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Science tests the visionaries

MEDJUGORJE:  A team of physicians from the University of Montpelier conducted the most complete scientific study of an alleged supernatural event in the history of Catholicism when they traveled to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzogovina in 1984.  The leader of the French doctors was Dr. Henri Joyeux, an internationally renowned cancer researcher.  Six months earlier, he had already been videotaping the six visionaries with an electronics engineer to investigate whether their synchronized movements were in any fashion orchestrated.  Close scrutiny of those films greatly impressed this medical researcher, leading to the call for his whole team of experts.

The most eminent of these specialists was Dr. Francois Rouquerol, an ear, nose, and throat specialist.  He was able to demonstrate a clear “disconnection of the auditory pathways during the ecstasy” of each visionary.  He proved, most convincingly, that no visionary reacted to the blaring of ninety decibels of engine noise into their ears during their apparitions.  Sensations travelled in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests showed that the cerebral cortex did not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the surrounding environment.  This indicates a disconnection located somewhere in the cortex, and it can be thought of as functional dualism, comparable to a motorcar being functionally divided into two by pressing the clutch.

Dr. Rouquerol also reported that his instruments indicated their voices had become completely silent during their supernatural experience, but their tongues, lips, and facial muscles had continued to function exactly as when speech is audible.  The larynx or voicebox of each visionary had somehow ceased to operate – an inexplicable condition unknown to medical science, according to Dr. Rouquerol.  With an impedanceometer the medical team carefully studied the visionaries’ uncommon voice activity, distinguished by unmistakable axiomatic articulation without phonation.  Their tests revealed a number of exciting findings.  The instrument’s needle showed extensive movements of larynx muscles while the seers recited the rosary before the apparitions, but as soon as the apparitional episode began and the voices became inaudible, the larynx stopped moving and the needle was still.  During the conversation with the apparition, the seers’ lips moved without phonation.  As the voices returned, in the middle of the apparition, to recite the “Our Father,” which, according to the visionaries, had been initiated by the Virgin, the needle moved again.  Articulation without phonation occurred once more during the final phase of the apparitional experience, as the visionaries voice was replaced by silence, although their lips were moving.  As the seers began to speak, at the end of the apparition, the movements of the larynx resumed, showing that the vocal extinction experienced at the beginning of the apparitional experience is linked to the absence of movement of the larynx, and although the lips were moving quite normally, the act of exhaling did not vibrate the vocal cords.  The visionaries themselves have admitted to hearing their own voices of verbal communication as normal during the apparitional experience and are surprised that others cannot hear them.  This observation itself rules out manipulation and psychogenic aphonia.

The team’s opthalmologist, Dr. Jacques Philippot, confirmed a profound inhibition of eyelid reflexes to brilliant dazzling lights in all visionaries.  He also discovered that the gaze of all six children during their experience remained fixed on exactly the same fixed point in space several feet above their heads.  Dr. Philipott’s tests demonstrated that Ivanka and Marija’s eyelid movements during the apparitional experience were two times slower than before and after.  Even when he blocked their vision with an opaque screen, none of their eyes reacted or shifted at all.  What he considered most impressive was that he had measured a simultaneity of eyeball movement among the visionaries of less than one-fifth of a second using electro-oculogram readings at both the beginning and the end of their shared apparition.  This is so far beyond the capacity of normal human functioning that no form of collusion or manipulation could account for it.  After the apparition, however, eye and muscular movements resumed at exactly the same time.  Electro-oculographic recording demonstrated that their eyes converged at the same point.  During the apparitional experience, blinking reflex was absent but was normal before and after.

Heart specialist, Dr. Bernard Hoarau reported that electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and heart rhythm examinations of the visionaries during their ecstasies “allow us to exclude totally the existence of dreaming, sleep, or epilepsy.”  Neurologist Dr. Jean Cadhilac added that his tests “formally eliminate all clinical signs comparable to those observed during individual or collective hallucinations, hysteria, neurosis, or pathological ecstasy.”

Dr. Joyeux was most impressed by the electroencephalogram tests that had measured activity in eight distinct areas of the brains of these six children.  All states of consciousness known to neuroscience involve some mix-ratio of alpha and beta impulses.  Dr. Joyeux found these ratios to be normal in all the children prior to their apparition experiences.  Going into a sleep or trance state would have increased beta cycles while decreasing alpha cycles.  But, exactly the opposite actually occurred: their beta impulses stopped completely!  They were considered to be “hyper-awake” in a state of pure meditation – an extremely rare condition only observed in a few Buddhist monks while deeply in prayer.  Dr. Joyeux and his team concludes,

“The ecstasies are not pathological, nor is there any element of deceit.  No scientific discipline seems able to describe these phenomena.  The apparitions at Medjugorje cannot be explained scientifically.  In one word, these young people are healthy, and there is no sign of epilepsy, nor is it a sleep, dream, or trance state.  It is neither a case of pathological hallucination nor hallucination in the hearing or sight facilities … It cannot be a cataleptic state, for during the ecstasy the facial muscles are operating in a normal way … It is more like a state of deep, active prayer, in which they are partially disconnected from the physical world, in a state of contemplation and sane encounter with a person whom they alone can see, hear, and touch.  We cannot reach the transmitter, but we can ascertain that the receivers are in a state of sane and good working order.” (8:201-204)

The assembly of seventeen renowned natural scientists, doctors, psychiatrists and theologians in their research came to a 12-point conclusion on January 14, 1986 in Paina near Milan. (131a)

  1. On the basis of the psychological tests, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible with certainty to exclude fraud and deception.2. On the basis of the medical examinations, tests and clinical observations etc, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude pathological hallucinations.

    3. On the basis of the results of previous researches for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude a purely natural interpretation of these manifestations.

    4. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude that these manifestations are of the preternatural order, i.e. under demonic influence.

    5. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, there is a correspondence between these manifestations and those that are usually described in mystical theology.

    6. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, it is possible to speak of spiritual advances and advances in the theological and moral virtues of the visionaries, from the beginning of these manifestations until today.

    7. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, it is possible to exclude teaching or behavior of the visionaries that would be in clear contradiction to Christian faith and morals.

    8. On the basis of information or observations that can be documented, it is possible to speak of good spiritual fruits in people drawn into the supernatural activity of these manifestations and in people favorable to them.

    9. After more than four years, the tendencies and different movements that have been generated through Medjugorje, in consequence of these manifestations, influence the people of God in the Church in complete harmony with Christian doctrine and morals.

    10. After more than four years, it is possible to speak of permanent and objective spiritual fruits of movements generated through Medjugorje.

    11. It is possible to affirm that all good and spiritual undertakings of the Church, which are in complete harmony with the authentic magisterium of the Church, find support in the events in Medjugorje.

    12. Accordingly, one can conclude that after a deeper examination of the protagonists, facts, and their effects, not only in the local framework, but also in regard to the responsive chords of the Church in general, it is well for the Church to recognize the supernatural origin and, thereby, the purpose of the events in Medjugorje


Shortly after Dr. Joyeux left Medjugorje in 1985, the Italians dispatched their own all-star team of medical specialists from Milan’s Mangiagalli Clinic.  Dr. Michael Sabatini, a psychopharmacologist specializing in pain research, applied his algometer to the six visionaries.  This device measures the intensity of pain created by applying pressure to particularly sensitive areas of the body.  The results showed that the six visionaries entered a state of “complete analgesis” during their apparition ecstasies – that they could feel no pain.  This proved, beyond any doubt, according to Dr. Sabatini, that the visionaries “do not fake and do not deceive.”  The head of their medical team, Dr. Luigi Frigero, added that the visionaries “were not simply awake, but hyper-awake during their ecstasies.  This cannot be explained naturally, and thus can be only preternatural or supernatural.” (8:204)

Dr. Enzo Gabrici, a neuropsychiatrist, spent four days examining Ivan, Jakov, Marija, and Vicka.  In his report he excluded any possibility of “hallucinatory phenomena, epilepsy, or post-hypnotic suggestion.”  He saw no indication of neurosis or psychosis.  Unlike spirit mediums, the visionaries retain “perfect consciousness of their identity.”  He also noted,

“The apparition does not tire Vicka as is the case with hysterical trances; on the contrary, she feels more invigorated.  Jakov would run outside to play soccer immediately after his apparition; such normal behavior simply is not an aspect of hysterical or hallucinatory visions.” (8:162-163)

Dr. Lucia Capello, a neurologist, was not only impressed but deeply shaken by the “three synchronizations” in the visionaries’ behavior.  First, the visionaries dropped to their knees and their voices became inaudible in the same instant – without even a split second of separation.  Second, without any observable awareness of one another, their voices again became audible at exactly the same moment – on the third word of the Our Father prayer.  Finally, the head and eyes of each visionary were raised simultaneously in the same instant at the end of the apparition (when the Virgin ascended), as all five uttered the word “Ode.”(“There she goes”)  They justify this movement by explaining that “the Virgin Mary disappears upwards.”  Their eye movements reflect those of a person looking at a real moving object – which is different from those of a person looking at an imaginary moving object.  The eyeballs of the visionaries are converging toward an external point indicating true objectivity and do not follow the established eye movement patterns associated with remembering or visualizing.  He concludes that there is no natural explanation that could account for such perfect simultaneity. (8:163)

Heart surgeon Dr. Mario Botta’s electrocardiogram of Ivan’s heartrate revealed that he maintained a perfect rhythm without any fluctuations before, during, and after the apparition.  Given the extraordinary level of activity indicated by Ivan’s brain waves at the same time, Dr. Botta concluded that the visionary’s experience “transcends normal physiology.” (8:163)

Dott Santini, the Italian investigator, used an estesiometer to confirm the absence of corneal reflex; the hundred-watt bulb used during his tests failed to make the seers blink.  The most aggressive tests performed on the visionaries were conducted by Dr. M. Frederica Magatti, who tried shouting at, jabbing, and pinching them during an apparition – without obtaining any observable reactions.  After noting that the eyes of each child had become “hugely dilated,” Dr. Magatti used a film projector with a 1,000-watt bulb to blast their pupils with light.  None of them reacted; not only did their pupils remain unusually dilated, but the eyelids of each child continued to blink at a normal rate.  There was no change in alpha rhythm in the brain to the 1000 watt light.  This is scientifically inexplicable and never seen before.  FOR THE PUPIL TO RESPOND, THE BRAIN MUST REGISTER THE LIGHT — BUT NO BRAIN WAVE CHANGE TOOK PLACE.  Additionally, such intense stimulation normally causes a significant cortical response, but none occurred during the apparition period. (131a) Dr. Magatti asserted that the Medjugorje visionaries “were demonstrating the most complete suspension of consciousness of their relationship with the exterior world” that she had ever observed. (8:163) The medical observations and synchronisms suggest that the Medjugorje visionaries are responding to an outside power and not to internal stimuli.  The dual modes of perception also suggest that there is a “nonphysical agent in front of the visionaries.”

Dr. Giorgio Sanguinetti, a prominent psychiatrist, makes the following report:

“The ‘visionaries’ sit down on little stools, and recite the Rosary in a thoughtful, recollected manner.  Suddenly, at exactly the same time, which is amazing, the young people stand up and line up in front of one of the walls of the room.  All of them gaze upwards at the same time, without ever looking at each other, and they seem to stare intensely at something that is outside the room and very far away.  They keep their hands joined in prayer, and some of them move their lips, but their voice cannot be heard.  After approximately one minute of time, on the occasion I was there, and again, amazingly all together, they give signs of a fleeting bodily tremor, and all withdraw from the place where they were standing.  The expression on their faces becomes like ours.  Behaving quite normally and with no haste — but deliberately, they go towards a table, do not speak to each other and each taking a pen and a notebook wherein their names are written, they sit down, and again without talking to each other, write down quickly, without pausing, the message which was given to them during the ‘vision.’  The length of the text differs from one to another.  When they have finished, they leave the notebook and the pen, and with a quick handshake they greet us and leave the room, each going about his or her own business.  I know that this description of the ‘vision’ has already been given by other witnesses; however, I considered it useful to describe it after I had sketched pathological mystical behavior so that the reader can compare these and take account of the psychic normality of the young ‘visionaries.’  Something unusual, extra-ordinary exists but it seems to be strictly limited to the short period of the ‘vision.’  However, nothing authorizes us to say that the visionaries, because of this experience, manifest any personality disorders.  They seem to be in a world beyond the perception of others and, for what concerns them, to have left our sphere of perception.” (131a)

Fresh medical teams from Poland, Austria, England, Italy, and America continued to replicate and validate these scientific findings.  Father Rene Laurentin, who closely watched over these efforts, concluded:

“The best explanation is that the visionaries are in living, personal, and normal contact with a person from another world.” (8:204)

Further testing on June 25, 2005 by Dr. Philippe Loron, a colleague of Dr. Henri Joyeux, indicated that the visionaries were not transcending into an altered state, but rather that they transcend into a deeper state of reality.  The apparition and any views of “eternal life” are seen by them as more real than what they would experience in everyday life.  This depth of reality which they perceive is superior to any known reality of life on earth.  Afterwards, they return to a lesser state of reality or “ordinary level” that the rest of us in the human race are accustomed to.  Through science, we now can say, empirically, that what they are seeing is not of this world.  We cannot confirm what they are seeing – only that they are able to do so with how their brains are functioning.  With three visionaries as subjects on this day, electroencephalograms recorded alpha rhythms on the whole brain during ecstasies.  These examinations capture on the surface of the scalp minimal electricity produced by the activity of brain cells.  The alpha rhythm (between 8 and 13 Hertz) is a normal rhythm of wakefulness, mainly of rest.  It occurs essentially in the posterior regions of the brain when the eyes are closed.  Similar results are usually obtained when listening to soothing music or when one is in a state of contemplation, meditation or prayer, especially with eyes closed.  It also corresponds to the intermediate state between wakefulness and the first stage of sleep: when one relaxes with the light off, but is not yet asleep.  Therefore, in Medjugorje, the results are remarkable since the alpha rhythm occurs preferentially at the moment of ecstasy with a tendency to spread to anterior regions of the brain, while the eyes remain open and oriented towards the apparition.  Of course, science can’t demonstrate that these are apparitions of the Virgin Mary, but it can support the absence of deception. (131a)

GARABANDAL:  Dr. Celestino Ortiz Perez of Santander, a pediatrician specializing in child psychology, examined the four girls when they were in a state of ecstasy during the apparitions.  He concluded,

“In this state of ecstasy they gave proof that they are beyond the explanation of medical science and all natural laws.  They showed no reaction to pain, pin pricks, et cetera.  Once out of their trances however, they reacted immediately.  From a pediatric and psychiatric point of view, the four little girls have always been and continue to be normal.  The trances in which we have observed these young girls do not fit into the framework of any psychic or any psychological pathology presently known.  Our conceit falls apart when we are faced with this kind of dilemma which God bestows on us in order to point out our own medical limitations.” (68:249)

Dr. Ricardo Puncernai, a neuropsychiatrist and Director of Neurological Services at the University clinic in Barcelona has also examined the visionaries during their ecstasies.  He concluded,

“Even though we try to explain only part of these extraordinary phenomena, the truth is that we do not find any natural scientific explanation which could explain the whole affair.” (68:250)

The Shroud of Turin

This very fine linen is allegedly the burial cloth that was wrapped around the dead body of Jesus Christ.  It has been studied intensely by many scientists since 1978.  There has been much controversy and many misunderstandings.  So why is this artifact so important?  First of all, it would validate the Biblical account of Jesus being scourged, tortured, beaten, and finally crucified – giving much credibility to the Biblical story with physical evidence.  Secondly, it also would provide physical evidence toward validating a supernatural event – the resurrection of his body and how he mysteriously disappeared from his tomb.  It strengthens the faith for many people when we actually have physical evidence to confirm the details of such Biblical stories.

Luke 23, verses 50-53, describes the body of Jesus being wrapped in a fine linen shroud from the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea – who had also donated a wonderful tomb for the body.  This exquisite “dining table cloth” measures 14.3 inches long by 3.7 inches wide – or exactly four cubits by one cubit in the ancient method of measurement for that time period.  It was considered a table cloth because of its dimensions and the drip patterns found on one side.   Jewish custom had people recline at the table on one side as they were to be served from the other side (as pictured in the Last Supper painting).  Textile experts established that its distinct “triple herringbone weave” is consistent with fine, first century weaving. (77:10) Some researchers even theorize that since the drip patterns of sauce or wine had not been cleaned from it yet, that, perhaps, this was the dining cloth from the Last Supper.  In any case, it was definitely one of the finest and most expensive linens of its day. (76)

Researchers reveal that the man’s image on the cloth indicates that he was 5’11” tall, about 175 lbs., and approximately 30-35 years old.  Due to the publicized Carbon 14 dating test performed in 1988, many began to believe instead that this was some kind of medieval artistic creation — since the test suggested that the shroud was no older than 1290-1360 A.D.  However, that carbon-dating analysis failed to pass peer-review of fellow scientists and was never published in any scientific journals due to serious flaws in the testing procedure (The results were actually published, instead, in Nature Magazine).  Here are the reasons that scientists listed for questioning, challenging, and rejecting this Carbon 14 testing: (76)

  1. Proper sampling of the material was to have three postage-stamp size pieces removed from three different areas of the shroud. This protocol was violated as all three pieces were taken from a single site – a site that was later found to be a rewoven and repaired section of the shroud not typical of the rest. (76)
  2. On January 20, 2005, a paper by Ray Rogers, published in “Thermochimicaacta,” a highly-respected, peer-reviewed, scientific journal concluded: “The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/mass spectrometry proves that the material from the radiocarbon testing area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth.  The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.” (77:22)
  3. In August of 2008, Robert Villarreal and a team of eight researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory analyzed Roger’s samples and corroborated all of Roger’s conclusions. (77:23)
  4. The shroud survived three fires over the centuries. The most intense fire in 1532 reached 920 degrees centigrade and melted the silver casket that contained the shroud.  The melting silver burned holes in the linen.  Since intense heat could affect the results of a carbon-dating process, Russian scientists set out to determine how much it could throw off test results.  Simulating the heat intensity from that 1532 fire, the Russians determined that carbon-dating tests could be in error by as much as 700 to 1,300 years!
  5. Studies examining the burial linens of mummies found a strange anomaly. Despite being the same age as the mummy, carbon-dating suggested that the linens were anywhere from 300 to 600 years younger.
  6. Microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi found on the shroud could also throw off the carbon testing results by as much as 300 years.
  7. Because the image appears to be oxidized or “burned into” the fibers, this, too, would affect the linen and subsequent carbon-dating tests. (76)

It is important to understand those serious flaws and potential contaminations for any carbon-dating test.  That was the only scientific test in over thirty years that cast any doubt upon the shroud’s authenticity.  Sadly, it seems to be the most publicized because it suggests a hoax and gave skeptics and atheists the “evidence” they desired.  However, the above facts are certainly more than enough reasons to discard the infamous 1988 carbon-dating tests – and thus eliminate the only known challenge presently to the shroud’s authenticity.

On May 28, 1898, Secondo Pia photographed the shroud and was stunned to see a positive, three-dimensional image on the negative plate in his darkroom.  Until the technology of photography had reached this level, nobody knew that this was a negative image.  In the 1960’s Leo Vala, a professional London photographer, was also impressed by the three-dimensional, negative image:

I have been involved in the invention of many complicated visual processes, and I can tell you that nobody could have faked that image.  Nobody could do it today with all the technology we have.  It’s a perfect negative.  It has a photographic quality that is extremely precise.” (78:198)

In the late 1970’s an electronics engineer, Peter Schumacher, developed a sophisticated topographical device for NASA’s space program called the Interpretation Systems VP-8 Image Analyzer.  It translated a monochromatic tonal scale of the photographed surfaces of planets into layers of vertical relief.  In other words, it could examine a flat photograph of a three-dimensional object and convert it into a three-dimensional image.  When a regular photograph is analyzed, it “collapses and distorts.”  But when Dr. John Jackson analyzed the shroud image with the VP-8 device, it was consistently and uniquely three-dimensional:

The results are unlike anything I have processed through the VP-8 Analyzer before or since.  Only the Shroud of Turin has ever produced these results.  One must consider how and why an artist would embed three-dimensional information in the grey shading of an image when no means of viewing this property of the image would be available for at least 650 years.  Would an artist produce this work before the device to show the results was even invented?  No method, no style, and no artistic skills are known to exist that can produce images that will induce the same photogrammatic results as the shroud does …” (78:199)

Other details validate this image as truly being the image of Jesus Christ: (76)

  1. Max Frey, a Swiss criminologist, found 58 species of pollens on the shroud. 45 of them could have come from the Jerusalem area; 18 of them could ONLY come from the Holy Land and from flowers blooming in early April — around Passover / Easter!
  2. Scientists have found no pigments, paints, dyes, stains, or brush marks to suggest an artist’s creation. The image color would not dissolve with the 25 solvents tested.
  3. Ultraviolet light tests reveal blood serum halos for each scourge mark and the wound in his side from when a spear lanced his side after death. These “invisible” details are further proof that a hoax is unlikely; what artist would add invisible attributes?
  4. A visible wound in his side between the ribs correlates with the scripture’s reporting of a Roman guard’s lancing his dead body to verify death. The blood stains from this wound confirm that the wound was inflicted post mortem.  Present also are stains from a clear bodily fluid such as pericardial fluid or fluid from the pleural sac or pleural cavity.  These findings indicate that the man was stabbed near his heart after he died.
  5. Common to crucifixions are the breaking of legs to hasten death. Jesus reportedly died too quickly for that to happen, and the shroud image indeed shows that no leg bones had been broken.
  6. From the angles of the blood stains the forensic experts have determined that this blood flowed while the man was upright with his arms angled like the hands of a clock at ten and two – as in a crucifixion on a cross.
  7. Fifteen puncture wounds encircling the top of the head correlate with the crown of thorns reportedly jammed onto the head of Jesus Christ. Thorns in that region were most likely from two to four inches long.  No other crucified men were known to have worn a crown of thorns.
  8. The visible shoulder abrasions are consistent with injuries sustained while carrying the cross piece of the cross. The tip of his nose as well as his knees were scraped badly.  These injuries would be consistent with falling face first while carrying the cross.
  9. The soldiers had struck blows on Jesus’s face; the shroud reflects blows to the forehead, brow, right cheek (swollen), right upper lip, jaw, and nose.
  10. We believe that the reported scourging of Jesus was horrible.  Jewish law only allows 39 lashes, but it was the Romans who did the torture.  Approximately 120 scourge marks are present on the shroud’s image of his body, indicating that two Romans were striking him, one on each side, according to the directionality of the lash-marks.
  11. The shroud depicts clear nail holes in his wrists and one through his feet.  The wrist holes would have severed the median nerve, causing the thumbs to draw inward.  The shroud depicts the thumbs as drawn in, hidden behind the other fingers.
  12. The wound in his side is between the 5th and 6th ribs and measured on the shroud as one and a half inches long and ¾ of an inch wide – the exact size and dimensions of a Roman lance.  There was no swelling – which is consistent with a post mortem wound.
  13. Frederick T. Zugibe noted that travertine aragonite dust taken from the bloody foot area of the shroud was a very high and significant match to Jerusalem dirt samples when using a scanning ion microprobe of high resolution. (77:18)
  14. As there are no signs of decomposition or decay with the shroud image, the body was still in a state of rigor mortis – which lasts only for about 48 hours.  All bodies would be expected to be still wrapped at that time, but the body of Jesus departed in some fashion on Sunday morning about 40 hours after his death.  The image depicts his feet still angled downward as if still nailed to the cross.  He “left” the shroud before his body could begin decaying.
  15. The 3-D imaging analysis also revealed other images on the shroud.  Hundreds of flower petals and leaves are evident around his body – and match the blooming flowers of springtime in the Holy Land.  Coins had been placed on his eyes.  Through computer analysis, polarized image overlays of ancient coins found an exact match – the Lepton, produced around 29 A.D. under Tiberius Caesar and Pontius Pilate!

Were the blood stains real human blood or added later by artists?  Pathologists and scientists all agree with the following summary:

Microchemical, fluorescence, and spectrographic tests reveal that the stains are human blood, type AB.  They resulted from real bleeding from real wounds of a real body that came into contact with the linen.  The distinctive forensic signature of clotting (red corpuscles around the edge of the clot and a clear yellowish halo of serum) is clearly present.  Some of the blood flow was venous and some was arterial.  Most of the blood flowed while the man was alive, and it remained on his body.  Some, however, clearly oozed from a dead body.” (78:200)(77)

All of these scientific and medical facts present overwhelming evidence to suggest that this is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.  But the Shroud of Turin also documents a supernatural event that confirms the foundation of the Christian faith – the Resurrection of the Son of God.  If the Bible story is valid, then the Shroud MUST provide clues to this supernatural event.  Here are what the scientists discovered: (76)

  1. They cannot determine, despite all of their scientific studies, exactly how the image was created on the linen cloth. Efforts to recreate such an image with chemistry and physics on old linen cloths have all failed.  Science cannot explain how the image exists.
  2. It is not burned as there is no evidence of scorch marks – as if the linen was subjected to a heated, three-dimensional statue. The material does not fluoresce under ultra-violet illumination.
  3. Scientists have determined that the top layer of linen fibrils have been oxidized to a depth of only six microns – half the thickness of a human hair. They theorize that a brief blast of energy like radiation could cause such a reaction.  When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the shadows of the vaporized residents were imprinted on the side of any building left standing – as if a dark image on negative film had been created from this burst of radiation.
  4. In the 1980’s a chemist at Michigan University, Dr. Giles Carter, discovered that the shroud displayed properties shared with long wave X-rays. A skeletal structure of bones, hands, and two rows of teeth were uncovered.  Even the thumbs which were drawn in from the piercing of the median nerve in the wrist can be seen through the other parts of the hand.  What kind of energy would produce a negative image with X-ray quality on this cloth?
  5. This was not just a contact phenomenon between the body and the shroud. Parts of the body not in contact with the linen (and as far away from contact as several inches) still show up in the imprinted image.  It is like the body has passed through the cloth.
  6. The lack of any blood smears on the shroud suggests that the body made a very strange exit from within the shroud. Lifting the shroud off the body would have smeared the blood in areas where it had collected, possibly reopening wounds.  To state it simply, the man disappeared from within the wrapped linen.  The apostles Peter and John found the burial cloth “flattened” – and “they saw and believed.”  The current theory is that His glorified body passed through the cloth, and it collapsed on to itself – which would have been an incredible sight to behold afterwards.  The apostles would have seen the linen still in a wrapped position, but now emptied.  Luke 24: verse 12: “he saw the linen cloths positioned alone, and he went away, wondering to himself about what had happened.”  Like a magic trick, the body vanished from within the shroud without the linen being unwrapped from the body.  Remember that it was reported later in the scriptures that Jesus’s glorified body also passed through solid walls and doors to meet with his apostles.
  7. Another bizarre finding that scientists determined was that the image depicts “a weightless body” because there are no marks of pressure on certain parts of the shroud when the image was made. If the body had had weight at the time of the light burst, then the image would have appeared differently with pressure points.  Instead the image is “evenly photographed” by the flash without obvious pressure points.
  8. It was also determined that at the time of the light burst, the man was in an upright position with his long hair falling straight down due to gravity. If he had been lying down, his shoulder-length hair would have fallen back and away from his shoulders.
  9. Many tests were run to precisely determine what direction this light source was coming from that illuminated his body in a totally dark tomb. Assuming from the evidence that he was upright and probably suspended slightly above the ground, the light would have been coming from directly overhead.  This was confirmed by numerous photographic tests to determine the direction of the light source that created this image blast onto the shroud like a photo negative. (76)

What kind of supernatural light appears in a totally pitch-black tomb?  How does anybody disappear from within a wrapped linen without unfolding it and smearing blood everywhere? 

Matthew 28: verses 2-4:  “For an Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and as he approached, he rolled back the stone and sat down on it.  Now his appearance was like lightning, and his vestment like snow.  Then, out of fear of him, the guards were terrified, and they became (immobilized) like dead men.”

The majority of the scientists involved with all of the testing and analyses with the Shroud of Turin were generally atheists or agnostics.  According to Father Francis Peffley, by the time their research ended, 95% of them had become Christians. (76) And yet, there is still another artifact that validates the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin …