No, really, why is there an image on the cloth?

image.pngPerhaps it is all in how we ask the question. Is it, who moved the stone? Or, is it, why was the stone moved? Was it necessary to move the stone so that Christ could exit the tomb — the One who could be where He wanted to be when He wanted to be — the One who could suddenly appear behind locked doors or out somewhere on the road to Emmaus or Damascus? 

Or was the stone moved so Peter and the Beloved Disciple could see in, see that the tomb was empty and see the burial cloths lying there?  Was that necessary?  Were the post-resurrection appearances not enough?

And the burial cloth, now in Turin, that many of us believe is or might be a burial cloth mentioned in the Gospels, has a faint image of a man on it.  Why?  Consider, too, maybe it was a cloth used instead beneath the cross or used to transport the body to the tomb. Nonetheless, why an image? 

Without the image, there would have been no history of a cloth with Christ’s image upon it during the first twelve-hundred years leading up to the Fourth Crusades, no Lirey story worth telling, no startled Secundo Pia, no VP-8 epiphany moment, no STURP and no endless discussion now. Is that why?

Is it why as much as how in the sense that we wonder if the image was caused by an accidental energetic consequence of a miracle? Is that why?

Or a natural phenomenon? Is that why?

Is it why in that a forger at some time in history felt he needed an image in addition to ample signs of brutality? Is that why?

No, really, why is there an image on the cloth?

59 thoughts on “No, really, why is there an image on the cloth?”

  1. Er, yes, but Rovere’s painting is not shown in its entirety (thus my added “Psst” and upwards pointing arrow)

    That’s the full painting. Note the representation of the Turin Linen as a life-size double-body image, matching that expected from an up-and-over imprint deposited via actual physical contact – negative image etc- onto Joseph of Arimathea’s RETRIEVAL (not burial) linen at the base of the cross (no hint of it being postponed till the Third Day as a Resurrection event!)

    And here’s the cover of Mark Antonacci’s 2000 pro-authenticity book, with his cleverly-inserted (verbal) Resurrectional-linked ‘take’ on the Turin Linen, expounded upon at great length…

    Note the way the title blots out Rovere’s ‘take’ on the body imprint (like, you know, suggesting a postponed resurrectional selfie in place of Rovere’s clear intention of portraying a CONTACT IMPRINT.


  2. No one will be able to explain in a scientific way why that enigmatic image of front and back of Christ’s body is imprinted on the Cloth.
    This has been adressed in scientific way but there is no consensus, nevertheless when it comes to bloodstains one thing is for sure:
    The body of Christ could neither have been wrapped in the cloth beside the cross nor being tranported to the tomb in it, as it is usually depicted in classic paintings,

    If so the blood marks instead of the clear cut bloodstains would rather be a mess,
    Bloodstains imprinted on the cloth by contact with the clots covering the skin lesions, and the Body of Christ, had not been moved being placed and wrapped in the Shroud as Dr. Mario Latendresse cleverly concluded /

    The question if the Body was or not washed is a matter of debate among Shroud researchers but in my humble opinion I have to agree with Professor Frederick Zugibe that the Body was washed indeed.

    As a corolary of this another mystery emerges- The Body could not have been mechanically removed from the cloth otherwise there would not be undisturbed boodstains with clear cut margins as observed.
    And the FACT that there are bloodstains out of register with the anatomic region from where they formed by a contact process is another argument to dismiss CONTACT as the only way the Imaged was produced on the Shroud -consider as an example the isolated bloodstain beside the right anatomical elbow (which formed indeed by contact with posterior right anatomical arm as Dr. Lavoie concluded)- this happened because there are anatomical body areas that produced no image as the sides of the Body and we observe the Shroud not in the position of wrapping a body but rather in a flattened position.

    Antero de Frias Moreira
    (Centro Português de Sindonologia)

  3. Hi Antero,
    I quote you :” And the FACT that there are bloodstains”, well Collin Berry ,a distinguished scientist, doesn’t agree with this


    For my part I am not a scientist , but commonsense make me say ” Well, even if there is some blood on this old cloth, so what ? ” There can be all kind of reasons for the presence of blood .

    1. Hi PHPL,
      I don’t care with what such «a distinguished scientist» claims I care with what other also distinguished scientists who studied the Shroud «in loco» and by means of samples collected from the Shroud that were submitted to a battery of microscopical physical and chemical tests concluded.

      To sum up the «red stains» on the Shroud are exsudates from clots that were imprinted on the cloth by contact with the clots surfacing the multiple lesions the Man of the Shroud endured in His Passioin-there are not all kind of reasons for the presence of blood, there is only one reason and the explanation is straightforward: scourging nail piercing »»»»» blood clotting at skin surface»»»»wrapping with a shroud»»»» transposition of clot exsudates to the fabric-blood marks
      There is no mystery

      1. “Serum exudation from retracted blood clots” was a notion put forward by Alan Adler to “explain” how bloodstains could be acquired long after crucifixion, indeed in the tomb onto a claimed “burial shroud”. That was presumably a means of attempting to account for totally unexpected features of the “blood”, notably lack of red blood cells or even degraded remnants.

        Far from being a blood expert, Alan Adler was a porphyrin CHEMIST with no obvious know how or insights where blood physiology was concerned. To say he let his imagination run wild would be an understatement. (yes, there’s a place and a time for imagination in science, on condition that it generates hypotheses, TESTABLE hypotheses. Adler on the contrary continued to build his houses of cards, posturing as if a “world renowned” blood expert (Barrie M.Schwortz’s description). Let’s not kid ourselves about STURP’s largely self-selected team of no doubt well-intentioned but less-than-scrupulously objective investigators.

        What’s more neither Adler , nor his recruiter John Heller (whom the latter brought in to check out porphyrin fluorescence under uv as a quickie test for blood) accompanied the STURP team to Turin in 1978. Their descriptions of blood (“too red” etc) relate either to hearsay accounts of those who did view the Linen with their own eyes, or from the sticky-tape fibre samples obtained via Ray Rogers, and sent initially to Walter McCrone before finally being made available Stateside much, much later (see Heller’s account in his 1983 book).

  4. Your questions are interesting, but irrelevant in the total picture. If you could find your way out of the prison that Judeo-Christian orthodoxy has put us all in and look to the Orient, particularly Buddhist Tibet, you will see how irrelevant they are. There you will find a long history of people dying without leaving a corpse behind, including schools that teach the technique to those who have the capacity to endure a demanding yogic technique. A photo negative, 3-D properties, coin over the right eye, 130 blood stains, carbon dating anomaly, etc., etc., etc. Do they really matter?

  5. Some of us with long memories recall the arguments for authenticity that were deployed, way back in 1977 or thereabouts, when David Rolfe’s “Silent Witness” documentary was released, coinciding with a related feature in the UK’s Sunday Times Colour Supplement, aka Magazine.

    One of the more compelling arguments was the blood pattern on the arms. We were told it matched precisely what one would expect of someone who had shed blood from nail-punctured hands while nailed to a cross, flowing in a direction expected from a diagonal configuration. That blood then imprinted onto linen while still liquid, capturing the geometry of crucifixion.

    Now we’re told that the bloodstains are too precise in their outlines to have been captured while primary blood, newly shed. One would have thought that would be evidence against authenticity. But no. Instead the time frame is shifted, to a point in the tomb – much, much later than expected from the Gospel account of Joseph of Arimathea’s “fine linen” being used to collect and transport a crucified body from cross to tomb. Now we’re asked not only to imagine delayed imprinting of blood onto linen in the tomb, but to accept some qualifying assumptions that explain how the primary newly shed blood is no longer visible. In its place we have secondary shed-blood, with no trace of primary shed blood.

    How on earth could such a scenario have arisen? Answer: we are asked to accept not just one but TWO qualifying assumptions!

    First qualifying assumption: the primary shed blood was washed off shortly after arrival at the tomb.

    Second: there was secondary bleeding of a highly ordered nature, such that it left highly restricted and well-defined blood stains, entirely different from the smudged ones expected from primary bleeding. We’re asked to accept one or other complex mechanism involving clot lysis, fibrinolysis etc etc (hardly textbook stuff when applied to a dead body!).

    And what did that highly ordered secondary bleeding imprint onto? Why, the same kind of linen used for initial transport to the tomb, i.e. a single sheet of “fine linen” deployed in up-and-over mode, entirely different from the account in the fourth (non-synoptic) Gospel with its references to linen “clothes” in the plural, separate face cloth etc. (suggestive of a second separate source of linen, different from that of Joseph of Arimathea’s)

    It gets worse. If one accepts the blood-before-body image chronology deduced by Adler and Heller, then any delay in blood deposition shifts body image acquisition away from initial bleeding during and immediately after crucifixion and transport.

    So where does a body image come from? Why – from imaging within the final tomb, opening the door to all the supernatural ideas re flash of radiation, selfie image capture etc etc. Now there’s a surprise!

    Some might think that the body washing/secondary bleeding scenario constitutes two qualifying assumptions too many, ones designed to pave the way for supernatural body
    imaging mechanisms, especially those that can be ascribed to Third Day resurrection.

    This elaborate, come might say contrived scenario, one centred on linen serving as burial “shroud” for a washed body (as distinct from makeshift form of dignified transport from cross to tomb) may appeal to “true-believers”. But it leaves this retired science bod cold, nay glacially-rigid if the truth be told, one who regards ANY qualifying assumption required to sustain a dubious, indeed jaw-dropping argument as deeply suspicious.

    As for TWO qualifying assumptions – probably more if the truth be told – one’s response is easily summarised. In the words of a certain umpire-berating tennis player from way back: “You CANNOT be serious!”

  6. Dan,

    I’ve followed your discussion of these matters with interest. I know you are knowledgeable about the shroud and that is why what you write is important. I’ve broadened my knowledge by your discussion of the 3D aspects. I will be careful when I next write about that and I’d like to offer my opinion on “why.”

    I came, after my studies of it, to believe that the shroud is prominent today as a kind of last chance for skeptics, especially scientifically minded skeptics. For so long, science seemed the enemy of religion. But more and more science today is proving a world beyond the material. Physics and it’s world of infinitesimal particles is one example.The shroud is part of that. It offers scientific proof that the resurrection story recorded in Biblical history is true. At least, it gives us modern mysteries about that ancient story.

    After writing two books on the shroud, I now usually conclude in any new writings about it: the burden of proof is now with the doubters. The amount of scientific proof that the shroud is what it purports to be – the burial cloth of the historical Jesus with strong indications of the resurrection – now outweighs the evidence that it is a fake. They are still skeptics, but they haven’t done a good job – not even, in my opinion, a decent job.

    Which leads me to my final opinion. You ask why (which is probably rhetorical)? My opinion is that what we see in the shroud – those questions defined and explained and those few still unexplained – are a kind of last chance for skeptics to see the light. We live in scary times, which I realize are not new. But at some point, the end is near. Maybe the shroud is, along with the Bible and the faith it engenders, the final hook for those who need such proof, of which I’ll admit I’m probably one.

    It’s my guess that the shroud left in the tomb, which I think is its origin, had no demonstrable image on it. Only after time, centuries, did that image become discernible and then more and more defined. I can’t explain the mechanics but it seems to fit the known facts which don’t support an easily identifiable body image until later. So it wasn’t until the dawnings of the scientific age that the shroud’s scientific evidence became available.

    Robert K. Wilcox

    1. Oh dear. Yet another journalistic Doberman, snapping at the heels of us science-based sceptics. How dare we poke our noses into matters that are not our concern?

      But take a quick look at search engine rankings under “shroud of turin”. Observe the number of folk who claim that this relic, with no documented history pre-14th century – continues to “elude” science, that it’s an enigma, an enduring mystery.

      And what happens when scientists feel obliged to check out some of the more outrageous claims, like self-emitted ‘resurrectional’ radiation leaving selfie images on linen – without bothering to defining the nature of that radiation in terms of wavelength, origin, mode of focusing etc etc far less the precise chemical nature of the image chromophore. Why, those perennial losers who call themselves scientists are simply anti-religion or pursuingone or other hidden or personal agenda.

      Science says: “Believe what you want, but kindly desist from re-inventing science – i.e. the well-tried-and-tested scientific method based on hypothesis/experimental test- simply to win over folk to buy your books etc, airing your personal views.

      It’s grossly unfair to risk damaging the hard-won reputation of science at unearthing real facts and sensible theories with real credibility and staying power, via what can only be described as publicity-seeking pseudo-science.

      Oh, and unless or until those who attack the radiocarbon dating as erroneous for one reason or another take steps to get it repeated, then the term “Shroud sceptic” is wholly unwarranted. The default label should be “radiocarbon sceptic”, with us alleged “sceptics” re-labelled as promoters of a 14th century origin (while curious to know precisely how the subtle tone-reversed image was created in a pre-photography era). I say that Lirey clerics watched bread browning in an oven, and hit upon an idea for trumping the then-celebrated Veil of Veronica that was attracting vast numbers of (paying) pilgrims. “Let’s simulate a second imprint” they said, “not just the face, but the entire body, front and back. Let’s check out the Gospels for a pretext (like, you know, Joseph of Arimathea and his “fine linen”, deployed as a means of concealing and transporting a crucified body, still damp with sweat and blood.”

      They were successful – beyond their wildest dreams- at least until those party-pooper radiocarbon daters came along in 1988.

      How much longer must we wait for a repeat of the C-14 dating, checking out a wider range of locations on the linen, needing (probably) no more than a few excised threads here and there, well clear of body image or bloodstains?

      1. PS: Apologies for slipping in an afterthought, the starting point being a diagram I have just this minute cobbled together. It represents the diminishing credibility of an argument as an exponential decay curve. Each additional qualifying assumption reduces credibility by a half of its previous value.

        Now check out our journalist-cum-author’s anti-science comment for those qualifying assumptions (in various guises).

        1.. “For so long, science seemed the enemy of religion”. (Down to 1/2 on credibility scale)

        2. “It offers scientific proof that the resurrection story recorded in Biblical history is true”. (Now down to 1/4)

        3. “… the shroud is what it purports to be – the burial cloth of the historical Jesus.” (Now down to 1/8)

        4. ” strong indications of the resurrection” (Now down to 1/16)

        5. “in the tomb, which I think is its origin, had no demonstrable image on it”. ( Now down to 1/32)

        6. “after time, centuries, did that image become discernible ..more and more defined” (Now down to 1/64)

        Summary: a total of 6 qualifying assumptions no less (phew! – that takes some doing ) has exponentially decreased our journalist/author’s credibility, in my eyes at any rate, by 63 parts in 64!

        Well, in scientific terms at any rate, though I don’t suppose he’ll lose any sleep over that (science being such an easy target, given its meddlesome trait of attempting to probe the unknown, content for the most part with providing provisional, incomplete answers, albeit evolving with time…

        That’s as distinct from journalism aimed at the masses, with its neatly packaged, trumpeted beliefs and certainties, aka qualifying assumptions…).

  7. I can’t recall ever being labeled a dog – author, historian, screenwriter, yes. And I guess I’m in big trouble with that graph you posted. But I did write two books on the shroud, examined it myself in Turin, and spent decades studying it. I assure you, Mr. Berry, I welcome critics like you “poking your noses” into the shroud. I’d just like to be shown why the shroud isn’t a mystery, nor why it can’t be what it seems to be.

    Like you, I’d like to see another Carbon-14 test. Unfortunately, the first was a joke. Essential protocol was not maintained and then it was found that a snipet from a medieval repair of the shroud had been tested – not the ancient cloth itself. I would like as much as you a new Carbon 14. But after what happened the first time, I think it will be awhile before the Church will allow it – if ever.

    In the meantime, I’d love for you to expound exactly how those 14th Century peasants wanting to cheat the Church made a “bread-browning” fake in an oven. Details please. They took a cloth and baked it? I think there’s powder involved but I’m not sure how the process proceeds. Wouldn’t it burn up? How did they get the blood onto it, which is different than the image? How did they make the blood with picture perfect borders? Was this done in the oven too? Beyond those details, I would then like to see images of the cloth done the way you think it was done? If they are as good and remarkable as those on the shroud, the case will be closed. However, in the last nearly 120 years, there have been perhaps 50 attempts to recreate images like those on the shroud. None succeeded. They are flat, lifeless, without the life-like detail seen on the shroud and in its photographic images. They do not transform so vividly from positive to negative as the shroud images do.

    And where are the other images this medieval oven process made? If they did it once, it could be repeated. It would have been repeated. Think of the money to be made. They cooked it off once and then the process disappeared for 600 years? That to me is as unlikely as the resurrection is to you. If whatever produced the shroud image came from medieval times, there would be more examples. Other artists would have heard of it and copied it. Someone else would have invented it. Someone today, with our scientific sophistication, would have duplicated it. But we’ve not seen the same since.

    In my opinion there are a host of mysteries and scientific studies that argue for authenticity; i.e., that the shroud is the burial cloth of the historical person Jesus and that it has evidence of something unexplainable on it which Christians believe might be the resurrection. Read my book, or any one of the many others, and you can see what I mean. You may argue with this aspect or that. But it’s the accumulation of facts and mysteries for over a century of scientific inquiry that gives authenticity weight. I don’t doubt that there are findings in the historical, medical and chemical record about the shroud that are wrong or that will be found to be wrong. That is the nature of scientific inquiry. Most thought the world flat until it was proven otherwise. But in that 120 years of serious scientific study of the shroud, the case for authenticity has only grown and strengthened. It has not regressed. Among those who have seriously studied it, there are only a tiny number of skeptics verses 100s who marvel. The burden of proof has definitely shifted onto the critics. Muster your arguments and write a book about it. Pot-shoting about individual aspects plus personal insults don’t prove the shroud a fake.

    1. I want to express my sympathy for you.
      I bought your book some years ago and I enjoyed reading it it’s quite informative and contains reliable and very interesting information to whom seeks to learn about the Shroud.
      I’m proud to have it in my bookshelf and I cited it as a bibliographic reference in the book I wrote «Sudário de Turim Mortalha de Cristo ou Fraude Medieval?» in english Shroud of Turin,, Shroud of Christ or Medieval Hoax?

      Antero de Frias Moreira
      (Centro Português de Sindonologia)

  8. “Weaves”? Ah yes, one weaves to make a FABRIC. Might the Wilcox style of “weaving” via exercise of untramelled journalistic royalty-accruing “detective work”, untouched by real science, and indeed indifferent to, or contemptuous of real science, be better described, not as “weaving” but as outright, er, FABRICation?

    I shall be making no further comments, here or elsewhere, on the matter, having ‘said my piece’.

    1. Let us remember that in the same issue of “Nature” that reported the 1988 radiocarbon testing results, there was an important letter to the editor. This letter rings out today with possibly more force than when it was first written. It causes one again to ponder and adopt a position of caution. The correspondence was with Thomas J. Phillips of the High-Energy Physics Laboratory at Harvard University. Phillips suggested that the Shroud might be a “fundamentally-altered fabric with respect to its C-14 content due to its possible (note the word Dan) witness to some unexplained event, possibly (again Dan) in the tomb of Jesus. He hypothesized that such an unexplained event, which itself cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, may have had an effect on the Shroud that can e studied scientifically. The unknown even may have generated a flux of neutrons that could have skewed the C-14/C-12 ration of the linen cloth. Phillips said that if this were the case, other unstable isotopes should have been formed, and that several of these have half-lives long enough that they would still be present, yet short enough that they are not found in nature. (CRTSUM by TSC). Antonacci, Rucker and their research team are working with these ideas to test the Shroud for such evidence.

      Until these tests are done absolutely no new carbon dating should be conducted on the Shroud. Colin Berry (bless you Colin and also you Robert Wilcox) and many many others have essentially walked away from the “possibility” that the Shroud is authentic because of their interpretation of the carbon dating results. Another faulty test would be catastrophic for the Shroud . . . and if the Shroud is a sign for the world . . . then also for the world itself. Hold your horses on new carbon dating. Let real scientists – physicists in this case – keep working.

      1. OK, I hear you Robert. I also hear a pal of mine in Chicago (he works in the aircraft industry) called Akstu Grind.

        He’s alarmed at the speed with which accusing fingers are being pointed at Boeing on account of TWO of its 737 Max aircraft crashing into the ground (the most recent being that dreadful nosedive in Ethiopia).

        He pours scorn on the idea that it’s something to do with a new-fangled computer-mediated stall control system, saying it wrongly implies negligence on the part of the software designers.

        He’s come up with an entirely different explanation, one that can and should let Boeing off the hook.

        You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle, haven’t you? Well, he’s hit on a novel idea. The simple Triangle is no more, and has in fact expanded enormously. .

        It’s currently become the Bermuda Pentagon, i.e. with two new vertices, each of which has swallowed up a 737.

        Unless or until that theory of his can be put to the test (he’s working on it in his spare time) then there must be no more unfair accusations levelled at Boeing for events that are entirely beyond its control.

        The status quo must be maintained at all costs, he says, inertia-inducing though it may be. That’s why we have them, with their upmarket Latin designation, not to be confused with state of total and needless confusion.

        1. Dear Colin, this is not a diversion to the “Bermuda Triangle” to supposedly offer a scientific “proof” of the resurrection. To the contrary, the resurrection can never be scientifically “proven”. This is fundamentally true because the philosophy of science includes the stipulation to work to “disprove” rather than to “prove”. This is why your research to disprove certain Shroud hypotheses is noble in its essence. Science rests on hypotheses, many of the most sublime of which, particularly in physics, can never be said to be proven but can only be made stronger through a continuing accumulation of empirical evidence. As for the “authenticity” position, the ultimate weight of Shroud research can only be gathered to support the position that the Shroud is a true Instrumental sign, a sign that providentially points to or reveals some other deeper truth. As Robert Wilcox has stated the weight of Shroud research so far gathered is very very hefty and keeps accumulating. For many many sincere students of the corpus of Shroud research: historic, medical forensics, linen cloth forensics, image formation hypotheses, image evidence (including the apparent second superficial image on the back of the Shroud discussed recently here in this blog), the direction of the evidence, contra Dan is from “possibly” to “probably” to “most likely.” But every individual must judge. So it has ever been.

        2. Robert Siefker, you wrote above, “As for the ‘authenticity’ position, the ultimate weight of Shroud research can only be gathered to support the position that the Shroud is a true Instrumental sign, a sign that providentially points to or reveals some other deeper truth.”

          Be it by science, history, or seat-of-the-pants common sense, there a big wide and deep chasm of illogical notions between establishing authenticity and attaching any meaning to that. The more inclined I am to think that the creation of the image was a separate miracle, perhaps at the instant of the Resurrection, the easier it is for me to think there might be meaning in it.

          There once was a lady from Australia who filed an affidavit with the Los Angeles Country Court — anyone may do so if they have the filing fee — attesting to the fact that the world was flat. She knew this because while living “down under” she had never needed to hang by her feet. The meaning of her story: Isaiah 11:12 is true, there really are four corners to the earth.

          I really can accept that the shroud might be authentic without having to think there is any reason for it.

        3. Hi Colin,

          In reference to your comment, concerning your friend in Chicago, “You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle, haven’t you? Well, he’s hit on a novel idea. The simple Triangle is no more, and has in fact expanded enormously. It’s currently become the Bermuda Pentagon, i.e. with two new vertices, each of which has swallowed up a 737.”

          You continue with, “Unless or until that theory of his can be put to the test,,,”

          Your friend’s novel idea is not so novel. He may not be aware, as theorized by Ivan T. Sanderson, there are 12 Devil’s Triangles around the world.

          These Devil’s graveyards are referred to as the “Vile Vortices,” where strange phenomena like the disappearance of aircraft, spinning compasses and faulty instrumentation readings, relating to the magnetic field have occurred.

          Vile vortex

      2. Let us also remember that immediately after Thomas Phillips’ letter was a reply by R.E.M. Hedges, which said the “processes suggested by Phillips were considered by the participating laboratories” but that pursuing them was rejected on the following grounds (among others):

        “1) No plausible physical mechanism has been proposed to explain how the resurrection was accompanied by a significant neutron flux. If a supernatural explanation is to be proposed, it seems pointless to make any scientific measurement on the shroud at all.”

        “2) Assuming a scientific (but not yet articulated) explanation for the neutron flux, it is an amazing coincidence that the neutron dose should be so exactly appropriate to give the most likely date of historical grounds.”

        3) Phillips had not considered that as well as generating C14 from C13, a neutron flux would also generate C14 from N14 (as C14 is usually produced in the atmosphere). This would have had a significant chemical effect [on cellulose – C12H10O5, for example, which would have decomposed], which was not observed.

        1. Dear Hugh, good try. If in fact the resurrection occurred there indeed will be no “scientific explanation” (see above reply to Colin). The statement “If a supernatural explanation is to be proposed, it seems pointless to make any scientific measurement on the shroud at all” is just senseless. In fact, worse than senseless. It is akin to saying that if you believe in God you should oppose ALL further scientific research in any field. Ridiculous. For some reason that doesn’t sound like the true Hugh who is in reality, I think, a respectable Shroud skeptic, who as such favors more research on all kinds of alternatives to the gathering weight of Shroud research that buttresses a fully supportable rational judgement that the Shroud is beyond “probably” the Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth and that its image has no naturalistic explanation. Blessings on your work Hugh. It is good and necessary. It keeps the process healthy and noble of working toward more research and data to be gathered on the Shroud. But check your philosophical verbage.

  9. Reply to Robert Siefker

    Eloquent indeed, Robert. But eloquence cuts no ice where hard, unsentimental science is concerned.

    Should you want graphical evidence that the conjoint blood/body image on the Turin Linen is a fake, then take a close look at this image, supplied in the pro-authenticity Fanti/Fellini paper:


    Well, here’s a couple of clues:

    While the radiation-mediated ‘supernatural’ school of body imaging desperately tries to assure us that the body image was NOT a contact imprint, there’s rarely if ever any attempt to make the same case for the blood stains.

    But ‘blood stains’ we’re told include the 372 scourge marks. Blood (including scourge marks) arrived before the body image we’re told (Adler and Heller).

    Scourge marks we’re told were acquired via a whip with metal pellets attached to the tips of a flexible whip-like Roman flagrum.

    Would it be possible to leave whip-imprinted markings confined to frontal and dorsal sides of the body, with no signs of any ‘curl around’ injury to (non-visible) SIDES of body, made apparent in ‘cut-off’ imprints on the visible frontal and dorsal surfaces?

    I say no, regardless of the explanation for that ‘two-fold’ body image that omits any view of the sides (which I attribute to body imaging via contact, avoiding the sides).

    Now take a look at that conjoint blood/body image, focusing on the scourge marks alone. Do you see any evidence of interrupted (“short”) scourge marks, suggestive of incomplete image due to a cut-off on account of curl-around on the sides?

    I don’t. All the scourge marks look essentially complete.

    Why? Because an imprinting medium was first applied to both sides of a real human body (probably live volunteer, medieval era, probably Lirey cleric), then “scourge marks” applied with an imprinting tool coated with blood (more probably blood substitute) restricted to the visible body imprint, failing to imprint partially close to body sides.

    Then, and only then, there was conjoint imaging onto pressed-down linen, giving ‘complete’ scourge marks, with no evidence of partial, interrupted ones close to the cut-off margins of the body imprint.

    (I may try to put my case more concisely at a future date, maybe with a couple of visible aids to get across the idea of ‘partial’ cut-off scourge marks close to the edges of the body imprint).

    Good try, you Lirey clerics. Indeed brilliant, in so many respects. But you failed the realism test.. Your scourge marks were too good, too complete, too neat, too uniform, too stereotyped, too stylized, too artistic…

  10. More philosophical verbiage, I’m afraid, Robert!

    “The statement “If a supernatural explanation is to be proposed, it seems pointless to make any scientific measurement on the shroud at all” is just senseless. In fact, worse than senseless.”

    Well, no. Hedges was exactly right. The point is that once you claim a supernatural – i.e. irrational and unscientific – link in your argument, then any further science is bound to fail to persuade you otherwise. Maybe there was a burst of neutrons. Why didn’t they destroy the protein of the linen by converting its nitrogen atoms into carbon? Because the miracle makes neutrons only hit carbon atoms. Why was that amount of neutrons emitted but no more or less. Because the miracle only works that way. Any scientific measurement must be meaningless in this light, so it is not worth the time and expense of making it.

    ” It is akin to saying that if you believe in God you should oppose ALL further scientific research in any field. Ridiculous.”

    Not at all. Science works only rationally. So, almost always, does God. Coeli enarrant gloriam dei and all that. The more science we do, the more we understand the nature of God. If, from time to time, he works outside science, then for those events, science cannot, by definition, explain his working, so making scientific measurements must be meaningless.

    “Blessings on your work Hugh. It is good and necessary. It keeps the process healthy and noble of working toward more research and data to be gathered on the Shroud. But check your philosophical verbage.”

    Well, that’s very kind of you indeed. Except for the last bit, of course!

    1. Hugh, if there was a neutron flux there would have been unique isotopes left behind. This is what the point of Hedges was. If they are there that would support the hypothesis. If they are not found then the neutron flux hypothesis would rightly have to be abandoned. No one is proposing otherwise. You know that.

      1. You’re quite right, but I think that’s a tiny bit disingenuous. Hedges’ point was that unless there was some reason to suppose these indicative isotopes were there, there was no point in wasting time and effort (and money?) looking for them. The reason “a miracle might have resulted in such isotopes” is not sufficient. Nobody goes prospecting for gold in a mountain range on the basis of an irrational belief.

        Of course, you (and for that matter Bob Rucker and Mark Antonacci) may be right, and the miracle of the resurrection did produce exactly the results you suggest, but until some expert in miracles can persuade the custodians of the Shroud that it’s worthwhile looking for them, they are unlikely to bother. My own view is that it is not God’s normal practice to produce miracles which tell lies, such that if the apparent medieval age of the Shroud is produced by a miracle, it is more likely to be thanks to a deceptive power than an honest one.

        1. Hugh, what we DO KNOW is that the 1988 carbon dating was an amateurish botched exercise. I, in fact, have no strong opinion on the neutron flux suggestion of Phillips. However, it should be explored. There are many other possibilities of why the 1988 test results are invalid. All avenues should be explored. That is the point. Besides, the “apparent” medieval age of the Shroud runs up against much historical evidence that suggests otherwise.

