It's customary at the end of the year for magazines and newspapers to publish endless lists of 'the best of...', 'personality of the year', the top ten of ...', etc., etc. I see no reason why Magonia shouldn't jump on this bandwagon, so I thought I'd do a list of the ten most-read posts that we've published in 2014. As you might expect, those which have been on-line the longest tend to have had the most hits, but it's by no means the rule, and some of the most read pieces have been posted in the latter half of the year.
Number 10 on the list was Peter Rogerson's rather critical reviews of UFO historical reminiscences by Tim Good and the Hanson/Holloway combo.
At Number 9 is another Rogerson review, this one more appreciative, of an important book looking at rumours of black magic and Satanism during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Number 8 is my own review of Michael Gordon's description of the scientific arguments around Immanuel Velikovsky's work, which cast a fresh light on a story we thought we already knew.
Lynn Picknett's favourable review of a controversial title on 'induced after-death communication' is at Number 7 on our list.
And at Number 6 Peter again shows his disappointment at a book which turns out not to be as sceptical as it's author might have wanted us to think.
Number 5 covers two books on occultism in the Age of the Enlightenment which are favourably reviewed by Clive Prince; Paul Monod’s Solomon’s Secret Arts he describes as 'groundbreaking'.
Rather surprisingly at Number 4 is a piece of Magonian housekeeping, where I gave details of the new MUFOB and Magonia web archives of articles from the original print magazines.
Remarkably, despite having been on line for fewer than two weeks, my review of Nathan Couch's book introducing us to the amazing Goatman phenomenon has already reached Number 3 on the list. (Check out the two startling personal accounts in the 'replies'.)
Number 2 is guest-contributor Janet Bord's review of Majorie Johnson's intriguing account of the Fairy Investigation Society and its reports of real-life encounters with these phantasmagorical beings.
But way, way out ahead at Number 1 (and remarkably number three on the entire blog since it started in 2008) is a contribution to our 'First Read' feature, in which William Grabowski tells us about how encountering the work of John Keel, particularly The Mothman Prophecies, changed the way in which he looked at the world: "Above all, John A. Keel taught me a dark truth: 'The universe does not exist as we think it exists. We do not exist as we think we exist'.”
The two most read pieces on the Magonia blog as a whole, largely through being linked to by a major American paranormalist site, are sadly obituaries, those of Jim Moseley and Hilary Evans, two people who, along with John Keel, have had a massive influence on the way Magonia's editors have approached the topics we discuss.
Well, if we're all still around, I'll have a look at the highlights of 2015 this time next year, and in the meantime we wish a happy, prosperous and highly anomalous New Year to you all. -- John Rimmer