Site banner: see how a simulated sweat imprint (my wet hand pressed down onto dark fabric) responds magnificently to 3D-rendering computer software (ImageJ) before and after tone-reversal (negative back to positive image). Remind you of anything? Like those supposedly “unique” and “encoded” 3D-properties of the Shroud of Turin body image? For a more realistic aged/yellowed sweat imprint, see the many postings on this site since 2014 obtained with the aid of my Model 10 (imprinting off parts, notably head and hands, of a real body (mine!) onto linen with white wheaten flour, followed by heat-development of the image to generate carbon-based and thus bleachable straw-coloured melanoidins via Maillard reactions between wheat proteins and reducing sugars).
Here’s an update on my 4 years of progressive fine-tuning of the much-maligned “scorch hypothesis”. It’s a single photograph, obtained just an hour ago, but as I say, some 4 years of work have gone into producing it.
No, it’s not linen, it’s cotton. What’s more it’s pre-baked cotton. Why those particular conditions? Answer: because they generate a result that is simple and straightforward to perceive, with no straining of the eyes, no asking to take anything on trust.
What you see are contact imprints, before and after washing with soap and water, obtained from those two metal bas relief templates (“horse brasses”). The washed images are the cut-outs closer to the horse brasses (extreme left for prancing horse, extreme right for King George VI).
No, they were not heated and pressed onto the fabric. That’s “old” Mark 1 technology.
No, the templates were smeared with olive oil, dusted with white flour (wheat), then draped with wet fabric that was pressed down to obtain a flour imprint. The imprinted fabric was then heated in an oven to approx 200 degrees C to obtain the image. The latter, presumably formed by a Maillard browning reaction (like toasted bread) survived washing with soap and water in the case of cotton. (Had linen been used the washed image would have been much, much fainter – more Shroud-like one might say).
As I say, conditions have been chosen to give a photogenic result with a simple hand-held digital camera.
No, the images do not fluoresce under uv light, unlike the lettering from the marker pens. That needs to be said, to counter the hoary old chestnut that all “scorch” images fluoresce under uv light. Oh no they don’t (see previous postings), neither the thermal-imprints seen here, obtained by oven roasting, nor direct scorch imprints obtained directly in a single step (by heating a metal bas relief template and pressing down onto fabric to get a classical scorch).
Take away message: while the Shroud of Turin is a tone-reversed negative, as per a photographic negative, its production in medieval (14th century) France would not have required anachronistic light photography. Negative images are obtainable by contact-imprinting, as shown here.
Profound apologies if I’m destroying mystique or fond illusions, but there’s been far too much over-hyping of the Turin Shroud, much it coming from agenda-driven scientists and technologists (more often the latter) who should know better (or capable of keeping their science and their religion in separate mental compartments). There’s a sense in which both science and religion are mental constructs. That’s no reason to assume they are facets of a single unified mental construct. The brain is known to have two halves. Maybe it has quarters, eighths etc too.
Postscript: added Aug 27, 2020
Here’s a list of the 10 models developed by this retired scientist, each reported online via this and other websites as a “learning curve”. It was originally displayed in the right hand margin of the Home Page, but I’ve decided it’s now largely of historical value only.
It’s been copied and pasted “as is” from the margin.
My 10 experimental models, 2011-2015
Model 1. “Thermostencilling” (the one and only radiation model, quickly dismissed as impractical).
See this from Dec 2011:
Model 2: Direct one-step scorching off a heated metal template, with nothing else apart from linen. (Finally abandoned for mainly practical reasons, but it gave valuable insights into the 3D properties of thermal imprints).
See this from Nov 2013.
Model 3: as above, with coatings, notably WHITE FLOUR (an early forerunner of the final Model 10!).
I had initially tested starch, glucose etc , surprisingly with little success. it may have been this which sowed the idea that there needed to be something else present. Ray Rogers’ focus on Maillard reactions helped, albeit substituting protein for his volatile putrefaction amines.
See this from Oct 2014:
Model 4: Wet imprinting with natural dyes, notably tannins, with added viscosity agents, essentially as described by Joe Accetta.
See this from March 2015
Model 5: sulphuric acid, flagged up by any number of previous investigators – Luigi Garlaschelli, Joe Nickell among others, the idea being that acids might have etching/discoloring effect on linen.
Result: negligible discoloration, profound weakening of fabric at ordinary temps, no obvious coloration without applied heat.
See this from April 2015:
Model 6: Substitution of nitric for sulphuric acid, first with plain linen, then WHITE FLOUR -coated linen (another forerunner of final model 10).
Probably the most informative experiment of all, assisted by critical input from Adrie van der Hoeven, inasmuch as protein was implicated as a potential source of image chromophore, focussing initially on the traces of protein intrinsic to linen, then moving onto extraneous sources of protein coating, then finally dispensing altogether with nitric acid as developing agent, and replacing with OVEN-HEATING TO PRODUCE MAILLARD REACTIONS. (Yes, Maillard reactions: an echo there of Rogers, but in his pro-authenticity thinking, he had perforce to introduce some less probable sources of amino nitrogen and reducing sugars (decaying corpse and 1st century technical starch or soap coatings as a somewhat improbable source of reducing sugars).
See this from May 2015:
Model 7: quicklime. A longshot, using the highly exothermic reaction between calcium oxide, CaO and water as source of in situ heat, but quickly abandoned.
See this from June 2014:
Model 8: Lemon juice and heat, with its ascorbic acid (not citric acid) as the active ingredient – basically invisible ink methodology.
Probably operates via a Maillard reaction between (a) a constituent 4- carbon reducing sugar – threose – derived from thermal decomposition of ascorbic acid- and (b) amino compounds.
Most of the existing literature assumes (wrongly!) that it’s the linen that discolors when treated with acid, even weak organic ones like those present in lemon juice (citric, ascorbic etc)
See this from October 2014:
Model 9. Imprinting with WHITE FLOUR in the form of slurry then OVEN-ROASTING. Criticized for giving imprints that were too well-defined at edges.
See this from June 2015:
Final 10 (phew!) Imprinting with dry WHITE FLOUR onto wet linen, followed by OVEN-ROASTING of the imprinted linen. Fuzzier imprints, negative, 3D response in ImageJ software, right thread and fibre properties at the microscopic level – i.e. halftone effect, discontinuities etc. Eureka!
See this from Aug 2015: