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.

Bob Rucker: A Burst of Radiation Did Three Things

Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned
anywhere in the Critical Summary.


clip_image001Bob Rucker (pictured) posted what follows as a comment last evening. I have added a link to a previous comment by Bob and some links to more information.

It is my opinion that enough evidence has accumulated that we should now realize that there was no invisible repair/reweave in the C14 sample area, and that the solution to the C14 dating problem is what I presented at the St. Louis conference in 2014. I showed that MCNP nuclear analysis calculations indicate that if 3.0 x 10^18 neutrons are emitted uniformly in the body while it was in the shroud in the tomb, then three mysteries related to C14 dating are solved:

1) Neutron absorption in N14 in the shroud creates new C14 in the shroud that is identical to the original C14 in the shroud so that the C14 date is shifted from 30 AD to 1260 AD. The dating laboratories, not realizing that the shroud had been through a neutron absorption event, would have misinterpreted their result by assuming the wrong C14 decay curve.

2) The results reported by the three dating laboratories were not in good agreement with each other. Statistical analysis indicates only a 5% chance that their results were within their measurement uncertainty, so that the differences were probably (95% probability?) caused by something. Plotting their results as a function of the distance from the end of the shroud indicates that there is a slope or gradient of 42 to 57 years per cm across their data depending on the sampling done in Tucson. This slope in the C14 dates from the three laboratories agrees with the MCNP nuclear analysis calculations, which calculate that a uniform neutron emission in the body causes a neutron distribution in the tomb which produces just this range in the C14 dates across the sample region, so that the disagreement between the laboratory values is the result of the slope of the neutron distribution at the sample location resulting from homogeneous emission of neutrons in the body.

image3) These same MCNP calculations predict that a piece of cloth placed on the side bench about a foot in front of the back bench where the body in the shroud was located would date to about 700 AD. This location in the tomb is a natural location for the person working on the body in the tomb to lay the face/head cloth. According to tradition, the Sudarium of Oviedo is the face/head cloth of Jesus. It was C14 dated to 700 AD, in excellent agreement with the MCNP results.

We should realize the importance of not making the common a priori presupposition of naturalism, so that we not automatically rule out anything that is beyond the laws of science as we currently understand them, so that we can follow the scientific evidence where it leads. When this is done, I believe that the scientific evidence indicates that the solution to the enigma of the shroud is that a burst of radiation occurred within the body that did three things: 1) It caused the image, perhaps either by protons or ultraviolet based on experiments. 2) It thrust the blood off of the body, heated it turning it into a liquid, and thrust it against and into the fibers of the shroud, and 3) It caused the shift in the C14 date from 30 to 1260 AD and the slope in the C14 dates as discussed above. Bob Rucker

I’ve noticed that as you age, you learn that when the morning coffee isn’t yet ready, the mind wanders somewhere between wakefulness and wackiness. Hey, I thought in this state, what does the Critical Summary have to say about this. Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned anywhere in the Critical Summary. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was too early in the morning to find such stuff.  But then I did find this interesting paragraph on page 82:

Neutron Flux: 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 its possible witness to some unexplained event, possibly 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 be studied scientifically. The unknown event may have generated a flux of neutrons that could have skewed the C-14 / C-12 ratio of the linen doth…..

I met Bob in St. Louis. Nice guy. Undeniably brilliant. Maybe he is on to something. But I’m just not there yet in being able to accept this or any other hypothesis, at least when it comes to how the image was formed. To restate with a bit of on-the-fly-rewrting of what I’ve said before, I say …

With regard to the image I’m stuck in the “it is inexplicable” camp.

You don’t like that? Well then you can consider Bob Rucker’s radiation, John Jackson’s cloth falling through a mechanically transparent body whatever that means, Tipler’s sphaleron quantum tunneling, Giulio Fanti’s corona discharge, Paolo Di Lazzaro’s ultraviolet (with or without the cloth falling through the body, Rogers’ Maillard reactions (quite natural if it could work but requiring every bit as much of a miraculous manipulation to produce such an image as any of the other byproduct of a miracle hypotheses would), Charles Freeman’s it’s-not-a-fraud painting (if STURP and Colin Berry are wrong) and Colin Berry’s fraud-by-Maillard if everyone else is wrong (which is not unreasonable to suppose).  Or think of something else.

As for the C14 question, I’m also stuck in the “so far inexplicable” camp.

Here are some resources for understanding and thinking about Bob’s ideas.

Another Comment by Bob Rucker: Reaction to Ray Rogers’ Paper on Radiation

Abstract for the Following Paper

MCNP Analysis of Neutrons Released from Jesus’ Body in the Resurrection (54 Slides)

Notes for the 54 Slides

Video of the Presentation in St. Louis (1 Hour)

Was Jesus’ Body Washed?

imageStephen Jones has just completed a lengthy, ten-installment posting (appearing in chunks over a one month period) that is part of a response to a reader named Daryl, who asks, "Wasn’t Jesus’ body washed before putting it in the grave?"

It is certainly worth taking the time to read since it illustrates how complicated that question can be.  Stephen lists three possible answers that may be held by those who are what he calls “pro-authenticists.”

1) A full washing of Jesus’ body and a later oozing of blood This was the position of the lateFrederick Zugibe (1928-2013), the Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York:

"The body unquestionably would have been covered with blood because the heart pumps about 4,500 gallons of blood through the more than 60,000 miles of large and small blood vessels throughout the whole body each day. Instead of the very exact imprints of the wounds, the Shroud would bear large indistinct masses of blood over the entire image, including the face, arms, hands, feet, and trunk."[2]

But then Zugibe has a problem. If Jesus’ body was fully washed, how does he account for the fact that there is still blood on the Shroud? Zugibe’s unconvincing and inconsistent answer is that after Jesus’ body was washed, blood that was still in the wounds then oozed out onto the Shroud…

[…]

2) An incomplete washing due to shortness of time, leaving some blood on the Shroud This is a possible pro-authenticist position on the washing of Jesus’ body, although I don’t know of anyone who has held it. But as we saw above, since there was insufficient time for the full Jewish burial rites (see below), Joseph and Nicodemus would have postponed the washing of Jesus’ body (if there was to be one – see future) until after the Sabbath. And, as we saw, the bloodstains and dirt on Jesus’ face were not washed, which surely they would have been, even in an incomplete washing. So this second possible pro- authenticist position on the washing of Jesus’ body is also refuted by the evidence.

3) No washing due to shortness of time and Jewish law This is, as I understand it, the majority position held by Shroud pro-authenticists.

I guess I am in the minority or maybe even the group of none ( make that now one). I just don’t buy arguments like “surely they [=the wounds on Jesus’ face] would have been,”  given that we know so little about what really happened, and why so, some 2000 years ago. Moreover, I do find Zugibe quiet convincing for the most part.

Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?

imageA reader writes:

Greetings, Mr. Porter,

I just read your piece  [Pictures of the Day] … Standing room only for talk by Barrie Schwortz at Jalsa Salana United Kingdom yesterday….

I would like to give some input, and perhaps you’ll have some answers.  The question of how the images, on both the ventral and dorsal sides of the Shroud were made, is still considered a mystery.  By the way, I’m not a scientist.  But I do remember what "dorsal" and "ventral" mean." *:D big grin

I have what might be an answer.  But first, a tiny bit of background.  For a short while, I befriended Barry Schwortz, the photographer that was hired by STURP, in 1978, to photograph ever square centimeter of the Shroud.  When I say, "For a short while," I do not mean to suggest that Barry and I had any problems.  We did not.  In fact, we corresponded very well.  It’s just that we just happened to lose contact.

Anyway, you can check with him on the following, if he remembers.  Once, I asked him the following question: "Barry, has there ever been a test conducted, on the Santa Sindone, that would determine whether or not the blood on it was pre-mortem blood, or post-mortem blood."  He answered, "Well, I can’t answer that, but I am certain, of course, that they would have conducted such a test.  But, I’m going to be having lunch, in Turin, with Dr. Adler, and I’ll ask him."

So, he did have lunch with Dr. Adler, in Turin.  Eventually, he got back to me, through email, and said that he was very surprised at Dr. Adler’s response.  Dr. Adler told him that, no, no such test had ever been performed on the Shroud.  That is very hard to believe.  And Barry was as surprised, of course, as I was.  But, this was coming from the horse’s mouth, so to speak–Dr. Adler, a prime and important member of the STURP team.  There would be no reason that he would state that no such test had been performed, if that had not been the case.

How did I know to ask such a question?  Hey, just thinking, that’s all; wondering.  I barely knew if there was any such thing as "post mortem" blood, but the thought came to me, so I pushed it forward.

Now, I am aware that, in the literature, one reads, for example phrases like, "The pre-mortem and post-mortem blood on the Shroud…" and one assumes that, since the statement was made, matter-of-factly, that tests were actually done.  But, were they?  Or has it just been assumed, all these years since STURP, that post-mortem blood exists on the Shroud?

I am aware, because I read his book, that Dr. Heller proved, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that the stains on the Shroud are blood stains.  I was just looking for that book, in my library, but I can’t find it.  I might have made the mistake of loaning it out to someone.  Anyway, I do not recall Dr. Heller, in that book, saying a single word about post-mortem blood.

Now to the point.  And this is a point that would be very uncomfortable for those who believe in the doctrine of Christianity.  But, if we’re talking about science, and following where the science goes, and what it reveals, then we cannot allow doctrines to interfere with science…Can we?

Now if, indeed, no post-mortem blood exists on the Shroud, and it has simply been assumed, by the scientists, including Heller, that the Shroud contains post-mortem blood [Hang with me, here!!], then would our conclusions regarding the scientific results of studies on the Shroud change?

If STURP began its scientific studies with the idea that "The Man of the Shroud," as he is sometimes called, was dead when the Shroud was draped over him, might that affect how STURP interpreted scientific results?

So, now I’ll get to the point: If we assume that "The Man of the Shroud" was not dead, but was merely unconscious; that is, that he did not die as a result of his ordeal; and if we assume, as a consequence of that first assumption, that the only blood stains on the Shroud are pre-mortem blood stains, might we then be able to explain how the images were made on both sides of the Shroud?

I’m not a scientist, as I said before.  But I do know one thing: Dead people and live people are…ahem…different.  Dead folks do not breath.  Dead folks, that I know of, do not emit uric acid from their skins [except maybe for a while after death??].  Dead folks do not sweat.  Dead folks do not produce heat [Well, maybe they do, but I don’t think so].  The oxygen, in the air, that interacts with the skin of dead folks, interacts differently [doesn’t it??] than oxygen that interacts with the skin of live folks.

You may be aware that a new study has concluded that oils were on the Shroud [I can send you that if you’re interested, although you might know of this study], contrary to what was concluded by STURP.  And those oils were burned off in 1532, at the fire, which is why STURP found no oil residue.

Now, if we assume that the Biblical account is true, and that Nicodemus brought "100 pounds" of aloe and myrrh to the burial site; and if we further assume that those substances were administered to "Jesus," not because he was dead, but because he was alive; and if we further assume that the substances were administered for the purpose of healing his wounds, then might we also have to re-visit the scientific studies, to determine:

1. What was the effect of those substances on the Shroud?

2. What was the effect of the interaction of those substances with the uric acid, sweat, and heat that "Jesus’" alive body was producing?

Could anything had been burnt, within the open and airy tomb, that would have helped the healing–some kind of ancient, medical practice?  And if some healing substance was burnt, would the smoke from the substance have added to the combination of sweat, uric acid, heat, and oxygen that, together, could somehow have created the images on the Shroud?

Years ago, I contacted the Shema Israel International Burial Society, and I asked them the following question.  Was the application of aloes and myrrh a part of ancient, Jewish burial practices?  Answer?  No.  You can ask them yourselves.  Just Google.  They told me, in email, that no such practice existed, amongst Jews of that time, as part of the burial ritual of a human body.  So, why would Nicodemus have taken "100 pounds" of aloes and myrrh there?  Perhaps for the purpose of healing "Jesus’" body, since both of those substances are healing substances.

I hope you get my point.  By the way, I have been told that the test that determines post or pre-mortem blood is called the gas chromotography test.  If that is true, then it would be interesting to find out of that test was performed.

Now, I have one more thing to say, and this is a bit uncomfortable.  Could any of the STURP scientists have been influenced by religious doctrine, thus drawing conclusions about the scientific results that were skewed because of the influence of those doctrines?  Drawing the conclusion, for instance, that there exists post-mortem blood stains on the Shroud?

I was highly disturbed when I read this statement by Dr. D’Muhala, one of the STURP team members:

Where Do We Go From Here?

Editor’s Note: Tom D’Muhala was a founding member of STURP and was President of the organization from 1978 to 1996.

View on shroud.com Preview by Yahoo

That is VERY disturbing.  You will see what I’m referring to, if you read all of it.

One more thing, and you can verify this with Barry Schwortz.  Barry told me that, when they first entered the room where the Shroud was, in order to begin their scientific study, a couple of the scientists were wearing crucifixes.  Barry, without hesitating, pointed out to them that this was highly inappropriate, and that if it ever got leaked to the news media that members of the STURP team of scientists were performing their scientific studies on the Shroud, while wearing a visible sign of belief in a religious doctrine, then if STURP concluded that the Shroud was genuine, critics, cynics, atheists, and just the general public would believe that the results were not credible.

Am I suggesting that there has been some hanky-panky?  I have no idea.  And I have no way to prove that any of the STURP scientists were operating in any way that was not at the highest professional level.  But, STURP people are just that–people.

Could the STURP team have discovered that there exists only pre-mortem blood on the Shroud?  And then, fully understanding the ramifications of 2 billion Christians potentially being informed that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross "for the sins of the world," but survived that ordeal [as did happen, by the way, sometimes, as is recorded by the Jewish historian of that time, Flavius Josephus]?

This sounds like a suspense novel, I know.  But, I can easily imagine that, in the wee hours of the night, while the STURP team was diligently studying the Santa Sindone, one of them looked up at the others, and said, "Oy vey!!  We’ve got a problem.  It’s clear that whoever this cloth covered was very much alive.  There is no sign of death on this cloth."

I can very well imagine a discussion–a deep discussion taking place as to whether or not their findings should be revealed.  Recall the beginning of Dr. Heller’s book, in which he stated that when he was first asked to be on the STURP team, his first thought was that he did not wish to be involved with something that could turn out to be controversial, since it involved the most important religious figure in human history, Jesus Christ.

But, what attracted Heller was the science.  So, he agreed.

Well, I apologize to have taken so much of your time (assuming that you read this entire note).  Of course, it may be that post-mortem blood does exist on the Shroud, and that that fact was scientifically proven.  But, in truth, I have my doubts.

Thank you for your email. My friend Helmut Felzmann likes to remind me that forensic experts in Spain, Great Britain and Germany agree with him that Jesus survived crucifixion and recovered from his wounds. Perhaps he will join the discussion as he has in the past on this blog. Helmut has a website at http://www.shroud.info/

I must draw your attention to comments by Hugh Farey in Have we all been looking in the wrong place?

You might also refer to these prior postings in this blog:

History Remembered: The First International Conference on the Deliverance of Jesus Christ from the Cross

Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion?

You might try:  https://shroudstory.com/?s=post-mortem for more postings.

Again, thanks for your email. Oh, bye-the-way, I cannot imagine a discussion like the one you imagine. I think it is simple conspiracy theory. Sorry, but that is what I think.

Colin Berry is not Seeing Red

Berry: Where did the story of the too-red blood originate?  Answer: from Adler and Heller

imageYou may have noted a comment by Charles Freeman. 

Well, we just have to disagree on the reality of the human blood. I am an independent scholar, formerly a Senior Examiner of the International Baccalaureate;s critical thinking programme, Theory of Knowledge, and thus used to looking at evidence or asking those who know.

I had the Heller/Adler papers read by a professor emeritus of physiology who said that their claims that this was blood were totally unconvincing. I show the bloodstains to any forensic expert i can find and they all say they have never seen dried blood that red.

So I am not working on the understanding that this is blood.

Why can’t the STURP tests be replicated 37 years on? Have they lost the tapes???

Caption:  Robert Downey Jr. telling Charles Freeman that everything looks too red.

Will we ever learn the name of any of Charles’ many experts du jour. But that isn’t the point.  The point is that Charles is playing the blood-is-too-red card, perhaps too carelessly, something that Colin Berry in one of his overly long, topic-drift postings picked up on. In fact, Colin, is challenging the very notion that the blood is too red.

Let’s see some of what he has to say by clicking in and scrolling down until you spot Charles Freeman’s name for the fourth time:

Er, which photograph(s) of the TS show the blood as "too red"? How come after 3 years of looking at TS photographs, I have yet to see them?

It can’t be the 1931 Enrie photographs, since they are B/W. It can’t be the 2002 Durante pictures, at least those that appear on Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope, since the colour of the blood in those  pictures is scarcely distinguishable from the body image, the entire look being a dull plum.

Durante 2002 (from Shroud Scope): blood too red?

(The first thing I do with Shroud Scope pictures is put then into MS Office Picture Manager and adjust brightness/contrast/midtone from 0,0,0 to -7/100/15 in order to get the blood looking redder). So which photos are Charles Freeman showing to his buttonholed experts? Maybe those Halta pictures on the iPad app, recently described (aptly methinks) as mere toys?

Blood too red? …

Or maybe the BBC’s earlier release in 2008 of Halta pictures that do show a rosy hue in places where it’s not expected, but in prominent areas of body image, not blood especially.

Halta image from BBC site (2008). Some pink coloration – but it’s mainly in the beard and other body-image locations.

Finally, let’s not forget the Turin custodians’ own site with a selection of TS views, essentially the same it would appear as those on Shroud Scope.No, the bloodstains do not look too red. Indeed, they do not look red at all.

Where did the story of the too-red blood originate?  Answer: from Adler and Heller, who said in writing the blood was too red, the porphyrin spectrum was atypical, and thus was born the "trauma bilirubin/acid methemoglobin" claim, …

Barrie M.Schwortz has been responsible over the years for proselytising the "blood abnormally red" description, and his admiration for Alan Adler’s pro-authenticity narrative-friendly bilirubin explanation. …

Misleading impression of ‘redness’ created by high magnification/strong illumination? RGB reference standards for comparison? Might the colours also have been digitally adjusted in a manner that accentuated redness?

That still leaves unanswered the question as to which photograph Charles Freeman showed to his forensic experts or emeritus professor of physiology. I shan’t bother asking him directly. I’ve wasted too much time already – putting innumerable points and questions to someone who persistently displays a blissful indifference to the hard facts – and getting back nothing useful in return.

Remember the fun days?  Anyone remember Let’s Talk Red Blood: Bilirubin, Saponaria officinalis and UV?  All those other people believing the blood is too red.  Colin wasn’t questioning it then, was he?

Fascinating Video from Dave Hines

Link = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTqM4SVBSWE

He writes in YouTube:

This part 1 series of 3 videos goes into how Jesus was buried 1st. Blood stains 1st. We cannot talk about the image formation until we 1st address the blood stains and other aspects of the image that are result of body to cloth contact.

Shroud image is the result of both body to cloth contact and another aspect of the Shroud image is a non contact image.

I want to make it clear I am not proposing that the Shroud image is a contact image only.
We will get into the discussion of what aspect of the Shroud is a non contact image in Part 2 of this series.

In the 2nd video will show how the myrrh resin applied to the cloth will convert the linen into a holographic film plate.

We will demonstrate live on film a laser beam bounced off the figure and then diffracted and the interference pattern recorded on the linen.

Part of the Shroud Image is in fact a hologram.

We will prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.

This is not just a theory I am proposing but you are going to see a up close and personal genuine demonstrated reality in front of your own eyes. "seeing is believing" and you are going to see.

Maybe for the 1st time in your entire life.

One of our goals in this video is to silence the voice of the skeptic once and for all. When we are done there will not be a single witness left to testify against Jesus of Nazareth.

The Man in the Shroud/Jesus is going to get the fair trail he did not get back in 1st Century. This time he is going to be set free along with the viewer. Permanent freedom from the spirit of fear. Spirit of joy will replace it. No one should have to live with a sick spirit of fear. We are setting out to free people of it, so they can have a chance of having a genuine, successful and happy life.

Shroud of Turin is a witnessing tool only so that one may "come to believe in a power greater then themselves that can restore the normal function of the mind and body.

One of the greatest sensations in the world that people spend millions of dollars to experience is freedom. It is positively exhilarating and spirit uplifting. You can have that sensation for free.

The truth revealed in this series of videos, will set you permanently free and it will not cost you one penny to do so, in accordance with the will of the Spirit of God. Spirit of God is not a paper and coin chaser and does not need to know your credit card number or access to your bank account.

He simply does not care how much money you have. It is something else the Spirit of God seeks from you. We suggest sending him a "knee mail" message to figure out what that is exactly.

New Garlaschelli and Borrini Study

imageThere is a new study out by Matteo Borrini, professor of forensic anthropology at John Moores University in Liverpool (UK), and Luigi Garlaschelli University of Pavia, that argues against the authenticity of the shroud. The following is a Google translation from Italian of a UAAR (Union Atheists Agnostics and Rationalists) press release posted in the A Good Reason blog by the UAAR and reposted in AgoraVox:

Press Release:  Shroud: new studies call into question the authenticity: 

imageThe imprint of the body on the Shroud does not match that of a condemned posted in a location similar to the classical representations of the crucifixion. And not even that of a bloody body lying in the tomb.

These are the findings of new studies by Matteo Borrini, professor of forensic anthropology, now at John Moores University in Liverpool (UK), and Luigi Garlaschelli University of Pavia, that for this research has obtained a contribution of the AU.

The work, presented by Borrini at the Conference of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Orlando (USA), confirms the findings already last year by a similar study of the two teachers.

As known, the image of the Shroud of Turin are visible, in addition to the faint image of a body, even trace amounts of (alleged) blood resulting from the wounds of passion on his forehead and neck, on the chest, on the feet, and finally on the back of one hand and on the front of the forearms, from wrist to elbow.

The scope of work of Borrini and Garlaschelli was to verify – using forensic techniques of BPA (Bloodstain Pattern Analysis – analysis of the shape of the blood stains) – what should be the posture of a human body so that the rivulets of blood you have as it appears on the footprint human in the Shroud of Turin.

A thin cannula for transfusion, connected to a bag of blood, was applied to the dorsum of the left hand of a volunteer in three different positions of possible leakage of the nail, in agreement with the most common assumptions about the exact anatomical location of the wound as it follows from the Shroud.

In previous studies, the forearm was kept at different inclinations with the aid of a goniometer ballistic – 0 °, the horizontal arm, 90 °, vertical arm – and a modest amount of blood had been made on the back of the hand casting and along the forearm.

All tests had shown that in order that the stream of blood flowing on the outside of the forearm, as visible on the shroud, the angle of the arm itself must be greater than 80 ° and less than 90 °, and then placing it in a position almost, but not totally vertical.

The new tests now conducted have considered other aspects:

  1. The arms were always placed vertically, even with hands over his head, to play the position assumed if the condemned had been crucified in a single vertical pole.
  2. To simulate the hypothesis that the bleeding had occurred (perhaps by a body washed) after death, blood was dripped from the back of the hand of a volunteer lying with his hands on the pubis in the same position of the Man of the Shroud ( both legs stretched that flexed). In none of these tests has achieved a performance of rivulets similar to that seen on the Shroud.
  3. Scholars have finally run a BPA for the wound to the right side. A sponge (of the same size of the alleged injury readable on the shroud) soaked synthetic blood was pressed through a special grip on the torso of a mannequin standing. The trend trickles result in this case is vertical, consistent with that from image front of the Shroud of Turin. However doing the bleeding experimental with dummy lying (for groped to reproduce leaking from image ridge of the Shroud, which also derives from the wound to the chest for bleeding post-mortal), the result was quite different.

Taken together the results of these tests are therefore not consistent with the general trend of the rivulets of blood on the Shroud of Turin and seem to refuse to testify in favor of their authenticity, but rather in an artistic or didactic.

Link to postings about the previous studies by Borrini and Garlaschelli .

Were Some Bloodstains Added Later or Maybe Retouched?

imageColin Berry in part of a comment writes:

Twice now on this site I’ve reminded folk that any difficulty in seeing the TS body image from a distance would have been rendered less of a problem in public displays by the presence (or maybe deliberate addition) of blood stains and scourge marks. So while “over-flagellation” has been cited as evidence of a paying of lip service to prevailing artistic fashion it might equally well have been done to assist visibility, while not compromising the credibility that attaches to a faint body image per se deemed to be a genuine imprint of the body of Christ.

To which Thomas replies:

Nice theory re: blood Colin. I’ve said it before, I’ve got a feeling some, if not all the blood, was added. I still on balance believe the image is ‘authentic’. But not necessarily the blood. Or at least not all of it.

And Colin replies:

Thanks Thomas. It’s in fact quite instructive and possibly enlightening to put oneself in the position of a medieval monk who has been given the task of making a faint body imprint more visible from 50 yards,while (a) doing nothing that detracts from the ghostly body image and (b) can lend further credibility to a 33AD provenance consistent with or reinforcing the New Testament accounts of the torture and crucifixion..

Personally, I’d start with the major blood flows, and not worry too much about some of them seeming to trickle down the frontal hair, the important thing being to leave a signature of the crown of thorns (the latter not being imaged). I’d then add the scourge marks, making them as evenly spaced as possible, with minimal cross-crossing that looks untidy, and trying not to undo my major bloodstain handiwork work by mixing up or overlapping the two types. Forearms? There’s a lot of work gone into creating those intricate blood trails there, so don’t go and spoil it by adding some distracting scourge marks as well, bar the merest hint. I’d also be very careful to keep scourge marks clear of the area on the dorsal side where the viewer expects there to have been long hair reaching down to the shoulders, especially as the latter itself is poorly imaged. Maybe the colleague who did the body image to simulate a sweat imprint felt it best to give the merest hint of a hair imprint, hair tending to trap sweat, perhaps, as distinct from facilitating its passage from scalp to linen.

And BT from Connecticut, where the snow has finally stopped for awhile, writes in an email:

Dr. Berry’s theory is interesting and should be carefully considered. I am inclined to speculate that all or some of the bloodstains were originally there and remain so. I say this because it seems likely and it appears from a very limited sampling that some bloodstains may have blocked image formation. We can not rule out the possibility that well intentioned caretakers of the relic may have retouched the bloodstains. When you consider that the Holy Shroud may be 2000 years old and that it was unfurled before crowds and folded and unfolded countless times the idea of retouching bloodstains becomes plausible.

This is why we need to see the high definition images that church is withholding.

Source of above image:  a clipping from Haltadefinizione image at Sindone.org

Yannick Clément on Paul Maloney’s St. Louis paper

. . . the idea of a man-made forgery became completely obsolete . . .

One person who read Paul Maloney’s St. Louis paper was Yannick Clément (pictured with his guitar in photo supplied by him). What he wrote in an email to me is the reason I moved discussion of Paul’s paper up in the queue. But it also meant I had to delay sharing Yannick’s email until I read the paper. You should read Paul’s paper first. Then read Yannick’s additions, for that is what he offers us here:

imageIn the very long paper written by Paul Maloney entitled « Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation. », which he presented at the recent St Louis conference, there is a very interesting list of what he called « Shroud’s anomalies » that represent, as he say, real problems for the painting hypothesis. This list can be found in pages 80 and 81 of his paper.

First, I want to say that I agree with Mr. Maloney that everyone of these « anomalies » are truly problematic for the painting hypothesis (except the second and fifth ones, for which I have serious doubts). But I think this list can be extended and I also think that such an extended list of « anomalies » must be seen as being good enough to discard not only the painting hypothesis for image formation but every hypothesis involving a forgery that would have been done with anything else than a real beaten, scourged and crucified corpse!

I’ll let you judge for yourself… Here’s the « anomalies » I would add to the list of « Shroud’s anomalies » described by Mr. Maloney in his paper:

1- The presence of serum stains surrounding most of the bloodstains and the kind of transfer that is responsible for these blood and serum stains (i.e. a transfer done from exudates of moistened blood clots instead of liquid blood) is enough to discard any idea of a forger who would have artificially created bloodstains on the cloth as a reminder of the bloody stigmata of Christ. Here’s what Alan Adler said about this issue in his book The Orphaned Manuscript: "We have shown by immunological tests that the blood is definitely primate blood, and that it must have been taken from the exudate of a clot at a certain point in the clotting process. An artist would therefore have needed the exudate from the wounds of a severely tortured man, or baboon, and he would need to take the substance within a 20-minute period after the clotting had begun, and paint it on the cloth with the serum edges and all the other forensic precision that we see there. I believe most reasonable people would conclude that it is simply impossible that an artist could have produced the blood imprints on the Shroud of Turin. Rather, it is logical to conclude, from the nature and characteristics of the bloodstains on the Shroud, that the cloth once enfolded the body of a severely beaten and crucified human being."

2- The fact that there are some missing parts in the body image (in the frontal as well as in dorsal image) is totally inconsistent with the idea of a forger that would have artificially crafted these body images in order to create a false relic of Jesus’ burial shroud with body images that would eventually been showed publicly to the faithful. Here’s some of these missing body parts: A) The thumb of the left hand is missing in the frontal image. B) Good portions of the feet are missing in both images (frontal and dorsal). C) The back of the knees are missing in the dorsal image.

3- Except for maybe one or two exceptions, Byzantine and Medieval artists have always depicted scenes of the Passion of Christ with some kind of cloth covering the groin, pelvic and buttocks areas, while on the Shroud, the image is showing a man completely nude.

4- The body image on the Shroud strongly support the hypothesis that the Shroud man had to carry only the patibulum of the cross instead of the entire cross, which is contrary to the vast majority of the artistic depiction of the bearing of the cross by Byzantine or Medieval artists.

5- The minute traces of aragonite dirt that have been found by the STURP team in a few « relevant » places like the heel or the nose for example are truly inconsistent with the idea of a forger using some kind of artistic or artificial technique to craft a false relic of Christ, because such traces of dirt (just like the serum stains surrounding most of the bloodstains by the way) would not have been visible for most faithful who would have look at the Shroud. On the contrary, these minute traces of aragonite dirt are consistent with the idea that the Shroud man would have walked barefoot on the way to his crucifixion.

6- Outside the image of the feet on the dorsal image, there is a clear mirror (or doubled) bloodstain that really seems to have been produced when the cloth was folded in that region. The idea that a forger would have wanted to artificially created such a mirror (or doubled) bloodstain in that particular region goes beyond any rationality, while such a strange feature truly have an « authenticity » signature.

7- The Shroud is a non-homogeneous cloth made of two distinct parts that came from the same original long piece of linen cloth. Such a cutting and later stitching is inconsistent with the idea of a forger who would have wanted to create a perfect relic of Jesus’ burial cloth that would have eventually been showed publicly to the faithful. On the contrary, this very odd feature truly have an « authenticity » signature.

That’s the 7 additional « Shroud’s anomalies » I wanted to add to Mr. Maloney’s list and I think that they are very relevant. In my mind, some of them, like the first one for example, are even more relevant than the ones he pointed out and especially the second and fifth anomalies he described, which are far from being proven. I think that once you take into account all the « anomalies » I described + those described by Mr. Maloney (even if we decide to left aside the second and fifth ones), the idea of a man-made forgery became completely obsolete and you don’t have too much choice to conclude that the blood and serum stains as well as the body image that we see on the Shroud MUST have been left there by some form of (probably natural) interaction between a real bloody and traumatized body and the cloth…

Of course, as I underlined in my paper entitled « Concerning the question of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin – Please don’t forget the evidence of the bloodstains, such a conclusion doesn’t completely discard the idea of a « natural » forgery done with the use of a real crucified body or the idea of the Shroud being the burial cloth of an anonymous crucified man other than Jesus, but it certainly lead to completely discard any scenario involving a forgery done with the use of some artistic or artificial technique… And this is true not only for the blood and serum stains, but also for the body image.

And when you understand that this is a real burial cloth that enveloped for only a short period of time a real crucified body showing all the bloody wounds of Jesus (as reported in the Gospels) and that such a gruesome burial cloth had been taken out of a tomb in order to be well-preserved (which is something that would have been considered a legal impurity for a Jew in the time of Jesus, not because of the bloodstains on the cloth, but because this cloth had been in contact with a dead body and which can explain, at least partially, why there are no traces of such an important Christian relic in ancient sources), it became obvious that the answer must be positive with a very high level of confidence (which I estimated quite ironically in the same way than the dating results of the C14 labs in 88, i.e. positive with 95% confidence). Effectively, after having analyzed the two possible scenarios that do not involve the body of Jesus of Nazareth (i.e. the scenarios #1 and 2 in my paper about the bloodstains evidence), I came to understand that those two were highly improbable and, honestly, I consider both of them to be very far-fetched (which explain the high level of confidence I just expressed in favor of the authenticity of the Shroud as being the real burial cloth of Jesus).

Yannick Clément, Louiseville, Québec, Canada

Paul Maloney’s St. Louis Paper (The Shroud is not a painting)

This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument
against the position that the Shroud was a painting.
No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified.

imageMUST READ:  You are not going to be able to read this in twenty minutes. You can’t even skim it that quickly. This 81-and=then-some page paper, Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation  by Paul C. Maloney is too important and two informative to to not be read carefully including the endnotes. Here is a sampling:

Page 4:

It was a dreary, rainy afternoon, April 7, 1980. I should have had the light on in my study but I didn’t because I was in a melancholy mood. Then the phone rang. I recognized that baritone voice on the other end of the line and knew I was talking to Hershel Shanks, founder and editor of the world’s largest circulating biblical archaeology magazine, The Biblical Archaeology Review, calling from Washington, D.C.

Hershel wanted me to write an article on the Shroud for the magazine. “But, Hershel, I don’t know anything about the Shroud of Turin!”

Page 9:

It is important here to insert here that Dr. Gambescia was not rejecting the work of the French physician, Dr. Pierre Barbet; he was actually building upon Barbet’s work. Neither was Dr. Gambescia rejecting the special interpretation of the arms and their attendant blood flows proposed by the late Mons. Giulio Ricci. His proposal, however, does suggest an interpretation different from that proposed for the blood flows for the feet than that offered by Mons. Giulio Ricci. It is this new interpretation that we are introducing for further research by the medical profession to be discussed alongside the earlier discussions for the feet. . . .

Pages 80 and 81:

A List of the Shroud’s Anomalies: Problems with the Painting Hypothesis

Finally, if it is argued that an artist did paint the original Shroud—as this view has most forcefully been argued by the late Dr. Walter C. McCrone in so many of his publications—the Shroud now becomes most unique. We may therefore conclude this paper with a convenient list of anomalies, as they would become if a singular artist painted the original:

1. Artists down through the ages have presented the Crucified wearing a crown of thorns. The Shroud shows the Man of the Shroud with a “cap” of thorns.

2. Artists have always depicted the Man of the Shroud with no rope holding the torso against the stipes of the Cross. The Shroud appears to support the view that a rope pulled the torso back to hold it against the upright (stipes) of the cross.

3. Artists have traditionally rendered the Crucified with nails through the palms of the hands. The Shroud shows them to be through the wrists.

4. Artists have long painted the Crucified showing the arms in a “Y” type of stance. But Mons. Giulio Ricci, who studied this in detail, shows that the right arm was likely bent at a right angle, whereas the left was in the “Y” position.

5. Artists have followed several different paths in rendering the feet. Sometimes they show the feet (especially in crucifixes) with the right foot up against the stipes of the cross, and the left nailed atop the right—all with one nail. At other times they have depicted the left against the stipes with the right atop the left foot—again, all with one nail. And sometimes the two feet are nailed side-by-side on a slanted platform (suppedaneum). This latter view is common in Eastern Byzantine, Greek, and Russian Orthodox crucifixes. Gambescia’s view would require two nails, one going through front of the ankle of the right foot to anchor it directly to the stipes, with the left foot nailed atop the center of the right using a single nail leaving the left foot free to swivel.

This list, then, and the complexity it represents, itself becomes a powerful argument against the position that the Shroud was a painting. No artist ever painted such a complex depiction of the Crucified. Yet, students of the history of art—interested especially in cladistics—can now actually see the Shroud as the beginning of a “tree of descent” where one can study just how the many painted views of the Crucified diverged over the centuries, influenced by various translations of the New Testament in conjunction with markings on the Shroud itself and the heavy pressure of tradition in numerous different geographical locales. But that would be the subject of another paper.

Taking comfort in significant endnotes:

Nevertheless, my request to Dr. Adler was precisely because of my concern regarding pareidolia. In my case, I wanted to be absolutely certain that the features discussed in this paper could be seen easily by the human eye. This problem is well illustrated in Ray Rogers review of Mark Antonacci’s book, Resurrection of the Shroud wherein he states:

With regard to other images on the Shroud, few of us can see them. "I think I can see" is not a substitute for an observation, and observations must be confirmed. When Fr. Francis Filas (deceased) claimed he saw the coins, lituus and all, he was looking at specific photographic prints. He had many prints produced at increasing contrast. Finally, all that was left was strings of dots. It took a numismatist who was familiar with ancient Roman coins weeks to "see" the lituus in those photographs. Your mind tries to make sense out of any "patterns" your eye can see. Psychologists have a lot of effort invested in studying such phenomena… It is dangerous to build a scientific theory on such shaky foundations. Your mind tends to see what it expects and/or wants to see. (Rogers’ review, p. 15, available at: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers.pdf).

The ever present danger of pareidolia and other related issues covered in this extensive endnote (including such problems associated with photo-lithography in the publication process; photo flipflopping [see 13.a below]; cropping, [see 13.a below] etc.) promoted my extreme caution when I asked of Dr. Adler this special favor to examine the Shroud in person in June 1997 to verify whether or not the markings that had been digitally enhanced were there and could be seen without digital enhancement. This footnote, then, not only covers pareidolia, but also other problems that are not technically defined as pareidolia.

Paper Chase: New observations on the Sudarium of Oviedo

. . . In the back of the Man of the Shroud the hair is apparently arranged in a “ponytail”
shape. . . .  A simpler and more probable explanation is provided by Barta: the “ponytail”
is the result of the use of the Sudarium of Oviedo which was placed and sewed
around the hair in this area. . . .

imageI’ve always found accounts of the coincidences between the Sudarium of Oviedo and the shroud fascinating. Never, however, have I crawled through the details as carefully as I should have.  This paper afforded me a chance to begin that process. This St. Louis conference paper is fascinating. It is worth your time to carefully read New Discoveries On The Sudarium Of Oviedo by César Barta, Rodrigo Álvarez, Almudena Ordóñez, Alfonso Sánchez and Jesús García

Piture: Location of measurement spots on the reverse side of the Sudarium of Oviedo.
The reference numbers are listed in Table III, in the "label" column

I cheat! I jump to conclusions first. But that’s okay as long as I then read the whole paper:

The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin are two relics attributed to Jesus Christ that show a series of amazing coincidences previously described. These similarities suggest that both cloths were used by the same personality.

In this contribution, we describe the X-ray fluorescence analysis performed on the Sudarium and we highlight a new fascinating coincidence with the Shroud and with the place of the Passion. Among the chemical elements detected, the concentration of Ca is the most reliable one. It is associated to soil dust and it shows a significantly higher presence in the areas with bloody stains. This fact allows us to conclude that the main part of the Ca located in the stained areas was fixed to the cloth when the physiological fluids were still fresh or soon after. As the stains have been correlated with the anatomical part of the deceased man, the amount of Ca can also be related with his anatomical features. The highest content of Ca is observed close to the tip of the nose, indicating unexpected soil dirt in this part of the anatomy. A particular presence of dust was also found in the same place in the Shroud providing a new and astonishing coincidence between both cloths.

The low concentration of Sr traces in the Sudarium, even lower in the stained areas, matches also well with the type of limestone characteristic from the Calvary in Jerusalem.

This new finding complements two other recently publicized: The ponytail shape of the Man of the Shroud hair, whose origin is justified by the use of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the alleged presence of a scourge mark in this cloth.

Such a gathering of evidences strengthens the tradition that both cloths have wrapped the same body, that of Jesus of Nazareth.

Paper Chase: A critical (Re)evaluation of the Shroud of Turin blood data by Kelly Kearse

There are only 109 charts in the PowerPoint

Barrie Schwortz also wrote in A Personal Report on the 2014 St. Louis Conference:

imageOne of my favorite conference papers was the special presentation by Kelly Kearse see photo at right) titled, “A Critical (Re)evaluation of the Shroud of Turin Blood Data.” After the death of Al Adler in 2000, and for more than a decade, no credible credible blood or DNA experts remained actively actively involved in Shroud research. Then, in 2012, Kelly Kearse came on the scene and Shroud.com published the first of his blood blood papers that year (we have published four more since). Not only has he brought us his expertise in this critical area of Shroud research, but equally as important is the amazing ability he brings to make these complex issues understandable to everyone. Perhaps it is because he now uses his Ph.D. to teach high school science and has to make the materials interesting and understandable to younger folks. In the end, I guess I liked his paper because I actually understood it! I also overheard Mark Borkan tell Kelly at the end of his talk that he had “…learned more about the blood in that 30 minute presentation than in all the personal conversations he had had directly with Al Adler.” Now that is a compliment!

Read A critical (Re)evaluation of the Shroud of Turin blood data: strength of evidence in the characterization of the bloodstains (Paper) and the PowerPoint Presentation. I didn’t recall that there were 109 charts. It was just too interesting to notice. Maybe he skipped a couple charts.

And what a pleasure it was to meet Kelly.

A Bold Conclusion: the Blood, the Image, the Man

imageThat conclusion begins:

The present analysis of available scientific data obtained from the Shroud of Turin and the results of a few experiments allow the conclusion that the best explanation, and a consistent one, for the peculiar pinkish redness of the bloodstains on the Shroud is that authentic acid blood of a dead crucified person stained an authentic Jewish madder-dyed temple mantle during and after an authentic Jewish burial procession of a person whose dead body formed an image on and disappeared from the Shroud in an extremely delicate way before putrefaction. This delicate and timely disappearance of the dead body and the presence of a bloodstained image of what seems to be a first-century Jewish ornament of a Sanhedrin member indicate that this person most probably was Jesus Christ.

This is no small paper; call it a book. That one paragraph, above, is on page 230. The paper is rich with footnotes. Many (it seems like most) of the footnotes and the ten pages of the bibliography have hyperlinks. There are numerous images, graphs and diagrams.

imageThe title is: Authentic acid blood mordanted the madder-dyed Shroud of Turin pinkish red before image formation – Jesus was dead

The author is A.A.M. van der Hoeven. The PDF was installed on Academia.org just yesterday, September 22, 2014. Adrie’s page on the site is HERE.

I’m one of those people who always reads the acknowledgments before I begin. How many names do you know?

The author wishes to express her gratitude to all people and institutions who kindly granted permission to use their published material. These are, in random order, the Commissione Diocesana per la Sindone, the Optical Society of America, Elsevier, Inc., Springer Science+Business Media, Russ Breault, Shroud of Turin Education Project Inc., the Infrared and Raman Users Group, the NIST Chemical Sciences Division, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Biocommunications Association, the American Chemical Society, the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc., Petrus Soons, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Russ Selzer, Thibault Heimburger, the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Tartu in Estland, Antonino Cosentino, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Paul Weyth, Mario Latendresse, Colin Berry, Louis L. Bispo.

She is also grateful to T.J. Egan, F.E.G. Guimarães, M.J. Melo, A. Boffi, and Varaprasad Bobbarala for answering her questions on the aqueous heme dimer, lignin fluorescence, alizarin and purpurin spectra, acid methemoglobin, and madder root extracts, respectively.

Now to read the paper.  Because it will take half a ream of paper to print it, I have put it onto my iPad and a Kindle reader so I can take it to Starbucks or wherever I am during the next few days.

If you do nothing else before you walk away from this posting, read the Table of Contents, below.

BTW: HERE IS AN ALTERNATE LINK to the paper on another site that seems a bit faster.

Image Note:  The caption reads, “Fig. 2.29. A part of the small of the back area of the Shroud in visible light (left) and UV light, showing fluorescence “slightly enhanced” (right).” A footnote tells us it is from T. Heimburger’s A detailed critical review of the chemical studies on the Turin Shroud: Facts and Interpretations, 2008, over at shroud.com.

Here is a peak at the Table of Contents:

    • 1. INTRODUCTION. 4
    • 1.1. Normal blood features. 4
    • 1.2. Special features of the bloodstains. 5
    • 1.3. Analysis in this paper 6
    • 2. COHERENCE OF SPECIAL BLOOD FEATURES. 6
    • 2.1. Red color but no Soret band. 6
    • 2.1.1. Acid heme dimers. 7
    • 2.1.2. Heme-madder lake. 24
    • 2.1.3. Blood before image. 67
    • 2.2. Separate serum – UV-fluorescence halo on wrist 69
    • 2.2.1. Identification of separate plasma/serum.. 69
    • 2.2.2. No fluorescent “serum” scratches but dark images of stripes. 77
    • 2.2.3. Some “serum” margins possibly a tenting effect around … bloodmarks. 78
    • 2.3. No potassium signal in three X-ray fluorescence spectra of bloodstains. 80
    • 2.3.1. Postmortem blood is hyperkalemic. 80
    • 2.3.2. Vertical serum draining. 82
    • 2.3.3. Horizontally and vertically imprinted serum halos. 84
    • 2.3.4. Filter effect 89
    • 2.4. Few cells – hemolysate stains. 90
    • 2.4.1. Separate serum not red. 92
    • 2.4.2. Hemolysis mechanisms. 92
    • 2.5. Hydroxyproline in red particles on Zina-thread. 98
    • 2.6. High Na and Cl levels on reverse side. 99
    • 3. SURVIVAL OF CLOTH, BLOOD AND SERUM – PRESERVATIVE COATING.. 101
    • 3.1. Myrrh and aloes – antibacterial and antifungal 101
    • 3.2. Saponaria – antibacterial and antioxidant 102
    • 3.3. Madder – antimicrobic, antifungal, insecticidal, antioxidant 103
    • 3.4. Leech saliva antibiotics. 104
    • 3.5. Mordant protects madder lake from degradation. 104
    • 4. MADDER ON STARCH COATING.. 105
    • 4.1. Starch. 107
    • 4.1.1. Strippable sealing film.. 107
    • 4.1.2. Hot water washed out starch – blue fluorescence. 110
    • 4.1.3. FTIR spectra of Raes samples are similar to FTIR spectra…. 112
    • 4.2. Madder dye. 149
    • 4.2.1. Visible color and wet acid-base chemistry. 149
    • 4.2.2. Reflectance curves of clear areas – raw and absolute. 158
    • 4.2.3. Raw fluorescence scan background. 162
    • 4.2.4. Fluorescence photography. 166
    • 4.2.5. Image fluorescence. 174
    • 4.2.6. SEM-EDS analysis – smooth organic coating embedding particles. 178
    • 4.2.7. Microscopy – Red aluminum lake particles. 179
    • 4.2.8. Pyrolysis/Mass Spectrometry. 184
    • 4.3. Not pectin or microbial bioplastic coating. 186
    • 4.4. Not Saponaria. 186
    • 4.4.1. Acidichromism – not Saponaria. 188
    • 4.4.2. Fluorescence – not quite Saponaria. 188
    • 4.4.3. UV-vis absorbance – not Saponaria. 190
    • 4.4.4. Sugars – no Saponaria evidence. 191
    • 4.4.5. Solubility – not Saponaria. 192
    • 4.4.6. Color with iodine – not Saponaria. 193
    • 4.4.7. Effect on chelated iron – not Saponaria. 193
    • 4.4.8. Effect on image formation – not Saponaria. 194
    • 4.4.9. Lake colour with Al3+ and Ca2+ – not Saponaria. 194
    • 4.4.10. Heme-complex colour – not Saponaria. 195
    • 4.4.11. Relative reflectance of bloodstains – not Saponaria. 197
    • 5. FORMATION MECHANISMS. 198
    • 5.1. Post-mortem heme dimer formation – …  199
    • 5.2. Blood drying on the body. 205
    • 5.3. Rivulets running across the Shroud. 207
    • 5.4. Pools of wet blood – brown bloodstains. 209
    • 5.5. Scourge marks. 210
    • 5.5.1. Very faint – not dense – not chemically tested – no spectra. 210
    • 5.5.2. No fluorescent serum scratches or serum borders. 214
    • 5.5.3. Only dorsal scourge marks on reverse side. 214
    • 5.5.4. Hyperfibrinolysis caused pink imprints but no smears before image formation. 214
    • 5.5.5. Other ways of scourge mark transfer 221
    • 5.6. Blood smears from hands of buriers. 223
    • 6. OTHER RED COLOR HYPOTHESES. 224
    • 6.1. Authentic blood. 224
    • 6.1.1. Blood of a living, crucified person. 224
    • 6.1.2. Bilirubin. 224
    • 6.1.3. Prior UV-irradiation. 231
    • 6.1.4. CO-ligand from carbon monoxide gas. 232
    • 6.1.5. Saponaria-treated cloth. 232
    • 6.2. Painted-on bloodstains. 233
    • 6.2.1. ‘Cured’ blood paint – NO or CO.. 233
    • 6.2.2. Iron oxide particles in protein binder 237
    • 6.2.3. Iron-madder lake. 238
    • 6.2.4. Acid blood. 238
    • 6.3. Survey red color hypotheses. 239
    • 7. BLOOD ON THE PETALON – NOT ON THE BEARD.. 241
    • 8. CONCLUSION.. 247
    • 9. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. 249
    • Bibliography. 250

Why Doesn’t the Blood Create an Image?

dry or wet, why not? Why not if teeth or tissue or hair does?

imageColin Berry asks an interesting question:

. . . The  reason for there being blood trickles down the hair is allegedly because the blood was imaged directly by a blotting paper effect prior to body imaging, so  ends up out of stereoregister with body image*. As I say, smart…

If that’s the case, then why isn’t there a double blood image, one set on the cheek,  as a subset of "body image" say, matching exactly the blood trails on the adjacent hair?

I repeat: if  dead protein like keratin, whether fibrous or not, and even mineralized tooth enamel can leave an image, then why not the distinctive cell debris and proteins of blood?  The  latter should remain in stereoregister with the fabric of the Shroud, right through the imaging process, regardless of where the "real blood" relocated due to relative shifting of corpse within Shroud.

It is a good question to ask of those who think the image was formed by a dematerializing body, perhaps even those who speak of any manner of radiation or energy creating the image: Why don’t we see a double-blood signature, one as real blood, one as ‘body image’, at least when out of stereoregister?

I like the question. It sort of supports my idea that the image, which I believe is somehow related to the Resurrection – an event I believe in – was not formed by a natural chemical reaction or by any form of energy that was the byproduct of a supernatural event. I know that sounds like I’m calling the image impossible. I know. But the Resurrection is impossible. The incarnation is impossible. Creatio ex nihilo is impossible. Right?

Scientists love unsolved mysteries. But they hate whacky people like me who suggest that the answers may be mysteries “all the way down,” at least before my morning coffee.

Stephen Hawking put it this way:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You’re very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it’s tortoises all the way down!"

But then in The Grand Design, Hawking writes:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.

A spontaneous image? I like that. But what about the bloodstains? Is Colin on point with this; is it a valid objection to Jackson, et. al.? I like the question, so far. Now for coffee.

Everyone’s Own Facts

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
— Daniel Patrick Moynihan

imageThe exception to that bit of wisdom from Senator Moynihan may be Shroud of Turin studies. It is not my intent to pick on Yannick Clément, in particular, but he just provided a useful illustration. Fact selection is a rampant problem when it comes to the shroud. We are almost compelled to ask, which facts are you using and why.  Yannick in a comment illustrates this:

Good enough for me means simply that I agree to consider something as a fact when two experts gets to the same conclusion while working independently of each other. One confirms the other in sum and that’s when we can take something for granted in science. Not before. In the case of the bloodstains on the Shroud, we can.

Just read the books published by Adler and Baima Bollone and you’ll see that the results of their analyses of the blood and serum stains (which was done with different tests, but which gave very similar results) was strong enough for both of them to claim that these stains are not made of something else than human blood and serum and even more, that these stains comes from a highly traumatized person, which is in total sync with the body image.

If that’s not good enough for some people, that’s good enough for me.

(bolded emphasis above is mine)

Is it good enough that John Jackson and his “team of research associates” and, separately, Alan Whanger found x-ray-like imaging on the shroud? Robert Siefker and Daniel Spicer have confirmed that:

There are images of teeth and bone structures associated with the face, as well indications of finger bones all the way to the wrist. . . . John Jackson and his team of research associates have observed these features and they are mutually confirmed by Whanger and other researchers.

The implication in the use of the word mutually is clear. They mean exclusively. Two experts have concluded the same thing. So, by Yannick’s definition, is this a fact?

Was it good enough that a consensus of experts at Valencia concluded that:

The body image is created by molecular change of linen fibres. There are also bloodstains. There is no body image beneath the bloodstains.

(bolded emphasis above is mine)

It took some squawking by other experts to get the above paragraph amended, something called by some the Valencia Compromise Parenthetical. It now reads on David Rolfe’s site:

The body image is created by molecular change of linen fibres. There are also bloodstains. There is no body image beneath the bloodstains. (For the avoidance of doubt, this characteristic does not exclude the possibility that the molecular change may have taken place in an impurity layer at the linen surface).

When is a fact a fact? Two people working independently and finding the same thing?  Really?

If we apply Yannick’s words, “that’s when we can take something for granted in science”  to other areas of science we can get ourselves in all sorts of trouble. Certainly, for a long time, experts working independently concluded that we lived in a static universe. James Jeans, Fred Hoyle and Albert Einstein, though they held different working views, arrived at similar steady-state conclusions. It would take others to dismantle the fact of a static universe. It would take Einstein admitting he was wrong.

Certainly in the field of evolution we can find independent experts concluding for irreducible complexity as evidence of a designer god. Can we say that working independently and concluding essentially the same thing, Michael Behe, Stuart Burgess, William A. Dembski, Phillip E. Johnson, and Stephen C. Meyer make Intelligent Design a fact? 

Note: We can even find two experts who will tell you James R. Schlesinger said what is attributed to Moynihan. And we can find two others that will tell you the opposite is true.

I don’t know what makes anything a fact when it comes to the Shroud of Turin.

Paper Chase: A Natural Stochastic Process May Explain the Coexistence of Bloodstains and an Image on the Shroud of Turin

clip_image001The paper, THE MYSTERIOUS COEXISTENCE OF BLOODSTAINS AND BODY IMAGE ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN EXPLAINED BY A STOCHASTIC PROCESS by Giovanni Fazio, Yannick Clement and Giuseppe Mandaglio and published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry is now available online:

The presence of bloodstains certifies that a wounded human body has been enveloped in the Shroud of Turin and that most parts of this corpse came in direct contact with the cloth during the burial procedure. On the contrary, the ventral body image, by correlation between image intensity and cloth-body distance, shows codified information regarding the distance from which the cloth was versus the body at the time of the image formation. At first sight, this last statement seems to be impossible for a human corpse. Therefore, the coexistence of the bloodstains and the body imprints on both sides of the Shroud could be seen as unnatural, especially when we consider that a deterministic process as the UV radiation or the action of an electrostatic field (corona discharge), as well as manmade chemical and thermal treatment. These processes do not explain all the known characteristics of the body images (ventral and dorsal) because they do not distinguish the fibrils that must be yellowed from the ones that must retain the background colour. In this paper we prove that a natural stochastic process can offer a rational and scientific explanation that can account for all the known properties of these bloodstains and body images. However, another possible explanation that must be taken into account is a natural process involving the production of oxygen that yields a latent image.

Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry is an open access journal published by the University of the Aegean.

Garlaschelli and Borrini Study Flawed

imagePaulette commented:

The study is flawed. Ever worked as an EMS? On sweaty, grimy, warm skin someone’s blood will run every which way, even in nearly horizontally rivulets. It flows. It gushes. It spurts. It mixes with sweat. I’ve been sprayed with blood from flailing limbs. Put a few drops of blood on your arm and jerk it hard to mimic a spasm. You can never reproduce violent outdoor traumatic blood flow on a body in pain with plastic tubing, air conditioning, calm and shower fresh skin.

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Mike “Like”’d. So do I.

IEEE Shroud Conference Call for Papers Reminder

Authors should submit abstracts or draft manuscripts by May 9, 2014 in accordance with:

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(and remember the call-for-papers deadline for the St. Louis Conference in April 15)

Concerning the absence of an image of the top of the head on the Shroud of Turin and the possible presence of blood in this area

A Guest Posting by Yannick Clément

First, I would like to address the question of the possible presence of blood in the area located between the 2 head images on the Shroud. This has recently been asked by a blogger and it’s an interesting question. On that subject, here’s what can we find about that in the important study of the UV fluorescent photographs of the Shroud done by Miller and Pellicori of STURP:

“At C-D by 11-12 a SMUDGE RESEMBLING BLOOD is visible between the head images.” Note: This code comes from a graph they drew over the Shroud and this particular location is found between the 2 head images. I have looked at the Shroud Scope of Mario Latendresse to find this possible smudge of blood but I’m not sure at all where it is located. Some spots look a bit like bloodstains but, by experience, I know that those can well be weak scorches instead (those two items on the Shroud are showing a coloration under normal light that is nearly the same)… It would be nice to check the original UV fluorescent photos of Miller and Pellicori to locate this stain!

This is the ONLY possible bloodstain they detected (they don’t mention any other possible bloodstains in this particular area) and, when we read correctly their report, these researchers were not even sure that this stain was really composed of blood. In such a context, it is evident that it would need a chemical investigation by a blood expert through a sampling of this particular area to know if some blood is present there or not. I think the most prudent conclusion to draw from this is to assume that there is no confirmed bloodstain between the head images, at least for the moment.

On the other hand, if it could be confirm that this stain is composed of blood, this would probably be the only blood smudge that exist on the Shroud and I think it is truly possible that this could have happened at the time the body was placed inside the Shroud (probably in a central place inside the tomb) or during the transfer of the enshrouded body from a central place of the tomb to his final resting place (probably a stone bench carved inside a wall of the tomb). This would highly suggest that at least some blood clots were still partially humid at the time the body reached the tomb or were able to get re-humidified before the body reached the tomb…

Personally, I think Mario Latendresse’s hypothesis to explain the absence of a body image of the back of the head is still the most likely because it is the most simple and rational we can find, which is to assume that, at the moment of the image formation, the Shroud was loosely draped over the body (most probably without the use of linen strips to bind it around the body) and consequently, for this particular area of the top of the head, the cloth was not in direct-contact with the body at a distance that was far enough to prevent the formation of an image.

Such a hypothesis is consistent with Mr. Latendresse’s own conclusion versus the most probable configuration of the Shroud over the Shroud man’s body (link: http://sindonology.org/papers/latendresse2005a.pdf) and it is also consistent with a possible total absence of bloodstain in the area between the head images. And even if the potential smudge of blood detected by Miller and Pellicori would be confirmed one day as really being made of blood, the fact that such a stain could have well been caused by the enshrouding of the Shroud man or by the short transfer of his enshrouded body to a final resting place would not allow us to discard the hypothesis proposed by Mr. Latendresse.

And since Jackson et al. from STURP have conclude that no image was able to form at more than 3.7 cm from the body, then it is logical to assume that the cloth was probably located at 4 cm or more away from the top of the head. But here, we must be prudent since we still don’t know the exact mechanism that lead to the image formation and it is still possible that such a process was not able to work laterally (or if it was, it is possible that it was only working if there would have been a direct-contact between the cloth and the lateral parts of the body, including the top of the head).

Nevertheless, there is still one thing that bugs me a bit with this explanation and it is the probable position of the head, which seemed to have been bent toward the chest (which is the probable position it had at the time of the Shroud man’s death on the cross). Because of this, I think it’s a bit harder to believe the cloth would have been located away from the top of the head at the time of the image formation in the context of a shroud loosely draped over the body. To learn more about this, I think Mario Latendresse or someone else should try some cloth’s configuration experiments that would consider the most probable position of the Shroud man’s head, which appears to have been bent toward the chest, and see if some loose configuration of the cloth over such a head bent toward the chest can force it to be located at some distance from the top of the head (which is not necessarily 4 cm or more if the image formation process was mainly working in a radial way (mainly straight up and down from the body)). Note: In my opinion, I don’t think if that was the case, this would necessarily discard any natural process for image formation, especially if the energy transfer was not 100% radial.

To me, in the context of a bend head toward the chest, the only way Mario or someone else could obtain a configuration that would force the cloth to be located at some distance from the top of the head (not necessarily at 4 or more cm but at least not in direct-contact with it) is to assume the Shroud was somewhat stiff at the time of the burial of the Shroud man.

Note: Of course, this stiffness of the cloth would have been lost over the years, since it is pretty evident that the actual Shroud is not stiff at all. Such a lost could have been caused by the Shroud being kept in a damp place for some time at an unknown moment during its long history.

And you know what? This hypothesis of a stiff cloth at the time of the burial is truly possible! In fact, this had been proposed by German from STURP and was accepted as a true possibility by Rogers and Schwalbe in their STURP paper. Here what they wrote about that: “German proposed a model to account for this (note: the density gradation of the image) by postulating the Shroud as originally somewhat stiff either from pressing or possibly starching.”

Important note: If that was really the case and the original Shroud was fairly stiff because of starching (note: In Antiquity, starch was often put on the warp threads to protect them during the weaving of the cloth), this would have represented a very good context for the presence of a layer of starch (among other impurities) as proposed by Rogers later on to explain the chromophore of the image and the ultra-superficiality of the image. In fact, Rogers assumed that most of the thin layer of impurities was composed of starch that was left on the top surface of the cloth after his washing in saponaria and drying in open air, which was an operation done in Antiquity to remove most of the starch in order to render the cloth more supple. In the case of the Shroud, it is possible to assume that this washing operation would not have removed all the stiffness of the cloth after the weaving.

Of course, all I said here is hypothetical and theoretical. More researches need to be done in order to find what is the most probable answer for the lack of an image of the top of the head on the Shroud. Nevertheless, I hope that what I have exposed here can become the start of a new reflection for some people, especially those involved in Shroud research like Mario Latendresse.

In sum, the two important factors I would like those researchers to keep in mind (which are two things that are rarely consider, so it seem) when it’s time to evaluate what was the most probable configuration of the Shroud over the dead body are 1- The possibility that the original cloth was somewhat stiff. And 2- The most probable fact that the Shroud man’s head was bend toward the chest at the time of the image formation.

