This is part #2, "Fraud a real possibility," of my "Steps in the development of my radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud hacker theory" series. In this series I will set out in chronological order the key steps in the development of my theory that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was the result of a computer hacking. For more information about this series see part #1, "Hacking an explanation & Index." Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.
Fraud a real possibility On 9 January 2014, six and a half years
[Right (enlarge): The agnostic but pro- authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow's 2012 book on the Shroud, which pointed out that fraud was a real possibility in the 1260-1390 = 1325 ± 65 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud because, "Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve." (see below). ]
after it first occurred to me in June 2007 that the fully computerised AMS radiocarbon dating of the Shroud could have been the result of a computer hacking, I began what was to be a 7-part series entitled, "The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud." Part 6 was to be, "Possible fraud scenarios in the dating of the Shroud," under which I would have included hacking of the AMS computers radiocarbon dating the Shroud at the three laboratories, Arizona, Zurich and Oxford.
As my post of 9 January 2014 states, "I had for a long time been thinking of posting on this topic [the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dating was the result of fraud, and in particular computer hacking fraud], and was prompted to do so by reading recently what the agnostic Shroud pro-authenticist, art historian Thomas de Wesselow, wrote":
"The third possibility [why `the 1988 result ... conflicts with all the evidence that points to the Shroud having been in existence long before 1260'] is that a fraud was perpetrated ... Most sindonologists regard these fraud theories as plainly incredible ... However, scientific fraud is by no means unknown, as the editors of science journals are well aware ... One important consideration weighs in favour of the possibility of deception. If the carbon-dating error was accidental, then it is a remarkable coincidence that the result tallies so well with the date always claimed by sceptics as the Shroud's historical debut. But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn't be a coincidence at all. Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve".Between "plainly incredible" and "However, scientific fraud" in the above quote was, "Some, like Ian Wilson, refuse to contemplate such `unworthy' accusations." It was the influential Wilson's blanket refusal to consider fraud as an explanation of how the 1st century Shroud had a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date:
"For during both the preliminaries to and the immediate aftermath of the Shroud radiocarbon dating I struck up a moderate acquaintance with the British Museum's Dr Tite, the Oxford laboratory's Professor Hall and the Arizona laboratory's Professor Damon, from which experience I can say with some confidence that any scenario suggesting that one or more of these men may have `rigged' the radiocarbon dating ... may be judged as absurd and far-fetched as it is unworthy."(when it had to have been fraud of some kind) because those proposing fraud in the radiocarbon dating, including de Wesselow above, could only think of sample-switching, which is "incredible" [see 23Jul15], that made it hard for me to propose fraud by computer hacking. But it was my reading in early January 2014 the above serious consideration of fraud in the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud by de Wesselow, because of the `too good to be true' "1325 ± 65 years" radiocarbon date, that encouraged me to start a series presenting "The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud," at the end of which I would propose fraud by computer hacking.
But as the note above my 9 January 2014 post says, I had (in late January 2014): "realised that this topic is going to require a lot of research, which will distract me" from other topics I wanted to post on, so I "put... it on the backburner."
Then in late March 2014, I added a later note: "PS: Further to the above, see my series, "Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by a computer hacker?": part 1 [18Feb14], part 2 [20Feb14], part 3 [22Feb14], "Summary" [07Mar14] and "My replies to Dr. Timothy Jull and Prof. Christopher Ramsey." [13Mar14]. So by mid-March 2014 my hacker theory was well underway!Continued in part #3 of this series.
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of it (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., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, 611. [return]
3. "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Thomas de Wesselow, AbeBooks.com, nd. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.7; McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin,", pp.1,141,178,246-247. [return]
5. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.168, 170. [return]
6. Wilson, 1998, p.11. [return]
Posted: 21 February 2017. Updated: 11 March 2017.