UFO seekers flock to French village, locals not amused

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LONDON - A village in France with a population of just 189 residents is overflowing with UFO enthusiasts who believe that when the world comes to an end, a few lucky humans will be whisked away by the extraterrestrials from there.

Bugarach is a village in the Aude region, southwestern France, and sits at the foot of the Pic de Bugarach, the highest mountain in the Corbires wine-growing area.

The Daily Telegraph Wednesday reported that the village has been inundated by outsiders who believe the peak is an “alien garage”.

The UFO enthusiasts feel that extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end and then they will leave, taking a few humans with them.

Most believe Armageddon will take place Dec 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar. Another date mentioned is Dec 12, 2012.

Bugarach is seen as one of perhaps several “sacred mountains” sheltered from the cataclysm.

“This is no laughing matter,” Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord was quoted as saying.

“If tomorrow 10,000 people turn up, as a village of 200 people we will not be able to cope. I have informed the regional authorities of our concerns and want the army to be at hand if necessary come December 2012.”

Delord said people had been coming to the village in search of aliens after a post in an UFO review by a local man who has since died.

“He claimed he had seen aliens and heard the humming of their spacecraft under the mountain,” he said.

The internet has tales of the late President Franois Mitterrand being curiously heliported on to the peak, of mysterious digs conducted by the Nazis and later Mossad, the Israeli secret services.

Also, a visit to Bugarach is said to have inspired Steven Spielberg in his film, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” - though the actual mountain he used in filming is Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

The mayor said that recently interest in the site had skyrocketed with online UFO websites advising people to take shelter in Bugarach as the countdown to Armageddon commences.

An exasperated Delord said: “Many come and pray on the mountainside. I’ve even seen one man doing some ritual totally nude up there.”

Guesthouse owner Sigrid Benard said UFO tourists were taking over the area. “At first, my clientele was 72 percent ramblers. Today, I have 68 percent ‘esoteric visitors’,” he said.

Now, strange sect-like courses are being conducted for up to 800 a week.

Delord said: “For this price, you are introduced to a guru, made to go on a procession, offered a christening and other rubbish, all payable in cash.”

Filed under: Society

will not be displayed