Max thinks I’m a half-blind arch-skeptic

clip_image001Max-Patrick Hamon writes to me in a comment and an email:

By way of reply to a most unfortunate and desinformative posting of yours entitled “Dear Stephen E. Jones » (May 12, 2013) that triggered Paulette’s most vehement and blind criticism, (“The myth of the coin must end”) and a whole series of biased opinions by a few gullible arch-sceptics, please find here attached, [the paper below].

Although I don’t share Stephen Jones ‘half-blind’ arch-advocacy as far as the coin-over-eye issue is concerned, I must confess I just cannot buy into your ‘half-blind’ arch-scepticism either.

For the sake of good archaeology and fairness of debate, thank you therefore for publishing it in your blog.

And here it is:

By Max Patrick HAMON

As far as the Pilate coin-over-eyes issue is concerned, for decades, arch-sceptics have been telling arch-advocates they were the victims of the ‘I think I see’ syndrome. How long will it take arch-sceptics before they could realise they are themselves the victims of the ‘I think I see nothing but’ syndrome? The true fact is there is a fine line between a falsely positive and a falsely negative perception and BOTH SIDES can be the victims of optical illusions as long as none of them is a true expert in numismatics, palaeography and/or archaeological image analysis/cryptanalysis? Actually this is one thing to think you see Pilate coin partial imprints that are not really there, yet another to more sense than correctly identify the partial imprints that are really there and still quite another to correctly detect (their absence or presence), extract and identify them if need be.


Here is a test for arch-sceptics just to realise how unreliable and inaccurate their allegedly ‘objective’ observations can be, even when it comes to correctly figure out a familiar image such as that of a hidden cat in full view. Can they ‘spot’ for instance a crap-heap cat, an over-crowded beach cat and a muddy-field cat in the three following pictures seen as they appear here i.e. with no rescale no enhancement and standing back 40 cm from their computer screen (additional clue: to the initiated eye-and-brain coordination system, it can take less than five seconds to correctly figure out all the three cats and less than 15 to less to 30 seconds to the gifted non-initiated eye):

1/Hidden crap-heap cat IN FULL VIEW… figure it out? How long does it take you?

2/Hidden over-crowded beach cat IN FULL VIEW … figure it out? How long does it take you?

3/Hidden muddy field cat IN FULL VIEW … figure it out? How long does it take you?

Most likely a non-professional (and maybe even some professional!) image analyst or technical photographer either will find it hard or even fail to correctly detect all the three cats within a reasonable time (15-30 seconds per cat) although a cat is really there hidden in full view each time. Some ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics can even go as far as complaining about the picture quality and/or scale and telling you the test is inappropriate or this is a practical joke rather than acknowledge they have a blind spot in their eye-and-brain coordination system. Since none of the ‘anti-coin-over-eyes’ have ‘the eye-and-brain’ for palaeographic forms, one can easily guess how long it should take such wrong experts to correctly detect the presence of any small ancient coin partial faint tiny blood imprints about 0.5-1.5mm high in average and embedded within background visual noise and random shapes! Why don’t they stop their endless repetition of what other ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics have erroneously said on the matter and leave it to professional/scholar numismatists, palaeographers, archaeological bloodstain pattern analysts and archaeological image professional analysts or cryptanalysts? And why don’t Schwortz, Lombatti, Rinaldi, Guscin, Porter, Di Lazzaro, Murra etc mind the right experts to help them finally see what is really there hidden in full view on the Turin Shroud Man’s eye areas… for a change?


The truly sad fact is some ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics who are neither forensic medical examiners nor archaeological image professional analysts/cryptanalysts keep concurring to ‘think they see’ “nothing but the normal curvature of eyes, perhaps swollen eyes”. This ipso facto implies no less than three eminent forensic medical examiners1 and three computer-science experts2 (who confirmed the finding, by the American physicist John Jackson and 3D image analyst William Mottern, of flat somewhat rounded foreign solid object imprints on the eye areas), were all the victims of the ‘I think I see’ syndrome. This is not serious!

When it comes to discriminate between “normal curvature of eyes” and “swollen eyes” as opposed to flat somewhat rounded foreign solid object imprints on the eye areas, do ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics really think they are best qualified than three eminent professional forensic pathologists like Bucklin, Zugibe and Baima-Bollone who examined both life-sized authentic 2D photographs and contrast-enhanced digitized 3D close-ups? Shall non-initiated eye consensus reality prevail? Thus unless one can convincingly demonstrate the intersubjectivity of Bucklin et al, the presence of flat button-like solid object imprints on the eye areas is a rather well established optical and ‘extra-anatomical’ fact (no matter whether most misleadingly ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics dismiss any 3D image that provides the arguments against their pet theory and only rely on very low con-trast-enhanced 3D images or Downing’s half-artistic/biased reconstruction(s) of the Shroud face to back up their unqualified forensic claim).

Tamburelli’s contrast-enhanced reversed 3D reconstruction of a Turin Shroud face close up

1. – Bucklin, Zugibe and Baima-Bollone. 2. – Tamburelli, Haralick and Balossino.

Besides, while only relying on 3D images showing solid objects whose very lack of clarity actually forbids to scientifically or archaeologically reach any conclusive identification one way or the other, the same arch-sceptics (who are neither archaeologists nor professional/scholar numismatists or palaeographers), also ‘think they see’ “maybe potshards … not coins” (my emphasis) over the eyes! Now when requested to tell what they could see in a photographic enlargement (a third generation reversed photonegative copy of 1931 Enrie’s Turin Shroud face photograph) of the Man’s right eye area, both the American professional numismatist and Greek classical coin expert, Michael Marx and the Israeli scholar numismatist and Jewish coin expert, Ari Kindler, each time ‘at first sight-and-brain’, did independently identify4 the very partial inscription left on the burial cloth inner side by a Pilate coin. The two genuine coin-experts’ opinion is totally overlooked by agenda-driven ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics to promote their unqualified ‘I think I see nothing but’!

Most unfortunately, the ‘anti-coins-over-eyes’ still heavily rely on the American technical photographer Barrie Schwortz. Now the latter totally seems to ignore it is common knowledge, among criminologists, archaeological image and text analysts and cryptanalysts that, besides mechanical squeeze, chemical revelatory substance, alternative light and 3D laser scanning, the best aids for reading/deciphering purposes of 3D encoded image, handwriting and inscription “ridges/marks” (invisible or almost invisible to the naked eye) on paper and fabric, are HD digitizing and amplifying if need be (to reach 255 levels of contrast) and applying false colour (via paint brush), 2D to 3D conversion and/or digital squeeze to authentic photographs originally taken under appropriate raking light. 1931 Enrie’s Shroud face authentic orthophotographs are not simply very aesthetic, as ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics want us to believe, far from it.

Once digitally contrast-enhanced and mostly because of a longer time exposure under appropriate raking light and the use of specially designed filters that enhance local contrast, they did capture and reveal the finest details of the Shroud face image and haematic (or blood) imprints along with the characteristic weave pattern and the folds and creases of the linen fabric at scales 1:1 and 2:3. As such and regardless of 2008 HAL9000’s HD digital photograph that should allow researchers to analyze the Shroud in unprecedented detail, Enrie’s digitized authentic reversed negatives and positives are still the best candidates available so far (along with digitized 1978 Miller’s authentic silver black & white + 2002 Durante’s authentic digital photograph of the Shroud face as double or triple check) for detecting and studying any possible 3D encoded (bloodstained) coin tiny patterns embedded in the suspected image areas. Therefore, unless one is in denial and only rely on arch-sceptics’ literature as a new Turin Shroud gospel carved in stone, Enrie’s digitized contrast-enhanced authentic photographs taken under raking light do yield usable and accurate information even more modern photographs fail to do. This is made pretty obvious with the photographic enlargement comparison of the right eye area from Shroud face photographs shot in different techniques (see my December 11, 2012 post on this very blog).

Thus most strikingly, people totally alien to the five-six main fields of expertise and/or approaches here involved5, currently claim ‘they think they don’t see’ Pilate coin partial tiny imprints on the eye areas and adamantly contend they are ‘pure pareidolia’. Most misleadingly again, from technical photograph Schwortz to laser physicist Di Lazzaro and laser engineer Murra or religion historian Lombatti or lawyer Rinaldi or linguist Guscin or business executive Porter, the ‘half-blind’ arch-sceptics tend to totally underrate or even simply ignore falsely negative perception in terms of (colour,) distribution and shape.

Most obviously, they ignore that their own misperception is based on vague dissimilarities, little or no familiarity at all with most specific patterns, sheer critics of biased detection, identification and extraction thus favouring a most subjective non-structuring of hidden palaeographic reality.

4. – Respectively in the late seventies and mid-eighties. 5. – Namely professional/scholar numismatics, palaeography, archaeological bloodstain pattern analysis and archaeological image professional analysis/cryptanalysis.

53 thoughts on “Max thinks I’m a half-blind arch-skeptic”

  1. OK, So I found all three cats, and I didn’t know where to start searching for them. Picture are in technicolour, and it would be a lot more difficult to find them in monochromatic. I know where the eyes are on the Shroud image, so I know where to look, but most of the images we see are monochromatic. No matter how hard I try I cannot even persuade myself that there may be coins there. They may have been there once, but theycannot be seen now.

    I think I have to stand by my remarks at posting headed Vincenzo Giovanni Guerrelo, #20, May 22, 7:50am. Also, see Theseus’ lines, W Shakespeare, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” Act V, Sc 1, lines 2-21, below:

    “… I never may believe
    These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
    Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The lunatic, the lover and the poet
    Are of imagination all compact:
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
    That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
    Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
    The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
    Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such tricks hath strong imagination,
    That if it would but apprehend some joy,
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
    Or in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a bear!”

  2. Dan, thank you for publishing my slightly provocative response to your slightly provocative posting and other’s too final comments. BTW two pictures are missing here… where have they gone?

    To Dave: Are you trying to hide-and-seek behind W Shakespeare? BTW was it really Shakespeare who wrote those very lines you lavishly quote? Are you dead sure?

    My reply: Many look, few see still many have certainties.(This is not Shakespeare)

    Re coins over eyes, you wrote: “No matter how hard I try I cannot even persuade myself that there may be coins there.” There are no coin there! Only their very partial tiny imprints . They can be seen only on enhanced digitized/digital authentic photographs. Which photograph(s) are you relying on?

    If you’re are relying on a photograph from Mario’s website, bear in mind what I wrote on June 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm #6 reply:

    “BEWARE! What is presented on SST as “2002 Durante Shroud Face Photograph” is actually nothing but a detailed view of the 2002 Durante overall Shroud photograph. Many significant tiny details are lost. Anyway Mario is doing a great job with his website.”

  3. Additional comment to Dave post: How easy is Shakespeare supposed to have written those lines.

  4. Dave you also wrote: “OK, So I found all three cats, and I didn’t know where to start searching for them.”

    So, next time, would you allow me to help you to know where to start searching for two Pilate coin obverse very partial tiny imprints, or wouldn’t you?

  5. Reminder for Dave: the Greek name for theatre – theatron – stems from theasthai, which means ‘to regard’ or ‘to look’. Theatron therefore is the ‘place from where you look’. Too bad you just don’t know where to start searching even within a space as narrow as that of the a ‘Globe’.

  6. Dave (again), you wrote: “OK, So I found all three cats”. How come, Dan published only 2 pictures out of the three I emailed him? Don’t you tell me you have been a victim of a the ‘I think I see’ syndrome too (besides the ‘I think I see nothing’ syndrome)…

  7. The controversy over the coins on the eyes is in my mind a distraction. You have I believe two overwhelming facts about the Shroud: the blood and the body image. Frankly, my problem with the coins has to do with the body image.

    We know, I can fairly state, that blood and the image are the esults of two different processes. That i can readily understand. But the coins are metalic. Are there anyother parts of the body image that are man-made? Am I wrong to note that it appears to me that the identifiable parts of the image are all parts of the body.

    If there were coins over the eyes what ought to have resulted is a blockage of the 1mage, not a part of it.

    This doesn’t answer the question of whether there were coind on the eyes. It raises an issue of image formation.

    The image appears to be primarily the biological body. Anything like a coin is an add-on. Add-ons exists on the Shroud, but are any part of the image non-biological add-ons?

    I am going to say something now which may seem a little off message. Please no invective or insults in any response. If you need further definition of the question, let me know.

  8. John, I do understand your viewpoint BUT it does seem you totally missed a comment of mine (see my December 11, 2012 post on this very blog):

    “3/Would not the Turin Shroud’s three up, one down twill-weave linen fabric have been far too coarse to resolve the average 1.5mm high letters on such a small coin?

    The Shroud thread count is 38 lengthwise (warp) threads of 0.14mm in average diameter and 26 widthwise (weft) threads of 0.25mm in average diameter woven into a measured one-centimeter square of the shroud fabric6.

    The 0.5cm Shroud body image resolution limit should not be mistaken for the 0.5mm Shroud blood imprint resolution limit that is also the visual resolution limit. Now – and contrary to the body image – it should be here emphasized that the intriguing faint and very tiny faint brown letter-grouping-like patterns on the right eye area do appear photographically positive like the blood stains on the linen cloth. If we apply the Occam razor principle (i.e. if we try to give the simplest explanation to account for sharply defined appearance of the very tiny impressions), in the light of a funeral custom, it might well be the kind of incomplete decal or tell-tale sign a coin manipulated with blood-stained fingertips and placed over the right eyelid of the deceased is expected to leave on the internal upper side of a shroud soaked with a watery solution and pressed to the face. This has been demonstrated by experiments [Rodante’s and Moroni’s]7 (see figure 6) and just bypasses the theoretical objection that the threads would be too large to show this type of faint brown tiny letters on the Shroud face image.”

    Most likely, the Pilate coin obverse partial tiny imprints are bloodstain patterns (see 2002 Durante digital authentic or second generation copy on paper of the Turin Shroud face). Their colour can vary from faint mauve/brown to mauve/carmin brown or mauve/red brown depending on the lighting.

    Yes coins are metallic BUT….

    1. Very interesting. I think your explanation might work and it would be consistent with a separate process for the coins and the body image. It might also explain the very sketchy letters and image of the coins.

      That being said, I still think the most important thing are the blood stains and the body image which you long ago recognized are two very different processes. We have no argument about that.

  9. Correction: Their colour can vary from faint mauve/brown to mauve/carmin brown or MAUVE/RED depending on the lighting.

  10. Shakespeare’s “Dream”: The play appears in the 1st & 2nd Quarto, and all four Folios. All attribute Shakespeare as the author. There are a few plays in the Shakespearean catalogue where it is evident that at least two authors had a hand, including for example Henry VIII. Few serious scholars subscribe to the various alternative authorship speculations that abound. I was an active member of the Wellington Shakespeare Society some 15 years, when it arranged and commissioned the three major hangings in the new Globe Thestre in London under Sam Wannamaker. The hangings were prepared by various embroidery guilds throughout New Zealand. I was obliged to study the “Dream” several years ago as part of an English Lit course I was undertaking at the time, using the excellent text edited by Harold F Brooks, which has copious annotations. MSND was written about 1595-96, evidently intended as part of a wedding entertainment. A recurring theme throughout the play is the contrasts between reality and illusion, between perception and objectivity. It is specifically covered in the essay I previously mentioned: “A Bush or a Bear?” by Cory Akin found at: This theme is neatly summarised in the Theseus lines I quoted.
    I saw a relevant connection with the very many discussions arising on pareidolia controversies on this site.

    Cats: Dan may only have posted two pictures, but I quite quickly saw at least three cats. If I persist in looking more closely, I can see even more of them. If in fact there are only two real cats in the two pictures, then I think that reinforces some of the points I was attempting to make in this whole discussion.

  11. Dave you wrote: “Dan may only have posted two pictures, but I quite quickly saw at least three cats”. The TRUE fact is there is REALLY only ONE CAT per picture. That’s says it all….

    By the way I am also “le Président d’une association pour la création théatrale à Nantes” called “Pour en Finir” after the title of a play by Bukowski… I also studied “Shakespeare”’s “”Latewinter Days’s Dave Dream” and… “Much Ado About I Think I See Nothing But”…

    1. Actually, I am not even sure you have correctly identify the cat each time….

    1. I’m unaware of the two plays Max mentions, perhaps he has not quoted the titles correctly. However I did also study Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for G.o.d.ot” where nothing happens twice. The heavily burdened ‘Lucky’ arrives but apparently remains unrecognised. Illusion and reality again!

      “Actually, I am not even sure you have correctly identify the cat each time….” Further reinforcement of the points I was making!

      1. SOMEthing actually did happen in Act One: you were the victim of BOTH falsely positive AND/OR negative perceptions as far as a hidden cat in full view was concerned… and it did happen once and twice, thrice in all I had not to wait to long for you to flunk the test).
        BTW did you check out each perceptive test solution (see: gato escondido en imagenes)?

    2. “G.o.d.ot: “… nothing happens twice …” – open to two possible interpretations. Illusion and reality again. The third Act is a mirror of the first Act. Nothing happens in both Acts.

      1. See above (with correction: “(actually) and it did happen once and twice, thrice in all. I had not to wait to long for you too ‘brilliantly’ flunk the test.

      2. But you would say that, regardless! There are cats everywhere in the second picture. Anyhow I’m in good company. Even our cricketers have an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

      3. I cannot help thinking you’re indulging in sarcastic replies just not to acknowledge the fact you do have a blind spot (like most people actually) in your eye-and -brain coordination system.

      4. Reminder: A truly honest Shroud scholar and/or researcher must search for both favourable and disfavourable evidence as a fair survey of both sides of the issue whatever which side the coin may finally fall on.

      5. I attempted the retort reminiscent, the retort perceptive, the retort rational, and the retort jocose. When none of these worked, I can assure you that I still spared you the retort sarcastic!

  12. 2John Klotz re coins and image.

    You unconciously progect the image formation as a photography or X-rays where metallic obgects and body tissue will behave differnetly adn tissue will be obliterated by the metal image.

    However, the image formation might not involve those types of the rays – in ultrasound image or MRI the waveforms behave differently. If the process of image formation involves some kind of waveform refraction, it might not be behaving the way we see it in the X-rays.

    I do not necesaily see any coins but I would not exclude the possibility 100% just on the premise of obliteration of the image

  13. Jesterof, the Pilate coin partial tiny images are not obliterated. They still can be found on 1931 Enrie’s, 1978 Miller’s and 2002 Durante’s digitized/digital authentic and second generation copies of the Shroud face (not on the corresponding overall photographs).

  14. Max, the objection from John is not that Pilate coin is obliterated but that the coin itself should obliterate the image formation and it did not.
    So I just explained that not every waveform ( if the image formation is connected to the waveforms) will be impaired by the metal coin

  15. Ok jesterof. However I am still not sure exactly what yo mean by “image”. Reminder there are 4 different types of images involved on the orbital areas: body, blood,non-body and bloody non-body images.

  16. Dr Dan I have processed the right eye and a Roman coin with a face in the middle has been revealed. This can easliy be verified by finding a Roman coin with these outer markings and middle face impressions

  17. Vincenzo, you have to be extra-careful when it comes to identify partial faint tiny coin features especially when recurring to this very low definition image processing technique that is far from being appropriate for detection, extraction and identification in terms of accurate location, colour, shape and numismatic distribution. Visions and semblances can very easily take over. Best.

    1. Max all I can identify is the round circular shape with pattern edges and a face in the centre. We now need a numismatic expert to try and reveal this coin

  18. Since not everyone can see the supposed coins on the eyes, you’d have to come up with an objective way to measure values that would prove this. I cannot imagine how this would be done, but while I cannot see the coins on the eyes, one certainly cannot use Enrie’s photos since they do not show what is really there but are enhanced and actually lose image information in the enhancement.

  19. Reminder for Andy, orthochromatic photographs were used as late as the 1980s for scientific research.
    Besides, you totally missed my point: RAKING LIGHT is a must along with amplification in terms of contrast in order to decode latent or half latent images. Most obviously you are neither a computer science expert nor a professional orthophotographer or a criminologist or a cryptologist with ancient graffitis as one of your specialities…

  20. Dr Dan,its definitley a coin have done an extreme close up maybe Jewish not Roman

  21. Vincenzo, the very lack of clarity and resolution here actually forbids to scientifically or archaeologically reach any conclusive identification whatsoever (coin, potshard, petal-less flower head etc)

  22. No Max it may not have resolution but it has enough features to say it is a coin, and PS: Have commenced to process the left eye and it is virtually identical to this one,will place clip up of left eye asap

  23. Max if its not a coin it is a carved piece of stone with a face in the centre

  24. Vincenzo, although I do agree, originally coins were placed over the TS man’s eyes, I very much doubt your angular image processing is the best way to scientifically and archaeologically demonstrate they are really there as identifiable coins.

  25. Max at this stage I would have to say that my latest image of the object on the eye is the best image ever seen of this object and am sure it will assist many experts.

  26. The number 12 at bottom of the coin is seen and there is another number next to it.

  27. Vincenzo, just beware of pareidoliae… we do have to get out of BOTH falsely positive and falsely negative perceptions and finally see ‘the real things’ as far as faint tiny partial coin imprints are concerned ..

  28. Max, I have just processed a stage 3 of the right eye,you can see it kindly placed up by Dr Dan on the other article abut conspiracy Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello. I never believed in the coin theory till now.

  29. Andy you wrote: “Since not everyone can see the supposed coins on the eyes, you’d have to come up with an objective way to measure values that would prove this. I cannot imagine how this would be done.”

    A traditional algorithmic approach (e.g. via Lucus software program), an original eidomatic-numismatic reading-grid based on (archaeological) bloodstain pattern analysis and a digital attempt at faithfully reconstructing each time a Pilate coin type (from the faint intriguing bloodstain-like patterns on the suspected area) can do the job all right.

  30. Dr Dan your afraid to show the clip with the face processed from the coin ? please let people see it

    1. No. I’m not going to continue acting as a link farm for what I think are never ending senseless videos. Send me some evidence that your methods are valid. I can’t imagine anything less than agreement from a couple of real university, corporate or government scientists that your method is scientifically valid. This matter is closed until then.

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