[Dr Marco Margnelli is a specialist in ecstasy and altered states of consciousness. He is mentioned on numerous websites as an avowed atheist who went to Medjugorje and, as a result of what he discovered, converted to Roman Catholicism. The following article is just one of the many I have come across. In it, Dr Margnelli relates his own experiences. I have only slightly edited it]:
One impressive testimony comes from an Italian neurophysiologist, Dr Marco Margnelli, a specialist in ecstasy and altered stats of consciousness. He was part of the group of Italian doctors who tested the visionaries in 1985. He was unprepared for how the visionaries’ testimony would impact him personally.
An Atheist Tests the Children
“I am a non-believer and therefore I went to Medjugorje in a critical spirit, ready to welcome any evidence of what would contradict it or show up as a fake. Insofar as I am concerned, that is from my studies on change in states of consciousness in the children, I must say that I have, with my instruments, verified and documented a genuine state of ecstasy.
“Certainly, as far as my opinion goes, there is no lying, and certainly the children enter a different state of consciousness, that which is scientifically called the ‘alfa’ state. If they then really see the Madonna, or if it is a case of suggestion phenomenon inexplicable to us, is a matter for theological competence, on which I cannot express myself.
“Certainly, we were in the presence of an extraordinary phenomenon. Since my return from Yugoslavia, I continually think of it, and I confess that I also ask myself questions which are not scientific, and I question myself on the meaning of all that.
“As a man the events surrounding this phenomenon also surprised me. There is the videotape of a colleague which records our work, in which one can see the absolutely synchronous movement with which the children act, their looks which all together follow the apparition; there are films taken by people I know and who appear to be honest, of the cross which dominates the hill nearby, which disappears; there is the absolute silence of the birds which gather before sunset in the square and they go silent, all together, suddenly as soon as the apparition begins.
“A lady living in Milan, and who seems to me to be a very responsible person told me a curious fact. Gravely ill with leukaemia, she had gone to Medjugorje, wishing to be embraced by the Madonna; at the end of the ecstasy, one of the children ran to embrace her, among hundreds of people present, saying to her: ‘That’s the embrace you wished from the Madonna.' She is now healed of her illness. Another doctor from the Mangiagalli of Milan, Luigi Frigerio, to whom we were indebted for the organisation of our journey, tells that he was singled out in the same way by one of the visionaries who asked in a loud voice, in Croatian: ‘Where is the doctor from the Mangiagalli in Milan? The Madonna asked me to tell him that she is pleased with the work he is doing.’
“If anyone had told me these things before my journey there, I would have laughed at it. We are certainly in the presence of an extremely interesting phenomenon. Whether we are dealing with an authentic apparition or something else that we cannot explain, I cannot say; it is a question I prefer not to put to myself.”
As Dr Margnelli confessed, he continually thought of all the things, asking questions that were not scientific, but pondering the meaning of what was happening in Medjugorje. His ponderings led him out of his unbelief. He is now a practising Catholic.