Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shroud of Turin may not be a fake after all!

The following is an article in Western Australia's major newspaper on Tuesday. It is not webbed, so I had to scan it.

[Left: Shroud of Turin: Material Evidence, Performance Films]

However, it appears to be identical to an article in the Daily Telegraph and similar to an article in

See also my post of 12-Feb-08 about this story when it first broke. The article is in bold font to distinguish it from my comments.

Shroud of Turin may not be a fake after all, The West Australian , February 26,2008 .... This is a great headline! It is also more accurate than the others claiming that there is to be "fresh tests" on the Shroud. The story does not say that the Shroud itself is going to be retested, just that there are going to be "fresh experiments that could explain how genuinely old linen could produce "younger" dates" (see below). I would be very surprised if the Roman Catholic church allowed any more of the Shroud's linen to be destroyed in destructive tests.

Twenty years later, Oxford laboratory admits carbon dating tests may have been wrong ... This is commendable, but it really is long overdue. Shroud pro-authenticity advocates have been pointing out the problems of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud for most of those 20 years, but have been derided by anti-authenticity critics as "true believers," "religious fanatics", etc. If science wants to boast that it is special among other human activities because it is self-correcting, it really has got to do better than that!

The Oxford laboratory that declared the Shroud of Turin to be a medieval fake 20 years ago is investigating claims that its findings were wrong. The head of the world-renowned laboratory has admitted that carbon dating tests it carried out on Christendom's most famous relic may be inaccurate. Professor Christopher Ramsey, director of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said he was treating seriously a new theory that contamination had skewed the results. Again, as I pointed out in my post of 12-Feb-08, the real question is, given that the Shroud is "an almost copy-book case of an object seriously unsuitable for carbon-dating":

"In the light of such concerns, the shroud's known history, that is, its universally accepted history subsequent to the mid-fourteenth century, provides an almost copy-book case of an object seriously unsuitable for carbon-dating. Quite aside from it having been subjected to centuries of smoke from burning candles, an equivalent surely to cigarette smoke, well-known also, not least from the scorches and patches it carries to this day, is that the shroud was involved in a serious fire in 1532. In this latter it came so close to destruction that the silver of its casket melted, destroying one corner of the cloth as it lay folded inside. Knowing that this process could only have happened at temperatures in excess of 960°C, silver's melting-point, Manchester textile specialist John Tyrer has remarked: `In these circumstances moisture in the shroud would turn to steam, probably at superheat, trapped in the folds and layers of the shroud. Any contaminants on the cloth would be dissolved by the steam and forced not only into the weave and yarn, but also into the flax fibres' very lumen and molecular structure ... [They would] become part of the chemistry of the flax fibres themselves and would be impossible to remove satisfactorily by surface actants and ultrasonic cleaning.' [Tyrer, J., British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, 20 October 1988, p.11] Furthermore, two years after the fire the shroud was sewn onto a backing made up from three portions of sixteenth-century holland cloth. Inevitably this linen must contain carbon with equally as much contamination potential as the paper, cardboard and cotton wool mentioned by Dr Bowman. And it has now been in the closest contact with the shroud for over four hundred and fifty years." (Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places," Doubleday: London, pp.176-177)

how did the three laboratories, working "separately" (see below), i.e. without collusion, using different methods of pre-treatment, remove almost all the "contamination" that would otherwise have "skewed the results"? Especially given that in "the dry run" tests before the actual dating of the Shroud, the radiocarbon laboratories produced widely (if not wildly!) discrepant dates for the same three ancient linen artifacts:

"More germane to the issue is the dry run of C-14 testing, which was detailed in the journal Radiocarbon in 1986. Scientists used C-14 to date an Egyptian Bull Mummy linen (the wrappings from an ancient Egyptian burial) as well as two Peruvian linen cloths. The results of this testing using the new accelerator method was extremely revealing. First of all, it underscored the fact that the method is somewhat wanting in accuracy. On the Egyptian Bull Mummy linen, the dates ranged from 3440 to 4517 B.P. (before present)-a span of 1100 years. Although the known age of the cloth was 3000 B.C., the closest date they could get using C-14 was 2528 B.C. ..., a date which required a calibration of 472 years to correct it. That should raise plenty of eyebrows. The second sample, one of the Peruvian cloths, was not much better, with a span of 450 years and the closest date 250 years off. Finally, the third, also a Peruvian cloth, had a span of over 1100 years and the closest date less than 100 years off. This Peruvian cloth was a much easier target to hit because the date was `guesstimated' between A.D. 1000-1400. That range gave the testers a built in window of +/- 200 years to start with! After the tests on these three samples were run, the farthest dates were 1549 years, 709 years, and 439 years off respectively. To allow that margin of error on calibration alone would be ridiculous. Moreover, even admitting that errors of contamination would radically affect the test results still underscores the inherent weaknesses of this dating method. In fact, when the testers accredited these poor results to contamination during pretreatment and reran the tests with significant improvement, the oldest cloth still showed an error of nearly 1,000 years. Most importantly, it was 1,000 years on the young side !" (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, pp.53-54. Emphasis original).

such that Prof. Harry Gove, the co-inventor of the AMS radiocarbon-dating method that was used, was seriously concerned that the then "new procedures seemed to ... be fraught with peril" that at least "one of the three laboratories" might obtain "an outlier result":

"My main concern was that this highly public application of the AMS technique, which I had played a major role in inventing and developing, be successful. The new procedures seemed to me to be fraught with peril. If one of the three laboratories obtained an outlier result as one did in the British Museum inter-laboratory comparisons it would be impossible statistically to identify it and the three measurements would all have to be included in the average thereby producing an incorrect result. The inclusion of the other laboratories would have obviated this potential risk. As it turned out my fears were not realized. The three laboratories performed their measurements flawlessly and the final result is a public triumph for AMS if not for the `true believers'. That the shroud's age is the historic one is the dullest result one could have wished for. But in science as in many other aspects of life one does not always get what one wishes." (Gove, H.E., 1989, "Letter To The Editor: The Turin Shroud," Archaeometry, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp.235-237, p.237)

yet we are expected to believe that "The three laboratories" just happened to have "performed their measurements flawlessly and the final result" just happened to be "That the shroud's age is the historic one," i.e. ~1325AD!

Though he said he would be surprised if the supposedly definitive 1988 tests were shown to be far out - especially "a thousand years wrong" - he insisted he was keeping an open mind. Again this misses the real point. How could the radiocarbon-dating be wrong, and yet the three laboratories still just happened to converge on "1350 AD ... the time" the Shroud's "historic record began":

"The first sample run was OX1. Then followed one of the controls. Each run consisted of a 10 second measurement of the carbon-13 current and a 50 second measurement of the carbon-14 counts. This is repeated nine more times and an average carbon-14/carbon-13 ratio calculated. All this was under computer control and the calculations produced by the computer were displayed on a cathode ray screen. The age of the control sample could have been calculated on a small pocket calculator but was not-everyone was waiting for the next sample-the Shroud of Turin! At 9:50 am 6 May 1988, Arizona time, the first of the ten measurements appeared on the screen. We all waited breathlessly. The ratio was compared with the OX sample and the radiocarbon time scale calibration was applied by Doug Donahue. His face became instantly drawn and pale. At the end of that one minute we knew the age of the Turin Shroud! The next nine numbers confirmed the first. ... Based on these 10 one minute runs, with the calibration correction applied, the year the flax had been harvested that formed its linen threads was 1350 AD-the shroud was only 640 years old! It was certainly not Christ's burial cloth but dated from the time its historic record began." (Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, pp.264).

And then there is another problem that, the further back in time the Shroud is claimed to have originated, the more primitive become the artistic ability. Indeed, even the 14th century was too "artistically ... backward":

"But if this was the best that those who still believed the Shroud to be first century could come up with, oddly, little greater light came even from those who fully accepted the radiocarbon dating's findings. All these needed to account for was how someone of the fourteenth century could have `faked the Shroud up' as Professor Hall would describe it. In other words how someone of an artistically relatively backward period managed to create on the Shroud an image that so convincingly looks to be a positive photograph when it is viewed in negative, despite the fact that no one of the Middle Ages could have seen it in this manner. (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.9).

to have created the Shroud (the great artists like Leonardo da Vinci 1452?1519, being 15th-16th century) let alone an artist pre-14th century!

The development will reignite speculation about the 4m linen sheet, which many believe bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ. Even the Shroud's fiercest critics admit that "If the shroud is authentic," i.e. not "an artist's representation," then "the image is that of Jesus":

"Oddly enough, the Shroud opponents have actually helped to make our case. Certainly the need to resort to a denigration of the scientists on the basis of their religious preferences shows a decided bias on their part. In addition, if critics feel the need to declare Jesus a myth, are they not actually suggesting that the Shroud evidence indeed matches the Gospel narratives of Christ's passion and death? At least a few of them are willing to admit this in print. For example, Schafersman states, `Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man of the shroud is not Jesus Christ ... a very conservative estimate. I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus. Otherwise, it's an artist's representation... ." [Schafersman, S., "Science, the Public, and the Shroud," Skeptical Inquirer, B, 1982:4]" (Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, pp.196-197. My emphasis).

The original carbon dating was carried out on a sample by researchers working separately in laboratories in Zurich and Arizona as well as Oxford. Note the "working separately." If the laboratories colluded to arrive at the same radiocarbon-date, when they claimed to have been "working separately", then this would already be a form of scientific fraud, and would make a nonsense of the claim that three "laboratories in Zurich and Arizona as well as Oxford" arrived at the same result. And in fact there is evidence that the three laboratories did collude, as the British Museum coordinator, Prof. Michael Tite, later admitted that "results from each testing centre have been circulated to the others with a proposal for a coordinated date on the Shroud from the samples":

"Contrary to Tite's protocol letter which stated the labs would not communicate with one another, he acknowledged that the `results from each testing centre have been circulated to the others with a proposal for a coordinated date on the Shroud from the samples....' [Shroud News, October 1988, p.7 ]" (Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.132).

To the dismay of Christians, the researchers concluded

[Right (click to enlarge): Late Prof. Edward Hall, Drs Michael Tite and Robert Hedges on 13 October 1988 announcing the Shroud was carbon-dated to "1260-1390!": Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, pl.3b]

that the shroud was created between 1260 and 1390 and was therefore likely to be a forgery devised in the Middle Ages. Being physicists, not art experts all that the researchers could actually claim is that the sample of the Shroud's linen that they tested, returned a radiocarbon date of AD1260-1390, i.e. 1325 ± 65. It was beyond their sphere of expertise to claim that the Shroud was "a forgery devised in the Middle Ages." Yet that did not prevent Oxford's Professor Edward Hall from claiming that in the fourteenth century, "Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up, and flogged it":

"For many, the most disturbing aspect of the whole thing was perhaps the glee with which certain scientists publicly exulted over the downfall of the Shroud. As Professor Hall of the Oxford laboratory told the press on 14 October, `There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the fourteenth century. Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up, and flogged it'. No mention of the unique and inexplicable nature of the image, which has never been reproduced satisfactorily. If nothing else, this contemptuous, and contemptible, statement demonstrates how thoroughly certain upholders of a rigid scientific orthodoxy had been rattled by the mystery of the Shroud." (Hulse, T.G., 1997, "The Holy Shroud," Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, pp.31-32)

and also "The non-professional addition of the exclamation mark" after the date 1260-1390, "is an indication of their" unscientific "jubilation over the results":

"The report by the 21 scientists was finally made public in the journal Nature, February 16, 1989, five months after the announcement of the test results was made. Standard scientific procedures call for a critique of the data through peer review; this was not followed in this case. On October 14, 1988, the day after Cardinal Ballestrero issued his press release, the British Museum held its own press conference. Seated at table were Tite flanked by Hedges and Hall. Behind them on a blackboard was written the estimated date: `1260-1390!' The non-professional addition of the exclamation mark is an indication of their unrestrained jubilation over the results." (Guerrera, 2000, p.133).

Even Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, the then Cardinal of Turin, conceded that the relic was probably a hoax. The late Cardinal Ballestrero did not concede "that the relic was probably a hoax." That was the invention of the British media. What Cardinal Ballestrero actually wrote in his press release was that "the laboratories ...have finally communicated the result of their tests through Dr Tite of the British Museum" in a document which "states that the cloth of the shroud can be assigned with a confidence of 95 per cent accuracy to a date between AD 1260 and 1390" but that "At the same time the problems about the origin of the image and its preservation still remain to a large extent unsolved and will require further research and study" (my emphasis):

"The full, exact text of the Cardinal's communique, as published on 17 October 1988 in the weekly English language edition of the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, was as follows:
In a dispatch received by the Pontifical Custodian of the Holy Shroud [i.e. Cardinal Ballestrero] on 28 September 1988, the laboratories of the University of Arizona, of the University of Oxford and of the Polytechnic of Zurich which had conducted the tests for the radio-carbon dating of the cloth of the Holy Shroud, have finally communicated the result of their tests through Dr Tite of the British Museum, the co-ordinator of the project. This document states that the cloth of the shroud can be assigned with a confidence of 95 per cent accuracy to a date between AD 1260 and 1390. More precise and detailed information concerning the result will be published by the laboratories and Dr Tite in a scientific review in an article which is in the course of preparation . For his part Professor Bray of the `G. Colonetti' Institute of Metrology of Turin, which was charged with the review of the summary report presented by Dr Tite, has confirmed the compatibility of the results obtained by the three laboratories, whose certainty falls within the limits envisaged by the methods used. After having informed the Holy See, the owner of the Holy Shroud, I make known what has been communicated to me. In submitting to science the evaluation of these results, the Church confirms her respect and veneration for this venerable icon of Christ, which remains an object of devotion for the faithful in keeping with the attitude always expressed in regard to the Holy Shroud, namely that the value of the image is more important than the date of the shroud itself. This attitude disposes of the gratuitous deductions of a theological character advanced in the sphere of a research which had been presented as solely and rigorously scientific. At the same time the problems about the origin of the image and its preservation still remain to a large extent unsolved and will require further research and study. In regard to this the Church will show the same openness, inspired by the love of truth which she showed by permitting the radio-carbon dating as soon as she was presented with a reasonable and effective programme in regard to that matter. I personally regret the deplorable fact that many reports concerning this scientific research were anticipated in the press, especially of the English language, because it also favoured the by no means objective insinuation that the Church was afraid of science by trying to conceal its results, an accusation in open contradiction to the Church's attitude on this occasion also when she has gone ahead resolutely.
13 October 1988
Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero
On the basis of this carefully dispassionate communique London's Daily Telegraph, theoretically one of Britain's `quality' newspapers, carried the headline `Turin shroud is a forgery, says Catholic Church', followed by a first paragraph `The shroud of Turin is not the burial cloth of Christ ... the Roman Catholic Church said in Italy yesterday.'" (Wilson, 1991, pp.190-192).

In fact Cardinal Ballestrero later stated that, "In my opinion, the Turin Shroud is authentic" and regarded "The radiocarbon measurements, dating the Shroud in the Middle Ages" as wrong (my emphasis):

"Initially, the Cardinal seemed to accept the test result, but in an interview years later said: `In my opinion, the Turin Shroud is authentic. The radiocarbon measurements, dating the Shroud in the Middle Ages, would appear to have been performed without due care.' [Die Welt, September 5, 1997]" (Guerrera, 2000, p.133).

There have been numerous theories purporting to explain how the tests could have produced false results but so far they have all been rejected by the scientific establishment. Which is a reflection on the scientific objectivity of "the scientific establishment." If it had been any other ancient linen artifact than the claimed burial sheet of Christ, they would have kept an open mind and if the radiocarbon date conflicted with other evidence (which it does), they would have long before now accepted the radiocarbon date could have been wrong. But such has long been the case when scientists' own personal religious (i.e. anti-religious) views are threatened, as agnostic anatomy professor Yves Delage found in 1902 when his scientific evidence presented to the French Academy of Sciences that the Shroud was authentic, was simply rejected out of hand, and Delage observed, "If, instead of Christ, there were a question of ... one of the Pharaohs, no one would have thought of making any objection":

"Since the early 1900's, the Shroud has attracted the attention of biologists interested in the anatomy of crucifixion. Among the first to approach the problem were Paul Vignon, a French biologist, and Yves Delage, an anatomy professor at the Sorbonne. In 1902, Delage gave a lecture to the Paris Academy of Sciences in which he reported that the image appeared to be in every respect anatomically correct. Although The Lancet critiqued his paper as being sound, Delage's peers at the Academy did not think much of it and refused publication. Subsequently, Delage wrote: `If, instead of Christ, there were a question of some person like a Sargon, an Achilles or one of the Pharaohs, no one would have thought of making any objection... . I recognize Christ as a historical personage and I see no reason why anyone should be scandalized that there still exist material traces of his earthly life.' [Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," W.H. Allen: London, 1963, p.107]." (Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, pp.235-239, p.238).

Many people remain convinced that the shroud is genuine. That is because: 1) the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence is for the Shroud being genuine:

"The C-14 Laboratory Test Results ... . The results of the test were first officially published in an article entitled `Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin' in 1989 in Nature Magazine. ... The report stated the following conclusion: `The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range with at least 95 percent confidence for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of A.D. 1260-1390. These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is medieval.' Headlines all over the world jumped on this report and, ignoring the vast body of evidence to the contrary, and the warnings of the perils of the C-14 test, prematurely accepted the results of this one test to condemn the Holy Shroud as a `fake or fraud.' ... It was truly a bleak period for the Holy Shroud - no stranger to difficult periods - and for scientists who had carefully studied the `preponderance of evidence,' as Dreisbach calls it. They knew that the mass of evidence supported the probable authenticity and antiquity of the Shroud while one test contradicted this evidence. Unfortunately, the press, in a highly unbalanced approach, simply ignored the body of evidence and never questioned the reliability of the Carbon-14 test." (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.164-165).

and 2) there is no adequate alternative theory of how the Shroud was produced if it is not the burial sheet of Jesus:

"As for the fundamental questions for anyone adopting the forgery hypothesis - for example: `Who forged such an extraordinary image?' 'How did he do so without betraying any obvious sign of his artifice?' 'How did he manage to get so much right medically, historically and culturally?' - if you ask yourself whether Sox, or any of the other current detractors, from McCrone and Hall to Picknett and Prince, has yet offered any genuinely satisfying answers, the response has to be no. Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen. Realistically, to date there has been only one genuinely satisfying, albeit still only partial, replication of the Shroud's image, that by Professor Nicholas Allen. And that demands so much ingenuity and advanced photographic knowledge on the part of someone of the Middle Ages that it may actually represent rather better evidence for the Shroud's authenticity than for its forgery." (Wilson, 1998, p.235).

Professor Ramsey, an expert in the use of carbon dating in archaeological research, is conducting fresh experiments that could explain how genuinely old linen could produce "younger" dates. Again, these are presumably not to be "Fresh tests on Shroud of Turin" but "fresh experiments" on other "genuinely old linen" artifacts to explain how it "could produce `younger' dates."

The results, due next month, will form part of a BBC television documentary on the Shroud of Turin. This is The Silent Witness II by David Rolfe which David Rolfe himself discusses in the British Society of the Turin Shroud's December 2007 newsletter. Interestingly, Dr Ramsey was a student at the same Oxford radiocarbon laboratory in 1988 when the Shroud was tested:

"Our schedule will take in Oxford and the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art. Dr. Christopher Ramsey who now heads it was a student there when the Shroud was tested. He brings a personal recollection of that fateful event for the Shroud in modern times. He will cast his eye over some new attempts to see if there could have been anything awry."

David Rolfe, the director of the documentary, said it was hugely significant that Professor Ramsey had thought it necessary to carry out further tests that could challenge the original dating. He said that previous hypotheses, explaining how the cloth could be older than the 1988 results, had been "rejected out of hand". Agreed. Prof. Ramsay is to be commended for his honesty and courage for admitting that the radiocarbon-dating of the Shroud could have been wrong.

"The main reason is that the contamination levels on the cloth that would have been needed to distort the results would have to be equivalent to the actual sample itself," he said. "But this new theory only requires 2 per cent contamination to skew the results by 1500 years. Presumably this is something like the "kinetic isotope effect" where in the 1532 fires the Shroud was in, there could have been a "differential C14 production" which could have caused "A higher ratio of C14" to C12 which would then make the Shroud's radiocarbon age be much younger than it actually is (see also `tagline' quotes):

"Which brings us back to the Shroud fire. Dr. Adler points out that the 40% carbon exchange supposedly needed to push the date back to the first century need not be so. A much lesser percentage is needed if another type of kinetic isotope effect, not from the biology of living plants, but from chemical reactions during the fire, took place. It would have the same result as biofractionation in the flax plant, but would produce differential C14 production chemically and not biologically. A higher ratio of C14 would obtain during the carbon exchange, with the result that, say, a 20% exchange could mean a first century date. But the quantities and the conditions of the fire are not knowable with any degree of reliability, as Dr. Adler is quick to point out. The fire is however the most promising event to look for revised C14 dates. At least in the Shroud fire we have a discernable chemical reaction that would have occurred in the mixture of combustion gases, steam and silver ions." (Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH, p.38)

Moreover, it springs from published data about the behaviour of carbon-14 in the atmosphere which was unknown when the original tests were carried out 20 years ago." It will be interesting to know what this is. The problem is that "the fraction of C-14 to C-12 is so infinitesimal" ("one part in a trillion of the overall carbon content", i.e. one C14 atom in one million million C12 and C13 atoms), "and since this measured ratio is the basis for calculating the organism's age, any error in measuring or counting the C-14 isotope could alter the date, perhaps significantly":

"However, this balance is infinitesimal with C-14 being approximately one part in a trillion of the overall carbon content (1/1,000,000,000,000). This very tiny amount of C-14 formed in the atmosphere, along with the much larger amounts of C-13 and C-12, is taken up in atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesizing plants and is, thereby, spread throughout the biosphere, thus allowing all living things to have a similar ratio of C-14 to C-12. ... Since the fraction of C-14 to C-12 is so infinitesimal, and since this measured ratio is the basis for calculating the organism's age, any error in measuring or counting the C-14 isotope could alter the date, perhaps significantly. A correct date can be calculated if and only if the very tiny trace amount of measured C-14 from the object accumulated there by the above natural process. If the measured C-14 got on the object any other way, the interpretation of the date will be incorrect." (Antonacci, M., 2000, "The Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.156-157. Emphasis original)

so it may be that this "behaviour of carbon-14 in the atmosphere" which was "unknown ... 20 years ago" could markedly change the estimated radiocarbon age of the Shroud sample, even to the extent that "the Shroud can easily be 2000 years old" (see `tagline').

Mr Rolfe said the documentary would also contain new archaeological and historical evidence supporting claims that the shroud was a genuine burial cloth. I expect this will include the evidence discovered by Dr Alan Whanger of a high number of points of congruence between the Shroud's facial image and 6th century Christ Pantocrator icons, coins and the Sudarium of Oviedo as well as flower images on the Shroud (see Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin: Shroud Image Comparison Motion GIFs). This visual evidence would be especially effective on television.

The documentary will focus on two other recorded relics, the Shroud of Constantinople, which is said to have been stolen by Crusaders in 1204, and the Shroud of Jerusalem that wrapped the body of Jesus and which, according to John's Gospel, had such a profound effect when it was discovered. There is good visual evidence for at least the first of these (see "The History of the Shroud of Turin from Edessa to Constantinople" and "The Shroud of Turin Story: Early history in Jerusalem, Edessa and Constantinople").

According to Mr Rolfe, the documentary will produce convincing evidence that these are one and the same as the Shroud of Turin, adding credence to the belief that it dates back to Christ's death. I expect this documentary will be sensational because most people will be completely unaware of the amount of new evidence that has accumulated in the 20 years since 1988, pointing unequivocally to the Shroud of Turin being the very burial sheet of Jesus.

Posted: 28 February 2008. Updated: 20 September 2017.

"Dr. Adler: ... The C12 isotopic molecular structure will react faster than the C14 one will, so if you carry out a series of chemical reactions, you're going to find that the ratio of C14 to C12 varies ... Because it will have undergone a different amount of what people call biofractionation. Which a chemist calls a kinetic isotope effect. This is the point that has been brought out by these two Russian scientists, Kouznetsov and Ivanov [ [Kouznetsov, D., Ivanov, A. & Veletsky, P., "Effects of fires and biofractionation of carbon isotopes on results of radiocarbon dating of old textiles: the Shroud of
," Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1996, pp.109-121], who tried to explain some problems with the C14 date." (Case, 1996, pp.72-73).

"Dr. Heller:: ... if the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide which was produced, exchanged with the carbon of the sample, as in the Russian model, you would expect that you would get a more recent date. ... Case: .... Would you explain the `khaki' effect that produced the iron oxide particles in the water stain margins, particles that were found inside the closed tubular fibers? Would such chemical reactions taking place under extreme conditions produced by the fire have any relevance to a possible accelerated carbon exchange in the fibers themselves? Dr. Adler: We discovered that in the 1800s some of the people living in India produced khaki by staining with iron salts, putting it in alkali, and then letting it dry out, to make iron oxide, producing a khaki color. So, we decided to try the same experiment, and we discovered ... it puts particles inside the fibers. ... That can happen, as we pointed out in the paper, during the fire. The stuff would have gotten on the inside, and over a period of time it would have precipitated and then dried out at the time of the fire. So in fact the fire would have relevance to this kind of `khaki' evidence. And it could also have produced carbon exchange. That's the whole point of the Russian paper." (Case, 1996, pp.80-82).

"Dr. Adler: ... The Russian paper claims that that is good reason for doubting the date. Case: I figured that in 5700 years, half the C14 would decay; after 2000 years, 18%; and after 700 years, 6%. This means that about a 12% increase in the C14 counted would give a date 1300 years too recent. Comment? Dr. Adler: Wrong. The problem is, the decay is not linear. It's exponential. That's the physics of it. And what you mean by these percentages-all sorts of people have screwed this thing up. There's a better way of saying it. To have the date be over one thousand years off, you'd have to replace 40% of the carbons by modern carbon-to get the right ratio (of C12 to C14) to make it turn out right. That doesn't mean you'd have to replace it by C14. It means you have to take C14 in a ratio to C12 that's here now today. But you would have to replace 40% of the carbons. Now if you had some crazy mechanism that would selectively replace C14 atoms, then it would take a much smaller percentage. And what these Russians seem to have found is a mechanism that will in fact do that. Because they're talking about what is known as a kinetic isotope effect, and that's very clever." (Case, 1996, pp.84-85).

"Dr. Adler: The combination of these two [C12 and C14] produces a different clock time. But it's not a linear clock. It's an exponential clock. ... you can't extrapolate these numbers that you've got, because you're calibrating linearly. You can't extrapolate linearly. You have to go through the exponential calculations. ... Let's say you start with a sample that's got a radioactivity of one. And it's got a half life of say, a year. That means in one year it drops to one half of what it had. In two years it drops to one quarter of what it had. It drops by a half again. In three years it drops to one eighth of what it had. Half again. It isn't just dropping in a linear way. It's dropping in an exponential way. That's a lot harder to think about. You have to calculate it. Not just sit down with a piece of paper and a ruler and draw lines-which a lot of people have done for this. You also have to watch out, because you are not at liberty to pick any old year you want to talk about that you want to put
into the experiment. Because you have this problem of the C14 to C12 ratio. In any given instant in time it isn't constant. ... ... Case: I know. You have to plug in this calibration curve ... Dr. Adler: And some of those variations are very big. By ignoring that, you can come up with all kinds of crazy things that are off by a couple of thousand years. Case: Say that in the fire, a whole lot of carbon got exchanged, or came in. Dr. Adler: It could change the date back to the date we see. That's the point of the Russian's argument. ... This is this thing I told you about where the molecules don't react at the same rate. And so you can have more C14 added to the structure than C12. ...You see there's no way you can simply calculate this. You actually have to sit down with the right physics and do the physical calculations, starting with the right dates, when you think things happened, with the right corrections. It's a very complicated calculation. Case: But this was done in that paper you were talking about, that the Russians wrote. Dr. Adler: This is the Kouznetsov-Ivanov paper. And they claim because people ignored all this, that the same thing happened to the Shroud, corresponding to the results they found in the laboratory experiments, the Shroud can easily be 2000 years old. They can't prove it's 2000 years old but they can prove that if these kinds of conditions obtained, it could easily be that." (Case, 1996, pp.86-88).

"A laboratory model especially created to `reproduce', i.e. to simulate the physical/chemical conditions of the 1532 Chambéry fire was developed for the purpose of determining experimentally the probability that fire-induced chemical modifications of the Turin Shroud textile cellulose had occurred and evaluating its possible impact on the radiocarbon dating results. In these studies, both old Russian and old Middle Eastern (En Gedi, Israel, BC100-AD100) linen textile samples were tested by near-IR reflectance spectrophotometry, field ionization/field desorption mass spectrometry, and conventional AMS analysis. We found that the different fire-simulating model conditions were able to promote the carboxylation of unscreened OH-groups in textile cellulose molecules. This carboxylation process involves carbon-containing combustion gases, CO and CO2, in the presence of silver cations, water and heat. As a result, a significant additional amount of 14C and 13C atoms incorporate into the textile cellulose structure as a portion of carboxy-groups. Radiocarbon ages of experimental textile samples incubated under fire-simulating conditions have been estimated by the common AMS technique with correction for C-isotopes fractionation. As seen from the resulting data, fire-induced carboxylation, i.e. `carbonization', of the textile cellulose, leads to a significant error in the radiocarbon dating results. The extent and mechanism of this phenomenon as well as the problem of accuracy and the limitations of the radiocarbon method are discussed. All experimental data and theoretical statements presented in this work deal with the re-evaluation of the Shroud of Turin dating results obtained by Damon et al. using a conventional radiocarbon approach." Kouznetsov, D., Ivanov, A. & Veletsky, P., "Effects of fires and biofractionation of carbon isotopes on results of radiocarbon dating of old textiles: the Shroud of Turin," Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1996, pp.109-121, p.109).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Shroud name index `M'

My Shroud of Turin name index, `M', for persons associated with the Shroud whose surnames begin with `M'.

[Right: Dr. Walter C. McCrone, Jr., McCrone Research Institute, 11 October 2015.]

See also main name index A-Z for more details.

Walter C. McCrone, Jr. (1916-2002). Pioneer light microscopist. Leading Shroud sceptic. Was original member of STURP but never personally examined the Shroud. Claimed that just by visual microscope examination of particles taken from the Shroud by STURP in 1978, that there was no blood on the Shroud and that the image was a painting. He made these claims in the public media, being a beneficiary of lucrative publicity. McCrone's claims were refuted in every particular by exhaustive, wide-ranging, chemical, physical, xray and visual tests by STURP scientists, one of whom, Dr. Alan Adler, was a world authority in blood chemistry. McCrone breached his signed agreement with STURP that no articles would be published until all the findings could be discussed by STURP members and then they would be published in peer-reviewed journals. Unlike STURP's, McCrone's scientific papers on the Shroud were not submitted to external peer review but were published in his own journal The Microscope and in the public media. McCrone declined to defend his claims at scientific conferences to which he was invited, and in peer- reviewed journals. His unscientific prejudice against the authenticity of the Shroud was evident in his 1981 claim that, "I believe the shroud is a fake, but I cannot prove it." However, even fellow anti-authenticity critics, the late Prof. Edward Hall , Dr Michael Tite, Joe Nickell, Steven Schafersman and Picknett and Prince, regard McCrone's claim that the Shroud is a painting to be wrong. McCrone's credibility was seriously dented when his 1974 claim that the Vinland Map was a fake, turned out to be wrong. McCrone took scientific criticisms of this claim as a personal attack and refused to admit he was wrong. Prof. Harry Gove thinks McCrone was motivated by a dream of being "history's greatest iconoclast," he lacked objectivity and his testing was unsophisticated. McCrone's claim of old maps and paintings brought to his laboratory for authentication, that "very seldom do we find them to be authentic," indicates his negative mindset. His shroud papers include: McCrone, W.C. & Skirius, C., 1980, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' I," Microscope, Vol. 28, pp.105-113; McCrone, W.C., 1980, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' II;' Microscope, Vol. 28, pp.115-128; and McCrone, W.C., 1981, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' III," Microscope, Vol. 29, pp.19-38. His shroud book: McCrone, W.C., "Judgment Day for the Turin Shroud," Microscope Publications: Chicago IL, 1997. About: McCrone Research Institute, The Shroud Report, Wikipedia. Obituaries: New York Times;

PS: The `tagline' quotes below are about each person, in alphabetic order of surname (in bold), and then date order (most recent uppermost). As I add more names to this page, I will delete some of these quotes about the same person.

Posted 24 February 2008: Updated 23 April 2024.

Walter McCrone:
"Recently, the most vocal advocate of the painting theory, and perhaps the best known among modern Shroud sceptics, is microscopist Walter McCrone. After examining fibril samples from the Shroud, McCrone announced his opinion that an artist had painted the body image by using an iron oxide (Fe2O3) pigment (called red iron earth pigment or jeweler's rouge) suspended in a gelatin binding medium. He further asserted that mercuric sulfide pigment, usually called red vermilion, was added to the blood mark areas. [McCrone, W.C. & Skirius, C., 1980, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' I," Microscope, Vol. 28, pp.105-113; McCrone, W.C., 1980, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' II;' Microscope, Vol. 28, pp.115-128; and McCrone, W.C., 1981, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' III," Microscope, Vol. 29, pp.19-38] This or any other painting theory, however, is not supported by the data gathered through STURP's rigorous testing. ... In fact, the theory that any painting medium or technique could be responsible for the extraordinary images contained on the Shroud seems impossible." (Antonacci, M. , 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.47-48).

"Finally, there is no clear evidence of any pigment on the Shroud, although here there is some disagreement. The STURP team, using microscopic, chemical laser microprobes, concluded that the Shroud shows no trace of `any of the expected dyes, stains, pigments, or painting media.' [Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin, A Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, 1982, pp.3-49, p.14] A sometime member of the team, however, concluded otherwise. Walter C. McCrone, who is one of America's most respected forensic microanalysts, reported finding submicrometer-sized particles of iron oxide throughout the image area, but not on the clear area of the Shroud. [Nickell, J., 1983, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, pp.119-125] This ferric oxide, McCrone concluded, was residue of a rouge, similar to today's Venetian Red, that was used by ancient and medieval painters. Two other investigators, John Heller and A. D. Adler, conceded the presence of iron on the Shroud, but flatly disagreed with McCrone's analysis. According to Heller and Adler, a microspectrophotometer showed that most of the iron was blood porphyrin. A small percentage of the iron occurred in iron oxide, they reported, but the iron oxide was not a pigment: it occurred throughout the Shroud on the periphery of water stains, and must have resulted from the 1532 fire at Chambery. [Heller, J.H. & Adler, A.D., 1981, "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, Vol. 14, pp.81-103] However the iron oxide particles are to be explained, it is agreed that they did not `produce' the image. In his recently published Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, Joe Nickell emphasizes the iron oxide, and upon it builds his case that the Shroud was forged in the fourteenth century by an artist who used a printing procedure. Nickell's observations deserve to be taken seriously, even though they rest on rather limited experiments. ... It is therefore noteworthy that even Nickell excludes the possibility that the image was painted, and concedes that `ferric oxide contributes less than about 10 percent to the overall image intensity." [Nickell, 1983, p.133]" (Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, pp.16-17).

"By coincidence, on the same day I replied to Sox I got a call from Walter McCrone. ... He told me, in a rather secretive manner ... that he had an important piece of cloth whose age he was eager to know. In particular he said he would like to know whether it was 2000 years old. Presumably he thought I couldn't guess to what cloth he was alluding. ... In his letter, McCrone remained coy about the source of the cloth he said he was interested in dating. ... and, for some unstated reason, he needed the results before the end of the year. ... I suppose he wanted the results before the next shroud exposition scheduled for early fall of the following year. ... I did not reveal that I knew what the samples were. ... . I sometimes think that McCrone dreamed of becoming history's greatest iconoclast. Having, in his view, demolished the authenticity of the Vinland Map he saw the chance to do the same to the Turin Shroud!" (Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, pp.18-19).

"When a series of tests were carried out on the shroud in the fall of 1978, McCrone determined that there were traces of iron oxide powder on the shroud image. He immediately announced that he `had some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the shroud is a fake. The good news is that no one is going to believe me.' It remained, however, for others to settle the question and to do so with somewhat greater objectivity and with a great deal more credibility." (Gove, 1996, pp.19-20).

"On 10 May [1987] an article appeared in the New York Times concerning the Vinland Map. A friend of mine at the University of California at Davis, Tom Cahill, Director of the Crocker Nuclear Laboratory at that institution, had employed the cyclotron in his laboratory to analyse the trace element composition of the map using a non-destructive technique called PIXE (particle induced X-ray emission). He concluded that the ink on the map contained only extremely small traces of titanium, amounts that were quite consistent with it being a genuine medieval document. In 1974, Walter McCrone had concluded that the white ink on the map had been made from the pigment anatase (titanium oxide). Such white pigment was invented in 1917 and to Walter this proved the map a fraud. McCrone hotly contested Cahill's findings and fired off an angry letter to him stating, in effect, that war was declared. In an interview the New York Times conducted with him, McCrone also branded as fraudulent the Shroud of Turin. He was clearly trying to re-burnish his image as the world's leading iconoclast. As far as the Vinland Map is concerned, I would put my money on Cahill and PIXE. .... The problem McCrone has is that his scientific techniques are unsophisticated compared to AMS and PIXE." (Gove, 1996, p.190).

"A LEADING skeptic of the Shroud's authenticity is Dr. Walter McCrone, a microanalyst from Chicago. McCrone gained international notoriety in 1974 for his study of the Vinland Map kept at Yale University. Briefly, the map was said to have been drawn by a monk from the Upper Rhine in the fifteenth century. The map indicated that it pre-dated Columbus' voyage. McCrone tested twenty-nine microparticles from the document and concluded that while the parchment was from the Middle Ages, the map was fraudulent because the ink consisted of anatase (titanium oxide, a synthetic pigment) which was not developed until the early twentieth century. In 1987, his conclusion was challenged by a group of scientists led by Dr. Thomas Cahill at the Crocker Nuclear Laboratory at the University of California at Davis. Employing a nondestructive technique called PIXE (particle induced X-ray emission), Cahill concluded that the ink of the Vinland Map contains only slight traces of titanium, which can be found in other genuine medieval documents. In fact, an authentic Gutenberg Bible (15th century) actually showed greater amounts of titanium than the Vinland Map. At a symposium held at Yale University Press on February 10, 1996 which was devoted to a discussion of the expanded version of the original book on the map, The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation, Dr. Cahill said: `There is nothing about the chemistry or morphology of the Vinland Map that in any way makes it stand out from any of the parchments of that period that we have analyzed.' [Wilford, J.N., "Disputed Medieval Map Called Genuine After All," The New York Times, February 13, 1996] Dr. Wilcomb E. Washburn, the Director of American Studies at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, who wrote the introduction to the new book, concurred: `I think the evidence is clearly on the side of authenticity.' [Ibid]" (Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.66-67. Emphasis original).

"Although Dr. McCrone was not part of the STURP team that examined the Shroud in Italy, Ray Rogers, the chemist from Los Alamos, provided McCrone with thirty-two sticky tape samples that he had taken from the surface of the Shroud during its examination in 1978. McCrone began to study the tape samples on Christmas Day 1978. He discovered a small quantity (not more than 10 milligrams) of iron oxide. The mixture was a combination of red and yellow pigment particles. Since this was found only on the blood areas of the Shroud, McCrone concluded that it was red pigment used by an artist. He postulated that the discoloration of the fibers could have been caused by the aging of that paint medium. [McCrone, W.C., "Judgment Day for the Turin Shroud," Microscope Publications: Chicago IL, 1997, p.100] He then demonstrated how the paint could have been applied to the cloth without leaving any traces of brush strokes. Dipping his finger in powdered jeweler's rouge, he applied it to a piece of paper until there was little left on his finger; then he transferred that to a piece of linen. [Hoare, R., "The Turin Shroud Is Genuine,"Barnes & Noble Books: New York, 1995, p.48] The STURP team did not accept McCrone's conclusions, because he did not take their findings into consideration, for example, that iron oxide is basically rust, which can be found in many forms of dust. Dr. Jackson made note that it was not surprising to find iron oxide in the blood areas of the Shroud because iron is a component of blood. Furthermore, the particles could have spread to other areas of the Shroud by the repeated folding and unfolding of the cloth throughout the centuries." (Guerrera, 2000, pp.68-69).

"In 1981, STURP held a meeting at Connecticut College in New London. McCrone, who had resigned from STURP in 1980, was invited to attend, but declined to participate. He later remarked: `I believe the shroud is a fake, but I cannot prove it.' [ McCrone, W.C., in Murphy, C., "Shreds of Evidence," Harper's Magazine, November, 1981, pp.42-65, pp.54-55] During the presentation, Dr. Adler was asked to comment on McCrone's claim that there was no blood on the Shroud. Adler referred to a chart of the blood tests that he and Dr. Heller had performed and remarked: `That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!' [Heller, J.H., "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, 1983, p.216] McCrone's theory was dismissed by the use of X-ray fluorescence and visible light examination of the Shroud as well as microchemical tests. These studies showed that there was not a sufficient amount of iron oxide on the cloth to account for the least enhancement of the image. [Morris, R.A., Schwalbe, L.A. & London, J.R. "X-Ray Fluorescence Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," X-ray Spectrometry, Vol. 9, No. 2, 1980, p.40] The STURP team concluded that the iron oxide evidence was `irrelevant to the image formation process.'" [Schwalbe L.A. & Rogers, R. N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin," Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, 1982, , pp.3-49, p.39]" (Guerrera, 2000, p.69. Emphasis original).

"Jackson and jumper presented their appraisal of the status of research on the Shroud. When they finished with their precis, Sam Pellicori said that as far as he was concerned, McCrone's hypothesis about iron oxide being the source of the images was just wrong. He had done a simple and elegant little experiment. He had taken some filter paper, which is white and flat, and placed on it an amount of iron oxide in the concentration that McCrone claimed existed in the images on the Shroud. Using a reflectance spectrum the Gilberts had obtained from the bloodstains on the Shroud, he had compared it to the iron oxide. The spectra did not match. Larry Schwalbe had done something similar. He had put iron oxide into a watery solution, shaken it, and let the larger and heavier particles precipitate out. He took the suspended particles and determined the limit of resolution of the specific X-ray fluorescence equipment that was used in Turin. The minimum amount of iron oxide that could be seen by the human eye was the same amount that could be accurately determined by X-ray fluorescence. Clearly, it would be absurd for an artist to use a pigment in an amount so dilute that one could not see it with the naked eye; that was tantamount to painting in invisible ink. Schwalbe used jeweler's rouge simply because it was a convenient form of iron oxide, but he also tested other forms of the compound, and came up with the same results." (Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, pp.155-156).

"Everyone was extremely impatient to find out whether McCrone was right or wrong. If it was determined that his claims did not hold up on a preliminary basis, then the others would be willing to go on to other questions. The next thing on our agenda was to find out if iron oxide was present on image fibers. X-ray fluorescence had found none, X radiographs had seen none, and Pellicori's iron-oxide spectrum was significantly different from the Gilberts' spectrum of the actual Shroud images. At the Santa Barbara meeting, when Jackson had asked McCrone how he explained the fact that X-ray fluorescence had seen no iron increase in an image area, McCrone had dismissed the issue by stating that the X-ray data must have been in error or were not sensitive enough. That morning, Jumper announced that he had been looking at slides and that in at least a third of the image fibrils, there were no red particles at all. `How,' he demanded, `could iron-oxide pigment be the cause of the images if it's not present in at least thirty-three percent of the image fibers?' Others in the group checked his observations and confirmed them." (Heller, 1983, p.164).

"Dr. Walter McCrone, a noted microanalyst with his own research laboratory, Walter C. McCrone Associates, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois noted the presence of some flecks of iron oxide on the Shroud and reached the conclusion that this was some sort of paint. McCrone had an international reputation from his discovery of the Vinland Map forgery. In 1957, an American book dealer found a map apparently dating from the fifteenth century and copied from an earlier Viking map, showing parts of North America. Speculation arose that the Vikings beat Columbus to North America by some 500 years. Walter McCrone received the map for Yale University and studied it, only to discover in 1974 that the ink contained anatase (titanium dioxide), which had only been invented in the 1920's. He declared the map a forgery. However, as is pointed out by Picknett and Prince [Picknett, L. & Prince, C., "Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?" HarperCollins: New York NY, 1994, pp.52-56], McCrone's findings have been called into question. In 1987, physicists at the University of California examined the map using a method of particle induced X-ray emission and found only minute amounts titanium - more than 1,000 times less than that claimed by McCrone, which, as they point out, one would expect to find in medieval ink. Perhaps the Vinland Map is genuine after all." (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.179).

"More importantly, McCrone's judgment regarding the Shroud was further called into question. McCrone had not been with the team that examined the Shroud first hand, and he claimed that the pigment Venetian red, made by grinding iron oxide into a powder, was solely responsible for the Shroud image. However, the S.T.U.R.P. scientists who examined the cloth directly reported that, while there were some isolated flecks on parts of the cloth, these flecks had nothing to do with the formation of the images. It was pointed out that often in the long history of the Shroud other paintings would be laid over the Shroud to somehow sanctify such paintings and that this process left an occasional microscopic trace of paint or pigment on the cloth. In addition, chemists noted that some flecks could have been from the blood. With the folding and rolling up of the Shroud over the years, some flecks of iron oxide from the blood could easily have fallen on other parts of the Shroud. Other specialists noted that iron oxide is involved in the manufacture of the linen itself, specifically in the retting process or soaking in water containing iron." (Iannone, 1998, pp.179-180. Emphasis original).

"McCrone and others contend that I have ignored strong arguments for human artifice, but suggestions that the image might be a painting, rubbing, or print have been thoroughly disproved by the recent analyses. It is established that the visible body image does not reside in a pigment, ink, or other coloring agent and that it has distinctly different characteristics from the bloodstains. My dismissal of McCrone's claims is more than amply justified by the battery of Commission and STURP tests. Even Mueller, Nickell, and Schafersman now accept the STURP interpretation of the image as a cellulose degradation product, but McCrone still insists that it is a water-color painting with a layer of pigment. Not only are the iron oxide and other possible pigment particles present only in trace levels far below the visible range, but their identification, origin, and distribution pattern are disputed. Heller and Adler (1981:93) identify three types of iron compounds on the Shroud - cellulosic and heme-bound iron and Fe2O3, the latter concentrated in the water stain margins and possibly derived from either of the former, from airborne dust, or from contact with jewellers' rouge on glass. Further, Riggi (cited in Heller and Adler 1981:97) found no evidence under electron microprobe of the mineralogical contaminants (Mn, Co, Ni, Al) invariably associated with iron-earth pigments of medieval artists, nor did Heller and Adler find such impurities in microchemical testing. The few isolated examples of undisputed paint particles, e.g. cinnabar, are completely consistent with dust deposition. Indeed, among the millions of particles on the Shroud surface, it would be surprising not to find traces of pigment, as the Shroud has been copied at least 60 times." (Meacham, W. , 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, p.45).

"Even if one ignored the very compelling evidence to the contrary and granted McCrone's interpretation of the iron particles and protein, all one could conclude would be that minute traces of a solution or ointment containing pure haematite are present in the body imprint. This is of course a far cry from proving the image to be a painting. As STURP responded to McCrone's first pronouncements, `microscopic observations do not exist in a vacuum' (quoted in Sox 1981:61). McCrone is somewhat like Mearns's little man who `wasn't there again today.' He declined at least two invitations to discuss his findings in the multidisciplinary framework of STURP; he has declined invitations to present his work at scientific congresses. He did not follow the STURP `covenant,' which he signed, to publish in peer-reviewed scientific literature. And, as he admits, he has not responded in print to the arguments of Heller and Adler, Pellicori, Riggi, and Schwalbe and Rogers on the physics and chemistry of the image. He has abandoned his earlier claims of a synthetic iron oxide (post-1800) in the image and of a pigment enhancement of the genuine image." (Meacham, 2005, pp.45-46).

"The [Vinland] map had been purchased in 1957 by Laurence Witten, a rare book dealer in New Haven, Connecticut who had obtained it from an Italian bookseller living in Barcelona. Yale purchased it from Witten and after some questioning by historians of the university it was decided to have the British Museum carry out nondestructive tests on the map. The only negative feature of the museum laboratory's analysis was that the Vinland Map was not quenching the vellum fluorescence under ultraviolet light as did the other two documents. Infrared analysis later indicated there was no iron in the ink of the map as well. A recommendation was made for more detailed scientific testing and Yale employed McCrone Associates. Minute samples of ink particles were removed by an extremely fine point needle which had a small ball of rubber cement near the tip. As McCrone explained, `To avoid damaging the vellum, the needle was held below 20 degrees to the map surface and drawn backward rather than pushed toward the point'. The total weight of all the samples McCrone removed was much less than a microgram. Following the basic microscopic analysis of single parchment fibres, McCrone turned to the Transmission Electron Microscope which indicated the presence of anatase pigment particles - and this had not been synthesised until the 1920s. That clinched matters for most experts and McCrone got a great deal of lucrative publicity from his discovery. When the verdict was given, Witten was reluctant to accept it. `Either the map was genuine, as I believe, or someone with an extraordinary confluence of talents which really pass the belief of all of us forged it, and for God knows what reason." [The Observer, 27 January 1974]" (Sox, H.D. , 1981, "The Image on the Shroud: Is the Turin Shroud a Forgery?," Unwin: London, p.20).

"McCrone sometimes wonders why people continue to bring maps and paintings to his laboratory for authentication, since `our record is not very good ... very seldom do we find them to be authentic.' Most of McCrone's day to day work is less exciting. Although his company has been employed by art galleries around the world and you can see a supposed Rembrandt in his office, the bulk of the activity at the South Michigan Avenue laboratory is for business. Detecting asbestos in talcum powder, discovering the cause of contaminated mayonnaise and printing ink creating green specks on white dinnerware is the normal fare. McCrone promotes his `think small' concept as a way of saving industry thousands of dollars. After receiving a doctor of philosophy degree from Cornell University, McCrone worked at the Illinois Institute of Technology for twelve years. He started his own research company, McCrone Associates, in 1956. In the early 1960s, McCrone became increasingly interested in teaching the methods of microscopy and ultramicroanalysis, and today devotes most of his time to classes in America and England. " (Sox, 1981, p.20).

"The New Mexico [STURP] conference of 1977 placed carbon dating at the top of priority tests it recommended and the proposals were presented in Turin months later. McCrone had been seen at New Mexico as the best person to oversee the carbon dating situation, and he was to be supported in this pursuit by Vatican sindonologist, Msgr Giulio Ricci and his secretary. Unknown to the Turin authorities the three met secretly with King Umberto in Geneva the day following the presentation of proposals. Ricci had hoped that the King's known willingness to have carbon dating performed would persuade Turin to release the samples. It didn't and McCrone's association with this attempt `tainted' him in the eyes of those preparing future tests on the relic. This marked the beginning of a continuing disassociation of McCrone from the eventual testing of the Shroud. Unfortunately, McCrone could not have known that Ricci's effort was a personal affair with no blessings from Turin, and the authorities had no intention of carbon dating the Shroud. The reaction was bad - some suggested that McCrone's interest in the Shroud was far from being `selflessly scientific' and one Turin newspaper went so far as stating that his Chicago lab `stood to gain millions of dollars from his involvement of analysing the Shroud.'" (Sox, 1981, p.22).

"During these studies, a number of published reports appeared which detailed the work of Walter McCrone, a former STURP member. A world-renowned micro-analyst, McCrone announced that he had discovered red ocher (iron oxide and vermilion) and gelatin or collagen tempera on the Shroud, which he believed indicated that the Shroud's image was either painted or at least touched up by this substance. [Angier, N. , 1982, "Unraveling the Shroud of Turin," Discover, October, pp.54-60, p.60; McCrone, W.C. & Skirius, C. , 1980, "Light Microscopical Studies of the Turin 'Shroud'," The Microscope, Vol. 28, March-April, pp.105-105] His claim directly opposed the findings and stand of STURP and other reports such as Heller's above. Consequently, one report challenged Heller and Adler to publish their findings in response to McCrone. [Schafersman, S.D. ,1982, "Science, the Public, and the Shroud of Turin," Skeptical Inquirer, Spring, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp.37-56, p.49] So although STURP scientists found no pigments, paints, dyes, or stains on the Shroud, [Press Release, 1981, The Shroud of Turin Research Project, 8 October; Murphy, C., 1981, "Shreds of Evidence," Harper's, November, pp.42-65, p.56] several of them began work on McCrone's specific challenge. Heller and Adler, who did some of the main work, reported that "There was not enough iron oxide or vermilion to account for one painted drop of blood, let alone all the gore on the Shroud." [Heller, 1983, p.194] STURP scientists tested and rejected McCrone's claims. The stage was set for a debate, and one was planned for the 1981 meeting of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences. McCrone, Heller, and Adler were invited and hoped that the issue would be resolved. But McCrone did not go, so the confrontation did not occur. [Heller, 1983, pp.205, 213]. Later McCrone was quoted as saying, "I believe the shroud is a fake, but I cannot prove it." [McCrone, W.C., in Murphy, 1981, pp.54-55]." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R. , 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, pp.120-121).

"Subsequently, a critic who was not a participant at Turin, Dr. Walter McCrone of Chicago, made some microscopic evaluations of surface material samples from the Shroud and, largely utilizing the public press, claimed to find paint traces on the Shroud and labeled it a medieval fake painted by an artist. He claimed that the body image is due to an iron oxide earth pigment bound with an age-yellowed animal protein binder that had been painted onto the cloth, and that the blood marks are attributable to a mixture of iron oxide pigments and vermilion (mercuric sulfide) in this same binder. That critic's views are not consistent with the conclusions of the STURP scientists, and the Heller/Adler team has categorically disagreed with him. Spectrochemical and other tests (such as microphotography, x-ray fluorimetery, ultraviolet fluorescence photos, and direct microscopy on the Shroud at several hundred magnification) of both the Shroud and control pieces of linen by S. F. Pellicori have convinced him that this critic's claims of iron oxide as a causal factor for the Shroud's body image are unsound [Pellicori, S.E., "Spectrochemical Results of the 1978 Investigation," Sindon, XXIII/30, Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia, December 1981]. ... The claim of Walter McCrone-for the presence of `an iron oxide earth pigment bound with an age-yellowed animal protein binder' was conclusively disproven in every particular. For one thing, protein was found only in the bloodstain areas of the Shroud, and definitely is not present as a pigment binder in the body image areas. Moreover, Heller/Adler found blood residues, other than hemoglobin and protein (that is, bile pigments), in the bloodstain areas of the Shroud. Conversely, they found no significant levels of any substance that could have been the residue of organic or inorganic paint pigments, or of stains or dyes. Perhaps the most conclusive finding in their extended study relates to the presence of iron residues: The only heavy concentration of iron is in the bloodstain areas, where it should be if the stains indeed are blood. Significant concentrations of iron are in the water stain margin areas-again, where it should be expected. Throughout the entire Shroud, and for all three of the control samples of old linen, a significant but uniform deposit of `covalently bound' iron is found. Again, this is not surprising: Since antiquity, the technique in Mediterranean countries for making linen from flax included an extended period of soaking and fermenting (called `retting') while the flax is submerged in large outdoor vats of water. ...And the clincher of the Heller/Adler study of iron concentrations is the strong and clear conclusion that no iron, in any form or combination, was found in the body image areas of the Shroud except at the same levels as found in the nonimage areas, and specifically, that no iron oxide residues are found in the image areas. ... Moreover, by the use of chemical and spectroscopic testing techniques (in addition to microscopic examinations), Heller and Adler demonstrated that McCrone's specific claims for the presence of paint residue were prematurely and erroneously made with insufficient data-that no materials on the Shroud can scientifically be claimed as paint, dye, or stain residues. ... With negligible notice in the news media, Walter McCrone later accepted the refutations of the STURP scientists and in a press release dated September 20, 1980, he retracted his adversary position and acknowledged that the presence of microscopic particles of iron oxide on certain portions of the Shroud `does not prove the Shroud to be a fake.' [Holy Shroud Guild newsletter, February 1981]." (Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, pp.138-141. Emphasis original).

"Most of the experiments conducted by the STURP team were designed to detect artificial pigments-inks or dyes-on the image. The results were negative, except in the view of one member of the team, Dr. Walter McCrone. He received a good deal of publicity in the months after the testing by claiming not only that he had found and identified the paint that made up the image, but also that he had worked out the actual method used by the forger. (The qualification `that made up the image' is important: there is no dispute that there are microscopic traces of pigment on the Shroud. It is known to have been in contact with painted copies, which were often held against it to `sanctify' them.)" (Picknett, L. & Prince, C. , 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, Reprinted, 2007, p.72).

"Walter McCrone was a microanalyst with his own research company, Walter C. McCrone Associates, Inc., based in Chicago. His method of identifying substances was to study them under high magnification and sometimes to supplement that with chemical tests. He was involved in the forensic work of many criminal cases and often consulted by art dealers about the authenticity of their objects. An independent, even abrasive character, McCrone seemed to revel in controversy and publicity." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.72-73).

"The case that established his international reputation and brought him to the attention of the Shroud world was his unmasking of the `Vinland Map' forgery. In Barcelona in 1957 an American antiquarian book dealer found a map, apparently dating from the fifteenth century and copied from an earlier Viking one, which showed parts of North America. For years there had been speculation that two tenth-century Norse sagas telling of the discovery and colonization of an unknown land to the west were in fact describing America. This would mean that the Vikings had beaten Columbus to it by more than five hundred years-and the Barcelona discovery seemed to be proof of this at last. At first sight it appeared to be genuine: wormholes in it matched those in two books of known fifteenth-century provenance, indicating that the map had once been bound between them (a common practice of the time). Yale University bought the map in 1965, but after some historians had expressed doubts about its authenticity, the university decided to bring in Walter McCrone. He removed particles of the ink and examined them under an electron microscope. His conclusion, announced in 1974, was that the ink contained a substance, anatase (titanium dioxide), that had been invented only in the 1920s. The map was therefore a forgery. The case brought McCrone international publicity, and it was this that led Ian Wilson to approach him about the possibility of applying his techniques to the Shroud." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, p.73).

"Ironically, serious doubts have recently been raised about McCrone's debunking of the Vinland Map. [Cahill, T.A., et al., "The Vinland Map Revisited: New Compositional Evidence on Its Inks and Parchment," Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 59, June 1987, pp.829-833] In 1987 physicists at the University of California examined the map using a well-tried technique for analyzing chemicals, particle-induced X-ray emission, and found that the ink contained only minute amounts of titanium-less than one thousandth than that claimed by McCrone-which one would expect to find in medieval ink. It appears that the Vinland Map is genuine after all, but (perhaps predictably) the finding has been almost completely ignored by the academic historical world, even though, before McCrone's announcement, archaeological discoveries in Newfoundland had proved that the Vikings had indeed discovered the New World. This case is interesting because of the insight it offers into McCrone's character. He dismissed the University of California's results as mistaken. Contrary to the detachment supposedly exhibited by scientists, he appeared to take its findings as a personal attack, writing to the California team that their work was `the first shot in a declaration of war.' [Shoemaker, M.T., "Debunking the Debunkers: The Vinland Map," Strange Magazine, No. 3, 1988, p.24]" (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.73-74).

"Despite his field of expertise, McCrone's interest in the Shroud initially centered on the possibility of carbon-dating it, and it was to this end that he first began to work with STURP However, in 1977 he made an independent approach to King Umberto II to try to get permission for the tests, which effectively antagonized both the custodians in Turin Cathedral and STURP itself-and as a result, he was banned from the tests when they did take place. [Sox, H.D., "The Image on the Shroud: Is the Turin Shroud a Forgery?," Unwin: London, 1981, p.22] After the 1978 STURP tests he was given access to the samples of threads that had been taken back to the United States, examining them first under a conventional microscope before turning to the more powerful electron microscope. His conclusions were extremely provocative ... he claimed he had found artificial pigment-paint-on the threads taken from the Shroud. And predictably, although challenged by all the STURP team and the Italian scientists present at the tests, McCrone received more publicity than all of them put together." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, p.74).

