2006 Website News
These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 2006. 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 2006.
Happy Holidays from the Shroud of Turin Website - Watch for the 11th Anniversary Update on January 21, 2007
I would like to first take this (last minute) opportunity to wish you all a joyous Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!
The recent move of my home and business and the reestablishment of everything here in Colorado has taken far more of my time than I expected, and a major website update is long overdue. I know there are many of you who have submitted materials to me and have waited patiently (some for over 6 months), for me to include those materials online. My humble apologies if this has caused you any inconvenience. I am planning to catch up as much as possible in January.
That also cues me to remind you all that January 21, 2007 marks the 11th Anniversary of the Shroud of Turin Website! As long time website viewers know, the annual anniversary update is typically the largest update of the year. With the current backlog of materials I have waiting to go online, I am quite sure this next update will be a large one as well. Look forward to both the 2006 issues of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter, news of several upcoming conferences and symposia, word of several upcoming television documentaries and much more. I look forward to seeing you in January!
I want to keep this update short and get it online promptly (it is already Christmas eve and snowing here in the mountains), but there is one more thing I need to talk about, and you will find it in the separate note below.
Barrie M. Schwortz
Editor & Publisher
Posted December 24, 2006
Spammers and Spoofers
For the past several weeks, the Shroud of Turin Website has been under attack. The attacks have come in the form of one or more spammers using www.shroud.com as the return address for their spam. That means that every e-mail sent to a bad address, every e-mail screened and rejected by anti-spam software and every e-mail that is bounced for any other reason, comes back to shroud.com! In one 24 hour period, I received more than 50,000 e-mails, although they were mostly filtered by the multi-layer protection on my system. At no time were there any security issues, just the flooding of my mailboxes with thousands of useless spam e-mails.
The severity of the issue was brought home to me when I received a telephone call from someone who received some spam with a shroud.com return address and took the time to find me, the webmaster of the site. He asked why I was sending him real estate advertisments via e-mail and it was both embarrassing and frustrating to explain to him that my web address had been "spoofed" and that I had not sent the e-mail. If any of you ever receives any e-mail with a shroud.com return address that is not from me specifically, it is SPAM! I only send a few e-mails per year, and those only go to viewers who have added themselves to my mailing list. And my name is always included. Sadly, it demonstrates that some people will go to any lengths for their own benefit and gain.
Posted December 24, 2006
Website Moves To New Home Effective September 1, 2006
I am pleased to announce that I am moving my home and office from Los Angeles to Colorado over the next month. Consequently, I will be unable to read my e-mail or update the website until after I have relocated. If you have written to me in the past few months and not received an answer, or if I was supposed to add your materials to the website but have not yet done so, please accept my apologies. I will do my best to catch up once I am settled in my new location. As I am sure you can imagine, things have been quite hectic here as I finished my client projects, searched for a new home and prepared to move. Aside from a brief interruption, there should be no negative impact on the website and of course, my e-mail address will remain the same.
My new physical address after September 1, 2006 will be:
1094 Highland Meadows Drive
Florissant, CO 80816
Also, any orders placed via the Website Store page of the site after August 7, 2006 will be held and processed after my move, hopefully no later than October 1, 2006.
See you in a few months!
Posted August 7, 2006
The Reverend Albert R. 'Kim' Dreisbach, Jr.
It is with the deepest pain and regret that I must report the death of my dear friend, the Reverend Albert R. "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr., on April 29, 2006. Kim was on his way to meet me in Italy, where we were both scheduled to speak at Shroud conferences in Terracina and Perugia. Sadly, his heart gave out at the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, shortly before boarding his flight. I was awaiting his arrival at the Rome airport when the news reached me, thirty minutes before his flight was scheduled to land. It was a sad day indeed for the Shroud world, and the only day that it rained in the twelve days I was in Italy.
Kim was a Biblical scholar, theologian and dedicated Sindonologist who was deeply respected and loved by all who knew him. His work on the Shroud is legendary and a number of his papers are published on this website. He was a great supporter of Shroud.com and acted as my counselor and advisor. He always stopped whatever he was doing to help me respond when questions of theology or Biblical history were posed to me by website viewers. More than anything, he was my friend and I am a better person for having known him. I want to express my deepest personal sympathies to Dede and Daniel, his loving daughter and son, and his grandchildren and other family members. You all know how much Kim meant to me.
As part of this memorial, I am including Kim's final paper, which he was going to present in Italy. It is titled, "The Ecumenical Implications of the Shroud of Turin" and can also be found on the Religion & Philosophy and the Website Library pages of the site. Fortunately, we had submitted our papers in advance so they could be translated, so his work was in fact presented, in Italian, at both conferences. I will include more details below, but since this is very difficult for me to write and there has been such an outpouring of comments from so many of his friends and his colleagues, I will keep this segment short and simply publish the words of his family and his many friends from around the world.
Family-Placed Death Notice - Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 5/7/2006:
REV. ALBERT DREISBACH, JR. The Rev. Albert Russel (Kim) Dreisbach, Jr., 72, of East Point, died April 29, 2006 at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport while preparing to board a flight to Italy. A lifelong world traveler, the significance of location for what became a final departure is not lost on family and friends. Kim was the only child of the late Col. A. R. Dreisbach, Sr. and Florence Agnew Dreisbach of Wilkes-Barre, PA, and was husband of 45 years to his first love, the late Jane Corey Dreisbach. Survived by his two children, Diane Corey Dreisbach Weber of Snellville and Daniel Agnew Dreisbach of East Point, other survivors include two grandchildren, Matthew Carl Weber (17) and Lauren Rose Dreisbach (19), dedicated son-in-law Richard C. Weber, Jr., and second love of his life, Nancy Whitworth of West Point, GA. Also surviving are two most beloved canine companions "Shiloh" and "Dixie Dawg." Born 4/27/34 in Watertown, NY, his formal education included Episcopal Academy (PA), Wesleyan University (CT), and The USMC as an artillery officer. Education continued at Union Theological Seminary (NY) where earning a M.Div. followed by ordination into the priesthood of The Episcopal Church. Assignments as a clergyman began as assistant to the Dean, St. John's Episcopal Cathedral (DE) where he founded and chaired Concerned Citizens, and ecumenical Civil Rights coalition in the early '60s. "Fr. Kim" was then called to Atlanta as the Associate Director of ESCRU (Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity) and later becoming Executive Director until '70 when the organization disbanded. A participant in the March on Washington, he was active in numerous and memorable civil rights demonstrations during that era. Following service for several years on the staff at St. Bartholomew's, he answered the call as Rector of Atlanta's first interracial parish, Church of the Incarnation, on Cascade Road in SW Atlanta. Retirement as Rector in 1985 was followed by twice serving as Incarnation's Interim Rector before being named Rector Emeritus in 1998. From 1978 forward, Kim served as the founding president of the non-profit organization AICCSST, Inc. (The Atlanta International Center for Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin), dedicated to interdisciplinary education about the artifact. It was to present his most current research work on the Shroud which inspired travel overseas at the time of his death. Kim will be cremated according to his wishes with services to be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13th at Church of the Incarnation, 2407 Cascade Road, SW followed by interment of remains at St. John's Episcopal Church, College Park. In lieu of flowers, the family asks help to honor Kim's passions by making donations in his memory to one of the following works: Shroud of Turin Website, 1094 Highland Meadows Drive, Florissant, CO 80816; The GA Transplant Fund, Atlanta, in memory of his beloved Jane; or the local chapter of the ASPCA in memory of the many canine companions who have been part of the Dreisbach extended family.
News Obituary Article by Jennifer Brett - Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 5/8/2006:
Albert Dreisbach, 72, rights activist, scholar
By JENNIFER BRETT
The Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach Jr. was an Episcopal priest, civil rights activist, world traveler and renowned scholar whose work kept him busy to the last day of his life.
The Rev. Dreisbach was dropped off at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport about 3:15 p.m. April 29 so he could fly to Italy to present research on the Shroud of Turin, said his son, Daniel Dreisbach. Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Daniel Dreisbach got a call from an airline representative. His father had suffered a heart attack while preparing to board the plane. He was rushed to a hospital, where doctors were unable to revive him, Daniel Dreisbach said.
The service for the Rev. Dreisbach, 72, of East Point, will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Church of the Incarnation, 2407 Cascade Road. His cremated remains will be buried at St. John's Episcopal Church in College Park.
The Rev. Dreisbach was born in Watertown, N.Y., and served in the Marine Corps before attending Union Theological Seminary. He came to Atlanta to serve as associate director, then executive director, of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity, a group that disbanded in 1970. He served for several years on the staff of St. Bartholomew's, then as rector of Church of the Incarnation, where he was named Rector Emeritus in 1998.
"He was a man of honor, morals and ethics," said Daniel Dreisbach. "He always put his things aside for other people. He has been extremely active in the civil rights movement. He's always believed in equal rights for everybody."
In 1978, the Rev. Dreisbach became the founding 564 president of the Atlanta International Center for Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin, which believers hold is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
He was curator of an exhibition about the shroud in Atlanta.
"It's become more than a hobby, it's become a life's quest," he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1993.
He'd been hospitalized with chest pains before the trip he planned to Italy, Daniel Dreisbach said. Mr. Dreisbach told his dad on the ride to the airport he shouldn't be going, to no avail. The Rev. Dreisbach, owner of two dogs, Shiloh and Dixie Dawg, reminded his son of his dog-sitting duties, and they bid their farewells.
"No one was going to tell him he couldn't go," Daniel Dreisbach said. "He was excited. He was looking forward to seeing people he hadn't seen in a long time. When I dropped him off, I gave him a hug and kiss and told him to have a safe flight and I loved him. He was a wonderful man."
He was preceded in death by Jane Corey Dreisbach, his wife of 45 years.
He is survived by his son; a daughter, Diane Corey Dreisbach Weber of Snellville; two grandchildren; and companion Nancy Whitworth of West Point. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shroud of Turin Website, 1094 Highland Meadows Drive, Florissant, CO 80816; the Georgia Transplant Fund; or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The following are excerpted chronologically from e-mails sent to the Yahoo ShroudScience Group or to me directly. You will find a number of them from Russ Breault, a close friend of Kim's and well known in sindonological circles, who took on the painful responsibility of notifying Kim's colleagues for the Dreisbach family. I wish to extend my personal thanks to Russ for performing this most difficult and important task in such a prompt and dignified manner.
Father Albert "Kim" Dreisbach has gone on to glory. At this writing it is about 6:00 PM EST on Saturday April 29th, 2006. He passed an hour ago in the Atlanta airport on his way to Italy. He was planning to link up with Barrie and Emanuela. Barrie is in Italy now so if anyone can get word to him please do so.
His son Daniel just called me. This is also the same weekend that Kim's wife Jane went onto her reward four years ago.
Kim was on the job, doing the work of the Shroud when he left the airport only to go straight to heaven to see the Man of the Shroud face to face. Let us remember his tremendous contributions to the work of the Shroud. Few have been so dedicated as Kim. He will be missed but not forgotten.
May Kim's soul be rejoicing as he sees his Lord face to face and begins exploring the glories of God's eternal kingdom.
Very sad news about Fr. Kim. I was just now on the phone with Lois Maloney, inquiring about Paul -- not heard from him in a while. (He's doing well.) She said Kim was alone in an elevator at the airport when this happened, and may have been there for fifteen minutes....
We will all sadly miss him -- his humor and his wit, his dedication to sindonology. Blessed we have been to have known him.
Thank you, Russ, for keeping us informed.
With fondness and regret,
Dear Barrie: I received this very sad news an hour ago now and noticed that your site had not been contacted, so I thought I'd fwd this to you thinking that you might access it whilst in Italy.
I was growing so very fond of this dear Reverend as we had started to become pen pals, and I promise that his dream of holding a very special Shroud Olympics in Vancouver in 20l0 will come to fruition.
Please take care and may God's blessings be with you and Emanuela.
Vancouver Shroud Society
Thank you, Russ for informing me. Kim was a good friend. I have known him for many, many years and he always had my deepest respect as a Man of God. as a person and as a Shroud Scholar. May the Good Lord Bless him and keep him. Now he will know all the answers. It will no longer be "The Enigma of the Shroud."
Kim was indeed a Shroud Scholar and a wonderful spokesman for the Shroud. It is fitting that Kim left this earth while pursuing Shroud work. We will all miss him.
While Russ and I were sharing some sad thoughts about Kim's passing, Russ remarked on the irony that Kim was at the airport when he passed over. I blurted, "He decided to take another flight." Russ observed, "Very Protestant of him to decide he didn't have to go to Rome to get to heaven. 'I'll just go straight from Atlanta!' he must have thought."
Actually, we know Kim climbed Jacob's Ladder his whole life long. We miss him.
The rewards of Easter and persevering life has come to him. My condolences to his immediate family - *Requiscant en* *Pace Fr.Kim*.
Thanks Russ for keeping us informed.
Kim, like Ray, was really a giant, not in Science, but in Scriptural Exegesis, and he applied his powerful wit in managing his Atlanta International Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin. CIELT, whose Symposia took always benefit from his faithful participations, will sadly miss him. I will too, remembering the discussion we had on Gospels Historicity, from which we concluded that... "non occurrence of piezoelectricity does not mean earthquake absence" (in reference to the Earthquake mentioned by Matthew).
We will all miss this exceptional Shroud Scholar, and ask Barrie to put our regrets in a worldwide obituary on his Website.
Resquiescat in pace
Deeply concerned with the sudden death of father Kim Dreisbach, I join my condolences for the family of Father Kim. May the Lord reward him for all the work he did for the Holy Shroud.
Sad to hear that Father Kim suddenly passed away. My condolences to his family and to all who most closely got to know him. Now he knows the Truth and enjoys the glory of God.
Jose A. Botella
This morning, at the Episcopal Church I attend, the Eucharist was dedicated to "Father Kim Dreisbach." The Gospel for today was Luke's telling of the disciples encountering Jesus on the Road to Emmaus (24:13-35). It was fitting. I remember how Kim and I had discussed this passage on numerous occasions. He was certain that an understanding of this passage and the story of Thomas in the Upper Room were important to understanding the Shroud. I didn't always agree with his interpretations but I cherished the opportunity to think these things through and argue with him.
"Read this story carefully," Kim said. "Jesus is telling the disciples on the Road to Emmaus to not merely believe what they perceive. The disciples had the facts right," he stressed, "but their eyes needed to be opened to the 'truth' revealed in the facts."
Kim, as a priest, scholar and friend, worked to do that for many of us: to open our eyes to truth. He did so with humor, scholarship, imagination, and the love of Christ.
I learned that you could telephone Kim anytime. Well -- anytime, unless a Yankee game was on television, radio or the internet. Well -- also, as I once learned, it was not advisable to call him if the Yankees had just lost a close game. But other than those times, Kim was always available and ready for discussion. And, invariably, he would follow up by sending long emails marked up with yellow highlighting, with copious quotations from numerous scholars, and with his own comments boldly typed in red.
Yesterday, by the time Kim got to the Atlanta airport, the Yankees had just clobbered the Blue Jays, 17-6. He certainly knew that and was probably telling every flight attendant, ticket agent and skycap all about the game. Kim was like that. He loved talking to everyday strangers about good news.
I remember sitting in a restaurant with him in Atlanta. Barrie and Russ probably remember, as well. There were about a dozen of us Shroudies at one long table. It wasn't long before Kim was talking to perfect strangers at nearby tables, telling them about the Shroud. They were fascinated by him and what he had to say, just as we have been.
Kim loved jokes. And Kim definitely had strong opinions. I imagine a scene at the gates of heaven where three Shroudies have just arrived, Kim being one of them. They are in a waiting room, awaiting an admissions interview with St. Peter. The first one is ushered in. He remains for about an hour and then returns. The others turn to him and ask him what happened.
"St. Peter asked me to explain the Shroud of Turin to him," he said. "I tried. Then St. Peter explained it to me. I can't believe how wrong I was."
The second Shroudie is invited in. She, too, is gone for about an hour. When she returns she tells the same story about how wrong she had been about the Shroud.
Then Kim is ushered in. An hour passes, then two, then three, four. Finally, after five hours, St. Peter comes out to the waiting room and sits down. "I just met with Kim," he says. "I can't believe how wrong I was."
+ From the Book of Common Prayer that Kim so loved: "O God, the King of saints, we praise and magnify thy holy Name for thy servant "Kim" who has finished his course in thy faith and fear; for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech they that, encouraged by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
That was wonderful to read, Dan.
I met Fr. Kim only once (last year in Dallas) but like many other new Shroud conference attendees, I had heard of his work long before finally meeting him. I was struck by his knowledge, his warmth and most of all, his wonderful sense of humour. My sympathies to his family and all who knew him well.
Here my tardy condolences. I have not had a true direct knowledge of that important person in the field of the studies on TS. But I remember that he kindly sent to me a paper regarding the question of the myrrh and that helped me.
Now I hope he had the direct answer from the TSM after the great impact of the death and all the years of contributions to the work about the Shroud.
Another great friend of the community of Shroud researchers is lost, the past Executive Director AICCSST.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine ...
We indeed all lost a dear friend. All of those late nites with Kim, the free spirited theologian, trying so hard to convince us of his, you might say, interesting theologies. Our future Shroud gatherings will truly not be the same without him, yet we must press on and perhaps he will continue to be helping us with Shroud matters from his vantage point.
I do love you Kim, and I will miss you. I look forward to meeting up with you again. Thank you for being such a good and sincere friend.
Gusto (Kim's nickname for me)
Thank you Dan for this touching homily... I remember also his emails with copious corrections and addendum boldly typed in red! As Mrs. Wally, I pray also: "May the Lord reward him for all the work he did for the Holy Shroud".
I don't know most of you on this list. I am responding to one of Kim's emails. By now you probably know of Kim's passing onto glory last Saturday. He was on the job, heading to Rome to present a paper on the Shroud. While at the airport he caught another flight, this one was nonstop to the New Jerusalem.
The arrangements for Father Kim Dreisbach's funeral have been settled and they are as follows: Kim will be cremated this week according to his wishes. There will be a ceremony in his honor on Saturday May 13 at 11:00 AM at his parish church, The Church of the Incarnation in Atlanta, followed by an internment ceremony at Saint John's in College Park, GA. All is the same as for his wife Jane who passed four years ago. He is survived by his son, Daniel Dreisbach, East Point, Georgia, and his daughter, Dee Dee Weber of Snellville, Georgia.
Kim was not a big fan of flowers at funerals. He always felt they were a waste of money that could be put to better use. I have discussed the following with Kim's children, Daniel and Dee Dee. They are both in agreement that any gifts in Kim's memory should go to advancing the work of the Shroud. Towards that end, we can think of no better place than to help support Barrie Schwortz's wonderful website, Shroud.com.
Barrie and Kim were great friends and his site hosts several of Kim's papers. Barrie will also be involved in the publication and dissemination of Kim's massive amount of historical and liturgical research that has never been published.
Join others and me in honoring Kim's memory by helping get his work to the world.
Gifts may be made payable to:
Shroud of Turin Website
1094 Highland Meadows Drive
Florissant, CO 80816
I spoke to Barrie and he is both humbled and honored by this proposal. We can honor Kim by honoring the work of the Shroud to which he devoted his life.
Many thanks for letting me know this news. Kim was ever such a cheerful, chatty, punctilious and polished contributor to Shroud conferences, it is very sad to realise that we have lost yet another member of that so regular and familiar 'old guard'. But Kim himself will, I'm sure, be rejoicing to be re-united with his beloved Jane. It is also good to know that he died as he would have wanted, 'on the job' and spared any prolonged illness.
All the very best as ever,
Ian and Judith Wilson
As a fellow Shroudee with Kim, I have just updated my website with a memorial to Kim along with a TV interview I conducted with him in 1998. You can view it at www.shroud2000.com
Thank you very much, Russ, for your information and the tribute to Kim on Shroud 2000.com. I had not occasion to meet Father Kim ,but I know about this important activity on the Shroud problems covering also the last moment of his life. Please present the sentiment of my participation and my prayers to all the family.
I just wanted to express my condolences to Fr Dreisbach's family and to all who loved him at his untimely death this past weekend.
He was one of the classic voices for the Shroud and devoted a good portion of his life to making it more widely known and understood. He will be missed by me for his personal warmth and dedication to the Shroud. I still recall his presentation of an original set of slides he had which he presented to Diana Fulbright and myself after we announced the 1999 Shroud Conference. He wanted to encourage us in our efforts and went out of his way to do so.
I will remember him and his family in my prayers. He now knows how close he got to the truth with his search for Shroud 'spy clues'.
Shroud of Turin Center
Thank you Russ for the information about Kim.
It seems to me as yesterday the time Kim and I had a long discussion on the bus going to the airport following the 2005 Dallas Conference.... and I remember Kim as a very good friend who has given me very precious advice.
In agreement with a newspaper's definition Kim called himself "a' man of the cloth who teaches about 'The' Man on the Cloth" and now the Man represented on the Cloth will unveil to him the many secrets still contained in the Cloth.
I join in the prayers of Traudl and Marcel: "May the Lord reward him for all the work he did for the Holy Shroud".
Resquiescat in pace.
Sorry to hear about the loss of Fr. Dreisbach. I am sure he was a good friend of yours. I only had the pleasure to meet him once at the Dallas Conference, but his writings and insight about the message and importance of the Shroud had already been a great inspiration to me. We have all lost a great man of the cloth, but I am sure that now he is in the divine presence of "The Man on The Cloth".
I am so grateful to have known Fr. Dreisbach over the years. I am also grateful to Russ for his wonderful tribute and to Guilio for his summary of Kim's life events. Those are real treasures. Thank you too Diana for your note.
The idea to support Barrie and the Shroud site is superb.
Kim was one of the best advocates for the study of the Turin Shroud. Now Kim sees what He REALLY looks like. Kim was very influential, encouraging and helpful in my early years of Shroud studies. He will be remembered always in this life and enjoyed again in the next.
I still can’t believe what happened since we last spoke. I received Kim's last joke to me at noon on Saturday the day he died. He made sure I had everything I needed for my computer before he left on this trip. I can’t believe it ……….really I can’t. This has hit me very very hard. Every night he called around 5 PM to talk about what was going on with the shroud e-mails and other things. When you have the presence of someone that much in your life you really miss that presence. I was in San Diego and leaving for Sacramento, when Jim got in touch with me. I was totally devastated. I still am. I thought if only I could have called you but I had no contacts with me not did I have access to a computer at that time. Dee Dee told me how she wanted you to speak about her Dad at the service. She knows how much Kim thought of you and she thinks you are very articulate and a great speaker…….
I have not spoken to any other Shroudies as it is too painful for me to do so right now. I just got in from San Diego ten minutes ago and sat down to write to you. That was a great paper Kim was going to deliver and my last words to him was how I would pray that he be given good health and stamina for the trip. …I am absolutely heartbroken.
We have both lost a very precious friend and I want to convey my sympathies to you too. Our Shroud world has been changed forever. I wonder if this is how the apostles felt, when Jesus died? Kim filled the void for me left by Fr. Peter (Rinaldi), when he died. Fr Peter wrote to me every month from 1978 and I grieved for him for a very long time.
With much love, shalom, and a heart full of sorrow,
Mary D. Hines
I have just heard of the death of our dear friend and sindonologist The Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr. last week. I do not know the exact date, but today I wrote these words for his memory in Spanish and English language. Please include them on your wonderful web page. Also please find enclosed 2 photos from our visit to him in Atlanta.
Dr. Julio Lopez
Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia
The Reverend Albert R. 'Kim' Dreisbach, Jr. with Dr. Julio and Elsy LopezEnglish version - The Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr. MAY HE REST IN PEACE!
On behalf of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia, I wish to manifest our deepest sorrow for the death of our dear friend and brother The Reverend Albert R. Dreisbach Jr. to his family, friends and all sindonologists who had the privilege to meet him. As he used to say "we (sindonologists) all are as a big family, unified by Jesus, the man of the Holy Shroud of Turin".
In August 1986 my wife Elsy and me, had the opportunity to visit The Atlanta Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin and The Shroud Exhibit at the Omni. This visit was a wonderful experience to meet him in person; we shared knowledge, exchanged gifts, met so many beautiful and amazing people like his loving family, the late Rodger J. Apple and his wife, the numismatist Bill Yarbrough who kindly shared with us his first century coin collection, etc. In fact The Rev. Kim Dreisbach (as well as Fr. Adam J. Otterbein) kindly sent a donation to our Centro Mexicano for the damages caused by the 1985 earthquake.
Curiously, or I rather say providentially, last week I was remembering my visit to Rev. Kim in Atlanta. His kindness and enthusiasm for the Holy Shroud of Turin. Because every day we pray the holy rosary, among our personal intentions we ALWAYS pray for all sindonologists living and deceased. Now that Kim is contemplating Jesus face to face and all the mysteries are revealed to him, we ask Kim to intercede for us, as well as we pray and intercede for him here on earth. This is the wonder of wonders; we all belong to the mystic body of Jesus Christ, independently from any religious denomination. As sindonologists we all are united to the One who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE!
MAY HE REST IN PEACE, AMEN!Spanish Version - En Español - The Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr. ¡DESCANSE EN PAZ!
A nombre del Centro Mexicano de Sindonología, deseamos manifestar nuestro más sentido pésame por el fallecimiento de nuestro querido amigo y hermano Albert Dreisbach a toda su familia, amigos, conocidos y a todos nuestros hermanos sindonólogos. Que como él mismo me decía: "todos los sindonólogos, somos una sola familia, unidos en Jesús, el hombre de la Sábana Santa".
En Agosto de 1986 tuvimos mi esposa Elsy y yo la oportunidad de conocerlo en persona al visitar el Atlanta Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turín y The Shroud Exhibit en el Omni de la ciudad de Atlanta. Esta visita fue una experiencia maravillosa al compartir conocimientos, experiencias, intercambiar regalos, conocer su adorable familia, recibir y conocer en Atlanta al sindonólogo Roger J. Apple y su esposa, también conocimos al famoso numismático Bill Yarbrough quien amablemente nos mostró su colección de monedas del siglo I. De hecho, el Rev. Dreisbach (también el Padre Addam J. Otterbein) nos mandó un donativo para restaurar el Centro Mexicano de Sindonología, después del sismo en septiembre de 1985.
Curiosamente o más bien diría providencialmente, la semana pasada estaba recordando con cariño la visita al Rev. Kim Dreisbach en Atlanta, ya que al rezar el santo rosario todos los días, SIEMPRE pedimos por los sindonólogos vivos y difuntos. Ahora que Kim está contemplando a Jesús cara a cara y todos los misterios se le han revelado, le pedimos interceda por nosotros, ya que nosotros seguiremos intercediendo por él aquí en la tierra, ¡esta es la maravilla de pertenecer al Cuerpo Místico de Jesucristo, que independiente de cualquier denominación religiosa, como sindonólogos estamos unidos por Aquel que es EL CAMINO, LA VERDAD Y LA VIDA!
¡DESCANSE EN PAZ, ASÍ SEA!
Dr. Julio Lopez
Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia
Dr. Julio Lopez and the
Reverend Albert R. 'Kim' Dreisbach, Jr.
Dear Sue and Joe and Barrie,
Here is the obituary I wrote at Mark Guscin's request for the BSTS Newsletter. I hope you find it warm and sincere and pleasing. I also sent Mark the obit from the Atlanta newspaper, so he can choose what and how much to use from that source as well.
Let me know your comments.
Love,Editor's Note: Here is a copy of the Obituary for Kim Dreisbach written by Dan Scavone for the next issue of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter, including text and photographs. As regular viewers know, I regularly reprint each issue of the BSTS Newsletter on this website.
I am saddened that I won't be able to make it to Atlanta this weekend to see you and collectively honor and celebrate Kim's life. While I need no reminder of how privileged I've been to know and share time with Kim and you all, along with so many others in the community, the loss of such a Great One does still humble and re-ground.
I do hope to see all of you soon. Please share my condolences with Kim's children, and return home safe.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the son and daughter and all the family of Kim Dreisbach, who was taken so suddenly from them. Like a faithful soldier, in the line of duty to which he had given his entire devotion, he was snatched away to receive his due reward. May he rest in peace.
Thank you for your email. I was dreadfully upset to have the news regarding Kim that I had in a letter from Paul Maloney. I had been away for a few days and found it when I returned. I first met Kim at the Nice Symposium when he greeted me on my arrival at the Monastery where we had been accommodated. We had a very happy time on that occasion and met again in Turin to continue where we had left off in Nice. We were going to share accommodation at the Paris Conference but in the end I could not make it. However we met again in Orvieto where we again had a very happy time, often hilarious with his sense of humour. When he came to the Edinburgh Festival to give talks on the Shroud he came up to us in Stirling for the night. We then had a very good day together before I drove him back for his lectures. He sent me all his emails and we regularly corresponded. My last email to him was on 25 April suggesting that if he had time when in Perugia he might see the Perugion pictures in the Museum. He replied that he would do so if he could and sent me a sheaf of notes for suggestions. I am very very sad that this should have happened and I will miss a very, very good friend, his emails and his great sense of humour. It is very, very sad. With kindest regards and will look forward to hearing how the internment went, again sadly I cannot go.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Fr. Kim Dreisbach. Although there were often disagreements between us -- in matters related to the Shroud -- we mourn Fr. Dreisbach's death and pray for his repose.
John and Rebecca Jackson
Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Don Augusto Bonelli and the members of the Parish Church of Terracina Porto Badino, and Don Francesco Buono and the members of the Parish Church of Perugia Castel del Piano send their prayers, together with the prayers of Italian Sindonologists and friends Ilona Farkas, Emanuela Marinelli, Maurizio Marinelli, Roberta Marinelli and Maurizio Paolicchi. What Kim taught us will not be lost. In his memory, we will double our efforts for a truly ecumenical Sindonology in the light of the Holy Face of the Man of the Shroud, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our condolences and sympathies to Kim's family."
Please, give my personal love to all the friends. You know that I would like to be there, but because of my job it is impossible.
Posted May 24, 2006
Updated June 4, 2006
A Report on the Reaction in Italy to Kim Dreisbach's Death
Emanuela Marinelli, Don Augusto Bonelli and Barrie Schwortz speak at the Mass held in
Terracina, Italy in honor of the Reverend Albert R. 'Kim' Dreisbach, Jr. on April 30, 2006
Photograph © 2006 Maurizio Mirrione
On Sunday morning, April 30, 2006, I returned to Terracina from the Rome airport at about 11:00 a.m., stunned into silence by the sad news of Kim's death that I had received by cell phone just two hours earlier from Emanuela Marinelli. It was gray and raining, an honest reflection of my mood at the time, and my friend and driver, Franco, was kind enough to keep our conversation to a minimum on the two hour drive home. Because of the time difference, it was the middle of the night in Italy when Kim went to the Atlanta airport and the news hadn't reached Emanuela until several hours after Franco and I had left for Rome to pick up Kim early that morning.
I asked Franco to drop me at the home of Don Augusto's sisters, where Kim and I were staying in our own private apartment, only a two or three minute walk from the beach and a five minute walk from the Church. I sat alone in the garden, thinking about my friend and trying to get used to the idea that he would not be there to share this experience with me. We had been planning this trip and looking forward to it with great anticipation for almost seven months. Then Anna, one of Don Augusto's wonderful sisters, came out and nodded her head to me in understanding, pointing up to our second story apartment and saying "solo..." in Italian, and meaning I would be staying there, but now I would be alone. After exchanging a few words, I decided to walk up to Don Augusto's church, knowing he was performing a mass and certain that he would be dedicating it to Kim. At that moment, I didn't feel like being alone.
Five minutes later I slipped quietly into a back pew of the church next to Emanuela Marinelli and her sister Roberta. Again, there were silent nods between us as I turned my attention to Don Augusto at the altar. Although my Italian is very limited, I knew immediately he was speaking about Kim Dreisbach and his importance to Sindonology. During his comments, Don Augusto noticed me sitting there and gave me a slight nod and a smile. He continued speaking for another forty-five minutes until the mass, which he had dedicated to Kim's memory, was concluded.
Then, to my surprise and dismay, Don Augusto called on Emanuela and me to come to the front of the church. I quietly mentioned to Emanuela as we walked to the altar that I hadn't changed out of my informal clothing after returning from the airport and didn't feel I was properly dressed to stand before the congregation. Emanuela kindly translated this to Don Augusto, who quickly replied that "God wasn't concerned about what I was wearing" and motioned for me to speak. I could only tell the congregation how honored and happy I was to be there as their guest, and how sad I was feeling at the same time. The above photograph was taken at the very moment that Emanuela translated my words to the parish. Again, there were scores of knowing nods from the parishoners, showing sincere compassion and true understanding for my feelings at that moment.
But I have to stop here and back up to give you a better idea of the chain of events that led to this moment. Kim and I were scheduled to leave the U.S. on April 27, 2006. A few days before our departure, his son Daniel called me with the news that he had rushed Kim to the emergency room with chest pains and that Kim had been admitted to the hospital. He would not be able to attend the conferences in Italy. Shocked at the news and concerned for my friend, I immediately telephoned Emanuela in Rome to let her know that Kim would not be coming. She felt very badly and told me she would notify the two parishes of this sad news. I flew on to Italy as originally planned, and on April 28th, Emanuela received a call from Kim with wonderful news. He was coming after all! Could someone pick him up at the airport on April 30th?
"Of course!" Emanuela replied and handed me the phone, saying, "It's a miracle! Kim is coming!"
I got on the phone and immediately asked him if he was sure this was a good idea. I was still concerned about his health. He told me he had been released from the hospital and was coming in time to speak at the second conference in Perugia. He said that the problem had not been his heart after all, but his reflux disease and that the new medication they gave him was working very well. In fact, he actually said, "I'm feeling great and I'm not dead yet!" I knew there was no point in arguing with him. He was coming and that was that. At that moment, the phone went dead and our connection was broken. Those were the last words Kim Dreisbach ever spoke to me.
Barrie Schwortz, Emanuela Marinelli and Alessandro Malantrucco
speak at the Shroud conference in Terracina, Italy on April 29, 2006
On Saturday night, April 29, 2006, the Terracina conference went on as scheduled, with Alessandro Malantrucco kindly stepping in at the last moment to read Kim's paper in Italian. We were all excited that Kim would be arriving the next day. Sadly of course, that was not to be.
The following week passed quickly and on Thursday, May 4th, I was driven to Perugia to meet Don Francesco Buono at the parish in Perugia that was hosting the second conference and had co-sponsored our trip. That evening, after several short speeches, another mass was held and dedicated to Kim's memory. The following day, the conference began in earnest and was very well attended, although everyone expressed their sadness to me regarding the loss of Kim. On Sunday, May 7, 2006, the last day of the conference, Don Augusto Bonelli read Kim's paper to the conference attendees in Italian, punctuating it occasionally with his own personal comments. It was very well received and Kim's final work was completed. As I mentioned above, I am including Kim's paper in this memorial update. It is titled, "The Ecumenical Implications of the Shroud of Turin" and can also be found on the Religion & Philosophy and the Website Library pages of the site. In the next regular website update, I will include new pages specifically for the Terracina and Perugia conferences, along with reprints of all the papers that were presented.
Fr. George Militaru and Michele Paolini at the conference in Perugia
as Don Augusto Bonelli reads Kim Dreisbach's paper
Posted May 24, 2006
Kim Dreisbach Memorial Held In Atlanta
A Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Life of The Rev. Albert Russell "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr.
was held on Saturday, May 13, 2006, at the Church of the Incarnation in Atlanta, Georgia
In a beautiful and moving service, a Celebration and Thanksgiving for the Life of The Rev. Albert Russell "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr., was held on Saturday, May 13, 2006, at the Church of the Incarnation in Atlanta, Georgia. Officiating Ministers at the service included The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, Georgia; The Reverend James Pritchett, Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church, College Park, Georgia; The Reverend Canon A. Gordon Okunsanya, Interim Rector, Church of the Incarnation, Atlanta, Georgia and The Reverend James Williams, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Birmingham, Alabama. The church was packed to capacity as friends and family came together to honor Kim's memory.
In addition to Russ Breault and myself, many of Kim's friends familiar to the Shroud world also attended, including John and Dorothy Brown, Mary Hines, Kevin and Anne Moran, Richard Orareo, Dan Porter and Dan and Carolyn Scavone. Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone, but so many people were there and I only took a few photographs, so I am forced to write this mainly from memory. Paul Maloney and Fr. Stephen Fichter were unable to attend, but they each sent along a beautiful written tribute to Kim, which I am including below.
During the service, remarks were made by several family members and friends, including Diane (Dede) Dreisbach Weber, daughter; Daniel Dreisbach, son; James Pettigrew, longtime family friend; Barrie Schwortz, longtime Shroud of Turin associate and friend and Russ Breault, longtime Shroud of Turin associate and friend. Also, a moving sermon and tribute to Kim was delivered by The Reverend James Pritchett that moistened every eye in the church. I am very pleased to include several of these here and thank each of the speakers for allowing me to share their remarks with you.
Diane (Dede) Dreisbach Weber
A Celebration of Dad's Life! - Diane (Dede) Dreisbach Weber
Four years ago on this very same Saturday . . .the day before Mother's Day . . .many if not most of you gathered with us as my dad officiated at the funeral of my mom. He said it was the last act of service he could perform for her. Now, we gather again in that same spirit of service to remember him. It was daunting task to even attempt to take my memories for 46 of his 72 years and condense them for the purposes of today. So, I searched my heart for a central theme . . .an inspiration . . .an experience that embodied the spirit that WAS my father. Amidst all the VERY human, broken, imperfect elements that were fundamental to his composition, there was one defining quality that transcended "WHO" he was which, in direct response, drove "WHAT" he did. That quality was his spirit of service to humankind, and, in our household, the kingdom of animal kind as well: It was in those moments when Dad would choose to ignore "self" and respond to other's needs that he seemed most enlightened and empowered. Interestingly, my mother, although not as often seen in the limelight, was also a person with a true servant's heart. So, as I find myself aging, philosophizing and, hopefully, gaining wisdom and insight, I believe it was this common commitment to service that first attracted them and kept them together even through the unstill waters that come into every family's lives. They modeled an "others first" lifestyle and always hoped that Daniel and I would have servant's hearts throughout our own lives. Daniel has a heart for helping people and has been a certified EMT, while my own spirit has thrived in healthcare, education and various areas of volunteer service to the community. My parents "paid it forward" by investing a heart for service in us, and now our challenge to pass that on continues with our own children . . .my son, Matt, and my niece, Lauren.
I last saw Dad two days before he died . . .at Piedmont Hospital . . .on his 72nd birthday . . .where he was not very patiently awaiting one more test before he hoped to be released. He called me that night, said he was being released the next morning, then asked that I research remaining available flight schedules to Italy. I last spoke with him several hours before my brother took him to the airport for what would be both literally and figuratively his final departure. In that conversation, I wished him a wonderful trip and told him that I loved him. I am so very, very glad I made that call. He sounded different and almost childlike . . .not rushed and dismissive as could sometimes be the case when he was trying to focus on making sure everything was packed and paperwork in order. This was different. I sensed it and chalked it up to his general sense of relief that he had been released from the hospital and could still take the trip. Now, I sincerely wonder if he was extra excited because his spirit was being prepared for the journey of a lifetime . . .and he didn't fully realize it.
Although the spirit of service that was uniquely "his" has left us, it is his legacy of service that can continue to inspire and move us to act in his memory. For me, this is the greatest gift my parents instilled in me . . .a genuine heart for service. As I grieve my own loss, I celebrate my gain of insight and appreciation for WHO dad was. . .and I imagine while he somehow found himself alone on that elevator in one of the most busy airports in the world, as his spirit left its temporary temple, he could hear God saying, "Well done my good and faithful servant, Kim." Our challenge is to leave this place and purpose ourselves to hear those words at the end of our own earthbound journeys through whatever "voice" we need to connect with The Divine. It is the greatest tribute we could give my dad and the fellow living creatures with which we share this great wide world.
In memory of Kim Dreisbach - Delivered May 13, 2006 at the Church of the Incarnation, East Point, GA by Russ Breault
I have known Kim for 25 years. We met in 1981 at the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) press conference in New London, CT. There are so many things that I could say about Kim, from his love of people, to his love of his beloved wife Jane, to his love of family, to his love of animals, to his great sense of humor, to his extreme devotion to the Holy Shroud and all his Shroud friends, many of whom flew in today to honor him.
But rather I will focus on these past two weeks. My daughter graduated yesterday from the University of Georgia. On April 29th, Kim graduated too.
Imagine with me for a moment, as Kim embarked on his journey home, the first person he met was his angel, who had been there with him all his life. The angel immediately gave him his graduation robe. Scripture calls it the robe of righteousness, or the garment of salvation. It wasn't a robe of Kim's righteousness, but it was a robe bought and paid for with cost of crucifixion. As the angel brought Kim through the portals of glory, he was met by a cheering cloud of witnesses. He saw Jane, his beloved wife, his parents, and many others.
Now it was Kim's turn to walk before the throne of grace. Saint Peter called out, "Albert Russell Dreisbach". As Kim, dazzled with amazement and humbled by awe (imagine that!), he stood before the King of Kings. He was presented his graduation cap. Except scripture says it is a crown. And on that crown are jewels. The jewels represent the things we did in this life that brought glory to the Name above all names. The robe covers our sins and imperfections, but our accomplishments, like a decorated war hero, are honored in the crown.
Kim now stands with the great cloud of witnesses and he will be there to cheer us on as we too walk across the graduation stage of glory. I doubt many of us will have a crown as beautiful as the one presented to Kim on his graduation day. But the one thing we must all be wearing is the robe of righteousness. We must not leave this world without it.
Good bye for now Kim, we will see you soon.
The Rev. Albert R. "Kim" Dreisbach - May 13, 2006 - The Rev. James H. Pritchett, Jr., Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church, College Park, GA
When the Bishop called to tell me that Daniel had asked that I preach at this service, my immediate response was, "Bishop, I have lots of stories of Kim Dreisbach - but I can't tell any of them from a pulpit at his funeral!" Bishop Alexander's response was something along the lines of, "Join the club."
I don't think Kim ever knew it, but I was jealous of a couple of things about him. One was his ability to remember jokes. As I'm sure everyone here knows, he knew thousands; he had a gift. But not me. I'll hear a joke and bust a stitch laughing and swear to myself that I'm going to remember it. And then, like a dream that dissipates in the light of dawn, it gently slips out of my grasp.
I've always thought my inability to remember jokes was a great handicap. But now I realize that it was simply God's way of preparing me for this very moment. Because if I could remember jokes, I might be tempted to tell one of Kim's jokes, and if I were to tell one of Kim's jokes at this time from this pulpit, there's a very good chance that the Bishop would be put to the agonizing decision as to whether to begin disciplinary proceedings against me. And so, Alleluia Bishop, God has spared us both from that.
I was also jealous of Kim's voice. What a voice! The first time I heard it, I had no idea who Kim Dreisbach was. I was a layperson, a youth group advisor at St. Luke's, and I was accompanying the youth group on a tour of an exhibit of something I'd never heard of called the "Shroud of Turin." And after a while I remember thinking, "How could anybody doubt this thing? The disembodied voice of God himself is telling us about it!" Years later I met Kim and immediately recognized that deep, resonant voice that he could play the way Yo Yo Ma plays the cello. At the reception at St. John's, we'll have a TV set up playing an interview with Kim, so you'll get to hear him again. What a voice. And talking about what he loved, the Shroud.
Unlike some of you, my connection with Kim was not the Shroud of Turin. But it was the focus of his towering, searching, restless intellect; he greatly advanced the scholarship on the subject, and I know that for many of you, a shared interest in the Shroud was the beginning of a long friendship. The Shroud of Turin was his great passion.
But the Shroud was not our connection. In fact, I noted on several occasions that Kim was so passionate about the Shroud - that he simply found it impossible to understand or believe - that everyone else did not share that burning passion. I mean, he really found that impossible to believe. Really! And I noted it on several, several thousand, occasions.
While I find the Shroud of Turin interesting - in small doses - it was not our connection. I think our connection was a heart for social justice. Over the years, I have taken some controversial stands and ruffled a few feathers, and I think Kim saw in me a kindred spirit. But I must tell you that when I look at his life, I am both inspired by how he reacted to the injustices of his time and embarrassed by the timidity of how I have reacted to those of my time.
In the 1960's, Kim was the Associate Director and later Executive Director of the Episcopal Society for Cultural & Racial Unity, or ESCREU. He was a Civil Rights warrior. In those days when Christians of good will differed not only on what to do, but most certainly on the pace at which to do it, Kim was focused, steadfast, devoted, and courageous. He was spat upon; he received death threats; he was called a "Yankee agitator," a "traitor to his race," a "communist," and, as you can imagine, worse things that I do not care to repeat.
Kim once gave a speech during Black History Week about the march that followed "Bloody Sunday." "Blood Sunday" was that terrible day in American history when, on March 7, 1965, civil rights protestors crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge only to be brutally attacked by lawless lawmen wielding clubs and teargas. Most of us have seen the terrifying film of that terrible attack.
Kim rushed to Selma to participate in the march that followed. In his speech, he recounts the whole story. It is wonderful, inspiring, heartbreaking, and moving. Copies of the entire speech will be available at the reception. For now, please allow me to read you an excerpt:
Finally. . . the big day arrived. . . . I arrived early at the assembly area and noticed a boy of about twelve - a bandage still on his head from "Bloody Sunday" - walking across the lot and headed directly for me. He had a moth-eaten blanket with a belt around it and a paper bag with his lunch. He approached and said: "Father, is anyone walking with you? My daddy's dead, my brother is a cripple and momma has to stay home with him. I am the 'onliest' one who can go, and I'm scared." I took his hand, put him on the inside, and together we marched across Pettus Bridge."A Profile in Courage"* is what Kim titled his speech. He, of course, was not talking about his own courage. But I am.
My eyes that day reverted to those of a Forward Observer, scanning the tree lines and very happy for the U.S. Army helicopter flying overhead. I was reminded of that chapter of my life when a reporter came up and asked: "Father, were you a Marine before you were a priest?" I answered, "Yes," and he went on to ask: "What is the difference between then and now?" Off the top of my head I replied: "The beachhead is wider, the troops are not as well trained, and my 'air cover' is not as close as it used to be."
I gripped the young man's hand more tightly and we continued the march. Never before nor since have I seen such courage in a twelve year old. He had already been beaten; he was scared, but in the words of the Movement he could still sing: "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me round, turn me round, turn me round. Ain't gonna let nobody turn me round. Keep on a walkin, keep on a talking, marchin on to freedom land."
* * *Before the Selma campaign was over, I was to lose a seminarian and member of our ESCRU staff who sacrificed his life to save that of a young female SNCC worker. His name was Jonathan Myrick Daniels, and we commemorate his martyrdom on our church calendar every August 14th.
Many in the movement will forever remember the courage of Jonathan Daniels. I wonder if anyone else remembers a twelve year old boy with a bandage on his head who once said: "My daddy's dead, my brother is a cripple and momma has to stay home with him. I am the 'onliest' one who can go, and I'm scared." For me, he will always be "A Profile in Courage."
Kim Dreisbach, along with Dr. King, knew Edmond Burke's admonition that, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." In confusing times, he found his moral compass and acted. He was a husband, a father, priest, a colleague, a friend, to be proud of. And, God willing, to be inspired by. Kim strove for equal rights for everyone until the end.
I'd like to return to the Shroud for just a moment. Even having devoted so much of his life to that piece of cloth, Kim knew that it was only a piece of cloth. If you looked at it and saw only an interesting artifact to be endlessly debated, he would love the debate, but that was not the source of his passion. His passion for the Shroud came from the way one could look at it and see the face of Christ. Kim's passion was not about cloth; it was about seeing the face of Christ.
And I would submit to you that he not only saw that face, but in his life and in his actions, he showed it to the world. May God bless Kim Dreisbach. Alleluia!
*Editor's Note: Here is a link to the complete text of Kim Dreisbach's "A Profile in Courage" speech.
"A Fond Memory" By Paul C. Maloney, Quakertown, PA 18951
My wife, Lois, gave me the terrible message so kindly and gently conveyed to us by our mutual friends and colleagues, Kevin Moran and Russ Breault. Kim was gone!… No words can ever express the shock and utter disbelief. Kim was gone!??… At first denial, then slow realization of the awful implications. I had talked with him by phone only a few weeks previously on matters pertaining to the Shroud. Kim was gone…. And as I gradually became aware that I would not even be able to attend the memorial my distress was nearly unbearable.
Even as I write these lines it seems so surreal--Kim is gone!
As all of us are aware, Kim was one of those persons uniquely gifted with words. He loved to tell a story. And he would make such stories all the more mesmerizing when he used a thick Scottish brogue, or the slow and unhurried drawl of a dapper Southern country gentleman, or the rich accent of a black clergyman. From the pulpit to the podium he was a man of elegant eloquence who caught and kept your attention from beginning to end. If we could tune in and hear him now, he would tell us that he’s mastering the ancient Jewish Palestinian accent of Jesus, and he can hardly wait to tell us the REAL story of the Shroud of Turin.
Yes, the Shroud! And there are some who knew Kim best in connection with his legendary interest in this Shroud. I was one of them. Kim had that dogged persistence, that indefatigable pursuit of what he fondly called “spy clues”. He dug through a myriad of books, searched out exotic manuscripts, wended his way down shadowy alleys and flitted like a wraith among the dusty of documents of academe to chase after each and every trace that might lead him to further illuminate the history of the Shroud. I will forever be in Kim’s debt. It was he who first brought to my attention one of his most significant “spy clues”. It was a reference in the venerable Liber Pontificalis to Pope Sylvester’s decision at the Baths of Trajan in 314 AD that Christians should return to the use of linen cloth on the altar in commemoration of Christ’s burial shroud. Can it be that this early reference might imply that the Shroud, itself, was once used as an altar cloth? When I carefully examined the Shroud in the light of Kim’s electrifying “spy clue” I found markings that were completely consistent with this idea and explained much more that other hypotheses did not. And conversations with the late Ray Rogers at Los Alamos National Laboratory measurably strengthened my belief that Kim had discovered a precious gem in church literature. A French scholar, though perhaps independently, thinks so, too. I am still researching this gem--all to the credit of Kim’s pursuit.
There was another unique connection I had had with Kim. We were both trained in Bible and theology and could communicate in the special language common to that field. I always knew, when I picked up the phone and heard that distinctive baritone, that I would be in for a fresh questing conversation. To my consternation I shall no longer be able to look forward to these provocative and mind-bending queries.
In recent years his hip began to threaten his mobility and thus, his ability to continue his beloved pursuits. But modern medical miracles changed all that and his perambulation was restored. However, his walking was significant in another way. I remember a famous walk--that from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama--that memorialized another of Kim’s great commitments. All his life he was concerned for the “little guy.” He fought fiercely for civil rights and, in his own way, as Jesus commanded, would give a cup of cool water to the thirsting.
It was another walk, however, that would have the greatest impact on him. He humorously told Russ Breault recently that he would go to Heaven from the Atlanta Airport. Little did he know that the Lord would quite literally “take him up” on that. When he walked from the Delta check-in counter and pressed the elevator button to carry him to the level where he could reach the transit system to go to Concourse E and Rome, he was in for a big surprise. When the elevator doors parted he stepped out onto the gold paved boulevard of The Lamb of God to join the throngs coursing along the headwaters of the Heavenly Jordan toward the Great jeweled Throne. From this Throne it issues in the brilliant light of the Holy Face and cascades on its majestic way, diamond droplets of spray refracting the rainbow of God’s love.
Marine that Kim was, he took command of his life and was Always Faithful to the directions of God, his Commander-In-Chief. He now marches to the backdrop of the sonorous strains of a million voice angelic choir:
And when my task on earth is done,
When by thy grace the victory’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
He nears the Throne and hears a resounding voice reverberating on Heaven’s ancient air: “Well done thou good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of thy Lord.” We miss you, Kim. Now you have all the answers to the questions we’re still asking.
My Thoughts on Kim's Life by Father Stephen Fichter
Kim, although we cannot see you anymore, just like we have not been able to see the Man of the Shroud for so many years, you -like Him- have left a lasting impression on all of us whom God granted the grace of knowing you. To have known you was to love you. You taught me many things -about the Shroud of Turin but also about life in general- for which I am deeply grateful. One of those greatest lessons was when you spoke to me of the need to balance truth and charity in every aspect of life. Often have I remembered that very sage advice! One day we shall see each other again and it will be a time of great rejoicing as we will be able to enjoy the peaceful presence of the Man of the Shroud who came to us many years ago to speak the truth about our existence and to encourage us to live always in charity.
Your grateful friend,
Father Stephen Fichter
The Rev. Albert “Kim” R. Dreisbach Jr. by Mary Hines
It was in Esopus 1996 that I first met “Kim” Dreisbach. I had already developed an avid interest in the scriptures in the twenty years prior to meeting “Kim”. That weekend “Kim” made a few comments to me on the scriptures and being Catholic I deemed them to be very controversial. In the ensuing years our friendship grew through sharing the scriptures and the “spy clues” connecting the dots between the Shroud and the scriptures continued to fascinate me. I owe “Kim” a wealth of gratitude for all he taught me about the scriptures and I have a deep appreciation for his friendship these last ten years. We e-mailed and talked often after his wife, Jane, died. It is very quiet now and I miss hearing the resonance in his voice along with his jokes. “Kim” studied the Shroud with a passion but he went beyond the Shroud to the Man of The Shroud emboldening a tenacious spirit in his ministry, when it came to issues of social justice.
“Kim” was truly a Man of God!
An excerpt from the Prophet by Khalil Gibran on Friendship:
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain. And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
Posted May 24, 2006
A Final Word of Thanks
I would like to extend a special word of thanks to Dede and Daniel Dreisbach for the wonderful honor they afforded me in selecting this website as a destination for gifts in Kim's memory. I will do my utmost to prove myself worthy of their choice. I would also like to thank each of you who have sent gifts for your kindness and generosity in memory of our dear friend. I am deeply grateful.
Mary G. Anderson
Mr. C.J. Barber
Mrs. Ann Barnes
Ben and Margaret Bell
John and Marianne Bermingham
John and Dorothy Brown
Keith B. Crofford
Fr. Stephen Fichter
Patrick and Marcia Griffith
Art Lind and Mark Antonacci
Paul and Lois Maloney
Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli
Kevin and Anne Moran
Daniel and Carolyn Scavone
Charles Randy Sheppard
Archer D. Smith III
Robert H. Spence
Dr. Niels Svensson
Craig & Angela Tenbroeck (from Kim's EA classmates)
Posted May 24, 2006
Updated January 4, 2007
On Yet Another Sad Note
I am very sad to report that F. David Alexander, a student of the Shroud and friend of the "Shroud Crowd," died on May 19, 2006 at the home of his close friend, Ilse Conley, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after a short illness. David was born on July 19, 1942 and was a long time personal friend of mine (Pittsburgh is also my home town) and a dedicated supporter of this website. He was ever a thoughtful friend and each time we lost a great sindonologist, David would promptly have a tree planted in Israel in his or her memory. He told me a week before his death that he was planning to do the same for Kim Dreisbach and asked me to convey that to Kim's family at the memorial service. He had done the same for Kim's dear wife Jane who died four years ago, but sadly, in the end, his recent poor health kept him from doing so this time. Ilse informed me today that she has already had two trees planted in Israel in David's memory. His passing is even more regretable at this moment, when we are all still mourning the loss of another great friend. David is to be cremated at his request and will be interred at the Jefferson Memorial Cemetary in Pittsburgh.
Editor's Note: Since I first posted this notice, I have received some additional comments from people who knew David Alexander. I am pleased to include them here.
I have known David for several years and he was a good friend of the Shroud. He gave Shroud lectures in the Pittsburgh area. He was a hard working blue collar gentleman who worked in the steel mills (as I recall). He had a big heart for people and for his Lord. He was a student of Judaism and its relationship to Christianity and attended a Messianic Jewish congregation. He even played the role of Jesus in the video interview I did with Mark Guscin which can be seen online at www.shroud2000.com.
He was friends with Kim Dreisbach as well and now they are together. Be at peace David, you have earned your reward.
I'm saddened to hear about F.David Alexander... I thought I didn't know him until it dawned on me that I had met and spoken with him for quite a while at the Dallas Conference. He was slight with a long beard wasn't he? He was very sweet and gave me one of his handout sheets. We're planting a lot of trees around our house this spring so I'll be sure to do one in his memory.
I'm sorry to hear of the death of F. D. Alexander. I met him many times and at the last Dallas conference we had the opportunity to speak a lot. Another friend who has gone to see the Man of the Shroud. May he rest in peace.
Posted May 24, 2006
Updated June 4, 2006
Turin or Torino?
In the past week or so I have received a number of e-mails from viewers who are somewhat confused by the term "Torino" being used in place of "Turin" by the media in their reports on the Winter Olympic Games. Some have even suggested that I add "Torino" to every reference to the Shroud on the entire website, to help unitiated viewers avoid confusion. I responded directly to a number of viewers, and at their request, I am publishing my response on the website as well. Here is what I wrote:
In the U.S.A. we do not refer to Rome as Roma, Florence as Firenze, Naples as Napoli or Milan as Milano. The Shroud is the Shroud of Turin. In Italian it is technically Santa Sindone di Torino although almost everyone in Italy drops the city and just says Santa Sindone. It is actually not correct to call the city Torino here in the U.S.A., but that was a decision made by the television network that brings us the Olympic games.
When I am in Italy, I refer to the city as Torino and call the Shroud Santa Sindone (Sin'-doh-nay) which means literally, Holy Shroud. On my website, which is in English, I call it the Shroud of Turin.
Just because the television network can't get it right doesn't mean that I should get it wrong.
I hope this clarifies it for you. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your thoughts with me.
Posted February 21, 2006
Sometime in 1994 I installed the original Netscape Navigator® browser software into one of my computers, fired up my 28.8k modem (considered "fast" by 1994 standards) and logged onto the Internet for the first time. Browsing was a very slow and somewhat tedious process in those early days, but I realized after a few months that the Internet would allow potentially anyone to access (or provide) large volumes of information, virtually for free, to everyone in the world. Of course, at that time, most online information was technology or computer related and most of the folks you met online were what we now refer to as "geeks," but it somehow felt like you were part of a community or family, browsing was fun (and safe) and it was quite satisfying when you actually came across information that was of personal interest to you. Of course, the Internet had not yet grown into the powerful force that now drives the world, a phenomenon so omnipresent that most people now just take it for granted. I must admit that at that point in time the Internet was more of a novelty to me than anything else. I was certainly not a visionary and had no idea that it was soon going to change the world. However, my perspective was changed forever when I received an innocent phone call from a friend in the fall of 1995.
His call was to inform me that the "Shroud thing" I photographed years before was nothing more than a painting done by Leonardo Da Vinci! He obviously didn't know that the Shroud is documented in the historical record at least 100 years before Leonardo was even born or that published scientific evidence proved the Shroud was NOT painted, so I prodded him for where he was getting this "news." He promptly informed me that he had read this on the cover of a tabloid at the checkout counter of the grocery store. I am not sure if the term epiphany is appropriate for what occurred next, but I realized at that moment that I had always had access to accurate, first hand information about the Shroud because I was part of the scientific team that gathered most of that information. It had never occurred to me before that moment that most of the world had to depend on the popular media for their knowledge. I had just taken for granted that everyone knew what I knew about the Shroud. As we continued our conversation, I hastily wrote four words onto the cover of a folder that was sitting on my desk: "consider building a website."
With hindsight, it is easy to recognize now that this moment was truly a turning point for me, a momentous event that would forever alter the course of my life. After looking at those four words for a few weeks, I decided to buy a book on HTML code and see if I could learn enough to start building a website of my own. In December of 1995, just before my son David and I went to the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe for some holiday snowmobiling, I secured the domain name Shroud.com, just in case. I also made sure to bring the HTML book with me for late night reading during those long winter nights in our hotel room. By the time we returned to Los Angeles on January 1, 1996, I was finished with the book and extremely anxious to get my computer fired up and start trying out my new knowledge. (Obviously, I too am a geek;-) And beginning that day, that's exactly what I did. In fact, I did so virtually non-stop every day for the next three weeks and finally, on January 21, 1996, I pushed the button and sent Shroud.com to the server. This website was officially online.
And now, it is ten years later and I am celebrating a full decade of publishing this website. Over the years, I have reported on much that has happened in the world of the Shroud, both good and bad. We have presented some groundbreaking research and mourned the loss of some great sindonologists, many of them my personal friends. We have seen many new scientific theories proposed, both for and against authenticity, and seen many of those same theories eliminated once further studies were completed. We have read the work of Shroud proponents and skeptics alike and were privileged to witness some excellent debates. Together, we watched in horror as the Turin Cathedral burned through the night and ultimately, cheered the heroic rescue of the Shroud. In essence, we have laughed and we have cried together. And through all of this I have done my best to report everything honestly and fairly, presenting you with both sides of the issues so that in the end, you can make up your own minds about the Shroud of Turin. I have enjoyed the cooperation of most sindonologists around the world, many of whom have directly participated by either writing new materials for the website or allowing me to reprint some of their earlier work. And I have been very pleased to have so many of you, the loyal website viewers, express your support and consideration to me. Trust that I have been humbled by your kindness and truly grateful for your blessings. In the end, I believe the last ten years have been simply amazing, and I expect the next ten to be even better!
And that leads me to this update, which I believe is an excellent one, although it undoubtedly includes some materials that will probably be considered controversial by some viewers. Of course, when you are dealing with the Shroud of Turin, controversy is never a stranger. Please keep in mind that I respect all points of view, whether I agree with them or not, just as long as they are presented respectfully. So, without further delay, I present you with the 10th Anniversary Update of Shroud.com.
Editor and Publisher
Posted January 21, 2006
British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) June and December 2005 Newsletters Added
The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the last two issues (No. 61 and No. 62) of the BSTS Newsletter. As regular website viewers already know, the newsletters always include relevant articles, book reviews, news from Italy and much more. Newsletter editor Mark Guscin also includes a full color, high quality photographic feature in each issue. Issue No 61 is no exception and includes an article by John Brown with a selection of photographs, photomicrographs and scanning electron microscope images from his examination of Ray Rogers' samples (in this case reprinted from this website).
BSTS No. 62 is unusual in that the bulk of the issue is dedicated to a single topic, the Third International Dallas Shroud Conference held in September, 2005. Three different reports on the Dallas meeting by Mike Minor, Joanna Emery and Diana Fulbright provide readers with three different perspectives on the event. In addition, two papers that were presented at the conference are reprinted in their entirety. The addition of these two papers to the eleven that were already available online, brings to thirteen the total number of Dallas papers now available through this website. See the Third International Dallas Shroud Conference Page Updated article below for more details.
For those of you who might be interested in a membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two issues of the Newsletter per year) see the printable BSTS Membership Application for details. The newsletter is published semi-annually, usually in June and December, and the text is reprinted on this website in the Acrobat PDF format, but without the photographs or illustrations.
Posted January 21, 2006
Third International Dallas Shroud Conference Page Updated
In November 2005 I added the Third International Dallas Shroud Conference page to this website, which included links to eleven of the papers that were presented at the meeting. With today's addition of the BSTS Newsletter No. 62 to the British Society for the Turin Shroud page of this site, I am pleased to announce that two additional papers from the conference are now available, bringing the total papers available online from the Dallas conference to thirteen. The first is by Prof. Bruno Barberis and Prof. Piero Savarino and is titled, “Ten Years of Important Events in the History of the Holy Shroud.” The second paper is by Diana Fulbright and is titled, “‘A Clean Cloth’ - What Greek Word Usage Tells Us About the Death and Burial of Jesus” (Editor's Note: Diana's paper is a large one and it will take several minutes to download this file if you are using a dialup connection). You can find links to these papers on both of the above pages, as well as on the Website Library and the Scientific Papers & Articles pages of this site.
While I am on the subject of the Dallas conference, I think it would be appropriate to mention that the article I presented in my November 2005 update covered only certain aspects of the event. I basically limited my reporting to a general overview of the conference and the papers that were presented. However, a number of articles by other conference attendees were published elsewhere, both in print and on the Internet, that provided different perspectives on the event. Three such reports are included today in the BSTS Newsletter No. 62, and I am also including links to two Internet articles.
The first article is by Dan Porter, who sponsored a Hospitality Suite at the conference hotel that provided attendees with a place to gather and spend some time together in personal discussions. The article is found on Dan's website and is titled "An Enchilada Comes To Mind: Dallas Shroud of Turin Conference 2005."
The second article is a Report on Dallas by well known archaeologist and Shroud scholar, Bill Meacham and is located on his personal website. I should caution viewers that both articles are quite frank and both authors are quite explicit in voicing their opinions, but they do provide important insights into how the event was perceived by many of the attendees.
Posted January 21, 2006
New History Paper Added To Scientific Papers & Articles Page
I am always happy to add new materials to this website, particularly when the work is that of a noted Shroud scholar. That is certainly the case with the new article by Prof. Daniel Scavone titled, "Geoffroy I de Charny Did Not Obtain the Present Turin Shroud on the Smyrna Campaign of 1346" that has just been added to the Scientific Papers & Articles page of the site. For those who do not know him, Dan is professor emeritus of history at the University of Southern Indiana and is one of the foremost historians in Sindonology. He has researched the Shroud for many years and has presented papers at every major Shroud conference over the past decade, so it was rather a surprise when this paper was rejected by the peer review committee of last year's Dallas conference. In the paper, Dan revisits the theories about the first documented owner of the Shroud, Geoffroy 1 de Charny, and where he might have acquired the relic. In several areas, he disagrees with other Shroud historians on certain aspects of the de Charny theories and makes a valid case for his conclusions. As always, Dan's research is thorough, credible and detailed and should be of great interest to serious students of the Shroud's history.
Posted January 21, 2006
New Shroud Book Sparks Immediate Controversy
In his new book, The Rape of the Turin Shroud, noted archaeologist and Shroud scholar William Meacham gives a frank and often critical accounting of what he calls"...the 'desecration' of the Shroud of Turin due to serious errors in its study and conservation. It is the story of how this relic, once the subject of worldwide curiosity and awe, with its haunting and still unexplained image of Christ, came to be wrongly dismissed as a medieval fake by the general public. And how it recently suffered major damage in an ill-advised and secretly executed "restoration" conducted for cosmetic and misguided conservation purposes."
From its provocative title to its stinging criticisms of the Shroud's custodians, this book was sure to spark controversy. Sadly, it also reveals a side of sindonology seldom seen by the general public.
In fact, the controversy began almost immediately. In the book, Meacham quotes noted Shroud scholar Dr. John Jackson and criticizes Jackson's public response to the restoration of the Shroud during a press conference sponsored by the Turin authorities held in Turin in September 2002. The press conference was part of an invitation-only series of events sponsored by the Shroud's custodians, during which the large group of invited scientists and researchers were given an opportunity to view the "restored" Shroud for themselves and voice their opinions of the intervention. Upon seeing the quote and realizing that Meacham had omitted part of his response, Jackson wrote an open letter to a private, online Shroud science discussion group and provided them with the entire text of his original statement. In the interest of fairness I am also including it here: John Jackson's Response To William Meacham's Book. This was not the end of the discussion however, which continued over a number of additional e-mails between Jackson and Meacham. Since the debate became rather heated and somewhat personal, I ultimately decided not to publish it here. However, Meacham has posted his further responses on his personal website at http://freepages.religions.rootsweb.com/~wmeacham/response.htm.
A Book Review of "The Rape of the Turin Shroud" was posted on December 11, 2005 on Amazon.com by noted Shroud researchers Joe Marino and Sue Benford and, with their permission, I have reprinted it here as well. You can find a cover photo and additional links to the book, including a direct link to it on Amazon.com, on the Bookstore in Association With Amazon.com page of this site. It is also linked from the Shroud of Turin Booklist page.
Posted January 21, 2006
Turin's Museum of the Shroud (Museo della Sindone) Adds Additional Exhibits
The excellent Museum of the Shroud in Turin is currently expanding their facility with the addition of another room of photographic exhibits and other materials, according to Professor Gian Maria Zaccone, Scientific Director of the organization. This is timed to coincide with the upcoming Olympics and should be open to the public around February 1, 2006. Since the next public exhibition of the Shroud itself is not until 2025, the Museum is an excellent resource of important Shroud materials and photographs and should be considered a "must see" for anyone visiting Turin in the interim. It is a perfect compliment to a visit to the Turin Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where the Shroud is permanently stored. Visitors to the Cathedral can see the exterior of the new reliquary in which the Shroud is kept, as well as a number of photographs of the cloth, but not the Shroud itself. The Museum contains many historical Shroud related artifacts, including the silver casket that served as the Shroud's reliquary for hundreds of years. It also includes some of the historic, early photographs of the Shroud, including the original photographs made by Secondo Pia in 1898 and Giuseppe Enrie in 1931.
I am also very pleased to announce that I have been invited to provide some of the photographs of the Shroud that I made in 1978 for inclusion in the new exhibit. These will include my normal, white light photographs of the cloth, as well as the unique transmitted light photographs I made of the Shroud with light passing through the cloth. Their inclusion in the exhibit provides a sampling of the photographs made in 1978 during the in-depth examination performed by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP). I am honored and grateful to Professor Zaccone and the Museum's director's for inviting me to participate. Included here is the Museum's address and phone number, for those of you who might be planning to visit Turin in the future. Please contact the Museum directly or check their website for hours of operation, etc.Museum of the Shroud (Museo della Sindone)
Via San Domenico, 28
10121 Torino, TO
You can find additional links to the Museum on the Shroud Centers & Organizations and Links To More Information pages of this website.
Posted January 21, 2006
Private Internet Debate Challenges Ray Rogers' Thermochimica Acta Paper
On April 21, 2005, six weeks after the untimely death of Ray Rogers, I received an e-mail from Mark Antonacci suggesting that I publish an attached article he had written titled, "An Evidentiary Analysis of the Proofs Claimed by Ray Rogers." Frankly, when I first read it, I was angered and offended and felt that its tone was much too personal and disrespectful to Ray Rogers' memory. Of course, this was not very long after the death of my dear friend of 28 years, so I might have been responding emotionally when I decided that I would neither publish nor respond to Mark's article. It was already well known throughout the Shroud research community that Ray and Mark were not on the best of terms, particularly after Ray wrote a somewhat stinging review of Mark's book, which I had published in October 2001 on this website. Of course, I also published Mark's rebuttal to Ray's book review on February 21, 2002. (Editor's Note: Here are links to Ray's review of Mark's book titled, Comments on 'The Resurrection of the Shroud' by Mark Antonacci and Mark's response to Ray's review titled, Mark Antonacci's Reply To Ray Rogers' Review of His Book). Truthfully, at that point in time I was satisfied that my decision not to publish Mark's article was justified.
Three weeks later, on May 11, 2005, Mark's article was posted by Prof. Giulio Fanti onto a private Internet Shroud Science discussion group of about 90 scientists, historians and researchers, of which I am also a member. This triggered a flurry of e-mail responses amongst group members (including me) and a lengthy discussion and some heated exchanges and criticisms ensued. About 10 days later, on May 23, 2005, Mark Antonacci posted a lengthy response to the criticisms he had received from members of the group. A week later, on June 2, 2005, group member Dr. Thibault Heimburger posted a thorough and detailed response to the original Antonacci articles, challenging Mark's criticisms and defending Ray Rogers' work and conclusions. On June 14, 2005, Mark responded with another lengthy reply defending his position and Thibault's final response was posted on July 12, 2005. After much deliberation, I have decided to put all of these postings together into a single article and make it all available for everyone to read (with the permission of the two authors). Rather than editing out any parts of it (as I was originally inclined to do), I have decided to include everything in its entirety, even those parts that I originally felt might be somewhat personal and disrespectful to my old friend. In the end, the best solution is to let you, the website viewers, decide this one for yourselves. Here is the link to the article, titled, Private Internet Debate Challenges Ray Rogers' Thermochimica Acta Paper, which includes both Antonacci's and Heimburger's postings.
In his May 23, 2005, response, Mark quotes heavily from an e-mail I had posted to the group on May 18, 2005. In an effort to provide you with a complete view of the debate, I am including the text of my e-mail in its entirety as a separate link: Schwortz Email to shroudScience 18may05
Posted January 21, 2006
Shroud Speakers Directory Page Updated
I am pleased to welcome my dear friend and highly respected Shroud scholar Diana Fulbright to the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website. Professor Fulbright has served as Director of Research for the Shroud of Turin Center in Richmond, Virginia, since its inception in 1997 and continues to make important contributions to Sindonology. In fact, I have just added the paper she presented at last year's Third International Dallas Shroud Conference to the website. (See above article for details). As you can see from her Biography, she is eminently qualified as a researcher and lecturer.
The Shroud Speakers Directory 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 January 21, 2006
Shroud Documentary Reaches New Lows - A Personal Review of the Recent History Channel Program by Barrie Schwortz
(with some additional comments by Sean Heckman, the associate producer of the program)
In an article posted in my November 19, 2005 update, I recommended, "Unraveling The Shroud of Turin," a Shroud documentary that was going to premiere on the History Channel in December. I even went as far as saying, "I am hopeful that this will be one of the best Shroud documentaries in recent years." Well, I was wrong, and I apologize for ever recommending it. Plain and simple, it was probably the worst Shroud documentary that has ever been produced. Of course, that is not to say that the director and associate producer (the two men most responsible for the original script and production) didn't make a sincere effort to get it right. They honestly did. And so did those of us who spent our valuable time participating in the program, like Dr. John Jackson, Dr. August Accetta and Mark Guscin. I spent hours working with Sean Heckman, the associate producer of the program, over a period of more than 6 months and I found him to be intelligent, sincere and honest in his efforts. He called me frequently to double check facts, both scientific and historic and to make certain he clearly understood some of the more technical issues. However, the persons who have the final say in a television program are not necessarily the production team members who do the writing, shooting and editing. Such was the case with this program.
The first clue was a conversation I had with Sean on the last day of location shooting I participated in, at the 3-D animation studio where parts of the program were taped. He quietly pulled me aside and told me confidentially that they had reconstructed a camera obscura experiment for the program and that it had failed miserably to reproduce an image like the Shroud. In fact, although they spent 43 days exposing an image onto cloth, when they tried to fix it so it could be removed from the darkroom, it disappeared forever. In essence, they could not even make an image that could be brought out into the light (which is why all the video of the resulting camera obscura image was only presented in the darkroom under red safelights). However, he was concerned about how this might be portrayed in the program. His concern was valid, because in the final edited program, they touted the camera obscura theory as "possible" without ever revealing that their own experiment had failed and probably proved it was impossible! Apparently, the senior producers and network executives decided somewhere during the editing process that promoting the infamous "Da Vinci" theory regarding the Shroud was an easy way to capitalize on the current Da Vinci frenzy in the media and garner higher ratings, even if the truth was completely sacrificed. And I mean completely, since they were not even honest about their own results! What Sean didn't tell me then that I found out later, was that in the 2nd hour of the program, the production company had done an experiment in which they superimposed the Shroud bloodstains over those on the Sudarium with surprisingly high congruence. Naturally, they also failed to include that result in the final program. In a subsequent e-mail I received from Sean on November 4, 2005, he stated:Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 17:29:37 -0800
Subject: For what it's worth...
From: Sean Heckman
To: Barrie Schwortz
Not that I'm an expert in the field of cameras or photo superimposition, but if you ever wanted me to do a write-up on why I find the camera obscura theory to be nonsense (having built one), or why we found the superimposition of the Sudarium over the Shroud to be incredibly compelling, I'd be glad to do so...after the show airs.
Sadly, the segment in which I appeared was also edited in a less than honest manner. I participated as a consultant to the 3-D animation experts who extracted the spatial information from my Shroud photographs and reconstructed in the computer a full 3-D body of the man. The goal was to do so as accurately as possible and based solely on what is actually found on the Shroud. The initial results were somewhat distorted and did not match a "normal" human figure when the two were compared. This fact was clearly mentioned in the program. However, after suggesting that the head and shoulders should be slightly elevated, as would be typical in a 1st century Jewish burial, the animator made the necessary adjustments and the resulting image was again compared to the "normal" human figure. It was immediately obvious to everyone that the two images now fit almost perfectly and the animator clearly stated that as a fact. Unfortunately, that statement was NOT included in the final program, leaving the viewer to believe that the 3-D information on the Shroud was not accurate to a human form, when in fact, it is!
In another e-mail from Sean Heckman on Jan 9, 2006, he remained true to his word and sent me the following statement:I was, personally, very disappointed with the direction this project took by completion. We managed to interview several high profile scientists and historians for our show, with the promise that this program would make a fair evaluation of the most recent theories both for and against the authenticity of The Shroud. I do not feel as though this program met this promise, and am personally embarrassed to have involved the participants that I did.
Specifically, I take major issue with the misleading nature of our "camera obscura" segments. I personally worked with artist Stephen Berkman to design, construct, and test the theory that the Shroud was created by such a process. Stephen and I paid particular attention to building the camera and exposing the image with historical accuracy. We only used simple lenses that would have been available in the 13th century, as well as exposed and fixed the image with chemicals that are known to have existed at the time. Put simply, the experiment failed. While it is theoretically possible to expose an image, there are a countless number of variables that make the process nearly impossible, a multitude of which caused our project to fail. Namely, in order to make a life-sized image, you would need to position the linen at least 6 or more feet away from the lens. Since light fades away at an inverse square rate, a pinhole or simple lens only allows for an extremely faint amount of light to reach that distance, making it extremely difficult to expose the image. In our case, it took 43 days to get a faint image, which completely disappeared once the image was fixed. Considering this experiment was based on 200 years of KNOWN photographic technology, I find it difficult that such an image could have been created 600 years ago, particularly an image that we'd still be able to see today.
The disappearance of our image, once fixed, was completely cut out of our program. Similarly, we had several other theories, counter theories, and experiments that were modified over the course of the writing and editing, resulting in a program that strayed away from the scientific focus that I was told the show should take. In essence, the focus of our program was severely altered in the closing stages of our edit, and decisions were made between the network, as well as the production company, which went against my original intentions. It is unfortunate that the aired program took the direction that it did, and I can only hope that its participants understand how disappointed I was with the decisions made beyond my control.
There were many other facets of the program that were severely lacking, but frankly, it is not even worth mentioning them here. Sadly, it is very apparent that the standards for production of television documentaries have dropped dramatically over the past ten years. This is perhaps due in part to the pressures of ratings, or the fact that there are 24 hours of programming to fill every day. Apparently, these days the networks are willing to accept and broadcast programs focusing on "popular" themes that will entice and lure the viewers away from their competition, even if they are misleading or completely untrue. More likely however, is the fact that television is first and foremost an entertainment medium and not an academic arena, so the truth is not an essential requirement. Television does not have to meet the same rigorous standards as a peer reviewed scientific journal. In fact, neither do commercial books, magazines or even websites! In most of those venues, standards for content are practically non-existent. It is unfortunate, but I am afraid that we all have to lower our expectations whenever the media focuses on the Shroud. That focus is inevitably altered by interests other than the truth. In the end, I strongly recommend that you avoid this program entirely.
Posted January 21, 2006
Further Comments from Serge Mouraviev
In the June 30, 2005 update of this website, I reprinted an article by Serge Mouraviev titled, The Image Formation Mechanism on the Shroud of Turin: A Solar Reflex Radiation Model (the Optical Aspect) that had originally appeared in Applied Optics vol. 36, No. 34 (1 December 1997) pp. 8976-8981. As you can see from my previous article, I made some critical comments that Serge disagreed with that led to a respectful exchange between us. In that article, I promised Serge I would include some of his images and his further comments on this website at a later time. I apologize to Serge that it has taken me so long to get this onto the website, but my time has been very limited and I was just unable to do so before now. As promised, I have now included the Further Comments from Serge Mouraviev, along with three images that illustrate the equipment setup for his solar imaging experiment and provide two resulting images made using this technique. I encourage website viewers to read Serge's article, evaluate his results and decide for yourselves.
Posted January 21, 2006
Three Website Viewers Accept My Challenge
In my November 19, 2005, update I posted an article describing the addition of 125 new titles to the Shroud of Turin Booklist page of the site. In describing the scope of the booklist, I made the following statement:Frankly, I lost count long ago of how many books were actually listed, but I believe it is well over 1000. If any of you ever feels ambitious enough to count them, I'll put the information on the website and give you full credit! ;-)Well, I am very pleased to report that three different viewers took the time to make a count of the books on the list and respond to my challenge. The first response I received was on November 30, 2005, from Arif Khan in the U.K. He wrote:I came to your site... and I found this little teasing challenge: "If any of you ever feels ambitious enough to count them, I'll put the information on the website and give you full credit!"The next day, on December 1, 2005, I received the following update from Arif:
So I took up the challenge! I copied all the books listed in to MS Excel - I ensured each book appeared on only one line [some had extra description so removed them] - took out the blank lines and did a line count - and 1,043 is the answer!Make that 1039 - I found a few lines that were not book entries but comments - I now have the full numbered list in MS Word format for your records.Arif was kind enough to send me the numbered list he created as a Microsoft Word document file. I have Zipped it to reduce its size and am making it available to everyone. Of course, you will need the appropriate WinZip or some similar software to unzip the file. Here is the link to Arif Khan's Shroud Books Numbered List.zip
On December 2, 2005, the very next day, I received the following e-mail from Justin Coe in New Zealand:I've taken up the challenge laid down on your latest update of shroud.com to count the number of books on the shroud book register on your site! The number of books as of 2 Dec 2005 is 1038.
See the attached Excel spreadsheet for the list if you like. (There are 1038 rows, each containing one book title). I simply edited the .htm file, finding and replacing certain html symbol's, reopened the .htm file and copied into Excel, then tidied up by deleting any straggling rows that didn't contain book titles.
Justin included the Excel spreadsheet file and I have Zipped it to reduce its size and am making it available to everyone. Of course, you will need the appropriate WinZip or some similar software to unzip the file. Here is the link to Justin Coe's Shroud Book List 02dec05.zip. Both of these files could prove very useful to Sindonologists, so I am including them on the Shroud of Turin Booklist page as well.
On January 5, 2006 I received this very interesting e-mail from Sarah Frost of Melbourne, Australia:...I found your website by chance and was reading one of your pages where you stated that if anyone was ambitious enough to count how many books you had in your site's booklist you would publish the number and the give the counter full credit. Well, I don't know if any one else has already taken up that challenge, but I thought that you would like to know that I did. I counted 953 (close to your estimated 1000) books and 132 submitted papers and articles. I am sure that I got the number of papers/articles correct but the book count may be off by about five due to missing a couple of books or skipping a number here or there. In the near future I am willing to do a recount to check my number, but not tonight (it's night here in Australia).
I would also like to tell you how I came to be on your site. I am about half the way through Robin Cook's book "Seizure" (funnily enough one of the books listed in your booklist, and most probably the only one I was ever likely to read, until now) and read the part where one of the characters simply typed "The Shroud of Turin" into Google to see what she could find on the subject. The way that this part of the book was written was pretty specific in the details so I thought I would do the same and see what I came up with, and lo and behold I came up with the same site that the character does, imagine my surprise to find that the site name given in the book actually existed. I was of course intrigued and, not knowing anything about the Shroud of Turin (but still managing to completely disbelieve its' authenticity) I started to read the information on the site, page by page until I came to the page where you issue the challenge to count the number of books listed on the site.
Anyway I hope this email brings a smile to your face about the way some things work, how one day you could be reading a fictional novel by a techno-medical author and the next (actually later the same day) be immersed in the story of what you thought was a dubiously named 'religious' artifact. For your records, if I am indeed the first person to count the number of books listed on this site my name is Sarah Frost of Melbourne, Australia and I am 21.
Well Sarah, you were not the first one to count the books, but I truly appreciate the initiative, time and dedication you demonstrated in counting the books manually and wanted to give you the full credit I promised. I also found your story interesting and thought I would share it with everyone. Once again, let me gratefully acknowledge all three viewers who took me up on my somewhat tongue-in-cheek challenge. In the end, you made a valuable contribution to this website. Thank you and well done!
Posted January 21, 2006
Some Website Statistics From 2005
I always like to include some statistics about the previous year's website traffic in my anniversary updates. In 2005, the website had 589,872 individual visitors that viewed 1.75 million pages and 6.4 million files totaling 7.58 million hits. The total bandwidth for 2005 (total of all files viewed) was 198 gigabytes! Thank you all for your participation!
Posted January 21, 2006
This year is going to be a busy one for me, and I am not sure when I will be able to produce the next website update. I will be attending and speaking at Shroud conferences in Terracina and Perugia, Italy, in the spring and have a number of lectures scheduled in the U.S. during the Lenten season. Of course, I am also still obligated to work on my client projects, and I have several large ones starting almost immediately. Consequently, I will do my best to update the site as soon as I can, but I can't predict exactly when that will be. I am hopeful of completing at least a small update to let viewers know more about the two upcoming Italian Shroud conferences, which start in late April. In the interim, if any major Shroud news occurs, I will do a special update as quickly as possible to ensure you know the details. If you are already on the Shroud.com mailing list, you will get an e-mail from me notifying you immediately of each update. If you are not on the list but would like to subscribe, see the Send Us E-mail page of the site for details on how to join. Until the next time, thank you again for your continued support and patronage. It is gratefully appreciated.
Posted January 21, 2006
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