The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

THE HOLY SHROUD OF TURIN

II. The conclusion of a new trial:
His condemnation to death and His resurrection

DURING the life time of Therese of the Holy Face, the Holy Shroud had remained hidden like her, unknown, forgotten, relegated, buried in its “ sepulchre ”, so aptly named, above Bertola’s altar in the Guarini chapel.

It was an exhibition of sacred art which brought out the Holy Shroud in 1898, and photography revealed it to the world. Yet, it only emerged from its silence for a “ public life ”; its exposition in 1978, and the expertise which followed it, at the hands of the STURP team, were the Palm Sunday of its triumph. Putting a stop to the enormous imposture by McCrone, who made a great media fuss to have everyone believe that the image was an iron oxide painting, the thirty two scientists of the American team and their assistants published the results of their work at the New London symposium held on October 10 and 11, 1981  :

“ We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of haemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. ”

Shortly after this symposium, the Trustees of the British Museum authorised Doctor Tite to act as supervisor of a project for the Holy Shroud to be dated by the carbon 14 method. On whose initiative and with what aim  ? Mystery  !

Holy Face

The Holy Face in negative.

Note that the Holy Shroud is already dated by the imprint of Christ with which it is marked, with a certitude strikingly corroborated by palaeography.

A procedure was first of all drawn up among the seven laboratories appointed for this project and the Pontifical Academy of sciences, which was commissioned with the task of co-ordinating the work with the help of the British Museum and the “ G. Colonetti ” meteorological institute in Turin, which would be responsible for the statistical analysis and interpretation of the results.

It is remarkable, however, that the Americans of the STURP team and the Italian sindonologists of the Centro, and we ourselves obviously, were kept out of these preliminary moves. Why “ obviously ”  ? Because we do not accept imposture in science any more than in doctrine, no matter from how high it claims to be imposed. Already, in the international campaign in support of McCrone’s imposture, we had taken the place, despite ourselves, of judge and jury, which was vacant, opposing ourselves to the various Maffias.

STURP had enlisted for the multidisciplinary program of “ Project no 2 ”, the carbon 14 dating. But Henry Gove had sworn to keep them out. In the name of what and of whom did he get his way  ? The devil was already entering into the game.

The “ Turin Protocol ” numbered no less than eight hundred typewritten pages  ; everything, absolutely everything was provided for, from the taking of samples from the Holy Shroud, entrusted to Madame Mechtilde Flury-Lemberg, of the Abegg-Stiftung in Berne, the most qualified person in the world for this first delicate operation on which everything else depended, to carrying out the two dating methods (AMS and small gas counters).

Now, this protocol concluded under the aegis of Cardinal Ballestrero (September 29 – October 1, 1986) was not respected. Nobody knows how or why Mechtilde Flury-Lemberg was set aside in favour of Signor Riggi, a person with no qualifications, why only three laboratories were kept in the end, using only one method, co-ordinated by the British Museum alone, in the person of Doctor Tite only, free to act as he liked. Nobody knows who evicted the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, not even Cardinal Ratzinger, contrary to all the promises he says he had been given. But it was from the hand of Cardinal Casaroli that the Pope’s order reached Cardinal Ballestrero, in a letter dated May 1987 and transmitted to the laboratories on October 10, 1987.

Thereafter, there was no more protocol. Tite is free to take whatever initiative he likes without being checked by anyone. And he is an ideological adversary of our Catholic faith, of its devotions, and of its “ relics ”. Let us follow his actions carefully.

OF THE SAMPLES

January 1988  : Tite holds a meeting in London with representatives of the three laboratories. Nothing has transpired from their discussions.

February  : Tite starts the search for a linen sample absolutely similar to the Holy Shroud “ in both weave and colour ”. But in secret. He writes to Jacques Évin. Évin addresses the Musée de Cluny but his request is refused. What is all that about  ? Mystery  !

March  : Tite writes a letter to the review Nature which will be published in April by way of “ protocol ”, in which he makes no mention of this “ double ” of the Holy Shroud, which he was at that time actively searching in several directions. It all gives the idea of a substitution in preparation…

Jacques Évin went to Saint Maximin’s, and without warning the Parish Priest, tore a few tufts of thread from the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou (1274-1297), involving Gabriel Vial in the adventure to make sure that the texture of the cloth was similar in every point to that of the Holy Shroud. But he could not send them to Tite because of a postal strike. He, therefore, asked Vial to hand them over personally on the April 21, the day fixed for removing the samples, to which the expert from Lyons had been invited.

In the meanwhile, hearing nothing from Évin, Tite turns to Ian Wilson of the British Society for the Turin Shroud, and makes the same request of him. It gets more and more curious  !

There is no doubt that this secret quest for an unprovided sample is to prepare a substitute out of this sample for that of the Holy Shroud.

April 21, 1988  : Madame Flury-Lemberg having been ousted, Signor Giovanni Riggi proceeds with the removal of samples from the Holy Shroud in the sacristy of the cathedral of Turin, in the presence of Cardinal Ballestrero, his scientific adviser Luigi Gonella, Professors Franco Testore and Gabriel Vial, textile experts, but knowing nothing of the Holy Shroud, Dr. Tite and representatives from the three laboratories.

After announcing in the “ protocol letter ” published by Nature, “ that the laboratories will not be told which sample comes from the shroud ”, Tite summons Professors Damon and Donahue from Tucson, Hall and Hedges from Oxford, and Wölfli from Zurich to be present at the sample taking… and to see what should have been hidden from them  !

Furthermore, this sample taking session was a veritable coup de force, as is revealed by the grave incident that day when Cardinal Ballestrero was opposed by the Beni Culturali administration, the Italian State ministry of culture and proprietor of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud. Two officials came to remonstrate with the Cardinal for not having advised them about this sample taking, and stipulated that in future the Holy Shroud was not to be removed from its reliquary without the authorisation of the public authorities  !

With remarkable clumsiness, Riggi cut out a large piece of 500 mg, and cut back 200 mg from the outer borders, ending in a strip of cloth 81 x 16 mm  ; in desperation, he divided it into two unequal parts  ; one part provided the three samples that had to be equalised by adding a fragment from the other piece, creating one sample of two pieces  !

This… detail of a sample in two pieces was guardedly held secret, both by Riggi in his official report, dated the April 26, 1988, five days after the event, and by Tite in his, the official and definitive report, published in Nature ten months later, in February 1989, with the backing of the twenty co-authors of the dating. According to these reports, the sample taken from the Holy Shroud measured 7 x 1 = 7 cm², and was divided into three equal samples, the first time, with no hitch, and all of the same shape, surface and weight.

They, therefore, passed in silence over the existence of a sample of two pieces, an indication of the crime they will no longer be able to wash their hands of right up to the time we finished by discovering it seventeen months later, as we shall remind all those who pretend to have forgotten.

Tite then intervened, but in the secrecy of a back room, in the presence of Cardinal Ballestrero and Gonella. In the three steel tubes for specimen n° 1 he placed the four fragments of the Shroud, destined for the three laboratories  : Arizona (A1), Oxford (O1), Zurich (Z1). In the three tubes for specimen n° 2, he placed a mediaeval cloth dated 11th-12th century. In the three tubes for specimen n° 3, under the false label “ linen associated with the mummy of Cleopatra ”, he placed a sample of cloth from the Holy Shroud’s “ double ” taken from the reserves of the Victoria and Albert Museum  : three perfectly clean and equal rectangles cut from a strip of 7 x 1 cm belonging to a cloth from the 14th-15th century.

In addition, each laboratory received a portion of the “ fourth sample ”, brought by Vial who pressed it into Tite’s hands, although he did not want it, since he had been unable to receive it in time and in secret. They were placed in small brown envelopes, since no steel tubes had been provided for this “ fourth sample ”.

April 23, 1988  : On their return to Tucson and warned by Tite that their sample was in two pieces, which made the planned substitution easily detectable, and therefore dangerous, Douglas Donahue and Paul Damon decided to place the small 14 mg fragment in reserve and to make do with the remaining 40 mg for the analysis. Very quietly, they met as accomplices in the laboratory, that Sunday April 24; they opened tubes 1 and 3 and proceeded with the agreed substitution  ; they extracted the Holy Shroud, in two pieces, from tube 1; they took a souvenir photo (see below); they put the large piece into tube n° 3, and hid the small 14 mg piece away in a secret place. The cloth said to be from “ the mummy of Cleopatra ”, but in reality a piece of medieval cloth from the 14th-15th century, taken from the Bock collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, was removed from tube 3 and placed in tube 1 where, as such, it took the place of the Holy Shroud. They did not bother about its weight or size…

They replaced the seals. From that moment, had everything gone smoothly, the fraud would have remained undetectable. But science is a wonderful thing, so exact, that the very numbers spoke  ! What am I saying  ? They cried out the truth  !

Monday April 25  : Damon, Donahue, Jull and Toolin met for the solemn unsealing of the three numbered tubes  ; all four signed the laboratory notebook certifying that the seals were intact. A false testimony on the part of Damon and Donahue. Jull and Toolin are, as yet, kept out of the secret.

Fragments of the Holy ShroudDetail of a “ souvenir-photo ” (  !) taken at the Tucson laboratory, Arizona, on Sunday April 24, 1988, which Professor Donahue sent to us on January 3, 1991. Our explanation  :
– the Archbishop of Turin’s red wax seal. It was not broken and will be replaced after the substitution, in such a way that on Monday morning, for the official opening of the tube, Damon and Donahue, Jull and Toolin will certify in the laboratory notebook that it was intact.
– the steel tube marked “ Al ”, the initial of the laboratory (Arizona), and the number of the sample which Tite placed therein on April 21, in Turin, in the presence of Cardinal Ballestrero.
– the aluminium paper in which the sample was wrapped.
– the Holy Shroud sample. It is in two pieces. The large piece weighs 40 mg  ; the small piece 14 mg.

Damon and Donahue are going to keep the small piece secret, and place the big piece in the tube marked “ A3 ”, after having previously taken from this tube n° 3 the sample officially labelled “ Linen from the collection of the Egyptian antiquities of the British Museum, associated with a mummy of Cleopatra dating from the beginning of the 2nd century AD, originating from Thebes (EA 6707). “ In reality  : Linen from the Bock collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (14th–15th century, weight  : 53.7mg), which is going to take its place in the tube marked “ A1 ”.

Unfortunately for the hoaxers, this nocturnal transformation from 40 mg to 50 and even 53 mg is inexplicable. It is proof of one of the greatest machinations invented by Christ’s enemies in the course of the first two millennia of the Christian era. To think that we reconstituted the whole of this crime six years ago, published it and everyone learned of it. Yet nowhere has there been heard an echo of this, in any book or article, journal or review. The moral  : depending on whether you are a powerful liar or a wretched witness of the truth, the judgements of the court, of Rome or elsewhere, will make you out to be black or white.

DR. TITE’S CONCERN

From Friday May 6 to Wednesday June 8  : after preparing the samples – cutting them into sub-samples, cleaning, combustion into CO² and conversion from CO² into graphite targets – the Arizona laboratory made its analyses and immediately sent the results to Tite. For sample n° 1, they came up with two calendar date ranges, one of which, 1359-1378, with a 68% probability, was truly too modern for the “ Holy Shroud ”. That alone was enough to alert the whole world that this sample n° 1, despite its label, was not the Holy Shroud exposed and venerated at Lirey from the year 1350  !

It was absolutely necessary, therefore, that the results from Zurich and Oxford correct this excess by providing results favouring the first date range (1285-1305). That is precisely what is seen at Zurich. And still more at Oxford, which definitively reverses the trend by last minute measurements carried out over two days, July 20 and 21, whereas the final report published by Nature, states that “ each laboratory performed between three and five independent measurements for each textile sample, which were carried out over a time period of about one month ”.

These three measurements made by Oxford did indeed end in the desired values. Of course  ! But one only has to examine the “ figure 1 ” (below) of the report published by Nature on February 16, 1989 to see that they “ fall ” exactly – far too exactly, with no deviation to right or left – in line with the date range for sample 4, that of the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou. Thus, Oxford’s little plane, which is curiously in a band apart, is found to be exactly vertical with another Oxford plane, that of flight n° 4, sharing the same date range. We have underlined with two vertical red lines this first manifestation of the truth. While the other two little planes for n° 4, Zurich and Arizona, are here naturally in close flight formation with Oxford.

For flight n° 1 is the sample substituted for the Holy Shroud  : the 1 x 7 cm strip. This one alone strangely presents a distinct variance among the three laboratories. It is a discordance which contrasts with the magnificent concordance of the other three results provided by the three other samples  !

Results obtained by the three laboratoriesFirst figure of the report published by the review Nature, February 16, 1989, summarising all the results obtained by the three laboratories (A, Arizona  ; O, Oxford  ; Z, Zurich) in radiocarbon age, that is to say, in the number of years before the present era (1950), the conventional age directly measured by carbon 14, before any calibration and conversion into calendar age. Each dash represents the range of results for a laboratory, identified by its initial. The shroud is sample 1, and the three controls are samples 2, 3 and 4. Sample 4 is the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou.

The gap between Arizona and Oxford is too visible not to arouse the most legitimate of suspicions  : enough to make one wonder whether these two laboratories worked on samples from the same cloth  ! The lengthy statistical development devoted to the interpretation of the results in the Nature report has no other reason than to attempt to answer that question… positively.

Our lines, added in red ink, underline that (all too) identical age of the supposed shroud and the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou, both being the age demanded by Tite  !

Oxford, therefore, proceeded, at Tite’s request, with another substitution  : a graphite target prepared from the threads of the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou was used for “ sample n° 1 ”. The proof  ? The fact is written in black and white in the notebooks of the Oxford laboratory – secrets, secrets  ! – which we have to hand  : this graphite target, codified 1166-1 on July 13, 1988, is missing from the table of measurements taken on July 20 and 21. Who stole it  ? Guess  !

THE MEDIA “ COUP DE FORCE ”

According to scientific ethics, the result of the dating ought firstly to have been made the object of a report published in a specialist review and reviewed by peers, before being announced to the world. To reverse this order shows a manifest intention of abusing the public and of deceiving the entire world, as happened recently in the sphere of medical research.

June 25  : “ The delay is unusual ”, declares Kromer, Director of the Physics laboratory of Heidelberg. In fact, as we know, Arizona had completed its measurements by that time and had transmitted them to Dr. Tite.

If the laboratories had acted simultaneously, at the same time as Tucson, in the weeks following the sample taking, and if they had transmitted their results to Tite together, everything would have been completed in June, but then there would have been no possibility of consulting together beforehand. But, there certainly was prior consultation and… all very secret  ! This is what took time. The laboratories acted one after the other  : Tucson first, then Zurich, and finally Oxford, according to a well ordered timetable allowing for the results to be arranged at leisure so that they converged on the expected date.

It is only after Oxford’s tests had been performed in July that the first “ leaks ” occurred.

From July 27, David Sox had filmed a programme for the BBC entitled “ Verdict on the Shroud ”. But he was not authorised to divulge what he already knew. He had, however, prepared a book with the provocative title, “ The Shroud unmasked ”, proclaiming in its sub-title the “ discovery of the greatest forgery of all time ”. The book had been printed two weeks before the official publication of the results. The forgery was again at the forge  !

Friday August 26, the headlines in the London Evening Standard that day read, “ The Shroud of Turin is a forgery ”. The news immediately spread like wild fire. Gonella, Cardinal Ballestrero’s scientific adviser, attempted in vain to refute it.

After that, any delay imposed on the official publication of what was already generally known was denounced as an attempt on the part of the Church to obstruct the truth. A spokesman for Cardinal Hume, the Archbishop of Westminster, stated, however, that “ the hierarchy would make no comment on the Shroud before receiving and studying the full report of the experiments ”. But would the Church be allowed this freedom under the pressure of such a formidable world orchestration  ? And would she want it  ?

September 28, 1988  : Dr. Tite communicated the results to Cardinal Ballestrero, Pontifical Guardian of the Holy Shroud, who had neither the wisdom nor the courage to resist blackmail.

Thursday October 13, 1988  : Even before the manuscript of the report to appear in Nature had been submitted for publication, and heedless of the incalculable consequences of his decision, the Cardinal gave a press conference on Thursday October 13 in the packed hall of the mother house of Don Bosco’s Salesians at Valdocco. He, the Pontifical Custodian of the Holy Shroud, allowed himself to utter such insulting words with regard to the Holy Relic and its devotees, that Father Rinaldi, vice-president of the Holy Shroud Guild, demanded that he resign his office.

Friday October 14  : press conference at the British Museum. Tite is enthroned, flanked by the physicists of the Oxford laboratory, Edward Hall and Robert Hedges. Behind them is a blackboard on which is chalked these simple dates  : 1260-1390, punctuated with an exclamation mark, a shout of victory. On the evening of that Friday October 14, 1988, the “ mediaeval ” dating of the Holy Shroud was imposed on the Church – without any theological or pastoral attempt to justify its acceptance by the faithful so passionately attached to this dear Relic, and on the whole world without any control by “ peers ” of the scientific community – as the absolute and definitive result of the indisputable and undisputed carbon 14 method.

Dr Tite, Pr Hall and Mr HedgesPress conference at the British Museum, on Friday October 14, 1988. In the centre is Dr. Michael Tite  ; to his right , Professor Edward Hall, director of the Oxford dating laboratory  ; on his left, the physicist Robert Hedges who carried out the test. Jacques Évin, the French specialist in low-level radioactivity, of the laboratory of Villeurbanne, recognised that it was necessary to “ swindle ” [in French, “ truander ”], to use his own expression, in order to obtain the arithmetical average published as the final result  : 1260-1390  ! the exclamation mark expressing all the jubilation concealed beneath the British coolness of Tite and Hall.

“ They should not have averaged the figures ”, the French professor, Jacques Évin, conceded. Yet they did it all the same. Why  ? The last stage of our enquiry led us to question the statisticians of the British Museum.

TRACKING DOWN THE HOAXERS

Sunday November 27, at the main hall of the Mutualité in Paris, before an audience of two thousand five hundred, Fr. de Nantes opened the inquiry, generously take the part of “ devil’s advocate ”, so as to gain a better hearing when he turned accuser. He resolutely dismissed all the imaginary “ causes of error ”, which would allow the machines to be incriminated  : neither contamination of the linen nor any supposed modification of the isotopic composition will ever explain how the results fall exactly in the all too expected 13th-14th century instead and in place of the 1st century of our era. Chance will have to shoulder the blame  !

“ And so, it is not the machines that laid down the law to men  ; it is men, their scientific and ecclesiastical “ maffias ”, who manipulated and commanded the results in such a way that their “ challenge ” should end to their own glory and general satisfaction. ”

And already we have the first proof of this shady plot  : the fraudulent intrusion of a fourth sample, removed from the cope of Saint Louis d’Anjou.

January 14, 1989  : the English weekly The Tablet publishes an interview with Edward Hall, director of the Oxford laboratory, by John Cornwell, under the title  : Science and the Shroud. “ I would be willing to stake my entire reputation covering forty years on the reliability of our dating of the Turin Shroud. “ Well, today he has lost his bet  !

February 16, 1989  : The review Nature publishes Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin (volume n° 337, p. 611-615), signed by twenty-one co-authors, five months after the publication of the results urbi et orbi. This article had not been submitted for “ peer ” review. Nature, moreover, is the only scientific review producing articles without such control. One only has to examine the “ figure 1 ” of this report, an illustration of results accessible to all, and study the statistical analysis devoted to the interpretation of these results, which itself occupies nearly one third of the whole article, to note that this development is of no real value. The review Radiocarbon, for example, would certainly have rejected this report. The simple fact of having substituted the Student test for the  test, because of its negative result, is dishonest. The  test posed a problem for the statistician, starting with the data with which he was provided. It was down to Dr Tite, therefore, the overall co-ordinator of the analysis, to submit the problem to the physicists and to ask them to make the complementary measurements.

Instead of that, what do we see  ? Not only did Dr. Tite fail to put the question, but he came to an agreement with statisticians of the British Museum, Madams Leese and Bowman, for another test to be applied that would raise no difficulty and would still allow an interval of dates, no matter how wide, to be defined. Provided they forget all about the   !

For it is now established that this  test cannot be circumvented, and, in the state of the present data, does not allow the results provided by the three samples A1, O1 and Z1 to be approved, for the three samples do not obey one and the same normal law m1 ± s1. In other words, in the present case, the Student test is of no significance, and the authors’ statement in the Nature report, whereby “ the calendar age range of the Shroud, with at least a 95% degree of probability, is 1260-1390 AD ” is of no scientific value. This supposed degree of “ probability ” is false… Scientific honesty would have dictated the following declaration  :

“ We have found for the Shroud an average calendar age of about 1320, but the results obtained do not allow us to place any degree of confidence in this average. ”

Imagine the effect on the journalists and on the organisers of the “ Fake ” exhibition. And then, it would have been necessary to explain why it was impossible to evaluate the precision of the result obtained, and to criticise the experiments and look for new data. But they were not paid for that…

Good Friday March 24, 1989  : forty-five business men and “ rich friends ” (sic) give Professor Hall £1 million for services rendered, and notably for having “ established last year that the Shroud of Turin is a mediaeval fake ”.

The Daily Telegraph printed the news the next day, Holy Saturday March 25, explaining that this sum would provide for a successor to the “ professor of Turin ” (sic) who was coming up to retirement age. The professor declared his intention of investing the price of blood (Mt. 27.6) in the creation of a new chair of archaeological science at Oxford. With the evident agreement of all the generous donors. All disinterested, to a man  ! And what worthy scholar might there be to benefit from such aid  ? “ The new chair will be occupied by Dr. Tite, director of the research laboratory of the British Museum, who also played a preponderant role in unmasking the fraud of the shroud of Turin. ” Any comment would be superfluous.

Easter Sunday March 26, 1989. The Italian daily Il Messagero echoed our denunciations and stirred up a scandal in Italy under the heading  : “ The mysteries of the Shroud. A clandestine sample. ”

However if “ the affair of the fourth sample ” seemed to reveal an attempted substitution, it appeared to have failed, since Gabriel Vial had taken this sample from his pocket and obliged Tite to accept it after the mescolamento. In any case, this textile was in the form of threads – not what Tite was expecting – and it would have been impossible to substitute it for the small pieces of the Shroud “ mixed ” with the pieces from the two other “ control ” textiles.

That is why, despite our “ Summary of the carbon 14 affair ” (June-July 1989) where we demonstrated that Tite had not even followed the “ protocol ” established by himself, he had continued to display an unshakeable composure.

June 4, 1989  : the death of Timothy W. Linick, one of the twenty-one signatories of the Nature report. This young forty-two year old research scientist, from the laboratory of Arizona, was known for the scrupulous rigour that he brought to the statistical analysis of results obtained by the accelerator mass spectrometry method (AMS). Rumours circulated in the United States tending to pass this death off as suicide. Such an imputation is gravely damaging to the memory of this scientist. One may ask whether it was not meant to veil some shady crime.

THE ARITHMETICAL PROOF
OF A SUBSTITUTION OF SAMPLES

The statistical analysis does not establish the proof of the fraud. It only indicates the diverse character of the results which are not explained by the hazards involved in counting the particles. It therefore calls for an inquiry into the origin of the samples distributed to the laboratories. Let us say in passing that, if there were any “ cheating ”, it is idle to impute it to the Holy Shroud itself, as the bad defenders of the good cause persist in doing. According to them, something must have changed the radioactive content, and therefore the physical properties of the cloth. That does not explain the diverse character of the results. It will be necessary to look elsewhere and question the operators themselves.

September 7 and 8, 1989. The Paris Symposium. Professor Hall had promised to attend in order to answer “ doubts expressed as to the validity of the experiments ”. The explanations of one who, only last January, had declared that he was willing to stake his reputation as a scientist on the dating of the Holy Shroud carried out by his laboratory, was eagerly awaited. But it did not take place. We learned that the Professor sent his apologies, having been detained at the last minute by an important meeting of the administrative council. This news was interpreted in different ways. Unlike the other personalities prevented from attending, Hall sent no communication to the Symposium.

As for the laboratories of Zurich and Tucson, they also refused to take part. Only Dr. Tite was present, as guest of honour, full of quiet good humour, smiling, and strangely surrounded by the consideration of everyone present. He stalled on every question he was asked, and returned home feeling very relaxed.

However, on the very first day, September 7, 1989, seventeen months after the event, the Italian Franco Testore announced for the first time the weights of the samples at every stage of their removal, on April 21, 1988, from the Holy Shroud  : a strip of cloth of 81 x 16 mm was divided into three pieces, which were then sent, under seals, to representatives of the laboratories who were present when the samples had been taken. There was a considerable difference, almost double, compared with the official dimensions published by Nature. Incredible  !

Testore continues  : “ Because the laboratories had asked for a sample weighing at least 50 mg, the piece was further cut into two more or less equal parts, whose respective weights were 154.9 mg for the first piece, and 144.8 mg for the second, with a loss of about 0.3 mg ”.

Further surprise  ! The laboratories had asked for a sample of at least 50 mg. All right. But since it was possible to give more… what was the difficulty  ? Why not give it all  ? 100 mg each one  ! For one very simple reason  : the samples brought by Tite from the Bock collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, to replace those of the Shroud, had been “ prepared from a strip of 7 x 1 cm ”, as the Nature report says. For the substitution to be possible, it was absolutely necessary to reduce this difference in quantity, otherwise the fraudulent manoeuvre would be discovered.

There was something even more serious. Through pushing Testore and Riggi into a corner during the weeks that followed (October – November 1989), we ended by discovering that one of the samples sent to the laboratories was in two pieces  !

IN SEARCH OF THE EVIDENCE

November 14, 1989  : we wrote to Professors Wölfli, Hall and Donahue, of the laboratories of Zurich, Oxford and Tucson, enclosing the page of Testore’s report, in its second version, giving the weights of the three samples. We asked them if they would kindly send us 1° photos of the samples received by them, 2° details of their weights, 3° an answer to the following question  : Did you note that the Shroud sample weighing 53.7 mg was in two pieces (39.6 + 14.1 mg)  ? Were you informed of this fact at Turin on the day when the samples were taken  ?

Wölfli replied by return of post  : “ 1° The sample of the Shroud weighing 53.7 mg did consist of two pieces, for the reason very exactly described on page 3 of Testore’s report. Not only was I informed of this fact, I saw it with my own eyes. 2° I received a sample of only one piece, precisely that of 52.8 mg, according to the weight given by the textile experts in Turin. “ He made no allusion to our request for photos.

Hall kept us waiting for his reply. Here it is, dated November 24, signed by his secretary  : “ Professor Hall has retired one month ago and is not willing to enter into any correspondence regarding the S of T. ”

As for Donahue, he promised over the telephone to send us a photo and answers to our questions after consulting his laboratory journal. He kept his promise. His reply is dated December 15. He declared that he had read the CRC n° 257, The victory of the Holy Shroud won by science (October 1989), with great interest, asked for a copy of the English edition (n° 223), then he answered our questions. On their return to Tucson in April 1988, Damon and he cut the Shroud sample into four fragments, weighing respectively  : 13.86, 12.39, 14.27 and 11.83 mg. Total  : 52.36 mg. He enclosed a photograph of one of these fragments taken through the microscope.

But to our surprise, when contacted by telephone during the following days, and asked about the way he had cut the sub-sample photographed, he became evasive, did not answer our three urgent letters of December 13, 21 and 29, 1989, and then, for ten months, he kept absolute silence  ! He did not even acknowledge the receipt of our Appeal to the “  twenty-one ”.

January 1990. We ask the Victoria and Albert Museum for access to the reserve collection where the cloths from Canon Bock’s collection are stacked. They replied that this reserve was closed for reorganisation. Presumption was transformed into certainty  ; that is where Tite finally found his “ double ” of the Holy Shroud. Especially as the dating of these cloths (14th-15th century) poses the experts with a dating problem exactly like that posed by sample n° 1.

In our Appeal to the “ twenty-one ” co-authors of the report on the carbon 14 dating of the Holy Shroud, published in the CRC n° 224 (November-December 1989, p. 11-14, English edition), we put two questions. The first concerned “ the arithmetical proof of a substitution of samples ”  :

“ The question we put to you is, therefore, very precise, and your answer will be decisive. Either your report is erroneous  : the sample n° 1, which you dated, did not come from a strip measuring 70 x 10 mm, and you must point out the error. Or your report is exact, in which case the strip measuring 70 x 10 mm, analysed by you, did not come from the Holy Shroud. You have most certainly been the victims of a substitution of the samples, and your report improperly concludes that “ the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ”. Gauge the enormity of the fraud  !

The second question instanced “ a major fault in the statistical analysis ”  :

“ Our question  : did you consent to this undue extension of the interval of confidence before the official proclamation of October 13, 1988  ? We venture to hope that your reply is negative, and that you will withdraw your signatures before the October 13, 1990. ”

April 29 and 30, 1990  : The Cagliari Congress on the theme  : La datazione della Sindone. The programme included a communication from Professor Hall with the promising title  : “ An attempt to answer criticism concerning the dating of the Shroud. ” But he did not come. Once again, he is beaten through default.

Paris, April 1990  : still no answer to our “ Appeal ”, but a secret meeting among the carbonari to settle the answer to give to our attacks. Oxford, having stated that their Shroud sample was all of one piece, Wölfli turned to Jull of Arizona and said  : “ But then, Jim, since it was neither Oxford nor I who received a sample in two pieces, was it you then  ? ”

“ Well… yes ”, Jull answered  !

The date of our Mutualité conference was approaching, and so we wrote to the twenty-one signatories of the Nature report of October 13, 1990 to badger them. Donahue was so sure that he could demonstrate our error, that we decided to take him at his word, setting off on a 19,000 km return journey at the end of October.

On our arrival, Damon, the head of the laboratory, was away on a journey, as though by chance  ! Donahue stuck to his opinion  : “ As far as I am concerned, the piece that we got can easily come from a 1 x 7 strip. “ For him, what Tite wrote in the Nature report is reliable, because Tite himself took the measurements indicated, with precision  ! As for the statements made by Riggi and Testore, Donahue did not hide the fact that he totally disregarded them. Between ourselves, he said, they are “ not very smart ”…

As for knowing whether their sample n° 1 was in one or two pieces, Dr. Jull, who himself proceeded with cutting it into sub-samples, no longer knows. In our presence, he made several attempts on the board, trying to show, with obvious sincerity, how he would have cut the four sub-samples, taking into account the small additional strip admitted by Testore. Each time, he ended in five pieces  !

Toolin, the chemist who proceeded with the cleaning of the sub-samples, declared  : “ For me, it was in one piece. ”

Donahue, who was their boss, put an end to the discussion by refusing point blank to answer  : “ We have no photograph and no written record. ” That will be his last word.

The explanation is quite simple  : Jull could not remember having seen the sample in two pieces on the Monday  ; whereas Donahue had seen it on the Sunday, but had made the small piece disappear, of necessity  ! If he had left it there, one of the four associates would certainly have let the cat out of the bag by thoughtlessly exclaiming  : “ Ah  ! yes, there was a sample in two pieces. But it was the sample of the mummy and not of the Shroud. ” That would have been enough for the whole manoeuvre to be discovered.

Damon was absent, as I have said. We called him the following week from Paris. He replied clearly and with no hesitation  : “ The sample was in the form of a rectangle. Not a square, but a rectangle. I have my notes and I have photographs. ” And he added  : “ Actually, our procedures were videotaped by our public broadcast people. We refused to let the BBC come or any others. What we did do, we did save a piece which is in a safe… in case there were a controversy… This piece under proper authority from the Church could be released. ”

Even so, it was strange that Donahue did not show us this piece during our visit. But this is a privilege Damon reserves for the “ authorities ”. And there, he is quite safe  : no danger for the criminals from that quarter. As Teddy Hall noted with satisfaction  : “ No effort was made by any Catholic official to argue about the resulting date. ” Take note  !

Who are we to believe  ? Donahue who repeated to us, throughout the day he spent with us  : no records and no photograph. Or Damon, who claimed, but at the end of a telephone line 10,000 km away, photographs and TV record, and declared that he had kept a fragment of the Holy Shroud  ?

March 2 and 3, 1991, Douglas Donahue passes to an admission, at the international symposium held at Columbia University (New York) on “ The Shroud of Turin, the present state of the question ”. Donahue declared that the Holy Shroud sample received by his laboratory “ was indeed in two pieces  : the one weighed about 14 mg, and the other 40 mg. The total weight of the Shroud sample was about 50 mg ”. A strange sum  ! This time, he is telling the truth at last, but it does not tally with the weights we noted down from the laboratory notebook at Tucson on October 26. Nothing astonishing about that, for these weights were those of the substitute sample n° 1, which no one had thought of reducing to 40 mg.

In fact, the Holy Shroud sample did not weigh more than 40 mg, when it was taken from tube n° 3, labelled “ Cleopatra’s mummy ”. And the piece of 14 mg  ? It is in reserve. That no doubt is the piece which was used to provide a photograph, in December 1989, but with no indication of its weight. This time, in New York, in March 1991, Donahue projected it on the screen and declared  :

“ Here’s a photograph, taken through the microscope, of a fragment of the sample corresponding to a quarter of what we received. Dimensions  : 0.5 x 1.5 cm. Weight  : 14 mg. ”

This farce, unparalleled in the history of science, other than the Piltdown affair, is thus reduced to its blinding inconsistency, if we sum it up thus  :

At Tucson, the Holy Shroud tube presents the sample under seal when it is received on Sunday April 24, according to “ photo-souvenir ” and… sealed again (  !) on Monday April 25; but by then the 14 mg piece has disappeared… and as for the 40 mg piece, it has put on weight  ! There is no need to go any further in order to accuse the people of Tucson of having substituted a mediaeval cloth for the linen of the Holy Shroud. Let them show us the 14 mg piece and the whole business will be settled amicably and at little cost.

If it belongs to the so-called “ mummy ”, we have the proof of substitution and the reason for this  : the date 14th-15th century. If it belongs to the Holy Shroud, there is no need even to submit it to the tendetron  : it is of the same origin as the sample transferred from 1 to 3, and under this mendacious label, it shares its authenticity and date  : between 11 and 64 AD. A “ five star result ”, to use the language of Jacques Évin.

But we shall get no answer. In the meanwhile, the three laboratories, and the honourable Tite and His Eminence Ballestrero, and the Italians all pushed their personal research a little further, and they all know that the Holy Shroud, on every count, falls within the fatal age range of 11-64. Between the years 11 and 64, the year of Christ’s death  : 30 or 33 are the most likely years.

So, let no one talk any more about it, and let it all go up in smoke  ! That is the best solution for the peace of the world.

THE FRAUD RECONSTITUTED AND PROVED

Denis Dutton, of the Canterbury Fine Arts, a determined opponent of the authenticity of the Holy Shroud, was worried in May 1987  : “ It would not do if it were possible to suspect, for example, that linen fibres from a mummy had been sent to the laboratories, instead and in place of real samples from the shroud. ” Tite’s answer was that he was able to take care of that  !

It did not even enter Dutton’s mind that the reverse might be suspected  : the premeditation of a perfect crime, consisting in reversing the samples and thus burying the Holy Shroud beneath the label of a “ linen associated ” with a “ Cleopatra’s mummy ”, dating from the first century. Yet such was Dr. Tite’s plan  :

THE FRAUD RECONSTITUTED

A. The premeditation of a perfect crime  :

a) At Turin, when the samples were taken, Tite introduced

Prélèvements_Saint-Suaire

  • into tube 1   : the sample of the Holy Shroud  ;
  • into tube 2  : a medieval cloth (11th-12th century);
  • into tube 3  : under the false label “ linen associated with a mummy of Cleopatra ”, a sample of 14th century cloth, a “ double ” of the Holy Shroud.
b) In each laboratory, after changing round samples 1 and 3  :

Prélèvements Saint-Suaire

  • tube 1, labelled “ Shroud ”, contains the Holy Shroud’s double, the pseudo-mummy.
  • tube 2, no change.
  • tube 3, labelled “ mummy ”, contains the Holy Shroud.
c) Results to be obtained  :
  • Sample 1  : 14th century… is the pseudo-mummy declared to be the Holy Shroud  !
  • Sample 2   : 11th-12th century… is the mediaeval cloth.
  • Sample 3   : 1st century… is the Holy Shroud declared to be the mummy  !

B. The realisation, modified three times, made the crime patent  :

a) At Turin, on April 21, 1988, Dr. Tite introduced

Prélèvements Saint-Suaire

  • into tube 1  : the Holy Shroud  ;
  • into tube 2  : the 12th century cloth  ;
  • into tube 3  : a piece of cloth from a 14th-15th century collection  ;
  • into an envelope 4   : threads from a 13th century cope.
b) In the laboratories, too late a dating for sample 1, the Shroud’s “ double ”, necessitated substituting sample 4 for sample 1, perhaps in part at Zurich, but certainly at Oxford.
c) Vulnerable results  : technically perfect, statistically unacceptable  :

Prélèvements Saint-Suaire

  • Sample 1   : statistical analysis demonstrates the heterogeneity of the sampling.
  • Sample 2  : as expected.
  • Sample 3  : the substitute is not very consistent with the dates of the Cleopatra mummy known to history (2nd century), nor with the dates obtained in 1987 by means of the classical carbon 14 dating method, an unverified dating  : 110 BC – 75 AD. On the other hand, it falls exactly within the years expected for the Holy Shroud  : 11-64 AD, that is 37 ± 27, completing the proof that the Holy Shroud was buried beneath the label of a forgotten mummy.
  • Sample 4   : admirably dated by efficient machines.
Previous    -    Next