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. 7-15, on page 10. 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..."
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), pp. 7-15, on page 11. 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. 7-15, on page 12. 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 September 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 [Moon] 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. Donna Campbell is a textile expert from Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen, Ltd. Pam Moon is an English researcher. See entry under "2016" regarding a report written by Donna Campbell. (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 a translated excerpt of the article. 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.)
An apparently-complete and better-translated version of the article, which first appeared in Studi Cattolici Number 300, February 1986, is accessible at https://shroud.com/pdfs/sn036Aug86.pdf. (Added February 16, 2021.)
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 Prof. 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; and mainly discussed the mysterious death in 1989 of one of the Arizona scientists, Dr. Timothy Linick, whose autopsy was obtained via the state of Arizona.
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. 6-12, on 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.)
2015. (New entry.) Italian researcher Giulio Fanti (and co-author Pierandrea Malfi) published a book
and listed the following summary about the C-14 dating:
(1) Results obtained are not statistically reliable because of incorrect data evaluation.
(2) Environmental bias that could have altered the results even of thousands of years has not been taken
(3) Historical events, especially in the first millennium, that could have influenced the Shroud, as far as environmental conditions are concerned, are not known. For example, the thymol exposition has perhaps influenced the chemical conditions of the fabric cellulose; who can exclude that during the earliest centuries the relic had been conserved in an aggressive environment like that with thymol of 1988, with the purpose of better conserving the Holy Linen?
(4) The little piece of fabric taken from a corner of the Shroud is not representative of the whole sheet in terms of dating.
(5) Not all the fundamental hypotheses of the radiocarbon dating method are verified; condition number 3 stating that there must be no environmental contamination is not verifiable.
(6) Condition number 4 regarding the sample representativeness is not verified.
(7) The deviation of the obtained result can also be caused by an environmental effect linked to the body image formation. The body image formation process is not yet clear, but it would seem related to an intense burst of energy.
(8) Since the process described in point 7 is not yet known to science, one needs to wait for clarifying the phenomenon itself before repeating a further radiocarbon dating test on the Shroud.
(9) The radiocarbon average date obtained by the 1988 test, of 1325 AD., can be temporarily acceptable, provided that an uncertainty of some millenniums will be assigned instead of the ±65 years declared in the report published in Nature.
(10) It is necessary to proceed with alternative dating methods, and this is will be the subject of Chapters 6 and 7.
Source: Fanti, Giulio and Pierandrea Malfi. The Shroud of Turin: First Century After Christ. Singapore:
Pan Stanford Publishing Pte Ltd, 2015, pp. 160-161. (Added December 11, 2020).
Comments: Fanti was primary or secondary author of three papers published, two in 2015 and one in 2017, regarding alternative ways of dating the Shroud. According to Fanti, the combined date range of the three tests described come to 90 AD plus/minus 200 years at 95% confidence level. The three papers are:
Fanti G. and R. Basso. “Mechanical Characterization of Linen Fibers: The Turin Shroud Dating,”
International Journal of Reliability, Quality and Safety Engineering, 2017, Vol. 24, No. 2 1750006.
KEY FIGURES (Additions per this web page) (New entry.)
Fanti, Giulio. Italian engineer and sindonologist. Published significant book in 2015 (revised and updated in 2020) listing problems with the C-14 dating and proposed several new alternative dating methods. (Added December 11, 2020).
PREFACE (PP. XII-XIV) (New entry.)
(Re: Groups/Individuals involved in the C-14 dating process.)
10.) Fondazione 3M in Milan, headed by the late Prof. Giovanni Riggi di Numana, which has conserved many samples taken from the Shroud in 1988, including the C-14 sample area.
11.) Dr. Leoncio Garza Valdes, given a piece of fabric next to the C-14 sample by Riggi di Numana and submitted it to several labs for an additional C-14 test.
(Added December 11, 2020.)
1979 (July-Oct). (New entry.) A report was made to STURP at meeting they held in Los Alamos, New Mexico on October 14, 1979 regarding a prospective C-14 test.
Comments: The report, dated July 15, 1979, was authored by Robert H. Dinegar, Raymond N. Rogers and H. David Sox. I checked with Dr. John Jackson, who indicated a copy was sent to the late Prof. Luigi Gonella, scientific advisor to the late Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, archbishop of Turin. (Added January 8, 2021.)
Source: Sox, David. “Bringing the Shroud to the Test” by David Sox, in Face to Face With the Turin Shroud, Peter Jennings, ed. (Oxford: Mayhew-McCrimmon, Ltd), 1978, pp. 41-56, excerpts taken from pp. 45-55.
Comments: I found this incredibly startling: "When interviewed by The Sunday Times as part of a “Spectrum” article “Is this the face of Jesus?” published on 10, April 1977, Monsignor Pietro Caramello, the custodian of the Royal Chapel, said that no pieces were ever cut from the relic, “and we exclude ever doing so”. In a letter to the editor, published the following Sunday, I not only gave the pages (79-83) and photograph references to these samples in the Turin Commission Report (over which Monsignor Caramello presided) but also indicated that I had seen them in Ghent and that the Shroud's legal owner, ex-King Umberto II, had expressed a keen interest in the possible testing when I had been with him in Portugal the previous week […]." The custodian of the Chapel where the Shroud was housed and the person who oversaw the Turin Commission Report that documented analysis of threads taken from the Shroud, claimed that no pieces were cut from the Shroud and never would be!! (Added January 10, 2021.)
