imageSo we have a conference in St. Louis followed in three weeks by coming five weeks after an IEEE workshop in Bari, Italy sponsored by the Technical University of Bari and the International Center for the Turin Shroud Studies.  Is this not insane?


So who is sponsoring the conference in St. Louis? It is worrisome.  First there is Mark Antonacci’s Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation. After that there is a faith and values video production company, Salt River Production Group, that talks up Antonacci wanting to prove the resurrection on the company website. You might recall Paper Chase: Mark Antonacci’s Hypothesis on this blog.

I went clicking on the announcement I got as an email from Barrie Schwortz.

One Click: What is the first thing I see when I click on Antonacci’s Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation?

Sophisticated, Nuclear Technology Applied to the Shroud of Turin Could Definitively Disprove its Current Radiocarbon Dating Theory, and Prove, Irrefutably, the Source of its Images and its Many Other Unique Properties – Thereby Unraveling the Secrets of One of Life’s Greatest Mysteries.

Three More Clicks: The Salt River Production Group tells us:

This is what Mark Antonacci has to say.  He is a friend of mine and one of the world’s leading experts on the Shroud of Turin.

[ . . . ]

Many other medical and scientific findings from the Shroud clearly demonstrate that it wrapped a tortured, crucified corpse, whose unprecedented frontal and dorsal body images resulted from radiation. This scientific and medical evidence also shows that the source of this radiation was necessarily the length, width and even depth of the dead body wrapped within this burial shroud. The new tests and experiments along with prior scientific, medical and archaeological results would prove that after Jesus incurred all of the wounds of the passion, and was crucified, killed and buried in Jerusalem, his corpse gave off particle radiation while it was wrapped in his burial garment. This event is not only consistent with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it left unfakable evidence of its occurrence throughout the cloth. . . .

Perhaps this conference could have been announced in a way that didn’t focus so much on the sponsors. Perhaps Antonacci could have redesigned his home page before the announcement. Rightly or wrongly, one gets the sense of a poorly disguised agenda for the conference.  And it’s not that there aren’t plenty of people who think the International Center for the Turin Shroud Studies has an agenda. Will we have repeats of the atmosphere of suspicion about the paper selection process for Dallas 2005?  It is worrisome.