Time methinks to refresh this blog’s tagline (and hopefully improve its dismal Google ranking).

Escher's steps (that kind that take the average blogger to a higher Google ranking)

Escher’s steps (that kind that take the average blogger to a higher Google ranking)


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:




Time methinks to provide a more attractive/repulsive tagline for this blog (the choice depending on your personal take on Shroud authenticity).

Previous tagline:

The Shroud image could easily be mistaken for a contact scorch – highest point on weave, non- directionality, ‘negative character’, hugely more photogenic after tone-reversal and 3D-enhancement. HOW CAN IT NOT BE  A SCORCH?

New tagline

Maybe it began with that  slow-roasting barbecuing of Templar VIPs over hot coals in 1314, that later gave birth to a grim memorial an arresting tribute– a scorch image imprint seemingly from  ‘barbecued’ man on linen. Then someone had a bright idea. Why not doctor the image – and change the narrative?

Sorry, still fine-tuning. Here’s the latest version that fits into the permitted space – by the skin of its teeth.

Maybe it began with that roasting of Templar VIPs over hot coals in 1314, later giving birth to an arresting tribute – a scorch  imprint as if from a  ‘barbecued man’ on linen. Then someone had a bright idea. Why not doctor the image – and change the narrative?


Why so important? Because the first few words of one’s tagline appears against one’s Google listing under (shroud turin), and since this blog still languishes on Page 13 of Google returns, after 2 years, and some 200 postings, it needs all the help it can get.

I’ve taken the liberty of adding the main points of the posting that immediately precedes this one – probably the most  uncompromising and ‘audacious’   I’ve ever penned.  You won’t see those ideas expressed anywhere else, the closest being the Knight/Lomas hypothesis. But the latter  proposed imaging off the still living traumatized Jacques de Molay  while undergoing torture – whereas mine uses imaging off a hot metal effigy to represent a  Templar being slow-roasted as per final execution in Paris, 1314.  I have some evangelical mantra-intoning pro-authenticity advocates to thank for the hardening of my own position.

Here’s a 500 word summary of how I think the Shroud of Turin came into existence (in 3 distinct and separate stages):

No, it’s not an image of the crucified Jesus, and it’s 14th, nor 1st century. Take away the (afterthought) bloodstains and it’s an image that could have been made by heating a bronze crucifix of Jesus, suitably modified (arms re-positioned etc), and overlaying with linen and damp cloth to obtain a thermal imprint (“scorch”). The latter is a negative thermograph (NOT photograph) , is highly superficial  and responds well to 3D-imaging, having been imprinted from  a 3D template.

So who was the image meant to represent? Probably a Knight Templar, probably Jacques de Molay or Geoffroi de Charney, and probably scorched on a linen shroud to symbolize artistically the cruel manner of execution, reminiscent of, and perhaps inspired by, that of the martyred St.Lawrence of Rome, who was slow-roasted over hot coals (AD 258).

The Mark 1  image was no doubt easily recognizable as a contact scorch, but when it came into the hands of Geoffroi de Charny, said to have been the nephew of the executed De Charney, at a time when the Veil (-cum-face-wipe-) of Veronica was attracting hordes of pilgrims, he and/or his wife Jeanne de Vergy were quick to realize its possibilities. By subjecting the Mk 1 shroud to the kind of treatments listed later by Antoine de Lalaing – heating, multiple laundering, even boiling in oil – the scorch image became fainter, and the background became artificially aged. The end-result, Shroud Mk2, was then promoted as if were the ‘big brother’ of the Veronica – not just a facial imprint left by sweat on the road to Calvary, but a whole body imprint (still “sweat” left behind on the burial shroud  a day or two later.

All that was needed to obtain today’s Mark 3 shroud was apply blood in all the biblically-correct places.

Note that it is not the Mark 1 or even, arguably, the  Mark 2 shrouds that were forgeries – just the bloodied Mark 3. It is only the linen that has been radiocarbon dated (1260-1390) the midpoint coinciding with the Lirey period of ownership, the Shroud’s first documented recording. The bloodstains have NEVER  been carbon-dated, and could have come later, perhaps through incremental additions (each new one being hailed as a “miracle”?).

Evidence?  It rests mainly on modelling experiments with hot metal templates, on  close examination of the Lirey badge and Machy mould, on comparisons with other religious icons and/or revered martyrs (notably the Veronica and St.Lawrence), and especially by those words attributed to  Antoine de Lalaing re “boiling in oil” etc. These different dovetailing approaches have been the subject of some 200 postings over two years by this blogger/retired biomedical scientist. Links to the crucial ones will follow.

