Saturday, August 29, 2009


Read the full article from The Sun
(The "evidence" is not new (2002-5), but the film (50 min) is relatively recent. I intend to return to this issue in another posting, linking it to reflections about religious pluralism and the witness of Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, on the mystery of Jesus' Resurrection. You can access the Youtube copy of the five part The Shroud New Evidence here. For those familiar with Shroud studies, the 'new' evidence is discussed from midway in video 3. Leading website on the shroud, Shroud Story.)

A leading scientist and spokesman against the authenticity of the Turin Shroud has now concluded it to be the burial linen of Jesus Christ.

In 1988, Ray Rogers was at the forefront of the carbon dating of the relic depicting a Christ-like image. The conclusion of the Carbon-14 test was that the Shroud was a medieval hoax. Now, almost from beyond the grave, Rogers has admitted the Shroud is far older than results suggested - and could be the genuine article as many Christians claim.

Ray was a director of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STRP) that concluded the fourteen foot-long linen cloth was a fake. But when new evidence revealed the study was flawed, the leading skeptic was forced to change his mind. Ray, an expert chemist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said the 1988 tests were invalid because they were done on a repaired section of the Shroud rather than the original linen.

Sadly, Rogers died of cancer at age 78 in March 2005.

But shortly before his death, Rogers recorded video detailing explosive conclusions which are broadcasted for the first time in this revealing documentary. In the short film, gravely ill Ray says: "I don't believe in miracles that defy the laws of nature. After the 1988 investigation, I'd given up on the Shroud, but now I am coming to the conclusion that it has a very good chance of being the piece of cloth that was used to bury the historic Jesus.

Among those rejecting the Carbon-14 results were amateur scientists Sue Benford and Joe Marino from Ohio. They suspected the 1988 sample was from a damaged area of the linen Shroud which had been repaired with 16th century cotton, thus skewing the results. When their theory reached Ray Rogers, he was furious. He said: "I'd read these things by people from the lunatic fringe explaining why the date was wrong. I was irritated and determined to prove Sue and Joe wrong."

Ray had stored microscopic Shroud fibers from the original 1978 probe. Luckily they were lifted from the same area as the carbon dating sample. After examining the fibers expecting them to consist entirely of linen, Ray was dumbfounded. Cotton was present too. He says: "The cotton fibers were fairly heavily coated with dye, suggesting they were changed to match the linen during a repair. I concluded that area of the Shroud was manipulated by someone with great skill. Sue and Joe were right. The worst possible sample for carbon dating was taken. It consisted of different materials than were used in the Shroud itself, so the age we produced WAS inaccurate."

In video footage before his death, seen here in "The Turin Shroud: New Evidence", Rogers was convinced of the Shrouds authenticity. Close to death, he said: "I came very close to proving the Shroud was used to bury the historic Jesus." End of article.

Here I append the conclusions of Thibault Heimburger in his 2009 scientific article: COTTON IN RAES/RADIOCARBON THREADS: THE EXAMPLE OF RAES #7 :

This alone would be sufficient to know that this area is not part of the original Shroud. If we add the other findings: the dye (Rogers, Brown), the splice (Rogers, LANL) with the resin binder (LANL) and the amount of lignin/vanillin in the flax fibers of this area as compared with that found on the main Shroud (Rogers), there is an extraordinary set of self consistent data converging on the inevitable conclusion: the 1988 radiocarbon dating is invalid and nobody knows the true age of the Shroud.