2011 Website News

These are the items that were included on the "Late Breaking Website News" page in 2011. Items are listed with the most recent one first, and each article carries the posting date indicating when it was first uploaded. You should find this an interesting look at the important Shroud and Website events in 2011.

The Last Major Update of 2011

Once again the year is drawing to a close and we again have reached the final website update before the holidays. Of course, our next scheduled update is on January 21, 2012 and will mark the 16th Anniversary of Shroud.com. And as always, there are still a number of items I was unable to include in this update, more specifically, the various papers that were recently submitted to us for publication. As you know, we now have an Editorial Review Committee of fourteen members that screens all submitted papers and decides which are published. However, they can't screen them if they don't have them! With my busy travel and lecture schedule this year taking up so much of my time, the papers had to be set aside until the next update in January. So if you submitted a paper to us, please be patient. It will be screened and you will be notified before the next update. And if I missed anything else, my apologies.

This update is already a large one in its own right, so here is an Update Table of Contents:

Posted November 1, 2011

In Memoriam

Archbishop Philip M. Hannan

It is with true sadness that I must report that Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, who served for 23 years as the Archbishop of New Orleans and who was an ardent student and supporter of the Shroud, died peacefully in his sleep on September 29, 2011 at the age of 98. Current Archbishop Gregory Aymond stated that, "At 98, he lived a full life dedicated to God and his church. We will miss him. We commend him to the Lord." The Archdiocese of New Orleans confirmed that Hannan will be buried underneath the altar of the St. Louis Cathedral. You can read a more detailed story about Archbishop Hannan and his amazing life at this link on the WWLTV.com website. (Link no longer available).

Many of us in the Shroud world were honored to get to know and work with Archbishop Hannan over the years. I remember his first telephone call to me in early 2000, when he invited me to come to New Orleans as his guest and appear on a series of television programs he was producing about the Shroud for the Focus Worldwide Catholic Network, a media network that he himself had founded. I was one of a number of Shroud researchers he invited to participate. (You can read the article titled, New Shroud Television Programs To Air, that was posted about the programs in 2000). It was the first time I had ever spoken with an Archbishop in my life, and being Jewish, I was not exactly sure how to address him. I explained my situation to him and he laughed and said "my friends just call me father or archbishop!" I was greatly relieved and thankful for his kindness, humility and great sense of humor.

Once I got to New Orleans and met him, I was even more impressed. He was nearly 87 years old and had far more energy than I did! And he was a truly generous and gracious host. One evening he invited me to his home for dinner and the two of us sat at his long dining room table as his housekeeper served us a traditional New Orleans meal including red beans and rice. After dinner, we adjourned to his living room for a coffee. The room was adorned with several tables, chairs and couches and most notable was one very beautiful overstuffed leather recliner, which I assumed to be his chair, so I started to sit elsewhere. He immediately insisted that I sit in the large leather recliner and there was no arguing with him, so I complied. After we finished our coffee and some desert, he drove me back to my hotel.

The next morning, when I went into his office, one of his secretaries immediately pulled me aside and asked me if the Archbishop had made me sit in "the chair." I was a bit surprised and answered "yes, how did you know?" So she graciously explained that he was affording me a very great honor by having me sit there. In 1987, Pope John Paul II came to New Orleans, stayed at the Archbishop's house and sat in that very same chair to receive visitors. I was both surprised and honored and asked her why the Archbishop didn't tell me this himself. She just laughed (she had been with him for over 30 years) and said that he knew she would tell me in the morning! That is just the kind of man he was and why I felt so privileged to know him. And every year since then, even after his health began to fail, I received a beautful, personal Christmas card from the Archbishop. I can only offer my sincerest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and parishoners for their loss. He will truly be missed.

Barrie Schwortz

The late Archbishop was, in addition to being a much loved and respected priest and later Archbishop, one of the strongest advocates of the Shroud in the U.S. Soon after the C-14 date was announced, John (Jackson) was interviewed by Archbishop Hannan in New Orleans regarding the Shroud. This session was followed by John and my hour-long interview with Archbishop Hannan in December 2003. This WLAE - New Orleans broadcast was aired globally by EWTN and the Shroud was, once again, brought back to the electronic media. At the end of the decade, Archbishop Hannan invited many other Shroud notables to do a series on the Shroud at his Focus International studios in Metairie, Louisiana. We will certainly miss Archbishop Hannan's piety, grace, and dignity as well as his yearly Christmas cards.

Rebecca Jackson

Posted November 1, 2011

Earlier Issues of the BSTS Newsletter Now Online

As most of you know, we have been reprinting the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter on this website since we first went online in 1996. Of course, we only reprinted each current issue once it was published, so the 42 earlier issues of the newsletter previous to 1996 were not available online. However, that is all changing thanks to Stephen E. Jones, BSTS member living in Australia. Stephen has begun the major task of scanning and using optical character recognition to archive the earlier issues and is working backwards from Issues #42 through #1. By using optical character recognition after scanning, the resulting pdf files that we publish are completely searchable by the individual reader as well as by major search engines. In today's update, we are including Issue #54, which was previously not on the site, along with Issues #42, 41 and 40. My thanks not only to Stephen, but also to Ian Wilson, former BSTS Newsletter editor, who has helped in reviewing the earlier issues and making high quality cover art available to us.

In the next website update we will include at least five more back issues (#35-39) and will continue to do so until the entire archive is completed and online (or Stephen throws in the towel). You will also notice some other changes to the BSTS page, including the addition of a Pick an Issue navigator bar, which allows you to quickly pick the specific issue you wish to view by issue number. My sincerest thanks to Stephen and Ian for their willingness to take up this time consuming but important work, from which we will all benefit. Of course, we will continue to publish the latest issues as we always have, so watch for Issue #74 in our January 21, 2012 update.

Posted November 1, 2011

Shroud Speakers Directory Updated

I am pleased to announce that the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website has been updated to include another new speaker, Pete Schumacher, known to most people in the Shroud world as the "VP-8 man!" Pete delivered the VP-8 Image Analyzer to John Jackson and Eric Jumper in 1976 and they used it to prove the Shroud has 3D properties captured in the brightness of the image. Pete has been involved in Shroud research, teaching, and presentations ever since that encounter. Deacon Pete is founder of the Shroud Exhibit And Museum, Inc. (SEAM, Inc.), a unique non-profit exhibit of the Shroud in a shopping mall in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and on the web at ShroudNM.com.

Posted November 1, 2011

Shroud Booklist Updated

Once again, the Shroud Booklist page has been updated with a number of new titles. My thanks as always to Emanuela Marinelli for keeping us up to date with the newest books. You can easily find the books added in this update by going to the page and using your browser search feature (Ctrl-F) to search on "1 Nov 2011" (without the quotes).

I also have included a new book by my friend Carlos Evaristo in Fatima, Portugal titled, The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud. The book features new information from the Savoy family archives that has never been made public before, including details of portions removed from the Shroud by the family over the centuries for various reasons. The preface is written by H.R.H. Prince Vittorio Emanuele Di Savoia and I was honored to write the introduction. The book should be available by the end of the year or early in 2012 and I will provide more details (including links if available) in the next update.

Also included in this update is the new book by Joe Marino titled, Wrapped Up In The Shroud: Chronicle of a Passion, which details his 35 years of Shroud research, including almost 19 years as a Benedictine monk and 10 years with his wife, Sue Benford, who sadly died in 2009. The book should be available by December 15, 2011 from the normal online sources and I'll provide links to it in our January 21, 2012 update.

Posted November 1, 2011

Links To More Information Page Updated

The Links To More Information page has been updated with a number of new and interesting Shroud related websites. Here is a list of direct links to all the new additions:

Posted November 1, 2011

Portugal and Beyond

As many of you know, I traveled to Europe in September of this year to participate in a number of Shroud related events. The visit began in Fatima, Portugal, where I was honored by the Royal House of Portugal for my work on the Shroud over the past 33 years and where I was privileged to make a Shroud presentation at the 3rd National Holy Shroud Conference in Fatima, to a large audience that included members of the Royal Houses of Portugal and Italy, noted Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish Shroud scholars and many other interested people. I then joined a small group of Americans as their guest on a pilgrimage to various important pilgrimage sites in Spain, France and Italy (we drove from Fatima to Rome in three days). As always, I planned to write a personal account of the events but time became an issue, as it so often does whenever I am updating this website.

Thankfully, my dear friend Carlos Evaristo, overall organizer of the events in Fatima, as well as the pilgrimage, was kind enough to write and compile an article titled, The 2011 Fátima – Rome Holy Shroud Conference / Pilgrimage, that described the entire series of events in great detail. So rather than write my own account, I simply proof read Carlos' article, added a few comments where appropriate and illustrated it with a few of the many photographs I made on the trip. And of course, the article describes the most unexpected highlight of the entire journey, where by special privilege, we were shown the actual Sudarium of Oviedo by the Canon of Oviedo Cathedral. I think you will find the article quite interesting!

I must publicly state that the real dynamic force behind everything on this trip was Carlos Evaristo. In spite of his many duties as Director of the Ourem Castle Museum for the Royal House of Portugal, and as an acknowledged relic expert in his own right with constant research to perform, he managed to arrange a series of events that was truly an amazing adventure! So I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Carlos and to all the wonderful new friends I made in the small group of pilgrims that we traveled with. I enjoyed every minute of every day with you all and was honored to become friends with each of you. I felt very privileged to share such a moving experience with you and the many wonderful people we met along the way.

Posted November 1, 2011

More On Ariel Agemian

I am pleased to include a new article in this update by Annig Agemian-Raley titled More on Ariel Agemian. As most of you know, Annig is the daughter of world renowned artist Ariel Agemian and this article provides us with some further insights into the fascinating life of her father. He is best known in the Shroud world for painting the beautiful portrait of Jesus based on the image of the Shroud, but he was far more diverse than that. A link will also be added from the Scientific Papers & Articles and the Shroud Library pages.

Posted November 1, 2011

Special Offer For Website Viewers from David Rolfe

I just received an e-mail from my old friend, David Rolfe, best known as the producer and director of the 1978 groundbreaking Shroud documentary, The Silent Witness. David has just released a new Blu-Ray DVD called The Shroud in HD. (Link no longer available). He also has released a new Shroud HD Stills Collection that includes 50 high definition still images of the Shroud, taken from the high definition video footage he created in 2008 for his program, Shroud of Turin - Material Evidence. However, the best news is that David is offering our website viewers a 15% discount on any items purchased from his store page. Simply enter the code 1898 into the "coupon code" box of the Shopping Cart when checking out. Thanks David!

Posted November 1, 2011

New Video - The Night of the Shroud

A new documentary called "The Night of the Shroud" was recently broadcast in Italy and will eventually be shown in the United States. It caused quite a stir when it premiered at the recent Rome International Film Festival as it reveals new information regarding some of the behind-the-scenes actions of the 1988 C-14 dating that have just come to light. Here is a link to a 2-minute English language video segment about the documentary that appears online on the Rome Reports Website. (Link no longer available).

Francesca Saracino, the program's director, spent almost two years making the program and had it virtually completed when the new information came to light. She subsequently scrapped large portions of the original program and reshot and re-edited additional footage to incorporate the new information. Featured in the program are many noted Shroud researchers, including Prof. Franco A. Testore, John Jackson, Franco Faia, Robert Villarreal, William Meacham and myself. The on-camera host of the program is Italian actress Rosalinda Celentano, best known in the U.S. for her role as the Devil in Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ." I was able to view an Italian language, English subtitled version when in Rome earlier this year, but RAI, the Italian media company that is serving as the program's international distributor, has also produced an English language version that will be shown and distributed here in the U.S. I will provide additional details as soon as they become available.

Posted November 1, 2011

Fundraising - I Hate It! (En Español)

As much as I love the work I do as editor of this website and as President of STERA, Inc., one of the most difficult (and uncomfortable) responsibilities I have is raising funds in the form of contributions to support the website and our other long term projects. As you can see, the website content continues to grow with every update, and this one is certainly no exception. And as you know, we are planning to archive the many collections that have been entrusted to us by other Shroud researchers (like STURP team members Ray Rogers, Robert Dinegar, William Mottern and Mark Evans and Shroud scholar Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr.). The goal is to make all those materials available to you online. However, archiving these collections is time-consuming and ultimately expensive, necessitating hiring several persons to organize and scan the material. We believe the project is very important and needs and deserves financial support.

Frankly, fundraising is my least favorite part of this job and is very difficult for me, since I was self-employed for forty years and supported the website for its first fourteen years at my own personal expense. Since the founding of STERA, Inc., I have dedicated myself full time to this work, and trust me, operating a non-profit organization is definitely a full time job! However, I must admit that I am just not very good at asking people for money. Yet now that we are a formal non-profit organization, like every other non-profit in the world, I am obligated to solicit contributions from our viewers and subscribers.

To that end, I recently sent a fundraising e-mail to our subscribers and several people removed themselves from the mailing list immediately, one sadly stating, "This is obviously becoming an uncomfortably "commercial" enterprise." I was taken aback by the comment since we never allowed advertising on the site, even though it would generate some very strong revenues. We simply focused on content and never became a "commercial" website. In fact, every page is absolutely free and without advertising. So the "uncomfortably commercial" message I guess the viewer was reacting to was simply the first official fundraising letter I ever sent to the subscribers of our non-profit organization! Truthfully, it is hard not to take that kind of reaction somewhat personally. We work very hard to provide you with the very best, up-to-date information about the Shroud and I know that most people truly appreciate our efforts, which now span almost 16 years. But every non-profit in the world is obligated to, at least in part, support itself by public contributions and unfortunately, we are too.

In addition to the revenue generated from the sales of items on the Website Store page of the site, our only other sources of income are the modest fees we receive for the licensing of images from our various collections for use in commercial books, magazines and television programs and the honorariums STERA, Inc. receives for any lectures I give. But sadly, that is just not enough to cover everything. Consequently, the STERA, Inc. Board of Directors recently instructed me to begin a more concerted fundraising effort. So, for better or for worse, from this point forward, you will have to put up with our fundraising efforts from time to time, just like we all do when watching our favorite PBS channel. And naturally, we hope many of you will contribute generously since we must rely on our viewers for much needed support, particularly in such difficult economic times. STERA, Inc. is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, so for everyone in the U.S. and for most of you overseas, the contribution is also completely tax deductible.

As further incentive and to say thank you for your contributions, we are offering contributors a number of excellent gifts for their generosity:

Contribution - - - - - - Free Gift
$100.00 - $299.00 - Double sided Sepia Shroud Poster
$300.00 - $599.00 - Full Color Shroud Lithographic Poster
$600.00 - $999.00 - Both Posters
$1000.00 (or more) - All the above plus Miniature Shroud Replica on Cotton

To make it even easier to contribute, you can safely do so online using our Secure Contribution Form. You can also contribute by Mail or by telephone at 719-689-2217 (between the hours of 12:00 noon to midnight, M.T.). Of course, any purchases made from the Website Store page of the site also directly support STERA, Inc.

Posted November 1, 2011

Special Auction Exclusively For Our Subscribers

In light of our need for a more consistent fundraising effort, we have instituted a new Blind Auction feature that will be made available to our Website Subscribers only. From time to time subscribers will be notified of a private, online auction in which some very special items from our various collections will be made available for bidding. And of course, all proceeds will go directly to STERA, Inc. to maintain this website and further our other goals.

The first item we are offering is Serial #004 of the "Man In Sepia" hand signed and numbered Limited Edition, framed fine art prints we offered to the public from 1998 to 2007. Highly sought after by collectors, the edition was originally intended to include 500 prints, but only 197 were ever made before the edition was permanently closed and the image retired (because the manufacturer discontinued making the canvas). This edition was the first fine art presentation print ever made from any of the photographs in the Barrie M. Schwortz Collection. For artistic effect, the image was given a deep sepia tint by the photographer. The prints were double matted and presented in a hand made, richly stained, birds-eye maple and black enameled custom 12" x 15" frame. The print is protected behind non-glare plexiglas and each is hand signed by the photographer, dated, numbered and accompanied by a frameable, hand signed Certificate of Authenticity. Serial #004, which was in the private collection of Barrie Schwortz, is the lowest serial number and earliest date ever made available to the public. The print and Certificate of Authenticity are dated November 20, 1998.

If you are already a subscriber, you can go directly to the Private Subscribers Page using the link we include in each e-mail we send you. There you will find the details about the auction, a photograph of the framed print and instructions for bidding. If you are NOT a subscriber and would like to participate, simply go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the "Join the Shroud of Turin Website Mailing List" box provided and hit "Go." You will be added immediately and receive a Welcome e-mail that will include the link to the Private Subscribers Page. Of course, subscribers also receive an e-mail notification whenever the website is updated (around 4 times per year).

Posted November 1, 2011

News From STERA, Inc.

We are honored to announce that Dorothy Carter, widow of Shroud researcher Giles Carter (who passed away in 2010), recently donated her husband's Shroud materials to STERA, Inc., where it will be permanently designated as the Giles Carter Collection and become part of our permanent archives. A complete inventory has not yet been taken but the collection includes books, papers, articles and letters. Of course, STERA, Inc. continues to work towards archiving all of the materials in our various collections (including those of STURP team members Ray Rogers, Robert Dinegar, William Mottern, Mark Evans and Jean Lorre and Shroud scholar Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Jr.), and the Giles Carter Collection is a welcome addition. Our deepest appreciation to Dorothy for choosing STERA, Inc. as the repository for her husband's Shroud research.

On August 7, 2011, the STERA, Inc. Board of Directors held one of their two annual board meetings. Due to the long distance (and number of time zones) between members, our meetings are done via telephone using the FreeConferenceCall.com system. It actually allows us to record the meetings as mp3 audio files, creating a permanent and accurate digital archive and eliminating the need for note taking. Each member of the board can download a copy of each meeting as soon as the meeting has ended.

On the agenda for this meeting were a number of important items. The first was the acceptance of the Giles Carter Collection materials (as mentioned above) and of course, the board approved unanimously. We then had a lengthy discussion about the development of our grant proposal for the archiving of our various collections. It was determined that a preliminary overview of all the materials had to first be created before the grant development process could begin and that this would be totally dependent on future funding and fund raising efforts. That was followed by a discussion regarding the formal creation and establishment of a STERA, Inc. "official policy and guidelines" for allowing researchers direct access to Shroud materials in our various collections. Board member William Meacham took the responsibility of writing a preliminary draft of the document, which I just received recently and which I will put before the board at our next meeting for further discussion and revision. That was followed by a financial report from the President and an an even more in-depth discussion about fund raising, the results of which can be found elsewhere in this update. Our next Board of Directors meeting will be held in December.

Posted November 1, 2011

A Look Back To 1968

I recently received an e-mail from my friend John Edl, who sent me a link to a fascinating video clip. On December 24, 1968, CBS "60 Minutes" aired this story about Christ's physical appearance. Although it has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin (this was almost ten full years before the STURP examination), I believe it provides a unique glimpse into the media mindset of 43 years ago, and it seemed appropriate to share it with you at this time of year, with the holidays fast approaching. We probably would not see anything like this on CBS today.

It also provides me with the perfect opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Healthy New Year!

Posted November 1, 2011

Major Changes Coming In Our 16th Anniversary Update

The next website update, on January 21, 2012, will not only celebrate the 16th Anniversary of Shroud.com, but will also mark the first "facelift" the site has undergone since it was first created in 1996. Over the last few years I received many suggestions from viewers who diplomatically suggested the site needed some work visually. Of course, since the beginning I was far more concerned about content than style. Most recently, a blogger not only repeated the same criticism, but was kind enough to make some recommendations on how this could be most easily accomplished. He understood that with so many pages online, there is a limit to how dramatic the changes can be. He was also honest enough to remind me that over 100 million people view the internet on their smart phones, and the current design makes the site somewhat awkward to view and navigate on a phone. So in the next update, prepare yourself for a visual change to Shroud.com. Not only are we addressing the look, but also the navigation of the site. I believe you will find the new look easier to view and easier to navigate, and I'm even more certain that one way or the other, you will let me know! See you next year!

Posted November 1, 2011

Long Overdue Update Now Online

It has been nearly six months since the last website update, so this one is truly overdue! I typically try to update the site four or five times a year, but this year has been a particularly busy one for me so the update was delayed. I was invited to lecture in Spain, Italy and Poland for three weeks this past April and have included a full report on that trip in this update. I was also very honored to have several noted Shroud scholars visit me here in the last few months and have included those details in the News From STERA, Inc. article below. Many of the website pages have been updated and some new articles have been added, along with the latest issue of the BSTS Newsletter, a feature story on the artist Ariel Agemian by his daughter, Annig Agemian Raley that includes a biography of her father and much more. I hope you find the new material worth the wait.

This update contains so much new material that I am including an Update Table of Contents:

Posted July 18, 2011

In Memoriam

Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini
Archbishop of Turin 1989-1999

I am saddened to report that Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin from 1989 to1999, died at the age of 86 on April 18, 2011 in Turin, Italy, after a long illness. I had both the privilege and the pleasure of meeting with the Archbishop in 1998 and found him to be a truly generous, warm and gracious man. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends for their loss. Here is a link to a Catholic News Service article with the complete story. (Link no longer available).

