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Swannanoa Mansion Part 2 - Meeting Place of the Illuminati?

Mysterious mansion in Nelson County, Virginia with a reputation for being haunted, and linked to international and ancient secrets.
Swannanoa, the beautiful Italian mansion that sits atop Afton Mountain near Waynesboro, Virginia was and is a place of both ancient and current mystery. It was home for many years to Walter Russell, a great native genius and Renaissance man. He used the spiral, a key factor in nature to predict previously unknown elements. He was a contemporary of Albert Einstein. He and Albert Einstein wrote letters between them many times discussing the dangers that could come out of nuclear fission.

Walter Russell Has Last Name Associated With Illuminati Bloodline Families

His last name Russell, by coincidence, is one of the surnames that conspiracy researchers have designated to be a family tied to the Illuminati, one of the so-called Bloodlines of the Illuminati. Walter Russell also fit the Illuminati ideal man profile in that he was an accomplished musician, an accomplished artist with a national and international reputation. He was an ice skater at the Olympic level. He was an accomplished horseman, and in all ways a man capable of doing anything he desired. This is to the mind of many supposed to be a bad thing. It is somewhat strange to think that some people equate being brilliant and accomplished with some sort of overall evil. (The message always seems to be smart = bad, and dumb = good, or the more prevailing concept of rich = evil and poor = virtue). Is this more than mere class envy? Does becoming rich mean you are suddenly invited into the evil old guys club?

Walter Russell Was a Multi-talented Genius - An Embodiment of Stated Illuminati Ideals

When I first went to the Swannanoa Mansion to investigate what I thought might be some Illuminati backed UFO Cult called Star Bourne, I was ready to find all manner of evil. I and my fellow investigators were primed for it. Ready to fight off evil robed villains wishing to seduce us with 1950s style mind control ray beams or some such. The reality at least on the surface was of a beautiful mansion that I would not mind owning and living in myself. The artwork on display there that was created by the man who once lived there, Walter Russell, was superb. Everything he sculpted or painted was or should have been a museum piece. He was clearly a master of fine art. A man like that with talent like that is to be admired, not hated. An organization he founded along with his wife Lao, The University of Science and Philosophy, was about bringing out the best in people, nothing wrong there.

He was also against the development of nuclear weapons; this made him a man of peace, not a monster. I suspect that those who would profit from nuclear arms might have a reason to demonize such a man and his wife. I suspect that such shadowy forces as those linked to international arms and drugs would be the real villains here and they would not likely be Illuminati but those who might infiltrate such a group and use them. This is similar to the case of the Freemasons, who also get a bad rap. Certain high profile people get caught up in vast historic events and if they are in something like the Freemason's, suddenly whatever it is they were involved in is an evil Freemason plot.

Strange Things Were Observed Swannanoa by the Edwards Family

Well something evil was going on at Swannanoa, or at least seemed to be, and it is my hope to get to the bottom of it once and for all. But let's review the evidence of what seemed on the surface to be evil things going on at Swannanoa. Some of the prime evidence of what might have been going on there came out of the observations and research by Bill and Virginia Edwards who owned the property next to Swannanoa. They had reason to believe that Lao Russell was being controlled and manipulated by outside forces and was even kidnapped in 1972. They felt she was afraid of something or someone.
A partial list of what Virginia Edwards told me as we sat and talked in her living room, and that she also partly published in her book "Conspiracy of 30" is listed below:
When they first moved into their home by Swannanoa they were asked by a real estate agent for that location when they intended to leave.

They ran a gun shop and often their customers letters to them were stamped "Not at this address, or "Out of Business" and returned to them.
Their water supply was cut off in connection with Swannanoa.
Two major industries in the area warned their employees not to do business with them.
The road bordering the western edge of their property was bulldozed away.
An attempt was made to dynamite a rock just beyond their property line which would have sent debris from the huge rock onto their roof.
The Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce rejected their application for membership without cause.
Their car brakes were tampered with, their tires were repeatedly punctured, and once someone poured gravel into their transmission.
Loud music was repeatedly blared at them from the nearby Waynesboro-Afton Holiday Inn, which was also bordering their property. (One thing my team and I found when we had investigated the grounds of Swannanoa the day we had participated in the 11:11 event were old filing cabinets in the aisles of the horse stables, and looking inside the files we had seen they were full of records from the Afton Mountain Holiday Inn, they were largely old applications for employment and other personnel records. This was highly suggestible of some sort of tie between Swannanoa and the Holiday Inn. Later research would in part confirm this. I think I mentioned this fact to the Edwards the day my group and I visited them.)
U. S. Treasury Agents visited the factories in Europe from which the Edwards imported the sporting and antique replica guns, which they sold in their business. Their suppliers told them that these agents dropped negative gossip, stating that the Edwards gun business would be "bankrupt" within a year.
The production at one of their supplier's factory was "sabotaged." Licenses to ship from their supply sources were interfered with in a variety of ways. Their bank line of credit was cut off as soon as they paid off a $16,000.00 note on what Virginia says was originally a "turnover letter of credit" arrangement with their bank.
It got back to the Edwards that in the Dooley mansion, Maymont, in Richmond (Dooley had been the builder of Swannanoa) a museum curator said that in the Afton Mountain area the Edwards were referred to as "the people against progress."
Due to all this harassment their entire stock of guns was confiscated by then Nelson County Sheriff William Harris. During the raid on the Edwards gun supply, some deputies searched their attic without a search warrant or permission and when Virginia Edwards complained to William Harris he threatened to handcuff Virginia if she did not "be quiet." Virginia told me they took more than $100,000 worth of guns to satisfy a paltry 7,000 debt. This debt had accrued because their European supplier had shipped them defective merchandise and the sale was in dispute.
When a desperate Bill Davis drove to his lawyer's office he was told that his lawyer had "suddenly been called out."
One of the sheriff's deputy slyly admitted to Virginia Davis that "they don't want you, they want your house."
Real estate agents would frequently drive up saying to the Edwards that they had heard their home was for sale.

There were also many mystery deaths associated with people connected to Afton Mountain

  • Virginia Hinton who had been OSS during WWII and was also stepdaughter of Oil Millionaire Ross Hinton of Afton Mountain. She died of a mysterious fall from the balcony of her apartment in Charlottesville.
  • A US Treasury agent loudly demanding money from the Edwards in their home upset Virginia Davis's father Dr. Leslie Davis so much that he died within 24 hours of the ugly and likely highly illegal incident.
  • Sen. Barry Goldwater had been seen by the Edwards going up to Swannanoa when he was supposed to be, according to news reports, at a fundraiser at nearby Staunton Military Academy. Seems that on this same day Don Bolles, a Phoenix, AZ newspaper reporter was seen at Swannanoa. According to Virginia Edwards that date was January 24, 1976. Don Bolles was later murdered in a car explosion on June 2, 1976. Virginia Edwards says that Don Bolles had walked his dog on her lawn that day in January and had spoken with her and while she had been speaking with him she had seen then Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz drive up to Swannanoa.
  • Coincidentally William E. Thoresen III, was shot and killed by his wife Louise in 1970 shortly after visiting Bill Edwards in his Afton Mountain home next door to the fabled Swannanoa.

Swannanoa is a Place of Bizarre Occurences and Strange Coincidences

These are an awful lot of bizarre coincidences to happen at and around this one location and to this one very nice elderly couple who just wanted to live in peace and enjoy their mountain home. They clearly needed a lawyer who was not tied into that community. But the dirt tends to run deep in that area regarding some things and the power to mess up targeted people's lives is vast. When I first tried to reach the Edwards by phone after reading about their story they gave to the Washington Post, I kept getting recordings, that there was no such number listed when I had a Waynesboro phone directory before me. The only way I finally was able to phone them for an interview was to drive to Afton Mountain and call them from the pay phone on the parking lot of the Holiday Inn. They forgot to tap that phone or felt it unnecessary. But it was clearly obvious that this couple was systematically being cut off and isolated from outside contact.
At the time this rather angered me and it still does. These were nice people: Virginia Edwards is or was a member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). I was not a member at that time but I have since joined the DAR and some of the finest people in America are members of that National Society.
Someone really needed to investigate Nelson County then and maybe even now for all levels of corruption and criminal activity at the highest levels. I know one of my team got a little scared after digging into county records regarding Swannanoa in Waynesboro. Some say it was just because there was a moonshining operation going on in the area. Maybe it was something that mundane and maybe not. It is also in close proximity to a secret underground cold war bunker called Mt. Storm. It would seem that Nelson County, VA is teeming with secrets. They were also not far from another interesting place known as The Monroe Institute that did paranormal research.


  1. Thank you for this fascinating story. I did not know this place existed.

  2. Thanks for your comment. And feel free to check the blog update when you have time.