1997 Website News


These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 1997. Each article carries the posting date indicating when it was first uploaded. You should find this an interesting look at the events in 1997 that helped shape the evolution of this website.


Sixth Nice Symposium Paper Added

An Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud by Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D. has been added to the 1997 Nice Symposium section of the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page. The author, a reknown forensic pathologist and medical examiner, is currently Deputy Coronor of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has been a Shroud researcher for over 45 years. With his vast experience, he provides a clear and expert medical interpretation of the man depicted on the cloth. In 1978, Dr. Bucklin was a member of STURP, the team that performed the first ever in-depth examination of the Shroud. I am very proud to include his important work on this website and thank him for giving me permission to make it available to Internet viewers. This is the first of a number of his scientific papers that will soon be included on this site. The article is also accessible via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page.

Posted December 29, 1997

Latest Issue of BSTS Newsletter Added

The November/December 1997 Issue (#46) of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter has now been added to the British Society for the Turin Shroud page of the website. This issue includes a report on the May 1997 Nice Symposium by Mark Guscin, an article titled, "The Formation of the Shroud's Body Image" by Kitty Little, MA, B.Sc., D.Phil., a retired nuclear physicist from the U.K.'s Atomic Energy Research Establishment, reviews of several new books including "Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud" by Walter McCrone and much more. As always, this latest issue of the Newsletter is filled with excellent articles, reviews and Shroud news from around the world.

Posted December 29, 1997

Shroud Booklist Updated

The "Shroud Booklist" has been updated again thanks to Maurizio Marinelli of the "Collegamento pro Sindone" who provided an additional seventeen titles for the list. You can expect this list to continue to grow as various Shroud collections around the world make their booklists available. (See the article below titled, "Unique Shroud Meeting Held In Texas" for more information).

Posted December 29, 1997

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 98 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent additions are first visits from Bulgaria, French Guiana and Oman. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted December 29, 1997

A Christmas Letter from Dr. Garza-Valdes and an Update on his Work

The following letter was received from Dr. Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes:

Dear Friends,

Christmas is a time of reconciliation.

On May 18, 1993, I had the opportunity to cut a thread from a segment originally cut from the Shroud of Turin on April 21, 1988, by Prof. Giovanni Riggi di Numana. The sensation that I had was of cutting several plastic wires. I had been working with ancient artifacts from different cultures, whose patina was formed by plastic deposited by bacteria.

Some bacteria produce the plastic (reserve polymer) under special conditions, like a decrease in nutrients or a decrease in oxygen. These plastics have received as a group the name of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). The most common of the bacteria-produced plastics are polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and polyhydroxyvalerate (PHV). These have been industrialized with the name of BIOPOL.

Thje Shroud of Turin is a naturally plasticized textile. The plastic has been produced by bacteria that have been named Leobacillus rubrus (genus nova and species nova). These bacteria grow in Microaerophilic conditions using the CO2 from the air as a carbon source and they oxidize manganese and iron. The Leobacillus belong to the the group known as "Purple Non-Sulfur Bacteria" and recently classified as "alpha-Proteobacteria."

The plastic produced by the Leobacillus rubrus, is a medium chain length Polyhydroxyalkanoate (mcl-PHA). I have found a similar mcl-PHD (Polyhydroxydecanoate) on other ancient artifacts.

The scientists that carried out the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988, were not aware of the presence of this unsuspected contaminant (natural plastic coating). While studying Histological thin sections from the Shroud fibers it was found that more than 60% of the fibers' area is bioplastic.

I will always be grateful to Dr. Luigi Gonella and Prof. Giovanni Riggi di Numana who had confidence in my research and allowed me to do this study.

If the Shroud of Turin is the Burial Cloth of Jesus of Nazareth and "till this moment I have not found any reason why it can not be," it is the most sacred object that we have on this planet. Please let us forget any differences and help in the recognition of this important relic.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Dr. Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes
________________________

An Update on Dr. Garza-Valdes' Research

After receiving this letter, I spoke with Dr. Garza-Valdes by telephone and asked him to discuss his current research with me in more detail. My first question was if he could confirm his rumored collaboration with Dr. Harry Gove, the inventor of the AMS radiocarbon dating process used by the three laboratories that performed the carbon dating of the Shroud in 1988. It should be noted that in his recent book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax? Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Dr. Gove adamantly supported the methods and conclusions of the three laboratories. In his discussion of the reasons proposed by critics for inaccuracies in carbon dating the Shroud, Gove dismissed most as "highly improbable to ludicrous." However, when discussing the theory of Dr. Garza-Valdes, Gove stated that "this one alone, at least so far, merits further detailed investigation" and "should be taken seriously" (p.308).

Garza-Valdes confirmed his collaboration with Dr. Gove and explained that they were currently examining three Egyptian mummies: an ibis bird, a cat and a human mummy known as "#1770" (from the Manchester Museum in England). He said that all three were found to have this bioplastic coating in their wrappings. Notably, when the ibis mummy was carbon dated, there was an average difference of 550 years between the age of the wrappings and the body they wrapped.

I next inquired if the bioplastic coating had been removed from the ibis wrappings and the linen re-dated and was told, "that is exactly what we're trying to do at this moment, but it's not that easy."

Apparently, the coating is impervious to most solvents and cannot easily be separated from the fibers. However, now that the structure of the plastic itself is known, certain enzymes that dissolve such plastics can be tested in an attempt to remove the coating. Also, according to Dr. Garza-Valdes, there is a chemical technique that could dissolve the coating that is also being evaluated.

He added that two approaches are being developed simultaneously, one to dissolve the bioplastic coating itself, and the other to dissolve the cellulose from the flax fibers and carbon date only the glucose produced by hydrolysis of the cellulose. In other words, if the coating cannot be removed, then the material within the coating might be extracted. In either case, he stated that it will take several months of preparation before the testing can begin.

The collaboration includes the University of Texas Health Science Center and Department of Microbiology in addition to Dr. Gove, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Rochester.

I feel obligated to add that this information pertains to work that is still in progress and cannot be considered definitive until the experiments are completed and the results published in a refereed scientific journal. I appreciate Dr. Garza-Valdes' willingness to discuss his work with me at this stage and thank him for allowing me to share it with you on the website. For more information on this fascinating area of Shroud research, you will find a copy of Dr. Garza-Valdes' Abstract on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page, an article about his work on the "Links To More Information" page and details about Dr. Gove's book in the "New Books Available" section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page. Dr. Garza-Valdes has also agreed to send me several photomicrographs of the fibers with the bioplastic coating for inclusion on the website. I will add them as soon as they are received.

Posted December 25, 1997

Reservations Needed to Visit the Shroud in 1998

Reservations are required for everyone planning to visit the Shroud of Turin during the upcoming public exhibition (April 18, 1998 to June 14, 1998). There are several ways that you may book your reservations. Depending on which country you reside in, you may dial either a toll-free or a long-distance (toll charge) telephone number. The operators are able to take reservations in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish. You may also make your reservations via the Internet, but the Reservation Website is currently available only in Italian. I am told that it will soon be available in other languages, and will provide the addresses as soon as I know them. The reservations themselves are completely free of charge, as is the reservation service.

When you book your reservations you will be given a code number and tickets will be mailed to you with which you will gain entrance to view the Shroud, hopefully without a long wait. Individuals or groups without tickets may still be able to view the Shroud, possibly using some form of locally purchased "instant ticket," but this is not advisable and will probably result in having to wait in a very long line. The telephone lines are open daily from 9:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 18:00, local Turin time. Here are the telephone numbers:

To make reservations on the Internet, use the following website address: http://www.sindone.regione.piemonte.it. Remember, the page is only available in Italian at this time. Also provided is a chart indicating the total number of reservations available for each day of the exposition along with the number of reservations already booked on that date. For additional information on the upcoming Shroud Exposition, visit the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of this website.

Posted December 25, 1997

A Holiday Message From Your Host

It has been two months since this website was last updated. That is the longest period of inactivity since the site first went online on January 21, 1996. As I sit here writing this early on the morning of December 25th, I am trying to decide if I should blame the delay on El Nino, or my landlord's decision to put a new roof on my studio in the middle of our recent severe storms, or the "Shroud of Turin CD-ROM" which we are working on feverishly. I might also blame the two mass mailings I sent out recently that generated over 400 e-mail responses. But that would be missing the point, since the real reason for the delay is your warm and generous response to this website and the phenomenal growth and consequent backlog we have encountered in the last six months. So many of you have become participants in this website that I have been unable to keep up with the materials being submitted to me from around the world.

To alleviate the problem, I have just hired an assistant webmaster who will help get the backlog off of my desk and onto the Internet, where it belongs. Over the next few weeks, this site will really grow! To those of you who submitted materials for publication and then waited months for them to appear on the website, my sincere apologies for the delay and my grateful thanks for your patience. Your wait is almost over. And for those of you just waiting for the latest Shroud information, your patience too will soon be rewarded.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you again and wish all of you and yours a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year. Without question, 1998 will be a truly exciting year in the history of the Shroud of Turin.

Warmest regards,
Barrie Schwortz

Posted December 25, 1997

Unique Shroud Meeting Held In Texas

(l to r) Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Ian Wilson, Judith Wilson, Patti Bucklin, Dr. Robert Bucklin,
Isabel Piczek, Fr. Fred Brinkmann, Barrie Schwortz, Michael Minor, Carmelita Peoples, Richard Orareo
Jo Pierce and Clair Willeman (not shown)

On September 13th and 14th, 1997, I had the pleasure of attending an informal gathering of Shroud researchers at the home of STURP attorney Michael Minor in Kaufman, Texas. Those present at the meeting included Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach (founder of the Atlanta International Center for Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin (AICCSST)), Ian and Judith Wilson (noted Shroud author and historian), Dr. Robert and Patti Bucklin (Forensic Pathologist and STURP team member), Isabel Piczek (noted monumental artist and physicist), Fr. Frederick Brinkmann (President-pro-tem, Holy Shroud Guild), Richard Orareo (Shroud researcher and owner of the Boston Shroud Collection), Carmelita Peoples and Jo Pierce (our hostesses during the weekend) and Clair Willeman (meeting coordinator).

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 are soon to become the new archiving standards of 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 catalogue. This would be created by integrating an inventory of each collection into a single alphabetical list. The participants unanimously agreed to add to this "pooled resource" a list of the materials that each holds, with hopes that others around the world would be encouraged to join and provide a listing of their materials as well. This master catalogue would then be made available to everyone via the Internet and other collections could easily be added in the future.

The catalogue would only be the first step towards the ultimate goal of archiving all of the rarest materials in their entirety and creating a comprehensive digital library for eventual distribution on multiple CD-Roms or DVDs (Digital Video Disks). Then, even the oldest book about the Shroud (published in 1581) would be available for everyone to read (only a handful of copies are known to exist in the world). Of course, this is a long term undertaking that would take place over a considerable period of time.

It should be noted that Fr. Brinkmann is the custodian of the Weuenchel Collection, owned by the Holy Shroud Guild, which contains over 900 books and hundreds of periodicals, letters and private correspondence. It is the largest Shroud collection in the United States. Richard Orareo is a long time student of the Shroud and has built his Boston Collection of more than 600 books and other materials over the past 30 years. Neither of these important collections has ever been available to the public.

Probably the best part of the meeting from my point of view, was the spirit of openness and cooperation that pervaded this group. No one was to be excluded. Everyone would be invited to participate. This was not the "typical" Shroud meeting I was used to! The participants were not representing any particular group or affiliation and each was there solely as an interested individual. Frankly, it reminded me of the early days of STURP, the group I was part of that performed the 1978 scientific examination of the Shroud. There had been a feeling of "family" in those early days that was lost in later years, as personal interests and egos prevailed. By the end of the weekend, I felt I had been privileged to particpate in a very special and unique event. An event that could lead to a new era in Shroud study. An era where cooperation and sharing of information was the rule rather than the exception and where the study of this fascinating relic could go forward in an open and intelligent manner. An era of equal and open access to everything we already know about the Shroud of Turin... a wonderful goal as we approach the 21st century.

I urge everyone around the world with Shroud resources to become a participant in this archiving project by contacting Michael Minor at the address below. Remember, it can't happen without you!

Michael Minor
P.O. Drawer 878
104 West Grove Street
Kaufman, Texas 75142
Fax: 972-932-7742

Posted October 28, 1997

Collegamento pro Sindone Website Goes Online

I am pleased to announce the opening of the new Collegamento pro Sindone Home Page. Presented in Italian and English, this beautiful website includes many photographs of the Cathedral and Chapel, a map of geographical areas related to the Shroud, an illustrated Shroud history, an annotated photographic map of the Shroud, links to other Shroud websites and much more. Created by my friend and colleague, Maurizio Marinelli, it promises to grow very rapidly into a substantial website, with the able assistance of fellow Collegamento members Ilona Farkas and Emanuela Marinelli, both noted Shroud researchers and authors. Over the past two years, the Collegamento has made major contributions to this website by providing English translations of articles and much of the "Shroud Booklist". Now, I am pleased to extend a hearty "welcome to the Internet" to my good friends in Rome and wish them great success on their own site.. Links to the new site have also been added to the "Links To More Information" and the "Collegamento pro Sindone" pages of this website.

Posted October 28, 1997

1998 Tour Information Expanded

Another professional travel organization offering organized tours to Italy for the 1998 Shroud Exhibition has been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the site. Free listings are available to any professional organization planning such tours. See the page itself for details on submitting a listing and to get more information about the 1998 Shroud Exhibition.

Posted October 28, 1997

Visitors Gallery

From time to time, my rather tedius and extensive work schedule is interrupted by contact from the "outside world" and I actually have visitors come to my studio. This is far more satisfying than the three one-eyed computers that usually keep me company! Although I correspond with hundreds of people every month, my contact with most of them is totally electronic so I am thrilled when I get an opportunity to actually meet some of them "in the flesh".


Isabel Piczek and Russ Breault

In recent months I was privileged to have this happen twice. In early August I was visited by Russ Breault, a noted Shroud lecturer and a Vice-President of The Family Channel (an American cable network). Russ and I had spoken on the telephone but had never met, when business brought him to Los Angeles and he paid me a visit. Joining us was my dear friend Isabel Piczek, the noted artist and Shroud researcher, who happens to live about five minutes from my studio. Russ and I discussed ways we might combine our respective mediums to broaden public awareness and knowledge of the Shroud. Needless to say, he didn't leave until very late that night!


William Meacham, Isabel Piczek, Barrie Schwortz

Several weeks later, I was very pleased to finally meet William Meacham, whose two excellent Shroud papers appear on the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of this website. Meeting Bill, who lives and works in Hong Kong, is a perfect example of the power the Internet has to bring people together over long distances. After a year or more of e-mail correspondence, we finally met in person when he visited his home here in the U.S.

I feel very privileged to have such honored guests and wanted to share their visits with you, the viewers of this website. It also gives me another opportunity to thank you all for your continued participation and support.

Posted October 28, 1997

In The Next Few Updates...

Two scientific papers originally presented in May at the Nice Symposium are currently being prepared for the next update of this site. That will bring the number of papers on this website from that important Shroud meeting to seven. I also have another six or seven scientific papers from other researchers waiting in the wings. Also coming is information on a newly released Shroud CD-Rom, additional books for the "Shroud Booklist" page, an update from Italy on the 1998 Exhibition, updates to the "Research Registry" page and much more. As you can see, there is much on the horizon. So much, in fact, that it caused me to post the following notice...


Wanted: Web Designer With Spare time!

Are you a web expert living in or near the Los Angeles area? Do you have time on your hands? This website, currently the product of one slightly overworked photographer, has grown very rapidly over the last two years into 17MB of information. However, it has reached the point where that growth is being restricted by my limited schedule. I am now seriously looking to find someone with html authoring experience that can help me process some of the materials that are regularly submitted to this site and allow for more frequent updates. I need someone knowledgeable enough to be able to prepare the materials within the existing design and style of the site. Good language and writing skills a must. I am working on PC's, so that is preferable, but MAC is ok too. If you are that person, contact me at bschwortz@shroud.com and provide me with your qualifications. Unfortunately, since many of the materials necessary for the website's production are located here, I must restrict my search to someone in the Los Angeles area.

Posted October 28, 1997

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 95 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent additions are first visits from the Bahamas and Guam. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted October 28, 1997

Discovery Channel Selects Website

I was very pleased to receive the following e-mail message recently:

Congratulations. Your site has been selected as a valued Internet resource for Discovery Channel School. Discovery Channel School features hundreds of pages of lesson ideas and activities for the 40 hours of commercial-free classroom television programming airing this season on the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. For the fall 1997 season, Discovery Channel's classroom programming focuses on five interdisciplinary themes: Body Science, Discover Magazine, Modern Presidency, Communication: Baby talk to Bytes, and Cultures Alive!

We recently evaluated hundreds of educational websites and found that your site relates well to our Discover Magazine theme. It has been selected as a link for the "Related Resource" section of the program.

Thank you...
Bob Anderman
Discovery Channel School Online Manager
For those viewers outside of the USA that may not be familiar with it, the Discovery Channel is a highly respected cable television network specializing in quality documentary and educational programming. Cable in the Classroom is an effort on the part of cable networks in America to provide commercial-free educational programming and related materials to teachers for use as a supplement to the traditional classroom curriculum. I am deeply honored to be associated with such an excellent program and grateful to the Discovery Channel for selecting this website. You can visit the Discovery Channel School website by clicking on the logo below:

Posted October 7, 1997

New Websites Go Online

I am pleased to announce the addition of two new Shroud websites to the Internet. The first is the greatly expanded and completely redesigned Holy Shroud Guild Website at www.shroud.org. The original site was first put in place about a year ago by Fr. Fred Brinkmann, President pro Tem of the Guild. The site includes all of the previous articles, photographs and information, but much more has been added and more is on the way. This site focuses on the theologic aspects of the Shroud.

The second new addition is the website of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado at www.shroudofturin.com, founded by Dr. John P. Jackson and Rebecca Jackson. Dr. Jackson was also the co-founder of STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978. The Jacksons are noted researchers and lecturers on the Shroud. Their website 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. Expect this site to grow substantially in the future.

Both websites are readily accessible via the "Links To More Information" and "Shroud Centers & Organizations" pages of this website. Remember, both are new sites and going through their "debugging" stages, so if you encounter any difficulties while visiting, be patient or try again later. These sites will truly round out the availability of excellent Shroud information on the Internet and enhance the study of this fascinating relic. Welcome to the Internet!

Posted October 7, 1997

New York Times Article Discusses Exhibition & Mentions Website

On Sunday, September 21, 1997, the New York Times Travel Section mentioned the upcoming 1998 Exhibition in an article titled "Viewing the Turin Shroud". It stated that the Archdiocese of Turin is establishing a reservation system so that visitors will not have to wait long hours for an opportunity to see the cloth, as was the case at the last public exhibition in 1978. According to the article, an international toll-free telephone number for making reservations will be established by the end of the year. As soon as I can confirm this information and obtain the number, I will make it available on this website. The article was also kind enough to mention this website, and I am grateful to Marietta Nelson, a Reference Librarian at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, for bringing it to my attention.

Posted October 7, 1997

1998 Tour Information Expanded

Another professional travel organization offering organized tours to Italy for the 1998 Shroud Exhibition has been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the site. Also, a brief description of each tour is now included with each listing. Free listings are available to any professional organization planning such tours. See the page itself for details on submitting a listing and to get more information about the 1998 Shroud Exhibition.

Posted October 7, 1997

Research Registry Page Working!

I am very pleased to announce the Dr. August Accetta of the Shroud Center of Southern California reports his listing on the Research Registry page of this website has helped him find several specialists to aid in his research. Free listings are available to any serious Shroud researcher. See the page for details on submitting a listing of your own and review the listings that are already there. Perhaps you can become a participant as well.

Posted October 7, 1997

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 93 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent additions are first visits from Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted October 7, 1997

Oops!

I'm not sure if I underestimated the amount of update material I planned to include today, or overestimated my ability to get it all completed by my October 7th deadline. However, as I sit here at 11:15 PM with October 8th only 45 minutes away, it is very obvious to me that I will not be able to include everything I had planned. Rather than delaying the update, I am including what is ready and will add more material as soon as possible. Look forward to many new scientific articles and other important Shroud news in the very near future. Thank you all for your patience!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted October 7, 1997

TV Series To Air

"Shroud of Turin: Imprint of Mercy", a 13 part television series, will premier on Thursday, October 2, 1997 at 2:00 PM Eastern time on Mother Angelica's EWTN cable network. Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson, founders of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, will discuss the Shroud in each 30 minute segment. The weekly program will be repeated on Fridays at 4:30 AM EST in case you miss the original airdate. The Jacksons are noted Shroud researchers and lecturers and Dr. Jackson was the co-founder of STURP, the team that performed the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978.

Posted October 1, 1997

Large Website Update Coming!

A large update to this website is scheduled for October 7, 1997 (or sooner, if I can get it completed). It will include the latest information on the upcoming 1998 Shroud Exhibition, a number of new scientific papers and articles, a report on an important Shroud meeting I recently attended and much more. I apologize for the longer periods between website updates that you have experienced recently, but most of my time is now spent working on the Shroud of Turin CD-Rom "Explorer Edition", scheduled for release in Spring 1998. As soon as that project is completed, this website will be greatly expanded with new features like a Website Search Engine, streaming video and audio, more scientific articles and papers, more photographs and an expanded "Examine the Shroud" page. In the interim, I ask both viewers and contributors for your patience.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted October 1, 1997

Article Stimulates E-Mail Debate

An article by Antonio Lombatti titled "Doubts Concerning the Coins Over the Eyes" appears in the "Letters To The Editor" section of the current issue (#45) of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter. (Editor's Note: Also available via the "British Society for the Turin Shroud" page of this website). Since the newsletter is published quarterly and distributed primarily by postal mail, a copy of the article was promptly circulated to a select list of Shroud researchers via e-mail. One of them, Dr. Alan Whanger, a Shroud researcher who has done considerable work on the coin theory, decided to write an e-mail response to the article and distribute it to the same select list of researchers. As I watched the debate between these two gentlemen unfold, I decided to get their permission to publish it here on the website. It provides an excellent example of two prominent researchers with opposing viewpoints debating a controversial issue with mutual respect and professionalism. It also demonstrates why making up one's mind about the Shroud of Turin is difficult when more than one credible point of view exists. However, it is this spirit of cooperation and willingness to communicate that will truly further Shroud research. For those viewers not familiar with the workings of the academic or scientific community, the debate should provide some insight into how science operates. I am pleased to present it here and thank Professor Lombatti and Dr. Whanger for giving me permission to share it with you. Thanks also to Ian Wilson and the BSTS for allowing me to reprint the article. It can also be accessed via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page.

Posted September 5, 1997

Research Registry Page

This is just a reminder for viewers of this website, particularly those of you in the academic or applied sciences, to review the listings on the Research Registry page of the site occasionally. A number of new items have been added recently that might be of interest to some of you. The page is provided as a "bulletin board" to list resources that you or your organization might be able to make available or resources you might need to acquire for further Shroud study. It also includes listings from individual researchers interested in participating in sindonology (study of the Shroud). Each listing includes a name and address, allowing you to contact the party directly. Free listings are available to anyone interested in posting appropriate information. See the page for details. The primary purpose of this page is to provide a centrally located, easily accessible resource for serious researchers.

Posted September 5, 1997

Fifth Nice Symposium Paper Added

A Proposal for High Resolution Colorimetric Mapping of the Turin Shroud: Analysis of Metrological Problems by Giulio Fanti has been added to the 1997 Nice Symposium section of the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page. The author is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua in Italy and proposes the use of high resolution digital colorimetric mapping of the Shroud to create a database that could be used for further scientific analyses. In this article, first presented in May 1997 at the Nice (France) Symposium, he describes the experiment and apparatus, discusses some of the problem areas that might be encountered and suggests possible solutions. The article is also accessible via the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page.

Posted September 5, 1997

More 1998 Exhibit Tour Information Added

Another professional travel organization offering organized tours to Italy for the 1998 Shroud Exhibition has been added to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page of the site. Free listings are available to any organization planning such tours. See the page itself for more information on submitting a listing.

Posted September 5, 1997

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 91 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent addition is a first visit from Liechtenstein. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted September 5, 1997

August 12, 1997 Website Update

The following Navigator is provided to make sure you don't miss any of the new items included in this update:

UPDATE NAVIGATOR


1998 Exhibition Tour Information Added

This website has received many e-mails recently asking for information about tours going to Turin during the upcoming 1998 exhibition. In an effort to provide the viewers of this site with the most complete information, I have added a new section to the "Shroud Exhibitions" page to provide a listing of professional travel organizations that are planning tours during the exhibition. The listings DO NOT include specific tour information. Please contact the organizations directly for tour details, schedules and prices. If you are a professional travel organization planning to make tours available during the 1998 exhibition, you can obtain a free listing. See the page for details.

Also added to this page is an update from the July 1997 issue of Catholic International with the latest news on the Exhibition directly from Turin.

Posted August 12, 1997

Symposium Articles Added

Was The Shroud In Languedoc During The Missing Years? by Jack Markwardt is the first of two new articles that have been added to the 1997 Nice Symposium section of the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page. It focuses on the "Missing Years" in the history of the Shroud of Turin, presents a hypothetical reconstruction of several of the more mysterious chapters in the cloth's biography, and suggests that the sindonic path between Constantinople and Lirey runs directly through Languedoc.

Natural Textile Fibres - Optical Activity, Racemization and Epimerization by Dr. Silvio Diana and Prof. Emanuela Marinelli Paolicchi is the second new paper added to this page. It establishes the validity of and suggests a protocol for further research into the chemical and optical properties of cellulose, the fundamental ingredient of linen. Both papers can also be accessed from the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page.

Posted August 12, 1997

Collegamento Article Added

The Data and the Date by Emanuela Marinelli has been added to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of the website. Reprinted from the October/November 1988 Issue, it presents this noted Shroud researcher's 1988 point of view on the carbon dating and results.

Posted August 12, 1997

Shroud Booklist Updated

Nineteen new titles have been added to the "Shroud Booklist" page of the site. Once again, I wish to extend my thanks to Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli of the Collegamento pro Sindone for voluntarily taking on the responsibility of keeping the Booklist up-to-date. Their participation is invaluable to this website and is deeply appreciated.

Posted August 12, 1997

"New" Book and Video Added

A Doctor at Calvary by Dr. Pierre Barbet, a classic in Shroud Literature, is back in print after 40 years and available again in a hardcover edition until November 30, 1997. "Dr. Barbet, writing in the early 1950s, relied heavily on his close analysis of the Shroud of Turin to re-create every stage of the Passion with precision and detail. The result: a minor classic of spirituality--by a layman."

For details and ordering information, see the New Books Available section of the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page.

Also just added to the Home Videos section of the page is "The Shroud of Turin", a program available from The History Channel Website. This program deals with the events leading up to and just after the 1988 carbon dating. See the page for more details.

Posted August 12, 1997

Link Added to Textile Interpretation of the Shroud Image

The "Links To More Information" page has been updated to include a unique textile interpretation of the image on the Shroud. Originally created in the 1970's by Mrs. Cleta Meniconi Tarantola, an expert in the art of weaving, this interpretation is exquisitely woven into the Jacquard fabric, not printed onto it, and shows the positive face of the Shroud on one side and the negative face on the other. The website is presented in five languages and includes detailed photographs. I think you will find this item fascinating.

Posted August 12, 1997

New Center Opens in Richmond, Virginia

On June 21st, the Shroud of Turin Center opened at Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond, Virginia. The opening was keynoted by a day-long presentation by Dr. John Jackson and his wife Rebecca. The Center has two goals: education and research. Research will focus on the first thousand years after the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus - the Center has already uncovered one interesting description of the Shroud by Pope Stephen III at a Lateran Synod in 769AD.

The educational focus of the center will be to bring information about the Shroud to as many as seem interested. The opening was accompanied by television coverage and a front page article in the Richmond Times Dispatch. You will also find it listed on the "Shroud Centers & Organizations" page of the site.

The Center can be reached 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 August 12, 1997

Shroud Center of Southern California Celebrates 1st Year

This is a reprint of an article that first appeared about a month ago on this website. I am reprinting it because I recently received a photograph of some of the attendees and thought I should include it here. My thanks to Joseph Marino for providing the photograph.

(l to r) Don Lynn, original STURP member; John Jackson, co-founder of STURP;
Joseph Marino, Shroud historian; Dr. August Accetta, founder of the Shroud Center;
Barrie Schwortz, STURP documenting photographer and Isabel Piczek, Shroud researcher.
Not Shown: Rebecca Jackson

On May 27, 1997, the Shroud Center of Southern California, founded by Dr. August "Gus" Accetta in May 1996, celebrated its first anniversary with an evening of professional entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and an informative discussion on the Shroud, highlighted by presentations from a number of prominent Shroud researchers. Speakers for the evening included Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson, Isabel Piczek and Barrie Schwortz. About 60 people attended the event at the center, which features a permanent exhibit of life-size photographs and other Shroud materials. More information about the center can be found on the "Shroud Centers and Organizations" page of the website.

Posted August 12, 1997

Future Website Updates

Today's update marks another major addition of material to this website, and represents an increase in overall size of almost 2 MB's. It includes new pages, articles, photographs and more. It also has taken several weeks to accomplish this work. With the fast-approaching deadline and increased workload of the Shroud of Turin CD-Rom project now monopolizing my time, updates of this scope and frequency (every 3 weeks) are becoming much more difficult. As such, until the CD-Rom project is completed, I will be limiting the size of the website updates and making them less frequently. Rest assured that any important news will be put up as soon as it arrives. However, regular updates will now occur every 4 to 6 weeks. This situation is temporary and I will return to the normal schedule as soon as possible. Your understanding is appreciated.

I am including a special Navigator to make sure you don't miss any of the new items included in this update:

UPDATE NAVIGATOR
Posted July 7, 1997

Main Menu Redesigned

If you are reading this, you probably have already seen the redesigned "Main Menu" page of this website. As the site has grown, the "Main Menu" has grown along with it, making it more and more difficult to read. With today's update and the addition of 3 new pages to the website, the site reached 24 primary pages and a redesign of the menu became essential. As always, you can reach the "Main Menu" from every primary page of the website by clicking on the Shroud facial image in the top left corner of the page or by selecting the appropriate button in the Navigator Bar at the bottom of the page. I hope you find the new design easier to use.

Posted July 7, 1997

New Pages Added to Website

Today's update is significant in that three important new pages have been added to the website. The first of these is the "Research Registry" page, where researchers can "advertise" for specific resources they need for their studies, or post a list of those resources they are willing to make available to other Shroud researchers. I hope this page will grow considerably as time goes on and become the place where Shroud researchers "connect". Make sure you check this page regularly. Perhaps you have resources available that will enable you or your organization to become a direct participant in Shroud research. If you are interested in posting a notice, see the detailed instructions on the page itself.

Also new is the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page. This page combines the former "Esopus Conference" and the "Nice Symposium" articles into a single page and provides you with the complete schedules of each event. Included is a list of all the speakers and their specific topics, along with links to some of the papers they presented. Also, information about the upcoming June 1998 Turin Conference will be found on this page as soon as it becomes available.

The third new addition is the "Shroud Conservation & Preservation" page, which deals specifically with the next important areas of Shroud science scheduled for in-depth study. As stated on many occasions by the Turin authorities, Shroud conservation and preservation are the only areas of study that will be permitted in the foreseeable future. Current plans are for the next scientific study to begin sometime after the end of the year 2000 public exhibition. The page includes a press release from the Archbishop of Turin given at a press conference held on June 10, 1997. Included is his introduction of two important international scientific advisers, Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg and Dr. Alan Adler along with several other articles and links to conservation related scientific papers and materials. This page will also grow considerably in the next year or two.

Posted July 7, 1997

New Scientific Papers Added

Two new papers have been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page. The first, "Natural Factors Affecting the Apparent Radiocarbon Age of Textiles" by Mario Moroni and Remi van Haelst, first appeared in the February 1997 issue of Shroud News No. 100. The article concludes that "a single radiocarbon dating result... cannot be regarded as conclusive evidence for a mediaeval date for the Shroud of Turin."

The second article is "The Concept of Negativity Through the Ages vs The Negative Image on the Shroud" by Isabel Piczek, noted monumental artist, physicist and Shroud researcher with a unique perspective on the cloth and its image. Lavishly illustrated with over 40 photographs and paintings, the article discusses in detail one of the most important properties of the Shroud image. This is the paper Isabel presented at the May 1997 Nice Symposium and is the second paper from recent symposium to be published on this website. The article is also accessible via the "Shroud Conferences & Symposia" page. Note that it may take a few minutes to download because of the large number of images included.

Posted July 7, 1997

New Issue of BSTS Newsletter Added

The June/July 1997 Issue (#45) of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter has now been added to the British Society for the Turin Shroud page of the website. Once again, we are indebted to Ian Wilson for his long hours and perserverance in completing this issue, particularly because of the many difficulties encountered by this highly respected organization in recent months, including the death of its Chairman, Rodney Hoare. Our regrets go out to his family for their loss. This issue includes articles on the 1997 fire, a review of the recent CBS television documentary, "The Mysterious Man of the Shroud," a list of recent publications and much more.

Posted July 7, 1997

First Spanish Language Article Added to Website

The first Spanish Language translation has been included on "The 1997 Fire" page of this website. My thanks to Adolfo Orozco Torres, Secretary of the Centro Mexicano de Sindología, for translating the April 12, 1997 fire article on this website. Thanks also to his associate, Mónica Díliz Herrera for her assistance and to my friend Miriam Taylor for helping me translate the captions and page instructions. I am very pleased to make this available directly on my website and hope to work with the Centro Mexicano de Sindología to include more articles "en Español" in the future.

Posted July 7, 1997

Press Release

The following is a press release received from the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado:

June 7, 1997

US PHYSICISTS QUESTION CARBON-DATING OF SHROUD OF TURIN

Carbon-dating fouled by heat of fire in 1532

Three researchers, two of whom are husband and wife, at the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, presented papers at the Third Scientific International Symposium on the Shroud of Turin held May 12-13 in Nice, France.

In a mathematical paper written for the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado (TSC), theoretical physicists Dr. John Jackson and Dr. Keith Propp described a series of physical interactions that raise serious doubts about the validity of the carbon-dating performed on the Shroud in 1988. The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Christ because of the remarkable image it contains. If this paper, to be published in the Proceedings of the Nice Conference, withstands further scientific review, then the carbon-dating of various materials that have been pre-exposed to elevated temperatures in air, such as the Shroud of Turin, will have to be reevaluated.

The analysis described by Jackson and Propp models the transfer and exchange of carbon isotopes, which are always present in the atmosphere, with linen fabrics at elevated temperatures. This jphenomenon could have led to a significant misdating of the Shroud when it was exposed to a fire in the year 1532. The mathematical model was able to reproduce the published experimental results of both Russian and American researchers who studied radiocarbon enrichment in line during moderate oven incubations.

The Russian experiments indicate that at elevated temperatures, like those expected in the 1532 fire, linen chemically reacts with carbon-containing molecules from the air. According to the researchers, "Our analysis of the Russian data requires that the attachment rate for carbon-14 is faster than for the other two carbon isotopes so that if the fire is quenched before all carbon isotopes regain their statistical balance, the linen is enriched with carbon-14, making its radiocarbon age appear too recent by centuries. We also find that our analysis offers a plausible reason why other American researchers did not detect such carbon-14 enrichment because their experimental conditions caused the enrichment to dissipate before the conclusion of their experiment."

Jackson and Propp's results offer a major boost to proponents of an earlier date for the Shroud and make other archaeological findings much more important in ascertaining the Shroud's correct age. Much of this evidence points to the First Century as the date the Shroud and its image most likely came into existence.

"The next step is to use our theoretical calculations to design a suitable experiment to test the validity of the Russian experiments and to determine the precise relationships involved in these interactions," said Jackson.

Another paper presented at the Nice conference by Rebecca Jackson of TSC dealt with the Shroud of Turin in light of First Century Jewish culture. During the first century the Jews were dispersed throughout the countries of the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Asi. The Jews of ancient Palestine actively traded with other Jews from those Diaspora Jewish Communities. Rebecca Jackson showed that it is possible that the Shroud cloth could have come from any of these places.

Previous work by Mrs. Jackson, born and raised an Orthodox Jew in New York, has identified numerous Jewish characteristics of the Shroud image, such as the lack of washing the blood, outstretched fingers, and Jewish ethnological and cultural features of the Man of the Shroud. "These and other characteristics point to a definite Jewish context for the origin of the Shroud as is necessary if the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus who was, of course, a Jew living in a Jewish culture," said Rebecca Jackson. "TSC is also studying how the image got on to the Shroud, developing special techniques for analyzing the image, and conducting further investigations into First Century Characteristics of the Shroud."

More information about the center can be found on the "Shroud Centers and Organizations" page of the website.

Posted July 7, 1997

Shroud Spectrum Pricelist Updated

The "Index to Shroud Spectrum International" page has been updated with a new pricelist and shipping rates. Founded and published for 10 years by Dorothy Crispino, noted scholar and Shroud researcher, it was the only peer-reviewed journal in the United Stated dedicated exclusively to the Shroud and its study (sindonology). Most back issues are still available. See the page for ordering information.

Posted July 7, 1997

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 90 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent addition is a first visit from Guyana. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted July 7, 1997

First Article From Nice Symposium Added

I am pleased to announce the addition of a paper titled "Concerning the Side Strip on the Shroud of Turin" by Dr. Alan Adler and Alan & Mary Whanger to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website. This is the first of several papers from the recent May 1997 Nice Symposium that will be reprinted on the site. This paper concludes that the samples used to carbon date the Shroud in 1988 may have been taken from a part of the cloth that was rewoven in medieval times. The article includes three highly magnified x-rays made during the 1978 examination. Dr. Adler is an internationally known and well respected Shroud researcher and worked with the late Dr. John Heller in 1979 to complete the chemical analysis that proved the bloodstains on the Shroud were actually blood. He is currently an advisor to the Archbishop of Turin regarding future conservation efforts of the cloth. Alan and Mary Whanger are noted Shroud researchers and have done studies regarding secondary images on the Shroud and were participants in the recently announced discovery of flower images on the cloth. A special note of thanks to Lucas Adler of LA Engine Computer Svc., Ltd. in Wingdale, NY for the image processing and graphics and for providing me with the digital files.

Posted June 15, 1997

New Photos Added to 1997 Fire Page

Two new photographs have been added to "The 1997 Fire" page of this website, showing the post-fire examination of the Shroud on April 14, 1997. They can be viewed by selecting the April 15, 1997 article titled "The Latest Update on the 1997 Fire". I would like to thank Aldo Guerreschi, the photographer, for his gracious permission in allowing me to reprint them here on the website. Interestingly, Aldo Guerreschi is also the owner of the original negatives taken of the Shroud by Giuseppe Enrie in May 1931. Special thanks are also extended to Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli for obtaining the rights to the images and to Maurizio for digitizing the photographs.

Posted June 15, 1997

Holy Shroud Guild Website to Move

Father Fred Brinkmann, President pro-tem of the Holy Shroud Guild has announced that the Guild's website will soon be moving to its new web address at www.shroud.org. You can still reach the site at its current address during the transition via the "Links To More Information" and "Obtain Shroud Materials" pages of this website. Also, the current issue of the Guild's Newsletter features a reprint of the entire "1997 Fire" page of this website. My thanks to Fr. Brinkmann for reprinting the article and making it available to those without Internet access.

Posted June 15, 1997

New Source of Shroud Materials Added

The "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of this website has been updated to include the Ariel Museum of Biblical Archaeology, which makes available a number of Shroud items including several videos, a book and a poster of Shroud photomicrographs. My thanks to Fr. Joseph Marino for providing the information.

Posted June 15, 1997

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 89 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent addition is a first visit from Namibia. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted June 15, 1997

Clarifying An Earlier Late Breaking Article

On June 6, 1997 I published an article on this page about filmmaker Jack Sacco and the documentary film he is planning to produce about the Shroud of Turin. Judging from the mail it generated, I apparently failed to clarify in the article that I am not personally involved in any way with Mr. Sacco or his project and that I only contacted him after receiving many requests for more information from website viewers. The article was written by Mr. Sacco and posted on this page to answer those questions and should not be considered an endorsement of the film or its producer. I do not endorse projects in which I have no direct involvement or of which I have no first-hand knowledge. I want to thank all of you who wrote to me and hope this clarifies my position.

Posted June 15, 1997

Shroud History Page Added

I am pleased to announce the completion of the "Shroud History" page of this website. I wish to extend a special word of thanks to Ian Wilson, highly respected Shroud historian and noted author, for providing me with his detailed chronology of Shroud history and allowing me to share much of it with you on this website. I believe you will find the history of this enigmatic cloth both fascinating and exciting.

Posted June 6, 1997

Major Scientific Article Added

"The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology" by Archaeologist William Meacham, has been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website. Reprinted from the June 1983 edition of CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY, it not only makes an interesting argument for the authenticity of the Shroud, circa 1983, but also provides us with excellent insight into the workings of Shroud science. Included after the article itself is a Comments section, with a variety of critiques from many noted Shroud researchers. This includes a rather heated debate by experts on both sides of the authenticity argument, followed by the author's direct and often pointed reply to their comments. This is quite a large article (over 200KB) and it is illustrated with eleven JPEG images, so it will take a minute or so to load (and considerably more time to read). However, it provides a great perspective on the nature of Shroud science itself and I am pleased to be able to make it available to you. A special word of thanks to the University of Chicago Press for giving me permission to reprint it on this website and Maurizio Marinelli for digitizing the text and images.

Posted June 6, 1997

In The Next Few Weeks...

Much more material is coming to this website in the near future. I am very pleased to announce that I have acquired the rights to reprint two of the scientific papers presented at the Shroud Symposium held last month in Nice, France. The first, "Concerning the Side Strip on the Shroud of Turin", by Alan Adler and Alan and Mary Whanger, suggests that the samples used for radiocarbon dating of the Shroud in 1988 were taken from an area of the cloth that may well have been rewoven in medieval times. The second paper from the Nice Symposium is another profusely illustrated work by Isabel Piczek titled, "The Concept of 'Negativity' Through The Ages; the Negative Image on the Shroud." In this paper Isabel provides her distinct and illuminating perspective on an often confusing aspect of the Shroud image.

Also coming is the long promised second article by Fr. Fossati of the Collegamento pro Sindone about photographer Secondo Pia and the 1898 Exhibition, an article by a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh dealing with the iconography of the Russian Orthodox Church as it relates to the Shroud and an article titled "Natural Factors Affecting the Apparent Radiocarbon Age of Textiles" by Mario Moroni and Remi van Haelst. In addition, look for the latest edition of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter coming very soon.

The still "under construction" "Research Registry" page will also be unveiled within the next month. As you can see, the website continues to grow! I truly appreciate everyone's participation, assistance and support in helping to make the site a valuable addition to Shroud study. Thank you all!

Posted June 6, 1997

Shroud of Turin CD-Rom Update

"The Shroud of Turin CD-Rom Update" page of this website now includes a new update with an even more detailed description of the Explorer Edition disk and an introduction to the Executive Producer of the project.

Posted June 6, 1997

New Link Added

The "Links To More Information" page has been updated to include a link to a previously unpublished review of David Sox's 1988 book, "The Shroud Unmasked". The review was written by Greg Fewer of the Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland, who was kind enough to submit it for inclusion on this website. It offers an overview of the book and points out some possible problems and errors.

Posted June 6, 1997

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 88 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent addition is a first visit from French Polynesia. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted June 6, 1997

Filmmaker Question Answered

Over the last eighteen months I received a number of e-mails asking me about Mr. Jack Sacco, a filmmaker who has lectured on several occasions about the Shroud. During the course of his lectures (a taped copy of which I received from a website viewer), Mr. Sacco not only discussed the Shroud, but a film project he was planning on the subject. I recently spoke with him on the telephone and asked him to furnish me with a brief description of his project and its current status. The following is an excerpt from the information he provided:

I enjoyed speaking with you last week. What follows is a short summary of the film and its progress to date. I hope that this information will help answer some of the questions people may have at this time. I will keep you upated as to the progress of the film as we go through the various stages of production. I have included our e-mail address if people have specific questions regarding the production. Here is the info on the film:
Director Jack Sacco and Michelangelo Films have announced plans for production of a major film documentary entitled "The Shroud" which will explore the scientific and historical facts of the famous Shroud of Turin, the reputed burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
"The Shroud" will be a two-hour scientific documentary feature film, shot on location in Israel, Turkey, France and Italy as well as the United States. The film will integrate state-of-the-art computer special effects and historically detailed reenactments.
Members of the team of scientists known as the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), who originally conducted extensive examinations of the Shroud of Turin in 1978, will be interviewed. Additionally, a brilliant array of physicists, engineers, scientists, medical doctors, archaeologists and historians will serve as consultants for the duration of the film to insure its scientific and historical accuracy.
The film is now officially in pre-production with storyboards being developed based on the screenplay. The creative and support team are in the process of being finalized. Additionally, shooting and other production details are currently being scheduled.
The Shroud of Turin Website will be kept abreast of all developments in the production of the film and will be updated as to its progress. More information may be obtained by contacting Michelangelo Films at the following address:
J. SACCO
MICHELANGELO FILMS
P. O. Box 2747
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-2747
MovieMakrs@aol.com
Posted June 6, 1997

The VP-8 Comes To The Web!

I am very excited to announce that "The 1978 Scientific Examination" page has been updated to include an image taken from the screen of the VP-8 Image Analyzer. This is the device that first revealed the three dimensional properties of the Shroud image in 1976. When you click on the VP-8 thumbnail found on the "1978 Scientific Examination" page, you will not only find a larger version of the image, but an additional Animated Gif File (437KB) digitized from a broadcast quality video made of the VP-8 screen just two weeks ago. The animation shows the 3-D properties of the facial area exactly as it appeared to the researchers that made the original discovery 21 years ago. It is quite a large file for the web, so it will take a bit of time (5 minutes or so) to completely load it into your cache, but I believe it is worth the wait. It will provide you with an excellent way of seeing the 3-D properties, which are among the least understood characteristics of the Shroud image. I think you will find it fascinating!

Posted May 17, 1997

Comments and Questions Added

The "Comments From Our Viewers" page has been updated to include an interesting observation on UV image formation by an expert photobiologist. The information he provides seems to rule out certain image formation processes as the mechanism that caused the Shroud image. Also, the "Frequently Asked Questions" page now includes some reflections on the most commonly asked DNA question.

Posted May 17, 1997

Index Added To Collegamento Page

An Index has been added to the Collegamento pro Sindone page that includes a complete list of every article that has appeared in the publication since 1985. The listings are arranged both Alphabetically and Annually, so you can search for an article by a particular author or select a specific year to review.

Posted May 17, 1997

New Photos Added to Fire Update

The "1997 Fire" page has been updated with a new photograph of the bulletproof glass strongbox in which the Shroud was stored until the night of the fire. My thanks to Patrizia Mussa for her excellent photograph and to Maurizio Marinelli for finding it and getting permission to use it on the website. I took the liberty of enlarging a segment of the original photo to give you a closer view of the silver casket containing the Shroud. These images have been added to the "April 27, 1997 Update" part of the article and can be reached by clicking the appropriate link at the top of the "1997 Fire" page.

Posted May 17, 1997

More Updates Coming Soon

The "Shroud History" and "Research Registry" pages are still under construction but will soon be completed.

Posted May 17, 1997

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 87 countries and Antarctica. Our most recent additions include first visits from Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Qatar. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted May 17, 1997

New Pages Added To Website!

As you may have noticed on the "Main Menu" page today, a number of new pages have been added to the website. First, the "Frequently Asked Questions" are now on a page of their own and no longer on the "Comments From Our Viewers" page. This will provide me with an alternate method of answering your questions more promptly than my hopelessly-behind-and-getting-worse e-mail situation (see next article below).

There is also a new page called "The 1997 Fire", which brings together on one page all of the previous articles presented on this website about the fire in Turin. It includes a new update on the situation in Turin that reveals some interesting information about the bulletproof glass strongbox in which the Shroud was kept until the night of the fire. Two new illustrations of the strongbox are included along with new links to the Spanish language CES Website article about the fire (in Spanish and English) and the Archdiocese of Turin Website article (in Italian, French and English). All future news about the fire and reconstruction of the Chapel will be found on this page as well.

The "Shroud Expositions" page has been renamed "Shroud Exhibitions" for clarity. You will also find several pages that are still under construction. This includes the "Shroud History" and the "Research Registry" pages, both of which I hope to have online around mid-May.

You may also have noticed that the order of the pages on the "Main Menu" and the Navigator Bars at the bottom of each page have been slightly reshuffled. I have tried to regroup them in a more logical manner. Also, many pages have been updated and each update is listed as a separate news item below.

In May, many other additions are planned including several new scientific articles, a complete Index to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" and another article in the series about the 1898 Exposition and Secondo Pia, the Shroud's first photographer. Keep watching!

Posted April 27, 1997

The E-mail Situation :-(

Since the inception of this website, it has been my intent to make myself available to the viewer by way of e-mail, and in so doing provide you with some direct access to Shroud research. But in the last two months, the volume has increased so dramatically that I now have almost 200 letters in the mailbox waiting for my response. To make matters even more difficult, I will be away on an assignment all of next week (April 28 through May 2) without any access to my mail or the website, so the situation will only get worse. All of your letters are important to me and I have every intention of answering them as soon as possible. But now your patience will be even more important than before. I expect it may take as long as 30 days before you get an answer to your mail, but I do intend to continue responding to everyone for as long as I can. Thanks for your continued participation and understanding.

Posted April 27, 1997

New Evidence To Be Published

On Friday, April 11, 1997, just a few hours before the news of the Chapel fire in Turin swept into the headlines, another important announcement was made about the Shroud of Turin. As reported by Dan Rather and Bob Simon on the CBS Evening News, a collaborative work between Professor Avinoam Danin of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Dr. Alan Whanger and Mary Whanger, of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, led to the conclusion that identifiable images of plants specific to Israel were visible on the Shroud. Unfortunately, once the fire story broke, this story became secondary and received very little attention. However, as many of our website viewers pointed out in their e-mails to me, those who did see the story wanted to know more about it.

Very briefly: the Whangers used specialized photography and UV scanning to increase the contrast of the Shroud image and apparently made visible many subtle images not usually seen with the naked eye. In particular were many plants and flowers and they eventually identified 28 different types. Danin, Israel's leading botanist, reviewed and verified the Whangers' conclusions and went on to identify several additional images he believed were also plants from Israel. This lends credibility to other research that identified certain pollen samples taken from the Shroud as being from plants found only in Israel.

This is only the briefest overview of the research. A scientific paper by the researchers is now being written and submitted to a number of journals for peer review. Until more information is available, I am including a link to a front page article that appeared on April 14, 1997 in the Jerusalem Post titled, "Local Plant Evidence Supports Authenticity of Shroud of Turin". This link is to the Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, which encapsulates the story. I have already made inquiries and hope to obtain the rights to reprint the entire paper on this website once it is published. I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Posted April 27, 1997

Shroud Symposium Scheduled For May

The French "Center of Studies on the Shroud of Turin" (CIELT) will hold its Third International Scientific Symposium in Nice, France on the 12th and 13th of May, 1997. The Symposium will be held at the Hotel Westminster, 27, Promenade des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France, Telephone: (33) 04 93 88 29 44, Fax: (33) 04 93 82 45 35.

The scientific speakers will make their presentations on May 12th while the history and art history scholars will present their papers on May 13th. A one day bus tour of Turin is scheduled on the 14th. Registration for the Symposium is 600FF per person. The bus tour is 300FF per person. For more information contact:

CIELT
50 Avenue des Ternes
75017 Paris, France
Phone: 01 45 48 67 15

Many noted Shroud researchers are scheduled to present their work covering a broad range of topics. Click here to view the Provisional Programme for the Nice Symposium.

Posted April 27, 1997

New Links Added

A new link to the Archdiocese of Turin Website has been added to the "Links To More Information" page. The site is presented by the Archdiocese of Turin and went online in January of 1997. It provides up to date information and includes many excellent photographs, as well as other interesting facts. It is presented in Italian, French and English. My thanks to Daniele D'Aria for writing and notifying me about this website.

Also added to the page is a link to the Centro Internazionale de Sindonologia (International Center of Sindonology of Turin) Website. The Center was founded in 1959 in order to promote and coordinate research on the Turin Shroud. It operates the "Museum of the Shroud" which collects different types of objects connected to the history of the Shroud and to the scientific researches made on it. The Center publishes the journal SINDON and organizes international congresses on the Shroud; the next one will take place in Turin in June 1998. Included on their website are several three dimensional computer generated images of the Shroud. This website is presented in English and Italian.

Posted April 27, 1997

Fundraising Efforts Begin In U.S.A.

Michael Minor, Vice President and General Counsel for the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR), asked me to announce that AMSTAR is now able to accept donations towards the reconstruction of the Guarini Chapel. For details contact:

Michael Minor
AMSTAR
P.O. Box 878
104 West Grove Street
Kaufman, Texas 75142 U.S.A.
Phone: 972-932-5141
Fax: 972- 932-7742
Posted April 27, 1997

Videotape Now Available

"Shroud: Odyssey Of A Convict" ("Sindone: Odissea Di Un Condannato) is the name of a documentary program produced by The Society of Video Productions, JUDICA CORDIGLIA, from Turin (Italy), that is now available on videotape in both English and Italian. With plans to contribute concretely to the restoration of the fire damaged Guarini Chapel, the profits from the sale of the video, less expenses, will be paid to the Turin newspaper "La Stampa" that has already started a restoration fund for that purpose. See the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page for more details about the tape and ordering information.

Posted April 27, 1997

Some Interesting Statistics

As might be expected, Saturday, April 12, 1997 (the day after the Turin fire) was the single busiest day this website has ever experienced. Over 2000 viewers visited the website that day to read the article about the fire and downloaded over 600 MBs of text and images in 24 hours! Many new viewers found this website via the CNN Interactive Website, which kindly put this site at the top of its list of Shroud links. Another milestone was achieved on April 15th when the counter that records the number of website vistors turned one year old. We have now had well over 50,000 visitors and the volume continues to increase. In addition, the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" has grown again, with the addition of the Faroe Islands, San Marino, Scotland and the Ukraine. In case you were wondering, the Faroe (or Faeroe) Islands are located in the North Atlantic, between Iceland and the Shetland Islands and are a self-governing community within the kingdom of Denmark. I hope you don't mind me throwing in a little geography from time to time, but as I sit here in front of my computer in Los Angeles and correspond with people from all over the world, I can't help but realize how "small" our planet has become and how "close" we really are to each other. As always, I am thrilled to see the global response to the website. I want to thank all of you again for your participation.

Posted April 27, 1997

WebTV Info Added To Technical Notes

Some tips for WebTV viewers have been added to the "Technical Notes About This Website" page of this site. If you are a WebTV viewer and have experienced any problems while visiting this website, check out this information, which came directly from WebTV. A few viewers had difficulties selecting areas of the Master Shroud Image to view in detailed close-ups on the "Examine The Shroud of Turin" page. A step by step explanation for WebTV viewers is now included.

Posted April 27, 1997

The Latest Update On The 1997 Fire

Many thanks to Maurizio Marinelli in Rome, for submitting this "Latest Update On The 1997 Fire" for our viewers. (The final version has now been added to "The 1997 Fire" page of this website). It describes yesterday's special examination of the Shroud to look for possible damage, outlines the active efforts already begun by many organizations to help raise funds for the reconstruction of the Chapel, gives addresses to the organizations that are already accepting donations and gives ordering information for the videotape being made available by Giovanni Battista Judica Cordiglia, Shroud photographer in 1969 and 1973. Judica Cordiglia has donated a portion of the proceeds of the tape, available in either English or Italian, directly to the reconstruction of the Chapel.

Posted April 15, 1997

Special Report On The 1997 Fire Updated!

The "Special Report On The 1997 Fire" article has been updated and completed. (The final version has now been added to "The 1997 Fire" page of this website). It now includes additional photographs, a map of the Turin Cathedral showing key areas of fire damage, a look at future plans for reconstruction of the fire damaged areas, Internet links to additional fire information and credits to those who provided me with source information for the article. Also, due to the large amount of E-mail I have received in the last two days (almost 100), I will need some time to get the mail answered. If you wrote me recently, please be patient. You will get a response. Thank you all for your patience.

Posted April 14, 1997 2:45am PDT

Special Report On The 1997 Fire

Click here to read a preliminary draft of a "Special Report On The 1997 Fire". (The final version has now been added to "The 1997 Fire" page of this website).The article is still under construction and will be completed in the next eight hours. It includes a large number of color photographs and an overview of the fire and its aftermath. I usually like to complete a page before putting it on the website, but I felt obligated to make this much of it available immediately. Please keep watching...

Posted April 12, 1997 9:30p.m. PDT

MAJOR ARTICLE ABOUT FIRE COMING SHORTLY

I am in the process of completing a major article that includes an up to date report on the status of the Chapel and the Shroud, many photographs of the fire and the heroic Shroud rescue and links to some other sites with related information. I hope to have this on the web by 8:00pm PDT. Since I have received a massive amount of material during the last 6 hours and must assimilate it into the article, your patience is appreciated. Please check back in about three hours.

Posted April 12, 1997 4:45pm PDT

BULLETIN: Fire Damages Turin Cathedral but Shroud is Unharmed!

TURIN, ITALY: In the early hours of the morning today, fire ravaged the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the adjoining Guarini Chapel, where the Shroud of Turin has been kept since 1578. According to news reports, the Shroud was saved by the heroic efforts of firemen, who dared the flames and used large hammers to break the bulletproof glass protecting the silver casket in which the cloth is stored, then rushed it, unharmed, to safety outside the Cathedral. The cloth has been temporarily taken to an undisclosed site for safekeeping, while the damages to the Cathedral and Chapel are assessed. No immediate cause was given for the fire and no estimates of the damages have yet been made, although reports say that both the Cathedral and Chapel were severely damaged. The 17th century Cathedral was the planned site for the upcoming 1998 and 2000 exhibitions and was being renovated for the events. It is impossible to speculate what effect the fire will have on these plans at this time.

I hope to have detailed, accurate information directly from Turin in the next 24 to 48 hours and will make it immediately available on this website. In the interim, we must commend the courage of the firefighters who risked their lives to save the controversial relic from almost certain destruction. It seems that we have witnessed another critical moment in Shroud history.

For more detailed information about the Chapel and an overview of its unique and fascinating history, read the article by Emanuela Marinelli titled, "The Shroud Chapel Is 300 Years Old" on the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of this website, which includes a color photograph of the interior.

Posted April 12, 1997 12:45am PDT

CBS Documentary Airs

On April 1, 1997, CBS ran a one hour special titled, "The Mysterious Man in the Shroud". Produced and directed by Terry Landau, whose credits include the PBS series, "The Brain", it was one of the most balanced and accurate, well researched and well presented documentaries on the Shroud ever produced for television. Terry and her fine crew should be congratulated for the beautiful visual quality, superb editing and exquisite graphics that make the program a "must see" for anyone with even a passing interest in the Shroud of Turin.

I also wish to apologize to Terry and to you, the viewers, for missing the mark and not getting a notice about the program on this website before it aired. The omission was unintentional and due to circumstances beyond my control. However, there is good news with the bad. For those of you who may have missed the program, or for those of you who wish to see it again, you can now obtain a copy for yourself on home video by calling the CBS order line directly at 1-888-227-7999. The tape sells for $19.98 plus $4.95 shipping & handling and runs approximately 48 minutes without commercials.

Frankly, this is the first video I have ever made available via this website, although I have received requests to offer others in the past. However, I feel the quality and unbiased nature of this program dictates that it be mentioned and made available here. The program is also listed on the "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of this website.

Posted April 7, 1997

Website Receives Honor

I was pleased and honored to receive the following in a letter from David Sunfellow of New Heaven New Earth (NHNE) last week:


"We recently created a special award to give to people that we felt were making major contributions to the world. Your ongoing work with the Shroud of Turin is, in our opinion, especially important and we are delighted to announce that you are the third person to receive the coveted NHNE Toby Award. We will be making this announcement in the next issue of our popular News Brief (which will be sent out to our subscribers this Friday). We will also be listing you and your Web site in the Toby Award Section of our award-winning Web site."

I am truly grateful for the honor accorded me by this award and thank David and NHNE for their kindness. To read more about the Toby Award and New Heaven New Earth, just click on the graphic above. Note that a link already exists on the "Links To More Information" page of this website to an excellent NHNE article on the Shroud written by David Sunfellow. Remember, this link takes you to a different website. You will have to use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Posted April 7, 1997

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 78 countries and Antarctica. I am honored by our most recent additions, which include first visits from the Cayman Islands and Namibia. I would like to welcome our new viewers to the website and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted April 7, 1997

Photomicroscopy Images Added

I am pleased to announce the addition of several photomicrographs to the "1978 Scientific Examination" page of this website. These are just a few of the many high magnification photographs (taken through a microscope) made by Mark Evans, a member of the STURP photographic team, in 1978. This is the first time they have appeared on the Internet and I wish to thank Mark for his participation and courtesy in granting me permission to reproduce them here.

Posted March 28, 1997

Shroud Seminar In Connecticut

Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson will be conducting a full day seminar on the Shroud of Turin at the Hawthorne Inn, Berlin, Connecticut, on Saturday, April 5, 1997. The event, sponsored by the Connecticut Catholic Alliance, includes an overview of the science of the Shroud along with current research by the Jacksons and a screening of "The Silent Witness", a one hour film detailing the history of the cloth. For more information and reservations, contact:

The Connecticut Catholic Alliance
175 Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410
Phone: 203-271-2901
Posted March 28, 1997

Another "Frequently Asked Question" Answered

The Frequently Asked Questions section of the "Comments From Our Viewers" page has been updated to include a response to the question, "Could the Shroud of Turin be the tablecloth of the Last Supper?" Many of you have sent me e-mail asking this question recently. I hope you find the answer as interesting as I did.

Posted March 28, 1997

New Book Available

The "Obtain Shroud Materials" page of this website has been updated to include "Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud", the new book by Walter McCrone. A description of the book and complete ordering information is provided on the New Books Available section of the page. The reference has also been added to the "Shroud Booklist".

Posted March 28, 1997

Our List Of Visitors Has Grown!

In the last two weeks I have added four new entries to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page, which now includes 76 countries and Antarctica. I am truly honored by our most recent additions, which include first visits from the Vatican City State (Holy See), Bolivia, China and Puerto Rico. Once again I find myself overwhelmed at the wonderful diversity of the viewers that visit this website. I would like to welcome our new viewers and thank all of you for your continued participation and encouragement.

Posted March 18, 1997

New Links Added

Two new links have been added to the "Links To More Information" page of this website. Scenes From Childhood: The Shroud of Turin, is the charming personal website of Jim Kerlin and his family. It includes the complete transcript of a Compuserve Online Forum on the Shroud of Turin, hosted by Jim in March of 1996, as well as the text and photographs of a slide presentation given by former STURP President, Thomas D'Muhala, on May 11, 1995. Jim also provides a brief Shroud history.

The other link is to the recently completed Shroud of Lirey-Chambéry-Turin Website, by Dr. Nicholas Allen, who concludes that the Shroud is an actual photograph produced using 13th century technology. Included are a number of illustrated articles that present his theories on the method he believes was used to create the image on the Shroud. Also on this well-designed website is an article titled "How Leonardo Did Not Fake The Shroud of Turin".

Remember, these two links are to different websites. You will have to use your browser's "back" button to return to this website.

Posted March 18, 1997

New Article Added To Collegamento Page

Photographing The Holy Shroud During The 1898 Exhibition by Fr. Luigi Fossati, noted Shroud historian and scholar, has just been added to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of this website. This excellent article includes eleven illustrations and tells the story of Secondo Pia, the man who made the first photograph of the Shroud of Turin and provided science with the first serious clues to the unique properties of the image. Several of Pia's photographs accompany the article. Also included in its entirety is Pia's only written account of his own work, a letter written to a publisher in 1907 titled, "Memory".

I feel proud and honored to be able to reprint this article about the Shroud's first photographer, with whom I feel a close kinship. Perhaps it is because I fully realize the difficult task he faced in photographing such a unique image with the limited equipment and films of his day. The photographic resources available to him were very limited and it was still a very "new" technology. Yet his work helped to open the doors of science wide enough so that 80 years later, I would be fortunate enough to take part in a major scientific investigation of the Shroud and add my name to the very short list of photographers who have been privileged to photograph it. The upcoming 1998 Exhibition is being held, in part, to commemorate Secondo Pia's first photograph of the Shroud of Turin and its significance to Shroud research.

One additional note about this article. The images are large and may take a bit longer to load than usual. It took me just under 13 minutes to load the entire page using a 14.4 modem during a high traffic period of the day. I think you'll find it worth the wait.

Posted March 11, 1997

Shroud Center Founder To Appear On TBN

Dr. August Accetta, founder of the Shroud Center of Southern California, will appear in a televised interview with Jay Johnson of Trinity Broadcast Network on Tuesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 27, 1997. The program airs at 5:00 AM, Pacific time and 8:00 AM Eastern time. The channel will vary depending on which cable network one subscribes to, so check your local listings to be sure. The interview begins with a basic overview of the Shroud and proceeds into the latest Shroud discoveries and explanations.

Posted March 11, 1997

An Image For Linking To This Website

Over the last few months I have had a number of requests for an image that could be used by webmasters to link their websites to this one. I am including the below image for those of you who wish to use it that way. You just need to download the file facelink.gif below. It is already linked directly to the main page of this website, so you can view the document source code for this page, copy the appropriate html code onto your clipboard and paste it into your own html page. You may have to remove the "CENTER" statement to position the image correctly on your own website. And be careful. The photo below is "hot". If you click on it, it will take you directly to the home page of this website. I want to thank those of you who write to me about linking to this website and express my appreciation for the compliment implied. I hope you find this image helpful. And for those of you that have found this "tech talk" either too technical or totally boring, my apologies. :-)

Posted March 11, 1997

Viewing Tips For WebTV Viewers

Recently, a new method for viewing the Internet without a computer has become commercially available. Called WebTV, it allows viewers to use their own televisions in conjunction with a modestly priced control box to browse the World Wide Web. This website has already had its first WebTV viewer, who wrote me after experiencing difficulties viewing the "Examine The Shroud" page. He was unable to select areas on the Master Image to view in closeups. He also wrote to WebTV, who promptly provided the following response (which I am including here for anyone else experiencing similar problems):

"Thank you for your email. I went to the site, and what you need to do to see a closeup of the Shroud is this:

"Outline and click on the big picture of the Shroud. Then you will notice a little arrow pop up inside the picture. You can move the arrow by using the up/down/left/right arrow keys. Put the arrow where you want and hit return again and the WebTV will 'select' the area where the arrow is, and you will get the closeup!

"You can do this on most pages with an imagemap that requires you to select a small area inside it. Good luck and have fun!"

I hope our WebTV viewers find this information helpful. And welcome to the Internet!

Posted March 11, 1997

Shroud Exhibit In Ohio

The following information was submitted by Mary Kay Solt for our viewers in the Ohio area: A life-size reproduction of the Shroud of Turin will be exhibited at the Franciscan Center, 6332 Convent Blvd., Sylvania, Ohio, on the following dates:

Friday, March 7.............9am to 9pm
Saturday, March 8.............9am to 9pm
Sunday, March 9............10am to 6pm
This traveling exhibit features a replica of the Shroud, over 100 photos by noted Shroud photographers and printed by Eastman-Kodak, charts and research findings of scientific and forensic studies of the Shroud. Also shown will be an historical interpretation of the Crucifixion of Christ as well as a life-size replica of the Crucifix. Admission is free. (Due to the graphic nature of the exhibit, children under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult.) For more information, call 419-841-8009 or e-mail: marykay.solt@sylvania.sev.org

Posted February 21, 1997

Do You Know Where Mauritius Is?

Well frankly, I didn't, so I looked it up in the encyclopedia. It is a small island country east of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. And why was I interested in Mauritius? Because it is the latest country to be added to the "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" page. So I extend a warm welcome to our viewers in Mauritius!

Posted February 21, 1997

New Article Added to Collegamento Page

The Statue of the Shroud of Turin by Gyula Pauer has been added to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" page of this website. This article describes a unique sculpture of the Shroud created by a Hungarian artist and includes ventral and dorsal photographs.

Posted February 11, 1997

"Viewers" Page Updated

A "List of Countries That Have Visited This Website" has been added to the "Comments From Our Viewers" page. You truly might be surprised at the extent of the worldwide interest in the Shroud of Turin.

Posted February 11, 1997

New Link Added

A link to an article titled "Ion Science Explains the Enduring Mysteries of the Shroud of Turin" by Guy Cramer has been added to the "Links To More Information" page of this website.

Posted February 11, 1997

Shroud Seminar Scheduled

For viewers in the Northern California area, a seminar on the Shroud of Turin will be conducted by Doctor John and Rebecca Jackson of the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado. It is scheduled for Saturday, February 1, 1997 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Days Inn, Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, California. Mail reservations to TSC, P.O.Box 5681, Santa Clara, Ca 95056-5681 or call Bob Stormberg (408) 255-6770.

Posted January 27, 1997

Website First Anniversary Today!



Today, January 21, 1997, is our first anniversary. It was one year ago today that I nervously clicked the "send" button and put a fledgling website on the Internet. Little did I know that my original idea of making some of my archive materials available via the Internet would quickly grow into the largest Shroud of Turin site on the web. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have visited, written and expressed your support for this website. It is your generous participation, involvement and encouragment that has helped this site grow into something far more important than I ever envisioned. Thank you! It is sincerely appreciated.

Today's update is the largest single addition of new material to the website since it has gone online. To make sure you don't miss any of these new additions, I am including a special Anniversary Table of Contents of the appropriate "Late Breaking" articles below. Also, my special thanks to Greg Maurice for his excellent and tasteful design of the animated birthday candle above (animation is only visible to viewers using Netscape 2.0+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.1+).

ANNIVERSARY TABLE OF CONTENTS:

New Article Added to Scientific Papers Page!
Many Additions to the Collegamento Page!
Frequently Asked Questions Added to Comments Page!
Shroud CD-Rom Project Page Updated!
Technical Notes Page Updated!
Index to Ian Wilson Book Available!
The Future of This Website!
A Look At You, Our Viewers!
Are You An HTML Ace?
Even This Page Has Been Updated!
One Last Word!
Posted January 21, 1997

New Article Added to Scientific Papers Page

Radiocarbon Measurement and the Age of the Turin Shroud: Possibilities and Uncertainties, one of the first published scientific papers that dealt with carbon dating the Shroud of Turin, has been added in its entirety to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page. It was written and presented by William Meacham, a noted archaeologist, at the 1986 Shroud Symposium in Hong Kong. In it, the author expresses his concerns that "contamination is a very serious problem in interpreting the results of radiocarbon measurement," and examines the issue of the reliability of C-14 testing to produce an 'absolute date' on the Shroud. It is particularly interesting in light of Dr. Harry Gove's recent book, "Relic, Icon or Hoax? Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," which treats Meacham rather harshly.

Posted January 21, 1997

Many Additions to the Collegamento Page

Two new articles and an illustrated list of books have been added to the "Collegamento pro Sindone" pages. "In Front of the Shroud: Neither Iconoclasts Nor Fundamentalists", by Italian journalist Orazio Petrosillo, provides his perspective on the position of the Church regarding the Shroud of Turin. "The Bloody Icon" is Emanuela Marinelli's 1988 point of view on the carbon dating.

Posted January 21, 1997

Frequently Asked Questions Added to Comments Page

The "Comments From Our Viewers" page has been enlarged to include a new Frequently Asked Questions section. In an effort to provide the widest range of information on the Shroud of Turin (and help minimize the number of e-mails I must answer), I have included responses to the questions that are asked most often. In many cases, I have asked experts in the appropriate fields to draft the answers. This area will be enlarged as time goes on, so check back from time to time for updates.

Posted January 21, 1997

Shroud CD-Rom Project Page Updated

The "Updates on the Shroud of Turin CD-Rom Project" page of the website has itself been updated with a more detailed description of the project and the latest progress report describing the current status of the work. It will also introduce you to my associate, Greg Maurice, the director of the CD-Rom design and authoring. Check this article to see how the project has grown in scope since its first inception.

Posted January 21, 1997

Technical Notes Page Updated

The "Technical Notes About This Website" page has been updated to include information on viewing animated gifs and JavaScript enabled browsers. Information for viewers using Microsoft Internet Explorer, America Online and Compuserve is now included as well. If you are having any difficulties viewing this website or its images, or if you wish to make sure you are seeing this site at the highest possible quality, read the information on this page.

Posted January 21, 1997

Index to Ian Wilson Book Available

Professor Dan Scavone reports the availability of a new Index to Ian Wilson's 1978 book, "The Shroud of Turin". Prepared by Lisa Barnett, one of Dan's students at the University of Southern Indiana, this detailed and thorough index is essential to anyone using Ian's book for Shroud studies. Copies may be purchased by sending a $2.00 check payable to Lisa Barnett to:

Daniel C. Scavone
Professor of History
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN 47712 U.S.A.

Lisa may be reached via e-mail at: ljbarnet@kent.edu

Posted January 21, 1997

The Future of This Website

Judging from your response to this website over its first year, I know we are on the right track! According to many viewers and Shroud researchers, my original plan for a small, personal website to share some of my photographs and other Shroud materials has grown into a full fledged Internet Center for Shroud Studies. My response to that is, "so be it" and I am now making plans for this website to start functioning even more in that capacity. With that in mind, here are a few of the "new" things planned for the future:

Since the carbon dating results of 1988, many active Shroud researchers disengaged from Shroud work, believing there was no further interest in studying this enigmatic cloth. Although many researchers remained unconvinced by the carbon date or felt there were other areas beside the age of the cloth that required further investigation, it was no longer fashionable (or even advisable from a career point of view) for serious scientists to continue to study and submit Shroud research for peer review and publication. Sadly, this created a vacuum of qualified Shroud research and left the door open for "fringe" elements to enter the picture and cloud the issue with unbelievable and often ludicrous claims. Dorothy Cripino's "Shroud Spectrum International" remained the only high quality English language publication dedicated exclusively to sindonology (Shroud studies). Her center continued to accept Shroud research from the scientific community, have it peer reviewed by qualified scientists and published in its highly reputable journal until 1993, when it ceased publication.

With the wide acceptance of the Internet as the universal "information" center of the 21st century, it is clear that this website would be the logical place to continue Dorothy Crispino's fine work. To that end, the "Shroud of Turin Website" is currently having its first paper refereed for publication. Titled "The Process of Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin", by Jean-Baptiste Rinaudo of Montpellier, France, the paper is currently being reviewed by particle physicist Larry Schwalbe of Los Alamos National Laboratories. A review by chemist Alan Adler is already written. Once the reviews are completed, they will be returned to Rinaudo for his comments, changes or rebuttal. Then the paper AND the peer review articles, along with any additions and corrections, will be published in their entirety on the website. It is my hope that this website will become the new and definitive resource for researchers to have their Shroud work reviewed and published. Keep watching for more information on this exciting new role for the website.

Several other important projects are also now in the planning stages. These include the ability to hold live, interactive web-wide forums with noted Shroud scientists directly on this website. Once established, viewers will be able to ask questions and participate in regularly scheduled discussions with Shroud researchers and historians, live, on the Internet.

Also, many interested scientists have written me over this past year, offering to make their services or facilities available for serious Shroud studies. In the future, this website will provide a "Resource Registry", where qualified organizations or individuals can list the resources they could make available for Shroud research. Also, any organization already involved in Shroud research but lacking certain resources will able to list their needs. It is hoped that this new website service will help foster serious scientific research on this enigmatic cloth. As you can see, the future of Shroud research is alive and well and bright with possibilities. I am pleased and honored to play some small part in that future.

Posted January 21, 1997

A Look At You, Our Viewers!

On July 15, 1996 my server began making available weekly, in-depth statistical reports that break down the visitor information to this website. Candidly, I look forward to the arrival of these weekly reports with anticipation and great excitement. It is my weekly chance to peek back at you, the mostly nameless visitors who have made the counter spin, written to me from the heart and occasionally even put tears in my eyes. You who send me blessings and prayers regularly. And you who often challenge me intellectually and stimulate me to work even harder to improve this website. I get quite a thrill, sitting here in my loft in Los Angeles and communicating with thousands of people around the world! So I have gone through these reports and extracted some of the most interesting information to share with you, about you. And for any real die-hard statistics fans, I am including a link to the STATISTICS PAGE so you can go there any time you wish and see the detailed reports for yourself. Enjoy!

Posted January 21, 1997

Are You An HTML Ace?

The growth of this website has been phenomenal and it has taken on a life of its own. That is the good news. The bad news is that it is taking more and more time to maintain and "tend" it. With that in mind, I am looking to find someone to help me in the preparation of new materials for the website. Since there is no budget to pay a professional webauthoring service, I am looking to you, the viewers of this website, in hopes of finding the voluntary support person I need. The ideal person would live in the Los Angeles, California area, have their own computer system (PC compatible preferred) with 28.8 modem, be very well versed in HTML authoring, own some type of HTML web authoring and browsing software (Netscape 3.0 preferred), have some JavaScripting skills, have their own website (real hands on experience), have high standards and take themselves and their work seriously. If you happen to be that person, send me e-mail at help@shroud.com and tell me about yourself. I won't be able to answer each of you individually, but will review each submission carefully and contact the "right" person when I find you. Feel free to include your complete address(es), a phone number where you can be reached and the best time of day to reach you.

Posted January 21, 1997

Even This Page Has Been Updated!

If you are a regular visitor to this site, you probably make the "Late Breaking Website News" page one of your first stops. It's the fastest way to find out what's been added or updated on the website. Unfortunately, after many months of accumulated messages, this page got to be quite long and required lots of scrolling. Yet many people told me they liked to use it as another way to browse the website, so I hesitated to delete the items. To solve the problem, the 1996 news items have now been separated and put on their own page. So if you wish to take a look at the history of the website (and a bit of Shroud history as well), check out the "1996 Website News" page. There also is a permanent link to it at the bottom of this page.

Posted January 21, 1997

One Last Word

I've spent so much time recently working on this update to the website, that I have once again neglected my e-mail. If you are waiting for an answer to an e-mail written to me in the last three weeks, please be patient. I will answer soon! Also, due to the size of this update and my need to complete a large project for one of my clients, the next major update to this website will not come until mid February. Of course, any important news will be posted as soon as it is received. Thanks again for your consideration. I hope you enjoy reviewing all of the new materials!

Posted January 21, 1997

Website First Anniversary Approaches

January 21, 1997 will mark the first anniversary of this website. In honor of the event I am planning a substantial upgrade to the site, including the addition of many new articles and an entire new section. You'll also get a look back over our first year, see a preview of what's planned for the future and take an interesting peek at who's been viewing this website. So join us on our first birthday, starting at 12:00am, PDT, January 21, 1997. See you then!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted January 9, 1997

New Article Added

A new article, Prospects of Research of the Turin Shroud in Russia, by Alexander Belyakov, Director of the Moscow Center of the Turin Shroud, has been added to the "Scientific Papers & Articles" page of the website. Included is the text of his presentation made at the Shroud conference in San Felice, Italy, on August 24-25, 1996, in which he discusses the changing climate of Shroud research in Russia and his theories on the image formation mechanism of the Shroud.

Posted January 9, 1997

New Address for Albany Center

Rodger Apple, Executive Director of the Albany Center Turin Shroud reports that the center has a new mailing address and has added an e-mail address as well. See the "Shroud Centers & Organizations" page of this website for details.

Posted January 9, 1997


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