NOW here is a mysterious story from the heart of the Languedoc region, which has a touch of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code with a sprinkling of Kate Mosse's Sepulchre.
An underground tomb has been discovered by Englishman Ben Hammott near the small hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau, inside lies a mummified corpse.
The body rests on a rose-coloured plinth under a shroud bearing the distinctive red cross of the Knights Templar, and it is surrounded by wooden chests, revealing a cache of gold chalices and coins.
The discovery has been reported to the French government agency, Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles Languedoc-Roussillon (DRAC-LR), whilst a TV documentary will explore the story of the tomb's discovery.
Bloodline will tell how a mini camera was used to access the chamber, featured in the clip above, while DNA tests have been done on a few hair strands from the corpse.
Bruce Burgess, director of Bloodline, said: "After the Crusades, it was rumoured that the Templars had discovered treasure underneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem that could debunk the Catholic church's doctrine.
"This treasure was believed to be priceless relics such as documents, the Holy Grail, even the embalmed remains of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, which was then brought to southern France, and hidden."
Not surprisingly French officials are keen to ensure a full survey of the area takes place and intend to bring a scientific eye to the proceedings.
Jean-Pierre Giraud, of DRAC-LR, said: "This is certainly a very intriguing discovery, but it's just too early to tell how important it is. We need to do a full survey of the site to determine the age of the corpse and the other items in the tomb.
"The archaeology department of the DRAC-LR will be carrying out an examination of the site as soon as access has been made possible."
The area around Rennes-le-Chateau has long been wrapped up in the mysteries of the Holy Grail, although some say the legend was started by a local restaurant owner to boost business, but since the release of The Da Vinci Code visitors have flocked to the area..
Related article: Interview with Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth and Sepulchre
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Interesting, but the clip of Hammett talking about the discovery is dated 1999. What has been happening for 8/9 years?
Is it connected with the "Bloodline" film coming out in May this year?
Posted by: Paul Kendall | 18 April 2008 at 12:16
Hi Paul, yes they are all connected, click through to Ben Hammott website and you'll see he's been involved in the making of the Bloodline documentary.
It's all a good bit of fun isn't it?
All the best
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 18 April 2008 at 12:34
I have been following this story for some years now and am glad it is finally coming to a conclusion with the film and hopefully Ben's book, which I understand he has been busy writing for the last few years. The film looks very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing what it will reveal. Hopefully it will solve some of the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, but still leave something for the rest of us to find.
Posted by: Peter Thomsett | 18 April 2008 at 12:48
Yes, Craig, it's loads of fun.
I've seen most of the TV stuff and been to the village. But now you've re-awoken my interest, especially with all those Daily Motion videos. I'm hooked again.
Have playlisted a couple of series. Will I have time to watch them again? It's the old story of having too much to do during retirement!!
Posted by: Paul Kendall | 19 April 2008 at 14:58
Hi guys, is a great story and for those who want to see some more videos about Rennes-le-Chateau here is a list on the Daily Motion site:
All the best
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 19 April 2008 at 16:04
The only thing Mr Hammott discovered was an American film director willing to film his lies and forgeries. This guy has a very shady reputation. The French authorities they talk about know absolutely nothing about this whole thing as attested by this website: http://www.rlcresearch.com/2008/04/19/28-bloodline-movie-clips/. Go watch the new Indiana Jones instead, where they openly admit they made up the story ;)
Posted by: Nick Bates | 01 May 2008 at 09:48
Hi Nick, thanks for pointing out the page about the Bloodline movie and more on the Knights Templar.
Even if there are many questions about it all, I think it's still an entertaining story.
And I'd forgotten about the Indiana Jones films being on this weekend :-)
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 01 May 2008 at 15:10
Er...hello? Why do people automatically assume that interesting/important finds like these are hoaxes? From what I've seen it all looks very interesting. It is an important discovery no matter which way you look at it!
As for the DRAC, don't you people actually read anything? The Bloodline people DID meet with them and two of them have been to the site, as shown here: http://andrewgough.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1285
So that's that, the evidence is there for all to see.
Why do you accept one person's opinion as gospel, someone who may have their own agenda, but discount someone who has actually found something like Ben Hammott? He has evidence of what he's found. Where's the the evidence from anybody else to prove that the discovery isn't real? Exactly, there is none! It is all hearsay and unfounded accusations.
The parchments found in the bottles discovered by Ben Hammott have been dated to the correct time by the Oxford RadioCarbon Dating unit. http://www.benhammott.com/radiocarbon_message1_test.html
All of the artefacts found by Hammott in the chest have been examined by experts, which includes the British museum. Chest details here: http://www.benhammott.com/chest_details.html
Ben Hammott's finds are fully documented in his recently released book, Lost Tomb of the Knights Templar: http://www.losttomb.net/
It has received excellent reviews, even those who were skeptics before reading it.
Posted by: Rose | 27 November 2008 at 12:45
Hi Rose, many thanks for your comment and I am sure people will explore further the links you've provided.
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 27 November 2008 at 14:06
It is very interesting! What had happened? Every one has gone, noone does not ask or speak anything anymore. What had happened to that tomb, to those arctifacts in it. Actually I am very intereted in what had happened to the tomb of Knight Templar as we know, after it was given to research French governoment.
Posted by: Gert Pant | 27 May 2010 at 12:37