Reply to Bailey Packard re her Rez Project video – sadly pseudoscience by any other name…


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:




Far be it from me to rain on anyone’s parade – but I thought I might indulge in some gentle English drizzle instead. I refer to the video fronted by young Bailey Packard (apparently with some help from her dad Derek). She introduces it by saying  she was in search of something  that might hopefully underpin her faith in the Resurrection of Christ. What caught her attention? Yes, you guessed it – the Shroud of Turin (in spite of everything)

But neither she nor her Pa  will have the dubious pleasure of hearing my views, unless they chance on this posting.  These three screen grabs explain why:

Screen grab from current posting on

Screen grab from current posting on That’s my comment entered into the box at the bottom.

Enlargement, showing my comment, and one from that "cool English dude" David Rolfe already accepted and displayed underneath.

Enlargement, showing my comment, and one from that “cool English dude” David Rolfe already accepted and displayed underneath.

Here's what you see when you hit the "Send Comment" button - a Facebook login

Here’s what you see when you hit the “Send Comment” button – a Facebook login

Sorry, Bailey. I don’t have a Facebook login (having  decided some years ago that being “friends” with strangers on the internet, and being expected to exchange personal information,  is not really for me. (Call me old-fashioned, but I have had some unpleasant experiences with internet trolls, and am concerned about the growing risk of “identity theft”).

Yup, I spotted a Google log-in alternative on the toolbar across the top, but that led to your Dad’s page, and when attempting to log-in on my pre-existing Google account, it was to be greeted by, wait for it –  “Google+”   Note the plus-sign- . Google+ then tried  to extract further personal information before allowing me to proceed further. (Now you know – if you didn’t already – what the plus sign is for – yet one  more Google tentacle – as if there were not enough already from that out-of-control octopus that (incidentally) pays scarcely a penny in UK Corporation Tax while stashing billions of its UK-earned profits away in  Irish and Bermuda bank accounts ).

Yes, I know that lots of complimentary things have been said about your video, Bailey, and I’m sure you have a promising career ahead of you as a communicator. But here’s an unsolicited word of advice: beware of manipulators, especially those who try to sell religion under the guise of something else – like “objective science”.  Try doing a genuine hands-on science project  of your own choosing –  one that does not involve religion. Learn at first hand the nature of the scientist’s modus operandi. Learn to distinguish between science and pseudoscience, between science and philosophy, science and theology, science and religious faith.  Learn to spot subjectivity in all its multiple guises, especially that which poses as objectivity. Have a good and rewarding life.


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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