What’s causing Air Sindonology to nosedive and crash? Vapour alone from an empty fuel tank? Or trying to fly on a heaven-sent source of mystery radiation?


Let’s start with an analogy, shall we?  It’s  a famous plane crash that took place in Iceland, 1973, The wreckage remains to this day as a tourist attraction, still attracting speculation as to precise causes..

biteoficeland dc3 wreck

No, that’s  not me on top. I have my own “plane wreck” to visit and re-visit.. The wreck  I visit  is called  Air Sindonology.

funiceland plane wreck

Here’s a close-up view of the  Iceland  plane wreck

iceland famous air crash

Here’s a tourist guide to the Iceland plane wreck.  (Think of this site as a tourist guide to  the  equally celebrated wreck that is Air Sindonology!)

And here are a few words from the internet that accompany a tourist guide to the Iceland plane wreck.

Sólheimasandur, Iceland

The epic plane wreck on the black beach in South Iceland
In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South Coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone in that plane survived. Later it turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank.


Sad to say, I can’t be as succinct in describing the wreck that is Air Sindonology.  It will need a sizeable number of numbered points. But the parallel with the Iceland plane wreck is interesting.  Why?  Because both crashes were arguably due to the same reason –  switching over to the wrong fuel tank, real  for the US Navy DC3 above, while metaphorically speaking for Air Sindonology!

Numbered points

1. Stop calling it a “shroud“. Read the bible, the first 3 Gospels especially setting out the intervention by “Joseph of Arimathea and his “fine linen”. Forget “shroud”, with its burial connotations. Think simply “retrieval linen”,  i.e. retrieval from cross to tomb, whether genuine, or more likely, a medieval mock-up (“simulation”). “Burial” and its connotations ( invariably with quick fast-forward to Resurrection on the Third Day) supplied the wrong kind of fuel.
2. Think “Veil of Veronica” mode of imprinting, where one focuses on end -result, a recognizable image, more specifically imprint, indeed negative tone-reversed imprint. (Ring any bells?). No need to dwell just yet on details like imprinting ingredients, mechanism, resemblance to subject etc.
The Veil of Veronica association could be considered the right kind of fuel that allows lift-off and keeps one airborne.

3. Yes. Veil of Veronica :ante mortem ‘captured likeness’ (FACE only)
J of A’s retrieval linen, aka TS, post-mortem ‘captured likeness’ (ENTIRE UNCLOTHED BODY).

4. If a retrieval linen, then the double image, faint, negative, bloodstains  etc is almost certainly one formed by actual physical contact, whether real or modelled. Contact-imprinting – the right  kind of fuel, or should be if wishing to get airborne and stay airborne.
5. Think of the linen NOT in terms of Resurrection, or even  Rogers‘naturalistic’ post-mortem decomposition products etc.

Wrong kind of fuel. Think of it as a sweat/ blood IMPRINT. Right kind of fuel.

6. Forget about imaging across air gaps (based on assumption of  authenticity assuming/fixated  loosely draped linen) and then drop wacky unscientific ideas about the negative image being the result of supernatural proto-photography via radiation. Wrong kind of fuel.
7. Claim for imaging across air gaps  (!) failed to take proper account of  a  more credible medievally-devised imprinting where the linen is manually pressed against a body, reaching shallow recessed relief, e.g. sides of nose, not just the prominent bridge of nose and/or other ‘high points’ of body relief.

8. OK, so let’s drop the notion that body image is some kind of photograph, read wrong kind of fuel,. So let’s move on, and take a close and deeply sceptical look at the claim that the body image is confined entirely to the outermost layer of the linen fibres (PCW, a mere 200 nm thick), allegedly much too superficial to be man-made (!).

Er, where’s the hard evidence for that claim? See previous posting for answer.  Answer: zilch, one big fat zero.

Oh, and since when has man been incapable of generating superficial layers? (Ben Franklin showed how to do it in the 18th century – simple put a drop or two of oil onto the surface of a pond!)

Answer (briefly summarised): nowhere to be found! Much verbiage, much “suggestion” but not a shred of hard evidence, just postulates pretending to be established fact. Read: wrong kind of fuel.

Pseudoscience (the wrong kind if fuel) is alive and well,   unashamedly so in the case of sindonology.

9:  See recent evidence from a model system  (my  Model 10!)  that faint fuzzy images may at first glance look superficial to the unaided eye but need not be. Appearances can be deceptive.  Look at them under the microscope and be prepared for a surprise.

See preceding posting.

8549 zoom cropped in MS paint

Model 10 image pigment INSIDE linen fibres, best seen in cut ends!


Analogy: a suntan may look superficial, despite being 5 layers deep in the outermost layer of skin (epidermis):

partial sun tan


tech-sun3 stratum basale

Yes, the  protective melanin pigment responsible for a sun tan is in that deepest layer – the stratum basale –  NOT nearly as superficial as might be supposed.


Again, see previousposting


Interlude comment: some folk getting this far may wonder why, of all the mishaps involving aircraft, I have chosen this particular one.

Well, here’s a tiny clue. It involves the US Navy, which has a  training academy in California that awards  its own academic doctorates “(PhD degrees!” no less).  Yes, really!  Talk about usurping the longstanding institutions of the civilian world.  Talk about the unacceptable face of the US of A!

So what’s so special about the US Navy and a particular aircraft owned by the US Navy that was launched in the 1970s, but  then quickly ran intoi trouble, with the pilot trying alternatives to conventional science-based fuel?

Ever heard of  the House That Jack Built?  Yes, you probably have.

But have you heard about the “house”, correction, sindonological aircraft that Jack’s son built?    Shame it  tried to fly on substitutes for real fuel, like  Rogers’ vapour, like  Jack’s son own uv radiation, whether supplied from the Sun, or something even Higher    😉

No quick return to Planet Earth you realize, flying as it does in the upper reaches of the stratosphere.

Guess what?  It’s ever so gradually  falling out the sky as we speak! Fuel problem?

Thursday Feb 14

Here’s a Valentine’s Day greeting card to my followers. Actually, it’s a plate from Mark Antonacci’s 2000 “Resurrection of the Shroud”  (the title betraying the author’s supernaturalist stance!).

getImage lateral distortion used by antonacci CROPPED

It introduces the topic, dare I say  needless distraction of, guess what?

Yes. What you see is a ‘worst case scenario’  (WCS) , namely that so-called lateral, aka ‘wrap-around’ distortion which from the early days of STURP  was used to rule image-imprinting via direct contact out of contention (followed in short order by those radiation-based photography models that allowed imaging across air gaps).

Yes,  that hideous WCS is the result of allowing the linen to make contact with the sides of the head, together with some accompanying imprinting mechanism. Then you do indeed get wrap-around distortion (WAD). Why? Because the linen is removed and laid flat after imprinting. Imprinting of sides – if allowed to happen, means one gets “lateral distortion” – the making the image too wide, and totally hideous and non life-like (which has been dubbed Agamemnon’s mask).


My response? Irrelevant – totally  and utterly irrelevant, not to say grossly misleading. Why?

Look at the TS double body image! One of its most noteworthy features is it showing square-on frontal and dorsal views only, NO sides (no top of head either). One might as well be looking at cardboard cut-outs. Leaving aside the implications (that one’s looking at contact imprints, somewhat stylized one might think, that are tone-reversed negatives- NOT paintings, NOT photographs) how can there be lateral distortion due to ‘excessive-imaging’ of sides if the IMAGE HAS NO SIDES (for whatever reason)?

So what caused that imprinting monstrosity which legal attorney Antonacci chose to highlight in his book you might ask? Was it a real unavoidable result? Or, less charitably, was it one deliberately contrived to present a worst case scenario (WCS) as if real – indeed unavoidable? Are we seeing the technique of the attorney at work, intent on demolishing an opponent’s case using techniques that are the antithesis of the scientific method, the latter at least attempting to display an open enquiring mind, freed if only temporaily of preconceptions?

Invoking that “lateral distortion” as clincher argument against imprinting could be seen as springing a leak in Air Sindonology’s main fuel tank, such that 40 years later the aircraft is still gently gliding earthwards, without the least sign of concern on the face of the air crew

Might there be a way of avoiding WAD, one that’s not rocket science ? Why yes – like NOT allowing the linen to make contact with the sides! Alternatively, don’t apply imprinting medium to the sides. It then doesn’t matter a jot if the linen makes contact with the sides! Avoiding the WCS of wrap-around distortion ain’t rocket science – it’s merely requires commonsense and a minor modification of practical technique.

In my Model 10, white flour is sprinkled onto the subject from above, settling on the horizontal relief, with scarcely any attaching to vertical sides. After shaking off excess flour, the coated subject is then draped with wet linen, and the latter pressed against the coated subject by pressing down vertically, avoiding the sides.


Interlude:  Oh yes, one final word about our arch-authenticity-promoting  Mark Antonacci, he of the no-holds-barred defence/prosecution tendency.

Am I the only one to think that  the cover design of his 2000 books was – how can I put this delicately – BANG OUT OF ORDER.

compare cover of antonacci book with full rovere painting

Book cover left, with title obscuring a crucial detail on the 17th century Rovere painting, the full picture being shown on the right.


Yes, it’s to do with the artist’s hint as to the  manner AND  timing of image acquisition, with no hint that timing was postponed till “Resurrection”.   Instead,  the artist seems to be saying, correctly in my view,  that an image might have been acquired in the process of deposition from cross and/or subsequent transport to tomb, in Joseph of Arimathea’s makeshift linen  sling/stretcher –  NOT on the Third Day.


Stop Press (Feb 16)

Here’s are two snapshots taken in the last half hour, with the very first attempt to model the Turin Linen body image (more specifically, faintness and  diffuse nature  thereof) using an inflated  white balloon (“PCW”) and pipe cleaners (a mix of coloured and uncoloured to represent “microfibrils”). See Commenst for details – copied also to Dan Porter’s site.


Used white v coloured pipe cleaners , either laid side by side, or twisted around each otrher


Both types (parallel v twisted) are now inside the balloon, photographed with mainly transmitted light from above,  The coloured ends are easily seen because they touch the sides of the balloon (ignore).. But note the vague diffuse yellow coloration around the pipe cleaner where they don’t touch the balloon. And that’s just  two  modelled “microfibrils” inside a PCW sheath (skin of balloon)  each with only partial coloration













Posted in 1973 plane crash, Iceland,, Sólheimasandur,, Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Can you spot the new entry on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site (despite the shutters coming down 3 years ago)?

before and after shroudstory site


What you see  on the left is a screen grab of Dan Porter’s long-retired site, taken this morning. On the right is the same Home Page as it now looks.

Notice any difference?

Here’s a tiny clue:


shroudstory new addition feb 8, 2019 cropped highlighted


Here’s a link to the pdf

So who’s this “Dr.Colin Berry” one wonders? What’s he said or done to bring Dan out of a well-earned retirement?

Joking aside, here’s the first of 2 emails I sent Dan this morning, after getting a preview of his 25  page pdf:

Thanks Dan
Have just done a lightning read of your splendid pdf – touching on so many aspects – scientific,religious  and  philosophical. Few will doubt the length of the incubation period – not just the last 3 years you have been absent from the scene, but the many years that preceded that with your long internet presence in one form or another, 
This is not the time to do a line-by-line analysis – and I don’t feel any compelling need to do so, given that nothing you have  written grates on my sensibilities as a retired scientist, concerned I have to say  less with the question of authenticity (having had a religious upbringing), but more to do with the use and abuse of science (or should one say “science” ?)..  I’ve condensed the key issue down to a couple of words these last  few days: it’s the difference between a “postulate” and a “hypothesis”. Postulates are bandied around in sindonology as if hypotheses. But hypotheses have a special meaning in science. They are not just ideas that enter one’s head out of the blue, that can be tossed into a discourse as if adding support to an argument, merely through plausibility or consistency with existing facts. Hypotheses  (scientific hypotheses) are or should be the starting  point for long, patient, model building exercises, where ‘falsification’ (ghastly term) takes centre stage, each new model being seen as provisional until a better one comes along (thus my 3+  year progression between 2012 and 2015  from Model 1 to Model 10!).
Just two specific points. First, I am now appalled at the description of the TS as a “burial shroud” with references to separate head and body covering. Indeed I’m so appalled, I think the term “shroud” needs to be abandoned entirely. Reading the accounts of Joseph of Arimathea’s deployment of a single sheet of linen (“clean”, “fine”)  it should be renamed the “Retrieval Linen” or maybe “Deposition Linen” since its primary purpose was dignified transport from cross to tomb, without the slightest hint that it was intended as final burial shroud. Seen in those terms an authenticity-favouring narrative would see the “TS” as a sweat/blood imprint acquired in brief transport from cross to tomb, with no attempt to link with resurrection from the dead. My own preference sees it as a medieval simulation (“mock up”) of a means of transporting an unsightly victim of crucifixion. The John account refers to entirely different replacement linen, with two pieces of linen, one for body, a separate one for head.  
There are a number of hints that post 14th century observers likewise interpreted the TS as a product of bodily sweat/blood imprinting, i.e. imprinting via physical contact only, no need to ‘postulate’  supernatural ‘selfies’ via self-generated radiation,  but I’ll spare you the details.
There’s something else that caught my attention, but best I send this first, and then re-read and deal with separately (and briefly). 
Anyway, welcome back to the fray, if only a temporary look-in. I’m sure folk will be interested to hear your overall well-rounded take on an artefact that continues to challenge and fascinate in equal  measure.
Kind regards to you and your family
and here’s the second:

Yes, just a quick PS to this morning’s email Dan.

” Superficiality. And now, Colin, you are similarly challenging the superficiality of the image. What took you so long? 
Yes, I’ve been asking myself the same question. What took me so long?

Answer:  Ray Rogers had ruled out changes to the major constituent of linen fibres (cellulose)  and then had the truly ground-breaking idea of an imported extra addition, i.e the starch impurity coating.  When I came to do my initial experimenting with direct scorching (Model 2) I realized

that there was an apparent blind spot in Rogers’ thinking. He seemed to be treating linen as if pure cellulose. There was no recognition of the PCW versus SCW  botany, and the fact that the PCW has not just cellulose (short chain) but xyloglucans as well, aka pentosan sugars, which are known to be more reactive chemically than highly ordered long-chain cellulose. So for a while I was receptive, correction  over-receptive to the ideas expressed in the 2010 Fanti et al review, namely that the body image was confined to the superficial PCW, (not Rogers’ starch impurity coating)  given its supposed chemical susceptibility to modifying agents from outside.

It was only later, when trying to imprint off cold unheated templates (metal horse brasses etc initially, later human anatomy) that I came to realize the amazing ability of powders to give imprints of almost photographic quality (tone-reversed negatives too!)  and quickly seized on the value of white flour as imprinting agent, especially as, on roasting of oil/flour-imprinted linen, it generated the same end-products identified by Rogers as the likely image chromophore  (Maillard browning products that quickly turned to solid high molecular weight melanoidins).
Now take a leaf from  Alan Adler’s thinking, namely that chromophores can/might enter fibres as low molecular weight liquids, and then become entrapped solid (what he called the “khaki” effect).  An entrapped chromophore, inside a highly reflective PCW, may escape attention if one fails to cut a transverse section of one’s fibre (as seems to be the case).  Fail to spot the lurking chromophore inside one’s SCW and hey presto, you preach a fallacious  PCW-only location, God-given if one’s attempting to invoke the supernatural, but inviting other interpretations if one’s trained in old-fashioned microscopy (always do LS and TS at the same time, to get a crude 360 degree view). 
Sorry about the waffle, but there you have it, if not in a typical nutshell, maybe one more head-banger coconut size.
It was Rogers’ apparent blind spot for the PCW that first enamoured me to the suggestion that it was the PCW only that carried the  allegedly ultra-superficial” body image. It wasn’t until  Model 10 came along, mid 2015, , with its role for a briefly liquid chromophore capable of penetrating  the SCW cores of linen fibres, that the possibility dawned on me of a non-superficial location of body image.  That has since been confirmed by microscopy of cut-edges (partway towards TS sectioning).  If the TS body image is also non-superficial, then it’s back to the drawing board with image-forming mechanism (with radiation selfies probably going out the window in short order, and the focus on LIQUIFIED chromophores – if only briefly – as in a medieval hot oven  or over an open fire with glowing charcoal embers ( maybe responsible in passing  for those so-called ‘poker holes’?).
I look forward to seeing the  long-awaited  epilogue  to your  Dec 2015 “farewell” on your shroudstory site, Dan.  All the best Shroudie books etc have epilogues….
Kind regards
2nd instalment (Feb 9, 2019)
Wow! Woke up this morning to find that Dan Porter has not only added that new pdf to his site (needing keen eyes to spot). He’s also, overnight (my overnight here in the UK) added an entirely new posting and it’s devoted to, guess what?  Answer: this fellow crumblie (just 2 years behind Dan, age-wise) and his latest modelling discovery (a body imprint that may at first sight look like it’s superficial, but ain’t –  hidden away as it is within the SCW cores of linen fibres \(it’s anyone’s guess if that’s the case with the TS – despite beign trumpeted for years as having an ultra-superficial body image, confined to the outermost PCW, a mere 200 nanometres thick).
Nuff said for now. Here’s another screen grab, of Dan’s new posting on his, er, resurrected shroudstory site.
dan porter new posting shroudstory site reopened


Expect further instalment – like (finally) a  high magnification picture  (x400)  of  those non-superficial Model 10 image fibres taken via conventional microscopy, i.e. illuminated from below, such that it is properly illuminated (top illumination allowing low magnification only, due to light obstruction by high power objective lenses a mere mm or so from the specimen).  The trick, as will be seen, is to keep the viewed cross-section of imprinted linen as small as possible, so as to allow maximum passage of that illumination from beneath!

There’s a knack: deploy the humble “Kirby hair grip” (thanks to daughter for leaving one in the house, Mrs.Berry not using them):





This is the top-illumination set up used previously, applied to the grip-supported image thread. But it can also be illuminated from beneath, to get a better of idea of where the image chromophore is located within individual linen fibres (like the SCW cores, best seen at cut ends as distinct from being outside, looking in…!).


Now switch to illumination from below:

IMG_8543 illum from below.jpg

Light intensity on  viewed specimen’s cut edge  now much greater


And here’s the sight that greets one’s eyes (though maybe not all eyes out there in mantra-intoning sindonology, if true for TS image fibres too!)


8549 zoom cropped in MS paint.png

Note how the image chromophore is best seen at the CUT ENDS only of image-fibres (obtained with flour-imprinting, i.e. my Model 10) NOT in the approach to those cut ends, viewed through the  PCW. It would seem that the PCW is highly reflective, concealing what’s inside, even a dense pigment derived from white flour via roasting of imprinted linen. Might  the TS body image be the same, i.e. NOT ultra-superficial as claimed, but  hidden away inside the SCW cores of image fibres?


Update (still Saturday)

There’s been a new but tiny addition to that new posting on Dan’s site.  Look at my latest screen grab. Can you see it?  Don’t strain your eyesight!

dan latest posting 2 comments highlighted


Update, Feb 10

Here’s yet another screen grab from the resurrected shroudstory site. It’s one of a number of comments I placed yesterday:

comment placed dan site 99% certain plus clarity

Sorry about the size. The takeaway message  was that I have recently assembled a long, long list of characteristics of my Model 10 image that closely match those of the TS image. Yes, some 17 thus far …

I shall be listing them here, one by one in the next day or two. Here’s the first 15

Here’s the 17, as promised. But one or two more have sprung to mind. Expect them to appear shortly…

  1. Negative (tone-reversed) image, consistent with imprinting via contact. (Wrong to assume that a negative image can only be created by photography)
  2. Image responds to 3D-rendering software. (But then so does any image that has steps or gradations of image density, the so-called “unique  encoded 3D characteristics” of the TS image  reflecting failure to run proper controls).
  3. Image colour. (Any shade one wishes between faint yellow and dark brown, depending on how long one roasts the Model 10 flour imprint).
  4. Image fuzziness. (No sharp boundary between image and non-image, the result  of imprinting with a solid powder – white flour, as distinct from liquid ink etc
  5. Directional image characteristics (frontal v dorsal images only, lacking sides or top of head), reflecting a desire on part of medieval artisans to achieve an imprinted look, assured by sprinkling of imprinting flour from above, and pressing linen against flour coated body from above).
  6. Absence of lateral, aka ‘wrap-around’  distortion, claimed by some to be an inevitable outcome of imprinting  of a body via direct contact. (Deployment of imprinting medium and imprinting pressure from above only means little or no contact/imprinting of the sides of the subject, thereby excluding possibility of lateral distortion.)
  7. Ease of bleaching colour, e.g. with alkaline hydrogen peroxide, which works on both the TS image fibres and those from Model 10.  ( ‘Bleachability’ fits with Rogers’  proposal that the image chromophore is organic in nature – more specifically a product of sugar/amino Maillard reactions – which should by rights have immediately ruled McCrone’s inorganic iron oxide paint pigments out of contention).
  8. Image non-fluorescent under uv (and indeed tending to quench any fluorescence from the linen itself).
  9. Water-resistance of image. (The final Model 10 image is that which remains after vigorous washing of the imprinted/roasted linen with soap and water, the image chromophore appearing to be well and truly incorporated within the threads and fibres of the linen).
  10. Image durability. (The Model 10 imprints made back in mid-2015 look as good now as they did when freshly prepared).
  11. Aged look of background linen – non-image areas – could well be a consequence of colour-development of a flour imoprint by ageing.  (Even a well-known proponent of authenticity has stated that the colour of the linen is more consistent with effects of heat than genuine ageing).
  12. The well known “poker holes” might well be a non-intended result of roasting the flour-imprinted linen over glowing  red-hot embers
  13. No obvious signs of imprinting with a liquid medium, such as capillary migration, and readily explainable if the imprinting medium were a powdered solid, albeit onto wet linen.
  14. However, claims for a faint reverse side image, at least for head and hands, can be accounted for. (Think a briefly liquified chromphore, exuded from heated white flour, penetrating the cores of linen fibres, able to traverse the width of linen, appearing faintly on the opposite side.
  15. Apparent image superficiality (at least for those who have not bothered to look at cross-sections of image fibres under the microscope).  A highly reflective primary cell wall may well prevent one seeing image chromophore that has penetrated the underlying secondary cell wall, subject of the current posting, at least when viewed under the microscope with intense illumination.
  16. Peculiar microscope properties of the TS body image, e.g. so-called half-tone effect, with all image fibres of same intensity of coloration, image discontinuities, striations etc. (These can be accounted for, at least in principle, if it is assumed that the image chromophore is initially in a liquid state, penetrating and colouring the interior of image fibres, able to migrate a short distance only before turning solid  –  Rogers’ proposed final melanoidins being of  high molecular weight.
  17. McCrone’s “microparticulate” image chromophore, misidentified as an inorganic artist’s paint pigment, can be accounted for in Model 10 by assuming that the end product of Maillard reactions in the heated flour imprinting medium are the melanoidins proposed by Raymond Rogers.
  18.  Starch contamination?  (Rogers claimed there was evidence (his own? others’?) for traces of starch contamination on the TS, supporting his ‘starch impurity’ hypothesis. Washed Model 10 imprints show tiny sparkles of reflected light, which might well be starch granules derived from the flour imprint, while noting that there may well be enough free reducing sugar in white flour to generate Maillard reactions without needing to invoke breakdown of starch to reducing sugars).
  19. (in preparation).  Image fibre fragility. (Rogers and others found that image fibres were easier to strip off the TS body image areas with his Mylar adhesive tape than non-image fibres. But why, if the body image, and accompanying  changes in chemical composition were restricted to an incredibly thin PCW sheath, a mere 200nm in thickness, with the major part of the linen fibre, ie. SCW core unaffected? I have just done a ‘strippability’ test on Model 10-imprinted linen, with 5 applications of sticky tape to the same area. Result: all 5 tapes removed non-image fibres, but image fibres appeared mainly in the first and second strips, with scarcely any in the last 3, suggesting strongly that My Model 10 image fibres are also weaker, more brittle, more fragile than non-image fibres.  Caveat: one could argue that my results  are  less about fragility, more about degree of  image fibre superficiality. I doubt it, but more experimentation  is needed to address that possibility.




superficiality at fiber level Fanti et al + contrast


Posted in Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turin Shroud: think “medieval whole body powder imprint”. STOP PRESS: body image maybe not so superficially photograph-like as claimed!

Preamble (added last): this posting was written as 12 instalments, intending to focus on POWDER imprinting. Suddenly, with the 8th instalment, it transformed into something else  –  a realization that the supposed ultra-superficiality of the TS body image – pointing we’re told to a supernatural origin –  had scarcely a single solid fact to back it up.  It then quickly transpired that my Model 10  – flour imprinting – has the body image somewhere else entirely. 

final pre post zoom

Left: the arrow points to a THREAD that is displaying a cut edge, i.e. much needed transverse section.  Why the speckled appearance?  Right: enlargement, showing that it’s the SCW cores of some but not all  individual FIBRES that contain the  dense pigment, probably  Maillard-derived melanoidin,  the latter possibly having  penetrated via this investigator’s proposed reticular network of capillary channels  existing between the MICROFIBRILS.

No, not on the surface PCW (primary cell wall) but hidden away, out of sight, deep within the  microfibril-packed core of the SCW (secondary cell wall).  Oh dear: has sindonology got it entirely wrong with its ‘out-of-this-world  ultra-superficial’ body image?

I’ve changed the site’s tagline, at least temporarily, to flag up the new insight on Google Search  rankings, which  unhelpfully ignores one’s new posting TITLES,  namely a probable NON-SUPERFICIALITY of the TS body image. The previous one read:

“Time to get real! It’s an ingenious medieval modelling of how a sweat imprint left on an impromptu linen STRETCHER might look after 13 centuries of ageing and yellowing  (+ identifying bloodstains)!

I may or may not re-install it later.


It’s exactly 7 years ago to the day that I produced my first posting on the Shroud of Turin. It was placed on my sciencebuzz site, created some 2 years earlier in 2009.

thermostencilling sciencebuzz dec 30 2011

Thermo-stencilling? What’s that you may ask?  Well, these days it gets scarcely a mention from this blogger, being “Model 1” (my latest – and hopefully final one – being “Model 10”).

Each time I look at Model 1 (thermo-stencilling) I kick myself. Why?  Because the image was drawn freehand with the aid of a  charcoal stick (I later painted with a charcoal slurry in water).  The quickie sketch (or later ‘painting’) was then held close to a source of radiant heat. The latter was preferentially-absorbed by the opaque charcoal, the charcoal heated up, the highly localised heat scorched the linen in immediate contact with the charcoal. Hey presto, a scorched-in image appeared when the thermo-sensitizing charcoal was washed away:

three steps in thermostencilling - Model 1, Dec 2011

Left:  crude charcoal sketch; Centre: sketch held close to incandescent light bulb – deployed as modern day source of radiant heat, more convenient than outdoor barbecue or similar; Right: central part of sketch visible as a scorched-on image after washing out the charcoal.

Yes, success in terms of producing a fuzzy Shroud-like discoloration of the linen, which could be loosely described as a scorch. But what was the big mistake – the one that if spotted and corrected  might have led straight from Model 1 to Model 10, skipping the 8 intermediates?  Answer: I should have passively IMPRINTED off a template (whether inanimate bas relief template or even real human anatomy),  thus ensuring a NEGATIVE (tone-reversed) image, thereby duplicating the chief, some might say iconic aspect of the Shroud body image, namely that seemingly-precocious NEGATIVE TONE-REVERSED IMAGE.

But I wasn’t the only one to overlook that tiny detail. Oh no. Others before me (as good if not better in terms of research credentials and/or writing skills) made the same  oversight.

Let’s look first at forensic anthropologist Emily Craig  (in passing, a fellow PhD)  and see what she and her co-worker said, way back in 1994. I  do strongly recommend a close reading of her paper.

emily craig


More to follow later today…

2nd instalment (still Dec 30):


What our Emily Craig did was to deliberate, indeed FOCUS, on the surprising negative image (which so many sindonologists  instantly seize upon as a “photograph”).

(Focusing on key features is what science is all about – as distinct from skirting the subject!)

Emily C tried to reproduce it , as if cleverly intended  by a medieval artisan to represent an bodily IMPRINT  – front and rear as a negative image – but (importantly)  executed  via painting or drawing as distinct from  1st century IMPRINTING. In other words, she excluded real imprinting  as the medieval means for representing an IMPRINT, choosing instead to substitute a less demanding artistic version!  Shame (though I fully understand your reluctance to go the final mile ..)

Oh, how close you came, Emily, way back in 1994!  I raise my hat to you .

I only wish I had come across your perceptive approach sooner -despite you failure to ‘go for broke’ on the medieval modelling .

Did it never occur to you that the latter  may have been  ‘realistically’ executed’ via real imprinting (not painting)? Reason?   To dispel  all doubts  on the part of medieval viewers that what they were looking at was a genuine (1st century) IMPRINT as distinct from an artist’s inferior 14th century imitation thereof

Sadly, your  thinking, Emily, pre-21st  century,  went way over the heads of those who set themselves up  in the current 21st as self-appointed, mind-controlling ‘internet-based filters’ :

Yes, though I hesitate to say it, see the somewhat dismissive, derisory  response you received  from Dan Porter, the self-appointed all-knowing blogmeister on the shroudstory.com site, just 2 or 3 months after I began posting on the TS, back in 2012.

Did a medieval artist use Emily Craig’s technique to create the Shroud’s image?

(Yes Dan had many positive qualities, but genuine receptiveness to new ideas, new thinking, was not one of them). You deserved better, Emily…

More to follow, much more…

Third instalment (Monday Dec 31, 2018)

I shall return to Emily Craig shortly. I shall be quoting some of her perceptive observations regarding  one or other finely ground powder as a medium par excellence for generating images (albeit via brushing and powder transfer in her instance, as distinct from my preferred deployment of powder as a pure IMPRINTING medium, with no need for brushes or similar).

But first, this seems a good moment to report the results of two recent experiments from my home ‘laboratory’, both using those oh-so-fit-for-purpose powders.  Two were selected. First I used  powdered charcoal (elemental carbon) as used by Emily, not because  either I or she for that matter considered it was deployed to create the TS image, but because the image provides a highly visible example of what can be achieved with a powder – any powder – whether the result is immediately visible or not pending further colour development.

As I say, my speciality  post-Model 1  has been imprinting, not drawing or painting. So what to deploy as 3D template?  Human or inanimate? I chose the first.  Fingers or face? Again, I chose the first (the face presents difficulties, as noted in previous postings, but which  it has to be stressed are by no means insurmountable, given the optimal choice of imprinting medium, imprinting technique etc which we shall return to later).

Here’s the result I obtained using dry  powdered charcoal to imprint an image of my fingers onto damp linen, and then uploading to ImageJ software to convert the tone-reversed negative to a pseudo-positive (in essence a modern-day repeat of Secondo Pia’s celebrated photo-processing via silver-salt photography from 1898)

1. charcoal pre versus post inversion

Left: imprinted fingers using  powdered carbon; Right:the same after tone-inversion with Image J

Note the absence of  (bogeyman) lateral distortion on the two central fingers where there was no possibility of any wrap-around effect. Lateral distortion is confined to the left hand  side of the index finger  (but could have been simply avoided, merely by wiping imprinting agent off the side of the finger before imprinting, or merely keeping the linen away from the side. Where there’s a will there’s a way…)

What do you think thus far, dear reader?

Would you not agree that there’s an almost photographic quality to my charcoal imprints, albeit as negative Shroud-like image initially, easily tone-reversed with appropriate graphics software ?

Would you not concur with my view that the above images provide ample support for Emily Craig’s advocacy of finely-powdered solid  as an image-generating medium!#

Yes, the above images both  respond after a fashion to 3D-rendering software. But let’s leave that hugely over-hyped aspect of the TS body image  (and blood, and 1532 scorch!) till later. Indeed, let’s ignore the fatuous  3D  preoccupation for another occasion, given it’s primarily a function of 20th century computer software, whether analogue or digital,  given moreover that it’s NOT an expression of “uniquely encoded” information according to some wild and undisciplined agenda-promoting imaginations…

4th instalment (still Monday Dec 31)

Here’s a passage from the  1994 Craig and Bresee paper, showing an admirable ability to avoid  getting too wedded to one or other technique, i.e. being willing to cast a wide net.

The bolding is mine:

“Several hypotheses that have been proposed attempt to explain image formation as
involving oxidation and dehydration of cellulose to produce yellow-colored fibers. Of
the many ways to achieve this change, the most likely mechanism has been proposed to
involve transfer of a substance that either produces the image directly by oxidation/
dehydration or acts of as a catalyst that sensitizes the cloth to image development later through another process such as heating.”

But what if the added substance itself changes colour on heating, such that it’s not necessary, and indeed mistaken, to imagine that the linen fibres themselves have themselves been chemically altered.

That was my thinking back in October 2014. I had been scorching images directly from heated metal templates (e.g. horse brasses) onto linen, and got to wondering if the template really needed to be heated. Might it be possible to IMPRINT cold metal (or even human anatomy) onto the linen, and then heat the linen instead to obtain a coloured imprint. But what to use as imprinting medium, and how best to apply it to the template in such a way that it still transferred easily to the linen.

Here are images from my October 2014 posting (which to the best of my knowledge have never been picked up on elsewhere, such is the ‘them-and-us’ nature of  Establishment sindonology with its  down on non-authenticity narratives!):

flour imprint horse brass

Left: a horse brass, first given a light smear of vegetable oil, then dusted with white flour. Right: after pressing the dusted horse  brass onto linen (dry), then heating the  imprinted linen.

Why did I not drop everything and pursue this promising new approach?  Answer: I hesitate to say it, but I  had imprinted onto DRY linen to obtain a image that easily flaked off. Now why didn’t I think of substituting damp for dry linen?  That simple solution to the obtaining a firmly attached image, one that would resist washing, did not occur to me for several months, and even then took a while to become a routine feature of my current Model 10 (i.e. flour imprinting from oil-smeared human anatomy onto damp linen!). You live and you learn, the months and years slipping away as one’s learning curve  hopefully ascends…   At least  Ican show a learning curve, albeit painfully slow. Can Establishment sindonology with its  claimed ‘supernatural selfies’, partially modelled we’re told with their Government-supplied uv excimer laser pulses and the like say the same?

So how does white flour perform as imprinting agent, without having to heat the linen to  render it visible?  I needed to perform a separate experiment to be able to show the result in this my current posting. How?  Simple: imprint my hand onto black-coloured fabric, having first smeared it with vegetable oil, then dusted with flour.

Here’s the result:


2 flour pre versus post inversion

Left: flour imprint of fingers onto dampened black fabric (not linen); Right: tone-reversed pseudo-negative


No, the quality is nowhere near as good with the white flour, lacking much detail. But then the quality of the charcoal imprints shown earlier could be said to be vastly better than that of the TS body imprint.  My money is on white flour (or something very similar) as the medieval choice of imprinting agent, with second-stage heating followed by washing to produce the straw-yellow body image.  (Bloodstains , either with simulated or real blood, or a combination of the two applied at different stages in time, have been discussed in an earlier posting, so need not detain us for now).

5th instalment (still Dec 31)

Now we get to the 64,000 question – is there a way of discriminating between the two models flagged  up – one  of them proposing a medieval origin, the other an authentic 1st century provenance? (Let’s leave aside the radiocarbon dating, which Establishment sindonology has done its level best to turn into a veritable can of worms – and largely succeeded! Why no rerun with new sampling sites etc?  Best not to ask…).

One might at first sight think that identifying the straw-yellow image chromophore, either as chemically-modified cellulose or similar OR a Maillard browning product, might be the answer. But it would not, at least not of itself. Why not? Because while Establishment sindonology- promoted chemically-modified cellulose (even prematurely as in the STURP Summary where speculation largely substituted for hard fact) it is not ruled out in medieval terms (my Model 1 thermo-stencilling also generated scorched linen, given there was nothing else present apart from elemental carbon).  Maillard browning products?  Yes, they are the chemical species that can account for the image colour in my Model 10 – derived from thermochemical interaction between reducing sugars and amino groups in white flour. But let’s not forget that Maillard products, aka ‘melanoidins’  made an earlier appearance in Shroud literature, namely via Raymond N.Rogers’  pro-authenticity  but non-supernatural diffusion model, where the ingredients for a Maillard reaction were supplied by (a) a proposed starch-coating on the linen fibres derived from  Roman-era flax spinning/weaving technology  supplying , he stoutly maintained, reducing sugars when and where needed (?) and, further,  (b)  gaseous decomposition amines derived from a dead and decomposing corpse.


6th instalment (still Dec 31)

There’s another means that, at least at first sight, could or should allow one to discriminate between an image obtained entirely by contact, as distinct from unscientific supernatural means (like that fanciful imaging across air gaps from self-generated radiation!). If  one is imaging via contact only, with variable contact pressure from variations in 3D relief generating a false impression of  dimishing image intensity from increasing separation distance, then applied manual pressure can be deduced in the obligatory contact situation.  Ought it not then to be possible, maybe via modelling, to detect a different signature for use of applied manual pressure, forcing linen to make contact with relief, as distinct from natural draping of linen that relies upon gravity only?

Maybe, yes, in principle. But one can forsee all kinds of difficulty in practice, given one can only guess at the precise ‘moulding -to-contours’ technique deployed.

This approach maybe needs to be consigned to the back shelf, at least for now. Might there be a more promising one that should take priority?

7th instalment, New Year’s Day, 2019

So much for what has been done, especially the valuable though sadly neglected input from our forensic expert and her gentleman colleague.

Starting today I intend now to focus on what must now be done to test their oh-so-valuable POWDER -derived image proposal. Maybe then we’ll be in a position to appreciate better the true genius that underlies the Turin Shroud – HUMAN genius! Others too of course have experimented with powder in the past – Joe Nickell, Luigi Garlaschelli and others.  Am I the first to modify the hypothesis, substituting an organic powder (white flour) for inorganic ones like iron oxide etc, one moreover that conveniently generates a TS-like straw yellow chromophore when heated, but unlike inorganic oxides etc is still capable of being  bleached (e.g. with Adler and Heller’s diimide, hydrazine or alkaline hydrogen peroxide? (Yes, that bleaching action should have consigned Walter McCrone’s “iron oxide” chromophore fiction to oblivion: it’s yet another sad reflection on mainstream sindonology that the crucial opportunity was missed to nip it in the bud, and by two of STURP’s main personalities no less..)

While on a critical note, why has Establishment sindonology airbrushed Joseph of Arimathea and his “fine linen” out of the picture? (By ‘fine linen’ I refer to that supplied in the first 3 Gospels (namely to transport the crucified Jesus from cross to tomb)?  Was it not separate, less expensive linen that was referred to in the final Gospel (John)  deployed as final burial shroud?   In short, there’s been a confusion between “shroud” as a term for transport ‘body bag’, pardon the modern nomenclature,  and “shroud” as burial  garment. To refer to the first as a “burial shroud” merely because it  and its contents was delivered to the door of a tomb is at best an unhelpful ambiguity of terminology…#

Late insertion: I’m pleased to see that Petri Paavola in Finland shares my views on the almost universal misinterpretation  (at least in mainstream sindonological circles) of the account in the final Gospel, supposing the linen referred to there as othonia (plural) is J of A’s fine linen, described differently in the first 3 Gospels as sindon (singular), i.e. single sheet, never intended for use as final burial shroud.

If I were asked to state the major failure on the part of Establishment sindonology, what would it be?

Answer: the failure of STURP to recruit a range of scientific specialists, drawn from the entire scientific, repeat SCIENTIFIC, spectrum, from physics through to chemistry, through to biology, and then to physiology, medicine and its subdisciplines.

