Published by Arrow in the UK and Element in the USA
In an excellent article for Time Magazine entitled 'Science and the Shroud, about the Shroud of Turin' author David Van Biema says:
"To be sure, not even the most avid defender of the radiocarbon dating would deny that at least one mystery continues to surround the shroud. How did the image of a man, plainly crucified and prefernaturally finely rendered get on it in the first place? Were the image not allegedly Christ's the matter would be relegated to obscure academic journals on Byzantine textile technology."
This statement is only true because the shroud industry and its many authors are desperate to have a scientific proof for something which should rightly be a matter for their personal faith.
The image is not unique. Many plants have created these sort of images on the linen paper mounts they have been stored on. Yet nobody is desperately trying to show that these plants have come from God's Garden of Eden.
In addition the image has a serious defect if it is to be considered the shroud of Jesus. It lacks the image of a male penis, which my experiments clearly showed would be visible if the image was that of a naked man lying on the flat stone surface of a tomb floor. Whilst not mentioned in the book, the experimental details shown elsewhere on the website leave no room for doubt.
Whilst researching the origins of Freemasonry, with Chris Knight, I happened on the circumstances surrounding the creation of the shroud. There is no mystery left to explain. It was created accidentally by an overzealous torturer acting on behalf of a bankrupt king desperately trying to prove a charge of heresy against the leader of an extremely rich order of knighthood. The king succeeded and seized all the Order's assets on the basis of a forced confession.
That confession was extracted in Paris on the morning of Friday 13th Oct. 1307 by Chief Inquisitor Imbert of the Paris Inquisition, who tortured the Grand Master of the Knights Templar using a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Master had been accused of mocking the resurrection of Jesus and so Imbert decided crucifixion was an appropriate form of torture. The Paris Inquisition at that time are well known for torturing heretics by nailing them to posts. The crucifixion is accurate because Imbert knew his bible.
The Templars used a linen shroud in their ritual practices. When the Grand Master was taken down, not dead but in a state of collapse, and placed in a soft bed to recover he was wrapped in a fourteen foot long Templar ceremonial shroud as a last ironic touch. (Mark 15:44-46) The lactic acid rich blood he was soaked in gave rise to singlets of oxygen which created an image known as a Volckringer pattern. This type of image requires only a brief exposure to the subject (a few hours) and then develops on the surface of the cloth over tens of years by a process well known to science, called auto-oxidation, provided it is kept away from light but well ventilated.
When the shroud was first exhibited at Lirey had been found stored in a closed wooden chest, exactly the conditions which would cause the image to develop. It appeared in the family of a senior Templar, a family who had been called in to nurse the tortured Templars back to some sort of fitness to enable them to make verbal confessions. When the Grand Master was brought before a papal court he complained of how he had been tortured and removed his shirt to show the wounds. Contemporary images of him show he looked exactly like the man on the shroud.
Since the time of Bishop D'Arcis (As mentioned in the article) the French church has known what the shroud is and whose image it is. Two bishops, Henry of Troyes and Pierre D'Arcis have denounced and so has an Avigon pope Clement VII. There is no mystery about what it is or whose image it is. The church even choose to announce the results of the carbon dating on the very anniversary of the shroud's creation the 13th Oct.
The linen is dated to between 1260 and 1390.
The shroud first appeared in the family of a senior Templar who had been arrested and tortured.
The shroud was found stored in exactly the right conditions for developing a Volckringer image.
The Templars used just this type of shroud for ceremonial purposes so there would have been a shroud in the Paris Temple.
The three twirl herringbone weave was unknown outside western Europe prior to 1300.
The Paris Inquisition was noted for nailing heretics to the nearest wooden object until they confessed.
The Grand Master of the Templars is recorded as complaining to the pope about just such treatment.
The Volckringer image takes about fifty years to develop and the shroud with its image makes its first recorded appearance just fifty years after the interrogation.
The process of image formation is only possible with a living subject.
The recorded fading of the image is exactly the behaviour predicted for a Volckringer image of that age.
The contemporary Church in France consistently said the image had 'been made by human hand', not cunningly painted as the Latin is often erroneously translated.
The image looks exactly like the last Grand Master of the Templars who had long hair and a beard.
In fourteenth century France only Knights Templar were required to wear their hair and beard long in the fashion of the man of the shroud.
Robert Lomas and Chris Knight have documented these points in complete detail in this book. In writing the book we were not interested in the shroud but found the circumstances quite by accident whilst researching Fall of the Knights Templar. We have no interest in proving the shroud either a fake or genuine but it is certain that some people are highly selective in the evidence they consider in order to keep open the possibility of a Divine origin. However, the facts reveal there is nothing supernatural about the shroud. It is the accidental product of a greedy king and a ruthless torturer but it seems cultural icons die hard. Unfortunately this one is solved.
It you want the full supporting details and the complete documentation of the case then may I suggest you read The Second Messiah, by Robert Lomas and Christopher Knight and decide for your self on the basis of facts.