An Overview of the Conference
All Photographs © 2001 Barrie M. Schwortz
All Rights Reserved
On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 24, 2001, guests and speakers began arriving at the Catholic Conference and Formation Center in Dallas, Texas, to register for the second International Conference on the Shroud of Turin, scheduled to begin the next morning. The conference was jointly sponsored by The Holy Shroud Guild and the American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AM*STAR).
As is often the case at such conferences, the first afternoon and evening were set aside to allow old friends and colleagues to reunite and reminisce. With more than 30 speakers assembled from the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Hong Kong and Australia, there was a substantial amount of "catching up" to do.
Early in the evening, a long distance telephone call from Turin brought the organizers the disappointing news that Dr. Bruno Barberis, President of the Centro Internazionale Le Sindonologia of Turin and Conference Guest of Honor, would be unable to attend due to some last minute travel difficulties. Also absent from the proceedings were noted Shroud researchers Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson, Peter Schumacher, designer of the VP-8 Image Analyzer and Ian Wilson, renown Shroud author and researcher.
After dinner, there was more conversation and entertainment in the form of Old Fashioned Southern Gospel Singing provided by Brother Johnny Brandon and the Walkers and Carol Woods at the piano. Also on display throughout the conference were some superb samples of Shroud related artwork from Richard Orareo's Boston Collection of Shroud Art.
Dr. William Meacham and Dr. Stephen Mattingly
chat during a break in the conference
At 9:00 a.m. the following morning, Thursday, October 25, 2001, Reverend Frederick Brinkmann, President of the Holy Shroud Guild, started the proceedings off with a prayer, a blessing and a song. This was followed by Thomas D'Muhala, President of AM*STAR, who presented the address that formally opened the conference.
As is typical of all Shroud conferences, the papers presented over the next three days covered a myriad of related (and sometimes not so related) subjects. Many of the papers represented thorough scientific research by experts in their chosen fields, although there were still some presentations made by researchers who had wandered far afield from their own personal expertise. Highlights of the first day included a question and answer period regarding the C14 dating of the Shroud with questions being fielded by Dr. William Meacham, archaeologist, and Dr. Marie-Clair van Oosterwyck-Gastuche, French physicist.
Kevin Moran demonstrating his
remotely operated microscope-camera system
Being a photographer, I personally found the presentation by Kevin Moran, retired Kodak optical engineer, to be most interesting as he detailed the remotely operated microscope-camera system he designed for microscopic examination of the Shroud. Kevin invited several imaging experts from Nikon to attend and they brought with them their newest high resolution digital imaging system, which, when attached to Kevin's camera system, made some truly spectacular images. And of course, a major highlight was hearing Mario Trematore tell the story of his amazing rescue of the Shroud from fire in the Turin Cathedral in April, 1997.
Highlights of the second day included the presentations of Dr. Stephen Mattingly, microbiologist, who presented his interesting but controversial theory regarding the role of skin bacteria in the formation of photo-like images on linen cloth and Professor Avinoam Danin, botanist, who further discussed his work on floristic indicators and the origin of the Shroud. Also fascinating was the video footage of the Veronica of Rome presented by Michael Hesemann.
The third day of the conference included many excellent presentations. I personally found John J. Markwardt's thoroughly researched paper detailing the circumstances surrounding the infamous D'Arcis letter to be most fascinating, as it provided insight into the political motivation behind the episode. I would recommend it as a "must read" for anyone who still believes that the "D'Arcis Memorandum" is credible. Of course, there were many other excellent papers that I have not mentioned, but that is only because space and time do not permit it.
However, demanding mention is the amazing keynote speech delivered by Rex Morgan, Shroud author, publisher and researcher at the closing banquet on Saturday evening. It was truly one of the most dramatic and inspiring speeches I have ever heard and I look forward to presenting a transcript of his brilliant address on this website sometime in the future. It received a well-earned standing ovation from the audience.
(l to r) Rex Morgan, Rev. Frederick Brinkmann,
Isabel Piczek, Thomas D'Muhala, Dr. Larry Schwalbe,
Dr. William Meacham and Michael Minor
Also significant was the announcement by Michael Minor and Isabel Piczek that two important new members had been added to the AM*STAR board of directors, Dr. Larry Schwalbe, physicist and former STURP team member from Los Alamos National Laboratories (and more recently the Pentagon) and Dr. William Meacham, archaeologist and author of an important carbon dating paper that predated the 1988 testing by several years. They were added to replace the three AM*STAR board members who passed away in the last two years, Dr. Alan Adler, Don Lynn and Dr. Robert Bucklin.
As Shroud conferences go, this was an excellent one, with new ideas and in-depth research presented by a number of the speakers. However, as always, the world of sindonology continues to suffer from a lack of new Shroud data, making it difficult to develop new Shroud research and causing a certain amount of repetition in the materials that were presented. It is hoped that future examinations of the Shroud will be allowed so that new data can be collected and made available to sindonologists around the world.
Compliments and thanks should be extended to the conference organizers for a well-produced event that ran smoothly and efficiently. Included here is a partial list of people whose behind-the-scenes efforts made the event a success. My apologies to any I may have omitted. Isabel Piczek, Michael Minor, Thomas D'Muhala, Rev. Frederick Brinkmann, Jo Pierce, Clair Willeman, Carmelita Peoples, Neal Bishop and the staff and administration of the Catholic Conference and Formation Center.
I plan to include a selection of the papers presented at the conference on this site in the future, so check this page again from time to time.
Thursday, October 25, 2001
Rev. Frederick Brinkmann
Prayer and Blessing
Conference Opening Address and Tributes to Dr. Alan Adler, Dr. Robert Bucklin and Donald J. Lynn
Dr. William Meacham
C-14 Dating of the Shroud, What Needs To Be Done
Dr. Marie-Clair van Oosterwyck-Gastuche
Proof of the Unreliability of the C-14 Medieval Age Obtained for the Turin Shroud
Question and Answer Session Regarding the C14 Dating of the Shroud
with Dr. William Meacham and Dr. Marie-Clair van Oosterwyck-Gastuche
Dame Isabel Piczek
The Importance of Precise Professional Definitions in Shroud Research
Isabel also read the paper of Dr. William Wolkowski titled:
The Writing on the Shroud: Its Possible Meaning for Physics
Remotely Operated Microscope-Camera System for High Resolution Examination of the Image on the Shroud
Bryan J. Walsh
The Radiocarbon Gradient on the Shroud of Turin and the Proposed Explanation
A Startling Explanation of the Shroud's Body Images, Blood Marks, Coin, Flower and Skeletal Features, other Secondary Features and Carbon Dating Results, along with Scientific Procedures to Test the Explanation
August Accetta, M.D.
Nuclear Radiation and the Shroud: Head Image (with Dr. Kenneth Lyons)
A Curious Feature on the Shroud of Turin and a Proposed Explanation
Saving the Shroud from the 1997 Fire in the Turin Cathedral
Friday, October 26, 2001
Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr.
Prayer and Blessing
Frederick T. Zugibe, M.D.
Experimental Studies in Crucifixion:
I. The Amount of Pull on Each Hand during Crucifixion: Can the Palms Support the Weight of the Body?
II. Is the Curcarius Able to Push Himself Up During Crucifixion?
Dr. Stephen Mattingly
The Role of Human Skin Bacteria in the Formation of Photographic-like Images On Linen with Implication for Shroud of Turin Conservation and a Method to Clean Shroud Linen of Microbial Contamination for Reliable Radiocarbon Dating
Professor Avinoam Danin
Floristic Indicators for the Origin of the Shroud of Turin
Dr. Alan Whanger
The Crown of Thorns - What Does the Shroud Show Us?
The Shroud and Related Relics: A Look at the Evidence
The Veronica of Rome
Gilbert Lavoie, M.D.
Forensic Studies of the Blood Marks on the Shroud of Turin
Chris Knabenshue reads the ailing Rev. Walter M. Abbott's paper
A Theological Perspective of the Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa - Research in the Monasteries of Mount Athos
Holy Shroud, Devotional Art Through the Ages: The Boston Collection
Professor Daniel Scavone
The Shroud, Othon de La Roche, and Besancon: Found: The Missing 150 Years
The Image Of The Shroud
Saturday, October 27, 2001
Rev. Frederick Brinkmann
Prayer and Blessing
The Holy Shroud Guild: Past, Present and Future
Professor Emanuela Marinelli
A Study of the Front and Back Body Wrapping Based on 3-D Information (with Professor Giulio Fanti)
Forelocks as a Motif of Christological Iconography and the Shroud of Turin
Enigmatic Roman and Medieval Portraits of the Shroud Man
Shroud of Turin Education Project
John J. Markwardt
The Conspiracy Against the Shroud
The Oviedo Cloth
St. Catharine Monastery, Sinai
Conference Banquet Keynote Address
Sunday Morning, October 28, 2001
Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr.
Dame Isabel Piczek
Farewell Address and Closing The Conference
Audiocassettes or CD-Audio Discs of Conference Speakers Available
All of the presentations at the conference were professionally recorded by Thomas K. Sullivan Digital Services and are now available on audio cassette or CD-audio discs from their website at http://www.tksdigitalservices.com/shroud. You can select and order either tapes or discs of any of the individual speakers or a complete set of tapes or discs that include every speaker at the conference. Click on the link for a detailed description and ordering information.
CD Disc of Conference Photographs Available
After the conference, I created a PowerPoint presentation that includes 92 of the best photographs I made during the event, along with captions for each, and mastered it to a CD disc. Of course, everyone doesn't have PowerPoint installed on their computer, so the disc also includes a PowerPoint Viewer that allows you to view this (and any) PowerPoint presentation file without having to own the software.
I also included a separate folder on the disc that contains all of the 92 original photographs. Each file is a 3040 x 2016 pixel, 300 dpi, JPEG image that can be opened and printed with any image editing software. You can obtain The 2nd International Dallas Shroud Conference CD Image Disc via the "Website Store" page of the site. Click on the link for a detailed description and ordering information.