A solution (at last!) to the Turin Shroud – based on my 5 years of continuous experimental research.

Here’s a new image-modelling result for starters, obtained this very morning:

DSC07540 slightly cropped



It shows my own hand, sprinkled with an imprinting medium (plain white flour) from above. First, there was  addition of  two enveloping  circles of black adhesive tape (wrist and finger) to show where the flour settles and (more importantly) where it DOES NOT (the vertical sides, as distinct from higher flatter planes).  Note the fairly abrupt transition from horizontal planes – where the flour settles – and the vertical planes – where it doesn’t, with a fuzzy boundary separating the two.

Relevance to the Turin Shroud? One would have needed to read some two years worth of postings on this site since August 2015 to know why I think, and indeed KNOW the relevance. One would need to know that the flour one sees in the above photos can be imprinted onto wet linen, draped over the top of the flour-coated-hand and pressed firmly.  One would need to know that the flour imprint can then be thermally developed in an oven (or glowing charcoal embers?) to produce a resistant yellow or brown NEGATIVE (tone-reversed) image, displaying a 3D-response in the appropriate computer software.

Here’s the initial imprint of my hand from the above pressing, first as seen when removed from the oven.

DSC07576 roasted hand imprint no oil as is

Shroud-like?  Yes, more so after washing, but let’s put the above image into ImageJ (3D-rendering software that converts image density to image height plotted onto an entirely artificial vertical z coordinate):

roasted hand imprint no oil pre wash 3D




Yes the contact flour imprint on exposure to heat (radiant heat especially) produced a Shroud-like NEGATIVE (tone-reversed) image with 3D response in the appropriate software! Coincidence? I think not. The Shroud image is also a contact imprint, made with white flour (probably) and not a miraculous ‘selfie’ of the crucified Jesus! Clever these medievals!

More to come, much more. (John Jackson and other proponents of imaging via mystery corpse-generated radiation via one-off  ‘resurrectional incandescence’  I say simply this: BRACE YOURSELVES! The time of reckoning has finally arrived (after some 35 years of your fairly non-stop, self-indulgent blitzing of the media with your fanciful PSEUDOSCIENCE!).

Friday Aug 25

I repeat a question made on this site a few days ago.

Where is there a single shred of evidence that the Shroud body image is anything other than one formed by physical CONTACT alone between  linen and a  human body (or inanimate version of the latter, 3D or bas relief)?

None of the evidence I have encountered thus far for imaging across air gaps (requiring uv, x-ray radiation  or bombardment via sub-atomic particles etc) stands up to close scrutiny. Maybe my scrutiny  has been too close – in which case, please disabuse me quickly of my lack of understanding.

In the meantime, I say this to all you ‘radiationists’  out there and your ilk.  Fantasize by all means. But kindly desist from resorting to pseudoscience. You risk damaging the reputation of  science (real science that is).

The laws of physics and chemistry are just that – laws. They are not there to be re-fashioned to suit your own convenience, far less to pander to the over-impressionable or gullible…

Saturday 26th Aug

Here’s an image that appears in the highly proactive  lawyer (“Test the Shroud”)  Mark Antonacci’s 2000 book entitled “The Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical and Archaeological Evidence”. It’s on Page 7 no less, one of the first images to appear in the book:DSC07599 yellow arrow


Notice anything unusual, dare one say overlooked, maybe studiously ignored? The pictures are 3D-renderings (VP-8 Image Analyser), dorsal body on the left, frontal on the right.  What’s that to the left of my yellow arrow?  What’s image density doing there, one might ask,  immediately beneath the chin, indeed beneath the recognized ‘beard’,  image density that responds so well to 3D-rendering? Has there been any comment and speculation about so prominent a feature? If so, then this investigator has missed it completely, despite nearly 6 years of continuous reading and research.

It’s the neck of the Man on the Shroud, right? So what’s image density doing on the neck? Isn’t the neck supposed to have been too far below loosely draped linen that ‘tents’ from the tip of the chin to the chest?

Isn’t that what we have been told repeatedly by the ‘radiationists’, promoting their imaging via ‘resurrectional incandescence’, namely that image formation does not require physical contact between body and linen, that imaging can occur across air gaps, decreasing rapidly with distance, ceasing altogether at about 4cm separation?

Would one expect imaging of the neck? Here’s another figure: it’s from Page 39 of Antonacci’s book.  It would suggest there should be little if any imaging of the neck:

DSC07596 cropped


Yes, there’s that sizeable gap between linen and body in the neck area, surely at least 4cm in height. Look too at the ‘microdensitometer intensity plot’ above the recumbent figure. Note the way that image intensity falls precipitately from chin, moving left to right, and only starts to re-build when the linen meets the chest.

So why the “ruff” on the 3D-image of the neck region?

What about the Shroud body image prior to 3D rendering? Does it show zero, low or high image intensity in the neck region, relative to chin and chest?

Again. let’s look at a third image from Antonacci’s book:

DSC07598 yellow arrow


So what’s that region of high image intensity doing on the neck for the ‘as is’ negative image shown on the right, to the left of my yellow arrow?

It should surely not be there, based on the ‘loosely draped linen’ model of John Jackson and others. based on his “correlation paper” of 1983, based also on that microdensitometer plot above. But it is, and it’s  plain for all to see  in the 3D rendering, yet seems to have been ignored completely (ah, those inconvenient facts!).   But it wasn’t ignored by this investigator some 4 and a half years ago. Indeed, it was the subject of a posting all to itself in Feb 2013.

Here’s a pair of side-by-side images from that paper:

The right side side shows a Shroud Scope image of the face (added contrast). Note the dark zone (labelled “neck?”) with a paler zone separating it from the chin (and ‘crease’).

The image on the left is a doctored version of the same, showing what one might have expected, given the size of the air gap in the ‘loosely draped linen’ model.

Why the discrepancy between model and actual image? The answer should be obvious: the model is wrong, and even the data supporting it, which fails to flag up the ‘neck anomaly’

There was NO loosely draped linen, at least in the neck region. Regardless of whether the subject was a real face, living or dead, or an inanimate facsimile thereof , the linen did NOT drape loosely. The nature of the image suggests that the linen was PRESSED firmly onto the neck, and less firmly to the underside of the chin to account for the pattern seen.

Manual pressing of linen is not totally inconsistent with authenticity. One could (idly) specuate that a band  had been manually secured in place at neck level to prevent sliding of cadaver within shroud during transport from cross to tomb.  But there’s another scenario that needs to be considered, nay SHOULD have been considered before settling with indecent haste on the ‘loosely-draped’ model, namely medieval ‘forgery’ (or as I prefer to say, medieval simulation of a body (sweat/ newish blood) imprint acquired on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen en route from cross to tomb. The notion of imaging across air gaps via some kind of (still undefined) electromagnetic radiation, corona discharge, sub-atomic particles etc is totally, and I mean TOTALLY unscientific!

Tomorrow I shall take a brief look at that splendid but much-neglected pdf produced by Bernard Power in 2002 which, despite an error in the author’s  asides on chromophore chemistry, frankly puts the Shroudie ‘radiationists’ to shame for its attention to the detailed SCIENCE  requirements and limitations of imaging across air gaps via radiation.

Sunday Aug 27

I’ve changed my mind. Sindonology is just one vast echo chamber, with scarcely anything coming back, except one’s own voice.

Yup, I could summarise some of the key points raised in that  Bernard Power analysis, and request that today’s  radiationists respond to the points he raised. But they won’t. They simply deliver their set pieces, ignoring the detailed physics and chemistry, ignoring the voices of sceptics and critics. I could also pick up on Power’s recognition that a form of electromagnetic radiation (microwave) that of itself has insufficient energy to break chemical bonds could (theoretically at any rate) still play a role in image formation via its generalised thermal effect, triggering chemical reactions that would not otherwise take place at ordinary environmental temperatures on account of the absence of the necessary ‘activation energy’ needed to surmount the energy hump. I could then cross-reference with my own modified Model 10 that features the more energetic infrared radiation – incident radiation I hasten to add from a medieval bed of hot charcoal or similar –  and give hints as to my latest thinking re ‘hotspots’ on the flour-imprinted linen that preferentially absorb rather than reflect infrared radiation (wheat bran particles?). But I’m now minded not to bother. Sindonology frankly does not give a toss for the detailed science, being entirely about promoting its ‘resurrectional incandescence’ agenda* to the general public via a cooperative or compliant media. Science and pseudoscience do not mix. Internet debate and the general mass media do not mix. As for Google’s so-called search engine, read systematically-biased pro-authenticity click-bait e-commerce directory, words fail me…

If there’s anyone out there who wants to discuss or debate the detailed science, then I’m here, ready and willing to participate. But I’m no longer willing to talk to myself (excluding sole respondent Hugh Farey,  Editor  of the BSTS Newsletter – see most recent comments).

*  Am I the only one to think that incandescence/dematerialization would make a lot more sense in the context of the final one-way Ascension (to heaven) than Resurrection, given there would need to be energy-ABSORBING reversal of resurrectional dematerialization? (See Gospel accounts of the various post-resurrectional encounters between the Risen Christ and his disciples etc). 

September 17, 2017

IMG_0015 The Shroud Conspiracy with my markers of Veronica Veil induced 'miracles'


See my own comment regarding this crass so-called novel, which I’m loath to advertise (given its conjuring up THREE modern-day miracles no less enacted by a Vatican archive employee, into whose hands has fallen (allegedly) the  entire Veil of Veronica, tucked into a pocket of a long-lost volume).  Shame on  Simon and Schuster for publishing this tosh…

Tuesday 19th Sept, 2017

Some folk have asked if I’m bothered by the slow (or, as some would say, non-existent) take-up of my modelling studies on the Shroud. Answer: yes, but not unduly. Why not? Well, here’s a clue – the second paragraph in the Introduction to a paper that appeared last year, addressing  “resistant starch” a subject this retired biochemist/food scientist worked upon years ago – some 30-40 years  to be precise while Head of Nutrition and Food Safety at the (then Chorleywood-based) FMBRA:


The debranching enzyme, pullulanase is gaining popularity in the processes of starch conversion. Berry (1986) reported that amylopectin of potato starch when debranched using pullulanase before applying heating and cooling cycles considerably improved the RS3 content. The increased degree of debranching would give chains a more opportunity to align and aggregate to form perfect crystalline structure, thereby leading to the formation of more RS.

Yup, a finding I reported back in 1986 is only now “gaining popularity”!

Here’s a screen shot of the 2016 paper in question, coming from a Saudi institute.


saudi paper 2016 resistant starch pullulanase

And here’s a screenshot of my 1986 paper:


Berry 1986 resistant starch pullulanase


Here’s my current listing on a Google search under (dietary fibre resistant starch):


screen grab from google my resistant starch paper 1986

523 Citations?  Peanuts – given they have accumulated over a mere 30+ years !  Or there again… What’s the opposite of ‘ephemera’, that eternal blight  (oops) of sindonology?

Yup, one needs to take a long-term view where scientific research is concerned!  Anyone who expects instant attention and interest in their latest thinking is definitely in the wrong line of business! If not pearls before swine, think shiny semi-precious stones before blinkered mules…


Thursday Sept 21

Might there be a way of  chemically testing my medieval-era flour-based “toastograph” hypothesis for image formation? Answer: yes, in principle, though it would need some excised body image fibres from the Shroud, and would regrettably be destructive.

Would such a test, based on confirming the presence or absence of  high molecular weight melanoidins  (NOT chemically modified cellulose!) as the image chromophore,  allow one to distinguish my flour-derived end-product from that of the naturalistic 1st century purified starch/volatile amine-derived product proposed by STURP’s Raymond N.Rogers in his post-mortem putrefaction model – he being the first to propose melanoidins as body-image chromophore ? Answer: probably yes, at least in principle.

Experimental details can be provided here (on request). 

In the meantime, here’s a link to a 1984 paper (Dutch/Israeli authorship) that provides a clue to the promising ‘chemical-fingerprinting’ technology.

curie point pms 1984

Saturday 23rd September

A unique feature of my flour imprinting/melanoidin Model 10 is the ‘mobile chromophore’ hypothesis, with migration of the yellow pigment as a LIQUID initially, probably within rather than merely on the surface of fibres.

It was mooted as long ago as August 2015 on Dan Porter’s now retired shroudstory site. (See comments especially).  Experimentally it’s tricky, very tricky as I’ve found to my cost, needing a lot more work, but will be aided hopefully (a) by my two new microscopes and (b) with a new Canon digital camera that is proving better at capturing what one sees down the eye piece. (The image-capture software that came with one of the microscopes is simply dreadful!).

The main challenge will be to see how image chromophore is able to migrate from one side of the weave to the other, leaving little trace of its whereabouts en route between contact and non-contact side of the linen. I shall shamelessly make full use of the contrast-enhancement tool on my graphics software, notwithstanding the uneasiness expressed by Dan Porter as regards artificial contrast in the link to that 2015 posting! One is dealing with an exceedingly faint yellow chromophore,  at least when seen at the individual fibre level – so adding contrast – making it progressively darker tones of brown – becomes a no-brainer!

The ultimate aim is to arrive at a further diagnostic tool with which to implicate a Model 10  imprinting mechanism for the actual Shroud of Turin. That depends needless to say on there being a return visit to Turin by STURP ensemble Mk2, not restricted next time to Stateside researchers only! Far too many of the latter were not true (i.e., ideas-driven) researchers, but mere instrumentation specialists, unconcerned about having no hypothesis to test, apart from the tedious “it’s probably just a painting”).

Sunday 24th September: Can someone please explain to me how a team of 30+ physicists, engineers, chemists, photographers etc could have closed their eyes to the obvious – namely that a tone-reversed, i.e. “negative” image that predated photography by hundreds of years should have been seen in the first instance as a CONTACT imprint, NOT a painting or proto-photograph. That’s especially the case, given the artefact is life-size, both frontal v dorsal surfaces of supposedly the same subject, and bearing biological material suggestive of contact, namely blood (or “blood”) even if that latter ingredient had been painted rather than imprinted. The working assumption that the body image as well as blood was acquired from a free-hand artist’s paint brush – without serious consideration being given to a more obvious alternative – doth simply pass all understanding! Talk about closing one’s eyes to the obvious – or being blinded by minimalist overhyped “science” as it existed back in 1978.




Posted in Shroud of Turin, shroud of turin,, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Does an imprint of my unquestionably human hand onto fabric possess UNIQUE 3D properties (like, er, that supposedly ‘supernatural’ Turin Shroud) ?

Yes, my ageing hand DOES have (seemingly) unique properties, ones that match the “unique” 3D  properties of the Turin Shroud (TS).

(OK, my hand and the TS can’t both be unique, so let’s qualify by saying  my hand and the Turin Shroud must now be considered ‘co-unique’.  Others reading this seditious nonsense are invited to do the following experiment to see if they too get the same result as mine.

Here’s what you newcomers have to do, in pictures.

First, get some dark-coloured fabric. I used a pair of old jeans. Then sit a supply of tap water alongside. Do when the rest of the family is out of the house to be spared worried inquisitions.


Then immerse one’s hand in the water:


Then press palm down onto the dark fabric:


Then remove hand to view dark imprint:



It’s obviously an imprint, right, not a painting. The non-imprinted parts are the giveaway, to say nothing of lack of detail, depth, form etc: they tell one immediately that it’s an imprint, not a painting (Charles Freeman and others, still living, please note).


Optionally. one can wet the back of the hand and try imprinting that too alongside, as shown above, though it’s not as easy as simply pressing the palm down (having to turn the wrist etc).

Now download ImageJ (3D-rendering) software onto one’s laptop, as I did some 5 years ago (successfully) while having difficulty doing so onto a new  Windows 10 computer (which tries to get me to sign up to a WinZip “free trial”, “limited period” etc  etc.).

First, upload your  ‘as is’ image of your hands into the 3D section of the software (not  especially easy to find if a newcome , details later).

Here’s what you see using what I call, ‘minimalist’ settings, visible on the surrounding frame:

front v back hand pre-inversion then 3d tick in box cropped

3D rendering in ImageJ of water-imprinted hand onto dark fabric, palm (left), back hand (right)

So, with the simplest of imprinting medium (plain water from a tap ) one gets apparent (entirely IT-created)  3D images from one’s  hand, both palm side down, or back of hand.

Decoding of “encoded 3D information” from one’s hand, as claimed for the Turin Shroud body image?

Nope. It’s the IT photo-editing software that does the  3D imaging, correction VIRTUAL 3D imaging, not, repeat NOT,   the 3D subject itself  (unless able amazingly to survive flooding with water!).

More to follow shortly  (like response in ImageJ  of the Secondo Pia-style tone-reversed ‘negative’ images –  and much else besides.  It really needs saying – time and time again – if only to counter the steady unending stream of sindonological misinformation, most recently from one paper in particular, as yet abstract only,  from the Stateside Pasco, Wa,  International Shroud Conference, July 19-22, 2017 ) to the effect that the Shroud body image has unique ‘encoded’ distance information, responsible for it’s so-called “3D properties”.

No, the Shroud image responds to 3D-rendering software programs in essentially  the same way as other entirely man-made imprints, whether or not the latter have a 3D history.

Sunday, Aug 13

How many have spotted another point of similarity between the Shroud body image  and that of the image left by a wet hand on a dark fabric?

