Comment Promoted: Are the Quad Mosaics Meaningless?

“Yer gotta larf, han’t yer…,” writes Hugh

And because he may be right.
And because the worst thing any of us can do
is promote authenticity or inauthenticity, on questionable information.

On the other hand . . . well, let’s be sure, now and thanks for the opportunity.

clip_image001Hugh commented in Cat Among the Pigeons:

The six quad mosaic images are at, close to the bottom. Two of them are enlargements of others. Three of the remaining four show exactly the same colouration: namely a pale blue upper, bright yellow middle and orange base, with green lower left-hand corners. The fourth has a blue central smudge which does not extend as far as the other three.

In his article “Some Details about the STURP Quad Mosaic Images” ( Barrie Schwortz quotes Jean Lorre, as follows:

“There was a strong illumination brightness falloff from the centre. This was eliminated by dividing each image by a flat field.”

Well it wasn’t, was it? Each of the images is brighter in the centre than it is around the edges. The flat field process may have diminished the brightness falloff, but it didn’t eliminate it, and that’s important. What Lorre is clearly explaining is what was hoped, or expected, not what actually happened. Let’s go on.

“We wanted to enhance the colour to reveal subtle colours which might betray spatial variations in chemical composition. […] we greatly exaggerated the colour saturations while preserving the original hues and intensities.”

A noble idea, but it didn’t work. Lorre wishes so much that it had, that he loses all touch with his own images in his next sentence.

“These colour images should be interpreted as a chemical composition map.”

Shall we take him at his word? Shall we agree that the blue bands across the top of three of the quad images really represent different chemicals from the yellow and orange below them? What might these blue bands be? They may be found across the front of the thighs, the head, and the buttocks. Shall we?

Or shall we agree that the illumination of the areas of the shroud by the photographic lights are responsible, and the colours have nothing to do with the chemical composition of the shroud at all.

Oh, and the image described as “ultraviolet” by Rogers? It’s the shape of the patches which gives it away. It’s the one captioned Quad Mosaic Dorsal Legs, which shows the bloodstained feet at the top, and nearly reaches the buttocks at the bottom. The camera zooms meaningfully into the bottom left hand corner of this image, apparently under the impression that it is looking at the medieval patching of the radiocarbon corner.

Yer gotta larf, han’t yer…

or cry!

10 thoughts on “Comment Promoted: Are the Quad Mosaics Meaningless?”

  1. Thanks, Joe, for introducing something new.
    (Didn’t you just know there would be a ‘however’?)

    This paper begins with the information that the research therein would be based on a UV-F photograph taken by Vernon Miller in 1978, which can be found at Shroud Science Group website. The photograph, unchanged, is reproduced in the paper as Figure 1. It is in varying shades of brown, with a very bright area from the backing cloth where the Raes sample was cut. Now I have Miller and Pellicori’s 1981 paper published in the journal of Biological Photography, which includes a detailed description of the set up for the UV photographs, and six well reproduced photographs. Neither the set up nor the photographs are at all consistent with the photograph which claims to be one of their photographs in Morgan’s paper. Their photographs are grey-blue rather than brown, and do not extend to the edges of the shroud. They exclude the radiocarbon corner altogether. In view of these comments I dispute that the photograph analysed by Morgan is a UV-F photograph at all. Can you clarify that?

    The paper goes on to increasingly elaborate methods to demonstrate that the colour of the radiocarbon area is different from the rest of the shroud, but does not even mention, let alone discuss, that that the area around the burn holes is exactly the same colour. It is a major argument against Morgan’s hypothesis that difference in colour represents difference in chemical composition, but he doesn’t even notice it.

    By far the biggest anomaly in the picture is the difference between the adjacent areas of Holland cloth, the area of the ‘missing corner’ and the area which once backed the Raes sample. If difference in colour represents difference in chemical composition, this is extremely significant. Once again, however, Morgan makes no comment at all.

  2. The Mosaic demonstrates “cross curve” characteristics of each separation due to improper exposure balance to each separation film. The project also fails to provide any calibration procedure used to calibrate each separation curve. I’m sorry to say, As a dye transfer technician in the 70’s this is nothing more than improper exposures of each separation film. Any conclusion based on this image is speculative.

  3. Hugh Farey wrote :
    “… let alone discuss, that that the area around the burn holes is exactly the same colour. It is a major argument against Morgan’s hypothesis that difference in colour represents difference in chemical composition, but he doesn’t even notice it. …”

    Well …
    Where is the new study ?
    Where is the “Multivariate analysis of spectroscopic data” ?
    I wrote that because
    I have read the Abstract of the study :
    “Application of chemometric analysis to UV-visible and diffuse near-infrared reflectance spectra.”
    by Christopher Brent Davis
    Abstract :
    >Multivariate analysis of spectroscopic data has become more common place in analytical investigations due to several factors, including diode-array spectrometers, computer-assisted data acquisition systems, and chemometric modeling software. Chemometric regression modeling as well as classification studies were conducted on spectral data obtained with chili peppers and fabrics samples. Multivariate regression models known as partial least squares (PLS-1) were developed from the spectral data of alcoholic extracts of Habanero peppers. The developed regression models were used to predict the total capsaicinoids concentration of a set of unknown samples. The ability of the regression models to correctly predict the total capsaicinoids concentration of unknown samples was evaluated in terms of the root mean square error or prediction (RMSEP). The prediction ability of the models produced was found to be robust and stable over time and in the face of instrumental modifications. A near-infrared spectral database was developed from over 800 textile samples. Principal components analysis (PCA) was performed on the diffuse near-infrared reflectance spectra from these commercially available textiles. The PCA models were combined together into a soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) in order to classify the samples according to fiber type. The samples in the study had no pretreatments. The discriminating power of these models was tested by creating validation sets within a given fiber type as well as attempting to classify samples into a category that they do not belong to. The apparent sub-class groupings within the same fiber class were investigated as to whether or not they were caused by chemical processing residues, multipurpose finishes, or dyes
    — — —
    I hope in other kind of analyses (see, for example, the investigations using the Chemical Force Microscopy) in order to clarify the question …
    So …
    What is your answer about the CFM way in comparison with the other ways ?

  4. The first questions to discuss after the proper SPM analyses
    seems to be the comparison with the exact detection of contaminations
    and then there is to take into account the question of fungal and bacterial contamination …
    See, for example, the recent papers by Pam Moon …
    — — —
    But, “to begin at the beginning” :
    … my intervention (in 1998) was temporarily inserted
    in the field of “Conservation” (because I indicated the ancient plies as interesting
    areas to control). But soon I agreed to change this field of studies with another,
    and then the programmed intervention was integrated in the group by Dr. Scannerini (moderator) : “Trace Biology sessions”.

    The use of SPM investigation permits (in my idea) to underline what is
    the degree of mechanical aging and offers some useful indication about
    the cellulosic DP, etc.
    In any case the interesting argument of ancient fold-marks on the Shroud was firstly
    investigated by Dr. John Jackson, who identified ancient fold-marks, individually
    distinguishable as a ridge or valley type and several interesting areas (listed/catalogued
    starting from the letter A until to G) have been indicated by Ian Wilson
    in her own book : “The blood and the Shroud”.

    I don’t understand why the informations obtained using the Raman
    analyses (by Renishaw, 2002) were not recollected
    in the case of the 14C area … Perhaps the reason is the following :
    because the first attempt failed (in order to understand what happened,
    with this kind of Raman controls, read the paragraph of Raman controls
    in the interesting book by prof. Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta published in 2013)
    and after that fact, this interesting way (to improve the level of knowledges)
    was simply abandoned …
    — —
    But, before to continue (… for example, see also : the comparisons for the SPM controls
    with respect the ATR-FTIR controls) … I want to ask :
    What is your remark about this point (= the lack of Raman analyses
    on radiocarbon area and neighbourhood … ) ?

  5. I’m curious whether the opposite corner (on the same side of the Shroud) has ever been examined to see if it is consistent with the radiocarbon corner using SPM analysis. One would think that any unusual handling and possible mending that would create added material to skew the C14 date would also exist at that corner.

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