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 )?

  Introduction:  And now for something  completely different! 

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.

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


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,  the whole damn caboodle, 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. 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.


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 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, 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.

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 –

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 … –

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.   ”


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 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 ssi, 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 ssi 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 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, wasting no more time in trying to put “simulated sweat imprint” into the public domain via the internet. I repeat: the internet is not fit for purpsoe where dissemination of new ideas is concerned, and Google must take a major share of the blame (though unwillingness of pro-authenticity websites, top-ranking ones especially) to recognize (and thus advertise!) one’s existence must play a major part too in being rendered 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 photochemical ‘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: No, it’s an ingenious medieval modelling, inspired no doubt by the Veil of Veronica, of how a whole body sweat imprint left on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen might look after 13 centuries of ageing and yellowing

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

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 …

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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 ..

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39: Shroud of Turin | History, Description, & Authenticity |

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 …

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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

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

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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: …

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?: …

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 |

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.

My personal observations:


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. 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 … –

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 ( — 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 ……/shroud-jesus-was-allegedly-wrapped-in-gets-scientific-support/

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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 |

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: …

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 …,12674,979921,00.html

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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? –

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? – 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 ..

My personal observations:



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.

My personal observations:


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 … –

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.

My personal observations:


116: ‘Finding Jesus’: Shroud of Turin Q&A – CNN –

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 …

My personal observations:


118: shroud of Turin – The Skeptic’s Dictionary –

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 …

My personal observations:


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 …

My personal observations:


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 › 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

My personal observations:


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.
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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.
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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 …

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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 …
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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.
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Posted in Turin Shroud, Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How 40 years of pseudoscience and digital tomfoolery deftly morphed an imaginative 14th century modelling of Joseph of Arimathea’s up-and-over ‘fine linen’ sheet (probably intended only for dignified ‘body bag’ transport from cross to tomb) into a dual-purpose ‘burial shroud’. Why? Because it allowed a ‘faked’ semi-credible imprint in sweat and blood to be reborn and trumpeted as a supposedly enigmatic ‘selfie’ snapshot captured supernaturally (natch) via ‘resurrectional incandescence’ TWO DAYS later!

Bad Friday (Jan 12, 2018):   Expect new blogsite title shortly: “Is the Shroud of Turin really a supernatural selfie?”

Expect too a new tagline:  Nope, not unless you’re a polemics-driven so-called researcher, or maybe just a born-again TV documentary maker!

Expect the first of 40 instalments later today,  which hopefully will make for fairly easy reading for the most part,  the remaining 39 to follow in leisurely additions over a 2 or 3 week period… When complete it will, optimistically speaking,  add up to a reasonable summary of this retired science bod’s six years of Shroud research (no less)  and hands-on modelling, leading finally to my Model 10 ( That’s – take a deep breath –  Stage 1 frontal/dorsal imprinting – sans those otherwise problematical vertical sides naturally – from real human subject(s) using white wheaten flour or similar as imprinting medium onto wetted linen, then followed by Stage 2 thermal image development, then final Stage 3  rinse with soap/water to dislodge encrusted material.

That leaves behind the faint, fuzzy,  arguably Shroud-like image.  Chemical composition? Probably, though still to be proved conclusively,  complex high molecular-weight melanoidins,  being products of sugar caramelization, or, more likely,  protein/sugar Maillard browning reactions.  (Hat tip to STURP’s Raymond N. Rogers, even if  some, myself included, find his proposed starch impurity/body-decay mechanism  somewhat hard to swallow). 

 Yipee! My hypothesized supposedly ‘enigmatic’  melanoidin-constituted  Shroud-like image chromophore  now has some crucial supporting chemical evidence, albeit circumstantial for the time being (see posting immediately preceding this one).

But there’s much background material needing to be included too – the Shroud being a hugely challenging multi-disciplinary topic of interest.  Thus the inordinate length, when complete, of this posting-to-be  (and title too, I grant you, but there’s a reason: Google, for reasons best known to itself,  never quotes from my current postings’ title, no matter how concise and/or carefully worded, so the title can, says he with a resigned sigh of despair, be made to earn its keep by serving as an upfront summary too).

It’s now the gloomy afternoon (UK time) of ‘Bad Friday’.

Before launching into this gently biting tirade against pro-authenticity Shroud so-called researchers, for whom the movable goalpost provides a fitting visual metaphor of their defensive strategy …

sindonological goalpost

… there’s something else which is more important, more constructive that I need to flag up straightaway,  still preoccupied as I am with a certain fixed immobile goalpost, so to speak – namely the precise chemical nature of the  TS body image chromophore, still unidentified some 40 years post-STURP!

How can the Shroud image be tested chemically in a manner that is minimally destructive, i.e. requiring a microscope and just a few linen fibres only, such that the ‘chromophore’ (i.e. molecular grouping responsible for image colour) can be shown to be organic, i.e. carbon-based (in order to distinguish from Walter McCrone’s * widely published claim that it’s merely inorganic paint pigment) AND, moreover,  to show that some, maybe all the red “blood” is similarly organic in nature, and not entirely ‘fake’  inorganic blood, e.g. one or other scarlet medieval paint pigments like cinnabar etc etc?

*Walter McCrone passed away some years ago, but his surviving research institute continues to actively promote his fatally flawed ‘just a painting’ claim..

Yes, I truly believe there’s an Agent X that can be used to ‘kill two birds with one stone’, one that has never, to the best of my knowledge been suggested previously, either by myself or anyone else.

It may take a few weeks, maybe longer, to lay my hands on a supplier of Agent X, but when I do,  I confidently predict that it will bleach the colour of (a) my Model 10 flour imprints (b) whole blood or blood haemoglobin  (c) Shroud image fibres – completely  (d) Shroud blood stains (partially or completely, probably partially).

Anyone care to guess the name and chemical formula of Agent X?  (Clue, chemical formulae don’t come much simpler!).

If correct, he or she will receive from me a free book token.


Please use the Comments on this posting to deliver your answer!  Use a pseudonym if you wish, but a postal address will need to be supplied by email if correct. Caveat: no correspondence can be entered into!

Expect Instalment 2  of 40 next Monday at the latest. It will summarise my fierce objection to the  TS being described as a “burial” shroud, for reasons that will be made crystal clear.

2nd of 40 instalments (Saturday 13 Jan)

In composing my position on terminology, in particular the huge liberty taken over the centuries with the description of the TS as a “burial shroud”, or simply “Shroud of Turin”, I’ve come to realize that new terminology is needed. To assist in focusing minds, let’s not beat about the bush.  Here’s what I consider the revised terminology could and arguably SHOULD be.

The Dual-Image Man of Turin

Yes, one should simply focus on the presence of an historically unique double-body image per se, alluding to its ventral-v-dorsal aspects on that up-and-over single sheet of linen, NOT on the support medium, NOT on its presumed function – which presupposes authenticity not confirmed by the C-14 dating, NOT to current ideas as to how it was or might have been formed, or when.

The Shroud of Turin.  No, I repeat: The Dual-Image Man of Turin!



Alternative suggestions invited: another book token to anyone whom I judge to outclass my own!

The successful recipient of the Book Token 2 will need to elicit a “Heck, why didn’t I think of that?” response on the part of yours truly …

Instalment 3: Sunday Jan 14

Woke up this morning to find over 40 visits to this site from somewhere in the US of A. Am glad to find someone’s interested in what I have to say so soon after posting, even if Google is slow to pick up on the fact!

Today’s instalment is really no more than a housekeeping detail, but I thought I’d throw in another little challenge (sorry, no book token prize this time).

Why did I describe McCrone’s ‘just a painting’ dismissal of the TS as having a fatal flaw? The answer can be found in this pdf from STURP’s Adler and Heller, both now sadly passed on.  Here’s a screen shot of the relevant passage with some brilliant chemical detective work performed on minute  sticky-tape fibres from the real Shroud (but also some self-contradictory and indeed faulty chemical logic):

hydrazinev diimide v alkaline peroxide image fibres

Q.1: Why does the above destroy McCrone’s claim that the  yellow/brown Shroud image chromophore is inorganic in nature (suggestive of artist’s paint pigment)

Q.2: Where is there a serious chemical error in the above passage?

Q.3: What do you think I saw last week when I tested alkaline peroxide on my yellow/brown Model 10 heat-treated flour imprints (as yet unreported on this site, being a late follow up to the ‘chemical’ posting immediately preceding this one,  my having only discovered  a few days ago the above pdf with its  important – and hugely important  – positive bleach test using alkaline hydrogen peroxide  which Heller for some reason omitted to mention in his 1983 book).


Yup, science, correction, the scientific method (serial testing and objective evaluation of hypotheses) can only work if there’s a periodic clear-out of those that have outlived any usefulness they may have had originally and which no longer earn their keep as regards generating new data or new improved hypotheses.

Put another way, there has to be a ruthless clearing out of dead wood, not worrying too much about who gets hurt, or just ever so slightly miffed, in the process. That, if the truth be told, is what this posting (No 351 since I started to investigate the TS  6 years ago) is basically about – clearing out old wood. Top of the list has to be that dud oh-so-mistaken “just a painting” hunch-cum-persistent hangup, the one that so preoccupied the STURP team in 1978, the one that allowed Ray Rogers’ precious sticky-tape samples to be monopolized in their entirety (!) by a particle-obsessed microscopist for the best part of a whole year (!) before others, notably Adler, Heller, apparently Rogers himself, were allowed access to his compromised castoffs  (! Yes, see Heller’s book to sample contamination) with which to perform a wider range of tests, discriminating chemical spot tests especially).

Meanwhile the McCrone Institute continues to this day to maintain its revered founder’s absurd ‘just a painting’ fixation, in spite of the chemical evidence (and much besides) notably from Adler and Heller, showing in simple fashion that it simply can’t be true, as shown in the cut-and-paste pdf above.

As I say, it really is time to clear out the dead wood , if only to assist with self-renewal (something at which the world of so-called sindonological research has shown itself to be spectacularly bad at doing – see last year’s Pasco proceedings  if proof were needed ).

Being the New Year, now seems the right time to ring out the old, as an essential housekeeping preliminary to ringing in the new…

ring out the old

Er, did you know that Alfred Tennyson had added that last line? I didn’t, not until 5 minutes ago, looking for another image with which to brighten up this posting!

How appropriate! How very, very appropriate!


Instalment 4: Monday Jan 15

Time now for some plain speaking on what I regard as at best misinformation and, in all too many instances,  probably calculated disinformation. I refer to the routine description of the TS as a burial shroud, even if qualified by additional words, like

“… considered by many to be the actual burial shroud of the crucified Jesus etc etc… ”

Read the Gospels, the first 3 synoptic ones especially, and it’s quite clear that Joseph of Arimathea’s “fine” or “clean linen” was a pre-burial shroud, used to receive the crucified body from the cross. While those three mutually corroborating versions do not tell us the fate of J of A’s linen after arrival at the tomb, the version of events in John provide no grounds for assuming that the single linen sheet used to transport a corpse in dignity from cross to tomb was the same as the more specialized linen “clothes” referred to later, left behind post-disappearance of the body with a separate face cloth. (No, I personally don’t buy into that contrived narrative that speaks of the face being covered with cloth while still on the cross with that fabric later placed in the tomb  (having served its  somewhat questionable original purpose) on account of its ‘bodily’ origin, i.e. conserving the life blood, sindonology being burst to overflowing with that kind of  qualifying assumption).

Why you may ask is it so important to distinguish between a burial and pre-burial shroud? Under normal circumstances, if merely concerned with reconstructing the crucifixion narrative so as to arrive at a single coherent version, it wouldn’t. But that’s not the case. We are not talking about a mere sheet of linen, conjured up by Joseph of Arimathea either for single use (pre-burial transport shroud only) or dual use (that plus final burial shroud). We are talking about linen that bears an image, allegedly of the crucified Jesus, one that we’re told defies scientific explanation and can only be supposed to be supernatural in origin, notable a resurrection ‘snapshot’, for which there is no mention whatsoever in the bible anywhere, either by prophecy (Old Testament) or actual eye witness accounts, whether first or second hand.

What is intolerable, totally intolerable is the use of a distorted biblical account, emphasizing “burial”, with a persistent blindspot for pre-burial, being used to promote a particular supernatural version of  image capture. How? By telescoping the time scale as to make it seem that the image could only have been acquired  on the ‘third day’ which is then used in image-assisted positive feedback fashion to promote that same final supernatural version of events occurring within the tomb. (That is not to say it didn’t, but its credibility should be based either on the facts or faith alone, not on devious shifting of time scales to promote one version over another). What we are talking about is the need for intellectual honesty, as distinct from what can only be described as spin-doctoring via misleading use of language and terminology.

What is totally shoved out of the picture with that routine “burial” tag attached to “shroud” is an entirely different narrative, one based on  the prime purpose of Joseph of Arimathea’s linen, one in which image-capture might then have occurred at least theoretically (whether historically or – more probably- in the eyes of medieval modellers with an eye to pilgrims and profit) BEFORE the body had even arrived at the tomb, i.e. via contact-imprinting, not just of blood but of another body fluid, one that could (conceptually at any rate) leave a surviving faint yellowish image  still visible (just) centuries later. I refer to bodily perspiration, aka sweat.

Ah yes, sweat. That’s a term one encounters but rarely in the modern day sindonological literature that discusses ‘likely’ mechanisms of image capture, which is no mere accident or oversight I suggest.  Indeed, come to think of it, it’s somewhat rare even to see mentions of Joseph of Arimathea, suggesting that the narrative-eliminating  airbrush ( designed to remove PIT-VIBB from the picture, i.e. Pre-Interment-Transport- Via-Improvised ‘Body Bag’)  has over recent decades played an even bigger role in the  narrative-rehashing, spin-doctoring process. None of us is allowed to suppose that anything other than a burst of supernatural radiation from a temporarily-deceased body could possibly account for the ‘enigmatic’ TS body image (that 20th/21st century gift from modern ‘science’  benefiting from sustained media blitz).  E.g:


Note the reference to burial cloth! No mention of Joseph of Arimathea, or the immediate use to which the linen cloth was put prior to burial, i.e. for transporting a newly deceased body,  notionally covered with still moist blood and sweat to a nearby tomb, one capable of leaving an imprint via non-supernatural means, even if not reproducible we’re told by those alleged ‘scientists’ in 2011!


Was it always thus? Did early observers of the Shroud, writing centuries ago, also display a blindspot for human sweat, and with it the assumption, whether articulated or not, for a body-imprinting process that could at least, theoretically speaking, have occurred in transit from cross to tomb, essentially pre-empting any  explanation for the image acquired later, post-interment, via supernatural means. Answer: NO! Sweat WAS once mentioned in connection with the body image! See the two instances cited in a recent posting on this site, one early 16th century, one early 17th, both deploying that now seemingly embargoed  s word.

Why should a feat of human artisan skill (two if one includes the genius of age-old linen manufacture from what at first sight might seem an unpromising source –  green vegetation) be airbrushed out by those determined to bulldoze through via so-called ‘scientific argument’  what is essentially religious agenda? Science and religion are best kept in separate compartments – which does not prevent a free and frank exchange of views (as distinct from one attempting a  surreptitious take-over bid for the other).

Repeat of earlier message: drop the term “burial shroud”. Better still, while awaiting a repeat of the radiocarbon dating on more central (though still image/blood-free) areas of the cloth, drop the term “shroud” as well. Refer to it, as suggested above, as the non-credulity-straining Dual-Image Man of Turin.

Instalment 5  tomorrow

It will ask what possible objection there can be in principle to imprinting-by-contact.


Model 9  contact-imprint of my own face, obtained using flour-water slurry, and pressed down onto linen with a thick underlay of more fabric, either pre- (left) versus or post- (right) light photoediting

The above image of my own face, obtained by flour-water slurry imprinting alone (no further image development whatsoever), and posted to my sciencebuzz site –   as long ago as mid-2015 will be given as evidence of much previous misinformation (which continues to this day)  especially where the supposedly ‘impossible’ face with its angular nose is concerned.

Instalment 5, Tuesday Jan 16

Today’s offering is still focused on that spin-doctor’s description of  the dual-image Man of Turin as a “burial shroud”, despite the biblical description of  the ‘fine linen’ having been supplied direct to the cross in the first instance, NOT tomb,  by Joseph of Arimathea.

Let’s start by flagging up a strangely neglected aspect of the ‘Shroud’ fabric  (that term ‘shroud’ being acceptable to this investigator provided it’s stripped of the hugely misleading ‘burial’ tag), namely its remarkable state of preservation, even for one a mere 600-700 years old, far less the claimed two millennia!  Yes, here below in red font is my ‘text for the day’ , the launch point for today’s instalment. It’s been culled from an internet site  (English not first language but admirably summarised), one that is packed with useful information on the physical, chemical  AND biological properties of retted flax fibre, more commonly known as  “linen”:

“Effect of Micro Organism: Linen fiber is attacked by fungi and bacteria. Mildews will feed on linen fabric, rotting and weakling  (sic) the materials. Mildews and bacteria will flourish on linen under hot and humid condition. They can be protected by impregnation with certain types of chemicals.”

mildewed fabric

Here’s what mildew can do to linen (folded top sheet).  Given ‘ideal’ storage conditions, i.e. warm and damp,  brief exposure to spore-laden air, what you see above can occur in  years, possibly months (not needing decades, far less millennia). So why one might ask is the ‘Shroud’ linen not like this?

Compare that with what Dr. Kittle Little had to say some 20 years ago on the subject of the ‘Shroud’ and its state of preservation:

“The description given by the STURP team of the linen of the Shroud was that it was in remarkably good condition – ” … it was supple, strong and felt almost like a new expensive tablecloth “.

and later, more specifically:

… although the Shroud was reported to be covered with mildew spores there were no mildew reactions, so that the fabric was unharmed.


How can that be? According to the ‘resurrectional incandescence’  school of sindonology, from which so much was heard at last year’s Pasco conference, the microbiologically-vulnerable linen must have enclosed a crucified corpse from late on the (Good) Friday to some time the following (Easter) Sunday.   Even STURP’s Raymond N. Rogers considered that sufficiently long for an image to be created via non-supernatural means from gaseous products of putrefaction. Yet that allegedly same linen, now some 2000 years later,  still looks, we’re told,  almost as good as new, with no obvious signs, at least to the unaided eye, of mildew or any other biological contaminants.

Er, some sceptical or other uncharitable souls might think that the mildew-free nature of the ‘Shroud’ linen is the first ‘enigma’ that sindonologists,  at least those fixated with the notion of radiation-mediated resurrectional image-capture on the ‘Third-Day’,  should first address. Oh, and the absence of  any detectable traces of biblical spices, ointments etc etc.  Yes, near-pristine linen, apart from those burns holes.

Which leads us on to another source, nay crucial input of heat,  extreme bug-destroying heat, admittedly lacking firm evidence at the present time, one that might account for the remarkable state of preservation … Forget the 1532 burns for now. Focus on those mysterious pre-1532 so-called L-shaped poker holes, portrayed by an artist on that 1516  so-called Lier copy of the ‘Shroud’. Might they provide a clue? How were those ‘poker holes’ acquired?  Were they really poker holes or something else? Might they provide a clue to the astonishing state of  Shroud preservation. Indeed, might they provide a clue as the manner in which the Shroud image was acquired, not in the 1st century CE, whether by natural or supernatural means, but in the mid-14th century, at the hands of a dedicated team of artisans, probably under direction from a celebrated knights’ somewhat over-generously staffed and endowed private chapel tucked away in a remote part of the French countryside, rolling Champagne country to be precise, he being ‘strapped for funds’ and looking for a new and hopefully lucrative source of income?

Instalment 6: Wed January 17

Five points that strongly suggest(ed) a role for extreme heat in genesis of the TS body image:

1. As discussed yesterday, one starts by citing the truly amazing resistance of the linen over the centuries to mildew, other fungal microbes and bacteria. Why?  Original microbial spores killed off in initial heat-aided imprinting of the image (see my Model 10)  with concomitant loss of volatile nitrogenous and other nutrients that deplete the roasted linen of nutrients for newly arriving spores. A final wash with soap and water (if deployed as in my Model 10) to leave that final faint, ghostly image probably assisted too in removing essential trace nutrients.

2. That golden ‘toasted’ look of image fibres one sees in the Mark Evans photomicrographs, with uneven distribution of colour (forget the so-called “half-tone effect”, which simply does not stand up to close scrutiny ) is suggestive of there having been some kind of additional imprint medium (more easily browned by heat than the linen’s own intrinsic cellulose) AND application of heat needed to develop optimal image colour in  (or migrating from!) the added coating.

mark evans dense image foot ME 16

Fibres within my added yellow rectangle hardly support the so-called half-tone effect (claiming that all image fibres are equally coloured)

3. Brittleness, i.e. mechanical fragility of TS image fibres (thus making them easy to harvest on Rogers’ sticky tape) suggestive of there having been  some kind of substantial damage to their mechanical integrity, maybe affecting the inner core of fibres, even if not easily visible under the microscope.

4. TS body image unaffected by the additional heat experienced in the 1532 fire, as pointed out by STURP’s keen-eyed Raymond Rogers,  suggesting  (in my view) that plain old heat played a role in initial formation.

5. Colour and spectral characteristics of the TS image fibres are said to be virtually identical with that of the scorch marks at margins of the 1532 burn holes (Gilbert and Gilbert, 1982), suggesting TS image is probably also some kind of ‘scorch’ (while no longer considered by this investigator to be a direct single-step, immediate-contact  scorch from a hot metal template as proposed in Model 2).

More to come Friday (Instalment 7 of 40), asking:

“Why a contact imprint – why not some kind of photograph (or  supernaturally-generated photograph) that can/could produce an image across non-contact air gaps? Was  STURP  project-leader John Jackson too quick to dismiss out of hand the notion of imprinting via physical contact only? Was his model-building defective, and indeed, despite first appearances, less than scientific? Was John Jackson the right person to be heading up a supposedly scientific, wholly objective assessor/arbitrator  of the ‘authenticity’ of the TS – or someone pursuing his own religious agenda?

Change of plan: I’d originally intended to post Instalment 7 tomorrow, Thursday. But I need tomorrow to give a considered reply to an email from France regarding the manner in which the TS body image responds to 3D-rendering computer programs (on my list, naturally, as the subject of a future instalment).

On a different matter, it now seems abundantly clear that sindonology is scared stiff of the internet (as well it might be).  One has only to see the manner in which it is scarcely used – and more generally not used, except, that is,  for one-way, take-it-or-leave it communication.

Another brief digression:as noted a short while ago, this investigator/blogger has posted some 350 times on the subject of that ‘Dual Image Man of Turin’, the first at the tail end of 2011, it being, among other things (‘thermostencilling’ Model 1 with charcoal sensitizer)  a frosty response to the ENEA claims that a pulsed uv laser was needed to model the ‘supernatural’ body image.

What if a huge cyber warfare electromagnetic pulse were to wipe 349 of my postings off the internet? Which one would I most want to survive?

According to the WordPress hit meter, someone somewhere visiting this site yesterday (probably US-based) linked to this posting on my sciencebuzz site from October 2014. It describes a shortcut that I took straight from Model 2 (one step scorchimg from hot metal template) to current Model 10 (two stage flour imprinting/oven roasting).  Here’s a screen shot of the title page:

First Model 10, Oct 2014 sbuzz

Having re-read this posting, with what I maintain to be genuine model-building science – as distinct from the pseudoscience alluded to in the title of this current posting – where preconceptions are first prettified  and then served up as if science – then the above posting is without a doubt the one I’d want to survive. Just don’t ask why I bothered with Models 3-9 inclusive! That will remain my little secret…

Have decided on a strategy for responding to my French email. It’s taken a lot of searching through my image files to put together a dossier that says “Non, the 3D response of the TS body image to 3D-rendering computer software is NOT unique. It’s a feature common to all imprints (even some painted pictures!).

That started to become clear some 6 years ago when noting that the 1532 burn marks on the TS responded as well to ImageJ software as the body image itself!

The ludicrous overhyping of 3D, which continues to this day (as seen at Pasco), was to be part of this 40-point posting, without the prominence that it frankly no longer deserves, and that remains the case. Rather than bring it forward, I’ve hit on an alternative. The photo-archive will be posted to my sciencebuzz site, probably with a French language title in the next day or two. My respondent’s anonymity will be preserved until notified of the new posting…

Update: have just posted this my sciencebuzz site, which I hope will put an end to the ridiculous claims that the Shroud image possesses “unique 3D” properties (nothing could be further from then truth!):

sbuzz posting jan 18, 2018 french

Instalment 7: Friday Jan 19

We still hear the TS image routinely referred to as an “enigma”. Indeed, there’s a website called, owned by a key figure who probably did more than anyone else to popularise the ‘enigma’ idea back in the 70s, even before STURP put in its appearance. But is it an enigma?

Take a look at this portrayal of the Shroud dated 1608 (see Roman numerals at bottom). Would its first viewers have described the image you see as an “enigma”. If so, why? If not, what tag might they have chosen in its place?



One can only guess as to the first things that would enter the heads of first-time viewers, whether modern or early 17th century.

I know what probably went through mine, many years, nay decades ago.

  1. The two figures are life-sized, apparently of a naked or near-naked man, and appear on a sheet of linen, NOT canvas stretched on a frame.
  2. The figure on the left is a front view, that on the right a rear view, so one is looking at both sides of the same man.
  3. The images were thus obtained  (or made to seem as if obtained) by enveloping the one man in the same up-and-over sheet of linen.
  4. There are fairly realistic-looking bloodstains in places that immediately tally with that of the crucified Jesus, e.g. at or close to one hand (from nail wound?), the head  (from a crown of thorns?, the side (from lance wound?). There are also what appear to be a vast number of scourge marks.
  5. This is not a painting in the ordinary sense, given the brutal in-your-face portrayal of the crucified founder of Christianity.  Yes, it is almost certainly a bodily imprint of the crucified Jesus, whether genuine or faked.
  6. The immediate impression  (no pun intended) of it being an imprint, not painting, is backed up by additional evidence: the uniform monochrome colour, suggestive maybe of ancient yellowed bodily sweat, the incomplete imaging, with many gaps, the absence of sides, even the merest hint of sides, and the peculiar tone-reversed character that is indicative of imaging via direct contact between body and cloth. (Our pre-photography 17th century viewer would have recognized the characteristics of a tone-reversed imprint when confronted with one, despite not having the terms “positive” versus “negative” in his or her vocabulary.
  7. So there would have been no rush to describe the image as an “enigma”, not if it was quickly or indeed immediately perceived as a whole body imprint. The mere presence alone of that seemingly imprinted blood would make it seem obvious that the body image had been imprinted too, probably in the first instance from an abundance of body sweat, the presence of which would not be unexpected from a newly-deceased highly stressed victim of  scourging and crucifixion.
  8. If the expensive herringbone weave is/was visible in the image, then a link would be made with Joseph of Arimathea’s “fine linen” (delivered the Gospels tell us first to the cross itself, not the tomb). That would immediately ring a bell: the legendary and much celebrated Veil of Veronica image was also an alleged sweat imprint onto a bystanders’s proferred cloth while Jesus was bearing his cross to the place of execution.

An analogous  whole body IMPRINT (in still-moist sweat and fairly fresh incompletely clotted-blood ) onto J of A’s linen might therefore be deemed wholly credible (or cleverly simulated by someone setting out to fake an apparent ‘holy relic’, and doing so by actual spare-no-effort IMPRINTING, NOT via conventional artistic daubing from a paint palette which would have been immediately detectable).

Even that infuriated Bishop Henri de Poitiers referred to the Lirey Shroud, making its first recorded appearance in the mid-14th century as “cunningly” painted. (Beware those who omit that crucial qualifying adjective from their dreary  ‘just-a-painting’ take on the Shroud body image).

In conclusion: NO, the Shroud would not have been tagged an “enigma”. There would and indeed was much speculation as to its genuineness, but few if any would have been in any doubt as to how the image was formed, whether onto J of A’s fine linen as genuine sweat and blood or as a modelled representation of that imagined image produced centuries later.

So why has modern man, or a sizeable contingent thereof, rushed to declare the above image an “enigma”? Why not a one-off curiosity, the product of direct imprinting, either with a natural imprinting medium like sweat, OR a cleverly contrived substitute that can be passed off centuries later as aged, yellowed sweat?

Incidentally, is there actual documentary evidence that 16th/17th century obeservers perceived the body image as one formed by sweat? Yes, there are at least two instances that can be cited…

More to follow tomorrow (Saturday)


Instalment 8: Saturday Jan 20

So how did the “enigma” tag come about? Why did not STURP (1978)  not examine in detail the centuries-old “sweat imprint” supposition first (whether a real or simulated sweat imprint) choosing instead to gloss over and become fixated with allegedly new modern insights?

Having read  John Heller’s 1982 book from cover to cover several times, detailing the influences that he and his fellow STURP team came under, ones that are apparent in the 1981 STURP Summary.

“We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man”

And you call that science?!!!!

There are two major ingredients to the late 70s/80s-onwards New Age thinking, kept alive by David Rolfe and many others similarly convinced, indeed fixated, by supposed Shroud authenticity, with a blind spot for ‘simulated sweat imprint’.

One is the input from pro-authenticity pathologist/coroner Robert Bucklin with that ‘autopsy’ of his conducted on a negative Shroud image – as if a real corpse. The other is the reception accorded to Bill Mottern’s VP-8 3D-renderings of the TS image, again enthusiastically set out in the Heller book.

Let’s deal with Robert Bucklin MD first:

Here’s a YouTube video- still captured from David Rolfe’s  celebrated “Silent Witness” documentary from 1977 or thereabouts showing Bucklin about his work, having spread out a  Shroud negative in a real autopsy room (how’s that for showbiz!) and writing an ‘official’ looking autopsy report in highly formal, indeed stilted language:

robert bucklin shroud autopsy

And here, from just a short while ago, is the  same TV documentary maker, now Editor of the BSTS Newsletter,  also owner of the ‘shroudenigma’ site (yes, that e-word again) displaying the same image in his local church, continuing to promote shroud authenticity with what can only be described as evangelical zeal:

rolfe image of robert bucklin shown at a Beaconsfield church


I’ve spoken before, several times, about that nonsensical, indeed risible so-called “autopsy”, which is NOT even based on a photograph of a corpse, but a photograph of an allegedly ‘enigmatic’ image of an alleged corpse acquired by means that are still unknown for certain, and the subject of much fevered imagination ( notably from a scientist-scolding TV documentary maker especially) but certainly not via modern photography. I’ve protested loudly at Bucklin’s references to “wounds”, puncture marks’, “abrasions”, “swellings” etc etc which are totally speculative, given there are none of those even in the image that was before him, once the blood or “blood” stains are erased from the picture. See this image I published back in 2013, with  (right) or without (left) the “blood”. Where are the wounds  from which ‘real'(?)  blood allegedly originated?



Late corrective:  OK, so there’s a touch of artistic licence there. But I magnified the alleged ‘wound’ sites AND gave them extra contrast before deciding there was no evidence whatsoever of ‘wounds’ in the body image before deciding to erase the blood with a photoediting clone tool.  In any case, given the ‘blood before image’ mantra, how could there be any imaging of wounds that might lie UNDER the bloodstains if the wounds (damaged skin)  were imprinted or otherwise acquired AFTER the blood, as we’re told is the case?

That makes the entire autopsy exercise, billed as a detailed forensic examination by a world-class pathologist, a total waste of time from the word go, based as it was on bloodstains only that could have been painted ON TOP of an imprinting medium( flour, Model 10?) before pressing linen on top.  That chronology then  accounts for the   ‘blood-before-image’ appearance under a modern day microscope, reported by Heller and Adler after deploying their (otherwise ingenious) blood-digesting reagent..

How can one have an autopsy when there are no wounds, not even in an image that was NOT  even a modern-day photograph in the first instance? I’d put more trust in a dermatologist diagnosing a facial skin condition in  Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” than I would in Robert Bucklin’s so-called  forensic ‘autopsy’ on the Turin Shroud…

More to follow (maybe tomorrow, more likely Monday).

PS: Halleluja: I’m finally able, after 6 years of investigation via microscopy and model building, to reconcile the Walter McCrone claim for artist’s pigment (iron oxide) with my own Model 10 (flour imprinting).  How? By taking a closer look at a particular Mark Evans (STURP) photomicrograph, one I flagged up some years ago as contradicting the so-called ‘half-tone ‘ effect, now with some additional – but not obligatory – assistance from a controversial Windows 10 photoediting filter (“Zeke”) that is splendid at accentuating any ‘bittiness’ in an image (NO, not artefactual as some aggressive doubters once claimed early last year on another site).

Mid-region TS face (Shroud Scope, with added contrast), before v after Windows 10 Zeke filter. Note the interrupted pigmentation (whether real or apparent) in individual image fibres, better seen after Zeke, but also visible in places before.


Yes,  Walter McCrone was almost certainly right about the  seemingly microparticulate appearance of the image chromophore,  whether the result of solid particles or not, but probably wrong about the reasons! I hope to produce evidence in the fullness of time to back up the validity of my Model 10 (flour imprinting).

I fully expect sindonology to ignore it, as sindonology has ignored pretty well everything else I have published here and on other internet sites. Sindonology is essentially a closed shop (bar its periodic forays into the media with its latest ‘brainwave’, its latest tranche of pseudoscience).

Instalment 9, Sunday January 21

Here’s a real gem of an image which appeared in Thibault Heimburger’s critique of my Model 2 (direct scorching from a hot template).  (It appears at the point in his pdf , page 15/24, when he displays some of the photomicrographs obtained by STURP’s Mark Evans from the actual TS. This one is described as “body image”. It contains a hugely interesting, and I suspect scientifically  significant detail, one that  – being easily overlooked- is not commented upon in the pdf.)

Fig 20 from T Heim pdf scorch revis, screen grab no adj


Notice the ‘bitty’ appearance of the pigmentation in the image fibres, more easily visible in some rather than others?

As indicated, there’s a handy filter provided with Windows10 which calls itself “Zeke” which as indicated yesterday I’ve found  works well in in a purely operational sense  to accentuate  any “bittiness” in an image (but don’t ask me how it works!). Here’s the above image, before and after applying the Zeke filter.

Fig 20 from MEvans collection, pre v post Zeke

Here’s the Zeke image on its own (needing all the enlargement it can get on a webpage).

CROPPED ZEKE Fig 20 screen grab then magnify then grab top right cnr a 2nd time

What a pity Walter McCrone is no longer around to see the above image, and to hear my explanation – based on Model 10-  essentially unchanged since 2014/15,  for why it looks the way it does! Are you listening, all you pro-authenticity sindonologists? No, of course not… Perish the thought that any true-believer sindonologist would spare a second to hear a contrary view that fails to accord with their own ‘Enigma Variations’ (apologies to Edward Elgar).

Here’s a clue as to how Zeke works (though much more needs to be done):


dashes pre v post zeke showing a halo effect

One the left is  is a simple graphic constructed with MS Paint, showing coloured dashes against a yellow background. On the right is the same image after applying Zeke.

Note the white border on the left side becomes grey. Note how the yellow becomes a yellow-grey. But note also that the yellow-grey does not abut completely onto the dashes, which are now surrounded by a faint  ‘halo’ of the original yellow, maybe with a hint of grey only. In other words, Zeke creates an apparent highlighting halo by adding grey to general background,  probably the denser image too, but NOT around the immediate periphery of  the latter, in this case those simple dashes. In short, Zeke is in my view a valid photoediting tool, one that does not create image artefacts, one that merely creates a better contrast between image features and background, albeit via a rather clever indirect means that involves two-tone modulating of image-bordering background – not the image itself!

Instalment 10: Monday Jan 22

Here’s another test of Zeke, this time on a graphic with dots as well as dashes, unedited v default Zeke setting (mid-range 50/100) v max Zeke (100/100).

Graphic 2 plus 2 levels of Zeke, 50 and 100

The halo highlighting effect is again visible, scarcely so admittedly at the midrange Zeke setting (probably on account of my different choice of colours) but clearly so at the max value. But there’s another, second effect of Zeke that acts to increase contrast, namely a darkened outline to each of the dots (missed earlier through using dashes only, and more easily visible on a laptop screen directly than in my screenshots above). Zeke seems to operate via a dual action to increase contrast between a dark image and a lighter background – both edge-accentuation AND creation of pale surrounding halo! But it’s only emphasizing what’s already present – not adding any new image entities. As such, I consider it a valuable photoediting tool, at least while we are restricted to STURP’s 40 year old images (not counting the later  Halta Shroud 2.0 images downloadable to iPads which I personally cannot be bothered with, based on what one sees in the publicity handouts – clearly intended for the mass market, not serious image-investigators).

I shall spend the rest of the day doing two things:

1. Testing Zeke against more of Mark Evans TS body image photomicrographs across the whole range of slider settings (0-100)

2. Attempting to track down some of Walter McCrone’s photomicrographs of body image, the ones he claimed to be inorganic paint pigment, despite Heller and Adler’s bleaching result with either diimide or alkaline hydrogen peroxide. So far I’ve had no luck whatsoever in finding a single McCrone image (except for one on “blood”, similarly claimed to be entirely inorganic)  despite trawling through any number of Google image files, which frankly I consider amazing, considering his surviving research institute continues to promote his 1978 claims (and there are no relevant images on that site either, despite the margin tab labelled ‘Shroud of Turin’).

I’ll only report back later today if I find anything of interest, better still, of likely or even possible scientific significance.

Oh dear, 40 years post-STURP, sindonology is still such a barren desert, offering little more than sightings of this or that on the far horizon, probably mirages in most instances. Where’s the real science for heaven’s sake?

Let’s not beat about the bush. There’s essentially zero interest these days in real scientific research where the TS concerned (not that there’e been anything significant these last 40 years since STURP scratched the surface).

Yup, my Model 10 – with its lowly flour imprinting  and oven (or open-fire) roasting – is not the answer anyone wanted – even me if I’m honest. Why? Because it’s neither supernatural, nor scientifically gee whizz! It’s just an adaptation of  homely bread baking technology. It tends to elicit the comment: “Er, is that it, then?”

It was the same 18 months ago when I delivered my conclusions on Stonehenge. When folk have been told constantly from the age of 6 that is was a Neolithic astronomical observatory or prehistoric cathedral, they don’t want later to be told by a jumped-up science blogger that it was simply a giant bird perch, one which allowed inland gulls  (coaxed-in British ‘vultures’) to feel safe when pecking away at newly-deceased bodies (the first stage of ritual excarnation, aka ‘sky burial’, followed by much simpler cremation of largely de-fleshed bones).


Still popular to this day with our feathered friends, if only as a perch (no longer a dinner table…)


See also:


Late insertion (March 2)red font to distinguish from what was penned a while ago:

Have just concluded my current posting on that other site of mine with the following:

Here’s the link to a site called “25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever”.

Stonehenge is No.12 in the list.  Here’s the accompanying photo. Please observe the caption!

Stonehenge No 12 on Greatest Mysteries site

Please sir, please sir. I know why!

birds on lintels


Oh, and I have a solution for the Turin Shroud as well (No.11 in that “Unsolved” Mystery list). Shame that the world (or at any rate, the blogosphere) is indifferent to solutions that do not accord with long-held preconceptions!

Half the fun of science is to watch one’s own or other folks’ preconceptions turn into Sir Kenneth Clark’s “dissolving perspectives”,  the process starting almost immediately after starting afresh with a blank sheet of paper and “unthinkable imaginings” (aka scientific hypotheses for the testing thereof)!

It’s not hard to see why scientists are so unpopular, at least in the UK (I can’t speak for the ROTW) , treated in the media and elsewhere as if they don’t exist. (Like when did you ever see a scientist in the story line of  UK TV soap, making even a fleeting appearance?)

So what’s the point of my updating this summary of my own 6 years of research when there’s little or no sign of anyone taking the least bit of interest?

Why set myself these demanding time schedules for researching or writing this or that? Answer – none whatsoever. Sindonology is a secret garden, interested only in fashioning and evangelizing its own own publicity handouts, being not in the least bit interested, indeed, one suspects  fearful and/or resentful,  of genuine curiosity-driven research.

I said there would be 40 instalments to this current posting, and indeed hope and expect to deliver those in time. But the initial idea of delivering in daily instalments no longer makes any sense at all. I’ll now interleave research and reporting on a time scale that suits my own leisurely retired lifestyle.

The next 30 or so instalments may take a while to arrive – weeks, months,  years even. Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity at some point to view the TS with my own eyes, preferably with the lid of the protective chamber opened, preferably with a hand lens – or better still,  a customized, minimally-destructive research tool that is more diagnostic as to how the image was formed.

But I’m not banking on it. Sindonology only survives thanks to its careful cultivation of the notion of mystery , protected as ever by its carefully maintained veil of secrecy…

If I had to summarize sindonology in a few words (the sort that promotes authenticity, whether subtly or forcefully) it would be “wishful thinking dressed up as solid science”.

It’s the dressing-up this science blogger objects to. Science has enough difficulty as it is in getting its voice heard, much less respected, without chancers  (photographers, engineers, lawyers, TV documentary makers, clerics  etc) periodically popping in, adopting the disguise of “scientists”.

It generally takes a minimum of 3 years  to train up a research scientist via a postgraduate doctoral program in order to progress to  becoming a professional researcher, capable of working without supervision.  Those of us who have undergone that training ourselves,  and later, having supervised pre-doctoral researchers AND examined doctoral candidates in their final “viva voce” exams  know why! Many fall by the wayside…

So please don’t expect any more additions  to this posting for some time.   Having said that, comments are, as ever,  both invited and welcome, whether opposed to authenticity or not.

Au revoir  (“till we meet again”)  as our politely non-dismissive French neighbours would say.

Saturday 31st March 2018

Have just added this to the end of my Stonehenge/Silbury Hill site:


Things are really looking up on my Shroud of Turin site where clicks and visitors are concerned  (but then it is Easter!)

hits shroud of turin site easter sat 2018 march 31 1615

And it’s just late afternoon, with more than 7 hours to go to midnight!

Wish I could say the same for visits to this site. But when one is told, as was the case some 2 years ago, that the hypothesis unveiled was surely “tongue in cheek”, then it’s hardly surprising that one’s not getting the hits.

My views on the Shroud of Turin were similarly described as “surely tongue in cheek?” some 5 or 6 years ago. Those folk  are not saying that now,  and indeed have gone strangely silent.  Why? Because my Shroud views are now  backed up by intensive research, reported through some 350 online postings,  with new original findings …

That faint ‘enigmatic’ body image is almost certainly a Maillard reaction product (formed from an applied-to-human volunteer sugary/proteinaceous imprinting medium – probably white wheaten flour) NOT scorched cellulose!

How much longer before the world realizes the potency of the scientific method, starting from afresh with a blank sheet, and putting all the existing cosy, conventional thinking to one side?

Stonehenge was created in incremental instalments, spread over centuries, as a giant bird perchPeriod.  It was designed for pre-cremational processing of the dead, to avoid the horrors of attempting to cremate whole bodies with inadequate resources  (i.e. less-than-abundant supplies dry firewood etc). Period.

Come on world. Get real. Catch up with historical reality… Put yourself in the position of a Neolithic hunter-gather then pastoralist, then reverting when things got difficult, i.e., switching back and forth between the two lifestyles. One wants a permanent memento of the dear departed, a portable one (like cremated bones).  But one doesn’t want to cremate a whole body…   Go figure! Preliminary ‘sky burial’ ticks all the right  boxes…

April 15, 2018

It sometimes takes a little time for one’s myth-busting claims  not just to be accepted, but to become the new norm. Such is the case with my 32-year old paper on ‘enzyme-resistant starch’ (“RS”, aka RS3, man-made dietary fibre!). It didn’t just claim that RS in baked goods (bread, biscuits etc) comprised short-chain fragments of crystallized starch. It gave virtually unequivocal proof that RS was NOT the familiar retrograded long-chain amylose starch as pretty well everyone else at the time presumed (bar the editors of  the Journal of Cereal Science) ! It was a new crystalline SHORT CHAIN species!

That 1986 paper was referred to last year as “highly influential”, with 5 excerpts being quoted.

resistant starch highly infuential 1986 paper

Back in 1986 I was being peed upon by all and sundry from a great height, including a ‘Professor Big’ in starch chemistry as a Kelloggs Symposium!

Sunday 22nd April 2018

Barriers to uptake of new scientific ideas (via the 21st century internet especially!)

1. That Google so-called ‘search engine’ – artificial ventilator for e-commerce more like it, with Google taking a fat percentage. Lousy deal for blogs – failure to flag up headlines of new postings etc. Vicious circles re ranking – high ranking ensures more clicks – deserved or otherwise. Low ranking denies searchers under simple search term entries  (“Shroud of Turin”, Stonehenge” etc ) knowledge of new ideas. Google listings are for the most part mildly titillating, comfort-blanket, idea-stifling, pro commission-generating click-bait. Google and its ilk, mostly California-based, is putting the Enlightenment into reverse.

2. Social media – year-on-year dumbing down …

3. Antipathy of mass media towards science and scientists – unless conforming to stereotypes …

4. Vested interests pushing conventional views that serve own interests – ideological, commercial etc…

5. Inertia – old ideas get rooted.  New ideas instantly ridiculed. (Read James Watson’s stupendous ‘Double Helix’: see how genetic material was presumed for decades to be protein on scarcely any real evidence, merely a ridiculing of DNA with just 4 constituent bases (A,T,C,G) . Chargaff’s rules (purine = pyrimidines, A=T, C=G etc) dismissed). Old hands, old ideas loath to give up on their ‘expertise’, alleged not-to-be-questioned grasp of detail etc.

6. Failure of commenters on web forums to make URL links to unconventional ideas – suppression not dissemination being the byword. The ‘world of ideas’ scarcely exists on the internet – more the world of sniping and/or special pleading.

7. Perceived pecking orders – newcomers to longstanding ‘enigmas’ must learn their lowly place etc.

8. Vested interest in maintaining those silly-season enigmas largely intact, merely playing around the edges.

Saturday 28th April 2018

One’s patience with Google rankings is exhausted!

Google rankings will be placed under the microscope in the coming days and weeks!

Have already discovered that Google is not fit for purpose!

Expect new posting in a week or so, one that will not mince words, pull punches etc. Google is a total disgrace!


Monday 30th April, 2018:

Plans for my next posting – see above – are coming along apace. 

I shall list, and briefly summarize, the most recent Google rankings of sites under a (shroud of turin) search, probably the first 150 (Pages 1-15)  in reverse chronological order (150, 149, 148 etc).

There will be a few new ones added each day, optimistically 10 at a time.

Each entry will have a brief comment from myself on whether or not it deserves to be there.  (Believe me, there are plenty that do NOT –  e.g blatant advertisements for commercial sites etc).

Along the way I intend to insert a bogus entry  or two – ones  that you won’t find  under a real (shroud of turin) search  –  and then ask WHY!  (I’ll say WHICH later…).

Yes, I am now going into an entirely new and different mode.

I shall be asking why and HOW the major search engine is effectively suppressing new ideas –  including those that have been around on the internet for well over 2 and more years, voiced repeatedly on this and OTHER sites.

Clue: the key words to look for, in abbreviated form, will be “SSI”.

So what is going on?

I say there is something rank and rotten in the state of Denmark, California… (apologies to William Shakespeare).

Something needs to be done, this side of The Pond…

California cannot be allowed to rule the world (of  Global Free Speech that is ), tainted as it is with its $elf-enriching commercial or other -even murkier – considerations …

One needs VALUES in everyday life – clearly displayed for all to see! It’s values that keep the world progressing, not slipping back…

My older brother is  a naturalised American, previously California-based, and I still have family there.

I am not anti-Californian per se, merely anti the so-called Internet Giants that have based themselves there – with  their appalling standards of business conduct.

They need speedy reform, failing which they should be banned  from our standards-driven part of the world or locally broken up, at least from the UK and the EU…

I’ve been saying as much for well over 2 years…






Posted in contact imprint, latest research,, new theory, sweat imprint, Turin Shroud, Shroud of Turin | Tagged | 22 Comments

Shroud of Turin: expect a 40-point summary of final conclusions very shortly, based on my 6 years of detailed scrutiny, to say nothing of hands-on modelling of that ‘enigmatic’ body image.

Yes, 40 key points will accompany my next posting – but not all in one go. Expect bite-size instalments, arriving over several days, maybe weeks. (Readability – not this investigator’s strongest suit – will be given a little more attention than before!).

Yes, the time has finally come to distil the essence of  6 years of fairly non-stop investigation by this long-retired science bod (mainly biomedical research in hospitals, medical schools and a food research institute –  eye-glazing stuff for the most part).

Warning: the conclusions will not generate a warm inner glow in those who are hung up on Shroud-authenticity (like it representing the actual burial shroud of the crucified Jesus).

Think simulated sweat/blood imprint onto a ‘fake’ version of Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’, made to seem as if pressed into service as a transport, NOT burial shroud to convey the crucified founder of Christianity from cross to tomb.

Think an entirely novel process of imprinting an entire body (front and back, not sides!) onto wet linen using dry powdered white wheaten flour as imprinting agent, followed by thermal development of the body image by gentle roasting over hot charcoal embers.

Think a final wash with soap and water to generate that oh-so-subliminal faint body image, later touched up with “blood” as a marker for body wounds incurred before and during crucifixion… The proposed technology is staggering in its simplicity, given the manner in which it has defied explanation over the centuries, right through to the present day.

So how did it succeed so brilliantly? Answer: by resort to  breath-taking originality (to say nothing of audacious mimicry of what happens when one ‘simply’ bakes a loaf of bread from flour dough to give it a golden-brown crust!).

Nope, the conclusions are not good for Shroud authenticity (but then, nor was the radiocarbon dating – 1260-1390).

Sorry all you folk who yearn for something tangible with which to back up your (possibly wavering?) religious belief.  But no apologies either for popping pseudoscience balloons (the latter being a fair description I say of the excesses of modern day pro-authenticity Shroud narratives, notably those  based on miraculous snapshots onto linen via ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Oh please, do rejoin us no-nonsense realists on Planet Earth!

But I say they are good for our collective global pride in humanity’s never-ending display over the centuries of inventiveness, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Shame about the intermittent fallings-out over this or that divisive issue (world wars etc).

I blame ideas (despite considering myself an ideas man).  Having ideas is good for the most part, but they do have an unfortunate habit of becoming first ideals, then ideological doctrines …  As the lady said, it’s a funny old world…

First instalment of next posting? This coming Friday (Jan 12) at the latest… That’s a promise…




Posted in Shroud of Turin, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hello again all you journalists and other media folk. This photograph provides a complete chemical explanation for the Turin Shroud imprinted body image! (Think white flour imprinting of a body onto wet linen, think applied heat, think bread crust image!).



Brace yourselves, all you deniers of the radiocarbon dating, all you proponents of supernatural photography via “resurrectional incandescence”.

Main finding: both the bread roll on the left AND the heat-treated flour imprint from the plastic toy have turned pristine white in the places where domestic bleach was added!

red arrows IMG_1050

See the bleached areas  indicated by red arrows!


Relevance to the Turin Shroud and its ‘enigmatic’ allegedly science-defying body image?

Think the chemistry of bread crust formation from heated white flour,  cleverly mimicked for the purposes of  faked religious relic manufacture. How? Answer: via contact flour-imprinting  off the adult male body onto linen as a means of simulating  (“forging”) a 1st century sweat imprint of …  YES, the crucified Jesus onto Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’. Clever these medievals…

Yes, the chemical properties of bread crust (bleachability with chemical “bleach” (NaOCl, left rear) , but not by strong acid (H2SO4, centre rear)  or  strong alkali (NaOH, right rear)  as shown above fit perfectly with:

(a)  those straw-coloured image fibres from the Turin Shroud, tested in 1978 by STURP’s Alan Adler and John Heller  (shown to be bleachable with diimide  – ordinary domestic bleach apparently not tested – but not affected by either strong acid or alkali) and:

(b) my model imprints off 3D-figurines ( as well as my own hand and face) using my ‘Model 10’ flour-imprinting procedure. The latter was published here and elsewhere (notably the Dan Porter site)  in 2015, but has since been totally ignored these last two years and more by the largely pro-authenticity Shroud-research ‘establishment’ with more than its fair share of cliquish self-styled academics and scientists. Now there’s a surprise!

More to follow in a day or two …

Tuesday December 5

The imprinted linen you see above has now been washed, dried, pressed briefly with a hot iron, re-photographed and labelled to show the parts that were exposed to the three chemical reagents.

hulk imprint, bleach, acid, alkali pre v post wash, labelled

Note that bleaching, i.e. decolorisation,  was confined to the parts of the flour imprint on the left that had been treated with commercial bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl). The parts in the centre (treated with strong , i.e. 35% approx sulphuric acid) and on the right (with strong alkali, sodium hydroxide, NaOH) remained essentially unbleached.

(Caveat: don’t be deceived into thinking that the acid in the centre has bleached. It hasn’t. The white area is simply the initially image-free gap between arm and torso of the figurine. If the acid had bleached the ‘subject’ would be missing his thumb – and more besides).

This comparative pattern of behaviour matches that reported by Adler and Heller for surface image fibres stripped off the TS by STURP’s Raymond N Rogers in 1978.

Whilst the above experiment does not of itself prove that the TS image fibres are chemically the same or very similar as the yellow or brown melanoidins in bread crust or my roasted flour imprints, it can surely be seen as constituting  circumstantial evidence for that being the case.

None of what appears will of course come as any surprise to those who accept the pro-authenticity, non-supernaturalistic model proposed by the late Raymond N Rogers (STURP’s chemistry team leader). Rogers was the first to identify propose that the Shroud body image as was a high molecular weight melanoidin, not on analytical grounds, for which there is  and was essentially none, but on the basis of a narrative that pictures the process of image-formation starting with the release from the recently-deceased Jesus of  post-mortem putrefaction gases or vapours, namely decomposition amines (general formula  R-NH2, where R is a variable alkyl or aminoalkyl group).  They were posited to interact with reducing sugars, formed, Rogers claimed, from a  starch impurity coating on the linen, the latter having been employed he said as an aid to weaving in Roman times (with some somewhat anecdotal evidence for starch traces on the Shroud).

It’s not the intention here to discuss the Rogers’ model in detail (which this investigator would do with no great enthusiasm). But it’s necessary to flag it up, if only because I was instantly accused on the Dan Porter site of having plagiarized Ray Rogers when finally abandoning a simple hot-metal scorch hypothesis  (Model 2) and proposing white flour (arguably a close relative of starch) and melanoidin end-products as the explanation for the chromophore colour.

Nope, I reject the charge of plagiarism, my having arrived at melanoidins via an entirely different route. That was through searching for a likely imprinting medium from which a medieval simulator of a 1st century sweat imprint might have generated a yellow chromophore via strong heating more easily and more controllably than by scorching the intrinsic carbohydrates of linen. In fact there are thermal mechanisms by which a flour imprint can turn yellow that do not involve Maillard (amino-carbonyl reactions) and melanoidin formation, notably by caramelization of free sugars without involvement of amines or other nitrogen compounds (though I have to say I consider the Maillard mechanism involving reaction between reducing sugars and amino side chains of proteins  and peptides as being the more probable pathway).

(Added note: I return to caramelization v Maillard chemistry again briefly at the end of this posting).

It should be clear by now that the diagnostic test for medieval forgery, as distinct from 1st century provenance, cannot be melanoidins or even traces of flour or starch, even supposing they were to be present (almost certainly not in the case of flour). One’s first instinct is to propose that one seeks evidence of a thermal development step (forgery narrative). But that too cannot be relied upon. Why not? Answer: the 1532 fire that caused extensive burning and scorching. Who’s to say that any presumptive evidence for a high temperature exposure was not the result of the Chambery fire? Actually there is at least some circumstantial evidence for the thermal development from which 1532 can be definitely excluded – as flagged up here a short while ago – the so-called “L-shaped poker holes”.  They are known (from the 1516 Lier copy) to predate the 1532 fire, so might well have been acquired when the Shroud imprint was being thermally developed.

Wednesday December 6

Future research direction? Need for new technology?

As indicated in the posting immediately preceding this one  (dated Nov 22) there is an urgent need for transverse sections of image fibres, both from the Turin Shroud and from flour imprint v alternative model systems.

Why? Because the claim that the TS body image is highly, nay ultrasuperficial, on which so much starry-eyed speculation is based (with resort to those scorch-making uv-lasers etc to simulate conjectured ‘resurrectional incandescence’) really hasn’t been proved at all, at least not conclusively.

In fact, it’s not just transverse sections that are needed. We need to start by teasing out linen fibres from threads, and then blasting open those individual fibres to reveal the closely-packed microfibrils within. Are the latter really free of image colour in the TS? Are they really immune from coloration in model systems where there’s initially an intact primary cell wall (PCW) separating the bunched microfibrils from the outside world?

I shall be doing some experiments shortly with a view to getting a view inside the fibre. I’ll start in a modest way with freeze-thaw cycles (with threads pre-soaked in plain water or concentrated brine etc). I may even invest in an old fashioned pressure cooker, or mini popcorn-maker, with a view to creating an initial high pressure, temperature  or both that is then suddenly reduced/released. (I once had a student vacation job at Quaker Oats, Southall,  Middx., back in in the early 60s, making ‘Puffed Wheat’ (yes, it really is/was “shot from guns” – I had charge of 3 gun barrels!) so am maybe better informed than most on the physics of semi-explosive “puffing” technology!



This is an experimental set-up (transparent firing chamber) that shows the principle of “puffing”. The hinged end-flap of the gun barrel has been suddenly opened at the end of the pressure-cooking cycle, whereupon the cooked  wheat grains  – all 14lbs per batch – flies out the end, puffing up as they do so! Might it be possible to get linen fibres (fibres, note, not threads) to puff up explosively so as to blast away that pesky  PCW, exposing and separating  the internal microfibrils for microscopic inspection, both transversely and longitudinally?

Note to the sourpuss tendency: this investigator is focused on his latest model ( that’s Model 10 to be precise, 2015 vintage), but is not, repeat NOT,  wedded to it. To repeat the old adage (first deployed by a Dutch economist but equally relevant to science): “Models are for using, not believing”. (which is why I’ve discarded or moved on via continuous fine-tuning/tweaking tendency from 9 previous models!)

Open-ended, open-minded research goes on where this blogger and this blogsite are concerned. Message to those with closed minds, or fixated with one or other “instant, pulled from the air, non-modelled solution” to the Turin Shroud :  kindly stay away (assuming you have not already been banned for persistent misuse/abuse of another’s website).

Thursday December 7

As stated (well, bragged) a few days ago, this site made an all-too-brief  appearance of Page 2 listings (Google, shroud of turin). It now languishes on Page 3. I check daily to see if/when lightning has struck, elevating it to the dizzy heights of Google Page 1 listings. No such luck as yet! But on checking this morning, I spotted a familiar entry, currently bottom of Page 2:

Why Shroud of Turin’s Secrets Continue to Elude Science

17 Apr 2015 – The 53-square-foot rectangle of linen known as the Shroud of Turin is one of the most sacred religious icons on Earth, venerated by millions of Christians as the actual burial garment of Jesus Christ. It is also among the most fiercely debated subjects in contemporary science, an extraordinary mystery that …

Er, no, those so-called secrets do NOT continue to elude “science”.  Those so-called secrets are gradually being revealed for what they are – hamfisted so-called “science” on the part of previous investigators, encumbered initially with duff hypotheses, and then proceeding to “see what they want to see”.
The prime example right now is that which I see towards the end of John Heller’s 1983 book, describing the Shroud body image as “oxidized cellulose”.  Whilst that’s a possibility which cannot be entirely ruled out, the evidence adduced for that, via testing of  a series of reducing agents that each failed to discharge the colour of Shroud image fibres, ending finally with “success” when diimide, NH=NH, was employed, contains a serious error of chemical logic. Yes, diimide can and does bleach by hydrogenating  -C=C- double bonds, and yes, hydrogenation is chemical reduction (addition of hydrogen). But that does not mean that the original colour was formed by oxidative processes. There are other means of introducing colour-conferring double bonds into a receptive compound that do NOT involve oxidation (notably via chemical DEHYDRATION which Heller indeed refers to in the same breath as oxidation). But those double bonds can be converted to non-colour conferring -C-C- single bonds by means other than hydrogenation , i.e. by so-called ADDITION reactions, hydrogenation being just one way of performing an addition reaction. Thus the ability of my domestic bleach, NaOCl, to decolorise the Model 10 flour imprints (probably by adding H/OCl across the double bond to form a chlorhydrin which is most definitely not chemical reduction). What a shame that Heller and his colleague (Alan Adler) did not test simple domestic bleach, best known as an OXIDISING  AGENT, not a reducing agent like diimide!
How much longer will certain sections of the media, duly picked up by search engines, be allowed to promulgate dud chemistry via taunting headlines that refer to the Shroud “eluding” science, when what is reported  displays a glaring ignorance and/or misunderstanding of the most basic principles of chemistry, the elementary kind one picks up at pre-University entrance level?
John Heller and his late in-house recruit  to STURP (Alan Adler) were both gifted scientists, at least in their separate respective fields of expertise, Adler’s it has to be said being a branch of chemistry (porphyrins). But their chemistry as applied to the Shroud blood (that wacky “bilirubin”!) AND body image simply do not add up, far less stand up to close scrutiny. Yet it’s uncritically hoovered up by sindonologists  and relayed to fellow true-believers AND the mass media as if gospel truth.  That it ain’t. All too often, it’s complete cobblers,  apologies for the Brit’ slang, if the truth be told.
This site exists for one reason, and one reason only – to unearth the truth via patient, methodical scientific enquiry.  If it involves knocking a few STURP and other ‘infallible’ greats off their pedestals, then so be it.
Here’s a clue to tomorrow’s instalment, a short passage from Ray Rogers’ book, (“A Chemist’s Perspective on the Shroud of Turin”):
rogers nitrogen maillard ts image
“Maillard” and “nitrogen” are both highlighted in yellow (search terms!).  Why? Because I recall  Dutch sindonologist Adrie van der Hoeven saying in a comment on this site many moons ago that Rogers had flagged up an anomaly which could be seen as a wee bit embarrassing for his (and mine!) Maillard mechanism of body image formation.  Why is there not excess nitrogen in the body image fibres?  Read what Rogers says beneath the caption, and there’s a possible explanation,  a possible “out” about which more will be said here tomorrow…
Maybe your days are numbered Model 10! Maybe there’s a Model 11 waiting in the wings to supplant you, as you ousted 9 of your predecessors! But I still say the Shroud is medieval – a simulated sweat imprint to be precise. But, as stated before, determining by experimental modelling the precise means by which that imprint was created  (a somewhat inferior substitute some might think for direct analysis on the Shroud) should still be considered secondary to understanding why some 14th century folk went to so much trouble and expense to achieve what they intended to be a convincing end-result, as indeed it was, and still is to millions today. Yes, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, once that initial furore and 30 year ban on display were both safely consigned to history…
Friday December 8
Have just been looking through some old emails – received and sent – to find some replies I sent in August to a freelancer(?) preparing an article on the Shroud for a Spanish-language magazine. Since nothing came of it (probably, I suspect, because my views are too boringly scientific for the particular publication in question and/or insufficiently mystique-promoting/mongering) I’m reproducing here the first two summaries I supplied. Consider this a filler while I think some more about Model 10 – see yesterday’s instalment – and whether or not to experiment further towards a possible Model 11):
First reply (Aug 3, 2017):
Dear (X, who shall remain nameless)
Nice to hear from you.
I’m travelling at the moment, and won’t have much free time for the next 24 hours or so. However, I will be thinking about your request, and will try to respond soon, hopefully by Saturday.
Yes, I think the Shroud of Turin is a 14th century forgery. What’s more, it was NOT intended to represent a burial shroud, contrary to the view of those who promote the Shroud’s authenticity, and who seek an explanation in terms of resurrection (flashes of radiation etc).   I believe the Shroud was an attempt to produce a whole body version of the then celebrated ‘Veil of Veronica’. As such it merely attempted to simulate the imprint that might have been left on linen by the newly crucified Jesus immediately after removal from the cross. Just as the Veil of Veronica was supposed to represent the imprint left on a small piece of cloth  by the face of Jesus on his way to the cross, the so-called Shroud of Turin was intended to represent the imprint left by the entire body in sweat and blood on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen on its way from cross to tomb. Referring to the linen as a “burial” shroud has been a great distraction in my view from the reality of what the linen was intended to represent, one that has allowed all kinds of wild speculation about the  image capturing energy-release at the the moment of resurrection.
Note how difficult it is to get across my ideas in a few simple words. Fine but vitally important  distinctions have to be be made.
Thank you for your interest.
More later.
Cheers (etc)
Second reply (Aug 4, 2017):
Hello again (X)
Here are a few extra notes I did early this morning, before your second email arrived, which I trust answers at least some of your additional questions. (Let me know if you need specific detail, though I’ll be out most of the day). I’ve also attached a photo (as requested) taken just 30 minutes ago!
The 4 main Shroud ‘narratives’
1. By far and away the most dominant narrative among those who promote authenticity is what might be called ‘resurrectional incandescence’ i.e. a blinding supernatural flash of radiation, or subatomic particles, or corona discharge etc etc. Regardless of which type, it’s accompanied needless to say by  ‘photographic’  imaging  (‘scorching’) of the incandescent body onto the cellulose of linen, the chromophore generally being assumed – wrongly in my view- to be  chemically modified cellulose.
2. Still pro-authenticity, but a poor relation, is Raymond Rogers’ so-called naturalistic aka diffusion model, one that could be described as post mortem decompositional imaging, either in direct contact or at a distance ( volatile amines from the cadaver interact with linen, starch-coated in Rogers’ model according to 1st century practice,  either again to deposit an image.  The chromophore is the Rogers’ model  (and my own Model 10!) are melanoidins, formed by Maillard reactions between amino groups and reducing sugars.
3. While both the above allow for some imprinting by direct contact, as indicated, they also invoke imprinting across air gaps.
There is a third narrative, one that is dismissed out of  hand by hardline pro-authenticity folk, namely imprinting by direct contact only. it comes in two variants – 1st century pro-authenticty versus 14th century ‘forgery’ (or as I prefer to say, modelling or simulation). .
The first imagines that the crucified Jesus left a whole imprint in real sweat  and blood on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ en route between cross and tomb.  It is essentially a post-mortem version of the Veil of Veronica, much celebrated and viewed at Avignon etc in the mid-14th century. One sees evidence in 16th century literature of Shroud custodians and viewers having adopted this interpretation of the faint body image  as a sweat imprint  (yellowed by centuries of ageing) to which modern-day sindonology displays a curious  blind spot despite my efforts to bring it centre-stage).
The second considers the Shroud to be a 14th  century simulation/modelling  of such a sweat/blood imprint. Was real sweat /blood used? Unlikely I consider in the case of sweat, or even artificial sweat-  if LIQUID.  Why? Liquids smudge – do not produce sharp well-defined images.  Luigi Garlaschelli used solid powder frottage, proposing that acid impurities in the original frottage media chemically etched/discolored the linen.  But I ruled out acid in one of my earlier pre-Model 10  ideas, and finally, in Model 10, proposed a different powdered SOLID – namely white wheaten flour – as imprinting medium, in conjunction with WET linen, pressed onto flour-dusted naked male volunteers.  (Yes two of them lying head to head, one face up other face down), though a  bas relief probably substituted for the ‘difficult’  face, as also suggested by LuigiG.  The flour-imprinted linen was then exposed to radiant heat from a bed of glowing charcoal embers.  Infrared rays absorbed by slightly coloured constituents of flour, e.g. flavins, bran particles etc , but mainly reflected by white linen,  produced highly localised heating with formation of yellow /brown melanoidins (same chromophore note as Rogers’ model).
My developed flour imprints match most, possibly all the so-called enigmatic properties  of the Shroud body image –  negative image and 3D response in ImageJ in particular.  Those two have been hugely over-hyped in my view…  A full list is available if desired…
Shroud blood (or should that be ‘blood?’) ?  Not my speciality,  but it can be worked into the model using either real blood,  OR a non-clotting blood substitute e.g. digesta from medicinal leeches, OR artificial blood OR mixtures, with or without subsequent touching-up.
Cheers (etc)
Now that’s in the public domain (i.e. NOT entirely wasted effort from 4 months ago!) I can return to the chemistry, the ever-tricky chemistry, with a brief discussion on the difference between browning of baked products via Maillard reactions versus browning via caramelization. Fasten your seat belts…
Better still, prepare yourselves for what is to follow by taking a look at this link, from which I’ll be quoting copiously.
Google search (shroud of turin): here’s what the searcher sees at the top of Page 2 listings:

Turin Shroud: the latest evidence will challenge the sceptics … › Comment & Blogs

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

“Sceptics”? What a ludicrous, self-serving term, making it seems as if authenticity was the default position! It’s the pro-authenticity position that flies in the face of the facts (which in the case of its much maligned radiocarbon dating may be disputed facts, but are still facts unless or until proved to be wrong).
But what should replace it? How about ‘scientists’ ?
Corrected headline:
Scientists may dismiss the Turin Shroud, but there is good (?) evidence the relic (?) is authentic. 
Returning to the chemistry:
As for that potential chemical quagmire as regards Maillard ve caramelization browning: I’ve decided not to pursue it at the moment (so Model 10 is safe, at least for now).
Suffice it to say that the TS body image could be either a Maillard or caramelization product, the latter making it easier to explain the absence of excess nitrogen in TS image fibres. One could try modelling caramelization chemistry, e.g. substituting, say, fructose-rich honey for white flour, with a view to obtaining yellowing or browning of the imprint at a lower temperature.  But a lot of the advantages of the solid imprinting medium would then be lost, like the vertical directionality introduced by sprinkling flour from above the subject.
For an alternative view on that image polarity (“up and down”, but not sideways) see the abstract of this recent (2016) paper by nuclear engineer Bob Rucker with its reference to “vertically collimated radiation”. Believe that, and you’ll believe anything…
Comments (or questions) from journalists welcome. Oh, and scientists too (real scientists that is,  if willing to be brief). Poseurs with their set-in-stone dogma and/or pseudoscience are requested to stay away.
End of posting.
Postscript: added Dec 16
Might this fuming liquid element be the means of determining the chemical composition of the Shroud body image?
See  my own comment attached to this posting. See next posting for details of this likely ‘magic bullet’!
Dec 21, 2017
Summary of this Shroud investigator’s postings on 3 sites these last 6 years:
1. Science Buzz site, 30 Dec 2011- 11 Feb 2017, 95 Shroud-focused postings (plus many more science-related topics)
2. This site, 12 Feb 2012 – present, 243 postings
3. Strawshredder site, 15 March 2012- 11 Oct 2016, 12 postings
Total number of Shroud-related postings to date: 350
I also have a separate specialist site, currently dormant, devoted to two other enduring mysteries, easily accessible – a mere two hour drive from home – namely Stonehenge and Silbury Hill.
Jan 2, 2018
Late curiosity,  stumbled upon from performing a “what’s new?” Google search under (shroud of turin), “last 24 hrs” time filter:
google shroud of turin past week jan 2 18
jackson pilgrimage.png
Did you know, dear journalist,  that the 1978 STURP  investigation under John Jackson had done the first radiocarbon dating?  Nope, nor did  I…
How could such an error have been allowed to creep into his official online 2018  Croatia/Bosnia & Herzegovina/Italy pilgrimage announcement?
Posted in Shroud of Turin, shroud of turin,, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hello all you media reporters, whether mainstream (MSM), minor tributary (MTM) or obscure backwater media (OBWM). Isn’t it time you released some air from the tyres of that truth-bending Shroud of Turin juggernaut?

Site under reconstruction (new title, new tagline, new target readership etc.) See yesterday’s late intro to my previous posting.

Incidentally, that’s a hand, MY hand, in the new header image.  It was simply wetted with tap water, pressed onto dark fabric  – an old pair of jeans – and the imprint then digitally enhanced, first with 3D-rendering (ImageJ) software, then tone-reversed (‘negative’ to pseudo-positive) before and after further 3D. Do the resulting images put you in mind of anything, dear journalist or other internet-surfing media reporter? Like, you know, that Shroud of Turin with its, er, ‘unique, encoded 3D properties’? There’s more where that came from, much more, accumulated by this retired biomed scientist over the course of some 6 years of hands-on (literally) modelling of the Shroud body image (the one we’re told can and never will be reproduced by human hand!). Maybe I should send skin samples from my hand to a DNA-fingerprinting laboratory – just to be sure it’s human!

It’s said a picture is worth a thousand words. So here’s something to be getting on with for now – a piccy that merely adds graphical impact to the title  (IMPACT, careless or otherwise,  being the operative word).

complete juggernaut

More to follow shortly – like a list of 20 home truths about the Shroud of Turin, most carrying multiple dents from previous encounters with ‘sindonology’ (mainly but not exclusively the authenticity-promoting variety).

For better or for worse, the 20 points will all be heavily annotated, hopefully building to a useful resource if you’re a pressed-for-time Major Player –  or even minor cog – serving the needs of the ever-curious – though dare one say all-too-easily misled –  mass media readership.

Watch this space – more to follow, later today.

First I have to get my over-70s shingles jab (fortunately still free on the UK NHS – but for how much longer remains to be seen, the entire team of GPs having taken early retirement from my local surgery, now being run entirely by locums). 

It’s  still Thur Nov 16, now 13:00 hours. Let’s get started on those over-hyped details regarding the Shroud that continue to be uncritically trumpeted  to this day.

Mythology reference 1 (primarily as stated, for journalists and other media folk)

What could be more outrageous, more pseudoscientific than the one that says the body image on the linen shows “unique encoded 3D properties”.

Er, no, it doesn’t, as will shortly be demonstrated.

A degree of over-enthusiasm from STURP’s John Jackson on first laying eyes on the Shroud’s 3D-rendered image, as described in John Heller’s 1983 book (arguably the archetypal curate’s egg – “good in parts”) was perhaps understandable: here is the key passage – blue font –  from pages 39/40 (my italics)

They  (John Jackson and Bill Mottern) placed the Shroud photo in the VP-8  (first generation 70s era 3D-rendering software) ) and twiddled the dials, focus and rotation.

Suddenly both men saw, swimming up from the electronic fog of the screen, a perfect (sic) three-dimensional image of a scourged, crucified man.
Impossible! Ridiculous! Outrageous! Yes. It was there. The two scientists just stared. The positive photograph of the man in the Shroud had the appearance of a two dimensional face. The VP-8’s three dimensional image was as stunningly different from the photograph as a statue is from a painting. The long hair, full beard and mustache, the serenity on the face of a badly battered, crucified man, came alive, giving Jackson and Mottern the eerie impression that they were gazing at an actual face of a man, not at a painting or a sculpture.

Finally, Jackson took a deep breath. “Bill,” he said, “do you realize that we may be the first people in two thousand years to know exactly how Christ looked in the tomb (sic, i.e. “tomb”, it being assumed that the linen was a “burial” shroud.  But what if the image had been captured en route to the tomb, i.e. as a sweat/blood imprint onto a TRANSPORT, not burial shroud, or was merely an ingenious simulation of that ‘instant’ image-capture during transport, while sweat and blood were still reasonably moist, not drying or dried out as they would be a day later?) ?”


Yes, that adjectival designation (“burial”) for the Shroud could be said to lie at the root of much confusion, tunnel vision, agenda-driven speculation (notably “resurrectional incandescence), all trotted out so casually and uncritically by the Turin custodians, by the Vatican owners, and (unforgivably) by scientists (real or self-styled).

One cannot claim the linen to be a “burial shroud”, real or even simulated, unless one can definitely exclude a more limited role as “transport shroud” – with all the implications that makes for mechanism of image capture. More on that later (with reference to the 4 Gospel accounts!).

But first, let’s dispense with that claim that the Shroud image has UNIQUE 3D properties.

More than half a century ago, I recall a University lecturer stating (more or less accurately) that the typical biochemical experiment involved 10 bits of laboratory glassware  – 1 for the test, 9 for the controls –  designed to rule out possible causative factors other than the one primarily under study.

That sums up the fatal  lapse of experimental technique that accompanied the Jackson/Mottern test – they failed to follow up with proper controls!

Microsoft Paint wasn’t around in 1977. But a hand drawn or painted substitute was possible – to incorporate one or more internal controls -like 2D images that had  NO three-dimensional history and  and to see how they responded to the 3D-rendering software compared with that of the Shroud image.  It’s called boring, tedious scientific spadework – the reason why truly science-based  projects rarely generate instant results that can be taken immediately at face-value.

Can you guess where this is leading? Yes, I’ve used MS Paint to do that, i.e. to incorporate internal 2D controls some 40 years after they should have been done, and probably would have, but for clouded or starry-eyed vision on the part of those – John Jackson’s especially – more preoccupied with advancing and promoting their religious beliefs  than with the pursuit of cold, dispassionate, hard-headed science.

So here we are – the 3 piccies that should hopefully bury once and for all those allegedly  “unique 3D properties” of the Turin Shroud.

2. as is enrie neg vertica with white additions from MS Paint

Fig. 2:  The 1931 Enrie B/W photo of the Shroud (face only), tone-reversed to render more life-like, with some added 2D graphics on the right, generated with MS Paint


3. enrie neg as is 3D default z

Fig.3:  The same as Fig 2 above, after 3D-rendering with  Image J software, which merely elevates brightness onto an imaginary vertical z coordinate. The virtual elevation is in strict proportion to intensity of brightness, with added lateral ‘lighting’ to improve the apparent ‘3D-ness’.  Note the relatively minor 3D response of the Shroud image, compared with the equally if not better response from the  added white 2D images. Might additional ‘z scale promotion’ work better – the latter being kept at the minimum default setting (0.1)?


4. enrie as is 3d zscale now 0.3

Fig.4: the virtual elevation has now been increased (from minimum default setting of 0.1 to 0.3). There’s been a big response from those added 2D shapes on the right, such that their original shapes are no longer apparent, but scarcely any improvement if any in the weak response from the  Shroud image . The so-called “unique 3D properties” of the Shroud body image are a complete myth, while still cited to this day as evidence of an ‘encoded’ supernatural origin.


Mythology reference 2 (primarily as stated, for journalists and other media folk)

A simple acronym serves to sum of what follows under this heading: TINA!

TINA = There Is No Alternative.

Time and time again, that strand of thinking within sindonology  (one which Dan Porter memorably summarized recently as  the ‘snap, crackle and pop’  narrative)  states There Is No Alternative to supernaturally corpse-emitted radiation as the mechanism of body imaging.

It’s a pseudoscientific  notion, needless to say, lacking any known precedents, indeed any known theoretical framework, one that I personally have previously dubbed “resurrectional incandescence”.

Christmas pantomimes in the UK  have the correct response to sindonology’s TINA – a collective, roof-raising “Oh yes there is!” from the audience.

Tomorrow evening I’ll try to set out concisely the reasons why TINA is a totally-uncalled for “solution” to the TS mystery. It’s one that has ignored an alternative that has been in the literature (albeit Dan Porter’s now retired blogsite, reporting on my own thinking from summer 2015 and indeed making its first appearance much earlier).  It’s the scenario that sees the TS body image as a SIMULATED sweat/blood imprint of 14th century provenance, inspired by a much celebrated predecessor, now long gone.

And what you may ask was that, dear journalist? Answer: the Veil of Veronica.

Here’s a key passage.

 During the fourteenth century it became a central icon in the  Western Church; in the words of art historian Neil MacGregor: “From [the 14th Century] on, wherever the  Roman Church  went, the Veronica would go with it.”

TINA? Reminder: the first appearance of the Turin Shroud, and indeed that of the iconic two-fold body image on a pilgrim’s badge, was in Lirey, near Troyes, France in the mid-14th century, corresponding approximately with the mid-point of the radiocarbon dating. No, not in an artist’s studio, as some misguided folk would have us believe, but the humble private chapel of one the King’s closest confidants, founder member of the Order of the Star, curiously staffed with  some half a dozen or so clerics,  namely the celebrated warrior knight, Geoffroy de Charny …

More to follow tomorrow.

Friday Nov 17

Francisco_de_Zurbarán_011 V of V from wiki


Above is a 17th century artist’s representation of the Veil of Veronica (the latter supposedly an imprint of the face of Jesus captured on the good lady’s proferred ‘face cloth’ as he passed by, bearing his cross on the way to the crucifixion site. (No, the story has no biblical legitimacy, but that’s neither here nor there for present purposes).

I could have chosen any number of artistic representations – i.e. not the real thing – or, at any rate, claimed thing – simply from the wiki entry alone. The one you see was selected for being closest to the TS image (monochrome) and arguably least like a conventional portrait, where the artist has at least made a token effort to show how a sweat imprint might look long after the event, maybe with some, er,  you know, supernatural enhancement.

So there’s some faint similarity, is there not,  between the image above and the Turin Shroud image, whether or not the latter is the work of a freehand artists, as some maintain, or is a simulated sweat imprint, as I maintain (and stand to be corrected)? But one would not expect that image above to respond anything like as well as the TS image in 3D-rendering software, no matter how produced, right? In the pro-authenticity view, there’s no supernaturally-generated “encoded” 3D properties. In the non-  or anti-authenticity view it’s not an imprint, or even a terribly good representation of an imprint, least of all a tone-reversed negative imprint, as per TS.

Now look at how it does respond in ImageJ 3D-rendering software.

v of v after 3D


Not bad eh?

Here’s a cropped close-up of the 3D-rendered face:

v of v after 3D cropped


And here’s the initial 2D face, from that 17th century oil painting compared with the same after  3D-rendering and a little adjustment of brightness and contrast to make both more easily visible:

vov before v after 3D enhancement then adg brightness contrast etc in MS O PM


As I say, the claim that the TS image has “unique encoded 3D properties” is simply impossible to sustain when simple paintings alone – never mind body imprints – respond as well if not better to the software.

Why did I choose an image of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” to reinforce the point?  Answer: because that image almost certainly was the inspiration for the creation and display in 14th century France of the Shroud, the two being conceptually the same – sweat imprints in the first instance, the Veil being supposedly captured pre-mortem, the Shroud post-mortem.

More to follow tomorrow, with the focus on why the Shroud should indeed be seen as a simulated sweat (and blood) imprint, supposedly captured on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ shortly after the body was taken down from the cross – and indeed probably explained to those awe-struck pilgrims  travelling from afar as having occurred en route from cross to rock tomb in the nearby garden.

Any reference to ‘resurrectional incandescence’ as producing the image? No, almost certainly not. Medieval pilgrims can be credited with having their much travelled feet planted firmly on the ground, unlike  I have to say the fringe element of today’s agenda-driven sindonologists, pushing their sensationalist version of events, closing their ears and eyes to any suggestion of a simulated sweat imprint…

Mythology reference 3, primarily for journalists: eye-witness reports of the iconic Shroud image were around  way before the radiocarbon dating (1260-1390).

Really? So what are the key characteristics of what we now call the Turin Shroud, either visually, verbally or both, that might be considered to constitute a definite sighting?

Let’s consider the visual criteria first. There can be little doubt that the TS image is both unique and arguably iconic?  Why?

Show a child a photograph of what in the 14th century was described perhaps a little ambiguously as the ‘two-fold’ body image. Then give it a pencil and sheet of paper, and ask it to draw the simplest possible matchstick figure, such that most well-informed adults would immediately recognize what was represented, albeit in highly attenuated form.

How might the diagram look?

Hopefully, something like this, maybe a little better, maybe a little worse…

dual frontal v dorsal fold-over image matchstick

That’s just 2 ovals, 14 straight lines, a dash and a couple of dots, and most of that is duplication!

Then, if it’s a smart child, ask him or her  to add a single extra line to give a clue as to how the ‘two-fold’ image was formed if present on a single surface, e.g. a sheet of white linen.

If you’re lucky,  or patient, or offer a sizeable reward, you might get this:

dual frontal v dorsal fold-over image matchstick with centre fold

Thus the ambiguity as regards that early description (“two-fold”). The image is the consequence of one-fold (about which more shortly regarding mechanism of image production).

So what’s the earliest appearance in recorded history of the image you see above?  Pre-14th century? Pre- radiocarbon 1260-1390, i.e. 13th or 14th century?

If anyone knows of such an image, essentially simple but uniquely memorable, then let’s be hearing via a comment to this site, educating both myself and the journalistic community.

Where do I think that image first appeared? Answer: on the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, circa 1355 according to written testimony (the famous/infamous Bishop Pierre d’Arcis memorandum, penned to the Pope in 1389).


lirey-badge-v-forgeais-drawing rotated

Top: only known specimen of  the 1355 Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, aka Cluny Museum medallion, recovered from R.Seine, Paris in 1855. Underneath is the contemporary drawing made by its ‘rescuer’ Arthur Fourgeais, some 10 years later.


Yes, 1355, which is just 30 years different from the mid-point of the radiocarbon date.

Even the Shroudie polymath Dan Porter was taken aback some 2 years ago when I pointed out that the earliest known appearance of the iconic Shroud image in recorded history was as recent as 1355, consistent with the radiocarbon dating!

Why Didn’t I Think of That

In passing, see this lawyerly critique of the d’Arcis memorandum, the polemics and imbalance of which, sadly typical of pro-authenticity sindonology,  we may or may not  return to later.

Tomorrow (Nov 19): there will be a brief appraisal of Ian Wilson’s attempt to fill a  1300 year void in the history of an allegedly 1st century Shroud with the idea that the face only was on public display (as the ‘Image of Edessa’), the rest deemed unsuitable for public view and thus kept  neatly folded and out of sight, all 4.5 sq metres approx.

In passing, see wiki link to Ian Wilson.  Non- , correction,  anti- authenticity ‘experts’ are just as prone to outbursts of stinging rebuke as the true-believer variety. I personally try to steer clear of both. You  journalists would be well-advised to do the same, unless wishing to waste life’s precious gift of sense-making consciousness immersed in ill-informed triviality and backbiting.

See Dan Porter’s account of this investigator’s own unsatisfactory experience with the ‘we know better than you’ faceless editors of wikipedia

There will then be an attempt to summarise as briefly as possible the characteristics of that ‘matchstick man’ double image that you dedicated minority of  fact-seeking journalists  who are reading this see above, and how it might have been formed by applying commonsense principles.

Will it be possible to quickly dispense, as does the ‘resurrectional incandescence’ school of sindonology,  with the tiresome and, needless to say, entirely mistaken concept that the TS body image is/was the product of  straightforward, no nonsense contact-imprinting,  easily modelled by pressing a wet hand onto an old pair of jeans – as per my new header image aka blog banner – whether 1st or 14th century?

In passing, this posting appeared just 4 days ago from one “Dr.Kenneth Stevenson” who says he was a member of the 1978 STURP team of investigative scientists.

The name being unfamiliar, I checked it out against the list of STURP personnel. Kenneth Stevenson is indeed listed, against the title: Public Relations. Scientific input? Who knows? Maybe Dr.Kenneth Stevenson can illuminate…

He’s certainly good, maybe a tad too good, on the ‘public relations’, working as a lot of PR folk do on the ‘need to know’ principle, and indeed, ‘don’t need to know’. That kinda sums up a lot of sindonology of the agenda-driven pro-authenticity variety – tell folk what they need to know – while remaining quiet about the trifling details…

See this review of a paperback book, co-authored by the same Kenneth Stevenson. It’ s a priceless example of how pro-authenticity sindonology manages to keep the show on the road, year after year, decade after decade! Nothing is incontestable in the world of PAS. That’s providing  you’re willing to exercise (and proselytize) a little imagination- like Jesus’s  shroud- retrieving disciples issuing a directive to keep the ‘impure’ Shroud a secret, under wraps, for 1300 years.

Yes, I read you!

Sunday November 19

Mythology reference 4: “Put  any notion of  the TS body image being simply an IMPRINT left by physical contact between a body and linen right out of your head. It’s something else – a miraculous photograph (pro-authenticity) or ‘just a painting’.

Yes, the time has now to stop pussyfooting round that elephant in the room, and confront it fair and square, in depth and in detail. I refer to the axiom that the Shroud body image is and cannot be an imprint,  formed by contact between a body and linen, regardless of imprinting medium – natural or otherwise – but something else – “just a painting” or a miraculous photograph captured with the help of ‘resurrectional incandescence”.

Not a contact imprint? Some writers,  naming no names,  can’t even bring themselves to use the term “imprint”,  or even allude to it vaguely, using  the “image” throughout before delivering their Olympean judgement on the mechanism of image capture (and of course authenticity) by some means other than imprinting by contact.

Now that blind spot, nay entire blanking out from the entire visual field (think tunnel vision) is truly extraordinary, on at least  three five entirely different grounds which we’ll briefly examine:

  1. The geometrical configuration of the TS  two-sided body image, as shown in those matchstick figures above, especially the second with that presumed centre-fold.
  2. Gaps in the body image that scream “imprint”, not painting
  3. The negative (tone-reversed) image.
  4. The evidence that the body image’s yellow chromophore is organic in nature (i.e. carbon-based), and cannot therefore be any kind of  artist’s inorganic paint pigment (e.g. McCrone’s iron oxide)
  5. The bloodstains, which many, perhaps most,  assume not unreasonably to represent real blood, or a reasonable simulation thereof, NOT just any old artist’s paint pigments straight out the pot.
  6.  (There may be others I’ve forgotten – if so I’ll add to this list later).

So let’s expand a little on each of the  3 5 points listed thus far. (I’ll try to be brief since there’s lots more that needs to be said re the practical pros and cons of imprinting once one has dispensed with those (for the most part) agenda-driven attempts to rule imprinting out of contention).

  1. The geometry (see earlier matchstick figures): the apposition of two life size images, one frontal the other dorsal suggests a simultaneous image capture onto linen that has been folded over and around the head. That suggests imprinting, not freehand painting, unless the latter were intended to mimic the appearance of an imprint. Either way, the key word, the key concept is IMPRINTING by contact.
  2.  ‘Missing bits’. Here’s a representation of the Shroud from MDCVIII (1608). First the complete image:

IMG_0907 cropped

Then a close-up of those blank areas around crossed hands (yes, the image is not an accurate portrayal of the TS), between arms and torso, under chin:

IMG_0909 close up of blank areas

Why did the artist leave those areas blank? Answer: the artist wanted you the viewer to be left in no doubt whatsoever that the body image was an IMPRINT, that being reinforced in other ways – the incomplete imaging  of the legs, the monochrome image. Despite the copy having been painted, not re-imprinted by a painter, the artist was going out of his way to say IMPRINT, not painting, even to the extent of exaggerating the extent of the imprint-like nature of the real TS body image, especially around those hands.

3. Note too the negative, i.e. tone-reversed nature of the TS image, faithfully conveyed in the above painting, notably by the eye hollows being LIGHTER in tone than surrounding skin, the latter shown uniformly dark. Negative images were recognized for what they are long before 19th century photography, long before Secondo Pia’s celebrated tone reversal of the TS image in 1898. Think branding of livestock with a hot iron, think brass-rubbings, think muddy footprints on a white tiled floor etc etc. The medievals would not have described the TS  body image as a negative image. They would simply have described it as an IMPRINT, one where prominent features only are imaged, where recessed features get missed out! Folk would have understood exactly what was meant.

4.  Body image organic (carbon-based) , NOT an artist’s paint pigment.  STURP’s John Heller MD (trained as medic and later became research laboratory-based biophysicist) wrote a book in 1983 entitled “Report on the Shroud of Turin”. Towards the end of the book (Page 199) he penned the following words, which this investigator regards not only as the most important finding on his and colleague Alan Adler’s part, but the most important finding of the entire STURP project, at least as regards the ‘enigmatic’ body image.

“If the straw- yellow of the images was the result of oxidation, we thought, we should be able the process with reductants. We had used ascorbate but had seen no change. Perhaps it was not a strong enough reducing agent, so we decided to use diimide, which is a potent one. If that did not show any change, we could forget about oxidation. A droplet of diimide was added to a strw-yellow fibril and instantly became white. At last, after two years of puzzling about the yellow, we had a positive test!”

He could have shot Walter McCrone down in flames with that single finding. Instead it’s relegated almost to a footnote in his book!
Why is it so important? Because diimide (HN=NH) is not just a powerful reducing agent (indeed, it’s arguably not powerful as reducing agents go). What makes diimide different from other reducing agents is the specific targeting of -C=C- double bonds. Not only does that explain the bleaching action, if it’s assumed that the yellow colour of the chromophore is due to -C=C- double bonds, as is generally the case with organic compounds (that’s ‘conjugated’ double bonds, not isolated ones, I’ll spare you the details dear journalist). It essentially rules out McCrone’s and others’ ideas that the TS body image was created with artists’ mineral pigments. Why? Because the latter are inorganic (non-carbon-based) so lacking as they do those crucial C=C double bonds they would not be in the least bit affected, far less bleached, by Heller and Adler’s diimide reagent.
So, a major plank of the ‘just a painting’ dismissal of the TS was knocked away by the diimide finding. Why didn’t Heller and Adler deploy it against McCrone? One can only speculate, but it’s not too late to deploy their finding. Better late than never (late by some 35 years or so!).
In fact this investigator deployed it back in Feb this year on another site (under a MeccanoMan pseudonym) only to be told by an employee of the surviving McCrone Foundation that he was “clinging to the diimide result like a drowning man” (typical debating style for that opponent-demeaning internet site which this MeccanoMan has since abandoned ).

Correction – it’s a rare instance of one of those game-changing ‘ugly facts’ that destroy beautiful hypotheses (beautiful in the eyes of their beholders, that is).

5. The blood – hardly stylized, as if merely painted on – but intended to look like real blood – as if shed from real wounds.

There’s a lot one might or could say about the character of the bloodstains, real or simulated, on the Shroud, which some might consider look too realistic to have come from an artist’s brush. Indeed, the ‘blood-before-body-image’ order of arrival onto the linen, suggested by Adler and Heller’s findings with protein-digesting enzyme (having found no body image under digested-away bloodstains) are at least preliminary evidence that an artist could not merely have generated the body image and then simply added blood  at leisure “in all the right places”. (There is an alternative procedure that can be accommodated within an imprinting scenario, one where a human subject/volunteer is coated with imprinting medium, and the blood then dribbled onto the coating: then and only then the linen was draped over and pressed down, such that the last addition – blood- was the first to imprint onto the linen. More on that later.)

There are too many ifs and buts if one focuses on the appearance and physical character of the bloodstains generally. But that is not necessary. There are two particular bloodstains that virtually prove that the blood was not simply painted onto the body by an artist, using linen (as has been claimed) merely as a substitute for artist’s canvas.

Here’s a whole body photograph of the TS (Shroud Scope, added contrast) with two particular blood stains circled in yellow. Note in both instances they are off-body image

offbody blood stains2 -7,100 yellow circles on two key locations

Here they are in close-up. First the one off the left elbow, frontal image, onto otherwise blank image/blood-free linen:

elbow blood enlarged -7,100 with yellow circle round blood

And here’s the second, off the left foot, dorsal image, onto otherwise blank  image/blood-free linen:

foot blood escape a-7,100 yellow circle

No artist using linen as “canvas” would show any feature of his subject, other than background, as ‘floating in mid air’. No, the linen is an intrinsic part of the image, being the receiving surface for the image, not merely a blank canvas. In other words, the body image plus blood is not intended to be seen as painted onto the linen, but something acquired accidentally and fortuitously by the linen. How? Not by artistic means, but by actual physical imprinting, where some of the blood, not a lot admittedly but SOME, has escaped onto the surrounding linen, the latter NOT to be mistaken as a mere artist’s canvas.

That’s 5 points no less that essentially underpin the conclusion that the image we see on the Shroud, body as well as blood, is – or was intended to be seen by its medieval designer(s) as – an IMPRINT, not a mere painting.

The Lirey Pilgrim’s badge can be seen as an attempt on the part of Geoffroy de Charny and/or his widow to reinforce that notion – IMPRINT not painting.  The Shroud  was to be viewed as holy relic, the genuine article, less probably a re-invented icon. It was for occasional and reverential public display,  not merely a liturgical prop for Easter ceremonies,  far less a picture for year-round hanging on the wall …

That’s enough for one day: more to follow tomorrow….

Monday November 20

Right, we’ve dealt with that elephant with its intrusion into domestic floorspace. There are still mountains to climb, Gordian knots to be cut and circles to be squared. Before doing so, let’s grasp a particular nettle. It’s to do with the face of the Man on the Turin Shroud, and whether it in particular was the result of contact imprinting, and if so from what. In fact the problem is not so much the face: it’s mainly one part of the face, namely that prominent angular protuberance with which we are all born – the nose!

It’s been recognized for some time, starting with Luigi Garlaschelli’s modelling of the Shroud with what he called his “powder frottage” technique that the nose was flagged up as problematical. Initially this investigator was inclined to agree with his somewhat defeatist conclusion that an inanimate bas relief, made from clay, wood, metal, whatever,  must have been substituted for a real face. I’m no longer quite so sure that was the solution to the problem of the nose, if indeed there is a problem, for reasons that will now be briefly summarised.

Why the rowing back on the pessimism? It’s the result of taking a closer look at the TS face again in 3D-imaging software AND it’s also the result of looking again at some of my own modelling of a face (my own) from way back in May 2015, where I now realize the results were maybe not quite so bad and cause for pessimism as I had first imagined.

First, we need to give today’s section a red subtitle:

Mythology reference 5:  contact imprinting can be ruled out as the imaging mechanism – the face is impossible to imprint without gross distortion due to creasing of cloth around nose etc

Here for starters is an imprint of my face, published here on this site, back in 2015.

new 3D highly cropped

The imprinting medium was slightly more sophisticated than the plain water used for my hand in my blog banner – it was a flour/water paste. Apart from that – nothing – no further colour development. Just photography and digital manipulation of contrast!

It was the distorted nose more than anything that counselled “back to the drawing board”, though interestingly no serious creasing.  But at roughly the same time I published another image – a 3D rendering of the face on the TS. It was ostensibly to do with imaging of the eyes, which look a lot more prominent if the virtual lighting in the ImageJ software is adjusted to come from above than from the side.


But on looking at Dan Porter’s coverage of that image, and the comments it elicited, I have just spotted this one which anticipated the observation that I made just a few days ago – the strange and unrealistic appearance of the nose!

Hugh Farey: Is there a rhinologist among our readers who could explain how the nose in the image appears to have shrunk so completely into the cheeks so as not to protrude in any way from the upper plane of the face?

That was my thought as well, albeit just a few days ago, when deciding to take a low glancing-angle view of the nose in ImageJ 3D-rendering software, so as to better appreciate the height of the nose:

enrie autocorr, 3D, z=0.18, enhanced W10

Yes, indeed – there’s scarcely any nose worth speaking of, and what’s there seems distorted. What’s more, on putting (shroud of turin nose 3D) into my search engine, I find I’m not the only one who thinks the nose worthy of comment:

Here’s what the returns say:

bent nose… “; “bruised face, broken nose…”; “nose is twisted…”; “nose is swollen, displaced…”; “misaligned broken nose…”; “nose is swollen or broken…”; “the bridge of the nose is crooked…” etc etc. A common message would seem to be emerging there, would you not agree dear journalist? The nose is damaged!  However, what none of them seems to say – unlike Hugh Farey – is that the nose is FLATTENED!

Which raises the question: might it be possible to obtain a contact imprint from a real face, with a real pointy nose, with a proviso – there would be appreciable ‘distortion’  of the nose especially, and maybe other prominences too (cheeks etc).  But that distortion (flattening, slight bending)  would not have become immediately apparent until 3D-rendering software arrived in the late 20th century, especially if dealing with that somewhat off-putting negative (tone-reversed)  image!

The nose region is important in another regard. It’s been cited more than once as a reason why the face of the Man on the TS (indeed entire body) couldn’t possibly have been imaged by anything so crude as imprinting-by-contact.  Here’s just one example, plucked from internet archives, from arch-authenticist  Giulio Fanti (Professor of Mechanical Engineering):

My red bolding:

Hypothesis of radiation

Many scientists have formulated various hypotheses of
radiation to explain the TS image, because there are
some areas, like those between the cheeks and nose,
where a body/cloth contact cannot be explained and
because other hypotheses cannot explain many of the
features of the TS like the circumferential coloration of
the TS image fibers that are posed adjacently to non
image fibers.


So, on reflection, there’s a possible solution (though it will need to be modelled before I propose it formally).  A real face was used, but the ‘nose’ problem was recognized and needed a work-around. How?

The imprinting medium was applied as a thin band down the centre of the nose, with more at the bottom than the top.  The linen was then pressed down FORCIBLY onto the face, applying a lot of pressure to the tip of the nose. Result: a flat, narrow looking nose which owes some of its width to a flattening effect,  imprinting medium having been pushed sideways, with tell-tale distortion, especially towards the pointed end, but with minimal distortion or creasing on the rest of the face image, due to the nose having been partially flattened down to nasal bone level. Nasal cartridge however would have been somewhat displaced to one side, as seems to have happened when imprinting off my own face (above).

So the notion that there has been excessive imprinting off the sides of the nose is based, yet again, on interpreting the TS face (and body image generally) as if a photograph, failing to consider alternative imaging mechanisms, especially those that would be adopted by a medieval forger. It cannot be said too often that sindonology needs to put its house in order, and start to look at the body image, not just as a miraculous photograph, but as a possible, nay probable  ‘impactograph’, formed by a contact-only imprinting mechanism under applied manual pressure.

Do that, all you tunnel vision sindonologists, and a new question might then spring to mind: are the beard and moustache really facial hair? Or could they simply be regions of extra-efficient imprinting due to the resistance between pressed linen and  both the  teeth underneath the lips (“moustache”)  and bony chin prominence (“beard”) , resulting in greater transfer of imprinting medium from overlying skin to linen? In support of this somewhat iconoclastic hypothesis, note the apparent beard and moustache on my own imprint. I have neither – though there was an early-morning stubble that day prior to shaving that could have entrapped more of the imprinting medium than surrounding skin.


Tuesday November 21

Mythology reference 6 (this will be the last on the current posting, already overlong: the next will appear on a new posting):

The Shroud body image is a miraculous photograph, one whose enigmatic properties  will never be reproduced with modern technology.  But for autopsy purposes (deciding on cause of death etc) it can be interpreted as one would a modern day photograph of a dead body…

Yes, what we have come to now is the central  marriage of convenience between the supernatural and normalcy. One could do a lot worse than look at the testimony of the late Robert Bucklin MD for the seeming normalcy of the Shroud image.

screenshot robert bucklin silent witness

Robert Bucklin MD about to begin his ‘autopsy’ on the Man on the Turin Shroud, correction, on Enrie’s 1931 B/W photograph of a supposed ‘photograph’. Source: David Rolfe’s credulous “Silent Witness” documentary from 1977, which made a strong impact on the soon-to-be assembled STURP team, that much being clear from John Heller’s 1983 book (“Report on the Shroud of Turin”).

But beware: what’s really guiding the ‘coroner’ as he goes about his business – the body image (as one might imagine)? Or  merely the bloodstains, referred to as often or not as “wounds”? And if you the journalist begins to suspect that “wounds” is based mainly, perhaps entirely on bloodstains, with no useful input from the body image, then ask yourself this question: when did you last hear of an autopsy based entirely on imprinted bloodstains, with no actual body, and indeed not even a real photograph of the body?

Here’s just one paragraph from that Bucklin autopsy, performed on a B/W photograph of a faint centuries-old 2D negative imprint of unknown provenance, shown here verbatim and complete. It gives a flavour of the rest, which I don’t intend to cover in detail. I have highlighted two particular  words: “punctures” and “injury”.

It is the ultimate responsibility of the medical examiner to confirm by whatever means are available to him the identity of the deceased, as well as to determine the manner of this death. In the case of Man on the Shroud, the forensic pathologist will have information relative to the circumstances of death by crucifixion which he can support by his anatomic findings. He will be aware that the individual whose image is depicted on the cloth has undergone puncture injuries to his wrists and feet, puncture injuries to his head, multiple traumatic whip-like injuries to his back and postmortem puncture injury to his chest area which has released both blood and a water type of fluid. From this data, it is not an unreasonable conclusion for the forensic pathologist to determine that only one person historically has undergone this sequence of events. That person is Jesus Christ.

In more than 5 years of examining hundreds, perhaps thousands of Shroud Scope images, with or without additional contrast, with or without tone-inversion, with or without 3D-rendering, I have never, ever seen anything in the BODY IMAGE alone that can be confidently identified as  either a “puncture” or any other type of “injury”.  The evidence (or should one say inference of injury?) rests ENTIRELY on those patches of red that we provisionally describe as “blood”. Repeat: there is nothing in the body image alone to support the assumption by Bucklin – and indeed most if not all sindonology –   that the blood represents real WOUNDS. Yet the terms “blood” and “wounds” are used interchangeably. That, needless to say, is neither real science nor indeed real forensic pathology. It makes a mockery of both.

Sindonology would appear to have adopted a secret motto, one that sums up its pseudoscience – to say nothing of pseudoforensic pathology:

“I see what I want to see”.

I’ve been trying, so far without success, to recast that as posh upmarket  Latin. Google Translate gives:

“Video quid velis videre”.

The only trouble is that it back-translates  to “I see what YOU want to see”. The same happens when I enter my no doubt clunky French:

“Je vois ce que je veux voir”.

Is there a Latin scholar among the media folk hopefully reading this, or soon to do so,  who might be able to assist in providing an unequivocal motto?

Now signing off from this posting, first in the new format (targeted at journalists from whom comments are invited, either here online – see text entry box below – OR by email to sciencebod01 (at) aol (dot)com.

The next posting will start with Mythology reference 7 (“The Shroud body image is far too superficial to have been made by human hand, being confined to the outermost layer of the linen fibre, i.e. the primary cell wall).

Where’s the evidence? Hard evidence that is, as distinct from patchy impressionistic evidence? Why did STURP’s image fibres, harvested in 1978 with Mylar sticky tape, break away from the linen so easily if the coloration  – and presumed zone of chemical modification – was as superficial as claimed? Why does the zone of coloration extend round the entire circumference of the fibre if as superficial as claimed, while neighbouring fibres can remain uncoloured ?

Mobile chromophore?  More specifically, man-made mobile, intra-fibre chromophore?


Postscript: have been viewing the Shroud face under an increasing number of settings and pre-settings (contrast level etc) in 3D-rendering ImageJ software. There can be little doubt that the nose is impossibly flat for a real human nose (unless severely compressed, as from an inanimate bas relief template or possibly  a cooperative human volunteer, willing to have his nose squashed flat, less probably -though not impossibly – a  corpse).

That says the Shroud of Turin image is a forgery, almost certainly medieval, as per radiocarbon dating!


PPS: there’s a return visitor to the Comments  (previously banned from this site for reasons we don’t need to go into) pushing the Jackson line that imaging is not either/or (as in contact/no contact) but can operate across air gaps thanks to…  you guessed it :  miraculous 1st century photography, triggered  by a flash of resurrectional incandescence. 

This investigator has wasted years of his time, arguing against that ‘snap, crackle and pop’ model (thanks Dan Porter for the colourful terminology) and for what? To be treated by sindonology as a non-person, with no rebuttals, no response of any kind (post close-down of the Porter site), no links whatsoever back to this site.

So forgive me dear readers (hopefully journalists) if I ignore all further attempts to chip away at my ideas privately here on my own site, for no tangible end-result, except to facilitate someone else’s internet presence.  Yes, I can quickly shoot down that ‘fading off’ model,  and several others too, but not now, not unless a journalist with credible credentials  requires an immediate response, in which case  I’ll be only be too happy to oblige.

Wed November 12

Expect the second tranche of “mythologies for the dispensing thereof” to appear later today. It will begin with sindonology’s motto:

Video quid velo videre 

(I see what I want to see).

I acknowledge assistance from a commentator for help in getting the Latin right….





Posted in Shroud of Turin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pro-authenticity Shroud investigators should have considered the body image as a SIMULATED sweat imprint – before rushing to their pseudoscience (‘resurrectional incandescence’ etc).

Late addition (November 15): this site is now under reconstruction. As the new title indicates this site, started in early 2012 with over 400 postings now aims primarily to cater for journalists needing or wishing to separate fact from fantasy.

(My journalistic credentials? What, apart from being News Features editor of “Redbrick”, the  award-winning University of Birmingham tabloid newspaper back in the early 60s? As for the rest, please don’t ask…  😉 )

The present posting below is the last in the old investigative model-building format. Expect the first in my new polemical mode in the next day or two.

The new header image hopefully demythologizes the Shroud body image. Simply wet one’s hand, press it onto a dark fabric to get a negative (tone-reversed) image – a simple model of the Shroud body image (a yellowed image on lighter-coloured linen). That simplest of contact images responds well to 3D- rendering (ImageJ software).

Alternatively, one can digitally reverse the tones in the initial negative image to get a more life-like, correction –  deathly white Caucasian – representation of one’s hand, the resulting pseudo-positive image also responding to the 3D-rendering software.

No, that famously negative (tone reversed)  TS image does NOT have “unique” encoded 3D properties, a palpably untrue ‘mantra’  shoved repeatedly in our faces since the late 1970s. What’s more, its negative tone-reversed image is simply explained by it being a body IMPRINT, formed by a contact-only mechanism.

Here’s a preview of the graphic I’ve prepared to head up the first posting in polemical mode:

complete juggernaut


Earlier addition (October 20) : this is not the first posting on this site to have “simulated sweat imprint” in its title. I did an earlier one with those same three words in the title as long ago as November 2014 – nearly three years ago!

I referred to my posting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as representing something of a ‘paradigm shift’, not only for me personlly (having previously been hung up on the idea that the TS was a scorch imprint off a hot metal template – Model 2) but for sindonology too – having failed to find the concept of a simulated sweat imprint  i.e.of  medieval manufacture – anywhere in the literature.

Response: I was instantly criticized by one of sindonology’s elder statesmen for deploying that term ‘paradigm shift’, though reasons were not given.

However, give the ZERO RESPONSE from sindonology to the arrival of a brand new ‘take’, i.e. concept,  these last three years and indeed longer (starting early 2014 in fact) I now feel fully vindicated and justified in claiming to have introduced a ‘paradigm shift’.

It hardly speaks well of sindonology as a supposedly academic discipline, indeed a self-styled branch of ‘science’ if/when  it continues to ignore a significant new addition to the world of ideas. I’ve invited comments to this open-access site, one that typically gets 20-30 visits a day from all over the world. So far, there’s been one only. Hopefully there will be more in the coming days and weeks.  However, there seems little point in continuing to post new content unless or until sindonology wakes up to the presence of the ‘simulated sweat imprint’ concept, nay paradigm in its own back yard.

Rest assured I will continue to do hands-on research with a view to improving the performance of my current Model 10 (use of white flour imprinting medium to simulate an ancient, dried-on, yellowed sweat imprint), and plan new postings.  But the first priority is to elicit feedback, whether positive or negative. One cannot be expected to operate in a vacuum, especially if/when one suspects that the vacuum is no accident – that mainstream sindonology is deliberately pretending I do not exist.

End of  late ‘pre-script’.

Summary: STURP tested body image fibres from the Shroud of Turin for natural body biochemicals (see 1981 Summary) and failed to detect any. Yellowed body sweat was accordingly eliminated as the image chromophore, and said to be contraindicated on numerous other grounds e.g. lack of dried capillary fluids, no cementation of fibres, plus a barrage of highly dubious claims  against any kind of contact imprinting based on assumed air gaps between body and ‘loosely-draped linen’  (biblical authenticity being taken for granted), totally inaccurate claims re  the body image having “unique 3D properties” etc etc. The entire area of contact-imprinting was totally abandoned, starting in the 1980s, and the rush began towards imaging via radiation and other pseudo-science. More than 35 years later, sindonology still finds itself in the grip of ‘resurrectional incandescence’ as the mechanism of imaging, as was recently seen from the program of the recent International Shroud Conference in July at TRAC, Pasco, Washington State, sponsored by two confirmed ‘radiationists’ giving themselves a shop window and captive audience for what can only be described as semi-religious fervour dressed up as theoretical physics. Conventional mainstream science, as practiced by this Shroudie investigator of nearly 6 years standing (currently testing and evaluating his flour-imprinting/simulated sweat Model 10) is simply ignored as if it did not exist. Resurrectional incandescence cannot be regarded as sound scholarship for as long as it essentially excommunicates all contrary non-authenticity model building – to say nothing of years of  detailed experimentation. The latter has been  reported here and on other sites  (Dan Porter’s retired site especially) since early 2012 in real time, open to all for comments and criticism (a far cry from much overhyped ‘peer-reviewed’  publications, especially those in  researcher-billed-for open-access journals where little if anything is known about the identity or fitness-for-purpose of the referees.

More to follow. Expect to see some 20 reasons listed over the coming days for regarding the Shroud body image as a simulated sweat imprint of medieval manufacture, starting with two early documented references to bodily sweat (and of course blood as well) in the early 16th and 17th centuries from distinguished figures in the Roman Catholic hierarchy, one of them canonized.  Their commonsensical words are now scandalously ignored, thanks to sloppy 20th century so-called science, read wishful-thinking sci-fi fantasizing, STURP’s included, nay, STURP’s especially.

derailed train

Something similar happened to STURP, circa 1983, but worse, much worse. STURP not only left the tracks but went clean over the side of a cliff…

Yes, STURP began its journey so well, but ended by going over a cliff side.  John Heller’s 1983 book “Report on the Turin Shroud” shows precisely  how, why and when that disastrous turn of events took place. (One has to read to a few pages from the end to see the author himself reject contact-imprinting – although to his credit he also distances himself from fanciful radiation, quite unlike any other radiation known to physics, able to align itself with the Earth’s gravitational field to give collimated orthogonal projection to explain sharp imaging (allegedly) across air gaps! Sound of Einstein turning in his grave…).

Expect next instalment tomorrow, October 10, pm (UK time). Comments, preferably short, preferably relevant, are welcome.

Tuesday October 10

Newsflash:  The Fall issue of STERA’s has just appeared, inside of which is Hugh Farey’s last Newsletter (No.85 ) for the BSTS, his place as Editor now being taken by Shroud (pro-authenticity) TV documentary maker David Rolfe. I normally provide links to Shroud-relevant sites, but decline to do so in this instance. Linking to others’ sites, whether pro- or anti-authenticity, has to be a two-way affair. If not, one is assisting others’ positions in those crucial search engine rankings while getting no quid pro quo (or vice versa).

Nuff said on that score. Now back to the business of the day:

More on that book by John Heller MD, taken from the end of the book (Page 209 onwards):
Extract 1 of 2

“Sam Pellicori, a champion of the body contact hypothesis, had done some interesting experiments. In three separate experiments, he had placed oil, lemon juice, and perspiration on his fingers. Then he placed linen on top of his hand and pressed it gently to his flesh. He then placed the cloth samples in an oven at low temperature to produce an accelerated ageing effect. In each case there was indeed a yellowing of the contact area. He had brought the linen samples with him. The team examined them and, although there was a surface effect, several of us insisted that we could see some capillarity in several of the fibrils, which is not the case on the Shroud. We all agreed with Sam that the torso of the man had had to be in contact with the Shroud, or the transfer of the scourge marks would not have appeared as they did. For example there were many such lesions that were invisible in white light and could be seen only in the UV. However, the recessed areas of the face could not have been in contact with the cloth, as proved by the VP-8 images and the Shroud-body distance data. Pellicori agreed that that was still a problem for his hypothesis. It was not a problem but the problem …”

(we’ll skip the next 7 dispensable sentences re the role of hypothesis and generalization).

Extract 2 of 2:
“How were the images of the man conveyed to the linen? Virtually the only mechanism left was radiation, which we then examined.”
Here we see John Heller finally displaying his true pro-authenticity colours, or at any rate epiphany moment just 6 pages before the end of the book, having previously projected himself as an objective commentator on that key question. No, radiation was NOT the only mechanism left if proper consideration had been given to medieval forgery scenarios, and uncritical resort had not been taken to Jackson’s modelling studies with loosely-draped linen. They also presupposed authenticity, generating Jackson’s erroneous conclusion that there could, indeed had to be imaging across air gaps (which is NOT the case in forgery scenarios where linen can and probably was manually pressed down onto body relief). Cue ‘resurrectional incandescence’, later fine-tuned by Jackson as his ‘collapsing cloth’ hypothesis.
In short, Heller and fellow STURP-team members, having taken immediate exception to Sam Pelllicori’s naturalistic model of sweat-imprinting, indeed appearing to snuff it out without wasting a further second, failed to consider the alternative of non-naturalistic, i.e. simulated sweat-imprinting that did not require the human body’s own biochemicals.

That was an omission of monumental proportions, given the build-up and prestige accorded to that 35-strong team of diverse high-powered specialists who were supposed to be totally objective, detached, SCIENTIFIC, testing ALL feasible hypotheses, not just their own pet theories.
If one is seeking the point at which science turned into pseudoscience, when STURP’s train left the tracks, proceeding merrily over a cliff side, gravity-assisted like that faux Jackson radiation, then one need look no further than Heller’s homespun advocacy combined with uncritical support of Jackson’s biased unscientific modelling, both wedded to authenticity, as distinct from keeping it constantly under critical review. Neither could be bothered to engage in detailed ‘what-if’ modelling that began by pre-supposing medieval simulation (aka ‘forgery’) as well as, or instead of 1st. century authenticity.

It’s not as if Sam Pellicori, for all his commendable ability to fasten onto essentials, was the first to flag up “sweat imprint”. How about this section of an essay from the late and gifted Shroud historian Dorothy Crispino, detailing the immediate aftermath of the 1532 fire that came close to destroying the Shroud.

The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns, 1534
(link to Dorothy Crispino)

In April of 1534, Pope Clement VII sent his envoy, Louis Cardinal Gorrevod, to make an official recognition of the Shroud and have it repaired (ed., following the 1532 Chambéry fire).
Card. Gorrevod knew the Shroud well. For over four decades, he had been intimately associated with the Savoy family, and profoundly devoted to the Shroud. Many times, his hands had held it at expositions and ceremonies. It was he who first suggested that the image was formed by sweat and blood. And it was he who, in 1506, successfully intervened with Julius II to grant Carlo III’s petition for a liturgy and feast of the Shroud.
On the 15th of April, 1534, a Wednesday, Card. Gorrevod sent word to the Sisters of St. Clare that they were to undertake the delicate task of mending the Sheet.

Or how about this personal letter which Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva (later St.Francis) sent from Annecy to his close friend,  one Jane  (later St.Jane)Frances de Chantal, a Mother Superior or similar in 1614:

francis de sales and jane de chantal

Annecy, 4 May 1614
Whilst waiting to see you, my very dear Mother, my soul greets yours with a thousand greetings. May God fill your whole soul with the life and death of His Son Our Lord! At about this time, a year ago, I was in Turin, and, while pointing out the Holy Shroud among such a great crowd of people, a few drops of sweat fell from my face on to this Holy Shroud itself. Whereupon, our heart made this wish: May it please You, Saviour of my life, to mingle my unworthy sweat with Yours, and let my blood, my life, my affections merge with the merits of Your sacred sweat! My very dear Mother, the Prince Cardinal was somewhat annoyed that my sweat dripped onto the Holy Shroud of my Saviour; but it came to my heart to tell him that Our Lord was not so delicate, and that He only shed His sweat and His blood for them to be mingled with ours, in order to give us the price of eternal life…  (ed. with still more references to sweat).

Francis, Bishop of Geneva

Can there be any doubting that the Shroud was seen all those centuries ago as a sweat/blood imprint, with no indications that I’m aware of that it was ever seen as anything else? Why think otherwise? Wouldn’t the pilgrim to Lirey, approx 1355 give or take, casting eyes for the very first time on Geoffroy de Charny’s mysteriously acquired Shroud immediately conclude that he was looking at some kind of imprint, certainly in blood, and probably therefore in some other bodily secretion as well, one that had left behind a faint scarcely visible yellowish body imprint of a man. Now then, what might that other secretion be? Could it possibly be divine perspiration, i.e. SWEAT? If so, was it real sweat – or a clever rendition thereof on linen of what approximately 1300 year old sweat from  1st century Palestine, dried and yellowed, might look like?

Next instalment, tomorrow, Wed Oct 11. It will discuss the link between the Shroud and Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’, deployed in the first instance as an imprint-acquiring TRANSPORT (not burial) shroud. Would so quickly-acquired an image in sweat and blood (en route from the site of crucifixion to a nearby rock tomb) be likely to be 1st. century authentic?  Or, seen through the modern eye, aided by photography and image-processing, to say nothing of the disputed radiocarbon dating,  is it simply  ‘too-good-to-be-true’ and  more prudently judged to be of medieval provenance – an ingenious simulation? My own take on this should be clear. Why so few other takers?

Wed Oct 11

Here’s today’s text.  (Yes, what follows might seem like a sermon. Yes, I guess it IS a sermon of sorts,  arguably a long-overdue one, with no disrespect intended to the dead, merely a respect for the SCIENTIFIC FACTS!).

The chunks of text (blue font) are  taken as before from  the 1983  “Report on the Turin Shroud” by the late John Heller MD (1921-1995). It’s from quite early in the book (pages 38/39) but already the keen-eyed observer (well, me at any rate) may see the shoddily ill-designed pre-STURP locomotive showing ominous signs of erratic behaviour with intimations of later derailment. That was soon to be realized post-STURP with engine driver Jackson’s precipitate  plunge over cliff edge.

(Why “ill-designed”? We’ll come back to that later. Suffice it so say, yet again, that STURP’s prime focus should have been on that negative tone-reversed image, not its absurd and misdirected PRIMARY goal of disproving a conventional painted image, what in contemporary internet jargon was a “straw man”  hypothesis if ever there was. Since when has a negative image been conventional in the world of  medieval or even current illustrative art?…)

Incidentally,  re the above link, , here’s a note of caution for those concerned about accurate chronology.  Don’t be misled by the 2014 date on that Jackson pdf: see the footnote where it states the first appearance of the paper was in September 1989 – just 6 years after the appearance of Heller’s book, or some 8 years after the appearance of the STURP team’s “sorry, we’re still totally mystified by the TS body image” summary (while totally taken in with Robert Bucklin’s laughable, nay hilarious “autopsy” on a 1931 B/W photograph of the TS, the one where he sees “wounds”, “abrasions”, “puncture  marks” etc etc. as if viewing a real corpse, or even a photograph of a real corpse, as distinct from a faint centuries- old vanishingly-faint image captured via an totally unknown process, ignorant of whether  natural or forged).

The extract begins by describing John Jackson’s first contact with Bill Mottern (physicist, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque). It was ostensibly in the first instance to discuss colour filters, but was quickly overtaken by Mottern’s  keenness to  show off his gee-whizz 3D-rendering VP-8 machine. That if you ask me was the blackest day in the entire history of  sindonology, taking the attention away from the REAL ISSUE –  namely  the NEGATIVE  tone-reversed IMAGE, viewed with or without Bill Mottern’s computerized  and largely IRRELEVANT box of artefact-generating tricks
… Jackson made contact with Bill Mottern, a Sandia physicist. Mottern had a set of Wrattens (colour filters) but he had something else as well. That “something”, by coincidence, put the whole project into global high gear. It was a VP-8.

(Skip some sentences)

Jackson had never heard of a VP-8, but when he drove over to Sandia, he took photos of the Shroud with him.

(Apparently Shroud as-is ‘negatives’ and tone-reversed (pseudo-) positives as well, that aspect having been sadly neglected throughout the entire book – about which more later – MUCH MORE!)
“Why,” he (Bill Mottern) suggested, don’t we put the photos of the Shroud into the VP-8?”
All in all, it should have been a stupid waste of time, for a flat photo will, and can, only give a warped picture.

(But it’s not a primary photo – it’s a photo of the Shroud image, which itself is/was not a photo, though precisely what it is anyone’s guess (‘impactograph’ simulated sweat imprint?)  If an imprint, then a photo of an imprint that has even overhead illumination creating light but no obvious patches of shade, would NOT behave like the kind of photo to which Heller refer, and indeed  the misleading kind  with patches of light and shade which he includes as a plate in his book – more later)

They placed the Shroud photo in the VP-8 and twiddled the dials, focus and rotation. Suddenly both men saw, swimming up from the electronic fog of the screen, a perfect three-dimensional image of a scourged, crucified man.
(Show my 3D-rendered ImageJ renderings of scourge mark blood as a protest against the entirely unhelpful inclusion of blood into a discussion of body image?).
Impossible! Ridiculous! Outrageous! Yes. It was there. The two scientists just stared.
The positive photograph of the man in the Shroud had the appearance of a two dimensional face. The VP-8’s three dimensional image was as stunningly different from the photograph as a statue is from a painting. The long hair, full beard and mustache, the serenity on the face of a badly battered, crucified man, came alive, giving Jackson and Mottern the eerie impression that they were gazing at an actual face of a man, not at a painting or a sculpture.
Finally, Jackson took a deep breath. “Bill,” he said, “do you realize that we may be the first people in two thousand years to know exactly how Christ looked in the tomb?”

(Note ref to “tomb”).

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Where does one start? What’s the first step in restoring a semblance of order to a train crash?

This blogger/investigator has zero experience in putting clocks back to pre-disaster state-of-affairs. But since others are not doing it, or showing any inclination to do so, whether in the peer-reviewed domain or even informal blogosphere, then I guess the task falls to me, thankless though it is.

Order of business? Start with the negative, tone-reversed image, and reasonable hypotheses that can-  or should-  have been been entertained  – notably by STURP – to account for what surely has to be seen as the defining characteristic of the Shroud body image. Then look at the manner in which the debate was hijacked by those allegedly “unique” 3D properties.  No, not properties, but entirely predictable pre-programmed response in  computer software specifically designed to elicit PSEUDO- 3D response where it may or may NOT (in reality) exist initially.

Sindonology should by rights have put its house in order years, nay decades ago – and not going expecting retired scientists like myself to go reversing its spectacular train crash.  OK, so the latter was the work of a frightfully-senior initiator, aided and abetted by top members of STURP no less way back in the 20th century.

But others have now picked up the baton and foolishly followed in their footsteps to this day (like that hugely self-indulgent Pasco conference in July, with prime organizers pushing their imaging -via-outburst of  subatomic nuclear particle fantasy, or as I prefer to call it, “imaging via resurrectional incandescence”,  oh-so-conveniently generating an allegedly erroneous, excessively young radiocarbon-dating age we’re asked to blithely – and uncritically accept. Yup,  an ingenious but desperate attempt – if ever there was – to keep their pro-authenticity show, correction,  TRAVELLING CIRCUS, on the road).

Sindonology (the mainstream pro-authenticity kind) has never lacked ingenuity.  It’s a kind of metaphor one might say for the human condition (correction – one acutely fascinating (though somewhat unsettling) facet of the human condition that habitually resorts to high-IQ pseudoscience in order to press its case).

Sindonology? All life is there, warts an’ all – as much a source of fascination to we ‘slow-to-judge-life-as-we-find-it’  observers as the Shroud enigma itself…

But there comes a time when thoughts – in this instance some 6 years in the making – begin to crystallize…

Conclusion, albeit sad to say:  sindonology, is 95% wishful thinking  aka bullsh*t, given it’s become a vast repository of pseudoscience.

That’s thanks largely, indeed almost entirely, to that priming intervention by STURP, officially the Shroud of Turin Research Project.  Or, as this profound sceptic recently rechristened it,  unflatteringly,  acronymically redesignated it,  a vast input of Space-Age Technology-Unleashing Religious Propaganda…

Thank you authenticity-proselytizing John Jackson (“PhD”- military academy). Thank you (to a lesser extent)  the rather-more-subtle,  late convert-to authenticity -courtesy-of- medical- and- computer-generated pseudoscience – John Heller MD (RIP).

Sorry about that. Someone had to say it…

Thursday October 12

Have just re-read Heller’s book from cover to cover, this time not looking for what’s there, so much as looking for what’s NOT there. A growing suspicion has been amply confirmed. There’s scarcely any mention of the negative, tone-reversed image. Where there is, usually in passing, scattered here and there throughout some 220 pages, it displays no curiosity whatsoever for this unusual feature. Worse still from a scientific standpoint, it attempts to pass it off as a trifling detail, namely as some kind of concomitant of John Jackson’s blinkered model-building (which in turn plays down cloth-body “contact” , instead talking up his entirely hypothetical imaging across air gaps which Heller later refers to as if established fact.

That is one truly bizarre omission, especially as the negative image does get briefly spotlighted  on Page 1 of the book, Chapter 1 (Title: “The Physics of Miracles?” Ouch! ).

“In 1978, I had never heard of the Shroud of Turin, let alone seen a picture of it. When I did, I was surprised. I thought I would see something analogous to all the paintings and statuary of Jesus that I had ever seen… (Skip sentence re other portrayals from history and worldwide).

This was different. It was anything but artistic. In addition everything was reversed. Its images were like photographic negatives, with black and white, left and right, reversed. The cloth was also very bloody…” (My bolding)

As I say, bizarre – to flag up a distinctive feature of the TS body image, one that when reversed, as done initially by Secondo Pia in 1898, produces a spectacular result, an image with near-photographic quality, arguably with some additional hard-to-pin-down allure (sometimes described as serene, luminous, ghostly etc), and fail in 220 pages to give that negative image the attention it deserves. Instead we see a fixation with the so-called “3D properties” in Mottern’s VP-8 which I say, from years of hands on experience with its modern day equivalent (ImageJ) are 100% artefactual, the result of digitally re-mapping 2D image density (acquired by goodness knows what process) to an entirely artefactual man-made impression of vertical relief.

I’ll return later today with a brief summary of what I would wish to say to John Heller, were he still alive, regarding the likely origin of the negative tone-reversed image. It will feature a neologism I introduced here yesterday: “impactograph”.  Yes, the TS is not a photographic negative (Stephen E.Jones please note) or indeed any kind of photograph, protophotograph etc that required visible light or indeed any other kind of electromagnetic radiation or stream of subatomic particles etc etc. It’s almost certainly an “impactograph”, the result of interposing an imprinting medium between cloth and body (or bas relief), applying manual pressure to capture an imprint off the flatter more elevated planes only, NOT the sides, followed by a secondary image-development step that converted the imprinting medium to a faint yellow chromophore, probably with conjugated double bonds, probably a melanoidin (on that I’m in agreement with the late Raymond N.Rogers – it’s a polymeric melanoidin, bleachable with Adler and Heller’s diimide reagent which selectively hydrogenates C=C double bonds).

Why go to all that trouble? See title of this posting, with its reference to an entity I unleashed upon the bored, indifferent, know-all world of sindonology back in November 2014: the simulated sweat imprint. Those early custodians and viewers of the Shroud mentioned here, from the 16th and 17th century, probably recognized an IMPRINT when they saw one,  conscious of and unphased by an imprint’s tell-tale reversal of light/dark tones seen in a conventional painted image.

TS negative face v positive photograph and pencil sketch

Two positive images, one photographic, the other pencil-drawn versus the  tone-reversed  TS negative image.


Instead, they briefly- and in my view correctly-  interpreted the body image as a sweat imprint.. whether real or simulated.

John Jackson tried to kid us there was a “simple and global mathematical relationship” connecting image intensity with presumed length of (entirely imaginary) air gap between recumbent body and loosely draped linen. Shame there was not a shred of evidence or even theoretical physics for imaging across an air gap.  Pseudo-science does not get much worse than this! What Jackson was doing, needless to say, was dreaming up his preconception first, then arranging the evidence  to fit, which is about as far removed as one can get from the scientific method. But then what can you expect from someone who flaunts his  scientific so-called “doctorate” awarded by a military academy (which should have confined itself to awarding military ranks).?

Jackson (and those who followed) should have experimentally modelled not just pro-authenticity “loosely draped linen” if investigating a contact model, but linen that was forcibly impressed against a recumbent body to close up all but the most-difficult-to-access hollows and crevices in a medieval ‘simulation’ scenario.

Too many  sindonologists’ insistence on seeing only what they want to see, of ignoring or spurning anything and everything that fails to conform to their blinkered view, while professing to be “scientific”, flaunting  their supposed research qualifications, is a major insult to genuine science. Shame on the new BSTS Newsletter editor (David Rolfe) for having previously followed them around with his movie camera, attentive to their every word, treating those words as if gold dust…

I’m hoping that someone will point out the anomaly of the supposed ‘negative tone-reversed image’ of the Shroud face shown earlier. Be prepared for an unconventional opinion regarding a facial feature that is not skin (hint hint). 

“Impactograph”?  Neologism?  Oops – I was deploying that term well over 3 years ago. See this posting on Dan Porter’s retired site, with its link to a discussion on another of his postings.

Friday October 13th

(Noting the date, it’s just as well I’m not superstitious by nature!)

In passing, am I the only one to think that (the amazingly youthful-looking) Professor Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford University continues to be hideously misquoted, most recently by STERA’s front man – Barrie M.Schwortz in his current (October) update?

Ramsey has made it clear that he cannot conceive of any mechanism whereby the 1988 radiocarbon dating (1260-1390) could be wrong by some 1300 years (which considers and rejects among other things Jackson’s carbon monoxide theory,  having himself failed to find a scrap of experimental evidence to back it up). Ramsey – a committed Christian  btw- ends his statement with these charitable words (my bolding):

” There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information.”

Now compare with Barrie Schwortz’s truth-bending words in his current (October 2017) update:

(My bolding)

This issue also marks the last issue from current Editor Hugh Farey, who is retiring from the position he has held since December 2013 and handing it over to long time BSTS member, David Rolfe. David is best known in Shroud circles for his films on the Shroud which include The Silent Witness, the BAFTA-winning production from 1978 which introduced so many to the subject for the first time. His second film for the BBC in 2009 – Material Evidence – included Prof. Christopher Ramsey, Head of Oxford’s Radio Carbon Center, who conceded, memorably, that in the light of the new evidence and the lack of any substantive explanation for the Shroud’s image, the C14 should be looked at again.

Ramsey has conceded nothing! He’s merely noting the existence of a powerful lobby, seeking any and every opportunity to dispute and discredit his data, not just on radiochemical grounds, but highly suspect so-called ‘historical ‘ evidence.  In short, he was merely being polite and civilized in ending his statement in the (overly?) accommodating the way that he did.

Late insertion (14 Oct): see also this posting on Dan Porter’s site from as long ago as December 2011 asking why Ramsey had ‘changed his mind’ and whether it was due to failing to find evidence to back up the C-14-O hypothesis.

Incidentally, where in the whole of recorded history pre-1355 (first recorded appearance of the Lirey-displayed TS in the written record, tallying needless to say with the radiocarbon dating) is there a single image of the iconic two-fold dorsal/frontal head-to-head configuration of a crucified man?. There isn’t needless to say, since it doesn’t exist… The TS is almost certainly a simulated sweat imprint onto a mid-14th century mock-up of Joseph of Arimathea’s fine linen, intended to rival, nay trump, the immensely-lucrative pilgrim-attracting Veil of Veronica. Indeed, one suspects the Veil provided the inspiration for the imprinting-technology – an initial “sweat” imprint drying, yellowing and morphing into something rather more impressive and eye-catching – while retaining a modicum of credibility as ‘authentic’. But that is/was only the case if there’s perceived to be simultaneous imprinting of newly-shed blood and sweat. It loses all credibility if the body image is attributed not to sweat but to  ‘resurrectional incandescence’ days after the clotting and drying of the blood, unless, that is, one suspends all critical judgement and buys into one or other of the various re-bleeding/remoistening scenarios

Sorry to repeat myself, which I’m forced to do for reasons I’m minded shortly to address.

Moving on, I was reading (Christian) Hugh Farey describing  (BSTS Newsletter No.85) his position on the TS (pro-Resurrection/anti-authenticity) vis-a-vis that of  (Jewish) Barrie Schwortz’s (anti-Resurrection/pro-authenticity).

Late addition: Hugh Farey’s words verbatim:

The following weekend sees this year’s Jalsa Salana, the annual
gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Hampshire, UK,
which itself looks set to become a minor Shroud convention of its own.
Half a dozen experts are due to attend, including Barrie Schwortz, whose
pivotal role in Shroud studies not only includes STERA and,
but the deliciously ironic fact that as a Jew he believes in the authenticity
of the Shroud, but not in the Resurrection, while I believe in the
Resurrection, but not the authenticity of the Shroud. The other Christians
believe in both the authenticity and the Resurrection, while the
Ahmadiyya Muslims don’t think Jesus died on the cross. I doubt if a
similar variety of opinions will be found in Pasco.

It occurred to me that what we see there are just two of four possible overlap areas in one of those handy Venn set theory diagrams (5 if one includes a background grey area for total DON’T KNOWs!).

Venn diagram - positions on TS authenticity and Resurrection

Where do you stand, dear reader?

A= pro-authenticity/pro-Resurrection (John Jackson, Giulio Fanti, Paolo di Lazzaro, Stephen E.Jones etc etc)

B = anti-authenticity/pro-Resurrection (Hugh Farey, Christopher Ramsey)

C = pro-authenticity/anti-Resurrection (Barrie Schwortz)

D = anti-authenticity/anti-Resurrection (moi and millions of other free-thinkers who refuse to be brain-washed, especially by the likes of Group A true-believers who persistently abuse the scientific method and/or principles)

Saturday October 14: there’s another significant, generally well-informed  sindonologist who could be mentioned in that Group A – namely Thibault Heimburger MD. But he seems to have disappeared from view – his most recent comment on this site – one of many – being February of last year! Has anyone heard from him of late? Has he maybe given up on the Shroud? That would be a shame – he being a rare example of a pro-authenticity sindonologist who at least until some 20 months ago was prepared to interact with the likes of me and fellow sceptics. It makes a welcome change from the more typical sindonologist (Barrie Schwortz, Mark Antonacci,  Giulio Fanti etc etc) who tries to pretend one does not exist!  That’s not restricted to pro-authenticity scientists, mind you –  Professor Luigi Garlaschelli never responds to my emails, sent to his listed Milan address.

It is counterproductive to scientific progress, needless to say, to operate as if contrary voices with contrary ideas, repeat IDEAS, do not exist. Science is essentially about the world of ideas – not people and their good or bad points… Isaac Newton was for the most part a pain in the butt in his dealings with fellow scientists, but still had a few useful things to say…

Sunday October 15

I’m realizing that my abject failure to get recognition for what I consider a simple and coherent theory for the TS – a scientific alternative to the fanciful pseudo-science alternatives that dominate the media – is lack of a memorable shorthand name or tag. What’s in a name? Everything, one suspects.  Coin a memorable name, and that’s probably half the battle where achieving visibility is concerned.

But what tags have been suggested thus far? Just a handful, by me alone, and no one else. But “simulated sweat imprint” or “impactograph body image” don’t really do the business, do they?

Time to put on one’s thinking cap, and come up with a snazzier alternative. Suggestions invited.

The first outside suggestion has just been provided at the breakfast table (from spouse):

1. The Truth.

Other ideas:

2. The MOTSI model (Miss-Out-The-Sides Imprinting model)

DSC07540 slightly cropped

3. The PXBF model (Pre-Xerox Body Fax model)

4. The CAGI model (Create A Good Impression model)

But acronyms are better if they spell a real word, preferably with some connection or mere connotations with the given subject?

5. As per:  the TRIFLE model (Topical Relief Imprinted, Flour/Linen Enabled)

6. The FRIGHTFUL model (Forget Resurrectional Incandescence, Ghostify Human Topography, Flour Upon Linen)

7. The FOSSIL model (Flour-Obtained Simulated Sweat Imprint – L-ementary my dear Watson)

8. The NONSCIFI model (The NoNonsense Scattered- Inventively Flour- Imprinting) model

9. The ICONIC model (Imprinting, Contact Only, No Image Cinematography)

Well, the problem now seems clear – namely the inability to express in a few words the essence of what’s being proposed, and/or to do so in a manner that is not instantly yawn-provoking.

Yes, how can an explanation for the TS as a product of medieval inventiveness, intended to reconstruct in material terms a particular brief narrative of the Gospels  – namely Joseph of Arimathea’s collection of a crucified body from the cross to a place of burial – possibly hope to compete for attention with the notion that the body  image only arrived later, after bloodstains – in a miraculous flash of resurrectional radiation.

It can’t, obviously, and pro-authenticity advocates of imaging-via-resurrection know it.

All they have to do is to carefully drip-feed the media, month by month, year by year, with their own agenda-promoting narrative, and scrupulously avoid giving so much as the slightest reference to more mundane, down-to-earth explanations for the TS, mine included. Chief culprits? Do I really need to name names?  Most are US or Italy-based.

Welcome to the 21st century, where control-freak fanatics attempt – and largely succeed -in exercising mind-control over the gullible and impressionable, keeping their tawdry little pseudo-science show on the road.

They know the media will lap up each and every one of their sensation-seeking pronouncements.

Monday October 16

Hugh Farey’s replacement as Editor of the BSTS Newsletter  (David Rolfe) is introducing an online forum, but apparently for subscribers only (shame it’s not open to all, but ours is not to reason why). So I’ve submitted my application which provides two years membership for a very reasonable £20. It asks one to say a little about oneself, how one came to be interested in the Shroud etc etc. I’m taking the liberty of reproducing my short submission here (blue font):

I have maintained my specialist Shroud website, since Feb 2012, reporting hands-on modelling of the TS body image in real time.

Hugh Farey did a report on my investigations in a BSTS Newsletter up to and including Model 9 in June 2015. Current Model 10 is a variant of Model 9, using solid white flour as imprinting medium onto wet linen instead of flour slurry onto dry linen, and using a hot oven (including its infrared radiation) for thermal development of the flour imprint in place of nitric acid.

I believe the TS body image to be a simulated sweat imprint of medieval design and manufacture, the technology having probably been inspired by the legendary Veil of Veronica. I am frankly amazed (and indeed appalled) that what I consider to be a commonsensical interpretation of the TS has achieved virtually zero penetration of sindonology, excluding the brief mention in Hugh Farey’s report. There be something rotten in the state of sindonology if it cannot bring itself to acknowledge the existence of an hypothesis, nay comprehensive theory, one that ticks so many boxes.


Here’s a C&P of what Hugh wrote in 2015 (BSTS no.81). (My bolding)

Hugh Farey
For several years Colin Berry has been investigating ways by
which the image on the Shroud could have been manufactured, and he
has finally arrived at what he hopes is a satisfactory explanation. In many
ways, though, the journey has been more valuable than the final
achievement, as the variety and imagination of his experiments have
enhanced our understanding of many of the characteristics of the Shroud,
and demonstrated inaccuracies in long held beliefs.
His exploration began with the idea that the image on the cloth
was essentially a scorch, produced by the imposition of a hot statue. The
image was described as looking very scorchlike by almost all the scientists
of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STuRP), although its failure to
fluoresce under ultraviolet light, unlike the marks of the known scorches
from the 1532 fire, led them to reject scorching as a valid hypothesis. Berry,
however, investigated whether there might not have been a process which
could produce a scorch which didn’t fluoresce, and began work using
heated horse-brasses, and later a brass crucifix picked up in a French street
market. He soon discovered that, contrary to accepted credo, it was easily
possible to scorch only one side of a linen thread, and even only one side
of a flax fibre, and began to quantify the distance at which heat radiation
was essentially ineffective. This proved to be very small, much less than
the 4cm or so required by the hypothesis that a life-sized statue could
have been the heat source, but he also showed that difference in contactpressure
produced difference in scorch intensity. He demonstrated that
almost any scorch will produce both an effective ‘negative’ image, and can
be converted into a ‘3D image’ using similar software to that of the
famous VP-8 Image Analyser, demolishing any miraculist claim that only
the Shroud was capable of such effects.

Along the way, Berry, whose principal research job has been into
dietary fibre, explored exactly what components of a flax plant cell (such a
cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin or lignin) were likely to be most easily
discoloured by heat, and how it might be transmitted through and along a
fibre. He also experimented with methods of producing the most
‘realistic’ image, as simply laying a hot model on cloth, or even simply
laying a cloth on a hot model, had not been satisfactory. To ensure a good
image, good contact is required, and some form of soft underlay or
overlay is needed for the cloth to mould slightly around the model. This
led to Berry’s two designs to test: LUWU (Linen Underneath the model,
With an Underlay beneath the linen) and his currently preferred LOTTO
(Linen On Top, Then Overlay).

Although all this led to numerous peripheral investigations,
including attempts to scorch linen in oxygen-free environments, the
fluorescence problem remained, so Berry turned his thoughts towards
chemical, rather than thermal, scorches, rather as Luigi Garlaschelli
hypothesised when he painted a shroud with a small percentage of
sulphuric acid in the pigment carrying medium. Tests involving various
acidic extractions from pomegranate rind in conjunction with possible
mordants like alum were not very satisfactory, so Berry turned his
attention to nitric acid instead.
Alongside all the chemistry, Berry was considering the rationale
that might lie behind a forger’s technique. If the image was a scorch, it
may have been an attempt to represent an image made by a man who had
been burnt to death, such as the Templar Jacques de Molay, and if it was a
chemical imprint, it may have been an attempt to represent the action of
sweat on an enveloping sheet. The word ‘suaire’ on one of the Lirey
pilgrimage badges, and the legend of Veronica’s ‘sudarium’ were
indications that this was not unreasonable. He also wondered if, since
there were certainly other ‘authentic’ burial shrouds already in existence,
this one might have been an attempt to represent the one Christ was laid
in as he was lowered from the Cross. There is some biblical justification
for this, and it was certainly used as an apologia for the existence of at
least two ‘shrouds’ in later centuries.
Covering a live model in acid was always likely to be unpopular,
so Berry now proposes a two-stage model, in which something
representing sweat is imprinted, colourlessly, on cloth, and the image
developed on the cloth with nitric acid. To get the best impression, it turns
out that a more viscous medium than sweat itself is required, so Berry
experimented with various things such as milk, egg-white and starch
before settling on a slurry of flour and water. This can be smeared over a
volunteer and the linen cloth applied, LOTTO, to achieve the imprint. If it
was appropriately viscous, the flour would not touch anything but the
crowns of the threads, as observed on the Shroud. The cloth can then be
heated with an iron to develop the image, or treated with nitric acid,
which turns the gluten in flour yellow in a xanthoproteic reaction.
The full story of Colin Berry’s research is quite difficult to follow
on his two websites, but he has recently assembled it all at https:// to which readers are
directed if they want to find out more about his ideas, his experiments, his
conclusions, and his answers to opponents. His other site is
Although Berry says he has hung up his test tubes for the present,
several loose ends are still available for tying up. Although Ray Rogers
was convinced there was a thin starch coating all over the Shroud, Heller
and Adler, in 1988, didn’t find any. And if the image relates, as the STuRP
team suggested, only to the material of the Shroud and not to any coating
or imprinting medium, then some interaction between the xanthoproteic
events on the medium and the underlying linen should be investigated.

Tuesday October 17

Up until now, I’ve been largely content to argue the positive aspects of my ‘simulated sweat imprint’ model while awaiting responses from (curiously) mainstream ideas from sindonology based on ‘resurrectional incandescence’. But apart from that one article over 2 years ago in the BSTS Newsletter and a few postings on Dan Porter’s retired shroudstory site  (which I overlooked to mention yesterday) there’s been nowt but a deafening silence (that’s despite that so-called International Shroud Conference at Pasco, Washington State in July).

So what’s this non-person supposed to do next?  Make a direct approach to the media? I tried that once, approaching the chief reporter of a UK national newspaper who called on me earlier out-of-the-blue for assistance with a different matter of scientific/medical interest . Sticking point (nay, road block: he said I’d need to do a full-size modelling of the TS if he and his paper were to provide publicity! I mentioned David Rolfe as a possible source of finance  and logistic back-up (recalling his Enigma Challenge to Richard Dawkins) and heard no more. Later I mooted the idea of a  possible partnership with Professor Luigi Garlaschelli on the International Skeptics Forum to repeat his ‘powder frottage’ modelling using  student volunteers with my white flour as imprinting medium instead of his acidified metal oxides etc , but that and later emails regrettably elicited zero response. Maybe I should have got my English translated into Italian ( I did start by apologizing!)!

(Good, isn’t it, that his compatriot Italian Government employees at ENEA can discolour linen with their uv excimer lasers, but despite admitting an actual image as distinct from faint discoloration was beyond the capabilities of the technology, have the UK media spellbound?  The same media sets the bar much much higher for me  when I come along, hat in hand, proposing homely medieval instead of 21st century technology!).

I was approached a couple of months ago by a Spanish language publication, asking for a summary of my model in relation to others.  I duly obliged, receiving thanks for doing so.  The initial October publication date was postponed for ‘logistical reasons’ and November, possibly December suggested in its place. For now it’s a matter of waiting, with no idea as yet what the reporter’s copy will say and not say.

For now I have no alternative than to challenge the ‘radiationists’ more directly on what I consider the more obvious weaknesses of their hugely unrealistic model. There are I believe serious inconsistencies between theory and results (notably the vertically UPWARDS emitted/collimated radiation needed for obtaining the frontal body image) reliant we are told on imaging across air gaps and ‘encoded distance information’ in contrast to imprinting by physical contact ONLY needed for the dorsal image from a recumbent subject under loosely-draped linen. So how come the frontal and dorsal images look so similar, BOTH giving a 3D response in Image J, not just the frontal one with sizeable air gaps we’re told, the dorsal one largely without, assisted as it is by body weight (Stephen E.Jones please note)?

My own preference is to stay positive, pressing home – or merely drip-feeding- the advantages of my own model. But that becomes impossible when one finds one’s message almost entirely airbrushed out of existence by the vast majority of authenticity-proselytizing sindonologists who see one as the ‘enemy’, not a fellow scientist.  Pasco  (to say nothing of STERA’s so-called research ‘updates’ on its  twice-yearly refreshed site)  to say nothing of the excessively clubbish, some might say furtive MO of the self-styled ‘Shroud Science Group’  have left me in no doubt whatsoever as to the real message-proselytizing nature of the defiant  sindonological  public relations machine.

Whole body imprint? The trickiest part of the anatomy to imprint onto linen is the face, thanks to the angular relief. But it can be done, at least on a good day, as I showed back in May 2015 when using Model 9 (nitric acid vapour as developing agent).

Yes, here’s an imprint from that posting (skip the initial section using the hand) of my own face, before and after light photo-editing:

flour selfi may 2015 sciencebuzz pre v post editing

(Btw: I have neither a beard nor moustache. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Never interpret an ‘impactograph’ as if it were a photograph!)

Frankly I see absolutely no reason why the  Models 9/10 flour imprinting technology developed by this investigator/blogger should not be able to generate a whole body imprint of comparable quality to that on the TS.

OK, so I used wet flour slurry rather than powdered dry white flour – which gives a sharper image with better defined edges, and I used a chemical developing agent for the above image, rather than heat.

Late insertion: No! I’ve just taken a close look at that May 2015 posting. Amazingly those photos you see above were taken BEFORE colour development with nitric acid. In other words there was sufficient colour in the flour imprint alone to give a visible negative image of my demonic countenance, allowing one to enhance the contrast  just a little, and then immediately upload to the 3D-rendering program. In other words, the ‘old’ Model 9 data dredged up for this late addition to the posting is to my mind still highly relevant to current Model 10, the only difference being the physical state of the flour and linen (to do with which has the additional water initially!).


But those are practical details. I have no strong attachment one or other  aspect of technology: what matters is the principle – imprinting from a real person (or inanimate bas relief  or statue ) via physical contact under applied manual pressure, using an innocuous organic  imprinting medium that can be developed at leisure in a separate second step to give the requisite faint yellow colour. How much longer does one have to wait for the obvious merits of my contact  model to be recognized by those radiation-obsessed proponents of resurrectional incandescence? But it’s no longer about the science and technology, is it? It’s about the message, and our mass media are letting them have a field day, Correction –  serial field decades, virtually unchallenged….

PS. I never did check out that flour slurry imprint of my face in ImageJ, to see if it responded to 3D-rendering. Answer: yes it does!


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

 Here’s a variant on the above, more highly cropped:

new 3D highly cropped


OK, so it’s not the most sophisticated of 3D-results. It used flour paste, not dry flour powder.

What’s more,  it was a completely DIY job, no outside help, requiring me to spread dry  linen over a cushion, and then forcibly press my face down ( LUWU as distinct from LOTTO mode, with no precision manual patting of  linen onto face – just passive brute-force imprinting in a single ‘take’ that among other things deforms the problematical  nose).

But as stated already, it’s the principle that counts – there’s no, er,  earthly reason why simple technology, available in the 14th century, should not reproduce the main features of the TS body image (colour, negative character, 3D-responsive etc etc).

I say the problem  (or as some would say ‘enigma’)  as to how the TS acquired its body image is largely solved  (well, in principle at any rate).

Wednesday October 18

Congratulations to those few who have made it thus far in the posting, which is already way, way too long  (it happens, blog postings being living things that occasionally evolve way beyond the initial plan, even assuming there was one).

Probably best I stop here, and await feedback, hoping I get some, before pondering what to do next.  Frankly I consider the ball to be in The Other Court (mainstream pro-authenticity sindonology). How much longer can the latter continue the way it does, year in, year out,  pushing its miraculist notions, feeding its titbits to the media, kidding itself  and the rest of humanity that conventional science can never hope to explain the Shroud?

Oh, but it can  (provided one’s willing to remove those rose-tinted spectacles supplied gratis by sindonology’s activist clique).

Comments invited (though I can’t guarantee to respond to all of them)…


Added October 27:  Symmetrical “poker holes” graphic needed for Comments (click tab at end of this posting|): culled from the internet (saves me having to duplicate it myself, and the source is worth a read, if only to witness pro-authenticity thinking in full swing).

Added October 28:  today’s plan for modelling of the 4 symmetrical sets of burn holes to reproduce the rapid fall-off in damage to linen. (Needed for Comments)

modelling of TS to reproduce symmetry and falloff in 4 sets of burn hole2


Flour imprints will be allowed to air dry before folding the linen as shown to prevent cross-contamination (shown yesterday to work as well as my previous heating of imprints on undried linen ). Face 1 will be closest to the heat source (modern fan oven with infrared-emitting element substituting for charcoal fire, at least for now!). Faces 2,3 and 4 are progressively further away from the heat source (though Face 4 will be receiving more convected hot air than the inner protected faces 2 and 3).

Added October 29

Also needed for Comments – serial step-wise photographs from yesterday’s imprinting off an oil-smeared, flour-sprinkled plastic figurine (“Incredible Hulk”)

inc hulk plus 3 stages of imprinting final

  1. Figurine; 2. Oil-smeared, then flour sprinkled from above; 3. Shake off surplus flour 4. First stage pre-washed flour imprint after 60 mins in fan oven at approx 160 degrees C

Added November 1, 2017

And here’s how I think the “bloodstains” were added, at least in principle, in two separate stages, separated by decades, perhaps centuries.

4 stages in blood imprinting

= flour- dusted subject; = addition of trickle(s) of a  treacly slurry of reddish clay/water to represent Mark 1 blood; C = appearance of flour imprint  with Mark 1  “blood” after heat-processing over charcoal fire (clay “blood” unchanged); D= final touched up imprint, with brighter red blood (or,  more probably,  passably-authentic blood substitute) dabbed carefully onto original clay imprint.


See this link to the 10 page pdf by Prof.G Lucotte’s impressive and exhaustive  microscopy    performed on  a Shroud sticky-tape blood sample supplied to him from the 1978 samplings (by “Riggi de Numana”). See the reference to reddish clays being a major contribution to the red-brown colour of the particular sample (right eye brow) , the same colour we’re told as ALL the bloodstains!

November 12, 2017

Have just been re-reading a Paolo Di Lazzaro paper from 2015 (one of those open access communications – free of charge, but questionable re the thoroughness of ‘peer review’).

Here’s a photomicrograph from that paper with an attached claim that I’ve been pondering for quite some time with ever increasing scepticism – fuelled by my own model system, my own microscopy/

Di Lazzaro 2015 pdf broken fibre with claimed yellow PCW

Am I the only one to see the serious methodological shortcoming in the above ‘experiment’ with what is described as a ‘mechanically damaged’ fibre (how seriously damaged???).

What should PDL have done instead? Clue: view the “TS” (short for something other than Turin Shroud, something to do with microscopical technique…).

Yes, if one really wants to know where the colour is in relation to the outermost layer of the fibre (the PCW, i.e. primary cell wall) AND the inner layers too (S1, S2 layers of the secondary cell wall) one does not, repeat NOT, rely entirely on the kind of image and methodology displayed above!

Ever heard of a microtome,  wax-embedding, transverse sections  etc Dr.Di Lazzaro?

See this posting of mine from Jan 2013!

End of lecture (shorter I hope and/or less insufferable than the ones I get periodically  from Dr.High-and-Mighty PDL).

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