imageMartin Ames writes:

I am puzzled by David Rolfe’s comment:

What we all have to live with is the fact that the one person who should know, Ms Flury Lemburg, refuses to countenance it. Professor Ramsey can hardly be expected to contradict the only person who has had the opportunity to examine the shroud as a textile at close quarters.

I’m sure Ms Flury Lemburg [pictured] does not see it. I take her at her word. Recall, however, that she once said that you could see invisible reweaving from the reverse side. It turns out that is so only for certain types of reweaving. French reweaving of the highest quality cannot be easily discerned from either side, even with a low magnification device like at 10X Lupe.

For those who are interested, there is a book on The Frenway System of French Reweaving at

David tells us that Professor Ramsey can “hardly be expected to contradict the only person who has had the opportunity to examine the shroud as a textile at close quarters.”

I would think Professor Ramsey is more objective than that. He should know about numerous sightings of cotton or suspicious bits of thread or fiber in the area used for the radiocarbon dating by people like Edward Hall, Peter South, Giovanni Riggi, Giorgio Tessiore and Gilbert Raes. Raymond Rogers found a splice along with dyestuff that is not found elsewhere on the shroud. John Brown found microscopic evidence of repair. Robert Villarreal and his team found cotton fibers that confirmed Rogers’ findings. Sue Benford and Joseph Marino had three textile experts offer opinions favoring reweaving after viewing documenting photographs of the radiocarbon samples.

At least three statistical studies have found that the samples are not homogeneous. That fact is consistent with reweaving or some sort of repair.

I imagine Professor Ramsey has his reasons for saying what he did to Tom Chivers. I very much doubt it is because Ms. Flury Lemburg refuses to countenance it. I suspect that it has a lot more to do with what Robert Villarreal said in August of 2008:

The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case.  — Robert Villarreal, Los Alamos National Laboratory 

And it has a lot more to do with what Stephen Jones wrote:

But to admit that what the three labs tested was actually a “medieval repair,” not the Shroud itelf, would not be an honourable way out because it would make the labs look like fools, i.e. they did not even realise, or consider, that they were dating a mediaeval patch.

Actually, I wouldn’t have used the word honorable (U.S. spelling), but we know what Stephen means. The honorable thing is to fall on your sword and admit to problems. Short of that, Tom Chivers has an opportunity to do some real investigative journalism that would get world attention.

Thanks to Dan for agreeing to format this email for his blog.

Basis: What did Christopher Ramsey Know « Shroud of Turin Blog