Answer: the body image is a slightly darker yellow than the linen. My hand produced a darker grey than the dry denim. So the latter can be thought of as a grayscale (US spelling) version of the Shroud body image. So how does it respond to a Secondo Pia-style  tone inversion i.e. treating a photograph of the Shroud as if a negative image on a photographic plate, and converting to a photographic positive by tone-inversion? (It was the result of SP’s tone inversion that was largely responsible for the 20th century fascination with Shroud and resort to notions of miraculous ‘photographic’ imaging not just by contact but across air gaps via a one-off outburst of some kind of energetic radiation. (The precise nature of the latter  is rarely if ever specified even when the theoretical need for air attenuation is recognized to produce so-called “distance” information!).

front v back of hand inverted 3d no tick invert box cropped


So, my hands now look slightly more life-like now, one might reasonably think, at least in terms of tones (I hesitate to say colour) with pale skin against a darker background, closer to what one might see if one had taken a black-and-white photograph of white Anglo-Saxon hands against a dark background. (Shame about the bulbous ends to the fingers on the complete left image, imprinted palm-side down – more on that later).

Two questions need to be addressed:

1:  Is the 3D response due in whole or in part to the ‘template’ (my hand) having 3D character?

2:  How was the Shroud image formed , with its so-called “unique encoded 3D properties”, that description now comprehensively debunked. Could it have been via simple imprinting, with a wet imprinting medium more advanced than simple tap water? Or do those theories of “resurrectional incandescence” producing the world’s first photograph,  correction, negative proto-photograph, still need to be given serious consideration?

No. 1 can be dealt with very quickly. A simple exercise with MS Paint shows that 3D character is NOT required of an imprinted subject to produce a 3D response, at least in ImageJ:

1. stars with increasing brown

The above image was created in MS Paint, so has no 3D history or character whatsoever.

Here’s the same after uploading to Image J, with default setting of the height control (z=0.1) with oblique angle viewing , and adjustment of the “Lighting” control to produce virtual shadowing:


stars optimized 3D in imagej


Added note: I have a small photoarchive showing what ImageJ does to even simpler shapes – circles, squares, triangles etc – with varying degrees of adjustment to the key controls (smoothing, lighting, viewing angle especially). I’ll display them as an Appendix to this posting if anyone’s interested.

It cannot be said too often: the so-called “3D properties” of the Shroud image  is a misnomer if referring to the 3D response in computer software that is specifically designed to give 3D character to 2D images. The 3D response is no “miracle”. It’s the result of projecting  a map of 2D image density onto an entirely artificial z scale (perpendicular to the xy plane) where each pixel is raised to a height in proportion to its image density. ImageJ creates 3D. It does not seek out and decode entirely conjectural  ‘encoded 3D’, the latter being a sindonological flight of fancy that has no scientific basis whatsoever as the above experiments demonstrate. Yet still we hear the “uniqueness” of the Shroud’s 3D response being trotted out at international Shroud conferences as if a given, one that must never be challenged. Did the original sponsors of that view ever experiment themselves with 3D imaging software, providing it with simple shapes and imprints as I have done, learning to distinguish between subject and software?   Probably not. They read too much into other people’s claims based on first impressions rather than hard data, coloured by preconceptions, not objectively assessed and interpreted.  See especially John Heller’s post-STURP 1983 book for glaring examples either in text or picture captions.  More on that later.

2:  The Shroud a “photographic negative”? Who says (currently). Well. there’s Stephen E .Jones on his true-believer site, but since I’m a non-person in his book, I shall not link directly, adding to his prominence in search engines, and suggest that those interested in his highly partisan line of reasoning enter the following into an internet search:


Negative #19: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

Yes, there he states categorically that the Shroud image is not just negative but a PHOTOGRAPHIC negative.

He of course is not alone in applying the same flawed logic –  namely that if an image behaves like a photographic negative, i.e. one that can be tone-reversed to make a more life-like positive, at least for white Caucasians, then,  ipso facto,  it MUST be a PHOTOGRAPHIC negative, that then providing the green light for OTT speculation re ‘resurrectional incandescence on the third day.  (That’s conveniently assuming that the crucified Jesus was still in Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘clean linen’ used to transport the newly deceased sweat/blood laden body from cross to tomb, ignoring the indications from the fourth Gospel that the body was then transferred from J of A’s impromptu stretcher to more specialized burial garments. )

AsI say, it’s flawed logic. Negative images have existed for as long as wet or dust/mud laden skin has been pressed against cloth. They weren’t described as such, merely as “imprints”. Sindonology does not reject the idea of actual contact between skin and fabric, just as long as it’s still photography across a zero air gap, not requiring a physical imprinting medium (unless blood!). Bodily sweat rarely if ever get a look in, despite it being the common-sensical interpretation of a life-size double-body imprint onto expensive herringbone weave linen, one that looks like an imprint (NOT a painting) with upper and lower surfaces but no sides. The idea that the Shroud body image is a contact imprint ONLY (no photographic imaging) is simply not on sindonology’s radar screen – it doesn’t allow for speculation on resurrectional incandescence or other one-off supernatural inputs that enhance the relic’s credentials as the real “burial” shroud.  (Shhh, don’t mention my assertion above that an ad hoc transport shroud  – intended to confer post mortem dignity while the body – probably naked, certainly bloodied – was still on open display  to the public –  need not have have doubled as the final burial shroud as well, and thus have been handily available for single-sheet resurrectional imprinting followed by 20 centuries of near-perfect storage, free of mildew, insects etc, bar the occasional outbreak of fire).


More to follow, the following topics especially:

(a) The shroud non-spread fingers – supportive evidence for imprinting by contact only – no protophotography across tiny air gaps AND evidence for a dry imprinting medium, not wet.

(c) evidence via photoediting software for a heterogeneous/microparticulate nature of the Shroud body image, hardly consistent with protophotogaphy via any kind of uniform radiation, but entirely consistent, indeed predictable, from imprinting with a particulate medium, whether used wet or dry.

Still Sunday am

Let’s address point (a) above – those fingers on the Shroud, usually commented on for their bony, spindly nature, with OTT speculation regarding X-ray imaging etc. My treatment will be more down-to-earth, based on imprinting by direct contact, no air gap.

Here first is the as-is image of those crossed hands from Shroud Scope, i.e. no added contrast (or, as I prefer to say, no restoration of removed contrast – don’t ask):

1. shroud scope hands higher of two mags


Here’s the same after tone-inversion in ImageJ. (I guess I should really be using grayscale photoediting  for comparability with Secondo Pia’s spectacular  negative-to-positive conversion, but prefer to stick with what I’m familiar with which gives at least qualitatively the same result).

2. shroud scope hands higher of two mags then invert imagej


Now let’s put the two side by side, and upload to ImageJ, using  minimal smoothing and optimized lighting and image orientation:


comapre my hand v shroud hands both inv after 3D

So, there were no major differences as regards “3D-ness”, not that it was the principal purpose of the exercise, though maybe surprising nonetheless, given the Shroud Scope image was being compared with a simple water-imprint of my hands!

No, the purpose of the exercise was to enquire what the hands on the Shroud body image might suggest as regards the mechanism of imaging. Clearly there’s nothing so far that would or should immediately discount simple contact-imaging, and certainly  no need to go invoking  supernatural mechanisms that require protophotography via ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Indeed, the opposite might be said to be true. Why?

Monday Aug 14

To those fingers – and what they can maybe tell us about mechanism of imaging – direct contact-only imprinting or radiation scorching, whether in contact OR across air gaps

Here’s a simple diagram of 4 non-spread fingers in cross section, showing the hard bony interiors (white centres), pressing onto dark fabric,

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric

Now observe the tiny unoccupied air gaps, shown in red:

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric red infills for air spaces

Now consider the imprint those fingers would leave on the fabric, whether using plain water or a more sophisticated imprinting medium. There would be gaps in the imprint, needless to say, corresponding with those unoccupied air gaps in the crevices between the fingers, as shown in the higher of the two schematic diagrams below, labelled “contact imprint”.

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric red infills for air spaces final labelled

But would that be the image deposited if the image were to be scorched onto the fabric by some kind of radiation emanating from the fingers?


It’s not for this sceptic to stipulate what would happen in a model that he simply cannot accept as scientific (which doesn’t make it wrong, merely unscientific). But we’re told that the image density of the Shroud is consistent with imaging across air gaps. Moreover we’re told those gaps can be as long as 4cm approx (without the wavelength being specified!). So there should be no obvious reason for thinking there would be negligible imaging across those tiny air gaps shown red, given they are a few mm deep at most, right (?), especially as they have the man’s stomach  pubic region lying immediately underneath, presumably radiating  energy into and through those crevices between the fingers.

See then the second schematic in the above diagram, the one labelled “radiation scorch” where there IS imaging between the fingers, albeit less intense, maybe getting fainter towards the centres of the gaps.

Now look at the hands and fingers on the Shroud body image.

First, here’s the Shroud Scope image, “as is”,  with no additional contrast:

hands scope

There are obvious gaps between those fingers!

Here’s another view with a high degree of added contrast (MS Office Picture Manager):

hands as is for non-zeke enhancement, 0,100,-40,100,-100


So, the TS image of the fingers is precisely what one would expect to see as a result of imprinting via physical contact only. One could go further: some have described the fingers as being “too long, too spindly”. The latter of those is easily explained: the underlying metatarsal  bone in each finger is hard and unyielding, so it may be mainly the skin that directly overlies the bone that gets preferentially imprinted.

Can the radiationists account for the appearance above? Maybe, maybe not, but if rhe existing literature is anything to go by, layfolk may find they get quickly lost, with references to collimated radiation, orthogonally-projected from the body in a manner that is aligned with the Earth’s gravitational field!

Yup, see this abstract from Bob Rucker, co-organizer/speaker at the recent Pasco WA conference, presented Saturday July 22 this year. (My italics):

10:15 am to 11:00 am “Role of Information and Radiation in Image Formation” by Bob Rucker.

To understand the image on the Shroud, it is necessary to understand the role of information and radiation. Three things were required to form the image on the Shroud: a discolorization mechanism, energy to drive the mechanism, and information to control the mechanism. The information that defines the appearance of a naked crucified man must have been deposited on the Shroud to control the discolorization mechanism. This information must have come from the body. The only option to transported or communicated this information from the body to the Shroud appears to be radiation. Other options for communicating information from one location to another would not work for the image on the Shroud. The radiation that communicated the information to the Shroud regarding the appearance of a naked crucified man could also have provided the required energy to drive the discoloration mechanism. The presence of bones in the Shroud image indicates that the radiation was evidently emitted from within the body. The good resolution images of the front and back of the body, without side images, indicates the radiation was evidently vertically collimated both up and down, like a million vertically oriented lasers going off at once in the body.


Sorry, Bob. I prefer my imaging by direct imprinting only, and am still waiting to hear a good reason for discounting that simple and dare I say SCIENTIFIC explanation.  (Scientific because it’s testable in the laboratory – or even, dare one say, kitchen or garage).


Tuesday Aug 15

oscilloscope you tube

Here’s a video-still with (among other things)  Pete Schumacher twiddling the knobs on his VP-8 machine. In the YouTube clip (not his, but a visitor’s to his Alamogordo dedicated  Shroud exhibition) we see a 3D-rendered image made to rotate on what looks like a TV monitor -though it’s really the electron-gun/phosphor-coated screen hardware of a TV – the oscilloscope/CRT that is is being utilized for image display.

Why am I showing it here and now? Well, there’s the resort to another  VP-8 (frankly a museum piece in my view) by retired forensic scientist Janis Winchester in her Pasco paper – see earlier- and Hugh Farey has just come in on Comments (to an earlier posting) making reference to that oscilloscope (pointing out its independence from the computer). So I’ll shortly C/P the above image to my reply.

Tip for VP-8 tourists/historians: Pete Schumacher  had to vacate the shopping mall which first hosted his Shroud exhibition. He’s now in a new home, still in Alamogordo, NM.

Sill Tuesday 15 Aug

It’s time now to move on from that simplest of imprinting media – plain tap water – and return to this investigator’s preferred one, developed in Model 10 (Aug 2015) – namely dry white flour, imprinted onto wet linen, then irradiated with infrared (“heat waves”).

Why? Because I am not quite finished with that comment in the Pasco abstract from Janis Winchester, the one that read:

The unique feature is the 3D appearance from the 2D photograph of the Shroud of Turin. No other photograph shows this characteristic.

To which my response bears a pantomime quality, namely “Oh yes there is!”. What’s more, it’s seen in my current experimentation with flour imprinting, as the following series of pictures will I hope demonstrate to the satisfaction of all but the most diehard pro-authenticity fanatic.

Let’s start with a photo of my hand alongside a final washed  irradiated flour imprint of the same (dare one say Shroud-like as regards colour, fuzziness etc?)

1. DSC07355 washed hand imprint


Now let’s do a tone inversion, which converts the imprint from negative to positive (but NOT a photographic positive, being derived in the first instance from an imprint, not a photograph, whether real, proto-, quasi, crypto, faux, pseudo etc etc).

2. DSC07355 washed hand imprint inverted

The image on the right now looks arguably more like a photograph, albeit somewhat blurred (it would benefit from some additional contrast)  than does the imprint, but let’s not go wild.

Here are the two previous pictures  enlarged, side by side, which may assist with interpreting what follows.

3. hands

Now let’s apply 3D rendering in ImageJ, with and without  tick in the box top right labelled “Invert”.

4. hands invert in 3D rendering tick in box

(a) with tick in Invert box

5. hands no invert in 3d rendering

(b) minus a tick in Invert box

(Technical note: the tick is needed in the box when one wishes to promote the darker tones of a negative imprint – or any other image for that matter.  If it’s not ticked the software not only promotes the lighter tones, but pushes darker ones into a sunken well below the plane of the image!

One leaves the box unticked for non-negative images.

So, with two kinds of image – positive photograph AND negative imprint –  it was necessary to test with box ticked and unticked, albeit with production of two sunken images (No 4 and No 6, reading left to right.).

No.2 and No. 8 show 3D rendering of the imprint, either “as is” imprint with tick in the Invert box, and tone-reversed imprint without tick (think self-cancellation in the second instance).

None of that comes as a surprise, essentially reproducing what one can obtain with the simplest water imprint. But look at No. 3 and No. 4. There one sees 3D enhancement of the photograph of my hand, not the imprint. No.3 is the tone-reversed photo, with a tick in the box, since it’s now a negative, and No.4 is the photo of my hand without a tick in the Invert box.

In other words, one CAN obtain 3D rendering of a simple photo of a human hand, as distinct from rendering, provided one ticks the right boxes in one’s 3D-rendering program.

So how did the idea arise that ordinary photos don’t respond, or, if they do, are hideously distorted?

John Heller (RIP) may be partly to blame on account of what he said in his 1983 book (see below). But note too that No.1 in my series does indeed show a poor 3D response, obtained when a photo of the hand is uploaded to ImageJ with settings (including a tick in that Invert box) that are optimized for the Shroud image – a negative. Those settings are NOT optimised for the much brighter photograph of a light-reflective hand, a situation that can be rectified, as shown here, either by tone-reversal of the photograph (making it a pseudo-negative) or by  unticking the Invert box as appropriate.

I’m sure this could have been said in fewer words.  Apols for your time and patience. Hopefully the meaning is clear.

Incidentally, one obvious reason why photos respond badly unless tone-inverted is as follows. The photos were taken with angled incident light, such that apparent form and 3D-ness  become  accentuated by shadowing, making a more photogenic image. But the software has no way of distinguishing between darker skin tones and shadows of lighter skin tones – both get promoted when there’s a tick in that Invert box optimised for  the Shroud and other negative images. Result: image distortion, rather than convincing 3D.

Still Tuesday:

My photo of a plate/accompanying caption  (page unnumbered) from book by John H.Heller “Report on the Turin Shroud, 1983, Houghton Mifflin, Boston):

DSC07429 Heller photo and caption


Yes, there’s distortion, only to be expected  from uploading a photograph pure and simple into the 3D-rendering software, given a snapshot’s pre-existing light and shade. But it was incorrect of John Heller to say the image above has “two-dimensional quality” only. It has the characteristics of a bas-relief, i.e. flattened 3D.

Still Tuesday:

Here’s the image that I consider should be first on the screen at any future Shroud conference, and indeed should be shown and re-shown as soon as anyone makes reference to the linen as a “burial” shroud:

deposition cross


To those who consider the Shroud represents a “burial” shroud, actual or simulated (“forged”) than I say: read the account in the Gospel according to Mark first, before reading the other three:

Mark Chapter 15:

Verse 44: And Pilate marvelled if he (Jesus) were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

Verse 45: And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph (of Arimathea).

Verse 46: And he bought fine linen, and took him down (from the cross) and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of a sepulchre.

Note there is no indication that the “fine linen” was ever intended as final burial clothes, referred to in other Gospels. The linen was “fine” because it would be on view to remaining  spectators at the site of crucifixion. It was intended in the first place for dignified transport of a recently deceased man – naked, bloodied – to place of interment (“burial”). Pick up the story re Jewish burial practices,  “winding” clothes, spices etc  in the 4th Gospel (John).

It’s the image above that properly conveys why the Shroud body image comprises  frontal v dorsal NEGATIVE IMPRINTS only, and NOT sides. By all means believe the two head- to- head imprints are genuine, not forged, or painted (14th century) as distinct from genuine non-artistic imprints.

But dispense  with the view, so important to those who hanker for explanations involving ‘resurrectional incandescence’, namely that the Turin Shroud represents a final intended burial garment, one that received blood only until arrival at the tomb, that the body image was only acquired later via  that flash of radiation.

Nope. The blood and body image represent a kind of enhanced whole body version of that fabled relic, the Veil of Veronica (long vanished) , the latter acquired shortly pre-mortem  according to legend,  i.e. en route to Cavalry. That’s  in contrast to the Shroud of Turin –  acquired immediately post mortem in transferring the newly crucified Jesus to Joseph’s clean linen, with little or no contact  between linen and SIDES of body  For the latter, take your pick between real versus simulated imprinting. I favour the latter, needless to say, seeing the Shroud as a work of precocious medieval genius, one that has entranced and,  dare I say, deceived subsequent generations right up to modern times as to how it was formed.

End of posting. (I was intending initially to say more about the non-homogeneous micro-particulate nature of Shroud image, but feel I need to do some more research).

Comments as ever are welcome (please try to remain civil if convinced of authenticity).

scope horiz 0,100,-40,100,-100 then 3d good result

PS This image is placed here, being needed for transplanting to Comments:






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My revised Model 10, proposing a key role for RADIANT (infrared) heat in generating image colour from a body imprint onto wet linen, using nothing but dry white flour.

I did consider calling my  new revised model for simulating the Turin Shroud “Model 11”, but then thought better of it. It still uses my domestic oven as a more convenient indoor model for a medieval bed of hot charcoal. But I’ve switched from using the fan heater at the back of the oven (with its inconspicuous electric element which scarcely glows, if at all) with the incandescent overhead grill with no fan operating.

oven cooker grill element


The emphasis as regards theory now switches from convected heat (hot air, requiring prolonged heating  up to 180-200 degrees C for optimal colour-development to RADIATED HEAT from the visibly red-hot  element, producing a much, MUCH quicker result.

But it’s still essentially Model 10 (development of a flour imprint on wet linen in a hot oven – probably over a charcoal fire too).

Distinguishing between effects of radiated heat from those of heated air is easy, as shown in the following experiments performed earlier today, a crucial one I believe (time will tell).

Continue reading

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My Model 10 – thermal imprinting with white flour onto linen – can account for the curious properties of the Turin Shroud body image


Summary: added Wednesday 12th July

See this image, taken yesterday, Tuesday 11th July (yes,  for me a RED LETTER DAY)  through my new stereomicroscope  (sadly lacking inbuilt image capture hardware) with a hand-held camera.


What’s so special about it? See final entry on this posting for why it’s very, VERY special, indeed, probably unique.

Clue: it shows how a very distinctive feature of the Turin Shroud body image, indeed one that has been described as “enigmatic” can be simply reproduced in the home using nothing more than a convenient portion of your anatomy  to serve as body-imprinting template (try using the back of your hand for starters), a bag of white flour, a flour sieve, a square of wet linen and a hot oven. It shows coloured fibres congregated on a  superficial (air-facing) side of linen threads!  But it’s NOT the side of the linen that received the imprint but the REVERSE side! Now how could that happen, one might ask? How can colour get from one side of the linen, the side that received the flour imprint,  to the other? What was happening in the hot oven that allowed transport to occur via  just SOME of the fibres within linen threads, arriving on the opposite side in the more superficial fibres only?  I say we have a key clue as to the nature of the Turin Shroud body image, and more importantly, how it was made using simple (albeit  somewhat quirky customised one-off) medieval technology.

Start of original posting (by way of an experimental diary, as indeed has been the previous 400+ postings from this retired scientist/Shroud investigator).

Models 1-9 were developed over an approx 3.5 year period between Dec 2011 and Aug 2015.

The final Model 10 (yes, FINAL!) which I now firmly believe explains the Shroud body image appeared in Aug 2015, first reported here and  a little earlier on Dan Porter’s pro-authenticity site, since closed,  (where, needless to say, it received scant attention).

The last two years or so have been spent patiently, laboriously and systematically addressing the details, ticking off the relevant boxes one by one. (This long-running project, reported in real time, has been largely ignored by  wider ‘sindonology’, but curiously not attacked as were my earlier models – notably direct scorching off a hot metal template (Model 2) now replaced by real human anatomy. Make of that what you will, dear reader).
The ticked-off boxes were as follows:

1. Yellow-brown, negative, i.e. tone-reversed image
2. Fuzzy image, no defined outline
3. Positive response of body image to 3D-rendering software, notably ImageJ
3. Heat and water-resistance, longevity
4. Superficial image, inasmuch as colour is concentrated on crown (loop-over) threads, though not exclusive to those locations
5. Bleachability (by domestic bleach) indicative of carbon-based chemical structure, matching diimide bleachabilty reported by Heller and Adler

6.  Curious microscopic properties, namely the so-called ‘half-tone’ effect and abrupt image-discontinuities on single fibres.

I have now successfully ticked the crucial final box, arguably the trickiest of all, namely to account for

7. The so-called ‘second face’ aka reverse side faint, scarcely if-at-all visible image.

Yes, that has been the trickiest of all to explain. I advanced a theoretical explanation two postings ago in response to articulate Canadian commenter Matt,  but was unable to provide experimental evidence to support that theory. That evidence is now available.

This posting will set out the latest evidence. It will be delivered in bite-size instalments, starting with the principle by which Model 10 (flour-imprinting) operates in conjunction with an input of classical thermal energy  currently using a fan oven as a poor substitute for what  was probably a medieval (14th century) bed of glowing charcoal embers, and how a minor change in experimental technique is able to promote or repress reverse-side imaging. Clue to answer: geometry – whether of not the imprint -or reverse side- directly faces the source of thermal energy or not…

Continue reading

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STURP: Space-age Technology Unleashing Religious Propaganda!

Posting under construction. More to follow shortly – much more. Watch this space.

Yup, this posting will be written in bite-size instalments, over days, probably weeks.


Late insertion: when reading this oh-so-long-and-detailed exposition, please bear in mind the Three Laws of Sindonology:

First Law: Sindonologists who look at the Shroud long enough will almost invariably find what they are looking for and call it science.
Second Law: What sindonologists can’t explain will be called a miracle.
Third Law: Previous job descriptors (engineer, photographer, lawyer, cleric etc) will sooner or later be shuffled off, and a new Teflon-coated identity adopted: Shroud scientist.


STURP?  Apols for the rejigged acronym in the title. Its real meaning was, of course,  the 1978 ‘Shroud of Turin Research Project’, manned mainly, perhaps entirely by Stateside personnel.  Think of it as a mainly technology-driven religion- driven Moon-landing enterprise (while trying to cast aside thoughts of the accident-prone Apollo 13!).

But see the 1981 STURP Summary, surely the most eloquent expression of ignominious failure ever, despite the invasion of Turin by a truckload of millions of dollars worth of hi-tech equipment and Ray Rogers sampling sticky tape.  (Meanwhile the local  medics and scientists  – Baima Bollone et al- were allowed to excise whole threads – more on that tiny detail later!).

See my recent exchange  (Recent Comments – margin)  with host-friendly commentator Matt listing at least  27 objections to STURP’s clunky modus operandi, then and now.

Yes, even NOW, nearly 40 years on, STURP’s legacy continues to generate a never-ending  series of so-called scientific conferences, invariably  promoting Shroud authenticity (in spite of all the evidence for medieval forgery via whole-body imprinting) claiming to be an image of the REAL crucified Jesus, despite the 13th-14th century radiocarbon dating).

Even the local bishop at Troyes (Henri de Poitiers) , circa 1357, recognized the then Lirey-based Shroud for what it was, describing it as “cunningly painted”. (Nope,  dear Bishop, not painted, but imprinted by DIRECT CONTACT between suitably imprinting-medium-encoated body of one, probably two head-to-head aligned  – and very-much alive – adult males and draped-over linen).

The latest so-called ‘International Conference’ is scheduled for an obscure hard-to-find-on-the-map location at a retail park/sporting/exhibition centre at Pasco,  Tri-Cities, Washington State, USA in July.  It promises in its prospectus to add still more to the Continue reading

Posted in Shroud of Turin, Turin Shroud | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Comment promoted: what are we to make of the second face on the reverse side of the Turin Shroud?

This comment was supplied by Matt a couple of days ago:

Good day Colin, I’ve been reading your blog and you’ve revealed things to me I never knew about the shroud given all the hype that’s out there. Just wanted your opinion on something. What do you make of the “second face” on the reverse side claim. I’ve heard even some pro-shroud people deny it. Do you have a post about it? Thanks.

From the Independent, April, 2004:

Independent April 2004 second face on Turin Shroud


Here’s my immediate (stalling!) reply:

Hello Matt.

No, I’ve never addressed the claim for partial  obverse reverse-side  images as yet, notably face and hands, feeling as I do that I needed to be better informed as to the nature of the topside image first. When I say images, I mean ones that can or cannot be seen with photographs alone, rather than those problematical computer-aided reconstructions reported by Giulio Fanti and his team.

Mario Latendresse put a couple of photos up on his sindonology.com site a while ago. I’ve taken the face, shown first “as is” and then after photoenhancement in my unsophisticated MS Office Picture Manager, using just the 5 controls in brightness and contrast.



Durante-verso-face duplicate -45,100,-50,30,-100


What do you reckon Matt? Is there an image on the opposite side of the linen or not? Mario says there’s not…

(There’s probably no point our discussing THAT claimed image unless agreed on whether there really is one or not!).

PS: Beware: the photoedited one has also been left/right reversed, unlike the ‘as is’. Apols for that (it was done for future use, when comparing with topside image).

Matt came back with this:

Well if there is no image, where is the hair coming from unless the front image isn’t as superficial as they’re saying?  It’s hard for me to believe a lot of the pro-shroudies given the spurious nature of a lot of their claims. I saw your comment on Dan Porter’s site about the graphite background and the picture of the red painting on linen. Could this be a light phenomena? assuming the images are as superficial as they say. In any case, I’m convinced that the shroud is a fake. I think the image of the hair may come from the outlines of the painted blood and perhaps some oil substance staining through which adds to the paredolia.

In the big picture I think this is the last thing Christianity has seeing that they’ve lost when it comes to creationism, geocentrism and Adam and Eve. Seeing that all these things have been debunked. I think the shroud will follow.

What say you?


I replied with this (having to postpone for now comment on the “graphite and red painting” which has slipped my memory):

Yes, the pro-authenticity folk in general (Mario L a notable exception – see his site) seem to be relaxed about an image that is on both faces of the Shroud, albeit exceedingly faint on the obverse side, yet say there’s nothing in between! That takes quite a bit of explaining, wouldn’t you say, and I don’t recall seeing any attempts as yet to come up with a cogent explanation?

I have one, and it’s tentative, so am pleased to see your thinking is at least partly along the same lines.

Yup, we’re talking about OIL.

My flour imprinting works best when there’s vegetable oil present, not just to attach flour to the skin initially, but to help colour development in the oven too.

The oil helps to ‘micro-fry’ the particles of flour, which then proceed to turn brown due to Maillard reactions.  A small surplus of oil then acts as a liquid vehicle, allowing that cocktail of yellow/brown Maillard products to penetrate the weave of the linen. The likely route for capillary migration is the narrow channels BETWEEN the fibres, as can be easily modelled with ink ( I did a clip for YouTube back in 2015 , enter “dynamic penetration of ink” into your search engine), so the brown cocktail can get from one side of the linen to the other INSIDE the threads, out of sight, and then, if there’s sufficient, proceed to stain the opposite face where they emerge.

So why an image (of sorts) on the opposite face, rather than a mere oil stain?

Maybe the Maillard cocktail deposits solid polymeric highly-pigmented melanoidins on its short journey. The latter attach strongly to the fibres, so that the migrating oil gets cleaner and cleaner, finally scarcely visible in the cloth, leaving the pigmented image on the obverse side roughly the same shape and size as the topside, but not exactly the same (which might explain Fanti’s curious finding that the main and subsidiary image were not quite identical in his computer-assisted imaging).

Thanks for the interest Matt. Let me know if you have any further insights. Right or wrong they are all grist to the mill.


Thanks for the appreciative reply,  Matt, and for giving this  Shroud investigator an opportunity to finally grasp – after 5 long years – that particular nettle as regards the reverse-side face!   Feel free to call in again – anytime. Informed comment is especially welcome.

If I have any afterthoughts on that reverse-side face, I’ll tack them on the end here in the coming days or weeks.

Comments invited. ( Warning:  the site’s WordPress host requires me to vet a contributor’s first-time comment before it can appear. Thereafter they are displayed immediately).

Monday 20th March 2017

Rapid but short-lived transport of Maillard products also accounts for the peculiar  characteristics of image threads  and their fibres as seen under a low power microscope (see Mark Evans photomicrographs).


Yup, I refer to (a) the so-called half-tone effect and (b) abrupt discontinuities in fibre coloration.

The half-tone effect (an unhelpful – and probably over-simplistic term in my view) is shorthand for saying there are – or may be – only two kinds of image fibres  – coloured (full tone) and uncoloured (no tone) – with no in-betweens.  (Think of it as akin to the use of binary numbering  (o, 1 only ) in digitized imaging).  Discontinuites refers to the presence of cut-offs in coloration  along certain fibres for no obvious reasons.

Both these effects are explicable if it’s assumed that there’s a limited supply of hot, briefly-liquified  Maillard reaction products from the heated flour imprint that migrate rapidly for a short distance only along and between the fibres of linen threads. That results in even-staining of some but not all fibres (half-tone effect) with abrupt cut-offs in coloration (discontinuities) when the supply of liquid from the superficial thermal zone is exhausted.

Update : 17:00 hours, UK time, March 20

Here I am,  some 36 hours after posting, and STILL the major search engine has failed to spot this latest posting.

Had I posted it on my sciencebuzz site (Google -hosted) it would have appeared almost instantly!

Oops. Mustn’t  be seen to have a down on the internet Google giant, must I?

Nope. Microsoft’s Bing site  also fails to show it in its first 20 listings under a (shroud of turin ) search. (But then  Microsoft’s Bing has NEVER listed this site – to the best of my knowledge.

There’s something distinctly rotten (or at any rate, PC-obsessed) in the Stateside search engines  –  Google, Bing etc, something  we Brits and Europeans have to be content with, no local alternatives being available.

Musn’t offend your Stateside  Catholics, must we, Google, Bing etc?

PC-obsessed , ideas-stifling Stateside PC rules OK?  (Or should that be  multi-billion $ e-commerce income ?).

Update: Tuesday 21st March, 2017

07:30: Have just used the Feedback facility on Bing to send the following message:

Here’s a link to my specialist Shroud of Turin site.


It has been running for more than 5 years, has well over 400 postings, advances new models and theories, yet continues to show up NOWHERE in your listings under a (shroud of turin) search. It’s currently listed on Page 5* of Google.uk returns.

Why are you effectively censoring me, preventing my original research and ideas from reaching Bing searchers? Is it because my views are anti-authenticity? Is it because you are keen to spare the feelings of those whose religion predisposes them to favouring authenticity? Since when has it been the job of a search engine to protect anyone from the real world?


s of t page 5 google- old post still listed 48 hrs after posting second face



Yahoo?  I’ve just searched the first 20 pages of Yahoo under (shroud of turin). No listing for this site, confirming previous experience over the years. Why not?  Who knows?

What I do know is that there was no mechanism for sending the same message to Yahoo as the one I sent Bing earlier this morning.  (There was a word limit – unannounced upfront!). What I did find was a page that invited me to “submit” my site as if Yahoo were doing me a favour  (nope, it’s web site creators who are doing YOU a favour, Yahoo) but that would require “registration”.

So I went back to the Suggestions tab, ignoring all the copious blurb about what they want and don’t want, and sent this short sweet message:





Update, Tuesday 15:00

Hey ho. Google has finally spotted this latest posting, which (for all its faults) says a lot more for Google than it does for the deeply-suspect Bing or Yahoo.

google page 4 listing of new post 21 march pm s of t search


Thank you Google. You came through for me (at last!).

Update: Thursday March 23

But there’s a downside to the world’s favourite search engine where this site is concerned, but it needs a sharp eye to spot it.

Search for (turin shroud) on Stateside google.com (enter http://www.google.com/ncr if outside mainland USA, “ncr” specifying “no country redirect) and here’s what you will  currently see – or something very similar:

google dot com turin shroud see page 5 my site 23 march 17


Yup, that’s this site, shown 3 entries down on Page 5 of returns.

So what would you expect to see if you had entered (shroud of turin), which I suspect a majority of folk will do, with or without the unnecessary “of”.  You would expect to get a similar or identical result, yes?

Well, you don’t. You will get the same result as the one I discovered and announced many months ago. You will find NO RETURNS FOR THIS SITE, at least on the first two dozen pages or so, even assuming the search engine allows you to access so many pages.