1989 (September). (New Entry.) The book (pp. 548-552) documents an interview of Tite by Petrosillo and Marinelli during the Paris symposium, based on an audiotape and published in an Italian Shroud periodical. This interview in Shroud News has some material from the audiotape not found in the Italian periodical, but it should be noted that the Shroud News transcription is not complete, as some sentences of minor importance or repetitive were not transcripted."
Comments: When Petrosillo said that it was claimed that the labs had been in contact with one another, Tite said, "There was no point in contact. There was nothing to compare. They'd do the work alone and then send it off to me. My concern was have you finished yet but that was all. "I'm sure nobody communicated anything between the laboratories." Really? The labs had nothing to compare? Might there have been some important data--I don't know--maybe like the test results--that they might have wanted to compare to see how similar on non-similar they were? And he didn't sound overly confident when he said "I'm sure nobody communicated anything between the laboratories." In fact, he had a different take in a talk to a group in London eight months previously (see pg. 491 in the book): "After categorically denying it at first, Tite admitted that there had probably been leaks contrary to the agreement." The book also presents other evidence throughout that the labs had consulted with each other. (Added January 13, 2021; clarification added January 19, 2021.)
1976. (New entry.) In 1969 and 1973, a group known as the Turin Commission, mostly Italians, had performed some testing on the Shroud. In 1976, an English translation of the final report was published. Two quotes are worth noting: "Dr. Libby, the inventor and first exponent of the method under consideration and certainly one of the most competent to judge it, ends his account like this: 'The problem of the absolute validity of the radiocarbon method is still under discussion' and he adds: 'Only with the passing of time, the accumulation of data and the critical analysis of the results obtained, will [it] be possible to give a definite reply'. More recently, E.I. Hamilton in his treatise, 'Applied Geochronology', on page 43 of chapter 3, entirely given to the radiocarbon method, has this to say: 'However, there are many radiocarbon datings that are not in agreement [underline in original] with historical ages and caution is needed in interpreting results'. (Academic Press. London & New York. 1965)."
Source: Codegone, Cesare. "Concerning the Dating of Ancient Fabrics By Means of Radioactive Isotopes," in Report of Turin Commission on the Holy Shroud. Translated from the Italian by Maria Jepps et al. Page 36 of both the Italian and English translation.
Comments: The English translation distribution of the report was limited but I have a copy of it. It is this Commission that Meacham refers to in some of his comments found in the book on page 443. Although it must be acknowledged that both quotes were made several decades before the Shroud C-14 dating, it's also important to remember that the test was never considered not without potential pitfalls from the very outset. (Added January 14, 2021.)
Source: McCrone, Walter C. Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud. (Amherst, NY: Promethus Books,) 1999, pp. 263-273.
Comments: As with all the advice given to Cardinal Ballestrero and Prof. Gonella, all of the advice given was just ignored. Additional comments by Jackson can be found in an article written not long before time of the communication to Saldarini: "The Radiocarbon Date and How the Image Was Formed on the Shroud." Shroud Spectrum International, September/December 1988, Issue #28/29, pp. 2-12. (Added January 17, 2021.)
1988 (February). (New entry.) The book mentions the late archaeologist Paul Maloney's "white paper" that was sent to the late Prof. Luigi Gonella, advisor to the late Cardinal Ballestrero shortly before the sample-taking in April 1988. Maloney wrote (pp. 273-274): "[...]I conducted a series of technical phone interviews around the world with leading specialists in the field of radiocarbon dating and from that series I developed a ‘white paper’ which summarized the collection of data. On March 22, 1988, nearly a month before the April 21 sample removal session, I sent a copy of this paper to Pope John Paul II (actually to his then secretary, Cardinal Cassaroli) via his Papal Nuncio, Cardinal Pio Laghi in Washington, D.C.in a diplomatic pouch. I sent a second copy to His Eminence Anastasio Cardinal Ballestrero, and one to Gonella himself urging the need for convening a new Turin Workshop wherein specialists could analyze the fresh data [...]. The document found here is a draft of that paper dated February 2, 1988.
Source: Maloney, Paul. "The Carbon 14 Protocol." Draft of private document sent to the scientific advisor to the Cardinal of Turin.
Comments: The draft document consists of a handwritten cover letter (it was sent to the late Rev. Albert (Kim) Dreisbach, Jr.), a one-page typewritten introduction, 15 pages of typewritten text, and two pages of a hand-written bibliography. Despite the fact that it's not the final version, it's an extremely important historical document and indicates how much valuable advice was ignored by Church authorities. Thanks to Giorgio Bracaglia of the Holy Shroud Guild for furnishing this document. (Added January 18, 2021.)
1988 (December). (New entry.) Archaeologist William Meacham sent about two months after the C-14 dating results announcement to Prof. Luigi Gonella a protocol for additional testing because of the many questions that were raised about the test.
Comments: There are those who would disagree with two statements in his “SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS” section: that the sidestrip was added after the initial manufacture and that a medieval restoration is unlikely. As I've mentioned in various other comments throughout, this is yet one more instance of Vatican and Church authorities ignoring valuable advice by qualified people. (Added January 19, 2021.)
2014 (September). (New entry.) On Dan Porter's Shroud blog, Porter wrote, "Hugh Farey writes in another thread, 'A Report on the Bari Conference' 'Bishop Marcello Sanchez Sorondo, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences emailed me with these words:' 'The opinion of the PAS is that in order to do something scientific, another test should be carried out but since the institutions that carry out these tests are rather anticlerical, the PAS currently thinks that it would be not be prudent to reopen the matter until other scientific identification systems are devised'."
Source: Porter, Dan. "A Reason to NOT DO More Scientific Testing on the Shroud." Posting on September 11, 2014 to https://shroudstory.com. I have copy of printout.
Comments: As was clearly shown in the book, the Church made a huge error in letting Gove et al. dominate the proceedings and also to have STURP eliminated not only from the C-14 test but all multi-disciplinary testing. While STURP was clearly not a group of religious fanatics like Gove painted them out to be, they certainly weren't anticlerical and also clearly knew the most about the Shroud of any group in the world. (Added February 6, 2021.)
2000 (October 7). (New entry.) An Italian journalist Msgr. asked (later Cardinal) Giovanni Saldarini about his position on the 1988 testing of the Shroud.
Eminence, what importance do you attach to the carbon 14 testing of the Shroud? And what is your position with regard to the continual "discoveries", and they are not the last, for example, the presence of traces of feminine DNA on the cloth of the Holy Shroud?
A test of the age of the cloth of the Shroud by the carbon 14 method was called for on several occasions by scientists the world over and, after mature reflection, the Holy See agreed to this demand. The preparation was well conducted, in meetings between specialists, delegates of the Pontifical Academy of sciences and delegates of the Pontifical Custodian, who at that time was Cardinal Ballestrero. After designating three particularly well qualified laboratories for the test, once the sample of the cloth had been taken and the samples handed to the laboratories, the ecclesiastical authorities withdrew from the procedure for it was no longer within their competence.
Unfortunately, some of the Church's desires, presented as conditions and accepted by the laboratories, were not subsequently satisfied: in particular concerning the secrecy of the experimentation and the communication of the results. The Custodian, however, judged that the substance of the performance was acceptable and, with the Holy See's agreement, he published the results that had been communicated to him. Concerning the results, this is the usual judgement adhered to in the matter of scientific conclusions: when the results have been reached without prejudice and in accordance with a correct procedure, they are accorded a legitimate confidence whilst awaiting further progress which will enable the results to be verified, by confirming or correcting them. Since then, controversies have arisen from which the religious authorities have kept their distance, whilst recommending the specialists in the discipline to remain open to elements capable of pointing towards an eventual verification.
The supposed "discoveries" which have been made since, insofar as they present any interest, remain problematic, as does the sampling of the Shroud on which the analyses were made. In fact,
as was said in a declaration published in a recent press conference, no new samples have been taken since 1988. How can one be sure that the work was done on the Shroud? As for the DNA analyses, they were made on tiny samples extracted, with permission, in 1978. The presence of feminine DNA was discounted and does not constitute a significant discovery. The presumed DNA on a cloth handled in the course of its history by countless people presents no more than a cross referencing of this history. We know, for example, that the Shroud was entrusted to the Poor Clares of Chambery for two weeks in 1534 for repairs to the damage caused by the fire of 1532. But there is a long way to go before being able to isolate the DNA of the Crucified who was laid in this cloth.
Source: Sormani, Aberto. [Interview of Msgr. Giovanni Saldarini.] Avvenire, October 7, 2000. Reproduced in Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, December 1995, pg. 19.
Comments: Saldarini appeared to question whether the sample used in the 1988 dating was from the original Shroud. (Added February 12, 2021.)
1992 (November 1). (New entry.) An Italian newspaper published an article that made an accusation that the C-14 labs gave false results.
"An 'anti-Catholic masonic plot' seems to be at the bottom of the manipulations done to the tests to prove the authenticity of the Shroud. The thesis is by the Jesuit, Werner Buist, who upholds it in his book recently published in Germany, and it is confirmed by the Italian Jesuit, Fr. Domenico Chianella, one of Italy's leading sindonologists. "Father Buist is a scientist and knows what he is talking about-writes the Italian Jesuit who has been occupied with the Holy Shroud since 1975 - and there is truth in his thesis. It is enough to reflect on the contradictions in the scientific analyses undertaken. Furthermore, those who carried out these analyses and those who have been concerned with them have not been straightforward. It must be added thatthose who applied the carbon 14 test deceived the good faith of Cardinal Ballestrero, at that time Archbishop of Turin."
"The mystery surrounding the Church's greatest relic is thickening. If the analyses undertaken yield the conclusion that the Shroud is a hoax, then it is because "somebody manipulated the samples of the cloth, explains Fr. Chianella. The third piece of cloth was in fact brought in on the very morning of the carbon 14 testing, and it was none other than a piece from a priest's cope dating from the year 1200. The analyses of the tests done in 1988 have still not been published in the prestigious international review "Radiocarbon". All that has appeared so far has been a brief note, giving no specifications of the methodology used for the operation."
"Will there be further analyses of the sacred relic to ascertain its dating? "It stands to reason that more tests will have to be done, states the Jesuit, because the tests carried out so far have
not been properly conducted. Those who did the testing cheated. However, before proceeding with further scientific tests, it will be necessary to check the condition of the cloth, which is cause
for major concern."
"The Shroud is deteriorating, the Jesuit added, so much so that every time the Holy Shroud is unfolded, tiny flakes of blood peel off. Furthermore, exposure to artificial light has helped to wear it away. A team of scientists is examining every possible effective method for preserving this, the most important piece of historical evidence in history".
"All the last Popes, Fr. Chianella concluded, from Pius XI who studied the Shroud, to John Paul II, who twice visited it in Turin, have believed in its authenticity and have exhorted believers and non believers alike not to depreciate this sign of Christ's historical existence".
"The archeologist, Maria Grazia Siliato, who organised the exposition, has produced evidence from recent research of other incongruities in the C 14 tests, proving them to be unacceptable."
Source: "They are even plotting against the Holy Shroud." Il Giornale, November 1, 1992. Reproduced in Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, October 1992, no. 251, pp. 19-20. (Added February 12, 2021.)
1991 (October). (New entry.) Professor Claude Tricot of the Ecole Polytechnique Department of Applied Mathematics sent a letter to Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century indicating his belief that there were three major faults with the report of the results by the C-14 labs.
Comments: See the section "The Carbon 14 affair." (Added February 12, 2021.)
1990 (April 23-24). (New entry.) French monk Br. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard proposed to the assembly at the Cagliari, Italy Congress a motion to make three resolutions to Church authorities. Italian medical Dr. Baima Bollone, a member of the Turin Centro, made some amendments and they were published in the Italian newspaper Settimanale cattolico diocesano on May 6, 1990. According to the motion, "the Congress members turned towards the Holy See, the owner of the Shroud, to the pontifical custodian of the Shroud and to the international scientific community to formulate the following requests:"
"1. That Signore Giovanni Ricci (Sic) [should be "Riggi"], hitherto in possession of the Shroud sample removed on 21 April 1988 and not used in the carbon 14 dating operation, be requested to restore it to the Custodian. Also required to be known is the exact weight and size of the remaining piece in its entirety."
"2. That the laboratories of Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, which conducted the carbon 14 dating operation, be requested to publish the protocols of their separate procedures, accompanies by all the direct data in their possession relative to the samples treated by them."
"3. That the competent authorities be requested that in future all direct research on the Shroud be co-ordinated not by private individuals but by a committee of scientists and experts representing all the different sciences interested in Shroud research and chosen on the strength of their specific qualification."
Source: Bonnet-Eymard, Bro. Bruno. "Sindonological Congress of Cagliari--Our Motion Meets with General Agreement." The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, June 1990, No. 230, pp. 7-8.
Comments: This text was unanimously approved, but it has borne no fruit. (Added February 13, 2021.)
1981. (New entry.) French C-14 scientist Jacques Evin wrote, "It is up to us professionals in dating processes to moderate the ardour of those who will use our results and of those who put too much belief in our figure whilst ignoring or forgetting their limitations."
Source: Evin, Jacques. "Principe de la datation par le radiocarbone," in Actes du Colloque de l'universite de Dijon, 1981, pg. 24. As cited in "Facing the Truth." The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, August-September 1986, pg. 26.
Comments: As shown in the book, while Evin did express some reservations about there being too much confidence in the results, he also had felt by 1988 that they would be accurate. But he then also turned around in 1989 and admitted at the Paris symposium: “I quite agree that the labs did
not take the weaving techniques into account and they did not date the threads per se […]. Thus, if the weave was rewoven with threads from modern restoration, this would be reflected in more modern results.” Given his flip flops, I find it hard to give any weight to his confidence that the dating was accurate. (Added February 13, 2021.)
1955 (June 26). (New entry.) Salesian priest Fr. Luigi Fossati wrote in the mid-1950s, "Concerning the eventual experiments which fittingly will be conducted on the Shroud to act as a check on the inevitable errors of the radio carbon procedure." Interference with the Shroud as follows:
1. Carbonized sections of cloth consequent on the fire at Chambery (1532)
2. The fabric onto which the Shroud is now stitched and the repairs done by the Poor Clare
3. Tiny traces of a second fire not recorded historically.
4. Mending done by the Blessed Sebastian Volfre (1694)
5. Additionally, two other patches of unknown date."
Source: Fossati, Fr. Luigi. "Radio Carbon Analysis for the Shroud of Turin." L'Osservatore Romano, June 26, 1955 as cited by Fossati, Fr. Luigi. "Limits of the Radiocarbon Analysis Carried Out on the Holy Shroud." Shroud News, April 1989, no. 52, pg.10. https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/sn052Apr89.pdf.
Comments: Fr. Fossati was very prescient regarding both inherent problems in the C-14 method and the idea that repairs might affect the results. As was shown in the book, (pg. 697), archaeologist Maria Grazia-Siliato recounted numerous types of repairs to the degree that even Fr. Fossati underestimated how many had been done throughout the Shroud's history. (Added February 14, 2021.)
1981. (New entry.) It was stated in a journal article regarding C-14: ""Why do geologists and archeologists [sic] still spend their scarce money on costly radiocarbon determinations? They do so because occasional dates appear to be useful. While the method cannot be counted on to give good, unequivocal results, the number do impress people, and save them the trouble of thinking excessively. Expressed in what look like precise calendar years, figures seem somehow better. 'Absolute' dates determined by a laboratory carry a lot of weight, and are extremely helpful in bolstering weak arguments. No matter how 'useful' it is, though the radiocarbon method is still not capable of yielding accurate and reliable results" [underline in original]. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates. This whole bless[ed] thing is nothing but 13th-century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny paper you read."
Source: Lee, Robert E. "Radiocarbon: ages in error." Anthropological Journal of Canada, vol. 19(3), 1981, pp. 9-29. As cited in Vandry, William. Armor of God: Science History Archeology [sic]. Kindle edition, 2020, pp. 174-175.
Comments: I had assumed the Lee quote was made close to the publication date of 1981 but it was apparently made some decades earlier. But it seems that much of what is said in the quote is still pertinent to the 1988 Shroud dating. (Added February 14, 2021.) (Comment revised February 15, 2021.
2008. (Correction.). On page 688 of the book, one of the URLs mentioned in the comments, greatshroudofturinfaq.com, is no longer valid. The quote, however, can be found at another URL: https://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/shroud.html. (Added February 15, 2021.)
2000 (March). (New entry.) Gonella discussed his involvement in the C-14 dating process. There were two important takeaways. 1.) He confirmed that he gave in 1989 to Dr. Alan Adler some leftover threads from the C-14 sample as mentioned in the book on pp. 569-571. Those threads were used for a "secret" C-14 test. 2.) He criticized those who were trying to come with explanations on why the dating had been wrong.
Source: Gonella. Luigi. ["Discussant’s Contribution."] (Section category was “Are The Radiocarbon Results On The Shroud Conclusive Evidence Of Its Medieval Date?” in The Turin Shroud: past, present and future. International Scientific Symposium—Turin, 2-5 March 2000. (Turin: Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia and Effata Editrice.) Silvano Scannerini and Piero Savarino, editors, pp. 507-513.
Regarding Gonella's criticism of those who were trying to come with explanations of why the C-14 dating was wrong, it's puzzling why he had issues with it given all the critical comments he made about the C-14 labs and their behavior. (Added February 18, 2021.)
2000 (March). (New entry.) At the same important symposium in Turin in which Gonella gave a paper per the entry above, Meacham wrote in the introduction to his paper, "In this article I will comment on selected aspects of the debate which strike me as particularly meaningful or problematic, and which merit attention in the future."
Source: Meacham, William. "Thoughts on the Shroud 14C Debate" in The Turin Shroud: past, present and future. International Scientific Symposium—Turin, 2-5 March 2000. Turin: Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia and Effata Editrice. Silvano Scannerini and Piero Savarino, editors, pp. 441-454. (Added February 18, 2021.)
2012. (June 30-July 1). (New entry.) STURP documenting photographer Barrie Schwortz gave a presentation on the 1988 dating at a conference in Panama with 45 PowerPoint slides.
2001. (New entry.) Belgian chemist Remi Van Haelst obtained a rare photograph of the samples tested in 1988 by the Oxford lab.
2011 (July). (New entry.) Van Haelst wrote an article using analysis that combines the Internal and External measured variability into one variability statistic and in this way produces an independent statistical measure of the overall variability of one laboratory’s experimental results.
1994 (October). An Italian journalist interviewed the late Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini. (New entry.)
Petrosillo: "The Vatican's 'Minister of Health,' Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, judges the medieval dating of the Holy Shroud "not conclusive" In 1978, you organized a Seminar on Medicine and Ethics entirely dedicated to the Holy Shroud. What were the conclusions of that conference?
Angelini: "As for the 'medieval' dating given by the Carbon-14 tests, I limit myself to two observations. First, the result cannot be considered conclusive, given the immense complexity of the problem, until ulterior verifications and controls are performed. Second, I insist on a completely interdisciplinary scientific approach to determine the Shroud's legitimacy. The hypothesis of the Turin Shroud's inauthenticity remains on much shakier grounds than the hypothesis of its authenticity."
Petrosillo: In your view, what Is the prevailing attitude towards the Turin Shroud today? Is It a
silent but eloquent witness to the passion, death and resurrection of Christ? Or only an interesting icon?
Angelini: We cannot say that the Shroud has been "mute," considering the history of piety and devotion surrounding the extraordinary relic. If by "icon" we imply merely an image for devotional purposes, then the term is a gross simplification. Theology and liturgy view icons in a completely different way. To speak of a "prevailing attitude" is to approach the issue from the wrong direction. A relic of such religious and scientific value calls for ever-vigilant and meticulous study. From the first photographs taken by Secondo Pia in 1898 until today, research on the Shroud of Turin has advanced along a path of increasingly eloquent testimony of Our Lord's experience on earth — until His moment of reunification with God the Father in heaven.
1989 (May). At a Shroud conference held in Bologna, Italy, the archbishop of that city, the late Cardinal Biffi, addressed the assembly saying there was contradictory evidence regarding the 1988 dating.
Source: Biffi, Giacomo. "The Research Must Continue." 30 Days in the Church and in the World, June 1989, 2(6):28-29. (Added February 22, 2021.)
1985 (July 2). (New entry.) The British Society for the Turin Shroud presented their proposals for testing on the Shroud.
2008 (February 29). (New entry.) Various members of the Turin Centro gave talks in the diocese of Novara: " [...] namely: Giuseppe Ghiberti, Gian Maria Zaccone, Bruno Barberis,
Pierluigi Baima Bollone, Doctor Alessandro La Capria of Novara hosted all the meetings. Of all the conferences on the Shroud, the one held in Novara on 29th February in the Auditorium of the Banca Popolare of Novara played the fundamental role of providing an up-to-date report on the dating of the Shroud cloth. Barberis, Zaccone, and Ghiberti took part from Turin. Gian Maria Zaccone spoke about the approach to be used towards research on the Shroud and the values that emerge from the Shroud cloth, bearing always in mind the important speech by Pope John Paul II in Turin (24th May 1998). Bruno Barberis focused attention on the various interdisciplinary approaches of scientific nature with regard to the linen cloth of the Shroud. He pointed out how the most important contributions resulted in particular from the data collected by the international research team STURP - Shroud of Turin Research Project - in 1978. Their results were as a whole consistent with an ancient date of the Shroud but they are in evident contrast with the result of the radiocarbon dating that indicated a mediaeval period of 1260·1390 A.D. This result was disputed by various scientific studies presented at international meetings on sindonology and much criticism was leveled at how the operation was conducted,which today is reckoned to have been managed in a way not consistent with the important and peculiar nature of the object to be tested."
"Don Giuseppe Ghiberti pointed out the aspects of compatibility between the Gospel stories and the Shroud reality."
Source: "Novara - Passion 2008 -- The Holy Shroud of Turin and the Mystery that has yet to be Revealed -- Twenty Years After the Radiocarbon Dating." Sindone News, February 2008, No. 43, pp. 2-3. (Added March 2, 2021.)
1985 (July). (Correction.). On page 59 of the book, the year listed under Canuto's name is 1988. It should be "1985."
2008 (August 16). (New entry.) At the The Shroud of Turin:Perspectives On A Multifaceted Enigma International Conference sponsored by the Shroud Science Group, Giulio Fanti, in a discussion about the 1988 dating, discussed some of many problems that occurred in the 1988 dating and called for a new test.
1990 (April). (New entry.) A German theoretical physicist, analyzing the conclusions of the Nature report, wrote: "It is also worth to consider that in many cases, the radiocarbon method is the only one (up to now), by which the age of a piece can be determined. In these cases the accuracy of the result cannot be checked independently; there are only estimations, which are taken from
other sources than the actual object. In the present case of the shroud, however, there exist checks, which consist in the former investigations of the shroud by means of non-statistical methods and disapprove the results of the C14-investigations of 1988."
Comments: Scroll about halfway down to see this article. (Added February 28, 2021.)
2021 (March). (New entry.) Larry Schwalbe and Bryan Walsh had another paper published (see pp. 709-710 in the book) regarding the dating. In their Summary and Conclusion, they wrote, "As the present findings join with observations of other unique aspects of the Shroud's makeup, it appears the composition of the relatively small sample removed for the 1988 study is proving to be surprisingly
complex. Indeed, the collection of evidence should encourage researchers to begin reconsidering the validity of the assumption that this sample adequately represents the composition of the Shroud as a whole. Should these concerns prompt follow-on radiocarbon studies, their test plans should include at a minimum 1) careful deliberations about sample locations, 2) a set of narrowly targeted non-destructive tests including optical microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and UV fluorescence studies, and 3) complete documentation not only of the sample locations on the main body of the cloth but also the locations of the subsamples, their respective δ13C values, %C content,
pre-treatment yield etc."
Comments: This is yet one more confirmation that the C-14 sample chosen was not representative of the main cloth, and is consistent with the invisible reweave theory. (Added March 18, 2021.)
2017 (December). (New entry.) David Rolfe, editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, discussing overseer of the 1988 test, Dr. Michael Tite having taken over Edward Hall's job at Oxford after the latter retired shortly after the results were announced, wrote, "[...] Harry Gove, in his book on the whole C14 affair, called Tite's independence into question. He reported a conversation that suggested that Tite was lined up to succeed Hall before the C14 test was carried out and implied that the future of the department would be on a much sounder footing if Oxford was (a) successful in being selected to date the Shroud and (b) also by implication, if it could do so definitively. If Harry Gove's report is true then Professor Tite would not only have compromised his own integrity, but also that of the British Museum who he was then formally representing. I have put this to Professor Tite on two separate occasions and asked him to comment or refute it. He has chosen not to do so. I will be sending him his own personal copy of this publication and hereby invite him again to deny this. If he does, I will apologise profusely for repeating Gove's assertion in the next edition. I will also send a copy of this to the British Museum. It seems fair. Which is more than can be said for the way Hall and Tite treated their opportunity to date [the] Shroud."
Source: Rolfe, David. "A New Champion for the Shroud? British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, December 2017, No. 86, pp. 5-6.
Comment: See pages 333-334 of my book regarding the conversation to which Rolfe alludes. As noted by Rolfe, Tite was being considered for the Oxford position before the sample was even taken for the Shroud sample. At one point after the dating, Tite had expressed his belief that the Shroud was a "crude forgery" but here stated his belief that "The cloth must have once wrapped a genuine victim of a crucifixion." Of course, the question has to be asked: why did Tite not respond to Rolfe's inquiries? See entry below for follow up. (Added March 22, 2021.)
2018 (Summer). (New entry.) Six months passed and Rolfe did not get a response from Tite. Rolfe then wrote, "The British Museum gave its name and weight to the 1988 Carbon 14 result and the verdict that The Shroud of Turin was noting more than [a] crude mediaeval forgery - "faked up and flogged off." Its then employee - Prof. Michael Tite - was appointed by Turin as an independent invigilator of the test. We now know that sometime after his appointment his independence was compromised by secretly accepting the promise of a senior position with the Oxford Radio Carbon Unit. This appointment depended on Oxford not only being appointed as one of the C14 labs chosen to carry out the test but also being able to demonstrate the certainty with which it could place accurate dates on the flimsiest of samples. Despite the fact that Prof. Tite has been forced to accept that his original "crude forgery" verdict cannot be sustained the British Museum refuses to re-open the question of its damning pronouncement. In doing so The British Museum, under Hartwig Fischer, has shown itself unworthy of any scholarly investigation which requires genuine independence. What is it afraid of?"
Source: [Rolfe, David.] "A Challenge to the British Museum." British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, Summer 2018, No. 87, pg. 44. (Heading on actual page shows "An Academic Scandal.")
Comments: It can also be mentioned, apropos of Rolfe's opinion about the British Museum, that they had exhibited as authentic for over 20 years, despite doubts from the outset by many, the famous Piltdown Man, bone fragments that were touted in the early 20th century as the fossilized remains of a previously-unknown early human. In 1953, it was conclusively proven to be a hoax, and the Museum finally withdrew it. (Added March 22, 2021.)
