Friday, August 22, 2014

Lynne Milne's "A Grain of Truth: How Pollen Brought a Murderer to Justice" (2005)

I am up to "pollen" in my references for the "Shroud of Turin" entry in my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia, when I came again across what I had almost forgotten, this

[Right: "A Grain of Truth: How Pollen Brought a Murderer to Justice" (2005) by Lynne Milne.]

amazing pro-Shroud authenticity, pro-Max Frei's pollen findings, pro-Whangers and Danin's flower images on the Shroud, and anti-the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, four pages in a 2005 book, "A Grain of Truth" by respected Australian forensic palynologist, Dr. Lynne Milne. My comments are in bold.


One of the most famous and fascinating cases that involved analysing pollen from woven fabric to determine where something came from is the investigation into the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.

[Above: Dr. Lynne Milne, Australia's only forensic palynologist: Australian Broadcasting Corporation.]

The Shroud of Turin is a 4.3 x 1.1-metre piece of linen cloth on which a faint image of a man's face and body can be seen. There are various lines of evidence, including blood samples, that suggest that the image is of a man who was crucified. Many believe this is the shroud that was wrapped around the body of Christ after his crucifixion; others believe it's a medieval forgery. Scientists first examined the Shroud at the end of the nineteenth century, and research and debate on its authenticity continue today. Historically, it is alleged that the Shroud was taken from the Holy Land to Constantinople in Turkey and then, in the 1350s it was taken from Turkey to France. The first documented history of the Shroud is from 1357 AD, when it arrived in France. But pollen from the Shroud indicates an earlier history in the Middle East. This summary already shows that Dr. Milne has, unusually, `done her homework' on the Shroud's history.

Pollen was first collected from the Shroud in 1973 by Dr Max Frei,17 [Palenik, S., 1982, "Microscopic trace evidence-the overlooked clue: Part II, Max Frei-Sherlock Holmes with a microscope", Microscope Vol. 30, pp.163-168] then head of the Scientific Service of the Criminal Commission of Investigation [1973] that photographs of the Shroud taken some years before were authentic, he asked for permission to collect dust samples from the Shroud. Shroud sceptics have tried to discredit Max Frei, but while he was not a trained palynologist, he did have a PhD in Botany, and the title of the above paper cited by Milne, "Max Frei-Sherlock Holmes with a microscope," shows that Frei was respected in the forensic science community as a pioneer in the use of pollen to solve crimes.

Frei pressed 5-centimetre sections of transparent sticky tape onto the Shroud, lifted them off and mounted them onto glass microscope slides Police of Zurich, Switzerland. Some of his previous police work was based on pollen and, while testifying at the Turin

[Left: Max Frei taking sticky tape samples of dust and pollen from the Shroud in 1978, with STURP's Ray Rogers looking on: "The 1978 Scientific Examination": Shroud.com.]

for microscopic examination. He found hundreds of pollen grains on the tapes and compared them with reference pollen collected from plants in Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, France and Italy. Only a few pollen grains were from typical European plants found in Italy and France. Most of the pollen was from plants that grow in different parts of Israel, in nearby Turkey, and the western Mediterranean. Thirty-three per cent of the pollen grains were from Gundelia tournefortii, a prickly tumbleweed (thorn) restricted to the

[Above: Middle-East Gundelia tournefortii thorn showing its abundant flowers (and pollen inferred): Flora in Israel.]

Middle East. Among other pollen types, Frei also reported pollen from Rock Rose [Cistus creticus] and a bean caper plant, Zygophyllum dumosum, that would later help other investigations of the Shroud. From the natural distribution of plants represented in the pollen assemblage Frei concluded that the Shroud originated in the Middle East in an area near the Dead Sea and Palestine, and that it had travelled through Turkey to France and Italy. He collected further tapes from the Shroud in 1978 but didn't finish examining them before his death in 1983. It is refreshing to read that forensic palynologist Milne sees no reason to doubt Frei's identification of pollen on the Shroud as having come from the Middle East. This contrasts with the circular argument of extreme Shroud anti-authenticists Steven Schafersman (and Walter McCrone), that: 1) the Shroud is not authentic; 2) Frei's claimed Middle Eastern distribution of Shroud pollen would be strong evidence that the Shroud is authentic; 3) therefore Frei's Shroud pollen distribution must be fraudulent and Frei must be a fraud:

"In a similar fashion, I will show that Max Frei's pollen data can be most reasonably explained by human fraud because the only other possible explanations are that the Shroud of Turin is authentic, that a miracle occurred, or both. Since we are pretty certain as scientists that the Shroud is not authentic and that miracles don't occur, human deception is the only explanation remaining. Proof is not necessary in this method, the scientific method, at all." (Schafersman, S., in McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," p.302).

In 1988 radiocarbon dating, commonly expressed as carbon-14 or 14C, of linen strands from the Shroud produced a date of 1325 AD, strangely coincident with the first documented history of the Shroud. Sceptics declared the Shroud a thirteenth-fourteenth century forgery; and because Max Frei wasn't a recognised palynologist, his research and findings were not taken seriously. It is significant that Milne also realised that the midpoint of the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dates of the Shroud is 1325 ±65, which is "strangely coincident with the first documented history of the Shroud" (see "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #2") that this `too good to be true' date is evidence of fraud, i.e. computer hacking. It is also significant that Milne does not include herself among the Shroud "Sceptics".

In the year that Max Frei died, a German physicist, Oswald Scheuermann, noticed flower-like images in enhanced photographs ofAbove: One of Scheuermann's corona discharge images of a Chrysanthemum coronarium flower (left), a Chrysanthemum coronarium flower image visible on the Shroud (centre) and a drawing of a Chrysanthemum coronarium flower in Flora Palaestina (right): Whanger, A.D., Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin, Still Image Gallery.]

the Shroud. He conducted experiments and concluded that these images were made by corona discharge-the discharge of radiation from a surface charged with static electricity. That is, where the plant material touched the cloth it lost electrons to the cloth and left faint halo-like images of the outline of the plant material on the cloth. Scheuermann reported his findings to Professor Alan Whanger of Duke University in North Carolina and his wife Mary Whanger. Milne shows an unusual depth of knowledge of Shroud science. As in the previous post, the Whangers are less well known than (say) Ian Wilson. It does not necessarily follow that whatever caused the body image to be imprinted on the cloth was the same as Scheuermann's static electricity discharge but it must also have been able to imprint the images of flowers (and coins).

The Whangers saw these faint images of plant material for themselves on the Shroud in 1985. Over the following decade they enhanced black

[Above (click to enlarge): Chrysanthemum coronarium flower image near the head of the man on the Shroud: ShroudScope: Enrie Negative Vertical. This is the clearest flower image on the Shroud and was the first to be seen by Dr. Alan Whanger. The species C. coronarium is native to the Mediterranean and East Asia. See also below.]

and white photographs of the Shroud taken in 1931 and detected hundreds of images of flowers, buds, leaves, fruit and stems around the head and on the chest area of the image of the figure of a man on the Shroud. Tentatively, they identified 28 of the plant images as being from plants that grew in Israel. Milne does not say that she agrees with Whanger's findings but neither does she say that she doesn't. And it it is very unusual, if not unique, that someone who is not a Shroud pro-authenticist (although see below) states the pro-authenticist case so objectively and fairly. Personally I assume that Milne is a closet Shroud pro-authenticist (again see below).

In 1995 the Whangers enlisted the help of a well-respected Israeli botanist, Dr Avinoam Danin, to confirm their identifications of plants in the Shroud images. Danin was impressed. He verified their work and

[Above: Drawings of the location of other flower images around the Man on the Shroud's face: Prof. Avinoam Danin: "`Holes' in the 3D-Image of the Body on the Shroud."]

identified other plants represented by the images. Of particular interest was the image of a flower of the thorn Gundelia tournefortii near the right shoulder of the figure on the Shroud, the same place from which Frei had taken a tape that contained numerous G. tournefortii pollen grains. This is very important that Frei (like STURP members which he wasn't) was apparently oblivious to the plant images on the Shroud, had reported that he found a concentration of G. tournefortii pollen at the very same place on the Shroud that this G. tournefortii image is. This `two-step authentication' is confirmation that both Frei's pollen identification and Danin's plant images identification are correct. And needless to say a medieval forger, and his target audience, would not have known about pollen grains (which can only be seen with a microscope), let alone obscure Middle Eastern plants.

[Above: "An image of Gundelia tournefortii on the right shoulder of the man of the Shroud (marked by a red ellipse); on the right, enlargement of the G. tournefortii inflorescence displaying a long thorn, from below the inflorescence, and large spots at the tips of the short thorns tips." (Danin, A., 2011, "Plant Stories: My studies on the Botany of the Shroud of Turin," February 20th.]

The Whangers had acquired Max Frei's pollen tapes and Danin took them back to Israel in the hope that Dr Uri Baruch, an expert on Israeli palynology, would examine them. Baruch had publicly taken a stand against Frei's findings, but on examining the tapes he changed his opinion. Like Frei, Baruch found that almost one-third of the pollen grains on the tapes were from the thorn Gundelia tournefortii. This is also important because the claim that Frei could only have identified his pollen down to the genus level, not the species level, fails in the case of G. tournefortii because Gundelia is "a monotypic genus," i.e. a genus with only one species, G. tournefortii":

"The two plant species identified as part of the Shroud, beyond any reasonable doubt, are Gundelia tournefortii and Zygophyllum dumosum. Their presence on the Shroud, with the former confirmed by its pollen grains and both identified by presumed imaging, indicate that the Shroud originated in the spring season (March-April) in the Jerusalem area. The high indicative value of Gundelia tournefortii's pollen grains derives from the fact that it is a monotypic genus (Feinbrun-Dothan, 1978). For the Near East, its pollen morphology is unique for the family and for the entire flora. Zygophyllum dumosum is an endemic plant with unusual leaf morphology. Leaves of the present year are produced at the beginning of winter as paired leaflets on a terete petiole while those of previous years can be seen to lack this leaflet pair. The cooccurrence of these two species on the Shroud suggests that they were placed with the body prior to the process that caused the formation of images on the cloth." (Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," p.23. Bold emphasis mine-see below).

During another visit to the Whangers, Danin identified leaves and flowers of bean caper plants, Zygophyllum dumosum, in the image of a bouquet on the chest area of the figure of a man on the Shroud. At that

[Above: On the chest area, "Zygophyllum dumosum leaflets (L), petioles (P) and flower (F) images shown with a black overlay. On the right an illustration of the plant from Flora Palaestina": Danin, A., "Flora of the Shroud of Turin].

time Danin didn't know that Frei had reported pollen of Z. dumosum on the Shroud tapes. Similarly, an image of a bouquet of Rock Roses was found near the left cheek of the figure. Frei had found Rock Rose pollen on the tapes too. Presumably Milne means that Frei found both Bean Caper (Z. dumosum) and Rock Rose (Cistus creticus) pollen in the same places, that Danin found images of those two different species. If so, these would be two more, separate, `two-step authentication' confirmations that Frei's pollen, and Danin's plant image, identifications are correct.

Although pollen and images from many other plants that grow in the Middle East have been recognised on the Shroud, the independent identification of both pollen and images of Gundelia tournefortii and Zygophyllum dumosum are the most significant. The thorn G. tournefortii is insect pollinated and flowers from February to May.

[Above: Distribution map of the only place on earth where Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus are all found growing together (Danin, A., 2010, "Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin," p.52), the area around Jerusalem (green circle superimposed by me).].

Such great numbers of pollen from this species could only have arrived on the Shroud from a flower being placed on it. Zygophyllum dumosum is restricted to Israel, western Jordan and Sinai, and its northernmost distribution occurs between Jerusalem and Jericho.18 [Danin, A. & Baruch, U., "Floristic indicators for the origin of the Shroud of Turin," in Minor, M., et. al., eds., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the mystery," Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium, pp.202-214.] The natural distributions of G. tournefortii and Z. dumosum overlap in two small areas, both in the Holy Land. From studying distribution grids of all the plants identified by pollen or images, Danin reported that the area the Shroud may have originated from is 10-20 kilometres east and west of Jerusalem. What Milne is clearly implying is what others have stated:

"So for Gundelia pollen to be so strongly represented has to mean either that a whole swarm of insects flew from Gundelia plants to land on the Shroud - highly unlikely - or that at some time some person or persons unknown deliberately laid flowering Gundelia tournefortii plants on it. ... it is quite definite that whoever did this has to have done so somewhere within the Middle Eastern geographical area where the plant is known to grow, an area specifically including Jerusalem. They also have to have done so at a time of the year when Gundelia is known to bloom, and therefore produce pollen, a time that botanists ... can narrow to between March and May. So is it mere coincidence that this was the very period of the year within which Jesus' Passover-linked crucifixion occurred?" (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," p.91).

That is, the abundance of G. tournefortii pollen and plant images (together with those of Z. dumosum and C. creticus) must mean these flowers were placed on the body of the Man, and then covered with the Shroud, in or around Jerusalem between March and May, the same time and place that Jesus was crucified (see below)!

The Whangers, Danin, Baruch and others have plenty of ammunition for the sceptics. The documented history of the Shroud shows that since 1352 AD it hasn't left Europe. If the similar carbon-14 date for the age of the Shroud is correct, how did so many pollen grains and images of plants from the Middle East come to be on the Shroud? The carbon-14 dating has since been discounted. The linen threads that were dated are chemically different from most of the' Shroud linen. Was this younger thread used for mending the Shroud when it first arrived in France, or before it was taken from Constantinople? Milne has `come out of the closet' and is clearly a Shroud pro-authenticist (whether she realises it or not), differentiating herself from Shroud sceptics, pointing out that the Shroud must have had an undocumented history outside of Europe before 1352, in the Middle East, the carbon-14 date for the age of the Shroud cannot be correct and indeed has been "discounted"!

However, she is wrong that, "The linen threads [sic] that were dated are chemically different from most of the' Shroud linen." That is Benford and Marino's claim but as I pointed out in Benford and Marino admit that to shift the carbon-date of 1st century linen shroud to the 14th century would require that the Shroud sample was 60% 16th century, when it clearly isn't. The same 60% contamination requirement refutes all contamination theories. The only theory which satisfactorily explains how the 1st century Shroud has a 14th century carbon date, 1352 ± 65 years, is my computer hacker theory.My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #1,"

Are the images of plant material on the Shroud artefacts or 'faces in the clouds' as one sceptic put it? They could be, but it's unlikely. After examining the pollen and image evidence, even the aforementioned sceptic agreed the images may be authentic. Some images can be seen on the Shroud without the aid of photographic enhancement, and the same images can be seen in photographs of the Shroud taken in 1898 and 1978-eighty years apart and with different cameras, films and developing methods. In this instance the "sceptic" is the pro-authenticist Ian Wilson:

"For such reasons Barrie Schwortz and I, along with many others who favour the Shroud's authenticity, dismissed Alan Whanger's insights as having too much of a `faces in clouds' character to be considered in the same scientific league as the pollen evidence. Yet, in fairness to him, in the case of the flower images in particular there are some very good reasons to be wary of too readily dismissing his insights. ... at the March 2000 viewing of the Shroud I was very close to Danin as we were ushered into the Cathedral sacristy. ... Then, as we were able to get within touching distance of the Shroud, the spontaneity of his reaction was quite infectious. As his eyes focused on the shoulder area, in almost childlike delight he recognized, as only one of his so specialized botanical expertise could, the Gundelia inflorescence's presence on this. ... Quite obvious was that for Danin, the world's leading expert on the flora of Israel, here, on this piece of cloth displayed in a northern Italian Cathedral side-room, was utterly unqualified recognition of a plant that he positively knew to come from the environs of his own Jerusalem. And in my observing this recognition, I could only bow to his very special `eye' for such things - as he subsequently explained to me, a `gift' from his childhood. The natural daylight lighting Turin Cathedral's sacristy was clear and even, and as, during the two hours allotted to us, my eyes continued to rove the Shroud's surface, quite apparent was that flower images are not just an aberration of black-and-white photographs. Faint flower-like shapes are quite definitely there on the cloth itself, and while no doubt many can deservedly be dismissed as merely of the `faces in clouds' variety, the `hard' evidence of the pollens, combined with my first-hand observation of Danin's very special eye at work, now persuades me to believe that some at least are `real'. (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, pp.84,91-92. Emphasis original).

who indeed, as can be seen above, after examining the plant images on the Shroud, agreed that at least some of them are authentic. Not only can some of the plant images be seen on the Shroud directly by the naked eye, as pointed out by Danin, the same images can be seen in photographs of the Shroud taken over 80 years apart, by different photographers, cameras, films and developing methods:

"Confirmation that the plant images are not a result of artifacts of photographic enhancement of Enrie's (1931) negatives is provided by the identical images discovered on photos taken by other photographers. A few of the most significant images were discovered and confirmed (by Danin) in several additional sources (Table 5). There are differences of 80 and 45 years between the three photographic intervals, all by different investigators, by different cameras, with different optical qualities, with different film emulsions and spectral characteristics, as well as film development under different darkroom conditions. Yet, many significant images were consistently observed in the photos of different generations. These similarities establish that the images are not artifacts of photography, but are part of the nature of the Shroud." (Danin, A., et al., 1999, p.21).

The two independent botanical methods, palynology and the analysis of the halo-like images left by coronal discharge, show that plants were placed on the Shroud. Pollen analysis narrowed down the area from which the Shroud originated and determined the time of year when the pollen arrived on it. None of this proves that the Shroud was used to cover the body of Christ. I'm not an adherent of traditional religion, but the abundant presence of pollen from the thorn Gundelia tournefortii and its image near the shoulder of the figure oil the Shroud does provoke thought. This species is not an ornamental and is unlikely to have been used in a floral tribute. That Milne is "not an adherent of traditional religion" makes her fairness and objectivity in considering the pollen and plant image evidence on the Shroud that much more impressive. She cannot be dismissed as being biased in favour of the Shroud by her prior Christian beliefs, as leading Shroud anti-authenticist Joe Nickell and his ilk routinely (and ad hominem fallaciously) do. Milne is correct that the pollen and plant image evidence, although it does narrow down the area from which the Shroud originated (in and around Jerusalem), and the time of year when the pollen arrived on the Shroud (from February to May - and Jesus was crucified just outside the then wall of Jerusalem in April AD 30) does not itself in isolation, "prove... that the Shroud was used to cover the body of Christ."

But then the other evidence that the Man on the Shroud "was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on" had already narrowed it down so that, as leading Shroud anti-authenticists Steven Schafersman and Joe Nickell agreed, "Either the shroud is authentic ... produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice," and there is no "possible third hypothesis":

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: [Schafersman, S.D., 1982, "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," "The Skeptical Inquirer," Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring, pp.37-56, p.42] Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson [Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin," pp.51-53.] and Stevenson and Habermas [Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud," pp.121-129] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas [Ibid., p.128] even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus." (Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," p.141. Emphasis original).

