The Ancient Roots of the Shenandoah Valley

Were its original settlers from Ireland or Spain? By 8300 BC, there was a permanent village of at least 1000 residents, located on the Shenandoah River!

© Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner


“The French Courtesan, Who Came In from the Cold”

Linguistic research

For over a century, Virginians have been told that Shenandoah means “Daughter of the Stars” in “some” American Indian language.  There is no known indigenous American tongue in which similar phonetics can be translated as “Daughter of the Stars.”  Nevertheless, the winter night time skies in the Shenandoah Valley can be breathtakingly beautiful!

More specific to this Introduction’s concern, though, is the abundance of Uchee tribal and village names in South Carolina, Georgia and Eastern Tennessee, which can be easily translated by Irish and Scottish Gaelic dictionaries.  In fact,  many are historical tribal or regional place names in Ireland today!  If the Southeastern ethnic name ends in “re” or “toa,” it will usually have a Gaelic root word. “Re” means “kingdom” or “nation” in Ireland and among the Uchee.  “Toa” meant “people,” “clan” or “tribe” among the Uchee and in ancient Ireland.

The current belief by many academicians that the ancestors of all indigenous Americans came across the Bering Straight is impossible and actually conflicts with the migration legends of several major ethnic groups.  The Uchee have always said that their ancestors came across the Atlantic Ocean.  The Totonacs of Mexico say that their ancestors came across the ocean . . . but it is not clear whether the mean the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic.  The Mayas said that they lived in a cold land of ice and snow, then were driven out by giants (i.e. the Scandinavian Ice Giants) They migrated southward along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean until they reached a land (Yucatan) with no ice or snow.

Probable etymology of Shenandoah

The earliest forms of this valley’s and river’s name are Shanantoa and Shenantoa.  As you can see below, that exactly matches the etymological history of the Shannon River in Ireland – with the ancient word for a people, clan or tribe as a suffix. 

Origin of the name of the Shannon River in Ireland: Anglicized form of the Irish Seanán [pronounced  Shēä : nán]  which is a diminutive of sean (old, wise). Alternatively, Shannon can be a borrowing of the name of the longest river in Ireland. It is believed to be derived from the Gaelic sean (old) and abhann (river).

Thus, Shenandoah is the Anglicization of the Proto-Gaelic or Uchee words meaning either “Ancient or Wise – People” or “Ancient River People.” 

By the way,  there is something geneticists and the magazine writers, who promote them, are not telling you.  There are no DNA test markers for the Southeastern Indigenous Peoples. Their descendants represent various mixtures of the 5% remnant, who survived the European Holocaust.  When they say all of the peoples of the Americas have been found to be from Siberia, they are not telling the truth at all.  In fact, it is now known that even the American Indian DNA is not from eastern Siberia, but northwestern Siberia . . . next door to Karelia, Finland and Sweden.

My family has substantial Uchee heritage in additional to the Creek.  The Uchee heritage is represented by Finnish, Sami, Pre-Gaelic Irish and Basque DNA markers. The ancestors of the Irish and Scottish Gaelic peoples migrated there from the Iberian Peninsula, where the Basques live to this day.  The famous Windover Pond burials (c. 6000 BC) in east central Florida have been found to contain very similar DNA to the Uchee type DNA in our family.

Dr. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institute (1943-2019)

Dennis Stanford and the Solutreans

Did you ever have something that you wished you had done, but didn’t?  Now it is too late.  Readers will be soon learning about a magical Christmas Party that was held in December 1990 for senior staff members of the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institute and Library of Congress . . . with a fair sprinkling of all the other intelligentsia of the Washington, DC Area.

My newly discovered lady friend and I were sampling her French wine and my goat cheese . . . and each other lips for quite a while.  Then she excused her self to freshen up in the toilette. About that time a jovial Dr. Dennis Stanford stopped by our corner of the Living Room to introduce himself and sample my goat cheese.  He didn’t tell me that he was a paleontologist and archaeologist. Probably, he assumed that I knew that he was one of the profession’s rock stars, but he certainly was not full of himself . . . very jovial and friendly, in fact.

Dennis was very interested that I worked some with archaeologist Bill Gardner of Thunderbird Associates (see below).  He was about to tell me he was doing then my new friend waved for me to come over to her.   Dennis quickly wrote on the back of his business card words that would function as a passport to the Smithsonian’s archaeological offices.  He invited me to come by and he would give me a tour.   I never did!

HOWEVER . . . As I was walking outside the patio doors with the new lady friend, I noticed Dennis was still seated on the loveseat, helping himself to fine French wine and my goat cheese. Having an archaeological rock star like your goat cheese is good thing. I am not kidding you. <small joke>

The Wikipedia biography on Dennis Stanford has been heavily edited by his enemies. Don’t pay much attention to it.  The Smithsonian bio is much more objective.  However, neither Dennis nor his enemies are aware of the research I am doing the Southeast in regard to linguistics and petroglyphs.  Those discoveries negate any criticisms of Dennis’s belief that the eastern part of North America, was settled by a mixture of Pre-Indo-European and western Asiatic peoples.  

To briefly summarize his theories . . . stone tools and weapons have been found in Virginia, which are virtually identical to those made on the western edge of Europe during the Last Ice Age. This culture is called the Solutrean Culture.  Dennis theorized that bands of Solutrean peoples settled along the Atlantic Coast of North America and then evolved into the Clovis Culture. 

One of the many misconceptions that Dennis’s enemies have thrust into the media is that Dennis said that people, who look like modern Europeans, were the ancestors of the Eastern North American tribe.  Au contraire, Dennis became increasingly aware that the Ice Age peoples on the western edge of Europe were of western Asiatic ancestry, had bronze complexions and dark hair, plus pronounced cheek bones.  They would have looked little different than most Native Americans in the United States today.

The oldest Clovis points are found in the Savannah River Basin of Georgia and South Carolina. The Clovis Culture spread outward from there. By far, the largest known Clovis Point workshops are found in the Shenandoah Valley near Front Royal, VA.

Number of Clovis points found per square kilometer in North America

The Flint Run Archaeological District

This large archaeological zone is located along the Shenandoah River near Front Royal, VA. The excavations of these sites were directed by Dr. William Milton Gardner (1935-2002) of Catholic University during the 1980s and 1990s.  The office of his archaeological firm, Thunderbird Associates, was located near my architecture office in Woodstock, VA.  When I ran into site features that were outside the realm of architecture,  the staff of Thunderbird Associates would become consultants to the project.  

Archaeologist Bill Gardner

Bill Gardner also gave me a tour of his Paleo-Indian archeological digs on the Shenandoah River near Front Royal, VA, but there was really nothing much to see on the surface by that time.   These village and flint quarrying sites are known as the Flint Run Complex and include the Flint Run I, Flint Run II, Fifty Site, Fifty Bog and Thunderbird archaeological districts. 

Some of the chert and jasper quarries date from the end of the Last Ice Age of about 12,000 years ago. The Clovis style points and small villages date from around 9,900 and 9000 BC. However, there were definitely large village sites as early as 8,300 BC. Significant occupation continued until around 5,400 BC.

The Flint Run and Thunderbird sites were originally located a great distance from the coast in the Late Pleistocene epoch, but it is now much closer to the coast due to rising sea levels.  When occupied, seasonal temperature changes would have been greater than at present.

At the Flint Run Archeological Complex, Bill’s team found over 1000 permanent hearths for huts or houses in just one of the several permanent villages.  Given that families would have lived in these huts, a population of 1000 people is conservative  The land area that the Flint Run and Thunderbird Archaeological Districts  covered was vast.  Flint Run’s villages were spread over 1900 acres, while Thunderbird’s villages were spread over 2,500 acres.  Some of the villages date to as late as the Early Woodland Period (800 BC) but most are much older.

A stone cairn in the Georgia Mountains

Stone cairns and agricultural terrace complexes

Stone cairns are cylindrical stacks of fieldstone that are typically 3-6 feet (1-2 m) wide and 3-5 feet (1-1.5m) tall.  Agricultural terrace complexes are artificial terraces on created by humans to grow crops.  They may have log, field stone or no retaining walls.  The two largest concentrations of both ancient forms of public works are found in northern Georgia and at the other end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the northern tip of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and West Virginia.  However, Georgia by far has the largest number.  Georgia probably still contains several thousand cairns and at least 16 terrace complexes.

On the other hand, the only location where these stone structures have been seriously studied by professional archaeologists is in northern Virginia and eastern West Virginia.  Virginia and West Virginia archaeologists, have recognized these structures as signature traits of two Pre-Columbian cultures, which they label “Stacked Stone” and “Terrace” cultures.  

The stone cairn complexes are located in Frederick County, VA and four West Virginia counties along the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. They seem to date from around 2400 BC to 500 BC.

The agricultural terraces are located on the west slope of the Massanutten Mountains in Shenandoah and Frederick County, VA and on southwest and east slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Warren, Frederick, Shenandoah, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Page and Madison Counties, VA.  Like in Georgia, some cairns are associated with terrace complexes.  Radiocarbon dating has been obtained from one terrace complex, overlooking Opequon Creek, east of Winchester, VA. The oldest date was about 1100 AD and the latest date was around 1350 AD.

The cairns were found to have been used in mortuary practices.  All of the cairns are located on ridges, hills or mountainsides.  Apparently, the bodies were lain over the cairns, so the flesh could be eaten by vultures. The bones were then burned during seasonal or annual ceremonies.

History of the Occult in the Shenandoah Valley

Secret hearings concerning the criminal activity in the Shenandoah Valley were conducted in Georgetown between Winter 1992 and Spring 1993 by the US Department of Justice Task Force on State and Local Corruption.  A key reference in these hearings was a Masters Thesis from Towson State University in Maryland, entitled, “The History of the Occult in Shenandoah County, Virginia” [1986].  The author was a descendant of one of the occult families in the valley.  Her name has been redacted from the original document by Towson University to protect her and so will not be mentioned here.

The author of this thesis determine that grouped under the German and Scandinavian word, Hex, was a wide range of practices not tolerated by Christian religious authorities. Perhaps, many or most were herbal healers, practicing folk medicine.   Other women specialized in selling herbs that induced abortions in unmarried women or providing poisons for murdering people.  Another group were practicing the old pagan religion of Germany, while attending Catholic services to conceal these religious beliefs.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Europe were killed for religious reasons during the late 1500s and 1600s.  A sizable percentage of these were women and some men, accused of witchcraft.  Saudi Arabia and a few other Islamic countries still judicially murder women for the same charge.

The last large outbreak of witch burnings occurred in the 1660s and 1670s in central Germany, primarily in the Rhine River Basin.   This horror was accompanied by persecution (but not necessarily killing) of Lutheran and Calvinist Protestants.  Simultaneously,  Anabaptists (Dunkards, Mennonites and Amish) were being persecuted and burned in several Germanic countries by both Catholic and Protestant authorities.

All of these persecuted religious groups began migrating to the middle and southern British colonies, even before Pennsylvania was opened to colonization by all Christian groups in 1681.  The author believed that individual “Hex” families began settling in the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge Mountains, Massanutten Mountains and Allegheny Mountains illegally as soon as its indigenous population was annihilated by Rickohocken Indian slave raiders in the late 1660s.  


Perhaps more than any other Virginia county,  Shenandoah County retained its German character into more modern times.  The county had German language newspapers and German language church services until the United States entered World War I.  Older residents continued to speak German in their homes until World War II or later.  Even as late as when we arrived in Shenandoah County in 1987, ancient German occult traditions, called Belsnickel and Krampus, were still being practiced in families of German origin.  Belsnickel knocked on the front door two weeks before Christmas.  The demon Krampus could appear on Christmas Eve or any other day of the year.

The author of this thesis stated that these occult traditions were secretly maintained within families in the Valley until the 1980s, when they became more visible.  However, beginning probable during the late 1800s,  Shenandoah occultism became increasingly less in the realm of folk medicine and more in the realm of black witchcraft and Satanism.

The demon Krampus

What happened during the Reagan and George H. Bush Administrations was that many members of the occult were hired and advanced up the levels of power to the point that they could prevent satanic crimes from being prosecuted.  National networks of occult rings were formed.  In certain rural counties, such as Shenandoah, there were so many occult employees in law enforcement agencies, hospitals and school systems that they could eventually control these institutions.  All any cult member had to do to get a job in certain school systems, hospitals or government agencies was call a certain person and a person was fired to make room for them.

Thus, in 1990,  a person could be murdered in the Shenandoah County Hospital and no one would be charged. A nurse, who talked too much, was murdered in a bizarre way and no one was charged.  A female doctor in Winchester, who helped treat me for a tick disease, had her face blown off with a shot gun, after she broke up with a boyfriend, when she discovered that he was in a cult. No one was charged.

Satanic and witch cults could wear their badges or even uniforms in public and no one would notice.  Members of “The Rose” witch cult at James Madison University even put their cult logo decals on their cars as if they were just a typical university sorority.  During the summer of 1992,  my girl friend and I even observed a “Circle of Fire” ceremony in the front pasture of a neighbor’s farm.  In that ceremony 24 16-year-old girls were inducted into the coven.  It was like living in a Hollywood horror movie . . . but this was no movie. This was for real.

This X-File office will be in the basement of the Smithsonian Institute.

Origin of the X-files

National Security and CIA officials in the Carter Administration became aware that the Federal Bureau of Investigation  (FBI) had been significantly infiltrated under its administration by the late J. Edgar Hoover by spies from the Soviet Union, East Germany, Cuba and organized crime.  Efforts were made to isolate counterintelligence operations from other divisions of the agency.  Also, covert agents were recruited, who would never have significant contact with the main body of FBI employees. You will meet somewhat fictionalized versions of three covert counter-intelligence agents in our story.

The isolated nature of covert counterintelligence intelligence agents made them also ideal for investigating crimes or incidents that the federal government didn’t want advertised to the public . . . at least initially.  These cases involved (1) organized crimes by local, state and federal government employees, (2) foreign terrorist threats (3) occult crimes (4) paranormal events and (5) possible contacts with extraterrestrials.  The television version of the X-files portrays Special Agents Dana Skully and Fox Mulder as pariahs.  In real life, though,  covert members of FBI counterintelligence are the elite of the agency. 

Ironically,  an FBI agent recruited during the first year of the Carter Administration, Robert Hansson, was promoted to the counterintelligence division during the last year of the Carter Administration.  He went on to become Director of Counterintelligence.  From 1979 onward, he was a Soviet spy! 

Hansson was the peak of his power, when our story begins in late 1990.  Our heroes in the story knew that there were high ranking traitors in their division protecting Soviet spies, fascist conspiracies and satanic cults, but never could figure out who they were. To keep their findings from being buried by the traitors, they arranged for some brave law professors at American University to supervise secret hearings in which 25 witnesses would give evidence under oath before national news editors and trusted Department of Justice attorneys. The Shenandoah Chronicles begin.


  1. Richard, Thanks for the Articles. The Karelian groups of peoples of the Baltic Sea seem to have used the same route as the Vikings as soon as they found Ireland. According to Dr. Berry Fell some of the Greeks groups followed that same route? Its possible the “Red paint” people of Eastern Canada were a maritime people possibly connected to Groups that used red paints…to include the Egyptians.
    Interestingly the first flat top rectangle mound city was at Kolomoki Georgia around 350-750 when Teotihuacan was the big city in Mexico…but has pottery connections with the Swift Creek 20 B.C and a site on the Mississippi river (Hopewell?) It seems multiple peoples interacted at this site as well as the Giant sized people of Sardinia and Scotland (Pi-tani) and the Tokah. As you know its the 1st Mississippi Mound site. When this site closes the others start being built along the Mississippi river. (Tokah / Pi-tani?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Duann, you got bits and pieces of the “more” at Christmas time. My friend in France reviewed those drafts and I am now refining them to be in a coherent group on a separate website, so they can be accessed easily.


      1. At least two of the three female characters in this chapter are subscribers to The Americas Revealed. We really don’t know for sure if Susan died back in 2006 or had to on short notice, change her identity. The good news is that the two subscribers like the new version, which makes it clear that Juliana was not part of the group marriage and had nothing to hide, while it was impossible for Vivi and Susan to have either a normal dating relationship or conventional marriage.


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