44 Responses to Part 2 for journalists: Can anything you have previously relayed in the mass media regarding the allegedly “supernatural” Turin Shroud, even from Italian government scientists, ever be taken on trust, given the paucity of hard facts, given the underlying agenda ?

  1. Colin Berry says:

    I mentioned earlier my brief spell of posting to the bruising “International Skeptics Forum” site, back in the spring of this year. The aim was to get a little extra visibility for my Model 10 (flour-imprinting). There were one or two appreciative comments, and nothing that one could regard as devastating criticism, not in my eyes at any rate.

    Why mention it now? The first reason was to with Window 10’s Zeke filter. It was subject to several tirades – all highly contemptuous and dismissive in tone. How could a kid’s toy have any possible application in a scientific context, and in any case, who in their right mind would deploy it without a deep understanding of what it was doing at the individual pixel level without generating artefacts etc etc?

    As indicated, I haven’t the faintest clue how Zeke works. All I know is that particulate material that is just visible in Shroud Scope images appears a lot more clearly after applying the Zeke filter. In other words, it seems to be filtering out one or more components of background colour, either leaving the edge-boundaries of particles intact, or possibly bolding them up in some manner.

    That’s good enough for me – I see Zeke as an operational tool, one that I first checked out with a variety of image types, from Shroud Scope, as mentioned, right up to landscape and portrait photos, just to be certain that it was not generating artefacts not present in the original picture.

    Scientists employ lots of technology that ‘report’ on a system, without necessarily knowing precisely what’s happening inside the electronic black box that generates the probing signal. The key thing, as indicated, is to apply one’s new system to simple reference systems first, to see how they respond, and gradually to build one’s knowledge and confidence in the operational tool, acquiring one’s very own learning curve, so to speak.

    There was another criticism levelled at this investigator – more specifically Model 10 – by an individual who used to make useful observations on Dan Porter’s site. I’m note sure whether to be bemused or annoyed by his main complaint regarding Model 10. “It lacks elegance” he said. Scientific models need to be elegant, he said, if he’s to give them a serious hearing he said. He then went on to promote Luigi Garlaschelli’s ‘powder frottage’ model (I’ve later emailed the distinguished Professor, proposing we link up to, seeing as how we both set faith in powder-imprinting, but for the third time got neither reply nor acknowledgement).

    But I’ve said from the start that I accept provisionally, with some reservations, the radiocarbon dating and regard the Shroud body image as intended to be seen as a simulated sweat imprint – in other words a forgery, expressed crudely. Since when has a forger been bothered about making the science “elegant”, far less the messy hands-on technology. Who’s he supposed to brag to afterwards, when his efforts would all have been to no avail if word got out that his stunning end product was simply a clever forgery?

    All that matters is the quality and credibility of the end result. If mimicking what goes on inside a breadmaking oven (what today we refer to as complex Maillard browning reactions, with scarcely a thing known about the chemical structures of the melanoidin endproducts) succeeds in generating a faint yellow image on linen, one that is fuzzy and indistinct (“ghostly”), which does not look like it was done with a brush and paint, then why should our forger feel in the least bit inadequate for having resorted to homely, indeed rustic age-old technology? Why should I feel in the least bit inadequate for having proposed an allegedly inelegant explanation for the Shroud body image?

    I say it’s mainstream authenticity-asserting sindonology that is both inadequate and inelegant in turning a blind eye to Model 10, one that’s now been widely publicized on the internet – Dan Porter’s now retired site especially – and progressively tested and honed for getting on for 3 years, resisting all my attempts to discredit it, the latter being the fate of the 9 preceding models. No outside help was requited to detect the flaws and weaknesses in those previous models, merely a few days or weeks of hands-on experimentation in my kitchen or garage. If Model 10 were found to have serious flaws, then I’d waste no time in saying so, and waste no time in replacing with Model 11!

    There’s a choice quote in the ” Comments on the Shroud conservation” document on the shroud.com site mentioned yesterday, dealing with the brutal controversial 2002 operations with vacuum cleaner etc. It’s the one that states that the value of continuing research into the authenticity of the Shroud is important for “creating doubt in the doubter”.


    Ah yes, I’ve long suspected that to be the true agenda – one that is as much anti-science, correction, anti-scientist, as it is pro-religion. We scientists (real ones, that is) are to be regarded as pariahs, especially when we cast doubts on the competence and/or professionalism of much-lauded, not-to-be-criticized Shroud ‘authorities’, especially those sadly no longer with us, now elevated to saint-like status!

  2. Colin Berry says:

    I’ve just this minute added this newsflash to the start of the posting, based on my new reverse-side ‘debris field’ discovery reported here first in the COMMENTS!

    Newsflash (added December 3): here’s an image that no one has ever seen before – except those visiting the Comments on this site – including my own – yesterday and today):

    What’s so special, you may ask?

    It’s the rarely-seen reverse side of the Turin Shroud, the one that was hidden from view for hundreds of years – being concealed by the so-called backing Holland cloth, part of the repair performed in 1534 following the Chambery fire two years earlier BUT WITH A DIFFERENCE I have taken the washed-out image of the so-called ‘second face’ and doubly-tweaked it, first with the older photoediting software (MS Office Picture Manager – Brightness/Contrast controls only) and then with the Zeke filter in Windows 10 (see my earlier posting on the photoediting software). What is responsible for the enhanced graininess, real but scarcely visible in the inputted image? Who knows, but I have a hypothesis, and one moreover that can be tested if as we’re told, the backing cloth was removed in 2002 and entrapped material vacuumed out and preserved (hopefully for bona fide research purposes!)

    See this comment (hotlink to my last but one comment below) with my claim for what caused the graininess, and what it may tell us about the true – and, dare one say, humble origins – of the Turin Shroud. Why humble? Clue – think bread CRUST!

  3. Colin Berry says:

    That is the last comment I am allowing through from MPH on this site, given (a) he’s not a media person to whom this site is now directed and (b) he’s now descended to simple trolling of me and my site.

    Given he has no site of his own on which his own performance can be judged, either short or long term, any attempt on my part to respond point by point would be an unequal contest – to say nothing of a complete waste of time.

    However, should anyone reading this thread be particularly concerned by any item on that charge sheet, then I’ll willingly oblige with a reply, if only to show that I’m totally unfazed by anything in that frankly juvenile diatribe.

  4. Max patrick Hamon says:

    About a biochemist’s Walter Mitty syndrome

    Prs Zugibe and Baïma-Bollone –the former one of the United States’, the latter one of Italy’s most prominent forensics experts/pathologists– have confirmed Dr Bucklin’s forensics medical examination: the Turin Shroud man is a crucifixion victim in his mid-thirties-mid-forties. Now for more than five years, a Colin Berry, a non-forensics expert and pathetic person given to flights of fancy when it comes to archaeological image/document analysis, has been wanted us to believe the image was, in turns, that of (1) a mummified monk skeleton (2012), (2) a bas-relief (2013), (3) a knight Templar (Geoffroy de Charny or Jacques de Molay) in his mid-fifties, mid-sixties or early seventies (2014-2015), (4) two anonymous living volunteers with the head of a wooden mask (2016-2017); each time this Walter Mitty qui s’ignore claiming he had “craked it”!

    Gullible journalists are welcome to finally take him seriously and help him make headlines in their respective newspapers and/or magazines (he is totally wrong but he is so enamoured of his last model!). Actually he still cannot tell the TS man’s left anatomical eye from his right (see his 28 Nov imageJ Figure on his website); for years (2012, 2013 and 2014), he could not even tell which side (warp side or weft side) bears the TS man image (I had to tell him!); he could not tell a chain from a coiled rope (see his description of the flagellation of Christ by a modern Portuguese sculptor); he could not tell a pincer from a second flagrum/whip (see his biased and incomplete description of the Lirey pilgrim badge) etc. He is definitely THE BIG SCIENTIST Shroud research needs and is sadly lacking as far as the Turin Shroud image is concerned; THE BIG SCIENTIST could crack the same image code ten different ways! Try this Walter Mitty of Big Science!

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Expect to see my new ‘debris field’ images for the opposite (non-imprinted) side of the Shroud here later today.

    First instalment (comments under construction):

    Here’s the end-result of my image manipulation, applying two different software tweaks, chosen to show up solid particulate matter.

    Might some of the ‘debris field’ be displaced particles from washing off a heavy encrustation of roasted flour?

    Reminder of 3 steps in Model 10:

    1. Imprint body coated with dry white flour by draping with wet linen and pressing down firmly.
    2. Gently roast the imprinted linen over red hot embers to initiate Maillard browning reactions with high molecular weight melanoidins that penetrate or develop within the most superficial linen fibres only.
    3. Wash of the heavy surface encrustation (“crust” as in bread crust) with soap and water to reveal the final resistant ghostly image – a simulated sweat imprint.

    It was predicted that particles of encrusted material displaced by washing could re-attach to linen fibres not only on the same imprinted side of the fabric but the opposite side too – the one protected by the Holland backing cloth since 1534 approx.

    Here’s what one sees if one takes the low-contrast (!?) image supplied on the sindonology site (left) and applies the contrast/brightness controls provided in MS Office Picture Manager, of which there are 5 (all used!)

    Note the appreciable (but not stunningly dramatic) bolding-up of particulate material to render more easily visible against background.

    Here’s a 3D-rendered view of the ‘second face’ above with the added contrast:

    It’s not real 3D, needless to say, merely an aid to seeing where those particles are located (all over!). Nor do we know they are image debris, or even predominantly so. But their presence was predicted on the non-image side, albeit with the aid of added contrast, and a second prediction can now be made: if the particles were to be aspirated, i.e. ‘hoovered up’ for chemical analysis, they will be found to contain material essentially the same as the crust on a loaf of bread! In other words, high molecular weight Maillard browning products generated by amino-carbonyl reactions between reducing sugars and proteins, aka melanoidins. (Caveat – the latter are notoriously difficult to characterize chemically, as Ray Rogers himself admitted in his 2003 paper to the “Melanoidins” journal).

    There’s an alternative way of emphasizing particles, stumbled upon by accident. It’s the Zeke filter supplied with Windows 10, which some might consider ‘quick and dirty’ (but it appears to be a valid tool nonetheless, regardless of how it works):

    Here’s what Zeke does to the ‘as-is’ second face image, applied singly:

    Again – useful but hardly dramatic.

    What happens if one applies contrast/brightness in MS Office and then applies Zeke as well?

    Answer: the dramatic result is the first image displayed on this comment. Here it is again!

    To conclude (for now): the next step is to find what happened to the detritus that accumulated between the TS and its backing Holland cloth over the centuries between 1534 and the 2002 “restoration”. The latter has been the subject of some 14 submissions on the shroud.com site, no less, and it’s going to take a while to work my way through that welter of detail. Bear with me please for a few days at least.

    My money’s on that detritus containing some shed material from the ‘debris field’ which in turn will contain high molecular weight melanoidins. Reminder: science operates via predictions in the first instance. There can often be lengthy gaps between prediction and testing for any number of reasons. In this instance the first hurdle is gaining access to any of that hoovered-up material. If that permission is granted I will personally settle any bill for analysis for melanoidins by the most modern means available (finding the right technology being another hurdle that needs to be surmounted). All I ask in return is for my name to be included on the final paper for submission to a learned and respected journal (though I suspect that “Melanoidins” in which Rogers published in 2003 – see this link to a pdf of that paper – no longer exists – please correct me if I’m mistaken).

  6. Colin Berry says:

    To recap thus far, for the benefit of journalists who could be forgiven for wondering where this line of enquiry is going: one has first to know how it started.

    It started with my suggestion that the large piece of fabric with the radiocarbon date of 1260 to 1390 is a simulated sweat/blood imprint made to seem like that left by the crucified Jesus on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.

    If the simulated (i.e. faked) imprinting took place en route from cross to tomb, then it’s clearly unhelpful, indeed misleading, to refer to the linen as a “burial” shroud, since even if the linen were an authentic imprint of the same individual, the door has been been opened to the ‘resurrectional incandescence’ narrative that is less about science, more about exploiting an icon/relic prematurely on the weakest of scientific grounds to proselytize a particular facet, albeit crucial, of a particular religious faith. Indeed, science and pseudoscience become inextricably mixed through adopting the term “burial shroud” for what may well be a “pre-burial shroud” whether simulated or authentic.

    If one delves into the 2001 book by ‘true-believer’ lawyer Mark Antonacci,

    one not only has a miraculous imprinting of the body image via that resurrectional incandescence, but of the blood too, the author at least acknowledging that the bloodstains, while seemingly genuine, are too perfectly-imprinted to have been formed by a separation of linen from a body with long-clotted blood!

    It would have been fully legitimate in my view for this investigator to have left it there, i.e. with the description “simulated sweat imprint”, to have focused his attention and efforts on getting the radiocarbon dating repeated to dispel the continuing doubts and/or knocking copy. Why waste time and effort in attempting to reproduce the imaging process, whether in the home, garage or fully-equipped laboratory, given that next to nothing is known about the chemical nature of the chromophore? (Yes, that’s despite the best efforts of STURP, restricted to testing a few sticky tape samples, excluding the valuable insight offered by the diimide bleaching – making it a near certainty that the chromophore is not an inorganic pigment, as claimed by Walter McCrone and now others more recently, but an organic (carbon-based) one that relies for its colour on conjugated -C=C- double bonds).

    But there was the other dimension to the Shroud controversy, separate from the issue of authenticity/medieval forgery. That is the claim, still being actively promoted to this day, namely that the shroud body image can and never will be reproduced, on account of its (claimed) extreme superficiality and other characteristics (3D response in certain image-processing computer software, ho, ho ). Science is not only challenged to produce a facsimile copy, but indeed taunted at its continuing failure to do so (regardless of whether the will exists to reproduce something that is scarcely visible to the naked eye, such is its faintness, and for which there are scarcely any clues as to where to begin).

    However, there is a starting point for those willing to accept even provisionally the view that the body image is a SIMULATED body imprint. It’s then a question of imagining oneself to be a medieval artisan charged with the task of ‘faking’ a faint approximately 1300 year old sweat imprint, one that has the merest hint of yellow colour due to advanced age, and one moreover that looks to the first time viewer immediately like an imprint ( the ‘negative tone-reversed image being an immediate giveaway not to be confused with a realistic true-to-life ‘positive’ portrayal of conventional art that could be dismissed as “just a painting” of a recently deceased person). One cannot stress too strongly the difference between an imprint and the real thing (see the new banner on this site, showing what can be done with an imprint of one’s hand obtained with the simplest of imprinting aids – mere water!) and readiy-available computer software.
    One thing every medieval artisan knew about was the colour change that takes place when one puts a flour dough into the oven. The surface of the dough (not its interior) first turns yellow and then reddish-brown. What better and simpler a basis for creating a yellow colour on linen – use white wheaten flour to imprint onto linen from a real human body, living or dead,, then heat the linen until the flour attains the desired colour?
    But there’s a problem: the imprint looks too much like the crust on a loaf of bread when first removed from the oven. It’s only after the linen has been vigorously washed with soap and water to detach the surface crust that one is left with what is arguably a reasonable imitation of the Shroud body image – ghosty faint, yellow or brown, negative, i.e. tone-reversed image, 3D-response in appropriate software etc etc.

    The same after 3D-rendering in ImageJ:

    The above pix were posted here in this site in September 2016:

    Up until a few days ago I always regarded the need for the final washing step – cumbersome to say the least with more than 4 square metres of linen – as the weakest part of the proposed technology (not the heating step, once it was realized that a large oven was not needed, given that radiant heat alone could yellow a flour imprint, as might have come from an open bed of glowing charcoal embers or similar). Indeed, evidence for the latter was supplied by a new interpretation of the so-called poker holes – not caused deliberately by spearing with hot iron, but accidentally with flying red hot embers, perhaps caused by an unexpected gust of wind, or over-vigorous fanning of the embers to maintain temperature!

    Thus my current focus, dare I say excitement, at the discovery of what I term the “debris field” that one can see on Shroud Scope images that have been given additional contrast. (Discussion regarding the legitimacy or otherwise of altering contrast , the mechanism, explanation for colour changes etc etc has appeared elsewhere on this site).
    Previously I had interpreted the debris as globular aggregates of sticky gluten (insoluble wheat storage protein, without which bread-making dough would fail to rise in the oven via its gas-bubble entrapping properties).

    But that did not explain the colour – virtually indistinguishable from body image).
    The realization that the debris could be fall-out/relocation of microparticles from break-up of the thick crust, formed when wet flour is heated, the one that has to be washed off to leave the “Shroud” body image, has huge implications for my Model 10, one that has already stood the test of some 2-3 years of experimental validation, ticking any number of those ‘required criteria’ boxes. Not only does the identification of the debris field as dispersed crust provide ‘smoking gun’ evidence for that otherwise questionabe water-washing stage. It provides a riposte to those who claim the Shroud image is too superficial to have been man-made, or indeed reproducible. Answer: it wasn’t always superficial (if indeed it really is). It began life as thick crust that was largely removed as solid particles on vigorous washing, leaving just a faint residue that might be described as a stain. Who’s to say that stain wasn’t created and left behind in the fibres of the linen as a LIQUID, formed at high temperature, not a solid as generally assumed, not requiring chemical modification of the cellulose as so often assumed (improperly in my view) but mere coloration mimicking the action of liquid dye with the difference that the physical state was short-lived, and the result of exposure to high temperature and/or radiant heat?

    Science works best when each new hypothesis has predictive utility, not generated by its predecessors. Does the “debris field” have any immediate predictive utility, not requiring access to the Shroud or any kind of physical sampling from its surface (assuming the flecks have not already been removed in those controversial “conservation” measures since 2002)? Might there be an opportunity for some additional predictive hypothesis-testing from those much-maligned photographs – see accompanying flak on this very thread – with which we solo investigators, patiently applying the scientific method, have to be content, while having no qualms about improving their virtually non-existent levels of contrast (which supplied as-is scarcely allow blood to be distinguished from body image making them at first sight – by accident or design – seemingly useless for research purposes!).

