Baby Dragon Found in Oxfordshire.

FelixAntonius

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#1
From the Daily Telegraph 24.1.2004 :-

A pickled "dragon" that looks as if it might have flown around Hogwarts has been found in a garage in Oxfordshire.

Yesterday the baby dragon, in a sealed 30in jar, was in the office of Allistair Mitchell, who runs a marketing company in Oxford. He was asked to investigate by his friend, David Hart, from Sutton Couteney, who discovered it.

A metal tin found with the dragon contained paperwork in old fashioned German of the 1890's. Mr Mitchell speculates that German scientists may have attempted to use the dragon to hoax their English counterparts in the 1890's, when rivalry between the countries was intense.

"At the time, scientists were the equivalent of today's pop stars. It would have been a great propaganda coup for the Germans if it had come off.

"I've shown the photos to someone from Oxford University and he thought it was amazing. Obviously he could not say it was real and wanted to do a biopsy"

The documents suggest that the Natural History Museum turned the dragon away, possibly because they suspected it was a trick, and sent it to be destroyed. But it appears a porter intercepted the jar and took it home. The papers suggest the porter may have been Frederick Hart-David Hart's grandfather.

Mr Mitchell said:- The dragon is flawless, from the tiny teeth to the umbilical cord. It could be made of indiarubber, because Germany was the world's leading manufacturer of it at the time, or it could be made of wax. It has to be a fake. No one has ever proved scientifically that dragons exist. But everyone who sees it immediatly asks, "Is it real?" Yesterday the Natural History Museum said that it was interested in following up the find.

The scientific journal Nature once carried a tongue-in-cheek article on the ecology of dragons written by Lord May, who became the science adviser to the Prime Ministwer and is now the president of the Royal Society............
 
A

Anonymous

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#2
The Times also did a feature on this (saturday).
They're saying it was a German hoax designed to embarrass British scientists....but you have to say that it's really well made.
The owner is going to get a biopsy done to see whether it's wax or flesh.
It's a beautiful object though.
 

The late Pete Younger

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#3
Apparently it was a hoax by some German scientists who sent it to the natural history museum in the 1890s, it turned out to be made of rubber.
 

FelixAntonius

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#4
Sorry Jimv & p. younger, I put the message up in sections, so you got in before I got to those bits you mention!!!!
 
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Anonymous

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#5
p.younger said:
Apparently it was a hoax by some German scientists who sent it to the natural history museum in the 1890s, it turned out to be made of rubber.
Dash it! Another illusion shattered! :(
 

OneWingedBird

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#9
Chemtrails in the formaldehyde?

I want to see it too.

Just as long as it doesn't scare me as much as the fish/monkey Nondescript things.
 

stonedog3

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#15
Dodgy is good!

the responsibility of having a REAL dragon in a jar would be too great to be comfortable ;)


Kath
 

Timble2

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#18
Call me suspicious.........

...the whole German scientists backstory sounds a bit dodgy.

The dragon is beautifully made, but to my eyes looks more like a early 21st century idea of what a Victorian idea of a dragon would look like than the unreal thing.

I suspect the German correspondence is as fake as the dragon itself. There's a lot of speculation in the article and no-one has actually tested it yet.
 
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#19
carole said:
That is so cute! I want one too!

Carole
Remember - A dragon is for life not just for Christmas.

They start of all cute and lovable but before you know it there's no room in the garage to park the car, he's set fire to the neighbours and the vicar won't come around any more.
 

stonedog3

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#20
You're right spook.... but I still think that iF both carole and I had one we could breed them and produce lots of iccle dwagons in jarsie-warsies!

Kath
 

stonedog3

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#22
Oh god, I'm turning into Sybil Rankin!:D

how do you feel about Captain Vimes Melf?

Kath
 
A

Anonymous

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#23
And just remember 'a hoax by Germans to cause confusion and propaganda' is the exact same wrong explanation that the authorities jump to in Quatermass and the Pit. So there.
 

inkedmagiclady

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#25
That adds more mystery to it. Looking at it, I wonder what scientist would have been convinced that it was real?

Maybe it wasn't a deliberate hoax but meant to be a joke?

Either way, it is very cute. I am sure it would guard MagicLady Towers very well when it grows up. :)
 
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#26
January 24, 2004

Here be dragons – and then again, maybe not

By Jack Malvern

The finding of a ‘creature’ thrown out by a museum 100 years ago may spark a fiery debate


COULD a pale body suspended in formaldehyde, complete with claws, wings and a long white tail, really be a dragon? Or is the mysterious creature merely a hoax designed to fool the scientific community? Whatever the answer, the same question was being asked more than 100 years ago when a “dragon” was sent from Germany to a British museum in what was believed to be a ruse to humiliate British scientists.

The specimen recently re-emerged when it was discovered by David Hart, the grandson of Frederick Hart, a porter at the Natural History Museum.

According to Mr Hart, the dragon had been sent to the museum by German scientists in the 1890s when rivalry between the two nations was intense. However, the museum saw through the ruse and rebuffed the specimen as a fake, allowing a porter to take it away with him.

Allistair Mitchell, a friend of Mr Hart who has researched the specimen, said the “dragon” could have been a way for the Germans to get one over on the British.

“It would appear that this was an effort on the part of interested parties in Germany to discredit the British scientific community,” he said.

“At the time, scientists were the equivalent of today’s pop stars and their achievements were heavily reported in the newspapers. It would have been a great propaganda coup for the Germans if it had come off. Some of the documents are in German and date back to the 1890s.”

One letter found with the creature mentions the “horrible ghost”.

The German author of the letter, known only as “JW”, urges his correspondent:

“Nobody should find out anything about the actual provenance (of the dragon) or our involvement.”

However, it is unclear why, if the “dragon” was a hoax, the letter should have made its way into the hands of the Natural History Museum in London.

Mr Hart, 58, a warehouse operator from Sutton, South London, found the specimen in his garage during a clearout.

“My father, George, who is dead now, left it at my house when he moved away from London about 20 years ago,” he said. “I was not there when he put it in my garage so I never really looked at it. It was just in the corner with a load of other junk.

“I had never looked at it, so when I saw the dragon it was a huge shock. I remember the crate it was in from when I was a kid because it was in my Dad’s workshop.

“He just used to say the crate was fragile because it had a glass container in it. But I never saw what was in it. I didn’t know until recently and when I first saw it I didn’t know what to make of it. Such things don’t exist, do they?” Mr Mitchell now plans to get a biopsy of the dragon to see whether it is organic or merely made of rubber or wax. But if the “dragon” is a fake, it is flawless. “It is a truly amazing thing,” he said.

“It stands about 30cm but if you were to take it out of the jar and lie it flat with the tail extended, it’s probably about a metre long.” Mr Mitchell added: “The dragon is flawless from the tiny teeth to the umbilical cord.

“No matter how closely you look, you cannot tell if it is real.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,4484-975643,00.html

The Toolagraph link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...rag24.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/01/24/ixhome.html

Emps
 

beakboo1

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#27
I found that article in the Standard on the pub table on Friday night. The more I drank the more fascinating the pictures became. Lets hope there's a full investigation (with more pictures) in FT soon.
 

stonedog3

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#28
fake fake fake!!!!!!


it's got a tummy button but everyone knows that dragons have eggs....


Am now going to cry inconsolably for 2 minutes.

Kath
 
A

Anonymous

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#29
I reckon the guy could sell a few of those if he could make some good copies.
I however won't be needing one as the cellar is crawling with panda cubs and I still can't get rid of the Dodos from my garden.
 
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