I did consider calling my new revised model for simulating the Turin Shroud “Model 11”, but then thought better of it. It still uses my domestic oven as a more convenient indoor model for a medieval bed of hot charcoal. But I’ve switched from using the fan heater at the back of the oven (with its inconspicuous electric element which scarcely glows, if at all) with the incandescent overhead grill with no fan operating.
The emphasis as regards theory now switches from convected heat (hot air, requiring prolonged heating up to 180-200 degrees C for optimal colour-development to RADIATED HEAT from the visibly red-hot element, producing a much, MUCH quicker result.
But it’s still essentially Model 10 (development of a flour imprint on wet linen in a hot oven – probably over a charcoal fire too).
Distinguishing between effects of radiated heat from those of heated air is easy, as shown in the following experiments performed earlier today, a crucial one I believe (time will tell).
Here’s a series of photos. To say I was truly gobsmacked when opening the door of the oven after a few minutes would be a huge understatement. My head’s still spinning!
Fig. 1 : Sprinkle dry white flour onto hand. No precoating with vegetable oil (see later for reasons).
Fig.2: Place flour imprints flour-side up or down onto an aluminium-foil lined baking tray (1 and 4 up, counting from left; 2 and 3 down).
Fig 3. Lay a second sheet of aluminium foil on top with cut squares. Add thin strips of extra foil to give a mix of exposed/non-exposed flour imprints. (The overlay of foil is designed to protect from direct radiant heat from incandescent top element).
Fig.4: Rapid appearance of brown colour in the exposed regions of flour-imprint (apols for blurred picture ). Would have stopped the experiment sooner if I’d known how fast the colour develops before any visible change on the oven thermometer (<60 degrees C).
Fig.5: Remove from oven. Even at this stage, before removing foil, it was clear that the foil, where present, had completely protected the underlying flour imprint. Only the foil-free regions had colour.
Fig.6: partial removalof foil, revealing protected, non-coloured flour imprints.
Fig.7 : compete removal of foil, revealing the protected v non-protected areas, corresponding with the foil pattern.
Fig.8: each strip has now been turned over, revealing colour on the REVERSE side of flour imprinted linen (think SECOND FACE – see preceding post that triggered this new experimental approach based on radiant heat, though pioneered in my Model 1 from December 2011 – charcoal-sensitized “thermostencilling” albeit with a different source of radiant heat – an incandescent electric light bulb).
Hunch: I strongly suspect that the colour development I’ve been seeing these last 2 years with Model 10 is the result of WEAK radiant heat (“infrared”) from the element associated with the fan at the back of the oven, which explains why the best colour development on the reverse side of the linen was seen when it, not the imprint side) faced TOWARDS the fan.
More to come…
Friday July 14th
Have just this minute entered (infrared microwave oven difference) into a certain search engine. (Yup, the same one one that has blacklisted this site from its default ‘Any Time’ listings, failing to respond to my protests via its ‘Feedback’ facility, despite giving my email address).
Here’s what one reads inside the box at the top of the page:
Both infrared and microwave oven shoot energy waves into the food being cooked. Infrared ovens cook the food from the outside in, whereas microwaves cook from the inside out.
Yes, that would make sense. Infrared radiation is absorbed by molecules generally, specific wavelengths causing particular chemical bonds to stretch, bend, vibrate etc.faster, whereas microwaves (longer wavelength than infrared) are absorbed by water molecules specifically, causing them to spin (as I recall). Must find time between experiments to refresh my memory on stuff I haven’t read about for years, probably decades.
What to do as a follow-up to yesterday’s experiment? A repeat methinks, but with progress checks every half minute or so to follow the time-course of the initial highly superficial and hopefully Shroud-relevant ‘toasting’, taking samples at intervals for examination under my new stereomicroscope. (The latter is proving its worth with its ability to view thick specimens via incident rather than transmitted light, its powerful top illumination and large separation between sample and objective lens.
More to follow.
It would take too long to summarize today’s experiments – and I’m beginning to question the need to present data – warts an’ all – when there’s scarcely any feedback – certainly not from authenticity-promoting sindonology.
So I’ll content myself with articulating the hypotheses that are now under consideration, as a result of moving Model 10 away from all-enveloping convected hot air to highly directional radiant heat.
First, I now consider that flour imprinting of part or all of a naked human body onto wet linen required no more than a light dusting with flour, with no need for vegetable oil precoating.
Second, image development required only light toasting of the imprint over a bed of hot charcoal, the latter emitting mainly infrared radiation, aka radiant heat.
Thirdly, there’s a distinct possibility that while the imprinted side of the linen faced down towards the source of radiation for image-development, the desired image formed in fact on the OPPOSITE side of the fabric, making it easier for the craftsmen to monitor progress and decide when to cease applying heat. But if colour formation was deemed insufficient, re-heating from cold was a permissible option. So what we call an almost imperceptible ‘second face’ on the Shroud might perhaps be the first face – or rather, what remains of the imprinted image after washing. The faint, highly superficial fuzzy body image we associate with the Shroud may in fact be the true “second face/body”, owing at least some of its subtlety to being a reverse-side image.
Infrared radiation can easily penetrate linen to produce a reverse side image.
Saturday July 15
If it’s a pithy summary you seek of this investigator’s 5.5 years of research, through 10 model systems, then think of the Shroud’s body image as a ‘toastograph’. The thermal development is essentially no different from that which takes place when you place a slice of bread in an electric toaster. The radiated (infrared) heat from the hot element initiates Maillard browning reactions between the flour’s chemically-reactive reducing sugars with their potential aldehyde functions and amino-groups in proteins etc. I can think of no a priori grounds for thinking that the cellulose or other constituents of the linen fibres are chemically involved, at least initially, given that one can brown the flour imprint selectively white retaining an essentially white linen background. The linen does gradually darken, needless to say, but the flour imprint by then is dark brown or black, so of no relevance to the subtle straw-colour of the Shroud body image.
Sunday July 16
We live in a modern-day world that is largely concerned only with simple take-home messages, and not interested in knowing the detailed data upon which claims – all too often wild and unsubstantiated – are based (a sad state of affairs that sustains so much of pseudo-scientific sindonology).
So there’s no point in my continuing to post the details of current experimentation. All that does is distract from the simple message that is now emerging from 5+ years of investigation, summarised today a new tagline next to the blog title. (Google curiously – and some say perversely- picks up on one’s taglines while ignoring the title of each new posting). Note the reference to the Shroud body image as a “toastograph“! 😉
So I’ll just briefly explain in words what I’m doing, which involves use of a new research tool that is paying dividends.
The task has been to investigate the coloration of individual fibres, to see whether or not the model system replicates the reported properties of Shroud image fibres (“half-tone effect”, discontinuities, striations etc). But there’s a problem. First, if one generates an authentic-looking Shroud image that is faint, almost to the point of invisibility, then there’s precious little colour to see in the fabric threads, never mind the fibres that comprise each thread. There’s a second problem: the fibres are bunched together in each thread, making it well nigh impossible to determine if any weak yellow colour is in the fibre, or maybe restricted to the capillary channels between the fibres.
There’s a solution: before imprinting one abrades (“roughs up”) part of what is destined to be the reverse side of the fabric with an emery board. On then imprints with flour onto the wet linen, with or without oil (the need for which is still being assessed), toasts under the oven’s incandescent top element, and then look at the abraded rucked-up fibres on the reverse side.
What does on find? Answer: individual fibres, separated from their neighbours, that are faint yellow in colour which conveniently “stick out” from the plane of the fabric. The colour does indeed appear to be INSIDE individual fibres. In other words, the chromophore (yellow pigment), whatever it is, appears to be able to travel inside individual fibres, not just between them, reinforcing an earlier suggestion here that capillary transport is not just between fibres, but between the microfibrils of cellulose inside fibres.
Incidentally, on a different matter, if anyone is thinking of deploying their own domestic oven in infrared mode (top element), then here’s a tip. Don’t sit your linen sample on the oven grid or metal trays etc. Remove all the horizontal metal, and replace with suspended support nettimg of some description (mine’s made of knotted string). Unlike metal, string does not reflect infrared rays appreciably, nor conduct away locally-generated heat. One gets a thermal imprint without the aberrations that accompany metal obstructions, whether above or below the linen.
Our medieval artisans who manufactured the Shroud presumably held their imprinted linen sample horizontally over a bed of glowing charcoal embers, close enough to see the image develop gradually – mainly I suspect via infrared rays at a distance – but not too close to risk possible complications from currents of superheated air rising by convection.
Monday 17th July
In keeping with my new policy of minimal reporting of hard data, maximal reporting of (questionable) take-home story, as per mainstream sindonology, here’s today’s chief result.
I’ve heavily loaded dry white flour onto an oil-free hand, imprinted onto partially-ABRADED wet linen, both sides, then exposed imprint-side DOWN to the fierce infrared radiation that comes off the glowing element in the roof of my home oven.
Result: a wonderful crop of deeply yellow or yellow -brown fibres that ‘stick up’ out of the plane of the linen on the preferentially ir-exposed toasted side, opposite from the imprinted side.
Conclusion: Infrared (radiant heat) energy absorbed by the flour imprint on the underside of the linen can generate a chromophore-containing ‘thermal cocktail’, one that is able to travel via INDIVIDUAL FIBRES to the opposite side of the weave, and then continue to creep up individual fibres, presumably via the latter’s internal microstructure (presumably channels between intra-fibre cellulose microfibrils). There is no need to invoke capillary transport via the much larger channels that exist between fibres.
Those who doubt the role played by radiant heat (infrared rays) in the newly revised Model 10 need only slide a metal tray into the oven above the imprinted linen to see the dramatic effect of interposing metal between radiant heat source and imprint. Image development is then exceedingly slow, dependent on transfer of thermal energy via convection currents of slowly-heated ai , supplemented no doubt by weak reflected ir rays off walls of oven etc as distinct from intense straight line radiation that travels from incandescent top oven element to chemically-susceptible target on the imprinted linen.
The current model is a lot more ‘friendly’ needless to say to a medieval forgery scenario, one deploying radiant heat from red-hot charcoal embers. The weak visible radiation (orange or red) is irrelevant: what matters is the much larger amount of infrared radiation that is absorbed by the superficial flour imprint , initiating THERMOchemical change (caramelization, Maillard reactions) and (probably) briefly liquified chromophore release. The latter is then able (being a liquid) to permeate and penetrate the interior of linen fibres via microcapillaries to the opposite side of the fabric, producing a reverse-side image that is more or less prominent, depending on precise experimental conditions.
Possibly more to come…
Tuesday July 18
My oh my – that new T word of mine has entered the English language just now – albeit on Page 9 of a UK Google search under (shroud of turin)!
It’ll be taboo at the Pasco proceedings this week, needless to say. Anyone so much as muttering it under his or her breath risks being forcibly ejected from the big tent, correction, giant shed…
This going to sound terribly cocky and arrogant, but it has to be said all the same. This investigator reckons he’s finally home and dry as regards the nature of the body image on the Turin Shroud. Yes, it’s an, er, ‘TOASTOGRAPH’, requiring radiant heat, i.e. infrared rays, travelling in straight lines at a nifty 186,000 miles per second, to colour up a flour imprint on wet linen. Infrared rays “cook” , from the outside in, as already stated, so the explanation for image superficiality is immediately supplied.
Model 10, with its novel introduction of flour as imprinting agent (not too different from Ray Rogers’ starch) was first announced here and on Dan Porter’s now retired site some 2 years ago. So what took so long to give it the final ‘infrared’ tweak? Answer: this investigator is a biochemist by training. Physics, certainly not radiation physics has never been his strongest suit. So when I adopted the kitchen oven as a means of developing the flour imprints, clicking the switch round to noisy fan heater mode, seeing the fan spin on the back wall of the oven with no sign of a glowing electric element I made the assumption that the energy input was in the form of forced convection of hot air, that the energy received by the flour imprint was in the form of fast moving air molecules, physical atom-to-atom collision etc etc. It took 2 years of puzzling the now-you-see-it-now-you don’t reverse side image to realize that was NOT the prime mechanism, and indeed may play little if any significant role, that the coloration of the flour, and the generation of the reverse side “second face” was dependent on an invisible component of the electromagnetic spectrum, namely radiant heat (infrared) emanating from an none-too-obvious inbuilt ‘dark’ electric element tucked away behind the rotating fan that was emitting infrared radiation in quantity, but not visibly so through not being visibly red hot.
My Model 1, from end December 2011, also relied upon radiated infrared heat (plus intense visible white light) from a spotlight in the ceiling – using painted-on charcoal slurry to act as heat trap and sensitizer. Never in a million years did I imagine that something essentially white – wheaten flour – could take the place of charcoal, and be imprinted onto linen as a dry powder, as distinct from being applied with a paint brush.
So we now have a new radiation model, one that will now have to compete for attention with the more exotic ones being presented this week at Pasco, Washington State by Mark Antonacci, Bob Rucker, Paolo di Lazzaro etc.
The key difference of course is that my radiation is incident on a flour imprint, whereas theirs is emitted via processes unknown to conventional physics from a certain recently deceased VIP, the founder of Christianity, undergoing a unique resurrection event. Theirs is clever because it attempts to account for the ‘wrong’ radiocarbon dating as a result of N-14 atoms , each with 7 protons, 7 neutrons, transmuting to C-14 atoms, each with 6 protons, 8 neutrons, due to a proton being ejected and replaced with a neutron, matching what happens in the upper atmosphere via cosmic ray bombardment to generate new top-up C-14 on a daily basis.
Maybe those guys are the mirror image of this investigator’s shortcomings – too much physics, nuclear physics especially, not enough physiology and biochemistry. There is no known mechanism whereby the fragile molecules of life forms, whether living or recently dead, VIP in human form included, can somehow turn into a nuclear reactor, throwing out highly energetic sub-nuclear particles. Any radiation powerful enough to leave a permanent scorch on linen would surely have singed off every strand of hair at the same time, leaving an image of a seemingly clean-shaven man!
There you have it folks – a proposed solution to a mystery that has baffled much better minds than mine for decades, possibly centuries. But I have a compensating advantage over the mastermind fraternity – SHEER BLOODY PERSISTENCE! To any youngsters reading this, still uncertain as to what career to pursue in life, here’s a word of advice. Dispense immediately with any notion of a ‘glamorous’ career at the cutting edge of science if you lack the prime attribute required – sheer bloody single-minded persistence!
Wednesday July 19
What’s needed now is feedback – positive, negative or somewhere in between.
I’m prepared to wait as long as is necessary for my “toastograph” Model 10 to penetrate the sindonological literature, hopefully the wider world, eliciting one hopes some crucial feedback. In the meantime, I’ll continue fine-tuning the model quietly in my spare time. However, as indicated I shan’t be reporting any more experimental data here or elsewhere unless challenged to support/defend particular aspects of the model. The time for “thinking aloud” is over, given there’s now a final model – well over 5 years in the making – on the table and up for DISCUSSION.
Thursday July 20
Recalling the manner in which those strips of metal foil offered complete protection from browning by incident infrared rays, one has an explanation for Heller and Adler’s “blood before image” interpretation of their testing with proteolytic (blood-digesting) enzymes.
How come? Simple. The flour-imprints were overlaid with something opaque to infrared rays, not necessarily metal, resulting in white areas of the same shape in the form of undeveloped flour. When the final irradiated linen was washed there would have been those handy ‘blank’ areas that could then be infilled with painted-on blood (or “blood”).
So, there was no body image under the blood, and, though H&A didn’t say it themselves, probably no image on top of the blood either!
Obviously there are practical aspects, possibly snags etc that will need to be investigated. Further thought will need to be given to whether the linen was imprint side up or down if/when held horizontally over hot charcoal embers. Up makes it easier if loose overlays are in place, relying solely on gravity to keep them in their chosen locations.
Sigh. A model-building investigator’s work is never done!
Still Thursday: OK, I’ve cracked it – a simple half hour job. I’ll give the details tomorrow while I fine-tune on another couple of experiments. For now, let’s simply say that the solution exploits the new feature of Model 10, namely the development of the flour imprint using radiant heat that is highly directional (i.e. travelling in straight lines).
One is able to create blank areas that can later be infilled with “blood”. Look at the alleged site of the lance wound and one sees white linen as well as red pigment. Sindonology interprets that as the water that accompanied the blood as per Gospel account. That may well have been the aim of our medieval simulators of J of A’s transport shroud (transport, note, NOT burial). But I say the “water” areas are simply regions of blank uncoloured linen in which the flour imprint was protected from infrared radiation, and the undeveloped flour later removed by washing, followed by painting or imprinting with blood, real or look-alike. I’ve compared two protecting agents, and as indicated will describe them briefly tomorrow.
In passing: had some good news today. My daughter has just been offered (and accepted) her first medical consultancy appointment, and it’s in a major UK hospital, in the same city I did my first degree! Indeed, the hospital and the University Biochemistry department are a mere 5 minute walk from each other!
Friday July 21
Here are some images I posted here about a year ago, showing how masking at an early stage of flour imprinting, requiring more of the volunteer’s (or more likely volunteers’) patience and cooperation, could get round the blood-before-image principle.
Well, now I know that the flour imprint can be thermally developed with directional radiated heat, there’s a simple means of improving on the above – one lays the masking linen onto the newly flour-imprinted linen, NOT the subject! After colour development of exposed unshielded flour in the oven (using top element to beam down infrared heat) one peels off the linen masks and hey presto one has a ‘blank canvas’ on which to paint blood (or “blood”).
Where there’s a will there’s a way…
Oh, and I tried using dribbles/trails of vegetable oil, added to the flour imprint instead of those shaped linen pieces, wondering if they would serve as an initial proxy for dribbles/trails of blood. Answer: no. The result was unsatisfactory. I shall spare you the details, as indeed I will be withholding all further experimental details from this site pending such a time as my Model 10 gains some recognition considering it to represent a significant and credible breakthrough in accounting for the Shroud body image AND the radiocarbon dating. OK, so some might consider as bizarre the use of white flour to achieve whole body imprinting. But “bizarre” is the very description that one of the two organizers of the current Pasco pro-authenticity gathering has applied to the Shroud in his conference prospectus.
See this (my italics) under his “Mysteries of the Shroud”:
The above results of STURP’s investigation and the subsequent research indicates that the characteristics of the image are so bizarre that no one (artist or forger) could have created the image either in a previous era or even today. So the first of three mysteries is how could this image have been made?
I consider my Model 10 to be a lot less bizarre than some of the miraculous ‘theophysical’ explanations being touted in Pasco as I speak. Oh, and the above comment is a logical non sequitur. If something appears “bizarre” because there’s no immediate explanation, one cannot then conclude that no artist or forger past or present would be unable to produce it. This modern day “re-forger” aka scientific model-builder has! How long before obsessively pro-authenticity, radiocarbon-denialist sindonology wakes up from its fantasy world of dreams and imaginings to smell the strong black coffee that awaits at a fully-laid breakfast table more than 5 years in the making?
Here’s the design of this morning’s experiment. I pulled some threads from my 1-1 plain weave linen, threaded them through a darning needle, then sewed them back into the fabric as if 3-1 (herring bone weave) – but with a difference. The ends of the new sewn-in thread(s) shown blue were left dangling – some 2 or 3 cm.
