Here is part #6 of my series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker." Previous posts in this series were part #1, part #2, part #3, part #4 and part #5. Read those previous posts to obtain the background of my theory thus far.
[Right: Rev. H. David Sox's book, "The Shroud Unmasked," was written by "August 1988", and the London Sunday Times had a copy of it by 18 September, more than two weeks before the official announcement of the carbon dating result on 13 October 1988. Sox quotes "Timothy Linick" in the book (see below), and while he cites no date of the Shroud in it, it is clear that Sox knew the result of Arizona's first carbon dating of the Shroud on 6 May 1988 up to two months before the official announcement.]
4. EVIDENCE THAT TIMOTHY W. LINICK WAS THE LEAKER OF ARIZONA'S 1350 DATE As part of my evidence that Arizona radiocarbon laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-4 June 1989) was allegedly the primary hacker, who: 1) allegedly wrote and installed on Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory's AMS control console computer a program which ensured that the Shroud of Turin samples' actual radiocarbon dates would be replaced by dates which, when calibrated, clustered around 1325; and 2) allegedly passed that program on to the KGB, for which he was allegedly working, to be installed by confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–3 June 1989[but see 17May15]) on the AMS control console computers at Zurich and Oxford's radiocarbon dating laboratories; here is my evidence that Linick allegedly leaked Arizona's 1350 radiocarbon date of the Shroud to the Rev. H. David Sox, an American Episcopalian priest, teaching at the
[Left (click to enlarge): David Sox (centre), meeting with Harry Gove (right) and a BBC representative (left) in 1986.]
American school in London. And that Sox in turn leaked that date to the media through Luckett and others, well before the official announcement on 13 October 1988.
• Linick was an extreme Shroud anti-authenticist In his 1988 book, "The Shroud Unmasked," the Rev. H. David Sox, a former Shroud pro-authenticist General Secretary of the British Society of the Turin Shroud, but later turned anti-authenticist, quoted "Timothy Linick" as saying before Arizona's 6 May 1988 dating of the Shroud, "If we date it back 2000 years ... It would be the right age - but is it the real thing?" (my emphasis):
"The night before the test Damon told Gove he would not be surprised to see the analysis yield a date around the fifth-century, because after that time the crucifixion was banned and a forger would not have known of the details depicted so accurately on the Shroud. 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?'".
This is not only anti-authenticist of Linick, it is extreme anti-authenticist, which would not accept that the Shroud was authentic, even if its radiocarbon age was "2000 years"! That contrasts with non-extreme anti-authenticists like the late Prof. Edward Hall (1924-2001) of Oxford laboratory (and the late Prof. Harry Gove (1922-2009) of Rochester laboratory who quoted Hall approvingly)), who would have accepted the Shroud was authentic if its carbon-date was first century (see below).
Indeed Linick's quoted words are so similar to what the extreme Shroud anti-authenticist, the late Dr Walter McCrone (1916-2002) wrote in 1981, "A date significantly later than the first century would be conclusive evidence the `Shroud' is not genuine. A date placing the linen cloth in the first century, though not conclusive in proving the cloth to be the Shroud of Christ...":
"My conclusions published in October 1980-March 1981 (McCrone and Skirius 1980) (McCrone 1981) were as follows:`Our work now supports the two Bishops [the Bishops of Troyes, Henri of Poitiers (†1354–1370) and Pierre d'Arcis (†1377–1395) and it seems reasonable that the image, now visible, was painted on the cloth shortly before the first exhibition, or about 1355. Only a carbon-dating test can now resolve the question of authenticity of the 'Shroud' of Turin. A date significantly later than the first century would be conclusive evidence the `Shroud' is not genuine. A date placing the linen cloth in the first century, though not conclusive in proving the cloth to be the Shroud of Christ, would, no doubt, be so accepted by nearly everyone.'"
that it is evidence Linick was aware of, and agreed with, McCrone's 1980 claim that the Shroud "image ... was painted on the cloth ...about 1355" (my emphasis).
But Linick would have realised that because McCrone's "about 1355" date was when the Shroud's image was supposedly painted on the linen, the radiocarbon date for him to aim for was that of the harvesting of the flax, which more plausibly would have been well before 1355.
[Right: The late Kenneth Rose, was the first to leak on 3 July 1988 that the carbon dating of the Shroud would be "medieval". Rose kept detailed private diaries from the 1940s until his death this year, totalling "six million words," which are being edited for publication by historian D. Richard Thorpe. It will be interesting to see if Rose's published diaries mention who leaked the information to him that the Shroud would carbon date "medieval"!]
London Sunday Telegraph reported on the ongoing radiocarbon dating of the Shroud that:
"In spite of the intense secrecy surrounding the investigation I hear signs that the linen cloth has been proved to be mediaeval".The story was picked up by news media around the world. Suspicion fell on Oxford laboratory having leaked the results, but Oxford's Prof. Hall and Dr. Hedges in letter to The Times of 9 July denied that, pointing out that Oxford had not yet begun its dating of the Shroud.
On 21 July 1988 the BBC's Neil Cameron phoned Gove and told him that after filming the Timewatch "Shreds of Evidence" documentary on the Shroud in Zurich, between 8th and 13th May 1988, accompanied by Sox as the program's sole consultant, that Cameron had "gleaned ...that the shroud dated to the 13th century". Zurich carried out its dating on 26 May, twenty days after Arizona and, according to Table 2 of the 1989 Nature paper, Zurich's average age of the Shroud was 676 ± 24 years, which is 700-652 years before 1950, which in turn is 1250-1298, entirely in the thirteen century (see my uncalibrated and calibrated spreadsheet tables and and bar charts in part #5).
[Left: "Dr Richard Luckett [who] has been the Pepys Librarian at Magdalene College, Cambridge, since 1982", i.e. Luckett's position in August 1988 when he leaked, allegedly on behalf of Sox, who allegedly received it from Linick, Arizona's 1350 date of the Shroud to the London Evening Standard.]
probable date of about 1350 looks likely" and remarking that "laboratories are rather leaky institutions".
This generated another world-wide media frenzy, yet none of the laboratories nor the British Museum knew Luckett or how he had obtained his information. It was generally assumed that the Oxford laboratory, which had completed its dating on 6 August, had leaked the 1350 date to Luckett. But not only was Oxford's mean date "several decades less than 1350 AD", in an Associated Press story of 9 September 1988, Luckett was quoted as saying:
"I had an absolutely marvellous leak from one of the laboratories and it wasn't Oxford" (my emphasis).
Gove, knowing that Luckett's date of 1350 was Arizona's first date of the Shroud on 6 May 1988, became "worried that it might have come from someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement" (as Linick was):
"I must say I wondered about Luckett's date of 1350 because it was the date Donahue announced to me when I was present at the first radiocarbon measurement on the shroud in 6 May 1988. Of course, it also corresponds very closely to the shroud's known historic date. However, I still assumed Luckett had said he got the number from Oxford. When I read that he claimed he got it from one of the other two labs I worried that it might have come from someone who was present at Arizona during the first measurement".
I have been told privately of a possible connection between Sox, Luckett and Rose, but I am not at liberty to reveal it.
On 23 September 1988, Ian Wilson in a special letter to all BSTS members, publicly named "the Revd. David Sox" as "the ... source of possibly all the leaks" and "his `inside' information ... can only have come from Arizona or Zurich":
"As members can scarcely fail to have been aware, ever since early July there have been a spate of press rumours that the Shroud has been carbon-dated to sometime in the mediaeval period. The rumours have chiefly come from this country ... Towards the end of July the rumours were rekindled as a result of pre-publicity surrounding the BBC Timewatch television programme `Shreds of Evidence'. ... transmitted 27 July ... The programme had just one 'expert' consultant, the Revd. David Sox. ...on 26 August the London Evening Standard ran as its front-page lead story `Shroud of Turin Really is a Fake'. Accompanying this was a seemingly authoritative article by librarian Dr. Richard Luckett of Magdalene College, Cambridge, cryptically remarking that `laboratories are rather leaky institutions' and `a probable date of about 1350 looks likely' ... yet both the Oxford laboratory and Dr. Michael Tite of the British Museum insisted that they knew nothing of how Dr. Luckett had come by his information, and had had no dealings with him. When in a telephone enquiry to Dr. Luckett I asked whether the Revd. David Sox had been his source, he hastily changed the subject. ... On 18 September the Sunday Times carried the front page headline `Official: Turin Shroud is a Fake' ... the Science Correspondent ... admitted that his source had been the Revd. David Sox. ... It seems clear that they have been mistaken, and that the true source of possibly all the leaks is the single non-English clerical gentleman whose identity will now be self-evident. This individual's means of obtaining his `inside' information (which can only have come from Arizona or Zurich) ... can only be guessed at".
On the day of Wilson's special letter, Sox phoned Gove to deny he was the source of the leaks, but tellingly Gove did not record that he told Sox he believed him, but on the contrary Gove later wrote that Arizona's Donahue and Damon and Turin's Gonella had come to the conclusion that Sox was indeed the source of the leaks:
"David Sox called me from London on 23 September 1988 to say that Ian Wilson had charged him with being the source of all the leaks. Sox vigorously denied the charge. On 27 September I phoned Donahue. He told me that Damon had phoned Gonella and that Gonella had conceded that the rumours were correct but that it was not yet official. Gonella also told Damon that he believed the rumours came from me to Sox. Damon himself believed that Sox was the source of the leaks".
"Finally, it became known that Sox was behind the rumours. He, however, was not prepared to foot the entire bill on behalf of everybody: `May I be damned if I were to let the entire blame fall on myself.' [La Stampa, September 24, 1988]. One thing is certain: Sox's book was already printed at the end of September, that is, more than two weeks before the official publication of the results. The Reverend had shown himself to be most informed on many secret aspects of the affair ...".
And since, according to Table 1 of the 1989 Nature paper, none of Zurich's dates were anywhere near 1350, Sox's source of the "1350" date of the Shroud, which he evidently leaked through Luckett, had to have been someone from Arizona laboratory, who was present at that first dating run, as "T W Linick" was:
"The next morning at about 8 am (6 May 1988) I arrived at the Arizona AMS facility. ... I would be the only one present outside the Arizona AMS group. Doug immediately asked me to sign the following statement: `We the undersigned, understand that radiocarbon age results for the Shroud of Turin obtained from the University of Arizona AMS facility are confidential. We agree not to communicate the results to anyone - spouse, children, friends, press, etc., until that time when results are generally available to the public.' It had been signed by D J Donahue, Brad Gore, L J Toolin, P E Damon, Timothy Jull and Art Hatheway, all connected with the Arizona AMS facility, before I signed. My signature was followed by T W Linick and P J Sercel, also from the Arizona facility".
unless Linick contacted Sox? Linick was not a laboratory leader, but an ordinary `back room' Arizona laboratory scientist. Sox's book has at the end of its Introduction its last date before publication, "August 1988", and the book had its official launch on 15 October 1988. So the 16 February 1989 Nature paper to which Linick was a signatory was still four months in the future. Before then, outside of radiocarbon dating circles, Linick would have been unknown.
Besides, Sox in the above page states that the context of Linick's statement was "before the test," and specifically, before the day of the test. But according to Sox's own book, there was no opportunity for Gove to talk with Linick, before the day of the test:
"Harry Gove and Shirley Brignall arrived in Tucson, Arizona at 4.00pm on 5 May, three days before Neil Cameron and I were in Zurich. They were exhausted from a thoroughly fouled-up flying schedule due to bad weather. Gove called Douglas Donahue at the Arizona lab, and he told them to be at the Physics Department at 8.00 the next morning. They were starting the preparation for their first run on the samples at 7.00am. Paul Damon called an hour later and suggested he came over to the motel and have a beer and a chat with Gove and Brignall ... Gove arrived at the Physics Department around 9.00am".
In Gove's book he adds that after the Damon left, he and Brignall had dinner and then Gove was interviewed by Donahue's journalist son-in-law at 9:30 pm, and at 8 am the next morning Gove was at the Arizona laboratory:
"Damon then had to leave to attend some 'Jesse Jackson For President' function. Shirley and I had dinner at the Doubletree and had just gotten back upstairs when the phone rang. It was a reporter named Bill McClellan of the St Louis Post Dispatch ... [who] was married to one of Donahue's daughters. He was visiting the Donahues with his wife and two children and wanted a chance to talk to me. McClellan asked if he could interview me that evening. After consulting Shirley, I agreed we would meet him in the lobby about 9:30 ... During the interview ... He said he would phone me if he had further questions. The next morning at about 8 am (6 May 1988) I arrived at the Arizona AMS facility ... ".
So again there was no opportunity for Linick to have said the above words to Gove before the day of the test, and there is nothing in Gove account about him chatting with Linick or the other AMS staff while they were busy preparing the samples and carrying out final checks of the AMS system. And even if Gove had talked with Linick immediately before the test, Sox later stated in writing that it was not Gove who had told him Arizona's 1350 date (see below).
So how would Sox know that Linick said the above words, unless Linick said them directly to Sox, over the phone? In Gove's list above of all those who were present at Arizona's dating on 6 May, Sox wasn't there. According to Sox's book he was in Zurich on 8 May, two days after Arizona's first dating, consulting for the BBC's Timewatch documentary on the Shroud. Then Gove in his book records that he had dinner with Sox in London on 12 May. On the last page of Sox's book, in an end note, Sox wrote:
"Section XXIX Most of the observations in this section come from Harry Gove."
That section begins with the arrival of Gove and his partner Shirley Brignall in Tucson on 5 May, the day before Arizona's first dating of the Shroud, and it ends on page 147 above with the AMS control console's computer's calculations of the Shroud's age being displayed on the computer's screen, and that Gove won his bet that the Shroud's age would be 1000 years against Brignall's 2000 years. So Gove had to admit in his 1996 book that he told Brignall the 1350 date, in breach of his signed undertaking above "not to communicate the results to anyone":
"I had a bet with Shirley on the shroud's age-she bet 2000 ±100 years old and I bet 1000 ±100 years. Whoever won bought the other a pair of cowboy boots. Although my guess was wrong, it was closer than Shirley's. She bought me the cowboy boots. The reader, by now, will have guessed that despite the agreement I had signed, I told Shirley the result that had been obtained that day. She and I had been associated with this shroud adventure now for almost exactly eleven years-there was no way I could not tell her. I knew she would never violate my confidence and she never did".and he must have told Sox that the Shroud's age, according to Arizona's first dating, was closer to 1000 years than 2000. But Gove makes it abundantly clear that he never divulged to Sox that Arizona's first date was "1350", and he was puzzled when Luckett stated the radiocarbon date of the Shroud was "1350". And indeed Sox, in a copy of a letter forwarded to Gove, stated, "Gove didn't [tell me the 1350 date of the Shroud]":
"On 12 October I received by express mail a copy of a letter dated 7 October and postmarked 8 October 1988 that Sox had written to [Rinaldi]. He said `... Woelfli did not tell me, Gove didn't and I will never say how I came to have an inkling about the results ...' This letter settled the question of whether I revealed any information to Sox regarding the results obtained on the shroud's age during the first run I attended at Arizona. When I was in Britain in May to participate in the BBC's shroud programme I had taken great care not to tell him or Cameron or anyone else the results I had observed first hand in Tucson".
Moreover, Gove would be most unlikely to quote Linick's words to Sox, given again that Linick was just another Arizona scientist. If Gove had wanted to make a similar statement, he would be perfectly capable of saying it himself, and with more weight than Linick. That is if Gove agreed with its extreme anti-authenticity, which going by Gove's approving quote of Oxford's Prof. Hall, that, "if the carbon date turned out to be around the start of the first century AD, he [Hall] would then find it difficult to dismiss the shroud's authenticity:"
"Hall went on to say that he would not know the results of the test until they were announced by the Vatican because he would have no way of knowing which piece of material was from the shroud. As an agnostic, he did not believe in any supernatural explanation for the shroud's images. He added that he viewed Christ as a historical individual with a powerful personality. He admitted that it is possible that, in some way we do not currently fully understand, some kind of impression from him was transferred to the shroud. However, if the carbon date turned out to be around the start of the first century AD, he would then find it difficult to dismiss the shroud's authenticity".Gove didn't agree with Linick's and McCrone's extreme anti-authenticism.
Neither Sox nor Gove said anything in their books about Sox flying to Arizona before its dating on 6 May, or after Zurich's dating on 26 May and before his book was published in August. And why would Sox go over there? He would have had his hands full writing his book in record time. Also, Sox was employed as a teacher at the American School in London (see above). So either someone in Arizona lab quoted Linick's words to Sox (and why would anyone do that when they could say it themselves?), and then Sox quoted Linick's words as hearsay in his book (a dangerous thing for an author to do especially in such a controversial topic). The publisher of Sox's book, to avoid possible legal action by Linick, would have routinely checked with Sox to make sure that Linick said those words directly to Sox. Finally, Sox's quote of Linick is in quotation marks, which means that Linick did say those words directly to Sox. Otherwise Sox would have had to preface Linick's words with something like, "X, in the Arizona laboratory before the dating of the Shroud, heard Timothy Linick, an Arizona laboratory scientist, say ..."
So the simplest (if not the only reasonable) explanation is that Linick communicated his quoted words directly to Sox over the phone, or by a written account. And since Sox was the secondary source of the leak of Arizona's 1350 leak (see above), the inference is irresistible that Linick was the leaker of Arizona's 1350 date to Sox.
While this does not alone prove that Linick was the hacker, who wrote and installed a program on Arizona's AMS control console computer (and indirectly on the counterpart computers at Zurich and Oxford), which replaced the Shroud's first (or early because of irremovable contamination by younger carbon) century radiocarbon dates with computer generated dates which, when calibrated, yielded the `bull's eye' date of 1350, it is now harder to argue that Linick wasn't the hacker. Given that Linick had breached his signed undertaking to keep the results of the dating confidential (see above) by leaking them to Sox, whom he must have known would in turn leak it to the media. And given that it would have been important for a hacker to create a climate of expectation to influence the other two laboratories to accept without question (as Arizona laboratory did) that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was medieval. And Linick's scientific career would have been adversely impacted (if not over) if Sox had inadvertently let it slip (which he almost did by quoting Linick in his book, which must have raised eyebrows among Linick's Arizona colleagues). So Linick must have been motivated by something more than an anti-authenticist desire to discredit the Shroud in advance of the official announcement a few months later, if he thought that Arizona's dating of the Shroud as 1350 was genuine.
But it is consistent with my theory that Linick was paid by the KGB to take that career-ending risk, to directly hack into Arizona's (and indirectly Zurich's and Oxford's) AMS control console computers so as to ensure that their Shroud samples returned a combined average calibrated radiocarbon date of about 1325, for the harvesting of the flax which became the Shroud's linen, just before its first appearance in undisputed history, at Lirey, France "about 1355," as publicly predicted by leading Shroud anti-authenticist Walter McCrone in the early 1980s (see above and the next part #7).
Continued in part #7.
1. This post is copyright. No one may copy from this post or any of my posts on this my The Shroud of Turin blog without them first asking and receiving my written permission. Except that I grant permission, without having to ask me, for anyone to copy the title and one paragraph only (including one associated graphic) of any of my posts, provided that if they repost it on the Internet a link to my post from which it came is included. See my post of May 8, 2014. [return]
2. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.6. [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1988a, "Recent Publications," BSTS Newsletter, No. 20, October, p.19. [return]
4. Ibid. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.6-7. [return]
6. Wilson, 1988a, p.19. [return]
7. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E. , 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
8. "WikiFreaks, Pt. 4 `The Nerds Who Played With Fire'," The Psychedelic Dungeon, 15 September 2010. [return]
9. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.176G. [return]
10. Wilson, 1998, p.234. [return]
11. Ibid. [return]
12. Sox, 1988, p.147. [return]
13. McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, p.138. [return]
14. Gove, 1996, p.264. [return]
15. Gove, 1996, p.272. [return]
16. "Kenneth Rose - obituary," The Telegraph, 29 January 2014. [return]
17. Shawcross, W., 2014, "Kenneth Rose: we'll miss his wit, warmth and wry sense of humour," The Telegraph, 1 February. [return]
18. Wilson, I., 1988b, "On the Recent `Leaks'," British Society for the Turin Shroud, 23 September. [return]
19. Gove, 1996, p.272. [return]
20. Wilson, 1988b. [return]
21. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.91. [return]
22. Sox, 1988, p.135. [return]
23. Gove, 1996, p.267. [return]
24. Sox, 1988, p.160. [return]
25. Wilson, I., 1988c, "Two Recent B.B.C. Television Programmes," BSTS Newsletter, No. 20, October, p.23. [return]
26. Gove, 1996, p.274. [return]
27. Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.131. [return]
28. Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p.87. [return]
29. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, pp.611-615, p.613. [return]
30. Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
31. Wilson, 1988b. [return]
32. "Birthdays: Dr Richard Luckett," The Times, July 1 2010. [return]
33. Wilson, 1988b. [return]
34. Ibid. [return]
35. Gove, 1996, p.277. [return]
36. Gove, 1996, pp.277-278. [return]
37. Gove, 1996, p.278. [return]
38. Gove, 1996, p.279. [return]
39. Wilson, I., 1988b. [return]
40. Gove, 1996, p.281. [return]
41. Petrosillo & Marinelli, 1996, p.95. [return]
42. Damon, 1989, p.613, 611. According to Table 1, the mean uncalibrated dates of Zurich's five Shroud samples runs were: 733, 722, 635, 639 and 679 years before 1950, which equates to 1217, 1228, 1315, 1311 and 1271. [return]
43. Gove, 1996, p.262. [return]
44. Sox, 1988, p.6. [return]
45. Wilson, 1998, p.311. [return]
46. Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
47. Sox, 1988, pp.143,145. [return]
48. Gove, 1996, pp.261-262. [return]
49. Sox, 1988, p.135. [return]
50. Gove, 1996, p.267. [return]
51. Sox, 1988, p.135. [return]
52. Gove, 1996, p.265. [return]
53. Gove, 1996, pp.267, 276, 281, 283. [return]
54. Gove, 1996, pp.277-281. [return]
55. Gove, 1996, p.283. [return]
56. Gove, 1996, pp.184-185. [return]
Updated: 24 June 2014. Updated: 25 September 2016.