Dragons may be a thing of the past, but there are some surprisingly recent reports that seem to describe the fiery-breathed ones among us. Take this curious record from the works of Athanasius Kircher (obit 1680), Mundus subterraneus, quo universae denique naturae divitiae (Amsterdam 1664-1668).
Where to even begin?
(*)In 1619 as I was contemplating the serene sky by night, I saw a very bright dragon with flapping wings go from a cave in a great rock in the mount called Pilatus [pictured above] toward another cave, known as Flue, on the opposite side of the lake [Lucerne]. Its wings were agitated with much celerity; its body was long as well as its tail and neck. Its head was that of a serpent with teeth, and when it was flying, sparks were coming out of it like the embers thrown by an incandescent iron when struck by smiths on an anvil. At first, I thought it was a meteor, but after observing more closely, (I saw) it was truly a dragon from the recognizable motion of the members. This I write to you, your reverence, in case you should doubt that dragons truly exist in nature.’
And the witness? A shepherd who’d quaffed a little too much of the local beer? The village idiot who had an unusually literary bent? Not a bit of it. The writer here was none other than Christophorus Schere who was prefect of Uri County. This is the seventeenth-century equivalent of a modern UFO researcher stating ‘law-enforcement agents are the most reliable witnesses’.
So what did Christophorus actually see? The dragon was luminous: it is ‘very bright’ and is seen at night in the dark – a moonlit night? It is also mistaken for a meteor, whatever meteors were in the 1600s. Then there are the sparks that are coming out of it.
It would be tempting to fall back on that natural phenomenon that is used to explain so much that is wild and luminous in nature: ball lightning. Of course, the problem with that is that there was the serpent’s head, ‘the recognizable motion of the members’: the talons, feet and wings waving on either side? But then again it shot from one side of the lake to the other with ‘celerity’ so there cannot have been much time to see anything, particularly the teeth.
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Note that a quick shoot through Google suggests that Mount Pilatus is associated to this day with dragons: was there a pre-existing tradition or did Schere’s report mark the beginning of said tradition?
Article continues here: http://www.strangehistory.net/2011/07/17/dragons-in-swtizerland/