A generic model for how the Turin Shroud could have been forged via a TWO STEP process (image capture, then separate image development).

Here’s a comment I left a couple of days ago on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site (my last on that impervious-to-reason site). It flags up my current thinking that the Turin Shroud must have been produced via a TWO STEP process (necessary for fine-tuning the forgers’ objectives of simulating what a  1300 year old sweat/blood imprint might look like on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen, the latter deployed as a temporary makeshift stretcher/body bag* used simply as a dignified means for transferring the crucified Jesus from cross to nearby rock tomb – NOT AS FINAL BURIAL SHROUD).

May 17, 2015 at 1:52 am

Just to say that this blogger is now nearing the end of his 40 month (approx) journey. There’s just one more posting that needs doing. It’s to generalize my currently preferred white flour/nitric acid model. It may or may not have been white flour used as imprinting medium. It may or may not have been nitric acid that was used to turn that faint off-white image into a more prominent yellow or yellow-brown colour. The key thing is the use of a two-stage model: initial imprinting of a proto- (‘ghost’) image followed by second stage development. Note the parallel with pre-digital era photography, except my model is maybe better described as a mix of medieval impactography and chemography – no photons or neutrons needed.

Why use two stages, when one would suffice (e.g.Garlaschelli’s frottage or Accetta’s wood-block imprinting)? Answer: to permit fine-tuning of the end-result, so as to achieve that oh-so-subtle negative image – not too contrasty, not too ghostly. For example, a first stage imprint with flour could be softened around the edges by sponging with a damp cloth. The permutations are endless when one adopts a two-stage model.

Time now to bow out from this site, both stimulating and infuriating by turns. All queries to do with the TS image per se addressed to me here will henceforth be answered on either my sciencebuzz or recently-reactivated specialist TS site.


* See a previous posting on this site, with this and other examples from the artistic record of Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being used as an aid to transport.

Insert caption

(Have still to track down name of artist and date).

Next task (before putting finishing touches on the ‘two-step’ model) is to replace the banner of this site showing one-step scorch technology with some imagery from my recent round of experimentation.  It will show stages in the favoured  two-step process (imprinting from a human subject or part thereof with a white flour paste, followed by image development using nitric acid (either as vapour or solution).

Update: task completed (though I may fine-tune the images later)

Here’s the previous banner, showing just 10 minutes ago:

Previous site banner showing redundant one-step scorch technology

Previous site banner showing redundant one-step scorch technology

Here’s the new banner with a brief description of what each picture shows:

New banner added to this site 19 May 2015 to replace old one-step scorch model with new two-step model.

New banner added to this site 19 May 2015 to replace old one-step scorch model with new two-step model.

From left: 1. crossed hands on Turin Shroud; 2. a simple one-step imprint of my hand using chocolate spread (posted a while ago to show how fingers can look bony on a contact imprint); 3. first stage in new methodology: coat hand with paste made with white flour and cold water; 4. press linen on to coated hand to capture a negative image, visible (just) on reverse side when linen pulled away; 5. development of the weak primary image using nitric acid vapour (or solution); 6. final developed image of hand after removal from nitric acid, neutralization of acid, washing and drying.

Update (24 May 2015) : here’s a list of postings since April 1st on my sciencebuzz site.  It starts with the realization that while H2SO4 did not appear fit-for-purpose in any model for the TS image, another more chemically-reactive strong acid (HNO3) might:

1 April 15 (125 views)

What does sulphuric acid do to linen fibres? Might it provide us with clues to the Turin Shroud?

6 April 15  (89 views)

Was this the man who supplied the chemical know-how for faking the Turin Shroud – 13th century Paul of Taranto?

6 April 15 (157 views)

Might fumigation with nitric acid vapour and NOx gases have been used to artificially age the Turin Shroud? Just an idea at this stage.

9 April 15 (292 views)

Modelling the Turin Shroud (medieval fake?). Just waiting now for the nitric acid to arrive.

20 April 15 (56 views)

The enigmatic Shroud of Turin: experimental testing of my novel nitric acid fumigation model is currently underway (preliminary results look distinctly PROMISING).

21 April 15 (168 views)

Might this be how the Turin Shroud was faked, using medieval alchemy?

3 May 15 (109 views)

Modelling the Turin Shroud: my flour/nitric acid vapour model looks better and better with each passing day.

6 May 15 (72 views)

The chemical principles behind the iconic Turin Shroud can now be explained. All that remains is to produce a look-alike copy.

20 May 15 (92 views)

Where does blood fit into the new two-stage medieval forgery model of the Turin Shroud?

Update: as I say, this blogger is nearing the end of his interest in the TS. So what’s to follow? Answer: it’s nothing to do with fundamental science (more to do with misuse of instrumentation and technology) but it’s still to do with the misapplication of so-called “science”.

A recent experience of driving out of a small village in Ayrshire (Scotland, two days ago) brings it right up to the top of this motoring blogger’s agenda and list of priorities.

The persecution of  essentially law-abiding motorists has to stop. It’s become a civil rights issue.

See this recent article in the Mail for growing disquiet re the use of stealth mobile speed cameras, that may or may not be correctly used. Some of the comments especially are worth checking out.



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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