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The Myth and Magic of Pic de Bugarach

The Myth and Magic of Pic de Bugarach | Bugarach | Scoop.it

This past weekend, Yvette Monahan published a book of photographs about a rural area in south-central France between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains. At the region’s center is a mountain called Bugarach. Monahan spent a year taking pictures of the mountain and its surroundings, which have a rich mythical history. I was enchanted by the photos in her book, ‘‘The Time of Dreaming the World Awake,’’ when I saw them recently, so I reached out to her and got her to tell me what sparked her interest in this French spot:

I was visiting a friend in the area in 2010 when I first heard the story about the mountain Bugarach. A few months later, back in Ireland, I found myself retelling the stories repeatedly. Bugarach and the surrounding area are shrouded in mystery and myth, and seem to have drawn people toward it for centuries.

The mountain itself is a geological anomaly, since its top layers are millions of years older than its bottom ones, making it an ‘‘upside down mountain.’’ I’ve heard that due to this strange geology, its magnetism is inverted.

The mystery of Rennes-le-Château, a village on one side of the mountain, is quite a tourist attraction and receives thousands of visitors every year. The Treasure of the Templars, the Holy Grail some call it, is said to be housed in one of the Cathar castles that dominate the landscape, usually perched on spectacular rocky outcrops. Regarded as heretics by the Catholic Church, the Cathars were wiped out by the Albigensian Crusade led by Pope Innocent III. When a general asked how to distinguish between Cathar and Catholic, the response was ‘‘kill them all, God will know.’’

Nostradamus and Jules Verne were local to the area. Verne alluded to the mountain in much of his literature, Captain Bugarach was the hero in ‘‘Clovis Dardentor.’’ Bugarach is said to be where Verne found both the inspiration and the entrance for ‘‘Journey to the Center of the Earth.” His books are said to be written in code to protect the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. Verne burned all of his papers at the end of his life to protect these secrets. There were also many tales of President François Mitterrand’s being helicoptered onto the peak, of mysterious digs conducted by the Nazis and later the Mossad, the Israeli secret services. Finally, Bugarach is also thought to be the inspiration behind ‘‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind,’’ as Spielberg spent time around the mountain.

It is a tiny area in rural France, which adds to the mystery of why it is so rich in such significant histories, stories and myths.

Jacques Le Bris's insight:

An exhibition of Monahan’s photographs will be on view at The Copper House Gallery in Dublin through July 20.

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The Alien Garage - Pic de Bugarach

The Alien Garage - Pic de Bugarach | Bugarach | Scoop.it

Thousands of people have flocked to Bugarach, a small village in southern France to await doomsday. New Agers believe that a mountain, Pic de Bugarach, houses alien spaceships and that the UFOs will emerge on December 21 to whisk them away to a new spiritual world. This “alien garage” has attracted New Agers since the 60s with rumors of mystical powers and special magnetic waves.


Pic de Bugarach is 1230 meters high and is the tallest mountain in the Corbieres range. It is thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

For now, the village is dealing with an incredible influx of tourists climbing naked to the top and holding strange worship services.

Will things return to normal on December 22, or will the non-believers be the fools?

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Thousands Flock To France To Prepare For Doomsday, Waiting For Spaceship

Thousands Flock To France To Prepare For Doomsday, Waiting For Spaceship | Bugarach | Scoop.it
Thousands are flocking to what’s being referred to as the modern Noah’s Ark  near the tranquil Pyrenean Village of Bugarach  in order to prepare for Doomsday, which they believe is to occur on December 21 of this year, reports the Independent.


These flockers believe that when the apocalypse comes this December, aliens waiting in their spaceship inside the Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans near the area and transport them off to the next age.

Over the years there has been a belief the Pic de Bugarach, the highest in the Corbieres mountain range, may have mystical energies and strange power, with “New Agers”  flocking to the site since the 1960′s claiming that it emits special magnetic waves.

Referred to as the “upside-down mountain” because geologists believe the mountain actually exploded after its formation and had its top land the wrong way up, the Pic de Bugarach is thought to also have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounter’s of the Third Kind.

A man known only as Jean, set up a yurt in the forest a couple of years ago to prepare for the earth’s demise stated:

“The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another. A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow.”

The mayor of Bugarach, Jean-Pierre Delord, fearing the possibility of mass suicide, has requested the French authorities move its armies into the area.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/211371/thousands-flock-to-france-to-prepare-for-doomsday-waiting-for-spaceship/#grK7yiba2qxUzzLZ.99

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10 Places to Ride Out the Apocalypse

10 Places to Ride Out the Apocalypse | Bugarach | Scoop.it
You've assembled your post-apocalyptic reading list. You've packed your bug-out bag. You've even practiced a little melee combat, just in case. But where should you go when the global pandemic hits or sky starts raining fire?
If you can hang out in a self-sufficient rural community or get yourself adopted into a tribe of uncontacted people, then you can probably pull through several flavors of apocalyptic disaster. But here are a few specific locations that might improve your odds of survival, if you can get there in time:


- Utah: In the event of a run-of-the-mill infrastructural collapse, it wouldn't be a bad idea idea to hightail it to Utah and make friends with some stockpiling Mormons. 


- Pyongyang North Korea: It should be no surprise that a country that thrives on paranoia has made elaborate preparations in case of nuclear war. 


- Pitcairn Islands: Anyone who's ever stared in frustration at Madagascar at the end of a game of Pandemic II knows that islands are a great escape from pathogen-born disasters. 


-Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado: There are plenty of options for nuclear bunkers around the world: Germany's swanky doomsday palace, the decommissioned Congressional shelter beneath the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, even bomb-proof homes available on the real estate market. 


- London, England: Of course, it's even better if you don't have to drive to your shock-proof digs. 


- Mount Yamantau, Mezhgorye, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia: While some countries stopped building nuclear shelters at the close of the Cold War, Russia was still putting the finishing touches on at least one of theirs. 


- Svalbard, Norway: If the apocalypse should wipe out most of the plant life on Earth, you'll want to be hanging out somewhere near the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. 


- Western Australia: There's a reason Mad Max is set in Australia. Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world (some measures put it behind Honolulu and Auckland), and although it was first colonized by British settlers in 1829, it wasn't connected to the rest of Australia by train until 1917. 


- Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland: Few cultures in the world revolve around hunting as their primary means of subsistence, but it's the occupation for most of the roughly 500 residents of the isolated Ittoqqortoormiit settlement. 


- Bugarach, France: What recommends this sleepy mountain town with a population of 200 for post-apocalyptic survival? To be honest, the residents aren't even sure. Bugarach sits at the base of Pic de Bugarach, which is often called the "upside-down mountain." According to geologists, the mountain exploded after its formation, and the top landed upside-down. Its unusual shape has inspired Jules Verne and Steven Spielberg, and attracted hippies and New Agers who believed it emitted special magnetic waves. More recently, rumors have started circulating on doomsday 2012 forums that the mountain is sacred and will be protected in the coming apocalypse. Some believe that there are aliens living under the mountain who rescue anyone living nearby on December 21st, 2012. We know that the 2012 doomsday is a myth, but if the cataclysm should hit on that date, the best case scenario is that well prepared survivalists will head for Bugarach. The worst case is that you'll witness a mass suicide commanded by the ancient aliens.

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Bugarach, Tiny French Village, Draws Apocalypse-Fearing Tourist Hordes

Bugarach, Tiny French Village, Draws Apocalypse-Fearing Tourist Hordes | Bugarach | Scoop.it
The tiny French hamlet of Bugarach is known for its serenity and quaint charm.


But in recent months, the village -- which boasts a population of a mere 189 people -- has been besieged by tourist hordes comprised of New Age followers who are convinced a nearby mountain will help them escape the end of the world in 2012, the BBC is reporting.

Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord says these visitors believe the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, or the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the ancient Maya calendar. In addition, the myth of a 2012 doomsday is reportedly supported by claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth, according to the U.S. space agency NASA. That theory, in turn, became linked to dates in the Mayan calendar.

The Telegraph reports that many of the tourists see Bugarach -- which reportedly inspired both Steven Spielberg's hit film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and Jules Verne's classic novel "A Journey to the Center of the Earth" -- as one of perhaps several "sacred mountains," or an "alien garage" somehow sheltered from the cataclysm.

"I'm worried because the population of our village is only 200 people and... we risk having a flood from all the corners of the earth," Delord told RTL radio. "There are already some websites in the U.S. with some people selling tickets for trips to Bugarach. They are doing some business, and people are already organizing visits and prayer and meditation workshops," he added.

Residents seem to feel similarly. "There is a special feeling here, but if I really believed the world were about to end, I'd have a whale of a time over the next two years rather than look for salvation." Valerie Austin, a British woman who's lived in Bugarach for 22 years, told the Daily Mail. "It's a beautiful area, but now you find people chanting lying around meditating."

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The Magic Mountain

The Magic Mountain | Bugarach | Scoop.it

Pech de Thauze is better known as Bugarach – the name of the village that sits at the bottom of its slopes. Bugarach is an impressive mountain, which has always spoken to the imagination of the local people. But today, its mystery has been eclipsed by another village, that of Rennes-le-Château, which in distance is close, but in interest, has attracted most of the attention.
Still, Bugarach has its own mystery, specifically the mysterious adventures of one Daniel Bettex, who came to the site, went on underground expeditions… and eventually lost his life in these endeavours.


Geological make-up


The entire region is limestone, and hence there are numerous caves. Bugarach has its fair share of underground caverns, some of which are unknown to the general public, some of which are known to certain “initiates” and some which have perhaps never been discovered. It is an area with large underground salt deposits, specifically in the neighbouring Rennes-les-Bains, whereas Rennes-le-Château is often said to have a large underground water tank, which might go as deep as several hundreds of metres. The underground network is complex, largely unexplored, and runs for miles. It is known that an underground river near Bugarach is connected as far west as Salses… no doubt before entering into the Mediterranean basin. The river does not appear on any maps, but underneath the surface, it runs its course.


Science fiction


Michel Lamy is the author of a book on Jules Verne, where he explores the possibility that one of the founding fathers of science fiction was aware of certain esoteric knowledge that he worked into his novels. Verne wrote about Bugarach and the existence of an underground civilisation. Lamy wondered whether he could find this access…
The tradition of entrances giving way to large subterranean networks sits within the pagan Celtic religion, in which hollow hills were deemed to be entrances to “other worlds”, specifically the realm of the fairies. These hills were not really hollow – but that is what they were labelled; other traditions described them as crystal or glass-like.
Lamy also referred to the work of Nicholas Roerich, who wrote: “After a hard voyage, if you did not lose your road, you arrive at the salted lakes. This passage is very dangerous. You will arrive then at the mountains of Bogogorch. There an even more perilous track starts…” We can only wonder about the similarity between BoGogoRCH and BuGaRaCH (the capitalisation is taken from the work of Michel Lamy).


The people of the underground


The famous underground world with its divine, otherworldly ruler exists in legend, where he ruled over a people that were sheltered from the piercing eyes of Mankind. The notion may seem strange, but the Fortean literature – and comic books such as Yoko Tsuno – is replete with stories of strange, otherworldly and/or alien civilisations hiding underneath the Earth’s surface. Some have even spun theories suggesting that the Earth itself is hollow – that this “fact” is known to a select few and thus part of a major conspiracy… and that this hollow earth would even be a hiding place for the Fourth Reich – surviving Nazis from World War II.
It is part of the mystic lore of Bulwer-Lytton in The Coming Race, in which these subterranean people use a mysterious power source, “vril”, which will one day leave its obscure hidings and enter into the light – making us into their slave race.

More science fiction

Verne drew the reader’s attention towards Bugarach, using many of the toponyms in the area in his novels. There is the reference to a “Clovis Dardentor”, which has been explained as being of interest to the mystery of Rennes-le-Château. In this novel, the hero seeks a fabulous treasure which he can find only by using geographical data and a select few documents. Alas, the deposit is impossible to locate – very much like Saunière’s.
Verne was not the only author with such an interest. There is Maurice Leblanc, Gaston Leroux, George Sand, Andre Malraux, Louis Fédié, Henri Boudet, Daniel Réju, Serge Hutin, Luc Alberny, to quote only those. It is a long list, but when one looks beneath the surface, it becomes clear that these authors belonged to various initiatory organisations, some obscure, others better known. But in all cases, the references are few and far between. Though clear works of fiction, they are nevertheless clearly “manmade”, written by a human being, conscious of what he is writing. Can it therefore be really a coincidence? Instead, is it certain knowledge that these authors are able to pass into the public conscience, who is unaware of it, and even those who are looking will never be able to say more than observe “the coincidence”, which is all that we can do here… but is it not like the magician, who is sworn to secrecy not to reveal his act, but who can nevertheless hint and point at the mechanism of his profession… so that those who are observant, will see and learn?





Jonathan Rivard's curator insight, September 17, 2013 9:03 PM

Ce n'est qu'un début... Here's a slight clue into the depths...

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Bugarach – The Upside Down Mountain | South West Story

Bugarach – The Upside Down Mountain | South West Story | Bugarach | Scoop.it

The castle was built in the 16th and 17th centuries


As I write this post I realize that it will be already obsolete in 3 months, that it, if we – the earth inhabitants – are going to survive the fateful date of December 21, 1012.
If indeed the end of the Mayan calendar means the end of the world – as the New Age believers that flock to Bugarach think – then well, at least we have been there!
Taken at its face value Bugarach is a quiet charming little village at the feet of the peak with the same name, in heart of the Corbières region.
The Bugarach Mountain – that with its 1231 meters height dominates the region – is believed by some geologists to be an “upside down” mountain, which means that millions of years ago, at the time of the Pyreneean chain formation, a powerful explosion propelled its tip that landed afterwards the wrong way up.
The calcareous mountain with its uncounted number of caves, some of them not even yet explored, is also believed to have been the inspiration of Jules Verne’s books “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “Clovis Dardentor” where one of the characters is called Captain Bugarch.
The myth of the esoteric mountain resurfaced more recently in the ’60 when a certain Daniel Bettex started exploring the numerous cavities and, it seems, found a strange graffiti looking like the “Ark of the Testimony” – the chest containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed – on a stretcher as well as the beginning of downward tunnel whose entrance was destroyed apparently intentionally.
In his correspondence with his friends Bettex reveled that he believed that he found in fact a road to a mysterious underground world.
Whatever the truth of his findings Bettex died one day unexpectedly in Bugarach.
Some other folk tales have the peak as a UFO landing patch, the place where the equally mysterious priest Saunier from the near by Rennes-le-Chateau village hid his treasure, a former nazi secret military base or, simpler, a point with a strong magnetic field that planes avoid (statement denied by the Civil Aviation Board)
These days the legends surrounding the mountain are again in overdrive with the arrival of the December 21, 2012 date when, some believe, Bugarach will be the only place left intact by the Armageddon.
Fact is that not only in the recent years the prices of land and houses have skyrocketed here but the little town of 200 people prepares for the arrival in December of around 100,000 visitors!

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Bugarach prépare l'après-Apocalypse

Bugarach prépare l'après-Apocalypse | Bugarach | Scoop.it
Le podium attire l'attention des futurs survivants sur leur avenir. Ils seront obligés de s'organiser et créer une nouvelle communauté qui devra, comme toujours, être gérée par un chef.
ECAL/Denis Rouèche


Après l'Apocalypse du 21 décembre 2012, seul Bugarach survivra. Cette prédiction, issue des théories sur la fin du monde qui enflamment la Toile, a donné des sueurs froides à Jean-Pierre Delord, le maire de cette petite bourgade de 194 âmes, coincée entre la Catalogne du Nord et le Pays Cathare, dans le sud de la France.

Voici un an et demi, Jean-Pierre Delord faisait part de ses craintes de voir débarquer des centaines sinon des milliers «d'illuminés» le 21 décembre 2012. Depuis, Bugarach a eu les honneurs de la presse nationale et internationale, jusqu'au prestigieux New York Times. Le nombre de touristes est passé du simple au double. Jean-Pierre Delord a donc décidé d'assumer l'image de «village de fin du monde», et de l'exploiter.

«Nous travaillons avec une société qui, à travers internet, va proposer aux habitants du monde entier de stocker des lettres testamentaires à Bugarach», explique Jean-Pierre Delord. «Je vais aussi créer une fondation pour préserver la montagne de Bugarach, où se rendent les pèlerins», dit-il.



Voilà pour les projets. L'exploitation touristique est, elle, déjà en marche. «Nous vendons par exemple des cartes postales à 1 euro qui représentent le pic avec une soucoupe volante au-dessus. Nous les avons signées David Vincent, le personnage principale de la série ‹Les Envahisseurs›», rigole le maire. «Par contre, il est faux de dire que le prix du terrain a augmenté en raison de cette histoire de fin du monde», poursuit-il. Selon lui, les prix ont en fait augmenté avec l'arrivée des Anglo-Saxons.

Jean-Pierre Delord ne craint-il pas le discrédit si, par un heureux hasard, la fin du monde n'arrivait pas le 21 décembre 2012? «Non. Des experts disent maintenant que la date est fausse. L'Apocalypse n'aurait en fait pas lieu cette année mais dans 15 ans. Cela nous fait 15 ans de promotion devant nous!», s'amuse-t-il.




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Tens thousands of people gather on Pic de Bugarach

Tens thousands of people gather on Pic de Bugarach | Bugarach | Scoop.it
They believe Pic de Bugarach is alien home.


They believe Pic de Bugarach is alien home. An estimated 20,000 people gather at Pic de Bugarach which believed as alien home who will rescue them from doomsday. Details!!!!!

Pic de Bugarach: French commune home to 20,000 ‘doomsday cultists’ awaiting alien salvation

An estimated 20,000 New Age believers who say the “upside down” mountain is home to aliens who will rescue them from an impending apocalypse have saturated a small French commune near the foot of the picturesque Pic de Bugarach.

The Independent reports the growing flock, who locals refer to as “esoterics,” believe the world will come to an end on December 21st, 2012. They also reportedly believe that the unique mountain is in fact home to a race of alien beings that will emerge to rescue the gathered humans and transport them to a new civilization.


Pic de Bugarach has long been famous because rock samples taken from its peak are actually older than points measured at lower elevation. Scientists say that is because when the 1,230 meter mountain erupted its peak flipped upside down before crashing back down upon the mountain’s base. The mountain is said to have played a role in inspiring everything from Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” to Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”


The BBC reports that the French government is concerned about mass suicides taking place near Pic de Bugarach in advance of the December 21 date and that there have been reports of “strange rituals” taking place there as well.

Last year, CNN filed a report on the apocalyptic rumors surrounding Pic de Bugarach:

http://bit.ly/ugvTKK ;



The Independent notes some other rumors surrounding Pic de Bugarach, which included speculation that both Israel’s Mossad and Nazis have both performed “mysterious” excavation digs there.

“The apocalypse we believe in is the end of a certain world and the beginning of another,” one of the New Age pilgrims going only by the name “Jean,” tells the paper. “A new spiritual world. The year 2012 is the end of a cycle of suffering. Bugarach is one of the major chakras of the earth, a place devoted to welcoming the energies of tomorrow.”

Up to 100,000 visitors are expected to flock to the scene before December 21.

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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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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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French village which will 'survive 2012 Armageddon' plagued by visitors

French village which will 'survive 2012 Armageddon' plagued by visitors | Bugarach | Scoop.it

The mayor of Bugarach, Jean-Pierre Delord stands on the outskirts of the village


The Telegraph :


The mayor of a picturesque French village has threatened to call in the army to seal it off from a tide of New Age fanatics and UFO watchers, who are convinced it is the only place on Earth to be spared Armageddon in 2012.



By Henry Samuel, Paris 5:00PM GMT 21 Dec 2010

Bugarach, population 189, is a peaceful farming village in the Aude region, southwestern France and sits at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach, the highest mountain in the Corbières wine-growing area.
But in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an "alien garage".
According to them, extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end, at which point they will leave, taking, it is hoped, a lucky few humans with them.
Most believe Armageddon will take place on December 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar, at which point they predict human civilisation will come to an end. Another favourite date mentioned is 12, December, 2012. They see Bugarach as one of perhaps several "sacred mountains" sheltered from the cataclysm.
"This is no laughing matter," Jean-Pierre Delord, the mayor, told The Daily Telegraph.


"If tomorrow 10,000 people turn up, as a village of 200 people we will not be able to cope. I have informed the regional authorities of our concerns and want the army to be at hand if necessary come December 2012."
Mr Delord said people had been coming to the village for the past 10 years or so in search of alien life following a post in an UFO review by a local man, who has since died. "He claimed he had seen aliens and heard the humming of their spacecraft under the mountain," he said.
The internet abounds with tales of the late President François Mitterrand being curiously heliported on to the peak, of mysterious digs conducted by the Nazis and later Mossad, the Israeli secret services.
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. It is also where Jules Verne found the entrance and the inspiration for A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Recently, however, interest in the site had skyrocketed, said the mayor, with online UFO websites, many in the US, advising people to seek shelter in Bugarach as the countdown to Armageddon commences.
"Many come and pray on the mountainside. I've even seen one man doing some ritual totally nude up there," said Mr Delord.
Sigrid Benard, who runs the Maison de la Nature guesthouse, said UFO tourists were taking over. "At first, my clientele was 72 per cent ramblers. Today, I have 68 per cent 'esoteric visitors'," he said.
Several "Ufologists" have bought up properties in the small hamlet of Le Linas, in the mountain's shadow for "extortionate" prices, and locals have complained they are being priced out of the market. Strange sect-like courses are held for up to €800 a week. "For this price, you are introduced to a guru, made to go on a procession, offered a christening and other rubbish, all payable in cash," said Mr Delord.
Valerie Austin, a retired Briton from Newcastle who settled in Bugarach 22 years ago who said the alien watchers were spoiling the village atmosphere.
"You can't go for a peaceful walk anymore. It's a beautiful area, but now you find people chanting lying around meditating. Everybody has the right to their own beliefs, but the place no longer feels like ours." She said alien watchers planted strange objects on the mountainside.
Recently she found a black virgin statuette cemented to the rock face.
Although she described the alien claims as "total rubbish", she said there was nevertheless something special about the place.
"It has a magnetic force in the scientific sense of the word. There is a special feeling here, but if I really believed the world were about to end, I'd have a whale of a time over the next two years" rather than look for salvation, she said.

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