Turin Shroud: think “medieval whole body powder imprint”. STOP PRESS: body image maybe not so superficially photograph-like as claimed!

Preamble (added last): this posting was written as 12 instalments, intending to focus on POWDER imprinting. Suddenly, with the 8th instalment, it transformed into something else  –  a realization that the supposed ultra-superficiality of the TS body image – pointing we’re told to a supernatural origin –  had scarcely a single solid fact to back it up.  It then quickly transpired that my Model 10  – flour imprinting – has the body image somewhere else entirely. 

final pre post zoom

Left: the arrow points to a THREAD that is displaying a cut edge, i.e. much needed transverse section.  Why the speckled appearance?  Right: enlargement, showing that it’s the SCW cores of some but not all  individual FIBRES that contain the  dense pigment, probably  Maillard-derived melanoidin,  the latter possibly having  penetrated via this investigator’s proposed reticular network of capillary channels  existing between the MICROFIBRILS.

No, not on the surface PCW (primary cell wall) but hidden away, out of sight, deep within the  microfibril-packed core of the SCW (secondary cell wall).  Oh dear: has sindonology got it entirely wrong with its ‘out-of-this-world  ultra-superficial’ body image?

I’ve changed the site’s tagline, at least temporarily, to flag up the new insight on Google Search  rankings, which  unhelpfully ignores one’s new posting TITLES,  namely a probable NON-SUPERFICIALITY of the TS body image. The previous one read:

“Time to get real! It’s an ingenious medieval modelling of how a sweat imprint left on an impromptu linen STRETCHER might look after 13 centuries of ageing and yellowing  (+ identifying bloodstains)!

I may or may not re-install it later.


It’s exactly 7 years ago to the day that I produced my first posting on the Shroud of Turin. It was placed on my sciencebuzz site, created some 2 years earlier in 2009.

thermostencilling sciencebuzz dec 30 2011

Thermo-stencilling? What’s that you may ask?  Well, these days it gets scarcely a mention from this blogger, being “Model 1” (my latest – and hopefully final one – being “Model 10”).

Each time I look at Model 1 (thermo-stencilling) I kick myself. Why?  Because the image was drawn freehand with the aid of a  charcoal stick (I later painted with a charcoal slurry in water).  The quickie sketch (or later ‘painting’) was then held close to a source of radiant heat. The latter was preferentially-absorbed by the opaque charcoal, the charcoal heated up, the highly localised heat scorched the linen in immediate contact with the charcoal. Hey presto, a scorched-in image appeared when the thermo-sensitizing charcoal was washed away:

three steps in thermostencilling - Model 1, Dec 2011

Left:  crude charcoal sketch; Centre: sketch held close to incandescent light bulb – deployed as modern day source of radiant heat, more convenient than outdoor barbecue or similar; Right: central part of sketch visible as a scorched-on image after washing out the charcoal.

Yes, success in terms of producing a fuzzy Shroud-like discoloration of the linen, which could be loosely described as a scorch. But what was the big mistake – the one that if spotted and corrected  might have led straight from Model 1 to Model 10, skipping the 8 intermediates?  Answer: I should have passively IMPRINTED off a template (whether inanimate bas relief template or even real human anatomy),  thus ensuring a NEGATIVE (tone-reversed) image, thereby duplicating the chief, some might say iconic aspect of the Shroud body image, namely that seemingly-precocious NEGATIVE TONE-REVERSED IMAGE.

But I wasn’t the only one to overlook that tiny detail. Oh no. Others before me (as good if not better in terms of research credentials and/or writing skills) made the same  oversight.

Let’s look first at forensic anthropologist Emily Craig  (in passing, a fellow PhD)  and see what she and her co-worker said, way back in 1994. I  do strongly recommend a close reading of her paper.

emily craig


More to follow later today…

2nd instalment (still Dec 30):


What our Emily Craig did was to deliberate, indeed FOCUS, on the surprising negative image (which so many sindonologists  instantly seize upon as a “photograph”).

(Focusing on key features is what science is all about – as distinct from skirting the subject!)

Emily C tried to reproduce it , as if cleverly intended  by a medieval artisan to represent an bodily IMPRINT  – front and rear as a negative image – but (importantly)  executed  via painting or drawing as distinct from  1st century IMPRINTING. In other words, she excluded real imprinting  as the medieval means for representing an IMPRINT, choosing instead to substitute a less demanding artistic version!  Shame (though I fully understand your reluctance to go the final mile ..)

Oh, how close you came, Emily, way back in 1994!  I raise my hat to you .

I only wish I had come across your perceptive approach sooner -despite you failure to ‘go for broke’ on the medieval modelling .

Did it never occur to you that the latter  may have been  ‘realistically’ executed’ via real imprinting (not painting)? Reason?   To dispel  all doubts  on the part of medieval viewers that what they were looking at was a genuine (1st century) IMPRINT as distinct from an artist’s inferior 14th century imitation thereof

Sadly, your  thinking, Emily, pre-21st  century,  went way over the heads of those who set themselves up  in the current 21st as self-appointed, mind-controlling ‘internet-based filters’ :

Yes, though I hesitate to say it, see the somewhat dismissive, derisory  response you received  from Dan Porter, the self-appointed all-knowing blogmeister on the shroudstory.com site, just 2 or 3 months after I began posting on the TS, back in 2012.

Did a medieval artist use Emily Craig’s technique to create the Shroud’s image?

(Yes Dan had many positive qualities, but genuine receptiveness to new ideas, new thinking, was not one of them). You deserved better, Emily…

More to follow, much more…

Third instalment (Monday Dec 31, 2018)

I shall return to Emily Craig shortly. I shall be quoting some of her perceptive observations regarding  one or other finely ground powder as a medium par excellence for generating images (albeit via brushing and powder transfer in her instance, as distinct from my preferred deployment of powder as a pure IMPRINTING medium, with no need for brushes or similar).

But first, this seems a good moment to report the results of two recent experiments from my home ‘laboratory’, both using those oh-so-fit-for-purpose powders.  Two were selected. First I used  powdered charcoal (elemental carbon) as used by Emily, not because  either I or she for that matter considered it was deployed to create the TS image, but because the image provides a highly visible example of what can be achieved with a powder – any powder – whether the result is immediately visible or not pending further colour development.

As I say, my speciality  post-Model 1  has been imprinting, not drawing or painting. So what to deploy as 3D template?  Human or inanimate? I chose the first.  Fingers or face? Again, I chose the first (the face presents difficulties, as noted in previous postings, but which  it has to be stressed are by no means insurmountable, given the optimal choice of imprinting medium, imprinting technique etc which we shall return to later).

Here’s the result I obtained using dry  powdered charcoal to imprint an image of my fingers onto damp linen, and then uploading to ImageJ software to convert the tone-reversed negative to a pseudo-positive (in essence a modern-day repeat of Secondo Pia’s celebrated photo-processing via silver-salt photography from 1898)

1. charcoal pre versus post inversion

Left: imprinted fingers using  powdered carbon; Right:the same after tone-inversion with Image J

Note the absence of  (bogeyman) lateral distortion on the two central fingers where there was no possibility of any wrap-around effect. Lateral distortion is confined to the left hand  side of the index finger  (but could have been simply avoided, merely by wiping imprinting agent off the side of the finger before imprinting, or merely keeping the linen away from the side. Where there’s a will there’s a way…)

What do you think thus far, dear reader?

Would you not agree that there’s an almost photographic quality to my charcoal imprints, albeit as negative Shroud-like image initially, easily tone-reversed with appropriate graphics software ?

Would you not concur with my view that the above images provide ample support for Emily Craig’s advocacy of finely-powdered solid  as an image-generating medium!#

Yes, the above images both  respond after a fashion to 3D-rendering software. But let’s leave that hugely over-hyped aspect of the TS body image  (and blood, and 1532 scorch!) till later. Indeed, let’s ignore the fatuous  3D  preoccupation for another occasion, given it’s primarily a function of 20th century computer software, whether analogue or digital,  given moreover that it’s NOT an expression of “uniquely encoded” information according to some wild and undisciplined agenda-promoting imaginations…

4th instalment (still Monday Dec 31)

Here’s a passage from the  1994 Craig and Bresee paper, showing an admirable ability to avoid  getting too wedded to one or other technique, i.e. being willing to cast a wide net.

The bolding is mine:

“Several hypotheses that have been proposed attempt to explain image formation as
involving oxidation and dehydration of cellulose to produce yellow-colored fibers. Of
the many ways to achieve this change, the most likely mechanism has been proposed to
involve transfer of a substance that either produces the image directly by oxidation/
dehydration or acts of as a catalyst that sensitizes the cloth to image development later through another process such as heating.”

But what if the added substance itself changes colour on heating, such that it’s not necessary, and indeed mistaken, to imagine that the linen fibres themselves have themselves been chemically altered.

That was my thinking back in October 2014. I had been scorching images directly from heated metal templates (e.g. horse brasses) onto linen, and got to wondering if the template really needed to be heated. Might it be possible to IMPRINT cold metal (or even human anatomy) onto the linen, and then heat the linen instead to obtain a coloured imprint. But what to use as imprinting medium, and how best to apply it to the template in such a way that it still transferred easily to the linen.

Here are images from my October 2014 posting (which to the best of my knowledge have never been picked up on elsewhere, such is the ‘them-and-us’ nature of  Establishment sindonology with its  down on non-authenticity narratives!):

flour imprint horse brass

Left: a horse brass, first given a light smear of vegetable oil, then dusted with white flour. Right: after pressing the dusted horse  brass onto linen (dry), then heating the  imprinted linen.

Why did I not drop everything and pursue this promising new approach?  Answer: I hesitate to say it, but I  had imprinted onto DRY linen to obtain a image that easily flaked off. Now why didn’t I think of substituting damp for dry linen?  That simple solution to the obtaining a firmly attached image, one that would resist washing, did not occur to me for several months, and even then took a while to become a routine feature of my current Model 10 (i.e. flour imprinting from oil-smeared human anatomy onto damp linen!). You live and you learn, the months and years slipping away as one’s learning curve  hopefully ascends…   At least  Ican show a learning curve, albeit painfully slow. Can Establishment sindonology with its  claimed ‘supernatural selfies’, partially modelled we’re told with their Government-supplied uv excimer laser pulses and the like say the same?

So how does white flour perform as imprinting agent, without having to heat the linen to  render it visible?  I needed to perform a separate experiment to be able to show the result in this my current posting. How?  Simple: imprint my hand onto black-coloured fabric, having first smeared it with vegetable oil, then dusted with flour.

Here’s the result:


2 flour pre versus post inversion

Left: flour imprint of fingers onto dampened black fabric (not linen); Right: tone-reversed pseudo-negative


No, the quality is nowhere near as good with the white flour, lacking much detail. But then the quality of the charcoal imprints shown earlier could be said to be vastly better than that of the TS body imprint.  My money is on white flour (or something very similar) as the medieval choice of imprinting agent, with second-stage heating followed by washing to produce the straw-yellow body image.  (Bloodstains , either with simulated or real blood, or a combination of the two applied at different stages in time, have been discussed in an earlier posting, so need not detain us for now).

5th instalment (still Dec 31)

Now we get to the 64,000 question – is there a way of discriminating between the two models flagged  up – one  of them proposing a medieval origin, the other an authentic 1st century provenance? (Let’s leave aside the radiocarbon dating, which Establishment sindonology has done its level best to turn into a veritable can of worms – and largely succeeded! Why no rerun with new sampling sites etc?  Best not to ask…).

One might at first sight think that identifying the straw-yellow image chromophore, either as chemically-modified cellulose or similar OR a Maillard browning product, might be the answer. But it would not, at least not of itself. Why not? Because while Establishment sindonology- promoted chemically-modified cellulose (even prematurely as in the STURP Summary where speculation largely substituted for hard fact) it is not ruled out in medieval terms (my Model 1 thermo-stencilling also generated scorched linen, given there was nothing else present apart from elemental carbon).  Maillard browning products?  Yes, they are the chemical species that can account for the image colour in my Model 10 – derived from thermochemical interaction between reducing sugars and amino groups in white flour. But let’s not forget that Maillard products, aka ‘melanoidins’  made an earlier appearance in Shroud literature, namely via Raymond N.Rogers’  pro-authenticity  but non-supernatural diffusion model, where the ingredients for a Maillard reaction were supplied by (a) a proposed starch-coating on the linen fibres derived from  Roman-era flax spinning/weaving technology  supplying , he stoutly maintained, reducing sugars when and where needed (?) and, further,  (b)  gaseous decomposition amines derived from a dead and decomposing corpse.


6th instalment (still Dec 31)

There’s another means that, at least at first sight, could or should allow one to discriminate between an image obtained entirely by contact, as distinct from unscientific supernatural means (like that fanciful imaging across air gaps from self-generated radiation!). If  one is imaging via contact only, with variable contact pressure from variations in 3D relief generating a false impression of  dimishing image intensity from increasing separation distance, then applied manual pressure can be deduced in the obligatory contact situation.  Ought it not then to be possible, maybe via modelling, to detect a different signature for use of applied manual pressure, forcing linen to make contact with relief, as distinct from natural draping of linen that relies upon gravity only?

Maybe, yes, in principle. But one can forsee all kinds of difficulty in practice, given one can only guess at the precise ‘moulding -to-contours’ technique deployed.

This approach maybe needs to be consigned to the back shelf, at least for now. Might there be a more promising one that should take priority?

7th instalment, New Year’s Day, 2019

So much for what has been done, especially the valuable though sadly neglected input from our forensic expert and her gentleman colleague.

Starting today I intend now to focus on what must now be done to test their oh-so-valuable POWDER -derived image proposal. Maybe then we’ll be in a position to appreciate better the true genius that underlies the Turin Shroud – HUMAN genius! Others too of course have experimented with powder in the past – Joe Nickell, Luigi Garlaschelli and others.  Am I the first to modify the hypothesis, substituting an organic powder (white flour) for inorganic ones like iron oxide etc, one moreover that conveniently generates a TS-like straw yellow chromophore when heated, but unlike inorganic oxides etc is still capable of being  bleached (e.g. with Adler and Heller’s diimide, hydrazine or alkaline hydrogen peroxide? (Yes, that bleaching action should have consigned Walter McCrone’s “iron oxide” chromophore fiction to oblivion: it’s yet another sad reflection on mainstream sindonology that the crucial opportunity was missed to nip it in the bud, and by two of STURP’s main personalities no less..)

While on a critical note, why has Establishment sindonology airbrushed Joseph of Arimathea and his “fine linen” out of the picture? (By ‘fine linen’ I refer to that supplied in the first 3 Gospels (namely to transport the crucified Jesus from cross to tomb)?  Was it not separate, less expensive linen that was referred to in the final Gospel (John)  deployed as final burial shroud?   In short, there’s been a confusion between “shroud” as a term for transport ‘body bag’, pardon the modern nomenclature,  and “shroud” as burial  garment. To refer to the first as a “burial shroud” merely because it  and its contents was delivered to the door of a tomb is at best an unhelpful ambiguity of terminology…#

Late insertion: I’m pleased to see that Petri Paavola in Finland shares my views on the almost universal misinterpretation  (at least in mainstream sindonological circles) of the account in the final Gospel, supposing the linen referred to there as othonia (plural) is J of A’s fine linen, described differently in the first 3 Gospels as sindon (singular), i.e. single sheet, never intended for use as final burial shroud.

If I were asked to state the major failure on the part of Establishment sindonology, what would it be?

Answer: the failure of STURP to recruit a range of scientific specialists, drawn from the entire scientific, repeat SCIENTIFIC, spectrum, from physics through to chemistry, through to biology, and then to physiology, medicine and its subdisciplines.

Had that happened, a specialist in botany at the microscopic level might have come in, saying “Look, you underestimate the complexity of flax-derived linen, even at the so-called “elementary fibre” level? Are you not aware that flax fibres are themselves highly complex? So kindly stop referring to the PCW (primary cell wall) as if that’s where the story starts and ends where acquisition of ‘superficial’ TS body image is concerned.

It’s a lot more complicated than that. Do your homework. Read up on what lies beneath the PCW! No, it’s not a cylindrical core of solid cellulose as you seem to imagine! Oh no!


fig 4.13b aslan flax microfibrils


8th instalment, Jan 2, 2019

Here’s a screen grab of an influential review that appeared in 2010 under multiple authorship, featuring several of the sindonological Establishment’s big names:

microscopic and macroscopic characteristics

At first sight it appears authoritative, and indeed is, as far as it goes. But compare what the review has to say about the microscopic structure of linen threads and fibres with the SEM  cross-sectional photograph above.  Did the review go far enough? Did it maybe present a hopelessly over-simplified view of the internal structure of an individual linen fibre? Did it make a single reference to the existence of microfibrils within fibres?  (Answer: NO on all counts). Did the authors prove beyond all doubt that the TS image layer is confined to the superficial PCW (primary cell wall) of the image fibre, with no possibility of it penetrating deeper?  What if the image chromophore  had been briefly liquid, e.g. at a second stage thermal processing designed to elicit colour in an organic powder coating, maybe oil-assisted? What if that liquified chromphore had penetrated beneath the PCW into the microfibrillar interior of linen fibres, and then been rapidly wicked away  at least partially via capillary channels between those microfibrils?  Might that account for the claimed ‘half-tone’ effect and ‘image discontinuities’ as I proposed back in 2015?

aug 21 2015 flour oil model on shroudstory


Is the TS image really as superficial as claimed in the above review, with its accompanying ‘take home story’ that anything so superficial as 200nm could not possibly be the product from a medieval workshop or artist’s studio?

9th instalment, still Jan 2

Many moons ago, I raised on this site a conundrum that was bothering me. Ray Rogers observed that it was easier to strip off image than non-image fibres from the surface of the TS with his Mylar sticky tape. But why? Why should image-bearing fibres be more brittle, more fragile if the chemical modification  is confined to the highly superficial PCW only? It doesn’t make sense! There is an explanation if the interior of the fibre is involved. Imagine an exudation of liquid containing endogenous flour oil, added exogenous vegetable oil and Maillard products, the latter initially low molecular weight, but rapidly polmerizing to high molecular weight melanoidins. Briefly, the exudate is liquid, and can thus penetrate the interior of fibres, being wicked away via capillary channels between packed microfibrils.

Then what? As the high MWt melanoidins form, there’s an inevitable inescapable  phase change (from liquid to solid) making the interior of each fibre glass-like and thus brittle.

Hey presto we have an explanation for the fragility, the ease of fracture of those image-bearing fibres.

10th instalment (still Jan 2)

I have just this minute taken some scissors to one of my archived Model 10 specimens (flour-imprinted linen, oven-heated, unwashed) in order to get a 1-2mm thick cross-section that will lie flat on a microscope slide. The cut sample was then illuminated from above, and examined under my binocular microscope at  x100 magnification (x10 for both eye piece and objective lenses).

It did not take long to see what I was looking for. By way of getting a quick snapshot, a hand-held digital camera was placed over one of the two binocular eyepieces (no, far from ideal – I’ll be plugging in a laptop later to capture the image on-screen).

Here’s the result, before v after further magnification:

IMG_6587 lightly edited 2

Model 10 flour imprinted linen fibres – cross-sectional view

fibre cross section lightly edited, magnified

As above, with further magnification.

Do you see what I see, dear reader? Where’s the image colour? Confined to the PCW (superficial primary cell wall) OR dispersed throughout the entire cross section of each fibre, i.e. within and/or between scores of microfibrils, the latter too small to see under my light microscope?


11th instalment, Jan 3, 2019

Six years have passed since this blogging  Shroud investigator began to express deep misgivings about the so-called superficiality of the Shroud body image.

Here’s a link to an early posting:


It was taken up with interest by Dan Porter on his now-retired shroudstory site, esepcially when Adrie van der Hoeven became interested:

Important aspect of flax fiber microstructure and Rogers’ “ghosts”

Without access to the Shroud, and, equally bad, if not worse, given the paucity of published photomicrographs of TS image fibres (despite STURP’s 5-day visit in ’78!) there seemed no point in trying to pursue those doubts to one or other conclusion.

That has now changed. My Model 10 (flour imprinting) has supplied a handle, given it has been able to account for so many curious aspects of the TS body image (not just the negative image but microscopic properties too) .  Yesterday’s photomicrograph could be said to to crystallize those doubts into near certainty that the TS body image is NOT superficial, far from it, that it penetrates the interior of image fibres, assisted no doubt by the complexity of what lies within that core, previously treated by sindonology as if a cylinder of solid, undifferentiated secondary cell wall cellulose. Oh not it’s not! Think microfibrils! Think capillary channels between those microfibrils  capable of wicking away transient liquid entities (accounting for those claimed  ‘half-tone’ effects, image discontinuities etc

Here’s a New Year exercise for gluttons for punishment. Call up that “microscopic/macroscopic” review paper referred to earlier on this posting. Enter “superficial” into a search (ConF), then examine each and every of the many references to “superficial”. Then ask yourself this. How many of those references refer to hard supporting evidence for superficiality, and how many are merely conjectural or hearsay evidence? How many transverse section photographs are supplied which one might think would be needed to sustain a case for the image layer being highly superficial, more specifically restricted to the primary cell wall)?  Answer: one big fat ZERO! To put it crudely, have we been sold a pup?  Yes, I do believe we have and say it’s time the “superficiality” dogma was examined afresh,  without preconceptual baggage and in detail. OH, and let’s be seeing some TRANSVERSE SECTIONS of individual fibres please. Is the  image colour really confined to the PCW only when viewed without a PCW interposed between eye and pigmentation?

Reminder:  yesterday, I started with a Model 10 flour imprint that was easily visible as a fuzzy brown stain-like image. But when one pulled out individual threads, and examined them individually  under the microscope under different lighting conditions, different magnifications, the colour, as noted in the past, was scarcely visible.  Bizarre! How could that be, one might ask?  It was only when I took the cross-section (a pair of scissors sufficed) that the colour appeared – as multiple solid colour dots within the CORES of individual fibres!

You live and you learn. At least some of us do – those with a proper scientific background and training. Shame the same cannot be said of the many sindonologists with no real background, especially those who posture as if “scientists”, who challenge scientists to account for this or that claimed anomaly (or preconception), and then proceed to ignore those of us who rise to the challenge, who attempt to supply answers. What do we get? Answer: put-downs and name calling, as often as not (“avowed sceptic” and worse).

It’s high time sindonology put its house in order, and began to separate the real science from the morass of pseudoscience that has intruded over the years and  indeed decades. Science is about critical testing of one’s ideas, possible preconceptions included. Science is NOT about promoting preconceptions with resort to scientific terminology as mere gift-wrapping (pseudoscience by any other name).


12th instalment, still Jan 3

Here’s a short passage from that “superficiality” review:

“Further evidence for the superciality of the TS body image is demonstrated by the transmission photograph made by the STURP photographer B. Schwortz shown in Figure 1. Rather than radiation reected from the surface of the cloth, the photo depicts the radiation transmitted by the TS through the water stains, scorches, blood, and body image. In the transmission photograph those marks which permeated the TS remain evident, but the body image disappears almost completely demonstrating its extreme superciality.

Fanti et al. : Microscopic and macroscopic characteristics of the Shroud of Turin image superficiality
J. Imaging Sci. Technol. Jul.-Aug. 2010040201-2
That interpretation offered by STURP’s Documenting Photographer was an entirely reasonable one: it’s not difficult to see why its had so many takers , given that said photographer went on to become President of  STERA (The Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association) with the premier website on the internet reporting 4 times a year, invariably preaching its pro-authenticity message.
But note the single word that I’ve highlighted in red. In no way did Schwortz’s interpretation constitute a “demonstration”.  It was an interpretation, a hunch, a pat answer, no more, no less.
But let’s not beat about the bush: there could realistically be any number of explanations, other than Shwortzs’s,  linked maybe to internal complexity of the fibre substructure, playing any number of tricks with reflected versus transmitted light.
So was that how the “image superficiality” dogma got started, simply because the image is only visible when viewed from the front with reflected light, disappearing when viewed in transmitted light?  Or might it have been those poorly characterized so-called  “ghosts” that Ray Rogers said  remained attached to his sticky tape when the rest of the image fibre – said then to be minus colour – was plucked away with forceps? (There are one or two pictures of image fibres and ‘ghosts’ available in a Thibault Heimburger pdf from 2008 – which however carries  a copyright symbol but give no clue as to precise whereabouts in the literature, bar a 2004 pdf from Roger’s himself, a year before his passing)
Either way, there was no rock solid foundation for “image superficiality” that I can see,  “image superficiality” being more by way of solemnly intoned never-to-be-questioned mantra.  But no, I don’t claim infallibility: so do please let me know if I’ve missed anything important – though I doubt it somehow… having been through that “superficiality” review with a fine-tooth comb.  The only thing I find superficial are the references to supposed image superficiality, not only at fabric and thread level,  which I don’t dispute, but at fibre level too –  WHICH I DO INDEED DISPUTE, given the absence of proper scientific back-up!
 Will STERA’s President give space on his website to my microscopy, shown above, and maybe revise his opinion re image superficiality?   And what about the multiple authors on that superficiality review?  Will they too revise or retract?  We shall see…
Omens for openness and fairmindedness are not auspicious where mainstream sindonology is concerned, but let’s not be too hasty in our judgement on this occasion…
Here endeth my New Year’s posting (don’t expect another any time soon!).
Comments as ever welcome  – assuming they are tolerably civil and informative.
Postscript: added 17th Jan 2019:
Today’s captured image (current ongoing  experiment comparing rates of ink migration in threads versus separated fibres). It’s needed to respond to one of several points raised by Piero I. in a comment  attached to this posting  just yesterday.
img_7460 selected two egg cup expt 17 jan,19
What does it show?  Answer: there is migration of ink (red from left eggcup, blue from right)  along linen threads (partially unspun to create wider capillary channels) but both inks comes  to a halt (well, almost, but not entirely) when they meet totally unspun threads with separate fibres. There’s a tiny amount of migration along individual fibres, but it needs a hand lens or microscope to see it.
Late addition: 23 Jan 2019
This page from a “middle man” serving the needs of the publishing industry (“Ingenta”) is required for my planned comment, correction, PROTEST, presently in preparation:
ingenta fanti 2011
Note the way that the price of the Fanti article is given in dollars, despite Ingenta being UK based (Oxford). Note the way there is no suggestion one can settle up in sterling, or euros for that matter. Exchange rate costs?  (“We buy at bla bla, we sell at bla bla”). Sure, it’s only a small sum, but it’s the principle … Ah,  yes, but we’re dealing with the internet, where principles play an ever-decreasing part….
Postscript (24 Jan 2019)
Here, belatedly from Stacey Reimann’s Alaska-based Shroud site, is a listing of the highest number of comments  – 100 or more – placed by particular individuals  mainly, but not exclusively, on Dan Porter’s  shroudstory site, up until  its closure, that is,  in December 2015.  This blogger/investigator was surprised to find himself third in the list –  but this site was one of the ‘others’ surveyed, t’other being Stephen Moore (sic).  😉
Sadly there are two recent RIPs (bolded, neither  I have to say my favourites, but then 99% of  Shroudies,  for the most part  anti-medieval man-made !) are – or were-  on my list of favourites. (Having said that, both occasionally made some good points.  Condolences to their nearest and dearest).
Name/ number comments
max_patrick_hamon 6757
louis 3380
colin_berry 3309
yannick_clément (sadly RIP, 2018) 3060
hugh_farey 2909
daveb_of_wellington_nz 2803
o_k 1643
charles_freeman 1447
ron 1147
david_goulet 1086
piero 1050
john_klotz (sadly RIP, 2018) 951
anoxie 882
dan 690
kelly_kearse 633
david_mo 599
jesterof 529
thomas 522
thibault_heimburger 498
mike_m 486
anonymous 440
matthias 440
stephen_e_jones 401
gabriel 400
andy_weiss 391
angel 387
sampath_fernando 319
mario_latendresse 275
paulette 274
nabber 252
andy 226
anniecee 218
dave_hines 206
phpl 178
andrea_nicolotti 176
chris 175
carlos 164
russ_breault 158
john_green 151
david_roemer 148
gian_marco_rinaldi 143
joe_marino 143
rick 121
giorgio 120
matt 119
barrie_schwortz 112
jmarino240 109
annette_cloutiér 108
dcn_andy 103
paul 101
Thanks for doing the statistical search, Stacey….
Late addition (Jan 27, 2019)
This image, captured yesterday, is need for a new comment I’ve just placed on this posting (which starts with a copy of my email to Hugh Farey)
circled img_8001 reflective starch granules query

Final postscript on this “blog”  short for “weblog” . This humble, informal “blog” is now to become an outlet,  not just for my experimental findings, gathered in kitchen and garage,  but for OPINION, indeed CONCLUSIONS. The latter are based on the findings (7 years of reporting research) through  my systematic progression through Models 1 to Model 10)

Taster of what’s to come?  Here’s  a 16th century’s artist’s take  (De Rovere) on the manner in which the body image was acquired on Joseph of Arimatheas’ lien, brought to the cross (not tomb, note, but CROSS).


Giovanni_Battista_della_Rovere photoenhaned


Then compare with the book cover picture on the 2000 “Resurrection  of the  Shroud” by legal attorney, Mark Antonacci (professing to focus on the “”science”)  Antonacci (professing to focus on the “”science”)

antonacci resurrection of shroud


Yes, there you have pro-authenticity shroud-defending (nay, evangelizing)’ ‘shroudology’  (or, as it likes to describe itself, sindonology in a nutshell.

Show the bits you like, conceal the ones you don’t, substitute your own message (“Resurrection”) and call it “science”.

Since when have legal attorneys had a training in science  (like the 7 years it took this investigator to acquire first his Bachelor’s degree |(BSc), then his Master’s degree (MSc), then his doctorate (PhD) in science)? Seems anyoone these days can claim to be  a scientist, merely by deploying scientific terminology.

Most scientists  (real scientists) are far too preoccupied with their own research interests to bother with the kind of   trivia that passes for science on the internet, mass media etc. The latter get an easy ride…





About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
This entry was posted in latest research,, Shroud of Turin, Turin Shroud and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Turin Shroud: think “medieval whole body powder imprint”. STOP PRESS: body image maybe not so superficially photograph-like as claimed!

  1. Colin Berry says:

    Breakthrough on the microscopy of image fibres (like trying to determine where the colour is situated (PCW only as claimed, nay stated as fact for the TS, which frankly I’ve always doubted, given the fragility of image fibres, hardly likely if the much thicker SCW is not somehow involved too?).

    Let’s keep this message short, given (I consider) its crucial importance. One can get away with a short “stub” instead of a thin section, provided it’s clamped upright in a manner that does not obstruct light from below. How? Answer – the humble hair clip, laid on its side, clamping a short stub of image thread upright. Then flood with light from below, not above!

    And what does one see? Answer: what I’ve suspected exists for many a month, indeed year, namely that the image colour is seen primarily in the cut ends of fibres within threads, flooded with light from below, with scarcely any visible if viewed from the side (probably because the outermost PCW is highly light-reflecting, preventing one seeing what INSIDE – i.e. in the SCW).

    I’m tempted to post my new camera shots right now, with the suggestion, indeed claim, that the ‘mantra’ that says the TS body image is confined to a mere 200nm thick (or thereabouts) PCW, “too thin, too superficial to be man-made”) is a COMPLETE and UTTER myth, unsupported by hard experimental data . Where are simple transverse sections of image fibres? I’ve been unable to locate any in the published literature – despite searching for some 7 years! Others too have asked the same question, like the much-derided Joe Nickell, way back in late 2011!

    I shall hold off posting till Monday, the weekend not being a good time to put up new postings on the internet.

  2. Colin Berry says:

    Update: as stated earlier, I have now notified a total 9 different people about my latest finding, i.e. Model 10 imprint colour not confined to the primary cell wall, but ‘hidden away’ within the secondary cell wall microfibrils of linen fibres. (If true for the TS it would have major implications, needless to say in terms of mode of imprinting, ‘authenticity’, alleged supernatural origins etc etc).

    Anonymity of the 9 will be preserved, at least for the internet. Here are the responses – or absence thereof- to date (Feb 7) labelling my 9 contacts from
    A through to I:

    A. Friendly reply
    B. Friendly reply
    C. Guarded reply – since provided with Model 10 imprint.
    D. No initial reply, but one now promised
    E. Reply in preparation Friendly reply
    F. Mere acknowledgement of receipt.
    G. No reply
    H. No reply
    I. No reply

    You win some, you lose some.!

  3. Colin Berry says:

    Note (warning?) to regular visitors to this site. I’m now drawing a line under the mainly scientific thrust of this site, shortly entering its 8th year. Reason? First, let me say immediately that I’m not hanging up my scientific hat permanently : I will try to say nothing that cannot be backed up with experimental evidence – whether new or dredged up from my archives.

    No, the main reason is that this home-based experimentalist has reached the limits of his technical resources, especially microscopy (despite the purchase some two years ago of two additional binocular mic’s, one conventional, the other stereo).

    I’ve been helped in my decision by one of the 9 folk, naming no names, contacted re my SCW-concealed Model 10 chromophore (and by extension, that of the TS body image as well!) offering to submit my roasted flour imprints to a battery of sophisticated tests, way beyond my own modest means. Yes, I’m happy to maintain confidentiality for the duration of the testing.

    How long it takes for the results to come through is anyone’s guess. But for now at any rate, I shall drop all pretence of being a working scientist (restricted to using kitchen and garage as laboratory). I shall reach out to a wider audience as regards the conclusions arrived at over the last 7 years.

    Decision: does one set up a new site, or stick with the present? Both options are still open, but given this site has achieved greater Google ranking status these last few weeks (currently hovering between Pages 3 and 5 of a (shroud of turin ) search, I’m minded to continue here, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Title of next posting? Something along the lines of “Newcomers’ Guide to the Shroud of Turin” supplied with an abundance of facts, but not hesitating to insert my own opinions where I consider opinions are needed (if only to counter the existing ones that dominate current science-abusing sindonology!).

    Yes, it’s less to do with pro- or anti-authenticity where this retired scientist is concerned – more to do with the use, nay ABUSE of science in pushing a pseudo-scientific agenda linked to whatever obsession, hang-up, call it what you want (ideology, religion, politics etc etc ).

    Previous topics on my sciencebuzz site and elsewhere: fossil fuels and climate change, Stonehenge and Silbury Hill, origin of the Universe and life forms, the Zane Gbangbola tragedy (assisting a national newspaper) etc etc. The recent dismissal on the STERA site of me by name as “an avowed Shroud sceptic” is frankly a cheap shot …

    Show me evidence of authenticity – hard scientific evidence – instead of a never ending series of those “qualifying assumptions” that litter Shroudology” – read cop-outs – and you’ll find me ready to listen, and indeed willing to modify my current stance. – which says that the TS is an ingenious one-off medieval simulation of Joseph of Arimatheas’s “fine linen” used in transport mode from cross to tomb (acquiring a notional sweat/blood imprint en route). Yes, it’s high time we dumped the description of the TS as a “burial shroud” and indeed that of “shroud”, to avoid confusion between two entirely different uses of the term “linen” in the biblical account – one for transport (first 3 synoptic Gospels) and an entirely different one in the fourth Gospel (John) for final preparation for customary Jewish interment in those final” “burial clothes”. The term “shroud” with scant biblical references (except to John) been flogged over decades, nay centuries to perpetuate a fiction, or, as I prefer to say, “pseudoscientific fantasy”.

    Message to sindonology: kindly read up on the scientific method, especially:

    Hypothesis framing and testing, and:
    Making and testing predictions based on those hypotheses.

    Drop completely the idea that science can be deployed as if ammunition deployed by a legal attorney defending his or her client before an impressionable jury. That’s not how science operates… Think of science as serial model building, the modeller acting as his own Devil’s Advocate, trying to falsify each and every model, willing to ditch intermediates until one comes along that ticks most of not all the boxes.

    I now consider my Model 10 (flour imprinting/thermal image development) to do just that – to tick most of the boxes.

    It’s high time that sindonology, especially its “Shroud Science Group” sat up and listened to an accredited scientist, given the innumerable challenges thrown out to “science” to account for the body image. I did that way back in August 2015 – publicised on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site with my Model 10. Fail to do that, sindonology, and your reveal yourself for what you are – not a fount of science, indeed, the precise and unsavoury opposite – a fount of pseudoscience.

  4. Colin Berry says:

    Yes, sad to say, Ray Schneider passed away two days ago. He was 76.


    I remember him best for his robust presence at the St.Louis Shroud congress, October 11, 2014, captured on video.

    (Tried inserting link – didn’t work – a different showed when inserted here from the correct one))

    I have a particular soft spot for Ray, despite his proselytizing of Shroud authenticity. I was one of a number of “skeptics” whose photo appeared in one of his slide presentations, still available on line.


    My sincere condolences to his wife and family.

    • Hugh Farey says:

      R.I.P. “Dating The Shroud Of Turin: Weighing All The Evidence” is one of my favourite papers from the St Louis conference. In it, Ray, completely inadvertently and without any of the other ardent authenticists noticing, ‘proved’ that the contamination of the radiocarbon corner had made the Shroud date to much older, not much younger, than it actually is. Some of the ensuing wriggling as he and various defenders desperately tried to backtrack is a classic of its kind, and can still be found at shroudstory.com.

      • Colin Berry says:

        Thanks Hugh. Is there a particular passage in the 25 page pdf that we need to scrutinize closely?


        • Hugh Farey says:

          Hah! Yes, it wanders off into vagueness after a few pages. Pages 3 and 4 are the ones to study. They compare a) the chronological gradient found by Brian Walsh, and b) the ‘fluorescence’ gradient found by John Morgan, and found a 99.93% correlation. He also directly assumed increased fluorescence meant increased contamination. In two crucial sentences he says: “It suggests that fluorescence predicts carbon date. This amounts to an actual measure of contamination.” In other words, the variation in contamination was directly responsible for the variation in age.

          So far so, good (if you accept John Morgan’s findings, which I don’t). However, what Ray, and all the notable authenticists worthies listening to him, failed to notice is that the correlation is inverse, such that, if the premise is true, the contamination makes the Shroud older, not younger, than it was radiocarbon dated to be.

          The subsequent discussion is at https://shroudstory.com/2015/03/22/do-the-blue-quad-mosaics-tell-a-different-story-than-we-think/

          • Colin Berry says:

            Thanks Hugh for refreshing my memory regarding that mind-bending discussion on Dan’s site, way back in 2015. It’s supplied me with all the ingredients I need for Model 11 (an attempt to account for Establishment sindonology mindset and modus operandi by combining two disparate entities:

            1. a tortuous labyrinth of logic-refuting mantras with surprises lurking round every corner


            2. a gradual merging with Daniel’s lions’ den (imperative: seek placating measures – e.g. soothing noises, gentle pats on the head etc- and/or quick escape route ASAP).

            Being a bit of a glutton myself for punishment (nose having been apposed to abrasive sindonological grindstone for several years) I’ll try refreshing my memory as to the perceived rights and wrongs re that exchange you had with Ray Schneider and other pro-authenticity stalwarts. It may take a while (days, probably weeks).

            I’d like to say you came out best.
            But you should know by now that no one, and I repeat NO ONE, is allowed to challenge pro-authenticity sindo-science, hatched and coordinated in the oh-so-exclusive confines of the Shroud Science Group and expect to come out best.

  5. Piero says:

    I have seen a new (and particular) article :
    “A Comparison between the Face of the Veil of
    Manoppello and the Face of the Shroud of Turin”.
    Liberato De Caro, Emilio Matricciani and Giulio Fanti
    (Journal of Heritage. Published online [.pdf] : 24 January 2019)…
    So… What is your own opinion on that particular paper ?
    Here the Abstract:
    Recently we have studied the unusual optical properties of the Veil of Manoppello, a canvas
    representing the face of Jesus Christ, and restored digitally the face, by eliminating the distortions of the anatomic details due the yielding of the very fine structure of the fabric. The aim of the present paper is to compare the restored face of the Veil with that visible on the Turin Shroud. In particular, the paper focuses on assessing whether the two images can be superimposed, i.e., whether they are different images of the same face. Indeed, some scholars have suggested that the Veil of Manoppello and the Turin Shroud show different images of the same face. We demonstrate that the face of the Turin Shroud, after a logarithmic transformation of the intensity and the correction of the background noise, shows cheeks’ profiles, not visible before the digital processing, which overlap very well with those of the restored face of the Veil of Manoppello. These correlations between the two images of the face of Jesus raise the question of their historical relationship.

    For example,
    Do you agree about the claim : ” …These correlations between the two images of the
    face of Jesus raise the question of their historical relationship.”?
    Thank you in advance…
    — — —

    • Colin Berry says:

      I expect you’ve heard the English colloquial expression where something or other is described as a “closed book”, Piero. For me at any rate, the Veil of Manoppello is a closed book , interested as I am ( mainly) in duplicating the body image of the TS (and considering I’m nine-tenths of the way there with my Model 10 – think simulated sweat imprint achieved via flour imprinting).

      There are other closed books too, like the Pray manuscript, the Image of Edessa, the allegedly invalid radiocarbon dating (with no logical move to do a re-run), quasi-photographic imaging across air gaps via directional radiation, TS body image confined, allegedly, to the PCW, Rogers’ Roman-era starch-impurity coatings, Adler’s late-acquired bloodstains via ‘serum exudation from retracted blood clots’ , super-red ‘blood stains’ due to associations between semi-degraded haemoglobin and super-stable bilirubin etc etc etc etc etc etc….

      Manoppello closed book? The problem for me is less to do with a single closed book. It’s more to do with sindonology’s multi-volume closed library… 😉

      • Piero says:

        Thank you for your answer.
        Your answer is near what I was expecting, because I asked you in order to know what is your possible limit about the “area of pitfall’s” (and I write these words speaking, obviously, from “my particular perspective”…).

        I simply asked about the Veil of Manoppello and the (Face of) Shroud and … You indicated a lot of things …
        What a waste ! … Ah, ah…

        Sorry. I beg your pardon…
        This is not the right place to laugh at your interesting answer…
        So, I should answer that : … I’m afraid the lack of Faith will always be a closed book to me. …
        Instead now I want to point your attention towards a simple fact:
        Jaworski (2013) wrote about :
        >a byssus fabric also having evident nodes…
        >…the capillarity of the byssus yarns…

        instead Liberato De Caro, Giulio Fanti and Matricciani (2018)
        wrote :
        >… It is a linen fiber fabric consisting of very thin threads, with a thickness of about 0.1 mm, separated by distances even twice the thickness of the threads, so that about 42% of the Veil is empty space.
        >The fibers of the linen threads have been likely cemented by an organic substance of chemical composition similar to cellulose, presumably starch, therefore eliminating the air between them. …
        So… following that description it is an ancient linen… !
        Hmmm …
        Is that material linen instead of silkmarine byssus ?
        Where is the true proof for that ?
        If I am right Raman spectroscopy was not used to test the Veil
        (and it was only mentioned [in the paper by Fanti De Caro and Matricciani] about “…the dates the Shroud to 300 Before Christ (BC) 400 years and 200 BC 500 years, respectively”…)
        In the paper we can read that:
        >…Finally, note that the glass enclosing the Veil absorbs part of the IR radiation. This may
        have prevented the detection and recording of any weak signals generated by the interaction with the incident radiation. The same could have happened with the Raman spectroscopy, i.e., the weaker signals coming from the Veil could have been covered by the glass signal. To confirm all these findings, more detailed and accurate UV and IR characterizations would
        be very useful. To perform new optical measurements, direct access to the Veil would be necessary; this has to be previously authorized by Manoppello’s Sanctuary.
        The lack of the Transmission spectroscopy ( Transmission spectroscopy = Definition: The study of radiation as a function of wavelength that has been transmitted through a sample)…
        Years ago I did send a request to I.N.O.A. (Istituto Nazionadi Ottica Applicata, Firenze, Italy) about a transmission spectrophotometric control but I had not positive answer.

        I think that using
        Transmission spectroscopy
        we can (at least) discover the true chemical nature of the material because a linen fabric ( … unless the material is dyed with sulfur dyes !) does not contain sulfur!
        See for example:
        “A molecular, morphometric and mechanical comparison of the structural elements of byssus from Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis”
        Jared M. Lucas, Eleonora Vaccaro and J. Herbert Waite
        Marine Science Institute and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental, Biology Department, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
        The Journal of Experimental Biology 205, 1807–1817 (2002)

        >… How these couple to form disulfide bonds is unknown, but such cross-links may prove
        crucial in mature byssal threads.

        also in :
        “Characterization of a Cystine-Rich Polyphenolic Protein Family from the Blue Mussel Mytilus edulis L.”
        Rzepecki LM, Hansen KM, Waite JH.
        Biol Bull. 1992 Aug;183(1):123-137.
        >… are also enriched in the disulphide-containing amino acid cystine (6-7 mol %).

        Then I think the presence of the disulfide bonds ( -S-S- … and then, in order to educate some of your readers there is the following explanation = In chemistry, a disulfide refers to a functional group with the structure R−S−S−R′ …) can be a discriminant about the chemical nature of the material because linen fibres don’t have these -S-S- bonds … and this presence of sulfur can be detected by spectroscopy.
        — — —
        And then this is only a first remark …
        But I understand you have your priority in your mind…
        So …
        I wait for your possible answer on this concrete point.

        • Colin Berry says:

          As I have said before, Piero, this is not a web forum inviting all viewpoints. It’s devoted to progressing or rejecting the ideas evolving from this individual’s longstanding research project, now entering its 8th year,

          If you wish to promote your own ideas, totally unrelated to mine, then fine, OK. Set up your own website, aka blog…

          It’s a five minute job (WordPress, Blogger Blogspot etc….)

          I might even visit and comment from time to time – addressing your ideas in the first instance – not mine …

          • Piero says:

            It is painful for me to have to continue disturbing your experimental work…
            In any case, I apologize if my previous intervention was a bit out of tune …
            Among other things, if the flax fibers [which, obviously, do not have in their chemical structures the -S-S- … bonds], should demonstrate the presence of Sulfur (which can be detected by spectroscopy), it is not said that any sulfur present can demonstrate that the “unknown fiber” (B.T.W. : What are the data obtained about the measurements about the thickness of the threads?) is composed by byssus.
            In fact (in addition to the unacceptable idea for the presence of sulfur dyes… But this is said putting aside …a 2000-year-old recipe for hair dye tha has shown Ancient Greeks and Romans used nanotechnology to permanently colour grey hair black, as it was said by the experts ! … The lead in the lead oxide had reacted with sulfur from the amino acids found in hair keratins, the scientists say, giving the black colour… Link: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2006/10/02/1751084.htm) if there was cinnabar (mercury sulphide) we know that this mineral contains sulfur … and therefore we will need to control the non-coloured parts of the fabric of the Veil of Manoppello to know the truth about the true nature of the textile material (and see also the presence of two ancient glasses that seems to hinder the normal operations about the Transmission Spectroscopy…).
            Personally I do not believe what wrote Fanti, Matricciani and De Caro about the “starched linen” as a component of the material, instead of the silkmarine bissus … until we have the controls. Where are the inherent proofs ? At the end of the paper the authors admit the lack of true characterizations of the Veil and they hope in future further controls.
            … But there is an open question not touched by that paper… Why the image (or mysterious portrait) show us a “more young person”, without a beard ?
            … As soon as I can, I will try to set up a blog!
            However I must inform you that now you can add the name of Ray Schneider (see also his past intervention in the blog of Dan Porter dated 29 May 2012) in the list of Stacey Reimann … because Dr. R. Schneider is now dead (I have read today this news in Facebook).
            Your main interest is the Shroud, but (in my opinion) this ancient linen sheet is connected with other relics.
            Stop. I do not want to disturb anymore…
            So, I will stay in silence.

  6. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s a copy of an email I sent yesterday to Hugh Farey, Editor of the BSTS Newsletter until last year. It received a quick response, which i have permission to publish in due course. For now, comments from all-comers are welcome . (Am I correct in thinking that my discovery could be significant indeed highly so, in reconciling my Model 10 (flour imprinting/roasting) with Raymond N.Rogers’ “starch impurity coating” theorizing?

    First the email (italics):

    Hello Hugh

    Hope you don’t mind if I share my latest findings – just the ones I consider significant you realize, in this instance highly significant.

    I have often puzzled why my Model 10 imprints have a sparkly appearance under bright light, even after thorough washing with soap and water.

    I washed a new sample a short time ago, and this time noticed the sparkle was coming from a few widely spaced points on the linen, some, maybe most on the imprinted parts, but one or two elsewhere on non-image areas.

    Could they be captured on camera? Tall order I thought, but guess what – the brighter ones are indeed captured – see enclosed image file with circled points of light reflection.


    1. I strongly suspect them to be individual starch granules from the flour, possibly though less likely, unchanged flour endosperm cells, not involved in image formation, but which have become lodged within the interstices of the weave.

    2. It was those lodged but light-reflecting starch granules on the TS which Ray Rogers claimed had been detected with an iodine/azide reagent which he cited as evidence in favour of his starch-coating impurity thesis.

    On a broader front, I’m more than ever convinced that STERA STURP and others (notably the Italians) made a major error in failing to look at transverse sections of image fibres. Had they done so, they would have found that the image chromophore is NOT confined to the PCW. I see on archive-searching that I said as much in conversation with you, way back in Jan 2013!

    Quite how one penetrates the carapace of authenticity-fixated shroudology remains as ever an acute and never-ending problem. Your successor on BSTS is clearly not the solution, and could indeed be said to be part of the problem…

    Kind regards


  7. Colin Berry says:

    Current research focus? Remember how STURP’s Raymond N. Rogers (RIP) said that TS body image fibres could be stripped off the TS with his adhesive tape more easily than background (non-image) fibres? Image fibres seemed to be more BRITTLE than non-image ones. So what price image superficiality, confined to the outer 200nm thick PCW, we’re repeatedly told, if the entire fibre is rendered brittle (a question I posed many, many moons ago).

    Am currently probing the question of brittleness with my Model 10 (flour imprinting/roasting) to see if the (washed) imprints reside on brittle fibres or not. Results so far look fairly promising – but relying as they do on microscopy (x100, light microscope) one has to be oh-so-careful before rushing into print…. Especially given the ENEA knocking brigade (“hasn’t learned how to use the focus wheel on his microscope” etc, ) overlooking the tiny detail that I’m looking at 3D specimens, not thin sections, where blurring of some part of the image field is inevitable.

    (Italy’s ENEA was a laughable entrant to Turin Shroud so-called “science”, circa 2011/12, with its uv excimer lasers deployed to give yellow coloration to modern-day linen – there I’ve said it!)

    Anyone wishing a detailed update on my current Model 10 research (and its validation) has only to ask…

    Some 9 “fellow Shroudies” have been contacted by email with my current thinking/ideas re non-superficiality of the TS body image. ENEA is not one of them…

  8. Piero says:

    Dear Dr. Colin Berry,
    I ask you a favour.
    Please, don’t try to attribute to me beliefs that are not mine. For example : the idea of the Shroud as medieval fake or the creation of a complete “medieval fake”, following your systems.
    I think it is be better to clarify my thinking in order to avoid the misunderstanding.
    I did not believe in acrolein (“nowhere on your own radar screen”) as a “true chromophore”, I simply went behind your previous words on the question of the presumed penetration of a substance (an unknown chemical substance : a “…liquified chromphore” that “penetrated beneath the PCW into the microfibrillar interior of linen fibres…”) into the linen and then I simply identified a chemical reactant (liquid at normal temperature), a chemical substance …
    Acrolein is the simplest unsaturated aldehyde.
    It is a colourless liquid with a piercing, acrid smell. Boiling point = 53 ° C (127 ° F, 326 K).
    I hope I was clear with these words of mine.
    — — —
    In any case, here what I can read (and, obviously, I think these words are useless for You, but [perhaps] useful for your readers…):
    >Acrolein is a very reactive monomer with a high tendency to polymerize …
    >… Acrolein-induced cross-links were accompanied by two reactions, namely Michael addition and Schiff base formation. …
    >…The smoke-borne electrophile acrolein reacts extensively with proteins, forming carbonyl-retaining Michael adducts that may be attacked by adjacent protein nucleophiles to form cross-links. …
    So …
    The rough idea (…to deepen, to develop, just for fun!) was the following:
    this substance can react in a sort of “fixing action” on previous compounds (on linen fibrils).


    • Colin Berry says:

      I repeat Piero. If you have a hunch that acroleins play a role in body image formation, then set up your own site to argue your case. Kindly stop using my site to float your own unsubstantiated off-the-wall theories.

  9. Colin Berry says:

    Have spent the last day or two going through the literature with a fine-tooth comb. The aim? To discover precisely when and how the notion took root that the TS body image is confined to the ultra-superficial primary cell wall of linen fibres, a mere 200nm thick. To which I say: baloney!

    I think I’ve finally tracked down the origins of what I consider to be a falsity (believing as I now do, aided by Model 10, that the TS body image chromophore lurks largely out of sight within the SCW cores of fibres). It has not been easy, having to wade one’s way through thousands of words that merely hint at the ultra-superficiality idea but fail on close inspection to deliver anything that might be described as hard experimental evidence.

    There’s still reading to be done, particular papers to be acquired from publishing houses (at considerable expense) which will delay the appearance of a tell-all posting (think weeks rather than days). However, should anyone wish to have a distilled version-cum-foretaste of what I intend to say, they have only to ask, via a comment to this, my most recent posting.

    Late PS: have just added this image to the end of the current posting, together with a internet-user’s protest:

    It’s the internet route for acquiring a particular Fanti paper from 2011 that I suspect is needed to nail my case regarding that allegedly ultra-superficial TS body image “confined to a 200nm thick PCW”.

    Note how it’s priced in dollars, despite the middle man (IngentaConnect) being UK based. One can’t even find what the sterling and exchange rate costs would be without signing up and having to supply private details regarding one’s address, employment status, interests etc etc. Admittedly it’s not too probing, but why should I have to divulge anything about myself to IngentaConnect (and goodnee knows who else) merely to find what a particular investigator (not my favourite!) believes and energetically promotes regarding the Turin Shroud.

    I’m not signing up to Ingenta. I’m not parting with even a modest sum of money, least of all in dollars, merely to document a case that has many facets.

    Here’s my guess for what it’s worth. That Fanti paper, or similar ones from the same author, performs what might be described as a conjuring trick. It starts with Rogers’ case for there being a highly superficial 200nm “impurity layer” on TS linen, the sole location of the body image. It dismisses Rogers’ speculation regarding the chemical nature of tghe impurity layer (starch and its degradation products, supplying reducing sugars for Maillard reactions). It then (wait for it) informs the reader that linen fibres have a outer PCW (primary cell wall) that is also 200nm thick or thereabouts. Hey presto, the body image is not on Rogers’ impurity layer but EXCLUSIVELY on the PCW. Evidence (hard evidence that is). Thus far I can find none, either from Fanti, or from others who have eagerly embraced the PCW-only location for the body image.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear … What we see is NOT science – it is special pleading … It’s special pleading that has taken root in sindonology as if hard fact.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

    PPS: have just discovered an alternative way of acquiring the Fanti 2011 paper (for free!). It’s through ResearchGate.


    One supplies one’s name and email address, plus a brief description of oneself . The author is then contacted by ResearchGate on one’s behalf, to seek his approval for sending a pdf of the requested paper.

    Let’s see how my request fares …

  10. Colin Berry says:

    OK, Piero. I hear you. But you have to understand that this site is not a wishy-washy web forum on which folk can express their own nebulous half-formed ideas, regardless of those that are posted by myself, the website owner.

    This website owner uses this site as a 21st century alternative to “published peer-reviewed journals”. Changing experience-led focus is the name of the game. I’ll spare you the reasons for preferring real time online transmission of ideas (but will explain if you’re interested – for now just think of serial model development).

    The crucial thing where this blogsite owner is concerned is placing his own evolution of ideas on record, obtained via the systematic scientific MO ( hypothesis testing of serial models etc, where each new one builds progressively on the other).

    OK, so acroleins etc are your current interest. B ut they are nowhere on my own radar screen (not where the TS is concerned, though I do have an acquaintance with them, having a strong chemical background that goes back some 60 years).

    My advice to you? Set up your own website. It can be done in 10 minutes or less. Make acroleins etc etc the subject of your first posting if you consider them of crucial importance in the context of the TS… Personally, I don’t…

    Comments or criticism that specifically address this blogsite owner’s ideas are welcome as ever…

  11. Piero says:

    Errata corrige :
    “the levels of reactivity of acrolein” instead of : “the levels of reactivity of acolein” …
    — — —
    Here another “reference”:
    “Retardation of volatile aldehyde formation in the exhaust of frying oil by heating under low oxygen atmospheres”
    Mariko Fujisaki Yasushi Endo Kenshiro Fujimoto

    A short excerpt from the Abstract:
    >… frying in atmospheres with low oxygen levels can effectively decrease the generation of volatile aldehydes in the exhaust.


  12. Colin Berry says:

    Stop Press: I have just come across this most amazing statement from arch-proponent of authenticity, Giulio Fanti no less, in a 2015 paper. It’s in the final conclusions (yes, CONCLUSIONS!):

    The results of a color analysis of flax samples exposed to different heat sources, compared with the TS background color, lead to hypothesize that it was wrapped in a protective cloth when put in the reliquary during the 1532 Chambéry fire and it was probably exposed to a heat source not harder than about 180◦C for 60 minutes or 160◦C for 240 minutes.

    Link: https://www.shs-conferences.org/articles/shsconf/pdf/2015/02/shsconf_atsi2014_00004.pdf

    Those time and temperature conditions are virtually identical to the ones I routinely use in my Model 10 to develop the colour of my flour imprints, namely by roasting in a domestic oven!

    Here we have Prof Fanti no less saying that the background ivory colour of the linen is NOT as many presume the product of natural ageing, but of prolonged exposure to a very high temperature! He invokes the 1532 fire by way of explanation. We’ll excuse him for not flagging up my Model 10 as an alternative medieval provenance (simulation of an aged yellowed sweat imprint) which did not make its full debut until late the same year as his quoted paper, i.e. 2015!

    But isn’t it time, well over 3 years later, for ‘mainstream’ Establishment pro-authenticity sindonology to at least acknowledge dissenting voices from its ‘supernaturally-assisted’ imaging mechanisms (corona discharges, radiation etc) if wishing to be taken seriously as ‘scientists’.

    Scientists (real ones) adopt “multiple working hypotheses”. STURP’s Ray Rogers used those precise words: MULTIPLE WORKING HYPOTHESES.


    (I personally would have fine-tuned that to “serial working hypotheses”. First, it would recognize the average intellectually-blinkered human condition (“please, let’s deal with one thing at a time”) . Second: it would hopefully justify, or attempt to do so, this plodding investigator’s 4 year ‘progression’ from Model 1 – 2011- through to Model 10 – 2015- with many peeps, indeed fixations, with side-turnings along the way…).

    PS: So how much value can be placed on the attempt by the same author to “correct” the radiocarbon dating from 14th back to the 1st century using, wait for it, mechanical strength testing of individual TS fibres?:


    Are we really to suppose that exposure to those prolonged high temperatures , whether from the 1532 fire or my rival 14th century explanation, had no effect whatsoever on the mechanical strength of the linen fibres? No weakening despite exposing to the conditions one uses to cook and tenderize the fibres of meat, vegetables etc etc? Oh come now Prof Fanti! Kindly get real!

  13. Colin Berry says:

    You briefly raise the matter of the hair, Piero (I’m assuming you mean head hair in both instances, i.e. that your first reference is not ‘hair’ in the context of flax fibres).

    I consider that the imaging of hair, whether real or simulated, is a problem in any of the available models, whether pro- or anti-authenticity. That’s especially so where those daft ‘flash of body-emitted radiation’ models of one kind or another are concerned: any radiation capable of leaving a scorch-like image on linen is surely going to singe off the hair at the same time! That’s without asking why the hair on the top of the head (or skin on the sides of the body) are not imaged, given the answer we invariably get, namely that the radiation is, wait for it , “highly directional” – either up or down, never sideways. Yeah, right, radiation that is aligned with the weak force of gravity – i.e. radiation the like of which does not exist in the natural world. 😉

    I consider that my Model 10 (which sees the TS body image as a SIMULATED sweat imprint) provides an explanation for the problematical hair. First, being a simulation means that the hair was not created by imprinting from real scalp-associated sweat: the forgers merely needed to represent sweat-imprinted hair in some manner that would pass fleeting inspection by visiting pilgrims. As for the absence of hair on the top of the head, there’s a simple explanation, one that may be original.

    Here goes: in simulating the imprinting of the entire body image of the crucified founder of Christianity onto linen in a J of A context (collecting body to transport from cross to the rock tomb) they had to consider the crown of thorns. They made a decision, namely to imagine that it was in place during the transport phase. Thus the lack of contact between top of head and linen due to interposed crown, while still allowing blood (or “blood”) from the thorn-inflicted punctures of the scalp to trickle onto face, hair, indeed both. But on reaching the tomb, the simulation then pictured the crown of thorns being removed, with the imaging (or lack thereof) to result in the TS image as we see it today. (Frankly, if I’d been one of those presumed medieval modellers, I’d have left a few broken thorns or fragments thereof in the linen at top or sides of head).

    Note there is nothing to distinguish the image texture of “hair” from rest of body. I suspect that a separate bas relief was used to imprint that frame of hair, largely separate from face. As for the face itself, it could also have been imprinted from a bas relief, but I personally consider a real face was used, accounting not only for the flattened nose in 3D-rendered images, but the distortion of the nose too – not an intended part of the simulation process, but an unavoidable side effect of impressing wet linen onto a flour-coated face, needing to apply strong pressure to the nose to ensure imprinting of lower-lying less prominent features like lips, teeth etc.

  14. Piero Iacazio says:

    Dear Prof. Colin Berry,
    Thank you for your lesson of Chemistry…
    It was interesting to receive a lesson of Chemistry from an ex-teacher/lecturer in the subject!

    But I believe we can try to deepen the decolorization of melanoidins…
    For example, reading the Abstract of another paper (and this study was not about melanoidins, but the substance to bleach was melanin !),
    we can see that :
    >… studies using soluble Sepia melanin demonstrated that both HO2- and HO∙ will individually bleach melanin. Additionally, when both oxidants are present, bleaching is increased dramatically in both rate and extent. Careful experimental design enabled the separation of the roles and effects of these key reactive species, HO∙ and HO2-. Rationalisation of the results presented, and review of previous literature, allowed the postulation of a simplified general scheme whereby the strong oxidant HO∙ is able to pre-oxidise melanin units to o-quinones enabling more facile ring opening by the more nucleophilic HO2-.
    In this manner the efficiency of the roles of both species is maximised.

    Is that the same case for melanoidins ?

    In any case we can consider the study I have indicated in my previous message :
    “Alkaline hydrogen peroxide bleaching of cellulose”,
    an article by Robert E. Brooks and Samuel B. Moore,
    published in ”Cellulose” 7(3):263-286 · September 2000

    A closed system bleaching apparatus was designed to determine the kinetics and effects of various factors on alkaline hydrogen peroxide bleaching of textile cellulose fabrics. It was confirmed that perhydroxyl anion is the primary bleaching moiety in alkaline hydrogen peroxide systems. The use of the apparatus in the measurement of fabric color, waste oxygen, and the subsequent calculation of hydroxyl ion, and molecular hydrogen peroxide confirmed that pH and titration of ‘free’ hydrogen peroxide in alkaline bleaching systems are not good indicators of bleaching mechanism. The role of the cellulose itself in the chemical bleaching system was determined. The rate of bleaching on cotton fabric was shown to be a first order reaction in concentration of perhydroxyl anion at 60 and 90 C. An activation energy of 17kcal/mole was estimated.
    Decomposition of H2O2 into waste oxygen was found to be second order kinetics.

    I don’t state that bleaching of melanoidins is the same thing of bleaching of cellulose, but the perhydroxyl anion is the primary bleaching moiety in alkaline hydrogen peroxide systems.
    Then the main question to be solved is the following:
    How does hydrogen peroxide act on melanoidins?
    First of all we have to know the exact chemical structure of melanoidins (also with reference with the possible ring opening by the more nucleophilic HO2- …).

    In any case I believe we have other (snd more important) questions to discuss…


    P. S.
    Here what I have read in “One-step process for desizing, scouring and bleaching of cotton fabric using a novel ecofriendly bleaching agent” (November 2015)
    by Magdy Kandil Zahran (Helwan University) :

    >… In the “modern view”, the bleaching effect is attributable
    to the perhydroxyl anion (HO2-)
    [bibl. references = P. Ney : Melliand Textilberichte, 63 (6),443 (1982).
    B. Smith and J. Rucker : American Dyestuff Reporter, 76 (9), 34 (1987).
    A. P. James and I. S. Mackird,Chemistry & Industry, 15 (20), 641(1990).].
    According to this view, hydrogen peroxide is present in aqueous
    Journal of the Textile Association – Nov.-Dec. 2006 155
    solution in a dissociation equilibrium with the perhydroxyl
    anion (HO2-) and the peroxo dianion (O22-) (Equations 4 & 5):
    H2O2 HO2- + H+ ……(eq. 4)
    HO2- O22- + H+ ……(eq. 5)
    The perhydroxyl anion may further generate other active species
    according to the following equation
    [bibl. references = A.M.M. Taher and D.M. Cates : Textile
    Chemist and Colorist, 7 (12), 30 (1975).
    F. Haber and J. Weiss : Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series
    A. 147 (861), 332 (1934).] :
    HO2¯ + H2O2 HO2l + HO- + HOl …………..…(eq. 6)
    The perhydroxyl radical (HO2l) may also dissociate to form the radical
    anion O2-l, known as superoxide, which very recently consider as an
    active bleach agent …

    >… In alkaline bleaching solutions (at higher pH’s) formation of the
    perhydroxyl anion may be enhanced by shifting the chemical
    equilibrium to right (equation 4) and / or decomposition of hydrogen
    peroxide (equation 7)
    [bibl. reference : W. Sebb : Textile Praxis International, 14, 36 (1981).] :
    HOOH + ¯OH HO2 ¯ + H2O
    This study did not treate hydrogen peroxide bleaching in itself, but it treated the use of sodium perborate as a “novel bleaching agent”, without any additives in the bleaching bath. …
    Here another possible key (But this is another case: the degradation of melanoidins in presence of metal cations…):
    >…Melanoidins behave as anionic hydrophilic polymers, which can form stable complexes with metal cations and reported that ketone or hydroxyl groups of pyranone or pyridone residues act as donor groups in melanoidins and participate in the chelation with metals as melanoidins
    have net negative charge …
    Obviously another case can be the use of hydrazine (and not hydrogen peroxide)…
    because hydrazones are a class of organic compounds with the structure R1R 2C=NNH2.
    They are related to ketones and aldehydes by the replacement of the oxygen with the NNH 2 functional group. They are formed usually by the action of hydrazine on ketones or aldehydes…
    — — —

    • Colin Berry says:

      OK, it will take a while to digest your reply, Piero. but a quick scan says there’s nothing there to challenge my case, namely that alkaline hydrogen peroxide acts as a reducing agent, donating hydrogen atoms that convert double bonds in melanoidins to single bonds, thereby bleaching the yellow colour of the chromophore. That fits with the bleaching of the TS body image by diimide and hydrazine, also both hydrogen donors, i.e. reducing agents. So why go looking for a different mechanism where alkaline hydrogen peroxide is concerned? What is chemistry (and indeed sindonology) if not pattern-finding and joined-up thinking?

      Taking up another point of yours: yes, I am presently modelling the rates of migration of coloured ink (a) along intact linen threads (b) partially unspun threads – to widen capillary channels that I’ve discovered speeds up transport and (c) isolated fibres.

      Here’s a photograph of today’s result, looking at the ability (nay, lack thereof) of individual fibres to transport the ink across a bridge between two ink reservoirs, one red, one blue:

      Relevance to TS? Ask and I shall gladly give my current updated thinking, based on this and related thinking.

      Thank you for your interest.

      • Piero says:

        Thank you.
        You are right about hydrogen peroxide.
        In any case, in my opinion, we have not yet reached the complete drilling of “the parallel tunnel of melanoidins”…
        But I think we are going far from the problems inherent the bodily Image on the Shroud.
        I want to add :
        I wrote “just for fun” about decolorization of melanoidins… I lost a bit of time looking for bibliographic references about the discoloration of melanoidins, etc. However, it is clear that a thing is the wastewater (perhaps even containing metals!) and another thing is the presumed/alleged presence of melanoidins on linen fibrils .. .

        I see I have discussed the chemical problems of hydrogen peroxide for too long (= Chemistry, basic knowledge!), considering H2O2 as a possible bleaching substance for melanoidins … while the main problems are others.
        I apologize.
        So I’d really like to hear the rest of the music …
        Unfortunately, now, I do not have enough time to discuss the problem of hair and the inherent simulation in the image of the Shroud…
        Also I have to try to treat one topic at a time, to avoid creating confusion.
        Instead, regarding your photography, I can remember what is “Surface tension” :
        It is the elastic tendency of a fluid surface which makes it acquire the least surface area possible. Surface tension allows insects (e.g. water striders… Their lives on the water’s surface make them easy for even a young child to observe…), usually denser than water, to float and slide on a water surface. …
        In any liquid, intermolecular forces cause the liquid molecules to be attracted to each other.
        On the surface of the liquid/air interface, however, a molecule of the liquid feels the attractive forces of the other molecules from within the liquid, but none from the outside.
        This causes the outer layer of the liquid to act like a stretched membrane and minimize the surface area.
        Besides cohesive forces, “adhesive” forces also exist; they cause water molecules to try to “stick,” or “adhere,” to solid surfaces.
        The most common example of the effect of adhesive forces is the meniscus that is commonly seen when using graduated cylinders.
        The water molecules respond to an attractive “adhesive” force pulling them towards the glass walls.
        One method to measure the surface tension of a liquid is to measure the height the liquid rises in a capillary tube…

        For example, on Wikipedia, there is a Table about the “Surface tension for some interfaces ” :
        Interface Temperature γ in (mN·m−1)
        Water–air 20 °C 72.86 ± 0.05
        Water–air 21.5 °C 72.75
        Water–air 25 °C 71.99±0.05
        and, with other substances, there is a different behaviour:
        Ethylene glycol–air 25 °C 47.3
        Ethylene glycol–air 40 °C 46.3
        Methanol–air 20 °C 22.50
        Ethanol–air 20 °C 22.39
        Ethanol–air 30 °C 21.55

        Then changing tha composition of the liquid (for example, adding a bit of pure ethanol to your cups) perhaps we can observe a different kind of behaviour…

        Capillarity is the combined effect of cohesive and adhesive forces that causes water and other liquids to rise in thin tubes or other constricted spaces.
        Inside a thin glass tube, the adhesive force, the attraction between the water and the glass wall, draws water up the sides of the glass tube to form a meniscus.
        The cohesive force, the attraction of the water molecules to each other, then tries to minimize the distance between the water molecules
        by pulling the bottom of the meniscus up against the force of gravity.

        Anyway, I think you have to explain better what you want to do with the two cups and the wires.
        What are the threads made of? … Modern linen, ancient linen or what?

        John Tyrer (“Looking at the Turin Shroud as a Textile”) did write :
        >Dam retting was apparently used. …

        Probably there is a small amount of wax on modern linen (unless they have been treated in a particular way) with respect ancient linen.
        So… what do you want to do?
        I believe you can add a drop of surfactant and observe what happens
        (before and after adding the drop of water containing the surfactant).

        B.T.W. : cross sections of cotton fibre and linen fibre can show us the central lumen

        Flax fibres do not show the convolutions present in cotton. When immature, flax fibres look oval in cross section and have thinner cell walls.
        The lumen size is larger in the immature flax fibre. …
        The size of the lumen mainly depends on the maturity of the fibres. Generally the lumen size (cross-section of the lumen) is larger for immature fibre and smaller for matured fibres.

        The lumen is an open channel in the centre of the fibre, and it can be as small as 1.5% of the cross-section of the fibres [bibl. ref. : H. L. Bos, “The potential of flax fibres as reinforcement for composite materials,” Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2004]. The size of the lumen mainly depends on the maturity of the fibres. Generally the lumen size (cross-section of the lumen) is larger for immature fibre and smaller for matured fibres.
        I think the lumens should be better observed in the fracture surface of the fibre (SEM images) … or in optical controls.
        I think that showing the shape of lumen along the fibre, using a coloured liquid, can be an interesting (but not fundamental) experiment. Capillary action occurs when the adhesion to the walls is stronger than the cohesive forces between the liquid molecules. So… what will happen into the linen ?
        — — — —

        • Colin Berry says:

          Again, you blitz with a bewildering number of points Piero.That’s before I’ve finished addressing the several disparate ones you raised previously (I had been intending to respond to your mention of Ray Rogers and his attempt to implicate a starch impurity coating – something I reject entirely on numerous grounds).

          I for myself try to remain focused on what I consider to be the crucial claims – some highly dubious – made for the TS, especially those that seem to rely either on pseudoscience, or on no input of science whatsoever but mere fantasy.

          My main bugbear right now is the claimed ultra-superficiality of the body image, restricted we are told to the mere 200nm thick PCW (primary cell wall)

          Where is the evidence to back up that claim? I’ve read any number of published papers and pdfs, from Rogers. Jackson, Heller and Adler, Pellicori, Fanti, Di Lazzaro etc etc, yet have so far failed to find a single shred of hard scientific evidence to support the PCW-only claim.

          Maybe I have missed something. Maybe you with your extensive reading can point me in the right direction.

          Can you, or anyone else reading this comment, tell me where the PCW-only location for body image was published? No, not just superficial fibres on the crowns of threads, which I don’t dispute, but superficial PCW-only location on the individual fibre….

          My own belief, for what it’s worth, is that the evidence simply doesn’t exist. The PCW claim is fantasy, sheer fantasy. Had STURP and others done transverse sections of image threads or fibres, they would have seen the yellow body image chromophore had penetrated the inner SCW core of fibres.

          We can worry about the precise route of entry, the extent of lateral migration etc. For now, let’s just focus on PCW, SCW or both …

          My Model 10 puts the yellow melanoidin chromophore into the SCW . How? Why? Because when first formed it is a mobile LIQUID! Once inside the SCW, the liquid sets to a polymeric solid (melanoidin) which cannot be washed out… It was probably those solid melanoidin micro-particles that Walter McCrone misidentified as artist’s paint pigment (iron oxide etc). But iron oxide does not bleach with diimide, hydrazine or alkaline hydrogen peroxide the way that melanoidins do… McCrone’s claims should have been lain to rest decades ago – but continue to be promoted by his Chicago research institute to this day (usually appearing in the first few pages of a Google search under (shroud of turin)!).
          It takes one to this totally misleading page:


      • Piero says:

        Obviously it is difficult to follow several threads at same time …
        I admit: it can be too confusing !
        Let me write something about the first argument (a “neutral argument” or “basic Science”): hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) .
        I think we have to consider rH values… Do you agree on that ?
        Then there should be the inherent diagram (the field of thermodinamic stability) to see what are the rH / Eh (mV) values of the lines limiting the areas ( = the field with oxidizing properties and the field with reductive properties)…
        See also another way to consider the issue : the nomogram (or chart) of De Lescoeur …
        — — —
        Returning to the linen fibrils and lumen I think we have to show the behaviour of that lumen during wet operations. Where are the images ? Nothing.
        So we have detected two different areas ( = thin layer on linen thickness and lumen behaviour) where we have not real informations or useful experiments to show.
        Am I wrong in my remarks ?
        — — —
        I hope in your answer.

        Also I wanted to write some lines about temperature and amount of oil used (see also : your experiments using oils and the possible deep-frying) …
        Then, see also : acrolein (CH2=CHCHO) … It may be formed from the breakdown of certain pollutants in outdoor air or from the burning of organic matter including tobacco, or fuels such as gasoline or oil. It is toxic to humans…
        But now it’s near impossible because I have no more time at disposal …
        — —

        • Colin Berry says:

          OK, thanks for your several comments, Piero.

          Time now to invite others to express their views on this investigator’s current ideas/preoccupations, 7 years in the making:

          1. high- definition powder-imprinting

          2. my outright rejection of ultra-superficial body image confined entirely to the PCW.

          3. proposed momentarily-liquid chromophore in my Model 10 – penetrating then quickly setting to a brittle solid within the SCW core of image fibres.

          4. age v heat exposure (?) as reason for the background linen colour etc etc. I say heat applied in mid-1300s to generate yellow chromophore from my Model 10 flour imprint (simulated sweat imprint) as main reason for background colour (not the 1532 fire)

          Don’t go away, Piero – just take a break…

          • Piero says:

            Yesterday (late in the evening) I still wanted to write…
            But then I did read your advice, then I stopped …
            Today, however, I see that no one has yet written to you and then I want to resume my brief considerations …
            First of all: when you talk about Ing. Giulio Fanti you should consider his book (it was a text written with his student Malfi…) and the fact that he has indicated the use of a “correction factor” for the results of his analyses. Have you tried to read that text and to take into account this fact (which does not appear in your attack on the “claims” of Prof. Fanti)?
            So: What are your interesting considerations about the “correction factor” used by Prof. Fanti?
            Thank you in advance.
            — — —
            Another point:
            Do you want to reveal to the readers what is the “momentarily-liquid chromophore”?
            For example:
            I have read (Wikipedia) :
            >…The smell of burnt fat (as when cooking oil is heated to its smoke point) is caused by glycerol in the burning fat breaking down into acrolein. …
            How much acrolein (systematic name: propenal) can be formed from cooking oils?
            … and then …
            Can acroleine penetrate into flax fibrils (perhaps already having altered thin layers [depending on the chosen scenario:] from the condensation of the products used in the simulation or from the cadaveric amines) and then react like a liquid chromophore?
            What are the levels of reactivity of acolein and acrylamide on unsaturated organic chemical structures?
            Acrolein is an irritating and off-flavor compound formed during heating of vegetable oils… Instead :
            … > Relatively high levels of acrylamide (753 μg/g of ammonia) were formed from ammonia and acrolein heated at 180 °C in the vapor phase. The reaction of acrylic acid, which is an oxidation product of acrolein and ammonia, produced a high level of acrylamide (190 000 μg/g of ammonia), suggesting that ammonia and acrolein play an important role in acrylamide formation in lipid-rich foods. Acrylamide can be formed from asparagine alone via thermal degradation, but carbonyl compounds, such as acrolein, promote its formation via a browning reaction.
            Source :
            “Gas Chromatographic Investigation of Acrylamide Formation in Browning Model Systems”, by Akio Yasuhara, Yuuka Tanaka, Matt Hengel, and Takayuki Shibamoto


  15. Piero Iacazio says:

    Dear Dr. C. Berry,
    Thank you for your answer.
    But I think we can check the ancient linen Cloth using non-destructive ways (for example : SPM and Raman analyses).
    The same kind of analyses must be (previously !) used on linen samples obtained from the experiments. Obviously quantitative and qualitative analyses of all melanoidins present in the treated samples (obtained through the “Maillard reaction pathway”) can be difficult to reach.
    Now I am curious about what you wrote regarding “the liquid-imbibing fibres” and “superficial outer layer of the linen fibre”. Then I remember a past conference (year = 2005) by Eng. Marcel Alonso (“Role of Capillarity in the Image Formation Process”), who did indicate the problems about capillarity, wetting phenomena, porosity etc. …

    By the way what is your own opinion about the presumed diffusion along the hair fibers ?
    Have you improved the imaging of the hair (after the very interesting hands)?
    If you want to broken the “the brick wall” this can be an interesting point to show.
    — * — * —

    Taking apart what you wrongly wrote about :

    > …alkaline hydrogen peroxide (the latter a reducing agent, not oxidizing agent as often and mistakenly portrayed).

    because, in my opinion, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is still an oxidizing agent. In a basic wash solution, hydrogen peroxide loses a proton and is converted to the perhydroxyl anion.
    [See, for example : “Alkaline hydrogen peroxide bleaching of cellulose” an article
    by Robert E. Brooks and Samuel B. Moore, published in Cellulose 7(3):263-286 · September 2000]
    So I think you simply wrote a sort of typographic mistake, because reductions with diimide are chemical reactions that convert unsaturated organic compounds and hydrazine is a highly reactive base and reducing agent [See also hydrazine hydrate (NH2NH2 · xH2O)] …
    I have to send the following (boring and long) answer :

    I did ask about melanoidins and their decoloration because I was curious, but unfortunately I had no sufficient time to write the other details…

    Here my “intervention”:


    In fact there are several ways to use bacterial system in order to obtain a degradation of melanoidins…
    For example, I have found a paper (about melanoidin decolorization) titled :
    “A novel thermotolerant Pediococcus acidilactici B-25 strain for color, COD, and BOD reduction of distillery effluent for end use applications”
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research
    June 2013, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 4046–4058

    The present study was aimed to characterize physico-chemical and microbial population of distillery effluent and isolate a novel thermotolerant bacterium for color, COD, and BOD reduction of spentwash. The level of alkalinity, TSS, DO, COD, BOD, TN, ammonical nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, chloride, and calcium of spentwash (SW), bioreactor effluent (BE), and secondary treated effluent (STE) were well above the permissible limits. The level of color, TS, and TDS were under the permissible limits for STE but not for SW and BE. The microbial population was higher in BE. The results revealed that effluent was highly polluted and require suitable treatment before discharge. A novel thermotolerant bacterium, identified as Pediococcus acidilactici, was isolated which exhibited maximum 79 % decolorization, 85 % COD, and 94 % BOD reduction at 45 °C using 0.1 %, glucose; 0.1 %, peptone; 0.05 %, MgSO4; 0.05 %, K2HPO4; pH 6.0 within 24 h under static condition. The ability of this strain to decolorize melanoidin at minimum carbon and nitrogen supplementation warrants its possible application for effluent treatment at industrial level. In addition, it is first instance when melanoidin decolorization was reported by P. acidilactici. This study could be an approach towards control of environmental pollution and health hazards of people in and around the effluent distillery unit.


    then , reading the References of that study (© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012), we can see the presence of other papers.

    So… Please, see the following long list :

    – “Removal of melanoidin present in distillery effluent as a major colorant: a review.”
    Agarwal R, Lata S, Gupta M, Singh P (2010)
    J Environ Biol 31:521–528

    – “Microbial degradation of melanoidins in distillery spent wash by indigeneous isolate.”
    Chavan MN, Kulkarani MV, Zope VP, Mahulikar PP (2006)
    Indian J Biotech 5:416–421

    – “Decolourization of synthetic and spentwash melanoidins using the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium JAG-40.”
    Dahiya J, Singh D, Nigam P (2001)
    Bioresour Technol 78:95–98

    – “Decolorization of synthetic melanoidins-containing wastewater by a bacterial consortium.”
    Jiranuntipon S, Chareonpornwattana S, Damronglerd S, Albasi C, Delia ML (2008)
    J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 35:1313–1321

    – “Microbial decolorization of melanoidin containing wastewaters: combined use of activated sludge and fungus Coriolus hirutus”.
    Miyata N, Mori T, Iwahori K, Fujita M (2000)
    J Ferment Bioengineer 89:145–150

    – “Adsorption of melanoidin to the mycelia of Aspergillus oryzae Y-2-32.”
    Ohmomo S, Kainuma M, Kmimura K, Sirianuntapiboon S, Aoshima I, Atthasampunna P (1988)
    Agric Biol Chem 52:381–386

    – “Melanoidin decolorization mechanism and some properties of Issatchenkia orientalis No.SF9-246”.
    Sirianuntapiboon S, Tondee T (2011)
    Afr J Biotechnol 10:9683–9693

    – “Decolorization of molasses melanoidins and palm oil mill effluent phenolic compounds by fermentative lactic acid bacteria.”
    Vassanasak L, Pawinee C (2010)
    J Environ Sci 22:1209–1217
    Here another vague reference :

    “Biodegradation and detoxification of melanoidin from distillery effluent using an aerobic bacterial strain SAG5 of Alcaligenes faecalis”
    Journal of Hazardous Materials
    Volume 193, 15 October 2011, Pages 319-324

    Anita RaniSantal N.P.Singh Baljeet SinghSaharan

    Distillery effluent retains very dark brown color even after anaerobic treatment due to presence of various water soluble, recalcitrant and coloring compounds mainly melanoidins. In laboratory conditions, melanoidin decolorizing bacteria was isolated and optimized the cultural conditions at various incubation temperatures, pH, carbon sources, nitrogen sources and combined effect of both carbon and nitrogen sources. The optimum decolorization (72.6 ± 0.56%) of melanoidins was achieved at pH 7.5 and temperature 37 °C on 5th day of cultivation. The toxicity evaluation with mung bean (Vigna radiata) revealed that the raw distillery effluent was environmentally highly toxic as compared to biologically treated distillery effluent, which indicated that the effluent after bacterial treatment is environmentally safe. This proves to be novel biological treatment technique for biodegradation and detoxification of melanoidin from distillery effluent using the bacterial strain SAG5.


    ► The Alcaligenes faecalis strain SAG5 decolorizes 72.6 ± 0.56% of melanoidins.

    ► The decolorization was achieved at pH 7.5 and temperature 37 ̊C on 5th day.

    ► The distillery effluent after biological treatment is environmentally safe.

    As we have read :

    >The optimum decolorization (72.6 ± 0.56%) of melanoidins was achieved at pH 7.5 and temperature 37 °C on 5th day of cultivation.

    So… I think to have roughly depicted the situation about the possibility : the discolouration/decolorization of the melanoidins …

    I hope to read something of interest about the fact previously underlined (the experiment about the image of the hair) …
    In any case I beg your pardon regarding the “reversed problem” that should have been another step toward the future solution … In my idea the selective degradation/fading/decolorization of a linen cloth previously stained with melanoidins using a bacterial attack should have been a possible useful progress towards the true knowledge of the stability of stained linen sheets…


    • Colin Berry says:

      I shan’t attempt to respond in one go to all the many points in your comment, Piero (preferring comments to be bite-size and digestible)

      Which to take first? Answer: your claim that I have the chemistry wrong regarding alkaline hydrogen peroxide as a bleach for melanoidins.

      But I don’t! There are two ways of bleaching a coloured organic compound. The standard means is via oxidation using oxidizing agents. But there’s a second way when dealing with a melanoidin, or any other substance whose colour depends on conjugated double bonds. It involves adding hydrogen atoms, each one of which is a proton (H+) and an electron (e-) across one or more of the double bonds . Adding a hydrogen atom with its electron is REDUCTION, and requires a compatible reducing agent. Wait for it: one can even use hydrogen peroxide, normally considered an oxidizing agent , on condition it is used in ALKALINE solution! It then behaves just the opposite, i.e. as a REDUCING AGENT (source of electrons). I kid thee not…

      OK, the active species is indeed the deprotonated form of hydrogen peroxide, the perhydroxyl (OOH-) anion, as you rightly point out. But to get that ion to supply electrons requires that it be deprotonated to give molecular oxygen – the appearance of which as a co-product is a crucial giveaway to hydrogen peroxide acting as a REDUCING agent:


      H2O2 + 2OH- to give 2H20 + O2 + 2e-

      or, if your prefer your ionic reactant (perhydroxyl anion):

      OOH- + OH- to give H20 + 02 + 2e- (essentially same in redox terms as above).

      The crucial giveaway is the oxygen. When one deploys hydrogen peroxide in alkaline solution to bleach melanoidins one sees frothing (due to the gaseous oxygen). I know – I’ve done it, having reported a while back on the bleaching of both baked products (bread rolls etc) and my Model 10 imprints with ALKALINE hydrogen peroxide.


      See also this one for more general background on bleaching of melanoidins, albeit with ordinary hypochlorite bleach and other oxidizing agents (as distinct from alkaline peroxide acting as a REDUCING AGENT):


      Acidified hydrogen peroxide might be able to bleach other substances, using chemistry based on removal of electrons, i.e. oxidation, but without visible frothing, since the only other product is water. But that is of no relevance to bleaching of melanoidins where it’s those electrons and hydrogen atoms that are needed as part of a chemical REDUCTION (not , repeat, NOT oxidation).

      There’s a quicker, simpler answer, for anyone familiar with “oxidation numbers” in chemistry. The oxidation number of oxygen in the element (O2) is zero by convention. In water, H20, or hydroxide ion, OH-, it is minus 2. In peroxide it is intermediate (minus 1). So there are two ways peroxide can react. The first is to change to water only, the oxidation number going from -1 to -2, acquiring an electron from somewhere else OR going from -1 to zero, i.e. to elemental oxygen through donating (loss of) an electron. Both reactions happen when hydrogen peroxide per se, with no other additions, decomposes of its own accord to gaseous oxygen and liquid water. One of the two peroxide oxygen atoms loses, i.e. transfers an electron to the other. It’s called a disproportionation reaction, which in oxidation number terms can be represented as :

      O (-1) + O(-1) disproportionating to O(0) + O(-2)

      Hydrogen peroxide displays a split personality in chemical terms, behaving either as an oxidising or reducing agent, depending on whether it’s accompanied by acid or alkali. Frothing tells you it’s in reducing mode…

      End of chemistry lesson (from an ex-teacher/lecturer in the subject!)

  16. Piero Iacazio says:

    Here I try to pose another “new question”:
    Have you tried to do an experience in biodegradation and decolourization of melanodins ?
    What is the maximum amount reachable of melanoidin decolorization ?
    I have read (Wikipedia) that:
    >Nattō (納豆) is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis var. natto. Some eat it as a breakfast food. It is served with soy sauce, karashi mustard and Japanese bunching onion. …
    What can be the maximum amount of melanoidin decolorization using that Bacillus …or another Bacillus ?
    In other words : the funky idea can be the use a sort of “differential dyeing method” …

    But what it is more interesting is the attempt to show what is the result from a treatment (of decolorization) of a linen treated with melanoidins (produced from the Maillard pathway)…
    In other words : the “reversed problem” can be another step toward the future solution …
    Or not ?
    Have you ever tried to control (with proper analyses) what kind of melanoidins (from starch treatments of linen fibres) are produced following what wrote Dr. Raymond Rogers ? Is that “simple idea” (see also : the use of “advanced microscopies” and Raman analyses…) too difficult to verify ?

    • Colin Berry says:

      Melanoidins are highly complex large molecular weight substances. Their exact chemical structures are unknown, due to their complexity. All one can say is that their yellow colour is due to conjugated , i.e. alternating, single and double bonds, e.g. -CH=CH-CH=CH- CH- etc, with the possibility that there are -CH=N- as part of the sequence as well.
      Why? Because there a specific chemical reagents that are capable of hydrogenating those double bonds, interrupting the sequence, bleaching the colour. Examples: diimide, hydrazine, alkaline hydrogen peroxide (the latter a reducing agent, not oxidizing agent as often and mistakenly portrayed). All three of those were found by Adler and Heller to bleach the image fibres, yet they went ahead and implicated oxidized cellulose as the chromophore – truly a baffling and almost certainly mistaken conclusion, but one that became stated as “fact” in the STURP Summary of 1981. We have (Mr.) Ray Rogers to thank for flagging up melanoidins as the likely source of colour and susceptibility to hydrogenating agents, albeit via a pro-authenticity mechanism that many, myself included, find scarcely credible (reaction between a speculative starch impurity coating and gaseous post-mortem decomposition amines).

      I think he was right about the melanoidins, but wrong about the mechanism of formation. My money’s on white flour having been used as imprinting medium. When the imprint is heated (oven, open fire?) it’s the pre-formed reducing sugars and amines (from proteins or elsewhere) that react to give Maillard products first, then high molecular weight melanoidins. (Starch need not be implicated, given it’s unlikely to yield reducing sugars merely by heating, far less by getting scarcely above rock tomb temperature – Maillard reactions being highly temperature-dependent!).

      Proving my mechanism will not be easy, not without substantial-size samples from the TS, which Turin will almost certainly refuse. But then Rogers did not go back to Turin, requesting further samples to confirm his ” starch impurity layer” mechanism.

  17. Colin Berry says:

    Update: I have now contacted 7 Shroud authorities, notifying them of my new discovery re those liquid-imbibing fibres (a serious challenge I consider to the dogma re the image being confined to the PCW , i.e superficial outer layer of the linen fibre.)

    So far I’ve had just two responses (of substance), namely David Goulet (first to be contacted), then Hugh Farey. The other 5 shall remain nameless.

    Given the brick wall that scientific sceptics like myself encounter from mainstream (pro-authenticity) sindonology, there seems no need to rush from now on. I’ll take my time, documenting the new angle.

    There have been some unexpected findings these last few days. I’ll share them when I feel they might get an attentive audience.

    For now I’ll simply say there are three questions occupying my mind. First: what is the longest fibre one can extract from a modern-day thread of linen? Second: how quickly does diluted ink migrate along that isolated fibre, with no assistance from accompanying capillary channels as exist between fibres in the intact thread? Thirdly: is the ink advancing along the superficial PCW of the individual isolated fibre or via the inner SCW?

  18. Colin Berry says:

    OK, after 7 years of fairly non-stop modelling, I have finally been able to do what I consider to be the clincher experiment, one that explains the subtlety of the TS body image.

    I’ll post in a few days at most. For those keen to have a foretaste of what’s to come, here’s a brief summary.

    Take a linen thread, then ‘unspin’ via ‘reverse twisting to separate individual fibres at the centre of its length (but keep an untwisted portion intact). Dip the latter in diluted ink, with the rest protruding from the surface then stand back and wait.

    After a while you may start to discern a blue tinge appearing in the ‘unspun’ region with the separated fibres. It’s due to the ink having migrated along the SCW CORES of individual fibres. Yes CORES!

    No, it’s not immediately obvious that there’s colour migrating in those fibre cores. But have a hand lens handy (microscope not essential).

    Believe me. it’s there. The chromophore migrates along the CORES of the SCW.

    Forget all the mystery-mongering stuff about the chromophore being confined to a vanishingly thin PCW, a mere 200nm thick! Where’s the evidence (hard experimental evidence that is,, as distinct from pure waffle)? Maybe you can find it. This investigator can’t, despite 7 years of searching the published literature for hard scientific data.

    The subtlety of the TS body image is now accounted for, if not fully documented : it requires one to buy into this investigator’s Model 10 (or pro-authenticity equivalent), namely that the image chromophore was in the form of a LIQUID when it first made contact with the linen.

    A liquid exudate I say from a roasted white flour imprint, intended to simulate a sweat imprint of the crucified Jesus en route to the tomb onto J of A’s hastily conjured up “fine linen”. Forget all the pie-in-the-sky nonsense about “resurrectional photography” via outbursts of body radiation. Pseudoscience!

  19. Colin Berry says:

    My new tagline (alongside the site’s title) now reads:

    “Body image too faint, too superficial to be a clever fake”? Oh dear! Did mystery-mongering STURP fail to examine cross-sections of linen fibres?

    Should anyone think I’m unfair on STURP with the “mystery-mongering” tag, then I suggest they take a look at the take-away message in its 1981 Summary, where “mystery” gets plugged not just once but twice! (My bolding)

    “Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery.

    We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.”

    I say there’s a simple reason why the “problem remains unsolved”. STURP tried to run with its “mystery” origins before it could walk, failing to perform – or at any rate report – what it saw when (or if) it did elementary cross-sections of TS body image fibres for light microscopy.

    My next posting will show what can be seen when I simply stained linen – or even cheap cotton – with diluted ink, and looked at those crucial (dare one say mystery-dispelling) cross-sections!

  20. Colin Berry says:

    Here’s a message I sent yesterday, concluding an email exchange with one of Establishment sindonology’s big shots (I won’t say who…).

    Thanks for the prompt reply xxxxxxxxxxxx.

    Speaking for myself, I don’t do idle chat. I unearth the facts – real ones – as distinct from imagined ones, using them to build what I consider to be credible models, capable of being put to experimental tests. Then, the final test of the scientific MO, I make predictions.

    Prediction: when someone gets round to doing a transverse section of TS image threads or even individual fibres, they will find the body image is NOT superficial, but has penetrated to within the SCW cores of individual linen FIBRES, probably via a reticular network of capillary spaces/channels between microfibrils.

    What price the claim that TS body image cannot – and never will be – reproduced in the laboratory (or home for that matter)? Be patient. We’re getting there via plodding but systematic science – as distinct from wild guesswork.


  21. Colin Berry says:

    Afterthought: we’re told that the body image is incredibly superficial, associated entirely with the outermost PCW – a mere 200nm thick.

    200nm is a mere one five thousandth of a millimetre. Take a look at a ruler, and try to imagine 1/5000 of a millimetre. Now imagine ALL the colour of the TS body image confined/concentrated to that thickness. How likely is that? Would not the colour have to be incredibly intense, improbably concentrated if confined to so narrow a width?

    Personally I do not buy into the “colour in PCW layer only”, that being far too thin to be the sole location of colour.

    See the photomicrograph of a cross-section through my Model 10 (flour-imprinted) image fibres in this posting.

    I’m minded to think that my Model 10 is the more likely scenario, with the colour penetrating into the SCW core of the fibres, probably via capillary channels between those hugely neglected cellulose MICROFIBRILS, nowhere on sindonology’s radar screen (yet one more example of an inexcusable blind spot).

    Quite how one reconciles that deeper distribution of colour with Rogers’ “strippable 200-600nm ghost entities” from STURP’s 78 investigation is anyone’s guess. But that information from STURP is scanty and poorly documented to say the least, without the needed transverse sections to be certain about the precise point and depth of image-colour cutoff. Either that, or there’s additional information in the Rogers’ archive that we don’t know about.

    Why not a new approach to Turin, asking for a few more image fibres for 2019 microscopy, with the emphasis on TRANSVERSE SECTIONS? Who’ll notice the absence of a few image fibres (fibres, note, not entire threads).

    I predict that a transverse section will show the image colour is NOT confined to the PCW, that traces at least will be visible in the SCW.

    But don’t expect it to be highly visible in the latter- not if the image chromophore of TS was briefly liquid -an exudate from a roasted flour imprint – then wicked away instantly via those presumed capillary channels between SCW microfibrils.

    PS (added Sat Jan 5) : have just sketched out a scheme which I believe could fine-tune my Model 10 by positing variable infiltration of fibre SCW by briefly liquid nascent melanoidins.( i.e. endproducts of sugar-amino Maillard reactions). The latter would quickly polymerise and solidify – forming those non-cellulosic “ghosts” aka moulds observed by (correction) both Rogers and Heller/Adler when pulling image fibres away from the sticky tape. Yes, the SCW core, comprising bundles of microfibrils, could look colourless if the stripped-out fibre left melanoidin ‘imprints’ on the sticky tape as “ghosts” aka moulds, their having been torn away from a filled or semi-filled reticular network of capillary spaces around and between microfibrils. I could provide a provisional Mark 1 diagram if requested.

    PPS: am beginning to suspect that the PCW (primary cell wall) acts like a mirror, especially in the bright light one uses for photography and microscopy, such that the coloured INTERIOR of image fibres, i.e. the SCW (secondary cell wall) is rendered largely invisible, except to the naked eye. Thus the need, nay imperative, to do transverse sections if one wants to locate the true location of most if not all the image colour!

    There are two possible reasons for image colour being rendered invisible in (rear-applied) transmitted light. The first is light intensity – far more light reaches the eye when it’s transmitted rather than reflected light. Scientific photography would need to correct for that difference, i.e to standardize under controlled conditions. Second, transmitted light makes only one passage through the specimen, rear to front, blue light being subtracted to give the yellow colour. Reflected light makes a DOUBLE passage through the specimen, outward bound, then return. Scientific photography would need to correct for that difference etc. which might well account for most of the “transmitted light” effect reported by STURP’s Documenting Photographer.

    I shan’t mince my words. Mr.Barrie M.Schwortz served a useful role in 1978, photographically documenting the STURP personnel as they went about their business. But he had no business subsequently acquiring the title “President of the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association”! Talk about overweening pretentiousness! As for morphing from Documenting to born-again Scientific Photographer, words fail me… As for then proceeding to morph yet again from “born-again Scientific Photographer” to fully-fledged scientific member of the STURP team, I’m rendered speechless!


    From the internet: (my bolding of terms that relate to linen fibres’ ability (a) to reflect light (“lustre”) and (b) to quickly wick away water and indeed other liquids).

    Linen varies from a creamy white to greyish brown, the depth of colour depending largely on the time and condition of retting. It may be bleached to white or near white, or to any stage between the original colour and white, and is found on the market at the various stages of bleaching.

    Linen possesses a natural crispness when ironed damp, thus does not require starching, and has a natural lustre. It becomes softer and more lustrous with use and laundering, so that a fine, long used piece of linen may have almost the feel and appearance of silk. Heirloom linens handed down from generation to generation may display these qualities. Good quality linen is very durable and will wear a long time. It is readily refreshed by washing and ironing, and can be ironed at a somewhat higher temperature than cotton, but it will scorch if the iron is too hot. When it is ironed, linen has an odour somewhat like straw. Ironing develops lustre, so if a dull finish is desired, linen garments, should be ironed on the wrong side. Table damask is ironed on the right side to develop the lustre and enhance the pattern. Untreated linen feels cool to the touch and is one of our most absorbent fibres owing partially to its “wicking” ability. It absorbs very rapidly and also is quick drying so it is one of the most comfortable fabrics for warm climates. Resin finishes for crease resistance, while improving that quality, cut down on absorption and evaporation and thus decrease the cooling effect of linen.

    Linen has sometimes been considered an expensive fabric, but today it is competitive in price with many other fabrics. Its durability should be taken into account when considering costs – it is the perfect choice for made to measure curtains and blinds and also for upholstery.

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