A page from Dave's Diary
Message 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2007
Wednesday, December 13, 2006.
This past weekend I made the acquaintance of two people who, it turns out, have a strange history: Kristen Knauth (who sometimes writes under the name Kristen K. Nauth and currently goes by Kay Nauth) and Douglas Ammerman. During the late 1980s they were members of a communal group known as the Finders. The Finders began as a loose association in the late 1960s under the guidance of Marion David Pettie; although Pettie died in 2003, the group probably persists today as a web of acquaintances.
One can find quite a lot of material on the Internet about the Finders, but almost all of it consists of reprints and rehashes of a series of news articles dating from 1988, when the Finders had their only run-in with the police. Starting with the McMartin preschool case in the early 1980s, many people have posited and researched a supposed conspiracy of Satanists who sexually abuse, torture, and murder young children as a part of their rituals. A few details in the original stories about the Finders seemed to fit that template, and an article in 1993 in U.S. News and World Report added reasons for suspecting that some of the group had worked with or for the CIA in some capacity, and had been protected by them in the 1988 police investigation. The news stories were posted and reposted around the Internet; when paraphrased, the stories were sensationalized and exaggerated to suggest that Pettie, the leader of the group, was a "homosexual pedophile" and that the group kidnapped children around the world as part of a CIA program to acquire subjects for its mind-control experiments. I discount most of this, but I am certain that the Finders were still active in the 1990s; moreover, I have an idea that they’re not people to trifle with -- they waged a small harassment campaign against a journalist who was investigating them in the 1990s and have been accused of harassing behavior by several ex-members and their attorneys.
I met Nauth and Ammerman during the first three days of the week of December 10, 2006. My fiancee and I had moved to Floyd, VA in February, and we were trying to convince my son to move to Floyd. He was visiting with us to look at houses for rent. Nauth had placed an ad in the Floyd Press for some property she was just finishing purchasing. My son and I met her at the property and he was inclined to rent the place. We had Nauth and Ammerman over to our house the next evening and gave them a check for the first month's rent and deposit. But there were several unusual details about the arrangements that bothered us. (Oddest was that they insisted that there be no written rental agreement, that all business be conducted on the basis of mutual trust.)
I had trouble sleeping that night, and, out of curiosity, began googling Nauth and Ammerman. With only a little effort, I found an abundance of discomfiting news reports and lurid speculation. I didn't know what to make of any of it, but, being leery of getting involved in an open-end rental in what could, at the very least, have been a scam, we decided to cancel the arrangement. (I was concerned about identity theft, since they had information from my son's credit report -- SSN, birthdate, creditors, etc. I was probably unfair to suspect this, but at the time, I knew next to nothing about Nauth or Ammerman other than they were apparently unconventional people who had excited a lot of speculation on the Internet.) I called Nauth the next day with a concocted story about my son's changing his mind about moving to Floyd, returned the keys to the property, and got my son's checks back.
This was my only personal contact with anyone connected to the Finders. I started making detailed notes of my meeting with Nauth and Ammerman, in case additional complexity should arise, and I include those notes at the end of this memo.
I decided to collect all that I could about the Pettie and the Finders without getting into contact with anyone connected to them. This material follows. I've mostly stuck with listing and linking to primary sources. In some cases I excerpt whole articles, in other cases, selectively quote and supply URLs to the source. I've steered clear of other peoples' speculations, especially those dealing with Satanism and ritual abuse. Anyone interested in that can find plenty on the Internet by googling "the finders" or “marion david pettie“.
I've broken the material down into three major sections. The first part deals with the spate of investigations and articles concerning the Finders that appeared in 1987 and then again in 1993. The second part deals with Pettie's background, mostly up until the police investigation of 1987. The third part gives a little more information about Nauth that I was able to pull off the Internet.
If you’re wondering at this point why I bothered to do all this -- well, while my son and I were looking over the rental property, Kay Nauth mentioned that she and her boyfriend wanted to buy two or three goats. And goats figure prominently in the next section.
1. The Finders
Here is the article that first started me looking into the Finders. I stumbled on it when I googled "k. nauth". It‘s as good a place to start as any.http://p216.ezboard.com/frigorousintuit ... ID=4.topic
The first section of the article contains links to three articles that Knath/Nauth has published on the Internet:http://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action ... set&id=257http://www.topsecretnet.com/knowmag.htmhttp://www.kmmag.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=512
The first of these describes the house in Culpeper where Pettie and the remaining members of the Finders lived in the 1990s; apparently Nauth was interested in keeping the communal arrangement active. References to the same house also appear in the Pettie interview by Eddie Dean, linked to in section 2.
The most detailed reprise of the 1987 investigations and their aftermath is given here:http://p216.ezboard.com/frigorousintuit ... =317.topic
It reprints the following articles:
The Washington Times
December 17, 1993, Friday, Final Edition
SECTION: Part A; Pg. A1
HEADLINE: CIA tied to cult accused of abuse; Justice probes links to Finders
BYLINE: Paul M. Rodriguez; THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Washington Post
June 1, 1987, Monday, Final Edition
SECTION: METRO; PAGE D4; UPDATE ON THE NEWS
HEADLINE: Fla. Judge Sends 2 Finders Children To Foster Homes
BYLINE: Marc Fisher
The Washington Post
February 12, 1987, Thursday, Final Edition
SECTION: METRO; PAGE B1
HEADLINE: Officials Weigh Future of Finders' Children; Two Members Plead Not Guilty to Misdemeanor Neglect Charges in Florida
BYLINE: Marc Fisher, Victoria Churchville, Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post
February 11, 1987, Wednesday, Final Edition
SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1
HEADLINE: Finding Truth About Finders Proves to Be No Simple Matter
BYLINE: Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post
February 10, 1987, Tuesday, Final Edition
SECTION: METRO; PAGE D1
HEADLINE: D.C. Police: Finders Odd, Not Criminal; FBI, Virginia and Florida Expand Probes
BYLINE: Victoria Churchville, Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post
February 8, 1987, Sunday, Final Edition
SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1
HEADLINE: Cult Member Defends 2 Men in Child Abuse Case
BYLINE: Victoria Churchville, Martin Weil, Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post
February 8, 1987, Sunday, Final Edition
SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1
HEADLINE: Ex-Finders Tell of Games, Complex Beliefs; Group Tried to Raise Children to Be Independent, Tough
BYLINE: John Mintz, Marc Fisher, Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post
February 7, 1987, Saturday, Final Edition
SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1
HEADLINE: Finders Group Has Its Roots In Popular '60s Hippie Refuge
BYLINE: Marc Fisher, John Mintz, Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post
February 7, 1987, Saturday, Final Edition
SECTION: FIRST SECTION; PAGE A1
HEADLINE: Officials Describe 'Cult Rituals' in Child Abuse Case;
BYLINE: Saundra Saperstein, Victoria Churchville, Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post
March 4, 1987, Wednesday, Final Edition
SECTION: METRO; PAGE C3
HEADLINE: Finders to Sell D.C. Property, Move to Florida, Leader Says
Here's another digest of news articles (many overlapping with the previous reprints; reprints from New York Times and St. Petersburg Times are unique):http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board/v ... 7d4daef5e7
The New York Times
February 10, 1987, Tuesday, Late City Final Edition
SECTION: Section A; Page 21, Column 1; National Desk
HEADLINE: POLICE SAY UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN IN FLORIDA ARE NOT VICTIMS OF CULT
BYLINE: By PHILIP SHENON, Special to the New York Times
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
February 15, 1987, Sunday, City Edition
SECTION: METRO AND STATE; Pg. 1B
HEADLINE: Finding the Finders // Tangled trail leads to mystery group
BYLINE: LARRY KING
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
February 10, 1987, Tuesday, City Edition
SECTION: METRO AND STATE; Pg. 1B
HEADLINE: Finders group led a private life in Tampa
BYLINE: JEFFREY GOOD; KIMBERLY D. KLEMAN
Various sources on the Internet (including those given here) cite two memos that were written by a U.S. Customs investigator named Ramon J. Martinez. Martinez (who may still work for Customs) owns a martial arts school:http://www.hmgongfu.com/instructor.html
where he could probably be reached for follow-up questions. In some of the reproductions of the memo, credit is given to Wendell Minnick as the journalist who unearthed them.
Here’s a minor reference to the Finders from the mid-90s. From Wendell Minnick, note.http://groups.google.com/group/alt.news ... 1995-02%3F
Most of the names given there turn up in other places.
Marion Pettie, Kristin Knauth: more below.
Steve Usdin, Jeff Ubois, Robert M. Meyer:
Scroll down to the second story (“Marion Pettie and his Washington DC Finders: Kooks or Spooks?”) at http://www.namebase.org/news05.html
. Usdin, as a published author, is linked to in many places on the web. He turns up again in Section 3.
Kris Herbst: writer and webmaster. No other connections to Finders found.
Stuart Silverstone: He was the only Finder present in the building when the police raided the W Street house, according to the first memo by the U.S. Customs agent Ramon J. Martinez. He appears on the Internet as a journalist and consultant in Knowledge Management (a subject also of interest to other Finders such as Nauth).
Ted Reiss: mentioned in the “Investigative Leads” memo reprinted in Section 2.
Another interesting link to a posting by Minnick:http://groups.google.com/group/alt.law- ... fdcb74e9e1
Here’s a copy:
From: wminnick - view profile
Date: Wed, Jun 26 1996 12:00 am
Marion David Pettie, Jr
age 75, born Nethers, VA
Retired Air Force Intelligence in 1956 as Master Sgt.
Wife: Isabell Pettie (Deceased)/CIA Support Sec. COS Germany
Sons: George Pettie (Air America/Vietnam)
David Marion Pettie (member of cult: The Community)
Alleman, Ronald L. "Lucky" "Merry Man"
Herbst, Christian (KRIS)
Reiss, Theodore G. (wife: Ann)
Silverstone, Stuart Miles (aka Steve Learner)
OUT OF FINDERS:
Ammerman, Douglas Edward (aka Kenny Rogers, Earnest Angel, I
Arico, Paula M. (children: Mary and John Paul Pope/married
Beltz, Judith Friedman
Cox, John J.
Gabriel, Susan E.
Holwell, Michael James (aka Houlihan/children: See Arico)
Livingstone, Patricia H. (son: Max)
Meyer, Robert M.
Said, Carolyn (daughter: Bee Bee)
Sherwood, Diane E.
Sylvester, Barbara ("Bonnie"/died Jan 1982/Pettie's girlfriend)
Terrell, Robert Gardner "Toby" (aka Ghingiz K. Plato)
Ubois, Jeff (married Ma Li, from Canton China).
Van Deusen, Thomas R.
Finders, 3920 W St NW, 20007-1774 202-337-9814
Finders, J. 3918 W St NW, 20007-1773 202-338-8163 Lucky
Womens Travelers Center:
3918 W St NW, 20007-1773 202-333-9696.
National Press Club:
Global Press, 529 14th St, NW Wash 20045-1000 202-662-7431
Bio World, 529 14th St, NW Wash 20045-1000 202-662-7431
AAA-1 Information Finders, Natl Press Bldg2000 202-347-9200
Emergency Services, Natl Press Bldg, 20004 202-347-9200
Global Press Review, Natl Press Bldg, 20004 202-347-9200
Graphics News Service, Natl Press Bldg, 20004 202-347-9200
Information Bank, Natl Press Bldg, 20004 202-347-9200
Global Press and Centre for Information Research
k...@... (Mr. Kirill Tchashchin)
f...@... (Mr. Valery Bardin)
phone: +7 095 195-4573
Alleman, 311 South Main, 22701-3115, 540-825-1595, 540-825-7404.
Pettie, 409 Macoy Ave., 22701-2916, 540-825-8236.
Usdin, 102 N. Main St. 22701-3053, 540-825-9652
121 W. Locust (CULPEPER):
Finders International, 121 W LOCUST ST, CULPEPER, VA 22701-3146
International Press Club, 121 W LOCUST ST, CULPEPER, VA
Swift Services, 121 W LOCUST ST, CULPEPER, VA 22701-3146
USDIN STEVE, 121 W LOCUST ST, CULPEPER, VA 22701-3146
Warehouse (warehouse sold in 1994):
Arts and Crafts 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Global Press Review, 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Graphics News Services 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Gung-Ho Traders 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Information Bank 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Invisible Store, 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
Ourhaus Associates 1307 4th St NE 20002-7001
glo...@... (Kris Herbst)
sus...@... (Steve Usdin)
1-202-662-7431 and Fax 662-7433
skept...@... (unknown/but definitely a Finder)
(now inactive) The Xville home page
was produced by Ted Reiss:
rei...@... (Ted Reiss)
tedre...@... (Ted Reiss)
Now it gets a little weird. Minnick eventually concluded that the Finders were harmless: Fromhttp://www.whale.to/b/alexander.html
Wendell Minnick, author of Spies and Provocateurs: An Encyclopedia of Espionage and Covert Action, reports he spent two years and over $1,000 in phone bills researching the Finders. There are two somewhat conflicting reports on the Finders from Minnick. In a May, 1996, Washington City Paper, Minnick states "the Finders would love you to think they're a CIA front, but I would say they're really nothing. You're going to hear a lot of bullshit on the Finders because they lie. These are dysfunctional adults, but they're all working their asses off. They're constantly working on some project. If you have a cult, the best way to control people is to keep them busy, to keep their minds occupied." On the internet, Minnicks Winter 1995, article, The Finders: The CIA and the Cult of Marion David Pettie, says something different. The Finders were suspected of abducting children for sale, but never had it proved. Minnick states a 1987 raid resulted in the recovery of one telex ordering "the purchase of two children from Hong Kong to be arranged through a contact in the Chinese embassy there." At the time of the raid, Justice Department agents discovered a Chinese student living with the Finders. Wang Gen-xin was a graduate student in the anatomy department at Georgetown University . His involvement has not been clarified.
Minnick added, "The one line that crucifies the CIA and the Finders on the same cross startles the imagination: "CIA made one contact and admitted to owning the Finders organization as a front for a domestic computer training operation, but that it had gone bad." Was this a leaked bit of info for damage control or connections between the CIA and the Finders? (10] It is known to many that after his retirement from the Air Force in 1956, Pettie's wife. Isabel, joined the CIA as a support secretary serving the station chief in Frankfurt , Germany , from 1957-61. Pettie's son, George, served in the CIA's drug activities in Air America during the Vietnam war. While this may not be conclusive proof of Marion Pettie's direct involvement with the CIA in some kind of child porn, abduction, sacrifice scheme, it draws one much closer to it.
But, from 2004, comes this mysterious posting:http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/displa ... /index.php
The Finders cult group has moved to Taiwan,the group is suspected to be involved in pedophilia.
The Finders cult group has moved to Taiwan, the Taipei group is run an American Journalist who had researched them in the 1990's and became a convert.The group is expanding in Taipei now.They have affiliated themselves with orphanages.The American journalist tried to set up a branch of the Finders in Korea but was expelled in 1997 by Korean police under a cloud of accusations that he had undressed pre schoolers in his care and photographed them naked.There was no evidence found in his apartment or on his laptop but he was promtly deported and moved to Taipei. He is involved in efforts to smear various anti pedophilia groups using his status as a journalist. He claims that a friend of his,ex New Zealand Police Officer, Graham Cleghorn, was set up by anti pedophila groups in Cambodia.Cleghorn was jailed in Cambodia earlier this year.
…[rehash of 1988 stories]]
At first, I was inclined to think that the unnamed American journalist was Minnick: He investigated the Finders in the 1990s, and the following link (http://www.taiwanho.com/print.php?sid=172
) notes “Since 2000 he has served as Taipei correspondent for Jane's Defense Weekly“. Had Minnick been turned by the Finders? More likely, though, this posting was submitted as disinformation or harassment by one of the Finders. They engaged in this kind of behavior on the usenet groups when Minnick was originally investigating them. See the thread athttp://groups.google.com/group/alt.jour ... 2a316bbf95
The poster skeptics has as his email address skeptics@... -- apparently Ted Reiss’s company, according to another post:http://groups.google.com/group/alt.wire ... 774442907b
(Search on that page for Reiss.)
Anyway, here are three links to Minnick’s articles posted on usenet. He apparently did considerable primary research.http://groups.google.com/group/soc.cult ... e7f74314d4http://groups.google.com/group/alt.soci ... d617ca38fchttp://groups.google.com/group/alt.soci ... 3a6aaa1ee0
They contain a few new names, and, among other things, confirm something I suspected, that Knauth and Usdin were married for a period during the 1990s (see Section 3).
2. Marion David Pettie
Outside of the material related to the police investigation, I found only three primary sources concerning Pettie. The first is an interview from 1996 by Eddie Dean, originally printed in the Washington City Paper.
The link to the original requires a paid membership, but the interview is transcribed here:http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@.../msg04133.html
The person who cut and pasted the interview at this link is apparently suspicious that it's disinformation. But Dean is a legitimate reporter -- he's worked for Vanity Fair and the Village Voice. The interview’s not very informative. Note the word Ataraxia that appears on the movie marquee -- it's a word that Kristin K. Nauth is apparently fond of, as well -- she uses it in her article athttp://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action ... set&id=257
Nauth describes the same Culpeper house in this essay. Here's the house -- apparently it was bought about a year ago, remodelled, and is now being flipped:http://www.trulia.com/property/16564867 ... r-VA-22701
The second and third primary sources have been copied and posted on various sites around the Internet; here’s one link:http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@.../msg00344.html
The link contains an interview with Pettie from 1998, followed by an anonymous memorandum (“Investigative Leads”, said to date from the 1980s) concerning his connections to intelligence. Again, the interview is not very revelatory. But the memorandum provides a wealth of connections that seem plausible. To save skipping back and forth, I’ve quoted the entire text of the memorandum here.
STEAMSHOVEL DEBRIS, The Finders
Pettie met Joseph Chiang, a chinese agent operating under Journalistic cover, in 1939 and remained in close contact with him throughout the war. Around this time Pettie also made Connections with the OSS, through George Varga, Earl D. Brodie and (John Von Neumann's brother) -- all lowlevel OSS offciers. Sometime near the end of the war, Chiang introduced Pettie to Charles E. marsh, at the National Press Club. Marsh, who ran the best private intelligence network of his era and was an intimate of FDR, Henry Wallace and later Lyndon Johnson, became, Pettie's mentor and role model, shapiong[sic] his career. (Marsh's mentor and role model was Colonel Edward M. House, who was a personal advisor to President Wilson, circa 1919, often mentioned in connection to the Council on Foreign relations). Marsh died in December 1964. His last known address was Austin, Texas.
In the 1950s and 60s Marsh provided funds for Pettie to purchase hundreds of acres of farmland in Madison and Rappahannock Counties, near his estate in Culpeper County. Later Pettie arranged for William Yandell Elliott (1896- ) of Harvard University to purchase a property adjacent to him, in" Madison County.Elliott was a government professor at Harvard University who was on the
National Security Council's planning board and a trustee of Radio Liberty (sponsored by the CIA). As of 1984 Elliott was a board member of Accuracy in media. Wrote numerous books.
In 1946 Pettie, acting as chauffeur to General Ira Eaker, Marsh arranged for him to be trained in counterintelligence in Baltimore, Maryland. Around this time Pettie established close ties to two guards of atom bomb secrets, Captain Michael Altier (?) and Major Harry Wolanin, both retired. In 1954 Pettie recruited Eric Heiberg who lost his NSA clearance at about this time. Heiberg
was redeployed as a private investigator and subsequently as a talent spotter at Georgetown University (now retired). Pettie received intelligence training at Georgetown University in 1956 and was sent to USAF intelligence training school in Frankfurt, Germany in 1956-1957. Through Marsh, Pettie got his wife a job with the CIA from 1957 to early 1961, working in Washington as secretary and in Germany for the Chief of Station, Frankfurt- Colonel Leonard Weigner, USAF (deceased 1990) trained Pettie and advised Pettie retire from active military service and surround himself with kooks, recruiting agents from youth hostels and universities. Major George Varga became Pettie's case officer, relaying Weigner's instructions until Varga died in the 1970s,
Under Varga's instructions, Pettie recruited a network of agents in Europe, including Dr. Keith Arnold (recruited in Paris in 1958) who he accompanied to Moscow in 1959 or 1960. Arnold, currently based in Hong Kong with the Roche Foundation, has made over 40 trips to mainland China and has stayed in contact with Pettie. In the 1960s Pettie established connections with the 'beat' movement. Norman Mailer and Dick Dabney (died in November 1981) frequented his
Virginia farm. Dabney's widow Dana has extensive files on Pettie. Peter Gillingham (intermediate Technology. Palo Alto, CA) and Christopher Sonne(currently Goldman saches, NY) met Pettie in Moscow in 1961. In the early 60sPettie allowed Ralph Borsodi and Mildred Loomis to use his Virginia property for the School of Living, a 'decentralist' one-world government front organization. Around 1964 Pettie recruited Bosco Nedelcovic and deployed him to penetrate the Institute for Policy Studies (he is currently an interpreter at the war College in Washington). In 1967 or 1968 Pettie established a 'futurist, network, assisting Edward S. Cornish in founding the World Future Society and working through Roy Mason and John Naisbitt. At this time Pettie also penetrated the hippy drug culture through retired naval intelligence officers Wait Schneider (Timothy Leary and Billy Hitchcock's private pilot) and Willard Poulsen (cut out bewtween[sic] Pettie activities and those of Leary at millbrook), In 1971 Pettie infiltrated the 'human potential'
movement, setting up Ken Kesey (Living Love) as a prominent guru and working through Dr. Stephen Beltz (related to Judith Beltz, a behavior modification specialist more recently deployed to the Institute of Cultural Affairs and the Meta Network cult.
Christopher Bird, former CIA officer who served in Japan and a psych warfare specialist in the Army, and author of New Age and occult books has also been associated with Pettie. Bird wrote The Secret Life of Plants with Peter Tompkins, New York: Avon, 1974, Tompkins wrote on new age subjects like the pyramids, and once served in the OSS (now anti-CIA).
Pettie's activities took a different turn in 1979 when he recruited John J. Cox. founder of general Scientific (a computer firm specializing in classified defense, contracts). Cox trained several of Pettie's Finders in computer programming and communications technologies and took two or more Of them to Costa Rica and Panama in 1980-81. Cox worked through Miguel Barzuna, a
prominent Costa Rican money launderer, the Vienna, Virginia-based Institute for International Development and Cuban exile Emilio Rivera in Costa Rica and Panama. Through Cox, Pettie and the Finders linked up with several Washington area computer-oriented groups, including Community Computers, a front organziation[sic] for The Community, a cult run by Michael Rios (aka MichaelVersacc). (Pettie's son, David Pettie, is a member of the Community, Pettie's other son, George, may be the one who was in Air America) Cox also recruited Theordore[sic] G. reiss (wife; Ann), 4 reston-based computer programmer and highly active member of Werner Erhard Seminars (EST). Cox also recruited Susan Gabriel and Judith Beltz as couriers. Pettie and Cox have simulated a failing out and pretend to be enemies...
from:STEAMSHOVEL PRESS, POB 23715, St. Louis, MO 63121
Some of the names in the memo check out. Here are a few links I found.
Charles E. Marsh: apparently Pettie's mentor and the man who initially funded him, was a well-known wheeler-dealer in the twenties, thirties, and forties. He started out as a reporter, became an editor, then a publisher, before branching out into oil and real-estate. He was an early backer of Lyndon Johnson in Texas in the thirties. His mistress and subsequent wife, Alice Glass, had a long affair with LBJ. In 1947, Glass divorced Marsh, who then remarried and gave away most of his money to a foundation he set up called the Public Welfare Foundation. Here are some links about Marsh:
The folks who got Marsh's money: there's no obvious intelligence connection, and, perusing their website, I’d say one is unlikely.http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/fund ... ategory=79http://www.publicwelfare.org/index.asp
Marsh owned two estates in the area around Culpeper, where he helped Pettie acquire his farm. Marsh's first estate was at Longlea (1931 - 1947) -- he lost it to Alice Glass when he divorced her; she sold it to a think-tank interested in global security issues.http://www.zwire.com/site/tab4.cfm?news ... 6086&rfi=6http://www.starexponent.com/servlet/Sat ... 7833894983http://www.starexponent.com/servlet/Sat ... path=!news
Marsh purchased his second estate (Jessamine Hill) after he lost Longlea. Note the error in the article, which claims he bought Longlea after this one.http://www.zwire.com/site/tab4.cfm?news ... 6086&rfi=6
A quickie bio of Alice Glass:http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/onl ... print.html
As best I can tell about Marsh, he was both a shrewd businessman and a generous philanthropist; I haven’t discovered anything particularly sinister about him. He preferred to give his money away anonymously, mostly to individuals rather than causes. The only connection to the intelligence agencies I can find is his friendship with Roald Dahl, who worked for British intelligence while he was in Washington during the early 1940s. Marsh liked the idea of being a man behind the scenes and was involved in Democratic politics all his life. His politics were somewhat liberal by 1930s standards, but hardly radical. His “private intelligence network” mostly aimed at gathering economic data about the U.S.’s readiness on the eve of Pearl Harbor, which he shared with the U.S. government. During the war he was a confidant of Henry Wallace, but he broke with Wallace in 1948 when Wallace bolted the Democratic party. It seems to me likely that he funded Pettie -- somebody had to have -- but I can’t guess why, other than as another instance of his idiosyncratic generosity.
Other names that crop up in the "Investigative Leads" memo:
Joseph Chiang was a reporter for the Chinese News Service (a Taiwanese outfit); I found records of a couple of news conferences that Eisenhower held in the 50s, where Chiang asked questions.
Edward M. House was a well-known historical figure -- eminence gris of Woodrow Wilson, stringpuller afterwards in the Democratic Party.
William Yandell Elliott was similarly well-known. He was Henry Kissinger's mentor at Harvard and a prominent national security advisor to a succession of presidents. He retired to an estate in the Blue Ridge (near Pettie's, apparently) and died there. (He died in 1979. Note the error in the memo, which states "As of 1984 Elliott was a board member of Accuracy in media." I think Elliott was with them in the late 1970s, though.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Yandell_Elliotthttp://govt.mckenna.edu/welliott/teachers/elliott.htm
Lyndon Larouche drops Elliott's name frequently -- e.g.,http://www.larouchepub.com/lar/2002/290 ... ynote.html
Keith Arnold: Head of the Roche Foundation in Hong Kong. There are a lot of references to him on the Internet, as an author of or a referenced author in medical journal articles. Here's a bio of Arnold that really doesn't mention any intelligence ties (other than special forces parachute training). Scroll down or search for Arnold.http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:w82 ... clnk&cd=18
It looks to me as though he finished an internship at the Cleveland Clinic. If it were two years long, he woud have graduated from med school around 1965; so he would have finished college around 1961. I don't know how this squares with the memo's statement that "Pettie recruited a network of agents in Europe, including Dr. Keith Arnold (recruited in Paris in 1958) who he accompanied to Moscow in 1959 or 1960." An Internet petition he signed in 2005 (http://www.fas.org/butler/letter0305.pdf
) gives his email address as arnold389@....
Captain Michael Altier, Major Harry Wolanin, Eric Heiberg, George Varga -- no references on the Internet, that I could find.
Leonard Weigner -- the full text of his obituary in the Washington Post confirms he was connected with the CIA:
Copyright The Washington Post Company Sep 9, 1990
Leonard N. Weigner, 73, a retired Air Force colonel who spent much of his career in intelligence work, died Sept. 7 at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base after a heart attack. He lived in Falls Church.
He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and flew bombers with the Army Air Forces in the Pacific during World War II. He later served in Germany and flew in the Berlin Airlift. He also had been stationed in Athens.
Over the years, Col. Weigner worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. His last assignment, before retiring from active duty in 1972, was with the Defense Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir.
His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
Col. Weigner, who had maintained a home here since 1958, was born in Russia. He came to this country about 1930 and grew up in New York City. He attended the Pratt Institute.
Survivors include his wife, Anastasia, of Falls Church; two daughters, Valentina Vizi of Virginia Beach and Nina Weigner of Falls Church; a son, Nicholas, of Flanders, N.J.; and six grandchildren.
Ira Eaker, Norman Mailer, Dick Dabney, Ralph Borsodi and Mildred Loomis, Bosco Nedelcovic, Timothy Leary, Edward S. Cornish, Roy Mason and John Naisbitt, Ken Kesey -- all public figures.
Peter Gillingham, Christopher Sonne -- no relevant hits. Gillingham is apparently a follower of E.F.Schumacher, the Small Is Beautiful guy.
"Billy Hitchcock": William Mellon Hitchcock; wealthy heir who bankrolled Leary's commune in the mid-1960s.
Wait Schneider and Willard Poulsen: No hits yet. They may turn up in a book (Acid Dreams) I have on order, though, since they would be connected to Leary.
Dr. Stephen Beltz (related to Judith Beltz): see Minnick’s material cited in Section 1.
Christopher Bird -- interesting obituary:http://www.ralphmoss.com/CBird.html
CIA connection; no mention of Pettie connections.
John J. Cox, Miguel Barzuna, Emilio Rivera -- need to research these.
Michael Rios (aka Michael Versacc) -- “Versacc” is a misprint, apparently. The person in question appears to be Michael Versace Rios, who sometimes goes by the name Michael Rios, and other times by Michael Versace. He is the son of Humbart Joseph Versace (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hjversace.htm
) and Marie Teresa Rios Versace (Tere Rios) (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/mtrversace.htm
), and the brother of Humbert Roque Versace, (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/hrversace.htm
) who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Versace’s organization was named “the Church of the Community”. As the owner of Community Computers, he also retailed Kaypro computers in the ‘80s:http://www.old-computers.com/museum/doc.asp?c=148
He apparently runs an “intentional community” in Arlington, VA today:http://directory.ic.org/records/?action ... d_id=20351
Theordore[sic] G. reiss (wife; Ann) -- Ann Reiss was interviewed in one of the St. Petersburg Times articles about the Finders (February 15, 1987) but was not identified in the article as a Finder. “Ted” Reiss was still active in the Finders in 1995; see section 1. He also posted on a usenet group where Minnick was requesting information about the Finders.
One more link to Pettie -- apparently a friend of Patch Adams, who defends him. Well, I never did like Robin Williams: http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@.../msg00271.html
3. Kristin Nauth
In Section 1, I gave links to three articles by Kristin K. Nauth:http://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action ... set&id=257http://www.topsecretnet.com/knowmag.htmhttp://www.kmmag.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=512
From casting about on the Internet, I’ve been able to find out a bit more:
1. Her mother’s name was Courtney Knauth (DOB 12/08/1926). She is described and quoted in the article in the St. Petersburg Times ( February 15, 1987) linked to above (http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board/v ... 7d4daef5e7
). Here’s the relevant extract:
Courtney Knauth, a Washington bank employee, doesn't think the Finders are all fun and games.
She says her granddaughter is one of the children in state custody.
And she says she has lost her daughter Kristin, the child's mother, to the Finders.
"Kristin is not only bright, but she is a very good artist. She is very good at music, and she writes like an angel," Knauth says of her daughter. "I guess my daughter was just a little depressed and was trying to figure out what she wanted to do in life."
Kristin was 21, and had just dropped out of college when she joined the Finders, Knauth says. "Nobody knew then that it was a cult. She said, 'Mom, I'm moving out. And I'll miss you.' " Gradually, Knauth says, Kristin stopped visiting or telephoning.
After three years with the Finders, Kristin cut off all communication.
Mother and daughter haven't spoken for two years.
Toward the end of their contact, Kristin was always accompanied by another Finders member who took notes of their conversations, Knauth says. They explained that they discussed their conversations with the group.
"If you want me to say that she had a vague, vacant, Zombie-like look in her eyes, I can't say that," Knauth says. "In some ways she was like herself, in some ways not. She seemed unable to synthesize new information."
Knauth says she visited the Finders' Washington duplex last week.
She was told that she might not hear from Kristin for 20 years.
"I don't think they abuse their kids, and I don't think they worship the devil," Knauth says of the group. "But the Finders aren't harmless, and we who have been in contact with them know that...
"I don't think the bottom line of the Finders, whatever it is, is love."
Courtney Knauth went on to work at the Department of Agriculture, apparently as an editor or writer:http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:LX ... =clnk&cd=1http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err7/err7.pdfhttp://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/er ... Report.pdf
A Courtney Knauth graduated from the Hamlin School in San Francisco in 1944:http://static.namesdatabase.com/schools ... chool.html
This would tally with Kay Nauth’s statement to me that she grew up in the Bay Area. (Note that the Hamlin School offers instruction up through the eighth grade. That would suggest that Courtney Knauth would have been born around 1931.)
2. Her father was apparently Felix Kunhardt Knauth (DOB 9/25/1929) , with various addresses in California (Berkeley, Richmond, Fairfax, Loyalton, Point Reyes Station, Marshall), Montana (Missoula), and Washington, D.C. He may also have gone by (or goes by) the name Felix K. Hand in Missoula.
3. A Kristen Nauth graduated from the School Without Walls in Washington, D.C. in 1978:http://static.namesdatabase.com/schools ... Walls.html
Note that the surname is spelled without a leading “K”. That is a bit odd, if the person referenced is the one of interest to us, given that her birth name was probably Knauth; but the probability of finding both a Kristin Nauth and a Kristin Knauth in Washington, D.C. at the same time, seems a little remote.
4. In 2000, Nauth was seeking a position as a house sitter:http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/2000/00-08-16.htm
Note the email address …. It shows up elsewhere.
5. Using the “address” utility at www.peoplefinders.com
, and entering “409 Macoy Ave, Culpeper, VA”,
I found that the following people had resided there at some time; the utility provides a list of “possible relatives”. Here are some interesting results:
Winn, Randolph A.
Usdin, Steve T.
Knauth, Kristin (age 47)
Pettie, Marion D.
Pettie, William M. (age 63)
Nauth, Kristn [sic]
Winn, Usdin, and Silverstone were all active in the Finders in the 80s and 90s. (See references elsewhere.) Berns is mentioned by Eddie Dean in his interview with Pettie. Interestingly, Knauth shows up as a relative of Usdin.
William M.Pettie -- the age would suggest that he’s MDP’s son. But I haven’t found any other reference to this third son. (Estranged son: George; Air America pilot: David.)
Using a name search at people finders.com for “Knauth, Kristin”, I got the following:
Usdin, Steve T (age 46)
If Knauth was going by the name of “Kristin Usdin”, then she and Steve T. Usdin were probably married at the time. A similar search on Usdin lists Knauth as a relative.
6. Here are pictures of Usdin (from Google Image search):
With longer hair and a beard, this might look very much like the man who was introduced to me as “Douglas Ammerman”. I can’t find anything on the Internet about Ammerman, except that someone of that name and of the correct birthdate lived in San Ysidro, CA, at some point.
A few more details about Nauth are given in Appendix I -- address, phone, email, etc.
7. Kristin’s son, Benjamin Frankin Knauth (DOB: 01/29/1983) at some point shared an address with Felix and Courtney Knauth.
Appendix I. The Finders, In Person.
What follows is as detailed a description as I can make of my meetings with Kay Nauth and Doug Ammerman. There's a lot of tedious detail, but I think it best to set down everything I recall about the past few days. Some of it only makes sense in light of the information I picked up on the Internet; I've bolded some of these details that might otherwise seem obscure or pointless.
Laura and I moved to Floyd in February 2006. My son Walter lives in San Diego, but we've been trying to persuade him to move to Floyd. Our landlord recently bought the property next door to the place that we rent,and we asked Walter to fly out for a visit, to see whether he'd like to take out a lease and move in there. Walter arrived on Monday, December 4, planning to stay until Tuesday, December 12.
Walt has several respiratory allergies -- smoke, exhaust, animal hair, pollen -- and the house next door had been sealed up and vacant for most of the past year; there was a strong musty smell that Walt was afraid would linger, so he preferred not to take the place. We decided to spend his last few days here looking for other places he might be able to rent. The Floyd Press is published once a week on Thursdays. In the December 7 issue, there were three rental properties listed. One of these was for a three-bedroom house near Willis, located on the corner of a farm. I called and asked whether we could come by and see the place. Kay (the woman who had placed the ad) said that she lived in Charlottesville, but that she would be in Floyd over the weekend, so that we could come by Sunday.
The house to be rented sits on the corner of a larger parcel of land that includes a much larger house, as well as a number of farm structures. The rental is an unfurnished mobile home, but rather large, considering (I'd guess 1400 sq ft), nicely appointed inside, with quarter-log panelling, a cast-iron wood stove, largish bedrooms and baths. We didn't go up to the main house, but from a distance, I'd guess it would easily exceed 3000 sq ft. It's a two-story white clapboarded building with a large front porch whose columns rise to the height of the house. The rental sits close to the highway, but the larger house is well back, about a thousand feet.
Kay is fortyish and small-built -- slender, slightly shorter than the average woman, with blonde hair of middling length and pale skin. She wears large glasses and was dressed, as I recall, in something like women's business attire, even though it was a weekend. She enunciates carefully, with no apparent regional accent; speaks in a rather deliberate, paced fashion; gives an impression of good manners and education. She's guarded in her speech as well, giving away no more information than she means to. She said that she was a writer and journalist by trade, but didn't volunteer the genres in which she worked; that she had recently taken a job as an "analyst" to bring in some extra money, but didn't name the organization for which she worked; that she originally came from the Bay area, and that she had lived in Washington, D.C. for some time before moving to Charlottesville, from where she worked remotely for the job in Washington. She said that she and her boyfriend had bought the property in May, but that the sale wouldn't close till the next day (Monday). (This should have struck me as odd, but I didn't note it at the time: if the sale hadn't closed, how could she have access to the place, showing it to renters? My only experience with house sales was in San Diego, when we bought one place and then later sold it, but, as I recall, one doesn't surrender possession of the premises till all the ink has dried. Oh well, perhaps the previous owner was willing to allow it.)
Kay said that she and her boyfriend would be living at the larger house, but only intermittently. They wanted to make enough in rent from the mobile home to cover their mortgage payment. (I speculate that the mobile home may have been on a separate but adjacent parcel of land from the larger house. This would explain their reference to buying "the place" in May, but only closing on the mobile home in December.)
I asked whether she'd require a year's lease. She said, no, she'd prefer that there be no lease, and that she wanted to rent to people she trusted, that that was very important to her and her boyfriend. I took this to mean simply a month-to-month arrangement, and assumed that there would still be some sort of written rental contract.
At some point (maybe as a follow-up to this exchange), Kay mentioned that she was looking to rent the house to someone who wouldn't draw attention; I think she may have added "of the police", but that may have been only my interpretation. I said that she didn't need to worry, that Walter didn't use drugs. (I took that to be the thrust of her remark -- a reasonable concern for a landlord.)
When I asked Kay about mold problems, she volunteered that a section of roof had been damaged, and there was some mold there; also, on the northern outside walls. She was forthcoming about all this, and said that as a condition of the sale the previous owner would have to repair the roof and clean the mold.
We asked whether she would be keeping any farm animals, since there were several sheds on the property close to the house. She said that she and her boyfriend were thinking of buying two or three goats, but that they'd keep them in the paddock across the driveway, well away from the house. Walter was willing to accept this.
Otherwise, the place suited Walter very well; his only remaining concern was that the house was only a hundred feet or so from the highway (Rte 221). We asked whether we could come by the next afternoon (Monday) so that Walter could check the air quality on a week day. She agreed. On Monday afternoon, we went back and Walt decided that the air was good enough; we phoned Kay (who was away from the house -- her number is a cell phone) and said we wanted to take the place. She said that we could meet that evening in town at a coffee shop and finalize everything. (They planned to be in town till evening, and the house was about 14 miles out of town, so it would be more convenient for all of us.)
It turned out that the shop had closed by the time we got there, so they followed us back to our place. They drove a gold Saturn (license KAZ 6619, I later noted; not sure of the state, but probably Virginia; the man was driving, as I recall). We sat down and exchanged a few pleasantries. Kay's boyfriend's name was Doug Ammerman. He was a little shorter than average, I'd say, but sturdy (I'd guess about 160 -170 lb); middlingly long, wavy brown hair; a not very well-trimmed beard. He wore a visored cap (I think with some sort of Bluegrass music motif) that he kept on throughout their visit. Otherwise, I'd say that he was dressed in a casual way -- acually, indifferently; I noticed a small tear in his canvas trousers. He had a slight rural/Southern accent and spoke in a less-mannered way than Kay. Kay had said earlier that he was a musician, apparently interested in Bluegrass and old-time country music; it was he who had discovered Floyd and was pushing for the two of them to move there. He said that he ran across Floyd on his way back from the Galax Fiddlers' Convention (which is held each summer in Galax, VA, about 50 miles from Floyd). Kay also mentioned that he was interested in Brazilian music, and that he travelled a lot to Brazil. I tried to draw him out on the subject but he wouldn't talk about it. I can't quite say why, I don't think he had any real interest in or knowledge of Brazilian music, but that's just an impression I got. I do believe that he was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about old-time music, though. He said that he lived in western Loudoun County, near Furnace Mountain.
We got down to business. I gave Kay a copy of Walt's credit report (which I had unwisely printed out with his full SSN, which fact later came back to bother me). Kay gave me the following information about herself. Her last name was Nauth; she had the following email addresses: knauth@... and knauth@.... Her current mailing address was 712 Monticello Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902. I already had her cellular number, which was her only number: (434) 989 -6287. The rental property actually had two different addresses, one for the post office and another for the County government. The postal address was 7561 Floyd Highway South, the name of the highway that the property fronted; but to the County Clerk, the address was 163 Lemon Lane. Lemon Lane is a gravel road -- probably a private drive -- off of the highway, and the only two houses on it are the two I've described here. (There is another mobile home situated behind the larger house, but I don't know how it is reached from the road. Kay didn't mention it in any of our discussions.) The address of the large house was 7559 Floyd Highway South. Kay wasn't sure about the zip code.
Kay stated that they had worked out the last details of the mortgage with the bank and that the rent would be $450 a month. They preferred to keep the electric bill in their own name, and that we reimburse them each month for electricity used. Walt wrote them a check for the first month's rent plus a month' security deposit, and a second check against electricity usage. Kay seemed to think that was the end of business for the night, so I asked about signing the rental agreement. Kay and Doug appeared taken aback. Kay said that she thought that she had been clear, earlier, that there was to be nothing in writing, that they preferred that their relationships be based on trust. I was surprised in turn, but the property was so desirable that Walter and I agreed. I asked about proper terms of notice if either they wanted Walt to move, or if Walt wanted to move, and they said that, of course, everyone would be well-behaved about such things. They were willing to agree orally to 30-days' notice.
As I walked them out to their car, I had an odd feeling, and I mentally noted their license number -- license KAZ 6619. (It was too dark, and happening too fast, for me to notice the state issuing the plates.) We parted cordially. When I came back in, I noticed Laura washing the dishes we had used. I joked that it was too bad, she had just destroyed the only copies of their fingerprints that we had. She and I and Walter talked for a bit about the meeting; Laura and I had misgivings about the commitment that we had just made -- the lack of a written agreement, the cash deposit for electricity, the body-language and guarded speech of Kay and Doug, and so forth. We couldn't quite put a finger on why we were so uneasy, so we decided to sleep on it.
I woke up around three A.M., and, unable to go back to sleep, I started searching for information about the two on the Internet. Laura kept me company. I was worried about an identity-theft scam, because I had given them a copy of Walt's credit report that included his full Social Security Number. I wanted to see whether either Kay or Doug were known scam-artists. Instead, I ran across the first references to the Finders that I had ever read. I wasn't sure how much of it to take at face-value, but, by morning, Laura and Walter had decided it would be imprudent, at the least, to rent from them. I think the fact that they were planning to raise goats was what most disturbed us. (There was also an ad that Kay had placed on the Internet a few years earlier, advertising their willingness to house-sit. Laura thought this might be part of a scam where Doug and Kay would get access to a house while its owners were away, then pass themselves off as owners to collect rent money from tenants. Such a scam would fit neatly with their desire to keep the electric bill in their own name, and not commit themselves to a written rental agreement.)
We decided not to tell Walter or Laura's sons any of what we had read: Kay and Doug would be moving to Floyd regardless of whether we rented from them, and Floyd is such a small town that any gossip would probably get back to them. We had no evidence of anything criminal or even objectionable about the pair, only misgivings about a business relationship. In the morning, we gave Walter our feelings about being uneasy -- the lack of a rental agreement, the possibility of a scam, and so forth -- and persuaded him to pass on the rental. I called up Kay and told her Walter had had an asthma attack and had decided not to move to Floyd. She agreed to drop the rental; she was working at an Internet cafe that morning, so I drove into town and dropped off the keys she had given us the night before. I asked whether I could get Walt's checks back. She said that Doug had them, but they could drop them off later that day on the way out of town. Later that day, I had a call from her that they couldn't make it by, but that I could meet Doug in Floyd and pick up the checks. That's what happened, and that's the last that I saw of them.
Over the next few days, I tried to find out a few things about the property, as discreetly as I could. I went to the County clerk's office to check out the deed, but it proved too difficult to ask about the ownership of the property without naming the owners. I checked the online MLS for house sales, but none of the addresses was listed. I checked out the addresses in the USPS zip-code service ( http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp
). Entering the following three addresses,
7561 FLOYD HWY S
7559 FLOYD HWY S
164 LEMON LANE
I got the following message (for each of the three):
This is a non-deliverable address. Mail sent to this address will be returned.
This address is NON-DELIVERABLE
Clicking on the help button ("What is non-deliverable?"), I got the following explanation:
Non-Deliverable Examples of non-deliverable addresses include buildings that no longer exist, addresses that do not accept mail, etc. First Class Mail® sent to a non-deliverable address will be returned to the sender
For each address, I was given a real zip-code; for the Lemon Lane address, the utility filled in the correct suffix "SW" to the street address -- so I was entering valid addresses, I think. But each of the addresses produced this warning. Later, driving by the property, I noticed there were no mailboxes, either along the highway or further back up off the driveway. I wondered how they got their utility bills -- from a post office box? It seemed very strange, but not dispositive -- like everything I've discovered about the Finders to date.