Unauthorized dating of Raes thread
In 1982 an unauthorized Carbon-14 dating test was conducted on a single thread
from the Raes sample. The experimental thread was provided by Dr. Alan Adler and
given to Dr. John Heller. At the time, Adler was unaware that an agreement had been
signed by STURP members not to do further testing on Shroud samples. Heller delivered
the thread to the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) for dating by worldrenowned
mineralogist Dr. George R. Rossman. Adler informed Rossman that one end
of the thread contained, what appeared to be, a “starch contaminate.” Thus, Rossman cut
the thread in half and, using what Adler described as Fourier-transform ion cyclotron
resonance mass spectrometry (FTMS), dated each end of the thread separately.
According to the Scripps Center for Mass Spectrometry in La Jolla California, “FTMS
offers two distinct advantages, high resolution and the ability to tandem mass spectrometry experiments. First introduced in 1974 by Comisarow and Marshall, FTMS
is based on the principle of a charged particle orbiting in the presence of a magnetic field.
While the ions are orbiting, a radio frequency (RF) signal is used to excite them and as a
result of this radio frequency excitation, the ions produce a detectable image current on
the cell in which they are trapped. The time-dependent image current can then be Fouriertransformed to obtain the component frequencies of the different ions, which correspond
to their m/z. Coupled to ESI and MALDI, FTMS has potential in becoming an important
research tool offering high accuracy with errors as low as ±0.001%.” (From
http://masspec.scripps.edu/information/ ... html#3.3.5
.). According to isotope
ratio expert, Dr. Vernon Anderson of Case Western Reserve University (OH), “ion
cyclotron could potentially identify C-14 peaks; however, to quantify it versus C12CO2 is
Rossman found that the non-contaminated end of the thread dated to 200 AD
while the starched end dated to 1200 AD.
Although Rossman did not publish these
data, Adler had confidence in his capabilities to accurately measure the age of the sample.
Adler stated that Rossman is the “world’s expert in it and there’s no arguing with him . .
.if he says these are the dates he got . . .” (10) In a personal conversation with one of the
authors (Benford), Rossman confirmed that he was, indeed, the person who carried out
the 1982 C-14 testing on the Raes thread provided by Adler.
If there is any validity to the Rossman C-14 tests of the Raes thread, then the
results support Rogers’ recent findings of a spliced thread in the Raes sample as well as
his observation of unilateral deposition of plant gum encrustations on only the Raes
fibers. It would further support the heterogeneity of inwoven medieval restorative threads into older, possibly 1st Century, Shroud fibers in both the Raes and the 1988 sample areas of the Shroud.