2003 Website News

These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 2003. Items are listed with the most recent one first, and each article carries the posting date indicating when it was first uploaded. You should find this an interesting look at the important Shroud and Website events in 2003.

Holiday Wishes and the Website's 8th Anniversary Update

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year. I thank you all for your continued support and participation, which is deeply appreciated. The next update will be on January 21, 2004, and will mark the Eight Anniversary of the Shroud of Turin Website. Over the years, the anniversary update has traditionally been the largest of the year, and this coming update will not disappoint you. It will include the latest issue of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter, with a colorful feature on Richard Orareo's Boston Collection of Shroud Art. You will also find an update to the Shroud of Turin Booklist, three or four new scientific papers from Shroud conferences around the world and much more. I look forward to seeing you all next year. Happy holidays!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted December 19, 2003

Update on Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa of Baghdad

As regular viewers of this website know, in January of this year I published a feature article on Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa of the Church of the East (Apostolic Church) in Baghdad, Iraq. The article introduced him to website viewers and described his efforts to bring information about the Shroud of Turin to the people of Iraq. It also included the announcement of his recent book on the Shroud, "The Image of Odessa," which was written in Arabic. Unfortunately, the beginning of the war in Iraq marked the end of all correspondence between us. In the ensuing months, many viewers wrote to me asking if I had heard anything from Archbishop Sliwa and everyone asked me to forward their hopes and prayers for the safety of his people. I included all of these messages in the e-mails I sent him but every one was returned and each was marked undeliverable. Around two months ago, I tried again and was amazed, when after a few days, my message had not been returned. But I never received a response either. I concluded that if it had gotten through at all, it was probably sitting on some hard drive on some server somewhere in Baghdad, waiting for the time when Archbishop Sliwa could again go online and get his mail.

Then, on October 28, 2003, I received the following e-mail:

Good Evening,

My name is Jannet Bahjat. I am the niece of Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa from the Church of the East in Baghdad. I live in Hartford, CT.

I received a phone call from my uncle today. We talked for a few minutes. They are all in good health. My uncle wanted me to let you know that you are often in his mind and his prayers. There have been so many times that he wanted to get in contact with you, but due to the situation they are in, he has been unsuccessful to get in touch with you.

He does ask us to all pray for them. They are living in Fear as each day passes by. They are all hoping for Peace in the near future.

I just wanted to give you this message from my uncle.

Thank You,

Jannet B.

I was very relieved to finally receive some news of the Archbishop and very pleased when Jannet graciously gave me permission to reprint her e-mail here on the website. That in itself would be good news to share with website viewers, but the story continues. On Tuesday, November 4, 2003, I was pleased and surprised to receive a telephone call from Archbishop Sliwa himself! Using a borrowed satellite telephone, he called from Baghdad to update me on his situation and send his thanks and appreciation to all who expressed their concerns. He explained that although electric power has been restored, telephone service has not, so no Internet access or e-mail communications are possible yet. He told me that everyone was doing as well as could be expected under such difficult and fearful circumstances, but he remained hopeful for peace. The conversation was brief, but ended on a positive and optimistic note. Needless to say, I was very pleased to speak personally with Archbishop Sliwa again and get a first hand report on his situation. I will continue to keep you updated whenever new informaton becomes available.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted November 10, 2003

Spam Attack Causes E-mail Overload

In recent weeks, my already heavy e-mail volume has increased dramatically, making it even more difficult for me to keep up with my Shroud related correspondence. (I typically spend three hours every day answering e-mail and corresponding with Shroud researchers and website viewers around the world). It appears that some Internet spammer has launched a massive spam campaign that used this website's domain name as its fraudulent return address. That means that millions of people are receiving spam from what appears to be shroud.com, and every e-mail that is undeliverable due to incorrect or changed e-mail addresses is returned to MY mailbox. I received over 1200 of these in just one day, and am now receiving over 700 e-mails daily. Although I use some very sophisticated spam filtering software, and all of my e-mail is pre-screened by my server, I still have to look through them all to ensure that no important e-mails are inadvertantly deleted. All I can say is please be patient if you have written me and I have not yet answered. I'll respond as soon as I can.

Also, should you receive any spam that claims to be from shroud.com, please be assured it is fraudulent. This website NEVER sends ANY unsolicited e-mail. I have a "subscribed" mailing list to which I do send occasional e-mails, but each subscriber must add his or her own name to the list. I cannot do it myself. If you wish to become a subscriber to the Shroud of Turin Website e-mail list, just go to the Send Us E-mail page of this site and click on the "Sign Up" graphic. Your e-mail address is the only information you need to provide.

Posted November 10, 2003

The Website Store and the Holidays

I am pleased to report that I am once again offering a FREE Shroud Sepia Lithograph as a special holiday gift to those who place credit card orders from the Shroud of Turin Website Store page of this site. Please see the page for details of the offer, which is valid on all orders placed through December 31, 2003. As most of you know, all revenues from the Website Store are used to help subsidize the monthly bandwidth and server charges incurred by the site. These sales also make it possible for me to keep this website completely free of banner advertising and pop-ups.

I am also pleased to announce a reduced price for the Peter J. Shield Interviews 2 Disc CD Audio Set. In 1987, for his Australian radio program, Peter conducted a series of remarkable interviews with members of the STURP team. The program included interviews with Rex Morgan, Ian Wilson, Walter McCrone, Vernon Miller, Dr. Alan Adler and Fr. Peter Rinaldi and was produced just months before the now infamous carbon dating of the Shroud. See the page for details of this and many other available items. Please note that to ensure delivery in time for the holidays, U.S. orders must be placed by December 15, 2003. Overseas orders should be received no later than December 1, 2003 for holiday delivery.

One final note. Did you know that you can help underwrite this website without spending one cent extra? Just use this site as your portal to Amazon.com and the website will receive a small commission for every item you purchase. You don't have to fill in any extra forms or check any special boxes. Just enter Amazon using this link: STERA, Inc. on Amazon. Thank you!

Posted November 10, 2003

Recent Comment Generates Many Responses

In the August 15, 2003 update to this website I published a viewer's letter on the Comments From Our Viewers page that discussed Jesus' appearance according to the writings of Flavius Josephus. Within a few days I received a number of e-mails offering additional information and commentary on the subject. Since this was an area far from my own expertise, I found the information furnished by the viewers enlightening and thought I would share it with you. You will now find three additional letters on the Comments page that deal directly with this subject. I want to thank all of you who wrote to me for taking the time to share this information.

Posted September 19, 2003

Shroud of Turin Booklist Updated

Once again I am indebted to Emanuela Marinelli of the Collegamento pro Sindone in Rome for her continued dedication in maintaining the Shroud of Turin Booklist on this website. I am truly pleased to announce that another five books have been added to the list. Thanks to her amazing efforts, the Booklist remains the most up to date Shroud resource of its kind. Thank you Emanuela!

Posted September 19, 2003

An Important Anniversary Approaches

I will forever consider October 8, 1978, as one of the true milestone dates in the history of the Shroud of Turin. It was on that day, nearly 25 years ago, that the first ever in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud began at around 10:45 pm in the Royal Palace in Turin, Italy. On that night, alongside a select group of Italian scientists, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), a team of 24 American scientists and researchers, began a carefully planned set of data gathering, non-destructive tests that would continue nonstop for a full five days and nights, finishing on the evening of October 13, 1978. Over the next three years, that research would result in the publication of 24 scientific and technical papers, most of them in highly respected, peer reviewed journals. In essence, the STURP team's efforts resulted in the most in depth scientific research that had ever been performed on the relic. In fact, to this day, data from the 1978 examination continues to serve researchers around the world as the primary resource for most ongoing Shroud studies. I believe the dates October 8 - 13, 1978, mark an event in Shroud history equally as important as the 1532 Chambéry fire or the 1898 Secondo Pia photograph.

In all fairness, the STURP team was not perfect. Mistakes were made, some small and innocent, and others with longer lasting repercussions. Errors in judgement, poor public relations and bruised egos took their toll and resulted in the generation of as much controversy as new data. Without question, they were dedicated scientists, expert in their own fields, but no one on the team had the experience necessary to anticipate and deal with the "other" issues surrounding such a public and emotionally charged subject as the Shroud of Turin. Much has been written about the 1978 examination, some accurate and factual, some pure fantasy (and mostly by people who were NOT there), but as the 25th anniversary of this event approaches, I think it is most important to recognize the great contribution to Sindonolgy made by STURP. For the first time in history, a multi-disciplinary group of scientists, researchers and other experts came together and, working as a team with a clearly designed purpose, filled in many of the blanks that existed in our knowledge of the Shroud.

As most of you know, I was the Documenting Photographer for the STURP team, so perhaps I am biased. But I had the rare privilege of observing and documenting, first hand, this amazing effort to design and perform tests that would ultimately expand the world's knowledge of this relic without causing it any harm. A formidable task under the best of circumstances. Yet none of us had ever even seen the cloth before, except in photographs. Every experiment had to be planned in advance, but without the benefit of any definitive information about the object we were testing. A custom examination table, upon which the Shroud would be fastened with magnets while the testing was performed, had to first be designed and built (without having accurate dimensions of the actual cloth), then disassembled, shipped and reassembled after our arrival in Italy. Our research was carried out in the Royal Palace of Turin, about as far as one can get from a laboratory setting. We brought with us more than 70 crates of equipment, much of it designed for American rather than Italian power supplies, and all of which had to be either adapted, modified or converted before it could be used. And we truly pushed the century old power system in the Royal Palace to its limits.

Some equipment, like the lighting we used to illuminate and photograph the Shroud, had to be obtained locally to be sure it would work in the Royal Palace. Ultimately, the lights were borrowed from a local industrial photographer. An x-ray processing machine had to be brought along with us and set up in the only functioning bathroom in our wing of the Royal Palace. It was necessary to process the x-rays in Turin to avoid the dangers of bringing exposed but unprocessed x-ray film of the Shroud back through potentially harmful airport x-ray machines. Photographic film processing was not available, so I personally hand carried over 70 rolls of exposed 35mm film and 100 sheets of exposed 4" x 5" film in six lead foil bags, having them hand inspected at each security check and literally keeping them in my lap throughout the entire flight home. In many respects, the 1978 scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin was no less an expedition into uncharted territory than the journeys of Stanley and Livingstone.

Yet after 25 years, and in spite of much criticism, I still take great pride in being part of that moment in history. I am proud of every member of that team. For a short period of time when it truly mattered, we worked together, and under really difficult conditions, accomplished our mission. And in so doing, not only created a major database of Shroud knowledge, but also inspired a whole new generation of Sindonologists who will carry the research into the future. The world would know much less about the Shroud of Turin today if it were not for the amazing efforts of the STURP team. On this 25th anniversary of their important work, consider this article my personal homage to that effort.

Barrie Schwortz

For more information about the 1978 Scientific Examination of the Shroud of Turin and the STURP team, including a summary of their conclusions, a complete bibliography of their published papers and a list of all team members and their affiliations, visit The !978 Scientific Examination page of this site.

Posted September 19, 2003

Radio Interview Available On The Internet

I recently received the following note from Jack Landman, host of the Cybercity Radio Program on WTSA AM in San Antonio, Texas. (I appeared on Jack's program last year and a link to the audio file of my interview with him can be found on the Links To More Information page of this site):


Your visit with me on Cybercity remains one of the best shows in the history of my program. I would be pleased and honored if you would join me again for an extended interview. Would a date in September or October be a possibility?


Naturally, I was pleased and honored myself, and promptly accepted Jack's gracious offer to appear on his program again. The interview took place on Saturday, September 20, 2003, between 8:30 pm and 10:00 pm CST, and was broadcast live, via the Internet. Jack has now made the interview available via his website archives at www.cybercityradio.com/cybercity359.htm. (Sorry. Link no longer available). The program is actually 4½ hours in length and I appear in the last two hours. To go directly to my interview, just use the slider bar on the Windows Media Player you will find on Jack's site and scroll forward to the 2½ hour mark, then just hit the play button. I believe the exact start time is actually 2 hours and 35 minutes into the program. You can also visit the Cybercity Radio website at http://www.cybercityradio.com/.

Posted September 19, 2003
Updated September 30, 2003

A Long Overdue Update

The last seven months have been difficult ones for me. A number of personal issues, including cataract surgery in June, have kept me from updating this website since the 7th Anniversary Update on January 21, 2003. That is the longest single period of inactivity since the site first went online in January 1996. Of course, just because I didn't update the site doesn't mean that there weren't important Shroud related news items and events taking place. In fact, my backlog was massive and included some critically important materials. Consequently, I have spent the last three weeks, practically non-stop, working to update the site and clear my desk. After an extensive effort to get caught up, I can now state that this is the largest single update to the website since it first went online. And even then, there are still a number of items that did not make it into this update. If you submitted something that I committed to publishing and it still hasn't shown up on the website, I ask for your continued patience. It is not always possible to respond as quickly as I would like to events in the world of the Shroud. I must still keep up with a vast amount of correspondence (over 1500 e-mails weekly) and maintain my professional imaging business, which pays the bandwidth and server expenses that keep this website online and free of advertisements. In essence, managing Shroud.com is a full time job that I do in my "spare" time.

No update to this website would be complete without a special word of thanks to the many people who have contributed to making Shroud.com the important resource it has become. I am indebted to all of the scientists, researchers, historians and Shroud scholars around the world who continue to keep me abreast of their work and allow me to include much of it on the website. Without them, most of the newsworthy items, important articles and other valuable Shroud information that appears on the site would not be there. I can only say to all of you, "I could not do it without you!"

Finally, I want to thank you, the viewer, for making this website a great success. Without your continued patronage, without your kind letters of support, without your enthusiastic participation, there would be no reason to do any of this. My sincerest and warmest regards to you all.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted August 15, 2003

A New Look For The Website

Since I first designed this website in January 1996, very few changes have been made to the style or design of the pages. My priority and focus has always been on the content rather than on the layout. In fact, because of the sheer size of the site (it contains well over 1100 files), just the thought of redesigning ANY of it made me queasy. However, I was recently contacted by my good friend Fr. Sean A. Taylor, of Nova Scotia, Canada, an experienced web designer in his own right, who thought a redesign was past due and even sent me several excellent examples of what he had in mind. Although I loved the look of the pages he designed, it would be a massive (and possibly foolhardy) undertaking to actually redesign the entire website for aesthetic reasons alone. Yet many of his suggestions would improve the readability of the pages, particularly those with a lot of text.

I am pleased to announce that I listened to my friend and heeded his advice (at least SOME of it) and have begun the redesign with this update. You will notice that most of the pages (I updated over 400 of them!) now have justified text and slightly indented borders that keep the text from going to the extreme edges of the page. This results in a neater, cleaner appearance that makes the pages easier to read and generally more attractive. I hope to eventually convert all of the text in this manner. My thanks and appreciation to Fr. Sean for the great suggestions.

Posted August 15, 2003

New Papers Added To Website And Pages Updated

I am very pleased to announce that the Scientific Papers & Articles page of this website has been updated with an important new paper. Researched and prepared by Aldo Guerreschi and Michele Salcito, the paper was presented in April 2002 at the IV Symposium Scientifique International du CIELT, in Paris, France. It is titled, Photographic & Computer Studies Concerning the Burn & Water Stains Visible on the Shroud. This intriguing paper is another example of Aldo's thoughtful and thorough approach to Sindonology and one of his finest visual presentations to date. It is profusely illustrated with 49 color photographs and illustrations.

I am also pleased to include an update on the Religion & Philosophy page of the site from the same symposium. This comes in the form of a paper by Kevin Moran and Giulio Fanti titled, Does the Shroud Body Image Show Any Physical Evidence of Resurrection? that takes an interesting look at the Shroud from both a scientific and religious point of view. This paper actually resides on the Collegamento pro Sindone Website and the link is directly to their Acrobat .pdf file.

With the addition of these two new papers, I have also updated the Shroud Conferences & Symposia page to include a new section for the IV Symposium Scientifique International du CIELT, held in Paris, France, in April 2002. This page is far from complete but I hope to add more information to it soon. The Shroud History page, the Website Library page and the Website Search Engine have also been updated to reflect these additions.

Posted August 15, 2003

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) December 2002 and June 2003 Newsletters Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page of this site has been updated and now includes both the December 2002 Issue #56 and the June 2003 Issue #57 of the BSTS Newsletter. I must add here that the printed version of the newsletter is looking better than ever and is now produced with a high quality color front and back cover. The two new issues contain a number of important papers and articles by such well known sindonologists as Prof. Dan Scavone, Dr. Alan Mills, César Barta, Ian Wilson and Ray Rogers. Each issue also includes a new feature called "Who's Who in the Shroud World." Featured this time are Prof. Dan Scavone, Ian Wilson and the Rev. Albert R. "Kim" Dreisbach. That also brings the BSTS page of the website up to date. We can look forward to their next semi-annual issue around Christmas time. My warm thanks to Mark Guscin, the editor of the newletter, for making digital files of the issues available to us and for being so patient with me in getting them online. Remember to check the BSTS page for subscription information if you want to add the actual printed publication to your library.

Posted August 15, 2003

Collegamento pro Sindone Page Updated

The Links To Books By Emanuela Marinelli and Other Authors page of the Collegamento pro Sindone section of this website has been updated and now includes information about the latest book co-authored by Giulio Fanti and Emanuela Marinelli. The book (in Italian) is titled "La Sindone rinnovata Misteri e certezze" and a direct link is provided to the publisher for those who wish to obtain copies. It is one of the many books listed on the page and another important addition to the prolific contribution Emanuela and Giulio have made to Sindonology.

Posted August 15, 2003

Shroud of Turin Booklist Updated

The Shroud of Turin Booklist page of this website has been updated again. As always, I extend my thanks and appreciation to Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli, who are usually the primary providers of updated information to the list. While I am on the subject of the Marinellis, let me remind everyone that the Collegamento pro Sindone Website, built and maintained by Maurizio, includes the definitive list of Shroud Articles from periodicals around the world. Between these two lists, Shroud researchers have access to an extensive and valuable resource of references for their studies.

However, what makes this update to the Shroud of Turin Booklist a very special one is the major contribution made by Raúl Cruz Mireles of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia (Mexican Center of Sindonology) and Miss.Montserrat Castellanos, Academy Secretary at the Museum of the Sacred Scriptures (Mexico Branch) and also member of the Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia.. My friend Gerardo Halbinger, General Secretary of the organization, wrote to me and explained that Raúl and Miss. Castellanos found many missing books and errors in the booklist on this site while doing research for a Roundtable organized by the Centro titled, "La Sindone en el Siglo XXI" (the Shroud in the XXI Century). After compiling a list with more than 170 new entries and dozens of corrections, they were kind enough to provide it to me for inclusion on this page. My warmest appreciation and thanks to Raúl, Miss. Castellanos, Gerardo and the members of the Centro for this truly significant contribution.

Posted August 15, 2003

Links To More Information Updated

Over the past five years, the number of Shroud related websites has grown dramatically. Many of these are personal pages that basically repeat information already available elsewhere on the Internet, but with the addition of the authors' own personal thoughts or observations. I typically create links to pages that include significant content, are operated by credible groups or individuals, provide new insights into some aspect of the Shroud or provide visual information that is Shroud related. Typing "Shroud" into any search engine will yield hundreds if not thousands of links and the sheer number of them makes it impossible for me to keep up with them, let alone include them all on this website. Consequently, in recent years, updates to the links on this website have been rather infrequent. However, I do try and keep my eye out for important or interesting sites and articles that would enhance the viewer's knowledge and perspective of the Shroud, and today's update has some good ones. I am including a brief synopsis of each link on this page for your convenience, but if you go to the Links To More Information page itself, you can find more information and further descriptions of each. The newest links are marked New! to make them easy to find.

The new links, in alphabetical order, include:

Posted August 15, 2003

Frequently Asked Questions Page Now Available In Spanish

I am very pleased to announce that the Frequently Asked Questions page of the site has been updated and now includes a Spanish language translation (En Español). Once again, I am indebted to Dr. Nelson Soba of Cardona, Uruguay, South America, and to M. Adriana and M. Isabel Maria, for providing this important translation for the benefit of our Spanish speaking visitors. Gracias!

Posted August 15, 2003

Comments From Our Viewers Page Updated

This update includes the addition of another letter from a website viewer to the Comments From Our Viewers page of the site. Unfortunately, due to copyright considerations, I was unable to include the illustrations that accompanied the letter, but I believe you will still get the idea without them. My response is also included.

Posted August 15, 2003

New Shroud Books Available From Holy Shroud Guild

Fr. Fred Brinkmann reports that several recently published and important new Shroud related books are now available directly from the Holy Shroud Guild. Books include:

Sindone 2002 - L'intervento conservativo by Mechtild Fleury-Lemberg - Detailing her 2002 restoration of the Shroud. (US$55)
The Orphaned Manuscript by Dorothy Crispino - The final papers written by the late Dr. Alan Adler. (US$50)
The 2 Faces of the Shroud by Gian Maria Zaccone - High quality photo book including images of the backside of the Shroud. (US$55)

Fr. Brinkmann asks that you order only via postal mail and do not respond or order via e-mail. All prices quoted include shipping and handling charges. Mail checks directly to:

Fr. Fred Brinkmann
Redemptorist Provincial Residence
7509 Shore Road
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Posted August 15, 2003

Shroud Dimensional Data Dramatically Visualized By Brazilian Experimenter

Dimensional Enhancement of the Shroud Image
© 2003 Mário Azevedo

I was contacted recently by Mário Azedvedo of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who sent me nearly forty images he had created by digitally extracting the dimensional ("3-D") data encoded in the Shroud. Using top-of-the-line professional 3-D imaging software (and considerable skill), Mário produced dramatic enhancements that were extremely detailed and among the best I had ever seen, so I thought I would share one of the best ones with you. The images clearly illustrate just how well the dimensional data can be demonstrated using state-of-the-art technology. Apparently, the enhancements also created quite a stir in Brazil. In fact, Mário was kind enough to send me a clipping from the largest newspaper in Brazil, "O Globo," that profiled his work and featured a number of his images. I am deeply grateful to Mário for sharing his excellent work with us and to "O Globo" for their kind words about this website.

Many articles have been written on the dimensional properties of the Shroud image and most of them can be found on this website in excellent papers by Aldo Guerreschi and many others. For more detailed information on this subject and links to related materials, enter "dimensional" into the Website Search Engine on the Main Menu page of this site. Your result will be five pages of links that should keep you busy for a while.

Posted August 15, 2003

Holy Shroud Task Force Hosts Dialogue in Pennsylvania

The Holy Shroud Task Force hosted a Shroud Dialogue at Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania on July 18-20, 2003. The dialogue was billed as a "...Planning Meeting to Prepare for Future Events Involving the Holy Shroud." The task force was founded by Rev. Aram Berard, SJ, in 1991 and its current President is Dan McPherson. Among the attendees and panelists were Alan and Mary Whanger, Gil and Bonnie Lavoie, Walter Abbott, SJ, Mark Antonacci, John Long, John and Danee Sarabia, Carmiña Morfin, Richard and Nancy Jones, Peggy Impink and Sister Rosemary Stets. Topics of discussion included the 2002 restoration of the Shroud, a review of 20th century Shroud science and thoughts about future research. Two framed, lifesize photographs of the Shroud are now on permanent display in the newly renovated Chapel of Alvernia College's Veronica Hall.

Posted August 15, 2003

Lifesize Shroud Photographs Available Again

Over the years I received many inquiries as to the availability of lifesize photographic prints of the Shroud. These requests usually came from organizations that operate Shroud centers, speakers who lecture on the subject, Shroud researchers who need them for their studies or individuals that just wished to own them personally. To fill these requests, I offered custom photographic prints made directly from my original 4" x 5" color negatives in lifesize and half-lifesize configurations. Today, those photographic prints and backlit transparencies of the Shroud are on permanent display in centers across the United States and around the world, including the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, the Shroud Center of Southern California, the Richmond Shroud Center in Virginia, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, the Sindone Educational Gallery in Stockton, California, the Moscow Shroud Center in Russia, and in exhibits in Canada, France, Iraq, Japan, Malta and Spain. Sadly, after ten years of producing these prints for me, the laboratory that made them closed its doors in April 2002 and the prints have been unavailable since.

I am pleased to announce that I have now found a new source to produce these lifesize images for me. These new photographic prints are produced directly from high resolution digital scans of my original negatives using Digital Light-Jet technology. Normally, photographic prints are made by projecting a negative onto a light sensitive medium using an enlarger in the darkroom. However, with this new technology, a digital file is projected onto exactly the same type of photographic medium, but using digital laser technology instead. In other words, these are actual photographic prints. They are NOT inkjet or laser prints and the resulting images are nothing short of spectacular in their sharpness, detail and longevity. For detailed information about these prints, visit the Website Store page of this site.

Posted August 15, 2003

And Finally...

For the last twenty-five years, many of my best friends and colleagues were only familiar with my photographs of the Shroud of Turin. They all knew I was a photographer, but very few had ever seen any of my other work. Yet my professional career has spanned 32 years (so far) and includes a vast and diverse array of photographic, video and electronic imaging assignments. With that in mind, I decided to create another website, dedicated specifically to Barrie Schwortz Productions, my professional imaging business. Although so far, it only represents a very small part of my portfolio of work and will continue to grow as time permits, there is now enough on the site for me to share it with the viewers of Shroud.com. Be aware that it contains large images and is optimized for high resolution screens and 32 bit color. So now, for something completely different, visit www.schwortz.com.

Posted August 15, 2003

Shroud.com Celebrates 7th Anniversary!

On January 21, 1996, under the watchful gaze of my then 16 year old son David, I pushed the "send" button and put this website online. Neither of us realized at the time that the little website I had produced to share some of my Shroud materials with the public was going to have so much impact on my life. Of course, in 1996, the Internet was just getting ready to start the explosive growth that we now are all familiar with. I would love to claim that I was a "visionary" and saw what was coming, but that wouldn't even be close to the truth. In fact, had I truly known in advance that the website would become the largest Shroud resource on the Internet (and bring with it the serious responsibilities of publisher and editor), I honestly might have taken a different path. Just imagine having your name, address, phone number and e-mail address published on the Internet for seven full years! ;-)

On the other hand, publishing this website over the years has become the most rewarding and satisfying work of my entire 33 year professional career. Probably the greatest reward for me is the interaction I now enjoy with literally thousands of people around the world. People who I otherwise would never have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting. In fact, today's update includes a Special Feature on just such a person. His name is Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa and he is currently the Archbishop of Baghdad, Iraq. In the article below you will find the details of how we met and even more importantly, the work he is currently doing to bring the Shroud to the entire Arabic speaking world.

Those of you who are regular viewers of this website know that the annual Anniversary Update is usually the largest of the year. In an effort to maintain that tradition, I have tried to include as much of my immense backlog of materials as time permitted. As many of you know, last year was an important one in the world of the Shroud. The biggest news of course, was the story of the controversial restoration that was completed in July 2002, and consequently, what little time my busy imaging business left me for website updating dealt mostly with that subject. Sadly, that meant that some very important items had to be set aside and could not be included in a timely manner. My apologies for not getting them to you sooner.

Barrie Schwortz

A Guide to the 7th Anniversary Update

Posted January 21, 2003

Special Feature: The Archbishop of Baghdad

Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa

Several years ago, I received a telephone order for one of my lifesize photographic prints of the Shroud. The gentleman on the telephone told me it would be used to illustrate the presentations of a Shroud lecturer. My natural curiosity forced me to ask just exactly who the lecturer was. There was a moment's pause, then the telephone was handed over to another gentleman, who introduced himself as Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa of the Church of the East (Apostolic Church) in Baghdad, Iraq.

I was caught completely off guard. Being Jewish, I am just not used to getting phone calls from Archbishops of any church. Archbishop Sliwa told me that he comes to the United States annually to lecture in Arabic and Aramaic at Loyola University in Chicago. He further explained that he intended to use the lifesize photographs in his lectures at five churches in Baghdad. He also mentioned that he was working on a book to bring the Shroud to the Arabic speaking world. That was almost two years ago, and in the ensuing time, I was pleased to publish a letter I received from the Archbishop on the Comments From Our Viewers page of this site.

Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa During Lecture
(seated at his laptop computer)

I was very pleased to learn that he had in fact lectured in the five churches in Baghdad and that my photographs had reached a broader audience than I ever could have imagined. He also graciously sent me some photographs taken during his lecture, which I have included in this article.

In the past year, the Archbishop and I maintained our correspondence via e-mail and he kept me abreast of his Shroud efforts in Baghdad. He has now given many more Shroud presentations in Iraq and abroad. I also got to know a little more about his background and he provided me with his biography for this article:

I was born in 1941 in Habbaniya, Iraq, from an Assyrian father, Daniel, and mother Mariam, and was christened ŒWarda. I finished my Elementary, Intermediate and High School at my birthplace.

I graduated from the University of Baghdad in 1963 as a High School Teacher. I taught in four different High Schools in three provinces, including Baghdad and my birthplace.

Since my childhood, I was spritually driven by a hidden power to consider the Church as an important part of my life, where I learned our liturgical language Assyriac (Aramaic), the language of our Lord Jesus Christ, and gained my religious Christian education, besides learning our modern Assyrian language, reading and writing. History, in general, was an important part of my education.

During the Summer holidays of 1977, I travelled to Chicago to visit some of my relatives. It was my first travel abroad. There our Church asked me to stay and to broaden my theological studies so as to serve the Church as a clergyman. Thus I was ordained a Deacon and then a Priest and in June 1981 I was consecrated Archbishop for the See of Iraq by our Patriarch H.H. Mar Dinkha the Fourth.

The name of our Church is "Church of the East" or "Assyrian Church of the East," (misnamed the Nestorian Church). It was established during the first Century by the Holy Apostles Mar Thomas, Mar Addai (Thaddeus) and Mar Mari, the authors of our Church Liturgy, in the Blessed City of Edessa "Urhai" (in Syriac) or "Orpha" (in Persian).

Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa Delivers
Shroud Lecture in Baghdad, Iraq

Most recently, Archbishop Sliwa notified me that he had completed his book on the Shroud, "The Image of Edessa." Here is the description of the book he provided me:

I wrote the book in the Arabic language, so as to be read by the majority of the people here in my country and in other Arab countries. It consists of about 90 pages, is 8" x 6¼" (20.3 x 15.7cm) in size and its subject matter is supplemented with illustrations and photos, mostly in black and white.

The book was originally a lecture on the Holy Shroud, which I have now delivered eighteen times, in different places, here in my country and abroad. To the original material (The History of the Shroud) I have added three different appendixes of significant additional information relative to the main subject. The Appendixes are:

It is worth mentioning that the book contains a few rare Syriac quotations of remote antiquity referring to the Shroud of our Lord Jesus, from our prayer book, "The Khodra."

The book is available for $15 per copy including postage, and can be obtained by writing to:

Al-Itekal Book Store
3638 W. Montrose
Chicago,IL 60618 U.S.A.
Manager: Ibrahim Ibrahim
Phone: 1(773) 463-4135

I am pleased and honored to introduce Archbishop Gewargis Sliwa to this website's viewers and make his new Shroud book available for all of our Arabic speaking friends.

Posted January 21, 2003

Comments On The Restoration Page Updated

The Comments On The Restoration page of this website has been updated to include the comments of five additional researchers. The page was created to provide a forum for those researchers who wished to provide their points of view on last year's controversial restoration of the Shroud of Turin. You will now find statements from Joseph G. Marino/M. Sue Benford, Serge N. Mouraviev, Raymond N. Rogers, Prof. Daniel Scavone and Bryan Walsh added to the page.

This page remains open and any qualified researcher who wishes to contribute his or her comments may still do so. Please read the Guidelines for Submitting Comments on the page for detailed instructions on preparing your submission.

In light of the restoration, a number of Shroud researchers have decided to create a Petition to Pope John Paul II, expressing their concerns. I have included the text of the petition on this page, along with instructions for anyone who wishes to participate.

Posted January 21, 2003

Shroud Speakers Directory Page Updated

I am pleased to announce that the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the site has been updated with the inclusion of a new speaker, Alfonso Muñoz-Cobo, of Madrid, Spain. A member of the Spanish Centro Español de Sindonología (CES), he holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and has studied the Shroud since 1980. Be sure to check the page for more detailed information.

Also updated is the listing for Ray Schneider, which now includes his corrected e-mail address and website. I have also updated my own listing on the page to include a description of my new presentation, which I produced originally for the American Chemical Society meeting I spoke at in San Antonio, Texas, in November 2002. Any organizations that might be interested in having a Shroud speaker at their events should check out this page. It includes an international rostrum of speakers from multiple disciplines and each listing provides a biography, a description of the scope and content of the various presentations and contact information for each speaker.

Posted January 21, 2003

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) June 2002 Newsletter Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page of this site has been updated and now includes the June 2002 Issue #55 of the BSTS Newsletter. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mark Guscin, the new editor of the newsletter, for doing such an excellent job on his first issue and in getting me the files to use on the website so promptly. I am embarrassed to admit that Mark sent me the files in May 2002 and I am only now getting them online.

Mark recently took over the duties as editor from Ian Wilson, who had brilliantly edited the publication since its inception and who retired as editor with Issue #54. Mark is a linguist and scholar whose book on the Sudarium of Oviedo is well known to all serious Shroud researchers. He is also a member of the Centro Español de Sindonologia (CES) and lives in Spain.

The December 2002 Issue #56 of the newsletter was mailed to subscribers before the holidays and I hope to have it available here on the website in the not too distant future.

Posted January 21, 2003

Message From Your Host Page Now Available In Spanish

I am very pleased to announce that the Message From Your Host page of this site has been updated to include a Spanish language translation (En Español). My deepest thanks and grateful appreciation to Dr. Nelson Soba of Cardona, Uruguay, South America, and to M. Adriana and M. Isabel Maria, for providing this excellent translation for the benefit of our Spanish speaking visitors. Gracias!

Posted January 21, 2003

The Shroud Websites of Daniel Porter

I have long understood that my website was really just part of a greater Shroud Internet network, made up of the quality websites produced and published by Emanuela and Maurizio Marinelli, Russell Breault, Alan Whanger and many others. Around two years ago, a new website, Shroud Forum (www.shroudforum.com), came on the scene with an excellently produced, very polished and professional (but non-commercial) site. It took a very different and interesting approach to presenting Shroud materials and recapped Shroud data in a very understandable way. Naturally, it has appeared on the Links To More Information page of this site for a long time.

Along with the new site came my first awareness of its founder and author, Dan Porter. I looked through my Shroud contacts (which are rather extensive), but could not find him. So I did the only thing I could do, and gave him a call on the telephone. Since that call, he and I have stayed in close touch and I've learned a bit more about him, not the least of which is that he is about to unveil another Shroud website! But more about that in a minute. Here's a bit of background on Dan first.

Dan Porter is the president of InnoVal Systems, a software development company that creates customized business software for large corporations. Before joining InnoVal ten years ago, Dan spent 25 years at IBM holding various positions in marketing and business planning. Prior to starting his career at IBM, Dan studied history at the University of Maryland. He and his wife live in Bronxville, New York.

Dan became fascinated with the Shroud of Turin about five years ago and he started writing about it for the Internet. He first created the aforementioned Shroud Forum, which was an immediate success. And now he has created a new site called the Historical Jesus Quest which includes a new online discussion forum on the Shroud (http://shroudforum.com/d). In fact, he will publicly announce the opening of the site on January 22, 2003, so you can be among the very first visitors to check it out (if you hurry).

In addition to his websites, Dan has written two essays about the Shroud. His latest one is an open letter to biblical scholar and historian John Dominic Crossan entitled Dear John, What Were You Thinking? It was a response to the following statement by Dr. Crossan:

"My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery. I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery."

You will find Dan's essays interesting and thoughtfully written. In fact, I published his other one last year on the Religion and Philosophy page of this site. It was called "The Shroud of Turin and the Resurrection Problem - An Anglican/Episcopal Perspective." I think we are indeed fortunate to have Dan Porter in our midst.

Posted January 21, 2003

The Orvieto Worldwide Conference "Sindone 2000" Page Updated & Proceedings Available

I am pleased to announce that the Orvieto Worldwide Conference "Sindone 2000" page has been updated to include the paper presented by Phillip H. Wiebe titled Design of the Shroud of Turin (.pdf format) [43k] . The paper has also been listed in the appropriate sections of the Website Library, the Religion and Philosophy page and the Conferences and Symposia page.

Also announced on the page is the availability (since April 2002) of the three volume printed Conference Proceedings, which can now be ordered directly via the "Sindone 2000" Website. A link to the excellent multi-lingual site is provided here for your convenience. The site can be accessed in Italian, Spanish, French and English.

Posted January 21, 2003

Sindone Educational Gallery Sponsors 3rd Shroud Conference

I am pleased to announce that the Sindone Educational Gallery at 2233 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite 103-B, in Stockton, California, is sponsoring their "3rd Shroud Conference" in the form of a lecture series on Sunday, March 2, 2003, at the Radisson Hotel Stockton. I am honored to be one of the three speakers scheduled for the event and am proud to share the platform with Dr. August Accetta, noted Shroud researcher and founder of the Southern California Shroud Center in Huntington Beach, California, who will discuss "Nuclear Medicine and Its Relevance to the Shroud of Turin; The Wounds On The Shroud," and Father Michael Pintacura, Ph.D., S.T.D., Director of the Sindone Educational Gallery. Interestingly, while working as a young priest in the Vatican, Father Pintacura participated in the 1978 examination of the Shroud. His presentation is titled "The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross."

My presentation is titled "25 Years of Shroud Science: A Personal Perspective," and includes many photographs and video clips illustrating the most important aspects of the Shroud image. We'll also spend some time answering questions and meeting personally with the folks who attend. For more information, directions to the gallery, or to make reservations, either visit the Sindone Educational Gallery Website or call 209-477-3554. I hope to meet some of you there.

Posted January 21, 2003

In Memoriam

Walter C. McCrone, Jr.
1916 - 2002

Walter McCrone was probably the world's most well known Shroud skeptic; he was the first modern scientific researcher to publicly proclaim the Shroud of Turin a "beautiful painting." Although he was a proponent of the painting theory since 1979 and published many articles supporting this theory, he ironically made a significant contribution to sindonological research, since his work spawned countless studies worldwide, in art, chemistry, hematology and history, all aimed at challenging his conclusions. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and co-workers.

The following is excerpted from his biography on the McCrone Research Institute Website:

A pioneer in the science of chemical microscopy died in Chicago on July 10, 2002 at the age of 86.

Walter C. McCrone, the father of Modern Microscopy, revolutionized the use of and understanding of the light microscope for materials analysis, trained thousands of students worldwide in the use of microscopy, wrote hundreds of articles and books, gave thousands of presentations and lectures on microscopy, and developed numerous accessories, techniques, and methodologies to push the state-of-the-art in microscopy. He is better-known to the general public for his analytical work on the Shroud of Turin, the Vinland Map and various other famous works of art and antiquities.

McCrone was born in Wilmington, Delaware on June 9, 1916. He grew up mainly in New York State and attended Cornell University where he completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry in 1938 and was graduated with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1942.

After two post-doc years at Cornell University, McCrone accepted a position as a chemist (microscopist and materials scientist) at Armour Research Foundation (now, IITRI) from 1944 thru 1956 where he rose to become Assistant Chairman of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department. In 1956, McCrone left the structured world of the University to become an independent consultant and, on April 1, 1956 he founded McCrone Associates, Inc., Chicago (now located in Westmont, IL) an analytical consulting firm that grew from a one man/one microscope consulting service to a world renowned materials science facility dedicated to microscopy, crystallography, and ultramicroanalysis, now serving more than 2000 clients each year.

In 1960, McCrone founded McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the teaching and research of light and electron microscopy. In its 42 years, the Institute has taught over 20,000 students in all facets of microscopy. The Institute remains a leading educational facility within the world of microscopy. As Director of the Chicago Institute, he expanded its activities to include McCrone Scientific, the sister organization in London, England.

Dr. McCrone was also the editor and publisher of The Microscope, an international journal started by Arthur Barron in 1937 and dedicated to the advancement of all forms of microscopy for the biologist, mineralogist, metallographer, and chemist. The Microscope publishes original, previously unpublished, works from the microscopical community and serves as the proceedings of the INTER/MICRO microscopy symposia held in Chicago each year. It emphasizes new advances in microscope design, new accessories, new techniques, and unique applications to the study of particles, fibers, films, or surfaces of any material whether inorganic, organic or biological.

During his 60-year career as a chemical microscopist, McCrone published more than 600 technical papers and 16 books and chapters. The Particle Atlas, his best known publication, written with other McCrone Associates staff members, appeared as a single volume in 1970 and as a six-volume second edition in 1973. Today, it is available on CD-ROM and is still recognized as one of the best handbooks available for solving materials analysis problems.

McCrone received world-wide attention and acclaim for his work with the Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978. McCrone’s contentious conclusion that the Turin Shroud is a medieval painting was subsequently vindicated by carbon-14 dating in 1988. In 2000 he received the American Chemical Society National Award in Analytical Chemistry for his work on the Turin Shroud and for his tireless patience in the defense of his work for nearly 20 years.

Walter McCrone is survived by his wife, Lucy, who is also an accomplished microscopist and has shared Walter’s love of microscopy, working along side her husband for over 40 years.

Contributions can be made in his name to the Walter C. McCrone Scholarship Fund for Advanced Microscopy Studies, c/o McCrone Research Institute, 2820 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616.

The following message was received from Ian Wilson upon Walter's passing:

Amongst many who are closely associated with the Turin Shroud Dr. Walter McCrone has been perceived as an enemy. Rightly or wrongly, I have never been able to regard him in that way. Back in 1974, in the wake of international publicity concerning his Vinland Map findings, I was the first to ask him whether he might be interested in examining the Shroud microanalytically. Not only did he respond very swiftly and positively, he assured me: 'You may be pleased to hear that we don't find all objects entrusted to our microanalytical care fraudulent'. He never gave me any reason to doubt his sincerity making that assurance And even when, shortly after his examination of the sample sticky tapes from the STURP 1978 examination, he declared his conclusion that the Shroud was a fake, we were able to argue over this without rancour. As I told him in the course of a continuing amicable correspondence, I often felt more of a bond with him than with many of those supportive of the Shroud's authenticity.

For topics such as the Shroud will always have their sceptics. And Walter came to fill that role with a quiet dignity and an unswerving confidence in his microanalytical judgement that I could only respect (and highly), even if I did not agree with it. When in 1996 he self-published his book Judgement Day for the Turin Shroud, my serious concern was not so much for his argument that the Shroud was a fake (which was fully expected), but for his allegation that Fr. Peter Rinaldi, shortly prior to his death, had come to share his opinion of the Shroud's fraudulence. Even if this were true (which it was not), it was a great puzzle to me that Walter should have felt the need to devote quite inordinate attention to it in his book. After all, for Walter the citing of other specialists and art history experts supportive of his scientific judgment would surely have been a much worthier and more convincing buttress than alleging loss of faith on the part of a most charismatic Roman Catholic priest who was no longer alive to contradict this.

Accordingly, I felt the need very strongly to defend Fr. Rinaldi's memory, which put a certain distance between Walter and myself during his last years. Nonetheless I am greatly saddened by his loss, and my sincere condolences go out to his widow Lucy. Those who are now left amongst the Shroud's most vocal detractors represent altogether less worthy and less knowledgeable adversaries than Dr. Walter McCrone - and that cannot be good for the subject.

Ian Wilson
Posted January 21, 2003

In Memoriam

Fr. Maurus Green, O.S.B.
c. 1920 - 2001

It typified Fr.Maurus Green's self-effacing nature that he should have died on September 12, 2001, just when everyone had their attention diverted by the terrible events in New York the day before. 'Dom Maurus', as his friends knew him, shied from attending the general round of 'Shroudie' conferences. His publications on the Shroud consisted only of articles, mostly for small circulation English ecclesiastical journals, and they could be numbered virtually on one hand. Yet my own historical researches on the Shroud owed more to his scholarly guidance, voluminous correspondence and pioneering sleuthings than to any other individual.

Anthony Maurus Green was born around 1920. He acquired his interest in the Shroud to his father, a career soldier who served in India. Under the pseudonym 'B.G.Sandhurst' Green Senior, whom Maurus jocularly referred to as 'the Bo'sun', left an unpublished manuscript on the Shroud 'The Silent Witnesses, which he wanted his son to carry on after his death. In the event neither the title nor the content went neglected. Sadly, Maurus' mother died of tonsilitis in India in 1932, when Maurus was just twelve. Seven years later, at the outbreak of war, his brother Gerald joined the RAF while Maurus took his vows as a Benedictine monk at the famous English Benedictine abbey of Ampleforth in Yorkshire. Tragically, Gerald died just four days after the end of World War II. Posted to Calcutta, his plane crashed into dense jungle on his being caught in a monsoon while on a training mission.

In 1947 Maurus became ordained, and when I first met him in 1966 he was parish priest in Maryport, Cumberland. In that same year he had published in the Catholic journal Tablet an authoritative article on the Veronica of Rome, and its associations with the Shroud. Effectively he was one of three individuals representing virtually the sum total of active Shroud research in the UK, the other two being Miss Vera Barclay and Guildford general practitioner Dr. David Willis. It was through Dr. Willis that I became introduced to Maurus, and it precipitated the most intense correspondence during the late 1960s, continuing throughout the 1970s.

In the Autumn of 1969, by which time he had moved to St. Mary's Priory, Warrington, Maurus published in the Ampleforth Journal his most seminal article on the Shroud 'Enshrouded in Silence'. In just 24 pages he effectively set down the guidelines for all future research on the Shroud's history, this being the most scholarly UK based approach to the subject since the sceptical Jesuit Fr.Herbert Thurston's articles written more than forty years earlier. In November 1973 Maurus travelled to Turin at very short notice, in company with Dr. Willis and myself, for the first showing of the Shroud in 40 years, for a special TV programme introduced by Pope Paul VI. The following April, in the Focolare movement's New City Magazine, Maurus published an account of this experience 'We would see Jesus'. Quoting from the Frenchman Paul Claudel, he rhetorically asked of the Shroud: 'Do we not feel with Claudel, 'It is not so much an image as a presence'? Maurus went on: 'Here is the Son of Man representing everyman, the mot beautiful of the sons of men hideously tortured by our sub-human treatment of each other. Is not his bruised face a unique call to a service of love without limit, as we meet him again forsaken and abandoned in every section of humanity?'

Typifying this spirit, and as indicated by his writing for the New City magazine, Maurus' interests had already begun straying well beyond the Shroud. Around the mid-1970s he moved parish to St.Austin's, Grassendale, Liverpool. In 1977, under the pseudonym George Francis, he published a 172-page book She Died, She Lives, the story of Maria Orsola Bussone, from Vallo near Turin. Maria had died of electrocution in 1970 she was while still a teenager, but she left a moving spiritual diary and letters, and her short life proved to have had an immense spiritual impact amongst her young friends. Although Maurus had never met the living Maria, her story inspired him to find out all he could about her, leading to his becoming involved with the international Focolare movement, aimed at inspiring young people, and indeed people of all ages, to really live the gospel of Jesus.

In January 1998 Maurus suffered an aortic aneurism which rendered him unconscious for four days, but from which he made a good recovery. He was moved back to his alma mater Ampleforth Abbey, from which he wrote to say 'It looks as though I'm fairly permanent here … until the great Meeting, for which big prayers, please.' He passionately wanted a Shroud Stall at the Millennium Dome in London. However, given the Dome's sad subsequent history it is perhaps just as well this dream was not realised. Both as a priest and a scholar 'Dom Maurus' belonged to, and typified a golden age of Shroud studies, before the subject became enmired with chimerical flower images and ephemeral inscriptions. Maurus was one of those who helped translate into English the 1976 Turin Commission Report on the Shroud. It was through him that I met Vivien Godfrey-White, the originator of the theory of the Shroud-Templecombe panel-painting connection. It was through him that I came to be contacted by the late Fr. Francis O'Leary, and discovered the Jospice mattress imprint. I owe to him a precious microfilm of the Grimaldi manuscript on the history of the Veronica. In my early years of Shroud researches, whatever ideas I put forward for the Shroud's history had to pass a 'trial by fire' under Maurus' scrutiny. He introduced me to many otherwise little-known historical references to the Shroud and utterly selflessly subordinated his own literary interests in the subject to acting as 'Devil's Advocate' towards mine. I will always be indebted to him, and the ranks of those Shroudies who preceded him to his long-anticipated heavenly 'great Meeting' will be all the richer for his loss here on earth.

Ian Wilson
Posted January 21, 2003

The Website Counter and Some Interesting Statistics About This Site

On December 26, 2002, some of you may have noticed that the Website Counter on the first page of the site "almost" reached the one million mark. Then it just stopped on 999,999 for about a week until I returned from my vacation and got it repaired. Apparently, when I first added the counter, I didn't anticipate that it would ever reach one million and only allowed for six digits in my code. Sadly, that means we'll never know exactly who the one millionth visitor was, but any of you who happened to see the counter at 999,999 are candidates!

On the other hand, the counter on the first page only counts those visitors who enter the site on that page. Most viewers actually have bookmarked this page or the Main Menu page and enter the site without ever seeing the Home Page. Many visitors arrive at inside pages from one of the major search engines and they too are not counted. So the counter on the front page is actually not an accurate measure of the number of visitors to this site. However, my server does provide me with very accurate statistics on a daily basis so I thought I would share a few of them with you here. Note that a "hit" is registered each time you look at a new page and each visitor can log hundreds of hits per visit. These are an overview of 2002 statistics:

Another interesting statistic is the number of different countries represented by the visitors to this site over the years. (The total is 160). Although my current statistics only provide me with the top 50 countries per month, for many years I tracked the visitors and listed the different countries on the Countries That Have Visited This Website page. If you are interested, you can check out the list for yourself.

Posted January 21, 2003

And Finally...

I always get to this part of every update where I look at the clock and I look at the pile of items that didn't get included and I realize, once again, I have run out of time. There are still more items in my backlog that absolutely should be online, and I hope to include them in the next update, in a month or two. If you submitted materials to me and expected to find them in this update, only to find they are not yet included, my apologies.

However, the most important message I want to convey on this seventh anniversary of the website is a message of thanks. Thanks for every visitor who has come to the site, for every e-mail you have written me and most of all, for all the friends I have made in these last seven years. Truly, I still find it all quite amazing. Trust that it is appreciated more than you will ever know.

Barrie Schwortz
Posted January 21, 2003

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