Saturday, January 9, 2021

Telephone Calls to Tucson about the Suicide of Timothy Linick

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is my comments on a transcript of phone calls between a French scholar Claude de Cointet who phoned Arizona radiocarbon dating leaders Paul Damon (1921-2005), Douglas Donahue (c. 1924-2020) and Timothy Jull in 1991, and discussed the suicide of the alleged hacker Timothy Linick. The transcript was emailed to Ian Wilson and me as a PDF on 23 October 2020 by Joe Marino. The transcript is available on Joe's website: https://tinyurl. com/y3blftto. I have Joe's permission to post the transcript here with my comments. Joe asked me to mention his new book, "The 1988 C-14 Dating Of The Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Exposé" [Right: "A majority of scientific and historical evidence proves the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. Only one test says otherwise-the carbon date performed in 1988"[2]. I had ordered the book and it arrived today (13 January)]

My words will not be indented by contrast with the transcript.

First, Joe's covering email of 3 October 2020:

"While reorganizing my files, I came across a document I forgot I even had. It was sent to me in the early 90s by Claude de Cointet, an associate of Bro. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard. de Cointet called Damon, Donahue and Jull in late September 1991 and made a transcript (which I had to clean up considerably as everything sort of ran together). The call basically was about Linick's suicide but also has some information about how Arizona ran their samples. It has references to Linick being involved in computer programs. See attached. Best, Joe"[3].
Claude de Cointet was an
[Left (enlarge): "Bro Bruno Bonnet-Eymard [left] with M. Claude de Cointet [right] during a meeting at the St Louis Shroud Symposium June 1991"[4].]

associate of Bro. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard of the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth (later XXIst) Century. The two visited the University of Arizona in Tucson late in 1990 to interview the labs' scientists regarding the 1988 C-14 dating on the Shroud. One of the scientists, Dr. Timothy Linick, had committed suicide on June 4, 1989. Bonnet-Eymard and de Cointet did not know that at the time of their visit. De Cointet placed some calls in late 1991 to the lab in order to learn more details. Some additional information regarding the Shroud samples the lab had received are also revealed. De Cointet sent me a transcript of the various calls that were made. The transcript is very rough; de Cointet's English was not perfect. Since there is some valuable data in it, I have edited the document significantly, including deleting some irrelevant information, correcting spelling and spacing errors to make it easier to read. Commentary by de Cointet is in parentheses; I've made some remarks in italicized brackets.

Abbreviations used:

CdC: Claude de Cointet

TJ: Timothy Jull
DD: Douglas Donahue
PD: Paul Damon

24 September 1991, 09:00 -- Call to Tim Jull at the Tucson University
TJ: Tim Jull speaking.

[Right: Prof. A.J. Timothy Jull (1951-) with an image of a Shroud sample on a computer screen[5]. Note the Shroud's distinctive weave (see below).]

CdC: I am speaking to Dr. Jull?
TJ: Yes.
CdC: I am Claude de Cointet; I am calling you from Paris in France. You remember, I visited you one year ago with Brother Bruno; and I was looking for some addresses. Brother Bruno has made a very interesting study about the d'Arcis Memorandum. You remember that we spoke about the d'Arcis Memorandum? A very interesting historical story, and we want to send this document to you and also to B.H. Gore. By the way, are you still in contact with B.H. Gore? He was a student?
TJ: Yes, he is a student. I have an address for him. [Jull provided.]
CdC: I was also looking for the address of Timothy Linick, but unfortunately I heard that he committed suicide. I wanted to express my warmest sympathy to you about this event. More than two years [ago] – we did not hear about this when we were in Tucson [in October 1990]. We spoke about different people and you told me that except [for] Donahue, Damon and yourself, the people who were part of the C-14 measurement were agnostic most of them. Linick, it is an Irish name? No? He was not Irish?
TJ: He was Jewish—but not practicing.
CdC: Ah, yes, he was young, like you, no?
TJ: He was about 40 or so. [1]
CdC: The reasons why he killed himself are completely not ....
TJ: Yes, you know, he had some personal problems, which is a very long story; then he had a depression, so it is a very sad story but ....
CdC: Yes.
TJ: Anyway, O.K., you are going to send me ....
CdC: I will send you the story, yes.
TJ: OK and Dr. Donahue? Or just to me?
CdC: Oh yes, to Dr. Donahue also.
TJ: OK, thank you very much.
CdC: OK, fine, goodbye.
TJ: Goodbye.

Bonnet-Eymard and others regarded Linick's suicide as

[Left: Photograph of Timothy W. Linick in a May 2000 Bonnet-Eymard article, that "He died at the age of forty-two on 4 June 1989, in very unclear circumstances ..."[6]. It is significant that although Bonnet-Eymard knew in this 1991 transcript that Linick's death was officially suicide, he does not call it that, evidently believing (as I do) that Linick's death was murder, made to look like suicide!]

suspicious, being less than four months after the 16 February 1989 publication in Nature of the article, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," in which Linick was a signatory, when he should have been basking in the success of (supposedly) having helped prove, "that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[8].

24 September 1991 at 9:30 (Tucson time) – Call to Douglas Donahue, at his office in Tucson

CdC: Yes, good morning Professor Donahue [Below [9].], I am Claude de Cointet. I am calling you from Paris. I just wanted to express [to] you my warmest sympathy, I just heard that Mr. Timothy Linick who was part of your staff committed suicide a few months ago. I wanted to send you an interesting study about the d'Arcis Memorandum that we discussed when we were having lunch with Bro. Bruno in the Mensa [Society] of your University. I had and address for Gore for Timothy Linick I heard from Hathaway that he unfortunately, he committed suicide.
DD: Yes, two years ago. It was a very sad thing.
CdC: Yes, and do you know the reason for his suicide?
DD: Well, he suffered from emotional problems. Who knows such things?
CdC: Yes, of course. He was still young he was about 40 or something like this?
DD: Oh yes, but young people also have emotional problems. It was a very sad thing, he had a young child; we miss him very much.
CdC: Yes, he was a recent immigrant or he was living the US for a long time?
DD: No, no, he was born in the U.S.
CdC: OK, it is very sad.
DD: Yes, so it happened two years ago.
CdC: In June, in June of 1989.
DD: Ah yes. We had in Radiocarbon, the Journal of Radiocarbon an issue dedicated to him and it had a small picture, you know, sometime ago.
CdC: Yes, you made some publications, you say in Radiocarbon?
DD: Radiocarbon, that is a journal. In an issue, a year or two ago. I don't remember the exact issue, but there was an obituary and his picture and a brief sketch of his life. The people in the business are aware. It is well known, but I can understand that you wouldn't have heard. He published a big article in Radiocarbon in 1986. He was a prolific and an excellent scientist.
CdC: Yes, and he was part of your experiments on the Shroud?
DD: Sure.
CdC: As he signed ... [the Nature report].
DD: Yes, he was.
CdC: What was his [Linick's] role, what did he do specifically? (silence) [2[
DD: Well, like others he did some of everything, mostly operating the machine, analyzing results, it is what he did always.
That Linick's role was "mostly operating the machine," i.e. Arizona's tandem accelerator mass spectrometer, confirms my deduction that Linick was in charge of the fully computerised AMS dating process at

[Above (enlarge)[10]: Extract of historic group photograph (presumably taken by Damon who isn't in it) of those present at the Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory on 6 May 1988[11] when the AMS computer terminal [left] displayed a date of the Shroud, which when calibrated, was "1350 AD"[12]. The alleged hacker, Timothy W. Linick (1946-89) [see 05Jul14, 22Feb16], is in a black shirt[13], standing in front of everyone, including laboratory leaders Douglas Donahue (behind the seated person) and Timothy Jull (behind and on our right of Donahue). This is evidence that Linick was in charge of the fully computerised AMS dating process[14] at Arizona laboratory and those present were acknowledging that [see 22Feb16, 22Nov16, 25Mar18, 23Jun18, 15Jul18, 27Sep18, 28Oct18 & 06Nov20].]

Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory!

CdC: But he was not present when you received the samples?
DD: Not in Turin, no!
CdC: No, I mean in Arizona.
DD: He was certainly present when we made the measurement and when took the samples, sure. He was a full partner in all of everything we did.
CdC: Oh yes, but I am surprised because you never mentioned his name when we talked about these things.
DD: Well, when we talked it was a year later, and we keep trying to forget it. It was a big blow to us but we were slowly getting over it.
CdC: So you say he was [present] when you received the samples here in Tucson?
DD: We did not receive—we brought them back.
CdC: Of course, but then when you opened the container, and then did everything.
DD: Certainly.
De Cointet's questions reveal that he is trying to connect Linick's suicide with Bonnet-Eymard's theory that the British Museum's Michael Tite switched the Shroud sample with the linen control sample from the 13th century cope of St. Louis d'Anjou[15]. But firstly, Tite believed that the Shroud was medieval[16] so he would have no reason to risk his scientific career and reputation in switching the Shroud sample for a medieval sample. Secondly, the sample from the cope of St. Louis d'Anjou consisted only of threads[17] and its linen weave is not herringbone but plain linen[18]. And thirdly, the Shroud's weave is so distinctive (see above) that the laboratories all recognised which sample was from it[19].
CdC: OK, thank you very much professor. So I will send you our documentation.
DD: Documentation of what?
CdC: The article of Brother Bruno, he made a study and he was in Saint Louis at the Symposium and he made a very interesting presentation, a good paper about the d'Arcis Memorandum. You will see.
DD: When was the Symposium?
CdC: The Symposium of St. Louis? It was in June, just before the summer, and we attended this symposium. Dinegar was there and some other scientists.
DD: I think, about one year ago I was invited, but somehow or other it got lost, I think. thought it was 1992 actually. What is the name of the man who ...? It was Brother Marino. [I was a monk at the time.] He is a friend of my son-in-law; my son-in-law works for the St. Louis paper.
CdC: Oh, yes.
DD: OK, so I was happy to hear from you.
26 September at 08:30 (Tucson time) --Call to the home of Prof. Paul Damon. [Below [20].] His wife gives number at the University
PD: Damon.
CdC: Hello, Yes. Professor Paul Damon?
PD: Yes.
CdC: Oh yes, good morning professor, I am Claude de Cointet, you remember me? I spoke with you on the telephone about one year ago, and I wanted to have a friendly conversation with you if it was possible. I am not disturbing you too much?
PD: No. I don't remember the connection.
CdC: Oh yes, I am French and I was speaking to you about the radiocarbon experiments, you know.
PD: Oh, yes. Yes.
CdC: I came, in fact I visited Tucson about one year ago. [3]
PD: Yes, yes.
CdC: With Brother Bruno and we were looking for some details about the samples you received from Turin, etc. and at that time, there is something that we did not notice, we did not pay attention to it. In fact when we spoke with you and also with Dr. Jull, we never spoke about what was the exact role, what did Timothy Linick do, during these days, in Tucson. And in the meantime, I heard – I was informed that unfortunately he was dead, he committed suicide. It was in fact before we came, it was in June 89 and for us this may be very, very important, because ...
PD: No, no. He had had for a long time personal problems. He was separated from his wife, we all were (sigh) trying to encourage him to continue his work, he was an underachiever, quite brilliant—but with personal problems,
That Damon didn't let de Cointet finish shows that he had been prepared by Jull (above) and Donahue (above) in what to say!
PD: and he had very little to do with the Shroud of Turin. Yes, he was ... very little to do with it, so you know that ... (he stops) ... in no way should that be associated with the Shroud of Turin. In fact, it is really an ugly thought—and has no foundation in reality.
This is true in respect to Bonnett-Eymard's untenable sample switch theory. But it is not true in respect to the actual radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. As we saw above, Linick had everything to do with that!
PD: I think (sigh) it has been difficult for his wife, they were separated, not divorced, and—for his son—but he has had problems going back to ... a long ... his family, his parents.
Indeed Linick did have family problems (see 30Dec15).
PD: I mean these things are private ... (louder) (insisting) and (have) nothing at all to do ... You must remember if this had not been the Shroud of Turin, it would have been quite routine for us. We date linens all the time, and we have many other things on our mind besides the Shroud of Turin, and as I pointed out too, I think, to one of your colleagues, Doug Donahue is from an Irish Catholic family, and he was trying to be quite objective about the whole thing.
It is significant that Damon does not say that Donahue himself was a devout Catholic (see 06Nov20).
PD: He was not going to read up on it, etc—our job is just to date it, and within the first five minutes we could say it couldn't be first century. And I looked at him and looked very dejected. I said, “'What's wrong, Doug?' and he said, ‘I didn't think that I would be disappointed, but I am terribly disappointed'.” So you see from our point of view this is very troublesome (sigh) to repeat it all over again. We are comfortable with the our results and all we can say is that the flax was harvested not before ... (silence) the twelfth century (quickly correcting) the thirteenth century as the very, as you know, the very ... astronomical statistics ...
This is false. Damon must have known that it is common for archaeologists to reject radiocarbon dates if they conflict with the archaeological evidence[21]. This was confirmed by Sheridan Bowman, a signatory to the 1989 Nature article, and the successor to Tite at the British Museum:
"Rejecting radiocarbon results In the datelists published in the journal Radiocarbon, submitters provide a brief comment on how the radiocarbon results compare with the archaeology and therefore with expectation. Comments such as 'archaeologically acceptable', while not very informative, are less frustrating than the bald 'archaeologically unacceptable' statements. Often there is no discussion of these 'unacceptable' results; they are simply rejected by the archaeologist when evaluating the chronology of the site"[22].
And the evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

And as for "astronomical statistics" (above) the laboratories had pointed out that the probability that the Shroud, being 1st century, has a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date, would be "astronomical"[23], "one in a thousand trillion"[24] and "totally impossible"[25]. But the flip side of this is that since the Shroud is 1st-century (according to the overwhelming weight of the evidence), it must be the radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 that is totally impossible! [see 20Dec14, 23Jul15, 11Jun16, 15Jul18 & 28Oct18].

PD: so we really ... we come back to this over and over again and if people don't believe our results were (accurate ?) somebody else can do it.
There is no need for "somebody else," i.e. another laboratory, to again carbon-date the Shroud. As Damon well knew, Arizona has its own undated part of its Shroud sample [Left [26]] which they could have dated anytime, and still could, if they were confident that the Shroud's "flax was harvested not before ... the thirteenth century"!
PD: What has happened is that there is a question of dishonesty. We know that we had a sample of the Shroud of Turin because of the weave and because it was wrapped in red silk, and we saw it microscopically, we saw two pieces—two threads—yes, so we know what we dated, and we did this routinely, we took very extra precautions. I developed in consultation with textile experts a very elaborate technique for purification, and it was really not necessary because the amount of impurities was negligible: about one part of a thousand so, you know, I mean (sigh) that is the way we looked at it ...
I agree! Contamination with new carbon cannot be the explanation why the 1st-century Shroud has a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date. Firstly, the amount of new carbon required to shift the 1st century Shroud's radiocarbon date 12-13 centuries into the future would have to be about 60% of the Shroud sample, and it clearly isn't (see above) [see 01Nov13, 24May14, 22Aug14, 08Dec14, etc]. Secondly, contamination with younger carbon cannot plausibly explain why the Shroud sample had the bull's eye radiocarbon date of 1260-1390, the midpoint of which is 1325 ±65, which `just so happens' to be a mere 30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in c. 1355 at Lirey, France. Only some form of fraud can plausibly explain that, and with the failure of Bonnet-Eymard's sample switch theory, only my Revised Hacker theory [see 29May19, 02Sep19 & 14Feb20 & 15Apr20] is left still standing, unrefuted!
PD: but to bring Linick into this, is really a ... You should ... people should examine their motives in doing such a thing (he becomes aggressive) --it really bothers me from a moral and ethical point of view, and a personal point of view, because he was our friend and colleague, and we knew he had these problems for a long period of time and it was not ... it was not really something that he was closely associated with ... These problems have occurred (sigh) many years!—well before we heard of the Shroud.
Three points: 1) Linick was not de Cointet's friend and colleague, so Damon's bluster about the morality and ethics of de Cointet's questions is misplaced. 2) That Linick "had these problems [of depression] for a long period of time" does not explain why he killed himself at that point of time, 4 June 1989, when he would have been at a career high, having had his name published less than four months earlier as a signatory to the important 16 February 1989 Nature article, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin." 3) Damon's emotional overreaction to de Cointet's reasonable questions suggests that Damon had an uneasy conscience about Linick's apparent suicide (see below)!
CdC: Yes, but he signed the Nature report, so he has been involved in the ...
PD: Yes, but involved peripherally; we put everybody on there, including the electrical, the physics engineer who helped to keep the machine ready.
Damon's downplaying of Linick's involvement in the Shroud's dating as only "peripherally" contradicts Donahue's description (above):
"He was certainly present when we made the measurement and when took the samples, sure. He was a full partner in all of everything we did." (my emphasis)
Evidently Damon (presumably after disussions with Jull and Donahue on what to say to de Cointet), is trying to hide something about Linick's involvement in dating the Shroud!
PD: People most directly involved were [4] – first for the preparation—were myself, Tim Jull, and Larry Toolin and Doug Donahue; the other people were simply doing what they always do.
CdC: But Doug Donahue told me that Timothy Linick was also involved in the ... was present the day when you received, you opened the containers. He told me, “Oh, of course Timothy Linick was here.”
PD: No, no, who told you that?
CdC: Doug Donahue. Yesterday I asked him.
PD: Not, not the first day because the first day he was not even in. We came in on a Sunday. And later, yes everybody wanted to see, sure everybody in the laboratory wanted to see, of course, I mean it was ...
Damon realises he has been caught out in a contradiction ...
PD: But why are you bringing this up? I really, (excited) I really feel that this is almost obscene ... (silence). It is almost obscene, Sir.
... so he resorts to counterattack! But again, Linick was not known to de Cointet, so it is not "obscene" for him to ask questions about the possible connection between Linick's apparent suicide, more than 2 years before, and his involvement in dating the Shroud. All Damon needed to do was answer de Cointet's questions truthfully. Unless they had something to hide!
CdC: We experienced unfortunately in Europe a lot of times in the past century and also unfortunately in these decades in some opportunities like this and in fact they ...
PD: You know, I think this is obscene. I think it's obscene, Sir! I think you ought to examine your conscience! And if you are truly religious, I think you ought to pray to God to close your mind ... (silence)
Clearly de Cointet's reasonable questions had `touched a raw nerve' with Damon! (see future below on what that probably was).
CdC: How did he commit suicide, did he hang himself?
PD: I beg pardon?
CdC: How did he commit ...?
PD: No, no, no, no, this ... (long silence) This, I mean, there is no ... (silence, great sigh) It is obscene! That is all I could say! (almost beside himself) I don't want to continue the conversation! What you are doing is obscene, to drain [drag] this man into this and to associate this with the Shroud of Turin, when it has absolutely nothing to do with it. (Suddenly calm and quiet)
It is significant that Damon does not simply answer de Cointet's simple question with, he "shot himself" (or so it was assumed) as Linick's half-brother Anthony emailed me [see 22Feb16].
PD: Well, let me say: if this objection, you people have, comes to a legitimate peer-reviewed journal, we will respond! But we cannot give up the rest of our work; this seems to be consuming you. It was ... it would have, if it had not been for the Shroud of Turin, been a routine matter for us, you see, you understand?
That is precisely the point! It was the Shroud of Turin that the laboratories dated. And the laboratories (originally seven!)[27] asked the Roman Catholic Church to be allowed to date the Shroud[28], not the other way around. So uniquely the laboratories were both the clients and the testers[29]. They wanted to date the Shroud for the publicity to demonstrate to the general public the power of the then new Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating techique[30]. And having gone out a very public limb, the laboratories can't now admit, after 30+ years that they got it wrong!
CdC: Yes.
PD: And what you're doing is obscene to mix Tim Linick with anything to do with the Shroud of Turin concerning his suicide, (insisting again) this is obscene!
CdC: Well, I am just asking questions!
PD: Examine your conscience, Sir, examine your conscience!
CdC: Yes, yes.
PD: There is no reason for me to continue this conversation, I mean, I am astounded, I am astounded that you can do this.
CdC: There have been a lot of times where Masons were killing people, in order they not be able to testify, to give testimony, and this is always disguised in suicide. It is just a question I was asking.
It sounds like de Cointet had inside information (e.g. from "B.H. Gore" above) that Linick's death was a "killing ... disguised in [as] suicide"!
PD: No, we know exactly how he died.
CdC: I understand that he was a very good scientist, very prolific, very active man of 40 years, so I cannot understand how suddenly he disappeared.
PD: Because he had problems and he possibly committed suicide, that is how it happened. We have no doubts about it, his family has no doubts about it. He had threatened. I guess people couldn't think that he ... I see your point, you want a murder or something, well that's ... [5]
Only "possibly committed suicide"! Combined with 'We have no doubts about it, his family has no doubts about it" indicates that there were official doubts that Linick's death was suicide and not murder!

I had previously been told that Arizona was a `closed record' State, so I couldn't obtain Linick's death certificate [see 05Jul14]. But I have now discovered that the answer to the question, "Are police reports public records in Arizona?" is:

"By state law, public agencies must release public documents within a reasonable amount of time. ... Here is how it works: In the city of Phoenix, if you want a police report or to request another public document, you have to fill out a form through its online records portal here.Jun 27, 2019" (
And the answer to the question, "Are autopsy reports public record in Arizona?" is:
"In the state of Arizona, autopsy reports are public records. Anyone can view the records or request copies, but sometimes a fee is required. Autopsies fall under the jurisdiction of county governments. Contact the medical examiner's office in the county where the autopsy was performed to learn how to obtain a report.Jul 20, 2017" (
Joe Marino has agreed to try to obtain for me the police and/or medical examiner's report on Timothy Linick's death in Tucson on 4 June 1989. And if I do receive them [see above that there is no existing police report], I will post them here! My email to Joe concluded with:
"It will be a huge boost for my hacker theory if the Arizona police and/or medical examiner found evidence that Linick's death may not have been suicide!"
Back to the transcript.
CdC: Not but maybe, it was just to know. You know better than me, because you were present, you were in Tucson at the time, and ...
PD: Sure, sure, and we have doubt, Sir, about what happened.
Presumably Damon's "we have doubt, Sir, about what happened" is a typo and he actually said, "we have [no] doubt ...about what happened"?
CdC: There was an enquiry of the police?
PD: Well, I would have to ask the family, I suppose, of course, and you would have to ask the family about the intimate details.
CdC: Yes, of course.
Damon's evasiveness is significant. There must have been a police enquiry into Linick's suicide or murder, so why doesn't Damon answer truthfully? Because Arizona laboratory is hiding something and Damon is afraid he will inadvertently reveal it?
PD: (Silence) I see what you are doing. I know that there is no ... no, I thought that you were ...
CdC: Sorry?
PD: I did not know what you were up to, but this ...
CdC: I was thinking, professor, that may be, if he had been killed, you also ignore this and everybody ignore that ...
PD: He just committed suicide, he threatened for ...
CdC: What?
PD: He threatened to commit suicide, before he committed suicide, but his wife did not believe it—his feelings were extreme.
It is significant that Linick's wife (who has since died), did not believe that Linick's threat to commit suicide, meant he would do it.
CdC: It was in connection with his wife, with his family problems?
PD: It was the separation from his wife and of course they had a son, and there were problems from childhood with respect to his relationship with his mother (long silence and sigh). You know, this is a sad thing and in our lives here that this happened ...
CdC: But you are sure it cannot be this kind of accident or ...
PD: No.
CdC: How did it happen?
PD: (Silence) Well you know this is a personal matter. It happened on the spur of the moment.
CdC: I am sorry.
PD: It happened in the spur of the moment, that I mean in a moment of great depression; his wife did not think he would carry through with his threat.
Linick's chronic depression would have become acute when, ~10 months earlier his laboratory leaders found him quoted in anti-authenticist David Sox's 1988 book:
"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?'"[31].
There is no chance they would have missed it because it is on the same double page where Sox described Arizona's first dating run, and Sox's was the first, and for years the only, book on the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

Linick, along with all others present at Arizona's first dating, had signed a confidentiality agreement "not to communicate the results to anyone":

"`We the undersigned, understand that radiocarbon age results for the Shroud of Turin obtained from the University of Arizona AMS facility are confidential. We agree not to communicate the results to anyone-spouse, children, friends, press, etc., until that time when results are generally available to the public.' It had been signed by D J Donahue, Brad Gore, L J Toolin, P E Damon, Timothy Jull and Art Hatheway, all connected with the Arizona AMS facility, before I signed. My signature was followed by T W Linick and P J Sercel, also from the Arizona facility"[32].
Sox was the secondary source of leaks to the English media, while the radiocarbon dating was ongoing, that the Shroud had dated "medieval" and "1350"[24Jun14a, 05Mar15a, 30Dec15a, 19Jan16, 22Nov16, 15Aug17, 15Jul18, 06Aug18 & 03Aug19a].

And Linick was the primary source of the leaks to Sox[24Jun14b, 05Jul14, 05Mar15b, 30Dec15b, 22Feb16, 22Nov16 & 03Aug19].

Gove, in particular, would have been furious with Linick, because Gove had been suspected of leaking Arizona's first "1350" date, and he would have realised that Linick had:

"I must say I wondered about Luckett's date of 1350 because it was the date Donahue announced to me when I was present at the first radiocarbon measurement on the shroud in 6 May 1988. Of course, it also corresponds very closely to the shroud's known historic date. However, I still assumed Luckett had said he got the number from Oxford. When I read that he claimed he got it from one of the other two labs I worried that it might have come from someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement"[33].
So Linick would have been heavily criticised by his laboratory leaders for leaking Arizona's first "1350" date to Sox. If Damon had been particularly hard on Linick, it would explain his emotional overreaction to de Cointet's questions.

That criticism likely triggered an acute episode of Linick's depression that Damon talks about. But that would have been in late 1988 when Sox's book was published. It would not explain Linick killing himself ~10 months later in June 1989.

CdC: Yes, but how did he commit suicide? He had a car accident?
PD: No, no, no.
CdC: He hung himself?
PD: No. What I am wondering now is if I am .. You are probing this ... if I should review the problems of the family. Well (silence) ... I think you should get these details from his wife. The continued refusal of Damon to answer de Cointet's simple question, "how did he [Linick] commit suicide?" is suspicious. As mentioned above Joe Marino had agreed to try to obtain for me the police and/or medical examiner's report on Timothy Linick's death in Tucson on 4 June 1989. Joe succeeded in obtaining a copy of the autopsy report [see part below[34].] but it seems that Arizona police reports don't go back to 1989. As can be seen, the autopsy report states that Linick "died of a gunshot wound of the head." So why didn't Damon just say that? Was he afraid of being drawn into answering further questions about it? And if so, why? I will discuss Linick's full autopsy report (see my "Evidence in Timothy Linick's autopsy report that he was murdered disguised as suicide!") and hopefully the police report [the Arizona Department of Public Safety has since advised there is no existing police report of Linick's death] in a future post. But for now I will say (and Joe agrees) that there are elements of the autopsy report that are inconsistent with Linick having shot himself and consistent with Linick having been murdered in a simulated suicide (see my next post, "Evidence in Timothy Linick's autopsy report that he was murdered disguised as suicide!").

CdC: Well, she is still in Tucson?
PD: Yes, she is still in Tucson.
CdC: She is married again?
PD: No, no, not married again. You see what you are doing is probing into a personal matter.
CdC: Yes, I understand.
PD: I feel that this should come from his ...
CdC: Yes.
PD: She knows the details and I don't think it should come from me.
CdC: OK, you are sure that it is related to personal problems.
PD: Oh yes, yes. You know he was really only peripherally involved in the Shroud. You know if somebody was going to do something like that it would have been Donahue or myself, not Linick. What he did was routine work: he did the computer programs and that sort of thing, [6] that is what he was doing, and the two people who really were so much known to the public (were) myself and Donahue, who did all the interviews and that sort of thing, so ...
Damon, attempting to downplay Linick's role in the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "only peripherally involved ... he did the computer programs," confirms my original point, that:
"When I read Sox's account in 2007, I realised it was not the actual carbon dating results that those in Arizona's laboratory were seeing, but what the computer was displaying. That is, between the actual carbon dating by the accelerated mass spectrometer, and those watching the computer screen, was a computer program!"[22Feb14].

"Prof. Ramsey's `The software was very simple just outputting counts of 14C and currents measured' confirms my key point that there was `software' between the Shroud samples and the `outputting counts of 14C' displayed on the AMS computer's control console terminal. And being `software' it was hackable. That the `software was very simple' is irrelevant, so why mention it? Again Prof. Ramsey's defensiveness suggests that he has something to hide"[27Apr15, 29Mar16].

"So I realised in 2007 that it was not the actual radiocarbon dating of the Shroud that those in Arizona's laboratory were seeing, but what the AMS computer was displaying. That between the actual carbon dating by the AMS system and those watching the computer screen, was a computer program! So one explanation of why the authentic first-century Shroud had a 1260-1390 radiocarbon date, is that a hacker had installed a program in the three laboratories' AMS computers which substituted [or built on] the Shroud's actual radiocarbon date with bogus dates, which when combined and averaged made it appear the Shroud dated shortly before its first undisputed appearance at Lirey, France in ~1355"[24Oct16].
Back to the transcript.
CdC: Yes, but when during the experiment, it was a possibility, maybe in exchanging the vials, gas vials at this level, to exchange the samples.
PD: I mean ... we measured it sixteen times, we made sixteen different samples as I record, this is routine, but a very large number of times, and in my memory they were 16 and these were separate preparations. Now some of the measurements were of the same purification so when the statisticians decided to lump those because that is only those that were done completely from the first step ... but we made different targets, 16 targets, they went to the carbon sample ... but Timothy Linick was involved in the computer programs that we use all the time.
CdC: So he was involved when you had to give the different numbers to the samples, and the codification, etc. during the experiments?
PD: No, we of course, we did that ... together, beginning and that's the ... he was not involved in that ... (very long silence as if Paul Damon was realizing something ...)
Presumably Damon had just realised that it was Linick who loaded the graphite (pure carbon) pellets which had been the Shroud samples and controls into the carousel (see below), immediately before he started

[Left (enlarge): Carousel of the CEDAD (CEntro di DAtazione e Diagnostica) AMS radiocarbon dating facility at the University of Salento, Italy[35]. This carousel has 12 target holders and is of unknown diameter. Arizona's and Zurich's (and presumably Oxford's since all three were effectively clones[36]) carousel had ten holders and its diameter was about 26 mm or 1 inch (the diameter of an English two pence coin - see below).]

the fully automated AMS radiocarbon dating process:

"Like gunpowder packed into a bullet casing, the Shroud sample now reduced to graphite is compressed into metal pellets one millimetre in diameter. A drill press with thousands of pounds of pressure is used for this task. Ten pellets with graphite are loaded into holes in a small carousel that is a little larger than a two pence coin. Two of the pellets contain graphite with precisely known amounts of carbon atoms. They are supplied by the National Bureau of Standards in Washington for all accelerators of Arizona's type, thus ensuring consistent results. The carousel is loaded into the end of the accelerator, and under a vacuum, a beam of caesium atoms is fired at the graphite target. About one in a trillion carbon atoms in living things is the carbon-14 variety. Most of the rest are carbon-12 and some are carbon-13. The caesium beam bombardment transforms neutral carbon atoms into negatively charged ions. The carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14 atoms are pulled off the target's surface by a powerful electric field further into the device, where they are then steered by a magnet into a `stripper' containing atoms of argon gas. Collision of the argon atoms with the carbon knocks, electrons away, leaving the carbon atoms with a positive charge. The positive electric field then repels the carbon atoms, sending then toward the particle detectors at the end of the line. Magnets deflect the path of the passing carbon atoms. Since carbon-14 atoms are a little heavier than carbon-12 or carbon-13, they are deflected less and thus strike a different detector. The detectors, connected to a computer, record the impacts of the carbon-13 and carbon-14 atoms, allowing a rapid calculation of the relative amount of radioactive form"[37].
Note that between the actual "carbon-13 and carbon-14 atoms" impacting the detectors and the laboratory staff reading "the relative amount of radioactive form" was a computer under the control of Linick who "did the computer programs" (see above)!
CdC: OK. You are not coming to Europe in the next months?
PD: No.
CdC: If you were passing through Paris, I would have the pleasure to invite you to have a discussion with you more quietly; it is difficult not to see each other and speak just on the phone. OK. I thank you very much, I am sorry to disturb you with all these bad things and very sad story.
PD: You are bringing back bad moments.
CdC: It was just to clarify this point, I wanted to know what you were thinking about all this. OK, I thank you very much, professor. Bye Bye.

26 September 09:15 – short telephone call to Mrs. Damon
[No actual transcript here—just a short description by de Cointet about the call.]
I wanted to ask her to let her husband know that if we suspected Tim Linick of switching the samples, it was meaning that we thought that her husband was not aware of the fraud: Tucson may have received a piece of the Shroud, but the switch may have occurred during the measuring process – at the level of the gas vials – ...

Apart from the Shroud and control samples were not reduced to gas (e.g. carbon dioxide) but remained solid in the form of graphite (see above), the problem with a sample switch "during the measuring process" is that it would have to be repeated at the three laboratories (Arizona, Zurich and Oxford).
CdC: ... or at the level of the treatment of the results by computers ... and Tim was the one who was able to choose the program used for the machine. He did the programs.
Here de Cointet comes close to my hacker theory! It is a pity he and Bonnet-Eymard did not explore that line of enquiry. Being closer in time to the dating than me - it was only in 2015 that I realised the Shroud was Jesus' burial shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53), they may have been able to find more evidence which pointed to Linick having hacked the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud!
CdC: But Mrs. Damon did not allow me to give my explanations. She said that the 3 Laboratories dated the Shroud. She doesn't accept any comment. [7]

To be continued in my next post, "Evidence in Timothy Linick's autopsy report that he was murdered disguised as suicide!"

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission 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 title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Marino, J.G., 2020, "The 1988 C-14 Dating Of The Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Exposé," [return]
3. Marino, J.G., 2020, "Transcript of phone call about Timothy Linick," 23 October 2020, 8:16 pm. [return]
4. Bonnet-Eymard, B., 1991, "Study of Original Documents of the Archives of the Diocese of Troyes in France with Particular Reference to the Memorandum of Pierre D'Arcis," Shroud News, No. 68, December, pp.6-18, 18. [return]
5. Porter, D.R., 2013, "The Arizona Samples of the Shroud of Turin," Shroud of Turin Blog, May 5. [return]
6. Bonnet-Eymard, B., 2000, "The Holy Shroud is as Old as the Risen Jesus, IV. Caution! Danger!, The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, No 330, Online edition, May; Bonnet-Eymard, B, 1996, "The Crime Committed Against the Holy Shroud," Shroud News, No 95, June, pp.10-27, 10. [return]
8. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, pp.611-615, 611. [return]
9. "Douglas J. Donahue," UA Science: Physics, University of Arizona, 2016. No longer online. [return]
10. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.176H. [return]
11. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
12. Ibid. [return]
13. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
14. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, pp.146-147; Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
15. Wilson, I., 1989a, "A French Accusation Against Dr. Tite," BSTS Newsletter, No. 22, May, pp.4-7, 5-6; Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, pp.56-57; Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.65; Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, pp.10-11; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.186. [return]
16. Dupont, C., 1989, "Radio Courtoisie," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 32/33, September/December, pp.36-37, 36; Dupont, C., 1990, "An interview with Dr. Mike Tite," BSTS Newsletter, No, 25, April/May, pp.2-3; Morgan, R., 1990, "Interview with Dr Michael Tite by Orazio Petrosillo (Rome Journalist) and Professor Emanuela Marinelli, (Rome), 8 September 1989, during the Paris Symposium," Shroud News, No 59, June 1990, pp.3-9, 8. [return]
17. Wilson, 1989, p.186; Wilson, 1991, p.11. [return]
18. Wilson, 1989, pp.6, 186; Wilson, 1991, p.11. [return]
19. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.90. [return]
20. Jensen, M.N., 2005, "Memorial Service for Pioneering Geoscientist," University of Arizona News, 22 April. [return]
21. Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311, 307; Meacham, W., 1986, "Radiocarbon Measurement and the Age of the Turin Shroud: Possibilities and Uncertainties," Proceedings of the Symposium `Turin Shroud - Image of Christ?', Hong Kong, March; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, pp.50-51; Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.114-115; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.135-136; Meacham, W., 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, p.54; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.162. [return]
22. Bowman, S., 1990, "Radiocarbon Dating," Interpreting the Past, British Museum Publications: London, p.62. [return]
23. Wilson, 1998, p.7. [return]
24. Gove, 1996, p.303. [return]
25. Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, p.115. [return]
26. Schwortz, B.M., 2012, "New Photographs of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Samples,", November 21. [return]
27. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.178-179; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.165. [return]
28. Meacham, W., 1986, "Radiocarbon Measurement and the Age of the Turin Shroud: Possibilities and Uncertainties," Proceedings of the Symposium `Turin Shroud - Image of Christ?', Hong Kong, March; Gove, 1996, pp.45-47, 150, 320-321; Wilson, 1998, p.305; de Wesselow, 2012, p.164. [return]
29. Wilson, I., 2000, "`The Turin Shroud - past, present and future', Turin, 2-5 March, 2000 - probably the best-ever Shroud Symposium," BSTS Newsletter, No. 51, June; Meacham, W., 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, p.93. [return]
30. Gove, H.E., 1989, "Letter To The Editor: The Turin Shroud," Archaeometry, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp.235-237; Wilson, I., 1989b, "Recent Publications: Archaeometry," BSTS Newsletter, No. 23, September, pp.14-19, 19; Gove, 1996, pp.245, 229; Wilson, I., 1997, "Recent Publications," BSTS Newsletter, No. 45, June/July; Wilson, 1998, p.185; Wilson, 2010, p.86. [return]
31. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.147. [return]
32. Gove, 1996, p.262) [return]
33. Gove, 1996, p.279) [return]
34. Marino, J.G., 2021, Email "Fw: AUTOPSY Timothy Linick," 27 January, 11:45 pm [return]
35. "Accelerator Mass Spectrometry," CEDAD, University of Salento, Italy, 27 June 2006. [return]
36. Wilson, 1991, p.178; Wilson, 1998, p.192; Wilson, 2010, p.281. [return]
37. Sox, 1988, pp.145-146. [return]

Posted: 9 January 2021. Updated: 8 February 2021.