Doubly puzzling news item regarding Shroud promoter Russ Breault.



Postscript (correction: ‘prescript‘) added July 2019:

You have arrived at a 2014 posting. That was the year in which this investigator finally abandoned the notion of the body image being made by direct scorch off a heated metal template (despite many attractions, like negative image, 3D response etc. But hear later: orchestral DA DA!  Yup, still there with the revised technology! DA DA! ).

In its place came two stage image production.

Stage 1: sprinkle white wheaten flour or suchlike vertically onto human subject from head to foot, front and rear  (ideally with initial smear of oil to act as weak adhesive). Shake off excess flour, then cover the lightly coated subject with wet linen. Press down VERTICALLY and firmly (thus avoiding sides of subject). Then (and here’s the key step):

Stage 2: suspend the linen horizontally over glowing charcoal embers and roast gently until the desired degree of coloration, thus ‘developing’ the flour imprint, so as to simulate a sweat-generated body image that has become yellowed with centuries of ageing.

The novel two-stage “flour-imprinting’ technology was unveiled initially on my generalist “sciencebuzz” site. (Warning: one has to search assiduously to find it, and it still uses a metal template, albeit unheated,  as distinct from human anatomy):


sbuzz oct 24, 14 flour 1


So it’s still thermal development of sorts, but with a key difference. One can take imprints off human anatomy (dead or alive!).

A final wash of the roasted flour imprint with soap and water yields a straw-coloured nebulous image, i.e. with fuzzy, poorly defined edges. It’s still a negative (tone-reversed) image that responds to 3D-rendering software, notably the splendid freely-downloadable ImageJ.  (Ring any bells? Better still, orchestral accompaniment – see , correction HEAR earlier – DA DA!))

This 2014 “prescript” replaces the one used for my earlier 2012/2013 postings, deploying abandoned ‘direct scorch’ technology.

Thank you for your patience and forbearance. Here’s where the original posting started:

Original posting starts here:



I went to page 1 of Google returns earlier for Shroud of Turin, as is my wont, and was surprised to see a news item from today listed. (???).

Citizen's Voice article re Russ Breault

Luzerne County Pennsylvania’s  Citizen’s Voice article re Russ Breault

It states that Russ Breault  of Shroud Encounter was a member of the 1981 (sic) STURP team.  The claim is made by a church official.

Russ Breault

Russ Breault

To correct the record, I had to reactivate a Disqus ID I use for current affairs (“newsjunkie”).

Item re Russ Breault

Item re Russ Breault

No disrespect to Russ Breault, but is there anyone reading this who understands how the Google algorithm puts a somewhat plain fare, inconsequential news item onto its first page of  Shroud listings?  Me and my site are bobbing around right now between Pages 10 and 11!

Update: Tuesday: two new comments. the first addressed to me, and my reply posted just a minute ago.

Rckningday newsjunkie

It is under page 1 under the news section not the first website hit. That would be your site–I assume it is yours because of your interest–on my Google. You are right in your statement, however. This man, merely, attended the conference as a student. Looking at his site he is a paid lecturer and caters his presentations to his audience–academic or religious. I am not a Shroud expert, but I do know my religious history pretty well and will attend this presentation to make sure he doesn’t mislead his audience.

newsjunkie Rckningday

Thanks for the explanation re the (curious) manner in which Google “organizes” its first page of returns. It enters a link for News items that is clickable to bring up a string of mainly lightweight ephemera. What’s not clear is the the first item below News on that Page is the first entry in the hived-off list, so is given a prominence that is just temporary (one assumes, one hopes). Must do better, Google!

Yes, I do have a quite longstanding interest in the Shroud – from a scientific sceptic’s standpoint, having started a specialist site some two years ago, now with approx. 200 postings.


I’m 99.9% convinced that the image is not a painting, as per comment above, but a thermal imprint – essentially no different from holding an iron against a sheet, to leave a scorch mark, except that instead of an iron there was some kind of metal (?) effigy, possibly a life-sized crucifix of the crucified Jesus. The oft-trotted-out evidence that it is NOT a contact scorch (as distinct from weird and wonderful radiation emanating from a corpse) is exceedingly weak in my view.

How’s lovely Pennsylvania these days? I did a two year stint back in the early 70s at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School. The boss man’s house (Head of GI) in its cul-de-sac on the Main Line was more English than most top-of-the-range houses in England (being my home)! Missus and I had to be content with Devon Strafford Apartments, kept awake by late night student parties.


Postscript added Feb 17

Here’s a more recent item in the US press announcing the imminent arrival of the Russ Breault roadshow. It’s in total contrast to the above, commendably so.

There’s one point on which this blogger would take issue – the reference to “puncture wound”  on the Shroud. I have now amassed several scores of flying hours on the Shroud image (Shroud Scope) and have yet to see anything that could unequivocally be described as a puncture wound in the body image. There are bloodstains, certainly, real or engineeered, but a patch of blood-like material doth not a puncture wound make.

Update: 25 Feb

You read it here first!  Some two weeks later, that same MSM article is now the subject of a new posting Across The (Systematically-Slanted) Way introduced with the words: “journalism done well”.

This site recognizes good journalism when it sees it – even if a pro-authenticity bias, intended or otherwise,  is evident. The important thing is acknowledgement of there being an alternative point of view.




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.
This entry was posted in Shroud of Turin and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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