It has been said that the tombstones of the Marquise Marie de Negri d'Ables, former Lady of Hautpoul and Blanchefort have never been found. No-one seems to have seen them apart from a few whispers among Rennes researchers of a select few who have seen it. The whole 'mystery' of Rennes-le-Château is based entirely on the decoding of the writings on these stones and the parchments which go along with them. We must focus our minds on that very fact...
My sources tell me that Sophie de Sède claimed to have seen the authentic stèle [i.e the upright stone] of Marie de Negri d'Ables and that she told Sonia Moreu it was somewhere between Lavelanet and Le Mas d'Azil. Antoine Captier also wrote to the holder of the 'stèle' to try and have it replaced back at Rennes-le-Chateau. That the stèle exists is also confirmed by Descadeillas - who told Pierre Jarnac - that it's [location] was 'a secret'.
A known researcher says;
"The existing gap in the report [of SESA] between the description given in the report and the actual stèle, for which explanations do not seem satisfactory, allow an assumption that the statements and representation of the stèle in the SESA bulletin were not made during the alleged described visit, but added after the tour had taken place!'
What did this stèle and dalle of Marie de Negri's tombstone look like? How do we know they existed if we do not know where Marie is buried and that without her burial we cannot have seen her tombstones? This is because Sauniere is alleged to have found the tomb and stones and 'erased' any 'message' on them. The first we hear of the dalle [independent of Sauniere] is with Ernest CROS. CROS, a railway engineer, attended Sauniere for around twenty years. He is the reported inventor/finder of the Coume-Sourde stone in 1928. He is said to have restored the text on the 'dalle' of the marquise with the help of a resident of Rennes-le-Chateau. Mr Cros had put in his notes; 'the locals told me that there were vertical letters, but they did not know what they meant, we didn't understand them, we were told they were Greek. Personally i do not think it was Greek, but kabbalistic signs of the Templars'.
The stele is referred to in a SESA report of 1906. The report tells the adventure of a team of hikers who were members of the Scientific Society of the Aude, who visited Rennes-le-Chateau on 24th June 1905. The groups publication is where the Marie de Negri 'stele' appeared for the first time. It was presented by Elie Tisseyres, in an account which is riddled with inconsistencies! Regarding the description of the stele, Tisseyres said; 'a visit to the cemetery and we discover in one corner, a large 'dalle', broken in the middle, where you can read a rough inscription - the dalle measure 1.30 by 0.65m'. So he speaks of a 'dalle' not a 'stele', he specifies that it is broken in the middle while in the article the diagrammatic representation of the 'stele' shows a stone not broken and an inscription which is far from 'rough'.
No one has ever seen the dalle or the stele inscriptions because 1) Sauniere is alleged to have erased the inscriptions and cleared the cemetery of tombstones etc & 2) no-one has ever seen the scrolls linked to the tombstones. Therefore we should not be surprised that no images remain - but nevertheless there are images to be found. How is this possible?
The diagram of the stele from the SESA report is shown below on the left. However on the right, is also a picture by Deloux & Bretigny from their work Rennes-le-Château, capitale secrète de l'histoire de France. They [Deloux & Bretigny] say that the stele they have a photo of is alleged to have been found in a private garden in Carcassonne.
In July 1962, the ‘Treasure Searchers Club’ under the presidency of Robert Charroux, and the journalist Robert Arnaut of France Inter, recorded a visit to Rennes-le-Château. During the meeting Robert Charroux questioned Noel Corbu about the engraved stones of the Marie de Negri tombstones. Noel Corbu refers to the flagstone in the ossuary & Robert Charroux proposes to go to see it later in the cemetery. Then Corbu talks of the anonymous document attributed to the engineer Cros, which circulated soon within Rennes-le-Château at the end of 1959. He describes the Coume-sourde stone and the flagstone - Reddis Regis Cellis Arcis.
Persuaded that these stones might be in Paris, Noel Corbu benefits then from the invitation of Robert Charroux to go on a research trip bound for the Capital in the hope of finding the ’missing stones’. By doing this they hope to locate the stones and then use modern processes to reconstruct the words which they believe are missing. In the second part of the ‘interview’, which takes place in the cemetery, Noel Corbu speaks this time of the stone of the lady of Blanchefort whose inscriptions were, he says, erased by Bérenger Saunière. Corbu has the hope however to make them reappear by employing chemical and optical processes! What this tells us is that Noel Corbu, in connection with the flagstone in the ossuary in the cemetery, unquestionably was well informed, by the testimonies of the villagers in particular, of the existence of a stone comprising of inscriptions, located on the original tombstone. The French national press generally echo what Corbu says. In particular, the wife of Ribière, published in January 1958, in number 56 of the review Tout Savoir, an article about their visit [to Rennes-le-Château. They locate in the ossuary the flagstone of the marchioness. Below is a photo from Tout Savoir showing the dalle in the ossuary.
Once again, according to Deloux & Bretigny from their work Rennes-le-Château, capitale secrète de l'histoire de France, they published a photo of this 'dalle'.
The fact that we have descriptions at all of these stones can be considered as lucky. Sauniere began his building works in 1892. He began, just after this date, to show interest in his cemetery, digging up the graves in the dead of night. Local families filed complaints to get Sauniere stopped. But in fact, Sauniere built a wall around the cemetery and then he built large iron gates which not only controlled access to the cemetery - but also the view!
Some have asked how the SESA party gained acess to the cemetery. Sauniere and his confidante Marie Denarnaud appeared to be the only ones who had access to the cemetery and the keys to open the gate! Sauniere's activities in the cemetery in 1895 and the visit of SESA 10 years later means that Marie de Negri's tombstone would have been laying in the cemetery all that time. Even the run of the mill story of the stele and the dalle seem to create its own mysteries.
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.