The Shroud of Turin & The 9-11 Truth Movement
From Douglas Herman
Dedicated to the memory of Ray Rogers
1927 - 2005
For centuries the Shroud of Turin was revered as the sacred burial cloth of Jesus Christ by millions of Christian believers. Then, in 1988, scientific researchers from three prominent universities in England, Switzerland and America determined the cloth was a relic from medieval Europe, circa 1260-1390 AD. Carbon dating appeared to trump Christian claims. Hours of careful analysis and scientific tests seemed to debunk believers basing their faith on the puzzling image upon a linen banner.
Scientists from STURP - Shroud of Turin Research Project (Ray Rogers was a team member) claimed the figure on the cloth was NOT painted and represented a scourged (whipped) and crucified man and that type AB blood had stained the linen in many significant places.
However, lending weight to the 13th century time-frame, the image did seem to resemble a tall, bearded European, the sort of iconography found in medieval paintings of Jesus. Oxford scientist, Edward Hall, who participated in the carbon 14 dating of the Shroud, expressed his views, whole-heartedly agreeing with the medieval assessment: "We have shown the Shroud to be a fake. Anyone who disagrees with us ought to belong to the Flat Earth Society."
One theory offered by a proponent of this medieval origin seemed rather far-fetched, to say the least.
"John Dominic Crossan, the famed Jesus Seminar scholar, proposed that someone in medieval times was crucified by a crafter of fake relics in order to produce the Shroud. Others proposed that Leonardo da Vinci created it even though the Shroud was well known in Europe a century before Leonardo was born," wrote Dan Porter.
Still, the haunting image on the cloth left many perplexing riddles. What was the ultimate truth? How did the image appear on cloth and was it really a clever artistic forgery? Who was the man and how was he fatally wounded? Could scientists be wrong about the shroud? After all, how many prominent citizens (the linen cloth indicated wealth), were whipped, stabbed and crucified in the late 13th century? Between 1988 and the present, other prominent researchers, skeptical of the findings, began to wonder too.
"The Shroud of Turin, due to serious errors in its study and conservation.once the subject of worldwide curiosity and awe, with its haunting and still unexplained image of Christ, came to be wrongly dismissed as a medieval fake by the general public," wrote William Meacham in his book, The Rape of the Turin Shroud.
Upon closer examination, skeptics began to wonder why only one small fragment from the edge of the cloth was chosen for Carbon 14 dating. Shouldn't three small pieces been independently studied? Seventeen years later, in 2005, Raymond Rogers, retired Los Alamos chemical engineer, editor of the prestigious scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta and one of the original researcher decided to analyze the fragment of linen left over from an earlier test in 1988.
What is considered science "fact" today often becomes science fiction tomorrow, and vice versa. Rogers found that the fragment, snipped from the edge of the linen shroud, contained cotton threads, possibly from repairs done in the 13-15th century. This single bit of evidence---basically threads---had skewed the carbon dating process.
Twin Towers & The Shroud
The indelible images of the Shroud of Turin and the Twin Towers seem to share nothing in common. Yet the iconography image of each phenomenon imprints itself on the minds of all those who have seen either. What they share is an image of martyrdom. The tortured and fallen followed by great befuddlement and a greater mystery.
The absolute certainty of the scientific community, that the image on the Shroud was somehow faked while the pyroclastic collapse of the Twin Towers was not, baffled more than a few skeptics. People who doubted the official "scientific" or government explanation of either perplexing image were branded conspiracy theorists or religious nuts.
But the Shroud mystery wouldn't go away as long as individual research continued. Just before his death, Rogers published his findings.
"The cotton fibers look like they have been wiped with fuzzy cherry Jell-O," said Rogers, "And the linen fibers a little less so. The area is certainly dyed to match the sepia color of the old (original) cloth. There is ample chemical and microscopic proof of that."
"The 1988 date was undoubtedly accurate for the sample (of cloth) supplied. However, there is no question that the radiocarbon sampling area has a completely different chemical composition than the main part of the shroud," Rogers said. "The published date for the sample was not the time at which the cloth was produced."
Rogers published his findings in a peer-review, scientific periodical. This was not some glossy, Popular Mechanics-style magazine disbursed in high schools around America. Rogers presented his dissent and the scientific community, rather than obtain three separate fragments of linen and have three prestigious universities study them under intense scrutiny, remained unmoved.
Those in the 9-11 Truth Movement might want to keep Ray Rogers' example in mind when continuing their search. The study of science, since the beginning of recorded history, requires testing one theory, proving or disproving it, while debunking whatever "facts" do not respond to the laws of science that have been proven. And no amount of official sanctions can change scientific truths.
Eye-witnesses who saw the image on the Shroud for the first time a century ago, must have stared with a mixture of awe, disbelief, skepticism or puzzlement. Exactly as had that Italian photographer who took the first pictures and stared at his negatives. Exactly like those millions who saw the towers fall and then listened to the "official" interpretation. We may not be certain what we saw; we may be excused for skepticism, astonishment or dissent, but the sight will not soon be forgotten, nor research into the mystery cheapened or diminished.
Shroud of Turin Story - A Guide to the Facts 2006
Jesus' Shroud? Recent Findings Renew Authenticity Debate
The Shroud or Turin
Amateur historian and Christian skeptic, Douglas Herman writes for Rense frequently and is the author of The Guns of Dallas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topics should range on anything like Shroud of Turin, Noahs Ark, Ark of the Covenant, Exodus Red Sea crossing, locations of newly found digs, Dead Sea Scrolls etc...
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