When they were unveiling the shroud, cutting from it, and putting the samples into the vials for the labs, the entire process was supposed to be filmed. But this did not happen.
The entire procedure was filmed except for the most critical point — when the samples were placed into the vials. There is no video evidence to confirm what got placed into the vials. And strangely, they did this also in a separate room where only a few people attended.
The samples of the Shroud and those brought by Tite, one dating back to the first century and the other to the eleventh century, were introduced in small metal cylinders. The operation took place in the adjacent capitular room at the sole presence of Tite, Gonella and Ballestrero. This delicate moment was not filmed, unlike what was settled in the London protocol.
The samples were then taken to the adjacent Sala Capitolare where they were wrapped in aluminium foil and subsequently sealed inside numbered stainless-steel containers by the Archbishop of Turin and Dr Tite.
All these operations, except for the wrapping of the samples in foil and their placing in containers, were fully documented by video film and photography.
Testore commented regarding the packaging of the samples, “There was something we didn’t understand: when – how – the three samples were put into their containers. There was only Cardinal Ballestrero and Tite, the director of the British Museum – that was all – in a separate room from where we were. But they came back and sealed them in public. “
As admitted by Tite, the entire process of putting the samples in a separate room was “illogical” and “unnecessary”. Why go into a separate room with only a few people? Why prevent video recording of this? What were they trying to hide?
The Shroud samples and the two control samples brought by Tite were put into small metal cylinders in the adjacent capitular room (of the Cathedral) in the presence of Tite, Gonella and Cardinal Ballestrero. Inexplicably, this significant action was not filmed, even though it had been mandated at the London meeting in January.
Tite also asserted that the filming of the sample packaging would have only been a “memorandum, not intended to be an identification proof for the samples, of which he and the Cardinal were guarantors.” He also admitted that moving to a separate room for the packaging, was “quite unnecessary.”
The non-filming of the samples being put in the containers, despite the fact that the London meeting had dictated that it should, and the fact that there was about sixteen hours of film of the rest of the events, feeds into the suspicion about a sample switch. Tite’s comments about the “illogical” and “unnecessary” procedures are a cause for head-scratching.
It was not to prevent the labs from knowing what was in the vials. At this point, everyone already knew there would be no blind testing. The process of “secrecy” was more play acting, rather than of any scientific use.
The whole procedure of secretly distributing the specimens in the small, screw-capped containers was a farce. This play-acting was no use even for the benefit of the press and public. The BBC film team was present in Wolfli’s laboratory when he broke the seals of his three containers and laid out the cloth pieces before him, and anyone could see which one belonged to the Turin Shroud. It was rather poor play-acting, and unnecessary. It is astonishing that these crucial events were not better planned, if only to fool the public. Or had some crude blunder occurred during the planning? This secret distribution of specimens would only have made any sense if, as Prof Raes remarked, the fabric pieces had been unthreaded before being placed in the containers. Then the scientists in their laboratories could not have distinguished the experimental specimen from the control specimens.
There’s no logical reason they’d go into a separate room and have no evidence of what samples got placed into the vials except for the purpose of hiding something.