These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Friday, December 16, 2005

MYSTERIES MAGAZINE: Tales of Strange Phenomena

Today marks the debut in the newsstand of Mysteries Magazine, a quarterly from Phantom Press Publications in Walpole, NH. This is not Ellery Queen-type mystery fiction; the magazine is an entertaining collage of stories about historical mysteries and unexplained phenomena. I've been looking through a recent issue. The early part of the magazine is replete with short articles about all sorts of recent discoveries, such as "T Rex Yields Useable Soft Tissue," "Hitler May Have Planned to Kidnap the Pope" and "Stonehenge's Quarry Identified." There's an interesting article about an outdoor sculpture at CIA headquarters that features a coded inscription. Apparently CIA experts have figured out 75% of the code on the "Kryptos Sculpture," and are working on the rest, and sculptor Jim Sanborn says he's surprised it's taking them so long. Mysteries Magazine also reports rumors that the sculpture might be featured in the plot of Dan Brown's yet-to-be-published new novel, The Solomon Key. I was intrigued by a short item that divers in Hawaii have found the wreck of an Imperial Japanese Navy underwater aircraft carrier. The huge 400-foot-submarine reportedly carried three fold-up bombers and a crew of 144, and was captured intact by U.S. forces a week after Japan's 1945 surrender, only to be scuttled by the Americans―along with four other top-secret Japanese submarines―"partly because Russian scientists were demanding access to them." Sounds like a good plot for a novel! There are a couple of feature stories about "automatic writing," in which a spirit entity dictates words to a medium who then writes them down. It's of course important that the medium not be capable of thinking up what he or she is writing. Both articles are by Michael Tymn, who is vice president of The Academy of Religion and Psychical Research. The first Tymn article is about Glastonbury Abbey in England, largely destroyed in the 16th century with the dissolution of the monasteries. In 1908 architect Frederick Bligh Bond was appointed director of excavations at Glastonbury Abbey. He made a lot of important discoveries, but in 1918 claimed that his excavations were the result of directions given him via automatic writing (in old English, Latin and a hybrid called "monk Latin") by the spirits of long-departed monks from the abbey. Bond was, of course, removed from his position and died in poverty in 1945. Tymn's second story is about Patience Worth, a 17th century Englishwomen who emigrated to the American colonies, only to be killed by Indians at the age of 44. She was contacted by some ladies in St. Louis in 1913 who were playing with a Ouija board, and over the next 24 years dictated about four million words, including books, plays and poems, to one of the women, an uneducated housewife, using all sorts of period language that amazed literary scholars. In this issue you'll also find a history of the fabled Hope Diamond, a profile of psychic-to-the-stars Kenny Kingston, and the cover story about a "castle" in Florida carved by a fellow out of coral between 1920 and 1940, possibly with the aid of paranormal powers. An annual subscription to Mysteries Magazine (four issues) is $21.00 from the publisher; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59.


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