As it turned out, Benford and Marino seemed to be onto something. In 2002, after considerable research, Rogers, along with Anna Arnoldi, a chemistry professor at the University of Milan, wrote a paper that strongly suggested that Benford and Marino were right. More work needed to be done, however, and Rogers continued to study the matter with material that had been saved from the actual cuttings from which the carbon dating samples were taken. In January, 2005, following a lengthy peer-review process, Thermochimica Acta, an international journal from Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of scientific journals, published a paper by Rogers entitled, “Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin.” In it Rogers wrote:
The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.
This wasn’t religious opinion. In fact, it wasn’t that much of a scientific opinion of the sort that newspapers and television like. If Rogers could have proven that the shroud was the genuine article or at least that it came from the time of Christ, this would have been exciting news. As it was he was only saying, that for all practical purposes, the 1988 carbon dating was meaningless. It was pure science. It was also a personal admission that he had been wrong in thinking that the carbon dating was the end of the story; that the shroud was certainly a medieval fake.