The 3rd International Dallas Conference
On the Shroud of Turin

September 8 through 11, 2005
The Adolphus Hotel
Dallas, Texas

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Click here to read An Overview of the Conference
Click here to view the Conference Speakers and Topics
Click here for information on obtaining Conference Audio Cassettes, CD Audio or Interactive CD Image Discs

An Overview of the Conference

All Photographs © 2005 Barrie M. Schwortz
All Rights Reserved

On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 7, 2005, guests and speakers began arriving at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas, to register for the 3rd International Dallas Conference on the Shroud of Turin, scheduled to begin the next day. The conference was jointly sponsored by The Holy Shroud Guild and the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AM*STAR) in collaboration with the Centro Internationale de Sindonologia, of Turin, Italy. This was the first Shroud conference to have international co-sponsors, and many hoped it would mark a new era of cooperation between Italian and American sindonologists, so it was somewhat disappointing to discover upon arrival that several important members of the Centro were unable to attend. Absent were Prof. Bruno Barberis, Dr. Gian Maria Zaccone and Prof. Nello Balossino and their scheduled papers were ultimately read by other Centro members.

The conference was not scheduled to begin until the next afternoon, so the first evening and following morning were available for old friends and colleagues to reunite and reminisce. One of the first things that separated this conference from previous Dallas conferences was the location. Unlike previous events that were held in the suburbs, this one was held right in the heart of downtown Dallas where restaurants and other amenities were within walking distance. However, most significant in comparison to previous years was the availability of a "Hospitality Suite" provided by Dan Porter, publisher of the excellent Shroud website It provided the perfect environment for an informal gathering of old friends and colleagues to discuss the latest research, catch up on old times or just "hang out." I think I can speak for everyone who spent any time in the suite during the conference in extending a special "thank you" to Dan for making it available. It was the place where most of us went every evening (and some of us stayed until the wee hours).

Dan Porter's Hospitality Suite
(Back Row) Phil Dayvault, Bill Meacham, Gina Glick, Diana Fulbright, Dan Porter, Emanuela Marinelli
(Front Row) Mary Hines, David Alexander, Dan Scavone, Sue Benford, Joe Marino, Richard Orareo, Gus Accetta

At 1:30 p.m. the following afternoon, Thursday, September 8, 2005, Thomas D'Muhala, AMSTAR President, introduced The Most Reverend Kevin W. Van, Bishop of Fort Worth, who started the proceedings off with opening remarks and a blessing. This was followed by Tom's address that formally opened the conference.

Over the next three days papers covering a variety of Shroud related topics were presented. Sadly, as has become typical at conferences in recent years, many papers failed to reveal any new information on the Shroud but simply restated or reinforced earlier knowledge. Of course, this is due in part to the lack of any new Shroud data or materials available to researchers for further studies. I hate to admit it, but as I sat at one of the front tables in the conference hall next to my friend Prof. Giulio Fanti, he and I somewhat jokingly kept a running scorecard of any "new" information that was presented. Frankly, the score was rather low, but there were a few highlights, including several papers that truly contributed something new to sindonology.

The highlights of the first day included Dame Isabel Piczek providing an overview of her beautiful exhibit of Sacred Art that was on display in another part of the hotel and Tom D'Muhala's reading of Ray Rogers' Thermochimica Acta paper, Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin as a tribute to the late scientist and his final contribution to sindonology.

At 8:00 p.m. that evening, I screened for the first time publicly, the video program I produced titled, "Ray Rogers In His Own Words." The program is edited from more than 5½ hours of on-camera interviews I conducted in May 2004 with Ray at his home in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In the program, Ray reviewed the details of his January 2005 Thermochimica Acta paper that proved the 1988 c14 dating of the Shroud used an anomalous sample. He also shared the fascinating story of what inspired him to complete the research that sadly became his final work on the Shroud. More controversial was Ray's criticism of the 2002 restoration of the Shroud and his discussion of the future of Shroud research in general. In that context he made several important recommendations that he considered critical for any future study of the cloth.

Since the screening had been scheduled in the evening, time was not a limiting factor as it was during the daytime sessions and the audience was able to stay and participate in a group discussion at the end of the program. Consequently, for at least an hour after the video ended, many researchers participated in a healthy discussion of Ray's work and its implications. On another note, I was somewhat troubled by the fact that the Conference Program erroneously labled the video "A Tribute to Ray Rogers," even though I had informed AMSTAR of the actual title well in advance and even published a description of the video on this website several days prior to the event. Sadly, it still led some people to believe I was being intentionally misleading. That was not the case.

AMSTAR: Conference organizers Tom D'Muhala, Dame Isabel Piczek and Michael Minor

Highlights of the second day included the presentations of Mario Latendresse, who presented interesting new information about the Shroud's image based on his recent experiments and Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg, the textile expert that restored the Shroud in 2002, who presented the reasons that she felt made the restoration necessary. After reminding us that the Shroud was now stored in a special case with a 99.5% argon atmosphere, I was somewhat surprised to hear her state that the carbon found trapped between the 1532 patches and the Shroud cloth itself (from the charred edges of the burn holes) had to be removed before it caused "oxidation of the linen." Yet oxidation requires the presence of oxygen, not carbon, and not much oxygen can exist in a 99.5% argon atmosphere. She also claimed that moisture could potentially cause this carbon to "dissolve" and form a "black ink" that would permanently stain the cloth. Yet carbon, in its elemental form, does not dissolve in water. In fact, it is commonly used in water filtration systems to trap particulates. This did not seem to be a very strong scientific argument in favor of the restoration.

Day two ended on a more positive note. In another 8:00 p.m. evening session, Sue Benford and Joe Marino read a paper that detailed their latest research and presented new evidence and historical background for their "invisible mending" theory. Once again, since time was not an issue in the evening sessions, an hour long interactive group discussion took place between the researchers and the audience in which they answered questions and responded to comments.

The third day of the conference began in a somewhat dissapointing manner. According to the Conference Schedule, the first presentation of the day was to be a paper representing the combined efforts of 24 researchers who participate regularly in an online Shroud Science forum. It was originally scheduled to be read by Tom D’Muhala, but the authors were notified at the last moment that its acceptance had been revoked because it was deemed to be "too controversial.” In the end, it was not read during the daytime session, but was presented that evening by its primary author, Giulio Fanti, to a large and receptive group in Dan Porter's Hospitality Suite. Since the paper was accepted and listed in the Conference Program, I have included it here.

Another highlight of day three was Alan Whanger's radiological analysis of the c14 sample area of the Shroud, using the 1978 STURP x-rays. In essence, he concluded that the x-rays revealed anomalies consistent with the observations of Ray Rogers and Benford/Marino. A very interesting paper was that of Roberto Falcinelli that documented his in-depth investigation of the Veil of Manoppello, believed by some to be a miraculous image and by others to be simply a painting. Although not specifically about the Shroud, it is a fascinating subject and has certain parallels that make it worthy of interest.

Perhaps the most unusual presentation of day three (or of the entire conference for that matter) was an impromptu Question and Answer period in which Michael Minor asked Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg a series of very specific questions, somewhat reminiscent of expert witness testimony at a criminal trial. Titled “Correcting Misinformation about the 2002 Restoration,” this surprise Q & A was not in the Conference Schedule and no questions were accepted from the floor. It seemed to be hastily crafted as a response to some of the criticisms of the restoration made by Ray Rogers and other scientists, but the questions were rather contrived and not very detailed or probing and did little to satisfy the serious questions on many researcher's minds.

Then came the excellent paper by Aldo Guerreschi and I finally got to add some points to my "something new" list! As always, Aldo's thoughtful, thorough and empirical approach to Shroud research is evidenced in this, his latest paper (and perhaps the best one presented at the 2005 Dallas conference). Aldo performed a series of experiments with a Shroud replica in which he recreated the fire of 1532. His latest results provide a highly credible explanation for the infamous water stains, scorches and burn holes on the Shroud, long thought to be caused by molten silver dripping onto the cloth from the superheated silver-covered reliquary. However, that theory was not borne out by the data gathered in 1978 by STURP, as their spectral analysis detected no silver residue in any of the burned or scorched areas. Aldo's latest work provides the best answer yet to this problem.

The Conference Banquet
©2005 Aldo Guerreschi

Of course, no conference would be complete without a banquet, and a fine one was prepared on Saturday evening. The festivities began with Mike Minor presenting various attendees with humorous gifts, some of which were quite clever. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg was presented with a child's sewing kit, Isabel Piczek with a child's painting set, Monsignor Ghiberti with a book titled, "Trial by Fire," Emanuela Marinelli with a copy of "Much Ado About Nothing," Prof. Baima-Bollone with a copy of "Shooting at Loons" and I was presented with an ancient (and possibly collectible) Kodak Instamatic Camera for which film is no longer available. In essence, it was a lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek commentary on the conference and was welcomed by all.

After dinner, the keynote address was delivered by Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti. There had been rumors for months that he would be making a very important announcement at the conference, so many of us were waiting with great anticipation. Ultimately, he announced that the scientific proposals that many of us had submitted at the request of the Turin authorities in 2000 had finally been reviewed and the best of them were being forwarded to the Vatican for further consideration. Although good news in one sense, most of those proposals are now obsolete and would have to be re-written and re-submitted before being considered credible. Truthfully, many of us hoped the announcement would be about a new radiocarbon dating of the Shroud in light of the latest research, but that was not the case.

The banquet ended with Closing Remarks from Michael Minor, who made a stirring speech that stressed the need for cooperation and working together to further Shroud research. That certainly is an idea whose time has come.

Barrie Schwortz

Included below are links to eleven of the papers that were presented during the conference.

Day One
Thursday, September 8, 2005

The Most Reverend Kevin W. Van, Bishop of Fort Worth
Opening Remarks and Blessing

Thomas D'Muhala
Conference Welcome and General Remarks

Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti
Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Late Ray Rogers' Thermochimica Acta paper is read by Thomas D'Muhala:
“Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin”

Dame Isabel Piczek
“An Overview of the Art Exhibit”

Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Dietz
“Paralipomena on Geoffrey de Charny”

Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone
“A Question of Artistic Anatomy”
Read in English by Susan Phillips

Diana Fulbright
“‘A Clean Cloth’ - What Greek Word Usage Tells Us About the Death and Burial of Jesus”
(Editor's Note: This link is to a reprint of the article from the BSTS Newsletter No. 62)

Barrie Schwortz
“Ray Rogers In His Own Words” 30 minute Video Program
(presented at an evening session with subsequent group discussion)
Photo courtesy Aldo Guerreschi

Day Two
Friday, September 9, 2005

Dr. Gilbert Lavoie
“A Forensic Medical Study of the Shroud of Turin that will
Present New Information to Further Illustrate the Complexity of Image Formation”

Prof. Bruno Barberis and Prof. Piero Savarino
“Ten Years of Important Events in the History of the Holy Shroud”
Read by Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone and Susan Phillips
(Editor's Note: This link is to a text-only reprint of this article from the BSTS Newsletter No. 62 and does not include illustrations)

Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemburg
“The Turin Linen Cloth”

Dr. Jose Luis Fernandez
“A Systematic Approach for Understanding the Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin”

Mary Whanger
“The Impact of the Face Image on the Shroud on Art, Coins and Religions in the Early Centuries”

Mario Latendresse
“Evidence that the Shroud was not Completely Flat during the Image Formation”
Link to Mario's Presentation Slides:

Dr. William Wolkowski
“Hierarchy, Meaning & Coherence, a Transdisciplinary Cybersymposium” read by Thomas D’Muhala

Dame Isabel Piczek
“The Abstruse Bas-Relief Effect”

Dr. Gian Maria Zaccone
“The Shroud In History” read by Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Dietz

Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti
“From the Gospel to the Shroud”

Dr. August Accetta
“Nuclear Radiation & the Shroud: Head Image”

Sue Benford and Joe Marino
“New Historical Evidence Explaining the ‘Invisible Patch’ in the 1988 C-14 Sample Area of the Turin Shroud”
(presented at an evening session with subsequent group discussion)

Day Three
Saturday, September 10, 2005

Kevin Moran
“Image Properties of the Turin Shroud”

Dr. Alan Whanger
“Radiological Aspects of the Shroud of Turin” (Excerpt)

Prof. Emanuela Marinelli Paolicchi
“The Geography of the Shroud”

Prof. Nello Balossino
“The Shroud Image: Computer Processing for Hidden Information and Pattern Recognition” read by Thomas D’Muhala

Stephen Bollettieri
“The First Photographic Revelation of the Shroud: ‘Accidental’ Discovery or Divine Providence”

Roberto Falcinelli
“The Veil of Manoppello: Work of Art or Authentic Relic?”

Prof. Giulio Fanti
“Body Image Formation Hypothesis based on Corona Discharge”

Mechthild Flury-Lemburg answers questions from Michael Minor
“Correcting Misinformation about the 2002 Restoration”
An unscheduled Question & Answer Segment in which no questions were accepted from the floor.
Editor's Note: This link is to an article by Mike Minor in the BSTS Newsletter No. 62 that includes the questions he asked (pages 3 & 4)

Aldo Guerreschi
“Further Studies on the Scorches and the Watermarks”
Read in English by Susan Phillips

The Rev. Albert Dreisbach, Jr.
“The Soudarion: What the Fourth Gospel Reveals about the Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth”

Marcel Alonso
“Role of Capillarity in the Image Formation Process”
No photograph is available of Marcel Alonso as he was unable to attend the conference.
Unlike some papers of absent researchers that were read by Tom D’Muhala or other presenters, Mario’s paper was not read at the conference.
However, since the paper was accepted and listed in the Conference Program, I am including it here.

Giulio Fanti, et. al.
“Evidences for Testing Hypotheses About the Body Image Formation of the Turin Shroud”
Another paper, representing the combined efforts of 24 researchers who participate regularly in an online Shroud Science forum,
was originally scheduled to be read by Tom D’Muhala on Saturday morning, but the authors were notified at
the last moment that its acceptance had been revoked because it was deemed to be "too controversial.”
It was presented Saturday evening by Giulio Fanti to a large group in Dan Porter's Hospitality Suite.
However, since the paper was accepted and listed in the Conference Program, I am including it here.

Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone
“Closing Address”
Read in English by Susan Phillips

Day Four
Sunday Morning, September 11, 2005

A Discussion Period was scheduled for the final morning of the conference. Here, any questions that attendees wanted to raise were to be answered. Conference rules required that all questions be submitted in writing in advance.

Unfortunately, many conference attendees (including myself) had Sunday morning flights home and were unable to attend or participate in the discussion, so I have no photographs of that event to include here nor can I provide a first hand account of the discussion.

Audiocassettes or CD-Audio Discs of Conference Speakers Available

Fortunately, all of the presentations at the conference, including the Banquet and the Sunday morning discussion, were professionally recorded by Thomas K. Sullivan Digital Services and are now available on audio cassette or CD-audio discs directly from their website at (no longer available). Click on the link for a detailed description and ordering information. Also available are audio sets of the 2nd International Dallas Conference held in 2001.

Click here to visit the 2nd International Dallas Conference page of this website

Interactive CD Disc of Conference Available

As usual, I made many photographs during the conference and from them, created a PowerPoint presentation that includes 79 of the best ones, along with captions for each that include the name of the presenter and the title of the paper they presented. I have also incorporated interactive hyperlinks into the presentation, just like those you regularly find on the Internet. In other words, if your computer is connected to the Internet while you are viewing the PowerPoint presentation, you can click on the link in the caption and go directly to that paper on the Internet. There are eleven papers in the presentation that are linked in this manner, six on and five on other websites. I have also included both PPT and PPS versions of the PowerPoint presentation on the disc. Of course, everyone doesn't have PowerPoint installed on their computer, so I have also created a full screen Acrobat PDF version of the presentation, complete with embedded interactive links. You can also use this version to easily print a copy of the presentation if desired. One only needs the Acrobat Viewer software, which usually comes already installed on most computers.

Also included on the disc are all 79 of my original digital photographs used in the presentation. Made with a professional digital camera, each file is a 4256 x 2848 pixel (12 megapixel) JPEG image that can be opened and printed with any image editing software. You can obtain your own copy of The 3rd International Dallas Shroud Conference Interactive CD Disc via the "Website Store" page of the site. Click on the link for a detailed description and ordering information.

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