20.7.15

25 YEARS AGO, MAGONIA 36

Apologies once again for the late appearance of a '25 Years Ago' review. However, I hope that by publishing these features Magonia Review readers will be encouraged to visit the original articles to which I provide links, and perhaps from there explore further into our archives, which now include virtually all the articles from MUFOB and Magonia, and of course our associated Book Review Archive.

Magonia 36 (May 1990) was desk-top published using a rather temperamental program with a curious range of typefaces, which was further un-enhanced by being printed on paper which seems to have been recycled a few too many times, and gave finished pages which appear to have been printed on blotting paper.

The magazine's rather startlingly yellow cover reproduced a cover illustration taken from the first issue of the Padgate College Magazine, published in Spring, 1947. This bears a striking resemblance to the illustration used on the cover of our previous issue which illustrated Martin Kottmeyer's investigations into UFO imagery in American comics of the 1930s

Peter Rogerson unearthed this particular image in his job as local history librarian in Warrington, and in his Northern Echoes column he asked: "Just what is going on here? Are those strange object pre-Arnoldian UFOs? Do the dinosaurs indicate some kind of pre-Von Daniken ancient astronaut speculations? Your guess is as good as mine!"

My contribution was an overview of some recent books on the then rapidly-expanding abduction phenomenon. I suggested the study of abductions might be rightfully moving from ufologists towards psychologists and sociologists. Although there were some indications that this was happening at the time, in the end the psychologists and sociologists did not seem to find enough in the topic to study it in any real depth, and instead it moved away even from scientific ufologists into the world of totally belief-oriented cultism.

Editor Emeritus John Harney uncovered a curious account of spontaneous human combustion in The Family Oracle of Health, Economy, Medicine and Good Living; Adapted to All Ranks of Society from the Palace to the Cottage. (They knew how to do titles in those days) published in 1826. It will be no surprise to learn that the writers, A. F. Crell, MD, FRS, and W. M. Wallace Esq., Assisted by a Committee of Scientific Gentlemen, concluded that the cause of this disastrous phenomenon was that "the persons who experienced the effects of this combustion, had for a long time made immoderate use of spirituous liquor", and that "the combustion took place only in women".

Unfortunately the print quality of the magazine has so far frustrated my attempts to scan the article into a format which I can put onto our archive, so I may be forced to get my typing fingers into working order and copy it manually. (Sigh).

Manfred Cassirer, one of the pioneers, along with Hilary Evans, of encouraging a cross-over with research into UFOs and psychic phenomena, contributed 'Delusions'. This presented a historical look at many of the beliefs about the nature and alleged phenomena associated with witchcraft.

Our sorely-missed colleague Roger Sandell presented a feature-review of a book, Not Necessarily the New Age, from Prometheus Press. He saw the development of 'New Age' thinking to have had a correspondence to wider political and social developments in Europe and the United States. This is another piece which I think I will need to input into our archive from scratch! (Sigh, again).

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