And Schafersman "and so on" could have included that the Man on the Shroud's body did not decompose (which is why we have his burial shroud at all), his body and the Shroud separated without breaking the blood clots attached to both, his image (including that of flowers and coins over his eyes) was imprinted on the cloth, in photographic negative and three-dimensional, anatomically accurate detail, his teeth and some bones are visible under his skin, some of the pollen (including G. tournefortii) and AB blood type matches that of the Sudarium of Oviedo which has been in Spain since the 7th century, etc, etc, narrows it down still further so that beyond any reasonable doubt the image of the Man on the Shroud can only be of Jesus, since the only other possibility that is a product of 14th century or earlier "human artifice" is excluded by Frei's pollen and Danin plant image evidence alone, not to mention historical, archaeological and artistic evidence that the Shroud existed well before the 14th century and indeed all the way back to the 1st century.

After all, Milne herself has provided pollen and plant evidence, which combined with far less other evidence than that on and of the Shroud, has secured convictions in courts of law, on the basis of proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is the theme of her book:

"In 1996 Samantha Hall, a young mother of two, was brutally murdered and her body dumped in parkland near Noosa in the heart of Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Despite suspicions, evidence was thin until the police called in a forensic palynologist - a pollen specialist. Forensic palynology is the use of pollen and spores to help solve crimes. It is another investigative tool, like fingerprint analysis and DNA profiling which is increasingly used by police to solve crimes. Interwoven with the unfolding story of how Samantha's killer was brought to justice, A Grain of Truth opens the door on a new forensic tool that is being used to solve crimes and other mysteries." (Milne, 2005, inside front cover).


(Milne, L., 2005, "A Grain of Truth: How Pollen Brought a Murderer to Justice," New Holland: Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia, pp.92-95).

Posted: 22 August 2014. Updated: 23 April 2017.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This might interest you

Gian Marco Rinaldi:

"By 1973 Frei had been completely discredited in his profession. He was the protagonist of a judiciary scandal and a man in Switzerland had been kept 12 years in jail, with a life sentence, as a consequence of wrong proofs given by Frei. Then the Zurich police instituded a commission ot three esperts for judging Frei’s activity in general. The response was negative and Frei hurriedly retired from service. This was in 1972. A year later he came to Turin and began his adventure with the Shroud. It is telling that this circumstance is never mentioned by sindonologists. Apart from this, Frei published photos of reference pollens as if they were pollens from the Shroud and said to have used the SEM, in particular for the 1978 tapes, but this was not true. This is sufficient for doubting of Frei’s reliability.
By no means Frei was a pollen specialist. His degree was in Natural Sciences with a thesis on the flora of Sicily, at a time when palynology had scarcely been born. His professional career was as a generic criminalist. As far as I know, he never published a scientific paper about pollens in the specialized literature. His work on the Shroud is sufficient to discredit him as a palynologist: if he pretended to have identified 58 out of 59 pollens at the species level, he was not familiar with the problems of pollen research."

-------------

Dave of Wellington :

"Thank you Gian, this is the first I’ve heard anything substantive against Frei’s integrity. All I’ve ever heard previously is non-specific innuendo, and I’ve wondered why. If he was so discredited already in 1973, why was this not more generally known and why was he allowed to be co-opted onto the 1978 STURP team? Did they not know? Are you able to give any references corroborating this information?"

------------------

Gian Marco Rinaldi :

"Daveb, the facts were widely known at the time in the media in German language. Something can still be retrieved from the internet. I have now done a quick search and have spotted the following. (Note that when Google searching websites in German, you have to insert Max Frei-Sulzer, not simply Max Frei.)
From Wikipedia:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_Gross

From Der Spiegel 1971:

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-43144609.html

In the next page,see second section: “Aus der Tätigkeit des Wissenschaftlichen Dienstes der Stadtpolizei Zürich”:

http://www.nadir.org/nadir/archiv/Repression/bad_kleinen/28objektivitaet.html

The next page has a resume of three cases of wrong expertises, and the Shroud is one of them: Falsche Gutachten Die Hitler-Tagebücher, das Turiner Grabtuch, der Gross-Prozess im Aargau – und immer hatte der gleiche Kriminologe die Hand im Spiel

http://www.webcitation.org/6GCbUodC9

The texts are in German but can be easily automatically translated."

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Gian Marco Rinaldi:

Gian Marco Rinaldi masquerades as an "Italian Shroud researcher" ("History of the Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 28 July 2014) but he is a Shroud anti-authenticist who dismisses out of hand "statistical anomalies" in the 1988 Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud and maintains that "the Shroud dates back to the Middle Ages":

-----------------------------------
Esame del carbonio 14 sulla Sindone

"Examination of the carbon-14 on the Shroud"

Translated by Google.

"However, according to Gian Marco Rinaldi these statistical anomalies do not have substantial consequences , however, and it is evident from the measures "that the Shroud dates back to the Middle Ages and [not] the time of Christ" [28] and that no revision of the statistical data could provide as a result of the I century AD [29]"
-----------------------------------

>"By 1973 Frei had been completely discredited in his profession.

That must be FALSE. Not only is Frei cited approvingly by forensic palynologist Milne, even though he was a Protestant, Frei was chosen by the Church to serve on its 1973 Shroud Commission.

Also, the following reference does not say that Frei had been discredited in his profession at all, let alone completely:

-----------------------------------
Encyclopedia.com
Frei-Sulzer, Max
World of Forensic Science | 2005 ...
Frei-Sulzer, Max

1913–1983
SWISS
CRIMINALIST

Swiss criminalist Max Frei-Sulzer made many contributions to the field of forensic science in his lifetime, including founding the first Swiss criminalistics laboratory, and developing the tape life method of collecting trace evidence. He is also known for debatable findings he made in two high-profile identification cases, the authenticity of the Hitler Diaries and the Shroud of Turin.

