STATEMENT BY BEN HAMMOTT
It has been a long time coming and something that is long overdue. And to tell the truth, for once, I am glad it has all finally come out and I thank Andrew for being the intermediary that facilitated this outcome. I have thought many times about coming clean and telling the truth, but lacked the guts to do so.
Everything I said I discovered is a hoax, planted by me and only me.
Sandy, Bill, Pat, Rene and Bruce, my brother, and everyone else were unwitting pawns in my game, for the lack of a better word. I have no idea why I did it, or carried on what was at first a stupid prank that escalated out of control. My intention was never to deceive, but then of course it was by doing what I did.
Perhaps I did it for the money, though very little was ever forthcoming and realised early on that it probably never would.
Did I do it for fame and attention? Perhaps. I did enjoy it at times but it wasn’t the driving force behind it.
Maybe I just carried on to see what I could get away with. I really don’t know.
I know saying sorry to the many friends and acquaintances I have made and deceived over the years, can in no way make up for what I have done. There is probably nothing I can say or do now to right the wrong. But I am very, very sorry and know that many of them I will lose, which apart from the deceit, is perhaps the worst thing about this sorry and despicable act of mine.
Have I made money from my exploits, yes, a bit through book sales, but nearly all the money I have made has paid for further research and my many trips to rlc to try and find something real that I still believe to be there, to in some way hope to make up for my past deeds. I do believe Saunière found a secret, something hidden in the vicinity of Rennes-le-Chateau, and there is something truly amazing to be found. It is something that I will continue looking for.
I have had nothing since bad luck since I become involved with the Rennes-le-Chateau affair, bad karma, almost certainly. Today I have no money, no family life, no home and now probably very few friends. It is perhaps a well disserved outcome.
I apologize to everyone who has supported me over the years, everyone who bought my book, but most of all I apologize to my friends and family for letting them down. I cannot say sorry enough to Sandy, Bill, Rene and many others for being my friends and supporting me all these years. I have lied to you and let you down in such a big way I cannot even hope for your forgiveness.
I wish I could explain why I started it or why I let things steadily spiral out of control. I am not even sure myself at this stage. The solving of the clues in Sauniere's church to find the cave where I staged the tomb, (See my Secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau books for varification) and some of the other locations, were all real, it was just someone had always been their before me, so I just used these locations to stage my hoaxes. I had been hoping I could find the real secret of Rennes-le-Chateau, whatever form that may take, in the belief that it would in some way make up for the hoax I had committed. But after many years had passed involving many trips to the area searching for this secret, I finally realised that perhaps I would never find it or if it was still there to be found, just like before perhaps someone had already beaten me to it. The book also contains a lot of original research that includes an in depth look at the brutal murder of the Abbe Gelis and lots more. All of my other Rennes-le-Chateau publications, except for my discoveries album, are all based on fact and are not affected by my hoax.