Continuing with my series "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?" from "Revised #1," with this Revised #2. Other previous posts in this series were, part 1, part 2, part 3, "Summary," "My replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey," and "Further to my replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey."
After my previous Revised #1 post, which presented historical evidence for the Shroud's existence in the 13th and 12th centuries, I discovered more examples of the Shroud's existence in those two centuries, namely: the "Holy Face of Laon" (1201-1204) and a Christ Pantocrator fresco in the cave church of St Nicholas, in Casalrotto, Italy (c. 1150). I am back to the fourth century in my list of items of historical evidence of the Shroud's existence from the 13th to the 1st century and as I complete that I will now continue with a Revised #3 post in this series.
The purpose of documenting all this historical evidence of the Shroud's existence from the 13th to the 1st century is to prove, beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt, that the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" must be wrong.
And then the key questions would be (and are):
- "How could a 1st century cloth (absent fraud) carbon-date to the 13th-14th century?"; and
- "How could the midpoint of that date range, 1325 ±65, `just happen' (absent fraud) to be a mere ~25 years before the Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in the 1350s"?
Given that the leader of the Shroud carbon-dating project, Prof. Harry Grove, pointed out that the improbability of the Shroud being first century, yet its radiocarbon date being "between 1260 and 1390," is "about one in a thousand trillion" (Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," p.303), I will document how courts decide, on the basis of high improbability, that a scientific fraud must have occurred.
And then, having proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there must have been fraud in carbon-dating the 1st century (or earlier) linen of the Shroud to 1325 ±65, I will re-present the evidence (not proof) for: 1) the fraud having been perpetrated by a computer hacker, or hackers; and 2) I will tentatively identify the hackers as having been Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), formerly of Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory, aided by Karl Koch (1965–89), a self-confessed hacker who had worked for the KGB.
The Vignon markings From the fifth century Jesus began to be consistently depicted in Byzantine Christian art as dark, Jewish, with long hair, a full forked beard, a long nose, large staring eyes, with a rigid front-facing posture. In the 1930s, French Biology professor and artist, Paul Vignon (1865-1943), began to study a number of oddities that Byzantine portraits of Christ from the fifth century shared in common. After a painstaking comparison of hundreds of paintings, frescoes and mosaics with the face on the Shroud,
"The Vignon markings: "(1) Transverse streak across forehead, (2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, (6) accentuated left cheek, (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, (12) forked beard, (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, (15) two strands of hair".
[Above (click to enlarge): Positive photograph of the Shroud face, with Vignon markings numbers 1-15 superimposed.
Vignon identified 20 such oddities, most of which artistically made no sense, including imperfections in the Shroud's weave, but were repeated slavishly by Byzantine artists from the 5th to the 12th century. Confirmation that the artists were copying the Shroud is evident in that they were trying to make sense of a negative image, for example open staring eyes which were actually closed in death, of which they could have had no concept of, the camera with negative film not having been invented until the 19th century. Vignon paid particular attention to a topless square (Vignon marking 2 above) on the 8th-century Christ Pantocrator in the catacomb of St. Pontianus, Rome Artistically it made no sense, yet it appears on other Byzantine Christ portraits, including the 11th century Daphni Pantocrator, the 10th century Sant'Angelo in Formis fresco, the 10th century Hagia Sophia narthex mosaic, and the 11th century "Christ the Merciful" mosaic in Berlin. And at the equivalent point on the Shroud face, there is exactly the same feature where it is merely a flaw in the weave.
In 1938 Vignon presented his discoveries as an "Iconographic Theory" in his book, "Le Saint Suaire de Turin: Devant La Science, L'archéologie, L'histoire, L'iconographie, La Logique," in which he proposed that the Shroud was known and revered as far back as the fifth century. Ian Wilson reduced Vignon's list of 20 peculiarities down to 15 more certain "Vignon markings" (see above). No one work featured every peculiarity, but of the 15 Vignon markings, some feature 13 (e.g. the 11th century Pantocrator in the dome of the church of Daphni, Greece) and even 14 (e.g. the 12th century Cefalu apse mosaic and the 10th century Sant'Angelo in Formis fresco. Ian Wilson sampled depictions of Christ's face from the sixth, eighth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries and found between eight and fourteen of these Vignon markings features on them, an average of 80 percent incidence.Continued in Revised #3.
1. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.76. [return]
2. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961, p.60. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised, p.103. [return]
4. Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, p.157. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82e. [return]
6. Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Face Only Horizontal (cropped and rotated right 90°). [return]
7. Wuenschel, 1954, p.60. [return]
8. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return]
9. Wuenschel, 1954, p.58. [return]
10. Wilson, 1979, p.105. [return]
11. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ, p.82. [return]
12. Wilson, 1979, p.103. [return]
13. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return]
14. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.142. [return]
15. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, pp.161-162. [return]
16. Walsh, 1963, pp.154-157. [return]
17. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.104. [return]
19. Wilson, 1979, pp.104-105. [return]
20. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.128. [return]
Updated: 13 May, 2014.