Had that happened, a specialist in botany at the microscopic level might have come in, saying “Look, you underestimate the complexity of flax-derived linen, even at the so-called “elementary fibre” level? Are you not aware that flax fibres are themselves highly complex? So kindly stop referring to the PCW (primary cell wall) as if that’s where the story starts and ends where acquisition of ‘superficial’ TS body image is concerned.

It’s a lot more complicated than that. Do your homework. Read up on what lies beneath the PCW! No, it’s not a cylindrical core of solid cellulose as you seem to imagine! Oh no!


fig 4.13b aslan flax microfibrils


8th instalment, Jan 2, 2019

Here’s a screen grab of an influential review that appeared in 2010 under multiple authorship, featuring several of the sindonological Establishment’s big names:

microscopic and macroscopic characteristics

At first sight it appears authoritative, and indeed is, as far as it goes. But compare what the review has to say about the microscopic structure of linen threads and fibres with the SEM  cross-sectional photograph above.  Did the review go far enough? Did it maybe present a hopelessly over-simplified view of the internal structure of an individual linen fibre? Did it make a single reference to the existence of microfibrils within fibres?  (Answer: NO on all counts). Did the authors prove beyond all doubt that the TS image layer is confined to the superficial PCW (primary cell wall) of the image fibre, with no possibility of it penetrating deeper?  What if the image chromophore  had been briefly liquid, e.g. at a second stage thermal processing designed to elicit colour in an organic powder coating, maybe oil-assisted? What if that liquified chromphore had penetrated beneath the PCW into the microfibrillar interior of linen fibres, and then been rapidly wicked away  at least partially via capillary channels between those microfibrils?  Might that account for the claimed ‘half-tone’ effect and ‘image discontinuities’ as I proposed back in 2015?

aug 21 2015 flour oil model on shroudstory


Is the TS image really as superficial as claimed in the above review, with its accompanying ‘take home story’ that anything so superficial as 200nm could not possibly be the product from a medieval workshop or artist’s studio?

9th instalment, still Jan 2

Many moons ago, I raised on this site a conundrum that was bothering me. Ray Rogers observed that it was easier to strip off image than non-image fibres from the surface of the TS with his Mylar sticky tape. But why? Why should image-bearing fibres be more brittle, more fragile if the chemical modification  is confined to the highly superficial PCW only? It doesn’t make sense! There is an explanation if the interior of the fibre is involved. Imagine an exudation of liquid containing endogenous flour oil, added exogenous vegetable oil and Maillard products, the latter initially low molecular weight, but rapidly polmerizing to high molecular weight melanoidins. Briefly, the exudate is liquid, and can thus penetrate the interior of fibres, being wicked away via capillary channels between packed microfibrils.

Then what? As the high MWt melanoidins form, there’s an inevitable inescapable  phase change (from liquid to solid) making the interior of each fibre glass-like and thus brittle.

Hey presto we have an explanation for the fragility, the ease of fracture of those image-bearing fibres.

10th instalment (still Jan 2)

I have just this minute taken some scissors to one of my archived Model 10 specimens (flour-imprinted linen, oven-heated, unwashed) in order to get a 1-2mm thick cross-section that will lie flat on a microscope slide. The cut sample was then illuminated from above, and examined under my binocular microscope at  x100 magnification (x10 for both eye piece and objective lenses).

It did not take long to see what I was looking for. By way of getting a quick snapshot, a hand-held digital camera was placed over one of the two binocular eyepieces (no, far from ideal – I’ll be plugging in a laptop later to capture the image on-screen).

Here’s the result, before v after further magnification:

IMG_6587 lightly edited 2

Model 10 flour imprinted linen fibres – cross-sectional view

fibre cross section lightly edited, magnified

As above, with further magnification.

Do you see what I see, dear reader? Where’s the image colour? Confined to the PCW (superficial primary cell wall) OR dispersed throughout the entire cross section of each fibre, i.e. within and/or between scores of microfibrils, the latter too small to see under my light microscope?


11th instalment, Jan 3, 2019

Six years have passed since this blogging  Shroud investigator began to express deep misgivings about the so-called superficiality of the Shroud body image.

Here’s a link to an early posting:


It was taken up with interest by Dan Porter on his now-retired shroudstory site, esepcially when Adrie van der Hoeven became interested:

Important aspect of flax fiber microstructure and Rogers’ “ghosts”

Without access to the Shroud, and, equally bad, if not worse, given the paucity of published photomicrographs of TS image fibres (despite STURP’s 5-day visit in ’78!) there seemed no point in trying to pursue those doubts to one or other conclusion.

That has now changed. My Model 10 (flour imprinting) has supplied a handle, given it has been able to account for so many curious aspects of the TS body image (not just the negative image but microscopic properties too) .  Yesterday’s photomicrograph could be said to to crystallize those doubts into near certainty that the TS body image is NOT superficial, far from it, that it penetrates the interior of image fibres, assisted no doubt by the complexity of what lies within that core, previously treated by sindonology as if a cylinder of solid, undifferentiated secondary cell wall cellulose. Oh not it’s not! Think microfibrils! Think capillary channels between those microfibrils  capable of wicking away transient liquid entities (accounting for those claimed  ‘half-tone’ effects, image discontinuities etc

Here’s a New Year exercise for gluttons for punishment. Call up that “microscopic/macroscopic” review paper referred to earlier on this posting. Enter “superficial” into a search (ConF), then examine each and every of the many references to “superficial”. Then ask yourself this. How many of those references refer to hard supporting evidence for superficiality, and how many are merely conjectural or hearsay evidence? How many transverse section photographs are supplied which one might think would be needed to sustain a case for the image layer being highly superficial, more specifically restricted to the primary cell wall)?  Answer: one big fat ZERO! To put it crudely, have we been sold a pup?  Yes, I do believe we have and say it’s time the “superficiality” dogma was examined afresh,  without preconceptual baggage and in detail. OH, and let’s be seeing some TRANSVERSE SECTIONS of individual fibres please. Is the  image colour really confined to the PCW only when viewed without a PCW interposed between eye and pigmentation?

Reminder:  yesterday, I started with a Model 10 flour imprint that was easily visible as a fuzzy brown stain-like image. But when one pulled out individual threads, and examined them individually  under the microscope under different lighting conditions, different magnifications, the colour, as noted in the past, was scarcely visible.  Bizarre! How could that be, one might ask?  It was only when I took the cross-section (a pair of scissors sufficed) that the colour appeared – as multiple solid colour dots within the CORES of individual fibres!

You live and you learn. At least some of us do – those with a proper scientific background and training. Shame the same cannot be said of the many sindonologists with no real background, especially those who posture as if “scientists”, who challenge scientists to account for this or that claimed anomaly (or preconception), and then proceed to ignore those of us who rise to the challenge, who attempt to supply answers. What do we get? Answer: put-downs and name calling, as often as not (“avowed sceptic” and worse).

It’s high time sindonology put its house in order, and began to separate the real science from the morass of pseudoscience that has intruded over the years and  indeed decades. Science is about critical testing of one’s ideas, possible preconceptions included. Science is NOT about promoting preconceptions with resort to scientific terminology as mere gift-wrapping (pseudoscience by any other name).


12th instalment, still Jan 3

Here’s a short passage from that “superficiality” review:

“Further evidence for the superciality of the TS body image is demonstrated by the transmission photograph made by the STURP photographer B. Schwortz shown in Figure 1. Rather than radiation reected from the surface of the cloth, the photo depicts the radiation transmitted by the TS through the water stains, scorches, blood, and body image. In the transmission photograph those marks which permeated the TS remain evident, but the body image disappears almost completely demonstrating its extreme superciality.

Fanti et al. : Microscopic and macroscopic characteristics of the Shroud of Turin image superficiality
J. Imaging Sci. Technol. Jul.-Aug. 2010040201-2
That interpretation offered by STURP’s Documenting Photographer was an entirely reasonable one: it’s not difficult to see why its had so many takers , given that said photographer went on to become President of  STERA (The Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association) with the premier website on the internet reporting 4 times a year, invariably preaching its pro-authenticity message.
But note the single word that I’ve highlighted in red. In no way did Schwortz’s interpretation constitute a “demonstration”.  It was an interpretation, a hunch, a pat answer, no more, no less.
But let’s not beat about the bush: there could realistically be any number of explanations, other than Shwortzs’s,  linked maybe to internal complexity of the fibre substructure, playing any number of tricks with reflected versus transmitted light.
So was that how the “image superficiality” dogma got started, simply because the image is only visible when viewed from the front with reflected light, disappearing when viewed in transmitted light?  Or might it have been those poorly characterized so-called  “ghosts” that Ray Rogers said  remained attached to his sticky tape when the rest of the image fibre – said then to be minus colour – was plucked away with forceps? (There are one or two pictures of image fibres and ‘ghosts’ available in a Thibault Heimburger pdf from 2008 – which however carries  a copyright symbol but give no clue as to precise whereabouts in the literature, bar a 2004 pdf from Roger’s himself, a year before his passing)
Either way, there was no rock solid foundation for “image superficiality” that I can see,  “image superficiality” being more by way of solemnly intoned never-to-be-questioned mantra.  But no, I don’t claim infallibility: so do please let me know if I’ve missed anything important – though I doubt it somehow… having been through that “superficiality” review with a fine-tooth comb.  The only thing I find superficial are the references to supposed image superficiality, not only at fabric and thread level,  which I don’t dispute, but at fibre level too –  WHICH I DO INDEED DISPUTE, given the absence of proper scientific back-up!
 Will STERA’s President give space on his website to my microscopy, shown above, and maybe revise his opinion re image superficiality?   And what about the multiple authors on that superficiality review?  Will they too revise or retract?  We shall see…
Omens for openness and fairmindedness are not auspicious where mainstream sindonology is concerned, but let’s not be too hasty in our judgement on this occasion…
Here endeth my New Year’s posting (don’t expect another any time soon!).
Comments as ever welcome  – assuming they are tolerably civil and informative.
Postscript: added 17th Jan 2019:
Today’s captured image (current ongoing  experiment comparing rates of ink migration in threads versus separated fibres). It’s needed to respond to one of several points raised by Piero I. in a comment  attached to this posting  just yesterday.
img_7460 selected two egg cup expt 17 jan,19
What does it show?  Answer: there is migration of ink (red from left eggcup, blue from right)  along linen threads (partially unspun to create wider capillary channels) but both inks comes  to a halt (well, almost, but not entirely) when they meet totally unspun threads with separate fibres. There’s a tiny amount of migration along individual fibres, but it needs a hand lens or microscope to see it.
Late addition: 23 Jan 2019
This page from a “middle man” serving the needs of the publishing industry (“Ingenta”) is required for my planned comment, correction, PROTEST, presently in preparation:
ingenta fanti 2011
Note the way that the price of the Fanti article is given in dollars, despite Ingenta being UK based (Oxford). Note the way there is no suggestion one can settle up in sterling, or euros for that matter. Exchange rate costs?  (“We buy at bla bla, we sell at bla bla”). Sure, it’s only a small sum, but it’s the principle … Ah,  yes, but we’re dealing with the internet, where principles play an ever-decreasing part….
Postscript (24 Jan 2019)
Here, belatedly from Stacey Reimann’s Alaska-based Shroud site, is a listing of the highest number of comments  – 100 or more – placed by particular individuals  mainly, but not exclusively, on Dan Porter’s  shroudstory site, up until  its closure, that is,  in December 2015.  This blogger/investigator was surprised to find himself third in the list –  but this site was one of the ‘others’ surveyed, t’other being Stephen Moore (sic).  😉
Sadly there are two recent RIPs (bolded, neither  I have to say my favourites, but then 99% of  Shroudies,  for the most part  anti-medieval man-made !) are – or were-  on my list of favourites. (Having said that, both occasionally made some good points.  Condolences to their nearest and dearest).
Name/ number comments
max_patrick_hamon 6757
louis 3380
colin_berry 3309
yannick_clément (sadly RIP, 2018) 3060
hugh_farey 2909
daveb_of_wellington_nz 2803
o_k 1643
charles_freeman 1447
ron 1147
david_goulet 1086
piero 1050
john_klotz (sadly RIP, 2018) 951
anoxie 882
dan 690
kelly_kearse 633
david_mo 599
jesterof 529
thomas 522
thibault_heimburger 498
mike_m 486
anonymous 440
matthias 440
stephen_e_jones 401
gabriel 400
andy_weiss 391
angel 387
sampath_fernando 319
mario_latendresse 275
paulette 274
nabber 252
andy 226
anniecee 218
dave_hines 206
phpl 178
andrea_nicolotti 176
chris 175
carlos 164
russ_breault 158
john_green 151
david_roemer 148
gian_marco_rinaldi 143
joe_marino 143
rick 121
giorgio 120
matt 119
barrie_schwortz 112
jmarino240 109
annette_cloutiér 108
dcn_andy 103
paul 101
Thanks for doing the statistical search, Stacey….
Late addition (Jan 27, 2019)
This image, captured yesterday, is need for a new comment I’ve just placed on this posting (which starts with a copy of my email to Hugh Farey)
circled img_8001 reflective starch granules query

Final postscript on this “blog”  short for “weblog” . This humble, informal “blog” is now to become an outlet,  not just for my experimental findings, gathered in kitchen and garage,  but for OPINION, indeed CONCLUSIONS. The latter are based on the findings (7 years of reporting research) through  my systematic progression through Models 1 to Model 10)

Taster of what’s to come?  Here’s  a 16th century’s artist’s take  (De Rovere) on the manner in which the body image was acquired on Joseph of Arimatheas’ lien, brought to the cross (not tomb, note, but CROSS).


Giovanni_Battista_della_Rovere photoenhaned


Then compare with the book cover picture on the 2000 “Resurrection  of the  Shroud” by legal attorney, Mark Antonacci (professing to focus on the “”science”)  Antonacci (professing to focus on the “”science”)

antonacci resurrection of shroud


Yes, there you have pro-authenticity shroud-defending (nay, evangelizing)’ ‘shroudology’  (or, as it likes to describe itself, sindonology in a nutshell.

Show the bits you like, conceal the ones you don’t, substitute your own message (“Resurrection”) and call it “science”.

Since when have legal attorneys had a training in science  (like the 7 years it took this investigator to acquire first his Bachelor’s degree |(BSc), then his Master’s degree (MSc), then his doctorate (PhD) in science)? Seems anyoone these days can claim to be  a scientist, merely by deploying scientific terminology.

Most scientists  (real scientists) are far too preoccupied with their own research interests to bother with the kind of   trivia that passes for science on the internet, mass media etc. The latter get an easy ride…




Posted in latest research,, Shroud of Turin, Turin Shroud | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

No, Mr. Barrie M. Schwortz. STURP did NOT “provide an example that future Shroud researchers can use to carefully plan their own work”. STURP showed how not to plan or execute objective, ISSUE- RELEVANT science-based research!

Prequel (added Nov 6, 2018):  Have just discovered that my targeted criticisms of the 1978 STURP initiative were voiced way back in May 2015 on my now long-in-the-tooth      science buzz site.

(That site having been started in 2009, some 3 years prior to this one).

So why did I fail to recall it?

Answer: apart from this 74-year old’s increasing senility,   cue intermediate-term memory loss  (short term probably close on its heels),  it’s probably because they were tacked onto the end of an otherwise highly experimental, hands-on posting. It was  to do with the details of Model 6  (then deploying a chemical means – nitric acid – to develop the yellow colour of a flour imprint, subsequently replaced by heat).

That diversion into STURP’s alleged shortcomings  would now be lost in the mists of time. However, yesterday I perchance came across the scathing  (ill-considered?)  reception given  by Dan Porter in May 2015 on his  long-retired site to those candidly-stated views of mine regarding  STURP and much else besides (given this site is/was a real-time account of scientific, experiment-based research in progress, from start – Model 1-  2011 – to finish,  Model 10 –  2015- possibly, dare one suggest unique in the history of the internet ? )…


Dan Porter May 2015 STURP

(I don’t suppose Dan is reading this, but if he is, then here’s a belated reply, given I chose not to respond to his posting).

I stand by every word I wrote in 2015 regarding STURP – a hopelessly mismanaged project if ever there was, lacking direction and focus (except for that banal ‘just a painting’ obsession, showing a  blind spot for the largely self-evident conclusion that should have been drawn by any researchers in full command of their scientific faculties, specifically from the negative, i.e. light/dark -reversed body image – namely an IMPRINT, indeed CONTACT IMPRINT, hardly a free-hand painting, far less, as   STURP-leader Dr. John Jackson’s  would have us believe, a 1st century internally- body-generated supernatural radiation-generated Resurrectional ‘selfie’).

Shame the Gospels provide no hint of such an event having occurred!

(So why did the Risen Christ bother to re-make  contact with his disciples  “on the road to Emmaus etc”  to show he was still of this world, displaying wounds on hands etc to the Doubting Thomas etc.  prior to the final Ascension  (the latter surely a more credible scenario for a flash of body-consuming radiation – NOTE:  Ascension not Resurrection?)

Site banner?  See Appendix.


End of prequel:  original posting starts here

Let’s begin with a cut-and-paste from a comment by the Editor of shroud.com , i.e. Barrie M.   Schwortz, perhaps better known as President of STERA (Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association). Schwortz was  previously 1978 STURP’s Documenting (not to be confused with separate Scientific) Photographer.  It was on his June 2018 Newsletter, shortly to be updated we’re told by an October 8 (to commemorate the controversial STURP’s 40th Anniversary|)

barrie m schwortz shroud.com june 2018

It’s the final highlighted sentence that is the subject of this current posting. Apols for the size. It reads:  “I think you will find it enlightening as it clearly demonstrates the thoroughness and care that STURP exhibited in planning their research. It creates a benchmark and provides an example that future Shroud researchers can use to carefully plan their own work”.

How’s that for a photographer attempting to tell current follow-up scientists (like myself!)  how to do their job, attempting to make good the numerous shortcomings of the 78 visit to Turin, laden down with shiny gee-whizz hardware !

Such presumption of superiority!  Such arrogance!

More to follow (oh yes, much, much more!). It’s time for this retired  biomedical scientist/Shroud investigator (the latter of some 7 years standing) to tell it the way it is.

(My studiously-ignored Model 10  – some 6 years in the making – may get a brief look-in.  But that’s not the primary purpose of the exercise, which is now largely to put an unflattering  spotlight on sindonology’s  largely pro-authenticity promoting,  and all-too-often anti-authenticity-sniping  modus operandi!).

Foretaste: let’s be clear about one thing.

STURP got it completely, and I mean COMPLETELY  wrong as regards that defining  NEGATIVE , i.e. tone-reversed body image, one  which it largely ignored.  Indeed, it failed in its 1981 Summary to make a single mention of the term “imprint” – the production of which guarantees a 100% negative image –  choosing instead to focus on consciously artist- directed “paint” and “painting”.  ( Merely a painted image? That’s what one refers to  currently on the internet as an easy-to-knock- down  “strawman’ target”.)

If you think I’m overstating my case, dear reader,  then ask yourself this question. What’s the most defining  characteristic of the TS body image , as discovered in the last 120 years, at least initially, pre those  supposedly  “unique 3D characteristics”? Yes, it’s surely the negative, tone-reversed character, as shown by Secondo Pia in 1898.

Now search for “negative”in the STURP 1981 Summary. How many mentions?  Yes, dear reader:  zero, absolutely zero !   And you’ll find scarcely any mentions either in the ‘definitive’ account of the STURP Project, penned by John Heller in his 1983 book, except briefly at the start and at the end.

Why not? Someone kindly explain to me why not, given the reams of pro-authenticity speculation generated  these last 120 or so years by that ‘negative ‘ image , in particular,  supposed proto-photography via supernatural radiation’,  the TS body mage being a “photograph” you realize.

I always thought there was something not quite right, not quite transparently scientific  about STURP and its  limp 1981 conclusions…   It’s not so much what STURP said, as what it didn’t say….

More tomorrow …

Saturday October 6

Today I shall content myself with displaying two items:

First, a screen shot of STURP’s 1981 Summary, taken from the shroud.com site:


summary of sturp conclusions 1981

Second: a modified version thereof, as I believe it should have been written, with my additions etc shown in bold blue, AND highlighting in red those sentences, of parts thereof, which I consider should not have been there, being unsupported or indeed opposed by the limited or selective scientific data.


A Summary of STURP’s Conclusions

Editor’s Note: After years of exhaustive study and evaluation of the data, STURP issued its Final Report in 1981. The following official summary of their conclusions was distributed at the press conference held after their final meeting in October 1981:

No  EASILY IDENTIFIABLE ARTISTS’ pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image BUT THAT DOES NOT EXCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF IMPRINTING WITH AN AS YET UNKNOWN IMPRINTING AGENT, NATURAL or MAN-MADE. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death BUT THAT WOULD NOT PRECLUDE A SIMULATED, i.e.  “FAKED” BODY SWEAT IMPRINT, SEEMINGLY YELLOWED WITH AGE. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, A NUMBER OF US CONSIDER it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography.

(ed. I resisted the temptation to strike out the next three sentences, which some might consider are too imprecise, arguably airy-fairy, and ought really to be in a footnote).

The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics.

Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry.

For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint.

(ed. moving on…)

At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team. Furthermore, experiments in physics and chemistry with old linen have failed to reproduce adequately the phenomenon presented by the Shroud of Turin. The scientific concensus  (sic) BY SOME BUT NOT ALL MEMBERS OF THE TEAM is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat. OTHERS AMONG US ARE PREPARED TO ENTERTAIN ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS, NOTABLY THE IMAGE HAVING BEEN FORMED ON AN IMPURITY COATING , POSSIBLY STARCH. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain AS YET the image adequately.  MODELLING OF IMPRINTS, PROBABLY WITH SIMULATED RATHER THAN REAL BODY FLUIDS, MAY POTENTIALLY OFFER AT LEAST ONE PROMISING DIRECTION FOR FUTURE RESEARCH.
Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, SOMETHING OF a mystery, OR AS SOME OF US PREFER TO SAY “YET TO BE DETERMINED”.

We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real OR SIMULATED human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist – AT LEAST NOT ONE THAT WAS EXECUTED FREEHAND WITH PAINT AND BRUSH (WHICH WOULD NOT PRECLUDE AN IMPRINTING PROCEDURE) . The blood stains are composed – OR AT ANY RATE SHOW THE PRESENCE – of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image – AS WELL AS BLOOD THAT SOME CONSIDER  “TOO RED” – is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.


Note the inexplicable absence of a key descriptor of the Shroud body image: namely NEGATIVE, as in “negative, tone-reversed image, demonstrated by Secondo Pia in 1898”.

Extraordinary.  Truly extraordinary, which some some, myself included, might think  reprehensible.  It’s like describing a London double-decker bus, omitting to mention that it’s bright red, visible from afar.

oxford street london

“Bus?  Show me where. I see no bus” (anonymous member of STURP team)

Is it any wonder  then that there’s no mention either of the term “IMPRINT”, when STURP could not even bring itself to say “NEGATIVE”.


Penguins displaying STURP’s 360° view

Come to think of it, the term “negative image” gets only a passing mention or two  in John Heller’s 1983 book “Report on the Shroud of Turin”. Why?  Why???  WHY?????????  (I think I know why!).

And you, Mr. Barrie M.Schwortz,  have the brass neck to hold up your STURP enterprise and its over-wordy, largely negative conclusions, posing more questions than they answer,  to present day scientists as a model of scientific good-practice? 

More, maybe tomorrow, dear site visitor  (Monday at the latest).

Sunday October 7, 2018

If I had to summarise the numerous failings of STURP in just a few words,  (no easy task!)  what would they be?

Here’s my first attempt.

STURP, or rather its  managerial Godfathers, weren’t merely content to proselytize their own  ideas. They tried prematurely to convert initial hypotheses to grand theories and then self-evident fact,  like cloth-body distance being a determinant of image density,  then proceeding to set ground rules for others.

One does not have to look far to find evidence for what I have just stated. It’s there in the STURP Summary, it’s in Team Leader John Jackson’s published work, it’s in John Heller’s book, it’s in the output from Italy’s ENEA researchers (Government employees!) etc etc

Let’s not mince our words. What we see (and is easy to document) is not just science. (Indeed, there are far too many instances where objective science has been deserted). It’s attempted MIND-CONTROL to varying extents, which even infected non-scientist Barrie M.Schwortz back in  February 2012. See the comments he left about my Model 2 (direct scorching from a hot metal template) on Dan Porter’s site.


Did you really think that was science, Mr.Schwortz, to go declaring that “unlike the TS body image, all scorches fluoresce under uv” ?  How many different types of scorch did YOU test Mr.Schwortz?

Come to think of it, how many types of scorch did STURP’s scientific recruits test? How many has anyone tested under uv (apart from myself – oh, and ex-BSTS Newsletter Editor Hugh Farey – these last 6 years)?

The answer, as far as I can tell, is zilch!

So, without a single shred of experimental evidence, basing their claims entirely on a reported weak pinkish fluorescence around the scorched fringes of full-thickness burn holes left by the 1532 fire (i.e.  NOT experimental scorches, produced under controlled experimental conditions) we see Barrie Schwortz attempting to dismiss not just “scorches” but thermal imprinting generally without a SINGLE SHRED OF EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE TO BACK UP THEIR CLAIMS. Instead, there’s a HAUGHTY DISMISSAL OF A NEW LINE OF ENQUIRY –  JUST ONE OF MANY IN MY CASE – CLEARLY AN ATTEMPT TO ‘NIP NON-AUTHENTICITY THINKING FIRMLY IN THE BUD’.

Yet it’s thermal, or indeed any kind of  IMPRINTING which offers an immediate explanation for the tone-reversed NEGATIVE image, the feature that STURP and others chose to  consign to near-oblivion. It can also explain response to 3D-rendering software (no, not unique to the TS, far from it, as anyone with MS Paint can show with intial 2D images that have solid colour!). Oh, and much else besides, but let’s not waste any more time in repeating oneself endlessly, only to be contemptuously ruled out of order by BS and his post-STURP successors).

Despite all of this, Barrie Schwortz would have us believe that STURP was a model of good science, one to be adopted we’re told  by  present day investigators, 40 years later. Yet all we have seen from pro-authenticity sindonology these last 40 years is a succession of ever-wilder hypotheses, invariably citing fictional radiation, earthquakes, corona discharges etc etc with no back-up data worth speaking of! Call that science?

More to follow, like a quote from Heller’s book, showing his dismissal of thermal imprinting in a few lines without a shred of experimental back-up. (Even legal attorney Mark Antonacci’s  later ‘Resurrection of the Shroud” (2001)  managed to cite some experimental  allegedly anti-imprint evidence, even if science-wise it was totally OTT and irrelevant!).

Back again…

See this slightly abridged passage from Page 203 of Heller’s 221 page book (with thermal imprinting strangely book-ended with acid-induced coloration!):

“Heat can cause the same kind of oxidation as sulfuric acid, but any heat source radiates in a diffuse manner, and cannot account for the resolution or the three-dimensionality seen in the features of the face of the man in the Shroud or the microprecision of the color on the crests of only the straw yellow fibrils.”

(omit short passage)

“There were a few other really strange ideas, such as hot statues, bas reliefs and so on, suggested by non-scientists, but these had long since been examined and rejected, because they could be ruled out – both theoretically and experimentally”.

John  Heller’s admirably candid first-hand account of the STURP enterprise had much to commend it (despite his not accompanying STURP to Turin). But that passage I’ve cited was NOT laudable science by any stretch of the imagination.  Some might say it was casual and contemptuous dismissal,  unbacked by a single shred of illustrative experimental data.

What’s the point of penning a book –  supposedly with a science focus –  if one omits to provide at least a page or two on the relevant (or even supposedly irrelevant) hard science, point by listed point?

Call that science, Mr.Schwortz, with STURP’s biophysicist John Heller MD pre-emptively dismissing  a major line of enquiry, while  depriving the reader (who’s shelled out hard cash for his book) of a single detailed reason?

Let’s look briefly now at Mark Antonacci’s longer references to the possibility of imprinting-by-contact  (as distinct from fanciful imaging across air gaps):

More to follow…

Back again.

Hooray. Antonacci’s account of ‘Direct-Contact Theories’ starts near the top of Page 63, and continues until halfway down Page 68.

This  posting cannot hope to do justice to the entirety of what he has written (and was not intended for that purpose anyway).

But to give a flavour of his style of exposition –  streets ahead  one might add on what we have just encountered – AND to register some new thinking of mine on the hitherto unrecognized subtleties and potentialities of  imprinting-by-contact  (depending amongst other things on choice  by  fakers  I hasten to add – of imprinting medium and how it’s deployed)  I’ll annotate the first few paragraphs from  Antonacci’s refreshingly detailed ‘take’ on imaging-via-imprinting.

More to follow

From Antonacci:

“A leading proponent of direct-contact theory, STURP scientist Sam Pellicori, suggests the image might have developed not from diffusion but from the cloth coming into direct contact with a body covered in perspiration;body oils; and/or liquid solutions of myrrh, aloes, or olive oil. No traces of these types of organic liquid substances (or any others) have been detected on the linen.”

Here we see the spotlighted author  displaying the same blind spot as that shown by Heller, namely failure to consider a SIMULATED sweat imprint, seemingly yellowed with age, of MEDIEVAL FABRICATION. The latter could have deployed an image-formation technique that did not necessarily need to use runny liquids, but instead an imprinting medium of stiffer consistency, one which was subsequently altered by heat to generate the desired straw colour, thus defying simple chemical analysis (as would be the case if  amino-carbonyl Maillard reactions  were to generate insoluble, chemically-complex high-molecular weight melanoidins, as first proposed by STURP’s Ray Rogers (albeit too late to get a mention in that 1981 STURP Summary!).

From Antonacci:

“A fundamental problem with all direct-contact theories can be demonstrated in a simple experiment by rubbing charcoal over a person’s face and then draping cloth over it. The resulting image will possess no three dimensional information, appear grossly distorted, and bear scant resemblance  to a human face.”

So there will be a photograph in the book, right, one that shows the result of doing that precise charcoal imprinting with an obliging volunteer?

But no, there’s not (WHY NOT?)  Why is one expected to part  with hard cash for yet another pro-authenticity Shroud-book whose author  can’t be bothered to perform a simple experiment of his choosing, who expects the reader to go spreading charcoal over a friend or family member (with no mention of how easy or difficult it will be to wash off afterwards)?

I for one was not willing to deploy charcoal,  certainly not on my face, and I doubt whether a single reader out there has done so, which means that Antonacci’s claims regarding no 3D response, barely recognizable  human face etc have to go unquestioned. Here’s what we see time and time again in the sindonology literature – being expected to take an author’s “severe criticism” on trust, not being allowed to exercise our own visual judgement from photographs or other data, or maybe able to improve on what’s shown.

No, I was not willing to use charcoal. But some years ago I used Nutella chocolate/hazel nut spread – a crude, rough-and-ready imprinting medium-  showing that  the Shroud’s ‘spindly fingers’, far from being evidence of imaging  via internally-generated soft x-rays (thank you for that Dr. August Accetta) were explainable by imprinting, where a stronger more intense image is obtained from flesh that overlies the slimmer non-compressible central bone!

So how would Nutella perform on my own face (later easily washed off) ? Would the result be barely recognizable as a face, with no 3D-response whatsoever in ImageJ or other 3D-rendering software?

Here’s the result, dear reader.  Judge (initially) for yourselves. I’ll be back tomorrow with my own interpreation and evaluation.

nutella face before v after inversion and 3D for BLOG

Left: initial  imprint of my own face; sorry about the excess of Nutella! Right: after light/dark inversion in ImageJ, followed by 3D-enhancement. Note the prominently imaged, albeit flattened nose and nostrils and discernible lips.

Late addition (October 10): I have just imprinted all 4 fingers of my left hand onto dry v wet linen using powdered charcoal. The result, both before and after light/dark inversion and 3D rendering is truly spectacular.  It shows how effective a fine powder can be as imprinting medium.  I’ll display the result if anyone’s interested, but I mean GENUINELY INTERESTED, not merely trying to score pro-authenticity points.  (I’m only here for the experimental modelling, i.e. the science, not to respond to sniping and point-scoring).

What the pro-authenticity brand of sindonology, beginning with STURP,  has done is to enclose contact-imprinting  within a  barbed-wire-enclosed firing range, labelled “ENTER AT YOUR PERIL, EXPECT TO  BE SHOT ON SIGHT”.

And its present-day chief spokesman has the nerve to tell us that STURP represented science at its very best, a model for us Johnny-come-latelys to emulate.

Did it heck!

STURP was many things, some creditworthy, some not, depending on which of its 30+ participants you choose to select.

The notion that, overall, STURP represented science at its best could not be further from the truth.

STURP was infected from the word go with  starry-eyed pro-authenticity bias , one that wasted no time in attemptinmg to sideline or wrongfoot  the perceived opposition.

STURP, 40 years ago,  and even today, displays the unacceptable face of agenda-driven American free-enterprise…

make america sane again

Newsflash (October 8, 2018)

We interrupt this programme to bring you this newsflash (OK,  let’s not go wild: newsglimmer maybe). Here’s a cut-and-paste :

It has just appeared on shroud.com’s commemorative issue  marking the  40th anniversary of STURP. See under Internet.

[Editor’s Note: I received an e-mail from avowed Shroud skeptic Colin Berry on May 30, 2018, which included a link to a compilation web page of his research on the Shroud. Frankly, I did not respond to his e-mail nor did I include the link in our June 21, 2018 website update. Shortly thereafter, I received a comment from and had a written exchange with David Goulet, one of our viewers on our Facebook page. With his permission, I am reprinting it below, since it explains why I was initially hesitant to include the link to Colin’s web page.]

  • David Goulet – Robust update! However I would like to recommend that, perhaps at next update, you give a nod to Colin Berry’s website and ongoing experiments that provide a possible man-made narrative for the Shroud. I know Colin is not the most popular Shroud investigator but his research is compelling. His is, imo, the one non-authentic hypothesis that bears serious consideration. If reason is to serve faith, then we must challenge our assumptions and Colin’s site is a place to do that. To ignore the incredible amount of scientific modelling and research he has undertaken would be a disservice to the Shroud.

  • STERA, Inc. – I will certainly consider it for our next update. However, Colin didn’t win himself any friends by launching unprovoked ad hominem personal attacks against other researchers (including me) on a regular basis when Dan Porter’s blog was still active. Disagreeing with a researcher’s conclusions or results is how science advances and is perfectly acceptable, but personal attacks, particularly on deceased researchers who are no longer alive to defend themselves, crosses the line. Sadly, Colin crossed that line regularly.

  • David Goulet – Acknowledged and I appreciate the reticence given his antagonism. My main concern though is that regardless of Colin’s demeanor his science modelling continues to be compelling and innovative. There may be aspects of his work that may even provide insights for pro-authentic researchers – for those with the patience to sift through his site and deal with his truculence.

  • STERA, Inc. – Fair enough. May I quote this exchange? You made a convincing argument and I’d like to publish it with the link.

  • David Goulet – Of course. Thx.
  • Shroud of Turin Without All the Hype – This is the link to Colin’s web page.
Posted October 8, 2018

I’ll say no more for now, except to remind Mr.Barrie M.Schwortz that one cannot go suppressing criticism of what one perceives as faulty, far less hugely misleading so-called science including in some instances  leading figures in STURP simply because they are no longer with us. None of us are immortal. Mortality is a fact of life,  a terminal feature of the so-called “human condition”…

Criticizing their hasty conclusions and/or prognostications  in no way  constitutes what BS describes as “ad hominem” attacks. Indeed it’s arguably an ad hominem  attack upon myself  from BS to claim I’m the one guilty of making ad hominem attacks!

BS needs to look in a mirror! See  for example the way he refers to Professor Luigi Garlaschelli, spotlighting his areligious  (“atheist”) take on  life and the Universe, one that is shared by hundreds of million others on the planet!  I too, btw,  regard myself as a (closet) atheist, but consider that largely irrelevant when science is contantly challenged to account for the “mystery”, the “enigma” of the Turin Shroud!   (I say the Shroud is a simulated sweat imprint: no, not a real 1st century sweat imprint, but a 14th century SIMULATED sweat imprint,  that being a simple science-based message that even now, sindonologists for the most part attempt to stifle or suppress). It’s science and its alleged limitations that is the issue – at least for me. Which is why 7 years of being largely ignored and/or shunned by those ‘challengers of science’ is especially disreputable, showing their true colours some might think, using the TS (partly) as a means of taking a swipe at science and scientists. 

PS: thanks to  Canada-based David Goulet (keen sindonology observer as well as  gifted writer – being author of the interesting funeral parlour-focused “Looney Tombs” ) for his positive take on my approx. 7 year program of  Shroud research.  

Now back to, er,  my critique of Mark Antonacci’s critique (of imprinting-by-contact).  More to follow.

Yes, returning to Antonacci (still Page 63 of his 2001 book)…

“STURP scientists Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline attempted to reproduce direct-contact models capable of matching the image characteristics found on the Shroud (ref). They used a plaster mold of a face that was treated with different combinations of liquids and oils at different temperatures and draped with linen representing the Shroud. The experiment identified identified several weaknesses in the direct-contact theory. When the cloth was draped over the face mold that had been coated with in, two different types of shading effects were produced. An image was imprinted only where the cloth and face made contact; no impression was left if the cloth and face were separated by space. Yes, as discussed in Chapter 3, the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between the cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose).”

The last-but-one sentence is 100% CORRECT! Yes, whether using a real face OR  that plaster model one cannot expect to get an image UNLESS there is physical contact.  One cannot imprint across air gaps. That is common sense, thus far acknowledged by Antonacci in a modelled system We now move onto the final sentence – kindly fasten your seat belts…

Repeat:  “the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between the cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose”.

Really? How can you be so certain, Mr.Antonacci?  Have you tried imprinting off a real face by direct-contact, either with your charcoal, or as did above with Nutella spread?

When I say “imprinting”, I don’t mean simply laying a sheet of linen on top, the default position so beloved of pro-authenticists. I mean imprinting in a medieval context, where the linen is FORCIBLY applied to the face or other parts of the body, to be certain of getting a WELL-DEFINED image ( a scenario you briefly consider in your next paragraph).  Under applied pressure you DO get imprinting of the sides of the nose. Why?  Answer: the nose FLATTENS under applied pressure, or veers to one or other side, bringing  one or both sides into contact with the linen. But there’s a price to pay .. . one gets  a somewhat distorted image of the nose, being either flattened or pushed to one side, one or other side of the fairly rigid nasal septum.

But hold on a minute. Haven’t we read something about the nose of the Man on the Shroud looking not quite right? Where was that now?

The ‘flat’ nose in a 3D-enhanced image from Shroud Scope aroused interest on Dan Porter’s site way back. See this link. 

But there was an earlier reference to a distorted nose, from a coroner/pathologist no less – STURP’s celebrated if somewhat over-theatrical Robert Bucklin MD (who performed mock-autopsies, dressed in mortuary gear –  on TS photographs – see David Rolfe’s ‘Silent Witness’ documentary (googleable).   Let’s look out his exact words, shall we? Here they are, not from Bucklin’s 1997 autopsy report (about which the less said the better!) but from the earlier report which John Heller quote on Pages 2 and 3 of his 1983 book:

“The man has been beaten about the face, there is a swelling over one cheek, and he undoubtedly has a black eye. His nose tip is abraded, as would occur from a fall, and it appears that the nasal cartilage may have separated from the bone.”

Well, well, well!  The image of the man on the face IS distorted we were told, way back in 1983, possibly earlier by the authenticity-promoting Robert Bucklin MD. (You ain’t seen nothing yet – read his 1997 “autopsy”, performed as if on a real person, or even a photograph thereof, as distinct from an image of unknown means of production, with blood, or “blood” but no unequivocal imaging of wounds, not even in the so-called “scourge marks”. !

But Bucklin’s true-believer interpretation needless to say centred on pre-Crucifixion beating, without a single thought being given to a medieval forgery scenario, one in which linen was pressed up against the nose and face, distorting and flattening the nose, and maybe other facial features too.

Far from being an insuperable problem where imprinting-by-contact is concerned, the nose provides us  with a tell-tale forensic signature of a MODELLED pressure-imprinting scenario! But not one using a rigid plaster cast! Oh no, it has to be a real DEFORMABLE face, a real deformable NOSE!  So forget all the (overhasty?) claims from Luigi Garlaschelli, Hugh Farey and others that the nose and/or other angular features of the face make imprinting off a real face too difficult, nay impossible. Not so, as I showed back in 2014, using Model 10 (flour imprinting) and relying on nothing more than photoediting software (MS Office Picture Manager!) to intensify the faint natural yellowish-brown  tinge of white flour:

new 3D highly cropped

Yes, white flour  slurry beats Nutella as imprinting agent any day (or powdered flour onto wet linen as an alternative – discussed earlier on this site). Note the slight distortion of the nose, a signature of contact-imprinting under strong applied pressure.

We now get to the part of the Antonacci take on contact-imprinting where the waters get well and truly muddied. How?  By a mixing up of “3D response” and “image distortion”, aspects which in my view should have been kept, at least initially in two entirely separate watertight compartments, failure to do which has done a huge amount of damage to the case for non-authenticity/medieval provenance. To say this investigator is severely rattled by the misinformation, started by John Jackson, further perpetuated by any number of commentators, in and outside of STURP, would be an understatement to say the least. Future historians could do a lot worse than look closely at what follows…

The starting point is this picture from Jackson et al, one which Antonacci displays on Page 64 of his book:

getImage lateral distortion used by antonacci CROPPED

Fig 41, Page 64, “The Resurrection of the Shroud” by Mark Antonacci, 2000,

Here’s Antonacci’s accompanying text on Page 63:

“When the investigators pressed the cloth onto those surface points where contact was not made during the natural draping over the face mold, the resulting image was grossly distorted (see fig.41).” 

That refers to the image on the left, prior to attempted 3D-rendering.

That passage is followed by this one, referring to the image on the right:

The VP-8 analysis of the direct-contact photographs yielded even more pronounded image distortions (fig.42) which means that direct-contact models cannot produce the correct three-dimensional information.

Gulp!  More to follow…  much more. It’s not so much what it says, as what IT DOESN’T SAY! Sorry, but science (unlike legal advocacy) does not take kindly to truncated arguments that omit crucial information. It’s just one more symptom/manifestation  of agenda-driven pseudoscience!

So what does it fail to say? Answer:  it omits to mention that part of a 3D rendering, whether from a face or plaster mold, that is called the SIDES!   It omits to mention “lateral distortion” by name, it omits to mention that lateral distortion is entirely avoidable by a simple expedient – at least in a  medieval simulation of a 13 centuries old sweat imprint: don’t imprint the sides, that way you avoid lateral distortion!

Are the sides of the face or body visible on the body image of the TS? Answer – NO! A resounding NO!

So let’s be absolutely clear shall we about why that last quoted passage from Antonacci  is wrong- spectacularly so. Yes, there is image distortion? And why? It displays lateral distortion? Why? Because the fabric was (a) allowed to make contact with the sides of the mold and (b) the sides of the mold transferred the imprinting agent onto the linen. Result – a distorted image when the imprinted linen was laid flat. But is that the same as saying that the imprinted image failed to respond to the 3D-rendering software? Answer: NO. Compare the image on the right with that on the left and one sees that, despite the lateral distortion, there WAS a 3D response! Look especially at the “hair” on the right, and what does one see? One sees a mountain range in miniature.

It’s not just Mark Antonacci who conflated 3D with lateral distortion. John Heller did exactly the same in his book. Go to the page of photos facing Page 83, and what does one see? One sees a photo with the following caption:

“A VP-8 of a photo of William Ercoline. Note the gross distortion of all the features and the two-dimensional quality of the VP-8 – both characteristics of a VP-8 taken from a 2-D surface. The only exception isthe Shroud.”

Wrong, wrong, WRONG!

Yes, the photo of William Ercoline does show distortion, but it also shows a positive response to the 3-D rendering software.

Why? Because any image with variations in image intensity will respond to 3D software, because that’s what the software does – it promotes 2D image intensity wherever it finds it to apparent 3D, simply by creating an imaginary third (z axis)  to initial x and y axes  and creating a needle-forest of height bars in place of 2D pixels. (The forest is later smoothed out, given artificial shadowing etc).

Why the distortion?  Because photos, paintings etc already contain an impression of 3D by means of angled light illumination, real or imagined by the artist, in the form of shadowing. But the software has no means of distingushing between image and shadow – both get elevated on account of their additional image intensity. Forget all the semantic nonsense that intrudes by use of the term “encoded information” Yes, the software may have a computer at its heart in order to process the multitude of pixel intensity information, but it’s not there to decode, merely to re-display in a new re-mapped form with that third imaginary z axis  (aka coordinate), one that merely takes what it finds with no attempt at  “decoding” far less  intelligent “interpretation”.

So, to summarise: image distortion in 2D renderings, 3D or both, can take at least one or both of two different forms (there may be more).

The first is from shadowing in photographs and paintings becoming elevated as if image, when it’s not. Solution: avoid photographs and paintings. Use IMPRINTS instead (and I say the TS body image is an imprint, not a photograph – or radiation-generated proto-photograph – and certainly not a painting.

The second is from lateral distortion, from attempting to imprint off the sides as well as the flatter frontal planes of face and body. Solution? Don’t. Either keep the linen clear of the sides, or apply one’s imprinting medium to the frontal planes only, keeping the sides uncoated. It then doesn’t matter if the linen makes contact with the sides.

How to ensure that frontal planes only receive imprinting medium? Answer: this investigator discovered two ways. The first, used that flour imorint of my face above, was to make a slurry of flour in water, and paint it onto the parts one wants imaged.

The second, more subtle, is to sprinkle  dry powdered flour  from ABOVE the recumbent subject as imprinting medium (maybe smearing the subject first with oil to act as weak adhesive) such that flour settles on the frontal (more or less horizontal) planes only, failing to settle on the more vertical sides. Then imprint onto WET linen. Each method has its pros and cons (about which more later).

So what are the prerequisites of an image that renders it responsive to 3D software?  Does it require imaging from a real life 3D entity (regardless of mechanism?).

As long ago as Feb 2012, when this investigator was evaluating imaging via direct scorching (from hot metal template) he found that simple items with scarcely any 3D relief (an aluminium pencil sharpener and a metal African bas relief trinket) gave a pronounced response with ImageJ.

pencil sharpener, ghana trinket scorch imprint, pre post 3D

“Encoded” 3D, items uniquely responsive to 3D software? Oops, no, the Turin Shroud body image claims that title! Mustn’t muscle in…

What about input images that have no 3D history whatsoever? Do they respond to 3D-rendering software? Surely not…

1. stars with increasing brown      stars optimized 3D in imagej

Still 2D – a graphic with no 3D history whatsoever?

No, it’s now gloriously 3D, and for very simple reasons. The 3D-rendering software converts image intensity to height on a new imaginary vertical axis. Any input with variable image intensity does likewise. No “encoded 3D information” is needed. No decoding of “encoded 3D information” is needed.

Yet as recently as that Pasco conference last year, we were being told how the TS body image was “uniquely responsive” to the VP-8 image-remapping software. No, it’s not, and it’s high time that bit of misinformation ceased being put about, year after year, long after the basic proposition was conclusively disproved, by myself and others.

See the response to one of my postings on the Porter site, the one where I showed that a Model 10 flour imprint responded much the same to ImageJ software as the TS body image from Shroud Scope. Talk about galloping mumbo-jumbo!

Question: how do the results of  3D-rendering compare if computer-generated  graphics are compared side by side with imprints from bas relief templates or fully 3D ones?

Answer: it may be there somewhere in my 7 years (approx) of archives. But what’s the point of experimenting further when one is a non-person where pro-authenticity promoting sindonology is concerned? Why waste more time that I have already.

No, I shan’t. Instead I’ll  take a leaf from that same body of opinion, going briefly  into full-speculation mode, not bothering with anything so tedious as experimental modelling.

Can flour imprinting (my Model 10) deliver  a degree of subtlety that is maybe superior to those alternatives lacking any 3D history?  Yes, I believe it can, at least in theory, and here’s how. It’s that ability to capture an image of the nose (prominent) AND an image of lower relief  (forehead, lips etc) contrary to received wisdom that provided a clue.

More to follow…

Right then, white flour imprinting agent is superior to Nutella. Why?  There are several factors that could be listed. Like how easy is it to spread an evenly  thin layer over the subject to be imprinted.

(Variations in thickness, if translated into random differences in transfer onto linen would clearly make a nonsense of 3D-rendering, given the latter depends critically on variations of image density that reflect the subject’s  real 3D relief).

White flour can be used to give a thin even layer, whether painted on as a slurry (and spread out evenly) or, better still, coated with sprinkled flour, the excess then being shaken off.

Now let’s move on to the final factor, the one I suspect accounts mainly for the superiority of dry white flour, applied to wet linen. It’s to do with differential pressure.

Try this quickie experiment. Press the palm of your hand across your face, compressing your nose sifficiently to feel hand pressure on cheeks, forehead etc.  Notice anything?

Note that the pressure on the protuberant nose is greater, considerably greater, than that on the lower relief. The answer is obvious. The force needed to compress/flatten the nose reduces the force on the lower relief!

Here we have what I believe to be the explanation for the spuriosu (and totally unscientific) cloth-body distance factor introduced  early on by John Jackson, accepted uncritically by others. It supposed a loosely-draped with air gaps, but apparent imaging across those postulated gaps, leading to the fanciful idea of imaging via some kind of radiant energy. Not so. The cloth was not loosely draped in our medieval scenario. It was firmly pressed against the subject. closing many (but not all) air gaps.

But some relief was better imaged than other, despite physical contact in all cases. How?  By the higher relief making the first contact with the linen-  leaving  a more intense imprint than lower relief, the latter partially protected from application pressure by the higher relief.

In short we have a contact-only imprint model, but one that incorporates the notion of differential application pressure (and subsequent efficiency/inefficiency of medium transfer) due to increasing difficulty to apply pressure to progressively lower relief.

One needs a shorthand to summarise the proposed phenomenon, one of graduated protection with depth from applied manual pressure, creating subtle differences in image intensity, ones that reflect the subject’s own 3D relief, while not preventing a basal 3D imprint as might be seen with  simple, shallow bas relief.  As I say – subtle, not all or nothing as might be expected from a contact-imprinting model, but one that is nuanced, highly nuanced.

Here’s superlonghand for starters (well, one has to start somewhere):

Contact-only imprinting, but pressure-variable transfer of medium, due to difficulties of access to lower relief on account of subject’s linen-impeding higher 3D relief.

Shorter hand:

Partially obstructed, pressure-modulating contact-only imprinting.

Alternative shorthand?

Contact-only imprinting, but pressure-sensitive for both voluntary and unavoidable anatomical reasons.

Alternative shorthand?

Pressure (not distance) dependent, image-density-variable/obligatory-contact  imprinting (no air gaps).

Or:  Contact-only imprinting, with pressure and image intensity attenuation arising from template-variable physical 3D-hindrance.

Or:  Template 3D-induced pressure-variable image attenuation in direct contact    imprinting. 

Or:  Pressure-variable contact imprinting, with imprint-intensity nullified or attenuated – by template-specific 3D geometry

More to follow…

Image intensity is the same for frontal and dorsal surfaces (cited by pro-authenticity camp as supporting imaging via radiation.  Imaging by contact, we are told, would make the dorsal side image more intense – if imprnting-by-contact where the mechanism of imaging).

There’s a simple answer to that argument, cited several times before on this site. TWO volunteers were used for the imprinting, both recumbent, head to head, one face up, the other face down. Both were ‘floured-up’, then covered simultaneously by the same single sheet of wet linen. Both had the linen manually pressed DOWN onto their bodies, yo generate the frontal and dorsal images simultaneously.

Why have one face down? Why not face up, and press the volunteer’s body down into the linen? Answer: in that configuration, previously called ‘LUWU’ on this site – Linen Underneath With Underlay – there is no opportunity to exercise fine manual control over the imprinting process – it becomes entirely passive, with everything out-of-sight. Better to deploy the  ‘LOTTO‘ confhguration for both frontal and dorsal imprinting – Linen On Top, Then Overlay.  (Overlay optional with LOTTO, less so with LUWU ). It’s also easier to get the two images properly aligned when there are two cooperative individuals, following instructions to edge this way or that until both are perfectly aligned on the long axis.

More to follow

Tuesday October 9

So how should STURP have set about its self-appointed task, it wishing to be seen as scientific, deploying all the 13 process skills of true science (as distinct from merely accruing data with no defined goals or hypotheses worth speaking of?)

First, it should have paid scant attention to that “just a painting” write-off. That can and should have been excluded largely on the basis of the negative tone-reversed body image. Artists do not paint negative images, unless deliberately wanting to portray the ‘look’ of an imprint, in which case they might just have well imprinted rather than painted (especially given the pointers to the “real” Joseph of Arimathea linen, with full-sie naked human body, front v back, no sides, realistic-looking bloodstains in ‘all the right places’  etc etc).

Properly thought through, the aim should have been to set up an alternative credible hypothesis if wishing to face sceptics square-on : not “just a painting” but “just an imprint”. Ay, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare put it.

STURP’s team leader John Jackson  wasted no time in interpreting, some might say explanation-pre-empting  the image characteristics as those produced not by contact-imprinting, but via some kind of mysterious hitherto-unknown-to-science proto-photographic imaging across air gaps, via undefined collimated, gravity-aligned electromagnetic radiation.  (Yeah right, call that science, John Jackson PhD?  Is that what they taught you with at that doctorate-awarding naval academy?) Sceptics were immediately faced with the near-impossible task, not of systemtically seeking evidence to clinch an imprinting mechanism, but of  near-impossible evidence to DISPROVE Jackson’s fanciful religion-inspired thinking!  To think that STERA’s President holds up the STURP enterprise as  model for good science!  Methinks you should have stuck to the documenting photography, Mr. Barrie M.Schwortz, instead of telling modern day scientists how to do their job. We don’t tell you how to take your photographs?

Is there anything STURP could have done, or indeed did so, to make the best of a bad job – to get the real  and RELEVANT hypothesis-driven science on the road, if only tentatively? Answer: YES, in both cases. A start was made, one that is much neglected indeed largely overlooked in so much of the current sindonological literature. And guess what – it used photography – not documenting photography but scientific photography.  It was a hugely promising start, given what it revealed about the Shroud body image – at the microscopic level! Thank you STURP’s Vernon D.Miller and fellow “Scientific Photographers”.  It could have been used as a basis for scientific modelling, to be done both before  (especiallly BEFORE!) or after the actual 5 days spent by STURP in Turin. It can even be done today, once we clear out sindonology’s  accumulated clutter of “just a painting” or “supernatural radiation” notions built on their subsiding foundations of sand over 40 odd years.

More to follow  tomorrow – with concrete proposals for that much-needed MODELLING of the peculiar Shroud image characteristics – the so-called ‘half-tone effect’, the “image discontinuities”, the “striations”, the ‘second face’ effect, the image-fibre fragility, the identification of the image chromophore et etc etc.

Expect to see a proposed central role for “radiochemical markers’  for both linen AND non-linen components, final destinations tracked by means of autoradiography!!!!

PS:  have so far merely hinted at the major (?) proposition being launched, namely that what previously has been seen as a all-embracing cloth-body distance factor is in fact something entirely different that was overlooked by Jackson and others  namely a  resistance or obstruction  to lower relief by first encountered higher relief. That then impacts not only on the map of 2D-imprinted image intensity, but on any subsequent attempt at 3D-rendering

Is there a way of testing that proposition experimentally?

Yes, I do believe there is.  Hopefully,  MS Paint and ImageJ between them might supply an answer (albeit provisional for the time being). Time now to charge up an ancient largely-retired laptop in the spare room with its downloaded Image J software, MS Office photoediting (for brightness/contrast control) etc. Hopefully there will be something to show for my labours tomorrow.

Be afraid, John Jackson. Be very afraid.  Well, mildly discombobulated anyway, given that largely-impenetrable thick skin, nay carapace of yours.  (No, we don’t mince our words on this site) .

Science (real  ‘tell-it-the-way-it-is-science’ that is ) works via targeted and systematic discombobulation of those folk, scientifically qualified or otherwise, who stick stubbornly and rigidly  year in, year out, decade in, decade out – to their quaint outdated notions as to how the real  (allegedly miracle- interrupted) world operates.

Yes, more tomorrow…  Comments as ever welcome…

Wed October 10th 2018

On second thoughts I think it better to end this posting here, and keep the subtleties of pressure-sensitive/body contour responsive contact-only imprinting for another occasion.

(That’s imprinting with white flour onto wet linen – my Model 10 – NOT with super-sticky Nutella spread onto dry linen I hasten to add)!

Hopefully I’ve said enough to make clear that the air-gap invoking cloth-body distance model of Jackson and others in its countless guises is not by any means the only show in town, and indeed should have been run out of town decades ago. Why?  For being shamelessly and outlandishly unscientific. Raymond Rogers, STURP’s chemical team leader, said as much…

Pro-authenticity sindonology is currently raising my blood pressure, as might already have become apparent.

three sindonologists

Look carefully:  if you’re very observant, you might just be able to spot the three sindonologists in this picture

Time now for me to take an extended break from its incessant undermining of science as I, a retired experimental, model-building, model-testing scientist, understand the term (see that link cited earlier to science’s  13 process skills!).

Science, correction, pesudoscience, ought never to be deployed as a propaganda weapon, used to promote this or that ideology… It  cheapens and debases science.

Au revoir (but assuredly not adieu).

Concluding message to the President of the Shroud of Turin (so-called) Education and Research Association from what he refers to as this  ‘avowed shroud sceptic’ :

The Shroud of Turin is simply a medieval attempt to mimic the kind of body imprint (sweat and blood) that might have been left by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ en route from cross to tomb.

Where the take-away message is concerned, nothing more needs to be said. Everything else is detail.

The Shroud of Turin is simply a medieval ‘fake’ memento  of something that the Bible states took place some 13 centuries earlier. It’s a ‘faked’ souvenir, no more, no less.

Now then, what was the real purpose of Stonehenge and Silbury Hill (returning to  what was this investigator’s secondary, now primary interest)?

No, I won’t supply a link, not being in the business of self-promotion.This retired scientist is merely attempting to quash fatuous speculation, establshing the real facts, such as are presently available.

Message to Vatican:  Time now to invite a STURP Mark 2 (40 years post STURP Mark 1) –  with more scientists, fewer technologists.

I’d be happy to be part of the team…


  1. Screen grab of the following 2014 Abstract added today, Nov 4, 2018.

G Fanti 2014 Dozen years of SSG

It’s needed to supplement the comment I placed on the end of this posting yesterday regarding the somewhat narrow focus when analysed in terms of word counts.

2. Site banner: see how a simulated sweat imprint (my wet hand pressed down onto dark fabric) responds magnificently to 3D-rendering computer software (ImageJ) before and after tone-reversal (negative back to positive image). Remind you of anything? Like those supposedly “unique”  and “encoded” 3D-properties of the Shroud of Turin body image?

For a more realistic aged/yellowed sweat imprint, see the many postings on this site since 2014 obtained with the aid of my Model 10 (imprinting off  parts, notably head and hands, of a real body (mine!) onto linen with white wheaten flour, followed by heat-development of the image to generate carbon-based and thus bleachable straw-coloured melanoidins via Maillard reactions between wheat proteins and reducing sugars).

Postscript (added Dec 20, 2018)

Here’s a photo I took a few yards from our hotel two weeks ago on the Maipu river valley,  approx. 1 hour drive SE from Santiago, capital of Chile. Delicious scenery, wot?



Important postscript (added Dec 27, 2018)

As flagged up several times these last few months, this long-term investigator of the Shroud (7 years anniversary in 3 days’ time ) has been holding off from posting new material these last few months (let’s not dwell on the reasons!). Suffice it to say I’ve been deliberating at length on how best to convey the message that has formed, nay crystallized,  in my mind these last 7 years, starting with my Model 1 (“thermostencilling” with charcoal) posted on my sciencebuzz site on Dec 30, 2011.

Back in October, I suddenly realized what I’d overlooked to do, back in 2011 (see  “Late addition, October 10”   this posting,  highlighted with red font). Had I done it, there’s a real possibility I could have jumped straight from Model 1 to current Model 10.   Drat! I should have IMPRINTED with charcoal (NOT painted!).

I now have (finally!) a handle, not only on resolving the enduring  ‘enigma’ of the  Shroud in research terms, but conveying the essence of the oh-so-simple solution! Expect a posting (maybe preliminary) on the 7th anniversary  of my baptism-by-charcoal this coming Sunday (Dec 30, 2018). In the meantime, here’s the key image that will be displayed prominently:


charcoal imprint - dry v wet linen l v r 10 oct 2018

The key buzzword? Why,  POWDER (as in powder imprint) of course!

Probable title of my next posting:

“Turin Shroud: simply a one-off medieval powder imprint. ( So, please, let’s now draw a line under decades of pseudoscience.)”






Posted in Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Here’s one good reason for thinking the Turin Shroud to be a medieval fake – namely that ‘cardboard cut-out look’, with frontal v dorsal views of body only – NO SIDES!


Site banner (wet hand imprint, showing immediate response of both the negative and tone-reversed  ‘positive’  images to commercial 3D-rendering software):  see end of posting (also in red)

Summary (this posting): the Turin Shroud is essentially a contact imprint off a whole adult male body, fabricated on to high quality linen to simulate that supplied by Joseph of Arimathea  as per first 3 Gospels  (Matthew, Mark, Luke) to transport the crucified Jesus from cross to tomb (acquiring its  iconic sweat/blood imprint on the way). Ignore the account of John (which skips the initial transport phase from cross to tomb). 

But there’s a crucial qualification needed in this (new?) narrative: note the word “essentially”.  No, it’s not a 100% real-body imprint. It’s had cosmetic additions (addition of  “artificial” head hair and neck especially, otherwise missing from a pure body imprint).

Why? Because a 100% imprint might turn off (or at any rate befuddle) first-time pilgrim viewers, descending on the remote hamlet of Lirey in the 14th century.  The imprint-only image was considered too direct, too brutal in its simplicity. It needed those cosmetic additions to make it more viewer-friendly, more instantly recognizable –  and acceptable – as that of the founder of Christianity between cross and tomb, between crucifixion and Resurrection.

No, the image was not intended to represent a resurrectional ‘selfie’, generated by a flash of supernatural  body-emitted radiation. That is late 20th/early 21st century fantasy, based on misinterpretation of image characteristics (e.g. negative image, responsiveness to 3D-rendering computer software, continuing ignorance of  and indeed indifference to the chemical nature of the image chromophore) to say nothing of stubborn rejection of the radiocarbon dating.)

Now to business, to the nitty-gritty:  here in brief outline is why I consider the absence of sides to the body image (i.e. frontal v dorsal images only) to essentially rule out authenticity.

(This posting is a cut-and-paste from the  Comments section of the previous posting.  It evolved over several days as a considered response to a question put to me by a first-time visitor to this  site – Shroud-blogger  Stacey Reiman of Anchorage, Alaska.  It was clearly not the answer she was expecting  on account of my decision to focus on a single (much neglected in my view) feature of the Shroud body image – namely the lack of sides. Oh well, you win some, you lose some).

1. Imaging of frontal and rear sides only (no sides) is easily modelled using a variety of templates, human or inanimate. See numerous postings on this site, using plastic toys of differing size (up to approx half human scale), my hand, even my own face :


my face,non-gel flour slurry imprint, nitric acid dev, not inv then 3d then cropped

The early claims from Jackson and others that imprints taken from 3D objects show grotesque lateral distortion simply have not been encountered, and for very good reasons (the linen is not allowed or able to make contact with the sides, either through placing the recumbent subject on a flat surface – which prevents linen from draping vertically down the ‘falling-away- sides’ of the subject – or – as above –  by selective application of an imprinting medium – painted (liquid) or sprinkled (solid) on the frontal v dorsal surfaces only, not on the sides).

2. Imprinting via obligatory physical contact makes sense in a biblical context, whether real or medieval simulation, if one imagines Joseph of Arimathea’s linen used as a transport stretcher, as indeed displayed in much early art (“Descent from the Cross”) .

rovere 1625 from shroudstory

Cut-and-paste from the above link (shroudstory, Dec 2014) showing association in early 17th minds between deposition of the newly crucified Jesus into Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ and the creation of a body image. (The blue image to the left is from this site, showing how even the painted double-body image in the same picture responds to 3D-rendering in ImageJ (eliciting much sound and fury in the previous day’s Comments on the Porter site!)


The use of “fine linen” (upmarket herringbone twill) makes sense in the transport situation where the body is still visible to spectators, needing discreet concealment, buit arguably less so in the context of later burial shroud, especially if the latter was a ‘winding cloth’ as per Gospel according to John.

3. Claims that imaging by contact should not be entertained due to claimed imaging across air gaps – provided those gaps are no greater than 4cm approx – involve modelling in a pro-authenticity context, one where linen is draped loosely over a recumbent body. They do not do proper justice to a medieval forgery scenario, one in which linen is manually pressed into the recessed parts of the body as well. There are other reasons too that can be adduced in the context of forgery where there can be conscious control over what is to be imaged versus what is not, either through choice of locations as to where or where not imprinting medium is to applied (or not applied) , or through use of a brush post-imprinting, loaded or unloaded with imprinting medium, to supplement or even remove the latter prior to final colour development (by whatever means, thermal, chemical or both).

4. Attempts to account for lack of sides in terms of ‘imaging via radiation’ , with the qualifying assumption that the radiation is only able to travel vertically from subject to linen (i.e aligned with gravity) are simply unscientific, as is any subsequent ‘mathematical’ modelling of such gravity-constrained radiation. Gravity is far too weak to affect any conceivable kind of electromagnetic radiation, especially radiation energetic enough to chemically modify linen carbohydrates so as to leave a yellow image.

5. The commonsensical interpretation of a faint negative (tone-reversed) image, deposited along with fresh-looking bloodstains on linen, is a SWEAT IMPRINT from contact with a naked body, whether in an authentic scenario or medieval simulation thereof. The imprint may be near-invisible initially, but have become yellowed and thus more visible with centuries of ageing.

6. STURP team members ruled out sweat-imprinting in an authentic context through inability to see any signs of liquid capillary spread in the linen fibres. But if John Heller’s account is anything to go by, there was no consideration given to a medieval forgery scenario, one that merely SIMULATED an aged sweat imprint, without needing to deploy artificial “sweat” or indeed any kind of liquid. Anything that left a final faint yellow stain on the linen would have sufficed: that could have involved use of a solid, as distinct from liquid imprinting medium. I have obtained Shroud-like imprints via solid flour dust imprinting onto wet linen, followed by thermal or chemical development to convert the Stage 1 flour imprint to Stage 2 faint yellow or yellow-brown stain, especially convincing after a final wash with soap and water to remove surface encrustation, leaving just faint yellow residue, presumably solid (microparticulate) polymeric Maillard products ( aka melanoidins, using the inspired Ray Rogers’ nomenclature).

7. Alleged 3D properties of the Shroud body image are a total irrelevance. My flour imprints also show 3D response in appropriate 3D-rendering software, as indeed do virtually any imprints, including those with no 3D history whatsoever. It is the software that produces the 3D effect, largely artefactual (which is not to say that imprinting off a 3D template does not produce additional subtleties in the “3D” rendering as is only to be expected (through better imprinting of more raised superficial contours than ones that are semi-recessed, but still amenable to the probing pressure-applying fingers of a medieval artisan engaged on contact- imprinting).

8. Real or simulated imprint?
The absence of any hint of sides (including top of head – which is also a “side” in a manner of speaking – is strongly suggestive of medieval simulation, rather than real 1st century “accidental” imprinting. Why?

Consider absence of top of head first. Suppose the top of head had been imaged. Yes, fine for authenticity, but think how that would look in practice – with two heads fused together, making them look less like separate views of the same head at least at first sight. So a decision was made to leave the top of head from the imprint making it an easier-to-interpret ‘double-body- imprint’. Few medieval pilgrims would have bothered to inquire anyway, one suspects, and had they done so, been given some kind of pat, pre-prepared answer that would have allayed suspicions of forgery.

So why the absence of any hint of sides for the rest of the body, making the image less like that of an easy-on-the-eye painting, and more viewer-unfriendly by virtue of the tone-reversed negative character? Answer: because the image had to be INSTANTLY recognizable as a crude unflattering IMPRINT, not a meticulously-executed medieval painting (Charles Freeman please note!)

But imprints, well-defined ones at any rate, are created by application of PRESSURE . It is that pressure that gives/generates the severe cut -off between horizontal and vertical planes, i.e a clear demarcation that eliminates the impression of life-like roundedness at the edge of an image of face or body. Put more simply, the TS body image is more comparable to that of a line cartoon ( albeit with solid colour infill) than is the case with the softer edge of a modern-day photograph (or arguably most paintings) where the meeting point between horizontal and vertical planes is more blurred, i.e with a transition zone that is neither obviously horizontal nor turned-through- 90 degrees- vertical.
( Yes, this passage is of necessity ‘wordy’, attempting as it does to distinguish between two kinds of image – one that is simple and idealized – ‘cardboard cut-out like’ and another which supplies hints to real-life 3d-ness through deliberate avoidance of abrupt transitions between one relief plane and another – keeping an essential ‘soft fuzzy edge’.

But it attempts, successfully or otherwise, to convey the reason for regarding the no-sides TS body image as both deliberately-intended and subsequently engineered – in order to convey an INSTANT impression of, guess what? – yes, forceful IMPRESSION. But while manual pressure is/was used in a forgery workshop to generate the imprint-like character, that was not the conclusion that those artisans wished the medieval pilgrim to imagine. Oh no. The applied impression was not from applied manual pressure. It was from the force of GRAVITY acting on linen from the WEIGHT of a body suspended/supported in a linen stretcher.

But hold on a minute. That body weight can be easily grasped as sufficient to generate the dorsal image. But what about the ventral image, where there’s no force of gravity worth speaking of – merely the weight f the linen? Doesn’t that invite expressions of doubt that the double body image was acquired ‘accidentally’ during 1st century transport between cross and tomb? How does one explain away a ventral imprint that is for all intents and purposes of approx the same level of image intensity? Should it not have been made less intense, i.e. by medieval artisans applying less pressure, or less imprinting medium?

There is no simple answer to that question, none at any rate that I can think off. No doubt the radiation-invokers will have a field day, claimimg that their imaging burst of radiation was the same intensity upwards as well as downwards.

9. But there is an ‘out’ from this seeming visual illogicality. It’s those scourge marks, allegedly 372 of them, evenly distibuted over the entire body surface, both sides, except for the face. Why so many, one might ask, sufficient surely to cause clinical shock and death even before arrival at the cross? And why are the scourge marks entirely BLOOD imprints, we are told, with no signature whatsoever in the body image?

Might it be that our medieval forgers made a decision to discard 100% realism re the intensity of the frontal v dorsal body image, given that would have made the less appealing dorsal image more conspicuous than the frontal (it being practically easier to keep both the same, albeit BOTH faint, neither terribly conspicuous). Then create a distraction from the faint body image by adding those 372 scourge marks as images in red blood, distracting from the body image, making it likely that few if any would spot, far less see fit to comment on the equal intensities of the background body images, i.e. ventral v dorsal.

Put more simply we have a rationale for the arguably excessive number of scourge marks – they serve to distract from one of the several instances of an exercise of ‘artistic licence’, designed to keep the first impression of the TS one in which immediate visual impact and mental challenge are the crucial considerations, even at the expense of strict credibility, as judged through a cold 20th/21st century forensic eye.

There are other instances one can cite where artistic licence has been given free rein. Examples?

10. Another instance that can be cited is the imaging of a “neck” joining head and torso. Shoulld it really be there, or not?

More to follow…

Expect a further 5 aspects pertinent to “no sides” and “contact imprinting only” to appear soon, on this same comment, under the following topic headings:

(10- Neck)

There’s a lot I could say about the neck anomaly, my having flagged it up as a curious and indeed tell-tale feature as far back as Feb 2012 ( re that prominent ‘scorched-on’ crease mark on which sindonology has rarely commented):


But why bother? Based on past performance these last 6 years and more, sindonolology (as it likes to call itself, as though an academic discipline) won’t bother to respond, certainly not to any points this retired scientist makes. Why not? Because I’m not a member of their ‘secret garden’ see (like that so-called mysterious “Shroud Science Group”” that lurks behind its closed doors….

Briefly summarised, and put more simply:

Sindonology, if the truth be told, is a perversion of plain logic, science and scholarship.

More to follow (summarily) regarding: :

11. Feet – differential imprinting re upper v lower surfaces
12. Closed eyelids
13. Bony fingers, maybe elongated, maybe not
14. Head hair, beard, moustache
15. Nose, reason for exceptional imaging of sides

I say “summarily”. Why bother with the detail? Detail is wasted on closed ears, closed minds, agenda-driven certainty…

11. Yes, those feet, with soles of feet part of the body image (plus bloodstains) with scarcely any imaging of the upper sides., Why should that be the case.? Customary answer (pro-authenticity sindonology): it’s the result of rigor mortis causing profound muscle seizure, the soles of the feet being pulled into line with the legs. Leaving aside the improbability of that happening (try doing it voluntarily!) that would surely bring the upper surface into alignment with the shins of the leg too.

There’s an alternative explanation. Our medieval simulators (aka forgers, fakers etc) wanted to plant an additional visual clue to the use of Joseph of Arimathea’s sheet of fine linen as a stretcher, for which purpose the lower free end of the linen was turned up around the soles of the feet. But the upper surface of the linen failed to make contact with the upper sides of the feet. Why? Because the linen was stretched taut between topsides of ankles and tips of toes, in other words, failing to make contact with the skin.. No contact, no imaging.

Shhh. Don’t mention the “stretcher” scenario to mainstream sindonologists. They don’t wish to hear any talk of imaging having occurred en route to the tomb. It’s imaging via ‘resurrectional incandescence’ (supernatural radiation) or nothing! Yawn…

12. Closed eyelids (?)

I have alreadty shown, contrary to received wisdom, that it’s fully possible to imprint off a real human face, provided one does not mind a nose that is flattened and/or bent to one side as a consequence of applied manual pressure (see this posting). Bu then the nose of the Man in the Shroud IS bent and flattened, is it not, especially apparent in those 3D-renderings?

But if one did imprint off a real face, there’s another downside: it would be difficult to imprint the eyes/eyelids, given they lie at the bottom of bony hollows . Sure, one could just omit the eye itself, making for an even more realistic “imprinted” look (as distinct from friendlier artistic portrait).

But my flour-imprinting procedure (“Model 10”) offers a simple solution. After imprinting the face, with empty eye hollows, simply load a brush or even finger with more flour, and dab into the centres of each hollow. Hey presto, one has one’s “eyes”.

Be warned however – centuries later your makeshift “eyes” will be confidently identified as tiny coins from the Roman era (like 1st century, coinciding with the rule of that Pontius Pilate!). The combination of weave pattern on the linen and pareidolia will provide sufficient evidence of design and lettering to sustain your case at the podium of one sindonological conference after another – yet more ‘compelling’ proof of authenticity… 😉

13. Ah yes, those peculiar fingers – so spindly, so bony-looking. 

For a 20th century explanation, see the heroic experiment that August Accetta MD did on himself, injecting a gamma-radiation emitter (a short-lived technetium isotope) and capturing an image of himself on sensitive film.


Might there be a more down-to-earth explanation, like, you know, contact imaging.

There’s a simpler way of modelling bony-lookign fingers, one that requires no more than a tub of Nutella, as I reported a few years ago.


Yes, imprinting off the human form works best over bony parts, where the flesh encounters resistance, and is less able to simply absorb and dissipate the applied pressure.

So the apparent thinness of the fingers, with spaces between them even when the fingers are non-splayed, is easily explained as a predictable consequence of imprinting technology.

Might those bony fingers have been intended by our medieval simulators to serve as yet another clue for those 14th century pilgrims descending on Lirey that they were looking at aa passive IMPRINT( “a genuine one you understand, dear pilgrim !”) of the crucified Jesus onto J of A’s linen stretcher, NOT a conventional artist’s portrait. (Since when has additional and realistic looking blood been used in portrait-painting?)

14. Head hair, beard, moustache

Here’s a 3D-rendering I did some years ago of the Man on the TS using ImageJ software (using carefully chosen settings – normalised against an experimental scorch imprint):

It’s tone-reversed i.e. negative- to- positive. What’s of special interest is the black region that separates cheeks from hair (which would be white and thus image-free on the initial negative iimage).

In other words, there’s a lack of continuity between cheeks and hair. So who’s to say that cheeks and hair were not produced at separate imprinting sessions, 1 and 2 ? Might the face have been imprinted first (and if so how?) and the hair, correction “hair”, maybe added later?

Why do it that way?

Answer: becaause it’s hard to see how genuine hair can be imprinted, unless there’s something substantially solid behind it, like bone. But that’s hardly the case for hair on the sides of the skull, where the bone is side-on to the hair, not directly behind.

Even the “hair” on a quickie charcoal sketch of the TS face responded to a combination of tone inversion and 3D-rendering with ImageJ software, as I showed back in May 2012!


Tentative conclusion: the “hair” at least was not imprinted off a real head of hair. It was imprinted off a bas relief that was placed around the previously-imprinted head. Indeed, the head itself may also have been “fake”, itself another bas relief, as others before me have suggested.

Head hair visible  (just!) on the so-called ‘second face’ (opposite side of linen)? Maybe – see this image from Mario Latendresse’s sindonology.org site.

Durante-verso-face second face

Circumstantial evidence perhaps for an imprinting mechanism that is different – and slightly more efficient – than that for the face itself?

For now I try to keep an open mind as regards the nature of the head, pre-hair, as to whether real or bas relief. But as indicated I reject the main reason given for a bas relief head, namely that the nose and other facial angularities make it impossible to imprint off a real face.

Not so. Crucial angularities, like the nose, deform and flatten under applied pressure, features which are said to be discernible also on the real TS. Indeed, they are immediately interpreted by pro-authenticity sindonologists, (or by some at any rate) as evidence of pre-crucifixion torture at the hands of Pontius Pilate’s mocking soldiery.

Beard? Moustache? One cannot help but wonder if they are created by inexpert dabbing on of additional imprinting medium (e.g. white flour) onto chin and upper lip, given their blotchiness and incompleteness. Indeed, some may be entirely artefactual. I personally acquired a suggestion of beard and moustache after imprinting my face using wet flour slurry, assisted admittedly by a pre-shave stubble which acted as trap for the medium (see the posting).

15. Nose, commented-upon imprinting of sides of nose especiallly (by Thibault Heimburger and others as evidence against imprinting by contact)

See my comment from November of last year, following evidence from Gérard Lucotte and his microscopists in Paris for the presence of “osseous remains” (read bone!) on the face of the Man on the TS.

See also this posting on the shroudstory from 2015, with mention of the unexpectedly flat nose of the Man on the TS, responding poorly to 3D-rendering.

To summarize: the TS image was intended to be quickly perceived as a body imprint: the combination of fresh-looking bloodstains on a yellowed body image were together intended to signal that the linen was Joseph of Arimathea’s linen, imprinted soon after crucifixion, probably en route from cross to tomb.

But that description alone does not allow one to say with confidence whether the imagery is authentic 1st century or a medieval simulation thereof. So what does, if anything?

Answer: it’s the simplification and doctoring that is the giveaway. Simplification? Faint, negative image, front and rear sides of body, not so much as a hint of sides, nor top of head, making for the uncompromising ‘cardboard cut-out’ appearance, intended to signal IMPRINT at very first sight. Yes, first impressions DO count!