For me, those 2 important factors could well have played a huge role in the kind of image that have been formed in the two head regions (front and back), as well as possibly playing a huge role also to prevent the formation of an image of the top of the head. Of course, other potentially good solutions other than the one proposed by Mr. Latendresse the other day exists to explain this absence of an image there (like the idea of a second smaller cloth that could have been placed on top of the head of the Shroud man and inside the main Shroud during the burial procedure), but I still prefer the hypothesis of Mr. Latendresse, at least for the moment. Maybe some more researches on the most probable Shroud configuration at the time of the image formation could change my mind… Who knows? One thing’s for sure (and I’m sure Mr. Latendresse will agree with me because he already planed to do so): More research need to be done in that particular field of sindonology.

Last comment concerning those future researches: It would be nice to see, for the very first time, a researcher trying to determine what could have been the most likely configuration of the Shroud in the half portion of the cloth where we see the dorsal image. SUCH AN INVESTIGATION HAS NEVER BEEN DONE, NOT EVEN BY JACKSON AND HIS TEAM DURING THE STURP DAYS!

To my knowledge, the only researchers who have studied this question (but only in theory) are the Italian nuclear physicists Fazio and Mandaglio, who came to the conclusion in their paper entitled “Does an Iz correlation exists for the back-part of the Shroud body image?” (link: http://cab.unime.it/journals/index.php/AAPP/article/view/C1A0802005) that “the attenuation effects are different in the formation of the back and front images.” In other words, for those 2 scientists, in the back region, the image formation was not able to colored fibers that were located as far as it was probably the case for the front side of the body (which have been estimated at 3.7 cm by Jackson and his team) and the reason why it is so is the possible presence of burial ointments in greater quantity, which would have created a sort of wall that would have prevent the image formation process (natural in their mind) to color fibers located at 3 or 4 cm from the body as it was probably the case on the front side of the body (if Jackson’s conclusion is correct). Personally, I disagree with such a conclusion (even if I really respect the work of those 2 scientists) because of the investigation done by Ray Rogers who conclude that there was probably no burial ointment present on the Shroud at the time of the image formation. I’ve done some personal exchange with Fazio about Rogers’ conclusion and he defend his conclusion by saying that it is possible that all the burial ointments that were present on the Shroud have been lost over time (note that this is the same hypothesis that was proposed by Pellicori back in the STURP days). Personally, I have a very hard time to buy such a hypothesis and prefer to think, like Rogers, that if no burial ointments have been found on the Shroud, it is most probably because none have been used during the burial of the Shroud man! If we use Occam’s razor principle with honesty, this is by far the most simple explanation.

And contrary to the conclusion of Fazio and Mandaglio, I think the most rational answer that exist to explain the difference in the maximal distance in which the image formation was able to color a fiber between the front and the back side is the probable fact that there was a smaller amount of energy (still undetermined) that have been transferred from the backside of the corpse to the back region of the cloth than what have been the case from the front side of the body to the front region of the Shroud. And if my idea could be scientifically confirmed one day, this would certainly represent a data that would push strongly in favor of an image formation that was natural and very mild (even milder under the body than what was the case over the body), especially if it involved a release by the corpse of post-mortem gases (Rogers) and/or of free radicals (Mills) and/or of lactic acid molecules (DeSalvo)… But of course, we’re not there yet.

Yannick Clément, Louiseville, Québec, Canada

Paper Chase: DNA Analysis and the Shroud of Turin: Development of a Shroud CODIS

imageSTERA has just published another paper by Kelly Kearse, DNA Analysis and the Shroud of Turin: Development of a Shroud CODIS. This is Kelly’s fourth paper at shroud.com. This paper will certainly shape discussions about future research on the shroud.

Barrie Schwortz, in introducing the paper this morning on shroud.com, writes:

once again, he has taken a very technical subject and made it interesting and understandable for everyone,”

Based so far on an early morning first read (the coffee is still brewing), I agree. More importantly, what do you think?

ABSTRACT: 

Since its development in the mid 1980s, DNA analysis has become a standard procedure utilized by law enforcement and legal systems in the forensic examination of human remains, and to help establish or exclude a connection to a crime scene. The recent progression of gene amplification and enrichment strategies, together with next generation sequencing techniques, have made the analysis of ancient and degraded DNA samples much more feasible than previously imagined. Human DNA has been isolated from the Shroud of Turin, although the results remain rather limited and controversial. Indeed, it is unknown if such DNA truly originates from blood cells present on the cloth or is the result of contamination from exogenous sources. Here, the potential and limitations of modern molecular biology techniques in the analysis of the Shroud of Turin are reviewed, including the evaluation of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

A Special Guest Posting by Kelly Kearse and Thibault Heimburger

PDF Version

The Shroud Blood Science of Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone:
Another look at potassium, among other things

 

 

Kelly Kearse and Thibault Heimburger

 

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Although probably best known for his blood typing studies on the Shroud, it is worth noting that Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone conducted a series of chemical and immunological studies in the characterization of Shroud bloodstains, similar to those performed by Heller and Adler. [Translated from the book jacket shown above:] “Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, 76, a surgeon, for over 40 years, teacher of Forensic Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Law at the University of Turin-and now professor emeritus, continues to contract in his courses. He is the author of a successful Handbook of Forensic Medicine adopted in various Universities, now in its fifth edition, and 161 scientific publications. He has also written 24 books.”

Below, several specifics regarding Baima Bollone’s findings relative to those of Heller and Adler are discussed. Much of the quoted material is taken from his presentation entitled “The Forensic Characteristics of the Blood Marks” from The Turin Shroud-past, present, and future, an International Scientific Symposium held in Turin March 2-5, 2000. Direct quotes from Dr. Baima Bollone are bolded.

The first endeavor to scientifically evaluate the nature of the bloodstains on the Shroud began in 1973 by members of the “commission of experts”, which included G. Frache, E.M. Rizaati, and M. Mari. Their results were negative, although the scientists would conclude that “the negative answer to the investigations conducted does not permit an absolute judgment of the hematic nature of the material under examination.” In a 1981 paper by Baima Bollone, entitled “Indagini Identificative Su Fili Della Sindone”, he describes his own initial studies testing for the presence of hemochromagen, which were also negative, corresponding to the work of Frache, et al. In subsequent studies he would use different methods; discussing this at the 2000 conference, he states, “The initiative to conduct new tests developed a few years later, during the laboratory examination of threads extracted from the Shroud and adhesive tape samples. Under the fluorescence microscope and using the Dotzauer and Keding method on the same samples I demonstrated the presence of heme/porphyrins. On the same material I obtained Teichmann crystals or hematine chlorohydrate with the usual procedures.” In follow up studies, Baima Bollone would extend his chemical results using a series of immunological experiments, which tested positive for the presence of blood component markers. Immunological studies by Heller and Adler (albumin, immunoglobulin), and Garza-Valdes (hemoglobin, typing) would corroborate Bollone’s findings.

Regarding the methods of sampling used in Shroud blood studies, Baima Bollone would comment in 2000, “I would like to point out immediately that the traces suspected of being “blood” are made up of effective deposits of material. This has meant that it has been possible to remove some of the traces using adhesive tapes or to study them directly on threads where they are deposited.” This is a distinction between the two sets of studies: Heller and Adler primarily evaluated tape-lift samples, whereas Baima Bollone physically removed certain threads using forceps. He would further discuss that, “I have been astonished that in their search for traces of blood on the Shroud the STURP team preferred to use physics investigations, or at most surface sample-taking using adhesive tapes, rather than requesting to takes the traces in their materiality.

“After preliminary studies on bandages taken from an Egyptian mummy in order to optimize methods, in 1981 I centered research on the threads of the weft and warp taken in correspondence with the C9d area of the reference map (the so-called “belt of blood”), B12c (the sole of the left foot) and(the sole of the right foot) of the feet of the Shroud. After optical and scanning electron microscope investigations, I managed by means of the energy extinction microspectrometer to ascertain the presence of Mg, Al, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca and Fe.”

 

Here there appears to be a difference between the findings of Baima Bollone relative to those reported by the STURP scientists. In the article, “The origin and nature of blood on the Turin Shroud”, Adler states that the blood is “very low in potassium”, referencing the x-ray fluorescence studies of Morris and colleagues (“X-ray Fluorescence Investigation of the Shroud of Turin”). These specific tests were done at various places on the Shroud, including bloodstains, to help define if the elemental signature was more like paint or pigment? Or blood? Or other?

In the Morris studies the Shroud was sampled while mounted on a specially constructed frame. Bloodstains on the dorsal-foot and the side wound were analyzed. A spectrum of the side wound is presented in the Morris paper (which is also reproduced in Walter McCrone’s book, together with a standard reference blood spectrum). Morris et al. state that, “Although no potassium was observed in any of the Shroud data, poor signal-to-noise ratios may preclude definite conclusions on this point” (see below).

In contrast to these findings, Baima Bollone and coworkers report in the evaluation of threads taken from the Shroud that the elemental profile, including K (potassium), is similar to that of normal blood. This work is described in the articles “La Dimonstrazione Della Presenza Di Tracce Di Sangue Umano Sulla Sindone” and “Indagini Identificative Su Fili Della Sindone”. The “important blood peaks” labeled in McCrone’s elemental analysis of a real blood profile (S, Cl, K, and Fe) are present in Baima Bollone’s analysis. This is a very important point.

In the studies by Morris et al., X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) was used, while Bollone used Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). The difference between EDS and XRF is the type of radiation hitting the sample. EDS uses an electron beam and XRF uses an x-ray beam, thus the results cannot be directly compared as such. However, both methods give the elemental composition of a sample and have their own limits, but, in fact, they are complementary.

Morris and coworkers were only allowed to perform their work on the Shroud itself; it is noteworthy that they could obtain valuable results. Among the normal major chemical species found in blood (see below), Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus and Sulfur could not be detected because their atomic number is lower or equal to 16. However Chlorine, Potassium, Calcium and Iron should, in theory, have been detected in blood areas. Given the very high amount of calcium thorough the entire Shroud, a small excess of calcium in blood areas could probably not be detected. They found an excess of iron in blood areas, consistent with the amount of iron in blood. There is no mention of Chlorine in Morris’paper.

Morris et al.were unable to detect the characteristic peak of potassium in their spectra of bloodstains. They added: “In these measurements [laboratory experiment with whole blood on a Whatman paper using the same XRF system than in Turin], we also observed potassium in addition to iron. The K [potassium] K alpha peak intensity was typically at least an order of magnitude smaller than the Fe K alpha.”

Given that and the very low signal to noise ratio of the TS spectra, it would be very unwise to conclude (like McCrone): “no potassium, no blood”.

Baima Bollone used EDS on TS blood threads.

As an example, he got the following EDS spectrum:

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From Dr Baima Bollone: comparison of EDS spectrum of TS blood (B12 C: sole of the left foot) and EDS spectrum of actual blood. There is a good match between actual whole blood and TS blood and potassium is there (arrows added to the original figure).

Dixon et al. studied the elemental composition of dried blood on cloth (Dixon et al., “A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Dried Blood, 1976) using SEM-EDX. In this paper the elemental composition (the species and their relative amount) are given.

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Mimimum and maximum values of elemental species (in %) in dried blood on cloth. From the SEM-EDX data in Dixon et al.

SEM-EDX gives the relative elemental composition. When one compares these results with those obtained by Baima Bollone, there is a very good match with “actual blood”. This is also true for the TS blood, except for calcium and iron. Bollone’s “TS blood” does contain much more calcium and iron than expected for actual blood. Since SEM-EDX analyses a volume of several micrometers, it is possible that the calcium (and iron) excess found in the “TS blood” spectrum is due to the high amount of calcium and iron bounded to the underlying fibers as shown by Heller and Adler.

In any case (except for calcium), there is no doubt that the EDS spectra of blood material coming from blood areas of the Turin Shroud show the same elemental composition than that of actual blood. Not only are all of the expected elements present, but also their relative amounts are consistent with that of blood. In addition, no peak corresponding to species not pertaining to blood was found (for example Hg peak of cinnabar).

It is also important to note that Heller and Adler studied “globs” (blood aggregates) and fibrils from blood image using an EDS spectrometer (“A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin”, 1981). They wrote: “The fibrils all show strong Ca and Fe signals. The globs all show Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K [potassium], Ca and Fe … Similar results were obtained by J. Jackson and W.Ercoline in their SEM studies”. Although no spectrum is shown, it is important to note that all of the elemental species of real blood were also found by Heller and Adler on “globs” (and perhaps red fibrils, although this is unclear), including potassium.

To summarize, the assumption that no potassium has been found in the blood stains is simply false. This assumption was only based on the Morris et al. paper and we have seen the strong limits of their in situ observations. On the other side, Bollone, Heller and Adler using another method found potassium in red material and blood threads. Bollone has provided evidence that the elemental composition of the TS blood effectively compares to that of actual blood.

McCrone thought that the blood was made of a mixture of red/yellow ochre with cinnabar in a collagen medium.

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Typical SEM-EDX spectrum of pure yellow ochre (from McCrone particle atlas).

Iron, silicon and aluminum are the major species. Chlorine (a major element of blood) is only found as trace element. Even if one adds vermilion (artificial Hgs) or natural cinnabar (HgS and contaminants like quartz and calcite), it would be extremely surprising that the spectrum of such a mixture could match that of actual blood as does the TS blood spectrum.

Another important issue relates to the reflectance spectra of blood. In “Physics and chemistry of the Shroud of Turin- A Summary of the 1978 Investigation” (Analytica Chimica Acta, 135 (1982) 3-49), Rogers et al. commented that “Heller and Adler have noted that there is no specific spectrum for blood per se: the spectral characteristics depend on the chemical state of the hemoglobin and also on its state of aggregation. They pointed out the strong resemblance of the Gilberts’ “blood” data to those for perturbed acid methemoglobin, which is a chemical state of blood in which the iron in the hemoglobin has been oxidized. Cameron and George have published absorption spectra for acid methemoglobin in the range 480- 640 nm. These data strongly resemble the Gilberts’ curves and even include the small absorption structure at about 630 nm”.

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Apparent relative spectral absorbance of the mean of four bloodstained areas on the Shroud (Gilbert and Gilbert)

Here is the spectrum from Cameron et al., cited by Rogers:

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Spectrum of human acidic ferrihemoglobin (Cameron et al.)

The claim that “there is no specific spectrum for blood per se” can be seen in the following figure:

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In “Spectroscopy of burn wounds” by Afromowitz M.A (Ph D) and Callis J.D (Ph D), University of Washington, 1992.

Among the different spectra of hemoglobin, the spectrum of acid methemoglobin is unique. The spectrum of the bloodstains on the Shroud is consistent with that of acid methemoglobin found in the literature.

Bollone stated in 2000. “The forensic identification of the blood was obtained in 1981 by J.H. Heller and A. Adler. In 1980 they had already ascertained the presence of porphyrin, a pigment that enters among other things in the haemoglobin synthesis, in their samples.” He continues, “The presence of human blood was subsequently confirmed by Canale in 1995 before conducting DNA research on some by threads I gave him, and by Leoncio Garza-Valdes, both on material of asserted but not proved origin from the Shroud, and on fragments of Shroud tapes from 1978 obtained from Adler.

No singular type of test in the evaluation of bloodstains is above error. Each test can result in a false positive. Each test can result in a false negative. It is the sum of the collective evidence of chemical and immunological data that convinced Dr. Baima Bollone (and Heller and Adler) that the “bloodstains” were composed of real blood. Although modern tests are typically more sensitive than many previous methods, the basic one-two approach for the detection of blood is still in use today: chemical testing for the identification of heme/hemoglobin, followed by immunological testing to identify the species from which the blood originates, and if desirable, the blood group and subgroup. (Reviewed in “Analysis of body fluids for forensic purposes: From laboratory testing to non-destructive rapid confirmatory identification at a crime scene”, by Virkler and Lednev, 2009; and “Review: Biological evidence collection and forensic blood identification”, by Castro et al., 2011).

Baima Bollone contributes a unique perspective in the study of the bloodstains of the Shroud, being trained in forensic science, and having evaluated the cloth at a very close range. He also discusses at some length the separation of cellular and fluid components in bloodstains relative to deposition, time of death, and clotting in his studies. As with all of the above-mentioned results, the interested reader is encouraged to consult the original sources of his articles and books for further information.

Baima Bollone would summarize in 2000 that, “In effect everyday haematological diagnostic investigations have allowed us to ascertain the incontrovertible presence of human blood, with all its characteristics, on the Shroud. All this proves and confirms that on the Shroud there are effectively real and complete bloodstains, conserved in their various components”

The Big 3 Issue or “Jesus simply misspoke”

imageIn a comment, elsewhere in this blog, Jos Verhulst points out

The 3-shaped bloodmark on the forehead is interpreted as a literal reference to the number three (9:40). However, Hindu numerals did not yet exist at the first century.

No, “9:40” is not a biblical chapter and verse number.  I say that after a few frustrating minutes. It is a red line, time line for the YouTube video, Solid Proof Turin Shroud is 1st Century! in which the voiceover tells us:

The number 3 has significance. On the forehead of Jesus of Nazareth,  on the Shroud of Turin, you see 3 written in blood . . .

  • that represents the Holy Trinity
  • Jesus died at 3 pm
  • Jesus was in the tomb for three days
  • Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days

There is an issue. As Jos points makes it clear. Hindu numerals (and Arabic numerals derived from them) did not exist at the time of Jesus’ burial. In fact, if this big three interpretation is solid proof of anything then it is solid proof that the shroud is medieval, at least from the 7th or 8th century on.

image

Kind of looks like the 3 in the Devanagari strain.

And while we are talking about 3 days, let’s ask ourselves the question that Daniel Burke asked for Religion News Service during Lent this year. He does a great job of covering all the bases:

But if Jesus died at 3 p.m. Friday and vacated his tomb by dawn Sunday morning — about 40 hours later — how does that make three days? And do Hebrew Scriptures prophesy that timetable?

Even Pope Benedict XVI wrestles with the latter question in his new book, Jesus: Holy Week, about Christ’s last days. “There is no direct scriptural testimony pointing to the ‘third day,”‘ the pope concludes.

The chronology conundrum is “a bit of a puzzle,” said Marcus Borg, a progressive biblical scholar and co-author of The Last Week, a book about Holy Week.

But Borg and other experts say the puzzle can be solved if you know how first-century Jews counted time, and grant the four evangelists a little poetic license.

For Jews of Jesus’ time, days began at sunset, a schedule that still guides Jewish holy days such as Shabbat. So, Saturday night was Sunday for them.

Ancient Jews also used what scholars call “inclusive reckoning,” meaning any part of a day is counted as a whole day, said Clinton Wahlen of the Seventh-day Adventist Biblical Research Institute in Silver Spring, Md.

Using these counting methods, a backward calculation from Sunday morning to Friday afternoon makes three days.

Besides, the four evangelists were likely not counting time literally, according to some scholars.

“Expressions like ‘three days’ and ’40 days’ are imprecise in the Bible,” Borg said. For the evangelists, “three days” means “a short period of time.”

Ben Witherington, an evangelical scholar of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., agreed.

The phrase “three days,” is a colloquialism comparable to “directly” in Southern-speak, meaning “after a little while,” he said. It’s anachronistic to expect the evangelists to monitor time like modern-day men, Witherington said.

“The Gospel writers didn’t walk around with sundials on their wrists the way modern scholars walk around with wristwatches,” he said. “They were not dealing with the precision that we do.”

But precision, especially when it comes to the Bible, has been a hallmark of faith for many Christians — especially those who equate truth with historical facts.

Most troubling for these believers is Jesus’ own prophecy, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, that he will rise from the dead after “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Trying to reconcile that prophecy with the Holy Week calendar, ancient Christian theologians such as Gregory of Nyssa and Cyril of Jerusalem counted the eclipse of the sun after Jesus’ death as a night, said the Very Rev. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y.

Didascalia Apostolorum, a third-century Christian treatise, took a more radical approach. It proposes that Jesus and his apostles followed a different calendar than other Jews and celebrated the Last Supper on a Tuesday, meaning the crucifixion happened on a Wednesday. Some fringe Christian denominations still promote that theory.

Others dismiss historical revisions and say Jesus simply misspoke.

“To be technical, Jesus made a false prophecy, and that’s not something most Christians would want to put that way,” said Robert Miller, a professor of religion at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.

But the point of Jesus’ prophecy is to draw a comparison to Jonah, who was willing to die to save his shipmates (and spent three days in the belly of a big fish), not to set a timetable for the Resurrection, said Witherington.

Martin Connell, a scholar at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., calls the chronology conundrum a “never-ending question.”

So unsettled is the evidence, and so elastic, that the debate will likely always continue,” Connell said.

The Apostle Paul wrote that the third-day Resurrection accords with the Hebrew Scriptures.
Some scholars, such as Wahlen, think Paul is pointing to a passage in the Book of Hosea, which says God will “heal” and “restore” Israel after three days.

Benedict says that theory “cannot be sustained.”

There may be a very practical reason for the Resurrection to have happened in three days after Jesus’ death, scholars say.

First-century tradition held that only after three days could you be sure someone was dead; after four days the spirit was presumed to leave the body.

Need we say more?  Probably! Maybe Jesus didn’t misspeak. Maybe someone wrote it down wrong.

And was it a whale or a fish?