There are numerous variables and other issues to be considered. First, have you noticed that none of these reports from the mainstream press ever mention exactly how they calculated the distance between the sending and receiving points? Remember that these positions are underground, making the relative distance between the two points almost impossible to ascertain with the kind of precision needed to confirm such measurements. Recall too that the path taken by these neutrinos is through solid rock, and so the distance cannot be verified by comparing it to the travel time of other particles projected along the identical path. The best GPS positioning could still be off by as much as several meters vertically, which would make a huge difference over 474 miles, which is the distance in question. Other factors like weather conditions can also affect GPS accuracy. And yes, orbital variations can also contribute. One could try to triangulate from a measurement across the surface, but the earth is not a perfect sphere, and you’d have to account for every minor local protuberance in the topology.
The report sites a speed of 60 nanoseconds faster than a photon (particle of light) would travel the same distance. A nanosecond is one billionth of a second. If the distance were precisely 474 miles, at the speed light we’d only need a variation of 58 feet to get the variance in question. That’s only one-hundredth of a mile, or .01%. To put it another way, that would be only 58 feet out of 2,502,720 feet (474 miles). There seems to be no way to nail this down precisely without an identical conduit through which photons could be fired for comparison, which is what they’re proposing. However, it’s unclear how they would be able to bore through the solid rock to precisely duplicate the path these neutrinos are traveling.
There are other issues involved that call these findings into question. Unlike Newton’s laws that were increasingly called into question as more and more experiments with energy gave rise to anomalous observations that contradicted his model, Einstein’s model of the universe with its top-end light speed has been verified over and over again, sometimes in remarkable and unexpected ways. Many formulas have been derived from relativity that correlate perfectly with real-world observations. Were these neutrinos actually proved to be traveling faster than like, then we’d have to accept that we’ve been using these “defective” equations all this time, and yet they still magically give us the correct answers! This is why the vast majority of the scientific community expect there’s something wrong with the experiment.
Next there is the motivational factor, which I think we’d be foolish not to consider. CERN convinced many nations to contribute funding for the Large Hadron Collider with the promise they’d find elusive particles like the Higg’s boson that could pave the way for new and fantastic technology. Now that they’re losing hope in finding these, how do they get nations to commit more funding for similar future projects in these troubled economic times after laying this huge egg? How do all those physicists keep their jobs? What if they were to uncover a sensational finding that would refute Einstein and hold out the promise for incredible results like time travel? Now they need more funding to lay a 474-mile conduit through solid rock across territorial boundaries. Think it can’t happen? Think again. Virtually every qualified scientific authority agrees that it was very irresponsible for CERN to publicly announce the results of their experiment before it could be reproduced and corroborated by other labs. So why did they violate normal and accepted scientific procedures by this announcement? You tell me.