Revisiting the Right Eye Image: What Is It? by Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger (adw2@acpub.duke.edu). Friday, August 15, 3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

One of the most controversial ongoing issues in Shroud research has been what the object (if any) is over the ana­tomical right eye of the Man of the Shroud. If it is a coin, as many have contended, many questions and objections arise: how can it be identified; what is the nature of the formation process; why would a coin be placed over the eyes of a dead Jew; when was it first noticed; what scientific studies have been done; if it is an image of an identifiable coin, what are the implications for better understanding the nature and the mystery of the Shroud? 

While the studies on the coin image are not new, most have not seen a comprehensive presentation of the issue, or some important photographs obtained by the late Fr. Frank Filas, and which we will show. Filas originally noted the appearance of the image on high grade enhanced positive and negative photographs which he had made from first generation copies of the original 1931 Enrie negatives. Some studies led Filas to believe that there is an identifi­able image of a Pontius Pilate lepton (prutah or “widow’s mite”) coin over the right eye. 

Having heard about his work and having recently developed our polarized image overlay technique for detailed image comparison and analysis, I contacted Filas in 1981. He promptly sent us important photographs from his studies, and we were able to show in our overlay examination that a lepton coin that Filas had been given is a die-mate of the one that formed the image. 

Filas undertook extensive work and consultations to deal with the numerous criticisms and complaints about his work. On observing the overlay of the Filas lituus lepton coin and the Shroud image, Dr. Alan Adler noted that the image is characteristic of what would be expected from corona or electrostatic discharge from the coin. Some of the additional research studies are little known and this evidence will be presented. 

We feel that there is an identifiable Pontius Pilate lepton coin of the “Julia” type over the anatomic left eye, but it is much less clear and we will not discuss it. 

We will also present the historical use of coins over the eyes, and show early artistic iconic representations of the coin outlines even if their nature was not known. 

We wish for the attendees to have an opportunity to view the evidence for themselves.
 

Copyright 2008, Shroud Science Group