Check here for important announcements and other Shroud of Turin Website news. This page will be updated whenever new page additions, articles and other resources are added to the site. Each item carries a posting date indicating when it first went online. The most recent update appears at the top of the page. As you scroll down through the page, you can review the items that were added this year in chronological order. You should find this an excellent way to sample the evolving content of this website. And you can also view every previous year's Website News pages at the links below:
Special Update: Important New Radiocarbon Dating Videos Online! March 19, 2016
For more than two decades, the most hotly debated topic in the Shroud world has been the radiocarbon dating performed on the cloth in 1988 that declared the Shroud a medieval fake. Although substantial scientific data now exists that indicates the sample chosen for dating was anomalous and not representative of the main cloth, most of the world and the media still ignore the massive amount of published science that points to the Shroud's authenticity and accepts instead that single dating test as proof of the Shroud's medieval origin. What very few people know about are the events that occurred behind the scenes that further disqualified the 1988 results. Two new videos that reveal just that are now available online from David Rolfe and Francesca Saracino that deal specifically with those issues and we thought they were important enough to let you know immediately via this Special Update. We have also included a link to a recent BBC radio interview with Dr. Michael Tite, a key player in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. As the then Director of Research at the British Museum, he was selected to be the overall supervisor of the entire dating process. We believe you will find these programs informative and enlightening (and perhaps a bit disturbing and frustrating) and hope you will share them with your friends and family.
We are very pleased to announce the Free availability on Vimeo of A Grave Injustice, an important new film directed by our dear friend David Rolfe (director of 1977's BAFTA award winning documentary The Silent Witness) and produced by noted Shroud scholar (and very dear friend) Pam Moon. The program features appearances by such well known Shroud researchers as John Jackson, Bill Meacham, Dr. Robert Bucklin, Ian Wilson, Max Frei, John Klotz, Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro, Dr. Thomas De Wesselow, Dr. Michael Tite, Prof. Luigi Gonella, Prof. Edward Hall, Prof. Christopher Ramsey, Pam Moon and many more. Below is David's brief description of the 27 minute program although you can get more information and access the program directly via his Shroud Enigma website. I consider this program a "must see!"
"This video reveals how the C14 laboratories that tested the Shroud failed to follow their own protocols to ensure a definitive dating and failed to place their result in the context of this fact and of the weight of other evidence that contradicts it."_______________
Several years ago our dear friend Francesca Saracino produced and directed an Italian language documentary titled, “La Notte della Sindone” (The Night of the Shroud), which took the viewer behind the scenes of the radiocarbon dating. (The film won three awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival for Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Hoboken-New York Film Festival). Unfortunately, it did not receive broad distribution because of its controversial nature and was never made available here in the U.S. The good news is that the program has been updated, translated into English and retitled “Cold Case: The Shroud of Turin,” and is now available from Vimeo On Demand for only US$3.00. Once you order the 63 minute video you can watch it for 30 days and view it on a computer as well as iOS, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. The program uses previously unpublished documents to take you behind the scenes of the questionable events surrounding the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud and asks the provocative question, “Who’s afraid of the Shroud of Turin?” This is another "must see" program and well worth the price of admission!_______________
Coincidentally, BBC radio recently interviewed Dr. Michael Tite, who in 1988 was Director of Research at the British Museum and the man selected to supervise the three laboratories that were chosen to perform the dating on the Shroud. As he figured prominently in the dating process, we felt we should include this new, nine minute interview in today's update so you can hear Dr. Tite's point of view for yourselves. He appeared on the Witness program in a segment titled, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud." Here is a brief excerpt from the program's online description:
"In 1988, the Church allowed scientists to perform a radiocarbon dating test on a small sample of the shroud. The results are still controversial. Witness speaks to Professor Michael Tite who supervised the testing process."
We hope these new programs will provide further evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin was poorly performed and resulted in questionable if not totally inaccurate results. In the end, you will have to judge for yourself and make up your own minds. Watch for our Spring Update sometime in May!
Posted March 19, 2016
Shroud.com Celebrates 20 Years Online January 21, 2016!
There is so much to report in this important update that I'm not sure where to start! Of course, the fact that today marks our 20th anniversary online is certainly the biggest news. Little did I realize when I hit the "send" button on January 21, 1996, that twenty years later that simple act would have altered the entire course of my life and touched the lives of millions of others! However, none of this would be possible without the generous participation of the many historians, scientists, researchers and scholars who have graciously granted us access to their work so that we might share it online and make it available to everyone. Our sincerest thanks to every person, past or present, whose numerous contributions have helped make the Shroud of Turin Website the largest online source of Shroud information on the internet. Most importantly, we want to thank you, our viewers, for your loyalty and support over the years. We are truly grateful to all of you for your continued participation. We could not have done it without you!
But celebrating our 20th anniversary is just the beginning of today's update. Equally important is the fact that over the past six months we recoded all 296 of our html pages to make them fully mobile compliant on tablets and smart phones and are unveiling the new mobile-ready pages in this update. We also reached an important milestone on December 26, 2015, when our total visitors for the year exceeded ONE MILLION! This update also includes eight more issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News, the latest issue of the BSTS Newsletter, links to many new papers, books, articles, videos and other Shroud news. On a sadder note, this update also includes memorials for the untimely passing of two important Shroud scholars and friends. Rather than making this introduction a long one, I'll end it here so you can get started.
Here is the Update Table of Contents:
- Shroud.com Is Now Mobile Friendly!
- 1,014,888 Visitors in 2015!
- In Memoriam - Fr. Hector Guerra, L.C. and Avinoam Danin
- Eight More Issues Added to Rex Morgan's Shroud News Archive
- BSTS Newsletter December 2015 Issue No. 82 Now Online
- Dan Porter Retires His Shroud of Turin Blog!
- Recently Published Papers and Articles
- Recently Published Books
- Online Shroud Videos & Audios
- Shroud News from Finland
- The Shroud in the Media
- Visit Us On Facebook
- 2016 Lecture Schedule
- Our Next Update
Shroud.com Is Now Mobile Friendly!
Shroud.com Is Now Mobile Friendly!
If you have been viewing this website on your tablet or smart phone (and about 30% of you have), you know that visiting Shroud.com on your mobile device did not result in the ideal viewing experience. Several years ago we reformatted our Home Page into a modified mobile page and provided it as an alternative, but it was not really very satisfactory (and has been removed in this update). With about 60% of all web traffic now being viewed on mobile devices, it was time for a serious update. However, a complete redesign of the entire website was not possible and not one link could be changed. So instead, we decided to update all 296 of our html pages with code that would adapt and rescale each page to the individual mobile display it was being viewed on but would remain unchanged when viewed on a laptop or desktop computer. Now all that remained was to find someone who could write the code within our modest budget and complete the work in time for this update!
In July 2015, I mentioned this to Russ Breault, a dear friend and member of STERA, Inc.'s Board of Directors, and he urged me to speak with Harrison Gibbs, a young man in the Atlanta, Georgia area that had been working on Russ' websites and videos for several years. Russ warned me not to be too shocked to discover that Harrison was only 17 years old and a senior in high school and he set up a phone meeting for a week later. At the meeting, I was immediately impressed that Harrison had already spent time reviewing the code on all our html pages and had prepared a written proposal for the work that would be necessary to meet our requirements! Frankly, in my 44 year professional career I rarely met anyone so well prepared and professional in their demeanor and approach. So I hired him immediately! Today you see the results of his efforts, particularly if you are reading this on a smart phone or tablet. We have carefully reviewed every page to make sure it is perfect on any display, but like any other complex process, we might have overlooked something somewhere. If you find any problems on any of our pages, please send us an e-mail with the page name, the specific device you are viewing with and a detailed description of the problem you enountered. We will do our best to correct it promptly.
Over the past six months I have worked closely with Harrison in refining, reviewing and finalizing all the new pages and am thrilled by his dedication, his knowledge and his meticulous efforts. It is a true pleasure to work with him. And of course, the results speak for themselves! It is truly wonderful to see our pages properly displayed on every mobile device! If you have a project that needs a serious computer professional, you can contact Harrison directly via his website, Harrison Gibbs Computer Services. I can wholeheartedly recommend him! Thank you Harrison for a job well done!
Posted January 21, 2016
1,014,888 Visitors in 2015!
On December 26, 2015 we received a very welcome Christmas present when our visitors for the year surpassed the ONE MILLION mark! Our final total for 2015 was 1,014,888 (up 75,000 from the previous year) and averaged 2780 visitors per day or nearly 85,000 visitors per month. Our visitors generated over 19 million hits, viewed 16.7 million files, viewed over 2.5 million pages and generated 907 GB of bandwidth! You can see the details for yourself by clicking on the above graphic. It seems very fitting to reach this milestone while celebrating our 20th anniversary and we thank you, our loyal viewers, for your continued participation and support!
Posted January 21, 2016
Fr. Hector Guerra, L.C.
1953 - 2015
It is with great sadness that I must report the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague, Fr. Hector Guerra, L.C., who passed away in Madrid, Spain, on December 11, 2015 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Fr. Guerra was not well known to most of the Shroud world, but worked tirelessly behind the scenes to promote the Shroud internationally. He was at least in part responsible for the 2011 Encounter of the Two Linens in Mexico City, the 2012 CES Conference in Valencia, the 2013 TEDx ViadellaConciliazione Conference in the Vatican, the 2013 Third Encounter of the Two Linens Conference in Jerusalem and many others. He was also responsible for opening Shroud exhibits around the world and was planning more in the future when his health failed.
Beyond that, Fr. Guerra was first and foremost my friend. He actually came to my home in Colorado in 2010 (with Petrus Soons) and we spent three days together discussing Shroud research and the work of STERA, Inc. and this website. After that meeting, I was invited to teach a course on the Shroud at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum in Rome. His personal efforts opened the door for sincere communications between STERA, Inc. and the authorities in Turin, for which I will be forever grateful. His actions almost singlehandedly fostered the excellent working relationship we enjoy today. That same year we traveled and lectured together in Spain and Germany. In June 2015 he flew in from Madrid to meet with me at the Pontifical Seminary in Rome. After discussing some of his future plans to promote the Shroud, we had a beautiful dinner, said our goodbyes and the next day I flew up to Turin and he flew back to Madrid. As we parted, I gave him a hug, wished him well and told him I would keep him in my prayers. It was the last time I was ever to see him, but I am grateful to have had that final opportunity. His loss will be felt for years to come but his positive influence on worldwide sindonology will last even longer. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and all of his Legionary brothers. Rest in Peace my friend.
Within hours of his passing the Legionaries of Christ website created a Memorial Page where literally hundreds of comments have been posted in Fr. Guerra's memory (many of them in Spanish and Italian). A quick review of the comments on the page indicates just how beloved he was and how important his contributions were to Sindonology. Here are just a few of the many comments we have received from those who knew him:
"Unfortunately, the adventure of earthly Father Hector Guerra ended today in Madrid in the early afternoon and he began his real life next to Christ who Father Hector so loved and served throughout his life. Let us unite in prayer as he has done many times with all of us in front of that face that we still contemplate in the cloth of the Shroud but that he now really already knows, face to face. The best way we have to remember him is to continue his work of evangelization through the spread of the message of the Shroud that he has been able to provide an unrivaled spread worldwide."Bruno Barberis, President - International Center for the Study of the Shroud - Turin, Italy
"I pray for Padre Hector. I appreciated his humanity and spirit of evangelization about the Shroud during my stay in Jerusalem."Nello Ballosino, Vice-President - International Center for the Study of the Shroud - Turin, Italy_______________
"We now have a supporter like Father Hector Guerra in the Father's House. Sure you will notice both future research and findings and inspiration to talk about the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of faith."Guillermo Heras Moreno - Head of the Investigation Team - Centro Español de Sindonologia - Spain_______________
"I am convinced it will be Father Hector Guerra, who will pray for us to the Almighty and His Holy Mother, inspiring us to continue the work begun. I think the death of Father Hector Guerra is a great loss, but his dedication also serves as a role model for all researchers. This should be a stimulus for us to continue."Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla - Director del EDICES - Centro Español de Sindonologia - Spain_______________
"I have just learned that Fr. Guerra passed away. We will pray for him and for us. We hope that he helps us from above to spread further the Shroud message of Love as he did during his lifetime."Adolfo Orozco Torres, President - Centro Mexicano de Sindonologia - Mexico_______________
"In June, Dalys and I went to Europe to meet with Father Guerra in Madrid, Spain. As you know, we were very good friends and he was my spiritual adviser and we cooperated in realizing many expositions of the Shroud in many places in the world... I am glad that I could introduce him to you in your house in Colorado and that you both clicked from the first moment you met, which resulted in the invitations to come to Rome and give presentations for the course on the Shroud that they had started there. You both had a great respect for each other and he gave a lot of positive feedback about you in Turin and other places. I miss him but I am glad he is not suffering anymore and can now be a guide for all of us in heaven."Peter and Dalys Soons - Shroud Scholars - Panama_______________
"I met P. Guerra almost from the time of his ordination, nearly 35 years ago, but my relationship with him became closer and closer over the past 10 years. That is when he asked me to collaborate with him on projects on the Shroud, beginning with the permanent exhibition of Rome at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum (in December 2006). Next was the "Othonia" project dedicated to the study and dissemination of the Shroud, through various initiatives, including several international conferences including the three "Meetings of two linens" (the Holy Shroud and the Virgin of Guadalupe), Rome (2009), Mexico (2011) and Jerusalem (2013), and finally with the Diploma in Sindónicos Studies (since 2009). All this is another example of his initiative, his drive and his apostolic influence in one of several areas in which he displayed his priestly work. Those who had the grace to work with us benefit from his legacy and continue his work. I think it is the best way to honor his memory and thank him for the example he set. Rest in peace, P. Guerra!"Fr. Rafael Pascual, L.C. - Dean of the Science and Faith Program, Pontifical Regina Apostolorum - Rome, Italy_______________
"This news saddens me, because without Father Guerra and his "communicative energy" we all feel a little more alone. I was struck by the fact that Father Guerra has left us the day before the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for the study of which he was so deeply involved, even organizing several scientific meetings to propose a new season of scientific measurements. Who knows if this coincidence is a sign. I fully share the thought of Bruno: the best way to remember Father Guerra is continuing the action undertaken by him to promote the evangelic potential of the Shroud, including through new studies on the Cloth."Paolo di Lazzaro - ENEA Researcher - Frascati, Italy
1939 - 2015
It is with great sadness that I must also report the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Avinoam Danin, noted Israeli botanist and Shroud researcher, on December 12, 2015, in Jerusalem. The news was first posted on Avinoam's Flora of Israel Online website and I was notified the next day by his friend and colleague, Dr. Anthony Brach of the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Avinoam was well known in the Shroud world for his analysis of the pollens found on the cloth and his somewhat controversial claims of finding many flower images on the Shroud. I know that he was frustrated with me at times for not agreeing with some of his imaging claims, but we always enjoyed a respectful and professional relationship and I always considered him a friend. I last saw him in 2013 at the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem while attending the Third Conference of the Two Linens and we enjoyed a very cordial dialogue. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace my friend.
Peter Soons was a close friend of Avinoam's, had met his family in Israel and had worked with him on a number of research projects. He was kind enough to write a memorial/biography for Avinoam and, with the approval of the Danin family, is allowing us to reprint it here in its entirety. We are also including a poignant comment from author Kimberly Ballard who worked with Avinoam during the research and production of her book.
"For the last 44 years the main academic activity of Avinoam Danin has been dedicated to interdisciplinary research involving the identity and distribution of higher plants, microorganisms, other organisms, and their relation to the environment. The results of his investigations on higher plants and their habitats have been published in 5 books and 182 articles in English, 5 books and 247 articles in Hebrew; one book is bilingual, and one in Italian.
"He discovered many plant species that have not been found previously in Israel, Sinai, and Jordan. In addition he described more than 40 taxa new to science, belonging to various families. The study of plant names and their use by the Bedouin in the Negev and Sinai led him to cooperate with biochemists and pharmacognosists in the search for natural chemicals, especially in aromatic plants. This contributes towards the search for potential medicinal plants. Mapping the distribution of plants in Israel in squares of 5 x 5 km enabled him to create a data base from which the flora of Israel was studied and a new phytogeographical map was drawn. It was also used in several forensic investigations. The most recent and important one is detecting the origin of the Shroud of Turin in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
"His involvement with the study of the Shroud started in the early 1980swhen he received a letter from Paul Maloney asking him to do botanical research on the plant images that had been seen on the Shroud. But nothing came of this, until he was visited by Alan and Mary Whanger in September of 1995, who had studied these images. The Whangers determined 28 plant species by comparing the images to 1:1 drawings of plants illustrated in the first three parts of the Flora Palaestina then available. He saw the images they had seen and then found additional ones himself. The conclusions from his botanical research and findings were:
- 1) The area where the assemblage of three indicator plants could be freshly collected and placed on the Shroud near the man's body is the area of Jerusalem to Hebron.
- 2) March-April is the time of the year when the whole assemblage of some ten of the plants identified on the Shroud is in bloom.
- 3) Ferocious thorns of two trees from this region were found near the man's head and a reed was laid alongside his body.
- 4) Special attention was given to covering parts of the head of the Man of the Shroud with daisy-like "flowers" after their carrying stalks were removed.
"In 2008 a book interview was done by Father Hector Guerra L.C., that resulted in a book in Italian: "L'uomo della Sindone". It was the first book of the series that followed, the English edition: "Botany of the Shroud" (2010), and the Spanish translation: "Flores y Plantas en la Sabana Santa" (2011). You can see the book cover in the file attached. Avinoam was also involved in the study of the thorns that were kept in different churches in Italy, and that supposedly had belonged to the helmet of thorns of Jesus Christ and to compare them with his findings of the images of thorns on the Shroud.
"Using Avinoam's own words what his investigations of the Shroud meant to him:
"Throughout my years of investigations of the Shroud, I had the pleasure of knowing interesting people and expanding my fields of interest. I lost many hours of sleep as thoughts about the meaning of my findings kept me awake at the oddest hours. I am often asked about my personal feelings concerning the Shroud and what surrounds it. I appreciate the beliefs of Christians around the world and I admire the expression "live and let live". I have gathered much botanical information in my years of research and am happy to share my expertise and its application in Sindonology with those that are interested".
"Avinoam, thanks for all your efforts and rest in peace. You will live on in your work but also in our hearts."Peter Soons_______________
"...Avinoam was a light to my world. His kindness to me will never be forgotten. His pictures are forever in my book because he became my friend... I am very sad to lose this good friend. My book is more valuable now because Avinoam's beautiful pictures are in it. The last time I talked to Avinoam he was having trouble with his feet, and feeling a bit uncomfortable. So I gave him space to get well. I had hoped that he would come to visit you Barrie, and would travel up this way to meet me at some point. I am sad I will never meet him or be able to ask him anything, or show him just how valuable his work was although I told him it was repeatedly. He seemed to have doubted his importance. He was a blessing to me... God took him to heaven during Hanukkah because he left a legacy of light behind him... I am blessed beyond measure to have had this man as my friend."Kimberly Ballard - Author
Posted January 21, 2016
Eight More Issues Added to Rex Morgan's Shroud News Archive
We are pleased to present the next eight issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News in today's update, which includes Issue #29, June 1985 through Issue #36, August 1986. They continue to be filled with fascinating historical insights, in-depth content and great reading. Our sincerest thanks to Stephen Jones for volunteering to do all the scanning and optical character recognition, Ian Wilson for providing the original issues and of course, to Rex Morgan for his gracious permission to reprint them here on Shroud.com. We will continue to archive the issues until the complete 118 issue collection is available online.
Posted January 21, 2016
BSTS Newsletter December 2015 Issue No. 82 Now Online
We are happy to report that the British Society for the Turin Shroud page of the website has been updated and the latest December 2015 Issue No. 82 of the BSTS Newsletter is now online. This issue includes an interesting research article by Hugh Duncan and two research articles that look into invisible weaving and the fire of 1532 by Hugh Farey, the newsletter's Editor. It also includes notices of recent papers and articles, several book reviews, news from around the internet and much more.
Posted January 21, 2016
Dan Porter Retires His Shroud of Turin Blog!
On December 15, 2015, the Shroud world awoke to a major surprise. That day Dan Porter announced he was retiring his Shroud of Turin Blog and ending all comments and posts by the end of the year! I have to admit that this came as a shock to me, since over the past seven years Dan's blog had enjoyed great success in providing a much-needed serious public forum for in-depth discussions about the Shroud. I must also admit that I had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the blog. There were many excellent articles published and archived on the blog over the years (and we linked to many of them), by many thoughtful and intelligent participants and many of the discussions were insightful, educational and respectful. But there was a somewhat darker side as well, where unprovoked and unnecessary ad hominem personal attacks on unsuspecting (and often deceased) individuals were frequently permitted. In all fairness, I also completely understand how difficult it can be to moderate a public forum where the main topic is one of the most controversial objects on the planet! In the end, there is a very thin line between moderation and censorship and I know Dan did his best to be fair to everyone. And in spite of all that, I still checked the blog several times each day and found myself holding my breath in anticipation as to what new issue might appear next! I will truly miss doing so in the future and want to extend our sincerest thanks to Dan for providing such a great forum over the years. Thankfully, he is leaving all of the contents online and available, so you can still go back and read all the past articles and posts (which I heartily recommend). We send Dan our very best wishes for equally great success in all his future endeavors.
Posted January 21, 2016
Recently Published Papers and Articles
Comments on the Mass Spectrometry Analysis of a Sample of the Shroud of Turin by Bella et al.
By Mario Latendresse
Another large number of Shroud related papers have been published recently, and as always, we have tried to include the most relevant and important ones here (listed with the most recent paper first). However, we are starting with a paper that we originally posted in our November 1, 2015 update, shortly after it was published as an editorial in Thermochimica Acta. It sparked considerable controversy at the time and prompted a number of Shroud scholars to write and submit formal rebuttals to the publication. To make it easier for you, we are repeating our original post from last year, followed by the first of those rebuttals written by Mario Latendresse of the Stanford Research Institute and published in the latest issue of Thermochimica Acta. All have also been permanently archived on the Scientific Papers & Articles page (alphabetically by title) and the Website Library page (alphabetically by author).
Originally posted on November 1, 2015:
There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending” by Marco Bella, Luigi Garlaschelli, Roberto Samperia - Science Direct, Thermochimica Acta Volume 617, 10 October 2015, Pages 169–171 - Abstract only. Here is the abstract:
This is an editorial regarding a paper published on Thermochimica Acta (R.N. Rogers, Thermochimca Acta, 425 (2005) 189–194). A close-up analysis of the pyrolysis-mass spectra reported in the original paper reveals that the differences found between the samples coming from different parts of the Shroud are just due to the presence of a contaminant with a long aliphatic chain. Except for the presence of the contaminant, the two pyrolysis-mass spectra look alike rather than different. Therefore, the pseudoscientific theory stating that the C14 sample might come from a “medieval invisible mending” remains unsupported by evidences.
It seems rather unusual that this editorial, which challenged one single observation in Ray Rogers' 2005 Thermochimica Acta paper, Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin and carefully ignored everything else, was published more than ten years after the publication of the original paper! It should also be noted that one of the authors of the editorial is Luigi Garlaschelli, an avowed Shroud skeptic who has admitted that at least some of his anti-authenticity research is funded by a well-known Italian athiest organization. Most researchers found the language of the article, which referred to Rogers' theory as "pseudoscientific," rather misleading and offensive, since Rogers was a qualified researcher who based his work on direct scientific examination of the Shroud itself, rather than on the second hand data used by Garlaschelli and his colleagues. It is important to note that the authors carefully avoided any references to the other data in the paper, which actually supported Rogers' conclusions. The editorial generated a massive response on Dan Porter's Shroud of Turin Blog (130 comments so far) and prompted several researchers to draft rebuttals that will be submitted to Science Direct for publication in the near future. [Editor's Note: See the next article for Mario Latendresse's rebuttal, published in the January 2016 issue of Thermochimica Acta].
Rebuttal to the above article available online 20 January 2016 in Thermochimica Acta:
Comments on the mass spectrometry analysis of a sample of the Shroud of Turin by Bella et al. by Mario Latendresse - Science Direct, Thermochimica Acta Volume 624, 20 January 2016, Pages 55-58. Mario has written an interesting rebuttal to the editorial, but check and download it quickly. It will go behind a pay wall after February 12, 2016. Here is a key excerpt from the abstract:
"...The main conclusion of Bella et al. was 'No diagnostic peak in the pyrolysis mass spectra indicates a significant difference in the two samples, besides hydrocarbon-derived contamination. Therefore, none of the presented data supports the conclusion by Rogers.' We show that the technical analysis of Bella et al. of the mass spectra is incorrect and that their main conclusion is unconfirmed, in particular that a 'contaminant' would be present on the second sample analyzed."
The Politics of the Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud - Part I by Joseph G. Marino. This is the first part of a proposed three part article that Joe Marino is publishing on his website starting in January 2016. Here is a brief excerpt from the Introduction:
"...Part I looks at the years leading up to the dating. Part II will analyze the actual events of the day the sample was extracted. Part III will recount the aftermath, which continues to this day. The format will be a chronological listing, stating the information, the source used, and in some entries also my comments, which may cross reference other sources and also fill in some lacunae. I will periodically revise the article as information will need to be constantly adapted and added. It is my hope that you will find the article enlightening."
A link between the Turin Shroud and the Knights Templar? Master Brother Widekind's seals show a Shroud-like Christ face by Louis C. de Figueiredo. This was published on Academia.edu by Louis in December 2015. Here is the opening paragraph:
In his book The Shroud: Fresh light on the 2000-year-old mystery, English historian Ian Wilson argues persuasively why the Turin Shroud was likely to have been in the possession of the Crusader Order of Knights Templar for some decades. In his words, “With an efficient support structure of clerks and servitors, the Order was able to act as guardians, traders and pawnbrokers for the flourishing trade in relics, genuine and false alike, that ensued after the Fourth Crusade. Thus, the means of acquiring the Image of Edessa/Shroud were in place. Also, the well-distributed and heavily guarded Templar monastery-fortresses provided suitable means for keeping the cloth’s whereabouts secret for a considerable period.”
The presence of dye in the 1988 radiocarbon date samples of the Shroud of Turin by Pam Moon - Published December 8, 2015 on Pam's Shroud of Turin Exhibition website. Here is the opening paragraph of the article:
This paper argues that the radiocarbon date samples of the Shroud of Turin, dated by laboratories in Oxford, Arizona and Zurich in 1988 were contaminated by dye, mordant, plant gum and cotton. These were not removed by the pre-cleaning of the samples which invalidates the radiocarbon date results.
Cold Acid Postmortem Blood Most Probably Formed Pinkish-Red Heme-Madder Lake on Madder-Dyed Shroud of Turin by Adrie A. M. van der Hoeven - Open Journal of Applied Sciences - Vol. 5, No. 11, November 2015. This is another in-depth, 42 page paper by Adrie and is published in an open-access journal so you can download it free. Here is the abstract:
The Turin Shroud was extensively scientifically investigated in 1978. In its pinkish red bloodstains, normal features of human blood were found, but also seemingly anomalous ones. In the present study, hitherto unnoticed details of the data are presented, Shroud data and more modern reference data are compared, and the results of a few experiments with linen, madder dye and blood are shown. It turns out that the Shroud’s ‘anomalous’ data are strong consistent evidence that its bloodstains contain acid heme-madder lake, of which the heme derived from cold acid postmortem blood and the madder had been applied to the Shroud at manufacture. It implies that the bloodstains were formed on the Shroud before the still not reproduced body-image was. Several other ‘red-color’ hypotheses for the Shroud’s bloodstains are discussed and dismissed.
Noninvasive analyses of low-contrast images on ancient textiles: The case of the Shroud of Arquata by Paolo Di Lazzaro, Massimiliano Guarneri, Daniele Murra, Valeria Spizzichino, Alessandro Danielis, Arianna Mencattini, Veronica Piraccini and Mauro Missori - Journal of Cultural Heritage - vol. 17, pp. 14-19 (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2015.07.008. Here is the abstract:
We present the results of the first in-depth measurements of the linen cloth of the shroud of Arquata, a precious copy of the Shroud of Turin, which dates back to 1653. The measurements aimed at finding the nature of the faint and low-contrast body impressions on the linen cloth, which are not produced by drawings or paintings as in the other copies of the Shroud of Turin. In general, the optical analysis and the imaging of low-contrast stains on ancient textiles is a complex task, due to the irregular surface and the influence of spectrum, position and uniformity of the illuminating source on colour accuracy and rendition. A correct evaluation requires a multidisciplinary approach. We used noninvasive technologies, including imaging topological radar, laser induced fluorescence, absolute diffused reflectance and absorption spectra, which were previously used to study frescoes, paintings, antique papers, but were never exploited on ancient textiles. The combined results of our measurements and data elaboration allowed identifying the origins of the body impressions, of the stains simulating blood and of the other marks embedded on the linen cloth. Our results can be used to plan the proper long-term conservation of the linen cloth and of marks on it.
This is a link to Emanuela's in depth review of Shroud skeptic Andrea Nicolotti's Italian language book, Sindone - Storia e leggende di una reliquia controversa - Einaudi Storia, 2015 - Emanuela's review is available in both English and Italian languages at the above links.
Workshop Of Paduan Scientific Analysis on the Shroud (WOPSAS 2015) Edited by Giulio Fanti - Padua University, Italy, June 9, 2015
This is a link to the MATEC Web of Conferences website for the WOPSAS 2015 Shroud conference and includes open access to ten papers presented by various authors at the workshop on topics including Shroud dating, DNA analysis, medical news, body image and more.
Posted January 21, 2016
Recently Published Books
Recently Published Books
A number of new Shroud related books have been published in recent months. We are listing some of them here but have also permanently archived them all on the Shroud of Turin Booklist page (alphabetically by author), which has just been updated with another 35 titles thanks to our dear friend Emanuela Marinelli. To make it easy to find all the new additions, we have annotated each new listing with "(Added 21 JAN 2016)" so simply search for that phrase on the page.
The Keramion: Lost and Found by Phillip E. Dayvault
This book is scheduled for release in February 2016. Here is a description from the book's website:
"The Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ, is either authentic or not. "It is one or the other, there is no middle ground." The Keramion, Lost and Found provides new answers to that centuries-old debate. In 2000, I began a quest for ancient oil lamps in a faraway land, but it soon became an epic Journey to the FACE of GOD...
"..."Buckle up", and come along on this amazing journey. Join my guide and translator, Hafize, and me on this trip of a lifetime. We traversed Turkey in search of ancient oil lamps, but found something much more illuminating. Be advised, though, you may also find something, perhaps, that you have been seeking all your life...the TRUTH!"Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (February 16, 2016)
God's Thief by Stefano Battezzati, Ada Grossi and Massimo Ronchi (FICTION)
As we have done on only several occasions in the past, we are including this book, a work of fiction, on our booklist. Like all of our previous exceptions, this book was also written to introduce children to the Shroud, but is wrapped in a fictional story to make it more appealing to younger readers while educating them with accurate scientific information. Here is an online description of the book:
"A mysterious organization asks an international thief to steal nothing less than the Shroud of Turin: so the adventure begins. Science and fiction blend in the plot of this Mystery Novel, written for Kids and Early Teens, until its twist ending."Kindle Edition: 78 pages
File Size: 18813 KB
Publisher: Mimep Docete (December 20, 2015)
Spiritual Encounter With the Shroud: Caspar McCloud Interviews with L.A. Marzulli - Audio book by Caspar McCloud
Here is the online description of the book:
"Caspar McCloud was interviewed by L.A. Marzulli for PP&S magazine in 2013 on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. The remarkable supernatural image seen on the Shroud changed McCloud's life forever. He answers the questions many may eventually ask and shares his spiritual encounter, discovery, and insights with you. Come and see for yourself and learn the vital message encoded into the burial cloth of the risen Savior."Narrated by Caspar McCloud
Length: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Publisher: Caspar McCloud Ministries, Inc. (December 4, 2015)
The Gospels of Resurrection and the Turin Shroud by Giuseppe Micunco
This Italian language book deals in part with the Shroud of Turin. Here is an excerpt from the book's online description:
"...Chs. I, II and III respectively offer a detailed description of three pertaining moments of crucial interest, notably body’s deposition and burial, sepulcher opened up, angelic epiphany with apparition of the Lord himself. Some concluding remarks are given in Ch. IV, where the reconstruction of authored testimonials are also taken into due account. Last,Ch. V is essentially devoted both to the implications of the above analysis for the Turin Shroud and to stress the important role that the supplementary pieces of funeral fabric, often referred to in the book as “minor cloths” also play. Worthy of mention are some unprecedented Shroud-Scripture connections involving Paul’s selected parts and Peter’s First Letter."228 pages
Publisher: Stilo Editrice (October 2015)
La Virgen de Guadalupe y La Sábana Santa: Una investigación de sus analogías by Fernando Ojeda Llanes
Fernando is a long time scholar of the Tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe and has written several books on the topic This Spanish language book is only currently available directly from the author. Click on either of the above links to send him an e-mail order, making sure to include your shipping address. The book is available for US$20.00 plus the shipping costs, depending on your address. Here is a brief excerpt from the book's back cover:
"On this occasion he presents us with his interesting research showing that the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Shroud, both recognized as "not made by human hands," have extraordinary analogies."216 pages
Publisher: Ojeda Producciones Publicitarias, S. A. de C.V. (October 2015)
Luce dal Sepolcro by Emanuela Marinelli and Marco Fasol
This latest Italian language book from Emanuela and her colleague is available in both print and Amazon Kindle versions (see included links). It is also available in a Spanish language edition titled, Luz del Sepulcro. Here is the book's online description (via Google translate with some minor editing):
"Is the Shroud indeed the burial cloth of Jesus, or it is a medieval fake? The Gospels recount actual events, or are they mere legends? The answer to these questions is not secondary, since it deeply involves our lives. Certainly the Shroud is the most studied archaeological find in the world and the Gospels constitute the only key to interpreting it. This link between the Gospels and the Shroud has therefore suggested to the authors to combine the latest scientific research on the Shroud with an investigation equally as scientific and documenting the reliability of the Gospels. Thus to sum up in a single text the results of the natural sciences and the historical ones, short form and with an accessible language, in order to offer a synthesis essential for the modern man who does not want to remain illiterate about the deepest questions."224 pages
Publisher: Fede & Cultura (February 2015)
ISBN eBook: 9788864093819
Posted January 21, 2016
Online Shroud Videos & Audios
Holy Shroud Guild, past, present, & future - HSG Movies - We are starting with not just one video, but with an amazing collection of many rare and historic videos archived and available on Georgio Bracaglia's Holy Shroud Guild website. Included in the collection are several important presentations by Fr. Adam Otterbein, Dr. Eugenia Nitowski and Dmitri Kousnetsov, an historic 1958 presentation by Fr. Otterbein, video documentation of Max Frei's sticky tapes and much more.
Videos on the Shroud of Turin by Sébastien Cataldo. Our friend Sébastien has compiled a collection of videos (mostly in French language but some in English) that includes conference presentations, TV and internet interviews, radio, press and internet videos, etc., and made them all available via his French language website. Recent additions include the April 27, 2015 Shroud conference held in Monaco (in French) and a video of his presentation made at the 2014 St. Louis Conference (in English).
Posted January 21, 2016
Shroud News from Finland
Bruno Barberis and Mark Guscin speak at the 2012
Savonlinna Exhibition and Seminar - Photo © Juha Hiltunen
(Click for larger view)
I recently received the following e-mail from our good friend Juha Hiltunen, which included information about past and upcoming Shroud Exhbitions in Finland. In addition, he provided us with a link to the 2015 Shroud of Turin Rauma Exhibition website (Finnish language):
"I would like to inform you about the Shroud of Turin exhibition actions in Finland during the last few years. This year 2016, in March, we'll have a Shroud of Turin related exhibition in Helsinki, our capital, at the parish of Roihuvuori. This is very important, since it is the first time it reaches the metropolitan region of our country. The coming exhibition is the 7th in annual succession; previous events were held in Turku in 2010 and 2011, Savonlinna in 2012, Tampere in 2013, Jyväskylä in 2014, and Rauma in 2015. Next year, 2017, it will be in Turku again. The dates of the current exhibition in Helsinki are March 5th - 28th, 2016. Twice, in Savonlinna and Jyväskylä, we have also held seminars, where international experts were invited to speak. Drs. Mark Guscin and Bruno Barberis lectured there in 2012 and Prof. Barberis again with his fellow Italian countryman Dr. Alessandro Piana in 2014. Prof. Bruno Barberis is returning for the next exhibition and speaking at the opening event on the 5th of March.
"All the exhibitions held in Finland have gained relatively wide attention and good space in national media. Feedback of visitors has been generally praising and many got inspiration to learn more about the Shroud and its Biblical connection too. Still, it is a great challenge, especially at the coming exhibition, since the capital city area is the most secular part of Finland and people need to be informed properly so that it could gain optimal attention. We are focusing more on the scientific research of the Shroud and leaving implications in any other direction for each to make freely. My book Valokuva Jeesuksesta? (2009) has been sold out but it is relatively well available in libraries all around the country and I get good feedback from new readers every now and then. The copy of the Shroud which originally came from you via STERA, Inc. in 2010 and has been exhibited since then. It is a remarkably captivating object and resembles the original perfectly. I look forward to this Helsinki exhibition with a good feeling and hopefully it will reach still more people and increase the popularity of the Shroud of Turin in Finland."
Posted January 21, 2016
The Shroud in the Media
Floodwater destroys Eureka author's 34 years of files on Shroud of Turin
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - January 10, 2016
Once again, there have been a number of Shroud stories reported in the media recently and we are including some of the more important ones here:
Floodwater destroys Eureka author's 34 years of files on Shroud of Turin - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 10, 2016 - Sadly, the first story is about our friend and colleague Mark Antonacci, whose extensive collection of Shroud materials was destroyed by the flooding in St. Louis, Missouri recently. I spoke with Mark on January 17th and fortunately, his insurance will cover the repairs to his 100 year old building. However, the contents were not covered and virtually everything was destroyed, so he will have to replace all of the papers, articles, books and other materials he had collected over the last 34 years. You can help in the effort by visiting his Test the Shroud website and ordering a copy of his new book, titled Test the Shroud (At the Atomic and Molecular Levels). Our sincere best wishes to Mark at this difficult time and our hopes for a speedy return to normal.
Barrie Schwortz: Shroud of Turin Part 1 - God-Talk with Doug Thorpe and Dr. Andrew Wyant - Internet Radio Program, January 9, 2016 - Dr. Andrew Wyant, the co-host of this program, is a medical doctor, professor at the University of Kentucky and pastor. His co-host, Doug Thorpe, bills himself as a "rocket scientist" and together they host a program that deals with issues of faith and science. It led to an interesting and thoughtful discussion about the Shroud and I have been invited back to do a second program in March. After the program, Dr. Wyant wrote, "I think you made a believer out of Doug - he is quite skeptical of everything, he was amazed by what you presented!" The above link is to the audio program on SoundCloud and it is also available on iTunes.
The 15 Most Popular CWR Stories of 2015 - The Catholic World Report - December 21, 2015 - This article reports that the second most read article on the CWR in 2015 was an interview with me about the Shroud of Turin written by Jim Graves. In a recent e-mail, Jim explained that, "They run about 350 stories for the year, so #2 isn't bad!" Congratulations Jim on a great article!
10 Most Fascinating Christian Relics Around The World by Lynn Mettler - USA Today 10 Best - December 15, 2015 - The author is an Indianapolis-based freelance travel writer and travel public relations professional who has written for a variety of local and national media. She included the Shroud of Turin on her recent list for USA Today.
Posted January 21, 2016
Visit Us On Facebook
In case you missed it, STERA, Inc. is on Facebook and we have been updating our page frequently. Although it is not always possible for me to update the website when new items come up on short notice, it is fast and easy for me to post a short message or some important new links on our Facebook page, no matter where I happen to be in the world. So check the page from time to time to see what's new, post a comment and like us to let us know you care!
Posted January 21, 2016
2016 Lecture Schedule
Lecturing at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana - July 9, 2015
Since viewers often write me asking where and when I might be giving Shroud presentations, I am again including my upcoming schedule in case I happen to be in your area. If so, please drop by and say hello. Also, please understand that as of this writing, the schedule is by no means complete and that many of the times and venues are still not finalized and subject to change. I will do my best to update them prior to the events.
February 17, 2016 - I will again be attending and speaking at the University Series™, an annual multi-parish adult education program held in Southern California each year during the Lenten season. The University Series™, an event created and organized by my dear friend Fr. Dave Heney, offers 100+ seminars connecting faith with real life in areas such as current events, contemporary moral issues, evangelization, faith and science, marriage and family, church history, scripture and prayer. The 2016 season runs from February 11 to March 18 at eleven different parishes that span the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. I will make my presentation between 7:30 - 9:00 pm on the evening of February 17th in the Serra Center at the Padre Serra Parish in Camarillo, California. If you wish to learn more you can visit the University Series Website where you can review each topic and sign up for the sessions. The charge to attend is $8 per person, but you can bring a friend for free!
March 3 through March 5, 2016 - I will be making three presentations daily in conjunction with the Vancouver Shroud Association's Man of the Shroud Exhibit, which will be on display March 2 through March 8 at St. Alfred's Catholic Church, 272 Vine Street, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. You can visit St. Alfred's Website for more information. Admission is free, donations are appreciated and All Are Welcome. Visit the VSA website for details on their other exhibit locations this year.
April 10, 2016 - I will make a presentation at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 3791 Pike Rd., Longmont, Co. 80503 at 6:30 pm.
April 13, 2016 - I will be speaking in Los Angeles, California to the Pacific Palisades Chapter of Legatus, a private Catholic businessman's organization, at their monthly Wednesday evening meeting.
May 8, 2016 - I have been invited to speak in Copenhagen, Denmark by Flemming Bo Pedersen and the Association for the Promotion of the Archaeology of the Bible at a special event to be held on May 8, 2016 between 1900 and 2200 at the North Sealand Conference Center, Gydevang 39-41, DK 3450, Allerød, Denmark. For more information or to register for the event, send an email to Flemming at: email@example.com. Price: 130 DKK, to be paid before 25th April 2016 - Bank: SparNord, Hillerød Branch, registration number 9213, account number 4562331218.
August 12 through August 14, 2016 - I will once again be in England and speaking at the 50th Annual Jalsa Salana Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Convention in Hampshire, England. I will post more information as soon as it becomes available.
October 21 through October 24, 2016 - I have been invited back to the New York City area by my good friend Bill Lauto, who has organized a number of venues for me to speak at. Here is a preliminary list (with more details to be added in the near future):
- Friday, October 21, 2016 - Our Lady of Mercy Church, Hicksville, New York. - Afternoon Lunch, School class room meeting, Dinner Round Table, Evening Presentation and Post presentation event.
- Saturday, October 22, 2016 - St. Rita's Church, Long Island City, New York - 1:30 pm Presentation, Dinner event afterwards
- Sunday, October 23, 2016 - Still being confirmed
- Monday, October 24, 2016 - St. John's University, Queens, New York. - 11:00 am Media, Lunch, 3:00 pm Discussion Panel, Round Table dinner, Pre-presentation event, 8:00 pm Presentation, Post presentation event.
Spring 2017 - I have been invited to speak in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. (Note the revised dates). I will post more information as soon as it becomes available.
Posted January 21, 2016
Updated April 29, 2016
Our Next Update
As you can see in the above photograph, there is nothing visible in my crystal ball regarding our next website update! Seriously, I do know it will occur in the Spring, probably sometime in May, but a lot depends on my travel and lecture schedule, which is not yet finalized for this year. Although I don't know the exact date, I do know for sure that the next update will include more issues of Rex Morgan's Shroud News, the latest papers, books, articles and videos and of course, any breaking Shroud news. To be sure you don't miss any important Shroud information as it occurs, check our STERA, Inc. Facebook page from time to time, since we now try and update it weekly to keep you informed between our regular quarterly website updates. You can also join our Website Mailing List and receive an e-mail whenever the site is updated or any important Shroud news breaks. We hope you find this update interesting and useful and look forward to seeing you in the Spring! Thank you all again for helping to make our first 20 years such a great success! It is deeply appreciated.
President, STERA, Inc.
Posted January 21, 2016