Posted July 18, 2011

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) June 2011 Newsletter Added + Some Important News

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the most recent issue (June 2011, No. 73) of the BSTS Newsletter. As regular website viewers already know, the newsletters always include relevant articles, book reviews, news from Italy and much more. Newsletter editor Mark Guscin (www.markguscin.com) also includes a full color, high quality photographic feature in each issue, (although we usually reprint a text only version on this website). See below for information on joining the BSTS so you can receive the full color, fully illustrated printed versions of the newsletter.

BSTS Issue No. 73 features a new article by Hugh Duncan on The Shroud in Nice 1537, two new articles by Ian Wilson, the first titled Annunciation to Anastasis (fully illustrated) and the second in which he discusses the recent work of Barbara Frale in an article titled The Shroud, the Knights Templar and Barbara Frale. This month's featured illustrated article is by Mark Guscin and is titled The Lisbon Shroud Copy, which includes several color illustrations. There are also reviews of a recent book and video documentary.

For those of you who might be interested in a membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two printed issues of the Newsletter per year) see the printable BSTS Membership Application for details. The newsletter is published semi-annually, usually in June and December, and the text is reprinted on this website in the Acrobat PDF format.

As for the important news mentioned in the headline above, Stephen E. Jones, a BSTS member who lives in Australia, has volunteered his services to begin scanning the earlier issues of the newsletter (Issues #42 and earlier) that are not currently online and we will begin adding them to the site as soon as they become available. In addition, I have gone back, scanned and added the missing covers from issue #45 (the earliest issue in the STERA, Inc. collection) to the present and we will continue the work until the archive is complete. My thanks to Stephen and to Ian Wilson, former BSTS Newsletter editor, for working together to make this important resource available to everyone.

Posted July 18, 2011

Lectures In Spain, Italy and Poland - April 2011 - A Personal Report

As I mentioned in my introduction above, I spent most of April traveling in Spain, Italy and Poland and lecturing on the Shroud. It was my longest ever trip to Europe and certainly the most satisfying since my first trip in 1978, as part of the STURP team. I lectured mainly to students at schools and universities and it was a great honor to represent STERA, Inc. and its goals of educating a broad and diverse audience about the Shroud of Turin. I have written an article titled Lectures in Spain, Italy and Poland - April 2011 - A Personal Report that describes the trip and shares my rather personal perspective on it. I hope you will find it interesting.

Posted July 18, 2011

New Articles Added To Religion and Philosophy Page

Usually, the addition of new papers to the website is a reasonably straightforward process. I submit the papers to the STERA, Inc. Editorial Review Committee and they vote "yes" or "no" to accept or reject the submissions. Most reviewers take the time to include detailed notes and comments about the work and I generally return those papers and comments to their respective authors to make the necessary adjustments or corrections. It is far from a formal peer review process, but it is our best effort to review materials before we publish them on the site. However, today's update is somewhat of an exception.

The first group of papers that I submitted to the committee were three student essays written as final examinations for the course on the STURP team that I taught earlier this year in Rome (see above article). They were obviously religious in nature and I recommended them for inclusion on the Religion and Philosophy page of the site. I was a bit surprised to see the lively debate the essays sparked within the committee itself. In the end, some of the reviewers believed the papers did not quite come up to the high standards they would like to see on this website, while several others really liked them just the way they were! Unfortunately, since the course I taught is over and the students have moved on, there was no practical way to return the articles to them for further revisions anyway. Consequently, I have made the minor corrections recommended by the reviewers but am basically publishing them "as is" and clearly marked as student papers. Please consider that as you read them and decide for yourself. Here are links to the articles

The fourth article is by highly respected physicist and sindonologist, Fr. Manny Carreira, S.J., who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time when I lectured in Madrid, Spain, in April 2011 (see above article). Fr. Carreira is a member of the Centro Español de Sindonologia (C.E.S.) in Spain and the online Shroud Science Group. In our very first conversation in Madrid, I knew immediately I was speaking with someone who understood the science of the Shroud. In fact, he presented me with an article he wrote titled, The Shroud of Turin From the Viewpoint of the Physical Sciences that starts with a very good assessment of the current state of Shroud science. Of course, Fr. Carreira is also a priest and theologian, so the article then shifts into other, more spiritual and theologic themes, which is why we have included it on the Religion and Philosophy page.

Posted July 18, 2011

New Article Added To Scientific Papers Page

I recently heard from my old friend Remi Van Haelst in Belgium, who gave me the rather sad news that he was retiring from Shroud research but wanted to submit one final paper to us for the website. Remi's name is well known to long time viewers of this site, as we have published seven of his previous papers. However, we ran into a slightly different problem with his article titled, Analyzing Radiocarbon Data Using Burr Statistics, The problem is that the article is so specialized and technical, no one on our review committee felt qualified to review it! Thus, we are including it with the caveat that it has not really been vetted and invite any qualified viewers to send us their own reviews. More than that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Remi for his long and dedicated study of the Shroud and his countless contributions to sindonology. Enjoy your retirement my friend!

Posted July 18, 2011

New Books Added To Shroud Booklist Page

There are a number of new books that came out in the past 6 months or so that have now been added to the Shroud Booklist page of this site. Once on the page, you can easily find the newest additions by using the page search tool of your browser (ctrl F) and entering 18 July 2011.

The first addition is actually to announce the online availability of Alan Adler's posthumous 2002 book The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin, edited by Dorothy Crispino. Thanks to Giorgio Bracaglia and his Holy Shroud Guild, Past, Present & Future website, copies of this book are currently available online at the above link, but only a few copies remain so order promptly if you don't yet have a copy. This is a critical book for every Shroud scholar's library. (Book sold out but now available online via shroud.com at above link).

I have also included an updated link to Sue Benford's newly republished 2002 book Strong Woman: Unshrouding the Secrets of the Soul, which you can now obtain online. Sue's husband, well known Shroud scholar Joe Marino, republished the book in 2011 in honor of Sue's memory. Sue died on April 6, 2009 after a brief illness.

Next are a host of new additions to the booklist, including:

Posted July 18, 2011

"A Chemist's Perspective on the Shroud of Turin" by Raymond N. Rogers Now Available As An Ebook

I am very pleased to announce that the Ray Rogers 2008 book, "A Chemist's Perspective on the Shroud of Turin," is now available as an ebook on Lulu.com in the EPUB for Adobe Digital Editions Format or on the iBookstore for iPhone®, iPad® or iPod Touch® using iBooks and on computers using iTunes. We are still waiting for final approval from Apple before it becomes available for download on the iBookstore, but you can currently find the book listed as an iTunes Preview. Here are the links:

Posted July 18, 2011

Book Review: Barbara Frale's "The Templars and the Shroud of Christ" - by Jack Markwardt

I am also pleased to include a Book Review of Barbara Frale's latest work, The Templars and the Shroud of Christ, by well known Shroud historian Jack Markwardt. In a review titled, Idol Speculation, Jack provides us with a second perspective on Dr. Frale's latest findings (the other being Ian Wilson's article in the current issue of the BSTS Newsletter - see above). Viewers can also read Jack's earlier 2009 article about Frale's work titled Assessing Reports of a Templar Initiation Ritual.

Posted July 18, 2011

Links To More Information Page Updated

As you can imagine, keeping up with all of the ever-changing Shroud links on the internet can be a full time proposition in its own right. However, we do our best to keep you informed of new or updated sites that contain credible Shroud content and this update is no exception. The Links To More Information page now includes six new and two updated site links. Here is a list:

Posted July 18, 2011

Shroud Speakers Directory Updated

I am pleased to announce that the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website has been updated to include two new speakers. The first of these is Remi Dubuque, a retired college professor of English Literature and Writing with a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. from Boston University. He has been steadily on the trail of the Shroud since the late 1960's and has written reviews of books and tv programs on the Shroud. He promises a totally genial, relaxed, and understandable audio-visual presentation with generous pass-outs and bibliography for all seekers of information on the Shroud.

The second new speaker is David Roemer, the first Shroud skeptic to join our Shroud Speakers Directory. David and I corresponded first before he submitted his materials to me and I was able to read his article, "Why the Shroud of Turin is Not Authentic" before drafting a response. (Link no longer available). Frankly, there are quite a few points in the article that I could easily disagree with, but I particularly felt the need to respond to a specific comment David made about the STURP team in the section of the article labeled, 1978 Nondestructive Tests on the Shroud. I drafted an e-mail response and sent it to David and have decided to share it with you so I have included it at this link: Schwortz Response to Roemer Article. That being said, I am happy to welcome David to the directory.

Posted July 18, 2011

A Closer Look at Ariel Agemian

Ariel Agemian Painting of Jesus
Based on the Shroud of Turin
© Confraternity of the Precious Blood

Without doubt, the above painting, based on the image of the Shroud and created by Armenian artist Ariel Agemian, is world famous and has become one of the most beloved and iconic portrayals of Jesus of the 20th century. Although the image itself is well known, very few of us know much about the artist himself. For me, that ignorance was resolved a few years ago, when I was fortunate to be contacted by Ariel Agemian's daughter, Annig Agemian Raley. As many of you know, I moved to Colorado five years ago and I was truly thrilled when I was contacted by Annig and discovered that she and her family happen to live here in Colorado as well. Although we have yet to meet in person (we both have very busy schedules and live about four hours from each other), we have had the opportunity to speak on the phone and by e-mail on numerous occasions, and through that interaction, I have learned a lot more about her father. In fact, Annig was kind enough to write a detailed biography of him that she has kindly allowed me to share with you. You will now find the Ariel Agemian Biography at this link. I have also added it to the Website Library page under the Scientific Papers & Articles section, where we typically archive articles of scientific and historical value. I am sure I can speak for everyone in thanking Annig for making this important information available to us.

Posted July 18, 2011

Join Our Mailing List Using Your Smart Phone

I am happy to announce that you can now join the Shroud of Turin Website - STERA, Inc. Mailing List directly from your mobile smart phone! Simply text SHROUD to 22828 to get started. Follow the prompts and you will be added to the list immediately. If you have not yet done so, you can quickly become a free subscriber to the Mailing List and receive an e-mail notice whenever the website is updated. In addition, subscribers receive exclusive opportunities not available to the general public. These include access to papers and articles in advance of their publication, discounts on Shroud books and other materials and much more. Of course, you can still join online using your computer. Just go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the box provided and hit "Go!" Follow the instructions and you will be added to the list in less than a minute. And finally, thank you for your continued support and patronage. It is truly appreciated.

Posted July 18, 2011

News From STERA, Inc.

As I mentioned in my introduction to this update, I was honored to have several noted Shroud scholars pay me a visit here in Colorado. First to arrive and stay here for five days was my dear friend Kevin Moran, well known to those in the Shroud world as an optical engineer and researcher who has devoted over 30 years to his Shroud studies. I took the opportunity to sit Kevin in front of my video camera and record two hours of high definition video conversation with him for the STERA, Inc. permanent archives, in which he discussed his research, his motivations and his beliefs about the Shroud and its image.

My next visitor was Joe Marino, known to everyone in the Shroud world for his work with his late wife, Sue Benford, that led Ray Rogers to reexamine his conclusions about the 1988 radiocarbon dating. Of course, Joe also serves as a member of STERA, Inc.'s Board of Director's so it was a double honor to have him visit with me. I also planted Joe in front of my video camera and got several hours of conversation with him as well, again, for the STERA, Inc. permanent archives. I learned long ago that getting people to discuss their work and the impact it has had on their lives in their own words can be of critical value for both historians and scientific researchers alike.

We were also scheduled to have a STERA, Inc. Board of Directors meeting in June, but I had to postpone it due to my busy schedule, so we'll have that meeting in the next few weeks and I'll report on it in my next website update in the fall. The agenda for that meeting will include the development of a set of research guidelines and the establishment of a formal procedure for requesting access to STERA, Inc. resources. The board will also vote to accept the contribution of a recently deceased Shroud scholar's papers into the STERA, Inc. archives. As you can see, there is a lot on our agenda and things are very busy.

Since we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, fund raising will also be on the agenda. At this moment, STERA, Inc. is supported by the sales of materials from the Website Store page, the licensing of images from the various STERA Inc. collections, the honorariums received when I lecture and of course, your generous and much needed contributions. I think it is quite evident that the website has grown and blossomed under STERA's guidance and this update is a perfect example of the quality content we strive to deliver. If you wish to support this website and the work of STERA, Inc., you can safely make online contributions using the Secure Contribution Form or by mail using the MAIL a Tax Deductible Contribution to STERA, Inc. form. With all the ambitious goals we are trying to achieve, we could really use your assistance and support

Barrie M. Schwortz
Posted July 18, 2011

The Next Update

I always hate to be too specific in predicting when the next website update will go online, since things often come up at the last minute that force me to change my plans. However, I expect the next update to take place in the fall, perhaps in October, after I return from my next trip to Portugal and Italy in September. Of course, I will include a full report on that trip in the next update as well. In the interim, have a wonderful summer and thank you again for your continued loyalty and support. It is truly appreciated!

Posted July 18, 2011

Shroud.com Celebrates 15th Anniversary January 21, 2011!

Welcome to the 15th Anniversary Update of Shroud.com! As usual, I have saved the writing of this introduction for last, because I never know until the last minute just exactly how much new material will make it into the update before I run out of time. The good news is that this time, all the important items are here. Of course, it is also well after 11:00pm on the night of January 20th as I write this, so I am still cutting things very close.

Fifteen years ago tonight I sat in my studio in Los Angeles, California and pushed the button that sent the first pages of this website online. Little did I realize (for I was definitely not a visionary), that the internet was about to explode and that I was about to be carried along as part of that "big bang." Yet the last fifteen years have been amazing! They have brought me great joy, a little grief and an occasional sadness, but also the true satisfaction of knowing that there are people out there to whom this work really matters, and it is that fact alone that makes the long hours worth every minute. Over the years I have come to understand that the website truly means something to those who have faithfully followed it, supported it and participated in it. I am proud that it has brought together, archived and made available some of the most important scientific work ever done on the Shroud of Turin by many of the most important Shroud scholars of our time. And now, because of STERA, Inc., I have the further satisfaction of knowing that this website will continue into the future and still be here long after I am gone. That in the end, it has become my own legacy. And that is far more than this skeptical, old hippy, Jewish photographer from Pittsburgh ever expected back in 1996 when I pushed that button! Thank you for being there. You make it all worthwhile!

Barrie Schwortz, Editor & Founder

This update contains so much new material that I am including an Update Table of Contents:

Posted January 21, 2011

STERA, Inc. Image Library - New Page Now Available!

I am very pleased to announce an important new page has been added to Shroud.com, the STERA, Inc. Image Library. This page was actually created to provide a convenient online catalog from which authors, publishers, picture researchers and producers can select and license high resolution, reproduction quality 300dpi images from STERA's various collections for use in books, magazines, television programs, etc., but I believe it will be appreciated by everyone. The page currently includes nearly 300 images and more will be added as we continue to archive the extensive materials in STERA's care. The page allows you to scroll through and click on small thumbnails at left to view larger versions in the window at right. You can also click the "Image Info" button below each large image to view captions, size and copyright information. I hope you enjoy it!

Posted January 21, 2011

New Shroud Radiocarbon Paper by Prof. Timothy Jull and A Detailed Response by Mark Oxley

It is not very often that a new scientific paper is published challenging the Shroud's authenticity and then receives virtually no media coverage. Such is the case of the recent paper by the University of Arizona's Rachel Freer-Waters and Prof. Timothy Jull titled, Investigating a Dated Piece of the Shroud of Turin, which appeared in the December issue of the university's peer-reviewed journal Radiocarbon and was announced publicly on December 23, 2010. (The University of Arizona is one of the three laboratories that participated in the dating of the Shroud in 1988). Aside from the online Shroud Science Group and some of the blogs its members operate, it appears that only one magazine in France even picked up the story, which did not even generate a single Google Alert. As someone once said, timing is everything. Since the above link is to a Subscriber's Only page without public access, I am reprinting below the Abstract of the paper and adding it as a reference to the Scientific Papers & Articles page and the Website Library page.

Abstract: We present a photomicrographic investigation of a sample of the Shroud of Turin, split from one used in the radiocarbon dating study of 1988 at Arizona. In contrast to other reports on less-documented material, we find no evidence to contradict the idea that the sample studied was taken from the main part of the shroud, as reported by Damon et al. (1989). We also find no evidence for either coatings or dyes, and only minor contaminants.

Needless to say, the article generated quite a stir among the members of the online Shroud Science Group, many of whom offered their own perspectives on the paper privately within the group. One of the best responses was from Mark Oxley, author of last year's excellent book The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin. Consequently, I asked Mark if he would be willing to synthesize all the comments into a single, comprehensive article addressing the new Radiocarbon paper, which he has graciously done in the form of an excellent new article titled, Evidence Is Not Proof: A Response to Prof. Timothy Jull. My sincere thanks to Mark for working nonstop over the past few weeks to create a clear, concise and thorough response to the paper and more importantly, meet our deadline so I could include it in today's update.

Posted January 21, 2011

British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) December 2010 Newsletter Added

The British Society for the Turin Shroud page has been updated to include the text of the most recent issue (December 2010, No. 72) of the BSTS Newsletter. As regular website viewers already know, the newsletters always include relevant articles, book reviews, news from Italy and much more. Newsletter editor Mark Guscin (www.markguscin.com) also includes a full color, high quality photographic feature in each issue, (although we only reprint a text only version on this website). See below for information on joining the BSTS so you can receive the full color, fully illustrated printed versions of the newsletter.

BSTS Issue No. 72 features an article about the BSTS Trip to Turin to See the Shroud in 2010, an article about David Rolfe's new online project Shroud TV, a new article by Ian Wilson on the Icon of the Mandylion of Edessa at Hampton Court Palace, in the collection of H.M. the Queen, an article titled The Turin Shroud in Germolles 1452 by Hugh Duncan and much more.

For those of you who might be interested in a membership in the BSTS (which includes a subscription to two printed issues of the Newsletter per year) see the printable BSTS Membership Application for details. The newsletter is published semi-annually, usually in June and December, and the text is reprinted on this website in the Acrobat PDF format, but without the photographs or illustrations.

Posted January 21, 2011

Shroud Speakers Directory Page Updated

I am very pleased to announce that two new speakers have been added to the Shroud Speakers Directory page of the website. The first new addition is Ed Prior, retired NASA research scientist and co-author in 2008 of a paper published on this website titled Chronological History of the Evidence for the Anomalous Nature of the C-14 Sample Area of the Shroud of Turin. Ed is currently scheduled to speak at Wells Cathedral Museum in England on April 18th and 20th, 2011 and at Glastonbury Museum on April 19th.

Our second new addition is Dr. Peter Wadhams, a professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the highly esteemed Cambridge University in England. He has had a long time interest in the history of the Shroud and in the scientific questions concerning its nature and provenance. Most notably, he is a member of the Commission set up by the Diocese of Turin to assess scientific proposals for investigating the Shroud.

The Shroud Speakers Directory was created in response to the many requests we receive from groups and organizations looking for qualified individuals to speak on various aspects of the Shroud of Turin. By consulting this directory, you will find listings for Shroud lecturers that include a short biography of each, a description of the topics they present, their geographic location, how to contact them directly and other pertinent information that will help you find the right speaker for your group.

Posted January 21, 2011

Spanish Language Section of FAQ Page Updated

I am very pleased to announce that the Spanish language translations on the Frequently Asked Questions page have been revised and updated thanks to the efforts of our friend, Professor Rafael de la Piedra in Lima, Peru. The language has now been refined to clarify several points that had lost something in the original translation. My thanks to Rafael for his excellent contribution and his patience with me until I could get the changes made. I actually received the updated information from him in September 2010! Thank you Rafael.

Posted January 21, 2011

Links To More Information Page Updated

I am pleased to announce that the Links To More Information page has been updated with the addition of seven new links. I am including a brief description of each new link below, but you can find more extensive information about each on the Links page itself.

Posted January 21, 2011

1993 Rome Conference Videos Now Online

Our good friend Russ Breault, Shroud scholar, lecturer and founder of many excellent Shroud websites (see above story), recently sent us the following message:

"The entire 1993 Rome Conference featuring 49 separate videos is now online and can be viewed in streaming video free of charge. Many thanks to Paul Bershon for filming it originally and recently encoding for digital. Thanks also to Dan Scavone who translated the Speaker Index from Italian to English. All speakers are in English. Where the original speaker was Italian or French, the translation track was used. My apologies to those in France or Italy who would prefer their native language. You may access this from the www.ShroudUniversity.com home page or directly at http://www.shrouduniversity.com/rome93.php. This monumental project is part of the education mandate of The Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc."

Once again, Russ has made available to all of us a fantastic visual resource of great historical value. (Last year he gave us the complete video of the 1991 St. Louis Conference). He also has provided us with a complete Speaker Index to the 1993 Rome Conference, which I have included here for your information.

