Can you spot the new entry on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site (despite the shutters coming down 3 years ago)?

before and after shroudstory site


What you see  on the left is a screen grab of Dan Porter’s long-retired site, taken this morning. On the right is the same Home Page as it now looks.

Notice any difference?

Here’s a tiny clue:


shroudstory new addition feb 8, 2019 cropped highlighted


Here’s a link to the pdf

So who’s this “Dr.Colin Berry” one wonders? What’s he said or done to bring Dan out of a well-earned retirement?

Joking aside, here’s the first of 2 emails I sent Dan this morning, after getting a preview of his 25  page pdf:

Thanks Dan
Have just done a lightning read of your splendid pdf – touching on so many aspects – scientific,religious  and  philosophical. Few will doubt the length of the incubation period – not just the last 3 years you have been absent from the scene, but the many years that preceded that with your long internet presence in one form or another, 
This is not the time to do a line-by-line analysis – and I don’t feel any compelling need to do so, given that nothing you have  written grates on my sensibilities as a retired scientist, concerned I have to say  less with the question of authenticity (having had a religious upbringing), but more to do with the use and abuse of science (or should one say “science” ?)..  I’ve condensed the key issue down to a couple of words these last  few days: it’s the difference between a “postulate” and a “hypothesis”. Postulates are bandied around in sindonology as if hypotheses. But hypotheses have a special meaning in science. They are not just ideas that enter one’s head out of the blue, that can be tossed into a discourse as if adding support to an argument, merely through plausibility or consistency with existing facts. Hypotheses  (scientific hypotheses) are or should be the starting  point for long, patient, model building exercises, where ‘falsification’ (ghastly term) takes centre stage, each new model being seen as provisional until a better one comes along (thus my 3+  year progression between 2012 and 2015  from Model 1 to Model 10!).
Just two specific points. First, I am now appalled at the description of the TS as a “burial shroud” with references to separate head and body covering. Indeed I’m so appalled, I think the term “shroud” needs to be abandoned entirely. Reading the accounts of Joseph of Arimathea’s deployment of a single sheet of linen (“clean”, “fine”)  it should be renamed the “Retrieval Linen” or maybe “Deposition Linen” since its primary purpose was dignified transport from cross to tomb, without the slightest hint that it was intended as final burial shroud. Seen in those terms an authenticity-favouring narrative would see the “TS” as a sweat/blood imprint acquired in brief transport from cross to tomb, with no attempt to link with resurrection from the dead. My own preference sees it as a medieval simulation (“mock up”) of a means of transporting an unsightly victim of crucifixion. The John account refers to entirely different replacement linen, with two pieces of linen, one for body, a separate one for head.  
There are a number of hints that post 14th century observers likewise interpreted the TS as a product of bodily sweat/blood imprinting, i.e. imprinting via physical contact only, no need to ‘postulate’  supernatural ‘selfies’ via self-generated radiation,  but I’ll spare you the details.
There’s something else that caught my attention, but best I send this first, and then re-read and deal with separately (and briefly). 
Anyway, welcome back to the fray, if only a temporary look-in. I’m sure folk will be interested to hear your overall well-rounded take on an artefact that continues to challenge and fascinate in equal  measure.
Kind regards to you and your family
and here’s the second:

Yes, just a quick PS to this morning’s email Dan.

” Superficiality. And now, Colin, you are similarly challenging the superficiality of the image. What took you so long? 
Yes, I’ve been asking myself the same question. What took me so long?

Answer:  Ray Rogers had ruled out changes to the major constituent of linen fibres (cellulose)  and then had the truly ground-breaking idea of an imported extra addition, i.e the starch impurity coating.  When I came to do my initial experimenting with direct scorching (Model 2) I realized

that there was an apparent blind spot in Rogers’ thinking. He seemed to be treating linen as if pure cellulose. There was no recognition of the PCW versus SCW  botany, and the fact that the PCW has not just cellulose (short chain) but xyloglucans as well, aka pentosan sugars, which are known to be more reactive chemically than highly ordered long-chain cellulose. So for a while I was receptive, correction  over-receptive to the ideas expressed in the 2010 Fanti et al review, namely that the body image was confined to the superficial PCW, (not Rogers’ starch impurity coating)  given its supposed chemical susceptibility to modifying agents from outside.

It was only later, when trying to imprint off cold unheated templates (metal horse brasses etc initially, later human anatomy) that I came to realize the amazing ability of powders to give imprints of almost photographic quality (tone-reversed negatives too!)  and quickly seized on the value of white flour as imprinting agent, especially as, on roasting of oil/flour-imprinted linen, it generated the same end-products identified by Rogers as the likely image chromophore  (Maillard browning products that quickly turned to solid high molecular weight melanoidins).
Now take a leaf from  Alan Adler’s thinking, namely that chromophores can/might enter fibres as low molecular weight liquids, and then become entrapped solid (what he called the “khaki” effect).  An entrapped chromophore, inside a highly reflective PCW, may escape attention if one fails to cut a transverse section of one’s fibre (as seems to be the case).  Fail to spot the lurking chromophore inside one’s SCW and hey presto, you preach a fallacious  PCW-only location, God-given if one’s attempting to invoke the supernatural, but inviting other interpretations if one’s trained in old-fashioned microscopy (always do LS and TS at the same time, to get a crude 360 degree view). 
Sorry about the waffle, but there you have it, if not in a typical nutshell, maybe one more head-banger coconut size.
It was Rogers’ apparent blind spot for the PCW that first enamoured me to the suggestion that it was the PCW only that carried the  allegedly ultra-superficial” body image. It wasn’t until  Model 10 came along, mid 2015, , with its role for a briefly liquid chromophore capable of penetrating  the SCW cores of linen fibres, that the possibility dawned on me of a non-superficial location of body image.  That has since been confirmed by microscopy of cut-edges (partway towards TS sectioning).  If the TS body image is also non-superficial, then it’s back to the drawing board with image-forming mechanism (with radiation selfies probably going out the window in short order, and the focus on LIQUIFIED chromophores – if only briefly – as in a medieval hot oven  or over an open fire with glowing charcoal embers ( maybe responsible in passing  for those so-called ‘poker holes’?).
I look forward to seeing the  long-awaited  epilogue  to your  Dec 2015 “farewell” on your shroudstory site, Dan.  All the best Shroudie books etc have epilogues….
Kind regards
2nd instalment (Feb 9, 2019)
Wow! Woke up this morning to find that Dan Porter has not only added that new pdf to his site (needing keen eyes to spot). He’s also, overnight (my overnight here in the UK) added an entirely new posting and it’s devoted to, guess what?  Answer: this fellow crumblie (just 2 years behind Dan, age-wise) and his latest modelling discovery (a body imprint that may at first sight look like it’s superficial, but ain’t –  hidden away as it is within the SCW cores of linen fibres \(it’s anyone’s guess if that’s the case with the TS – despite beign trumpeted for years as having an ultra-superficial body image, confined to the outermost PCW, a mere 200 nanometres thick).
Nuff said for now. Here’s another screen grab, of Dan’s new posting on his, er, resurrected shroudstory site.
dan porter new posting shroudstory site reopened


Expect further instalment – like (finally) a  high magnification picture  (x400)  of  those non-superficial Model 10 image fibres taken via conventional microscopy, i.e. illuminated from below, such that it is properly illuminated (top illumination allowing low magnification only, due to light obstruction by high power objective lenses a mere mm or so from the specimen).  The trick, as will be seen, is to keep the viewed cross-section of imprinted linen as small as possible, so as to allow maximum passage of that illumination from beneath!

There’s a knack: deploy the humble “Kirby hair grip” (thanks to daughter for leaving one in the house, Mrs.Berry not using them):





This is the top-illumination set up used previously, applied to the grip-supported image thread. But it can also be illuminated from beneath, to get a better of idea of where the image chromophore is located within individual linen fibres (like the SCW cores, best seen at cut ends as distinct from being outside, looking in…!).


Now switch to illumination from below:

IMG_8543 illum from below.jpg

Light intensity on  viewed specimen’s cut edge  now much greater


And here’s the sight that greets one’s eyes (though maybe not all eyes out there in mantra-intoning sindonology, if true for TS image fibres too!)


8549 zoom cropped in MS paint.png

Note how the image chromophore is best seen at the CUT ENDS only of image-fibres (obtained with flour-imprinting, i.e. my Model 10) NOT in the approach to those cut ends, viewed through the  PCW. It would seem that the PCW is highly reflective, concealing what’s inside, even a dense pigment derived from white flour via roasting of imprinted linen. Might  the TS body image be the same, i.e. NOT ultra-superficial as claimed, but  hidden away inside the SCW cores of image fibres?


Update (still Saturday)

There’s been a new but tiny addition to that new posting on Dan’s site.  Look at my latest screen grab. Can you see it?  Don’t strain your eyesight!

dan latest posting 2 comments highlighted


Update, Feb 10

Here’s yet another screen grab from the resurrected shroudstory site. It’s one of a number of comments I placed yesterday:

comment placed dan site 99% certain plus clarity

Sorry about the size. The takeaway message  was that I have recently assembled a long, long list of characteristics of my Model 10 image that closely match those of the TS image. Yes, some 17 thus far …

I shall be listing them here, one by one in the next day or two. Here’s the first 15

Here’s the 17, as promised. But one or two more have sprung to mind. Expect them to appear shortly…

  1. Negative (tone-reversed) image, consistent with imprinting via contact. (Wrong to assume that a negative image can only be created by photography)
  2. Image responds to 3D-rendering software. (But then so does any image that has steps or gradations of image density, the so-called “unique  encoded 3D characteristics” of the TS image  reflecting failure to run proper controls).
  3. Image colour. (Any shade one wishes between faint yellow and dark brown, depending on how long one roasts the Model 10 flour imprint).
  4. Image fuzziness. (No sharp boundary between image and non-image, the result  of imprinting with a solid powder – white flour, as distinct from liquid ink etc
  5. Directional image characteristics (frontal v dorsal images only, lacking sides or top of head), reflecting a desire on part of medieval artisans to achieve an imprinted look, assured by sprinkling of imprinting flour from above, and pressing linen against flour coated body from above).
  6. Absence of lateral, aka ‘wrap-around’  distortion, claimed by some to be an inevitable outcome of imprinting  of a body via direct contact. (Deployment of imprinting medium and imprinting pressure from above only means little or no contact/imprinting of the sides of the subject, thereby excluding possibility of lateral distortion.)
  7. Ease of bleaching colour, e.g. with alkaline hydrogen peroxide, which works on both the TS image fibres and those from Model 10.  ( ‘Bleachability’ fits with Rogers’  proposal that the image chromophore is organic in nature – more specifically a product of sugar/amino Maillard reactions – which should by rights have immediately ruled McCrone’s inorganic iron oxide paint pigments out of contention).
  8. Image non-fluorescent under uv (and indeed tending to quench any fluorescence from the linen itself).
  9. Water-resistance of image. (The final Model 10 image is that which remains after vigorous washing of the imprinted/roasted linen with soap and water, the image chromophore appearing to be well and truly incorporated within the threads and fibres of the linen).
  10. Image durability. (The Model 10 imprints made back in mid-2015 look as good now as they did when freshly prepared).
  11. Aged look of background linen – non-image areas – could well be a consequence of colour-development of a flour imoprint by ageing.  (Even a well-known proponent of authenticity has stated that the colour of the linen is more consistent with effects of heat than genuine ageing).
  12. The well known “poker holes” might well be a non-intended result of roasting the flour-imprinted linen over glowing  red-hot embers
  13. No obvious signs of imprinting with a liquid medium, such as capillary migration, and readily explainable if the imprinting medium were a powdered solid, albeit onto wet linen.
  14. However, claims for a faint reverse side image, at least for head and hands, can be accounted for. (Think a briefly liquified chromphore, exuded from heated white flour, penetrating the cores of linen fibres, able to traverse the width of linen, appearing faintly on the opposite side.
  15. Apparent image superficiality (at least for those who have not bothered to look at cross-sections of image fibres under the microscope).  A highly reflective primary cell wall may well prevent one seeing image chromophore that has penetrated the underlying secondary cell wall, subject of the current posting, at least when viewed under the microscope with intense illumination.
  16. Peculiar microscope properties of the TS body image, e.g. so-called half-tone effect, with all image fibres of same intensity of coloration, image discontinuities, striations etc. (These can be accounted for, at least in principle, if it is assumed that the image chromophore is initially in a liquid state, penetrating and colouring the interior of image fibres, able to migrate a short distance only before turning solid  –  Rogers’ proposed final melanoidins being of  high molecular weight.
  17. McCrone’s “microparticulate” image chromophore, misidentified as an inorganic artist’s paint pigment, can be accounted for in Model 10 by assuming that the end product of Maillard reactions in the heated flour imprinting medium are the melanoidins proposed by Raymond Rogers.
  18.  Starch contamination?  (Rogers claimed there was evidence (his own? others’?) for traces of starch contamination on the TS, supporting his ‘starch impurity’ hypothesis. Washed Model 10 imprints show tiny sparkles of reflected light, which might well be starch granules derived from the flour imprint, while noting that there may well be enough free reducing sugar in white flour to generate Maillard reactions without needing to invoke breakdown of starch to reducing sugars).
  19. (in preparation).  Image fibre fragility. (Rogers and others found that image fibres were easier to strip off the TS body image areas with his Mylar adhesive tape than non-image fibres. But why, if the body image, and accompanying  changes in chemical composition were restricted to an incredibly thin PCW sheath, a mere 200nm in thickness, with the major part of the linen fibre, ie. SCW core unaffected? I have just done a ‘strippability’ test on Model 10-imprinted linen, with 5 applications of sticky tape to the same area. Result: all 5 tapes removed non-image fibres, but image fibres appeared mainly in the first and second strips, with scarcely any in the last 3, suggesting strongly that My Model 10 image fibres are also weaker, more brittle, more fragile than non-image fibres.  Caveat: one could argue that my results  are  less about fragility, more about degree of  image fibre superficiality. I doubt it, but more experimentation  is needed to address that possibility.




