To Main Menu

 The 1978 Scientific Examination

This page will present an overview of the first ever in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin, performed by an international team of experts in 1978. A large part of that group consisted of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., (STURP), a team of American scientists and researchers that spent over two years preparing a series of tests that would gather a vast amount of Shroud data in a relatively short period of time. STURP's primary goal was to determine the scientific properties of the image on the Shroud of Turin, and what might have caused it. In October of 1978 the STURP team spent 120 continuous hours conducting their examination of the Shroud.

To this day, scientists around the world use the data gathered by STURP for their Shroud research. Even the Vatican has stated that the material gathered in 1978 constitutes the official scientific data available for Shroud research and it has no plans to allow any further testing, except in the area of conservation of the cloth itself. Although carbon dating of the Shroud in 1988 yielded a 14th century date, newly discovered information has led many researchers to believe the carbon date is in error. The controversy continues. In any case, no serious study of the Shroud of Turin can ignore the immense volume of scientific facts determined from the 1978 data, and a close look at the 1978 test results must be on the agenda of any intelligent person interested in deciding for himself.

Unfortunately, most of the published scientific work on the Shroud has not been readily available to the general public. Much of STURP's work was technical and resides in refereed scientific journals that are quite obscure to the average person. The general public usually gets their information from the media, who often present biased interpretations and include commentary from so-called "experts" who draw conclusions or present their own theories with little regard for the facts. Over the years, this created a blending of fact and fiction in the eyes of the public that evolved into a Shroud "mythology."

In an effort to foster an intelligent approach to Shroud study, this site has attempted to bring all of STURP's work together, encapsulate it and give you a look at the research and the results. To that end, a Summary of STURP's Conclusions, a Bibliography of STURP's Published Papers and a List of all STURP Team Members are included for your information. Unfortunately, until recently, copyright restrictions did not allow us to reprint most of these papers on our website. However, that has now changed and all of the papers are now readily available here on More recently (in 2023) we have also added Audio Recordings of STURP's Final 1981 Meeting in New London, Connecticut.

Click here to view STURP's Original Test Plan - Operations Test Plan For Investigating the Shroud of Turin by Electromagnetic Radiation at Various Wavelengths

Click here to view a Summary of STURP's Conclusions.

Click here to view STURP's Published Papers.

Click here to view a List of the STURP Team Members.

Click here to listen to Audio Recordings of STURP's Final 1981 Meeting in New London, Connecticut.

To give you a sense of the event, a number of photographs of the 1978 examination itself are included below.

1978 Examination Photographs

Click on the thumbnails below to open larger views with detailed information about each image.
This page includes an
animated gif file showing
the VP-8 in action

Click on the thumbnails above to open larger views with detailed information about each image.

Top of Page Main Menu Shroud Library