Posted January 21, 2011

More on the 2010 Lima Shroud Conference and A New Online Shroud Course From Peru

Lima Conference - August 31 to September 2, 2010
© 2010 Rafael de la Piedra

Thanks is due again to Professor Rafael de la Piedra of Lima, Peru, who has provided us with a more comprehensive overview of the II International Congress on the Holy Shroud that was held on August 31 to September 2, 2010 at the University of Lima. He has kindly furnished us with both an English and Spanish language version which can be found at these links: 2nd International Congress on the Holy Shroud- Lima, Peru (English language) and II Congreso Internacional sobre la Sábana Santa - Lima, Peru (Spanish language).

In addition, Rafael has informed us that a new Online Shroud Course has been developed for which he will serve as Professor. (Link no longer available). Although the course is taught in Spanish (you can see the Spanish language outline at the above link), he has also kindly sent us an English Translation for the benefit of our website viewers. If I am not mistaken, this is the first ever online course on the Shroud of Turin ever offered on the Internet.

Posted January 21, 2011

Frascati Workshop Proceedings Available

I am very pleased to report that the printed Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, held in Frascati, Italy, on May 4-6, 2010, are now available online via the Official Workshop Website. [Editor's Note: Sorry. All the links originally included in this article are no longer available]. The site has long included the Abstracts of each paper and has recently been updated to include the Full Papers themselves, exactly as they appear in the Proceedings. In addition, printed, bound copies of the Proceedings are now available online and can be ordered directly from the ENEA Research Center website. (No longer available). Just click on the "ORDER FORM FOR PUBLICATION" link at the bottom left of their page to download the order form.

Having now had time to read some of the full papers myself, I found that there were many truly excellent papers presented. I must admit that one of my favorites was the paper by Daniele Murra titled "Sight and brain: an introduction to the visually misleading images," which clearly explains how the limits of human visual perception come into play when studying the image(s) on the Shroud of Turin (an area I have long had a strong interest in). For obvious reasons, I was also very interested in the excellent paper by my old friend and fellow photographer, Roberto Falcinelli, titled "Two unpublished letters of Secondo Pia about the 1898 Shroud photography," regarding the Shroud's first photographer. As you will see, the list of authors represented in the Proceedings reads like a virtual Who's Who of Sindonology and the volume includes a total of 36 new papers.

I believe that a special word of thanks is due to Paolo Di Lazzaro, Chairman, Editor and overall organizer of the event. Paolo did an amazing job from beginning to end and the resulting printed volume is a testament to his perserverence, professionalism and hard work. Well done, my friend!

Posted January 21, 2011

Recent Shroud Conference In Fatima, Portugal

Fatima Conference - November 20, 2010
© 2010 Maria da Glóra Moreira

In recent months I have been in contact with the Centro Português de Sindonologia, founded in the 1980's by Dr. Lagrifa Fernandes, and one of its dedicated members, Centro Secretary Maria da Glóra Moreira, who has reported to me in some detail on the renewed activities regarding the Shroud in Portugal. The most notable of these was the Shroud Conference they organized that was held on November 20, 2010 in Fatima, titled "Encontro de Estudo e Reflexão sobre o Santo Sudário" (Encounter for Study and Meditation on the Holy Shroud), which has now been added to the Shroud Conferences & Symposia page.

The speakers included Dr. Carlos Evaristo, Director of the Ourém Castle Museum and world renowned relic expert, who made a short presentaion about Christian relics including the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Veil of Veronica; TVI journalist Dr. João Paulo Sacadura presented "The Shroud of Turin and the Christians," a presentation full of spiritual meaning; Maria da Glóra Moreira presented "The Holy Shroud in Today's Cathechesis," in which she highlighted the difficulties and challenges in teaching Christ's message in a time of anti religious ideals and how important the Shroud of Turin can be to young people; Dr. Antero Frias Moreira presented "The Shroud of Turin in the Third Millennium" where he focused on debunking the 1988 radiocarbon tests and presented important 21st century scientific possibilities and Sister Maria Paula, a pioneer Portuguese religious woman in Shroud studies who made a personal testimony on her involvement with the Shroud.

Interestingly, when Maria provided me with the list of speakers I immediately recognized the name of Dr. Carlos Evaristo, as he and I had been in correspondence on another matter. He was kind enough to send me his own, first hand report on the conference, which I am including here: Report on the Second National Shroud Encounter in Fátima, Portugal.

Maria reports that "the Centro also has a modest webpage with blog (http://www.santosudariodeturim.blogspot.com/) that provides some reliable information in the Portuguese language and is updated from time to time whenever a relevant sindonologic event happens in our country. Nevertheless we posted information about the Knights Templar theory for the missing years and the controversial Garlaschelli's shroud."

I have also added the Centro Português de Sindonologia to the Shroud Centers & Organizations page.

Posted January 21, 2011

Head of Portuguese Royal House Knights Barrie Schwortz

In the fifteen years since Shroud.com has been online, I have had the great honor of receiving many awards and commendations for the website and my ongoing work with the Shroud. However, none carried a greater honor or were more unexpected than the recent telephone call I received from Dr. Carlos Evaristo, Director of the Ourém Castle Museum and Vice-Chancellor and Secretary General of the Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Wing in Portugal. Carlos informed me that His Royal Highness, Dom Duarte, Duke of Bragança and Count of Ourém, Head of the Portuguese Royal House and Heir to the Throne, had selected me for knighthood! Carlos was kind enough to send me a brief article with some of the details, which I am reprinting here:

Dom Duarte Duke of Bragança and Count of Ourém, Head of the Portuguese Royal House and Heir to the Throne, recognizing the important work of Barrie Schwortz for the studies of the Holy Shroud since 1978, decided to award him the Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Wing in the highest rank of Knight Grand Cross.

The Letter Patent was received by Vice-Chancellor and Secretary General of the Order, Carlos Evaristo, on behalf of Barrie Schwortz, but the Insignia will be personally presented to the recipient on his forthcoming visit to Portugal.

The Order of Saint Michael is the oldest Portuguese Order founded by the first King of Portugal in 1147 and reformulated by King D. Miguel in the XIX Century. Barrie Schwortz joins the ranks of dozens of Royal persons and well known public figures who are also members of this distinguished Dynastic Royal Order.

I must admit I was totally overwhelmed and found myself nearly speechless when Carlos gave me the news (and as many of you know, "speechless" is a word rarely used to describe me)! Carlos also asked me to fill the position of Research Director for the Portuguese Centre for the Studies of the Shroud, held until recently by Dr. Frederick Zugibe, who sadly was forced to retire due to health issues. I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Portugal and to working closely with the Centre and its members to further its goals and those of STERA, Inc. And of course, my deepest and sincerest thanks to His Royal Highness for bestowing such a great honor upon me. Forgive me if it appears undignified, but all I can say is "wow!"

Posted January 21, 2011

"The Real Face of Jesus" Program Goes Global - Prints From Program Now Available Online

The Real Face of Jesus program, which premiered in the U.S. on the History Channel on March 30, 2010 and was produced by Ray Downing and his award winning New York computer graphics facility Studio Macbeth, went global on Christmas day. The program was broadcast around the world, including the following countries: U.S., Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Zimbabwe and throughout southern Africa. The program will air again in the U.S. on January 25, 2011 so check your local listings for the times in your area.

Ever since the program first aired, Studio Macbeth (and even this website) have been inundated with requests from viewers all over the world who wanted to obtain prints of the Face of Jesus as depicted in the program. The good news is that those prints are now available directly from the Studio Macbeth website on the "Our Store" page at http://raydowning.com/our-store/. Congratulations are also in order to Ray and his team for winning an Emmy award for bringing Abraham Lincoln back to life on the History Channel special "Stealing Lincoln's Body." In fact, prints of Lincoln will also be available on their website in the near future.

Posted January 21, 2011

New Shroud Books

The Shroud of Turin Booklist and Shroud of Turin Books Online pages have been updated to include two new books. The first is by Indian author Chidambaram Ramesh, and is titled, “The Shroud of Turin: An Imprint of the Soul, Apparition, or Quantum Bio-Hologram.” (Link no longer available). Ramesh has proposed a new theory that the mysterious image of the man on the Shroud is an imprint of the Quantum Self or Bio-Hologram. The author has attempted to explain the scientific causes of the image on the Shroud under the realm of quantum physics. By drawing a series of evidences from palingenesis (spectral resuscitation of plants out of their ashes), natural magic, quantum physics and the recent findings of morphogenetic fields, he has unequivocally established that all material body of organisms, even if consumed to ashes, retain their selfsame form and figure. Even parts of the body like blood, skin etc., are capable of forming the 3D geometrical structure of the host organism in its entirety, which is a quantum hologram in the modern scientific terminology. He has concluded that the effect of heat or light emanating from such macro-scale quantum holographic manifestation of the man on the Shroud could have had a ‘scorch-like’ effect on the Shroud fibres to imprint the mysterious image on it.

The second new book is by Canadian author Dr. R. Gary Chiang, Ph.D. and is titled Rescuing Science From Preconceived Beliefs (Doorway Publications, 2009). The author wrote that, "It deals with faith and science and concentrates on evolution. I devote one full chapter to the Shroud, but also mention it in other places to discuss its implications for our understanding of the natural world and how it relates to the divine." He summed it up by stating, "What I am trying to do is to fuse - not confuse - science and Christianity." The book is NOT available online but can be purchased from the Redeemer Campus Bookstore for 34.95 Canadian Dollars. Redeemer University College, Ancaster, ON., L9K 1J4, Canada

Posted January 21, 2011

Upcoming Shroud Lectures

Viewers often write me asking where and when I might be giving Shroud presentations. Since this year is shaping up to be quite busy along those lines, I thought I would publish my upcoming schedule in case I happen to be in your area. If so, please drop by and say hello.

Posted January 21, 2011

Last Minute News From The Vancouver Shroud Association

I rarely add articles to an update after the fact, but this information came in literally the day after the last update went online so I am including it here. The Vancouver Shroud Association has announced the annual exhibition of their beautiful Man of the Shroud exhibit at St. Ann's Church, 33333 Mayfair Avenue, Abbotsford, BC, Canada on Wednesday, April 13 through Monday, April 18, 2011. The event includes daily live Shroud presentations by John Iannone, Florida - Author & Shroud Lecturer and Phillip Wiebe, PhD - Langley, BC - Author & Shroud Lecturer. Please call: 604 852-5602 weekdays for more information or visit the organization's excellent website at http://www.manoftheshroud.org/ where you can find many photographs of the exhibit and much more.

Posted January 31, 2011

News From STERA, Inc.

On New Years day 2011, STERA, Inc. celebrated its 1st Anniversary, as we originally started operations on January 1, 2010. On November 28, 2010 STERA, Inc. held its annual Board of Directors meeting and one of the first orders of business was to hold an Election of Officers. Barrie Schwortz was elected as President, Joe Marino was elected First Vice-President/Treasurer and Larry Schauf was elected Second Vice-President/Secretary.

Other items on the agenda included the formal establishment of the Editorial Review Committee, that will review all papers submitted for publication on this website. It was unanimously agreed that the committee would remain anonymous, as is typical with most journals and publications. Four new highly qualified researchers were selected and approved as members of the committee. The meeting topics also included a discussion of the STERA, Inc. Archiving Project and the development of a Grant Proposal to fund the work. Other ongoing projects that were approved included the new STERA, Inc. Image Library page (premiering in today's update) and the editing and completion of the Ray Rogers In His Own Words interview videos that will allow the creation of a two disc DVD set of the Complete Interviews (hopefully before Christmas 2011).

Since we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, fund raising was also on the agenda. At this moment, STERA, Inc. is supported by the sales of materials from the Website Store page, the licensing of images from the various STERA Inc. collections, the honorariums received when I lecture and of course, your generous and much needed contributions. I think it is quite evident that the website has grown and blossomed in the past year under STERA's guidance and this update is a perfect example of the quality content we strive to deliver. If you wish to support this website and the work of STERA, Inc., you can safely make online contributions using the Secure Contribution Form or by mail using the MAIL a Tax Deductible Contribution to STERA, Inc. form.

Posted January 21, 2011

Some Interesting Statistics From 2010

As the webmaster of this site, I receive a daily report from our service provider that shows the number of visitors we receive, the number of hits they generate, the number of pages viewed, the number of files opened and the amount of bandwidth used. Although we do not receive the number of visitors that the large commercial websites do, I believe the statistics from 2010 are very interesting and I thought I would share them with you. In 2010, shroud.com received over 3/4 million unique visitors that generated just under 10 million "hits," viewed nearly 2.1 million pages, opened just under 8 million files and generated over 225 GB of bandwidth!

Since the counter on the home page of the site only registers visitors that enter the site through that specific page, it represents only about 25% of the actual visitors who come to the site. Many viewers have bookmarked the Main Menu, Website Library, Shroud Booklist or other key internal pages, depending on their areas of interest, and typically enter the site through those interior pages, thus bypassing the home page counter. Although our daily average over the year was around 2100 visitors per day, we averaged nearly 6000 per day in April 2010. The total number of visitors to the site since we first went online on January 21, 1996 is actually closer to 12 million visitors!

Posted January 21, 2011

The Next Update

With my busy schedule of traveling and lecturing about to begin, the next update will probably not go online until the end of May or early June. Of course, if any major news breaks, I will inform our Subscriber list first and get it onto the site as soon thereafter as is possible. If you have not yet done so, you can quickly become a free subscriber to the Shroud of Turin Website - STERA, Inc. Mailing List and receive an e-mail notice whenever the website is updated. In addition, subscribers receive exclusive opportunities not available to the general public. These include access to papers and articles in advance of their publication, discounts on Shroud books and other materials and much more. To join, go to the Send Us E-mail page, enter your e-mail address in the box provided and hit "Go!" Follow the instructions and you will be added to the list in less than a minute. And finally, thank you for your continued support and patronage. It is truly appreciated. See you later this year!

Barrie Schwortz
Posted January 21, 2011

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