NASA had nothing to do with it.

The VP-8 Image Analyzer was a simple non-programmable analog computer
from Interpretations Systems Incorporated that produced simulated
3D elevations from brightness maps, often called height fields.


How many times have we read something like this?

the Shroud uniquely has 3D information embedded in the image, which was only discovered by NASA scientists in 1976.

Or heard something like this, in this case from a recent Simon Brown video?

Peter Shumacher, the inventor of the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer, describes the discovery of the 3 D image.

NASA had nothing to do with it. Really. It was not the NASA VP-8 Image Analyzer. And Peter Shumacher did not invent it.

Barrie Schwortz tells us in a recent comment:

The VP-8 was purchased by William Mottern of Sandia Laboratories from Interpretation Systems to use in the examination of the x-rays they were making at the lab. Bill felt it was another way to extract image data from nearly monochromatic x-rays. He originally saw the VP-8 advertised in a trade journal and bought one. Shortly after the Shroud image was placed into Bill’s VP-8, Jackson and Jumper purchased one for STURP’s use and the man who came to install it was Pete Schumacher, founder of the New Mexico Shroud Museum in Alamogordo.

Two of our team members were from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and were directly involved in the space program. Don Lynn was in charge of imaging on the Voyager, Viking, Mariner and Galileo projects. At some point in time, some journalist out there wrote erroneously that the VP-8 was used in the space program and it seems to have stuck and become part of Shroud “mythology.” JPL had far more sophisticated technology than the VP-8.

Andy in another comment clarified:

Just to clarify Barrie’s comment on one point, as Pete Schumacher tells it, the VP8 was donated by Interpretation Systems to Jackson & Jumper for their work. I’m fairly sure they didn’t have the $25k it would take to purchase it then. Pete agreed to deliver and install it if the company would pay for the gas. This was Pete’s introduction to the Shroud and he had no knowledge prior to seeing the 3D green screen image in Jumper’s basement. He knew the VP8 did not do 3D, but made brightness maps as one of its functions.

A page at, a description of one of the 1978 Examination Photographs, provides more information.

7 thoughts on “NASA had nothing to do with it.”

  1. The opening words of the article you link to are: “Designed in the 1960’s for creating relief maps from moon photographs…”

  2. Nice catch! I’ll have to rewrite the opening to that very old article written in 1996. It is incorrect. The recent comments I made are accurate and I thank Andy and Pete Schumacher for correcting my comments yesterday. I did not know the VP-8 had been donated to STURP by the manufacturer. I’ll update the article later today. Thanks Mike!

  3. The first line should read VP8, not VP9 (a video codec).

    Pete Schumacher was the Production Engineer for the VP8 Image Analyzer. He most certainly did not invent it. The following paragraph contains links to more VP8 specific information.

    See for specific information about the VP8 that I created with Pete’s direction and correction. See also Pete’s paper Photogrammetric Responses From The Shroud of Turin for some more information You can also visit and select either the audio only or video of Pete speaking about the VP8/Shroud.

Comments are closed.