Born in 1913, Frei-Sulzer worked as a freelance criminalist for many years in Switzerland. He also taught microscopical techniques at Zurich University, and in 1950, he was asked to create the first Swiss crime laboratory, the Zurich Police Scientific Laboratory. While director of the facility, he developed the tape lift method for evidence collection. By applying a piece of sticky tape to a surface, a scientist can collect particles that can then be examined under a microscope. The tape preserves the spatial relationship of the particles and fibers. This technique was a major advance in trace analysis, and is a method still used today. ...
-----------------------------------

which it would say if he was. It only says that Frei "... is also known for debatable findings he made in two high-profile identification cases, the authenticity of the Hitler Diaries and the Shroud of Turin."

Frei's minor role in the Hitler Diaries miss-identification (see below) was in the area of handwriting and has nothing to do with Frei's identification of pollen.

And as I pointed out above, Frei's identification of pollen species on the Shroud has been independently confirmed by Prof. Danin's identification of the images of at least 3 of the same plant species on the same area of the Shroud from which Frei's pollen came.

And indeed the article CREDITS Frei with being the pioneer in the use of "sticky tape" which "technique was a major advance in trace analysis, and is a method still used today."

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

Also, as Wilson pointed out, Frei's part in the false authentication of the Hitler Diaries was "a minor and undeniably ill-advised role that ... was exaggerated out of proportion":

"Taking advantage of ... Max Frei's inability to defend himself, detractors of the Shroud began trying to destroy Frei's entire professional reputation ... Frei was all but accused of outright fraud, and, although his expertise was in botany, a minor and undeniably ill-advised role that he played in the bogus Hitler diaries cases was exaggerated out of proportion. ... For the facts on Frei's part in this, see Charles Hamilton, The Hitler Diaries, University of Kentucky Press, 1991. Oxford University history professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, ennobled as Lord Dacre, was chiefly responsible for the diaries' mistaken authentication, with Frei but one of several `experts' called in to advise on the handwriting, a subject (unlike botany) not his specialist field." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," pp.82, 144).

This is supported by the Wikipedia article on the Hitler Diaries, which attributes the false identification to "Trevor-Roper" an "Oxford University history professor" and doesn't mention Frei at all:

"Trevor-Roper, an independent director of Times Newspapers, flew to Switzerland to see the diaries. Stern showed him not only the diary volumes, but a large archive of additional Hitler material, said to have been salvaged from the Börnersdorf crash along with the diaries. Trevor-Roper was convinced of the diaries' authenticity, writing in the next day's The Times that: `I am now satisfied that the documents are authentic; that the history of their wanderings since 1945 is true; and that the standard accounts of Hitler's writing habits, of his personality and, even, perhaps, of some public events, may in consequence have to be revised.'" ("Hitler Diaries," Wikipedia, 14 August 2014).

>He was the protagonist of a judiciary scandal and a man in Switzerland had been kept 12 years in jail, with a life sentence, as a consequence of wrong proofs given by Frei.

That can happen to any forensic scientist. It is up to the judge and defence counsel to test a forensic scientist's evidence.

But as Rinaldi's own words say, it was a "JUDICIARY scandal." That is, it was the judge and lawyers who got it wrong. Frei's forensic evidence could have been correct.

That a prisoner is released after years in jail doesn't mean that he didn't do the crime. It could just mean that there were flaws in the legal process.

In fact there was a case just this week in Australia where a David Eastman has been released after 19 years in jail for murdering an Assistant Police Commissioner, because of "a substantial miscarriage of justice," but the appeal judge who released him said that "he was `fairly certain' Eastman was guilty."

Moreover in the German Wikipedia article on Frei (translated by Google) it appears to say that claims Frei "contributed ... [to] ... an innocent man was sentenced to life imprisonment" were "later refuted":

"He was also known by the fact that he held the Hitler diaries mistaken for real. In the case of large free[Max Frei]-Sulzer has contributed through his later refuted reports that an innocent man was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released after twelve years." (Max Frei-Sulzer, Wikipedia, 28. April 2013).

This is borne out by the fact that the English Wikipedia article, which is more recent, doesn't mention it.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Then the Zurich police instituded a commission ot three esperts for judging Frei’s activity in general. The response was negative ...

This is vague. All it says is that "the Zurich police" were "negative" towards "Frei’s activity". But that could have been because Frei was too independent for their liking. There is an inherent conflict of interest between the police's need to obtain convictions and a forensic scientist's need to remain objective.

>and Frei hurriedly retired from service. This was in 1972.

This "hurriedly" shows Rinaldi's ant-authenticity bias. Frei was born in 1913, so he was 59. A plausible explanation is that after 22 years of first creating the Zurich Police Scientific Laboratory in 1950 and then running it, he wanted a change, and chose to retire. Also, it is likely that the Church had approached Frei to serve on its 1973 Commission on the Shroud.

> A year later he came to Turin and began his adventure with the Shroud.

More ant-authenticity bias ("adventure") by Rinaldi. As previously stated, Frei was chosen by the Roman Catholic Church for its 1973 Commission to study the Shroud, which it wouldn't have done if Frei had left the Zurich police under an integrity cloud.

>It is telling that this circumstance is never mentioned by sindonologists.

This shows Rinaldi's ignorance. As my quote of Wilson & Schwortz (2000) indicates, Ian Wilson had fully disclosed Frei's minor role in the "Hitler Diaries" miss-identification in 2000.

And as for the alleged "judiciary scandal," according to the above German Wikipedia article, Frei's part in that was "later refuted" and is not mentioned in the more recent English version.

And again, re the Zurich police being "negative" towards "Frei’s activity," that the Catholic Church selected the Protestant Frei to serve as a consultant on its 1973 Shroud Commission suggests that the problem might have been more with the Zurich police rather than with Frei.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Apart from this, Frei published photos of reference pollens as if they were pollens from the Shroud and said to have used the SEM, in particular for the 1978 tapes, but this was not true. This is sufficient for doubting of Frei’s reliability.

Frei DID use a SEM (scanning electron microscope) to identify the pollen on the 1978 tapes. This was attested to by Walter McCrone:

"Early in 1986, responding to a request for information on the nature of the tapes in Dr. Frei's collection, Mrs. Frei kindly made five sticky tapes available to ASSIST. ... In July of 1987 she decided to make the entire collection available to the ASSIST Organization. ... We recognized the need for scientific verification of the 27 tapes. Therefore, on July 23, 1988, two scientists who had done extensive work with the STURP tapes and were thus well qualified to inspect them were invited to make the verification. They were Dr. Alan D. Adler ... and Dr. Walter C. McCrone ... The exam was held before some 23 witnesses who were able to observe the micro-proceedings on two video monitors. This examination was conducted without removal of the sticky tapes from the slides on which they had been placed on the night of October 8, 1978 when they were taken from the Shroud. The entire proceedings were videotaped by Dr. and Mrs. Alan D. Whanger ... Both Drs. Adler and McCrone attested not only to the fact that the tapes had touched the Shroud but contained a wealth of material valuable for further scientific testing. These tapes were but a part of the larger collection which Dr. Frei had assembled over the years during his study of the material he took in 1973 and 1978 from the Shroud. ASSIST acquired a large collection of literature, SEM slides, SEM photographs, SEM transparencies of pollen, the botanical collection, a bloom- mount and small sample collection, the microscope slides containing the original pollen which Dr. Frei had removed from the Shroud ... (Maloney, P.C., "The Current Status of Pollen Research and Prospects for the Future," ASSIST Newsletter, Vol. 2., No. 1, June 1990, pp.1-7, p.1).

In fact there are SEM photos of some of Frei's pollen online (see below).

And as for "doubting of Frei’s reliability," see above that Rinaldi believes that "the Shroud dates back to the Middle Ages and [not] the time of Christ." Therefore he HAS to try to cast doubt on Frei’s reliability."

Because if Frei was right then the Shroud dates back to the first century, as Danin, a Jew, agrees that it does.

>By no means Frei was a pollen specialist. His degree was in Natural Sciences with a thesis on the flora of Sicily, at a time when palynology had scarcely been born.

Just because Frei had no formal qualifications in a field, "palynology," that "had scarcely been born," does not mean he wasn't an expert at comparing and identifying a limited subset of pollen.

>His professional career was as a generic criminalist. As far as I know, he never published a scientific paper about pollens in the specialized literature.

Frei did publish his findings in a paper, Frei, M., 1982, "Nine Years of Palynological Studies on the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, Vol. 1, No. 3, June, pp.3-7. Shroud Spectrum International is peer reviewed and if that link is clicked on one can see SEM photos of Frei's pollen.

But 1982 was a year before Frei died, and he never lived to complete his research, to submit it to a specialised palynology journal.

>His work on the Shroud is sufficient to discredit him as a palynologist: if he pretended to have identified 58 out of 59 pollens at the species level,

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

See the post above that Frei's identification of at least three species of pollen on the Shroud was confirmed to be correct by Danin's identification of images of those same 3 plant species at the same places that Frei found their pollen on the Shroud.

And if Frei was right on three species of pollen, there is no in-principle reason that he could be right on most (if not all) the other 40+ species of pollen he identified.

>he was not familiar with the problems of pollen research."

Rinaldi cannot know how familiar Frei was with the problems of pollen research. There is no reason why Frei would not have read widely in what palynological journals there were in the 1970's.

>Dave of Wellington:
>
>"Thank you Gian, this is the first I’ve heard anything substantive against Frei’s integrity. All I’ve ever heard previously is non-specific innuendo, and I’ve wondered why. If he was so discredited already in 1973, why was this not more generally known and why was he allowed to be co-opted onto the 1978 STURP team? Did they not know? Are you able to give any references corroborating this information?"

Rinaldi's entire post is an ad hominem fallacy attempt to discredit Frei, because he knows if Frei's identification of the pollen on the Shroud was correct (and Danin has conformed that some of it is) then it is further confirmation of Wilson's Jerusalem -> Edessa -> Constantinople Image of Edessa/Mandylion = Shroud theory.

The obvious test of Frei's integrity is that, unlike a fraudster, Frei patiently collected his data for 9 years, traveling to Palestine and Turkey several times to collect pollen to compare his Shroud pollen with, but he died before he completed his research. A fraudster would have pretended to identify his Shroud pollen quickly and published his findings early, so that he could soon gain fame and maybe fortune.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Gian Marco Rinaldi :
>
"Daveb, the facts were widely known at the time in the media in German language. Something can still be retrieved from the internet. I have now done a quick search and have spotted the following. (Note that when Google searching websites in German, you have to insert Max Frei-Sulzer, not simply Max Frei.)

Note that Rinaldi avoids answering Daveb's key question: "If he [Frei] was so discredited already in 1973, why was this not more generally known and why was he allowed to be co-opted onto the 1978 STURP team? Did they not know?"

Of course the Church would have known if these allegations against Frei by Rinaldi were true.

Frei was not a member of STURP. He was independently allowed by the Archbishop of Turin to collect more pollen from the Shroud to add to his 1973 collection. And again the Church would not have granted Frei permission (twice) to collect pollen from the Shroud if there was any hint of scandal attached to him.

>From Wikipedia:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_Gross
>
>From Der Spiegel 1971:
>
>http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-43144609.html
>
>In the next page,see second section: “Aus der Tätigkeit des Wissenschaftlichen Dienstes der Stadtpolizei Zürich”:
>
>http://www.nadir.org/nadir/archiv/Repression/bad_kleinen/28objektivitaet.html
>
>The next page has a resume of three cases of wrong expertises, and the Shroud is one of them: Falsche Gutachten Die Hitler-Tagebücher, das Turiner Grabtuch, der Gross-Prozess im Aargau – und immer hatte der gleiche Kriminologe die Hand im Spiel
>
>http://www.webcitation.org/6GCbUodC9
>
>The texts are in German but can be easily automatically translated."

I presume this is just repeating the same false charges that Rinaldi has made above, which I have rebutted.

Rinaldi's claims about Frei's integrity are just ad hominem and "poisoning the well" fallacies, designed to protect Rinald's apriori position that "that the Shroud dates back to the Middle Ages and [not] the time of Christ".

It must be a shaky position if it relies on falsely discrediting a dead man to protect it!

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Great refutation Stephen. From my old research Rinaldi is a member of CICAP the Italian version of CISCOP. I believe it was CICAP that funded the 2009 failed replica of the shroud. This guy looks as bad as joe Nickell and just as unreliable in his research.

The fact Mccrone himself confirmed Frei's findings should have been enough to tell Rinaldi that Frei's findimgs were solid and beyond dispute. Whoever the anonymous poster who posted this seemed to not care enough to have found these bits of information .

Mccrone was as anti shroud as they get
Thanks again Stephen . Hope you are doing well.
Bippy123

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Great refutation Stephen. From my old research Rinaldi is a member of CICAP the Italian version of CISCOP.

Thanks. It's interesting that Rinaldi is named as a consultant on the Italian CICAP Wikipedia page but not on its English counterpart.

As I wrote in my first comment above, Rinaldi masquerades as a "Shroud researcher" on English web pages.

>I believe it was CICAP that funded the 2009 failed replica of the shroud.

Yes, Garlaschelli's face only `replica'. See my 2009, "Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin."

>This guy looks as bad as joe Nickell and just as unreliable in his research.

Yes, they call themselves "skeptics" but one thing they are not skeptical of is skepticism itself! Regarding the Shroud they are true believer's in its in-authenticity!

>The fact Mccrone himself confirmed Frei's findings should have been enough to tell Rinaldi that Frei's findimgs were solid and beyond dispute.

The commenter probably didn't know that. I have been saving on my computer every Shroud item I have come across since 2005. My Shroud folder has today 479 Mb of data. And with the improvements in computer speed (I have an i7 quad core 64-bit processor) and search programs (e.g. Windows 7 Search, Super Text Search and recently (highly recommended) "Examine32 Text Search"), I can find it quickly.

It is this information on the Shroud which will be the basis of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia.

It must be a huge dent in the true believing `skeptics' anti-Frei campaign when Prof. Avinoam Danin, Israel's leading botanist, confirmed Frei's pollen identifications by finding flower images on the Shroud (some of which can be seen on Internet photos-see above) which matched Frei's pollen identifications of the same species in the same places on the Shroud!

What makes this `two-step authentication' impressive is that Frei being close up to the Shroud when collecting his pollen, was (like STURP) oblivious to the flower images, and Danin did not know the location of some of Frei's pollen, which he later found was the same species at the same location on the Shroud!

>Whoever the anonymous poster who posted this seemed to not care enough to have found these bits of information .

Whoever it was, presumably someone on Dan Porter's blog, I am grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to rebut Rinaldi's false ad hominem claims against Frei.

>Mccrone was as anti shroud as they get

Yes, it was a masterstroke by ASSIST's Paul Maloney in getting McCrone and Adler to notarise Frei's pollen collection, complete with his SEM pollen photos.

>Thanks again Stephen . Hope you are doing well.

Thanks. I have a cold as we emerge out of Winter down here in Australia.

Stephen E. Jones
---------------------------------
Reader, if you like this my The Shroud of Turin blog, and you have a website, could you please consider adding a hyperlink to my blog on it? This would help increase its Google PageRank number and so enable those who are Google searching on "the Shroud of Turin" to more readily discover my blog. Thanks.

Nabber said...

What about the paper of Professor Marzia Boi who looked at the pollen with an electron microscope and said that the Gundelia Tourneforti was actually Helichrysum?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Nabber

>What about the paper of Professor Marzia Boi who looked at the pollen with an electron microscope and said that the Gundelia Tourneforti was actually Helichrysum?

Thanks for jogging my memory about her. But if you are going by the glowing description of Boi's paper at the 2012 Valencia Congress, in Vatican Insider that it "stood out in particular":

"In a recent conference held in Valencia, on the Holy Shroud, the work of one Marzia Boi, a university researcher at the University of the Balearic Islands stood out in particular. Boi is an expert in Palynology, which is the science that studies pollen." (Tosatti, M., 2012, "Pollen is evidence that the Holy
Shroud is indeed a winding sheet
," Vatican Insider, 24 May),

I suspect that the Italian male journalist Marco Tosatti was smitten by Boi's stand-out beauty, rather than by her paper!

Because there were, in my opinion, far more significant papers (at least one of which I may belatedly post on). Boi's paper, it seems to me, to be a case of `much ado about nothing. And after an initial flurry of Internet mentions of in 2012, her proposal appears to have sunk without trace.

Mark Guscin in BSTS Newsletter, No. 75, June 2012 seemed less than impressed with Boi's paper, noting that "She ... concluded that his [Max Frei's] work is still valid" but with the emphasis perhaps being on "she said" in regards to Boi's claim that "there is no Gundelia Tournefortii on the Shroud (this was a mistaken identification)":

"Marzia Boi then spoke about the pollen present on the Shroud. She analysed Max Frei’s work in this field, and concluded that his work is still valid despite certain minor errors. She then said that there is no Gundelia Tournefortii on the Shroud (this was a mistaken identification), and that the pollen present on the cloth shows that oils and unguents were used in the burial of the man on the Shroud."

First, it wouldn't matter greatly if Boi was right that Frei and Danin's colleague the Israeli palynologist Uri Baruch, got it wrong and that G. tournefortii was actually Helichrysum, i.e. either Helichrysum sanguineum or Helichrysum pallasii which according to Flora of Israel Online are the only species of the Helichrysum genus which grow in Israel. In her paper at the 2012 Valencia Congress, "The Ethnocultural significance for the use of plants in Ancient Funerary Rituals and its possible implications with pollens found on the Shroud of Turin," translated from Spanish, Boi still argues for the Shroud being that of Jesus:

"Realize a meticulous investigation of the pollen that appear in the relic, allows to discover the details of the funeral ritual of the man most known about the history, Jesus of Nazareth, that is the exact moment in which begin the history of the Holy Shroud of Turin. The pollen guarded between the fibers, has been waiting to be interpreted and it was the hidden witness of an event that does not leave to be mysterious, as well as extraordinary."

Second, Boi devoted a lot of her presentation to her theory (speculations?) about which perfumed plants were used in 1st century Asia Minor and Jewish funerals. So she may be unconsciously biased against perceiving G. tournefortii pollen because it has no perfume or known funerary significance.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

But this overlooks that Jesus' burial was very hasty, as Lk 23:53-54 explains, "the Sabbath was beginning" [Gk epephoosken = `lighting up time' i.e. of lamps]:

"53 Then he took it [the body of Jesus] down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning."

So Jesus' disciples may only have had time to cut some nearby flowers, including G. tournefortii, to place on Jesus' body. As the photo above shows, G. tournefortii has masses of flowers (including pollen). And although it has fearsome thorns, it looks from the above photo that the flowers could be cut from the thorns.

Third, Boi is not an expert on Israeli flora, as Baruch and Danin are (and Frei became). She admits that her expertise is in the flora of the Balearic Islands, in the Spanish Mediterranean.

Fourth, Boi admits that she never studied Shroud pollen, including Frei's, under an electron microscope, but just compared photos of them with other pollen under a SEM:

"Knowing that the observation of the adhesive tapes collected by Max Frei in the years 1973 and 1978 or other original material was unavailable at the moment, I made my study through observation of published pollen photos on the Shroud and the comparison with my own samples."

Fifth, Boi's identifications are vague and wide, none being species, but genera or above. For example, Helichrysum is a "genus ... [which] consists of an estimated 600 species" and "occurs in Africa .. Madagascar, Australasia and Eurasia" (i.e. everywhere but the Americas). This doesn't say much for Boi's pollen identification ability once she is outside her Balearic Islands comfort zone. Even Frei correctly identified, according to Baruch, at least 4 pollens down to the species level (including G. tournefortii), and another 12 pollens down to the genus level (Danin, et al, 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," p.12).

Sixth, even though Boi cites Danin et al.'s 1999 book, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin",' she does not mention Danin's identification of flowers and plant parts images, including G. tournefortii, which are strongly featured in the book as confirming Frei's pollen identification. This seems to me to be bordering on academic dishonesty!

So I will stick with Frei and Baruch/Danin's pollen identifications over Boi's!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

BTW, a commenter on my response comment to Rinaldi above, whose comment I answered, and then deleted it, because on reflection it was against my policy against "offensive" comments, claimed that I was "biased" and not "An honest, morally decent man" because I did not "quote Wilson's final comments regarding Frei's work":

"While there remains good reason to believe the fundamental soundness of Frei’s identifications, the argument for the presence of Middle Eastern pollen grains on the Shroud can no longer be advanced with quite the assurance it could thirty years ago."

So I have copied the commenter's quote of Wilson above, and I will even add the reference to it: (Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.65).

Why the commenter thought that was a problem for my argument supporting Frei's integrity and competence, such that I was dishonestly, immorally and indecently concealing it (I just didn't think of it) is beyond me. Perhaps he has an (English) reading comprehension problem?:

"While there remains GOOD REASON TO BELIEVE THE FUNDAMENTAL SOUNDNESS OF FREI’S IDENTIFICATIONS ..." (my emphasis). That "the argument for the presence of Middle Eastern pollen grains on the Shroud can no longer be advanced with quite the assurance it could thirty years ago" goes without saying.

But Danin's `two step authentication' of Frei's pollen identifications, particularly G. tournefortii, confirms that Frei could and did identify at least some Shroud pollen down to the species level, and for that he would have had to use a SEM.

There is something else that just occurred to me, based on Boi's point that G. tournefortii has no fragrance or known funerary use.

Why then would Frei, if he was a fraudster who just made up his identifications, pick the pollen of a plant that has no fragrance or known funerary use?

In fact, for the same reason, no medieval forger, even if he knew that microscopic pollen grains were unique to each species (which he wouldn't) would not have sprinkled his forgery with the pollen of a plant that has no fragrance or known funerary use?

But the unique haste of Jesus' burial, documented in the Gospels, fits the hurried use of G. tournefortii, which would have been blooming in the fields in April AD 30, just outside of Jerusalem, when and where Jesus was buried.

So G. tournefortii pollen (and images) being on the Shroud is just another one of those many odd, unique things, that would be true of Jesus' burial, but not of a medieval forgery!

So thanks for the quote Anonymous. With enemies like you, who needs friends?! ;-)

Stephen E. Jones

bippy123 said...

Hello Again Stephen. Hope the weather is a bit better this week.

I love the idea for a shroud encyclopedia that will give future newbies and anyone looking to do presentations on the shroud an easy way to have access to the vast wealth of information you have accumulated in the last 9 to 10 years.

My question is about the G. tournefortii

Was it found near the head image of the shroud and could it have also been from the cap of thorns that covered Jesus's head?

Has anyone confirmed this?
How is the family doing my friend?
God bless
bippy123

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Hello Again Stephen. Hope the weather is a bit better this week.

We had a lot of rain last night - the last kick of our Winter.

>I love the idea for a shroud encyclopedia that will give future newbies and anyone looking to do presentations on the shroud an easy way to have access to the vast wealth of information you have accumulated in the last 9 to 10 years.

I hope so.

>My question is about the G. tournefortii
>
>Was it found near the head image of the shroud and could it have also been from the cap of thorns that covered Jesus's head?

Yes and Yes. But Danin considers it more likely that the crown of thorns plant was either "Rhamnus lycioides graeca (see photo) and/or Ziziphus spina-christi (see photo), as he has identified images of both thorn species on the Shroud:

"Rhamnus lycioides subsp. graeca seems to be an important historical indicator. The plant parts seen on the Shroud are three pairs of long thorns with an angle of 150°-155° between the two thorns (Fig. 51). An additional three single thorns were found in the Shroud photographs. All of these nine thorns share the property of being sharp, and have small dark dots on the thorn surface. These are suspected as being the lateral buds so typical of thorns of R. Lycioides ... This can be regarded as the most ferocious plant material used against the man whose image is seen on the Shroud ... The young branches cease elongating during the summer (Fig. 52), their secondary xylem hardens, and, being sharp, they can make very ferocious needles. Ziziphus spina-christi is a competitor for the title `most ferocious plant.' A pair of thorns, one straight and one hooked, seen on the back of the head at the dorsal part of the Shroud photograph, belong to Z. spina- Christi (Figs. 53, 54)." (Danin, A., 2010, "Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin," pp.46, 54).

>Has anyone confirmed this?

See above that the crown (or cap) of thorns was more likely made from "R. lycioides and/or Z. spina-christi. Both have, unlike Gundelia tournefortii, long thorny branches that could be "twist[ed] together [into] a crown of thorns":

Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2: "and twisting together [Gk. plexanthes = "twisted, plaited"] a crown of thorns, they put it on his head ..."

Danin found images of both species at the back of the head (map, p.51 and table, p.94), where the cap of thorns would have been. He also found images of "R. lycioides on the front left chest and arm.

The cap of thorns could have been made of both latter species, which are in the same Rhamnacea family. And a plausible explanation of the front R. lycioides thorn images, which are not near the head, is that they became entangled in the cloth and the burial party did not have the time to remove them in Jesus' hasty burial (Lk 23:54).

I will eventually do an encyclopedia entry on the crown of thorns. But I have today resumed part #9 of "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker."

>How is the family doing my friend?

Both of us have got over our Winter colds (or possibly flu in my wife's case).

>God bless

Thanks. And you.

Stephen E. Jones