The Shroud of Turin

Ionization Resurrects The Shroud of Turin

Ion Science explains the enduring mysteries of the Shroud of Turin.
by Guy Cramer
Jan 19,1997

The Shroud of Turin is one of the most venerated, most remarkable, most mysterious, most thoroughly studied artifacts in the world today. Believed by many to be the actual burial cloth of Christ, the Shroud made its first recorded appearance in 14th century France. Housed in the Italian city of Turin since 1578, renewed interest was generated in 1898 when the first photographs were made of the relic and it was discovered that the image on the Shroud was a photographic negative! How was such an image made? And how does one explain the incredibly life-like details which are remarkably consistent with Biblical accounts of Christ's crucifixion? Historians, pathologists, linguists, biblical scholars, textile experts, chemists, physicists, photographic specialists, artists, botanists, microbiologists and other scientists from around the world have been trying to answer these important questions for decades.

Over the centuries, dozens of shrouds--some with images and some without--have surfaced claiming to be the burial cloth of Jesus. In the case of the Shroud of Turin, it has been publicly declared a forgery by both Roman Catholic Church officials and prominent scientists. In 1389 the local bishop of Troyes denounced the Shroud claiming an artist had confessed to forging it. More recently, in 1988, after three different laboratories Carbon-14 dated the Shroud and found it to be some 1200 years younger than it should have been, the Roman Catholic Church announced to the world the results of the test. As word spread that the Shroud of Turin was, after all, a medieval forgery, a firestorm was created in the Shroud community. While scores of Shroud scientists hotly challenged the entire Carbon-14 testing procedure, as well as the test results, lay people around the world had to wrestle with what appeared to be solid scientific proof that the Shroud was a fake.

So where are things at now? Is the Shroud of Turin authentic, or not? Could a medieval artist, or for that matter, any artist, have forged it? And if the Shroud is an authentic burial cloth from the first century, is the man whose crucified image appears on the Shroud actually that of Jesus Christ?

Combining ongoing discoveries about ancient Palestine with cutting-edge scientific analysis, a growing number of scientists (Christian, Jewish, agnostic and otherwise) are coming to the conclusion that the Shroud is indeed the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ. If this is true, then not only does the Shroud bear witness to the fact that a man named Jesus actually lived and died in ancient Palestine, but it may also present physical proof that some kind of miraculous event took place after his death which caused his image to be imprinted on the Shroud! What's more, we may also be able to learn something about Jesus himself: What his physical characteristics were like, what kind of Jewish traditions he adhered to and rejected, how he, and his body, faced a horribly violent death.

So what, exactly, do we know about the Shroud of Turin? Here are some of the astonishing findings that modern day science has uncovered so far:

The body that appears on the Shroud is naked. Under Roman law, criminals were whipped and executed in the nude. (These are facts that most medieval artists would not have known, or if they had known, would not have dared to publicly reproduce.)

The man that appears on the Shroud was crucified with nails driven through his wrists. Although artists throughout the centuries (and even stigmatists) have traditionally thought that Christ was nailed to the cross through his palms, it is now known that crucifixion victims were nailed to crosses through their wrists. This is supported both by archeological digs that discovered crucifixion victims with spike marks on their wrists (not palms) and also by studies that were conducted on corpses which proved that nails in palms will not support the weight of a body.

The life-size image on the cloth is NOT the result of pigment, stain, acid, dye, or any applied material. The image itself is confined to the top-most fibrils of the cloth's fibers. Whatever made the image did not penetrate the fibers of the cloth as all known artistic materials would.

The image on the Shroud is uniquely three-dimensional. Although most scientists believe that the image was made by the body emitting a burst of energy of some kind (which caused the body's image to be lightly burned onto the Shroud), they have no idea how this could have been done. Efforts to lightly burn images into shroud-like fabrics have all failed to reproduce the extraordinarily delicate, detailed, three-dimensional effect found on the Shroud. The way the image was burned onto the Shroud is also flawlessly accurate in terms of how a body emitting energy would imprint itself on a cloth that was covering it.

The image of the Shroud is absolutely accurate in both anatomical and physiological details.

The anatomical and physiological details of the Shroud accurately record what would happen to a man who experienced a Roman-style crucifixion (see Robert Bucklin's pathological report at the end of this summary).

The Shroud is stained by human blood that has run out of the image's wounds. The way the blood flowed, puddled and stained the Shroud are perfectly correct. Unlike the Shroud's image which only appears on the topmost fibrils of fabric, the blood on the Shroud soaked deeply into the fabric.

The exact way the man was crucified closely matches biblical accounts of Jesus's crucifixion. Among other things, there are 120 lesions, the shape of dumbbells, distributed over the back and running around the front of the body--probably caused by a Roman whip called a flagrum whose thongs were tipped with bits of lead or bone. There is a deep wound on the right side of the body between the ribs which bled profusely (which is what Biblical records indicate happened when a spear was thrust into Christ's side). There are thorn-like marks on the victim's head (possibly from a crown of thorns). And the victim's legs were not broken (which is significant both because Roman-style crucifixions ended with their victim's legs being broken and because the New Testament account of Christ's death indicates that this was a Roman custom which Jesus was spared from).

The beard and hair style of the crucified man were not common anywhere in the Roman Empire except Palestine. The image has semitic features, including sidelocks and a unplaited ponytail.

The Shroud itself was woven with techniques common to the first century. The Shroud's distinctive weave is so rare that researchers seeking to find a control sample could not find one anywhere in the world.

A dirt sample taken from near the Shroud image's feet was identified as a relatively rare form of calcium carbonate. Samples of dirt taken from Jerusalem revealed an unusually close match. This strongly suggests the man pictured on the Shroud was crucified in Palestine.

58 varieties of pollen were discovered on the Shroud. 11 of the pollen samples were from plants that do not exist in Europe, but which do exist in the Near East. The pollen samples also indicated that the fabric of the Shroud had to have been made in Palestine before circulating in Europe. Pollen samples also helped trace the Shroud's route from Palestine through Anatolia and Constantinople into Europe. Furthermore, two of the pollen samples that were discovered on the Shroud coincided with highly distinctive plants found in the region surrounding Jerusalem. The pollen study concluded that the Shroud itself was probably made near Jerusalem and that it had been in the vicinity of the Holy City for some time before being transported out of the area.

Images of 28 different types of flowers, small bushes, and thorns have been detected in bunches around the Shroud image. All 28 grow in Israel, either in Jerusalem or in the nearby desert or Dead Sea area. Most of them are not found in Europe. 25 of the 28 flowers matched the pollen samples found on the Shroud. 27 of the 28 plants bloom during March and April, which corresponds to the time of the crucifixion.

An image of a coin appears over the right eye of the Shroud image. This coin, a very rare Pontius Pilate lepton struck in 29 to 32 A.D., was not found until 1977.

Tests which were conducted in 1993 on a piece of first century fabric similar to the Shroud's now indicate that a fire the Shroud passed through in 1532 corrupted the October 1988 Carbon-14 dates that concluded the Shroud was not authentic. According to these recent tests, which were conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona and Russian scientists in Moscow, the 1988 Carbon-14 dates were some 1200 years in error. This dates the Shroud back to the first or second century.

Some historians believe the Shroud of Turin may be The Mandylion, or Edessa Portrait, a holy relic mentioned in some accounts as early as the first century. If this is so, then the Shroud can be traced, through various legends and stories, all the way back to first century Jerusalem.

And finally, Robert Bucklin, deputy coroner of Los Angeles and a member of The Shroud of Turin Research Team, compiled the following pathological report concerning the Shroud:

"There is no problem in diagnosing what happened to this individual. The pathology and physiology are unquestionable and represent medical knowledge unknown 150 years ago.

"This is a 5-foot-11-inch male Caucasian weighing about 178 pounds. The lesions are as follows: Beginning at the head, there are blood flows from numerous puncture wounds on the top and back of the scalp and forehead. The man has been beaten about the face. There is a swelling over one cheek, and he undoubtedly has a black eye. His nose tip is abraded, as would occur from a fall, and it appears that the nasal cartilage may have separated from the bone.

"There is a wound in the left wrist, the right one being covered by the left hand. This is the typical lesion of a crucifixion. There is a stream of blood down both arms. Here and there, there are blood drips at an angle from the main blood flow in response to gravity. These angles represent the only ones that can occur from the only two positions which can be taken by a body during crucifixion.

"On the back and front there are lesions which appear to be scourge marks. The victim was whipped from both sides by two men, one of whom was taller than the other, as demonstrated by the angle of the thongs.

"There is a rough swelling of both shoulders, with abrasions indicating that something heavy and rough had been carried across the man's shoulders within hours of death.

"On the right flank, a long, narrow blade of some type entered in an upward direction, pierced the diaphragm, penetrated the thoracic cavity through the lung into the heart. This was a post-mortem event (it happened after the man was already dead), because separate components of red blood cells and clear serum drained from the lesion. Later, after the corpse was laid out horizontally and face up on the cloth, blood dribbled out of the side wound and puddled along the small of the back.

"There is an abrasion of one knee, commensurate with a fall; and finally, a spike had been driven through both feet, and blood had leaked from both wounds onto the cloth.

 

"The evidence of a scourged man who was crucified and died from cardiopulmonary failure typical of crucifixion is clear-cut."1


What else can we find on Scientific data and the Shroud:

Overview of Recent Shroud Findings...
http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/shr-tur.htm

Shroud of Turin Scientific Timeline - 1988 to Present...

1988 - C-14 dating by Oxford University, University of Arizona, and the Swiss Fed'l Institute of Technology find the Shroud samples have a 95% probability of dating between 1260-1390AD. Announcement of this date causes a sharp decline in Shroud research since this dating indicates the Shroud is not authentic.

1989 - Dr. T. Phillips proposes theory of neutron bombardment which predicts isotopic conversion of C-13 into C-14. This process could easily cause misdating of Shroud or any other object exposed to neutrons in this manner.

1993 - Rebecca Jackson's historical research indicates Shroud may have also been the tablecloth used at the Last Supper. She notes that Orthodox Jews get a new tablecloth for Passover to insure the purity of the meal. It is highly likely that Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Chevrah Kidusha, the official Jewish burial society. He was thus able to demand Jesus' body from Pilate, but in all likelihood didn't have enough time to secure a new, legal burial cloth before sundown - he would have chosen the tablecloth for the Last Supper, used only once, to bury Jesus. The Shroud cloth meets all the requirements for a Jewish burial garment (Tachrichim)and is the right size to cover the table for a Passover supper for 13 people.

1994 - Dr Alan Whanger, professor emeritus at Duke University's Medical Center, using very sensitive multi-frequency polarized optical analysis techniques, claims evidence of objects which include a crucifixion nail, a Roman spear, a sponge on a stick, a crown of thorns, a "titulus" - a Roman title board, a Tiberian amulet, two scourges, a large hammer, a pair of pliers, and two desecrated Jewish phylacteries or prayer boxes. All are consistent with 1st Century objects and with Roman crucifixions of Jews

1994 - Drs. D.Kouznetsov & A. Ivanov of the Sedov Biopolymer Research Lab in Moscow state that carbon exchange between carbon in the combustion products from a fire and Shroud linen carbon during the fire of 1532, aided by the catalytic action of molten silver and steam, shifted the mix of surface carbon atoms by 20% to 40% thus yielding errors in C-14 measurement. Their experiments yielded a Shroud date "not less than 1,800 years old". Biofractionalization in flax also contributes to faulty C-14 results since flax plants absorb carbon isotopes at differing rates depending on the chemical constituent of the flax involved.

1995 - Drs. S. Mattingly and L.Garza-Valdes subject small residual Shroud samples to infrared and mass spectroscopic analysis. They find samples coated with biogenic varnishes which would materially alter results in C-14 testing making Shroud appear much younger that it really is. This would occur if the biogenic varnishes were not removed prior to carbon dating procedures.

1995 - Dr. Victor Tryon, assistant professor of microbiology and Director of the University of Texas Center for Advanced DNA Technologies, isolated signals from three different human male genes using polymerase chain reaction techniques. The samples were take from "blood globs" found on the Shroud.

1995 - Dr. Allan Mills proposed "single oxygen theory" to account for the Shroud Image mechanism. In his research paper, published in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol 20, no.4, Dec.1995, he states that some mechanism must be at work that can take into account all of the following facts which have been developed from analyzing the Shroud:

* absence of any distortions in the Shroud image.
* absence of any apparent paint medium of any kind.
* absence of any significant detectable silver or chromium which would have resulted from any experimentation with photographic processes.
* Image's imprinting on only one side of the cloth.
* Image's density as inversely proportional to the cloth's distance from the body.
* Images apparent sensitivity to cuts of thread used to make up linen in the Shroud.

Dr. Mills proposed two possible mechanisms that may be involved in the Shroud image: the Volckringer effect - which creates images similar to plant images left on pages of a book in which a plant leaf has been pressed; or, the Russell effect - involving materials that leave their images on photographic plates held in total darkness by a mechanism thought to involve singlet-oxygen reactions. Dr. Mills states that it's singlet oxygen released from traumatized cells that could account for the creation of the Image on the Shroud.

1996 - Drs. Mattingly and Garza-Valdes lead team at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center which concluded that the carbon dating of Shroud done in 1988 may be erroneous since the Shroud samples do not appear to have been appropriately treated to remove biogenic varnishes. The varnish effect they describe is valid for all carbon-dating on textiles of ancient origin.

The final scientific dating of the Shroud has yet to be conducted since the Vatican must approve the extraction of further samples to be used in carbon dating. However, the Shroud can definitively be said to contain the image of a man crucified in exactly the same manner as Jesus of Nazareth; it is encrusted with human blood - type AB - and blood fractions including bile pigments and albumin; it carries visible and invisible indications of scourging; and somehow was created with a three-dimensional imaging process that is still unknown in 1996. The Shroud is not a painting of any kind, it's not a primitive form of photography and does not bear any evidence of being made by human hands.

It is an enigma primarily because of the controversy surrounding the carbon-dating of the Shroud and the unknown manner in which the image was imprinted on the fabric...if the fabric should subsequently be found to date from the first century then it will have been shown to be the burial cloth of a severly beaten and crucified man from the near-East - almost certainly a Jew, who was wrapped in a linen cloth unwashed according to the Halachah and handled in strict accordance with Jewish Law; who wore a pony tail, a symbol of resistance against Roman occupation in first century Palestine; who had deep wounds in his wrists and feet; puncture wounds surrounding his upper forehead; a deep wound in his left side just below the rib cage which left evidence of blood and fluid; and a man whose image was imprinted on the Shroud in a manner that still defies modern science.

Could it be that modern scientific technology, the end-result of rational materialism, is about to make known to the world at the end of the twentieth century the fact that the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not some ancient myth??...that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a physical reality!

Isn't it interesting that only now in the late-twentieth century can human technology uncover the fact that the Shroud image has three-dimensional characteristics, that the Shroud contains type AB male human blood, that the person scourged was hit 120 times by two Roman flagelli and that the image appears as if it was imprinted on the fabric by an energy or chemical burst from the body it once contained - in a process that is still unknown! Perhaps the Shroud was destined for this time...2

The Byzantine Coins predates the carbon dating on the Shroud by over 600 years Dr. Alan Whanger, retired from Duke University, has demonstrated that the Shroud man's face also bears strong likeness, with 145 points of congruence, to a Byzantine coin that has the distinction of being the first coin in history to present a portrait bust of Jesus, dated 685-695. 3,4

The scientific concensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulphuric acid or heat. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately."5


Ionization and the Shroud
By Guy Cramer

These above scientific findings makes one wonder why the carbon dating and the data do not match up. I do believe that carbon dating is accurate and that the tests were done truthfully. I also believe we have run into one of the only problems that can throw off carbon dating, ionization.

The findings below to some scientists may look very biased for Christianity. To openly look at the ionization theory one must be open to the possibility of the resurrection. It matters little to me and I hope I can speak for most Christians, when I say, It doesn't matter whether the shroud is genuine or not. This theory does not state that the shroud is genuine but it offers possible answers to the many questions that still remain.

Before we get into the effects on the Shroud lets look at some little known data about death:
Physicist Janusz Slawinki, writing in the "Journal of Near Death Studies", found that a dying organism emits a "light shout" more then a thousand times greater than their usual resting state. As cells die and genetic material begins to unfold as it does at death, a powerful charge of electromagnetic energy is given off. 6

This powerful charge is released as ionization, which can be measured with instrumentation.

With this ionization necessary to burn the image in to the linen, being far greater then any organism is capable of, then we must assume the Shroud was produced with modern day technology or is the actual burial linen of Jesus, and that his claims about being the Son of God are true.

Above average ionization of the shroud provides us with a medical and biological answer to what could have caused the image of the shroud. Ionization will also result in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils in the linen itself. So we have a physical and chemical answer.

Ionization could also burn the image on the Turin Shroud only on the peaks of the fibers as seen on the linen.

It could also create an effect with the linen which we would see a photo negative image when photographed

If Jesus died on the cross, why would the image show up on the burial linen which was placed over him after he died? Simple; he was resurrected as the New Testament says and The Old Testament prophesied. Jesus provided Thomas with proof.

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas , "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
(John 20:24-29)

The shroud may provide us with proof. If the body gives off ionization when it dies what happens when life comes back into the body? There must also be ionization involved.

The image produced on the shroud needed to be much more powerful then the "light shout" emitted by a normal dying organism. But remember we are dealing with the Son of God. He declares "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world"(John 9:5)

We also see the following example in Jesus of the usual resting state of normal electromagnetic energy that we all emit, was not the same in Jesus as others:

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman who was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his cloth, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my cloth?"
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touch me?'"
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.
(Mark 5:24-34)

What caused the demon possessed to recognize Jesus as the Son of God when others couldn't? They could see the light which he could not hide from them.

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!"
"Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
(Mark 1:23-34)

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.(Mark 1:32-34)

There are many examples of the possessed recognizing Jesus in the New Testament.

Why would ionization of the shroud throw out the carbon dating?

First lets look at the carbon dating procedure.

-The material to be tested is cleaned and put in a tube with granules of copper oxide and vacuum sealed.
-The tube is then placed in an oven for two hours at 950 degrees. This turns the carbon into carbon dioxide gas.
-The tube is then placed into pressure tubing and broken.
-The gas is then frozen into pure white solid carbon dioxide.
-Heating this with a catalyst produces pure carbon powder.
-The pure carbon is placed on a copper disk and pressed onto the disk to give it a flat surface.
-The disk is then bombarded by Cesium atoms to give off negative carbon ions.
-These ions are then drawn into the 4.5 million volt tandem accelerator.
-The ions come out the other end of the accelerator as positive ions.
-The positive carbon 14 ions are then deflected into an ion counter.
-The voltage on the tandem accelerator is switched to get carbon 13 and carbon 12 ions from the same carbon powder to also be counted.
-It is the ratio of these 3 ions in separate counters that will give the computer an accurate time measurement +/- 50 years.

In the case of the shroud linen the results at three different labs produced similar results. A 95% probability of 1260-1390AD.

Assuming the material has already been ionized (which is the main principle for carbon dating),then the method of carbon dating will give an incorrect answer to the actual date of origin for the shroud.

We may be able to extract out of the data how much ionization took place to burn the image on the shroud. What would this tell us? That the mans image in the Shroud is in fact the Son of God. The voltage to produce this image may be far greater then any organism is capable of. Since we see no entrance areas in the linen for lightning to have struck the body, having produced the image, we must conclude that the image was created through the process of resurrection. 

 

References:

1. Sunfellow, David "The Shroud of Turin" (New Heaven, New Earth) http://nen.sedona.net/nhne/shroud.html The information in this summary was gathered from the following sources: An article called, "The Shroud of Turin" by Richard Walters, a recent interview with Paul Maloney, General Projects Director of ASSIST (The Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin), ASSIST NEWSLETTERS, an in depth story NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ran in 1980, and various news clippings. Although it seems unlikely that the Catholic Church will allow new testing to be done on the Shroud anytime soon, scientists from around the world, continue to study, test, debate and ponder the Shroud's mysteries. For more information on the Shroud of Turin, visit Barrie M. Schwortz's SHROUD OF TURIN WEB SITE (http://www.shroud.com/). Barrie's site contains full-color pictures of the Shroud, links to other Shroud related sites and current Shroud research and news. Barrie was the Official Documenting Photographer for THE SHROUD OF TURIN RESEARCH PROJECT, INC., (STURP), the team that completed the first extensive scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978.
Copyright 1995 By David Sunfellow,
Published By NewHeavenNewEarth / nhne@sedona.net

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2. Walsh,Bryan "The Shroud of Turin" http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/shr-tur.htm

3.The Shroud Of Turin (History's Mysteries), CTC 1994 for The Learning Channel

4. the Byzantine Coin Page (Collectors' Coin Universe)
http://coin-universe.com/library/byzantine_coins/index.html
by Chris Connell

5. Walsh,Bryan "The Shroud of Turin" http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/shr-tur.htm

6. Morse, Melvin, M.D. "Tranformed by the Light", Ballantine Books 1992, p.155-156

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