Now a local legend, the tiny, but beautiful village of Bugarach, lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees, among other-worldly landscapes and soaring eagles. Once, it was only the locals who knew about this hidden village, but today, this ‘chosen’ destination has become one of the most famous in France, named by CNN as “the doomsday destination.”
Allegedly, there is only one place on earth that will be saved from Apocalypse (or two if you count Sirince), and that is the quiet village of Bugarach. It’s no surprise then that this miniscule retreat, with just two narrow streets, 176 residents, and virtually no agriculture, has seen a mammoth increase in one-way flights in the weeks preceding 21 December (the Mayan end of the world prediction).
Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord (a farmer in his mid-60s), noticed the apocalyptic forecast on the Internet a couple of years back and suggested at a council meeting, that the village take special security measures with which to handle an influx of visitors in December 2012. A member of the meeting then told the local press, who told the national press, who then went global, and it wasn’t long before huge news agencies and TV crews had set up camp on the village cobbles, asking confused locals about their thoughts on the looming Armageddon.
“The village has always attracted people with esoteric beliefs, they were here before and they will come afterwards, but this is something quite different,” Delord said in a recent interview with The Guardian. Speaking of the nearby town of Rennes-Le-Chateau, described as “the vortex of Da Vinci Code madness”, Delord’s comments are not wrong. This corner of France is renowned for its riddles of hidden treasure and even a believed cover-up of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s married life in France. What’s more, Jules Verne wrote about Bugarach and the existence of an underground civilisation and Nostradamus is said to have spent some of his childhood nearby.
The Bugarach mountain, with its 1,320m peak is said to have inspired the mountain in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Known as the “upside down mountain” or “the magic mountain”, its lower layers of rock are mysteriously younger than those at the top, making it a complete geological mystery. Home to a staggering amount of caves, from which strange sounds and odd light effects have emerged, it’s more than just Verne that has questioned the mountain’s underground activity, often called a “UFO underground car park”. UFO hunters are often led here, searching for pieces of spaceship to prove the theories correct.
We found this recent sighting on YouTube particularly interesting: