2009 Website News


These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 2009. 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 2009.


2010 Shroud Exhibition Reservation System Now Online

On December 1, 2009, the Archdiocese of Turin website put their new reservation system online. Reservations are required to view the Shroud during next year's public exhibition (10 April 2010 through 23 May 2010), although admission is free. For registration and other information, visit the Archdiocese website's English Language FAQ Page (the website and reservation system allow you to select and view in several different languages). To make your reservation, just click on the appropriate link near the top left corner of the FAQ page and follow the instructions provided.

Posted December 9, 2009

International Workshop Announced and Call For Papers

On November 25, 2009, Paolo Di Lazzaro, Italian Shroud researcher and Workshop Chairman, announced that an International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to Acheiropoietos Images (IWSAI 2010) would be held May 4 through 6, 2010, at the ENEA Research Centre in Frascati, Italy. On December 4, 2009, Paolo released the following Call For Papers:

Call For Papers
The International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to Acheiropoietos Images
IWSAI 2010
May 4-6, Frascati, ITALY

Dear Researchers,

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to Acheiropoietos Images (IWSAI 2010), to be held at ENEA Research Centre of Frascati, from May 4 through 6, 2010.

The goal of IWSAI 2010 is to promote bottom-up scientific discussion on chemical, physical, mechanical, forensic and historical aspects of the most famous acheiropoietos images, namely the Turin Shroud, the Tilma of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Veil of Manoppello.

By bringing together scientists, doctors, historians, archaeologists and students active in a variety of disciplines, the workshop provides a unique dedicated forum for discussions and reports on advances in the understanding of the most famous acheiropoietos images.

The IWSAI 2010 website can be found at http://www.acheiropoietos.info

Important dates:
Deadline for summary submissions (max 400 words): January 15, 2010
Notification of acceptance sent to authors: February 15, 2010
Deadline for conference registration early bird: March 2, 2010

More details, updating news and opportunity to join a group visit to the Shroud exhibition in Turin can be found in the IWSAI 2010 website.

Hope to meet you in Frascati!

Warm regards,
Paolo Di Lazzaro
Chairman of the IWSAI 2010

Posted December 9, 2009

Coast To Coast AM Radio Program To Feature The Shroud

On Thursday night, December 17, 2009 (early Friday morning, December 18, 2009), I will appear on the nationally syndicated Coast to Coast AM radio program with host, George Noory. With more than 12 million listeners per night, the program enjoys the largest nightime talk radio listening audience in America. I was originally scheduled to appear in October, but that was postponed until this month so the entire three hour program could be devoted to the Shroud. I believe live calls are taken during part of the program, so feel free to give me a call if you have a good question. Check your local listings for the station and air time in your area. I believe the program may also be streamed live via the internet, so check the Coast to Coast AM website for details.

Posted December 9, 2009

Tax Deductible Contributions to STERA, Inc.

Just a reminder that you have until December 31, 2009 to make a tax deductible contribution to STERA, Inc., help support this website and get a deduction for a charitable contribution on your 2009 Federal and State Income taxes. Click on this link for details: Making a Tax Deductible Charitable Contribution to STERA, Inc..

Posted December 9, 2009

Holiday Wishes

The next website update on January 21, 2010, will mark the 14th anniversary of shroud.com. Since I won't be speaking to you again until next year, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your friends and your families a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and healthy New Year. I deeply appreciate and am truly grateful for your continued participation and loyal support. Thank you all. See you next year!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted December 9, 2009


Science by Press Release (Again). Another Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz

A permanent archive pdf file of this editorial can now be found at this link: Science by Press Release (Again)

Once again we are being bombarded by media claims about the Shroud of Turin, although this time admittedly from a pro-authenticity position by researcher Barbara Frale. However, the same rules must be applied to these claims as those applied to the recent claims by anti-authenticity researcher Luigi Garlaschelli.

Frale claims she has "discovered" inscriptions on the Shroud that prove it is authentic. However, she is basing her conclusions on the work done by French researchers Marion and Courage (published in the late 1990's) which made these same claims. Rather than submitting her work to a journal that could review and verify her research, she too, like Garlaschelli, is publishing her work in a commercial book (and only in Italian). In fact, the recent press coverage seems to be mainly designed to promote the sale of that book. Once again, we are seeing "science" reported by press releases rather than in the conventional scientific literature.

As for the Marion and Courage inscriptions themselves, these were carefully evaluated from a linguistic point of view in 1999 by Shroud scholar and language expert, Mark Guscin, who published his results in the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter in November 1999. That article, titled, 'The "Inscriptions" on the Shroud,' was ultimately reprinted on this website and can still be found at this link: http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/guscin2.pdf.

In the end, Guscin concluded:

"So none of the inscriptions which some claim to be able to see make enough grammatical or historical sense. This in itself is enough to doubt their very existence on the cloth, but the clinching point was evident in the presentation of the work in the symposium at Nice (1997). The slides that Marion and Courage used showed the areas of the cloth where they could see the inscriptions, and then the various optical treatments they had subjected it to, and finally the inscriptions written in over where they were meant to be. They were only visible on these last slides. There was absolutely nothing visible on any of the other slides. If the inscriptions made any kind of sense then maybe a more sympathetic attitude would be called for, but as it is I think the whole affair is yet another example of things being seen on the Shroud in an attempt to come up with something new."

To make matters worse, Marion and Courage based all of their imaging work solely on the 1931 Giuseppe Enrie photographs, which have sadly been the basis for a vast array of claims of objects or writings being found on the Shroud. I say "sadly" because the high resolution orthochromatic film used by Enrie, coupled with the extreme raking light he used when making the photographs, created an infinite number of patterns and shapes everywhere on the Shroud. Since orthochromatic film basically only records black or white, any mid-tone grays of the Shroud image were inherently altered or changed to only black or only white, in essence discarding much data and CHANGING the rest.

The grain structure of orthochromatic film itself is distinctive: It is not homogenous and consists of clumps and clusters of grain of different sizes that appear as an infinite myriad of shapes when magnified. It is easy to find anything you are looking for if you magnify and further duplicate the image onto additional generations of orthochromatic film, thus creating even more of these shapes.

Although Enrie's images are superb for general views of the Shroud (they look great), they contain only a small part of the data that is actually on the Shroud so they are much less reliable for imaging research purposes and have a tendency to lead to "I think I see..." statements. I would feel much more confident if these claims were based on the full color images of the Shroud which contain ALL the data available.

As I used to try and explain to Fr. Francis Filas, who first "discovered" the rather dubious coin inscriptions over the eyes and who had enlarged and duplicated the Enrie images (through at least five generations - and always onto orthochromatic film), there is a fine line between enhancement and manipulation. Fr. Filas first presented his findings to the STURP team in 1979 and frankly, not one of the STURP imaging scientists accepted his claims.

Since everyone now has the ability to manipulate images on their desktop, the number of these claims is increasing. Sadly, unless one knows exactly what they are doing, spurious claims will undoubtedly be the final result. I personally must reject any claims of secondary objects or inscriptions on the Shroud, particularly if they are based solely on the Enrie images.

As for Barbara Frale's conclusions, I have not read anything more than the press releases we all have seen, so once again, very little information has been provided and certainly not enough for anyone to get overly excited by these latest claims.

As I mentioned in my last editorial, with the Shroud going on public display again next year, I am not at all surprised by this type of media coverage, no matter which side of the authenticity issue is touted. In the end, there is nothing here that resembles good, empirical science, at least not so far. As one who was a member of the team that performed the only in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud ever permitted, I am bound and obligated to stick to the facts, no matter which side of the authenticity issue they fall on. Sadly, the real facts are rarely found in commercial books or press releases or television documentaries. Remember, these media venues have no standards of scientific accuracy to adhere to and consequently, they rarely do.

Barrie M. Schwortz
21 November 2009
Posted November 21, 2009


Shroud Exhibitions and Tours To Turin Information Updated

The Shroud Exhibitions page has been updated to reflect the latest information from the Archdiocese of Turin, which includes the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will come to Turin to see the Shroud on May 2, 2010. As I reported previously, reservations will be necessary to see the Shroud in 2010, even though admission is free. The reservation system will not go online until December 2009, but I suggest you check their website (available in Italian and English) from time to time and make your reservations as soon as the system goes online. Use this link to the English Language FAQ Page of their site to get the most up-to-date information.

I have also updated the Tours To Turin page of this site with several additional professional travel companies that are offering tours that include a visit to the 2010 Shroud Exhibition. (See the earlier article on this page for information on how certain tours will benefit STERA, Inc.). If you are interested in any of the tours or need additional information, please contact the tour company directly. Contact information is provided for each organization listed.

Posted November 3, 2009

Internet Scam Warning

A recent internet scam was specifically directed at lecturers listed on the Shroud Speakers Directory page of this website. On October 20, 2009 I received a number of phone calls and e-mail messages from several of the lecturers listed on the page, alerting me to the e-mail scam. I too had received the scam e-mail, but fortunately, I immediately recognized several serious discrepancies in the content and simply deleted it. However, I feel it is important to expose this type of thing to prevent anyone from being scammed, so I am reprinting below part of the letter I received from John Iannone, one of the speakers listed on the page, who wrote a detailed description of the scam. I thank John for sharing this with us.

I wanted to alert you to a scam that attempted to involve me this past week. You may want to alert others. On Friday I received an e-mail from two Pastors in London inviting me to be a guest speaker at the London International Christian Conference in December. I wrote them back saying I would be pleased to do this. They sent a contract saying they would fly me to London business class; put me at the London Hilton; I would give 2 lectures and get $9,000 USD payable as a $5,000 advance and the rest when I got there. It sounded too good to be true so I asked them why they contacted me and how they heard about me. They wrote back that they found me on the Shroud.com Speakers Bureau (which is why they may be trying to reach others on that site). Everything sounded good and the contract looked legitimate. However, I was suspicious when they said I had to write immediately due to the shortness of time to the British High Commission - Dr. Darren David - for a work permit. As soon as I could get it, they would money-gram the funds. I still suspected identity theft. I wrote to the British HC and got an e-mail the next morning asking me for full name, DOB, passport photo and $310 fee. I then knew it was a scam. I went onto the BHC website and noted a different e-mail and under the google listings was SCAM ALERT - SPEAKERS. I found that about forty Americans got the same letter and reported it as a scam. Fortunately, I didn't get caught.

I contacted the FBI who has involved the British Consulate and US Immigration and we are seeing if we can track these people down. Meanwhile, you might want to let our fellow Shroud speakers know about the scam. I'll keep you posted.

John C. Iannone

The letter that John described is identical to the one that I received, so I'll point out the key elements that made me immediately suspicious. First of all, NO ONE is paying ANY Shroud speaker $9000.00 for two lectures! That was the biggest clue. None of the speakers listed on the page charge anything more than very modest honorariums and many of them simply cover their travel expenses. However, I also knew that NO WORK PERMIT IS NEEDED to deliver two lectures at a conference in the United Kingdom. Based on those two facts, I deleted the e-mail. Note that these scammers were attempting to capitalize on one of the key facets of human nature that makes us susceptible to such scams in the first place: greed! Anyone would LOVE to be offered such a sum, but I have been doing this long enough to know that the people who book Shroud lectures never have such enormous budgets. Be very careful about responding to any unsolicited e-mail requests. If they sound too good to be true they probably are scams! Don't click on links, don't open attachments and don't send any personal information to ANYONE you don't know!

Posted November 3, 2009

More Responses To Garlaschelli Claims

As most of you know, on October 6, 2009 the news broke around the world that an Italian researcher, Professor Luigi Garlaschelli, had "reproduced" the Shroud image using medieval techniques, thus proving it was a 14th century fake. The outcry was immediate and enormous, prompting thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls. There was need for an immediate response, so I did a special website update on October 7, 2009 with a preliminary response and promised to publish a more detailed response in the near future.

I originally planned to post this update on November 1, 2009, but delayed it for several days because Dr. Thibault Heimburger, French Shroud researcher (well known to regular website viewers), informed me that he was in direct contact with Professor Garlaschelli and would be writing a scientific article evaluating his claims in detail. Based on the quality of Thibault's previous contributions to this website and Professor Garlaschelli's cooperation, I was happy to postpone the update and wait for his paper. I am now pleased to include Thibault's latest article, Comments About the Recent Experiment of Professor Luigi Garlaschelli in this update. Thibault provides a detailed overview of Garlaschelli's techniques and a point by point comparison between Garlaschelli's results and the image on the Shroud. The article includes 12 color photomicrographs and illustrations. A special word of thanks to Thibault for working some very long hours to get this article to me so quickly.

Also included in this update is a link to an article by Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Centre of Sindonology in Turin, Italy. The article is titled, The Shroud "Make Over," Science or Marketing? and was originally published on October 9, 2009 on the Archdiocese of Turin website. It provides us with Bruno's expert perspective on Garlaschelli's recent claims.

I also want to extend a personal word of thanks to Alessandro, who operates a technically oriented Italian language blog on the Shroud, for making several excellent suggestions about archiving certain materials on www.shroud.com. Due to his suggestions, I have permanently archived my editorial response of October 7, 2009 along with the excellent response of Petrus Soons. As Alessandro correctly pointed out, this page is archived annually, but to a different link, making articles published on this page more difficult to find later. Not only are certain articles on this page now archived into separate files, they are also listed on the Website Library and Scientific Papers & Articles pages and can be found using the Website Search Engine. In fact, to make things even more convenient, here are links to a number of important recent articles addressing Professor Garlaschelli's claims:

Posted November 3, 2009

In Memoriam

John Brown
1925 - 2009

I am deeply saddened to report the death of my good friend, John Brown, 83, noted materials scientist who provided the first independent corroboration of Ray Rogers observations, on September 23, 2009, at his home in Marietta, Georgia, after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Here is a link to the article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday, September 26, 2009: Ga. Tech’s ‘super sleuth’ of the sciences By Shane Blatt and a link to the Brown Family Placed Death Notice.

John was a world renown expert in materials analysis and a long time student of the Shroud. He worked closely with the late Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr., of Atlanta, Georgia, founder of the Atlanta International Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin (AICCSST), and provided his expertise to Shroud researchers whenever called upon. In 2004, he was chosen by the late Ray Rogers, head of STURP's chemistry group from Los Alamos National Laboratory, to perform a thorough analysis of his samples from the Raes corner of the Shroud. Rogers had compared the Raes samples with a reserve portion of the 1988 c14 dating sample and needed to obtain independent corroboration of his observations. Interestingly, John had reported his results directly to Rogers but never released them to the public.

On October 15, 2004, I was in Atlanta, Georgia, visiting Fr. Kim Dreisbach. Knowing I would be in town, Kim invited a group of local Shroud researchers to get together for a dinner at our favorite restaurant. In addition to John Brown, who lived in nearby Marietta, Georgia, also in attendance were Russell Breault, founder and publisher of shrouduniversity.com, and Dan Porter, publisher of several excellent Shroud websites (including shroudstory.com), who actually flew in from New York, along with several other friends and supporters of Kim and his work.

As we enjoyed our meal and conversation that evening, John Brown opened a package and passed a series of photographs around the table. I had always been impressed with the quality of the photomicrographs John made, as he was an expert microscopist who had also mastered the art of photography through his microscopes. This spectacular group of photographs was no exception and he revealed that they were of the Raes samples provided to him by Ray Rogers. He explained what we were seeing in detail and I was truly amazed. I immediately asked him if he had written these findings into a formal paper yet and he casually answered, "no."

Somewhat shocked by his response, I got pretty excited and suggested he write an article documenting his findings and allow me to publish it in the January 21, 2005 update of this website, simultaneously with the announcement of the publication of Rogers peer reviewed Thermochimica Acta paper. Thankfully, he agreed, and the result is his excellent article titled, "Microscopical Investigation of Selected Raes Threads from the Shroud of Turin." I am forever grateful that John so kindly allowed me to twist his arm that evening. The result was perhaps his single most important contribution to Shroud science. Sadly, that was the last time I was ever with John, although we spoke on the phone from time to time over the ensuing years. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Dorothy, and his family and friends. He will surely be missed by all that knew him, but his work will live on.

Russell Breault, John Brown, Dan Porter and Kim Dreisbach
at the October 15, 2004 dinner meeting in Atlanta, Georgia

Posted November 3, 2009

"Unwrapping the Shroud" Program Coming To DVD

I have some good news and some bad news. On September 1, 2009 I reported to you that the Discovery Channel was not going to release the Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence documentary on DVD and asked that you write letters to the network asking them to reconsider. I am not sure how many of you actually wrote letters (although I do know that some of you did), but it may have worked! On October 13, 2009 I received an e-mail from alert website viewer Timothy Vogt, informing me that he had found the DVD on the Discovery Channel online store and that it would become available on December 1, 2009. I truly appreciate you taking the time to send me that notice Tim! And that is the good news.

The bad news is that the program is being released on the same DVD with The DaVinci Shroud, which presents only skeptical theories and includes no rebuttals to any of the ridiculous claims it makes. What is that old expression about "having to take the good with the bad?" Still, both programs for $19.95 is not a bad price, and you'll get one of the best (and one of the worst) Shroud programs ever made! Here is the link to the Discovery Channel page where pre-orders are being taken: http://store.discovery.com/detail.php?p=107095&v=discovery&pa=discoveryxml. I have also included a more detailed description and a permanent link to the program in the DVD Section of the Website Store page. Finally, let me thank all of you who took the time to write. We may never know for sure, but I like to think you made the difference.

Posted November 3, 2009

Shroud Forum To Be Held In Paris

In a recent e-mail, Pierre de Riedmatten, President of the Association "Montre Nous ton Visage" in Paris, France, announced plans for a Forum on the Shroud of Turin to take place on Saturday, February 6, 2010. According to Pierre, "The morning will be devoted to the latest historical and scientific information. The afternoon will be more devoted to biblical and spiritual aspects and actions of transmitting knowledge, especially to young people. Remember that date and make sure to share with your friends. We welcome your presence at this forum being held in view of the Shroud exposition announced by Pope Benedict XVI to be held in Turin in April-May 2010."

If you are going to be in Paris and are interested in attending this event or you need more information, please contact the organizers directly. You can find complete contact information for the Association "Montre Nous ton Visage" on the Shroud Centers & Organizations page of this site. Their website is http://www.suaire-turin.com.

Posted November 3, 2009

The Knights Templar In Somerset Subject Of New Book

A new book that might be of interest to Shroud historians and scholars is scheduled for release on December 1, 2009. It is titled, The Knights Templar In Somerset by British author Juliet Faith. As I have not had the opportunity to read it, I asked the author to provide us with a synopsis:

'The Knights Templar in Somerset' explores the landholdings, property and activities of this extraordinary order of warrior monks in the historic county of Somerset. Much of the documentary evidence is provided by material that has hitherto been little examined, some of these documents have been translated by Clive Wilkins from their original medieval latin.

The book details archaeological evidence about the Templar Preceptories of Bristol and Templecombe, and speculates as to why the seeming backwater of Templecombe became the chief preceptory for the management of Templar lands in the south west of England. It reveals the Templars and their subjects as farmers, cloth makers, administrators, merchants, bankers, judges, clerics and warriors and also as meticulous managers of both land and revenue, and also examines some of the disputes that occured in Somerset between the Templars and their neighbours.

The final chapter deals with the more mysterious aspects of the Templars life, and examines the circumstances surrounding the finding of a haunting painted face, which now hangs in the church at Templecombe. It also reveals previously un-known or overlooked evidence that links another ancient Somerset church with the Knights, and the discovery of a strange carved wooden head within. Furthermore, theories are put forward linking these images with the Templars possible possession of the Holy Shroud of Turin.

The author, Juliet Faith, has had an interest in the Knights Templar for many years, and has spent the last 5 years researching 'The Knights Templar in Somerset' with the help of fellow Templar enthusiasts Bob Williams and Michael Flower, and researcher and translator Clive Wilkins.

I have also added the book to the Shroud Booklist page of the site.

Posted November 3, 2009

STERA, Inc. Update

I am pleased to report that we are making good progress and the legal transfer of all collections and copyrights to STERA, Inc., is now underway. We plan to have everything completed no later than January 1, 2010. After that date, all proceeds from any sales from the Website Store page and the Barrie Schwortz Collection will go directly to STERA, Inc.

You can read more about our new organization on the STERA, Inc. page of this site, where you will also find links to our Mission Statement, a list of our Board of Directors and instructions for Making a Tax Deductible Charitable Contribution to STERA, Inc. We deeply appreciate your generosity and support amd thank all of you who have already contributed.

Posted November 3, 2009

And Finally...

This is most likely the last major update for 2009, unless some important news breaks before the end of the year. The next regularly scheduled update is on January 21, 2010, which will mark the Fourteenth Anniversary of Shroud.com!

Of course, Subscribers to the Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List get any breaking news and information first, by e-mail, before I post it to the website. In addition, subscribers receive exclusive opportunities not available to the general public. These include access to papers and articles in advance of their publication, discounts on Shroud books and other materials and much more. To join, go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the box provided and hit "Go!" Follow the instructions and you will be added to the list in less than a minute.

Posted November 3, 2009


Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz

A permanent archive pdf file of this editorial can now be found at this link: Science by Press Release?

I was away from my office and in Los Angeles yesterday when the story broke in the media that an Italian professor had "reproduced" the Shroud using techniques that were available in the 14th century. Although I didn't have my computer with me, my mobile phone rang again and again with friends calling to read me the story, so I heard the news almost immediately.

Upon my return late last night, my mailbox was flooded with e-mail, my answering machine was nearly full of messages and more than 20,000 people had visited the website since Tuesday morning. I finally was able to read the story myself at around 1:00 am.

Normally, I don't respond to this type of story, since the media rarely publishes the rebuttals anyway and the stories usually disappear by themselves after only a few days. In the end, giving it any attention at all usually only helps the author of the article and garners even more publicity for him because someone is publicly disagreeing with him. However, since so many viewers have written me, I decided to write this brief response in which I am expressing my own personal opinions on this topic. That is why I titled it an "Editorial" Response.

Frankly, knowing that the Shroud will go on public display again in around 6 months, I am not very surprised to see this type of story coming out, along with its resulting media coverage. This seems to happen every time the Shroud is about to go on public display. Yet whenever a serious scientific article about the Shroud is published in a peer reviewed journal, there is barely a ripple in the popular media. And now, once again, someone claims to have "reproduced" the Shroud, "proving" it is a medieval forgery. They made their claims via nothing more than a press release and got instant global media coverage. However, that is NOT the way science actually operates.

The author who made these claims states that he will make the details available "next week." In the real world of science, a researcher must perform his experiments, compile his data, draw his conclusions, write a formal paper and submit it to a scientific journal for peer review. The work is then examined by other experts, usually of the same discipline, before it is accepted for publication (or rejected). The data must provide a sound basis for the claims and be there from the beginning. Not "next week." And certainly not made public via a press release!

Sadly, in reviewing the article, it is apparent immediately that the author knows very little about the actual Shroud of Turin. He is not the first to suggest that the Shroud image was produced by red ochre pigment (iron oxide). In fact, he is at least the fourth to have proposed this theory in the last 30 years. Of course, this issue was anticipated by the STURP team in 1978 and a number of highly sensitive tests were performed that determined there was not enough iron oxide on the Shroud to be visible without a microscope. Iron oxide does not constitute the image on the Shroud. They also determined the image areas of the Shroud contain no more iron oxide than the non-image areas. It is more or less evenly distributed across the entire cloth.

Obviously, if the image were made in the manner detailed in the article, we would still find thousands of particles of iron oxide embedded into the image fibers of the linen and these would be clearly visible with just a good magnifying glass. Yet the microscopy done directly on the Shroud in 1978 revealed no such thing. These particles just don't go away on their own. STURP's instruments could detect parts per billion (a very small amount) of any substance on the Shroud and ALL known paints and pigments (including iron oxide) were excluded by the data. Interestingly, iron oxide is also a by-product of retting linen and the minute quantities found on the Shroud were pure and most likely the result of the retting process. The iron oxide used in red ochre pigment has many impurities and is rarely if ever found in its pure form.

I have stated on more than one occasion that making images on linen is relatively easy. However, making images on linen with the same chemical and physical properties as the Shroud is another story. Considering the massive amount of scientific data that now exists about the Shroud of Turin, anyone making claims such as these must submit their work for careful scrutiny and comparative analysis before drawing such dramatic conclusions. That has not been done in this case. Anyone making such claims must create an image with ALL the same chemical and physical properties as the Shroud, not just a few, if they wish to be taken seriously.

It has been demonstrated scientifically that the bloodstains on the Shroud came from direct contact with a body and are all forensically accurate. It has also been shown that the bloodstains were on the Shroud BEFORE the image was formed since the blood and serum acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism. There is NO image under the blood and serum stains on the Shroud.

However, to make this new "reproduction," the "blood" was added (using a different pigment) AFTER the image was created. Obviously, it is much easier to add the blood to the image than to first create the blood stains and then create the forensically accurate image around them, which is exactly what a medieval forger would have had to do to duplicate the actual physical properties of the Shroud!

Many of the bloodstains on the Shroud show a surrounding halo of serum stains that are ONLY visible with UV fluorescence photography. Also, the blood has been chemically analyzed and determined to include components of actual blood, NOT pigment.

A proper, detailed scientific response to this press release is now being drafted by the online Shroud Science Group and I hope to publish an in-depth article by true Shroud experts addressing these claims in the near future.

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the press release also stated the researcher "received funding for his work by an Italian association of atheists and agnostics but said it had no effect on his results." This is an interesting statement from someone representing a segment of the skeptical community that has frequently charged the STURP scientists with religious bias, implying that their data was somehow flawed because some of them happened to be Christians! Until such time that the data is made available so it can be properly examined and compared to the known data about the Shroud, I will not take these claims very seriously. And neither should you.

Barrie Schwortz
7 October 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: (Updated) My appearance on the Coast to Coast talk radio program with George Noory, originally scheduled for Wednesday night, October 14, 2009, (early Thursday morning, October 15, 2009), has been rescheduled to Thursday night, December 17, 2009 (early Friday morning, December 18, 2009). Instead of doing a single segment of the program, I will be on for the entire three hours. Check your local listings for the air time in your area. Also, watch for the next regular update to the website around the end of October.


I am also including a brief but excellent response written yesterday by Petrus Soons, noted Shroud researcher who produced the first three-dimensional holographic images of the Shroud. Petrus presented his dramatic results at the Ohio Shroud Conference in August 2008.

A permanent archive pdf file of this article can now be found at this link: Petrus Soons Responds To Garlaschelli

In the last few days, a story appeared in the mass media that an Italian professor of chemistry at the University of Pavia (Italy), reproduced the image on the Shroud of Turin using materials and methods that were available in the 14th century, concluding that the experiment proves the relic was man-made. Basically, he used a linen cloth in scale 1:1, that was baked at 215 degrees C for 3 hours and then put it in a washing machine with water only. Then they put a person dirtied with RED OCHRE (IRON OXIDE) on the linen and corrected by hand the colored image. A chalk bas relief was used for the face printing, liquid tempera simulated the blood and sulfuric acid at 1.2% in water added with Aluminium and Cobalt modified the linen surface. An artificial aging was the final treatment before the pigment was washed. The final goal was to show that it was possible to create a fake in the 14th century.

Now, there is nothing new to this. In 1979, Walter C. McCrone (1916-2002), an internationally recognized microscopist and the director of the famous McCrone Associates Research Laboratory in Chicago, reported that the Shroud image was due to the application of RED OCHRE, also known as Venetian red (an earth color) a red artist's pigment, which is a red IRON OXIDE, so probably Prof Garlaschelli took over this idea from Walter C. McCrone.

This theory was already disproved by the scientific STURP team (and others in the years after that) that conducted the investigations in 1978 on the Shroud of Turin.

Their conclusions were:

The earth pigment, RED OCHRE (Venetian red), from either medieval or older sources that were being used, was contaminated with manganese, nickel or cobalt GREATER THAN 1 PERCENT!!!

The STURP team employed microprobe Raman spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, optical and infrared spectroscopy, micro FTIR spectroscopy, pyrolysis mass spectroscopy, X-ray and a variety of microchemical tests on the fibrils, and came to the conclusion that there was NO ochre or other pigments, dyes or stains on the fibrils of the Shroud.

Prof Garlaschelli told Republica he didn't think his research would convince those who have faith in the Shroud's authenticity. " They won't give up," he said. Those who believe in it will continue to believe."

Well, the reason why serious scientists do not believe Prof Garlaschelli's work has been explained.

Prof Garlaschelli explains the absence of any traces of iron oxide on the original Shroud by stating that the pigment on the original Shroud faded away naturally over the centuries. This is not a statement that you would expect from a serious scientist. The spectroscopic investigations being done in 1978 would even show the slightest traces of iron oxide present on the Shroud and it is a little bit "unscientific" to state that they disappeared "naturally."

He also mentions the fact that his image shows 3D qualities. Well that is a field that I am very familiar with having produced with a team of experts the first holograms of the Shroud image. The uniqueness of the Shroud-image is that hidden in the gray-scale (image density) is distance information, meaning that the image on the Shroud varies inversely with the cloth-to-body distance. When converting the grayscale from 2D to 3D, the result is an anatomically correct image of a human being, contrary to the result that you will obtain using any other image (photograph, painting etc.), including the one of Prof. Garlaschelli, that always will show distortions, like the nose pressed into the face and protruding cheeks etc. etc., which means that this unique distance info is not present.

Another little detail is the fact that on the original Shroud there is no image under the bloodstains, proving the fact that there were two image formation processes. Direct contact for the blood proper and another image formation process for the image itself. Prof Garlaschelli added the "blood" (liquid tempera) later on top of the image that he had created. Under Ultra Violet fluorescence photography (not known of course in the 14th century), the blood on the Shroud shows a serum separation, visible as a lighter ring around a darker center, which is typical of post mortem wound exudate. This is not visible with the naked eye. The proposed artist from the 14th century could of course not have known this fact, so he could not create it either.

Petrus Soons M.D.
Volcan
Panama
Posted October 7, 2009


Introducing the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc. (STERA, Inc.)

I am extremely pleased to announce that our new non-profit organization, the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc. (STERA, Inc.), has received final approval and 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the I.R.S. and has begun to function. As you may have noticed on the Home Page of the site, I have already begun the process of transferring the ownership of www.shroud.com to STERA, Inc., which will become the formal publisher and legal owner of this website in the very near future. I will remain as Editor of the site and become Executive Director of STERA, Inc. I have also created a new STERA, Inc. page where you can find more detailed information about the organization, read our Mission Statement, view a list of our Board of Directors and most importantly, make a Tax Deductible Contribution to STERA, Inc.

As many of you know, I created this website in 1996 and have supported it completely at my own expense for almost fourteen years. I have never allowed any advertising on the site out of respect for the subject matter. As the site has grown in size and viewers, the bandwidth costs have risen dramatically and at times, have been a financial burden on me, particularly as the economy faltered.. My purpose in forming STERA, Inc., was to insure that this website would continue into the future in the event that I was unable to continue it myself. It has become far more important than the simple website I originally envisioned where I could share my Shroud photographs with the public. It has grown into the most extensive and foremost resource on the Internet for in-depth Shroud information and now contains thousands of pages, hundreds of articles and photographs and represents the work of many of the world's foremost Shroud scholars. As such, it has become an essential reference for Shroud studies and I felt obligated to create an organization that would preserve and perpetuate this work into the future. And now, STERA, Inc. will make that possible.

Over the years, I have also been entrusted with the care of the private collections of a number of important Shroud scholars and researchers.These include the Kim Dreisbach Collection, the Mark Evans Collection, the Ray Rogers Collection, the Robert Dinegar Collection and the William Mottern Collection and several additional collections that have been pledged but not yet received. These collections need to be cataloged, archived, digitized and preserved and ultimately made available to future researchers. We must also establish a means of physically caring for these materials and keeping them together, safe and intact. STERA, Inc. was formed to serve all of those purposes. And now, for the first time ever, I can appeal to you, the viewers, to help support the work that STERA, Inc. will do and help keep this website growing and thriving. In the near future, a special page will be added where you can safely use a credit or debit card to make tax deductible contributions directly to STERA, Inc. In the interim, contributions can be accepted immediately in the form of checks or money orders. Use this link if you wish to contribute now: Make A Tax Deductible Contribution to STERA, Inc. The future of this website is now in your hands and your support will make it possible for the site to grow and flourish and for STERA, Inc. to achieve all of its goals. We are entering an exciting new era!

Posted September 1, 2009

Computer Crash

On August 25, 2009, in the midst of working on this update, my seven year old laptop decided it was time to die. It was the only one of my four computers that goes online, so I was immediately cut off from the Internet and all e-mail. I was able to get a fourteen year old Windows 95 laptop working with a 28.8 modem so I could (slowly, very slowly) check my mail, but I could send nothing. Nor could I test any of the links in this update to make sure that they were all working correctly. And of course, there was the loss of some data. The good news was that I had backed up the laptop hard drive. The bad news was that I had not done it for over a month! So, if you sent me any materials between July 8, 2009 and August 25, 2009 (and I know some of you did), they are lost forever. Please resend them after September 14th, when I should have my new computer set up and operational. I will then be able to access all the e-mails sent to me after August 25th, but it will take me some time to catch up and answer everyone, so please be patient. And don't forget to back up your important data more frequently than once a month! You can be sure I will.

Posted September 1, 2009

Tours To Turin Will Benefit STERA, Inc.

As I did for the previous Shroud exhibitions in 1998 and 2000, I will again be working personally with Canterbury Tours, Inc., an experienced pilgrimage tour company that has put together a variety of tours that include a visit to Turin during the 2010 Exhibition. I will meet with each tour group upon their arrival at the hotel in Turin, give each group a private Shroud presentation, have dinner and "hang out" with them and visit the Shroud with them the next day. Time permitting, we might also visit the excellent Sindone Museo (Shroud Museum) where many historical Shroud related artifacts are displayed. If you book any of the tours listed on the Canterbury Tours website, they will make all the necessary reservations to see the Shroud for you. You will NOT need to make the reservations yourself.

There are a number of different tour packages that have been created, including a short, two night tour that only includes Turin (for those who wish to only visit the Shroud). I will be in Turin from 10 May 2010 through 20 May 2010, so if you wish to be part of a tour that I will personally be involved with, you can book one within those dates. However, other dates are available if these don't fit into your schedule. You can find details on the specific tours available and pricing/reservation information online at the Canterbury Tours Website. Please contact the company directly with any specific questions you might have or to book your reservations. Please book early as demand is high and space is limited.

The really exciting news is that $200.00 of each full tour purchased will be donated directly to STERA, Inc., and each purchaser will receive a tax deductible receipt for a charitable contribution in that amount directly from STERA, Inc. If you choose one of the short tours, a lesser amount (to be determined) will still be donated to STERA, Inc. and you will receive a receipt for that amount. This becomes the first official fund raising effort by STERA, Inc. and what better purpose than an opportunity to actually see the Shroud of Turin!

I have also created a special Tours To Turin page that lists various professional travel companies offering tours that include a visit to the 2010 Shroud Exhibition. This provides you with alternatives in case the Canterbury Tours schedule doesn't meet your needs. Unfortunately, my recent computer crash caused me to lose some of the information on the various tour companies, so this page will be further updated as soon as I can recover or replace my lost data. If you are a professional travel organization planning to make tours available during the 2010 exhibition and are interested in being included on this page, contact this website via the Send Us E-mail page for more information. If you already sent me the information, please send it again as your information was probably lost in the crash.

Posted September 1, 2009

Shroud Exhibitions Page Updated

I have updated the Shroud Exhibitions page of this site to include the latest information about the upcoming 2010 public exhibition of the Shroud. It also includes a link to the Archdiocese of Turin's website where the reservation system will be in place by October so pilgrims can reserve their tickets online for the dates they will be in Turin to see the Shroud. There is no charge for admission, but reservations will be required. I will update the page again once the reservation system goes online or when any other new or pertinent information becomes available

Posted September 1, 2009

Shroud Center Opens In New Mexico - Special Presentation Scheduled In October

Pete Schumacher lectures before a lifesize backlit photograph of the Shroud

I am very pleased to announce the opening of the Shroud Exhibit and Museum, Inc., a new center founded earlier this year in Alamogordo, New Mexico by my dear friend Pete Schumacher, a name very well known to most Shroud researchers as the expert on the VP-8 Image Analyzer. I had the privilege and honor to be one of the first speakers at Pete's exhibit for its "First Grand Opening" on February 28, 2009. Located in the White Sands Mall, admission to the exhibit is free. Every day, hundreds of visitors can hear Pete's lectures, study a lifesize backlit color transparency of the Shroud, view dramatic 3-D images of the Shroud, see a real time demonstration of the VP-8 Image analyzer and much more. You can visit the exhibit's website, www.shroudnm.com for detailed information, hours of operation, etc. Of course, the exhibit is also listed on the Shroud Centers & Organizations page of this website.

Equally exciting is the announcement that on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, the museum will host a very special presentation by Larry Schauf titled, "Trial of the Shroud of Turin." The program includes a 130 slide PowerPoint presentation that visually presents all the peer-reviewed scientific evidence about the Shroud in the form of a hypothetical trial in which the audience is the jury and must decide if the evidence proves "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus. The audience is actually asked to vote either "Innocent" or "Guilty" at the end of the presentation. Larry is a former Federal Prosecutor, a long time student of the Shroud and is soon to become a board member of STERA, Inc. I worked with Larry over a period of several months to produce what I believe is the most comprehensive visual Shroud presentation created in recent years. I urge everyone in the New Mexico area to go and see this amazing presentation. You will be hearing a lot more about it in the future.

As seating is limited at the museum, reservations will be required for the October 7th presentation. Contact the center by telephone at 575-446-2113 or Pete Schumacher directly by e-mail at pete@shroudnm.com to make your reservations.

Posted September 1, 2009

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) June 2009 Newsletter Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the most recent issue (June 2009, No. 69) 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 (www.markguscin.com) also includes a full color, high quality photographic feature in each issue, (although I reprint a text only version on this website). See below for information on joining the BSTS so you can receive the full color, fully illustrated printed versions of the newsletter.

BSTS Issue No. 69 includes a number of interesting new articles. First is an article by César Barta, José M. Orenga and Daniel Duque titled "The Noalejo Shroud Copies," which describes the Shroud copies being studied in Spain by the Centro Espanol de Sindonologia (CES). Also included is the second part of the article by BSTS Member Lennox Manton titled "Vignon Mark 15 in the Cappadocian and other images of Christ," an article by British researcher Allan Mills titled "Hypothesis for Image Formation on the Turin Shroud," another excellent article from Ian Wilson's History Notebooks titled, "The Pilgrims' Badge of Shroud Expositions at Lirey," News from Italy and much more.

For those of you who might be interested in a membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two printed 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 September 1, 2009

Paper Added to the 2005 Dallas Conference Page

I am pleased to announce the addition of another paper that was originally presented at the Third International Dallas Shroud Conference in September 2005. The paper, by Madrid researcher Dr. Jose Luis Fernandez, is titled A Systematic Approach for Understanding the Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin. You will also find it linked from the 2005 Dallas Conference page, the Website Library and the Scientific Papers & Articles pages of the site. My thanks to Dr. Fernandez for making it available to us.

Posted September 1, 2009

Shroud of Turin Booklist Page Updated

The Shroud of Turin Booklist page has been updated to include four additional Italian language books (three recent and one older) by authors Giuseppe Ferrari, Barbara Frale, Marco Tosatti and Attilio Vaudagnotti. I am grateful, as always, to Emanuela Marinelli for her continued dedication and assistance in maintaining the booklist page of this site and helping me keep it up to date. Also, each new listing now includes the date it was added to the list.

Posted September 1, 2009

Links To More Information Page Updated

I am pleased to report that the Links To More Information Page has been updated to include the latest version of Dennis Stayer's excellent Shroud of Turin Virtual Reality page. The site features three full-length photographs of the Shroud viewable using the Quicktime VR format. Viewers have the option of examining the Shroud using either color positive or black & white negative images in addition to a filtered view that emphasizes the blood and burn marks found on the Shroud. The images are scrollable and can be zoomed in for more detail. Also featured is a map that traces the Shroud's history. Dennis is a long time friend and supporter of this website and his site is well worth the visit.

Posted September 1, 2009

International Shroud Exhibit Available For 2010

In 2005, I worked closely with an exhibit and promotional group in New Zealand to create an international Shroud photographic exhibit, which included a lifesize Shroud replica, many lifesize photographs, more than one hundred other Shroud related photographic prints and much more. The exhibit debuted in Auckland, New Zealand in 2005 to rave reviews and two years later, in 2007, spent three months on display at the Mall of Asia, in Manila, the Philippines.

Due to last year's decision by the Turin authorities and the Vatican to move up the next public exhibition of the Shroud to 2010, it is possible that some overseas organization might be interested in sponsoring this Shroud exhibit in their city or community. (This exhibit is only available outside of North America). If you or your organization are interested in exploring this further, please provide me with your contact information by e-mail (via the Send Us E-mail page) and I will forward it on to the exhibit producers.

Posted September 1, 2009

Discovery Channel Fails To Release "Unwrapping the Shroud" Program on DVD

Since the "Unwrapping The Shroud: New Evidence" documentary appeared on the Discovery Channel at the end of last year, I have received literally hundreds of e-mails asking me when it would become available on DVD. After months of regularly checking the Discovery website for its availability, I was recently told by a reliable source that the program did not yield high enough ratings for the network to consider it worthy of a DVD release! Considering it is probably the most honest and accurate Shroud documentary produced in the past ten years, it seems unimaginable that they would feel this way about the program. The same source also explained that the network is responsive to viewer requests and suggested I institute a letter writing campaign to Discovery to indicate public interest in the program. And that is where you, the viewers of this website, can help.

If you are willing to write to the Discovery Channel and express your interest in obtaining a DVD of the program, we just might get them to change their minds. I have never asked you, my viewers, to champion any causes (beyond supporting the accurate truth about the Shroud of Turin). However, I feel this cause is a worthwhile one and well within the goals of this website. The program tells the honest and fascinating story of a group of dedicated Shroud researchers who made an extremely important contribution to Shroud science. It also managed to squeeze in a good dose of Shroud history and included more real science than the last three Shroud documentaries combined.

For some reason, the Discovery Channel makes it rather difficult to find their contact info on their website. Not only that, they have a rather complex form you must fill out to send them a message. To make matters simpler for you, I am including a link to the appropriate page of their site and some simple instructions that will make it easier for you to send them a message. Start by going to their Viewer Relations page at this link: http://extweb.discovery.com/viewerrelations. You will find a form that must be filled out completely.

Fill in your name, signal provider, e-mail address, etc., in the spaces provided.
In the category labeled Question Regarding select "Network/Program Related."
In the category labeled Information Needed select "Video Availability."
In the category labeled Program/Show select "Unwrapping the Shroud."
In the category labeled Last Watched I just selected "Unknown."
In the category labeled Program Time I selected "Primetime."

The most important category is for Comments and this is where you can tell Discovery Channel in your own words why you would like to own a DVD of "Unwrapping the Shroud." You might also remind them that the Shroud will be on public display in 2010 and there will be renewed worldwide interest in the subject. Be creative and respectful and maybe we can have some influence. It is truly too good a program to just let it disappear forever.

Posted September 1, 2009

Social Networking Sites

In the past year, I have received hundreds of e-mails from viewers inviting me to join their social networks. I have been invited to join MySpace, Reunion, Classmates, Plaxo, Facebook, Linked In, Tagged, My Life and many others. I sincerely appreciate the sentiment of each of your invitations, but I am already overwhelmed with enough correspondence through the website to keep me busy seven days a week. I am simply unable to spread myself any thinner, so I must avoid anything that will add to the amount of correspondence I must personally be responsible for every day. Sadly, that means I am forced to disregard and not respond to any such social networking offers. Of course, I can always be reached via the Send Us E-mail page of this website. Thank you for your understanding.

Barrie Schwortz
Editor
Posted September 1, 2009


Sad News In The Shroud Community

Unfortunately, I must start this update with some very sad news. In recent weeks we have lost a number of important researchers and individuals prominent in Shroud studies. In their memory, this update begins with memorials for Sue Benford, Vernon D. Miller, Don Augusto Bonelli, Karl Schulz and Dr. Harry E. Gove. As you can imagine, this is one of the more difficult and painful tasks I must perform as editor and publisher of this website, since I knew all of these individuals personally and most were my good friends. I extend my deepest personal sympathies to the families and friends of each of these individuals and hope they can find some solace in knowing that their loved ones made important contributions to our knowledge of the Shroud.

You will find there is still a lot of important new information in this update, beyond this very sad news, including the official announcement of the scheduled dates for the upcoming 2010 public exhibition of the Shroud. Also included in today's update is an important new article by Thibault Heimburger that provides a detailed analysis of Raes Sample #R7, the announcement of two new books by noted Shroud scholars Emanuela Marinelli and Mark Guscin, and a review of Mark's new book by Ian Wilson. You will also find comments by Shroud scholar Jack Markwardt on the recent news that the Shroud was in the possession of the Knights Templar for over a century and much, much more. I hope you find the new information useful.

Posted May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

Sue Benford
1957 - 2009

I am deeply saddened to report the untimely passing of Sue Benford, on April 6, 2009, after a brief illness. Sue is well known to readers of this website and Shroud scholars around the world as the dedicated Shroud researcher who helped bring the data regarding the anomalous nature of the 1988 c-14 sample to light.

First and foremost, Sue was my good friend, so my bias will probably be obvious. When she first presented her data at the August 2000 Shroud Conference in Orvieto, Italy, I remember rushing to the stage as she and her husband, Joe Marino, stepped down after presenting their preliminary paper on the c-14 sample. I wanted to congratulate them for presenting what I felt was the first credible evidence that made sense of the 1988 c-14 dating results and provided a logical explanation for the medieval date. More importantly, I wanted to let her know that she had proved me wrong. I had often stated publicly that Shroud researchers should stay within their fields of expertise. Sue and Joe's work proved that intelligent people, rigorously following the scientific method, can truly do good science, even if there is no long string of initials after their names. And it didn't end there.

Several months later, when I published their paper on this website, I received a call from STURP chemist Ray Rogers, who chastised me for publishing work by non-scientists whom he termed members of the "lunatic fringe." I defended the paper to Ray by pointing out that Sue had approached independent textile experts who unanimously agreed there were indications of reweaving in the samples taken for c-14 dating. Rogers replied that he could "prove them wrong in five minutes." Several hours later, Rogers called me and told me, "they were right!" Not only did Rogers fail to prove Sue wrong, in the end, he proved she was right! Most importantly, this information sparked Rogers to reopen the issue and led him to produce his own final (and arguably most important) peer reviewed paper on the Shroud.

In July 2008, Sue's final paper on the subject appeared in the internationally recognized scientific journal, Chemistry Today. In December 2008, she was featured in a Discovery Channel documentary that told the story of how she, Joe and Ray Rogers helped to open the door to a new line of thinking regarding the c14 dating. In a fitting tribute, when the program premiered in England on Easter Sunday of this year, the Discovery Channel added a graphic at the end of the program, dedicating it to Sue's memory. Without doubt, Sue's work almost single-handedly spurred a whole new direction in addressing and evaluating the 1988 dating. Her contributions are now forever a part of the scientific legacy of the Shroud of Turin.

I am including here the formal obituary sent to me by Joe Marino on April 8, 2009:

Sue Benford, age 51, a resident of Dublin, Ohio, died Monday April 6, 2009 at Zusman Community Hospice. She was a 1975 graduate of Worthington High School, 1979 graduate of University of Tennessee and 1982 graduate of The Ohio State University. She was formerly a registered nurse at Children's Hospital in Oncology Pediatrics and was a World Champion Power Lifter. Sue was a loving wife, mother and daughter, survived by her husband, Joe Marino; daughters, Erika Benford and Alexis Benford; parents, Marion and Dorothy Strezze; cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by a brother Steve Strezze. Family will receive friends Thursday 2-4 p.m. at the SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 N. High St. (1/2 mile south of I-270), where a service will follow at 4 p.m. with Rev. Karen Muntzing. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made to www.schoedinger.com.


Here are some comments by Shroud researchers regarding Sue's passing:

In Memory of Sue Benford

Sue Benford will be remembered as one of the many-unsung heroes of Shroud research. She was a tireless researcher along with her husband Joe Marino. Sue was always willing to push the envelope regarding ideas of how the Shroud image was formed or why the carbon date was so skewed. With numerous books and articles to her credit, she deserves her place in the Shroud Hall of Fame.

I can remember very clearly sitting in the audience at the conference in Orvieto, Italy in August of 2000. It was there that Sue and Joe presented a paper questioning the validity of the C-14 dating sample based on obvious weave anomalies and suggested it was repaired using a process called "invisible mending." It was the most significant paper of the conference. I remember telling Sue, "You are my hero!" (I told that to Joe too.) Later their work would be validated by chemist Ray Rogers and published in a peer-reviewed journal forever changing the debate on the Shroud's authenticity.

For those who were there, we remember Sue and Joe presenting even more solid research on the use of invisible mending during the Late Middle Ages at the conference in Dallas in 2005. Because of so much political nonsense versus those attending from Turin, their paper was delivered in the evening following the scheduled conference speakers. Undaunted, they pressed on to present their findings for those who knew the significance of their work.

Her tireless efforts, along with Joe's, to pull together the 2008 conference at the Ohio State University in August of 2008 will become another watershed moment in Shroud history celebrating 30 years since the STURP group conducted their initial research. With the help of Bob Villarreal and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, more research was unveiled at the conference further demonstrating the anomalous nature of the C-14 sample area.

In a private correspondence with Joe after Sue's passing, I told him "Her contribution to Sindonology will impact the faith of thousands with great eternal reward." I mean every word of it. As a Christian, I don't need the Shroud for my faith. However I am well aware of the millions of Doubting Thomas' in the world looking for that one piece of evidence. Thanks to the work of Sue Benford and Joe Marino, the darkness of doubt that crept over the Shroud in 1988 is receding allowing the light of truth to be seen once again. As Father Peter Rinaldi used to say, people can once again come "through the linen to the Lord."

Be at peace, Sue. I look forward to our friendship and fellowship in God's eternal Kingdom. It is the promise of Christianity and the message of the Shroud.

Russ Breault

Sue Benford

We first met Sue Benford at the International Shroud Conference which was held in Orvieto, Italy. During the course of a very pleasant dinner, we found her to be a person of the highest intelligence and deepest insight. She was later kind enough to provide us with a copy of her inspirational book, "Strong Woman," in which she describes, with a degree of candor and honesty that is indeed rare, the many challenges which she had faced during her life, noting that "in each case, I grew in one way or another and, by accepting that these interventions were the positive influence of God, I benefited from the situation and obtained a new level of spiritual growth. Without the adversity, or the forces of the World, the strength would never have materialized--the strength to expand my soul and know God's unconditional love."

To her many friends, admirers, and colleagues, still shocked and devastated by her untimely passing, Sue has bequeathed this comforting passage regarding her meditations on the Lord with whom she now walks in peace: "Christ himself is the final "soul mate" we encounter on our journey. No matter which spiritual path of moral "goodness" and love we have taken up until this point, in order to take the final transformational step, we ultimately must unite in marriage with Christ." It is still much too early to fully assess Sue's recent and important contributions to sindonology; however, it is clear that her native talents and basic instincts, inspired as they were by her sincere faith, may well, in the long run, prove far more valuable than much of the academic and scientific training which has been directed to the issue of determining the validity of the 1988 radiocarbon dating sample. As she believed and allowed herself to be, she was truly an instrument through which God chose to communicate. We send to Joe Marino, blessed all too briefly in this life with her love and wisdom, our deepest heartfelt sympathy.

Jack and Joann Markwardt

Sue Benford

I personally met Sue Benford for the first time during the Columbus Conference held in August 2008. I can attest that she had a very rigorous scientific approach to the Shroud. She was also one of the most nice and smiling woman I ever met. Her death is really a tragedy not only for her family but also for the research about the Shroud, particularly the C14 dating problem. Personally, I will never forget her kindness and trust.

Thibault Heimburger

Sue's Memorial

From the Turin Shroud point of view, Sue ended her terrestrial life in a great way, with the help of her husband Joe: in her last year she wrote scientific publications showing that the Shroud is authentic, she organized a large congress at Ohio State University and she participated in the making of a television documentary showing that the 1988 radiocarbon dating was wrong!

Jesus Christ will take into account all this work in favor of His Shroud; the fact that He has taken Sue during Holy Week is a good sign.

God bless.

Giulio Fanti
Posted May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

Vernon D. Miller

I am deeply saddened to report the passing of Vernon D. Miller, Chief Scientific Photographer for the 1978 STURP team, on Friday, April 10, 2009, in Santa Barbara, California.

I first met Vern in 1970, when I was a student at Brooks Institute and he was hired to head the Scientific and Industrial Department at the school. In fact, I was in the first class that he taught at Brooks and liked and respected him immediately. We remained friends after I graduated and opened my photographic studio in Santa Barbara. Years later, when I first became involved with the STURP team, I immediately suggested that we get Vern on the team to head up the scientific photography that would be needed, as he was a true expert in the field. Of course, he joined the team and was ultimately responsible for producing most of the scientific photography of the Shroud that exists to this day.

Although apparently Vern asked that there be no memorials or other acknowledgements of his passing, his work was far too important and significant to just say nothing. I am including this information about Vern out of the deepest respect for my friend and his family, and to acknowledge his truly important and historic contributions to the study of the Shroud.

I received the following e-mail from Scott Miles, Brooks Institute of Photography, on April 13, 2009, informing me of Vern's death:

I'm sad to say that Vern Miller passed away last Friday morning, April 10. Mike Verbois called me over the weekend to share the news.

For those who do not know, Vern Miller was the head of the Industrial / Scientific Photography Department of Brooks Institute of Photography for many years during the 1970's and 80's. Many of the current instructors had Vern as a teacher and will remember him fondly. He was a very bright and engaging teacher, and an expert photographer. In the 1970's Vern Miller, Barrie Schwortz and others from Brooks Institute were chosen as the photographic investigation team for the Shroud of Turin project. Vern was a highly accomplished photographer and respected educator.

Vern passed away after a period of unspecified illness. He requested no memorial services or other acknowledgements. He will be buried in Idaho with his parents.

Please share this information with the alumni and other members of our community.

Scott Miles
Professional Photography Program Director
Brooks Institute

In memory of the passing of Vern Miller, I would like to share some reflections regarding his contributions to the Shroud.

In 1978, during the STURP examination of the Shroud from October 8-13, Vern served as the head of the team that collected scientific photographs of the Shroud. As head of scientific and technical photography at Brook’s Institute in Santa Barbara, California, Vern and his team provided high-quality scientific photographs for various Shroud studies that were conducted by many persons, including those associated with our own Shroud research group. Vern was also quite active, during the three years following the 1978 examination of the Shroud, in the various meetings of STURP that were held in order to analyze the scientific data that had been acquired, not the least of which included his scientific photographic data. I would go so far as to say without hesitation that the advances in modern scientific research on the Shroud that have occurred since 1978 would have been not possible without the availability of the scientific photographs that Vern took during those five days in 1978 In Turin. Of considerable importance are the multi-spectral imagery, the raking light imagery, and the ultraviolet fluorescence photographs of the Shroud, as well as a three- part, full-sized color photograph of the entire Shroud that easily shows the intricate thread weave in great detail. Vern was well known for making his photographs available for Shroud researchers.

A little-known activity of Vern involved his being part of another scientific team that I formed in 1986 to investigate the famous Zeitoun apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Coptic Egypt, which were subsequently discussed in Rebecca's and my 1996 book on the subject, “A Lady of Light Appears in Egypt.” His photographic support during that adventure was crucial to our scientific analyses. I still recall Vern and I going outside in 1986 for an early morning jog together down the streets of Cairo.

For me, Vern's passing is a personal loss. I am certain that his many contributions to Shroud research will be remembered and used for a long time to come.

John Jackson
Co-Founder
Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP)
Posted May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

Don Augusto Bonelli
1925 - 2009

I am deeply saddened to report the passing of Don Augusto Bonelli, Parish Priest and Rector of the Sanctuary of the Shroud in San Felice Circeo, Italy, at his home in Terracina on March 25, 2009.

Although not as well known as others might be in the world of the Shroud, Don Augusto Bonelli was an amazing man and a devoted promoter of the Shroud throughout Italy. In addition to the beautiful church and sanctuary dedicated to the Shroud that he created in San Felice Circeo, he was also responsible for organizing two Shroud conferences (the first in May 2000 in Circeo and the second in May 2006 in Terracina and Perugia), which I had the great pleasure to attend at his invitation. (See www.shroud.com/circeo.htm).

Don Augusto was a jovial and loving man and a powerhouse of energy. Although his English was about as bad as my Italian, we managed to communicate beautifully and became very good friends. In May 2006, Don Augusto invited Fr. Kim Dreisbach and me to speak in Terracina and Perugia to several student groups. He recognized the importance of encouraging younger people to become familiar with the Shroud and dedicated this conference to that purpose.

Sadly, Fr. Dreisbach passed away while he was traveling to meet us. Just three hours after getting that sad news, Don Augusto held a special Mass in Fr. Dreisbach's memory at the beautiful church in Terracina. On that same trip, I stayed as a guest in his family home and got to know his sisters and others in his family. I was embraced as a family member myself and have the fondest memories of that beautiful time. Don Augusto insisted that we carry on with the plans he had made for us and personally took me to see Monte Casino, the Priscilla catacombs in Rome, Pompeii and even Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square! Frankly, although he was considerably older than me in years, I could barely keep up with him as we walked the cobbled streets of Pompeii! "Amazing" is barely adequate to describe Don Augusto Bonelli and he will be sorely missed by all that knew him.


This is the e-mail I received from Emanuela Marinelli advising me of Don Augusto's passing:

Today I discovered that more than one month ago our dear friend, Fr. Augusto Bonelli, died. See: http://www.parvapolis.it/page.php?id=44296 (In Italian). Nobody from Circeo advised me of his illness and death. We can only say a prayer and remember the good days in Circeo.

Emanuela Marinelli
Posted May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

Karl Schulz
1939 - 2009

I am deeply saddened to report the passing of Karl Schulz, noted Canadian Shroud scholar, on Good Friday, April 10, 2009, in Montreal, Canada.. Although his name is not familiar to everyone, Karl was a well known and respected sindonologist and promoter of the Shroud throughout Canada. I first met him by telephone when I worked with the Holy Face Association in Montreal to create a series of Shroud posters. We continued our friendship by telephone until several years later, when I was fortunate to finally meet him in person at a conference held in Vancouver, B.C., sponsored by the Vancouver Shroud Association. As a professional photographic negative retoucher, he had a great understanding of the Shroud's image properties, so I always enjoyed our enthusiastic "technical" conversations. I truly value the time we spent together, both in person and on the telephone. He surely will be missed by all those who knew him.

Here are some comments on Karl's passing by some of his friends who knew and loved him:

A Tribute to Karl Schulz

Karl was born on May 14, 1939 near Dresden, Germany, and survived the infamous firebombing of that city when he was about five years of age. He learned art design and painting as a young man, and became a commercial artist and color photographer. He also learned the art of negative retouching, which later gave him an unusual insight into the mysterious image on the Shroud of Turin. He first worked on black-and-white negatives, and then learned to do negative-retouching of color photographs, which involved understanding the four-color process "in reverse." He had an enthusiasm for all forms of visual art and for music, sharing these with friends. Karl moved to Canada in 1962, and made his home in St. Lambert, a suburb of Montreal.

Karl’s intense interest in the Shroud began with a dream in which he reported seeing, in his words, "a figure entirely out of light which told me [Karl] that he was the resurrection." Karl was unaware of the existence of the Shroud of Turin, and was startled to see an article on the Shroud in a bulletin the next day, in which the picture featured the figure he had seen in his dream. Karl felt that his life needed to include the Shroud in a significant way. Although he never saw the original Turin Shroud itself, he helped create a replica Shroud Exhibit for the Holy Face Association in Canada, which was mounted in various cities including Montreal and Toronto. On a trip to Vancouver in 2002 he met with individuals who would create the Vancouver Shroud Association, and was an enthusiast of their efforts to inform the public about the Shroud with their own Exhibit. Karl 's desire was that all the world should come to know the real Man of the Shroud.

Karl experienced difficulties with his heart and eyesight in the last years of his life, but the stroke that took his life on April 10, 2009 was unexpected. He had just finished the Good Friday walk with Anglican friends in his community, and passed away in hospital a few hours later. He is survived by his son Peter, and will be remembered for his contagious enthusiasm, his loyalty to his friends, his generosity with his time, and his devotion to The Man of the Shroud. His funeral took place on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in St. Lambert, Quebec.

With fond memories,

Phillip H. Wiebe, Vancouver Shroud Association (VSA)
Thaddeus J. Trenn, a friend of the VSA

In Memory of Karl Schulz

In spite of many sufferings and challenges, it was through Karl's enthusiastic persistence in making everyone aware of the Shroud of Turin that many of us have now joined his efforts. He had a burning desire to share his joy in re-discovering the Truth of what was endured for the sake of our redemption, and we are so grateful to him because it is evident that his efforts have resulted in a new tide of genuine thirst for all of the facts that history, science and tradition can deliver. I pray for the repose of his soul and trust that he is at peace now in the eternal presence of our beloved Man of the Shroud.

I am so grateful for this opportunity which enables visitors to this website to catch a wee glimpse of this courageous man who was quite willing to risk everything in order to remain faithful to his special and timely calling.

Best wishes,

Carolyn Wharton
Posted May 10, 2009

In Memoriam

Dr. Harry E. Gove
1922 - 2009

I am also saddened to report the passing of Dr. Harry E. Gove, noted nuclear physicist credited with developing the AMS radiocarbon dating method used in 1988 to test samples from the Shroud of Turin, on February 18, 2009. Dr. Gove authored a book titled, Relic, Icon or Hoax? in 1996 in which he documented his experiences in dating the Shroud. The following article (and the above photograph) are courtesy of the Department of Physics, University of Toronto website and the Globe and Mail.

19-Mar-2009
In Memoriam: Harry Gove

It is with great sadness that the family of Harry Edmund Gove announce his passing peacefully on February 18, 2009 in his 86th year. Harry was born May 22, 1922 in Niagara Falls to Harry G. Gove and Lucia E. Gove (nee Olmstead or Olmsted!). He earned his PhD in Nuclear Physics from MIT in 1950 and served as Branch Head of Nuclear Physics at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd in Chalk River, Ontario for seven years. In 1963, he was appointed Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York and served as Director of the Nuclear Structure Research Laboratory until 1988. He became Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Rochester in 1992 and Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto in 1997.

Prof. Gove's research interests were in the general field of Experimental Nuclear Physics. Since 1977 his work focused on accelerator mass spectrometry. This is a technique that employs tandem electrostatic accelerators to measure ratios of long lived radioisotopes to the stable isotope of elements at extremely low values (10-15 or less). It can be used, for example, to carbon date organic artifacts as old as 60,000 years or more using milligram samples. It has many other multidisciplinary applications. It has been employed to measure the age of the Turin Shroud, the neutron fluence from the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima, the age of the Meteor Crater in Arizona, the age of the initial peopling of North America and many more applications. Prior to 1977 Prof. Gove was involved in experimental nuclear physics research also using large electrostatic accelerators.

Harry's contribution to science was to advance the use of accelerator mass spectrometry in the area of carbon dating. His first book, Relic, Icon or Hoax, chronicles the challenges he and his colleagues faced in dating the Shroud of Turin. His second book, From Hiroshima to the Iceman, tells the story of how carbon dating precious artifacts helped to solve some of the mysteries of our age. He is the author or coauthor of some 235 papers of experimental nuclear physics and accelerator mass spectrometry.

Harry was a lover of opera and classical music and was most displeased when CBC Radio One changed its format. He loved to travel and to garden nurturing beautiful roses and impatiens. He also tried his hand in bee keeping which yielded gallons of delicious honey. Cremation has taken place followed by a private service. A celebration of Harry's life will be held Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 3 pm at St. Jude's Anglican Church in Oakville, Ontario with details to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He will be missed by many friends and colleagues around the world.


Most people well versed in Shroud studies will note that Dr. Gove was rather controversial in his own right. Although he helped pioneer the technology that was used to radiocarbon date the Shroud in 1988, he was never very sympathetic to STURP and played a role in eliminating them from participation in the dating. I am thankful to my friend Russell Breault, publisher and editor of the excellent www.shrouduniversity.com website for writing the following memorial that provides some perspective on Dr. Gove's contribution to the study of the Shroud.

In Memory of Harry Gove

Harry Gove was no fan of the Shroud. However, as the inventor of the AMS method for Carbon Dating, his book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax," published in 1996, offers some important revelations regarding the back room deals that went down when the agreed protocol of seven laboratories was reduced to only three. All the laboratories involved protested this decision with Harry Gove being the most vocal since his lab in Rochester was one of the ones eliminated.

In his book on page 219, he recounts writing a letter to the Pope protesting the change of protocol. The following is an excerpt:

"In a letter dated 10 October 1987 to all the workshop (C-14 labs) participants, Cardinal Ballestrero has ordered substantial modifications of the original protocol. In particular, the number of laboratories is reduced, without any explanation, to three."

"It is our collective impression that Cardinal Ballestrero has received very unwise scientific advice…The procedure that the Cardinal of Turin is suggesting is bound to produce a result that will be questioned in strictly scientific terms by many scientists around the world who will be very skeptical of the arbitrarily small statistical basis when it is well known that a better procedure was recommended…Rather than following an ill advised procedure that will not generate a reliable date but will rather give rise to world controversy, we suggest that it would be better not to date the Shroud at all."

In another letter documented in his book on page 242, he wrote to Sir David Wilson of the British Museum dated January 27, 1988. He recounts the letter, "I was astonished that Wilson would permit the British Museum to risk having its reputation called into question in what has become a somewhat shoddy enterprise."

Although Harry Gove's contribution to the Shroud is rather negative, his book at least cast the appropriate skepticism on what indeed became a "shoddy enterprise."

Russell Breault
Posted May 10, 2009

Dates For The 2010 Shroud Exhibition Officially Announced

According to the Archdiocese of Turin website, www.sindone.org, and a Catholic News Service (CNS) article dated 28 April 2009, the official dates for the 2010 Shroud Exhibition will be 10 April 2010 to 23 May 2010. As was done for the 1998 and 2000 exhibitions, reservations and tickets will be required, although there is no charge for admission. Once again, the reservations will be made online via the Archdiocese of Turin website, although this reservation system is not yet available. I will notify my subscribers and update the website as soon as the reservation system is in place and available to the public.

As I did for the previous exhibitions in 1998 and 2000, I will be including a list of professional tour companies that intend to offer pilgrimage tours to see the Shroud and will include links to their websites in a future update. I will be working with one of these companies myself and will be in Turin for several weeks to meet with each group and see the Shroud with them. I will provide the details as soon as they are finalized.

Posted May 10, 2009

Important New Article Provides Detailed Analysis of Raes Sample #R7

I am very pleased to publish in today's update the newest article from Thibault Heimburger titled, Cotton In Raes/Radiocarbon Threads: The Example of Raes #7. This latest article from Thibault, dedicated to the memory of Sue Benford, is based on his careful analysis of the Raes #7 sample which was provided to him at last year's Ohio Shroud Conference. His results add further confirmation to the observations and conclusions made by Benford & Marino, Ray Rogers, John Brown, Robert Villarreal and others. As it includes many color photomicrographs, it is broken into three parts to keep the individual files sizes (and consequently, download times) to a minimum. You will find a link at the end of each part of the article that allows you to continue to the next part. Of course, links to the article have also been added to the Scientific Papers & Articles page (where the articles are listed alphabetically by title) and the Website Library page of the site (where the articles are listed alphabetically by author).

Thibault asked me to include the following information (in French and English) in my introduction to this article:

Ce document sera disponible en juin 2009 sur le site de l'auteur (www.suaire-science.com) en Français à l'occasion d'une mise à jour complète de ce site. This document will be available in the French language on the author's web site in June 2009, included as a major update to the site.

Posted May 10, 2009

New Books By Noted Shroud Researchers

I am pleased to announce that the Shroud Booklist page has been updated to include the new books of two noted Shroud scholars. The first is La Sindone - Analisi di un mistero (in Italian) by Emanuela Marinelli. The second is The Image of Edessa by Mark Guscin. I also wish to extend a special word of thanks to Ian Wilson for providing us with an exclusive, in-depth Review of Mark Guscin's book which is also included in this update. Regular viewers will recognize all of these names as prolific contributors to our knowledge of the Shroud.

Posted May 10, 2009

August 2008 Ohio Shroud Conference Papers Now Online

I am pleased to report that most of the papers presented at the August 2008 Ohio Shroud Conference are now available in their entirety on the Ohio Shroud Conference website at this link: http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/papers.htm. My special thanks to Dan Porter for managing all this material and getting it all online. I have also updated the Ohio Shroud Conference page of this website to include the links to the papers and the abstracts, links to mp3 audio files where available, links to several videos and much more. This is an excellent opportunity for those who could not attend the conference to read the actual papers presented.

Posted May 10, 2009

The Shroud And The Knights Templar

The Shroud was in the news again recently because of a rather dramatic announcement from the Vatican that new evidence has come to light showing the Shroud was hidden and secretly venerated by the Knights Templar for more than 100 years after the Crusades. The article was based on the work of Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican Secret Archives, who wrote in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that the Shroud's fate in those missing years had always puzzled historians. If Frale is correct about these missing years in the Shroud's history, it would further corroborate the theories of Ian Wilson, noted Shroud author and historian, who has written extensively on the subject. For all the details, see the story as carried by the Times of London in an article by Richard Owen, which can be found at this link: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6040521.ece. Editor's Note: There were many other online media sources and websites that carried this information, so do a search if you want additional information.

Needless to say, this news prompted an avalanche of e-mail from website readers asking me how credible this information might be. Sadly, history has never been my strongest suit and I learned long ago to defer such questions to the real experts, so I asked for comments on the subject from several well known Shroud historians. The first to respond was Jack Markwardt, author of a number of historical articles on the Shroud (and all of them available on the Website Library page of this site). Jack provided me with the following response titled, "Assessing Reports of a Templar Initiation Ritual." I hope to publish additional comments by other Shroud scholars in a future update.

Posted May 10, 2009

Upcoming Shroud Lectures In Toronto, Canada With Aldo Guerreschi

I am pleased to announce that my dear friend Aldo Guerreschi, noted Shroud scholar, photographic expert and official photographer for the Royal House of Savoy, will be speaking on the Shroud in Toronto, Canada, on May 16, 2009 at the University of Toronto's Convocation Hall. Aldo will share his knowledge of the Shroud and display an original lifesize Shroud photograph by Giuseppe Enrie. He will be joined by French Shroud scholar, Chantal Garde of Paris, who will give a presentation of the Passion of Jesus as revealed by the Shroud. Also being exhibited for this special event are the high quality museum boards of the Shroud from the Vancouver Shroud Association's Man of the Shroud Exhibit, as well as the Fraternity of the Holy Face in France.

Included here is a link to the complete story on the Canadian Newswire. My thanks to noted Shroud author, Joanna Emery, for passing this information along to me. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2009/04/c7830.html

Posted May 10, 2009

Upcoming Shroud Lecture in Oswiecim, Poland

I am very honored to announce that I will be giving a Shroud lecture on May 15, 2009 titled "30 Years of Shroud Science: A Personal Perspective," at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland. The center is across the road from the Auschwitz concentration camp. I am grateful to General John Roth, member of the Board of Governors of Legatus USA and Ashia and Leszek Palus of the Legatus Poland organization for their kind invitation. I am also told that a mass will be celebrated after my lecture by Cardinal Dziwisz, the Cardinal of Krakow and Pope John Paul's right hand for 40 years.

This will be a particularly moving lecture for me, as both my parents were born in Poland and several of my relatives perished at Auschwitz. However, the most exciting part of the trip will be my opportunity to visit Wicznice, the village near the Belarus border in which my mother and her family were born. The Shroud continues to take me on an amazing journey!

Posted May 10, 2009

Shroud Films Now Available As Downloads

I recently heard from David Rolfe, producer of 1978's award winning feature film, "The Silent Witness" (the first Shroud documentary) and the 2008 BBC documentary, "Shroud of Turin." David has kindly made both programs available as very economical downloads at his Performance Films website. This is a great way to see the 2008 program, which has yet to air here in the U.S., and acquire your own copy of the classic 1978 film that paved the way for all those that followed.

Posted May 10, 2009

Laboratory Dedicated To Professor Luigi Gonella

My apologies for being so late in publishing this news item. I had intended to include it in an earlier update but was sadly unable to do so. On May 15, 2008, at the Politecnico de Torino in Mondovi, Italy, the laboratory La.Fi.Te.M. was dedicated to the memory of Professor Luigi Gonella. Professor Gonella was officially designated as scientific advisor to Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, Archbishop of Turin, and coordinated the scientific teams that worked on the Shroud from 1978 to 1998. This includes the work of the 1978 STURP team and the controversial radiocarbon dating in 1988, two very significant scientific milestones in the Shroud's history. One can get more information and view a video of the dedication on the website of Paolo Tealdi at http://www.tealdi.eu

Posted May 10, 2009

Shroud Exhibit Opens in England

Shroud Exhibit at the Metropolitan Cathedral & Bascilica of St. Chad
In Birmingham, England © 2009 Brett Birks

I would like to end this update on a more positive note. Sometime last year, I was contacted by Pamela Moon, wife of Reverend Phil Moon, Vicar of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Little Aston, U.K. Pam explained that she wanted to produce a Shroud exhibit for her husband's church (where she is a lay minister) and wanted to obtain lifesize photographs and a lifesize replica for their exhibit. I was somewhat surprised, since such exhibits are typically produced by Catholic churches. In fact, this is the first Anglican church I had ever worked with in such a manner.

Over the next few months, as we produced the images for the exhibit, Pam began writing the copy for what would eventually become a beautifully written and printed, lavishly illustrated booklet, "The Cross, the Resurrection and the Shroud of Turin," which would be made available to visitors at the exhibit to introduce them to the Shroud. Early this year the exhibit opened to great success in their modest Anglican church and they were immediately invited by Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols to bring the exhibit to the larger Metropolitan Cathedral & Bascilica of St. Chad, in Birmingham. The exhibit opened on 21 February 2009 and closed on 28 February 2009 and once again, was a great success. Here is a link to a story in the Independent Catholic News with details about the Birmingham exhibit.

The story doesn't end there. On April 14, just after Easter, the exhibit reopened at the even larger Coventry Cathedral and enjoyed large numbers of visitors until it closed on 5 May 2009. Click on this link to read an article that appeared in the Coventry Telegraph with the details. Frankly, I was very pleased (and even somewhat amazed) that in this instance, Anglicans and Catholics were being brought together by the Shroud of Turin! Congratulations and a job well done to Pam and Reverend Phil Moon.

Posted May 10, 2009

And Finally...

I hope to produce the next update in late July (or sooner, if the 2010 Shroud Exhibition reservation system goes online). There are still a number of backlogged items that I was unable to get into this update that need to included. If your material falls into that category, my apologies. I will do my best to include it in the next update.

Of course, Subscribers to the Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List get any breaking news and information first, by e-mail, before I post it to the website. In addition, subscribers receive exclusive opportunities not available to the general public. These include access to papers and articles in advance of their publication, discounts on Shroud books and other materials and much more. To join, go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the box provided and hit "Go!" Follow the instructions and you will be added to the list in less than a minute.

See you in July!

Posted May 10, 2009


Shroud.com Celebrates 13th Anniversary

I usually wait until the last minute to write the introduction to this annual anniversary update, and this year is no exception. It is late on the afternoon of January 20, 2009 as I start to write this. I first must state that I am truly amazed that thirteen years have now gone by since I naively put this website online in January 1996. I say naively, because at that moment I had no idea that the internet would explode into the global force it has now become, carrying me with it, for better or for worse. I would like to say I was a visionary back then, but I was not (or I would have purchased lots of Microsoft stock)! I just felt the need to truthfully share the wealth of information I was privileged to have access to and that had finally convinced me (after only 17 years) that the Shroud was authentic. Of course, it has been humbling and satisfying to see the number of viewers increase so dramatically over the years, but it was also somewhat frightening to realize that so many people out there were "watching." Trust that the hardest job of my life is being the editor and publisher of this website, since it brings with it the awesome responsibility to remain fair, unbiased and honest about this controversial relic, no matter which way the cards fall.

Of course, the true success of this website is founded on the work of the many scientists, researchers, scholars and theologians who have graciously allowed me to reprint or publish their work here, so I extend to each of you my deepest thanks and gratitude for your continued participation. The site would have little value to the viewer if it were not for your involvement. And of course, my deepest thanks and appreciation goes to you, the majority of viewers who are not necessarily scholars, but who tenaciously dig through the ever-growing content of the site to learn what we truly know about this amazing relic.

At this beginning of a new year, it seems quite appropriate to reflect on the past year, at least from the perspective of the Shroud, and 2008 was not a bad year at all for the Shroud of Turin. There were several new peer-reviewed papers published that moved our scientific knowledge forward and several new books were published, including the posthumous work of Ray Rogers. Then there was the dramatic and startling announcement on June 2, 2008 by the Pope that a new public exhibition of the Shroud would occur in 2010, instead of the originally announced 2025. Add to that the latest analysis of Shroud samples by Los Alamos National Laboratory, the August Shroud Conference in Columbus, Ohio (one of the best Shroud conferences held in many years), and the airing of a new television documentary that told an honest, compelling and accurate story of Shroud research and 2008 stands out as a very positive year for Shroud studies indeed. I am very proud that this website has played a small part in all this, and hope to continue to meet or exceed the quality standards we have set in the past. To that end, here are some notes about this latest update.

I always try and make the anniversary update a really substantial one, and once again, this year is no exception. This update includes a 19 page Addendum to the original article by Joseph Marino and Edwin Prior that I published in November of last year. In it, Joe and Ed provide significant additional evidence to support the theory that the c14 dating sample was anomalous. Also included are two formal reviews of the recent Discovery Channel documentary, along with a number of viewer comments about the program. The update also includes the latest issue of the BSTS Newsletter (Issue #68 - December 2008) and the addition of two new scholars to the Shroud Speakers Directory. There are also links to several new online Shroud videos from the Ohio Conference and a new French language Shroud book. I am particularly pleased to publish my latest correspondence with the Archbishop of Baghdad, along with some photographs of a recent presentation he made in Iraq on the "Face of Edessa." Sadly, the update also includes two memorials to Sindonologists who passed away recently, one of the more difficult tasks I must perform in maintaining this website.

Considering the historical significance of this day, when people all around the world watched America set aside politics and divisiveness and work together to inaugurate a new era of hope and cooperation along with a new president, perhaps the Shroud world can take a lesson from this example. And that would certainly be consistent with the teachings of the man whose image appears on that cloth.

Barrie Schwortz
Editor and Publisher
Posted January 21, 2009

Important New Article Added to Scientific Papers & Articles Page

I am very pleased to include another important new article in this update. On November 26, 2008, I published an article titled "Chronological History of the Evidence for the Anomalous Nature of the C-14 Sample Area of the Shroud of Turin," by Joseph G. Marino and Edwin J. Prior. In the ensuing months, the authors found considerable additional information to further document the evidence supporting this theory and have compiled it into an Addendum to their original article. You can find the new article at this link: "ADDENDUM to Chronological History of the Evidence for the Anomalous Nature of the C-14 Sample Area of the Shroud of Turin." I have also included a link to the Addendum at the end of the original article and of course, from the Scientific Papers & Articles page and the Website Library.

Posted January 21, 2009

Reviews of the Recent Discovery Channel Documentary

Whenever I watch any Shroud television documentary, I tend to hold my breath and hope for the best. I say this based on years of disappointing experiences as both an observer and a direct participant in many of these programs and as one who often ends up having to write a review for this website. Obviously, this is even more difficult when I happen to appear in the program itself, and such was the case with the recent program, Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence, that debuted on December 14, 2008 on the Discovery Channel (here in the U.S.). Consequently, I have asked several impartial experts to write reviews of the program, rather than do so myself. You will find these linked below. I have also decided to include a few of the nearly 600 viewer comments I received by e-mail after the program aired! The program is scheduled to air in the United Kingdom and Europe on Channel 4 in the near future, but no dates have yet been announced.

However, even though I am not writing a review myself, I still feel the need to point out two things about the program that I believe distinguish it from most of the rest. Most importantly, it was the first documentary ever to state very simply and clearly that the STURP data proved the Shroud was NOT a painting (which it did). In fact, the producers stated this several times and didn't waste valuable airtime debating an issue that should have been dead years ago. The other thing about the program I want to share with you happened completely behind the scenes. When the program first aired on Sunday, December 14, 2008, I noted a few significant errors and promptly called the producer as soon as the program ended. She noted the errors and said she would see what could be done. Frankly, in my more than 30 years in video and television production, I have never heard of a production company recalling and changing a program once it had been delivered to the network and aired.

You might remember that the program was originally scheduled to be rebroadcast the following Saturday, December 20, 2008, but that it disappeared from the Discovery Channel website without any explanation, only to resurface in the schedule on Monday, December 22, 2008 instead. The reason for this schedule change was to give the production company the time necessary to make the corrections! That means that all future versions, including the DVD, will be error free. Truthfully, this demonstrates the integrity of the producer, director and production company and their desire to get it right and I felt I needed to say that publicly. My personal thanks to director Michael Epstein and producer Jen Berkowitz and to Darlow-Smithson Productions for truly getting it right.

The FIRST REVIEW of the program is provided by Raymond Schneider, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bridgewater College in Virginia and a member of the Shroud Science Internet Group. Here is the link to his review: Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence - A Review by Ray Schneider, Ph.D.

The SECOND REVIEW is provided by Edwin Prior, retired NASA scientist and co-author of the recent summary article with Joseph Marino published November 26, 2008 on this website (and updated with a new Addendum in today's update). Here is the link to his review: Unwrapping the Shroud: New Evidence - A Review by Edwin J. Prior


In this section I am including some excerpts from just a few of the nearly six hundred comments I received by e-mail after the program aired in December (the most I have ever received after any Shroud documentary). I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who took the time to write and share your thoughts with me. It is truly appreciated.

I just viewed the Shroud on Discovery! WOW! It was wonderful... I was very pleased. - Beverly Redden

I just finished watching the Discovery Channel program on the Shroud which featured Ray Rogers... This program was the most revealing, I thought, concerning the C14 datings. Once again, my sincerest congratulations! - Remi Dubuque

Just a note to say congratulations on what I think was the best show ever on the Shroud, by far... No one with at least a 50% open mind could watch that show and not conclude that something stinks about the 1988 radiocarbon date. - Ed Prior

I was especially pleased with the way Discovery handled the science in general, and Ray's indomitable personality in particular... FYI, here is (an excerpt from) a note I sent to the Discovery Network: Re: The Shroud Unwrapped. Excellent and compelling presentation... - Robert R. (Bob) Rogers (Ray Rogers' cousin)

I just sat down at my computer after watching the very well introduced, well documented, well done scientific coverage of Unwrapping the Shroud, produced in depth and in detail. Truly well planned and in all respects a magnificent production. The team that put this production together is to be complimented.... they possess thorough knowledge... sound judgment and keen professional competence. - Pete Mattli

I thought that was the best Shroud program in years. A major cut above other recent ones... They avoided giving air time to skeptics simply because they exist. They regarded it proven by STURP that the Shroud was not a painting (ignoring McCrone). The story told about Benford, Marino and Rogers was interesting and human. Overall, it was a tremendous relief after the "let's give the skeptics equal time and treat seriously their totally inadequate methods for producing a shroud" programs of recent years. - Robert Perry

Discovery Channel's "Unwrapping the Shroud" was very interesting. Thanks. - Warren Faue

I watched and recorded last night's program. I thought it was quite good. It was straightforward about the very strong evidence of the cotton reweaving explanation for the C14 dating anomaly without appearing biased toward anything except good scientific data. I have waited since (2005) for a program such as the one I saw last night to make its way into the media. - Jim Swavely

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the new Discovery special on the Shroud... the interview with Ray Rogers was amazing and the long lasting implications of his work are far reaching. It was wonderful to finally have a well balanced presentation of these important recent researches. - Louis Juarez

Just wanted to tell you how very pleased I was with the Shroud program shown on the Discovery Channel last night... many, many thanks. - Jack and Joann Markwardt

Luckily I caught the latest program on the Discovery Channel. It is so unusual to have a program on the Shroud without all that nonsense usually incorporated into Shroud programs. I've been waiting for just such a discovery, since all the other evidence points to a much older Shroud. - Rita Diehl

I saw the Shroud program on Discovery Channel (in HD, of course). I thought it was well done... and really brought me up to date with the latest in regard to the dating issues. ...It was most interesting to have the video of Ray Rogers - Randy Schreiner

The documentary was refreshing in that it highlighted many of the unique and extraordinary features of the Shroud... Even the carbon dating was handled well. - Francis *******

The best yet! - Jack Gill

I saw the first broadcast of this Discovery show and I thought it was one of the very best done so far. - Mike Burcke

I watched the documentary on the Shroud at 2:00 a.m. because I couldn't watch the earlier edition. I must say I wasn't at all disappointed. The program didn't seem to be leaning one way or another... and I was glad to see they weren't negative. - Donna Gwaltney

I did watch the program and I thought they did a very fair job. - Pam Forrester

I thought that Discovery did an excellent job this time. - Barbara Clark

I saw the episode and loved it. - Darla Mann

I saw it. I thought it was great! - Holli Raymer

I did see the show and thought it was very well done. - Lisa Bast

I watched the program and loved it and learned so much more than what I knew about the reweave. - Sharron Martinez (Docent, Shroud Center of Southern California)

Excellent Show! - Thomas and Mary Ann Wilkins

I watched the Discovery Channel show last evening and was very pleased. I thought it was a fair representation of the state of Shroud investigation to date, at least as well as could be done in a one hour program. Your fond portrayal of (Ray) Rogers and clear description of his final work on behalf of Shroud science was great. - Bob Verbos

What a refreshing documentary! - Prof. Dan Scavone

That Shroud documentary was terrific! Thank God this new research initiated by Ray Rogers is being publicized. - Jeff Messenger

I wanted to let you know that the new Shroud program on Discovery was fantastic. - Cathy Mauser

I thought the program was quite good, especially as it reported on Ray (Rogers). - Jeff Bjorck

I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than this new documentary. Kudos and more Kudos! - Russell Breault

Posted January 21, 2009

Shroud Speakers Directory Page Updated

I am pleased to announce that two new speakers have been added to the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website. Long time viewers will recognize the name of John C. Iannone, author of the 1998 book, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence." John has been involved in Shroud studies for many years and is now available for speaking engagements. Newer on the scene (but not to the Shroud) is Thomas Senn, who is an ordained Permanent Deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. I was pleased to meet Tom personally at the Ohio Shroud Conference in August, 2008 and I know he will bring his own positive perspective to his lectures.

The Shroud Speakers Directory was created in response to the many e-mail requests I regularly receive from groups and organizations looking for qualified individuals to speak on the Shroud of Turin. By consulting this directory, you will find listings for Shroud lecturers that include a short biography of each, a description of the topics they present, their geographic location, how to contact them directly and other pertinent information that will help you find the right speaker for your group.

Posted January 21, 2009

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) December 2008 Newsletter Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the most recent issue (December 2008, No. 68) 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 (www.markguscin.com) also includes a full color, high quality photographic feature in each issue, (although I typically reprint a text only version on this website). See below for information on joining the BSTS so you can receive the full color, fully illustrated printed versions of the newsletter.

BSTS Issue No. 68 includes a number of interesting new articles. First is an interesting paper by Pierre de Riedmatten titled "The Holy Face of Laon," which describes an old and venerated icon belonging to Laon City in France that has been famous since the Middle Ages. Also included is the first part of an article by BSTS Member Lennox Manton titled "Vignon Mark 15 in the Cappadocian and other images of Christ (Part 1)," an article by Joseph Durham reviewing the August 2008 Ohio Shroud Conference, News from Italy detailing the 2010 Exposition of the Shroud and much more.

For those of you who might be interested in a membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two printed 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, 2009

Ohio Conference Videos Now Available Online

Thanks to Russell Breault, founder and publisher of the excellent Shroud University website, www.shrouduniversity.com, the first two videos from the August 2008 Ohio Shroud Conference are now available online as WMV files. These include the important data presented by Robert Villarreal of Los Alamos National Laboratory at http://www.shrouduniversity.com/videos/villareal.wmv and the spectacular holography presentation made by Petrus Soons at http://www.shrouduniversity.com/videos/soons.wmv. You can now find permanent links to the videos on Russell's website as well as the Ohio Shroud Conference page of this site. Russ intends to release additional videos from the conference on a monthly basis, so check his site regularly for new ones.

Speaking of the Ohio Shroud Conference, webmaster Dan Porter reports that the majority of the papers presented at the conference will be available on the Official Conference Website, www.ohioshroudconference.com, in the next week or two, so check the site frequently. Currently, only the abstracts of the papers are available, but ultimately, all of the papers will be available online in their entirety. Once again, Russell and Dan deserve special thanks for so promptly providing us with such great access to all of this important Shroud material.

Posted January 21, 2009

New Shroud Book Published In France

To regular website viewers, the name Thibault Heimburger, M.D. will be a familiar one. In January 2008 I published Thibault's excellent summary article, A Detailed Critical Review of the Chemical Studies on the Turin Shroud: Facts and Interpretations. This week Thibault informed me that he has co-authored a new book on the Shroud with Sébastien Cataldo that has just been published in France (in the French language). The book is titled: "Le linceul de Turin- Et vous qui dites-vous que je suis ?" - "les dernières découvertes qui pourraient tout changer." ("The Shroud of Turin- Who am I for you?" - "The last discoveries which could change everything").

According to Thibault, "In this book all the aspects of the studies of the shroud are explained: History, textile studies, Theology as well as the most important scientific studies mainly from STURP, including the problem of the image formation process. Regarding the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, Ray Rogers' findings are described for the first time in French. Moreover, the latest findings from the Columbus Conference are explained (the LANL results and the surface chemistry anomalies of the radiocarbon area)."

The book is available in bookshops or can be ordered at http://www.docteurangelique.com or http://www.laprocure.fr (type "linceul" in the search area). One can also find the first page of each chapter of the book as well as some additional photos at this website: www.linceul-turin.com.

Thibault was also kind enough to provide the information from the back cover of the book in both French and English languages, which you can read at this link: linceulbook.pdf. The book has also been added to the Shroud Booklist page of the site. .
Posted January 21, 2009

"Greetings From Iraq"

Archbishop Gerwargis Sliwa gives "Image of Edessa" Lecture in Arbil, Iraq
Photographs © 2008 All Rights Reserved

I am always excited when I see "Greetings from Iraq" in the subject line of an incoming e-mail, because I immediately know the message is from my friend, Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa of the Assyrian Church of the East in Baghdad, Iraq. I was recently very pleased to receive just such an e-mail, although the content of this letter included a serious yet hopeful message. Archbishop Sliwa has graciously given me permission to share it with all of you by reprinting it here.

Dear Mr. Schwortz,

I hope you are doing fine.

Though I have not written to you since we last met in Los Angeles in 2006, I have continued viewing your website for updated news on the Holy Shroud.

I am sure you are following the news of the bad situation in Iraq especially in Baghdad where my office is. We are still looking forward to seeing the signs of a peaceful life.

Thousands of Iraqi families left the country to the neighboring countries, among them thousands of Christians. The only spiritual weapon for those who are still in the country facing such horrible life is faith and hope. The church for them is their only place where they can strengthen their hope for a better future.

It is our duty as clergies to make them forget what is going on around them by preaching and presenting some church and faith activities and lectures. This is what happened on November 14 2008, in the hall of Saint John the Baptist church in the city of Arbil, in the north of Iraq, where a large crowd attended my lecture, "The Image of Edessa." Attached are some photos from the lecture (see above).

I ask all the viewers of this site to pray for justice and peace in our historical country Iraq. Let us pray for a peaceful and happy life for all the peoples all over the world.

My best regards.

Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa

Baghdad

Posted January 21, 2009

In Memoriam

Michael Minor
1946 - 2008

I am saddened to report the untimely passing of Michael Minor, co-founder, Vice-president and General Council of AM*STAR, on December 23, 2008 at his home in Kaufman, Texas, after a brief illness. Included here is the official obituary I received from Thomas D'Muhala and Isabel Piczek, board members and co-founders of AM*STAR:

D. MICHAEL MINOR

Michael Minor died 23 December 2008 at home after a brief illness.

Mike was born 21 April 1946 in Bowie, Texas where he spent most of his boyhood.

After attending Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas and, Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas he put himself through law school at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas.

Mike was a practicing lawyer for thirty-eight (38) years. He also, was a partner in a rare document business, Lone Star Autographs.

He authored/co-authored three (3) books and was currently working on a fourth (4th). Mike was a co-author of several articles in professional and educational journals dealing with historically significant documents of Presidents/First Ladies. He was a contributing author/co-author to chapters in several editions of the Sander's Price Guide to Autographs.

Mike became interested in the Shroud of Turin about 38 years ago while still in Law school. In 1984 he was retained as legal council for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP), and later the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR.)

While involved with Shroud research, Mike had the privilege of attending the 1998 and 2000 Shroud Expositions in Turin, Italy. He, also, organized three (3) International Shroud of Turin Symposiums in 1998, 2000 and 2005, in Dallas Texas.

In 2006, Amstar was approached by Grizzly Adams Productions, Inc. to make a documentary on new evidence in Shroud research presented at the 2005 International Symposium on the Shroud of Turin. Mike helped co-ordinate filming for the documentary in Turin, Italy. He, also, co-authored the "Case for Christ's Resurrection". He will forever inspire his colleagues left behind, to continue working for the Lord of the Shroud, just as he did, humbly and faithfully.

Michael Minor was a respected lawyer, a brilliant historian, prolific writer, and a wonderful man of God. He will be sorely missed by family and many good friends.

MIKE MINOR'S SHROUD JOURNEY

Mike began his journey in Sindonology while in law school over 38 years ago. He was given a picture of the Shroud, and was blessed by its beautiful and quiet Face. Wanting to know more, he contacted Father Adam Otterbein (Holy Shroud Guild). He also became friends with Fr. Peter Rinaldi of the Holy Shroud Guild in Italy. Father Rinaldi was, at that time, serving as Pastor of Corpus Christi Catholic church in Port Chester, NY. Mike continued to meet Shroud scientist and researcher. In 1984 he became General Council of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP.) Subsequently, he became Vice-president/General Council and a board member of the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR.) Mike also acted as liaison between AMSTAR and the Turin Authorities. He organized three (3) International Shroud of Turin Scientific Symposiums for AMSTAR.

Mike served in these capacities until his death, 23 December 2008.

We extend our deepest regrets and sympathies to Mike's family and friends. I also received a moving tribute to Mike from Isabel Piczek, which you can read in its entirety at this link:

Remembering Mike Minor

Posted January 21, 2009

In Memoriam

Brendan Whiting

I am further saddened to report the last minute news that Brendan Whiting, author of the 2006 book "The Shroud Story," died this past week in Sydney, Australia. Our deepest regrets and sympathies to his family and friends for their loss. Here is the story as I received it, courtesy of CathNews - Australia:

Shroud of Turin author dies in Sydney
Published: January 16, 2009

Author Brendan Whiting whose book "The Shroud Story" rebutted scientific tests dating the Shroud of Turin to the 14th century has died in Sydney. The Catholic Weekly reports that Whiting's 2006 book renewed support for the authenticity of the Shroud on the persuasive grounds that the tiny samples of cloth taken for chemical testing were remnants of nearly invisible mending done in the Middle Ages and that in 2005 further examination of the corner of the cloth from which samples for testing were taken proved to be different in chemical composition from the main part of the cloth.

It also listed the findings of an international group of 24 scientists that the Shroud of Turin was surviving evidence of the crucified Christ and an expert's assertion that the material, weave and style of the shroud were from the Dead Sea area, dating from the first century AD.

Mr Whiting, a widower, is survived by his daughters Melanie and Linda and his son Adrian. Melanie McHale said her father was diagnosed with leukaemia only three weeks before Christmas and had set himself to have a wonderful Christmas with his children, as they did, with the knowledge, as their father said, "that he would soon be walking with Christ."

Posted January 21, 2009

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Over the years, I have received numerous requests from website viewers to provide some advance notice of my upcoming speaking engagements. Although this is not always possible, I am including the information in this update of several confirmed speaking engagements I have for March of this year:

Posted January 21, 2009

Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List

Just a reminder that you can become a subscriber to the Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List and receive an e-mail notice whenever the website is updated. In addition, subscribers receive exclusive opportunities not available to the general public. These include access to papers and articles in advance of their publication, discounts on Shroud books and other materials and much more. To join, go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the box provided and hit "Go!" Follow the instructions and you will be added to the list in less than a minute.

Posted January 21, 2009

The Next Update...

I am planning on doing another update before Easter, although the exact dates are not clear at this moment. I am waiting for one researcher to complete his ongoing analysis of a Raes sample thread and intend to publish his results as soon as they are completed. Several months ago I alluded to an important announcement I intended to make, and hope to finally make that announcement in the next update. Also, I will be adding a set of beautiful new Shroud lithographs to the Website Store page, so check back from time to time. See you soon!

Posted January 21, 2009


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