The 1999 Richmond Conference

Shroud of Turin
Research Conference

June 18 - 19 - 20, 1999
Mary Mother of the Church Abbey
Richmond, Virginia

Copyright Notice

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Bryan Walsh has announced the availability of the "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," for which he served as editor. The 346 page paperback book can now be ordered directly via the Internet at the following link: (No Longer Available). It contains the full text of most of the papers presented at the event and includes many black & white photographs and illustrations.

Click here to read an Overview of the Conference (with photographs)
Click here to read the Conference Schedule of Speakers and Topics

An Overview of the Conference

Mary Mother of the Church Abbey

On Friday, June 18, 1999, the Shroud of Turin International Research Conference opened to a full auditorium of more than 300 visitors who came to hear some of the top sindonologists in the world present their latest research on the Shroud of Turin. Meeting on the beautiful grounds of Mary Mother of the Church Abbey near Richmond, Virginia, the three day event was sponsored by the Shroud of Turin Center, founded by Bryan Walsh and located at the abbey. Special thanks are extended to Bryan and Diana Fulbright for their excellent organizing skills in planning the successful event and to Abbot Benedict R. McDermott, who was kind enough to welcome such a massive influx of people to the otherwise quiet and tranquil grounds. The beautiful abbey, nestled into the wooded Virginia countryside, provided the perfect setting for the meeting.

The conference was truly an international affair, with the roster of presenters a virtual who's who of world sindonology. Many of the attendees in the large audience also came from around the globe. Just a few of the countries represented include Mexico, Italy, Spain, Australia, Canada and Brasil. Unfortunately, a number of scheduled presenters from outside the United States were unable to attend. I have still included their names and topics in the Schedule of the conference below, although their photographs were obviously not available. I hope to be able to include some of their papers on the website in the near future. I was able to gather some of the speakers together for an impromptu photograph, which I have included here:

Richmond Conference Sindonologists (l to r): Paul Maloney, unidentified guest,
David Fornof, David Alexander, Keith Propp, Rebecca Jackson, Kevin Moran,
Pete Schumacher, John Iannone, John Jackson, Mark Guscin, Fr. Walter Abbott,
Connie Apple, Dr. Gil Lavoie, Bryan Walsh, unidentified guest, Mary Hines,
Roger Bassett, Fr. Kim Dreisbach, Emanuela Marinelli, Gary Habermas,
Barrie Schwortz, Richard Orareo.

One of the great advantages of this type of meeting is the ability of the speakers to include many more illustrations in their presentations than is normally practical in printed journals or other publications. As such, the audience was kept fascinated as speaker after speaker presented their work in highly visual fashion. Among the highlights was a demonstration of the polarized light comparison technique developed by Alan and Mary Whanger. In this interactive presentation, the audience was able to compare Shroud photographs to various icons and medallions that were possibly based on the Shroud image. Dr. Warren Grundfest presented a series of slides showing current medical applications of spectral imaging techniques and suggesting how these methods could be used to study the Shroud image. Mark Guscin provided a closeup look at the Sudarium of Oviedo, including a live demonstration of how the cloth would have wrapped the head. Mark, in his typical tongue-in-cheek manner, approached me prior to the conference and asked if I knew of any long haired, bearded Jewish men who might participate in his "demonstration." As you can see below, he found his volunteer!

Mark Guscin (left) and Barrie Schwortz (under wraps)

Also of great interest was a fascinating presentation by John Jackson, showing how fold patterns he found on the Shroud are consistent with it being displayed in the same manner as the Byzantine Shroud of Constantinople before it disappeared. Ian Wilson presented a convincing argument for an archaeological survey of Urfa, Turkey, to determine whether it was truly the home of the Shroud for nearly one thousand years. One of the conference papers, by Mario Moroni and his group in Italy, described their experiments with a linen mummy wrapping that had been dated at 2100 years old. After heating and irradiating the linen, the re-measured sample moved up in age by almost one thousand years. Pete Schumacher presented a detailed look at the dimensional data encoded into the Shroud image as revealed by the VP-8 image analyzer, the special imaging device he helped develop for NASA in the 1970's. As always, Isabel Piczek provided the audience with spectacular visuals as she discussed an important catacomb painting and its relationship to art history and the Shroud.

Ian and Judith Wilson in Richmond

Rex Morgan presented an excellent slideshow on his recent expeditions into the catacombs to study early art. Rex, publisher and editor of the respected Shroud News, also announced plans for a Shroud conference in Australia, tentatively scheduled for October 2 - 6, 2001. Emanuela Marinelli presented a profusely illustrated paper co-authored by Alessandro Cagnazzo and Giulio Fanti that discussed the physical properties of the man on the Shroud. There were also two panel discussions, one on whether the Shroud could have been created as a work of art and the other on the strengths and weakness of various imaging techniques. These fostered some heated discussions at times, but were truly enlightening for both the audience and the participants. They also provided an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the researchers.

Another highlight of the conference was the first public exhibition of the Boston Collection of Shroud Art. This unparalleled collection of Shroud related artwork, some dating back to the 14th century, was collected and curated by Richard Orareo over the last forty years and was on display throughout the entire event. After the conference, Richard and I spent two all-night sessions photographing the entire collection (with moral support provided by Emanuela Marinelli). Some of these photographs will soon be included on a new page being developed for this website and the entire collection will soon be available on a CD-R disc from the "Website Store." Of course, there were so many great presentations it is impossible for me to mention them all in this overview. Many will be included in their entirety on this website in the near future.

Lois and Paul Maloney with Tom D'Muhula, former
President of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP)

As I have reported before, one of the greatest benefits of such conferences is the opportunity for sindonogists to come together and discuss their ideas in person. This helps foster cooperation and better relations amongst various Shroud research groups and gives everyone an opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones. The Richmond Conference was no exception, and the friendship and camaraderie was obvious to everyone. Without question, Richmond was a great success!

For more information about the Richmond Shroud of Turin Center and how you can order audio and video cassettes of the conference, be sure to visit the Richmond Shroud of Turin Center Website. Check this page regularly as we will soon be adding many of the papers and presentations from the conference.

FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 1999

 DIANA FULBRIGHT - Conference Coordinator - Opening Remarks.

 Director of Research at the Richmond Shroud of Turin Center, formerly taught Coptic and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa.

 C. RICHARD ORAREO - "The Boston Collection" of Shroud art and memorabilia - on special exhibit during the entire conference.

 Longtime developer and curator of "The Boston Collection," has amassed one of the world's largest collections of books, periodicals and artistic renderings of the Shroud. The Getty Museum and Notre Dame University have both expressed interest in housing this collection.

 Prof. PAUL C. MALONEY - "History of Botanical Research on the Shroud of Turin" - illustrated with color slides.

 Formerly Professor of Archaeology, Greek and Old Testament at Vennard College and United Wesleyan College, now Director of Ancient Near Eastern Researches and General Projects Director of the Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin.

 REX MORGAN - "The Greatest Secret of the Catabombs? The Search Continues." - an update on the painting of Christ in the Orpheus Cubiculum - illustrated with color slides.

 Author of The Holy Shroud and the Earliest Paintings of Christ and series editor of Catacombs, Christ's Portrait and the Shroud (four volumes) has introduced the Brooks Institute Photographic Exposition to more that 600,000 people in Australia, New Zealand, Macau, Hong Kong and Canada.

 ISABEL PICZEK - "From the Catacombs to the Present, the Arts Testify," placing the Orpheus cubiculum painting of Christ into the context of history - color slide presentation.

 Known and honored internationally as an artist who creates monumental stained glass windows and painted, mosaic and ceramic murals. Mme. Piczek is also a published author of major works in physics and theology, and has made invaluable contributions to research and education on the Shroud of Turin.

 KEVIN E. MORAN - Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples with 7 color photographs. (.pdf format) [228k]

 Technology specialist and president of Cambiano Engineering Company. Mr. Moran has been involved in research on the Shroud of Turin and related optical technology for many years. This excellent article describes some of the unique properties of the Shroud image and includes a number of fascinating photographs

 RUSSELL A . BREAULT - will project on screen his award-winning website on the Shroud of Turin Education Project.

 Television executive and founder of the Shroud of Turin Education Center in Peachtree City, GA, whose primary purpose is to introduce young, potential researchers to the Shroud. Visit his award-winning website at

 JACK MARKWARDT - "Antioch and the Shroud," a new theory of the cloth's history prior to the 6th century (.pdf format) [78k]

 Managing partner of a general practice law firm, has researched, written and lectured on the Shroud of Turin for the past thirteen years. His work has been presented at symposiums throughout the world and published in Great Britain.

 DANIEL C. SCAVONE - Evidence for the Shroud in Constantinople prior to 1204  (.pdf format) [32k]

 Emeritus Professor History at the University of Southern Indiana, has been interested in the Shroud of Turin since childhood. He has written numerous articles on the subject and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. His presentation included 22 slides which are not currently included with the article. However, since I plan to include these illustrations in the future, the references to them remain in the text.

 MARCEL ALONSO - "Validity of the 1988 Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud."

 Secretary of the Scientific Committee of Centre International d'Etudes sur le Lineul de Turin, headquartered in Paris, is a consultant in geosciences, and internationally known for his valuable contributions to Shroud research.

 PETER M. SCHUMACHER - "Photometric Responses from the Shroud," with computer projector illustration.  (.pdf format) [24k]

 Electronics engineer, entrepreneur, inventor and developer of the VP-8 Image Analyzer, for which he was issued three patents. His work covers a broad range of applications, from multi-spectral aerial video imaging to medical image cross-modality studies.

 ALAN D. ADLER - "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin,"  (.pdf format) [34k]

 Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Western Connecticut State University, has been involved in Shroud research since 1979 when he began working with the STURP team. Dr. Adler is presently on Cardinal Giovanni Salderini's Conservation Commission.

 Rev. JACK KENNINGTON, C.Ss.R- Update on the work of the Holy Shroud Guild.

 Of the Holy Shroud Guild, Esopus, N.Y., maintains the Wuenchel Collection and is archiving the correspondence and libraries of the late Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, S.D.B. and of the late Fr. Adam Otterbein, S.Ss.R.

 Dr. JOHN P. JACKSON - "New evidence that conclusively identifies the Shroud of Turin with the Byzantine Shroud of Constantinople in the first millennium."

 Founder and Director of the Turin Shroud Center and leader of the 1978 scientific team that traveled to Turin to examine the Shroud first-hand. An internationally known researcher, Dr. Jackson was formerly on the faculties of the Air Force Academy and the University of Colorado.

 DAVID R. FORNOF - "A scientific evaluation of the Shroud's radiocarbon date."

 Physicist and Associate of the Turin Shroud Center, Colorado Springs, presently conducts research focussing on the aging of cellulose under heated conditions.


 REBECCA S. JACKSON - "The Shroud of Turin and the Jewish First Century."

 Associate Director of the Turin Shroud Center and long-time researcher on the Shroud of Turin, specializing in relating the Shroud to various aspects of ancient Jewish life and customs. Mrs. Jackson lectures around the world on this subject.


 KEITH E. PROPP- "Color and intensity analyses for the Shroud of Turin."

 Computational and nuclear physicist and associate of the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs. Dr. Propp has worked on research related to the Shroud of Turin for more than 12 years.




 GILBERT LAVOIE, M.D. - "Blood on the Face," analysis of blood flow and blood marks and their implications. Illustrated with slides.

 For the last twenty years, Dr. Lavoie, a specialist in internal and occupational medicine, has pursued a medical and scriptural study of the Shroud of Turin. His research findings were published last year in Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud.

 FREDERICK T. ZUGIBE, M.D., Ph.D. - "The Hand Wound Controversy," - overturning Barbet's hypothesis. Illustrated with slides.

 Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, N.Y., has published prolifically in the fields of forensic and general pathology and has performed over 12,000 autopsies. A new edition of his book, The Cross and the Shroud, will be published later this year.

 MARK GUSCIN - Recent Historical Investigations on the Sudarium of Oviedo (.pdf format) [50k]

 Member of the Investigation Team of the Centro Espanol de Sindonlogia and the British Society for the Turin Shroud. Mr. Guscin's book on the Sudarium of Oviedo, The Oviedo Cloth, was published in 1998 by the Lutterworth Press.

 AUGUST D. ACCETTA, M.D. - "Experiments with Radiation as an Image Formation Mechanism,"  (.pdf format) [326k]   Ed. Note: This link is to the updated version of this paper that Dr. Accetta presented in August 2000 at the Sindone 2000 Shroud Conference in Orvieto, Italy.

 Founder and Director of the Shroud Center of Southern California in Huntington Beach, has had a life-long involvement with the Shroud of Turin, Dr. Accetta researches emitted radiation as an image-formation mechanism.

 IAN WILSON - "Urfa, Turkey: the urgent need for an archaeological survey of the town that (arguably) was the Shroud's home for nearly a thousand years."  (.pdf format) [41k]

 Author of The Shroud of Turin, The Mysterious Shroud, Holy Faces, Secret Places and most recently, The Blood and the Shroud. Mr. Wilson edits the Newsletter of the British Society for the Turin Shroud and has been researching the Shroud for more that twenty years.

 BARRIE M. SCHWORTZ - "The Role of the Internet in Current Shroud Research," demonstrating new developments on his fascinating, invaluable and award-winning website on the Shroud of Turin.  (.pdf format) [31k]

 Official documenting photographer for the scientific team that examined the Shroud in 1978, and editor and publisher of the largest and most extensive shroud research resource on the internet - Mr. Schwortz also conducts research on the Shroud using new techniques in digital imaging spectroscopy.

"Could the image on the Shroud of Turin have been created as a work of art?"

 Prof. ssa EMANUELA MARINELLI - Computerized Anthropometric Analysis of the Man of the Turin Shroud - Co-authored with ALESSANDRO CAGNAZZO and Prof. GIULIO FANTI  (.pdf format) [222k]

 Emaneula Marinelli: Is Professor in iconography, iconology and Christian symbolism at LUMSA University in Orvieto, Italy, co-founder of the Collegamento pro Sindone and editor of its bimonthly magazine. Her numerous books on the Shroud have been translated into many languages.

Alessandro Cagnazzo: Recently completed his thesis at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padua, Italy, on "Analisi antropometrica della Sindone di Torino mediante sistemi di visione" under Professor Giulio Fanti, and is a member of the Interdepartmental Center for Space Studies and Activities.

Giulio Fanti: Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padua, Italy, and member of the Interdepartmental Center for Space Studies and Activities. Professor Fanti is an internationally know researcher and prolific author on the Shroud of Turin and a member of the scientific committee of the World Congress of Orvieto.

 ALAN D. WHANGER, M.D. and MARY W. WHANGER - "The Real Date of the Shroud: the Visual Evidence," with polarized image overlay illustration.

 Mary Whanger: Founding member of the Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST) and co-author, with her husband, of The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure in Discovery and a multitude of scientific research articles on the Shroud.

Alan D. Whanger, M.D.,: Professor Emeritus, Duke University Medical Center, founding member of the Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST), member of Centro Espanol de Sindonlogia and developer of the polarized image overlay technique for image comparison.

SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 1999

 GARY HABERMAS - "Historical Epistemology, Jesus's Resurrection, and the Shroud of Turin."  (.pdf format) [45k]

 Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Liberty University and co-author of Verdict on the Shroud and The Shroud and the Controversy, and numerous other books, specializes in the interaction between philosophy of history and religion.

 WARREN S. GRUNDFEST, M.D. - "Imaging Spectroscopy for the non-Destructive Evaluation of Items of Historical Interest: Applications to the Shroud of Turin."

 Director of the Laser Research and Technology Development Laboratory of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, where he holds the Dorothy and E. Phillip Lyon Chair in Laser Research. Clinical Professor of Surgery, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Chairman of the Biomedical Engineering Program at UCLA.

 BRYAN WALSH - "The 1988 Radiocarbon Dating Reconsidered (Part 1) (Part 2)

 Executive Director and founder of the Richmond Shroud of Turin Center. Mr. Walsh worked four years in statistical quality control, four years in atmospheric physics with the U.S.A.F., and has published research on atmospheric physics and geophysics.

 Rev. ALBERT R. DREISBACH, JR. - "The Shroud and Healing,"  (.pdf format) [81k]

 An Episcopal priest and founder and Executive Director of the Atlanta International Center for the Continuing Study of the Shroud of Turin (AICCSST). He has been commentator and technical advisor to CBS, NBC, CBN and TLC for programs about the Shroud. During his presentation he projected 18 slides which are not currently included with the article. However, since I plan to include these illustrations in the future, the references to them remain in the text.

"Imaging Techniques: their Strengths and Weaknesses."

REMI VAN HAELST - "Statistical Confidence in the Shroud's Radiocarbon Age."

Industrial chemist and production supervisor at Petrochim Antwerpen in Belgium. Mr. Van Haelst has lectured throughout Europe on the Shroud of Turin, and is the author of over 100 scientific and technical studies on the Shroud of Turin.

MARIO MORONI - "Possible Rejuvenation Modalities of the Radiocarbon Age of the Shroud of Turin, " co-authored with FRANCESCO BARBESINO and MAURIZIO BETTINELLI.

Mario Moroni: Member of the Centro Internazionale di Sindonologia and the British Society for the Turin Shroud. His recent book, The Shroud before the XIV Century , was published with companion videocassette.

Francesco Barbesino: Senior scientist at the Information, Studies and Tests Center of Milan, Italy (now retired) and expert in tests and aging of polymeric materials.

Maurizio Bettinelli: Head of the Analytical Chemistry Group at ENEL/PIN/STS Central Laboratory in Piacenza, Italy.

BRIAN J. WALSH, Executive Director, Shroud of Turin Center -- Closing Remarks

Bryan Walsh and Diana Fulbright of the Richmond Shroud of Turin Center acknowledge the generous support and assistance of the many people throughout the world too numerous to mention by name who have helped in so many ways to make this Conference on the Shroud of Turin possible. We thank all of you who have taken part, you who are here in Richmond, some at great personal sacrifice, and you who were not able to come, but who nevertheless have supported these endeavors in thought and in spirit.

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