archive, 27 August 1988: Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row" The Guardian, Tim Radford, 27 August 2015

Scholars at Oxford University believe the linen, said to have wrapped the body of Jesus, may be a fake That The Guardian, more than a quarter century after the 1989 paper in Nature claimed that:

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich ... The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ...AD 1260-1390" (my emphasis)[2]
feels the need to republish this 1988 article, is itself evidence that the 1260-1390, i.e. 1325 ±65, radiocarbon date of the Shroud was not "conclusive" and in fact was wrong (see below on the Pray Codex) and the Shroud is authentic!

Representatives of the Archbishop of Turin condemned Oxford University last night for allowing news to leak out that the Turin Shroud - revered by Roman Catholics as a bloodstained relic of the crucified Christ - is a medieval forgery. They announced that the university could not possibly know. The Archbishop of Turin's ego-driven scientific adviser, nuclear physicist Luigi Gonella (1930-2007) (see below), who was himself partly responsible for the radiocarbon dating fiasco, wrongly assumed that Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory was the source of the leaked "1350" date (see below) because the leak came from a librarian at Cambridge (see below), Oxford's rival. But it turned out that the leak came from Arizona laboratory because "1350" was Arizona's first run Shroud date and was never one of Oxford's dates.

The furore began after Dr Richard Luckett, a fellow of

[Right (original): Dr. Richard Luckett, who "has been the Pepys Librarian at Magdalene College, Cambridge, since 1982"[3] and therefore was in 1988 when he was the first to leak that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was "1350".]

Magdalene College, Cambridge, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 "looks likely" for the 14ft piece of linen, which bears the imprint of the face, the thorns, and wounds of Jesus’s body. Luckett was a librarian at Cambridge, which had no part in the dating, and he was unknown to the laboratories who were involved in the dating. But it later was discovered that the Rev. David Sox, a former Secretary of the British Society for the Turin Shroud, was the leaker [see also #10(6)]. And Sox in his "August 1988" book, "The Shroud Unmasked," quoted Arizona physicist Timothy W. 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?'"[4]
proving that Sox was in contact with Linick (despite the latter's signed pledge of confidentiality-see below), who was present at Arizona's first "1350" dating. And Linick is whom I allege was the hacker whose program generated bogus dates, which when combined and averaged, produced the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dates of the Shroud. I have been told privately of a likely link between Luckett and Sox, on the condition that I not reveal it.

He referred to laboratories as "leaky institutions". A fragment of the shroud is being radiocarbon-dated at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford. At Magdalene the message was that Dr Luckett was away for the weekend. Luckett evidently was told by Sox that the "1350" leak came from someone at one of the laboratories. Oxford had only just completed its dating, whereas Arizona and Zurich had completed theirs months before. So presumably Sox waited until Oxford had completed its dating so that Linick, his source at Arizona, would be protected. Luckett probably knew nothing directly himself anyway, but he needed to protect his source, Sox.

Last night the laboratory was saying nothing. Nor was Dr Michael Tite, keeper of the research laboratories at the British Museum, who is coordinating and supervising the tests at three laboratories, the others being in Arizona and Zurich. Professor Paul Damone of Tucson would only say that all reports were "cock-and-bull. We each signed a pledge that we would say nothing". Oxford and Zurich probably knew of Arizona's "1350" date, but as that would be a breach of the confidentiality pledge it was circumspect for them to say nothing. Tite, who received the results from the laboratories, would have known that "1350" was Arizona's first date, but he had no reason to risk his career by leaking that date to Sox or Luckett. Arizona's Prof. Damon (not Damone) would have definitely known that "1350" was his laboratory's first run date, but as he said, "We each [including Linick] signed a pledge that we would say nothing."

Professor Luigi Gonella, chief scientific adviser to the Archbishop of Turin, said: "Frankly, we in Italy feel we have been taken for a ride. I am amazed that there should be indiscretions of this sort from a university like Oxford." Another spokesman said: "It is a blind test, and no one in Britain has the key to identify the samples." Gonella continues with his false assumption that the leak was from Oxford. But whoever was the "Another spokesman," he/she was wrong, as: 1) the test was not blind since, as stated below, the Shroud's distinctive weave meant that the laboratories knew which sample was from the Shroud; 2) Dr Tite of the British Museum knew the key to the samples; and 3) the laboratories were told the ages of the control samples:

"Rather less acceptable, however, is that whereas the normal procedure in any proper `control' situation would have been for at least the age of the control samples to be withheld from the dating laboratories, in this particular instance, and for reasons that have never been made clear, Dr Tite actually informed the laboratories of the dates of their controls. There can be absolutely no doubt about this, for this was the wording of the certificate that Tite and Cardinal Ballestrero gave to each laboratory's head simultaneous with their handing over of each set of samples: The containers labelled ... 1 ... 2 and ... 3 to be delivered to representatives of [named laboratory] contain one sample of cloth taken in our presence from the Shroud of Turin at 9.45 a.m., 21 April 1988 and two control samples from one or both of the following cloths supplied through the British Museum: first-century cloth; eleventh-century [cloth]. The identity of the samples put in the individual containers has been recorded in a special notebook that will be kept confidential until the measurements have been made. [signed] Anastasio Ballestrero Michael Tite."[5]
Stamp-sized samples of the shroud have been sent to the laboratories, along with wrapping from an Egyptian mummy from the time of Christ, wrapping from a Christian burial in Nubia of around the 11th century, and threads of a cope from France dated to 1300. The samples were simply numbered when they were delivered to the three laboratories. Unfortunately, however, the shroud has a very distinctive weave. An expert would know which sample he was handling. One didn't have to be an "expert" to know which sample was from the Shroud. First, the samples were not "simply numbered" but were numbered in a uniform simple `code' with samples labelled "A1," "Z1" and "O1" standing for Arizona's, Zurich's and Oxford's Shroud sample, respectively and so on for each of the control samples. It was this uniform identifying code which made it possible for a hacker (allegedly Linick) to write a program which would automatically detect which sample was from the Shroud, and then substitute the Shroud sample's actual date, with computer-generated dates (see #10(4)). The Director of Zurich laboratory, Willy Wolfli (1930-2014) guessed what "the `code' for the three Shroud samples of the three labs" might have been:
"The samples were photographed by normal and microphotography. By this time Wolfli and several others had a good look at the three. Anyone who knew the texture of the Shroud was aware which was from the relic. Wolfli joked: `All you would need is to look at the pictures in the National Geographic. It didn't take me long to know - Z1. Z1 and Z3 were both twill weave. Z2 was a tabby weave like mummy cloth. Unlike Z1, Z3 had irregular edges. Z1 was carefully trimmed piece as if to make absolutely certain it was an exact third. I could imagine the `code' for the three Shroud samples of the three labs as: A3 (Arizona); O2 (Oxford) and Z1 (Zurich)."[6]
except that it was A1 (Arizona); O1 (Oxford) and Z1 (Zurich). Second, as Wolfli pointed out, "All you would need is to look at the pictures in the National Geographic" to know which was from the Shroud! (see below).

[Above (enlarge): Extract and rearrangement of photos of the Shroud's distinctive weave in the June 1980 issue of National Geographic[7].]

Scientists and the church still disagree about the authenticity of the shroud. This just the old `Science versus the Church' false dichotomy. The fact is that there are a great many scientists who, based on the evidence, have concluded that the Shroud is authentic. And the Roman Catholic Church refuses to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic, presumably because it would have to then admit that most of its relics are fakes.

Editorial. Rex Morgan's Shroud News My scanning and word-

[Above (enlarge): "Entombment" (upper) and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (lower), ink drawings in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Pray Codex (1192-1195)[8]. My January 2010 post, The Pray Manuscript," had 78 pageviews in the past month (see below). These ink drawings in the Pray Codex have at least "eight telling correspondences" with the Shroud[9], yet the codex is dated 1192-95[10]. Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[11] was wrong (and indeed the result of a computer hacking)!]

processing of issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News and emailing them to Barrie Schwortz, for him to convert to PDF and eventually put online on his Shroud News archive, continued in September up to issue #27, February 1985. Topic index. I have continued adding past pages to my Topic Index and have indexed up to and including my post of 15 January 2012. My rate of indexing these posts has slowed under other pressures. In September I blogged 6 posts: "Shroud of Turin News - August 2015", "Selvedge #6: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!", "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #3", "Why would Jesus have violated the 2nd commandment regarding religious images?", "Wasn't Jesus wrapped like a mummy like Lazarus?" and "Wasn't Jesus' body washed before putting it in the grave?" The latter three posts are part of my response to a comment by someone called Daryl. The last of the three took many days to research the order of events in the Gospels between Jesus' death on the cross and the completion of His burial. This is a good example of how a commenter can ask a question in minutes that takes me many days to answer fully. Which is one reason I have a policy: "I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts." Most pageviews. Google Analytics lists as my blog's pages most viewed for the month to date: "Re: Shroud blood ... types as AB ... aged blood always types as AB, so the significance of this ... is unclear," Mar 18, 2011 - 127; "Wasn't Jesus' body washed before putting it in the grave?," Sep 30, 2015 - 80; "The Shroud of Turin: 3. The Bible and the Shroud," Jun 9, 2013 - 79; "The Pray Manuscript," Jan 11, 2010 - 78; "Old blood does not always degenerate to type AB, so the Shroud of Turin's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's AB blood group is significant!," Jul 14, 2012 - 15. Again, I presume that the reason why the older posts had the most pageviews in the previous month to date is that they are topics in other forums unknown to me. [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]
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. "Birthdays: Dr Richard Luckett," The Times, July 1 2010. [return]
4. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.147. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.19. [return]
6. Sox, 1988, pp.137-138. [return]
7. Weaver, K.F., 1980, "Science Seeks to Solve ... The Mystery of the Shroud," National Geographic, Vol. 157, June, p.742. [return]
8. Berkovits, I., 1969 , "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pl. III. [return]
9. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.180. [return]
10. Ibid, p.178. [return]
11. Damon, 1989, p. 611. [return]

Posted: 15 October 2015. Updated: 10 November 2015.

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