Important aspect of flax fiber microstructure and Rogers’ “ghosts”

imageAn interesting conversation seems to be developing with A.A.M. van der Hoeven (Adrie) and Colin Berry on Colin’s site. But first, leading up to it, Colin asks, in End-of-year brain-teaser for Shroudies: I challenge you to explain this apparent contradiction…

How can the Shroud image be described as ultra-superficial, too thin to have been formed by any conventional form of energy (thermal imprinting etc) -  having presumably negligible effect on the integrity of the fibre as a whole – only to be told that fibres that bear that image are mechanically-weakened across the entire cross-section – so much so that they BREAK EASILY?

This is in reference to a quote in a JIST Paper, Microscopic and Macroscopic Characteristics of the Shroud of Turin Image Superficiality (A Google Docs Reprint), by G. Fanti, J. A. Botella, P. Di Lazzaro, T. Heimburger, R. Schneider and N. Svensson.

Image-area tapes (pressure sensitive adhesive tapes used by STURP team to sample the TS) “lifted" more easily than non-image tapes suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened; the linen fibers seen on the body-image tapes are shorter and more fractured than arc those from nonimage areas.

Colin continues after showing this quote:

And here’s a clue to some potential weak points in a flax fibre.

To what do the three arrows point?  Thicker, maybe, but  potential fracture locations?

To what do the three arrows point?
Thicker, maybe, but potential fracture locations?

imageFurther clue: note this fascinating observation in one of Adrie’s papers (pdf) [that would be “Internal selvedge in starched and dyed temple mantle — No invisible repair in Turin Shroud — No Maillard reaction” by A.A.M. van der Hoeven]:

Note that the ghosts are also continuous over the joints of fibre cells – also called growth nodes – which seems to suggest the ghosts weren’t (only) primary cell walls. The thickness of the ghosts (200-600 nm) perhaps also precludes that they only consist of the primary cell wall of the linen. More recent experiments estimated the thickness of the colored layer to be 200 nm +/- 200 nm; a primary cell wall would be only about 200 nm thick.

Thanks Adrie. Yours is one of the few informative statements I have been able to find so far in this important aspect of flax fibre microstructure, especiallly as it related to Rogers’ “ghosts” – to say nothing of that allegedly “impossible to account for” image superficiality.

36 thoughts on “Important aspect of flax fiber microstructure and Rogers’ “ghosts””

  1. I may have missed something but i thought Adrie’s work pointed there was no evidence of starch on the shroud, but i may have the wrong version of her work.

  2. Dear all,

    A very interesting discussion to begin this new year!!
    I have so many things to say and … so many questions !!!

    For example, the so-called “growth nodes” seen on flax fibers are not “growth nodes” but dislocation bands.

    In order to discuss the question of the superficiality with regard to the flax fibers microstructure, we have to start on solid bases.
    I have several scientific papers (not necessarily related to the Shroud) to share with you.

    The problem is so complex that I have to write a paper (yes another paper !!) about this topic.
    Please be patient ….

    I am happy to see that people having different points of views (Adrie*, Hugh, Anoxie, Art..and even Colin (now) etc..) are able to discuss without any kind of anathema.

    Thank you Dan.

    I wish a happy fruitful new year to all of you.

    Thibault.

    * Adrie: I must say that, although your paper is interesting, I disagree with your conclusions and there are many errors in the references and quotations.

  3. First I want to point out the fact that the interpretation made by Fanti et al. in their paper that said this “Image-area tapes (pressure sensitive adhesive tapes used by STURP team to sample the TS) “lifted” more easily than non-image tapes suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened” is in fact an erroneous interpretation of an observation made by Rogers in 1978. I wanted to point out that the original observation Rogers made in 1978 was this: “Tapes pulled from the darker body-image areas with extreme ease: I could barely measure the pulling force.”

    And such an observation concerned ONLY the level of Adherence of the tapes that was much lower in the image areas and this never concerned the strength of the fibers themselves. Here’s the correct interpretation made by Rogers himself: “Dehydration causes shrinkage; therefore, any coating of carbohydrate impurities would “CRAZE” during dehydration. Such a crazed coating would be easy to pull off with adhesive, explaining the EASY REMOVAL of tapes from image areas.”

    In other words, according to Rogers, the fact that there are fibers in the image areas whose surface impurities were dehydrated, it produces a narrowing of the impurity layer accompanied by fine cracks, which results in reducing the Adherence level of the surface of the cloth and it is for this reason that the tape applied by him were much easier to take off in areas with image. That’s all!!! It has nothing to do with the level of ease to remove fiber or not, as it was suggested by Fanti et al. in their paper.

    Note that, according to Rogers, the result would be the same if it was pcw (or entire fiber) would be oxidized and/or dehydrated. In short, this observation Rogers made in Turin in 1978 does not say what is the real chromophore of the image. BUT… It cannot be taken as something that can go against Rogers’ hypothesis concerning the chromophore being located ONLY in a thin layer of impurities on-top of the fibers.

    And for Rogers, this observation made by himself in 1978 is totally consistent with his hypothesis concerning the image chromophore concerning the impurities. Here’s one relevant quote of Rogers about that: “…the surfaces (of the image fibers) appeared to be “CORRODED”. That observation suggests that a VERY THIN COATING OF CARBOHYDRATE had been significantly dehydrated on the OUTER SURFACES of the fibers.”

    You see? For Rogers, the corroded aspect of the image fibers was simply to a dehydration of the impurity layer and this dehydrated layer was the cause of the lower adherence level of the image areas surfaces. That’s all!!!!

    Fanti et al. would like people to believe that Rogers was dead wrong and that the primary cell wall is the real chromophore and to do that, they have made a bad extrapolation of one of Rogers’ observation concerning the sticky tapes… Why do you think they want so much the chromophore to reside in the primary cell wall instead of a thin layer of impurities? Simply because that’s the result they get with their personal image-formation hypotheses involving a corona discharge or a UV laser!!!

    1. I want to re-write one phrase: “Note that, according to Rogers, the result would be the same if it was the primary cell wall (or the entire fiber) that would have been oxidized and/or dehydrated.”

      And I forget one word in this part: You see? For Rogers, the corroded aspect of the image fibers was simply DUE to a dehydration of the impurity layer and this dehydrated layer was the cause of the lower adherence level of the image areas surfaces. That’s all!!!!

      Now, it will be more easy for your understanding…

  4. May I suggest anyone’s interested in the subject to read carefully my newest paper about all the relevant quotes from Rogers concerning the image on the Shroud? Here’s the link: https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/yannick-clc3a9ment_raymond-n-rogers-observations-and-conclusions-concerning-the-body-image-that-is-visible-on-the-shroud-of-turin.pdf

    In this paper, you will never read something like: “the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened.” To my knowledge, Rogers NEVER wrote that the image fibers were more fragile, easier to break up or anything of that nature…

    Fanti et al. like to believe that because that would mean that the dehydration and/or oxidation really concern the structure of the fiber (the primary cell wall) instead of a thin layer of impurities located on-top of the fiber. Unfortunatelly for Fanti et al., such an interpretation is completely contradict by Rogers’ conclusions about the image on the Shroud.

    Who do you prefer to trust? Fanti, an engineer, or Rogers, a great chemist who was able to analyzed the Shroud in person in Turin? I prefer by far to trust Rogers’ judgment.

  5. I write too fast tonight! Sorry…

    Here’s one part that I have to write again: “Fanti et al. like to believe that the image fibers are more fragile than non-image fibers because this would mean that the dehydration and/or oxidation would really concerned the inner structure of the fiber (the primary cell wall) instead of a thin layer of impurities located on-top of the fiber. Unfortunatelly for Fanti et al., such an interpretation is completely contradicted by Rogers’ conclusions about the image on the Shroud.

    Now, that will be easier for you to understand what I had to say.

  6. I’m not sure that’s fair on Fanti and his colleagues. They clearly attribute their comment to Eric Jumper’s ‘Stains and Images’ paper, and he, in turn, references Rogers’s own paper (with Schwalbe), ‘Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin’ (1982) where he writes, of himself: “He also observed that the image-area tapes “lifted” more easily than non-image tapes suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened.”
    Note carefully Rogers’s last 12 words in that quotation, and then re-read this quotation:
    “In this paper, you will never read something like: “the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened.” To my knowledge, Rogers NEVER wrote that the image fibers were more fragile, easier to break up or anything of that nature…”

    Any comment?

    1. Fanti and Di Lazzaro were certainly biased in this paper because they first made some coloring experiments and got a color in the primary cell wall of the fiber and ONLY AFTER HAVING GOT THEIR PRELIMINARY RESULT, they wrote this paper to make believe that the chromophore on the Shroud was the same thing than the preliminary results they get! THAT’S THE REALITY and THIS IS NOT HOW SCIENCE SHOULD WORK. The way they proceed was like doing science in reverse… Rogers proceeded exactly in the contrary of that. First, he collected all the solid facts and observations (especially the diimide and the ghosts, along with the fact that the image only resides on the external surface of the cloth), and then, he build a testable hypothesis and only then, he made some preliminary tests and got a coloration very similar chemically and physically as the coloration he observed himself on the Shroud through a microscope. Note that Rogers was a true microscopist and chemist who observed the Shroud in person in Turin, totally unlike Di Lazzaro, Fanti et al.

      And concerning the interpretation these authors made about the observation of Rogers that it was easier to remove the tapes in image areas (“suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened”), I never found anything of that nature in Rogers papers… On the contrary, here’s what I found: “…the surfaces (of the image fibers) appeared to be “CORRODED”. That observation suggests that a VERY THIN COATING OF CARBOHYDRATE had been significantly dehydrated on the OUTER SURFACES of the fibers.”

      If you want to put your trust on people who have personal hypotheses to defend (which always represent a great danger of bias), it’s your liberty. Of course, people will tell me that Rogers too had a personal hypothesis to defend, but as I said, in the case of Rogers, and unlike Fanti et al, he followed properly the scientific method by developing a testable hypothesis that include the possibility that the chromophore could really be only located in a layer of impurities and ONLY THEN, he made some preliminary tests to verify if his hypothesis had some chances to be good. His first results were good enough for him, so he continue to defend his hypothesis until his death. Don’t worry about the fact that if his results would not have been good enough, Rogers would have change (again) his mind about the chromophore and would have started to look elsewhere for a proper explanation. I didn’t. To me, that speaks loud.

    2. Please Hugh, read again my newest paper (https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/yannick-clc3a9ment_raymond-n-rogers-observations-and-conclusions-concerning-the-body-image-that-is-visible-on-the-shroud-of-turin.pdf) and you’ll see that Rogers NEVER wrote that the image fibers were more fragile or would broke more easily or something like that. Personally, I NEVER read anything of that nature coming from Rogers.

      Seriously, if Rogers would have made this kind of observation (image fiber more fragile), do you think that he would not have conclude that this was meaning that the fiber itself had been oxidized and/or dehydrated??? ANYONE WOULD MAKE SUCH A CONCLUSION!!!! If Rogers made a very different conclusion (i.e. an image only residing in a thin layer of impurities), that certainly mean that he never noticed that the image fibers were more easy to broke or more fragile than the non-image fibers. This is pure logic.

      Anyway, at home, I have a copy of the paper referenced by Fanti et al. concerning this interpretation that this was “suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened”. I will check this out and come back soon to you and tell you if this is just the personal interpretation of Fanti et al. or if it was really written down by Jumper et al. or even by Rogers and Schwalbe in their STURP papers.

  7. And Hugh, before I can make a check out in the STURP papers, here’s some quotes of Rogers (taken from my newest paper) that really tend to show that there is no difference of strength between an image and a non-image fibers:

    Quote #63- “Direct comparison between image and non-image parts of the Shroud show exactly the same amounts and types of radiation damage in the two types of areas.”

    Quote #71- : “…the crystal structure of the flax image fibers was no more defective than non-image fibers.”

    Quote #82: “There is absolutely no evidence for destruction (i.e. damage to the fiber’s structure) in any of the image fibers: other than possessing a colored coating, they are identical to non-image fibers. If the image were produced by radiation, image and non-image fibers should be much different.”

    And finally, here’s a good question: Is it possible that Fanti et al. made an interpretation mistake while attributing a physical characteristic of weakness to the color fibers while, in fact, this characteristic applied to the fibers that were scorched by the fire of 1532??? I think this is a possible explanation… I would not have any problem to believe that the scorched fibers on the Shroud are more fragile and could break more easily than the non-image fibers that were not affected by this fire…

  8. Last thing for tonight: I have made a quick research in the paper presented by Fanti and many other researchers at the 2005 Dallas conference about the Shroud which contains an exhaustive list of facts and unconfirmed data concerning the Shroud (link: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/doclist.pdf) and I never found anything in there suggesting that the image fibers on the Shroud were more fragile or could break more easily than the non-image fibers. In fact, it’s the opposite as I have noticed one observation coming from Rogers suggesting the contrary (pretty much the same than what I just gave you above): “The crystal structure of the cellulose of image fibers has not visibly changed with respect to that of non-image fibers (scorches have).”

    So, let me ask you the question: If it’s a fact that the crystal structure of the image and non-image fibers is the same, then why the image fibers could really be more fragile than the non-image fibers??? I think you can forget this idea… If that would have been relevant, you can bet your house that Ray Rogers would have speak about it in his book.

    Anyway, I will make the documentary research I promise you to do in the STURP papers, just in case.

  9. Hi Yannick; I don’t have to be reminded of your postings – I always read them avidly. However, I also have a pernickety tendency to go to the source material if I possibly can. You will find the quotation from Rogers (above) in ‘Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: A Summary of the 1978 investigation’ in Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 135, Issue 1, 1 February 1982, Pages 3-49.

    To try to reconcile your interpretation with what Rogers actually wrote, I suggest that he was mostly concerned with the visible image, rather than anything else that may have occurred to the fibres while the image was created. Whatever was responsible for any image on the back side of the shroud must, after all, have gone right through it, even if it left no visible trace.

    1. Hello Hugh!

      First of all, you are right about the source of Rogers’ paper my friend… And your posts of yesterday forces me to rethink everything in the light of the quotes you gave us. So, for this, thank you very much! I always appreciate to get force to rethink ideas that I thought were sure. I also want to say thank you also to Thibault Heimburger because we exchange some recent emails and he too forces me to rethink the whole issue in the light of these quotes taken from the 2010 paper he wrote with Fanti and Di Lazzaro.

      And after a good reflection, I think I have come up with some interesting ideas and one hypothesis that surely deserves to be pondered. Here’s the link for my new comment in which I describe my reflection: https://shroudstory.com/2013/01/01/important-aspect-of-flax-fiber-microstructure-and-rogers-ghosts/#comment-21482

      Read this and I hope you will let me know your thoughts about that. In sum, I think Rogers was probably right about the impurities as the main chromophore but I think it is truly possible that the growth nodes (or dislocation bands as Thibault call them) could also have been affected by the image formation process directly or by a long time of exposure to a dehydrated layer of impurities that was in direct contact with them. It is this chemical degradation of the growth nodes (dislocation bands) that would have been eventually responsible for the fact that the image fibers really appear to be more fragile and could break more easily… I think this idea deserves some thoughts.

  10. Although I tend to think that Rogers hypothesis is in a good position in the ranking of plausibility, in this blog we can customarily read what in my view, are too cathegorical statements on aspects that would need further and independent confirmation.
    This is particularly true in the aspects being discussed in this post, that in my opinion, to be definitively established as being this way or another, would need an independent verification with state-of-the-art methods.
    After reading for months on the Rogers views about the structure of the fibers, the chromophore and the impurity layer, I have the feeling that the same arguments are being repeated once and again, we are moving in circles and almost everything eventually comes down to Rogers observations.
    I dont have any reason to doubt about his scientific profile, but at this moment, I have the impression the discussion does not progress the least and I need other observations to make my mind up and as said before, Rogers is in a good position in the ranking, but – I know some will not like this- if objectively analyzed, is far from being the final explanation.

    1. Gabriel, You are right about your position and the broken record is something that has been pointed out by me from time to time.

    2. Yes, that’s the point Louis. Someone with a scientific mind like Rogers I am sure that would also appreciate some honestly formulated debate on his own theory, much more than having “followers” replicating paragraphs of his papers.

      1. Gabriel, there appears to be a clash between the physical and chemical aspects of the relic and, further, anyone familiar with Shroud studies knows that there are scientists who were part of the STURP team and do not agree with Rogers’ image-formation theory. Given this situation, how is it possible to be dogmatic about what Rogers, a good scientist but one who would certainly not claim infallibility, has written?

        Professor Fanti has never claimed to be infallible. On the contrary, he, together with many in the SSG, requested Cardinal Severino Poletto to make the hundreds of microphotographs in the possession of the archdiocese available for study. What was Fanti’s intention? To simply verify his discovery, as given in his peer-reviewed paper. What was the outcome of the request? Absolute silence from Cardinal Poletto. What we have seen recently is “Vatican Insider” (La Stampa) reporting the views of one scientist that Professor Fanti was “unscientific”. The scientist in question did not publish any paper, let alone a peer-reviewed one, to contest what Prof. Fanti published.

        It must also be remembered that the archdiocese, with Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti as spokesman, refuted Rogers’ paper on a medieval repair.

      2. If ever there would have been an invisible French reweaving, it just could not be medieval but only from the 1860s.

        1. Max, you wrote: “If ever there would have been an invisible French reweaving, it just could not be medieval but only from the 1860s.”

          References please.

      3. Gabriel, I’m sure your comment concern me personally. I would like you to read my new post (https://shroudstory.com/2013/01/01/important-aspect-of-flax-fiber-microstructure-and-rogers-ghosts/#comment-21482) and then I dare you to tell me that I just simply “replicating paragraphs of Rogers’ papers” without any personal thinking!!!

        I think I have come up with some pretty interesting ideas and an hypothesis that could (maybe) explain the observation concerning the fact that image fibers seem to be more fragile and easy to broke. I think you will like this new post of mine. Hope it can make you reflect as I did last night!!! This subject is vast and complex and the fact that I mostly base my judgment on Rogers writing is only driven by a will to base it on a solid groud.

    3. Well, the reweaving theory has also been refuted in a peer-reviewd journal https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/3419 but at this point I think there is enough secondary evidence that points to the direction that perhaps, after all the sample was taken from a medieval reweaving ( as Rogers said). When I say secondary evidence I am thinking about the recent detection of a trend and also the UV photos we saw in the paper by Morgan as commented last July in this blog.
      Regarding Fanti and DiLazzaro’s work, -sorry to say- I see very little work and too much public relations. They have carried out only initial or preliminary tests on their theory something like 6-7 years ago (or more) and instead of progressing and going any deeper all we see since then is selling and reselling those preliminary results once and again.
      I would like to see more work on their side and where that work leads them but currently they seem unable to move any forward with new experiments.

      1. The problem I see with this paper, and I talked about that last evening, his the FACT that it was mainly written to push their own hypothesis concerning the chromophore of the image (i.e. the primary cell wall) and to put seriously in doubt Rogers’ own hypothesis (i.e. the layer of impurities) at a time when Fanti and Di Lazzaro were already aware that some of their preliminary tests of coloration with corona discharge or UV laser gave a coloration located mainly in the primary cell wall instead of being located only in a layer of impurities on-top of the linen fibers! If someone can’t see the great possibility of bias there, then I think such a person must be completely blind! Remember that this particular paper was published in 2010, while Di Lazzaro got his first coloration results located in the primary cell wall in 2008 (and maybe even before)!!!

        On the contrary, Rogers published a paper entitled method applied to the Shroud of Turin – A Review in 2002, in which he described how any good scientific inquiry should work: first you take into account every known data and facts concerning your subject of research and then, you wrote down a hypothesis that can be tested in laboratory, which consider every one of these data and facts, and then (only then), you do your lab tests to verify your hypothesis in a true scientific manner. And if your result is too much off-track versus your hypothesis, then you must write a new version of your hypothesis that will consider the problematic results you got. You cannot take your problematic results and try to make them “fit” with your research subject. This is not good science.

        I just can’t believe I’m the only one to see those things… Or maybe I’m just a paranoiac person! ;-)

      2. The correct title of Rogers’ paper is Scientific method applied to the Shroud of Turin – A Review in 2002. I forget the “Scientific” at the beginning. Sorry.

  11. Reminder: Rogers’ observation (“Dehydration causes shrinkage; therefore, any coating of carbohydrate impurities would “craze” during dehydration. Such a crazed coating would be easy to pull off with adhesive, explaining the easy removal of tapes from image areas”) is TOTALLY CONSISTENT with my reconstruction of the TS man’s burial rite.

  12. My friends, I have done another pretty long documentary research and I see more clearly now!

    First, I can confirm the accuracy of the quote given by Fanti et al. that say: “Image area tapes (pressure sensitive adhesive tapes used by STURP team to sample the TS) “lifted” more easily than non-image tapes suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened.” This comes directly from the paper “Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin” published in 1982 by Rogers and Schwalbe for STURP. You can found this exact quote in page 11 of that paper.

    And I can also confirm the accuracy of the rest of that particular quote in Fanti et al. paper that say: “the linen fibers seen on the body-image tapes shorter and more fractures than are those from nonimage areas.” This comes directly from the paper “A Comprehensive Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin” published in 1984 by Jumper, Adler, Jackson, Pellicori, Heller and Druzik. You can find this exact quote in page 454 of that paper, along with the same quote taken from Rogers and Schwalbe’s paper. Here’s the entire quote: “Schwalbe and Rogers note that in removing the tape samples, the tape pulled up more easily from the body-image areas than from the non-image areas. The linen fibrils seen on the body-image tapes are shorter and more fractured than are those from non-image areas. Both of these observations suggest that the body-image fibrils are more chemically degraded than are those from the non-image areas.”

    It’s interesting to note the little change at the end. Rogers and Schwalbe wrote “somehow weakened” and Jumper et al. wrote “more chemically degraded”, which can mean roughly the same thing in the end.

    And in the same paper published by Jumper et al., I have found 2 others relevant quotes:

    “The physical properties of the cloth in the areas of the body-only image (the microscopically corroded appearance, the lack of migration of the image with water, THE LOWER TENSILE STRENGTH OF THE COLORED FIBRILS, and the lack of color change in the presence of elevated temperature) are all consistent with this sort of chemistry (i.e. the chemistry of a light scorch).” You can found this exact quote in page 456 of that paper and they gave the paper published by Rogers and Schwalbe as a reference for these observations.

    “At 500x to 1000x magnification, the (non-image) fibrils have the typical morphology of linen, but their surfaces are only lightly corroded (oxidized) although clearly less than body-only image fibrils as seen by phase microscopy. There are, also, FEWER BROKEN AND CRUSHED FIBRILS THAN IN THE BODY-ONLY IMAGE AREAS, SHOWING LESS DEGRADATION in further support the arguments presented in the body-only image chemistry (i.e. that the image is the product of an oxidation-dehydration of the linen fibers).” You can found this exact quote in page 464 of that paper and they gave no reference this time, so I assume that such a microscopic conclusion came from Adler and Heller.

    Now that I have found all these pertinent quotes, I have to think that Rogers really change his mind drastically between the days of the STURP team and the last few years of his life, while he was trying to explain the image scientifically, because at first sight, when you only consider these quotes, you really have a sense that it is effectively the linen fibers themselves that have been chemically degraded by the image formation process in a similar way than the scorched fibers on the Shroud.

    It’s somewhat intriguing to note that, in all the writings he did in the last few years of his life, Rogers never reported the observation that probably came from Adler and Heller concerning the fact that “there are more broken and crushed fibrils in image areas, showing more degradation.”

    However, he did talked about the fact that the surfaces of the image fibers are more corroded (chemically degraded) and interpret it like this: “At high optical magnifications, up to 1000X, no coatings could be resolve on the surfaces of image fibers; however, the surfaces appeared to be “corroded”. That observation suggests that a very thin coating of carbohydrate had been significantly dehydrated on the outer surfaces of the fibers.”

    So, near the end of his life, Rogers was really thinking that the chemical degradation noted by himself and other STURP members during the STURP investigation could be consistent with a body image color that would be located only in a thin layer of impurities while leaving the linen fiber intact. He also wrote: “Dehydration causes shrinkage; therefore, any coating of carbohydrate impurities would “craze” during dehydration. Such a crazed coating would be easy to pull off with adhesive, explaining the easy removal of tapes from image areas.” Again, this quote show that, near the end of his life, Rogers was really thinking that the observation he made in Turin in 1978 concerning the fact that the sticky tape pulled up more easily from the body-image areas than from the non-image areas could be due to a dehydrated layer of impurities instead of an oxidation-dehydration of the linen fiber itself (possibly located in the primary cell wall).

    So far, I have no problem with Rogers reasoning. But I have some difficulty to understand Rogers thinking in the light of the observation probably reported by Adler and Heller that “there are more broken and crushed fibrils in image areas, showing more degradation.” Unfortunatelly, in all the official writings of Rogers that I have read for my documentary research, I never found a place where he talked about that particular observation versus his own hypothesis concerning the impurities. Too bad Rogers is not here no more to adress that issue!

    Nevertheless, because Rogers seemed to be so convinced that all the facts and observations coming from the Shroud were consistent with the hypothesis of a body image color only present in a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities while the underneath fibers are left intact, I JUST CAN’T IMAGINE SOMEONE AS PROFESSIONAL AS ROGERS NEGLECTING SUCH AN IMPORTANT OBSERVATION when he was trying to build a scientific hypothesis to explain the Shroud’s image! Such an idea is just too ludicrous when you know the integrity and profesionalism of a guy like Rogers and when you consider the fact that he was the one who lifted up the samples on the Shroud with sticky tapes!

    In fact, when you read the last part of the quote taken from the STURP paper he wrote with Schwalbe and that say: “suggesting that the topmost fibers in the image area were somehow weakened”, you really have a sense that he agreed with this observation probably made by Adler and Heller that the image fibers are more fragile than the non-image fibers, which seems to back-up the conclusion of the STURP team (including Rogers at the time) that the image on the Shroud was the product of an oxidation-dehydration of the internal structure of the linen fibers. Because of this, we must believe that when he build his hypothesis for the Shroud’s image near the end of his life, Rogers wasn’t thinking that this particular observation was in contradiction with the idea that the body image color could really be located only in a thin layer of impurities while leaving the linen fiber intact.

    I know that, at first sight, this sounds strange because the observation probably reported by Adler and Heller really seem to suggest that it is the linen fibers themselves that have been weakened by the image formation process… But as I say, I just can’t imagine that Rogers would have forgotten or neglected (consciously or not) to taken such an important observation into account while he was building his personal hypothesis. That’s something I just can’t believe! So, if he concluded that a chromophore located only in a thin layer of impurities was the best hypothesis that can explain all the pertinent observations and facts coming from the Shroud, we must think that such an hypothesis can also explain that particular observation that was probably reported by Adler and Heller. I’m sure you understand my reflection!

    The only problem is the fact that Rogers, to my knowledge, never talked directly about this particular issue in his later writings about the Shroud. Effectively, in all his later writings, Rogers, with his personal hypothesis concerning the impurities, gave a possible explanation for the corroded aspect of the surface of the image fibers and also for the fact that it was much easier to pull out the sticky tapes from the surface of the image areas, but as I know, he never wrote something to explain the fact that the image fibers seemed to be more fragile and easy to broke, in the light of his hypothesis concerning the impurities.

    Did that mean that, in some chemical way, a dehydrated layer of impurities located on-top of the linen fibers could render the underneath fibers more fragile and easy to break??? In my mind, that’s the only rational conclusion we can make if Rogers’ hypothesis is correct…

    For example, would it be possible that a dehydrated layer of impurities could affect the stability of the “growth nodes” of the fiber so much that the fibers would become more fragile and easy to break, while leaving the crystal structure of the fibers intact? Note: the crucial fact that the crystal structure of the image fibers is no more defective or damaged than the non-image fibers is an observation reported many times by Rogers in his writings, making it hard to believe that the structure of the fiber (whether it be only the primary cell wall or the most deeper part of the fiber) could really have been colored during the image formation process. Here the most important quotes of Rogers about that:

    “Direct comparison between image and non-image parts of the Shroud shows exactly the same amounts and types of radiation damage in the two types of areas.”

    “…the crystal structure of the flax image fibers was no more defective than non-image fibers.”

    “There is absolutely no evidence for destruction (damage in the fiber’s structure) in any of the image fibers: other than possessing a colored coating, they are identical to non-image fibers.”

    “If (John) Jackson were correct, and energetic photons caused the image color, the image areas should show significantly different amounts of diffuse radiation damage than the non-image areas. They do not.”

    Honestly, if these comments of Rogers are correct and if Rogers’ hypothesis is also correct concerning the impurities, then I don’t think there are many other valid options to explain the STURP observation concerning the more fragile aspect of the image fibers than thinking that the growth nodes of the fibers (and only that) were chemically affected (probably degraded) in some way, maybe directly by the image formation process or maybe a long time after that process was active, by the presence of a dehydrated layer of impurities next to them.

    And I even have a feeling that such an hypothesis could explain pretty well this other observation of Rogers: “The color of image fibers was often stripped off of their surfaces, leaving molds of the fibers in the adhesive. THE MOLDS SHOW BOTH GROWTH NODES AND IMAGE COLOR.”

    One thing’s for sure: Rogers certainly had a proper scientific explanation concerning that more fragile aspects of the image fibers that would fit with his hypothesis about the impurities, or else, he would never changed his mind so drastically concerning the chromophore of the image!!! So, personally, I still think his hypothesis about the impurities is the best we have to explain the Shroud’s image because, in my mind, it’s the only one that offer a rational explanation for some very particular observations coming from the Shroud like the reduction of the color with diimide leaving a clean fiber behind, the ghosts who also left a clean fiber behind, the absence of a noticeable difference in the crystal structure of image and non-image fibers and the very superficial nature of the body image… Effectively, Rogers made it clear in his writings that all these observations are inconsistent with the idea of a chromophore located in the linen fiber itself.

    But in the light of all the observations I reported in this long comment, I also think that, along with the hypothesis of Rogers concerning the impurities, the growth nodes can also have been chemically degraded by the image formation process or by a long time of exposure to a dehydrated layer of impurities that was in direct contact with them. I truly think that this hypothesis should be investigated more deeply… And if my feeling is right about these growth nodes, then the question that comes to my mind is: Did these growth nodes of the image fibers are also colored like the layer of impurities or did they have been affected more mildly without having produced any color?

  13. Complementary note concerning my previous comment #21 (just above): I used the term “growth nodes” to talk about a specific part of the linen fiber that should be called “dislocation bands”, as Thibault Heimburger told us in his recent comment. I kept that term because it was known to most shroudies and because this is the term used by Rogers in all his writings about the Shroud. But in the end, that doesn’t change anything for the long reflection I share with you in this comment. In the light of all the known data and observations coming from the Shroud, I think it’s truly possible that Rogers was correct with his idea of the main chromophore being only a thin layer of impurities but I now think that it’s also possible that the growth nodes (or dislocation bands) of the linen fibers could have been affected enough that this possible “chemical degradation” could be responsible for the fact that the image fibers of the Shroud appear the be more fragile. In sun, I don’t think this single observation should be considered as being a real problematic fact that goes against Rogers’ hypothesis concerning the chromophore, but I think Rogers’ hypothesis should be reconsidered and/or more precisely described in the light of this observation because, as I said in my long comment, I have not been able to find any direct comment of Rogers concerning this particular issue and I really think he should have address it in his writings.

  14. Gabriel way back at #14: “Although I tend to think that Rogers hypothesis is in a good position in the ranking of plausibility, in this blog we can customarily read what in my view, are too cathegorical statements on aspects that would need further and independent confirmation.”

    I agree completely. No scientific hypothesis, no matter from whom, whether it’s Boltzmann, Rutherford, Einstein, or even Ray Rogers, can ever be accepted without it being replicated. That has not been done in the case of Roger’s valuable pioneering work. It seems quite pointless even to debate the issue without further experimental studies, which is not going to happen any time soon! Endless enthusiatic clarifications, explanations, close studies,of the same old, same old, can add nothing new without independent and competent corroboration, All we seem to have is the dedicated work of a single scientist, who seems to have been working near the limits of his own abilities, and it seems that even his own conclusions.remained somewhat uncertain, Other current investigators seem to be going down a different track entirely.

    1. Dave, you should read my new paper and especially the quote #129 in which Rogers summarize the very good results he got from a preliminary coloration test made with a linen sample manufactured with the ancient method and a 10 minutes exposition to ammonia gas.

      In fact, I think you should read the whole section of Rogers book in which he fully described all the preliminary tests of coloration he did before dying, along with the pretty good and encouraging results he obtained and I think you would never say againg erroneous things like “That (verification of his scientific hypothesis) has not been done in the case of Roger’s valuable pioneering work.” I’m sorry but this HAS BEEN DONE by Rogers himself, at least in a preliminary way and his result were so interesting that it re-inforced is idea that the image must have been, at least partially, caused by a Maillard reaction. His preliminary results didn’t forced him to change his mind on the heart of his hypothesis and surely didn’t forced him to look elsewhere in order to find a better explanation for the image. This fact doesn’t ring any bells in your head Dave? That can only means one thing: In Rogers’ mind, he was very close of having found a very possible and rational solution for the Shroud’s image!!!

      I hope you will take the time to read all the quotes you’ll find in my paper and also Rogers’ book. Anyone’s interested in the Shroud should do this.

      1. Rogers preliminary experiments were good enough for him to keep on looking in the same direction. But I agree with you that other independent researchers (and at least one biochemist for Christ’s sake!) should take over Rogers work and push it further because it was truly promising. Why do you think I always write things like “someone else should take over Rogers work and push it further”? ;-)

    2. Yannick, You seem to be unable to grasp the point that I make: That whatever value Roger’s work had, it still seems to me to lack any kind of independent, competent and objective corroboration by other workers in this field. I don’t see that there has been any kind of peer review. There’s a good reason for that. No-one has had access to the Shroud to conduct or attempt to repeat his experimental work. Recycling or clarification of what Rogers had to say on these matters, is not any type of independent corroboration. If you still maintain that there is in fact such corroboration, please say where that corroboration can be found!

      1. Rogers preliminary experiments were good enough for him to keep on looking in the same direction. But I agree with you that other independent researchers (and at least one biochemist for Christ’s sake!) should take over Rogers work and push it further because it was truly promising. Why do you think I always write things like “someone else should take over Rogers work and push it further”? ;-)

      2. By the way Dave, I think you should take a look at quote #83 and #130 in my recent paper. In the personal comments of these 2 quotes, I talk about a recent paper entitled “Stochastic distribution of the fibrils that yielded the Shroud of Turin body image” that has been published by 2 Italian scientists who firmly concluded that, theoretically, all the hypotheses based on energetic radiation (De Liso’s hypothesis include) cannot produce the discontinuous distribution of the color on the topmost parts of the weave like we see on the Shroud. On the contrary, the 2 authors were clear about the fact that, in theory, the 2 most likely processes that could give such a discontinuous distribution is thermal radiation or low-temperature chemical processes and they mentioned specifically the hypothesis of Rogers as a possible answer to the Shroud’s image… Now, if that’s not independent confirmation that, at least, Rogers was close to the truth regarding the Shroud, I don’t know what it is.

        Of course, this conclusion of the Italian researchers is only theoretical for the moment. But nevertheless, that’s a very good and independent point in favor of Rogers’ hypothesis, which should be evaluated by a good biochemist who could push it further.

        Here’s the complete reference for that Italian paper (you found the same reference at the end of my paper): G. Fazio and G. Mandaglio, Stochastic distribution of the fibrils that yielded the Shroud of Turin body image, Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids, Vol. 166, No. 7, July 2011 (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10420150.2011.566877).

        I have a PDF copy of that paper and it seem to me like a very profesionnal paper done by real scientist. No pseudo-Shroud-science in there!

      3. One precision: When Fazio and Mandaglio talks about thermal radiation as one of the two most likely processes that could have caused the discontinuous distribution we see on the Shroud, it concern the heat that could be released by a fresh corpse. So, it’s important to understand that, for these 2 researchers, only natural and MILD image-formation processes could produced the kind of discontinuous distribution of image fibers like we see on the Shroud.

  15. To Thibault, here the reference (a paper I wrote in 2007-2008 but haven’t published yet):

    LINCEUL DE TURIN :
    FAUSSE RELIQUE OU FAUSSE DATATION Carbone 14 ?

    (Contre-enquête sur un fiasco scientifique et archéologique)

    Par
    Max Patrick HAMON

    Résumé
    En 1988 et en contradiction avec les conclusions de près de cent ans de recherches multidisciplinaires, le Linceul de Turin fut déclaré d’origine médiévale par le Dr Michaël Tite, coordinateur des trois laboratoires universitaires de datation radiocarbone d’Oxford, de Zurich et de Tucson (Arizona) chargés conjointement de dater un échantillon de tissu prélevé sur la relique. À en croire le Pr Évin, porte-parole officiel de l’expérience, ce résultat, était incontestable.
    Pourtant, vingt années de contre-expertises plus tard, un noyau irréductible de faits avérés contribuent à accréditer très fortement la thèse selon laquelle, lors d’une petite restauration invisible (voire même de deux) effectuée(s) au XIXe siècle, sous un éclairage rasant et sous une loupe à fort grossissement, du matériel textile étranger de remplacement beaucoup plus récent avait été habilement entremêlé aux fils de lin originels dans le coin supérieur gauche du Linceul d’où avait été extrait l’échantillon.
    Cette matière carbonée, issue d’activités humaines postérieures à la formation du lin, ne fut ni détectée ni éliminée que ce soit par les deux experts textiles responsables du prélèvement ou bien par les trois laboratoires qui procédèrent à la mesure de la teneur carbone 14 résiduelle de l’échantillon officiel.
    Pour comprendre comment une telle erreur fut rendue possible, toute une série d’explications cumulatives est ici retenue qui met en lumière la fragilité des observations et du comportement humain des principaux acteurs de l’expertise.

  16. Yesterday, I conclude my long comment like this: “I also think that, along with the hypothesis of Rogers concerning the impurities, the growth nodes can also have been chemically degraded by the image formation process or by a long time of exposure to a dehydrated layer of impurities that was in direct contact with them. I truly think that this hypothesis should be investigated more deeply… And if my feeling is right about these growth nodes, then the question that comes to my mind is: Did these growth nodes of the image fibers are also colored like the layer of impurities or did they have been affected more mildly without having produced any color?”

    I think we can find a beginning of answer in a few important quotes of Rogers that you can find in my recent paper in which he talks about the reduction of the image color with diimide and the resulting aspect of the linen fiber:

    “Heller and Adler found that the image fibers could be decolorized with diimide. Reduction left colorless, undamaged cellulose fibers behind. All image color resides on the outer surface of the fibers.”

    “The image can be chemically reduced with diimide leaving colorless cellulose fibers. The color resides only on the surface of the fibers, and it is the result of conjugated double bounds. The underlying cellulose (linen) fibers are not colored.”

    “The image color can be reduce chemically (diimide and sodium borohydride), leaving colorless, lustrous linen fibers.”

    “The layer of color can be specifically reduced with diimide, leaving a colorless flax fiber behind. Diimide reduction confirmed the presence of double bounds.”

    “Adler’s observation (concerning the decolorization of the image with diimide) proved that the cellulose was not involved in image formation. This is an extremely important observation.”

    These few quotes of Rogers are well-enough to understand that the reduction of color left an linen fiber completely intact behind. It’s important to note that all these quotes of Rogers never suggest that the growth nodes (dislocation bands) were damaged after the color reduction with diimide. So, taking this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT OBSERVATION (Rogers words) into account, I think that even if it’s possible that the growth nodes have been CHEMICALLY DEGRADED enough to render the image fibers more fragile and easy to break, we must assume that those growth nodes of the image fibers WERE NOT AFFECTED IN THE SAME WAY (OR IN THE SAME PROPORTION) THAN THE THIN LAYER OF CARBOHYDRATES IMPURITIES ON-TOP OF THE IMAGE FIBERS, WHICH IS MOST PROBABLY THE REAL CHROMOPHORE OF THE IMAGE.

    This reflection makes me believe that, unlike the thin layer of impurities, these growth nodes were PROBABLY NOT colored by the image-formation process, which seems to suggest that the possible chemical degradation that could have affect them enough to render the image fibers more fragile only came later on, well after the image-formation process has stoped and was probably a bit different than the dehydration process described by Rogers for the impurities. In other words, I still think that a chemical degradation of the growth nodes could explain why the image fibers seems to be more fragile and easy to break, but now, after taking into account Rogers comments about the diimide reduction of the color, I am much more skeptical concerning the possibility that these growth nodes could have been also colored during the image-formation process. I think that IF they really were chemically degraded, it is more probable that such a chemical degradation was slowly caused by a long period of direct contact with the colored layer of impurities that has been probably dehydrated during the image-formation process.

    So, if the growth nodes are really the cause of the more fragile aspect of the image fibers, I think it’s fair to assume that their chemical degradation was DIFFERENT (AND PROBABLY LESS RADICAL) than the very probable dehydration of the impurities present on-top of the colored fibers. Otherwise, the use of diimide would surely have cause some noticeable damages in these growth nodes, which is something that doesn’t seem to have happened. To my knowledge, there is no report about that in the writings of Adler or Rogers. In fact, when you read their reports about that, you really have a sense that all the diimide have done is to remove the color that was resting on-top of the fibers and that’s all! Finally, I think it’s also fair to assume that such a chemical change in the growth nodes probably happened very slowly and gradually, which eventually caused a more fragile nature for the image fibers after a pretty long period of time (i.e. a long time of exposure to the dehydrated layer of impurities present on-top of them).

    And if that’s what really happened, we must also conclude that the rest of the linen fiber (including the primary cell wall) was much more stable than these growth nodes because it’s only this tiny part of the linen fibers (the growth nodes) that would have been chemically degraded in some way by the dehydrated layer of impurities present on-top of them (which would be the real and only chromophore of the image). Here’s we must trust Rogers judgment who said that the linen fibers were left “colorless, lustrous and undamaged” after the use of diimide and who also said many times in his writings that “the crystal structure of the flax image fibers was no more defective than non-image fibers”. Finally, we must also take into account this other very important comment of Rogers concerning the ghosts, which really seem to confirm the fact that the growth nodes are really more unstable (i.e. more susceptible to chemical degradation) than the rest of the linen fiber (including the primary cell wall): “The color of image fibers was often stripped off of their surfaces, leaving molds of the fibers in the adhesive. The molds show BOTH GROWTH NODES AND IMAGE COLOR.”

    To summarize my thoughts, I would say that the probable more unstable nature of the growth nodes versus the rest of the linen fiber, which was probably caused by the presence of a dehydrated layer of impurities next to them, is probably responsible for the fact that the image fibers really seem to be more fragile and easy to break… Since I’m not a chemist, you can see that I have often used the words “probable” and “probably” in this conclusion! There’s no doubt in my mind that if Rogers could have talked specifically about this issue in his writings, I would not have been forced to use these words and my conclusion would have rest on a much more solid ground!

    Anyway, that’s where I now stand in my reflection about the chromophore of the image, mainly because of the diimide and the ghosts observations. And this leads me to two important questions:

    1- Is it possible that a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities located on-top of a linen fiber and that have been chemically dehydrated could gradually affect the integrity of the growth nodes of this fiber so much that some of these nodes would have been left in the sticky tapes used by Rogers, along with the colored impurities of the body image?
    2- Is it possible that a thin layer of carbohydrates impurities located on-top of a linen fiber and that have been chemically dehydrated could gradually affect the integrity of the growth nodes of this fiber so much that they became weak enough to render this linen fiber more fragile and easy to break?

    These are good questions that I think only an expert in chemistry could answer properly… Nevertheless, I have a feeling that the answer could be yes to both questions. The key word in these 2 questions is “gradually”, because I have a feeling that a long period of direct contact between the growth nodes and the colored impurities could really be the ultimate cause of the probable weakness of the growth nodes.

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