I stand corrected!

Bill Meachem, by way of a comment, wrote:

Dan, My delight at seeing your Shroud blog and forum revived was much diminished by your quoting me TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT. I did not “put it that way.” This is the full context:

“The Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) formed around a nucleus of scientists studying the Shroud by means of computer enhancement and image analysis. Jackson et al. (1977) scanned the image with a microdensitometer to record lightness variations in the image intensity and found a correlation with probable cloth-to-body distance, assuming that the Shroud was draped loosely over the corpse. They concluded that the image contains three-dimensional information, and confirmation was obtained by the use of a VP-8 Image Analyzer to convert shades of image intensity into vertical relief. Unlike ordinary photographs or paintings, the Shroud image converted into an undistorted three-dimensional figure, a phenomenon which suggested that the image-forming process acted uniformly through space over the body, front and back, and did not depend on contact of cloth with body at every point.”

Clearly I am summarizing what was reported by STURP, and the sentence you quoted is obviously a continuation of “They concluded …” Now one might say I should have been a bit more sceptical, but having never seen or studied what a VP-8 Image Analyzer can do, I went for a simple reporting style.

Yes, I’ve never seen a black swan either, but you make it appear that I was reporting on MY OWN observation of how the Shroud image “converted…”

The issue really can be better refined this way: Is there any medieval PAINTING or RUBBING (forget about modern photos of death masks, etc) that would yield anything approaching a natural body 3D image when subjected to VP-8 or software analysis?

On another topic, surely you don’t mean this sentence to stand alone:

“There is no basis whatsoever for concluding that the cloth covered a body.”

But only in the sense that the VP-8 results did not provide any evidence to support the conclusion. There is of course a wealth of other evidence that makes it an almost inescapable conclusion.

But having said all that, I am still pleased to see you back on the Shroud scene.


I stand corrected.

On the second point (starting with “On another topic), Colin Berry has also written to me in an email to say something similar, “3D response alone provides no basis for concluding that the cloth covered a body.”

I was careless.  Nonetheless, I do not feel like Jim Firth does when he writes:

The naive 3D mystique born of amateurish image analysis has infected shroud research for more than 40 years. Sadly, it still does because it feeds attempts to prove the resurrection with wildly imaginative narratives of the resurrection.

I don’t think it really “infected” shroud research.  Ray Rogers pursued his miracle-free gaseous Maillard reaction hypothesis. Guilio Fanti worked on his corona discharge ideas. Nichola Allen built a working room-sized camera.  Frank Tipler wrote a book in which he suggested that the shroud’s image was a code from God on how to save the universe from eventual demise while developing the software making eternal life possible.   And for the most part, we learned to quit believing that there were coins over the eyes, flower images all over the cloth, and Hebrew and Roman lettering on the cloth.

Nor was the 3D analysis naive.  The analysis was based on the best technology at the time. It is time, however, to move forward and analyze the image with newer and better methods.  

17 thoughts on “I stand corrected!”

  1. Forget the 3d features. Just use the edge detect or find edges of any image editing software and compare shroud images with any image that have been made by skeptics. There is a huge difference!!

  2. On behalf of Centro Português de Sindonologia I send greetings to Dan Porter for re-starting this unique forum of scientific debate on the Shroud.

    I ask whomever to show me an example of any image (OBVIOUSLY LEAVING ASIDE THE DEATH MASK PHOTOGRAPHS OBTAINED WITH MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES which in my opinion do not show similarities with the image on linen of the Shroud…) from medieval age or even 19 th century that has such encoded information to produce the same 3D results as the Shroud image / Shroud photographs.

    here iis the challenge

    1. Here you go Antero mate, these image’s should match your criteria. These show similarities to the image on the Turin shroud. They have the same 3D “response” that the shroud does due to varying tone intensities of the monochromatic sepia color. Here is the original image with no 3D rendering >> https://ibb.co/BnF2yp4
      Here is a 3D rendering of the positive image >> https://ibb.co/985WHDK
      And here is the negative (tone inversion) 3D response >> https://ibb.co/N7VcNqf
      So as you can see, there a many way’s to create image’s that give a 3D response with such thing’s as a VP8 analyser, or any software which emulate’s a VP8, such as ImageJ.

  3. Robert Rucker, a nuclear physicist, website http://shroudresearch.net, has what I believe is the best theory to prove how the image was created on the Shroud.

    His theory posits that no amount of carbon 14 testing will create an accurate date for the Shroud.

    His theory is that the image was a result of a burst of nuclear energy that would create isotopes that then would be absorbed by the cloth. Those absorbed sotopes would be present on the the Shroud, the Sudarium of Oviedo, if that were the true face cloth of Jesus and the tomb he was buried in, whether it be the Garden Tomb or the tomb under the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    Robert has many years of experience measuring the isotopes emitted from nuclear accidents with standardized well accepted techniques.

    His theory is that there should be widely divergent carbon 14 dates depending on isotope absorption on the distances measured from the source of the ressurection, an immense light burst, like a nuclear explosion of isotopes from the center of the spine outward.

    As a result of this explosion of energy in the form of isotopes, he projects carbon 14 readings from the first century and before to far into the future based wherever the sample readings are taken on various parts of the Shroud because of the nuclear absorption and the distance from the source.

    If he could get access to the Shroud, the Sudarium or the tomb to take measurements it would go a long way in providing proof that the image on the Shroud of Turin was created by the Resurrection.

      1. It may seem as if those two stewards are in the process of installing the radioactive hazard warning sign.

        Not so! They are actually closing off a pair of glass shutters.

        But it’s not ordinary glass. Oh no. It’s expensive Pope-protecting lead crystal (designed to absorb left-over Rucker-radiation!). ;-)

  4. Here we go again! One of many theories /hypotheses /speculations /WAGs on how the image was created on the Shroud. Robert Rucker, nuclear physicist, has the best one. Why?

    I invite you to read my posting from 2015, Another Reaction to Ray Rogers’ Paper on Radiation. Be sure to read Rucker’s letter to me and what I had to say. DO NOT follow all those links I provided until you read the comments by Hugh Farey, the two Davids, Louis and a comment on a comment by Bob Rucker, himself. Now you can go back and follow those links.

    I am particularly struck by Bob Rucker saying, “If you assume that everything must operate according to the “laws of physics” as we currently understand them, then of course radiation could not have been emitted by the dead body wrapped in the Shroud, and no investigation with the microscope is even needed.”

    Why is it that Bob (and Jackson et al. and a host of others) must assume, however, that a miracle must set off some “laws of physics” to get the job done. Are not miracles enough?

    What I want to know is the miracle process kicked off to make wine out of water. Is there a Pinot Noir option?

    *That was https://shroudstory.com/2015/07/17/another-reaction-to-ray-rogers-paper-on-radiation/

    1. Quote from Bob Rucker, July 24 2015 in a comment on that posting of yours Dan:

      On the topic of an independent review, this is something that I very much want to obtain because it is standard operating procedure in the nuclear industry. But consider the problems in finding an appropriate peer reviewer in this situation. He or she would need to have preferably 10 to 15 years of experience in running the MCNP nuclear analysis computer code in order to check my computer calculations, and to not have worked with me on anything that I have already done in order to be an independent reviewer, and have about 50 to 100 hours of preferably full time available for the review, and have a sufficiently strong interest in the Shroud of Turin that would motivate him to be willing to work this 50 to 100 hours without charge, since I have no funding for this project.

      That may be the modus operandi of nuclear engineers but it is not, repeat NOT, the scientific method.

      In science, the first step is identifying the relevant qualitative effects that are operating, (In this instance it would require hypothesis, prediction and testing for one or other residual ‘signature’ of radiation having altered the linen in some way as to create and leave an image).

      Then, and only then, does one embark on the quantitative aspects, detailed calculations included, especially if involving others as independent reviewers, such that they have a reasonable expectation that their time (50-100 hours???) is not likely to be wasted.

      Bob Rucker could be said putting the quantitative horse before the qualitative cart.

      C’mon Bob_ start by making some predictions about what a STURP Mk2 could or would detect by way of qualitative signatures of radiation-induced image formation, ones that got overlooked first time around…

  5. “3D response alone provides no basis for concluding that the cloth covered a body.”

    I don’t want to overanalyse a truncated quote. But knowing Colin Berry’s position, it seems to be an illustration of his agenda thinly veiled under pseudo scientific skepticism.

    I just want the full context of his quote, not an interpretation on second thought.

  6. Here’s a screen shot of the very first posting I made on my science buzz site, now just a few months short of its 10th birthday.

    There I set out in pithy terms my reasons for considering there to be a need for an internet site from an experienced ‘science bod’ (long retired, time on hands) given the daily bombardment of pseudoscience that greets us, even in ‘serious’ newspapers.


    Hidden agenda? Nope, I set out my stall from day 1, and have remained faithful to initial aims and objectives.

    Journalists have contacted me on a number of my postings, notably the Zane Gbangbola Thames flood tragedy, wrongly blamed as I was quick to point out on “hydrogen cyanide” from a previous flooded landfill.

    On another occasion I addressed in depth and detail the pros and cons of the mechanistic links between fossil fuels, methane, CO2 and global warming etc etc. (The Telegraph invited me to write a series of 10 weekly blog-style postings).

    Stonehenge, with its romanticized links with winter/summer solstices etc continues to be in my crosshairs, with its own specialist website. I have presented an alternative theory (“ritualized excarnation, avian-assisted”, designed as a giant bird perch).


    That’s a lot of hidden agendas!

    Nuff said, methinks…

    1. Still no context. But i’d better ask Dan his own interpretation of your quote.

      No body? No human corpse? No anatomically correct dummy?

  7. Here’s a recent photograph I took of a flour/oil (Model 10) imprint of my own hand, while it was in the oven approaching 200 degrees C.

    One hardly needs “edge-detection’ computer software to know that an imprint obtained with a powdered imprinting medium, sprinkled onto an oil-smeared hand, then imprinted onto wet linen, has a fuzzy edge, as per Turin Linen body image (excluding the better defined- face for reasons that we’ll postpone discussing for a minute or two).

    I’d like to say that one was looking at the imprinted side of the linen. It would make life so much easier were I able to say that.

    But it wasn’t. It was the opposite side, inviting critics to jump in, claiming that the model presented cannot therefore be valid (“there being scarcely any opposite-side image worth speaking of”).

    My response? Were I to try modelling a strictly as-is version of the Turin Linen, there would be scarcely no visible image even on the imprinted side, at least close up, never mind the opposite. So one’s modelling procedure has to be able to AMPLIFY in the first instance. Later one can try scaling back to get a closer, fainter comparison.

    The first priority of STURP Mark 2 must be to distinguish chemically between a modified cellulose or other intrinsic component of linen, as distinct from a external imprinting agent.

    What would STURP’s chemistry team-leader Ray Rogers had done if he’d lived longer? Would he have endeavoured, as I personally would wish, to attempt to confirm his hunch that the image chromophore was a Maillard-derived high-molecular weight melanoidin?

    Both he and I agree on that proposition, albeit arrived at via two entirely different mechanisms ( Rogers’ 1st century starch impurity coating versus my 14th century application of white flour, sprinkled onto a living volunteer, maybe with modifications to get a sharper imprint of the face, e.g, use of liquid flour slurry/dry linen instead of solid powdered flour/wet linen).

    Things have moved on from STURP (1978) or even Rogers’ later modelling up until his passing in 2005.

    It’s time a long hard look was taken at powder-imprinting (whether with white flour or a similar medium), discarding all those silly and unhelpful objections re “grotesque lateral distortion”).

    When modelling a body image that lacks sides, one does not need to worry about “lateral distortion”.

    1. Sorry, Mr Colin, but your image is quite different from the image of the shroud hands. The find edges filter show an edge in the first finger, due to more pressure over the cloth, which is not seen in the shroud (the hands disappear completely). The X ray feature is also not seen in your image (there is more details in the shroud hands). Your imagination is very fertile, as well. Could an anonymous medieval forger think about all those unusual procedures to create so difficult image? With which purpose? Just one hand is not the same thing than a whole body, both frontal and dorsal. Could you reproduce it?

      1. Here we go again – an internet true-believer reaching into the Harry Potter drawer for digital magic wands that will confound the so-called “sceptics” (or as I prefer to say, down-to-earth realists).

        It was that same Harry Potter drawer that gave us “unique encoded 3D”. Must we really start all over again with still more digital or X-ray magic wands?

        My advice: forget the digital magic wands, forget the X-rays. Try hands-on modelling instead. Yes, hands-on, flour-coated (literally!). It ain’t rocket science – more medieval kitchen-cabinet…

        Use your unaided eye-sight in the first instance – to say nothing of common sense. Make that your initial guide to whether one’s operating in a real or fantasy world.

        Science (or pseudo-science – digitally-aided)?

        I know which of the two I prefer!

        But then, who’d wish to be a boring old scientist in the Age of the Internet?

        1. The image of your hand was made under pressure over the cloth, which is easier when the palm side is used. I wanted to see (this would be very easy to do) the resulting image of the dorsal side of your hands, placed one over the other, as we can see on the shroud, with the cloth over them. I bet to see, kkkkkk!!!!

  8. The image supplied IS the dorsal side of my left hand, lightly smeared with oil, then sprinkled from above with flour. After shaking off surplus flour, wet linen was laid on top.The palm of the right hand was then used to apply pressure, leaving a flour imprint.

    It takes anything between 15 and 60 minutes in the oven set at 200 degrees, to develop the image colour.

    That’s a key consideration – image development can be under constant observation, removing from the oven when one has the desired image intensity, whether faint yellow, scarcely visible, or a a bold golden-brown.

    Medieval simulators of a ‘sweat imprint’ on J of A’s “retrieval linen” (NOT final burial shroud!) may have used an open fire (glowing charcoal embers, no flames?) rather than an oven. That might explain the so-called “poker holes” if bits of red hot charcoal unexpectedly spat upwards.

    The final step would have been to wash off loose surface encrustation, leaving an oh-so-subtle image, the origins of which I suspect few among new viewers would correctly explain if challenged.

    The same goes for some 30 or so new viewers 600 or more years later (aka STURP) armed with late 20th century gee-whizz technology.


    1. PS: Despite being the ‘bleed-through’ image on the opposite side of the linen, it responds to 3D rendering in ImageJ!

      But that’s what ImageJ and similar software, whether analogue or digital, are designed to do: wherever they find image intensity, they promote it proportionately onto a entirely fictitious z (vertical) axis. There is no decoding of a misleadingly named so-called “encoded” image.

      The software has no way of knowing the nature of the original subject that was imaged, far less the means by which the image was acquired. It blindly converts image intensity one pixel at a time to a needle forest, which we then proceed to smooth out on screen, enhancing with shadow, maybe promoting further above “apparent 3D” default setting on z axis, maybe not.

Comments are closed.