Two Archaeocryptologists, Three Opinions?

A reader writes:

imageWe have been taken on something of a ride across a desert on a horse with no name. Prof. Dr. Max Patrick Hamon has stirred up a dust cloud and nothing else.

The professor is an archaeocryptologist, which according to him is someone who is an ancient enigmatic image, inscription and artefact analyst and cryptanalyst. This wasn’t clear so I tried to find it in the Dictionary Of Occupational Titles but without success. I then read a description of the Office of Studies and Research ArchéoCryptologie because Dr. Hamon is the founder and director. Can anyone explain what dowsing exploration and ES detection by consensus map (intuitive archeology) has to do with this field of endeavor? Dowsing? Using a divining stick? ES? Extra Sensory?

Prof. Hamon tells us that he has discovered that the Filas, Whanger and Maroni identified coin images are not there and that he can prove it, optically and numismatically.  DO SO!!!

He claims on the other hand to have found a blood decal image of a Pilate coin. SHOW US!!!

It seems rather unfair to come to a public forum to make claims about intriguing patterns on the eye areas that are supposedly substantiated in a paper that no one can read.

I suggest that Prof. Hamon, you, Yannick and the others give it a rest until Dr. Hamon produces a paper. Will it be possible to get the paper peer reviewed by another archaeocryptologist? Is there a journal?

Was a paper to be published after Turon, Poland? Does anyone know?

Destroying the Magic of the Shroud of Turin

imageFrom Holy Objects at Spiritual Questions:

Having recently watched yet another programme on The Turin Shroud, I am prompted to wonder what all these experts think they are up to. Why does it matter? This is a length of cloth which may – or may not – have been in actual contact with the body of Christ. Amazing! – But so what?

. . .

It may be that holiness can not be made by human hands: it can not be manufactured. Perhaps we now begin to realise that the ‘spiritual’ informs and infuses the ‘natural’: it doesn’t work the other way round. So if the scientists succeed in uncovering all the secrets of the Turin Shroud, they may also succeed in destroying its magic.

Two Jews, Three Opinions and the Shroud of Turin

imageHamon had written, “On the contrary Barrie’s arguement is very weak and his opinion not qualified.” Really, did he think so? Why?

And then he wrote, “Remember: when there are two Jews, there are three opinions!”

Where did that expression come from. Well, the best place to look it up was – you guessed it – “Two Jews, Three Opinions: A Collection of Twentieth-Century American Jewish Quotations.”  Amazon

It seems that David Ben Gurion gets the credit, though different sources offer different wording so we don’t have a solid quotation.

Rabbi Susan Grossman over at Belief Net offers this tidbit:

[Debate] so imbues who we are that even the least affiliated Jew is familiar with some version of the quip, “Ask two Jews, get three opinions.” It is this openness and concurrent tendency against dogma, which is responsible for creating the kind of cultural environment that stimulates creative thinking.

Rabbi David Zauderer illustrated the expression with a joke in Torah from Dixie and The Atlanta Jewish Times:

A new rabbi comes to a well-established congregation. Every week on the Sabbath, a fight erupts during the service. When it comes time to recite the Shema prayer, half of the congregation stands and the other half sits. The half who stand say, "Of course we stand for the Shema. It’s the credo of Judaism. Throughout history, thousands of Jews have died with the words of the Shema on their lips." The half who remain seated say, "No. According to the Shulchan Aruch (the code of Jewish law), if you are seated when you get to the Shema you remain seated."

The people who are standing yell at the people who are sitting, "Stand up!" while the people who are sitting yell at the people who are standing, "Sit down!" It’s destroying the whole decorum of the service, and driving the new rabbi crazy. Finally, it’s brought to the rabbi’s attention that at a nearby home for the aged is a 98-year-old man who was a founding member of the congregation. So, in accordance with Talmudic tradition, the rabbi appoints a delegation of three, one who stands for the Shema, one who sits, and the rabbi himself, to go interview the man. They enter his room, and the man who stands for the Shema rushes over to the old man and says, "Wasn’t it the tradition in our synagogue to stand for the Shema?"

"No," the old man answers in a weak voice. "That wasn’t the tradition."

The other man jumps in excitedly. "Wasn’t it the tradition in our synagogue to sit for the Shema?"

"No," the old man says. "That wasn’t the tradition."

At this point, the rabbi cannot control himself. He cuts in angrily. "I don’t care what the tradition was! Just tell them one or the other. Do you know what goes on in services every week — the people who are standing yell at the people who are sitting, the people who are sitting yell at the people who are standing—"

"That was the tradition," the old man says.

Okay, so if you ask two Jews, you get three opinions. But all my life, growing up, I had heard, “When two or three Episcopalians are gathered together, there are four opinions.” It’s because we are the same way, I guess. Or sometimes I heard, “When two or three Episcopalians are gathered together, there is always a fifth,” We are known not to be teetotalers like the Baptists and the Methodists.

I think we can forget about the opinions of traditions and religions and stick to science and rational material. It is more appropriate.

But Hamon had written: “. . . Barrie’s arguement is very weak and his opinion not qualified.”

And he had written: “

. . . Body images (resolution limit 0.5cm) should not be mistaken with blood images (resolution limit 0.5mm). Many Shroud researchers (including Barrie Scwortz) makes repeatedly the same confusion. He also totally ignore the thread count per square centimetres. The only snag with Barrie Schwortz’s faulty opinions is that thousands of his website viewers are all too ready to believe him.

Does anyone wonder if Barrie is qualified, if Barrie hasn’t studied this problem for years, if Barrie had not worked closely with Don Lynn at JPL who understood the resolution limits and thread counts better than anyone? Check out Barrie’s Resume. Barrie is so respected for his accuracy, and his website is so thoroughly read, that he can’t get away with “faulty opinions” for more than a day or two.

These are strong opinions from Hamon – ad hominem charges. They are not qualified that I can see.

Likely Error in Hamon’s Frascati Acheiropoietos Workshop Poster

imageI noticed the following note on Max Patrick Hamon’s poster from the Frascati Acheiropoietos Workshop 2010:

[2] In 1978, the already faint blood decal in the right eye image area was irretrievably damaged by Max Frei’s too vigorous pressure of a sticky tape on the linen cloth.

I don’t believe it. I spoke at length with Barrie Schwortz yesterday afternoon. According to Barrie, Max Frei never took a sample from the face area. He tried to but was stopped by John Jackson.

There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the image of the face, and particularly of the eyes, changed between 1931 and 1978. You cannot, in this way, justify the use of the high contrast 1931 Enrie photograph, with all of its visual noise, over the technically superior, scientifically-oriented 1978 photographs.

Father Filas’ “Discover Pilate’s Lepton Coin” Paper Available

imageGiorgio Bracaglia writes to offer readers of this blog access to the Filas Pilate paper’s on the Holy Shroud Guild website. A password is required, which you can request at

After obtaining a password, enter the archives using

Survey of U.S. Catholics

imageDan Merica, at CNN, has written a useful summary of a just published report on American Catholics. It begins:

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A new survey paints a picture of a less-strict American Catholic community, with 86% of respondents stating they believe a Catholic "can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

The report "Catholics in America: Persistence and change in the Catholic landscape," was published Monday by the National Catholic Reporter and highlights changes and consistencies of beliefs and attitudes over time:

Even as attendance is down, the survey discovered that "foundational theological beliefs and the sacraments are at the heart of what American Catholics see as core to their Catholic identity."

For example, 73% [of older] and 64% of [younger] respondents respectively said it was very important that Catholics believe in "Jesus’ resurrection from the dead" and that Mary was the mother of God.

According to Professor William D’Antonio of Catholic University, the man who led the study, these numbers have remained consistent.

At the same time, 66% of American Catholics said the Vatican’s teaching authority is either somewhat or not important, a number D’Antonio said is higher than in the past.

For those of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who study the shroud and wonder about its authenticity, we might wonder if what Catholics around the world think of American Catholics has any bearing. And we might wonder about the level of belief in the Resurrection and its attendant doctrines and dogmas. Does it affect shroud studies? Do shroud studies affect belief much?

Full story as it appears on CNN: Survey: U.S. Catholics going to church less frequently – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs. And the story as it appears in National Catholic Reporter.

Cameroon’s Holographic Shroud of Turin Coin

imageKrause Publications has announced the nominees for the 2012 Coin of the Year awards to be presented at the World Money Fair in Berlin during first weekend of February 2012. The nominations for the most historically significant coin are:

1. Bank of Lithuania – Battle of Gruenwald, 500 Litas, gold, KM# 173
2. Royal Canadian Mint – 400th Anniversary of Hudson Bay, 100 Dollars, gold KM#997
3. Coin Invest Trust acting as agent for the country of Cameroon, Shroud of Turin, 1000 Francs, silver, KM #38
4. Israel Coins and Medals Corp, Old Akko, 10 New Shequalim, gold, KM# 470
5. British Royal Mint, 350th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Monarchy, 5 Pounds, silver, KM # 1151a
6. Mint of Poland acting as agent for Niue – Czar Peter the Great, One Dollar, Silver, KM# 433
7. Netherlands Mint – Max Havelaar, 5 Euro, silver, KM# 294
8. National Bank of Ukraine – 600th Anniversary of Gruenwald, 20 Hryvin, silver, KM #596
9. National Bank of Portuagal, Torres Defense Line, 2.5 Euros, Silver, KM # 800
10. National Bank of Belarus, Battle of Gruenwald, 50 Roubles, Silver, KM#270


Krause Publications Announces 2012 Coin of the Year Nominees