Thursday, September 15, 2016

The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #10

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

Introduction. This is part #10 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[2] was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89)[3], aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89)[4], on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. Previous posts in this series were parts: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9. The next post in this series is part #11.

[Right: Book by a Jewish Rabbi[5] defending Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) against the KGB's conspiracy to undermine the Roman Catholic Church's moral authority in Europe by smearing Pope Pius XII as a Nazi sympathiser during WWII, when the opposite was the case[6].]

In this part#10 I will respond to objections to my theory, actual and anticipated. It is my emphasis below unless otherwise indicated.

■ Objections to my theory The following are my responses to objections to my theory, actual and anticipated.

• Circumstantial evidence. I am not aware that anyone has actually made this criticism of my theory (although I have mentioned it myself-see below), so this is my response to an anticipated criticism of it.

According to Wikipedia, circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence, relying on inference:

"Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact — like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly — i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference."[7]
Absent a confession or a statement by someone involved in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud (e.g. a scientist in one of the three laboratories), or in its hacking (e.g. a KGB agent), that the dating was the result of a computer hacking; or the discovery of direct evidence of the hacking (e.g. Linick' program still on one of the three laboratories' old AMS computers or backup tapes), my theory will remain circumstantial.

I have acknowledged this in previous posts and comments:

"... Although I don't yet have a `smoking gun' clue that PROVES: 1) that the 3 labs were hacked; 2) that Linick was a hackers; and 3) that Koch was the other hacker involved in the C14 dating. I am in the position that a police detective would be in the early stage of a crime investigation. I have a lot of circumstantial evidence that points to a crime having been committed and I have two suspects. But unlike a detective I have no authority or ability to further investigate the crime by visiting the crime scenes and asking questions of those who would be in a position to know more information that would either confirm or refute my suspicions."[08May14].

"Even though my theory at this early stage is entirely circumstantial, lacking as yet a `smoking gun' ..."[13Jun14]
Wikipedia continues:
"On its own, circumstantial evidence allows for more than one explanation. Different pieces of circumstantial evidence may be required, so that each corroborates the conclusions drawn from the others. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more likely once alternative explanations have been ruled out."[8]
In my posts in this series I have posted many different pieces of evidence which support my theory. And I have reviewed all other pro-authenticity explanations that I am aware of, and ruled them out (see "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail." That the anti-authenticity explanations which I am aware of all fail is the subject of this series. That leaves my theory more likely to be true.

• Conspiracy theory. This was Dan Porter's favourite (indeed from memory the only) objection to my theory that Porter made (Google: "Shroud Jones conspiracy" without the quotes). But, as we shall see, this was just another "ad hominem personal attack" by Porter, who by his own admission, was not interested in the truth about the Shroud, whether it was authentic or not:

"... I am not a pro-authenticists or an anti-authenticists [sic]; never have been and I hope I never will be"[9]
but rather sought to maximise readers of his blog by avoiding closure of any issue:
"At first I didn't do blogging correctly and this blog didn't catch on. Eventually, I learned to say less and encouraged others to become the center of the discussion ... In doing so I created an opportunity to learn a lot from skeptics and non-skeptics alike ... This blog has exceeded all my expectations. Lately, I have been posting almost every day, sometimes two or three times a day. Comments pour in."[10]
• What is a "conspiracy theory"? Wikipedia defines "conspiracy theory" as:
"A conspiracy theory is a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of. The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators, provides evidence that supposedly links them together with an evil plan to harm the body politic, and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy. The duty of the theorist is to pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle. A theorist may publicly identify specific conspirators, and if they deny the allegations that is evidence they have been sworn to secrecy and are probably guilty. ... The term conspiracy theory has derogatory connotations, suggesting explanations that invoke conspiracies without warrant, often producing imaginary hypotheses that are not true." (footnotes omitted)[11]
• My theory is not a "conspiracy theory" according to Wikipedia's definition.

"The conspiracy theory typically identifies the conspirators..." First, as I have pointed out many times, at its most basic, my theory does not involve "conspirators" (plural), since "Linick could have acted alone":

"Koch is not essential to my theory [nor is the KGB] that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, as Linick could have acted alone."[03Jun15, 30Jun15]

"...Karl Koch is not essential to my theory, [nor is the KGB] as Linick could have hacked Zurich and Oxford's AMS computer[s] some other way, e.g. by issuing them with a program `update' ..."[13Jun14, 31May15, 02Jun16]

"If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have been involved, either directly or indirectly, in installing Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford laboratories' AMS control console computers, then my theory would not be falsified. In that case I would have to maintain that Linick's program was installed on those laboratories' computers by some other way. For example, Linick himself could have flown over to Zurich and Oxford, installed his program clandestinely on their computers, and returned to Arizona, in a few days. This is why my theory always has been `that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, (singular)."[21Jul14, 17May15, 31May15]
"... a belief that a secret conspiracy has actually been decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome which the theorists strongly disapprove of." This is the only part of Wikipedia definition of "conspiracy theory" which applies to my theory, at its most complex. My theory, at its most complex, does maintain that there was "a secret conspiracy" between Arizona physicist Timothy W. Linick and the KGB, and between the KGB and Karl Koch, and possibly, but not necessarily, between all three (I don't claim that Linick knew Koch, or about Koch, or vice-versa [21Jul14, 17May15, 30Jun15, 02Jun16], but they may have[03Sep14]). And my theory, at its most complex, does maintain that this conspiracy was "decisive in producing a political event or evil outcome," namely the radiocarbon dating as late 13th-early 14th century the authentic, first century Shroud of Turin. And as one who is "persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image" it is definitely something which I "strongly disapprove of"!

