Today: Celebrates 17th Anniversary on January 21, 2013

Barrie Schwortz has sent out a update:

The Shroud of Turin Website Celebrates its 17th Anniversary

January 21, 2013

Just a short note to let you know that our 17th Anniversary update is now  online. Just go to to our Home Page and click on the January 21, 2013 date link to see the details.

This update proudly includes the first four issues of Shroud Spectrum International, the only peer reviewed journal ever dedicated solely to the study of the Shroud. We will continue to add more issues in each future update until the complete 42 issue collection is archived in its entirety on the website. We are sure you will find these truly important journals useful in your studies of the Shroud.

In addition, we have completed the BSTS Newsletter archives with the latest issue and some important "bonus material," added four new papers and dozens of new links, updated the Valencia Congress page and included a Special Feature on The Shroud and the Chinese Bible. And that is just a partial list! We think you will find a lot of useful information that will keep you busy for some time to come. Enjoy! And don’t forget to visit the Private Subscribers Page for exclusive offers not available to the general public.

Warmest regards,

Barrie Schwortz

Editor & Founder, Shroud of Turin Website
President, STERA, Inc.

Barrie also provides these Quick Links…

Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List Signup Page
Shroud of Turin Education & Research Association, Inc. (STERA, Inc.) Page
Mail a Tax Deductible Charitable Contribution to STERA, Inc.
Make an Online Contribution Using Secure Contribution Form

What’s in a linen fiber?

imageIt is one of Colin Berry’s better posting, perhaps his best. For all of us, even the historians and theologians and philosophers among us, there is much that we can learn about the linen fibers here; “[at]t the risk of boring the pants off everyone,” he realizes. Even so, read Time maybe to re-think the received wisdom about the entire Shroud image being “highly superficial”? 

You won’t be sorry. Okay read a  bit here, below, before clicking over:

But let’s not forget one thing. The secondary cell wall is not 100% cellulose. As I pointed out in the last posting but one, the SCW is reckoned to contain non-cellulosic polysaccharides (NCPs) as well  (some 15% of total polysaccharides) which  are hemicelluloses, with a sizeable galactan content.  Hemicellulose may sound similar to cellulose but is entirely different, having  much less crystallinity, and lacking therefore the extraordinary physical strength and chemical resistance of pure cellulose. Being non-crystalline, and accompanied by pentose sugars, the hemicelluloses of the SCW (secondary cell wall) ,  AS WELL AS  THE PCW , may well be susceptible to scorching by conducted heat, weakening the fibrils, making them more prone to fracture across their width – not just separate longitudinally.  Maybe that scorching would not be highly visible, and  perhaps easy to overlook, if it were to be interspersed with white cellulose fibrils.   Rough-and-ready microscopy may not tell the whole story, especially on account of refraction artefacts etc.  Oh, and let’s not forget the nodes either (aka dislocations) of which there are reckoned to be hundreds per fibre cell. They too have been described as weak points in the flax and linen fibre.

Take away message? At the risk of boring the pants off everyone with the same old refrain, I for one shan’t be  abandoning the scorch hypothesis  any time soon. . . .

Yes, yes; read past this. We already know, if not from the title of his blog, that he comes at this with worldview bias. We do too, of course. We’re just not so blatantly biased – some of us that is.

. . . It’s got too much going for it. Where there still exist unexplained discrepancies between model scorches and the TS image, e.g. colour distribution, fluorescence etc, they may well be due either to differences in the scorching methodology (there being numerous ways of ‘ringing the changes’)  or of age-related effects and/or ‘traumas’ experienced by the Shroud in its history (1532 fire etc).

Here is a money quote:

Enough of excuses: Thibault got it right on this occasion. But that’s no reason for the entire Shroudosphere to run away with the idea that Thibault is right about everything all the time. For example. I don’t think he was right about his rejection of the scorching hypothesis on the grounds that a heated bas-relief template must always produce a scorched-on image with “excessive contrast”, not when his unsubtle choice of template virtually guaranteed that result! . . .

But then there is this, which is part of the same paragraph:

. . . If folk are wondering what on earth I am talking about, it’s because another site that shall remain nameless chose to ignore completely my 3 part-riposte to Thibault’s assault on the scorch hypothesis, while continuing to this day to give his pdf prominence at the top right hand corner of its Home Page.

I always run a risk with Colin. The other “site that shall remain nameless” (and without a link) that he refers to is mine. If I post someone else’s paper, it is because it was sent to me. (Colin, send me a good paper. I might post it.) And if I quote from Colin’s site I am accused of pirating his material – actually just the right amount so that people won’t follow the link I provide to his site (yes, go read his comments) – and if I ignore him or post too little I instead have sinned similarly. Why am I reminded of the three bears: the porridge is too hot or the porridge is too cold. I am, I think he thinks, the main reason he doesn’t get more visitors and comments on his site.

Colin, I rather imagine, would that I simply said, he has a lovely post like a lovely pot of tea in a cozy, with clotted cream and crumpets, so go read it. In this case, he does so go read it.

Benedict XVI: Jesus Shows Us the Face of God

imageIs the webmaster for the Archdiocese of Boston in quoting the Pope suggesting anything?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During the Christmas season we celebrated the mystery of the Incarnation as the culmination of God’s gradual self-revelation to Israel, a revelation mediated by those great figures such as Moses and the Prophets who kept alive the expectation of God’s fulfilment of his promises. Jesus, the Word made flesh, is truly God among us, “the mediator and the fullness of all revelation” (Dei Verbum, 2). In him, the ancient blessing is fulfilled: God has made his face to shine upon us (cf.Num 6:25). As the Incarnate Son, the one mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim 2:5), Jesus does not simply speak to us about God; he shows us the very face of God and enables us to call him our Father. As he says to the apostle Philip, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn14:9). May our desire to see the Lord’s face grow through our daily encounter with him in prayer, in meditation on his word and in the Eucharist, and thus prepare us to contemplate for ever the light of his countenance in the fullness of his eternal Kingdom.

Facts by Legends, Rumors and Imagination

From a book Joe Marino discovered comes a new, crazy natural hypothesis on how the image was formed.

image Here is some information from/about the book, And Did Those Feet…? by Michael Goldsworthy and published in June of last year by Troubador Publishing Ltd. The paperback goes for $65.51 at Amazon and the Kindle version sells for $9.29; how did I miss this one? I didn’t, well, sort of. I touched on the subject of Michael Goldsworthy’s fertile imagination in October of last year; I just didn’t know about the book. Maybe I’ll buy and read the Kindle version.

I’ve taken the liberty of bolding some references to the Shroud of Turin in the material below:

Nobody was too sure where the island of Avalon was, but everybody knew that King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea, were buried in Avalon. Neither William of Malmesbury nor Geoffrey of Monmouth associated Glastonbury with the Island of Avalon at the time they wrote. This was a later corruption by monks and the sole purpose of producing the fraudulent cross was to establish Glastonbury as Avalon. If Glastonbury could only be established as Avalon by the unearthing of King Arthur, then it must follow the Joseph of Arimathea was also buried within the Abbey grounds if all were convinced that Glastonbury was Avalon. To unearth Joseph of Arimathea, however, would prove difficult as it was known that he was buried with the holy Grail. Since the monks were not apprised of what the holy Grail consisted of, it was easier to fabricate the unearthing of King Arthur with a cross attesting to the fact that where he was unearthed was indeed Glastonbury and therefore it must be the island of Avalon. The reason Joseph of Arimathea needed to be associated with Glastonbury is because the monks needed funding to rebuild their Abbey after the fire.

Prior to the fire of 1184, there existed a prophecy written by a monk called Melkin. In this prophecy, (once it is decoded), Melkin supplies very pertinent information in geometric instructions, that gives precise directions to an island in Devon. This island is Burgh island in Devon. Melkin states that the body of Joseph of Arimathea lies in the southern angle of a bifurcated line. Once Melkin’s code is deciphered, it clearly portrays that Avebury is the point on the St. Michael’s ley line, which in his puzzle, he refers to as a ‘sperula’ or sphere, meaning a stone circle. This is the point within the Avebury stone circle complex which, at 13°, if one scribe’s a line through Montacute to Burgh island (which Melkin calls the island of Avalon), it is exactly one hundred and Four nautical miles, the exact number that Melkin gives. We should not forget that Father William good deposited this clue in the English college at Rome. Someone or some organisation had tried to eliminate this information from Maihew’s Trophea to prevent the Joseph line being found but luckily this clue was preseved in Stillingfleets private collection and thus acts as a confirmation that the line is Genuine. It also seems that several marker churches that identified the genuine Avalon were also destroyed to prevent this information coming into the public arena.

The location of Avalon has always been thought to exist at Glastonbury but with a recent study of some of the oldest text and the uncovering of the fraud concerning King Arthur carried out by the monks at Glastonbury, it is evident that Avalon is in Devon . The references that Melkin gives are part of a geometric riddle that once solved, points straight to the island in Devon which is obviously fits Diodorus’s description as Ictis.

This is in fact named in the Grail stories as the island of Sarras named after Judah’s eldest son Zarah, who broke the womb first. His name has the same pronunciation as Sarra in French and his descendants came to the south-west and were the primordial miners of tin on southern Dartmoor who brought their tin to this island to be sold. This is the reason that in the Grail stories, the island is called Sarras and to which the holy Grail was brought. It is to this island that after the crucifixion of Jesus, when his body was taken down from the cross by his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, it was then conveyed to a box filled with Cedar oil so that it might preserve his corpse. This box or coffin known as the Grail Ark was then conveyed with Joseph and several others from Jerusalem to the island of Sarras, which Joseph knew well, having visited many times previously on his mercantile trips with Jesus. This island had been known about in the Greek chronicles because Pytheas a Greek explorer had visited the island on his expedition to find amber which they did not realise was the sometime by product of tin and copper smelting. The island was kept secret over many years since Pytheas’ visit, until Joseph of Arimathea visited the island with Jesus on one of his trips abroad gathering metals.

It was to this island previously known as Ictis that Joseph of Arimathea chose to convey the Grail ark and place Jesus in an old tin vault that had been shut down or made redundant due to the Roman invasion. For about 1000 years, the island called Burgh island had been the place on the coast where all the tin miners up on southern Dartmoor had brought their tin to be stored in the vault. This transpired so that visiting traders could take away tin at any time and the island acted as a trading post. It is for this reason that Diodorous refers to it as an ‘emporium’. It becomes clear now the reason that Joseph of Arimathea knew the island very well. Strabo even relates the story behind the cache of tin ingots found at the head of the Erm.

The gospels relate that Jesus was laid to rest in a hewed out tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea and the rumours still persisted as eyewitnesses had seen the doubled over white shroud that covered his body as he lay in the Grail ark. One wonders if the Gospel accounts of the burial of Jesus are just the echoes of the misconstrued eyewitness accounts that existed in Jerusalem just after the resurrection. This set of events aslo explains why the flower imprints were found on the Turin shroud. This is fully explained in detail in a book called ‘And did those feet’, written by Michael Goldsworthy as new theory as to how the Grail stories, the Arthurian legend at Glastonbury and the gospels interlink and provide evidence of the whereabouts of the body of Jesus.

Melkin, who actually wrote the original book of the Grail, which ended up over in France and gave rise to the many Arthurian Grail romances now is understood to be the same person who provided the rumours of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury. So now we have a tomb containing King Arthur, Joseph of Arimathea and Jesus that was last shut when Melkin moved to France in around 600AD, sometime after the Saxon invasion. However the Templars, once they have been disbanded in the Middle Ages, were also privy to this island location and they knew what was buried within. It was here on Christmas Day in 1307 that they decided, (after King Philip and the Pope had disbanded their organisation), to relocate their treasure that they had managed to recuperate and ammased it into three treasure ships that left La Rochelle on 13Tth October 1307.

