Yannick Clément on Colin Berry’s Latest Hypothesis

imageHe writes in an email:

If we take the question of the image formation without also taking into account the rest of the important data coming from the Shroud, I would say that even if Colin Berry could really produced an image on linen that would show ALL the chemical and physical properties of the Shroud image (I’m 99% certain that he can’t because, among other thing, there is absolutely no color penetration anywhere on the Shroud, which is something no medieval forger using the kind of chemical process he proposed could have rationally achieve), his result would never prove that this is how the Shroud image was formed.  This would only show that the kind of "artificial" process he proposed can produce an image on linen like the Shroud, which is very different than claiming this MUST be the way it was done.

And more importantly, the evidence coming from the bloodstains (which I have summarized in this paper: http://shroudnm.com/docs/2012-07-26-Yannick-Clément-The-evidence-of-the-bloodstains.pdf) would still be there to contradict the idea of a false relic that could have been "artificially" created by a forger.  As I showed in my paper, the blood evidence coming from the Shroud is enough to prove that this cloth is a real burial cloth that has enveloped only for a short period of time a real scourged and crucified man that has been executed with the known historical method that was used by the Roman Empire before the reign of the Emperor Constantine.  In such a context, the ONLY rational hypothesis that could involve a forgery is the one I summarized in the point #1 you can find in page 6, which goes like this: "It is a real burial shroud of someone other than Jesus of Nazareth who suffered the same tortures as he with a forged image done by someone without using any art technique. In this case, a forger “naturally” produced the image while using a real human corpse. Because of the great resemblance between what happen to Jesus in the Gospels, we must assume that this forger did it in order to produce a false relic of the Passion of the Christ. Also, because of the presence of many differences between any known artistic depictions of the Passion of the Christ prior to the first known public exhibition of the Shroud in the 14th century and the bloodstains and the body image that are on the Shroud (for example, the nailing in the wrist instead of in the palms, the wearing of a cap of thorns instead of a crown and the very distinct dumbbell shaped marks of scourging coming from a Roman flagrum), we must assume that if he tortured and crucified himself (with the help of some collaborators), this forger was well aware of the Roman procedures concerning scourging and crucifixion. In fact, it is even more rational to think that this forger used the body of a real crucified victim who was put to death by the Romans, before the crucifixion was banished by the emperor Constantine, in the last years of his reign that ended in 337. We also have to assume that this forger took the dead body out of the shroud before it started to corrupt in such a way that this extraction did not disturb the bloodstains, never broke the linen fibrils under them and did not disturb the body image. In sum, this scenario can be described like a “natural” forgery using a real tortured and crucified body. And whether or not the forger knew that he would obtain a body image on the cloth, along with the bloodstains, is not completely clear. In fact, the formation of an image like that could have well been just an accident."

If Berry (or anyone else) still wants to defend the idea of a forgery while remaining rational, I urge him to think seriously of what I just said and to try to find a way to produce a Shroud-like image with the use of biological products that could have been released inside the Shroud shortly after death by a highly-traumatized human corpse that had been scourged and crucified. In my mind, that would certainly be much more interesting than seeing him constantly trying to produce at all cost a Shroud-like image with the use of a man-made technique, while completely leaving aside (or at the very least, not considering seriously) the crucial evidence coming from the bloodstains…

13 thoughts on “Yannick Clément on Colin Berry’s Latest Hypothesis”

  1. Yannick, we’ve discussed about Rogers’ legacy back in 2012, It was clear that no definite answer had been given concerning chemical reactants at stake,Thibault said he was working on it.

    I guess the problem is complex when you’re dealing with a biological coating and he still doesn’t have a serious track, no more no less than our latecomer in the chemical field, CB, who thought he had it all figured out but is totally off the track.

  2. Any paper which begins with an unequivocal statement of incontrovertible facts that are actually nothing of the kind (“Firstly, to avoid any possible confusion, we must clearly state that it is a proven and confirmed fact that the blood on the Shroud is real human blood. Scientifically, there’s absolutely no room for doubting this conclusion”) invariably rouses suspicion in the mind of the more objective reader. Suffice it to say that in spite of the word ‘fact’ occurring fifty or so times (to say nothing of eleven “!!!”, three “???” and a “?!?”), almost nothing of Yannick’s paper is undisputed by quite sensible people, who, as usual, far from forgetting, neglecting and denying the evidence, are the ones who consider it most deeply on its merits. Colin has nothing to worry about from this quarter.

  3. Meanwhile, life goes on in the world of empirical, experimental research. The new model accommodates the blood-under-body image conclusion from the Adler/Heller protease test quite neatly. How?

    Paint the subject with imprinting medium, then apply blood while the medium is still moist, then imprint. Blood attaches to linen ahead of the overlying medium, so ends up underneath. But how long does one have in which to carefully apply the blood in all the biblically-correct locations? If somebody had asked me that a half hour ago, I’d have said 15 -20 minutes. Oops, not so, at least with simple flour/water imprinting medium. Paint it onto one’s fingers, and it’s well on the way to becoming bone dry (and thus useless for imprinting) within 5 minutes.

    There’s nothing like an experiment to destroy one’s preconceptions. Body temperature with accelerated evaporation of water are presumably the explanation. Of course, a cold corpse or even effigy could have been used as subject, in which case the evaporation would have been slower, but it’s nicer to think that a willing volunteer (live) had been used.

    So while flour/water is OK in principle as an imprinting medium if all one wants is a body image, it’s not suitable if intending to add the bloodstains as well carefully and precisely over, let’s say, a 15 to 30 minute time scale at least.

    Conclusion: something else needs to be added to the flour/water to prevent it drying out too quickly, to keep it moist and transferable to linen.

    Refinement of the model continues, with no deadline to meet.

    1. If the TS was to succeed, it had to be a one-off, with the technology (probably alchemy) kept a closely guarded secret. That makes it virtually impossible to prove conclusively that the TS-specific technology now proposed was used in medieval times (but then that’s true of non-TS technology too, given that science rarely works by proof, but of an accumulating weight of evidence).

      However, there is documentary evidence that a key step in the image-making process – chemical development with nitric acid ( HNO3) – WAS available in order to convert a near-invisible flour imprint to a sepia-coloured image, one with the appearance of a photographic negative, as per TS.

      The three common mineral acids that one finds in all chemical laboratories – hydrochloric, sulphuric and nitric – were all known in the 13th/14th century, thanks to the activities of alchemists in search of the philosopher’s stone, universal solvents, means of transmuting base metals to gold etc etc.

      Again, demonstrable proof is difficult, if not impossible, because modern day chemists shy away from the medieval alchemical literature, it being abstruse and coded, indeed “gibberish” (after the celebrated alchemists Geber or Pseudo-Geber who knew nothing about elements v mixtures v compounds, or of atoms and molecules).

      1. If I am correct, you now admit can never offer any proof that your current hypothesis (one of several) that you are now working on could never be proven becasue it was an “one-off” procedure and a hidden secret never to be revealed.

        Seriously? What a waste of time your efforts have been. Who do you seek to convince that your hypothesis has any historical reality?

        It looks to me you are simply trying to justify your skepticism.

        1. As I say, don’t ask for proof. In science, it’s the weight of evidence (from experimentation) that matters, and the quality of the ideas that prompted that experimentation.

  4. Yesterday I told Colin to consider Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro’s inteview because all characteristics would have to be taken into account. He had said that he was “quietly confident” that he would be successful, but I have my doubts.
    As for the post above, it puts forward some rubbish:
    “We also have to assume that this forger took the dead body out of the shroud before it started to corrupt in such a way that this extraction did not disturb the bloodstains, never broke the linen fibrils under them and did not disturb the body image.”
    It does not seem that people reading what is posted here are fools.
    Then we are led to to the Rogers mantra, where:
    ” to produce a Shroud-like image with the use of biological products that could have been released inside the Shroud shortly after death by a highly-traumatized human corpse”
    First it was the Maillard effect, now it is “biological products”.
    I have said it before and say it again: Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman crucifixion and thousands of Jews were crucified like Jesus. Assuming that the relic is authentic, why should it only have happened to his body?

    1. Louis: why should it only have happened to his body?

      Yes many people can’t comprehend that fact. One and only image. There is no any other image like that.

      Why forger did not make at least two or three of that image. He may not have enough chemicals to do that or it is not an man made image?

      1. Sampath,
        Kaisa hai, hamara dost? – I think you will understand.
        Rogers was a good scientist, however he has almost been deified, the result being a cult-like devotion to his views. It leads to a world of make believe, with irrational conclusions.
        It is nice to see that you at least understood. You may remember that I mentioned the Maillard hypothesis in question no. 11:
        Now we must ask what were the “biological products”.

  5. Alchemy was succeeded by Chemistry, just as Spiritualism was succeeded by Parapsychology.

    1. Louis, if an artist from the Middle Ages produced the Shroud image on linen, according to Colin’s Nitric Acid fumigation method, then he/she would had to have used Cypress Vitriol, Salt Peter and Alum, since Nitric Acid (Glauber’s Salt) was not in existence in the 1500s (Glauber was born 1604 AD)

      A brief history follows:

      Aqua Regina (Royal Water) discovered by a Persian, Jabir ibn Hayyan (born in Persia c. 721). He distilled Cyprus vitriol, a pound and a half of Saltpetre, and a quarter of a pound of alum. He was the first to write about the synthesis of Nitric Acid.
      Interesting that Hayyan states, if this mixture is reacted with sal ammoniac, it will dissolve gold, silver and sulphur.”

      Dutch Chemist, Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604-1670) distilled sulfuric acid and salt peter to make Nitric Acid and he called it “Glaubers Salt.”
      Vitriol is one of or a combination of three chemicals: copper, iron or zinc sulfate … http://nitricacidlc.weebly.com/history.html

      Yet, the fact Vitriol contains iron would certainly have produced a sepia or reddish color on linen.

      Interesting Vitriol is used for etching as well.

      Check out Rembrandt’s self-portrait, 1620 AD. :)

      The Intaglio Printing Process


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