2004 Website News


These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 2004. Items are listed with the most recent one first, and each article carries the posting date indicating when it was first uploaded. You should find this an interesting look at the important Shroud and Website events in 2004.


About Today's Update

Regular viewers of this website know that I typically do large updates to the site around three or four times a year. Since July of this year, when the last update went online, I accumulated a massive amount of new material that is scheduled to be included on the site. However, since my current workload is extremely high, I am only able to publish a series of smaller updates, rather than one very large one. That way, I am still able to prioritize the material and get the appropriate items online in a timely manner.

Consequently, today's update brings you important information about an upcoming Shroud conference, along with a formal Call for Papers for those researchers who wish to participate in the event directly. Also included is news of a new Shroud video available from the U.K., just in time for the upcoming holidays. Watch for much more information in the next update, which I hope to have online in about two weeks. If you submitted material to me for publication on the site and it wasn't included in today's update, trust that I will get it online in the near future. As always, I appreciate your patience.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted November 22, 2004

Third International Dallas Shroud Conference Announced, Call For Papers Amended & Submission Deadlines Extended

Several weeks ago I received the following press release from AMSTAR:

Dear Friends:

It is with great pleasure that we make the following announcement. The American Shroud of Turin Association for Research and the Holy Shroud Guild, in cooperation and association with the International Center of Sindonology of Turin, Italy, are sponsoring the Third International Dallas Scientific Conference on the Shroud of Turin, September 8 - 11, 2005. The three day conference will be held at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

The conference will be an important one in terms of new scientific findings and discoveries on the Shroud which will impact both on the authenticity of the Shroud and its image formation mechanism. Scientists from all over the world will present research papers at the Dallas Conference. For more information contact:

AM*STAR
P.O. Box 878
Kaufman, Texas 75142
Phone: 972-932-5141
Fax: 972-932-7742
E-mail: amstarorg@yahoo.com


On December 9, 2004, AMSTAR forwarded the following AMENDED Call for Papers to me for inclusion on this website:

CALL FOR PAPERS

You are cordially invited to submit a paper for presentation at the Third International Dallas Shroud Conference jointly sponsored by the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AM*STAR) and the Holy Shroud Guild, in collaboration with the Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia of Turin (Centro), to be held September 8-11, 2005 at the Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas 75202.

Preference will be given to original papers with new material in the following categories:

History and Art
Textile(s) and Conservation
Science and Computer Science

Medicine and Biology
Orthodox Theology and Exegesis

Papers which cannot be presented at the conference and which meet the conference criteria will be considered for inclusion in the conference Book of Acts, and/or as Posters at the conference.

ALL PAPERS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT and sent to: dallaspapers@yahoo.com, where they will be reviewed by an international peer review committee of which Dorothy Crispino will serve as Chairman. The names of the members will remain anonymous.

ABSTRACTS should be between 250-500 words and must contain all the topics, subject matter and basic information contained in the full and final papers. There must be an information sheet with all abstracts containing the following information: your name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address and telefax number, title of your paper and subject/category of your paper. Also presenters should submit and correct curriculum vitae.

PLEASE NOTE THE REVISED DEADLINES: ABSTRACTS must be submitted by March 15, 2005 and COMPLETE PAPERS by June 15, 2005.

For further information, please send e-mail inquiries to: amstarorg@yahoo.com


On December 15, 2004, I received the following clarification from Mike Minor of AMSTAR:

In response to numerous inquiries the 2005 Dallas Shroud Conference organizers wish to clarify certain points:

The length of each conference paper will be approximately thirty minutes. The Dallas Conference Peer Review Committee is comprised of an international group of scientists or experts in the respective categories listed in the Call for Papers.

There are multiple scientists/experts in every category. Should a paper be submitted in a non-listed category in which we have no expert, every effort will be made to associate an expert in that category. The Peer Review Committee is comprised of approximately 50% Americans and 50% of other nationalities. Should peer reviewers desire more information about an abstract or paper, the submitter will be contacted directly by the Peer Review Chairman.


For those of you not familiar with Dorothy Crispino, the Chairman of the conference peer review committee, she was the editor of Shroud Spectrum International, the only peer-reviewed journal in the world exclusively devoted to scientific and scholarly studies of the Shroud. Athough Spectrum ceased publication in December, 1993, it is still an important reference for serious Shroud studies. You can view a complete Index to Shroud Spectrum International on this website that includes the Table of Contents of every issue with the title and author of every paper. The page also includes a brief history of the journal and information on how to obtain back issues.

I consider this conference somewhat of a milestone, as I believe it is the only conference since I have been involved in Shroud studies (27 years) that has been jointly sponsored by several different international Shroud organizations. Historically, each organization sponsored their own conferences and did not work closely with other groups. I am hopeful this event will set a successful example and usher in a new spirit of cooperation amongst sindonologists worldwide.

Updated December 21, 2004
Updated December 14, 2004
Posted November 22, 2004

"The Wonder of the Shroud" Video Now Available On DVD

In the June 2004 issue (#59) of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, Ian Wilson, in an article titled, Back to Basics: The Shroud and Father Martin Haigh, reviewed "The Wonder of the Shroud," a recently completed video on the Shroud of Turin. The program was produced in the U.K. by David Brindley of Swanrose Productions and hosted by Father Martin Haigh, OSB. Father Haigh has lectured on the Shroud in England for nearly five decades and brings his own unique approach to the subject. As Ian stated in his review,

"For anyone wanting a comprehensive overview of the current state of international researches into, and arguments over, the Shroud, ‘The Wonder of the Shroud’ can only disappoint. But that was never ever Fr. Martin’s intention. Instead his presentation is directed steadfastly to the altogether more central and important issues of how the Shroud illustrates and complements the gospels, the utterly extraordinary wonder of its image, and what it means to all of us. He delivers on his promise that he will not ‘preach’ the Shroud, but will let it speak for itself – to our own individual minds. As such his video is a profoundly spiritual and visual ‘tour de force’ and a positive ‘must’ for everyone with a serious interest in the subject."

To preview video clips from the program and read a detailed description, or to order VHS or DVD copies directly from the producer, visit www.shroudvideo.com. David Brindley has just completed the latest NTSC version of the DVD for North American viewers, so the DVD is now available in both PAL and NTSC formats.

Posted November 22, 2004


Website Traffic Sets All-time Record!

The last few months have been truly amazing! Starting on February 25, 2004, with the premiere of Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion," the number of visitors to the website started to increase dramatically, and actually went up 1200% in the first two days. That was followed almost immediately in March by the publication of a new Shroud paper in the Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics by Giulio Fanti (a researcher well known to regular website viewers) and his colleague, Roberto Maggiolo. The paper garnered considerable news coverage around the world and dealt with the double superficiality of the frontal image on the Shroud (see article below for details), driving website hits in March to a total of 1.25 million. In April, a new PBS Shroud documentary aired in Europe and North America that created considerable media attention (see article below posted March 28, 2004). On April 11, 2004, Easter Sunday, I appeared on CNN and discussed the 1988 c14 dating and current Shroud research with Carol Lynn. The website exceeded 2.07 million hits in April and totals over 7.9 million hits for the last 12 months. Of course, e-mail traffic rose proportionately, and incoming mail topped more than 2500 e-mails a day. The bandwidth generated in April reached 47GB! For those not technically inclined, that simply means that the more than 117,000 visitors that visited the website in April spent a lot of hours studying the Shroud!

It was most interesting to observe that website traffic fell off dramatically in May, peaking at just over half a million hits. Frankly, I didn't mind since I was still overwhelmed from the April onslaught and the ensuing lull gave me an opportunity to try and catch up. Of course, this update was delayed as I tried to dig out from the avalanche of e-mail. Fortunately, I am now almost caught up and truly relieved that this update is finally online. It includes a considerable amount of new information and a number of important articles and papers.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted July 5, 2004

Three New Papers By Ray Rogers Added To Website


Ray Rogers at his Petrographic Microscope, May 2004

I am always pleased and honored to publish work by my friend Raymond N. Rogers on this website. Ray is a retired Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratories and was the head of the Chemistry Section of the STURP team in 1978. In the past few years, he has been truly prolific in his research of the Shroud and has written a number of papers detailing his work in various aspects of Shroud science, many of which already appear on this website. I am happy to announce that I have now added three more of Ray's most recent papers to the Scientific Papers & Articles page of the website.

The first is an article in which Ray accumulated the questions he had been asked (and has answered) most often over the years and compiled them into a paper titled, "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)." In it, you will find that Ray provides clear, detailed answers to nineteen of the most important questions about the Shroud of Turin and supports each answer with empirical scientific data. The article contains 9 color and b&w illustrations and is a welcome addition to this website. I have also included a link to it from the Frequently Asked Questions page of this site.

The second new paper is titled, "Testing the Jackson Theory of Image Formation," in which Ray reviews the controversial image formation mechanism proposed in recent years by Dr. John Jackson, co-founder of the STURP team. The article includes 8 color and b&w illustrations and presents Ray's frank, empirical and detailed point of view of Dr. Jackson's theory.

Editor's Note - Update: Dr. Jackson has kindly provided me with his response to Ray's article, which I am also including on the Scientific Papers & Articles page of this site. Co-authored with his colleague, Dr. Keith Propp, the article is titled Comments on Rogers' "Testing the Jackson 'Theory' of Image Formation" and responds specifically to a number of the points made by Ray. As occurs so often in the world of the Shroud, there is disagreement, even amongst the experts. Once again, you will have to evaluate the materials yourself and make up your own mind.

The third paper is titled "The Shroud of Turin: An Amino-Carbonyl Reaction (Maillard Reaction) May Explain The Image Formation," This paper includes 4 color illustrations and originally appeared in Melanoidins vol. 4, Ames J.M. ed., Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2003, pp.106-113. The paper demonstrates that a complex but well documented, naturally occuring chemical reaction may explain all of the known image chemistry of the Shroud of Turin and provide us with an important clue in determining the actual image formation mechanism. Ray's work is detailed and scientific and necessarily, quite technical in nature. Even if you don't have a degree in chemistry, the points he makes are quite understandable, the papers are well researched and well written and the conclusions are very clear.

Updated July 14, 2004
Posted July 5, 2004

First Post-Restoration Journal Article Published

One of the biggest newsworthy events in March was the publication of a new Shroud paper in the Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics by Giulio Fanti and his colleague, Roberto Maggiolo. The paper is (I believe) the first to appear in a peer reviewed scientific journal since the Shroud's "restoration" in 2002 and was titled, "The Double Superficiality of the Frontal Image of the Turin Shroud.". As such, it garnered considerable news coverage around the world. In it, Giulio and Roberto analyzed photographs of the back side of the Shroud's ventral (frontal) image to verify if earlier reports of a double image on the reverse side of the cloth were true. Using various image processing and enhancement techniques and photographs of the backside of the Shroud scanned from the halftone reproductions in a recent book published by the Turin authorities, they reported that some parts of the facial image do in fact appear on the reverse side of the cloth. Here is a link to the journal article: http://stacks.iop.org/JOptA/6/491 Please note that you have to download the article.

Although very important to the study of the Shroud's image formation mechanism, these conclusions can only be considered preliminary at this time, since actual high resolution photographs of the back side taken during the 2002 restoration were not made available to the researchers by the Turin authorities, even after multiple requests. Perhaps at some point in the future, when the authorities are willing to release the new high quality photographs for scientific research, the work done by Giulio and Roberto can be repeated with even greater veracity given to their results. In the interim, it would probably be premature to draw any significant conclusions from these preliminary observations.

It is interesting to note that the Turin authorities currently deny the existence of any image on the reverse side of the cloth, in spite of the peer-reviewed work done by Giulio and Roberto. I believe that making the high resolution 2002 images available for further study by qualified researchers would be an excellent means of avoiding further controversy on this issue. They would allow us to conclude to a scientific certainty whether any image does in fact exist on the reverse side of the cloth, a very important issue to anyone studying the image formation mechanism of the Shroud.

Posted July 5, 2004

Examine The Shroud Page Now Available In Spanish (Ahora En Español)

If you looked closely at the Main Menu page of this website when you logged on today, you may have noticed that a Spanish language version of the Examine The Shroud page is now available for all of our Spanish speaking viewers, thanks once again to the generous contribution of Maria Jesús Villar, who graciously provided the translation. The page allows viewers to examine the Shroud using closeup photographs and the Spanish language version, Examine la Sábana Santa de Turín, can be accessed directly from a link at the top of the Examine The Shroud page. My sincere thanks to Maria Jesús for taking the time to translate the many pages that comprise this important, interactive examination of the Shroud. Muchas gracias!

Posted July 5, 2004

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) June 2004 Newsletter Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the latest issue (No. 59) of the BSTS Newsletter. This excellent publication, with its recently upgraded photographic reproduction, is becoming a visual showcase in the hands of editor Mark Guscin. This issue was no exception and included a fully illustrated version of Diana Fulbright's excellent paper titled "Forelocks in Early Christian Tradition." Although it was impossible for me to include all the images that Diana included in the paper (and that Mark Guscin reproduced in this issue), I have scanned the full color centerfold and added those two pages of illustrations at the end of Diana's text. For those of you who might be interested in an annual membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two issues of the Newsletter) see the About the British Society for the Turin Shroud page for details. The newsletter is published semi-annually, usually in June and December, and is republished on this website in the Acrobat PDF format.

I have also added one article to the last issue of the BSTS Newsletter (No. 58) which was inadvertantly omitted at the time Mark Guscin and I put the files online in January 2004. Our apologies to Rebecca Jackson and John Jackson for missing it. The article is titled, The Face of the Faces of Christ and is a report on the 7th Annual "Volti di Volti" Congress that was held in Rome in October 2003.

Posted July 5, 2004

Shroud Spectrum International Back Issues Available

The first issue of Shroud Spectrum International appeared in December, 1981; the last, #42, was published in December, 1993. Spectrum was the only peer-reviewed journal in the world exclusively devoted to scientific/scholarly studies of the Shroud. It is so important to Shroud research that a complete Index to Shroud Spectrum International has been available on this website for years. Dorothy Crispino, Spectrum's Editor & Publisher, still makes back issues available and has recently revised the procedure for ordering copies of the publication. I have just included the updated information on the Spectrum Index page. Just click on the above link and select "Order/Price Info" from the Navigator Bar. The journal contains many essential papers and articles and is a "must read" for any serious Shroud scholar.

Posted July 5, 2004

Shroud Booklist Updated

As always, I am pleased to announce that the Shroud of Turin Booklist page of this site has been updated again thanks to the continuing efforts of Emanuela Marinelli of the Collegamento pro Sindone in Rome. The Booklist contains over 1000 entries and is probably the most comprehensive bibliography of Shroud related books that exists. Of course, Emanuela is also responsible for the most extensive list of Shroud Articles that exists in the world. You can access it directly from this link, from the Collegamento pro Sindone page of this website or the excellent Collegamento pro Sindone Website produced by my dear friends Maurizio and Simona Marinelli. My sincerest thanks to the Marinellis for their ongoing contributions to this website.

Posted July 5, 2004

Links To More Information Page Updated

The Links To More Information page has been updated to include the new website of Dr. Frederick Zugibe, Shroud researcher for over 50 years and a world renown expert on the effects of crucifixion on the human body. The new site is called Crucifixion and Shroud Studies and includes a number of Shroud related papers and articles as well as an overview of forensic and clinical knowledge of the practice of crucifixion. You can also find a number of Dr. Zugibe's papers on the Scientific Papers and Articles page of this website.

Posted July 5, 2004

Shroud Speakers Directory Page Updated

I am pleased to announce the addition of a new speaker to the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website. I have added noted educator and lecturer, Dr. Carol Jobe, to the page, which is designed to provide groups and organizations with a selection of Shroud lecturers that are available to speak at their events. Included is a short biography of each speaker, a description of the topics they present, their geographic location, how to contact them directly and other pertinent information.

Posted July 5, 2004

And Finally...

It seems that I always reach a point with every update where I simply run out of time. That again is the case as I write this last notice at 8:00 pm on July 5, 2004, shortly before putting this update online. As always, there is still a considerable amount of material I had hoped to include that will have to wait until the next update. I guess regular viewers of the website have gotten used to that, but I still extend my apologies to anyone who submitted materials that didn't make it into this update. I will do my best to include them in the next update, which will come in the fall. Until then, let me thank you all again for your continued participation, encouragment and patronage.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted July 5, 2004


New Shroud Documentary Premieres

A new Shroud documentary, Secrets of the Dead: Shroud of Christ, will premiere on March 29, 2004 on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and on April 7, 2004 on PBS in the United States. The program is a co-production of Channel 4 in England and Thirteen/WNET, the PBS station in New York. The program was written, produced and directed by Alex Hearle of Pioneer Productions in London and co-produced by Nikki Tilley. Among those interviewed for the program were Dr. August Accetta, Prof. Nicholas Allen, Mechtild Flury-Lemberg, Mark Guscin, Dr. Steven Mattingly, Barrie Schwortz, Ian Wilson and Dr. Frederick Zugibe, all familiar names to regular viewers of this website. I cannot provide a review of the program as I have not yet seen it, but I know it discusses a number of image formation mechanisms, looks at new information regarding the 1988 carbon dating, examines recently uncovered historical evidence and reviews the controversial 2002 restoration of the Shroud. Consult your local listings for exact air times in your area.

Posted March 28, 2004

Shroud Exhibit Opens In Canada

I am pleased to announce that The Man of the Shroud Exhibit, an exhibit on the history, science and art of the Shroud of Turin, will be presented from March 31, 2004 through April 7, 2004 at the Good Shepherd Church in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. The exhibit itself includes beautifully produced and profusely illustrated museum boards covering a wide range of Shroud topics including "Competing (Imaging) Theories," "The Pollen Evidence," "The Sudarium of Oviedo," "The 1978 STURP Project," "Secondo Pia's Photography," "Forensic Pathology," and much more. Accompanying the exhibit is a lecture series presented by noted Shroud researchers including Professor Emanuela Marinelli discussing "The Enigma of the Shroud - A Scientific Challenge," Dr. Frederick Zugibe discussing "The Forensic Way of the Cross," Dr. Phillip Wiebe discussing "The Shroud of Turin: Authenticity and Significance for Theology" and Barrie Schwortz discussing "Twenty-Five Years of Shroud Research: A Personal Perspective.". Admission is free but reservations are required. For seat reservations or more information, please call the number below or go to the web address provided and follow the links. The website also includes a complete lecture schedule, information for group pre-registration and biographies of the speakers.

Good Shepherd Church
2250 150th Street
S. Surrey, British Columbia V4A 9J3
Phone: 604-536-3421
Website: www.starofthesea.bc.ca
Posted March 28, 2004

Website Traffic Exceeds One Million Hits in March!

The month of March 2004 has been an historic one for this website, due primarily to the release of Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ." As of March 27, 2004, website traffic had exceeded one million "hits" for a single month for the first time ever in the history of the site. Bandwidth for the month has exceeded 22 GB and the number of visitors increased 600% in one day! In addition to the dramatically increased web traffic, incoming e-mail also rose to an all time high, peaking at more than 1000 e-mails per day! Needless to say, this has made prompt responses impossible and interfered with my update schedule. In fact, that is why this update is such a small one. The overwhelming volume has caused me to fall far behind in everything, so if you submitted material for publication or are still waiting for a response to an e-mail you sent me, I ask that you please continue to be patient. As I will be away from my office and in Canada to participate in the upcoming exhibit mentioned above, I probably won't be able to get caught up until late April. I am planning to get the next update online around May 1, 2004. Expect it to include some extremely important new information. As always, your patience and continued participation is appreciated.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted March 28, 2004


Shroud.com Celebrates 8th Anniversary!

Each year, as I sit down to write the introduction to the anniversary update, I wonder what I can say that will be different from what I said the previous year. And each year, I struggle with this part of the update until the very last minute. Yet, it is difficult for me to say anything different since the truth is just as valid this year as it was last year and the year before: I continue to marvel at the interest in the Shroud of Turin. I continue to be amazed at the success of this website and the ever-growing number of visitors it attracts. I continue to be thrilled by the interaction I have with you, the website viewers. I continue to be thankful to the wonderful people in the world of the Shroud who continue to honor me with their participation. I know I say this every year, but without the researchers, the scientists, the historians, the photographers. the writers, the Biblical scholars, and of course, the viewers, this website would be nothing more than just a few pages lost among the hundreds of millions of pages on the Internet.

If you look closely at this update, you will notice that many of the new items added to the site have been provided by website viewers. That is the reason it says "Welcome To Our Website" on the front page. Without question, the emphasis is on the word "Our." This website is the reflection of all of you. It is your participation that allows it to grow. It is your patronage that makes it worthwhile. Without you, it has no value. So, as we celebrate the 8th anniversary of the Shroud of Turin Website, let me take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you. You are truly appreciated!

This is not the largest anniversary update I have done. In previous years, anniversary updates were historically the largest of the year. Whether that will be true this year remains to be seen, but it is still a good one and filled with important information. There is a new scientific paper from chemist Ray Rogers and a new historical paper from linguist Mark Guscin, neither of which has been previously published. There is also the first paper from the Dallas 2001 International Shroud Conference to be reprinted on this website. It is the presentation of the Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr., a Shroud scholar well known to regular website viewers. There is the latest issue of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter and notice of a new Shroud Center opening in Texas. And of course, much more. I have provided a Guide below to make navigating the update easier.

One last thing. I don't know what you think, but I believe those candles at the top of this article are getting pretty old. If there is a talented artist or designer out there with an idea for something new to use next year, for our 9th anniversary update, please send it along attached to an e-mail. It must be an animated GIF file of moderate size and somehow express the ninth anniversary theme. Who knows. If this works out, perhaps we will have a new anniversary graphic each year. Thank you and enjoy the update!


Barrie Schwortz

A Guide to the 8th Anniversary Update
Posted January 21, 2004


Home Page Now Available In Spanish

If you looked closely at the "Home" page of this website when you logged on today, you may have noticed a new link on the page just below the "Welcome To Our Website" text. I am extremely pleased to announce that a Spanish version of the "Home" or front page of this website is now available for all of our Spanish speaking viewers, thanks to the very kind contribution of Maria Jesús Villar, who graciously provided the translation for me. Once again, the website benefits from the participation of one of its viewers. My sincere thanks to Maria Jesús for taking the time to translate the page and make it available to us. Gracias!

Posted January 21, 2004


Important New Scientific and Historical Papers Added

I am truly privileged to have the honor of presenting two new papers on the Shroud that have not been previously published. The first is a technical paper by Ray Rogers, Fellow of the University of California, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and former STURP team member. The paper, titled, "Pyrolysis/Mass Spectrometry Applied to the Shroud of Turin," has been added to the Scientific Papers & Articles page of this website. In it, Ray explains how Pyrolysis/Mass Spectrometry was used to detect impurities on samples of the Shroud of Turin. Interestingly, a gum coating was found on the fibers from the Raes Sample, a section cut from the Shroud in 1973 from an area directly adjoining the 1988 c14 sample. However, this gum coating was not found on any fibers from anywhere else on the Shroud. The tests provided quantitative evidence that the Raes sample and consequently, the adjoining 1988 c14 sample, were both anomalous and different from the rest of the Shroud. This paper provides the quantitative data from those tests and casts further doubt on the validity of the 1988 c14 dating of the Shroud.

The second paper is titled, "The Sermon of Gregory Referendarius," by Mark Guscin, a man familiar to many of you as the editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter. In this extremely important and just completed paper, Mark, an expert linguist and historian, translates (from the original Greek) the sermon given by Gregory Referendarius in 944. The sermon was pronounced on the occasion of the arrival of the Image of Edessa in Constantinople and was translated into English from the only known surviving manuscript of the sermon, recently rediscovered in the Vatican Archives by Italian classics scholar Gino Zaninotto. Not only are we extremely fortunate that Professor Zaninotto re-discovered the manuscript, but we are even luckier to have Mark Guscin, a truly brilliant classical scholar and linguist, working today in the world of Sindonology. There are very few people more skilled or better qualified to provide a trustworthy and accurate translation of such an important document. My congratulations to both Gino and Mark for this significant contribution to the study of Shroud history. Of course, both papers are also accessible via the Website Library.

Posted January 21, 2004


First Paper From the Dallas 2001 International Shroud Conference Added

I am happy to announce that the first paper from the Dallas 2001 International Shroud Conference has been added to the website. Presented by the Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr., a biblical historian and Shroud scholar known and respected worldwide, the paper is titled, "Thomas and the Cenacle Reconsidered." It continues Rev. Dreisbach's ongoing Biblical research into clues about the Shroud in the Gospels by discussing in detail the account of Thomas in the Upper Room or Cenacle in [John 20:24-29]. This excellent paper can also be accessed from the Religion & Philosophy page, the Dallas 2001 International Shroud Conference page and the Website Library.

Posted January 21, 2004


British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) December 2003 Newsletter Added

I am always pleased when I can make the BSTS Newsletter available to viewers of this website. However, my pleasure this time is even greater than before. Over the last few issues, Mark Guscin, the newsletter's excellent editor, has redesigned the publication's visual style and added many more photographs. This current issue is a perfect example. Not only does it include a full color front and back cover, but for the first time ever it also includes a full color centerfold of artworks from Richard Orareo's Boston Collection of Shroud Art, which is featured in the issue. In fact, I have included a color photo of the cover on the British Society for the Turin Shroud page next to the contents of the issue. I have also included the three color photographs featured in the centerfold at the end of the article about Richard's collection. Congratulations are due to Mark for the high quality he continues to deliver.

This issue also features David Rolfe, director of "The Silent Witness," the ground breaking 1978 feature film style documentary that introduced the Shroud to the world and is still considered one of the best ever produced on the subject. It includes an article on the Shroud Chapels in North Italy by Reggie Norton, BSTS Treasurer, and two book reviews by Ian Wilson. Ian provides his insights on the important "Sindone 2002" by Mechtild Flury-Lemberg and "The Tomb of Christ" by Martin Biddle. Also in this issue is news from Italy, a feature about a Shroud exhibit in Edinburgh, Scotland, and much more.

Posted January 21, 2004


Shroud of Turin Booklist Updated

My thanks to Emanuela Marinelli of the Collegamento pro Sindone in Rome, for providing four new titles for the Shroud of Turin Booklist page of this website. For new viewers, the booklist contains over 1000 Shroud related books and is one of the largest resources of its kind available anywhere. A number of individuals have made important contributions to the booklist over the years (and are gratefully credited at the top of the page), but Emanuela Marinelli has consistently dedicated herself to maintaining the list since it first went online over seven years ago. Thank you Emanuela!

Posted January 21, 2004


Links To More Information Updated

I have added a new link and updated another on the Links To More Information page of the website. The new link is to the Shroud of Turin Online Book in the Ukrainian Language website. This interesting site is presented entirely in the Ukrainian Language by Oleksandr Fedoriv. Although I was unable to read the text of the website, one can get a good idea of its content by looking through the pages. It is well designed and fully illustrated and provides access to Shroud information to those who may not be able to read the English language websites. I am pleased to include it here.

The updated link is to the Centro Mexicano De Sindonologia Website (En Español). According to my friend, CMS President Adolfo Orozco Torres, the organization's website has been completely updated and redesigned. It provides an excellent resource for those who wish to study the Shroud in the Spanish language. As always, I am very pleased to make this link available to website viewers.

Posted January 21, 2004


New Shroud Center To Open In New Braunfels, Texas

I am pleased to announce that a new Shroud center has been added to the Shroud Centers and Organizations page of the website. The Garden Tomb Shroud Center is sponsored and presented by the Believers Christian Fellowship of Smithson Valley, a non-denominational Christian Church in New Braunfels, Texas. Pastor Perry M. Taylor reports that the center will open to the public on February 21, 2004 and will display lifesize ventral and dorsal backlit photographs of the Shroud. Viewers in this part of Texas will now be able to access and examine high quality images of the Shroud of Turin. See the Garden Tomb Shroud Center listing on the Shroud Centers and Organizations page for more details, hours of operation and contact information.

Posted January 21, 2004


Comments From Our Viewers Updated

Part of the joy in maintaining this website is the feedback and comments I receive from viewers around the world. Many are thoughtful comments or questions or deal with important Shroud issues, but admittedly, many are very complimentary and flattering. I usually publish the thoughtful ones on the Comments From Our Viewers page and just file the compliments in the archives, but because of the celebration of our 8th anniversary today, I thought I would include two of the flattering ones too. Please excuse my indulgence, but also let me take this opportunity to thank those of you who have taken the time to write. It is deeply appreciated.

Posted January 21, 2004


Dealing With E-mail And Spam

As practically everyone who accesses the Internet knows, spam or unsolicited e-mail, is an ongoing and serious problem. In just one day several months ago, I received over 1200 e-mails. Although most were unsolicited junk mail, there were a number of valid e-mails from website viewers and colleagues. In an effort to screen out the bad ones and keep the good ones, I use several layers of e-mail security. The problem is, even though my spam filters remove the unwanted e-mails, they also occasionally remove one of the valid ones. A new trick spammers have been using is to leave the subject of their e-mails blank. Since many spam filters look at the subject line of the e-mail to determine its validity, leaving it blank caused many filters to allow the junk to get through. In an effort to stem this tide, I have also set my filters to remove any e-mails with blank subject lines. If you wish to write to me, please ensure that you include a valid subject in the appropriate line of your heading. Otherwise, your mail may never reach me. Remember, even if caught by my filters, I still have to review the e-mails before discarding them, to ensure I don't accidentally discard something important. A valid subject line will make it easy for me to recognize the "good" ones and make sure they arrive in my "In" box.

Posted January 21, 2004


Some Interesting Statistics About This Website

Each year, I like to include the statistics that represent you, the visitors to this website. I also like to remind viewers that the counter on the first page of this website only counts those visitors who enter the site on that page. It does not count visitors who enter via any other pages, so it can not provide a true measure of all the visitors to this site. However, my server does provide me with very accurate statistics on a daily basis so I am sharing a few of them with you here. Note that a "hit" is registered each time you look at a new page and each visitor can log dozens or even hundreds of hits per visit. Also, this year I have added the Total Annual Bandwidth statistics for those more technically inclined.

Another interesting statistic is the number of different countries represented by the visitors to this site over the years. (The total, when I quit counting, was 160). Although my current statistics only provide me with the top 50 countries per month, for many years I tracked the visitors and listed the different countries they represented on the Countries That Have Visited This Website page. If you are interested, you can check out the list for yourself.

Posted January 21, 2004


And Finally...

It is late in the evening of January 20, 2004 as I write this last section for the update. It is the section in which I feel obligated to tell you about the things I didn't have time to include. Like the three papers I had hoped to include from the IV Symposium Scientifique International du CIELT, Paris, France, held in 2002, but time limitations made that impossible. So I will promise you now to include them in my next update, in a few months. I apologize to anyone who was hoping to see the papers in this update and thank you for your continued patience. Also, if I've missed anything else, please let me know and I'll be sure to include it next time. Thank you!

Posted January 21, 2004


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