More original, cutting edge stuff from Hugh Farey appears in his latest BSTS Newsletter No.82 (December 2015)

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). 


Newsflash, added Thursday Jan 21, 2016

The latest edition of the  BSTS Newletter  No.82 has just appeared online, courtesy as usual of a dedicated page on Barrie M.Schwortz’s site.

BSTS Newsletter No 82 appeared Jan 20 or 21 , 2016

BSTS Newsletter No.82, December 2015, Editor Hugh Farey

There is much of interest there, especially original ‘hands on’ research by Hugh Farey that bravely attempts (and at least partially succeeds) in modelling the 1532 fire and its alleged mechanism of action and consequences, notably  the resultant symmetrical pattern of burn holes. There is also  some welcome  and long overdue re-thinking about the “scorches always fluoresce under uv, quite unlike the non-fluorescing TS body image” mantra (see too this investigator’s recent contrary  postings) and much else besides (which I’ve yet to read)  e.g. that claim for allegedly ‘invisible’ not to say hypothetical mending that we’re routinely told invalidates the radiocarbon dating .  Enjoy, or don’t, according to one’s sindonological sensibilities…

PS. Work proceeds apace on my “Shroud Manifesto”,  flagged up recently in  “Comments”  now up to its 25th bullet point. There’s no immediate urgency to post, especially as there’s much refreshing of memory, re-checking of references etc still to be done.DSC03170 doll versus flour imprint

It will have some photos of my latest template for flour-imprinting – a 21cm long vinyl baby doll with a cute face and smile.  There’s one striking imprint  thus far in some half dozen trials, all with the expected  3D properties, but it’s proving difficult to get consistent results. Technique is all important when needing to transfer flour cleanly and completely from reduced-scale 3D synthetic polymer  to linen. One never had this trouble with a 1:1 scale human appendage (my hand!).


Update: Saturday 22nd Jan

Have decided not to bother any more with the doll. Handy though it is size-wise for modelling purposes (less linen needed!) its plastic “skin” is simply not the equivalent of the real stuff, like my hand: while it coats well when first smeared with oil or beaten egg yolk (a new test) and then sprinkled with white flour, the latter – the vital imprinting medium – fails to transfer cleanly and completely to the wet linen, leaving gaps in the image.

However, one good thing came out of the doll test: I decided to try egg yolk versus egg white in place of vegetable oil as the initial ‘adhesive’ on my hand, and obtained (dare one say) a somewhat spectacular result, probably my best to date, as shown by these 3D renderings of the positive and tone-reversed imprints after baking .

yolk v white all 3d pre and post inversion

Left: positive flour imprints using (a) egg yolk and (b) egg white. Right: the same after tone-reversal in ImageJ. The fingers were deliberately spread apart when using egg yolk, and deliberately bunched together with egg white.


Not bad eh? Note the spindly fingers, as per the Real Thing. It’s a consequence of imprinting cylindrical appendages where the cloth is pressed down ONTO them, not between them, ie. the linen makes bridges between  the fingers such that the top surfaces only are imprinted, making them seem thinner than is really the case.

The spindly fingers of the TS are frequently commented upon and have been the subject of some exotic physics and biology – like emission of X-rays!  Contact imprinting offers a more prosaic explanation.

I may well substitute egg yolk or white for vegetable oil in future work. While not as convenient as oil straight from the bottle, it’s less messy and easier to rinse off hands etc afterwards. The humble egg is just as ‘medieval’ as vegetable oil, especially in a region of France (like Lirey in the Champagne region) which lies well north of the sun-kissed Mediterranean and its olive trees.

Final postscript: 24th Jan 2015

Once again, this retired scientist is being lectured, nay chastised, by the French physician, he of the prescriptive – and all too often wrong – PDF-penning tendency,  on what are the priorities where MY OWN research programme is concerned. yes, see comments attached to this thread.

This is neither the time nor place to discuss the philosophy of science (and the scientific method) with physicians who while using the fruits of scientific research are generally not scientists (unless holding a PhD or UK-style research MD or similar). Suffice it to say that science is NOT about establishing the correct answers. It’s about asking the right questions, assisted by model-building.  The answers to those questions, obtained with one’s increasingly-refined model,  hopefully improve the probability that one’s answers are correct. But as I say, science is about asking the right questions. It’s not a skill that can be taught, but is one that with patient observation can be learned, by working with a team leader who asks the right questions (thus the attraction of the university environment where there’s a recognized “prof” heading a department who’s good at asking the right questions, often leaving it to his students and research fellows to deliver the answers – right or wrong.

