Here it is at last – a simple explanation for the Shroud of Turin – how and more importantly WHY it was made in the mid 14th century. Think simulated sweat imprint, seemingly yellowed with age, plus bloodstains in all the right places….

I concluded the previous posting with the following simple and blunt message (but have since decided it warrants a posting all to itself):

The time for being restrained and polite is over. Why?

I have just privately listed some 8 or 9 sindonology sites, all pro-authenticity needless to say, none, I repeat NONE of which have so much as breathed a single word of my “simulated sweat imprint” take on the Turin Shroud.

Why not? Answer – because they know it makes sense, and know it would put them and their fanciful “burial shroud/imaging via resurrectional incandescence” straight out of business if more widely known.

The key to understanding the TS is the disconnect between the 4 Gospel accounts. Pro-authenticity sindonology is only interested in the version supplied in John, maintaining a blind spot for what the preceding 3 synoptic Gospels have to say about Joseph of Arimathea’s linen being delivered to the CROSS, or Pontius Pilate, not the tomb, to receive a body on which the blood was perceived (for medieval modelling purposes) as still moist and thus capable of leaving its imprint, accompanied by SWEAT as well to produce the body imprint as well.

Shhhh! Don’t mention sweat! Sindonology has closed its ears to sweat, more specifically the notion of the TS body image being a SIMULATED SWEAT IMPRINT produced in medieval times, modelled/inspired no doubt by that Veil of Veronica, attracting paying pilgrims galore.

(See my posting from Nov 2014 in which “simulated sweat imprint” is linked with the pre-exisiting Veil of Veronica)

“We can trump the face-only Veil”, thought the secretive clerics of Lirey, and indeed they were right!

More to follow in due course – like a summary of how the idea of the Shroud as a simulated sweat imprint first came to me on learning of the recent discovery of the Machy Mould, how everything I read and discovered by experimentation fitted with the new model, and how that so-called academic discipline (ha ha) that calls itself sindonology does NOT want you to know about my simple non-supernatural “simulated sweat imprint” theory, and indeed has done its best to suppress it for the best part of 4 whole years.

Note regarding 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). 

Background to the notion of the TS as representing a ‘simulated sweat imprint’ (medieval manufacture):

Here’s a screen grab of the first mention made of “sweat imprint” on this site. It’s from Feb 2014, some four and a half years ago!  “Simulated” does not get a mention yet. That came later the same year.

feb 2014

Yes, it was November the same year (2014) when my catch-phrase description of the  TS expanded to “simulated sweat imprint” with this posting:

nov 2014

What you see above is my earlier Model 2 (simulating an ancient yellowed sweat imprint via direct scorching of linen from a heated metal template). Things have moved on – to Model 10 – imprinting from a real body onto wet linen using white flour, and then gently roasting the linen!

So what was the crucial experiment that replaced Model 2 (finally) with Model 10?

Here were the origins of Model 10 (flour imprinting to simulate an ancient sweat imprint) appearing on my generalist sciencebuzz site in October 2014:

sciencebuzz oct 2014

Direct scorching off a heated template is easy when dealing with something small and bas relief like a horse brass, less so with a life-size bronze statue or similar!

Solution: tested first with the horse brass:  smear lightly with vegetable oil, sprinkle with white flour from a height, shake off the excess flour. press the coated template down onto WET linen, then gently roast the linen over charcoal embers or in an oven to develop the yellow/brown melanoidin image.

The technology works!  What’s more it is easily adaptable to imprint one’s own hand or even one’s face, as I showed back in May 2015.

new 3D highly cropped

Howzat!  Admittedly the image was produced using a wet slurry of flour as imprinting agent, in conjunction with dry linen (which preceded my resort to dry white flour onto wet linen. (That was in response to criticism that my images were too sharp and well-defined compared with the TS body image.  One can always rely on sindonologists to seek out the tiniest supposed defects in one’s modelling efforts, ignoring the underlying  scientific principles!).

Yes, that imprint of my face is a tone-reversed negative. The prominences that look lightest in a photograph through reflecting most incoming light look darkest and vice versa. That is entirely to be expected of a CONTACT imprint, where the linen makes best contact with the features that are raised rather than recessed. Forget all the hype about the TS body image being a ‘selfie’ photograph produced by resurrectional radiation. The makers of the TS simply wanted the viewer to see the double body image as the contact imprint left by sweat and blood on an up-and-over sheet of fine linen, the one described as “clean linen” (Matthew), “fine linen” (Mark) or simply “linen” (Luke), the one supplied by Joseph of Arimathea to collect the body, either from the cross or from Pontius Pilate’s safe keeping. Our medieval modellers saw and seized an opportunity to mimc on a larger scale the kind of imagery that captured the face of the founder of Christianity en route to the cross onto the lady bystander’s veil (“Veil of Veronica”) but with a crucial  difference – a simulation of Joseph of Arimathea’s linen could be used  to capture an image of the entire body, frontal v dorsal sides, with the drenching in body sweat providing a notional latent image (“sweat imprint”)  that would subsequently become more easily visible (and explainable) as the result of yellowing with age.

In other words, the explanation for the Turin Shroud is simple, absurdly simple. That explains why sindonology pretends my thinking is not there, despite placing close on 400  postings to the internet these last 6 years or more. Sindonology does not want you viewing the TS as a sheet of linen that acquired its imprint en route from cross to tomb – far less a medieval modelling of that scenario. It wants you to view the linen as the BURIAL shroud referred to in the book of John, to see the imaging as a byproduct of resurrection, with all kinds of abstruse explanations to account for the co-imaging of blood as if still fresh and unclotted.

Sindonology sees the Shroud as an opportunity to impose its view of the genuinness of the Shroud by having us believe that its image characteristics could only have been acquired by supernatural means that tally with the Gospel account of the Resurrection. Sindonology is mistaken. The Shroud’s imagery is entirely explainable , drawing on simple imprinting physics, chemistry and biology.

It’s time sindonology returned to earth, and did some genuine relevant modelling to confirm the ideas presented here. The first things it should do are: (a) confirm the radicarbon dating and cease impugning the integrity of the 3 dating labs from 1988  or of their overseer – the British Museum and (b) confirm that the body image is melanoidin from an extraneous addition –  (imprinting medium – probably white flour or similar) NOT modified linen cellulose.

Suppose now you create the beginnings of a supposedly ‘scientific’ rainbow, one which says: follow the rainbow into the enigmatic realms of the Turin Shroud, venturing into regions where science is incapable of explaining the image characteristics (does it heck!).  Suppose you convince your audience that there is no explanation in terms of conventional science – that one has to assume a supernatural intervention – bursts of radiation at Resurrection that scorch on an image of the crucified Jesus, days old bloodstains an’all.

Notice anything? If you succeed in your aim of ‘enigmatizing’ the Shroud of Turin, convincing the world at large that its a magical entity, then you have created for yourself a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.  How?

Simple! Convince the world that the Shroud is a supernatural gift from on high, then you have created for yourself a seemingly virtuous circle. If the Shroud is a supernatural relic, then you have in your hands tangible ‘evidence’ of the biblical account of the aftermath of crucifixion – miraculous restoration of life, later Ascension to rejoin the Father on high. Think Super-Shroud of Turin, not Simulated Sweat Imprint of obscure Lirey, deeply rural outskirts of Troyes,  Champagne region, mid-14th century France.

In short, the Shroud of Turin, properly handled with judicious inputs of new “science” at regular intervals, becomes the self-reinforcing religious relic, one that goes on giving. Is it any wonder that so much effort has gone into “proving” the authenticity of the Turin Shroud? In religious terms, it is gold dust, nay ingots of solid platinum…

More to come, possibly, though running out of things to say. Comments as ever are welcome (first-time comments being subject to my pre-approval – that being WordPress standard practice – its decision, not mine).

Kindly shoot me down, if you can…

Afterthought:  some might be interested in the current technology used to make arguably Shroud-like images off 3D templates (whether inanimate, like plastic or metal figurines, or the human anatomy). I can’t list all my postings on the practical nitty-gritty – there being too many of them. Here’s just one that shows the simplicity of the procedure, used to create a pre-photographic negative-image selfie from a small brass crucifix, purchased some years ago in a French Saturday market:

Note the posting title: Who says science can’t explain the Shroud of Turin?

Future directions?

This site reports on current research, letting the reader in on my current thinking ahead of critical scrutiny (mine in the first instance!). It eschews the sindonological norm of hitting the reader with one fait accompli after another, ones that invariably fizzle out to nothing (those pulsed-uv laser studies from Italy’s ENEA being a case in point!).

So what’s the current thinking?  See that contact image of my own face, obtained as I said by the wet-slurry technology with white flour  onto dry linen that preceded dry flour  imprinting onto wet linen. It’s better, much better than the results obtained later with dry flour onto wet linen.

Am I not right in thinking that the face of the Man on the TS is reckoned to be significantly more intense than the rest of the body image, that the hint of a “second face” image on the opposite side of the linen is confined to the face mainly (hands get a mention too). Is there not a more abrupt cut-off between cheek bones and hair compared with a fuzzier edge to the rest of the body? Does that not suggest a difference in technique used for face compared with rest of body?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Wet slurry was used to image the face, initially onto dry linen, with thermal development initially of the face only. Then and only then was dry flour used to imprint the image of the rest of the body, with a second thermal step to bring up the rest of the image.

That two step procedure might account for the odd appearance of the head/torso junction, maybe that prominent horizontal crease line where the two meet that appears to be part of the body image – not a later acquired non-baked-in-crease as some have suggested.

The first priority is book research, and such published data that are available without shelling out huge dollops of pension merely for a peek behind journal paywalls.

Advantages of the two step procedure? Two come to mind immediately. First – economy: upmarket linen (herring bone twill  weave) is pricey. So get the tricky high-definition face right first. If it’s initially a botch job, then simply cut that small segment off and dispose of it, leaving unmarked linen for another use.

Second: preserving sensibilities: while one wants the face to be the highest possible definition, showing this or that detail that helps the pilgrim recognize the face as being that of the crucified Jesus, one prefers to have a fuzzier image for the rest of the naked body.  There are also the innumerable scourge marks, allegedly some 372!,  that will later have to be applied to the rest of the body (while not needed on the face!) so best to divide up the imprinting procedure into two separate phases.

Here’s another idea for consideration: go to the John account of the tomb and ‘disappeared body’, an account that differs markedly from that in the three preceding synoptic gospels.

In my King James version of the Bible it reads (John Chp. 20, verses 5, 6 and7):

v5: And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying ; yet went he not in.

v6: Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.

 v7: And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Might it not be unreasonable to suggest that forgers’ initial aim was to simulate that face cloth only, with a Veronica-like imprinted image of the face only of the crucified Jesus, and they became very practised and expert in perfecting that image, probably using the wet flour slurry technique. (Suggestions that the image borders would be too sharp are easily dispensed with – they could simply abrade the edges of the initial air-dried flour imprint gently to remove any ridge- like accumulations of flour).

The idea initially was ‘merely’ to display a Mark 2 Veronica. But someone had a brainwave: why not add an imprint of the rest of the body, front and rear, and claim that the image represented that left on Joseph of Arimathea’s linen en route from cross to tomb, an ancient age-yellowed sweat imprint, with bloodstains in all the give-away locations, leaving no doubt as to the identify of the imprinted Man on the up-and-over body-concealing Shroud.?

Monday July 30, 2018

Have been searching through my own archives for a comparison of the two modes of flour imprinting – wet slurry onto dry linen as against dry flour powder onto wet linen. Have finally succeeded in tracking down an image that shows the two side by side, from August 2015, almost 3 years ago:

The image on the left was obtained with wet slurry onto dry linen, using a hot oven to develop the colour, with no final washing step. Note the relatively sharp outline (attracting almost immediate negative comment from a certain pro-authenticity hyper-critical quarter). The second was my response – to switch to imprinting with dry white flour onto wet linen. But there’s a difference –  after oven-heating the image was then vigorously washed with soap and water so as to detach all but the most tenaciously-attached pigment (presumably melanoidin in chemical terms, i.e. high molecular weight products formed via protein-sugar interactions). Note the fuzzy border of the end-result, which immediately put flour-imprinting back into contention (in my humble opinion), even if the response from sindonology was the customary deafening silence! But then one does not look to sindonology for approval…  It’s scorn and/or vitriol or nothing, in my 6+ years of experience!  Academic discipline?  Do me a favour… For 95% of the time it’s now’t but agenda-pushing pseudoscience!

Returning to yesterday’s suggestion that the initial aim of our Lirey artisan/clerics was ‘merely’ to simulate the “facecloth” that was left in the sepulchre, not Joseph of Arimathea’s main sheet of linen, i.e. that the initial objective was to produce  a credible imprint of the face only (using I suggested the flour slurry/dry linen imprinting technique). I think I now have tangible evidence that was indeed the case!  It will follow later this morning, but here’s a foretaste of what is still to come:

machy mould

See the second of Ian Wilson’s splendid articles on the Machy Mould that appeared in the BSTS Newsletter (pre-paywall!) in December 2013:

But there’s a higher definition picture of the Machy Mould on Mario Latendresse’s site that argues against what I was about to suggest:

mario latendresse sindonologia machy mould

The herringbone weave is clearly apparent, and extends all the way to the left extremity of the cleric on the right. That says the two ARE displaying the full-length body shroud, not the much smaller face cloth as might be considered compatible with the inset face above the word SUAIRE (“face cloth”).

Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Tuesday July 31, 2018

Years ago I watched a TV programme which followed a Church of England bishop to California (as I recall) where he had been invited by the Creationists. He for his part defended Darwinian evolution over billions of years, but did not stop there. He deployed a telling analogy as a means of signalling his dislike of Creationist advocacy. He invited his now visibly uptight audience to compare their tactics with those who boast they have hit the bullseye with a carefully aimed dart.

Fine if the target was there first, the dart arriving later. But that’s not the real version of events where Creationism is concerned he said. The dart was thrown first, onto a mounted blank canvas , and the dart board then meticulously drawn around it, the point of dart entry being centred on the red bullseye needless to say!

That analogy now comes repeatedly to mind when I read the incresingly desperate arguments that come from pro-authenticity sindonology. That was the case in the previous posting where I expressed deep misgivings regarding the scientific legitimacy of the Carlino and Fanti paper, claiming there were “nanoparticles” that identified the blood on a minute fragment of Shroud linen fibre as displaying creatinine/iron oxide associations (really?), one they claimed  that betrayed objective clinical evidence of “trauma” and “torture”. Secondary reporting – much of it gleeful – of that single paper in 2017 had by May 2018 consumed 15 of the top 150 Google listings no less under a simple “shroud of turin” search, i.e. an amazing 10% of the total.  Meanwhile this site, at the time was nowhere to be seen (though having said that, it’s currently back on Page 9).

We’ve since learned that the open-access journal PLOS ONE, which published the Carlino and Fanti paper, has since retracted it (good for them!)  in spite of the authors’ objections. See my previous posting for links and details.

That paper was to my way of thinking a prime example of  dart first, bullseye second pseudoscience, and not the first of that type to emerge with the name of Professor Fanti of Padua University prominent among the authors and/or instigators.  Uncompromisingly pro-authenticity Professor Fanti is an engineer by profession, not a scientist (and oh boy, does it show!).

I’ll be back tomorrow with a plea for flour-imprinting to be recognized as a credible means by which the TS body image was produced by 14th century artisans. It’s frankly absurd that pro-authenticity sindonology (bar the occasionally receptive and open-minded Thibault Heimburger MD from whom we’ve worryingly heard nothing for many months) fails even to acknowledge its existence. One cannot call oneself an academic discipline if one fails to address critics, especially those who have developed radically new lines of thinking, as I have done these last 6 years.

Incidentally, my 1986 resistant starch/dietary fibre paper had 550 citations under Google Scholar at the last look.

1986 RS paper 550 citations


How many sindonologists can match that for established scientific credentials, one wonders?

Wednesday Aug 1, 2018

We continue to see this entry under Google returns for an entry level search under (shroud of turin), day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…

shroud secrets continue to elude science p5 google

No, that’s a travesty of the real facts, namely that it’s science that continues to elude the proponents of Shroud authenticity, especially those who claim that the body image cannot  be accounted for by any known science. Crazy! Preposterous!

Why does it baffle science?  Ask sindonologists to spell out the reasons, but make sure you first ask them to say what they know about the chemical nature of the image chromophore. If they tell you they know nothing whatsoever (or mutter vaguely  about “oxidized cellulose” without supplying a scrap of hard chemical evidence) then tell them simply and forcibly that if they can’t be bothered to do the preliminary chemical analysis, then they have no business whatsoever declaring the body image to be inexplicable by any known science.

Tell them to go away and determine the chemical nature of the image chromophore before belittling the powerful scientific method (which is fully capable of determining the chemistry, provided it’s first given access to image fibres (and I don’t mean those contaminated sticky tape samples as harvested by Raymond Rogers).  The latter inferior substitutes were immediately dispatched to a microscopist – Walter McCrone – who did no chemistry worth speaking of – yet declared the chromophore to be “iron oxide”, totally at odds with Adler’s later discovery that the chromophore was bleachable witb various chemical reagents, making it ORGANIC in nature, NOT inorganic).

That we should constantly be regaled year after year with that laughable headline from a non-scientific source (National Geographic magazine) is frankly a disgrace. Why is it still there, 3 years after its insulting appearance? Who’s continue to broadcast and disseminate that total misrepresentation of the real facts?

Thursday Aug 2, 2018

Here’s a hair-curling instance of crass hypocrisy from pro-authenticity sindonology. It appeared in yesterday’s online Daily Express (UK mass circulation tabloid newspaper):

express article shroud 1 aug 18


Excerpt: I’ve corrected the spelling of “Emanuella” (sic).

“But the four experts, Barrie Schwortz, Bruno Barberis, Emanuela Marinelli and Professor Jorge Manuel Rodrigues are preparing to hit back during a presentation at the UK’s largest Muslim convention, the Jalsa Salana, on Friday.

All four have spent long periods of their respective careers studying the shroud, which is regarded as a holy relic by the Vatican.

Speaking prior to Friday’s event, Ms Marinelli said: “It’s absolutely not comparable to the scientific investigations done by those who have truly studied the Shroud.

“These two men, the authors of this study, have never seen the Shroud up-close and surely not from afar. “


Strange: three of STURP’s best known investigators were (a) John Heller (b) Alan Adler (c) Walter McCrone (his association with STURP being shortlived, on account of a falling out)…

Heller gave us the book with a blow-by-blow account of the STURP project from start to finish.

Alan Adler gave us the “blood too red” claim, his bizarre explanation in terms of “trauma bilirubin” and his highly tendentious explanation for imprinting from dried clotted bloodstains (“serum exudation from retracted blood clots”).

McCrone gave us his notorious “just a painting” dismissal of the Shroud body image (Why?  Because it appeared particulate under his microscope, working with those sticky tape samples supplied to him by returning Raymond N.Rogers).

Why am I telling you this? Answer: because NONE OF THOSE THREE ACCOMPANIED RAY ROGERS, JOHN JACKSON and the rest of the STURP team to Turin in 1978. All three were content to remain behind in their respective US homes, and wait for Ray Rogers to return with his sticky tape samples.  None saw the Shroud with their own eyes, not in 1978, despite being given the privileged once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so (albeit having to meet theior own travel expenses). 

Yet to this day we see attempts to lionize one or other of those three stay-at-home individuals (with Barrie M.Schwortz recently describing Alan Adler on STERA’s Facebook page as a “world renowned blood chemist” (which he most certainly was not, being a largely non-clinical porphyrin specialist).

Yet now we read in our newspapers  an attempt on the part of a “Shroud expert” to belittle two investigators, one at the University of Pavia, the other at Liverpool (John Moore) Univerity deploying no-nonsense scientific (modelling) techniques, on the basis that neither has had STURP-type access to the Shroud! Have she ever seen fit to criticize Heller, Adler or McCrone for the same reason, or berated STERA’s President for recently absurdly inflating  Alan D. Adler’s reseacrh credentials?  If so, where? Have I missed it?

No, of course she has not. What we see is a double standard operating, one for true believers, another for those who dare challenge their poorly-documented claims for the Shroud being the actual “burial cloth” of the crucified Jesus.

Sindonology gets worse with each passing day …  I personally wouldn’t bother, but for the fact that it continues to claim that the Shroud image cannot be explained in terms of known science. Is that surprising, when international scientists are denied access to image fibres, or even a close inspection of the intact item ?  So stop putting out your dismissive snide put-downs to the mass media you back-to-the-wall true-believer sindonologists.  Look and sound kike the ‘experts’ you claim to be. Press for  other qualified investigators, sceptics especially, to be given  access.  Urge the Shroud custodians to allow limited albeit destructive sampling of less conspicuous image and bloodstained fibres. Stop claiming scientists are baffled when in fact they have simply been denied proper access, when high-profile STURP “investigators”  themselves couldn’t even be bothered to see the TS with their own eyes!  It’s time the image chromophore and blood were properly analysed, not merely passed around for poking and prodding by those lacking the desire or means to perform proper state-of-the-art microchemical testing.

Here’s a question for those “experts” listed at the start of the Express article. State the chemical nature of the Shroud body image chromophore in a single sentence. Answer straightaway please – , NOW not next week, next year, next century… Until you can supply an answer, then kindly cease your endless belittling of university-based investigators in the mass media.  Cease declaring the TS to be inexplicable in terms of known science, only to turn on those who take up the challenge, instantly belittling, berating and name-calling.

Saturday Aug 4, 2018

Have just spotted a lively account in the Independent of what Barrie M. Schwortz and Emanuela Marinelli having been saying to journalists assembled in Hampshire at  this year’s Ahmadiyya Muslim annual “big tent” gathering.

There’s a fascinating detail regarding the second of those (E.Marinelli, referred to vaguely in the Express report discussed earlier as an “expert”, that being a term I wish the media would drop, being essentially meaningless in my view, especially if meaning little more than “proselytizing specialist with an axe to grind”!).

Here’s what the Independent’s journalist has just written (complete news to me, and quite an eye-opener!): I’ve coloured up the bit that made me see red!

It is a theme repeated with gusto by his fellow sindonologist Emanuela Marinelli, 67, a retired high school geography teacher with two degrees who takes the title professor by virtue of the Italian custom of giving the honorific to schoolteachers.

“What is really disturbing,” says Prof Marinelli.  “Is that hardly any media attention is paid to all the stuff about the shroud in peer-reviewed journals, and then this stupid experiment [with the blood and the mannequin] … big, big publicity!”

Well, well well – you live and you learn.

Since when has it been the role of retired schoolteachers to go declaring the hands-on experimental modelling by two respected academics, both university based, at least one (Luigi Garlaschelli)  – possibly the other too-  occupying a ‘chair’ i.e. professorship as the term is universally understood as a “stupid experiment”.  My advice to “Prof” Marinelli is to get acquainted with the scientific method, which is essentially about the setting up and testing of  cautiously stripped-down “models” in the first instance, and refrain from taking cheap shots at the inevitable limitations of one’s models, the earlier ones especially. (This Shroud investigator worked his way through 9 experimental models for the Shroud body image before settling on Model 10, while having to cope with needless and ill-informed flak# emanating from (guess who?)  STERA’s President when back in early 2012  I checked out direct scorching of linen from a hot metal template – though not  full-size mannequin, i.e. Model 2-   before discarding it, more on practical than theoretical grounds. Oh, and that rejection had nothing whatsoever to do with “inadmissible fluorescence of ALL scorches under uv” as falsely claimed by STERA’s scientifically-unqualified President, busting in on the Comments section of a Dan Porter posting, attempting lord it over all and sundry.

# Here’s how that visitation from on high began, the target “gentleman” being yours truly:

February 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Sadly, that’s why I don’t post to blogs very often. I don’t have time to waste debating folks who simply choose to ignore the published science. They obviously have already made up their minds so why bother? Perhaps they have more time on their hands than I do, but I am not interested in arguing for the sake of argument. That is why I never try to convince anyone of anything. Frankly, I don’t really care what this gentleman thinks and will leave him in your and Dan Porter’s able hands  …

And here’s a link to a posting some 3 years later when I finally got round to addressing the STERA President’s false claim , done via that  good old-fashioned process called systematic scientific investigation, i.e.  of experimental model scorches  versus other thermal imprints, Model 10 especially (as distinct from shooting one’s mouth off, taking the weak uv fluorescence of scorched and charred areas on the Shroud arising from the 1532 fire to represent “all scorches”). Scorched and charred area cannot be used  in so cavalier a fashion to dismiss new thermal-imprinting models for the TS body image, whether direct (hot metal template) and –  least of all –  indirect (flour imprinting followed by thermal development via infrared radiation, e.g. from glowing charcoal embers, of melanoidin colour), viz. my Models 2 and 10 respectively.

“President of the Shroud of Turin “Education” and “Research” Association”, ha ha,  hoovering up his ex-STURP associates’ copyright the moment they pop their clogs?  Talk about self-aggrandisement, feathering of that oh-so-cosy  STERA nest!

Methinks it’s time for those know-all publicity-hungry photographers and schoolteachers to think about taking a back seat, leaving the real science to us real scientists! They could start by staying away from newspaper journalists for a start, at least until they have done their homework and/or caught up with current as distinct from decades-old research.

On a different subject (real purpose of Stonehenge), see my latest posting, put up less than an hour ago in response to what I consider a ground-breaking BBC article.  It could be said to support my long-held ‘sky burial’ ‘pre-cremation’ hypothesis. Time will tell.

Monday Aug 6, 2018

On reading through this posting, and its focus on the relative merits/demerits of wet  versus dry white flour as putative medieval-era imprinting agent, I suddenly realized there’s a third option needing to be studied (well, a variant of the wet slurry technique). The complaint made against wet slurry (tossed in somewhat too hastily in my view, but never mind) was that the edges of the imprint were too sharp and well defined.

I used modern roller-milled sieved white flour (sieved to remove all but the finest bran particles). But it’s unlikely that “white flour” in 14th century France was anything like as “white” as modern day flour. Probably the coarsest bran particles were sieved off, but what went through the mesh starting with stone-ground wheat grains was probably closer in appearance to modern day “brown flour” still with a sizeable bran component – which incidentally would make the primary imprint, prior to thermal or chemical development of colour, easy to see against white linen background.

Six years ago, or even 1 year ago, I’d be spreading newspaper over the dining room table, and raiding cupboards in the kitchen for utensils and ingredients (flour, vegetable oil etc).

Not any more. The comparison between white, brown and wholemeal flour – to compare the sharpness of the image in each case – can wait. What’s the point of doing all these experiments when sindonology turns its back on any and all scientific research that does NOT start with a presumption of 1st century authenticity, and which even to this day promotes its lurid fantasies regarding “resurrectional incandescence”. Those are based for the most part on nothing more than pseudoscience (e.g. supernatural emanations from a corpse of subatomic particles, notably neutrons and protons, or of high energy pulses of uv radiation, as generated by modern day lasers etc etc).

No, why bother doing the scientific spadework to respond to the monotonous claim that the TS body image cannot and never will be reproduced by any known science when one’s experimentation, reported here online, month after month, year after year, is studiously ignored and worse (let’s not go into the kind of  genteel  – and not-so-genteel – character assassination that is directed at those of us who take up the  challenge on behalf of mainstream model-building science.

I predict that brown flour slurry, and especially wholemeal, with give a fuzzier image than white flour. But I’m no longer squandering my free time in doing the necessary experiments to test my own hypotheses.  It’s sufficient now to flag up the available options, restricted or otherwise, bearing in mind the medieval era,  and leave it at that.


Appendix:  This image is one I produced back in early 2012 using ImageJ 3D-rendering software, normalised initially to contact scorch imprints),  it being needed to illustrate a comment on the current posting.






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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50 Responses to Here it is at last – a simple explanation for the Shroud of Turin – how and more importantly WHY it was made in the mid 14th century. Think simulated sweat imprint, seemingly yellowed with age, plus bloodstains in all the right places….

  1. James Bond says:

    Well other scientists have proved otherwise but I still enjoy your trying to disprove it.

  2. Colin Berry says:

    Sindonologists have proved nothing, merely tried to hint, suggest, speculate…

    40 years post STURP, they still don’t have the slightest clue as to the chemical nature of the image chromophore, still wittering on about “oxidized cellulose” without a shred of hard chemical evidence. I predict that it will be shown to be melanoidin in nature, formed by amino-carbonyl reactions between proteins and reducing sugars in white wheaten flour, the latter deployed as imprinting agent to simulate an aged sweat imprint.

    Their response to the Borrini and Garlaschelli blood-pattern modelling paper (name calling , debunking of scientific credentials etc) tells you everything you need to know about the real nature of sindonology – summed up as “we know best”. “We know next to nothing” would be a more accurate summary.

    • As somebody who would love to see that paper crushed by actual evidence, I did find the comments by Marinelli to be a bit shallow – pointing to cadaver studies from 40 years ago that you cannot find on… calling it “fake news” is patently ridiculous and overusing a new jargon that has little meaning, and pointing to Garlaschelli’s atheism when Borrini is a Catholic – does not pass the muster. What are the valid forensic proofs that have been done that show that this study is not accurate? Has somebody other than Bucklin or Zugibe – like maybe a guy in the last 10 years – reconfirmed that these bloodstain patterns are plausible? I have not found any report of a recently or semi secular pathologist offering a modern opionion on this subject.

  3. Colin, your problem with readers not getting through your material has to do with formatting and writing style. You use way too many words, in a quirky fashion, and often run paragraphs together! Properly formatted and edited to have more pithy sentences, your stuff would be way easier to read. I find your zeal for proving how the Shroud was made to be quite interesting – and you figure prominently in my own site, a recently begun attempt to aggregate Shroud thought in as organized a fashion as possible. (

    After sifting through a wide variety of the 70,000 comments I imported from Shroud Story (as well as from your own blog!) – I can tell you that your voice, while a pain in rear at times, is still badly needed.

    But I do not think Google is in a conspiracy against you – in fact their algorithm is quite ignorant of us humans other than to mute politically incorrect thought, which doesn’t really apply here. My own site may open up for commenting and new articles, and if so I’d be delighted to have you weigh in, I am trying to build a “Shroudometer app” where users will try and rate each point of evidence, using and weighing supporting and negating evidence. My site was built for a church event with a heavy bent towards authentication originally, but that is now going to change, and the new stuff will be as centrist as possible (as clearly that is warranted). I’d love to call the Shroud authentic as a slam dunk – but my brain can’t support that right now, I cannot unread all of the disputed points and pretend the blood is AB as a lock (thanks Kelly) – or that the 3d properties are the “only ones from any photograph on earth” (3d ultrasound, anyone?). And for the life of me I cannot find anything offering a forensic imaging or crime lab expert’s opinion on why we should think the Pray Codex should be considered anything but a “possible” piece of evidence.

    So please do keep at it, not much left these days now that Dan shut everybody down!

    • Colin Berry says:

      Might this link not have been a better one to use, Stacey, going to your longer blog-style piece (nicely expressed, admirably neutral, I might say, or nearly so!)?

      That’s as distinct from the one you gave in your comment.

      I’ve done the first part of my promised reply to you, but am having difficulty in keeping the second part of reasonable length.

      I might decide just to submit that first half today or maybe tomorrow, and hold off for a while with the problematical second instalment.

      • Yes for sure, the 2nd link reflects my current thinking. I still need to adjust the website, and frankly the resources section which is horribly skewed as well.

        You can take your time, I can keep checking back! Thanks also for your ideas about delayed speech, I’ll be sure to give that article a look. In my daughter’s case, we have seen that 3 years of speech therapy has not moved the needle, although this year we moved to a new woman who started her on a speech tablet (aac) – which has been fantastic. My nature being as it is, I was not happy w/ the current symbol systems – so I’ve been working away at my own. Your wife may actually be interested in seeing the system I’m using as a base – a guy did his dissertation on an iconographic system for speech – quick look ( longer academic article by author (

        My daughter may have such severe apraxia that the connections for speech are too weak – so we have to proceed with trying to encode language for her, and the symbol system seems to work quite well so far. She uses her “talker” now all day long, using 5 to 6 word sentences – but there is much work to do. One of my passions is the development of a purely visual reading system, as advocated by a leading deaf studies professor. Phonics fails millions of children each year, but if one goes looking for an alternative, there is preciously little. Even systems that pupport to be “visual” are really just using images to jog the child’s memory of what the sound is. So I’ve been researching theories of reading acquisition, the incredible phenomenom of Synesthesia (naturally associating colors with letters), and am working on a color/shape encoded letter system to help teach children to read visually.

        I threw some experiments into a spelling app I did for my kids last year (as you see I tinker nonstop on a million things!) – – you can see a bit of the color/letter system there, although a proper e-learning app for the entire system is still on my local machine only, and in heavy development once I get a chance to get back to it.

        • Colin Berry says:

          I googled speech therapy technique earlier today, and was not surprised to find most of it went clean over my head. Your description likewise made my realize my total ignorance of the techniques now deployed.

          But I get a kick from imagining I’m the first to tackle a problem, and see if the answers that emerge bear any similarity with current practice. Here for what’s worth is what I came up with, probably qualifying for the description ‘half-baked’.

          Why are some children slow to talk?

          We have five senses.. Which do we as adults regard as most important, i.e. be most upset to lose?

          My list would be 1. Sight 2. Sound 3. Touch 4. Taste 5. Smell.

          But suppose one were able to get a 2-3 year old to do the same ranking. Would their ranking be the same? Maybe, if they were hearing and understanding speech, and reciprocating with their own. But suppose they were not. Suppose speech was totally incomprehensible. Would they place Sound No.2 in their list? I doubt it.
          Might their order be 1. Sight 2.Touch 3. Taste 4.Sound 5.Smell

          So what can be done to raise sound to No.2 in their list as well as an obligatory first step to understanding and generating speech?

          Answer (?): link it with words and things that impinge on their other more developed senses.

          Example: spread a whole number coloured items on the floor (simple primary colours, with monosyllabic names to start with – red, blue, green, white etc) The items could be plastic toys, sweets , items of clothing, coloured crayons etc etc.

          Pick up items one at a time, and verbally announce their colour. Then go to the other items in the display, pull out the ones with the same colour, repeat the name, build up a pile of “reds” say. Then do the same for the blue items, the green items etc.

          Then jumble them up together again, pull them out randomly, one at a time, hold them close to the child, and ask them to name the colour. Supply the answer if needed.

          Do this for 5 or 10 minutes until the child is fully exposed to red items and word red, blue items and word blue etc etc.

          Then figure out a rewards system, such that the child gets the item as a present if he or she can verbally supply the correct colour, or a reasonable approximation thereof.

          In short, link the problematical sense of sound (and with it starter-speech) – to the ones that are higher in their list – sight and taste especially.

          For all I know, this, or something more sophisticated, based on the same ‘ upward linking’ principle is already practised.

          • Your ideas about speech therapy are sound, and you’ve hit on an area that we’ve heard over and over again, which is motivation. Many of these kids will only work through their difficulties if they are extremely motivated. Your thoughts about sound are also correct – what these kids hear is a real mystery – one a famous autistic woman named Temple Grandin has written some excellent books/articles. She says that could not hear consonants at all as a child! We are hoping to begin using a set of bone conductivity headphones as part of her therapy soon.

            My daughter’s issue may be more with neural pathways (or so I’ve read) that provide connections between the brain and the tongue/mouth. The best example I can come up with is to think of those old typewriters that had a cord type thing attached to each letter. Did you ever type on one of those things and have a letter go dead on you? There are a variety of theories and ongoing discussions in the special needs community about why these connections are so weak in some kids, and how it might be connected to autism (or if it’s just a comorbid condition). She only has the use of about 2 words, and only rarely tries to imitate sounds, so the speech therapy stuff is an extremely uphill battle. Her siblings are very animated and loving, and always try to get her talking, to no avail.

            But the good news is that her logic skills are very good, her memory is excellent, she loves puzzles and sorting, and is a good problem solver to boot. I think of her a bit as having some of the brain of an engineer (dad did engineering then moved to law post grad) – inside the communication skills of an infant! She is curious, happy, and loving, and those are all strengths that we lean on as we try and work with her language issues. If a child doesn’t acquire language of some kind – be it signing, written, symbols, etc. by around age 8 or 9, it’s doubtful they will ever learn to fully communicate. I’m quite determined not to let that happen to her!

  4. A question for you – Dan had a great post that got 32 replies, asking what the single most compelling piece of evidence about the Shroud was. Hugh Farey’s reply is very good and covers 3 top points for each side. You did not post to this thread (I think you’d stopped posting by then). But I think you doing what Hugh has done would be quite compelling. Can you give your top 3 things you think lean one away from “forgery” – along with your top 3 that lean you towards it? This is more an idea for an article 🙂

    • Colin Berry says:

      I have read your 3 comments with great interest Stacey, though have still to decide how best to respond to the various points you raise. For now, I’d just say this. We are coming at the TS from entirely different directions – you from an authenticity v non-authenticity standpoint, and me from one of science v pseudoscience ( I reject any notion of authenticity outright, and not just on the basis of the radiocarbon dating: the TS is a work of genius, but is also too contrived, “too good to be true”, being essentially in my view an up-market medieval crowd-puller).

      Pseudoscience, especially the sort which confronts us daily in the mass media, forever posturing as if real science, has been my personal bugbear. The TS is just the tip of the iceberg. I see it in my other interests too (notably Stonehenge and indeed virtually anything to do with Neolithic megaliths – from dolmens to stone circles).

      The problem for real scientists is this: neither the media nor for that matter the general public have a proper understanding of the scientific method, and the difficult tightrope act involved when it comes to expressing oneself – whether on websites or the mass media. I’ve given a hint of the problem on my sciencebuzz site (set up in 2009). Against the site’s title I’ve added these words:

      “Switching between subjective and objective modes is the essence of the scientific modus operandi. Not many people seem to appreciate that. Science is all about riding two horses, maybe not in concert, but certainly alternately – and knowing when to switch from one to the other.”

      That gives a hint why there’s so little understanding between the media and real scientists – the latter do not dig in and proselytize the way the propagandists do, making for a simple eye-catching headlines. We reserve the right to change our minds – to explore new details, new angles, often at the drop of a hat, invariably over-wordy, dare I say quirky at times? Newspaper editors etc hate us for that!

      Anyway, I look forward to exchanging views with you and your upfront site Stacey. But if it’s crisp summaries you are looking for, then be prepared to wait a while – years, possibly decades…

      • Hello Colin! No need to provide crisp summaries 🙂 Whether one is sure the thing is a fake, or hoping it could be real, I think examining each aspect with as skeptical an attitude as possible is important! Rather than ask “which credible scientists support this?” – the first question should instead, by “who disputes this, and why?”

        I know you’ve worked a tremendous amount on image formation theories – and honestly hope to find more time to read through them. One of the points I’m quite stuck on from somewhere in the threads I’ve compiled, is somebody saying that the actual evidence for “image before blood” is based on 1 finding, with little follow up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, and the science behind it. And I hope you weren’t offended by me offering an opinion on the wordiness, I’ve read through hundreds or even thousands of blog comments, and it’s amazing how lazy one gets when trying to read them all! I appreciate the large effort you’ve put into your research.

        I do also hope you’ll answer the question of the elements present you think where the most incredible for the forger to achieve, as obviously as you’ve stated you reject the authenticist/non-authentic position as a moot point – that might fit better.

        BTW I did read through a little bit you wrote about celiac as an autoimmune disease – and found it quite interesting!

        • or as it were celiac as NOT an autoimmune disease!

          • Colin Berry says:

            If I had to identify the crucial tipping point in the “is it fake or is it real?” debate, Stacey, I’d be minded to direct enquirers to Pages 209/210 of John Heller’s book (“Report on the Shroud of Turin”).

            Just think of the massive effort that STURP put into checking out and dismissing the ho hum “just a painting” take. What a shame they did not invest even 1% of the same amount of time and effort into checking out a related hypothesis, namely “just a passive imprint” (immediately distinguishable from a painting by showing obligatory and give-away tone-reversal, i.e. the unusual “negative image”).

            Heller’s book says almost next to nothing about the reasons for the tone-reversed image, except for those two pages I’ve mentioned, where we see him and STURP team members laying into Sam Pellicori for experimenting with “artificial sweat” as one of a number of scripture-compatible imprinting media. There you will see a total, and I mean TOTAL absence of true scientific objectivity beginning to make its presence felt. How does it reveal itself? Answer: in several ways, but on the pages listed we see Sam P’s approach being debunked on the grounds that a sweat imprint would reveal itself by signs of liquid capillary spread into the weave of the linen. Nowhere is there a thought given to the non-authentic alternative, one in which the forgers did not set out to fake a sweat imprint using real sweat or even a simulation of the same. Nope, STURP did not stop to consider the more realistic option, namely that forgers merely wished to simulate the look of an age-yellowed 1300 year old sweat imprint, with no need to stand up to close 20th/21st century forensic analysis. To do that, forgers did NOT need tio simulate real sweat – they needed merely to find an imprinting medium that left a faint and somewhat superficial yellowish stain on the linen – the more subtle the better (e.g. just visible when one stands back – “pssst, mustn’t view too closely!”).

            What’s the betting that the first pilgrim viewers of the Lirey Shroud were told that there was a body as well as blood imprint if they looked closely which was a sweat imprint.

            Now fast forward to the modern day, or even the STURP Summary, and you’ll see no mention of sweat imprint. Why not? Because all considerations of ‘just a faked sweat imprint’ had earlier been swept away, first with Secondo Pia’s “negative” image somehow implying 1st century photography, then by the subsequent inputs from space-age VP-8 gee-whizzery, with the TS showing “unique encoded 3D properties” , oh, and not forgetting pathologist Robert Bucklin’s showman-like ‘autopsy’ on allegedly real unfakeable “wounds” bla bla. (Bucklin had been promoting Shroud authenticity back in the 60s, showimg his true colours long before STURP came along…) . Bucklin clearly had a big infuence on John Heller’ sppedy shift from seemimg objectivity to final conversion to true-believer authenticty.

            The TS fiasco should be made a compulsory part of every child’s school education in my view, if only to show the fallibility of human nature when confronted with something out the ordinary. Take away message: it’s not enough to have a cool appraisal of facts. It has to be followed by an equally cool appraisal of attempts to impose fanciful agenda-driven interpretations of those facts, dressed up as “objective science”.

            The first priority must be to identify the chromophore chemically. That should have been STURP’s top priority as soon as its chemistry team leader (Ray Rogers) suggested a non-intrinsic origin for the body image chromophore (i.e. his largely hypothetical ‘starch impurity’ coating, the alleged source of reducing sugars needed to generate his otherwise credible Maillard amino-carbonyl interactions and finally yellow melanoidins).

            I find it astonishing and indeed not a little suspicious that the allegedly scientific STURP preject failed to follow up on the chemistry, despite Adler and Heller subsequently showing that the chromophore was bleachable with a range of reagents (diimide, hydrazine, alkaline hydrogen peroxide). That should have been sufficient to immediately rule out the “just a painting” tunnel vision of McCrone and more recently Charles Freeman, modern-day McCrone Institute please note – pointing to an entirely organic, i.e. carbon-based chromophore.the latter did not need to be Heller’s “chemically modified cellulose intrinsic to linen – armchair chemistry if ever there was – but something imported, more exotic.

            No, not Sam P’s real sweat – but any chemical/biochemical imprinting medium, even one from the medieval kitchen cabinet (white flour?) that could be used to SIMULATE an ancient sweat imprint left on Joseph of Arimathea’s ‘fine linen’.

            PS. You passing mention of celiac disease (or as we Brits say, coeliac) has sown the seeds of another quasi-Shroud fiasco. Suppose that daft notion of it being primarily an “autoimmune” condition took as its starting point that line from the Lord’s Prayer (“give us this day our daily bread ” – gluten protein included). Suppose there are some who regard bread as well as the Shroud to have been “God-given” and therefore beyond reproach… ? Forget about marginal gluten toxicity, varying susceptibility due to genetic differences, evolution, natural selection etc. Give bread and its gluten a 100% clean bill of health! “It’s your body over-reacting to a harmless ingredient – you celiac sufferer you!”

          • Ay caramba, I’m afriad all the chemistry references have left me in the dust! My science education is terrible. I can program you up a cool app displaying your data in a jiffy, but it’s a bit hard to make heads or tales of the sweat imprint argument right now! I do promise I’ll try to get slightly up to speed. I will read the Heller pages as well. I’m sorry if this is personal info you don’t share on the blog – and if so perhaps you can respond privately – but do you state your religious belief here? I do not assume you are an atheist because you are a scientist. I’m not sure why I like to know. I always like to know if people have children too, and I know that you do 🙂

    • Colin Berry says:

      OK, nice talking to you Stacey. I’ll now leave you to get on with necessary chores. But can you find time to do me a favour? I need a link to the Dan Porter posting you mention above, one where he asked folk to provide “the single most compelling piece of evidence” regarding Shroud origins. I’ve tried googling and got nowhere.

      (Yes. I’m belatedly thinking of responding direct to your request that ask for my own 3 top reasons for both pros and cons, and abandoning my half-finished attempt to do things my way – fast turning into a morass of words). It’ll be feather-light on the pros, needless to say, like leaning over backwards so far backwards to accommodate the pro-authenticity lobby that the world starts to look upside down …)

        • just a thought that i’ll add your reply here as well, so your voice can be hear on this thread

          • Colin Berry says:

            On lengthy reflection, I’ve finally decided, Stacey, to respond to your welcome arrival on this posting, not with 3 pros v cons, but with a SINGLE point.

            It’s to do with the double body imprint, frontal v dorsal, NO SIDES!

            That’s simply not possible in a true-life situation, whether 1st century authentic, or even a realistic or even semi-realistic simulation thereof.

            There would inevitably be contact between linen and sides of the body (if only partial).

            As for a pro-authenticity radiation model, it’s simply not conceivable that selfie-capturing radiation, even if supernatural, would be emitted exclusively vertically upwards or downwards, allegedly aligned with the weak force of gravity, with no sideways leakage.

            In short, the imprinting of front and back, NO SIDES, points to a HIGHLY IDEALIZED simulation, aka cartoon-like forgery.

            Late insertion: on second thoughts: make that “shadow-” or “silhouette-like”.

            Why? Because the crucial aim, as perceived through medieval eyes, was to make the image on Joseph of Artimathea’s linen instantly recognizable as that of the newly crucified Jesus, deposited immediately into the up-and-over linen, no lateral wrap-around whatsoever.

            Thus the double body image, head-to-head.

            Thus the image without sides, recognizable IMMEDIATELY as an imprint (not painting) , i.e. tone reversed ‘negative’.

            Any intrusion of the sides of the body would have detracted visually from the intended “first impression” , one of of majestic simplicity in death repose (albeit a simple comprehensible imprint , front and back, onto a simple one-piece sheet of ‘impromptu’ linen delivered to a cross to envelop a naked tortured body with honour and dignity) with no immediate thought as to what would follow in terms of permanent burial clothes.

            This highly simplified idealized modelling as regards J of A’s linen was based on just the first 3 books of the Gospels, which pro-authenticity sindonologists studiously ignore. I say one needs to ignore the account in the 4th Gospel according to John, one which makes no reference to the initial deposition of the body from cross to tomb, treating J of A’s linen as if THE intended burial clothes.

            I trust that helps to crystallize my views, Stacey, based on some 6 years and more of fairly continuous study and hands-on research.

          • Cleaning going poorly. Cannot even manage to get crayon markings of walls – will have to wait for my own “science bod” to get back from the store! Thanks for the post. I put “no side image” in my spreadsheet as something I didn’t know what to do with. Your ideas make sense, but playing Devil’s Advocate (each side should be treated equally…) did anybody on the “other blog” or elsewhere present any counter point to this? I listed points like this as “pivotal” – as in the whole thing comes crashing down if you don’t buy this 1 point.

  5. Colin Berry says:

    Quick reply to the part of your comment re ‘atheist’ Stacey (whatever that term may or may not imply).

    I placed some thoughts re the term “atheist” on the internationalsceptics forum site, some 18 months ago, under the username ‘meccanoman’.

    “Shabby linguistic invention” as a description of “atheist” was what I said for starters.

    That view was reinforced a week or so again, on seeing the President of STERA (Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association) instantly deploy the A word as a term of abuse, being his attempt to dismiss the scientific modelling of one of the authors (Prof. Luigi Garlaschelli, Pavia University ) of the blood pattern on the TS. (Science, let’s not forget is essentially about modelling, be it relevant and/or valid).

    Did the Journal of Forensic Science ask the two authors to state their religious/non- religious credentials before considering their paper for publication? I doubt it somehow.

    So why is Barrie M.Schwortz using the term “atheist” as an instant pejorative put-down?

    Self-styled President of the “Shroud of Turin EDUCATION and RESEARCH Association”?

    The man may be the greatest globe-trotting speaker and personality on the planet, but is a self-aggrandising puffed-up nobody in scientific terms. He should have stuck to his role as STURP’s “Documenting Photographer”.

    • My question was sincere, and has little to do with science. I like Barrie – he is is a kind man, who works very hard, and believes very firmly in his cause, and so I will be frank that I don’t want to take any part in disparaging him. Colin, people like to know a little bit about people they deal with online. Maybe I should have asked what you like to eat for breakfast instead. Your religious views do in fact weigh in here, as they make it easier to understand why you devote so much time to the Shroud. You could be a practicing Christian who feels placing faith in this relic is terribly misguided. To repond like this is parsing minutiae – and I asked in a polite manner, with no ill intent. You have figured prominently in Shroud discussion online, and you’ve been painted as an anti-religious person in some posts, which is why I thought it might be to ask you on a forthright mannner. My bad.

      • Colin Berry says:

        “I don’t want to take any part in disparaging him.”

        I was recently described, yet again, by STERA’s President of mounting ‘ad hominem’ attacks on defenders of Shroud authenticity (his STURP team members especially).

        Why? Because of my disparaging their so-called science (nothing personal you realize).

        One cannot do science without disparging those who depart from strict scientific standards (like adopting a position that defends their mistaken so-called “science” or in some cases, preconceived agenda-driven notions , failing to submit them to critical testing).

        Kindly let’s keep personal beliefs and quirks of human nature out of the debate please, unless they have a strict bearing on the science. I try wherever possible to argue my case entirely within a framework of facts and interpretation of those facts.

        You said earlier you did not understand my “sweat imprint” interpretation of the TS, Stacey. I did consider referring you to my site banner, showing how a modelled sweat imprint – even while still wet – was both a tone-reversed photograph-like negative AND responded well to modern 3D-enhancing software – i.e Shroud-like despite having no ‘encoded’ information).

        But I then got to wondering why I had not succeeded in getting my message across to you Stacey, despite no obvious lack of intelligence on your part.

        I then had an idea. I read off your response to my wife, and asked if she would be willing (as a linguist, as it happens, not a scientist) to explain my views to another non-scientist. She has agreed to do so quite soon!

        Watch this space (in the next few days she says)!

      • I look forward to reading your wife’s write up. I do think you underestimate the human component here, but if you don’t want to to state your personal beliefs that is ok – it is, after all, very personal. But I found it easier to understand why you’d want to correct the perception that celiac is the result of an autoimmune condition, then why you are determined to prove the Shroud is fake. So you shall remain a mystery to me.

        Back to science, do you know if any pathologist other than Baden ever said the forensic aspect of the image looked fraudulent? As Zugibe and Bucklin were very religious (ah you see it can factor in…) – I would vastly prefer to see the opionion of a secular pathologist.

        • Colin Berry says:

          The opinion of pathologists – no matter how eminent – is totally irrelevant. If one can’t say for sure how the negative image was formed (in Robert Bucklin’s case treating it uncritically as if a 19th/20th century autopsy photograph, and bizarrely equating those bloodstains as if imprinted tissue-damaging “wounds”) then one is entitled to say, as I do, “less of the hype please, less of the pseudoscience, less of the sham make-believe pathology thank you – let’s be hearing- and seeing- the science”.

          ” … why you are determined to prove the Shroud is fake. So you shall remain a mystery to me”

          But the Shroud is almost certainly a fake. The radiocarbon dating showed the snipped-off corner sample to be of medieval provenance. If you and other pro-authenticity advocates believe otherwise, then press for a repeat dating, sampling from a greater number of sites. No need for scissors: Remove just a few isolated threads here and there rather than whole squares of fabric so as to preserve appearances. (I’m told the technology has improved since 1988, allowing use of individual threads).

          • “If you and other pro-authenticity advocates believe otherwise”

            If I were such an advocate it’s not very logical I would choose this blog to help build my case. See the only statement on the church event website that I authored in my own voice:

            And as someobody who just spent a couple of weeks parsing data by over 1300 posters on various blogs, many of you have studied the Shroud data extensively, and debated almost ad naseum. But what I have studied, through this process, is the posters. Their voices. Their arguments. What has each actually contributed?

            Will be back in a few days then to see your wife’s description – the chemistry jargon is the real stumbling block for those of us who do not have any background in that area. And remember to include how the blood was added if you can (and if you buy that there is blood?).

  6. Colin Berry says:

    I too will hold off, Stacey, until my wife has given her account in plain simple language of my “simulated sweat imprint” narrative without any further input from me.

    Please don’t expect her to comment on the blood as well. That was not part of the original request.

    In fact I gave a brief account of my current views re the bloodstains as a comment on the previous posting, saying how they were maybe acquired in two stages. That was an attempt to incorporate both Adler and Heller’s “blood before image” time-sequence and the recent finding from Lucotte in Paris of red clay particles accompanying blood (or “blood”). Here’s a link to the comment.

    You’ll need to be patient while it takes you first to the posting itself and then slowly and hesitatingly disgorges the comment – at least on my groaning memory-depleted laptop.

    • thank you and I look forward to her post.

      • Colin Berry says:

        Here’s my wife’s response, Stacey – italics- with no input whatsoever from myself:

        Had it been a comment on another site, my Scottish-born wife says she would have chosen the username “Presbyterian”.. That gives a clue as to her religious persuasion – at least via Glasgow/Aberdeen upbringing…

        I don’t suppose you have read Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” – the Middle English is quite difficult to read but there are Modern English versions available. Quite a few of the characters such as the Summoner, the Pardoner, the Friar and others are in the religious life and the corruption of the Church and many of its servants is demonstrated. They are happy to fabricate religious relics and pass them off to innocent believers. It is obvious that this is what has happened in the case of the Turin Shroud.

        The carbon dating proved beyond doubt that the Shroud is a 14th century artefact. Certain self-styled sindonologists refuse to accept this and their “ad hominem” attacks on the integrity of the three separate laboratories which carried out the testing mean that these characters are lucky not to be facing xxxxxxxxxx.# It is therefore fascinating to work out how the image on the shroud was produced, given the restricted range of materials available. My husband’s work on reproducing the image is painstaking and convincing. The Veil of Veronica and the Sudarium of Oviedo are examples of similar fake relics which brought money in from pilgrims. The Bishop Pierre d’Arcis stated in 1389 in a drafted letter to the Pope that his predecessor Bishop Henri de Poitiers had affirmed that the Shroud was a fake.

        All the hot air and false details emanating from such gatherings as that held in a large shed in Pasco last year are designed to convince innocent believers that the Shroud is the real thing. Various academics are puffed up to be “world experts” in blood and so on, when such is not the case. Not dissimilar from the trickery that the medieval con men used with tales of their invented travels to Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and other shrines in search of “relics”.

        As a Christian I would have been delighted had the carbon dating proved that the Shroud of Turin was the genuine article. As an intelligent graduate I am sickened by the deceptions practised by the self-styled sindonologists. (Interesting that so many of them are American.) I am sure that even a signed statement from the Almighty testifying that the shroud is a fake produced by the God-given skill of medieval monks would not convince them

        # am testing removal of term deployed by my spouse (reason withheld for time being)

        I’m pleased that she shares my views regarding the over-hyping of the scanty data pertaining to the so-called Shroud of Turin.

        I say it’s a fake (albeit an exceedingly clever one);

        • Mr. and Mrs. Berry – thank you both so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts. With a very heavy heart I admit that much of it seems to be supported by the balance of what I’ve read in the last 6 weeks or so since I began my project. Prior to that, I had thought the evidence was supposed to be a lock! I know people want something to believe in, but using tactics more akin to an illusionist as we saw in our own church recently only leads people to develop even more doubt down the road, and will drive people away from faith, not towards it.

          Thank you both, I wish it were different. While I may leave the Shroud behind for a while, I’ll stop by the blog from time to time to see what all Colin is posting, as I admire his effort to put his time and energy where his ideas are, and even my kids have been interested in hearing about his efforts. So keep it up 🙂 Many blessings to you all and your family.

          • Colin Berry says:

            Thanks from both of us for your kind and appreciative words Stacey.

            Yes, one does one’s modest best to separate fact from fancy, truth from fiction, especially when it concerns an artefact that is rarely out the headlines for more than a few months at a time.

            Best of luck with your own varied endeavours – whether as part of your Anchorage church or breadwinning pursuits. I’ll be looking in on that website etc of yours from time to time.

            Keep an eye on this thread for the next day or two. I shall try to summarise as briefly and simply as possible the two main claims from Sindonology:

            First: that the Shroud has defied all attempts to account for its features, requiring recourse to supernatural intervention of some kind.

            Second: any attempt to create a facsimile Shroud is doomed to failure, even with the most advanced modern technology, far less the more basic medieval variety.

            Kind regards

            Colin Berry

          • Hello again! If you encounter a slow news day, you could take a look at the “blog” page I put up on the site. A bit rambling, (not so easy to be pithy, lol), and does have my own bent which is different from yours. I did spend some time today looking through the old Pray Codex threads, and after seeing Hugh’s color coded image for the BSTS, I don’t see how anybody could see that L as proof of anything! Your comments there were spot on.

            So while jogging today, I thought “gosh too bad Colin Berry isn’t an autism researcher”. The best scientists can tell me about why my adorable near 6 yr old cannot speak, is that it’s a mystery. But I think if we had 10 Colin Berry’s on it, we’d already have a treatment.

  7. Colin Berry says:

    We had a slow-to-speak member of the family some 40 years ago, saying scarcely a recognizable word up to age 5. There was no magic wand, despite calling on speech therapy services. One just had to be patient. Decades on, one would not know that the individual in question had been slow-off-the-mark.

    Did you see this recent article?

    Don’t say train – say choo-choo! Sounds like good commonsense to me (wishing I’d been told that all those years ago).

  8. Colin Berry says:

    Even with that uncomfortable age 8/9 deadline getting closer by the day, I’m sure you will hit on a solution, Stacey, given your focus and persistence.

    I like to think that focus and persistence will finally work for me as well, on the Shroud, Stonehenge, Silbury Hill etc. But it’s a lonely undertaking, given all the indifference and/or made-up minds out there (which is why your appearance on this site has come as a welcome breath of fresh air).

    I wish you and your family well in the future, in all your various challenges and endeavours.

    • Thanks Colin, it has been lovely to have somebody to talk to who uses their mind so much! Ha! They say humans use some 10% of their brains, but it seems to me so many are using less. I am trying to refocus on my app development, so I’m going to leave the summer’s research project behind. But this blog is the one thing I’ll keep checking 🙂 And take heart to know that one Alaskan family enjoys reading about you, your experiments, and your life. We’d even love more pictures of where you live – looks like you are on the water.

      best wishes to you and the Mrs (I also hope there are some grandkids running around there).

      • Colin Berry says:

        I’m glad you mentioned the brain, Stacey. I believe all good science should start with a hypothesis, and not necessarily one in which one has reasonable certainty. Yes, there’s even a place for occasional wild hunches! Why? Because the next step is to try ruthlessly demolishing one’s own hypotheses, i.e. playing one’s own Devil’s Advocate. Even if one succeeds in doing so i.e. disproving one’s own hunch, as happens 9 times out of 10 (for me at any rate) there’s invariably those chance findings, aka spin-off, that assist one in framing new and better hypotheses. (I checked out and discarded 9 hypotheses for the Turin Shroud before settling on my Model 10!)

        You mentioned earlier another mystery – that of the autistic condition, one that seems to lie somewhere between inheritance and early environment. I could give you a wild hunch which I suspect is totally original, barmy some might say. But it’s testable, at least in principle, and what’s more involves testing at what I consider a crucial stage – that of weaning off breast or even cow’s milk onto an entirely new and challenging somewhat alien “grown up” diet.

        It’s an extension of the much ridiculed theory proposed centuries ago by early embryologists – namely recapitulation.

        It was assumed that all the stages of recapitulation (if real) occurred in the womb. But what if there’s a tiny final stage that is postponed until post-childbirth, and indeed post breast-feeding or other milk-feeding, when the protection of both the toxin-filtering placenta and mammary gland is lost. Suppose there’s a final crucial step in the recapitulation process that is highly vulnerable at the weaning stage. Who’s to say that fried bacon, say, and its mutagenic nitrites and nitrosamines is not the trigger that stops recapitulation in its tracks, preventing end-stage development of the fully-evolved human psyche?

        What’s needed in my humble view are more controlled weaning trials in which specified foods are strictly excluded from the infant’s diet. MIght omission of certain foods reduce autism incidence to near-zero, regardless of genetic predisposition etc?

        OK, I’m not proposing a cure, sad to say, not yet at any rate (though future gene-editing might offer hope). But prevention they say is better than cure…

        Oh, btw, that picture of me with a strip of water in the background was taken at a relative’s house, which looks out over the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. My home town doesn’t even have a decent river to its name (but has a great paddling pool for the children and grandchildren – I have 3 of the latter, with another on the way…).

        PS: It was most gratifying this morning, one day after posting the above idea, to enter (autism link early weaning) into my search engine and find there are indeed several existing studies that support the hunch.

        I can think of several reasons why evolution has postponed a stage of human brain development to ages 2 or 3, e.g. to remodel certain neurones that wipe out memories that one does not want to carry into later life, like memories of childbirth, of having no control over bowel or bladder, like crawling on all fours instead of walking upright (and considering that a continuing option) like crying when one wants attention etc etc. But that final stage probably involves a degree of gene modification, when the old or new DNA is somewhat vulnerable to external toxins, notably those in the weaning diet…

        Yes, a highly critical look needs to be taken at the weaning diet. Certain foods may not be as harmeless as we might think at so highly vulnerable a stage of (late) neural development, coinciding with shift from babe-in-arns to more independent toddler, acquisition of speech, “personality” etc….

        • Hello Colin – sorry, have family coming to town and house looks as if a tornado has gone through it, will be cleaning for days to come, so may not be online much!

          Interesting about the weaning, I don’t eat meat so bacon won’t be the culprit 🙂 – but she didn’t wean for 2 years, which is way longer than the other 2, the previous having weaned at 8 months.

          Glad to hear about the little ones, best wishes for a good birth on the next one – those can be tricky at times! Be back when house is under control!

  9. Colin Berry says:

    Yes, the absence of any imprinting of body sides is I believe pivotal, Stacey, absolutely pivotal.

    Look at the early literature coming from STURP leader (John Jackson) and others, and you will see an attempt on their part to dismiss out of hand direct contact imprinting based it was claimed on the absence of lateral (‘wrap around’) distortion. That was totally (and conveniently) ignoring the fact that the Shroud body image has NO imprinting of body sides whatsoever. So it’s hardly surprising there’s no lateral wrap-around distortion!

    In short, our rascally medieval modellers would have decided that lateral imaging, while realistic, would have made for a confusing and/or distorted image.

    Solution? Omit to imprint the sides altogether. Instead, solemnly inform those wide-eyed pilgrims that J of A’s linen, deployed in taut ‘stretcher’ mode en route from cross to tomb, would not have made contact with the sides of the body! Thus the simplicity of the ‘double body image’ – front v back only, no problematical sides.

    Where there’s a will (and huge gobs of money to be made) there’s a way…

    • Good afternoon Colin! So I was thinking about this last night, trying to understand why all those guys like Jackson would have overlooked such a seemingly simple (& pivotal!) point.. I mean shouldn’t this fact alone have made it obvious that the image couldn’t be a full body wrap – right? I didn’t have time yet to research this point – to understand why they thought they could discount it, I’d have to dig in and check all over to see what they’ve said. I buy that your point sounds right; but I’m still perplexed how they could have overlooked it!

      • I have no clue what this paper is saying – will try to find a layman’s view on why the image has no sides!

        • I have also looked through this one to see if he offers an explanation for why there are no images on the sides. – while I only skimmed the article & conclusions, I can’t find where or if he addresses this issue.

        • Colin Berry says:

          Hello again Stacey.

          Wow! I admire your focus – and ability to home in on key essentials – even if finding some of the published work – that of John Jackson’s especially – somewhat intimidating (don’t we all!)

          Let me just say this for now. My own approach is slow and methodical, because I start with the physical modelling, like imprinting by contact off 3D templates – comparing what I see with the Shroud’s extraordinary 2D-looking imprints – front, rear, no sides – essentially ‘cardboard cut-outs’ and asking why, and how such a bizarre outcome was obtained.

          Example from Jan 2016 (no, not the easiest of my postings to read):

          From that came supplementary physical modelling data to back up a hyopothesis acquired via entrirely different thinking (historical, pyschological etc) namely that the TS body image was conceived to back up a supposed – and mischievous – claim on the part of the Lirey custodians that the TS image was an age-yellowed sweat imprint, with additional blood in all the ‘right places’ to identify it unequivocally as that of the newly crucified Jesus.

          That quoted posting threw up all kinds of unexpected subtleties that challenged some of the earlier canards from John Jackson and others that contact-imaging could be dismissed out of hand due to alleged lateral distortion – i.e. that one cannot get a realistic non-distorted outcome if imprinting off a 3D template (human or inanimate).

          But one can – as I showed first using a plastic toy! What’s more, while using my Model 10 flour-imprinting technique, I dusted the toy all over before imprinting (not deploying my customary technique of dusting from above only so as to account for the “vertical directionality” that led John Jackson and others down that extraordinary path (made ‘respectable’ via mathematical modelling) that their resurrectional radiation was constrained to act in a vertical directiions only – up or down only, never sideways – e.g. never perpendicular to the body contours as might seem more probable (?) if entertaining notions of supernatural emission from an exceptional individual.

          I believe it’s time to blow the whistle on John Jackson’s mathematical modelling. It fits the analogy I quoted earlier – where one starts by tossing the dart, and then proceeds to draw the darts board around it, with the point of contact being, guess where?- the desired bullseye!

          Sorry, that ain’t science. That is galloping pseudoscience, which needs to be roundly condemned for what it is – gross misuse of the scientific method (aided by mathematical so-called modelling) to support, allegedly document and indeed proselytize religious preconceptions.

          The idea of Resurrection may be right, or it may be wrong, but using a 2D image of near-cartoon like simplicity (relying on modern computer software to endow it with largely artefactual 3D proeprties) – almost certainly of medieval origin- to bring pseudoscience in via the backdoor is frankly unacceptable – especially when that kind of fantasising dominates the newspaper headlines at least once a year, sometimes more.

          I’ll be taking take a closer look today at the Jackson paper you link to, and pull out a few sentences, ones that attempt to pinpoint precisely where the liberties have been taken. (I’ll take another look at Mario L’s paper later).

          • Hello Colin – thanks for the kind words, I only wish I could really read those papers with a good understanding of what their proofs are. I came up blank on Dan’s blog trying to find a “side image” thread, so those are really all I found. I look forward to seeing what you think.

  10. Colin Berry says:

    I was on Dan’s site, admittedly on and off, from Jan 2012 to Dec 2015, i.e. 4 whole years, reading and contributing to vast numbers of postings and comments.

    But I only once recall any reference to the otherwise extraordinary absence of sides to the body image. Somebody, I’ve forgotten who, carefully explained why. They took the account from the Gospel according to St.John (that hundred pound weight of myrrh and aloes, and how “took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of Jew is to bury”).

    Yup, it was bulky “spices” packed around the sides of the body, held in place by wound-around linen that kept the sides free from linen. End of story, right?

    But as I said earlier, I believe there’s a blind spot being shown for the accounts in the first 3 Gospels which flag up – or should do – an entirely different imprinting mechanism – one that occurred before arrival at the tomb, one that fits better with a single sheet of up-and-over linen, deployed as a stretcher for temporary concealment and transport.

    The John version is being seen, rightly or wrongly as being post-changeover (?) to acquisition of formal burial clothes, ones that were wound around to permit packing with those bulky “spices”.

    It’s incredible when one stands back and takes a long hard look, viz. that the two most peculiar features of the TS body image – its uncompromisingly 2D (“cardboard cut-out”) and negative tone-reversed character – receive scarcely any mention in the pro-authenticity literature. You too Stacey have been unable to find anything substantial on the lack of sides, except for Jackson’s theoretical refuge in amazingly well-behaved radiation. What’s more, you’ll find scarcely a mention given to the highly atypical negative image (at least in ‘artistic’ terms) except to assume that it implies some kind of auto-photography, largely ignoring the other explanation for tone-reversed image, namely imprinting via physical contact.

    “Sindonological” research? More like: “SIN! DO NO LOGICAL” research! 😉

    Simply select or seek out the evidence that backs up one’s preconceptions, that aids one’s missionary zeal…

    I can model a facsimile image of sorts that ticks any number of boxes, merely using sprinkled dry flour, maybe some flour slurry too (face?) etc. Can sindonology do the same?

    Has it succeeded with pulsed laser beams? No, all we have is a brown discolored patch on linen, with no accompanying chemistry worth speaking of.

    Can John Jackson model the image with his special radiation? First he has to generate some kind of energetic radiation that only ever moves up and down, never sideways. (For that I wish him luck – but also wish he’d get a move on – none of us are getting any younger…)

    • I wish I could understand Mario Latendresse’s paper better, maybe I can take it one chunk at a time. I haven’t read all through his thread in my database app – but my view of him so far is that he’s more balanced than many, and uses a pretty scientific approach. While I don’t buy his arguments about the Pray Manuscript, I’ve seen comments by him that indicate he approaches the Shroud in an evidence based manner. I appreciate your passion Colin but it’s not really fair to group all sindonologists together. Some are far more biased than others.

      Even Kelly Kearse who certainly wants the Shroud to be real, has written pdfs critical of AB and even human blood conclusions – and urges others to view each piece of evidence on its own merit, and through a non religious lens. There are others in the DB who are also cautious and somewhat skeptic of many points, despite the fact that they do hope in fact that the evidence ends up panning out in favor of authenticity. I know you’ve gone back and forth with Yannick plenty – but you also know that Yannick doesn’t buy the Wilson “Image of Edessa” theory – among other things that he has researched and shot down. While we both know where his passion lies, he has put a lot of time into researching his own theories, and it’s not fair to write off all his efforts as completely 1 sided.

      It’s still quite incredible that if the “no image on sides” is in fact a disqualifying point, all of these people could have been too stupid to make that connection. I don’t really buy that. There must be somebody someplace that has put forth an explanation that they are buying into (kind of like the “image first” idea that I am not even remotely qualified to opine on, but it does appear that everybody just accepts this because STURP said it was true, and in fact may all rest on just 1 finding – I could be wrong here though).

      I will have to keep researching when I have time!

      • Colin Berry says:


        You asked me to supply my chief reasons for rejecting the authenticity of the Shroud. I did so, supplying a single reason. It was not off the top of my head, nor was it a reason I’d have given at the outset of my hands-on experimentation, back in December 2011. It’s a reason based on some 6 years of that hands-on modelling of images, from Model 1 (thermostencilling with incident radiation) through Model 2 (scorching off hot metal onto linen), Model 3 (same but sensitized linen, notably with added white flour) through to current Model 10.

        I’ve done experiments that pro-authenticity sindonologists have never done, and indeed would, for the most part, never dream of doing, given their outright rejection of the radiocarbon dating and with it, any idea of medieval forgery.

        And what’s your response to my current position re authenticity? That it’s scarcely credible because no one else has said it previously?

        No one else has done my programme of experimentation over 6 years and more, driven I might say less by “passion” as you put it, more by a loathing of the partisan, one-sided so-called scholarship and pseudoscience that accounts for 90% or more of the sindonological literature.

        See my sciencebuzz site for proof of the breadth of my interest in matters to do with science v pseudoscience.

        That generalized focus goes way, way beyond the Turin Shroud. The latter is merely a glaring instance of untrammelled preconception-driven pseudoscience (90+% of the time), an ever-present highly visible boil on mass media reporting.

        Sorry, Stacey, but if you think you can judge and seemingly dismiss my ideas because they are entirely original, and in your estimation oddball, through not having been previously flagged up by your platitude-mouthing worthies of the sindonological literature, then you are on the wrong site.

        Have you never heard of the Star Trek principle: “Going boldly where no man has gone before…” ?

        That is what we scientists do. We go boldly – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – where no man (or woman) has gone before.

        Sindonologists for the most part are NOT scientists. Sindonologists generally haven’t the first clue as to how real science operates – or if they do want nothing to do with it…

        PS : Kelly Kearse’s posting on AB blood went up on Dan Porter’s site on Feb 16, 2012. Who was the very first under Comments to congratulate him?


        February 16, 2012 at 4:30 am
        Splendid account Kelly – a model of precision and clarity …

        Stacey’s attempt to portray me as someone who fails to see merit in anything and everything written by those sindonologists who are pro-authenticity – the vast majority – is frankly unsupported by the evidence. I commend all good science whenever I see it, and will continue to do so. Shame there’s so little of it one can single out for praise.

        Mario Latendresse? He gave us the indispensable Shroud Scope of which I’ve bveen fulsome in my praise (shame though about the lack of contrast and associated loss of colour discrimination between blood and body image).

        Others (Yannick Clement etc)? If I’d known they were Stacey’s knights in shining armour, I’d have offered a few words by way of summary, partly positive, largely negative.

        Silly me for thinking Stacey’s interest in parachuting in here recently was to elicit an update on MY ideas, MY current thinking, expressed here on MY blog… 😦

      • Hello Colin – still doing a lot of running around so no time for big reply… but no reason for OUCH! Often posts sound different than one intends (and harsher…) – I think you may in fact be 100% correct – I just need to verify it somewhat through researching counter arguments others have made, and trying to make sense of them. I know you’ve been treated badly by some, and underappreciated as well. You’re at your best avoiding the personal junk though, and going through your logical points 1 by 1. I don’t dismiss any of your ideas. In fact this blog is currently my only daily read 🙂

        • by “personal junk” I mean the jabs at the sindonologist folks.

          • Colin Berry says:

            I will continue to respond to technical points that are put to me Stacey, especially concerning the importance I now place on “lack of sides” as evidence for 14th century forgery, and indeed evidence against 1st century authenticity.

            But one thing I will not tolerate, here on my own website, are attempts to create a non-level playing field, which is what I believe you are now attempting to do – in a very skilful and, dare I say, somewhat unsettling manner.

            Given that none of my thinking OR experimental data have been flagged up on any of the other Shroud-centred sites (not since Hugh Farey’s brief summary of my pre-Model 10 thinking in June 2015 when Editor of the BSTS Newsletter), nor conference presentatiions e.g. Pasco 2017, nor published papers or newspaper articles, and given their overwhelming pro-authenticity bias, AND anti-sceptic stance, I now feel fully entitled to be as scathing as I wish about mainstream so-called sindonology.

            Mainstream sindonology is for the most part a perversion of both science and scholarship which I shall continue to trumpet loudly and clearly until such a time as mainstream sindonology begins to display a good old-fashioned sense of BALANCE and FAIR PLAY and put its own house in order.

            If you cannot tolerate me for what I am, warts an’all, Stacey, namely an aggrieved scientist treated as a non-person – certainly post Dec 15 (post shroudstory shutdown) – and indeed much earlier – then please don’t be surprised or offended if further comments from you go unanswered.

            I’m only here for the science (and for whistle-blowing as and when I spot each new instance of pseudoscience).

          • Weird. I thought I was here to help.

            good luck and best wishes.

  11. Colin Berry says:

    Note added Wed Aug 22: the following long, LONG comment has just this minute been promoted to a full posting, minus the odd sentence or two.

    The posting has been introduced with the following (shown here in italics):

    This posting is a cut-and-paste from the  Comments section of the previous posting.  It evolved over several days as a considered response to a question put to me by a first-time visitor to this site – Stacey Reiman of Anchorage, Alaska.  It was clearly not the answer she was expecting  on account of its focus on a single (much neglected in my view) feature of the Shroud body image – namely the lack of sides. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

    OK, let’s leave the politics to those who care about such things, and return to the science.

    Beware: this comment is LONG!

    Here in brief outline is why I consider the absence of sides to the body image (i.e. frontal v dorsal images only) to essentially rule out authenticity.

    1. Imaging of frontal and rear sides only (no sides) is easily modelled using a variety of templates, human or inanimate. See numerous postings on this site, using plastic toys of differing size (up to approx half human scale), my hand, my face etc etc.

    The early claims from Jackson and others that imprints taken from 3D objects show grotesque lateral distortion simply have not been encountered, and for very good reasons (the linen is not allowed or able to make contact with the sides, either through placing the recumbent subject on a flat surface – which prevents linen from draping vertically down the ‘falling-away- sides’ of the subject – or by selective application of an imprinting medium – painted (liquid) or sprinkled (solid) on the frontal v dorsal surfaces only, not on the sides).

    2. Imprinting via obligatory physical contact makes sense in a biblical context, whether real or medieval simulation, if one imagines Joseph of Arimathea’s linen used as a transport stretcher, as indeed displayed in much early art (“Deposition from the Cross”) . The use of “fine linen” (upmarket herringbone twill) makes sense in the transport situation where the body is still visible to spectators, needing discreet concealment, buit arguably less so in the context of later burial shroud, especially if the latter was a ‘winding cloth’ as per Gospel according to John.

    3. Claims that imaging by contact should not be entertained due to claimed imaging across air gaps – provided those gaps are no greater than 4cm approx – involve modelling in a pro-authenticity context, one where linen is draped loosely over a recumbent body. They do not do proper justice to a medieval forgery scenario, one in which linen is manually pressed into the recessed parts of the body as well. There are other reasons too that can be adduced in the context of forgery where there can be conscious control over what is to be imaged versus what is not, either through choice of locations as to where or where not imprinting medium is to applied (or not applied) , or through use of a brush post-imprinting, loaded or unloaded with imprinting medium, to supplement or even remove the latter prior to final colour development (by whatever means, thermal, chemical or both).

    4. Attempts to account for lack of sides in terms of ‘imaging via radiation’ , with the qualifying assumption that the radiation is only able to travel vertically from subject to linen (i.e aligned with gravity) are simply unscientific, as is any subsequent ‘mathematical’ modelling of such gravity-constrained radiation. Gravity is far too weak to affect any conceivable kind of electromagnetic radiation, especially radiation energetic enough to chemically modify linen carbohydrates so as to leave a yellow image.

    5. The commonsensical interpretation of a faint negative (tone-reversed) image, deposited along with fresh-looking bloodstains on linen, is a SWEAT IMPRINT from contact with a naked body, whether in an authentic scenario or medieval simulation thereof. The imprint may be near-invisible initially, but have become yellowed and thus more visible with centuries of ageing.

    6. STURP team members ruled out sweat-imprinting in an authentic context through inability to see any signs of liquid capillary spread in the linen fibres. But if John Heller’s account is anything to go by, there was no consideration given to a medieval forgery scenario, one that merely SIMULATED an aged sweat imprint, without needing to deploy artificial “sweat” or indeed any kind of liquid. Anything that left a final faint yellow stain on the linen would have sufficed: that could have involved use of a solid, as distinct from liquid imprinting medium. I have obtained Shroud-like imprints via solid flour dust imprinting onto wet linen, followed by thermal or chemical development to convert the Stage 1 flour imprint to Stage 2 faint yellow or yellow-brown stain, especially convincing after a final wash with soap and water to remove surface encrustation, leaving just faint yellow residue, presumably solid (microparticulate) polymeric Maillard products ( aka melanoidins, using the inspired Ray Rogers’ nomenclature).

    7. Alleged 3D properties of the Shroud body image are a total irrelevance. My flour imprints also show 3D response in appropriate 3D-rendering software, as indeed do virtually any imprints, including those with no 3D history whatsoever. It is the software that produces the 3D effect, largely artefactual (which is not to say that imprinting off a 3D template does not produce additional subtleties in the “3D” rendering as is only to be expected (through better imprinting of more raised superficial contours than ones that are semi-recessed, but still amenable to the probing pressure-applying fingers of a medieval artisan engaged on contact- imprinting).

    8. Real or simulated imprint?
    The absence of any hint of sides (including top of head – which is also a “side” in a manner of speaking – is strongly suggestive of medieval simulation, rather than real 1st century “accidental” imprinting. Why?

    Consider absence of top of head first. Suppose the top of head had been imaged. Yes, fine for authenticity, but think how that would look in practice – with two heads fused together, making them look less like separate views of the same head at least at first sight. So a decision was made to leave the top of head from the imprint making it an easier-to-interpret ‘double-body- imprint’. Few medieval pilgrims would have bothered to inquire anyway, one suspects, and had they done so, been given some kind of pat, pre-prepared answer that would have allayed suspicions of forgery.

    So why the absence of any hint of sides for the rest of the body, making the image less like that of an easy-on-the-eye painting, and more viewer-unfriendly by virtue of the tone-reversed negative character? Answer: because the image had to be INSTANTLY recognizable as a crude unflattering IMPRINT, not a meticulously-executed medieval painting (Charles Freeman please note!)

    But imprints, well-defined ones at any rate, are created by application of PRESSURE . It is that pressure that gives/generates the severe cut -off between horizontal and vertical planes, i.e a clear demarcation that eliminates the impression of life-like roundedness at the edge of an image of face or body. Put more simply, the TS body image is more comparable to that of a line cartoon ( albeit with solid colour infill) than is the case with the softer edge of a modern-day photograph (or arguably most paintings) where the meeting point between horizontal and vertical planes is more blurred, i.e with a transition zone that is neither obviously horizontal nor turned-through- 90 degrees- vertical.
    ( Yes, this passage is of necessity ‘wordy’, attempting as it does to distinguish between two kinds of image – one that is simple and idealized – ‘cardboard cut-out like’ and another which supplies hints to real-life 3d-ness through deliberate avoidance of abrupt transitions between one relief plane and another – keeping an essential ‘soft fuzzy edge’.

    But it attempts, successfully or otherwise, to convey the reason for regarding the no-sides TS body image as both deliberately-intended and subsequently engineered – in order to convey an INSTANT impression of, guess what? – yes, forceful IMPRESSION. But while manual pressure is/was used in a forgery workshop to generate the imprint-like character, that was not the conclusion that those artisans wished the medieval pilgrim to imagine. Oh no. The applied impression was not from applied manual pressure. It was from the force of GRAVITY acting on linen from the WEIGHT of a body suspended/supported in a linen stretcher.

    But hold on a minute. That body weight can be easily grasped as sufficient to generate the dorsal image. But what about the ventral image, where there’s no force of gravity worth speaking of – merely the weight f the linen? Doesn’t that invite expressions of doubt that the double body image was acquired ‘accidentally’ during 1st century transport between cross and tomb? How does one explain away a ventral imprint that is for all intents and purposes of approx the same level of image intensity? Should it not have been made less intense, i.e. by medieval artisans applying less pressure, or less imprinting medium?

    There is no simple answer to that question, none at any rate that I can think off. No doubt the radiation-invokers will have a field day, claimimg that their imaging burst of radiation was the same intensity upwards as well as downwards.

    9. But there is an ‘out’ from this seeming visual illogicality. It’s those scourge marks, allegedly 372 of them, evenly distibuted over the entire body surface, both sides, except for the face. Why so many, one might ask, sufficient surely to cause clinical shock and death even before arrival at the cross? And why are the scourge marks entirely BLOOD imprints, we are told, with no signature whatsoever in the body image?

    Might it be that our medieval forgers made a decision to discard 100% realism re the intensity of the frontal v dorsal body image, given that would have made the less appealing dorsal image more conspicuous than the frontal (it being practically easier to keep both the same, albeit BOTH faint, neither terribly conspicuous). Then create a distraction from the faint body image by adding those 372 scourge marks as images in red blood, distracting from the body image, making it likely that few if any would spot, far less see fit to comment on the equal intensities of the background body images, i.e. ventral v dorsal.

    Put more simply we have a rationale for the arguably excessive number of scourge marks – they serve to distract from one of the several instances of an exercise of ‘artistic licence’, designed to keep the first impression of the TS one in which immediate visual impact and mental challenge are the crucial considerations, even at the expense of strict credibility, as judged through a cold 20th/21st century forensic eye.

    There are other instances one can cite where artistic licence has been given free rein. Examples?

    10. Another instance that can be cited is the imaging of a “neck” joining head and torso. Shoulld it really be there, or not?

    More to follow…

    Expect a further 5 aspects pertinent to “no sides” and “contact imprinting only” to appear soon, on this same comment, under the following topic headings:

    (10- Neck)

    There’s a lot I could say about the neck anomaly, my having flagged it up as a curious and indeed tell-tale feature as far back as Feb 2012 ( re that prominent ‘scorched-on’ crease mark on which sindonology has rarely commented):

    But why bother? Based on past performance these last 6 years and more, sindonolology (as it likes to call itself, as though an academic discipline) won’t bother to respond, certainly not to any points this retired scientist makes. Why not? Because I’m not a member of their ‘secret garden’ see (like that so-called mysterious “Shroud Science Group”” that lurks behind its closed doors….

    Briefly summarised, and put more simply:

    Sindonology, if the truth be told, is a perversion of plain logic, science and scholarship.

    Sindonology frankly SUCKS!

    More to follow (summarily) regarding: :

    11. Feet – differential imprinting re upper v lower surfaces
    12. Closed eyelids
    13. Bony fingers, maybe elongated, maybe not
    14. Head hair, beard, moustache
    15. Nose, reason for exceptional imaging of sides

    I say “summarily”. Why bother with the detail? Detail is wasted on closed ears, closed minds, agenda-driven certainty…

    11. Yes, those feet, with soles of feet part of the body image (plus bloodstains) with scarcely any imaging of the upper sides., Why should that be the case.? Customary answer (pro-authenticity sindonology): it’s the result of rigor mortis causing profound muscle seizure, the soles of the feet being pulled into line with the legs. Leaving aside the improbability of that happening (try doing it voluntarily!) that would surely bring the upper surface into alignment with the shins of the leg too.

    There’s an alternative explanation. Our medieval simulators (aka forgers, fakers etc) wanted to plant an additional visual clue to the use of Joseph of Arimathea’s sheet of fine linen as a stretcher, for which purpose the lower free end of the linen was turned up around the soles of the feet. But the upper surface of the linen failed to make contact with the upper sides of the feet. Why? Because the linen was stretched taut between topsides of ankles and tips of toes, in other words, failing to make contact with the skin.. No contact, no imaging.

    Shhh. Don’t mention the “stretcher” scenario to mainstream sindonologists. They don’t wish to hear any talk of imaging having occurred en route to the tomb. It’s imaging via ‘resurrectional incandescence’ (supernatural radiation) or nothing! Yawn…

    12. Closed eyelids (?)

    I have alreadty shown, contrary to received wisdom, that it’s fully possible to imprint off a real human face, provided one does not mind a nose that is flattened and/or bent to one side as a consequence of applied manual pressure (see this posting). Bu then the nose of the Man in the Shroud IS bent and flattened, is it not, especially apparent in those 3D-renderings?

    But if one did imprint off a real face, there’s another downside: it would be difficult to imprint the eyes/eyelids, given they lie at the bottom of bony hollows . Sure, one could just omit the eye itself, making for an even more realistic “imprinted” look (as distinct from friendlier artistic portrait).

    But my flour-imprinting procedure (“Model 10”) offers a simple solution. After imprinting the face, with empty eye hollows, simply load a brush or even finger with more flour, and dab into the centres of each hollow. Hey presto, one has one’s “eyes”.

    Be warned however – centuries later your makeshift “eyes” will be confidently identified as tiny coins from the Roman era (like 1st century, coinciding with the rule of that Pontius Pilate!). The combination of weave pattern on the linen and pareidolia will provide sufficient evidence of design and lettering to sustain your case at the podium of one sindonological conference after another – yet more ‘compelling’ proof of authenticity… 😉

    13. Ah yes, those peculiar fingers – so spindly, so bony-looking.

    For a 20th century explanation, see the heroic experiment that August Accetta MD did on himself, injecting a gamma-radiation emitter (a short-lived technetium isotope) and capturing an image of himself on sensitive film.

    Might there be a more down-to-earth explanation, like, you know, contact imaging.

    There’s a simpler way of modelling bony-lookign fingers, one that requires no more than a tub of Nutella, as I reported a few years ago.

    Yes, imprinting off the human form works best over bony parts, where the flesh encounters resistance, and is less able to simply absorb and dissipate the applied pressure.

    So the apparent thinness of the fingers, with spaces between them even when the fingers are non-splayed, is easily explained as a predictable consequence of imprinting technology.

    Might those bony fingers have been intended by our medieval simulators to serve as yet another clue for those 14th century pilgrims descending on Lirey that they were looking at aa passive IMPRINT( “a genuine one you understand, dear pilgrim !”) of the crucified Jesus onto J of A’s linen stretcher, NOT a conventional artist’s portrait. (Since when has additional and realistic looking blood been used in portrait-painting?)

    14. Head hair, beard, moustache

    Here’s a 3D-rendering I did some years ago of the Man on the TS using ImageJ software (using carefully chosen settings – normalised against an experimental scorch imprint):

    It’s tone-reversed i.e. negative- to- positive. What’s of special interest is the black region that separates cheeks from hair (which would be white and thus image-free on the initial negative iimage).

    In other words, there’s a lack of continuity between cheeks and hair. So who’s to say that cheeks and hair were not produced at separate imprinting sessions, 1 and 2 ? Might the face have been imprinted first (and if so how?) and the hair, correction “hair”, maybe added later?

    Why do it that way?

    Answer: becaause it’s hard to see how genuine hair can be imprinted, unless there’s something substantially solid behind it, like bone. But that’s hardly the case for hair on the sides of the skull, where the bone is side-on to the hair, not directly behind.

    Tentative conclusion: the “hair at least was not imprinted off a real head of hair. It was imprinted off a bas relief that was placed around the previously-imprinted head. Indeed, the head itself may also have been “fake” , itself another bas relief, as others before me have suggested.

    For now I try to keep an open mind as regards the nature of the head, pre-hair, as to whether real or bas relief. But as indicated i reject the main reason given for a bas relief head, namely that the nose and other facial angularities make it impossible to imprint off a real face.

    Not so. Crucial angularities, like the nose, deform and flatten under applied pressure, features which are said to be discernible also on the real TS. Indeed, they are immediately interpreted by pro-authenticity sindonologists, (or by some at any rate) as evidence of pre-crucifixion torture at the hands of Pontius Pilate’s mocking soldiery.

    Beard? Moustache? One cannot help but wonder if they are created by inexpert dabbing on of additional imprinting medium (e.g. white flour) onto chin and upper lip, given their blotchiness and incompleteness. Indeed, some may be entirely artefactual. I personally acquired a suggestion of beard and moustache after imprinting my face using wet flour slurry, assistaed by a pre-shave stubble which acted as trap for the medium (see the posting).

    15. Nose, commented-upon imprinting of sides of nose especiallly (by Thibault Heimburger and others as evidence against imprinting by contact)

    See my comment from November of last year, following evidence from Gerard Lucotte and his microscopists in Paris for the presence of “osseous remains” (read bone!) on the face of the Man on the TS.

    To summarize: the TS image was intended to be quickly perceived as a body imprint: the combination of fresh-looking bloodstains on a yellowed body image were together intended to signal that the linen was Joseph of Arimathea’s linen, imprinted soon after crucifixion, probably en route from cross to tomb.

    But that description alone does not allow one to say with confidence whether the imagery is authentic 1st century or a medieval simulation thereof. So what does, if anything?

    Answer: it’s the simplification and doctoring that is the giveaway. Simplification? Faint, negative image, front and rear sides of body, not so much as a hint of sides, nor top of head, making for the uncompromising ‘cardboard cut-out’ appearance, intended to signal IMPRINT at very first sight. Yes, first impressions DO count!

    But the imprint had to subtly doctored to render the image a littele more appealing to the eye, less a gross assault on the senses How? By adding a neck, given that would be missing from a simple imprint. Why? Because a detached ‘floating’ head would almost certainly have attracted negative comment, or merely puzzled and confused. Head hair also needed to be added, but again in a manner that could be surmised to have been acquired via imprinting, even if improbable in practical terms. Thus the lank, rigid appearance of the head hair bordering the left and right cheeks.

    The TS image is bwst viewed, then, as a cunning blend of technology (primarily) but tempered here and there with those cosmetic additions. It’s that dual nature, one suspects, essentially a manicured imprint – that explains why the image has defied easy interpretation over so many centuries, and indeed defied the STURP team in 1978, who concluded it was still a mystery.

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