Yup, this site is invisible Stateside to anyone searching (shroud of turin) Stateside – which according to this site’s flag counter is where most of the interest in the Shroud resides –  way , way above my own largely Shroud-indifferent country (UK)

I’ve sent one final, despairing email to the search engine, using its Feedback facility, attaching my name and email address, asking it to correct this anomaly forthwith. If there’s no reply by the end of the day, I’ll reproduce the email here, and then think about acting on my threat to devote a full posting to the iniquity of being deprived of clicks, readers and  page-ranking by the perverse nature of what I’ve described above.

At least I get a listing of sorts, which is more than one can say for  Bing and Yahoo (see earlier), those two blights on the blogosphere who continue year after year to display their hugely suspect  -and I assume partisan – blind spot for this site. (Yahoo I’ve discovered currently lists 5 or 6  different postings from  a rival pro-authenticity  Australia-based Shroud blog scattered throughout the first 20 pages of returns  – which basically says all one needs to know about its impartiality and professionalism).

It’s now 2100 hours on Thursday March 23.  I’ve jusr rechecked the page rankings on Stateside google.com. No change. If one searches under (turin shroud) this site appears on Page 5. If one searches under (shroud of turin) my sciencebuzz site appears on Page 18, but this site appears NOWHERE. That’s despite logging a complaint many months ago. Nothing’s been done. Is it any wonder this site has near zero impact in the USA, since most folk there probably make “shroud” the first word in their search.

Here’s a copy of the communication that Google received from me first thing this morning UK time via its feedback facility:

Hello Google

Yet again, I see my UK-based site listed on Stateside google.com under (turin shroud) but curiously and perhaps significantly NOT under (shroud of turin).

This is at best bizarre, but it’s also deeply worrying, indeed suspicious, since you are depriving me of searchers and readers, which then means I don’t get the Stateside ranking that I believe my site deserves after hundreds of postings over 5 years.

I’ve made this same complaint to you before, via this Feedback facility and online, but nothing has been done.

I’ll wait 24 hours, and if I’m still not listed on google.com under (shroud of turin) then I’ll make a separate posting of this strange anomaly on the part of your allegedly algorithm-driven search engine. I shall be flagging up my strong suspicion of ‘dirty tricks’ by those who attempt to influence Google listings and rankings – Stateside especially – under (shroud of turin) but who have carelessly it seems overlooked the alternative (turin shroud) – arguably a smoking gun.

Please deal with it NOW, not next week or next year!

Colin Berry, UK




Update: Friday March 24

Have discovered that this, my latest posting,  DOES appear on a Stateside search under (shroud of turin) but not under the default “Any Time”. One has to specify “Past week” or “Past month”, accessed via the Tools tab (which I suspect few general users ever deploy).

So the crawler and algorithm are picking up the existence of this site, and displaying it briefly, albeit to the cognoscenti wanting to know what’s new, but filtering it off from the main “Any Time” shop window.

Well, I’ve long suspected that Google goes in for window-dressing , correction, BIG correction, window-EXCLUSION, on entry-level searches, giving the lie to any suggestion that page rankings are determined purely by an algorithm  (at least an algorithm that is responsive to objective criteria only, making no value pre-judgments as to likely ‘mass  appeal,  special-interest appeal’, outside interest  credit-card flashing appeal  etc.).

Google etc claim to be search engines, not mere e-commerce trade directories, so should perform as such, and indeed should be made to do so,  via regulatory agencies, at least when ranking sites beyond their own shores, regardless of where those rankings are displayed!

In short, this site, MY site,  is being partially-discriminated against, failing to appear when a Stateside  searcher enters (shroud of turin) into his or her default-setting google.com. My own countrymen and women in the UK face no such filter. Big deal!

I accuse you Google of cyber-colonialism. You are wilfully  preventing my site from receiving Stateside attention and visitors  which I believe it warrants after 5 years and hundreds of postings. Indeed, I would be saying the same if my site were brand new! The Shroud of Turin is of international interest, whether seen from a religious or scientific perspective. No one should be denied the right to know what is being thought and said  online by folk in other countries that contributes to the worldwide debate.

As others have been saying in recent days in regard to other more serious matters to do with your modus operandi,  Google, notably your placing  UK taxpayer-funded ads onto anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi YouTube videos, it’s time you cleaned up your act, across the board.

I repeat: it’s time you cleaned up your act, Google, across the board. (As for Bing and Yahoo, words fail me).


Monday 27th March 2017

See this link to a BBC scrutiny of the mighty Google, and the way it has come not only to dominate search, but what folk are allowed to see and not see:

Just google it: How one company came to dominate search

Here’s a choice passage that says it all:

Trying to figure out how to please Google’s algorithm is rather like trying to appease an omnipotent, capricious and ultimately unknowable god.

You may say as long as Google’s top results are useful to searchers, it’s tough luck on those who rank lower – and if those results stop being useful, then some other pair of students at Stanford will spot the gap in the market and dream up a better way. Right?

Maybe – or maybe not. Search was a competitive business in the late 1990s. But now, it may be a natural monopoly – in other words, an industry that is extremely hard for a second entrant to succeed in.

The reason? Among the best ways to improve the usefulness of search results is to analyse which links were ultimately clicked by people who previously performed the same search, as well as what the user has searched for before.

Google has far more of that data than anyone else. That suggests the company may continue to shape our access to knowledge for generations to come.

See also in today’s Telegraph:

Professor Brian Cox: Can science survive in our post-truth world?

Answer: no, not when California’s control freaks are allowed to rig their search engines to get the e-commerce friendly “look” they want.

Opening para’ (my italics) :  In our post-truth universe, where facts kowtow to personal belief, where does that leave science? Professor Brian Cox thinks carefully before saying: “It is important for people in my position – by which I mean scientists that have some sort of public voice – to say that not all opinions are equal.” The 49-year-old physicist, TV presenter and all-round cheerleader for rational thought has seen long-held facts under fire of late. Last week, basketball supremo Shaquille O’Neill expressed his view that the Earth is flat;  Donald Trump’s former rival, now colleague, Ben Carson says he doesn’t believe in the Big Bang. ..

Update: Tuesday March 28

Still on my anti- (so-called) search engine rant, I got to wondering if it was just Stateside google.com that was preventing entry-level (shroud of turin) searchers from accessing this site.

Answer: NO!  The same applies to searchers on Canada’s google.ca and Australia’s google.au. That’s on the default “anytime” setting (I may be visible on past week, past month etc  which few will use).

I then had  a sudden thought (when using google.ca). Why have I never seen Mario Latendresse’s splendid sindonology.com  site with its invaluable Shroud Scope when searching on google.uk or even google.com, at least not in the first dozen or even 20 pages? Has Mario been given the same blackball treatment as this investigator, despite being pro-authenticity (indeed, a founder member of the Shroud Science Group)?

Answer: YES!. Search (shroud of turin) on his own country’s google.ca, and he’s not listed anywhere on the first 20 pages!

I was right not to entertain dark conspiracies about sindonology (aka shroudology) being at the root of this exclusion from All Time Google listings. If that were the case, Mario would be getting special treatment. He’s not! There now seems little doubt that it’s Google deciding what entry-level searchers under (shroud of turin) should be allowed go see, and not see. In short, Google is not acting as a search engine pure and simple. It’s either manually ‘curating’ what comes from its allegedly algorithm-driven crawler OR has cleverly programmed the algorithm to reject sites that fail certain Google-ordained criteria.  And what might those criteria be, one wonders?  Might they be an aversion to facts, to ongoing research, to (dare one say) SCHOLARSHIP, the latter having no part  to play in its e-commerce promoting business model, one that delivers billions of $$$$$$  each year via pay-per-click?

Yup, I suspect that to be the answer. Google (and its minor competitors like Bing and Yahoo) are all in the business of dumbing-down internet search, killing the true spirit of enquiry.

You are a disgrace to Western civilization, Google et al, founded as it is on a respect for free speech, for new thinking …

Something has to be done about these ethically-blinkered, greed-obsessed control-freak Californians, and soon!!!

This site is presently listed at the bottom of Page 5 listings under a (shroud of turin)  search on google.uk. That’s despite several hundred postings over the last 5 years. many highlighted on other sites, notably  Dan Porter ‘s shroudstory.com up till Dec 2015 and elsewhere, and many links to other sites (which Google says are crucial).

Yet when one looks at the top of current Page 5 listings, here’s the kind of site that Google decides to give precedence:

Shroud of Turin — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY


This is an authorized Web site of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is a research tool for publications in various languages produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Yes. a one-off posting by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with no long-term interest in the Shroud, or indeed any obvious reason to be interested, is allowed to push a specialist long-term interest site such as this down to the bottom of Page 5. Indeed, many such one-off ‘passing interest’ sites have been allowed to do this, thanks to the deplorable Google algorithm (with or without human intervention) making this and other more informed, on-the-ball sites scarcely visible.

This site was set up 5 years ago with the aim of reporting online, in real time, the progress of an investigation into the how and why the Turin Shroud could have been fabricated in such a way as to fool modern-day scientists (or “scientists”) into thinking it was authentic 1st century provenance, allegedly and mistakenly a genuine image of the crucified Jesus.

Thanks to Google and other California-based so-called search “engines” I now realize that the internet was not the hoped-for  means of delivering new research, new thinking, new ideas, new theories into the public domain. The page rankings are a cesspit of  accumulated human-deposited crap.

Yup, these last 5 years have been a complete and utter waste of this investigator’s time, thanks to his  trust and reliance on search engines to transmit findings under a simple straightforward (shroud of turin) internet search.


Goodbye sordid, disreputable Google et al.  I regard you as enemies of human enlightenment and progress, indeed of Western civilization.  You will henceforth be treated here with the contempt you richly deserve – and ignored completely.

If I do another posting, it will be negative in its take on all things sindonological, given the array of vested interests that refuse to LISTEN to opposing opinions.

Probable title for next posting: “Turin Shroud: so how come STURP managed to get it so COMPLETELY wrong?” 

It’s half-written already.





Posted in Shroud of Turin, Turin Shroud, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Might those be flecks of congealed wheat gluten one sees on the Turin Shroud? Evidence for unique one-off white flour imprinting?


Shroud Scope:  vertical face-only image (chosen for maximal resolution) after applying additional contrast in MS Office Picture Manager. What are the solid flecks, both on and off the body image?

So what are those flecks (circled?). Read on for a possible answer, one that is TESTABLE, given (hopefully) cooperation from the Turin custodians and the Vatican.

Late addition: here’s a ‘clean’ view of the lower half of the above field at maximum magnification in Shroud Scope (see blue scale on left):

top mag 2 right half face, -25,85,25,100.png

Again, note the abundance of red-brown flecks, especially numerous on, but not exclusive to, the more heavily imprinted  areas (nose, cheek, upper lip).  “Homogeneous body image” as so often stated? Hardly. Traces of imprinting medium (roasted flour)?

Introduction to those visiting this site for the first time: based on some 5 years of almost non-stop, hands-on research this retired biochemist has finally, with his ‘Model 10’ provided an explanation for the  ‘enigmatic’ Shroud of Turin double- body image. I believe it to be a flour-imprint taken from one (or more probably two) human volunteers that was oven-roasted to produce a surface encrustation of yellow or brown Maillard reaction products, aka melanoidins. (See Appendix for a list of the 9 models that preceded Model 10).

What was the aim? It was an attempt by a medieval French knight (Geoffroy de Charny, Lord of Lirey), a close associate of his monarch King John the Good (both founders of the short-lived Order of the Star) probably using de Charny’s hired clerics in his private Lirey  (King-financed) chapel to  simulate an ancient (“newly discovered”)  body image of the crucified Jesus in sweat and blood onto an imagined  facsimile of Joseph of Arimathea’s “fine linen”.

The linen was then vigorously washed, leaving mainly BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY a faint, fuzzy ghost image.  This investigator believes  the latter to have been formed by a coloured cocktail of LIQUID exudation products  released at high temperature that seeped/migrated from the encrustation into the most superficial surface fibres – and narrow channels between those fibres. But that does not account for the ‘bittiness’ that one sees above under high magnification, i..e. of  randomly scattered fine particulate material. What might those particles represent? Might they provide an important clue as to the mechanism of imprinting, specifically the nature of the man-made imprinting agent?

See the banner on this site, showing a roasted flour imprint from a plastic figurine before and after that final washing. It’s quite difficult, in fact, to remove all traces of the solid surface encrustation so as to leave just the fuzzy ghost image. It requires a vigorous scouring action of one surface against another, with lots of soap and water. Yes, I too have examples in my archive of  image-imprinted linen of adhering particles of   proteinaceous wheat gluten. Why do I say “gluten”? There’s a simple experiment that can be done with flour dough to get acquainted with the peculiar properties of gluten, the major storage protein of wheat.

Mix up some white flour and water in a bowl to get a stiff dough. Then take a fistful, and knead under water. Watch the water go cloudy as the starch granules are washed out.

(See technical appendix with photos at end for details).

Finally one is left with a rubbery, water-insoluble ball of wheat gluten, comprising mainly protein. It’s a highly unusual protein on account of its viscoelastic properties, allowing it to trap CO2 and air bubbles from yeast fermenation during baking to get a well-risen loaf etc.  So if one uses white wheaten flour as an imprinting agent with the deliberate aim of developing colour in the oven as a consequence of Maillard reactions between reducing sugars and proteins, then at the final washing stage one can expect  any unchanged starch and soluble proteins to be washed out of the reaction mixture, but appreciable amounts unchanged (or partially modified) gluten to remain attached to the fabric, being hard to dislodge. So my money is on those flecks in the above photograph being mainly gluten. How could one test whether or not those flecks on the Shroud really are gluten?

Wheat gluten has a preponderance of proline and glutamic acid residues, i.e. amino acids in peptide linkage, so all one has to do is ‘hoover’ the surface of the Shroud, harvesting surface particles for analysis. In fact, that was done (controversially) at the start of the millennium. I’m not certain if the Durante photograph from Shroud Scope above was taken before or after hoovering. Irrespective one has to hope that the surface detritus that I ascribe to gluten is still there for analysis, or if not, has been retained (I seem to recall there being some suggestion that was the case).

For ‘hoovering’ there’s a handy gizmo whose technical name I’ve forgotten that I used to use as a  photochemical ‘bilirubinologist’ back in the early 1970’s It’s a glass bulb with an internal fritted glass disc that acts as trap for fine particles. One end is connected to a vacuum line, the other is open and bevelled to allow it to be used as a vacuum attachment.

So one hoovers up those flecks, one then hydrolyses any trapped protein down to free amino acids which can then be identified with a suitably sensitive chromatographic procedure. Note that recovery via ‘hoovering’ is essentially non-destructive. All that’s needed now is an invitation to scientific specialists like myself with an interest in the Shroud to make a return visit to Turin,  STURP Mk2. This time the team should travel not just with high-tech equipment  but with ideas, with hypotheses (and I don’t mean that dreary ‘just a painting’ hypothesis which should have been consigned to the rubbish bin as soon as Adler and Heller discovered the image was bleachable with diimide, meaning it was organic (i.e. carbon-based), not red ochre or some other solid artist’s pigment).

Is there any evidence from the historical record that the Shroud has ever been exposed to a vigorous washing procedure (whether accurately recorded or not)? Yes. See this entry provided by Ian Wilson for the history section on shroud.com:

April 14, 1503 Good Friday: Exposition of the Shroud at Bourg-en-Bresse for Archduke Philip the Handsome, grand-master of Flanders, on his return from a journey to Spain. The Shroud, which has been specially brought from Chambéry, with great ceremony, by Duke Philibert of Savoy and Duchess Marguerite, is exposed on an altar in one of the great halls of the Duke’s palace. Savoy courtier Antoine de Lalaing records of the events of that day: “The day of the great and holy Friday, the Passion was preached in Monsignor’s chapel by his confessor, the duke and duchess attending. Then they went with great devotion to the market halls of the town, where a great number of people heard the Passion preached by a Cordeilier. After that three bishops showed to the public the Holy Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and after the service it was shown in Monsignor’s chapel.” Lalaing adds that the Shroud’s authenticity has been confirmed by its having been tried by fire, boiled in oil, laundered many times ‘but it was not possible to efface or remove the imprint and image.’

What about higher magnifcation photomicrographs. like those taken in 1978 by STURP’s Mark Evans (released into the public domain much later via the good offices of Thibault Heimburger).

Here one has to beware. It would be all too easy to claim that any solid particle represented this or that (e.g. e.g. travertine aragonite, specific we’re told to Palestine etc etc). Let’s not go down that road. To qualify as a possible fleck of gluten, a close companion of a Maillard body image, was must rigorously exclude anything that looks too angular, like a mineral particle, or the wrong colour (grey,  black etc). So one’s basically looking for flecks that are are the same colour as the body image, maybe more intense, and essentially gummy and amorphous in appearance, i.e. non-angular. With those qualifications, once can indeed see presumptive evidence for the presence of what I have described as ‘gluten flecks’ in at least one of the limited number of fields presented in the Heimburger monograph. I have labelled them this time with yellow rectangles.


Have I been selective in my reporting? It was after all a higher resolution face-only view from Shroud Scope. It was after all the best of the few Mark Evans photomicrographs available online.

Late insertion (Jan 8): I had deliberately excluded a second image from Thibault Heimburger’s pdf with a selection from Evans/STERA collection – taken from the nose area – feeling it did not fully meet my own strict criteria for deciding which flecks could be gluten as distinct from mere ‘dirt’ etc. However, I have just discovered the same image on Barrie M.Schwortz’s gallery of pictures from the 78 STURP visit to Turin. Here are the two side by side, Thibault’s first.


Not only are the ‘bits’ more easily visible on the right (the image having greater colour saturation at least) but appear confined largely to particular image-bearing zones. That picture on the right I consider to be of MAJOR IMPORTANCE, were there to be more like it, maybe not yet in the public domain. Why? Because it suggests strongly that whatever the image-forming mechanism, it deposited not just  evenly-distributed straw-colour chemicals to the linen, but PARTICULATE material too. That could well provide a major  clue as to imprinting technology, namely that the imprinting medium was itself particulate, or partly so. My Model 10 specifies the nature of those particles – namely plain white flour – while requiring the presence of two liquids as well – vegetable oil as agent assisting adhesion to skin,  and water  as agent assisting transfer of flour from skin to linen.

See Technical Appendix 4 to see my attempt to further improve the visibility of those flecks on the Evans ‘tip of nose’  body image

Next step – in order to allay suspicions of selectivity – not unknown in sindonology –  was to go back to Shroud Scope, and select, almost at random, two close-up views of the legs at approx knee level (give or take), one frontal, one dorsal, both taken from the lower resolution whole body image.They were then magnified (thanks Mario) and then given extra contrast in MS Office Picture Manager. Both fields I’m relieved to say (reporting as I do in real time, stream-of-consciousness style) gave an abundance of those gummy red-brown ‘gluten flecks’ as I believe they are, based  on 5 years of experimental model building.

(Late note: Any  reference made to colour, e.g. “red-brown” as in the preceding sentence is of course to screen colour only, not actual real-life colour as would be seen if the Shroud were to be viewed in daylight. I shall be adding another technical note to the Appendix in the next day or two on the subject of screen colour, and how (and why!) it changes when one adjusts contrast (especially) in one’s photoediting program.)


Shroud Scope, added contrast, frontal Durante, knee/thigh region. Note abundant ‘dark blobs’ not only in image region, but intervening gap region too (light vertical band).


As above, but dorsal view, Shroud Scope Durante, at shin level. Again, note the abundant scattering of dark blobs, ascribed here to ‘gluten flecks’ that failed to be washed out from a roasted flour imprint by virtue of their stickiness and insolubility in water.

OK. So let’s summarize, shall we? The Shroud of Turin body image, and indeed surrounding areas, is not just the faint, fuzzy, homogenous image as commonly stated. It’s in fact highly heterogeneous, with tiny scattered blobs of a material roughly the same colour as the image itself. No one to the best of my knowledge has commented on it previously, far less attempted to explain it.

I  say those blobs represent insoluble gummy wheat gluten, remnants from a flour-imprinted/heat developed image.  It failed to wash out  completely in the final image-attenuation step, one using vigorous abrasive washing with soap and water in an attempt to dislodge a surface encrustation. The latter was intended by Lirey’s team of medieval knight-employed cleric/artisans  to leave just a faint fuzzy ‘ghost’ image, one that could be passed off as a yellowing centuries-old, sweat-imprint of the crucified Jesus onto Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ in transit from cross to tomb.

It was, quite simply, the most brilliantly conceived and executed confidence trick in history, one that has stood up to decades of detailed scientific exploration. But the latter was generally not model-driven, bar some attempts by a handful of folk like myself (Sam Pellicori, Luigi Garlaschelli, Joe Accetta etc).   Yup, where others lead, I have simply followed.  In the case of STURP it relied too much on modern instrumentation, with scarcely anything by way of new ideas.  Indeed, there is evidence  with the 34-strong mainly US-based STURP team of too much agenda-driven,  authenticity-promoting “science”.

It’s time to call time on the supposed ‘enigmatic’ Shroud of Turin. It is not enigmatic, merely ingenious (with technology developed and subsequently well-protected by a Templar-like elitist order centred on a medieval monarch  – John II (The Good) of France and his close-knit entourage of knightly associates, all sharing a highly developed religiously-disposed mindset and mission).

Yes, one could loosely describe the Shroud of Turin as a “forgery”. But knowing as little we do about the motives of its 14th century fabricators, notably the highest in the land, it might be better to regard it as least provisionally as an imaginative reconstruction of  a bodily imprint, namely of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth no less, on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen, used to receive the body from the cross, for transport to the tomb.

Whether intended as the final burial shroud, or serving as such, is a matter of speculation, though the account of the final Gospel (John) would suggest it had been replaced by fresh linen “clothes” (plural) Gk. othonia, with a separate facecloth.

I do not believe the Shroud of Turin to be authentic, but instead a 14th century simulation  of a bodily imprint of the crucified Jesus onto J of A’s linen.  Call it a fake or hoax if you wish. I prefer to keep an open mind as to motive.

But I’m always receptive to new ideas. So let’s be hearing those genuine new and original ideas, whether pro- or  anti-authenticity.  Shame then that receptiveness to new ideas can never be said  to define most modern-day sindonologists, determined as most of them are to push their pro-authenticity agenda,  never missing an opportunity to promote their mystique- engendering pseudoscience.

Technical section

Technical appendix 1: wheat gluten isolation by simple water-washing of flour dough.


Approx 240 g of stiff flour dough was weighed (left), then kneaded thoroughly under water with several changes to wash out the starch granules (note cloudy wash water). The final mass of sticky wheat gluten was reweighed (lower right) . It was approx.25% of the original, as is, but containing as it does far more water, a more accurate figure, measured on a dry weight basis, would have been approx. 12% or less of the original. In short, despite the above appearances, gluten is a minor constituent of white flour, the major one being starch (typically 80% approx).

Technical appendix 2: photoediting technique. Contrast/colour changes, with no new  imaging artefacts


Real straw, with improvements in contrast from left to right using a  commercial photoediting program.

What colour is the body image on the Shroud? Answer – anyone’s guess, except for the privileged few who have seen it with their own eyes.  Even then the colour seen may be misleading if seen under artificial rather than natural daylight.

Yes, we’re told the colour is “straw”, though quite what that means is anyone’s guess. Pale yellow? Yellow with a hint of grey or brown? Who knows?  One could go to the site of STURP’s Documenting Photographer – Barrie M.Schwortz – and look at the photograph he uses as his banner. Yellow? Pale yellow?  Certainly not a pure yellow, more a yellowish-greyish-brown, not unlike a picture of real straw I found on internet image files, shown above “as is” (first on left).

But if one’s looking for the fine detail within an image, especially magnified images where there begins to be a loss of resolution, then colour/hue is no longer of paramount interest. It’s contrast that becomes important, with the important proviso that any changes one makes to contrast (which I’ll define later in RGB terms) do not generate image artefacts.

In fact they don’t – as shown in the 4 pictures of real straw above. There’s a steady improvement in contrast as one goes from left to right, admittedly with artefactual colour changes for which no apology is made or is necessary, becoming progressively more yellow, but with NO NEW IMAGE ARTEFACTS.

Picture 2, 2nd from left,  is what one sees when applying Autocorrect in my MS Office Picture Manager.

Picture 3, third from left,  used the settings that I reported here well over  4 years ago when restoring contrast to Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope images (-7,100,15 is Brightness, Contrast and Midtone value respectively).

Picture 4, furthest right,  uses (-25, 85,25,100), i.e. Brightness, Contrast, Midtone and a 4th control that selectively lightens the lighter tones.

This investigator now has to refresh his memory on what he discovered and reported in late summer, 2015, when exploring changes in RGB composition that accompanied changes in contrast. See tail end of posting, where this graphic appeared:

pie chart

Highly schematic representation of what decreasing contrast does in terms of total RGB value (max 255,255,255) and % composition. Reducing contrast reduces total (R+G+B) and produces a strictly unit-for-unit shift from (R+G) to blue, which is equivalent to yellow to blue in additive colour mixing.


Left: additive mixing of computer screen red and green (as  light-emitting pixels, note, not absorbing pigments) gives YELLOW. Right: contrariwise, mixing of light-ABSORBING pigments works by a different principle, i.e. one of subtractive mixing, where red and green do NOT combine to form yellow, but become black due to total light absorption.

The first of the two colour graphics above was intended to show what happens to RGB balance and final additive colour/hue when one reduces contrast. Read from right to left for what happens when contrast is INCREASED. In essence, the contrast changes with coloured images  involves some intermediate hues becoming more blue, and other more yellow (red+ green in additive colour mixing).

Appendix 3: here’s the full list of the 10 models I have tested since December 2011, as promised in previous posting:

1. Thermostencilling ( the one and only radiation model, quickly dismissed as impractical).

See this from Dec 2011:

2. Scorching off a heated metal template, with nothing else apart from linen. (Finally abandoned for mainly practical reasons, but it gave valuable insights into the 3D properties of thermal imprints).

See this from Nov 2013.

3. As above, with coatings, notably white flour (a forerunner of the final Model 10). I had initially tested starch, glucose etc , surprisingly with little success. it may have been this which sowed the idea that there needed to be something else present. Ray Rogers’ focus on Maillard reactions helped, substituting protein for his volatile putrefaction amines.

See this from Oct 2014:

4. Wet imprinting with natural dyes, notably tannins, with added viscosity agents, essentially as described by Joe Accetta.

See this from March 2015

5. Sulphuric acid, flagged up by any number of previous investigators – Luigi Garlaschelli, Joe Nickell, Hugh Farey (private communication) , the idea being that acids might have etching/discoloring effect on linen. Result: negligible discoloration, profound weakening of fabric at ordinary temps, no obvious coloration without applied heat.

See this from April 2015:


6. Substitution of nitric  for sulphuric acid, first with plain linen, then flour-coated linen  (another forerunner of final model 10). Probably the most informative experiment of all, assisted by critical input from Adrie van de Hoeven, inasmuch as protein was implicated as a potential source of image chromophore, focussing initially on the traces of protein intrinsic to linen, then moving onto extraneous sources of protein coating, then finally dispensing altogether with nitric acid as developing agent, and replacing with oven-heating to produce Maillard reactions. (Yes, an echo there of Rogers, but in his pro-authenticity thinking, he had perforce to introduce some less probable sources of amino nitrogen and reducing sugars (decaying corpse and 1st century technical starch or soap coatings as a somewhat improbable source of reducing sugars).

See this from May 2015:

7. Quicklime. A longshot, using the thermochemical reaction between CaO and water as source of in situ heat, but quickly abandoned.

See this from June 2014:

8. Lemon juice, with ascorbic acid (not citric acid) as the active ingredient – basically invisible ink methodology.  Probably operates via a Maillard reaction between (a) a constituent 4- carbon reducing sugar – threose – derived from thermal decompostion of ascorbic acid- and (b) amino compounds.

See this from October 2014:

9. Imprinting with flour slurry then oven-roasting. Criticized for giving imprints that were too well-defined at edges.

See this from June 2015:

10. Imprinting with dry flour onto wet linen. Fuzzier imprints, negative, 3D response in ImageJ software, right thread and fibre properties at the microscopic level – i.e. halftone effect, discontinuities etc. Eureka!

See this from Aug 2015:


Appendix 4:


Left: Evans/STERA photomicrograph as it appears in the Barrie M.Schwortz photogallery from the 78 STURP expedition (Plate 78/102) with flecks on image area barely discernible. Right: after photoediting in MS Office Picture Manager (Brightness =-50, Contrast = 100, Midtone value = 60, Light tone adjustment =60).  Flecks now more easily discernible, especially within the two image areas highlighted in blue.

Here’s a close-up of the larger of those two blue rectangles:


Note the flecks! What price the so-called ‘homogeneity’ of the Shroud body image?

Here’s the smaller of those two blue rectangles in close-up:


Yes, it’s those ‘flour-fingerprints’ again – admittedly a provisional identification, pending access to the Shroud armed with a miniaturized ‘hoover’ for harvesting surface debris. Yes, we’re now seeing pixellation at this level of magnification.

Afterthought: there may be flecks of fibrous wheat bran as well as blobs of cooked gluten!

Appendix 5 (started Jan 11, 2017): The following words  (italics) appeared in an Appendix at the back of a 328 page book, no fewer than 16 years ago! Does anyone recognize the source and the author (the latter still highly active in promoting Shroud authenticity, and dare one say mystique)?

“Let’s review the unusual characteristics that would have to be accounted for by a medieval forger in any credible explanation of the how the body images, blood marks, and other features were created on the Shroud of Turin. Any forger responsible would have to have been able to:

(There then follows 33 bullet points no less that extend for at least two and a half pages!

Well, I’m not ready to name names just yet (let’s keep personalities out of this for now). What I shall be doing is taking each of those 33 bullet points, one at a time, in the order given, and stating why I consider my flour-imprinting model meets all the challenges for the body image, and maybe some of those for the blood (though blood has not been this investigator’s chief concern thus far). I’ll divulge the name of the author later, and give a brief mention to his current high-profile activities in sindonology.

OK, let’s begin shall we, with bullet point 1: My replies are in blue.

1.   Encode the image on only the most superficial fibrils of the cloth’s threads.

The use of a SOLID imprinting medium (finely powdered white flour) essentially explains the superficiality of the Shroud image, notwithstanding the presence of some accessory liquid ingredients. Yes, there’s a light smear of vegetable oil on the skin before sprinkling with flour from above, and water-soaked linen is then draped over the skin and pressed firmly down to transfer flour efficiently from body contours to linen. But after a few minutes in a hot oven, one has solid flour particles with a mere trace of veg oil attached to dried-out linen. The oil probably assists in ‘microfrying’ the flour particles to a liquid cocktail of relatively low molecular weight yellow Maillard reaction products that then migrate a short distance into the linen fibres via capillary action. It’s the short-range nature of that migration, probably accompanied by chemical cross-linking and condensation of the initial Maillard products to high molecular weight resinous melanoidins that accounts for the extreme superficiality of the Shroud body image.
The intensity of the image (both before and after washing) is under human visual control, controlled  by varying the amount of oil and flour, and especially the time and temperature of the crucial oven-heating step that generates the final  negative (light/dark-reversed) ‘thermograph’.

2.  Transfer an image so low in contrast that it fades into the background when an observer stands within 6 feet of it.

Why should a faint, ageing straw-coloured centuries-old image, one that is hard to discern against a similarly ageing and thus yellowing linen background, be any more or any less likely to be the product of medieval manufacture? One could discuss the factors that make the background linen acquire a yellow coloration – starting with the initial oven-heating step (though the subsequent washing removes some of the colour) – all focused on the carbohydrate polymers of linen – celluloses, hemicelluloses etc.- not forgetting the non-carbohydrate polyphenolic lignins. One could then discuss the general tendency for coloured organic compounds, however formed, to fade with age, on account of atmospheric oxidation, exposure to light etc. So the image gets fainter, the background darker, with inevitable loss of contrast and ease of visibility. But these as I say are mainly age-related effects that tell us nothing about provenance – whether 1st or 14th century.

The radiocarbon dating (1260-1390) may be vociferously disputed and rejected, but if as claimed it’s the result or repair via invisible reweaving at the single sampling site chosen – a ill-judged decision surely thrust upon the 3 radiocarbon labs – then there’s a simple answer: go back and date a wider range of locations. Until that happens, the present dating should remain the default position. The ball is in Turin’s court, so to speak.

3   Create an image that is pressure-independent so that both frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same intensity, even though the dorsal side of the cloth would have had the full weight of a body lying on top of it.

This is just one instance one could cite of an anti-authenticity argument starting with a pro-authenticity assumption, namely that the imprinting of the Shroud’s double image occurred exactly as per the Gospel account. In fact, our polemical author even uses that image of the Deposition of the crucified Jesus direct from the Cross to Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ on the front cover of his book! (We’ll ignore for now the part of that painting that was left out – or rather obscured by the book’s title!).


Credits to follow shortly

But he and many others within sindonology appear to have forgotten something. A forger does or did not need to duplicate the biblical account in order to achieve a ‘facsimile’ of the desired end-result. He was free to depart from the biblical account, and what’s more, he almost certainly did so for some very compelling practical reasons.

This investigator has spent months, nay years, experimenting with different ways of presenting linen to a  3D ‘subject’ (ranging from hot or painted metal to flour-coated hand) to determine the most practical means of obtaining an imprint.  Conclusion: laying linen on top and patting down onto the surface relief as by far and away the method of choice, compared with pressing down into linen. Why? Because one can see whether or not the wet linen is moulding to the desired relief or not, both by sight and by feel. Conversely, when pressing down one has no idea what is happening underneath, out of sight. There could be trapping of multiple creases without one knowing it until too late. So one imprints both frontal AND dorsal sides with a linen-draped-on-top mode.  But that is not easy if imprinting off a single subject. It requires two separate imprinting sessions, and there’s a risk that the two images would not be correctly aligned on the long axis of the linen. Solution?  Simple.

Here’s a clue. It’s the complete picture from above, including the ‘missing’ double-imprint.


I’ve labelled the frontal imprint as A, in blue, and the dorsal imprint as B.  Why do that if they are both from the same person? Answer: they aren’t, or rather weren’t!

I say that TWO DIFFERENT ADULT MALES WERE USED, of approximately the same height and build, whom I have called A and B.

A had his frontal surface smeared with oil, then dusted with flour, and then instructed to lie down FACE UP on the floor.  B then had his dorsal  surface oiled and dusted  and was instructed to lie FACE DOWN  on the floor, head to head with A. The two were then carefully positioned so as to be on the same long axis, with the desired distance between the two heads. Then a length of wet linen was  draped over BOTH subjects A and B simultaneously.  The team of  artisans then got to work, patting the linen down onto both A and B at the same time, applying approximately the same degree of imprinting-pressure.

4. Use an image-forming mechanism that operates uniformly regardless of what lies beneath it, i.e. over diverse substances such as skin, hair, and, possibly, coins, flowers, teeth, and bones.

The flour imprinting technology works equally well with metal (horse brass, 3D brass crucifix etc), with plastic (see banner) and with human skin (my hand). The reason for the versatility is the first step – rubbing a thin smear of oil onto the subject. Oil adheres and spreads evenly on most surfaces, and then serves as a weak adhesive for the light sprinkling of flour.

While I can’t speak for flowers (?),  teeth and bones on a human subject assist the imprinting process through providing a rigid non-deformable support for softer more malleable skin.

5. Encode the thousands of body image fibrils with the same intensity.

The flour-imprinting/ thermally-induced Maillard reaction model provides an immediate explanation for the so-called half tone effect, discontinuities etc. Indeed I believe it’s the first and only attempt to do so. The final ghost image that remains after washing represents a highly superficial intrusion into the surface fibres of a hot LIQUID cocktail of Maillard reaction products which stain evenly on their short migration.

6.Create an image that is not composed of any particles or foreign materials of any kinds with the individual joints of its individual fibrils remaining distinct and visible.

The proposed LIQUID exudate from the browning flour is clearly non-particulate.

Why attempt to exclude foreign materials, notably the flour and oil? Where is the hard evidence that the image is chemically-modified cellulose?  I personally know of none. Ray Rogers, STURP’s lead chemist also favoured the idea of the image residing on an acquired surface coating (starch) and indeed the involvement of Maillard browning reactions, even if the detailed chemistry is different from what is proposed  here.
7. Create an image that is not soluble in water, remains stable when subjected to high temperatures, and does not demonstrate signs of matting, capillarity, saturation, or diffusion into the image-forming fibrils.

The flour imprinting model generates a faint, fuzzy shroud-like image that survives the final washing with soap and water. The yellow/brown pigment – assumed to be high MWt melanoidins formed via Maillard reactions – appears to be strongly bound to the fibres of the linen, and would have detached and been removed by the wash water had that not been the case. It is of course stable to high temperature, having been formed via application of high temperature.The small amounts of liquid escaping from the roasting flour into the most superficial fibres are insufficient in volume to generate signs of capillary spread, matting etc that would be seen with higher volumes of liquid .efflux.
8. Encode an image that lacks any evidence of two-dimensional directionality.

Brush-free imprinting via direct contact between coated subject and wet linen will leave no evidence of the kind of directionality that might be detectable in conventional paintings (brush strokes etc)  or in photographs (angled lighting, shadows etc.).
9. Compose a yellowed body image out of chemically-degraded cellulose with conjugated carbonyls that has resulted from processes associated with dehydration and oxidation.

Chemically-degraded cellulose?  Conjugated carbonyls?  Dehydration? Oxidation?

Yes, I know these notions are all flagged up in the STURP final Summary, but read John Heller’s book and one finds these ideas are what might be described as armchair chemistry.

To appreciate better the nature of the Shroud body image, one has to take the hard science – provided by Adler and Heller – namely the ability of diimide  (NH=NH) to bleach the image, in contrast to other reducing and oxidizing agents tested (ascorbic acid, hydrogen peroxide etc) and focus on the unique properties of diimide, compared to other reducing agents, namely its ability to hydrogenate -C=C- double bonds, the latter NOT NECESSARILY HAVING  ARISEN AND CONFERRED COLOUR TO THE LINEN VIA OXIDATION REACTIONS ONLY. Maillard reactions between reducing sugars and amino groups  resulting in unsaturated double-bonds need also to be considered, as Ray Rogers appreciated.

10.  Encode the front and back full-length images on cloth of a real human being in rigor mortis.

Rigor mortis? It’s said one has to stand 6 feet back from the Shroud, simply to discern the boundary between image and background linen. So how one might ask has the conclusion of rigor mortis been arrived at? 

Rigor mortis gets an early look in when one reads the book in question – Page 32 in fact: 
Page 32: “Further evidence of the man’s death on the cross is found in the numerous identifications of rigor mortis apparent on the Shroud image (ref 65);
(…. intervening passage on the phenomenon and temporary nature of rigor mortis)

When looking at the back of the man’s legs and feet we see that his left leg is raised slightly and that both feet, especially the right one, are flat and pointed down. For the lower extremities to have remained in such an awkward position indicates that rigor mortis set in while the man remained crucified (Ref 68). Moving up the back of the man we notice that the thighs,buttocks and torso are not flat, but instead are stiff and rigid.If rigor mortis had declined and the muscles had relaxed, these parts of the body would appear flatter and wider (ref 69). On the frontal image we see the chin drawn in close to the chest and the face turned slightly to the right. For the head to remain in this position inside the burial cloth without rotating further to the side requires the presence of rigor mortis (Ref 70). The man’s expanded rib cage is a sign of asphyxia, and the enlarged pectoral muscles drawn in toward the collar bone and arms provide evidence that the man had been pulling himself up to breathe. (ref 71). That these parts of the body remained in such positions further indicates that the onset of rigor mortis occurred while the man hung suspended. (ref 72). Rigor would also maintain the thumbs in the positions held during the crucifixion. (ref 73).
How can one tell whether the musculature in a 2D image is “stiff and rigid”? Eye of faith?
“Awkward position of feet”. No, not awkward, merely a reflection of the manner in which imprints were taken from two different people, one face up, the other face down. In the face- up mode, a conscious decision was made to omit any imprint of the soles of the feet, and indeed scarcely any of the top sides too. In the face- down mode a conscious decision was made to imprint off the soles of the feet. These decisions may have had an arbitrary basis, the crucial thing being to imprint soles of feet off one or other configuration, but not both!
What we see here is a blitz of serial supposition that frankly begs the question. In order to convince us that the Shroud is a real image of the crucified Jesus we are assailed with detailed interpretation that presupposes the very thing we’re told is backed by anatomical and other evidence. It was quickly recognized that feet would be awkward, given the prior decision to have the heads meet at the midpoint. That required a simulation of how feet – frontal and dorsal- might look if imprinted onto the two free ends of the linen. 

When someone is carried stretcher-style in a sagging sheet of linen, with buttocks at the lowest point, and soles of feet abutting onto a steeply ascending stretch of linen, then the logical place for imprinting the feet is on the DORSAL  image, even if the complete imprinting of those soles looked  ‘awkward’ not only to modern-day sindonologists, but to the first cohorts of uninitiated pilgrims descending on Lirey in the droves circa 1355. So what of the top surface of the feet? Logic dictates that with no gravity-assistance for imprinting, there would be little or no imaging of the tops of the feet, and that dear reader is precisely what one sees, or rather  does not see. So while ‘rigor mortis’ is one possible explanation for the allegedly awkward posture, an agenda-driven one that attempts to preempt the narrative, there are other explanations provided one’s prepared to keep an open mind. 

Jan 15: On re-reading I see I have not explained the above as neatly and concisely as I would have wished. Let’s try again. There are two aspects to consider in any ‘forgery’ model. The first is what scenario regarding the crucified Jesus the forgers wished to convey. The second was deciding how best to achieve that in practical terms.Scenario? The transport of Jesus from cross to tomb, such that his sweat and blood-laden body left an imprint on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen. The feet, correction, soles of feet, would betray an important clue. They would be well-imprinted, unlike the tops of feet that would be scarcely if at all imprinted. Why?  Because a body transported face up on the linen would have soles of feet in contact with the linen, whereas linen would bridge the space between shins and tips of toes, such that tops of feet left no imprint.

Practical realization of the desired scenario? It’s already been suggested that a separate second subject was used to imprint the dorsal surface, that subject lying down on the floor face down, and having linen draped over his back, then pressed down.  That posture automatically exposes the soles of the feet, allowing easy imprinting of the same. In other words, both aim and realization were easily achieved, giving selective imprinting of the SOLES (not uppers) of the feet.

Tomorrow (or Monday) I shall address John Jackson’s  so-called “Cloth Collapse Theory”, the next point that is addressed (or rather proselytized) in the quoted book, and show how it derives from faulty reasoning re contact imprinting of the face and hair. I shall be disputing the claim that face and hair are out of stereoregister, based on “wrongly situated” bloodstains in the hair.

Jan 16

Reading two pro-authenticity books in detail has finally caused scales to fall from eyes. I now know where the blame lays for the invasion of  Shroud-obsessed pseudo-science into the public domain. It comes from a profession whose approach to anything related to the human body might fairly be described as prescriptive (for better or for worse). All will be revealed tomorrow. Be ready for some plain speaking. It’s time to tell it the way it is.

Jan 17 2017

11. Incorporate specific effects of a draped cloth that fell through a body region – such as blood marks displaced into the hair, motion blurs at the side of the face and in the neck/throat region and below the hair, along with elongated fingers.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  Here we see in-your-face, no-holds barred, take no prisoners rampantly, out-of-control sindonology .  

One could simply respond by pointing out that the “draped cloth” starter is a hugely misleading over-simplification. Draped over whom or what?  Pressure applied (medieval scenario) or not? Contact between cloth and  vertical sides or not? Imprinting if contact with sides or not?

Without a pause to consider all the alternative option, our author leads us straight from “draped cloth” into John Jackson’s ‘cloth-collapse’ theory, a quite astonishing and self-indulgent splurge of unscientific mumbo-jumbo, coming as it does from someone with a PhD in Physics (plus a BA in Religion!).  

The  so-called ‘cloth-collapse theory’  starts innocuously enough on p 218 of the book that is currently being scrutinized. Here’s the opening paragraph. 
Dr.John Jackson, one of the founders of STURP who has studied the Shroud images for more than twenty-five years, proposed a method of image formation that accounted for more image features than any method had previously. After many years of studying the cloth and its images and participating in numerous experiments testing the many methods proposed to explain the Shroud’s images, Jackson concluded that “we seem to have a situation where the set of observables is so restrictive that all hypotheses posed thus far must be excluded … often on the basis of multiple objections. (Ref 38)

It’s the next paragraph which this researcher is tempted to describe as a near- silent bombshell. Note the early introduction of the descriptor “Dr”, with no attempt to distinguish between the earlier “Dr”applied to John Jackson, and that applied to the newcomer, a hugely important omission in my opinion, one that will be shortly be pressed home strenuously and at length, believing as I do that I have put my finger on all that is wrong with sindonology, revealing the roots of the rampant pseudoscience.
Here’s the next paragraph:
Jackson was the first to incorporate into a proposal the findings of Dr.Gil Lavoie, who first explained why some of the blood marks on the head of the man in the Shroud had been displaced into the hair. Lavoie illustrated in Figs 137-139 that the blood marks now seen in the hair all originated on the sides of the man’s forehead and face. Lavoie placed a cloth over the Shroud’s facial image, then traced the blood marks and cut them out of the cloth. He then draped the perforated cloth over a human face to clearly demonstrate that, when the Shroud was first placed over the man, these bloodmarks rested on the sides of his forehead and face. Only when the cloth was subsequently straightened or flattened did the location of these blood marks extend into the hair. While previous studies we’ve discussed showed that the blood marks and body images have been encoded somewhat differently, Dr.Lavoie and his associates demonstrated that the Shroud was in two different positions at the time these blood marks and body images were encoded (Ref 39).

18th Jan 2017

The Lavoie experiment

As described in the book (I have yet to see the investigator’s own account – apparently in his own book) it purports to demonstrate that the blood and body image were formed by entirely different mechanisms at different times, such that the two are out of stereoregister (apologies for the jargon, acquired elsewhere).

Put more baldly, we see blood in the wrong place on the body image, or at any rate, certain blood, namely blood that appears to be on the hair.  But isn’t, or rather wasn’t, we’re assured.

That is a bold conclusion, based as it is on one experiment using a human volunteer, so one needs to scrutinize closely that experiment to be certain that the conclusions are valid.
Lavoie maintains (not hypothesizes!)  that the blood one sees on the hair, blood that appears to have run in longish rivulets, was NOT actually on the hair, but the skin, specifically cheeks, i.e. side of face.

Certainly there are valid grounds for thinking that real blood from scalp wounds in a pro-authenticity scenario (“crown of thorns”) would not have run down the surface of the hair in trickles as on skin – it would have remained trapped, causing hair to matt. So how could blood on cheeks appear to be blood on hair?
The answer we are told is due to curvature of the face, cheeks being sides rather than frontal plane, and because linen was draped loosely over both sides, allowing blood on cheeks to become imprinted onto the curved linen.

Later the body image became imprinted too, but by a different mechanism that did not rely on physical contact alone, but one involving some kind of action at a distance that was aligned with gravity. That produced an imprint of the face that was narrower than would be the case for a contact imprint, more akin to a ‘photograph’ such that when the linen was later laid flat, the blood and body images were out of stereoregister. Instead of blood appearing on cheeks, it appeared ‘misleadingly’ to be on the vertical strands of hair framing both sides of the face.
We are not asked to take this on trust. We are provided with an experiment performed (a) with a photo of the Shroud, and (b) with a human volunteer to see how such a alleged misalignment can/could have occurred due to the’wrap-around’ effect of imprinting blood specifically, while a more exotic, unexplained mechanism operated in the case of the body image that did NOT produce the same lateral distortion.
Photos are provided in the book.

It all looks very scientific, backed up as it is with hands-on experimentation, which has clearly impressed a lot of folk, the book author included and indeed John Jackson we are told. But is it scientific? Does it really proceed  sequentially from hypothesis to experimentation to valid test of the hypothesis.

I say it does not. For a start, there is no mention at the outset of any hypothesis. We are given the pro-authenticity scenario as if given fact, with no mention of alternative scenarios, notably medieval manufacture. We are told that blood was of course on the cheeks initially, and left to assume that is self-evident.

Well, that may be true in a pro-authenticity scenario, but is certainly not the case for forgery, where there may have been pressing reasons -as much  artistic as medical or scientific – for showing blood on hair so as to imply that the wound sites from which the blood emanated were in the scalp, i.e. from the crown of thorns, rather than in the cheeks.
The shifting of blood imprint from cheek to hair is then used to introduce two concepts, but only one of which is experimentally demonstrated, namely the so-called lateral distortion/distension that accompanies imprinting off a 3D subject onto 2D linen, aka the ‘wrap-around effect’. But that is accompanied by a second concept, slipped in almost Trojan Horse style under the cover of contact imprinting of blood, namely a non-contact imprinting mechanism for the body image that “explains” why the blood appears to be in hair, despite the fact that on the TS the blood IS seen in the hair,making any other location entirely speculative, regardless of so-called supporting experimentation.

In other words the experiment serves merely to support and promote a proposed mechanism – but cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to demonstrate that mechanism, not when alternative scenarios are ignored.  If the truth be told, the experiment is not really scientific. It is advocacy, designed to promote a particular preconception, making that preconception appear to be self-evident, generating entirely predictable experimental outcome, when in reality it is forcing the reader to share the experimentalist’s own preconceptions, blotting out alternative scenarios. It is experimentation designed to support PRESCRIPTION, so it comes as no surprise to find that Dr.Lavoie’s background is medical rather than strictly scientific. What we see might be described as a microcosm of so much of ‘sindonology’ – namely tunnel vision, special pleading, a begging of the question.

What was lacking was any willingness to play the role of Devil’s Advocate, to propose a hypothesis that the TS might have been the work of medieval forgers who had intended the blood to be on the hair, and then seek evidence for or against that proposition?
Evidence for? If blood from sides appears to be shifted further from mid line of the body image, then would not other blood marks be similarly shifted? What about the lance wound in the “side” – which sindonologists never question – it being the biblically correct location. What if that too is out of stereoregister, and was really a lance wound in the front? Any takers? Nope, I didn’t think so.

If the blood really was on the cheeks, then why show it as elongated trickles that are detached from hairline and indeed well below the presumed origin in scalp from above? I say the medieval artisans intended those trickles to be on the hair, not the cheeks. But that’s scientific hypothesis – not medical prescription.

19th Jan

Yes. medicosindonology has a lot to answer for the pseud0-scientific means by which it has promoted shroud authenticity. That’s especially Stateside where the medical profession is elevated to near God-like status (MD= Minor Deity), and maybe Italy too. My chief complaint as indicated is the PRESCRIPTIVE manner in which ideas are thrust upon the public domain as if the last word on the matter, inviting no criticism. Of course it’s not only the medical profession that is responsible for the endless stream of Shroud-smitten hype: it serves merely as the spearhead.

(More to come, especially on that list of 33 bullet points at the tail-end of THAT book. So far I’ve stayed silent as to the author. Maybe the time has come to reveal his name: it is of course Mark Antonacci, someone still highly active in sindonology,  still promoting as he does his miraculist views – ones that involve a 1st century crucified man turning 3 days post mortem into a well-behaved neutron bomb! The book from which I’m citing his 33 bullet points is  “The Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical and Archaeological Evidence”, M.Evans Co., NY, 2000).

Here’s a link to Mark’s site, promoting his latest book:


Oh, and I see that authenticity-promoting ‘medicosindonologist’ Dr.Gilbert Lavoie is still active:


Is the evidence really stacked against contact-imaging of body image? Is it at odds with contact imaging of blood?

This investigator says NO! See my earlier postings on the flour-imprinting technology that accommodates contact-imprinting for both body image and blood in the same session. In brief: the subject, whether a real human being, a bas relief or combination of the two is lightly smeared with vegetable oil, then coated with white flour, the latter sprinkled from above onto the supine subject.  After excess flour is shaken off, blood, or blood substitute or a combination of the two is trickled onto the flour-coated subject. A sheet of  wet linen is then draped across the top of the subject and pressed firmly onto the subject’s relief and flour/blood additions. Blood  imprint directly onto linen (no flour underneath) giving the appearance of a “blood first-body image- second” chronology as per Heller/Adler proposal. There is scarcely any imaging of  the sides of the subject (and thus no appreciable lateral distortion/distension of the body image) for the simple reason that the flour imprinting medium, sprinkled from above, does not attach appreciably to vertical surfaces.

Bullet point 11  however has still to be fully addressed, despite the time spent  just now on Jackson’s and Lavoie’s pseudo-scientific special pleading.

Reminder: here’s Bullet Point 11 again:

Incorporate specific effects of a draped cloth that fell through a body region – such as blood marks displaced into the hair, motion blurs at the side of the face and in the neck/throat region and below the hair, along with elongated fingers.

More to come… albeit at a leisurely pace, things being somewhat quiet right now (like a dearth of comments and/or other feedback…).

Jan 20

Have just had an idea that links those  alleged “motion blurs” (to which this proponent of contact-imaging is favourably disposed in principle) AND, surprisingly perhaps, those  “elongated” fingers too. Previously I have suggested two factors that might make fingers look elongated, while not entirely convinced they were the whole explanation (they being an imaging under contact pressure of metatarsal bones in the back of the hand, adding to the apparent length of the fingers, and a bridging of linen between finger bones, making the fingers look slimmer (and longer?) than they really are.  

I now have an entirely new explanation. 

One, or probably two naked male volunteers were laid head to head on the floor, face up/face down as previously described. The face-up volunteer was instructed to cross hands over groin region before being oiled and sprinkled with white flour. (But it’s actually quite hard to do full cover and protect genitals  if one’s head stays in contact with the floor -one’s arms are not long enough, as others before me have pointed out). Next step: wet linen was draped on top. Now comes the eye-watering part of this account. Along came one or more artisans to manually pat down the linen to capture the surface relief, including those two crossed hands. Are you thinking what I’m thinking, dear reader? Yes, our subject suddenly winced on account of his hands being ill-positioned to offer full protection. He raised his head from the floor,  both in surprise and maybe protest, using the opportunity to move his hands further down. Hey presto, one has an explanation for the claimed blurring of the image, not only for the groin region  (fingers then appearing too long) but for the face and head too! One may even have an explanation for the  allegedly tipped-forward/downward head, previously ascribed to rigor mortis, or the unsatisfactory look to the junction of chin and neck, maybe even that prominent so-called “crease” at chin level.  All this assumes that imprinting occurred off a real face. While I think it occurred off a real torso/limbs,  that would not exclude separate imprinting of a  head, correction “head”  from a bas relief, e.g wooden carving, as proposed by Luigi Garlaschelli in his powder frottage model – a real face being tricky for contact-imprinting on account of the nose and other sharp relief.

You read it here first!

Back to those bullet holes:

12. Encode a superficial, resolved,and three-dimensional image of the closed eye over the different and invisible features of a coin;

Here’s a link to the image gallery one obtains when entering (shroud turin coin eye) into Google.

Nowhere in all those images does one see a single image of a coin in a TS eye! Sure, there are plenty of pictures of that Pilate coin with the curly-end crook – but that’s hardly the key exhibit, is it?

Let’s move on, shall we,  leaving coins in eyes for those capable of seeing what others can’t. 

13. Transfer the blood marks before encoding the body image, yet still place them in the appropriate locations and ensure that the blood marks are not altered when the body image is later transferred onto the cloth.

 Jan 21, 2017

As indicated earlier, there is no problem is arranging for a blood-before-body image imprinting, given that the blood does not have to be painted onto linen, before or after the flour imprint, but directly onto the flour-coated subject, thus ensuring that blood imprints underneath flour. The difficulty is the obligatory oven-heating stage to convert flour to Maillard browning products. That will degrade the blood too, making it oxidized and darker (not in itself a challenge to the forgery theory – quite the contrary )  but we’re told the Shroud blood is unnaturally red  with little by way of explanation, excluding Adler’s bilirubin hypothesis which is frankly non-credible to anyone who knows the slightest thing about bilirubin – like its proneness to photo-oxidize rapidly via self-sensitized singlet oxygen. Unless or until one has some explanation for why the TS blood “looks too red” its seems futile to speculate on how the bloodstains could have been generated, whether real blood, faked blood, late doctored/restored  blood etc etc.  Blood is not this investigator’s chief interest re the Shroud. It’s the body image that is said to be enigmatic, a challenge to science etc etc. Blood is merely problematical.

14. Create actual blood marks with actual serum around the edges of the various wounds.

If I had to state my most major criticism of sindonology, it would be the casual bandying around of that last word -” wounds”.  Were he still alive, STURP’s authenticity-promoting pathologist Robert Bucklin MD would have found himself on the end of some withering criticism from this critic of wishful-pseudoscientific thinking-presented-as-fact. (Giulio Fanti, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Padua University received it instead for highlighting in bright yellow what he claimed was the lance wound in the side). 

(Here’s a link to Prof. Fanti’s  curt, unhelpful stonewalling response).

I say again. What wounds?  Can anyone direct this investigator to a single unequivocal wound site, say in the Durante 2002 images available on Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope? What does it matter whether there are “serum borders” to the blood if there’s no evidence of wounds in the body image, implying the bloodstains, real or faked,  were merely applied to the Shroud to serve as proxies for entirely fictitious wounds in all the biblically-correct locations?

Here are the next four bullet points, all blood-related, all presupposing that the blood issued from real wounds onto linen without a shred of real evidence that I’m aware of, certainly not in the body image:

15. Reproduce blood marks incurred at different times with different instruments that correspond with both arterial and venous bleeding;

16.Encode blood marks on the cloth in exactly the form and shape that develop from wounds on human skin;

17. Embed into the cloth the various blood marks leaving the original smooth surfaces between the skin and the blood intact;

18.Remove the cloth from the body within two to three days without breaking or smearing the various blood marks;

Sorry, Mark – I’m ignoring all four of those above, for the reasons stated. Science is – or at any rate should be –  hypothesis -driven, not a means of reinforcing one’s preconceptions and/or inflicting them on others supposedly as objective science when it’s nothing of the sort.

19.Employ a mechanism that transfers distance information through space in vertical straight line paths; 

My flour-imprinting model, thus far situated perfectly in sindonology’s  rear-view mirror blind spot, offers a simple down-to-earth explanation. Flour is sprinkled onto the oil-smeared subject from above. It settles on the surfaces that are normal to the descending particles, not at all on the vertical surfaces (“sides”) but  maybe a little onto those planes that are sloping, i.e.intermediate between horizontal and vertical. Forget radiation models that would have us believe that it’s always emitted (in Resurrection events)  geometrically normal, i.e  at 90 degrees,  to the plane of any surface, or is somehow aligned with gravity (Einstein would have been fascinated with that suggestion).

20. Produce an image that is a vague negative when observed by the naked eye, but with highly focused  and finely resolved details that become visible only when photographed, at which point the negative becomes turns into a positive image with light/dark, left/right reversed.

We see people and things in real everyday life by the light that is reflected off them, whether that light is artificial or natural (the Sun). So we are accustomed to seeing the highest, most prominent  least obstructed parts of  what we are viewing as the brightest, and the lower more over-shadowed parts as the darkest.  Nose bright , eye hollows dark.

A photograph generally reproduces the pattern of light/dark that we see with our eyes. But early photography, using plates coated  with silver salt emulsions introduced us to the idea of the photo-negative, one in which light/dark  tones are/were reversed.

But sindonologists to their eternal discredit  try to have us believe that there were no negative light/dark reversed images before the invention of 19th/20th century photography (wrong, see later). A footprint in the sand is a light/dark  reversed image, but NOT a photonegative., merely an ‘eye-perceived’ negative(the eye being a highly sophisticated camera).

They then argue that if the Shroud image is a  light/dark reversed negative, as seen by the human eye, i.e. resembling a photographic negative, then the tone-reversed ‘positive’ that we see on the Shroud MUST  be a photographic positive.

Nope.  Kindly go back to college, dear sindonologist.  Register for Logic 101.

“Improved” Shroud image through light/dark reversal of what  is captured on a silver salt emulsion = transformed  Positive image- YES.

Ipso facto a  photographic positive through being obtained in the 19th/20th century by reversal of a negative,  NO, not necessarily.   Spot the simple flaw in sindonological logic! Negatives can arise for a variety of reasons!

 Using modern-day photography to reverse those images, making them more friendly positives, does NOT mean the original  negative was created by photography.  A negative is  simply tone-reversed. Tone reversal can occur for reasons other than silver-salt photography, e.g. contact imprinting (like that footprint in the sand referred to  above).

21. Encode accurately proportioned, three-dimensional information on a two dimensional surface that directly corresponds to the distances between a body and cloth;

No. This is to completely misunderstand (or misrepresent) what 20th/21st century computers do when given images with density differences (whether the Shroud of Turin image or modern-day imprints with no 3D history). No, they do not seek out and/or detect ‘encoded 3D information’.  All they do is read density differences  and re-map them onto a new imaginary z (vertical) axis at 90 degrees to the 2D xy plane.There is no encoded data in the TS image, merely density differences that arise from the imaging process, regardless   of imaging mechanism.

3D-rendering software does not ‘decode’. It merely reads and re-maps density differences. Those density differences could arise from a multitude of causes, imprinting off 3D subjects being just one of several. 

22. Include realistic details of scourge marks so minute that they are invisible to the naked eye and can be seen only with cameras, photographic enlargers, microscopes and ultraviolet lighting.

Jan 22

Strange. I’ve hunted high and low in the book for any mention of the appearance of the scourge marks at the microscopic level or different lighting conditions. All I can find (thus far) is the sentence on Page 18:

The scourge marks decrease in number and depth toward the ankle, where some fade into lines visible only under ultraviolet light.(Ref 11).

(Neither are we given any clue as to what the uv is supposed to be detecting in those scourge marks, which elsewhere we are told are blood imprints, and thus not fluorescent except for any serum fringes, the latter surely minuscule for scourge marks. Is the uv picking up score marks associated with scourge marks, which others have alluded to elsewhere, maybe as a consequence of damage to linen fibres and their intrinsic fluorescence? If so, might those score marks, if verified, be a ticking time bomb where the Shroud is concerned, providing incontestable evidence of forgery if it was the linen that had been directly scourged/blood imprinted, NOT the man inside?).

Bullet Point 22 makes no sense to me whatsoever, making claims that are not on a quick search of the index and elsewhere to be found in the book (though I shall keep looking in case I’ve missed something).

23. Encode a line representing the narrow lesion of the side wound that corresponds to the shape of the lancea used by Roman executioners in such a manner that the line would not be visible with the eye and could not be seen until the development of computer imaging technology 600 years later.

And I say that’s yet one more instance of computer-aided image manipulation, oops, enhancement. Pseudoscience comes in many guises, in this instance digitally-assisted.  Nuff said.

24. Distribute an array of pollens onto the Shroud beneath the linen’s threads and fibers that reflected its manufacture and history in Jerusalem and Turkey. To do this successfully, the forger would not only have to be a pollen expert, but also anticipate development of the theory that emerged 600 years later which asserts the Shroud, Mandylion, and Image of Edessa are the same cloth;

Pollen is merely a geographical marker, ranking lower in importance than a chronological one. Unless or until the Vatican does the decent thing, allowing threads to be taken inconspicuously from the Shroud at additional sites for further radiocarbon dating, then there seems little point in relying on pollen to prove or disprove anything. In fact, pollen cannot prove or disprove anything, needless to say, being an adventitious agent, not capable of experimental test, and who’s to say it arrived naturally, wind or insect borne? Who’s to say it wasn’t dusted over and around the linen surreptitiously by someone with an interest in keeping the authenticity show on the road?

The references to the Mandylion and Edessa are of course totally irrelevant where pollen is concerned.

25. Encode the subtle appearance of Judean plants in the off-image area of the Shroud that would not be seen for more than six centuries;

I personally have never seen images of plants on the Shroud, despite spending inordinate amounts of time with contrast- and/or 3D-enhanced Durante 2002 photographs (Shroud Scope).  “Subtle images”? You betcha. Too subtle for this humble seeker after truth.
26. Place microscopic samples of dirt and limestone at the foot of the man in the Shroud that match the limestone found in Jerusalem but which would not be visible for centuries.

The idea that one of nature’s minerals, especially a variant (aragonite) of so  common a mineral  as limestone, one formed in mineral springs, can be used as a marker for a highly specific geographical location (“Jerusalem”) frankly cannot be seriously entertained.

27. Encode actual whole blood and water fluid at the side wound and the small of the back in a uniquely realistic manner and also encode this and all other clotted bloodstains on the Shroud so that they remain red and do no darken over time like all other actual blood;

But the bloodstains are anything but “realistic”. The author admits as much on Page 30 of his book, and quotes three  others who say the same (Pierre Barbet, Paul Vignon and Robert Wilcox). All say  the bloodstains look more like the actual wounds from which blood has issued, and nothing like the messy imprints that real life (or post mortem) bleeding wounds leave on bandages and other fabric. Far from being “realistic” the bloodstains are better described as miraculous. Our author says as much:

“For now it is sufficient to state that the bloodstains could not have been encoded on the Shroud simply by direct contact between a bloody body and a linen cloth surrounding it. While this may point away from the Shroud’s being an actual burial cloth, it may in fact point towards something truly miraculous.”

Far from being realistic, the bloodstains are highly UNrealistic, too good to be true to life. One can if one wishes go looking look for miraculous explanations, ones  that add further fuel to the pro-authenticity fire.

Alternatively, one can look to homelier, more down-to-earth explanations, like:

(a) the blood (or “blood”) was painted directly onto the linen, coming from a paint pot, not a wound OR:

(b) the blood WAS deposited on linen via  contact-imprinting, which contrary to the author’s belief  was not impossible if done under carefully controlled conditions with just the right amount of blood (or “blood”) of the right consistency etc.

Bullet point 27 not quite complete. More to come.

Jan 23

“… and also encode this and all other clotted bloodstains on the Shroud so that they remain red and do no darken over time like all other actual blood.”

Well, at least our author acknowledges that “actual” blood does not retain its red colour indefinitely, yet places the burden of proof on sceptics, expecting them to duplicate this mysteriously permanent red blood! Who says it’s blood?   No, I’m not questioning the presence of some real blood in those stains on the Shroud: I’m asking for the evidence that the permanent red colour is due to blood pigments (haems etc).

It’s customary in science to set up a hypothesis, and then take whatever steps are needed to seek supporting evidence – experimentally – and not merely sit back in a glow of self-satisfaction at having produced so smart a hypothesis  as to confound or wrongfoot one’s critics.

Is that an unreasonable request to make – that experimental evidence be sought to link the permanent red colour with blood haem pigments? Are there practical means of doing so? 

Yes, there are actually. There’s an enzyme in the spleen and elsewhere called haem oxygenase, responsible for haem degradation finally to bilirubin via biliverdin. It opens up the porphyrin ring, producing green biliverdin and gaseous carbon MONoxide (yes, CO, not CO2). That enzyme works in vitro  (i.e. test-tubes, outwith the body) and there are sensitive spectrophotometric means for detecting CO.  Take some of those permanently red fibres from the Shroud, incubate with haem oxygenase. See if the fibres go green, see if CO is released. My money is on that pink or red pigment being something OTHER THAN haem which will not turn green, will not give off CO.

28. Encode the appearance of a Pontius Pilate lepton over the right eye of the man so that only when photography, photographic enlargers and three-dimensional reliefs are invented 600 years later, the motif, letters and outline of the coin can be ascertained. The forger would not only have to anticipate this technology, but also the development of the field of archaeology and the discovery in the late twentieth century that coins used in burials in Jerusalem and the surrounding area between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D.

As early as Page 19, we are given a photographic plate with a 3D -rendering of the man’s face. The caption reads: “Small round objects are clearly visible over the man’s eyes in the three-dimensional image.” Not “coins” note, but “small round objects”.

One has to advance to Page 102 to read more about those “small round objects”.

One indication of an even more specific date for the crucifixion of this particular victim may be available in the Turin Shroud image. It comes from the uncorroborated evidence of coin images found over the eyes of the man in the Shroud. The presence of coins was first suggested by the three-dimensional images of the Shroud face made with  the VP-8 Image Analyser in 1978 (Reference 31). In these experiments, scientists were surprised to discover two small objects , both nearly circular  and approximately the same size, over the eyes (Fig 6 – the one shown 83 pages earlier). 

But why refer to “objects”? How does one differentiate between a real or ‘forged’ eyeball, sitting at the base of a recessed eye socket, and an inanimate “object”, far less a specific round object like a coin?  Did the coin ‘story’, as one  might now reasonably suspect,  start in this simple manner by rashly assuming that raised button-like images in the 3D-rendered eye-sockets represented ‘objects’ which then got progressively elevated to the role of Roman-era coins?  All this was based on those 3D-rendered images, which are claimed to detect real 3D relief in 2D images when, as stated earlier,  they do nothing of the sort, with all the talk elsewhere in the book about detecting ‘distance’ information being complete wishful thinking. 3D-rendering software, given 2D input data, can only detect differences in image density, which may or may NOT have arisen as a consequence of distance information (certainly NOT in the case of medieval imprinting where linen would not have been draped loosely over the subject, whether a real person or bas relief, being instead manually moulded to capture relief).

There are at least 3 different ways in which medieval forgers could have produced the 3D-enhancible “coins” without a Pilate lepton coming within a 1000 miles or years of the Shroud. First is by imprinting off a real face, having coated the eye lids with oil and flour before pressing down gently with the wet linen overlay. (I consider that improbable for obvious reasons). Second is to imprint off a real face but make no attempt to image the eyeballs. The socket area would be left blank, and flour then dabbed directly onto the linen over the blank areas to form circles – fake eyes in other words. Third is to dispense with a real human being, at least for the ‘difficult’ face, as per Luigi Garlaschelli, and substitute a bas relief, either moulded clay, or maybe a smooth wooden carving.

The key thing to remember is this: whichever way flour  in my Model 10 finds itself in the eye socket region (imprinting, brushing on, whatever) that patch of flour, after oven-roasting to produce Maillard browning, will elicit a 3D response in 3D-rendering software. The latter will simply read the extra image density against immediate background as raised relief, because that’s what the software has been programmed to do. The software has no way of distinguishing between real relief and artificial computer-fooling fake relief.

Motif on coins? Writing? Nowhere in the book are we shown clear or even unclear evidence that such exists, as distinct from existing purely in the minds of those who claim to see them. If present they would be virtually impossible  to identify with any certainty, given small size and, more especially,  the discontinuities created by a herringbone weave as distinct from paper or parchment.

I think of coins in eyes as representing the soft underbelly of sindonology.

29. Encode the wound on the cloth at the man’s left side so that when the image was photographed 500 years later, the wound would be located in the precisely correct location on the man’s right side so that blood and water would escape from the victim if he received a postmortem wound at this location. To encode these features our forger would not only have to have had understood advanced scientific principles, but also have possessed a knowledge of anatomy and medicine that was centuries ahead of his time. Obviously it would have been impossible for him  to have possessed such knowledge and understanding, but even if he had, somehow, he still couldn’t have seen any of these numerous features to know if he was getting them right. The technology needed to visualize them would not be developed for another five to six hundred years.

“Encode the wound” on the man’s left side? There is no wound on the left side, or anywhere else on the body image for that matter.  Wounds are not part of the basal body image. “Wounds” as said previously here can only be inferred  (and then incorrectly) from bloodstains.  That’s why the bloodstains look “too good to be true” as contact imprints. They are too good to be true.

However, both bloodstains and body image, if  as I maintain they were, acquired by direct contact between subject and linen, will be both tone reversed (“negative”) AND left/right reversed. 

Were our putative medieval forgers hundreds of years ahead of their time, displaying scientific and medical precocity?

No. Atoms and molecules can do some extraordinary things when put together, and maybe supplied with a little energy (heat, light etc) by way of a kick start. All our proposed medieval forgers needed to do was ‘put together’ and supply that kick start (“energy of activation”).  The self-organizing/reorganizing forces of nature that one studies in chemistry, physics, biology, physiology and medicine etc. do the rest. 20th/21st century science may now understand those processes, but medieval man did not need to. All he was interested in was the end-result that came about through mixing and heating.

Atoms and molecules ‘do their own thing’, regardless of whether we comprehend the science or not.

30. How could a medieval artist have displayed a knowledge of physiology that would not be known until centuries later?

See answer to bullet point immediately preceding this one.

31.How could an artist paint without showing any evidence of directionality?

The Shroud body image – and probably blood too-  were not painted onto the linen. They were imprinted. Thus the negative tone-reversed image,the  left/right reversal, the lack of brush marks etc.

32. How could an artist encode three-dimensional information (on a two-dimensional surface) that directly corresponds to the distance between a body and cloth?

He can’t and didn’t. The capture of a 2D image from a 3D subject by contact alone does NOT encode distance information. It merely captures the accessible/inaccessible parts of the surface relief that are/were available to artisans manually PRESSING linen against the subject, and not relying merely on gravity (loosely-draped linen over supine subject) as inappropriately imagined in pro-authenticity models.

33. Last one (phew!).

How could a medieval artist include details that are undetectable with the human eye and become visible only under ultraviolet light, or only through a microscope, or only on three-dimensional reconstructions, or only with the most advanced 20th century computer scanning devices?

How much time do you have, Mark? Answering that might take quite a lot, but answer it I will if you insist…


Jan 25

As indicated earlier, Mark Antonacci is still highly active in promoting Shroud authenticity. His name and  idea-promoting  pressure group (“Test the Shroud Foundation”) appears as sponsor no less on Bob Rucker’s advance notification of a Shroudie conference to be held near his home at Pasco WA, USA.


(Not for nothing have I deployed the tag “Shroudie” for that so-called conference: rest assured this science bod will not be attending, having read Rob Rucker’s accompanying notes that are a mix of science and pseudoscience in equal measure).

At the risk of sounding like a glutton for punishment, maybe I need to do a point-by-point critique of Bob Rucker’s summation of Shroud characteristics. Why?

1. Because it’s some 15 or 16 years more recent than Mark Antonacci’s (but equally choc-a-bloc with loaded terminology that attempts to dismiss out-of-hand all non-authenticity thinking ).

2. It’s being used to ‘prepare the ground’ so to speak for his July conference at Pasco WA,  written in such a manner as to make his and others’ pro-authenticity views appear to be the default position, based on scientific and medical data. But there’s no such thing as a ‘default position’, at least not in science. Nothing is set so firmly in concrete that it can’t be questioned and opposed.  Rucker’s conference preamble is clearly designed to scare off most if not all contra-authenticity researchers (I for one would never dream of attending a Shroudie congress where one would feel as welcome as a fly in a multiply-occupied spider’s web).

Where to publish the new critique? Here? Too long already surely? Maybe, but I want this present posting, with MY “Test The Shroud” idea to remain the first that visitors see on arrival. That idea needs all the publicity it can get, given it’s received no flagging up anywhere other than this site the last year or so.  (Yup, note the way that sindonology freezes out all off-message thinking). So expect a critique of Bob Rucker’s checklist sometime in the next few days, maybe weeks, to follow on from this.

Jan 26

Here’s the first assertion that appears on Bob Rucker’s list:

1. Rigor mortis in feet shows that the victim was on the cross for a significant amount of time after he had died.

OK, so this claim was made by MarkA in 2000 and was dealt with earlier in this posting. But since it has resurfaced 16 years later, and appears first in the list, it surely deserves a more detailed answer – accompanied with a few illustrations to better make my point that what we see here is  (let’s not beat about the bush) pro-authenticity TUNNEL VISION that simply can’t be bothered to consider alternative forgery scenarios.

 Here for starters is a jokey picture, lifted off the internet, but one that hopefully with a little image manipulation will help to make my point: 


What we see above is what might be called feigned rigor mortis. It’s the position/angle of the feet that we need to focus on, comparing with the image of the SOLES of the feet that we see on the Shroud, which Bob Rucker says are a sign of rigor mortis (real rigor mortis of the deceased Jesus needless to say).


Shroud Scope with added contrast, dorsal view, feet.

Why are the feet supposed to be evidence of rigor mortis? Answer: presumably because the soles of the feet appear as an extension of  the legs (which would not be the case if they were normally oriented at approx 90 degrees with respect to the legs). Ipso facto, the soles were forced in this unnatural position by the crucifixion nails, and then stayed locked in this position after death due to rigor mortis, long enough for the body imaging process to capture the ‘unusual’ geometry.

Is there an alternative explanation, one that does not require a crucifixion victim, one that does not require rigor mortis, indeed one that might be said to be well-approximated by the first photograph? Answer : YES!

First, let’s see our quasi- rigor mortis picture turned to the vertical,  as if the jokey gent were being crucified:


Note that the feet are not as per Shroud, i.e. in line with the legs. At first sight this photo would not look promising as a forgery model.

But think again. What if he were placed supine, face down on the ground, and his dorsal side imprinted onto linen (with a suitable imprinting agent, e.g. my white powdered flour) the latter being turned down over the heels, then patted down firmly onto the soles of the feet.


Those soles would then be imprinted, and once the linen was laid flat they would appear on the imprint as a linear extension of the legs, i.e. exactly as per Shroud!

Why would forgers choose to deploy the imprinting configuration one sees above?

Answer: NOT to mimic the effects of rigor mortis (far too subtle, given the time and place) but, instead, to mimic Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being used in TRANSPORT mode to discreetly move the crucified Jesus (modelled by a volunteer etc) from cross to tomb.


Why model the above in face-down mode? That’s been explained earlier. First, it’s more convenient, allowing the artisans to see and feel what they were imprinting. Second, as suggested earlier, I strongly believe that TWO volunteers were used simultaneously in a single imprinting session, with the “dorsal side” imprinting done with a face-down subject. Use of two volunteers makes it easier to ensure proper alignment of the two images along  the central long axis of the linen.

2. Two nails are through one foot, but only one of the nails is through the other foot. This allows one foot to rotate, so that the victim can push up and down on the cross in order to breath during crucifixion. If the victim of crucifixion is not pushing up and down, then it is clear that he is dead. The soldiers had no doubt that Jesus was dead (Mark 15:43-45, John 19:31-35).

Point 1 saw the feet being used to support a narrative that the man in the Shroud was dead.
(yes, there’s a particular take that sees the TS as genuine, but one where Jesus survived crucifixion: thus the spotlight on alleged ‘rigor mortis’)

Now in Point 2 we see the feet AGAIN being used  essentially to assert that the man in the Shroud was dead, deploying a somewhat esoteric argument to do with nailing geometry being used to serve as a marker for when a crucifixion victim can be seen to have expired.

Clearly the author is bothered by the “Jesus survived crucifixion” narrative, not wasting a second to seek corroborating evidence (again) from the feet.

But this needless to say is a far cry from objective science, or even sound scholarship, given the feet image comprises body and blood stains ONLY.  There is no imaging of puncture wounds of any kind. The blood marks are at best a proxy for nail wounds. So the reference to nail wounds is entirely speculative, indeed pure fantasy. What we see is sindonological spin-doctoring in its most extreme- narrative-fabricating – conjuring up a story from thin air, yet delivered in that oh-so ‘authoritative’ tone of voice, inviting no criticism.

Jan 27

3. In 1532, the church where the Shroud was located caught fire. This fire produced two scorch lines on either side of the front and dorsal images. Water stains can also be seen on the Shroud from water thrown onto the metal box containing the Shroud after it was rescued from the fire. The heat from the fire did not produce a gradation in the intensity of the image discoloration, indicating that the image is not due to application of an organic compound.
Sorry, invalid argument, if as I believe, heat was indeed used to develop an imprint from an organic material , e.g. white wheaten flour in my model. That’s especially so if unreacted or partially-reacted  organic material was then washed out (as in my model – see ‘Galaxy Warrior’ banner below this site’s title). A subsequent exposure to heat, as per 1532, would then be highly unlikely to have any effect on the thermal image, the latter having been already ‘cooked’ and discoloured.

Points 4 and 5: these can wait till later, especially as the first is unclear as to meaning, while the second is bloated with supposedly ‘historical’ considerations for which there is no proper documentary record.

6. The back (dorsal) image on the Shroud shows a separation of blood & clear blood serum that flowed from the wound in his side that shows on the front image. This separation indicates that the victim’s heart was not beating for long enough to allow the red blood cells to settle out of the clear blood serum before the side wound was made. Compare this with the “blood and water” that is said to have exited from Jesus’ side wound in John 19:34.

It’s hard to be certain what is being said here – the exposition is not at all clear as to meaning.

Let’s hazard a guess. The aim  appears, yet again, to dismiss any revisionist ideas that Jesus survived the crucifixion, defence against which requires a laboured argument that centres on the biblical narrative regarding blood and water issuing from the lance wound (yes, hardly an obvious connection).

Is Rucker’s argument that Jesus must have been dead well before receiving the final lance wound, evidenced by the separate blood and water, and if so why – for what medical reasons?

We are not told, but maybe the thinking is this – that if the heart had stopped beating well before the lance wound into the heart, there could have been time for a separation of clear serum – either due to gravity or clotting or both – and that the subsequent lance wound then would have allowed blood and “water” (ie serum ) to issue from the wound. Ipso facto the separate blood and serum may be adduced as evidence of death even prior to a (questionably) lethal lance into the heart,  i.e. that Jesus had survived neither crucifixion, nor, failing that,  a lance wound. (Phew!).

Again, Rucker seems preoccupied with the revisionist claim that while the Shroud is genuine, it never enshrouded a dead body (and may even  on diligent seeking bear forensic evidence of having temporarily  enshrouded  a still living, subsequently surviving body).

That is still a 1st century/crucifixion narrative, but one that would have precluded a subsequent resurrection narrative – but that is not this investigator’s concern and interest, it being focused on the Shroud being an ingenious medieval forgery.

In passing – how might medieval artisans have simulated blood AND water? Tricky one might think. But less tricky when one starts to think through the practicalities of forging a blood-before-image imprinting. For most of the major bloodstains that could have been as described earlier – dribbling blood onto the flour coating then imprinting. But I suggest a different procedure was used for the blood at the ‘invisible” lance wound site. It involved placing a cut-out fabric or other thin mask over the desired area before coating with flour, so that a WHITE area then appeared after oven-heating. See my previous experiment for the feasibility of masking (link later). That was then PARTIALLY painted with blood, such that the unpainted background area would hopefullyt be seen as  biblically-correct “water”.

If masking had been used, one would predict that areas with bloodstains would be free, correction, relatively free from what has been described here as ‘gluten flecks’. Let’s take a look at the largest bloodstain on the Shroud, that associated with “lance wound” in the side, to whether that is the case or not.


Yes, I’d say “prediction confirmed”. Sure, there are regions of red-brown image density inside the blood area, but they are  concentrated along the ribs of the weave, as distinct from being scattered around randomly as irregular-shaped aggregates, which is what one sees outside the blood area. I think it highly likrly that blood was applied to ‘blank’ areas that had been protected from flour-imprinting medium with masking, considtent with the blood first/image second conclusion reached by Adler and Heller.

Oops. the editing software is beginning to freeze up, no doubt as a result of the length of this posting. Maybe best to stop here. If anyone’s interested in hearing my responses to the rest of Bob Rucker’s points, post under Comments – see below –  and I’ll reply there.

Final word: I’ve just spotted this in the INTRODUCTION to Bob Rucker’s website:

  “This scientific research has shown that the characteristics of the image are so bizarre that it could not be the result of a human agent, either an artist or forger, because the technology to create this image did not exist in a previous era and still does not exist even today.”

Er, what technology, Bob? If you’re unable to specify the precise technology, only saying what it isn’t,  then how can you be so certain it was beyond the means of medieval man? Are you  and your like-minded promoters of authenticity familiar with my flour-imprinting/oven-roasting model? If not, why not?  Even if you haven’t seen this site, it’s well over 18 months since Dan Porter began offering it for discussion on his site!

E.g. this from July 2, 2015:


Is Colin Berry Onto Something?

More red font: I’ve just added this to the top of the completed  posting, indeed, completed blog site…

Here’s an image needed for another site:


Newsflash – Jan 27, 2017

This blogger/investigator is thinking of setting up a new site, to be called : “The Shroud of Turin – the cleverest fraud in history”.  Any comments before I get composing?

Goodbye folks from this site  (except for new comments, which are always welcome). It’s time to tackle misinformation , indeed systematic disinformation HEAD ON.

 As Popeye used to say in his cartoons, before squeezing  and ejecting the contents from a can of spinach: ” That’s all I can stands.  I can’t stands no more”.

download-popeye-1  download-popeye-2

Update: March 2, 2017

This investigator can presently be found  on the international skeptics forum, contributing to a thread with Turin Shroud in its title, under the username “meccanoman”.


The site managers have insisted on adding my real name underneath each contribution, since that was how  I was known some 3-4 years ago when briefly participating on what was then known as the james randi sceptiks forum.

Update: March 6:

Have just discovered an amazing photoediting  option available on Windows 10. It’s called Zeke: it hugely accentuates particulate material. Here’s a taster if what it can achieve, applying it to the second image on this posting (a Durante 2002 image from Shroud Scope, already with some added contrast):


Upper: before ZEKE; Lower: after Zeke

I shall post it with any further comments  elsewhere:

March 7: new image needed of that other site:

additive colour mixing + or - zeke

March 8: another pre/post Zeke picture. Note the way Zeke improves the rock faces in background, top left and top right:

mount rushmore pre post zeke

download baby in warzone

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