This was quite a significant issue of Magonia, as we had just aquired the readership of Kevin McClure's Common Ground magazine, which not only considerably increased our circulation, but also gave us a stimulus to extend even further the range of topics that Magonia covered.
A short piece from Kevin bade farewell to Common Ground, and introduced his readers to their new magazine. He suggested that paranormal research of all kinds should concentrate on the basics, on the principle that "...our first responsibility must surely be to accept as the most reasonable explanation for any phenomenon that which is least unreasonable, unless we have any clear evidence to the contrary. And on that basis, after a good deal of thought, any theory I put forward must (unless other evidence arises) rest on the premise that there is no external agency involved ..." Or, as Sherlock Holmes said, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".
Today's apocalypic predictions seem to be based on something rather ill-defined which is supposed to be going to happen in 2012. We have of course been here before, particularly with the conveniently vague prediction of Nostradamus. Roger Sandell took a critical look at some of the interpretations which have been put on his works, and with his deep historical understanding was able to place them into a contemporary context. Read his article HERE. Elsewhere in this issue Roger also examined some aspects of the Rendlesham affair.
Wojtek Gaworzewski, who was at the time the ASSAP librarian, introduced us to a prophetic voice from Poland, an anonymous pamphlet circulating in the 1950s, but which had been around for a lot longer. Wojtek was amazed that one of the prophecises therein was right on target: "... will give three crowns to the anointed one from Krakow" seemed to be a pretty accurate prophecy of Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow receiving the papal triple tiara in 1979.
But, as Wojtek goes on to ask, was it really so remarkable: "The tenor of the whole article speaks of Poland's rise to eminence. A Polish pope would be quite a likely ingredient in such a scenario." Krakow, for historical reasons, would be the see mostly likely to produce such a pope. Another part of the prophecy which seemed then (and now!) to be even less likely was the union of Hungary and Romania with Poland, from the Baltic to the Black Sea!
Peter Rogerson looked at some of the conceptual linkages between witchcraft and ufology HERE, and we were introduced to the Liverpool Leprechauns by Nigel Watson, Ian Cresswell and Granville Oldroyd. This is a fascinating account of a rumour-panic, and you can read it HERE. But make sure to scroll down and read the comments which have been added subsequently. These are first hand accounts from people who were involved in the events as children, and from a policeman who tried to cope with the mayhem at the time. They have a number of, sometimes contradictory, explanations for what was going on at the time. A bizarre piece of social history.