After the STURP results were published, the group officially fulfilled their purpose and disbanded. However, many of the original team members wanted to continue to study it, so they formed STURP II.
Dr. John Jackson and Tom D’ Muhala present Cardinal Ballestrero with proposals for further scientific work on the Shroud. They have quietly formed a new group called “STURP II” and enlisted the participation of many of the original team members.
They submitted proposals to do a subsequent study of the shroud. However, due to some politicking, STURP II proposals were eventually rejected and the C-14 labs were able to be the sole testers of the shroud.
As is well-known, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) had detailed plans for a second round of testing. These tests would have been more sophisticated than, and developed out of, the week-long testing that STURP did in 1978.
The 1984 STURP proposal for C14 dating was sensible, although they lacked any personnel with actual field experience in C14 dating, and crucially in “handling” the C14 lab grandees. This flaw, combined with some devilishly deceptive behavior on the part of Harry Gove and others, led ultimately to the C14 dating project being totally divorced from STURP, and the proposed further testing of the Shroud being quashed.
It was the influence of the C-14 labs that prevented STURP II from doing any further research on the shroud and to not be involved in the C-14 dating.
In 1984, STURP submitted a test proposal for twenty-six tests, including a C-14 test.
In July 1985, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI), approved the proposal; STURP would be given two weeks to perform their tests.
from various C-14 labs lobbied the authorities to do only a C-14 test. That contingent was being
led by Dr. Harry Gove, co-inventor of the aforementioned AMS C-14 dating method. Eight days
after Cardinal Ratzinger gave his approval for the STURP tests, Gove, along with Dr. Victor
Canuto, the right-hand man of Dr. Carlos Chagas of the Pontifical Academy of Science, the
Pope’s scientific advisory body, met in New York with Monsignor Celli, Vatican ambassador to
the United States. Canuto then advised the Pope that STURP’s tests were “dangerous.”
Then in 1988, STURP submitted the last of their proposals. By the time a sample was taken
on April 21, 1988, for C-14 dating, the labs had managed to convince the Church authorities to
only do the C-14, AND they managed to keep STURP from being involved in any manner.
“For reasons that Cardinal Ballestrero and I were never able
to understand, a deployment formed aiming at excluding any
research that was not the radiocarbon dating.”
Dr. Luigi Gonella, scientific advisor to Cardinal Ballestrero,
after STURP submitted to the Vatican a proposal for 26
interdisciplinary tests in 1984
Why would anyone want to prevent STURP from doing any additional research on the shroud? Why would the C-14 labs consider it “dangerous” for the STURP team to continue to do non-destructive tests, while it is the C-14 labs that will be doing destructive tests?
To this day, STURP is the only scientific body that has done any extensive hands-on research on the shroud. So, they had the most knowledge on the shroud. But not only were they not consulted, the C-14 labs were instrumental in preventing their further research on the shroud and any involvement in the C-14 dating. This means the C-14 labs were not really a proponent of open scientific research, but only furthering their own agenda, which is a breach of honest scientific pursuit.