          Even Christopher Ramsey, who while the head of the Oxford Lab after the 1988 results were published said the following (as you know):

          “With the radiocarbon measurements and with all of the other evidence which we have about the Shroud, there does seem to be a conflict in the interpretation of the different evidence. And for that reason, I think that everyone who has worked in this area, the radiocarbon scientists and all of the other experts, need to have a critical look at the evidence that they have come up with in order for us to try to work out some kind of a coherent story that fits and tells us the truth of this intriguing cloth.””

          Just so. Regards Hugh

    2. «Why didn’t they destroy the protein of the linen by converting its nitrogen atoms into carbon?»
      Dear Dr Hugh Farey
      What protein?
      I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you as far as I’m aware the chemical composition of linen fibers- The fabric of the Shroud of Turin is made of linen- is mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
      Fluorescamine tests on image and non image Shroud fibers were negative for protein, the only positive tests were on serum and bloodstained fibers..
      Proteases didn’t have any effect on image fibers either.
      Although the neutron flux theory cannot be taken for sure I have to agree with Dr. Robert Siefker concerning hypothetical new radiocarbon dating of the Shroud.
      I attended a lecture on radiocarbon dating of the Shroud back in 2012 (Valencia Shroud Congress) which was followed by a scientific discussion by several experts and the consensus was that future radiocarbon dating tests on the Shroud had to be very carefully planned and what caused the image had also to be considered to avoid a new fiasco.

      Antero de Frias Moreira

      1. You’re quite right, Antero. I believe there is indeed very little protein left in linen, perhaps less than 1%, so maybe neutron enrichment would not destroy the cloth after all.

        What would you say about the bloodstains?

        Incidentally, I believe that in some countries all teachers are referred to as ‘doctor’ (rather like all general practice medical practitioners in the UK) and I am certainly a teacher. Is that correct? If not, then I am happy to clarify that I do not hold a ‘doctorate’ from a university, so should not be termed ‘doctor’ in the UK.

        1. Hi Hugh,
          Good to see you in full intellectual form ! Well , You may not be a Doctor but there’s authentic Doctors who lack your intellectual sharpness . It’s also possible to buy Doctor titles on the internet nowadays. Your “best” friend Stephen E Jones has predictably not appreciated your “The Medieval Shroud” essay and is now prophesying eternal damnation for you. Don’t give a damn about that , Jones is Jones , Medieval is Medieval , God is God.

        2. Bless him. I am absolutely certain that whatever the afterlife has in store for us, Stephen and I will end up in the same place, sipping ambrosia to the sound of harps, chuckling about our terrestrial differences.

        3. Dear Dr. Hugh Farey

          I really appreciated your honesty.
          In Portugal teachers that attended the universities to obtain their academic degree are called Dr. just like medical doctors ,attorneys and judjes for example so I do not feel confortable not naming you as Dr.(and other commenters in this blog)

          I’m neither a chemist nor a physicist but believing the late Dr. Raymond Rogers opinion he did not give much credit to the Neutron Flux theory based on microscopic observation of image and non image Shroud fibers.
          May be I’m wrong but it’s my belief that Shroud bloodstains are quite undisturbed(obviously excluding mechanical effects of folding and unfolding the cloth..)and were not subjected to a neutron or significant thermic action, perhaps to U.V. radiation??? (Dr. Carlo Brillante theory)
          But what really matters is that there are real bloodstains that were imprinted on the fabric by contact with the wounds Jesus endured in His Passion


        4. Hugh says: “Incidentally, I believe that in some countries all teachers are referred to as ‘doctor’ (rather like all general practice medical practitioners in the UK) and I am certainly a teacher.”

          Hugh, you’re in good company. My recollection is there was another (back in history) who was certainly not an ordained Rabbi, but because of his incomparable knowledge of scripture was referred to as “Teacher or “Master.” :-)

    1. Hi, anoxie!

      With reference to your question, the holy Shroud was left for people, like so many of the atheists, who find it impossible to believe in Jesus by faith. I would equate the Shroud to the old cliché, “Seeing is believing.”

      Even if there are those who do not find the Shroud to be authentic, it is still representative of the brutality Jesus underwent on our behalf. Can we turn a blind eye to His suffering?

      Like the parable of the 10 virgins, when we come face-to-face with our LORD, at the judgment, will we be one of those who is wise and prepared or will we be one of the foolish?

      Seek and ye shall find covers both atheists and believers. You alone determine which one of the two categories represent you.

  11. Well, no, obviously….

    “Hugh, what we DO KNOW is that the 1988 carbon dating was an amateurish botched exercise.” Absolutely not. It was entirely professional and not at all botched.

    “There are many other possibilities of why the 1988 test results are invalid. All avenues should be explored.”

    I have explored them all, and find them inadequate to invalidate the radiocarbon date.

    “Besides, the “apparent” medieval age of the Shroud runs up against much historical evidence that suggests otherwise.”

    There is no historical evidence that suggests the Shroud is not medieval.

    1. So Hugh, contra Ramsey, your mind is closed. Very securely at that. I wish you well.

  12. Mr. Farey. I differ with your statement, “There is no historical evidence that suggests the Shroud is not medieval.”

    Medieval means 5th Century on. But what is “the linen cloth” left in Jesus’s tomb mentioned in the New Testament, for instance in John 20:3-6? That is pre-Medieval and while not proof, it is certainly reasonable evidence possibly of the Shroud, as Sindonologists like myself have argued.

    We have no positive proof that the linen in the tomb was the Shroud. But no one can say it wasn’t the Shroud, since both are linen and both relate to Jesus, his death and purported resurrection. It certainly is evidence for many who trace the historical possibilities for the Shroud – unless, of course, you don’t accept the Bible as a historical text as are, for instance, the writings of Plato with less historical basis.

    Further, do you not think it reasonable that, if the linen left in the tomb was the Shroud, as argued by many Shroud experts, Jesus’s followers, finding it, would have picked it up and cherished it as a memento of their leader, taking it with them and protecting it, thus, in their action, supplying a second evidence – again, not proof – of the Shroud’s pre-Medieval origins.

    No question the supposed history of the Shroud through the centuries is spotty with questions and gaps. But there is evidence of its existence prior to the 5th Century.

    1. Hi Robert,

      Thank you for writing. I was not aware that you had updated your book, which I enjoyed many years ago, and am delighted to say that a copy was delivered yesterday.

