The Catholic Defender Visits Alamogordo New Mexico

Posted by Donald Hartley - July 28th, 2014

IMG_1709Last year at Copperas Cove our Parish had a great display of the Shroud of Turin. It was then that I first met Deacon Pete Schumacher, who was instrumental on the 1978 Shroud research due to his work with photography. He became the production manager for the Vido Process 8 image analyzer which this development would become very important to the Shroud research and 3D capability. Much of his work would make possible the greatest scientific research on the Shroud in 1978. This technology became an interest among scientists who wanted to study the Shroud.

As I was driving through New Mexico on Interstate 10, I had planned to stop at Alamogordo which was a little more than an hour off I-10 Las Cruces. So that was the plan. I called up Deacon Pete to see if they would be open, but he was in Montana celebrating a new born Great Grandchild like we were just doing in Arizona. But he said he would make a phone call for us and told me he would get right back with me.

Deacon Pete called me back within minutes telling us that one of their volunteers (Patty), would be there to open up for us.

What a great opportunity it was for us to be able to make a pit stop and take a little rest as our journey was a long one. When we arrived in Alamogordo, we found that the Shroud Exhibit and Museum was within a shopping complex. The best way to get there was walking through JC Penny and it was directly on the right. This is where Patty would meet us and give us a tour.

IMG_1701I fully recommend that if your traveling in the area, this is a worth while trip. Here, you can see our Grandson, Matthew, enjoying his inspection of the image analyzer used in the Shroud research.

There was a 45 minute video that gives a brief story of the Shroud research, that was very interesting.

I was so happy that my wife Gigi was really interested in this research.

There was another 15 minute video that Deacon Pete put together specific to the life size shroud that is prominently displayed.

For a real student of the resurrection of Jesus, you can literally spend hours looking through all the data in this museum.

If you take a picture of the Shroud on display, you will get a positive result just like the original picture taken by Secondo Pia.

IMG_1700Secondo Pia was an Italian Lawyer and amateur photographer, whose picture he took in 1898 would start the greatest interest in Shroud research.

Now, I must warn you, if you use a digital Ipod like I did, you will not get the desire result.

Looking at this life size image of the Shroud, I am quickly brought back to the Gospel of John. When Mary of Magdala reported to the Apostles that she had seen the Lord risen from the dead, “Peter and the other disciple (St. John) went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” John 20:3-7

Apparently, this cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus helped secure the shroud in place. It was custom to place coins on the eyes of the body to prevent the eyes from opening. It was found on the Shroud that there had been Pontius Pilate coins placed on Jesus eyes that are part of the Shroud.

IMG_1705Pontius Pilate coins are very rare, there are only four known in existence at this time.

I like the findings coming from a blog called “The Road” that reports the travels of Roy and Odie who made a visit to the Shroud Museum. They report the following:

1. Whipping and crucifying together was not typically done. Each alone was sufficient to kill a person.

2. The marks on the body, as shown in the cloth, are consistent with a Roman flagrum. (A flagrum is pictured in front of the shroud.)

3. The blood marks on the shroud are truly blood and of a type consistent with the people of the geographical area and time period.

4. The blood marks show that the blood ran the direction expected for the reported tortures.

5. The wrists were considered part of the hand at that time and the nail mark went through at that point.

IMG_17086. Only 4 fingers show on the image of the hands. The thumbs are not seen, as nailing through the wrist would cause them to fall limp into the palms.

7. The triangles on the shroud are repairs from where a hot piece of metal fell on the folded shroud and burned through.

8. The shroud was in a building fire and has water damage marks.

Like Roy and Odie, we can mutually agree with them that if you were to drop in and visit Deacon Pete and his team of volunteers, you will not be disappointed.

We thanked Patty for her time she took to give us this special grace and her response was that it is all for Jesus. There is a real sense of purpose here.

People from over 87 countries have come here to see this fantastic display of the Shroud of Turin.

IMG_1702This museum will captivate the young of heart and keep your attention. I want to encourage you to make this trip but I believe that I must warn you to take the route back to Interstate 10.

If you were to travel on highway 54 east, you will wind up in the Mountains and unless your wanting to take a long scenic route, you will be in for a long ride.

We ended up turning around debating with our GPS that was giving us a shorter route, but it was a couple hours longer.

St. Paul reminds us, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it (2 Thessalonians 5:24).” You will have a great time.

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