Introduction to the final chapter of The Shenandoah Chronicles

by Richard L. Thornton

Chapter Twenty is one of the longest and most heavily illustrated chapters. It covers the period from December 1993 to August 1998. Several riddles and “loose ends” are solved. Some are never solved. Simultaneously, I am stripped of virtually all my physical and financial assets by corrupt federal officials.

Throughout the chapter, I am traveling back and forth from my new home in the northern suburbs of Atlanta to the Shenandoah Valley. The Atlanta Metropolitan Area is a very different place from the region I moved away from 18 years earlier. I am totally ill-prepared for the Atlanta Singles Scene and don’t have enough disposable income to be attractive to most of its single women. At least I still remember how to dance.

Our E-book began in late November 2020 at a posh Christmas Party in Alexandria, Virginia on December 15, 1990. In attendance were some of the leading experts on the Maya Civilization, plus an Architect-Goat Cheese Maker, who was about to have his world turned upside down by a beautiful French actress. She told me to call her Vivi. She would tell me her real name later. Also attending is the famous archaeologist, George Stuart, who invited me to the party. As a teenager, he worked on the excavation of Etowah Mounds in the 1950s.

Our book ends at Chapter 20 in August 1998 in Cartersville, GA. FBI Special Agent Susan Karlson has finally found Vivi. She is now living out of wedlock with a man in Champagne-Argonne, France with a large brood of children. On August 4, 1998 Cindy Funkhouser and Richard are together for the last time. Soon, she will be leaving for Ithaca, New York to start a new life and says goodbye forever. Susan stops by his house for a couple of days to comfort Richard (and herself).

The next morning, Richard gets a call from from the Site Manager of Etowah Mounds State Historic Site. A neo-Satanic cult has purchased options on several hundred acres around Etowah Mounds. They have secretly worked out a deal with the State of Georgia to lease the Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark for a dollar a year for 100 years. They plan to build an exclusive subdivision for million dollar mansions and golf course immediately around the former palisades of the Native American town. They plan to demolish the existing museum and replace it with a much larger Etowah Museum of the Cherokee Indians. The museum and archaeological site will be operated by a foundation composed of the cult’s members. YES, this really happened. This is NOT fiction.

After seeing satanic and occult symbols all over the site plan of this outrageous project, Susan Karlson proposes that Richard join forces with her again to become the dynamic duo of occult crime fighters. The rest is history. The book ends as Richard and Susan walk toward the mounds holding hands. It is the first time that Susan has ever wanted to hold hands with him.

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There is very little that proves today the existence of my four great loves in the 1990s. My most treasured memories of these four ladies were in the drawers of an antique buffet, which was stolen from a rental storage bin in March 2012. They included autographed photos of Juliana receiving her masters degree in Secondary Education from Georgia State University in 1997 and Cyndy receiving her masters degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. Also, was autographed photos of Vivi singing the Marseillaise at the French Embassy in Washington, DC and Susan meeting with Kurdish women in northern Iraq in 2004. Oh yes, and the two hand-carved pipes that Susan gave Vivi and me at the Treaty of Harpers Ferry in October 1991 were there, too. However, one memory can never be destroyed. Juliana used her English name to purchase a brick in the Olympic Plaza to suggest that we were already married. LOL


Susan Karlson in 2005

Susan Karlson permanently disappeared in June 2006. It was the same month that she said she was going to retire from whatever federal agency, she was working for. As you can see, at age 40 Susan was still quite beautiful and had a youthful figure . . . plus was as brainy and mysterious as ever.

Susan Karlson was not her real name, but I knew her real name. The internet, by 2006, had become a powerful search engine. I neither could find out what happened to Susan nor any evidence that she existed on the face of the earth before 1990, when she was accepted as a trainee for the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

I personally have seen the diploma from the University of Minnesota, honoring her with a Doctor of Law (JD). Today, the University of Minnesota has no record of her either graduating or attending that institution. The last edition of the University of Minnesota yearbook, published in 1988 does not show any law student with her name or appearance. There is no mention of her name in the Minnesota high school yearbook, where she said she graduated. The State of Minnesota does not have a birth certificate for a female with her name, appearance and approximate age.

Eventually, I was able to locate Bob and Sara Danby in the vicinity of Nashville, TN. Strangely, they did not mention that Vivi lived with them for a year and a half . . . that she had continued to be in frequent contact with them, plus had visited them on several occasions. Because of their high security clearance, they were able to locate Susan’s employment file. It ends in November 1991, with a promotion to a position in an agency that is so top secret, it cannot be mentioned in her file. Her job application contained photocopies of her birth certificate in Brainerd, Minnesota, plus her photograph and name in the 1988 University of Minnesota yearbook. I have no explanation.

The Truth Is Out There Somewhere!


  1. The fact that she could take full retirement at age 40 meant that she was doing dangerous work. Covert CIA and NSA agents can retire at 40.
    Sometimes I just wondered about her. She was extremely intelligent, but sometimes just didn’t know things that a little kid generally learns. Like she didn’t know about such night time games as “kick the can.” On the other hand, she could have been an extraterrestrial or someone, who came here via a time machine. She also could have been an angel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Richard, It truly amazing how hundreds of thousands have gone missing…a year and hardly a word from the leadership of this country on this massive movement of people? How curious that they are all now highly concerned for us to have a “non- FDA approved” bat vira-shot. Not one Air Force person died from Covid 19…makes me wonder if they are getting their “ready to go plans” space force ready to go.


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