Home > Conspiracy Theory, Hacking > The Hacking of the Carbon Dating, Wikipedia and the Media

The Hacking of the Carbon Dating, Wikipedia and the Media

July 7, 2015

If you are not a regular reader of Stephen’s blog, Timothy Linick (pictured) of Arizona was one of the signatories of the Nature report on the dating of the Shroud of Turin. Stephen Jones blames Linick along with the KGB for hacking computers connected to AMS equipment in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona and thus faking a medieval date for the shroud.

imageThe problem is that it may only be a matter of time before we read in the media that people who think the shroud is authentic believe that the carbon dating of the shroud was hacked by computer hackers.

All too many people think that the members of the press pay attention to academic credentials, read peer reviewed journals and even check out citations in technical papers. They do not. They take the quickest approach when faced with constant deadlines.  They go to the web. They go to Wikipedia. They go to top listed websites and blogs.

Thankfully, Wikipedia has a strict policy against publishing original thinking; all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources. Wikipedia does not want original research (a matter of no small consternation to shroud researcher Colin Berry in his [m]essage to wikipedia: do stop taking yourself so seriously). They don’t want his theories in their encyclopedia. But, I digress.

Today, according to the Alexa’s web rating service, Stephen Jone’s Shroud of Turin blog is the most popular blog dedicated to the shroud (but Google ranks it second to this blog). If you ignore the distinction that it is only a blog, it is the third most popular website dedicated to information about the shroud. The top four in order, so says Alexa, are 1) sindone.org, 2) shroud.com, 3) Stephen’s blog, 4) this blog.  Google has different ideas. It includes John Jackson’s site and Charles Freeman’s it-is-a-painting article in History Today in the ranks of the top ten go-to sites about the shroud. And of course Stephen’s blog, with his really wild and wooly conspiracy theory about the carbon dating being hacked, is also being listed as a go-to site.  (Your mileage may vary; Google is like that).

It was an email, yesterday, from Stephen Jones that prompted me to write this posting. Apparently, when Stephen previously posted a Wikipedia definition of conspiracy theory he omitted the part of the definition that said that “belief in conspiracy theories can be rational and that the skepticism of conspiracy theorising (the generation of conspiracy theories) is akin to a modern day superstition.” He wanted me to know that.

Oh, well! So much for Wikipedia definitions. But then again this is not original thinking for I see that it is attributable to some really good sounding Oxford-ish and Cambridge-ish sources (I didn’t read the citations). The big deal is that maybe Stephen Jones is finally realizing that his speculation is really conspiracy theory.  Now if he would only issue a warning to that effect.

Here are some highlights of his latest well-read posting (the bold emphasis is not mine).

If you are not a regular reader of Stephen’s blog, Timothy Linick of Arizona was one of the signatories of the Nature report on the dating of the Shroud of Turin. Stephen Jones blames Linick along with the KGB for hacking computers connected to AMS equipment in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona and thus faking a medieval date for the shroud. Karl Koch as a computer hacker in the 1980s who may have been involved in espionage.


• The Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse in the 1980s.

• A first century radiocarbon date of the Shroud would have been a threat to the atheist USSR. The Soviet Union was an atheist State[11]. Yet, despite its attempts to eradicate religion since the 1917 revolution, the USSR continued to have a large Christian population[12]. In the 1980s, three Christian denominations alone, had a total of about 56.5 million adherents…. So a first-century radiocarbon date of the Shroud of Turin would have been perceived as a huge threat by the embattled Soviet leadership.

• If Timothy W. Linick had offered the Soviets a 14th century carbon-date of the Shroud they would have accepted it. So if Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick (see #10(7)) had approached the Soviet Union (through for example the Soviet consulate in San Francisco….

• Linick was found dead of suspected suicide on 4 June 1989 … in Tucson, Arizona….

• Koch had been murdered by the KGB (or East Germany’s Stasi on the KGB’s behalf) between 23 and 30 May 1989, ….

• Koch and Linick were allegedly killed by the KGB to prevent them confessing the Soviets Union’s hacking of the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating.

[…] With the publication of the Nature paper of 16 February 1989, which claimed that the Shroud was "mediaeval … 1260-1390"[16], Koch would (according to my theory) have realised what his hacking into the Oxford and Zurich university computers and running a program on them had done, as he had since "embrace[d] … conventional religion" [17].

That Koch had started to talk about his hacking for the USSR of the Shroud’s radiocarbon dating is supported by his fellow hacker Pengo (Hans Hübner), complaining that Koch was "talking of nothing but conspiracies and [was] having religious hallucinations"[18].


Oh, yes. Lot’s of citations.  Citations, whatever they are, look good at the bottom of webpages. Maybe Stephen’s conspiracy theory will get into Wikipedia. Maybe it will get into the press if there are any column inches left over after the journalists tell us that Charles Freeman’s thinks that the shroud was a painting.

But remember, the press won’t say the computer dating was hacked, only that that is what those whacky shroudies think.

  1. ekmcmahon
    July 7, 2015 at 5:15 am

    I am one of those who don’t believe that any type of hacking was necessary as the small part used was from a small part of a stitched on repair job.

  2. daveb of wellington nz
    July 7, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Stephen’s persisting with his hacking conspiracy theory is a positive disservice to the credibility of the Shroud, as it appears too obviously an explanation from desperation. We have to look for other more credible reasons why the alleged dating is in error. Eventually the matter will be resolved, and we will all become a lot wiser as a result.

  3. July 7, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Jones has posted more since you posted. He implies you are being dishonest by calling his conspiracy theory a conspiracy theory.

    • Dan
      July 7, 2015 at 8:38 am

      The Rational Wiki weighs in: A conspiracy theory originally meant the “theory” that an event or phenomenon was the result of conspiracy between interested parties; however, from the mid-1960s onward, it is often used to denote ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish or irrational theories.

  4. July 7, 2015 at 6:51 am

    It was the aliens from Roswell. Seriously? Please.

  5. Charles Freeman
    July 7, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Please note that my hypothesis is that the original images on the Shroud were painted but the paint disintegrated as it did in the vast majority of painted linens. This appears from depictions of the Shroud to have taken place in the nineteenth century when, for the first time in 1868, the Shroud had to be placed in a frame as well as the images being shown, in alithograph of this same exposition to be partially faded- the frontal image from the shoulders down.. What we have left, under the remnants of gesso- calcium carbonate as discovered by STURP- is the discoloration of the surface of the linen after centuries of being underneath the paint and gesso. This original thickness of the pigments inevitably discoloured the linen in different shades that gives the impression of a three dimensional image.
    So please no repetition of I think it IS a painting. Rather I think it WAS a painting.

  6. rick
    July 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    look…I don’t really believe it either…however, remember the soviets did try to infiltrate the Vatican….they did have soviet trained priests….

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