Do i practice what I preach? Yes, I believe so, and here’s the proof from some model-building I did some 2 weeks ago using a home-made, small scale  terra cotta bas relief to model the TS face.


0 terra cotta DSC02635

Home-made terra cotta face, after painting to seal the baked clay.


1. terra cotta template DSC02654

Fresh flour imprints, immediately after oven-baking, obtained from the template using LUWU (Linen Underneath With Underlay) or LOTTO (Linen On Top With Overlay).  LUWU = face down; LOTTO = face-up. The latter is more ‘complete’ but is arguably less imprint-like with greater wrap-around elongation/distortion. That is not to say that the TS face was obtained by LOTTO rather than LUWU. It is still a moot point, an important question needing to be addressed before making any formal attempt to replicate the TS image at full scale (real face or bas relief?)

2. washed terra cotta for inversion and 3dDSC02727

Here are the arguably more TS-like attenuated imprints from the terra cotta bas relief after washing with soap and water, ready for tone-reversal and/or 3D rendering in ImageJ.

3. washed terra cotta DSC02727 after inversion

As above, after Secondo Pia-style tone reversal (“positive to negative”).

4. terra cotta after 3d no inversion

Positive imprints after 3D rendering in ImageJ. Important:  the z scale slide on right has been left at its default setting , i.e. 0.1.  What one sees is the software’s default 3D-enhancement, one that also elevates simple plane figures on an imaginary z (vertical) axis. In other words, what one sees here might be entirely artefactual 3D generated by the software that creates ‘fake’ relief through raising image elevation in proportion to image density. The same might be true needless to say for 3D renderings of the TS.


Response to Mutant Buzzard (Comments, this posting): here’s one I did earlier (June 2012) – response of those scourge marks on Shroud Scope, given extra contrast, then 3D-enhanced in ImageJ:


Scourge marks (blood imprints) from Shroud Scope, with restored contrast and 3D-rendering in ImageJ.


I see no reason why scourge marks could not be replicated, at least in principle, do you MutantB? All one would need are miniature dumbbell-shaped templates of some description  that are painted with fresh blood or something made to resemble blood, and then serially imprinted across the entire body image, front and back, all 372 of them! (Personally, from reading the NT and the exchange of conversation between Pilate and Jesus, and then Pilate and the baying mob, I’ve never believed that Pilate ordered a scourging anything like as severe as would be indicated had the TS been radiocarbon-dated to the first century. The recipient would have been in no state to carry a protest banner, far less a cross or transom thereof).

Also needed for Comments is this image:

cropped hood with eye cut outs DSC03618



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.

21 Responses to More original, cutting edge stuff from Hugh Farey appears in his latest BSTS Newsletter No.82 (December 2015)

  1. piero says:

    Several years ago I had the opportunity to follow the special
    theory of lightning (a thunderbolt !!?!)…
    This lightning would have caused the fire, and according
    to some speculations even more daring was the cause
    of the radiocarbonic rejuvenation … (What do you think?).
    But I never saw a careful analysis about the Fire of 1532: the exact
    ignition origin, ignition time and flame spread (perhaps from a more
    exact visual inspection we can guess something)…
    Flame spread : see also the top layers of the cloth…
    — —
    First of all we have to remember that flame retardancy is measured
    by the amount of oxygen needed to support combustion
    (= Limiting Oxygen Index or LOI31).

    Do you know the “Critical Oxygen Index Apparatus”?

    >…To determine the minimum percentage of Oxygen
    required to just support flamming combustion of a material
    at Room Temperature in FTA mode or at a Higher Temperature
    (up to 400`C) in HFTA mode. … …
    >…Test applicable for wide range of materials such as Polymers,
    Cables, Textiles, … etc. … etc. …

    — — —
    Have you read the article by Hugh Farey?
    Here a further information about “hot iron” (…because
    a magnet was used to ascertain that the temperature
    was at least 770°C…):

    >…In the periodic table of elements only Fe, Co and Ni
    are ferromagnetic at and above room temperature.
    As ferromagnetic materials are heated then the thermal
    agitation of the atoms means that the degree of alignment
    of the atomic magnetic moments decreases and hence
    the saturation magnetisation also decreases.
    Eventually the thermal agitation becomes so great that
    the material becomes paramagnetic; the temperature
    of this transition is the Curie temperature,
    TC (Fe: TC =770°C, Co: TC =1131°C and Ni: TC =358°C).
    Above TC then the susceptibility varies according to
    the Curie-Weiss law. …


  2. Colin Berry says:

    The purpose of science is to illuminate – not to create an all-enveloping fog of ifs and maybes. Sorry piero. Someone had to say it.

  3. piero says:

    The image of the head “pear-shaped” (therefore with
    different geometry with respect the Face of the Shroud)
    is really curious … and the cheeeks seem to be too great.
    Have you tried to add a framework (see also:
    the strange U shaped sign on the Shroud)
    to sustain/ tosupport (in some manner) the cloth?
    But… what if you then add hair to the head of the doll?

  4. Colin Berry says:

    The pear-shaped head is easy to explain – some flour was left on the doll, failing to transfer from vinyl to linen. It’s possible I used to too much oil. I’ll repeat the tests with the faintest smear, just enough to assist uniform dusting with flour, and see if that gives a better result.

    Yes, the cheeks were well-imprinted, but that’s hardly surprising, wouldn’t you say, given they are prominent on the doll, so receive more of the applied pressure from one’s imprinting hand than would the less elevated relief?

    Hair? Yes, I’m interested to see whether hair imprints as well as skin, and whether there would be little if anything to distinguish hair from skin in the final imprint, as per the Shroud.

    • piero says:

      Yesterday I wrote:
      >Have you tried to add a framework (see also:
      the strange U shaped sign on the Shroud)
      to sustain / to support (in some manner) the cloth?

      I think you have understood that
      I referred to the subject similar to the presumed
      “two U shaped boxes” indicated by Marion and Courage
      (see also, for example, what wrote Mark Guscin on this subject:
      “The “Inscriptions” on the Shroud”, BSTS Newsletter,
      November 1999).
      Altough one perhaps cannot agree with Marion
      and Courage (regarding the presumed writings),
      the “U-shaped sign(s)” seems to still be an interesting
      open argument.
      Am I wrong?
      Since you are the proprietary of your blog and
      you have disregared the argument, then
      I think is a real waste of time the idea to
      discuss (= I do not want to invade your blog with
      my arguments) with you about the “presumed
      U-shaped sign” that (in my opinion) is present
      on linen cloth.

      In any case, I hope you will forgive me if
      I take this opportunity to ask:
      Have you an interesting objection against
      the “U-shaped sign”?
      — — —
      A further speculation can be connected with the
      famous “Fayum portraits”…
      Unfortunately there is no record of such particular objects
      (= wooden frameworks used to improve the imprint of
      the Face…) as being used in the ancient burials.
      Perhaps they failed to obtain a decent image (perhaps like
      in your failed attempt to obtain a decent face with your doll)
      and then they turned their choice to the true picture (a
      portrait/painting) of the deceased persons…
      Until now this can be only a fairy tale because no archaeological
      parallel can be adduced to confirm the presumed ancient
      use of frameworks (for faces) in burials…
      — — —
      I have found another “Colin Berry” and he is
      Professor of Cardiology and Imaging (Institute
      of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences)…
      Is that professor perhaps a relative of yours?

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Lettering on the Shroud? U-shaped boxes? So how come I can’t see them on Durante 2002 images (“Shroud Scope”) despite increasing (or as I would say, restoring) the contrast? Why 3 different languages (supposedly)? Why are the claimed translations/meanings so inconsequential and yawn-provoking? Why bother with such things when there are far more important issues that need addressing, like the precise chemical composition of the body image (something I’m deliberating on at present, being unimpressed with the STURP description as “conjugated carbonyls”, at least where yellow fibre coloration is concerned, given that the simplest conjugated carbonyl, acrolein, CH2=CH-CHO is colorless.).

    Failed attempt to obtain a decent face on the doll you say? Failed attempt to get a complete face, maybe, though the part that did imprint had I thought captured a remarkable degree of detail. The flour imprinting technique is not well suited to imprinting off a smooth polymer, the flour failing to transfer cleanly and completely to wet linen despite the template being smeared with oil etc to trap flour. See the late addition this morning to my current posting, where vegetable oil is replaced with egg yolk without better result (but egg yolk and egg white performed brilliantly when imprinting off real human skin – my hand, indeed as good if not better than vegetable oil – see 3D-rendered results).

    My name is not uncommon in England. There’s the one you mention, there’s also Sir Colin Berry, the pathologist who’s an influential Govt advisor, and there’s a now elderly radio disk jockey too. I met another namesake at a friend’s wedding, purely by accident. None are relatives as far as I’m aware.

    • piero says:

      I ask to you a favor:
      Are you able to do an nteresting (and “simple”) new work on a face (not on hands)?
      I would be curious to see what are the exact differences (= different geometry = different immage): with the wooden (…or plastic) framework and without the framework…
      I wait…

      • Colin Berry says:

        Why not try yourself, piero? The technique is exceedingly simple, once you have selected a template of your own choosing.. What I can’t guarantee at present is that flour will transfer cleanly and completely to wet linen from all template materials and surfaces.

        • piero says:

          Yes… the technique is exceedingly simple.
          — —
          Unfortunately I am too confabulatory and, moreover,
          I cannot work in my personal Lab!
          My feeble points, my faults:
          – I must remember to avoid the humbling approach to your works…
          – I have to admit that I don’t find the time to deepen
          all your huge amount of works.

          You are right if you want to avoid the production
          of hugger-mugger content in your blog, a situation
          generated from all the possible strange requests.
          But it would be wonderful if you’ll write a positive
          answer about my previous request.
          It’s my belief that I need somebody who works,
          who can build what I previously indicated.
          In the past (several years ago) I asked to a Lab in order
          to see what we can observe (problem = gaseous diffusion
          and image geometry) from linen clothes treated with
          Lead Acetate submitted to the H2S gas (emitted, for example,
          from an object). This “little work” was indicated useful
          model to use in order to improve the knowledges.
          But I didn’t received a positive answer.

          Here few lines (an, obviously, this is only
          for the readers. Not for you!) about the
          “Lead Acetate paper” test:
          >This test is used for the detection of hydrogen sulphide.
          >Sulphides occur in the processing of raw oil and can
          be found in gas, exhaust fumes and sewers.
          >As sulphides can be toxic even in low concentrations,
          critical points are checked for the presence of
          such gases. Sulphide containing solutions will
          also give a positive result using this test paper.
          >The test with lead acetate paper has been
          almost universally used in gas testing, and
          it seems to be the one best adapted for that purpose.

          Clearly this “old way” is very different with respect
          your “flour imprint” and then was only a rough
          attempt to create an “useful model” for the alleged
          “cadaveric emissions”.
          In any case this is the key issue to be explored:
          What should be the total amount of cadaveric emissions
          to get a picture like that of the Shroud?
          Maybe a mixed mechanism, multifactorial, can be
          much more realistic.
          Here I do not want to disturb too who use the
          electronic nose (…and the possible statistics
          related to the measures done in morgues).
          I hope you can also try to study (after the idea of
          a particular wooden framework to use in order to
          improve the area of the Face) the issue of the
          possible interactions:
          “flour imprint” with “gaseous emissions” …
          In any case, I preserve all my doubts about
          the possibility to obtain a good imitation about
          that ancient hugely successful Image …
          — —
          As usual, I wait for your next patient answer
          about my purposals/queries.

          • Colin Berry says:

            Actually, I did briefly see a use for your wooden framework, piero, albeit in a non-authenticist context. But wishing to avoid a lot of sawing and nailing, I decided to achieve the same goal using the lid off an expanded polystyrene box and a Stanley knife. The purpose? All shall be revealed in my next posting, hopefully in the 24 hours that follow this comment (new posting). Look for a King Neptune likeness in the next flour imprint (tone-reversed) sporting an apparent beard that is not actually present on the template,.

            Sorry. I’m rather too busy right now to comment on entirely different approaches, like your proposed Pb++/H2S model. Piero: I have to say that were I in your position, I’d be placing orders on the internet right now for what are simple chemicals anyone can buy, and checking out those ideas to see if they work in practice.

            I now have to go and wash King Neptune with soap and water and look at his attenuated image.

  6. HEIMBURGER says:

    And now a new experiment with eggs! Why ?
    Where are you going Colin?
    I am waiting for the result of your previous flour imprint model applied to a real human face and/or a bas-relief (not only the hands).
    Science (and the problem of the TS image) is not a game.

  7. Colin Berry says:

    I could have given you a very detailed account of my thinking, TH, with references to the amphipathic properties of egg yolk phospholipids, notably lecitihins, the historical use of egg yolk in tempera paints pre-oil paints etc etc.

    Given the belligerent and insulting tone of this comment, you will have to wait while I get on with MY science.

    Colin Berry MSc, PhD.

    • HEIMBURGER says:

      Still waiting for the result of your previous flour imprint model applied to a real human face and/or a bas-relief (not only the hands).
      No more no less.

      • Colin Berry says:

        As I say, you will have to wait while I complete MY investigations in my own good time, and as I see fit, TH. I owe you no favours. Quite the contrary in fact, given your failure to correct serious errors in your previous pdfs that have attempted to debunk my previous experimental findings and conclusions. Try doing your own open-ended research, unwedded to preconceptions, and then maybe we can discuss the nature of real objective science. I do not take lessons from you, a medical practitioner, TH, on how to do scientific research. Where else have you seen a viable model for the TS body image comparable to the one I have developed with flour imprinting?

  8. HEIMBURGER says:

    Colin, please call me Thibault and not TH.

    You proposed a testable scientific model, namely the “flour imprinting model” for the TS image.
    This model must be tested and compared with the original.
    At first glance, it seems that this model is interesting.
    One of the main question is: is it possible to get an imprint similar to that of the TS face using your model?
    I’m just asking the answer to this question, knowing that you could give us the answer easily.

    For your information, I am doing experiments based on McCrone’s claims and based on own flour imprinting model (using a Christ-like bas-relief face).

  9. Colin Berry says:

    Folk in general, and commentators in particular, are of course free to do their own experiments in accordance with their own priorities. What they should not be doing is attempting to impose their priorities on me.I have my own longstanding research programme, now in its 4th year, and have my own entirely scientific priorities, centred on (a) model building and (b) asking the the right questions, guided by model-building.

    To complete this posting I have just added a final postscript, together with new previously unpublished postings from one of my model-building exercises, using a terra cotta model for the face,

    Here’s one of the attached photographs.

    I shall shortly be testing out an idea for improving the LUWU methodology. One might then be in a better position to decide whether the TS image, if as I believe a contact imprint, was made by LOTTO, LUWU or a combination of the two. That, and re-opening the question of the chemical nature of the TS image (polymeric partially-aromatized melanoidins, possibly with a lipid peroxidation involvement?) are MY research priorities.

  10. can u show marks like the alleged whip marks on the SoT?

    • Colin Berry says:

      Hiya MB.

      I’ve just added a response to your question onto the end of this posting, together with this image from June 2012,

      Hope that answers your question. Blood is problematical, one need hardly say, albeit for entirely different reasons from body image. But until one is ready to put on the table a credible explanation for the basal body image – or basal blood image, as per Adler and Heller whatever – there seems little point addressing technological aspects of the blood problem in detail. Even the scientific aspects remain uncertain, given the atypical porphyrin spectrum which may or may not have been satisfactorily accounted for by Adrie’s vdH’s madder-mordanting hypothesis.

  11. Colin Berry says:

    Progress update: 25 Jan 2016

    Am now fairly confident that a contact image of the face would have been obtained using LOTTO (face up), not LUWU (face down) presentation to wet linen. LUWU had its attractions, since the imaging is purely a function of the pressure and ‘give’ in the underlay, there being no manual moulding. The pressure helps solve the problem of the prominent nose – it flattens under pressure! But there’s a downside to LUWU, as shown with modelling with terra cotta and doll’s head templates – the linen develops unsightly radial creases over which one has not control which would have compromised the end-result.

    So for now at any rate the focus is on LOTTO, which is more variable in its outcome and less ideal for scientific modelling where reproducibility of results is the aim. But LOTTO it has to be.

    LOTTO has been piloted with the inanimate models (see above) to give promising results. But can it cope with a real human face, or will recourse be needed to a bas relief, as was considered the case by Garlaschelli with his “frottage” imaging with powders – a technology that has much in common with the one used here, except for the powder imprinting medium being on top of the linen, instead of sandwiched between template and linen?

    Here’s a rough and ready attempt on my part to see what happens to wet linen when pressed and/or stretched over the contours of my own face. The right hand was used to hold the camera so it’s a less than ideal result in the stretching department when one is forced to ‘let go’.

    It may just be possible to obtain a satisfactory imprint, provided the wet linen is pulled down tightly over the extremity of the chin and then turned underneath. That tension helps flatten the nose AND allows for imprinting of the lips. Might one have an explanation for what I’ve previously termed the “baked-in chin/neck crease”? It has a small kink in the middle that some might think is the result of linen having been placed under tension and having buckled at chin level, so to speak..

    As I said earlier, the direction of this project takes its cues from the results of practical modelling. There is no need or justification for rushing into full-scale modelling, especially as one can be fairly certain – based on prior experience – that any results deemed unsatisfactory for whatever reason will be immediately seized upon as evidence that the basic approach is wrong.

    I say the basic approach is right. It’s getting the details right that is important, no easy task when there are few if any pointers from the STURP or any other previous investigations as to the kind of technology employed. Everything is basically guesswork, though driven in this instance by the (literally) hands-on modelling.

  12. piero says:

    Until now I have only read your answer.
    I am waiting for your “King Neptune”…
    Probably your future “Shroud-Legoland”
    will offer several “new entries”.

  13. Colin Berry says:

    Posted – just 5 minutes ago…

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