Faking a Fake Shroud of Turin and Faking Out Television News

Mar 24, 2005, 00:00 ET from Daniel R. Porter

    NEW YORK, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the years there have been numerous
 attempts to create images like those on the Shroud of Turin. Someone suggested
 that they might have been painted with lemon juice to create a reverse
 bleaching effect. Others have suggested that the images might have been formed
 by draping a cloth over a scorching hot statue, by painting them with pigment
 dust or by photographing a corpse using some unknown medieval photographic
 process. The latest such attempt to explain the images was recently proposed
 by Nathan Wilson, a 26-year-old English professor at New St. Andrews College
 in Moscow, Idaho. Wilson created an image by painting a picture on a pane of
 glass positioned over a piece of linen that he left in the sun for several
 days. The resulting image, caused by sun-bleaching away the background while
 leaving darker color where the painted picture on the glass masked out the
 sun, is called a shadow shroud. The image Wilson produced is similar in a few
 ways to the Shroud of Turin images.
     ABC World News Tonight reported the story on March 22, 2005.  In a segment
 entitled, "Shrouded in Mystery No More," anchor Peter Jennings stated, "The
 Shroud of Turin has mystified scientists for years. Now a literature professor
 from Idaho says he can prove it's a fake."
     "I was amazed at the national television coverage," said shroud researcher
 Dan Porter in a letter to eighty Shroud of Turin researchers. "Neither Peter
 Jennings nor ABC's Bill Blakemore, who reported the story, seemed aware of any
 substantive facts about the shroud. It seems as though they did not do any
 research and did not consult any scientists to see if the shadow shroud made
 any sense. It does not."
     Porter explains his rationale on the Shroud Story website at
     Anthropologist William Meacham, a Research Fellow at the Centre of Asian
 Studies at the University of Hong Kong, added, "I would like to know how this
 unscientific idea could possibly get such major coverage, when it so clearly
 and obviously does not fit the known facts about the Shroud image."
     The Shroud of Turin is a fourteen-foot-long cloth with front and back
 images of a man who appears to have been scourged and crucified. The shroud is
 kept in St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin, Italy.
     In recent years the Shroud of Turin has been the subject of intense
 scientific investigation with numerous findings published in secular peer-
 reviewed scientific journals.  Publishing in peer-reviewed journals is the
 normal way that scientists present their findings. From these findings three
 prominent facts emerge.
     One fact is that that the outermost fibers on the cloth's thread are
 coated with a fine layer of starch and saccharides that is thinner than most
 bacteria. The images on the shroud are wholly contained within this layer as a
 caramel-like, conjugated double-bonds substance, a brown polymeric material
 that resists bleaching. The images can be removed with adhesive sampling tape.
 They can also be decolorized with strong reducing agents leaving clear
 color-free linen. Several scientists have published papers about this in
 scientific journals such as the Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal,
 Analytica Chimica Acta and Melanoidins. The images are not unbleached linen as
 Wilson suggests. That is scientifically impossible.  Photomicrographs
 available at http://www.shroudstory.com show the image substance.
     Another fact is the presence of a faint second face image on the backside
 of the cloth. Researchers Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo of the University
 of Padua in Italy discovered this image using advanced image analysis
 techniques. Their scientific findings were published in the peer-reviewed
 scientific Journal of Optics on April 14, 2004. The two images, one on the
 front and one on the back directly behind the front image, are completely
     There is no color between them. It is not possible, with sunshine, to
 bleach the insides of threads while leaving the outside surfaces unbleached.
     Chemist Raymond Rogers, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow, showed
 that the sample used for carbon-14 dating in 1988 was from a discrete newer
 repair patch that is chemically unlike the cloth of the Shroud of Turin.
 Moreover, Rogers found definitive chemical evidence that the Shroud of Turin
 is at least 1300 years old and possibly much older. Rogers published his
 findings in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta on January
 21, 2005.
     Flat pane glass suitable for the shadow shroud technique did not exist
 1300 years ago, or even six hundred years ago.
     "These facts alone prove that Wilson's shadow shroud idea is without any
 merit," said Porter. "I found it interesting that ABC's Blakemore said that no
 one could explain how medieval artists could make such an image until
 literature professor Wilson figured out how. I wonder how many times similar
 words have been used to describe each of the other failed attempts. Frankly,
 no one knows how the images were formed, but it wasn't by reverse bleaching in
 the sunshine.  That just will not work."
     Commenting on Wilson's theory, Barrie Schwortz, who has studied the shroud
 since 1978, said, "I have pointed out so many times in the past, any attempt
 to duplicate the Shroud image must match all of the chemical and physical
 properties of the image. This result does not. In fact, it gives no
 explanation for the forensically accurate bloodstains found on the Shroud
 which, according to forensic experts like Dr. Fred Zugibe, are the result of
 direct contact between a body and a cloth."
     Photographs and a list of peer-reviewed journal articles:
      Daniel R. Porter
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 visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Daniel R. Porter