Should we be rethinking the VP8 and 3D images?

Todd, a reader of this blog, just yesterday posted the following quotation from Peter Schumacher. It’s from a 1999 paper by Pete entitled Photogrammetric Responses From The Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin induces a [3D] result through photographic imaging that is unique, compared to all other photographic results taken from other objects of the same acknowledged period as the Shroud, of prior periods, and to the present day. It is the “data” existing on the Shroud of Turin, which induces the unique photographic results. Therefore, the Shroud image, itself, is unlike any other object or image known to exist. (Bracketed “3D” added by me for clarity)

imageThis obvious absence of evidence as evidence fallacy – call it what you want: argumentum ad ignorantiam, the black swan problem – has stood, it seems, since sometime after 1976, when (quoting from A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses – Version 2.1 by Bob Siefker, et. al.):

[John] Jackson, with the help of Eric Jumper (both on active duty and teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy) used a VP-8 analog computer furnished by Pete Schumacher, an engineer with Interpretation Systems, Inc., to make a brightness map of the Shroud image.

Then they tried to do the same thing with photographs of people and objects. Pete tried. Others tried over the years. Everything else was distorted; no real 3D.  There was, among those who understood that a normal painting or photograph of a person or object contained brightness information that was representative of reflected light while the image on the shroud contained brightness information that was not that but rather seemingly spatial data, a sense that the argument was safe. It has been repeated and restated over and over by others.

“OK Hugh [Farey],” wrote Todd, “Maybe you can respond to this quote. I ask again that you provide published evidence to refute this claim.

As long as we continue to think of just regular paintings or photographs of people or normal objects – and we ignore the cries from the fallacy police – we are on pretty safe ground.  It cannot yet be refuted.

But Colin Berry didn’t do what others had done. He made a scorch of an object on cloth. And he found that that scorch behaved like (or pretty much behaved like) the image on the Shroud of Turin. Colin found a black swan and we couldn’t say any longer that all swans are white.

That is published evidence; it is published on Colin’s blog and reshown here. It is not a painting or a photograph of an object; it is a scorch.

If we continue to speak only of normal paintings and photographs we are still on safe ground. But we have to drop the idea that the shroud image is unique.  It isn’t.

Click on the images to see larger versions

While we are at it, maybe we can drop the other fallacy, namely that the 3D data represents body to cloth distance.  That has not been shown to be true.

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.