John Klotz put me onto this article, although I guess I knew about it and had forgotten about it, and maybe I imagined I had read it. But it is too memorable to forget. So I guess I just read it for the first time last night.
John sent me a PDF from some library microfilm reader and tried to convince me it was readable. I had to find a better copy. I did. Read on.
“The Shroud of Turin: Who is this man and why does he have no navel?” by Michael Thomas in the December 28, 1978, issue of Rolling Stone may be the best piece of Shroud of Turin journalism ever published in the mainstream media. To emphasize, however, it was written in 1978, the year of STURP. Carbon dating was being talked about by some, but it would not happen until a decade later.
Rolling Stone’s Table of Contents, something that is usually hobbled together by an editor just before press time, is unfair to the gist of the story. IT REALLY IS A MUST READ.
You have few choices if you want to read the article. You can go to a public library and possibly read it on some microfilm reader. Or you can find an issue on eBay, maybe. Or you pony up 99 cents and read it online – forget about trying to print it or save it, though. I’ll tell you how to read it online, but first some wonderful clips:
1) “Until it [=carbon dating] is done, there is still room for doubt as to the shroud’s authenticity—about as much room as there is on a crowded microdot. . . . “ (The pages are really Financial Times pink):
2) “As a physicist he [=Harry Gove] agrees he can’t understand any other way the image on the shroud was formed except by some kind of thermal radiation. . . .”
Okay, so how do you read it. Sign up for a 4-week trial subscription. It will cost 99 cents. If you are happy with the magazine you can let them automatically charge your credit card $19.95 for 26 more issues. If not, you can cancel. As soon as you sign up, you can access the archives; choose the 1970s, then choose 1978 and then December 28.
I just discovered on the Rolling Stone website that you can buy a back issue (no price quoted, online) by calling 1-800-283-1549. Right now it is 5:00 am on a Saturday. I’ll try that on Monday.
I also just discovered that backissues.com sells the December 28 issue for $24.95 plus $6.00 for shipping.