Yes, there is clear evidence of tenting, Thibault, with all-or-nothing imaging (yet another nail in the coffin for radiation models)


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:



Here is my reply to the second part of the comment placed yesterday by Thibault Heimburger on that Other Site– the one hosted by the enigmatic Dan Porter and which is giving me daily stick for pressing on with my scorch theory.

First, here are Thibault’s exact words:

September 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm | #2

But there is something which was very amazing (at least for me) :
it is impossible to get an even faint discoloration of the heated side in the area that is just above the 3-4 mm depression of the heated plate : the linen remains white even if the temperature is high enough to give a strong brown discoloration of the surrounding areas in contact with the hot plate. In other words, the radiant energy of the heat is unable to color the linen even at a distance of 3-4 millimeters of the source.

This is very important. Why ?
Because it is absolutely impossible (in the context of the Shroud) to have a perfect contact everywhere, particularly in the face area. If one uses a statue or even a bas-relief, there will be necessarily some (even small) non contact areas, i.e. some non colored areas. A life-size bas relief has nothing to do with small coins.

I’ll try to provide soon my photographs and if possible the results of microscopy observations.

Well, you may find it amazing, Thibault, but I have been saying the same thing for months now, and quietly grinding my teeth when I continue to come across statements like “the intensity of the body image is inversely proportional to the body-cloth distance”, imputing some quantitative measurements have been recorded that somehow never get displayed.

No, there is NOT an inverse relationship, if it implies that a doubling of the air gap gives a halving of image intensity (or quarter if conforming to Newton’s inverse square relationship). That might (conveniently) fit a radiation model, but the most casual inspection of the Shroud image suggests there to be what could better be described as an “all-or-nothing” relationship, as Thibault has now discovered for himself.

Note the tenting effect (essentially no imaging immediately below the upper of the two hands where cloth loses contact with the lower hand)

Yes, cloth has to make direct and intimate contact for there to be imaging. The slightest air gap means essentially no imaging, because infrared radiation is largely reflected/scattered off white linen in the same way as visible light.

Where Thibault and I are likely to differ is in my interpretation of the all-or-nothing effect. It implies that the Shroud image was formed by direct and intimate contact between an INANIMATE object and linen. It has to be inanimate, because the first has to withstand being heated to a temperature that, when pressed against or into linen,  leaves a scorch mark – one that is a “negative” of the contours of the inanimate object. My recent experiments suggest an initial temperature in the region of 250 degrees C is needed, more or less, depending on how much cooling time elapses between removal of the object from the oven and receipt of the scorch onto linen.

As for the “object”, I believe it to have been a replica of a real person, dead or alive, produced with standard Plaster of Paris technology. In other words, one first coats the subject, brave volunteer or more likely a recently deceased corpse,  in wet plaster. One then lets it set hard  to produce a shell, rather like a jelly mould, and then uses the latter to get a faithful bas-relief replica (using a second batch of Plaster of Paris). That would account for why the face of the Man in the Shroud looks so mask-like, with that roughly rectangular shape and the sharp cut off at the edges of both cheeks. (But the cut-off is not so sharp as to have been due to that “banding” in the linen  that we hear so much about – too much in my view. Note the wavy boundary at the prominent cheek bone etc).

Mask-like face of the Man in the Shroud – as if produced by thermal imprinting from some kind of plaster cast or other heat-resistant replica.

And now for something completely different:  beware playing tennis at Grand Slam level. It too can bring on a “mask-like” grimace:

Andy Murray – through to the final, Flushing Meadow NY Sept 8, 2012

PS to Thibault:  I’ll discuss with you another time that “take-away message” re the “absolutely impossibility” of having perfect contact everywhere. For now, let me just say that your point is partly answered by the evidence that there is indeed imperfect contact, due to the tenting effect identified above and elsewhere in the Shroud image. On that there is no disagreement.

You also appear to be imagining that linen was placed on top of the figure, relying on gravity alone for contact. I dispensed with that model a long time ago, proposing that the heated template was pressed DOWN into linen with an underlay of something yielding (sand? snow? moist wool of fabric?) to get improved contact.

Note added Jan 2013: I have since qualified the above conclusion, pointing out that pressing a heated template into linen produces a range of hot gases and vapours that can produce secondary scorching at a distance.  Heat transfer can occur by radiation, conduction and via CONVECTION.  It is the last of those three one tends to overlook when debating the merits and.or demerits of radiation versus conduction.  Convection and scorching by hot gases (superheated steam etc) might go some way to explaining the “fuzziness”,  i.e  soft focus character of the Shroud image. Scorching is not a blunt instrument  – in the right hands, with the right template – it can produce subtle images with a wide spectrum  of contrast.


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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