31 Aug
31Aug

On 18/09/2009 i posted the following to a RLC Forum:

... while flicking through some old RO's (to be exact RO 31 (2001) )....i came across an interview by Chaumeil with Pierre Plantard dated 13 Jan 1972....(translated by Guy Patton) ... i thought this last section referred to by Plantard was interesting:

"A number of revues are published each year which touch on problems relating to our house ....and not all are to be deposited in the Bibliotheue Nationale ....9 times out of 10, we are not even informed of their publication. There was for example in 1973 LES DESSOUS D'UNE AMBITION POLITIQUE by Mathieu Paoli, 'LA RACE FABULEUSE' by Gerard de Sede, and your revue CHARIVARI.

Certain pamphlets are false, such as that of Joseph Courtaly in 1964, which claimed to republish the author Stublein in LES PIERRES GRAVEES DU LANGUEDOC. Certainly one of the tombstones, reproduced on page 60 (Charivari) is authentic (Reddis-Regis): everyone knows that it had been engraved about 1686 on the order of Henry d'Hautpoul. But the one cited on page II of your revue (ci-git Dame Negri d'Ables) is false: it was remade in 1905 to serve the needs of Sauniere's cause and published at his request in ....1906 for the first time! All that is very far from 1791 and the Abbe Bigou
"

There are many points here that warrant further discussion.

For example, the CI GIT NEGRI D'ABLES was "remade" by Sauniere to serve the 'needs of his cause'! And the fact that he requested it be published in 1906! 

Furthermore the words of Plantard here support a comment made by Chaumeil that i think i read in an article on a French website (possibly Johan Netchacovitch) where Chaumeil said:

I will tell you something… The Tisseyre document is an invention. Or, more exactly, Tisseyre invented a statement saying the expedition to RLC was carried out in 1905 and its findings published in the Bulletin of SESA. Thanks to this article, it [at that time] accredits the presence of the stone in the cemetery of Rennes-le-Chateau and covers… a traffic of relics and archaeological artifacts which was set up by Bérenger Saunière’.

So according to Chaumeil, Sauniere would have asked Tisseyre to agree to put his name to a fake article with a tombstone that was remade by Sauniere?  But furthermore, he suggests that Tisseyre 'invented a statement' - is that meant to mean the Marie de Negri tombstone was an invention? If it was, how did it get away with being published as correct - as many people reading it would have been present on the expedition? Even if all this is possible, why does the presence of the stone in the cemetery 'cover a traffic of relics and archaeological artefacts'? And yet, as you will see below, that very same day this tombstone was removed by a Monsieur Marty from the very cemetery where the diagram was drawn. Something strange is going on though, because the written description of the stone in the Journal does not match the drawing given. 

Who is this Tisseyre? And was he working with Sauniere in this traffic in archaeological artefacts? I mean, why not? Because he certainly did go digging around Rennes-le-Chateau!

Tisseyre is in fact well known to the world of Sauniere through his association with Augueste FONS.  It is this Fons who discovers in 1902 an ossuary at the foot of the MAGDALA tower,  probably on the occasion of the founding works for the tower.  Sauniere was a good friend of Auguste FONS - known as "The Augustou" - and Augustou was a key figure in the life of Saunière at Rennes-le-Château. He married Julie, foster sister of Marie Dénarnaud, on 23rd November 1907. Beforehand, and after, he lives in Rennes-le-Château in direct contact with Saunière. He is "named" a member of the SESA during the famous visit of the Society to Rennes-le-Château on 25th June 1905.
 

Tisseyre wrote many articles for SESA and he cited Auguste FONS during the visit of 25th June 1905 to Rennes, writing that FONS:

 '... had recently discovered at the foot of the old ramparts of the fortress [of Rennes-le-Chateau], an ossuary. Indeed, he shows us the ossuary, and one of us, armed with a pickaxe, began digging, trying to remove the thickness of the layer of accumulated bones, but bones and skulls are multiplied in the company of countless numbers of femurs".

So we know a good friend of Saunière was digging around the Tour Magdala and, in fact, also that Tisseyre had already partook of several exacavations in the villages of the two Rennes. He also posted a postcard, in 1904, to Antoine Fagès [the very same who helped Saunière dig up the nave of his church], both men of course belonging to SESA. In the postcard he tells Fagès about the first excavations made following the discovery of a burial, from the Upper Paleolithic, containing remains of funerary pottery at Rennes. (Ref. Terre de Rhedae , n ° 15, February 2003, p. 18.)

Fagès himself had also published and written about the Knights Stone that Sauniere found, in 1909:

we notice a tombstone which was discovered at the time the church was paved. It was found lying flat in front of the high-altar. It is made of a very crumbly type of sandstone, and the carving which constitutes its beauty would have disappeared long ago if it had not been found with the design facing downwards.”  

A reference to the flagstone appeared in a 1906 article by Elie Tisseyre, who said it was used as a stepping stone on the Calvary, without giving any explanation of its origin.

Antoine Fagès, author of 'De Campagne les Bains a Rennes-le-Chateau' also reported that he spoke with Saunière about the pillar on which stood the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Saunière told him the pillar was once part of the church altar. Saunière told Antione that the old altar was formed by a large stone slab recessed into the wall with its front supported by two stone pillars, one plain and the other decorated with carvings.

Antoine Fagès - who had known Saunière very well, also said that he recalled seeing Saunière open/lift the pavement of the nave and find the entrance to a crypt [going?] up to the pulpit.  

During a  second visit in 1908 Antoine  Fagès  describes the landscape seen from the hilltop of Rennes: "We can see the layers of dark red Danian of Campagne, and south to Granès .... north to a place called Pastabrac. These soils are strongly characterized by the bones of Trilonosauro that are often associated with pieces of tortoise shell. [...]  An excavation of three meters was begun in the South, and there an ossuary was discovered that extends for several hundred meters. The skeletons are flat and stacked on six / eight layers and oriented east to west. Monsieur Tisseyre found two bronze earrings. Is it a tomb dating back to ancient  wars? The large quantity of bones found there does not offer great riches,  and perhaps the future holds some interesting findings.'

Élie Tisseyre also wrote to Antoine Fagès about the excavations undertaken at Renes-le-Chateau. He even marked it on a postcard!

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So, a  traffic in relics and archaeological artifacts which was 'set up by Sauniere'? We must admit it is possible. We know he went digging, his close associates did and they virtually all belonged to SESA, which was in the business of reporting archeological finds and historical items.

But we must ask a question. Where was Sauniere getting these relics? Is this how he obtained his money? Did he have an inexhaustible supply of relics & artifacts that he kept going back to? And how an earth would the presence of 'the stone tomb in the cemetery' cover a traffic in relics? I do not believe for one minute that the nocturnal diggings in the cemetery that Sauniere did were where he got these supposed 'relics'. Because if this were true then it begs the question - what was buried in the cemetery at Rennes that its relics could be sold on the antiquities black market for financial gain? No, if he had a continual supply of relics/artifacts he must have been dipping into a vault or treasury of some sort. 

We may then ask who was buying these relics?

I also highlight two of the comments by Plantard:

'everyone knows that it had been engraved [the Reddis Regis tomb slab] about 1686 on the order of Henry d'Hautpoul'.

and:

"But the one cited on page II of your revue (ci-git Dame Negri d'Ablis) is false: it was remade in 1905 to serve the needs of Sauniere's cause and published at his request in ....1906 for the first time! All that is very far from 1791 and the Abbe Bigou"

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Certain pamphlets are false, such as that of Joseph Courtaly in 1964, which claimed to republish the author Stublein in LES PIERRES GRAVEES DU LANGUEDOC. Certainly one of the tombstones, reproduced on page 60 (Charivari) is authentic (Reddis-Regis): everyone knows that it had been engraved about 1686 on the order of Henry d'Hautpoul.

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Images courtesy Patrick Mensior.

But the one cited on page II of your revue (ci-git Dame Negri d'Ablis) is false: it was remade in 1905 to serve the needs of Sauniere's cause and published at his request in ....1906 for the first time! All that is very far from 1791 and the Abbe Bigou.

Does all this mean that the remade Marie de Negre tombstone was fake and this is why no-one has ever seen it? The only tombstone said by Plantard to lie in the cemetery at Rennes was the Reddis/Regis one and therefore it was THAT tombstone that Sauniere obliterated (although some of the villagers could recall this tombstone had some strange lettering's on it, perhaps Greek?). The CI GIT tombstone [despite the stories associated with an 'original'] for Plantard was nothing but a concoction of Sauniere and nothing to do with Bigou.

These comments suggest that the tombstone of Bigou is indeed the Reddis Regis stone. I am reminded of the famous Sennier letter  - passed off as a hoax - which talks of the family of Bigou linked very much with a tomb and a tomb marker later confused with the CI GIT stone.

But then again Plantard says the Reddis Cellis tombstone was ordered to be engraved by Henry d'Hautpoul in 1686! And that everyone 'knows this!'

Henri d'Hautpoul, baron d'Hautpoul, de Rennes-le-Château and d'Aussillon, was born in 1642, and died in 1695 aged 53 years old, and he was Capitaine de cavalerie dans le régiment de Bretz. He married on 5th November 1732 Marie de Nègre d'Ables, dame de Niort and de Roquefeuil, born in 1714, died 17th January 1781 at Rennes-le-Château aged 67 years old. Their children were:

Marie d'Hautpoul 1733-1781  
Marie Anne Elisabeth d'Hautpoul, dame du Bézu 1735-1820
Marie Anne Gabrielle d'Hautpoul 1739 - ?

As an interesting observations it seems a strange coincidence that Marie de Nègre d'Ables died in 1781 and so did her daughter Marie d'Hautpoul both apparently on the 17th January 1781!!!

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A further interesting snippet of info. is that on 10 June 2007 Gérard Jean – of the Société d’Études Scientifiques de l’Aude & Académie des Arts et Sciences de Carcassonne – stated at the annual 2007 ARTBS seminar – that the stèle of Marie de Negri d’Ables, Countess Hautpoul-Blanchefort still existed (in private ownership) – and that it was taken away by Monsieur Marty to Carcassonne during the excursion led by Elie Tisseyre to Rennes-le-Château in 1905 (Patrick Mensior, Parle-Moi de Rennes-le-Chateau! Number 4, “Quelques mots sur Antoine Fages”, pages 108-109, 2007).

So this faked tombstone was taken away by a Monsieur Marty during the very excavation led by Elie Tisseyre, just in time for him to draw a so-called copy of the stele. A stele designed by his friend, the priest at Rennes-le-Chateau, to cover up some trafficking in relics, relics obtained from excavations under the cover of SESA, by a group of friends all in it together?  Quite a lot of high profile people attended this 1905 visit including although not cited in the report of the visit, Sauniere - he was indeed present at Rennes-le-Château on 25th June 1905 [the day of the visit] since his correspondence shows that he were expecting Jacques Sabatier, brother and partner of the 'liqueur' Michel Sabatier,  himself a SESA member and therefore probably a member of the visit!

The Sabatier's are full member of the SESA since 1894 [Michel Sabatier] & he is joined by his brother Jacques in 1900. The Sabatier brothers are close, even intimate with Sauniere. Liqueur, Michel is also a patron. Many carcassonnaises festive events are held through his funding. The correspondence between the two brothers and the parish priest of Rennes-le-Château are in the 1896 books  & in 1917 amount to no less than 306 lines!
 Besides the vows and trade relations (wines, spirits etc.), the correspondence shows that Sabatier, originating from Limoux, visited more than once Sauniere &  he did not fail to return the favour to the distillers brothers. It was also Michel Sabatier who spoke to Sauniere late 1907 to try to undo the impasse the abbot was at with his superiors, but without success.
 As true friends, the Sabatier brothers will not abandon Saunière after 1909 and the beginnings of his troubles.