Shroudie-Alert: Day1.Chief topic: the Lirey Pilgrim’s Badge and that enigmatic chain…


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:




17:37:  I’ve been thinking some more (yup, I know I shouldn’t) about that chain-like motif  of bloodstains in the small of the back. Previously, based on the Lirey pilgrim’s badge, it seemed possible that the Mark 1 Shroud was simply a thermal imprint without bloodstains – they being added later.

Lirey pilgrim's badge - LEFT. Arthur Forgeais "idealized" drawing thereof - with more serene Christ-like figure - right. Note carefully the similarities and differences between the "chain" on frontal and dorsal sides in the real badge and the 19th century drawing.

Lirey pilgrim’s badge – LEFT. Arthur Forgeais “idealized” drawing thereof – with more serene Christ-like figure – right. Note carefully the similarities and differences between the “chain” on frontal and dorsal sides in the real badge and the 19th century drawing.

Late addition: here’s a close up of the dorsal view, showing what appears to be a chain (alternative interpretations invited) with the links indicated with red stars. Ian Wilson interprets it as a “blood belt”, which is about a fine example as I have seen of the “get-in-there-first- with- your- own- narrative-promoting” claim designed to make individual interpretation look like undisputed fact. Alternatively, it is  tendentious scholarship, if one can thus dignify it, like that agenda-serving Edessa image paradigm of his – one that has now been elevated to unchallengeable holy writ in the Shroudie canon.


The motif on the back was therefore a thermal imprint of a real chain, in which some links  imaged better than others due to better metal/cloth contact. The chain was simply touched up later with blood, or blood-like substitute (I’ll spare reminding you of my off-the-wall thinking where the latter is concerned). But what about the frontal image. There is no obvious chain-like image there. Or is there?

Frontal, Shroud Scope, extra contrast. Look closely at the bloodstain on the right. Doesn't the motif look a little peculiar, as if an imprint of a broken chain with the links all heaped together?

Frontal, Shroud Scope, extra contrast. Look closely at the bloodstain on the right. Doesn’t the motif look a little peculiar, as if an imprint of a broken chain with the links all heaped together?

Look very, very, very carefully at the “bloodstain” on the right. Note the very peculiar discontinuities, as if imaging from a 3D object with some parts in contact with linen, some not.

Is that really a bloodstain? Or is it motif of a broken chain in a heap, later touched up to look like blood? Is there not a composite image here - rust -coloured chain and plum-coloured blood. Which came first?

Is that really a bloodstain? Or is it  a motif of a broken chain in a heap, later touched up to look like blood? Is there not a composite image here – reddish brown imprint of  chain and plum-coloured blood. Which came first?

What type of 3D object could make that kind of impression? Are you thinking what I am thinking.?  A chain, or rather a broken chain, lying in a loose heap?

Yes, I know it is a long shot. But the idea that “bloodstain” was initially an imprinted chain, and was touched up/doctored later to look like a blood stain, did not come from picturing that scenario, and then making the facts fit the narrative. It came from looking at the motif, asking how an artist or over-zealous monk with a paint brush could achieve so peculiar an image, and then deciding it was not achieved by artistic means, but by imprinting off a complex 3D object.  Now then,  if you look at the Lirey badge, there’s something peculiar there too that fits the new narrative.. The motif on the dorsal view extends left and right of the torso, suggestive indeed of a chain. So one would expect to see a repeat of the chain on the front, correct, it it had been encircling, used to secure someone to a stake?  Now here’s the peculiar thing: there is no transverse chain on the front.


But there is a gouged-out appearance, as if the pilgrim or a descendant had taken a dislike to whatever was there originally. The “clincher” is the mid-19th century drawing of the Lirey badge by that Parisian (insert name) which DOES show a chain-like structure at the front.

So here’s the theory. The Lirey medallion maker saw the blood-free Shroud image, and faithfully incorporated  the “chain” (?) across the small of the back. There was no transverse chain across the front, but seeing the dark patch at the side, which 21st century folk  understandably interpret as blood from a spear wound, he took that to be a bunched-up broken chain, and “repaired the damage” so to speak, with some artistic licence, stretching it across the abdomen. The blood stains came later, and were applied to disguise the chain, making it look like a side wound and complex blood trails issuing therefrom, albeit unrealistically across the small of the back.  Later owner,  looking at the Lirey badge, did not know what to make of a chain across the front, so gouged it away. Out of sight, out of mind.

I’ll cut and paste some Lirey pictures later, when I’ve tracked them down, and add links to my earlier Lirey “hunches”.

Here’s a link.

16:06  Hugh Farey says there was no pooling of blood in the small of the back. What does Shroud Scope show?

Shroud Scope image with extra contrast.Durante 2002/M.Latendresse

Shroud Scope image with extra contrast.
Durante 2002/M.Latendresse


He’s right, isn’t he? Where did that idea of “pooling” arise?  Was it a case (yet again) of forcing the facts to conform to a preferred narrative?  Isn’t that the entire nature of the Shroudie mission – to create a myriad of preferred but flawed narratives, and then proceed to overwhelm the recipient of the story with the sheer “weight” of evidence from “numerous different perspectives” or “multiple lines of evidence”.

14:05  Here’s a prime example of the convoluted thought processes of Stephen E. Jones, mentioned below ( the uppercase is his, not mine)

… any problems of how Jesus’ image and blood were transferred to the cloth are merely APPARENT problems. Problems of our limited UNDERSTANDING, not problems in REALITY. After all, we don’t have Roman crucifixion victims and their shrouds available today to scientifically study, let alone RESURRECTED ones!

… Problems of the forgery theory.” As will then be seen, any problems of the authenticity theory PALE INTO INSIGNIFICANCE compared to problems of the forgery theory.

Stephen E. Jones 19/02/2013

Now is that clear? Any problems to do with how blood was transferred so neatly in a 1st century AD scenario are ones we cannot  address, keeping the R word in mind.  But the problems with how blood might have been transferred in a medieval forgery scenario, where there is no handy recourse to the R word , means those problems are infinitely greater, so much so that we can safely rule out a medieval scenario.

And this man is entrusted to teach science????  God almighty!!!!

13:08  There’s a new posting from Dan Porter on the Other Site based on Hugh Farey’s scepticism re the “pooled blood” in the dorsal view. There’s much food for thought there, and I look forward to reading more. Just for the moment, I’ll point out yet another aspect of the shabby Porter modus operandi – which is the shameless way he can ignore content when it suits him, and pirate it when it does. I refer to the image he has used to adorn that posting. It is the first from a long series of postings I did on the Shroud Scope tool – some dozen or more – ALL of which were ignored by Porter.  The reason why I recognize the image as “mine” is because of its ‘trademark’ photoediting (“-7,100,15” in MS Office Picture Manager).

That's Porter's image on the left. Compare with the one on the right which is from my posting, with the photoedited version on top, and the Shroud Scope unedited version underneath.

That’s Porter’s image on the left. Compare with the one on the right which is from my posting, with the photoedited version on top, and the Shroud Scope unedited version underneath.

It’s not so much the pirating I object to, i.e. the lack of acknowledgement to my posting, since I don’t claim any copyright for having merely tweaked the Shroud Scope pictures – they remain the property of the photographer (Durante, 2002) and M.Latendresse.  It’s the fact that Porter has ignored a long series of my postings, involving many hours of composition and interpretation but is willing to cut-and-paste one of my edited pictures without acknowledgement. I could suggest reasons aplenty for why he is Shroud Scopophobic, and/or why he does not care for my interpretation of some of them. But I shan’t, being content merely, as I say, to exposing the selective way that he operates. Earlier I mentioned his glossing over/airbrush technique, and within a hour or two he proves my case.

What I have still to decide is whether Porter is doing a  PR job on behalf of Shroud authenticity, giving a positive spin, OR a PR job against those who challenge Shroud authenticity, giving a negative spin, OR both simultaneously.

12:22:   Hugh Farey, bless him, has just left a comment that explains that most peculiar image on the Jones site (see below). Here is the crucial content:

(the) …illustrative picture, I think, began life as an ordinary black and white Enrie negative, not a UV photo at all. It has been manipulated into ‘brightness contours,’ and the lightest ones have been coloured red. They could have been green or blue – indeed a wide variety have been published – but Jones chose this one. The bloodstains being the darkest parts of the shroud, they naturally coincide with the brightest contours, but the colour is entirely coincidental.

Thanks Hugh. If you ask me, that picture is  symptomatic of so much that is wrong with crank-the-handle Shroudie output. Fortunately, in this instance, the error is apparent to anyone who knows the least bit about the Shroud. It’s the other errors of omission and commission  being touted around  that bother this blogger – the ones that take an educated eye to spot for what they are – fabricated evidence.

10:09: that mystery “physicist” whose email to Dan Porter focused on semantics, ignoring totally the context in which “luminance distribution” was used in the Siefker and Spicer “Critical Summary” (Shroud Center of Colorado) can hear my full answer if he cares to post here under a pseudonym,  given his desire for anonymity. Alternatively he could  email me – sciencebod01 at aol dot com with permission to display. However, my advice to him, if he is genuinely interested in my answer, is not to end communications posted anonymously to a third party site with a gratuitous insult, i.e.   “BTW. Dr. Berry is every bit as agenda driven as those he accuses. They say it is hard for a scientist to notice this in himself.”  My agenda as a (retired) scientist is the same as that of any scientist: I despise seeing pseudo-science being used to shape and mould public opinion, especially when it is deployed proactively in the press, the internet, TV documentaries and the like. That is my one and only agenda. What other people choose to believe (religion, political philosophy etc)   is entirely their own affair, provided they do not attempt to gain control over other people’s minds by means of mis- or disinformation.

Yes, it was easy for that mystery physicist to snipe from cover at this blogger, someone who also has a reputation to preserve, while insisting on his own anonymity. In fact, despite the gentleman’s rambling and largely irrelevant middle passage, assuring us of his religious piety, I strongly suspect that his email was a put-up, hit-and-run job, just one of many that the Porter site has hosted, aimed at me personally, like the one from Barrie M Schwortz, who didn’t stay to hear my response, like the similar hit-and-run one from Paolo Di Lazzaro, like the hit-and-run one from John Jackson, like the promoting of  Thibault Heimburger’s feeble attack on the scorch hypothesis, and failing to flag up my 3-part rebuttal.

Yes, there’s a somewhat furtive, opaque  and manipulative modus operandi  where Porter and that site of his is concerned. There’s too much glossing over, of air-brushing.  Who is Dan Porter, anyway? Why has he revealed next to nothing about himself all these years, or his motives in providing a billboard for the promoters of Shroud authenticity and all the proselytising baggage that comes with it? Why should it matter to him where the Russ Breault Shroudie roadshow is next appearing, or whether STERA  Inc. gets voluntary donations on top of its licensing copyright fees?

09:53  Here’s Mario Latendressse’s Shroud Scope map of the bloodstains on the face of the TS. To assist comparison I’ve flipped it horizontally to get the motif  on the forehead appear as a  “3”, and shown it before and after some additional contrast in my photoediting program.

Acknowledgements: M.Latendress, Shroud Scope, Durante 2002 image with and without extra contrast.

Acknowledgements: M.Latendrese, Shroud Scope, Durante 2002 image with(right)  and without(left) extra contrast.

Quite a difference, n’est-ce-pas, from that version that Jones has displayed on his site? Note the absence of blood on the nose, beard, moustache, transverse crease at chin level etc.I know which of the two I prefer!

The plot thickens. Where on earth did Jones get that picture! How was it taken? Was it really taken under uv light to detect red fluorescence?

08:49  Thinking aloud: genuine blood traces on the Shroud would be extensively degraded after centuries, even with a medieval provenance. It’s possible there might be some iron-free porphyrins that we know fluoresce red under uv light. So, provided the porphyrins are still intact, and the blood has not degraded completely to iron oxide, then some fluorescence from the “3” is explainable (just). But what about the fluorescence that is regions where there’s no blood (see earlier)? What’s causing them to fluoresce? It can’t be body image. If  that fluoresced, contrary to what we are told, then the entire face would be red. So what’s causing the fluorescence on that crease, the beard etc? Any ideas?

8:37. OK, so the “3” on the forehead is red, and no one disputes that is “blood”, as distinct from body image, scorch etc.  The same would apply to the dribbles and trails in the hair. But what about the bridge of the nose?  Since when was that claimed to be bloodied?  Or the moustache? Or the beard? As for the “crease” across the neck, since when has that been seen as a groove that trapped blood? That picture simply does not make sense. Where did it come from, and under what conditions was it taken? The caption offers little help. “Taken in fluorescent light”?  Is that supposed to mean taken in ultraviolet light?

08:17: Here that picture on the Jones site. I’ve pasted his caption as well (striking  through his  ‘Click to Enlarge’).

From Stephen E.Jones's current posting ("Bloodstains")

From Stephen E.Jones’s current posting (“Bloodstains”)

07:53 ( French time): Yes, this is Day 1 of my new blogging mode (see the previous post). New thoughts will  be added to the top of the page with a time stamp indicating when a new update is started (not when it is posted). home guard

So where shall we start today? Ah yes, that remarkable picture that Stephen E. Jones used to illustrate his new posting on the Shroud’s bloodstains – one that two commentators have already pointed out (on Porter’s site) simply cannot represent what Jones says it does, i.e. blood stains fluorescing under uv. As the man with the racket  famously uttered: “You cannot be serious”.

I’ll now go away, locate that photograph, and paste it here.

(Oh, “Shroudie” in the title refers to the Shroud-promoting tendency, here on the internet, or in newspapers, TV documentaries, and the source of the information/misinformation/disinformation  that still assails us – thanks to the busy folk  beavering away as we speak in places like Italy’s  ENEA laboratories, the Shroud Center of Colorado, Institutes of Sindonology,  etc)


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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4 Responses to Shroudie-Alert: Day1.Chief topic: the Lirey Pilgrim’s Badge and that enigmatic chain…

  1. Hugh Farey says:

    Just checking in, so you know I’m still here. I’ve posted quite extensively on about some of the things wrong with the Colorado paper, and just recently some of the problems with the bloodstains so glibly accepted by Stephen E Jones et al. His illustrative picture, I think, began life as an ordinary black and white Enrie negative, not a UV photo at all. It has been manipulated into ‘brightness contours,’ and the lightest ones have been coloured red. They could have been green or blue – indeed a wide variety have been published – but Jones chose this one. The bloodstains being the darkest parts of the shroud, they naturally coincide with the brightest contours, but the colour is entirely coincidental.

  2. colinsberry says:

    Hello again Hugh. Thanks, you’ve ended my lengthy Comments famine. I’ve been following your comments Over There with interest, especially today on that so-called “pooled” blood in the small of the back. Sterling work that man…

    I knew I could rely on you to know the provenance of that image. It explains puzzling references I’ve seen to there being more blood on the face – the beard etc – than is commonly supposed. If you’re correct, and I see no reason to think otherwise, there’s been too much tinkering with the evidence.

    Are you going to point out Jones’s poor choice of picture – at source? Alas, I cannot, for reasons I shan’t go into.

    I’d be interested to hear your view on Jones’s references to “wounds” and “bloodstains” as if separate entities. Do you know of any wound on the Shroud that has its own distinctive morphology, not merely ‘presumed’ to be out of sight under a bloodstain?

  3. Hugh Farey says:

    Until Jones’s comments on bloodstains appeared on Shroudstory, I was reluctant to comment on them in general as I don’t have access to a lot of blood with which to play on cloth. I have hopes of roadkill as the spring warms up! The fact is I don’t know what the difference would be between the appearance of a bloodstain painted onto an image of a hand, and a bloodstain formed by a wound in that hand. Would the edge of a hole in a body leave a distinctive mark on cloth? I just don’t know.
    I won’t, of course, post any comments on Jones’s own site as we are working from such different premises that the reconciliation of our ideas is impossible. He believes it is axiomatic that the shroud is the burial cloth of his risen Lord, a view I entirely respect, and that therefore any supposed objections are by definition false and must have a different explanation. I am reminded of the Geocentric model of the universe, every objection to which, being by definition false, had to be explained by more and more convoluted epicycles. I cannot say how likely Jones’s model is to suffer a similar fate, but, not accepting his axioms, contra principia negantem non est disputandum, as Aristotle may have said. Except he probably said it in Greek…

  4. colinsberry says:

    I now have similar inhibitions about leaving any comment on The Other Site, Hugh, being fearful of the ‘epicyclic tendency’ that exists over there, and its intolerance for those who view the TS as a clever and intriguing medieval artefact (until presented with convincing evidence to the contrary).
    In fact I was on the point of alerting Matthias over there (a kindred spirit where free enquiry is concerned) to my belief that it is not only Ian Wilson’s “blood belt” across the small of the back that started out as an imprint from a chain, but the frontal “spear wound blood stain” too. (See my 17:37 entry above). I’m confident Matthias would reflect on that heretical idea before rushing to judgement, but doubt whether the same could be said for most of the others, who will almost certainly reach straight for the Thesaurus and bottle of green ink before calling me all the names under the sun.

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