Colin Berry’s Latest and Greatest. Is it Enough?

Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

clip_image001Sometimes, you need to wait for Colin Berry to finish adding bits and pieces to his postings. When things settle down,  it is easier to report on them. Colin seems to have done so now. It is time to look at his latest and greatest technique for creating an image that may or may not be like the image on the shroud:

“It’s a distillation of some 40 months and more of virtually non-stop effort since Dec 2011 to ‘model’ the ‘enigmatic’ TS body image,” he tells us.

He goes on:

It would have been nice to use a real human subject instead of the plastic toy The technique lends itself to scaling up, and leaves the volunteer (?)  unharmed, except for a coating of vegetable  oil and plain white flour (most of that being imprinted onto linen, leaving less to be showered off).

Alas. I do not have a 4m x 1m length of linen, and even if I  did, one suspects the sourpuss contingent of sindonology would waste no time in telling me it had to be herringbone weave, centuries or millennia old, traditionally-bleached, lacking modern-day optical brighteners etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Nope. This science bod is content to model the TS characteristics, showing that no fancy gee whizz 20th/21st century technology is needed, certainly not pulses of intense uv rays  from excimer lasers or neutrons from rock-crushing tectonic activity etc.(the sort of things that could theoretically have affected a particular linen shrouds in a 1st century rock tomb we are solemnly assured).

No real argument there. I don’t know, however, if it is scalable. It seems that it would be. And I don’t know enough about chemistry or the science of images to weigh in on the issue of bleaching “etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

clip_image001Let’s stick with the small scale model, and show how, step-by-step, the above image was created that, from where I’m standing, ticks an ever-growing number of boxes that says: YES – it is looking increasingly like a valid model, despite it using homely medieval technology that today’s blog-readers can confirm for themselves in less than an hour in their own homes if so inclined.  It requires nothing more than: (a) linen (I get mine from the clothes rack in charity shops, ladies’ white summer trousers especially) (b) plain white flour (c) vegetable oil (d) a hot oven (e) a bar of soap. Yes – indcredibly, insultingly some might say, that’s my DIY list for what’s needed.

Nothing insulting about any of that. It is actually intriguing in a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” sort of way.

Okay. Now you need to read: Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…

The rest of this posting will be in two instalments: first, the procedure for obtaining the above result, namely a faint, fuzzy, negative TS-like image and then, later, possibly tomorrow, the evidence from studies reported already on my other site that the image you see above meets many , possibly most, of the criteria of the TS image at both macroscopic and microscopic level.

Lots of good pictures help us understand.


3D properties? Do the faint and fuzzy imprints you see above respond to 3D rendering in software programs like ImageJ? is that too much to hope, given typicaly awestruck observations such as this one from the shroudstory site:



Fact: there is nothing in the least bit "profoundly mysterious" about the 3D properties of the Shroud image, especially if it’s a contact imprint. This investigator has shown over and over again in the course of  3 years of entering a large variety of images into Image J that the 3D response of the TS, far from being ‘profounsly mysterious’ is in fact entirely predictable. What would be unusual would be for it NOT to respond to 3D rendering, given the way the software operates. Here’s an image that hopefully illustrates my point:


3D-rendered image of plastic toy(left) verus Shroud Scope image of TS (right). Note the embedded 2D reference (concentric circles with stepped intensity gradient) and the DEFAULT non-zero setting of z scale elevation setting (0.1)

Yes. One can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circles above, and they show a comparable 3D response (top left) to that of the model image OR the TS. Why is that? Look at the z scale next to the red arrow. It is on its default MINIMUM setting of 0.1. The software sets that non-zero default setting, meaning that ANY image one enters that has any kind of intensity gradient, simple stepped ones included, produce a 3D response.The latter is entirely artefactual unless one has evidence to the contrary. This investigator knows of no evidence to suggest that the so-called "3D properties" of the TS image are any different from those of contact imprints generally.

Late insertion: I’m saying there is no 3D mystique until proven otherwise. Right on cue we hear the rejoinder: "There is 3D mystique until YOU prove otherwise", adding technical details like RGB balance that were addressed previously in discussion with "OK" in Poland,.

Nope. i’m not buying into that pro-authencity attempt to shift the burden of proof. I repeat: there is NO 3D mystique until proven otherwise. The so-called "unique 3D encoding" of the TS image is pure agenda-driven moonshine.

See also this later comment from the inestimable Hugh Farey, with new 3D rendered images of this blogger’s hand both in original colour AND grayscale. Both show 3D enhancement (needless to say).  Thank you Hugh.

I said “profoundly mysterious” because I don’t know how, and nobody knows how, the 3D information was derived in the shroud image. Maybe it was Colin’s way? I don’t know. I would not have introduced the word “mystique”  as he did. Language is too tricky for that.   That is also why I don’t say the 3D data is “encoded.” 

In the shroud image we are looking at a brightness-map that seems, when smoothed, to represents elevation. It  happens to also look like a picture. Put the other way around, that is still true; it is a picture that, when smoothed, functions as a brightness-map (height-map, bump-map, etc.).

I’ve said, clearly, that I don’t think we can say with any certainty that the brightness information, the 3D information, means body-to-cloth distance. I’ve said that there are other methods of deriving that sort of information and that the information might be real or imaginary.  Regular photographs and paintings, by-the-way, can contain that information. It is wrong to say they can’t. Most don’t, though.

Colin has created an image that is also a brightness-map.  You can plot 3D images with it using ImageJ. The real question is this: Does the brightness-map correctly represent the shape of the body (the plastic soldier)? I’m not convinced it does. Or it is too crude.  We need some better pictures to work with. We need to do more in ImageJ. We need to be sure that ImageJ is being used correctly.

By-the-way, I have been impressed with the 3D imaging of Colin’s hand. So maybe Colin is onto something.  In his blog, however, he is trying to make an issue out of nothing by playing with the word mystique.

(Click on the image of the hand to see this image enlarged).


32 thoughts on “Colin Berry’s Latest and Greatest. Is it Enough?”

  1. It’s not Colin’s science I have an issue with. It’s the tangents and the character assassinations (of the past couple years). I wish he would focus his work and blog to eliminate rants and just do & report his science. If he demonstrates something unique or not, the science is most useful to Shroud studies.

  2. What would be interesting is to find a scientist, or two, who is not a Shroudie and present him Colin’s linen/shroud and see how long it takes him/her to discern how the image was formed. This would provide a baseline of sorts. If the scientist quickly deduces that flour/oil and heating was used then we would have to ask ‘how is it the mechanism was more easily observed on Colin’s shroud vs the actual one?”

    If Colin’s model is ‘the answer’ what tell-tale signs would we have to find on the Shroud to corroborate his theory?

    Or is my presumption wrong here and Colin is not saying this model is exactly how the Shroud image was created, but rather his model merely demonstrates that a simple mechanism can account for certain Shroud properties, which had previously been attributed only to complex mechanisms (lasers, etc).

    Just trying to wrap my head around the various repercussions of the theory.

  3. “Or is my presumption wrong here and Colin is not saying this model is exactly how the Shroud image was created, but rather his model merely demonstrates that a simple mechanism can account for certain Shroud properties, which had previously been attributed only to complex mechanisms (lasers, etc).”

    Spot on as usual DavidG.

    This investigator’s curiosity is now sated re the TS. Time to move on… Now then, how was Stonehenge assembled from those distant Welsh monoliths, and where was the stone quarry for the Pyramids?

    Adieu sindonology…

    1. Sorry to say – but good riddance!!! Your constant ranting and insulting in your posts are an embarrassment to science. Ok, you think it’s a fake, we get that. A lot of others do too but their research is readable and clear. I have yet to make it through one of your posts, because the tone is so annoying. It’s like you’re some over-intelligent teenage girl trapped in what was once a scientist’s body.
      You’ve made some valid contributions, like where talked about light scorches do not have to fluoresce, Good Work (and to Farey of course)!
      If you had left out all the back biting and tone you would have been a valuable member of the team trying to figure out this Shroud thing.

      Enjoy your retirement from ‘Shroudology’ and please be careful around those big stones!

      1. Let nobody be in any doubt that there are some seriously nasty people promoting Shroud authenticity, as this toxic comment demonstrates. One can only speculate as to the reasons for the sheer nastiness. Faith? Religion? I doubt it somehow. There’s some other agenda at work here.

        I’ve probably posted some 1500 or more comments to this site. I now hugely regret the time and effort spent in expressing step-by-step the evolution of ideas, chemical ones especially, in what I had hoped was layman terms.

        What matters in the final analysis is the quality of the ideas. Spiteful attacks of this nature may serve to delay the process of having one’s ideas receive consideration, but cannot permanently suppress them, which would seem to be the aim of this individual’s rare appearance on this site at this time.

        1. I stand by everything I said – I couldn’t see “the quality of [your] ideas” – eventhough I really tried, really tried. I visited your site when you were still working with a bas relief and wet towel – and while they didn’t look anything like the Shroud – I was looking forward to further tests. And then you started that obnoxious tirade in trying to get scientists drummed out of some British science academy for having the gall to suggest God might be involved with the image of the Shroud – such a witch hunt against people you don’t agree with is inexcusable – and you have the gall to accuse me of trying to suppress you! Ha! If you’d listen to me, and make your posts more like an adult would write, you would increase your readship exponentially, instead of driving them away with that constant crap that hides your hard work.

          Just Stick To The Science!

          Anyways, God Bless you in your retirement.

          Oh, but maybe you could squeeze in one more thing, see if you can get your action figure print to give a similar 3d effect like Dr. Soons was able too with the image from the Shroud.

          Maybe you could do another test with a much bigger subject, with bended legs – as the Shroud shows an lighter, foreshortened image under the “shroud man’s” legs.

          Oh, and put blood on the cloth first, and then image it, as the Shroud bloodly areas blocked image formation. Or put something else there and then blood later.

          Maybe you could pickup a manikin/mannequin on ebay.

          But then you’d have to figure out how the forger got linen cloth that looks like a 1st century Syrian textile, while there is only one example of similar linen from the middle ages known to science. And how he could pay for such a cloth as it would be worth a fortune – and cost more than what he might get for selling the shroud.

          You know what, nevermind, just enjoy your retirement from the Shroud. It was tiring just thinking of these few angles to a shroud production.

        2. One can hardly be expected to respond to this rant about what one is supposed to have said or how one said it, when there’s getting on for 4 years’ accumulated research and comment, all reported hot from the press in real time. If my critic would care to expend just a tiny fraction of the time and effort I have invested in developing my simulated sweat/flour imprint model vis-a-vis rival models by quoting precise passages that back up his claim of unfairness or immature writing style I may feel moved to respond – or, there again – maybe not. There has to be a clear-cut case to answer – not this teenage level bitchiness.

        3. No, just two selected samples to show you have the evidence to back up your assertions of (a) making unfair accusations, and (b) substandard writing. Is that too much to ask? Yes, it probably is, since unlike you I think carefully before placing anything on the internet, knowing that folk like you can come out the woodwork at any time, making THEIR wild accusations.

        4. Actually I’m working along similar lines, taking your action figure post and highlighting in yelow the juvenile comments against anyone who doesn’t think like the almighty Colin, and to fair, highlighting in green the good science bits.

  4. Experiments with Maillard have been requested:
    and there is also other data:
    The 3D information is no surprise and we know about the Volckringer pattern, but we also know that the image on the Shroud is not a contact image and we need more information about how deep was the penetration of the image in the experiment.
    Bodies can leave imprints, although the case below appears to have involved a different process:

    1. Yes Louis Colin has to go so far to get the exact image simillar to Turin Shroud.

      I admire Collin’s efforts, but his experiemnts are still in the infant stage. Pilot scale models are quite diffetent to prototype models.

      Shroud is the only prototype image we have for the last 2000 years.

      1. Hi Sampath
        You’re right. Pope John Paul II left the question to science, and we also have history. My bet is that the Church will not open the doors, given what has gone on in the realm of Shroud studies.

  5. Do we in fact know anything about the Volkringer patterns, except that they exist? Research into them seems vanishingly scarce, and there are only three purported examples on the internet, of which only one actually shows the plant and its effect. It’s a fern, which makes me think the pattern could be a spore print. One of the others is too badly reproduced to be sure whether it’s actually a print or the plant itself, and the other is the sort of image that might come from a VP-8, but without any context or explanation. John de Salvo’s paper on (“The Image Formation Process of the Shroud of Turin and Its Similarities to Volckringer Patterns”) references a paper by Volckringer himself from 1942, but omits part of the title. He calls it: “Le probleme des empreintes devant la science,” but in fact it is called: “Le Saint-Suaire de Turin: Le problème des empreintes devant la science”, and is clearly more to do with the Shroud than it is to do with these patterns. Can anybody help?

  6. Yet another “not even close” attempt at image formation. Like so many others, he too will realize why it is futile. Collins tenacity, however, is to be envied.

  7. All this talk about pizza is making me hungry…anyone got some Chinotto? Talking about Chinotto maybe the artist just spilt some on a rag to make the Shroud image?

    1. Spit into an expensive and practically non-existant fancy linen ‘rag’ to make the image? If this WAS a fake, the forger likelylost money when he finally sold the thing.

      1. ***Angel says: Joe Nickell presents this forgerer in his book, “Inquest on the Shroud of Turin,” but nowhere is the name of the forgerer mentioned.

        The claim was made, according to Canon Chevalier, who located Pierre d’Arcis report to Pope Clement VII and an investigation at Lirey uncovered the artist who created the Shroud.

        Who is this forgerer? Who? No name is ever mentioned.

        I would think if the forgerer were that good, he, like Colin Berry, would be trumpeting his artistic talent to anyone who cared to listen, during the medieval age.

        How was this forgerer able to paint “The Shroud of Turin,” with such intricate detail, as his first painting?

        And if, in fact, the Shroud was painted by this (forgerer with no name) then where are all his other paintings? He must have painted at least one other masterpiece, aside from the Shroud, just like Colin’s attempts at duplicating the image.

        Colin certainly has more than one reproduction and he hasn’t even completely finished with his work.

        Doesn’t make sense!

        An artist with no name and no other paintings, except the famous “Shroud of Turin,” denounced the image as a forgery. Go figure!

        My response: Baloney! :)

        1. Colin has never proposed a painting forgery, but a contact image. And the forger in this case would not want to reveal his secret because that would ruin the whole project.

      2. I have referred to the dubious interpretation of the D’Arcis memorandum, due to Canon Ulysse Chevalier previously. Jesuit Herbert Thurston was also complicit Check the following paper if you’re not already aware of it:

        THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE SHROUD; By Jack Markwardt; 2001;
        Examines Chevalier & Thurston’s attempt to misrepresent D’Arcis memorandum.

        Click to access n55part3.pdf

        1. ***Angel says: Thanks, daveb.

          I look forward to reading the article you referenced; yet, there were many people living in European countries (during the Middle Ages) that did not believe in Jesus as the Almighty, as is the case today. Therefore, it would have been to their advantage to shed doubt on the authenticity of the Shroud.

          Joe Nickell’s reproduction, along with Garlaschelli’s, never produced the dorsal image on the Shroud, only the frontal image. What medieval artist would have gone to that extent, copying every single flagrum wound? Seems beyond reason to me.

        2. daveb, thanks again, I read the article you referenced.

          So, the forgerer’s story WAS a case of corruption.

          Why am I not surprised?

          What I continue to find disheartening are the steps men take to cast doubt on the validity of anything that may verify the existence of Jesus.


  8. Angel is entitled to her opinion, of course, but we don’t have to agree with it, and some of it is questionable factually. “Intricate detail”? There is barely any detail at all, and none of it is intricate. Famous forger? No such thing. Forgers are by profession somewhat secretive, or their forgeries are undone. Names are very rarely mentioned. Famous artist? Well, perhaps; who knows? Perhaps his name is well known for other things. Anyway perhaps he was better as a sculptor. 14th Century sculpture, even more so than 14th century painting, was regarded more as a craftsman’s skill than a piece of individual creativity, and many masterpieces have unknown originators (usually now called: the Master of … this or that, such as the “Master of the Parement” who produced the astonishing Parement of Narbonne – in monochrome, no less).

    There are some good reasons for doubting that the production of the Shroud was 14th century, but they are by no means unarguable, and to suggest that it could have been is certainly not baloney.

    In my personal opinion, of course…

    1. Hi, Hugh,

      Firstly, I was referring to the dorsal image, when I stated “intricate” detail, regarding the flagrum wounds. No artist has reproduced the dorsal image of the man on the Shroud, at least to my knowledge.

      Secondly, when I posited “famous” forgerer, I was thinking in terms of fame or success by proxy. Every atheist refers to this forgerer, when speaking of the Turin Shroud. So,this unknown artist has gained fame as the forgerer.

      Since both the Shroud and Sudarium predate the artists or sculptors who might have been capable of this type of forgery, like DaVinci, then I stand by my comment. Even DaVinci who was a master of anatomy, would not have painted an image that appears somewhat distorted.

      What WOULD explain the distortion of the Shroud image is a physical change in the body of Jesus at the point of resurrection or His transformation from matter to the Holy Spirit (the bright, white spiritual body that confronted Mary Magdalene). This is my opinion only. :)

  9. No one would have forged a burial cloth with images on it- it would be the equivalent of forging a Canaletto and putting a nineteenth century Venetian bridge into it. So we need to look elsewhere for its creation.

    The vast majority of relics were objects that were either so ancient that their origins had been forgotten- and thus they could be adopted as relics (there are bones of Christian martyrs that have been C14 dated to pre-Christianity!) – or objects, such as icons, that were associated with miracles, often of healing. I think that the constant reference by the popes to the Shroud as an icon fits very well, as icons do not to have to be any more that painted images but many still arouse great veneration. This is where, alongside the popes, I place the Shroud.

    The remaining images look very haunting but compared to what the top artists of the fourteenth century were producing, they are actually very crude when you analyse and compare them to each other. I still think that linen discoloured by having five hundred years of a first sealed,then painted, surface which disintegrated with constant handlng is the best bet. It helps explain why the edges of the images merge into the cloth so that one cannot even say for certain what the lengths/heights of the two images are (although they appear to be larger than life size as has been noted by others).

  10. David Goulet says:
    September 9, 2015 at 8:52 pm
    “Colin has never proposed a painting forgery, but a contact image. And the forger in this case would not want to reveal his secret because that would ruin the whole project.”

    ***Angel says: I know.

    Colin proposed a rubbing technique that may have been utilized to produce the image on the Shroud of Turin, but just as Colin is proud of his work and has tangible proof of his failures, a forgerer would also have copies of his/her failed attempts, prior to the completed Shroud image.

    Anyone can say he or she is or was a forgerer, but without proof (perhaps an earlier attempt of the art in question) or even producing another original painting, the person is not to be believed. Just an opinion, since I have not yet read daveb’s reference. Until I do, I will stick with “baloney.” :)

    1. I agree that a lack of any evidence of the technique being used beyond the Shroud is problematic. Colin has reasonable arguments for why that is. You can check those out on his blog if you have time. I’m not defending the theory, just trying to clarify based on your comment. Colin’s experiments have, in the end, had a specific purpose — not to prove that Theory A or B is how the Shroud was fabricated, but simply that medieval technologies can produce an image with qualities like the Shroud. He did not match all the criteria of course. But even his harshest critics here would admit that this work cannot be dismissed as baloney. If it is baloney, then so is Rogers work…because they followed similar paths.

      1. ***Angel says: David, I am not referring to Colin’s reproductions as baloney. I’ve seen his work and I am aware he spent many long hours in his home lab on various techniques. As well, I have always given Colin credit for his attempts, as a scientist, to either prove or disprove the Shroud.

        Joe Nickell’s has also produced similar results in 1998, featured in his book “Inquest on the Shroud of Turin,” referenced, along with the work of McCrone, by many atheists.

        My use of the word “baloney” refers to the forgerer. Although these materials were available to create an image in the Middle Ages, doesn’t prove the Shroud is a forgery. A forgerer would certainly have produced similar attempts of his work that were failures.

        Where Colin has been fairly successful with his “rubbing” technique, he is also able to verify his work with previous reconstructions that weren’t successful. Therefore, when I say “baloney,” I am referring to the work of the supposed forgerer of the Shroud.

        If the C-14 dating was repeated and the cloth dated to the 1st century, would non-believers continue to state the Shroud is a fake?


  11. Good grief. What does one have to do to make some folk here see the difference between a contact imprint and a free-hand painting? Making an imprint may take skill, but if taken from a real human being, as distinct from bronze bas relief etc, then it is NEVER a work of art. It is what the name implies – simply an imprint- with the properties of an imprint (correctly spaced ventral v dorsal surfaces, negative character, 3D properties etc). It’s the difference between a sand sculpture and a footprint in the sand…

    It is exceedingly tiresome to have Charles Freeman continuing to drone on about a “painting” when it’s so abundantly obvious – or should be – that the TS is an IMPRINT, and consequently NOT a work of art, at least where the body image is concerned. Blood additions are a different matter. They may well be considered “artistic”.

    1. Sheona- you need to do some work on the early depictions and descriptions of the Shroud which make it quite clear that originally it was painted. The paint appears ,from nineteenth century depictions, to have disintegrated in the nineteenth century.
      There is a mass of evidence to support it and one day I will publish it in full. You do not ,of course, need to bother to read it when I do!

  12. Sheona, we are referring to the Shroud in its entirety, including the blood images as the work of a forgerer, regardless of whether it was a painting like Garlaschelli’s or a rubbing like that of Joe Nickell and Colin Berry.

    In short, we speak of a reproduction of the man by a human hand, rather than an image formed by Jesus Himself, at the resurrection, perhaps utilizing quick and successive short pulses of light (non-ionizing radiation). I believe DeLassandro performed a few experiments with short pulses of laser-like light.

    See the last paragraph on the link with respect to contact image formation, unless something has changed since 2011,

    Scientists Suggest Turin Shroud Authentic

    1. But you need to distinguish between a ‘relic’ that was deliberately created to deceive and an object that was created for some other purpose that was adopted as a relic ,perhaps because it was ancient, had a long tradition of veneration or was believed to have caused miracles. Most relics fell into the latter category. If you wanted to forge the burial cloth of Jesus you would not unnecessarily add images to it. That is perhaps why the Shroud of Cadouin was the most popular shroud relic in medieval Europe – no images, looked like the sheets that were shown in pictures of the day, provenance from the Holy Land, a big following, partly because, unlike Lirey, it was one one of the main pilgrimage routes to Compostela.

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