Dragons: Evidence They Existed

Timble2

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pi23 said:
Interesting point. There are several place names in the UK that spring to mind - most notably Ormskirk (Church of the Worm?)

Ormskirk is supposed to be named after a viking settler, Orm(e) who built the first church:

http://www.lancshistory.co.uk/westlancashirehistory.htm


Ormskirk History: Ormskirk's first settlers were probably the Vikings or Norsemen from Ireland and the Isle of Man who invaded and settled in the north-west of England in the ninth and tenth centuries. Among the Viking leaders was Orme who, according to legend, settled on the coast near the south of the River Ribble in the year 840 AD.

Ormskirk Market: 850 a Viking called Orm built a church on a high spot on the edge of a marsh, Omskirk was born.

I suppose there's no reason that his name couldn't mean something like dragon, but as far as I know there's no dragon connections around the area.
 
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Anonymous

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Hmmm, the dates doesn't sound right. I think the viking age is supposed to have begun in 866, when they pillaged a monastery in england. And what exactly kind of church was it? I mean the viking worshipped the norse gods for hundreds of years, don't see why they would have a build a christian church in 850.
 

Timble2

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Re: Ormskirk and BTW Lindisfarne

I thought the 'Viking age' started around 800, the dates given are a bit early for a settled christianised Norseman though, it's basically a legend...but wormless. ;)


Found the Viking raid on Lindsfarne - 793 CE, which surprisingly mentions dragons.

In 793 A.D Lindisfarne was to witness the first Viking raid on the coast of Britain, which was recorded with much drama by an informative book of the period called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle;

" 793. In this year terrible portents appeared over Northumbria, which sorely affrighted the inhabitants: there were exceptional flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying through the air. A great famine followed hard upon these signs; and a little later in that same year, on the 8th June, the harrying of the heathen miserably destroyed God's church by rapine and slaughter. "

At:
http://www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/Lindisfarne.htm
 
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Anonymous

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Hmmm, I thought Lindisfarne was 866. Better go read up on it.
 

tuckeg

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I am suprised no one has mentioned the flying serpent of Namibia:

link

I spent the summer there last year and contacted Roy Mackal who lead an expedition there around 1990 before I left to see if this was worth persuing. He thought the trail was too cold. However I did talk to some game rangers there who swear that a snake with a glowing spot on its head exists. No mention of it flying though. I also viewed and photographed a mumified animal that had been found in a cave by a local miner and remains unidentified. Probably a mammal but rather strange looking, almost like the creature in Alien but only a foot long. Still trying to locate an expert to do an identification. I will be going back this summer and if I get any further leads from the rangers I have a free week in July and will do some investigating.
 

Onix_Martinez

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tuckeg said:
I also viewed and photographed a mumified animal that had been found in a cave by a local miner and remains unidentified. Probably a mammal but rather strange looking, almost like the creature in Alien but only a foot long. Still trying to locate an expert to do an identification

Could you post the picture please? I am really curious about that creature.
 
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Anonymous

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Hello,

Not sure what my stance is on the whole Dragon thing, but interestingly enough, my family has an old historic tale that traces back to one of my ancestors, and the story goes that SHE slayed a Dragon. So, I am not sure if they exist or if they ever did exist, but I have an ancestor who slayed something, referred to as a dragon, so the mystery still stands.

WW
 
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Anonymous

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My, not many people I know have an actual dragonslayer in their family. What was she called, and what were the circumstances? Which country was it in?
 

Kondoru

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I am always dubious about genology. One of my close friends claims to be descended from Issac Newton. He died a virgin so I assume that the line is not direct.

When I started to research my own family history, I discovered that one of my ancestors was a zebra...
 
