John Klotz writes in a posting, The Shroud, Dr. Pangloss and Sammy Glick;
There is a controversy brewing about a Smithsonian Channel documentary about the Shroud of Turin. It sounds like another attempt by the Main Stream Scientific Community (the “MSSC”) to debunk the Shroud. The most interesting thing about this controversy seems to be the FACT that the militant atheists can’t escape the Shroud and so must destroy its authenticity. They can not accept a world (or existence) in which the Shroud of Turin proves not only that Christ existed, but that in three days his body parted company with his burial cloth.
I come to this controversy as a lawyer who has had a life long interest in science and, alas, politics. I have ridden too many horses going-off in too many different directions. I also write and did win an honorable mention award from New York Press Association for –In-Depth Reporting. That piece was about corruption in the appointment of mortgage foreclosure receivers and was a least one cause of reform in the appointment of receivers in the New York State. I also remember someone remarking that one of my briefs read like a novel (it was meant as a compliment – I think.).
The late New York Supreme Justice Theodore Roosevelt Kuperfman described one article I wrote as “the best piece of political reporting I have ever read.” . . .
Aw shucks, dot dot dot. You’re just going to have to read The Shroud, Dr. Pangloss and Sammy Glick for yourself.
Yannick Clément, in a very long winded comment repeated below, does have a point. Well several. But for your clarification, as you read it, I did talk with Barrie Schwortz yesterday. I can confirm that the experiment with the pig was not his idea and not his experiment. He was thrust into the situation, unaware, during the production of the documentary. He offered his comments and the rest was a matter of creative editing. As Barrie writes:
Watch for the next update on shroud.com (due at the end of this month) for an article titled, “Behind the Scenes of a New Smithsonian Channel Shroud Documentary” in which I will give some details on the techniques the producers used for creating the program.
And now for Yannick’s comment:
After having seen the TV program, I have some good comments to make :
1- In the program, there are two huge historical mistakes : 1- The program seem to suggest that Geoffroy de Charny was some kind of an obscure knight when he became in possession of the Shroud, which is totally false. In fact, de Charny was one of the leading knight of all the kingdom of France when he build the Lirey church. And 2- The program tell us that de Charny claimed he get the Shroud during a crusade he made, which is also totally false. In fact, de Charny NEVER SAID A WORD about how and when he became in possession of the Shroud. It’s also very important to understand that de Charny never participate in the 4th crusade, which saw the Latin crusaders making the sack of Constantinople. This terrible event, which most probably lead to the transfer of the Shroud from that city to Europe, happened a century before de Charny’s time. The only crusade in which Geoffroy de Charny participated is the Smyrna crusade in 1346 and it’s highly improbable that he could have come in possession of the Shroud at that occasion, no matter what Ian Wilson and other “historians” can think.
An article, Ten objects that sum up Gary Vikan’s life, by Mary Carole McCauley in The Baltimore Sun reports that he is working on a book about the Shroud of Turin.
Vikan is best known in shroud circles for an article published in Biblical Archaeology Review in the November/December 1998 issue reprinted on shroud.com. (See the article here and read the comments on the same page).
From the Sun:
You can get a pretty good idea of someone’s journey through life by looking at the objects with which he surrounds himself.
For Gary Vikan, who stepped down this spring as the director of the Walters Art Museum, those objects include a pair of tickets to Woodstock, a piece of the gate guarding Graceland, a collection of Russian icons and a miniature replica of the Shroud of Turin.
[ . . . ]
He’s just completed his next big project: a book on the Shroud of Turin, in which he attempts to prove that the linen burial cloth that many believe once wrapped the body of Jesus actually was made in the Middle Ages, around 1350.
"I’ve been working with a scientist who found out how the image on the Shroud was made," Vikan says. "And I think I know when and why. It was made to deceive, at a time in the Middle Ages when relics meant pilgrimages, and pilgrimages meant money."
Vikan said the manuscript could be published as soon as this fall.
Which one of the scientists? And which one of all the many ways it was made?
Joe Marino passes along this information on an upcoming film. The working title for this two hour mystery/thriller FILM is The Shroud Conspiracy. We should expect its release in 2014 according to North Star Production Studios. From the website:
LOGLINE: When terrorists detonate a bomb in the Cathedral claiming destruction of the Shroud of Turin, an archaeologist believes the terrorists masked the theft of the Shroud for sinister purposes. He teams with a CIA Agent on a dangerous journey to reclaim the Shroud and seek answers as to who did this and why.
SYNOPSIS: An explosion in the Cathedral housing the Shroud appears to cause the destruction of the revered cloth, the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus. Archaeologist and Shroud expert James Aiello finds clues suggesting the Shroud was likely stolen. He teams with a skeptical CIA Agent Rebecca Ross to piece together clues that lead to a megalomaniac known only as The Falcon who taunts them while plotting to use the cloth in a broader world conspiracy blackmailing the Vatican and assassinating religious and political leaders.
