Home > St Louis 2014 > New Paper by Pam Moon

New Paper by Pam Moon

December 18, 2014

imagePam Moon has uploaded another paper she wrote to her Shroud of Turin Exhibition site: Bl Sebastian Valfrè: The Black Thread, Reweave, and Unravelling the Shroud. It begins:

It was an enormous privilege to attend the St Lewis Shroud conference and to meet so many of the world’s greatest Shroud experts. Can I give my congratulations to the organisers. The comments below are based on some of the conversations I had at the conference.

I am very grateful to Joe Marino for allowing me to present the Oxford photographs and Donna Campbell’s report, to Barrie Schwortz for finding the information online and to Russ Breault for recording the conference. Donna Campbell wrote: ‘there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric.’ One of the items mentioned in the presentation was the large black thread which is visible on the Oxford and Arizona samples. A comparison was made with the small black and large white threads also present.

I was delighted to discover from Emanuela Marinelli and Will Meacham that the large black thread was probably stitched in 1694 by Bl Sebastian Valfrè. The invisible reweave hypothesis of Joe Marino and Sue Benford supported by Donna Campbell may refer to two or three different episodes of stitch repair and Bl Sebastian’s repair was one episode. The best demonstration of invisible reweave (both French and in-weaving) I have seen is by the company Without a Trace and can be seen in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgC_IeuzKE. Please look at that before continuing! The black thread also points to the possibility that the corner strands were unravelled, rewoven back together and then stitched back into place with reweaving techniques. Below is the large black thread seen in th Oxford and Arizona photographs see: https://archdams.arch.ox.ac.uk/?c=1203&k=1bcdc90a8b [|] http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf. Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010.

  1. December 18, 2014 at 11:52 am

    This is typical of Pam’s expertise; thoroughly researched (Who knew about Valfré’s black thread insistence?), clearly explained and well illustrated. I commend it to everyone.

    With only one caveat. Both the black and white “threads” illustrated are little thicker than a single fibre, and I do not think would have sufficient strength to be used as ‘thread.’ However, they could be fibres left behind from whole threads which have been unpicked at a later date, leaving only traces behind.

  2. Sampath Fernando
    December 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Now world know that corners were contaminated.

    May God Bless all the people who discarded the results of Carbon Tests. Without these brave people world would have think Shroud of Turin is another fake artifact.

    Why foolish scientists who tested a contaminated sample confirmed to the world that Shoud of Turin is made only in 14th Century?

  3. December 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Well, steady on, Sampath. Pam’s excellent paper has elegantly demonstrated how little contamination there is, and therefore how unlikely it is that any reweaving has had any effect on the C14 dating.

  4. Louis
    December 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Threads aside, some of the rest can be questioned. For example the claim that the Jospice Mattress Imprint was the work of an artist. A scientist’s findings have lent support to my own view (telergy – Kirlian effect) and more work is being done on both the contamination and reweaving hypotheses:
    We will have to wait to see what the research being done can tell us. It will come in peer-reviewed papers.

    • December 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm


      Pam’s paper doesn’t even mention the Jospice mattress.

    • piero
      December 19, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I agree with Hugh: the paper written by Pam Moon
      has nothing to do with Jospice Imprint.
      I also would like to write a brief explanation here
      about my position on the debate: “Jospice Imprint [problem to solve]” …
      I do not say that Jospice Imprint is the work of an artist,
      but I just do observe that we can obtain a cold dyeing on polyamide 6.
      At this point it seems to me that no one has seriously discussed the issue.
      Am I wrong?
      — —
      In any case I never claimed that the Shroud of Turin (on linen)
      and the imprint of that poor man Lierpool (on polyamide…) really
      have the same characteristics!
      Often people talk too much …
      Am I right with this annoying message?
      — —
      A careful control on linen fibrils from the Shroud (and Jospice Imprint)
      will be a feat of Textile Engineering.
      The writings of Pam Moon are very interesting but
      we should also work with appropriate experiments to show that
      we can achieve a modern, non-destructive testing.
      We require to follow a method (SPM controls) based on straightforward proofs.
      This would be a nice gift for the New Year 2015!
      It’s near impossible to work only with spare time.
      We need a full-time work-team.
      What we want to do?

      • piero
        December 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

        Errata corrige:
        >the imprint of that poor man of Liverpool (on polyamide…)
        instead of :
        >the imprint of that poor man Lierpool (on polyamide…)
        — — *** — —
        Here some suggestion:
        The color strength (K/S) values of the dyed fabrics (= samples obtained from preliminary experiments) can be instrumentally determined by reflectance spectrophotometer with Kubelka-Munk equation. Where are the useful inherent evaluations?
        The color strength of the dyed fabrics can be measured by using a spectrophotometer for D65 illuminant and an observer located at 10º…
        (Link: http://www.ihara-us.com/theory.php?page=4 )

        In order to evaluate the wettability of the polyamide woven fabrics, a water-drop test can be applied by measuring the time for its complete absorption into the material.

        If you want to treat the surface of the polyamide samples with plasma (and you have to perform this operation before to do the dyeing process!), then you can see that there is a significant change due to chemical etching, which tends to create oxidized species on the surface of the polyamide fibers.
        Then the polyamide fiber changes the nature from hydrophobic to hydrophilic which is key point for the adsorption of aqueous dye solutions. But I do not believe this was the phenomenon involved for the Imprint generation, what happened in Jospice Hospital is (probably) another thing…
        The increase in roughness (for plasma treated samples) can be better understood when AFM images are compared with the polyamide material treated (with “cold dyeing” process) without plasma discharge.

        We can also proceed toward the Identification of Coloring Compounds. In my opinion there are three main ways to work, thus in order to observe:
        -Chemical structures from spectroscopic analyses
        -Chemical structures of the samples controlled using AFM techniques.
        -Chemical structures of the extracted dye. But this way should be avoided…

        The morphological and topographical characteristics of the polyamide surface before and after dyeing treatment can be investigated with multimode SPM microscope controls.
        — —
        … And, for the moment, I think this should be enough to trigger your response…
        — —

        • piero
          December 19, 2014 at 11:16 am

          Now it came to my mind the term: “Pyrrhic victory” …

          So … I am not a starter on the rink.
          Also ice skating has nothing to do with microscopy.
          Furthermore, a common problem with outdoor skating areas, ponds, lakes, etc. Is that the surface is often marginally skatable … and then snow falls…

          But pride of place goes to the paper by Pam Moon !

      • Louis
        December 19, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        Piero, you refuse to pick up the gauntlet. Why is that so? Can you answer my question? If not, then please put an end to this rubbish about the dye. What you must do is to provide convincing arguments about why the dye had something to do with the partial head image seen on the Jospice Mattress. If you do that I will withdraw my paper. Here it is again:
        Look at the partial head image carefully and ponder about about what Father Francis O’Leary had to say.

  5. Louis
    December 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I was referring to:
    The response is in the interview, the link to which is given in the comment above. There should be another Shroud article soon, after which I can write to say why the imprint is not the work of an artist.

  6. daveb of wellington nz
    December 19, 2014 at 4:49 am

    HF: “Pam’s excellent paper has elegantly demonstrated how little contamination there is, and therefore how unlikely it is that any reweaving has had any effect on the C14 dating.”

    That is not a fair assessment of Pam Moon’s paper at all, but is consistent with the correspondent’s persistent attachment to a type of scientism, which conveniently ignores and fails to take into account findings that validly challenge the reliability of the 1988 C14 fiasco.

    • December 19, 2014 at 5:43 am

      I do apologise, daveb, for my misunderstanding. In the photographs of the actual radiocarbon samples, we can spot two minute black fibres and a few stands of white fluff. This does not appear to me to be evidence that over half the material tested was contaminent. I stand to be corrected, of course.

  7. December 19, 2014 at 6:31 am

    What is black and so thin? Monofilament by DuPont? Did someone mend something in 1973? Did they not wonder about this strange fiber in 1988? A judge in a court of law would have no choice but to throw out the C14 dating.

    • December 19, 2014 at 6:58 am

      No, Paulette. I think I could persuade your judge that there is no reason to dismiss the C14 dating. The samples were indeed contaminated, but, as we can see, the vast majority of such contamination was easy to see and easy to remove.

      • Thibault HEIMBURGER
        December 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm


        Pam’s paper follows this one, which is more detailed:


        I do not understand your sentence: “Pam’s excellent paper has elegantly demonstrated how little contamination there is, and therefore how unlikely it is that any reweaving has had any effect on the C14 dating.”

        What about the “stain”, the shrinkage (” Shrinkage is possible but the distortion within this area is so localized and acute that interference of a different kind such as mending maybe
        worth considering (Fig 20)”), the possible stitches, the differences in the spaces of the warp and weft interlacement (Fig.16), this strange black fiber …

        I agree that none of these observations necessarily imply reweaving.
        But they possibly suggest reweaving and in this case why do you think that this reweaving would have had any effect on the C14 dating.
        Why are you speaking of “little contamination” in this context ???

        • December 19, 2014 at 4:57 pm

          The contamination I was speaking of was the very few extraneous fibres. As for the distortion of the threads, Donna Campbell’s paper clearly suggests that this is typical of the cut edges of any cloth, particularly one which has been moved about (for storage, for photography, for microscopic examination). There is also evidence of some abrasion, not just on these samples but all over the cloth. The stain outlined as area B on page 4 of Ram’s paper is a shadow caused by the raking light over a fold in the the cloth, not a stain, although its reverse (the reddish brown coloured photo bottom right of the same page) does seem to show both stain and abrasion. None of this evidence suggests reweaving of any kind.

      • John Green
        December 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

        Demand a jury trial!

    • daveb of wellington nz
      December 19, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      ” I think I could persuade your judge … ” You would have a tough task doing so if I was opposing counsel. The verdict would be “Not proven!”

  8. Carlos
    December 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Investigating a Dated Piece of the Shroud of Turin

    “RADIOCARBON, Vol 52, Nr 4, 2010, p 1521–1527 © 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona1521
    Rachel A Freer-Waters
    Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.
    A J Timothy Jull
    NSF Arizona AMS Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA; Also: Department of Geosciences, University
    of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA. Corresponding author. Email: jull@email.arizona.edu.”

    “Figure 5 High-magnification image of a fiber bundle, showing the presence of a cotton fiber, unidentified fibers, and debris. This area appears to have been exposed to more contamination than other samples.”




    “……the picture above is of fibers pulled out of that small piece of textile, again photographed in cross polarized light. The purpose of doing that is to actually identify what fiber this particular textile was made from, whether it´s cotton or linen or wool. Different fibers can be.”



    • December 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      The curator, David Killick, made several erroneous statements when describing the Shroud of Turin. First, he mentions the Shroud because he shows a photograph of the shroud sample that the Arizona radiocarbon dating lab received in 1988.

      But then he goes on to try to describe the Shroud. Among other statements, he made a definitive statement as to how the image was formed on the Shroud: from oil coming from the body. He appears as if he made up this claim to fill up some explanation for the formation of the image to make the presentation more complete and coherent with the result of the radiocarbon dating. He went on to add more dubious explanation (e.g., pay an enormous price, which is not the case for the Shroud of Turin) trying to back up the result of the Arizona lab. This is not a good approach from a curator where every curated fact must be verified. So, perhaps an email to the university of Arizona is in order to correct this video.

      Carlos, the curator is not really saying that there are cotton and linen fibers in the photograph but that the fibers can be verified through a microscope to detect different types. No confirmation of different types is given.

      But I find the erroneous statements about the Shroud more alarming.

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