Why has the TS fooled (or merely intrigued) generations of scholars? Because it was first MADE (by scorching) , then partially UNMADE,  so to speak i.e. by artificial ageing and other rough treatment, designed to make the image look more like a 1st. century Veronica-style  “sweat” imprint.


Those same flow charts showing proposed step-by-step chronology will follow shortly

Chronological flow sheet from AD 258 to AD 1350 approx with a degree of guesswork.

Click or double-click on chart to ENLARGE. Chronological flow sheet from AD 258 to AD 1350 approx with a degree of guesswork.

Second part of chart (later stages)

Second part of chart (later stages) . Click or double-click to enlarge.

I see the far-fetched “earthquake/neutron” story has 6 entries on Page  1 of Google listings, and 2 more on Page 2  (there are more on subsequent pages). Why are search engines biased towards 9 day wonder sensation-seeking stories, and, more importantly, why are they biased AGAINST semi-established  specialist blogs ( HEY, LIKE THIS ONE!!!)  One cannot claim it’s because of lack of content, because adding an extra term to the  (shroud turin) search profile,  say  ‘scorch’ or ‘lirey badge’ can put one’s humble blog at the top of the heap.  The Google algorithm is clearly designed to count, not weigh. It’s essentially tabloid rather than broadsheet in the way it’s set up.


I was thinking a few minutes ago of adding some more to that whine re our search engines, and then the MSM. Some quite uncharitable thoughts began to form about MSM “staff blogs”. Like why do journalists write up their opinions on current issues, science-based ones included where a woeful grasp of the scientific modus operandi is usually quickly apparent? That then got me to thinking why MSM staffer blogs never link to non-MSM blogs – so are not part of the blogosphere, and indeed might be seen as an attempt to block out the latter. Now that may be an uncharitable thought, but then a thought occurred to me. When one enters (shroud turin) into Google, one is presented beneath the listings with a brief sub-menu that lists more targeted searches, one of which is (shroud of turin blog). So what are listed under blogs? Guess what? The criterion that has to be met if one’s blog is in that list is NOT to be a blog at all, but merely to have the term “blog” as part of one’s title or tagline or recent copy. (Those with Google’s own “blogspot” stable are thus assured of priority treatment). In other words, Google does NOT recognize a blog unless it’s supplied with that term by the blogger or his site’s host. How stupid is that? (So MSM staff bloggers have a handy excuse if charged with ignoring the community of blogs on a particular topic if there is no definitive and complete listing of blogs – just a mish-mash of entries that have blog somewhere in the script.

This blog was at the top of page 3 listings, but only because of  what I wrote 2 hours ago that had “blog” in its preamble.

Well, the take-away message is clear. Find somewhere on one’s home page,  preferably the title, to declare oneself to be a “blog”. I shall attend to that immediately.

Done:  (OK, so it looks a bit pretentious, in your face etc, but it’s all I could think of on the spur of the moment).



Update Wed 26: already, this blog that now has “blog” in its title has moved up the ‘shroud of turin blog’ listings on Google, from Page 3 to bottom of page 2.

google blog now page 2If a simple word change can make such a difference under ‘blog’, then  maybe there are (legitimate) ways of massaging  my ranking under ‘shroud turin’.  Maybe I should work  “holy” or “catholic”  or “mystery radiation” into the title or tagline!  😉


Yup, search engines , not just Google, are simply not fit for purpose where the blogosphere is concerned.  One wonders to what extent the MSM is responsible for that, by hijacking the term “blog” for opinionated staff pieces that  are not “weblogs” as per original meaning, and only rarely focused on a specific issue, and instead serve merely to provide a portal for the people who collect and interpret news to express personal opinions freely. So the ultimate victim is the blogosphere  which ends up losing  its sphericity, becoming  pear-shaped, with the MSM filling out the bloated bulbous end.

On further reflection, the MSM love affair with its staff so-called blogs is not difficult to fathom.  While the content may be ephemera (and there’s now’t wrong with that) those pieces offer a comments facility that draws in the citizen would-be ‘blogger’ who is assured of a vast readership, far more than he or she could hope to achieve by going solo. Comments are much easier to pen than postings anyway, and can be interactive from the word go in a way that no posting-from-cold can be. Thus the MSM and its staff are assured of thousands of extra hits daily, and with those vital clicks that make the site a serious proposition for advertisers (especially as those cookies can root through one’s browsing history to permit targeted advertising).

All this is at best peripheral, and straying from the main point. Why is the anti-authenticity case not receiving the attention it warrants, if only for balance? Why is it that anyone with a crackpot idea for how an image appeared on linen is guaranteed newspaper headlines that last days, and search engine prominence that then lasts weeks, months or even years-given the mindless way the search algorithms operate? What does one have to do to protect scientific enquiry from this insanity?


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 medieval forgery, medieval hoax, Shroud of Turin and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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