Shroud Scope 4: No matter what process mysteriously produced a negative ‘snapshot’ of the Man on the Shroud, it captured that of creases in the linen too. Why?


Late addition (July 2019)

Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”,  correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.

That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.

(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.

Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)? 
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.


Face shown  (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image.  I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.

No, NOT  a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it,  the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.

How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless! 
Welcome to modern day sindonology. 
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.

Start of original posting:


Continuing my Shroud Scope scan of the Shroud of Turin, let’s take a look at a strangely ignored feature of the Shroud image, namely that of the several “crease marks” in the linen.

Let’s start by looking at what is perhaps the most prominent crease, namely that under the chin, Note,  importantly, that extends either side of the neck, showing it is a crease in the fabric, not in  the skin of the neck…


Note crease under chin, twin track in appearance, before extra contrast.


As above. With added contrast and brightness.


Close-up view of that crease

I believe that this prominent crease – and others like it –  is telling us something very important about the mechanism of image formation on the Shroud of Turin. Can anyone see what I am about to propose?

See my earlier post on “scorched-in crease marks“.

My assessment – which is going to attract a lot of flak – but so what if it is true?

In all of the discussion so far, it is assumed that the Man in the Shroud has somehow emitted matter or energy that has somehow become imprinted on the linen.  The Man is emitter or radiator, and the linen is the screen. That latter may be a coated screen of some sort  akin to a photographic emulsion, so may input some chemistry required for image capture. But its job is to capture the features of the Man, not to leave its own image.

The imaging of crease marks on the linen contradicts that. Those crease marks are not a feature of the man. They are a feature of the linen. Yet somehow, matter or energy from the Man has imprinted a feature of the linen, not the Man.

How can that be? A crease is just linen. But part of it my be fractionally closer to the Man than the adjoining parts of the linen. What kind of energy matter or energy transfer can leave a strong image, or rather twin track image, on linen, that has no origin on the Man?

I personally can think of ONE and only ONE mechanism that can account for the coloration of the crease one sees in the images above, namely DIRECT CONTACT with a HOT SURFACE.

A real person cannot be hot enough to leave an imprint on linen . The Man in the Shroud was not a real person. The Man in the Shroud was a hot template, possibly metal or ceramic, fashioned to look like a person, that leaves a thermal imprint when pressed against linen. “Pressed” note, i.e. requiring direct contact to allow heat transfer by conduction. It is inconceivable that heat radiation could have produced the imaging of a crease in fabric, given the tiny differences in distance between crease and adjoining fabric.

If as I believe, imaging was via direct contact between template and cloth, then the parts that are best imaged are those that make best contact with cloth.

My working hypothesis henceforth is that the Man in the Shroud was an inanimate template of some kind, metal or ceramic, and the features that leave an image on the linen are those that would make best contact when the linen is PRESSED against the template. Loose draping over would be insufficient. I shall now examine some other features of the Shroud image and attempt to interpret them in terms of a mechanism requiring DIRECT CONTACT with transfer of thermal energy – and thus scorching, via SOLID-TO-SOLID heat conduction with no air gap.

These are ideas I have expressed previously, but I am now firmly of the belief that the imaging of the creases in the linen offers good a priori evidence for thinking that  heat conduction was the primary mechanism of imaging. In other words,  my earlier experiments with bas relief templates (see banner) were indeed the relevant and appropriate model, and  the rival radiation models, e.g. those of the ENSA group with uv lasers, or Rogers’ gas diffusion/Maillard theory are unable to account  for the imaging of creases in the linen.


On reading my earlier post I see I have said little here that was not in that post. What differs is the direction of approach and the take-away message. Previously I had proposed a mechanism (direct contact/heat conduction) based on experiments, and was concerned with explaining the fine structure of the image of the crease – notably the twin track appearance. Here I am looking at the crease and essentially saying: “Hey, what’s a crease doing on the linen, captured as an image, when it’s not part of the subject being imaged?”

In fact, I could have asked why there should be so severe and abrupt creasing just below the chin and elsewhere (we’ll take a look at those later). Draping cloth over a recumbent figure may throw a cloth into folds, but would not of itself create sharp creases. However, those familiar with my previous posts on proposed “sand bed” technology will know that I favour a “bas relief” as template, as pioneered by STURP’s John Jackson. Obtaining a good sharp image from a bas relief requires intimate contact between template and cloth for which I proposed that gravity alone was insufficient. I proposed that the fabric was laid over a soft yielding base –suggesting sand initially – and the heated template was then thrust forcefully onto the linen, and pressed into the linen/sand to ensure as much “wrap-around” contact as possible. It is that applied pressure that can account for the severe creasing where an extremity like the “chin” – or representation thereof in metal or ceramic – impacts on the fabric.

(I said more here but WordPress is doing funny things today and I am losing copy).

Comments welcome.

Colin Berry aka sciencebod

About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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1 Response to Shroud Scope 4: No matter what process mysteriously produced a negative ‘snapshot’ of the Man on the Shroud, it captured that of creases in the linen too. Why?

  1. Pingback: Could this be clinching evidence that the Shroud image is a contact scorch? | The Turin Shroud: medieval scorch? Separating the science from the pseudo-science…

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