While depositing their treasure in the tomb they removed the Shroud of Jesus that had been submerged in the Cedar oil for 600 years while covering his body. It is inside this vault that the image of Jesus on the Turin Shroud was formed while draped over the body of Jesus in Cedar oil. The evaporated Cedar oil has left a caramel like substance all over the Turin Shroud, but the image itself was formed by the detritus left behind by anaerobic bacteria.

Only 50 years later, one of the Templars that died with Jack de Molay near Notre Dame in Paris, had a granddaughter that produced the Turin Shroud. This is not coincidence and answers the many questions of why there is no provenance for the Shroud of Turin prior to 1354. The Shroud had existed within the tin vault until the Templars arrive and remove it. The song which became a Christmas Carol; ‘I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day in the morning’ is really the echo of the Templars bringing their treasure to the island of Avalon in Devon. However, this song had always been associated in Cornish tradition to the visit of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea. It was the Templars, however, that marked out all the churches dedicated to St. Michael that lie along the St. Michael Ley line. Oddly enough, it is the other St. Michael churches that we used as markers, that confirm that the island of Avalon is indeed Burgh island in Devon

Source: Deciphering Melkin’s Prophecy

Petrus Soons’ Anaglyph vs Mario Latendresse’s at SchroudScope

imageimageMario Latendresse writes:

I noticed that one of your posting about 3D anaglyphs for the Shroud, namely [I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now? . . .] states:

No! The [Petrus Soons] anaglyph may not be very scientific, at all. And that is a major concern because the impression one gets from the website [Petrus Soons’ Website] and probably most places this image is displayed is that it is scientific. It may be, but if so, how so. I am not at all convinced that the data found in the Shroud’s image supports the anaglyph on the website. I’m not convinced that adjustments that were made to the images (there seem to be many) are scientifically warranted.

This is probably true for the transformations that were done at Petrus Soons’ Website since no complete explanation is given about what was done to generate the 3D anaglyphs.

But the Shroud Scope has a 3D anaglyph image of the Shroud that was generated in a very simple way based on a simple mathematical transformation (i.e., no artistic effect). This is described, using a freely available software package, at [Enrie 3D Anaglyph Version . . . ]

See the Shroud Scope 3D anaglyph at [Shroud Scope Anaglyph . . .]  (as usual, you can zoom in and out and pan like a Google map)

My conclusion is that the Shroud image does contain simple 3D data that can be directly used to generate 3D anaglyph photographs with no artistic intervention. Of course, the 3D data applies to the corpse, not the other artifacts, like bloodstains, water stains, burned marks, and so on.

I stand by what I wrote in that doubly-indented paragraph above and I am delighted to see a legitimate anaglyph.

That’s: Shroud Scope Anaglyph  or

How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm? After They’ve Seen Paree

imageDid we mention “new top-secret messages that will only be revealed at the conference by Doc Marquis and L.A. Marzulli.” Wow! Bring your secret decoder ring. Did this crowd have to discover the shroud?  Barrie Schwortz?

The big day has arrived. PITN is sponsoring our 2nd Prophecy Summit in beautiful Colorado Springs. It will be held at the Marriott Hotel, July 26-28, 2013 in the shadow of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods. Many of your favorites will be joining us—27 speakers in all, presenting new, spectacular messages for your enjoyment.

If you’re not familiar with Colorado Springs, it will soon become one of your favorite places. Bring the family and see the sights—Pikes Peak, the Cog Railway, The Garden of the Gods, the US Air Force Academy, the US Olympic Training Center, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls and some of the most spectacular weather in the country. Hiking, mountain climbing, golfing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and just a short distance away you will find the spectacular Royal Gorge and the beautiful city of Denver. Make Colorado Springs your family’s summer vacation. We guarantee you—you won’t regret it. It is truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

We’ll also be arranging special two-hour tours of the Shroud of Turin Museum . . . by private invitation only! You are going to love it. More details to follow.

Just look at the list of speakers who are committed already.

Gary Stearman. Tom Horn. Chuck Missler. L.A. Marzulli. Mark Biltz. Lennart Moller. Joseph Farah. Bill Koenig. Ken Johnson. Paul McGuire. Jerry Robinson. Stan Monteith. Doug Woodward. Bob Cornuke. Barrie Schwortz. Doug Hamp. Cris Putnam. Bill Salus. David Olander. Samuel Hoyt. Doc Marquis. Derek Gilbert. Fred DeRuvo. David Brennan and several more speakers yet to be announced.

The subjects we’ll be covering are going to be phenomenal. New messages on the rapture of the church by Gary Stearman and Professor David Olander; a look at Israel and their role in Bible prophecy; archaeological updates on the Shroud of Turin; the Lost Shipwreck of Paul and the chariot wheels discovered in the Red Sea!

You’ll be learning all about defending the rapture; the judgment seat of Christ; the dawn of the Luciferian era; financial strategies for the soon-coming financial calamity; the coming war in the Middle East prophesied in Psalm 83; new top-secret messages that will only be revealed at the conference by Doc Marquis and L.A. Marzulli; the Brotherhood of Darkness; an expose of Freemasonry; the blood moons coming to Israel in 2014 and 2015; the ancient Book of Enoch; and America; the Daughter of Babylon.

Source: The Pikes Peak Prophecy Summit | Prophecy In The News

Photos from Hugh Farey

Hugh Farey wrote in a comment yesterday:

It was of huge benefit to have actual shroud fibres to compare experimental ones with, and I would never attempt to dismiss Rogers’s observations out of hand. Nevertheless I am not convinced by some rather sweeping statements that do not, to my mind, correctly describe the nuances of what is actually seen under a microscope. I have yet to see a photo that demonstrates that a shroud image fibre is not coloured throughout its diameter. Indeed, I would aver that Rogers’s Figure VI-2 in his Chemist’s Perspective book demonstrates exactly the opposite. “An unusually deeply coloured image fibre” he captions it.

I am also intrigued by the “scorching in the medullas.” As the medullas (Does he mean lumens?) are essentially hollow tubes, what precisely is scorched? Having spent weeks now looking at scorched firbres under a microscope myself, I think those black lines may in fact be on the surface of the fibres, not in the middle. The lumen is usually wider than those black lines, and indeed, if I magnify his Figure VI-1 till it fills the screen (I have the online version of his book) I can see what I think are the sides of the interior, uncoloured, lumen, on either side of the black line supposedly marking the ‘medulla.’

It is the business of the scientist to attempt to falsify hypotheses, and the business of the hypothesis to defend itself. Sadly, Ray Rogers is no longer able to answer my observations on his observations, which perhaps he could have done with other photomicrographs. However, as it stands, I still cannot consider the case against scorching proven.

Gabriel asked Hugh to provide them and he did along with this explanation:

Here are the two photos I was talking about. The first, showing (to me, at least) a uniformly coloured fibre with a clear lumen, is from elsewhere in your blog, but in Rogers’s book as VI-2. The second is a massive enlargement of VI-1, showing a scorch fibre. I think the black crease is a surface phenomenon, while the two arrows point to the sides of the lumen, uncoloured, deeper within the fibre. (It was a bit of a devil to extract from the pdf, so you’ll probably have to crop off the white surround or something; I couldn’t do it somehow). I had a warning from Thibault, quite justified, that I wandered into microscopy at my peril, but I do think my photos clearly show what I say I see, whereas a lot of the published ones are indistinct, to say the least. If anyone spends hours sweating over a hot microscope, surely he illustrates his findings with the best photos he can manage, and although I do understand that the earler ones were taken without the benefit of a digital camera or photomanipulation, they are not always clear enough to be convincing.





Scorched Image by the Resurrection

A reader writes:

clip_image001Dr. Colin Berry’s scorch theory works for me both chemically and religiously. I have always thought that the image was formed by extreme heat of the resurrection with the body in contact with the cloth just before Jesus dematerializes. I always though that STURP was wrong about scorching. Scorching is how you get such anatomical perfection, a negative image, and 3D. I do not think this is what Dr. Berry intended, but in the long run his theory will go a long way towards convincing many people that the shroud and the physical resurrection are real. He needs to conduct more experiments to show how viable this theory is. I think Jesus left this image for a skeptical age and it is the skeptics may achieve the best results.

See: Time maybe for a radical re-jigging of the scorch model – and of the alleged superficiality of the Shroud image too?

Update to Stephen Jones’ Blog

clip_image001He updates his blog with The Shroud of Jesus?: 2.4. The wounds:

Here, belatedly, is part 10, "2.4. The wounds" in my series, The Shroud of Jesus? My previous post in this series was part 9, "2.3. The man on the Shroud ." See the series’ part 1, Contents for more information about this series.

He provides a nice graphic. The caption reads: Above (click to enlarge): The wounds, bloodstains and other marks on the Shroud of Turin[2]. Unfortunately, clicking on it, at least in my browsers, shrinks it. Nonetheless, it is nice to have in electronic form.

Clicking on it here will link to Stephen’s site where the graphic is visible as a 400 by 967 image.

Now Free to Public

clip_image001Some of us may be interested in this: Meredith Schwartz writes in Library Journal, Many JSTOR Journal Archives Now Free to Public:

The archives of more than 1,200 journals are now available for limited free reading by the public, JSTOR announced today. Anyone can sign up for a JSTOR account and read up to three articles for free every two weeks.

This is a major expansion of the Register & Read program, following a 10-month test, during which more than 150,000 people registered for access to an initial set of 76 journals. The new additions bring more than 4.5 million articles from nearly 800 scholarly societies, university presses, and academic publishers into the Register & Read offerings.

Stop taking cudgels to each other?

imageI commend to you a thoughtful posting by Colin Berry. I have no issue with considering Colin an expert on scorching, even an expert in the scorching of linen, even an expert on a proposed scorching model for the shroud’s image. For it is after a few paragraphs that I read this:

Firstly, no one knows the precise chemical nature of the Shroud image, despite decades of research (actually, little research has been done directly on the image, for reasons we’ll address on another occasion). So there are no experts on the Shroud image – just some who are well informed about how little we actually do and do not know.

That’s where someone like myself fits into the picture. I too know next to nothing about the Shroud image. Since I have no access to the Shroud itself – and probably would not be able to wave any magic wands if I did – I have to fall back on the time- honoured approach of the scientist who is under no great time pressure to deliver a solution. That is to propose a model, to study that model, and then patiently attempt to spot points of similarity or difference between model and unknown subject. In my case the model is thermal imprinting aka scorching. I cannot be described as a Shroud expert – but with time there might be one or two charitable souls prepared to regard me as an expert on scorching… C’est la vie.

What about the other aspects of the Shroud? Are there experts in those areas?  History?  There’s been a lot of attention on the question as to where the Shroud was prior to 1355 when it was first put on display. Prior to that it was in private hands and well-concealed, but for how long?  (The Vatican claimed recently that it had been in the care of those mysterious Templars).

The problem is that I am not expert enough in such matters to know if Colin is an expert.

BTW: Did the Vatican really make that claim? Or was it Barbara Frale, a so-called expert?

Then Colin writes:

To summarise: experts have their uses in certain situations, as I have suggested and they may acquire guru status if they have a track record for sound judgement, i.e their previous positions having proved correct in the fullness of time. But they may not be able to bring unique insights into an ongoing problem if the latter has defied solution, and may indeed hinder progress if they are too quick to criticize or dismiss current lines of research. That is especially the case if they are not actually researching it themselves, and not immersed in that indefinable quality I would describe as the ‘culture of research’, especially that which attempts to discover not just the known unknowns, but those entities once famously described as ‘unknown unknowns’.

Yes, a reference right at the end to ‘culture’ might look somewhat grandiose, but let me disabuse you of any such desire or intention of self-aggrandisement immediately. I recently came across a definition of culture that clicked immediately – it’s those things that people do without thinking, or feeling they have to think.

There are different approaches to the Shroud – some that require thinking, some which do not. It’s part of the human condition for the thinkers and non-thinkers to eye each other suspiciously. But all of us are occasionally thinkers or non-thinkers, depending on context, and if some or all of that ‘non-thinking’ is cultural, then there’s little point in taking cudgels to each other.

Shroud Exhibits in Philadelphia Area

imageFrom an information bulletin (pdf file) furnished by the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia:

The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy is pleased to announce the 2013 Schedule for the Exhibition of the Replica of The Shroud of Turin in select parishes of the Archeparchy. The replica of the Shroud of Turin was acquired by Archbishop Stefan Soroka for the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia in 2010. It is permanently on display at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Philadelphia. During the year the exhibit travels to various parishes in the Archeparchy as a means of promoting the Gospel message of Jesus through evangelization of the many pilgrims who come seeking to understand and encounter Jesus through the message of the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud exhibit allows many people who would not be able to travel to Turin Italy to view the Shroud a chance to experience that opportunity. Many thousands of people have already viewed the Shroud Exhibit which reverently displays The Shroud for people to touch, venerate, and gather information about Jesus and His Gospel.

The schedule and contact information is available on the bulletin.

Living Free: The Thomas Aquinas and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Part

A posting from John Klotz’ blog, Living Free:

A Reflection: Nancy LaMott, Eva Cassidy, Planned Parenthood
and Thomas Aquinas and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As some of you may know, I am working on a manuscript the working title of which is “The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the future of Science and Humanity.” I have just completed the draft of Chapter Seven (:Game Change”) which ends with the Shroud of Turin Research Group (STURP) in 1978 flying from New York to Turin to begin what is undoubtedly the most concentrated scientific study of the Shroud in its arguably two millennia history. (Some of what follows may wind-up in the “quantum” part of my manuscript., the Aquinas and Teilhard part.)

imageBut in the past few days, the news has been of renewed efforts of the right wing extremists elected in the 2010 elections at the state level to gut Planned Parenthood again on the mistaken claim that Planed Parenthood is dedicated to abortion and that it spend most of its money providing abortions. That is simply not true. Ninety-Seven per cent of Planned Parenthood activities are devoted to women’s health issues, a part of the 97% does include contraception services, BUT, the number one way to prevent abortions is contraception.

But was does this have to do with Eva Cassidy and Nancy LaMott, two female vocalists. They have one thing in common: they both died in the prime of their singing careers from cancers that if discovered in time might have saved their lives.

First, a word about their music. Eva was a relatively unknown quantity when she died of melanoma at age 33. It was three years after her death that she came to the attention of a British disk jockey singing “Some Where Over the Rainbow. The rest is, as they say, history. There is a You Tube of an ABC Nightline story on  Eva at  (It’s 15 minutes long so you might want to finish this article before going to it.)

Eva first came to my attention when I stumbled across a recording of her singing “At Last” on Napster some years ago. You may recall that in the Inaugural Balls of 2008, Michelle and Barak Obama danced to “At Last.” Beyonce was the singer but I recall hearing the song many years before. Like a lot of songs some of it may seem over done, but I have always cherished the last verse:

You smile,
And then the spell was cast.
And here we are in heaven,
Because you are mine at last.

I was had a moment like that, New Year’s Eve, 1961.

Eva’s version is on You Tube at:

imageI stumbled across Nancy LaMott when I was once looking for tracks of “You’re Clear Out of This World.” I thought it was a Kurt Weil song because it seemed to draw from “Speak Low” one of Weil’s most beautiful songs. It wasn’t though. But Nancy LaMott did a set of “You’re Clear Out of This World” and Cole Porter’s “So in Love” that was out of this world. You find a recorded live performance:

The first time I heard Eva Cassidy sing, I knew she had passed away. I remember hearing of Nancy LaMott on NYC disk jockey Jonathan Schwartz’s Saturday morning jazz centered program. It was not until I discovered her recording of “Clear Out of This world” that I discovered that she too had died. Hers was uterine cancer.

The implication  in Seattle Times story  was that she was on the brink of stardom at the time of her death

I will not claim that either of these two precious women could have been saved by Planned Parenthood because I am not familiar enough with their economic circumstances to know if they either qualified for, or needed, Planned Parenthood services. But millions of American women have qualified for these services and in many instances owe their lives to Planned Parenthood. You can see some examples at:

See also:

Now the commercial: What has any of this have to do with Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard?

The issue is the human soul and when does that immortal soul come into existence. We now have claims that a fertilized egg cell, even before implantation in the womb, is a human being entitled to all the due process rights of a human being which would mean that even “morning after” pills would be murder because they prevent implementation. Thomas Aquinas would have disagreed.

He lived 800 years ago, long before Darwin. Aquinas  along with St. Augustine was one of the pillars of Christian theology. Aquinas  wrote concerning the issue of when the soul was infused into the fetus that it occurred at the time of “quickening” and that before quickening there  was not a human soul but a vegative one. He seems to foreshadow both Teilhard and Darnwin

Teilhard wrote in the “Phenomenon of Man” that it was at the point in the evolution of a species of primates that it developed the quality of reflection or self awareness, that the human species was born. To credit the metaphor of Genesis, that would be the point when humanity  became the  “image and likeness” of God.

As I have written in the Introduction to my manuscript, science today has advanced to the point where it is grappling with the issue of human consciousness. Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff have written that the human mind and(and necessarily awareness) arise from trillions of micro-tubules in the brain acting as a quantum computer with among other attributes, the ability to participate in “quantum entanglements.” That is the development among quantum phenomena to react identically and thus communicate instantaneously across time and space beyond the normal constraints of time and space. Einstein called the concept “spooky” but to paraphrase Cole Porter, it is strange, dear, but true.

I discuss this on my blog at

Where does it leave us. Ironically, it leaves us at the door step of Roe v. Wade which divided the pregnancy into three stages of legal concern. The first stage would correspond to Aquinas vegative state at the very least.

To the best of my knowledge, the Catholic Church has not yet stated as a matter of faith and morals that God has infused the soul in the ovum at the time of fertilization. Because science is now grappling with the issues of self-awareness that so closely resemble the Aquinas dichotomy, it would be best perhaps to avoid such speculation.

Galileo was nearly burned at the stake for challenging the Ptolemaic view that the earth was the center of the Universe. It might be best for everybody to take a deep breath before demanding all of our laws bend to the fundamentalist view about soul creation.

And it would certainly be a very good idea to those who are demanding the defunding of Planned Parent to back-off a bit. Millions of women have depended on Planned Parenthood for life saving services. As for me, I can not get the voices of Eva Cassidy and Nancy LaMott to be still.

Okay STURP team, it’s time to land.

Source: Living Free

Barry Schwortz on Grok Radio

imageWith host Rich Christian. Episode: Razor Swift: The Shroud of Turin W: Barry M Schwortz. Description of the 122 minute show:

The Shroud Of Turin has been an object of controversy for centuries. It’s been said that the shroud has been the single most studied artifact in human history. The believers say it’s the burial shroud of Jesus while the skeptics maintain that there’s nothing to the shroud, but just another religious hoax. Coming on the show will be Shroud Of Turin expert Barrie M. Schwortz to give us his analysis on the shroud.

   Listen: play

Jesus’ Wife Papyrus Update

imageRemember back in September when Jack Swint wrote:

It wasn’t that long ago that scholars were re-debating over whether or not the Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic or not. That 2011 report did its best to refute the hypothesis that the Shroud might be the work of a medieval forger. But, in the end, there is no scientific or theological proof that the Shroud is authentic.

Now, it appears a new topic for Christianity, and its doubters, will be in debating whether or not Jesus was married. Does it actually matter if he had a wife? Does it take away from the overall belief that Jesus Christ is both the Son Of God and the greatest man who ever lived? No!

Bottom-line; let’s not lose any sleep over it.

Just a few days ago, daveb emailed me to remind me about it:

Curious about strange recent media silence about Karen King’s "discovery" of the so-called Jesus-wife Coptic fragment last September, I went searching for any recent reports over the last month. Apparently Karen King’s paper didn’t make the January issue of Harvard Theological Review as testing is still continuing – this still seems to be the current postion, reported as recently as at January 4. There still seems to be an intention to publish eventually, but I could find no hints of even any interim testing results, or suggestions as to what the tests might reveal. The position still seems to be "Watch this space!" Given the announced intention for eventual publication, it seems most curious.

Now, Stoyan Zaimov from the Christian Post provides an update:

The Harvard Theological Review’s latest journal has left out the long-awaited article describing the discovery of a Coptic papyrus fragment believed to reference the wife of Jesus, after it was announced that more tests need to be conducted to determine the legitimacy of the artifact.

"We’re moving ahead with the testing, but it is not yet complete, and so the article will await until we have the results," Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King shared with CNN.

"The owner of the fragment has been making arrangements for further testing and analysis of the fragment, including testing by independent laboratories with the resources and specific expertise necessary to produce and interpret reliable results. . . .

Sounds like it could be a long time. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Positive for AB is not the same as AB positive

Kelly Kearse writes:

Blood typing and the Shroud:
Positive for AB is not the same as AB positive


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The bloodstains on the Shroud are reported to be type AB, as determined forward typing methods. Although semantically similar, being positive for AB blood is not physiologically equivalent to being AB positive. Here’s the difference: blood typing nomenclature typically lists the blood type first (A, B, AB, or O), followed by expression of a molecule termed the Rh factor. The ABO and Rh molecules are not genetically linked and are encoded on separate chromosomes. ABO and Rh are listed together in blood typing because both are important in blood transfusions. (Individuals that are Rh negative can mount an immune response to red blood cells that are Rh positive). You either express the Rh factor or you don’t, which is why the designation positive or negative is used.

A person that is AB positive (AB +) would contain red blood cells that express AB antigens as well as Rh molecules. Relatedly, a person that is AB negative (AB -) would contain red blood cells that express AB antigens, but not Rh molecules. Technically, (semantically), both individuals are positive for AB, but only the first is truly AB positive. Although the blood type of the Shroud is frequently reported as AB positive (or AB negative), to the best of my knowledge, expression of the Rh factor on the bloodstains on the Shroud has never been evaluated. In a personal communication with Baima Bollone last year (through Emanuela Marinelli), he replied that the Rh factor was too degraded for study at the protein level. The positive (and negative) designations that are at times assigned to the Shroud bloodstains are most likely semantic in nature (due to nonstandard use of the words “positive” or “negative”), and not data-driven. It is correct to say that the blood on the Shroud is positive for AB, which is most precisely stated as “types as AB”. It is not accurate to say that the blood on the Shroud is AB positive. This implies additional information about the expression of the Rh molecule, which is unknown

Colin Berry Takes On Banding and More

imagePaulette writes:

A year ago when Colin Berry first emerged on the Shroud scene, I said that he was out of his league. That is no longer so. He is the only real and formidable scientist skeptic since Walter McCrone. He is better.

Those of us who think the Shroud is real should really appreciate someone who questions everything we think is true. Is it true for instance, as stated in Valencia #1, that there is no image beneath the bloodstains? Maybe not. And now Colin is tackling the Rogers FAQ. For instance, is Rogers right in what he says about banding? Maybe not.

I just want to say I appreciate what Colin is doing even if he comes off sounding a bit too arrogant at times. We need to address everything Colin questions. In due time, I am certain we will.

Here, as an example, is what Colin Berry has to say about banding. Note that Rogers is quoted in italics and Berry in non-italics (Note, too, that Berry changed the spelling of ‘colored’ to British ‘coloured’, not me):

imageFAQ 7: Why are there bands of different coloured (sic) linen throughout the Shroud, and what do they prove about image-formation mechanism?

Bands of slightly different color can be seen in Shroud photographs. They are most visible in ultraviolet-fluorescence photographs (see Hands UV).

Both warp and weft yarns show this property. Some areas show darker warp yarns and some show darker weft yarns. In some places bands of darker color cross. In other places bands of lighter color cross. The effect is somewhat like a plaid.

All of the bleaching processes used through history remove lignin and most associated flax impurities (e.g., flax wax and hemicelluloses). The more quantitative the bleaching process the whiter the product. The bands of different color on the Shroud are the end result of different amounts of impurities left from the bleaching process.

Anna Maria Donadoni, a curator at the Museum of Egyptology in Turin, pointed out locations where batches of yarn ended in the weave and new yarn had been inserted in order to continue weaving. The yarn ends were laid side by side, and the weave was compressed with the comb. The ends are often visible, and the overlaps correspond to zones of different color in the weave. The different batches of yarn show different colors.

Where darker bands of yarn intersect image areas, the image is darker. Where lighter bands intersect an image area, the image appears lighter. This proves that the image color is not a result of reactions in the cellulose of the linen. Some impurities on the surface of the different batches of yarn produced the image color. This observation is extremely important when tests are being made on image-formation hypotheses. If image color is not simply a result of color formation in the cellulose of the linen fibers, image formation must be a much more complex process than we originally thought.


Here we see Rogers at his most infuriating – sounding so categorical, so insistent, so terribly-well informed – yet failing to explain, and using vague imprecise terminology.

OK, so there is banding, and that banding has been invoked to explain the cut-off nature of the face at each side which gives the face a less-than-real life appearance.

But how serious is it? Why has a uv illuminated picture been used to illustrate it. Uv and background fluorescence/quenching effects introduce all kinds of uncertainties. Would not a simple picture taken in reflected, scattered light have served better?

Go to Shroud Scope? Is there evidence there for serious banding effect, and if so, is it anything to do with yarn variation?

Another prime example of Rogers’ careless use of words, even chemical words. He refers to hemicelluloses as flax impurities – a flawed use upon which much extra confusion arises when he develops his “impurity layer” idea. Fact: hemicelluloses are NOT an impurity of linen. They are an intrinsic component. What’s more, they do not confer colour, so would not be a target for bleaching. I believe that Rogers was confusing or at any rate conflating hemicelluloses with pectins. The latter have some characteristics in common, notable pentose sugars, but their distinguishing characteristic is their acidic character and negatively charged groups. Their relevance to linen is not to do with colour. It’s to do with the fact that they are the matrix substance that hold the bast fibres of flax into bundles, and it is the purpose of retting to “rot” the wet flax stems so as to remove the pectins, separating the individual elementary flax fibres, which are then re-assembled in bundles by spinning to form threads but without that cementing pectin.

All of the bleaching processes used through history remove lignin and most associated flax impurities (e.g., flax wax and hemicelluloses). The more quantitative the bleaching process the whiter the product. The bands of different color on the Shroud are the end result of different amounts of impurities left from the bleaching process.

The bands of different color on the Shroud are the end result of different amounts of impurities left from the bleaching process.

Response: That may well be true. But beware a classic flaw in logic, which is to turn that statement around, and assume that any banding one sees on the Shroud must ipso facto represent batch-to-batch differences in the yarn. That is by no means certain or self-evident. For example, the cut-off effect on the two sides of the face is surely too bilaterally symmetrical to have arisen as the result of yarn differences.

Notwithstanding Anna Maria Donadoni , whose expertise I do not question, one also has to ask at what stage bleaching is likely to be carried out on linen, especially the higher grades (herring bone twill etc) – at the yarn stage – producing colour differences on the final cloth, or at the cloth stage to produce a homogeneous end result without a “quilt effect”. Surely the latter?

Where darker bands of yarn intersect image areas, the image is darker. Where lighter bands intersect an image area, the image appears lighter. This proves that the image color is not a result of reactions in the cellulose of the linen. Some impurities on the surface of the different batches of yarn produced the image color. This observation is extremely important when tests are being made on image-formation hypotheses. If image color is not simply a result of color formation in the cellulose of the linen fibers, image formation must be a much more complex process than we originally thought.

Here we see Rogers going into overdrive, and basing major conclusions on evidence that is at best impressionistic. Yes, one expects an additive effect of yarn and image colour. But we are then pitchforked into a conclusion of mind-boggling dogmatism, namely that “this proves that the image color is not result of reactions in the cellulose of the linen”. What possible justification can there be for such a conclusion – whether proved right or wrong in the fullness of time? What evidence is there so far that the colour is due to impurities on the surface as distinct from in the cellulose? None whatsoever that I can see. The “impurity layer” hypothesis of which so much use has been made, and which has been endlessly touted as if fact rests on some very dodgy, opaque, impenetrable exposition. Note: I am not disputing the position that the image is not in the core crystalline cellulose. But we moved on from that issue, and in any case there is cellulose in the PCW as well, albeit less crystalline. We seem to have another hotch potch of poorly presented, ambiguous misleading unstructured argument which is then used to underpin a highly individual and partisan position. That is why I have said so little re Rogers in the past – and the little I have said has usually been less than flattering. Regardless of the soundness or otherwise of his chemical know- how it is his flawed exposition that makes it so difficult to address the issue – not knowing what he really understood or misunderstood through his woolly imprecise use of words and syntax.

If image color is not simply a result of color formation in the cellulose of the linen fibers, image formation must be a much more complex process than we originally thought.

But that’s because Rogers showed no recognition of the PCW and its superficial reactive hemicelluloses. Had he recognized it, he might have seen image-imprinting as LESS rather than more complex, compared with imprinting onto a highly ordered crystalline cellulose. The reason it is “complex” is because Rogers has made a spectacular jump from intrinsic cellulose to extrinsic impurities, and from pyrolysis to Maillard chemistry requiring not only reducing sugars but putrefaction amines also. The latter “diffusion hypothesis” has since been elevated to holy writ and still dominates all the discussion on Shroud forums, despite being based on a faulty understanding of linen fibres and their microstructure.

A Parade for a Shroud of Turin Replica

imageIf you think you might be in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in late February:

St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Parish has elaborate things planned for the Feb. 24 visit to Shenandoah by the replica of the Shroud of Turin, which is thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. At a recent meeting of the Greater Shenandoah Area Chamber of Commerce at Shenandoah Manor/Shenandoah Senior Living Community, East Washington Street, Monsignor Myron Grabowsky, St. Michael pastor, said there will be a parade including Shenandoah Mayor Andrew Szczyglak, the Knights of Columbus and the Shenandoah Fire and police departments escorting the Shroud to the church, where it will be available for viewing until March 9. He also said an observance is being planned for the National Day of Prayer on May 2 at Shenandoah Manor. St. Michael parish is the first Ukrainian Catholic parish in America. The original church still stands along West Centre Street.

I like these sort of things. They demonstrate something about our faith throughout the towns and villages of the world.

See: Around the Region – News – Republican Herald

Paper Chase: Why There Are Probably No Images of Coins, Lettering, Flowers and Whatnots on the Shroud of Turin


. . . or even a second face on the back of the cloth . . .

Undoubtedly, “Perception of Patterns After Digital Processing of Low-Contrast Images, The Case of the Shroud of Turin” by Paola Di Lazzaro, Daniele Murra and Barrie Schwortz provides a long needed scientific clarity to an important subject.

The abstract reads:

We discuss the link between visual perception and the potentially misleading effect of software techniques for elaborating low-contrast images. In particular, we present the example of the stains embedded into one of the most studied archaeological objects in history, the Shroud of Turin.

We show for the first time that image processing of both old and recent photographs of the Shroud may lead some researchers to perceive inscriptions and patterns that do not actually exist, confirming that there is a narrow boundary line between image enhancement and manipulation.

I have frequently discussed the subject of pareidolia in this blog. This paper, however, provides the scientific explanations, lucidity and focus I could not achieve. Bravo! (One of my most recent postings on pareidolia was from last August, Les Fredette’s Crucifixion Nail: Why I am Skeptical About It).

Colin Berry Takes on Ray Rogers’ FAQ (This Should Be Fun)

imageHe writes in an posting with the cumbersome title, Raymond N Rogers: STURP supremo chemist (RIP) who sadly lost the plot (due to an apparent blind spot, it would seem, for those ultra-thin and highly superficial primary cell walls of flax and linen fibres). writes:

Somewhat weirdly and who cares:

Warning to readers and/or other website administrators: this posting is under construction (the reasons for which will shortly become apparent). New text and probably images too will be added throughout the next few hours, possibly days, the most recent additions being added to the TOP with time and date stamps i.e. “reverse chronological order”, to use old-style bloggers’ jargon. In view of the delicate matter of criticizing the ideas of a recently deceased (2005) and respected scientist, I reserve the right to edit or delete first draft passages, flagged up with use of the strike-through editor, but with later clean-up and deletion of discarded Mark 1 versions. Comments and/or correctives are welcome at any time. I reserve the right to incorporate them into the text if I feel they make a worthwhile point, or are posted with a view to correcting perceived inaccuracies or injustices.

And then with substance:

A detailed critique now follows. I have chosen Rogers’ own FAQs as source material, at least for starters, being reasonably concise, and accessible without charge as a pdf document. The chief problem is knowing which of the 19 FAQs to include and exclude, and in which order to tackle them. I have opted to deal with most if not all  in the same order as Rogers, even though that means dealing with issues that are not immediately relevant to the main issue addressed here, namely Rogers’ proposed mechanism by which the Shroud acquired its superficial image involving a hypothesised “impurity layer”, without (as we shall see) so much as a nod in the direction of the primary cell wall. By taking them in the same order,  I avoid the charge of being selective in my choice of material, or of deviating from Rogers’ order of presentation. If crucial details appear to be omitted from crucial arguments, that will be because Rogers chose to withhold them, not me, and those that he considered important simply appear later rather than sooner. I shall have to make frequent use of the “read on” tag to keep the posting to a reasonable length.

And he goes on and on.

Here is a quick list of the subjects in Rogers’ FAQ with links. Or you can access the entire FAQ document in PDF form:

The Shroud of Turin images are not painted

The bloodstains are real blood

Why radiation did not cause images

Why scorching did not cause images

Why the carbon 14 samples are not valid

The 1532 fire and autocatalytic process

The meaning of variegated bands

Cellulose decomposition and image formation

Superficiality of the images on the Shroud

Double superficiality and what it means

Body decomposition rates

Why fibers are not involved in image formation

Other dating methods useful for the Shroud

The 1532 fire and image properties

The 2002 restoration consequences

Optical and physical properties of flax

Image properties and the scientific method

Unconfirmed bioplastic polymer coating

Why a bioplastic did not affect carbon 14 tests

Refutable Irrefutable or is it Irrefutable Refutable

imageMark Knox nicely writes in The Shroud of Turin: New Developments in his blog Notes from the Crossroads:

When I was a child, my first exposure to the Shroud of Turin was on an episode of “In Search Of…”, a weekly television program that featured a number of various popular mysteries including Bigfoot, the Amelia Earhart disappearance and the Bermuda Triangle, among others.  For this episode I sat enthralled as the show’s host, Leonard Nimoy, described how the shroud bore an image of the crucified Christ and that the image was undoubtedly caused by a huge transfer of energy at the moment of the Resurrection. I remember hurrying off to excitedly tell anyone who would listen all about the irrefutable facts presented by the program.  Of course, what I eventually came to realize, after several increasingly disappointing conversations, was that “In Search Of” presented “irrefutable facts” (or omitted the refutable ones) in support of every mystery they featured; it was, of course, their bread and butter.  Sadly, such childhood epiphanies are often the lynch-pin for of a life of skepticism; reaffirming the fact that truth is so important, and so elusive, in any argument or discourse.

So it was with my hard-earned skepticism that I sat down to watch The History Channel’s presentation of “The Real Face of Jesus” . . .

Knox concludes:

Like many other ancient mysteries, science will probably never have the capacity to prove exactly what the shroud is, but many modern scientists will easily tell you what it is not-  it isn’t, in any scientifically explainable sense, a work of art created as an elaborate hoax.

And, if it isn’t a hoax, the thought of what it might be sends shivers down my spine.

Old TV shows can be fun to watch.

Does light splat?

imageIf we think about the Shroud of Turin at all, then every now and then, for whatever reason, we find ourselves, seriously or not so seriously, wondering if the image was formed by miraculous light of the Resurrection.

Think about it. Think about light maybe bouncing about within the folds of the cloth. Would it help to visualize light, traveling at the speed of light, in slow motion? We can do so with a camera that shoots a trillion frames a second.

This is a MUST WATCH Ted Lecture.

Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion.

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