Today is the day the gloves come off..

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:


Posted just a few minutes ago to Dan Porter’s
Click on the #11 (hotlink) to my comment, and the fatuous – and snide posting – that provoked it and my final departure from that site.
November 24, 2013 at 5:54 am | #11

“…remember that for awhile Colin was championing something to do with Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Now it is a remodeled crucifix: “

That’s presumably an attempt to portray me as some kind of butterfly, deserting one fancy and going to another. If Dan Porter had taken the trouble to read what I have proposed regarding the de Molay he would realize that the re-modelled crucifix makes a crucial link between de Molay’s initial torture by crucifixion and his final execution by slow-roasting over charcoal and to a specially commissioned memorial Shroud in the form of a Christ-like thermal imprint..

Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, immediately prior to being slow-roasted over charcoal, Paris, 1314. May, myself, belive this to be the Man on the TS. I think I am the first to suggest that his image on the Shroud is a thermal imprint (scorch) intended deliberately to convey vividly the manner of his death. (It is possible the image is that of de Molay'sclose associate, Geoffroi de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy, who dies alongside de Molay on the same day in the same manner. Some, notably genealogist Noel Currer Briggs, believes de Charney to have been the uncle of Geoffroi de Charny (not slight difference in spelling) who was first known owner of the Shroud at Lirey in northern France, whose widow  Jeanne de Vergey placed it on public display in 1357 approx, for which the Lirey Pilgrim's badge, aka Cluny Medal, was commissioned.

Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, immediately prior to being slow-roasted over charcoal, Paris, 1314. Many, myself included , believe this to be the Man on the TS. I think I am the first to suggest that his image on the Shroud is a thermal imprint (scorch) intended deliberately to convey vividly the manner of his death. (It is possible the image is that of de Molay’s close associate, Geoffroi de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy, who died alongside de Molay on the same day in the same manner. Some, notably genealogist Noel Currer Briggs, believe de Charney to have been the uncle of Geoffroi de Charny (note slight difference in spelling) who was first known owner of the Shroud at Lirey in northern France, whose widow Jeanne de Vergey placed it on public display in 1357 approx, for which the Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, aka Cluny Medal, was commissioned.


Here’s my new technology for imprinting off a hot template which I call LOTTO (linen-on-top-then-overlay).

Here's the thermal imprint after light/dark reversal in Image. Remind you of anything?

Here’s the thermal imprint after light/dark reversal in ImageJ. Remind you of anything?

As above, after 3D enhancement in ImageJ

As above, after 3D enhancement in ImageJ

But there’s a bigger issue at stake here, namely that I have been drip-feeding detailed scientific proposals to this site for some weeks now, making points that no one before has made, and what do I get for my trouble? I get an invidious comparison with Bertrand Russell (died 1970) who was himself also being hung out to dry in the US press by a journalist with the intellect of a tadpole.

(The Truly Paranoid Style in American Politics)

What we see here in truth is yet another of those carefully-crafted sneers from the site’s host, attempting to diminish my SCIENCE, indeed, by linking it to the smear on Russell, by attempting to portray it as just so much verbiage posturing as

Those who think I have judged Dan Porter too harshly should look at the dumb conclusion from that dud journalist to which he has given pride of place:

“…this strange hybrid method, through which a literary genre convinces itself it is a science.”

I hold no special brief for Russell, neither his brand of philosophy nor his politics, but I can tell you this. If that statement above had appeared in a UK newspaper, i would be seriously considered a formal letter to our Press Complaints Commission, stating that it totally misrepresented and defamed the memory of one of Britain’s most able thinkers (and that’s without the ludicrous claim that Russell was the father of modern-day conspiracy theories – quite the most repugnant and pig-ignorant journalism I’ve encountered in quite a while. . ). Yet the site’s host takes that as his text, so to speak, basically to mock my science by proxy – and others here say it’s just good humour.

Oh no it’s not. I recognize a genteel smear (ed. sneer?) campaign when I see one, and what we see above is just one of a long stream of Mr.Porter’s postings in which I have become featured in this manner as someone out of his depth, an amateur, a wild fantasist.

I am none of those things. I am a deadly serious scientist with time on his hands determined to expose the pseudo-science that is used to promote Shroud authenticity (Barrie Schwortz’s pitch on red blood and bilirubin being a recent case in point).

It’s time to remove the gloves. All further comment will be on my own site, not here. Please don’t address remarks to me here and expect a reply .

My first task will be to assemble the comments I have placed here these last few months into a single archive – so that folk will quickly see that I am not the lightweight that some here seem to think I am (or wish to portray me as). I don’t claim to be a heavyweight either. I’m just someone who detests seeing science corrupted to fit a narrative or agenda.

Programme for the next month or so (there will be no further comments to

1.  Challenge Barrie Schwortz, President of STERA Inc. to back up his assertions re bilirubin and red blood with all the data  he has at his disposal. He is after all titular head of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Assn who appeals for donations, so could be said to have an obligation to promote verifiable facts, not other people’s fancies that just happen to fit the  narrative. Done 25 Nov.

2. List a selection of  comments posted to these last few months under 15 or so headings; challenge Dan Porter to defend his portrayal or me as fantasist or scientific lightweight.

3. Do some image processing on Mario Latendresse’s  “sedilli”  (sedile in current English) to determine whether they are more likely to be blood or non-blood. (Done, but still thinking about the results)

4. Look at the effect of imprinting from a heated template onto a double-layer of linen (or, more economically, onto linen via an intermediate layer of cotton). Try the LOTTO procedure on linen impregnated with lemon juice (with a view to achieving  a paler image that is perhaps more superficial).

5. Saw the arms off my French-marker crucifix? Re-position in Shroud, with hands crossed over groin region. Is it possible to disguise the breaks at the shoulders (which are invisible on the Shroud due to 1532 fire)?

6. Write to Pope Francis, recommending that the radiocarbon dating be repeated with a more representative range of sampling sites.

7. Email the American Chemical Society, asking the opinion of its members on Raymond Rogers’ claim that thymol preservative would bind irreversibly to linen constituents, notably cellulose, rendering any new radiocarbon date invalid.

8. Prepare a presentation page, with a title along the lines:  A complete, albeit speculative account, of how and why the Turin Shroud first came to be placed on display where it did (Lirey, France) and when it did (approx. 1357).  A visual metaphor of the torture and execution  (Paris, 1314) of Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, to make an arresting  comparison with that of the crucified Jesus.

9. Test out an idea for easier visual monitoring of the degree of scorching beneath the underlay in my LOTTO method. Cut three sides of a small square or rectangle in the centre of the cloth. That can then be lifted up at intervals to check progress or for first signs of unacceptable reverse-side scorching.  Have I not seen solid rectangles of darker colour on the Shroud? Might they perhaps been open inspection panels where the linen got heated more through not being covered by a damp overlay?

10. Think about acquiring a life-size head or bas relief cast in brass or bronze to see whether the method scales up well or not. Maybe a note to David Rolfe, to say that his Enigma Challenge is possibly being achieved quietly in the background, without involving the Archbishop of Atheism.

Update Monday Nov 25: have sent this email to an internet- supplier of ornamental bronzes, based in Telford, UK:

Hello. I am working on a project to do with the Turin Shroud, and how the image might have been produced in the Middle Ages by pressing hot metal into linen.

 I’m now looking to scale up, say to a life-size human head in REAL bronze (or even brass etc) but NOT resin for obvious reasons.It could be an animal head, I guess, or even whole animal, provided there aren’t too many pointy bits.

  I don’t want to spend too much (pensioner!) and would be happy to accept a second. Is there anything on your shelves that might fit the job?

11. Make full use of the settings on the home oven to explore alternatives for heating the brass. One can have convection only; alternatively, one can have an overhead glowing element  in the top underside that may get the metal hotter than is presently possible using the halogen rings on the hob. Curiously the problem with linen (not cotton) is failure to get the template hot enough and then under-scorching. As I’ve said before, I think the problem with linen is that pyrolysable hemicellulose is in short supply – due to botanical differences (being a stem bast  as distinct from seed fibre or the retting process or both.

I may add more to this list, as and when ideas come to me.


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 Today is the day the gloves come off..

  1. colinsberry says:

    Here’s a question that has just been addressed to me by Matthias elsewhere

    November 26, 2013 at 8:06 am | #9
    Reply | Quote

    re: hot statue – QUESTION
    Surely if a hot statue was used we would see image on the top of the head? Colin?

    I’m stuck on the idea of dematerialization of Christ’s body for now ,as the basis for image creation. And no I am not proposing radiation. I am theorising that the instant act of dematerialization created some biological process that created the image. I don’t know if we can ever create a model for that process, given (ordinarily) bodies do not instantly dematerialize.

    My reply: No Matthias, it’s everyone else who has the problem, at least those who assume it was a real corpse with the shroud doing a tight U-turn at the top of the head, thus maintaining body-linen contact.

    With thermal imprinting by this new method of mine (and previous one too for that matter) one can only efficiently imprint one side at a time. So it’s left to the operative(s) to decide on how much space to leave between the two images – frontal v dorsal.

    I must now go back to Shroud Scope to see how accurately the two images are aligned on the long axis 😉

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