Fake Research: Real Writing
by Caleb Reynolds
We are taught that London burned down in 1667 because of a fire that started in a bakery on Pudding Lane. When the fire was brought under control, four days later, more than four-fifths of the city was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died. Was this due to advanced fire-fighting technology or was this because the fire was actually planned to destroy a kaiju? A “dragon”, if you will. Granted, the people of 17th century London would not have used the word “kaiju” as Godzilla movies did not appear in England until the mid 1950s. The natives would have used such language as was familiar to them. And since Jacobean English had few Japanese words mixed in with it, they would have turned to their own legends and used the word “dragon” to describe the giant beasts that roamed the country.
In 1217, there was a beast of a sea monster that prowled the Thames river; some references referred to it at 300 stone in size. The poem “The Dragon of Wantley”, first published in 1685, recounts an legendary monster that ravaged the land in the mid 15th-century.
All sorts of cattle this dragon did eat.
Some say he ate up trees,
And that the forests sure he would
Devour up by degrees:
For houses and churches were
to him geese and chickens
He ate all, and left none behind,
but some stones, dear Jack,
that he could not crack,
Which on the hills you will find. 
Geoffrey Of Cambria’s 1455 “The History of Britain” recounts what might have been the same monster.
Then a great dragon began to ravage the country-side with fire and alone did a single knight take arms against it, and in the end, was the victor. All night long did the raging flames swept o’er the land and the water, and all withered and burned at it’s touch. The dragon had burned up the people’s homes and fields. The city did burn as likewise did the ships and the water-skirted land was devastated. Not ‘til the touch of dawn did the dragon end it’s destruction and retreat to its lair. Great faith did it have in the safety of its hiding place, but it’s faith was to be futile.
While stories of giant dragons continued to be written, in England, after the Great Fire,  no credible accounts of dragons were recorded. I feel that the last of the great, English kaijus was killed in London, in 1667. While there are many conspiracy theories that have survived even to this day, (Freemasons started the fire to create more work for themselves; French and Dutch agents started it to punish the English for their pie eating habits; Charles II started it as revenge for London’s support of Parliament during the Civil War; Robert Hubert claimed to start the fire in Westminster but it got out of hand when the wind shifted.) 
The 200 foot tall monument to the fire might be a clue as to the size of the kaiju that attacked the city. It is possible that the kaiju was lured to the city to destroy it, hence the few fatalities recorded, as the population was told “to remove themselves and Goods into the open fields”  for their own safety. “The London Gazette” recounts the fight against the monster with chilling words:
…pulling down houses…”, “Too big to be mastered by any Engines or working near it.” “About the Tower the seasonable orders given …to secure the Magazines of Powder.” “…but all in vain, the [monster] seizing upon the Timber and Rubbish and so continuing it self, even through those spaces, and raging in a bright flame all Monday and Tuesday, notwithstanding His Majesties own, and His Royal Highness’s indefatigable and personal pains to apply all possible remedies to prevent it.
Finally, the monster was defeated. Again, from “The London Gazette”:
…by the falling … upon a Pile of Wooden buildings; but his Royal Highness, who watched there that whole night in Person, by the great labors and diligent [used], and especially by applying Powder to blow up the Houses about it, before day most happily it [stopped].” “On Thursday by the blessing of God it was wholly beat down and extinguished.
London was destroyed, but its citizens lived and the last of the great English kaijus was dead.
 “The Dragon of Wantley”, quoted from Thomas Percy’s “Reliques of Ancient Poetry”
 Even an opera was written in the 18th-century.
 These are all actual conspiracy theories about the fire.
 “The London Gazette”
- Æthel, Aunt. “Models of Dragons Are Not To Scale.” Aunt Æthel’s Big Blog of Baloney. Created on February 31st, 1987.
- Anonymous. The Dragon of Wantley, quoted in Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient Poetry (17th Century)
- Anonymous. “The London Worm?” Punch Magazine. Unknown Volume. 1891.
- Bell, Walter. The Great Fire of London in 1666. New York Bodley Head. 1923.
- Jones, Terry, and Alan Ereira. Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives. London: BBC, 2004.
- Mortimer, Ian. The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.
- Moxon, Steve. The Dragon of Wantley. Creative Commons, May 2013
- Shorpe, L. Geoffrey of Cambria’s The History of Britain. London: Penguin Books Ltd. 1981
- “The London Gazette – Fire of London” The London Gazette. Published by Authority From Monday September 3 to Monday September 10 1666. British Library. Timelines: Sources from History.
The first in the series: many “thank yous” go out to everyone who submitted something for the April Fool’s “Fake Research – Real Writing” challenge. Thank you for taking the time to read, and enjoy, each and every one of these articles. Aunt Æthel and I were most amused to read the creative thoughts of our artisans. We will judge all of the articles after they have been all posted on the Æthelmearc Gazette, and then announce the winner who will have the rights to brag about their win for the next year to anyone who would listen – Caleb & Aunt Æthel