There's nothing like a good mystery and Fulcanelli supplies it in spades! Fulcanelli, a pen name, "...seems to be a play on words: Vulcan the ancient Roman god of fire plus El, a Canaanite name for God and so the Sacred Fire...Fulcanelli wrote two books that were published after his disappearance during 1926, having left his magnum opus with his only student, Eugène Canseliet. Le Mystere des Cathedrales first edition [picture] consisted of 300 copies and was published by Jean Schemit at 52 Rue Laffitte, Paris, France," according to Wikipedia.
What makes the mystery so strong and alluring? It's the secrets of Alchemy, "The Great Work," with ability to transmute substances and extend lives beyond accepted life expectancies. The Secret Fire informs everything sits right in front of us, "Fulcanelli’s books, which claim that the secrets of the alchemical Great Work of transmutation are hidden in plain sight, in carvings ornamenting certain medieval buildings such as Notre Dame cathedral in Paris..."
There are a few names who fit identity of Fulcanelli. Jean Julien Champagne (1877 - 1932) remains leading candidate. Schwaller de Lubicz, a contemporary, identified master alchemist in passing, taken from a tripod entry on book by Andre Vandenbroeck,"Al-Kemi" that describes Champagne : "... I found myself climbing this staircase in Aor's [de Lubicz's] company. It was the only time I found myself alone with him in front of this drawing. ... he turned when he felt me lagging, stopped and saw what I was contemplating: 'Its Fulcanelli,' he said. "I did the sketch when he was here." De Lubicz explained their collaboration a result of his theoretical grasp of alchemical concepts that complimented masterful technique of Fulcanelli, he also maintained much of the book,"The Mystery of the Cathedrals," was based on his manuscript. Eugene Canseliet suspected by others as the true Fulcanelli.
Jay Weidner suspects in a recent Fade to Black interview that transmutation of lead to gold represents a form of expression about aging and calcification of pineal gland. The secret of health and youth resides in decalcification, as we grow older, human beings become heavier. Alchemical technique can put a youthful lilt back into our step!