Norbert H. Kox
Correspondence to Apocalypse House from Shroud researcher Joe Marino:
I saw your article about the Shroud on the web. I thought you might be interested in some recent research my partner, Sue Benford and I have done pertaining to the C-14 dating.
We presented a paper in Orvieto, Italy in August 2000 hypothesizing that the 1988 C-14 dating of the Shroud was in error due to a 16th century restoration. You can find that paper at: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/marben.pdf (does not have all of the original illustrations). Two follow-up papers were also published. You can find those at:
Our hypothesis was tested by former Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) chemist Ray Rogers, who still possesses Shroud samples/fibers. His extensive comparative testing led him to conclude that our hypothesis of a 16th century patch skewing the C-14 dating was, in fact, correct. His findings were published at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers2.pdf . Also in 2002, a paper by another STURP team member, the late Dr. Alan Adler, who was on the official Conservation Committee, was published. His findings also strongly support our theory. He also mentions the link between the Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo as part of the evidence indicating that the C-14 dating was in error.
I have taken the liberty of citing the key passages from both Drs. Adler and Rogers. Despite this compelling evidence, most media and the general population, including apparently the Turin authorities, are turning a blind eye to it all. Part of the reason is that it was overshadowed by the restoration of the Shroud that took place in Summer 2002, but there still just seems to be an innate resistance to believing in something that seems too good to be true.
From "Further Spectroscopic Investigations of Samples of the Shroud of Turin," by Alan D. Adler, Russell Selzer and Frank DeBlase. Presented at 1998 Dallas Symposium.
A radiocarbon dating of samples taken from the Shroud reported a mid-14th century date, seemingly settling the authenticity issue. However, it is now argued that since it was not old enough to be authentic, it must be a painting. Unfortunately, a detailed protocol for sampling the cloth to assure both precision and accuracy recommended by a convened meeting of consultants was not followed. Only a single sample was taken from a rewoven edge in a waterstained area a few inches from one of the burn marks incurred in the historically recorded 1532 fire. This location was near the bottom of the frontal body image on the edge where a large section of cloth is missing below the seamed so-called side strip. No historic record exists accounting for this missing material and how or when this damage occurred. The nature and/or extent of the repairs undertaken here are also unknown. Therefore, the possibility exists that this selvage edge might be linen not original to the Shroud.
The selection of this single suspicious sample site is a sufficient reason to doubt the accuracy of the radiodate. This spectroscopic investigation was therefore undertaken to determine whether any evidence can be obtained to support such doubts.
FTIR: Typical spectral absorption patterns for each fiber type and the blood samples are displayed in Figures 1 through 11 and clearly show distinctive differences indicating differences in their chemical makeup. It should be noted that there is more variation in the patterns of the radiocarbon samples representing an area of a few square centimeters than in those of the non-image samples taken from areas a whole body-image length apart.
…Note this is specifically true for the radiocarbon fibers and the non-image fibers from the bulk of the cloth, thereby demonstrating that the area selected for the radiocarbon sampling is atypical and is not clearly representative of the rest of the Shroud.
…Again, it should be noted that a great deal of variability was evidenced in the radiocarbon samples. Some of the patchy encrustations were so thick as to mask the underlying carbon of fibers whose continuity were clearly obvious in the microscope images.
…there is clearly evident chemical compositional difference between this sample area and the non-image areas of the cloth. In fact, the FTIR data for the radiocarbon sample, in a sense confirming its inappropriate physical location, shows physical characteristics of both the waterstain and scorch regions of the cloth. To what extent this affects the observed date is not at all obvious. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the reported date is justifiably suspect. Further, comparison of the dorsal head wounds on the Shroud with a similar pattern of wounds on the 7th century Cloth of Oviedo confirms the the inaccuracy of the reported radiocarbon date.
From "Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin: A Review" by Dr. Ray Rogers: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers2.pdf
We have recently found that some plant gum, mordants, and dye(s) coat the yarn of the sample which was taken by Gilbert Raes in 1973 for textile analysis.. These deposits are unique to the Raes sample; however, that area was in immediate contact with the radiocarbon sample that was removed for dating in 1988. This fact makes the validity of the radiocarbon sample questionable.
The 1988 radiocarbon age determinations were the best that could have been obtained anywhere in the world. Effects of sample-preparation methods were studied and careful statistical analyses were made. Damon, et al., reported that "The age of the shroud is obtained as AD 1260-1390, with at least 95% confidence." Unfortunately, that date does not reflect the STURP observations on the linen-production technology and the chemistry of the fibers from the tape samples...
Unfortunately, the sample was approved at the time of sampling by two textile experts, Franco Testore, professor of Textile Technology at the Turin Polytechnic, and Gabriel Vial, curator of the Ancient Textile Museum, Lyon, France. No chemical or microscopic investigations were made to characterized the sample. I believe that was a major disaster in the history of Shroud studies.
Samples from the main part of the cloth are significantly different from the Raes sample with regard to cotton content.
Differences between amounts of lignin on linen fibers in the Raes samples and on Shroud fibers are significant. There is probably a similar difference between the radiocarbon samples and the main part of the Shroud.
The outside of Raes thread #14 showed the heaviest encrustation and deepest color of any of the samples. The encrustation is heaviest on cotton fibers, it is the vehicle for the yellow-brown color, and it suggests that the cotton was added by wiping a viscous liquid on the outside of the yarn in order to match the color of new material to the old, sepia color of the Shroud.
…the presence of a gum coating on retained 1988 radiocarbon-dating samples would prove that the samples were not representative of the main part of the relic's cloth. Such a lack of association would prove that the radiocarbon date is invalid.
Raes thread #1 shows distinct encrustation and color on one end, but the other end is nearly white…This section of yarn is obviously an end-to-end splice of two different batches of yarn. No splices of this type were observed in the main part of the Shroud.
The radiocarbon sample area is darker than normal, a fact that is not the result of image color or scorching. The cloth is much less fluorescent in that area, brightening into more normal fluorescence to the right. The photograph proves that the radiocarbon area has a different chemical composition than the main part of the cloth, and it is truly anomalous.
The combined evidence from chemistry, cotton content, technology, photography, and residual lignin proves that the material of the main part of the Shroud is significantly different from the radiocarbon sampling area. The validity of the radiocarbon sample must be questioned with regard to dating the production of the main part of the cloth. A rigorous application of Scientific Method would demand a confirmation of the date with a better selection of samples.
Linen-production technology indicates that the Shroud of Turin is probably older than indicated by the dates obtained in 1988. There seems to be ample evidence that an anomalous area was sampled for the radiocarbon analysis; therefore, the reported age is almost certainly invalid for the date the cloth was produced.
Additional evidence has come out in the past few months that strengthens the argument that the C-14 area contained a 16th century patch. This evidence has only been mentioned so far on an Internet "ShroudScience" group to which I belong. The group's membership includes some of the original "Shroud of Turin Research Project" (STURP) members, including documenting photographer Barrie Schwortz, editor and publisher of the world-renowned website www.shroud.com
The new evidence is from a photo called the "Blue Quad Mosaic" and is of the C-14 sample area. It was taken by scientific photographer Vern Miller of STURP and processed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California by fellow STURP members Don Lynn, Jean Lorre, Ray Rogers and Barrie Schwortz. Ray Rogers said in a posting to the group that it was another important piece of scientific evidence supporting the belief that the area sampled for the 1988 C14 dating was anomalous.
According to Barrie Schwortz per a posting to the group:
I originally believed that the various colors indicated
differences in spectral reflectivity. However, Jean [Lorre]
points out that these actually indicate differences in
chemical composition. So the similarities in the patch in
the lower left corner and the areas immediately adjoining
it, actually indicate those areas are similar in chemical
composition and different from other areas of the Shroud. Of
course, we would expect the patches to be different because
we know they are made of different material than the rest of
the Shroud. However, notice that the area adjoining the
patch (where the c14 sample was taken from, and ostensibly
part of the actual Shroud) is also mostly the same color of
green. This is further convincing, supportive, scientific
evidence that this area is inherently different in
composition than the rest of the Shroud. The fact that the
UV fluorescence photography images also clearly show
different fluorescence properties in exactly the same areas,
coupled with Ray Rogers' detailed chemical and microscopic
analyses and the Marino-Benford textile evidence that has
been presented over the last few years, all make me believe
that the 1988 c14 samples of the Shroud were taken from an
anomalous portion of the cloth.
Benford and I also recently authored a Shroud article that will appear in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of the new periodical Phenomena. The magazine has been delayed and is not yet on the stands but should be soon.
I hope you find this helpful.