Though Rogers had stopped doing research on the shroud, he had maintained a passing interest, in part because no one had figured out how the images had been made. He was quite sure that they were not somehow miraculously formed. He was annoyed by claims from those who thought they could explain away the carbon dating with pseudoscientific or non-scientific explanations. They were, in his words, the “lunatic fringe” of shroud research.
One hypothetical suggestion, seemingly off the wall, had been gaining traction, particularly on the Internet. Two researchers, Sue Benford and Joe Marino, were suggesting that the sample used in the carbon dating was significantly not part of the shroud but instead part of a medieval repair, a section of the cloth mended using a technique known as invisible reweaving. Rogers thought this was ludicrous, just so much more lunatic fringe thinking. He thought that he could prove they were wrong. He had in his possession some small thread samples taken from the shroud at a spot adjacent to where the carbon dating sample had been snipped away. It would be a simple matter to show that there was no evidence of mending.