Although of negligible scientific value, they represent a major public triumph for the AMS method of carbon dating.However, many doubts have been raised, both real and fanciful, concerning the validity of the results and these are discussed.Benford and Marino’s theory is becoming the favored explanation for the C-14 dating results among many Shroud watchers, but still has its critics.Some complained that the textile specialists present at the sample cutting would have recognized a patch.
The scientist who actually cut the 8 square centimeter sample remarked that he had to remove 1 cm of material from it due to fibers of an origin different from the Shroud (Marino and Benford, 2000:2). Alan Adler produced a peer reviewed paper in 1996 demonstrating that the area adjacent to the C-14 sample had significantly different chemical characteristics from the rest of the cloth (Adler, 1996). The two researchers also noticed that radiographs of the Shroud changed as they approached the sample area, indicating different chemical/physical characteristics.
In a second paper in 2002, they discussed the expertise of 16th century European weavers and the motives of the Shroud’s owners, the rich Savoy family (and future kings of Italy), for making “Invisible Repairs” to textiles like the Shroud (Benford and Marino, 2000b). Flury-Lemberg continued to insist that such reweaving did not exist and that the patch would be recognizable on the reverse side, Benford and Marino produced a fourth paper.
In it they quoted the owner of a textile repair business, Mr.
“It changed my life,” he admitted, and “brought me back to the Scriptures and prayer” (, and is an example of how an informed, persistent layman can make a major contribution.
Skeptical as many were of the 1988 C-14 results, Marino and co-researcher M. From pictures of the C-14 samples they found differences in thread size and weave patterns.