The Real Meaning Is Not Authenticity

imageCarol Glatz has an interesting piece in the Catholic Herald, ‘Obsession’ with authenticity hides Turin Shroud’s real meaning, says expert. That expert is Gian Maria Zaccone, scientific director of the Museum of the Shroud of Turin. He said it at a preview of the shroud exposition for journalists. Take a couple of minutes to read the entire article:

“It is up to one’s own personal judgment, that is, neither I nor anyone else can tell you that the Shroud is authentic or not; each person examines and works out what research has offered” and then makes up his or her own mind.

Church doctrine has long held that any reverence or honour given to a religious object or relic must be given to what it represents and not to the object itself, he said.

As I am getting ready to post the above, in comes an email from Joe Marino with a Google translation of a Vatican Insider article that features answers to questions by Zaccone and Andrea Nicolotti. Nicolotti is a frequent participant in this blog who has commented nearly two-hundred times. In the Vatican Insider article Nicolotti tells us (Googlized):

"The Church in the official discourse uses some caution, however, in practice (books, television, catechesis, conferences) promotes propaganda authenticity and discourages the contrary. This creates a lot of ambiguity. "

What Nicolotti is saying is the same thing I am beginning to hear more often. Stephen Jones used the term duplicitous, which is a bit harsh.  See yesterday’s posting, Ye shall know them by their photographs.

And so the question was posed: What should the Church do with the Shroud?

Nicolotti: "No, this is not a question for a historian. It is not my job to say what the Church should do. As far as I’m concerned I feel so overwhelming evidence medieval origin, which I can not understand how anyone can argue otherwise if not placing myself from a point of view devotional or emotional, not rational. "

Zaccone: "I agree that we need a historical, but we must give priority to the study of the object to get the answers we seek regarding the origin of the Shroud. Consider the historical research is very important in many ways, but not fundamental to the question of authenticity. The Church, as I said before, does what it has always historically done and continues to do: teaching propose that image to go to the heart of what it represents, according to the teaching that, through the representation, honor and worship you make it to the principal. "

N: "From the historical point of view it is necessary to perform a cleaning of all the false rumors and legends about the Shroud touted as true. A serious scientific study would be equally desirable. Let’s start with some certain items. The first historical are medieval. At the time, even those who possessed it affirmed the authenticity of the Shroud: called "figure or representation."The fabric – according to my conclusions, which had already reached some historians of weaving, unheeded – is technologically medieval. Twelve radiocarbon datings, performed in 1988 in three different laboratories, have called medieval. Then there are strong indications, such as the fact that no one in history for thirteen centuries, from the tomb of Jesus to the Middle Ages, has never spoken of this shroud; and when the bishop of Troyes and the pope have spoken for the first time, they did say that it was a fraud. So I conclude that it is extremely unlikely that this object dates from the time of Jesus. In addition, the image on the Shroud could not have produced by contact with a dead body without the intervention of a craftsman, and stains of "blood" are not realistic. Efforts are made to doubt this evidence, but I think no effectiveness. If we want to give priority to the devotional aspect, then there was no talk of authenticity. But the question always resurfaces, I can not dodge the issue. That the problem is not secondary demonstrated by the fact that the Shroud is constantly engaged in an effort to delegitimize the results of studies to the detriment of the authenticity, concocting complicated alternative explanations or by resorting to the subject of the miracle. It rejects arguments against and always has a tendency to cite research favorable authenticity (pollens, written, coins) without ever giving into account when they are rejected by the scientific community. Meanwhile access to the Shroud is foreclosed to scholars for decades: it is even forbidden to work on the high-resolution photographs, a situation quite simply unacceptable. "

Z: "I do not think can be considered closed the question of the origin of the Shroud. I’m not saying that is certainly true, I just say that you can not wipe out so simply a series of elements at least doubts, such as the formation of the image, which even today, despite the numerous theoretical and experimental studies carried out, remains without explanation because no one has yet managed to produce an equal. Also because the problems of interpretation of radiocarbon dating were already present in the literature relative to other datings addition to that of the Shroud. Also I think I have repeatedly made clear how the documents, particularly those medieval, can be interpreted in a more complex and not necessarily for the worse. And I would also like you cease to believe that any researcher – even if the value of goal – that enters the order of ideas that the Shroud may be authentic, thereby become unreliable when no object of derision. There must be a science of the Shroud, but scientists who study according to their specializations. I do not find correct that a nuclear physicist deals with history and vice versa. "

111 thoughts on “The Real Meaning Is Not Authenticity”

  1. As far as I am concerned, the verdict is still out. It is not enough to simply claim the cloth is medieval without offering a credible process the alleged artist used to create this masterpiece. We are clearly looking for an artist who predated Leonardo by several hundred years. Charles Freeman has offered the most recent hypothesis but it too fails to explain why the blood penetrated the cloth whereas the paint did not, nor is it credible to assume that every speck of paint used to form the image has now disappeared. Garlaschelli’s attempt was compelling but still does not replicate the fine gradient that correlates with body to cloth distance, nor does it account for no image being under the blood. Contest this point all you want, this was a clear determination of STURP—you know, the scientists who had hands on access to the cloth for five days and nights. I also get annoyed when the cloth’s obvious origin in Constantinople is conveniently ignored so as to allege the history only begins in the 1300’s. This is irresponsible in view of the numerous documents both historical and visual that give strong evidence for the Shroud being stolen in 1204 by the French during the 4th Crusade. Too many unanswered questions for the Shroud to be dismissed as a Medieval fake.

    1. I’ve been attempting to use this site’s comments to unveil a new hypothesis Russ – the “nitric acid fumigation model”. Dan doesn’t appear sufficiently interested to do a Promoted Comment type post, which is his prerogative. But it doesn’t help either when another site visitor posts 6 comment in short order such that one’s thoughts are only visible for an hour or two under “Recent Comments”.

      It’s taken a year of thinking and somewhat hazardous experimentation to produce the new hypothesis, so I shall quite shamelessly point you (and perhaps others) to the most recent posting on my Science Buzz site.

  2. Reminder re the fumigation theory as an allegedly ‘(2015) new hypothesis’ (actually Colin is just physically and thermo-chemically ‘aping’ my fumigation theory to illustrate the 1988 CE allegedly ‘conclusive’ radiocarbon dating):

    Indeed as early as 1988, in the hypothesis the TS is Yeshua’s inner winding burial sheet, I developed the fumigation theory (first through intuitive thought experiment and then — in 1994 and 1997– two reconstructions of the TS man’s wrappings in shrouds in light of still extant or lost contact textile relics).

    It implies:

    – dust-sweat-and-blood covered stiff rigid body ‘PRE-WIPING’ (via post-flogging cloth (Argentueil Tunic) and pre-burial cloth (Sudarium of Oviedo))

    – winding inner burial sheet (aka TS shroud) first in-soaked with an AQUAEOUS ALKALI SOLUTION (ring any bell?) and then taut and manually molded/COMPRESSED (ring any bell?) lengthwise from head to toe and finally tighly wrapped up/COMPRESSED widthwise in a set of dry outer shorter shrouds (Veil of Manoppello, Cap of Cahors, Two Halves of the original Sindon Munda), all around the stiff rigid bloodied body (along with insect repellent flower heads, thorny plants to pin the inner and outer shrouds together and screening objects such as a small ‘jaw-box’ made of three wooden plaques –see (copy of?) part of the Titulus Damnationis of Rome).

    – stiff rigid bloodied body placed in EXTRA HEIGHT (on two stones or piles of granulized myrrh bags) being tightly wrapped in shrouds and subjected to (myrrhic?) aloetic FUMIGATION (ring any bell?) first on one side and then on he other side

    – adhesion of water insoluble (e.g. iron oxyde and/or other silica particles as ‘opaques’ present in the desert of Judea dust and Jerusalem limestone dust) onto the dried-off urea residues and blood-covered body skin and/or receiving flax surface to COLLIMATE the TS man’s image

    – GELATINIZED STARCH (at 55°-85°C) (ring any bell?) as extremely fine printing foaming agent and blood intensifier (monoxyde present in aloetic fumes can also ne a blod intensifier). Remoistened blood and heavy sweat residue built up on the body transferred from the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the body and onto the linen surface. After a 15-30 minutes’ subjection to fumigation to purify and dry out the bloodied body (in the fumigated tomb antechamber), the linen held the bloodied body image through a providentially ‘built-in’ pre- or light mordanting process, which resulted in ventral and dorsal HD prints born on the inner side of the winding inner burial sheet (here linen with carbohydrate layer on it)

    – at least two cloth-to-body configurations in terms of COMPRESSURE (via tighlty wrapped-up shrouds) and slight loss of COMPRESSURE (as the in-soaked inner shroud aka TS got sort of taut again through shrinking and gradually unstuck)

    – AQUAEOUS ALKALI SOLUTION as pre- or light mordanting agent since the warm/hot water solution used to soak the inner winding burail sheet in order to purify the bloodied corpse without disturbing the blood and wasting time, most likely was either the Red Heifer waters (in order to purify the TS man’s shed innocent blood along with his corpse), waters mixed with Jerusalem limestone/Melche stone dust (just to purify the bloodied corpse) or just remoistened urea residues (presence of ammonia) (A combination of waters mixed with ashes, limestone dust and ammonia cannot either be totally ruled out as far as aqueous alkaline solution is concerned)

    – use of an all wrapping sheet (Sudarum of Kornelimûnster) as ‘final touch’ prior to the body be carried down to the tomb chamber and laid suspine on a stone bench on granulized myrrh bags.

    1. There is a difference between ‘aping’ and coming to a similar conclusion from a different route. Colin is on a similar thought pattern but coming from a medieval point of view, you came to your theory from a 1st century point of view. Good on you both. It’s a win-win. So please can we see a little graciousness and get on with discussing the merits of the theories.

    2. Ah, but can you summarize your model in 20 words Max ? I can summarize my nitric acid-fumigation model in fewer than 20 words. Yours has a surfeit of detail that has eyes glazing over. Mine doesn’t.

      Can you produce a photograph to show your model works in practice? I can, and have already posted it to this site – an image of my own left hand.

      Granted there’s a recognized but limited role in science for “thought experiments”, mainly in the more esoteric branches like cosmology where there’s little scope for lab experimentation, and a heavy reliance on mathematical model building. But thought experiments are best seen as an aid to developing new hypotheses – but they have to be testable to be of scientific utility. No testable hypothesis, no relevance to science.

      Thought experiments are never a substitute for real ones. Motto of the Royal Society: Nullius in verba. (“Take nobody’s word for it”). That applies especially to those who have nothing to offer except their “thought experiments”.

      1. Colin, cannot you read my English?

        I meant INTUITIVE thought experiment AND PHYSICAL RECONSTRUCTION of the TS man’s wrapping in shrouds in light of Christolisology (study of Christ’s relics) and Second Temple Period funerary customs, practices and rites. This make a world of difference as far as my actions are concerned. This is not just ‘thought experiment’! Are you kidding?

        Besides your own experiment (your nitric acid fumigation theory) if indeed it demonstrates anything, it demonstrates my archaeocryptological/christolipsological approach does tend to hold water.

        Re ‘res, non verba’, in spite of all your experiments (mummy baking, scorching and the like) and all YOUR verba, you still cannot show me the DORSAL AND VENTRAL image of a stiff rigid BLOODIED body. Nullus res.

        David G wrote: “There is a difference between ‘aping’ and coming to a similar conclusion from a different route. Colin is on a similar thought pattern but coming from a medieval point of view, you came to your theory from a 1st century point of view.”

        Where do you think he got his ‘thought pattern’ from in terms of fumigation/fumes, gelatinized starch, cloth-to-body (com)pressure and and aqueous alkali solution and mordanting? He just had to read my comments in Dan’s blog and chemically ‘ape’ it!

        1. Had I enough money, I’d proceed to state-of-the-art archaeological experiments demonstrating my fumigation theory does work beyond the shadow of a rational doubt.

    3. Reminder on June 24, 2013 at 8:05 am, I wrote:

      Don’t you mistake a 2h-2h30′s speedy burial for a 30 minutes’ hasty one, PLEASE!
      According to Hebrew time-markers and the Gospel, Yeshua’s burial could have been performed in 2h-2h30, which means the (5-6 buriers) had enough time to perform the core procedures in terms of 1/speedy burial – 2/wrapping in shroudS (with an ‘S’) – 3/purifying and 4/drying.

      Hence, to the sole exception of anointing (as grinding solid or granulized spices to make spicy perfumed oil was forbidden on Shabbath), Rabbi Yeshua’s “primary” burial rite according to the Judean funerary custom of the Second Temple period could have been duly completed.
      Reminder: once tightly wrapped up in linen, a corpse can be anointed (if need be = to pay visit to the decease in the week immediately following the deceased’s death) without even the need to unwrap it.

      PS: Purifying the bloody corpse via (myrrhic-)aloetic fumigation could have (temporarily) made up for the anointing procedure.

  3. Reminder for Max. On April 22, 2015 at 9:26 am, you wrote: “As early as 1994 and 1997, I attempted two achaeological reconstructions of the TS man’s wrapping in shrouds in light of my fumigation theory.” Are you saying these attempts were “INTUITIVE thought experiments” or “PHYSICAL RECONSTRUCTION” or perhaps both. And did you keep any record of them? Maybe a photograph or two? How successful were they?

    1. Hugh,

      my attempts were both intuitive thought experiments and physical reconstructions. I do have a couple of photographs indeed.

      It rapidly became obvious to me several contact textile relics of Christ (or their substitutes) and even one wood relic/faithful copy (such as the Titulus Damnationis kept in Rome) could be used for reconstructing the TS man’s wrapping in shrouds while sticking to the Greek verbs used in the Gospel to describe Yeshua’s body wrapping in shrouds (entulisso, “to wrap, encircle”; eneileo, “to compress, tightly wrap up” and deo, “to fasten, bind”). Actually via both intuitive thought experiments, trials and errors, all the pieces of the puzzle did seem gradually to fall into place.

      Finally Coln HAD TO recur to my ‘halakhist’ fumigation theory and chemically ‘ape’ or recycle it into ‘nitric acid fumigation theory’ to meet his arch-fraudulist agenda.

      It also rapidly became obvious I had no money enough to proceed to state-of-the-art archareological experiments and my ‘halakhist’ fumigation theory would be neither promoted nor funded by any (arch)miraculists and (arch)fraudulists who take center stages in the Shroud sphere. Who really cares about the archaeological truth IF the TS image formation process cannot be accounted for via miracle or forgery? Re my fumigation theory, Dan just cannot care less: it was NEVER ONCE promoted on his blog (as opposed to Colin’s delirious theories the latter finally had to drop one by one).

  4. The Shroud remains enigmatic, so that all are entitled to their own subjective opinion, often to them rationally derived, whether they are professionals or not. Everyone’s life experience and world view has value, and is valid to them. What is not permissible is to assert dogmatically that the Shroud is not the authentic burial cloth of Christ, nor to assert dogmatically that indeed it is. It is conceivable that the Shroud is what it appears to be, and equally conceivable that it may not be. My own personal opinion based on the information which I have considered over a long life, that it is the burial cloth is well enough known. That opinion as is the opinion of others are all worthy of respect if honestly derived.

    Because the Shroud may be what it appears to be, it ought to be approached with the proper reverence and respect that admits such a possibility. It cannot be dismissed as an insignificant rag, or merely a cunning device created for the gullible and superstitious, regardless of whatever our personal opinion may be of it. Too much about it is unknown.

    In Andrea’s posted comment above, reasons are given for his rejecting its authenticity. Andrea has written a book arguing that the Shroud is not the Mandylion, and therefore he would seem to have a vested interest in asserting that it is not authentic. Quite likely he may be correct in his assertion that it is not the Mandylion, but that is quite insufficient by itself to assert non-authenticism, as there are any number of other possibilities, some of them unknown. Wilson’s Mandylion theory was only one such brave attempt to derive an explanation for the apparent gap in its history. Andrea, along with others, considers it has failed to do so.

    He asserts that for thirteen centuries no-one in history has ever spoken of the Shroud. That is his own peculiar rigorous view of history, where he seems to require a specific document outlining and specifying all the features of the Shroud that we now know. A more open approach to history would place some value on the very many less specific and obscure references that we find in Byzantine sources, but to an open mind would seem plain enough, particularly if allowance is made for a typical Byzantine obscurantism when discussing matters of the Holy. It is therefore incorrect to assert that no mention is made.

    He then refers to the comments of the Bishop of Troyes and the Pope, presumably Pierre D’Arcis, and Avignon Pope Clement VII. Much of what is asserted here derives from the work of Chevalier and Thurston, both of whom had a peculiar agenda of asserting non-authenticity in response to the photography of Secondo Pia and the forensic work of Delage and Vignon. Both Chevalier and Thurston have been charged with a conspiracy to misrepresent their sources. A rigorous approach to history should be satisfied that the claims that D-Arcis and Clement VII are asserted to have made are indeed factual, and are without the bias of Chevalier and Thurston.

    He then ventures beyond his own field of specialised competence into the forensic. He dogmatically asserts that the image could not have been produced by a dead body without the intervention of a craftsman, and that the blood flows are unrealistic. Given the particular properties of the Shroud cloth, he cannot know this, and several forensic pathologists, experienced in such matters, have asserted otherwise. Nor does his assertion that the Shroud cloth is technologically medieval stand unchallenged. There are good reasons for asserting that the yarn was processed according to ancient methods, particularly the bleaching process.

    His brave attempt at asserting that twelve separate radiocarbon tests dated the cloth to medieval times, conveniently passes over the fact that all the tests were carried out on one single unrepresentative sample, so that it would be incomprehensible and incompetent of the laboratories if the results did not match. In fact the actual tests are known to have failed a chi square test for consistency, so even that remains an unresolved issue.

    I am uncertain as to his intent in mentioning coins, but it is curious that there are Byzantine solidi from about the sixth century which are a close match to the Shroud facial image. Perhaps his allusion is to the debatable coins over they eyes issue. He seems to dismiss such matters as pollens, although there remains sufficient evidence from spring pollens exclusive to Jerusalem environs, including the Dead Sea area.

    He omits any reference to the presence of Jerusalem aragonite limestone found on the feet, nose and knees of the image, as if from a fall, and from walking the Via Dolorosa.

    Perhaps none of the matters I have mentioned are sufficient by themselves to assert authenticity, but taken together I find them a powerful argument. There still remains the enigmatic image of a man of sorrows. And yet with all our modern technology, no-one yet knows how that image was created. The Shroud may indeed yet prove to be the burial cloth of Christ, notwithstanding the naysayers.

    1. ‘ peculiar rigorous view of history’ !!!!
      So are historians to be blamed for being rigorous?
      Nothing I have seen among earlier references to shrouds, images on cloth, specific icons, of which there were many references, can be shown to link specifically to the Shroud now in Turin. I do not know of any specialist in this complex area who thinks so which is why the authenticist view has failed to gain any support in the academic world. Whether this failure is important to the authenticists I leave it to them to decide.

      1. P.S. If there was any significant scientific evidence that the Shroud dated to before 50 AD ,I would follow two simpler lines of provenance.
        1) there are documented relics from the ‘ Lord’s tomb’ in relic collections close to Lirey that are known to have arrived there from the Holy Land in the first millennium. An obvious place to start.
        2) When Jerusalem was still part of the Byzantine empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, the age when relic collecting began, there are documented accounts of the transfer of relics to Constantinople by Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor Theodosius II, to add to the transfer of Helena’s relics from Jerusalem a century earlier.
        Both are more obvious trails of provenance than the Ian Wilson hypothesis. I am amazed at the gullibility of those who have accepted this without questioning. It has completely closed off alternative studies of early relic transfers direct from Jerusalem and made Wilson a laughing stock among the Byzantine specialists. What an enormous waste.

        1. “and made Wilson a laughing stock among the Byzantine specialists”

          Perhaps you could direct us to a copy of Byzantine Monthly or a blog site for these Byzantine specialists (any one of the dozens that must exist) that supports this assertion?

      2. I thought I had made it plain enough in my above comment that I considered Andrea Nicolotti’s conclusion that the Shroud was not the Mandylion might be”quite likely correct”. That of course is not to exclude other possibilities, none of which need to involve nor exclude the sister of Theodosius II, nor a first millenium transfer to the environs of Lirey perhaps during the time of the Carolingians, nor any other possibility, such as its 6th century transfer from Cappadocia to Constantinople. I see we are back to ad hominem arguments again with gratuitous comments against Wilson. Is that the best you can do?

  5. Apart from the detail that I don’t find the authenticity arguments as powerful as daveb, I agree with the tenor of his posting whole heartedly. Although this site is indeed mostly concerned with the forensic authenticity of the shroud, its spiritual authenticity, as an icon, as a thought provoker, as a strengthener of the faithful and an occasional converter of the Christ-less, is really far more important. It’s just not so easy to debate!

  6. April 23, 2015 at 5:36 pm Reply
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    my attempts were both intuitive thought experiments and physical reconstructions. I do have a couple of photographs indeed.
    It rapidly became obvious to me several contact textile relics of Christ (or their substitutes) and even one wood relic/faithful copy (such as the Titulus Damnationis kept in Rome) could be used for reconstructing the TS man’s wrapping in shrouds while sticking to the Greek verbs used in the Gospel to describe Yeshua’s body wrapping in shrouds (entulisso, “to wrap, encircle”; eneileo, “to compress, tightly wrap up” and deo, “to fasten, bind”). Actually via both intuitive thought experiments, trials and errors, all the pieces of the puzzle did seem gradually to fall into place.
    Finally Coln HAD TO recur to my ‘halakhist’ fumigation theory and chemically ‘ape’ or recycle it into ‘nitric acid fumigation theory’ to meet his arch-fraudulist agenda.
    It also rapidly became obvious I had no money enough to proceed to state-of-the-art archareological experiments and my ‘halakhist’ fumigation theory would be neither promoted nor funded by any (arch)miraculists and (arch)fraudulists who take center stages in the Shroud sphere. Who really cares about the archaeological truth IF the TS image formation process cannot be accounted for via miracle or forgery? Re my fumigation theory, Dan just cannot care less: it was NEVER ONCE promoted on his blog (as opposed to Colin’s delirious theories the latter finally had to drop one by one).

  7. Hey Angel, you are late, I mentioned this on the blog months ago. The problem is that it is Turkey and we must hope that the archaeologists are not biased, and therefore different from the members of the present government.

    1. Hi Louis,

      Sorry, I missed that post of yours.

      I rather doubt the Turkish archaeologists would be biased, especially if Gulgun Koroglu is in charge of the dig. :)


      1. Hi Angel

        I think we will find something there since the site is huge. Ian Wilson was hoping for something like this. In my last interview with him we unfortunately did not talk about this part of Shroud studies.

        1. Hi Louis,

          If, in fact, Turkish archaeologists unearth something significant, with regard to Christian artifacts, there would definitely be an increase in tourism. It’s exciting!

          I would wager Syria has a buried gold mine, referencing holy Christian relics; yet, I rather doubt that country would allow archaeological digs. Same with Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

          A few years ago, the following was reported, referencing google earth aerial data.

          “Thousands of Tombs in Saudi Desert Spotted From Space.”

          We can only hope for the best. :)


        2. Hi Angel
          You disappeared from this blog for quite some time, making me think that God had promoted you to the rank of archangel, more close to heaven perhaps, and far away from us.
          Since you are now back to earth, get acquainted with the situation!. Syria would never stop archaeological digs where Christian relics could be found, at least as long as Bashar Assad is in power:
          He is an opthalmologist who got his degree in England, where his wife studied in an Anglican school. If anyone may stop archaeological digs it would be Turkey, with Erdogan in power. I think you know why he wants to topple Assad, of Syria.

  8. The National Geographic article on the new archaeological site in Turkey is somewhat ambiguous on the age of the complex, except to say that it is thought to date from earliest Byzantine times. It may have been too late for any significant Christian relics to be deposited there.

    It is Markwardt’s theory that Bishop Ephraemius took an important icon from Antioch to Cappadocia in 540 AD to preserve it from the attack by Persian Chosroes. He argues that it was the Shroud. The Image of Camuliana was paraded around Cappadocia and Anatolia in 554. In 574, Byzantine emperor Justin II brought two important relics to Constantinople, a relic of the True Cross, and an image of Jesus which was said to have originated in Camuliana. Markwardt believes that this was when the Shroud arrived in Constantinople. However there are other viewpoints concerning the Camuliana relic.

    If the present Cappadocian archaeology site is at all significant in respect of the Shroud’s sojourn, then it would seem to require a date going back to about 540 – 574. This is not clear from the NG article.

    1. Hi daveb of wellington nz,

      No, you are correct, the date is not clear from the article.

      Yet, if you consider Mary’s house is located in Turkey and the archaeologist (Gulgun Koroglu) recently found the box containing supposed fragments of the cross from which Jesus hung, along with Christian symbols etched into the outer stone layer of this relic, other interesting finds might soon surface.

      We can only pray something like a scroll, referencing the Shroud, might be unearthed. Wouldn’t that be a great find? :)


  9. So we’re once again looking to history to provide clues as to the authenticity or otherwise of the Shroud. Fair enough. Who said that science can provide all the answers. I certainly didn’t, but might reasonably have hoped for a response to my new-image imprinting mechanism than the one we’ve seen so far (zilch from the site’s host, and ludicrous and sustained charges of plagiarism from the Usual Suspect.

    If we’re to all now don our amateur historian hats, might I suggest we start with a strangely neglected period in TS history, i.e. the immediate run up to its first undisputed appearance in European history in 1357 approx in the tiny hamlet of Lirey.

    Here’s some essential reading on the fleeting existence of the Ordre de l’Etoile (The Order of the Star), founded in 1351 by John II of France (“John the Good”, or John the Saintly some might think, if one reads the reasons why he voluntarily returned to English captivity through disgust at the ‘dishonorable’ escape of his son from similar captivity.).

    The wiki entry says that John’s knightly and arguably semi-religious order had been “inspired” by none other than Geoffroi de Charny, the Lord of Lirey no less. Indeed Charny is elsewhere described as a founder member of the Order, which understandably faded away in the aftermath of the disastrous (for the French) Battle of Poitiers in 1356 at which de Charny was killed, hardly surprising given he was ‘honoured’, read targeted, as carrier of the Oriflamme, and John was captured and exiled to England.

    For a brief period, two of the most powerful men in France were members of the most powerful club in France – one that they themselves had founded. Might the TS have been gifted to them, for ceremonial use? Or might they have commissioned it themselves, money and top level patronage opening doors aplenty. Were there links between the Order and those with the technical know-how needed to conjure what could be claimed to be the long-lost Linen of Joseph of Arimathea? Might the TS have been in the Star’s Paris HQ in the early 1350s, being returned de Charny’s widow on his death, maybe in lieu of hard cash to help her cope. That might explain why the TS was not on public display until immediately after her husband’s death.

    I must now go and re-read what Ian Wilson had to say about a star motif on the Machy Mould for Lirey medallion Mk2. I seem to recall he settled on it being simply a drainage channel for metal casting. Maybe. Maybe not.

    1. PS Apols for typos, missing words etc.

      Here’s a link to Wilson’s splendid research on the Machy Mould (following that which he did on the Museum of Cluny’s Lirey badge, not all of which I agree with, but a valuable contribution nevertheless).

      Click to access n76part2.pdf

      It was published in a BSTS Newsletter (HughF being current Editor of course) hosted by Barrie Schwortz’s

      There’s 10 pages of it, beautifully written. Read especially what he has to say about the TWO star motifs on Pages 8/9. I’d forgotten that his suggestion that they served a DUAL purpose, not just as drainage holes, but to flag up a connection between the House of de Charny/Vergy but the Order of the Star too. Fascination stuff, replete with possibilities for understanding why the TS appeared when it did, where it did. Impeccable credentials one might say, and hardly intended merely as a prop for celebrating Easter in an obscure country location

    2. Thanks for the reminder, Colin. Geoffray de Charnay had indeed subjected himself to a similar earlier period of voluntary English imprisonment, as you indicate above had John II. Wilson is at pains to cover De Charnay’s fascination with the ideals of knightly chivalry, and of course mentions his earlier namesake, the Templar Prior of Normandy executed with Jacques de Molay. The inference seems to be that De Charnay was attempting to found a successor order similar to the Templars.

      The Lirey badge of course shows the De Charnay arms on the dexter side of the shield implying that De Charnay was still alive when the badge was struck to commemorate the first showings at Lirey, so that it had to be before 1356. Part of Wilson’s purpose in mentioning this fascination with knightly ideals seems to be to exempt him from any deliberate fraud in creating the Shroud, as out of character for such a person. The Shroud image itself is quite unlike any concurrent artistic model of a dead Christ. Whether De Charnay had the financial or technological resources, let alone the time available to him in what seems to have been a busy warrior’s life seems an unlikely proposition.

      You’ve spent some three years experimenting in your attempts to produce something even vaguely like the image. I doubt that De Charnay had that amount of free time available, and he certainly would not have the same technical know-how. Did anybody?

      If it’s a fraud, the craftsman only ever did it once, left no trace of his attempts and failures, we don’t know who he is, nor whereabouts he did it, and we still don’t know how he did it!

      1. Methinks you’ve missed the point, daveb. Nowhere did I suggest that de Charny* rolled up his sleeves in the outhouse. Quite the opposite in fact. He must have been one of King John II’s closest associates, given his major input into the creation of the Order of the Star and being chosen as the carrier of the Oriflamme in battle Given the combined clout and financial resources of those two, King and knightly noble, it’s time to consider the real possibility that they commissioned the Shroud, and did so by outsourcing the technical side to an alchemist (=protochemist) employing state-of-the-art technology to convert an imprint in some kind of organic material (a proxy for sweat and blood) to what might look like an authentic 1300 year old image left on J of A’s linen by a newly crucified man.

        So far, I have had only a few days of experience with flour paste as imprinting medium and nitric acid vapour as developing agent. Isn’t it a bit soon to be so disparaging about my present results, which are after all an entirely novel method of modelling the TS? You read it here first, in this site’s comments. Already I know of a better alternative to wheat flour, and there are a number of different geometries, ‘frottage’ techniques etc that can be adopted at the imprinting stage, different pre-treatments of the linen etc etc.

        Oh, and I don’t agree that de Charny’s widow would have left her newly deceased husband’s coat of arms off the Lirey badge. How respectful is that? Indeed, the badge may have been commissioned partly as a memorial to a celebrated and valiant knight, one of the top men in the land.

        *It’s not “Charnay” (sic) btw, which is one spelling of the alleged Templar uncle aka de Charney, who was roasted at the stake alongside Jacques de Molay in 1314. )

        1. No real intention of being disparaging, not even mildly mocking. My real point was that after three years of experimentation, the images you’ve succeeded in producing still have only a very vague resemblance to what we might see on the Shroud cloth, and I can’t imagine that any medieval proto-chemist had a fraction of the specific chemical knowledge which might be involved, that you yourself have now come to. Could he accidentally stumble on this marvelous secret, still unknown, and not make better, more frequent use of it? He only ever did it once.

          Re the coat of arms, if Geoffrey had already died, my understanding is that the Lirey medal ought to show his arms on the sinistral side, and his widow’s on the dexter, but that’s not the case, hence it was before 1356.

          Re spelling conventions, that seems to have been an arbitrary optional practice in those days, and all variants regularly occur.

          And of course after 325 AD there was a dearth of readily available crucified cadavers that might pass 20th century forensics. But please continue with your experiments, they are informative, even if only to exclude possibilities.

        2. You are still being somewhat unfair, daveb, in suggesting that I’ve little to show for three years research. Most of that was with the contact scorch model, linked to a Templar narrative that I began to discard a year ago once the idea of a simulated sweat imprint (as distinct from symbolic scorch one). But I didn’t abandon the scorch imprint immediately, suggesting initially that a Templar-produced scorch imprint may have been re-invented, so to speak, as a proxy sweat one. (Scorch imprints, regardless of how produced, were also handy for modelling 3D-rendering, and showing there was nothing ‘profoundly mysterious; about them).

          It was Joe Acetta’s paper on oak gall imprints, and probably Adrie van der Hoeven’s on mordanting of blood to madder root dyes, that got me thinking about harsh chemicals, acids especially, being the active agent, and it was just a month ago I tested out sulphuric (not reported here) that showed it did not fit the bill unless very hot and/or concentrated. It was just a month ago that I scribbled nitric acid into my diary as another acid worth testing, for historical as well as chemical reasons, and only last Friday that the first consignment arrived for testing. So my current model should not be seen as the culmination of three years work, but a preliminary assessment of 6 days at most.

          Dan’s remaining silent. I wonder why.

        3. Dan remains silent perhaps because, as you freely admit, your blog is like reading someone who is thinking out loud. He may be waiting for you to come to a conclusion before directing traffic toward you.

          The sweat imprint is an intriguing one and I find it superior to your previous one. You and Max, coming at it from different time stamps, have at least naturalistic theories that can be explored. I wish Max’s theory could be tested more with experimentation as yours is. He needs a protégé in a university looking for a PhD project.

    3. Hi Colin,

      With respect to your remark below:

      “I certainly didn’t, but might reasonably have hoped for a response to my new-image imprinting mechanism than the one we’ve seen so far (zilch from the site’s host, and ludicrous and sustained charges of plagiarism from the Usual Suspect.”

      ^^Let it be known, I commented on your original post, bringing attention to your wit (referencing Paoli’s laser beams).

      I further recall stating, “Good job,” regarding your attempt to duplicate the image utilizing the nitric oxide fumigation technique, but you never even acknowledged my reply. I felt like one of Jesus’ lowly worms.

      Oh, well!


      1. I’m not sure where there’s wit in my use of the term “laser beams” Angel.

        There’s a lot more wit to be found in the way that Louis and yourself are currently manipulating this site,

        Nuff said.

        1. The “wit” remark was more than likely a case of senile dementia. Just sayin’

          Colin, the topic of this thread is “The real meaning is not authenticity.”

          My belief the Shroud is authentic and that holy artifiacts may ultimately be excavated in Turkey verifying this fact is no different than your non-belief and continuous effort to disprove the Shroud, using various chemical imaging techniques similar to those of Garlaschelli.

          Just sayin’


  10. “Re my fumigation theory, Dan just cannot care less.” I don’t believe this, Max. The trouble is that any particular post of yours is incoherent, incomplete, unsupported and full of snide remarks about others. In short, you have rarely presented your hypothesis in a promotable way. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t care. So, following my promise of always following up any theory, this, I think, is what you propose. Please correct me if I’m wrong, and attempt to answer some of the questions, which are not contradictions, but requests for clarification.

    1) Having been scourged and tortured, and now covered in blood sweat and dust, Jesus was dressed in the Tunic of Argenteuil.

    2) After being crucified, he was taken down from the cross in a rigid state of rigor mortis, and his face covered with the Sudarion of Oviedo.

    3) Arriving at the tomb, he was laid on the Shroud on a preparation table, which had two stones or bags of myrrh granules placed to elevate the body from the surface, and the Shroud laid over them.

    4) Leaving the body unwashed and unwiped, the Shroud was folded back over the top of his body, and secured tightly with the Veil of Manopello, the Cap of Cahors, and the Sindon Munda.

    5) The shroud itself was wet, having been soaked in an alkaline mixture including Red Heifer water, Jerusalem limestone and powdered starch. Ammonia derived from urea in the sweat may have contributed to the alkalinity.

    6) Within the wrappings, various bits of plant material, and wooden artefacts were also placed.

    7) The body was then fumigated on both sides with vapours arising from the myrrh and aloes, which contained a blood-intensifier.

    8) As a result of the fumigation or a natural drying process, the Shroud shrunk, pulling itself away from the body to leave various areas of non-contact.

    9) The blood marks were formed by contact with the cloth.

    10) The image was formed by bodily contact with the cloth, and also by some form of emission resulting in action at a distance, collimated by the dust covering the surface of the body.

    11) Finally the whole assemblage was wrapped in the Sudarium of Kornelimunster and placed in the burial chamber.

    I hope Max feels that I have represented him correctly, and that others find this description more coherent than previous attempts.

    My questions are:

    1) Can we have some sources for the idea that any of this was typical Jewish burial practice?

    2) What is ‘Red Heifer water’?

    3) What does ‘fumigated on both sides’ [first on one side and then on he other side] mean?

    4) What was the nature of the emission from the body to produce the action at a distance represented by the intensity differences on the Shroud?

    3) How did the dust on the body collimate the emission?

    Once I have really understood your hypothesis properly, I will be in a better position to comment on whether it has any credibility.

  11. Re the Order of the Star: in old French lordre del letoile/lestoile/lestoille, “the order of the star”, wordplays (in terms of ‘old French word alchemy’) with lordre del toile (oblique case), “the order of the cloth”, in reference to lordre del Suaire Nostre Se(i)gnor/Sire Ihesucrist.

    Re “the Usual Suspect” and Colin’s (umpteenth new) shift-drift in his thinking while ‘aping around’ my fumigation theory to fit his anti-authenticist agenda:

    As early as April 16, 2012 (NOT 2015!) at 5:44 pm, Colin in reply to my FUMIGATION theory (implying aloetic FUMES and cloth-to-body COMPRESSURE front and back, concentrate AQUAEOUS ALKALI SOLUTION vapours, self-collimation and pre- or light MORDANTING); a theory he FIRST confused with Rogers’ theory (?!!!), wrote in his own blog:

    « By your logic that means you have no idea what a vacuum is, or why it would be needed in your idiotic model, along with much else besides. In fact what your model needs is nothing more sophisticated than a waste paper bin.”

    Here’s my reply to him on April 17, 2012 (NOT 2015!) at 6:50 pm and on April 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm:

    “Hope some day you will be able to REALLY understand what I wrote. Have you ever heard of mordanting ancient textile with ashes? Ever heard of water mechanically entrapped in the void spaces among the flax fibres and evaporating while compressed? Ever heard of the effect of alkali pre-treatment on mechanical and morphological properties of flax? Ever heard of a compressed linen burial sheet in direct contact with a stiff rigid body and gradually getting taut again while shrinking and acting like a collimator? Ever heard of 3/1-twill weave linen fabric return force etc?).”

    “The lab chemist needs (absolute or relative) vaccum tubes to explain what archaeology can explain without… Lab/kitchen chemistry JUTS CANNOT explain all and be substituted to a multidisciplinary scientific/archeaological approach. I got a pretty good idea of what vaccuum means not only when I think of the void spaces present in the flax fibres but also when I read your eccentric pseudo scentific claim, you old mummy!”

    Colin said then (still on April, 2012 while he was promoting is scorch theory):

    “Because I omit to mention all YOUR DAFT IDEAS, MORDANTING INCLUDED (upper cases mine), having contented myself with “auto-collimation etc” (…) that means this Biochemistry PhD is ignorant of mordanting.”

    “For your information, I first encountered mordanting as a young teenager with a home chemical laboratory, a friendly local pharmacist who supplied me with virtually any chemical I asked for. I probably encountered mordanting as I worked my way through every fat textbook of descriptive chemistry in the local library – the kind they don’t write anymore – probably under the chapter headed “aluminium”, more specifically alum and aluminium oxy- or hydroxyanions. ”

    Three years later (after he dropped his mummified monk skeleton/cadaver baking, template scorching and the like, “ (Colin) align(s) (him)self with Joseph Acetta … in thinking that THE TS IMAGE WAS PROBABLY DYED ONTO THE LINEN (upper cases mine), rather than heat-scorched. (I would not have rated dyeing per se very highly, but for the fact that dyeing onto linen is DIFFICULT WITHOUT THE USE OF A MORDANT (upper cases mine)” ?!!!

    (Most likely this is not a dye stricto sensu, just pre- or light mordanting of remoistened dried-off urea residues and dried-off or half dried-off blood along with dust.)

    Still in his own blog, on April 17, 2012 (NOT 2015!) at 11:38 am, Colin also wrote:

    “I see you have set out your imaginary scenario for how the image was formed on Dan Porter’s site. As I suspected from your use of fanciful terms like “auto-collimation” etc is absolute tripe from start to finish.”
    “Any kind of ‘vaporographic’ theory (BTW FUMES IS A SYNONYM FOR VAPOURS, comment mine), autoregulated or otherwise, would require a molecular beam, which in turn would require a collimator and a vacuum tube. I doubt that kind of hardware was available in 1st century tombs”
    “(…) Everything there exists purely in your own head. There is nothing that is rooted in reality. (…) Now kindly stop plastering my site with your Walter Mitty fantasizing. (…) you are simply making it up as you go along, pretending to knowledge you do not possess, except at the most superficial wiki-page level.”

    Three years later (still rooted in scientific and historical fiction) “(Colin) develop(ed) image with nitric acid FUMES (= VAPOURS), imprint of real hand ”?!!!! Because he’s neither a physicist nor an optical engineer or archaeological experimenter, he was then (in April 2012 CE) still unaware how ‘opaques’ (in terms of iron oxide and silica particles adhering to blood and in-soaked long inner burial cloth) can be used as image collimating agents. ONLY later he’ll become aware of it and would introduce sand in his scorch theory.

    Colin is now making his what he himself called my ‘daft ideas’. Is Colin Berry an alzheimer’s victim ‘aping around’?

    1. You accuse Colin of aping your theory, yet you make a monkey of yourself with your ad hom attacks, Max. Are you the only one who hasn’t noticed how much Colin has dialed down the rhetoric of late? Yes, he’s still snarky and gets a jab in here and there, but his behavior has become much more conciliatory and he’s obviously made a great effort not to get into a name-calling shouting match with you. You seem incapable of disciplining yourself in a similar manner.

      I’m not suggesting you forget the recent past on this blog, but I don’t see how digging up old wounds helps advance the discussion. A simple “I told you so” is the best line one can have when a rival finds himself swimming in the same end of the pool as you. You didn’t invent the pool or the water in it.

      1. David you ‘kindly’ wrote: “you make a monkey of yourself with your ad hom attacks, Max.”

        Is your Motto: Do not do as I do, do I say?

  12. Neither did I invent Colin’s ‘kind’ words re my fumigation theory he is now ‘aping around’…

  13. Sorry, David. My new model is not ‘naturalistic’. It does not see any role for natural emanations from a dead body leaving an image on cloth. The defects of Rogers’ model, at least as initially set out, have been discussed at length on this site: gas or vapour molecules do not move in straight lines, unless released through a slit into a perfect vacuum, i.e. ‘collimated’. So how can expect to image across air gaps. Or is it a contact-only model? Naturally-draped cloths do not make good contact with the 3D relief of a human body, without some applied ‘frottage’ as in the Garlaschelli model, and my own. There was no frottage in that 1st century tomb.

    Sure, there is a vapour in my new model, but it’s the gaseous phase of a ferocious chemical agent (70% HNO3) that gradually convert over hours a pale or colorless organic-based imprint (whether carbohydrate, protein etc) into a yellow or brown image, not dissimilar at first sight to the sepia image on the Shroud.

    The new images are not dissimilar either from those produced by contact with hot metal (the “thermal imprinting model). But there’s a huge advantage over that previous model: being a two step process – wet imprinting with a harmless foods substance (flour paste etc), followed by an aggressive development in the laboratory (or garage!), one can imprint part or ALL of a living person (or cadaver). One’s not restricted to statues or bas-reliefs. I see no difficulty whatsoever with scaling up, except for needing a good supersize laboratory hood to extract nitric acid vapours (I’ve stopped calling them ‘fumes’ on this site!)..

    What’s your opinion of this imaging of my own hand using the nitric acid model?

    What’s Dan’s opinion? I find his silence unsettling, given he’s ‘covered’ literally dozens of my previous postings. OK, it’s ‘thinking aloud’ but some might consider that images speak for themselves, whether good, bad or indifferent.

    1. Sorry, by naturalistic I meant non-miraculous. Your model is quite good. I’d like to see how it looks photographed (a la 2nd Pia) and then with ImageJ – just to see how it’s comparing on those fronts. All in good time I’m sure.

      1. No sooner said than done, David. It was a 5 minute job to take a screen shot of that hand and upload to ImageJ.

        The first is a Seconda Pia like reversal of light/dark, using the Edit Invert function:

        The second is the result of applying some 3D enhancement to the above image.

        I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse (and often found that the old-technology scorch images from my brass crucifix often gave a better response in ImageJ than the TS itself – the latter behaving more like a scorch off a bas-relief than a fully 3D template).

        As you say, these are early days, so thanks for the interest and appreciative comment. Yes, there’s lot’s more needing to be done, but I’m now taking a break for a couple of weeks or so from acids – whether as liquid (H2SO4) or vapour (HNO3).

  14. errr Hi Colin
    The image looks like rust. You will find fans in Canada, linked to one group in the US, interested in “naturalistic” images. I think Rogers was wrong when he followed the “naturalistic” line, and the rationale is in one question in the interview. Perhaps you should begin some fine tuning right now, beginning with Dr. Di Lazzaro’s challenge:
    and then tackling the blood:
    Above all don’t forget the body to cloth distance!

    1. Are you aware you sound more like a spin doctor/PR man with each passing day, Louis, linking to the same old interview, holding PDL up as someone who can say or do no wrong, a role model for us lesser mortals? Why should I, a retired researcher/team leader buy into that message Louis?

      For a start, Paolo Di Lazzaro needs to learn some chemistry (physics even). Nuff said (though I’ve written extensive critiques of his media interviews in the past).

      PDL needs to acquaint himself some more with the chemical components of the PCW and SCW, notably the reactive hemicelluloses of linen in both those locations, and stop imagining that chemical changes must always result in colour. It is highly unlikely that the imaging process affected the Shroud’s PCW only. The weakening of fibres suggests chemical impairment of the SCW core, probably to the cross-linking hemicelluloses that lock the cellulose fibres together. Damage the hemicelluloses and the entire fibre is compromised, even if the cellulose itself remains unchanged.

  15. Hey Colin, you get upset each time you are challenged. PDL never said he could do no wrong, on the contrary he has asked someone to try a life-size image. I recall the brass rubbing at the Westminster Abbey cloisters, which was fascinating. What would you do?
    Take something similar to one of those knights and smear it with chemicals?
    Let us go beyond PDL, to the body to cloth distance and the blood, that being the reason why I said fine tuning should be kept in mind. You will ultimately bump into this problem.

    1. Are you saying that I have never addressed or even thought about what you describe as ‘body-to-cloth- distance” Louis? Are you aware that I have consistently maintained that the TS image is contact only – but assisted contact (manual moulding of linen to relief by ‘frottage’) – as in a non-authentic/forgery scenario)..

      Are you aware that my current model also uses frottage? Have you seen what my hand looks like immediately after the frottage treatment.

      As I have said consistently, for the best part of three years, the tiniest air gap means NO image. Those who think otherwise are assuming a model that is just that – a totally untested assumption, based on assuming authenticity (totally unscientific approach!) – namely that of fabric draped loosely over a corpse. One would think that the sudden image-cut-off they report at an estimated 3.7cm air gap should be telling them something.(Like any sunken relief that is deeper than 3.7 cm is unlikely to be accessible by ‘frottage’).

      There’s more I could say, Louis, but why should I be giving you private seminars here if you are only prepared to read the pro-authenticity literature, and ignore my own postings as you have done – completely – some 250 of them in 3 years?

      Admit it, Louis. You are only here to push an agenda.

      1. Come on, Colin. You know you know I am not one to hide my Christian faith but if that is what you call an agenda you lost because this faith does not depend on relics at all. On the other hand, you have demonstrated an anti-Catholic agenda, telling Dan he was quasi-Catholic and questioning Hugh about his religion till he told you he was a “core Catholic”.

        Well, this is quite common in England, although it is getting better. If Tony Blair didn’t get himself baptised in a Catholic church before he left office it was only because it would be leave him uneasy, as Prime Minister, to appoint bishops of the Church of England.

        Remember, there is no church-state separation in England. HM Queen Elizabeth needed Benedict XVI to encourage Christians in a country where Anglicanism is falling apart. Catholic and Anglicans always shared chapels in England, and around two weeks ago they began sharing churches.

        Well, this world we live in is full of biases, if it is not religion, it is race,if it is not race, it is language, if it is not language it has something to do with region and that’s how it is.

        But, whatever the religion, race, language or region, human nature is the same.That said, if we get down to personal attacks it is the same as hitting below the belly and that is not conducive to a fruitful discussion. I am sure you will agree with me, so let us get down and discuss the relic.

        I think 250 postings in three years is enough material to write a peer-reviewed paper. But, before that, take all that is known about the Shroud into account, that is, image and blood.

        1. I’m here for one 5reason and one reason only, Louis: the claims by Di Lazzaro, Fanti and others that the TS could only have been produced by supernatural means, that those of us with a training different from theirs cannot hope to reproduce the image.
          Some of us have had a training in chemistry and biomedical science, and see absolutely no reason for thinking the TS image is non-reproducible. The notion that a superficial 200nm coloration precludes a conventional mechanism is total nonsense, given that 200nm is the approximate thickness of the PCW with its complement of highly exposed and vulnerable hemicelluloses.

          Scientists are not trying to disprove the existence of supernatural phenomena. What they object to are pseudo-scientists who rush to invoke the supernatural, claiming that this or that technique provides “hints” of the kind of unscientific ‘theophysics’ that may be operating. Harnessing laser beams is especially deplorable, given that the Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation is an entirely man-made effect created by containment and precise geometry, with no evidence that it occurs anywhere else in the universe. It’s hard to imagine anything less supernatural.

          I did not interrogate Hugh. I already knew his religious affiliation, that and his school and senior appointment being easily found online. It was a joshing comment as I recall.

          It is you Louis who has become increasingly irritating in your attempts to label contributors to this site. You even labelled Ray Rogers in a way that was intended to detract from his scientific objectivity. The tag was “positivist” as I recall. I thought (logical?) positivism was a branch of philosophy, not theology, so what’s its relevance here? Why bandy around these labels?

          As I say, I’m only here for the science, determined to expose pseudoscience at every opportunity, on account of the damage it does to the reputation of science and of real scientists to say nothing of one’s irritation in reading headlines that state “Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural” (Independent, December 2011). Anyone who says that to the media does not deserve to call himself a scientist. He is anti-science. What he thinks is his own business.Yet these are the people you are currently placing on a pedestal, expect us real scientists to genuflect or doff our hats. Forget it Louis. If you are going to write about science, or interview its practitioners, then take the trouble to learn how science operates and its no-go areas. Joe Marino could usefully do the same, in view of recent comments he addressed to me directly.

        2. Colin, first of all I will only respond to you about Dr. Di Lazzaro’s experiment if you produce a superficial 200nn image, a life-size one, as he asks in the interview.Can you do it? Don’t come with tiny statues or crucifixes.
          Regarding labels, I have no time to make a list of the labels you stuck on some people on this blog. As for Positivism, it can be traced to Galileo due to his method of working, and to Comte. It is also used in philosophy of science because it has something to do with empiricism. Curiously, you attacked Ray Rogers’ qualifications not long ago and you now defend what you call his “scientific objectivity”. Can you describe an evolutionary process without saying where the rationality came from? Is that scientific objectivity?
          You are being unfair when you accuse me of putting people on a pedestal. If I put Dr. Di Lazzaro on one, which I didn’t, what did the people at National Geographic do? Do you think they have no staff members who understand about science?
          It is time to do some more thinking, Colin.

      2. PS Oh, and that aside about “smearing with chemicals” probably means you haven’t bothered to learn how the latest model works. One smears maybe, but with harmless things like flour paste. They are the imprinting agent, as distinct from developing agent.

        No harsh chemicals come into contact with the skin. Nitric acid vapour is then used to develop the imprint transferred to linen by those harmless agents. Nobody had to dive into vats of developing agent in the early days of photography. The same principle applies. Capture a latent image that may be barely visible. Then develop it chemically until it reaches the desired level of visibility.

        Think of it as tactile ‘chemography’, an alchemical forerunner of photography (?)

        As I said earlier, the method can be scaled up to work with the entire body. No new equipment requirements or modification of basic technique are introduced, except for larger sheets of linen, more imprinting medium, larger vessels for suspending the linen over nitric acid to get a few hours exposure to the vapour. Based on a single pilot experiment, I suspect that the exposure time can abe considerably reduced using an alternative to flour paste that works faster and as a bonus also sequesters the vapour before it can do appreciable damage to the non-image areas.

        The final colour – yellow or brown – can probably be manipulated by altering the ratio of carbohydrate to protein in the imprinting medium. More carbohydrate means more oxidation, more browning. More protein means more nitration, more yellowing. The nitric acid model would appear to be a versatile system, but there’s much development work still needing to be done.

        The colour we see today may not be the same as the initial Mark 1 image. There is arguably something to be said for a model that generates a highly conspicuous image initially, but which degrades and becomes fainter with time.

        1. All right, I get it, but you are still in the experimental stage and I would really prefer a paper, complete with details from A to Z, perhaps including material from your 250 postings. I can wait.
          Meanwhile, what can Hugh, the scientist, say about your results? Will he publish it in the next BSTS newsletter?

        2. Colin, even if you were able to reproduce a perfect Shroud image (with sepia coloration) how would you,
          using chemical techniques like Garlaschelli, or any painter, be able to accomplish what is quoted below? DaVinci, at his best, could not have achieved such a result.

          “The image is best viewed from a distance and unlike a painting, almost disappears when one gets up close. When light is transmitted from behind, the image is not visible at all.”

          Therefore, using the powers of reason, it is obvious the image was formed by a supernatural process and fortunately (for those who believe in the authenticity of the Shroud) is not reproducible.

          Fanti suggests the image may have been the result of some new (presently unknown) form of electromagnetic radiation.

          Think about it! Why do you suppose Garlaschelli has not subjected his Shroud replica to the same chemical testing performed on the Turin Shroud? Nuff said!


        3. Quote:

          “The image is best viewed from a distance and unlike a painting, almost disappears when one gets up close. When light is transmitted from behind, the image is not visible at all.”

          Therefore, using the powers of reason, it is ob

          Therefore, using the powers of reason, it is obvious the image was formed by a supernatural process and fortunately (for those who believe in the authenticity of the Shroud) is not reproducible. ”

          Sorry, Angel. How much experience do you have Y of images that are only visible when you stand well back, or which are not visible with back illumination?

          I suspect that your experience of those features is the same as everyone else’s here, which apart from the Shroud of Turin is zilch, zero, nothing. So what gives you or anyone else for that matter the right to go insisting that an unfamiliar effect is supernatural, simply because you are at a loss to explain something new and unfamiliar.

          In fact you have no right to do that at all. what’s more, the scientific approach is to treat every such unfamiliar phenomenon as something that can be investigated by applying known principles of physics, chemistry and biology. Invoking a supernatural cause is simply a way of stating that you have no understanding of the scientific temperament or modus operandi.

          What is so deplorable is that our friends at ENEA say in the one breath that the approx 200nm deep image is too small to be formed by conventional science, yet in the same breath state that 200nm is also the thickness of the outermost layer of a linen fibre, namely the primary cell wall. Had they followed that up – the botany that is – they would have learned that the PCW is especially rich in chemically-reactive hemicellulose explaining why image colour is concentrated in so thin a layer, explaining no doubt its no you see it, now you don’t properties.

          They also acknowledge that image fibres are mechanically weaker than non-image fibres. How come, if all the chemical change is restricted to the PCW? Answer: it’s almost certainly not. there are hemicelluloses in the core SCW as well, and they were probably compromised too in the image-making process, except that is not so easily visible, due to the preponderance of unaffected cellulose.

          It is deplorable that those ENEA folk attempt to lecture us all on what is or is not possible with conventional science, displaying as they do an abysmal lack of knowledge – or even interest – in the fundamental botany and chemistry that has to be addressed if one’s to probe and understand the nature of the TS body image.

          Why do have to repeat myself over and over again on this site re the crucial role that hemicelluloses play, contrary to the prevailing assumption that linen fibres are essentially pure crystalline cellulose. That’s approximately true for cotton, but NOT for linen.

          Is it not just a little discourteous to constantly recycle the same old faux arguments at a researcher – without bothering to read at least some of his postings, which in my case have focused relentlessly on hemicelluloses for well over 3 years? This biomedical researcher worked in the area of cereal dietary fibre for some 12 years. Hemicelluloses are one of the most biologically-active of the cell wall carbohydrates, being easily fermentable in the lower bowel. You have to understand that I discuss hemicelluloses as a seasoned specialist. By all means criticize – but kindly do your homework first.

  16. So what about the answers to my questions, Max? I note in your latest tirade that you lambast Colin for being unaware how ‘opaques’ can be used as image collimating agents. Well I am also unaware of that (see my Question 3) above, and would like to know. Any chance of an answer?

  17. Colin wrote “As I say, I’m only here for the science, determined to expose pseudoscience at every opportunity, on account of the damage it does to the reputation of science and of real scientists to say nothing of one’s irritation in reading headlines that state “Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural” (Independent, December 2011). Anyone who says that to the media does not deserve to call himself a scientist.”

    Scientists do not write article headlines. As I recall, there were some comments on this blog at the time how the journalists went beyond what Paolo and others said. Journalists are notorious for getting various things wrong in articles about the Shroud (and other topics as well.)

  18. Louis, what is this about? “I will only respond to you about Dr. Di Lazzaro’s experiment if you produce a superficial 200nn image, a life-size one, as he asks in the interview. Can you do it?” Did di Lazzaro do it? None of his papers suggest that he has any expectation of his experiments being extended to a life size image, whereas Colin’s experiment merely requires a bigger sheet and a bit more starch.

    From this:
    “As scientists, we feel uncomfortable when dealing with a body emitting a hypothetical ultrashort burst of VUV radiation having a peak power … of, say, ten thousand excimer laser shots. A miracle would be necessary, which cannot fit into any current scientific paradigm. … As scientists, we are not entitled to argue about theological and philosophical implications of a flash of VUV radiation as a possible by-product of resurrection. We are only qualified to investigate the complex chain of chemical and physical processes triggered by VUV. … We did this scientific work, and we have made our experimental results and related arguments public.”
    I think it is clear that di Lazzaro would very much like his experiments to be physical evidence of a miracle, but it is equally clear that as a scientist he will not claim that they are, or even that there is anything further he can do in that direction.

  19. Good morning, Hugh

    What you refer to was actually addressed to Colin, as you must have seen,since he does not think that the image is non-reproducible. As a scientist, he is entitled to say that, but then he will have to reproduce a life size image. That is what Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro asks of anyone who picks up the gauntlet. As a scientist who has been studying the Shroud for thirty years you must also be aware that there are scientists in the realm of Shroud studies who openly claim that the image was produced by a miracle, what Dr. Di Lazzaro avoided saying.

    It is obvious that National Geographic accepted the Italian scientist’s research, just as I did, and went even further by dwelling on the amount of energy that would be needed to produce an image like the one we see on the Shroud. You can be sure that is because Dr. Di Lazzaro is direct and honest, and can even be blunt-spoken when needed. Unfortunately that has not always been the case whenever I have written about the Shroud, making some Shroudies take me to task for publishing what someone else stated, which they rejected. In this case, the fault has not been mine as I expect to hear the truth, and refuse to be manipulated. If I was deceived then that is something else, what Ian Wilson has referred to as dishonesty in some circles in Shroud studies, while writing as editor of the BSTS newsletter.

    Unfortunately, many Shroud publications only allowed chummies to publish their articles, even if it was just plain rubbish, making me appeal to other publications. In cases like these I have received support from other Shroudies, particularly those who judged that I was correct. I tend to be careful in what I publish, and have some articles and interviews published after painstaking research preserved in university libraries or in other renowned institutions for reference.

    Now, if there are some scientists who openly mix science with religion, there are (or have been) others who did the exact opposite, sweeping any reference to the supernatural, even though it is implicit, under the rug. That is something I will never accept and if there are journalists who are not accurate that is their problem and I would not like to placed in the category they are in. My credibility is such that I am sometimes invited to give talks about the existence of God, or religion in general. I have turned down the requests, suggesting books to be read.

    I am one who believes that if you really look for the truth you will find it. Just how many are looking for this kind of thing is another story, as Schopenhauer and Pascal pointed out centuries ago.

  20. Colin states: “Invoking a supernatural cause is simply a way of stating that you have no understanding of the scientific temperament or modus operandi. ”

    ***Angel says: There is no reply button.

    Colin, I’ve read and understood your nitric acid fumigation posting and was amazed to find you failed to make use of hematite, iron (III) oxide to reproduce the bright red (blood-like color) on the image you created.

    Yet, I am certain you are aware nitric acid oxidizes right down to the bone and often wonder why you would go to such extremes (using dangerous chemicals in a home lab) merely to disprove the Shroud image was not formed supernaturally?

    You continue to trumpet science, but it has yet to explain either “The Baigong Pipes, “The Antikythera Mechanism” or “The Voynich Manuscript.” So much for scientific explanations.

    Supernatural phenomena or paranormal experiences should not be pooh-poohed away, merely because they are untestable using scientific methods. You are deluding yourself if you believe science can explain everything. It cannot!


    1. The reason why the Antikythera Mechanism is still not fully understood is nothing to do with the inadequacies of science. It is because it has decayed over time,especially after centuries under water and there is no similar surviving mechanism to compare it with. However, the Greek Government allows access to established experts and so over the years more sophisticated imaging equipment has revealed some of its secrets. In fact, the research is proving an excellent example of scientific method but we may never be able to find the whole truth about the complex mechanism.
      Similarly with the Shroud, the centuries of deterioration have made the original creation harder to understand and there is the added problem of lack of access for experts. A pity when more sophisticated technology is readily available to examine the Shroud.

    2. There is nothing essentially mystical about the Antikythera machine, and even in 1974 Sprague de Camp in his “The Ancient Engineers” was able to give an adequate description of its fundamentals. Its predecessors included orreries devised by Archimedes (285-211 BCE) which were model planetariums derived from earlier model globes of Thales and Eudoxos which included markings of fixed stars and constellations. Later Heron of Alexandria constructed similar orreries.

      The “antikythera” (so named from its location) was discovered in the Aegean in 1900 by Greek sponge divers and lying in 200 ft of water. In 1958 Derek Price was permitted to examine its remains. It is essentially an astronomical clock, with an inscription giving instructions, It included mechanical gearing, and a dial with signs of the zodiac. It included a slip ring which could be used to adjust the mechanism, as predating Julius Caesar’s leap year calendar, the constellations would gradually get out of sync with the lunar calendar then in use.

      It included several gear trains, and signs of minor repairs indicated that the device actually worked and was in use. From the setting of the slip ring it seems that the ship sank about 65 BCE, but then little further was heard of such devices, until about 1000 AD, when al-Biruni an Iranian savant traveled to India and described a very similar machine. Like the Antikythera, al-Biruni’s machine had 60 degree triangular teeth mounted on square shanks.

      Such devices besides illuminating what was then known of astronomy, seem also to have served a useful and practical purpose in navigation.

      1. Typo, the anikythera preceded Julius Caesar’s calendar, but I think leap years came later with Pope Gregory.

  21. The trouble with the supernatural, Angel, is that it is so dull and unimaginative that I can’t believe that God works in such unmysterious ways. You want an elephant? And God said, let it be so and it was done. You want a Shroud? And God said, right, there you go, and there it was. Scientists should never rule out the supernatural, but the intricacies of the rational world are so much more attractive!

  22. Re how ‘opaques’ can be used as image collimating agents:

    In conjunction with an (myrrhic?) aloetic fumigation (at 55°-85°C), the presence of ‘opaques’ (such as silicate and iron oxide particles respectively present in the Judean desert dust, Jerusalem Meleche /limestone dust and remoistened freshly dried and/or half dried sweat and blood that presumably covered the TS man’s body before the latter was taut lengthwise, compressed widthwise and moulded around (anaerobic condition) front and back in an alkaline water in-soaked winding inner burial sheet, could explain the ‘dehydration oxidation’/pre- or light mordanting of the cellulose/thin layer of carbohydrates of impurities of the high-detailed bloodied body image.

    Alkaline water vapour concentration due to the resulting diffusion in relation to the dust-covered bloodied-body-to-cloth first absence of distance and then gradual distancing (at most a few millimetres from the body at points where image elements are now still visible beyond three paces), can have dissolved the adhered dust and via accumulated insoluble components (as enhancing agents) and gelatinized starch (as printing paste) collimated and mordanted the surface of the cloth according to a very small distance (in terms of a very small unsticking of just a few millimetres as the in-soaked inner winding burial sheet got sort of taut again as it gradually shrunk front and back on drying out).

    The very presence of air gaps and/or screening objects and/or aromatic fresh flower heads and/or fresh flowering heads of spiny plants, prevented body image formation mostly on each side and incidentally on the epicranial interspace and neck areas, around the head and hands, at buttock and popliteal levels. These ‘no image areas’ in conjunction with high detailed body images front and back are crucial evidence the bloodied body image formation process results from a direct-contact-and-gradual-loss-of-direct-contract mechanism front and back. Most likely the very in-soaked cloth moulded around the dust-covered body worked as an oversized focus/collimating lens as it gradually shrunk, unstuck and sort of got taut again.

    The unsticking process along with the very presence of ‘opaques’ originally on both the body and linen surface likely can account for the TS bloodied body somewhat fuzzy image compared to Volckringer plant patterns.

    1. That doesn’t explain collimation at all, nor what is being collimated.
      “collimated and mordanted the surface of the cloth”
      I’m not sure you know what collimated means.

      1. I am not sure you really understand how the very in-soaked cloth moulded around the dust-covered body worked as an oversized focus/collimating lens as it gradually shrunk, unstuck and sort of got taut again.

        1. Reminder for Hugh: anaeoribic condition in terms of body-to-cloth compression along with humidity, chemical composition of the dust (accumulation of ‘opaques’ in specific locations of teh fabric), fumigation and energy beam are linked.

        2. Re contactless image transfer mechanism at a few millimeters distance see “La Sindone, Indagini scientifiche” a cura di Sebatiano Rodante, Un Meccanismo Senza Contatto Del Transferrimento Dell’Immagine Della Sindone by Bruno AZZOLA, p. 202-205, Edizione Poline, 1988

        3. “I am not sure you really understand….” Quite right, Max. I don’t understand at all. Could you explain? What is the “energy beam” and how is it “focussed” by the dust?

        4. In other words, the heated alkaline water in-soaked ‘body-membrane-like shroud’ acted as an ‘opaque’ coated bent and planar mirror naturally ‘designed’ to perfectly collimate and scan the vaporographic energy as it swept the beam vertically across the full exposure field aka the bloodied body. This natural scanning beam system was controlled by means of gradual mechanical body-to-cloth unsticking.

        5. …as the inner winding burial sheet compressed widthwise, shrunk and sort of got taut again.

        6. Ah! Brilliant! Now I understand perfectly. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism known to science that will have any such effect, so until one is demonstrated, the whole scenario must remain nothing but fantasy. Still, it was a good idea while it lasted.

        7. (Posted on another thread by mistake)

          Hugh, not long ago (on November 7, 2012 at 10:35 am), you confessed:

          “I too (alike Colin Berry) had trouble discriminating between the warp and the weft side of the fabric. Until recently I supposed that the image side was the weft side, imagining that as one sat at a loom weaving, each of the four heddles (sic) in turn would lift every fourth thread, and the shuttle would therefore go over three warps and under one.”

          Myself (along with Thilbault) had to remind you the sindon warp side (75% surface warp threads) bears the double image and its weft side (75% surface weft threads) doesn’t. This tells you how reliable your allegedly “scientific” approach may be!

          I have referred you too to Bruno Azzola’s experiment re contactless image transfer mechanism on the TS (at a few millimiters’ distance) and dust-covered linen (acting as collimating/enhancing agent). Most obviously you are STILL unaware of it!
          Most obviously too, you are neither an achaeological experimentator nor a textile specialist (familiar with mechanical return force exerted by textile structure).

          As you found it hard JUST to discriminate between the warp and the weft side of the fabric (which is most simple), methinks you just CANNOT understand my fumigation theory (which is more complex) nor even imagine it! Nope.

        8. Reminder for Hugh:To collimate: to accurately set the alignment of (an optical or OTHER system):

        9. Origin

          Mid 19th century: from Latin collimare, an erroneous reading (in some editions of Cicero) of collineare ‘align or aim’, from col- ‘together with’ + linea ‘line’.

          Ex: the TS man’s dust and blood-covered body parts and (aqueous alkali solution in-soaked) cloth were accurately aligned (= a dust and blood body-membrane-like shroud)

        10. Reminder for Max. Not one of your previous twelve posts has come anything near to postulating a method whereby an “energy beam” is collimated by dust. We need better than cheap insults and Latin derivations. So come on, Max. explain. I don’t believe you can.

  23. Typo: the TS man’s body before his inner winding burial cloth was taut, compressed widthwise and moulded around (anaerobic condition) front and back

  24. To return to the lost theme of this posting, this ambiguity seems to be quite common in Italy, although I leave it to the Italian contributors to confirm this. I was asked to talk to a group of Italian guides( a spin-off of my work in Italy) and the words that come up often when talking about relics are ‘ Non e vero, ma ci credo’ . This was originally the title of a 1950s comic film but has been adopted as the attitude to many relics. ‘We know it is not true but we go on believing it.’The strongest point is that these many relic cults are so deeply woven into Italian culture that to think of getting rid of them would be impossible. So the idea that a relic might be authentic is kept alive even though many in their heart of hearts know that it simply cannot be true.
    I can understand why Zaccone’s point about the obsession with authenticity fits with this attitude and I sense, and again I need confirmation from Italians, that many are getting rather embarrassed that the Church is allowing belief in authenticity to go unchallenged. We shall see what pope Francis says on the matter!

  25. It doesn’t seem that the Church is allowing belief in authenticity to go unchallenged, the tradition continues because there is no proof of forgery. My bet is that Pope Francis will talk about God’s love and suffering.

    1. I agree with Louis that there is no proof of forgery. It would not make any sense for a forger to create a large cloth with images on it when anyone reading the gospels or seeing medieval frescos of Christ’s deposition and burial would never have seen the Shroud this way. Much better to look for an original liturgical function and the conversion from icon to relic when this was such a common occurrence in the medieval period.
      Apparently the Shroud will not be on display again until 2025, so the pope can talk about faith and let it be folded away again for the next ten years. Or he can say,’ Come on, let’s settle the argument. Let’s find the top textile conservationist experts and ask them to examine the Shroud and have another radio-14 test for good measure.’

  26. Given his point of view, Charles’ approach is now more balanced. The Shroud is a secondary matter for the Church since it is not an article of faith and healing and curing processes that lead to beatification or canonisation are more important. Judging from the press reports the relic’s papal custodian is willing to make more tests and the final word will of course rest with the pontiff.

    I still have doubts about the efficacy of carbon dating when it comes to the Shroud, and would prefer that the Church appoint a team for a non-invasive hands-on examination.

  27. Hugh,

    You wrote: “Reminder for Max. Not one of your previous twelve posts has come anything near to postulating a method whereby an “energy beam” is collimated by dust. We need better than cheap insults and Latin derivations. So come on, Max. Explain. I don’t believe you can.”

    First reminder for you:

    My archaeo(crypto)logy of the TS as textile artefact likely bearing the double image of a crucifixion victim who could be Yeshu’a does not rest on ‘fantasy’ as you mischievously/ misleadingly wrote but on:

    – My constant challenge not to reproduce ‘anti-shroudies” and ‘shroudies” errors,
    – An excellent descriptive knowledge of the famous contact textile relic or substitute relic
    – An excellent (and at times ‘first-hand’) descriptive knowledge of likely related christic textile and even wooden relics or substitute relics as well (Christolipsology).
    – Many a reliable iconographic and literary documents that pre-dates –by one to nearly fourteen centuries– the TS official radiocarbon date (1325 ±65) (BTW a few of the documents were even unknown to you till I mentioned them in this very blog or are still unknown to you and the Shroud sphere)
    – Second Temple period history and Archaeology, Archaeoastronomy
    – Koine Greek Gospel accounts (+their Hebrew and Aramaic retroversions) + their translation entropy, Talmudic literature (mostly Mishnaic age 273 BCE–190 CE), Biblical literature, Patristics
    – Empirical facts that clearly demonstrate what the TS formation image process is not
    – Intuitive thought experiment (to bypass allegedly ‘archaeological’ and/or ‘scientific’ double bind experimental situations or allegedly ‘archaeological’ and/or ‘scientific’ double bind observations or interpretations)

    Now re my fumigation or vaporographic mordanting theory & your MISUNDERSTANDING (in terms of language and communication barriers):

    I STILL suspect (and your last comment says it all!) you (as high school teacher of the Science of the Earth and archsceptic ‘shroudie’) do not understand at all the thermal and textile physics and chemistry REALLY involved as far as the ARCHAEOLOGY of the TS image formation process is concerned.

    Most obviously and most unfortunately, you not only took at face value the few optical metaphors (bent & planar mirror, scan) I used but also mispresented a few of them (e.g. I never postulated “a method whereby an “energy beam” is collimated ONLY –my upper cases and addition– by dust” as you wrongly imply! Cannot you correctly read me? I actually referred to a DUST-(urea residue)-blood COVERED body-like membrane shroud acting as a natural primary collimator in terms of accurate alignment AND image enhancer. You totally missed the implication (it makes a world of difference indeed)!

    (Second reminder for you: for the latter propriety of dust covered linen and contactless image transfer mechanism in a humid environment, see Bruno Azzola’s paper presented at the fourth Congresso Nazionale, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy in 1987. BTW that’s the third time I am referring you to the paper and most obviously you haven’t still read it yet before passing your most uninformed, misrepresenting and unsubstantiated negative comments!)

    How long will you misrepresent my ideas to overrate your allegedly ‘scientific’ opinion and underrate my archaeo(crypto)logical opinion in Dan’s blog? When was it last time you made an attempt to reconstruct the TS man’s dressing in shroudS to experimentally check out if his shroud(s) was/were not a genuine one/genuine ones or a fake/fakes? (I personally made two attempts in 1994 and 1997). What do you REALLY know about the mechanical return force exerted by textile structure in specific circumstances as described below?)

    In previous posts, in my haste (and admittedly tentative English) to explain (between two professional appointments!), I found it convenient to recur to the optical metaphor “bent & planar mirror”. The phrase (as you should have guessed!) does not refer to any ‘bent and planar mirror’ stricto sensu but the energy receiving-re-emitting textile surface in light of the body-to-cloth initial and final configurations!

    (And absent noteworthy exceptions) Indeed I integrated the likely fact that, first the cloth was tightly moulded around the body front and back and then sort of got taut again (through gradual shrinking and unsticking) from about 0.5mm to only a few millimetres’ distance just above the body.

    As to my use of the substantive “scan” and the phrase ‘energy beam’, they were for convenience too. The former was no reference at all to an ‘actual scan’ but to a superficial uniform front and back enhanced (3D encoded/volumetric indeed) recording of the bloodied image onto the inner side textile surface on fumigation procedure! The latter (“energy beam”) most exactly referred to a collimated/ body-shaped like vaporographic beam of energy resulting from fumigation of the alkaline water in-soaked inner winding burial sheet (aka TS) moulded around the body front and back.

    (to be continued)

  28. “How long will you misrepresent my ideas?” I do hope I’m not misrepresenting your ideas at all. If I don’t understand them, I ask for clarification; and if I do understand them, but disagree with them, I say so. Disagreeing with your opinion is not the same as mispresenting it.

    So, I disagree with almost everything you have said, which has, again, made no attempt to explain how an “energy beam” can be collimated by dust, even a ” DUST-(urea residue)-blood COVERED body-like membrane shroud.”

    I note that you begin your attempt to explain your ideas with eight bullet points which have nothing whatever to do with either the beam or the dust.

    Then we get “you not only took at face value the few optical metaphors (bent & planar mirror, scan)”. Oh! So all that stuff about lenses was a metaphor! But a metaphor for what? For “the energy receiving-re-emitting textile surface in light of the body-to-cloth initial and final configurations!” Well that sounds great, Max, but it doesn’t mean anything, does it? You’ll have to be a lot clearer than that.

    You seem to rely a lot of Bruno Azzola’s paper, which I am completely unable to access. Googling him in an attempt to find out more, all I get is from the BSTS Newsletter on “J. Bruno Azzola, “A Possible Image Transfer Mechanism on the Shroud of Turin.” The Author, a Roumanian engineer working in West Germany (or perhaps a translator) has made a valiant attempt to write in English. Scientists familiar with what the Author is talking about may be able to figure it out.” Now, I hold up my hands here. I don’t know what his ideas are. But don’t now jump up and down in glee shouting “Go and do your homework” as usual. I’m absolutely certainly you don’t know what he’s talking about either, so would you like to explain?

    Next, “I personally made two attempts in 1994 and 1997.” Yes, so you said before. But you didn’t say what you did or what the results were. That’s not an explanation at all.

    And what, finally, is the energy beam? It’s “a collimated/ body-shaped like vaporographic beam of energy resulting from fumigation of the alkaline water in-soaked inner winding burial sheet (aka TS) moulded around the body front and back.” Oh, dearie me, Max. What on earth is a “vaporographic beam of energy”?

    In short, Max, hurling neologisms around is not the same thing as explaining something.

    What was the “vaporographic beam of energy” made of?

    How did the “DUST-(urea residue)-blood COVERED body-like membrane shroud” collimate the energy into producing a picture?

    Simple questions – simple answers please!

  29. Typo: The former was no reference at all to an ‘actual scan’ but to a superficial uniform front and back enhanced (3D encoded/volumetric indeed) recording of the bloodied BODY image onto the inner side textile surface on fumigation procedure!

  30. Re neologism and unknown phenomena, reminder for Hugh re state-of-the-art experimental archaeology, what experts could not understand or the ‘TRENCH EFFECT’

    The King’s Cross fire case (from wiki)

    “A model of King’s Cross station was built at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment using computer simulation software; this showed the flames lying down along the floor of the escalator rather than burning vertically before producing a jet of flame into the ticket hall. While the end result matched the eye witness accounts of the tube fire, the simulation’s depiction of the fire burning parallel to the 30° slope of the escalator was THOUGHT BY SOME TO UNLIKELY AND IT WAS SUSPECTED THAT THE PROGAMMING MIGHT BE FAULTY (upper cases mine). During experiments with a third scale replica of the escalator constructed at the UK’s Health and Safety Executive site at Buxton, a fire was lit and after seven and a half minutes of normal burning the flames lay down as in the computer simulation.The metal sides of the escalator served to contain the flames and direct the temperature ahead of the fire.When the treads of the escalator flashed over, the size of the fire increased dramatically and a sustained jet of flame was discharged from the escalator tunnel into the model ticket hall. The 30° angle of the escalators was discovered to be crucial to the incident and the large number of casualties in the fire was AN INDIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF A FLUID FLOW PHENOMENON THAT WAS LATER NAMED THE TRENCH EFFECT, A PHENOMENON COMPLETLY UNKNOWN PRIOR TO THE FIRE. The conclusion was that this newly discovered trench effect had caused the fire to flashover on 18 November 1987 at 19:45.”

    Too bad my neologisms do not speak to you at all and you just cannot imagine/’see’ what you’re not familiar at all with or is unlikely to your way of thinking

    More later (no time at the moment to reply to Hugh and give the sequel to my first part)

  31. Ri-ight. So you’re saying the Shroud image was caused by some sort of trench effect? If so, then I understood the article above perfectly, and you only need to explain how it fits into the Shroud scenario to agree with you exactly….

  32. I studied Fluid Mechanics for some years as part of my degree course and for long afterwards. In general, analytic solutions are usually only available for the simplest cases, such as in laminar flow of incompressible fluids, particularly if they can be modeled in two dimensions only.

    A lot is known about the turbulent phases and the significance of boundary layers, momentum exchanges and so on, but knowledge and analysis remains imperfect, theoretical only, and to some extent speculative. In most practical cases of any complexity it is necessary to resort to physical modelling. Some skill and knowledge is required to ensure that the requirements of dimensional analysis are satisfied, and it is usually not enough to construct merely a geometrical model. Depending on what phenomena are thought to be most significant the model must be consistent with several various dimensionless numbers, such as the Reynold’s No., Mach No., and so on.

    The situation becomes more complex in the case of compressible flow, more so if random temperatures occur such as in a fire.

    The “Trench Effect” mentioned by Max would seem to be some kind of convection phenomenon caused by the fire, possibly due to some kind of confined air flow from the temperature gradients. In different practical situations, other as yet unknown effects might also occur, and can usually only be identified by physical modelling.

    I would think it unlikely that the “Trench Effect” per se would be of direct relevance in creating the Shroud image. As yet we do not know the processes that might have been involved in creating the image, assuming that it might be naturalistic. However if fluid flow was involved in its creation, then a physical model would in time be necessary to test any hypothesis, and some as yet unknown fluid phenomenon might yet be involved. Concerning collimation, it was for this reason that I had wondered whether earthquake stimulated radon emissions might be relevant, in confining and directing whatever particulates might have caused the image.

  33. Thanks Daveb for your comment.

    Hugh, (as a SHORT reply since I have no much time for a long winded articulate comment), methinks the crucifixion victim’s ‘smooth wet and dust-covered textile skin’ (or ‘second skin’ aka his aqueous alkali solution in-soaked inner winding burial sheet now known as the Turin Shroud), tightly moulded over his dust-sweat-blood covered body, acted as an image enhancing membrane for accurately aligning (collimating) incompressible vapour flow and orthogonally moved in terms of body-to-cloth gradual shrinking and unsticking front and back by means of the said flow as a thermal actuator.

    What is now most needed is a physical model in terms of experimental archaeology to test the hypothesis.

    1. Typo: in terms of STATE-OF-THE-ART experimental archaeology (no kitchenlab, no pig experiment)

  34. “What is now most needed is a physical model in terms of experimental archaeology to test the hypothesis.” Absolutely correct, Max. Otherwise, the whole “image enhancing membrane for accurately aligning (collimating) incompressible vapour flow and orthogonally moved in terms of body-to-cloth gradual shrinking and unsticking front and back by means of the said flow as a thermal actuator” remains unexplained, unscientific, and… sorry… fantasy. One good experiment can override a hundred pages of theory, but at the moment we have neither experiment not theory, just wishful thinking.

    1. Hugh, according to your Scientific Highness’ implied syllogism, ‘the Turin Shroud would remain unexplained, unscientific and… fantasy untill proven experimentally otherwise… The TS is first and foremost an archaeo(crypto)logical issue (if your Scientific Highness) allow me…

      Re your ‘Simple questions – simple answers’ logic and ‘box-ticking’ me:

      (reminder: “box-ticking, noun
      1.(derogatory) Hugh’s usual process of satisfying his scientific bureaucratic administrative requirements rather than assessing the actual merit of something”):

      According to YOU, which process exactly presided to the TS double bloodied body image formation, please?

      – You don’t know but you will tell us everything you know about the shroud
      – You do know but you will not tell us
      – You don’t know and you will tell us nothing
      – Any personal original solution of yours that can meet your own criteria in terms of scientificity, explicability and concreteness?

      Hugh’s criticism is easy but my art (Archaeocryptology) is difficult.

  35. Typo:
    – Any personal original solution of yours that can meet your own criteria in terms of scientificity, explicability and concreteness? PLEASE explain in 80 words max.!

  36. Max, there is nothing to criticise. I cannot criticise your ideas because there aren’t any. The Shroud “acted as an image enhancing membrane.” Well maybe it did. But there is not a shred of evidence that it might or could. The action at a distance was caused by an “incompressible vapour flow.” Well maybe it was. But there is not a shred of evidence that supports any such argument.

    “Hugh, according to your … syllogism, the Turin Shroud would remain unexplained, unscientific and… fantasy until proven experimentally otherwise… ” Nonsense; your logic is terrible. Proof doesn’t come into it. Certainly the Turin Shroud will be unexplained until somebody demonstrates a coherent method of formation, but such a demonstration would begin with a testable idea. You don’t have a testable idea. You don’t really have anything more than a form of words.

    1. Methinks, YOU have anything more than a form of words to deny my fumigation or self-collimated vaporographic pre- or light mordanting theory.

      The true fact is my fumigation theory does meet all the scientific AND archaeological known requirements and YOU haven’t the foggiest notion of what the scientific AND archaeoloical requirements definitely are. Besides it does seem you don’t even have the slightest clue of how intuitive thought experiment solidly based on reasoning/’archaeo(crypto)logic’ can ‘bridge’ the unknown all the more so as YOU are still trapped in your limitative polarized own either/or flawed reasoning/logic: the TS is either a medieval fake or it is impossible. Methinks you just want to worm it out of me and, to achieve your airm, just judge my fumigation theory up with your usually supercilious and allegdly ‘scholarly’ incredulity when, actually, you’re just ignorant of fluid mechanics as far as TS archaeological vaporographic conditions and tensility are concerned.

      BTW it would me more accurate to describe the TS acting as an image enhancing membrane for accurately aligning (collimating) COMPRESSED AND DECOMPRESSIBLE vapour flow and orthogonally moving in terms of body-to-cloth gradual shrinking and unsticking (as it got sort of taut again mostly from about half to a few millimeters) front and back by means of the said flow as a thermal actuator (if you KNOW what I mean).

      More later re scientific and archaeological requirements.

  37. On another thread Hugh wrote: “The truth, of course, is that many people, who hold both authenticist and non-authenticist opinions, are nevertheless ABLE TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE (upper cases mine) the views and evidence of those of the opposite opinions, and can engage in constructive debate about all of them.”

    When it comes to my fumigation theory, methinks Hugh just cannot REALLY understand and appreciate… How could he appreciate what most obviously he just cannot understand as far as fluid mechanics and vaporography is concerned?

  38. On the contrary, Max, I understand and appreciate everything you have said. However as the mechanisms you hope for are not described or explained, the only way of testing your hypothesis is by replicating the crucifixion and burial in precisely the manner you describe, which seems a little hard on the person experimented on. For all I know, vaporography and fluid mechanics may be involved, but unless you describe how, in rather more detail than you have, they remain, as I said, just a form of words, which cannot be tested in detail.

  39. Shall I endlessly repeat: what I need (for my hypothesis to be tested in details) is a full body silicone medical mannequin realistic replica of the Sindon Man with water chamber (to be filled with heated water to simulate body and body hyperthermia temperatures) and fully jointed neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles (to provide a deathlike range of similar rigor mortis positions) + at least 3 sets of ad hoc linen cloths (both medieval and late antique replicas + industrial replicas of extant christic contact relics), a Jerusalem 1st c. CE tomb to be rented for a couple of days in early spring so that I could reconstruct the Sindon’s Man specific burial in state-of-the-art experimental archaeology. Had I had enough money and/or support, I would have done it years ago.

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