I then imprinted flour onto the top surface of the water-soaked linen and irradiated from above with infrared from the oven top element until the flour imprint went dark brown. Anyone care to guess whether coloration migrated across the weave into those dangling threads, and if so how far?
Suffice it to say the result was truly astonishing, and when looked at under my new stereomicroscope goes I believe a long way to explaining the subtlety of the Shroud body image. More tomorrow. In the meantime, think MOBILE CHROMOPHORE!
Saturday July 22, 2017
Another RED LETTER day! More shortly.
Meanwhile, attendees at the True Believer, pro-authenticity Shroudie conference (Pasco, Washington State, USA) will probably be out of their beds now in readiness for the first (Saturday 0745 local time) presentation.
Better those folk don’t know immediately about my latest experimental findings (yesterday and today) with revised Model 10!
It’s never been my desire to be a party pooper where so-called ongoing ‘scientific” conferences are concerned. I prefer to keep a low profile, pursuing the self-disciplined, often self- punishing scientific method (proposing then destroying one’s own hypotheses/brainwaves). One works away day and night systematically until one’s reached some kind of answer – then and only then taking the platform to ENLIGHTEN the genuinely curious and open-minded, not to confuse and bamboozle with selectively-documented preconceptions, read PSEUDOSCIENCE
My latest findings are, I believe the clincher where the Shroud body image is concerned.
Final conclusion: The so-called ‘enigmatic’ Shroud body image was a technologically-novel, indeed precocious medieval feat of image-simulation,. It was brilliantly designed and manufactured to be a reconstruction of the imprint that the newly crucified body of Jesus might have left on Joseph of Arimathea’s fine linen en route between cross and tomb (NOT intended as final burial shroud).
More to follow (today).
Here’s the design of my ‘killer’ experiment, shown just before going into the oven.
It’s a modification to yesterday’s, with partial foil protection for the dangling threads. It’s results show my work is done. No further experimentation is necessary, at least on my part. The explanation for the peculiar image properties of the Shroud body image (half tone effect, striations, discontinuities and more besides) is provided by this simple experiment. The imperative is to persuade sindonologists and anyone else who is interestes to perform the same experiment (but you’ll need a good quality microscope, ideally a compound one with good top illumination (a hand-held LED torch will do).
So what happened? Mobile chromophore migrated from the thermal reaction zone on the upper surface of the linen (site of the flour imprint) down those added threads all the way to the far end, a distance of some 25cm in some cases ! In one instance where the thread was damaged, being disaggregated into a loose collection of fibres, the colour simply migrated through and along widely spaced fibres. On reaching the undamaged thread they simply proceeded on its way as if nothing had happened, proof that chromophore moves inside (not between) fibres.
Be careful not to misinterpret the transverse banding effect (yellow-white-yellow etc) that runs the full length of the dangling thread – sometimes an obvious yellow, but more generally a faint harder- to- see off- white discoloration. It’s not the same kind of image-interruption that one sees when pulling threads from linen that has been imprinted without added threads. In that instance the interruptions in colour are due to protection by warp/weave crossovers. However, in this instance, where there’s no cross-over protection, the interruptions are apparent rather than real. They are due to the manufactured twist in the spun thread that makes surface, i.e. superficial bundles of fibres, spiral around the periphery of the thread, creating a barber’s pole effect. The colour in those superficial bundles – a few fibres at most – IS continuous, as can be seen by rotating the thread. It only seems to be interrupted due to the spiralling effect.
The logical next step would be to write a final post with an arresting title – like “Shroud of Turin – mystery solved”.
But there’s a problem. The world’s ‘favourite search engine’ does not display the title one gives each new posting – it merely displays the site’s title and any tagline that follows. One can only guess as to why individual bloggers are discriminated against in this fashion, having their message blunted or suppressed in this manner (in contrast to MSM press releases whose new titles are shown!).
Am nearing the end of this posting, and indeed the site, my self-imposed task – namely to combat the relentless outpouring of Shroudie pseudoscience – now essentially complete, except to respond to comments.