Ernest Cros (1857-1945)
Railway engineer and amateur-archeologist who showed an interest in the antiquities of the Aude from 1880 onwards. He was a friend of Saunière and visited him on several ocassions. In 1924, Cros finally settled in Ginoles, close to Rennes-le-Château. His wife owned the Ginoles baths. In 1928 he is said to have found what is now known as the Coumesourde-stone about which he reported in his work “Researches of M. chief engineer Ernest Cros, undertaken in the High Valley of the Aude, particularly during the years 1920-43” There survives only one, or actually two typewritten versions based on Cros’ original notes. One was in the posession of Noe Corbu. The other one was discovered by René Chesa, one of the searchers of the first hour. There is now consensus that one report was a copy of the other and that the original was compiled by Abbé Mazières. In good Rennes-le-Château fashion, the many papers that Cros assembled on his work were lost in a burglary in 1960.
In her book City of Secrets, Patrice Chaplin claims Cros and Saunière were involved in moving a 16-year old girl from Quillan to the Catalan city of Gerona, around 1880. who became known as ‘the Frenchwoman’.