"... and may also point to a supposed cover up by authorities or media who should have stopped the conspiracy." I do claim that there was a cover-up, although I don't use that term, by the KGB in murdering Linick and Koch to silence them[03Sep14, 26Oct14, 13Dec14, 17May15, 30Jun15, 22Feb16, 07Mar16, 02Jun16]. I do not claim that there originally was a cover-up by the three laboratories because they would have been unaware of Linick's alleged hacking. However, following Linick's suicide it may be that the laboratories became aware of, or suspected, Linick's alleged hacking[05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], and if so then they would then have been involved in a cover-up by not publicly admitting it. The unusually prompt reply of Arizona's Prof. Jull and Oxford's Prof. Ramsey to my mere anonymous blogger's comments and/or posts sent to them by Hugh Farey[13Mar14, 05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], coupled with their strange defensiveness and Ramsey's outright falsehoods, has made me suspect that they are hiding something[05Jul14, 27Apr15, 29Mar16], when I didn't originally.

"... pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions and reassemble them to form a picture of the conspiracy, as in a jigsaw puzzle." This is not true of my theory. I did not "pick from a myriad of facts and assumptions" and "reassemble them ... as in a jigsaw puzzle." I simply reasoned straightforwardly that: 1) Since the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic [18Feb14, 07Mar14, 24May14, 02Dec14, 23Jul15]. 2) Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was wrong[24May14, 03Jun14]. 3) But the improbability that the Shroud being 1st century has a radiocarbon date of 13th-14th century is "astronomical"[24May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 4) The midpoint of 1260-1390 is 1325 ±65 years, which is only ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c.1355[18Feb14, 07Mar14, 24May14, 02Dec14, 23Jul15]. 5) The very first radiocarbon date of the Shroud at Arizona was the `perfect' "1350"[22Feb14, 07Mar14, 08Jun14, 30Jan15, 22Sep15]. 6) Fraud of some kind is the only plausible explanation[20Feb14, 30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 7) Accusations of conventional fraud (e.g. sample-switching) fail [30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 8) Computer hacking was a type of fraud prevalent in the 1980s and to which the fully computerised AMS radiocarbon dating process was especially vulnerable. [22Feb14, 11May14, 30May14, 08Dec14, 23Jul15]. 9) Timothy W. Linick was allegedly the leaker of Arizona's "1350" date of the Shroud to David Sox, who leaked it to the media[24Jun14, 05Jul14, 05Mar15, 31Mar15, 30Dec15, 22Feb16]. 10) Linick was allegedly the hacker whose program substituted the Shroud's radiocarbon dates on Arizona, Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers, with bogus dates which averaged 1260-1390 = 1325 ± 65[24May14, 03Jun14, 05Jul14, 31Mar15, 22Feb16, 29Mar16]. Note that up to this point 10 there is no conspiracy, i.e. "by two or more persons":

"conspiracy .... 1. the act of conspiring. 2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot. 3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: ... 4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act. 5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result"[12]
11) Karl Koch, a German hacker who had confessed to hacking for the KGB, allegedly installed Linick's program on Zurich's and Oxford's AMS computers[03Jun14, 21Jul14, 13Dec14, 17May15, 02Jun16]. 12) German police on 3 June 1989 publicly identified as Koch's a burnt body, which had been murdered but made to look like suicide, presumably by the KGB[05Jul14, 31Mar15, 17May15, 22Feb16, 02Jun16]. 13) One day later, on 4 June 1989[17May15, 30Jun15, 02Jun16], Timothy Linick's body was found dead from gunshot[22Feb16, 07Mar16], in Tucson, Arizona[05Jul14, 03Sep14, 31Mar15, 22Feb16]. As with Koch, Linick's death was presumed to be suicide[30Dec15, 19Jan16, 22Feb16, 07Mar16], and as with Koch[21Jul14, 17May15] there was no suicide note[22Feb16, 07Mar16].

"... and if they deny the allegations that is evidence they have been sworn to secrecy and are probably guilty." This also does not fit my theory. At its most complex I have publicly identified specific alleged conspirators (although I have not used that word), namely Timothy Linick, the KGB and Karl Koch (see the Introduction which has prefaced every post of this series). Linick and Koch are both dead so they cannot deny the allegations but my theory is that if they had not been silenced by the KGB they would have admitted that they had conspired with the KGB to hack the Shroud's radiocarbon dating. And I don't expect the KGB to confirm my allegations that it conspired with Linick and Koch to install Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers. Also my theory does not claim that the KGB is "sworn to secrecy" (although its individual operatives presumably are) but rather it is in the self-interest of the KGB and its individual operatives to keep secret the KGB's conspiracies (e.g. the above conspiracy to smear Pope Pius XII and discredit the Roman Catholic Church). Nor do I claim that the KGB's silence on whether it conspired with Linick and Koch to hack the Shroud's radiocarbon date proves that it is probably guilty. See above and future installment(s) of this post why I claim that the KGB is probably guilty of conspiring with Linick and Koch to hack the Shroud's radiocarbon dating.