superficiality at fiber level Fanti et al + contrast



About Colin Berry

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

1 Response to Can you spot the new entry on Dan Porter’s shroudstory site (despite the shutters coming down 3 years ago)?

  1. Colin Berry says:

    Dan Porter has just placed a comment on his new posting,. It ends with the following quotation regarding what STURP did or did not demonstrate conclusively. I have bolded the truly telling point:

    “Some research suggests that the color of the image lies on the 0.2µm (micrometer or micron) thick layer interpreted as the primary cell wall of the fibers, with the cellulose of the medulla, the interior of the fibers, being colorless. [4][5][6][7][8] STURP research, along with other research, confirms that the depth of discoloration on individual colored image fibers is extremely shallow or thin. But interpretations vary, and definitive research has not yet confirmed that the color is restricted to the primary cell wall. …”

    Well, well well. Now see what appears in the SSG-review of image-superficiality under “Superficiality at fiber level”. Note the way that it starts with a conclusion and then fails to provide definitive back-up data…

    This ain’t science, by any stretch of the imagination. This is dressing up postulates as if established facts. And to think it was accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal, the same article having been recommended to me by commentator “OK” earlier on the the same thread.

    PS: that “image-exclusive-to-the-PCW ” claim is even made in the oh-so-authoritative-looking review’s Abstract, would you believe it?


    The “superficiality” of the Turin Shroud body image is a characteristic frequently described in scientific papers but too often in vague terms. Originating from a discussion among the members of the Shroud Science Group*, this paper was compiled thoroughly describing the unique characteristics of the body image superficiality. This concept of superficiality is here described at the fabric, thread and fiber levels. At the fabric level, we show the importance of the geometry of the fabric. At the thread level, the very specific distribution of the color is emphasized. Finally, at the fiber level, we confirm that the color is a chemically altered layer about 200 nm thick found at the surface of the colored fibers (the inner part remains uncolored). We suggest that the chemical alteration that produced the discoloration is related to the primary cell wall of the linen fiber. The description of image superficiality here reported will be useful for the formulation of future hypotheses about the body image formation process.

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