Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi collaborated with the second study group on Medjugorje (1985) and was the scientific coordinator of the third one (1998).
From 1985 to 2002 he served as deputy director of the Center For Study and Research on Psychophysiology of States of Consciousness in Milan and, after many years of experience in this field of research, is almost a complete exception within the groups that have investigated Medjugorje seers.
These groups, in fact, were formed, in the overwhelming majority, of doctors who had never come close to similar phenomena.
This is due mainly to two reasons: researchers with some experience in scientific studies of the manifestations of the mystical type are very few; in addition, the teams that run experimental studies on the Medjugorje seers weren't selected by an authority outside and above the parties, but were spontaneous and constituted themselves.
Dr Gagliardi was initially inclined to believe the Medjugorje "seers" but, over time, has adopted a very cautious stance (as he declared himself on 15 June 2007, during an interview in the television studio by Italian journalist Corrado Augias during the program Enigma, broadcasted by Rai 3).
Here is the extract of an interview with Dr. Gagliardi published on the Swiss newspaper "Corriere del Ticino" on June 12, 2017:
[...] in 1998, actually, I was the coordinator of the third study group on Medjugorje, that was requested by the village pastor, Father Ivan Landeka. [...]
In essence, you recorded the body status during the ecstasy
Yes, and ecstasy did not begin when they knelt down [ie at the beginning of the "apparition" - my note, MC] or when they were saying the rosary. By recording the heartbeat what we saw was that more heart waves formed and frequency increased. As if there was an excitement, a strong emotion in the positive sense. And we could not determine if they were provoking it or not. We noticed that there was some modification there. There was some ecstasy. But we could not ascertain if the youngsters were sincere or not. [...]
I remember that in ‘86 Marija went to RAI [Italian TV] and on that occasion with the polygraph only half of what could be recorded was recorded: only the heartbeat and the electrical activity of the skin. But from my point of view she was not in ecstasy. The beat was high and electrical activity was very present, so in essence she was not in ecstasy. [...]
Ecstasy is also physiological. When someone is excited, he is in the same condition. From a medical point of view it is a state of emotion that goes above normal. What we saw were small or medium-intensity ecstasies. Another point to note is that they did not have ecstasy at the same time, contrary to what they claimed.
What do you mean?
They said they had the same vision at the same time. We deliberately staggered some clocks so that they displayed a five minute difference between them and observed two of the seers in different rooms. Well, Marija came into ecstasy five minutes before Ivan and finished five minutes before. Strange, isn’t it?
[Carlo Silini, L'intervista - Giorgio Gagliardi: "No, sulle estasi sincronizzate mentivano. Lo abbiamo dimostrato sfasando gli orologi", "Corriere del Ticino", 12 June 2017, p. 3]
In this video (subtitled in English), Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi is speaking of the "ecstasies" of the visionaries of Medjugorje, during the program 30 Denari, broadcasted on March 8, 2011 by Espansione TV (from Como, Italy). For English subtitles, select the relevant function in the player bar: