Home > Video > Because I Don’t See It

Because I Don’t See It

November 9, 2015

imageA couple of days ago on the Shroud Encounter Facebook page, Russ Breault posted a YouTube video from the Smithsonian Channel, Why the Vatican Believes in the Shroud of Turin. Russ wrote, “This is seriously cool. I hope we can fully validate these findings.”

The video was published about two and half years ago and in that time has only received about 3,350 viewings. That is surprising for the Smithsonian Channel which has over a quarter millions subscribers.

I was reminded of what was probably the shortest posting to ever appear on this blog . Back in April of 2011, a reader asked:

I’ve been reading your blog religiously for months. Why do you keep saying that you don’t see writing even though Vatican expert Barbara Frale does?

I replied. “Because I don’t see it.”

Nothing has changed in my mind. Anyway, enjoy the video. It is less than three minutes long. 

A couple of posting you might want to check out:


Paper Chase: Why There Are Probably No Images of Coins, Lettering, Flowers and Whatnots on the Shroud of Turin

An interview with Dr. Barbara Frale

The Writing on the Shroud: A Stephen Jones Update

Categories: Video
  1. PHPL
    November 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Why the Vatican believes in the Shroud of Turin or why Barbara Frale believes in the Shroud of Turin ?

    • November 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Some time past, here I think, I gave details of medieval liturgies that referred to Jesus as the Nazarene so Frale is talking nonsense here. But why one would put a text on a burial shroud that would normally be hidden defeats me.

      • November 12, 2015 at 2:25 am

        And how does Frale think the text was applied? You have to seal linen before you can paint on it, otherwise the image diffuses into the cloth, so it would have been quite a job , certainly not one one could do in the same day as the burial.

        • Hugh Farey
          November 12, 2015 at 8:53 am

          My understanding is that various documents, perhaps on papyrus, such as the Death Warrant, Death Certificate and the wording of the Titulus, were all placed around the body in various places, and all transferred themselves to the cloth in the same manner as the body. As did various chains, sponges,nails, hammer, pliers and other carpentry tools, two crowns of thorns (I kid you not) and a receipt from Tescos (I kid you). The words “In necem ibis” (“You will go to death”) appear, abeit in an abbreviated form, and according to a report I cannot verify, the words (in an irregular mixture of Latin and Greek) of “In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year.”

          Whatever mechanism is proposed for the transfer of information from the body to the cloth, the idea that it would work with skin, hair, fingernails, iron, wood, bronze, papyrus and sponge, stretches belief, in my opinion.

        • November 12, 2015 at 10:40 am

          “Whatever mechanism is proposed for the transfer of information from the body to the cloth, the idea that it would work with skin, hair, fingernails, iron, wood, bronze, papyrus and sponge, stretches belief, in my opinion.”

          But whatever that mechanism was it did work with the skin and hair, we can see that. Or do you mean you doubt one mechanism could work with that many varying materials?

        • Hugh Farey
          November 12, 2015 at 10:44 am

          I have doubts about the hair, to be honest – the homogeneity of the image is one of the arguments in favour of a medieval creation – but even setting that aside, UV radiation from sponges? Or urea-derived ammonia from a pair of pliers? How miraculist is that?

        • November 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm


          ” the homogeneity of the image is one of the arguments in favour of a medieval creation”.

          How does homogeneity of the image make it in favor of a medieval creation? Or perhaps it is

          ” the homogeneity of the image is one of the arguments in favour of a human creation”?

          But you also forget that the image is not homogenous in tone, and certainly not for the bloodstains. The image is much more complex than what you allude to with “homogeneity”.

        • November 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

          Hugh, Charles:

          I have Frale’s books regarding the Shroud.

          Frale claims that sometimes unexplained transfer of inscriptions from papyri to the adjacent surface happens, citing one instance from Qumran as an example. But providing no details what may be the reason in case of the Shroud.

        • Sampath Fernando
          November 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

          Mr Farey – “the homogeneity of the image is one of the arguments in favour of a medieval creation”

          Mr Latendresse’s explanation is very interesting.

          Mr Farey there is no logic in your statement. Why the Artist or scorcher placed blood on hair?

          I don’t know why Mr. Freeman is blaming Ms Frale without any reason. As Louis said she did not see the letters but someone else saw it and sent it to her to interpret.

          Other interesting we get the mirror image of letters on the shroud and could see it only on the positive image.

        • Louis
          November 12, 2015 at 5:24 pm

          Hello Sampath
          Dr. Barbara Frale mentions a reaction between ink and linen in her interview:
          However, I do think that when an expert sees the object on which an inscription is said to be present he will hesitate to make an identification.
          If the inscription is really there it would serve for identification purposes since the Jews regarded burial cloths as unclean but Jewish and Gentile Christians would preserve it. The Christians were persecuted right upto the time of the false messiah Bar Kokhba. If somehow the burial cloth had to be hidden when they had to flee persecution the identification would help when it was located.
          Well, this is just speculation and it is unlikely that any letters and coins will help in authenticating the Shroud.

        • Sampath Fernando
          November 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

          Thank you Louis.

          Here most interesting point is outsiders who do not know the language saw the letters. Later person who knew the language interpret it.

          If Ms Frale see the letters and translate it then it is real forgery.

          But in this case people who don’t know each other saw the letters and interprit it.

          I can’t see any forgery there.

      • daveb of wellington nz
        November 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        But maybe alpha particles from decay of seismic radon sitting on the floor with a half-life of 3.8 days with all the other fuming chemicals present (ammonia, body chemicals, myrrh, plant bouquets, etc, etc) together with seismic variations in geo-electro-magnetic fields just might perchance coincidentally result in a crude photographic of whatever might happen to be present. Just speculating! Was there any lightning? Powerful electricity? An interesting combination that has yet to be fully explored!

  2. November 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Dear Daniel,

    Thankyou for posting! I hope we will be able to see more.

    All the best,


  3. November 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I don’t see it either.

  4. Louis
    November 12, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Dan, the reader is wrong in saying that the inscription must be there just because Dr. Barbara Frale saw it. She saw the work done by a colleague and was led to believe that the inscription is there. Although she herself is a paleographer she depended on others.
    It is not inscriptions, coins and the rest of what some people claim to see on the Shroud that will help authenticate the relic.
    What we need is a non-invasive examination of the relic, however I believe that Turin is not exactly convinced by what the scientists are saying. To make matters worse, some “Shroudies” themselves have helped close the doors by taking the relic in the wrong direction with some of their talks.
    The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing in the realm of Shroud studies.

  5. Hugh Farey
    November 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Homogeneity. What I meant was that according to Heller and Adler there is nothing on the cloth which could make an image, no paint, ink, rust, sponge fragments, papyrus, starch, sugars, protein etc. etc. Any image of anything is made of degraded cellulose. If this is true, then no only did the recently dead warm-ish body produce whatever it was, but so did a wide variety of other chemicals, hair, sponge, iron, wood, brass, flowers, thorns. This is scarcely credible. Daveb’s cloud of alpha particles will also need a great deal more detailed explanation before they are really a valid explanation. A bas relief covered with an acidic paste, on the other hand, would do the trick quite nicely, if the paste was thoroughly washed off.

    The blood is a different matter, of course.

  6. Sampath Fernando
    November 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Mr. Farey – “A bas relief covered with an acidic paste, on the other hand, would do the trick quite nicely, if the paste was thoroughly washed off”

    Has anyone done simmilar technique to a Proto Type Image – Full size image of a person for both frontal and Dorsal sides?

    • Hugh Farey
      November 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      None of the possible methods proposed for the formation of the image has been properly tested, and no convincing result has been obtained. For my money, Garlaschelli’s image probably comes closest, and Hugh Duncan’s photogravure has interesting implications. Naturalistic explanations involving electromagnetic radiation suffer from the complete lack of any satisfactory method of producing such radiation, and geological suggestions involving Radon gas or other sub-atomic emissions have been inadequately described to be called a real explanation yet. Miraculist explanations are also possible, but as they are by definition not subject to rational analysis, I refrain from attempting one.

      • daveb of wellington nz
        November 12, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        ” … geological suggestions involving Radon gas or other sub-atomic emissions have been inadequately described to be called a real explanation yet.” I do not seek to provide an explanation but merely suggest a direction to explore. But it seems that no-one else is interested in taking that path, even though the answer just might be found there. Further comment below.

      • Sampath Fernando
        November 12, 2015 at 10:06 pm

        Hi Mr. Farey – Do you have any idea why those medieval painters (or scorchers) created a negative image rather than a positive image of battered body.

  7. daveb of wellington nz
    November 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I have often seen transfer of printed document impressions onto their plastic sleeve (perhaps cellulose?). The only chemistry possible would seem to be between the dry ink of the document and the plastic itself. The fact of the impression is plain enough; Is the process understood? Is it chemistry or merely stamping? If any kind of burial document included in the Shroud wrapping left an impression, the writing would of course be reversed (mirror image).

    I have no brilliant technical explanation of how my cloud of alpha particles, electric fields etc might interact with all the other chemistry present to produce imagery, but merely suggest that the complexity of the whole mix might well provide some kind of as yet unknown route to producing the images in a way that is more complex than may have been hitherto considered.

    • daveb of wellington nz
      November 13, 2015 at 1:55 am

      I have yet to see a satisfactory explanation of how or why Giovanna de Liso obtained her Shroud-like images from her 12 years of seismic experiments. A protegee of Giulio Fanti, I cannot believe that she faked them. However, neither Fanti nor anyone else has come with what to me might be a satisfactory explanation. She claims that she only ever obtained images under very specific conditions, including the detection of radon! Nevertheless, the images are real enough! Garlaschelli? Pooh!

  8. Hugh Farey
    November 13, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Daveb is quite right about the possibilities of geological explanations; they just haven’t been explored or quantified sufficiently for anything much to be said about them. Yet.

    Sampath, yes of course I do. If the Shroud was medieval, it was created to mimic an impression made by a body, with all the inversions we observe.

  9. daveb of wellington nz
    November 13, 2015 at 4:50 am

    On a previous occasion when I had mentioned De Liso’s seismic research in Piedmont, a skeptical Turinese correspondent (it may have been David Mo) had claimed that Piedmont was not susceptible to earthquakes apparently seeking to cast doubt on the credibility of her work. The following web-site shows that in Northern Italy or nearby during the last 40 years there were no fewer than 10 earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 4.9 to 6.0, most of them of shallow depth none more than 28 km, most of them around 10 km. Many of them appear to have occurred in the general Piedmont area. These would have been significant earthquakes and significant shocks would have been experienced over a wide area there. Two of the ‘quakes are said to have occurred 3 years ago, and one 7 years ago. Granted we get many more than this in NZ, but there is sufficient indication from this data for Piedmont to be classed as a moderately active seismic zone. There would be very many more earthquakes of magnitude less than 5.0, which is still a significant level of magnitude.

  1. November 13, 2015 at 5:37 am
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