Two Comments Promoted: Colin Berry Has Cracked the Shroud Enigma?

take the time to read Colin’s work with an open mind.

Thibault Heimburger writes a comment:

Look at:
http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/after-2-years-and-over-200-postings-i-think-ive-finally-cracked-it-the-enigma-of-the-shroud-of-turin/

imageSo, Colin finally “cracked” the enigma of the Shroud. He now can explain all of the properties of the Shroud image, i.e superficiality at fiber and thread/fabric level, half-tone etc…

Most of his claims are based on theoretical hypotheses. However, I think that CB’s claims has to be considered seriously.

What do we need ?

We need some experiments.

I can perform some experiments.

David Goulet responds:

I don’t think anyone has explored the scorch theory to the degree Colin now has. Agree with him or not you have to respect the work he’s put into it. He needs to be taken seriously indeed. I will look forward to your experiments and to the comments of others here who review his latest conclusions. And folks, before commenting, please do take the time to read Colin’s work with an open mind. There are insights to be had.

40 thoughts on “Two Comments Promoted: Colin Berry Has Cracked the Shroud Enigma?”

  1. “I don’t think anyone has explored the scorch theory to the degree Colin now has. Agree with him or not you have to respect the work he’s put into it.”

    Temperature ?
    Contact pressure ?
    Time ?

  2. I’m looking for the tufts on Mark Evans pics where the more heavily scorched fibres broke away.They should be everywhere if Colin’s theory is right. So where are they? Also check out the heavily scorched areas near to burn marks. I cannot see any tufts there either.

  3. Excellent! Now that Colin has solved this can we expect him to move onto something else?

    Apologies, but I think Colin is about as scientific as Mythbusters.

    1. Mythbusters may be pop science but it serves a purpose — and it has debunked many a myth convincingly. Comparing Colin to that show isn’t the put down you may think it is.

      1. When Colin can produce a whole shroud as convincing as the one in Turin I’ll believe his science.

  4. The last two posts have displayed both ends of the spectrum. Stephens hacking (extreme pro-authenticity)and Colin’s scorching (extreme anti-authenticity) are both lacking evidence and go against most of what we already know about the shroud. Both of them will never change their mind and I think both are unnecessary distractions. Supporters of each hypothesis conveniently close their eyes when confronted with the obvious contradictions and lack of evidence. It’s actually fun to watch but is ultimately a waste of time, almost like most of the movies nowadays.

    1. Before Colin’s heated crucifix experiment it was said that only the Shroud displayed certain 3D imaging qualities. His experiment demonstrated that the Shroud was not unique, that a scorch presented similar properties. If that experiment was a waste of time, then we need a lot more of it wasted.

      1. David, The shroud image has to be viewed in its totality. 3D information is just a small piece of the puzzel. You can paint a 3D image (Emily Craig did it) but is it the same as the shroud? Is the crucifix scorch image that shows up in 3D monochrome or superficial. Off course not. The darker areas on the shroud are not heavier in colour nor penetrate deeper in the fabric. They are all in monochrome and the darkness is because of the number of coloured fibres per square area. Did CB check uv fluorescence, did he check his image in transmitted light, did he check the depth of the image, was the density of the image a factor of colour variation or number of fibres? We don’t run away with one characteristic and say we have cracked the mystery of the shroud. To me this is as bad as the hacker hypothesis. Both want to promote their own agenda rather than seeking the truth.

  5. As I always said, when you consider together the evidence coming from the bloodstains (who told us the Shroud is a real burial cloth of a real crucified man and who told us also that the blood came on the cloth before the image) and the ultra-superficiality of the image no matter if it’s in a very dark zone or a very faint zone, it’s EVIDENT that the Shroud image cannot be the result of a man-made scorch. And for those who would be tempted to think it could be the result of a supernatural scorch that would have come at the time of the Resurrection of Jesus, the simple fact that the blood on the cloth has not been damaged at all by the image formation process is enough to reject that possibility. Next!

  6. “And for those who would be tempted to think it could be the result of a supernatural scorch that would have come at the time of the Resurrection of Jesus, the simple fact that the blood on the cloth has not been damaged at all by the image formation process is enough to reject that possibility.”

    Assuming then that the image forming process was destructive?

    1. The data coming from the blood indicates that it was not damaged in any way by a high level of heat and strongly suggest an event that happened at normal temperature…

      1. Of course, I’m not talking about the bloodstains that are located in proximity with the various burn holes on the cloth, but all the other bloodstains.

  7. So far, as far as I know, Colin has been scorching unprepared cloth, which needs a relatively high temperature. Using hints from various sources, I have prepared linen by dripping molar solutions of sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide on it. After it has completely dried, the test areas darken much more readily on heating than the original. This leaves us open to a couple of experimental directions: firstly, that the image could have been created by scorching, but at a much lower temperature than we normally call “scorching,” and secondly that a latent image could have been created by contact with an acid (possibly paint based) or an alkali (possibly biologically based), and the image ‘developed’ by age, heat, or a combination of the two.

  8. ChrisB: ” Also check out the heavily scorched areas near to burn marks. I cannot see any tufts there either.”

    That’s true.
    Surprisingly, I can’t see any evidence of abrasion in the 1532 burned areas.

    Yannick: “The data coming from the blood indicates that it was not damaged in any way by a high level of heat and strongly suggest an event that happened at normal temperature…”

    Yes, but remember that Colin does not consider the protease tests showing that blood came first as truly reliable. For me, given the data, I consider the “blood first” hypothesis as very probable, but I agree that more experiments are needed.

    Hugh: ” So far, as far as I know, Colin has been scorching unprepared cloth, which needs a relatively high temperature. Using hints from various sources, I have prepared linen by dripping molar solutions of sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide on it. After it has completely dried, the test areas darken much more readily on heating than the original. This leaves us open to a couple of experimental directions: firstly, that the image could have been created by scorching, but at a much lower temperature than we normally call “scorching,” and secondly that a latent image could have been created by contact with an acid (possibly paint based) or an alkali (possibly biologically based), and the image ‘developed’ by age, heat, or a combination of the two.”

    I do not understand why you used sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide on the linen.
    Do you think that a medieval forger used this kind of highly complex process ?
    Or did I miss something ?

    My opinion is the same: the scorch hypothesis does not explain the TS image.
    However, Colin provides some precise details that have to be tested.

    I have some ideas to test Colin’s ideas at thread and fabric level.
    However, I am interested in your ideas.

    1. Concerning your answer to my comment, I agree that it would be much better if we could have an independent confirmation that 1- the blood was never submitted to any high temperature and 2- the blood was on the cloth first.

      But having said that, I don’t see any good reason presently to seriously doubt those 2 conclusions that came from Adler and Rogers.

    2. And more than this: because all the other data coming from the Shroud are pointing seriously in direction of a natural process for image formation that involved a real crucified corpse (the stochastic distribution of colored fibers in the image area is the strongest of these data, but many others exist also) and because the evidence of the bloodstains prove the Shroud is a real burial cloth of a real crucified person, I think we can feel very confident that both conclusion I mentioned above will eventually be confirmed if a new series of direct research can be allowed by the Vatican.

  9. Very interesting theory. If the Shroud isn’t an authentic relic, then something like this would be the most likely way it was done. It still seems far fetched to me though that anyone would have thought about creating a forgery in this way in the Middle Ages. I also don’t buy the Geoffrey De Charny theory(sorry, Colin). If it’s a fake, it was meant to be Jesus Christ from day one. Just my humble opinion.

  10. CB just cracked nothing (actually he just recycled a couple of ideas of mine and have them fit his overall “scorching theory).

  11. Hi Thibault. The sulphuric acid was suggested by Garlaschelli, and the alkali by various people thinking about either the way the shroud was prepared, or ammoniacal exudation from a body. I do have some ammonia but it’s nasty stuff and I was experimenting indoors without a fume-cupboard! I must explain that these liquids were not applied together but on separate samples. An untreated shroud painted with a thick paint with a slightly acid medium might produce a latent image which would develop with heat and age. A body exuding ammonia might do the same. Or, if the shroud was made, or prepared, by using an alkali, then it would be more susceptible to low temperature degradation, such as that provided by a hot bas relief.

  12. I see a major problem with all anti-authenticists’ hypotheses that the Shroud was a 14th century artifact, that there was not the anatomical knowledge then, more especially so if earlier. The early Greek statuary may not be too bad anatomically but they’re still all too clearly stylized art works. Conversely, few artistic styles of the period dealt in such extreme realism as manifest on the Shroud.

  13. I think I may regret this, as it could start an out of control fire.
    There is only one man who could ever have discovered a secret method of creating the Shroud image just prior to the 14th century: the English polymath Roger Bacon, 1220-1292. English Franciscan philosopher and educational reformer who was a major medieval proponent of experimental science. Bacon studied mathematics, astronomy, optics, alchemy, and languages. He was the first European to describe in detail the process of making gunpowder, and he proposed flying machines and motorized ships and carriages. There’s very much more. He was well ahead of his time, a true pioneer in establishing the scientific method, and well ahead of Leonardo. However, my ref (Encyc Brit) does not credit him with any great anatomical knowledge. Dissection was proscribed for religious reasons from the time of Galen until Leonardo took it on himself to dissect cadavers.

    1. There is only one man who could ever have discovered a secret method of creating the Shroud image just prior to the 14th century: the English polymath Roger Bacon, 1220-1292.

      Dave; Please don’t forget that I first came with that idea (although obviously I don’t believe it) -so copyright reserved by me ;-)

    2. Hi O.K., haven’t heard from you in a while, good to see you’re still out there, What have you been up to?

      Roger Bacon was an amazing man, well ahead of his time, my Encyc Brit has heaps on him. You’ll recall that Geoffrey I de Charney spent some time in England as a war prisoner. He heard there about Roger’s experiments, and was able to smuggle the Shroud back on his return to France. That’s why the English killed him at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, when they found out about it after they’d heard he’d been displaying it at Lirey in 1355.

      1. The problem is that for a month time my Internet provider has been suffering some kind of breakdown -most probably a cable is broken somewhere, as me and a few of my neighbours have no connection. They had promised they woul have repaired it -by 13th this month. On 13th I received a message that it will be not until 31st -but I have little trust to them. I bought some provisional alternative, but with limited transfer, used only for the basic needs -to check mail or so. No You Tube or any extensive searching of the Internet.

        I hope they will finally make it work.

  14. All these comments on kitchen lab experiments on the «scorch hypothesis» are absolutely worthless.
    My advice for those who think that scorching linen can produce changes on fibers similar to those of Shroud of Turin image fibers is to read the thorough investigation on this issue by Dr. Thibault Heimburger. which is available on this Blog.
    «The Turin Shroud Body Image: The Scorch Hypothesis Revisited» is a worth reading article where macroscopic and microscopic aspects of linen scorching are approached with extrerme accuracy, and THE CONCLUSION IS THAT SCORCHING LINEN CANNOT REPRODUCE CHANGES SIMILAR TO THE ONES IN IMAGE AREAS OF THE TURIN SHROUD (even light scorching…)

    Acidic linen fiber oxidation as in Professor Garlaschelli’s experiment, couldn’t produce an image on linen similar to the Shroud’s ( on a microscopical examination) either.

    For those who claim otherwise here goes my challenge:
    This year you’ll have the opportunity to do your own presentations and show your results at St. Louis and Bari Conferences.
    If you are able to reproduce an image with ALL the properties of the original I’ll be the first to praise your work.

    regards
    Antero de Frias Moreira
    (Centro Português de Sindonologia)

  15. Correction:
    « All these comments on kitchen lab experiments on the scorch hypothesis are absolutely worthless»
    I didn’t mean to say that comments were worthless.
    My opinion based on reliable previous investigations on this issue is that «Scorch Hypothesis» actually cannot be considered as a possible way of obtaining an image on linen just like the one on the Shroud ,because it has already been disproved by previous researchers namely S.T.U.R.P and Dr. Thibault Heimburger, so these kitchen lab experiments bring NOTHING new to unveil how the Turin Shroud image was produced.
    I did not intend to disrespect any commenter on this post.

    Antero de Frias Moreira

    1. Where does insight come from if not from experimentation, even when the experiment itself may fail to prove one’s theory. Why do you think Dr. Heimburger is open to testing Colin’s results? Because he sees there is worth in the exploration.

      And speaking theologically, there is NEVER anything worthless in the exercising of our creativity and intellect in the search for truth. God delights in our misses as much as our hits. He did not create us to stand around and let others draw conclusions for us.

  16. I would be extremely interested to know what kind of investigation into the Shroud Antero thinks is not worthless. Rogers’s ammonia fumes? Fanti’s laser beams? Fleming’s biophotonics? Piczek’s event horizon?

    The scorch hypothesis has not been disproved by Heimburger at all. It was barely investigated, let alone disproved. My own investigations have produced much more solid evidence against the hypothesis, but I’m perfectly prepared to accept that there may be scorchy circumstances in which that does not occur.

  17. Forgive me if, as a layman, this sounds naive but if the image were a scorch then the image and the known scorches on the cloth of the same faintness should have the same characteristics, right? Given that the premise is that the cloth is of medieval origin then all the scorches, including the proposed image scorch, would be the same age. It should be a simple comparison that might lay the question to rest immediately if they are not comparable.

    And hasn’t this been done with Barry’s photography? All the known scorches fluoresce, correct? Yet the image does not, correct? If the image were a scorch of the same age and suffered the same effects of time, handling, etc then it should fluoresce like the others which are of the same intensity, right? If it doesn’t fluoresce then it’s not a scorch like the others. It’s tough to explain away the difference in characteristics. If the image were a scorch I’m thinking you would at least see some fluorescing, even intermittently, somewhere in that image.

    1. Absolutely correct, Chris. The fluorescence thing is the major flaw in the scorchers’ argument.
      BUT.
      (Isn’t there always a ‘but’)
      The faintness of the image suggests a very different process from the the very clear marks around the burn holes. Pellicori and Miller found that the dark scorches fluoresced in red, something I have been unable to achieve myself, and may have been produced in a very oxygen-poor environment. I have been unable to produce red fluorescence even when scorching cloth in an oxygen-free environment, so there may be something else which affected that fluorescence. Secondly, the entire cloth fluoresces quite brightly on its own, and I have no idea why. However it is difficult therefore to judge whether the faint image marks have a faint fluorescence of their own or not. My own experiments with heated spatulas, bas reliefs and so on invariably produce significant fluorescence as soon as, or even before, any discolouration of the cloth, but if the cloth was pre-treated, for example with an alkaline wash or primer, then the lower temperature required to produce discolouration might do so without producing fluorescence. I myself currently incline to a chemical rather than a heat ‘scorch,’ which might discolour cloth without producing any fluorescence at all.

  18. Thank you Antero.

    Dear Hugh, you wrote:
    “The scorch hypothesis has not been disproved by Heimburger at all. It was barely investigated, let alone disproved.”
    If “barely” means that I only tested the most simple scorch hypothesis (a hot flat template applied onto linen that gives very light, light and strong scorch marks), I agree.
    And I stand firm.
    I did not test more complex processes.

    “My own investigations have produced much more solid evidence against the hypothesis, but I’m perfectly prepared to accept that there may be scorchy circumstances in which that does not occur”.

    Why not to write a paper showing (with photos) your “solid evidence” against the hypothesis ?

  19. To Chris:
    Your reasoning on fluorescence of scorch areas and non fluorescence of Image under U.V. light is absolutely right.
    As far as I remember Dr.Alan Adler hypothesized that a faint fluorescence of non image areas of the Shroud could be explained by the presence of pectic residues on the fabric.

    To satisfy the request of Dr. Hugh Farey, the kind of scientific investigation on the Shroud I think is not worthless is the one done by honest scientists who are searching for the TRUTH, wihout an hidden anti authenticity agenda.
    Now just a little correction, you are mistaken stating that Professor Giulio Fanti investigated laser beams effects, his works studied rather the effects of Corona Discharge on linen fabrics, and he obtained interesting results indeed.
    Who studied the effects of Laser Beams on linen was Professor Paolo di Lazzaro’s team.

    May be one day I’ll have the pleasure to study a paper from your investigations on chemical scorching of linen fibers proving that a Shroud-like image with ALL PROPERTIES LIKE THE ORIGINAL (namely microscopic, absence of medulla coloration, colored fibers side by side with non colored fibers, 3D encoding etc.) can be obtained by this method.

    regards
    Antero de Frias Moreira
    (Centro Português de Sindonologia)

    1. “…the kind of scientific investigation on the Shroud I think is not worthless is the one done by honest scientists who are searching for the TRUTH, wihout an hidden anti authenticity agenda.”

      Assuming that to be a reference to me, might I point out that there is nothing “hidden” about my anti-authenticity position. I have always accepted the radiocarbon dating, being unimpressed by the quality of the data in support of “invisible reweaving”.

      My “honesty” as a published scientist in 20 or so years of postgraduate biomedical research and a further 10 years in education has never previously been questioned.

      Colin Berry MSc, PhD.
      Previously Head of Nutrition and Food Safety, Flour Milling and Baking Research Association, Chorleywood, Herts, UK.

  20. Thank you for your comments, Gentlemen. With your encouragement then, I will prepare a paper on the possibility that the shroud image could have been produced by some form of scorching for the June edtion of the Newsletter of the British Society for the Turin Shroud.

  21. I like to see honest discussion of the evidence going on here. I agree C. Berry’s ideas are worth continued investigation. And the concept of the cloth being treated with some agent to affect the scorching process is also worthy of further study. I grow frustrated with all the claims of “this has been proved” or “that’s been debunked” or “I’ve cracked it!”. That is not the language of serious science. As Ray Rogers himself said, “I don’t believe in miracles that defy the laws of nature”. While we are free to disagree with Rogers here, seeking the truth wherever it may lead is the only way forward.

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