1998 Website News


These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 1998. 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 of 1998.


Report on the Dallas Meeting of American Sindonology


On November 6, 7 and 8, 1998, there was a landmark Shroud meeting held at the Catholic Conference Information Center in Dallas, Texas. Including researchers from around the United States, the meeting made significant strides in advancing the spirit of cooperation and communication amongst the various Shroud groups and organizations here in America. A number of important and exciting new avenues of research were introduced at the meeting, with presentations made by experts both new to and experienced in Shroud research. A complete report on the Dallas Meeting of American Sindonology has now been added to the "Shroud Conferences & Symposiums" page of this website. The article includes a complete list of every presenter, along with a brief synopsis of each presentation and a short biography and photo of each researcher.

It is quite possible that this meeting will come to represent a significant moment in the unification of American Shroud research. According to many of the participants, it was "the best meeting held on American soil in a long, long time." Watch for inclusion of a number of the presentations from the meeting on this website in the future.

Posted December 17, 1998

Shroud Documentary To Air On The Learning Channel

Reuben Aaronson and guests at the
screening of "In Pursuit of the Shroud"

On November 15, 1998, I was pleased to attend a screening of the soon-to-be-televised Shroud documentary, "In Pursuit of the Shroud," at Raleigh Studios, in Hollywood, California. Produced and directed by Reuben Aaronson, award winning film maker with many National Geographic specials to his credit, the program will air Christmas week on The Learning Channel. According to their website, the program will air at 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. EST (7:00 and 10:00 p.m. PST) on Tuesday, December 22, 1998. Be sure to double check your local listings for the exact date and time in your area.

The program includes appearances by many noted Shroud researchers and historians, including Donald Lynn, Dr. Alan Whanger, Dr. Harry Gove, Vernon Miller, Professor Daniel Scavone, Mark Guscin, Kevin Moran, Rev. Albert Dreisbach, Avinoam Danin, Uri Baruch and Barrie Schwortz. The beautifully produced documentary takes a close look at the current work being done on the Shroud and provides an excellent review of the cloth's history and its unique features without employing the "shotgun" approach taken by many shows. Whether you are a novice to "sindonology" or you've studied the cloth for years, you will appreciate this serious, unbiased and sincere examination of the current scientific evidence, presented in a very well written, well-paced and informative style. It goes further than most programs in providing the personal insights of some of the world's foremost Shroud scholars. No matter what your opinion of the Shroud's authenticity, you should find this a thought provoking and captivating hour of high quality television.

Barrie Schwortz

Note: You can now obtain a VHS copy of "In Pursuit of the Shroud" directly from the Discovery Channel video service by calling 1-800-636-8324.

Posted December 17, 1998

Rodger J. Apple and the Albany Center Turin Shroud

In my recent Overview of American Sindonology (posted on the "1998 Website News" page on October 26, 1998), I mentioned that there were many groups, organizations and individuals in the United States that had dedicated years of time and effort to further the research and knowledge of the Shroud of Turin. One such organization worthy of mention is the Albany Center Turin Shroud, founded by Rodger J. Apple in 1979.

Roger was born and lived in Albany, New York most of his life. He was a Captain in the Albany Fire Department for 30 years, retiring in 1982. His interest in the Shroud began in the 1940's, after hearing a lecture on the subject. Not long afterwards, he received a copy of Paul Vignon's "The Shroud of Christ" as a gift and this launched his quest for more knowledge of the relic. In 1952, he prepared his first Shroud presentation. Through a friend, he was asked to speak at a Holy Name Society meeting. The program was a success and led to many other speaking engagements over the years. He continued to study the cloth and formed the Albany Center Turin Shroud (internationally known as "ACTUS") in 1979, becoming its Executive Director.

He eventually created a mobile exhibit of Shroud materials "to extend the history and knowledge of the Shroud to all interested persons" and made it widely available, presenting lectures and exhibits to many civil, fraternal, religious and church organizations throughout New York state. He attended many Shroud conferences in America and Europe and was present at the First Symposium and International Congress on the Sudarium of Oviedo, in Spain.

In gathering information for this article, I spoke to a number of long time Shroud researchers about Rodger and his work. They all agreed that there were few so dedicated as Rodger Apple. His contribution in providing so many people with information about the Shroud of Turin has long gone unacknowledged. In recent years, Rodger's health has declined and he is now seriously ill. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Rodger and his family a joyous holiday season. And I know he would love to hear from other "Shroudies" and organizations around the world. You can reach him at:

Albany Center Turin Shroud
20 Baker Road
Valley Falls, New York 12185
U.S.A.
Fax: 518-663-8037
Email: RApple1898@aol.com
Posted December 17, 1998

New Links Added

Three new links have been added to the "Links To More Information" page of this website. The first of these is not really a single link, but actually several links to new additions on the Collegamento pro Sindone Website. Most important of these is a link to the Marinelli Collection's listing of Scientific Articles on the Collegamento's website. This list contains hundreds of entries and is an excellent resource for Shroud researchers when used in conjunction with the "Shroud Booklist" and other information found on the Internet. It will also be added to the "Shroud Library" page of this site. I am also proud to report that there is now an Italian Translation of the article I presented at the June 1998 Turin Symposium, "The Role of the Internet In The Future of Shroud Research," on the Collegamento's site.

The second is a new link to the Centro Mexicano De Sindonologia Website. This site is produced by the largest Shroud organization in Mexico. In recent years, they have become active in promoting Shroud research and in providing accurate information to thousands of interested people in Spanish speaking countries. The site is currently only in Spanish, but will soon include English translations as well. I expect this site will grow substantially in the next year.

The third is a new link to an excellent article titled The Shroud of Turin: Genuine Artifact or Manufactured Relic? by Jack Kilmon that appeared in "The Glyph," the Journal of the Archaeological Institute of America (San Diego). Mr. Kilmon argues in favor of authenticity and offers a comprehensive review of the scientific facts about the Shroud, siting references for many of them. The article includes closeup photographs of the Shroud and an illustration of the entombed and enshrouded Jesus of Nazareth found in a prayer book from Budapest known as the Pray Manuscript. Kilmon states, "The illustration not only depicts the unique "L" pattern of burn holes but also the unique weave pattern of the shroud. There can be no mistake that the Pray Manuscript of 1192 was modeled from the Shroud of Turin." Also included is a link to Mr. Kilmon's artistic interpretation of the Shroud image based on a Shroud photograph: "The Face of the Man in the Shroud."

This article will also be listed on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of this site, accessible via the "Shroud Library." Remember, some of these are links to other websites. You will have to use your browser's "back" button to return to this site.

Posted December 17, 1998

Latest Edition of the British Society Newsletter Added

I am pleased to announce that Issue 48 of the BSTS Newsletter has been added to the British Society for the Turin Shroud page of this website. The issue features News From Around the World, Home News, a large Miscellaneous section, Obituaries, Recent Publications, Letters to the Editor and much more. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Ian Wilson and the BSTS membership for their continued cooperation and support and wish all of them and their families a very joyous holiday season.

Posted December 17, 1998

Shroud Center of Southern California Plans New Years Tours

The Shroud Center of Southern California, located in Huntington Beach, has planned its next open tours for January 2 and January 23, 1999 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Founded by Dr. August Accetta in 1996, the Center continues to grow with the recent appointment of Steve Shehyn as Director of the Center and Midge Martin as Public Relations Director.

If you plan to be in Southern California, make sure a visit to the center is on your itinerary. You can get more information and make reservations by contacting the Center directly:

Shroud Center of Southern California
18351 Beach Blvd. Suite B
Huntington Beach, California 92646
Phone: (714)375-5723
E-mail: SCSCal@aol.com

Posted December 17, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added three new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 128 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Niue, a 100 square mile island state in the south central Pacific, recently independent Georgia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted December 17, 1998

A Holiday Message

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the viewers and participants in the Shroud of Turin Website for helping to make this site the largest and most comprehensive resource of Shroud material on the Internet. I send all of you and your families my warmest wishes and hopes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Watch for the next update on January 21, 1999, the Third Anniversary of the Shroud of Turin Website! Happy Holidays!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted December 17, 1998


Shroud of Turin CD-ROM

As many of you know, we have been working on the development and production of the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM for more than two years. You can find a detailed description of the project on the "Updates On The Shroud of Turin CD-ROM" page of this site. Recently, I have received e-mails from a number of you asking about the progress of the project and when the discs would be available.

The project is now more than 50% complete, but I have been unable to find a publisher willing to provide the funding necessary to finish the production. However, many publishers have shown an interest in distributing the disc once it is completed. In an effort to raise funds to complete production, I have decided to produce a limited edition fine art print of one of my Shroud photographs and earmark the proceeds for completion of the CD-ROM project. I am hopeful of releasing the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM in mid-1999, although that will remain dependent on our fundraising efforts.

This is the first time I have ever produced a fine art print from any of the Shroud photographs in my collection. See the next article for more information on this signed, limited edition.

Posted November 14, 1998

"The Man In Sepia" Limited Edition Print Now Available

"The Man In Sepia"

I am pleased to announce that "The Man In Sepia" Limited Edition Original Digital Print is now available and can be ordered for delivery before the holidays from the "Website Store.". This edition is being issued to help raise funds to complete the production of the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM and is the first fine art presentation print ever made from any of the photographs in the Barrie M. Schwortz Collection. Each is custom printed onto an 8½" x 11" cotton artist's canvas using a professional inkjet printer. Prints are double matted and presented in a hand made, richly stained, birds-eye maple and black enameled 9" x 12" frame. The print is protected under non-glare plexiglas and each is hand signed by the photographer, dated, numbered and accompanied by a frameable, hand signed Certificate of Authenticity. The back of the print is sealed and a wire is installed so the frame is ready to hang as soon as it is unpacked. Only 500 signed and framed prints will ever be made. Order early to receive a low number and reserve your print at the introductory price, which increases on January 1, 1999. Most importantly, your participation will help complete the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM project and aid in making available a significant resource of Shroud information.

Also available is an open edition, unsigned, unmounted version of "The Man In Sepia." The image is printed directly onto 8½" x 11" double weight, glossy digital photography paper using a professional inkjet printer. There is no set limit on the maximum number of these that will be issued, but once the last print of the limited edition is sold, the digital file will be permanently retired and no more prints of any type will ever be made from it. These too are available for holiday delivery if you order promptly.

Posted November 14, 1998

Report On Recent Dallas Shroud Meeting Coming Soon

An important Shroud meeting was held in Dallas, Texas, on November 6, 7 and 8th. Much was accomplished, and in a true spirit of cooperation I must add. A number of new faces were evident at the meeting, as well as many familiar ones. I am working on a full report that will appear on the website in the near future. With more than 60 digital photographs in my camera when I returned home, you can be sure the article will be a fully illustrated one as well. I hope to complete it within the next week or two. Also coming soon are more papers from the June 1998 Turin Symposium and much more, so please keep watching!

Posted November 14, 1998

An Important Notice from the Centro Mexicano de Sindonolgia (En Español)

I received the following notice from Adolfo Orozco on October 30, 1998:

As I know that a lot of people in Spanish speaking countries visit your Website, and particularly from Mexico, I wonder if you can make the following announcement:
El proximo 7 de Noviembre el Centro Mexicano de Sindonolgia realizara un Homenaje en Honor de su Presidente fallecido el 17 de Octubre: el Dr Enrique Rivero-Borrell Vazquez Dicho Homenaje se realizara en el Auditorio del edificio del Arzobispado en la Ciudad de Mexico: Durnago 90, Col. Roma. A las 11:00 am. en punto se oficiara una misa en su Memoria y en Memoria del P. Salvador Ventura Baquier, Asesor Eclesiástico del mismo Centro, quien tambien falleciera recientemente el 1 de Octubre de este a%o. Despues de la Misa, a las 12:00 hrs se llevara a cabo el Homenaje en recuerdo de nuestro Maestro y de nuestro Pastor.
The Mexican Center of Shroud Studies announces that on November 7, 1998, there will be a Mass and a Commemorative Lecture in Memoriam of its President, Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell Vazquez, who passed away on October 17th, 1998. Also, there will be a Memoriam for our Ecclesiastical Adviser, P. Salvador Ventura Baquier, who passed away on October 1. The Mass will be celebrated at the auditorium in Durango 90, Mexico City at 11:00 am O'clock, and the Lecture in the same place at 12:00 O´clock.
Informacion a los telefonos 52-5-582-1149 (antes de las 9:00 am o despues de las 9:00 pm) o al 52-5-622 4149 (de 12:00 am a 3:00 pm).

Posted November 1, 1998


An Overview of American Sindonology

We are fast approaching the new millenium and have just concluded the first century of modern Shroud research. In the last few decades, American researchers have played a prominent role in the scientific examination and study of the Shroud of Turin. Their contributions have been many and significant, as a considerable portion of the information on this website suggests. What began as a rather isolated study by a relatively small group of researchers and clerics has grown into dozens of different scientific, historical and religious organizations and groups around the country, each with the similar goal of promoting or directly participating in further Shroud research.

This update will focus on the current activities of a number of different American Shroud organizations and will provide an overview of their ongoing efforts. Each is profiled in a separate article below with appropriate links included where available. I must point out that the groups included here are only a representative sample of all those that are in operation. Space and time do not permit me to cover them all in a single update.

The following Table of Contents provides quick links to those items below that are part of the American Sindonology overview, as well as other important information included in this update:

OCTOBER 26, 1998 UPDATE - TABLE OF CONTENTS

An Overview of American Sindonology: Other Website News and Updates:
Posted October 26, 1998

Report On The September 1997 Archiving Meeting

On September 13th and 14, 1997, an Archiving Meeting was held in Kaufman, Texas. (Note: This meeting was originally reported on the 1997 Website News page of this site in an article titled "Unique Shroud Meeting Held In Texas," posted on October 28, 1997). It was attended by a large group of individual Shroud researchers, none of them representing any specific or particular group. The intention of the meeting was to discuss possible ways that important and often inaccessible Shroud resources, now scattered and residing in many collections around the world, could be archived and made broadly available without the need of a physical center to actually house and conserve the materials. To that end, the group discussed not only the conventional archiving methods already in use worldwide, but the new digital technologies that have already become the new archiving standards for the 21st century.

With the goal being the long term preservation and better sharing of the world's Shroud materials, it was agreed that the first step should be the assembly of a master catalog. This would be created by integrating an inventory of the largest Shroud collections in the world into a single alphabetical list. (Note: Three of the four largest collections were represented at the meeting). The participants unanimously agreed to add to this "pooled resource" a list of the materials that each individual holds, with hopes that others around the world would be encouraged to join and provide a listing of their materials as well. This master catalog could eventually be made available to everyone via the Internet and other collections could easily be added in the future.

This is the first report on the status of the work set in motion by that meeting. I must begin by stating that I am personally responsible for the delay in writing this report, since a good portion of the materials generated by the Archiving Meeting are in my hands. Let me explain.

Represented at the meeting were the Weunschel Collection, administered by Fr. Fred Brinkmann of the Holy Shroud Guild, the Boston Collection, owned and curated by Richard Orareo, and the Marinelli Collection, owned and curated by Emanuela Marinelli of the Collegamento pro Sindone, in Rome. Since Emanuela was unable to attend, she was represented at the meeting by myself and the Shroud of Turin Website, where a complete bibliography of her collection is already made available to the public as the "Shroud Booklist" page of the site.

Noted Shroud researcher Paul Maloney, Project Director of the Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin, Inc. (ASSIST), was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. However, he had compiled a massive, annotated bibliography as part of his research for the book he was writing. My first action after I returned home from the meeting was to contact Paul and let him know what had transpired. We discussed different ways he could provide his bibliography without conflicting with his publishing contracts and determined that a non-annotated version would solve the problem. After a few weeks, I received this from him on disk.

I next contacted Fr. Brinkmann and he determined that a digital version of the Weunschel Collection was readily available in database form and promptly mailed me the disk. As for the Boston Collection, Richard Orareo presented me with a complete, printed catalog of the entire collection before we left Kaufman. Also, many of the other individuals who attended the meeting sent me inventories of their private collections. In essence, within a few months of the meeting, I had in my hands the raw materials for what will become the single largest database of Shroud books and periodicals in the world.

My next step was to begin the integration of the various lists into a single database. We decided on Microsoft Access as the main database software, since the Weunschel collection was already in that format. Since I am inexperienced in using Access, I contracted Paul Melograno, already assisting me from time to time with the website, to begin the work.

Within a few weeks he had integrated the entire Marinelli and Weunschel Collection lists into a single database. Sadly, that is where the work was stopped. With the work on this website and the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM going strong, my budget for the database project was severely restricted. And that is where we stand today.

In the near future I hope to restart the database work and continue it to completion. Although time and resources remain limited, the greatest reward to come from this so far has been the spirit of cooperation each of the participants has demonstrated in making the materials available so quickly and willingly. In the not-so-distant future, the rewards will be even greater and a comprehensive database will be readily available for researchers everywhere. In other words, I am happy to report that the Kaufman meeting was a great success!

Posted October 26, 1998

Shroud Meeting Scheduled In Dallas

An invitation-only meeting of American Sindonologists will be held at the Catholic Conference Information Center in Dallas, Texas, on November 6, 7 & 8, 1998. The purpose of the meeting is to "bring together American researchers to discuss their common concerns." Accordingly, "there will not be a single, commanding person nor a single sponsoring organization, but simply a willingness to work together..."

A long list of relevant topics have been proposed as talking points. These include the current state of American sindonology, outlining a focus for the 21st century, the Internet and current status of Shroud websites, a report on the 1998 Turin Symposium, the current condition of the Shroud and its conservation, proposals for a general international meeting to be held in the states in the near future and much, much more.

The meeting's organizers include Dr. Alan Adler, Rev. Frederick C. Brinkmann, Dr. Robert Bucklin, Dorothy Crispino, Thomas F. D'Muhala, Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr., Michael Minor, Richard Orareo, Isabel Piczek and Barrie Schwortz.

The meeting is being conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere at a beautiful retreat center graciously made available by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. It is hoped that the family-like setting will provide an atmosphere of friendship, unity, harmony and cooperation and encourage an open exchange of ideas.

I will be a participant at the meeting and will include a full report in my next update to the website. Of course, the report will also include many digital photographs of the event, so keep watching.

Posted October 26, 1998

June 1999 Conference Planned

The Shroud of Turin Center in Richmond, Virginia, is planning an international conference on June 17, 18, 19 and 20, 1999. According to Diana Fulbright, Director, "We hope to have international participation and envision this conference being repeated every few years in various locations around the country." The Richmond Center is just over one year old and was founded by Executive Director, Bryan Walsh.

The conference is just in the early planning stages, so no further details are available at the moment. However, the Shroud of Turin Website will work closely with the Center and plans have already been made to publish all the papers presented at the conference on this website. I am very pleased to see a newer organization taking an active role in furthering Shroud science. It is the key to the success of future Shroud research. It is my hope that sindonolgists worldwide will join in and participate in this important event. Watch this website for a detailed report on the conference in the near future.

Posted October 26, 1998

Holy Shroud Task Force of St. Louis

At the conclusion of the 1998 Turin Symposium, I was invited to attend a meeting of the St. Louis Holy Shroud Task Force by its Chairman, Rev. Aram Berard. In attendance were Russell Breault, Jack Markwardt, Dan McPherson, Father Joseph Marino, John Iannone, Michelina LaMargie and Jeremy Poulin. We met under a large canopy in the gardens of the Unione Industriale (where the symposium was held) on the drizzly afternoon of June 7, 1998. As we sat around a large table, Father Berard explained to me that the original purpose of the Task Force was to try and unite American sindonologists to speak with a united voice. This proved too great a task for the small, volunteer organization, so they next attempted to find a campus where a Sindonology Center could be established and sindonology could be taught. But this too proved to be unfruitful.

Fr. Berard explained that they were now turning to the Shroud of Turin Website as "possibly the best vehicle to share information and projects." I welcomed the idea enthusiastically, since it coincided with my vision that cooperation amongst sindonologists and the power of the Internet are the keys to future Shroud research. It was decided that an editorial board would be set up to coordinate the material for the Task Force's page on this website. Plans were also discussed for creating regional "speaker's bureaus" by the Task Force to provide qualified Shroud information on a grass roots level. Again, I was pleased to offer my cooperation and assistance, since this coincides with the "Speakers Bureau" page already in the planning stages for this website.

More recently, the Task Force met again via a teleconference on September 12, 1998. With participants from Oregon, Florida, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California, the hour long meeting reviewed a proposal for a Task Force-sponsored Lecture Series made by John Iannone and further discussed the inclusion of Task Force information on this website. Plans were also made for another teleconference in the future. In essence, the Internet may provide just the forum needed for this well meaning organization to finally begin realizing its goals.

Posted October 26, 1998

More News From Around the U.S.A.

In addition to the excellent update to the CSST Website mentioned below in the "Website Links Updated" article, Dr. Alan Whanger and the Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST) have been working to complete their microscopic survey of the pollens on the Max Frei sticky tape collection. Using a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art microscopy system, the samples taken by Dr. Frei in 1978 are receiving the most thorough and detailed examination in their history. Assisted by Mary Whanger and Phil Dayvault, CSST's Executive Director, Dr. Whanger has been collaborating with Avinoam Danin, Israeli botanical expert and Uri Baruch, world reknown expert in pollens and spores (palynology). They have recently completed a 60 page article titled "Flora of the Shroud of Turin" which includes 22 images and is being submitted for review to the appropriate professional journals. The CSST continues to be one of the most active independent Shroud research organizations in America today.

Dr. John Jackson, co-founder of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), and his wife Rebecca Jackson, continue to keep up their busy schedule of Shroud research and lecturing. Founders of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, the Jacksons are currently in Rome. When not traveling and lecturing, John Jackson and his colleague Keith Propp continue their physics research to determine the effects of high temperature on linen and the resulting impact it might have on the carbon dating results. They are also developing a computer color/intensity analysis that could be useful for conservation of the Shroud and research of the image. The Jacksons also host the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado Website. Their site offers in-depth information about the Shroud and includes many excellent articles, references and photographs. It also provides search capabilities for serious researchers, as well as information about the current work at the Center.

There are many other organizations, centers and individuals around the country that are working to promote further research on the Shroud. In future updates, we will feature more of them.

Posted October 26, 1998

Repeating the Past? - An Editorial

I am often amused and occasionally frustrated by the criticism leveled at the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), the group that performed the first ever, in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud, in October of 1978. Of course, as most of you know, I was the Official Documenting Photographer for the team, so I might be just a little biased. It is true that we demonstrated some serious errors in judgement and, honestly, made some downright blatant or even stupid mistakes, but there is a very important lesson to be learned from STURP's history.

For all the criticism leveled at STURP, they remain, to this day, the only organized, multidisciplinary scientific group ever to be given permission to examine the Shroud for an extended period of time. Why is that significant? Because there is a critical need to perform additional testing on the Shroud in the future. And there are many American sindonologists not only qualified to participate in this testing, but prepared and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pursue that research. And there are many other researchers worldwide, waiting to apply their latest techniques and technologies to study new Shroud data (with the emphasis on new) should it become available.

I was recently critical of the 1998 Turin Symposium and openly bemoaned the apparent "re-hashing of old ideas" by many researchers. It was my good friend Don Lynn, former NASA JPL image processing manager and STURP team member that reminded me that there hasn't been any new data to base any research on in twenty years.

So everyone agrees there is a serious need to gather new data from the Shroud. We all understand that the advances in technology give us new tools not even dreamed of just twenty short years ago. We all recognize that new imaging technologies finally allow us to truly "quantify" the Shroud's image for the first time. Yet, as an observer as much as a participant in Shroud research, it seems to me that every research organization also has its own agenda and goes off in its own direction.

The STURP group, for all its flaws, still had something no current group possesses. It was a thoroughly organized, multi-disciplinary group of specialists in diverse areas of expertise working together in a cohesive TEAM effort with a carefully developed test plan to gather data for a very clearly defined purpose. In plain language, they had their act together! More importantly, they were working together. In the end, that is WHY they were given permission to examine the Shroud. Although the road was smoothed by the Holy Shroud Guild, it was their organized team effort that won the day. They were credible! They had their act together! And that is the part of history I do NOT see repeating itself. If American sindonology wants to remain a participant in any future Shroud research, we too will have to have our act together.

Perhaps we should take a closer look at what STURP did right instead of focusing on what they did wrong. Maybe we should remind ourselves that STURP was a voluntary effort comprised of researchers representing some of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the world. They may not have been very good at public relations, but they were the very best in history at organizing a scientific research project to study the Shroud of Turin. There is an old axiom that says, "Those who do not learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them." Considering the enormous challenge the STURP team faced in preparing for what became very much like a major military operation, maybe we should study their methods and LEARN from their actions. They did, after all, pave the way for most of today's sindonolgists, worldwide. Repeating that part of the past may be the most important action world sindonology can take.

Shroud research always has been and always will be an international affair. And so it will remain. We must all put aside our nationalism, our egos and our private agendas. We must all begin to think and act as a "team." And we must all communicate and cooperate with each other. We now have a powerful Internet for instant global communications that makes the first part of the solution easy. Are we up to the task of working together with a common goal? Are we willing to be part of a team? If we are, then we can avoid the mistakes of the past and only the best parts of history will repeat themselves. Working together, we can pave a new, more noble path into the future.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted October 26, 1998

Two 1998 Turin Symposium Papers Added

Two papers presented at the 1998 Turin Symposium in June have been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website. These are the first of many papers presented at the recent meeting that will be included on the website in the future. The first, by Isabel Piczek, is titled "The Professional Arts and the Principle and Practice of Conservation - Restoration Versus the Turin Shroud." In this paper Isabel expresses her concerns as a professional artist over future conservation plans for the Shroud and demonstrates why regarding the image as a painting will have serious impact on its preservation. As always, Isabel's presentation includes many colorful illustrations and may take a minute or so to load.

The second paper is by Jack Markwardt and is titled "The Fire and the Portrait." This paper proposes to resolve, and to reconcile, two of the Shroud's most tantalizing mysteries: When and how did it incur the fire damage now generally referred to as the "poker holes" and when and why was it converted into the portrait known as the Image of Edessa. Both papers can also be accessed via the "1998 Turin Symposium" section of the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page as well as the Website Library.

Posted October 26, 1998

Shroud History Expanded

The 20th Century section of the "Shroud History" page of this website has been greatly expanded to include more detailed coverage of the significant events in Shroud history that occurred during the past three decades. I am deeply grateful to Ian Wilson for the Shroud Chronology found in his recent book, "The Blood and the Shroud," and to Dr. Harry Gove and his book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax? Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," which provided large portions of the source material. I also researched my own archives to provide an expanded history that now includes many important dates relevant to STURP's participation in Shroud research over the past 22 years. I think you will find it fascinating reading as well as a great overview of Shroud research this century.

Posted October 26, 1998

Website Links Updated

I am pleased to announce the addition of four new links to the "Links To More Information" page of the website. This first link is actually not a new one but describes a major update to the Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST) Website. CSST, founded by Dr. Alan Whanger of Duke University, is a nonprofit scientific research and educational organization whose mission is to study, research and publish findings on the Shroud. An active research organization, CSST is well known for its current work on plant and pollen data found on the Shroud and for the polarized light image overlay technique they developed for making image comparisons. Their excellent site has recently been expanded to include 15 interactive Quicktime and AVI movies that allow the viewer to download the images and do the overlay comparison on their own computer. The effects are quite dramatic and enlightening, not to mention downright fun! Full instructions are included, along with a link to the site where you can download free Quicktime software if necessary. Also included are a library of twelve still photographs from CSST's research. A "must see" site!

A new link has been added to the New Heaven New Earth News Update: Skeptical Inquirer Debate. Recently, SI Digest, the online newsletter of the Committee For The Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), published an article by Joe Nickell about the Shroud of Turin that dismissed the Shroud as "perhaps the world's most notorious religious hoax." David Sunfellow, founder of NHNE, immediately wrote the editors and asked them to either issue a public retraction concerning the Shroud article they published and/or offer an explanation as to why they ran an article on the Shroud that was so blatantly biased and uninformed. In case they weren't aware of the serious scientific investigation that has been, and continues to be conducted on the Shroud, David's letter also included information from the Shroud of Turin Website. This began an interesting exchange of letters, including one that I wrote in response to the Joe Nickell article. This link includes the complete text of the entire exchange between Sunfellow and the CSICOP.

La Sindone di Torino is a new, Italian language website produced by Mariano Tomatis. It is an extensive site that discusses the early history of the Shroud, various image formation theories, the analysis of the man in the image, the story of the Shroud and overviews the scientific research carried out on the relic. It also includes links to a parallel site that discusses the Holy Grail. The site has one frustrating feature however. It prompts your browser to spawn a distracting smaller page or "console" filled with advertisments that sits on top of the main page. Still, there are many in-depth articles you will probably find worth the inconvenience.

A link has also been added to "Imago Christi," A Shroud Interest Group Website. This group was founded by Art Historian and Sindonologist, Michelina M. LeMargie, Ph.D., to "research, study, and disseminate" information concerning the relic known as the Shroud of Turin. The site features a color photograph of a painted Shroud copy dated 1516 and attributed to Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), which indicates that the Shroud had been through a fire at some time prior to the Chambéry fire of 1532. The artist included the same set of four "L Shaped" burn-holes still visible on the cloth today. (Note: For related reading on this interesting aspect of Shroud history, see the new article by Jack Markwardt added in today's update titled "The Fire and the Portrait.")

A link to The Face on the Shroud of Turin has also been included. This webpage represents French sculptor Willem Branca's interpretation of the face of the man of the Shroud. The page includes excellent photographs of the artist's sculpture in its various forms, along with instructions for ordering. The site also suffers the frustrating feature of prompting your browser to spawn a distracting "console" filled with advertisments that sits on top of the main page. Still, some might find the work interesting and worth the inconvenience.

Posted October 26, 1998

Sad News From Mexico

I received the following e-mail from Adolfo Orozco, Secretary of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia, on October 19, 1998:

Dear Friends,

It is my duty, on behalf of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia, to give the news that our beloved Founder and President, Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell Vasquez, passed away on Saturday, October 17, 1998. After several months of suffering with Christian patience and peace of soul, he finally succombed to the bladder cancer that cut his luminous life short. He leaves a profound message of faith and his final desire was that we all continue the search for the message that our Lord Jesus Christ put in this cloth.

It is asked that all of you of good will give your prayers for his eternal peace in God. As he wrote in a prayer related to the Shroud, we hope he is now "viewing His Real and True Face and rejoicing with Him for all eternity."

Adolfo Orozco

We extend our deepest sympathies to Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell Vasquez' family and to the members of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia in their time of great loss.

Posted October 26, 1998

Limited Edition Print Planned

I am very pleased to announce that a signed, limited edition sepiatone print of the Shroud face titled, "The Man in Sepia," is being created from my original Shroud photograph and is planned for release in mid-November. Available exclusively via this website, the image will be custom printed onto a cotton based canvas material directly from the high resolution digital file. Each Original Digital Print will be signed by the photographer, numbered, custom matted and set in a natural wood frame under plexiglas. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany each limited edition print. An unsigned, unmounted version will also be available and both will be ready for delivery before the holidays. Keep watching for more information.

Posted October 26, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added four new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 125 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Dominica, the Maldives, Niger and Papua New Guinea. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted October 26, 1998


Major Update Coming Soon

This is just a short update to let you know that a major update to this website is in progress and should be online in about a week. It will take a look at the current status of American Sindonology with reports on an upcoming Shroud meeting in Dallas, a recent Shroud teleconference, several new Shroud organizations, an American Shroud symposium planned for 1999 and the ongoing work of many other Shroud researchers in the United States. It will also include a status report on the work begun at the Archiving Meeting held in September 1997 in Kaufman, Texas. That meeting was originally reported on the 1997 Website News page of this site in an article dated October 28, 1997.

Also coming are more of the papers presented at the June 1998 Turin Symposium, new and updated links to Shroud-related websites, a greatly expanded Shroud History of the 20th century, an update to the Shroud Booklist and a first look at the upcoming limited edition Shroud print that becomes available in early November.

The next update should prove to be a good one so keep watching! Thank you all for your continued patience and consideration.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted October 15, 1998

Website Included in Britannica Internet Guide

I am pleased to announce that The Shroud of Turin Website has been selected for inclusion in the Britannica Internet Guide. You may go directly to ebig.com by clicking on the above graphic. The Guide provides an excellent web search feature called e-blast, as well as thousands of categorized links and website reviews. I was originally notified of the selection by e-mail on June 3, 1998, while I was in Turin for the Shroud Exhibition and Symposium (and unable to access my e-mail for three weeks). This is a good indication of how far behind I still am in some of my tasks. My sincere and belated thanks to the editors of the Britannica Internet Guide for their consideration and recognition.

Posted October 15, 1998


The Coming of Age of Shroud.com

I have been trying to write this article for over three months and apologize in advance for its length. I have spent many hours contemplating what to say and more importantly, how to say it. I feel it is important that I be forthright and honest with you, the wonderful viewers and contributors who have supported this website and made it such an international success. Yet there is no easy way to tell you that this website has experienced a rather serious crisis.

After two and a half years of producing and underwriting this website, I found myself virtually "drowning" in its success. It had grown to such proportions that it severely limited the time I could devote to my own professional clients, the long overdue Shroud of Turin CD-ROM project and even my family. And the more people who visited the site, the more my bandwidth charges increased. This reached a peak during the first week of the Shroud Exhibition in April, 1998, when over 25,000 visitors viewed the site in seven days. The total bandwidth for April reached nearly 50 GigaBytes (or $1000.00) for the month!

I came to a point where I had to decide whether I could continue doing this, or would have to stop and go back to my scientific and medical imaging clients to revitalize my business and restore my severely depleted personal resources.

My original vision for this website was to create an impartial resource where quality information about the Shroud of Turin could be freely accessed by anyone who had an interest. However, that vision did not include banner advertising, "pay-per-view" pages, asking viewers to "join" anything or pleading for donations (I am not an "organization," I am an individual). Yet that is the way websites usually pay for themselves. I wanted to find another way.

First, let me assure you that there is no way that I would stop publishing this website. So many of you have told me that the website is important to you through the contribution of your work or your letters of support, that I could never stop. Instead, I have spent the last few months working on an alternate solution: making this website self-sufficient.

I started by redesigning large parts of the site to streamline them and minimize unnecessary bandwidth charges. You won't notice much difference however, other than certain pages now load much faster. This has already helped lower the bandwidth charges significantly. I also created a direct link to Amazon.com, which provides a modest commission to Shroud.com when viewers enter through this site and make purchases. That already is generating a small but steady stream of revenue.

I determined that many hours were being spent preparing scientific papers for inclusion on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" Page of the site, particularly if there were images to be scanned or tables to be created. I provided this service at my expense for the last 2 1/2 years. Effective immediately however, I must institute Publication Rates, much like many other printed journals charge. Authors will now be charged modest fees that will help cover the production costs of publishing their work and maintaining it permanently on the website. Also, there is a new procedure for submitting work to the site and this is detailed on the "Submission Requirements" Page (which is also accessible directly from the "Scientific Papers & Articles" Page).

Over the years, I received literally thousands of requests for photographs and slides of the Shroud. For twenty years I refused to mass-produce and sell copies of my photographs and resisted many offers asking me to do so. I never felt comfortable with "selling" images of the Shroud. Of course, I did make them available for reproduction in books, articles and documentaries. I also made available the remaining copies of the "Silver Book" and "Silver Poster," produced for a 1981 Shroud exhibition. Now however, at the urging of many of my friends within the Shroud community and in an effort to help support the work of this website, I have created a number of new photographic items from my original 4" x 5" photographs made in 1978, including sets of prints and 35mm slides. To provide a proper forum for the new photography, I expanded the "Website Bookstore" into the "Website Store". To make acquiring these materials even easier for website viewers, I also created a "Secure Order Form" and can now safely accept all major credit cards directly over the Internet. You can read more about the "Website Store" in the next article (below).

So the "coming of age" referred to in the title of this article is really the end of the crisis and the beginning of a new era of self sufficiency for the Shroud of Turin Website. The first of these changes are included in today's update and you will see more changes in the future that are part of this new "self-sufficiency" effort. With your help and support, this website will continue to grow and thrive. I believe we will all reap the benefits.

One other thing I should mention. I recently accepted a long-term assignment from one of my largest medical industry clients and will be working on a major study with them for the next nine months or so. That will limit my available time for working on the site to some extent and probably reduce the frequency of updates to a monthly basis. But it will also help underwrite this website and keep it online. Many new things are planned for the future so please keep watching. Your kind letters and blessings are always welcomed and warmly received, even though my responses are often much delayed. Thank you for taking the time to read this rather long-winded speech of mine and more importantly, for your continued participation and support. It is truly appreciated.

Barrie Schwortz

Posted September 12, 1998

Website Store Opens - New Photographs Available!

I am pleased to announce the official opening of the "Shroud of Turin Website Store." Representing more than six months of intensive work, including site design and new product development, it marks a major step in the "coming of age" of this website. You may now choose from a broader range of Shroud materials, including a new set of five 8" x 10" Photographic Prints of the Shroud, or a new set of ten 35mm Original Digital Slides of the Shroud imaged directly to 35mm film from digital scans of the original 4" x 5" negatives I made in 1978. I am very pleased with the quality of these new items and plan to make them available on a broader basis to other Shroud related organizations. Volume discounts are available on these items to qualified resellers. And available exclusively from this website are new sets of  8½" x 11" Original Digital Prints, made directly from the digital files and spectacular in quality, and a new Framed Edition "Silver Poster."

Most importantly, you can now safely purchase any of these items directly from the website using your MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover card via the new encrypted "Secure Order Form." For those who prefer not to submit this information over the Internet, there is also an "Alternate Order Form" available so you can complete the form, print it out with your laser or inkjet printer and fax or mail your order. The sale of these materials will help me maintain this website and make it self-sufficient without having to add banner advertising to the pages or charge subscription fees to the viewers. And more items are already in the planning stages for the future, so keep watching.

Posted September 12, 1998

New Submission Requirements and Publication Rates

As part of the evolution of this website, I am announcing the institution of Publication Rates, effective immediately, much like many other journals charge. Authors of scientific papers and articles published on this website will now be charged a modest, one-time fee that will help cover the production costs of publishing their work and maintaining it permanently on this site. Also, there is a now a specific procedure for submitting your work to this website. You will find a complete breakdown of the new Publication Rates and detailed submission instructions on the "Submission Requirements" Page. You can also find links to these rates and instructions on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" Page and the "Shroud Library".

Posted September 12, 1998

Speaking of the Shroud Library...

This is mostly a reminder to anyone relatively new to this website. There is a large "Shroud Library" page accessible from the "Main Menu" (and the bottom of most other pages) of this website that is ideal for finding detailed information about the Shroud. It includes a Shroud History, Shroud Booklist, Bibliography of scientific papers, a directory of Shroud Centers and Organizations worldwide, an overview of Shroud Conferences and Symposiums, a close look at the 1978 Scientific Examination, a Research Registry page and much more. If you are looking for in-depth information, the "Shroud Library" should be your first stop.

Posted September 12, 1998

Shroud Program To Air Again

John and Rebecca Jackson of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado report that the television program they taped last year will air again in October on EWTN. The program, titled "Mother Angelica Live: Dr. and Mrs. John Jackson on The Shroud of Turin," airs on October 25th at 8:30 p.m., on October 29th at 1:30 p.m. and on October 30th at 3:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. A second program, titled "Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud," features Dr. Gilbert Lavoie (author of a recent book by the same title), airs on October 25, 1998 at 8:00 p.m., on October 29th at 1:00 p.m. and on October 30th at 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. To make sure you don't miss the programs, consult your local listings to confirm time and station.

Posted September 12, 1998

The Cathedral and the Shroud

The Turin Cathedral Today
©1998 Aldo Guerreschi

I am pleased to include two recent photographs by my friend, Aldo Guerreschi, of the Cathedral in Turin as it appears to visitors today. The Shroud is stored in its new permanent display case behind the royal blue curtains. Visitors to the Cathedral also view a lifesize photograph of the Shroud taken by Aldo.

The Shroud Display Case
©1998 Aldo Guerreschi

My thanks not only to Aldo, but also to Maurizio Marinelli for scanning the images and providing them to me via e-mail.

Posted September 12, 1998

Future Updates and A Note to Recent Contributors

I have received a massive number of submissions in the last few months and have been unable to even acknowledge receipt of the materials to many contributors. My apologies if you are in this category. In part this was due to the changes I was making to the site and the new photographic print and slide sets that I was creating. Rest assured that I plan to include your materials as promised. If you submitted something and have not yet heard from me, please be patient. The new changes to the website will allow me to bring Paul Melograno back on board and enlist his aid in processing the massive backlog we have accumulated. If you submitted a paper or article recently, I will be getting in touch with you via e-mail in the near future to discuss the details of getting your work online. Again, I thank you for your patience and your understanding and truly appreciate your participation.

Posted September 12, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added a new entry to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 121 countries. Our most recent addition is a first visit from Belarus. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted September 12, 1998


Shroud Exhibitions Page Updated

The "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the website has been revised and updated and will now serve to provide information about the Year 2000 Exhibition of the Shroud of Turin. The information about the 1998 Exhibition has now been moved to a separate page and a new section titled "Pope Visits the Shroud" has been added to complete the coverage of the recent event.

A popular and successful feature of the "Shroud Exhibitions" page during the recent exposition was the listing of professional travel organizations that provided Tours to Turin. This feature will be expanded for the Year 2000 Exhibition. LISTINGS ARE NOW AVAILABLE if you are a professional travel agent or organization. Read the Tours to Turin in 2000 section of the page for detailed information on how you can have your listing included on the website.

Posted August 14, 1998

New Links Added To Website

The "Links To More Information" page of this website has been updated with four new links. These include "The Holy Shroud in VRML," a three dimensional virtual reality view of the Shroud facial image and "The Man of Pain Documentary," a link to the website of the production company that produced the "Official" Hi-Definition Video documentary for the recent Shroud Exhibition. Also added were links to several Shroud-skeptical websites, including a "Skeptical Inquirer - CSICOP News Article" titled "Shroud of Turin Exhibition Renews False Claims of Authenticity" and "The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website." The name speaks for itself.

Posted August 14, 1998

New Photographs Near Completion

A new set of five 8"x 10" photographs of the Shroud of Turin is nearing completion and will soon be available directly from the website. They will be among the first new items available from the soon to be introduced Website Store. The five photograph set features four side-by-side ventral and dorsal images of the Shroud in color and black & white and a close-up of the face. It will also be available in 8½" x 11" Original Digital Prints. These are the first new prints to be made from my original negatives in fifteen years. In the near future, a new set of 35mm slides will also be introduced, featuring high resolution photographs of the Shroud.

Posted August 14, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added a new entry to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 120 countries. Our most recent addition is a first visit from Tunisia. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted August 14, 1998


In Memoriam

Father Adam J. Otterbein, C.Ss.R.

On June 9, 1998, Father Adam J. Otterbein, C.Ss.R. passed away. Born on August 21, 1915, he became an ordained priest on June 22, 1941. President and co-founder of the Holy Shroud Guild, he was instrumental in helping STURP obtain permission to perform their extensive examination of the Shroud in 1978. A leader for over 40 years, his presence in the world of the Shroud will certainly be missed. Included here is part of the official notice from Father Frederick C. Brinkmann, C.Ss.R., current President pro tem of the Holy Shroud Guild:

"It is my sad duty to inform all of you who have studied the Holy Shroud that Father Adam Otterbein, C.Ss.R., has passed away on June 9, 1998 at 11:00 A.M. EDT. Sindonology will not see his like again: His faith and his enthusiasm were hallmarks of his work and ministry on behalf of Our Lord and His Image on the Holy Shroud of Turin."

In a letter to Father Brinkmann, Reverend Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, founder of the Atlanta International Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin wrote:

"He was the 'glue' that kept the Holy Shroud Guild together and whose organizational skills, fidelity to empiricism and competence in many skills... played a major role in promoting and investigating the Shroud. If his co-worker Father Peter Rinaldi, S.D.B. 'opened the doors' for the 1978 investigation by STURP, it was Father Adam who made certain that the necessary support and organizational skills made entry through those doors a reality."

Father Otterbein was buried on Saturday, June 13, 1998 at the Redemptorist Cemetery at Saratoga Springs, New York. For an interesting insight into Father Otterbein's work with the Holy Shroud Guild, read "The Fathers of American Sindonology" by Dorothy Crispino on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the site. It provides a look at the history of the oldest American Shroud organization and Father Otterbein's important contribution to its founding and operation.

Posted July 25, 1998

In Memoriam

Archbishop Anastasio Ballestrero

On June 21, 1998, Cardinal Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero passed away in the Convent of Bocca di Magra. He was born on October 3, 1913 and entered the Carmelites at the age of 16, becoming an ordained priest in 1936. He was Archbishop of Turin from 1978 to 1989 and was responsible for giving STURP permission to perform their scientific examination in October 1978. He was still Archbishop in 1988 when Shroud samples were taken and the controversial radiocarbon 14 dating was performed that concluded the Shroud was of medieval origin.

Following is the telegram sent by Pope John Paul II to Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin, upon the death of Cardinal Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, O.C.D., Archbishop Emeritus of this archdiocese, aged 84.

"Having learned with great sadness the news concerning the holy death of the venerable Cardinal Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, I extend my deepest condolences for the mourning which has struck this diocesan community of which he was the zealous archbishop. In remembering with affectionate regret his deep spirituality, his generous commitment as superior general of the Discalced Carmelite order, his zeal for evangelization in the dioceses of Bari and Turin, both of which were entrusted to him, and the precious service carried out as president of the Italian episcopal conference, I give thanks to the Lord for such an eminent figure of a religious, priest and archbishop. I also offer my fervent prayers that the heavenly Father welcome this good and faithful servant in the eternal joy which he, like those who have spent their whole life in the continuous dedication to the glory of God and the good of souls, deserves. I send you, the priests, the faithful and those who share the pain of his death, the comfort of my apostolic blessing, as a sign of my intense participation in the common grief."

Posted July 25, 1998

The 1998 Turin Symposium

At long last, the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page of the website has been updated to include the "1998 Turin Syposium," held June 5 through 7, 1998 in Turin, Italy. On the page you will find a complete list of researchers and the title of every paper presented at the symposium. In the near future I hope to include all of the actual papers on the website in their entirety. My paper, "The Role of the Internet in the Future of Shroud Research," is already on the site and available from both the "1998 Turin Symposium" and "Scientific Papers & Articles" pages. Every researcher who presented at this Congress is invited and encouraged to submit his or her papers for publicaton. See the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page for detailed instructions and submission requirements.

Also on the "1998 Turin Symposium" page is a link to "The '98 Symposium: A Personal Report," which is my personal account of the event, its participants and its impact on the future of Shroud research. It gives you a look at the symposium from the perspective of one who attended and presented a paper. I should warn you that it begins by casting a critical eye on the symposium and its organization. The opinions expressed are solely my own. It includes 6 color photographs.

Posted July 25, 1998

Comment On Carbon Dating Article Introduction

I was pleased to recently add the controversial 1989 paper, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin" to this website. Reprinted by kind permission of Nature, the journal in which it first appeared, it is introduced by some editorial comments on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of this site. I recently received a note from A. J. Timothy Jull, one of the authors of the paper from the University of Arizona's AMS Facility, who was instrumental in my getting permission to reprint the paper. In it, Mr. Jull made the following comment:

"I looked at the Shroud website recently and noted the addition of the Nature article. I noted some of the editorial remarks - I have a comment on one at this time. It is TOTALLY INCORRECT to state that Nature is not a peer-reviewed journal (I realize your comments attribute this remark to others...). This is not true. All papers for Nature are reviewed in the normal way for scientific publications. You can confirm from the editors of Nature this is correct. I think you should note this assertion is wrong on your web page. Otherwise, I find your site very interesting."

In the interest of fairness and accuracy, I am including Mr. Jull's comments here and on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the site. I appreciate him taking the time to provide the information and thank him for his participation.

Posted July 25, 1998

Year 2000 Shroud Exhibition Dates Changed

The following article, titled "Exposition of the Holy Shroud During Jubilee Year," was released by the Vatican Information Service on June 3, 1998:

VATICAN CITY, June 3, 1998 (VIS) - According to a communique released by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Shroud of Turin... will again go on display from Saturday, August 26, to Sunday, October 22, 2000.

The note says: "After the apostolic visit of His Holiness John Paul II to Turin, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Pontifical Custodian of the Shroud, has set the dates for the next exposition, which will be held in Turin's Cathedral.

"Like the (recent) exposition, the one planned for the year 2000 will be part of the path of the Great Jubilee proclaimed by John Paul II for the millennium of the Redemption, and will have a clearly ecclesial nature, according to the orientations indicated on numerous occasions by the Holy Father."

This information also appears on the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of this website.

Posted July 25, 1998

Shroud Seminar in New Orleans

John and Rebecca Jackson will be giving a seminar titled "The Shroud of Turin: A Forum," at Loyola University's Nunemaker Auditorium (on the third floor of Monroe Hall), 6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Lousiana, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, July 25, 1998.

Posted July 25, 1998

Photographs Presented to Archbishop

Barrie Schwortz and Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini

On June 10, 1998, while in Turin for the Exhibition and Symposium, I had the privilege of meeting personally with Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin and Pontifical Custodian of the Shroud. My purpose for requesting the meeting was to present the Archbishop with several photographs of the ceiling frescos in the rooms of the Royal Palace where STURP performed their examination of the Shroud in 1978. That particular area of the palace was severely damaged during the fire of April 12, 1997 and the frescos themselves sustained major fire, smoke and water damage. It was my hope that the photographs could assist in the restoration efforts planned for the palace in the future. The Archbishop graciously accepted the photographs and assured me that they would be helpful in returning the frescos to their original splendor.

During the first week after STURP's arrival in Turin in 1978, all eighty crates of equipment and instruments that accompanied the team were tied up in Italian customs, giving us little to do but prepare the areas of the Royal Palace for the upcoming examination. It was during that time that I made the photographs of the ceiling frescos in the rooms where we would ultimately examine the Shroud. The photographs are published here for the first time.

The frescos in the Shroud Examination Room (left) and the "Equipment Maintenance" Room
Photographs © 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz

My heartfelt thanks to Archbishop Saldarini for taking time out of his very busy schedule to meet with me and for being so gracious during our meeting. I also wish to thank Don Daniele D'Aria, Director of Telesubalpina, the Vatican television network of the Piedmont district of Italy, for arranging the meeting and acting as our interpreter. The meeting would not have occurred without his kind assistance and consideration.

Don Daniele D'Aria and Barrie Schwortz

Posted July 25, 1998

Shroud Booklist Updated

The "Shroud Booklist" page of this site has been updated again thanks to the efforts of Emanuela Marinelli, who regularly keeps the list current for us. My thanks as always to her and her brother, Maurizio for their friendship, assistance and participation.

Posted July 25, 1998

Website Receives Recognition

This site was awarded a Times Pick by the Los Angeles Times on 5/8/98

I recently received the following e-mail from Travis Smith of the Los Angeles Times newspaper:

The Times Pick is a service we provide for visitors to our site, offering them a guide to what's new, timely, useful and interesting on the Web. We believe that your site is of real value to the people who use our site, and we believe many of them will want to see what you have to offer. While this award doesn't constitute endorsement or support for the content of your site, it does indicate that you offer valuable information, excellent entertainment or interesting services. Congratulations again for your award.

I am pleased and honored at the recognition and thank Mr. Smith and the L.A. Times for their selection of this website as a Times Pick. For more information visit the L. A. Times website by clicking on the award graphic above.

Posted July 25, 1998

Shroud Lecture at the South Pole!

Rudy Dichtl

Rudy Dichtl was a Major in the U.S. Air Force when he became a member of STURP in 1978. Rudy was the Electronic Equipment Maintenance Specialist for the team and was responsible for keeping much of the equipment and scientific instruments up and running during the five days and nights of the testing. His wife Joan provided logistical support for STURP in Turin and often worked alongside him during the long hours of the examination. Today, they live in Boulder, Colorado where he works for Anatarctic Support Associates and spends up to five months of the year doing aurora research at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. On January 28, 1997, Rudy presented a slideshow and lecture on the Shroud of Turin to his colleagues in the "Chapel of the Snow," McMurdo, giving him the unique distinction of having presented the "southernmost" Shroud lecture ever, virtually at the South Pole!

Posted July 25, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

This week I added two new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 119 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Andorra and Mozambique. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted July 25, 1998

The Next Update...

The next update will include a new, Year 2000 Exhibition page with information on the next public exposition of the Shroud. It will also include a new list of professional travel organizations planning to take tours to Turin in 2000. The success of this section during the last exhibition was reported by all the travel organizations who were listed and many new tours, including individual itineraries, will be made available.

I am also still working to complete the Secure Order Form so you will be able to safely order Shroud materials directly from this website using your credit card. The expansion of the "Website Bookstore" into the "Website Store" continues and I am adding many new items, including a new photography section with Shroud prints and slides.

I will also be adding a number of new Shroud links to the site, as well as several new papers from the recent 1998 Turin Symposium. And watch for the article titled, "The Coming of Age of Shroud.com" which will map out the future for this website. Also, we will soon introduce a new feature called the "Shroud Speakers Bureau" which will provide a listing of Shroud lecturers by geographic location who are available to make presentations. Thank you all for your patience over these last few months and keep watching!

Posted July 25, 1998


Major Update Is On The Way!

My apologies to all of you for the long silence. I am still alive, really. It's just with three weeks in Europe and another week to recover from severe jet lag, I have gotten very far behind. It has been a long time since the last update, and there is so much to report. There was a major International Shroud Symposium held in Turin on June 5 through 7, 1998, and of course, the recent Shroud Exhibition came to an end on June 14, 1998. A major report on the symposium is in progress and is part of the next update. It will include a complete listing of all the researchers and the titles of the papers they presented, along with a full report on the symposium and a look at some of the papers themselves. And of course, it will also include photographs.

I am also adding the ability to accept credit cards for the purchase of certain items directly from this website, and am working with my server to design the Secure Order Form that will encrypt the data and protect the information. Along those same lines, the "Website Bookstore" is being expanded into the "Website Store" and will soon include a new Photography section, where you will be able to obtain high quality photographs of the Shroud. Color and black & white prints will be available from 8"x10" to lifesize. Also, a new set of 35mm slides, including photos from the recent exhibition, is being produced and will be available within a month or so. And framed versions of the "Silver Poster" will also soon be added.

Since bandwidth has become the single largest out-of-pocket expense in providing this website, I am also redesigning a number of the larger pages and dividing them into smaller ones to help alleviate the problem. The only thing you should notice however, is that these pages will now load much faster.

Even this page has been modified. You will now find the "Late Breaking Website News" items from the first six months of 1998 on a separate page, accessible from the bottom of this page or via the "Shroud Library" page (soon). I am a week or two away from having all of the work completed, and will put it up as soon as it is ready. I ask all of you to be patient as the site goes through this major evolution. I think you will find it well worth the wait.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted July 10, 1998

Shroud Lecture Scheduled In San Francisco

Mark Graham reports that he will be giving another Shroud presentation about the history of the scientific discoveries on the Shroud at St. Dominic's Church, 2390 Bush Street, in San Francisco, California on Monday, July 15, 1998 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. For more information about the talk, contact Mark directly at (650) 347-2190.

Posted July 10, 1998

How You Can Support This Website...

As I've mentioned before, the bandwidth of this website has radically increased in the last few months. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword. I am thrilled and honored at the number of visitors the site is generating (actually, over 50% more visitors than the counter on the first page indicates), but the more viewers we get, the higher the bandwidth and the greater the charges billed to me every month.

However, this is NOT an appeal for donations. I have found a simple way for viewers to help support this site without spending any extra money. If you are a regular visitor to Amazon.com, one of the largest booksellers on the Internet, and you visit them via the link from this website, they will return a small commission to Shroud.com for any item you purchase. All you have to do is go to the "Amazon.com Information" page of this site and create a bookmark to it from your browser. Then, when you want to go to Amazon.com, just click on that bookmark. Once you get to the "Amazon.com Information" page, click on the graphic at the top of the page to go to Amazon.com. Anything you purchase during that visit will generate a small commission for The Shroud of Turin Website and help defray the growing costs of production and bandwidth. Your assistance will help me keep this site online and allow it to reach its full potential as the definitive Internet resource for unbiased, accurate Shroud of Turin information. Thank you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted July 10, 1998

Correspondence from Barrie Schwortz in Italy

Just a quick note. Barrie Schwortz has been unsuccessful in connecting to AOL while in Italy. He asks everyone to be patient with him as he will answer the messages when he returns after June 18. At this time, please do not bother sending any more messages to Barrie via AOL.

On a higher note, Barrie presented his paper ("The Role of the Internet in the Future of Shroud Research") on June 7th. It was very well received. Mr. Schwortz will have a personal meeting with the Archbishop of Turin on Wednesday, June 10th.

Posted June 9, 1998
By: Paul F. Melograno


Important Scientific Articles Added

Three new articles have been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the site:

The first is the highly controversial Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin, by P. E. Damon, D. J. Donahue, B. H. Gore, A. L. Hatheway, A. J. T. Jull, T. W. Linick, P. J. Sercel, L. J. Toolin, C.R. Bronk, E. T. Hall, R. E. M. Hedges, R. Housley, I. A. Law, C. Perry, G. Bonani, S. Trumbore, W. Woelfli, J. C. Ambers, S. G. E. Bowman, M. N. Leese & M. S. Tite. It is reprinted here from "Nature," the weekly journal in which it first appeared in February 1989. This is the paper that concluded the Shroud is of medieval origin and dated the cloth to around 1325 A.D. It has had more impact on Shroud research than any other paper ever written on the subject. When first released, it was given considerable publicity and much of the world accepted its conclusions, virtually bringing all other Shroud research to a halt. In the last few years however, new evidence has suggested the possibility that a contaminant, in the form of a bioplastic coating, might have caused a skewing of the resultant date. Others have criticized the protocol followed by the laboratories, which was changed at the last minute from the one recommended by a panel of experts. Critically absent, according to several researchers, was any chemical analysis of the samples prior to testing. This has led a number of scientists to challenge the conclusions of the paper, which claims a "95% certainty" for the results. They point out that in biochemistry, total chemical analysis of a biological product is the first thing done to assure the reader that you have what you think you have. Anything less than that must be regarded as preliminary characterization and should be so stated. They also point out that "Nature" is not a peer-reviewed journal. This is the first time the paper has ever appeared on the Internet. Considering the number of articles critical of the paper found on this website, I am pleased to give everyone an opportunity to finally read the actual paper for themselves. I am grateful to "Nature" for allowing me to reprint it and to Mr. Timothy Jull, of the University of Arizona, for providing me with an excellent copy and helping me get permission to include it here. I consider it an important addition to this website.

The second article is by Dr. Frederick Zugibe and is titled The Man of the Shroud Was Washed. It provides a scientific basis for the hypothesis that the Man of the Shroud had been washed prior to placement on the Shroud. Dr. Zugibe is a professor of anatomy and the Senior Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York. His studies are based on the analysis of antemortem and postmortem blood flow patterns on cadavers and their comparison to those on the Shroud. A number of relevant facets of scripture and Jewish customs are also discussed. This article first appeared in Sindon N. S. in 1989 and is the second of his papers to appear on the site. Three somewhat graphic photographs accompany the article. Parental Discretion Advised.

The third new article is by Gildas Rouvillois and is titled A Point of Nuclear Physics About the Shroud of Turin. In this short article, the author disagrees with the tentative explanation of the controversial carbon dating of the Shroud by J.B.Rinaudo. Rinaudo surmised that simultaneous fluxes of protons and neutrons could explain both the image on the cloth (by the protons) and the 13-century slip of time of the carbon14 nuclei (by the neutrons).

Posted May 25, 1998

Latest British Society Newsletter Added

The 1998 Shroud Expo Special Issue (Number 47) of the BSTS Newsletter has been added to the "British Society for the Turin Shroud" Page. There are a number of articles about the Exposition, including several reprinted from this website. One article of particular interest is titled, "Ancient Skull or Modern-day Murder Victim?" It discusses the discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating of a female skull found in an English peat bog. Carbon dating determined the skull to be almost 1600 years old, while other researchers determined it to be the modern skull of a woman murdered in the 1960's. Her husband eventually confessed to the murder and admitted to dumping her body into the peat bog near where it was found. Viewers interested in the carbon dating process are sure to find this one fascinating. As always, my thanks to Ian Wilson for making the newsletter available to us.

Posted May 25, 1998

Shroud of Turin CD-Rom Update

The "Updates on the Shroud of Turin CD-ROM" page now includes a greatly expanded Project Description and the latest Progress Report describing the current status of the project. It has been almost a year since the last Progress Report, causing some viewers to write me and ask if the project was dead. Let me assure everyone that it is far from dead! If anything, it has grown considerably in scope since the last update. Although the full project has not yet been completed, the "Virtual VP-8" Image Analyzer Simulation, by far the most difficult and complex part of the production, is complete and fully functional. This update includes several images from the CD-Rom showing various "Virtual VP-8" screens in action. I also wish to reassure everyone that the disc will play on both PC and Macintosh computers and thank all who have written with that and other questions. The long-awaited answers are finally here.

Posted May 25, 1998

More Pages Updated

The "Shroud Centers & Organizations" page has been updated to include a new center in Alaska. Founded by David T. Mayschak, M.D., it is an informal center for serious inquiry into the Shroud. See the listing for detailed information about the center's activities and how to reach them.

The "Shroud Booklist" has also been updated recently. As always, my thanks to Emanuela Marinelli for providing the update information for this page.

Posted May 25, 1998

New Report From Turin Added

A Report From Turin by Website Viewers Steve and Gail Pignatiello has been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of this site. It describes the parking and transportation in Turin, along with other logistical information that should be useful to anyone planning to visit the Exhibition. My thanks to Steve and Gail for taking the time to write the article and share their experience with us.

Posted May 25, 1998

Vernon Miller Collection Goes to Ohio University

Thousands of scientifically produced photographic images of the Shroud of Turin have been donated to Ohio University by Vernon D. Miller, Chief Scientific Photographer for STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth examination of the cloth in 1978. Miller, of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, designated the university as the archive for the collection and the first items were recently delivered to the Athens, Ohio school. The collection includes negatives, transparencies, prints and notes on the 120 hour examination conducted in October 1978. According to university sources, the collection will be made available for research and occasional public viewing. A traveling exhibit is also planned for the future. Miller will go to Ohio this summer to coordinate the organization and cataloging of the materials.

Posted May 25, 1998

Shroud Visitors Exceed 1 Million

More than one million pilgrims have already viewed the Shroud since it was first put on public display on April 19 according to CWN. In order to prevent overcrowding, organizers of the exposition have been issuing tickets for specific time periods. To date, the vast majority of pilgrims viewing the Shroud have been Italian. However, thousands of people have also come from France, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Poland and Spain, with other pilgrims, in smaller numbers, representing nearly every country on earth.

Posted May 25, 1998

Tours To Turin

I recently added two new professional travel organizations offering tours to Turin to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the site. There still may be some spaces available on the tours, so check with the organizations on the list. Several companies are now offering individual packages tailored to your specific needs which allow you to meet up with the organized tour in Turin. Act promptly if you are interested.

Posted May 25, 1998

New Links Added

A link to a text-only version of "Science and the Shroud," the cover story run by Time Magazine on April 20, 1998, is now included on the "Links To More Information" page. The link will take you to page one of the story. Use the navigator at the bottom of each page to go to successive pages. My thanks to viewer David Buckna for sending me this link.

A new link to an article in the Skeptic's Dictionary has also been added. The article takes a very critical and negative view of the Shroud and those who argue for its authenticity. It mainly represents the views of Joe Nickell, an outspoken Shroud critic who believes the image on the cloth is a medieval painting and "is probably a forgery." Mr. Nickell, a professional magician, has been writing and lecturing on the Shroud for 20 years.

I am including this link in response to a letter I received from a viewer, who started his message with, "I seriously doubt you'll post anything shroud-skeptical on your site, but just in case..." I was quick to point out that there is a considerable amount of such material already on the site (and that was before I added the carbon dating paper included in this update). I explained there was no link to the Skeptic's Dictionary because it contained little if anything new. It just echoed the same old "facts" always used by skeptics to support the forgery argument. Apparently, the authors and editors choose to ignore the scientific evidence, even that published in peer-reviewed journals, if it disagrees with their point of view. Anyone with an opposing viewpoint was immediately dismissed as a "believer," which I found to be very biased and completely inaccurate. At any rate, I am including it here as I promised this viewer, to demonstrate my willingness to present all points of view.

Posted May 25, 1998

The Next Website Update and the E-mail Situation

I am leaving for Turin on June 1st and will return on June 18th, so this is the last major update until I return. I do plan to update the website at least once while I am in Turin, with a report on the Third International Symposium being held on the 5th through the 7th of June. Watch for that article, as well as the first reprints of papers presented at the symposium shortly thereafter. The paper I am presenting at the Symposium, "The Role of the Internet in the Future of Shroud Research," will be reprinted here at that time.

While I am away from Los Angeles, my already overloaded mailbox will probably continue to fill. I plan to spend some of the long hours flying to Turin answering this mail from my laptop computer. However, with almost 300 unanswered e-mails in the mailbox as I write this, my response time is still very slow. If you have written me and not yet received an answer, please be patient. I intend to answer everyone who writes. Also, while I am in Turin, I will be using my AOL e-mail address: bschwortz@aol.com, which will be easier for me to check. If you need to get in touch with me via e-mail during this period, that is the best address to use. However, I rarely check it when I am here at home, so continue to use bschwortz@shroud.com as my primary address.

Posted May 25, 1998

Credit Cards & More Photography Coming July 1, 1998

Starting July 1, 1998, you will be able to use your Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Discover Cards to obtain Silver Books and Silver Posters directly from this website. We are currently designing a Secure Order Form that will protect your transactions and allow you to order and receive materials from this site much faster than in the past. Delivery times for credit card orders will be about one week (in the continental U.S.), rather than the six to eight weeks it now takes. It will also make it much easier for overseas viewers to obtain materials.

Over the past two years I have received hundreds of requests from lecturers, researchers, churches and centers for large size photographs of the Shroud. After July 1, 1998 you will also be able to custom order any size photographic image of the Shroud up to life size directly from this website and use your credit card for payment. Choices will include back lit color and black & white transparencies and reflected prints, both positive and negative, as well as the transmitted light images of the Shroud. Keep watching!

Posted May 25, 1998


Bravo to the Italians! - A Report From Turin by Richard Orareo

I am pleased to add another article from Turin by Richard Orareo to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the website. In this article, Richard provides us with a detailed look at some of the other exhibits available to visitors in Turin for the Exposition of the Shroud. In his usual eloquent style, Richard captures the emotion of the experience as he shares his personal feelings about seeing the Shroud.

Also added to the same page is another professional travel organization that is offering Tours to Turin. This tour features a small group and is accompanied by Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger, noted Shroud researchers.

Posted May 5, 1998

An Editorial Decision

In recent weeks I have been notified about the release of a number of fiction books and even the production of a science fiction feature film based loosely on the story of the Shroud of Turin. I have decided not to include these materials on this website. Since so much misinformation has already been published in recent years, and since the goals of this site have always been to present factual information on the Shroud, it would be confusing, self-defeating and counter-productive to include inaccurate, glamorized or hypothetical information on this website. In remaining true to this original purpose, viewers worldwide can continue to come to this website and expect to find only fact based content. Frankly, too much fiction already exists about the Shroud and promoting more will only serve to cloud the real facts and encourage others to do the same.

Barrie Schwortz

Posted May 5, 1998

Live Internet Feed

The live Internet feed from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, where the Shroud is currently on display, can be reached on the Video Page of the Archdiocese of Turin Website. Available only in Italian, the page offers the viewer a number of visual choices. Click the photograph in the upper left hand corner and you go to the page that has the live feed from the Cathedral. Just click on the Shroud image to see the feed. The text states that the images are rather dark during the 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. visiting hours since the lights in the Cathedral are turned off and the Shroud is lit only via the optical fibers of the case. They suggest viewing between the hours of 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. when liturgical ceremonies are being held in the Cathedral and all of the lights are on.

Clicking the photograph in the upper right hand corner takes you to a page with four different videos to view. By clicking on any of the four images on this page, you can choose to view the unfolding of the Shroud, the opening of the 1998 Exhibition, historic footage of the 1931 Exposition showing pilgrims entering the Cathedral and 1931 footage of the Shroud being shown outside the Cathedral.

My thanks to Maurizio Marinelli for getting this information for us. I must also add that he reported he was unable to make any of the videos work. I attempted to view the videos too, using my existing RealPlayer Version 4.0, but with no success. I then downloaded the free RealPlayer Version 5.0 from the link provided on the Video Page. Once this was downloaded and installed, I was able to immediately view the four videos. I was still unable to view the live feed however. This may just be a slight technical problem with the website or I may have an incorrect setting in the preferences of the RealPlayer itself. Rather than taking more time to figure it out, I am making the link available to the viewers of this site. Apparently, you must have RealPlayer Version 5.0 to see the videos. This information has also been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page.

Posted May 5, 1998

Search Amazon.com Directly From This Website

If you don't find what you are looking for at the "Website Bookstore," you can now search Amazon.com's 1.5 million book database directly from this website. Just click on the graphic in the upper right hand corner of the "Website Bookstore" page of this site and scroll down to the search form provided. Enter an author's name, book title or key word and hit the "search" button. You will go directly to that search result on Amazon.com.

Posted May 5, 1998

Technical Problems Encountered

I am currently experiencing some problems with my Internet Service Provider that makes checking my mail and even updating the website rather difficult at the moment. I have been assured the problem will be dealt with promptly, but it has existed since last Friday and still hasn't been cleared up. If you are using Netcom as your dial up service provider, you will find it difficult or impossible to get to this site from anywhere on the west coast. I am told this is due to a faulty routing switcher in Santa Clarita, California and that it will be repaired soon. I ask all of you to be patient. This is still an "emerging" technology and is subject to technical problems from time to time. If you sent me an e-mail recently, this problem has put me even further behind in answering, but I will respond as soon as I can.

Posted May 5, 1998

New Link and Viewer's Comment Added

The "Links To More Information" page has been updated to include a link to the Everlasting Covenant Shroud of Turin Page, presented by Dr. Kenneth and Mary Stevenson. Ken and Mary were members of STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the cloth in 1978. Ken is the author of two books on the Shroud and the founder of the Everlasting Covenant Ministries. The site is still under construction.

The "Comments From Our Viewers" page has also been updated with a letter from viewer Larry Villani of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Larry's message provides some insights into one man's personal perspective on the Shroud and its study.

Posted May 5, 1998

Shroud Talk Scheduled in California

Mark Graham is scheduled to make a presentation about the history of the scientific discoveries on the Shroud at St. Mark's Church in Belmont, California on Monday, May 18th from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. For more information about the talk contact Mark directly at (650) 347-2190.

Posted May 5, 1998

Nice Symposium Proceedings Available

The printed Proceedings of the International Scientific Symposium On the Shroud of Turin (The 1997 Nice Symposium), held in Nice, France in May 1997, are now available directly from C.I.E.L.T., the organization that sponsored the event. For more information and details on ordering, visit the "Nice Symposium" page accessible from the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page of this website.

Posted May 5, 1998

My Recent Visitors

Isabel Piczek, Ian and Judith Wilson

I was honored recently by a visit from my dear friends Isabel Piczek, Ian Wilson and his lovely wife Judith. Ian and Judith were just finishing up a major promotional tour for Ian's current book, "The Blood and the Shroud," (available from the "Website Bookstore") and Los Angeles was their last stop before flying home. Although exhausted from weeks of traveling, they were kind enough to spend an afternoon with me here at shroud.com before getting onto a plane that evening for the long flight home to Australia. It was great to visit with them in person, since most of our contact is usually by e-mail. Isabel is my neighbor and we are fortunate to see each other often, so it was with extreme pleasure that we all sat together in the same room to discuss the events in Turin and the response worldwide. Interestingly, just a few days later Ian and I spent more time together, but this time over the telephone as we both appeared live on a radio talk show originating from Washington, D.C., he from Australia and me from California.

Posted May 5, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

This week I added four new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 117 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from New Caledonia, Paraguay, Turks and Caicos Islands and Viet Nam. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted May 5, 1998


Call-In Radio Program To Air

On Sunday, April 26, 1998, at 9:00 p.m. E.D.T./6:00 p.m. P.D.T., the second hour of the Wayne La Pierre Show will feature the Shroud of Turin. The two hour, viewer call-in program is broadcast live on the Westwood One Radio Network and actually begins an hour earlier than the times listed above. Ian Wilson, author of the current book "The Blood and the Shroud," and Barrie Schwortz, host of this website, are the scheduled guests for the full hour. The toll free call-in number is 1-800-634-3881. Check your local listings to find the specific station carrying the program in your area.

Posted April 25, 1998


A Report on the Opening of the 1998 Shroud Exhibition

I am pleased to announce that an exclusive report from Turin on the opening of the Shroud Exhibition by Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli is now available on the Shroud Exhibitions page of this website. In addition to recapping the events of the opening on April 18, 1998, it also takes you through the path pilgrims must follow to view the Shroud and includes 11 color photographs and a map of the Cathedral, Royal Palace and surrounding areas. My thanks to Emanuela for her promptly written report and to Maurizio for taking the photographs, having them processed quickly, scanning them and sending them along in such a short timeframe. Maurizio reports he got very little sleep during the 72 hours he traveled from Rome to the Exhibition in Turin and back again. Now that the article is on the website, perhaps he can catch up on his rest.

Posted April 23, 1998

Shroud Poster Now Available!

Over the last year, I have received hundreds of requests for Shroud photographs and other materials. Many of you have already purchased the "Silver Book" that I have offered for some time. I am now pleased to announce the addition of the Shroud of Turin "Silver Poster" to the "Website Bookstore" page of the site. This beautifully printed 18" x 24" poster, produced for the same exhibit that the "Silver Book" was created for in 1981, shows a lifesize image of the Shroud face in striking detail. A photo of it is included on the "Website Bookstore" page, but of course, it does not capture the detail found in the actual poster. At this time, only a limited quantity are available, although I will obtain more if there is enough interest.

A number of other photographic items are now in the planning stages and will soon be added to the "Website Bookstore" as well. These include a set of 8½" x 11" Shroud images, ventral and dorsal, positive and negative, laser printed at 600 dpi on 28 lb clay coated paper that will be available for a very modest cost. And for those organizations that have contacted me about large, life-size Shroud prints or transparencies, those too will soon be available by special order via the website. For those of you who give lectures on the Shroud or prefer 35mm transparencies for your collections, a new set of slides is also being developed and should be available shortly after the close of the Turin exhibition. And we are about to set up a secure server system on the site that will allow viewers to make credit card purchases of all the materials that are offered. Check back often for more information on these and other items.

Posted April 23, 1998

A Clarification

Several months ago I responded publicly to an anonymous letter I received by publishing that letter and my reply on the "Comments From Our Viewers" page of this website. In my somewhat emotional response, I discussed the carbon dating and then stated that "there was no other evidence to support a medieval forgery. None." That comment generated quite a bit of criticism from viewers, including Dr. Walter McCrone, the most notable proponent of the "Shroud is a painting" theory.

After reconsidering my response, I agree that I may have been painting with too broad a brush (no pun intended). In all honesty, I was quite frustrated that a viewer would voice such strong sentiments without the courtesy of signing his or her name. After all, I publish my name and address, so everyone knows who is behind the material on this website. If I hadn't been quite so frustrated, I would probably have worded my response a little differently and acknowledged that some researchers do believe the Shroud is a painting and they site substantial evidence to support their point of view. My statement clearly failed to acknowledge the work of Dr. McCrone, who spent many years in his research and has made his conclusions widely available. For the record, my comments were in no way meant as a criticism of his work. There has been a link to Dr. McCrone's website on the "Links To More Information" page of this site since March 1996 and his book has been available directly from the "Website Bookstore" since it was first released.

On the other hand, to ensure my position is clearly understood, I will go on record and state that I disagree with Dr. McCrone's conclusions. I base my opinion on the following information:

Dr. John Heller and Dr. Alan Adler performed chemical analyses of the Shroud bloodstains in 1980 and determined the presence of hemoglobin and serum albumin, both components of blood. Dr. Adler is widely acknowledged as an expert in blood chemistry and his reputation and credibility are impeccable. The results of their work was published in the following peer-reviewed journals:

Heller, J.J. and A.D. Adler, "Blood on the Shroud of Turin," Applied Optics, Vol. 19, No. 16, 1980, pp. 2742-2744.

Heller, J.J. and A.D. Adler, "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1981, pp. 81-103.
and more recently in:
Adler, Alan D., "Updating Recent Studies on the Shroud of Turin," Archaeological Chemistry, American Chemical Society Symposium Series No. 625, Chapt. 17, 1996, pp. 223-228.

Dr. McCrone performed his tests using the same sticky tape samples that Heller and Adler evaluated. These samples were lifted from the Shroud by the STURP team in 1978. Ultimately, Dr. McCrone published his work in "The Microscope," a publication he both owns and edits. Unless I am mistaken, it does not, in good conscience, qualify as a peer reviewed journal.

After 21 years of involvement in Shroud science, even though I am not a scientist myself, I have learned that evidence for any hypothesis must pass some form of peer review and be published in a recognized journal before it can be accepted as "science" by the scientific community. In no way do I mean to dispute Dr. McCrone's work, but in evaluating all of the evidence so I could make up my own mind, I chose to accept the work that had undergone the peer review process. In doing so, I could only conclude that Heller and Adler's findings were the correct ones. From my perspective, that is the way science works and the only logical conclusion I could arrive at. The weight of the evidence was my only criteria.

I had the pleasure to discuss these matters with Dr. McCrone personally by telephone just a few days ago and finally asked him the question that I had been hoping to ask him for many years: "What were his thoughts on the work of Heller and Adler?" I was totally surprised when he replied (not very scientifically) that they were either "wrong or lying." Frankly, I found the answer a very curious and disappointing one coming from such a noted scientist. I guess I had somehow expected more. In the anonymous letter that started this exchange, I was accused of "ignoring the facts" about the Shroud. I am now left wondering "who is ignoring what?"

Posted April 23, 1998

Official Video Available

The Man of Pain is the official video of the 1998 Shroud Exhibition. This new program, including scenes produced using the new Hi Definition Digital video system, is the only one authorized by the authorities in Turin. VHS versions of the program are available in Italian, English and Spanish and can be ordered directly from the Nova-T Website. Nova-T is the company that produced the program. Although available widely in Italy, this is the only way for those overseas to obtain a copy. This information has also been added to the Video section of the "Website Bookstore."

Posted April 23, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

This week I added five new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 113 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador and Uganda. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted April 23, 1998

Another Website Record and the High Price of Success

Last week I proudly reported a record breaking increase in website traffic. This week, the earlier record was literally smashed when the new statistics arrived. In the week ending April 19, 1998, over 11GB of downloads were recorded, making the Shroud of Turin Website the most visited website on its server! The daily average was just under 1.6GB and on April 18, 1998, the downloads reached 2GB! For those of you who are non-technical, that means a LOT of visitors (around 5000 per day). Again, I am overwhelmed by your response and can only say thank you.

This is something of a double-edged sword however, since I am only entitled to 4GB of bandwidth per month and am billed for the additional bandwidth on a per megabyte basis. So far this month the bandwidth totals over 19GB! It is my hope that sales of the new photographic materials will help offset the very large out-of-pocket expenses the website is now incurring. Since I operate the website personally, without the backing of any foundation or non-profit organization, I am unable (and unwilling) to solicit donations. The only other alternative is to add banner advertising to the website, which I consider inappropriate and have no intentions of doing. So I hope you will mention the site to your friends and let them know about the new materials we have available. Your help will allow the site to continue its growth and realize its goal of making available the most current Shroud information, while providing a forum for debate for both sides of the authenticity argument. And thank you for putting up with this little "commercial."

Posted April 23, 1998

Shroud Presentation Scheduled in Nebraska

John and Rebecca Jackson will give a Shroud presentation on Saturday, May 16, 1998 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 4500 Duxhall Avenue, Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information call (402) 423-1239.

Posted April 23, 1998

Live Internet Hookup?

I have received quite a number of letters asking about a live Internet video feed directly from the nave of the Cathedral in Turin. The letters were prompted by articles that appeared in a number of newspapers recently, including the Sunday New York Times. The articles stated that the feed would originate from the Archdiocese of Turin Website (accessible from the "Links To More Information" page of this site). I have checked the site and found nothing at all about this feed (on the English language pages at least). I have sent several inquiries to our friends in Italy who will try and verify if the story is true and when the feed will be activated. As soon as I get some accurate information I will put it on this page. I also wish to thank those of you who saw the articles and took the time to write to me about them.

Posted April 23, 1998

E-mail Overload!

If you sent me an e-mail recently and haven't yet received a response, please be patient. The volume of e-mail has grown in proportion to the massive increase in website visitors and I'm still answering each e-mail personally, without the use of form letters. I truly enjoy hearing from you and will continue the interaction, but I am more than a week behind at the moment. Since I answer the mail in the order it is received, expect it may take as long as two weeks for my response. Thank you for your patience.

Posted April 23, 1998


Public Exhibition Opens Tomorrow

A public Exposition of the Shroud of Turin opens tomorrow, April 18, 1998, in Turin, Italy. For only the third time this century, the cloth that many believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth will be displayed publicly. The Exposition is scheduled to run for a period of eight weeks, ending on June 14, 1998. For more information about the Exposition, including details on how to make the necessary reservations to see the Shroud, visit the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the website.

Posted April 17, 1998

A Report From Turin by Richard Orareo

I am very pleased to announce that the first of our on-the-scene reports from Turin has been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the website. This excellent article was written by Richard Orareo, owner and curator of the Boston Collection. Richard's personal dedication over the last 30 years led him to assemble the second largest collection of Shroud art, books and icons in the world. In this article, he presents us with rich descriptions of the Cathedral, the Chapel, the museums and the other sights of Turin in picturesque detail that only his seasoned eye and experience could provide. His observations provide some excellent insight on what to do and see during your visit and will help you uncover some of the other cultural pleasures of the city. A must read for everyone planning to attend the Exhibition of the Shroud, particularly those who have never been to Turin before.

This is the first of several articles from Turin planned for this website before the exhibition ends on June 14, 1998. A few days after the formal opening of the exhibition on April 18th, we plan to present an article describing the event written especially for this website by Maurizio and Emanuela Marinelli, complete with photographs. And in June, I will be in Turin to present a paper at the International Symposium being held on June 5-7 and will file my report on the Congress directly to the website. Keep watching!

Posted April 17, 1998

Professor Nicholas Allen Responds

The "Comments From Our Viewers" page recently included a letter from Remi Van Haelst discussing the 'camera obscura' theories of Professor Nicholas Allen. The page has been updated again and now includes Professor Allen's detailed response.

Posted April 17, 1998

Website Bookstore Updated

The "Website Bookstore" has been updated with a number of new books, including those by Serge Mouraviev and Antonio Lombatti. Also, several of the books listed previously now include synopses and cover scans. The response to the "Website Bookstore" has been very positive and many viewers have purchased books directly from Amazon.com. If you haven't had a look yet, click on the link above and check it out. The books listed represent a diverse range of authors, opinions and science that covers the entire spectrum of Shroud research.

Since the site first went online, I have received hundreds of viewer requests for photographic materials and reproductions of the Shroud. In the near future, the "Website Bookstore" will be expanded to include a number of Shroud photographs, slide sets and a beautiful life-sized poster of the face. Several other items are also being considered, so check the site often for updated information.

Posted April 17, 1998

The Shroud In Print and on Television

In the event you haven't seen it, the current issue of Time Magazine (April 13, 1998) includes a cover story on the Shroud. The in-depth article explores the latest science and evaluates the controversy of the enigmatic cloth.

The PBS television program, Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly, produced by WNET/13, New York, is including a feature on the Shroud of Turin in their next program. Airdates and times vary from city to city, so check for the scheduled airdate in your area by visiting WNET's Website at WNET.org. For those viewers in the Los Angeles area, KCET carries the program on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. and KLCS on Sunday evening at 11:00 p.m., with a second airing on Tuesday evening at 9:00 p.m.


Reuben Aronson's crew filming at Shroud.com

Two television documentaries about the Shroud are currently in production. One is scheduled to air this fall on the The Learning Channel (TLC) and is being produced by Reuben Aronson. The other is a BBC production produced by Helen Thomas for the Discovery Channel that will air sometime in 1999. Both had crews visit my studio recently to film segments for their programs. Dr. Alan Whanger was flown here to be filmed for the BBC production. I am including several digital photos to give you a behind the scenes look at the filming (and the home of Shroud.com).

Helen Thomas & BBC "shoot" Alan Whanger


Posted April 17, 1998

Upcoming Shroud Presentations in Richmond, VA and Washington, D.C.

The Shroud of Turin Center in Richmond, Virginia, is offering a series of presentations about the Shroud to the public. Here is the schedule:

All presentations are open to the public and are free. The images shown as part of these presentations were recently seen on local TV as part of their Good Friday coverage. For more information, contact Bryan Walsh at:

Shroud of Turin Center
Suite 37
Mary Mother of the Church Abbey
12616 River Road
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 784-3366
shroud@erols.com
Bryan Walsh
Executive Director

Posted April 17, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added three new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 108 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Ivory Coast (Cote D'Ivoire), Jordan and Kenya. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted April 17, 1998

A New Website Record

On Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998, this website experienced the largest number of visitors in a single day since the site first went online in January 1996. Many thousands of "hits" were recorded by the "Home Page" counter, but many thousands more went uncounted because viewers often bookmark other pages of the site to start from and bypass the first page. In trying to gauge the real viewership of the site, we measure the total bandwidth of all the downloads per day. For the week of April 6 through April 12, 1998, the site averaged 692 MB of downloads per day, but on Easter Sunday, the total was 1.03 GB! Pretty amazing when you consider that the entire website totals less than 17 MB and very few viewers read everything on the site! I am thrilled and humbled by your wonderful response. Thank you!

Posted April 17, 1998


The Shroud In The News

This has been a busy week for the Shroud in the media. Ian Wilson appeared on CNN's "Talk Back Live" program on Friday, April 10, 1998, Peter Jennings did a feature on the Shroud and a number of channels re-ran earlier Shroud documentaries.

Still to air are the following programs:

"Impact" on CNN airs April 12, 1998 at 10:00 p.m. E.S.T., 7:00 p.m. P.S.T. and features John and Rebecca Jackson, Ian Wilson and others. It may also air again at 10:00pm P.S.T. Check your local listings for details.

KDKA Radio (1020 AM) will broadcast a two hour program on Easter Sunday evening, between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. E.S.T. hosted by Fr. Ron Lengwin of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and featuring John Ianonne, author of the new book "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence". The program is broadcast in 39 states and Canada and will be devoted entirely to the Shroud. Check local listings for details.

EWTN will rebroadcast (for the 3rd time) a 13 part series featuring John and Rebecca Jackson. The first episode aired April 9, 1998. To find out the schedule for the remainder of the series, check the EWTN Website which lists the various time slots around the country. Episodes usually are shown on Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. E.S.T. and then repeated on Fridays at 4:30 a.m. E.S.T.
Posted April 12, 1998


The Next Website Update

The next update is scheduled for April 17, 1998. Many of you have sent me information to be included and we are trying to get everything completed by that date. Also, I have received a very large amount of e-mail in the last few days. If you sent me an e-mail recently, please be patient and you will get an answer. Thank you all for your patience.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover.

Posted April 12, 1998


"Public Eye" on CBS features Shroud Researchers

At 9:00 - 11:00 P.M. Eastern and Pacific time, Tuesday, April 7, 1998, the CBS television program "Public Eye," hosted by Bryant Gumbel, will feature the Shroud of Turin. The program includes interviews with Dr. Harry Gove, Dr. Walter McCrone, Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz (your host on this website). Two episodes are airing back to back, and it is unknown as I write this which hour will include the Shroud segment. Check your local listings to verify time and channel in your area.

While in New York this weekend for the taping of the interview, I was able to provide CBS with digital images from my photographic collection for use in the program. In the photograph below, "Public Eye's" supervising editor David Small and segment editor David Rubin are transferring my images from a CD-R into an Avid non-linear digital editing system for inclusion in the program. Digital imaging now makes broader and speedier distribution of Shroud photographs a reality without risking damage to original transparencies or negatives.

Supervising editor David Small (left) and segment editor David Rubin of "Public Eye"
Posted April 6, 1998

My Turin Address

I rarely include personal messages on this page of the website, but I have promised to let so many of you know my hotel address in Turin during the upcoming Shroud Symposium that I felt the easiest way to do it was to include it here on the site. I will be in Turin from June 1 through June 12, 1998 and staying at:

Star Hotel Majestic
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 2 54
011-56-539153
Barrie Schwortz
Posted April 6, 1998


Coming Soon...

The next major update to the website is in progress and should be on the site soon. It will include information on more upcoming television programs currently in production and many new books being released on the Shroud. Also scheduled is another scientific paper and updated information on the upcoming Shroud Exhibition. Keep watching!

Posted April 6, 1998


Additional Books Added

Several new books have been added to the "Website Bookstore" page of the site. These include titles by Emanuela Marinelli and Anna Ferrer. In addition, several of the other book listings have been updated. I have also received information about a series of new books coming from Runciman Press in Australia. As soon as details are available, I will add them to the page.

Posted March 30, 1998

New Comments Added

The "Comments From Our Viewers" page has been updated to include a recent letter from Remi Van Haelst. In it, Mr. Van Haelst discusses the 'camera obscura' theories of Professor Nicholas Allen, whose articles can be found via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" and the "Links To More Information" pages of the site. I will include Professor Allen's response once it is received.

Posted March 30, 1998


Website Bookstore "Opens" in association with Amazon.com

I am very pleased to announce that the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page has been expanded and renamed the "Website Bookstore." Now, in association with Amazon.com, one of the largest booksellers on the Internet, viewers will not only be able to read about the latest Shroud books, but also order them directly from this website. Available titles are clearly marked in the Books section of the page. Just click on the title and purchase it directly from Amazon.com. As always, other available materials are also listed on this page, along with specific ordering instructions for each.

Speaking of books, an avalanche of new Shroud titles have just been released or are about to be. The bulk of this update is about books... new books from Ian Wilson, Mary and Alan Whanger, Mark Guscin, Leoncio Garza-Valdes, Mark Antonnaci and many others. And all them are now included in the Bookstore (along with their publication dates if they are not yet released). Each Bookstore listing includes a synopsis and a color photograph of the cover where available. And Amazon.com allows you to order many new titles before they are actually released, ensuring that you will get your copy of the book as soon as it becomes available. Amazon.com provides full security for your online transactions, as well as alternate ordering methods for those who prefer not to order online. More information about Amazon.com, including links to important pages of their website, can be found on the Amazon.com Information page accessible from the Bookstore. As an added convenience, all of the book links can also be found on the "Shroud Booklist" page of the site. I believe our association with Amazon.com will make getting Shroud information via this website even easier for all of you.

Posted March 25, 1998

C-14 Debate Added

The Shroud Newsgroup, alt.turin-shroud, formed a few months ago by archaeologist Willam Meacham of Hong Kong, was host to an interesting Carbon 14 Debate recently. Rodger Sparks, a carbon dating expert from New Zealand, and Meacham, archaeologist and noted Shroud researcher, debated some of the theories that have been proposed regarding possible inaccuracies in the 1988 carbon dating results. This debate has now been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website for those of you who do not have access to newsgroups. My thanks to both researchers for their gracious permission to reprint their comments here on the website.

Posted March 25, 1998

A Message from the Centro Mexicano De Sindonologia

The following e-mail was received from Adolfo Orozco Torres, Secretary General of the Centro Mexicano De Sindonologia:

"We are very sad to inform you that our President, Dr. Enrique Rivero-Borrell Vazquez is very sick. The doctors found a bladder cancer two weeks ago. We are asking all sindonologists to ask their own God for his health. We will appreciate any prayers for him."

Our best wishes go out to Dr. Vazquez and his family, along with our deepest hopes for his speedy recovery. Anyone interested in sending their own personal wishes by e-mail may do so by putting "Dr. Enrique Rivero" in the subject line of your e-mail and sending it in care of Adolfo Orozco Torres, to the following address: adolfo@tonatiuh.igeofcu.unam.mx.

Posted March 25, 1998

The Shroud in the News and an Editorial Opinion

With the Shroud about to go on public display in Turin (April 18, 1998 through June 14, 1998), worldwide interest is being stimulated and the Shroud will be in the news again. Major media coverage is just beginning and articles are anticipated soon in many publications. Also, a number of television documentaries are either in production or are about to begin filming. These include programs being developed and produced by The Learning Channel (TLC), the BBC and the Discovery Channel and CNN. And more can be expected. Watch this website for information about upcoming programs, along with the scheduled airdates for each.

I will also take this opportunity to remind both viewers and Shroud researchers alike that the media, by its very nature, can only scratch the surface of a subject as deep as the Shroud of Turin. This in no way is meant to detract from the professional organizations and conscientious producers who make these programs. It is only to remind you of the immense task producers face when trying to pack the complex story of the Shroud of Turin into such a short timeslot. And almost always with only a few weeks allowed for research and production. The shortest lecture I ever gave on the Shroud lasted 2 1/2 hours. I couldn't imagine having to do it in 48 minutes. For comparison, developing the content of this website took 2 1/2 years! The average program is produced in just a few months and most news stories in only days or even hours. Remember, to create an unbiased program, producers are obligated to present both sides of the controversy. In so doing, the depth of the discussion is necessarily minimized. Keeping this in perspective will allow you to enjoy these programs for what they are, without expecting them to answer every question you might have. For the most part, they are provided more as entertainment than as science.

Barrie Schwortz

Posted March 25, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added two new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 105 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Aruba and Brunei. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted March 25, 1998


Main Menu Simplified and Shroud Library Page Added

I am pleased to announce that the "Main Menu" page of the website has been reduced in size and now includes only thirteen choices instead of the original twenty-four. I am even more pleased to announce that the remaining choices have been moved to a new page, "The Shroud of Turin Website Library," which has been added to the "Main Menu." If you want just the basics, the "Main Menu" choices will still take you there. But if you are looking for in-depth information, you can now choose the "Shroud Library" and access every paper, article and other in-depth resource on the site. The new "Library" page also acts as a site map, showing you every important link from every Library Resource page. It also includes links to website pages that were rather difficult to find in the past. And every paper or article that includes photographs, illustrations or animation is now clearly identified. The navigator bar that formerly appeared at the bottom of each page has also been eliminated and replaced with a simpler set of choices. I hope you find this a better way to access the ever-growing content of the site.

Posted March 6, 1998

Four New Papers Added To Website

I am pleased to add two new papers to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website that deal with the medical aspects of the Shroud image, as well as the pathology of crucifixion.

The first, by noted forensic pathologist and Shroud researcher, Dr. Robert Bucklin, is titled, The Legal and Medical Aspects of the Trial and Death of Christ. This is the second paper by Dr. Bucklin to appear on the site. In it he applies the rules of evidence to the Gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus. He compares the image on the Shroud of Turin to the written descriptions of the crucifixion and reaches some interesting conclusions. This paper originally appeared in the journal, Medicine, Science and the Law, in January 1970.

The second paper is by Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe and is titled, Pierre Barbet Revisited. Dr. Zugibe is the Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York, and has made an in-depth study of crucifixion. His book, "The Cross and the Shroud - A Medical Examiner Investigates the Crucifixion " in which he challenged the conclusions of Pierre Barbet, was first published in 1982. A revised edition was published in 1988. Although he and Dr. Bucklin agree on the authenticity issue, they disagree on the pathology of crucifixion. Dr. Zugibe makes an interesting case for his conclusions. However, a word of CAUTION is required: The subject of this paper is crucifixion and it contains graphic illustrations and photographs that may be disturbing to some. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

The third article added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page is titled The First Shroud Photo by Remi Van Haelst. The author has compiled a large number of press articles about Secondo Pia and his correspondence with Paul Vignon, Arthur Loth, Baron Manno and several others. In addition to some very interesting insights into Pia's work and the criticisms he endured, it also provides some of his technical photographic data and a chart of Shroud measurements made at various times between 1503 and 1898.

The fourth new article is titled Remembrance of the 1898 Exhibition by Fr. Luigi Fossati. It has been added to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of this website and provides more insight into the 1898 event and the impact it had on Shroud science. It also gives us a closer look at some of the first Shroud researchers and includes two photographs. These last two papers can also be accessed via the "Shroud Exhibitions" page.

Posted March 6, 1998

Shroud Exhibits and Lectures Scheduled

March will be a very busy month for those interested in the Shroud, with many exhibits and lectures being scheduled around the United States. Here are four upcoming events:

March 6 through March 10, 1998 - Champaign, Illinois

The Traveling Shroud Exhibition will be in Champaign, Illinois on these dates. It includes life size Shroud photographs and many other Shroud materials. In addition, Richard Orareo's Boston Collection will be on public display for the first time ever. This amazing collection of very rare embroideries, religious icons, engravings and other Shroud related art objects has been assembled by Richard over a period of 30 years and is one of the largest private Shroud collections in the world. On Monday, March 9, 1998, at 7:00pm, noted monumental artist and Shroud researcher Isabel Piczek will present her lecture titled, "Is the Shroud of Turin a Painting?" For more information, contact Rev. Pham at the below address:

St. Matthew Catholic Church
1303 Lincolnshire Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61821
Contact: Rev. John Peter Pham
217-359-4224

March 14, 1998 - Bakersfield, California

A seminar titled "The Wounds of Christ As Evidenced by the Shroud of Turin" will be presented by noted Shroud researchers, Dr. and Mrs. John Jackson, on Saturday, March 14, 1998, in Bakersfield, California. The Jacksons, founders of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, will present a morning and an afternoon session. Some tickets still remain available for the afternoon presentation. Topics include a general introduction and history of the Shroud, crucifixion in the Roman world, Jewish law and burial customs, the Passion of Christ as evidenced on the Shroud and much more. Admission is $10.00. For more information contact:

St. Phillip the Apostle Church
7100 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, California
805-834-7483

March 21, 1998 - Anaheim, California

The Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation is sponsoring the 1998 Conference on Faith, Family and Freedom on Saturday, March 21, 1998, in Anaheim, California. Isabel Piczek is scheduled to present her paper titled, "The Shroud of Turin and Its Meaning For You" at 2:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel, 1015 West Ball Road, the site of the conference. The event is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Prices for all sessions and luncheon are $40.00. The organization is also offering an "Early Bird Special" price of $38.00 for tickets purchased by March 9. Tickets may also be purchased for the luncheon session only for $20.00. For those who wish to attend the sessions but do not wish to join the luncheon, tickets are $20.00. Clergy and religious students are admitted free. Confirmation notices will not be mailed but tickets and name tags will be held at the door. To order tickets, make checks payable to the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation and mail to:

Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation
c/o Mrs. Richard Suess
2418 N. Fairmont
Santa Ana, California 92706

March 20 through March 26, 1998 - St. Charles, Missouri

The Shroud of Turin Photographic Exhibit, hosted by Duchesne High School and sponsored by Businessmen Serving Mary, will be open to the public starting Friday, March 20 and closing Thursday, March 26, 1998. The exhibit includes an actual size replica of the Shroud, over 100 photos, charts and the results of scientific and forensic studies. This is an unbiased, non-denominational presentation. It is located at the Duchesne High School Performing Arts Center at 2550 Elm Street, St. Charles, Missouri, and admission to the exhibit is free. On Saturday, March 21, 1998, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Dr. and Mrs. John Jackson will give a day long seminar at Duchesne High School which will include video presentations, ancient and modern Shroud history, science of the Shroud and much more. Pre-registration cost of the seminar, which includes a box lunch, is $20.00. A special rate of $15.00 is offered to clergy, teachers and students. Registration will also be held at the door from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on the day of the seminar. Tickets at the door are $25.00. To pre-register, make checks payable to "Turin Shroud Center of Colorado" and mail in time to arrive by March 16 to:

Fr. Joseph Marino, O.S.B.
St. Louis Abbey
500 S. Mason
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
or call: 434-3690 Ext. 135 (after 4:30 p.m. CST)
Posted March 6, 1998

In Our Next Update...

In recent weeks a number of new books on the Shroud have been released and many more are soon to arrive. The next update of the site will provide details on a number of these, including the latest books from Ian Wilson, Alan and Mary Whanger and Marc Guscin. Also, the next update will introduce the Shroud of Turin Website Bookstore. Soon, in conjunction with Amazon.com, one of the largest booksellers on the Internet, viewers will not only be able to read about these and other Shroud related books, but order many of them directly via this website.

The Shroud Newsgroup, alt.turin-shroud, formed a few months ago by archaeologist Willam Meacham of Hong Kong, has been host to an interesting debate about the carbon 14 dating recently. It will be reprinted here in its entirety in the next update. Much more is planned as well, so keep watching!

Posted March 6, 1998


Making Online Reservations To See The Shroud

The website of the Archdiocese of Turin, where online reservations can be made to see the Shroud during the upcoming public Exhibition, has been expanded to include five languages. Pages are now available in English, French, Spanish and German as well as the original Italian language page. I am providing a direct link to the Italian Language Reservation Page of the site. Once there, click on the appropriate flag to select the Reservation Page in the language of your choice. This should make it simpler for everyone in the international community to make and confirm their reservations online. I would like to thank website viewer John Woodman for kindly bringing this updated information to my attention.

Posted February 8, 1998


Important Update On The June 1998 Turin Congress

Richard Orareo, owner of the Boston Collection, one of the largest Shroud collections in the world, returned recently from a trip to Turin and provided us with the following information as an update on the Shroud Congress scheduled for June 1998:

"There is some rather definite news about the congress. It remains as originally scheduled: June 5,6,and 7. More than seventy papers have been proposed; naturally that many cannot be presented. The selection process is still underway. Some presenters will be given a full block of time in which to present their paper. Others will be given a very brief time in which to give only the title and the briefest summary. Still others will have their papers rejected. This decision making process is presently on-going and those who have proposed papers will not be informed of the final decision until the end of February or early March. Put the word out that WE MUST BE PATIENT! To those out there who are not presenting papers, but who wish only to attend the Congress, you must also be patient as the numbers keep growing and a larger facility is being negotiated."

Richard also included a note about the Cathedral:

"...it remains closed to the public with a steel barrier surrounding it. I am told that work within the damaged area is on-going and the Cathedral will be opened again by mid February. But the interior space will be reduced in order to allow the exposition to take place within the Cathedral before the restoration work is actually completed. The Chapel of the Holy Shroud is another story. The remaining structure has been secured with scaffolding and cranes holding it in place. But according to a United Nations report, a plan for the restoration is not yet in place. It seems that complete "restoration" as we think of it may not be possible, according to the UN."

One day after Richard provided me with this information, those researchers who had submitted formal applications to present papers at the Congress received a fax request from Professor Baima-Bollone, President of the Organizing Committee, to promptly forward their abstracts for approval.

Posted February 5, 1998

New Paper Added

The Shroud of Turin: A Parable for Modern Times? by Thaddeus J. Trenn, recently published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, has been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page. In the article, Mr. Trenn provides us with his interesting perspective on the study of the Shroud of Turin. He defines the unique position it holds for both science and religion as he searches for an even deeper meaning to its significance. Reprints of the article are also available. For ordering information, visit the new, Reprints of Papers Available section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of this site. Mr. Trenn teaches in the science and religion program at Victoria College, University of Toronto, 73 Queen's Park Crescent, Toronto, ON M5S 1K7, Canada

Posted February 5, 1998

The Debate Continues

Last year an article titled Doubts Concerning the Coins Over the Eyes, by Antonio Lombatti, appeared in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter and set off a flurry of e-mail activity around the globe. After watching the debate for a few weeks, I asked the participants if I could reprint their letters on the website, which they graciously allowed. Now, after a few months, the debate has continued. Once again, through the courtesy of all the participants, the most recent letters have been added to the end of the article. The debate continues (and the article grows).

Posted February 5, 1998

FAQ and Research Registry Pages Updated

The "Frequently Asked Questions" page of the website has been expanded to include several new responses to your questions. In this update you will learn why the Shroud is only exhibited on rare occasions and Reverend Albert "Kim" Dreisbach gives some insight as to the length of the hair men wore during the time of Christ.

Also updated is the "Research Registry" page, the website's bulletin board for researchers looking for needed resources and materials. Several new items have been added and a number of items have been "found." Take a look as you may be able to contribute or become a participant. The page also includes instructions for submitting items.

Posted February 5, 1998

New Paper Added and Updated Edition Available

Radiocarbon Dating The Shroud of Turin by noted Shroud researcher Remi Van Haelst, has just been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of this website. First published after the release of the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud in 1988, it was one of the first papers to scientifically refute the claimed 95% confidence for the mediaeval age of the cloth. I should point out that this is a very technical paper and may be somewhat difficult for some viewers to understand. Remi also informs me that a newly updated edition of this paper will soon be available. For a detailed description and ordering information, visit the new, Reprints of Papers Available section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of this site.

Posted February 5, 1998

Press Release From The Turin Shroud Center of Colorado

Dr. John P. Jackson and Rebecca S. Jackson, Director and Associate Director of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, spent one week in Cuba on the occasion of Pope John Paul II's visit to the island. The Jacksons traveled to Cuba as part of one of six authorized pilgrimages to the island, and, during their stay gave two seminars on the Shroud, one at the Sister Servants of Mary Convent in downtown Havana and the other in a church in the town of Bejucal, an hour's drive from the capital. After their seminar at the church in Bejucal, the Jacksons presented a large negative photograph of the Shroud by Barrie Schwortz as a gift to the Cuban people.

In addition to the official talks, the Jacksons, toting two laminated portable photographs of the Shroud, brought the Shroud image to the everyday Cuban people in the parks, highways and biways of Havana. The Cuban enthusiasm was immense. "I have never seen anything like this before," said the tour's guide, a student at Havana University. "I want to know more."

Also, a series of videotapes featuring the Jacksons is now available from the Center. See the Videos section of the "Website Bookstore" page for a detailed description and ordering information.

Posted February 5, 1998

Our List Of Visitors Grows Again

I have added three new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 103 countries. Our most recent additions are first visits from Armenia, Fiji and Zambia. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted February 5, 1998


El Niño and the Internet

On Tuesday, February 3, 1998, severe storms, driven by El Niño, struck the coast of California. Intense rain, floods, mudslides and high winds caused severe damage and power outages throughout the state. And one of those power outages shut down this website's server, causing the website and e-mail servers to go "down" for over six hours. If any of you experienced difficulties or got error messages while trying to log on, my apologies. As we sit at our keyboards and "surf" the net, we tend to take this wonderful technology that brings us together for granted. They say we don't realize how important something is until it's taken away. For six hours today, El Niño served to remind me.

Posted February 3, 1998


In Memoriam

J. Ronald London
1934-1998

J. Ronald London during the 1978 testing
© 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz

J. Ron London, 63, one of the original members of STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978, died on Saturday, January 17, 1998, in Española, New Mexico. Ron worked at group GMX-1 at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1956 until his retirement in October 1991. He was buried in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Wednesday, January 22, 1998.

To those of us lucky to know him, he will be remembered for his tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and his "can-do" attitude. I spoke with him on the telephone last year and we laughed and reminisced about those amazing days we spent together in Turin so long ago. Although I hadn't seen him in many years, I feel that I have lost a very dear friend. Ray Rogers, another STURP team member who worked closely with Ron over the years, wrote a touching letter that was published in the Los Alamos Monitor newspaper. With Ray's permission, I am reprinting it here.

We have lost another "good one," J. Ronald London. Ron's obituary does not tell even a fraction of the story. In a world filled with talkers and "upper management," all progress depends on persons who can actually *do* something. Ron was such a person. While some put diplomas on the wall and settle back to await recognition, Ron *did* things.

I first really got to know Ron when the Shroud of Turin Research Project was being organized. He helped plan it, and he helped make the x-ray fluorescence project productive under difficult circumstances. He had a perfectly practical approach to everything, and he never put out a press release. He didn't try to reap rewards by publishing a book, as so many of the members did. And while working, he would surround himself with hilarity. He could see humor in almost anything, and he did not need to know the language to make fast friends (deadbeats need not apply).

I also worked with him in the intelligence community, where his innovative approach to problem solving really paid off. He absorbed facts from everywhere, and he used logic to solve problems. He really applied Scientific Method in situations where failure was highly visible. Working with him was like a cross between Hee Haw and a scientific symposium.

Ron became one of the Los Alamos personnel who was sought after to study archaeological samples from around the world. If somebody wanted help, Ron was there --- working. The world somehow seems more empty without him.

R. N. Rogers
Los Alamos, NM
Posted January 24, 1998


Website Celebrates 2nd Anniversary!

Today, January 21, 1998, marks the 2nd anniversary of the Shroud of Turin Website. It is hard to believe that two full years have passed since I first clicked the "send" key and put this website online. I never expected that the simple website I designed to share some of my Shroud photographs would grow into the huge resource it has become today. At times, I feel truly overwhelmed by your response. To the hundreds of participants who have contributed their scientific papers, articles, booklists, histories and sound advice, I can only say thank you. YOU are the real heroes of this website. I am very proud to be part of such a wonderful "family." And to the thousands of visitors who have read every word and then patiently waited for the next update, I extend my sincere gratitude for your patronage. It is your support that drives this effort. Your words of encouragement, your kind compliments and your generous blessings are appreciated more than you will ever know.

This year, with the Shroud Exhibition scheduled in Turin, the website will grow at an even faster pace. I hope all of you will come along as we continue to explore this unusual cloth and its truly unique image.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted January 21, 1998

Update Navigator

The scope of this update is so broad and includes so many pages that I am including this Update Table of Contents Navigator to make sure you don't miss any of the new items. Just click on the link to take you to that article. You can also scroll through the page in the usual manner.

JANUARY 21ST UPDATE TABLE OF CONTENTS
Posted January 21, 1998

Two Papers Added to Nice Conference Page

Two additional papers have been added to the Nice Symposium section of the "Shroud Conferences and Symposia" page, bringing the total number of papers available from the May 1997 event to eight. The first is titled The Sudarium of Oviedo by Mark Guscin. This paper discusses in detail the sudarium, a bloodstained cloth from Oviedo, Spain that some believe is the "face cloth" that wrapped the head of Jesus in the tomb. Mark is a member of the British Society for the Turin Shroud, as well as a member of the Centro España de Sindonología, the organization directly responsible for research on the sudarium. This fascinating paper describes the sudarium in detail and explains its relationship to the Shroud of Turin. It includes five color photographs.

The second paper added to this page is titled The Red Stains on the Lier and Other Shroud Copies and was written by Remi Van Haelst. Remi is a researcher from Belgium and a member of CIELT, the French organization that sponsored the symposium. His paper discusses many of the known Shroud replicas and copies and compares them to the original. He also discusses the four sets of "L shaped" burn holes in the Shroud that probably predate the 1532 fire. The article includes four detailed color photographic closeups of the burn holes as well as a transmitted light image of the Shroud. Since Remi used several of my photographs for his research, I have taken the liberty of annotating certain portions of the text and adding a graphic to the article for further clarity. Both of these papers are also available via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website.

Posted January 21, 1998

Flowers On The Shroud Article Added

A recent article titled, Pressed Flowers: Where Did the Shroud of Turin Originate? A Botanical Quest by Avinoam Danin has been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the site. This article was originally published in the November/December issue of "Eretz," the Geographic Magazine of Israel and created quite a stir when it first appeared. In it, the author claims that he analyzed impressions of flowers on the cloth and determined that the relic originated in Israel. Professor Danin is a botanist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is considered an expert on the flowers of Israel. He was first introduced to Shroud research by Alan Whanger, whose photographs accompany the article. I am pleased to reprint this article on the website and want to thank "Eretz" for their generous permission to do so.

Posted January 21, 1998

Dorsal Images Added (Finally)

The "Examine the Shroud of Turin" page has been expanded to include full color and black & white Dorsal images of the Shroud. At this point in time they are provided for reference only and do not allow you to examine detailed closeup views, although I hope to add that feature sometime in the future. Many of you have written and asked where the Dorsal images could be found on the website, so I am pleased to provide them on the occasion of our 2nd anniversary update.

Posted January 21, 1998

More 1998 Shroud Tours Available

The "Tours to Turin in 1998" section of the "Shroud Exhibitions" page has been updated to include a number of new tour providers, as well as added information on existing tours. Many of the listings include links to e-mail or website addresses, making it fast and easy to reach the providers directly and get more information on the tours they offer. Several companies have informed me that their tours are filling up rapidly, so check with them promptly if you are interested.

Posted January 21, 1998

New Book Available

The "New Books Available" section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page has been updated to include "Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud", the new book by Gilbert R. Lavoie, M.D. Dr. Lavoie is a noted Shroud researcher who has studied the cloth for over 20 years. The listing contains a detailed description of the book and its accompanying video and includes a toll-free number and a direct e-mail link for ordering or requesting more information. The title has also been added to the "Shroud Booklist" page of the site.

Posted January 21, 1998

Research Registry Updated

The "Research Registry" page of the site has been updated to include several new listings. Among these are a request from Dr. Serge Mouraviev, who recently had a paper published in "Applied Optics" outlining his new hypothesis on the image formation of the Shroud. Also included is a request for several books and articles from Diana Fulbright of the Shroud of Turin Research Center in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A. You will also see several requests marked "found." I am very pleased to report that the "Research Registry" page is really working to help unite Shroud researchers with the resources they are looking for. A special note of thanks to Richard Orareo, owner of the Boston Collection (2nd largest Shroud collection in the world) for responding to a request on the page and making available a copy of the item D.M. Proctor has been searching for for years.

Posted January 21, 1998

New Links To More Information

Many new links have been added to the "Links To More Information" page of the site. New links are clearly marked on the page and include:

Posted January 21, 1998

CSST Publishes First Newsletter

The "Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin," founded by noted Shroud researchers Mary and Alan Whanger three years ago, has recently published the first volume of the CSST News. This newsletter is available directly from CSST and discusses the latest research by the organization. CSST holds the Max Frei Collection of sticky tape samples taken from the Shroud in 1978 and are planning extensive microscopy work on them in the near future. Information about subscribing to the newsletter or joining the organization can be found in the "Shroud Newsletters & Periodicals - English" section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of the website.

Posted January 21, 1998

Shroud Television Series to Air

A 13 part television series on the Shroud of Turin, jointly produced by Fr. Harold Cohen of Closer Walk Ministries and WLAE-TV of New Orleans, began airing again on January 8, 1998. Featuring Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, the series originally aired at the end of 1997. The thirteen 1/2 hour episodes will be shown on EWTN for 13 consecutive weeks. The airtime is Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, with a repeat broadcast early Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. Audio and video tapes of the series are available by writing to:

Closer Walk
P.O. Box 50860
New Orleans, LA 70150 U.S.A.

Posted January 21, 1998

New Journals From Italy Available

The "Shroud Newsletters & Periodicals - Italian and English" sections of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page have been updated to include a listing for "Approfondimento Sindone," a new journal published in both Italian and English and available by mail. The first issue, released in September 1997, included four articles in English and one in Italian and featured such authors as Robert Hedges of the Oxford Laboratories, Walter McCrone of the McCrone Research Institute and Dorothy Crispino, former editor and publisher of the journal Shroud Spectrum International. The listings also include price and ordering information. The journal is scheduled to be published twice each year with the next issue due out in March/April 1998.

Another new journal from Italy has also been added to the "Shroud Newsletters & Periodicals - Italian section of the "Obtain..." page. Titled "Il Telo: Italian Journal of Sindonolgy," this Italian language journal is directed by Dr. Stefano Cicchetti and edited by Alberto Di Giglio. It is a large format, professionally produced, full-color publication with high quality photographic reproductions and a magazine style layout. The listing includes postal mailing addresses, phone and fax numbers and an e-mail address so you can easily get more information directly from the principals.

Posted January 21, 1998

100,000 Visitors from 100 Countries!

On January 4, 1998 the counter on the website hit 100,000 visitors. I was wondering who the landmark visitor might be when an e-mail arrived from Maurizio Marinelli telling me he had just logged on and become the first "six digit" visitor to the site. Congratulations Maurizio! Too bad we weren't giving away any prizes, eh?

I have also added two new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 100 countries (just in time for our anniversary). Our most recent additions are first visits from the Cook Islands and Botswana. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and support.

Posted January 21, 1998

Viewer's Comments Spark Response

A recent e-mail to the website reminded me again that inaccurate information still abounds when the subject turns to the Shroud of Turin. In an effort to keep the facts straight and provide viewers of this website with accurate information about the Shroud, I decided to include the letter and my response on the "Comments From Our Viewers" page and share it with everyone. It is the first letter at the top of the page.

Posted January 21, 1998

A Public Apology

In the most recent issue (#46) of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter (which can be found on this website on the "British Society for the Turin Shroud" page) Mark Guscin wrote an article about the May 1997 Nice Symposium. In the article he gave his impressions of the various speakers at the event, including the presentation of Dr. John Jackson, co-founder of STURP. Mark asked me to include the following message to help clarify some of his statements:

"Since this short comment was published, I have realised that, taken out of context, it could be construed as a criticism. This was by no means my intention. Nice was the first time I heard Dr. Jackson "live" and I was expecting to be impressed with an earth shattering paper, and when he spoke I didn't understand a word (much less the equations)! Hence my disappointment. I would like to publicly apologise to Dr. Jackson for not explaining myself better in this short report."

Mark Guscin, B.A., M. Phil.

Posted January 21, 1998

Gallery

Of the many friends that have contributed to the growth of this website, there are very few that can equal the contributions of Maurizio and Emanuela Marinelli. Over the last two years, thanks to the wonderful technologies of e-mail and the Internet, we have become great friends. The most amazing part of our friendship is that we have never met. Only recently did I receive their photograph and immediately decided I should share it with you. Brother and sister, they are both noted Shroud researchers and members of the Collegamento pro Sindone in Rome. It is my pleasure to introduce them to you here.

Maurizio and Emanuela Marinelli

As regular visitors to the website know, I recently hired an assistant webmaster to help me maintain this fast growing site. It is my pleasure to formally introduce him to you here. He is Paul Melograno. With over 14 years of computer programming experience, I considered myself fortunate in finding him. But his experience didn't stop there. His background as a Biology researcher is an added bonus to his participation on this website. In upcoming weeks you will see a number of scientific papers added to the site that could not have been completed without his scientific and problem-solving expertise. And you already are enjoying a number of items that he completed in his first few weeks on the job: all of the scientific papers added to the site since January 1 were programmed by Paul. He will now be responsible for all of the future scientific papers submitted to the website in addition to assisting me in other areas of site design and maintenance. I am very pleased to have him as part of the team!

Paul Melograno
Posted January 21, 1998

Coming in Future Updates

This website is about to experience some serious growth: more articles by Dr. Robert Bucklin, Remi Van Haelst, Fr. Luigi Fossati and others, a look at the latest news from Italy and a redesigned "Main Menu" page with a new "Shroud Library" section. Also, watch for major updates on the "Shroud of Turin CD-ROM" page in the next few weeks. There are also plans to add an internal search engine to the website and we may even test some streaming video and audio. 1998 will be a banner year for the Shroud and the website.

Posted January 21, 1998

One Last Thought...

At our last meeting, Paul Melograno, our new Assistant Webmaster, pulled a photocopy out of his briefcase and handed it to me. It was obviously copied from the pages of a major tabloid and its headline read, "Shroud of Turin Mystery Finally SOLVED!" In all fairness to Paul, who is new to the world of the Shroud, it was a thoughtful and conscientous thing to do. What Paul didn't realize was that it was a vivid reminder of the original reason I started this website: to make high quality factual material readily available to everyone, so that intelligent people could make up their own minds about the Shroud of Turin. I must admit however, that I would also take great pleasure in making it more difficult for the tabloids to perpetuate such Shroud "nonsense." And only the facts will do that. Paul probably wondered why I smiled when he handed me the article. It was with the sincere hope that, perhaps, some day, the general public won't have to do their Shroud research at the grocery store check-out counter! Thank you all and keep watching! :-)

Posted January 21, 1998


New Usenet Newsgroup alt.turin-shroud

In November 1997, noted Shroud researcher William Meacham of Hong Kong created the Usenet Newsgroup alt.turin-shroud. Here is the official announcement as received on November 11, 1997:

Dear Friends,

Recently, I came across frequent discussion of the Shroud in existing newsgroups (especially in soc.history.medieval) and noted how widespread are misconceptions and misinformation about it among educated people. It seemed to me that a new newsgoup would serve two purposes: a vehicle for Shroud researchers to discuss current events and new research in public, and an open forum where anyone interested can pose a question or an argument. I set this up in alt.* because the procedures are relatively simpler than in the other major groups. The charter is given below:

"This newsgroup is created to provide an open internet forum for discussion of all aspects of the Turin Shroud -- scientific, art historical, historical, religious, conservation-related, etc. It is unmoderated, but advertising, binaries and off-topic posts are not welcome, in line with Usenet practice. Single brief announcements of events or services related to the Shroud, for example new organizations, books, websites, lectures, tours, and activities, will however be acceptable."

Please help to make this newsgroup a success. There are two important things you can do to help:

1. If your internet service provider does not have alt.turin-shroud on its list of newsgroups by now, please request that they add it. (The "newgroup control message" was sent out on Nov. 6/7, and there will be "booster messages" every two weeks.) There are thousands of Usenet newsgroups, and servers will usually add one to their feed if requested by a customer.

2. Post a note to the newsgroup about your latest research, or a comment on some current event (e.g. Madame Siliato's claims), or ANYTHING else relevant to the Shroud.

The propagation of new newsgroups is something of a chicken-and-egg situation, sometimes Catch-22! If it does not propagate well among the main servers, it attracts fewer posts, which discourages the main servers from carrying it, etc.

To keep up with the flow of posts in alt.turin-shroud, you need to find out how long your server retains posts to the newsgroups; the norm is usually 1-2 weeks. My server for example only keeps posts for 6 days, so I try to look in on the newsgroups I am interested in at least once a week. If your news reader (eg News Xpress) has a "reload old posts" function, you can still view old ones by invoking reload. If not, posts for all newsgroups are archived at www.dejanews.com for a few months and can be read at that site.

Hope to see you in alt.turin-shroud!!!

William Meacham

I urge all of you to look in on alt.turin-shroud and become a participant. If you are unsure of how to access newsgroups, check with your Internet service provider. This information is often posted on their website. If you can't find it, contact the service provider directly.

I'd also like to personally thank Bill for his efforts and congratulate him for creating another great place for Shroud discussion and information.

Posted January 7, 1998

A CD-ROM by Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli

Sindone Viva (The Living Shroud) is the title of the new Italian Language CD-ROM produced by noted Collegamento pro Sindone members, Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli and edited by San Paolo Multimedia. You can find an article that describes the CD-ROM in detail and includes a photograph of the package and ordering information on the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of this website. It can also be found in the new CD-Roms Available section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page.

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the CD-ROM recently. It is a beautifully produced, thoroughly researched work that includes hundreds of photographs, video clips and audio and allows the viewer to "navigate and explore the mystery of the Shroud." It also provides a fair point of view of both sides of the authenticity argument.

Posted January 7, 1998

Conservation Papers Added

Proposals for The Shroud of Turin Preservation and Exhibition by Maurizio and Emanuela Marinelli has been added to both the "Collegamento pro Sindone" and "Shroud Conservation" pages of the site. The article, which appears in the January/February 1998 issue of the Collegamento's bi-monthly journal, includes several proposals for Shroud preservation and exhibition. These proposals have already been sent to the Archbishop of Turin and to the members of the Commission of the Exhibition and suggest ideas that could be incorporated in the new display case being designed to replace the one destroyed by the April 1997 Cathedral fire. The article also includes ten photographs of the prototype built by the Marinelli's.

Scientific Issues and Shroud Research in the 1990's by Larry A. Schwalbe has also been added to the "Shroud Conservation" page of this website. Written in 1990, it provides the author's perspective on the future of Shroud research. Larry Schwalbe was an original member of STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978 and has published many papers on the subject. This paper originally appeared in "Shroud Spectrum International" and I thank Dorothy Crispino, publisher and editor, for permission to reprint it here. The article can also be accessed via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" and "Shroud Spectrum International" pages.

Posted January 7, 1998


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