Walter McCrone and the Shroud of Turin

It is possible that Walter McCrone found iron oxide and mercury, chemical components of paint pigments. But nowhere on the Shroud are there sufficient quantities of any pigment to form a visible image. Iron, for one thing, is a component of blood. The formation of iron oxide from some of the blood is possible.  It would also be a byproduct of retting flax in iron rich water in the production of linen.

And just as miniscule particles of rust (iron oxide) is often found in dust, so too might mercuric sulphide be present in dust, particularly in churches and cathedrals with frescoed walls and ceilings and old paintings.

There is another possibility that might well explain the presence of paint particles on the Shroud. Many painted copies of the Shroud were produced. It was, after all, a revered relic. We know from history of a practice whereby artists would touch or lay their paintings on the Shroud for sanctification.

McCrone was the only scientist who actually examined fibers from the Shroud to make this claim. Every other scientist who has tested and analyzed the fibers disagrees with McCrone. It is significant that McCrone would not allow peer review of work.

Walter McCrone died July 10, 2002. He was 86. There is no question about the fact that he was a noted and honored microscopist. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1938 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1942 from Cornell. After becoming assistant chairman of the chemistry and chemical engineering at the Armour Research Foundation in Chicago, he founded the McCrone Research Institute.  He also was editor and publisher of The Microscope, an international scientific journal and a distinguished member of the American Chemical Society.  It was in 1978 that McCrone achieved world fame with his conclusion that the Shroud of Turin was painted during the Middle Ages.

But dozens of scientific tests and dozens of scientist have proven him wrong. See: The Shroud of Turin is not a Painting.

The Shroud of Turin may not have been Walter McCrone's only mistake. See: The Vinland Map


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© 2004 Daniel R. Porter, Bronxville, New York