|Posted on July 5, 2012 at 10:20 PM|
CHINA: THE MYSTERY OF THE DRAGON
Epoch Times Staff
Created: Feb 28, 2010 Last Updated: Mar 2, 2010
Edited and Illustrated by R. Merrill
DRAGON: Are dragons merely imagination in the realm of spirituality, or do they have physical existence? (Shioujen Wen/The Epoch Times)
The dragon has been pervasive in all aspects of ancient Chinese culture, and it has become a strong spiritual symbol for the Chinese people. Do dragons really exist? China's history books have recorded many eyewitness accounts about the appearance of dragons, which makes it enticing to re-examine whether dragons truly exist.
The "Miscellaneous Section" of the Recording for Ye County from the Qing dynasty states: "In A.D. 1503 [Ming dynasty, 16th year of Emperor Hongzhi's rule], five dragons hovered in the air about 10 li [3 miles] north of the city gate of Ye County, Henan Province. After a long time aloft, they dropped to the ground and were unable to ascend again.
"The sky clouded over, and the sea began churning. A deity in green clothing descended from the sky and was immediately surrounded by the fallen dragons. A moment later, the clouds dispersed and the ocean was tranquil. The five dragons were still unable to fly away. At this time, another green deity descended, and the dragons crawled around him. Suddenly, the sky became dark. Thick clouds and heavy fog reappeared. When the sky finally cleared, the deities and the five dragons were gone."
[Cryptozoologist's Note: As with many ancient peoples, including the Greeks, religion, myth and reality often became interchangeable. Thus, the mention of deities in these records does not automatically invalidate these Chinese reports of living dragons.]
The "Fortunate, Yet Strange Phenomena Section" of the Recording for the Jiaxing Regional Government tells of a similar story: "In September A.D. 1588, a white dragon was spotted on Lake Ping in Pinghu County, Zhejiang Province. It was flying above the lake, illuminating half of the sky with red light.
"Eyewitness Shen Maoxiao, a history-recording officer for the royal court, saw a deity in purple clothes with a golden crown, standing over 30 meters [about 98 feet] tall, between the horns of the dragon. This deity held an object resembling a sword. There appeared a sphere of bright light as large as a dou [a ladder-shaped container for measurement in China] beneath the head of the dragon."
The "Fortunate, Yet Strange Phenomena Section" of the Recording for the Songjiang Regional Government records an eyewitness account that took place 20 years after the white dragon sighting in Pinghu County. In July 1608, a white dragon similar to the one on Lake Ping was sighted on the Huangpu River in Songjiang County, Shanghai. There was also a deity standing on the head of the dragon.
The "Five Elements Section" of the Recording for the Later Han Dynasty later cited by the "Strange Phenomena Section" of the Recording for Luoyang County, recorded a dragon sighting in the imperial palace. Liu Hong, the emperor of the Dong Han dynasty, had his capital city near today's Luoyang City in Henan Province; Wenming Palace might be where he lived.
On July 1, A.D. 178, a huge black object fell from the sky into the east courtyard of Wenming Palace. The object was round and resembled the canopy over an ancient carriage. It was over 20 meters (65 feet) long and spun rapidly, giving out light of different colors. The object had a head but no feet and no tail. It looked like a dragon, but might not have been one.
The "Five Elements Section" of History of the Yuan Dynasty states the following: "In July of Emperor Zhiyuan's 27th year of rule [August 1290 A.D.], there appeared a dragon near Mount Long in Linxong County, Shandong Province. The dragon was able to make a piece of rock weighing half a ton float in the air."
In Emperor Jian'an's 24th year of rule in the Dong Han Dynasty (A.D. 219), a yellow dragon appeared on the Chishui River in Wuyang City and remained there for nine days before it finally left. A temple was built and a stone tablet was erected inside the temple to honor the appearance of the dragon.
In April, Emperor Yonghe's 1st year of rule, Dong Jin Dynasty (A.D. 345), two dragons, one black and the other white, appeared on Mount Long (which literally translates as Mount Dragon). Murong, the emperor of the Yan Kingdom, led officials of the court to the mountain and held a worship ceremony 200 yards away from the dragons.
Local history books from the Ming and Qing dynasties also contain sightings of dragons. According to the Recording for the Lin'an Regional Government, in Emperor Chongzhen's 4th year of rule (1631 A.D.), a large dragon was sighted on Lake Yilong (which means Lake Strange Dragon), southeast of Shiping County, Yunan Province.
The record states, "The whiskers, feet, and scales of the dragon were above the water, and the dragon was several dozens of meters long." The dragon might have appeared more than once around Mount Long and Lake Yilong, thus explaining the choice of names for these places.
The Amended Recording of the Tang Dynasty recorded that one day in the last year of Emperor Xiantong's rule, a black dragon fell to the ground within the territory of Tongcheng County and died there from a wound in the throat. The full length of the dragon measured over 30 meters, half of which was its tail.
The tail was flat. Its scales were like those of a fish. The head had two horns. The whiskers by the side of the mouth were over 6 meters long. Its feet, which grew from under its belly, had a red film covering them.
The Seven Books and Scriptures by Long Ying recorded that one day in the last year of Chenghua, Ming Dynasty, a dragon fell down onto the beach in Xinhui County, Guangdong Province. It was beaten to death by the local fishermen. The dragon was as tall as an adult person, and tens of meters in length. It looked very much like the dragon in classical paintings except that its belly was red.
A dead dragon was found by Lake Taibai in Emperor Shaoxing's 32nd year of rule in the Nan Song Dynasty (1162). It had long whiskers and large scales. The back was black and belly white. Fins grew from the dragon's back, and two large horns protruded the head. It could be smelled from miles away.
The local people covered it with a mat. The government sent people to hold a worship ceremony at the site. However, after a night of severe thunderstorms, the dragon disappeared. Only a ditch remained where it had been.
The History for the Yongping Regional Government recorded that, in the summer of the 19th year of Emperor Daoguang's rule (1839), a dragon fell from the sky along the lower reaches of the Luanhe River in Laoting County. The dragon lay inert, covered by flies and maggots. Local people made a shelter for it to protect it from the direct sunlight, and they also drizzled cold water on its body. Three days later, after a night of thunderstorms, the dragon left.
Several events in the past century were also thought to be sightings of dragons.
In August 1944, hundreds of people from Chenjiayuanzi Village in Fuyu County, south of the Songhuajiang River, surrounded a black animal by the riverbank. Yen Dianyuan, an eyewitness, said that the animal was about 7 meters long and looked like a lizard. Its face was almost the same as that of the dragons in classical paintings, with seven or eight thick hard whiskers. The upper body was over one-third meter in diameter. Its four paws went deep into the sand. Crocodile-like scales covered its whole body.
In the summer of 1953, an unidentified animal fell down from the sky in a place south of Henan Province. According to the description by some of the witnesses, the animal looked like a huge shark. The odor of decay attracted countless flies. If it was a shark, it should live in the deep sea. Why did it fall down from the sky? This case might be related to the historical accounts of dragons dropping from the sky.
On Aug. 4, 2000, there was a downpour over Heishanzi Village in China, and afterward the village was covered by a layer of hot steam. All of a sudden, thick clouds came down from the sky and rolled along above the ground. The people in the village were so scared, for they had never seen this kind of weather before. They stayed inside with all the doors and windows shut.
A young man went outside to see what was going on. Soon he was outside his village, and suddenly he was stunned by the sight of two dragon-like animals, one black and one white, lying on the ground in front of him. He saw that the horns, scales, paws, and tails of the animals were exactly the same as those from the traditional dragon paintings except that their whiskers were shorter. He turned around and ran toward the village as fast as he could, shouting, "Come see the dragons; come see the dragons that have fallen from the sky!"
The news quickly spread through the entire region. Police, government officials, and scholars went to Heishanzi Village to investigate. Police officers dispersed the crowd and left several people assigned to guard the animals.
Later, a gust of wind made the dark clouds roll up and down. When it passed, the white animal had disappeared from under the watchful eyes of the guards. The officials were unable to explain the disappearance, and they were equally frustrated about the black one still on the ground.
A farmer said, "I heard that something like this happened several years ago, and people poured water on the dragons to make them return home." He asked a few young villagers to fetch several mats and they erected a shelter for the animal. They then hauled water in wheelbarrows to the site and sprayed it on the mats so that the water could drip down on the animal from the mats. As of December 2000, the animal was still alive.
As the sky was getting dark in the evening at 6:10 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2000, in Wusong City, Jilin Province, a beam of unusual light shot from the northwest sky above the city, and it soon became brighter and multicolored. Then, a dragon-like creature appeared. Its mouth, whiskers, paws, and scales could all be seen clearly. The dragon was visible for more than 20 minutes. The bright light eventually dimmed to dark red before it slowly disappeared.
Are dragons merely products of human imagination, do they exist only in the realm of spirituality, are they actual physical creatures, or all of the above? For the present, they remain a true cryptozoological mystery.