1998 (February). (New entry.) Raymond Sourverain, who spent over four decades in inspection services, wrote, "In the 1988 determination of the Shroud's age using the radiocarbon method, these principles and rules were seen to have been contravened, on several points. In particular, the selecting of samples conducted without any supporting study, without a plan and from one place alone negates
all validity of the operation. This is incontestable: if the sample is not representative, its analysis is devoid of significance. The 1988 trial enters the sad history of scientific wrongdoings. Public opinion was and still is duped by the peremptory publication of an invalid dating. The experiment should only be repeated if the required guarantees are met."
2021 (April). (New entry.) During a podcast, Prof. Colin Humphrey gave an account of an interesting encounter he had in 1983 with Nature, which had published in 1989 the report on the Shroud dating. His encounter sheds some interesting light on two entries in the book. On page 382, I quoted from Laverdiere, H. “The Socio-Politic of a Relic: Carbon Dating of the Turin Shroud,” (Doctoral Thesis) 1989:
Pages 24-25: ”[T]he Shroud was quite a ‘glamorous’ object. So much so that, for this particular test many things were reversed. It is the labs who asked for the samples, which is very unusual. ‘It is the first and only time I think in the history of archeology [sic] that labs […] take the initiative of dating an object’ (Gonella, interview).” “Similarly they were asked for the publication of their results. ‘That’s
the first time in my life […] you know I have published, or tried to publish many hundreds of papers. That’s the first paper in my life which has been accepted before one line was written’ (Wolfli, interview).” I then made the comment: "Acceptance of a paper before it is even written is not how
scientific peer-reviewed literature is supposed to work!"
Then, on page 478, I wrote,
1988 (December). Nature received on the 5th of December the paper from the twenty-one scientists “even though the scientific text still had to be reviewed by peers and published in a specialized periodical before it was communicated to the public.” Even though the Colonetti Institute in Turin had originally been chosen to be one of three institutions to analyze the results, the laboratories
had asked that the work be entrusted to Tite because of his supposed independence. Gonella noted, “Any Italian would have been looked upon with suspicion and anyone from Turin would be doubly suspect. We accepted because we were in the situation that, if anyone had objected, his objection would have been interpreted as an obvious proof of the desire to cheat.”
Source: Petrosillo, Orazio and Emanuela Marinelli. The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science, (San Gwann, Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group), 1996, pp. 110-111.
Comments: Why was the paper sent to Nature even before it was in its final stages? It gave the impression that a conclusion was made without regard to the details. Recall that Wolfli had claimed that Nature accepted their paper even before a single line was written! Petrosillo and Marinelli
noted that none of the signatories had done any previous research on the Shroud; the group that was knowledgeable about the Shroud, STURP, had not been allowed to participate. Had STURP been allowed to, they surely would have been able to discover sooner the labs’ questionable practices that took a long time to surface.
Now to continue with the Prof. Humphrey account. He was the primary author on an article titled "Dating the Crucifixion." The Physical Sciences editor sent it to four different referees, all of whom sent in positive reviews. The chief editor of Nature was John Maddox, who was a miliitant atheist, and also was listed as a "fellow" of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, who didn't even want the paper published, even though the paper only dealt with the date of the crucifixion of the historical Jesus. Maddox grudging allowed the paper to be published because of the positive reviews (although he vetoed an accompanying cover photo) but after the paper was published, Maddox wrote and called Humphrey that they could "shoot down your paper." Maddox said he was overwhelmed with correspondence from people who said the paper was nonsense. He said he was going to publish the letters. Humphrey asked if he could reply. Maddox agreed and sent Humphrey the "best" letters that supposedly would shoot down the paper. There were going to be four pages of letters; Humphrey was able to respond to all of the objections. The Physical Sciences editor then called Humphrey and said that Maddox told him that he wasn't going to publish any of the letters or Humphrey's replies because it showed the latter was right!!
Comments: It should be a surprise to no one that the chief editor of Nature when the Shroud C-14 dating report was published was John Maddox. The fact that the Shroud C-14 report was accepted before a line was even written is now more intelligible. The fact that the paper was sent to Nature before it was even in its final stages now makes sense. Maddox was obviously pleased knowing that the labs were going to report a medieval date, and the normal rules of peer-review needed not to be applied. If Maddox had been against publishing a paper about the date of the death of Jesus, with no reference to religious significance, how much enthusiasm did he have in trying to help to quash an artifact bulging with theological and philosophical implications? This is another indication of the lack of objectivity by those involved in publicizing the 1988 Shroud dating results.
My thanks to Michael Kowalski, who discovered that Maddox was a fellow of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine and that Maddox was still chief editor of Nature in 1988-1989. (Added April 7, 2021.)
2001 (November). (New entry.) Archaeologist William Meacham presented a paper at a Shroud conference in Dallas that discussed "several years of frustration at the faulty procedures, arrogance, byzantine intrigues and influence peddling that accompanied the planning of the test."
2002. (New entry.) In the context of the 2002 "Restoration" of the Shroud, Meacham publicized for the Turin authorities his suggestions so that "all of the various doubts and criticisms of the 1988 C14 test can be dealt with."
2000 (August). (New entry.) At the Sindone 2000 Congress in Orvieto, Italy, my late wife Sue and I presented a paper that proposed that C-14 sample had been taken from an area that had been repaired. STURP documenting photographer Barrie Schwortz heard the presentation and asked us if he could publish the publisher on his site, to which we agreed.
Comments: The late STURP chemist Ray Rogers castigated Schwortz for publishing the paper. Rogers had considered Sue and me to be part of the "lunatic fringe." Rogers, having both main Shroud samples from 1978 and also threads of the Raes sample, which was right next to the C-14 sample, told Schwortz he could prove us wrong in five minutes. Rogers then called Barrie back about one and one-half hours later and said he couldn't believe it, but he concluded we were right. More details about this can be found in my first book Wrapped Up in the Shroud: Chronicle of a Passion. (Added April 11, 2021.)
2016. (New entry.) A textile expert Donna Campbell from Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen, Ltd. wrote a report after having examined photos of the Oxford C-14 sample and concluded "From the sample it is clear that the fabric of the Shroud is not uniform."
1989 (August). (New entry.) A Jesuit priest wrote an article and stated, "At the Bologna Symposium in May 1989 I had given a lecture on some examples of historical facts which establish the existence of the Shroud between the 6th and 12th centuries, long before the date fixed by the carbon test. Concluding the lecture I frankly confessed that I do not believe the published results of the carbon testing and there was wide agreement with my view."
1988 (December). (New entry.) Longtime Shroud researchers Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger wrote, "We feel there is no adequate basis for such an interpretation, for many reasons having to do with difficulties associated with carbon dating itself and with abundant historical, literary, artistic, and image analytic data which we have found during the past eleven years of extensive study which sharply date the Shroud by both internal and external evidence to between 29 and 31 A.D."
1990 (August). (New entry.) An Italian journalist wrote an article with the summary, "After the sentence, the appeal. Discrepancies over how much the pieces of the Shroud that were tested weighed,
concern about the unscientific attitude of scientists, doubts about the accuracy of the carbon-14 dating
process. Claims of an anti-Catholic plot. Meanwhile, in the Vatican, a secret file on the case has been opened."
Source: Paci, Stefano M. "The Case is Not Closed!" Shroud News, August 1990, No. 60, pp. 4-11. Reprinted from 30 Days in the Church and the World, June 1990. (Added April 21, 2021.)
1990 (August). (New entry.) An English priest summarized what was known at that point about irregularities known to have taken place in the C-14 dating. He concluded, "It should be obvious, not only to scientists who have shaken their heads at C14 dating for some time, but also to any normal reasoning individual that the problems of the radiocarbon dating hypothesis are not superficial."
Source: Foley, Charles. "Conundra 1990." Shroud News, August 1990, No. 60, pp. 12-22. (Added April 21, 2021.)
1995 (January 27). (New entry.) Dr. Harry Gove made a statement to an Italian reporter about the possibility of the validity of the hypothesis of Dr. Leoncio Garza-Valdes that a bioplastic coating on the Shroud caused the dating results to reflect an inaccurate date. Gove said, "When the method is perfected it will be necessary to obtain a further small Shroud sample to make the final definite measurement. It is our understanding the Archbishop of Turin has, in his possession, such additional Shroud samples removed at the time those provided the three laboratories were removed. Perhaps some of this might
be made available to settle, once and for all, when the Shroud's flax was harvested."
Source: "Carbon 14." (Statement was read to Ida Molinari, a reporter in Turin, Italy, by Harry E Gove,
Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Rochester.) Shroud News, October 1995, No. 91, pg. 23.
Comments: While Garza-Valdes' hypothesis has not gained much traction over the years, it is nevertheless intriguing that Gove had doubts about the accuracy of the dating. About two years after this statement, Gove actually elaborated on this co-authored a peer-reviewed titled "A problematic source of organic contamination in linen," noting that "samples of the linen wrapping of an Egyptian mummified ibis reveal that the individual fibers of the cloth are surrounded by a coating produced by bacteria." In his conclusion he wrote, "Meanwhile, although the results of the present measurement include the possibility that the bioplastic coating observed on the cloth fibers of the wrappings of the ibis cause it to yield a a radiocarbon age several hundred years younger that its true age, they are far from definitive. It would be premature to draw any conclusions about the true age of the Turin Shroud from these measurements." This underscores the notion that C-14 dating can be very problematic; given how complex an object the Shroud is and how much evidence there is in favor of its authenticity, it seems foolish to ascribe so much weight to the C-14 results. It also suggests that acceptance of those results as accurate has more to do with ideology than with scientific truth. (Added April 22, 2021.)
2021 (April). (New entry.) I published on academia.edu a bibliography of extensive references related to the C-14 dating exercise.
Comments: This bibliography not only includes the bibliographies from both of my books and my comprehensive paper regarding the Invisible Reweave, it also contains many other references not found in any of those three sources. (Added April 30, 2021.)
1994 (April). (New entry.) Dr. Little,who was a nuclear physicist from Britain’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell), wrote an article that critiqued the findings of the labs that performed the 1988 test.
Comments: Dr. Little concluded, "Taken together, the flaws in the procedure and in the subsequent reporting are sufficient to exclude Dr. Tite's carbon dating exercise from further consideration." (Added May 29, 2021.)
Double click here to add text.
1988 (August 31). The head of the Zurich lab, Willi Wolfli, sent a letter to overseer Dr. Michael Tite.
COMMENTS: The subject line of the letter was "Revised data." Interesting phrases, besides the subject line, include "[...] we were aware there might be a systematic difference between the mean values of run 1 and 2 [...] [...] we could not find any reasonable explanation for it [...] [...]finally discovered (to our shame) the ages obtained during run 2 have not been corrected for the so called current dependent effect [...] [it does not matter now which way around the errors of the mean are being calculated [...]. At the very least, Wolfli was admitting an unexplainable phenomena, which they embarrassed by, and which significantly affected the data results. (Added July 14, 2021)
1990 (February). (New entry). Dr. Hedges, one of the scientists from the Oxford lab, wrote a short article pertaining to how the sample was handled for the C-14 test and acknowledged they were dealing "with textile samples which had had an unknown but potentially contaminating history."