Dragon Seen by Christopher Schorerum

I won’t give the URL, but one web site combines the words “stupid,” “lies,” and “dinosaur,” referring to those who promote the idea that some dinosaurs and pterosaurs have lived in human times (perhaps that critic uses “stupid” to refer to humans who believe in living dinosaurs and living pterosaurs and “lies” to refer to those who promote the concept). On one page, the critic mentions the name “Christopher Schorerum” in one of the writings of David Woetzel, who explored on Umboi Island, just a few weeks after my own expedition in 2004, searching for living pterosaurs, as I had done. (Schorerum lived in the 17th century.)

But first we’ll consider what Woetzel himself quoted on the dragon reported by Christopher Schorerum in Europe long ago:

Dragons in History

“On a warm night in 1619, while contemplating the serenity of the heavens, I saw a shining dragon of great size in front of Mt. Pilatus [Switzerland] . . .  seen flying . . . It was of a large size, with a long tail, a long neck, a reptile’s head, and ferocious gaping jaws. As it flew it was like iron struck in a forge when pressed together that scatters sparks. . . .”

Critic of the Dragon Account

The critic who disparages Woetzels’ writing, however, does not give any direct reason for disbelieving the historical record. The critic says, “. . . is claimed to be true, but it’s not. No pterosaur ever glow, sparkle, and illuminate in the night sky.” Where does that critic get such an idea? No evidence is given for the impossibility of pterosaur bioluminescence. That critic says much about wild dragon tales and strange things in old writings, but nothing more about that particular account. It seems that the skeptic avoids any more direct reference to the sighting by Christopher Schorerum because there is no direct evidence to contradict that eyewitness’s account.

Not everyone who disagrees with a popular idea of Western culture is stupid; not everyone who promotes such an idea is telling lies. To use those words in the URL of ones web site suggests the possibility of bulverism. A deeper examination is needed. I suggest the April 6, 2010, post on the blog Live Pterosaur (not this WordPress blog but another by this same name).

Extant Pterosaurs and Bulverism

Regarding the honesty of Creationists who have explored in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs, can truth be uncovered by ignoring their findings, accusing them all of fabricating falsehoods, and then dropping the subject? No, accusing everyone who might have the label “creationist” with “liar,” a beggarly excuse for reasoning, covers up the truth. How much better to examine what the investigators have said and done!

Now consider two sightings of flying lights in the twentieth century:

Ropen Sighting by Cottingham

On Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea (by Cottingham):

My sighting occurred at night near Lab Lab on the southern tip of Umboi. The light lasted for four to five seconds, and until reading your reports now, have never been able to explain the sighting.

On the Papua New Guinea mainland (by Evelyn Cheesman):

The flash lasted “about four or five seconds, but that flash had been a little distance away from the first. Flashes continued at intervals. . . . a most intriguing mystery; because by no possibility could there be human beings out there using flash-lamps at intervals . . .”

The 17th-century sighting by Christopher Schorerum is hardly an isolated report, isolated in earlier European history. It harmonizes quite well with the modern hypothesis that modern pterosaurs, in at least some species, use bioluminescence. It blends in with and complements pterosaur sightings in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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