now that I have, at last, completed my paper, "A proposal to radiocarbon-date the pollen of the Shroud of Turin," and have sent it off for peer-review!
"Shining a light on the Shroud of Turin," OCRegister, Kari Wilkinson, September 6, 2007 ... Fifteen years ago when Sharon Subia of Westminster was referred to Dr. August Accetta as an obstetrical patient, she didn't know that she was about to witness a life-changing event. ...
Accetta shared with her that for the past few years he'd been studying the Shroud of Turin. The shroud is a linen cloth with the image of a man who some believe is Jesus. Despite more than a century of scientific research, its origin remains a mystery and is a subject of debate. "At the time, he was a fallen-away Catholic," Subia said. "He began studying it from a scientific point of view to disprove it. The more he studied, the more he became enthusiastic in his faith." Every month she saw him, he had new information. Then after years of research and collecting information, images and articles, Accetta was brought back to the Catholic Church by the shroud. "I was overwhelmed by the amount of scientific support for the shroud," said Accetta, of Huntington Beach. ... Throughout the years following the birth of Subia's daughter, their paths kept crossing. In 1996, she returned to Accetta for her ninth child. By that time, he was a changed man. "It affected my life," he said. .... That same year, Accetta opened the Shroud Center of Southern California, a nonprofit scientific research and exhibition center. In 2004, Subia became a docent at the center. The Shroud Center, which originally opened in Huntington Beach in 1996 and relocated to Fountain Valley in 2002, is one of few of its kind in the nation. ... The purpose of the center is to conduct scientific research on the origin of the shroud and to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the image through its exhibits. Accetta, who also owns a medical practice and laser center in Huntington Beach, focuses on nuclear imaging research to better understand how the image was created. Exhibits at the center include a full-size 14-foot replica of the shroud and an image similar to a film negative that displays it in more detail. Also exhibited are photos, maps, enlarged views of pollen and radiographic studies, 3-D evidence, and historical and scriptural references. About 300 to 500 people pass through the center each year. ... [An example of how the Shroud, or rather the image on it, can bring sceptics into a vital personal relationship with Christ. See also my blog post on Dr Accetta, i.e. his "allowing himself to be injected with a radioactive dye and then xrayed" to show that they image on the Shroud has characteristics of an x-ray.]
The Michelangelo Frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Contain Divinely- Encoded Images of the Shroud of Turin, Christian NewsWire, September 13, 2007 ... RALEIGH, NC. ...
A new discovery reveals a "mystery" never before seen. Investigative researcher Philip E. Dayvault, of Raleigh, NC, found in 2003 that the famed Sistine Chapel Ceiling fresco, painted by Michelangelo in 1512 and located at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, is also painted in allegory. Although the central panels of the Ceiling, or "historicals", are illustrated for literal interpretation, they also contain unique symbolic expression. Once decoded, Dayvault discovered that this expression graphically depicts the Shroud of Turin, in full and complete order. .... In addition, Dayvault, through a "divinely-inspired" discovery in 2003, found that the Last Judgment fresco, also painted by Michelangelo in 1541, and a portion of the Chapel Ceiling remarkably portray the encoded Face of the Man of the Shroud, including its distinctive features. ... [Since the Shroud was exhibited at Vercelli, Italy in 1494, and then located at Chambery, France from 1502-1537, which was not far from the Italian border, there is no reason in principle why Michelangelo could not have seen the Shroud, and based his Sistine Chapel frescoes (painted between 1508-1512) on it. But whether he did so, is another matter. I await with interest more details on this. However, I cannot see how it would make any difference to the question of the authenticity, or otherwise, of the Turin Shroud.]
Barrie Schwortz: The man who saw the Shroud, Manila Bulletin, September 22, 2007 ...
In 1978 ... the Savoy family under King Umberto II - commissioned a team of international experts to conduct the first in-depth scientific examination of the artifact. Part of that group consisted of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., (STURP), a team of American scientists and researchers who spent over two years preparing a series of tests aimed to gather a vast amount of Shroud data. The whole process was documented by a man named Barrie Schwortz. Schwortz, who graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1971, admitted that he was hesitant to accept the task. In the earliest stages of my involvement, I wondered whether someone raised as an Orthodox Jew should be a part of such a `Christian' project," Schwortz narrated. ... Schwortz has remained active in Shroud of Turin research. He is the editor and publisher of the internationally recognized website, http://www.shroud.com/, a leading resource on the topic. Schwortz's initial impression of the Shroud was that it was a painting. "Based on the modest amount of information available before 1978, I expected to get to Turin, take one look at the Shroud, see the brush strokes, and come home," Schwortz admitted. ... In 1978, the STURP team spent 120 hours with the Shroud of Turin, performing all possible scientific tests with the technology available at the ... "We came to Turin, to find out how the image on the Shroud was formed," Schwortz noted. "But here we are, 30 years later, and we can tell you that it's not a painting, a photograph, a scorching nor a dust formation. But the mechanism by which the image was formed has still not been determined." The accumulation of empirical data on the Shroud of Turin has led Schwortz to believe the cloth is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus. "There is no singular evidence that can prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. But we have only one existing documentation of a man who was scourged, speared, crowned with thorns, and crucified, and that is the Passion of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Bible," explained Schwortz. ... [Some Shroud anti- authenticity `sceptics (so-called) like to employ the ad hominem tactic of depicting those who regard the Shroud as authentic, as doing so because they are Christians. But as then Ph.D candidate, now writer, Danusha V. Goska pointed out (see `tagline' quote below), apart from the fact that most Christians are indifferent to the Shroud, a non-religious Jew like Barrie Schwortz, based on "The accumulation of empirical data... believe[s] the cloth is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus" (my emphasis)!]
"I wanted to see if self-identified sceptics who had debunked the Shroud had addressed questions like mine. A Google search lead me to Joe Nickell. He says that those who see anything worth studying in the Shroud are `Shroud partisans' and `good Catholics' or `the faithful.' Well, that's what we English teachers call `ad hominem.' In these instances, Nickell is trying to make his case not by adducing evidence to support his point of view, but by discrediting the person of those with whom he disagrees. And then there's the problem of Nickell's accuracy - `the faithful' don't, for the most part, accept the Shroud. Most Christians I have met have barely even heard of it. I was never told of it in Catholic school; I have never heard it mentioned in a Catholic church. I know about it because the research that scientists did on it gained attention in the secular media. Barrie Schwortz runs a website on the Shroud ... Is Barrie Schwortz, as Nickell alleges, a `partisan Catholic' who came into this research believing in the Shroud? Below is Mr. Schwortz's self-description.
In the earliest stages of my involvement, I wondered whether someone raised as an Orthodox Jew should be a part of such a `Christian' project I am still Jewish, yet I believe the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that wrapped the man Jesus after he was crucified. That is not meant as a religious statement, but one based on my privileged position of direct involvement with many of the serious Shroud researchers in the world, and a thorough knowledge of the scientific data, unclouded by media exaggeration and hype (Shroud.com)."
(Goska, D.V., "The Shroud of Turin???," 11 April 2007).