Author Archive

The Top Ten Relics of Christ?

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

A new video, just published on August 8, 2014, seems to be a reading from a July posting, 10 Controversial Relics Associated With Jesus Christ, on the TopTenz blog. They are, according to the video: 1) The Holy Nails, 2) The Crown of Thorns, 3) The Shroud of Turin, 4) The Sudarium of Oviedo, 5) The Veil of Veronica, 6) The Blood of Christ, 7) The Holy Lance, 8) The Holy Prepuce, 9) The Image of Edessa, 10) The Holy Grail

Of course, I think number 3 and 9 are the same thing. And some even think number 10 is the same thing as well. This is not a carefully researched presentation.

Here is the transcript part for the shroud that begins at the 1:47 mark:

The Shroud of Turin is perhaps the most studied, popular and controversial relic in Christian history. Officially, the Catholic Church does not have a position as to whether the shroud is authentic or not. However, the Church does acknowledge its importance to the Catholic world. In fact, the Vatican has made arrangements for the public to view the relic. It was during the 14th century that the first documentation regarding the shroud appeared. Historical accounts show that it was passed down from one person to another until it was finally placed in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, in 1578. In 1988 the shroud underwent radiocarbon testing to determine its date of origin. To the dismay of many believers, the results showed that the shroud might have been made between 1260 and 1390. Three independent laboratories conducted the radiocarbon testing, and all of them arrived at the same conclusion, thus proving that the shroud is fake (although some experts argue that their results are inaccurate). Regardless, believers worldwide still venerate the iconic relic.

Hat tip to Joe Marino for spotting this.

Categories: Video Tags:

Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment

imageInterspersed with his seemingly ever-evolving conspiracy theory (eight parts so far and counting) that the radiocarbon laboratories had been hacked by agents of the KGB – or something like that – it seems, too, to be an inside job, at least in Arizona – Stephen Jones is writing a Shroud of Turin encyclopedia in his blog.

Unwilling, it seems, to broach any controversy or dispute whatsoever he tells us that the image contains x-rays of bones and teeth, flower and plant images, images of coins over the eyes and many, many other things. These are observations that many people dispute, including me.

He tells us, also, that the d’Arcis’ memorandum, the 1988 radiocarbon dating and claims that the image contains artistic errors have been discredited. I’m less skeptical, here, but there are still a lot of unresolved issues:

Treating all this as undisputed facts allows him to write in the first and so far only article in his new encyclopedia:

Conclusion Since there is overwhelming evidence that the Shroud is authentic, and no remaining evidence that it is not, then the Shroud of Turin is the very burial sheet of Jesus Christ!

What more is there to discuss?

SEAM is Closing Today: The End of an Era?

August 10, 2014 3 comments


As we read on the website today: “Museum Closing After Sunday 8/10/2014 until we relocate.”

Writes Pete Schumacher:

Shroud Exhibit and Museum (SEAM) is forced to move or close operations by September 1, 2014. For 5 and-a-half years, White Sands Mall has generously donated 1900 square feet of prime facilities including all utilities to the Shroud Exhibit and Museum. Recent success has brought them many new paying tenants and they have been able to lease the space in which we have been operating since our opening.

We are very thankful to the owners of White Sands Mall, and to the staff that manages and maintains the mall, for without this generous gift SEAM would not have come into existence. We congratulate them on their success and wish them every success in the future.

So, now it is time to either start a new chapter for the exhibit and museum or end its operations. What happens is up to this community. Your help is needed if we are to continue.

We have a very limited budget. We do not charge fees to enter the exhibit. Nobody is paid to work for SEAM. We are an all-volunteer organization in staff and management. Therefore we need a space that is rent-free and utility-free to the extent possible. The location should be in a commercial area where shopping or tourism is dominate and must be a place where children and staff are in a safe environment.

SEAM is now world famous. Visitors come from Mexico and from neighboring states and communities for the sole purpose of visiting the museum. Some have come from other countries, including France and Panama Central America just to experience the Shroud of Turin through this unique exhibit. The exhibit clearly defines the role of New Mexico science and scientists in the history of the Shroud. It has been good for tourism and good for pride in our community of Alamogordo. On the Internet, over 60,000 visitors and 95 countries have spent time learning about all of this. Many hearts have been converted and souls have been set back onto right path.

If there is any way you can help us, please contact us immediately. Thank you.

Yours in Christ, Deacon Pete Schumacher; Phone: 415-5206;

New Book by Phillip Wiebe

August 10, 2014 Leave a comment

imageRonda Payne in the Langley Advance writes in, Langley professor’s book chronicles encounters with God:

Phillip Wiebe Ph.D., like many people, was brought up Christian, but rejected the faith as a university student. Gradually, his mind began to change as he met people who claimed to have had encounters with Jesus.

In 1988, the long-time Trinity Western University (TWU) professor of philosophy (and expert on Christian religious experiences as well as the Shroud of Turin) had his own encounter.

According to Wiebe, one morning as he prayed in his office, he felt overwhelmed by a deep feeling of joy, which lasted for several hours.

“I kept asking the Lord, ‘What is this? Why are you so close?’” Wiebe said. “Then a voice came to me: ‘Why don’t you research people who feel they have encountered Me?’”

Now, in his second book, Visions and Appearances of Jesus, Wiebe looks at the accounts of people interacting with Jesus throughout time.

The book is available at Amazon.

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

Request for Help: Can you point me to some information on Roman scourging?

August 9, 2014 75 comments

this is, of course, what we do best: answer questions

Kenneth K. Vernor writes:

I am a new student in the shroud world, but I am about 98% convinced it is legitimate.

I am interested in studying the scourging in depth.  Mostly, I would like to read accounts of HOW the Romans scourged.

So far I have come across these methods:

The two most common seem to be tied with His hands above His head facing a column or a small post and tied to a low post.  The third one is suspension by His hands with 100 lbs of weight tied to the feet.  And I found one reference that mentions being tied between two columns.

In all instances He was naked.

I have also read accounts where salt was applied to the wounds.  In another salt water was dumped on Him if He passed out.

I have read two well researched papers on scourging (Scourge bloodstains on the Turin Shroud: an evidence for different instruments used by Barbara Faccini, New Image Processing of the Turin Shroud Scourge Marks by Barbara Faccini and Giulio Fanti) that differs from Zugibe’s book.  While Zugibe wrote a great book, I do believe he missed the boat on the scourging.  He thought the Romans did the Jewish thing and limited the beating to 40 strokes.  I do not know why he would think that.  They didn’t follow other Jewish rules like where to administer the strokes.  Plus, I am confident the Man of the shroud had well over 40 strokes.  (Zugibe counted over 100 and using a three thonged flagrum, that would fit in his window.  However, I would assume the Body had many more scourge marks that are not imaged on the shroud; on the sides and under the arms.  Faccini counted 196 flagrum marks with a total of 372 including all the marks.)

At any rate, these two papers show scourge marks across the middle of the chest.  I would think this may point to the suspension method. (with another type of whip also being used) Acts 22:25 seems to also support this method.   What do you think?

Can you point me to some information on Roman scourging?  I think I have searched the web thoroughly.

I have also been in contact with Barrie Schwortz.  He has been great.

Thank you for your time.

Picture:  Peter Paul Rubens, Flagellation of Christ, Antwerp, Church of St. Paul. ca. A.D. 1616. Source: Wikimedia (Wikipedia), hot linked with permissions.

Categories: History Tags: , ,

Revised: The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler

August 8, 2014 8 comments


The video and Facebook entries previously referred to in this posting have been removed from the Internet. Those things happen.

There is no point in providing links that won’t work so they have been removed.

The topic is important and so are your comments, which remain with this posting. Discussions may continue.

Here is a posting that provides some information on the topic:  Will the Alfred Rosenberg Diaries Tell Us Anything?

Comment Promoted: Thibault Heimburger on Rogers’ Discoveries

August 7, 2014 42 comments

clip_image001Thibault writes in a comment to 50/50 : Colin Berry’s Most Outlandish Proposal. Comments follow by anoxie, Charles Freeman and Colin Berry. Join in there or here. This was just too important a comment to not be at the posting level:

. . . Actually, all of Rogers’ discoveries (the strongly anomalous cotton content, the dye and, last but not least, the vanillin tests) were performed on several threads coming from the Raes sample adjacent to the C14 samples. Those Raes threads were given to STURP (in fact Rogers) on the order of Card. Ballestrero himself. No secret here.

Since the Raes sample and the C14 samples necessarily shared at least some threads, Rogers thought that the entire Raes/C14 corner was not representative of the bulk of the TS. However, as a true scientist, he wanted to verify specifically this point.

Later, he could obtain 2 tiny pieces of threads coming from the center of the C14 dated sample. He could confirm the presence of dye as well as the very high amount of cotton in these 2 threads. To my knowledge, for some reasons (lack of time or smallness of the samples or..) he did not perform the test for the vanillin on these C14 pieces of thread.

Shortly, Rogers’s discoveries re the anomalous characteristics of the Raes/C14 corner came from the detailed study of an arguably representative genuine sample (Raes piece 1). He confirmed them on 2 small pieces from the center of the C14 sample. Those pieces were truly from the center of the C14 sample and there is a clear “chain of custody”, although unpublished for understandable reasons.
One can discuss endless each of his observations but taking them together they point to the only scientifically acceptable contestation of the C14 results.

I agree that it’s difficult to accept knowing the opposite conclusions of the textile experts (F.Testore, G. Vial and M. Flury-Lemberg).
But read carefully what follows:
My friend journalist Brice Perrier, after a detailed investigation wrote a book in 2011: “Qui a peur du Saint Suaire ?” (in French, Ed. Florent Massot, 2011). This is simply the best serious investigation that includes many interviews of most people (pro and cons) involved in the TS.

He wrote (p.126):
“I went to see one who was recommended to me by both archaeologists and Lyon textile museum experts as the best expert in ancient fabrics, Christophe Moulherat.”
Brice told me that, at the time, Moulherat did not know that the C14 samples came from a single location rather than from three different locations as he thought. He was shocked and added (p.242): “for this kind of fabric, I would have at least chosen to test separately warp and weft threads coming from at least two different locations”

Brice: “I asked him if there were actually invisible repairs.
[Moulherat’s answer]:
‘No, they can be seen if you have the means to see them. Just do a thorough analysis. But for that, you must have access to the fabric and do not look to the naked eye because there you’ll see nothing (..).You need microscopes.
If one has tampered threads with the desire to hide something, you have to think about that before and you have to be equipped to see that. Otherwise, if the repair is well done you can miss it. You really need a detailed analysis’.

G. Vial and F. Testore are/were beyond any doubt competent textile experts but the conditions of the C14 sampling were far from those necessary to detect a repair.

Christian Piatt: Jesus told me that the Shroud of Turin was his photograph.

August 7, 2014 3 comments

imagePiatt is really talking about a twitter-type nut job (or a self-proclaimed messiah), not someone who perhaps thinks the shroud is genuine. At least that is how I read him in a recent posting in his blog on the Progressive Christian Channel at Patheos.

No, I don’t mean he speaks to me while I’m in the throes of prayer or comes to me in my dreams. He actually talks to me through twitter. A lot. And he’s pretty weird.

Yesterday he told me that the Shroud of Turin was his photograph. I’m starting to think this Jesus is a little bit…off.

We have no shortage of messiahs among us, it seems. From David Koresh types who steer their cult followers toward an untimely death to self-proclaimed Twitter messiahs, there are always plenty of folks claiming to be the embodiment of the Christian second coming.

I wonder if Jesus had any idea what a great setup for nut jobs he was leaving behind when he said he’d come back some day.

Who is Christian Piatt? We have encountered him three times in this blog already:

Scientific Conference on the Shroud of Turin

August 6, 2014 19 comments

We’ve covered much of this in:

Bari Conference: A scientific event unprecedented in Puglia

Checking in on the Bari Workshop, September 4-5, 2014

and there is more  by searching the blog for BARI

imageThe following is a Google-based translation from Controcampus, an Italian publication in the field of education:

Polytechnic of Bari – Thirty scientific work to unravel the mystery of the Holy Shroud. IEEE international event . In Bari, on 4 and 5 September, scientists from around the world

Research on the Shroud of Turin

For the first time, a scientific organization of international first class as the IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (present in 150 countries around the world, headquartered in New York), which includes in itself the best academics and Researchers around the world in the field of electrical engineering and electronics, has included themes of its conferences the study and research on a subject so well known and debated as the Shroud of Turin.

Workshopal  Poliba research on the Shroud of Turin

On 4 and 5 September, in Bari, at the Conference Centre of the Students of the University "Aldo Moro" of Bari (former Post Office building), in two rooms set up properly, there will be a special workshop with the participation of specialists from around the world to present new studies and research. The event, titled "Advances in the Turin Shroud Investigation 2014" (developments in the investigation of the Shroud) and briefly indicated by the acronym ATSI 2014 should be talked much about it, according to the expectations of researchers and scholars from all over the world.

The merit of the initiative of prof. Dario Petri, President of the Italian Section of the IEEE, which was followed by the accession of prof. Francis Lattarulo, Shroud, as well as afferent at the Polytechnic of Bari, general coordinator together with prof. Bruno Barberis, University of Turin, Director of the International Centre Sindonology of Turin. Unpublished will also be involved in this workshop of the IEEE for contributions treated with equal severity of the preliminary assessment, resulting from the humanities.

Meanwhile, to date, are received from all over the world 30 scientific works of researchers from different countries such as Spain, France, Hungary, Belarus, Algeria, Israel, India, USA and, of course, Italy. Narrow interest of the IEEE (the relevant papers accepted will be recorded electronically archive the technical-scientific and published in the Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop) those on: mechanisms of image formation and processing of the same, chemical and physical degradation of tissues exposed to Special aggressive, telluric phenomena of interest, electrostatic and electromagnetic experiments. To these must be added those of forensic medicine, archeology, palynology, history, philosophy / theology, iconography (such works can not be properly recorded in the archive of the IEEE technical-scientific but they will be published in the proceedings of the workshop).

Details curious and interesting: even if the workshop is included among the topics (topics) to be treated is also relevant to dating (eg. Radiocarbon one), nothing has come to now work in this direction. Perhaps this is due to the need to revise the experimental procedure, which would require the extraction of new samples granting of ecclesiastical authorities.

To the question rhetorical "because in Bari?", With reference to the workshop, Professor. Francis Lattarulo so responds, "the pioneering initiative of organizing an IEEE workshop on the subject of scientific studies on the Shroud of Turin was Dario Petri as a representative of the IEEE Italy Section. He, after having duly consulted, invited me to take on the role of General Chair of the workshop and to place it accordingly in Bari for logistical reasons, as this is my city of birth and life. He referred to me because I was and am the only Italian who responded to the dual condition of being engaged in the Shroud and to be presented with the highest possible qualification (in my case, academic) in the field of scientific and technical interest of their own ‘ IEEE, namely in the field of electrical engineering and electronics. There are none others in Italy, that I know of. "

The international event that advances the science of the Shroud Exposition in 2015, from 19 April to 24 June, is organized in close collaboration between the two highest academic forums constituted by the Polytechnic of Bari and University of Bari "Aldo Moro". "We are very pleased that the Politecnico its one of the organizers of this conference – said the Rector, Eugenio Di Sciascio. It ‘important – more – that science and faith can speak to each other without prejudice. The organization of the event, under the auspices of the IEEE, the oldest and most prestigious companies of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of the world, hope is the rigor with which the themes of the conference will be dealt with. " "This finding of which the first information about 1353 – added the Rector of the University of Bari, Antonio Uricchio – has never ceased to be studied and worshiped. Its history is dotted with many questions and few answers. With the certainty that the best tool for growth and meeting between thoughts is the debate, the University of Bari and Politecnico di Bari, they wanted to offer this means of comparison and information. The man reveals himself to himself – he concludes – free from the need of thought and habit, open to critical reflection and self-criticism and the intrinsic intelligibility of the world in which he lives. "

As you recall the Shroud of Turin is the most important object of worship of Christianity. The picture that emerges from the linen shroud according to the ancient tradition of the Christian faith is Jesus of Nazareth.

So far, some elements seem to be clear: the scientific results have let say with certainty that the image was produced through a natural process that involved the body of a human being. Well documented, as belonging to the rare blood group AB, are the traces of blood on the cloth.

A fact remains unsolved: although the Church has never claimed its authenticity, rather than reserving the attribute of the object of worship of relics, nobody has ever been able to play or to explain an alleged infringement of the Shroud.

50/50 : Colin Berry’s Most Outlandish Proposal

August 5, 2014 30 comments

imageHe writes in his blog:

But can it hope to tell us much more, even with more up-to-date technology, if restricted to non-destructive sampling, or those pussy-footing "sticky tape" samples? . . . There is a solution to this, but it requires grasping a nettle.

It’s time for a quid pro quo, or returning of a favour. Interest in the TS has been greatly increased by the application of modern science and photography since 1898, and while the radiocarbon dating has failed to support authenticity, the response of the 3 labs to the onslaught of criticism and abuse has been dignified (and I expect will remain so). I believe the time has come for the Shroud’s custodians to do the decent thing, and make a gift to science.  I’m sure they know what I mean, without me having to spell it out. OK, so it’s 50% of the total but it’s the less attractive 50%. Once definitive answers have been obtained, leaving most curiosity sated, what remains of that less than 50% could be displayed far from Turin, far from the prime 50%, say in an Italian science museum. There would then be twin centres for the TS – one restricted to occasional displays only, the other for permanent display. How about the Museo Galileo, in Florence?

Searching, and other sites

August 5, 2014 5 comments

imageA regular reader from Boston writes:

While doing research for a possible book on the history of the Shroud I’ve learned a few things about searching for Shroud related papers on the web. This seems to be the archive with the largest number of papers about  the Shroud.  Anyone may add papers for immediate public access and some of the best papers are to be found here along with some awful ones. Authors can organize their papers into folders. Users can track additions. supports Google Scholar. For Advanced Google searching, I suggest:

  • for site or domain: “”
  • for file type: DO NOT specify anything
  • for none of these words:  “documents in” 
    Consequently 1) all of these words, 2) this exact word or phrase, 3) any of these words work to return a list of PDF files that can be read online or downloaded. This seems to be the second largest archive of papers on the Shroud. Papers are selected and organized into lists by a webmaster. Inexplicably and unfortunately this site has decided to block search engines from its PDF files. Therefore Google Scholar ignores the site and papers suffer diminished credibility. You can only search titles, which is wholly inadequate. Even though results are disappointing, I suggest using:

  • for site or domain: “”
  • for file type: “Adobe PDF”

Just remember, if a word or phrase is not in the title you won’t find the paper with Google or any major search engine. This applies to conference papers and BSTS articles, as well. There is a partial work around provided by The title page at includes a search box for an elementary site level search engine. Alternatively, you can paste the following into your browser and replace the word “example” with a search word or phrase:

All other sites: There are many papers out there.  For Advanced Google, I suggest:

  • for site or domain: (Optional or blank)
  • for file type: Adobe PDF

Then 1) all of these words, 2) this exact word or phrase, 3) any of these words all work to return a list of PDF files that can be read online or downloaded.

I delayed posting the above email until I could confirm this information with Google. I was surprised to learn that Google and other search engines do not search through PDF files on Google provided this link as an explanation:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /pdfs/
Disallow: *.pdf
Disallow: /images/

This is regrettable because holds many of the most important papers on the shroud. They should be indexed by all major search engines.

Photo Rich, Wonderful Presentation by Emanuela Marinelli

August 4, 2014 22 comments

imageYou must see, read and appreciate Emanuela Marinelli’s Valencia 2012 PowerPoint presentation, The setting for the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, now easily found on the Valencia page at Writes, Joe Marino:

Another item Barrie added to the Valencia page that I think warrants a separate posting (instead of me just commenting on the previous post) is Emanuela’s Power Point slides to her excellent C-14 paper. . . .

Let’s be clear:

Papers Included in the Proceedings but not presented at Valencia

imageJoe Marino spotted a couple of papers that are hosted at that were included in the Valencia conference proceedings but not presented at the conference:

Subsequently, following some discussion at SSG, Barrie Schwortz updated the page for the 1st International Congress on the Holy Shroud in Spain – Valencia. You will find this updated section:

Included in the Proceedings but not presented at the conference


The Key to Understand Resurrection?

August 2, 2014 35 comments

clip_image001An interesting article, Russell Kirk: Conservative, Convert, Catholic, appears in The Catholic World Report.  Kirk, a convert to Catholicism, like another prominent Catholic political conservative, William F. Buckley, was fascinated with the shroud and thought that it might be real.

The teachings of Jesus, Kirk thought, had always been well beyond anything the pagans had imagined, but the resurrection of the body proved his divinity and, therefore, sanctified and blessed all of his teachings. In the early 1960s, Kirk grew intensely interested in the Shroud of Turin, which he saw as a key to perhaps understanding resurrection and the transference of energies.

Kirk is shown here (left) with William F. Buckley (right).

New Mexico Shroud Exhibit and Museum Must Move

August 1, 2014 1 comment

imageI heard from Andy at iSEAM in Alamogordo, New Mexico. There is an announcement on the Home Page and the Tour Page.

Shroud Exhibit and Museum is in transition: The museum will be vacating the present location on or before September 1, 2014. We do not have a new location. We have little or no budget for facilities as our current space was generously donated to us for the past 5 and-a-half years. We are asking for your prayers as we go through this transition period. If you know of a place for us to relocate, or if you can help us in the move, please contact me immediately at 575-415-5206. Prayers and Blessings, Deacon Pete Schumacher, Shroud Exhibit and Museum, Inc.

From the website:

About Us

Free Turin Shroud interactive exhibit at White Sands Mall, 3199 N White Sands Blvd, Suite D1, Alamogordo, NM, 88310. We offer a backlit, full-sized picture, the only interactive VP8 Image Analyzer* 3D experience, NM Shroud research, etc. Our goal is make the Shroud available to all including the vision impaired.

Shroud Exhibit And Museum, Inc., is a non-profit New Mexico corporation, IRS granted tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity, listed in the Official Catholic Directory & sustained through your tax deductible donations & our wonderful volunteers. To volunteer to staff the museum, write grants or help in other ways, use Dcn. Pete’s contact above.

Two Shroud of Turin Articles in One

imageRick Lanser in Some Ruminations on the Shroud of Turin writes:

Because the Shroud of Turin has received much public attention in the news, on television and on the Internet, it needs little introduction. However, there has not been much truly recent news about the Shroud in the popular media, so I thought it was time to see if anything had slipped under my radar

[ . . . ]

The point is, when the media next publicizes a report that makes the Shroud of Turin out to be a fake for some new reason, wait for the other shoe to drop. You might have to hunt for that shoe, though. Don’t expect the secular media to lead you to it.

Changing Gears:  Rick then goes on . . .

Changing gears, I now want to make some observations on how the Scriptures discuss the death and burial of Christ, and compare them to the Turin Shroud. Arnold E. Lemke must be credited for the following summary from his excellent paper, “The Shroud of Turin—‘Is it, or Isn’t it’ (the burial cloth of Christ?),” presented at the St. Croix Pastor, Teacher, Delegate Conference on June 13, 2000. I am dividing his list into two sections, the first discussing the injuries inflicted on the Savior, and the second the burial preparations. First, the injuries:

Paul Maier at The Veritas Forum: The Real Jesus

August 1, 2014 29 comments

imageJoe Marino writes:

Paul Maier is retired professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University.  He also attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  I’m not sure when the talk was actually given, but it was put on Youtube on 5/11/13.

Maier is very entertaining.  He once wrote an historical novel in which the Shroud was mentioned as having been proven a fake.  I started corresponding with him and he used to receive my print newsletter and also my email bulletins.

Since he was discussing archaeological evidence for the existence of Jesus, I thought he might mention the Shroud or I thought someone would bring it up in the Q & A.  Neither happened.  Granted, the Shroud isn’t "new," but I would have thought it was worth a mention.

He did mention several interesting things not directly related to the Shroud.  Regarding the date of the crucifixion, he mentions 2 things.  He said that Josephus wrote that James the Just was murdered 29 years after Jesus’ death.  Everyone gives the date of James’ death as 62, so that would put the crucifixion in AD 33.  He also said that a Greek writer named Phlegon recounted a darkness at noon and an earthquake in Nicea in the 4th month of the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad, which Maier says matches to April, 33 AD.

He also said that the Jordan River Excavations show that the Strata from 33 AD indicates there was an earthquake disruption.  I’m not sure how you get a Strata for a specific year.

The whole thing is about 1 1/2 hours but it’s very informative and very entertaining.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have used the word ‘Significant’

July 31, 2014 8 comments

I didn’t mean to upset some of you so much

imageBut the word ‘insignificant’ doesn’t work either. Colin thinks he is right on this. I don’t think he is; let me be clear about that. But I do think he is right to raise the question of why STURP didn’t investigate (or didn’t investigate more) the negativity of the image. He legitimately thinks they should have. The real questions when we get past the emotion caused by a bad word choice on my part are these:

  1. Is the fact that the image is a negative a clue into how the image was formed?
  2. Should this fact have been considered by STURP?
    Colin has chimed in some more over on his blog (CLICK HERE and scroll down to the picture of an old battle tank parked in front of the post office in Friar’s Point, Mississippi).

Right or wrong, this is nonetheless legitimate thinking. So if you can get past the emotions I caused . . .

In fact the blind spot is not just confined to STURP. It continues to this day. Think of how many times one reads of this or that theory of image formation (Maillard reaction, flashes of radiation, uv excimer laser beams, radioactive xenon, earthquakes, corona discharges). When did you ever hear “sweat imprint” being mentioned, despite imaging-by-sweat being a fixation/obsession with medieval and later pilgrims (see the St. Francis de Sales letter to his mother written as late as 1648). Even the common French description of the Shroud as the "Suaire" ("face cloth")  instead of a "linceul", an oddity picked up by French Canadian Mario Latendresse, provider of the stupendous Shroud Scope,  on his site under the intriguing’ Machy mould’ gives a strong clue as the way the Shroud was initially perceived as a bodily imprint left by bodily secretions.

Your Comments Count: Intellectual Clarity and Open Discussions

July 31, 2014 6 comments


July was the second best month ever for this blog.  We had 57,910 unique visitors (essentially different people) to the site during the month racking up 116,066 page views. I have, over the life of the blog, made more than 3000 postings and there have been a few guest postings. You have made 30,309 comments. (Many times that number of comments have been discarded as attempted spam. I spend time every day trashing attempts to sneak in.)

808 people have opted in to be notified by email when something is posted or commented upon.  Who-knows how many more are notified through RSS feeds, blog watcher apps, twitter, facebook, etc.

Here are the postings with the most comments ever:

But those are just indications. The true measure is intellectual clarity and truly open discussions.

Volunteers for 2015

imageSo far, it seems, 1300 people have signed up to serve as volunteers for the 2015 exposition. In this picture of just some of them, you can see the bright purple jackets they will be wearing.

If the story is being translated correctly, organizers are looking for about three times as many.

Categories: 2015 Tags: ,

A Significant Criticism of STURP

July 30, 2014 12 comments

imageColin Berry wrote it in all-caps and red letters. For good measure, he added four exclamation marks:


Colin, in his latest posting this morning, STURP approached the Shroud with a major blind spot for negative imprinted images. Time to send in a new STURP team, properly constituted, wrote:

Even if one had grounds for thinking the TS was a painting, despite the lack of brush marks, the generally indistinct fuzzy image with no clear edge, the absence of pigment (not even hang-up in the interstices of the weave as per “blood”) there would be a major question staring one in the face.

Why does the image show a reversal of normal light/dark tones such that one needs a Secondo Pia type conversion to negative to see it’s a “real person”, indeed the popular image of Jesus.? How can one ignore so obvious a feature of the TS – its negative character, and fail to ask why, if testing for fraud  (or well-intentioned simulation) it was done that way? If one’s going to assemble a largely self-appointed team of detectives, then one should do what detectives do, and try to think like a criminal might, and start by establishing a motive. What possible motive might a medieval forger have for depicting Christ, especially when newly-deceased, in the negative (an unattractive image some might think when placed alongside the 19th/20th century negative)?

[ . . . ]

So what did those STURP members, with few if any image analysts among them, and NO art historians fail to take on board? Answer: the obsession in that era with allegedly genuine images of Christ obtained as IMPRINTS, mainly in sweat, purportedly, with or without a contribution from blood. Straightaway one needs to flag up the obvious – that a contact imprint from a 3D subject, or part thereof , like a face is ALWAYS a negative image. . . .

imageAnd there is this intriguing thought:

Any approach to the Shroud’s NEGATIVE image that takes account of its historical setting, around the time first public display, and indeed first definitive mention in written records, in 1357, must take account of the then celebrated so-called ‘Veil of Veronica’. Before asking what that was, or rather became with much image-embellishment at the hands of artists, let’s first turn to wiki to see the evidence for the Veil’s celebrity at the era in question: [ed. that would be Wikipedia, the entry for Veil of Veronica]

However, firm recording of the Veronica only begins in 1199 when two pilgrims named Gerald de Barri (Giraldus Cambrensis) and Gervase of Tilbury made two accounts at different times of a visit to Rome which made direct reference to the existence of the Veronica. Shortly after that, in 1207, the cloth became more prominent when it was publicly paraded and displayed by Pope Innocent III, who also granted indulgences to anyone praying before it. This parade, between St Peter’s and The Santo Spirito Hospital, became an annual event and on one such occasion in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII, who had it translated to St. Peter’s in 1297, was inspired to proclaim the first Jubilee in 1300. During this Jubilee the Veronica was publicly displayed and became one of the "Mirabilia Urbis" ("wonders of the City") for the pilgrims who visited Rome. For the next two hundred years the Veronica, retained at Old St Peter’s, was regarded as the most precious of all Christian relics; there Pedro Tafur, a Spanish visitor in 1436, noted:

[ . . . ]

Good point, Colin. That is what these blogs are about. Asking questions and raising concerns that are not otherwise being asked in less argumentative sites.

BTW: Colin is angry at me. He thinks I was a bit unfair. He may be right:

I’ve just been given a mild reprimand (yet again) for changing the subject on my blog through use of addendums.

To reiterate: this is my blog, my space, and it’s not for other bloggers to act as style police.

The blogger in question has in fact ignored the main content of this posting, the one in the title (LOTTO v LUWU) and chosen to nitpick on a detail of the brass-rubbing addendum. My crime: to make mention of processing the image by tone inversion then 3D-engancement in Image J. I’ve failed I’m told to demonstrate that the 3D step produced 3D enhancement.

Correct. I never said it did. I simply showed the result after each of the two steps, and invited my readers to form their own judgement. In fact there is a small difference in the ‘post 3D’ image – i.e. shadiing effects that make the image less like a cartoon, clothing especially, faces too if one looks closely, more like a portrait, BUT I DID NOT SAY THAT. I simply left it at saying that the processed images were more ‘life-like’ and used that term immediately after the tone-inversion alone.

That site is becoming increasingly vexatious, especially for its constant attempts to trip me up on matters of pettifogging detail, and its systematic attempts to draw attention away from the main content and conclusions.

I shall be giving that dreary lacklustre site a miss from a while, having several ideas in the pipeline that I want to post here. I shan’t bother to see how they have been subsequently mushed on that site, as indeed they will.

Beyond LUWU and LOTTO

July 29, 2014 7 comments

Colin has an interesting piece on his blog. Unfortunately due to his unconventional way of posting, what should have been, by itself, a posting is an unrelated addendum to a different topic. You will need to go to his posting, Might John P.Jackson have been right in thinking the frontal and dorsal images of the Man on the Turin Shroud are subtly different? Different imprinting configurations ("LOTTO" v "LUWU")? and scroll down, way-way down, until you see a picture of a man and his wife.

What does Colin see that is 3D in this?  He asked the question, not me. He doesn’t answer. He shows us a picture but I see nothing. Am I supposed to?



Colin writes:

Purpose of exercise: medieval (and modern folk too) are quite happy to take their brass rubbings, and see them for what they are – negative replicas that have an unusual quality, no longer life-like, but interestingly different. Few if any will feel a need to do what I have just done, using 20th/21st century  technology, simply to get more life-like images of the original subjects.

Could have fooled me. . . but I had my morning coffee. CLICK HERE to see quite a few brass rubbings, both negative and positive.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 552 other followers

%d bloggers like this: