Research carried out by Peter O'Reilly (in the Rennes Observer April 2005) confirms that Monsieur Cailhol of Alet indeed knew Henri Boudet, and was perhaps an intermediary for him. In the "Mémoires de l'Académie royale des sciences, inscriptions et belles-lettres de Toulouse", 1877 (SER7,T9): we find the following entry:
"MEDAILLE D’ARGENT DE RE CLASSE. M Cailhol, à Toulouse (Collection de fossiles)." [Silver medal, first class. M. Cailhol, Toulouse (Collection of fossils).]
"M. Cailhol, avocat à Toulouse, a profité d’un séjour de quatre mois à Rennes-les-Bains pour recueillir les fossiles de cette station bien connue des géologues. [...] M. Cailhol se propose d’augmenter encore cette année sa belle collection et de faire une étude suivie de la région qu’il a si heureusement explorée."
[“M. Cailhol, a barrister (attorney) in Toulouse, has made the most of a four month stay at Rennes-les-Bains to collect fossils from this resort that is well-known to geologists. [...] M. Cailhol intends to increase his collection again this year and to make a sustained study of this region that he has investigated so successfully.” See HERE]
Monsieur Cailhol, collecting fossils and stones in the area of Rennes-les-Bains is also mixed up with another bizarre stone given to him. This is the now famous 'Head of the Saviour'. CAILHOL is alleged to have taken possession of the 'Head of the Saviour' according to Boudet in his 'La Vrai Langue Celtique' - where he writes; "[towards] the spa and the parish church, are the ......rocks carrying the name "Cap de l'homme’ .... A menhir was kept [preserved] at this place and it was on its top, that a carved relief of a magnificent head of the Lord Jesus the Saviour of mankind was found. This statue which saw nearly 18 centuries has given to this part of the plateau the name ‘Cap de l’homme’ (head man: man par excellence, filius hominis). It is deplorable that we have been obliged, in the month of December 1884 to remove the beautiful sculpture of the place - it was to save it from the ravages produced by the pick-axe of an unfortunate young man, who was far from suspecting its meaning and value. (Note: "This carved head of Christ is in the hands of Mr. CAILHOL Alet).
Does it seem odd that this Monsieur Cailhol is in posession of two bizarre stones as given to him by Boudet? U. Gibert and G. Rancoule discuss this 'Head of the Saviour'. (See here). They say that the "sculptured head,....is currently sealed in the presbytery of Rennes les Bains". It seems - however - on further investigation that this head was one of two, and that the two heads have been completely confused with each other. The above authors say:
"Even taking into account the fragility of human testimony after such a period, it seems likely that we are dealing with two different heads: Year of discovery 1884 and 1898 , an interval of 14 years - One head male, the other female. Head fixed on top of a rock, the other a block. First head went to Mr. CAILHOL, the second head was sealed in the wall of the presbytery by the mason MARTIN.
But the location of the finds are the same: the rock called "Cap de l’homme’ on the boundary and along the Pla de la Côte or Bruyères. We have checked that the sandstones forming the rocks of the Pla are similar to that of the head. It seems reasonable to conclude positively".
Christian ATTARD, on his excellent website refers to another head and wonders if this is the 'real head' of the Saviour. It is found in the cave at Galamus and what is more it is associated with a SATOR square, a point added by Plantard and Cherisey years down the line. Attard writes:
"... this head [of the Saviour] was ... extracted from the rock where it was carved and there is no doubt here that we are dealing with a man with a beard [perhaps carved as a representation of Christ] and it could well be mistaken for the Saviour. ... Boudet tells us that this head of the Saviour was given at some point to Constantin Cailhol of Alet. He was a skilled explorer, says Boudet, and the discovery, says the priest of Rennes-les-Bains, seems to be associated with a cave of Bize (Aude), and he mentioned a few times in his book "The true Celtic language." On page 241 Boudet talks about a wheel and he reiterated that the wheel fragment of which he speaks is also in the possession of Mr. Constantin Cailhol. Knowing the way Boudet used certain explanations to describe the etymological meaning of words many saw his explanation as a repeated reference to the key: cai / key and the cave, the cave hole".
Cave, key, head of the Saviour, Cailhol, two stones - a head and a wheel/millstone? The name of Constantine also opened multiple hypotheses too - a cave where we find a 'head' that could be mistaken for the Saviour with a SATOR square?
Back to our wheel. Here is what Boudet said:"What determines our thought is the millstone fragments - cast iron, removed from the ground during November 26, 1884, by workmen, below Borde-Neuve while the construction of the road from Rennes-les-Bains to Sougraigne was taking place. " Boudet then notes that this millstone fragment is in the possession of M.Constantin Cailhol, of Alet!
Exhibited in the main cave at Galamus - there are several fragments of ancient wheels marked with the famous monogram of Christ! Can it be that Mr. Constantin Cailhol or his family have donated the most cumbersome parts of the wheel come millstone to the hermits at Galamus? The question is not negligible because to my knowledge, I have not seen anywhere else these type of wheels on show next to a portrait of a 'Saviour' [which was originally engraved out of rock]. And it must be recognized here that we have many recurring elements in our history in the Galamus hermit cave, that of St Antoine, Teniers, the chrism and thus sign by which you will conquer ... as well as a millstone shaped in a circle/wheel with a a carved relief of a magnificent head of the Lord Jesus the Saviour sitting on top of a SATOR square!
See more here at Christian Attards excellent website HERE
I keep up to date with the news on Johan's site and he doesnt disappoint once again. He has posted the following information;
"The researcher and librarian Xavi Bonet has published on his website an article called "... the heroic era of Rennes-les-Bains", which is a contemporary article dated 13.9.1913 written by a reporter "from" "La Bataille républicaine" newspaper. He paints a portrait of a conservative and monarchist middle class that frequent the spa at Rennes-les-Bains. There is also mention of the sympathy shown for the local "old cure" M. Boudet, who is described as 'so friendly and always willing to share his Celtic theories (or megalithic theories?)'. This "archaeologist" has indeed released a distinguished book on the subject (we are guessing True Celtic Language - 1886) and even put on the wall of his vicarage a bust of a woman larger than life (sic), saved from destruction and described as an anthropomorphic menhir. The visitor is unaware at that time that Boudet had previously been inspired to evoke a beautiful Saviour's head looking out over the valley".
You will find the original article HERE.
Xavi Bonet - who found the article - writes:
"On September 13, 1913 there was published in La Bataille Republicaine, a radical and socialist paper, an excellent article entitled "Les Bains de Rennes" which mentions many of the elements that involve the myth we now know about the whole area, Rennes-les-Bains, Rennes-le-Château ... but this time without myth, in the best pure journalistic style of a travel magazine.
[The two Rennes are] described as definitely a great place to go - giving us an inkling of the tourism framework [at the time] which included Rennes-le-Château long before the appearance of Noel Corbu, or the "Gold of Rennes" and 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' or the " da Vinci Code". In the text we find references to places and issues well known in the mystery, the source de Magdalene, Lake Barenc, Rennes-le-Château and surprisingly fascinating ... like a tourist attraction we are invited to know the priest Henri Boudet, always ready to enlighten tourists with his knowledge.
The article talks about selling books at the gates of the hotels [which] referred to the wealth of the area which depends largely on tourism to attract people. The local response to this is why there are postcards of the famous Boudet "cromleck", why Saunière was selling postcards explaining with great enthusiasm the history of Rennes-le-Château and it's Visigoth inheritance, tourists filled the church with donations - that later served to justify the income [of Saunière?] against which there was a court sentence against him. Already in 1905, during the visit where SESA discovers for the first time the tombstone of the Marquise, those of the expedition have the option to stay and eat in a restaurant at Rennes-le-Château ... Did you know that in 1905 in Rennes-le-Château, in the waste and the construction of Villa Bethania by Sauniere, there was a restaurant that served tourists while he sold them postcards and filled the church?"
It's very interesting to read this article written by someone who was there at the time, reporting in ordinary journalistic ways about the interesting aspects of Rennes-les-Bains. It's also interesting that the two Rennes were full of tourists and in fact i'm sure somewhere i read that Sauniere made a comment about his postcards being sold at the Spa village [i'll try and locate the source of the quote]. What is interesting is that all this activity in the villages suggest that they were not really backwater villages.
I bought a copy of Jean Girou's book several years ago, where he reports the locals referring to 'treasure' as being the source of Sauniere's wealth ... then on Johans site [http://www.portail-rennes-le-chateau.com/gazette/] where i saw the article by Roger Crouquet - he talked of a desolate and empty village - essentially dying. Between 1936 and 1948 the world went through WWII. It must have been the devastation of the War which upturned everything. The youngsters of the villages probably left as soldiers - called up for the war effort, pretty much like it happened in England.
That will explain the vast difference in how the villages of the two Rennes were and what they became in 1948. It is clear that there were interesting 'things' to see and explore and explain - before and after these events. The whole of the article from 1913 is translated HERE.
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.