Tracy Twyman and Boyd Rice
Go Grail - Hunting for Fox TV

In our hotel that evening, we met some interesting characters. One was an old Flemish guy who was convinced that he had discovered the origin of all indo-European languages, and that it was - guess what? - Old Flemish. He'd discovered a book which is the oldest book ever written in Europe, and the title translates to "History of Atlant." He said that Atlant is the name of the place and that "Atlantis" really means "Atlantish" or somebody from Atlant. He showed us this book. There were indeed many recognizable words in there, and they were written in characters that were more than a little bit Runic. We inquired as to the original meaning of the word "Cathari", and he explained that it was a conjunction of "cat" and "ari." "Ari", he told us, was the same as "Aryan", meaning "noble", "lofty one", "shining one." This much we know. So the Cathars were Aryans and Cats. Who then were the Cats? "Cats", he replied. "You know, cats." One of us made a meowing sound, almost as a joke. "Yes!", he exclaimed. "Cats, as in Catholic or Catalonia - cats!" The guy was totally brilliant, but who knows - he may well have been a nut.

The last few days of the trip we were left to our own devices, and were free to wander Rennes-le-Chateau at our leisure as the crew filmed additional location footage. Free from distractions, we began to notice aspects of some of the decorations that we hadn't spotted the first time around. On that first day we'd barely glanced at the bas-relief of Mary Magdalen that adorned the altar For all intents and purposes, this seemed to be perhaps the most straight-forward picture in the whole place, and yet, there seems to be something strange about it. We are told that this piece was Sauniere's pride and joy, and he even hand-painted it himself, taking great pains so that this "centerpiece" to his church would be perfect. And indeed, the priest did a masterful job on some parts of the painting. The Magdalen is pefect, as is the sunset and foliage just behind her. Yet the interior of the cave in which she is kneeling is inexplicably blotchy and inconsistent in its coloring. It's a mishmash of dark and light patches with messy lines running this way and that. It almost seems as though the apparently random smears of paint on the right side of the painting are echoing the curves and lines on the left side. And closer inspection seems to confirm this. Although it is so incredibly subtle as to be virtually subliminal, it appears that the numerical 22 has been secretly embedded in the painting. We know that 22 is one of Sauniere's secret codes, and we would see the number repeated profusely in the coming days, but this example of it is so excruciatingly understated that we wonder if perhaps we aren't simply hallucinating. We scrutinized the painting more closely and almost immediately a tell-tale angle leapt out at us. It clearly seems to be part of a five-pointed star - a pentagram, such as Poussin and Cocteau also encoded into their work. One side of the angle is delineated by the mouth of the cave, the other by the blanket wrapped around Mary's hips. Extending the lines of the angle beyond the borders of the painting, it seems plain that the cross upon which the Magdalen gazes falls directly in what would be the center of the pentagram. So far as we're aware , this would represent the first time anyone has ever demonstrated the use of pentagonal geometry actuallywithin the Church of Rennes-le-Chateau, and not just as it applies to the local landscape. The symbol is so central to the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau that it's not at all surprising that Sauniere should employ it; what shocks us is that in all these years no one else has ever recognized that he had. As the days passed we were to discover that there was much at Rennes-le-Chateau that had gone unnoticed. And many of the people who write about this mystery had never even been here.

Symbolism is everywhere at Rennes-le-Chateau. It's omnipresent. For the first few days the sheer volume of bizarre imagery is overwhelming. Everything seems to mean something, and although the symbolism is fairly straight-forward in most cases, there's just so much of it that it becomes mind-numbing. It's only after you've had the time to familiarize yourself with all the symbolism and digest it a bit that you begin to notice certain correspondences and seeming inter-relationships between various bits of imagery. For instance, certain incongruous bits of iconography inside the chapel seem to be echoed in the cemetery. This, in turn, leads you to something else yet again. Slowly, one becomes aware that a pattern is emerging. A story is being told not in the mere details of the symbolism, but in the correlations between those details.

One of the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries that everyone refers to is the odd recurrence of the number 22. Inscriptions in the chapel are misspelled or presented with superfluous words so as to contain 22 letters, the tower has 22 cremulets, 22 steps leading up and down, and so on. Various authors refer to the obvious importance of the number, yet seem at a loss to divine its significance. They offer explanations such as "22 is a very important number in the occult", yet stop short of saying why it's important in an occult context. We hypothesized that 22 didn't refer to anything that actually numbered 22 (such as steps from point A to point B, etc.), but served as a starting point from which further decoding should proceed. Adding the digits together, as in numerology, results in 4. The most obvious appearance of 4 in the chapel is the depiction of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) just inside the door. These are the elements spelled out in Hebrew characters that comprise the Tetragrammaton, IHVH (Jehovah), and the fourth letter of the alphabet is D, the first letter of Dieu, the French word for God. This was far too simple an explanation - it had to be something else.

As our journey neared its end, it suddenly dawned on us that 22 was a coded reference to a strange pattern that recurs persistently throughout the domain. It refers to certain anomalies both inside the church and on the grounds surrounding it. We had noticed this strange pattern of anomalies from the very start, and had speculated on their possible meaning repeatedly; now it became evident that these unusual sets of symbols constituted a series of clues central to the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. Wherever we encountered these anomalies, a coded story was told. Collectively, these stories seem to relate much the same tale hypothesized by Henry Lincoln, though they also indicate that the scope of the whole saga extends way beyond anything previously hinted at. We had expected as much, and much of what we discovered seemed to confirm a number of theories we'd had that deviate radically from the common wisdom regarding this mystery. Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to go into detail about our theories and discoveries at this time, as we intend to publish a book about this sometime in the coming year.

We were naturally excited about having broken the "22" code, but couldn't shake the feeling that there must be something more to it - another layer of meaning that we were somehow missing. Given the whole dual vibe of this place, it seemed only natural to assume that the symbols we'd decoded contained a second, far more hidden meaning. Perhaps the sets of landmarks suggested by the pattern we'd discovered also indicated some sort of geometry, a schematic that would lead us to something more. Enlarging an aerial photograph of Sauniere's domain, we drew across it so as to intersect the first set of landmarks. A line through a second set of landmarks intersected the first at a location not terribly far away. Given the grand scale of the property's layout and design, we'd assumed that the lines might possibly converge on some nearby mountaintop, but this was a mere stone's throw away. Drawing a line through what seemed to be the third major set of landmarks yielded more than we dared expect. It intersected the first two lines in precisely the same spot.

Either our theory had yielded an abnormally large number of strange coincidences, or this could in fact represent the location where whatever Sauniere discovered lays buried. Could it be that we've actually located the resting place of Berenger Sauniere's legendary treasure? Possibly. It is also possible that, as with so many other aspects of this mystery, when you think you've reached the end point, you discover all too soon that instead of finding some definitive answer, you've merely arrived at yet another clue in a long line of clues. At any rate, we had come to Rennes-le-Chateau fully confident that we would discover much that had escaped the scrutiny of previous researchers, and indeed we had. Far too much, in fact, to fit within the confines of a short magazine article. The bits and pieces we've detailed here represent a small fraction of what we found at Rennes-le-Chateau, the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Not only did Rennes-le-Chateau live up to our expectations, it far exceeded them. And in so doing, the place has become for us (as for the Mayor) the center point of the world.

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Boyd and Tracy by Statue of Asmodeus.

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