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Anonymous

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Hello Xanatic,

The story actually stems from the fact that my ancestors (the females) from my Grandmother's side (on her father's side) etc., were Amazons. Never sit at the Dinner table with my Grandmother! She will talk about it till your ears bleed. Well, this is what I have been told:

She was the sister to a tribal Queen in Sena, Africa. She lived in Brazil at the time, with her tribe and there was a monster killing the children because they were too small and slow to escape. Supposedly the beast would fly low and snatch them up in it's mouth and then it would return and spray a clear liquid over the homes and let out a roar that would set anything covered in the liquid on fire.
(Actually, the people would collect this liquid, because it would ward off similar monsters.)
So oneday she set off to kill it.
It charged down on her from the heavens and she held out her sword, but she covered her head and apparently the creature landed on her sword and fell over dead.
After that, word spread and a Greek sailor/merchant came to find her to see if she had kept a tooth (which is what they did) and they ended up getting married.
And then the line continues, from Greece to Portugal to Cape Verde and that's how I came to be. THE END.

P.s.,

I would tell you her name, but since I have the same name, and I prefer anonymity, I can't...sorry.

WW
 

tuckeg

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"Could you post the picture please? I am really curious about that creature."

Sorry, today I finally heard from a mammologist who specializes in Africa (after I wrote my post here I tried one more address I had been given and got a response) and he is examining the photos now. Since there is the possibility of a publication if the animal proves to be unusual he would not want me to distribute them at this time. I'm guessing (with almost no knowledge base since I am a physicist) that it is a member of the weasel family and is common but rarely seen by locals because it is secretive. If that is the case, I'll put the photos up and link here (they are worth a look because it is rather strange looking). If it is something unusual and a paper results, I'll post where it will appear. I hope to hear something fairly soon.
 
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Anonymous

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Hello Homo Aves,

I hear you. I know people who claim to be related to passed presidents, Einstein and even...dare I say it-HITLER!
But, I am being very honest. However, for all I know (and don't know) the story could have been exaggerated or even made up. I don't know that. The only reason I am aware of the story is that I enquired about the origins of my name and that is when I heard the story for the first time.
I have asked my grandmother how she can be so sure if the tale is true or not, and according to her, it is recorded in a greek tale, as well as a roman story that was taken from the greek version and changed a bit. And finally, because it has been passes down for so long that it is considered gospel.
I have never bothered to hear the greek or roman versions, but someday I plan to take a trip down there and find out the truth for myself.

WW
 

MrRING

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Two interesting sites...

1) Site about existing serpents that are "Dragon-esq":

http://www.blackdrago.com/rlspecies.htm

2) The place I originally started off linking from:

http://survive2012.com/dragon_myths_6.php

Because I wanted to include this quote:

Larger still are the Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) of Indonesia, a country that the ancient Chinese would certainly have visited. They can reach lengths of three metres and weigh 150 kgs, making them the world’s largest lizards. They are formidable predators, like crocodiles that are able to run quickly across land. They were probably the reason that the stegodonts (pygmy elephants) became extinct in this area. They might even have wiped out the 1-metre tall, miniature humans, Homo floresiensis, who lived there up until 12,000 years ago.

These dragons were previously more widespread, with evidence of them once occurring in Mongolia coming to light. And in Queensland, Australia, only becoming extinct 19,000 years ago (take that date with a pinch of salt), was a bigger lizard still, a cousin of the Komodo dubbed Megalania prisca.

Megalania prisca, as we have learned from fossil evidence, grew to be a staggering seven metres in length and weighed 600 kgs. Although it was technically a lizard, it must have had the presence of a dinosaur, and almost certainly ate a few of the humans of that era. But it’s usual meal was more likely to have been rhinoceros-sized wombats. [Strange days indeed with gigantism seeming to be rampant.] These meals are believable when you consider that Komodo dragons have been known to kill water buffalo weighing three times more than themselves.

Which brings us back to ancient Rome! Pliny, the Roman naturalist, said that the dragon of India was

"so enormous a size as easily to envelop the elephant with its folds and encircle with its coils. The contest is equally fatal to both; the elephant, vanquished, falls to the earth and by its weight crushes the dragon which is entwined about it."

He also mentioned the dragons of Ethiopia, which, with a length of only thirty feet, were too small to kill elephants. Other European myths state that dragons always jumped onto elephants from out of trees. Is this all just fantasy, amazing stories concocted to scare children with? Or is it just as reasonable to suggest that dragons once lived?

So where are we heading? On the one hand there are myths connecting dragons to global destruction and rebirth. On the other are links to DNA, ancient languages, ancient calendars and the I Ching. And now I am taking a big breath and suggesting that the mythical dragons were rooted in reality, that knights in shining armour actually killed real dragons, and somehow it all makes sense. This is where a new theory of evolution comes in…. stay tuned.
 

wembley8

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"She was the sister to a tribal Queen in Sena, Africa. She lived in Brazil at the time,"

So the dragon was in Brazil rather than Africa? Presumbly the Mozambiquans from Sena turned up there as slaves?
 

Polterdog

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In The Dragon and the Disc, Ted Holiday associates the idea of medieval fire-breathing dragons with water-horses (a. k. a. Nessie and her kin) and cites a few examples from living witnesses (and local church records) who witnessed the creatures living (and dying) within the Irish swamps. His 'dragons', however, are more ethereal than the heavy-bodied and winged creatures of Medieval lore and he cites one story of one of these water-horses, mis-judging the clearance under a bridge, becoming trapped, and dying, supposedly, of starvation. The interesting thing about this (said the local who was telling the story) is that the carcas just literally seemed to vanish. What normally would take weeks and weeks for a multi-tonned animal to dissolve and rot away, disappeared after only a few days -- lending credence to his theory in the book that these animals (along with UFOs) are more supernatural than flesh and blood or nuts and bolts. This 'supernatural' quality might have inspired Medieval story writers to associate these 'dragons' with other wonderous supernatural abilities including flight and the ability to breathe fire.

As for more 'evidence', supposedly Dragon Hill in Berkshire was the site of the great legendary battle between St. George and the Dragon and when St. George finally struck the fatal blow, the dragon's blood was said to have gushed out onto the hilltop and exposed a layer of chalk where grass has refused to grow there ever since.

Also, The White Horse of Uffington, is supposed to really represent the Dragon.

Again, not the solid, tangible, evidence you're looking for but food for thought, at the very least.

Polterdog.
 

original_fLeebLe

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Polterdog said:
As for more 'evidence', supposedly Dragon Hill in Berkshire was the site of the great legendary battle between St. George and the Dragon and when St. George finally struck the fatal blow, the dragon's blood was said to have gushed out onto the hilltop and exposed a layer of chalk where grass has refused to grow there ever since.
with george being from cappadocia and the dragon slaying happening in libya i very much doubt that of happening there(if any of it is true anyway).
 

Polterdog

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fLeebLe said:
with george being from cappadocia and the dragon slaying happening in libya i very much doubt that of happening there(if any of it is true anyway).

*Polterdog backs away, paws raised*

I neither confirm or deny the story or any of its details, merely relate them as I see fit. :)

Based on Ath's description of the Irish dragon skull, and what I've read of those same Irish dragon tales (nee water-horses), I'd say the place for an inspiring dragon-hunter to look is probably not Berkshire, Cappadocia, or Libya, anyway. Nope. I'd say your best bet to finding some truly fascinating tales (and what little evidence there is) is probably within the shores of the Emerald Isle itself.

P the D.
 
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Anonymous

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Some very interesting stuff in this thread...

Ath's story of the Irish "salamander" skull reminds me of the Dobhar Chu (sp?), an amphibious Irish cryptid whose name translates as something like "king of otters" and has been theorised to be a giant otter or even a salamander or a crocodilian. There's a picture of one carved on a gravestone of someone who was supposedly killed by one - i think it's in the glossary at cryptozoology.com...

WonderWoman, roughly when did your dragon-slaying ancestor live? Your account irresistibly makes me think of some early attempt at aerial warfare/terrorism... using some sort of incendiary bombardment (eg napalm)... perhaps some warlord built a plane, used it for slave raids and general pillaging, and made it to look like a dragon?

Lindorms and Tatzelwurms remind me of burrowing lizards such as skinks, although a rocky, mountaionous region such as the Alps or somewhere as cold as Scandinavia seems an odd place to find them...

I didn't think Wyverns were the same thing as Lindorms though - Wyverns IIRC are the 2 legged, winged, upright-standing dragons with the spade-shaped "stinger" on the tail, found on many heraldic crests and reminiscent to me of rhamphorynchoid pterosaurs...
 

Polterdog

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Another bit of evidence (of the paper trail variety) that you might want to check into, Mr. R.I.N.G., is the 'Widow's Story' that was published in London in 1614 about the St. Leonard's Forest dragon.

The story, entitled (rather longishly), the "True and wonderful, a discourse relating to a strange monstrous serpent or dragon, lately discovered, and yet living to the great annoyance and divers slaughters both of men and cattle by his strong and violent poyson, in St. Leonard's Forest, and thirty miles from London, this present month of August, 1614, with the true generation of serpents," was vouched for by two men who signed an affidavit to the event (John Steele and Christopher Holder), as well as 'a widow woman dwelling at Faygate'.

I won't quote the entire broadsheet (it's far too long for so much work with so little reward involved), but I will give the basic details of the dragon:

"The dragon was stated to be nine feet or more in length and shaped almost in the form of an axle-tree. It had black scales along its back and red scales under its belly. It was said to be very proud and arrogant, with two great bunches on either side which it was supposed might be incipient wings. The reptile killed with venom, as its victims were poisoned but not preyed upon in any way. It was supposed to cover an area of between or 4 miles, but was often seen at Faygate."

Anyhow, I'm sure you can hunt down the rest of the tale, if you're so inclined.

Polterdog.
 

MrRING

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Science Made Dragons Real

Charlie Foley, creator of the upcoming Animal Planet documentary Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, told SCI FI Wire that the program applies scientific fact to suggest how the mythological beasts might have lived throughout history. "This is something that the special definitely tries to honor, rather than just being [a] pure flight of fancy," Foley said in an interview. "Everything that we imagine in each of the dragons is inspired by something that is real biology or real behavior or real natural history."

Foley said the biggest obstacle was understanding how dragons might have survived the Cretaceous Tertiary extinction, or "KT event," that wiped out almost all life on Earth 65 million years ago. "In the KT event, the big animals that actually made it out alive were the ones that were marine or aquatic or otherwise escaped through the sea," Foley said. "So we're telling the story of dragons who were contemporaries of the dinosaurs. That's really the only way that they would have made it out, and so nature kind of led us along the way all the way."

Foley said that the producers of the show approached the animals from a biological, rather than fictional, perspective. "Even though we're telling one of humankind's oldest stories, the way that we are doing it is that we are imagining them as real animals, and our guide throughout the process has been real natural history. Kevin [Mohs] and I have worked at Animal Planet for a while and have worked on natural history documentaries before that, so we have a lot of interest [in] that area of the natural world, and we brought in scientific advisors as well who helped us come to a vision of what these animals would be like, how they would have to have behaved, and then, really, actually it gave a real identity to each of the animals, because we knew we had to honor that nature that we wanted to incorporate into it."

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=0&id=30452
 

sthomasb

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I was hesitant at first to post this in the cryptozoology forum, but it's sort of related to dragons; Nicholas de Vere has some controversial views on what a dragon actually is. They're still around, he claims, and not only that -- he is one. He also says he knows where the word "dragon" derives from and what the original word means.

I hope this hasn't been posted before, I couldn't find anything related to this guy by searching.

It's an interview with (Prince) Nicholas de Vere (von Drakenberg). My Kingdom is Not of This World.

Edit: Maybe I should add that I don't believe what he says about dragons, but it could be true. More likely he's just plugging his book, or he's a looney.
 

wembley8

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According to my dictionary of etymology, it comes originally way back from a Sanskrit word meaning 'glance', the Greek version drakon which ours derives from meaning 'one with the deadly glance'. Dragons were supposedly watchers over ancient treasures. Apparently they weren't recorded as fire-breathers until 1250 a.d., before then they were just big serpents. (Who says evolution doesn't happen?)

The Chinese version of course is, etymologically and mythically, another kettle of reptilia.
 

ENTIANONMULTI

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Wembley said:
The Chinese version of course is, etymologically and mythically, another kettle of reptilia.

your tea must taste strange.

what is that item of clothing called you wear to go outside in the cold... a coat and while we are on the subject where is mine??
 

ameagari

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Biblical Dragon

I apologize if this has already been mentioned.
There are some theories with a biblical basis that dragons existed prior to the closing of the garden of Eden, and that the "Serpenrt" who tempted Eve was in fact one. God, of course, cursed it to slither on its belly -- the rest, I am sure, can be easily deduced.
I've always found it to be an interesting theory, but it doesn't quite fit ALL the pieces of dragon lore/history together. Assuming this were the answer (for the Judeo-Christian tradition at least), this would only account for dragons existing prior to Adam and Eve dying. Kinda kills the mystery of the mythos if you ask me.
I prefer to merge rational possibility with mythos, myself, and propose the existence of varieties of snakes with fins, or any of a variety of animals that can be both imagined and realized in the current presence of species we know. A heretofore uncatalogued creature of dragon-like qualities isn't that inconceivable.
On the other hand, I DON'T like the idea of these mythical animals being nothing more than crocodiles. One, because that's a bit dull, and two, on second thought, I am terrified of crocodiles and prefer to think they never lived in such a variety of places :}
 

MrRING

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Two bits:

1) Interesting description of the Lambton Worm:

John Lambton, the young heir to Lambton Hall, was fishing on the river Wear one Sunday morning, while all the other villagers and castle residents were at mass in Brugeford Chapel. After a couple of hours of catching nothing, his hook was caught by something powerful and quick, thinking that he had hooked a great fish he set about landing the catch. He toiled for what seemed an age, and finally pulled his prize on the sandy bank.

He had caught a black worm like creature, which was only small, but twisted and coiled with great power. In appearance creature was completely black, with the head of a salamander and needle sharp teeth. It seemed to secrete a sticky slime, and had nine holes along each side of its mouth.

http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/legends/lampton_worm.html

2) This picture of a Tatzelwurm skeleton is interesting:

http://www.occultopedia.com/t/tatzelwurm1.htm

But the site says it is assumed to be fraudulent (a jenny hannover?) - but has it never been allowed to be looked at by a professional?
 
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Anonymous

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I watched "the last dragon" last night, a sort of drama documentary about discovering a real dragon. Was quite good fun, but the science was a bit adventurous..especially the suggestion that, in the last 60 or so million years, the dragon had gone from being a tetrapod with two legs, two wings, to sprouting an extra pair of legs, and thus becoming, I dunno, a hexapod or something. That would be a fairly stunning bit of macromutation involving - what - the hox genes? I suppose these things have happened often enough in invertebrates though...

Oh, and it had two internal "flight bladders", which were filled (by unique gut bacteria) with hydrogen, also facilitating fire breathing.

Pretty good for Saturday night TV, TBH.
 

Leaferne

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I'm reading Bernard Heuvelmans' book On The Track of Unknown Animals (1955, Engl. trans. 1958) which goes into some discussion of the Tatzelwurm. He dismisses claims that it could be an otter by saying witnesses were too familiar with the local fauna to make such a mistake.

Anyone who has travelled will agree that even in the supposedly best-known parts of the world there are less accessible areas where unknown animals might hide. In the Swiss, Bavarian and Austrian Alps a sort of stumpy "lizard" at least 2 to 3 feet long has frequently been reported, although no one has succeeded in capturing a specimen. In fact the Tatzelwurm, or "worm with feet," is well known to all the Alpine people, though its name varies from valley to valley; sometimes it is Bergstutzen ("mountain-stump"), sometimes Springwurm ("jumping-worm") in Tyrol, and sometimes Daazlwurm or Praatzelwurm. In the Bernese Oberland it is usually called Stollenwurm ("tunnel-worm"). It even appears in a Vabarian handbook for sportsmen and naturalists, the Neues Taschenbuch fur Natur- Forst- und Jagdfreunde auf das Jahr 1836, where there is a curious picture of a sort of scaly cigar, with formidable teeth and wretched little stumps of feet. This picture was not drawn by the author himself, but from a description given by a friend who had shot one.

tatzel1.gif

tatzel2.gif


There's also a photo of a purported Tatzelwurm, if anyone wants to see that too.
 
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