But the imprint had to be subtly doctored to render the image a little more appealing to the eye, less a gross assault on the senses How? By adding a neck, given that would be missing from a simple imprint. Why? Because a detached ‘floating’ head would almost certainly have attracted negative comment, or merely puzzled and confused. Head hair also needed to be added, but again in a manner that could be surmised to have been acquired via imprinting, even if improbable in practical terms. Thus the lank, rigid appearance of the head hair bordering the left and right cheeks.

The TS image is best viewed, then, as a cunning blend of technology (primarily) but tempered here and there with those cosmetic additions. It’s that dual nature, one suspects –  in essence a manicured imprint – that explains why the image has defied easy interpretation over so many centuries, and indeed fazed the STURP team in 1978, who concluded it was still a mystery.

Overview: a crude contact-imprint, the appearance of which is softened by some crucial cosmetic additions, might arguably be deemed at least semi-artistic. To which I say NO! There is nothing in the least bit artistic about the image of the Man on the Turin Shroud. It was designed to shock via its brutal realism. No, not to enchant or enrapture, but to sustain, indeed reinforce religious belief (while mentally disarming and stunning those pesky sceptics into silence?) …


Added Sat 8th September, 2018

Have just been made aware of this recent paper  in Academia by the author himself (there being no listing anywhere on past or current Google search under (shroud of turin) – why not Google?)

hugh farey medieval shroud academia


See  mine and Hugh’s comments on this posting.

Added Sun 9th Sept, 2018

Image-analysis enthusiast LeeJay has just sent me the following  B/W image derived from the Durante 2002 portfolio, but of that faint and indistinct so-called ‘second face’ on the opposite side of the TS linen.

LeeJay second face Durante 2002

(I had to change the file type from tif to png to make it acceptable to WordPress software)

The image (make of it what you will dear reader)  was accompanied by this description which I’ve copied from Lee’s posting to the Comments:

leejay1985 says:

Hi all 🙂 In the last few weeks i have been doing a bit of messing about with a high res image of the reverse side of the turin shroud .. I focused mainly on the face area and tried a few different processing techniques. I can safely say that i believe there is a faint image of certain parts of the face. I cant upload the images to this site so if anyone is interested then let me know and i will use a 3rd party file sharing site to upload the images. I have quite a few with different filters,processing algorithms etc that i used. The results are interesting 🙂


The question I find myself asking, even now, concerns the fairly prominent hair, or should i say “hair” (a crucial determinant some might think in deciding whether the ‘second face; is real or not)?  Is it really hair one is seeing, or just the bleed-through of some or all of those extensive bloodstains one sees on the hair, image-side? A B/W picture makes it even harder to decide than the  the Durante 2002 colour-version of the ‘second face’ supplied on Mario Latendresse’s sindonology.org site.

Further addition (pm, Mon 10th Sept):

LeeJay, aka LeeJones, mentions the Enrie 1931 image acquired pre-digital photography, using a silver salt emulsion, and its exceoptionally good defintion (agreed).

Here’s my quickie 5 minute job at putting  the two side-by-side, at approx same level of magnification:

leejay image second face v enrie 1931

Would I be correct in thinking that what goes through to the opposite side is not just one component (blood, not surprisingly) but the more prominent features of the body image (nose etc) that would have imprinted better by virtue of greater impact pressure against the linen in a 3D-imprinting situation (i.e. from a real person’s angular face, not a mere bas relief)?  Hugh Farey please note (not that I regard real body v bas relief as a crucial issue when it comes to deciding on authenticity or even means of fabrication! The crucial issue is imprinting versus the alternatives, like “just a painting”  or ‘selfie’ image from pro-authenticity flash of resurrectional incandescence.

Added Tue 11th Sep 2018

Why is this piece of discredited work still being promoted, such that it is currently on Page 6 of Google returns under a (shroud of turin) search.

mccrone google listing page 6, 11 sep 2018

While on the subject of the mysterious Google, why has this site now disappeared totally from the same listings (until recently showing up anywhere between Pages 7 and 12)?

Might we be seeing the work of those SEOs (who email me from time to time, offering to get this site promoted to the top of search engine  listings)?

Added Thur 13th September, 2018 (image needed for current comments attached to this posting).

Here’s the title page from a splendid specialist paper on flax fibres (presumably relevant to linen derived therefrom via retting)

SEM flax fibre paper, 2018



Here’s an approximate cross-section of a single (damaged) fibre obtained with SEM:

microfibrils inside flax fibre top mag with x2.5 in Paint

Note the microfibrils densely packed within the fibre, the presence of which is normally hidden from view by the outer sheath we call the PCW (primary cell wall). Sindonology talks a lot about the image chromophore being confined  (allegedly) to the PCW, though rarely if ever any mention of the underlying microfibrils, and the capillary channels between them and never (as far as I’m aware) the display of the kind of cross-sectional view we see above.

Added 14th September, 2018

Have managed to track down a view of the front cover of this month’s edition of

Más allá de la Ciencia

(Spanish magazine), the one I mentioned earlier with the Isabela Herranz-penned summary of current Shroud research (including  a brief summary of this blogger’s 6 years of modelling plus mugshot!)

mas alla septiembre 2018 sabana



Later today:

Thanks to HF for a link to a PhD thesis with more splendid SEM views of quasi-cross-sections in 3D, one  that show the multitude of microfibrils inside each flax/linen fibre (which I say  simply cannot be ignored when discussing TS image chromophore thickness given likely intra-fibre penetration below and beneath the outer PCW sheath)

Here’s an especially good view:

fig 4.13b aslan flax microfibrils


Note the scale for 1 micrometre (1000 nanometres). Yup, that’s roughly as expected if the PCW is approx 200nm thick, i.e. a tiny fraction (<10%)  or thereabouts of the fibre diameter. But is the image chromophore really confined to that PCW, when there’s so much complexity underneath, notably horizontally-running microfibrils AND  their associated capillary channels, capable of wicking away any (momentarily) liquid chromophore precursors generated by my Model 10’s  proposal for a thermal Stage 2 processing of a Stage 1 flour imprint?

Update, 2nd October, 2018

Just back from delightful Jerez, in the south of Spain (the 14th visit to Spain by this Hispanophile and wife these last 40 years!).  Met up with feisty freelance journalist Isabela Herranz in Madrid.  Her article for Mas Alla, mentioned previously on this posting,  is still on the newstands:

mas alla jerez newstand 30 sep 18


Recognize a particular face and name  (one of several) that appears on Page 25?     😉


mas alla colin berry et al


Word of advice to travellers: don’t use Iberia Airlines (unless you’ve purchased a  multi- subcategory “Priority Boarding” ticket).

IMG_4313 Iberia Priority


Don’t be deceived by Iberia’s so called “Group 1” ticket  – NOT in the above list – which virtually guarantees cattle-class treatment to holders at the otherwise unsegregated boarding gates at both Jerez pint-size airport AND Madrid’s Terminal 4.

Back to topic: yes, yours truly assisted Isabela in the production of her article (which also features Dan Porter’s now retired shroudstory site).  Ano Cero (also partly visible on the above newstand) rejected her first article (“too sceptical”), and sadly there wasn’t space in the Mas Alla article for Isabela’s specially-commissioned one-off flour imprint of my hand, obtained with Model 10, before and after 3D enhancement.

(Better than the Sunday Times, which refused some 2 years back to publicize my Model 10 unless I was willing to provide a whole-body imprint – though that was the least of its Chief Reporter’s shortcomings, given other issues we needn’t go into!  As for the ST’s so-called “Science Editor” , words fail me…).

Oh well, you win some, you lose some (but in my experience invariably LOSE where the UK’s appalling anti-science – or,  at best, science-blind MSM – are concerned).

Thank heavens then for the Isabela Herranzs of this world, thank heavens for Continental Europe (shame however about the language barrier).

Moving on: arriving back from a late-summer/early autumn holiday break, mentally -refreshed, so to speak, I’ve started to give thought to my next posting.

Maybe a  listing of reasons that support  my Model 10  (flour imprinting, followed by thermal development of yellow/brown colour)?

I thought initially I might be able to give 2 , maybe 3 compelling  reasons …

Am currently up to 23!   (Maybe some more compelling than others).

But there’s no point in proactive posting on a Web-forum,  supposedly more user-friendly than the peer-reviewed journals and their paywalls,  unless there’s feedback.

I shall wait for feedback  – whether positive or negative, days, weeks, months if necessary…

So it’s over to you, dear reader.   Is  (or is not?)  the Shroud of Turin a medievally- produced simulated sweat/blood  imprint of the newly crucified  Jesus onto Joseph of Arimathea’s linen?  Was the intention  to trump the then celebrated Veil of Veronica (face-imprint only) as a pilgrim-attracting money-spinner – if only briefly successful to begin with?

I say it was.  But I’m open to alternative suggesions (provided, that is, respect for the facts, as distinct from wild preconception-based fantasy,  gets a look-in).

PS: that list of reasons in favour of the image being a heat-treated flour imprint is now at 29, up from the 23 cited above!


October 4, 2018

Hey! Look what I’ve discovered, on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site from December 2011!


joe nickell comment dec 2011


Unbelievable!  Almost 7 years have passed since the colourful (and hugely perceptive) Joe Nickell pointed out a major omission from the Shroud data base, namely the absence of a simple image fibre CROSS-SECTION, aka transverse section.

Yes, here we are, 7 years later and STILL no transverse section (at least that I’m aware of).  Yet image ultra-superficiality, based on nothing more that  ‘views from the outside, attempting to see what’s inside’ have become the stock-in-trade of those claims for  a non- forgeable, supernaturally-generated pro-authenticity message.

As I say  – unbelievable – displaying a total dereliction of the scientific method (where  no microscopy can be considered complete without a simple, look-inside TRANSVERSE section).



Site banner: see how a simulated sweat imprint (my wet hand pressed down onto dark fabric) responds magnificently to 3D-rendering computer software (ImageJ) before and after tone-reversal (negative back to positive image). Remind you of anything? Like those supposedly “unique”  and “encoded” 3D-properties of the Shroud of Turin body image? For a more realistic aged/yellowed sweat imprint, see the many postings on this site since 2014 obtained with the aid of my Model 10 (imprinting off  parts, notably head and hands, of a real body (mine!) onto linen with white wheaten flour, followed by heat-development of the image to generate carbon-based and thus bleachable straw-coloured melanoidins via Maillard reactions between wheat proteins and reducing sugars). 

Posted in Shroud of Turin, shroud of turin, | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Here it is at last – a simple explanation for the Shroud of Turin – how and more importantly WHY it was made in the mid 14th century. Think simulated sweat imprint, seemingly yellowed with age, plus bloodstains in all the right places….

I concluded the previous posting with the following simple and blunt message (but have since decided it warrants a posting all to itself):

The time for being restrained and polite is over. Why?

I have just privately listed some 8 or 9 sindonology sites, all pro-authenticity needless to say, none, I repeat NONE of which have so much as breathed a single word of my “simulated sweat imprint” take on the Turin Shroud.

Why not? Answer – because they know it makes sense, and know it would put them and their fanciful “burial shroud/imaging via resurrectional incandescence” straight out of business if more widely known.

The key to understanding the TS is the disconnect between the 4 Gospel accounts. Pro-authenticity sindonology is only interested in the version supplied in John, maintaining a blind spot for what the preceding 3 synoptic Gospels have to say about Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being delivered to the CROSS, or Pontius Pilate, not the tomb, to receive a body on which the blood was perceived (for medieval modelling purposes) as still moist and thus capable of leaving its imprint, accompanied by SWEAT as well to produce the body imprint as well.

Shhhh! Don’t mention sweat! Sindonology has closed its ears to sweat, more specifically the notion of the TS body image being a SIMULATED SWEAT IMPRINT produced in medieval times, modelled/inspired no doubt by that Veil of Veronica, attracting paying pilgrims galore.

(See my posting from Nov 2014 in which “simulated sweat imprint” is linked with the pre-exisiting Veil of Veronica)

“We can trump the face-only Veil”, thought the secretive clerics of Lirey, and indeed they were right!

More to follow in due course – like a summary of how the idea of the Shroud as a simulated sweat imprint first came to me on learning of the recent discovery of the Machy Mould, how everything I read and discovered by experimentation fitted with the new model, and how that so-called academic discipline (ha ha) that calls itself sindonology does NOT want you to know about my simple non-supernatural “simulated sweat imprint” theory, and indeed has done its best to suppress it for the best part of 4 whole years.

Note regarding site banner:

See how a simulated sweat imprint (my wet hand pressed down onto dark fabric) responds magnificently to 3D-rendering computer software (ImageJ) before and after tone-reversal (negative back to positive image). Remind you of anything? Like those supposedly “unique”  and “encoded” 3D-properties of the Shroud of Turin body image? For a more realistic aged/yellowed sweat imprint, see the many postings on this site since 2014 obtained with the aid of my Model 10 (imprinting off  parts, notably head and hands, of a real body (mine!) onto linen with white wheaten flour, followed by heat-development of the image to generate carbon-based and thus bleachable straw-coloured melanoidins via Maillard reactions between wheat proteins and reducing sugars). 

Background to the notion of the TS as representing a ‘simulated sweat imprint’ (medieval manufacture):

Here’s a screen grab of the first mention made of “sweat imprint” on this site. It’s from Feb 2014, some four and a half years ago!  “Simulated” does not get a mention yet. That came later the same year.

feb 2014

Yes, it was November the same year (2014) when my catch-phrase description of the  TS expanded to “simulated sweat imprint” with this posting:

nov 2014

What you see above is my earlier Model 2 (simulating an ancient yellowed sweat imprint via direct scorching of linen from a heated metal template). Things have moved on – to Model 10 – imprinting from a real body onto wet linen using white flour, and then gently roasting the linen!

So what was the crucial experiment that replaced Model 2 (finally) with Model 10?

Here were the origins of Model 10 (flour imprinting to simulate an ancient sweat imprint) appearing on my generalist sciencebuzz site in October 2014:

sciencebuzz oct 2014

Direct scorching off a heated template is easy when dealing with something small and bas relief like a horse brass, less so with a life-size bronze statue or similar!

Solution: tested first with the horse brass:  smear lightly with vegetable oil, sprinkle with white flour from a height, shake off the excess flour. press the coated template down onto WET linen, then gently roast the linen over charcoal embers or in an oven to develop the yellow/brown melanoidin image.

The technology works!  What’s more it is easily adaptable to imprint one’s own hand or even one’s face, as I showed back in May 2015.

new 3D highly cropped

Howzat!  Admittedly the image was produced using a wet slurry of flour as imprinting agent, in conjunction with dry linen (which preceded my resort to dry white flour onto wet linen. (That was in response to criticism that my images were too sharp and well-defined compared with the TS body image.  One can always rely on sindonologists to seek out the tiniest supposed defects in one’s modelling efforts, ignoring the underlying  scientific principles!).

Yes, that imprint of my face is a tone-reversed negative. The prominences that look lightest in a photograph through reflecting most incoming light look darkest and vice versa. That is entirely to be expected of a CONTACT imprint, where the linen makes best contact with the features that are raised rather than recessed. Forget all the hype about the TS body image being a ‘selfie’ photograph produced by resurrectional radiation. The makers of the TS simply wanted the viewer to see the double body image as the contact imprint left by sweat and blood on an up-and-over sheet of fine linen, the one described as “clean linen” (Matthew), “fine linen” (Mark) or simply “linen” (Luke), the one supplied by Joseph of Arimathea to collect the body, either from the cross or from Pontius Pilate’s safe keeping. Our medieval modellers saw and seized an opportunity to mimc on a larger scale the kind of imagery that captured the face of the founder of Christianity en route to the cross onto the lady bystander’s veil (“Veil of Veronica”) but with a crucial  difference – a simulation of Joseph of Arimathea’s linen could be used  to capture an image of the entire body, frontal v dorsal sides, with the drenching in body sweat providing a notional latent image (“sweat imprint”)  that would subsequently become more easily visible (and explainable) as the result of yellowing with age.

In other words, the explanation for the Turin Shroud is simple, absurdly simple. That explains why sindonology pretends my thinking is not there, despite placing close on 400  postings to the internet these last 6 years or more. Sindonology does not want you viewing the TS as a sheet of linen that acquired its imprint en route from cross to tomb – far less a medieval modelling of that scenario. It wants you to view the linen as the BURIAL shroud referred to in the book of John, to see the imaging as a byproduct of resurrection, with all kinds of abstruse explanations to account for the co-imaging of blood as if still fresh and unclotted.

Sindonology sees the Shroud as an opportunity to impose its view of the genuinness of the Shroud by having us believe that its image characteristics could only have been acquired by supernatural means that tally with the Gospel account of the Resurrection. Sindonology is mistaken. The Shroud’s imagery is entirely explainable , drawing on simple imprinting physics, chemistry and biology.

It’s time sindonology returned to earth, and did some genuine relevant modelling to confirm the ideas presented here. The first things it should do are: (a) confirm the radicarbon dating and cease impugning the integrity of the 3 dating labs from 1988  or of their overseer – the British Museum and (b) confirm that the body image is melanoidin from an extraneous addition –  (imprinting medium – probably white flour or similar) NOT modified linen cellulose.

Suppose now you create the beginnings of a supposedly ‘scientific’ rainbow, one which says: follow the rainbow into the enigmatic realms of the Turin Shroud, venturing into regions where science is incapable of explaining the image characteristics (does it heck!).  Suppose you convince your audience that there is no explanation in terms of conventional science – that one has to assume a supernatural intervention – bursts of radiation at Resurrection that scorch on an image of the crucified Jesus, days old bloodstains an’all.

Notice anything? If you succeed in your aim of ‘enigmatizing’ the Shroud of Turin, convincing the world at large that its a magical entity, then you have created for yourself a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.  How?

Simple! Convince the world that the Shroud is a supernatural gift from on high, then you have created for yourself a seemingly virtuous circle. If the Shroud is a supernatural relic, then you have in your hands tangible ‘evidence’ of the biblical account of the aftermath of crucifixion – miraculous restoration of life, later Ascension to rejoin the Father on high. Think Super-Shroud of Turin, not Simulated Sweat Imprint of obscure Lirey, deeply rural outskirts of Troyes,  Champagne region, mid-14th century France.

In short, the Shroud of Turin, properly handled with judicious inputs of new “science” at regular intervals, becomes the self-reinforcing religious relic, one that goes on giving. Is it any wonder that so much effort has gone into “proving” the authenticity of the Turin Shroud? In religious terms, it is gold dust, nay ingots of solid platinum…

More to come, possibly, though running out of things to say. Comments as ever are welcome (first-time comments being subject to my pre-approval – that being WordPress standard practice – its decision, not mine).

Kindly shoot me down, if you can…

Afterthought:  some might be interested in the current technology used to make arguably Shroud-like images off 3D templates (whether inanimate, like plastic or metal figurines, or the human anatomy). I can’t list all my postings on the practical nitty-gritty – there being too many of them. Here’s just one that shows the simplicity of the procedure, used to create a pre-photographic negative-image selfie from a small brass crucifix, purchased some years ago in a French Saturday market:


Note the posting title: Who says science can’t explain the Shroud of Turin?

Future directions?

This site reports on current research, letting the reader in on my current thinking ahead of critical scrutiny (mine in the first instance!). It eschews the sindonological norm of hitting the reader with one fait accompli after another, ones that invariably fizzle out to nothing (those pulsed-uv laser studies from Italy’s ENEA being a case in point!).

So what’s the current thinking?  See that contact image of my own face, obtained as I said by the wet-slurry technology with white flour  onto dry linen that preceded dry flour  imprinting onto wet linen. It’s better, much better than the results obtained later with dry flour onto wet linen.

Am I not right in thinking that the face of the Man on the TS is reckoned to be significantly more intense than the rest of the body image, that the hint of a “second face” image on the opposite side of the linen is confined to the face mainly (hands get a mention too). Is there not a more abrupt cut-off between cheek bones and hair compared with a fuzzier edge to the rest of the body? Does that not suggest a difference in technique used for face compared with rest of body?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Wet slurry was used to image the face, initially onto dry linen, with thermal development initially of the face only. Then and only then was dry flour used to imprint the image of the rest of the body, with a second thermal step to bring up the rest of the image.

That two step procedure might account for the odd appearance of the head/torso junction, maybe that prominent horizontal crease line where the two meet that appears to be part of the body image – not a later acquired non-baked-in-crease as some have suggested.

The first priority is book research, and such published data that are available without shelling out huge dollops of pension merely for a peek behind journal paywalls.

Advantages of the two step procedure? Two come to mind immediately. First – economy: upmarket linen (herring bone twill  weave) is pricey. So get the tricky high-definition face right first. If it’s initially a botch job, then simply cut that small segment off and dispose of it, leaving unmarked linen for another use.

Second: preserving sensibilities: while one wants the face to be the highest possible definition, showing this or that detail that helps the pilgrim recognize the face as being that of the crucified Jesus, one prefers to have a fuzzier image for the rest of the naked body.  There are also the innumerable scourge marks, allegedly some 372!,  that will later have to be applied to the rest of the body (while not needed on the face!) so best to divide up the imprinting procedure into two separate phases.

Here’s another idea for consideration: go to the John account of the tomb and ‘disappeared body’, an account that differs markedly from that in the three preceding synoptic gospels.

In my King James version of the Bible it reads (John Chp. 20, verses 5, 6 and7):

v5: And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying ; yet went he not in.

v6: Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.

 v7: And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Might it not be unreasonable to suggest that forgers’ initial aim was to simulate that face cloth only, with a Veronica-like imprinted image of the face only of the crucified Jesus, and they became very practised and expert in perfecting that image, probably using the wet flour slurry technique. (Suggestions that the image borders would be too sharp are easily dispensed with – they could simply abrade the edges of the initial air-dried flour imprint gently to remove any ridge- like accumulations of flour).

The idea initially was ‘merely’ to display a Mark 2 Veronica. But someone had a brainwave: why not add an imprint of the rest of the body, front and rear, and claim that the image represented that left on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen en route from cross to tomb, an ancient age-yellowed sweat imprint, with bloodstains in all the give-away locations, leaving no doubt as to the identify of the imprinted Man on the up-and-over body-concealing Shroud.?

Monday July 30, 2018

Have been searching through my own archives for a comparison of the two modes of flour imprinting – wet slurry onto dry linen as against dry flour powder onto wet linen. Have finally succeeded in tracking down an image that shows the two side by side, from August 2015, almost 3 years ago:

The image on the left was obtained with wet slurry onto dry linen, using a hot oven to develop the colour, with no final washing step. Note the relatively sharp outline (attracting almost immediate negative comment from a certain pro-authenticity hyper-critical quarter). The second was my response – to switch to imprinting with dry white flour onto wet linen. But there’s a difference –  after oven-heating the image was then vigorously washed with soap and water so as to detach all but the most tenaciously-attached pigment (presumably melanoidin in chemical terms, i.e. high molecular weight products formed via protein-sugar interactions). Note the fuzzy border of the end-result, which immediately put flour-imprinting back into contention (in my humble opinion), even if the response from sindonology was the customary deafening silence! But then one does not look to sindonology for approval…  It’s scorn and/or vitriol or nothing, in my 6+ years of experience!  Academic discipline?  Do me a favour… For 95% of the time it’s now’t but agenda-pushing pseudoscience!

Returning to yesterday’s suggestion that the initial aim of our Lirey artisan/clerics was ‘merely’ to simulate the “facecloth” that was left in the sepulchre, not Joseph of Arimathea’s main sheet of linen, i.e. that the initial objective was to produce  a credible imprint of the face only (using I suggested the flour slurry/dry linen imprinting technique). I think I now have tangible evidence that was indeed the case!  It will follow later this morning, but here’s a foretaste of what is still to come:

machy mould

See the second of Ian Wilson’s splendid articles on the Machy Mould that appeared in the BSTS Newsletter (pre-paywall!) in December 2013:

But there’s a higher definition picture of the Machy Mould on Mario Latendresse’s sindonlogy.org site that argues against what I was about to suggest:

mario latendresse sindonologia machy mould

The herringbone weave is clearly apparent, and extends all the way to the left extremity of the cleric on the right. That says the two ARE displaying the full-length body shroud, not the much smaller face cloth as might be considered compatible with the inset face above the word SUAIRE (“face cloth”).

Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Tuesday July 31, 2018

Years ago I watched a TV programme which followed a Church of England bishop to California (as I recall) where he had been invited by the Creationists. He for his part defended Darwinian evolution over billions of years, but did not stop there. He deployed a telling analogy as a means of signalling his dislike of Creationist advocacy. He invited his now visibly uptight audience to compare their tactics with those who boast they have hit the bullseye with a carefully aimed dart.

Fine if the target was there first, the dart arriving later. But that’s not the real version of events where Creationism is concerned he said. The dart was thrown first, onto a mounted blank canvas , and the dart board then meticulously drawn around it, the point of dart entry being centred on the red bullseye needless to say!

That analogy now comes repeatedly to mind when I read the incresingly desperate arguments that come from pro-authenticity sindonology. That was the case in the previous posting where I expressed deep misgivings regarding the scientific legitimacy of the Carlino and Fanti paper, claiming there were “nanoparticles” that identified the blood on a minute fragment of Shroud linen fibre as displaying creatinine/iron oxide associations (really?), one they claimed  that betrayed objective clinical evidence of “trauma” and “torture”. Secondary reporting – much of it gleeful – of that single paper in 2017 had by May 2018 consumed 15 of the top 150 Google listings no less under a simple “shroud of turin” search, i.e. an amazing 10% of the total.  Meanwhile this site, at the time was nowhere to be seen (though having said that, it’s currently back on Page 9).

We’ve since learned that the open-access journal PLOS ONE, which published the Carlino and Fanti paper, has since retracted it (good for them!)  in spite of the authors’ objections. See my previous posting for links and details.

That paper was to my way of thinking a prime example of  dart first, bullseye second pseudoscience, and not the first of that type to emerge with the name of Professor Fanti of Padua University prominent among the authors and/or instigators.  Uncompromisingly pro-authenticity Professor Fanti is an engineer by profession, not a scientist (and oh boy, does it show!).

I’ll be back tomorrow with a plea for flour-imprinting to be recognized as a credible means by which the TS body image was produced by 14th century artisans. It’s frankly absurd that pro-authenticity sindonology (bar the occasionally receptive and open-minded Thibault Heimburger MD from whom we’ve worryingly heard nothing for many months) fails even to acknowledge its existence. One cannot call oneself an academic discipline if one fails to address critics, especially those who have developed radically new lines of thinking, as I have done these last 6 years.

Incidentally, my 1986 resistant starch/dietary fibre paper had 550 citations under Google Scholar at the last look.

1986 RS paper 550 citations


How many sindonologists can match that for established scientific credentials, one wonders?

Wednesday Aug 1, 2018

We continue to see this entry under Google returns for an entry level search under (shroud of turin), day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…

shroud secrets continue to elude science p5 google

No, that’s a travesty of the real facts, namely that it’s science that continues to elude the proponents of Shroud authenticity, especially those who claim that the body image cannot  be accounted for by any known science. Crazy! Preposterous!

Why does it baffle science?  Ask sindonologists to spell out the reasons, but make sure you first ask them to say what they know about the chemical nature of the image chromophore. If they tell you they know nothing whatsoever (or mutter vaguely  about “oxidized cellulose” without supplying a scrap of hard chemical evidence) then tell them simply and forcibly that if they can’t be bothered to do the preliminary chemical analysis, then they have no business whatsoever declaring the body image to be inexplicable by any known science.

Tell them to go away and determine the chemical nature of the image chromophore before belittling the powerful scientific method (which is fully capable of determining the chemistry, provided it’s first given access to image fibres (and I don’t mean those contaminated sticky tape samples as harvested by Raymond Rogers).  The latter inferior substitutes were immediately dispatched to a microscopist – Walter McCrone – who did no chemistry worth speaking of – yet declared the chromophore to be “iron oxide”, totally at odds with Adler’s later discovery that the chromophore was bleachable witb various chemical reagents, making it ORGANIC in nature, NOT inorganic).

That we should constantly be regaled year after year with that laughable headline from a non-scientific source (National Geographic magazine) is frankly a disgrace. Why is it still there, 3 years after its insulting appearance? Who’s continue to broadcast and disseminate that total misrepresentation of the real facts?

Thursday Aug 2, 2018

Here’s a hair-curling instance of crass hypocrisy from pro-authenticity sindonology. It appeared in yesterday’s online Daily Express (UK mass circulation tabloid newspaper):

express article shroud 1 aug 18


Excerpt: I’ve corrected the spelling of “Emanuella” (sic).

“But the four experts, Barrie Schwortz, Bruno Barberis, Emanuela Marinelli and Professor Jorge Manuel Rodrigues are preparing to hit back during a presentation at the UK’s largest Muslim convention, the Jalsa Salana, on Friday.

All four have spent long periods of their respective careers studying the shroud, which is regarded as a holy relic by the Vatican.

Speaking prior to Friday’s event, Ms Marinelli said: “It’s absolutely not comparable to the scientific investigations done by those who have truly studied the Shroud.

“These two men, the authors of this study, have never seen the Shroud up-close and surely not from afar. “


Strange: three of STURP’s best known investigators were (a) John Heller (b) Alan Adler (c) Walter McCrone (his association with STURP being shortlived, on account of a falling out)…

Heller gave us the book with a blow-by-blow account of the STURP project from start to finish.

Alan Adler gave us the “blood too red” claim, his bizarre explanation in terms of “trauma bilirubin” and his highly tendentious explanation for imprinting from dried clotted bloodstains (“serum exudation from retracted blood clots”).

McCrone gave us his notorious “just a painting” dismissal of the Shroud body image (Why?  Because it appeared particulate under his microscope, working with those sticky tape samples supplied to him by returning Raymond N.Rogers).

Why am I telling you this? Answer: because NONE OF THOSE THREE ACCOMPANIED RAY ROGERS, JOHN JACKSON and the rest of the STURP team to Turin in 1978. All three were content to remain behind in their respective US homes, and wait for Ray Rogers to return with his sticky tape samples.  None saw the Shroud with their own eyes, not in 1978, despite being given the privileged once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so (albeit having to meet theior own travel expenses). 

Yet to this day we see attempts to lionize one or other of those three stay-at-home individuals (with Barrie M.Schwortz recently describing Alan Adler on STERA’s Facebook page as a “world renowned blood chemist” (which he most certainly was not, being a largely non-clinical porphyrin specialist).

Yet now we read in our newspapers  an attempt on the part of a “Shroud expert” to belittle two investigators, one at the University of Pavia, the other at Liverpool (John Moore) Univerity deploying no-nonsense scientific (modelling) techniques, on the basis that neither has had STURP-type access to the Shroud! Have she ever seen fit to criticize Heller, Adler or McCrone for the same reason, or berated STERA’s President for recently absurdly inflating  Alan D. Adler’s reseacrh credentials?  If so, where? Have I missed it?

No, of course she has not. What we see is a double standard operating, one for true believers, another for those who dare challenge their poorly-documented claims for the Shroud being the actual “burial cloth” of the crucified Jesus.

Sindonology gets worse with each passing day …  I personally wouldn’t bother, but for the fact that it continues to claim that the Shroud image cannot be explained in terms of known science. Is that surprising, when international scientists are denied access to image fibres, or even a close inspection of the intact item ?  So stop putting out your dismissive snide put-downs to the mass media you back-to-the-wall true-believer sindonologists.  Look and sound kike the ‘experts’ you claim to be. Press for  other qualified investigators, sceptics especially, to be given  access.  Urge the Shroud custodians to allow limited albeit destructive sampling of less conspicuous image and bloodstained fibres. Stop claiming scientists are baffled when in fact they have simply been denied proper access, when high-profile STURP “investigators”  themselves couldn’t even be bothered to see the TS with their own eyes!  It’s time the image chromophore and blood were properly analysed, not merely passed around for poking and prodding by those lacking the desire or means to perform proper state-of-the-art microchemical testing.

Here’s a question for those “experts” listed at the start of the Express article. State the chemical nature of the Shroud body image chromophore in a single sentence. Answer straightaway please – , NOW not next week, next year, next century… Until you can supply an answer, then kindly cease your endless belittling of university-based investigators in the mass media.  Cease declaring the TS to be inexplicable in terms of known science, only to turn on those who take up the challenge, instantly belittling, berating and name-calling.

Saturday Aug 4, 2018

Have just spotted a lively account in the Independent of what Barrie M. Schwortz and Emanuela Marinelli having been saying to journalists assembled in Hampshire at  this year’s Ahmadiyya Muslim annual “big tent” gathering.


There’s a fascinating detail regarding the second of those (E.Marinelli, referred to vaguely in the Express report discussed earlier as an “expert”, that being a term I wish the media would drop, being essentially meaningless in my view, especially if meaning little more than “proselytizing specialist with an axe to grind”!).

Here’s what the Independent’s journalist has just written (complete news to me, and quite an eye-opener!): I’ve coloured up the bit that made me see red!

It is a theme repeated with gusto by his fellow sindonologist Emanuela Marinelli, 67, a retired high school geography teacher with two degrees who takes the title professor by virtue of the Italian custom of giving the honorific to schoolteachers.

“What is really disturbing,” says Prof Marinelli.  “Is that hardly any media attention is paid to all the stuff about the shroud in peer-reviewed journals, and then this stupid experiment [with the blood and the mannequin] … big, big publicity!”

Well, well well – you live and you learn.

Since when has it been the role of retired schoolteachers to go declaring the hands-on experimental modelling by two respected academics, both university based, at least one (Luigi Garlaschelli)  – possibly the other too-  occupying a ‘chair’ i.e. professorship as the term is universally understood as a “stupid experiment”.  My advice to “Prof” Marinelli is to get acquainted with the scientific method, which is essentially about the setting up and testing of  cautiously stripped-down “models” in the first instance, and refrain from taking cheap shots at the inevitable limitations of one’s models, the earlier ones especially. (This Shroud investigator worked his way through 9 experimental models for the Shroud body image before settling on Model 10, while having to cope with needless and ill-informed flak# emanating from (guess who?)  STERA’s President when back in early 2012  I checked out direct scorching of linen from a hot metal template – though not  full-size mannequin, i.e. Model 2-   before discarding it, more on practical than theoretical grounds. Oh, and that rejection had nothing whatsoever to do with “inadmissible fluorescence of ALL scorches under uv” as falsely claimed by STERA’s scientifically-unqualified President, busting in on the Comments section of a Dan Porter posting, attempting lord it over all and sundry.

# Here’s how that visitation from on high began, the target “gentleman” being yours truly:

February 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Sadly, that’s why I don’t post to blogs very often. I don’t have time to waste debating folks who simply choose to ignore the published science. They obviously have already made up their minds so why bother? Perhaps they have more time on their hands than I do, but I am not interested in arguing for the sake of argument. That is why I never try to convince anyone of anything. Frankly, I don’t really care what this gentleman thinks and will leave him in your and Dan Porter’s able hands  …

And here’s a link to a posting some 3 years later when I finally got round to addressing the STERA President’s false claim , done via that  good old-fashioned process called systematic scientific investigation, i.e.  of experimental model scorches  versus other thermal imprints, Model 10 especially (as distinct from shooting one’s mouth off, taking the weak uv fluorescence of scorched and charred areas on the Shroud arising from the 1532 fire to represent “all scorches”). Scorched and charred area cannot be used  in so cavalier a fashion to dismiss new thermal-imprinting models for the TS body image, whether direct (hot metal template) and –  least of all –  indirect (flour imprinting followed by thermal development via infrared radiation, e.g. from glowing charcoal embers, of melanoidin colour), viz. my Models 2 and 10 respectively.

“President of the Shroud of Turin “Education” and “Research” Association”, ha ha,  hoovering up his ex-STURP associates’ copyright the moment they pop their clogs?  Talk about self-aggrandisement, feathering of that oh-so-cosy  STERA nest!

Methinks it’s time for those know-all publicity-hungry photographers and schoolteachers to think about taking a back seat, leaving the real science to us real scientists! They could start by staying away from newspaper journalists for a start, at least until they have done their homework and/or caught up with current as distinct from decades-old research.

On a different subject (real purpose of Stonehenge), see my latest posting, put up less than an hour ago in response to what I consider a ground-breaking BBC article.  It could be said to support my long-held ‘sky burial’ ‘pre-cremation’ hypothesis. Time will tell.

Monday Aug 6, 2018

On reading through this posting, and its focus on the relative merits/demerits of wet  versus dry white flour as putative medieval-era imprinting agent, I suddenly realized there’s a third option needing to be studied (well, a variant of the wet slurry technique). The complaint made against wet slurry (tossed in somewhat too hastily in my view, but never mind) was that the edges of the imprint were too sharp and well defined.

I used modern roller-milled sieved white flour (sieved to remove all but the finest bran particles). But it’s unlikely that “white flour” in 14th century France was anything like as “white” as modern day flour. Probably the coarsest bran particles were sieved off, but what went through the mesh starting with stone-ground wheat grains was probably closer in appearance to modern day “brown flour” still with a sizeable bran component – which incidentally would make the primary imprint, prior to thermal or chemical development of colour, easy to see against white linen background.

Six years ago, or even 1 year ago, I’d be spreading newspaper over the dining room table, and raiding cupboards in the kitchen for utensils and ingredients (flour, vegetable oil etc).

Not any more. The comparison between white, brown and wholemeal flour – to compare the sharpness of the image in each case – can wait. What’s the point of doing all these experiments when sindonology turns its back on any and all scientific research that does NOT start with a presumption of 1st century authenticity, and which even to this day promotes its lurid fantasies regarding “resurrectional incandescence”. Those are based for the most part on nothing more than pseudoscience (e.g. supernatural emanations from a corpse of subatomic particles, notably neutrons and protons, or of high energy pulses of uv radiation, as generated by modern day lasers etc etc).

No, why bother doing the scientific spadework to respond to the monotonous claim that the TS body image cannot and never will be reproduced by any known science when one’s experimentation, reported here online, month after month, year after year, is studiously ignored and worse (let’s not go into the kind of  genteel  – and not-so-genteel – character assassination that is directed at those of us who take up the  challenge on behalf of mainstream model-building science.

I predict that brown flour slurry, and especially wholemeal, with give a fuzzier image than white flour. But I’m no longer squandering my free time in doing the necessary experiments to test my own hypotheses.  It’s sufficient now to flag up the available options, restricted or otherwise, bearing in mind the medieval era,  and leave it at that.


Appendix:  This image is one I produced back in early 2012 using ImageJ 3D-rendering software, normalised initially to contact scorch imprints),  it being needed to illustrate a comment on the current posting.





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How come my “simulated sweat imprint” hunch is nowhere to be found in Google’s top 150 search returns under ‘shroud of turin’ (unlike those eye-glazing announcements for “Shroud replica goes on display… ” etc etc )?

Site banner: see how a simulated sweat imprint (my wet hand pressed down onto dark fabric) responds magnificently to 3D-rendering computer software (ImageJ) before and after tone-reversal (negative back to positive image). Remind you of anything? Like those supposedly “unique”  and “encoded” 3D-properties of the Shroud of Turin body image? For a more realistic aged/yellowed sweat imprint, see the many postings on this site since 2014 obtained with the aid of my Model 10 (imprinting off  parts, notably head and hands, of a real body (mine!) onto linen with white wheaten flour, followed by heat-development of the image to generate carbon-based and thus bleachable straw-coloured melanoidins via Maillard reactions between wheat proteins and reducing sugars). 

And now for something  completely different (this end-of-the-rainbow posting)! 

This posting will shortly list in rank order the first 150 postings that appear under a (shroud of turin) Google search. They will go up in batches of approx 15, starting at the lower end, working towards the top. A few will be annotated over a period of time (look for the red typeface) in a manner guaranteed to get some backs up…  Sorry, there are things that need to be said – or not said – as the case may be… 

That list is the first step in attempting to deduce why some posts appear in Google’s top rankings and not others.


Late insertion: June 16, 2018

This site disappeared from all Google listings under (shroud of turin) over 24 hours ago. Here’s the kind of thing, highlighted in yellow, that has taken its place:


S of T beach towel 16 june18

Good, isn’t it? Something is there that has no business to be, unless flagged as an ad’. One begins to see what the $hroud of Turin represents to the Google so-called $earch engine, read e-commerce click-bait directory.

Once Google’s role is interpreted (correctly or otherwise) I’ll move on and look at other factors that might be operating (like self-appointed sindonological ‘gatekeepers’ and self-promoters?). Right now, I suspect that both factors operate in unison … which would explain why my “simulated sweat imprint” interpretation of the Turin Shroud, easily modelled  I might add as a white flour facial or other body imprint onto wet linen with subsequent heat-treatment, is and has been effectively suppressed since my first unveiling it in early 2014. (Yes, 4 years ago no less!).

That’s under a simple entry-level search under (shroud of turin) I hasten to add. If one adds (simulated sweat imprint) then one gets an entire page of references to one or other of mine and others’ websites on which the words and concept, dare I say simplifying paradigm, has appeared . In other words, it’s there, but you have to know where to look – Google fails to flag it up under the general search. Think needle, think  Google haystack…

See this report that appeared in November 2014 on Dan Porter’s long-since retired   shroudstory site:


dan porter nov 12 2014 simulated sweat imprint


Here are the two links  to which Dan Porter made reference, the first from November 2014, the second earler still (July the same year) both on my sciencebuzz site) :



( Added as an afterthought:  Yup, this blogger was attempting to use the internet some 3 years ago and more to float the idea of Joseph of Arimathea’s linen sheet being  seen first and foremost by our medieval modellers as an impromptu stretcher (not self-evidently intended in the biblical account to double as a subsequent burial shroud!), of sweat and blood being notionally imprinted en route to the tomb, of white flour as a likely imprinting agent in the medieval modelling, of a number of options for  image chromophore colour development (nitric acid, heat) etc etc. Years of asserting the same interpretation, the same message, bar variations in detail, which I consider plain commonsense,  with what result?  Answer: scarcely a word from tight-lipped ‘sindonology’!  Bizarre! Truly bizarre!  Whatever happened to the ‘world of ideas’?  Has it been killed off by  publicity-hungry sindonological pseudoscience, MSM dumbing-down, social media, fake news, so-called ‘search engines’  that may search initially, then curate/filter/window-dress, air-brush etc etc?

No, it should NEVER  have been referred to  as the “Shroud” of Turin,  given the ambiguity as to where acquisition of an image in the biblical context could have taken place and precisely onto what.  “Shroud” is too loaded a term. It should have been called the “Deposition Linen of Turin“, which is essentially how it’s described in the first three Gospels – the receipt of the crucified, newly-deceased founder of Christianity by one Joseph of Arimathea, more specifically  “taking down of a body”, i.e. “Deposition from the Cross” to use the the Church’s formal terminology).

Late insertion (May 26, 2018). Here’s an update of my “simulated sweat imprint”  enigma-dispensing answer, the one for which  sindonology, Google, wiki, even non-authenticists wedded to their simplistic “just a painting” narrative have developed a near total blind spot (Dan Porter  – see above – for all his genteel put-downs having been a rare exception!)


1. While we see images of a face on the long-lost Veil of Veronica in wikipedia and other photo-archives, most resembling fully-fledged works of art, one or two are less-well defined:

Francisco_de_Zurbarán_011 V of V from wiki


The artist has made some allowance for imaging via a supposed imprinting  mechanism initially from a sweat/blood coated face – later enhanced (whether artistically, divinely or both!). The 14th century creators of the Shroud took that notion to its ultimate conclusion, attempting to visualize the primary image, prior to that credulity-stretching enhancement, all the way back to the primary near-invisible imprint that might be imagined to have been acquired as latent image within minutes of death and/or removal from a cross. They then set out to simulate how that initial latent image might have yellowed over the course of centuries to become visible – but only just. (I reject the mainstay argument of Charles Freeman that because engravings exist of the Shroud being held aloft to giant crowds of  alleged relic-viewers/worshippers in the early pre-Turin days of open-air display, post 15th century, ipso facto it must have been a bold image, visible from afar. Has Freeman and others never heard of artistic licence?).

2. Accounts for the negative,i.e. tone reversed image (as expected of a contact imprint, not just a 1st stage product of silver emulsion or other pre-digital era photochemical image-capture)

3. Explains the colour (supposedy 13 centuries old yellowed sweat, only just visible – not too much).

4. Explains imprinting of front and back, not the sides – J of A’s linen having notionally acquired its double-body imprint during brief transport when the linen was used as an improvised stretcher with scarcely any contact  with SIDES of body.


Here’s the imagined scenario as per the 1st 3 Gospel accounts, with the newly crucified body of  Jesus being received into Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.  If the latter were pictured as being used as a makeshift stretcher, with no appreciable ‘wrap-around’ of the sides, contact being exclusively with top and recumbent underside of body, it explains why those 14th century modellers decided to make the body image look the way it does, i.e. negative (tone-reversed) contact imprint, no sides …  (Yes, contact-imprinting only – no photography of any description!).  Modelled imprinting pre- NOT post-interment in tomb, while sweat and blood still not fully dry.

Notionally, the transport linen was intended to be replaced by more specialized burial ‘clothes’ after arrival at the rock tomb but post-Sabbath.

5. Explains good imprinting of blood – notionally still very fresh during transport immediately following death, so no need to invoke all those complex mechanisms that try to explain imprinting of blood days later via exudation from otherwise dried-on blood clots etc.

6. Explains imprinting of soles of feet. No, not rigor mortis as some would have us believe but linen having notionally been turned up around the soles of feet during transport. Explains too the relative absence of imprinting off the top surfaces of the feet. Those fabricators of the TS body image imprint were sticklers for detail!

7. Why it’s exactly life size – not intended to be seen as a painting but an actual whole body imprint (cleverly simulated!).

8. Why no recognizable artist’s paint pigment? (Straw or tan-coloured melanoidins instead from roasted wheat flour in my Model 10, such as remain after a final soap/water rinse).

9. Why scourge marks are, we’re told, imprinted solely as blood, not body image. Open wounds, or arguably weeping weals too, would (after all) produce blood, less probably sweat.

10. Any method of producing a simulated sweat imprint which involved an oven heating step or equivalent to develop colour in an imprint would additionally produce general yellowing of the entire fabric, non-imprinted as well, such that the linen becomes artificially aged – by some 1300 years! Two birds killed with one stone!

11. Proof of the hunch/hypothesis? Or maybe just corroborating evidence for starters? Not easy. Even if one had access to the Shroud, there are mere traces of the chromophore. At best one could maybe use a microanalytical method to chemically ‘fingerprint’  the chromophore, i.e. the straw-coloured chemical responsible for the body image and compare against known references. But what?

Here’s 2 for starters. First, scan linen fibres (probably with mass spectrometry in the first instance)  before and after coloration by exposure to radiation (ultraviolet etc) as proposed in those models based on ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Second, do the same scan using linen that has received a flour imprint that is then roasted and finally washed, i.e. my Model 10.

I say the TS body image chromophore will give a better match with the melanoidins derived from roasted white flour.


Top 150 Google rankings 

1:  Shroud of Turin – Wikipedia

The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man who is alleged to be Jesus of Nazareth. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The cloth itself is believed by some to be the burial shroud that Jesus was wrapped in when …Present location‎: ‎Cathedral of Saint John the B… Size‎: ‎4.4 by 1.1 metres (14 ft 5 in × 3 ft 7 in)  Material‎: ‎Linen


My personal observations:

Not bad as regards TONE (which is almost as important as CONTENT when dealing with a major controversy). From the word go it adopts a thoughtful distance from some of those wilder claims (like those attempts to impugn the motives of the 1988 3-centre radiocarbon daters especially which are frankly shameless). 

But there is a problem with this (and so many other) wiki entries. It’s not sufficiently cutting-edge. Too much there has a stale dated look to it.

Advice to wiki: do something about that hideous Talk/Edit facility, laden as it is with insider jargon, guaranteed to scare of anyone concerned for their own short-term sanity.

Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: still No. 1. No surprises there.


2:  The Shroud of Turin Website – Home Page

The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man. A man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Is it really the cloth that wrapped his crucified body, or is it simply a medieval forgery, a hoax perpetrated by some clever artist? Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands …‎Late Breaking Website News! · ‎Examine the Shroud · ‎Shroud of Turin Books Online


My personal observations:

I’m pleased to see that the Documenting Photographer on the celebrated STURP enterprise of 1978 can -and does – contribute freely to the Shroud debate in his role as  President of  STERA (Shroud of Turin Education and Research Assn.) and site-owner of shroud.com. But self-styled globe-trotting  interview-giving “scientific expert”?

How was he able to acquire that tag? 

The interview he gave to  Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN NewsCatholic Online back in 2015 provides some of the answer. I’ve highlighted the, er, occasional intrusion of that authority-conferring S-word!

“Barrie Schwortz, now a retired technical photographer and frequent lecturer on the shroud, was a member of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project, which brought prestigious scientists together to examine the ancient artifact.

“The Shroud challenges (many people’s core beliefs) because there’s a strong implication that there is something beyond the basic science going on here,” Barrie Schwortz, one of the leading scientific experts on the Shroud of Turin, told CNA.
Admitting that he did not know whether there was something beyond science at play, he added, “That’s not what convinced me: it was the science that convinced me.”

The Shroud of Turin is among the most well known relics believed to be connected with Christ’s Passion. Venerated for centuries by Christians as the burial shroud of Jesus, it has been subject to intense scientific study to ascertain its authenticity, and the origins of the image.The image on the 14 feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide cloth is stained with the postmortem image of a man – front and back – who has been brutally tortured and crucified.

As a non-practicing Jew at the time, he was hesitant to be part of the team and skeptical as to the shroud’s authenticity – presuming it was nothing more than an elaborate painting. Nonetheless, he was intrigued by the scientific questions raised by the image.

Despite his reservations, Schwortz recounts being persuaded to remain on the project by a fellow scientist on the team – a NASA imaging specialist, and a Catholic – who jokingly told him: “You don’t think God wouldn’t want one of his chosen people on our team?”

In addition, Schwortz soon encountered one of the great mysteries of the image that still entrances its examiners to this day.
He explained that a specific instrument used for the project was designed for evaluating x-rays, which allowed the lights and darks of an image to be vertically stretched into space, based on the lights and darks proportionately.
For a normal photograph, the result would be a distorted image: with the shroud, however, the natural, 3-D relief of a human form came through. This means, “There’s a correlation between image density – lights and darks on the image – and cloth to body distance.”

“The only way that can happen is by some interaction between cloth and body,” he said. “It can’t be projected. It’s not a photograph – photographs don’t have that kind of information, artworks don’t.”
This evidence led him to believe that the image on the shroud was produced in a way that exceeds the capacities even of modern technology.
“There’s no way a medieval forger would have had the knowledge to create something like this, and to do so with a method that we can’t figure out today – the most image-oriented era of human history.”
“Think about it: in your pocket, you have a camera, and a computer, connected to each other in one little device,” he said.
“The shroud has become one of the most studied artifacts in human history itself, and modern  science doesn’t have an explanation for how those chemical and physical properties can be made.”
While the image on the Shroud of Turin was the most convincing evidence for him, he said it was only a fraction of all the scientific data, which points to it being real.
“Really, it’s an accumulation of thousands of little tiny bits of evidence that, when put together, are overwhelming in favor of its authenticity.”
Despite the evidence, many skeptics question the evidence without having seen the facts. For this reason, Schwortz launched the website http://www.shroud.com, which serves as a resource for the scientific data on the Shroud.
Nonetheless, he said, there are many who still question the evidence, many believing it is nothing more than an elaborate medieval painting.
“I think the reason skeptics deny the science is, if they accept any of that, their core beliefs have been dramatically challenged, and they would have to go back and reconfigure who they are and what they believe in,” he said. “It’s much easier to reject it out of hand, and not worry about it. That way they don’t have to confront their own beliefs.”
“I think some people would rather ignore it than be challenged.”
Schwortz emphasized that the science points to the Shroud being the burial cloth belonging to a man, buried according to the Jewish tradition after having been crucified in a way consistent with the Gospel. However, he said it is not proof of the resurrection – and this is where faith comes in.
“It’s a pre-resurrection image, because if it were a post-resurrection image, it would be a living man – not a dead man,” he said, adding that science is unable to test for the sort of images that would be produced by a human body rising from the dead.

“The Shroud is a test of faith, not a test of science. There comes a point with the Shroud where the science stops, and people have to decide for themselves.”
“The answer to faith isn’t going to be a piece of cloth. But, perhaps, the answer to faith is in the eyes and hearts of those who look upon it.”
When it comes to testifying to this meeting point between faith and science, Schwortz is in a unique position: he has never converted to Christianity, but remains a practicing Jew. Moreover, this, he says, makes his witness as a scientist all the more credible.
“I think I serve God better this way, in my involvement in the Shroud, by being the last person in the world people would expect to be lecturing on what is, effectively, the ultimate Christian relic.”
“I think God in his infinite wisdom knew better than I did, and he put me there for a reason.”

This is how our interviewee later described that science-riddled session with Ms.Schneible:

Later that afternoon I met with Ann Schneible of the Catholic News Agency in Rome, who had come up to Turin by train to conduct an interview with me. We spent a few hours talking together and the resulting article was published on August 4, 2015 and was titled, How One Skeptical Scientist came to believe the Shroud of Turin. Of course, it immediately generated something of a buzz on the blogs because the author referred to me as a “scientist.” As everyone knows, that’s not something I’ve ever claimed (I am just a photographer), but that was how Ann described me.
I don’t believe she intended for anyone to take it that literally, but in the Shroud world there is always someone willing to find fault, even on such a minor issue as this. After a while, you just get used to it. That evening I had dinner with and gave my final presentation to the second American tour group, who were leaving early the next morning for their next destination city.

” … the author referred to me as a “scientist …  but that was how Ann described me.”

Whatever gave her that idea I wonder?  😉

Nuff said for now methinks …   But I may add a few words later recalling my first encounter with the STERA President, and the manner in which he attempted to trash the initial approach adopted by this (real!) scientist, which was referred to  as the “scorch hypothesis” at the time, which I now refer to as “Model 2” . (Model 1, December 2011 was ‘thermostencilling’ using radio-opaque charcoal as sensitizer to radiant heat). I’m currently on Model 10 (flour powder imprinting)! Science  (real science) advances via serial modelling (and re-modelling!)…  Not many people (in sindonology that is) seem to know that..

Yes, my hot metal template Model 2 was finally abandoned (though not for the reasons given by our photographer-turned-scientist and others taken more seriously, notably the gifted but elusive Thibault Heimburger MD). But that was not before it had yielded any number of hugely valuable insights into contact-imprinting phenomena, 3D-response especially (knocking clean on the head any notion that the TS body image has “unique” 3D properties not shared by modern paintings, photographs, imprints etc.).

Has our  born-again “scientist” ever referred  so much as once to this retired PhD scientist and his 6 years of original hands-on research on that website of his?

Nope. Not once, despite claiming that it provides regular research updates. Where the TS is concerned, STERA and its President are – and never have been – part of the solution. STERA and its President are part of the problem where sindonology is concerned, especially the use/misuse made of the internet. Google rankings are played like a fiddle …  Google of course is partly to blame.

Google can only count (links to other sites that is).  It cannot and does not WEIGH.

The cult-like brand of authenticity-fixated, authenticity-promoting-at-every-available-opportunity sindonology knows that – and indeed thrives on it … 

Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: still No. 2. No surprises there.


3: Blood Splatter Discovered On Shroud Of Turin, Could …

– YouTubeVideo for shroud of turin blood spatter youtube

19 Jul 2017 – Uploaded by Beyond Science

The shroud of Turin has been a constant debate as to whether or not it was indeed a cloth used to wrap the …

My personal observations:

This, believe it or not, is just the first of 15 (yes, 15!) sensationalist reports on some research reported from Italy in July 2017. Yes, 10% of Google’s top 150 rankings no less are devoted to this one paper, widely reported in the popular press and any number of TS authenticity-promoting websites.


Late insertion, July 20, 2018!   Open-access journal PLOS ONE has retracted the paper in question by Carlino, Fanti et al. See end of this post for more details. For now, here in my italics is what one sees if/when going to the paper in question:


Concerns have been raised that the data presented in this article [1] are not sufficient to support the conclusions drawn; the provenance, integrity and availability of the material used for the study have also been questioned. In light of these issues, the PLOS ONEEditors reevaluated the published article in consultation with members of our Editorial Board.

Based on our internal assessment and advice received from the Editorial Board members, the PLOS ONE Editors are concerned that there are not sufficient controls to support conclusions referring to human blood or physical trauma. For example, period ink and animal blood controls were not included in diffraction and STEM analyses, as would be needed to rule out alternate interpretations regarding the material on the fiber, and the creatinine findings do not provide definitive evidence of trauma or violence. Thus, we consider that the main conclusions of the article, including the following statements, are not sufficiently supported:

  • “On the basis of the experimental evidences of our atomic resolution TEM studies, the man wrapped in the TS suffered a strong polytrauma”
  • “the fiber was soaked with a blood serum typical of a human organism that suffered a strong trauma”
  • “at the nanoscale it is encoded a scenario of great suffering recorded on the nanoparticles attached to the linen fibers”

In addition, the results of this article were based on analysis of a single fiber (approximately 1mm in length and 15μm in diameter) from the Turin Shroud. The reliance on a single small fiber taken from the Turin Shroud in 1978 calls into question the validity of statements in the Results and Conclusions sections which compare the new findings to those reported in previous studies of the Turin Shroud. It has not been demonstrated that findings from the fiber used in the PLOS ONE article can be generalized as applying to other samples taken from the Turin Shroud, or that contamination of the sample can be ruled out.

Furthermore, the Competing Interests statement for this article [1] should have declared that the sample was provided by the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association Inc. (STERA).

In light of these issues, the PLOS ONE Editors are concerned about the validity of the conclusions and the reproducibility of the results, and so we retract this article.

EC, LDC, CG, and GF do not agree with the retraction and stand by the results in the article.

19 Jul 2018: The PLOS ONE Editors (2018) Retraction: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud. PLOS ONE 13(7): e0201272.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201272 View retraction


Claim? That a “pristine” fibre from the dorsal foot of the Turin Shroud, retained in 1978 by STURP’s Documenting Photographer bears evidence of traces of blood from a victim who endured traumatic torture. The marker for that torture? Answer: “nanoparticles ” of inorganic iron bound to creatinine, the latter a  degraded component of muscle and blood. (All very scientific-looking one might think, or at any rate assume, but read on).

So what one might ask are the academic credentials of the journal reporting the new data? Answer: it’s one of those somewhat controversial “open access” journals. 

So (tomorrow) we’ll be taking a closer look at the research, where it was published, and how it managed to acquire such a high presence in Google rankings. I shall not be pulling my punches.  Why? Because what we see here is frankly a huge misuse/abuse of the internet, one that would not be possible were Google  (“the world’s favourite search engine”) to invest in a system that weighs rather than merely counts  those links between one website and another.

So where else do those semi-fossilized nanoparticles  of somewhat questionable physiological relevance appear in the rankings below, apart from this videoclip?

Answer:  No. 4,9,10,11,12, 13,   67,   79,94,115,119,120,122,123.

67 has been bolded: that’s where the E.Carlino et al paper itself appears.

“Atomic Resolution Studies Detect New Biologic Evidences on the Turin Shroud.”

Beware: the English translation leaves much to be desired (or meaning deciphered!).


1.    Regarding the description given to Shroud fibre used for ‘atomic resolution study’. 

Quote, first sentence of abstract:

We performed reproducible atomic resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and Wide Angle X-ray Scanning Microscopy experiments studying for the first time the nanoscale properties of a pristine fiber taken from the Turin Shroud

Definition of “pristine”:

pristine  (adjective)
    in its original condition; unspoilt
    clean and fresh as if new; spotless.

Now read what the authors say about the source and contamination of the  single fragment of supplied Shroud linen fibre:

The fiber, of about two millimeters, comes from an area of the feet (dorsal image) containing some red crusts, of about one micrometer, visible by optical microscope [17]. TEM experiments were performed in areas of the fiber away from red crusts.

The fiber was provided by B. M. Schwortz [18], as part of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc. (STERA Inc). The fiber analyzed is taken from a sticky tape (1HB) applied to and lifted from the surface of the TS in 1978 [1].

The sample is extremely sensitive to the high-energy electron beam and has a high degree of hydro-carbon contamination [19] due to the prolonged exposure of the TS to the environment. 

(The authors seem to have overlooked the fact that some – perhaps most – of that hydrocarbon contamination will almost certainly  have been due to  STURP’s Mylar adhesive lifting-tape!).

Shroud Spectrum International No. 43 Part 3 – Shroud.com

by JH HELLER – ‎Cited by 101 – ‎Related articles

Using a special Mylar tape with a proprietary toluene soluble hydrocarbon polymer adhesive. (supplied by 3M Corp.), Rogers removed specimens from the surface of the cloth (fibrils and particles) from identified locations by a “sticky tape” sampling technique for chemical analysis. Each tape was about 5 cm2 in area and 36 …

So to describe that fibre as being in “pristine” condition seems somewhat bizarre to say the least. The whole point of the exercise was surely to identify the various contaminants that render it NON-PRISTINE. So how come the journal Editor and referees (single referee?) allowed that entirely redundant, non-applicable word “pristine” to be deployed?  What possible purpose was served by deploying that term? More about the refereeing side of things later, but already a warning bell needs to be rung!

Reading on (Results):

The atomic resolution HRTEM experiments at the nanoscale enable to access a range of TS features never explored so far. The morphology and the size of the particles detected on the TS fiber, see Fig 3 and S2 Fig, are very similar to those of proteins like hemosiderin [27], or to ferritin-based proteins typical of blood [28,29,30].

To describe the authors’ approach as over-ambitious, indeed precocious one might say, is a huge understatement. Chemists do not identify unknown molecules by their “morphology and size” when intact. That is more appropriate for the biology lab’, e.g. in identifying different cell types.

Chemistry is a science in its own right, with analytical techniques, modern-day microanalytical ones especially (e.g. by fragmentation pattern on glc-mass specrometry) having been developed to a high state of accuracy and precision.

Indeed, it was mass-spectrometry that this long-since retired biomedical scientist used in his very first published paper, back in 1972:

Evidence for conversion of bilirubin to dihydroxyl derivatives in the Gunn rat


Since when has microscopy – any kind of microscopy – been an exploratory technique for use with a minuscule sample, one whose provenance is obscure, especially to identify conjectured contaminants of ‘semi-fossilized’ blood on a centuries old fibre? 

How did this paper get past the referee(s)?

OK, so my own research is not submitted to journals, not even the soft-touch open-access ones. My results are published straight to the internet. But the crucial experiments are always ones that can be performed in people’s own homes. requiring no specialized equipment. Indeed, they are usually reported as a series of photo-illustrated steps, specifically to allow sceptics to check them out for themselves. 

Critique of the much-trumpeted ‘torture/nanoparticle’ paper continued under following entry No.4 (which as indicated is just one of 15 in the top 150!).


Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No. 6. 


4:  What Should Evangelicals Think About the Shroud of Turin?

5 Aug 2017 – New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a torture victim, and undermines arguments that the reputed burial shroud of Jesus Christ was painted, the Catholic News Agency reports. If you have no idea what that sentence was about, you’re not alone. Many evangelicals …


My personal observations:

Now onto the meat of that ‘nanoparticle’ paper.

No, it’s not the easiest of papers to read (and not just because of the English!).  Why not?

Those nanoparticles comprise two main components we’re told – ferritin (or the inorganic iron oxide degradation products thereof) and creatinine (an end product of energy metabolism in muscle and other body tissues).

So how many sentences would one expect have a mention of “ferritin”?  20? 30? Maybe more? In fact it’s just 13, and that includes two in the Abstract!

That gives an immediate warning of the challenge that faces the reader – the sheer density  and economy of words!

To better make my point I’ve copied/pasted all 13 sentences that make reference to ferritin in one or other of its forms. That’s (a) native ferritin (b) the iron core only of ferritin  (c) ferritin released into blood stream from damaged muscle tissue etc (d) age-degraded ferritin on the TS fibre  candidate bloodstain.

Let’s see what each of them says, bearing in mind that while there are small amounts of ferritin in blood (an extracellular fluid ) it is largely seen as an intracellular marker, it being a storage protein for iron, keeping that useful but potentially toxic ingredient safely bound to protein until needed. Red font is mine.

Abstract (1 and 2)
1. “The kind, size and distribution of the iron oxide nanoparticles cannot be dye for painting but are ferrihydrate cores of ferritin. ”  (Focus placed on the inorganic iron-centre only of the ferritin protein)
2. “The consistent bound of ferritin iron to creatinine occurs in human organism in case of a severe polytrauma.”   (Tissue iron-storage ferritin seen as the sole origin of surplus inorganic iron in TS blood or serum)

Introduction (3 and 4)
3. “TEM analyses show that the fiber is fully covered by creatinine nanoparticles, 20–100 nm in size, embedding small (2–6 nm) nanoparticles, made of defected (sic) ferrihydrite, typical of biologic ferritin cores.” (“Defected”?  Meaning?)  Inorganic iron as  ‘ferrihydrate’ i.e.hydrated iron oxide, now referred to merely as a “typical” component of ferritin.

4.  “Indeed, a high level of creatinine and ferritin is related to patients suffering of strong polytrauma like torture.”   (Whole ferritin, i.e. native intact iron-storage protein as present  intracellularly in muscle cells etc prior to trauma, leakage into bloodstream)

Results (5,6,7)
5. “The morphology and the size of the particles detected on the TS fiber, see Fig 3 and S2  Fig, are very similar to those of proteins like hemosiderin [27], or to ferritin-based proteins typical of blood [28,29,30].”   ( That word ‘typical’ again, with reference to whole ferritin – iron-storage protein – in the healthy individual, a world apart from a single bloodied TS fibre)

6. “EDXS experiments performed on individual large particles, as the one shown in Fig 3, reveal the presence of Ca, O, C, N, Fe, S, K, Cl (see S3 Fig), which are compatible with ferritin-based proteins [31,32].”  (These ubiquitous elements of life-forms “compatible with”  – not as specific as “derived entirely from”  – whole intact ferritin)  

7. “It is worthwhile to remark that the six-line ferrihydrite iron oxide has been proposed for the core of the iron-storage ferritin [34,35].”  (Further distancing from a ‘sole source of’ claim with “proposed for” origin for inorganic iron oxide from    ferritin protein originally in muscle and other tissue cells)

Discussions (8,9,10,11)  

8.  “Hence, on the basis of the experimental evidences, the particles covering the TS fiber are creatinine nanoparticles with inside biological ferritin cores of ferrihydrate.” (Now back to attributing the original origin of the inorganic iron oxide to iron-storage ferritin in tissues prior to trauma)

9. “There is a wide recent literature reporting on interaction between creatinine and ferritin in fatal accidents [41,42] or as a consequence of the rhabdomyolysis due to torture [43].” (That’s the route by which  otherwise intact ferritin protein escapes from damaged tissue locations into the general bloodstream, via a temporary association with the creatinine –  the latter having accumulated as it tends to in muscle and other tissues)  

10. “In particular, the patients with AKI present a high level of creatinine and ferritin in the blood serum”. (Yes, creatinine and ferritin being  in vivo markers for damaged kidneys – a secondary result of tissue damage when the kidney becomes overloaded with debris, e.g. muscle myoglobin – another input of iron)

11. “The creatinine strongly binds to the iron nanoparticles [38] of the ferritin and this relationship is hence a signature of the occurrence of a strong polytrauma.” (Precise meaning and context – pre or post-mortem, pre or post centuries of decomposition unclear)

Conclusions (12,13)

12. “This is the first time that the TS is studied at this resolution and this range of view produced a series of experimental results, which thanks to recent studies on ancient dye painting, ferritin, creatinine and human pathology can be connected and understood in relationship with a macroscopic scenario in which the TS was committed [41,42,43].” (“Can be connected” arguably not same as “has been definitely demonstrated as a direct cause-effect relationship”)

13. “The bond between the iron cores of ferritin and creatinine on large scale occurs in a body after a strong polytrauma [41,42,43].”  (But still leaving a permanent signature centuries later on a non-pristine linen fibre 2mm in length, encrusted with red material, possibly, probably blood in an advanced state of decomposition, releasing its own source of finally inorganic iron aggregates – from haemoglobin?)

Already one sees that there is something wrong with this paper, something seriously wrong, something the referee(s) has/have missed. Putting one’s finger on it (when one’s not closely acquainted with the technology) is/will not be easy. But rest assured I will try. A paper that monopolizes 10% no less of Google’s top 150 rankings cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, especially when one’s own 350+ internet postings over 6 years and more get squeezed out by this kind of sudden out-of-the-blue arrival, coming not from an accredited  journal, but via that so-called “open-access” route!

The nanoparticle paper appears again at No.9 in the Google rankings. I’ll continue this long hard look, nay detailed scrutiny there, doing a similar exercise for the other crucial component of the trauma claim – namely the creatinine. How much of that is new and appropriately-targeted experimental fact, how much mere parallel-drawing and conjecture?  Bastion of new knowledge or house of cards? We shall see.

In the meantime, let’s now take a look at Number 5-8 inclusive in the ranked series (more red font!).

In passing, I’ve just entered (shroud turin simulated sweat imprint) into Google. This new posting  with that unique 3-word tagline of my own creation has yet to appear alongside its predecessors from as far back as 2014 , despite being several days old …

Yes, posted 5 days ago to be precise, yet it does not even appear under Google’s Past Week listing (accessed via the Tools tab).

Mine and other blogger’s postings constitute a free resource for the likes of Google and lesser search engines. Each day my WordPress stats display lists the diverse postings that have been accessed these last 6 years, generally between 20 and 40 per day. One might have expected something back in return, like a speedy listing of one’s latest posting. But no, Google gives little or nothing back in return, being concerned purely with pursuing its own interests, massaging its bottom line.

In fact, what I haven’t said is that from appearing on Page 6 of thereabouts on a general Google search under (shroud of turin) some weeks ago, I began slipping further and further down, and finally off the the entire 24 page list altogether. Yet average number of daily visits to the site have actually increased slightly over the same period – but most probably from regulars and those searching with additional search terms, probably not complete ‘newbies’ to the TS.

So why the cold shoulder Google? Might it be that you do not like site owners like myself who post increasingly acerbic comments re your sloppy performance, who question your fitness-for-purpose, who begin to ask whether you should really be allowed to operate world-wide in the way you do?

Might you be having a sulk, Google?  Have you flicked a switch out of pique?  Oh, diddums!

Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: still No. 4 


5:  ‘The Precise Image of What Jesus Looked Like’: 3-D … – CBN.com

7 Apr 2018 – One of the most-well known relics in archeological history is leading researchers to believe that they know “the precise image of what Jesus looked like on this earth”. The Shroud of Turin is a 14-foot linen cloth that is believed to have wrapped the body of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion. Researchers in …


My personal observations:

This is the first of some 8 (maybe one or two more) listings of the press release from that authenticity-promoting production plant in Italy, headed by Professor of Mech Engineering, Giulio Fanti.

So what’s new, one may ask, given that 3D-rendering of the TS body image has been around since 1977 or thereabouts (see John Heller’s 1983 book for the manner in which it was first seen by a meeting between John Jackson and the recently deceased Bill Mottern)? 

Yes, the TS body image can be 3D-rendered, but then so can any number of other images, imprints, photographs, paintings etc that have differences in 2D-image intensity. Yes, John Heller points out in his book that photographs give ‘distorted’ 3D images, unlike the TS. But is that surprising, given that photographs are usually taken with an angled shadow-creating source of external illumination: the 3D software has no way of knowing what’s flesh and what’s shadow, elevating both according to image intensity. Is it any wonder that there’s distortion with a photograph that one does not get with a shadow-free imprint – any kind of imprint!

So let’s now take a look at that latest(?) publicity-blitz from our friend Prof Fanti, aided and abetted 8 times over by his pal, the Google search engine…

More to follow …

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: slipped to No. 11!



6:  8 Reasons Why The Shroud Of Turin Might Be … – Reasons for Jesus

25 Apr 2017 – By Brian Chilton| The Shroud of Turin is perhaps one of the most controversial artifacts of all-time. Either it is one of the most incredible, holy relics related to Jesus of Nazareth or it is one of the most ingenious hoaxes ever invented. The Shroud of Turin is a 14′ 5” x 3′ 7” linen cloth that holds the image of a …


My personal observations:

Same old, same old…

Amazing – all one has to do is periodically trot out the same old list of ‘compelling’ reasons for regarding the TS as authentic 1st century, even to the extent of implicating the 1534 Poor Clare nun’s patching as the cause of the ‘wrong’ radiocarbon date (!) and hey presto, one’s virtually guaranteed a superior Google ranking!  What is going on one asks? 

There be something rotten in the State of  Denmark California…


Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No. 9. 


7: BBC iWonder – Does it matter if the Shroud of Turin is a fake?

This cloth has provoked both controversy and devotion. Why do some objects, like the Shroud of Turin, generate such devotion and awe among believers?


My personal observations:

Keep this handy for next time you’re having a bout of insomnia. It’s an alternative to counting sheep…

Again, how did it manage that superior Google ranking?


So what can be done about Google?

One things’s for certain: there’s no point in waiting for Google to put its own house in order. That would have happened a long time ago if Google was in the slightest bit interested in those old-fashioned values like fair play etc etc. Every month or so I get an email, inviting me to take advantage of an SEO service (Search Engine Optimization), sometimes guaranteeing a Page 1 ranking!  If that’s what an external operator can achieve, think what Google itself can do, either  reactively (responding to protests, orchestrated ones especially) or pro-actively (window-dressing its returns).

Solution? Here’e one for starters. Google must have an obligatory feedback channel for site owners like myself. If we feel aggrieved at our low ranking, and suspect foul play, from whatever quarter, we should be allowed to lodge a protest and ask for corrective action. If that action is not taken, then Google should be made to publish our protest, and give a category for the nature of our protest. As an extreme measure, that listing of protests should appear as a link at the bottom of every page return under standard search terms (e.g. shroud of turin). Link: protests

Google must no longer be allowed to operate as a free agent. It has done next to nothing these last 20 years and more to generate or earn trust. The Google search engine is a veritable secret garden. Correction, jungle. Correction secret jungle.

If  Google won’t put its house/garden/secret jungle in order, voluntarily, it should be regulated closely everywhere, at least  outside its own country, preferably inside as well!

Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No. 10. 



8:  Blood on the Shroud: An Interview with the Blood Investigator of the …

6 Mar 2018  -In 1978 a large team of American scientists under the auspices of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) spent over two years prior to embarking for Turin, planning a large number of specific data gathering tests, on the sacred Shroud of Turin, believed by millions of Catholics around the world to be …


My personal observations:

Interviewer (Peter Shield):  The 3D image that appears on the cloth, did that impress you in any way?

STURP’s Alan D Adler (RIP):  “It sure does, because that is the thing we can’t explain…in a simple way. We don’t have any simple process that we have been able to find that would explain why an image is the particular type of image that we see! It is definitely NOT a contact image.”

Not a contact image? Wrong, wrong, wrong…

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: slipped to No. 18!


9:  Jesus’ face in the Turin Shroud may be REAL, experts claim …– The Sun 

17 Jul 2017 – THE Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim – according to a new study which backs up claims it was used to bury Jesus.


My personal observations:

Ah, that  hugely publicized “nanoparticle” paper again from approx a year ago, one that I began to scrutinize closely on its previous No.4 ranking.

There you may recall I pulled out all the sentences that contained the word “ferritin”, claimed to be the precursor of the inorganic iron nanoparticles detected on that single TS fibre. There were fewer  (13) than expected!

I’ve now repeated the exercise for the other trauma-signalling nanoparticle component, claimed to be creatinine. This time there are more, far more, a respectable total in fact (24). But be wary of that figure, for reasons that will become shortly become apparent when one places each of the creatinine-containing  sentences into one of three categories: DATA, LITERATURE, PART DATA/PART LITERATURE, LITERATURE.

Authors’ “Abstract”

1. “We found evidence of biologic nanoparticles of creatinine bounded with small nanoparticles of iron oxide.”
Type of evidence? Suggestive or definitive, or somewhere in between? DATA 1 (summary)

2. “The consistent bound of ferritin iron to creatinine occurs in human organism in case of a severe polytrauma.”

A far cry from a centuries old linen fibre. LITERATURE 1

Authors’ “Introduction”
3. “TEM analyses show that the fiber is fully covered by creatinine nanoparticles, 20–100 nm in size, embedding small (2–6 nm) nanoparticles, made of defected ferrihydrite, typical of biologic ferritin cores.”

How reliable are data obtained by this type of microscopical observation, lacking any assessment of chemical properties, elemental analysis etc.  DATA 2

4. “Indeed, a high level of creatinine and ferritin is related to patients suffering of strong polytrauma like torture.”

Modern day physiology. How firm is the link to a centuries old TS fibre? LITERATURE 2


No mentions of creatinine  in either Materials and Methods or Results!


Authors’ “Discussions”

5. “Indeed, the explanation comes from some recent studies on the binding between creatinine and urea with iron-oxide nanoparticles investigated, in a completely different field, for possible application in dialysis to reduce waste molecules accumulation in blood [38].”
“… the explanation…”? THE explanation? The only explanation?  LITERATURE 3

6. “In particular X-ray studies on iron oxide nanoparticles tagged with urea and creatinine indicate exactly a suppression of the Bragg diffraction peak corresponding to the 0.25nm spacing [38].”

So, invoking creatinine (and urea) helps account for an anomaly as regards the iron oxide atomic spacing. Not the same as independent confirmatory data  LITERATURE 4

7. “We hence focused our attention to identify the structure of the big embedding nanoparticles comparing their HRTEM images and diffractograms with the relevant full dynamical calculations of diffraction patterns for urea and creatinine [39].”

Yes, but urea and creatinine just happen to be nitrogenous compounds capable of forming bonds with iron in its various forms. There are no doubt many more: interest has centred on creatinine (especially) on accounts if its diagnostic value in detecting kidney problems, especially those following muscle trauma. Have the authors narrowed the field to creatinine because it’s the best fit to the nanoparticle studies, OR because they like the link to trauma physiology, and can accommodate their data (such as it is) to fit…   PART DATA, PART LITERATURE 1

8. “As a result, all the identified diffractograms belong to creatinine. A representative example of our findings is shown in Fig 6 (see also S5 Fig for other examples).”

Can one really be so certain?  PART DATA,PART LITERATURE 2

9. ” Fig 6 (caption) Fig 6.  Characterization of creatinine particles a): HRTEM image; b): magnified view of the square region marked in a); c): diffractogram of b); d): simulation of the diffraction pattern of creatinine in [1–10] zone axis with reported the lattice spacing relevant to the observed intensities.”

Beware selective simulations that are just that – selective – focusing interest in too narrow a fashion, too soon. DATA 3

10. “The diffractogram in Fig 6 belongs to creatinine oriented along the [1–10] crystallographic zone axis with respect to the direction of the direct electron beam, as demonstrated by the relevant diffraction pattern simulation shown in Fig 6D.”

Thinking aloud (for now): have the authors taken the trouble to state exactly what they mean by “diffractogram” in the present context? Is it related entirely to regularities in crystal form, e.g. planes of atoms, and if so, can the paper’s title “atomic resolution” really be justified if individual atoms (and molecules) are not really being visualised, but much larger arrays thereof? If the latter, how capable is the technology at identifying specific molecules (notably creatinine) as distinct from merely observing behaviour deemed to be “consistent” with the molecule of interest. DATA 4

11. “In the latter, for ease of reading, we highlighted those reflections that enable the identification of the creatinine removing the systematic reflections that are not transmitted, or poorly transmitted, by the contrast transfer function of the objective lens [19,20].”

There’s a hint here of the authors having encountered some difficulties which are not fully described.   DATA 5

12. “These two Friedel’s pair correspond respectively to (002) and (22–1) spots of creatinine, as shown in the relevant simulation.”
Again, a simulation based on a model-driven narrowing down of options? DATA 6
13.  “Hence, on the basis of the experimental evidences, the particles covering the TS fiber are creatinine nanoparticles with inside biological ferritin cores of ferrihydrate.”
Yes, but how objective are the “experimental evidences” if selective, influenced by prior hunches? DATA AND LITERATURE 3

14. “The lack of the 0.25nm spacing evidenced during our experiments is due to the bond between ferrihydrate cores and creatinine in agreement with the evidences in the x-ray spectra of the creatinine bounded to iron oxide nanoparticles where the peak corresponding to the spacing at 0.25nm is suppressed by the interaction between the protein and the iron [38].”

Being able externally to model an effect is not the same as demonstrating  beyond doubt its operation in the particular system under study, given the existence of so many other chemical species that could mimic the action  of creatinine etc. Correlation – real or spurious, i.e. maybe just a chance association?

15. “High levels of creatinine in the blood are observed in the case of strong trauma”.

Correct, but establishing the presence of creatinine on a TS fibre merely as a ‘nanoparticle’ is quite a leap. LITERATURE 5

16. “There is a wide recent literature reporting on interaction between creatinine and ferritin in fatal accidents [41,42] or as a consequence of the rhabdomyolysis due to torture [43].”

Yes, but there will be a much wider range of breakdown products of an iron-binding nitrogenous nature in a blood-stained centuries old fibre than the bloodstream of someone who has suffered trauma but still alive, still with some kidney function, albeit reduced. LITERATURE 6

17.  “In particular, the patients with AKI present a high level of creatinine and ferritin in the blood serum.”


18. “High level of creatinine are also in the case reported by Schwartz et al [42] in the study of patients of emergency room with skeletal muscle trauma.”

Yet more repetition of the in vivo physiology, but of questionable relevance to a TS fibre (and a mere 2mm sample at that). LITERATURE 8

19. “The creatinine strongly binds to the iron nanoparticles [38] of the ferritin and this relationship is hence a signature of the occurrence of a strong polytrauma.”

Repeating what’s already been said.  LITERATURE 9

20.  “This is the first time that the TS is studied at this resolution and this range of view produced a series of experimental results, which thanks to recent studies on ancient dye painting, ferritin, creatinine and human pathology can be connected and understood in relationship with a macroscopic scenario in which the TS was committed [41,42,43].”

“Can be connected” but whether legitimately or not is open to question. 



21.  “In fact, the fiber was soaked with a blood serum typical of a human organism that suffered a strong trauma, as HRTEM evidenced that the TS is covered by well-dispersed 30nm-100nm creatinine nanoparticles bounded with internal 2nm-6nm ferrihydrate structures.”

Can one really be so categorical as to the precise chemical nature of the naonoparticles? DATA AND LITERATURE 6

22. “The bond between the iron cores of ferritin and creatinine on large scale occurs in a body after a strong polytrauma [41,42,43].”

As stated previously LITERATURE 10

23. “This has been the target of our work and the obtained results are not compatible with a painting but evidenced the presence of nanoparticles of pathologic blood serum related to the presence of creatinine bound with ferrihydrate, which are typical of an organism that suffered a strong polytrauma, like torture.”
Again, that word “typical”, lifted from an in vivo context and applied to a centuries old supposedly post-mortem (non-forgery) context, one where “wounds” relied entirely on blood (or “blood”) with scarcely if any supporting imagery of broken skin (inevitably?) in the overlying body image. DATA AND LITERATURE 7
24.   “S5 Fig. Experimental diffractograms.
Further examples of diffractograms of creatinine.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180487.s005   ”


Summary of my 3-way breakdown: 


Total 24 
That’s just 17 with new data, with or without accompanying literature references.

More to follow later today ( May 8) –  

Ranking at 08.00, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No. 3!  Wow!


10:  Turin Shroud: the latest evidence will challenge the … – Catholic Herald

3 Aug 2017 – Sceptics may dismiss the Turin Shroud, but there is good evidence the relic is authentic


My personal observations:

Choc-a-bloc with the all  routine over-simplifications and common fallacies regarding the TS. They don’t go away. Why not? Because the pro-authenticity tendency rarely if ever responds to detailed arguments from the other side and/or NEVER link to sceptical sites such as this – deliberate strategy I suspect to keep their own show on the road.

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now  No. 12


11:  Shroud of Turin ‘stained with blood from torture …- The Independent

20 Jul 2017 – The Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim, scientists have claimed. Analysis of the linen cloth, purportedly used to bury Jesus after his crucifixion, contains “nanoparticles” of blood which are not typical of that of a healthy person, according to …


My personal observations:

May 9, 2018

I think I’ve spotted the fatal flaw in that torture/trauma paper. There’s a word missing – imidazole.

What’s special about creatinine that would make it bind to iron ?  Answer: its 5-membered imidazole ring, with 2 nitrogen atoms separated by 1 or 2 spacer carbon  atoms depending on which side of the ring you look.

So what’s so special about that configuration, of relevance to the TS?

Answer: some TS fibres  appear to have at least  real blood (1st century? 14th century?).

Real non-trauma blood has iron-binding haemoglobin.  What is the component in real blood that binds the iron? Answer: a particular histidine residue in the globin protein. And which part of the histidine molecule has the iron-binding properties? 

Answer: (yes, you may have guessed). It’s the imidazole side chain of the histidine residue!

So how many mentions are there of haemogobin, histidine and its iron-binding imidazole side chain, ones that would take the focus away from other authenticity-friendly iron-binding species like ferritin protein, ones that authenticity-promoting fanatics can link to crucifixion trauma, torture etc?  

Answer. Zero. One big fat zero!

More to follow tomorrow. But let’s just leave it at saying for now that the big enemy of  hot-from-the-press sham scientific claims, especially those that are lightly refereeed (as is the case with the New Age ‘open access’ journals) are:

(a) tunnel vision 

(b) blind spots.

Beware non-chemists pretending to be chemists, kidding themselves  – and the rest of the world –  that the electron microscope and x-ray diffraction can replace the boring old test-tube and rigorous identification of  atomic and molecular species. Pseudo-chemistry is just one branch of pseudo-science…

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No.8


12: Turin Shroud is stained with the blood of a torture victim | Daily Mail …

17 Jul 2017 – Experts have claimed the Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim, supporting claims it was used to bury Jesus. They say the linen cloth, believed to have been used to wrap Christ’s body after crucifixion, contains ‘nanoparticles’ which are not typical of the blood of a healthy person.


My personal observations: Later


Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No.7



13:  Experts in HUGE Turin Shroud discovery – is this proof … – Daily Express

17 Jul 2017 – Experts in HUGE Turin Shroud discovery – is this proof at last Jesus WAS wrapped in cloth? … SCIENTISTS have made a huge breakthrough in their investigations of the Shroud of Turin, with theorists claiming it finally proves Jesus was wrapped up in the famous linen.


My personal observations:

Yes, it’s those nanoparticles yet again, hogging the Google rankings. Sindonology has certainy got its publicity machine firing on all cylinders. To what extent Google might be complicit, as distinct from its algorithm being merely manipulated, is anyone’s guess.

But as the title of this posting makes clear, the proselytizing of the authenticity message is not only about making one OTT claim after another, based 95% of the time on pseusoscience. It’s also about SUPPRESSION of those negative message, like the one I’ve been touting for the best part of 4 years – the Shroud of Turin was an attempt (and a very successful one) to model what an ancient yellowed sweat imprint of an entire  naked man’s body, front and rear, might look like 1300 or so years later. (It’s the additions of blood, or “blood” in all the right places that indicate who the man was, or suppised to be, and the manner in which he was abused then crucified. 

Suppression of ideas, even ones, correction, especially ones, that don’t initially find favour, is not something one expects of a supposedly free society, with a supposedly free press.

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: still No.13


14:  (Array of Google-selected images only)

My personal observations: No comment


15: This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the Shroud of Turin

28 Mar 2018 – “This statue is the three-dimensional representation in actual size of the Man of the Shroud, created following the precise measurements taken from the cloth in which the body of Christ was wrapped after the crucifixion,” explains Giulio Fanti, teacher of mechanical and thermal measurements at the …

This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the Shroud of Turin

My personal observations: Yes, it’s that organ-grinder-in-chief again…

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: not in top 20 checked thus far, but replaced at No.5 by a more recent posting from the site’s same owners.

Update at 10:30, Sat 26 May. Has slipped to No.24


16: Shroud Of Turin – Archaeology

Shroud Of Turin – Is this cloth authentic? Was it the cloth that covered the body of Jesus Christ? What does the evidence show?


My personal observations:

Archaeology is just one of dozens of subject headings on this Christianity-focused site, and the Shroud just one of many topics listed under Archaeology. Here are some of the sub-headings:

Shroud Of Turin – Is this cloth authentic? Was it the cloth that covered the body of Jesus Christ? What does the evidence show?

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: not in top 20 checked thus far. Expect more details later re current position…

Ranking at 10.20, now No.24, down from 16  approx 4 weeks ago 


17: The Shroud of Turin – The Review of Religions

The Shroud of Turin is the ‘alleged’ burial cloth of Jesus Christ(as). The cloth measures 4.37m by 1.1m (approximately 14 feet across) and exhibits a faint image of what looks like a crucified man. Between 10 April and 23 May this year, approximately two million visitors flocked to the northern Italian city of Turin to observe …


My personal observations:

“For Ahmadi Muslims who believe in Jesus Christ(as) having survived the Crucifixion, the Shroud of Turin is a powerful piece of evidence in support of this view because the Shroud does point to Jesus(as) having survived the Crucifixion.”

Whilst respecting the “Love for all, hatred for none” principle, I’m less than enamoured of this  polemical reason for their interest in the Turin Shroud.  Neither do I understand why Barrie M.Schwortz, President of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, feels the need to put in an appearance each year at the Hampshire UK annual Ahmadiyya convention.

STURP (which brought this Documenting Photographer to public attention, indeed endowed him with his celebrity status, was about determining what the Shroud is or is not, not what it represents in symbolic terms for one or other religious standpoint, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish etc.  So why does he continue to make that annual visit? What has he got to say that he hasn’t said already on his previous trips (3? More than 3?). If his and others’ reasons are because they reject the divinity of Jesus Christ, could they not find other more direct ways to express their theological views, rather than going mixing science with non-science to create an unnecessary distraction fron the key questions.



18: Negative image – The Shroud of Turin, age regression … – CBS News

In 1898, Secondo Pia was allowed to photograph the Shroud. The image he saw in his darkroom startled the world: The Shroud, it turns out, is like a photo negative. The Italian police created…


My personal observations:

Ho hum picture gallery with short captions, mainly images of the TS and its public display.


Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No.15


19: Turin Shroud may date from time of Jesus – Telegraph

11 Feb 2014 – The Turin Shroud may not be a medieval forgery after all, after scientists discovered it could date from the time of Christ. The shroud, which is purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus – showing his face and body after the crucifixion – has intrigued scholars and Christians alike. But radiocarbon dating carried …


My personal observations: 

Ranking at 08.45, Sat 26 May, 1 day short of 4 weeks later: now No. 16


20: Is It a Fake? DNA Testing Deepens Mystery of Shroud … – Live Science

23 Oct 2015 – Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 1:55 p.m. E.T.. Is it a medieval fake or a relic of Jesus Christ? A new analysis of DNA from the Shroud of Turin reveals that people from all over the world have touched the venerated garment. “Individuals from different ethnic groups and geographical locations came …


My personal observations:


21: Professor creates 3D ‘carbon copy’ of Jesus and His … – LifeSiteNews

29 Mar 2018 – March 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Using the Shroud of Turin, a professor at the University of Padua has created a 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus Christ after being tortured and crucified. The Shroud of Turin is believed to be a cloth in which Jesus was wrapped after he died.


My personal observations:


22: Why the Vatican Believes in the Shroud of Turin | Smithsonian

Video for shroud of turin smithsonianmag
23 Jun 2017
While many experts believe the Shroud of Turin is a medieval forgery, historians at the Vatican have found …


My personal observations:

Short video clip focusing on the greatest mystery of all – how Dr.Barbara Frale  of the Vatican (not so) Secret Archives manages to see all that peripheral writing on the Shroud, allegedly a ‘death certificate’.  Bizarre, truly bizarre!

Beyond this point I shall now be somewhat selective as to where to attach “personal observations” or not.  Caveat: skipping a particular item does not necessarily mean I’m indifferent to it – there are some topics to do with the Shroud on which I either don’t have sufficient background (like geological location of this or that limestone dust, e.g. “travertine aragonite”) or feel the technique can never produce definitive evidence for or against authenticity one way or the other (like pollen analysis).

No.24 , i.e. Philip Ball’s summary for the BBC of the current state of play (well, 2015) of the Shroud controversy , is definitely worth a closer look. Indeed I may try annotating the whole thing (if only to correct the occasional error or two!)

Ranking: now 28 (May 27, 2018)


23: The Shroud of Turin and the Facts – National Catholic Register

23 Jun 2017 – Fr. Dwight Longenecker. Some time ago a mainstream media outlet reported on the Shroud of Turin and said, “Pope Francis prayed Sunday before the Shroud of Turin, a strip of cloth that some believe was used for the burial of Jesus Christ. The shroud appears to bear the image of a man who resembles …


My personal observations:

Ranking: now 20 (May 27, 2018)


24: How did the Turin Shroud get its image? – BBC News

19 Jun 2015 – On Sunday, Pope Francis will “venerate” the famous Shroud of Turin, which is thought by some to be the burial wrapping of Jesus Christ – and by others to be a medieval fake. Whatever it is, it’s a mystery how the cloth came to bear the image of a man. Science writer Philip Ball discusses the theories.


My personal observations:

(Skip Introduction)

“But regardless of the continuing arguments about its age (summarised in the box near the bottom of this page) the Shroud of Turin is a deeply puzzling object. Studies in 1978 by an international team of experts – the Shroud of Turin Research Project (Sturp) – delivered no clear explanation of how the cloth came to bear the faint imprint of a bearded man apparently bearing the wounds of crucifixion.

There’s no shortage of hypotheses. Some suggest that the image came about through natural processes; some impute considerable ingenuity to medieval forgers of relics; others invoke wondrous physical processes associated with the Resurrection. But do any have any merit?”

As stated earlier, there are no “wounds” of crucifixion, at least not in the body image. There are merely blood (and/or “blood”) stains  in the regions that correspond to nailing to a cross, scalp injury from crown of thorns (absent), lance in side etc. (I once had to chide Giulio Fanti for claiming the lance wound was visible!).  Shroud investigation has been bedevilled by those who use the words “blood” and “wounds” interchangeably.

One can also take issue with the description “bearded” man. Even pro-authenticists say the “beard” is incomplete, allegedly having  had tufts pulled out in pre-crucifixion harassment and torture.  But one has to ask how a real beard (and moustache) could have been imaged in a manner virtually indistinguishable from body skin, and explain how dark coloured head and facial hair in a NEGATIVE (tone-reversed) image would correspond with grey or silver hair in the ‘original’ positive (e.g. Secondo Pia’s celebrated tone-reversed photographic plate). Wasn’t Jesus Christ supposed to have been 33 years old at time of death, not 63!

I have proposed an answer which like all my others is studiously avoided  (or summarily dismissed) by mainstream pro-authenticity sindonology.

The image is NOT a photograph and should not be interpreted as such.  Just because it can be tone-reversed by photography does NOT make the as-is body image a photographic negative – those who  claim it does being guilty of arriving at a logical non-sequitur. So what is the body image, if not a photograph?

  1. “It’s a painting

If this were true, it should be possible to identify the pigments used by chemical analysis, just as conservators can do for the paintings of Old Masters. But the Sturp team found no evidence of any pigments or dyes on the cloth in sufficient amounts to explain the image. Nor are there any signs of it being rendered in brush strokes. In fact the image on the linen is barely visible to the naked eye, and wasn’t identified at all until 1898, when it became apparent in the negative image of a photograph taken by Secondo Pia, an amateur Italian photographer. The faint coloration of the flax fibres isn’t caused by any darker substance being laid on top or infused into them – it’s the very material of the fibres themselves that has darkened. And in contrast to most dyeing or painting methods, the colouring cannot be dissolved, bleached or altered by most standard chemical agents. The Sturp group asserted that the image is the real form of a “scourged, crucified man… not the product of an artist”. There are genuine bloodstains on the cloth, and we even know the blood group (AB, if you’re interested). There are traces of human DNA too, although it is badly degraded.”

While Heller and Adler attempted to bleach the body image fibres, and finally succeeded, they curiously did not report tests with standard “bleach” as such, i.e. sodium hypochlorite. Why they failed to do so is anyone’s guess, but reading Heller’s 1983 book one can see the thought-processes at work: they were working their way through various theoretical means by which substances that have acquired a yellow colour can be made to lose the colour, thereby giving clues to the means by which colour was acquired in the first instance, e.g. oxidation, reduction. Common bleach presumably acts via one or more mechanisms  (oxidation, chlorination etc) that did not fit with their model-building.

Having myself found that melanoidins generated by heating a white flour imprint can be decolorised with standard bleach, I firmly believe that Heller and Adler would have been able to see the same with their image fibres. Why?  Well, to start with they achieved bleaching with alkaline hydrogen peroxide, as I have as well – further evidence for melanoidins being the chromophore. They also achieved decolorisation with diimide (N2H2) which I regard as a major, posssibly the most crucial of STURP’s findings. Why? Because while diimide is not a well known chemical, and while Heller refers to it merely as a “powerful reducing agent” in his book, it has a highly specific mode  of reducing action, one which Heller and Adler (to say nothing of the rest of the world) have failed to accord proper importance.

Diimide has a highly specific hydrogenating action on C=C double bonds.

-CH=CH-    +   NH=NH     ->       -CH2-CH2-   +  N2 (nitrogen gas)

Why is that so important? Answer: because the yellow colour of organic chromophores (as distinct from inorganic pigments like red ochre  etc) is generally due to conjugated double bonds ( -CH=CH-CH=CH-CH=C-H etc).  One has only to hydrogenate one of the C=C double bonds, preferably towards the middle of the sequence, and hey presto one interrupts the conjugated series and knocks out (“bleaches”) the colour. Heller and Adler’s positive result with diimide pretty well confirms that the body image colour is NOT due to artists’ paint pigments, but is ORGANIC in nature ( cue those melanoidins!). It simply makes no sense at all for that hugely important  diimide finding to have been played down or ignored, allowing the tedious “just a painting” dogma to survive decades longer than it should.

I blame widespread chemical illiteracy myself, aided and abetted by the liberal arts background of most of those in the mass media.  Freelance science writer Philip Ball, previously on the editorial staff of ‘Nature’,  is I gather a biochemist by training. Hopefully he’ll read this posting in due course and , who knows, maybe use his influence and contacts to set the record straight?

More Philip Ball to follow tomorrow.

Final para from “It’s a painting”

“That didn’t prevent the American independent chemical and microscopy consultant, Walter McCrone, who collaborated with the Sturp team, from asserting that the red stains attributed to blood were in fact very tiny particles of the red pigment iron oxide, or red ochre.

John Heller’s quotes re McCrone and his uncompromising iron oxide microscopically-acquired ‘take’ on the body image:

(Heller, J.H., “Report on the Shroud of Turin,” Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 1983, pp.139-141)

“Following my presentation, McCrone came to the lectern. Everyone was eager to hear what he had to say. He began. He had examined some of the Shroud fibers and stated that the body images had been made by red iron-oxide earth pigments.
Iron oxide is familiar to everyone as rust. It occurs in the ground in a variety of geological deposits, and has been used for millennia as a paint. African tribes like the Masai still use it to daub their bodies and their hair. The painter’s pigment known as Venetian red is made of it.
McCrone is a particle expert who has written a five-volume atlas that is the definitive work in this field. Nevertheless, Sam Pellicori, who came to the STURP project via astronomy and physical optics, was at the moment thinking, “I don’t believe this. I’ve measured the spectrum of iron oxide dozens of times. The color’s totally wrong, for what he’s claiming. Based on the spectrophotometry and the X-ray fluorescence findings, there’s no way that the Shroud images are composed of iron oxide. I may be young and naive, and McCrone may be the master, but he’s wrong.”
Jackson was thinking that McCrone’s analysis contradicted the Gilberts’ reflectance curves.
McCrone stated that, in his opinion, the iron oxide had been applied by a finger, and the pictures were therefore finger paintings. He referred to what he had seen as `snow fencing,’ indicating that the iron oxide had piled up on the lee side of the fibers. He concluded by saying that the blood was also made up of an iron-oxide paint. Slide after slide was projected on the screen, with McCrone pointing out red dots on the fibers, and stating that they were typical red iron earth pigments.

I was bewildered. Here was a particle expert claiming that (a) the images were the result of iron-oxide red paint and that (b) the `blood’ was iron oxide, too. This was completely at odds with the data presented by the X-ray fluorescence team, who saw no increase of iron signal between image and nonimage areas, but only where there was blood. It was at variance with what Lynn and Lorre had found in their image analysis, as well as the Gilberts’ analysis that the images had a spectrum similar to the light scorch areas. It also left the 3-D aspect of the images unaccounted for. My seven microfibrils may not have held blood, but they surely were not coated with iron oxide. Most confusing. McCrone finished up by stating that he was 90 percent sure that the Shroud was a painting – or perhaps there may have been a very faint pre-existing image that was later touched up by an artist using red iron oxide earth pigments. I had a flock of questions to ask. However, before I had a chance to ask any, other team members stepped in.

(Questions from floor in bold, McCrone’s answers not in bold)

`Dr. McCrone, how do you know those red dots are iron oxide?’


`Did you test them chemically?’

`I don’t have to. Experience. Besides, it’s birefringent.’

`How do you explain the X-ray fluorescence studies and the Gilberts’ curves?’

`They must be wrong.’

`How does your iron-oxide paint jibe with the negative image and the 3-D information?’

`Oh, any competent artist could have done that.’

`Do you mean that you just looked through your microscope and, without doing specific tests for iron oxide, can proclaim it a painting?’


And with that, he left the meeting, and I did not see him

So, on the face of it, there’s a seeming discrepancy. The image chromophore is organic (covalently  linked carbon-based) in nature, dare one say dye or stain-like in nature? On the other it’s particulate, i.e. visible as specks under McCrone’s microscope. Can the two be reconciled?

Yes, most certainly they can, if one is willing to accept that the straw-yellow colour of the image fibres is not due to chemical modification of the linen cellulose by chemical oxidation and/or dehydration, as surmised by Heller and Adler, but to that class of high molecular weight polymeric MELANOIDINS, as first proposed by Raymond N Rogers, and that said melanoidins are derived NOT from the flax plant (source of the linen fibres) but from external sources. In Rogers’ diffusion model, the reactants are (a) volatile amines, notable cadaverine and putrescine etc released to the atmosphere from a decomposing body and (b) reducing sugars derived from a Roman-era starch coating on the linen (said to be a processing aid for weaving). In my much simpler Model 10, both the amines (from amino-side chains on lysine residues in protein etc ) and reducing sugars  – hexose and/or pentose sugars-  are supplied from a single external source, namely white flour used as imprinting agent. Naturally, there needs to be obligatory contact between body and linen for the imprinting agent to leave an imprint – no contact, no imprint. In Rogers’ model there can be air gaps, with his volatile amines able to cross those air gaps via gaseous diffusion (that being arguably the major defect of the model – the greater the gap, the greater the random diffusion, the less well defined the presumed image).

Returning to the original point – how can melanoidins end-products comprising the body image be reconciled with  McCrone’s particulates?  Answer: The clue are those terms that describe the nature of melanoidins, i.e. “high molecular weight” and “polymeric”. That means that the melanoidins are particulate (or micro-particulate) SOLIDS, with no reason why they should not be visible as minute specks under the microscope, given a sufficiently high magnification. Their precursors msy hsave entered linen fibres (briefly) in liquid form, then undergone near instant polymerisation to solids, effectively entrapping the melanoidins at their furthest point of penetration, explaining their resistance to being detached or dissolved out, explaining their durability  and colour-fastness of the faint image over the centuries

“Like just about every other aspect of the shroud, McCrone’s evidence is disputed; few now credit it. Another idea is that the image is a kind of rubbing made from a bas-relief statue, or perhaps imprinted by singeing the fabric while it lay on top of such a bas-relief – but the physical and chemical features of the image don’t support this.”

No, not a bas relief statue, but a real person, probably living and cooperative, like somewhere on Geoffroy de Charny’s  Lirey landholding in 14th century Champagne, France, not far from the city of Troyes. Someone who agreed to be coated with a white flour imprinting agent, then having linen pressed  down onto his body contours.

Singeing a fabric, from a hot metal statue or bas relief?  No, for a number of technical reasons. But one can learn a lot about the nature of superficial imprints, notably their 3D response towards appropriate computer software by working with scorch imprints, as I did with my Model 2 back in 2012/13.

More to follow. (It’s now May 13, 2018)

Halleluja! This site has suddenly reappeared under a simple ‘shroud of turin’ Google search. It’s currently on Page 8 listings, having been nowhere to be seen on any of the first 20 pages for some weeks, the subject of much grinding of teeth, spitting of blood, staring daggers etc etc!

back on google page 8 sunday 13 may

Continuing from Philip Ball:

2. It was made by a natural chemical process

If the coloured imprint comes from the darkening of the cellulose fibres of the cloth, what might have caused it? One of the doyens of scientific testing of the shroud, Raymond Rogers of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, argued in 2002 that a simple chemical transformation could do the job. He suggested that even very moderate heat – perhaps 40C (104F) or so, a temperature that post-mortem physicians told him a dead body could briefly attain if the person died from hyperthermia or dehydration – could be enough to discolour the sugary carbohydrate compounds that might be found on the surface of cotton fibres. It doesn’t take a miracle, Rogers insisted. This is a reassuringly mundane idea, but there is little evidence for it in this particular circumstance – it’s not as if it happens all the time on funeral shrouds.

Another idea is that the discoloration of the fibres was caused by a chemical reaction with some substance that emanated from the body. The French biologist, Paul Vignon, proposed in the early 1900s that this substance might have been ammonia, produced by the breakdown of urea in sweat. That won’t work, though: the image would be too blurry. In 1982, biophysicist John DeSalvo suggested instead that the substance could be lactic acid from sweat. This compound is one of those responsible for so-called Volckringer images of plant leaves, left for years between the pages of a book: substances are exuded from the leaf and react with paper fibres to produce a dark, negative image.

My personal observations:

Oh dear, Mr. Ball. There’s a lot of mixing up between one thing and another here. Where does one begin?

Let’s lay Paul Vignon’s ideas to rest first, while recognizing they may have influenced Ray Rogers’ thinking, but not as one might suppose from the above account.

Vignon proposed that image formation involved gaseous ammonia, formed as stated by post-mortem decomposition of urea in sweat, but reacting with the biblical spices, notably aloes, to produce a darkening of the cloth and image formation (though arguably more blurred than the one we see on the TS).  But those biblical spices have never been shown to be present on the TS, at least in the more authoritative studies, notably the 78 STURP visit.

Rogers modified the Vignon model. In place of ammonia, we have heavier amines (cadaverine, putrescine etc), also products of post-mortem decomposition – but of body proteins, not simple urea, also gaseous (just, their natural state on the laboratory shelf at ordinary environmental temperatures being vapour-releasing liquids). Instead of biblical spices, we have starch and its (alleged) breakdown products (simpler dextrins etc with reducing properties). The two react via amino-carbonyl  reactions  (between amine and sugar respectively) i.e. via Maillard reactions, finally to form yellow or brown melanoidins. Philip Ball’s account of the Rogers’ model has left out the amines, making it seem as if Rogers’ model involved the effect of somewhat elevated temperature on sugars only. But that mechanism of darkening is NOT a Maillard reaction, nor is the end product a melanoidin. That mechanism of darkening, involving heat on reducing sugars only is called CARAMELIZATION,. It generally requuires a higher temperature than Maillard reaction . I’m personally not aware that Rogers did more than pay lip service to caramelization as making a significant contribution to the TS body image.

There’s one final detail that needs to be flagged up, and that’s a possible role for alkaline pH in addition to heat. Maillard reactions are favoured by alkaline pH, and it’s not unusual to see ammonia and other amines being assumed to act merely via their ability to raise pH. No, their prime function is to provide the amino function (-NH2), though raising pH as well may increase the rate of Maillard reaction.  Standard alkalis (e.g. sodium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate) also increase rates of Maillard reactions, leaving those amines free to serve their primary role as reactants. The mechanisn by which alkali speeds up Maillard  non-enzymatic browning reactions  is well known: the amino functions in proteins, simple amines etc are usually predominantly  in  protonated form (-NH3+) at or close to physiological pH where they are less chemically reactive than unprotonated -NH2.  Adding a little alkali deprotonates the -NH3+ to -NH2 and hey presto one gets a speedier amino-carbonyl reaction, better, faster browning . Pretzel bakers exploit the alkali effect!   End of today’s chemistry lesson…

3. It’s a photograph

Secondo Pia’s photograph showed that the image on the cloth is a negative: dark where it should be bright. This deepens the mystery, and Pia himself casually suggested that the shroud could have been made by some primitive kind of photography. That idea has been inventively pursued by South African art historian Nicholas Allen, who argues that it could in principle have been achieved using materials and knowledge available to medieval scholars many centuries before genuine photography was invented. The key to the idea is the light-sensitive compound silver nitrate, the stuff that darkened the emulsion of the first true photographic plates in the 19th Century, as light transformed the silver salt into tiny black particles of silver metal.

This substance does seem to have been known in the Middle Ages, Allen says: it was described in the writings of the 8th Century Arabic alchemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, and also by the German Dominican Albertus Magnus in the 13th Century. It could have been coated on to the cloth in a darkened chamber and exposed to sunlight through a lens – made of quartz not glass, since the silver is in fact darkened by ultraviolet light, which glass absorbs but quartz does not. Allen has made replicas of a shroud this way using model figurines. But how the image stays on the cloth when the silver is removed, and how mediaeval forgers gathered all this sophisticated knowledge about optics and chemistry without there being any trace in surviving documents poses problems for the idea. So do various issues about the exact shape and contrast of an image made this way. For most Turin Shroud theorists, Allen’s idea is a triumph of ingenuity over plausibility.

My personal observations: 

I too could respond to that question and ask “Is it a photograph”? But I’m not going to. Why not? It’s my response to the indecent haste with which contact imprinting was dismissed right from the start, notably by STURP team-leader John Jackson, allowing photography, correction, resurrectional photography to take centre stage, where it’s been ever since – the best part of 40 years no less!

Yes, it’s understandable why photography should have been given serious consideration right at the start, with Secondo Pia’s discovery that the TS image resembles a photographic negative, inasmuch as tone-reversal produces a more natural-looking positive image, one in which the extremities are brighter than the shadowy recesses. That’s because in light photography, there is more light reflection off the extremities, back into the camera lens, and thence onto 19th century silver salt emulsion, from which the positive then needs can then be generated  in a second step.

But it’s not just light that preferentially interacts with raised relief to produce a negative image. So too does a tactile process in which linen is physically pressed onto those same raised contours, also generating a negative, tone-reversed image if there’s an imprinting medium present.

So on what basis was contact-imprinting so hastily dismissed, allowing resurrectional selfie-image acquisition able to acquire alleged scientific semi-respectability?  Answer: through theologically driven arguments that were not just superficial but laden with tunnel vision and blind spots, inviting no debate, no counter-arguments. In short, religion pre-empted, nay hijacked science.

How realistic is imprinting by direct contact?  To read the following account in Mark Antonacci’s book (“The Resurrection of the Shroud”) one could be forgiven for thinking it was scarcely worth a moment’s consideration:

From Page 63, under heading Direct-Contact Theories:

“A fundamental problem with all direct-contact theories can be demonstrated in a simple experiment by rubbing charcoal over a person’s face and then draping a cloth over it. The resulting image will possess no three-dimensional information, appear grossly distorted, and bear scant resemblance to a human face”.

We’ll come to the problematical face shortly. For now, let’s consider a cleaner more friendly experimental system, the one used to create the banner on this blogsite. My hand was simply plunged into water and then, after flicking off surplus liquid,  pressed down onto dark fabric (OK, I’m repeating myself from earlier).

Does the imprint look distorted, compared with a real hand? Answer: NO! 

Does the imprint bear scant resemblance to a human hand? Answer: NO! 

Does it possess no three-dimensional information? Answer NO – it responded magnificently to ImageJ 3D-rendering software, both as the initial negative imprint, and as the tone-reversed positive.

What about imprinting off the face, not with messy charcoal, but a more user-friendly imprintimg medium, flour slurry as in my Model 9?

Antonacci continues:

“STURP scientists Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline attempted to reproduce direct-contact models capable of matching the image characteristics found on the Shroud. They used a plaster mold of a face that was treated with different combinations of liquids and oils at different temperatures and draped with linen resembling the Shroud. The experiment identified several weaknesses in the direct-contact theory: When the cloth was draped over the face mold that had been coated with ink, two different types of shading effects were produced. An image was imprinted only where the cloth and face made contact; no impression was left if the cloth and face were separated by space. Yet, as discussed in Chapter 3, the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose). When the investigators pressed the cloth onto those surface points where contact was not made during the natural draping over the face mold, the resulting image was grossly distorted. The VP-8 analysis of the direct contact photographs yielded even more pronounced image distortions (Fig 42), which means that direct contact methods cannot produce the correct three-dimensional information.”

More to follow in a day or two

(I shall be annotating the above paragraph from Antonacci line by line, sometimes word by word. Maybe one has to be a scientist by training – as distinct from a legal attorney – to spot the repeated departure from strict scientific objectivity – displaying that lawyerly tendency to select so-called facts that build a case with a pre-determined conclusion, namely that the direct-contact theory is riddled with fatal flaws, meaning it can be consigned without further ado to the dustbin of history. Really? We shall see…)

Annotated version of above:

“STURP scientists Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline attempted to reproduce direct-contact models capable of matching the image characteristics found on the Shroud.


They used a plaster mold of a face that was treated with different combinations of liquids and oils at different temperatures and draped with linen resembling the Shroud.

Er, why did they decide to use a plaster mould of a face, i.e. a rigid, non-deformable “face”? How many times have we been told that there’s a swollen cheek, a deformed flattened nose, serious damage to a bony eye socket, and asked to believe this fits 100% with the biblical account.  Who’s to say the less-than-perfect face on the Shroud is unrelated to biblical events, and everything to do with medieval imprinting off a real DEFORMABLE human face, applying manual pressure to linen that has been draped over a face precoated with imprinting medium? A properly objective, scientifically rigorous attemopt to “match image characteristics of the Shroud” would either made no prior assumoptiuons about authenticity OR would have drawn up a list of the different scenarios, 1st versus 14th century, and modelled each accordingly. More to follow.

The experiment identified several weaknesses in the direct-contact theory:

Now there’s a surprise…

When the cloth was draped over the face mold that had been coated with ink, two different types of shading effects were produced. An image was imprinted only where the cloth and face made contact; no impression was left if the cloth and face were separated by space.

“Two different types of shading effect”?  Like an either/or effect, as expected of a contact imprint – either image, or no image, with no in-betweens? Like a muddy footprint on a tiled floor?  Yes, that’s what one expects of a contact-imprint! One doesn’t need to do an experiment to know that an imprinting medium cannot cross airgaps, assuming it’s either liquid or powdered solid.

Yet, as discussed in Chapter 3, the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose). When the investigators pressed the cloth onto those surface points where contact was not made during the natural draping over the face mold, the resulting image was grossly distorted. The VP-8 analysis of the direct contact photographs yielded even more pronounced image distortions (Fig 42), which means that direct contact methods cannot produce the correct three-dimensional information.” Repeat: contact-imprinting is an either/or effect.

Yet, as discussed in Chapter 3, the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose).

Is that the best we can do –  focusing on one tiny part of  the entire double-body image, front versus back,  pinpointing the sides, yes SIDES!,  of the nose as the place where there’s allegedly no ‘either/or’ effect, assuming in other words that there’s no possibility  under any circumstances whatsoever of linen ever making contact with the sides of the nose?

Experimental conditions? Loosely-draped linen, i.e. a  biased, non-objective pro-authenticity situation, one where linen might certainly make a bridge between the highest point of the nose and the lower cheek, making little or no contact with the sides?  But what about a medieval forgery scenario, one in which linen was manually pressed down onto body features, maybe flattening somewhat that awkward extremity we call the nose, such that there was then contact between linen and the sides of the nose. 

What’s the nose like on the TS body image?  Any evidence that it was indeed compressed? How does is respond to elevation of 2D image intensity onto a third dimension (3D-rendering)? Might there be evidence that the nose was indeed flattened in the process of being imaged from a real person, one with deformable body features,  NOT a plaster mould?

This was discussed in detail on a recent posting on this site. 

(Nov 16, 2017, with title that begins: “Hello all you media reporters…” )

When the investigators pressed the cloth onto those surface points where contact was not made during the natural draping over the face mold, the resulting image was grossly distorted.

I too did that experiment back in 2014, using a flour slurry as imprinting agent (Model 9)  pressing linen against my face, with pressure on the nose.  There was no further image development, beyond drying and applying additional contrast with MS Office Picture Manager.  But there was a difference: I did NOT see gross distortion, certainly no more than what one sees on the TS:

new 3D highly cropped


Nor was it a typical photographic image, being subtly different- like seeming to show a beard and moustache, when at best there was merely a 24 hour stubble onto which the imprinting medium appears to have accumulated more efficiently.

But then neither does the TS have a typical photographic image, being, er, like, you know, subtly different. 

The VP-8 analysis of the direct contact photographs yielded even more pronounced image distortions (Fig 42), which means that direct contact methods cannot produce the correct three-dimensional information.”

Let’s distinguish, shall we, between “image distortions” and “failure to see a 3-response”?  From the word go, pro-authenticity sindonology has tended to use those two expressions as if they are one and  the same thing.  One sees it in the John Heller book from 1983:

heller image distortion in 3D


Yes, this is a colour plate from John Heller’s book.

(The photos are protected by copyright, attributed to the late Vernon Miller (a colleague of STERA’s President Barrie M.Schwortz from the Brook Institute), but should be permissible here on this site which is non-commercial, and devoted entirely to reseacrhing the Turin Shroud.)

Let’s look closely at the captions:

From under the first of the above two plates: “The three-dimensional attributes of the VP-8 Shroud images cannot be reproduced by any artistic endeavour”.

Oh yes they can! I showed as much way back in 2012, displaying for my part hideously non-artistic endeavour – spending just a few minutes with a stick of artist’s charcoal – to execute  the crudest of crude copies of the face of the Man on the TS. That graphic monstrosity was then uploaded to ImageJ (the modern digital equivalent to the analogue VP-8):

From May 4, 2012, posted to my short-lived ‘strawshredder’ site (an allusion to those who repeatedly clutch at straws):

Yes, one can do a crude charcoal sketch of the TS face, upload to ImageJ, and obtain a 3D-rendered image.  It’s the software that generates the 3D image from the 2D input. There’s no “encoded” 3D information on the input, merely variations in 2D image intensity that are elevated proportionately onto an  entirely imaginary vertical axis.

So even artistically, correction, non-artistically, one can get a 3D-rendering using appropriate software. It really is time that sindonology ceased its promotion of the TS image as having “unique” 3D properties that are somehow “encoded”. 

It’s time to let go of your jewel in the crown, sindonology. It ain’t a diamond – it’s artificial, man-made.

Oops. I nearly forgot to mention that second caption, the one that reads:

“A VP-8 of a photo of William Ercoline. Note the gross distortion of all features and the two-dimensional quality of the VP-8 – both characteristics of a VP-8 taken from a 2D surface. The only exception is the Shroud.”

Certainly, there is some distortion (but when it’s distortion of the face on the man on the the TS that’s instantly explained away as injuries inflicted by Roman soldiers and/or hostile onlookers). But some distortion is only to be expected with a photograph, as distinct from an imprint. Why? Because photographs are invariably taken with a lateral source of illumination which creates shadows and, with it,  apparent depth of field  and a degree of pseudo-3D-ness. But the 3D-rendering software has no way of knowing what’s shadow as distinct from recessed area. So is it any wonder that there’s a distortion in the 3D-rendering of a photograph, unless the latter has been taken (with a degree of difficulty) with a light source directly behind the camera and  maybe the photographer as well (if no timed or remote control shutter).

As for the suggestion, nay claim, that the VP-8 has failed to elicit 3D from William Ercoline’s photograph, words fail me!  That is TOTAL misrepresentation (yet is strangely at odds with the body of the text in Heller’s book that only shifts into head-shaking pro-authenticity mode right towards the end). It’s almost as if this and the previous caption  had been an afterthought, maybe by an editorial assistant at the publisher’s, maybe without full consultation with the author. Regardless of reasons, the damage has been done. The alleged “uniqueness” of the Shroud’s  “encoded” 3D-properties has now become so deeply embedded in sindonology as to have become Holy Writ, with ridicule and Invisible Man status to anyone who dares question it. 

(more to follow shortly)

4. It was made by some kind of energy release

According to an international team of scientists and other interested folk called the Yahoo Shroud Science Group, hypotheses about the genesis of the shroud “involving the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth cannot be rejected”. Among them, the group members write, “are hypotheses correlated to an energy source coming from the enveloped or wrapped Man, [and] others correlated to surface electrostatic discharges caused by an electric field”. Since these hypotheses appear to invoke processes unknown to science, which presumably occur during a return from the dead, it’s technically true that science can’t disprove them – nor really say anything about them at all.

Some, however, are not deterred by that. Italian chemist Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua has proposed that the image might have been burnt into the upper layers of the cloth by a burst of “radiant energy” – bright light, ultraviolet light, X-rays or streams of fundamental particles – emanating from the body itself. Fanti cites the account of Christ’s Transfiguration, witnessed by Peter, John and James and recounted in Luke 9:29: “As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” This is, to put it mildly, rather circumstantial evidence. But Fanti suggests we might at least test whether artificial sources of such radiation can produce a similar result on linen.

According to Raymond Rogers, all kinds of pseudoscientific theories have been put forward that invoke some mysterious radiation, which not only made the image itself but distorted the radiocarbon dating. In general they start from the notion that the shroud must be genuine and work backwards from that goal, he said. Little has changed in the decade and more since Rogers made this complaint. But still it has to be said that the piece of cloth Pope Francis will venerate is genuinely and stubbornly perplexing.

My personal observations:

I can’t disagree with any of that – except to say that it’s polite, far too polite, towards those who move effortlessly back and forth between science and pseudoscience in their search for ‘compelling’ evidence for authenticity (the latter rushed out, instalment by instalment, into the public domain, all the while massaging those Google top rankings!). Meanwhile science, my kind of footsoldier science, is allowed to go unnoticed, and where Google is concerned,  been allowed until recently to wither on the vine. (But am now back on Page 8 of  a Google search under  (shroud of turin), as flagged up a few days ago)

One detail: Giulio Fanti is credited with all the “radiation” models.- an umbrella term.  In fact, his name is best linked with the corona discharge hypothesis (ionization of air molecules around a object with a build up of electrostatic charge). It is his fellow countryman Paolo Di Lazzaro who is more usually associated with what I call ‘resurrectional incandescence’, based on his model studies with uv excimer lasers.

What do I think of those experiments (which when reported in the Independent newspaper back in December 2011, with a follow-up on Tom Chivers’ now terminated Telegraph blog  raised my ire, under the username ‘newsjunkie’ )?

Back in 2012 I described Paolo Di Lazzaros’ over-reported modelling of the Shroud body image, deploying  his oh-so-21st century uv excimer lasers – generating a mere patch of yellowish  discoloration on linen (no image!) – as “Mickey Mouse ” science.

Much abuse was heaped on me for saying so, notably from the host of the then (seemingly) influential shroudstory.com site.

I repeat: Mickey Mouse science!

Laser technologists should stick to laser technology, and leave science to scientists!

Yesterday I was thinking of attempting a summary of PDL’s laser studies. Having just glanced again at summaries of his ‘findings’ I’ve changed my mind. Everything he writes is so vacuous, so chemically uninformative, so intent on propping up a hugely unscientific proposition (like a body emitting ultraviolet radiation) that there are a million better uses one can make of one’s time –  like dozing in one’s deckchair on the patio. The sooner PDL and his colleagues at ENEA employ a chemist the better,


25: Shroud of Turin – RationalWiki

6 Jan 2018 – The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth claimed by some members of the Christian community to have been Jesus’s death shroud. The provenance and authenticity of the shroud has been debated for many centuries. There is no record of where the shroud came from before the 13th century, and …
‎Technical problems · ‎History · ‎Theories · ‎Is the Shroud of Turin …


My personal observations:

Expect them to arrive in a day or two.  (It’s now May 18).

Again, it’s worth going through the rationalwiki posting on the TS, and to ask : Has the site hit the nail on essentials? (I say it has not, and will later say why):

It starts here:


Shroud of Turin

“”The two attributes central to the shroud’s alleged religious significance — that it wrapped the body of Jesus, and is of supernatural origin — are precisely those neither science nor history can ever prove.
—Philip Ball, Nature (May 2008)

The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth claimed by some members of the Christian community to have been Jesus‘s death shroud.

The provenance and authenticity of the shroud has been debated for many centuries. There is no record of where the shroud came from before the 13th century, and indeed scientific dating tests have shown it to be from around that time.

Yes, despite all those alleged sightings (“Image of Edessa” etc) there’s no iconic head-to-head double-body image in history until the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, circa 1357, with the de Charny/de Vergy coat of arms. How likely is it that so striking, so compelling an image would exist in one or other hands for the best part of 13 centuries without appearing?

Even if the shroud was authentically proven to come from 1st century Judea, this would only show that someone was crucified, and crucifixion as a common punishment at the time has never been disputed. There would be no reason to presume it was Jesus in particular.

No reason? What about the bloodstains in the scalp – which can be linked with the biblical crown of thorns? What about the bloodstain corresponding with a lance wound in the side? What about the bloodstains corresponfing with hundreds of scourge marks?

One can question why all these correspondences with the biblical account are in the form of bloodstains, not the body image (making it more likely they are the work of a forger). But one can hardly maintain that the image could be from  just one of hundreds of crucifixion victims, given the distinguishing features.

Despite the overwhelmingevidence to the contrary, Pope Benedict XVI declared it “the authentic burial robe” of Christ.[1] This papal declaration would appear to be “authoritative but non-infallible“.[2]

Sindonology is the “scientific” study of the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, most of this “science” is directed at trying to prove that the shroud is the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ, making it on par with Lysenkoism in the sense that it is attempting to prove the already falsified.

Yes, sindonology is essentially a prior conviction of authenticity in search of corroborating evidence, studiously avoiding or hastily dismissing evidence that argues  in favour of 14th century forgery. I say the TS was inspired by the ‘Veil of Veronica’, an alleged imprint of the face of Jesus onto alady bystander’s square of head covering  en route to the place of crucifixion, The TS was intended to be seen and interpreted as an analogous whole body imprint in sweat and blood, post- rather than pre-mortem.


The Shroud is rectangular, measuring some 4.4 by 1.1 meters. The cloth (specifically linen) is woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils. It shows faint but distinctive sepia images of the front and back of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin. The body image is muscular and 1.70 to 1.88 meters, or about 5’7″ to 6’2″, tall, with wound points as though they could have been caused by the process of crucifixion, but there is no generally accepted theory to explain how the image was impressed onto the cloth. However, it is accepted that the image is not anatomically correct — the head is 5% too large for its body, the nose is disproportionate, and the arms are too long. To the unaided eye the image is not obvious but appears much more defined as a black and white photographic negative, as revealed when the shroud was first photographed in 1898.

Yes, but it’s the negative, tone-reversed image that should be discussed first. No, not a photograph, but an imprint (see this site’s banner)! Correction, a simulated imprint of the body of the crucified Jesus, as might have been left (conceptually speaking) on Joseph of Arimathea’s fine linen, used to receive the body from the cross for dignified transport to the place of entombment.

More to follow …

Technical problems

No examples of complex herringbone weave are known from the time of Jesus when, in any case, burial cloths tended to be of plain weave. In addition, Jewish burial practice utilized — and the Gospel of John specifically describes for Jesus — multiple burial wrappings wrapped tightly around the body with a separate cloth over the face:

“”Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself…
John 20:1:6, King James Version

This is particularly curious because the Christian relic industry has been so proficient at producing multiple Holy Foreskins and multiple complete sets of Jesus’ baby teeth. It must be a “miracle” that there is only one shroud!

Additionally, none of the gospels make any mention of any miraculous burial cloth after Jesus’s resurrection. Curious that the most holy relic in all of Christendom doesn’t even get so much as a word in its holy texts, isn’t it?


There are also claims of “bloodstains” on the cloth, but Hebrew law dictated cleansing of the corpse before wrapping and bodies don’t bleed after death. Chemist Walter McCrone identified the substance as a “combination of red ochre and vermilion tempera paint.” However only fibrils lifted from the shroud on sticky tape were tested for blood (This was done in order to avoid damaging the cloth). It should be pointed out though that the color observed was still an unfaded red, which would not be expected of real blood, which browns with age.

Yes. The Alan Adler “explanation” that the permanent red colour is due to admixture of an abnormal variant of haemoglobin and ‘trauma’ bilirubin simply does not hold up. Bilirubin becomes quickly degraded on exposure to light – ordinary visible light (especially the blue component) – that being the basis for the phototherapy of neonatal jaundice.

Dr M. M. Baden, a pathologist, pointed out the blood trickles from the scalp are evidence of forgery, on the grounds that blood from a scalp wound does not flow in rivulets but mats the hair.[3]

Sindonology has an explanation for that. The blood was really on the face we’re told, but imprinted onto the head hair of the body image, a result of the body image being out of stereoregister with the blood due to different non-simultaneous imprinting mechanisms. Ingenious, probably wrong!

Also of note is the lack of wrap-around distortion. For a shroud that was supposedly wrapped around the body of Christ, the lack of wrap-around distortion across the torso, thighs and legs is striking. If the cloth were genuine, the face and body should be hardly recognizable as such, and should look something more like this. The figure does not satisfy the geometric conditions of contact formation.

Much nonsense is written about ‘wrap-around distortion’.

First, for there to be wrap- around distortion, two conditions have to be met. First, there has to be contact between the vertical sides as well as flatter upper planes of the body (torso, head, limbs etc).  In short, there has to be ‘wrap-around’!

Secondly there has to be an imprinting mechanism in place such that wrap-around contact results in image capture. If either is absent there can be no ‘wrap-around- distortion’. So a loosely draped sheet of linen might make contact with the sides, and in a pro-authenticity scenario (those flashes of radiation etc) one expects imaging of sides and distortion. But there is little if any visible on the TS!  Why not? Because the TS body image required the presence of a material imprinting agent.

Fast forward to the 14th century, to a forgery scenario, one where there was no ‘loosely-draped linen’ but a determined attempt to simulate, i.e. mimic the appearance of a aged, yellowed sweat imprint. How precisely? Answer: one either applies one’s imprinting  agent ONLY to the places one wants imaged – and doesn’t bother if the linen makes contact with other parts – OR one devises a procedure whereby an imprinting medium can only access (settle on!) the higher flatter planes, NOT the vertical sides.

It is the first of those options that was deployed in this invesitigator’s Model 9, using a wwet flour slurry as imprinting agent, painted/daubed onto the parts I wanted imaged, NOT the vertical sides to avoid lateral distortion.

It is the second option that was deployed in later Model 10 using solid white flour as imprinting medium, sprinkled from above, settling for the most part on higher flatter planes, failing to do so by and large on vertical faces.  Imprinting was then done using WET linen to which the flour efficienty transfers under manually-applied pressure. The key advantage of Model 10 is that the result of imprinting mainly off  those higher flatter planes, with a fairly sharp (but still somewhat fuzzy cut-off towards the sides) is that one achieves a homogeneity of imaging thanks to the uniform effects of gravity and flour adhesion/non-adhesion to skin across the entire body, front and rear (we’ll return to the rear later). What’s more,  the resulting image with its flat ‘cardboard cut out’ look, with front, back but NO SIDES has that desired imprint look about it that could be ‘sold’ to visiting pilgrims as a genuine 1300 year old sweat imprint, with the added bonus of blood having been added ‘in all the right places’.

Why a TS image with front and rear imprint only, apart from the reason already given (a general “imprinted” look, NOT painted as if by an artist). This is where it gets interesting, dare one say subtle. Three of the 4 Gospels refer to the body of Jesus being received direct from the cross into Joseph of Arimathea’s linen, with no suggestion that the linen was intended to serve as more than a temporary ‘transport shroud’. Using the linen as a transport stretcher meant folding it back over the head, back down to the feet, such that contact was predominantly with the front and rear  only – NOT THE SIDES. The creators of the TS were looking to extend the idea previously used to create the Veil of Veronica, one based on BRIEF contact  with the more accessible planes that did not require wrapping fabric around the sides of a face or body. The creators of the TS were in their own way aiming for authenticty, though not in the usual meaning of that term – authenticity that was faithful to the biblical account, one where there’s no hard evidence (except for a certain kind of  biased interpretation) that J of A’s linen was ever used or even intended as the final burial shroud, that being in the form of later ‘winding strips’ referred to in the fourth Gospel.

More to follow.


Little reliable information is known of the shroud before the 15th century, beyond it being present in France in the 14th century. In 1453 Margaret de Charny deeded it to the House of Savoy, and in 1578 the then-Duke transferred it to Turin. The description of the Turin cloth at this point differs from that of the original cloth first presented in the 14th century.

That’s news to me. Do tell us more!

In 1983, the Savoy heirs gave it to the Holy See, who had it restored in 2002. Today it is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin.

The practice of faking holy relics was widespread during the Middle Ages and indeed the first undisputed mention of the Shroud is a very skeptical 1390 report from French Bishop Pierre d’Arcis to then (Anti-)Pope Clement VII denouncing the Shroud as a fraud.

OK, that’s maybe the first documentary evidence. But with something like a physical artefact with distinctive features, one must surely acknowledge other types of clue or evidence to an earlier existence. I’m thinking especially of the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge with the coats of arms of both Geoffroy de Charny and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy. That badge is the first known representation of the TS in history. Since de Charny died at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356 (he was bearer of the Oriflamme,  his king’s standard) that does suggest, does it not, that Bishop Pierre d’Arcis was accurate, at least as regards chronology,  in recounting the outrage of his predecessor Henri de Poitiers, de Charny’s local Bishop of Troyes towards the end of his life? 

[note 1] In 1988 three independent teams of scientists analyzed fragments of the cloth using radiocarbon dating and concluded that it dated from the Middle Ages. However, some critics who were skeptical of the dating claimed that the pieces of cloth which were analyzed were not part of the original shroud but repairs following fire damage in 1532.

1532 fire damage? Repairs by those Poor Clare nuns?  Crude patching? There’s some misunderstanding here in attempting to link with the much-maligned radiocarbon dating. The authors need to get acquainted with the invisible mending hypothesis, which if true would have preceded the 1532 fire. Personally I reject all that hugely over-hyped ‘modern’ contamination stuff – believing as I do that the entire TS came into existence in the mid-14th century, probably on the Lirey estate, probably as a result of a collaborative venture involving Geoffroy de Charny and his sovereign (King John II, aka Jean le Bon). Motive? I can think of at least two: first, as a ceremonial object initially for the newly founded Order of the Star (‘Ordre de l’Etoile, de Charny being a prime mover, his idea taken up enthusiastically by his King as a counterpart to the English Order of the Garter). Second: to generate income to repay  the King  via instalments  for earlier delivering  a huge ransom to the English for release of the captured de Charny. (It was shortly John’s turn to be captured and ransomed – Battle of Poitiers, again, 1356).

This claim holds no water, though; as mentioned above, flax from which the shroud was made grew, according to radiocarbon dating, no later than 1390 and it is assumed the shroud would have been made about that time. Said critics might insist this is due to the repairs being made with older threads that date back then. However, this claim is not supported by evidence either. Regardless, the Catholic Church has refused further tests, though whether this is out of genuine concern for the cloth’s condition or because of butthurt over the results not going their way is yet to be seen.

Given the abuse heaped upon the three dating labs, for decisions that were probaby not of their making, ike restricting the initial tests to an inconspicuous corner of the linen, or allegedly for departing from an initially agreed protocol (not written on tablets of stone!), then yes, the Shroud’s owners shoud do the decent thing: commission a second round of tests. No need apparently to remove squares of fabric if sampling from more conspicuous central sites: apparently small lengths of individual threads can be extracted from the weave whose absence should scarcely be noticed.

It should be noted that although the testing dates the cloth to circa 1260 to 1390, it does not necessarily mean the image itself also dates to 1390. The date only indicates approximately when the flax from which the Shroud was made grew. It is assumed the shroud cloth was woven at about the same time because flax fibers or thread would not normally be stored for long periods.

So that’s suggesting that the image came later than 1390? As stated earler, that’s hardly likely to be the case, given the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge with the first known appearance of the iconic head-to-head dual body image is almost certainly mid 1350s or thereabouts, given the de Charny/de Vergy coats of arms.


Leonardo da Vinci

One proposed hypothesis is that Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to replace an earlier version of the Shroud of Turin that was exposed as a poor fake, which had been bought by the Savoy family in 1453 only to disappear for 50 years.[4] Da Vinci created a “new” Shroud of Turin using a camera obscura technique involving a mirror and lens, on cloth impregnated with silver sulphate in a darkened room. The techniques required to create primitive photographs had been available since the 11th century in the book of optics, by Ibn al-Haytham, or Alhazen as he was known in the west. The silver sulphate acted as a negative which propagated an image onto the cloth when exposed by light through the lens. Silver sulphate and the camera obscura technique were known in the 15th century. In January 2009, visual arts consultant Lillian Schwartz at the School of Visual Arts in New York, compared the face on the Shroud of Turin with that of a portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, and found they matched.[5][6]

More from the School of Gravity-Defying Aerial Fortifications (building castles in the sky)…. Better to keep feet (and any surrounding stonework foundations of a defensive nature) on terra firma methinks…

Jacques de Molay

Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in a 1997 book, The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry, argue that the image on the Shroud is of Jaques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. De Molay was tortured and burned at the stake in Paris on March 11, 1314 by orders of the French King Philip IV, Le Bel, when the king succeeded in having the Templar order disbanded by Pope Clement V, and attempted to seize all of the Templar assets. Using the radiocarbon evidence, flax from which the Shroud was made grew sometime between 1260 and 1390.[7] The Shroud is known to have been in France during the fourteenth century, lining up with de Molay’s death in 1314. Knight and Lomas contend that the image which allegedly resembles that of de Molay, was created between the time de Molay was tortured and burned at the stake, at the direction of the Chief Inquisitor of France, William Imbert. They speculate that his torture consisted of his arms and legs being nailed in a manner similar to crucifixion, possibly to a large wooden door. Then de Molay was laid on a length of linen cloth on a soft bed. The cloth was then pulled over his head and body and de Molay was left to recover from his wounds, before his later slow death by fire.

The authors based their image of de Molay on a nineteenth-century lithograph by French artist Chevauchet.


My personal observation:

Way back in early 2012, a few months after starting hands-on research into the TS, this investigator too became to suspect that the image on the Shroud might have been at least influenced by the fate of the Templars earlier in the 14th century. Interest centred not so much on the Grand Master of the  Knights Templar  (Jacques de Molay) as on his close confidante Geoffroi de Charney,  with a surname  almost but not quite identical  to the later Lord of Lirey, first known owner of the Shroud, Geoffroi  (aka Geoffroy) de Charny.

Here’s an image of my first posting on the subject:

visual double entendre

So what prompted the suspicion of there being a possible link between the Man on the Shroud and someone who had executed  some decades previously via burning at the stake, i.e. in  in Paris, 1314?

More to follow…

It’s now Thursday 24th May 2018

Have just looked to see whether this site  with its major TS hypothesis (“simulated sweat imprint”, mid 14th century origin, in tune with the radiocarbon dating) has improved since a couple of days ago  ( then tail end of Page 7 listings under (shroud of turin). Guess what? It’s disappeared yet again from the entire listings (as far as Pages 1-20).

Well, we’ve been here before, many times. So what’s the reason? Is it a faulty Google search engine? Or is it dirty tricks on the part of those SEOs? It hardly matters – either way Google is  largely responsible, either for having a lousy algorithm (or post-algorithmic curating) OR for allowing its algorithm’s credibilty  to be constantly invalidated by  a  day-to-day ‘now you see it,  now you don’t’ ranking system.

This retired scientist chose the internet as the medium for reporting results from  a long-running research project, starting end 2011. That has been reported through some 350 ore more postings  progressing through 10 different models, the last of those having survived my own  attempts to falsify for some 3 years. But the major search engine confers anoymity spasmodically, varying hugely on a day-to-day basis, while certain pro-authenticity sites scarcely change position from day to day, month to month, year to year.

Coincidence? I think not!  

More to follow…  Probably not a lot, given the world’s ‘favourite search engine’ is in my view simply not fit for purpose… It’s effectively censoring new ideas…  

Friday May 25, 2018

I say that the returns one sees on entering (shroud of turin) into the world’s favourite search engine are not only being window-dressed, but being actively manipulated on a daily basis, either by algorithm, via manual screening/filtration, or a combination of both.  Result:  try entering “simulated sweat imprint”  (just that, no need to mention shroud) to see a page full of returns to my as yet unfalsified ‘solution’  to the  TS controversy, 6 years in the making.  This very posting with those three key words appears at the top of the list, helped no doubt by having ‘simulated sweat imprint’ in its title (so Google’s not totally word-blind where my titles are concerned).  That’s followed by 9 more  (mainly from Nov 2014 postings on this site, to Dan Porter’s retired shroudstory.com and to my sciencebuzz site).  But enter ‘shroud of turin’  as I have just done, and not only is there no appearance of the key concept ‘simulated sweat imprint’ but no appearance  yet again of this site on any of the first 20 pages of returns, listing 200 sites, despite briefly reaching Page 8 in the last week or so.

There is a concerted attempt being made to keep “simulated sweat imprint” out of sight to anyone doing an entry level search under (shroud of turin). I regard this as essentially akin to Soviet era Kremlinesque airbrushing out of the picture. Musn’t allow the masses to know there’s a new kid on the block with new ideas, new insights, must we? Must keep plugging the authorised version of the Shroud, the one that says the radiocarbon dating is wrong, that the TS body image is a ‘selfie’, generated by resurrectional incandescence bla bla.

I’m now thinking of letting this site lie fallow, for weeks, maybe months. Why  waste  a single minute longer in trying to put “simulated sweat imprint” into the public domain via the internet?  I repeat: the internet is simply not fit for purpsoe where dissemination of new ideas is concerned. Google must take a major share of the blame (though unwillingness of that handful of long-established  pro-authenticity websites, top-ranking ones especially,  to recognize (and thus advertise!) one’s existence must play a major part too in rendering one invisible or nearly so. Maybe best to take a break and see if that conspiracy of silence begins to crumble of its own accord, maybe helped by one or two free spirits who refuse to mouth the usual tedious litany of platitudes…

For those unfamiliar with the ssi interpretation of the negative, imprint-like origin of the TS body image – an imaginative 14th century ‘conversation piece’ – once could do a lot worse than start with the wiki entry on the Veil of Veronica.

Think of the TS as the ‘whole body’ Veil of Joseph of Arimathea!

Saturday May 26, 2018

Here’s today’s addition, which, as indicated yesterday,  will be the last until its so-far suppressed ‘simulated sweat imprint’  (ssi) message gets picked up in the public domain with no further help from me. I’ve also added it to the start of the posting by way of preamble,  serving hopefully as a  brief summary for those encountering the  ‘ssi’  concept for the very first time.

Why simulate (‘fake’) an ancient yellowed sweat/blood  imprint, intended to be identified as belonging to the newly deceased Jesus immediately post-crucifixion. The aim was to imagine Jesus being received into Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’,  intended for use as a  quickly summoned-up as a one-piece, up-and-over transport stretcher only – not as the final burial shroud, the latter more probably in the form of winding strips as per Gospel of John?

1. While we see images on representations of the long-lost Veil of Veronia in the wiki and other galleries that resemble fully-fledged works of art, one or two are less-well defined, i.e. the artist has made some allowance for imaging via a supposed imprinting initially from a sweat/blood coated face – later enhanced. The 14th century creators of the Shroud took that notion to its ultimate conclusion, attempting to visualize the primary image, prior to that artistic (or divine) enhancement, all the way back to the primary near-invisible imprint that might be imagined to have been acquired as latent image within minutes of death and/or removal from a cross. They then set out to simulate how that initial latent image might have yellowed over the course of centuries to become visible – but only just. (I reject the mainstay argument of Charles Freeman that because engravings exist of the Shroud being held aloft to giant crowds in the initial days of open-air display, post 15th century, ipso facto it must have been a bold image, visible from afar. Has Freeman never heard of artistic licence?).

2. Accounts for the negative,i.e. tone reversed image (a contact imprint)

3. Explains the colour (supposedy 13 centuries old yellowed sweat, only just visible – not too much).

4. Explains imprinting of front and back, not the sides – J of A’s linen having notionally acquired its double-body imprint during brief transport when the linen was used as an improvised stretcher with scarcely any contact. Notionally, the transport linen then replaced by more specialized burial ‘clothes’ on arrival at the rock tomb.

5. Explains good imprinting of blood – notionally still very fresh during transport immediately following death, so no need to invoke all those complex mechanisms that try to explain imprinting of blood days later via exudation from otherwise dried-on blood clots etc.

6. Explains imprinting of soles of feet. No, not rigor mortis as some would have us believe but linen having notionally been turned up around the soles of feet during transport. Explains too the relative absence of imprinting off the top surfaces of the feet. Those fabricators of the TS body image imprint were sticklers for detail!

7. Why it’s exactly life size – not intended to be seen as a painting but an actual whole body imprint (cleverly simulated!).

8. Why no recognizable artist’s paint pigment? (Straw or tan-coloured melanoidins instead from roasted wheat flour in my Model 10, such as remain after a final soap/water rinse).

9. Why scourge marks are, we’re told, imprinted solely as blood, not body image. Open wounds, or arguably weeping weals too, would (after all) produce blood, less probably sweat.

10. Any method of producing a simulated sweat imprint which involved an oven heating step or equivalent to develop colour in an imprint would additionally produce general yellowing of the entire fabric, non-imprinted as well, such that the linen becomes artificially aged – by some 1300 years! Two birds killed with one stone!

11. Proof of the hunch/hypothesis? Or maybe just corroborating evidence for starters? Not easy. Even if one had access to the Shroud, there are mere traces of the chromophore. At best one could maybe use a microanalytical method to chemically ‘fingerprint’  the chromophore, i.e. the straw-coloured chemical responsible for the body image and compare against known references. But what?

Here’s 2 for starters. First, scan linen fibres (probably with mass spectrometry in the first instance)  before and after coloration by exposure to radiation (ultraviolet etc) as proposed in those models based on ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Second, do the same scan using linen that has received a flour imprint that is then roasted and finally washed, i.e. my Model 10.

I say the TS body image chromophore will give a better match with the melanoidins derived from roasted white flour.

I am now signing off  temporarily from the site as poster for a trial waiting-period, but will still be available to respond to comments (always welcome, if civil and constructive).

PS:  Just to say that in the next day or two I will report in small instalments on changes in those first 150 Google rankings  under entry-level search (shroud of turin) that have taken place in the last 4 weeks or so.

PPS: this site has now reappeared in Google listings (Sunday May 27), still under its previous title and tagline  on Page 11 of a (shroud of turin) search. 

(I modified the title this morning and replaced the tagline with a completely new one).


Previous title: Is the Shroud of Turin really a supernatural ‘selfie’?

New title: Is the Shroud(!) of Turin really some kind of supernatural photographic ‘selfie’?

Previous tagline: Nope, not unless you’ve fallen prey to the fanciful notion of ‘resurrectional incandescence’ and the puffed-up pseudoscience that accompanies it

New tagline: Time to get real! It’s an ingenious medieval modelling of how a sweat imprint left on an impromptu linen STRETCHER might look after 13 centuries of ageing and yellowing (+ identifying bloodstains)!

Bye for now.

(Rational wiki continued)

Is the Shroud of Turin older than we think?

There are many articles[8] online that say two scientists, Giulio Fanti, and Saverio Gaeta, have reexamined the shroud, and found it to be from around the time Jesus existed.

There are three problems with this pronouncement.

First, just because the shroud is from that time does not mean it was necessarily the shroud of Jesus. Yes, the shroud looks like the man was crucified, but it is widely accepted that crucifixion was the most common way to execute people during the First Century CE. Also the 14C-based date of the material doesn’t mean the object was manufactured at that time, it is the date when the plants used to weave the cloth were alive. These usually correspond to the same approximate date within the error range of 14C dating unless the weaver is using unusually old plant material or the cloth being used was already old when it was used.

Second, both scientists are Catholics. I think we all know the track record of claims by Christians in matters of the faith. Also, there might be some motivation for Catholics to want to prove the shroud is real in that Pope Benedict XVI declared it the “official burial shroud of Jesus”.

Third, the methods used. Infrared rays are able to determine the age of something very recent, and not the ancient past. The other method was spectroscopy, which has absolutely nothing to do with the age of the object.


Of course some “Shroudies” will claim the skeptics and critics are in denial. However, they seem to have forgotten all the times they’ve been questioning the Shroud just because of the “right date”. The reasons the carbon dating didn’t work was for the nitpickiest of reasons. So it’s tested again on the “right date”, and we find something wrong with that test. Suddenly it’s the skeptics and critics who are being nitpicky! It’s not uncommon for Christian fundies to do this, rather it’s a pretty standard M.O.: Calling critics closed-minded for not subscribing to fundiemumbo jumbowhile at the same timedenyingevolution even when the evidence for it is presented, and evolution denialists’claims to falsifyevolution have never held water.


Ranking: now 19 (May 27, 2018)

26: Why Shroud of Turin’s Secrets Continue to Elude Science

… is unlikely science will provide a full solution to the many riddles posed by the shroud,” Italian physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro, a leading expert on the phenomenon, told National Geographic.


My personal observations:


27: Museum of the Holy Shroud (Museo della Sindone), Turin – TripAdvisor

Rating: 4 – ‎362 reviews
Museum of the Holy Shroud (Museo della Sindone), Turin: See 362 reviews, articles, and 120 photos of Museum of the Holy Shroud (Museo della Sindone), ranked No.49 on TripAdvisor among 438 attractions in Turin.


My personal observations:


28: Shroud of Turin — Christ’s Blood Is Both There and … – National Review

16 Apr 2016 – Blood and markings on two relics venerated as burial cloths of Christ match, providing physical evidence of His torture, execution, and resurrection.


My personal observations:


29: The Shroud of Turin  (Blogspot)

This is the eighteenth (which is updates of the sixteenth and fourteenth) installment of part #15, “Fourteenth century (2)” of my “Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 – present” series. …… Pageviews: At midnight on 31 March 2018, Google Analytics [Below (enlarge)] gave this blog’s “Pageviews all time history” as 871,539.


My personal observations:


30: Shroud of Turin display at Shrine of Our Lady of …

– La Crosse Tribune30: Shroud of Turin display at Shrine of Our Lady of … – La Crosse Tribune
9 Apr 2018 – The authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, one of the most studied artifacts in human history, remains polarizing centuries after it was first displayed, with both skeptics and believers weighing.


My personal observations:


31: Shroud of Turin | Define Shroud of Turin at Dictionary.com

Shroud of Turin definition, a linen cloth kept in the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, since the late 1500s that bears a faint life-size human image venerated by some as the imprint of the dead body of Jesus. See more.


My personal observations:


32: First Friday Club of Cleveland attendees ‘encounter’ Shroud of Turin …

First Friday Club of Cleveland attendees ‘encounter’ Shroud of Turin · April 5, 2018. If there was no resurrection and our … Before offering the final blessing, Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries, spiritual moderator of the club, remarked, “They say you are what you eat. If you eat the Eucharist and drink of the blood, the …


My personal observations:


33: Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin – Duke

The Shroud of Turin, called by some the Holy Shroud, is an ancient piece of linen 14.3 feet long by 3.7 feet wide which bears many images, the most noticeable of which are the front and back images of a crucified man. It has been housed in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, since 1578, and may well be the …


My personal observations:


34: 3D Sculpture of the Man in the Shroud of Turin Created | Mysterious …

5 Apr 2018 – A 3D sculpture of the Man in the Shroud of Turin, which many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, has been created.


My personal observations:


35: DR. BILL STILES: The Shroud of Turin — the burial cloth of Jesus …

30 Nov 2017 – Thirty-four years ago I discovered The Shroud of Turin. It has been a source of fascination ever since. I have studied everything produced in print in movies, DVD’s, through lectures.


My personal observations:


36: The timeless wonder of the Shroud of Turin – The Tablet

2 Apr 2018 – The more scientific research is done on the Shroud, the more evidence builds that it is authentic. Get instant access NOW. Register for 6 FREE articles per month. Subscriptions. Subscribe to The Tablet from just £7.99 for 30 days 3 options available. Print Edition. Delivered to you each week.

Online Access.


My personal observations:


37: New test dates Shroud of Turin to era of Christ – USA Today

30 Mar 2013 – Although the Vatican makes no claim on the shroud’s authenticity as a relic, Pope Francis introduced a special TV appearance of the burial cloth on Holy Saturday. … New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin, which went on display Saturday in a special TV appearance introduced by …


My personal observations:


38: KLM Travel Guide – The shroud of Turin

The shroud of Turin is probably the most controversial piece of fabric in the world. One version claims that after Jesus died on the cross, his castigated body was wrapped in this shroud. Scientists do agree that this is not the original cloth; however, the story behind the shroud continues to be remarkable and ..


My personal observations:


39: Shroud of Turin | History, Description, & Authenticity | Britannica.com

Shroud of Turin, also called Holy Shroud, Italian Santa Sindone, a length of linen that for centuries was purported to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ. It has been preserved since 1578 in the royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Turin, Italy. Measuring 4.3 metres (14 feet 3 inches) long and 1.1 metres …


My personal observations:


40: What is the Shroud of Turin? – Quora

4 Oct 2010 – The so called “Shroud” is an extremely interesting example of Medieval art that was fraudulently presented as the genuine burial shroud of Jesus in the heyday of faked relics, the Fourteenth Century. All of the evidence clearly indicates that it is a piece of Medieval art and not a genuine First Century artefact: 1. Documentary …

Is the Shroud of Turin a fake? 6 answers 17 Jul 2017

If it turns out that the Shroud of Turin is the burial … 20 answers 23 Sep 2016

What are the theories behind the Shroud of Turin? 3 answers 17 Oct 2015

Is there evidence supporting the validity of the Shroud … 18 answers 15 Oct 2015

More results from http://www.quora.com


41: The Shroud of Turin | Book | CMJ Marian Publishers

The Shroud of Turin — A Critical Summary of Observations, Data, and Hypotheses, by John Jackson, PH.D., and The Turin Shroud Center of Colorado. The Shroud of Turin is…

The Shroud of Turin

My personal observations:


42:  Is the Shroud of Turin Real or Fake? : Christian Courier

The controversy surrounding the so-called “Shroud of Turin” likely will never die. Interest in the controversy waxes and wanes. Exactly what is this mysterious object? Some Roman Catholic authorities contend that it is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ (along with other sacred items, e.g., wood from the cross, a fragment of …


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43: The Shroud of Turin – Villanova University

28 Feb 2018 – The Shroud of Turin is a centuries-old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man, a man that millions believe to be Jesus Christ. The Villanova University Art Gallery has invited a speaker who has spent 30 years studying the Shroud in all its aspects. He will display a life-size replica of the Shroud.


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44:  Is the Shroud of Turin Real? | History | Science – Acharya S

Although true believers keep attempting to prove otherwise, through one implausible theory after another, the Shroud of Turin is counted among this group of frauds: There were at least 26 “authentic” burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is just one…. The Shroud of Turin is …


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45: Shroud of Turin a ‘concrete’ proof of Jesus’ love | ABS-CBN News

29 Mar 2018 – Despite scientific debates surrounding the Shroud of Turin, venerated by Catholics as the burial garment of God’s son, it is a concrete evidence of the love of Jesus Christ according to a youth group.


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46: The Shroud of Turin: blood or artist’s pigment? – Accounts of Chemical …

by WC McCrone – ‎1990 – ‎Cited by 45 – ‎Related articles
1 Mar 1990 – Cold Acid Postmortem Blood Most Probably Formed Pinkish-Red Heme-Madder Lake on Madder-Dyed Shroud of Turin. Adrie A. M. van der Hoeven. Open Journal of Applied Sciences 2015 05 (11), 705-746 …


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47: The Shroud of Turin – Iowa State University

Anna C. Hersey. The Shroud of Turin. Description and Background. The Shroud of Turin is a piece of linen which is purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. It measures 4.4 meters by 1.0 meter. In the center of the cloth, the faint front and back imprint of a man’s body can be seen. The man’s image bears signs of …


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48: Urban Dictionary: turin shroud

The distinctive imprint pattern left on bed sheets after a particularly sweaty encounter, formed typically by the back/underside of the male participant. Like the actual Turin Shroud, but not involving Jesus…probably. …”better throw the covers back over, don’t want your mother seeing the Turin Shroud!”.


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49: Turin Shroud: “Blood” Still Fake | Center for Inquiry

28 Jul 2017 – “New research,” reports the Catholic News Agency (July 14, 2017), indicates that the “Shroud of Turin Bears Blood of a Torture Victim.” Actually, it was the research that was tortuous: questionable science in the service of confirmation bias. At issue is the article “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic …


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50: Is the Shroud of Turin authentic? – Got Questions?

16 Apr 2007 – Answer: The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth that some believe to have been the cloth that Jesus Christ was buried in. Each of the three Synoptic Gospels mentions Jesus being wrapped in a cloth when He was taken down from the cross (Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). The Shroud of Turin was “discovered,” or at …


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51: The Shroud of Turin – Magis Center

The Shroud of Turin. Can science prove that this burial shroud, imprinted with marks that reflect the wounds of crucifixion, was used to cover Jesus of Nazareth? READ MORE. March 29, 2018. Professor Creates 3D Image of Christ from Shroud of Turin. Giulio Fanti, a professor at the University of Padua, has created a 3D …


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STURP. In 1978 a large team of American scientists traveled to Turin, Italy to conduct an in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud. In Turin they were joined by a number of international colleagues. The expedition, under the auspices of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), was the first such extensive scientific …


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53: “Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.” The Shroud of Turin (TV … – IMDb

Rating: 5.5/10 – ‎15 votes
Documentary · Examines an ancient cloth to determine whether it is the actual burial cloth which wrapped Jesus’ body. It is inter-cut with scenes of the flogging of Jesus, his walk to the crucifixion, and the crucifixion itself.

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54: Is Shroud of Turin really Christ’s burial cloth? Conference will give …

8 Dec 2017 – The Shroud of Turin may be only 14½ feet long and 3½ feet wide, but its fame, history and mystery stretch much, much further. For centuries, it has been revered as an icon, relic or reminder of Jesus of Nazareth’s brutal, bloody death on the cross. Just as often, however, the scarred linen burial cloth has …


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55: EXHIBIT: HOLY SHROUD OF TURIN : Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

9 Apr 2018 – The Shroud of Turin is a centuries’ old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man, who millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Modern science has completed hundreds of thousands of hours of detailed study and intense research on the Shroud. It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human …


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56: See the Shroud of Turin exhibit at Our Lady of the … – Herald & Review

13 Jan 2018 – Mike Brettl reads the material that is in The Shroud of the Turin exhibit is on display Thursday at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Mount Zion. The exhibit is filled with photos and illustrations regarding the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus.


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57: Is an earthquake behind the Shroud of Turin image? – HeritageDaily …

An earthquake in Old Jerusalem might be behind the famous image of the Shroud of Turin, says a group of researchers led by Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy in an article published in Springer’s journal Meccanica. They believe that neutron radiation caused by an earthquake could have induced the …


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58: The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery: Amazon.co …

Buy The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery by Robert K. Wilcox (ISBN: 9781596986008) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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59: The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?: Amazon.co.uk …

I’ve read a LOT of Shroud books and this has a LOT of information not mentioned elsewhere — from two of the INSIDERS in Shroud research. This is the earliest book I’ve found that discusses the Sudarium of Oviedo and its relationship to the Shroud. This is LOADED with color photos. Most Shroud books — especially those …

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60: Shroud of Turin | Inters.org

I. The Birth of the Problem – II. The Linen Sheet known as the “Shroud of Turin” – III.

The Information displayed by the Linen and the Information given by the Gospels about the Crucifixion and the Burial of Jesus of Nazareth – IV. Main Historical Steps of the Path of the Shroud – V. Analysis of the Experimental Sciences on the …


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61: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Shroud of Turin – New Advent

The Holy Shroud (of Turin) This name is primarily given to a relic now preserved at Turin, for which the claim is made that it is the actual “clean linen cloth” in which Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:59). … That the authenticity of the Shroud of …


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62: Shroud of Turin: Visiting the Shroud Museum – Italy Travel Guide

Come with me for a tour of the Museum of the Shroud of Turin, Turin’s most famous attraction, complete with video!

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63: Shroud of Turin – McCrone Research Institute / Chicago

According to Dr. Walter McCrone and his colleagues, the 3′ by 14′ foot cloth depicting Christ’s crucified body is an inspired painting produced by a Medieval artist just before its first appearance in recorded history in 1356.


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64: John Calvin and the Shroud of Turin – CSI

Yet he does not (for reasons that will become clear) list that most famous of shrouds, the Shroud of Turin. Nevertheless, he does seem to refer to it when he mentions Jesus’ shroud having borne “the full-length likeness of a human body on it” (Calvin 1543, 239). Except for later copies, the Shroud of Turin is apparently …


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65: Shroud of Turin – 1st century relic, or medieval … – Abroad in the Yard

The news that scientific experiments carried out at the University of Padua have apparently dated the Shroud of Turin can be back to the 1st century AD is just the latest in series of claims and counter-claims about its authenticity. The Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered …


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66: Shroud of Turin Center — MARY MOTHER of the CHURCH ABBEY

The Shroud of Turin Center was established in 1997 to provide educational services to the public and to conduct scientific and historical research. The Center houses full-size color transparencies and full-size black-and-white negative transparencies of the Shroud, and a full-size replica of the Cross of the Crucifixion.


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67: Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin …

by E Carlino – ‎2017 – ‎Cited by 3 – ‎Related articles
30 Jun 2017 – Citation: Carlino E, De Caro L, Giannini C, Fanti G (2017) Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0180487. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180487. Editor: Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Institute of Materials Science, GERMANY. Received: March 8 …
‎Abstract · ‎Introduction · ‎Materials and methods · ‎Conclusions


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68: Local lecturer brings world class Shroud of Turin … – Cleveland.com

19 Feb 2018 – MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio — The late Pope John Paul II called the Shroud of Turin a “challenge to our intelligence.” “It first of all requires of every person, particularly the researcher, that he humbly grasp the profound message it sends to his reason and his life,” the pope, now saint, said during his 1998 …

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69: The Shroud of Turin: A Mystery Across the Ages / OrthoChristian.Com
by FA Young – ‎Related articles

Is it not providential that today, in this age of science’s hegemony, they are being challenged by a mysterious piece of cloth, the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ? To say that the Shroud is a challenge to hard-line materialists is not to say that the debate over its authenticity is neatly …


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70: Shroud of Turin – St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church

The Shroud of Turin is a long linen cloth made of out flax and measures 14 feet long and 3.5 feet wide. It bears the faint image of a bearded, crucified man with bloodstains that match the wounds of crucifixion suffered by Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in all four gospel narratives. It has been in Turin, Italy since 1578, over …


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71: Seeing the Shroud of Turin in Torino, Italy – Luxe Adventure Traveler

Torino, site of the 2006 Winter Olympics, is located on the left bank of the Po River. Aside from being a city of porticos, Torino is also well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man; a man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth.


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72: Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin | Nature

by PE Damon – ‎1989 – ‎Cited by 288 – ‎Related articles
P. E. Damon; , D. J. Donahue; , B. H. Gore; , A. L. Hatheway; , A. J. T. Jull; , T. W. Linick; , P. J. Sercel; , L. J. Toolin; , C. R. Bronk; , E. T. Hall; , R. E. M. Hedges; , R. Housley; , I. A. …
Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. As controls, three samples…


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73: A hoax? A sacred cloth? Shroud of Turin goes on trial next week …

17 Feb 2018 – In this pool photo taken Sunday, June 21, 2015, and made available Monday, June 22, Pope Francis prays in front of the Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, on display at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, Sunday, June 21, 2015. Francis visited the long linen with the …

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74: Mounting evidence for the Shroud of Turin’s … – Denver Catholic

16 Apr 2018 – Many Catholics have held the Shroud of Turin to be the main linen burial cloth discovered by the disciples in the tomb. Then the Shroud was carbon dated in 1988 by three different labs. The test showed the linen to date from 1260–1390 AD, seeming to prove the Shroud a medieval fake! Since then …


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In the “truth is stranger than fiction category” a phone call to NASA’s JPL from a member of the Christ Brotherhood in New Mexico, requesting image analysis of a religious relic, has drawn two men from JPL’s image processing lab into a fascinating investigation of the famous “Shroud of Turin.” The controversial shroud is a 4 …


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76: Shroud of Turin life-size replica arrives in Shreveport – KSLA News 12 …

12 Feb 2018 – “First of all, my eye is drawn to the face of Jesus himself,” pointed Father Peter Mangum as he showed us this life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin. It will soon be the centerpiece of a special public exhibit in mid-March at the Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans in Shreveport.


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77: Shroud of Turin Unveiled for Youth in Documentary – EWTN Ireland

27 Mar 2018 – With Holy Week, a skeptical world is ripe to hear these messages again, especially youth. That’s why The Holy Winding Sheet: Exploring the Shroud of Turin comes with a fresh twist: It’s made specifically for young people. The Holy Winding Sheet (HolyWindingSheet.com) — titled after the name the shroud …

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78: Turin Shroud Goes on Display – ABC News

Veiled in mystery, the Shroud of Turin, one of the world’s most famous religious relics, is on display starting today for 70 days — the longest time in its history. There have been only four expositions of the shroud in the 20th century. It last went on display in 1998. The shroud, a piece of herringbone twilled linen cloth …


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79: Shroud Jesus was allegedly wrapped in gets … – New York Post

18 Jul 2017 – The Shroud of Turin is stained with the blood of a torture victim, according to a new study which backs up claims it was used to bury Jesus Christ. The linen cloth, believed to have been used to wrap the body of Jesus after his crucifixion, contains “nanoparticles” which are …


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80: The Big Bang and the Shroud of Turin | Fr. Dwight Longenecker

2 Apr 2018 – The Big Bang and the Shroud of Turin. I remember once hearing a skeptic chortle that the Genesis story was all hokum because God created light on the first day, but the sun, moon and stars were only created on the fourth day and that was dumb because how could you have light without the sun, moon …


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81: The Shroud of Turin – the ticking time bomb – Religion News …

21 Sep 2017 – How ironic that Christianity’s most precious relic, widely held as validating Jesus’s resurrection, actually denies it. So concludes author J. Thomas Devins in his recently published book, The Illusion of Death. The Shroud is Jesus’s burial cloth. It contains a faint image of His prone, naked body complete with …


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82: Shroud of Turin replica exhibit comes to Saginaw | MLive.com

16 Feb 2018 – A national Shroud of Turin replica exhibit has come to Saginaw.


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83: The Passion of Christ In Light of the Holy Shroud of Turin – Lighthouse …

The Holy Shroud of Turin was called the greatest relic in Christendom by Pope John Paul II. In fact, the Shroud is the most studied scientific object in the entire world. Fr. Peffley presents new and detailed scientific and medical evidence for the authenticity of the Holy Shroud. This presentation brings greater clarity as to the …

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84: Holy Winding Sheet: Home

The Holy Winding Sheet. Exploring The Shroud of Turin … This fascinating program traces the Shroud’s journey from Jerusalem to Turin, explores the controversial 1988 carbon dating test, and shows how the image of the crucified man could not have been faked.


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85: The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery: Amazon.co …

Buy The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery by Robert K. Wilcox (ISBN: 9781596986008) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

My personal observations:

This is an advertisement Google. So what’s it doing ranked as No.85? Why is it not flagged as an ad’?

Do you have a cosy relationship with Amazon? 

Each time an ad is included in top ranking, a non-commercial website is pushed one down the rankings, maybe out the rankings altogether (given the generally finite number of pages returned per search).


86: The Shroud of Turin – Dixit Ciencia

For four centuries, a piece of linen cloth, 4.3 x 1.1 meters in size and bearing the frontal and dorsal images of a human body, has been kept in Turin, Italy. Individual and group scientific studies have been performed on this cloth, known as the Shroud of Turin. The most exhausting study was done in 1978. 1 . Prior to 1978 …


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87: Shroud of Turin – Cathedral of St.John Berchmans

Barrie Schwortz was the Official Documenting Photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, the team that conducted the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978. Today, he plays an influential role in Shroud research and education as the editor and founder of the internationally recognized Shroud…


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88: VIDEO: How to Fake the Shroud of Turin from Secrets: The Turin …

Video for shroud of turin video how to fake
Without the use of pigment or paintbrushes, could the Turin Shroud have been faked? Luigi Garlaschelli …


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89: The Shroud of Turin is a Forgery

The Shroud of Turin has become the single-most important religious relic on the planet. Said to be the cloth that was wrapped around Jesus of Nazareth after his crucifixion, it is not surprising that it has become so revered. The shroud does indeed contain the image of a man and many of the features on the cloth do show …


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90: The Shroud of Turin: A Mystery Across the Ages / Православие.Ru

by FA Young – ‎Related articles
On this day, the Church celebrates the icon of the Savior “Made Without Hands”—the prototype of which is believed to be an image of Jesus Christ’s holy face, left on a cloth used to cover His face at burial after the crucifixion. An exhaustively researched and highly interesting article by Fr. Alexy Young, Nun Michaila, and …


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91: Was the Turin shroud ‘painted’ by bacteria? | Guardian Weekly …

But a respected American microbiologist has done just that, and he has lathered himself in germs to persuade the rest of us. Stephen Mattingly of the University of Texas Health Science Centre in San Antonio believes the image on the Turin shroud was created not by human hands or any mystical power, as has been …


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92: Is the Shroud of Turin Really Christ’s Burial Cloth? by … – The Epistle

(6) As Jesus ‘CARRIED THE CROSS by himself’ to Golgotha (John 19:17), so abrasions on the left shoulder blade and right shoulder area of the Shroud man … Jesus’ wealthy benefactor would explain how the Shroud man got wrapped in an expensive 3:1 herringbone linen burial cloth.122 (10) The Gospels tell us that …


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93: Professor Creates ‘Precise’ 3D Image of Jesus Using Shroud of Turin

An Italian professor has created a 3D image of Jesus based off of the Shroud of Turin, claiming that it is the “precise image of what Jesus looked like on this earth.” … By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter | Mar 28, 2018 4:41 PM. (Screenshot: YouTube/TgPadova Telenuovo)A 3D image of Jesus Christ, based off of …


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94: New research: Shroud of Turin bears blood of a torture victim

Turin, Italy, Jul 14, 2017 / 02:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a torture victim, and undermines arguments that the reputed burial shroud of Jesus Christ was painted. Very small particles attached to the linen fibers of the shroud “have recorded a scenario …


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95: Christ is Risen! A TED Talk on the Shroud of Turin — Monomakhos

Christ is Risen! A TED Talk on the Shroud of Turin. April 8, 2018 68 Comments. Christ is risen to all my brothers and sisters here at Monomakhos! I trust you all had a spiritually profitable Lent and a joyous Feast of Feasts. As for myself, I’ve resolved to continue my abstention from Demon Weed (at least that’s the game plan …


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96: December | 2015 | Shroud of Turin Blog

15 Dec 2015 – The feature article in the December 2015 issue of the New Oxford Review is an article by Maria Hsia Chang, The Virgin Birth: Where Science Meets Scripture. If that occurs — if replicability is achieved for the DNA data from the Shroud and Sudarium — it means Jesus indeed was an XX male. We are then …


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97: The Turin Shroud: The earliest painted representation? | Christie’s

Does this 16th-century prayerbook,auctioned at Christie’s in July 2016, show the earliest recorded image of the undamaged holy relic?


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98: The Shroud of Turin and the Facts – Catholic Education Resource Center

Here are some of the basic points shroud doubters have to answer. Some time ago a mainstream media outlet reported on the Shroud of Turin and said, “P…


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99: The Shroud of Turin – In Defense of the Cross

The Shroud of Turin | Resources, Facts and Images of the Sacred Relic owned by the Catholic Church which appears to be the Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ


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100: OSA | Scientific investigation of the Shroud of Turin

by EJ Jumper – ‎1980 – ‎Cited by 41 – ‎Related articles
Abstract. This article introduces three research papers discussing various scientific tests run on the Shroud of Turin—an ancient piece of linen that appears to bear faint images of a man’s body. It also briefly reviews the chemical, photographic, and x-ray tests not dealt with in the three research papers, which are concerned ..


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101: Shroud Research – CONFERENCE-2017

The International Conference on the Shroud of Turin (ICST-2017) was held July 19 to 22, 2017, in Pasco, Washington. The conference, twenty-fourth in the conference series, included top researchers from Italy, Spain, France, Mexico, Australia, and the United States, and included 34 hours of PowerPoint presentations and …


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102: Shroud of Turin expert, replica to be at library – Fort Morgan Times

Posted: 11/30/2017. A life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin will also be on display. The Shroud of Turin will be the subject of a special Brown Bag lunch and program on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at noon, downstairs in the Children’s Library at the Fort Morgan Public Library and Museum. John Jackson from the …


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103: THE SHROUD OF TURIN for Children – HOME

HOME · Here is the Story…… En Español: · Some Interesting Facts: · Your Drawings & Paintings: Picture. READ ABOUT THIS AMAZING PICTURE OF JESUS! LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY FIND OUT ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

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104: holy winding sheet: exploring the shroud of turin – EWTN Religious …

HOLY WINDING SHEET: EXPLORING THE SHROUD OF TURIN Parker Dow, as part of his senior thesis at a St. Louis high school, chose to investigate the Shroud of Turin over a 6-month period. His research focused on that of five leading experts in the field, who all concluded that the Shroud was indeed the burial cloth of …


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105: Professor creates 3D image of Jesus based on Shroud of Turin …

29 Mar 2018 – An Italian professor has created a 3D image of Jesus based on the Shroud of Turin, declaring it the ‘precise image of what Jesus looked like on this earth’.

My personal observations:

One hardly knows where to start, with the good professor become more dogmatic, more strident, more OTT with each passing day.

One could of course start with the facts, which are totally misrepresented in the following quote from this posting:

Fanti explained that the 3D image allowed for the many wounds on the figure believed by many to be Jesus to be examined.

‘I counted 370 wounds from the flagellation, without taking into account the wounds on his sides, which the Shroud doesn’t show because it only enveloped the back and front of the body,’ he said.

No,  the scourge marks cannot be confidently referred to casually as “wounds”. Why not? Because we are told they are NOT represented in the body image. They are entirely due to blood (or “blood”). So unless one can be  absolutely certain that the TS is not a medieval forgery, then those scourge marks could have been brushed or painted onto a human subject (e.g. volunteer) after applying an imprinting medium but BEFORE draping over linen and pressing down  to deposit a body/blood imprint (thereby conforming to the “blood before body image” presumption based on the enzyme-digestion studies of STURP’s Heller and Adler).

There is also the small matter of 3D-rendering. Any 2D image, imprints especially, that has gradations of image intensity can produce a 3D response using the appropriate software (e.g. modern downloadable ImageJ). Even the scourge marks on the ShroudScope (Durante 2002 photograph) respond magnificently to ImageJ as I showed some years ago.

It really is time that Professor Fanti and others ceased misrepresenting the image characteristics of the TS, those “wounds”, “scourge marks” and “3D properties” especially.  Reminder: Religion-smitten* Prof Fanti is a mechanical engineer by profession, not a scientist. He lacks the scepticism and objectivity that one expects of the genuine investigative scientist

*Here’s how he ended an interview with Louis Figueiredo:

I will end this discussion by saying something about my convictions after studying the TS from many points of view over seventeen years. The TS is a linen sheet that cannot be restricted to scientific studies. It goes beyond this because it is a man-made textile showing an image not made by human hands. I will go even further by stepping out of the realm of science for a moment.  The TS is the only “photograph” that Jesus Christ left for us to remember how much He suffered for us also showing  by means of a burst of energy used to impress the body image that there is life after death.”

Speaking for myself I believe that science needs to be kept strictly separate from religious faith WHEN PLACING CLAIMS BASED ALLEGEDLY ON EXPERIMENTATION INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.  That’s especially if using  those somewhat controversial, lightly-refereed ‘open access’ journals that can convey an air of solid academic respectability, all too often undeserved).


106: Shroud of Turin’s 3D encoded info — how’d it get there? – WND.com

22 Mar 2018 – This weekend marks the beginning of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating in Easter Sunday when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his Good Friday crucifixion and death on the cross. Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with 3.2 billion members – most …


My personal observations: Yet another attempt to make the response to 3D-rendering software seem more mysterious than it really is. 

See the banner at the top of this website. All I did was to wet my hand and press it down briefly onto darkish denim to leave an imprint.  That was photographed, then uploaded to ImageJ.

3D-rendering was then applied using ImageJ software, before and after light/dark inversion (“negative” to “positive”).

Yes, all it takes is plain water to generate a splendid 3D response!  How much longer will we be subjected to the twaddle about the “unique response” displayed by the TS image to 3D-rendering software?

It’s the software that produces the effect, merely by elevating image density on a virtual (imaginary) height dimension. The resulting 3D result is an entirely  man-made artefact (an apt description some might say for the TS itself – approx 1260-1390 manufacture!

That’s not to say that the imprinting procedure (pressing linen onto 3D body contours) does not contribute to final “3D-ness”. But if one does not have the template to hand, then one can only speculate as to the precise shape (and history) of the template if having only the final 3D-rendered image! One is deep into artefact territory!

Update: May 6, 2018

Tried googling (shroud of turin 3D) a few minutes ago, wondering if or where this site might appear (“meegling”!).  

Guess what? This site did appear, but only because of this  particular listing against No.106 of someone else’s posting:

Is the Shroud of Turin really a supernatural ‘selfie’? | Nope, not unless …

106: Shroud of Turin’s 3D encoded info — how’d it get there? – WND.com. 22 Mar 2018 – This weekend marks the beginning of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating in Easter Sunday when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his Good Friday crucifixion and death on the cross.

This retired scientist has posted dozens of times these last 6 years and more on the nature of the Shroud’s 3D response, to which Google continue to display its customary blindspot, preferring instead to provide massive free publicity to arch-authenticist/pseudo-scientist Giulio Fanti (which feeds on itself – high Google rankings attract new visitors, new clicks, sustained high rankings. 
Is this really the best that you,  Google, with your fat commission and other unedending income on ads – flagged AND all-too-often unflagged – can do? When are you going to rise to your responsibilities?  When are you going to learn to distinguish, nay discriminate,  between commercial/ideological tat and the real McCoy – genuine objective open-ended scholarship?


107: Shroud of Turin – evidence it is authentic; the real shroud of Jesus Christ

Below is a summary of scientific and historical evidence supporting the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the ancient burial cloth of the historical Jesus of Nazareth. by J. Michael Fischer, adapted from the original article by John C. Iannone. THE SHROUD AS AN ANCIENT TEXTILE ..


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108: The Shroud of Turin (1355) – The Museum of Hoaxes

The Shroud of Turin first came to the attention of the public in 1355, when it was exhibited at the Church of St. Mary in Lirey, France. It had been given to the church by a French knight, Geoffroy de Charny, who probably acquired it in Constantinople. Its supporters claim that this fourteen-foot piece of cloth bearing the image ..


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109: Man of the Shroud Touring Exhibit – National Shrine of St. Maximilian …

The Shroud of Turin has long been venerated by the faithful and is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. The Shroud is one of the most scientifically studied religious icons in history. As science has progressed, so has the speculation on how the image of the crucified man of the Shroud was made.


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110: The Shroud of Turin Replica & Talk | Archdiocese of Baltimore

5 Nov 2017 – Considered one of the greatest mysteries of our time, the Shroud of Turin continues to amaze and baffle scientists, doctors, historians, artists and theologians. Scientists cannot explain the source of the image which contains photographic and 3-D properties on a cloth centuries old. But is this the actual …


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111: Is the Shroud of Turin a Genuine Miracle? : Strange Notions

In June I had the joy to spend a week in Italy. One reason for my pilgrimage was to venerate the Shroud of Turin. I had been intrigued by the supposed burial cloth of Christ since I was in college, and as I was in England leading a pilgrimage with Joseph Pearce, I did not want to miss the chance of traveling to Turin to see the …


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112: Shroud of Turin exhibit coming to St. Mary Catholic … – FOX6Now.com

16 Apr 2018 – WAUKESHA — The Catholic Community of Waukesha has announced it will host The Man of the Shroud Exhibit, exploring the Shroud of Turin from Friday, April 20 through Monday, April 23. The exhibit will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day at the St.

Shroud of Turin exhibit coming to St. Mary Catholic Church in Waukesha

My personal observations:


113: Shroud of Turin Facts Check: Carbon 14 Dating Biggest Mistake

The Shroud of Turin: Facts and Fiction about the Shroud of Turin that millions believe is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.

My personal observations:


114: Shroud of Turin “Shocking Evidence” with Barrie … – Blog Talk Radio

9 Mar 2018 – The Shroud of Turin is not just some piece of medieval forgery, but an unbelievable piece of history pointing to the Truth of Jesus of Nazareth. Join with world leading expert on the Shroud of Turin, Barrie Schwortz. The scientific evidence will blow you away!!! You can keep up with Barrie at his website …


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115: Is this proof that the Turin Shroud was used to bury Jesus … – Daily Mirror
› News › World news › Jesus of Nazareth

17 Jul 2017 – Experts have revealed that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a victim of torture – supporting claims it was used to bury Jesus. The linen cloth, believed to have been used to wrap the body of Jesus after crucifixion, contains ‘nanoparticles’ which are not typical of the blood of a healthy person.


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116: ‘Finding Jesus’: Shroud of Turin Q&A – CNN – CNN.com

9 Feb 2017 – Religion professor and “Finding Jesus” series consultant Mark Goodacre answers viewers’ questions about the first episode, “The Shroud of Turin.”


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117: Shroud Of Turin Goes Back On Display In Italy For A Limited … – NPR

19 Apr 2015 – Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia presents the Holy Shroud during a preview for the news media at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, on Saturday. … The Shroud of Turin, an artifact that many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, goes back on public display today for the first time in five years in …


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118: shroud of Turin – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com

29 Oct 2015 – Apparently, the first historical mention of the shroud as the “shroud of Turin” is in the late 16th century when it was brought to the cathedral in that city, though it was allegedly discovered in Turkey during one of the so-called “Holy” Crusades in the so-called “Middle” Ages. In 1988, the Vatican allowed the …


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119: New examination of Shroud of Turin produces … – Catholic Online

11 Jul 2017 – Detailed look at fiber reveals blood and torture. The Shroud of Turin is an amazing artifact that dates back at least to medieval period. The shroud is typical of those used to wrap the bodies of the …

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120: Scientists publish new data on the Shroud of Turin – UOJ – the Union of …

15 Jul 2017 – Andrea Tornelli, in an article published in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, spoke about the new results of a scientific research of the famous Shroud of Turin – a linen cloth, in which, according to Christian tradition, the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped after the crucifixion. The study showed that the fabric …

My personal observations:


121:  History Channel – The Real Face of Jesus from the Turin Shroud on …
Video for shroud of turin history channel real face▶ 1:27:56
9 Aug 2012   May the true and living God who is found ONLY in our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed and praised for ever and …


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122: The Turin’s Shroud – Leonardo Da Vinci is innocent | Beyond Thirty-Nine
1 Jul 2017 – The Turin’s shroud which, according to an ancient tradition had been used to wrap up the mangled body of Jesus had been really in contact with human blood. The result has been scientifically reached in Italy using a thread taken from the back part of the linen fabric. This is the conclusion reached …

My personal observations:


123: Analysis of blood stains on Turin Shroud reveals … – National Post
nationalpost.com › News › World › Israel & Middle East
18 Jul 2017 – Analysis of blood stains on Turin Shroud reveals ‘severe polytrauma’ and a violent death. Iron particles on the cloth purportedly used to wrap the body of Christ are consistent with multiple extremely painful and likely fatal injuries. An exact copy of the Shroud of Turin, the linen cloth that wrapped the body of …
Analysis of blood stains on Turin Shroud reveals ‘severe polytrauma’ and a violent death

My personal observations:


124:  The Shroud Of Turin: No Ordinary Bed Sheet | Stuff You Should Know
30 Mar 2017 – The Shroud of Turin is no ordinary bed sheet. Some think it’s the burial cloth of Jesus. Others think it’s an amazing piece of artwork. The truth is, we’ll probably never know what it really is. The mystery of the Shroud of Turin awaits you…

My personal observations:


125:  Shroud of Turin Not a Medieval Forgery, According … – History Channel
28 Mar 2013 – As the Christian world prepares to mark Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, a highly prized and intensely controversial artifact associated with him comes to the fore. A scientific analysis has yielded a new age for the Shroud of Turin, contradicting claims that the relic is nothing but a medieval forgery.

My personal observations:


126:  Pope Francis and the Shroud of Turin | National Catholic Reporter
1 Apr 2013 – While the outside world forms general impressions of Pope Francis, insiders tend to see any new papacy through the prism of their own particular interests. Liturgical traditionalists, for instance, have already voiced some reservations about Francis’ penchant for informality and setting aside the rules, while …

My personal observations:


127:  Shroud of Turin Formed by Earthquake? That’s … – The New Republic
20 Feb 2014 – A recent paper by Carpinteri et al. in the journal Meccanica (full reference in margins) demonstrates the two ways that religion is actually a pseudoscience. The first is that it relies on empirical claims to buttress its dogma. While Sophisticated Theologians may argue that God is beyond all evidence, being an …


My personal observations:


128: What Finding Jesus’ Private Parts in the Turin … – The Daily Beast
26 Mar 2017 – What Finding Jesus’ Private Parts in the Turin Shroud Says About Faith. His gender has been used to justify a male-dominated church, so the debate has caused quite a stir. Candida Moss …

My personal observations:

129:  The Origins of the Shroud of Turin | History Today
A rectangular linen cloth 4.37 metres long and 1.13 metres wide, the Turin Shroud, housed in that city’s cathedral since 1578, is famous for its two images of a … Charles Freeman, surprised by the lack of research into one of the great unsolved mysteries, reveals for the first time his groundbreaking examination into the …

My personal observations:


130: 2 studies show that the shroud of Turin in fact dates from the Middle Ages … – Sciences et Avenir
22 Apr 2015 – The shroud said to have been that in which the body of Jesus was wrapped has been put on public display from 19 April in Turin. This will be only the third showing of the …

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131: Up close: The Holy Shroud of Turin – Our Sunday Visitor
31 May 2015 – By OSV Staff. On display for the first time in five years, millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the Shroud of Turin, which for centuries has inspired the faithful and stirred debate about its authenticity.

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132:  The debates go on and on: Could the Shroud of Turin be … – GetReligion
8 Apr 2017 – MARK’S QUESTION: Is the Shroud of Turin really the burial cloth of Jesus? THE RELIGION GUY’S ANSWER: Is Italy’s celebrated Shroud of Turin an authentic relic of Jesus Christ from the 1st Century that undergirds belief in his crucifixion and resurrection? Or a hoax from medieval times? Or an ingenious …

My personal observations:


133:  Shroud of Turin – ReligionFacts
17 Mar 2015 – It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, from which it derives its most common name. Some believe the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus and that his image was recorded on its fibers at his resurrection. Others contend it is a medieval hoax or forgery.

My personal observations:


134: Shroud of Turin mystery deepens as DNA from ‘all over Earth’ is found …
20 Oct 2015 – A group of Italian researchers have uncovered new information about the Shroud of Turin that adds even more mystery to what some Christians believe is the burial garment of Jesus Christ. The scientists tested the DNA of pollen and dust on the linen cloth and found that it came …


My personal observations:


135: Shroud Of Turin DNA Indicates Global Origins | HuffPost

19 Oct 2015 – There’s a surprising new wrinkle in the story of the celebrated Shroud of Turin. A group of Italian researchers have found that the 14-foot-long garment — believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, even though scientific research suggests that’s not the case — contains DNA from plants found all …


My personal observations:

136:  The Shroud of Turin – Ignatius Press

24 Jan 2017 – This DVD can only be sold in the US and Canada. This is the definitive, most up to date collection of 4 stunning films on the Shroud of Turin that spans 38 years of award-winning filmmaking on the Shroud by acclaimed British film producer and director David Rolfe. This incredible collection includes the …


My personal observations:


137:  Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin – Reuters

5 Oct 2009 – ROME (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth is a medieval fake. … But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth.

My personal observations:


138:  What is the Shroud of Turin? – Catholic Straight Answers

Many of the faithful sincerely believe that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Without declaring its authenticity, Pope John Paul II has clearly attested to the value of the Shroud. For instance, in 1980, the Holy Father stated, “The Holy Shroud, the most splendid relic of the passion and the …
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139:  If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s … – Spectator Blogs
27 Apr 2015 – Last week something rather unusual happened in the quiet Italian city of Turin. Inside the 15-century cathedral, an ancient, stained, and burned piece of medieval linen was removed from its airtight, bulletproof case and put on display. The exhibition will last 67 days. Last time the intensely controversial …


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140:  Shroud of Turin – New World Encyclopedia

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth which some believe is the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth when he was placed in his tomb. It bears the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. The idea is that his image was somehow recorded as a …

‎History · ‎The Controversy · ‎Theories of image … · ‎Analyses of the Shroud

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141: Trial of the Shroud of Turin | Catholic Answers

19 Jul 2016 – Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it’s been a long trial, and we thank you for your close attention to the experts we’ve presented. You’ll recall those experts established the journey of the Shroud from Jerusalem in A.D. 30 to its site at the time of the theft in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy …


My personal observations:


142: Shroud of Turin replica unveiled in Delco

24 Apr 2017 – Caroline Jushchyshyn, left, leans over the Shroud of Turin replica and examines up close the image of a man, presumed to be Jesus of Nazareth, whose wounds consistent with that of a crucifixion left imprints of his suffering permanently affixed to the piece of fabric. RICK KAUFFMAN — DIGITAL FIRST …

My personal observations:


143: Scientist who tested the Shroud of Turin will discuss … – LancasterOnline
19 Mar 2017 – Is the Shroud of Turin the funeral cloth Jesus was buried in after his crucifixion?

My personal observations:


144:  Dating the Turin Shroud—An Assessment | Radiocarbon | Cambridge …

by HE Gove – ‎1990 – ‎Cited by 17 – ‎Related articles
18 Jul 2016 – Dating the Turin Shroud—An Assessment – Volume 32 Issue 1 – H E Gove.

My personal observations:


145:  The mystery of the Holy Shroud of Turin – Michael Journal
1 Jun 2010 – Last May 2, Pope Benedict XVI went to Turin, Italy, to pray before the Holy Shroud, a centuries-old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man, a man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. (The Church says that it is not a matter of Faith, so people are free to believe or not that it is the real …


My personal observations:


146:  NELSON PRICE: The truth about the Shroud of Turin | Opinion …
6 May 2017 – The authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, the alleged burial cloth of Jesus Christ, has long been contested, and will be. I have found a clue that settles the issue.

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147: For 600 Years, Shroud of Turin Has Been Known as a Forgery – The …

13 Nov 1988 – To the Editor: James P. McGovern, S.J., objected (letter, Oct. 31) to your having called the Shroud of Turin a ”medieval forgery.” He said there was no evidence to support the use of the term ”forgery” or the implication that the shroud had been fashioned with an intent to deceive. However, your …

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148:  Beyond the Linen – The Shroud of Turin | Jesuits in Britain

19 Apr 2015 – Today (19 April), the Shroud of Turin will go on display in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, where it will be exhibited for 67 days. Among the many thousands of visitors who will see it will be Pope Francis, when he visits Turin on 21 and 22 June. The prospect of discovering the ‘relic of all relics’ is bound …

My personal observations:


149:  Modern Science Can’t Duplicate Image on Shroud of Turin

4 Apr 2017 – The Shroud of Turin, revered by Catholics as the sacred burial cloth of Our Lord in His tomb, is considered by some to be a hoax or forgery. Scientists who’ve examined it, however, understand that what caused the image to form on the cloth can’t be reproduced with the current state of science. After five …

My personal observations:


150:  Shroud Of Turin Accidentally Washed With Red Shirt – The Onion

10 Mar 2008 – VATICAN CITY—The Shroud of Turin, an ancient linen cloth believed to bear the image of Christ and considered by many clerics and devotees to be one of the holiest relics of the Christian faith, was inadvertently dyed a light shade of pink after being washed with a red T-shirt, sources reported Tuesday.

My personal observations:



Postscript: Sat June 2, 2018

This site appeared briefly on a Google search under (shroud of turin) early this morning (approx 7am).

IMG_2885 selfie posting margaret june 2 2018


But it was no longer visible  30 mins later, or well over 12 hours later. Now you see it, now you don’t…

What we see is the dirty tricks brigade at work, determined to prevent the facts being known, of preventing folk in their homes being able to see ‘joined-up thinking’.

Late addition: July 20, 2018

Halleluja!  The open-access journal PLOS ONE was mentioned earlier in this post for carrying the Carlino and Fanti  “nanoparticle/blood trauma paper “,  Atomic Resolution studies detect new biological evidences on the Turin Shroud”. That paper was roundly criticized here for numerous shortcomings, mainly methodological. Well, guess what? PLOS ONE has responded to the criticism, maybe including mine, maybe not, and retracted the paper (ignoring objections from the authors!).  Here’s a screen grab of the PLOS ONE announcement:


Well done, PLOS ONE. I raise my hat to you for maintaining standards (while reminding them that prevention – at the refereeing stage – is better than cure).

The real scandal remains unreported. Of the first 150 under Shroud of Turin displayed on the posting from early May this year, no less than 15 are repetitions of the mass media reporting of the Carlino and Fanti paper – 10% of the total. Yet there is currently no mention of this scientist’s findings over 6 years of reporting his research findings via some 350+ postings, here and on his sciencebuzz site, also communicated in well over 2000 comments posted to Dan Porter’s now lapsed shroudstory site. What we see is the ludicrous preference being given by the Google search engine to  mass media and other ‘vehicles’ that it judges to confer authority – usually for having  at best a merely nominal refereeing/scrutineering system – treating the personal blog as grossly inferior despite display of actual experimental data, photographic evidence, comments facility etc.

Google is a shabby and disreputable operation, one  that is hugely distorting and debasing the world of original scholarship and research. I have all but given up posting to my sites, given the dead hand of Google that strangles new insights at birth… It’s the same with my researches and new thinking re Stonehenge and other Neolithic stone circles.

Update: Saturday July 21

Have just this minute submitted the following comment to “Retraction Watch” (which first alerted me yesterday to the ignominious – and  some  might think, well-deserved fate –  of the hugely over-publicized Carlino, Fanti et al PLOS ONE paper on those “trauma nanoparticles”:

As ths screen grab shows, the comment is presently awaiting moderation:

retraction watch

Update: Sunday July 22, 2018

I got to wondering if or when STERA (Shroud of Turin self-styled Education, self-styled Research Association ) would get its oar in on one or other of the two recent controversies regarding Shroud blood.  Sure enough, there’s a headline just appeared on the shroud.com site from its President, Barrie M.Schworz, replendent in his ‘kindly regard me as a scientist’ hat, having a pop at Carlini and Garlaschelli in the immediate wake of their formal publication of their forensic BPA (blood pattern analysis) modelling exercises.  STERA has placed a longer swipe on its Facebook page,  couched in its now customary derisive language, about as far a cry from “education” and “research” as is possible to imagine.  (Yes, STERA is about promotion of authentity – fair enough  – but also about attempts to  attack or suppress anything and everything that questions authenticity  by whatever means – which frankly I consider the pits, the absolute pits).

I did consider doing a point by point rebuttal of that Facebook diatribe as a new posting. But that would interfere with proselytising MY current gripe, which is the failure of “simulated sweat imprint” to gain traction in the sindonological literature – something for which I hold STERA’s shroud.com and similar authenticity-promoting /sceptic suppressing sites at least partly responsible. Yes, I’m minded to keep this current posting in place with its  title’s reference to “simulated sweat imprint”, even if Google continues to leave me out its listings under a  simple ‘shroud of turin’ search. (Yes, Google is the other chief culprit where suppression of new science-based thinking is concerned, as already indicated).

I may decide to add a point-by-point rebuttal of STERA’s litany of cheap put-downs, with its continuing attempts to talk up the reputation of the cobbled-together STURP team personnel right here, (plus Documenting Photographer’s attempt to bask in  their reflected glory, whether real or imagined) possibly in the next day or two.

For now I’m morbidly content to sit back and see what else crawls out the rabidly pro-authenticity pond…

Update, Wed 25 July 2018

Added this  yesterday evening as a comment to my own site (it kinda says it all):

The time for being restrained and polite is over. Why?

I have just privately listed some 8 or 9 sindonology sites, all pro-authenticity needless to say, none, I repeat NONE of which have so much as breathed a single word of my “simulated sweat imprint” take on the Turin Shroud.

Why not? Answer – because they know it makes sense, and know it would put them and their fanciful “burial shroud/imaging via resurrectional incandescence” straight out of business if more widely known.

The key to understanding the TS is the disconnect between the 4 Gospel accounts. Pro-authenticity sindonology is only interested in the version supplied in John, maintaining a blind spot for what the preceding 3 synoptic Gospels have to say about Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being delivered to the CROSS, not tomb, to receive a body on which the blood was perceived (for medieval modelling purposes) as still moist and thus capable of leaving its imprint, accompanied by SWEAT as well to produce the body imprint as well.

Shhhh! Don’t mention sweat! Sindonology has closed its ears to sweat, more specifically the notion of the TS body image being a SIMULATED SWEAT IMPRINT produced in medieval times, modelled/inspired no doubt by that Veil of Veronica, attracting paying pilgrims galore.

(See my posting from Nov 2014 in which “simulated sweat imprint” is linked with the pre-exisiting Veil of Veronica)

“We can trump the face-only Veil”, thought the secretive clerics of Lirey, and indeed they were right!













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