Our little getaway in the mountains.

It seems most every county in this area has some sort of a secret government facility. Generally they’re understated — a chunk of land in the woods with a suspiciously unguarded entrance. Something that may or may not be a camera is mounted in a tree. A sign says “No Trespassing” in polite lettering.

There are rumors, friends of friends who were involved in the construction. It goes down six stories, they say. It looks like a little one-room building, but there’s an elevator. See them antennas up on the hill? They talk to satellites.

There’s nobody to ask, no phone number to call, no obvious way to figure out what, exactly, they do there.

In the mountain range that I call home, the Southwest Mountains, we’ve got one of those. A gravel road crosses from Stony Point over to the Cash’s Corner / Cismont area. On the east side of it is a big ol’ chunk of land, running clear along the ridge line, with a single paved lane snaking up to it. Government Compound Entrance “PRIVATE ROAD NO TRESPASSING” is marked on a faux highway sign. I’ve never seen any vehicles go in or out of there, but I don’t exactly live next door, so that doesn’t necessarily mean much. There are rumors about what they do there. It’s said they dug way down to put in a big underground compound, though to what end, nobody knows. The presence of the National Ground Intelligence Center in town only adds to the intrigue.

So I was interested to read William Arkin’s “Back to the Bunker” in the Post a week ago Sunday, in which he reported that a huge practice government evacuation will take place in a week’s time. Four thousand federal employees are going to head out to the dozens of secret bunkers scattered around Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, practicing for the eventuality of an attack far more severe than that of September 11, 2001.

Once upon a time, back before decentralization was en vogue, it was planned for all of Congress to be evacuated under The Greenbriar. Long abandoned, it’s now part of the tour offered to its well-heeled guests. I can only assume that, under the current administration’s vision of government, the legislature is viewed as somewhat more disposable. I suspect they won’t be included in next week’s drill.

As for me, I intend to keep an eye on the road on Monday. I’ll consider anything beyond the average couple of cars an hour to be confirmation that the facility over the mountain is some kind of an underground bunker. If there’s something to it, I think I should know about it. Just in case the occasion were to arise.

19 thoughts on “Our little getaway in the mountains.”

  1. Creepy

    Have you ever thought of driving down the road and see what happens? There are feds hinding in the trees!!!

  2. A friend just told me that he drove up there once. There’s a guardhouse a little up the road, kept up there to be more discreet. It seems I wouldn’t get far.

  3. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, nor do I play one TV but I know that there are several reported BIGGIES in the C’ville region.

    The most notable is the piece of land in Madison County called “Mt. Weather”. It is reputed to be one of the X number of shadow White Houses scattered about.

    A quick Google-ization of Mt. Weather will tell you all about it. It’s was originally a Navy facility and then transferred to FEMA.

    If you go to GlobalSecurity.org, you’ll be able to get some information about what the facility does but then, who really knows.

  4. Try this article I found, Waldo. These guys sound like kooks to me but…

    Foreign troops guarding the FEMA [now Homeland Security] Base at Peter’s Mountain, Cismont – VA
    Al Cuppett

    US Army & Action Officer, the Joint Staff (JCS) Ret

    Rt 1 Box 34-T

    Madison, VA 22727

    8 May 1997 (Updated 29 July 2004)

    Colonel Wayne Huggins
    Sheriff Bob Russell
    Sheriff Terry Hawkins
    Sheriff Bill Spence
    Sheriff Will Morris

    INFO: Other Law Enforcement/Military Officers, and officials, as appropriate

    Subject: Foreign troops guarding the FEMA [now Homeland Security] Base at Peter’s Mountain, Cismont, VA

    The FEMA base, masquerading as an “ATT Relay Site”, at Cismont, VA, is guarded by armed, black uniformed troops, who are hidden from view of anyone who takes the restricted access road, or climbs the towering slopes, to the site. [Note: There are at least 34 of these bases nationwide.]

    I was told today, that just recently, **a cab driver made a wrong turn and went up the access road. Near the [first, and only] gate he saw, he was immediately accosted by armed individuals in black uniforms; all who carried what appeared to be automatic weapons. He was told to get out of there ASAP! While the cab driver probably didn’t notice any apparent linguistic anomalies, you can bet they spoke idiomatic English with “clipped Cyrillic” accents.

    It’s known that the black Cobra chopper that did its, “intimidate-a-law-enforcement-officer” thing in Orange County on 14 February 1995, refueled, and/or sortied from-to that base!

    What’s more, the day of the OKC bombing that base had choppers at all hours, after the [two, not one] explosive blast(s), flying in and out. They were exercising the “Continuity of Government Plan”, bringing in the Multi-National Force ‘players’, to see if they could effectively “regionalize” the country under a “national emergency”, in a martial law scenario. [Remember, this letter was written 4 years before 9-11.]

    Furthermore, I would bet you the guy I saw in Gordonsville sometime back, from Estonia, who had the “EST” international oval sticker on his black 4×4 SUV, and the “BALT” Virginia vanity license plate, is Spetsnaz-qualified, and assigned there permanently. [Estonia is a ‘BALT-ic’ country.]

    Furthermore, I’d also bet you the guy with Virginia license plate, “RUSKIES”, in the blue convertible near Uno, VA, is assigned there too! Gentlemen, these “lend-lease” cops and troops are all over the place, just as I’ve been trying to warn you for three years! They’re going to impact our lives…soon! [Folks, as of 29 July 2004, you’ve had 9 years of warning!]

    To wit, the multilateral breaking of the PLO/Israeli [Oslo] Peace Accord on 13 March 1997 by the Clinton Administration, the Arabs, the Jordanians, as well as the UN, was an “apocalyptical event”, which portends grave and imminent consequences, sooner or later, for all of us in this country.

    It could eventually tie in with the [April 11th-observed] Muslim purchase of the forty-one hand-held, Magellan GPS Navigation Units, bought at three Hudson Trails Outfitter stores, and the Anthrax/Bubonic Plague ‘prepare-the-public-for-terror’ event which happened in Washington at the B’nai B’rith offices on 24 April 97. Hey, there’s more going on than you could ever believe. We’ll have more terror events soon! Mark my word!


    Al Cuppett

  5. I’ve often heard people describe it as “the AT&T facility.” I figured they’d just gotten some bad information — it hadn’t occurred to me that might be some kind of a formal cover for the place.

  6. I was just a young, long-haired hippie musician in ’74, sleeping it of in a road house that we had just played in the nite before. The weather was too bad and we were in too bad a’ shape to drive home. I was awakened by a loud sound I thought was thunder!?!?! I went back to sleep.

    Found out later that a TWA jetliner had crashed into Mt. W. (right out by their fence) and a lot of folks found out about that place then. My cousins were helping in the rescue effort. They won’t talk much about it, tho…

    The Tramp

  7. Most counties in Virginia list, as publically available information, the owner, last sale price, date of last sale, and intended land use statements for all parcels of land registered with the county for tax purposes. Some counties have them all online, many do not. It is pretty trivial if you know the registered address of the parcel, to see “who” owns it and what it is allegedly for… that does not prevent it being a wasted efforct because it may be owned by a dummy corporation or even the government.

  8. I just spent a few minutes comparing the county real estate assessments database with the real estate tax maps (numbers 49, 50 and 36). Interestingly, it’s not one contiguously-owned chunk of land. It’s divided among Eric & Lisa Frost (W. 16th St., NY NY), Marta Browning and Ana Askey (Gordonsville), and three sizable chunks amounting to ~250 acres owned by Paul Gardner & Martha Etal of Yorktown. The ginormous chunks of land have impressively low values — 117 acres valued at $23k, 21 acres at $4k, etc. I have to wonder if these people actually exist.

    A huge swath of the land has a right-of-way leased to American Telephone and Telegraph of Virginia. The map also indicates that there are three gates along the road.

  9. The link to the article Back to the Bunker must’ve changed Here’s the link as I found it:


    As for that Mountain top facility, I had extended family that worked security for the construction company when it was being built. As was explained to me, It was built in the late 60’s as a reaction to the nuclear war threat. It’s at least 3 stories deep and it has it’s own self contained water supply. During the Regan era Cold War and similar nuclear attack fears the plan was that in the event that there was ever to be that sort of attack the employees of NGIC, then known as the FSTC (Foreign Science and Technology Center), and their immediate families would be evacuated to that location. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s use has morphed from nuclear attack bunker to terrorist attack bunker.

    Waldo wrote:

    In case anybody’s curious, the photo taken at the highest altitude is looking south — that road winds along the ridge until it intersects with the public east/west that crosses the mountain range.

    And if you look really carefully at that road you can see where part of it disappears into the ground, or at least into an unnatural looking rectangular grass covered hill. Look at the paved road just below and to the right of the paved square that looks like it could be a parking lot, then follow that road into the hill. :)

    As for the ownership records, I’d think either they are either bogus, or the government never bothered to change out the names of the original owners they aquired the land from back in the 60’s with the corresponding land values of the time. I imagine the local names would be easy enough to verify, just approach them (if they exist) under the premise that you’re interested in buying the land.

    And strangely enough Waldo, you’re not in that county assessment database either. If you can pull it off, it should be a piece of cake for the government to do so.


  10. And strangely enough Waldo, you’re not in that county assessment database either.

    That’s because my wife and I don’t formally own our land yet. We had a soil test done yesterday, and next we’ll get a surveyor out here. Then we’ll own the land. :)

  11. I’ve been driving by there 6-8 times a day since Sunday, looking after my brother’s dogs while he’s on vacation, and I’ve noticed something odd. When I’m within about a quarter of a mile from Peters Mountain, I lose my FM radio reception. It’s worse lower down the dial — 88.5FM doesn’t come in at all, 97.5FM comes in badly, and 107.5FM comes in pretty well. It gradually improves as my distance increases, and by the time I’ve driven for a couple of minutes the signal is just fine again.

  12. I believe it is an AT&T secure telecom (switching) facility – a POP for the secure lines, separate from the POP on East High St.

  13. Jock provides this comment via e-mail:

    Albemarle County and Charlottesville built a new antenna tower on
    Peters Mountain to expand their joint emergency communications system.
    The detailed suitability study speaks of an existing “large AT&T
    transmission facility at the top of the mountain” and says “. . . it
    was proposed that the tower be constructed on the American Telegraph
    and Telephone Company (AT&T) where there is an existing communications
    facility, however, a suitable agreement for the use of this site could
    not be reached between the parties.”

    Why would a mere phone company site be militarized and heavily
    guarded? Because back when AT&T had a monopoly on long distance lines
    in the the 40’s and 50’s, they were the only viable communication
    provider for nuclear command and control. That function continues: the
    uses of the facility on Peters Mountain today include transmitting
    Permissive Action Links, a safeguard code to prevent nuclear weapons
    sitting atop missiles from detonating, at least not without
    permission. