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Shreds of Evidence: A Guest Posting by Joe Marino

“several thoughts popped into my mind”

By Joe Marino:

I recently rewatched a Shroud program titled "Shreds of Evidence" shown on A&E cable network on 4/21/95.  It was a BBC/Timewatch production.  I believe that was the 1st time it had been broadcast in the United States.  I’m not sure when it was first shown in England.  But it was actually produced in 1988, per the date listed at the end of the video and something else I’ll mention in a minute.

The program starts out with the late Fr. Peter Rinaldi, a well-known Shroud advocate, going to the Cathedral to pray before the Shroud.  But when I tell you that David Sox was interviewed a lot and was the program consultant, you will be able to guess what direction the program heads.  Sox is an American Episcopal priest who has been living in England for some decades now.  He was the 1st General Secretary of the British Society for the Turin Shroud and seemingly pro-Shroud in the 70s until he apparently became convinced by the evidence put forth by McCrone, who believed it showed that the Shroud was a fake.

Sox, as many of you know, had the book The Shroud Unmasked printed and ready to go when the C-14 dates were released in October 1988.  Against the protocol set for the C-14 labs, he was given advance information about the results, and I believe was even allowed to observe the actual testing at Zurich.

The program paints a picture of pro-Shroud scientists, including STURP of course, as those who have let their religious feelings get in the way of their scientific objectivity.  It paints a picture of C-14 being pretty much fool-proof.  It paints a picture of science pretty much always proving that religion is rarely if ever on the same level as science.  It paints a picture of the 14th century being a time of many relics and very much into suffering, implying that the Shroud fits in perfectly with that time as a man-made object.  The point is made that people in the 14th century literally paid to see the Shroud.

What really jumped out at me at the end of the program was when the rolling text gave the dates that the British Museum received the results from Zurich and Arizona and Oxford was delayed.  It then said that the official results were expected in September.  So this documentary was already complete in summer 1988!  So Sox not only had his book ready to go when the dates were announced, he was significantly involved in a documentary completed before the dates were even announced.

I think this is interesting in light of the later discovery that "anonymous businessmen" made a 1 million pound donation to Oxford for ostensibly having proven the Shroud to be a forgery.  And, of course, we know that the British Museum’s Dr. Michael Tite, who was billed as the independent overseer of the 1988 C-14 dating, left the museum and took the place of the late Dr. Edward (Teddy) Hall, when he resigned shortly after the dating and after the lab had received the donation.

Knowing that Sox’s book was ready to go when the results were announced and that "Shreds of Evidence" was produced even before the official dates were announced, several thoughts popped into my mind:

*Was having both the book and documentary ready before the official dates were announced designed as a specific psychological attack on those who believed the Shroud to be authentic?  If so, what individuals or groups were involved?

*Were there any connections/associations between the publisher of Sox’s book, BBC/Timewatch, which put out the documentary, and the "anonymous businessmen" that donated the million pounds to Oxford?

*We may never know the answers, but I have a feeling that if we did, there would be some shocking revelations.

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