imageThe question of the blood-covered face of the TSM is, in my opinion, a matter of great interest and importance. In the recent comment1, Hugh Farey raised a very important matter of the possible existence (or non-existence) of image under bloodstains. Based on Adler’s observation of cleansed blood fibers, it is generally assumed that there is no image under blood stains.2 But Hugh argues that:

All the Mark Evans photos showing bloodstains clearly show that most of the red particles have been rubbed off the upper surfaces of the threads, and are mostly confined to the cracks and crevices where one thread crosses another. The surfaces from which the blood has been rubbed off are as yellow as the rest of the image fibres, and do not carry the distinctive silky white appearance of the non-image threads.

So, in Hugh’s opinion, there is apparent conflict between Adler’s conclusions (it is however necessary to note that Pierluigi Baima-Bollone, who performed independent analysis of blood-covered threads agrees that there is no image under bloodstains3, earlier in 1973 other bloodied threads were analyzed by G. Frache and G. Filogamo) and Mark Evans photos. But another option comes to my mind, is it possible that some of the so called body image was actually created by blood?

What prompted me to this solution, is an analyzis of the various photographs of the Shroud, as well as Tamburelli & Ballosino’s eidomatic 3D reconstructions of the TSM face. Processing Enrie’s photos (STURP did not give them their images), they cleared the face from apparent blood flows and obtained these results:4


Another image shows eliminated blood traces:


That’s what interests us. Are those traces a real blood?

Evidences For Testing Hypotheses About The Body Image Formation Of The Turin Shroud by Fanti et al have following remark:

A44) The luminance level of the head image in the positive photograph of Durante (2000) is 10% and more lower (darker) than that of the whole body image (Moran 2002).

This was used by one sceptic to “prove” that the image of the face and rest of the body are separate images created by the forger. I refuted this statement by saying that this actually makes no sense, without clarification, what do we mean by luminance level (average, maximum) and what photography do we use. Because their sensitivity in different wavelengths can be different. That’s crucial here. Let’s analyze two photographs, one by Enrie, and one by Schwortz:


The differences are obvious. On the Schwortz photo, the blood marks are much more intense in comparison with the body image, than on Enrie one. It is due to the fact that Enrie’s plates were much more sensitive in the yellow part of the visual spectrum, while Schwortz’ were more sensitive in red. The most important observation is, however, that the face on the Schwortz’ is much more intense than on Enrie, almost as intense as the blood marks –thus suggesting that it is actually created by the blood marks! The most intense are beard, mustache, hair and eyebrows (which easily absorb blood) as well as nostrils, from which the blood spilled.

What’s connection of this to Hugh’s reservations? Hugh claims that the surfaces from which the blood has been rubbed off are as yellow as the rest of the image fibres, and do not carry the distinctive silky white appearance of the non-image threads. I want to ask, whether those darker fibers from the regions were blood has been rubbed off by erosion are actually not the image fibers (which would suggest that there is an image below blood stains, contrary to Adler and others) but blood residuals creating image. Thus there would be no conflict between Adler’s and Hugh’s observation. The slight differences in color, are, in my opinion, not enough to distinguish whether dark layer on the fiber is actually the image, or blood residuals.

Just my suggestion for further considerations. I would like to add also that one must remember that we don’t know precisely where blood flecks originally ended –the image areas on even individual fibers can be right next to the blood areas. Thus only direct examination of fibers can give us answer whether there is, or isn’t the image below blood.

1 See

2 See for example Evidences for testing hypotheses about the body image formation of the Turin Shroud , The Third Dallas International Conference On the Shroud of Turin: Dallas, Texas, September 8-11, 2005, Raymond N. Rogers, Frequently Asked Questions

3 Pierluigi Baima Bollone, Całun Turyński 101 pytań i odpowiedzi, Wydawnictwo Wam, Kraków 2002, pg. 143)

4 The images are taken from