Monday 23 January 2012

year of the dragon

Happy New year to Chinese readers of the blog. I believe it is the year of the water dragon? I am sure someone can post a comment and tell me if i got that wrong.  Thought I would re-post this story of a dragon sighting in 2001.

I have often been intrigued by stories of dragons and didn’t realise people claimed sightings in modern times. I came across this from Karl Shuker:
This took place in Powys, Wales In March 2001.

A British naturalist and some colleagues were conducting some research in the area after being notified by a local of "something" strange that was seen earlier on the year. As they stood at the edge of some woods by a quarry they suddenly spied an extraordinary entity. Measuring 2.5 ft or son in length, it resembled a serpentine dragon with four short limbs, but its head was shaped very like that of a sea horse, and it was airborne---undulating and wriggling as it flew about 10 ft above the surface of the quarry in a wide circle. They were unable to recall seeing any wings, but it had a long tail that terminated in a pair of horizontal, whale like flukes. The entity was green in colour and shimmered somewhat, but appeared solid, not translucent or ethereal, and they watched it for 3-4 minutes, at a distance of approximately 50 ft, before it finally vanished into one of the numerous caves and large crevices pitting the quarry. The naturalist had the distinct impression while watching it that this creature was deliberately seeking to keep them at bay, warning them off from approaching further into its territory.
Source: Karl P N Shuker, Strange Magazine 22
Then in his book, Extraordinary Animals Revisited in a chapter entitled "The Unmentionables" he discusses it again, as the mysterious flying creature reported in 2001 near a quarry in Powys, Wales, which resembled a serpentine dragon with four short limbs, with a head shaped like a sea horse, and undulating as it flew about 10 feet (3.3 metres) above the surface of the quarry in a wide circle .Shuker wrote that this report came from came a bona fide naturalist (who was not named for obvious reasons, the academic world being as it is)), who was convinced that :
“it was neither an optical illusion nor a model, but was truly alive, although its appearance was so uncanny that he felt chilled by the encounter.” (Shuker 2007 :. 281)
Interestingly enough I came across this in historical records: Folklorist Mary Trevelyan interviewed many elderly people living in the Glamorgan area of Wales in the early 19thC. They recalled stories from their youth of a race of winged serpents that lived in the forest around Penllyne Castle. Supposedly they had crested heads and feathery wings. and were brightly coloured and sparkled as if covered with jewels. They rested coiled on the ground but if they felt threatened would attack by swooping down on the intruders. These flying snakes killed poultry and were described as "the terrors of farmyards and coverts" many were shot to protect livestock .
What is interesting is that both the accounts talk of the creatures shimmering or sparkling and swooping on intruders. Is it possible that some strange flying serpent still exists in Wales that gave rise to the dragon stories?

Ref: Karl P. Shuker. 2007 Extraordinary Animals Revisited: From Singing Dogs to Serpent Kings CFZ Press Bideford, North Devon:

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