Henri Buthion was the owner of Bérenger Saunière's domain from 1965 to 1993. He purchased it from Noel Corbu who had turned the villa Bethania into hotel and restaurant but it was not a thriving business. Noel Corbu had been pushing the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery, and some say invented it, to his customers and even to a provincial newspaper. It all though did little to boost his income. The hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau was so far off the beaten track to be a real success. Corbu died in a car accident on 20th May 1968 in Prouilhe. Some say he was run off the road on purpose but it's doubtful this was what happened.
Hotel and Restaurant, la Tour sign at the bottom of the hill in Couiza
This was the era of when Gérard de Sède became aware of the story and later published what I think was the first book published on the mystery, L’Or de Rennes (later re-published as Le Trésor Maudit), in 1967, with the collaboration of Pierre Plantard, bringing the attention of the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery to a wider French audience. It was one of the books that the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, claim influenced their version of the story and concerning Henry Lincoln, the Time Watch documentaries. These projects would bring the small village of Rennes-le-Chateau to a still wider audience and over the following years to the present day, thousands would visit the village, the Mary Magdalene church and Sauniere's domain.
Henry Buthion - JP Monteils - Gérard de Sède
But during this time, visitors were few to the village and Henri, even with the improvements he had made, failed to make the Hotel and restaurant prosperous. In the end, unable to pay all the bills, he lived in a house without water and electricity, until it came to foreclosure. With the remaining money, he went to Paris where he died in 2002.
Henry Buthion in Sauniere's Tour Magdala
While he was resident in Sauniere's domain, he had parked his old car, that had broken down and he could not afford to have repaired, in the village car park where it was left to rust and rot and become a plaything for the children of the village who used to sit in the drivers seat and pretend to drive it. A photograph exists of this car with a line of bullet holes as if fired from a machine gun. Some say this is because Henri was shot at by some mysterious organisation or other.
Henri Buthion's Bullet Riddled Car
However, reality is far less exciting.
When they were young, Marcel Captier and another boy from the village, used the car as target practice for their rifles.
During his time living in Sauniere's domain, just like Noel Corbu before him, Henri searched for the remains of the treasure he believed Sauniere to have found, but he never found it. In 1965, Henri and Jean Pellet, did find a strange document called the Sot Pelcher in the altar of Sauniere's villa Bethania conservatory chapel. And with his friend, Graham Simans - an archeologist who lived in the village, a Tiwas (Spell book) in the villa Bethania.
Henri was a sociable fellow and was well liked by those he entertained in the Villa Bethania, and his restaurant in the curved room beneath the belvedere that offered amazing views of the surrounding landscape. To take advantage of these views he knocked four holes in the thick wall -it is said, with the aid of dynamite, and installed windows so his guests could enjoy the vista while they ate. He built a garden kitchen and knocked through an opening to be used as a doorway to offer quicker access for his staff carrying his patrons hot food. Read Alterations to Sauniere's Original Domain
The four windows in the wall of the Belvedere or Terrace
The secrets of the Church of Rennes le Chateau (Henri Buthion)
The secrets of the Church of Rennes le Chateau by Henri Buthion - Book and DVD
Book + DVD Rennes le Chateau - secret Blanchefort. For sixty years, Rennes le Chateau is the crucible of a treasure more than a millennium. The sudden fortune Abbé Saunière, in the late nineteenth century, has brought back old legends related to the existence of a considerable deposit buried at the time of the Visigoths. What is it really? John Pellet, treasure hunters, and Henri Buthion , who was the owner of the domain of Abbé Saunière, looked for a fabulous treasure. Their findings are astounding! Jean Pellet. Fifty years of research "I know where the treasure is hidden" Henri Buthion, secret Blanchefort. How Abbé Saunière was funded by the Habsburgs. From 1907 to 1970. Rennes le Chateau, Sauniere l'abbé of our days. Duration: 55 minutes Language: French. Pegase Editions. Price: 23 euros.
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