      However. On the subject of evidence. The simple fact that some ‘swaddling clothes’ are both mentioned in the bible, and venerated in Aachen and Dubrovnik is not ‘reasonable evidence that they are the same cloths. Neither is the the fact that a ‘shroud’ is mentioned in the bible and venerated in Turin. The same applies to hundreds of alleged archaeological artefacts, sacred and profane, in cathedrals, museums and other collections around the world.

      Similarly, “it’s made of linen and it relates to Jesus” is no evidence that the Shroud is authentic. The shroud of Kornelimunster is also linen and also relates to Jesus, as are various other bits and pieces scattered around Europe.

      However the following is an interesting idea, and much speculated upon:

      “Further, do you not think it reasonable that, if the linen left in the tomb was the Shroud, as argued by many Shroud experts, Jesus’s followers, finding it, would have picked it up and cherished it as a memento of their leader”. The short answer is no. The clothes of famous people who have died and left the world are occasionally kept; such as the shirt of King Charles I, the overcoat of Abraham Lincoln, or the uniform of Admiral Nelson of Trafalgar, but the dirty bandages of someone who is now alive and well are not preserved at all. They are unclean and to be ritually disposed of as soon as possible.

      Of course I am aware that hundreds of books have been written with ‘evidence’ that the Shroud of Turin existed before 1350. Sadly I do not credit any of it, and have explained at length and in various places (not least at shroudstory) why not. I shall be happy to continue to do so.

  13. Hi Hugh:

    Sorry, but it is evidence, whether you agree or not. Had a detective been assigned to the mystery, he would have been derelict not to note both the cloths left in the tomb and now in Turin were linen. That is pertinent. The old police reporter in me knows this.

    Ditto for the assumption that those at the scene, especially worshippers, would have gathered any memento of their beloved leader regardless of its condition.These were iconoclasts who gave rise to the largest religion in the world in spite of torture, death and other worldly horrors.

    But reasonable people can disagree, which is certainly nothing new in the Shroud controversy.

    1. Robert you said: “Those at the scene, especially worshippers, would have gathered any memento of their beloved leader regardless of its condition.”

      My reply: Spoken like a true detective. I agree with you, although I hate to disagree with Hugh. Mary Magdalene was devastated and she certainly would have collected both the linen shroud and head scarf. So, too would Simon Peter or John.

      To prove this point, see the following:

      Yoko’s new Lennon exhibition features the bloody clothes worn on the ……/Yokos-new-Lennon-exhibition-features-bloody-clothes-..
      May 13, 2009 – A new John Lennon exhibition will include the clothes he was wearing on the night he was shot dead – still soaked in his dried blood. … the opening of John Lennon: The New York City Years and said she was still affected by his death. ‘It … exhibit that launched today at the Rock & Roll Hall of…

      1. Thank you Tamara. As you’ve noted, It’s human nature to keep possessions of those we loved, however seemingly dark. Jackie Kennedy would not, for a long while, change her blood-spattered cloths. In the case of the Shroud, what the tomb visitors did was the beginning of its long, often miraculous preservation. Those who know the shroud’s presumed history, know it has survived nearly two thousand years of wars, earthquakes, capture and fire.Those who revered it, kept it safe – often miraculously so. Witness WWII as well as the fire just a few decades ago in Turin. There is deep meaning, I believe, in why it was survived.

      2. That’s OK Tamara, people often disagree with me. But are you sure you’re not agreeing with me after all? People keep remembrances of the dead, not of the living. Mary Magdalen was devastated before she entered the tomb, but then an angel told her that Jesus was alive. The last thing she would want is his discarded bandages. Peter and John went to the tomb uncertain, but the sight of the discarded trappings convinced them he was alive. Of course they didn’t preserve the trash. For all I know you can still go and see John Lennon’s shirt or the blood of the dead John Kennedy. I bet you can’t go and see one of their nose-bleeds.

        1. Hugh said: “But are you sure you’re not agreeing with me after all? People keep remembrances of the dead, not of the living.”

          My reply: Hi, Hugh!

          Yes, while what you state may be true, Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “Do not touch me as I have not yet ascended to my Father.”

          With that in mind, there was no guarantee Mary Magdalene would ever see Jesus in this world again. More than likely that was the reason she collected His bloodied garments, as a treasured remembrance.

          Mary was probably the one who saved the Shroud and head cloth. Women are more sentimental in those type of circumstances. Remember: Yoko Ono and Jackie Kennedy. JMO. :-)

  14. Hello again all, Would anybody like the entire Vern Miller collection of photograph’s that they took in the 1978 STURP expedition ? There are around 210 HR image’s in the collection. All of the photograph’s taken in Ultra violet, all of the HR micrograph’s and composite images etc. Let me know and i will send you the link. They are some of the best photograph’s of the shroud i have seen. Very similar to the Enrie images, but Vern’s have more detail, especially the close up’s of the face area. My aim here is to provide people interested in sindonology with HR images to study the shroud, as like i have said previously, high resolution images of the shroud are hard to come by for a number of reason’s lol. I am now in the process of doing a comparitive analysis of the Enrie, STURP (Barrie Schwortz & Vern Miller etc) Durante (1997,2000,2002 & 2010) and the 2008 HAL9000 (Haltadefinizione) image’s, to check each image for the alleged writting’s, object’s, flower’s etc and see if they are actually there and not the result of the techniques used when photographing the shroud (Lighting, lenses, photographic plates & films etc etc) I believe that only then, can we advance hypotheses regarding these “extra” image’s on the shroud. You cant just look at one image of the shroud and then claim indefinitely that they are there. To be honest, even when i have analysed all of the images of the shroud ever taken, no matter how high a resolution) i could not claim indefinitely that these extra images are actually there, i would need to have the actual shroud infront of me to look for myself before i could claim something like that. It will however bring us at least a little closer to knowing these thing’s. It has taken me a few years to obtain all these images, and now my shroud folder has around 120 gigabytes of data in (Image’s, Paper’s etc) If you would like any of the other image’s that i mentioned then let me know in the comments, or via E-Mail (My E-Maill address is I cannot however give out Barrie Schwortz’s images as i promised him that i would not. Now whilst they are good image’s, they do not contain nowhere near the amount of detail that say, the HAL9000 or Durante image’s do. Best regards to you all.

  15. There’s no Reply facility to Tamara’s comment, and I was frankly minded to ignore it initially.

    But the reference to “magnetic” hotspots that allegedly draw ships etc to their doom reminded me of something more Linen related.

    Some time ago I was attempting to learn more about my roasted Model 10 flour imprints on linen. I was using an emery board (intended for fingernails!) to abrade the surface of the fabric, then intending to strip away the loose abraded material with adhesive ‘sticky’ tape,

    I had the shock of my life. Unwind the tape from its reel, bring up close to the emery board, and … guess what? The abraded material jumped off the emery board onto the tape – almost entirely – as if drawn by a magnetic force.

    It wasn’t magnetic of course. It was electrostatic. The act of unwinding the tape from its reel created a separation of electric charge, making the stripped tape act as if a “magnet” – except for one thing. Being electrostatic, rather than magnetic, it attracted virtually anything nearby that wasn’t anchored down. Like abraded image particles!

    Why mention all this?

    Answer: the modern human mind, constantly assaulted by novelty, to say nothing of religious proselytising, acts in much the same way. It is attracted, nay over-attracted, to anything new and interesting that appears in its immediate environment that is “electrically-attractive”.

    That I’m tempted to say could be said to sum up the fascination with the (dare I say, “over-hyped”) Turin “Shroud” , correction, Linen, ever since Secondo Pia demonstrated that negative (tone-reversed) image via photography . That triggered the logical non-sequitur that the image itself must have been the product of some kind of supernatural ‘proto-photography’.

    But I say, forget photography or even proto-photography. It’s a contact imprint, of medieval fabrication, NOT a radiation-induced ‘selfie’!)

    I’m presently preparing a new posting for my own site, probably entitled “Sindonology’s 10 Greatest Mistakes”.

    That false conclusion re Secondo Pia’s discovery will head the list of 10!

    Sorry to have drifted off the point you were making ,Tamara…

  16. Colin, you said: “But the reference to “magnetic” hotspots that allegedly draw ships etc to their doom reminded me of something more Linen related.”

    My reply: You will eventually find that it all originates from anti-gravity and the world grid. Are you familiar with “Lei Lines?” You may want to look at the work of Edward Leedskalnin and the Coral Castle, referencing anti-gravity and stargate portals.

    Edward Leedskalnin (a Latvian emigrant to the U.S,) was a genius (like Nikola Tesla) and a self-taught engineer.

    Just as Edward Leedskalnin was able to levitate massive tonnage (an amazing feat) to construct his rock castle in Florida, making use of magnetic current, anti-gravity and stargate portals, Jesus was able to resurrect. There is a definite relationship to electromagnetism and the Shroud of Turin image.

  17. P.S. Food for Thought!

    1. Ed Leedskalnin – Coral Castle
    “He somehow single-handedly cut and moved a thirty ton block of LIMESTONE.”

    2. Garden Tomb

    “The garden tomb is the place where Jesus’ body was laid – and from which He returned to life three days later. … It was mostly made out of LIMESTONE but there were also some parts of gold foil …”

    My reply: Gold foil was present as well as limestone in the Garden Tomb. Let it be known gold is a superconductor for antigravity,

    3. Holy Sepulchre:
    The LIMESTONE piece of rock on which ‘Jesus was …
    “Pictured for the first time: The LIMESTONE piece of rock on which ‘Jesus was resurrected after crucifixion’ The stone slab was inside a chamber of Jesus’s tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre …”

    Connect the dots!

    All cases above involved limestone, magnetism and anti-gravity and gold in the case of
    “The Garden Tomb.”

    Is it at all possible Jesus moved the rolling stone to the entrance of the sepulchre Himself (from inside the tomb) utilizing the same methods Ed Leedskalnin made use of with Coral Castle centuries later?

    1. Referencing “My reply: Gold foil was present as well as limestone in the Garden Tomb. Let it be known gold is a superconductor for antigravity.” I am referring to the M-state transition metals. Gold is a great conductor of electricity and one of the tellurides of gold is a superconductor at very low temperatures: Au3Te5 (1.62 K).

  18. I may have connected the dots. This is my interpretation of how the image appeared on the Turin Shroud.

    See the following:

    WORLD WAR 2 – The “shadow” of a Hiroshima victim, permanently etched into stone steps, after the 1945 atomic bomb.

    Hiroshima – burning shadows of bodies onto walls? ‘

    2 commenter’s posts follow:

    “Funny thing, all the survivors of Hiroshima testified they saw a bright, bright light, brighter than the sun, followed by a hot wind. But none of them said they heard anything!”

    “It wasn’t just people, any area where the flash was blocked due to a physical object in the way, be it a chain, a rock, whatever, it left a “shadow” on the ground around it. There are several shadows from inanimate objects all around the Hiroshima area. I’ve heard of shadows from chains, chairs, toy’s, tricycles and bicycles to name a few. ”

    My reply: Years ago there was a TV documentary about the atomic bomb. There was an image of a ship’s helm that had been burned onto the wall. This was another reason that cemented, for me, the relationship between the Shroud of Turin and Einstein’s theory of relativity, E = m^c2

    where THE TRINITY is defined as THREE separate or interchangeable entities under ONE Godhead.

    E = Energy (God)
    m = mass (Jesus Christ)
    c = speed of light squared (Holy Spirit)

    Therefore, when Jesus resurrected at the tomb, according to Einsteinian theory, there would have been a massive bright light.

    Read the first poster’s comment again, “Funny thing, all the survivors of Hiroshima testified they saw a bright, bright light, brighter than the sun, followed by a hot wind. But none of them said they heard anything!”

    The Jesus image was burned onto the Shroud just as the shadow images were burned onto walls after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    This last comment on the site reminded me of the Shroud of Turin’s reverse negative image.

    “The shadows are in reverse – the wall is blackened except where someone stood in front of it. The person absorbed the radiation instead of the wall in that part. It’s such a short duration, high intensity energy burst that the person doesn’t have time to fall down before the burst is over even though it’s most likely fatal.”

    Perhaps it was the body of Jesus that absorbed the radiation and thereby created the negative image on the Shroud. The radiation too would have been of short duration and a high intensity energy burst.

    This theory of image formation may not be correct, but it is as good as any other. Cheers! :-)

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: