How the image came to be on the shroud.

In the following posting, I borrow some wording from my own The Resurrection is Just Too Mysterious to Be Described. I apologize for that but it was the best way, So, please bear with me as I bare my thoughts.

image.pngMany of us who believe in the Resurrection believe it was physical.  Many others do not. A fairly recent survey reported that only 68% of American Catholics strongly agreed with the statement, “Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead.” The percentage of Mainline Protestants was statistically the same at 67%. Evangelical Christians scored higher in this regard at 84%. The survey, Portraits of American Life Study (PALS) was conducted in 2006 by Michael O. Emerson of Rice University and David H. Sikkink of the University of Notre Dame with funding from their respective schools and the Lilly Endowment Fund.

Count me among those who strongly agree with the statement. For many Christians, a spiritual resurrection that is not physical or bodily makes more sense, a belief which to me, is perfectly acceptable. (See The Resurrection is Just Too Mysterious to Be Described). I might change my mind, as I have before. But for now and the foreseeable future, I’m a physical resurrection fan and believer.

But how so? Do I mean that what “happened” behind closed doors was physical?  Do I mean the empty tomb was a physical reality?  Do I mean that the post-resurrection appearances were physical?   Was Jesus somehow transformed physically so that he could pass through locked doors and still be able to eat fish?

What if the Resurrection was simply an instantaneous change of state not just to the body but to the surroundings, as well. Air would NOT rush in to fill the space left by the disappeared body. It would just suddenly be there. Burial cloths would NOT fall to the surface on which the body lay. They would in that instant just be there. Think of something “occurring” in zero time.

We are all familiar, at least in principle, with the way a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. That is a process. We can make a time-lapsed movie of it and see each and every step. Some will say they see a miracle unfolding. Others will say it is nothing of the kind; it is a perfectly explainable biological process.

If you were to take the first frame and the last frame from the movie of the process, splice them together and pretend that nothing happened in between then you could demonstrate with a very short, two-frame movie a miraculous transformation without a process.

The Resurrection, if we are to believe it was in some way physical, was, by definition, a miracle. If we are to take our knowledge from scripture alone, there was a before and an after, a first frame, so to speak, and a last frame. There was nothing in between that we know about. So, why do we think there was a process? Why do we think, for instance, the body became mechanically transparent or dematerialized such that a cloth might fall through it or that that the body might release some form of energetic byproduct during the Resurrection? Why do we think, as Mark Antonacci, a well-known Shroud researcher, suggests that Jesus might have passed through a traversable Lorentzian wormhole in space-time or as Tulane professor Frank Tipler suggests that the process of resurrection might have been a form of electroweak quantum tunneling?

I’m left to wonder. Is it because of too much imagination or not enough?

image.pngThomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica tried to explain that angels in going from one place to another did not pass through the place in between. Nor did they consume time doing so.

By this sort of local movement an angel may, at will, be present successively in several places and thus may be said to pass through the space between the first and the last place of the series. Or an angel may cease to apply its powers in the first place and begin to apply them in the last, not passing through the space between.

Since there is succession, that is, before-and-after, in the application of an angel’s powers, now here and now there, it must be said that an angel’s local movement occurs in time, and is not instantaneous. This time, however, is not measurable in our minutes or seconds; these units of time are applicable only to bodily movement.

Humor me. I’m just trying to make a point. For angels, at least for Thomas Aquinas’ angels, in how they traveled, there is only a first frame and a last frame, so to speak.  Thomas Aquinas was much into angels and was brilliant at logical speculation. This notion of his provides a useful metaphor for pondering any and all supernatural “action.” There is in his imaginings a change of state and no measure of time. There is nothing like that in classical physics and perhaps nothing like that in quantum mechanics, as well.

And to be clear, we are talking about miracles in a classic sense of the word.  We are not talking about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. We are talking, here, about:

  • “The highest degree in miracles comprises those works wherein something is done by God, that nature can never do.” — The Summa Contra Gentiles by St. Thomas Aquinas
  • “A miracle is a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.” —  “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume

Might miracles be like Thomas Aquinas’ angels, who avoid the in-between and use no time?” Not concerning ourselves, here, with questions about Biblical literalism, when Jesus healed the blind man was there a moment in time when the man’s eyesight was partially restored? When Jesus turned water into wine was there a moment in time, no matter how brief, when the wine was still mostly water and when, perhaps picoseconds later, the water was mostly wine? Or was it that the man’s eyesight was suddenly restored? Was it that the water was suddenly wine?

There was, when I was growing up, a book that could be found gathering dust here and there about our house. It was sometimes in its place on the bookshelf but more often it was on the corner of a desk, a coffee table in the living room or on top of the television set where it was used to prop up the rabbit ears antenna at just the right angle for getting the best television reception from a broadcasting tower five miles away. The theory was that my grandmother, on purpose, would leave the book around the house in hopes that someone would read it. The book was Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morrison (real name Albert Henry Ross; Faber and Faber, 1930). Promoted by such luminaries as T. S. Elliot and  G. K. Chesterton, the book was a big success when it was first published in 1930. It is now a classic.

Now, in “thumbing” through the Kindle version I came across this thought:

In each case the women arrive to find the stone already rolled away, yet with no hint from the writers as to how this came about. It is only when we turn to St. Matthew’s Gospel that we read of a great angel descending and removing the stone.

Now the peculiar and significant thing is this. We can search the apocryphal writings through and through, and we shall nowhere find even the remotest suggestion that the Lord Himself broke the barriers of His own prison. We are told that the stone ‘rolled away of itself’, or that supernatural beings descended and moved it. But nowhere is the obvious miracle recorded that Jesus Himself threw down the physical defences of the grave.

I wondered, could it be that the angel (or a metaphorical angel), removed the stone as Thomas Aquinas might have imagined his angels doing?  Could it be that in an imperceptible, immeasurable instant, absent any sound or disturbance of any kind, the stone was found to be in a new position? It didn’t roll. It didn’t slide. The stone was moved but never was there any motion.

Might the Resurrection “moment” in the tomb have been that way: a miracle with a before and after and no in-between process? In other words, might the Resurrection have been a miracle in which Jesus neither removed his shroud nor passed through it, yet, nonetheless, it had been shed — a miracle in which he went from point A to point B without passing through the in-between — a miracle in which the stone was not rolled away but found to be in a new place  — a miracle in which an image did appear on the cloth? 

And in that sense, did Jesus suddenly appear by the Magdalen’s side? And did He just appear to the disciples on the road to Emmaus? Had they looked back down the road before the encounter, would they have seen him approaching from afar or not?  Had Jesus just suddenly appeared in the Cenacle, not passing through doors or walls at all?  Did Jesus travel to a place on the Road to Damascus for his encounter with Saul of Tarsus? Or was the Christ just there?

And was the image just there at the instant of the Resurrection?

John Jackson et al. wants us to play the game of best fit as we consider his Resurrection of the Falling Cloth scenario. It’s a best fit for many image characteristics we are told.  And by his selection, characterization and measurement criteria he is right. Fair enough. But, arguably — and by making some allowance for many years of folding, spindling, and well-intentioned mutilation — the image created as part-and-parcel of a body transformation, stone relocation, and image formation miracle is, by definition, a perfect fit.

There is still the question of why.  Why is there an image at all?  And for what constituency was that image placed on the shroud?

Dare we wonder about carbon 14 ratios? Could we even imagine altering the C14  content as part-and-parcel of the miracle?  That’s a “why” too strange, to even contemplate.

So I’m reluctant to embrace my own imagination except that compared to EVERY OTHER image forming proposal from radiation to corona discharge to  Maillard reaction to photosensitive contact printing to dust painting to rubbing and even acid etching, I prefer a two-frame, now-you-don’t-see -it-now-you-do, part and parcel with the Resurrection model. And the Resurrection is not the cause of the image.

The O.K. Corral Shootout


O.K. commented in my posting, The Myth of the VP8 and 3D Uniqueness?

A lot of confusion is there. It is perhaps because the common way of lecturing about the Shroud, is a historical approach, in 1898 Pia discovered negativity, in 1970s Jackson & Jumper discovered 3D with VP-8 etc.

This is actually misleading, creates a hype, and in my opinion asks the wrong questions. How to make an image that is a photographic negative, 3 D rendering, without contours, isotropic, etc. ? There is always a way to do it regarding the individual properties -but resulting images have actually nothing in common with the Shroud (besides this single selected characteristic).

In my opinion, the issue should be lectured in more modern, compact way? The problem is: what constitutes the image on the Shroud, what makes it so specific? What are its basic components? And ONLY THEN ask a question: what are derived properties (like negativity or 3D) of such an image.

O.K. may be right. It is certainly a form of discipline that might eliminate the confusion. But the problem is bigger than that.  It’s the “Wild West” nature of shroud research since STURP, a land of scientific lawlessness and tall tales where the closest things to order were the “O.K. Corral” shootouts called conferences.  What did this atmosphere produce?

It produced the “I think I see” world of imagined images of ancient coins along with all manner of bric-a-brac, of plants from ancient Israel, of teeth and ponytails and of written messages in Greek, Latin or Hebrew — all these being wishful misperceptions or pareidolia. There were the dubious pollen charts and the radiocarbon dating fiasco. There were the tall tales: NASA analyzed the shroud, Ray Rogers was a general in the Air Force, America’s greatest scientists studied the shroud, and so-and-so was a Nobel prize-winning physicist. And it produced a lot of good science, too. Often that was overshadowed by the sensational.

There were short declarative decrees. They’re still sitting out there at

This spatial data encoded into the image actually eliminates photography and painting as the possible mechanism for its creation and allows us to conclude that the image was formed while the cloth was draped over an actual human body.

We can examine this in three parts:

spatial data encoded into the image:   Is calling the data spatial not begging the question? Would it not be better to say relative greyscale values of the image that when plotted as relative distances from a planar surface suggest three-dimensionality, suggest spatiality. 

eliminates photography and painting as the possible mechanism for its creation:  That is simply not true, as has been shown on on this blog. One might argue about how difficult or unlikely it would be. But a blanket denial that it is possible is misleading, at best.

allows us to conclude that the image was formed while the cloth was draped over an actual human body: Conclude? How so? Not so if the cloth was draped over a statue or if the image was formed by some unusual photographic or artistic method that produces the right kind of relative greyscale values.

Being precise makes it more difficult to read. But compact imprecision leads to misunderstanding and to the dogmatism.

backscratcherAnd then there is the Wild West’s Colorado Springs, once a place to soak in curative waters, and then a place to pan for gold, and now the home of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado. Here is a brief statement from a document, The Shroud of Turin – A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses on the TSC website. I call this the Rube Goldberg miracle; you know, where a miracle happens, that causes a body to become mechanically transparent allowing a cloth to fall through it and get a controlled dose of radiation.

Consistent: [= in context The Fall-through hypothesis is consistent with the 3 Dimension attribute of the image.] The initial draping configuration of the Shroud over a body establishes the initial cloth-body distances. If, then, the Shroud overlying the body falls into the body region, different points on the cloth will intersect the body surface at different times depending upon how far that point was originally away from the body. Thus, each cloth point will receive a radiation dose in proportion to the time that the point is inside the emitting body region. Since that time is inversely proportional to the initial cloth-body distance, it follows that the radiation dose, and hence image intensity, is likewise inversely proportional to the initial cloth-body distance. Correlation of image intensity with cloth-body distance is consistent with the Shroud VP-8 3-dimensional effect.

I was just wondering:  what is the body like at this stage of the miracle?  Is it a liquid that holds it’s once-solid shape or a gas or something specifically miraculous? Does the part of the cloth under the body fall upwards?  What type of radiation works best for resurrection miracles?  What happens after the cloth has finished its fall?  Is a mechanically transparent body able to pass through locked doors yet walk on the road to Emmaus and eat fish?

Those are the questions that come to mind. Silly, perhaps, but they do come to mind. Let me put it this way: I cannot begin to imagine that I will ever believe this.  I believe in the Resurrection and I may believe the shroud is real but I cannot believe one word of Fall-Through hypothesis.

If you haven’t read The Resurrection is Just Too Mysterious to Be Described & A Response to Dr. Colin Berry, you can’t understand where I’m coming from.

The Myth of the VP8 and 3D Uniqueness?

clip_image001.pngAntero de Frias Moreira of the Centro Português de Sindonologia wrote in a comment:

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

And Lee Jone replied (for everyone’s convenience I have inserted the images where Lee provided links):

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


Here is a 3D rendering of the positive image


And here is the negative (tone inversion) 3D response


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.

John Adams once said:

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

But what do you do when the facts – 3D uniqueness – have for so long been wrong?

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.  

An Offer from Lee Jones (Comment Promoted)

If anybody wants any of the high resolution images of the shroud for their research, drop me an e-mail at djleejay85@google, I have the enrie image (1.4 gigabytes) the STURP images, the HAL9000 (Haltadefinizione) images from 2008, and the Durante images from 1997,2000,2002 and 2010, They range in size from 500 megabytes up to around 27 gigabytes. I know how much of a ball ache it can be trying to find decent resolution images. Marios shroud scope is a good resource but he converted the TIFF files to JPG and then chopped them up so nobody can download them lol. I have the file he uses which is the 2002 image, personally i think the 2000 image is sharper and reveals more detail. The best out of the lot of them is the Durante 2010 image, it is alot more detailed than the Haltadefinizione images (39 billion pixels if i remember correctly, whereas the haltadefinizione image was 12 billion pixels)

No basis for concluding that the cloth covered a body

Once upon a time, it was said of all swans that they were white. And this was so because no one, at least no one during the Middle Ages in Europe or the Middle East, had ever seen swans of another color. It was as good as a fact. That was until 1697 when Dutch explorers discovered black swans in Australia.  And thus, a logical fallacy got a name. Wiktionary defines the Black Swan Fallacy thus:

The black swan fallacy holds that if all you have ever observed in your field research are white swans, you might be tempted to conclude ‘All swans are white’. However, a black swan was discovered in Australia. Therefore, all it takes is one black swan to falsify the general statement about the universality of white swans.

And thus was made what was perhaps the greatest error in Shroud science. For once upon a time, and still today, it is said, “​When input to a VP-8, a normal photograph does not result in a properly formed dimensional image but in a rather distorted jumble of light and dark ‘shapes’.” That is what it says on a page by Barrie Schwortz at (updated in 2014). This thinking is repeated in many ways. You will find it in Jackson et al.’s Critical Summary, a defense of something called the “Fall Through hypothesis. You will find it in countless presentations, websites and books.

Bill Meacham put it this way:

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.

Unfortunately, that just doesn’t hold up.

image_thumb.pngThe black swan moment happened at an international Shroud of Turin conference in St. Louis in 2014, Joseph Accetta, in a presentation, explained how a normal photograph could contain all the same type of three-dimensional information found on the Shroud.  John Dee German, an optical physicist with STURP has said much the same thing.

To the left is a photograph of a death mask from Joseph Accetta’s presentation. Below, courtesy of Colin Berry who did the work, is the proof that Accetta was right.




So this statement at, once thought to be true, is simply not true:

​This spatial data encoded into the image actually eliminates photography and painting as the possible mechanism for its creation and allows us to conclude that the image was formed while the cloth was draped over an actual human body.


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

Photography, painting and other methods are just as likely now as they were before the VP-8 was ever used. 


Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,  described by The Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II, explains how we fall into Black Swan traps:

  1. The event is a surprise to the observer.
  2. The event has a major effect.
  3. It is rationalized by hindsight.

In this context, re-read the page by Barrie Schwortz at

Every option is back on the table. Yes, even John Jackson’s Fall Through hypothesis if one can recognize that it is a mere assumption and not established or valid science that the cloth covered Jesus’ body. It is for other reasons that I think the Fall Through hypothesis is unlikely.  Read The Resurrection is Just Too Mysterious to Be Described


Not superficial? The implications could be staggering.

Colin Berrys Microscope Picture


Left: the arrow points to a THREAD that is displaying a cut edge, i.e. much needed transverse section. Why the speckled appearance? Right: enlargement, showing that it’s the SCW cores of some but not all individual FIBRES that contain the dense pigment, probably Maillard-derived melanoidin, the latter possibly having penetrated via this investigator’s proposed reticular network of capillary channels existing between the MICROFIBRILS.

If Colin Berry is right, the implications could be staggering. It’s enough, I thought, to warrant waking up this blog for at least one posting. Your comments are, as always, welcome.

I retired from blogging just over three years ago.  Until today, I stayed away from this blog and every other Shroud of Turin related website and newsletter.

A few days ago, I decided to jump back in, at least for one posting. That was after getting an email from Dr. Colin Berry. He wanted me to know that he now suspected that the Shroud’s image is not superficial.

Not superficial? But Isn’t it a fact that it is? Isn’t it something we all believe is true?
On his blog, he told of …
…   a realization that the supposed ultra-superficiality of the TS body image – pointing we’re told to a supernatural origin –  had scarcely a single solid fact to back it up. …
No, not on the surface PCW (primary cell wall) but hidden away, out of sight, deep within the microfibril-packed core of the SCW (secondary cell wall).  Oh dear: has sindonology got it entirely wrong with its ‘out-of-this-world ultra superficial’ body image?

Colin’s email to me invited me to look at his blog.  Colin tried to boil the ocean in his last posting, something that I used to do myself, sometimes. I would do so again, this time in a reply to him. In addition to my reaction to Colin’s non-superficiality grenade, I had three years of pent up thinking to unload. When I realized my reply was too long to be a reasonable blog posting or email, I turned it into a PDF file called,The Resurrection is Just Too Mysterious to Be Described & A Response to Dr. Colin Berry. 

Long walks with the dog, away from the blog, gave me the chance to think a lot about the Shroud.  Colin and I are closer than I thought we were. It is mostly in the conclusions about the authenticity of the cloth that I disagree with him. I think we are very much in agreement about not finding any basis for an image being created as the result of the Resurrection.

What Colin is now saying about the lack of superficiality in the image reminds me of the 3D problem. It was often said that it is impossible to plot 3D information from paintings and ordinary photographs. Bill Meacham put it this way:

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.


Unfortunately, that wasn’t true.  At an international Shroud of Turin conference in St. Louis in 2014, Joseph Accetta proposed that a photograph of a certain death mask might contain all the information needed in exactly the same way as the image on the Turin Shroud.  He was right; Colin did so and confirmed it.  That challenged the belief, stemming out of an erroneous assumption that the grayscale values on the Shroud represented cloth-to-body distance or body shape.  It was a classic case of an assumption being treated like a fact. See:  It is really, really time to rethink what we think about 3D.

Colin is a scientist. If he is wrong about the non-superficiality of the Shroud image he certainly wants to know it. And he wants to know why.  And if he’s right he wants you to know. And I want you to know that this might challenge a generation of postulating about how the image was formed.

Thank You, Everyone

imageThis is my last posting. I’m retiring from blogging. I need to. It’s time to move on. I’m now more involved in the community where I live and I want to become more active in the church.

I’ll let commenting continue for a few days and then shut down comments for good by years’ end. I’ll keep the blog up for future research and reading.

Thank you, everyone!

If you want to take over in some way, write to me and we’ll try to figure out something.

imageI started this experiment seven years ago with the hope of beginning an ongoing conversation about any and all topics related to the shroud. The slow pace of papers and the length of time between conferences, very much the time-tested way, was too slow for my temperament. There was the Shroud Science Group conducting discussions in private by email. I enjoyed that. But its membership was restricted. It reminded me of the proverbial boyhood tree house with the sign that read, “No Girls Allowed.”

Maybe that’s unfair: You had to be nominated. You had to be invited. No one was ever turned away although a couple of people were eventually kicked out of the group for email misbehaving. If there had been a sign and someplace to hang it, it would have read, “No Skeptics Allowed.” At least, it felt that way.

Skepticism is the healthiest of attitudes with all things having to do with religion. I believed that. For instance, a Christian should never fear new discoveries in science and history. There can be no better test of the strength and truth of one’s faith than to face the questions posed by new views of reality.

We needed to be tempted, not by going into the desert but into the jostling crowd. It took a long time. Thank, God, for Colin Berry and all the others.

At first I didn’t do blogging correctly and this blog didn’t catch on. Eventually, I learned to say less and encouraged others to become the center of the discussion, something I’m not good at. In doing so I created an opportunity to learn a lot from skeptics and non-skeptics alike. I hope this has been true for others because this blog was never intended for my benefit alone.

This blog has exceeded all my expectations. Lately, I have been posting almost every day, sometimes two or three times a day. Comments pour in. They are good comments, not those meaningless short comments you see in so many blogs. There has been a lot of constructive discussion.

In looking back over seven years, I realize that my overall views on the shroud have not changed significantly. You’ll note that in the right hand column of every page, I say, “The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus.” I used to say it probably is instead of may be. I still gut-think it is probably authentic but in all honesty I can’t defend the word probably with real-world science and objective history.

Belief is a less cautious word than knowing. I can say with more honesty that from all the evidence discussed here, with everyone’s input considered, I believe the shroud is indeed authentic. But I can’t say I know it.

As I leave blogging about the shroud, I want to leave a few thoughts behind. This is today’s list. I may awake to a new list tomorrow but I won’t go back and change it. I’m really out of here.

On Overwhelming Evidence: From time to time, people have tried to convince me that the evidence in favor of authenticity is overwhelming. Similarly, others have tried to convince me that the evidence against authenticity – particularly the carbon dating – is overwhelming. No, it is not. It is underwhelming. That is why this blog has over 4000 postings with a total of more than 46,000 comments. That is why this blog has accumulated 3.3 million page views. That is why 790 people subscribe to receive email copies of every posting.

Redo the Carbon Dating: Of course.

On Seeing Things on the Shroud: I don’t think there are any images of ancient coins, plants, teeth or written messages in Greek, Latin or Hebrew; all these are wishful misperceptions or pareidolia. See: I Don’t See Flowers and Coins and Teeth on the Shroud of Turin

On 3D Encoding: I think the ability to plot a 3D representation of the body from the image of a man on the shroud with tools like the VP8 Image Analyzer or ImageJ is a valid image characteristic. However, I don’t think that the data – essentially greyscale values of the image – necessarily represents cloth to body distance. To think so requires the assumption that the shroud covered the body. It probably did if the cloth is authentic, but we are not there yet. Nonetheless, I’ve listened to others preposterously trying to prove the authenticity of the cloth from the facts and measurements derived from this assumption.

Moreover, it is often said that it is impossible to plot 3D information from paintings and ordinary photographs. Bill Meacham wrote:

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.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold up. See: It is really, really time to rethink what we think about 3D

Exaggerations: NASA did not analyze the shroud. Ray Rogers was not a general In the Air Force, America’s greatest scientists did not study the shroud, and so-and-so was not a Nobel prize-winning physicist. Drop the exaggerations. They only weaken the truth.

Dematerialization: The suggestion that the image was formed by a cloth falling through a dematerializing body is unfortunate. Permit me to quote Hugh Farey here:

… The trouble with the fall-through hypothesis is that, being imaginary, its parameters can be adjusted so that it fits whatever observations we want. If a critic were to say that the instantaneous disappearance of 70kg of mass would create a sudden large vacuum which would suck the shroud into a screwed up ball in the middle, then we simply have to invent a physics in which that doesn’t happen. If he says that the energy emitted by such a disappearance would exceed that produced by several megatons of nuclear bomb, vaporising the Shroud and most of Jerusalem with it, we simply invent a physics in which that doesn’t happen either. All we need is for a “body wrapped in the Shroud to become volumetrically radiant […] and simultaneously mechanically transparent, thus offering time-decreasing resistance to the cloth as it collapsed through the body space.” Simples. Made-up physics can explain anything.

See: The Process of Resurrection and Dematerialization 101

Sindonology: To quote Colin Berry, because in this I think he is right:

. . . There is no such thing as an expert in the field of sindonology (or shroudology as I prefer to call it. We are all beginners. Some begin better than others. The TS is a test of our ability to separate the wishful thinking that comes with appealing imagery from that of cold hard reality. Sadly there is no part of the human mind that is devoted to detecting CHR. The human mind is programmed to respond on a more immediate like/dislike response to what it sees. It’s part and parcel of the human condition to instantly add layers of fancy to what cunningly or otherwise seduces, or attempts to seduce the eye.


Some of my other favorite postings:

Maybe the devil made them post this

It Was A Single Procedural Screw-Up. No Other Area Was Sampled. Is That Enough?

Why do we think the Resurrection was a process? What if it was not?

The Best Shroud of Turin Pareidolia?

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

The Pollen Scam?

Why the images and bloodstains were not painted on

So which hypothesis, of all those ever proposed, do I prefer?

A Masterly Demolition of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript?

A Pointless Discussion of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript?

The Curious ‘a’ in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript

Discussion about the Pray Codex and its relation to the Shroud is over?

Get Thee Upset! Or Not: Thomas de Wesselow’s New Book on the Shroud

Hymn of the Pearl: Description of the Shroud of Turin?


A final note:


When I first started this blog someone told me. “The Shroud of Turin is a Catholic relic. As an Episcopalian you have no right to comment on it.”

I wrote a reply and never posted it. This is my last chance:

It’s true; I’m an Episcopalian. Episcopalians are part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Maybe I should explain what sort of Episcopalian I am. I’m High Church – all smells and bells, some say. Every Sunday it’s Solemn High Mass with a priest, deacon and sub-deacon, plenty of incense, holy water, chimes, chanting and recitation of The Angeles (“Hail Mary, full of grace…”). To some, should they visit a service, it might seem a lot like the Roman Catholic Tridentine Mass of old. There are differences, however. There is little or no Latin. Look closely and you will see wedding rings on most of our priests and bishops. That is because most of them are married. Many of our priests and even a few bishops are women; so girls are allowed. Generally speaking, we Episcopalians think most Christian denominations or traditions are part of one universal church, one body of Christ. One expression of this is our practice of open communion. We welcome all baptized Christians to participate in the Eucharist. (Personally, I would do away with the requirement of baptism. I would welcome anyone to the “Lord’s Table” regardless of belief or anything else – let God sort these things out, not men and women).

Okay, so I’m an Episcopalian. So what? Would it be any different if I was Methodist or Presbyterian or Greek Orthodox? You say it is a Catholic relic. Is it? Why is that? If the history of the shroud is right, was it not a possession of the Church in Constantinople before 1204? Early on, perhaps it was a relic of the Nestorians or the Syriac Church or even the Church in India. We don’t know is the point. Today, to my way of thinking it is an item (an icon or a relic) for all Christians. The Pope is its current legal custodian and the leader of perhaps its most interested Christian tradition. Beyond that, let God sort it out, not men and women.

Thank you, everyone!

Watertight Evidence

imageJust this morning Charles Freeman was writing in a comment:

… I shall not be the first nor the last to say that this was originally a painted linen. MacCrone, of course, and then we have the late and lamented expert on painted linens, Caroline Villers, who talks of the Shroud as ‘one of the best-known surviving medieval images on a textile support’….

And just this morning the Duluth News Tribune ran this letter from one of its readers, Kenneth L. Johnson, a retired chemist who was trained in microscopic analysis by Dr. Walter McCrone at the McCrone Research Institute in Chicago.

On Nov. 1, the News Tribune published an article headlined, “Shroud of Turin mystery deepens.”

The mystery to me is how this subject continues to get press coverage. In the 1970s, Dr. Walter McCrone examined a portion of the shroud that was purported to contain dried blood. He found no blood, but he did find red ochre and vermillion paint particles. Dr. McCrone, who literally wrote the book on the analysis of microscopic particles (“The Particle Atlas,” published in six volumes from 1973 through 1979), was eminently qualified to conclude that the shroud was a 14th century painting. The “scientists” who refuted his work had no qualifications to perform the analyses on which they claimed to rely.

In fairness to Charles, he writes:

I have had several responses that say that my views are plausible or that i seem to be on the right lines so I can only sow seeds . One day I hope some expert will come up with the watertight evidence!

I, too, would like watertight evidence.  But I doubt it will be what Charles hopes for.  Colin Berry has certainly demonstrated how weak Charles’ argument is.  I also doubt, even with watertight evidence, that the belief it is a painting will ever fade – no pun intended, Charles.


A Guest Post by O.K.

imageIt is well known that after the transfer to Constantinople in 944, all Byzantine descriptions of Mandylion and the Shroud (Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Gregory Referendarius, Nicholas Mesarites) are deliberately vague. The true nature of the Mandylion/Shroud had to remain secret, for the reasons I will discuss next time. We can only guess properties of the Mandylion/Shroud from several allusions. Several of those allusions (pointing to the identity between Shroud and Mandylion and great confusion of the academic community) were discussed in my old posting on Dan’s blog. Today I want to present another allusion, which (what is very strange to me) was ommited by all historians’ elaborations regarding the Mandylion known to me.

In Mark Guscin’s english translation of the 944 sermon of Gregory Referendarius, in chapter 13 we can find a very interesting remark, no historian, as far as I know, paid a proper attention to:

Who is like you, God, doing everything in wisdom from times of old? […] You wiped clean the sweat of the nature you had taken on and what was wiped clean was transformed into an image of your unchanging form, just like Adam’s form was drawn out of the ground, like the eyes of nature in the folds of the kneaded earth. (my emphasis).

Here we have a comparison between creation of Adam, the First Man (and naked, just like the Man of the Shroud -cf. Genesis, chapter 2) and creation of the form of Jesus on the Mandylion. What is the significance of that? I think it is great.

The main "argument" (or should I say pseudo-argument because it has been undermined long ago) is the conviction that the Mandylion contained nothing else, but only image of the face of Jesus. There are of course documents telling otherwise (like Codex Vossianus Latinus Q69), ignored usually by narrow-minded majority of academic scholars, but with regards to the Adam reference in Gregory Referendarius other question arises:

If Mandylion contained only the face, do those wise guys think that Adam’s form drawn out of the ground consisted only of the face?

IMHO, this is ridiculous. The reference to Adam makes sense only if it is an allusion to the fact, that the Mandylion contained the image of the whole body.

Just like the (again deliberately ambiguous!) reference to the side wound (chapter 22 of the Gregory Referendarius’ sermon).

So, based on the contemporary accounts (Constantine Porphyrogenitus, Symeon Magister, Gregory Referendarius, see Daniel Scavone’s paper Acheiropoietos: Jesus Images in Constantinople: the Documentary Evidence ) we can make a list of several allusions (except for #2 not clearly stated facts, which, I should stress once again, is deliberate) to the properties of the Mandylion:

1. It contained bloodstains

2. The image on the Mandylion was very faint, "sweat-like".

3. The reference to the Adam makes sense only if it was an allusion to the fact that the Mandylion contained the whole body (which was mentioned in later, Latin versions of the Abgar story, like Codex Vossianus Latinus Q69)

4. The allusion to the side wound -suggest presence of the whole body image and the side wound.

There is only one known object in the world that fits those "allusions" -the Shroud of Turin.

Important New Paper on the Carbon Dating Samples

Pam Moon has just published a significant paper, The presence of dye in the 1988 radiocarbon date samples of the Shroud of Turin. Pam nicely footnotes the title with:

This paper came out of an online conversation with Joe Marino and Paul Maloney, with additional input from Bill Meacham, Professor Emanuela Marinelli and Barrie Schwortz. I am deeply indebted to them for sharing their knowledge, wisdom and advice.

That says a lot. So go read this paper carefully.

Great pictures and careful analysis:

imageThere is very little data about the samples tested by Oxford, Zurich and Arizona: no chemical analysis has been published and most of the photographic evidence is not sufficiently detailed. However, further evidence of encrustation is visible in the Oxford photographs.14 Below is a comparison of the 3 samples tested at higher magnification (the Shroud, Thebes and Nubia). There is a density of encrustation coating Shroud sample p2574_9 which is not present on the other two samples. The “frosty” 6 contaminant is also not present on the Mark Evans image of the Shroud.15 As ‘the "frosty" coating is almost certainly a plant gum in the Raes sample’ 6 it is likely to be a plant gum in the Oxford sample.



Jesus, the XX Male

imageThe feature article in the December 2015 issue of the New Oxford Review is an article by Maria Hsia Chang, The Virgin Birth: Where Science Meets Scripture

If that occurs — if replicability is achieved for the DNA data from the Shroud and Sudarium — it means Jesus indeed was an XX male. We are then faced with two rival hypotheses:

1. Jesus was one of those rare four out of every 100,000 all-too-human males who have two X chromosomes but no Y chromosome. But that doesn’t mean He was born of a virgin or that He had no biological father. The only problem is: How could the writer of the Gospel According to Luke, centuries before the discovery of DNA, possibly know that Jesus was an XX male and so tried to account for Jesus’ abnormal DNA with a made-up virgin-birth story?

2. Jesus was an XX male with no Y chromosome because Luke 1:26-35 tells the truth: Jesus was born of a virgin and has no human biological father.

In the end, as in the identification of the man who left His image on the Shroud of Turin, it is science that enables us to decipher DNA testimony from the Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth. There was a time when science caused an erosion of faith. But the Shroud and the Sudarium demonstrate that science and faith need not be at loggerheads. Instead of showing the Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth to be fakes, it may well be that science can confirm the miraculous character of both.

The article began by pointing out that 68% of American adults believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God but only 57% believe in the virgin birth.

Disbelief in Jesus being born of a virgin, which is a fundamental tenet of Christianity, in turn implies a belief that the author of the Gospel According to Luke lied when he wrote:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph…. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus….” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (1:26-35; emphasis added)

This is a philosophical minefield. It imposes assumptions about miraculous conception onto science in order to try and prove the assumption. You may not want to believe it, but Luke could have been writing myth to make a point. That is a third hypothesis. To an Atheist, what Luke (and indeed Matthew) wrote about the virgin birth is part of the fabric of what must be a much bigger fictional account.

Does the XX male argument rest on the authenticity of the shroud or is it another argument for authenticity?  

David Rolfe’s Website

imageA reader writes:

I just visited [David Rolfe’s] Shroud Enigma website.  It has been a long time since I looked at it and I see that it has been revised to emphasize his wonderful Shroud of Turin films.  Maybe you could direct your readers to it.

Indeed. The site is The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin. And indeed the films are wonderful. However, I must say more. The Silent Witness, available on Vimeo, is truly a seminal work for the ages.

I had not visited in awhile as well. Thanks for guiding me back to David’s site. 

SSG Member Wants to Know

imageA member of the Shroud Science Group (unnamed at this time) asks:

I wish to know if there are reliable sources (especially of historical type) documenting answers to the following questions.

-  Of which material was composed the Chambéry’s reliquary?

-  Which was the composition of the silver alloy that probably composed the reliquary?

-  Did the reliquary contained lead perhaps in the silver alloy?

I think the emphasis is on reliable sources.

Why Didn’t I Think of That

Had there been that iconic double image – both sides of the same man, aligned
head-to-head – in someone or other’s possession for 1300 or years prior to Lirey,
it would have leaked out into the public domain

— Colin Berry

imageTypically and daily, well over three thousand people see each and every new posting to this blog. It may arrive in their inbox as one of the 787 emails that go every time I post something. It may arrive via Twitter and Facebook. On average, one thousand people access a posting from search engines or subject-specific news feeds like Yahoo.  Hundreds type in the URL or click on a book mark.

Some will skim the first few lines, if that. Some will read the whole posting before chucking it. There is, however, a hardcore group that reads the posts carefully and writes comments. These comments often lead to wonderful discussions by several people, almost all of them people better informed and a heck of a lot smarter than me when it comes to the shroud.  Often, the topic drifts. That’s fine.

Now and then someone writes something that grabs your attention.  For instance, this morning I saw the following by Colin Berry. It made me stop and think. I don’t like what Colin wrote because maybe it’s true and I am hoping someone smarter than me will respond:

Had there been that iconic double image – both sides of the same man, aligned head-to-head – in someone or other’s possession for 1300 or years prior to Lirey, it would have leaked out into the public domain, if only as a rumour. It would have required just one quick sketch, scarcely more than graffiti, to become an instantly recognizable logo, signalling the sheet that enveloped the crucified Jesus, leaving his supposed faint bloodied imprint of BOTH sides.

But there’s no record pre-1355 of any such iconic double image. So why not just accept that the double-image did not exist before the mid-14th century?

imageAnd then the topic drifts; call it a two for one comment from Colin. I wonder why Colin thinks what he thinks:

… Why not regard it as an ingenious artefact that has (allegedly) perplexed the brightest and best of modern day scientists? Or has it? Which top notch scientists have been invited to examine it? If anyone here knows of any, then please name them and their research achievements. Don’t be content to say they were “experts” or highly regarded in their chosen field. State the discoveries and insights for which they are famous.

I say the TS has never been investigated by a top notch scientist associated with a major discovery, no disrespect to the Hellers, Adlers, Rogers etc, certainly not of Nobel Prize standard. Yet the UK institute where one of my medically-qualified offspring works does immunological research is reputed as having a still-active Nobel Prize winner on every floor! They do exist, and I’ve no doubt some are quite approachable. Why has the TS not been evaluated by someone of that standing? …

To my way of thinking, the acclaim that a scientist is top notch and the nominations for prizes and fellowship usually stem from accomplishments made before fame. I think, for instance, of Jonas Salk. He was not an acclaimed top notch scientist or a prize winner when he saw the possibility of developing a polio vaccine. To quote Julius Youngner, a scientist interviewed for a PBS documentary, “Jonas was a young whippersnapper who came out of nowhere, and suddenly is taking on this responsibility…”

I don’t like Colin’s argument. But others might.  He does have a point, however, that can well be directed at some who make exaggerated claims of credentials for shroud scientists and sometimes so-called scientists.

If you want to read the whole discussion, and you should if you have not, visit A Must Read Regarding the Othon de la Roche Hypothesis.  There are, as of this moment, 40 thoughtful, thought-provoking comments.

‘Tis the Season: An Unusual Way to Sell Shroud-Based Art Of A Sort

Yeah, right: “This OFFICIAL, non-profit website is dedicated to sharing The Man In The Cloth Portrait with all, regardless of race, color or Creed.”

imageThe site is elegant; he must have put a lot of work into it. Through his site, you can donate to this guy’s non-profit* or you can buy a Master Edition two-foot by three-foot copy of his work, on canvas, for a mere $6,850.00 or a signed and numbered paper print for $101.00 (but be fast because the artist will increase the price by one dollar for each one he sell or something like that) . You can also have a postcard sized print for $19.00.

Here is what E. Laurence Bake, the artist, says on the home page of his website:

But now, with the tools of modern computer technology, space-age photography and the hands of a truly inspired artist, E. Laurence Bake, a stunning new reality has been REVEALED – a mathematically precise, magnificently rendered, life-like "Portrait of the Man In The Cloth."   And who could have imagined such precise facial features, or the stunning masculinity and profound gaze of love, understanding and spirituality that has awaited Man’s discovery for centuries. 

In this OFFICIAL online exhibition The Man In The Cloth is now fully revealed, visible for all of us to marvel at and wonder:  What kind of glorious creator (God or artist) could have possibly made and preserved such powerful masculinity, such beauty in a simple piece of cloth?  As International businessman, Vijay Kumar put it, "It’s as if he is emerging out of the darkness of Man’s violent past, into the light of the new modern age. The Shroud is the image of a crucified man, yet when I look into those eyes all I see is pure love and compassion."

Retired ship Captain, Val LaFrance commented, "How could anything so magnificent be hidden in the threads of a linen cloth, waiting until Man could fly ships to the stars and the tools of the modern age were capable of revealing His existence? It’s a masterpiece."

Yet another viewer concluded, "It is an invitation to humanity to look beyond the limits of the material world and ask: what treasures might the human spirit hold? What kind of world could we create if love and compassion replaced hatred and violence on Earth?"

This OFFICIAL, non-profit website is dedicated to sharing The Man In The Cloth Portrait with all, regardless of race, color or Creed.  We are also dedicated to providing you with only the finest, highest quality reproductions of The Portrait possible with todays technology.  Every Limited Edition released is designed to hold its value, color and beauty for the next 100 years.

* I just wonder if this Florida-based non-profit fellow has filed a 501(c)3 with the IRS.  And what does OFFICIAL mean?

That Book That Keeps on Giving

If you must buy a new copy you can have the only one left in stock for a mere $71.95.  Do you really think more are on the way?  Tell that someone special, if this is a Christmas gift, that you found a treasured heritage edition of Harry Gove’s Relic, Icon of Hoax?. Just click on used and pick up an almost new copy for a mere 59 cents (plus about $4.00 for shipping).


Hat tip to Joe Marino.

Where to Get Shroud-Based Art for Christmas

imageWorks of art by Ray Downing (The Real Face of Jesus) is for sale at Fine Art America. Various display quality formats* are available including folded greeting cards.


A 24 x 30 canvas print with metal frame will set you back $351.10. Smaller sizes are available.

Ray Downing is an Emmy winning 3D digital artist. In 2010 he created the Virtual Abraham Lincoln, which was featured in the History Channel special ‘Stealing Lincoln’s Body’. The following year he created a Virtual Jesus using the 3D information found in the Shroud of Turin. The Virtual Jesus appeared in another History Channel special entitled ‘The Real Face of Jesus?’ which was nominated for several international non-fiction awards and has been aired around the world.



* Canvas, Acrylic, Metal, Poster, Greeting Cards

imageWe also learn from the STERA Facebook page that

In case you missed it, our Backlit Shroud Face transparency in 11" x 14" PhotoGlow Frame is ON SALE until December 31, 2015. Each transparency is mounted in a custom frame only 13/16" thick and is ready to hang. The built-in LED backlighting system is equipped with an inline dimmer that allows you to adjust and control the brightness of the backlight display. Read more [here] … or click on the photo below for details. This is a great gift for those who want to display a truly striking image of the Shroud in their homes or offices.

There is a lot of other stuff at the STERA, Inc. Shroud of Turin Website Store

New Presentation by Russ Breault

Russ Breault tells us on the Shroud Encounter Facebook page:

imageI have developed a new presentation specifically for Art museums and schools of art to explore the subject from that perspective. Here is a descriptor of the talk:

Art, Icon or Relic?—The Role of Art in Exploring and Revealing an Ancient Mystery

Is the famous Shroud of Turin the work of a medieval artist? Is it a religious icon or is it a relic of a historical event? No one knows for sure. Explore the mystery from the rich realm of art.

This comprehensive presentation will look at:

• Art as historical depiction
• Art copies of the original
• Influence of the Shroud on Byzantine art
• Comparison of art during the middle ages
• Mechanics of art such as style, technique, substances and process.

Program will make use of over 200 images. 90 minutes

Searching for Papers

imageA reader writes:

… you know that by typing in “" you get a list of all of the pdf papers on the site in alphabetical order. This can be useful in doing research. You should let others on your blog know.

Actually, the pdfs directory is not the only place pdf files are stored on the site.

The preferred method, to my way of thinking, is to use the following Google search: filetype:pdf

If you want to limit yourself to the pdfs directory (why would you?) modify the command so it reads thus: filetype:pdf

If you want to search elsewhere, you may. For instance: filetype:pdf filetype:pdf filetype:pdf

With any of these searches, it is a good idea to add some words like shroud or pollen or whatever is your particular interest of the moment.

If you start your search with Google Advanced Search, you can specify a language. is altogether another matter.   It is a rich archive of papers on the shroud – probably the largest and you’ll find many newer English language papers there – but you can’t search it with Google or any of the other major search engines if you specify a filetype. So don’t. On the other hand, it is a good bet that whatever it is you find in, it will be a PDF file. And using words like Shroud and Turin are a must. For instance the following work well in Google: shroud of turin

The Blood is Red Because

hitherto unnoticed details …  experiments … and more

An exciting paper by Adrie A. M. van der Hoeven, Cold Acid Postmortem Blood Most Probably Formed Pinkish-Red Heme-Madder Lake on Madder-Dyed Shroud of Turin has just been published in the Open Journal of Applied Sciences (published 30 November 2015).

The abstract reads:

imageThe Turin Shroud was extensively scientifically investigated in 1978. In its pinkish red bloodstains, normal features of human blood were found, but also seemingly anomalous ones. In the present study, hitherto unnoticed details of the data are presented, Shroud data and more modern reference data are compared, and the results of a few experiments with linen, madder dye and blood are shown. It turns out that the Shroud’s ‘anomalous’ data are strong consistent evidence that its bloodstains contain acid heme-madder lake, of which the heme derived from cold acid postmortem blood and the madder had been applied to the Shroud at manufacture. It implies that the bloodstains were formed on the Shroud before the still not reproduced body-image was. Several other ‘red-color’ hypotheses for the Shroud’s bloodstains are discussed and dismissed.

Taken from the conclusion:

The anomalous features of the Shroud’s bloodstains, instead of being evidence against their authenticity, turn out to be very strong evidence for their authenticity…

This, too:

A few experiments confirmed that much serum can drain from human blood on a cold surface and that human blood is able to form pinkish stains on starched and madder-dyed linen that remain pinkish while simultaneously formed bloodstains on pure linen turn brown. New scientific investigations on the Shroud of Turin with more modern methods and techniques may further corroborate these conclusions.


Note:  You can download the PDF from the above link.

A Must Read Regarding the Othon de la Roche Hypothesis

I call your attention to this careful piece, The Castle of Ray-sur-Saône: Othon de la Roche and the Shroud of Turin by Mario Latendresse

The hypothesis that Othon de la Roche acquired the Shroud of Turin, during the conquest of Constantinople in 1204, has been proposed for many centuries….

But …

In summary, there is no known family tradition supporting the presence of a shroud of Christ at the castle of Ray-sur-Saône, neither in the family archives. There is also no family tradition or document supporting the authenticity of the coffer, still on display at the Castle, which would have been used to transport a shroud of Christ. It is still to be determined who in the Salverte family labeled and placed the small coffer on display.