Shroudie-Alert: Day 2. Chief topic: the Lirey badge, the chain and the so-called “blood belt”

 20:58: Here’s an attempt to line up frontal v dorsal images without the sky falling on one’s head, with or without a cyber-Valkyrie from the far west seeking out her next victim for despatch to the Nether -World naughty-step.

4 images side by side with extra contrastNope, on no account must repeat the error of taking the first two on the left, even if the base-line is supplied by the image-provider, in this case Shroud Scope. It’s tempting to do so, and enquire pointedly why the dorsal looks so much taller than the frontal, but making that observation can really spoil your day. (It is to do with the feet, more obvious here than on the previous occasion). So what I’ve done is line them up to get the heads at approximately the same level – 3rd and 4th image. There one can see that the “spear site”,  which although described as having been  ‘in the side’ is considerably higher than the waist and  that so-called ‘blood belt”. So there’s no conceptual difficulty in imagining blood from one – the higher- draining down to the waist level. But there are all kinds of logistical difficulties if one expects it to stop and pool at waist level, as Hugh Farey pointed out earlier today, at least with a victim still vertical on a cross (although I  am following the home experiments of ‘matthias’ on the Other Site with interest, where he is attempting to model blood flow from the nail wounds down the arms to the blood belt site).

I suppose one could make a case for pooling if the subject were recumbent, as on a shelf in a rock tomb, but that would involve buying into  those oh-so-convenient scenarios that involve re-bleeding from wounds that are hours old and presumably well-plugged with fibrin clots.  (It’s called fibrinolysis you know; do try to rid yourself of the notion that fibrinolysis is primarily an intravascular phenomenon designed to protect the heart from fragmented clots formed inside the body(“thrombi”, as in thrombosis) and infarction ( as in obstructed coronary arteries), and try to think of the positive side of having external clots dissolve prematurely, and having to rush off and buy more sticky plasters and bandages). Knock knock. “Good morning. We’re in your neighbourhood. Can I interest you in the latest in blood volume control. You must have heard of it. It’s called Clot Buster, guaranteed to work within hours, minutes even, on all those unsightly scabs. It lifts them clean off, and restores a nice flow of  healthy fresh blood.   The Institute of Extracorporeal Fibrinolysis has given the product its seal of approval…”

“Sorry, I’ll have to stop you there. We have all the fibrinolysis we need thank you. Yes, do call again,  by all means, same time next week”.  (When we shall be away on holiday).

So let’s push the envelope a bit, shall we, or at least not seal  it prematurely, and imagine other scenarios, like the “blood belt” having nothing to do with blood (originally) and the “spear wound” also having nothing to do with blood (originally). I shall now insert a picture that offers that alternative scenario – though some will have seen it before and perhaps already have made up their minds on the credibility or otherwise of a Gospel according to an apostle whose name you may not have encountered before – Colin. Here it is. Look for the chains, and where they are situated and anchored, serving an essential purpose. Then think again about that Lirey badge, and who might be depicted, and how they may have departed this mortal coil. (I shall call it a day here, and pick up the story again tomorrow).

Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master, Knights Templar,1309.

Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master, Knights Templar, Paris, 1314

20:35   If  there was red-brown pigment mixed with the blood on the “blood belt” but not on the blood on the forearm, I’d have a good base from which to suggest that there had been an original red-brown imprint from a chain, subsequently touched up/disguised with blood (and would not be unduly worried about the blood-first/’other’ image second dogma, given there is no compelling evidence one way or the other from looking closely at regions where both co-exist (quite the contrary in fact – with the eye-of-faith, ‘other image’ (red brown) occasionally seems to be underneath plum blood). Sadly there seems to be no such dichotomy. There is red-brown coloration in the forearm blood too, and one can hardly claim that chains had any role to play there. So the quest for understanding the dual coloration  must be postponed for another day. For now, I  shall return to the question of the “blood belt” on the dorsal side, and try to understand some more about its relationship with the frontal “spear wound” bloodstain – the one that is an Emperor’s clothes predicament, given the absence of an obvious wound, whatever Professor Fanti and his colleagues claim to have seen and marked with that yellow circle (insert link later). The next task is to look at the height difference between the “spear site” and the “blood belt”, a topic which sends shivers down this blogger’s spine, thinking of the ferocious reaction when I did that once before (involving guess who? Yup, the Valkyrie from Whatjummacallit High School).


Image 1 (top left): the blood allegedly from  a spear wound in the side (can you see any wound?); 2. Top right: a forearm; 3 (bottom half" - the so-called 'blood belt'.Note in all cases the plum-coloured blood. But what is the red brown component that becomes better visualized, as here, when one increases the contrast on these Shroud Scope images (Durante 2002)?

Image 1 (top left): the blood allegedly from a spear wound in the side (can you see any wound?);  Image 2. Top right: a forearm; Image  3 (bottom half” – the so-called ‘blood belt’.
Note in all cases the plum-coloured blood. But what is the red brown component that becomes better visualized, as here, when one increases the contrast on these Shroud Scope images (Durante 2002)?

So what do you make of the red-brown patches mixed in with the blood? Has anyone come across references to them in the existing literature? Are we seeing evidence for ‘touching up’ aka enhancement? More importantly, is there evidence for a Lirey-displayed chain having been imprinted maybe BEFORE the blood? If so, is it just on  the dorsal side ‘blood belt’ (extended) or in the frontal image too,  with still-joined-together links in a small heaping together of a severed chain on a Mark 1 Shroud – but later made to look like the site  of a spear wound by judicious addition of blood?)

16:16: I was also pleased to see Hugh Farey giving encouragement to “matthias” over there for taking a hands-on  approach to the Shroud, even if it did involve blood-simulating fluid coursing down towards his nether regions without being certain where the inexorable process would stop. Matthias could quickly find that the field is wide-open to newcomers who may quickly find themselves considered the first and foremost authority in particular areas, at least where search engine bragging rights are concerned. To the teacher lady (below) who tries to write off my site as an irrelevance, she might try googling  ( lirey badge), or (shroud turin scorch)  or (shroud turin scourge marks) to name just three areas to see that  a paucity of comments does not mean one is not being read. I’ve been blogging for quite some years, and there are plenty of well-regarded  sites that attract few comments.  Some sites, sad to say,  are not greatly enhanced by their regular band of visitors. I know of one – francophile-expat orientated- where the regular bully-cum-bore based in Canada has driven off  virtually everyone else.

Anyway, time now to address the serious science, namely the issue raised over there regarding the so-called “blood belt”, and where that blood came from. As mentioned yesterday, the starting point must surely be that Lirey pilgrim’s badge. The way in which that unique mid-14th century artefact, marking the first recorded appearance of the Shroud in western Europe,   has been largely ignored in Shroudie promotion tells one an awful lot about the lack of scientific objectivity of some of those who would have us believe they are scientists. In science one starts with the available evidence, imperfect or incomplete though it may be.  There is no place for “brushing under the carpet” through failure to reinforce preconceptions. When I first raised the matter of the  Badge over there many moons ago, one of  the site’s most regular commentators, noted for his eloquence, admitted he had not even  heard of it till I mentioned it.  Incredible!

Where the badge is concerned, it’s the “chain thing”, innit and what it does NOT show that one might expect to see (like scourge marks and other wounds).  And Ian Wilson’s so-called ‘blood belt’  has a kind of chain motif too. I’ll now dig out some Shroud Scope pictures that show there are details about the Shroud’s blood patterns that are rarely if ever touched upon.  (Shroud Scope is another of those strangely neglected  ‘windows’ on the Shroud, given the real thing is to stay locked away in its climate-controlled cabinet till 2020 or whenever.   Why is that? Is it because far too many folk are happy with the “received wisdom” of STURP, with its many trophy findings that no one can be bothered to confirm or even question?  The list is endless – fanciful bilirubin-adducts that keep oxidized haemoglobin  eternally red, hugely complex scenarios involving re-haemorrhaging wounds, reliquifying blood clots,  serum exudation from retracting blood clots,  image thickness that is so incredibly superficial that no one can be bothered to measure it precisely etc. etc. So you keep beavering away, matthias and others.  The field is indeed wide open. You’d be surprised what you can see  and learn that is not mentioned in the STURP and other reports.  Did you know there is a mystery red-brown component X mixed in with the blood-stains? Now what might that be, one may ask, and which arrived first – the blood or X?

16:00 I was pleased to see the host of the Other Site ( a few complimentary things today about my new format, almost entirely lacking ‘side’ – which makes a welcome change. Shame then about the first comment from Ms. P (Perennially) Uptight of Wodjamacallit High School. All I would say to Ms.P is this:  if she has a complaint,  legitimate or otherwise, about what she reads on this site, then isn’t this the appropriate place to take it up in the first instance, and not go spreading tittle-tattle on third party sites? She might also try remembering that she protects her identity, while this blogger does not. That’s what is called an uneven playing field where I come from. It is maybe she too who needs to moderate her tone in future.


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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