"The term conspiracy theory has derogatory connotations ..." This is the reason that Dan Porter continually used it of my theory (again Google: "Shroud Jones conspiracy" without the quotes), to "poison the well" against me, so as to discredit my theory in advance of the evidence for it being considered:

"Poisoning the well ... is a rhetorical device where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say. Poisoning the well can be a special case of argumentum ad hominem ..."[13].
But as I had pointed out[30Jun15, 06Jul15], a 2015 Wikipedia definition of "Conspiracy theory" stated that a conspiracy theory is "an explanatory hypothesis" which "has acquired a derogatory meaning over time" and "is often used to dismiss or ridicule" but it can "refer to actual, proven conspiracies":
"A conspiracy theory is an explanatory hypothesis that accuses two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an event or situation which is typically taken to be illegal or harmful. Although the term `conspiracy theory' has acquired a derogatory meaning over time and is often used to dismiss or ridicule beliefs in conspiracies, it has also continued to be used by some to refer to actual, proven conspiracies, such as U.S. President Richard Nixon and his aides conspiring to cover up Watergate. ... [and] some thinkers, particularly philosophers, have argued that belief in conspiracy theories can be rational and that the skepticism of conspiracy theorising (the generation of conspiracy theories) is akin to a modern day superstition."[14]
Moreover, as can be seen above, that 2015 Wikipedia definition, stated that "belief in conspiracy theories can be rational" and that "the skepticism of ... conspiracy theories ... is akin to a modern day superstition"! By the latter I presume Wikipedia meant that the modern assumption that the mere labelling a theory, "conspiracy theory," automatically renders it false, irrespective of the evidence for that theory (as Porter and his ilk did of my hacker theory), is a modern form of superstition.

"...suggesting explanations that invoke conspiracies without warrant..." This also is not true of my theory. No one has shown that my hacking theory is without warrant. The only attempt to show that my theory was without warrant, that I am aware of, was by Hugh Farey (the ANTI-authenticist Editor of the British Society FOR the Turin Shroud Newsletter), on Dan Porter's blog under his post, "Stephen Jones Continues his Computer Hacking Conspiracy Theory," July 5, 2014, which I only became aware of after Porter's blog closed on 15 December 2015. Farey evidently did not have the courage of his convictions to post his claimed `refutation' of my theory as a comment on my blog. Here is Farey's `refutation' of my hacking theory and my responses:

"One of the claims conspiracy theorists often make in support of their ideas is that since no one has refuted them, they are more than likely to be true. It’s a bore, but someone has to do it."
First, as I have shown above, my hacking theory is not a conspiracy theory and therefore I am not a conspiracy theorist. And it is the position of any theory that if it can be refuted (i.e. it is falsifiable), but it has not been refuted, then it is indeed more likely to be true!
"– Linick was an extreme anti-authenticist. Jones puts forward no evidence for this. He is looking for a refusal to accept authenticity, even if the shroud were proved 1st century. His quote from Linick does not support this. Linick says that proving the shroud to be first century `leaves room for argument' and `it would be the right age, but is it the real thing?' This is not a refusal to accept authenticity – it could very well be a rhetorical question posed by an authenticist, who might then go on to demonstrate that the answer is yes.'"
I stated what I meant by "an extreme Shroud anti-authenticist" in my posts of 24Jun14 and 30Dec15, as someone who "would not accept that the Shroud was authentic, even if its radiocarbon age was `2000 years'" (e.g. Walter McCrone). And I contrasted that with "non-extreme anti-authenticists" (e.g. the late Profs Edward Hall and Harry Gove of Oxford and Rochester laboratories respectively) who evidently would have accepted the Shroud was authentic if its carbon-date was first century. And I did provide evidence for this in that I quoted each of the above stating, or implying that they would, or would not, accept that the Shroud is authentic if its radiocarbon date was first century. Farey's claim that Sox's quote of Linick "could very well be a rhetorical question posed by an authenticist" is ridiculous in its context!
"– Linick was probably aware of McCrone’s prediction that the Shroud’s carbon date would be `about 1355.' Jones puts forward no evidence for this. His comparison of Jones’s rhetorical question with McCrone’s assumption that a 1st century shroud would be accepted as genuine by nearly everyone is specious. But so what? Dozens of people could have read McCrone’s predictions, as they were published years previously. Even if he hadn’t read McCrone’s work, the range of likely dates, either 1st century or 13th-14th century, was obvious to everybody."
I did provide evidence that Linick was aware of McCrone's "about 1355" prediction, in the similarity of Linick and McCrone's words. That Farey, himself an extreme anti-authenticist, who would not accept any evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, does not accept my evidence, does not mean that it is "no evidence."
"– Linick was the leaker of Arizona’s `1350' first date of the Shroud. Jones puts forward no evidence for this. He claims that for Sox simply to quote’s Linick’s rhetorical question above is `proof beyond reasonable doubt that Linick was the leaker.' Well, it isn’t, is it?"
See above on Farey's "rhetorical question" being ridiculous. And I did provide evidence that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's first run "1350" date: 1) Sox was the leaker of Arizona's "1350" date to the media; 2) Sox's quoting of Linick immediately before Arizona's dating of the Shroud, shows that Sox was in contact with Linick at that time; and 3) Gove had, by a process of elimination, concluded that the leaker had to have been someone who was present at Arizona's first dating, which Linick was. If the leaker wasn't Linick, then there would have to be two or more persons at the Arizona dating who were in contact with Sox. The simplest explanation which accounts for the evidence (Occam's razor) is that the leaker was Linick. That Farey does not accept even that, again shows that no evidence for the Shroud's authenticity would convince him.
"– Linick was found dead of suspected suicide on 4 June 1989. Jones puts forward no evidence for this. His death, according to the obituary by Timothy Jull, was `untimely,' and according to Bruno Bonnet Eymard, was `in unclear circumstances.' This is not evidence of suicide, nor of murder. A Vatican insider article in 2013 claims suicide, but gives no reference. This is an unwarranted escalation of suggestion; it is not evidence. Jones is unable to find published information on Linick’s death in Arizona (a ‘closed record’ state). Had he tried a common genealogy program he would have found trhat Linick’s death was registered in California, not Arizona."
Farey contradicts himself, in claiming that I provided "no evidence" for Linick's suicide, yet he admits I provided a Vatican Insider article which stated that Linick had committed suicide. I did not claim that my inability to find information on Linick’s death in Arizona public records, because it is a "closed records" State, was evidence that Linick death was suicide. And I did in fact try "a common genealogy program" ( and "found that Linick’s death was registered in California" but that is irrelevant. That same genealogy program states that Linick was born in Los Angeles and that he died in "Jun 1989," but it does not say where Linick died. Besides, I had many times posted a reference to a scientific journal which recorded that "Dr Timothy W. Linick died in Tucson, Arizona, on 4 June 1989." And finally, I posted in early January 2016 (after Farey's comment and Porter's blog had closed) a quote from Linick's half-brother Anthony's book in which he confirmed that "... my half-brother, Timothy took his own life at age 42 in 1989."
"Jones’s next three points are less controversial: Linick was a measurement scientist, the AMS apparatus required a program to assess its results, and there were six weeks between the cutting of the sampels [sic] and the radiocarbon dating in Arizona. None of it, of course, is evidence for any Soviet plot."
Farey does not even cite the evidence that I gave for a "Soviet plot" (as he put it) in the hacking of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating.

So Farey has failed in his above attempt (the only one that I am aware of), to show that my hacking theory was without warrant. Indeed, if the above is Farey's strongest critique of my hacking theory, then I can only assume that it is indeed more likely to be true!

"...often producing imaginary hypotheses that are not true." This also does not apply to my hacking theory. My theory is not "imaginary" but is based on multiple, independent, referenced, items of factual evidence which are true.

• It is dishonest and/or self-deceived, to dismiss my theory as merely a "conspiracy theory." As I have pointed out many times, it is dishonest and/or self-deluded to dismiss my hacking theory as merely a "conspiracy theory": 1) in the full knowledge of my disclaimers that neither Koch nor the KGB are essential to my theory, as Linick could have acted alone; and 2) without fairly considering all the evidence for my theory:

"It is therefore incorrect (and indeed dishonest and/or self-deceived), to dismiss my theory as merely a `KGB conspiracy theory,' without dealing with its ESSENTIAL elements."[13Dec14]

"So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a `conspiracy theory,' in the full knowledge of my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly."[17May15]

"So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a `conspiracy theory,' knowing my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly"[30Jun15]
"So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a "conspiracy theory," ignoring all my evidence, and in the full knowledge of my above disclaimers that Koch is not essential to my theory and Linick could have acted alone, do so dishonestly and/or self-deludedly![02Jun16]"

Continued in part #11 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 30 August 2016. [return]
5. Dalin, D.G., 2005, "The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany," Regnery History: Washington, DC. [return]
6. "KGB intent on linking Pius XII with Nazis, says former spy," Catholic News Agency, January 26, 2007. [return]
7. "Circumstantial evidence," Wikipedia, 21 August 2016. [return]
8. Ibid. [return]
9. Jones, S.E., 2014, "Of Pro-Authenticists and Anti-Authenticists: My response to Dan Porter," The Shroud of Turin blog, April 25. [return]
10. Porter, D., 2015, "Thank You, Everyone," Shroud of Turin Blog, December 15. [return]
11. "Conspiracy theory," Wikipedia, 8 September 2016. [return]
12. "conspiracy," Unabridged, Based on the Random House Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2016. [return]
13. "Poisoning the well," Wikipedia, 21 July 2016. [return]
14."Conspiracy theory," Wikipedia, 6 July 2015. No longer online. [return]

Posted: 15 September 2016. Updated: 22 November 2016.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Third century

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present
© Stephen E. Jones

This is part #3, "Third century," of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present" series. See part #1, "First century" and index, for more information about this series..

[Index #1] [Previous: 2nd century #2] [Next: 4th century #4]

3rd century (201-300)
A major flood of its river devastates Edessa, thousands die, and the "church of the Christians" is damaged. This is the first mention anywhere of a Christian church building and is further evidence that Edessa had become a Christian city [see "c. 183"].

202 As a reward for assisting Rome in its war with Parthia [see "194"], Abgar VIII was invited to Rome in 202, which he visited after 204.

205 Following the flood of 201, in 205 Abgar VIII built on higher ground within the walls of the old Edessa, a new walled Citadel, called "Birtha" in Syriac.

[Above (enlarge)[2]: The ruins of Edessa's citadel, within the modern city of Sanliurfa, Turkey.]

212 Death of Abgar VIII the Great. He was succeeded as king of Osroene, whose capital city was Edessa, by his son Abgar IX.

213 Abgar IX was summoned to Rome in 213 AD and murdered on the orders of Roman Emperor Caracalla (188–217). In 214 Caracalla ended the independence of Osroene and incorporated it as a province of the Roman Empire.

To be continued in part #4, "4th century," of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Extract from "Edessa citadel in Urfa, Turkey (Google Maps)," Virtual Globetrotting, 2016. [return]

Posted: 13 September 2016. Updated: 10 November 2016.

Monday, September 5, 2016

No style #16: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!
The man on the Shroud
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #16, "The man on the Shroud: No style," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" See the Main index for more information about this series.

[Main index #1] [Previous: No paint, etc. #15] [Next: Non-directional #17]

  1. The man on the Shroud #8
    1. No style #16

Introduction. The image of the man on the Shroud has no artistic style[2].

[Above (enlarge):

"This painting of Christ by Simone Martini [c. 1284–1344] is an underdrawing for a fresco, executed in sinopia (red ochre) c.1340. Walter McCrone [1916-2002] suggested that Simone, or an artist like him, might have painted the Shroud using a similar technique, but the idea is implausible. Like all medieval artists, Simone represents Christ in an idealized manner, and his brushwork is always evident"[3].
And unlike the man's image on the Shroud, Martini, like all visual artists[4], had a distinctive individual artistic style, which "contrasted with the sobriety and monumentality of Florentine art, and is noted for its soft, stylized, decorative features, sinuosity of line, and courtly elegance"[5] and which fitted into the artistic style category of "gothic"[6].]

Every artist has a style. "Every artist .. is identifiable by his style, which is as characteristic of him as his signature or thumbprint"[7].

Shroud image has no style. But the image of the man on the Shroud has no style of its own[8]. The Shroud has "no ... characteristic of any artistic style"[9]. But in the case of the Shroud ... there really is no 'style' on which to base any art history judgement[10].

Not fourteenth-century. The image "differs fundamentally from fourteenth-century art, the very period to which its opponents ascribe its origin"[11]. "The style of painting in the fourteenth century was not nearly so realistic as the Shroud figure"[12]

Not medieval. The Shroud image has "nothing in common with any medieval French or" Italian style[13]. "The Shroud of Turin shows no affinity whatsoever with any of the styles ... in the Middle Ages"[14]. "The Shroud goes against any medieval style of any known artist and even against the mindset of the period"[15].

Not any historical period. The "image does not show the slightest semblance of any artist's style of any historical period."[16].

No style category. From "the standpoint of painting style, the Cloth of Turin cannot be fitted into any category"[17].

Art historians ignore the Shroud. Art historians ignore the Shroud[18], because to assign it to any particular "date and country, would revolutionize all the history of art"[19].

Not a work of art. The "image on the Cloth of Turin is not a work of art at all, as those who have probed its artistic technique and style all but unanimously confess"[20].

Impersonal. The image is impersonal[21].

Automatic. "The ... image can only be the automatic likeness of a real human body"[22]. "The photographic negative of the Shroud ... proves that the image involves some sort of automatic transformation"[23].

Photograph. "The negative image has no style whatever ... It seems obviously a photograph, that is, an image made by light"[24]. The "negative of the face ... [is] unmistakably photograph-like and lacking in any artist's style"[25].

Problem for the forgery theory. That the image of the man on the Shroud has no artistic style is yet another major problem for the forgery theory (see previous three: #13, #14 and #15). It further rules out all theories that the Shroud man's image was painted, which we had already seen [11Jul16]. It also rules out all bas relief and statue theories because the underlying bas relief or statue would have have had artistic style[26].

That the Shroud image was created by an automatic process and is a photograph does leave in forgery by a medieval photograph. As far as I am aware there are only two theories which claim that the Shroud image is a medieval photograph: Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince's "Leonardo da Vinci photograph" theory, and Prof. Nicholas Allen's "medieval photography" theory.

But as we saw in a previous post [30Jun16], Picknett and Prince's "Leonardo" theory is false on multiple grounds, not least that it is a plagiarisation of Prof. Nicholas Allen's theory and it is based on a lie, that they received their information about Leonardo faking the Shroud from a non-existent "Giovanni" who was a member of the non-existent "Priory of Sion"!

That leaves Prof. Nicholas Allen's "medieval photography" theory as the last photograph forgery theory standing. But as we saw [07Aug16 & 01Sep16], that theory also fails for multiple reasons, including: 1) Allen never proved (for obvious reasons) that his camera obscura and quartz lens photograph would work with a real, decomposing, human body hung out in the sun for 6-8 days. 2) Allen's "solorograph" of a plaster bodycast, unlike the Shroud image, is directional, with sun illumination on the image's beard, chest, knees and feet (see cover photo on Allen's book [right]), and top of the head, if Allen had not fraudulently (presumably self-deceptively) substituted a different top of the head image (the hair on Allen's image does not match that of the bodycast). 3) Allen used silver salts to capture the bodycast's image on linen, but it was not known until the 19th century that silver salts darkened because of light, not heat; 4) Allen needed a 180 mm (~7 inch) diameter, optical quality, quartz lens to obtain an image at all within a time-frame of 8 days (Allen admitted that "by the eighth day ... disfigurement [due to "decomposition"] would have been too noticeable for the corpse to have remained a viable subject"[27]). But Allen evidently fraudulently (presumably self-deceptively) used a 180 mm diameter "synthetic quartz"[28], i.e. "fused quartz" blank, which was made from quartz sand, not quartz rock crystal, and heated in a modern furnace to 2,000°C. And the technology to melt quartz at such a high temperature did not exist until the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century!

"Snapshot of the resurrection"! That the Shroud man's image has no artistic style, yet every artist has a style, is impersonal, automatic and a photograph, means that the Shroud image actually is a photograph, in the original sense of a "drawing with light":

"The word `photograph' was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning `light', and γραφή (graphê), meaning `drawing, writing', together meaning `drawing with light'"[29]
And that the only two (as far as I am aware) anti-authenticist forgery by photography theories, that of Picknett and Prince and Nicholas Allen, fail. Which leaves as the only viable photography theory remaining, that the Man on the Shroud is Jesus and the image on the Shroud is a photograph, "a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection":
"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant ... the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection"[30].

Transfiguration a preview of the Resurrection In the Transfiguration, when Jesus "was transfigured before them," i.e. the Apostles Peter, James and John (Mt 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36):

"his [Jesus'] face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light" (Mt 17:2).

"his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them" (Mk 9:3).

"the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white" (Lk 9:29).
attention is focused on the terms "white as light," "dazzling white," and "radiant, intensely white"[31]

The Christian Church historically has understood the Transfiguration as "a preview of the glorified body of Christ following his Resurrection":

"This was not only a view within the Eastern Church and in the West, most commentators in the Middle Ages considered the Transfiguration a preview of the glorified body of Christ following his Resurrection."[32]
It is the view of many Shroud scholars, including Ian Wilson[33], Rex Morgan[34], John Iannone[35], Mark Oxley[36], August Accetta[37], that Jesus' image was imprinted onto the Shroud's linen by the light of His resurrection.This is also the view of Prof. Giulio Fanti:
"Italian chemist Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua has proposed that the image might have been burnt into the upper layers of the cloth by a burst of `radiant energy' - bright light, ultraviolet light, X-rays or streams of fundamental particles - emanating from the body itself. Fanti cites the account of Christ's Transfiguration, witnessed by Peter, John and James and recounted in Luke 9:29: `As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.' This is, to put it mildly, rather circumstantial evidence. But Fanti suggests we might at least test whether artificial sources of such radiation can produce a similar result on linen."[38]
The above 2015 article which quoted Fanti that, "we might at least test whether artificial sources of such radiation can produce a similar result on linen," does not give the date when Fanti wrote or said that. But three years before, in 2012, Fanti was associated with a scientific group, working under the auspices of Italy's ENEA agency, which discovered that the closest approximation yet to the colour, extreme superficiality, and other characteristics of the Shroud man's image, was obtained using an excimer laser delivering "a short and intense burst of VUV [vacuum ultraviolet] directional radiation" [22Dec11]:
"ENEA, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, has published a report on five years of experiments conducted in the ENEA center of Frascati on the `shroud-like coloring of linen fabrics by far ultraviolet radiation'. `Simply put: we tried to understand how the Shroud of Turin was imprinted by an image so special that it constitutes its charm, and poses a great and very radical challenge, `to identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a color similar to that of the image on the Shroud. `... One of the assumptions related to the formation of the image was that regarding some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength), which could fit the requirements for reproducing the main features of the Shroud image, such as superficiality of color, color gradient, the image also in areas of the body not in contact with the cloth and the absence of pigment on the sheet. ... the results of ENEA `show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence'."[39]
But the only `problem' with that is, "to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height," would require "a total power of VUV radiation" of "34 thousand billion watts!:
"However, ENEA scientists warn, `it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts'"![40]

That would be no problem for "the powerful working of God, who raised him [Jesus] from the dead" (Col 2:12) but it is an impossibility for a medieval forger!

To be continued in part #17 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Barbet, P., 1953, "A Doctor at Calvary," [1950], Earl of Wicklow, transl., Image Books: Garden City NY, Reprinted, 1963, p.31; Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, pp.31-32; Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.4; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.4, 156-157, 180; Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.114; Cahill, T., 1999, "Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World before and after Jesus," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: New York NY, pp.291-292; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.32; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.11. [return]
3. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.288A. [return]
4. "Style (visual arts)," Wikipedia, 28 May 2016. [return]
5. "Simone Martini," Wikipedia, 1 September 2016. [return]
6. Ibid. [return]
7. Cahill, 1999, p.291. [return]
8. Barbet, 1953, p.31. [return]
9. Iannone, 1998, p.4. [return]
10. Wilson, 2010, p.11. [return]
11. Bulst, 1957, p.32. [return]
12. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.57. [return]
13. Barbet, 1953, p.31. [return]
14. Iannone, 1998, p.156. [return]
15. Iannone, 1998, p.180. [return]
16. Wilson, 1986, p.4; Iannone, 1998, p.4. [return]
17. Bulst, 1957, p.31. [return]
18. de Wesselow, 2012, p.187. [return]
19. Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London, p.15. [return]
20. Bulst, 1957, p.41. [return]
21. Barbet, 1953, p.31. [return]
22. de Wesselow, 2012, p.139. [return]
23. de Wesselow, 2012, p.137. [return]
24. Cahill, 1999, pp.291-292. [return]
25. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.33. [return]
26. de Wesselow, 2012, p.139. [return]
27. Allen, N.P.L., 1998, "The Turin Shroud and the Crystal Lens: Testament to a Lost Technology," Empowerment Technologies: Port Elizabeth, South Africa, p.93. [return]
28. Allen, 1998, pp.94, 96-97, 207, 240. [return]
29. "Photograph," Wikipedia, 12 August 2016. [return]
30. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.251. [return]
31. Iannone, J.C., 2010, "The Three Cloths of Christ: The Emerging Treasures of Christianity," NorthStar Production Studios & Lulu Press: Kissimmee FL, p.102. [return]
32. "Transfiguration of Jesus: Transfiguration and Resurrection," Wikipedia, 1 September 2016. [return]
33. Wilson, 1979, p.250. [return]
34. Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.77. [return]
35. Iannone, 2010, p.102. [return]
36. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, pp.250-251. [return]
37. Martindale, S., 2013, "H.B. doctor submits Shroud of Turin to scientific method," The Orange County Register, August 21. [return]
38. Ball, P., 2015, "How did the Turin Shroud get its image?," BBC, 19 June. [return]
39. Tosatti, M., 2011, "The Shroud is not a fake," Vatican Insider, 12 December. [return]
40. Ibid. [return]

Posted: 5 September 2016. Updated: 29 October 2016.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

How my radiocarbon dating hacker theory started

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

I thought this would be simple but it has become unexpectedly complex, so I will hold off posting any more on how my radiocarbon dating hacker theory started until Joe Marino's paragraph on my hacking theory (see below) is published in the next update.

Update: As I posted in my September Shroud of Turin News "Editorial":
"`...How my radiocarbon dating hacker theory started,' I discovered was more complex that I originally thought. I am now thinking of including it in the final part #11 of my current hacker series."

This is the first installment of "How my radiocarbon dating hacker theory started."

[Above (enlarge): Schematic of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating system at the University of Arizona in 2005. Note the "Control Console" bottom left next to the photo of a computer. This is from my post of 22 February 2014, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker? (3)," which was not long after I had first realised that it is the computer which actually reports a sample's AMS radiocarbon date!]

Introduction. As I recently mentioned, Joe Marino sent me draft of part 3 of his "The Politics of the Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud" (see part 1 and part 2), which should be published in's forthcoming mid-September update.

In that part 3 there will be a paragraph about my hacking theory, including a link to the beginning of my current hacker series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking." However in that paragraph Joe had wrongly assumed that my hacking theory started with the quote of Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89) in anti-authenticist David Sox's 1998 book :

"Timothy Linick, a University of Arizona research scientist, said: `If we show the material to be medieval that would definitely mean that it is not authentic. If we date it back 2000 years, of course, that still leaves room for argument. It would be the right age - but is it the real thing?'"[2]

To be continued in the second installment of this post.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.147. [return]

Posted: 3 September 2016. Updated: 11 October 2016.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Editorial and Contents," Shroud of Turin News, August 2016

Shroud of Turin News - August 2016
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: July 2016, part #1] [Next: September 2016, part #1]

This is my "Editorial and Contents," part #1 of the August 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. Following this editorial, I will add excerpts from Shroud-related August 2016 news articles (if any) in separate posts, linked back to this post, with the articles' words in bold to distinguish them from mine. Click on a link below to go to that article. Articles not yet linked are planned to be commented on in this issue.


Editorial. Rex Morgan's Shroud News: My scanning and word- processing of issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News, provided by Ian Wilson, and emailing them to Barrie Schwortz for him to convert to PDF and add to his online Shroud News archive, continued in August up to issue #56, August 1989 [Right (enlarge)]. Issues in that archive are still only up to #50, December 1988 but a mid-September update is imminent.

Topic index: In August I belatedly realised (i.e "didn't think - plan ahead") that some topics in my new "The Shroud of Turin blog topics" series will be too long (notably "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen") to share a page with other topics, and also then a topic may be harder to find by a search engine. So I began the process of converting each topics page already posted to a sub-index (e.g. "M") and cut-and-pasting those pages' contents to new, stand-alone, topics pages (e.g. "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen").

Posts: In August, I blogged only 4 new posts (latest uppermost): "Jones, Stephen E."; "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen"; "The Shroud of Turin blog topics `M'"; "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Second century"; and "`Editorial and Contents,' Shroud of Turin News".

Comments: In August I was told by an anonymous commenter under my "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen" post:

"Don't overstretch this topic. It's time to stop writing about Nicolas Allen and his medieval photography theory and to write about something else now ..."
I replied (inter alia):
"... in general my response is simple: If you don't like what I write, then don't read it! As I have stated before ... I don't write my blog to court popularity. I write what I believe is the truth about the Shroud and should be written ... The bottom line is that whether my blog has 5 views a day (which it once had) or the current ~500 views a day, I will continue to write the same as I always have: without fear or favour."

My radiocarbon dating hacker theory: As can be seen above, I didn't blog about my hacker theory in August. But I did receive a draft of part 3 of Joe Marino's, "The Politics of Radiocarbon Dating" (see part 1 and part 2), which should be in's September update. In it there will be a paragraph about my "hypothesis that the labs results were the result of a computer hacking" and a link to the start of my current hacker series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking."

Nicholas Allen's `medieval photography' theory: On 31 August I received Allen's 1998 book "The Turin Shroud and the Crystal Lens: Testament to a Lost Technology" [Right] in the mail, so I have only dipped into it, focusing on Allen's claimed or implied use of only medieval materials and methods in the making of the 180 mm (~7 inch), optical quality quartz crystal lens, which Allen claimed he used to form his `shroud' image.

Last night (1 September) I found in Allen's book, "The Turin Shroud and the Crystal Lens," where he indirectly admitted that he had used "synthetic quartz" (pp. 94, 96-97, 207, 240, etc.), that is "fused quartz," made from quartz sand heated to ~2,000°C in a modern furnace, not rock crystal, the latter being what was only available in the Middle Ages to fashion a quartz lens. Therefore Allen's "medieval photography" theory fails through lack of experimental support. And, as we shall see, unless Allen can explain (he has read my blog in the past, even emailing me about something I wrote about his theory) where he has clearly stated and shown that the materials and methods he used were entirely medieval, then I will have no alternative but to assume that Allen has indeed in this committed scientific fraud (although presumably due self-deception).

I will document this in a separate post after I have read Allen's book more thoroughly. If Allen emails me, he should be aware of my stated policy that:

"Private messages I receive on Shroud of Turin related topics, I reserve the right to respond publicly via this blog, quoting the message or email, minus the senders' personal identifying information, unless that is self-evident."
I will allow Allen to fully explain, albeit briefly, on my blog, even in an unedited guest post, his side of his claim to have used a:
"quartz (optical quality, rock-crystal) bi-convex lens ... 180 mm [in diameter]"[2]
when Allen's book says (albeit indirectly-which itself is less than honest) that the 180 mm lens he used to replicate the Shroud was made of non-medieval "synthetic quartz" and hence not crystal!

Pageviews: At midnight on 31 August, Google Analytics [below (enlarge)] gave this blog's "Pageviews all time history" as 584,212 and "Pageviews last month" as 14,970. It also gave the most viewed posts for the month as: "`Ian Wilson's Turin Shroud theories are the worst kind of junk history'," Apr 17, 2010 - 578; "Medieval photography: Nicholas Allen," Aug 7, 2016 - 108; "8; "Re: Shroud blood ... types as AB ... aged blood always types as AB, so the significance of this ... is unclear," Mar 18, 2011 - 90; "The Shroud of Turin blog topics `M'," Aug 7, 2016 - 81; and "The Shroud of Turin: 3.6. The man on the Shroud and Jesus were crucified," Dec 2, 2013 - 65. As can be seen in the graph above, the huge jump in the number of pageviews from about 21st July, plateaued out on about 2nd August. The map under "Audience" still shows most of my readers are in the Russian Federation, which is particularly gratifying to me that I can provide information about the Shroud to people who might otherwise have difficulty finding that information.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to it. [return]
2. Allen, N.P.L., 1995, "Verification of the Nature and Causes of the Photonegative Images on the Shroud of Lirey-Chambery-Turin," De Arte 51, Pretoria, UNISA, pp.21-35. [return]

Posted: 1 September 2016. Updated: 28 October 2016.