Saturday, May 31, 2014

Taking a small break with a small Dragon

Life trying to log UFO files has become impossible from an interest standpoint just now, so I'll give both of us a break. Let's chase, VERY briefly, a Dragon.

You regulars might remember that I tried (almost unsuccessfully) to range the world looking for a "proper" dragon almost exactly two years ago in this blog. We searched over five postings for the critters, the last being May 31, 2012. It was interesting to me, for sure, but finding "evidence" for the ancient proper dragon {reptilian, winged, fire-breathing, huge} was hard to come by. I sort of decided that [for my tastes] the only thing which clearly had the characteristics was the "third" monster of Beowulf --- not the more famous Grendel, but a truly described Dragon, who kills our hero [so I refer to it as Beowulf's Bane.]

I was going through hardcopy resources three days ago [throwing much out in anticipation of my great intracity home move at the end of the summer.] I came across an old Smithsonian Bulletin wherein a scholar was discussing the contents of "recently" found Mesopotamian cylinder seals. I'd looked at a few dozen cylinder seals while trying to become smart about the history of dragons, but never saw one which was particularly convincing. This scholar printed one which changes my mind.

This is a thing from Lagash, claiming to be of the reign of Gudaea, which, if true, puts it at around 2100 BC --- well before Beowulf obviously. The mini-carved "cartoon" has, at first glance anyway, all the right qualities: reptilian, winged, and maybe even something fiery coming out of its nose or mouth. This drawing takes it well beyond the famous Sirrush of the Ishtar Gates, in my opinion, and seems quite dragonish more than, say, griffinish.

The contents of this seal are, of course, debated. The scene however seems to represent Gudaea being taken into the heavenly throneroom of one of the Anunnaki or Seven High Gods of Sumer. That god on the throne might be Anu or might be Enki. Gudaea is the plainly clothed petitioner. The gods front and back of him are one of the well-known high seven and one called "Ningishzida", which is translated by some as "The Great Dragon of Heaven", supposedly memorialized by the constellation Hydra. The cartoon miniature of Ningishzida resides therefore at the extreme left in dragon form.

This then gives me a bit more confidence that the representations of certain other cylinder seals are actually meant to portray dragons rather than "just" griffins or some other such legendary anomaly.

But so what?

Well, if one likes the concept of the Dragon, I suppose that anything about it is interesting, especially if the ancients were using this imagery in important contexts. The romance of the moment might even inspire some belief in the possibility of physical reality. I don't go there, because the six-limbed dragon is evolutionarily a loser of a structure [i.e. it cannot evolve]. But I AM quite the fan of at least imagining the possibility that encounter anomalies might involve paranormal or faerie-based entities, at least "once-upon-a-time."

For me, the main intrigue in this is more of a baby-step. If the concept of a proper dragon was alive in 3rd millennium Mesopotamia, and if such origins could have inspired Beowulf's dragon 2000+ years later, what was the root/route of contact? Did these "dark" myths travel with Celts or Cymmerians or even more mythological peoples across lower central Europe, much as did the first glimmerings of the druidical style of life? Or did the imagery of Beowulf survive because there was some actual encounter knowledge of such beings?

So what if this is Out Proctor and close to going All-the-way-fool? Let's keep the ideas alive and the pathways unfenced as we walk these forbidden forests with eyes wide open.


You never know who's watching out there......


  1. You might be interested in reading this essay about the primordial inception of the dragon archetype.

    1. Thanks. I've read similar things before, but can't relate to them too well. This is because we need a lot more than exposed fossil bones to inspire "proper" dragon images I believe. The Winged Bulls of the same area [The "Cherubim"] are similar. The imagery is tightly connected with the seven high gods of Sumer, and expresses flying, loud noises, great strength and power. Plus the ability to serve the gods' wishes to destroy {they cause the destructive "Flood" for instance, which is not a Water Flood.} I need a better "anthropological/mythological feel" for my reductionist explanations before I go there.

  2. Please forgive the intrusion, but if you are the person I'm looking for (and I could probably ask Bill), I believe I've read some of your published work. I have an interest in radar, including the history of its application in the U.S.
    I'd like to ask a question regarding Blue Book staff. Please contact me via - RJ

  3. something provoke my curiosity everytime this dragon subject brought up.. the giant snake in bagadras (?) river near carthage that killed roman soldiers and eventually killed by ballista , and the pet snake worshipped in ancient babylon that was killed by Daniel.. In that time, were human are not as numerous as nowadays and wildlife still in abundance, can some wildlife grow to enormous size and thus created this 'dragon' mythology ?

  4. To my knowledge "giganticism" doesn't work that way. Lack of survival stress may allow species members to max out their genetic range, but giganticism, like exhibited by either the dinosaurs or the palaeolithic mammals, needs evolutionary time periods to happen. If those gigantic snakes were already there from the palaeolithic, our palaeontologists would have likely already detected them in the fossil record. An analogous situation would be gigantopithecus as a candidate for Bigfoot. Very big ape, but well-known to the scientists.