Should a St. Louis Conference Paper be Withdrawn?

Please, somebody who was there, tell me you noticed!

imageA reader wanted to know if I had seen Hugh Farey’s comment about Jeffrey Skurka’s presentation?  No, I had not. 

Should it not be withdrawn?, he or she wondered.

Well, now I have read it. And I read, as well, Piero’s comment referenced by Hugh (which is reproduced below). Well done, Piero!

First, here is Hugh’s comment:

Piero, you appear to be absolutely correct. I cannot be sure what the “measured age” of 106.8+/- 0.6% refers to, but the comment “reported result indicates an age of post 0 BP” means that the book was found to have been made after 1950, which is, by convention 0 BP.

The page on the [right] of slide 83 of Sturka’s presentation is a general Explanation Sheet, which shows how a normal test is calibrated. it takes, for example, a date of 2400 +/- 60 BP, and shows how it correlates, on the chart below, to a calendar date of 530 BC to 390 BC. Presumably the same sheet accompanied every report the Dating Company made. In a feat of quite staggering incompetence, Jeffrey Skurka has

1) assumed that the illustration on the Explanation Sheet actually refers to the radiocarbon test report itself,

2) assumed that a calculated radiocarbon date of 2400 BP in fact means a calendar date of 2400 AD.

At the 2014 conference where he presented this, there were a number of very distinguished, and very experienced physicists, who might have been looking out for evidence of a 2400 AD radiocarbon dating result having read about it in the abstract beforehand.

Please, somebody who was there, tell me you noticed!

Noticed?  With 112 PowerPoint charts attempted in half an hour? Strange topics like spontaneous human combustion and shrunken skulls?  High-speculation and the paranormal posing as science? I don’t think anyone was paying attention anymore by chart 83.  I wondered if we even saw chart 83? If so, what was said? I could go to the tape (see the 32 minute mark of what was a 40 minute talk – we did see it) but that isn’t the real question. The real question is should this presentation stand?

Here is what I think before a second cup of morning coffee:

  1. Jeffrey should fix the mistake and resubmit his presentation.
  2. In the meantime, shroud.com should withdraw the paper and not at the next update cycle, but now. Simply annotating the list of papers is insufficient in that search engines don’t pick up warnings that way.
  3. The YouTube of the presentation should similarly be withdrawn by Shroud University.
  4. The conference program, still online, should be annotated with the fact that the paper contains a serious mistake and that it has been withdrawn pending correction.

Too harsh?  Too embarrassing?  Unnecessary?

Here is Piero’s comment that deals with more than just the above problem:

Here I want to consider another time the following questionable statement
(taken from the words by Siefker) :
>The body image would lose its optical properties, a result of alignment being lost
over time possibly just by moving the cloth through earth’s magnetic field
such as when the cloth is being transported.
(“The Enigma of the Apparent Age of the Shroud of Turin … etc. …”, slide 67 of 112)

because, in my opinion, this is a too vague hypothesis …
Where is the true proof on linen fibrils ?
Where are inherent experiments or useful references ?

Yesterday I didn’t consider the questions:
What were the exact conditions during the transport of the relic to/from Montevergine (Avellino)?
Who was the responsible about the (possible) photographic controls?

But I believe that I answered to the following question:
Where are the exact comparisons on inherent images?

because I indicated as irrelevant the possible comparison
and this was due to the inherent (probable) small magnitude
for the presumed effects…
— — —
Here the last phrase (of the same slide):
>Also, until confirmed the body image should be protected from any extraneous
magnetic fields such as magnets and electrical transformers.

So …
Which kind of magnetic fields were present during controls of 1978
(and subsequent “manipulations”)?

Another strange thing = slide 65 of 112 :
“The Resurrection Event” = “The electric current is running along
the threads of the linen cloth and normal to the surface
as is the magnetic field …”
In normal conditions electric current doesn’t run along
threads of linen because linen is an insulating material.
So, Siefker had not specified in a clear manner what
were these particular conditions.
In short, there is not this useful explanation…
—————————————–
Here the last curious thing.
Observing the document that appears on the slide 83 of 112
we can read:
Measured C14 age = 106.8 (and then this is not 2400 !)
Then : near 100 years old = “modern”… as you can easily read in that paper.
Perhaps that result was a “good approximation” for radiocarbon dating a modern book…
On the other side (see at right side of this slide) there was only a simple explanation about the Dendro-Calibration
( = Calibration of Radiocarbon Age to Calendar Years…) with an example…
Am I wrong in my conclusion?
I hope in your attention…

A number of marks falling all over the surface of the body

Fascinating, informative paper. Great illustrations. I learned a lot.

clip_image001With recent references in this blog to the illustrations in the Holkham Bible it seems appropriate to now consider the paper, The Hypotheses About the Roman Flagrum: Some Clarifications, presented by Flavia Manservigi (pictured) and coauthored by Enrico Morini (available at shroud.com and at academia.edu as of two days ago):

On the imprint of the long Sheet are also clearly visible a number of marks, falling all over the surface of the body, from the shoulders to the lower extremities of the legs: scholars interpreted those signs like the result of a terrible scourging, which was inflicted on the Man of the Shroud before crucifixion. The marks of flogging and crucifixion, like the great part of the wound marks visible on the cloth, strengthened the hypothesis of the identification of the Man of the Shroud with Jesus of Nazareth: the tortures suffered by the Man of the Shroud can be totally assimilated to the ones that, according to the Gospels, were inflicted on Jesus.

imageFascinating, informative paper. Great illustrations. I learned a lot.

BTW:  I probably should have mentioned this paper sooner. Already archived at shroud.com, it was just uploaded to academia.edu two days ago, which sent its page ranking soaring in Google. That grabbed my attention. This supports my theory that it makes sense to archive papers at both shroud.com and academia.edu and elsewhere (no, don’t ask). 

There are still other papers to explore from the St. Louis conference. Please by patient.

A Quote for this Sunday

imageFor “scientific approach to the Shroud” is usually understood that according to which the Shroud is regarded solely as an object of study and for which the only important issue is to try to answer the questions about the origin and the authenticity of the Shroud. A “pastoral approach to the Shroud” means the reading of the Shroud in the light of its intrinsic message that, starting from its close and indisputable relationship with the Holy Scriptures, becomes a valuable and unique inspirer of the life of faith and the prompter of those works of charity which are its real big fruit. In this regard at the end of his aforementioned speech in front of the Shroud on May 24, 1998 Saint John Paul II said: “May the Spirit of God, who dwells in our hearts, instill in every one the desire and generosity necessary for accepting the Shroud’s message and for making it the decisive inspiration of our lives”.

Therefore to put in antithesis the scientific approach to the religious one is very dangerous because you run the risk on one hand to reduce the Shroud to a “dead object”, to an image that has meaning only in itself and that doesn’t at all challenge our lives and on the other to turn the Shroud into a kind of idol slaved to a priori and instrumental theses. I am deeply convinced that to leave the presentation of the Shroud to a sole scientific approach or to a sole pastoral approach is neither correct nor useful for any kind of recipient. But then are these two ways of approaching the image of the Shroud really antithetic?

— Bruno Barberis
Associate Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Turin &
Director of the International Center of Sindonology of Turin
from “Shroud, Science And Faith: Dialogue Or Conflict?
a paper he recently presented at the St. Louis Shroud Conference

New Paper by Pam Moon

imagePam Moon has uploaded another paper she wrote to her Shroud of Turin Exhibition site: Bl Sebastian Valfrè: The Black Thread, Reweave, and Unravelling the Shroud. It begins:

It was an enormous privilege to attend the St Lewis Shroud conference and to meet so many of the world’s greatest Shroud experts. Can I give my congratulations to the organisers. The comments below are based on some of the conversations I had at the conference.

I am very grateful to Joe Marino for allowing me to present the Oxford photographs and Donna Campbell’s report, to Barrie Schwortz for finding the information online and to Russ Breault for recording the conference. Donna Campbell wrote: ‘there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric.’ One of the items mentioned in the presentation was the large black thread which is visible on the Oxford and Arizona samples. A comparison was made with the small black and large white threads also present.

I was delighted to discover from Emanuela Marinelli and Will Meacham that the large black thread was probably stitched in 1694 by Bl Sebastian Valfrè. The invisible reweave hypothesis of Joe Marino and Sue Benford supported by Donna Campbell may refer to two or three different episodes of stitch repair and Bl Sebastian’s repair was one episode. The best demonstration of invisible reweave (both French and in-weaving) I have seen is by the company Without a Trace and can be seen in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgC_IeuzKE. Please look at that before continuing! The black thread also points to the possibility that the corner strands were unravelled, rewoven back together and then stitched back into place with reweaving techniques. Below is the large black thread seen in th Oxford and Arizona photographs see: https://archdams.arch.ox.ac.uk/?c=1203&k=1bcdc90a8b [|] http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf. Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010.

A Gedankened Image Forming Process

We believe our hypothesis can readily be tested simply by . . . 


our hypothesis depends on a completely natural mechanism.
It does not conflate the image formation mechanism with the Resurrection

imageWhen I spotted Electric Charge Separation as the Mechanism for Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin: A Natural Mechanism by D.S. Spicer and E .T. Toton on shroud.com’s St. Louis Conference page, and I read the abstract again, I quickly looked for something else to read. It’s  the non-scientist in me; this was going to be difficult paper, I realized.

I was wrong. It was very interesting and easy to understand.

I always jump to the end where I found this under Discussion and Conclusions on page 15:

As should be clear, our hypothesis depends on a completely natural mechanism. It does not conflate the image formation mechanism with the Resurrection, nor should it. The image is not the recording of the Resurrection but it is an image capture of the body of a crucified man consistent with the historical records of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That no hitherto satisfying mechanism for image formation has been discovered is not proof that a supernatural explanation must be the only other choice, nor does the discovery of a credible mechanism of image formation impugn the belief in the reality of the Resurrection. If it were possible to take a photo of the Ascension-where is the miracle? Is it the Ascension or the photo of it? We believe that the Shroud Image is indeed the image of Jesus Christ’s lifeless body only and it strengthens the historical argument for His existence, death, and His Resurrection.

Got it!  That’s clear.  Now back to the beginning. This part of the introduction had me hooked. Read on!

In this paper we examine a novel image formation mechanism that comprises a uniform low frequency quasi-electrostatic field and polar molecules to produce the image of a crucified man on a linen cloth known as the Shroud of Turin. Given that to date the historical evidence tracks the origins of the cloth back to at least the 6th century AD, that forensic evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the man enclosed by the Shroud was in fact crucified, which totally undermines the assertion of forgery by revealing details in physics, chemistry and medical knowledge only available in the 20th century, and that there are additional physical tests, other than the one-off and often cited C14 test against the authenticity of the Shroud, that date the Shroud to the 1st century AD, we will assume that the crucified man was in fact Jesus of Nazareth and use the New Testament Gospels as a source of information for Jesus’ crucifixion.

Among the many STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) findings regarding the images of a crucified man found on the Shroud of Turin (ST) there are six that point to a clear and natural explanation for both the dorsal and ventral images of the cloth [21, 16, 1, 2, 3, 8, 20]. These are:

  1. Images on the cloth exist only of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of body and these images lie only on the fibers found at the extremities of the cloth
  2. No image or discoloration exists between the two surfaces of cloth, i.e., within the cloth
  3. There is no image of the top of the head or sides of the body enclosed by the cloth [14]
  4. The image density on the cloth appears to embody information on the vertical distance between the cloth and the portion of the ventral body imaged, as if the cloth were held flat and horizontal slightly above the body or, in the case of the dorsal image, between the cloth on either the floor or shelf on which the body lied and the back of the body. In essence, the closer the cloth was to the body the darker the image, and the farther away the fainter the image [13]
  5. A body image is visible in areas where there was no contact between the body and the cloth
  6. The coloration does not appear under the threads where they cross in the weave of the cloth

And there was this timely paragraph that pertains to recent discussions on this blog about why the image does not fluoresce – of course, assuming . . .

The STURP measurements showed that the Shroud fluoresced everywhere except in regions of the image. This suggests to us that the image formation mechanism somehow changed the allowed atomic transitions that permits the rest of the cloth outside of the image areas to fluoresce. This fact suggests that identifying what is allowing fluorescence can help to determine what chemically causes the image. A good start would be to see whether calcium fluoride or residual pectins (an Alan Adler suggestion[1]) are present on the cloth.


[1] Brian Walsh private communication

Future Testing of the Shroud

This is a long video. It’s open discussion at the 2014 conference in St. Louis. The topic is important: Future Testing of the Shroud moderated by John Jackson. Add your comments, below.

Roger Bassett’s Clarifying Art

imageI once watched an art restorer working on a tiny spot of a damaged painting. He put down his brushes and tiny scalpels and capped the bottle of cleaning fluid he was working with. Motionless and silent, he just stared at the painting. Finally, after three or four minutes, he spoke. “I must figure out what the artist intended,” I remember him saying. “It’s art, not science. But its not my aesthetic; its systematic.”

Roger W. Bassett has “restored” (clarified) a portion of the shroud: the face. If he has indeed figured out what the artist intended, it is exciting. That artist, if the shroud is authentic, is God himself or a natural process. If not authentic then the original artist was . . . well . . .  an artist. That’s my take on it (and I think the shroud is authentic).

Roger’s St. Louis presentation, “Portrait” from the Turin Shroud: An Artist’s Study of the Shroud Image demands your attention:

It is important to note that due to the complexity of the shroud image this process of clarification is a continuing “work in progress”. What I am able to share with you today is hardly a finished work. There are areas where clarification was gained at the temporary expense of losing some clarity in other areas because for every adjustment made to any given area the perception of the surrounding areas is affected, thus affecting the interpretation of what is actually there. Some areas where data was retrieved by raising the luminosity, left some other areas over-exposed so that there are still corrections that need to be made, which when done will only further enhance the image with even greater accuracy. So having made this disclaimer, that there is much more work to be done, let me begin.

From one slide in the PowerPoint:

The narrow look to the face resolves itself as the areas of image drop-off are “equalized” to become a seamless transition into the other areas of the facial anatomy.

image

image

Remembering Ray Rogers at the St. Louis Conference

imageYou are going to want to read Remembering Ray Rogers by Barrie Schwortz. This is a short presentation. You can read all of  the PowerPoint charts in less than five minutes.

Barrie begins:

In the past few years, I have sadly witnessed a growing number of personal attacks impugning the integrity, character and credentials of the late Raymond N. Rogers, STURP chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although his research on the Shroud is empirically honest, is published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals and speaks for itself, I believe it is time that the public get some background about the “other” Ray Rogers that he never revealed to the “Shroud crowd” himself. That is the primary purpose of this short presentation.

Barrie rounds out his talk with:

Ray would have welcomed the many critiques of his research that have been published in the ensuing years and would have defended the rights of those who disagreed with him to say so publicly, whether they were right or wrong.

In the end however, Ray was much more than the “mid-level scientist” that some of his most vocal critics have labeled him. He was a true leader that consistently demonstrated his knowledge, honesty and scientific integrity, not only in his chosen field of expertise, but in every facet of his research on the Shroud of Turin.

Anyone who says otherwise is simply wrong.

Thank you!

A quick note:  There is a link in one of Barrie’s charts to the NATAS (North American Thermal Analysis Society) Notes for their 2005 conference with an article by Jim McCarty. This link does not work but it did work until recently. You can still find the document in Google Cache. If you want it get it soon and put it away wherever you put your personal archives. The link to the cached copy is:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:rLqHesufw5cJ:natasinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/natasnotes-3723.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

The article on Ray Rogers is on page 16 of NATAS Notes.

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.

St. Louis Theology Presentation by Russ Breault

imageI have not decided on the best way to view Russ Breault’s excellent talk, Theology of the Shroud (7 Secrets of the Sacred Shroud).

You can click on the PowerPoint chart to the right or you can watch the YouTube version below (starting at about a minute in).

You can do both, together, with windows.


Revised St. Louis Conference Videos

imageClick on the button with the picture of The Arch
to access to the list of videos

Russ Breault writes:

The videos from the St. Louis Conference have all been re-edited for sound.  All the original YouTube videos with bad audio have been deleted.  All new links have been created.  You can watch them either from www.ShroudUniversity.com or from Barrie’s conference page at:  http://www.shroud.com/stlouis.htm

Also, all previous videos from the 2008 Ohio State University, 1993 Rome and 1991 St. Louis conferences have all been converted to Youtube as well.  So for anyone who had problems streaming these before, you should not have any problems now.  Go to www.ShroudUniversity.com to see all the conferences. 

The "News" tab on this site now links to Dan Porter’s blog.

Watch for more content in the weeks ahead.  I will announce when available.

The Neutron Conference

imageBarrie Schwortz writes in A Personal Report on the 2014 St. Louis Conference:

So was it a great conference or only a good one? We do have the 2008 Columbus Conference (the last one held in America) to compare to, and there were some problems with this conference that did not occur in 2008. Probably the single biggest complaint by the attendees was the extremely full schedule each day, with 20 papers delivered on Friday and 17 on Saturday. This left virtually no time between presentations for any discussions or questions from the other attendees. In Ohio in 2008, fewer papers were presented and consequently, a Q & A session was scheduled once or twice during each day of the conference. In St. Louis, only one such session was scheduled for the entire event, on Saturday evening, and it did not begin until about 9:00 p.m. Considering that the presentations started that morning at 8:00 a.m. and only one hour each was allocated for lunch and dinner, the audience had already spent about 10 hours in the room that day before the Discussion Session even began! In spite of all that, thanks to the true dedication of the attendees, it was still one of the highlights of the entire conference.

In all fairness, I was not on the organizing committee that reviewed and selected the papers and not party to their decisions, but I am sure they simply wanted to include as many of the papers submitted to them as possible. Unfortunately, that made for some frustrating moments and a rather tiring event, but one that was certainly well worth the effort. To help mitigate the lack of discussion issue and address some of the criticisms that came afterwards, the organizers promptly added an interactive Discussion Forum page to their website where questions or comments could be posted and discussed with conference authors. Under the circumstances, I believe that was an excellent solution.

Neutron conference? Yep!

