Let the Experiments Begin

Hugh Farey writes as a comment:

image“Edgerton linen” was hand-produced by a Kate Edgerton, from plant to woven cloth, and then, much to Ray Rogers’s chagrin, ironed, which made it go yellow, so he soaked it in hydrogen peroxide to bleach it. He hoped, and was probably correct, that this had no effect on his subsequent experiments. Although the linen is descibed as prepared “following the methods used in the Near East in Roman times,” no details are given in “A Chemist’s Perspective on the Shroud of Turin.” I have acquired some quite stiff unbleached linen, however, and am prepared to give it a try, using leaves from soapwort mashed in water as a source of saponin, and commercial dextrin (a readily available water-soluble glue) as the starch. I also have ammonia and urea. The problem is “freshly dead” animals. The trouble here is to acquire enough for sufficient repeatable experimentation. However, after asking around, I find that people who keep snakes as pets feed them on frozen mice, which are available quite cheaply in bulk. This looks promising, so I’m preparing an appropriate protocol for just the experiments you suggest!

imageIncidentally, although my linen feels quite stiff and heavy, it has an areal density of only 16mg/cm2, which is considerably less than the Shroud, which therefore appears to be considerably thicker than I had previously imagined. As such, I think it will be much easier to produce discolouration on one side of the cloth only. Other investigators (Thibault? Colin?) might be able to comment further on this, and readers of this blog might like to weigh a bed-sheet themselves to confirm how flimsy it is compared to the Shroud.

9 thoughts on “Let the Experiments Begin”

  1. Hi Hugh,

    I don’t understand the sentence: ” However, after asking around, I find that people who keep snakes as pets feed them on frozen mice, which are available quite cheaply in bulk. This looks promising, so I’m preparing an appropriate protocol for just the experiments you suggest!”
    Snakes, mice ??
    Can you describe your protocol ?

  2. See previous posting https://shroudstory.com/2014/04/03/am-i-the-only-one/ comments #17 – #19.

    It arose from discussions about current experimentation, which I had felt had been directed more at checking out the assertions of anti-authenticists, and little seemed to have been done in following up the experiments with Edgerton linen carried out by Ray Rogers in 2003. Not entirely “tongue-in-cheek” I have long advocated for experiments with “time-expired lab animals”, to see what, if any, natural imaging might result from simulating the conditions of a dead body wrapped in linen under similar conditions as the Shroud-man. While many have preferred a miraculous explanation, I had considered that naturalistic explanations were far from exhausted and that no recent attempts had been done to check it out. There was the infamous “pig experiment” that Barrie had been coaxed into doing as part of a TV sensationalist documentary, but practically nothing else, except those by De Liso using a dead snake as part of her seismic invesigations. Mercifully, but perhaps unfortunately for his experiments, there are very few earthquakes in the UK, as it’s just possible they might also be a factor.

    I am grateful to Hugh for picking up the idea, and admire his resourcefulness. I wish him well in his endeavours. Whether he produces any images or not, whatever results may arise must inform as to what factors might be necessary as part of a naturalistic explanation.

  3. Hi Thibault, I’m currently thinking of preparing three types of linen – untreated, treated with saponin and dextrin, and treated with myrhh, and laying these around defrosted mice at about 20°C for three times (perhaps one day, three days and six days), observing the results and if necessary warming the cloths for a while to reveal any latent image. Any success will be followed up with confirmatory and extended experiments until I have used up a pack of 20 or 25 mice. Any deteroration of the linen due to ammoniacal decomposition, or putrescine, cadaverine or anything else ought to be observable.

    1. Well (it’s surprising where shroudology takes you sometimes) I find that young snakes are fed on “pinkies” which are only a few grams, and are young mice before they get any fur. If they are too small to be used individually, it may be necessary to use three or four at a time, but they are so cheap that I think the budget can stand that.

  4. Pinkies-got it! Might save a bit on the amount of cloth needed-Best of luck to you in your studies

  5. I am curious about the reults …

    I believe we have to observe (in a careful manner)
    the thin layers on linen fibrils …
    Thin layers obtained with different kind of experiments (included your new attempt).
    — —
    Ten days ago I observed the slide n. 21 (of 24) :
    “2002 Restoration Head 300DPI” versus “Schwortz Positive Head 72DPI”
    in “24 Years of Photography : 1978 Barrie Schwortz & 2002 Restoration Comparison”,
    clearly we can see an interesting difference (a “different aspect of Holy Face”) …
    but there was not the comparative table (of measurements).
    (Link : http://www.shroudnm.com/docs/SEAM-Turin-Shroud-Presentation5-Photography.pdf )
    … and then …

    I think we have to investigate the past vacuuming operations (Riggi) and the restore operation (in 2002) because I suspect some detachment of thin layers of linen fibrils
    (besides the dusts !) …
    Ageing of thin layers and vacuuming pressure can turn in a bad manner
    the original Imprint (and that presumed phenomenon is here
    underlined only from a speaking from a scientific point of view,
    taking apart the new arrangement of the famous ancient cloth …).

    I believe that some ghosts were detached from the image.
    So … we have to observe the dusts in a careful manner.

    What is your opinion ?

    Then tiny variations in adhesion of thin layers on linen fibrils
    can be investigated at nanometric (or angstrom) level using
    the SPM way and/or the Raman controls …

    In my idea we have to work in order to know what is the result
    from the (AFM andor Raman) investigations on values
    (obtained using the adequate experiments…)
    for adhesion of thin layers on linen fibrils (See also :
    “ghosts”, physical parameters and their effects on adhesion).
    — —
    What was the pressure level in vacuuming operations (by Riggi) ?
    … and now …
    Is it possible to measure and reproduce the presumed effects
    (= ghosts) on treated linen fibrils (obtained in your experiments) ?

    In my opinion the answer is :
    Yes …

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