The 1988 C-14 Dating Of The Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Exposé
This page is for additions, corrections, etc. for the above book. The date in each entry refers to the chronological entry in the book or its appropriate place if it's a new entry.
2008. (New entry.) The late Robert Villarreal of the Los Alamos National Laboratory worked with eight other researchers examining Raes threads supplied by the late Ray Rogers. One of those researchers, Dr. Jon Schoonover, made a PowerPoint presentation in 2009 to the Society for Applied Spectroscopy titled "Spectroscopic Analyses of Fibers from the Shroud of Turin - What Do They Mean?" He concluded "Thread is suspected to be from region of Shroud repair." (Added September 11, 2020.)
1990 (July/August). (New entry.) "Bourcier de Carbon (1990) and Van Haelst (1990) re-worked the the Nature statistical analysis, coming to the same conclusions as those evident in the body of the article: that the spread of the C14 measurements was greater than that allowed by the statistical analysis, the mediaeval mean thereby having no significance. Somewhere there was a variable which the statistical analysis had not taken into account, and which it was important to identify."
Source: Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, Marie-Claire. "THE DATING OF THE SHROUD TO THE MIDDLE AGES: Episodes in a game of technological bluff. British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 29 (September 1991), pp. 2-3. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n29part4.pdf. (Added September 18, 2020.)
1990 (August). (New entry.) "Then Upinsky (1990) made a synthesis of all the known scientific evidence, and showed this to militate strongly in favour of a first century date. He concluded that a mediaeval date [as indicated by C14] was necessarily erroneous, otherwise science could only appear to be at war with itself..."
Source: Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, Marie-Claire. "THE DATING OF THE SHROUD TO THE MIDDLE AGES: Episodes in a game of technological bluff. British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 29 (September 1991), pg. 2. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n29part4.pdf. (Added September 18, 2020.)
1989 (December). (New entry.) It became known that the British Museum statistician (Morven Leese) agreed with the conclusions of the statistical analysis by Belgian chemist Remi Van Haelst. In a letter of December 4th to him, Tite wrote: "However the conclusions reached are essentially the same as ours, namely that the variation among the results of the Shroud was greater than that predicted on the quoted errors." Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, then wrote, "Now it was this very same attestation that had caused Van Haelst and Bourcier de Carbon to conclude that the mean was non-representative. In 1986 Tite had reached an identical conclusion at the end of similar results and specifically abandoned the mean in the case of a Chimu cotton, describing these results as non-significant. Exactly as in the case with the Shroud, with regard to this fabric 'the variation between the samples' was 'higher than expected by the quoted errors'. (Burleigh, Leese and Tite 1986). Why therefore was there this same circumstance in the text of the Nature paper, yet the conclusions inverted?"
Source: Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, Marie-Claire. "THE DATING OF THE SHROUD TO THE MIDDLE AGES: Episodes in a game of technological bluff. British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 29 (September 1991), pg. 3. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n29part4.pdf. (Added September 18, 2020.)
1990 (January). (New entry.) "A response from the carbon dating experts. This appeared in the specialist periodical Radiocarbon without the slightest notice from the media, and without any involvement of the signatories of the Nature paper. The author, Professor Gove from the University of Rochester, made no allusion to the findings of the Paris symposium, yet he seemed to know them well. Similarly absent was reference to any uncertainty in radiocarbon dates, these being presented as always absolute measurements of chronology with Accelerator Mass Spectrometry the best method in the world, just as one might expect from Rochester.
Omitting to address the problems of the non-representative nature of the mediaeval mean, or the value of the entire statistical analysis, Gove instead somewhat characteristically resolved everything by simply falsifying the mean. Pretending, without showing his workings, to determine the mean with an extreme precision (1325 years ± 33 years), he distanced himself from all the objections made and others which went unsaid, not least by ignoring even mention of any statistical calculations. Having thereby disposed of the spread among the dates, he behaved as if issues such as the control samples and the question of their origin should similarly thenceforth be beyond dispute."
Source: Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, Marie-Claire. "THE DATING OF THE SHROUD TO THE MIDDLE AGES: Episodes in a game of technological bluff. British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 29 (September 1991), pp. 3-4. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n29part4.pdf. (Added September 18, 2020.)
2012 (April). (New entry.) Villarreal presented a paper at an international Shroud conference in Valencia, Spain and stated, "The combined evidence from chemistry, cotton content, technology, photography, ultraviolet scans, history, residual lignin, and vanillin should be sufficient to conclude that the radiocarbon sample area was not representative of the main shroud cloth and was a poor choice to date the shroud."
Source: Villarreal, Roberto and Roberta Villarreal. "A NEW LOOK AT THE VALIDITY OF THE
1998 (March). (New entry.) Sudarium of Oviedo scholar Mark Guscin related to me, "(...) (I)n 1985 some samples were taken from the [Oviedo] cloth by an Italian group and after leaving them lying around in open envelopes for the best part of a decade, sent them to be carbon dated without consulting with anyone or even telling anybody. The whole dating affair was a disaster, some people at Tucson claimed the dating had never been carried out, others from the same lab said it had, the sample numbers did not coincide, the Italians [were not totally honest] about where the samples had come from, etc. etc. Full details in my book. I wrote a short report (in Spanish about this, and since then have been on the Italian blacklist (...)."
Source: Email of March 14, 1998 from Mark Guscin to author.
Comments: Any of this sound familiar? A purported relic of Jesus being carbon-dated, questionable actions by Italians, discrepancies in major facts from the lab in Tucson, political machinations and retributions. The book Guscin referred to is titled The History Of The Sudarium Of Oviedo. (Added September 19, 2020.)
1998. (New entry.) Fr.Philippe Dalleur, a Catholic priest who has a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, wrote that it was possible to criticize the final published results for the following reasons:
"*The large discrepancies between the Oxford laboratory and the two others (Zurich Switzerland, and Tucson Arizona which differ by 100 years), as well as the spreading of the confidence range for the experimental results, need to be explained. It is known in statistics that the Significance Level (S.L.) gives the probability of (disagreement) agreement between the various laboratory measurements. In the case of the Shroud, the Significance Level has been estimated at 5% and may arguably be as low as 1.3%, which usually means that the samples in question are non-representative."
"*Protocol definition could have been better. The local sampling in one corner of the Shroud was not very judicious, because it eliminated the possibility of verifying the uniformity of the C14/C12 ratio of the Shroud. If some enrichment in C14 (which makes the linen look "younger") worked in the past, it would scarcely have been spread homogeneously over such a great surface (4.36 x 1.10 m²). My article tries to consider various scientific methods that would not close the door to possible new interpretations."
"*The Shroud has been regarded as a common archaeological artifact. Due to its complicated history, the Shroud is a very special case, because of many possible contamination of C14. It was not a mummy cloth sealed during 2000 years in a sarcophagus, before going to a modern laboratory. The linen has been transferred here and there, often manipulated, exposed to fire and smoke, exhibited and venerated with candles, incense, etc., and it claims a supernatural origin. That is to say: science must analyze it with care and completeness."
1998 (February). (New entry.) Archaeologist William Meacham had a debate with New Zealand C-14 scientist Rodger Sparks. Meacham mentioned the many anomalous dates in the literature. Sparks replied, "We should remember that if radiocarbon dating (or any other technique) is to be really useful we must expect it to produce new knowledge that may well conflict with what was previously thought. The examples of anomalous dates referred to do occur, and as pointed out they are mostly well understood - which means they do not pose a further problem. Sometimes problems do remain and we have to be prepared to either wait for a solution further down the track or start digging deeper to find out what is really going on (...)."
Comments: Hopefully the 800 pages in the book qualifies for "digging deeper." (Added Septembrer 19, 2020.)
2020 (September). Italian physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro [see "1986 (January)" entry above] emailed me on September 22nd saying, "Oxford performed 5 measurements but revealed only 3 dates, as two of them are the average of 2 radiocarbon dates each (2+2+1). It is expected that the merging produced a reduction of the overall data scattering. This is quite a well kept secret, because the original 5 dates weren't disclosed in the raw data given to Casabianca." Casabianca was the lead author of a 2019 peer-reviewed paper titled "Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud: New Evidence from Raw Data." (Added September 22, 2020.) 1990 (March). (New entry.) The late Andre van Cauwenberghe, founder of the French Shroud group C.I.E.L.T. (International Center for the Study of the Shroud of Turin) critiqued the Nature paper published by the labs.
2016 (June). (New entry.) Archaeologist Paul Maloney sent an email explaining why the "Raes' Corner" and that area only was chosen as a sample site and stated,
"1. It had already been cut for examination by Gilbert Raes.
2. To preserve the history of the stitching of the Shroud's repair, one must not take samples from the burn area.
3. Because no one then had considered the possibility of an invisible reweave it was assumed that any sample taken from the Raes Corner would be representative of the whole.
4. Neither Luigi [Gonella] nor I had direct access to the so-called 'blue quad mosaic' at the time which the project of Jean Lorre and Don Lynn of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This 'quad mosaic' shows a distinct difference chemically between the Raes' corner and the main body of the Shroud cloth. It doesn't identify the chemical (or chemicals) that made up that distinction but later micro-analysis by Alan Adler and Ray Rogers would turn some answers to the question. Because of this, the 'blue quad' never played any scientific role in the C14 sample removal decision making.
History helps explain why certain decisions were made in the C14 project."
Source: Email of June 10, 2016 from Paul Maloney to various Shroud researchers. (Added September 24, 2020.)
2003 (September). (New entry.) The late archaeologist Paul Maloney sent me an email commenting on a push by various other researchers at the time to try to get Church authorities to authorize another C-14 test.
Source: Email of September 9, 2003 from Paul Maloney to author.
Comments: Maloney later emailed Sue Benford on July 10, 2008 and commented regarding C-14 dating, "I personally, am comfortable with the technology so long as we can live with the problems of contamination and margins of errors and lack of dating precision (coins and pottery typology are known to be far more accurate and precise). Not everyone will feel that comfortable. I have colleagues and friends among 'Creationists' who believe that C-14 technology simply cannot be relied upon at all." (Added September 24, 2020.)
2015 (November). (New entry.) Maloney sent an email and commented regarding the STURP "Quad Mosaic" photos of the C-14 sample area and said, "(...) Notice the "mottled" appearance of the deep "blue-green" color. I interpret this as evidence that the gum arabic wash did not go on evenly. It seems that Donna Campbell and Pam have also noted similarly this unevenness of application. We know from Ray Rogers' study (and that of Adler's) that the chemical make-up of the wash was aluminum mordant, gum arabic, and madder rose, among them. By comparison with the center portion of the Shroud, this chemistry is largely absent. Also, part of the make up of the chemical coloration is probably contributed to by the many hands that held it during ostensions (exhibitions) during the centuries after 1534 when the repair was done by the Poor Clares. And, for another comparison, please observe the tiny white area that was exposed to view when the small piece was snipped away from the Shroud in 1973 for Dr. Gilbert Raes' textile study. That area was protected from handling over the centuries until the sample was removed. It is this "white" area that has no wash on it at all.
Source: Email of November 12, 2015 from Paul Maloney to various Shroud researchers.
Comments: See also entry for "2016 (June)" for additional remarks by Maloney regarding the quad mosaic photos. (Added September 24, 2020.)
1986 (September-October). (New entry.) An Italian priest/sindonologist wrote an article discussing whether the time was right to radiocarbon the Shroud. It was published about one and one-half years before the sample was taken for dating and has many interesting observations.
Comments: The link is only an excerpt of the article and also does not include the original footnotes. However, it's worth noting that in footnote 9 (pg. 29), with reference to the discussion of the side strip, Fossati wrote, "It should be noted that at the ends of said strip there are two other patches of different cloth." That includes the C-14 sample area.
In that same issue of Collegamento Pro Sindone (pp. 48-49), the late researcher Giorgio Tessiore wrote to a colleague regarding the side strip. He said, "From the reports of the Commission appointed in 1969 by Cardinal Pellegrino it appears in fact that the 'shred' sent to Raes was cut out of the 'Cloth' and was partially covered both by reposted edge and by the patch of different cloth of about 16 cm. in length. Since the 'shred' includes the seam it must be deduced that at least on the side of the front imprint the 'strip' was sewn along the entire length. Probably later they tore so irregularly and the patch was applied covering the previous seam. Indeed the photographs of Raes (exchanged as well you also say) show that some millimeters of cloth are folded under the edge [...]." (Added October 5, 2020.)
1994 (September/October). (New entry.) The late sindonologist Giorgio Tessiore wrote an article explaining some of the technical aspects of the Shroud as a textile and also discussed various repairs the cloth had undergone.
1979 (May). (New entry.) The late Dr. Harry Gove wrote to the late Dr. Robert Dinegar of STURP on May 18 outlining details of the first major proposal to radiocarbon date the Shroud and thus is important historical background to the test performed in 1988.
1978 (Early October). (New entry.) The late Dr. Walter McCrone presented a paper (four pages) to the Turin Congress held right before STURP began their examination on October 8th. Given McCrone's (failed) involvement in the 1988 testing and the fact that the 1978 Proceedings have not been in any great circulation, it's an interesting document to share from an historical point of view.
Source: McCrone, Walter. "A Current Look at Carbon Dating." In La Sindone E La Scienza. II Congresso Internazionale Di Sindonologia, 2nd edition. Turin: Edizione Paoline, 1978, pp. 437-440. (Added October 7, 2020.)
2019 (August). (New entry.) Nuclear engineer Robert Rucker, speaking at a 2019 conference in Ancaster, Ontario CANADA, discussed the AD 1260-1390 dates the labs produced. He had some interesting observations on the labs’ interpretation of the data they used.
Source: Rucker, Robert. “Understanding the 1988 Carbon Dating of the Shroud.” (The print proceedings of the Ancaster, Ontario CANADA conference actually lists the article’s title as “The Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud is Explained by Neutron Absorption.”)
Comments: It’s intriguing that the labs rejected the reviewer Anthos Bray’s suggestion to eliminate their concluding statement, "These results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." I’m not aware of any other case in the peer-reviewed literature where authors ignored the recommendations of a reviewer. If that’s the case, it seems to negate the purpose of having a reviewer! (Added October 7, 2020.)
1989 (November and December). This is a clarification regarding the entry in the book on pages 569-571 related to a reported Shroud C-14 test that had been at the University of Toronto and the University of Arizona. While writing a separate related article, I realized that a clarification is needed in the corresponding section of the book. Adler in his paper said only that the samples given to him by Gonella were sent to two labs, which were not named. I hadn’t consulted the Garza-Valdes book as I did for the article; Garza-Valdes’ book named the labs as the University of Arizona and the University of Toronto. Bracaglia then mentioned in his book (pg. 249) that he had been told in confidence that Adler had sent samples to the University of Toronto. I assumed that the University of Toronto was independent of the two unnamed labs to which that Adler referred and that three labs were involved. Another detail mentioned by Bracaglia made it clear to me that the University of Toronto WAS one of the two unnamed labs (and that Adler hadn’t actually sent it as that sample had been given by Garza-Valdes and Riggi to Gove, who then passed it on to the University of Toronto). Bottom line: only two labs were involved in this episode, not three. (Added October 10, 2020.)
Addendum 2: Regarding the 1982 secret testing that was supposedly done in California, archaeologist William Meacham wrote in his book (The Rape of the Turin Shroud, Lulu.com, 2005, pg. 58: "Later that year I met two of STURP's leading figures, the chemists John Heller and Alan Adler, and spent several hours in discussion with them in a gazebo at John Heller's house in Wilton, Connecticut. Heller took me back the train station that evening, and as we sat waiting for my train back to New York City, he told me in strictest confidence about a secret C-14 run that had already been made on a thread from the Shroud. He said it was done by the Livermore Laboratory in California, and the thread was cut into two segments. One end dated ca. 200 A.D., the other ca. 1000 A.D. He also said that starch had been identified on the thread. He did not know what margin of error there was on the dates, and thought it would be quite wide, as the test was only intended to give a rough idea of what an eventual C-14 date would look like. As it turned out, it gave conflicting indications. (This test in California was later confirmed to me by Adler, who said that he was in fact the one who had arranged it, despite C-14 dating being specifically forbidden in STURP's agreement with the Turin Archdiocese.)" (Added October 14, 2020.)
Addendum 3: McCrone is mentioned quite a bit in the academia.edu article cited above. McCrone made an interesting remark found on the 2007 DVD, "The Case for Christ's Resurrection," (Grizzly Adams Productions). One of the extras on the DVD recounts some of the correspondence between Fr. Rinaldi and McCrone. The narrator said that Fr. Rinaldi asked McCrone to put his findings before art experts. McCrone replied, "The Shroud is not a question for art experts." So McCrone, a scientist who said the Shroud was a piece of art and who also complained that people didn't believe him 1) said that art experts weren't qualified to make a judgment about a piece of art and 2) his own judgment notwithstanding, discounted the most qualified group that could confirm his hypothesis. One can certainly question whether McCrone was more interested in his reputation than in actually finding out the truth about the Shroud. (Added October 15, 2020.)
1990 (April). (New entry.) I came across a copy of letter sent from the late Fr. Adam Otterbein to the late Dorothy Crispino in early spring 1990. This was about 7 months after the Paris Symposium in September 1989. Otterbein was relating to Crispino that he had been watching the video of the events of the sample-taking on April 21, 1988. Here are a few excerpts from the letter.
"I have been viewing them for about three hours a day this week, and I am rather depressed. I want to forget Gonella and Riggi for a few days. Riggi was in the spot light most of the time and seemed to be making most of the decisions. There were a few other men there (as you saw), but I am more convinced than ever, that there should be an International Advisory Committee to supervise and direct further studies and tests. The hours of viewing the tapes continually reminded me of this."
"I am happy to have the tapes for our archives, but the quality of the tapes is very poor i.e. the organization of the scenes. Much of the tapes is useless and meaningless. The cameraman had difficulty in getting a good position and there are long periods when nothing is happening. It was agony to sit through some of the scenes, especially since there was no commentary, or the conversation was not intelligible (and I did not understand the Italian!). But I am happy to have them for the file."
"The long hours of viewing the tapes further convinced me that the probability of new tests in the near future is not very great. To sum up: There is little to be enthusiastic about at this moment [....]"
Source: Letter from Adam Otterbein to Dorothy Crispino, April 6, 1990. Copy in possession of author.
Comments: In my book I mention that one of the discrepancies is how many hours of footage there actually was. It ranges from 10-16, depending on the source. It seems that a simple fact like this should have been black & white but very little in the dating was. It's a shame that even the documentation of the events was, to use a term used by both Gove and Jull to describe the dating, "shoddy." A French sindonologist I know who has seen the video said, "I even believed that the really interesting pars had been censored." (Added October 13, 2020.)
1986 (September-October). When Gove was discussing the planned Turin Workshop meeting (see pages 136-145 in book), had made various remarks, including that Turin had totally ignored conservation for 300 years. I shared the info with the late archaeologist Paul Maloney, who wrote to me, "This is another very good addition to the collection on the history of the C14 dating of the Shroud [...]. [...] I sense that Harry Gove seems to have had some sort of training in debate techniques. His reference to '300 years' at the end of the second paragraph above [in my original email to him] is an example. This is the notorious 'statistical argument' which can garner points if you make your number large enough. This type of argument is well explained by Darrell Huff in his well-written book HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS.
Gove was the powerhouse that drove the debate down a path different from that which STURP originally intended to follow. Gove was only interested in touting the benefits of AMS. He was not a broadly defined scientist. AMS labs are usually peopled by physicists--they have chemists but, in my opinion they seem to take 'second seat' to the physicists. And because (as I mentioned in a previous email) Gove was a 'bull at the gates,' he wore everyone down so that Turin caved in to Gove's pressures. But, in my opinion he did paint Gonella correctly as I have expressed from my own view elsewhere.
Source: Email of February 15, 2016 from Paul Maloney to author.
Comments: Needless to say, the Church authorities should not have allowed Gove to wear the down. (Added October 18, 2020.)
Addendum: In the book, pages 211 and 245, Ballestrero himself spoke of a Gove/Chagas/Canuto coalition. Chagas and Canuto were both part of the Church's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which was heavily involved in the planning for the C-14 test. On page 126, Italian researcher Franco Faia said that Chagas was in Gove's pocket. In an email of June 8, 2013, Maloney emailed me, "[...] I think Vittorio Canuto is 'up-to-his-ears' in collusion. Canuto, in my opinion, is a 'fast talker' but I also got the impression (and an impression only) that he knew much much more than he would admit to me on the phone. But, no doubt about it, he was definitely in Gove's own pocket." So we have two different individuals saying that both Chagas and Canuto were both in Gove's "pocket." Suffice it to say, Gove, despite having his own lab eliminated from the tested, still wielded enormous influence on the dating. (Added October 31, 2020.)
1987 (June). Gove had written a letter to Chagas that was sharply critical of STURP's supposed religious bias (see pages 232-235 in book). I had shared the information with the late archaeologist Paul Maloney. He wrote to me, "All humans have biases. It's in their nature. The things that cause our bias is in each of our Worldviews. Not only does Christianity have a specific worldview, it has become more and more apparent to specialists like anthropological psychologists that each of us had our individual biases. But this includes even scientists like Gove who may be biased with a philosophy called 'scientism.' (See Glenn Sunshine's little pop-written book 'Portals.') And the late Anthony F.C. Wallace called our individual worldviews 'Mazeways.' Gove seems to be implying that because STURP had a Christian Worldview, they were biased while Gove's scientific approach was unbiased! As I mentioned on the phone, Gove was subtly pushing the accelerator--after all, he and two of his colleagues invented it. So he had a stake in publicizing what it could do. His accelerator made him biased. I don't know if Gove is an atheist but many scientists are and their own atheistic views are themselves biased [...]. But Science (not necessarily 'scientism') helps to keep us unbiased. But Gove could not see that point because it was not convenient to his Worldview or his overt goal regarding the Shroud or his covert goal regarding the accelerator.
Source: Email of January 30, 2016 from Paul Maloney to author.
Comments: Although STURP had some members who were Christians, it's a complete exaggeration that the group as a whole had a "Christian Wordview." (Added October 18, 2020.)
1987 (November). This is additional information. Maloney met with Gonella in Rye, NY (see pages 274-276 in book.) Maloney wrote, "I remember during my meeting with Luigi Gonella at the Ryetown Hilton, back on Saturday, Nov. 21, 1987, Luigi was absolutely ADAMANT--he insisted that conservation was an absolute priority and that he wanted to give the labs the very smallest amount of the Shroud for radiocarbon dating that was possible. But he was so secretive he would not even tell me where he thought the sample would come from. I was worried that he would take it from the Rae's Corner (which he did!) but I tried to ward him off from that corner because of the possibility that it might be a repair site. I added my own caution that if he didn't handle the science carefully he would have a scientific and political disaster on his hands!! Later, I met him in Rome (1993) and he was one angry man! He told me he had been duped by the labs and that he could have given even less for their testing! Thus, a 7 mm X 5 mm sample [P2575] --which is tiny by our standards-- is hard to imagine that it could even have been smaller!! I created a 7 mm X 5 mm sample just for my own visual comparison and it is very tiny! I was shocked!"
Source: Email of October 21, 2015 from Paul Maloney to author. (Added October 18, 2020.)
Comments: Maloney added additional information in a previous email of January 26, 2014: "I recall reminding Gonella when we were together at the Rytown Hilton, in Ryetown, New York (Nov. 21, 1987), and especially emphasizing in my "white paper" I sent to him, archbishop Cardinal Ballestrero, and His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, that it was very important that a MINIMUM of three samples be taken from the Shroud for testing. But Gonella went off on a tangent about how he was concerned to protect the conservation of the Shroud. He later told me (after he found out that Arizona had kept a
portion back and (in his words) 'didn't need' the extra sample) in anger that he was upset that they had been dishonest with him. Gonella, the metrologist (!) really did not understand the metrology of C14 testing. Later, when he received his copy of my 'white paper' on the topic, he reacted, not with appreciation, but that I was 'going over his head' to thwart his effort at conservation. It became apparent to me that his definition of "conservation" was strictly about how much cloth to allot to the labs. In the aftermath of the results I could see that he was "penny wise, but pound foolish." If he had taken my advice he would have been careful to evaluate all of the factors in consideration of the upcoming testing--the sample--removal for which took place on April 21, 1988. Sadly, Gonella was so ensconced in his commitment to "conservation" that he could not see the future clearly." (Added October 19, 2020.)
Addendum: Regarding the "white paper" that Maloney referred to in the above paragraph, he wrote to me in an email of June 24, 2014 that he had shown Gonella how a sample could be taken from beneath the patches near the image to establish a "benchmark" from the original Shroud in order to make a scientific comparison with the C-14 samples. Maloney wrote, "However, Luigi deemed it too much complicated and too far 'outside' of the protocol of planning at the 1986 Turin Workshop to be considered as appropriate. Luigi's argument to me was that it would jeopardized the integrity of the sewing and other repairs made by the princes and princesses of the Savoy house. But I believe he misunderstood me because I was suggesting the extractions of individual yarns from beneath the patches that were still in place on the Shroud in 1988, without destroying or modifying those repairs." (Added October 19, 2020.)
2016 (January). (New entry.) When my book was originally a three-part article, I sent part I to the late archaeologist Paul Maloney. He sent a detailed email in response.
Source: Email of January 13, 2016 from Paul Maloney to author. (Added October 19, 2020.)
1985 and 1986. In the book (see pages 74-75), Archaeologist William Meacham, discussed aberrant or "rogue" dates in radiocarbon dating. He wrote to me, "Archaeologists DO NOT LIKE C-14 dates that don't fit their well supported chronology, and often use 'contamination' as a sort of catchall explanation if the date is too young and 'old wood' if too old. These are often really the case, but as I've written many times, such 'rogue dates' are almost never investigated. Sometimes the bad date is not even reported. One case I know of they left it out completely, but I saw it in the lab's annual report. It was admittedly 'modern' so clearly an intrusive material in a Bronze Age context, but still should have been reported."
Source: Email of October 11, 2013 from William Meacham to author. (Added October 19, 2020.)
1991 (September). (New entry.) Claude de Cointet was an associate of Bro. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard of the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth (later XXIst) Century. He made calls to several of the University of Arizona labs scientists that had been involved in the 1988 dating; a transcript was produced.
Source: Transcript of telephone conversations between Claude de Cointet and scientists at the University of Arizona C-14 lab, sent by de Cointet to the author.
Comments: The discrepancies between the accounts of the Arizona representatives as noted in the book (see pages 600-604, for example, in the book) are confirmed here. For example, notice that Donahue claimed that Linick was a full partner in everything that was done, whereas Damon claimed that Linick had very little to do with the Shroud.
Notice too, that after Damon had insisted that Linick had committed suicide, backtracked and said he “possibly committed suicide”—and then immediately flip-flops again and affirmed it.
It’s interesting that Damon confirmed that Linick was involved with computer aspects, given that Australian blogger Stephen Jones has claimed that Linick was involved in computer manipulation of the data. But how would he have been able to affect the results of the other two labs? (Added October 22, 2020.)
Note: Doug Donahue died on September 25, 2020. (Added October 25, 2020.)
1988 (June and July). This is additional information pertaining to the entry on pp. 414-417 of the book. See also pages 423-425. Sox gave an interview on July 24 to BBC Radio Four and said that most people were expecting "nothing less than the real thing" and that "I think a lot of people will have a lot to answer for." This led journalist Andrew Morgan to conclude that Sox, who was in close contact with the Zurich lab, was implying that the dating had shown the Shroud to be a fake.
Source: Morgan, Andrew. "Turin Shroud 'may be fake'." The Times, July 25, 1988, pg. 3.
Comments: Although Sox denied he was the source of the leak, there is no doubt, given his connection with both Zurich and Gove, that he was in a position to get insider information. Dr. Richard Luckett of Cambridge, associated in late August with announcing a leak, claimed his information came from researchers at one of the labs. He said, "It's ridiculous of these people to pretend there weren't any leaks. I had an absolutely marvelous leak from one of the laboratories and it wasn't Oxford." ["Professor Says Age of Holy Shroud Still Secret," Oxford Mail, September 8 1988 (http://svn.dridan.com/sandpit/QA/trecdata/datacollection/ap/ap880908).] (Added October 23, 2020.)
1988 (January). This is additional information for the entry in the book on pg. 286. Dr. Robert Otlet of Harwell, commenting on the decision of Turin to allow only three labs to take part in the dating, said, "I think it's a catastrophe because by making this decision to use only three laboratories, the opportunity is lost to get the most precise result that could have been taken from what is likely to be the once only chance to do this carbon-14 testing." When asked if the results would be in question, Otlet replied, "Yes, I think it will leave it in that state and I think that using just three laboratories must mean that the result will be left in a minimum of 200 years uncertainty and there are going to be many people who say 'well wouldn't it have been better to have homed in and got it more closely than that.' The opportunity is there to do it with certain laboratories and it can't be done with just the three.
Source: BBC Radio 4 "The World this Weekend" transcript, January 17, 1988. (Added October 23, 2020.)
1994 (January). (New entry.) The late Belgian C-14 expert, Marie-Claire van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, wrote, "The statistical calculations in the Burleigh, Leese Tite and Damon et al. papers are in fact very peculiar. Van Haelst, for one, has levelled [sic] criticisms of them without receiving any satisfactory response from their authors. An exhaustive analysis was presented in Rome  by professional statistician Dr. [R.P.] Jouvenroux who showed the calculations to have been artificially developed from unsound mathematical backgrounds in order to arrive at the dates reached. With regard to the Damon et al. work on the Shroud, Dr.Jouvenroux argues that the only conclusion to be drawn is that this was specifically determined within a 'confidence interval' of circa 2000 years. He has written an English version of his paper which he has made available to Professor Tite."
Source: "From Dr. Marie Claire Van Oosterwyck-Gastuche -- Another Contribution to the Radiocarbon Dating Debate." British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 36, (Dec '93/Jan' 94), pp. 11-12 in original, pg. 4 in online link, https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n36part3.pdf. (Added October 24, 2020.)
1989 (January-June). (New entry.) Pope John Paul II's historian Msgr. Victor Saxer wrote in an article (pg. 78 -- see source below) only about one and one half months to about 8 months after the C-14 announcement, "The press release of 13 October 1988 and summary, awaits the publication of the complete and documented reports of the three distinct and independent laboratories, which have examined the samples of the Shroud entrusted to them." He was clearly stating that each lab was to release "complete and documented reports." This is confirmed by the footnote (40) associated with it: An anticipation of these results was published in the scientific journal Nature, vol. 337, 16 February 1989, p. 611-615 [...]."
Source: Saxer, Victor. "La Sindone Di Torino E La Storia." Rivista Di Storia Della Chiesa in Italia. (XLIII, no. 1 January-June 1989, pp. 50-79).
Comments: The questions needs to be asked:
1) Why did the Nature paper end up being the "final" report?
2) Why was the plan for each lab to publish the "complete and documented reports"
3) Why did it take a Freedom of Information Act request in 2017 to get the raw data to be released
when it is normal in a scientific experiment to release it right away? (Added October 26, 2020.)
Addendum: Gove himself conceded there were problems with the procedures. In an article in the Chicago Tribune titled "Carbon tests prove shroud is not burial cloth of Jesus" (pg. 8), Gove was quoted, "The piece that was removed from the shroud was divided among the three labs, and that piece came from one specific spot in the shroud. If there were some reason why the carbon-14 content in that particular piece was contaminated, it's inaccurate. All of the labs used the same cleaning technique, and if there's some kind of contaminant that was not taken care of, it would give the same answer to all three labs, and all three would be wrong." One of the STURP team members was quoted in a Washington Times religion section article of January 20, 1989 titled "Scientists challenge Shroud studies:" The article stated, "According to photographic and chemical tests, the area of the Shroud from which the test sample was taken showed 'discoloration due to contamination' said Samuel Pellicori, an optical physicist from California and member of the Shroud research team in 1978. If the contamination was deep and substantial enough to cause an inaccurate dating by carbon-testing methods, he said, the question is 'How much new material do you need there to make the date 1400 when it might have been earlier'?" Author Ian Wilson was also quoted in the article. He noted that the AMS technology used on the Shroud was relatively new at the time and was still in competition with the established proportional-counter method (which even Gove believed should have been used along with AMS). Wilson said, "Few realize that instead of being totally dispassionate scientific institutions, the AMS laboratories are involved in an all-out war with their competitors." The late Rev. Kim Dreisbach was quoted in the October 24, 1988 issue of U.S. News & World Report (pg. 14), "Before it's all over, the accuracy of C-14 dating, rather than the authenticity of the shroud, will be called into question." (Added October 31, 2020.)
1987 (October). (New entry.) Gove sent a letter to Chagas on the 27th regarding the changes made by Ballestrero after the Turin Workshop of September-October 1986, saying that they were detrimental to the project. The letter included a draft letter to the Pope.
Source: Letter of October 27, 1987 from Harry Gove to Carlos Chagas, of which author has copy. (Added October 26, 2020)
1989 (September). (New entry.) Various newspapers around the world reported on the Symposium held in Paris. The late French historian Antoine LeGrand said, "If the scientific world had accepted the shroud as a medieval fake this symposium wouldn't be happening." Belgian textile expert the late Marie-Claire Van Oosterwyck criticized the way the tests had been carried out. "It's the certainty with which they announced their conclusions that we find shocking" she said. Few people here think their research is as reliable as they've made out. French scientist Jacques Evin, who acknowledged (pg. 568 in the book) that the labs did not consider seriously enough the possibility of a reweave, also was open to the idea that "In the event of the Resurrection of Christ, would there have been a sufficient burst of light to alter the process of carbon decay?"
Source: McDowell, Patrick. "Shroud-dating results questioned at symposium." Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), September 10, 1989 and "Scientists will try to prove Shroud of Turin not a fraud." Catholic Star Herald (Camden, NJ), September 15, 1989.
Comments: These quotes underscore how problematic the Shroud C-14 dating was. (Added October 31, 2020.)
1997. (New entry.) The late archaeologist Maria-Grazia Siliato stated in her book, "In October 1976, Riccardo Gervasio had published a meticulous study on the restorations and repairs undergone by the Shroud. He too had found in the upper corners inlays of fabric with reinforced seams in overlock, from medieval times, to support and partially patch the original which had literally frayed during centuries at the edge [...].
[...] In 1978, RW Mottern, RJ London and RA Morris had carried out radiographic examinations of this part: they had seen that the homogeneity of the cloth presented considerable disparities, parts of "low density" that is to say, frayed and deteriorated, neighboring with others, of a 'high density'that is to say, heavily restored: the discovery was published in [a] scientific journal [...].
The visible memory of numerous repairs, the very obvious discrepancies in weight, rightly suggest that the fragments used for carbon-14 dating of the shroud by the three laboratories are all loaded, in very variable proportions, with textile materials foreign and indeterminate [...]."
Source: Siliato, Maria-Grazia. Contre Enquete Sur Le Saint Suaire. Paris: France Loisirs, 1997, pp. 40-41. (Added November 12, 2020.)
2002. (New entry.) The late Italian textile expert Piero Vercelli wrote, "The sample examined appears to have been manipulated in the most frayed area where the threads have thinned out by sliding over the wefts."
Source: Vercelli, Piero. "The Cloth of the Holy Shroud: A Technical Product Analysis of the Cloth and its Reproduction with Similar Characteristics." In The Turin Shroud: Past Present and Future. Proceedings of International Scientific Symposium, March 2-5, 2000, Turin, Italy. Silvano Scannerini, Piero Savarino, ed. Published jointly by Sindon and Effata Editrice in Turin. (Added November 12, 2020.)
1984. This is additional information regarding the Test Proposal package STURP had proposed, which was mentioned in various pages in the book. On pages 32-32 in their "CONSERVATION ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN - A" is an interesting section titled "Old Mends," which is reproduced here (but without footnote references): "4) Old mends. X-ray examination of the old repairs indicates that, while the repair as a whole seems to be serving its purpose, there are many areas in which patches appear to be pulling away and might be causing damage at the present time. Some of the repairs are crude and may not be needed. Since the twist direction and number of twists per unit of length of the mending threads are not known, it is not possible to gage [sic] if the forces of expansion and contraction from relative humidity are pulling adversely between patches, mending threads, and the Shroud linen itself. Twist will also play a role along with weave when considering purely mechanical movement. Transverse compression, longitudinal extension and compression, torsion, bending, and frictional restraint are a few types of fiber deformation. With x-ray 'alone it is not possible to determine these relationships, nor can the areas of extreme pyrolysis be directly observed. Therefore, any attempt to evaluate the virtues or dangers of old repairs can be made only from direct observation. Again, a stereomicroscope is needed to undertake this examination. This effort will be coordinated with Jackson et al."
Comments: This was another important indication that there was an awareness that the Shroud had undergone various repairs and that the selection site should have been better scrutinized. (Added November 12, 2020.)