I deleted my post because I thought it had been misunderstood. I was a bit cryptic.
The similarities between phlogiston and axions that I saw were these:
Phlogiston fitted in with the Standard Model of the day, in which the primary entities of chemistry were the metal oxides, and metals were believed to be oxides + something else, which was called phlogiston.
Because early experiments were not precise, experiments on burning metals usually led to loss of "calx" (oxide) leaving early chemists to think there was a weight loss when metals burned.
Greater precision of experimental method, however, led to the discovery that when metals burnt they gained mass. To explain this additional mass and keep the phlogiston hypothesis, it was argued for a while that phlogiston had negative mass. But around this time there was a revolutionary new paradigm in which the primary substances were the metals, and the calxes were metal + oxide.
Science, in fact, did its job with the information available and the paradigm changed when experiments improved.
In the axion case we have the problem that the universe seems to have too little matter to explain its gravitational forces. Axions fitted into the theoretical framework and there was no experimental evidence to disprove their existence.
Then better experiments demonstrated that axions don't seem to exist.
In both cases there was a great deal of publication, and physicists clinging to their ideas.
I was just interested in the parallel, that's all. If the downvoters thought I was describing axions as some sort of pseudo-science, I suggest that they go and read some history of science. I think the history of phlogiston is instructive - especially if you agree with Kuhn.