Based on the novel "The Image and The Rose" and Screenplay by John C. Iannone.
Speaking of movies, the word is that The Power of Few, the last feature film about the shroud that made it into just a few theaters, will be released on DVD on July 9, this year.
Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello (aka Vinny Pop) writes to me frequently, usually by trying to add irrelevant comments on this site. He has, as he puts it, developed a new scientific method which enables him to see all manner of things: Jesus with open eyes, or Jesus with missing toes, etc. etc. etc. He then posts videos on YouTube that are supposed to show what he sees. Back in 2011, I posted some material about his claims but stopped doing so because I found that it contributed nothing to the discussion here (search Vinny in the blog’s search box). Moreover, I didn’t want to post anything more that I felt was potentially embarrassing to him. But today, at his insistence, I am posting a comment from him and below it something from a single-posting blog he recently created. He writes:
I have revealed the signature of Jesus Christ ,the face of a lion, a holograph from the second face back which has undergone a second stage processing. http://gloria.tv/?media=446254
I hope you show this as a special separate feature, if not it means you have no conscience at all
sincerely Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello
Okay, Vincenzo, I have a conscience. Thanks for unburdening me. Is it true, as I understand it, that your secret method is filming a severely tilted LCD screen with a digital camera? Why is it that I can’t see any of the things you see? How can what you see and others not see be proof of anything?
Vinny, does the following from you shed any light on the problem? It is from your new blog, Second Face Shroud Turin Decoded Revealed:
In 2011 the experimental film scientist Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello processed the relic known as the Vatican Veronica Veil using AFM, Angular Filming Magnification a process he developed in 2009, an advanced form of negative film processing. What he revealed is startling.
[ . . . ]
Well known Shroud experts who have seen the image have attempted to slow down the awareness campaign commenced by Ruello using tactics of ridicule because unlike them Ruello is an amateur experimental film maker not qualified. Peer review journals have refused to publish his findings on the Veronica for this very reason but Ruello has relentlessly distributed videos and photographs world wide. In April 2013 Ruello used the same filming tecnique to process the ”second face” originaly discovered in 2002 during the restoration by Fanti and Maggiolo. It appears on the back of the Shroud as red marks stains, very faint which are thought by many to be spill over leakage from the front. On processing the ”second face” Ruello revealed an alive Jesus with both His eyes open.
The profound image has left the earlier Shroud experts who discounted his findings on the Vatican Veronica Veil now speechless as the photographic image has been provan to be real, no elements of photoshop or CGI manipulation exist. So we now have the situation where an amateur film scientist has revealed 2 alive faces of Christ from the Vatican Veronica 8th century Rome first appearance and the alive face of Christ on the back of the Shroud of Turin. These Shroud experts are making a lot of money from the mystery they have been selling to the public. Many books are written and the Vatican does gain immense power and control by not informing the innocent of all the facts.
. . . But discoveries such as Ruello’s if truly from God cannot be stopped by corrupt soul selling individuals and powers attempting to not tell the world that evidence authenticating the Shroud has been discovered and that physical evidence of the resurrection has been discovered on the back of the Shroud of Turin. Thank God for the internet.
I suspect that I’m thought to be part of the conspiracy to keep the world uninformed about Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello’s work because I block frequent promotional comments of gibberish. Ridicule? That is why I wasn’t posting.
In all fairness I have written to him and asked him to describe Angular Filming Magnification and explain why he thinks he is not generating visual patterns and noise which fuels his imagination. He has never answered.
Okay Vincenzo, you got your wish.
I’m a Shroud of Turin expert, sort of second tier I suppose since I restrict my work to processing the images and giving talks on the shroud. This is worth a look for those who wonder how the image got on the cloth.
Go have a look at his blog.
Because of Colin’s most recent comments about Rogers, bordering on conspiracy theory thinking, I thought it valuable to repost a posting from more than a year ago (January 9, 2012). But before repeating it, let me pull forward one particular paragraph:
Kim Johnson of [ the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry affiliated New Mexicans for Science and Reason] wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”
And now, déjà vu again: Sciencebod, Do some homework on the Shroud of Turin (Or is Colin having a senior moment?)” Oh, I know, ad hom, ad hom, ad hom:
* * *
Hello again Dan
I keep asking myself how I could have been so misinformed re the date of reweaving on which you corrected me so comprehensively with you references to Margaret of Austria. Might it be because pretty well everything I have come across in reading states that the repairs, including reweaving were indeed carried out AFTER the 1532 fire, regardless of who commissioned them, e,g, this from a Reverend gentleman:
So my original objection still stands – why go to all the trouble of invisible mending, in a corner, when there is massive fire damage elsewhere. In fact, why would anyone even think about mending before the fire, given that an unmended cloth, showing at least some of the ravages of time, would make for a more convincing holy relic…?
PS Have you seen my latest theory re mummified cadavers, like the ones in that Capucin Brno monastery that missus and I gawped at just two or three years ago.
Dear ColinB: You have got to be kidding me. This is how you change your mind, on the basis of one reference on a web page? Some “Reverend gentleman,” you say? Here is what your reverend gentleman says:
Physicist Ray Rogers, prior to his death, uncovered the reason why the Carbon14 tests were invalid. The Shroud had had invisible repairs, carried out by Poor Clare nuns, after the fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. The samples for the Carbon14 dating had been taken from the area which was not the original Shroud. . . . Unfortunately, when the sample sites were chosen, the 1532 repairs were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence that the samples that were tested came from the patch added by the Poor Clare nuns and not the original Shroud. It was therefore to be expected that the 1988 Carbon14 results pointed to a 16th century date.
Oh, my. You have got to be kidding. Not only is this reverend gentleman wrong, not only does he not know what he is talking about, you are utterly uninformed and naïve. Now these other four reverend gentlemen are holding up the cloth long before the carbon dating. You can see the patches in what is an old painting. Bet they knew!
Rogers, who was a chemist, not a physicist, did not uncover the reason. It was Joseph Marino and Sue Benford.
The fire was on December 4, 1532 in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry. The shroud was protected by four locks. With the fire going on, Canon Philibert Lambert and two Franciscans summoned the help of a blacksmith to open a grille. By the time they succeeded, a reliquary made by Lievin van Latham to Marguerite of Austria’s specifications had partly melted. The shroud folded inside was scorched and severe holes were formed by molten silver. Chambéry’s Poor Clare nuns repaired the Shroud beginning on April 16, 1534 and finishing on May 2, 1534 not 1532 as the reverend gentleman says. The nuns knew. From that day forward, the repairs were the most prominent feature of the shroud, more so than the faint image. To suggest that the 1534 (let’s be accurate) repairs “were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence,” at the time of the carbon dating sampling is just laughable. In fact, if anything, the carbon dating protocol discussions frequently referred to the patches sewn on by the Poor Clare sisters.
Patches applied to the shroud in 1534 were obvious; as noticeable as leather patches sewn to the elbows of an old sweater. Would earlier repairs in 1531 (a plausible date from the historical records) or at any other time, have been so expertly done that that they would have gone unnoticed when the carbon 14 samples were cut from the cloth?
Rogers was actually very skeptical. According to Philip Ball of Nature, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:
Rogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.
It was close examination of actual material from the shroud that caused Rogers to begin to change his mind. In 2002, Rogers, in collaboration with Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, wrote a paper arguing that the repair was a very real possibility. The material Rogers examined was from an area directly adjacent to the carbon 14 sample, an area known as the Raes corner. Rogers found a spliced thread. This was unexpected and inexplicable. During weaving of the shroud, when a new length of thread was introduced to the loom, the weavers had simply laid it in next to the previous length rather than splicing. Rogers and Arnoldi wrote:
[The thread] shows distinct encrustation and color on one end, but the other end is nearly white . . . Fibers have popped out of the central part of the thread, and the fibers from the two ends point in opposite directions. This section of yarn is obviously an end-to-end splice of two different batches of yarn. No splices of this type were observed in the main part of the Shroud.
Rogers found alizarin, a dye produced from Madder root. The dye appeared to have been used to match new thread to older age-yellowed thread. In addition to the dye, Rogers found a gum substance (possibly gum Arabic) and alum, a common mordant used in medieval dying.
Several years earlier, a textile expert, Gilbert Raes (for whom the Raes corner is named), had been permitted to cut away a small fragment of the shroud. In it he found cotton fibers. Rogers confirmed the existence of embedded cotton fibers and noted that such cotton fibers are not found in other samples from anywhere else on the shroud. Cotton fibers were sometimes incorporated into linen threads during later medieval times, but not earlier, and not even as early as the carbon 14 range of dates. This, along with the dyestuff, suggested some sort of alteration or disguised mending.
In 2005, Raymond Rogers, after four years of study on this matter and months of peer review published his findings in the scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta. Go read it. Go study the real history of the shroud and shroud research. Find out how many scientists have confirmed the work Benford and Marino started and Rogers completed.
BTW: Ray Rogers, a distinguished chemist, was a Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Originally, the home of the Manhattan Project during World War II. It is now part of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Rogers had been a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He campaigned vigorously for the teaching of evolution, and against teaching creationism, in the public schools.
He also served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as a civilian with the rank equivalency of Lieutenant General. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. He was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with CSI.
Kim Johnson of NMSR wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”
Rogers once wrote to The Skeptical Inquirer (letter was published):
I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.
Colin, you tell me you are a real scientist. Then you change your mind because you read something on the web page of a reverend gentleman without checking it out. Are you a real scientist? I’ll believe you when you admit you are wrong on the patches.
Oh, that “latest theory re mummified cadavers.” You don’t mean theory Mr. Scientist. Really. Check out the facts about the images. Really. You might want to read Giulio Fanti’s, “Hypotheses Regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud. A Critical Compendium,” in The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, (Vol. 55, No. 6 060507-1–060507-14, 2011). It is a marginal paper but it does nicely summarize what many people before you have tried with a bit more science. There is a handy list that might allow you to call your wild-ass speculation a hypothesis (not theory, though) if you can meet some of the criteria.
Do some real home work.
Colin Berry, by way of a comment, writes:
Nobody goes to the trouble of invisible, highly painstaking mending of an inconspicuous corner of the Shroud when there is major fire damage elsewhere that has been crudely patched. Rogers’ attempted demolition job on the C-14 dating offended common sense more than anything else…
No, it offends common sense to think that countless people in the world of shroud studies, those who agree with Rogers’ conclusions and those who do not, have simply ignored the reality that nobody goes to that much trouble to invisibly repair an “inconspicuous” corner of the cloth when there were all those crude patches elsewhere.
Unfortunately, there have been a few misleading newspaper accounts that confuse the repairs made following the Chambéry fire of 1532 with the repair Rogers identifies. But that doesn’t mean Rogers or any of us who study the shroud are/were confused.
We (all of us) reason that if before 1532, had a significant corner of the shroud been cut away for any reason whatsoever, including the taking of a part of a holy relic for its healing or talisman properties or so another church might have part of a relic (none of this was uncommon – in fact it goes on today even on eBay) and had the methods and skills been available to mend the not inconspicuous corner, it might well have happened. That is all that is needed to permit a scientific finding:
The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is
significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud (Rogers, Thermochimica Acta, 2005: 193).
But there is more in the fascinating story of Margaret of Austria. Read about her in New Historical Evidence Explaining the “Invisible Patch” in the 1988 C-14 Sample Area of the Turin Shroud by M. Sue Benford and Joseph Marino.
. . . The purpose of this paper is to: 1) characterize the state of the weaving art during the time period of the hypothesized C-14 sample-area patch; 2) describe the crucial role and passions for tapestries of the House of Savoy’s Margaret of Austria and her nephew/ward Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which would have mandated an expert restoration to the Shroud following the removal of the large corner pieces; 3) to posit a plausible scenario illustrating how and why the invisible mending on the Shroud took place around A.D. 1531, including new evidence as to why the undocumented repair took place, who was the overseer of the work, and what became of the missing corner pieces.
Only after 1532, was the damage was so severe, that it is unlikely that an invisible repair would have been made. All bets would have been off, so to speak.
John Klotz has a nice post, Behold the signs of the times over on his blog:
And who should emerge as the preeminent spokesman for the Shroud but Barrie Schwortz, a man who in 1978 was a gangly young photographer and in the interim has now aged, and created the number one Shroud source on the web: shroud.com …
[ . . . ]
And now America, the Jesuit Magazine that Fr. Peter Rinaldi avoided in 1934 because of the sway of Shroud critic Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J., reports on his views. http://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/mystery-shroud
Behold the signs of the time! He is coming, but He is coming not on a cloud but through science and the Internet.
Blogger Sam B. Farkas reviews the exhibition (revised URL):
Each room added a little bit more; the entire time, the suspense built and built. Soon enough, I was ready to scream into my audio guide, "Just tell me if it’s real!"
Then, the rising action right before the climax: the tests.
- The shroud is impervious to water.
- The shroud is impervious to temperatures, both hot and cold.
- The shroud is impervious to light. The image hasn’t faded.
After thousands of years, the shroud has not deteriorated at all, something absolutely unheard of in the archaeological world. Which makes one wonder if it really is a miracle…
By this point I’m bouncing on the balls of my feet with anticipation, wishing the audio guide would go faster (there were no cards next to the displays, so unfortunately I couldn’t just read my way through). I needed to know. Then, finally, it told me to proceed into the next room.
Tell me it isn’t so. They aren’t really saying the shroud is impervious to water, heat and light, right? Something maybe lost in translation, right? Lost in blogging?
In The Mystery of the Shroud, Kerry Weber summarizes the status of the shroud in the current issue of America, the distinguished national weekly Catholic magazine published by the Jesuits in America. She starts out:
Today’s technology can do amazing things: phones take photos; cars park themselves. Yet, researchers still have not developed a device that can definitively pin down the origins of a famous image on a piece of cloth. The Shroud of Turin continues to puzzle many believers and scientists alike, and even major investigations have failed to provide a conclusion that satisfies everyone.
The shroud, in part thanks to the debates surrounding its authenticity, is a reminder of the mysteries that remain within our faith, and the image upon it reminds viewers of the suffering that many have endured because of their faith. Schwortz sought the truth through science by putting aside his biases. In a similar spirit, we must be willing to let go of our own desires and beliefs as we seek the great truths of our faith through Christ. We must always be ready to put aside the assumptions we carry—our prejudices and personal biases—and to be open to the God of surprises and to greater truths, miraculous or not.
I noticed that you have responded to my criticism of your posting, The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (5): Coins over eyes, with an inline addendum. You begin:
Response to Dan Porter In a post, "The Forger and the Coins: One in a Gazillion with 13 Zeroes," Dan Porter, owner of the Shroud of Turin Blog, has criticised my post above, dismissing the evidence for the coins over the eyes of the man on the Shroud as "pure pareidolia":
"… But this is so only if you believe that the images of coins are there. I’ve spent years considering this question; I don’t believe they’re there. What people see, I think, is pure pareidolia.
But pareidolia is (my emphasis):
"…a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant … Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds …"
"… the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features".
Stephen, if you don’t like the term pareidolia – and I still do – then how about visual noise?
However, in this Porter is simply ignoring the evidence above, for example, that Jackson, et al. found on their VP-8 Image Analyzer three-dimensional `relief map’ of the Shroud, images of two, round, flat objects over the eyes, which were the same size and shape of Pontius Pilate leptons.
Round flat objects? Let’s look at several images:
1) This is perhaps the most famous of the images. It is a VP8 image prepared by Jackson. One might say the images over the eyes seem like flat disks. There might be something there. It’s hard to tell. Barrie Schwortz says,
I do not argue that there appears to be something on the eyes of the man of the Shroud, and it may well be coins or potshards . . .
But, I’m not even sure of that.
2) In the photo Stephen, you provide, seemingly (I agree with you on this) sourced from Giovanni Tamburelli of the Centro Studie Laboratori Telecomunicazioni S.p.A., Turin, Italy, we see, as you put it, “small, round, raised, object over each eye.” These certainly don’t appear like, “two, round, flat objects.” These could very well simply be eyelids.
They did not "imagine" them-the images really are there. And this was confirmed by others using different three-dimensional computer processing. Even if the details on the face of those two objects could not be seen, it would still be a reasonable conclusion that they are Pontius Pilate leptons.
Look! How can this possibly be a reasonable conclusion? Potshards? Um, maybe. Nothing but the normal curvature of eyes, perhaps swollen eyes? It seems so.
3) The History Channel provides an image prepared by Ray Downing during the making of the Real Face of Jesus. I think this provides good confirmation that “two, round, flat objects” ARE NOT clearly (conclusively) there.
If anything, the 3D images, and there are others as well, argue against the presence of coins over the eyes.
But Stephen, you continue:
And Porter is simply ignoring the improbability that a lituus shape and even one letter, in the correct order and angle of rotation around the lituus (both of which can be clearly seen on the Shroud – see above) `just happen’ to be chance patterns in the Shroud weave, which `just happen’ to be over the eye of the man on the Shroud, is of the order of 1 in 1.1216 x 1015. Not to mention that the `chance patterns’ are three-dimensional, round and flat!
If I thought that what constituted particular shapes and letters was completely or mostly the same chemical product that constitutes the image of the man on the shroud, I might think the statistical argument has merit. But I don’t think so.
The statistic that you refer to were based on observations made on the 1931 Giuseppe Enrie photographs, beautiful and detailed, technically wonderful and absolutely wrong for this kind of analysis of small details. Why? Because the film was high resolution orthochromatic film. The problem was compounded when Enrie coupled this film choice with near-raking light thus creating countless miniscule patterns and shapes from the shadows between threads of the weave. Since orthochromatic film basically only records black or white, any mid-tone grays that existed on the cloth as image, background banding patterns in the ancient the linen, and accumulations of centuries’ worth of dirt particles caused more miniscule imaging.
The picture on the right is an approximation of banding found in the face area. The dark horizontal band about a quarter of the way down goes right through the eyes. Vertical banding lines also go through both eyes. Before you can do any statistics you must adjust for the banding noise, shadow noise and visible contamination noise.
It helps to quote from something Barrie Schwortz wrote in 2009:
. . . the high resolution orthochromatic film used by Enrie, coupled with the extreme raking light he used when making the photographs, created an infinite number of patterns and shapes everywhere on the Shroud. Since orthochromatic film basically only records black or white, any mid-tone grays of the Shroud image were inherently altered or changed to only black or only white, in essence discarding much data and CHANGING the rest.
The grain structure of orthochromatic film itself is distinctive: It is not homogenous and consists of clumps and clusters of grain of different sizes that appear as an infinite myriad of shapes when magnified. It is easy to find anything you are looking for if you magnify and further duplicate the image onto additional generations of orthochromatic film, thus creating even more of these shapes.
Although Enrie’s images are superb for general views of the Shroud (they look great), they contain only a small part of the data that is actually on the Shroud so they are much less reliable for imaging research purposes and have a tendency to lead to "I think I see…" statements. I would feel much more confident if these claims were based on the full color images of the Shroud which contain ALL the data available.
As I used to try and explain to Fr. Francis Filas, who first "discovered" the rather dubious coin inscriptions over the eyes and who had enlarged and duplicated the Enrie images (through at least five generations – and always onto orthochromatic film), there is a fine line between enhancement and manipulation. Fr. Filas first presented his findings to the STURP team in 1979 and frankly, not one of the STURP imaging scientists accepted his claims.
And now Stephen, you suggest something that just isn’t true.
From other things Porter has written, for example, his preferring a naturalistic explanation of the Shroud’s image, I assume that he does not want there to be images of coins over the Shroud man’s eyes because that would be more problems for a naturalistic explanation of the Shroud’s image, and further evidence for a supernaturalistic explanation of it.
No. No. I don’t “prefer” a naturalistic explanation. I only prefer a true explanation. Less than a month ago I posted So which hypothesis, of all those ever proposed, do I prefer? in which I wrote:
I consider any image caused by radiation, of any kind, naturalistic. The only question is where the very natural radiation came from. I remain totally unconvinced from any evidence or by any argument so far presented that miracles produce energetic byproducts.
So which hypothesis, of all those ever proposed, do I prefer? None!
Let me repeat what I said: None!
Actually, I have a gut feeling that the image is miraculous in ways none of us have yet imagined (supernatural if you prefer that term). How is not something I am ready or able to articulate. I doubt the image was caused by the resurrection or by any energetic byproduct of the resurrection just as much as I doubt it is the accidental product of a pre/non-resurrection chemical reaction.
Stephen, you conclude:
Therefore Porter blithely dismisses all the evidence above that there are Pontius Pilate coins over the eyes of the man on the Shroud with the `magic’ word "pareidolia"! But in so doing he goes far beyond what the word "pareidolia" means. However, Porter is welcome to his beliefs and I don’t see my role as convincing him, or anyone, but just presenting the evidence and letting my readers make up their own minds.
Blithely? You mean, lacking due thought or consideration? Talk about going beyond the meaning of a word.
I know there are still a few people who think there are images of coins over the eyes. That’s unfortunate.
Yesterday, in his blog, Stephen Jones revisited the topic in a posting entitled, The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (5): Coins over eyes. He concludes:
Finally, this is yet another problem for the forgery theory[§14]. A medieval, or earlier, forger would have had to imprint the tiny letters 1.3 mm (1/32 inch), four of which are barely visible, and the rest invisible to the naked eye, on linen, in photographic negative, when the very concept of photographic negativity did not exist until the early 19th century. Moreover, these leptons were not identified as being coined by Pontius Pilate until the early 1800s, so even in the unlikely event the 14th century or earlier forger knew of these coins, he would have no reason to think they were significant.
But this is so only if you believe that the images of coins are there. I’ve spent years considering this question; I don’t believe they’re there. What people see, I think, is pure pareidolia. (see: Paper Chase: Why There Are Probably No Images of Coins, Lettering, Flowers and Whatnots on the Shroud of Turin). Unless Jones can prove the images of coins are there, he cannot legitimately say that a forger would need to “imprint the tiny letters.”
Jones, to his credit, tries to prove it. He is thorough. His posting is comprehensive with extensive notes and citations. Maybe its me. Can someone explain this to me?
Fifth, the probability that there is a lituus and one letter in the correct position over one of the eyes of the man on the Shroud is 1 in 1.827 x 106 x 6.1389 x 108 = 1.1216 x 1015, i.e. 121 with 13 zeroes after it. Therefore the evidence is very strong that there is an image of a Pontius Pilate dilepton minted between AD 29-32 over the right eye of the Shroud. This is true irrespective of whether there is over the left eye the image of one or two Julia leptons, minted by Pontius Pilate in AD 29; and despite the mistake of Filas and Whanger in not realising that since the lituus on the image of the coin in an Enrie 1931 negative photograph over the right eye of the Shroud has a reversed question mark shape, then the Pontius Pilate lepton coin which was the basis of that image must have a question mark shape.
An article, Science Shines New Light on Shroud of Turin’s Age by Shaffer Parker, Jr. is perhaps the best article so far on Fanti’s methods and findings. It appears May 6th in The National Catholic Register.
The article explains Fanti’s methods with easy-to-understand terminology. For instance, here is a short explanation of how Fanti identified shroud fibers from other fibers on a vacuum filter.
It was on fibers from “filter H” that Fanti did most of his work. “I discovered a relatively simple technique to detect which linen fibers were from the shroud,” he said, “based on cross-polarized light used in a petrographic microscope. The shroud fibers show a coloration like a coral snake, probably because in the original preparation of the fibers they were beaten with rods.” More recent fibers, Fanti said, were prepared differently and therefore appear differently under a microscope.
The article addresses doubts about Fanti’s findings, as well. Then, as though there was nothing more to say about the Padua professor’s wrok, Parkers gives over several column inches to Joe Nickell’s general skepticism and a rebuttal by Barrie Schwortz.
While he rejects the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, Nickell insists that a shroud might be found that he could accept did come from the tomb of Jesus Christ, but its history from the grave to the present day would have to be completely documented. “And it could not have an image on it,” he added. “That implies a miracle, and as such takes it out of the realm of science.”
Or not. Is Nickell stuck in the 1990s?
Take the time to read Science Shines New Light on Shroud of Turin’s Age
By way of a comment, Jason Engwer, writes to me:
Have you considered including a more extensive topical index on your blog? Maybe have a section on your side bar that links to posts on a wider range of topics that frequently come up (like the objection based on the length of Jesus’ hair). That would make it easier for people to find things on the blog, and it would save you and others time when those topics come up again in the future.
I have thought about it. It would not be easy. Even coming up with a good list of categories would be tough. I would then have to make category decisions on 2,250 existing posts and edit those posts to assign the new categories. Because topics often develop during discussion of another topic, I would need to consider over 16,000 comments. If anything, I have been thinking of abandoning categories altogether. They don’t accomplish much.
I think Google search can accomplish much of what we want with the site argument. (The search function that comes with the blog is useful but not as comprehensive). Here is an example for long hair: site:shroudstory.com Jesus "long hair" Be sure to note the word site, the colon and shroudstory.com without any spacing.
Also, have you ever put together a collection of audio and/or video files on the Shroud? Or do you know of anybody else who has? If nobody’s done it yet, it would be a good idea to have a large collection of audio files on Shroud-related topics, for example, in one location.
It is beyond anything I would know how to do. If I just Google ‘Shroud of Turin’ videos, which includes many audio tapes and podcasts in video format, I get 449,000. I’ll grant that some of these are duplicates and a few of them are for a rock band called Shroud of Turin. But still. . .
Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton introduces a Barrie Schwortz video in her Public Catholic blog over at Patheos and then gets into a big argument with a Bill S.
Believers are, for the most part, quite equitable about whether or not the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud of Christ.
Atheists, on the other hand, tend to get worked up about it. They seem almost to fear it. I am guessing that this is because they’ve got so much ego invested in their non-belief that the thought that some artifact might rattle that a bit is scary to them.
I may not agree with Bill S. but I don’t agree much with Rebecca, either. Some of the most adamant shroud skeptics I have encountered are believers: biblical literalist fundamentalists who argue that the shroud is fake because it shows Jesus with long hair. Many of these same fundamentalists insist that Jesus was wrapped in strips of linen, mummy style, and not a shroud. They are not equitable at all. It is not uncommon for them to send some very insulting fire and brimstone emails.
And when it comes to Atheists, I often encounter people who are completely unfazed by the shroud. They are so convinced that it can’t be real that they shrug and walk away.
Then again, how do we address the question of what Thomas de Wesselow believes: that the shroud is real and that the very natural image on it inspired belief in the Resurrection and hence led to Christianity.
Don’t get me wrong. I read Rebecca’s bio and I’m impressed.
Now that the subject has been raised again, I thought some newer readers of this blog might be interested in reviewing some older posts about the Arizona radiocarbon samples. I forgot how much there was until I went to the archives:
- Radiocarbon & Much Ado About Nothing
- More About Jull’s Paper in Radiocarbon Journal
- Was the sample used in the Jull paper NOT from the Shroud of Turin?
- More on was the sample in the Jull paper NOT from the Shroud of Turin?
- More on University of Arizona and Jull’s Paper
- Even More on Suspicious University of Arizona Testing of the Shroud
- Joe Marino, Sue Benford and the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin
- Radiocarbon & Much Ado About Nothing
- Mark Oxley’s Paper is a Must Read
- Link to Tyrer’s Significant Paper
- Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Samples of the Shroud of Turin
- Again, the Issue of Peer Review
- Peer Review of the Freer-Waters/Jull Paper Continued
Lee Krystek, on his excellent website, The Museum of Unnatural Mystery, after summarizing pretty much everything from STURP to Fanti’s latest, wraps up Visiting the Fake Shroud of Turin:
Probably one of the techniques that got closest to what we see on the Shroud (and by my thinking was probably the method used by the forger, if indeed the Shroud it a forgery) was done by Jacques di Costanzo, of Marseille University Hospital, in 2005. He had a bas-relief ( a type of sculpture that stands out from the background ) created that looked like the figure on the Shroud, then draped it with wet linen. He then let it dry so it molded itself to the statue and then dabbed ferric oxide, mixed with gelatine, onto the cloth. When the cloth was allowed to dry, then pulled off and reversed, the image resembled that of the Shroud. Most importantly the result had no brush strokes. The lack of brush strokes on the Shroud of Turin is often cited as an argument for it not being painted by an artist. [See picture below]
Does it Matter?
So, is the Shroud of Turin real or fake? Just looking at the replica it struck me how much the image on it seemed to be exactly what we might expect to see down to the blood dripping out of a nail wound on the hand. I’ve observed that things in the real world are rarely that neat and tidy. It reminds me of a minister friend of mine that remarks that he doesn’t like pictures of Jesus that make him look too "clean" and unreal. To me, the Shroud looks too perfect to be authentic.
At a certain level, does it really matter if the Shroud is genuine? Even if you can prove that the Shroud was actually used to wrap a victim of crucifixion in Jerusalem in the 1st century A.D., will you ever be able to prove that the person involved was Jesus of Nazareth? The Romans were not shy about nailing people to the cross and it could be one of hundreds of victims.
And even if you prove that it was Jesus, existence of the Shroud really doesn’t prove or disprove the central tenant of Christianity, which is that Christ rose from the dead. Proponents and skeptics seem to fixate on the Shroud as evidence one way or the other of the Resurrection, but it really isn’t.
And I think the Catholic Church, which has owned the Shroud since it was gifted to them in 1983, understands this. They take no position on the authenticity of the artifact, leaving it up to the individual to decide on their own what they think.
Perhaps we should appreciate the cloth for what we know it to be: a mysterious work of art. Perhaps produced by some unknown force of nature, a cunning forger, or maybe just a clever artist.
Phys.org story on Jacques di Costanzo work.
Author and journalist James Rygelski has a prominent article, What would ‘proving’ Shroud do? in the Lifestyles section of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
So I hope the pope grants the request for another test. Equipment exists that would quickly measure a section of the shroud for nuclear particle transfers. I know Mark Antonacci well enough to say that he’s doing this as a devout believer and not some glory-seeker. To view his foundation’s website, visit www.testtheshroud.com
However, I have cautioned Mark that while many of us will always believe in the authenticity of the shroud, the more important thing is that we believe in the authenticity of Christ – whether or not the shroud they wrapped Him in after the crucifixion still exists.
Jesus showed a doubting Thomas the wounds that Thomas said would be the only proof he would accept of Jesus’ resurrection. But Christ also told him, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).
Yes, I would like to see more tests. But I’m not convinced that those tests have been properly defined. Mark Antonacci has a petition on his site. I’m not ready to sign it. As for Rygelski’s caution to Antonacci: Amen.
Mark Shea is pretty certain in an article simply called The Shroud of Turin that appears in the National Catholic Register:
Turns out the Shroud of Turin does date from the first century after all. That’s because it is, as I have always thought, the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Unless, of course, you seriously believe that a medieval European forger just happened to have a 1300-year-old burial shroud (that originated in the Holy Land) laying around and decided to use it to conduct an absolutely unique and unrepeatable experiment in photo-realistic imaging on cloth.
Mark links to a story in the Vatican Insider which boldly says that in the lede. But it doesn’t say that in the article. It is a stretch. Better to say that Fanti thinks it could be first century. He continues:
At present, however, all the evidence we have accumulated keeps pointing–with a persistence galling to dogmatic materialists–to the image being what Christians have always taken it for: an "image not made by hands" that was somehow imprinted on the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is not "proof" of the Resurrection. Nor is it "scientific proof" of a miracle. Science leaves off where miracles begin and the most the sciences can do is what they are currently doing: say, "We can’t explain how this image was created." But for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and his Resurrection from the dead as their salvation, the Shroud is a particularly striking witness, as are the various other signs and wonders God has done down through the ages. It’s not so much food for the soul (the Eucharist is that) as it is a sort of vitamin pill for the soul. If it turns out to be a fake, it turns out to be a fake. Other fakes have happened. But nothing in the core of the Faith changes.
I have an issue with Mark. He tends to conflate those who think it might be a natural image with those who think it is a fake. He also over simplifies. Plenty of Christians, too, think it is natural or think it is fake. But then he qualifies his ascertains:
Still, I have a high degree of confidence this will not turn out to be a fake, not because I believe it to be the burial cloth of Jesus by faith, but for much the same reason I have a high degree of confidence that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy: because it’s the most sensible synthesis of the available physical evidence. I have nothing riding on the authenticity of the Shroud. I just think it’s the best explanation of all the data.