This is the second part of a four part series on the Shroud of Turin. You can read the first part, The Facts and History of the Shroud, here. I am using a video by Dr. Wayne Phillips (posted below) as the basis of my notes.

1898: The physical science begins

In 1898, the first picture is taken. The photo has all the characteristics of a photographic negative.

  • The photographer, Secondo Pia, then goes back to the darkroom to make a negative of the negative. This reveals a much more impressive image of the face of the man in the Shroud. You can see details in the hair, the eyebrows, the nose, the mustache. And if you’re close enough, you can see two rows of teeth. Just a little hint on what made the image, his mouth is closed. The beard looks like it’s been plucked, a majorly swollen right cheek, and lots of blood on the forehead.
  • When you compare the photographic negative with the negative of the negative, it becomes pretty unbelievable that some artist could do this.

1931: Higher quality Enrie photo

  • Cameras got better in their technology.
  • The front: much more detail in the face. Numerous scourge marks on the body. Trickling blood on the arms. Left arm is over his right arm.
  • The back: hair is in a ponytail in a typical Jewish style hair. Hair is nice and hair blown, like with a hair blower. Again, numerous scourge marks on the body. Blood on the scalp. Knees pulled up. L shaped burn holes in the fabric.

1976: 20th Century Science Begins

Nothing happens until 1976. Why? Because the Vatican was hesitant. (The lecturer uses the word “chicken”).  But they were properly hesitant because they did not want to trust this with just anyone, but with someone who knew what they were doing. And that was the United States of America, specifically NASA.

NASA started it all with the VP-8 Image Analyzer that they used to scan the surface of the moon or Mars, and it would tell by degradations of color to get 3D images of mountains and valleys and could tell the height of the mountains and the depths of the valleys.

Dr. John Jackson, a physics professor at the United States Air Force Academy, took the 1931 negative photograph of the Shroud and put it under the VP-8, just to see what would happen. He was shocked to find a 3D image. It’s the only picture in the world that has 3D information. If you put other pictures in the VP-8, you get distorted information.

In 2000, they got computers to look at this information, and running it through a holoprinter, it returned a hologram. I.e. The Shroud of Turin has holographic information in it. Something hard to do if it was a fake done in the 13th or 14th century.

“If God made it, then it’s a small miracle. If man made it, then it’s a huge miracle.”

1978 STURP: The Shroud of Turin Research Project

In 1978, the Vatican asked to put together an American team to come study the Shroud. 40 scientists from Los Alamos, NASA, USAF Academy, and a jet propulsion lab. The disciplines represented were nuclear physics, chemistry, radiology, botany, history, textiles, medicine, mathematics, archaeology, forensic pathology, photography, and geology.

The members of STURP consisted of 40 agnostics and 2 believers. 3 were raised Catholic, 36 were raised Protestant, and 1 was an orthodox Jew. All of them believed before the study that the Shroud was a fake. All of them left Turin, Italy convinced that it was not a fake. They weren’t saying that it was God’s image, but they were saying as scientists that it was not a fake. “We can’t figure out how it got there. We know what it is, but we can’t figure out how it got there. So we can’t say that it’s a fake.”

NON Image facts

In Jerusalem, that are 3 types of pollen that don’t exist anywhere else in the world that are found on the Shroud. There are 14 types of pollen that only exist in Israel found on the Shroud. There are 58 types of pollen that are only from Istanbul, France, and Turkey (where the Shroud has been) found on it. There are no other types of pollen found on the Shroud.

Pollen is unique. Pollen from Tampa, Florida is different from the pollen in Atlanta and North Carolina.

The most common pollen that exists only in Israel is a thorn plant called Gundelia Tournefortii. On the Shroud, this is the most represented pollen of all the other 58 species. There’s more of that than anything else. The theory is that this plant made up the crown of thorns.

Blood Analysis

When they got to the Shroud of Turin, the blood on there was not black, like all of them expected by the forensic experts. It was reddish. It looked way too red. Thus they initially thought it was fake, like some kind of paint. 3 months of studying it changed their minds. They took blood samples home and studied it. They figured out the blood type on the Shroud is AB, which is a rare type in the world. But in the Jews, there is a higher percentage than the rest of the world.

In the primate family, which scientists say that we are members of, there is another marking system for red blood cells: MNS. M & N are part of the primates, the monkeys, gorillas, etc. The S marker is only in humans. The blood on the Shroud has MNS. A supposed faker in the 1500s did not put monkey blood all over the Shroud. It is human blood.

The white blood cells in the blood do have the X & the Y chromosomes, which can be easily identified. Also, the DNA is degraded so that one could not take the blood and try to clone it.

So why was the blood “too red”? Blood contains a colorful product in it called bilirubin. In all red blood cells, bilirubin is what makes blood red. If you beat somebody up and torture him like crazy, you are breaking the red blood cells that are in his circulation, essentially you’re just smashing them. This will leak out bilirubin into his intact circulation. When that bilirubin goes up in the blood, the other red blood cells that have not been broken down, absorb the bilirubin. So the content of the remaining blood cells that have not been broken goes higher and higher with bilirubin. So when it finally bleeds out, it is way redder. They didn’t know this for 3 months. That’s how long it took for them to figure out why the blood wasn’t black. It’s filled with bilirubin.

To go back to the accusation that it is done by a medieval forger, he had to use human blood, but he also had to know about bilirubin so that he could torture the guy and beat us his blood so that it had more bilirubin.

Image facts discovered by STURPS.

How this image had to happen according to the knowledge we have of physics, chemistry, and photography.

What the image is NOT. When the Shroud of Turin group from America got done, they proved that the image is:

  • Not a painting
  • Not a drawing
  • Not a rubbing
  • Not a scorching from a hot statue. (No fluorescents. Every burn on a cloth fluorescents under fluorescent light.)
  • Not a photograph
  • Not a bleaching

With this proven, what is left?

There are no dyes or pigments under a microscopic closeup.

Microscope spectroscopy, which is a microscope that aims a light at a target. The light bounces back and the microscope picks up the colors (red, yellow, green). The computer tells you where that bounce comes from carbon, or sulfur, or mercury, etc. It tells you what element the light is bouncing back from. When the spectroscopy aims the light against the image of the Shroud, nothing bounced back but linen. The image is not made out of anything that bounces back in the wavelength of the spectroscopy.

Then they tried X-Rays. You can turn an x-ray high enough that it will go through bone, or low enough that it won’t go through blood. Thus blood can stop an x-ray when the power is turned down. When they x-rayed the Shroud low enough that blood would stop the x-ray, it only picked up the blood. It did not pick up the image of the man that is in the Shroud.

Why is the image 3D? Why is it superficial? (the image does not penetrate the threads of the linen of the Shroud.) Why is it finely focused like a photograph?

At the points of contact where the cloth had contact with the body as it was draped over it (the head, hands, knees, and feet), the image is the strongest and the darkest. But there is still an image where there was no contact between the cloth and the body, in some places this gap was 4 to 5 inches. If this image was done by a gas being released from the body, the image would not maintain focus for 4 to 5 inches. This image was done by a radiation of some kind. Whatever happened to this body to create the image, the image had to jump 4 to 5 inches to cover the gap between the body and the cloth and still maintain the image. This is why the image is 3D, because the closer to the body the cloth was, the darker and stronger the image is.

And it’s a superficial image. A single fiber of the Shroud is made out of 200 fibrils. The image depth of the man on the Shroud is 2 fibrils, which is 1 micron. A micron is a millionth part of a meter, or a thousandth part of a millimeter, which is itself a tenth of a centimeter. And the image is only 1 micron deep into the Shroud. The image power radiation never reached deeper than 1 micron.

In a closeup of the image fibers, the image has clean boundaries. Fibers side by side of each other, one fiber will have the image radiation, and the next will be clear of the mage radiation. When you get something so clear, you get a photograph. It’s like when you look at an image of a photograph in a newspaper, if you look closely, you can see the dots that make up the image. The Shroud is like that with the fibers.

When they looked at the fibers and the microscopic fibers, they find non-image fibrils and image fibrils. The image fibrils were aged and cooked. The carbon-carbohydrate molecules were broken and aged on the image fibrils. They were oxidized. This is what they found out in 1976 by American scientists.

They also found out that in every position where the blood is on the Shroud, there is no image. This points to the radiation that made the image was so weak and yet so finely tuned that it couldn’t go through blood.

You can read the next part in this series, Biblical Accounts Corroborated by the Shroud, here. Or if you so desire, you can watch the entire lecture below: