Benford and Marino invisible patch theory

After the 1988 C-14 dating results, pretty much it convinced the world that the TS was a fake. Even many STURP scientists had blindly accepted it and stopped their research on it.

Many years later, it was a housewife, who was not even a shroud professional, that turned it all upside down. Sue Benford brought up her idea to her husband, Joe Marino, that the C-14 sample cloth did not look right. The yarns were not consistent on different parts of the sample.


They researched and presented their invisible patch theory at the Sindone 2000 Worldwide Congress in Orvieto, Italy.

Excerpts from their paper…

Abstract: In 1988, Carbon-14 findings from three Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS)
Labs independently dated a sample removed from the Shroud of Turin: unarguably the
most widely studied linen cloth in history. The dates reported ranged between 1260 –
1390 A.D.; thus, leading to the conclusion that the cloth originated in the middle ages.
This paper, previously presented on August 28, 2000 at the Worldwide Congress
“Sindone 2000” in Orvieto, Italy, presents evidence that the sample tested by the three
AMS labs contained a “patch” of material from the 16th Century. The authors examine
the theory that this extraneous material was skillfully spliced into the 1st Century original
Shroud cloth in the C-14 sample used by the laboratories for testing. According to
hypothetical calculations performed by AMS laboratory, Beta Analytic, the world’s
largest radiocarbon dating service, the observed proportion of medieval material in
relationship to assumed 1st Century material, closely matches the findings of the AMS
Labs in 1988.

In light of the compelling evidence that we are about to present, we believe that the
theory that the Shroud has literally been patched with medieval material from the 16 th
century, in the C-14 sample itself, explains the medieval carbon dating results.

Giovanni Riggi, the person who actually cut the C-14 sample, which was from the
same area from which the 1973 “Raes piece” was taken, stated:
1I was authorized to cut approximately 8 square centimetres of cloth from the
Shroud…This was then reduced to about 7 cm because fibres of other origins had become
mixed up with the original fabric …(Riggi 1988:182).

Italian author Giorgio Tessiore, discussing the sample taking, noted, “…1 cm of the new
sample had to be discarded because of the presence of different color threads” (Tessiore,

Upon microscopic examination of the Oxford C-14 sample, Professor Edward Hall,
head of the Oxford lab, noticed fibers that looked out of place. A laboratory in
Derbyshire determined that the rogue fibers were cotton of “a fine, dark yellow strand.”
According to Peter South of the lab, “It may have been used for repairs at some time in
the past…” (Rogue Fibres found in the Shroud, 1988:13).

Professor Raes, who extracted the above cited Shroud sample in 1973, believes
that in the 1988 Oxford sample he examined, the cotton he observed was contained inside
the threads, which could help to explain the difference in fiber diameter (Raes, 1989).
We believe that the heavier, blended material may explain why the C-14 sample
apparently weighed about twice as much as expected (Petrosillo and Marinelli, 1996:63).

Not only is the radiocarbon sample atypical of the main Shroud cloth, but statistician
Bryan Walsh shows that the data indicate that there is a 97.7% chance that the C-14
subsamples themselves are from different populations, and in this case, the population
would refer to the threads. (Walsh, 1999).

Further, to pass the Chi Square test, which determines comparability of two or more
disparate samples, statisticians tell us that the calculated value should be lower than 6.
The Chi Square test value for the Shroud is 6.4, meaning that the subsamples cannot be
considered identical, or rather, from the same representative sample (Van Haelst,

The labs produced a wide range of dates, with the range between 1238 and 1430 for
Arizona and the average dates for Oxford and Zurich falling between the oldest and
youngest dates obtained by Arizona.

A striking similarity can be observed between the angle at which the C-14 rate
changes and the angle at which the disparate weave intersects the Shroud weave. Note
the correlation between the angle of what appears as the patch of medieval material
spliced into the original weave, and what Walsh has portrayed statistically.

If one looks at the location from which the Shroud samples were taken for each of the
three labs, it can be seen that the C-14 dates correspond closely to the change in weave
percentage. This would resolve the question as to why Arizona’s results were both the
oldest and youngest of the three labs.

In a second blinded examination of photographs of both the Zurich and uncut C-14
samples, European-trained weaver David Pearson, owner of the French Tailors in
Columbus, Ohio, immediately recognized the disparate weave pattern and differences in
thread size, stating “there is no question that there is different material on each side…It is
definitely a patch.”

Due to its adjacent location next to the excised region and C-14 sample, it is highly
likely that the Raes sample also contained the 16th century patch. In Raes’ examinations
of his 1973 samples (Raes, 1976:86) and the 1988 Oxford C-14 sample (Raes, 1989), he
reported the presence of cotton fibers. More importantly, he detected two pieces of
material sewn together, noting, “The thread used for sewing the two pieces together
is…twisted in an S-direction, whereas the individual threads are twisted in a Z-direction”
(Raes 1976:85). Here Raes is referring to the connection between the fabric and the
seam, which raises further suspicions of a patch, since studies have shown that the side
strip is, in actuality, a continuation of the main Shroud (Schwalbe and Rogers, 1982:42;
Adler, 1997).