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 http://www.shroudstory.com. 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 superficial. 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: http://www.shroudstory.com. Contact: Daniel R. Porter 914-793-2960 This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.
SOURCE Daniel R. Porter