Friday 6 April 2007

Serpents and dragons

During 1222 many dragons appeared in the skies over London. Shortly after a terrific thunderstorm ensued.
In 1776, a strange beast was also seen. In his book, DRAGONS: MORE THAN A MYTH?, cryptozoologist Richard Freeman writes of The Gentleman's Magazine article pertaining to a dragon:
"In the beginning of the month of August, 1776, a phenomenon was seen in a parish a few miles west of London, which much excited the curiosity of the few persons that were so fortunate to behold it. The strange object was of the serpent kind; its size that of the largest common snake and as well as could be discovered from so transient a view of it, resembled by its grey, mottled skin. The head of this extraordinary animal appeared about the same size as a small woman's hand. It had a pair of short wings very forward on the body, near its head; and the length of the whole body was about two feet. Its flight was very gentle; it seemed too heavy to fly either fast or high, and its manner of flying was not in a horizontal attitude, but with its head considerably higher than the tail, so that it seemed continually labouring to ascend without ever being able to raise itself much higher than seven or eight feet from the ground."
The same publication printed a second account of a winged serpent. A reader signing him/herself 'J.R.' wrote in with an account that allegedly happened to a friend between Hammersmith and Hyde Park Corner on June 15th 1797 at 10:30pm:
"The body was of a dark colour, about the thickness of the lower part of a man's arm, about two feet long. The wings were very short, and placed near the head. The head was raised above the body. It was not seven or eight feet above the ground. Being an animal of such uncommon description, I was particular in noticing the day of the month, and likewise being the day preceding a most dreadful storm of thunder and lightning."
In 1925 a sea serpent was seen in part of the Thames Estuary known as the Black Deep. The area had been closed to shipping since WW1. It was seen by Captain F D B Haselfoot and Commander M R Southern of HMS Kellet in August at around 9 am. It was a typical 'long neck' that showed around 8-10 feet of neck above the water. The Captain drew a sketch showing long teeth in the open mouth of the creature. Ref; 'In the Wake of the Sea Serpents' page 408.
As posted by Richard Freeman of the Centre For Fortean Zoology
In the 1940s a strange animal was observed on several occasions in a pond in Hampstead Heath. A young wild seal was allegedly caught in the body of water.
During February 1993 several on-lookers witnessed a long-necked animal swimming slowly in the Northern part of the Thames Estuary at Leigh-On-Sea at Essex.

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