"His final conclusion was that the samples contained a pigment known as Venetian red, which was made by grinding iron oxide into a powder. He claimed that this alone was responsible for the Shroud image. The ground pigment would have been mixed with a liquid medium for application; his chemical tests revealed the presence of a protein, collagen, that he interpreted as being just that medium. To reinforce these observations, he got an artist, Walter Sanford, to reproduce the Shroud face using the same materials, with tolerably good results, although nowhere near the quality of the original. ... The dispute between McCrone and the rest of STURP turns on two questions: the origin of the particles of iron oxide on the threads and whether or not they were responsible for the creation of the image. Iron oxide-ordinary rust-is one of the most common substances on Earth. It is present in dust, so it is hardly surprising that it was found on the Shroud. But from ancient times it has been ground down by artists as pigment; McCrone's opinion was that the particles were of a shape and size that indicated they had been ground, and that they were present in too great a concentration to be due to accidental contamination. It was not the presence of iron oxide that was disputed by the STURP scientists (chiefly the biophysicist John Heller and the chemist Alan Adler) but rather McCrone's belief that it actually created the image that led to their disagreement. So they tested it without resort to microscopy to see if it was present in sufficient quantities to account for the image. X-ray fluorescence scans during the 1978 tests had revealed traces of iron, but there was no detectable difference in its density between the image and the nonimage areas-although there was more in the bloodstains. [Morris, R.A., Schwalbe, L.A. & London, J.R., "X-Ray Fluorescence Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1981, pp.40-47] Several suggestions were made to account for the iron oxide; it could have come from the blood, spreading across the cloth due to years of folding and rolling. On the other hand, it could have been a byproduct of the manufacture of the linen itself (probably the most plausible explanation) [Heller, J.H. & Adler, A.D., "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1981, pp.81-103], or it could have been due to atmospheric contamination. In view of these objections, STURP declined to include McCrone's two papers in its final report." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.74-75).

"The tests that McCrone had used to detect the protein medium were criticized on the grounds that they produce false positive results when used on cellulose, a component of linen. Alternative tests were tried by Adler. They failed to find protein in the area of the body image; although, again, they did in the blood areas. [Heller, J.H. & Adler, A.D., "Blood on the Shroud of Turin," Applied Optics, Vol. 19, No. 16, August 1980, pp.2742-2744] Many harsh criticisms have been leveled at McCrone's method and conclusions. Most cynically, some have pointed out that, of all the STURP team, he was the only one to have benefited financially from the tests-due to the publicity generated for his research company. Others have noted that his papers were published only in his own journal, The Microscope, whereas other members of STURP published theirs in independent peer-reviewed journals, thus fulfilling a major criterion of scientific respectability: that all papers have to be examined and the results confirmed by a panel of experts before being accepted for publication." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.75-76).

"Of all people, we admit to some fellow feeling for McCrone. ... Even so, it has to be admitted that his work is open to serious question. To start with, McCrone produced figures showing the number of particles of iron oxide present in the image areas compared to those in the nonimage areas. [McCrone, W.C. & Skirius, C., 1980, "Light Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' I," Microscope, Vol. 28, pp.105-113] They appeared to indicate that there was much more iron oxide in the image than elsewhere on the cloth, supporting the idea that it was the result of faking the image. However, he made no distinction between the particles from the body image and those from the blood, having concluded that the difference was due simply to the amount of pigment applied. However, this is an oversimplification: the blood has many other different characteristics, most of which cannot be explained in this way. When John Heller pointed out that the number of iron oxide particles quoted by McCrone, even on the image area, was so low that an image made by them would be too faint to be seen, McCrone's response was that, in that case, `there must be more' [Sox, H.D., "The Image on the Shroud," Unwin: London, 1981, p.39] Ian Wilson also challenged McCrone's published data, pointing out that they appeared to contradict the scientist's own conclusions by saying that there was less iron oxide on the blood image threads than on those of the body image. McCrone admitted that the apparently precise numbers of particles he had given previously were in fact estimates. [Wilson, I., "The Evidence of the Shroud," pp.87-88] The most reasonable conclusion is that McCrone was wrong. In any case, there are good logical reasons against the Shroud being a painting. For example, the 1532 fire would have made the paint crack, and the subsequent dousing it received would have caused water damage that could be compared to that of other paintings. History has shown that the image, unlike any known painting, is not changed by either fire or water." (Picknett & Prince, 2006, pp.75-76).

"STURP took samples of the Shroud's topmost fibers using small strips of Mylar tape which were pressed tightly against various portions of the cloth. Every part of the Shroud and every type of image was represented. Raymond Rogers proposed that these be sent to the eminent microanalyst Walter Cox McCrone. McCrone did his undergraduate work and earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University. His very long entry in the 1997 edition of Who's Who in America claims that, among his many achievements, he `proved' that the Shroud of Turin is a painting. He was sixty-two years old in 1978, the founder and director of his own research company in Chicago, Walter McCrone Associates. He edited the multi-volume The Particle Atlas, which dealt with substances as they appear under the microscope. A few years earlier he had created a stir by declaring as a modern forgery a map of Vinland (the area of America explored by the Vikings) that was alleged to date from the Middle Ages. (Since then further studies on the map have led other experts to question McCrone's conclusion. [Scavone, D.C., "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, 1989, p.55])" (Ruffin, C.B. , 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, pp.87,89).

"Because of his experience in working with historical artifacts, McCrone was invited to work with STURP. He attended the first meeting in Albuquerque in 1977, and there he expressed his belief that the Shroud was a painting. At the time, however, most of the other scientists in attendance agreed with him, and therefore his opinion was not controversial. McCrone did not accompany the group to Italy, nor did he have, then or ever, physical contact with the Shroud. He received, however, the thirty-two samples of Shroud fibers that STURP had collected and, after studying them, said that the yellow coloring on the cloth was due to age, [Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1987, p.135] but that the image was colored with red ochre and vermilion paints. He said he had separated the tapes into two groups: (1) those with pigment on the fibers, and (2) those without. The areas where there was pigment were the areas on the body image and the apparent bloodstains. The blank areas of the Shroud were free of pigment particles. Elaborating, he contended: (1) the Shroud image was due to artists' pigments, because the only colored substances presented in all image areas (twenty-two tapes) and absent in the other areas (ten tapes) were pigment particles; (2) the pigments on the tapes of the image were hydrated red particles which derived from two artists' pigments, known as red ochre (iron oxide) and vermilion (mercury sulfide); (3) an artist used the two pigments to paint the Shroud: the body image was painted with red ochre, the blood images with red ochre and vermilion. [McCrone, W.C., "Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' IV," The Microscope, McCrone Research Institute: Chicago, May 1986, pp.77-96, p.84] McCrone identified the pigments by means of `polarized light microscopy.' [McCrone, 1986, p.77] Performing a test with what is known as `amido black,' he observed blue staining from fibers from the image areas, which, he said, confirmed the presence of protein, which would have been a sign of a paint binder. [Scavone, 1989, p.57] Such findings, he asserted, `prove that the Shroud is a painting probably executed in the middle fourteenth century. ` [McCrone, 1986, p.77] The painter, along with the red ochre and vermilion, also used gelatin as a collagen tempera medium.[McCrone, 1986, p.77] He said that he also tested for blood with the benzidine test used by Frache in 1973 and a test for fluorescence after treating the fibers with H2SO4, and came up with results that were `completely negative for blood.' [McCrone, W.C., 1986, "Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' IV," The Microscope, McCrone Research Institute: Chicago, May, pp.77-96, p.85]" (Ruffin, 1999, pp.89-90).

"McCrone insisted, correctly, that there were many shroudlike paintings in the fourteenth century. To create the Shroud of Turin, the painter, McCrone said, prepared a diluted watercolor paint and used a watercolor brush to apply `successive drops to build the desired intensity' of color. `He studied the New Testament of the Bible and earlier paintings of Christ. He then tried to imagine just how a shroud might look. It would not be a typical portrait based on light and shadow. He must have considered a dark tomb with a cloth in contact with the body. If he then formed the image based on contact points between the Shroud and body he would have darkened the brow, bridge of the nose, mustache, beard, cheekbones, hair, etc. Then, as an artist, he would shade the image intensities aesthetically into non-contact areas. In doing so, he, in effect, assigns image density values equivalent to cloth/body distance. This would explain the appearance of the Shroud image, and, as well, STURP's 3-D image construction. Even more important, a photographic negative of such a painted image would automatically appear to be a true positive image.' [McCrone, 1986, pp.91-92] Art historians have almost unanimously challenged McCrone's claim that there were many paintings in the fourteenth century that were similar to the Shroud. There were, in fact, reproductions of the Shroud itself, but to most art experts, those which have been described or reproduced all seemed to look like ordinary paintings. However, it was common that, after a copy of the Shroud was executed, the artist would touch the fabric of the original Shroud with the reproduction, as a sort of blessing. This would easily account for the small amount of artists' pigments, such as vermilion, that were found on the cloth. [Scavone, 1989, p.57]" (Ruffin, 1999, p.90).

"Members of STURP were angered because there had been an agreement that no articles would be published until all findings could be discussed. [Scavone, 1989, p.58] They were also concerned because McCrone's findings were not consistent with their own. Ian Wilson wrote that `variation in iron content could not be correlated to any of the variations seen in the Shroud's body image coloration. Exactly the same deduction was evident from the absence of any observation of body and blood image in the Shroud x-radiographs. Since whenever quantities of iron oxide sufficient to be visible to the human eye are daubed onto a piece of cloth, they show up under [x-ray fluoroscopy], ... the only reasonable inference is that whatever is responsible for the Shroud body and blood images cannot be iron oxide.' [Wilson, I., "The Mysterious Shroud," Doubleday: Garden City NY, 1986, p.89] McCrone was present when STURP met in California at the Brooks Institute of Photography at Santa Barbara. When he announced that the body images had been made by red iron-oxide earth pigments, Pellicori found that he could not believe him. `I've measured the spectrum of iron oxide dozens of times,' he said to a colleague. `The color's totally wrong for what he's claiming. Based on spectrophotometry and the x-ray fluorescence findings, there's no way that the Shroud images are composed of iron oxide.... He's wrong.' [Heller, J.H., "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton-Mifflin: Boston, 1983, pp.139-140]" (Ruffin, 1999, pp.90-91).

"McCrone continued, arguing that the iron oxide had been applied by a finger, and that the image was a finger painting. (Later he would abandon this idea and insist that the iron oxide was suspended in a water solution of animal gelatin. [Heller, 1983, p.154]) He said he had observed `snow-fencing,' where the iron oxide had piled up on one side of the fibers. He finished by saying that the `blood' on the image was also made up of iron-oxide paint. Heller later wrote, `Slide after slide was projected on the screen, with McCrone pointing out red spots on the fibers, and stating that they were typical red iron earth pigments. I was bewildered. Here was a particle expert claiming that a) the images were the result of iron-oxide red paint and that b) the `blood' was iron oxide, too. This was completely at odds with the data presented by the x-ray fluorescence team, who saw no increase of iron signal between image and non-image areas, but only where there was blood. It was at variance with what Don Lynn had found in his image analysis, as well as the Gilberts' analysis that the images had a spectrum similar to the light scorch areas. It also left the 3-D aspect of the images unaccounted for.' [Heller, 1983, p.140]" (Ruffin, 1999, p.91).

"Asked why he was sure that the red dots he observed were iron oxide, McCrone replied, `Experience.' Asked if he had treated them chemically, his answer was, `I didn't have to.' When asked to reconcile his findings with the other studies, McCrone simply said, `They must be wrong.' To a query as to how his iron-oxide paint theory reconciled with the negative image and the 3-D information, he answered, `Oh, any competent artist could have done that.' When one of his colleagues exclaimed, `Do you mean you just looked through your microscope and, without doing specific tests for iron oxide, can proclaim it a painting?' McCrone confidently replied, `Yes.'" (Ruffin, 1999, pp.91-92).

"After that McCrone walked out of the meeting and never again attempted to defend his findings - on which he continuously insisted - before the STURP team. Most scientists publish their findings in journals that have review boards that are fully knowledgeable about the subject, but McCrone published only in his own journal, The Microscope. In it he wrote several years later, `I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to convince the STURP scientists of the above facts. I attributed this (and still do) to their lack of background in microscopy, small particle identification, pigments, and paintings. I have spent the last fifty years in just those areas. I expected the scientific world to accept my conclusions. Instead, no one has volunteered to agree with me and most writers have either ignored or contradicted my findings.' [McCrone, W.C., "Microscopical Study of the Turin `Shroud,' IV," The Microscope, McCrone Research Institute: Chicago, May 1986, pp.77-96, p.77] After `seven years of `turning the other cheek,' ` he complained, `I am now willing to trade `an eye for an eye'... because I see no sign of acceptance of the fact that the Shroud is a painting.' Noting that at least thirty other scientists had disputed his conclusions, he went on to offer that `the complete rejection of my work and my conclusions is bewildering and increasingly frustrating.' The only way he could account for its rejection was this: `As a few of the more influential of the group [of scientists] decided ... that the Shroud had to be real, the others followed blindly - a form of mob psychology. They closed ranks and assured the world that I am wrong and the Shroud is real. Even scientists who do not believe in the Shroud's authenticity dispute McCrone's findings. One writer asserted, `The difficulty with McCrone's theories is that none of the scientists with access to the samples from the Shroud itself has been able to confirm McCrone's findings by experimentation.' [Wild, R.A., "The Shroud of Turin: Probably the Work of a 14th Century Forger," Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. IX, No. 2, March/April 1984, p.38] " [McCrone, 1986, pp. 92-93]" (Ruffin, 1999, pp.91-92).

"Near this time [April 1980], McCrone agreed to publish his results within the framework of the STURP association. Like all the examiners, he had signed an agreement with the project which included a `covenant not to disclose' - no articles or talks were to be given before October 1980 without the permission of the Review Committee, which had been set up under the chairmanship of Eric Jumper. The committee had the power to approve papers ready for publication in scientific journals. A full `Project Report' was anticipated by October 1980 which hopefully would present a cohesive appraisal. McCrone dutifully presented his two papers in April to the committee for review. They were refused the Shroud of Turin Research Project's 'seal of approval' on several grounds. The first cited was a `philosophical point'. The intention for publishing papers had been set out in the August 1979 newsletter: `... to publish technique and result papers to include hard-fact observations without extensive interpretation'. According to the committee, `Conclusions dealing with processes must wait for a summary paper which attempts to synthesise all observations into a single most probable conclusion. This conclusion, then, must be compatible with all the pertinent observations. Contrary to your apparent belief, you are part of a team; microscopic observations do not exist in a vacuum. The very tone of your papers presents your work as the last and only word on possible hypotheses of how the image on the Shroud was formed'. The committee admitted that `there is no question that there are some small (submicron) red particles everywhere on the Shroud. These appear in abundance in the blood area. They do not, however, appear in any statistically large number in body-only areas ... By statistically large numbers ... large in comparison to off-body and off-blood control samples. In fact, there are many examples of these control areas having far more red particles than the body-only areas'." (Sox, H.D., 1981, "The Image on the Shroud: Is the Turin Shroud a Forgery?," Unwin: London, p.61)

"And yet the Shroud has kept many of its mysteries. ... Walter McCrone has steadfastly maintained he has detected the composition of the image. He admits it is not a typical painting: 'There are no brushmarks and no solid film of pigment plus medium. Instead, there is a very thin film of collagen tempera with tiny iron earth (red ochre) or vermillion particles dispersed more or less individually throughout that film.'" (Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, pp.155-156)

"In 1996, McCrone, now an octogenarian, privately published Judgment Day for the Turin Shroud, in which he forcefully reiterated his belief that the Shroud is a painting and that the cloth contains no real bloodstains. Calling the members of STURP `pseudoscientists,' [McCrone, W.C., "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Microscope Publications: Chicago, 1996, p.306] he accused them of `bad research' and `in certain cases, deceit.' [McCrone, 1996, p.322] He attacked the research of the long-dead Frei by quoting the curious reasoning of Steven Schafersman, a professor of geology at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. Schafersman insisted that the Swiss scientist'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 that the Shroud is not authentic and that miracles don't occur, human deception is the only explanation remaining.' [McCrone, 1996, pp.302-303]" (Ruffin, 1999, p.92).

"All that can be said is that if the Shroud is the work of an artist, whoever he was and wherever he worked, his approach to the task was one of the most remarkable skill and inventiveness. If, for instance, as McCrone has suggested, he simply thought out the Shroud's negativity as a pattern of contact points, his subtlety and accuracy with no means of checking his work is well-nigh incredible. His differentness is quite clear from scrutiny of the artists' copies that have since been made of the Shroud, not one of which manages to look anything but the work of a human hand. A similar comparison with conventional artists' works is worthwhile in respect of the Shroud's scourge marks and blood flows. Plenty of artists have depicted Jesus being savagely scourged, his body covered with wounds. But not one has tried to think out a patterning as complex as that on the Shroud, the fanning out of the scourge's thongs, the paired fall of the pellets; not one has depicted wounds with such gravitational logic or such a convincingly trickled appearance. A further difficulty in terms of the actual execution of the Shroud is how ... the artist was able to see what he was doing when creating the Shroud image. If working up close, he would have had the greatest difficulty seeing the overall effect he was creating. If working at a distance, he would have needed something like a twelve-foot paintbrush!" (Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.82-83).

"The Chicago microanalyst Dr Walter McCrone, for instance, had been vigorously maintaining from the early 1980s that a mediaeval artist created the Shroud by simply painting its image onto the cloth using iron-oxide pigments in a gelatin binding medium. According to him, this artist's so successful production of the negative was just a lucky chance deriving from his deliberately painting in reverse of positive tones. In the light of the radiocarbon-dating result McCrone triumphantly declared his argument one hundred per cent vindicated." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.9-10).

"Even so, can we at least try to conceive of an artist of some time around the 1350s who might have managed all this? One man who has certainly found no difficulty from this point of view is Dr Walter McCrone ... of Chicago who, as we have seen earlier, insists that the Shroud was painted by a mediaeval artist, essentially conventionally, using a pigment consisting of billions of minute particles of iron oxide in a medium of water and collagen. According to McCrone the way that this `talented' artist tackled his task was that he `... carefully studied the New Testament, sources of information on the crucifixion and other artists' paintings of Christ. He then thought about a shroud image in terms of a dark tomb. Instead of the usual portrait with normal light and shadow, he assumed that the image could only be produced by body contact with the cloth. He painted directly on the cloth to image the body-contact points (forehead, bridge of nose, cheekbones, moustache, beard, etc., over the entire body, front and back). This automatically creates a negative image; areas that normally catch available light and appear bright, like the bridge of the nose, would instead all be dark with a paint. However, those areas appear bright on a photographic negative. He decorated the body with bloodstains as required by the New Testament descriptions. These he rendered dark on the Shroud, hence they form a photographic positive image superimposed on the otherwise negative Shroud body image.' [McCrone, W.C., "The Shroud of Turin: Blood or Artist's Pigment?," Accounts of Chemical Research, Vol. 23, No. 3, 1990, p.82] Now if only it were as easy as McCrone makes it sound! While I readily acknowledge only the haziest understanding of microscopy, I do know at least something about how to paint a human figure, and as the professional artist Isabel Piczek has already insisted (and I can only agree with her), to create a figure accurately in reverse tones in the manner described by McCrone, particularly without any means of checking your work, is frankly impossible." (Wilson, 1998, pp.196-197).

"When in early July 1988 I visited Professor Edward Hall at the Oxford laboratory, he told me that although his recent trip to Turin had not persuaded him of the Shroud's genuineness, even so, having taken the opportunity to examine its imprint carefully with a hand lens, he thought it very unlikely to be a painting. On hearing this, I quizzed him why he did not accept McCrone's findings and he told me very candidly that he was totally unimpressed by McCrone as a scientist and thought he relied far too much on subjective visual assessments from looking through a conventional microscope. Likewise, Dr Michael Tite expressed himself unconvinced by the McCrone mediaeval-painter hypothesis, inclining instead to the view that the Shroud had been made, albeit in the fourteenth century, by someone who used a genuinely crucified human body for his purpose." (Wilson, 1998, pp.198-199).