I Tried to Ignore the Carbon Dating Computer Hacking Conspiracy Theory

imageA reader from Hampton, Virginia writes:

I was reading Stephen Jones’s latest blogging on the carbon dating and have come up with a wacky theory.  Jones has it wrong. Computer hacker Karl Koch, thought by Jones to be a KGB stooge, didn’t die at all.  After all as Jones tells it, “German police were alerted of an abandoned car in a forest near Celle. When they went to investigate, they found an abandoned car, that looked like it had been there for years, as it was covered in dust. Near to the car they found a burned corpse (Koch). His shoes were missing and have never been found.”

His shoes have never been found. So how do we know it was Koch?  If you add a few years, a beard and a stocking cap you can plainly see that Koch is probably Chris Roberts who was arrested yesterday for hacking the inflight entertainment system of a flight he was on and supposedly issuing a command to one of the planes’ engines.

Have you read Jones’s latest posting?  It is more off the wall.

Yes.  I always read what Stephen writes.  Sometimes he posts some very useful or interesting information. When I think it warrants attention by others, I mention it.  I’ve pretty much given up discussing his conspiracy theory that the computers used during the carbon dating of the shroud were hacked.  Who knows; maybe someday his hypothesis will be shown to be right. But for now, I see it as wild conjecture without a shred of evidence. And now, for you have sucked me in to it, dear reader, I must quote a couple of paragraphs and a loose sentence to make my point:

If it turned out that Koch could not possibly have been involved, either directly or indirectly, in installing Linick’s program on Zurich and Oxford laboratories’ AMS control console computers, then my theory would not be falsified. In that case I would have to maintain that Linick’s program was installed on those laboratories’ computers by some other way. For example, Linick himself could have flown over to Zurich and Oxford, installed his program clandestinely on their computers, and returned to Arizona, in a few days. This is why my theory always has been "that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker" (singular).


I have included Karl Koch in my theory, despite there being as yet no confirmed link between Koch and Linick, because of: 1) the striking coincidence that both Koch and Linick died of suspected suicide within days of each other … 2) Koch’s death was almost certainly the work of the KGB, or the East German Secret Police (Stasi) at the behest of the KGB; 3) the KGB had no reason to kill Koch unless he had been involved in an entirely different type of hacking for them which they did not want to become public knowledge; 4) Koch’s expertise would have been useful in hacking into Zurich and Oxford’s AMS computers; and 5) Koch’s living in Germany would have made it comparatively easy for him to travel to Zurich and Oxford to install Linick’s program on their computers (although that too is not necessary to my theory as Koch may have only provided expert advice on how to hack into those computers and a KGB operative may have entered the laboratories clandestinely and installed Linick’s program on their AMS computers, or Linick himself may have installed it).

So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a "conspiracy theory," in the full knowledge of my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly.

What else would you call it?  This is the epitome of conspiracy theory.

5 thoughts on “I Tried to Ignore the Carbon Dating Computer Hacking Conspiracy Theory”

  1. You know this is not as far fetched as it sounds. When I was in college back in 1978, there was a computer program stored on punch cards that assigned dorm rooms based on random priority numbers assigned to each student. I inserted a line of code that assigned a high random number to my student id, increasing the odds that I would get the dorm room that I wanted. I found out before the program was to be executed that I already had a high priority number, so I removed the punch card before the program ran.

  2. “So those who continue to dismiss my theory as merely a “conspiracy theory,” in the full knowledge of my above disclaimers, do so dishonestly.”

    Dan is dishonest.
    PHPL is dishonest.
    Hugh Farey is dishonest.
    Et cetera

    Thanks God, Stephen E. Jones is honest.

  3. The possibility of one man altering the results of one machine is not beyond credibility, although I doubt if the recognition of an identity code and the falsification of a series of AMS readings was as simple as switching a couple of punched cards. It is the complete lack of evidence for the involvement of the KGB, the idea that two suicides at the same time must be connected, and the mysterious way in which the same program alteration came to be affected at three different laboratories that send this idea into Conspiracy Theory territory, and the vilification of one man based on a single throwaway remark that makes it highly distasteful.

    Sure, unlikely and distasteful things happen, but there must be some evidence for them before they are to be taken seriously. Conspiracy Theories often include the idea that the lack of evidence in itself is actually some kind of support for the theory, in showing how well the secret agency works, and also that some relatively isolated event is part of some global plan which will change the course of humanity. Not impossible, but, in this case, wholly without justification.

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