    Here’s a prediction that is generated by the new interpretation of that ‘debris field’. The debris should not be confined to the image-side of the linen, if derived from detached encrustation that has first been dispersed as solid particles into the wash medium. If some re-attaches to the image side, then some at least should have deposited on the opposite, non-image side. I know of only two photographs of the non-image side, the one that was protected and hidden from view for hundreds of years by the Holland backing cloth applied by the Poor Clare nuns a year or two after the 1532 fire. (That backing cloth was recently removed and later renewed as part of the conservation measures and accumulated detritus aspirated away – how I wish I had a sample). Are there signs of debris on that protected ‘hidden-from-view’ side comparable to what one sees on the image side?
    Yes, we have two images, one of the so-called “second face”, one of the mid-torso, both on the Mario Latendresse sindonology.org site.

    The next comment, from me, will show what I saw yesterday when I applied contrast and 3D-rendering to the “Second Face”! Does the “debris field” hypothesis have predictive utility? Can science and the scientific method continue to supply new data and ideas when all other methods of enquiry have failed, including blind dogmatic assertion liberally laced with derogatory put-downs?

  7. Colin Berry says:

    Journalists (old-fashioned investigative journalists, that is, if you still exist ): you can now see what I’m up against when trying to report scientific findings via the internet re the Turin Shroud (as I have been for the last 6 years through 10 increasingly improved models).

    The crucial decider between real science, and we real scientists, as distinct from the Walter Mitty variety presently invading this site, is whether or not new thinking, new hypotheses, have:

    (a) predictive utility
    (b) whether those predictions are testable :
    (c): tested in practice experimentally

    See my next comment, with a prediction AND testing of my new, crucially important ‘debris field’ hypothesis.

    This site, now as ever, is firmly fixed on SCIENTIFIC solutions to the Shroud ‘enigma’, i.e. hypotheses being tested experimentally, as mine have through 10 models over 6 years,

    Beware the Walter Mittys of the internet, posing as scientists!

  8. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    What are they? As early as 1998 and in light of my halakhistic image formation approach, I suggested most likely they are “opaques” (iron oxide and silica particles).This tends to be confirmed by Lucotte’s preliminary investigations ( Lucotte, 2012 ) concerning mineral particles. Reminder: In 1978 and in 1988, Giovanni Riggi di Numana took some samples and dusts of the TS, at areas corresponding to Hands, Face (a 1978 sample taken on the Face area was deposited by him on a special sticky-tape), Feet, Buttocks and the 14C area.

    You have neither explored ticky tapes lifted off from the TS nor TS dusts. Your “chemical analysis” is just VACCUM since it is only based on biased images you digitally keep processing and is plain silly/bonkers as you would put it. Still Mr PhD in biochemistry expects us to take him seriously and think he has “cracked it”! Dismount your scientific high horse of yours. Your allegedly “big Science” is nothing here but Mickey-mouse science for gullible journalists!

  9. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s another view on that hitherto unreported (or passed-off lightly) “debris field” which I now consider, dear visiting journalist, to hold the key to an understanding of the ‘enigmatic’ Shroud body image.

    I chose a section of linen that was outside the body image, but with a marker that betrays its location, at least to Shroudie cognoscenti. I chose the supposedly “blank” linen next to the blood flow from the heel (the one that runs off the body image onto that supposedly blank linen).

    But no, it’s not blank as expected but peppered with those mysterious red-brown flecks, globs, call them what you wish. I’ve applied 3D-rendering, not because they are really 3D, but simply as an aid to show them up as mini-peaks, each fleck colouring the highest point of said peak.

    What are they? Why are they there? At present it’s speculation, but informed speculation. I say they are ‘fall-out’ from the Stage 2 ‘crust’ which forms on the linen when a Stage 1 flour imprint is roasted. Stage 3 is the final washing step, to leave the faint ghostly Shroud body image, but some of the washed material comes off as a cloud of fine water-insoluble particles that relocate and attach to other parts of the linen, non-image areas included.

    Yup, I think I’ve cracked it, after 6 years of hard slog and 10 consecutive models- in theory at any rate. Obtaining supporting evidence is another matter entirely, especially when there’s no access to the Shroud itself. 😦

  10. Colin Berry says:

    PS: Here’s another 3D-rendered image. It’s from the image-free zone, deliberately chosen, to the (viewer’s) right of the blood-stained hair.

    The inputted pre-3D control is shown on the right. Look carefully at the latter and one can see flecks or blobs that are essentially the same colour as body image elsewhere. What are they, if not body image? They respond well to 3D-rendering in ImageJ, as good as the body image, especially if/when one raises the z coordinate value above the default 0.1 setting, and keeps smoothing to a minimum.

    My first thought, thinking of the January post referred to in my comment immediately preceding this one, is that they could be blobs of sticky gluten that were left-overs from a medieval flour-imprinting technology. But that would not account for their image-like colour (melanoidins?). Might they be something else?

    Yes, on reflection, I now believe so. The faint and fuzzy Shroud-like imprint emerges from the thermal development (oven? glowing charcoal embers?) is initially masked by a thick red-brown encrustation that has to be vigorously washed with soap and water to detach the surface crust, or as I’m occasionally given to calling it.it, crud. But where does the crud go? Does it all end up down the drain? I now suspect it doesn’t. It detaches from the linen when washed as finely divided particles. I suspect it is some of the latter, maybe a small proportion only, that have contaminated the entire linen, including the non-image zones to produce a ‘debris field’.

    As stated earlier, I believe I’m the first to flag up those scattered particles on the Turin Shroud, easily visible if/when one gives Shroud Scope images a little extra contrast, non-image zones included. They serve as a marker (dare one say ‘smoking gun’ ?) I believe for the hugely successful production of a simulated sweat imprint in 14th century France simply by means of roasted white flour particles!

    PS: there’s an alternative way of sharpening up the ‘debris field’ on Shroud Scope images that does not require specialist photoediting software. One simply clicks through the various filter options on Windows 10 until one reaches the one labelled “Zeke”. Don’t ask me how it works, but oh boy, does it work! Anything in one’s image that is the least bit particulate, including what’s barely but just visible, virtually leaps off the screen when one applies Zeke.

    See the second tacked-on half (Feb 2017) of my 2012 posting on Shroud Scope showing additional before/after Zeke. I may try exploring the effect of Zeke alone on as-is low-contrast Scope pictures to see whether traditional contrast adjustment can be dispensed with altogether, at least for visualizing that debris field. The available TS images, less than ideal for research purposes (deliberately so?) are finally, I suspect, beginning to give up their secrets!

    PPS. This site is now an overnight success! Yes, when I switched off the laptop last night, it was languishing on Pages 5 or 6 of a Google search under (shroud of turin). This morning it’s the last entry on … Page 2 (that being it’s best ever listing if I’m not mistaken). Will it ever make Page 1? Maybe with a bit of help from that ‘debris field’ and Zeke it will, but only if sindonology recognizes the existence of what hitherto has been its blind spot! Better still, Turin should let me into a certain revered display case armed with a hand lens at least, better still a mini-vacuum cleaner! Oops. It was recently vacuumed we’re told in June/July 2002 (before or after the Durante photography?) as part of controversial so-called “conservation” measures. Didn’t I read somewhere that the aspirated debris was saved for possible future research? Analyse ASAP please for melanoidins aka Maillard browning products! If positive, then argue whose melanoidin model is correct – STURP’s Ray Rogers (‘accidental’ 1st century provenance) or mine (non-accidental 14th century).

    November 30, 19:20 local time: WordPress appears to be down, preventing site owners from editing existing posts or composing new ones, not that I desperately need to do either. Let’s see if this addition to an existing comment posts!

  11. Colin Berry says:

    As stated earlier, science operates via serial hypothesizing, all the while attempting to shoot down one’s latest hypothesis, to replace it with something better.

    Hypothesis has to start with something abstract or something concrete – there’s room for both. Back in January this year, I opted as starting point for an observation regarding the Shroud body image, one that I consider nobody, I repeat NOBODY has to the best of my knowledge made before (see the bolded passage):

    “OK. So let’s summarize, shall we? The Shroud of Turin body image, and indeed surrounding areas, is not just the faint, fuzzy, homogeneous image as commonly stated. It’s in fact highly heterogeneous, with tiny scattered blobs of a material roughly the same colour as the image itself. No one to the best of my knowledge has commented on it previously, far less attempted to explain it.
    I say those blobs represent insoluble gummy wheat gluten, remnants from a flour-imprinted/heat developed image. It failed to wash out completely in the final image-attenuation step, one using vigorous abrasive washing with soap and water in an attempt to dislodge a surface encrustation. The latter was intended by Lirey’s team of medieval knight-employed cleric/artisans to leave just a faint fuzzy ‘ghost’ image, one that could be passed off as a yellowing centuries-old, sweat-imprint of the crucified Jesus onto Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’ in transit from cross to tomb.”


    So all these attempts to stick a ‘pareidolia’ label on what this investigator does and how he operates are bang out of order. I am a published PhD scientist with 40 years or so of original discovery in my cv (as can be quickly verified, for example, by conducting an internet search under (dietary fibre, resistant starch). I have trained and examined other PhDs. Can my interlocutor say the same? Or does he prefer to browbeat those whose cv he cannot match, and to do so on websites other than his own, which some might regard as a breach of courtesy and dare one say trust, to say the least?

    He’s had his say. I consider the time has come for him to vacate this Comments column.

  12. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    Re your detecting and identifying some traces of globules of sticky, water-insoluble wheat gluten, still attaching to or trapped within the TS linen weave, I wish you good luck and… bon voyage en Totale Pareidolie

  13. Colin Berry says:

    Somebody needs to learn the difference between whole wheat flour – microparticulate – and wheat gluten. The latter, as the name implies, forms large visible ‘glutinous’ aggregates when flour with its microscopic storage protein granules (“precursor of gluten”) is wetted and subject to mechanical mixing forces. Being water-repelling and sticky makes it likely that some at least of the aggregated and thus gummy gluten particles will survive my final washing step and be visible under the microscope or even a hand lens. I look forward to the day when Turin allows me in with at least a hand lens, since I suspect a lot has either been missed or gone unreported.

    However, this site is no longer concerned with those who have nothing constructive to offer, ones who get their buzz from taking potshots at folk on THEIR sites, never bothering to set up his own (whether French or English language or both).

    So don’t be surprised if you find I ignore any more comments that are in the same browbeating vein. And don’t forget that I also retain the right to re-impose a block.

  14. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    You wrote: “To expect one TO IMPLICATE FLOUR SIMPLY FROM LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS, as-is OR EVEN DIGITALLY MANIPULATED IS JUST PLAIN SILLY (bolds are mine) as is the intrusion of the term pareidolia.”
    Most curiously, this is definitely what you expected when you wrote on the skeptic international forum on the 23rd February 2017, 12:40 AM (using the pseudo “MECCANOMAN Thinker”): “A more immediate goal for testing the Shroud might be to detect traces of flour residues which if present make Maillard chemistry the likely chemistry in a thermal mechanism (hot oven) as per breadmaking. I’ve suggested in my latest posting that THE REDDISH-BROWN FLECKS ONE SEES ALL OVER THE SHROUD IN Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope PICTURES, ESPECIALLY UNDER HIGH MAGNIFICATION AND ADDED CONTRAST, MIGHT WELL BE GLUTEN, the highly water-insoluble storage protein of wheat and other cereal grains. ONE WOULD NOT EXPECT STICKY FLECKS OF GLUTEN TO WASH OUT COMPLETELY in the final rinsing stage.” Just guess who is really being doubly “silly” here (to take up your own ‘kindly dismissive word’)…

    • Max Patrick Hamon says:

      BTW your image is not so much that of the right anatomical eye (of a Durante 2002 image) as that of the left one (in low resolution and with missing data).

      • Max Patrick Hamon says:

        No wonder you cannot detect and identify tiny paleaographic patterns, your image is biased. Besides, as a biochemist, you most obviously have not the paleaographic sight-and-brain (coordiation system) to do so

  15. Anonymous says:

    I challenge you to just identify flour flecks on the shroud from… TS overall photographs (whether Durante or Enrie)! Methinks you’re just another selective pareidolist

    • Colin Berry says:

      Here’s a image that is making its first appearance on this site (or elsewhere) since it was obtained just today while experimenting with some new settings.

      (Click to enlarge)

      It’s the right eye of a Durante 2002 image, screen-grabbed from ShroudScope at close to that site’s maximum magnification, followed by 3D-rendering in ImageJ. It shows the enormity of the problem one is up against when attempting to analyse the body image in detail, in this case the eyeball or closed eyelids or as some would say “a Roman coin” (!). The image is not continuous. It is fragmented due to the nature of the herringbone weave, but that I consider to be fully consistent with an imprinting mechanism that leaves the imprinting medium predominantly, though not exclusively (see Mark Evans photomicrographs) on the highest parts of the weave.

      Now for theory, derived from 6 years of model building, culminating in Model 10 (use of flour imprinting medium, hot oven and final wash). What I believe one is seeing are yellow melanoidins (brown under the extra high contrast used today), the end-product of complex amino-carbonyl Maillard reactions between reducing sugars and proteins in the white flour.

      To ask at this stage for proof that flour was used to make the image would be hard enough even if given access to the Shroud. To expect one to implicate flour simply from looking at photographs, as-is or even digitally manipulated is just plain silly, as is the intrusion of the term pareidolia.

      I have developed a model system that accounts for the colour, the negative image, the 3D-response, the superficiality, the resistance to water and heat, the bleachability, the microscopic properties etc etc. To be expected to produce visual evidence for unreacted particles of flour even if traces are still present is bad enough. To expect it when there may well be no remaining trace of the starting ingredient, given it’s been roasted and given a final wash is frankly unreasonable. But let’s not forget that Rogers claimed to have found traces of starch (the major constituent as it happens of white flour), though by chemical testing with iodine, NOT photography!

      Let’s try to keep a sense of perspective, shall we? My view, articulated some 3 years ago, is that the TS was designed as a SIMULATED sweat imprint. Being simulated means that virtually anything that gives a faint yellow image at the end could have served as “sweat”. To be able to implicate a particular imprinting agent is a bonus – but even if one cannot do so conclusively, at least for the forseeable future, given one has no access to the Shroud itself, that in no way affects the central HYPOTHESIS – namely that the body image is a SIMULATED SWEAT IMPRINT!

      Science deals in the first instance with hypotheses, aka models. ones that are testable in principle, and, hopefully in the fullness of time, in practice too. It is mean-spirited in the extreme to go slagging off a model that can be fairly claimed to satisfy numerous (and indeed some otherwise ‘enigmatic’) criteria simply for being a work in progress. It betrays a lack of understanding as to how science and the scientific method operates. There are no magic wands…

      For more background info on Model 10 (imprinting dry flour onto wet linen) see my posting from August 2015, which also has a section on the mechanism and validation of raised contrast settings, explaining the concomitant blue/yellow changes in colour-balance:


      PS: if there’s anyone reading this, especially from the media, who wishes to see how a particular part of the TS image appears under my new high contrast/3D-enhanced settings, whether blood, body image or both, they have only to ask…

  16. Anonymous says:

    IMPHO and “fare” for “fare”: methinks your flour imprinting theory is just “fare” for the gullible journalists club and can be shot down in nanoseconds as your allegedly “chemical investigation” is mostly based on biased photographs and image processing NOT on the real thing. Whence you have full option just to see what you want to see and don’t/cannot see what you cannot/don’t want to see

    • Colin Berry says:

      You’ll have to be a lot more specific that that if you want a response. Better still – find a journalist willing to listen and engage with you – then ask the journalist to put the gist of your key points to me here, i.e. the condensed wisdom, assuming there’s some to be found… The scatter gun approach no longer works, if indeed it ever did…

      The time for endlessly mouthing the same old mantras and expecting a response – your having ignored all previous ones from myself and others – is over. In short – kindly stop the cat-calling and time-wasting…

      If you feel shut out, then there’s a solution. Think about setting up your own website (something you should maybe have done a long time ago!)…

  17. Colin Berry says:

    Something’s gone wrong with this site’s Comments this morning. Comments of which I’m notified by WordPress are either not being sent to my email inbox for approval, or if they are, and approved (reluctantly in the case of “Anonymous” given his customary fare!) they immediately appear under “Comments” but fail to open (at least on my laptop). Nothing’s been lost, though I have to say little’s been gained either!

    I’ll wait till the end of the day before deciding whether to retrieve from WordPress and if so, how to respond. Let me say this: it’s not the purpose of the internet or blogosphere to systematically hassle, certainly not on a site that has been reporting a progression through 10 different scientific models, all subjected to self-critical experimental testing.

    If you’re a journalist reading this, then please rescue the Shroud and its real origins from the time-wasters! 99% of the claims made for authenticity and/or a supernatural origin can be shot down in seconds! Try me!

    PS. Yes, my AOL email site is presently down, on both my laptops and my wife’s, which is why the site does not let through comments that come from anonymous commentators (even if their identity is known!). It’s the way the site was set up, my having ticked this and that option to protect against spammers, anonymous trolls etc.

    If AOL fails to repair itself in the next 24 hours or so, then as a temporary measure I’ll tick some boxes on WordPress, presently unticked, so as to lower the security barrier for comments – at least until AOL recognizes there’s a problem and takes appropriate action.

    Update: all three of today’s comments have now appeared and are accessible. It was the first that failed to appear, both on my email inbox and one this site, and then prevented access to the two following comments in full from the same commentator, despite being flagged up under the username (“Anonymous” under “Latest Comments”.

    I may respond to the challenge in the mysteriously delayed first of the three comments regarding the “beard”. I shall deliberate for a while, not caring (as ever) for the tone of that and other comments from “Anonymous”, one with whom this blogger has a long acquaintance. Indeed, he was previously banned from this site, only allowed back reluctantly in the last week or two under a new more relaxed policy. Why? Because the site is now directed towards journalists, and can take a more relaxed attitude towards those from a previous era who attempt to use/hijack others sites as if their own… Let them post their mischief-making comments if they wish – but they mustn’t be surprised, far less offended, to find themselves ignored…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Re “…the imprinting of apparent features that in reality are not there (“we see what we want to see”) notably moustache and beard”, how do you prove that you are right and “don’t see what you(rself) don’t want to see”? Where are the hard material facts? Have you ever heard of Padre Pio’s handkerchief? (link:


    Is that flour imprinting too?

  19. Anonymous says:

    id quod videre volo video

    • Hugh Farey says:

      Grammatically fine; stylistically somewhat cumbersome….

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello Hugh, id quod volo video (if you prefer). However my id quod videre volo video sounds far better than your most equivocal “video quod videre volo” or even “video quod volo” (if you ask me). What is really “cumbersome” is the English phrase to translate here (“I see what I want to see”) applied to TS archmiraculists when it could be applied to TS archfraudulists as well (that is to you and Colin no matter whether you think it is a pious or impious forgery).

        • Anonymous says:

          See for instance De Bello Gallico Book 3 Paragraph 18)
          […) et quod fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.
          “and that generally men will freely believe that which they wish to”.
          Hence as an alternative to my id quod volo video: Id quod video volo, “I see that which I want to” = “I see what I want to see”

        • Colin Berry says:

          Though reluctant to say it, I have to say that from a personal point of view, the useful distinction between advocate of “pious” versus “impious” forgery can explain an awful lot – like being frozen out of sindonology for the best part of 2 years, allegedly on the grounds that Model 10 was still a work in progress, and thus not ready for flagging up.

          Reminder: all scientific models can be considered a “work in progress”. But Model 10 stated there were 3 essential steps: (1) sprinkling the subject’s body from above with solid white flour, (2) imprinting onto wet linen, then (3) heat development over a medieval source of radiant heat.

          In 2 years of Model 10 development I never once deviated from those 3 essential steps, merely tweaking the technology on minor details, like whether to pre-coat with oil before flour, or how to suspend the imprinted linen in my fan oven etc.

          All the while I assumed that at some point my own country’s official Shroud-research mouthpiece would supply an update on my serial model -based research, flagging up the new and hopefully durable Model 10 (compared with its predecessors 1-9). It was not to be!

          Why not? See current BSTS Newsletter for the new model from the outgoing Editor – what might be described as a pious forgery but “just a painting” position – a bit of Walter McCrone (iron oxide) and Luigi Garlaschelli plus others before him (etching/yellowing via acid action) and Charles Freeman (free hand painting), firmly rejecting any idea of whole body-imprinting (this investigator’s chief explanation for so much of the ‘enigmatic’ body image, like negative frontal v dorsal imprint-like image, absence of side-imprinting, 3D response in appropriate software, image confined to crests aka ‘crowns’ of threads but entire circumference of exposed superficially-located constituent fibres, half-tone effect, image discontinuities etc etc.

          Shame that no one has yet supplied a single shred of evidence for the cellulose becoming chemically modified in image formation (hugely improbable I consider in chemical terms – Heller’s reasoning being full of holes to say nothing of logical non-sequiturs ).

          Yes, I’ve signed up for the new BSTS internet forum under its new authenticity-promoting Editor – but not with a view to free and friendly participation – only to point out any gross errors that may – or hopefully may not – appear!

          • Anonymous says:

            Reminder for reminder: as early as 1994 (in a memo he sent to late CIELT president, and TS archmiraculist Daniel Raffard de Brienne and in stark contrast with either the archmiraculists’ or the archfraudulists or the archsurvivalists’ or the archnaturalists’ theories, a French cryptologist, Max Patrick Hamon did really explain “an awful lot” regarding the TS two-fold imprint formation process in terms of a contact-and-progressive-loss-of-contact imprint: there were also three essential steps: (1) pre-moistening the double length linen cloth with hot waters mixed with ashes (red heifer’s to rapidly purify the shed innocent blood considered as a pollutant in the Holy Land then), (2) tight wrapping in shrouds of the crucifixion victim’s stiff rigid body all covered with sand and/or limestone dust (and in postmortem hyperthermia?) with the double length inner shroud being taut lengthwise and widthwise and pressed front and back (plus screening objects, plants, and flower heads pressed alongside against the body and resulting in side air gaps), then (3) placing of the tightly wrapped body in rigor statuaris in extra height on one side so as to be subjected to a xyloaloetic fumigation as a source of low temperature radiant heat (55°-85°). it does seem your “Model 10” is nothing but an archfraudulist’ (unconscious?) recycling or variant of Max Paticik Hamon’s (Second Temple period) halakhist theory

          • Colin Berry says:


            Yes, further to my Model 10 – this site’s prime focus – the strategy adopted was not to fight the 3-dimensionality when planning to take an imprint of the real adult body, but to work with it. How? At least different 3 ways:

            1. To omit or tame the extremes (thus absent body sides, absent top of head, squashed-down nose)

            2. To make the otherwise puzzling one-sided imprinting of the feet (essentially soles only, not tops) part of the accompanying narrative. (An accompanying artwork of the Deposition from Cross to J o f A’s linen could have served as visual aid, with underside of feet planted against steeply-angled linen deployed in stretcher-mode when supported with one bearer at each end).

            3. Arguably the jewel in the crown: to exploit a bonus that accompanies ‘impactography’ as distinct from photography – the imprinting of apparent features that in reality are not there (“we see what we want to see”) notably moustache and beard. How come? Answer: through more efficient impactographic transfer of imprinting medium from skin that overlies what clinicians call hard tissue (teeth and bone). Result: an apparent, not real moustache and beard.

            PPS (6 hours later): do I detect a stunned silence?

  20. Colin Berry says:

    What’s the Latin for “I no longer rise to the bait”?

    What this site now seeks and indeed welcomes are questions and comments from MSM or lower-profile journalists – looking to make sense of the unending Shroud debate.
    That’s my position after some 6 years of being constantly snapped at the heels by the Usual Suspects, and why? Answer: for daring to question authenticity, even via the humble blogosphere …

    PS: The continuing mystery over the chemical composition of the body image – on which STURP surprisingly contributed next to nothing, can be said to hinge on one chief unknown – namely temperature. Heller and Adler’s chemical modelling using excessively harsh chemical reagents – notably concentrated sulphuric acid – can be seen as last-ditch attempt to avoid having to invoke a raised temperature to achieve their alleged oxidation (and dehydration) of cellulose, the latter being their assumed target for yellowing without, it has to be said, a shred of experimental evidence.

    Ray Rogers’ modelling on the other hand, with an imaginative (perhaps over-imaginative?) alternative to cellulose – namely semi-degraded starch and ammonia – likewise deployed a raised temperature (66 degrees C!) with him claiming that it was simply to speed things up, to avoid having to wait 24 hours at room temperature (without letting us see how the result at 24 hours compared with the temperature-boosted system, describing it merely as very faint!). (Now how did that get past the journal referees I ask myself?)

    I say the medieval imprinting medium was white flour, and heat was needed and delivered (radiant heat from charcoal embers?) to develop the yellow-coloured chromophore.

    Interestingly I even got a reasonable image of my face without using heat, using contrast/digital processing to bold-up the flour imprint. That experiment was intended merely to show that the imprinting of real human topography is not impossible, as so many, starting with STURP’s John Jackson would have us believe, providing one keeps the imprinting medium off the sides of the face and body – thereby removing any possibility of lateral image distortion AND at the same time reproducing a key feature of the TS body image – namely NO SIDES!

  21. Max Patrick Hamon says:

    Video quod volo is definitely the right translation for “I see what I want to see”. It does seems an anonymous practical joker (at home?) deliberately has wanted to make a pseudotranslation at Colin Berry’s expenses while mocking Google.

  22. Hugh Farey says:

    Yes; I fiddled around with Google for a while, but it’s not good with Latin. To translate “I want” as “velis” is plain bonkers!

  23. Colin Berry says:

    Comment acknowledged Hugh. Best I don’t respond to your main point, feeling as I do that no useful purpose would be served by doing so, at least not yet, not until we see how things pan out under your oh-so elitist, lesser-mortal shunning replacement at the BSTS.

    Thank you for the revised/corrected version of the Latin motto for “I see what I want to see”. Google back-translates it as “I want to see what I see” which regardless of accuracy – probably inaccurate knowing Google – makes it problematical.

  24. Hugh Farey says:

    Sorry; mean Colin, with one L , of course.

  25. Hugh Farey says:

    Hi Collin,

    Gosh, I hadn’t realised how busy you’ve been recently, and just looked in on the off-chance! I’m sorry not to have updated my 2015 article on your investigations before my retirement as editor of the BSTS Newsletter; it’s difficult to judge when they have reached a good staging post, as it were, suitable for a good summing up of the story so far. If you’re now giving your practical work a rest, in favour of demolishing the pseudo-science of previous investigators, I’ll try to persuade the new editor to take a new ‘work-in-progress’ article.

    I’m not sure where Max (I do hope it’s Max!) gets the idea that “I want” is “velo” in Latin. “Velo” means “I wrap” or “I cover” (root of ‘veil’). Thoughout my Latin studies at school ‘I want’ was always “volo” (root of things like ‘voluntary’). Also, “quid” is a question word, not a relative pronoun. I think it should be “quod”. “Video quod volo videre” seems to me correct for ‘I see what I want to see’, although you could juggle with the emphasis “video quod videre volo” or make it more succinct “video quod volo”.

    Keep up the good work!

  26. Colin Berry says:

    As I said in the previous posting, maybe not clearly enough, the internet debate has led nowhere, either as regards the mechanism of image formation, which incidentally is this investigator’s chief interest, or the question of authenticity.

    (I personally accept the provisional radiocarbon dating, while waiting for it to be repeated on a wider range of samples, regarding the first test as little more than a ranging shot exercise, which- if you ask me – the 3 labs were silly to participate in without an assurance of a return visit for data-replication, at least in the event of a ‘medieval’ answer).

    To repeat: this site is no longer a discussion forum for all-comers, mainly because almost 6 years of operating as such has resulted in zero visibility on the wider internet (maybe my fault, but I suspect not entirely). Yes, millions of words have been exchanged, but there’s been no, repeat NO links back to this site since the Porter site closed two years ago – not even in BSTS Newsletters (not a single word re my final Model 10 with the flour-imprinting, formally presented in Aug 2015), with the new Editor now failing to respond to my detailed emails responses to HIS emailed objections!

    So while anyone and everyone is able to post comments here, even those previously banned, I will now respond ONLY to journalists who are interested in getting to the truth regarding the TS, cutting through all the pseudoscientific claptrap that is sent to them from agenda-driven so-called researchers. If you want your point to get a response from this site – useful or otherwise – then tip off a journalist that you have posted it HERE, and ask him or her to put in an appearance HERE, no matter how brief.

    I repeat: this site is now for media folk, not for those merely wishing to air their own views. Why not set up your own site, then link back to this one (I may even decide to reciprocate!)

  27. Piero says:

    Sorry, although I still wait for an answer to the previous topic (Lucotte and the nose… B.T.W. : Was the contamination, found by Lucotte’s SEM EDX, due to the use of a lead reliquary? A lead reliquary ???), now …

    I have a different kind of question to pose.
    I would like to know your opinion about Barta and Carrascosa’s study (seen in the light of your experiments, which were made to get useful images). Here the title : “The Shroud of Turin and its ancient copies” [César Barta and Alfonso V. Carrascosa (2012)].

    Here the fact considered by Barta and Carrascosa :
    There are copies of the Shroud of Turin, which could be described as “Shroud” actually made by man’s hand…

    But I am curious to know your opinion about the conclusion/claim of that study :
    Are these copies useful to show the true ability of our ancestors “to make a Shroud” ?

    Obviously the laboratory analyses confirmed the presence of pigments based on heavy elements and the authors had good success, indicating the presence of metals [detected by spectrum of dispersive energy analysis = EDX], with their obvious claim : “an artist in the past centuries did not have the facilities and the capabilities to create a work comparable to those Shroud”…

    In any case we are expecting to observe a complete denial (a retraction for that right conclusion/claim by Barta and Carrascosa) with a work [made by Colin Berry] using a complete body…
    Unfortunately Dan Porter’s “Shroud of Turin Blog” has closed… and then I beg your pardon about this rough intervention…

  28. James Bond says:

    Really great talent for a Middle Ages forger.

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