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The Post 2012 Village
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Bugarach : fin du monde

Bugarach : fin du monde | Bugarach | Scoop.it
C’est là, dans les Corbières, qu’il faudrait être le 21 décembre pour survivre. En attendant, le maire du village surfe avec malice sur le buzz. Retour aux origines de la rumeur.



"C’est le coup de pub le plus extraordinaire qu’on puisse imaginer. Si j’avais dû prendre une agence de communication pour faire la promotion du village, jamais elle ne serait parvenue à un tel résultat!" Jean-Pierre Delord, 70 ans, dont la moitié passée dans le fauteuil de maire de Bugarach, n’en revient toujours pas : une folie médiatique s’est emparée de ce village audois de 200 habitants, propulsant son pic aux sommets d’un buzz mondial. Jovial et malicieux, le maire jongle avec les journalistes, se demande combien il a bien pu en rencontrer depuis deux ans. Peut-être 200. "Et ce n’est pas fini, j’en vois encore tous les jours." Une situation que l’élu qualifie d’"insupportable" tout en comptant bien surfer sur la vague jusqu’au bout, imaginant déjà comment son village enfoui dans les Corbières pourra utiliser au mieux le feu d’artifice médiatique du 21 décembre : "Toutes les caméras seront braquées sur nous. Je pourrai en profiter pour faire un appel à la générosité publique pour la sauvegarde du pic, non? Ou annoncer la création d’une fondation Bugarach. De toute manière, tout ça continuera après le 21 décembre, j’ai déjà été contacté par des réalisateurs qui souhaitent faire des films sur cette affaire…"
Une interview du maire

Campé dans sa modeste mairie plantée au bord du village battu par les vents, Jean-Pierre Delord sait qu’au-dehors certains lui reprochent d’en avoir trop fait. D’avoir trop parlé de la rumeur, trop évoqué ses craintes quant aux rassemblements du 21 décembre. Il s’en moque : "On a même dit que je me faisais payer pour répondre aux interviews ! Ce que je voulais, c’était ne pas me retrouver seul à gérer une bande de zozos. En alertant les médias et le préfet, j’ai appliqué le principe de précaution." Pourtant, beaucoup estiment que le maire a luimême allumé l’incendie médiatique dans la presse locale, où il évoquait d’inquiétantes informations circulant sur Internet. "Dans une interview parue fin novembre 2010, il est le premier à parler publiquement d’une rumeur selon laquelle Bugarach serait le seul endroit du monde sauvé de l’apocalypse, et fait part de ses grandes inquiétudes. Il est en quelque sorte le premier à avoir propagé cette rumeur", constate Véronique Campion-Vincent, sociologue. Au Relais de Bugarach, unique commerce du village, on désigne aussi le maire comme responsable : "Avant fin 2010, il ne se passait rien ici", affirme Patrice, le gérant. "Et puis, dans ces articles, le maire a parlé des 'allumés', mettant dans le même sac les babas cool qui vivent par ici, les écolos et tous ceux qui ne sont pas d’accord avec lui, comme ceux qui ne voulaient pas de son projet d’éoliennes et qu’il a voulu diaboliser…"
Un photomontage avec soucoupe volante

Quoi qu’on en pense, cette fameuse rumeur fait désormais partie du décor. Au milieu de lacharcuterie, des chaussons en peau de mouton, des produits locaux et autres biscuits bio, Patrice propose quelques "produits dérivés" : tee-shirts Bugarach, exemplaires de la revue Top Secret, quelques livres (L’Appel de Bugarach, La Pierre noire de Bugarach…), une cuvée baptisée "Bugarach, s’il n’en reste qu’un, je serai celui-là".Ou encore une carte postale montrant une soucoupe survolant le pic : un cliché qui a contribué à alimenter les fantasmes. "Avec 6.000 exemplaires vendus dans le secteur, cette carte postale a eu un succès au-delà de mes espérances", s’amuse Jean-Louis Socquet-Juglard, photographe professionnel habitant depuis vingt ans à 4 km de Bugarach. "J’ai réalisé ce photo-montage en 2010 et je l’ai signé, en guise de clin d’oeil, David Vincent. Du nom du héros de la série Les Envahisseurs." Mais à l’époque, la plaisanterie prend une tournure inattendue : repris dans des reportages télévisés, le cliché fait un buzz sur Internet,et certains y décèlent bientôt la preuve d’une présence extraterrestre. Comme Patrice : « C’estun photomontage,mais la photo de la soucoupe, personne n’a pu démontrer qu’elle était fausse!" Le photographe, lui, se souvient aussi que sa carte postale a été diffusée, voire récupérée, parla municipalité de Bugarach : "Le maire disait qu’il l’avait “fait faire”pour se moquer des rumeurs, mais il n’avait pas un discours très clair sur le fait que c’était un canular." À l’évocation de cette "affaire",le maire s’énerve : "C’est comme à Lourdes, les gens repartent d’ici avec des souvenirs! Et alors, ça fait vendre!"
Une zone magique pleine de trésors

Une certitude au moins : la rumeur est née dans une sorte de triangle des Bermudes version Corbières, une zone réputée magique et mystérieuse formée par trois villages distants d’une dizaine de kilomètres : Rennes-le-Château,Rennes-les-Bains et Bugarach. Un territoire grand comme un mouchoir de poche, pétri de mythes et de légendes, véritable chaudron où mijotent depuis des décennies tous les ingrédients propres aux fantasmes.Tout a débuté à Rennes-le-Château, dans les années 1890 :il se disait ici que l’abbé Saunière,petit curé menant grand train, avait trouvé un trésor. Le bruit a couru d’autant plus vite que la région est réputée en abriter plusieurs : celui des Wisigoths, des Templiers, des Cathares… Ce mystère de l’abbé Saunière a donné naissance à un chapelet de folles rumeurs : en un siècle, le minuscule village (19 habitants en 2012) s’est transformé en un improbable carrefour où se mêlent magie, mythes et mystique.
Une piste d’atterrissage pour ovnis

"À partir des années 1970 est arrivée à Rennes-le-Château et Rennes-les-Bains une population hippie, puis post-hippie, qui a choisi ce secteur à cause de son passé ésotérique et de ses mystères", explique Vincent Basset, anthropologue à l’université de Perpignan. Depuis, ces néo-ruraux n’ont cessé d’alimenter de nouveaux mythes. Parmi eux Elizabeth Van Buren : cette Américaine, qu’on surnomme à l’époque "la milliardaire", publie en anglais une série d’ouvrages ésotériques, dont Refuge de l’Apocalypse et Portail vers d’autres dimensions. Persuadée qu’un temple céleste est connecté à un temple souterrain, elle désigne le tout proche pic de Bugarach comme lieu élu par les extraterrestres, et fait construire, dans sa ferme des Labadous, sous le nez de paysans médusés, une piste d’atterrissage pour ovnis. Des ufologues commencent à s’intéresser de près au secteur, des "prophètes New Age" leur emboîtent le pas… Les ingrédients de la rumeur sont prêts. Et l’histoire risque de ne pas s’arrêter là : le maire se déclare déjà inquiet pour "l’après-fin du monde" : "On pourrait bien avoir des problèmes avec les déçus du 21 décembre…"

Sarah Finger, correspondante à Bugarach (Aude) - Le Journal du Dimanche
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In the Corbières, the Pech de Bugarach, the top of the strange

In the Corbières, the Pech de Bugarach, the top of the strange | Bugarach | Scoop.it
The ” Bug ” , as the locals call it, has not finished to attract attention. It is called “sacred mountain” . They say it emanates a unique energy, powerful and unifying. It would be one of the “chakras” of “Mother Earth” , the “vibratory rate” would rise each year more. It is also said that he would host an underground base for UFOs. Humans improvising “mediums” claim to have made ??contact with aliens who have invested (not us, too bad). Finally, some argue that it would be one of the few places where land men would survive the end of the world, that predicted by the Mayan calendar, which ends December 21, 2012.

In short, simply type ” Bugarach ” on a search engine to discover the esoteric intense activity prompted by the highest peak in the Corbières. Culminating at 1231 m, the Bug and crystallizes all the fantasies. Already in the spring solstice, March 21, hikers asked us intrigued in their path: “Did you notice something strange?” . The summer solstice also attracts its share of strange animals and new age . “Marches in conscience” , “walking initiation” , initiatives bloom … for those who can afford it.

The attraction of Pic is growing, to the dismay of the mayor of Bugarach and many people who fear they will be able to control the influx of visitors in December 2012. Rommie, owner of the charming cottages of the Presbytery Sander with her ??husband, unwilling to offend anyone. “The majority of clients come to nature, to the Cathar castles. From time to time, some come for energy, for Bugarach. I like to go upstairs to the beautiful view. But on the energy, I do not know ” .

For the first riddle, the answer is simple: by plate tectonics, limestone strata older than 135 million years have arisen over training between 15 million years, reversing the order geological layers. Otherwise, it is assumed that the geographical position of the peak currents catalyzed mystical already at work in the region.

Which indeed has not dreamed of treasure Saunière, the priest mysteriously enriched after having begun work in his church in Rennes-le-Château, a few miles from there? (To visit absolutely!) Who has not left wandering imagination to follow the quest of the last Cathars, the perfect and ideal refuge on windy peaks of the Corbieres? ( surveying the ruined castles in high winds is a unique experience!)

No need yet esoteric guide to access the apex, which is worth a look for even more pragmatic. A card or phone call to the House of Nature will do. The route taken by most of the neck of Linas, 6 km from Bugarach. In less than two hours, you are now at the top, watching the Pyrénées Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The track called “the window” sneaks near a hole in the rock. More air, accessible to good walkers, it takes two hours from the cascade of Mathieux. The love walk the entire loop to carry out from the village. Allow six to seven hours, including breaks. The opportunity for a nice walk between heaven and earth.

By: Carole

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Bugarach: the mystery surrounding the village

Bugarach: the mystery surrounding the village | Bugarach | Scoop.it
The village of Bugarach, population 189, is situated 24 miles southwest of Carcassonne in the Aude department, southwestern France.

 

The Telegraph :

 

The farming village is in the region of the Cathar castles, situated on spectacular rocky outcrops. Regarded as heretics by the Catholic Church, Cathars sought refuge in these castles in the 13th century when Pope Innocent III launched a full scale crusade against them.
The village lies next to the Pic de Bugarach, a rocky peak which, at 1230 metres, is the highest point of the Corbières range of hills. The peak is dwarfed however by the nearby Pyrenees and offers splendid views of the range.
Made of limestone with galleries of caves beneath it, the peak is a geological oddity, since its top layers are millions of years older than its bottom ones, making it an "upside down mountain".
The peak of Bugarach has been shrouded in mystery, with various claims that it houses aliens in cavities beneath the rock.
The internet abounds with tales of the late President François Mitterrand being curiously heliported onto the peak, of mysterious digs conducted by the Nazis and later Mossad, the Israeli secret services. There is talk of the area, near to the Cathar castles, holding the Holy Grail or the treasure of the Templars. A visit to Bugarach is said to have inspired Steven Spielberg in his film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind – although the actual mountain he used is Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

 

Nostradamus, the French apothecary from Provence, is said to have stayed in the area and found the "vibrations" of Bugarach to be positive.
Others say Bugarach is where Jules Verne found the entrance and the inspiration for A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Bugarach is in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the world's largest wine growing region.

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In the Corbières, the Pech de Bugarach, top of the? Strange

In the Corbières, the Pech de Bugarach, top of the? Strange | Bugarach | Scoop.it
When a north breeze dissipates a haze upon tip of a Corbières, emerges, stately as well as secret, a impiety of Bugarach. The crawl poise a vegetable initial riddle: because do we verbalise of a “inverted plateau “? And even when a object luminous radiance full flanks of limestone, an aura of poser still hangs in a blue sky of a Aude.

“ Bug ” , such as internal call it, has not accomplished sketch attention. It is called “sacred mountain” . They contend it emanates a singular energy, absolute as well as unifying. It would be a single of “chakras” a “Mother Earth” , that “vibratory rate” volume some-more any year. They additionally contend it would residence an subterraneous bottom for UFOs. Humans improvising “mediums” explain to have come in to hit with a aliens who have invested (not us, shame). Finally, a little disagree that it would be a single of a integrate of places where land group would tarry a finish of a world, that likely by a Mayan calendar, that ends Dec 21, 2012.

short, simply sort “ Bugarach ” upon a poke engine to find a enigmatic heated wake up stirred by a tip rise in a Corbières. Culminating during 1231 m, a Bug as well as crystallizes all fantasies. Already in a open solstice, Mar 21, hikers intrigued asked us in their path: “Did we notice something strange?” . The summer solstice additionally attracts a share of extraordinary as well as fauna brand new age . “Marches in conscience” , “walking initiation” , initiatives freshness … for those who can means it.

 

he captivate of Pic is growing, to a discomfit of a mayor of Bugarach as well as many residents, who fright not being means to carry out a liquid of visitors in Dec 2012. Rommie, owners of a desirable cottages of a Presbytery with her husband, Sander, does provoke anyone. “Most business come to nature, to a Cathar castles. From time to time, a little come for energy, for Bugarach. we similar to starting up for a great view. But about energy, we do not know “.

a initial riddle, a answer is simple: by image tectonics, limestone strata comparison than 135 million years have arisen over precision in in between fifteen million years, reversing a sequence of a geological layers. Otherwise, it is insincere that a geographical upon all sides of a rise has catalyzed a visionary currents already during work in a area.

Who has not dreamed, in fact, a value of a Abbé Saunière, a clergyman mysteriously enriched after starting work in his church in Rennes-le-Château, a integrate of miles from there? (To visit!) Who did not let his aptitude ramble to follow a query of a final Cathars, a preferred as well as undiluted retreat upon a tops of breezy Corbières? (Surveying a busted castles in tall winds is a singular experience!)

 

At a tip of a peak. RICHARD DAVID

No need nonetheless
enigmatic beam to entrance a tip of a peak, that is value a glance, even a many Ampoules led pragmatic. A label or phone call to a House of Nature will do. The trail many Ampoules led taken from a neck of a Linas, 6 km from Bugarach. In reduction than dual hours, we have been right away during a top, considering a Pyrenees as well as a Mediterranean Sea. The approach called “the window” sneaks nearby a hole in a stone face. More air, permitted to great walkers, it takes dual hours from a pour out of Mathieux. The adore of upon foot will do a complete double back from a village. Between 6 as well as 7 hours, together with breaks. The event for a great travel in in between sky as well as earth.

Carole Rap

 

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Mount Bugarach

Mount Bugarach | Bugarach | Scoop.it
The winding banks of the Aude and the sparsely populated countryside that surround its headwaters in the Haut Raze would have offered ample shelter for the Cathars and it is said their faith survived in secret for long years amidst its wild hills and shadowy valleys, even unto the present day. Over the course of the centuries a series of bizarre and fantastical rumors began to accrue about the region and the brooding cone of Mount Bugarach, the dormant volcano that dominates the densely wooded landscape, standing sentinel over Galamus Gorge and the gateway to the Corbieres.

The labyrinthine limestone caverns and smoldering internal fires of the oddly shaped mountain, a have fuelled both the hot springs of Rennes les Bains and the imaginations of countless visitors over the years including the science fiction writer Jules Verne who is said to have holidayed on the volcano's flanks. The celebrated author makes several veiled references to the area in his work, ranging from the subterranean voyages of Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Black Indies to the alchemical chicanery of Carpathian Castle. The mountain, also known locally as the Pech de Thauze or the 'Crossroads of the Four Winds' provides both the name of one of the lead characters, the flamboyant Captain Bugarach, in Verne's all but unreadable maritime opus Clovis Dardentor and the inspiration for the 'eagle's nest' – the home of Robur the deranged aeronaut in Master of the World.

Over the course of the 20th century the tales of faery's, will o' the whisps’ and woodland elementals gave way to phantom airship sightings and common or garden UFOs. During the late eighties the region was considered a prominent 'window area' and a 24 hour 'skywatch' was established on Laval Dieu, the jagged spine of rocks facing the slumbering volcano. When I first visited the area in the early nineties I was introduced to the occupant of an isolated farmhouse near the headwaters of the River Sals, a wild eyed individual named Jean de Rigney who had been convinced the mountain harboured an underground UFO base and had produced countless fuzzy recordings of what he insisted were extraterrestrials moving about beneath his floorboards. More recently this tendency to blur the lines between ancient history, popular mythology and outright science fiction has been given added impetus by the work of French pseudo historian Michel Lamy who suggests that not only does Mount Bugarach conceal an entrance to the hollow earth and the lost kingdom of Agartha but that Esclarmonde d'Alion and her immortal cohorts are related to Vlad Dracule, the bloodsucking Count of Carpathia and the book they guard, the mythic 'Book of the Seven Seals' is the real life inspiration for American fantasy author H.P.Lovecraft's equally mythical 'Necronomicon’. All of which would be frankly laughable were it not for the unsettling fact that certain elements of these claims actually check out.

Samples of saline water drawn from the stream beside Jean de Rigney's house proved on further analysis to contain unusually high levels of radiation and references to 'earth lights' and hidden underground passageways extend back to well before the 20th century UFO flap. A close reading of Lamy's text indicates that he is cross referencing not so much the work of Lovectraft himself but the George Hay / Colin Wilson hoax Necronomicon first issued in 1978. The provenance of the so-called 'Hay Necronomicon' has been widely discredited, not the least by Colin Wilson himself who admitted to perpetrating the hoax in an article entitled "The Necronomicon, the Origin of a Spoof", which first appeared in Crypt of Cthulhu and was later reprinted in Black Forbidden Things", edited by Lovecraft scholar and enthusiast Robert Price. What Wilson fails to point out is that his 'spoof' seems to have been lifted wholesale from the work of French occultist Eliphas Levi who in turn was drawing upon some of the cornerstone texts of the European esoteric tradition. Certain aspects of the central ritual outlined in the 'Hay Necronomicon' as a method of 'opening the gates' so that the 'Great Old Ones' might return to Earth and complete the 'clearing off' of the human race correspond a little too closely for comfort with the local mythology of the Haut Razes – not the least of these being the 'Crossroads of the Four Winds' itself – the 'Gate of the Winter Wind', 'The Gate of the Summer Wind', 'The Gate of the Rushing Torrents' and 'The Gate of the Whirling Air' closely linked to the four cardinal points and that confounding cabbalistic puzzle box commonly known as the 'Cube of Space'.

It was not until the spring of 2008 that I had the opportunity to return to the area with fellow esoteric scholar and long term Shadow Theatre irregular Miss Scarlett to check out some of the increasingly wild and woolly claims first hand...

Testimony of Scarlett Amaris – Haut Razes - March 2008.

Our very strange journey began from this single phrase, “We might also compare the book closed by the seven seals of the Apocalypse, depicted in the church of Bugarach next to the Grail chalice, to that secret book called the Book of Seals, which was solemnly opened on the Cathar feast day of Bema.“ The phrase appears in a new translation of The Secret Message of Jules Verne by Michel Lamy, which we had picked up the day before in the bookstore in Rennes-le-Chateau. Considering how close it was to Easter Sunday, which was supposedly around the Cathar holy day of Bema, we decided to take a quick trip and have a look for ourselves.

The village of Bugarach is very small, and lies within the view of the majestic volcano that has been host to so many legends, everything from UFO’s in the 80’s, to death by 'inexplicable dehydration', and instances of people disappearing only to return with their hair bleached completely blond. We quickly found the church, which was actually open. Stepping inside, the first thing that we noticed was the overwhelming scent of laurel, a well known symbol of the resurgent Cathar faith, which had been reverently laid out on all the various altars. There was only one depiction of Christ in the church which seemed to be dedicated to Mary, or more likely Stella Maris, our lady of the seas. The presence that it gave off was overwhelmingly feminine. We walked straight up to the end altar, which dominated the far side of the building. To our complete surprise a plaque of the grail cup did indeed hang over each door on either side of the altar and next to that, by a couple of stained glass windows in which the faces had been strategically whitened out, were two more plaques portraying the lamb resting on the book of the seven seals. We couldn’t help but notice how the mountain illustrated in the background of the plaque bore more than a slight resemblance to Bugarach, itself. We tried the doors, and had a go at rummaging around the altar, but found nothing else open or hidden in that area

 

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Pour échapper à la fin du monde Grand Sud Insolite et secret

Pour échapper à la fin du monde Grand Sud Insolite et secret | Bugarach | Scoop.it

Si l'on en croit un calendrier maya, la fin du monde est programmée pour le 21 ou le 23 décembre 2012.
Une autre traduction de ce calendrier donne la même date, mais en 2011.
Le petit village de Bugarach, dans le département de l'Aude, serait épargné par la catastrophe.
Le village est situé  à 22 kilomètres de Limoux, au pied du Pech de Bugarach qui culmine à 1230 mètres d' altitude.
Les origines du village remontent au XIIIe siècle et compte aujourd'hui 189 habitants et depuis très longtemps on nomme le pic qui domine le village : "La Montagne Sacrée".
Est-ce son passé en Pays Cathare, de la proximité de Rennes le Château et du mystère du trésor de l'Abbé Saunière, toujours est-il que cette petite région est synonyme d'ésotérisme et d''occultisme.
On dit que le Pic serait une zone d'accueil d'OVNIS.
Depuis le début des années 2000, le village est envahi de curieux et de communautés qui viennent pour découvrir ou se protéger de cette fin du monde qui se rapprocherait.
Conséquence commerciale : le prix de l' immobilier a fortement augmenté.


Ce qu'en pense le Professeur Yves Lignon

Point culminant du massif des Corbières, dans l'Aude, ce n'est pas d'aujourd'hui que le Pic de Bugarach est entouré de fantasmes et de rumeurs.
Déjà, passant par là, un peu avant 1795, pour travailler à l'élaboration du système métrique, le savant Pierre Méchain a été accusé de réveiller les démons de la montagne.
Depuis environ trente ans on évoque surtout de mystérieuses bases d'OVNIS et des forces étranges permettant de se ressourcer.
Rien n'appuie ces déclarations tout comme rien ne confirme que les avions de ligne ont pour consigne de contourner le Pic ou que celui-ci serait sous surveillance militaire étroite depuis une décision de François Mitterrand.
Et les choses ont empiré à partir de décembre 2010 lorsque de beaux parleurs se sont mis à raconter que le la fin du monde aurait lieu le 21 décembre 2012 et que grâce aux extra-terrestres seul le Bugarach serait préservé.
Cette prédiction, soit disant tirée du calendrier maya, ne peut venir que d'ignares en mathématiques, le calendrier en question étant bien plus complexe que le nôtre.
Quant à faire d'un lieu aussi magnifique le refuge d'une humanité prise de panique c'est confondre un film de Spielberg avec un livre d'astronomie. 

Il suffit de taper "Buragach" sur votre ordinateur et il arrive aussitôt des milliers d'articles...

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A Happy (Mayan) New Year One and All « French News Online ...

A Happy (Mayan) New Year One and All « French News Online ... | Bugarach | Scoop.it
As the New Year dawns, the forces of the Mayan “apocalypse” gather in Cathar country, New-Agers set-up shop in Toulouse — ironically France’s aerospace capital — and end-of-the-worlders prepare … but a Guatemalan may have spiked their guns.

 

For more than two Christmases stories have poured out of the global media and thousands of Internet forums, suggesting that the rocky Bugarach peak in the Corbières Mountains, will be the only safe place on earth when, reportedly, and according to the Mayan calendar, the world ends on 21 December 2012.

But now a Guatemalan-born Mayan ‘expert ‘ has surfaced to drive a stake through the heart of what is fast becoming a lucrative millennium myth … and the cause of some concern to the 189 residents of this peaceful farming village nestling at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach in south-western Aude region, that has never before been so much in the global spotlight.

Indeed, says one report, virtually everyone in the village, from local goatherd, to a one-man estate agency, has been quoted endlessly, vacuously and seemingly incessantly in media as far apart as Washington, Tokyo, Helsinki, Toronto, and Johannesburg, since the story about what locals call the zozotériques first hit the headlines.

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Mysterious Bugarach

Mysterious Bugarach | Bugarach | Scoop.it

 

Mystery and suspense currently surround the village of Bugarach. Situated 75 kilometres from the Mediterranean and 110 from the Spanish border, it lies at 460m above sea level but is completely overshadowed by the Pic de Bugarach, a mountain in the foothills of the Pyrenees, which rises to 1230m. The first mystery is the weather and its vagaries. Roussillon is the hottest and driest region of France but in the week we were there in early June, there was some sun but in general it was cool and overcast, and it rained heavily on some days. We even lit the fire on the one day we stayed at home … which was cosy and comforting, but not really what one expects. But it is the human beings who really complicate things. One set of mysteries is the latest gossip in the village among the expats and the locals. Further, completely inexplicable ones are put about by those who believe that 2012 will see the aliens landing on the mountain or being released from their home within it. And some of us thought next year was going to be dominated by the Olympics!

 

As you can see, this is a spectacular landscape, by turns majestic, rural or domestic. The villages are inhabited by a mixture of local people, French second-home owners and a positive pot-pourri of expatriates attracted by the life style, the inexpensive and decent quality wine, the arts and the mystic fringe. Others will relate immediately to the wild life, especially the raptors, or the remnants of former times – whether the Cathar castles or, as in the picture below, the Roman aqueduct below Antignan, which still carries water from one side of the valley to the other.

 

Needless to say, Janet’s and my reason to be here was at least in part wine-related. We had a long-standing invitation to stay with a member of Andover Wine Friends who has a house in Bugarach. This was a great offer and enabled us to get a really good insight into the wine scene in Roussillon and the most southerly parts of Languedoc. Wine has been made here since at least Roman times and the climate is excellent for robust and characterful reds, decent whites, some sparkling wine from one area, as well as the style which is said to be have been invented here, the vin doux naturels, These are alcoholic wines, mostly drunk before or after a meal, sweet but not overly so, capable of developing over many, many years. The last twenty five years of so has seen a new direction for the region, away from its role solely as the provider of inexpensive wines of colour and substance. In the past these provided blending material to improve wines from cooler, more northerly areas or just cheap quaffing wines. Roussillon can still provide inexpensive everyday wines but now, with the advent of private wineries and inward investment, also wines at medium to high quality levels. It is a fantastic zone to visit – even without the prospect of alien invasions. The main articles from our visit will appear in the next few weeks on the French regions pages of this website.

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For End of the World, a French Peak Holds Allure

For End of the World, a French Peak Holds Allure | Bugarach | Scoop.it

A myth surrounds the Bugarach mountain and its supposed magnetism. Some people plan to take refuge there on Dec. 21, 2012.

 

By MAÏA de la BAUME
Published: January 30, 2011

 

BUGARACH, France — The rocky mountain of Bugarach, rising just over 4,000 feet in the Corbières Mountains, in one of the poorest and least populated areas of France, has long attracted hikers and nature lovers who like to wander its gentle slopes in search of rare species of orchids.

 

But in recent years, the mystic beauty and remoteness of the mountain has lured another, less common variety of hiker. Residents call them “the esoterics,” people who believe that the end of the world is coming — don’t forget to mark your calendar — on Dec. 21, 2012.

Last month, the mayor of Bugarach, a tiny village at the foot of the mountain in the southern district of Aude, alerted the local authorities after he read on Internet forums that believers in the apocalypse planned to take refuge here in 2012.

“Some Web sites in the U.S. were selling tickets to come here,” said Jean-Pierre Delord, the mayor. “We are 200 locals; we don’t want 2,000 to 3,000 utopians showing up in Bugarach.”

Some French and international Web sites devoted to the apocalypse claim that the mountain of Bugarach is a sacred place that will protect them from the end of the world. Some even believe that, on doomsday, they will be spirited away by a group of aliens who live under the mountain. The date in question is when a 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar supposedly comes to a close.

A local innkeeper, Sigrid Benard, who offers rooms only in the summer, said she had received numerous calls from people wishing to reserve rooms and mobile homes from the beginning of December 2012 to the end of January.

“People know I’m closed in the winter,” Mrs. Benard said. “But those people said they wanted to come three weeks before the apocalypse and book the week afterward to see what happens.”

Many here, including the mayor, do not want to see Bugarach transformed into a safe haven for those he called “apocalypse believers and lunatics.” They point to an increasing presence of “esoterics,” who settled in Bugarach around the year 2000 and who are also attracted to the tranquillity, the low price of real estate and the history of the area.

“Those people belong to a New Age circle of influence,” Mr. Delord said. “Today, they do business on pure fables; they build inns and organize collective therapies.”

One of the esoterics is a former teacher named Jean. With a wise look and linen pants in winter, he resembles a neo-hippie. He recently settled in a yurt in the forest near Bugarach with hopes of building what he calls “the civilization of the heart.”

“The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another, a new spiritual world,” Jean said, refusing to give his last name because of the increasing local controversy.

“The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering,” he said. Bugarach is “one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcome the energies of tomorrow.”

For other people around France, Bugarach is not just a quaint village with a mountain.

“We all know that aliens are there for thousands of years,” said Paul Ponssot, the owner of a Paris-based bookstore specializing in esoteric literature. “They may be the forces who will help us get through 2012.”

In the little town, even the most pragmatic visitors acknowledged the special atmosphere of the place, silent and vibrant.

“Bugarach is like California in the ’60s,” said Didier Gromaire, a social worker from Chambéry who spent three months in Bugarach last year. “Things appear more clearly here; when you arrive, you feel that this is the beginning of a new life.”

Bugarach and its surroundings still bear significant traces of medieval religious sects and orders, including the Cathars, who built remarkable castles nearby.

A few miles away sits the village of Rennes-le-Château, whose supposedly hidden treasures have inspired many international authors, including Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code.”

The peak of Bugarach has long been called “the sacred mountain”; geologists say that soon after the mountain was formed, it exploded and the top landed upside-down. The mountain is also said to have inspired French authors like Jules Verne in “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and American filmmakers like Steven Spielberg in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Several reports circulating on the Internet even suggested that former President François Mitterrand visited the peak by helicopter, that there was often a halo of cloud shaped like a spaceship around the summit and that planes never flew over the mountain because of supposed magnetic waves.

“People built an entire myth around the magnetism of the mountain,” said Jean-Luc Lamotte, 60, a retired businessman who owns a house nearby.

Some residents say that they sometimes see parades of people, their arms crossed in an X shape, climbing the peak with figurines of the Virgin Mary in their hands.

Ismo Nykanen, a Finnish journalist who settled in Bugarach with his family a few years ago, said he once spotted several groups of people, some dressed in white, some naked, carrying a ball and a golden ring hung by a thread.

“They stay several months during the summer in campers parked at the bottom of the peak,” Mr. Nykanen said. His teenage daughter, Elsa, said she once saw a truck with a message spray-painted on its door: “Collective suicide: Bugarach 2012.”

Cristina Breiner owns a guesthouse in the nearby village of Rennes-les-Bains. She was recently brought by a friend to a meeting of local esoterics.

“They dress like ordinary people and strongly believe that someone in the sky is sending them messages,” Mrs. Breiner said.

Mayor Delord is trying to figure out how to curb new influxes of utopians in the area, especially with the apocalypse coming. In a country where the government lists at least 30 movements preaching the apocalypse, the mayor’s concerns are not abstract.

“If it happens as in Mr. Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’ ” Mr. Delord said, “it would be necessary to call in the army.”

 

 

 

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Pic de Bugarach by John Slavin

Pic de Bugarach by John Slavin | Bugarach | Scoop.it
Bugarach is known as the 'upside down mountain' and stands a little away from its brothers in the Pyrenees surrounded by legend. Part of a chain on which the Cathars built their fortresses it is itself without fortification. It is said to interfere with the navigation of aircraft and electrical communications.

Original
Oil on canvas
30" x 20"

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