What Next? Stadiums?

October 21, 2014 2 comments

These Shroud Encounter presentations are getting big, like this one at The Villages in Florida.


Categories: Presentation Tags:

On Early Reviews

October 21, 2014 4 comments

imageJohn Klotz  pens out some thoughts about what two people are saying about his book in A critcal response to a critic. For instance, on what Hugh Farey, the editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS), wrote, John writes:

As an author, I suppose that I should not be too sensitive to criticisms. It comes with the territory. However, Hugh Farey’s  criticism posted on shroudstory.com that I did not devote enough space and energy to explaining why Picknett-Prince theory that DaVinci forged the Shroud 100 years after it was first exhibited in Lirey, France is nearly as supercilious as the theory itself (which Hugh apparently rejects also).

And on what Ms. Underwood had to say over at Amazon,  John tells us:

[Her] review was enlightening and helpful to me:

"Excellent account of the history of Shroud research and presents a very good case for its authenticity! I was a bit disappointed that it did not delve into how the findings of quantum physics may provide a possible mechanism for the image formation."

I will be preparing a revision to answer Ms. Underwood’s comment and if anyone has already purchased the book, I will provide the revision gratis. Actually, the revision of the one chapter will include a discussion of a 2010 presentation by Andrew Sullivan and Nigel Kerner[iii] which argues that consciousness was an elemental power that along with gravity pre-existed the universe and engendered it. That’s my very brief summary and/or conclusion.

You will want to read A critcal response to a critic.

Categories: Books Tags: ,

Quick Reaction to In the Belly of the Beast

October 20, 2014 19 comments

“Whoa,” writes a reader in reaction to my Belly of the Beast posting. “Before you go slamming Dr. Jackson you need to look at the YouTube of him explaining the folds and the way the shroud was lifted out of the box. And read Dr. Jackson’s Foldmarks as a Historical Record at shroud.com where you can see the photographs. You dumb s… “

I think I ran into a fan. The part you may want to see starts at about the 11:10 mark and runs to about 18:00.  It is a good explanation.  Watch it! I still believe that the fold marks must be confirmed. I still say it is not class 1 evidence.  (Link to YouTube). And I added in the link to the above mentioned paper.

Categories: Critical Summary Tags:

In the Belly of the Beast

October 20, 2014 17 comments

imageI was reminded during Bob Siefker’s presentation in St. Louis that John Jackson and the other authors of A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses – Version 2.1 assign significant importance to the raking light photographs of the shroud. So do I, but far less so. To my way of thinking:

  • the cloth was at times folded
  • the cloth was possibly folded in half along its length three times such that the face, and only the face, appeared on the outside. This, of course, lends credence to the term tetradiplon. It also comports with the idea that the shroud may have been stored folded in a reliquary with a grate, so as to show only the face.
  • the cloth may have been been an inspiration for the Man of Sorrows icons that show Christ rising out of a coffin-like container.

I have been giving this some thought. What did the Critical Summary actually say?

    Quoting from item L6 of the Critical Summary:

One of the tasks undertaken by the STURP team was to take raking light photographs of the Shroud. Linen has poor elasticity, explaining why it wrinkles so easily. Thus, linen cloth has sort of a memory that can reveal how the cloth has been folded (see item H 13.0,2). . . .

Okay. That seems probably so.

Jackson has studied the fold lines, some of which are as sharp as a straight edge and show discoloration as would be expected if folded over the edge of a wooden block or batten, as illustrated as "F” in the diagram below.

Words like “discoloration as would be expected if” sound speculative, not evidentiary. At least, it is not strong evidence.

Jackson’s team developed a computer program that maps prominent folds found on the Shroud related to the Man of Sorrows Icon.

That instantly bothered me. What sort of computer program maps fold marks on the shroud to hand painted icons? In what way? Moreover, to which Man of Sorrow Icon? Without an explanation this unfortunately sounds like the “scientists say” jargon we encounter in television commercials.  It’s like “ a computer programs says.”

Google suggests these icons:



The Critical Summary goes on to say:

These folds have been found to be consistent with the design of a lifting device that could have been used for raising the cloth.

imageConsistent with what design? This is an imagined lifting device. The point of this imagining may be to match the AD 1203 description of what Robert de Clari saw or to fit an account of “The Palace Revolution of John Comnenus by Nicholas Mesarites wherein we find

In [Constantinople's Pharos] chapel Christ rises again, and the sindon with the burial linens is the clear proof.

I’d like to think there is some connection. I’d like to think this is all true. But the imagined device (click on the image on the right), while illustrative of a possibility, seems far too tentative to be in an evidence table.

So what are the fold marks really evidence of? How good is the evidence?

The authors of the paper have classified this as Class 1 Evidence which they define thus:

This rating is given to items of evidence that are firmly supported by empirical and/ or forensic research. To receive this rating there must be multiple corroborating research sources.

Yet when I look at the references I find only one paper by Eric Jumper and two similar popular books by Ian Wilson. Unfortunately Wilson uses material “deduced by Dr. John Jackson.” While not exactly a circular reference, it’s close. There is not much to go on.

Wilson goes on to say, “Although exactly how the cloth was made to rise is necessarily conjectural.” (The Blood and the Shroud page 157). Perhaps anticipating the problem some of us might therefore have, Bob Siefker said in his St. Louis talk:

Some people might not like the fact that we’ve rated this class 1 evidence but we’re in the heart of the belly of the beast. I’ve seen those folds. I’ve seen the marks. I’ve seen the razor thin nature of those folds where the “F” block is. I’m not only rationally convinced that the scheme is right, I’ve seen close evidence and had it very deeply explained to me. I’ve been very lucky to be in the belly of the beast, over here [pointing to], John Jackson.

So? Can I see the folds? Can anyone see the folds?  Are the photographs online? Can we examine the computer program’s logic? Without some illustrative photographs of the folds, without an explanation of what the computer program does, I’m thinking the entire item, L6, should be demoted.  Without some supporting evidence of a cloth-raising device being used, the speculative diagram should be removed. It is evidence of nothing.

What am I missing?

An Interview with Giulio Fanti

October 19, 2014 1 comment

the resurrection as “so much more than a conjuring trick with bones”

former Anglican Bishop of Durham. Philip Davies

imageAn interview with Professor Fanti had been mentioned in the comments, with a link. It was just revised yesterday. It needs to be mentioned at the posting level, something I just realized this morning from a series of emails that I’m seeing in my inbox.  It needs to be read by everyone and I have been remiss in not featuring it. Here is some of the introduction. Click on the title to read the full paper:

Professor Giulio Fanti discusses the controversies in the realm of Shroud studies

Louis C. de Figueiredo

It is no secret that the realm of Shroud studies is a minefield. It is evident in books, websites, newsletters and blogs. Apparently the matter also reached the ears of Pope Benedict XVI, prompting him to request cooperation in a message read out to the people attending a Shroud conference in the US in 2005.

There seem to be very few signs of any change for the better. On the contrary, there has been an increase in the number of people entering the field to indulge in vicious personal attacks and character assassination, driving out qualified scholars willing to discuss the topic, in fact forcing them to leave in disgust.

Anyone who has kept abreast with the news will notice that Pope Francis can be blunt-spoken, even more than his Bavarian predecessor, and does not shrink from criticising what he judges to be wrong. At the rates things are going, whether he will pay any attention at all to petitions addressed to him regarding future tests on the Shroud will remain to be seen.

Fortunately, there are scholars and scientists who have steered clear of the infighting and favouritism and have made important contributions to the study of the Turin Shroud. Among them are American attorney, political activist and op-ed contributor John Klotz, who recently launched his meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated book The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness. Klotz asks the important question, “If indeed the Shroud is Christ’s and, if science is deciphering its revelation, what is it telling us?” It is a question that Professor Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua — who agreed to discuss the relic and granted the following interview – has been seeking to answer for the past seventeen years.

Some of Professor Fanti’s findings have been contested, particularly part of the data published in his last Shroud book which did not appear in a paper published later. In this case he leaves it to readers to judge for themselves and is working on the rest of the material he has gathered that is expected to be published in more peer-reviewed journals.

There is something that seems to indicate that there can be a tell-tale sign demonstrating not only that the Turin Shroud did indeed wrap the body of Jesus in the sepulchre but also that the Resurrection was an historical event, exactly what sceptics would like to see. It will have to be demonstrated beyond doubt that the image formation was near-instantaneous, if not instantaneous, a task that can be easily handled by both Professor Giulio Fanti and Dr. Paolo di Lazzaro, Chief of Research at ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development and Applications of Radiation.

At the time that Louis first linked to the paper, Hugh Farey commented. And this comment belongs at the posting level as well.

Thanks, Louis. So the Resurrection “had to be” not quite instantaneous because Jesus “must have taken a few seconds” to power up. Perhaps you are correct. The God I believe in does not have to take any time at all. He may have allowed himself to revive over 36 hours, individual cells reawakening in succession until he simply got up as from a bed, or he may have vanished in an instant, the space he occupied being as instantly filled with air, or left as a vacuum, or he may have exploded in a burst of radiation, which was just enough to have an effect on the Shroud. He may have caused the dead of Jerusalem to do any of the same, and then sent them all back to their graves, or he may have made the people of Jerusalem think they had seen their forebears when in fact they had remained peacefully in their ossuaries. He may have reconstituted himself instantly, and sat in the garden for the rest of the night waiting for Mary Magdalene to turn up, or he may have not reappeared until just before she arrived. Somewhere along the way he provided clothes for himself. Perhaps while he was still in the tomb, perhaps after he re-materialised.

He may have done any, all or none of these things. That’s who God is. From a scientific point of view, none of them is open to inquiry. I do not know what the Resurrection was scientifically, or how long it took. Nor does anybody else, nor does it matter. In 1984 the Anglican Bishop of Durham attempted to explain this in describing the resurrection as “so much more than a conjuring trick with bones” and a few years ago Pope Benedict showed a similar lack of enthusiasm for “the mere resussitation of a corpse.” Frankly, in the opinion of most modern theologians, all as orthodox as the Pope, the measurable, physical events of the morning of the first day of the week after the crucifixion are trivial compared to the meaning of the Resurrection and the effect it had on the disciples, whatever actually occurred.

And Louis commented back:

Hugh, I fully agree with what you said and now we are speaking the same language. I believe in the Resurrection because it had to happen, not only because it explains the growth of the Jesus movement, that became the Church, but also due to the question of existence. As I have stated more than once, even if the Shroud is “proved” to be authentic it will still not answer many questions, but this is for another article.

Meanwhile, you will be my “scientific advisor”, though you are anti-authenticity and I am in the opposite camp, but keep an open mind as the Church does. The Church also calls some qualified devil’s advocate when it comes to a canonisation process. Who knows, perhaps Rome will call you when needed!

And now. Read the entire interview.  Offer your opinion.

New Paper: The Lirey Toga

October 19, 2014 10 comments

“poets, chroniclers, knights and others who were involved tell their own stories
and, in so doing, illuminate this time in history, the Hundred Years War,
when a most extraordinary and important story [of the shroud] unfolds”

imageDavid Day writes:

I would like to draw your attention to a narrative I have recently placed online called: The Lirey Toga.

This is the result of research into my ancestors, the De Noyers, and their involvement with the Holy Shroud, later known as the Shroud of Turin, when it was in France during the Hundred Years War.

While carrying out this work many links came to light between the Holy Shroud and Joan of Arc culminating in a remarkable conclusion concerning the Holy Shroud itself.

It is interesting, well written and informative. I am reminded of Daniel Scavone’s several papers in which he argues that emerging knowledge in Western Europe about the Holy Shroud in Constantinople, the Mandylion, inspired the legends of the Holy Grail.  Some papers, I think,  to read once again on an autumn Sunday afternoon.

A you-should-get-the-point sample from about midpoint:

. . . Does Joan of Arc ever set eyes on the Holy Shroud? Therein lies a Rembrandt or
a Van Dyke painting. Reluctantly, I believe the answer has to be that she did not since such an occasion would, without doubt, have been recorded.

However, apart from such fascinating conjecture, the proximity of the Holy Shroud to Joan’s birthplace of Domrémy lingers in the mind and I begin to wonder if there are other links between the Shroud and her life. . . .

David’s paper sort of draws to a conclusion around page 40 with this:

The essential features of the Arthurian saga, containing both historical and fictional elements, have been fulfilled in the life of Joan of Arc. All have become real: Excalibur and Joan of Arc’s sword from the church of Sainte Catherine of Fierbois. There are the several Avallon links via the families associated with caring for the Holy Shroud and, especially, Joan’s riding out of Avallon on the way from Vaucouleurs to Chinon. There are the dramatic similarities between Lançelot and Alençon. There is the route of military confrontation followed by both Joan of Arc and Arthur along the Loire with both ending up in Burgundy. Furthermore, both are betrayed. What Arthur does in history and fiction, Joan of Arc does in reality. I fully believe that her realisation of Galahad makes the Holy Shroud, with which she has many links, the equivalent in her life of the Holy Grail. This being the case, since all the other main features of the Arthurian saga have been realised, the Holy Grail itself is now actualised in the form of the Holy Shroud. In other words it too becomes real. This means it is, truly, the Holy Shroud of Jesus Christ.

Okay, one might believe so. But then:

imageThis immensely holy item, the Holy Shroud, has here been identified with the Holy Grail. Is this acceptable? Does the Holy Grail itself contain information that could provide the answer to this question? Here is something interesting. What is to be found in the twelve letters that constitute the three words, The Holy Grail? One word that can be made if the letters are reconstituted is, LIREY. Among the remainder of letters a second word stands out and the letters are in the correct order. The word is, TOGA, defined, and so similar to the Shroud, as a long piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body. The Holy Grail transmutes itself into the Lirey Toga, a garment worn by a living Roman at the time of Christ. How appropriate considering Christ’s miraculous Resurrection.

Do read it. You will learn a lot about and from the . . .

poets, chroniclers, knights and others who were involved tell their own stories and, in so doing, illuminate this time in history, the Hundred Years War, when a most extraordinary and important story unfolds.

Quote for Today on Carbon Dating of the Shroud

October 18, 2014 41 comments

When it comes to the Shroud, nearly everybody wanted to carbon date the Shroud “in the worst way” and that is precisely what happened. The protocols were supposed to map the way to the truth. Instead, the truncated protocols adopted led the carbon scientists over a cliff.

imageThe quote is from John Klotz’ new book, The Coming of the Quantum Christ. Here, I’ve copy-pasted the quotation from his Quantum Christ blog, from a posting just yesterday entitled Ebola, Protocols and the Shroud of Turin.

In the worst way?  What does that mean?

Abraham Lincoln, it is said, used the expression. One story is that when he met Mary Todd, who would become his wife, he approached her and said he would like to dance with her “in the worst way.” She later recounted that he did, in fact, literally, dance in the worst way.

It’s an idiom. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “the worst way” this way:

the worst way

:  very much <such men … need indoctrination the worst way — J. G. Cozzens> —often used with in <wanted a new bicycle in the worst way>

Did they talk that way in Lincoln’s time?  Well there is this quote from ‘ Fast Life on the Modern Highway’ by Joseph Taylor, published in 1874:

Well, sir. I wanted somebody to kiss me for my mother just then, and shake hands and say good-bye in the worst way; but I could not stop!’

The use of the idiom is modern, as well. On March 23, 2011, the Houston Chronicle headlined an article, “ Air traffic control needs updating in the worst way.

Now that you are completely distracted from what John Klotz was saying, go read his blog posting, Ebola, Protocols and the Shroud of Turin.


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