I was trying to wake up during breakfast on Sunday morning after only five hours of sleep, when I overheard the following remark from a nearby table: “I am suffering from an overdose of neutron radiation!” I actually laughed out loud and immediately wrote it down so I could remember it and share it here with you! This was obviously a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the large number of radiation related papers that had been presented at the conference over the previous two days. I thought it was a brilliant remark (or at least it seemed brilliant at 7:30 a.m.)!

Neutron conference?  Yep, squared!

[There was] a presentation on another radiation theory of image formation from Robert Rucker, in this case, claiming neutron radiation released from Jesus’ body during the Resurrection created the image. Naturally, this was well received by some in the audience, but not by everyone.

It was a bit too neutrony for my taste. But do read Barrie’s Personal Report on the Conference. There was much more to the conference.

Paper Chase: The origin of Rogers’ Raes and C14 samples by Thibault Heimburger

In view of the suggestion yesterday in a paper by Giorgio Bracaglia that The Raes samples that Rogers used had been switched it seems like a good time to examine the St. Louis presentation by Thibault Heimburger, The origin of Rogers’ Raes and C14 samples along with his PowerPoint Presentation.

Here is a chart that addresses that very point:

image


Here is the concluding PP chart from Thibault’s talk:

image


*The paper at HSG has been locked up with a password. Apparently and unfortunately, it was not supposed to have been released.

St. Louis Videos

imageRuss Breault tells us on his Shroud University website:

Experts from around the world met in St. Louis, MO for the first US conference on the Shroud of Turin since 2008. Here are over 40 papers covering aspects of science, medicine, art and history. Hear and see the latest research in streaming video.

imageThe following presentations from the St. Louis Conference can now be found on YouTube.  Links to them, as shown below, are from Russ’s site:


Frederick Baltz, M.D.

A Galatian Sojourn of the Shroud of Turin? Pollen, Paul, and a Public Portrayal of Christ

Video

Emanuela Marinelli

The Shroud and the iconography of Christ

Video

Daniel Spicer, Ph.D. and Edward Toton, Ph.D.

Charge Separations as the Mechanism for Image Formation on the
Shroud of Turin

Video

Robert W. Siefker

The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses Version 2.0

Video

Barrie Schwortz

Remembering Ray Rogers: A Personal Reflections On The Man And His Work

Video

Rev. Peter Schumacher

Study of Shroud Feature Evidence Using Video and Photogrammetric Analysis Methods

Video

Daniel C. Scavone, Ph.D.

Constantinople Documents as Evidence of the Shroud in Edessa

Video

Charles Mader, Ph.D.

The Raymond Rogers Computer Archive

Video

Ivan Polverari

From the Mandylion to the Shroud

Video

Veronica Piraccini

The prodigious painting "From the Impression of Jesus"

Video

Pam Moon

Further evaluation of the radiocarbon samples

Video

Flavia Manservergi and Enrico Morini

The hypothesis about the Roman flagrum: some clarifications

Video

Paul C. Maloney

Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation

Video

Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo

About the Second Image of Face Detected on the Turin Shroud

Video

Art Lind, Ph.D. and Mark Antonacci

Hypothesis that Explains the Shroud’s Unique Blood Marks and Several Critical Events in the Gospels

Video

Kelly Kearse

A Critical (re)evaluation of the Shroud of Turin blood data: Strength of evidence in the characterization of the bloodstains

**Due to technical issues we could not capture the conclusion of this talk**

Video

Tony Fleming

Biophotonic Hypothesis of the Turin Shroud

Video

Guilio Fanti

A Dozen Years of Shroud Science Group

Video

Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks; End of Conference

Video

Russ Breault

Theology of the Shroud (7 Secrets of the Sacred Shroud)

Video

Cesar Barta, et al.

New discoveries on the Sudarium of Oviedo

Video

Prof. Bruno Barberis

Shroud, science and : dialogue or conflict?

Video

Petrus Soons, M.D.

The Halo Around the Head in the Image of the Man in the Shroud

Jeffrey Skurka, P.E.

The Enigma of the apparent age of the Shroud of Turin Give the 1988 Radiocarbon Dating

Video

David Onysko

The Shekinah Glory of the Lord and the Shroud of Turin

Video

Robert Villarreal

Spectroscopic Analysis of Fibers from the Shroud of Turin–What Do They Mean? by Jon Schoonover, Ph.D.

The Alpha-Particle Irradiation Hypothesis: Entering John’s Gospel, Solving the Mystery of the Shroud

Video

Andrew Silverman, M.D.

Natural, manufactured or ‘miracle’?

Video

Most Rev. Michael Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs

KEYNOTE: Science and the Mysteries of the Shroud

Video

Barrie Schwortz

Using the Shroud of Turin Website

Video

Raymond Schneider, P.E., Ph.D.

Dating the Shroud of Turin: Weighing All the Evidence

Video

Robert Rucker

MCNP Analysis of Neutrons Released from Jesus’ Body in the Ressurrection

Video

Joseph Accetta, Ph.D.

Speculations on the 14th Century Origins of the Turin Shroud

Video

Jack Markwardt

Modern Scholarship and the History of the Shroud of Turin

Video

Sebastien Cataldo

The Mandylion or the story of a man-made relic

Video

Forum

Open forum regarding the future of The Shroud research

Video

Roger Bassett

An Artist Explores The Facial Image of the Shroud of Turin

Video

Diana Fulbright and Paolo DiLazzaro

Earthquake-induced Piezonuclear Reactions and the Inage on the Shroud of Turin: Critical remarks

Video

Mark Antonacci

Science and Semantics

Video

Prof. Bruno Barberis

The Future of research on the Shroud

Video

Jack Markwardt

The Full Length History of the Shroud of Turin

Video

A Detailed Response to The Halo Study

In my opinion the postulated and fitted halo is more a result of wishful thinking,
than careful, meticulous and objective analysis without preconceived ideas.  — O.K.

imageO.K. has written a detailed … response to Peter Schumacher about halo study (PDF format). It warrants your attention when considering Pete’s paper. O.K. concludes:

Contrary to Peter Schumacher claims, after analysing BW photos of the Shroud I see no compelling evidence (and definitely not "beyond any reasonable doubt") for the presence of the postulated halo around Shroud face. According to my analysis there are no significant differences of intensity in the region around the face, compared to other non-image, non-burn areas (even if some regions around the face appear minimally darker than average background), not to say about any circular-shape „halo” around the face. In my opinion the postulated and fitted halo is more a result of wishful thinking, than careful, meticulous and objective analysis without preconceived ideas.

This does not mean that I reject Wilson and others theory that the Mandylion transferred to Constantinople in 944 was actually the Shroud. In my view, the analysis of documentary evidence created after the transfer leaves practically no room for other conclusion. This is another topic, however. Yet also I think that the history of the Mandylion, as both concept and physical object(s), and its relation to the Shroud is far more complex than most researchers assume and current theories do not give full answers for all questions and issues.

Another St. Louis Paper Available: The Halo Study

imageTitle: Study of Shroud Feature Evidence Using Video and Photogrammetric Analysis Methods a.k.a. “The Halo Study”

Author: Peter Schumacher

Slides:  Halo Study Presentation

The paper begins:

In December of 2013, Dr. Petrus Soons and I began a study of the Shroud of Turin with a particular focus on the area around the face of the “Man of the Shroud”. It had been observed by Dr. Soons that there appeared to be a difference in shading surrounding the face that was perhaps coincident with the Mandylion representations in artworks and that further study might provide a more conclusive determination as to actual Shroud image properties and such content in artwork representations of the Shroud.

And concludes three pages later:

“Using several Shroud images of different types and dates; various image analysis and measurement techniques; and, employing graphic overlays to compare extracted features to various artworks and Icons, it is my conclusion that the statements made by Dr. Soons are demonstrated to be accurate beyond reasonable doubt.

Thus, the Mandylion and the Shroud of Turin are on and the same. Therefore, the Shroud of Turin existed at a time in accord with the known history of the Mandylion.”

I defer to the considered works of Ian Wilson and other accomplished historians as to the impact of the results of this study, as I am not a historian.

While it is true that not everyone has a VP‐8 Image Analyzer system available to them; and, while they may not have all the images available to them that I used in this study; I am convinced that this evidence is conclusive and can be readily duplicated by anyone reasonably capable in the disciplines applied while using a variety of easily accessible tools and even some readily accessible images.

Another St. Louis Conference Paper Available

imageEmanuela Marinelli has just added The Shroud and the iconography of Christ to Academia.edu. (There is also a version in Italian: La Sindone e l’iconografia di Cristo)

The abstract reads:

The similarity between the Shroud face and most of the depictions of Christ known in art, both Eastern and Western, is clear and cannot be attributed to pure chance; it must be the result of a dependency, mediated or immediate, of an image from the other and of all from a common source. We can identify several elements on the Shroud that are not regular, hardly attributable to the imagination of the artists, that make us understand how the ancient representations of Christ’s face depend on the venerated relic. It is reasonable to think that in the early days of the Church, the Shroud has been kept hidden for various reasons. During this period, for the representation of Christ they only used symbols or they applied to the figure of Christ appearances derived from other religions. After the victory of Christianity, sanctioned by Constantine in 313 with the Edict of Milan, a new image of the face of Jesus began to spread, which is characterized by not too long beard, mustache, narrow, tall and stately face, with long hair, falling on His shoulders, and sometimes with a middle line that divides them. Numerous testimonials, both written and iconographic, confirm that in Edessa (Şanliurfa today, in south-eastern Turkey) there was an impression left by Jesus on a cloth with His sweat and His blood. This sacred cloth, hidden for centuries and rediscovered in the sixth century, became the inspirational model for the iconography of Christ. All the legends, the traditions, the references to the existence of such an image are important for reconstructing an itinerary of the Shroud in the dark ages prior to its appearance in Europe and to understand why there are so many references to the existence of an image of Christ on a cloth.

This caught my attention:

In the past years a vivid debate inflamed, among the scholars that do not accept the identification of the Edessa image with the Shroud, like the expert in Patrology Pier Angelo Gramaglia, the historian Antonio Lombatti and the historian Victor Saxer, and who, on the contrary, supports this identification, like the historian Karlheinz Dietz, the historian Daniel Scavone and the historian Gino Zaninotto.

The discussion is still going on nowadays, among who, like the historian Andrea Nicolotti, thinks that the Edessa image is «a little piece of cloth, the size of a towel» and who, like Mark Guscin, expert of Byzantine manuscripts, thinks that from the sources can be drawn different conclusions: «It should be stressed that there are no artistic representations of the Image of Edessa as a full-body image or with bloodstains and the majority of texts make no reference to either characteristic; but at the same time it is undeniable that at some point in the history of the Image of Edessa, some writers were convinced, for whatever reason, that it was indeed a full-body image on a large cloth that had been folded over (possibly in such a way that only the face was visible) and that it did contain bloodstains».

A St. Louis Paper Already Online: The Roman Flagrum . . .

This morning we learned that St. Louis conference papers will be published at shroud.com, something I am especially pleased to learn. Later, Paulette wondered if some authors might also upload their papers at Academia.edu. This, wonderfully, is already happening.  As the authors of one paper tell us:

The contents of this paper have been presented on the occasion of the international St. Louis Shroud Conference (The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science), held in St. Louis on October 9th-12th, 2014. The paper has been anticipated here, waiting for the official Proceedings.


imageThe paper is The hypotheses about the Roman flagrum that was used to scourge the Man of the Shroud. Some clarifications by Flavia Manservigi and Enrico Morin.

The authors tells us, as part of this fascinating paper:

In the Roman world many different instruments were used to inflict chastisements through flesh beating. The use of the different tools was determined by the gravity of the crime, but also by the social class of the prisoner and by its nationality.

The lowest level of this punishment was carried out in schools, against undisciplined children: in this case was used an instrument called ferula, which was a thin stick or a flat leather strip (Martial, Epigrammata, X, 62; 14, 79; Juvenal, Saturae, I, 15).

Another instrument which could be used for the domestic punishment was the so called virga (Juvenal, Saturae, VII, 210); in the case of serious crimes, it could become an instrument of death. It was a small rod made of elm or birch, which could be used singularly or joined together; in this form, virgae were also carried by the lictors as symbols of the juridical and administrative authority of the magistrates, because they were used to flog criminals (Cicero, In Verrem, 2, 5, 140; Livy, Ab Urbe conditam, II, 5; XXVI, 15-16; XXVIII, 29; XXIX, 9; Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, XVI, 30, 75; Acts of Apostles, 22, 24-29).

. . . and it goes on from there. Fascinating. Do read it.

image

St. Louis Papers to be Archived at shroud.com

imageBarrie Schwortz reports on the STERA Facebook page:

Great News! The organizers of the recent St. Louis Shroud Conference have decided that, rather than creating and maintaining a separate website, they will have all the papers and presentations permanently archived on http://www.shroud.com. We are asking all participants to submit their final papers to us by December 15th so we can include them on a new St. Louis Conference page as part of our 19th Anniversary update on January 21, 2015. Watch for our last major update of the year in early December.

Great news, indeed.  Individual conference archives are always at risk. Over the years, the conference organization drifts away and no one is left to maintain the conference website and pay for storage space and bandwidth (although storage space is now cheap and bandwidth costs have all but disappeared except for large-scale video files). The issue is loving care, time consuming maintenance.

Barrie is simply the best.

Thanks All Around

imageThe St. Louis Shroud Conference of 2014 was an outstanding success. A total of 162 people attended. Most were from the United States, as one might expect. But there were attendees from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hong Kong, Italy and Spain, as well.

Whether or not we were able to attended, we all benefit from new material emerging because of the conference. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Marino and his committee. It takes a lot of work, diplomacy and imagination to manage such a successful conference. Thank you.

And we need to thank the authors of so many wonderful papers and presentations. How much we learned! Thank you.

Image
Joseph G. Marino   Chairman

Joseph Marino is a leading expert on the Shroud of Turin. He has researched, written and lectured extensively on the Shroud since 1977. He currently works at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Since the mid-1980s, Joe has worked extensively with many of the top sindonologists in the world. Much of his work has been in conjunction with the late Sue Benford. Both Joe and Sue performed exceptional work on researching the Shroud, and bringing its message to the world.

Image

Mark Antonacci

Mark Antonacci is an attorney and author of The Resurrection of the Shroud (New York: M. Evans and Co., 2000) the most comprehensive book to date on the Shroud of Turin.
He gave the keynote address at the international conference held in Italy in conjunction with the Shroud’s last exhibition in 2010. He has written the leading scientific hypothesis that not only explains the Shroud’s body images, but also its radiocarbon dating, its blood marks and all of its other unique features.

Image

Laura Clark

Laura is a security professional, specializing in surveillance detection training and consulting. She is a professional speaker and author. Her publishing company, Cradle Press, offers several books about the Shroud of Turin, all available on major online bookstores.

Image
Chuck Neff

Chuck Neff, Executive Producer of the Salt River Production Group, has more than 35 years of experience in the television, radio, and video production industries. He has worked as a news reporter, anchorman, and producer with NBC News in Chicago, as well as TV and radio stations in St. Louis, Denver, and Terre Haute.
Chuck also currently hosts “The Inner Life,” a Catholic radio program on the Relevant Radio Network. The program focuses on spiritual direction with a national cadre of priests.

Image

Keith Plein

Keith Plein is a veteran sales and marketing consultant, working for nearly 40 years in a Fortune 100 company. As President of his own firm, he brings his unique contributions to the Salt River Production Group, where he also serves as the group’s Director of Sales and Marketing. His career has spanned a series of diverse industries, including automotive, commercial transportation, agriculture, housing, and aviation.

Image

John Schulte

John Schulte has been following the Shroud of Turin for more than three decades. A retired architect, John travels extensively throughout the Midwest to make presentations on the Shroud. He has also written comprehensively on many of the details seen on the Shroud. Most notably, John has performed broad research on the blood seen on the back of the man depicted in the Shroud image.


Note: Pictures and bios shamelessly copied from the conference website.

Déjà vu Squared

imageA reader of this blog who was in St. Louis on Sunday morning to hear Bob Siefker emailed me:

You didn’t provide a link to the [Critical Summary]. Nor did the conference site. I was able to find it by entering “google jackson shroud center.”

Oops! Here it is: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses – Version 2.1

This same conference attendee noted:

Dr. Siefker’s chart evaluates ten hypotheses against a short list of only seventeen image characteristics. Dr. Siefker said of his paper was a utility for all of us. No it is not. It is a biased defense of Jackson’s theory and nothing more. Do you think people will find it methodically suspicious that only Jackson’s cloth falling hypothesis matches 100% of all image characteristics and that no other hypothesis comes close?

Suspicious? No. Disappointed in the methodology? Yes! See Déjà vu or what?

The folks at Colorado Springs want feedback. The second page of the summary states: “We welcome comments, but we can only consider those that are substantive and that are emailed directly to our website (via the Shroud Data tab).” But that tab merely asks people to send comments to an email address, ShroudFacts@gmail.com.

If the goal is progress in our understanding of the shroud, whatever the truth may be, then transparency and open dialog is called for. Today, newspapers, magazines and even highly respected journals welcome online comments in the clear. Authors mix it up with readers and offer clarifications. Readers mix it up with each other and many people benefit from the opinions of others.

If, on the other hand, the objective is controlled marketing of an idea then, fine, we-welcome-comments-but-we-can-only-consider-those-that-are-substantive-and-that-are emailed-directly-to-our-website will work for the authors of this paper.

Hmmm! Someone could put up a webpage for each characteristic, each hypothesis, each historical item and so forth, with an appropriate explanation, and invite discussion; make the labels match those in the paper so people could look it up in the paper. Hmmm!

The full paper is 106 pages, with lots of tables, making it a bit unwieldy. You might want to save it to your computer or better yet put up a copy on the Google Cloud. I also loaded up a copy on my Kindle. That works pretty well but the page numbers are messed up.

The paper is a locked up PDF so you can’t easily quote from it which is not a good idea for promoting ideas in this day and age. If you want to do some fair use quoting you will need to retype the material or OCR it (Microsoft Notebook works perfectly on whole pages).

Again, see Déjà vu or what?

Note:  I have corrected the spelling of Bob Siefker’s name in the email above rather than annotate the error with (sic). I carelessly repeated the error in my own comments and have corrected that as well.

Note 2: The URL for the Critical Summary was changed on October 19, 2014. This page has been updated.