Greetings, Mr. Porter,
I just read your piece [Pictures of the Day] … Standing room only for talk by Barrie Schwortz at Jalsa Salana United Kingdom yesterday….
I would like to give some input, and perhaps you’ll have some answers. The question of how the images, on both the ventral and dorsal sides of the Shroud were made, is still considered a mystery. By the way, I’m not a scientist. But I do remember what "dorsal" and "ventral" mean."
I have what might be an answer. But first, a tiny bit of background. For a short while, I befriended Barry Schwortz, the photographer that was hired by STURP, in 1978, to photograph ever square centimeter of the Shroud. When I say, "For a short while," I do not mean to suggest that Barry and I had any problems. We did not. In fact, we corresponded very well. It’s just that we just happened to lose contact.
Anyway, you can check with him on the following, if he remembers. Once, I asked him the following question: "Barry, has there ever been a test conducted, on the Santa Sindone, that would determine whether or not the blood on it was pre-mortem blood, or post-mortem blood." He answered, "Well, I can’t answer that, but I am certain, of course, that they would have conducted such a test. But, I’m going to be having lunch, in Turin, with Dr. Adler, and I’ll ask him."
So, he did have lunch with Dr. Adler, in Turin. Eventually, he got back to me, through email, and said that he was very surprised at Dr. Adler’s response. Dr. Adler told him that, no, no such test had ever been performed on the Shroud. That is very hard to believe. And Barry was as surprised, of course, as I was. But, this was coming from the horse’s mouth, so to speak–Dr. Adler, a prime and important member of the STURP team. There would be no reason that he would state that no such test had been performed, if that had not been the case.
How did I know to ask such a question? Hey, just thinking, that’s all; wondering. I barely knew if there was any such thing as "post mortem" blood, but the thought came to me, so I pushed it forward.
Now, I am aware that, in the literature, one reads, for example phrases like, "The pre-mortem and post-mortem blood on the Shroud…" and one assumes that, since the statement was made, matter-of-factly, that tests were actually done. But, were they? Or has it just been assumed, all these years since STURP, that post-mortem blood exists on the Shroud?
I am aware, because I read his book, that Dr. Heller proved, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that the stains on the Shroud are blood stains. I was just looking for that book, in my library, but I can’t find it. I might have made the mistake of loaning it out to someone. Anyway, I do not recall Dr. Heller, in that book, saying a single word about post-mortem blood.
Now to the point. And this is a point that would be very uncomfortable for those who believe in the doctrine of Christianity. But, if we’re talking about science, and following where the science goes, and what it reveals, then we cannot allow doctrines to interfere with science…Can we?
Now if, indeed, no post-mortem blood exists on the Shroud, and it has simply been assumed, by the scientists, including Heller, that the Shroud contains post-mortem blood [Hang with me, here!!], then would our conclusions regarding the scientific results of studies on the Shroud change?
If STURP began its scientific studies with the idea that "The Man of the Shroud," as he is sometimes called, was dead when the Shroud was draped over him, might that affect how STURP interpreted scientific results?
So, now I’ll get to the point: If we assume that "The Man of the Shroud" was not dead, but was merely unconscious; that is, that he did not die as a result of his ordeal; and if we assume, as a consequence of that first assumption, that the only blood stains on the Shroud are pre-mortem blood stains, might we then be able to explain how the images were made on both sides of the Shroud?
I’m not a scientist, as I said before. But I do know one thing: Dead people and live people are…ahem…different. Dead folks do not breath. Dead folks, that I know of, do not emit uric acid from their skins [except maybe for a while after death??]. Dead folks do not sweat. Dead folks do not produce heat [Well, maybe they do, but I don’t think so]. The oxygen, in the air, that interacts with the skin of dead folks, interacts differently [doesn’t it??] than oxygen that interacts with the skin of live folks.
You may be aware that a new study has concluded that oils were on the Shroud [I can send you that if you’re interested, although you might know of this study], contrary to what was concluded by STURP. And those oils were burned off in 1532, at the fire, which is why STURP found no oil residue.
Now, if we assume that the Biblical account is true, and that Nicodemus brought "100 pounds" of aloe and myrrh to the burial site; and if we further assume that those substances were administered to "Jesus," not because he was dead, but because he was alive; and if we further assume that the substances were administered for the purpose of healing his wounds, then might we also have to re-visit the scientific studies, to determine:
1. What was the effect of those substances on the Shroud?
2. What was the effect of the interaction of those substances with the uric acid, sweat, and heat that "Jesus’" alive body was producing?
Could anything had been burnt, within the open and airy tomb, that would have helped the healing–some kind of ancient, medical practice? And if some healing substance was burnt, would the smoke from the substance have added to the combination of sweat, uric acid, heat, and oxygen that, together, could somehow have created the images on the Shroud?
Years ago, I contacted the Shema Israel International Burial Society, and I asked them the following question. Was the application of aloes and myrrh a part of ancient, Jewish burial practices? Answer? No. You can ask them yourselves. Just Google. They told me, in email, that no such practice existed, amongst Jews of that time, as part of the burial ritual of a human body. So, why would Nicodemus have taken "100 pounds" of aloes and myrrh there? Perhaps for the purpose of healing "Jesus’" body, since both of those substances are healing substances.
I hope you get my point. By the way, I have been told that the test that determines post or pre-mortem blood is called the gas chromotography test. If that is true, then it would be interesting to find out of that test was performed.
Now, I have one more thing to say, and this is a bit uncomfortable. Could any of the STURP scientists have been influenced by religious doctrine, thus drawing conclusions about the scientific results that were skewed because of the influence of those doctrines? Drawing the conclusion, for instance, that there exists post-mortem blood stains on the Shroud?
I was highly disturbed when I read this statement by Dr. D’Muhala, one of the STURP team members:
Editor’s Note: Tom D’Muhala was a founding member of STURP and was President of the organization from 1978 to 1996.
View on shroud.com Preview by Yahoo
That is VERY disturbing. You will see what I’m referring to, if you read all of it.
One more thing, and you can verify this with Barry Schwortz. Barry told me that, when they first entered the room where the Shroud was, in order to begin their scientific study, a couple of the scientists were wearing crucifixes. Barry, without hesitating, pointed out to them that this was highly inappropriate, and that if it ever got leaked to the news media that members of the STURP team of scientists were performing their scientific studies on the Shroud, while wearing a visible sign of belief in a religious doctrine, then if STURP concluded that the Shroud was genuine, critics, cynics, atheists, and just the general public would believe that the results were not credible.
Am I suggesting that there has been some hanky-panky? I have no idea. And I have no way to prove that any of the STURP scientists were operating in any way that was not at the highest professional level. But, STURP people are just that–people.
Could the STURP team have discovered that there exists only pre-mortem blood on the Shroud? And then, fully understanding the ramifications of 2 billion Christians potentially being informed that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross "for the sins of the world," but survived that ordeal [as did happen, by the way, sometimes, as is recorded by the Jewish historian of that time, Flavius Josephus]?
This sounds like a suspense novel, I know. But, I can easily imagine that, in the wee hours of the night, while the STURP team was diligently studying the Santa Sindone, one of them looked up at the others, and said, "Oy vey!! We’ve got a problem. It’s clear that whoever this cloth covered was very much alive. There is no sign of death on this cloth."
I can very well imagine a discussion–a deep discussion taking place as to whether or not their findings should be revealed. Recall the beginning of Dr. Heller’s book, in which he stated that when he was first asked to be on the STURP team, his first thought was that he did not wish to be involved with something that could turn out to be controversial, since it involved the most important religious figure in human history, Jesus Christ.
But, what attracted Heller was the science. So, he agreed.
Well, I apologize to have taken so much of your time (assuming that you read this entire note). Of course, it may be that post-mortem blood does exist on the Shroud, and that that fact was scientifically proven. But, in truth, I have my doubts.
Thank you for your email. My friend Helmut Felzmann likes to remind me that forensic experts in Spain, Great Britain and Germany agree with him that Jesus survived crucifixion and recovered from his wounds. Perhaps he will join the discussion as he has in the past on this blog. Helmut has a website at http://www.shroud.info/
I must draw your attention to comments by Hugh Farey in Have we all been looking in the wrong place?
You might also refer to these prior postings in this blog:
You might try: http://shroudstory.com/?s=post-mortem for more postings.
Again, thanks for your email. Oh, bye-the-way, I cannot imagine a discussion like the one you imagine. I think it is simple conspiracy theory. Sorry, but that is what I think.
Berry: Where did the story of the too-red blood originate? Answer: from Adler and Heller
Well, we just have to disagree on the reality of the human blood. I am an independent scholar, formerly a Senior Examiner of the International Baccalaureate;s critical thinking programme, Theory of Knowledge, and thus used to looking at evidence or asking those who know.
I had the Heller/Adler papers read by a professor emeritus of physiology who said that their claims that this was blood were totally unconvincing. I show the bloodstains to any forensic expert i can find and they all say they have never seen dried blood that red.
So I am not working on the understanding that this is blood.
Why can’t the STURP tests be replicated 37 years on? Have they lost the tapes???
Caption: Robert Downey Jr. telling Charles Freeman that everything looks too red.
Will we ever learn the name of any of Charles’ many experts du jour. But that isn’t the point. The point is that Charles is playing the blood-is-too-red card, perhaps too carelessly, something that Colin Berry in one of his overly long, topic-drift postings picked up on. In fact, Colin, is challenging the very notion that the blood is too red.
Let’s see some of what he has to say by clicking in and scrolling down until you spot Charles Freeman’s name for the fourth time:
Er, which photograph(s) of the TS show the blood as "too red"? How come after 3 years of looking at TS photographs, I have yet to see them?
It can’t be the 1931 Enrie photographs, since they are B/W. It can’t be the 2002 Durante pictures, at least those that appear on Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope, since the colour of the blood in those pictures is scarcely distinguishable from the body image, the entire look being a dull plum.
Durante 2002 (from Shroud Scope): blood too red?
(The first thing I do with Shroud Scope pictures is put then into MS Office Picture Manager and adjust brightness/contrast/midtone from 0,0,0 to -7/100/15 in order to get the blood looking redder). So which photos are Charles Freeman showing to his buttonholed experts? Maybe those Halta pictures on the iPad app, recently described (aptly methinks) as mere toys?
Blood too red? …
Or maybe the BBC’s earlier release in 2008 of Halta pictures that do show a rosy hue in places where it’s not expected, but in prominent areas of body image, not blood especially.
Halta image from BBC site (2008). Some pink coloration – but it’s mainly in the beard and other body-image locations.
Finally, let’s not forget the Turin custodians’ own site with a selection of TS views, essentially the same it would appear as those on Shroud Scope.No, the bloodstains do not look too red. Indeed, they do not look red at all.
Where did the story of the too-red blood originate? Answer: from Adler and Heller, who said in writing the blood was too red, the porphyrin spectrum was atypical, and thus was born the "trauma bilirubin/acid methemoglobin" claim, …
Barrie M.Schwortz has been responsible over the years for proselytising the "blood abnormally red" description, and his admiration for Alan Adler’s pro-authenticity narrative-friendly bilirubin explanation. …
Misleading impression of ‘redness’ created by high magnification/strong illumination? RGB reference standards for comparison? Might the colours also have been digitally adjusted in a manner that accentuated redness?
That still leaves unanswered the question as to which photograph Charles Freeman showed to his forensic experts or emeritus professor of physiology. I shan’t bother asking him directly. I’ve wasted too much time already – putting innumerable points and questions to someone who persistently displays a blissful indifference to the hard facts – and getting back nothing useful in return.
