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Colin Berry is not Seeing Red

May 27, 2015 55 comments

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?

Is Bilirubin Still Accepted as an Explanation for the Red Blood?

March 28, 2015 33 comments

I was just about to post a link to an interview with Barrie Schwortz by Jim Graves that appeared in yesterday’s edition of The Catholic World Report when an email from one of this blog’s readers caught my attention.

“I just read the interview with Barrie Schwortz,” the reader wrote. “I thought the bilirubin explanation for the red blood was no longer accepted by scientists.”

Some scientists, I think.

Part of one of Barrie’s answers in The Shroud: Not a Painting, Not a Scorch, Not a Photograph reads:

For 17 years I refused to accept that the Shroud was authentic. The last argument holding me back was related to the blood. The blood on the Shroud is reddish, but blood on a cloth, even after just a few hours, should turn brown or black. I had a conversation with Alan Adler, a blood chemist, on the phone and I shared my reservation. He got upset and asked, “Didn’t you read my paper?”

He had found a high content of bilirubin on the Shroud, which explains why the blood on the Shroud is red. When a man is beaten and has had no water, he can go into shock and the liver starts pumping out bilirubin. It makes the blood stay red forever. It was the last piece of the puzzle for me. I had nothing left to complain about. Sometimes I wonder why I hadn’t asked Alan Adler that question 17 years before, but I guess I wasn’t ready for the answer back then.

Although this was the final evidence that convinced me, it is no one particular piece of evidence that proves the Shroud is authentic. The entirety of evidence indicates that it is.

Ray Rogers and Anna Arnoldi, in a paper, Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin: A Review, published on Barrie’s site in 2002 argues:

The warp of ancient linen was protected with starch during weaving and the finished cloth was washed in Saponaria officinalis suds. Saponaria is hemolytic, which could explain why the old blood stains on the cloth are still red. Diane Soran (deceased) of Los Alamos, tested hemolysis on Saponaria-washed cloth before we went to Turin. The blood is still red on those 25-year-old samples. Controls are black.

And didn’t Sam Pellicori discover that fibers inside a blood soaked thread were brown while the fibers on the outside were red? If so, does this not lend credence to the idea that the blood remained red due to a hemolytic agent such as Saponaria officinalis (Soapwort) instead of bilirubin.  Small amounts of dissolved soap might have ended up on the outer surface of the threads due to evaporation concentration.  As the cloth dried, moisture wicked its way to the surface to evaporate into the air. As the water made its way to the surface it would have carried with it dissolved starch fractions and saccharides. As the water evaporated into the air these chemicals were deposited as a thin coating on the outermost fibers of the thread.

Here is a sample of some of the postings on this blog that relate:

Ten Questions for Alan Adler by Kelly Kearse

Blood Clotting and the Strange Case of Brother Hirudo

Let’s Talk Red Blood: Bilirubin, Saponaria officinalis and UV

The Orphaned Manuscript and the Color of Blood

Was Adler’s Analysis Science?

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

How much bilirubin?

Now we are cooking with Sciencebod

If you want to fill up your weekend try this Google search: site:shroudstory.com bilirubin. You can also enter “Bilirubin” into the blog search box.

Note: The photograph is of Barrie Schwortz (CNS photo/Paul Haring). It has not been copied or directly posted here. This is an inline image that appears on The Catholic World Report.

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