Colin Berry: Hardly copper-bottomed evidence for so crucial a question

imageColin Berry in commenting on Getting the Left and the Right Right in this blog writes in his blog One picture can be worth a thousand words …:

Conclusion: the blood from the (alleged)  ‘spear wound’ is on the subject’s right side, so appears on the LEFT side of the subject’s imprint (your right).

Shame there’s no sign of a wound on the body image that corresponds with all that blood, but that’s another story,  one that has been addressed previously on this site, back in August.  Suffice it to say that bloodstains on the Shroud (head, hair, wrist, feet, side, scourge marks should not be regarded  as synonymous with wounds when (a) the latter are NOT apparent on the body image, AND (b)  one is less than 100%  certain that the Man on the Shroud is NOT a forgery, e.g.  in which the blood was painted onto a wound-free body image to convey the impression of wounds.

But do I hear you say that the blood came first, did it not, so was unlikely to have been painted on?  So we are told, but as I’ve said on a number of previous occasions here, the evidence for ‘blood first- body image second’  rests upon qualitative spot tests  from just one laboratory with a protein-digesting enzyme on a microscope slide – hardly copper-bottomed evidence for so crucial a question.

It will be the anniversary of my first Shroud posting in just 3 days time. My next post will attempt to summarise my current, now better informed  position after another 135 postings. It will  include the crucial but neglected issue addressed above: which came first – blood or body image?

In 1781, The London Magazine mentions the use copper on Royal Navy ships. I like the phrase:

Admiral Keppel made a remark upon copper bottomed ships. He said they gave additional strength to the navy and he reproached Lord Sandwich with having refused to sheath only a few ships with copper at his request, when he had since ordered the whole navy to be sheathed.

Gib Singleton’s Shroud of Turin

imageMarisa Martin writes in WND Cowboy Michelangelo visits the Vatican:

If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe mesmerized by an energetic bronze of Geronimo so charged it seems about to molt or mutate on the spot, it is probably one of the masterful creations of Gib Singleton.

Singleton’s bronzes are lodged, hosted and collected across the globe. His dominant themes of western and biblical subjects manage to never contradict or eclipse each other, but are oddly supportive and symbiotic in spirit. This diversity of subjects is reflected by his collectors. Singleton is defined as the only artist to be simultaneously represented in permanent collections of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Vatican, the U.S. Olympic Committee Museum and the State of Israel (a bequest from the collection of Golda Meir).

A quintessentially American artist, Singleton is fascinated by characters like Sitting Bull and Doc Holliday and the clash between Indians, settlers and the U.S. military. Sympathy for Native Americans is evident with expression and gesture but never descends into cloying kitchniess, regardless of the extremity.

Down a bit:

It takes courage and professional confidence to keep cowboy hats and chaps on your statues when culture seems dictated by big coastal cities. Regional disdain and cultural pressure hasn’t affected Singleton, and although not a household name everywhere yet, he is highly esteemed in his craft and in many collecting circles. Those include a “Bowed Crucifix” design carried by Pope John Paul II on his crosier and a piece made for the Shroud of Turin [pictured]. He’s made Stations of the Cross and chronicles the population of the Bible and various saints in bronze.

Peter Higgs Criticizes Richard Dawkins

imageI tend to notice Richard Dawkins stories since David Rolfe’s challenge to him.

Alok Jha, a science correspondent for The Guardian writes Peter Higgs criticises Richard Dawkins over anti-religious ‘fundamentalism’:

On one side is Richard Dawkins, the celebrated biologist who has made a second career demonstrating his epic disdain for religion. On the other is the theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, who this year became a shoo-in for a future Nobel prize after scientists at Cern in Geneva showed that his theory about how fundamental particles get their mass was correct.

Their argument is over nothing less than the coexistence of religion and science.

Higgs has chosen to cap his remarkable 2012 with another bang by criticising the “fundamentalist” approach taken by Dawkins in dealing with religious believers.

“What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists,” Higgs said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind.”

He agreed with some of Dawkins’ thoughts on the unfortunate consequences that have resulted from religious belief, but he was unhappy with the evolutionary biologist’s approach to dealing with believers and said he agreed with those who found Dawkins’ approach “embarrassing”.

And there is this:

Dawkins did not respond to a request to comment directly on Higgs’s “fundamentalist” charge.

Getting the Left and the Right Right

imageMichael asks in a comment:

Ok tell me this why on the shroud of turin is jesus left side seem to be the mark of the spear? For 2000 yrs its been on right side!

daveb of wellington nz replies:

The scriptural reference for the wound in the side is the gospel of John 19:34. However John does not say on what side the wound was given. There are several references in the early Fathers of the Church establishing a tradition that the wound was given on the right side, and this is precisely what analysis of the Shroud image shows.

Now, the Shroud itself acts as a mirror. Imagine yourself holding up say a bed-blanket by its corners, and imagine that your bodily image is projected onto the blanket on the side facing you. This is roughly the way that a Shroud would be draped over a human body. Your right-hand side will be projected onto the.left side of the blanket image. and vice-versa your left-hand side will be projected onto the right side of the blanket, just as looking in a mirror. On the original Shroud cloth the wound certainly appears to be on the left hand side because of this. But you need to view it on one of the several photographic negative images to reorient it to the correct view, when the image will then appear correctly on the right-hand side. Similarly on the Shroud cloth, the right foot appears to be crossed over the left, when in actual fact, the left foot crosses over the right and is therefore in front, also as shown on the Shroud negative photographs.

There is quite a lot that can be said about the wound in the side, and forensic pathologist Dr Pierre Barbet conducted several investigations into the various wounds, examining the negative photographs and experimenting with recently dead cadavers and amputated limbs during the 1930s. His book “A Doctor at Calvary” published in the 1950s is a classic in Shroud forensic literature.

He considers that the cross could not be more than about six foot high as both the crucifixion and the blow itself had to be given by foot soldiers in the execution squad. The blow itself was not part of the actual execution, but was a legal requirement to establish the fact of death before delivering the body to relatives. The blow itself seems to have been given by the Roman “lancea”, a long bladed spear, and the size of the wound matches the size of the lancea blade exactly, from various Roman military artifacts which have been recovered.

Dr Barbet discussed the details of the side wound in chapter 7 “The wound to the heart” of his book. He considers that the blow was delivered above the sixth rib, obliquely but almost horizontally, and the soldier would be seeking to pierce the right auricle of the heart which is always filled with blood. The water described in John 19:34 is pericardial fluid which would have accumulated in a great amount from the trauma of crucifixion. Barbet was also a classicist of some ability and is able to support his analysis by reference to considerable Roman military and other sources as well as by his forensic abilities.

I hope these few notes might give you a better understanding of the various technicalities implicit in your question.

For more information see: Negativity and the Shroud

Image from Stephen Jones’ Blog

Merry Christmas Everyone


The Nativity by Jacob de Backer (circa 1540/1545–1591/1600)

Paper Chase: The Conspiracy Against the Shroud

imageBT from the Coast Guard Academy in New London emails:

I enjoy the enlightening comments of many people in this blog, none more so than those of Dave from New Zealand and none specifically more than the comment about Ulysse Chevalier. A hearty thanks to Dave for the link he provided and a special thanks to Jack Markwardt for a wonderful paper.

Dave wrote:

. . . Canon Chevalier was the acknowledged leader of a progressive faction around 1898, when Pia’s first photographs of the Shroud appeared. A hitherto barely noticed relic suddenly seemed to be on the verge of becoming authenticated – worse, it tended to corroborate the orthodox position, thus threatening the schemes of the progressives to usher the Church into the twentieth century and into modernity, ostensibly setting aside old out-worn beliefs and practices, but in fact promoting a type of reductionist liberalism. Both Chevalier and Rev Herbert Thurston fell back on their version of the D’Arcis memorandum to discredit it. The two reverend gentlemen appear to have entered an unholy conspiracy to discredit the Shroud, not by an objective scholarly representation of the D’Arcis memorandum, but by deliberately and fraudulently misrepresenting it by twisting facts, and the deliberate omission of material, and hence concealing their lie, Regular bloggers will be aware of a common public misperception that the D’Arcis memorandum discredits the Shroud, apparently in an authoritative way, as being a man-made object from the 13th – 14th centuries. This misrepresentation is solely due to the work of Chevalier and Thurston.

The case against them is clearly set out in a paper: "THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE SHROUD"; By Jack Markwardt, 2001. Markwardt’s spine-chilling paper against the two conspirators can be found at:– Recommended reading for all who have an interest in the truth concerning the Shroud!

This is the sort of thing that hurts the reputation of shroud science

The first thing you notice is the headline that reads, “EXCLUSIVE: Newly Published Images of the Shroud of Turin.” That exact headline appears in dozens of blogs and so do the images. So much for exclusive. The second thing you notice is the gobbledygook. When I see words like “proprietary technology” in this context I immediately think of the proprietary cure-all formulations of snake oil sold by peddlers from the back of mule drawn wagons.

imageThis is the sort of stuff that hurts the reputation of shroud science. This notion that the eyes are sometimes closed and sometime open or that Jesus is pictured with King Herod on Jesus’ abdomen is extreme pareidolia mixed with a wild imagination using highly manipulated photographs: nothing more.

The exclusive article reads:

Ron Stewart has consulted with law enforcement and various museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, in regards to analyzing photos and actual artifacts with his proprietary imaging technology, which is called Infinite Macroscopic Microscopic Imaging (IMMI).   The IMMI technology is a proprietary technology that in part uses at least three different combined imaging technologies, known in scientific terms as :  ”Preliminary, estimated, and extremely advanced Deconvolution Wavelet Transforms”.  In layman’s terms this simply means: “when an image is distorted, blurred, and unclear, that in part these three combined technologies will bring the image into appropriate resolution, clarity, and focus,”.

Mr. Stewart  holds a Doctorate of Theology in World History ; Emphasis On Historical Archaeology, and also has a Ph.D. in Theoretics.  Additionally he holds a Bachelor degree in Electronics with a focus in Imaging and Photography.  The culmination of these various degrees has resulted in the development of his specialized form of imaging and analysis.  For more information on his images of the Shroud, please visit his website at’

Get me some documentation that explains how to really unblur a picture or get me a letter from the director of the Brooklyn Museum telling me that Stewart is on to something and I’ll give this some real consideration. Well at least I’ll look at the pictures again.