New Paper: The Missing Corners and the Radiocarbon Date

April 23, 2014 1 comment

imagePam Moon has a new paper out, The Missing Corners and the Radiocarbon date of the Shroud of Turin at The Shroud of Turin Exhibition website.

Note: the paper is 11 slow-as-molasses pages stored as PNG graphics files wrapped in HTML. I’m travelling this week and must read papers through a hotel WiFi signal. It took 6 minutes to load on Windows 8.1 It is still trying to load on an iPad. Printing fails each and every time with various pages being dropped. (Others have encountered printing problems, I’m told). My only option was to save each page file manually, then print each one in Photoshop. You can only copy text with OCR software, which is how I copied the following paragraph. What was somebody thinking?

This paper argues that the corners were removed because of water damage from douse water used to put out the fire that partially burned the Shroud in 1532. The contaminated douse water led to the formation of mould and bacteria on the cloth. The corners were too damaged and stained to be saved so they were cut away by the curators of the Shroud. Then the area around the cut was unravelled and cleaned with a disinfectant applied with a cotton or linen cloth. Additional fibres were added to the Shroud material by the cleaning process. Finally the unravelled fibres were rewoven and a patch applied to the corner.

It is an interesting paper. Take the time to read it.

Pam, if you see this and you want your paper to get the attention it deserves, please put it into a PDF file.


Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

Tweet for Today: The Shroud of Turin and Bigfoot

April 23, 2014 Leave a comment


Skeptic’s Society Pat Linse said Shroud of Turin is fake like Bigfoot. Shroudies very upset by comparison. Bigfooties upset even more.

Categories: Humor

How many strange statements can you count?

April 23, 2014 1 comment

imageThis is an account of a lecture given by John C. Iannone. Gosh, I hope this is a problem in reporting:

. . . The Shroud’s authenticity was attacked in the late 1980s by the New York Times which was doing what it does best– mocking the beliefs of Christians.

. . . Invited by Shroud Custodian Cardinal Saldarini to analyze the Cloth, Mr. Iannone told a Fort Pierce Florida audience at St. Anastasia’s Catholic Church that the four soil samples he and fellow scientists examined from the cloth match precisely the four soil types at the locations where the Shroud was known to have traveled!

[ . . . ]

The “epsilon,” which is a small positive quantity that provides mathematical analysis, could be seen as a lightened area flowing out of the lips of our Lord as HIS very death was taking place! . . .

But clearly the most transcendental part of the evening’s lecture came when the Catholic scholar explained the very exact analysis points to the location on the cloth when Jesus rose from death.  

[ . . . ]

. . .   “As Jesus Christ entered Eternity, the atoms of His Body at the Resurrection accelerated dramatically. . . . And the light of Jesus’ Resurrection even shows up in NSA analysis!

This is why we must blog!

Categories: Lectures, Other Blogs

More on the ISA Tile and the “Prince of Peace”

April 22, 2014 4 comments

Throw away the so called progressive overlay. I trust my eyes more.
I think the man in the Akiane painting, in the ISA mosaic and on the Turin Shroud
are possibly the same person.

clip_image001A reader writes:

Why not have the three images submitted to facial recognition programs, using a random set of head-on male facial images, then a subset with facial hair?

A lot of facial recognition, explicitly or not, is based on certain ratios/portions between centers of eyes, mouth (upper lip), nose tip, and widths for these, because they are invariants under "facial expressions" reflecting deformations by facial muscular movements. Then there are various other characteristics, which are variable, adjusting for relative point of view.

Another reader writes:

Phil Dayvault may be a ‘Shroud scholar and a former FBI Special Agent — in the field of forensic analysis’ but this video mishmash would never last five minutes under scrutiny from a defense attorney in a courtroom. Show me the original photos without any size adjustments. Now resize them for convergence, which is permissible, but without changing any proportions whatsoever. In other words no stretching, no skewing, no tilting, no rotating, no concaving, no convexing, etc.  More over no doing this with features like eyes, noses, etc. No smiling. No frowning. Do a paper that shows that there is no fiddling. Then I will be impressed. Show me source photographs and documentation. How were these photographed? The distortion from a 28mm lens is extraordinary. And images off the internet are often swizzled to fit a page or something. 

The only way to go is use facial recognition software.

(or human recognition, I say).

Here is an interesting article: Facebook’s facial recognition software is now as accurate as the human brain, but what now?

Facebook’s facial recognition research project, DeepFace (yes really), is now very nearly as accurate as the human brain. DeepFace can look at two photos, and irrespective of lighting or angle, can say with 97.25% accuracy whether the photos contain the same face. Humans can perform the same task with 97.53% accuracy.


Throw away the so called progressive overlay. I trust my eyes more. I think the man in the Akiane painting, in the ISA mosaic and on the Turin Shroud Man are possibly the same person.

Stigmata and the Shroud of Turin

April 22, 2014 42 comments

imageRuss Breault writes:

I received an objection regarding stigmata…that it is always in the hand and not the wrists…seems contrary to the Shroud.  So I did a little research. Interestingly there have been several to report stigmata in the wrists including Saint Francis of Assisi!  I did not know that and considering that the current pope has taken the name of Francis, I thought it may be of interest.  Here is a web source:

Mystics of the Church: Stories of the stigmata in persons throughout the world

Here is one paragraph from this interesting article:

As stated above, for most stigmatics the wounds are in the palms of the hands, however there have been a number of individuals throughout the history of the Catholic church whom have had the wounds upon the wrists–two relatively recent cases would be Fr. Jim Bruse of Woodbridge, Virginia, a Catholic priest who was reported to have received the stigmata the day after Christmas in 1991 until 1993, and also Georgette Faniel of Montreal, Quebec, who had the stigmata on and off from 1950 until her death in 2002. Looking farther back in history we note that St Francis of Assisi is also stated to have received the stigmata in the wrists.

Painting of St. Francis by Cimabue, also known as Cenni Di Pepi or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe. Photograph is from Wikipedia. The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain". This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain.

Categories: News & Views

Heaven is for Real, the Akiane Prince of Peace, the ISA Mosaic and the Shroud of Turin

April 21, 2014 19 comments

imageWith the movie, “Heaven is for Real,” in the theaters, the book of the same title is back on the New York Times Bestseller List; that is 134 weeks, on again – off again, that it was a bestseller in the non-fiction category. It is about the near death experience (NDE) of a four year old boy, Colton Burpo. I haven’t seen the movie but the reviews are in and it seems to be fairly good. All the syndicated big name reviewers and all the major newspapers covered it. Here is what Ty Burr wrote in the Boston Globe:

Room For Discussion

“Except that ‘Heaven Is for Real” turns out to be about cynicism and doubt for a sizable chunk of its running time — the struggle within those who already believe rather than the conversion of unbelievers. That makes it a surprisingly nuanced entry in the Christian film genre, even if the movie finally and firmly comes down on the side of angels, Day-Glo Elysian Fields, and Christ as nice guy incarnate. The faithful should welcome it warmly. Others may come away unconvinced while appreciating the film’s sincerity and lack of anti-secular axes being ground.

Why is this a big deal, here, in this blog?  Back in February of 2011, I blogged about this after receiving an email from a reader:

PrinceofPeace13I just finished reading “Heaven is for Real.” I am thinking that the Akiane Prince of Peace is very similar to the man in the Turin Shroud. STURP and now the Shroud Science Group with all its scientific books and journals cannot begin to match the power of this story. Four-year-old Colton Burpo left the hospital operating room and went [to] heaven where he saw Jesus. Later, he confirmed that Jesus looked like the Akiane Jesus. The Akiane Jesus looks like the Turin Shroud.

I wrote at the time:

The Akiane Prince of Peace? The book, Heaven is for Real? A kid who saw Jesus in heaven during some sort of purported near-death experience (NDE)? Really? And does this visionary picture look like the man in the Shroud?

I also wrote:

Akiane Kramarik seems to be a child visionary. Growing up in a home with an Atheist mother and a lapsed Catholic father, she apparently began having “divinely inspired visions,” which she translated into poetry and art.  By age four (Colton’s age) she was painting and writing poetry. There can be no denying, at least, that she is a prodigy. She appeared on CNN, World News Tonight and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Forget that she is a child; her work is amazing.

She was just eight-years-old when she painted Prince of Peace, her first portrait of Jesus. This is the painting Colton said was right.  It is reproduced in the back of every copy of this best seller. . . .

. . . Yes, I’m sure that such a popular image, if indeed many people think it is similar to the image of a man on the shroud, will have an impact on belief about the shroud. Nonetheless, the goal of the Shroud Science Group (as was the goal of STURP) is not to sway opinion. It’s purpose is to pursue the scientific and historical truth about the shroud, whatever it may be and wherever it may lead, and to disseminate that information in a responsible way.

That said, I say go read the book and make up your own mind. I’m intrigued but not swayed. Then again, it took me five years to conclude that the Shroud of Turin was probably real.

Now, I should probably add, go see the movie.

And now to the crux of the matter: Phil Dayvault, whose work has been discussed on this blog and who has participated with his own comments, has a new (or updated) web page, The ISA Tile and the “Prince of Peace” and a video that you should watch (you may need to hit the pause button if, like me, you are a slow reader of white on black).

YouTube Link:

There is room for a lot of discussion here. How good are Dayvault’s methods? Can they be reproduced by others? Can the software be revealed and examined? I didn’t see any obvious morphing going on, but is there any? Tilting? Angling back to front? Changing horizontal and vertical proportions? Any other Photo Shop stuff I didn’t think of? Any control work with other faces?

If you will be in Hamilton, Ontario this Week

April 21, 2014 Leave a comment

imageBarrie Schwortz announces on the STERA Facebook page:

Next week (April 24-28) I will be returning to Canada to make a series of presentations at Emmanuel United Church, 871 Upper Ottawa Street, Hamilton, Ontario, in conjunction with the Vancouver Shroud Association’s Man of the Shroud Exhibit(

I will be giving student lectures in the afternoons and adult lectures in the evenings. This is my last lecture series of the year and as always, I hope to see some of you there.

Categories: Event, Presentation

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