Remember the fun days? Anyone remember Let’s Talk Red Blood: Bilirubin, Saponaria officinalis and UV? All those other people believing the blood is too red. Colin wasn’t questioning it then, was he?
He writes in YouTube:
This part 1 series of 3 videos goes into how Jesus was buried 1st. Blood stains 1st. We cannot talk about the image formation until we 1st address the blood stains and other aspects of the image that are result of body to cloth contact.
Shroud image is the result of both body to cloth contact and another aspect of the Shroud image is a non contact image.
I want to make it clear I am not proposing that the Shroud image is a contact image only.
We will get into the discussion of what aspect of the Shroud is a non contact image in Part 2 of this series.
In the 2nd video will show how the myrrh resin applied to the cloth will convert the linen into a holographic film plate.
We will demonstrate live on film a laser beam bounced off the figure and then diffracted and the interference pattern recorded on the linen.
Part of the Shroud Image is in fact a hologram.
We will prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.
This is not just a theory I am proposing but you are going to see a up close and personal genuine demonstrated reality in front of your own eyes. "seeing is believing" and you are going to see.
Maybe for the 1st time in your entire life.
One of our goals in this video is to silence the voice of the skeptic once and for all. When we are done there will not be a single witness left to testify against Jesus of Nazareth.
The Man in the Shroud/Jesus is going to get the fair trail he did not get back in 1st Century. This time he is going to be set free along with the viewer. Permanent freedom from the spirit of fear. Spirit of joy will replace it. No one should have to live with a sick spirit of fear. We are setting out to free people of it, so they can have a chance of having a genuine, successful and happy life.
Shroud of Turin is a witnessing tool only so that one may "come to believe in a power greater then themselves that can restore the normal function of the mind and body.
One of the greatest sensations in the world that people spend millions of dollars to experience is freedom. It is positively exhilarating and spirit uplifting. You can have that sensation for free.
The truth revealed in this series of videos, will set you permanently free and it will not cost you one penny to do so, in accordance with the will of the Spirit of God. Spirit of God is not a paper and coin chaser and does not need to know your credit card number or access to your bank account.
He simply does not care how much money you have. It is something else the Spirit of God seeks from you. We suggest sending him a "knee mail" message to figure out what that is exactly.
There is a new study out by Matteo Borrini, professor of forensic anthropology at John Moores University in Liverpool (UK), and Luigi Garlaschelli University of Pavia, that argues against the authenticity of the shroud. The following is a Google translation from Italian of a UAAR (Union Atheists Agnostics and Rationalists) press release posted in the A Good Reason blog by the UAAR and reposted in AgoraVox:
Press Release: Shroud: new studies call into question the authenticity:
The imprint of the body on the Shroud does not match that of a condemned posted in a location similar to the classical representations of the crucifixion. And not even that of a bloody body lying in the tomb.
These are the findings of new studies by Matteo Borrini, professor of forensic anthropology, now at John Moores University in Liverpool (UK), and Luigi Garlaschelli University of Pavia, that for this research has obtained a contribution of the AU.
The work, presented by Borrini at the Conference of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Orlando (USA), confirms the findings already last year by a similar study of the two teachers.
As known, the image of the Shroud of Turin are visible, in addition to the faint image of a body, even trace amounts of (alleged) blood resulting from the wounds of passion on his forehead and neck, on the chest, on the feet, and finally on the back of one hand and on the front of the forearms, from wrist to elbow.
The scope of work of Borrini and Garlaschelli was to verify – using forensic techniques of BPA (Bloodstain Pattern Analysis – analysis of the shape of the blood stains) – what should be the posture of a human body so that the rivulets of blood you have as it appears on the footprint human in the Shroud of Turin.
A thin cannula for transfusion, connected to a bag of blood, was applied to the dorsum of the left hand of a volunteer in three different positions of possible leakage of the nail, in agreement with the most common assumptions about the exact anatomical location of the wound as it follows from the Shroud.
In previous studies, the forearm was kept at different inclinations with the aid of a goniometer ballistic – 0 °, the horizontal arm, 90 °, vertical arm – and a modest amount of blood had been made on the back of the hand casting and along the forearm.
All tests had shown that in order that the stream of blood flowing on the outside of the forearm, as visible on the shroud, the angle of the arm itself must be greater than 80 ° and less than 90 °, and then placing it in a position almost, but not totally vertical.
The new tests now conducted have considered other aspects:
- The arms were always placed vertically, even with hands over his head, to play the position assumed if the condemned had been crucified in a single vertical pole.
- To simulate the hypothesis that the bleeding had occurred (perhaps by a body washed) after death, blood was dripped from the back of the hand of a volunteer lying with his hands on the pubis in the same position of the Man of the Shroud ( both legs stretched that flexed). In none of these tests has achieved a performance of rivulets similar to that seen on the Shroud.
- Scholars have finally run a BPA for the wound to the right side. A sponge (of the same size of the alleged injury readable on the shroud) soaked synthetic blood was pressed through a special grip on the torso of a mannequin standing. The trend trickles result in this case is vertical, consistent with that from image front of the Shroud of Turin. However doing the bleeding experimental with dummy lying (for groped to reproduce leaking from image ridge of the Shroud, which also derives from the wound to the chest for bleeding post-mortal), the result was quite different.
Taken together the results of these tests are therefore not consistent with the general trend of the rivulets of blood on the Shroud of Turin and seem to refuse to testify in favor of their authenticity, but rather in an artistic or didactic.
Link to postings about the previous studies by Borrini and Garlaschelli .
Colin Berry in part of a comment writes:
Twice now on this site I’ve reminded folk that any difficulty in seeing the TS body image from a distance would have been rendered less of a problem in public displays by the presence (or maybe deliberate addition) of blood stains and scourge marks. So while “over-flagellation” has been cited as evidence of a paying of lip service to prevailing artistic fashion it might equally well have been done to assist visibility, while not compromising the credibility that attaches to a faint body image per se deemed to be a genuine imprint of the body of Christ.
To which Thomas replies:
Nice theory re: blood Colin. I’ve said it before, I’ve got a feeling some, if not all the blood, was added. I still on balance believe the image is ‘authentic’. But not necessarily the blood. Or at least not all of it.
And Colin replies:
Thanks Thomas. It’s in fact quite instructive and possibly enlightening to put oneself in the position of a medieval monk who has been given the task of making a faint body imprint more visible from 50 yards,while (a) doing nothing that detracts from the ghostly body image and (b) can lend further credibility to a 33AD provenance consistent with or reinforcing the New Testament accounts of the torture and crucifixion..
Personally, I’d start with the major blood flows, and not worry too much about some of them seeming to trickle down the frontal hair, the important thing being to leave a signature of the crown of thorns (the latter not being imaged). I’d then add the scourge marks, making them as evenly spaced as possible, with minimal cross-crossing that looks untidy, and trying not to undo my major bloodstain handiwork work by mixing up or overlapping the two types. Forearms? There’s a lot of work gone into creating those intricate blood trails there, so don’t go and spoil it by adding some distracting scourge marks as well, bar the merest hint. I’d also be very careful to keep scourge marks clear of the area on the dorsal side where the viewer expects there to have been long hair reaching down to the shoulders, especially as the latter itself is poorly imaged. Maybe the colleague who did the body image to simulate a sweat imprint felt it best to give the merest hint of a hair imprint, hair tending to trap sweat, perhaps, as distinct from facilitating its passage from scalp to linen.
And BT from Connecticut, where the snow has finally stopped for awhile, writes in an email:
Dr. Berry’s theory is interesting and should be carefully considered. I am inclined to speculate that all or some of the bloodstains were originally there and remain so. I say this because it seems likely and it appears from a very limited sampling that some bloodstains may have blocked image formation. We can not rule out the possibility that well intentioned caretakers of the relic may have retouched the bloodstains. When you consider that the Holy Shroud may be 2000 years old and that it was unfurled before crowds and folded and unfolded countless times the idea of retouching bloodstains becomes plausible.
This is why we need to see the high definition images that church is withholding.
Source of above image: a clipping from Haltadefinizione image at Sindone.org
. . . the idea of a man-made forgery became completely obsolete . . .
One person who read Paul Maloney’s St. Louis paper was Yannick Clément (pictured with his guitar in photo supplied by him). What he wrote in an email to me is the reason I moved discussion of Paul’s paper up in the queue. But it also meant I had to delay sharing Yannick’s email until I read the paper. You should read Paul’s paper first. Then read Yannick’s additions, for that is what he offers us here:
In the very long paper written by Paul Maloney entitled « Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation. », which he presented at the recent St Louis conference, there is a very interesting list of what he called « Shroud’s anomalies » that represent, as he say, real problems for the painting hypothesis. This list can be found in pages 80 and 81 of his paper.
First, I want to say that I agree with Mr. Maloney that everyone of these « anomalies » are truly problematic for the painting hypothesis (except the second and fifth ones, for which I have serious doubts). But I think this list can be extended and I also think that such an extended list of « anomalies » must be seen as being good enough to discard not only the painting hypothesis for image formation but every hypothesis involving a forgery that would have been done with anything else than a real beaten, scourged and crucified corpse!
I’ll let you judge for yourself… Here’s the « anomalies » I would add to the list of « Shroud’s anomalies » described by Mr. Maloney in his paper:
1- The presence of serum stains surrounding most of the bloodstains and the kind of transfer that is responsible for these blood and serum stains (i.e. a transfer done from exudates of moistened blood clots instead of liquid blood) is enough to discard any idea of a forger who would have artificially created bloodstains on the cloth as a reminder of the bloody stigmata of Christ. Here’s what Alan Adler said about this issue in his book The Orphaned Manuscript: "We have shown by immunological tests that the blood is definitely primate blood, and that it must have been taken from the exudate of a clot at a certain point in the clotting process. An artist would therefore have needed the exudate from the wounds of a severely tortured man, or baboon, and he would need to take the substance within a 20-minute period after the clotting had begun, and paint it on the cloth with the serum edges and all the other forensic precision that we see there. I believe most reasonable people would conclude that it is simply impossible that an artist could have produced the blood imprints on the Shroud of Turin. Rather, it is logical to conclude, from the nature and characteristics of the bloodstains on the Shroud, that the cloth once enfolded the body of a severely beaten and crucified human being."
2- The fact that there are some missing parts in the body image (in the frontal as well as in dorsal image) is totally inconsistent with the idea of a forger that would have artificially crafted these body images in order to create a false relic of Jesus’ burial shroud with body images that would eventually been showed publicly to the faithful. Here’s some of these missing body parts: A) The thumb of the left hand is missing in the frontal image. B) Good portions of the feet are missing in both images (frontal and dorsal). C) The back of the knees are missing in the dorsal image.
3- Except for maybe one or two exceptions, Byzantine and Medieval artists have always depicted scenes of the Passion of Christ with some kind of cloth covering the groin, pelvic and buttocks areas, while on the Shroud, the image is showing a man completely nude.
4- The body image on the Shroud strongly support the hypothesis that the Shroud man had to carry only the patibulum of the cross instead of the entire cross, which is contrary to the vast majority of the artistic depiction of the bearing of the cross by Byzantine or Medieval artists.
5- The minute traces of aragonite dirt that have been found by the STURP team in a few « relevant » places like the heel or the nose for example are truly inconsistent with the idea of a forger using some kind of artistic or artificial technique to craft a false relic of Christ, because such traces of dirt (just like the serum stains surrounding most of the bloodstains by the way) would not have been visible for most faithful who would have look at the Shroud. On the contrary, these minute traces of aragonite dirt are consistent with the idea that the Shroud man would have walked barefoot on the way to his crucifixion.
6- Outside the image of the feet on the dorsal image, there is a clear mirror (or doubled) bloodstain that really seems to have been produced when the cloth was folded in that region. The idea that a forger would have wanted to artificially created such a mirror (or doubled) bloodstain in that particular region goes beyond any rationality, while such a strange feature truly have an « authenticity » signature.
7- The Shroud is a non-homogeneous cloth made of two distinct parts that came from the same original long piece of linen cloth. Such a cutting and later stitching is inconsistent with the idea of a forger who would have wanted to create a perfect relic of Jesus’ burial cloth that would have eventually been showed publicly to the faithful. On the contrary, this very odd feature truly have an « authenticity » signature.
That’s the 7 additional « Shroud’s anomalies » I wanted to add to Mr. Maloney’s list and I think that they are very relevant. In my mind, some of them, like the first one for example, are even more relevant than the ones he pointed out and especially the second and fifth anomalies he described, which are far from being proven. I think that once you take into account all the « anomalies » I described + those described by Mr. Maloney (even if we decide to left aside the second and fifth ones), the idea of a man-made forgery became completely obsolete and you don’t have too much choice to conclude that the blood and serum stains as well as the body image that we see on the Shroud MUST have been left there by some form of (probably natural) interaction between a real bloody and traumatized body and the cloth…
Of course, as I underlined in my paper entitled « Concerning the question of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin – Please don’t forget the evidence of the bloodstains, such a conclusion doesn’t completely discard the idea of a « natural » forgery done with the use of a real crucified body or the idea of the Shroud being the burial cloth of an anonymous crucified man other than Jesus, but it certainly lead to completely discard any scenario involving a forgery done with the use of some artistic or artificial technique… And this is true not only for the blood and serum stains, but also for the body image.
And when you understand that this is a real burial cloth that enveloped for only a short period of time a real crucified body showing all the bloody wounds of Jesus (as reported in the Gospels) and that such a gruesome burial cloth had been taken out of a tomb in order to be well-preserved (which is something that would have been considered a legal impurity for a Jew in the time of Jesus, not because of the bloodstains on the cloth, but because this cloth had been in contact with a dead body and which can explain, at least partially, why there are no traces of such an important Christian relic in ancient sources), it became obvious that the answer must be positive with a very high level of confidence (which I estimated quite ironically in the same way than the dating results of the C14 labs in 88, i.e. positive with 95% confidence). Effectively, after having analyzed the two possible scenarios that do not involve the body of Jesus of Nazareth (i.e. the scenarios #1 and 2 in my paper about the bloodstains evidence), I came to understand that those two were highly improbable and, honestly, I consider both of them to be very far-fetched (which explain the high level of confidence I just expressed in favor of the authenticity of the Shroud as being the real burial cloth of Jesus).
Yannick Clément, Louiseville, Québec, Canada
This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument
against the position that the Shroud was a painting.
No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified.
MUST READ: You are not going to be able to read this in twenty minutes. You can’t even skim it that quickly. This 81-and=then-some page paper, Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation by Paul C. Maloney is too important and two informative to to not be read carefully including the endnotes. Here is a sampling:
It was a dreary, rainy afternoon, April 7, 1980. I should have had the light on in my study but I didn’t because I was in a melancholy mood. Then the phone rang. I recognized that baritone voice on the other end of the line and knew I was talking to Hershel Shanks, founder and editor of the world’s largest circulating biblical archaeology magazine, The Biblical Archaeology Review, calling from Washington, D.C.
Hershel wanted me to write an article on the Shroud for the magazine. “But, Hershel, I don’t know anything about the Shroud of Turin!”
It is important here to insert here that Dr. Gambescia was not rejecting the work of the French physician, Dr. Pierre Barbet; he was actually building upon Barbet’s work. Neither was Dr. Gambescia rejecting the special interpretation of the arms and their attendant blood flows proposed by the late Mons. Giulio Ricci. His proposal, however, does suggest an interpretation different from that proposed for the blood flows for the feet than that offered by Mons. Giulio Ricci. It is this new interpretation that we are introducing for further research by the medical profession to be discussed alongside the earlier discussions for the feet. . . .
Pages 80 and 81:
A List of the Shroud’s Anomalies: Problems with the Painting Hypothesis
Finally, if it is argued that an artist did paint the original Shroud—as this view has most forcefully been argued by the late Dr. Walter C. McCrone in so many of his publications—the Shroud now becomes most unique. We may therefore conclude this paper with a convenient list of anomalies, as they would become if a singular artist painted the original:
1. Artists down through the ages have presented the Crucified wearing a crown of thorns. The Shroud shows the Man of the Shroud with a “cap” of thorns.
2. Artists have always depicted the Man of the Shroud with no rope holding the torso against the stipes of the Cross. The Shroud appears to support the view that a rope pulled the torso back to hold it against the upright (stipes) of the cross.
3. Artists have traditionally rendered the Crucified with nails through the palms of the hands. The Shroud shows them to be through the wrists.
4. Artists have long painted the Crucified showing the arms in a “Y” type of stance. But Mons. Giulio Ricci, who studied this in detail, shows that the right arm was likely bent at a right angle, whereas the left was in the “Y” position.
5. Artists have followed several different paths in rendering the feet. Sometimes they show the feet (especially in crucifixes) with the right foot up against the stipes of the cross, and the left nailed atop the right—all with one nail. At other times they have depicted the left against the stipes with the right atop the left foot—again, all with one nail. And sometimes the two feet are nailed side-by-side on a slanted platform (suppedaneum). This latter view is common in Eastern Byzantine, Greek, and Russian Orthodox crucifixes. Gambescia’s view would require two nails, one going through front of the ankle of the right foot to anchor it directly to the stipes, with the left foot nailed atop the center of the right using a single nail leaving the left foot free to swivel.
This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument against the position that the Shroud was a painting. No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified. Yet, students of the history of art—interested especially in cladistics—can now actually see the Shroud as the beginning of a “tree of descent” where one can study just how the many painted views of the Crucified diverged over the centuries, influenced by various translations of the New Testament in conjunction with markings on the Shroud itself and the heavy pressure of tradition in numerous different geographical locales. But that would be the subject of another paper.
Taking comfort in significant endnotes:
Nevertheless, my request to Dr. Adler was precisely because of my concern regarding pareidolia. In my case, I wanted to be absolutely certain that the features discussed in this paper could be seen easily by the human eye. This problem is well illustrated in Ray Rogers review of Mark Antonacci’s book, Resurrection of the Shroud wherein he states:
With regard to other images on the Shroud, few of us can see them. "I think I can see" is not a substitute for an observation, and observations must be confirmed. When Fr. Francis Filas (deceased) claimed he saw the coins, lituus and all, he was looking at specific photographic prints. He had many prints produced at increasing contrast. Finally, all that was left was strings of dots. It took a numismatist who was familiar with ancient Roman coins weeks to "see" the lituus in those photographs. Your mind tries to make sense out of any "patterns" your eye can see. Psychologists have a lot of effort invested in studying such phenomena… It is dangerous to build a scientific theory on such shaky foundations. Your mind tends to see what it expects and/or wants to see. (Rogers’ review, p. 15, available at: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers.pdf).
The ever present danger of pareidolia and other related issues covered in this extensive endnote (including such problems associated with photo-lithography in the publication process; photo flipflopping [see 13.a below]; cropping, [see 13.a below] etc.) promoted my extreme caution when I asked of Dr. Adler this special favor to examine the Shroud in person in June 1997 to verify whether or not the markings that had been digitally enhanced were there and could be seen without digital enhancement. This footnote, then, not only covers pareidolia, but also other problems that are not technically defined as pareidolia.