imageYannick sends this along for consideration:

Here’s two very relevant quotes from Adler’s book “The Orphaned Manuscript” about the color of the blood, which I would like jesterof, Mr. Kearse and other “specialists” to comment, especially when it comes to what Adler said about the bilirubin level found in the blood samples he analyzed…

The first quote come from the article “The Origin and Nature of Blood on the Turin Shroud”, which Adler wrote in 1986: “The next test we did was to take micro-spectrum photometry on the non-birefringent red-coated fibrils from the Shroud. It was obvious that the spectrum it produced did not match the spectrum of methemoglobin, at least as it is given in the standard references, which is a solution spectrum of blood. But in a film of hemoglobin there is a confirmation change; it no longer remains in the “met” form but goes to the para-hemic form. It is known now that there is a certain species which will spontaneously go to the para-hemic form if there is not enough turn-over in the spleen and the liver to process the blood fast enough. We found a spectrum that was characteristic of only one known group of compounds – the so-called high-spin, high-iron prophyrins. So instead of being wrong, the spectrum peaks were in the right place. What we were seeing was the breakdown products of hemoglobin – bilirubin and biliverdin. And one began to make sense out of all this. There is an extraordinary high bilirubin count, almost as high as the methomoglobin. Now how does one account for such a high bilirubin in a person? One possibility is that the person had a severe malaria, but this does not seem very likely. But a torture, scourging and crucifixion leading to shock – that would produce a tremendous hemolysis. In less than 30 seconds, the hemolyzed hemoglobin will run through the liver, building up a very high bilirubin content in the blood. If that blood then clots, the exudate forms, and all the intact cells with hemoglobin stay behind, only the hemolyzed hemoglobin goes out along with the serum albumin which binds the bilirubin. So what one ends up with on the cloth is an exudate which has an enhanced bilirubin index with respect to the hemolyzed hemoglobin. You now mix bilirubin which is yellow-orange with methemoglobin in its para-hemic form which is an orangey-brown and you get blood which has a red color.

In fact, we have been able to simulate this spectrum in the laboratory by the process described above. This very strongly suggests that the blood stains are of a man who was severely beaten. No one would have ever dreamed, when we first started doing the analysis, that the chemistry would provide corroborating evidence to what the pathologists concluded long ago about the Shroud figure. The blood has no cells, is very low in potassium, and has the right colour and composition for the blood of a man who was severely flogged and crucified. This is entirely consistent with the forensic evidence.”

And here’s the second quotes, which come from the article “Chemical and Physical Characteristics of the Blood Stains”, which Adler wrote much later, in 2000 (just before his death): “In traumatic shock, as would be experienced under flogging and crucifixion, red blood cells lyse and the released hemoglobin is both bound up in haptoglobin-hemoglobin aggegates (a brownish denatured methoemoglobin color) and also degraded by enzymatic action in the liver to bilirubin which is also bound up in protein complexes, mainly with albumin (a yellow orange color). When such blood is shed and then clots, the exudate will contain these protein bound complexes and aggregates with an expected range in non-uniform color from red to orange, while most intact cells will remain in the clot. A simulation of such a traumatic blood exudate prepared from laboratory chemicals as a control matches the appearance and properties of this class of test objects. However, a simulated artistic paint pigment mixture of iron oxide and mercuric sulfide in a gelatin binder does not make such a match. Thus the chemical testing not only supports the forensic conclusion that the blood marks are derived from contact of the cloth with clotted wound exudates (note: this was first described by Pierre Barbet, in the 1930s I think), but that the shed blood was from someone who suffered a traumatic death as depicted in the images.”

Comment from me: After reading these quotes of Adler, the first conclusion that came to my head is the real possibility that the formation of both the body image and the bloodstains on the Shroud can well be due, at least partially, to the highly traumatic state of the Shroud man’s body when it was placed inside the Shroud… I have a sense that this very particular state of the Shroud man’s body could have had huge impact, not only on the formation of the body image, but also on the resulting coloration of the blood, by causing a dramatic increase of the bilirubin level in it. After reading everything Adler and Rogers wrote about the Shroud, I came to this conclusion and, honestly, I really think this idea that we cannot understand the real nature of the blood, as well as the real nature of the body image, if we forget the fact that the corpse who was placed in the Shroud was a highly traumatized corpse, as some very good chances to be true.

I also think these two quotes from Adler’s paper gave us, among other things, an interesting clue concerning the question asked by jesterof the other day about why the bilirubin has been able to be preserved in the blood for so long. Effectively, Adler told us that the very particular blood transfer that occurred on the cloth came from exudates of humid blood clots instead of coming from whole blood in liquid form (a nuance by the way that Zugibe never seemed to have fully understood or else he would never have proposed his “theory” about the washing of the corpse) and that such a form of blood transfer have caused the formation of bloodstains which have AN ENHANCED BILIRUBIN INDEX. I think this particular part of Adler’s paper can give us at least part of the solution concerning jesterof interrogation… One thing’s for sure: If we believe Adler’s conclusion, the very particular kind of blood transfer that occurred on the Shroud really HAD A HUGE IMPACT on the bilirubin that was trapped inside the bloodstains (on its particular nature and also, I think, on its high level). I really think that this particular blood transfer mechanism can well be the major cause of the reddish coloration of these stains that we still can observed today, particularly when they are placed in sunlight or under another source of UV light. I think this kind of transfer could have helped to “stabilise” the bilirubin (which is normally an unstable compound) inside the bloodstains.

I really think also that a blood expert should analyse this hypothesis in deep under proper lab conditions, because it seem that a major part of the solution concerning the very probable preservation of the bilirubin inside the bloodstains until this day could lie right there, along with the very probable historical fact that the Shroud was almost constantly kept and preserved inside different kinds of containers, which greatly helped the bilirubin inside the bloodstains to avoid to get exposed to open-air, sunlight and any other source of UV light.

Now, I’ll wait for jesterof, Mr. Kearse and any other blood specialist to tell us what they think of these particular quotes from Adler’s book, especially when it comes to the presence of a very high bilirubin content in the blood that he claimed to have been able to scientifically demonstrate? I would also like to hear you about my hypothesis concerning the particular blood transfer from exudates of blood clot, which could be one of the major causes of the good preservation of the bilirubin inside the bloodstains until this day (which is, in my mind, probably the main cause of the brightness of the color of the blood when it is exposed to sunlight or to another form of UV light)…

Cover photo from publisher Cantalupa (Torino) : Effatà Editrice, 2002 via Google Books