Deep in the heart of France’s wine country, Bugarach is the epitome of a small French town, with a population of 189 people; it sits nestled at the foot of Pic de Bugarach, which is the tallest peak of the Corbières mountain range in the Aude region of southern France. But there are people who believe that Bugarach is home to more than just a slow European pace and sprawling vineyards…some people believe that mountain to be a whole lot more than just a mountain.
Recently, UFO’ers and 2012 doomsday’ers have been flocking to the small town to find what they believe will be refuge from the apocalypse. Where this particular idea originated is difficult to pin down, but origins aside, many believers are convinced that the area will be spared at the end of times.
Of the many theories and stories that surround this mountain, the one that has the towns people up in arms states that a giant alien ‘garage’ exists beneath the mountain, and believers hope that the beings who reside there will be gracious enough to suffer a few passengers on their departure. Others believe that the area harbours a special energy that will protect the inhabitants throughout whatever events transpire in December of 2012.
Other theories suggest that Bugarach was a stop on the journey of Mary Magdalene and Jesus as they trekked across the Corbières in 33AD, or that Bugarach is the resting place of the lost continent of Lemuria, home to the ‘people of Mu’. It is a place of spiritual strength and mystery and has been said to have “special magnetic properties”.
The mountain is a dormant volcano that feeds hot springs at its base and is also called The-Mountain-With-Its-Feet-In-The-Air, following what is believed to have been a volcanic eruption that left the mountain top upside down.
It’s interesting to note, however, that Bugarach was the inspiration for Steven Spielbergs’s 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (though the actual mountain used in the film was Devil’s Tower in Wyoming). Bugarach is also said to be the place where Jules Vern found the inspiration for his classic tale Journey to the Center of the Earth, though die hard Vernians would say that this was where he found the actual entrance to the underworld.
Interesting as these anecdotes are, none of this speaks to any real evidence that Bugarach is fundamentally different than any other place on Earth. Nor does it speak to the validity of the 2012 legend itself. The only thing anyone knows for certain is that the Mayan Calendar will end on December 21, 2012 and that Bugarach is a beautiful place being sullied by hundreds of believers. What will happen in 2012 is completely unknown, and even though cooler heads suggest nothing at all will happen, we do know that the unknown is little more than the hiding place for fear and superstition.
 Henry Samuel, The Telegraph, “French Village which will ‘survive 2012 armageddon’ plagued by visitors”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8217001/French-village-which-will-survive-2012-Armageddon-plagued-by-visitors.html
 Val Wineyard, UFO-Digest, “Bugarach – The Mystic Mountain”, http://www.ufodigest.com/article/bugarach-mystic-mountain