- Hardcover: 225 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (June 1, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395339677
- ISBN-13: 978-0395339671
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Report on the Shroud of Turin
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Of the work done by John Jackson and Eric Jumper on 3D imaging, he says, "When this paper was laid out flat... they could almost recognize it---perhaps and maybe. But the noise was so great that the 'perhaps' had a big question mark after it... [They] began to search for volunteers whose height and physique were similar to those of the man on the Shroud... each was placed on his back in an anatomic position as close as possible to that represented on the cloth, and was photographed with a fixed camera and measured. All the information was digitized... As these read-outs were compared with the digitized Shroud numbers, it became apparent that there was more than a casual relationship between them, but the noisiness of the Shroud image did not permit a firm conclusion." (Pg. 28-29) He points out, "All of this extraneous material is subtracted by man's brain as he glances at a picture of the Shroud... A computer will ... see wverything without discrimination. This is what makes the images so noisy. Every time scientists try to instruct the computer to subtract some of the noise, they find that the images lose definition. And this is what makes image enhancement an art." (Pg. 33)
He states that "Ian Wilson presented [in The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?] the hypothesis that the ... Mandylion... was really the Shroud of Turin, with all fourteen feet folded so that only the face showed. I have spoken to no serious historian who gives credence to this essentially fictional story." (Pg. 70)
He notes, "The work that [Alan] Adler and I had done indicated that the red color was indeed blood. Our work demonstrated that the microfibers ... were old blood. However, they came from an off-image area. Could someone with a bloody nose have touched the Shroud in the distant past? Were ALL the blood marks really blood?" (Pg. 133) Later, he adds, "Jackson had asked me if I thought it possible that a fourteenth-century artist might have used actual blood to paint a bloody image... It seemed to me unlikely that anyone would have used real blood as paint. But if someone was forging a shroud, he just might have." (Pg. 167)
He points out, "Over the period of at least six centuries, dust, debris, pollution, and other contaminants had covered the Shroud... From history we knew that untold thousands of hands, both clean and grubby, had touched it and fondled it... Untold bizarre materials must have had contact with the Shroud's surface." They even found a fiber of "elastic pink nylon, like the kind used in girdles and such." (Pg. 170-171) About the presence of vermilion [paint pigment] on the shroud, he suggests, "We already knew the proclivity of viewers of the Shroud to touch something to the cloth. It was a safe bet that some of these artists [copying the Shroud] had placed their finished work on the Shroud." (Pg. 212)
He summarizes, "[The Shroud] is a startling medical documentary of what was described so briefly in the Gospels. Nor was there anything else on the Shroud that would NEGATE the actual presence of a scourged, crucified man lying in that linen. But exactly whose body was it? Science has no way of determining the answer. We just do not know." (Pg. 217)
This report will be "must reading" for anyone seriously studying the Shroud.
Most major discoveries in science have been made by young investigators (p.23). They are wiling to test new ideas, and experiment. The investigation of the Shroud required a diverse scientific background (pp.36-7). Preparing for the tests in Turin required a test session in Connecticut. Dr. Heller tells of the fortunate coincidences (p.89). Chapter 6 tells of the political machinations from their rivals in Turin; rivalry isn't just in business (p.91). It also describes the technical difficulties in setting up the tests. After the 120 hours of testing in secret was finished, the analysis of the results began.
Chapter 9 explains how they tested the 700 picograms of red substance. The Soret band test showed that this was old acid methemoglobin from old blood. Chapter 10 tells of the meeting of scientists in Colorado Springs. To create the older form of gelatin, they cooked rat tails! A lot of time and effort was spent investigating the anomalous claim of one expert. Mankind is no smarter today than 50,000 years ago. Someone could have figured out something that was thought recently discovered (p.169). Was the Shroud a painting? Six different tests, each acceptable in a court of law, prove the presence of blood on the Shroud (p.186). It was human (p.188). The iron oxide on the Shroud did not contain contaminants; it came from retting or from blood (p.196). Contrary claims were never tested chemically (p.196)! Page 202 tells of the difficulties in creating a picture. The Emperor Constantine outlawed crucifixion in the fourth century (p.204). Artistic depictions are medically incorrect, but not the Shroud. The thousand experiments they performed were published by the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences. An experiment with a glass table simulated the image (p.208). Scourge marks were only visible in UV light (p.210). The STURP team did not find anything to question the authenticity of the Shroud, or the Gospel accounts. How did the images get on the cloth? They just did not know (p.218). Was it the authentic burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth? There is no scientific test for that (p.219). Page 220 sums up the results. Of the thousands of other shrouds known, none have any image of any kind. The preponderance of scientific test overrules any contrary claims, such as the claim it was painted on. This book lacks an index.
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A very humble man, John Heller was. No arrogance, no "better than thou" about him.Read more