Does an imprint of my unquestionably human hand onto fabric possess UNIQUE 3D properties (like, er, that supposedly ‘supernatural’ Turin Shroud) ?

Yes, my ageing hand DOES have (seemingly) unique properties, ones that match the “unique” 3D  properties of the Turin Shroud (TS).

(OK, my hand and the TS can’t both be unique, so let’s qualify by saying  my hand and the Turin Shroud must now be considered ‘co-unique’.  Others reading this seditious nonsense are invited to do the following experiment to see if they too get the same result as mine.

Here’s what you newcomers have to do, in pictures.

First, get some dark-coloured fabric. I used a pair of old jeans. Then sit a supply of tap water alongside. Do when the rest of the family is out of the house to be spared worried inquisitions.


Then immerse one’s hand in the water:


Then press palm down onto the dark fabric:


Then remove hand to view dark imprint:



It’s obviously an imprint, right, not a painting. The non-imprinted parts are the giveaway, to say nothing of lack of detail, depth, form etc: they tell one immediately that it’s an imprint, not a painting (Charles Freeman and others, still living, please note).


Optionally. one can wet the back of the hand and try imprinting that too alongside, as shown above, though it’s not as easy as simply pressing the palm down (having to turn the wrist etc).

Now download ImageJ (3D-rendering) software onto one’s laptop, as I did some 5 years ago (successfully) while having difficulty doing so onto a new  Windows 10 computer (which tries to get me to sign up to a WinZip “free trial”, “limited period” etc  etc.).

First, upload your  ‘as is’ image of your hands into the 3D section of the software (not  especially easy to find if a newcome , details later).

Here’s what you see using what I call, ‘minimalist’ settings, visible on the surrounding frame:

front v back hand pre-inversion then 3d tick in box cropped

3D rendering in ImageJ of water-imprinted hand onto dark fabric, palm (left), back hand (right)

So, with the simplest of imprinting medium (plain water from a tap ) one gets apparent (entirely IT-created)  3D images from one’s  hand, both palm side down, or back of hand.

Decoding of “encoded 3D information” from one’s hand, as claimed for the Turin Shroud body image?

Nope. It’s the IT photo-editing software that does the  3D imaging, correction VIRTUAL 3D imaging, not, repeat NOT,   the 3D subject itself  (unless able amazingly to survive flooding with water!).

More to follow shortly  (like response in ImageJ  of the Secondo Pia-style tone-reversed ‘negative’ images –  and much else besides.  It really needs saying – time and time again – if only to counter the steady unending stream of sindonological misinformation, most recently from one paper in particular, as yet abstract only,  from the Stateside Pasco, Wa,  International Shroud Conference, July 19-22, 2017 ) to the effect that the Shroud body image has unique ‘encoded’ distance information, responsible for it’s so-called “3D properties”.

No, the Shroud image responds to 3D-rendering software programs in essentially  the same way as other entirely man-made imprints, whether or not the latter have a 3D history.

Sunday, Aug 13

How many have spotted another point of similarity between the Shroud body image  and that of the image left by a wet hand on a dark fabric?

Answer: the body image is a slightly darker yellow than the linen. My hand produced a darker grey than the dry denim. So the latter can be thought of as a grayscale (US spelling) version of the Shroud body image. So how does it respond to a Secondo Pia-style  tone inversion i.e. treating a photograph of the Shroud as if a negative image on a photographic plate, and converting to a photographic positive by tone-inversion? (It was the result of SP’s tone inversion that was largely responsible for the 20th century fascination with Shroud and resort to notions of miraculous ‘photographic’ imaging not just by contact but across air gaps via a one-off outburst of some kind of energetic radiation. (The precise nature of the latter  is rarely if ever specified even when the theoretical need for air attenuation is recognized to produce so-called “distance” information!).

front v back of hand inverted 3d no tick invert box cropped


So, my hands now look slightly more life-like now, one might reasonably think, at least in terms of tones (I hesitate to say colour) with pale skin against a darker background, closer to what one might see if one had taken a black-and-white photograph of white Anglo-Saxon hands against a dark background. (Shame about the bulbous ends to the fingers on the complete left image, imprinted palm-side down – more on that later).

Two questions need to be addressed:

1:  Is the 3D response due in whole or in part to the ‘template’ (my hand) having 3D character?

2:  How was the Shroud image formed , with its so-called “unique encoded 3D properties”, that description now comprehensively debunked. Could it have been via simple imprinting, with a wet imprinting medium more advanced than simple tap water? Or do those theories of “resurrectional incandescence” producing the world’s first photograph,  correction, negative proto-photograph, still need to be given serious consideration?

No. 1 can be dealt with very quickly. A simple exercise with MS Paint shows that 3D character is NOT required of an imprinted subject to produce a 3D response, at least in ImageJ:

1. stars with increasing brown

The above image was created in MS Paint, so has no 3D history or character whatsoever.

Here’s the same after uploading to Image J, with default setting of the height control (z=0.1) with oblique angle viewing , and adjustment of the “Lighting” control to produce virtual shadowing:


stars optimized 3D in imagej


Added note: I have a small photoarchive showing what ImageJ does to even simpler shapes – circles, squares, triangles etc – with varying degrees of adjustment to the key controls (smoothing, lighting, viewing angle especially). I’ll display them as an Appendix to this posting if anyone’s interested.

It cannot be said too often: the so-called “3D properties” of the Shroud image  is a misnomer if referring to the 3D response in computer software that is specifically designed to give 3D character to 2D images. The 3D response is no “miracle”. It’s the result of projecting  a map of 2D image density onto an entirely artificial z scale (perpendicular to the xy plane) where each pixel is raised to a height in proportion to its image density. ImageJ creates 3D. It does not seek out and decode entirely conjectural  ‘encoded 3D’, the latter being a sindonological flight of fancy that has no scientific basis whatsoever as the above experiments demonstrate. Yet still we hear the “uniqueness” of the Shroud’s 3D response being trotted out at international Shroud conferences as if a given, one that must never be challenged. Did the original sponsors of that view ever experiment themselves with 3D imaging software, providing it with simple shapes and imprints as I have done, learning to distinguish between subject and software?   Probably not. They read too much into other people’s claims based on first impressions rather than hard data, coloured by preconceptions, not objectively assessed and interpreted.  See especially John Heller’s post-STURP 1983 book for glaring examples either in text or picture captions.  More on that later.

2:  The Shroud a “photographic negative”? Who says (currently). Well. there’s Stephen E .Jones on his true-believer site, but since I’m a non-person in his book, I shall not link directly, adding to his prominence in search engines, and suggest that those interested in his highly partisan line of reasoning enter the following into an internet search:


Negative #19: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

Yes, there he states categorically that the Shroud image is not just negative but a PHOTOGRAPHIC negative.

He of course is not alone in applying the same flawed logic –  namely that if an image behaves like a photographic negative, i.e. one that can be tone-reversed to make a more life-like positive, at least for white Caucasians, then,  ipso facto,  it MUST be a PHOTOGRAPHIC negative, that then providing the green light for OTT speculation re ‘resurrectional incandescence on the third day.  (That’s conveniently assuming that the crucified Jesus was still in Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘clean linen’ used to transport the newly deceased sweat/blood laden body from cross to tomb, ignoring the indications from the fourth Gospel that the body was then transferred from J of A’s impromptu stretcher to more specialized burial garments. )

AsI say, it’s flawed logic. Negative images have existed for as long as wet or dust/mud laden skin has been pressed against cloth. They weren’t described as such, merely as “imprints”. Sindonology does not reject the idea of actual contact between skin and fabric, just as long as it’s still photography across a zero air gap, not requiring a physical imprinting medium (unless blood!). Bodily sweat rarely if ever get a look in, despite it being the common-sensical interpretation of a life-size double-body imprint onto expensive herringbone weave linen, one that looks like an imprint (NOT a painting) with upper and lower surfaces but no sides. The idea that the Shroud body image is a contact imprint ONLY (no photographic imaging) is simply not on sindonology’s radar screen – it doesn’t allow for speculation on resurrectional incandescence or other one-off supernatural inputs that enhance the relic’s credentials as the real “burial” shroud.  (Shhh, don’t mention my assertion above that an ad hoc transport shroud  – intended to confer post mortem dignity while the body – probably naked, certainly bloodied – was still on open display  to the public –  need not have have doubled as the final burial shroud as well, and thus have been handily available for single-sheet resurrectional imprinting followed by 20 centuries of near-perfect storage, free of mildew, insects etc, bar the occasional outbreak of fire).


More to follow, the following topics especially:

(a) The shroud non-spread fingers – supportive evidence for imprinting by contact only – no protophotography across tiny air gaps AND evidence for a dry imprinting medium, not wet.

(c) evidence via photoediting software for a heterogeneous/microparticulate nature of the Shroud body image, hardly consistent with protophotogaphy via any kind of uniform radiation, but entirely consistent, indeed predictable, from imprinting with a particulate medium, whether used wet or dry.

Still Sunday am

Let’s address point (a) above – those fingers on the Shroud, usually commented on for their bony, spindly nature, with OTT speculation regarding X-ray imaging etc. My treatment will be more down-to-earth, based on imprinting by direct contact, no air gap.

Here first is the as-is image of those crossed hands from Shroud Scope, i.e. no added contrast (or, as I prefer to say, no restoration of removed contrast – don’t ask):

1. shroud scope hands higher of two mags


Here’s the same after tone-inversion in ImageJ. (I guess I should really be using grayscale photoediting  for comparability with Secondo Pia’s spectacular  negative-to-positive conversion, but prefer to stick with what I’m familiar with which gives at least qualitatively the same result).

2. shroud scope hands higher of two mags then invert imagej


Now let’s put the two side by side, and upload to ImageJ, using  minimal smoothing and optimized lighting and image orientation:


comapre my hand v shroud hands both inv after 3D

So, there were no major differences as regards “3D-ness”, not that it was the principal purpose of the exercise, though maybe surprising nonetheless, given the Shroud Scope image was being compared with a simple water-imprint of my hands!

No, the purpose of the exercise was to enquire what the hands on the Shroud body image might suggest as regards the mechanism of imaging. Clearly there’s nothing so far that would or should immediately discount simple contact-imaging, and certainly  no need to go invoking  supernatural mechanisms that require protophotography via ‘resurrectional incandescence’. Indeed, the opposite might be said to be true. Why?

Monday Aug 14

To those fingers – and what they can maybe tell us about mechanism of imaging – direct contact-only imprinting or radiation scorching, whether in contact OR across air gaps

Here’s a simple diagram of 4 non-spread fingers in cross section, showing the hard bony interiors (white centres), pressing onto dark fabric,

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric

Now observe the tiny unoccupied air gaps, shown in red:

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric red infills for air spaces

Now consider the imprint those fingers would leave on the fabric, whether using plain water or a more sophisticated imprinting medium. There would be gaps in the imprint, needless to say, corresponding with those unoccupied air gaps in the crevices between the fingers, as shown in the higher of the two schematic diagrams below, labelled “contact imprint”.

bony fingers 1 underlying black fabric red infills for air spaces final labelled

But would that be the image deposited if the image were to be scorched onto the fabric by some kind of radiation emanating from the fingers?


It’s not for this sceptic to stipulate what would happen in a model that he simply cannot accept as scientific (which doesn’t make it wrong, merely unscientific). But we’re told that the image density of the Shroud is consistent with imaging across air gaps. Moreover we’re told those gaps can be as long as 4cm approx (without the wavelength being specified!). So there should be no obvious reason for thinking there would be negligible imaging across those tiny air gaps shown red, given they are a few mm deep at most, right (?), especially as they have the man’s stomach  pubic region lying immediately underneath, presumably radiating  energy into and through those crevices between the fingers.

See then the second schematic in the above diagram, the one labelled “radiation scorch” where there IS imaging between the fingers, albeit less intense, maybe getting fainter towards the centres of the gaps.

Now look at the hands and fingers on the Shroud body image.

First, here’s the Shroud Scope image, “as is”,  with no additional contrast:

hands scope

There are obvious gaps between those fingers!

Here’s another view with a high degree of added contrast (MS Office Picture Manager):

hands as is for non-zeke enhancement, 0,100,-40,100,-100


So, the TS image of the fingers is precisely what one would expect to see as a result of imprinting via physical contact only. One could go further: some have described the fingers as being “too long, too spindly”. The latter of those is easily explained: the underlying metatarsal  bone in each finger is hard and unyielding, so it may be mainly the skin that directly overlies the bone that gets preferentially imprinted.

Can the radiationists account for the appearance above? Maybe, maybe not, but if rhe existing literature is anything to go by, layfolk may find they get quickly lost, with references to collimated radiation, orthogonally-projected from the body in a manner that is aligned with the Earth’s gravitational field!

Yup, see this abstract from Bob Rucker, co-organizer/speaker at the recent Pasco WA conference, presented Saturday July 22 this year. (My italics):

10:15 am to 11:00 am “Role of Information and Radiation in Image Formation” by Bob Rucker.

To understand the image on the Shroud, it is necessary to understand the role of information and radiation. Three things were required to form the image on the Shroud: a discolorization mechanism, energy to drive the mechanism, and information to control the mechanism. The information that defines the appearance of a naked crucified man must have been deposited on the Shroud to control the discolorization mechanism. This information must have come from the body. The only option to transported or communicated this information from the body to the Shroud appears to be radiation. Other options for communicating information from one location to another would not work for the image on the Shroud. The radiation that communicated the information to the Shroud regarding the appearance of a naked crucified man could also have provided the required energy to drive the discoloration mechanism. The presence of bones in the Shroud image indicates that the radiation was evidently emitted from within the body. The good resolution images of the front and back of the body, without side images, indicates the radiation was evidently vertically collimated both up and down, like a million vertically oriented lasers going off at once in the body.


Sorry, Bob. I prefer my imaging by direct imprinting only, and am still waiting to hear a good reason for discounting that simple and dare I say SCIENTIFIC explanation.  (Scientific because it’s testable in the laboratory – or even, dare one say, kitchen or garage).


Tuesday Aug 15

oscilloscope you tube

Here’s a video-still with (among other things)  Pete Schumacher twiddling the knobs on his VP-8 machine. In the YouTube clip (not his, but a visitor’s to his Alamogordo dedicated  Shroud exhibition) we see a 3D-rendered image made to rotate on what looks like a TV monitor -though it’s really the electron-gun/phosphor-coated screen hardware of a TV – the oscilloscope/CRT that is is being utilized for image display.

Why am I showing it here and now? Well, there’s the resort to another  VP-8 (frankly a museum piece in my view) by retired forensic scientist Janis Winchester in her Pasco paper – see earlier- and Hugh Farey has just come in on Comments (to an earlier posting) making reference to that oscilloscope (pointing out its independence from the computer). So I’ll shortly C/P the above image to my reply.

Tip for VP-8 tourists/historians: Pete Schumacher  had to vacate the shopping mall which first hosted his Shroud exhibition. He’s now in a new home, still in Alamogordo, NM.

Sill Tuesday 15 Aug

It’s time now to move on from that simplest of imprinting media – plain tap water – and return to this investigator’s preferred one, developed in Model 10 (Aug 2015) – namely dry white flour, imprinted onto wet linen, then irradiated with infrared (“heat waves”).

Why? Because I am not quite finished with that comment in the Pasco abstract from Janis Winchester, the one that read:

The unique feature is the 3D appearance from the 2D photograph of the Shroud of Turin. No other photograph shows this characteristic.

To which my response bears a pantomime quality, namely “Oh yes there is!”. What’s more, it’s seen in my current experimentation with flour imprinting, as the following series of pictures will I hope demonstrate to the satisfaction of all but the most diehard pro-authenticity fanatic.

Let’s start with a photo of my hand alongside a final washed  irradiated flour imprint of the same (dare one say Shroud-like as regards colour, fuzziness etc?)

1. DSC07355 washed hand imprint


Now let’s do a tone inversion, which converts the imprint from negative to positive (but NOT a photographic positive, being derived in the first instance from an imprint, not a photograph, whether real, proto-, quasi, crypto, faux, pseudo etc etc).

2. DSC07355 washed hand imprint inverted

The image on the right now looks arguably more like a photograph, albeit somewhat blurred (it would benefit from some additional contrast)  than does the imprint, but let’s not go wild.

Here are the two previous pictures  enlarged, side by side, which may assist with interpreting what follows.

3. hands

Now let’s apply 3D rendering in ImageJ, with and without  tick in the box top right labelled “Invert”.

4. hands invert in 3D rendering tick in box

(a) with tick in Invert box

5. hands no invert in 3d rendering

(b) minus a tick in Invert box

(Technical note: the tick is needed in the box when one wishes to promote the darker tones of a negative imprint – or any other image for that matter.  If it’s not ticked the software not only promotes the lighter tones, but pushes darker ones into a sunken well below the plane of the image!

One leaves the box unticked for non-negative images.

So, with two kinds of image – positive photograph AND negative imprint –  it was necessary to test with box ticked and unticked, albeit with production of two sunken images (No 4 and No 6, reading left to right.).

No.2 and No. 8 show 3D rendering of the imprint, either “as is” imprint with tick in the Invert box, and tone-reversed imprint without tick (think self-cancellation in the second instance).

None of that comes as a surprise, essentially reproducing what one can obtain with the simplest water imprint. But look at No. 3 and No. 4. There one sees 3D enhancement of the photograph of my hand, not the imprint. No.3 is the tone-reversed photo, with a tick in the box, since it’s now a negative, and No.4 is the photo of my hand without a tick in the Invert box.

In other words, one CAN obtain 3D rendering of a simple photo of a human hand, as distinct from rendering, provided one ticks the right boxes in one’s 3D-rendering program.

So how did the idea arise that ordinary photos don’t respond, or, if they do, are hideously distorted?

John Heller (RIP) may be partly to blame on account of what he said in his 1983 book (see below). But note too that No.1 in my series does indeed show a poor 3D response, obtained when a photo of the hand is uploaded to ImageJ with settings (including a tick in that Invert box) that are optimized for the Shroud image – a negative. Those settings are NOT optimised for the much brighter photograph of a light-reflective hand, a situation that can be rectified, as shown here, either by tone-reversal of the photograph (making it a pseudo-negative) or by  unticking the Invert box as appropriate.

I’m sure this could have been said in fewer words.  Apols for your time and patience. Hopefully the meaning is clear.

Incidentally, one obvious reason why photos respond badly unless tone-inverted is as follows. The photos were taken with angled incident light, such that apparent form and 3D-ness  become  accentuated by shadowing, making a more photogenic image. But the software has no way of distinguishing between darker skin tones and shadows of lighter skin tones – both get promoted when there’s a tick in that Invert box optimised for  the Shroud and other negative images. Result: image distortion, rather than convincing 3D.

Still Tuesday:

My photo of a plate/accompanying caption  (page unnumbered) from book by John H.Heller “Report on the Turin Shroud, 1983, Houghton Mifflin, Boston):

DSC07429 Heller photo and caption


Yes, there’s distortion, only to be expected  from uploading a photograph pure and simple into the 3D-rendering software, given a snapshot’s pre-existing light and shade. But it was incorrect of John Heller to say the image above has “two-dimensional quality” only. It has the characteristics of a bas-relief, i.e. flattened 3D.

Still Tuesday:

Here’s the image that I consider should be first on the screen at any future Shroud conference, and indeed should be shown and re-shown as soon as anyone makes reference to the linen as a “burial” shroud:

deposition cross


To those who consider the Shroud represents a “burial” shroud, actual or simulated (“forged”) than I say: read the account in the Gospel according to Mark first, before reading the other three:

Mark Chapter 15:

Verse 44: And Pilate marvelled if he (Jesus) were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

Verse 45: And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph (of Arimathea).

Verse 46: And he bought fine linen, and took him down (from the cross) and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of a sepulchre.

Note there is no indication that the “fine linen” was ever intended as final burial clothes, referred to in other Gospels. The linen was “fine” because it would be on view to remaining  spectators at the site of crucifixion. It was intended in the first place for dignified transport of a recently deceased man – naked, bloodied – to place of interment (“burial”). Pick up the story re Jewish burial practices,  “winding” clothes, spices etc  in the 4th Gospel (John).

It’s the image above that properly conveys why the Shroud body image comprises  frontal v dorsal NEGATIVE IMPRINTS only, and NOT sides. By all means believe the two head- to- head imprints are genuine, not forged, or painted (14th century) as distinct from genuine non-artistic imprints.

But dispense  with the view, so important to those who hanker for explanations involving ‘resurrectional incandescence’, namely that the Turin Shroud represents a final intended burial garment, one that received blood only until arrival at the tomb, that the body image was only acquired later via  that flash of radiation.

Nope. The blood and body image represent a kind of enhanced whole body version of that fabled relic, the Veil of Veronica (long vanished) , the latter acquired shortly pre-mortem  according to legend,  i.e. en route to Cavalry. That’s  in contrast to the Shroud of Turin –  acquired immediately post mortem in transferring the newly crucified Jesus to Joseph’s clean linen, with little or no contact  between linen and SIDES of body  For the latter, take your pick between real versus simulated imprinting. I favour the latter, needless to say, seeing the Shroud as a work of precocious medieval genius, one that has entranced and,  dare I say, deceived subsequent generations right up to modern times as to how it was formed.

End of posting. (I was intending initially to say more about the non-homogeneous micro-particulate nature of Shroud image, but feel I need to do some more research).

Comments as ever are welcome (please try to remain civil if convinced of authenticity).

scope horiz 0,100,-40,100,-100 then 3d good result

PS This image is placed here, being needed for transplanting to Comments:







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, Turin Shroud and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Does an imprint of my unquestionably human hand onto fabric possess UNIQUE 3D properties (like, er, that supposedly ‘supernatural’ Turin Shroud) ?

  1. Colin Berry says:

    “Developing a plot” by Harvey Chapman

    Ends as follows:

    “The next time you start work on a novel, though, at least try out this idea of knowing how the novel ends before you return to the beginning and start plotting it chronologically.
    Developing a plot with an ending firmly in mind is arguably much easier. And it should certainly lead to a stronger work of fiction”.

    I know a particular work of fiction that starts with an ending, and then attempts to work its way back to the beginning!

  2. Hugh Farey says:

    Here’s a thought that has struck me while listening to Bob Rucker. What chemically occurs to a nitrogen compound (of which there must be vanishingly little in more or less pure linen), if the nitrogen suddenly turns into carbon? Presumably an interesting, and possibly endothermic reaction? Would the Shroud literally have fallen apart?

  3. Colin Berry says:

    You’re generously accommodating, Hugh, to Bob Rucker and others who espouse “resurrectional incandescence”. I say think immediate body imprinting onto J of A’s linen en route from cross to tomb – whether authentic or 14th century modelling.

    I ‘m frankly appalled at the way that pseudoscience has hijacked sindonology and the MSM, leaving real scientists, admittedly a minority, sidelined. I’m not sure who to blame most – sindonologists or media-shy real scientists.

  4. Hugh Farey says:

    But what would happen to a protein if its nitrogen was converted to carbon?

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Radiochemistry is totally indifferent to chemical consequences. A newly born carbon atom has to find new partners to meet its increased valency requirements (4H, 2O etc).If that substitution of C for N took place within a protein then one could expect some loss of function depending on how critical the constituent amino acid residue was to the integrity and/or specific role of the protein, whether structural, enzymatic etc.(though unlikely to be of importance in dead linen as distinct from living flax plant).

    But please don’t quote me – not being an authority on the resurrectional incandescence that is now obligatory thinking for any participant at a Shroudie conference organized by Bob Rucker or Mark Antonacci!

  6. Colin Berry says:

    I’m starting to think about my next posting, with this as provisional title::

    It’s time that body-imaging via ‘resurrectional incandescence’ is seen for what it is – fanciful agenda-pushing pseudoscience!

    Yes, this one will be no-holds barred!

    But what to substitute for what Dan Porter amusingly referred to a while ago as “snap, crackle and pop” sindonology?

    Why, simple contact imprinting of course!

    But before I start composing can anyone please give me one good reason for dismissing imprinting by simple physical contact, with no imprinting whatsoever across air gaps, whether by radiation or other means?

  7. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s a copy/paste of the abstract of the 1984 paper in Applied Optics that arguably launched the bizarre notion of imaging via resurrectional incandescence. It could be cited as a prime exhibit in showing how pseudoscience and tunnel vision combine to make an insidiously-destructive partnership, shutting out facts and the truth, as distinct from opening up fruitful lines of enquiry.

    Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline

    The frontal image on the Shroud of Turin is shown to be consistent with a body shape covered with a naturally draping cloth in the sense that image shading can be derived from a single global mapping function of distance between these two surfaces. The visible image on the Shroud does not appear to be the work of an artist in an eye/brain/hand coordination sense nor does it appear to be the result of direct contact only, diffusion, radiation from a body shape or engraving, dabbing powder on a bas-relief, or electrostatic imaging. The visible image on the Shroud is probably not the result of a hot bas-relief impressed into cloth, but such a mechanism seems capable of accounting for the Shroud image’s distance correlation, resolution, and similar chemical structure. It does not simultaneously account for (1) the 3-D image residing on one side of the Shroud, (2) observed lateral image distortions (consistent with a draping cloth over a body shape), or (3) expected thermal perturbations associated with physically thick superimposed blood images. A complex mechanism involving more than one process may account for some of the Shroud image’s characteristics, but potential inconsistencies in shading continuity, cloth contact, lateral distortions, and pressure independence may exist.

    © 1984 Optical Society of America

    I have bolded up two particular phrases that do stick in this retired scientist’s craw. Why? Because it’s not the aim and purpose of science to show that one of numerous possible/improbable blue-sky models just happens to be “consistent” with one’s preconceptions, airily dismissing the rest of the field. Pseudoscience does not get much worse than this… In fact what we see here is downright arrogance – with more than a hint of attempted mind control via preemptive strike… But then John Jackson’s doctorate was acquired from a military academy… God bless America!

    PS Note too that the abstract refers only to the frontal image, leaving the reader to conclude that the dorsal image must have entirely different properties, given the impossibility of “loosely draped linen” on the underside. That might make the same reader susceptible to the claim made in Feb this year by true-believer Stephen E.Jones on his dogma-ridden blogsite that it’s only the frontal side body image (plus 1532 scorch marks!) that displays a 3D response with appropriate software, the dorsal side being as he puts it “contact only”. I have news for Stephen E.Jones – the frontal and dorsal sides BOTH display a 3D response to ImageJ, with nothing to distinguish between them.

    The problem is to get either to display a good response, at least when uploading the virtually contrast-less images from Shroud Scope. Solution: give the Scope images additional contrast, and the 3D-response then becomes visible, though still not as good as some of my imprints from Model 2 and 10.

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