imageAs part of a comment, Yannick Clement writes:

. . . In his recent report about the Valencia Conference in Spain for the BSTS, Mark Guscin wrote this about a paper presented there by Pablo Di Lazzaro: “He showed (Di Lazzaro) how our brain works to FILL IN SPACES and make us “see” things that we WOULD LIKE TO SEE, but which quite simply ARE NOT THERE. In reference to the Shroud this could be applied to the supposed inscriptions, the supposed coins, the supposed flowers and the supposed many other things that people “see” from time to time.” I think M. Guscin should have add to his list the desire of Wilson and his followers to see the Mandylion, a small towel showing only the face of the living Christ, which we can see in a great number of ancient copies that has survived to this day, turn suddenly into a burial Shroud full of bloodstains that show 2 different images (front and back) of a complete body… This process can be called “Seeing things we desperately wants to see even if they are not really there” and it can start to operate not only from the eyes, but directly from the brain. Wilson’s hypothesis is a very good example of that.

That brings to mind an article in the current issue of Smithsonian Magazine: No, Really, There is No Secret Code in the Pyramids. A tidbit:

“A hidden code can be found almost anywhere because people are adept at recognizing and creating patterns,” says Klaus Schmeh, a computer scientist specializing in encryption technology. Schmeh has updated Kahn’s research, documenting dozens of bogus or dubious cryptograms. Some are more than a century old, but still making the rounds in books and on websites; others are more recent, such as a claim that all barcodes contain the satanic number, 666.

[ . . . ]

Schmeh says misguided cryptologists tend to believe that spectacular sources yield the most spectacular revelations. Since the 1850s, perfervid sleuths have been scrutinizing Shakespeare’s plays, claiming to have found ciphers denouncing the bard as a fraud and proclaiming the true author to be Sir Francis Bacon. Generations of investigators have been convinced that—through divine revelation or the assistance of extraterrestrials—the builders of the Great Pyramid embedded the sum total of scientific knowledge within the dimensions of the structure. Fringe pyramidologists persist in their claims despite a 1992 effort to debunk them by Dutch astrophysicist Cornelis de Jager, who demonstrated the dimensions of any object can be manipulated to yield a desired outcome; he derived the speed of light and the distance between the Earth and Sun from his measurements of a bicycle.

Still, amateur codebreakers take their work seriously. According to British psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, who has studied personality profiles of conspiracy theorists, “They are altruistic,” since they think that they’re uncovering truths hidden from the public. For them, believing is seeing.

Believing is seeing? How much of what we believe about the shroud is what we think we see?