Key to the Sacred Pattern

22 March 2012

Ben Hammott Discusses the Bloodline Tomb Hoax

Ben Hammott Bloodline Tomb
Picture of Ben Hammott's "Tomb"
Last night Ben Hammott appeared on Rene Barnett’s Night Vision Radio show to make his first public statements about his hoax of the “Bloodline tomb”. (You can download or listen live to the show here. Scroll down to the 21 Mar 2012 show listing.) Ben’s confession on air was basically a rehashing of the email he had sent out earlier this week with a number of other revelations. I’ll cover the highlights in bullet points below. If you’re interested in this developing story, listen to the interview and make your own determinations about Ben’s statements. Here are some of the highlights of Hammott’s statements:
  • He was the only party who knew of the hoax. Everyone involved with the Bloodline documentary had no knowledge on the hoax.
  • The “tomb” photos that were originally shown of Ben’s website were of a small scale model. A life sized tomb was constructed somewhere in the UK. Ben admitted that when he visited the tomb site in Rennes-le-Chateau with Bruce Burgess, he gave Bruce a bogus recording of the tomb set.
  • The skeleton used on the tomb set was a real skeleton purchased on eBay and doctored with a latex compound to simulate mummified flesh. Other items that were used to “point Ben to the tomb” were vintage items that dated to the late 1800’s to get around carbon dating.
  • Bruce Burgess and an unnamed American investor had visited France after the release of Bloodline to find the tomb. Burgess had told the French authorities that the illegal digging for the tomb was actually Hammott in an attempt to cut Hammott out of the glory of discovering the tomb.
  • Ben had fed information, via an unnamed third party, that led Andrew Gough to question the veracity of Hammott in general. Last week Gough broke the story of Hammott faking pictures of the Loch Ness Monster and indications that Ben had faked an Ark of the Covenant at the present time.
  • Ben further claimed that he had not been pressured or bought off to cover up the location of the tomb. There has been the suggestion that the tomb actually exists and the hoax confession was a ruse to cover up the existence of the tomb.
  • Ben also claimed that he was in Rennes-le-Chateau during last night’s interview. At another point in the interview Ben also stated that he would go back to Rennes-le-Chateau in the future.
  • The primary motivation for the hoax was to spotlight the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. Ben hoped to find something “real” relating to Saunière's inexplicable wealth and will continue to look in the future.
  • Hammott, whose real name is Bill Wilkerson, will continue using the pseudonym. (He has been referred to as Hammott in this article simply for simplicity's sake.)
In the popular vernacular, the whole situation is a hot mess. No matter how you come down on Ben Hammott’s situation, the affair is a black eye for the community. It’s time to lick our wounds and move to other business.

19 March 2012

Ben Hammott Confesses to Bloodline Tomb Being a Hoax

I don’t believe I have never come out and said it in public, but I have to admit that I took a leap of faith. I had the more than a glimmer of hope that Ben Hammott, of Bloodline documentary fame, had found a tomb in the wilds of France that would forever change the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. When I first heard about the story, I dug into the evidence that was presented and even went to New York to the Bloodline pre-release press conference. There I met the documentary’s principal movers Rene Barnett and Bruce Burgess, as well as the experts they had called in to authenticate the items found by Hammott. (The article about that trip was posted here) Hammott was not present at the press conference but since that time I had the chance to interview him on the Unraveling the Secrets podcast.

Following all that, I had faith. I had faith that there might have been some dramatic license taken with Hammott’s story, but the story’s essence was true. A little more than 24 hours ago, I found out that faith was ill founded.  This message appeared on Rene Barnett’s Facebook page:


Hello Rene,

This 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. I have thought many times about coming clean and telling you and others the truth, but lacked the guts to do so.

Everything I said I discovered is a hoax, planted by me and only me and no one else involved knew the truth, not even my brother.

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 (sic) 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 you and 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 is perhaps the worst thing about this sorry and despicable act of mine.

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 (sic) outcome.

I apologize to you, someone who has supported and defended me over the years, I cannot say sorry enough for what I have done. I have lied to you and let you down in such a big way I cannot even hope for your forgiveness and so will not ask for it.
Ben [Hammott]

I was on the phone with Rene within 30 minutes of the posting.  Rene also indicated that she had authenticated that the email did come from Ben and was not some prank. Rene was devastated about Ben’s confession. Something she had placed her faith in had been taken away from her.

For those of you who think that Ben might be “taking one for the team”, I would ask that you consider that everyone has been duped at one time or another. If it be by a professional grifter, a duplicitous co-worker sacking work, or a cheating spouse, we’ve all placed our faith in someone who was not worthy of that gift.

Ben had lied directly to me on the Unraveling the Secrets show and to an entire world interested in the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. Furthermore, stunts of this magnitude go to discredit and dishearten those of us who try to find the truth in matters of the underground stream.  Do I feel badly that I had bought into Ben’s story? Yes. I acted on faith and isn’t any quest for the Grail built on the proposition of faith?  Sling stones and arrows if you will.

Today I found out that Ben will be appearing on Rene’s podcast, Night Vision Radio this Wednesday night at 10PM PST.  From what I understand, Rene will give Ben a chance voice his mea culpa to the world. Questions will be taken via Night Vision’s chat room. I personally will be glued to my monitor to see what Mr. Hammott has to say for himself and suggest that if you’re interested in this topic you do the same.