Pro-authenticity Shroud investigators should have considered the body image as a SIMULATED sweat imprint – before rushing to their pseudoscience (‘resurrectional incandescence’ etc).

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).


Late addition (November 15): this site is now under reconstruction. As the new title indicates this site, started in early 2012 with over 400 postings now aims primarily to cater for journalists needing or wishing to separate fact from fantasy.

(My journalistic credentials? What, apart from being News Features editor of “Redbrick”, the  award-winning University of Birmingham tabloid newspaper back in the early 60s? As for the rest, please don’t ask…  😉 )

The present posting below is the last in the old investigative model-building format. Expect the first in my new polemical mode in the next day or two.

The new header image hopefully demythologizes the Shroud body image. Simply wet one’s hand, press it onto a dark fabric to get a negative (tone-reversed) image – a simple model of the Shroud body image (a yellowed image on lighter-coloured linen). That simplest of contact images responds well to 3D- rendering (ImageJ software).

Alternatively, one can digitally reverse the tones in the initial negative image to get a more life-like, correction –  deathly white Caucasian – representation of one’s hand, the resulting pseudo-positive image also responding to the 3D-rendering software.

No, that famously negative (tone reversed)  TS image does NOT have “unique” encoded 3D properties, a palpably untrue ‘mantra’  shoved repeatedly in our faces since the late 1970s. What’s more, its negative tone-reversed image is simply explained by it being a body IMPRINT, formed by a contact-only mechanism.

Here’s a preview of the graphic I’ve prepared to head up the first posting in polemical mode:

complete juggernaut


Earlier addition (October 20) : this is not the first posting on this site to have “simulated sweat imprint” in its title. I did an earlier one with those same three words in the title as long ago as November 2014 – nearly three years ago!

I referred to my posting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as representing something of a ‘paradigm shift’, not only for me personlly (having previously been hung up on the idea that the TS was a scorch imprint off a hot metal template – Model 2) but for sindonology too – having failed to find the concept of a simulated sweat imprint  i.e.of  medieval manufacture – anywhere in the literature.

Response: I was instantly criticized by one of sindonology’s elder statesmen for deploying that term ‘paradigm shift’, though reasons were not given.

However, give the ZERO RESPONSE from sindonology to the arrival of a brand new ‘take’, i.e. concept,  these last three years and indeed longer (starting early 2014 in fact) I now feel fully vindicated and justified in claiming to have introduced a ‘paradigm shift’.

It hardly speaks well of sindonology as a supposedly academic discipline, indeed a self-styled branch of ‘science’ if/when  it continues to ignore a significant new addition to the world of ideas. I’ve invited comments to this open-access site, one that typically gets 20-30 visits a day from all over the world. So far, there’s been one only. Hopefully there will be more in the coming days and weeks.  However, there seems little point in continuing to post new content unless or until sindonology wakes up to the presence of the ‘simulated sweat imprint’ concept, nay paradigm in its own back yard.

Rest assured I will continue to do hands-on research with a view to improving the performance of my current Model 10 (use of white flour imprinting medium to simulate an ancient, dried-on, yellowed sweat imprint), and plan new postings.  But the first priority is to elicit feedback, whether positive or negative. One cannot be expected to operate in a vacuum, especially if/when one suspects that the vacuum is no accident – that mainstream sindonology is deliberately pretending I do not exist.

End of  late ‘pre-script’.

Summary: STURP tested body image fibres from the Shroud of Turin for natural body biochemicals (see 1981 Summary) and failed to detect any. Yellowed body sweat was accordingly eliminated as the image chromophore, and said to be contraindicated on numerous other grounds e.g. lack of dried capillary fluids, no cementation of fibres, plus a barrage of highly dubious claims  against any kind of contact imprinting based on assumed air gaps between body and ‘loosely-draped linen’  (biblical authenticity being taken for granted), totally inaccurate claims re  the body image having “unique 3D properties” etc etc. The entire area of contact-imprinting was totally abandoned, starting in the 1980s, and the rush began towards imaging via radiation and other pseudo-science. More than 35 years later, sindonology still finds itself in the grip of ‘resurrectional incandescence’ as the mechanism of imaging, as was recently seen from the program of the recent International Shroud Conference in July at TRAC, Pasco, Washington State, sponsored by two confirmed ‘radiationists’ giving themselves a shop window and captive audience for what can only be described as semi-religious fervour dressed up as theoretical physics. Conventional mainstream science, as practiced by this Shroudie investigator of nearly 6 years standing (currently testing and evaluating his flour-imprinting/simulated sweat Model 10) is simply ignored as if it did not exist. Resurrectional incandescence cannot be regarded as sound scholarship for as long as it essentially excommunicates all contrary non-authenticity model building – to say nothing of years of  detailed experimentation. The latter has been  reported here and on other sites  (Dan Porter’s retired site especially) since early 2012 in real time, open to all for comments and criticism (a far cry from much overhyped ‘peer-reviewed’  publications, especially those in  researcher-billed-for open-access journals where little if anything is known about the identity or fitness-for-purpose of the referees.

More to follow. Expect to see some 20 reasons listed over the coming days for regarding the Shroud body image as a simulated sweat imprint of medieval manufacture, starting with two early documented references to bodily sweat (and of course blood as well) in the early 16th and 17th centuries from distinguished figures in the Roman Catholic hierarchy, one of them canonized.  Their commonsensical words are now scandalously ignored, thanks to sloppy 20th century so-called science, read wishful-thinking sci-fi fantasizing, STURP’s included, nay, STURP’s especially.

derailed train

Something similar happened to STURP, circa 1983, but worse, much worse. STURP not only left the tracks but went clean over the side of a cliff…

Yes, STURP began its journey so well, but ended by going over a cliff side.  John Heller’s 1983 book “Report on the Turin Shroud” shows precisely  how, why and when that disastrous turn of events took place. (One has to read to a few pages from the end to see the author himself reject contact-imprinting – although to his credit he also distances himself from fanciful radiation, quite unlike any other radiation known to physics, able to align itself with the Earth’s gravitational field to give collimated orthogonal projection to explain sharp imaging (allegedly) across air gaps! Sound of Einstein turning in his grave…).

Expect next instalment tomorrow, October 10, pm (UK time). Comments, preferably short, preferably relevant, are welcome.

Tuesday October 10

Newsflash:  The Fall issue of STERA’s has just appeared, inside of which is Hugh Farey’s last Newsletter (No.85 ) for the BSTS, his place as Editor now being taken by Shroud (pro-authenticity) TV documentary maker David Rolfe. I normally provide links to Shroud-relevant sites, but decline to do so in this instance. Linking to others’ sites, whether pro- or anti-authenticity, has to be a two-way affair. If not, one is assisting others’ positions in those crucial search engine rankings while getting no quid pro quo (or vice versa).

Nuff said on that score. Now back to the business of the day:

More on that book by John Heller MD, taken from the end of the book (Page 209 onwards):
Extract 1 of 2

“Sam Pellicori, a champion of the body contact hypothesis, had done some interesting experiments. In three separate experiments, he had placed oil, lemon juice, and perspiration on his fingers. Then he placed linen on top of his hand and pressed it gently to his flesh. He then placed the cloth samples in an oven at low temperature to produce an accelerated ageing effect. In each case there was indeed a yellowing of the contact area. He had brought the linen samples with him. The team examined them and, although there was a surface effect, several of us insisted that we could see some capillarity in several of the fibrils, which is not the case on the Shroud. We all agreed with Sam that the torso of the man had had to be in contact with the Shroud, or the transfer of the scourge marks would not have appeared as they did. For example there were many such lesions that were invisible in white light and could be seen only in the UV. However, the recessed areas of the face could not have been in contact with the cloth, as proved by the VP-8 images and the Shroud-body distance data. Pellicori agreed that that was still a problem for his hypothesis. It was not a problem but the problem …”

(we’ll skip the next 7 dispensable sentences re the role of hypothesis and generalization).

Extract 2 of 2:
“How were the images of the man conveyed to the linen? Virtually the only mechanism left was radiation, which we then examined.”
Here we see John Heller finally displaying his true pro-authenticity colours, or at any rate epiphany moment just 6 pages before the end of the book, having previously projected himself as an objective commentator on that key question. No, radiation was NOT the only mechanism left if proper consideration had been given to medieval forgery scenarios, and uncritical resort had not been taken to Jackson’s modelling studies with loosely-draped linen. They also presupposed authenticity, generating Jackson’s erroneous conclusion that there could, indeed had to be imaging across air gaps (which is NOT the case in forgery scenarios where linen can and probably was manually pressed down onto body relief). Cue ‘resurrectional incandescence’, later fine-tuned by Jackson as his ‘collapsing cloth’ hypothesis.
In short, Heller and fellow STURP-team members, having taken immediate exception to Sam Pelllicori’s naturalistic model of sweat-imprinting, indeed appearing to snuff it out without wasting a further second, failed to consider the alternative of non-naturalistic, i.e. simulated sweat-imprinting that did not require the human body’s own biochemicals.

That was an omission of monumental proportions, given the build-up and prestige accorded to that 35-strong team of diverse high-powered specialists who were supposed to be totally objective, detached, SCIENTIFIC, testing ALL feasible hypotheses, not just their own pet theories.
If one is seeking the point at which science turned into pseudoscience, when STURP’s train left the tracks, proceeding merrily over a cliff side, gravity-assisted like that faux Jackson radiation, then one need look no further than Heller’s homespun advocacy combined with uncritical support of Jackson’s biased unscientific modelling, both wedded to authenticity, as distinct from keeping it constantly under critical review. Neither could be bothered to engage in detailed ‘what-if’ modelling that began by pre-supposing medieval simulation (aka ‘forgery’) as well as, or instead of 1st. century authenticity.

It’s not as if Sam Pellicori, for all his commendable ability to fasten onto essentials, was the first to flag up “sweat imprint”. How about this section of an essay from the late and gifted Shroud historian Dorothy Crispino, detailing the immediate aftermath of the 1532 fire that came close to destroying the Shroud.

The Report of the Poor Clare Nuns, 1534
(link to Dorothy Crispino)

In April of 1534, Pope Clement VII sent his envoy, Louis Cardinal Gorrevod, to make an official recognition of the Shroud and have it repaired (ed., following the 1532 Chambéry fire).
Card. Gorrevod knew the Shroud well. For over four decades, he had been intimately associated with the Savoy family, and profoundly devoted to the Shroud. Many times, his hands had held it at expositions and ceremonies. It was he who first suggested that the image was formed by sweat and blood. And it was he who, in 1506, successfully intervened with Julius II to grant Carlo III’s petition for a liturgy and feast of the Shroud.
On the 15th of April, 1534, a Wednesday, Card. Gorrevod sent word to the Sisters of St. Clare that they were to undertake the delicate task of mending the Sheet.

Or how about this personal letter which Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva (later St.Francis) sent from Annecy to his close friend,  one Jane  (later St.Jane)Frances de Chantal, a Mother Superior or similar in 1614:

francis de sales and jane de chantal

Annecy, 4 May 1614
Whilst waiting to see you, my very dear Mother, my soul greets yours with a thousand greetings. May God fill your whole soul with the life and death of His Son Our Lord! At about this time, a year ago, I was in Turin, and, while pointing out the Holy Shroud among such a great crowd of people, a few drops of sweat fell from my face on to this Holy Shroud itself. Whereupon, our heart made this wish: May it please You, Saviour of my life, to mingle my unworthy sweat with Yours, and let my blood, my life, my affections merge with the merits of Your sacred sweat! My very dear Mother, the Prince Cardinal was somewhat annoyed that my sweat dripped onto the Holy Shroud of my Saviour; but it came to my heart to tell him that Our Lord was not so delicate, and that He only shed His sweat and His blood for them to be mingled with ours, in order to give us the price of eternal life…  (ed. with still more references to sweat).

Francis, Bishop of Geneva

Can there be any doubting that the Shroud was seen all those centuries ago as a sweat/blood imprint, with no indications that I’m aware of that it was ever seen as anything else? Why think otherwise? Wouldn’t the pilgrim to Lirey, approx 1355 give or take, casting eyes for the very first time on Geoffroy de Charny’s mysteriously acquired Shroud immediately conclude that he was looking at some kind of imprint, certainly in blood, and probably therefore in some other bodily secretion as well, one that had left behind a faint scarcely visible yellowish body imprint of a man. Now then, what might that other secretion be? Could it possibly be divine perspiration, i.e. SWEAT? If so, was it real sweat – or a clever rendition thereof on linen of what approximately 1300 year old sweat from  1st century Palestine, dried and yellowed, might look like?

Next instalment, tomorrow, Wed Oct 11. It will discuss the link between the Shroud and Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’, deployed in the first instance as an imprint-acquiring TRANSPORT (not burial) shroud. Would so quickly-acquired an image in sweat and blood (en route from the site of crucifixion to a nearby rock tomb) be likely to be 1st. century authentic?  Or, seen through the modern eye, aided by photography and image-processing, to say nothing of the disputed radiocarbon dating,  is it simply  ‘too-good-to-be-true’ and  more prudently judged to be of medieval provenance – an ingenious simulation? My own take on this should be clear. Why so few other takers?

Wed Oct 11

Here’s today’s text.  (Yes, what follows might seem like a sermon. Yes, I guess it IS a sermon of sorts,  arguably a long-overdue one, with no disrespect intended to the dead, merely a respect for the SCIENTIFIC FACTS!).

The chunks of text (blue font) are  taken as before from  the 1983  “Report on the Turin Shroud” by the late John Heller MD (1921-1995). It’s from quite early in the book (pages 38/39) but already the keen-eyed observer (well, me at any rate) may see the shoddily ill-designed pre-STURP locomotive showing ominous signs of erratic behaviour with intimations of later derailment. That was soon to be realized post-STURP with engine driver Jackson’s precipitate  plunge over cliff edge.

(Why “ill-designed”? We’ll come back to that later. Suffice it so say, yet again, that STURP’s prime focus should have been on that negative tone-reversed image, not its absurd and misdirected PRIMARY goal of disproving a conventional painted image, what in contemporary internet jargon was a “straw man”  hypothesis if ever there was. Since when has a negative image been conventional in the world of  medieval or even current illustrative art?…)

Incidentally,  re the above link, , here’s a note of caution for those concerned about accurate chronology.  Don’t be misled by the 2014 date on that Jackson pdf: see the footnote where it states the first appearance of the paper was in September 1989 – just 6 years after the appearance of Heller’s book, or some 8 years after the appearance of the STURP team’s “sorry, we’re still totally mystified by the TS body image” summary (while totally taken in with Robert Bucklin’s laughable, nay hilarious “autopsy” on a 1931 B/W photograph of the TS, the one where he sees “wounds”, “abrasions”, “puncture  marks” etc etc. as if viewing a real corpse, or even a photograph of a real corpse, as distinct from a faint centuries- old vanishingly-faint image captured via an totally unknown process, ignorant of whether  natural or forged).

The extract begins by describing John Jackson’s first contact with Bill Mottern (physicist, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque). It was ostensibly in the first instance to discuss colour filters, but was quickly overtaken by Mottern’s  keenness to  show off his gee-whizz 3D-rendering VP-8 machine. That if you ask me was the blackest day in the entire history of  sindonology, taking the attention away from the REAL ISSUE –  namely  the NEGATIVE  tone-reversed IMAGE, viewed with or without Bill Mottern’s computerized  and largely IRRELEVANT box of artefact-generating tricks
… Jackson made contact with Bill Mottern, a Sandia physicist. Mottern had a set of Wrattens (colour filters) but he had something else as well. That “something”, by coincidence, put the whole project into global high gear. It was a VP-8.

(Skip some sentences)

Jackson had never heard of a VP-8, but when he drove over to Sandia, he took photos of the Shroud with him.

(Apparently Shroud as-is ‘negatives’ and tone-reversed (pseudo-) positives as well, that aspect having been sadly neglected throughout the entire book – about which more later – MUCH MORE!)
“Why,” he (Bill Mottern) suggested, don’t we put the photos of the Shroud into the VP-8?”
All in all, it should have been a stupid waste of time, for a flat photo will, and can, only give a warped picture.

(But it’s not a primary photo – it’s a photo of the Shroud image, which itself is/was not a photo, though precisely what it is anyone’s guess (‘impactograph’ simulated sweat imprint?)  If an imprint, then a photo of an imprint that has even overhead illumination creating light but no obvious patches of shade, would NOT behave like the kind of photo to which Heller refer, and indeed  the misleading kind  with patches of light and shade which he includes as a plate in his book – more later)

They placed the Shroud photo in the VP-8 and twiddled the dials, focus and rotation. Suddenly both men saw, swimming up from the electronic fog of the screen, a perfect three-dimensional image of a scourged, crucified man.
(Show my 3D-rendered ImageJ renderings of scourge mark blood as a protest against the entirely unhelpful inclusion of blood into a discussion of body image?).
Impossible! Ridiculous! Outrageous! Yes. It was there. The two scientists just stared.
The positive photograph of the man in the Shroud had the appearance of a two dimensional face. The VP-8’s three dimensional image was as stunningly different from the photograph as a statue is from a painting. The long hair, full beard and mustache, the serenity on the face of a badly battered, crucified man, came alive, giving Jackson and Mottern the eerie impression that they were gazing at an actual face of a man, not at a painting or a sculpture.
Finally, Jackson took a deep breath. “Bill,” he said, “do you realize that we may be the first people in two thousand years to know exactly how Christ looked in the tomb?”

(Note ref to “tomb”).

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Where does one start? What’s the first step in restoring a semblance of order to a train crash?

This blogger/investigator has zero experience in putting clocks back to pre-disaster state-of-affairs. But since others are not doing it, or showing any inclination to do so, whether in the peer-reviewed domain or even informal blogosphere, then I guess the task falls to me, thankless though it is.

Order of business? Start with the negative, tone-reversed image, and reasonable hypotheses that can-  or should-  have been been entertained  – notably by STURP – to account for what surely has to be seen as the defining characteristic of the Shroud body image. Then look at the manner in which the debate was hijacked by those allegedly “unique” 3D properties.  No, not properties, but entirely predictable pre-programmed response in  computer software specifically designed to elicit PSEUDO- 3D response where it may or may NOT (in reality) exist initially.

Sindonology should by rights have put its house in order years, nay decades ago – and not going expecting retired scientists like myself to go reversing its spectacular train crash.  OK, so the latter was the work of a frightfully-senior initiator, aided and abetted by top members of STURP no less way back in the 20th century.

But others have now picked up the baton and foolishly followed in their footsteps to this day (like that hugely self-indulgent Pasco conference in July, with prime organizers pushing their imaging -via-outburst of  subatomic nuclear particle fantasy, or as I prefer to call it, “imaging via resurrectional incandescence”,  oh-so-conveniently generating an allegedly erroneous, excessively young radiocarbon-dating age we’re asked to blithely – and uncritically accept. Yup,  an ingenious but desperate attempt – if ever there was – to keep their pro-authenticity show, correction,  TRAVELLING CIRCUS, on the road).

Sindonology (the mainstream pro-authenticity kind) has never lacked ingenuity.  It’s a kind of metaphor one might say for the human condition (correction – one acutely fascinating (though somewhat unsettling) facet of the human condition that habitually resorts to high-IQ pseudoscience in order to press its case).

Sindonology? All life is there, warts an’ all – as much a source of fascination to we ‘slow-to-judge-life-as-we-find-it’  observers as the Shroud enigma itself…

But there comes a time when thoughts – in this instance some 6 years in the making – begin to crystallize…

Conclusion, albeit sad to say:  sindonology, is 95% wishful thinking  aka bullsh*t, given it’s become a vast repository of pseudoscience.

That’s thanks largely, indeed almost entirely, to that priming intervention by STURP, officially the Shroud of Turin Research Project.  Or, as this profound sceptic recently rechristened it,  unflatteringly,  acronymically redesignated it,  a vast input of Space-Age Technology-Unleashing Religious Propaganda…

Thank you authenticity-proselytizing John Jackson (“PhD”- military academy). Thank you (to a lesser extent)  the rather-more-subtle,  late convert-to authenticity -courtesy-of- medical- and- computer-generated pseudoscience – John Heller MD (RIP).

Sorry about that. Someone had to say it…

Thursday October 12

Have just re-read Heller’s book from cover to cover, this time not looking for what’s there, so much as looking for what’s NOT there. A growing suspicion has been amply confirmed. There’s scarcely any mention of the negative, tone-reversed image. Where there is, usually in passing, scattered here and there throughout some 220 pages, it displays no curiosity whatsoever for this unusual feature. Worse still from a scientific standpoint, it attempts to pass it off as a trifling detail, namely as some kind of concomitant of John Jackson’s blinkered model-building (which in turn plays down cloth-body “contact” , instead talking up his entirely hypothetical imaging across air gaps which Heller later refers to as if established fact.

That is one truly bizarre omission, especially as the negative image does get briefly spotlighted  on Page 1 of the book, Chapter 1 (Title: “The Physics of Miracles?” Ouch! ).

“In 1978, I had never heard of the Shroud of Turin, let alone seen a picture of it. When I did, I was surprised. I thought I would see something analogous to all the paintings and statuary of Jesus that I had ever seen… (Skip sentence re other portrayals from history and worldwide).

This was different. It was anything but artistic. In addition everything was reversed. Its images were like photographic negatives, with black and white, left and right, reversed. The cloth was also very bloody…” (My bolding)

As I say, bizarre – to flag up a distinctive feature of the TS body image, one that when reversed, as done initially by Secondo Pia in 1898, produces a spectacular result, an image with near-photographic quality, arguably with some additional hard-to-pin-down allure (sometimes described as serene, luminous, ghostly etc), and fail in 220 pages to give that negative image the attention it deserves. Instead we see a fixation with the so-called “3D properties” in Mottern’s VP-8 which I say, from years of hands on experience with its modern day equivalent (ImageJ) are 100% artefactual, the result of digitally re-mapping 2D image density (acquired by goodness knows what process) to an entirely artefactual man-made impression of vertical relief.

I’ll return later today with a brief summary of what I would wish to say to John Heller, were he still alive, regarding the likely origin of the negative tone-reversed image. It will feature a neologism I introduced here yesterday: “impactograph”.  Yes, the TS is not a photographic negative (Stephen E.Jones please note) or indeed any kind of photograph, protophotograph etc that required visible light or indeed any other kind of electromagnetic radiation or stream of subatomic particles etc etc. It’s almost certainly an “impactograph”, the result of interposing an imprinting medium between cloth and body (or bas relief), applying manual pressure to capture an imprint off the flatter more elevated planes only, NOT the sides, followed by a secondary image-development step that converted the imprinting medium to a faint yellow chromophore, probably with conjugated double bonds, probably a melanoidin (on that I’m in agreement with the late Raymond N.Rogers – it’s a polymeric melanoidin, bleachable with Adler and Heller’s diimide reagent which selectively hydrogenates C=C double bonds).

Why go to all that trouble? See title of this posting, with its reference to an entity I unleashed upon the bored, indifferent, know-all world of sindonology back in November 2014: the simulated sweat imprint. Those early custodians and viewers of the Shroud mentioned here, from the 16th and 17th century, probably recognized an IMPRINT when they saw one,  conscious of and unphased by an imprint’s tell-tale reversal of light/dark tones seen in a conventional painted image.

TS negative face v positive photograph and pencil sketch

Two positive images, one photographic, the other pencil-drawn versus the  tone-reversed  TS negative image.


Instead, they briefly- and in my view correctly-  interpreted the body image as a sweat imprint.. whether real or simulated.

John Jackson tried to kid us there was a “simple and global mathematical relationship” connecting image intensity with presumed length of (entirely imaginary) air gap between recumbent body and loosely draped linen. Shame there was not a shred of evidence or even theoretical physics for imaging across an air gap.  Pseudo-science does not get much worse than this! What Jackson was doing, needless to say, was dreaming up his preconception first, then arranging the evidence  to fit, which is about as far removed as one can get from the scientific method. But then what can you expect from someone who flaunts his  scientific so-called “doctorate” awarded by a military academy (which should have confined itself to awarding military ranks).?

Jackson (and those who followed) should have experimentally modelled not just pro-authenticity “loosely draped linen” if investigating a contact model, but linen that was forcibly impressed against a recumbent body to close up all but the most-difficult-to-access hollows and crevices in a medieval ‘simulation’ scenario.

Too many  sindonologists’ insistence on seeing only what they want to see, of ignoring or spurning anything and everything that fails to conform to their blinkered view, while professing to be “scientific”, flaunting  their supposed research qualifications, is a major insult to genuine science. Shame on the new BSTS Newsletter editor (David Rolfe) for having previously followed them around with his movie camera, attentive to their every word, treating those words as if gold dust…

I’m hoping that someone will point out the anomaly of the supposed ‘negative tone-reversed image’ of the Shroud face shown earlier. Be prepared for an unconventional opinion regarding a facial feature that is not skin (hint hint). 

“Impactograph”?  Neologism?  Oops – I was deploying that term well over 3 years ago. See this posting on Dan Porter’s retired site, with its link to a discussion on another of his postings.

Friday October 13th

(Noting the date, it’s just as well I’m not superstitious by nature!)

In passing, am I the only one to think that (the amazingly youthful-looking) Professor Christopher Ramsey of the Oxford University continues to be hideously misquoted, most recently by STERA’s front man – Barrie M.Schwortz in his current (October) update?

Ramsey has made it clear that he cannot conceive of any mechanism whereby the 1988 radiocarbon dating (1260-1390) could be wrong by some 1300 years (which considers and rejects among other things Jackson’s carbon monoxide theory,  having himself failed to find a scrap of experimental evidence to back it up). Ramsey – a committed Christian  btw- ends his statement with these charitable words (my bolding):

” There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information.”

Now compare with Barrie Schwortz’s truth-bending words in his current (October 2017) update:

(My bolding)

This issue also marks the last issue from current Editor Hugh Farey, who is retiring from the position he has held since December 2013 and handing it over to long time BSTS member, David Rolfe. David is best known in Shroud circles for his films on the Shroud which include The Silent Witness, the BAFTA-winning production from 1978 which introduced so many to the subject for the first time. His second film for the BBC in 2009 – Material Evidence – included Prof. Christopher Ramsey, Head of Oxford’s Radio Carbon Center, who conceded, memorably, that in the light of the new evidence and the lack of any substantive explanation for the Shroud’s image, the C14 should be looked at again.

Ramsey has conceded nothing! He’s merely noting the existence of a powerful lobby, seeking any and every opportunity to dispute and discredit his data, not just on radiochemical grounds, but highly suspect so-called ‘historical ‘ evidence.  In short, he was merely being polite and civilized in ending his statement in the (overly?) accommodating the way that he did.

Late insertion (14 Oct): see also this posting on Dan Porter’s site from as long ago as December 2011 asking why Ramsey had ‘changed his mind’ and whether it was due to failing to find evidence to back up the C-14-O hypothesis.

Incidentally, where in the whole of recorded history pre-1355 (first recorded appearance of the Lirey-displayed TS in the written record, tallying needless to say with the radiocarbon dating) is there a single image of the iconic two-fold dorsal/frontal head-to-head configuration of a crucified man?. There isn’t needless to say, since it doesn’t exist… The TS is almost certainly a simulated sweat imprint onto a mid-14th century mock-up of Joseph of Arimathea’s fine linen, intended to rival, nay trump, the immensely-lucrative pilgrim-attracting Veil of Veronica. Indeed, one suspects the Veil provided the inspiration for the imprinting-technology – an initial “sweat” imprint drying, yellowing and morphing into something rather more impressive and eye-catching – while retaining a modicum of credibility as ‘authentic’. But that is/was only the case if there’s perceived to be simultaneous imprinting of newly-shed blood and sweat. It loses all credibility if the body image is attributed not to sweat but to  ‘resurrectional incandescence’ days after the clotting and drying of the blood, unless, that is, one suspends all critical judgement and buys into one or other of the various re-bleeding/remoistening scenarios

Sorry to repeat myself, which I’m forced to do for reasons I’m minded shortly to address.

Moving on, I was reading (Christian) Hugh Farey describing  (BSTS Newsletter No.85) his position on the TS (pro-Resurrection/anti-authenticity) vis-a-vis that of  (Jewish) Barrie Schwortz’s (anti-Resurrection/pro-authenticity).

Late addition: Hugh Farey’s words verbatim:

The following weekend sees this year’s Jalsa Salana, the annual
gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Hampshire, UK,
which itself looks set to become a minor Shroud convention of its own.
Half a dozen experts are due to attend, including Barrie Schwortz, whose
pivotal role in Shroud studies not only includes STERA and,
but the deliciously ironic fact that as a Jew he believes in the authenticity
of the Shroud, but not in the Resurrection, while I believe in the
Resurrection, but not the authenticity of the Shroud. The other Christians
believe in both the authenticity and the Resurrection, while the
Ahmadiyya Muslims don’t think Jesus died on the cross. I doubt if a
similar variety of opinions will be found in Pasco.

It occurred to me that what we see there are just two of four possible overlap areas in one of those handy Venn set theory diagrams (5 if one includes a background grey area for total DON’T KNOWs!).

Venn diagram - positions on TS authenticity and Resurrection

Where do you stand, dear reader?

A= pro-authenticity/pro-Resurrection (John Jackson, Giulio Fanti, Paolo di Lazzaro, Stephen E.Jones etc etc)

B = anti-authenticity/pro-Resurrection (Hugh Farey, Christopher Ramsey)

C = pro-authenticity/anti-Resurrection (Barrie Schwortz)

D = anti-authenticity/anti-Resurrection (moi and millions of other free-thinkers who refuse to be brain-washed, especially by the likes of Group A true-believers who persistently abuse the scientific method and/or principles)

Saturday October 14: there’s another significant, generally well-informed  sindonologist who could be mentioned in that Group A – namely Thibault Heimburger MD. But he seems to have disappeared from view – his most recent comment on this site – one of many – being February of last year! Has anyone heard from him of late? Has he maybe given up on the Shroud? That would be a shame – he being a rare example of a pro-authenticity sindonologist who at least until some 20 months ago was prepared to interact with the likes of me and fellow sceptics. It makes a welcome change from the more typical sindonologist (Barrie Schwortz, Mark Antonacci,  Giulio Fanti etc etc) who tries to pretend one does not exist!  That’s not restricted to pro-authenticity scientists, mind you –  Professor Luigi Garlaschelli never responds to my emails, sent to his listed Milan address.

It is counterproductive to scientific progress, needless to say, to operate as if contrary voices with contrary ideas, repeat IDEAS, do not exist. Science is essentially about the world of ideas – not people and their good or bad points… Isaac Newton was for the most part a pain in the butt in his dealings with fellow scientists, but still had a few useful things to say…

Sunday October 15

I’m realizing that my abject failure to get recognition for what I consider a simple and coherent theory for the TS – a scientific alternative to the fanciful pseudo-science alternatives that dominate the media – is lack of a memorable shorthand name or tag. What’s in a name? Everything, one suspects.  Coin a memorable name, and that’s probably half the battle where achieving visibility is concerned.

But what tags have been suggested thus far? Just a handful, by me alone, and no one else. But “simulated sweat imprint” or “impactograph body image” don’t really do the business, do they?

Time to put on one’s thinking cap, and come up with a snazzier alternative. Suggestions invited.

The first outside suggestion has just been provided at the breakfast table (from spouse):

1. The Truth.

Other ideas:

2. The MOTSI model (Miss-Out-The-Sides Imprinting model)

DSC07540 slightly cropped

3. The PXBF model (Pre-Xerox Body Fax model)

4. The CAGI model (Create A Good Impression model)

But acronyms are better if they spell a real word, preferably with some connection or mere connotations with the given subject?

5. As per:  the TRIFLE model (Topical Relief Imprinted, Flour/Linen Enabled)

6. The FRIGHTFUL model (Forget Resurrectional Incandescence, Ghostify Human Topography, Flour Upon Linen)

7. The FOSSIL model (Flour-Obtained Simulated Sweat Imprint – L-ementary my dear Watson)

8. The NONSCIFI model (The NoNonsense Scattered- Inventively Flour- Imprinting) model

9. The ICONIC model (Imprinting, Contact Only, No Image Cinematography)

Well, the problem now seems clear – namely the inability to express in a few words the essence of what’s being proposed, and/or to do so in a manner that is not instantly yawn-provoking.

Yes, how can an explanation for the TS as a product of medieval inventiveness, intended to reconstruct in material terms a particular brief narrative of the Gospels  – namely Joseph of Arimathea’s collection of a crucified body from the cross to a place of burial – possibly hope to compete for attention with the notion that the body  image only arrived later, after bloodstains – in a miraculous flash of resurrectional radiation.

It can’t, obviously, and pro-authenticity advocates of imaging-via-resurrection know it.

All they have to do is to carefully drip-feed the media, month by month, year by year, with their own agenda-promoting narrative, and scrupulously avoid giving so much as the slightest reference to more mundane, down-to-earth explanations for the TS, mine included. Chief culprits? Do I really need to name names?  Most are US or Italy-based.

Welcome to the 21st century, where control-freak fanatics attempt – and largely succeed -in exercising mind-control over the gullible and impressionable, keeping their tawdry little pseudo-science show on the road.

They know the media will lap up each and every one of their sensation-seeking pronouncements.

Monday October 16

Hugh Farey’s replacement as Editor of the BSTS Newsletter  (David Rolfe) is introducing an online forum, but apparently for subscribers only (shame it’s not open to all, but ours is not to reason why). So I’ve submitted my application which provides two years membership for a very reasonable £20. It asks one to say a little about oneself, how one came to be interested in the Shroud etc etc. I’m taking the liberty of reproducing my short submission here (blue font):

I have maintained my specialist Shroud website, since Feb 2012, reporting hands-on modelling of the TS body image in real time.

Hugh Farey did a report on my investigations in a BSTS Newsletter up to and including Model 9 in June 2015. Current Model 10 is a variant of Model 9, using solid white flour as imprinting medium onto wet linen instead of flour slurry onto dry linen, and using a hot oven (including its infrared radiation) for thermal development of the flour imprint in place of nitric acid.

I believe the TS body image to be a simulated sweat imprint of medieval design and manufacture, the technology having probably been inspired by the legendary Veil of Veronica. I am frankly amazed (and indeed appalled) that what I consider to be a commonsensical interpretation of the TS has achieved virtually zero penetration of sindonology, excluding the brief mention in Hugh Farey’s report. There be something rotten in the state of sindonology if it cannot bring itself to acknowledge the existence of an hypothesis, nay comprehensive theory, one that ticks so many boxes.


Here’s a C&P of what Hugh wrote in 2015 (BSTS no.81). (My bolding)

Hugh Farey
For several years Colin Berry has been investigating ways by
which the image on the Shroud could have been manufactured, and he
has finally arrived at what he hopes is a satisfactory explanation. In many
ways, though, the journey has been more valuable than the final
achievement, as the variety and imagination of his experiments have
enhanced our understanding of many of the characteristics of the Shroud,
and demonstrated inaccuracies in long held beliefs.
His exploration began with the idea that the image on the cloth
was essentially a scorch, produced by the imposition of a hot statue. The
image was described as looking very scorchlike by almost all the scientists
of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STuRP), although its failure to
fluoresce under ultraviolet light, unlike the marks of the known scorches
from the 1532 fire, led them to reject scorching as a valid hypothesis. Berry,
however, investigated whether there might not have been a process which
could produce a scorch which didn’t fluoresce, and began work using
heated horse-brasses, and later a brass crucifix picked up in a French street
market. He soon discovered that, contrary to accepted credo, it was easily
possible to scorch only one side of a linen thread, and even only one side
of a flax fibre, and began to quantify the distance at which heat radiation
was essentially ineffective. This proved to be very small, much less than
the 4cm or so required by the hypothesis that a life-sized statue could
have been the heat source, but he also showed that difference in contactpressure
produced difference in scorch intensity. He demonstrated that
almost any scorch will produce both an effective ‘negative’ image, and can
be converted into a ‘3D image’ using similar software to that of the
famous VP-8 Image Analyser, demolishing any miraculist claim that only
the Shroud was capable of such effects.

Along the way, Berry, whose principal research job has been into
dietary fibre, explored exactly what components of a flax plant cell (such a
cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin or lignin) were likely to be most easily
discoloured by heat, and how it might be transmitted through and along a
fibre. He also experimented with methods of producing the most
‘realistic’ image, as simply laying a hot model on cloth, or even simply
laying a cloth on a hot model, had not been satisfactory. To ensure a good
image, good contact is required, and some form of soft underlay or
overlay is needed for the cloth to mould slightly around the model. This
led to Berry’s two designs to test: LUWU (Linen Underneath the model,
With an Underlay beneath the linen) and his currently preferred LOTTO
(Linen On Top, Then Overlay).

Although all this led to numerous peripheral investigations,
including attempts to scorch linen in oxygen-free environments, the
fluorescence problem remained, so Berry turned his thoughts towards
chemical, rather than thermal, scorches, rather as Luigi Garlaschelli
hypothesised when he painted a shroud with a small percentage of
sulphuric acid in the pigment carrying medium. Tests involving various
acidic extractions from pomegranate rind in conjunction with possible
mordants like alum were not very satisfactory, so Berry turned his
attention to nitric acid instead.
Alongside all the chemistry, Berry was considering the rationale
that might lie behind a forger’s technique. If the image was a scorch, it
may have been an attempt to represent an image made by a man who had
been burnt to death, such as the Templar Jacques de Molay, and if it was a
chemical imprint, it may have been an attempt to represent the action of
sweat on an enveloping sheet. The word ‘suaire’ on one of the Lirey
pilgrimage badges, and the legend of Veronica’s ‘sudarium’ were
indications that this was not unreasonable. He also wondered if, since
there were certainly other ‘authentic’ burial shrouds already in existence,
this one might have been an attempt to represent the one Christ was laid
in as he was lowered from the Cross. There is some biblical justification
for this, and it was certainly used as an apologia for the existence of at
least two ‘shrouds’ in later centuries.
Covering a live model in acid was always likely to be unpopular,
so Berry now proposes a two-stage model, in which something
representing sweat is imprinted, colourlessly, on cloth, and the image
developed on the cloth with nitric acid. To get the best impression, it turns
out that a more viscous medium than sweat itself is required, so Berry
experimented with various things such as milk, egg-white and starch
before settling on a slurry of flour and water. This can be smeared over a
volunteer and the linen cloth applied, LOTTO, to achieve the imprint. If it
was appropriately viscous, the flour would not touch anything but the
crowns of the threads, as observed on the Shroud. The cloth can then be
heated with an iron to develop the image, or treated with nitric acid,
which turns the gluten in flour yellow in a xanthoproteic reaction.
The full story of Colin Berry’s research is quite difficult to follow
on his two websites, but he has recently assembled it all at https:// to which readers are
directed if they want to find out more about his ideas, his experiments, his
conclusions, and his answers to opponents. His other site is
Although Berry says he has hung up his test tubes for the present,
several loose ends are still available for tying up. Although Ray Rogers
was convinced there was a thin starch coating all over the Shroud, Heller
and Adler, in 1988, didn’t find any. And if the image relates, as the STuRP
team suggested, only to the material of the Shroud and not to any coating
or imprinting medium, then some interaction between the xanthoproteic
events on the medium and the underlying linen should be investigated.

Tuesday October 17

Up until now, I’ve been largely content to argue the positive aspects of my ‘simulated sweat imprint’ model while awaiting responses from (curiously) mainstream ideas from sindonology based on ‘resurrectional incandescence’. But apart from that one article over 2 years ago in the BSTS Newsletter and a few postings on Dan Porter’s retired shroudstory site  (which I overlooked to mention yesterday) there’s been nowt but a deafening silence (that’s despite that so-called International Shroud Conference at Pasco, Washington State in July).

So what’s this non-person supposed to do next?  Make a direct approach to the media? I tried that once, approaching the chief reporter of a UK national newspaper who called on me earlier out-of-the-blue for assistance with a different matter of scientific/medical interest . Sticking point (nay, road block: he said I’d need to do a full-size modelling of the TS if he and his paper were to provide publicity! I mentioned David Rolfe as a possible source of finance  and logistic back-up (recalling his Enigma Challenge to Richard Dawkins) and heard no more. Later I mooted the idea of a  possible partnership with Professor Luigi Garlaschelli on the International Skeptics Forum to repeat his ‘powder frottage’ modelling using  student volunteers with my white flour as imprinting medium instead of his acidified metal oxides etc , but that and later emails regrettably elicited zero response. Maybe I should have got my English translated into Italian ( I did start by apologizing!)!

(Good, isn’t it, that his compatriot Italian Government employees at ENEA can discolour linen with their uv excimer lasers, but despite admitting an actual image as distinct from faint discoloration was beyond the capabilities of the technology, have the UK media spellbound?  The same media sets the bar much much higher for me  when I come along, hat in hand, proposing homely medieval instead of 21st century technology!).

I was approached a couple of months ago by a Spanish language publication, asking for a summary of my model in relation to others.  I duly obliged, receiving thanks for doing so.  The initial October publication date was postponed for ‘logistical reasons’ and November, possibly December suggested in its place. For now it’s a matter of waiting, with no idea as yet what the reporter’s copy will say and not say.

For now I have no alternative than to challenge the ‘radiationists’ more directly on what I consider the more obvious weaknesses of their hugely unrealistic model. There are I believe serious inconsistencies between theory and results (notably the vertically UPWARDS emitted/collimated radiation needed for obtaining the frontal body image) reliant we are told on imaging across air gaps and ‘encoded distance information’ in contrast to imprinting by physical contact ONLY needed for the dorsal image from a recumbent subject under loosely-draped linen. So how come the frontal and dorsal images look so similar, BOTH giving a 3D response in Image J, not just the frontal one with sizeable air gaps we’re told, the dorsal one largely without, assisted as it is by body weight (Stephen E.Jones please note)?

My own preference is to stay positive, pressing home – or merely drip-feeding- the advantages of my own model. But that becomes impossible when one finds one’s message almost entirely airbrushed out of existence by the vast majority of authenticity-proselytizing sindonologists who see one as the ‘enemy’, not a fellow scientist.  Pasco  (to say nothing of STERA’s so-called research ‘updates’ on its  twice-yearly refreshed site)  to say nothing of the excessively clubbish, some might say furtive MO of the self-styled ‘Shroud Science Group’  have left me in no doubt whatsoever as to the real message-proselytizing nature of the defiant  sindonological  public relations machine.

Whole body imprint? The trickiest part of the anatomy to imprint onto linen is the face, thanks to the angular relief. But it can be done, at least on a good day, as I showed back in May 2015 when using Model 9 (nitric acid vapour as developing agent).

Yes, here’s an imprint from that posting (skip the initial section using the hand) of my own face, before and after light photo-editing:

flour selfi may 2015 sciencebuzz pre v post editing

(Btw: I have neither a beard nor moustache. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Never interpret an ‘impactograph’ as if it were a photograph!)

Frankly I see absolutely no reason why the  Models 9/10 flour imprinting technology developed by this investigator/blogger should not be able to generate a whole body imprint of comparable quality to that on the TS.

OK, so I used wet flour slurry rather than powdered dry white flour – which gives a sharper image with better defined edges, and I used a chemical developing agent for the above image, rather than heat.

Late insertion: No! I’ve just taken a close look at that May 2015 posting. Amazingly those photos you see above were taken BEFORE colour development with nitric acid. In other words there was sufficient colour in the flour imprint alone to give a visible negative image of my demonic countenance, allowing one to enhance the contrast  just a little, and then immediately upload to the 3D-rendering program. In other words, the ‘old’ Model 9 data dredged up for this late addition to the posting is to my mind still highly relevant to current Model 10, the only difference being the physical state of the flour and linen (to do with which has the additional water initially!).


But those are practical details. I have no strong attachment one or other  aspect of technology: what matters is the principle – imprinting from a real person (or inanimate bas relief  or statue ) via physical contact under applied manual pressure, using an innocuous organic  imprinting medium that can be developed at leisure in a separate second step to give the requisite faint yellow colour. How much longer does one have to wait for the obvious merits of my contact  model to be recognized by those radiation-obsessed proponents of resurrectional incandescence? But it’s no longer about the science and technology, is it? It’s about the message, and our mass media are letting them have a field day, Correction –  serial field decades, virtually unchallenged….

PS. I never did check out that flour slurry imprint of my face in ImageJ, to see if it responded to 3D-rendering. Answer: yes it does!


my face,non-gel flour slurry imprint, nitric acid dev, not inv then 3d then cropped

 Here’s a variant on the above, more highly cropped:

new 3D highly cropped


OK, so it’s not the most sophisticated of 3D-results. It used flour paste, not dry flour powder.

What’s more,  it was a completely DIY job, no outside help, requiring me to spread dry  linen over a cushion, and then forcibly press my face down ( LUWU as distinct from LOTTO mode, with no precision manual patting of  linen onto face – just passive brute-force imprinting in a single ‘take’ that among other things deforms the problematical  nose).

But as stated already, it’s the principle that counts – there’s no, er,  earthly reason why simple technology, available in the 14th century, should not reproduce the main features of the TS body image (colour, negative character, 3D-responsive etc etc).

I say the problem  (or as some would say ‘enigma’)  as to how the TS acquired its body image is largely solved  (well, in principle at any rate).

Wednesday October 18

Congratulations to those few who have made it thus far in the posting, which is already way, way too long  (it happens, blog postings being living things that occasionally evolve way beyond the initial plan, even assuming there was one).

Probably best I stop here, and await feedback, hoping I get some, before pondering what to do next.  Frankly I consider the ball to be in The Other Court (mainstream pro-authenticity sindonology). How much longer can the latter continue the way it does, year in, year out,  pushing its miraculist notions, feeding its titbits to the media, kidding itself  and the rest of humanity that conventional science can never hope to explain the Shroud?

Oh, but it can  (provided one’s willing to remove those rose-tinted spectacles supplied gratis by sindonology’s activist clique).

Comments invited (though I can’t guarantee to respond to all of them)…


Added October 27:  Symmetrical “poker holes” graphic needed for Comments (click tab at end of this posting|): culled from the internet (saves me having to duplicate it myself, and the source is worth a read, if only to witness pro-authenticity thinking in full swing).

Added October 28:  today’s plan for modelling of the 4 symmetrical sets of burn holes to reproduce the rapid fall-off in damage to linen. (Needed for Comments)

modelling of TS to reproduce symmetry and falloff in 4 sets of burn hole2


Flour imprints will be allowed to air dry before folding the linen as shown to prevent cross-contamination (shown yesterday to work as well as my previous heating of imprints on undried linen ). Face 1 will be closest to the heat source (modern fan oven with infrared-emitting element substituting for charcoal fire, at least for now!). Faces 2,3 and 4 are progressively further away from the heat source (though Face 4 will be receiving more convected hot air than the inner protected faces 2 and 3).

Added October 29

Also needed for Comments – serial step-wise photographs from yesterday’s imprinting off an oil-smeared, flour-sprinkled plastic figurine (“Incredible Hulk”)

inc hulk plus 3 stages of imprinting final

  1. Figurine; 2. Oil-smeared, then flour sprinkled from above; 3. Shake off surplus flour 4. First stage pre-washed flour imprint after 60 mins in fan oven at approx 160 degrees C

Added November 1, 2017

And here’s how I think the “bloodstains” were added, at least in principle, in two separate stages, separated by decades, perhaps centuries.

4 stages in blood imprinting

= flour- dusted subject; = addition of trickle(s) of a  treacly slurry of reddish clay/water to represent Mark 1 blood; C = appearance of flour imprint  with Mark 1  “blood” after heat-processing over charcoal fire (clay “blood” unchanged); D= final touched up imprint, with brighter red blood (or,  more probably,  passably-authentic blood substitute) dabbed carefully onto original clay imprint.


See this link to the 10 page pdf by Prof.G Lucotte’s impressive and exhaustive  microscopy    performed on  a Shroud sticky-tape blood sample supplied to him from the 1978 samplings (by “Riggi de Numana”). See the reference to reddish clays being a major contribution to the red-brown colour of the particular sample (right eye brow) , the same colour we’re told as ALL the bloodstains!

November 12, 2017

Have just been re-reading a Paolo Di Lazzaro paper from 2015 (one of those open access communications – free of charge, but questionable re the thoroughness of ‘peer review’).

Here’s a photomicrograph from that paper with an attached claim that I’ve been pondering for quite some time with ever increasing scepticism – fuelled by my own model system, my own microscopy/

Di Lazzaro 2015 pdf broken fibre with claimed yellow PCW

Am I the only one to see the serious methodological shortcoming in the above ‘experiment’ with what is described as a ‘mechanically damaged’ fibre (how seriously damaged???).

What should PDL have done instead? Clue: view the “TS” (short for something other than Turin Shroud, something to do with microscopical technique…).

Yes, if one really wants to know where the colour is in relation to the outermost layer of the fibre (the PCW, i.e. primary cell wall) AND the inner layers too (S1, S2 layers of the secondary cell wall) one does not, repeat NOT, rely entirely on the kind of image and methodology displayed above!

Ever heard of a microtome,  wax-embedding, transverse sections  etc Dr.Di Lazzaro?

See this posting of mine from Jan 2013!

End of lecture (shorter I hope and/or less insufferable than the ones I get periodically  from Dr.High-and-Mighty PDL).

About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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48 Responses to Pro-authenticity Shroud investigators should have considered the body image as a SIMULATED sweat imprint – before rushing to their pseudoscience (‘resurrectional incandescence’ etc).

  1. James Bond says:

    Sweat print? Like that’s going to last hundreds of years not drying out?

  2. Colin Berry says:

    It goes without saying – or should do – that a simulated sweat imprint that is what we now call the TS body image has had plenty of time to dry – many centuries – and was created from the word go so as to resemble a body imprint that looked as if it had had 13 centuries prior to that to become not just dry but yellowed with age.

  3. sheona says:

    Oh Colin, if you seriously expect any comments, let alone an intelligent or relevant one, from characters like those who turned up at Pasco, you are deluded. They just sat there listening to the same old stuff over again. They can’t cope with anything new or outside their blinkered vision.

    • James Bond says:

      It goes both ways Sheona. The anti-Shroud crowd is the same way. You’re blinded to the fact that the Shroud is a fake then go about proving it is.

      • Colin Berry says:

        I hope Sheona won’t object if I get in first, that being the blogmeister’s prerogative.

        Neither Geoffroy de Charny nor his wife Jeanne de Vergy, first recorded owners/displayers of the unique two-fold image we call the TS, ever gave the slightest clue as to how they came to acquire the ‘relic’. So how can anyone be expected to PROVE the TS is a fake, except by open-to-dispute, non-foolproof radiocarbon dating? (If one considers the disputed 1260-1390 date, consistent I might add with that first display at Lirey in approx 1355, to be in error, for whatever reason, then there’s a simple answer – repeat the testing on more widely distributed samples instead of just the one corner!).

        To insist on “proof” one way or the other is a counsel of perfection. In science at any rate one generally has to be content with amassing evidence for or against, unless it’s to prove that water is H2O (even then, it was later discovered that some of what we call water is D2O- deuterium oxide, “heavy water”). When presented with a single unique specimen of unknown origin, there is and can be no burden of proof on either side of the argument, at least not absolute proof. What matters is the weight of evidence (oh, and the quality too, Stephen E.Jones please note, he being someone who seems to regard an ounce of feathers as worth the same as an ounce of gold dust).

        • James Bond says:

          But so far no evidence to prove the Shroud a fake has been presented; just innuendo that it’s not and all sorts of demonstrations to create the equivalent have failed.

          • Colin Berry says:

            Paolo di Lazzaro creates a brown discoloration on linen with his uv excimer lasers, and grabs newspaper headlines all over the world. I generate tone-reversed (negative) images from figurines (see blog banner) my hand, my face even with similar or better response to that of the TS in 3D-rendering software, with uniformly intense yellow coloration in some fibres with uncoloured adjacent ones (i.e. the mysterious half-tone effect) AND abrupt discontinuities, as apparent in the Mark Evans photomicrographs. And what’s the response from pro-authenticity sindonology, yourself included? That my 6 years of research have produced nothing of interest or importance! You and your fellow true believers carry on year after year mouthing your mantras to the effect that science has never reproduced the TS body image AND NEVER WILL. You attend your pseudoscience congresses, wrapping yourselves in the cloak of “science” while totally trashing the scientific method which operates on the basis of putting up and then testing hypotheses. You and your true believers do nothing of the sort – you simply trawl for anything that’s in the slightest bit different between the TS image and a conventional photograph, negative or positive, and then go invoking your ‘resurrectional incandescence”(pseudoscience does not get much worse!).

            I have news for you. The TS image is not any kind of photograph. It’s a contact imprint, more specifically a simulated sweat imprint, one designed to provide a whole-body counterpart to the Veil of Veronica, via the same imagined principle . That’s why the TS image is a tone-reversed negative. It’s an imprint, a CONTACT-ONLY imprint with no imprinting across air gaps. Sindonology does not want to hear about imprints. It doesn’t want its narrative based on magical mystery flashes of radiation to be undermined, either by the application of science – REAL science- or even by plain simple, no nonsense commonsense.

          • James Bond says:

            And supposedly all those Middle Ages artists knew about different techniques you’re bring up? Why weren’t there a deluge of fake Shrouds made since that era was very very religious making all sorts of icons and producing paintings with all sorts of religious themes, why not more Shrouds?

  4. Colin Berry says:

    I haven’t watched all the Pasco videos yet, Sheona. But from those I’ve seen, one can only hope for their sake that attendees were provided with a couple of matchsticks on arrival – to keep the eyelids propped open. That and a couple of yawn-suppressing pills in the mid-morning and afternoon coffee…

  5. Colin Berry says:

    I have just added this as a ‘pre-script’ to the start of the current posting, with lots of red ink (not deployed here)

    Late addition (October 20) : this is not the first posting on this site to have “simulated sweat imprint” in its title. I did an earlier one with those same three words in the title as long ago as November 2014 – yes, almost three years ago!

    I referred to my posting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as representing something of a ‘paradigm shift’, not only for me personally (having previously been hung up on the idea that the TS was a scorch imprint off a hot metal template – Model 2) but for sindonology too – having failed to find the concept of a simulated sweat imprint  i.e.of medieval manufacture – anywhere in the literature. 

    Response: I was instantly criticized by one of sindonology’s elder statesmen for deploying that term ‘paradigm shift’, though reasons were not given.

    However, give the ZERO RESPONSE from sindonology to the arrival of a brand new ‘take’, i.e. concept,  these last three years and indeed longer (starting early 2014 in fact) I now feel fully vindicated and justified in claiming to have introduced a ‘paradigm shift’. 

    It hardly speaks well of sindonology as a supposedly academic discipline, indeed a self-styled branch of ‘science’ if/when  it continues to ignore a significant new addition to the world of ideas. I’ve invited comments to this current posting on a long-established open-access site, one that still gets on average 20-30 visits a day from all over the world. So far, there’s been one only. Hopefully there will be more in the coming days and weeks. However, there seems little point in continuing to post new content unless or until sindonology wakes up to the presence of the ‘simulated sweat imprint’ concept, nay paradigm shift in its own back yard.

    Rest assured I will continue to do hands-on research with a view to improving the performance of my current Model 10 (use of white flour imprinting medium to simulate an ancient, dried-on, yellowed sweat imprint), and plan new postings.  But the first priority is to elicit feedback, whether positive or negative. One cannot be expected to operate in a vacuum, especially if/when one suspects that the vacuum is no accident – that mainstream sindonology is deliberately pretending one does not exist.

    Late postscript: here’s a list of the model numbers 1-10 in chronological order, starting with Model 1 (thermostencilling in Dec 2011) and ending in current Model 10 (midsummer, 2015)

    Model 1. Thermostencilling (the one and only ‘pure’ radiation model, quickly dismissed as impractical).

    See this from Dec 2011:

    Model 2. 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 thermosensitizer coating, notably white flour (a 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, substituting protein for his volatile putrefaction amines.

    See this from Oct 2014:

    NB: There was a brief jump in Model 3 to current Model 10! (a horse brass was smeared in oil, dusted with white flour, then pressed onto dry linen. Shame it wasn’t wet linen, that would have given a better imprint, and allowed one to skip Models 4-8! But scientific models, let’s remind ourselves, are for using, not believing. Even models one knows to be deficient or even downright wrong can lead to new experimentation, new insights, better models…)

    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, Hugh Farey (private communication) , 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 flour-coated linen (another forerunner of final model 10). Probably the most informative experiment of all, assisted by critical input from Adrie van de 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, 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 thermochemical reaction between CaO and water as source of in situ heat, but quickly abandoned.

    See this from June 2014:

    Model 8. Lemon juice, with 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 decompostion of ascorbic acid- and (b) amino compounds.

    See this from October 2014:

    Model 9: Imprinting with wet flour slurry onto dry linen then oven-roasting. Criticized for giving imprints that were too well-defined at edges.

    See this from June 2015:

    Model 10: Imprinting with dry flour onto wet 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!

  6. Colin Berry says:

    Still no response to my request for feedback (except for ‘sheona’, who shares my sense of ‘non event’ as regards the Pasco proceedings (thank you sheona!).

    One cannot continue in this fashion – posting new ideas, month after month, year after year- eliciting virtually zero feedback (while one’s sitemeter suggests one is being followed closely!)

    It’s time for a long-overdue change of gear, after some 6 years or so of having one’s original ideas, hands-on-research being systematically ignored, especially post Dan Porter’s shroudstory site-shutdown – Dec 2015 – at least in terms of mentions. flaggings-up, internet links etc,. (Thank you btw DanP, despite our many differences).

    Warning to you brazen self-serving propagandists out there: I have just this minute mapped out an action plan – one that (I regret to say, not caring for confrontation) has to NAME NAMES!

    I shall announce it in a few days or so, maybe less, if I continue to be treated as the Invisible Man of sindonology!

    I shall also append a list of my heroes too (though it’s short compared with those attempting to hide or distort the TRUTH!).

    One or two past protagonists might be surprised to find themselves on my roll of honour… Science , to say nothing of the world of ideas generally, makes steady progress via open-minded, well-motivated, truth-seeking protagonism, even if getting one’s back up in the short term!

  7. Colin Berry says:

    James Bond says:
    October 22, 2017 at 3:38 pm
    And supposedly all those Middle Ages artists knew about different techniques you’re bring up? Why weren’t there a deluge of fake Shrouds made since that era was very very religious making all sorts of icons and producing paintings with all sorts of religious themes, why not more Shrouds?

    What you propose might make sense if one subscribed to the notion, proposed by Hugh Farey and others, that the TS was a kind of liturgical prop, an accompaniment maybe to a recumbent wood carving of the crucified Jesus. Were that the case, there would surely be something in the historical record about churches or cathedrals performing such Easter rituals with much duplication of the imprinting technology. But pilgrims in the mid 1350s were not flocking to a major centre with a church or cathedral. They were descending on a remote hamlet with a humble private chapel belonging to the Lord of Lirey and his wife, added to which there’s written evidence (d’Arcis memorandum etc) that the Shroud was claimed from the very beginning to be the genuine article, with no suggestion that there were other ‘genuine’ shrouds elsewhere.

    What that says is that the Shroud was manufactured using highly secret, newly devised technology strictly as a one-off. It would have needed only a single duplicate elsewhere to call into question the perceived ‘genuinness’ of the faked relic. That’s why the TS is/was a one-off – it had to be, since there could only be one piece of linen purporting to be that taken to the cross by J of A to receive a particular crucified body.

  8. Colin Berry says:

    One of the FEW advantages of being blackballed by mainstream so-called sindonology (and Google too – the two probably being connected) is that one’s postings no longer have to be pre-prepared in detail. One can put up a title, and a mere introduction for starters, giving a hint of what’s to follow in bite- size instalments.

    That’s what I shall now proceed to do. The title of the next posting?

    “The Turin Shroud – conceived and manufactured in the mid 14th century as a vastly more REALISTIC Relics-U-Like upgrade of the celebrated Veil of Veronica.”

    But that’s not saying anything I haven’t said before these past 3 years of a 6 year hands-on project to unearth the truth regarding that so-called burial shroud. (Which it’s not, being better described as a simulated TRANSPORT shroud – modelled on the Joseph of Arimathea intervention, i.e.his providing fine linen to receive a newly deceased victim of crucifixion straight from the cross while blood AND sweat were still reasonably fresh and thus EACH able simultaneously to deposit an IMPRINT, one bold, the other faint).

    However, this worm has finally turned. This worm will no longer be content to idly observe that his off-message explanation for the Shroud has failed to gain traction, despite 6 years of posting on this internet site, on his sciencebuzz site too, despite numerous postings to say nothing of some 2000 comments to the retired Dan Porter shroudstory site, despite a handy summary by (sadly now departing) Editor Hugh Farey in his May 2015 BSTS Newsletter, making reference to the ‘simulated sweat imprint’. The issue is no longer about where the message has appeared. It’s about where it has NOT appeared and WHY!
    No prize for guessing btw which sites are within my sights, so to speak. Like, you know,, like, like the TS wiki entry, where I appeared briefly only to be quickly edited out … need I continue?

    No, to be ignored so completely for so long, such that an internet search under (shroud turin simulated sweat imprint) brings up for the most part my postings only, with scarcely if any secondary listings to others’ sites, newsletters, blogs, conferences etc can surely be no accident. What we see quite clearly is a determined effort to suppress what is seen as a dangerous threat to sindonology’s protected, regularly and assiduously puffed-up little bubble of certainty, all the while pretending to be based on physics, medicine, pathology etc etc. – though, in passing, scarcely any worthwhile image chemistry worth speaking of!

    So, as indicated two days ago, I’ll also be listing sindonology’s prime movers and asking – what role if any has each of them played – either by their words, or in most cases incomprehensible silence – in keeping this highly active investigator’s ideas and researches OFF the internet. The time for pussyfooting around the issue of positive OR negative exclusion, i.e BLACKBALLING is over …

  9. Colin Berry says:

    PS: I’ve decided that the next posting – see previous comment – will list at least 20 reasons for regarding the linen as primarily a pre-burial TRANSPORT shroud, and that the image – whether genuine or more likely simulated – was not only acquired notionally in the transport phase immediately post-crucifixion, but likely to have been seen as such by the first cohorts of pilgrims descending on Lirey.

    There will be what I regard as a new addition to that list – a feature that I don’t recall having been flagged up elsewhere. It’s to do with the briefly-Gospel-appearing J of A’s decision to have expensive ‘fine linen’ delivered to the cross to receive a blood and sweat-covered body.

    The TS certainly fits the description “fine linen”, given its 3/1 herringbone weave. But that fancy-patterned weave is only visible on one side (the side with visible threads being 75% warp-origin) – the opposite side being allegedly much less attractive (75% weft threads). So the herringbone weave would need to have been visible to spectators on the OUTWARD non-body contact side right?

    But which side was visible to spectators, given the image is imprinted on the herringbone weave? NOT the herringbone weave!.

    So the choice of herringbone weave was unlikely to have been J of A’s (authenticity scenario). It was more likely that of the medieval artisans who decided to model/simulate his improvised-stretcher means of transport – having discovered no doubt that apart from the quality-look (“fine linen”), one can get a much better imprint onto a herringbone weave with those more elevated flat-top multi-platform warp threads than on a simple 1/1 weave! One just has to be careful to imprint onto the correct side of that herringbone weave!

    See this series of postings from the retired shroudstory site for the difference between the two sides of a herringbone weave.

  10. Colin Berry says:

    PPS: that list of 20 reasons for thinking the TS was originally positioned as a transport, not burial shroud, has now grown to 27, so the best strategy right now is probably one of seeing if any more ideas come to mind before adding a new posting. (New postings will almost certainly get the same treatment from ‘sindonology’ as the previous 500 or thereabouts, so i make no apologies for dragging my heels).

    Idea no.27 has given a particular sense of satisfaction, linking together as it has a seemingly disparate collection of features: the symmetrical distribution of the L-shaped so-called “poker holes” about the vertical midline, the repeated resort to ‘disrespectful’ folding of the TS down its vertical (longitudinal) midline for compact storage (as distinct from rolling up) , creating a crease down the centre of the supposedly ‘revered’ face, the method of manufacture/ image development of the body image assuming medieval provenance, the manner of compact folding of the linen during proposed thermal image development, the risks of deploying a bed of hot charcoal for image development etc etc.

    Yes, there’s a way of linking them all into a simple, coherent, internally-consistent narrative – and not before time. All will be revealed soon – not that it will make a blind bit of difference to the scenery out there…

    • James Bond says:

      Well Sir, so far all you’ve proved (maybe) on how it could have been done but you’ve not actually produced one that is exactly the same as the Shroud with all the detailed imagery and all. You make an accurate duplicate and I’ll be in your court.

  11. Colin Berry says:

    Detailed imagery? Earlier you were telling us that the loss of detail if/when one viewed at too short a distance was a reason for considering the image was not man-made. Now you’re saying the image is detailed…How can a vanishing image be detailed if one cannot view it at sufficiently close quarters in order to discern detail?

    This might be an opportunity to make a point: there’s not just one but two competing shrouds in the literature. There’s the one that is in the glass argon-filled case in Turin, the one that elicits comments like “I can scarcely see a thing!”. “Try reproducing that level of image subtlety and superficiality” they say! Then there’s the other shroud in all the archive photos, which has been given oodles of extra contrast by one means or another. “Try reproducing that level of detail and definition” they say! (The 1931 Enrie photo was, incidentally, said to have employed a special photographic emulsion to give high contrast. These days one can do the same with digital software such that scarcely visible images leap right out the page!).

    Sorry, but I also reject outright the idea that one has to reproduce every detail in order to make a case for the image being man-made. One has merely to show that it’s possible to produce an image that is faint yellow, superficial (or apparently so!), negative (tone-reversed), exhibits the half-tone effect and discontinuities under the microscope etc. In other words, one shows there’s nothing irreproducible IN PRINCIPLE, i.e. nothing beyond known science and technology. You would’t expect a modern day forger to reproduce the Mona Lisa in every single detail, so why expect the same of the Shroud?

    I’ve patiently and laboriously ticked all those”unique” criteria boxes listed above with flour-imprinting/thermal development/water washing technology as displayed on my site banner – and what happens? Goalposts get moved, like a sindonology bigshot who shall remain nameless, telling me not so long ago (on this very site) that the crucial characteristic was the unique ‘homogeneity’ of the body image! Yeah, right… Sprinkle flour from above, shake off the excess – homogeneity is assured!

  12. Colin Berry says:

    We’ve all heard of the so-called ‘voyage of discovery’ . For this shroudie sleuth, the last few days might be described as a voyage of rediscovery. Yes, I’ve been going back to features that were the subject of postings 4 or 5 years ago, and realizing that I did not do full justice previously to what was staring me in the face. The latest example is that Lirey Pilgrim’s badge, with that curious coiled rope-like structure that is strung horizontally across the small of the back on the dorsal side AND then extending off-body to both sides of the linen.

    Lirey Pilgrim's badge (actual) versus 19th century Forgeais drawing after recovery from Seine.

    Historian Ian Wilson interpreted it as the “blood belt” in which case one must ask: why show that “blood” only – in bas relief no less – and no other blood, e.g from the lance wound?

    Maybe it does represent a rope. But there’s no obvious rope, or depiction thereof, on the Shroud body image itself, at most a blood belt with a chain-like appearance in places – hardly a coiled rope. And why does it extend across the whole width, off the body image?

    But aren’t we overlooking something? The designer of the Lirey badge went to a lot of trouble to show both the body and (?) rope in bas relief (which involved a lot of meticulous internal scooping out and sanding of the small stone template/mould (UK)/mold (US) used for casting the lead/tin alloy).

    Why did he do that, given the TS image is 2D, not a bas relief, far less a 3D? Why not just show the TS image as if a painting, say of the founder of Christianity on his final burial shroud, whether pre- or post-Resurrection?

    I say there are two main reasons. First he wanted to ‘educate’ the first time viewer into seeing the ‘two-fold’ image as an actual body IMPRINT (most definitely NOT a painting that could be misconstrued as that of the crucified Jesus on his final burial shroud, the fabric being mistaken as mere artist’s canvas, albeit upmarket as regards intricate weave pattern). Would the negative (tone-reversed image) be sufficient, and be correctly interpreted? Probably not – an the badge alone could not be used to convey a negative image. Consequently, a visual aid was considered a worthwhile insurance policy, indeed necessity, to guard against misinterpretation of the Shroud’s faint body image and/or the material on which it is placed! Repeat: the body image had to be seen as an IMPRINT, not a painting.

    Second , the badge designer wanted to hint at the time and place the unique imprint was acquired, i.e transport to the cross, not afterwards in a rock tomb with all the attendant ambiguity and complications (post mortem changes, resurrection). Thus the addition of a rope, yes ROPE, used to assist in the so-called “Deposition”, i.e.transferring a crucified body from cross to the spread-out receiving linen, herringbone weave face up – see earlier comment). The bas relief can be viewed as ‘artistic licence’ which allowed the badge designer to indicate what was there BEFORE the imprint, whether it left an imprint (the BODY) or not (a temporary lifting ROPE).

    In short, the rope was a way of saying: see the Shroud imprint as one acquired en route from cross to tomb, not the tomb itself. It is a transport shroud, possibly allegorical like the Veil of Veronica, and NOT be seen as the final burial shroud (to which some might take umbrage, the local bishop in the first instance, and who knows, maybe the Pope himself!). The Lirey badge ploy may have done the trick, at least for the first year or two of lucrative public displays of the ‘ailment-curing’ Shroud of Lirey. Shame about its successor – for which we have the so-called Machy mould only. The Mark 2 badge designer pushed his luck with that additional face and ESPECIALLY the somewhat ambiguous word SUAIRE (sweat cloth? burial shroud?) directly underneath! First bishop, then Pope, went ballistic, banning further displays of the money-spinning Lirey shroud for 30 years!

  13. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s a graphic of those famous so-called L-shaped poker holes, culled from the newgeology site. (Saves me having to do my own!).

    I’ve printed it out on A4, speared the site of the so-called poker holes with a hot needle, and confirmed that the 4 L-shaped sets of holes line up almost perfectly if one first folds the paper lengthwise along its long axis, and then breadthwise along its short one. The lined up holes on all 4 layers then coincide very closely with the geometrical mid point of the twice-folded paper.

    Those “poker holes” preceded the 1532 fire, but display the same (to my mind) unexpected feature namely that a revered ‘holy relic’ was folded up at least twice with a crease running right down the centre of the face of the Man on the Shroud! (Well, not quite the centre, but approx vertically through the subject’s left eye). I commented as much on that years ago when looking at the same symmetry of the 1532 holes, with the word “cavalier and disrespectful” in the title. At the time, I focused attention on those 1532 burn holes, giving little thought to the “similarly symmetrical “poker holes”, while thinking how improbable was that ‘official’ rarely-if-ever-challenged poker-inflicted explanation. The way the charring falls off rapidly as one goes through the 4 layers of cloth, labelled 1-4 above, hardly fits with the thrust from a hot poker, but maybe better with some kind of briefly incandescent red hot embers as also suggested, assumed to have dropped from above, e.g. a censer.

    Ah yes – red hot embers.

    Here’s an alternative explanation that you won’t have read before elsewhere. The 4 sets of “poker holes” were acquired during Shroud manufacture when the flour-imprinted linen was folded in 4, and then slung horizontally , supposedly at a “safe height” (!) over a bed of red hot charcoal for image development. Embers flew up from the fire and hit the lowest part of the hammock-like arrangement, i.e. the dead centre of the folded-up ensemble. Damage was most severe at the first point of contact, decreasing rapidly through the next 3 layers.

    I’ve been experimenting with gentler roasting routines that might arguably work better if our medieval artisans had indeed folded the linen in 4 for heating and colour-development. Success! One does not need 180-200 degrees C as used previously. 30-60 mins at 160 degrees is just as effective, and may avoid uneven colour with a folded sheet ( though still to be tested). It’s also much easier to wash of the detachable surface encrustation with soap and water from low-temperature roasting, leaving that faint, ghostly Shroud-like negative image – see blog banner…

    • James Bond says:

      Those “poke holes” were caused by melting lead when the Shroud was folded in a case in a church that caught fire, the holes were caused by lead in the case melting as the fire grew hotter and the lead burned the holes. The reason they all lined up was because the Shroud was folded up.

      • Colin Berry says:

        I think, James, you have the 1532 Chambery fire, with burn holes from molten silver (not lead) dripping down onto the twice-folded shroud from a melting storage casket/reliquary, confused with an earlier episode that somehow created the smaller L-shaped burn holes.

        But the L-shaped holes were NOT from the later 1532 fire, since they are shown in the 1516 Lier copy of the Shroud, painted some 16 years before the 1532 fire, showing the L-shaped holes ONLY!

        That does not mean, needless to say, that the L-shaped burn holes appeared in 1516. They could have been there from the very beginning, an accident of ‘manufacture’ using a bed of hot charcoal as heat source to develop a flour imprint, as I’ve suggested here (an original ‘brainwave’ if I’m not mistaken!).

        Thank you all the same for your comment, albeit one I consider to have two entirely different Shroud-damaging events confused…

  14. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s the current ‘model’ of original heat-development of Shroud flour-imprint over a charcoal fire.

    The twice-folded linen, this time with flour imprints on the INSIDE, not directly facing the original charcoal embers, will be slung horizontally such that the closest side to my modern fan oven radiant heat source (+ hot convected air) will be 1, followed by 2, 3 and 4 (i.e., in the same decreasing order of burn intensities as the so-called pre-1532 “poker holes” which, as indicated yesterday, I suspect were acquired at the time of manufacture. Indeed, it may have been the perceived risk of damage from flying embers that would have prompted the TS artisans to opt for the above design with imprints supposedly tucked away ‘safely’ (!) on the inside of twice-folded linen.

    • James Bond says:

      Well if you and your associates and your lab can replicate exactly the Shroud I will be the first to join your camp. I want to see your replication side by side with the real Shroud and the experts could not detect the difference.

      • Colin Berry says:

        Well, I’m working on it James. That’s me, I hasten to add, and me alone, a retired science bod, interested in any number of puzzles and enigmas (Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, biogenesis, smoke pollution from domestic fires, etc etc). No associates, no lab, just an enquiring mind… The difference is that I report my thinking and ideas via internet blogs in real time – if only to counter the increasing invasion of agenda-driven misinformation…

        This is just one of my 3 websites I maintain (though admittedly the other two have been neglected of late, due to my ‘homing in’ I believe on the means by which the TS body image was fabricated via flour-imprinting in the mid 14th century….

        Today’s experiments with folded linen and low-temperature image development, which I summarize tomorrow, have proved most encouraging to my central hypothesis : flour imprinting, followed by thermal development to create a faint but resistant melanoidin-based chromophore, aka ‘half-tone’ yellow image…

        I bet you didn’t hear about melanoidins at your carefully-choreographed Pasco conference – with its light-at-end-of-tunnel obsession with ‘resurrectional incandescence’…. That’s despite STURP chemist Ray Rogers having flagged them up – albeit in his authenticity-friendly narrative…

        • James Bond says:

          As I mentioned before: You create a shroud that can’t be detected from the original and I will be your most vociferous adherent and supporter.

          • Colin Berry says:

            I’m in correspondence as we speak with a prominent pro-authenticity figure in ‘Shroudology”. Yesterday I presented this major figure with my list of criteria that needed to be explained, if not exactly reproduced (being interested only in explaining the underlying principles of the science/technology of the Shroud – dispelling the hugely over-hyped mystique one might say).

            Here’s my list of criteria re the supposedly ‘enigmatic’ body image which are said to challenge and indeed confound modern science:

            1. negative (tone-reversed) character,
            2. 3D so-called “properties” (disputed)
            3. faintness/ alleged superficiality.
            4. lack of sides to body image, precluding any wrap-around “lateral image distortion” arising from curvature in a whole body template.
            5. uniformly faint yellow colour
            6. indistinct fuzzy edge to body image
            7. alleged ‘half-tone’ effect and discontinuities.
            8. lack of uv fluorescence, allegedly ruling out any kind of thermal imprinting process (“scorch”)
            9. image homogeneity
            10. brittleness of image fibres
            11.heat and water resistance
            12. absence of evidence for any substantial change (birefringence etc) in the cellulose of flax fibres.

            Any thoughts?

          • James Bond says:

            Just replicate so that scientists are unable to tell the difference. That’s all.

  15. Colin Berry says:

    When the cobbled-together skull of the Piltdown Man was declared a forgery, the scientists who arrived at that (now unchallenged) conclusion, based on damning evidence re filed-down teeth, artificial bone-colorants etc, were not required to assemble a new forgery! That’s not how science operates…

    • James Bond says:

      There was no need to remake the Piltdown Man since it has been proven to be a fake. Your organization on the other hand just gives “possible ways ” the Shroud could have been made. You’ve not duplicated any portion of the Shroud whereas it’s real easy to duplicate the Piltdown Man. Make a Shroud that’s indistinguishable from the original. Should be easy, right?

  16. Colin Berry says:

    PS: But here’s one of my results from yesterday (click to enlarge).

    The experiment was NOT intended to show I could replicate the TS image in every detail. (That could take hundreds of experiments, tweaking this, tweaking that, which is suck-it-and-see technology, not science. I leave that to others with more of a publicity-hungry showbiz approach to sindonology (naming no names!).

    In fact I was checking out the possibility of employing twice-folded imprints on linen at lower temperatures (160 degrees C for 60 mins). As can be seen from the final (unwashed) imprint, the altered technique worked fine, provided the imprints were not folded inwards on themselves (I suspect that direct infrared radiation from a hot element is needed for image development , at least at lower temperatures).

    I have now evolved a very flexible technique, where one air-dries the fresh imprints first, before putting in oven. One can then remove the linen at will, as many times as one wishes, to check on progress. If the imprint is less intense than one wishes, then one simply puts it back for a longer time, a higher temperature or both. If the imprint is uneven as a result of compact folding-up for the oven, then one simply re-folds in a different way and puts it back in the oven. Where there’s a will …

    • James Bond says:

      Again I say: Make a shroud just like the ST and I’ll be a believer. You’ve all the expertise so make one, call on all your experts to create an exact duplicate. All you’ve been doing so far is pointing in all different direction on how “possibly” it could have been done but you’ve not created one yourself that is indistinguishable from the original. So far you and all the other Shroud deniers have not come up with their own shroud to show to the public an exact duplicate. PS: Can’t use flour or sweat.
      James Bond

  17. Colin Berry says:

    I really don’t see any point in continuing this conversation James, and must ask you politely to vacate this Comments thread if you are unable or unwilling to be more constructive.

    I have placed my cards on the table by proposing the Shroud to be a simulated sweat imprint of medieval manufacture, intended to be a bigger and more lucrative draw for pilgrims than the then-fabled Veil of Veronica. I have shown how that sweat imprint could and probably was manufactured using simple homely materials – white flour, vegetable oil, an open charcoal fire, soap and water. The only costly input was the linen with the herringbone weave, designed to cement a link in pilgrims’ minds with the Joseph of Arimathea narrative.

    It’s simply not on for you to come here making dismissive comments about my unique science and technology that has taken 6 years to develop (although it’s arguably no worse than the silence from sindonology in general). My simulated sweat narrative is coherent, i.e. hangs together, and at least for me ticks any number of boxes.

    I shan’t mince my words. I say to you and mantra-intoning sindonologists everywhere with no realistic or credible model worth speaking of for explaining the ‘enigmatic’ body image : it’s time to put up or shut up… (especially a Pasco attendee whom one would expect to be bursting with the latest ideas and findings from pro-authenticity sindonological research).

    Oops,I forgot:sindonological research = SIN! DO NO LOGICAL RESEARCH 😉

    • James Bond says:

      Okay, well model a Shroud indistinguishable from the real one since you’ve all this six year experience with flour and sweat and your little models.

  18. Colin Berry says:

    I thought I’d list some of the oddities re the Shroud, ones that pro-authenticity advocates rarely if ever address in detail, ones I CAN account for in the ‘simulated sweat imprint’ model. I imagined at the outset I might be able to summon up a dozen or so. I’m currently up, to 37! Here they are, as they came to mind, i.e. in no particular order.

    1. The half tone effect, discontinuities etc
    2. The bulbous look of the man on the Lirey pilgrims’ badge and the rope across the waist…
    3. The image chromophore – melanoidin/simulated sweat
    4. The 4 symmetrical sets of poker holes’
    5 The non-unique so-called 3D properties (Year 1532 burn holes etc)
    6. The lack of sides on the body image/face
    7. The imaging of soles, not tops of feet
    8. The diimide bleaching, at odds with McCrone’s “iron oxide” pigment
    9 The chin/neck “crease”, same coloration etc as body image.
    10.The ref to SUAIRE and accompanying vignette face on the Machy mould
    11.The early historical references to blood AND sweat (15th16th centuries)
    12.The unexpected brittleness of image fibres – melanoidins are polymeric solids
    13.The second face/hints of reverse-side image etc
    14. The alleged imaging of “water” as well as blood from side wound
    15. The cuts and scratches on linen from scourge
    16. The superb condition/longevity of the linen (heated and washed)
    17.The so-called xray features (skull, teeth, fingers etc)
    18. The unusual location for the blood belt accumulation
    19. The artefactual coins on eyes – misapplication of 3D-rendering software
    20. The alleged traces of starch
    21. The de Charny links with French Court of King John, the financing of his humble wood-built ‘private chapel’, its staffing by 5 ‘dean and clerics’. its independent collegiate status…
    22.The so-called misidentified sedilli – additional burn holes close to poker holes
    23. The improbable position of crossed hands, missing thumbs – live volunteer.
    24. Small height difference, approx 4cm, frontal v dorsal.
    25. The hair looks brown in the negative, silver in the positive, not as expected – from a photographic negative – the other way round.
    26. The quality side of J of A’s “fine linen” i.e. herringbone weave does not face out, as might be expected, but inwards (imprinting side).
    27.Body image not altered in appearance by heat from the 1532 fire, even from nearby burn holes.
    28.Custodians content to fold the Shroud AND face longitudinally in half for storage! The face could have been kept free of fold marks.
    29. Wound sites indicated by bloodstains only. No imaging of wounds in the body image.
    30 Imaging of neck, indeed underside of chin, not expected in “loosely draped linen”
    31.Dorsal side approx intensity body image as frontal. Buttocks not noticeably flattened.
    32 Considerably paler junction area where two crossed hands meet, as expected of imaging via contact only.
    33. Linen turns around head, not feet, contrary to what might be expected of a “burial” shroud .
    34.No evidence of myrrh or aloes, as might be expected of a genuine “burial” shroud.
    35. Image restricted to a few fibres on the crowns of threads, ie. highest point of the cylinder as viewed in cross section, and possibly the crowns of fibres too.
    36.Early shroud reported to have been laundered many times, boiled in oil etc etc as test of image permanence.
    37 No convincing demonstration of red corpuscles, no obvious blood clots, atypical porphyrin spectrum.

    (Not bad eh, for my “flour, sweat and little models” ?)

    • James Bond says:

      Could it be a Forgery?

      The two most common explanations of the Shroud are: 1) It is a forgery made between 1260 to 1390 AD, based on the C14 dating, probably made in northern France, and 2) It is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus from about 33 AD. Note that several of the above items are inconsistent with the Shroud being a forgery from the Middle Ages. A forger would not have known to:

      Place invisible serum rings around the blood exudate of the scourge marks.
      Add pollen to the Shroud that is unique to the Jerusalem area.
      Add pollen around the head that is from a plant with long thorns.
      Put a microscopic amount of dirt in abrasions on the nose and one knee.
      Put bilirubin into the blood.
      Locate the nails in the wrists or fold the thumbs under, contrary to paintings from the Middle Ages.
      Put microscopic chips of limestone from Jerusalem into dirt near the feet.
      Use a stitch unique to the first century to sew the three-inch wide side strip to the main shroud.
      Create a negative image with 3D information content in the image.
      Create an image based on a change in the covalent bonding of the carbon atoms in the cellulose molecules.

      • Colin Berry says:

        It’s not acceptable for adherents of pro-authenticity sindonology – whether recent (as is apparently the case with yourself) or long-established ones – to go producing that same dogeared checklist, year after year, expecting folk like myself to respond laboriously , point by point, and then responding in turn with the Big Stunned Silence.

        Yes, that’s what happened again and again, starting close on 6 years ago on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site.

        You see, I happen to know quite a lot about bilirubin, admittedly just one – point 5- in your checklist, having researched bilirubin full-time for 2 years as Research Specialist – 1970-72 – at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School AND published several papers with my colleague – the late Don Ostrow MD.. Dan Porter invited me to write a summary of my thinking re bilirubin and Shroud ” blood” for the closed shop SSG (Shroud Science Group) which I promptly did.

        Result – total silence. Later one of sindonology’s respected figures, an MD who shall remain nameless, asked me to expand on the details, which I did. Result – again, silence.

        Sorry, I’m no longer willing to respond to detailed questions re the science if all I get in return is silence. My time is better spent in picking up on neglected details, going boldly etc …
        That’s what I and other pressed-for-time scientists do, We go boldly where no man has been before. We have no time for ancient dog-eared checklists that get pushed under our noses time and time and time again, making inroads on precious time…

        Now if you want to select a particular item from your checklist, James, then spend some time, researching just a single point in detail. Then by all means come back better-informed with a searching question or two, addressed to one or more crucial details, selected if you wish to put me on the spot. Then I’ll respond (bring it on!) but not before.

        Sorry, but I have no further time for dusted-off checklists…Let’s be seeing some new original thinking please….

        • James Bond says:

          The thing is Colin I have. I’ve checked both sides of the controversy and so far you’ve come up short a bit. All you’ve done so far is show different ways the Shroud was made but by your own “scientific” research haven’t been able to produce the equivalent of the Shroud. I keep stating: make a Shroud using your scientific components you’ve devised and create an identical Shroud.

  19. Colin Berry says:

    I’m content to model James, not reproduce in every detail. Why? Because that’s what scientists do, whether you like it or not – they model. They do not feel compelled to reproduce the results of forgers – merely to show that forgery techniques were deployed, as described earlier for the Piltdown Man.

    Earlier in this thread I showed the kind of negative image I get with flour-imprinting from a 3D figurine. The same technology works, IN PRINCIPLE, from my hand, face even. I leave it to others to fine- tune the details. If that means continuing scientific obscurity – then so be it. Working scientists are accustomed to obscurity. One does not go into scientific research for fame and glory.

    But one has a reasonable expectation of being noticed and responded to by those describing themselves to the media as fellow “scientists” – sindonologists included.

    If ignored by those same fellow “scientists” , media-hogging ones especially, then it’s a fair bet they are not real scientists, but in it for something else – agenda pushers, pseudoscientists, brain-washers etc etc … Sorry to be so blunt…

  20. Colin Berry says:

    Ask as much as you want, James, but I’m not in the business of re-forging what seems indicated – via numerous lines of scientific evidence – as simply (or in this case – not-so-simply) an ingenious one-off medieval forgery…

    What bothers me – and has done so for years, nay decades – is the intrusion of agenda-driven pseudoscience into the debate, correction, non-debate. Agenda-driven pseudoscientists shrink from debate… One might almost describe it as their defining characteristic …

    • James Bond says:

      Well I have been following your scientific method(s) of trying to disprove the Shroud and to compliment you, you’ve done a good job giving alternatives and I use them to compare what the other side has for their evidence. It’s still an on-going process and finding other websites that agree with your findings/experiments is an on-going process.


  21. Colin Berry says:

    I hesitate to say it, but after some 6 years of getting nowhere in challenging sindonology’s fond illusions, dressed up as science, it’s time to tell it the way it is.

    Sindonology is a pseudoscientific cesspit…

    • James Bond says:

      Just make a Shroud. Simple for you to do.

      • Colin Berry says:

        Kindly supply me a 4.4 x 1.1 m length of top quality 3/1 weave herringbone linen. Kindly supply me 1, or better still, 2 naked adult male volunteers to serve as subjects, willing to be coated with oil and flour, then to have wet linen pressed against them to model and capture their “simulated sweat imprints”, frontal and dorsal.

        Kindly supply a remote farmhouse deep in the countryside where the imprinting can be done behind closed doors and blanked-out windows without risk of being overlooked by nosey neighbours. Kindly supply a largish open charcoal fire over which that twice-folded piece of linen can be slowly roasted, still a sizeable 2.2 x 0.55m

        Better still, find me someone else to do your ‘clincher’ experiment, the substantial bill for expenses to come to you, not me.

        I’m only here for the science – not the showbiz….

  22. Colin Berry says:

    Have just added this quickie schematic to the end of the current posting. See the caption there and my comments immediately preceding this one for details (while latter still visible in side margin).

    I’d normally go to a bit more trouble with artwork etc, But it’s simply not worth the bother, the internet being a dead loss as regards reporting of experimental data/ideas development in real time (says he after banging head against brick wall for the best part of six years)..

    Afterthought: I did a whole series of postings in 2012 using my (then) new toy – ShroudScope – looking closely at the bloodstains.
    E.g. this one from June 11, 2012

    Shroud Scope 1: Let’s take a closer look at the bloodstains on the Shroud of Turin. Correction – the images that are interpreted as bloodstains.

    I suggested there had been extensive flaking off of blood, while puzzling that unflaked-off blood was congregated sludge-like on the highest ribs of the herringbone weave, which does not happen when one dabs on real blood (which soaks into the weave). More to the point I puzzled the yellow-brown patches that accompanied the blood, having their own distinctive stain-like appearance, suggesting two entirely different components were present, apparently superimposed, which would not preclude one being underneath or on top of the other.

    I shall now go back and take another look, with the ‘new model’ proposed above firmly in mind, namely that the Mark 1 blood on the Shroud was a slurry of reddish-coloured clay in water. That was later touched up, probably decades later, with Mark 2 blood (or “blood”) of a brighter, redder hue. It’s Mark 1 blood that has given rise to the McCrone mineral/iron oxide contributions not just to body image but to the blood ‘story’ and the latter (probably) to Adler/Heller’s “blood too red/porphyrin/protein” one. In short we seem to be dealing with hybrid two-tone blood!

  23. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s another recent pdf from G.Lucotte and T. Thomasset.

    Click to access 3.pdf

    The title is “An Osseous Remain on the Face of the Shroud”.

    “Osseous remain” is another term for bone, human bone, composed of calcium phosphate etc.

    The authors attempt to explain it in pro-authenticity terms (injury inflicted on the nose of the crucified Jesus).

    I have an alternative explanation.

    The trickiest aspect of imprinting off a real person is the face, due mainly to the angularity of the nose. It creates creases in the fabric. Prof. Luigi Garlaschelli (not my favourite scientist – he fails to respond to my emails!) has suggested that a bas relief was used for the face, and for the face only, and up till now I have aligned myself with that view – albeit somewhat reluctantly. .

    An alternative possibility now presents itself, but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

    A corpse was used to imprint the entire body, head as well as torso and limbs. How did they get round the problem of the nose?

    They flattened it – with a heavy object, and in the process damaged bone and cartilage, one – but only one – fragment of which was left on our simulated sweat/blood imprint of medieval provenance, as per the radiocarbon dating, the one that was originally the Shroud of Lirey, near Troyes, France, now the Shroud of Turin.

    So that’s two useful inputs from our highly observant and methodical microscopy friends in Paris, both from that sticky tape sample taken from a “bloodstain” on the right eyebrow – reddish-yellow clay serving as Mark 1 blood (see comments immediately preceding this one) AND now a fragment of bone that allows this modeller to ditch, or at any rate shelve, Luigi Garlaschelli’s bas relief suggestion.

    Replace “bas relief” with “bash relief” ? 😉

    PS (added Sat Nov 4): extract from Mark Antonacci’s pro-authenticity book, 2000:page 17

    Under “Facial and Head Wounds”

    “On close examination, his nose, which is bruised and swollen, shows a slight deviation that indicates the cartilage may be separated from the bone. Microscopic study also reveals that scratches and dirt are on the nose. The areas above and below each eye, especially the right eye, look swollen, and the face appears to have been beaten with a hard object (such as a fist or stick) and/or injured in a fall.”

    One does not get a fragment of bone on a face by beating it with a fist of even a stick. One gets it by smashing it, as if porcelain, using something rather more substantial – an iron bar or a brick – creating what the paramedics call an “open fracture”…

    I reported an anomaly with the nose as long ago as October 2014, finding it did not respond to 3D-rendering in ImageJ’s ‘thermal LUT’ mode, as one might expect for prominent relief, compared with surrounding features like brow ridge etc.

    Well, it wouldn’t, not if it had been a real face, a real nose, one where the latter had been hammered flat post mortem!

    We now have an explanation for why the SIDES of the nose are imprinted, a detail that has been alluded to time and time again in the past as crucial evidence against imprinting by physical contact. Here’s an instance from Antonacci’s book – though there are several more I could have cited:

    From Page 63, under “Direct-Contact Theories”

    “… the Shroud body image was imprinted even where there must have been some distance between the cloth and body (for example the sides of the nose). When the investigators pressed the cloth onto those surface points where contact was not made during the natural draping over the face mold, the resulting image was greatly distorted…”

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