Home > Blood Studies, Flagrum, News & Views, Science > Berry: Shroud was Scourged, Not the Man. A Critical Look at Faccini and Fanti

Berry: Shroud was Scourged, Not the Man. A Critical Look at Faccini and Fanti

June 20, 2012

imageThis is interesting but I am a long way from thinking Colin Berry is onto something with his posting Shroud Scope 8: 372 impossible scourge marks (surely?) on the Shroud of Turin:

So areas of image intensity which are identified on the F&F [=Barbara Faccini and Giulio Fanti] map as being scourge marks – if not the Type 1 flagrum type – but the Type 2 rod type – can be located on the Shroud Scope image, if somewhat indistinct (F&F used a range of image-enhancement techniques). But they are not confined to the forearm as indicated on the map. They extend onto the fabric. Why should they do that, if the scourge mark is a type of wound that while imaging at least partly on account of seepage of blood, does not bleed so profusely as to create blood trails onto the fabric beyond the immediate image. If the latter occured generally, then many more “scourge marks” would have shown the same propensity to leak beyond the site of the lesion.

However, if scourge marks – or at any rate, some of the 372 of them on the Man in the Shroud – were not on the figure at the time of imaging, but applied directly to the latter, then it is perhaps not surprising that some were misapplied so as to leave imprints beyond the intended area. The risk of the latter occurring would be greatest, needless to say, with a slender limb than with a more extensive part of the anatomy like the chest, back and shoulders.

My next post will look critically at the entire range of alleged scourge and blood markings on the Shroud, and ask the question: “Is the range and presentation of these markings too good to be true – are we seeing clear evidence of a hoax or forgery?”

Be sure to read Faccini and Fanti: New image processing of the Turin Shroud scourge marks

  1. daveb of wellington nz
    June 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Wilson “The Shroud” 2010, plate 9d shows a three thonged flagrum, with two pellets end of each thong; picture credit says it was reconstructed after Vignon – preumably this means the type of weapon that Vignon envisaged from his examination of the scourge images; plate 9c shows a Roman coin Herculaneum ~100 BC T. Didias, gladiator is using a two or three thonged flagrum against an opponent. Vignon claimed that taller man stood on the right and that shorter man stood on left and had a tendency to whip the legs; they could also aim their flagra to whip around to the front of the body and leave scourge marks there. I’m not aware that Vignon ever identified marks left by the fascia typically used by lictors, as do F & F.

    I see a difficulty in interpreting the results as F & F have used Photoshop type imaging enhancement techniques to obtain their images, even to the extent of eiiminating the background herring-bone (fishbone sic) weave – the pixels have moved! Question has to be “Are we seeing fascia type marks, or are we seeing an unsought byproduct of the claimed image enhancements?” I suspect it may need some further corroboration, before conceding that F&F have definitely identified previously unrecognised injuries.

  2. anoxie
    June 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Colin Berry :
    Why do we not have, say, an iron (Fe) map for the entire Shroud, one that would discriminate between different image areas, notably blood/non-blood?

    1/ There is an iron map for the entire shroud, it showed a relative homgeneous density, arguing against pigments.
    2/ Do you think such a map (even with higher resolution) would be usefull to discriminate blood ?

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Houston, or rather anoxie, we have a problem.


      “The debate on the authenticity of the shroud became centered on whether the reliable presence of iron oxide was relevent to the shroud image and the “bloodstains” on the cloth and the precise nature and origin of the iron oxide. A part of the answer to this was provided by x-ray fluorescent analysis performed by STURP… scientists … which determined there was no relevence between concentrations of iron oxide particles and the varying densities of the image.”

      Now compare that with F&F who state that numerically the scourge marks are “the most abundant bloodstains on the Shroud of Turin” (my italics)

      All blood contains haemoglobin. No matter how much that haemoglobin degrades over the centuries, it will always leave an iron “signature”, even if finally iron oxide. So how come the STURP team failed to detect iron if scanning the entire Shroud image with its 372 scourge marks? How come each scourge mark did not register as a hot spot for iron oxide, assuming that F&F are correct?

      I demand a recount…

  3. June 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Colins, conforme se vaya ALEJANDO del EJE MEDIO de la Imagen (eje vertical medio) las marcas de la piel se irán separando de las manchas de sangre que hayan producido ESAS MISMAS lesiones de la piel.


  4. anoxie
    June 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

    colinsberry :
    So how come the STURP team failed to detect iron if scanning the entire Shroud image with its 372 scourge marks? How come each scourge mark did not register as a hot spot for iron oxide, assuming that F&F are correct?

    You should really start reading articles before writing posts and comments.
    1/ STURP detected iron
    2/ They regitered “hot spots” on bloodstains (20-40 microgram/cm²)

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Your comment only makes reference to “bloodstains” anoxie? But did the STURP team include “scourge marks” in their scan of “blood stains”? If F&F are correct, then they ought to have done so. But did they? The quotation I have provided from that http://www.historian site would suggest that they did not. Had they done so, then iron would/should have been detected.

      That’s why I try to keep an open mind, and why I think we need a new map that shows unequivocally where ALL the iron is located on the Shroud, not just those puddly image areas that have been conventionally seen as “the bloodstains”. Thus the need for an iron map that definitely includes the “scourge marks” as well as sites of major haemorrhage.

      Perhaps you know of the existence of such a detailed and discriminating map. If so, I’d be interested to have a link.

      I note your advice, but would point out that my comment re x-ray fluorescence was by way of a PS on a posting that addresses more immediate issues, like what one can see with one’s own eyes, especially now we have high-resolution images at out fingertips.

      • anoxie
        June 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

        What is deemed as “bloodstain” is clearly different from image zones, macroscopically and microscopically. Obviously they could not analyse every “puddly image areas” which looked like genuine bloodstains.
        On shroud scope only major bloodstains are higlighted.

  5. Chris
    June 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Dear Heavens, he does reach, doesn’t he?

  6. June 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Some folk here seem to be evading the main issue. Are the scourge marks, the main focus of my posting, to be classified as “bloodstains” or not? Yes or no? If yes, on what evidence?

    Reminder: F&F say the scourge marks are numerically the “most abundant bloodstains” on the Shroud.

  7. anoxie
    June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Mainly based on Adler’s work, we can assume red traces are bloodstains.

    Then yes, so called “scourge marks” = most red traces, can be deemed as bloodstains. And if you count them, they are the most abundant bloodstains.

    • June 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      “…we can assume red traces are bloodstains…”

      Nothing can be assumed in science, anoxie… Always demand the evidence, no matter how many reputations may be compromised or damaged by doing so…

  8. anoxie
    June 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    There are hundreds of red traces on the shroud. Adler analysed a sample of red traces and it turned out to be blood, that’s a very strong evidence.
    Then the similar red traces, so far, can be deemed as bloodstains.

    What’s your point ?

    • June 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      No, Alan Adler analysed a sample which, solubilized in a ferocious chemical reagent (hydrazine) had a uv and visible absorption spectrum that he identified as “porphyrin”. But uv and visible absorption spectra, with their relatively few peaks and broad plateaux, are in no way a substitute for fingerprinting an organic compound, e.g, by infrared absorption spectra, by nmr absorption, or by glc-mass spectrometry.

      Alan Adler not only omittted to do those three confirmatory tests. Instead, he proposed a theory that the permanent red colour of “blood” on the Shroud had amazingly survived despite centuries of exposure to light, air etc, and was the result of his novel hypothesis involving complexation between a trauma-induced novel oxidation state of oxidised haemoglobin AND a trauma-induced outpouring of bilirubin. Occams’ razor anyone?

      The trauma? Crucifixion – which we sceptics describe as “begging the question”.

      Sorry, anoxie, but you don’t know the half of it. I spent the first two years of my research career in Philadelphia studying the mechanism of phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, in particular the way in which bilirubin degrades when exposed to light and oxygen. The process takes hours, days and maybe weeks – but not centuries… The idea that Adler’s stress-induced bilirubin stabilises his hypothetical “para-hemic” trauma-induced methaemoglobion to centuries of exposure to light and air is pure baloney…

      There, somebody had to say it… There has to be huge question mark over the claims of two of STURP’s most prestigious chemical researchers – Ray Rogers and Alan Adler. I write as a retired chemical/biochemical researcher. And you, anoxie?

  9. anoxie
    June 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Ok. Here we are ! Your point was : Adler’s works is highly questionnable.

    It seems far fetched and I think you should better write an article clearly explaining your comments on Adler’s.

    • June 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I did a critique of Adler’s ideas back in April, anoxie.


      Remember – they are just ideas – yours, mine, Adler’s. Ideas tend to be ephemeral, from whomsoever they come. No need to get worked up …

    • Ironclad
      June 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      anoxie in response to colinsberry: “Ok. Here we are ! Your point was: Adler’s works is highly questionnable.

      And here I thought Rogers was the one with dubious scientific credentials or work ethic. If person A tells me person B is bad, I may hold judgment until I know person B at a deeper level. But if person A continues on and tells me that person C is also bad and so on, I don’t have to go far in reaching a conclusion on whom I have to set a leery eye on and who is probably having a social skill problem.

      • June 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

        Mention the subject of image-forming mechanism and you can be sure that Rogers’ name will be quickly invoked. Mention bloodstains and it’s Adler’s name that is mentioned. Mention them separately and it’s science, but mention them in the same sentence then it’s a problem of “social skills”.

        Any problem of “social skills” here is when people who have adopted pseudonyms start to get personal with those who have not. It’s an unequal contest – and one in which I wish to have no further part where this thread is concerned.

        No one seems willing to say precisely what is imaged when we refer to a scourge mark. Is it entirely blood, in which case it is a subset of “bloodstains” and presumably imprinted on the cloth at the same time as bloodstains, while having a distinctive morphology (dumbbells etc), OR is it an acquired detail of body morphology that is imprinted along with the rest of the body features, which just happens to have also acquired a thin film of blood to make it a hybrid marking on the Shroud – part image/part blood?

        Methinks there is a growing credibility gap where those “scourge marks” are concerned. But then some of us have been growing increasingly incredulous about “bloodstains” too from seeing how they look remarkably “image-like” under the Shroud Scope, i.e. confined to the ribs of the weave, with no penetration worth speaking of into the furrows. Time methinks to write another post, and to stop being mealy-mouthed about something that is plainly a contrivance, and a very clever one at that, but simply does not stand up to close scrutiny, at least by those of us with limited social skills… ;-)

      • Yannick Clément
        June 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        I say AMEN to what Ironclad said ! Well said !

  10. daveb of wellington nz
    June 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

    So the sciencebod throws his toys out of the cot yet again, but he’ll be back, he can’t leave it alone, it’s all part of the Great Plan, the Hound of Heaven will catch up with him eventually, ” … with unhurrying chase, and unpertubed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, Come on the following feet … ” He’s caught up with others, He’ll catch Colin yet!

    Saint Jude patron saint of hopeless cases and lost causes, often seen holding the image of Edessa, sometimes a carpenter’s rule, or would that be a test-tube, I see. Saint Thomas was also a doubter, But he gave us his testimony. Am I raving? Possibly. But I’ll still keep praying for hopeless cases!

    • June 21, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Enough of the time-wasters, and that includes YOU, daveb, with that puerile and derogatory last comment.

      If there are those here who are genuinely interested in the science, as distinct from the tub-thumping and/or point scoring, then they know where to find me.

      Colin Berry aka sciencebod

  11. June 21, 2012 at 6:18 am


    “But they are not confined to the forearm as indicated on the map. They extend onto the fabric. Why should they do that, if the scourge mark is a type of wound that while imaging at least partly on account of seepage of blood, does not bleed so profusely as to create blood trails onto the fabric beyond the immediate image. If the latter occured generally, then many more “scourge marks” would have shown the same propensity to leak beyond the site of the lesion.”

    La sangre ROJA es marca de contacto al envolver el cuerpo de Jesús, y al DESPLEGARSE la Sábana y formarse la IMAGEN ( proyección “quasi” ortogonal) las marcas de sangre MÁS ALEJADAS del eje central de la figura quedan FUERA de la IMAGEN ( deformación de Mercator).

    En relación con las marcas del flagelo es probable que puedan encontrarse ( usted tiene MAGNIFICA capacidad de observación) en las zonas MÁS PERIFERICAS de la IMAGEN, o sea las más alejadas del eje central, la imagen (NO ROJA) de la marca del flagelo y MUY PRÓXIMA a ella la mancha de la sangre (ROJA) producto de esa herida.

    Marca del flagelo y sangre DISOCIADAS.

    No son ERRORES del falsificador, son la EVIDENCIA de que la Sábana es AUTENTICA y que ha estado en 2 POSICIONES distintas como ya ha demostrado Lavoie.

  12. Maria da Glória Gonçalves Barroso
    June 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    To «anoxie»

    If you have any doubts on scientific questions concerning bloodstains my advice is not to ask Dr. Colinsberry because he’ll always provide misleading answers with the aim of discredit the Shroud.
    You had better read previous excellent post on this blog concerning Shroud bloodstains by medical immunologist Dr. Kelly Kearse.
    My husband is a medical doctor and he read all Drs. John Heller and Alan Adler’s papers on blood issue in their book «The Orphaned Manuscript».
    This book contains several papers by these investigators most of them published in «peer reviewed» scientific journals and the conclusion is crystal clear, Shroud red stains are not red ochre and vermillion in a collagen tempera, actually they are blood.
    Inasmuch, Professor Adler and Dr. John Heller did nor perform just the Hydrazine test that Dr Collinberry described in a very confusing way.
    They actually tested not one but several samples from red stains and also studied red stains from human blood on fabrics as controls.
    The finding of hemoglobin characteristic spectra, other spectrometry data, detection of blood proteins, bilirrubin and other blood components enables them to conclude that there is indeed blood on the Shroud.
    Italian forensic investigator Professor Baima Bollone obtained similar results working with material collected from other locations on the Shroud.

    kindest regards
    Maria da Glória

    Centro Português de Sindonologia

    • ArtScience
      June 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      I’m not entirely sure what is the nature of Colin’s claim on the markings, but I will address the one detail that was mentioned about the leather between the lead weight leaving a mark whereas the leather attaching the lead weights to the handle apparently not. Its an interesting observation but easily explained by Newton’s physics. The momentum of the lead weights makes them travel deep into the flesh, dragging the leather between them inspite of the leather having too little momentum by itself to penetrate the flesh. However the bit of leather attaching to the handle and near the point of attachment to the lead though dragged with the weight will flex back on hitting the flesh as it hasn’t got sufficient momentum to penetrate (in contrast to the leather between the weights which is constrained to be between the lead weights and so cant flex back). So that would explain the absence of the marking of the tether leather. However as with many things in physics its often worth experimenting to see whether the reality matches the theory.

  13. Max Patrick Hamon
    June 23, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Meguesses the old oilscienceboilled eel has never heard of ARCHAEOLOGICAL remoistened dried up blood cartographic mordancing….

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      June 23, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Typo error: “ARCHAEOLOGICALLY redried up remoistened dried up blood arctographic mordancing”

  14. Max Patrick Hamon
    June 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Meguesses too that biochemists & chemists should stick to doing the things they do best (colouring/clouding chemical and biochemical solutions) and leave the archaeological blood pattern analysis to the archaeological blood pattern analysts…

  15. Max Patrick Hamon
    June 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

    What we have here is archaeologically mordanted redried up remoistened dried up ANCIENT FRESH blood…

    • Max Patrick Hamon
      June 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Or, if you prefered, “altered blood”

  16. Max Patrick Hamon
    June 23, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Typo error: “…natural mordant-subjected…” (instead od “mordanted”)

  17. Max Patrick Hamon
    June 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

    CB, actually it does seem that the TS is definitely a non deliberate barbecue humour on the part of an old sciencebod (losing it) since the first moment I read you…

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: