Received from Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi (Coordinator of Scientific Medjugorje Commission)
Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi (1934-2023) was a Catholic scientist who collaborated with the second study group on Medjugorje (1985) and was the scientific coordinator of the third one (1998).
On 31 August 2009 he kindly sent me a comment on those parts of my book that deal with scientific analyses.
With his permission, I reproduced here the ending part of his letter:
The Italian and French committees were either self-initiated or (Italian committee of 1998) solicited and funded by the Franciscan friars of the parish of Medjugorje, who wanted to check what was happening and asked Father Resch to organize a team of experts.
What you report in your chapter on “Scientific investigations?” sheds light on how often researchers improvise an experiment, without the necessary preparation, because they are really novice: this is what happened to many physicians who for the first time observed that phenomenon in Medjugorje, whatever its cause was.
You also cite the case of Dr. Stopar, who is not the only one to hold prejudice and preconceived opinions. One should remember the scientific rule of focusing on the phenomenon under investigation, and not to what the observer wants it to be, even if behind the eye and the tools of the “ob-server” there is a brain selecting information.
The first method of the scientist consists in accepting the other people's experience with the humbleness of the researcher, not with built-in knowledge, that actually is not science but a very dangerous pseudoscience.
It is certain that objectivity has been often clouded by the opinions of the operators who showed up on the scene, but centuries ago the British Society for Psychical Research had already established, apparently with very little results, that what matters are not the, even boasted, titles of the “opera-C-tors”, but their experience in the field.
The medical tests, as you have reported these, are consistent with the account given by the physicians themselves, before they jumped to conclusions “beyond their professional expertise” (There is no reference to Paolo Maestri, an ENT specialist, who will direct the experiment on the evoked potentials, besides providing the instrument itself).
Overall, your book is very well documented and rigorously consistent with what happened, some details are obviously missing only because they were not included in the reports.
My field of research is confined to experimental science, and, even if it’s true that I cannot declare whether the phenomenon is true or false in the way the masses expect, I am happy that somebody wrote down what really happened in such an incontrovertible way as you did.
Many years later, Dr. Gagliardi asked me to write the preface for the new edition of his book La Madonna negata (Vertigo, 2023).
Here is the text of my preface: