Latest Shroud News
New Textile Evidence | Double Superficiality | Restoration Controversy | Bad Dating Sample | New Image Theory | Jesus Image as a Boy | The Carbon Dating Story | A Clue in the Catacombs? | New Documentary with 3D Hologram
From: GRIZZLY ADAMS® PRODUCTIONS, INC. www.grizzlyadams. tv
“All who have seen the holographic images believe these images solve the age-old mystery of what Christ really looked like, and could be evidence for Christ’s Resurrection. I believe those who see this show will react in the same fashion,” says Joseph Meier, the writer and producer of the documentary. The documentary DVD version is scheduled to release at Easter 2007 while the TV Special will air on the i Network (formerly PAX-TV) during the “February 2007 Sweeps.” Grizzly Adams Productions, producers of family friendly network TV shows, specials, and documentaries, announced it has acquired the TV/DVD rights to three books for the new documentary. The TV Special/DVD is based on two books by Oxford-educated author Ian Wilson: New York Times bestseller The Shroud of Turin, (Doubleday) and The Blood and the Shroud (Touchstone)
Additional information for the program is drawn from The Shroud of Turin (Providence
House) by Dr. Alan Whanger and his wife, Mary. The Whangers, co-founders of the
Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin, have devoted their lives to unraveling the mysteries of the shroud since the mid-1970s. "Many Christians believe that the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that was wrapped around Christ’s body when He was placed in a tomb in Jerusalem 2000 years ago," notes Meier. “To them, the imprint on the cloth is the sacred image of Christ that was projected onto the cloth when He rose from the dead.
Today, with quantum leaps forward in science, we are learning that a whole
new realm of physics may also be related to the shroud."
The shroud is a piece of ancient linen cloth 14 feet 3 inches long by 3 feet 7 inches wide. It contains a negative image of a man who appears to have been severely beaten and crucified. The front and backside of the man’s body are imprinted on the burial cloth. By using laser technology, two-dimensional photographic negatives of the image become anatomically accurate three-dimensional holograms of a man. Identifying this man and discovering the process that created such a scientifically advanced image of a human body thousands of years ago has captivated scientists and scholars for centuries.
Grizzly Adams Productions program will explore the mysteries surrounding the ancient shroud and examine numerous theories about its origin from various scientific disciplines including chemistry, quantum physics, and microscopy.
Bad Dating Sample Confirmed
Published Jan 20, 2005 in ThermoChimica Acta, a peer reviewed scientific journal, Dr. Ray Rogers, retired Fellow with the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and lead chemist with the original Shroud science team (STURP), has proven conclusively that the sample cut from The Shroud of Turin in 1988 was taken from an area of the cloth that was re-woven during the middle ages. The re-weave probably occured in 1534 following the near catastrophic fire of 1532.
In 1988, radiocarbon laboratories at Arizona, Cambridge, and Zurich determined the age of a sample from the Shroud of Turin. They reported that the date of the cloth's production lay between A.D. 1260 and 1390 with 95% confidence. This came as a surprise in view of the technology used to produce the cloth, its chemical composition, and the lack of vanillin in its lignin. The results prompted questions about the validity of the sample.
Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.
Keywords: Shroud of Turin; Lignin kinetics; Pyrolysis/mass spectrometry; Flax fiber analyses
Other areas in this website that deal with the carbon dating controversy:
Read Ray Roger's paper on this subject at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers4.pdf
The 1988 Carbon-dating tests that determined the Shroud of Turin to be Medieval instead of first century may be flawed due to an erroneous sample taken from the Shroud. The Carbon dating issue is at the center of controversy over he Shroud’s possible authenticity. If the cloth dates from the middle ages then it can’t be the cloth used to wrap Jesus while in the tomb.
However recent discoveries and subsequent research have now determined the tests were conducted on an area of the cloth that was rewoven in the 16 th century following a near catastrophic fire that occurred in 1532. Two Shroud researchers, Joseph Marino and M. Sue Benford, have suggested the repair of the Shroud was accomplished by a tehnique called “invisible mending” and was a highly developed craft at that time mostly for the purpose of mending expensive tapestries and articles of clothing. The craft was so highly developed that in most cases the repair was impossible to see with the naked eye.
The repair was probably done to mend unraveled edges of the cloth. This gives credence to the warning of archaeologists regarding where on the cloth the sample should be taken and the need to use more than one sample. It turns out that in 1988, all the warnings were ignored and only one sample was taken from one of the worst possible locations. Now that sample site appears questionable at best.
If a portion of what they dated in 1988 was actually material from the 1500’s, it would obviously alter the apparent age of the cloth. And if the carbon-dating testing are wrong then the Shroud could have originated in first century after all. The preponderance of other evidence indicates that the Shroud is of middle-east origin, extremely ancient and concurs with Jewish burial practices of the time.
Marino and Benford first presented their findings at an international gathering of Shroud researchers in 2000 at a scientific conference outside of Rome. The theory gained the attention of Dr. Ray Rogers, a renown chemist formerly with the Las Alamos Scientific Laboratory and one of the original scientists to study the shroud.
Although initially skeptical of Marino and Bedford’s hypothesis, he conducted chemical and optical tests on a sample of the Shroud taken from the same area as used for the C-14 dating tests. For Dr. Rogers, it was an epiphany to discover that there actually were physical and chemical differences between the C-14 sample and the main body of the Shroud.
“When I saw their original report, I thought that their hypothesis was unlikely, but it could be tested with the (thread) samples I had archived ... This motivated me to look at the old samples again,” Mr. Rogers said. “I was amazed to find that I had to agree with them.” (AP 8/22/02)
Further investigation by Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan and Ray Rogers, using ultraviolet photography and spectral analysis, show that the area from which the samples were taken was chemically unlike the rest of the cloth. Analysis reveals the presence of Madder root dye and an aluminum oxide mordant (a reagent that fixes dyes to textiles) and is not found elsewhere on the Shroud. The presence of Madder root and mordant suggests that the Shroud was mended in the carbon 14 sample area. Flax fibers from a probable repair made in the 1500's were lighter in color than the threads from the original Shroud. The root dye was used to blend in the color to make it match with the darker Shroud.
One of the samples taken from that area of the Shroud also shows cotton twisted in with the flax. This also is atypical versus the rest of the cloth. Microchemical tests also reveal vanillin (C8H8O3 or 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) in this same sample area. The rest of the cloth does not test positive for it. Vanillin is produced by the thermal decomposition of lignin, a complex polymer, a non-carbohydrate component of plant material including flax. Vanillin is found in medieval materials but not in much older cloths, it diminishes and disappears over time. For instance, the wrappings of the Dead Sea scrolls do not test positive for vanillin.
This may be the most important new finding since the now bogus C-14 dating tests were announced in 1988.
Read Ray Roger's paper on this subject at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers4.pdf
A new scientific theory that does not rule out the association of the shroud with the historical Jesus involves the gases that escape from a dead body in the early phases of decomposition. The cellulose fibers making up the shroud's cloth are coated with a thin carbohydrate layer of starch fractions, various sugars and other impurities. This layer is very thin (180 - 600 nm) and was discovered by applying phase contrast microscopy. It is thinnest where the image is and appears to carry the color, while the underlying cloth is uncolored. This carbohydrate layer would itself be essentially colorless but in some places has undergone a chemical change producing a straw yellow color. The reaction involved is similar to that which takes place when sugar is heated to produce caramel.
The carbohydrate layer would have been applied to the cloth as part of the preparation of the threads to be woven into the cloth. The individual threads were hand spun and bleached spindle by spindle. Each spindle of thread would therefore end up having a slightly different color because of different batches. There is a very clear banding effect on the Shroud indicating different batches of thread. By the middle ages, preparation of linen had become more sophisticated and such banding does not occur in medieval linens. This further supports the Shroud being much older than carbon dating seems to indicate. After the cloth is woven, the final phase of preparation was to soak it in a solution of Saponaria Officinalis (soapwort) which produces numerous carbohydrate sugar chains including galactose, glucose, fucose and several others.
In a paper entitled "The Shroud of Turin: an amino-carbonyl reaction (Maillard reaction) may explain the image formation," R. N. Rogers and A. Arnoldi propose this natural explanation (which does not rule out a supernatural invocation or enhancement of a natural process). Amines from a human body will have Maillard reactions with the carbohydrate layer within a reasonable time, before liquid decomposition products from a decomposing body could stain or damage the cloth. The gases produced by a dead body are extremely reactive chemically and within a few hours, in an environment such as a tomb, a body starts to produce heavier amines in its tissues such as putrescine and cadaverine. These will produce the color seen in the carbohydrate layer.
This new theory may solve how the image derived it's coloration but it still remains to be seen if it can explain why the images (both ventral and dorsal views) are so photorealistic. The encouraging news for Shroud proponents is that the theory further supports the belief that the cloth wrapped a real human who died from the wounds evident on the body. The Maillard reaction could have easily occured during the three days Jesus was said to have been in the tomb.
Stemming from the controversial restoration of the Shroud conducted in 2002 (see below), Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, former director of the Abegg Museum in Berne lead the repair and restoration of the linen. She had numerous hours to handle and inspect every aspect of the Shroud’s unique manufacture and the clues it may reveal.
Amply qualified, Flury-Lemberg studied weaving at an academy in Hamburg, Germany, then earned degrees in the history of art from universities in Kiel and Munich. She then worked for three decades as head of the textile department of the Abegg Foundation in Riggisberg, Switzerland before her retirement in 1994 (she came out of retirement for the restoration of the Shroud). During her tenure, she studied and restored a priceless collection of ancient cloths, including the 13th century grave garments of St. Anthony of Padua and of King Rudolph I of Bohemia, plus 11th century liturgical vestments, the Tunic of Christ at Treves, and the cowl of St. Francis of Assissi. Ancient textiles like the Shroud of Turin, which, according to belief dates to the 1st century A.D., are quite rare and generally badly preserved.
A recent PBS documentary series, “Secrets of the Dead”, featured the Shroud. In their exclusive interview, Dr. Flury-Lemberg provided new evidence for the shroud’s authenticity. "The textiles handed down to us are normally grave garments, found in burial sites," she said. "They were wrapped about a dead body and stayed in a chemical climate which forced their oxidation. We rarely find well-preserved linen or silk fabrics." The Shroud of Turin is so remarkably preserved, she says, because "this cloth was not kept in a tomb. The crucified man was only for some hours wrapped in that linen."
Flury-Lemberg had originally been approached back in the early 1980s to try to date the Shroud by analyzing the structure of the cloth. She refused, "because," she says, "it is impossible to get a serious result dating a textile by textile analysis alone." In 1988, the keepers of the Shroud permitted radiocarbon dating of the relic -- with unanticipated results. The tests indicated that the cloth had been made sometime between 1260 and 1390 A.D., and thus was a medieval forgery rather than the actual burial shroud of Christ. And yet, when Flury-Lemberg finally did agree to head the restoration and conservation of the linen in the summer of 2002, the Shroud had a far different story to tell her.
She first noticed that the entire cloth was crafted with a weave known as a three-to-one herringbone pattern. "This kind of weave was special in antiquity because it denoted an extraordinary quality," she says. (Less fine linens of the first century would have had a one-to-one herringbone pattern). That same pattern is present on a 12th century illustration that depicts Christ's funeral cloth, which, she says, is "extremely significant, because it shows that the painter was familiar with Christ's Shroud and that he recognized the indubitably exceptional nature of the weave of the cloth." Flury-Lemberg also discovered a peculiar stitching pattern in the seam of one long side of the Shroud, where a three-inch wide strip of the same original fabric was sewn onto a larger segment. The stitching pattern, which she says was the work of a professional, is surprisingly similar to the hem of a cloth found in the tombs of the Jewish fortress of Masada. The Masada cloth dates to between 40 B.C. and 73 A.D. The evidence, says Flury-Lemberg, is clear: "The linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin does not display any weaving or sewing techniques which would speak against its origin as a high quality product of the textile workers of the 1st century."
Following on the heels of the controversial restoration that was conducted in 2002 (see below), it was revealed that the backside of the cloth also bears a faint image of the face and hands. During the restoration, the backing cloth was removed and the backside of the cloth was photographed using high resolution scanners. Italian scientists, Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolio of Padova University. Published their work in the Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, volume 6, issue 6, pages 491- 503. This is the first time the reverse side of the Shroud has ever been studied.
Fanti and Maggiolo have studied these new scans of the backside image along with other photos taken of the familiar frontside image. Because the images are extremely faint, the researchers used an array of image-processing techniques -- including Gaussian filters, Fourier transforms and template matching -- to highlight human features.
They found that the face of the man that can be seen on the reverse side of the Shroud matches that observed on the front. The image shows faint details of a nose, eyes, hair, beard and moustache. They were also able to make out weak images of the man’s hands, but could not produce images of his shoulders or back.
The significance of the findings must always be evaluated within the context of whether the Shroud is authentic or a medieval fake. Much evidence supports authenticity but carbon 14 dating does not. However, recent findings regarding the reliability of the sample used for dating now makes questionable the accuracy of the dating tests.
As it relates to the findings of an image on the Shroud’s backside, it makes it that much more unlikely that the Shroud could be a fake because the image of the face is superficial on both sides of the cloth and only involves the topmost fibres of the material. “It is extremely difficult to make a fake with these features,” says Fanti.
(a)The image of the face of a man (b/w), on the front surface of the Turin Shroud, as it appears to observers. The characteristic E-shaped bloodstain on the front is shown for reference. (b) The mirror image of (a), with inverted luminance levels (photo-negative). The reference bloodstain takes on the shape of the number 3.
From the baskside image: (a) A detail of the face, acquired by Enrie in 1933, after fast Fourier transform filtering of the whole image. (b) The same detail as in (a), filtered by means of windowing: the moustache appears clearly resolved and realistic. (Image and text J. Opt. A6 491)
An historic restoration work was carried out on the Shroud from June 20 to July 22, 2002 by The Commission for the Conservation of the Shroud in Turin, Italy.
Why was it done? Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, explained that the purpose of the work was to guarantee the conservation of the cloth. The most pressing need, although some experts do not agree, is that the charred areas of the cloth from the fire in 1532 were causing carbon particles to spread over the shroud, which may be damaging. The biggest threat has always been exposure to light, which is why it is so seldom brought out for public viewing.
What did they do? Thirty triangular patches, sewn by nuns of Chambery, France, in 1534, after a fire damaged the relic in 1532, were removed from the shroud. Also removed was the "Holland cloth" sewn on the reverse of the shroud 450 years ago to preserve it. They also removed dust and debris that had accumulated on the cloth over the centuries. All the material removed has been catalogued and placed in safekeeping. It is hoped that this material will one day be made available for future research.
[The Shroud as it appeared prior to the restoration. The most obvious change in appearance is with the burns from the fire in 1532 and subsequent patches sewn in onto the cloth in 1534. A new backing cloth was also attached during the restoration which was brighter than the previous one. Some experts feel the lighter cloth actual interferes with the contrast of the image thereby making it harder to see. ]
[Newly restored Shroud with all patches and charred areas removed. Due to stretching it is also four inches longer. One criticism of the stretching is the removal of fold marks that carry clues as to how the Shroud was displayed in past centuries.]
Why controversial? The restoration was done in secret with minimal scientific peer review as to whether their proposed cleaning and repairs would cause more harm than good. Some scientists felt it was unnecessary. Others felt that the cloth should be treated as an archaeological site and be left intact with all resident debris.
Why in secret? The Commission claims it was due to the fear of terrorism. Other experts believe it was because they did not want international intrusion.. The only non-Italian participant was Swiss textile expert, Mechtild Flury-Lemberg, former director of the Abegg Museum in Berne.
More harm than good? Some experts believe that important data has been removed, data that could have yielded important clues as to the Shroud’s long but patchy history. Only time will tell if the restoration hinders or enhances future research.
For more on this debate: http://www.shroud.com/restored.htm
Forensic experts use computer images from Shroud derive his appearance at age 12
While no one knows for certain, forensic experts are now using computer images from the Shroud of Turin along with historical data and other ancient images to make an educated guess.
In a documentary called "Jesus' Childhood" that aired December 23rd, 2004 on the Italian TV station Retequattro of the Mediaset Group, police artists use the same "aging" technology employed when searching for missing persons and criminals.
"In this case the experts went backwards. Now we have a hypothesis on how the man of the shroud might have looked at the age of 12," Mediaset said in a statement. "While some features, such as the color of the eyes and the hair's length, cut and color, are arbitrary, others come directly from the face impressed on the shroud."
The group points out the facial proportions between the nose and eyebrow, as well as the shape of the jaw are identical to those on the shroud, which is a piece of linen some believe to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus after he was crucified.
The resulting image shows a fair-skinned child with blond, wavy hair and dark eyes.
"We made a rigorous effort based on the Shroud of Turin, but it's clear that the data at our disposal were limited," police official Carlo Bui told the Italian paper Corriere della Sera. "Let's say we have made an excellent hypothesis."
Text courtesy of WorldNetDaily/Image courtesy of Mediaset Group
Painting of Christ on Catacomb Wall May Date Back to 60 AD and be based on Eyewitness Accounts of What Jesus looked like. Image has apparent similarities to Shroud Image
The argument over the authenticity of the Turin Shroud has taken a new twist after researchers say they may have found fresh evidence that the cloth bears the face of Christ.
A team carrying out work in some of Rome's ancient catacombs have discovered a ceiling fresco which they believe shows the same man as the image on the holy relic.
They believe that the portrait dates from as early as 60AD, indicating it may have been painted by someone who had actually seen Christ while he lived. Rex Morgan, an author on books on the Shroud, said he believed there was sufficient evidence to date the portrait to the first century. "This painting looked to me to be very much the same features of the man on the Shroud of Turin," said Mr Morgan.
"All the earliest portraits are all Romanesque figures, beardless and youthful, whereas this one is very clearly a ... Jew with long black hair and a beard and other features you would associate with the traditional likeness of Christ."
"If we are right and it was painted in, let's say, about 60AD, it could very well or would almost certainly have been painted by an eye-witness, someone who had actually seen the man." Mr Morgan suggested that St Mark may have commissioned the portrait but he added that it could not conclusively prove the image on the shroud is that of Christ. "What it does, is adds another link into the very many pieces of evidence which suggests that the Shroud of Turin is a 2,000 year old item. "You are never going to prove it's the shroud of Christ, but it's another link in this extraordinarily mysterious chain of evidence." Debate rages on authenticity
Scientific tests have cast doubt on the age of the Turin Shroud, indicating it might date from the Middle Ages.
But other evidence suggests it is not a painting and the image could have been left by a corpse. More intriguing still, computer analysis indicates the shroud has unusual three-dimensional properties and scientists have also found traces of pollens from the Middle East. The shroud recently went back on view at Turin Cathedral and thousands made a pilgrimage to the city to see the relic.
Speaking during his visit, Pope John Paul II called on scientists to keep an open mind about the shroud.
Shadow Shroud Theory
The latest attempt to recreate the Shroud image as the work of a forger comes from an English teacher in Moscow, Idaho. Nathan Wilson claims all the forger would have to do is come up with a sheet of clear glass at least 6 feet in length, paint an image of Jesus on it, lay it over a linen shroud for ten days exposing the cloth to sunlight. The areas shaded by the paint would then cast a shadow onto the linen (hence “Shadow Shroud”). The sun-bleached areas not shaded would get bleached out creating the contrast that generates the image. Wilson claims the image has both negative and 3-D characteristics similar to the Shroud of Turin.
Although his hypothesis has gained much publicity as the soup de jour for explaining the image, it falls way short, as do all others that have been promoted over the years.
Lets look at the problems with the Shadow Shroud theory:
Wilson believes that the forger obtained a burial shroud and then crucified someone to create the blood marks after the image was created on the linen by his sun bleaching process. This notion alone launches his theory into the realm of the absurd.
In reference to the linen: The first difficulty is what faces all forgery theories, the fact that we have yet to find a linen shroud or any material from the Middle Ages manufactured in the distinctive 3 to 1 herringbone pattern of the Turin Shroud. The carbon dating labs couldn’t even find a sample of a comparable linen to use as a control.
In reference to carbon dating: It is ironic that ABC News, which first broke the story nationally on March 22nd, did not bother to mention the latest news on carbon dating of the Shroud that is far more significant than just another replication attempt. Published in a peer-reviewed journal, Thermo Chimica Acta (January 2005), thermo chemist Dr. Ray Rogers demonstrated the sample dated in 1988 was actually from a repaired area of the shroud and not representative of the entire cloth. The entire basis of Wilson’s theory is that it was a medieval forgery. But now the Shroud, based on the decay of vanillin in the linen, is at a minimum 1,300 years old, well beyond the time when a glass plate could have been manufactured to accommodate Wilson's theory.
In reference to sun bleaching: Sunlight is radiation. Such intense exposure to the sun would create significant damage visible under the microscope. Yet there is no difference between the image and non-image areas due to any radiation exposure. The image is not the result of a “shadow” somehow preserving those areas of the linen from bleaching. That is simply not the cause of the image. The image appears because something interacted with a razor thin carbohydrate layer on the surface of the threads but only in those areas surrounding a body. Remove the carbohydrate layer and you remove the image. What could have caused the interaction? Natural ammonia gases from a body in the beginning stages of decay is a reasonable hypothesis, but not necessarily the only one. Sunlight and bleaching have nothing to do with the Shroud image. Wilson corresponded with Dr. Ray Rogers before his passing and was advised by Rogers of this limitation in his theory. Apparently the fact that his theory doesn't hold up under micro-chemical analysis was not enough to keep him from publishing his story. He consults with the leading chemical authority in the world on the subject of the Shroud, is told of his theory's limitation, and publishes anyway. This explains why Wilson teaches English and not science!
In reference to the blood: Wilson seems to accept the science that shows the blood to be genuine blood from actual wounds, which is what the forensic and blood specialists have proven. But to believe that the forger painted an image on plate glass first and then lined up a recently crucified man with his image (1,000 years after the last crucifixion, circa 300 CE) is beyond credulity. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the late fifth century, the western world descended into the Dark Ages and most historical knowledge vanished. Europe disintegrated into barbarous chaos only to be followed by the onslaught of Islam. By the 1300’s when Wilson claims the forger went to work, historical knowledge of the Roman world was non-existent, including knowledge of how crucifixions were performed. Today, through archaeological research, we know that the Shroud is completely consistent with first century Roman crucifixion practices but such knowledge was unavailable in the Middle Ages.
There are many more arguments that can be made, but the bottom line is always the same. Any attempt to explain the Shroud image must be consistent with all of the details and not just a few. Even if you can make the image a negative with 3-D characteristics doesn’t mean it will hold up under the microscope. This is where Wilson’s theory clearly falls apart.