One of my English as a second language students recently inquired about the meaning of the phrase ‘ho hum.’ Seeking some assistance, I turned to ChatGPT for help. Interestingly, in addition to providing an answer, that brilliant little AI engine, aware of my interest in the Shroud of Turin, also shared a comment by Colin Berry at Tales of Times Forgotten in response to a post titled ‘The Shroud of Turin Is Definitely a Hoax.’ I had not seen that before that I recall.

Pray tell us which planet were you living on, dear STURP?

Forgive me Colin, but your comment needs to be shared. Since it is deeply buried among comments and thus hard to find about three-fifths of the way down [A Summary of STURP’s 1981 Conclusions – April 22, 2021 at 7:46 am], I am taking advantage of copyright’s fair use clause to long-quote you just below the line:

A Summary of STURP’s 1981 Conclusions (my annotations [=Colin’s] being in plain font)

No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies.

One hardly thinks that conventional artistic methods and materials would have been used on something that was intended to look like J of A’s “fine linen” etc. The investigation should have started with CONTACT IMPRINTING, especially as the latter was acknowledged – see below- for the blood, regardless of the otherwise uncertain nature of body image transfer mechanism.
Added to which: how likely is it that one or more artists would have painted a tone-reversed negative if intended to represent an imprint (think muddy footprints on a white-tiled floor)? The question is especially pertinent given the two-sided image overall, on linen, not canvas, looking for all the world as an IMPRINT – not a conventional artistic creation. Contact imprinting should have REPLACED conventional artist’s pigments, artist’s brushwork etc. as prime initial focus. (Just as well, given that it would be near impossible to paint in in a manner intended to look as if acquired as a negative imprint akin to brass-rubbing!)

Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!! There is nothing at all unique about the response of the TS body image to 3D-rendering computer software, whether the early VP-8 or the more modern day Image J etc. I have used the latter extensively to create 3D versions of graphics with no 3D history of their own whatsoever, e.g. generated using MS Office Paint. The manner in which the software works is no mystery. An image is scanned, converted to tiny square pixels. The image intensity of each pixel is determined, then raised proportionately on an entirely artificial, man-made third axis (so-called vertical “z”, as distinct from planar 2-dimensional “xy”). The resulting “needle forest” of pixels is then smoothed of by the same computer software to produce the “look” of a 3D object viewed from a distance with the naked eye. No magic, no miracles! It’s slick, certainly, but in reality mere digital processing of inputted data according to pre-programmed computer software.

Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death.

Yes, but that’s referring to a real body, coated in funeral lotions and/or generating its own secretions of blood and perspiration. There’s no reference been made to the substances that might be associated with a simulated victim of crucifixion, living (probably) or dead. In short, STURP’s 1981 record is seriously incomplete. Already we see a systematic drift towards an exclusively pro-authenticity-directed-cum- suspiciously slanted narrative.

It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood.

Yes, we see here a crucial acknowledgement of there having been at least some actual physical contact, if only to acquire the bloodstains (whether the latter be real or artificial).

However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography.

That’s yet another extraordinary observation to appear in a short Summary, making its claims: (a) that the facial image exhibits “high resolution” that has been displayed by photography, and then to claim: (b) that the image cannot therefore have been acquired via contact alone
We have to remember that we are dealing with an unusual imaging situation – one in which a faint scarcely visible negative tone-reversed image has been acquired in the first instance, then, IMPORTANTLY, photo-processed to generate what we are supplied with finally.
Note the initial step in making the negative image more easily visible, i.e. by using photographic technique to increase image density relative to white background. That alone should deter one from making “too good to be scientifically explicable” conclusions, even if that body torso fails to respond as well. Secondly, there’s the visual impact of converting an alien-looking reversed-tone negative into a more familiar-looking positive. Yes, the final image may look remarkably photograph-like after the two stage process. But that does not, repeat NOT make it an actual photograph (especially if it’s a comparison between response of torso versus that of face. (Who’s to say they weren’t simulated separately, using a more careful refined technique with face compared with torso and then added separately to the linen?).
What we see is a distinctly unscientific attempt to cut corners in making that INTERNAL side-by-side comparison between relative definition of face and torso, failing to look at the situation from the wider perspective of real versus simulated body images, contact-imprints especially….

The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics.

Ho hum…

Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry.

Ho hum…

For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint.

Ho hum…

At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team.

Ho hum…

Do tell us more…

The scientific concensus (sic) is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself.

Really? That’s news to me, even 40 years post the STURP Summary’s publication

Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes.


A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat.

The second of those two (“heat”) is indeed almost certainly relevant – highly so. But “sulfuric acid”? What possible relevance is that to the TS image? Which kind of H2SO4 are we referring to? The dilute bench acid – strong as acids goes – but non-dehydrating, generally without associated charring or browning on organic (carbon-based) chemicals? Or concentrated H2SO4 instead – an entirely different beast – beast being the operative word – one of the nastiest lab-based chemicals known to man (and thus of even less relevance to the TS!).

However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately.

Why should one expect to have a single item with a faint double-body image – with no record as to where it originated and/or how it was formed – and expect after a mere week or so of probing it in Turin, with mere stripping off of surface fibres with sticky tape- and expect to understand immediately the “totality of the image”? Pray tell us which planet were you living on, dear STURP?
Maybe if you had focused on contact-imprinting, instead of dismissing it so summarily, you’d have gained some insights into the nature of the body image, even if failing to understand it in its “totality”. One step at a time please… It took this researcher a total of 10 models to decide how that body image was simulated (with Model 10 having much in common with starter Model 1 I later realized!).

Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery.

You are the main reason why the image remains a mystery, STURP. You failed to do your job properly and thoroughly, getting hung up on minor distractions, dead ends etc etc. In short, you failed to perform in the manner expected of broad, open-minded unbiased science, looking at a problem from as many possible angles simultaneously. I say we need a new STURP Mk 2.

We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist.

How can one conclude that the image is that of a real scourged man, given that scourge marks are represented in blood exclusively, with no visible signs in the body image? “Crucified”? Again, one sees bloodstains only at the supposed sites of crucifixion, etc – nothing in the body image per se!

The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.

Composed EXCUSIVELY of hemoglobin? Serum albumin of the right type, proportions etc? Why toss in this kind of questionable generalisation – right at the tail end of a so-called Summary?

The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.

Yes, the problem remains unsolved. But who’s fault is that – primarily – given there’s been the one detailed look at detached fibres only (stripped off with contaminating sticky tape) -namely by STURP in 1978 – and the later radiocarbon dating ( some 10 years later, approx. 14th.century).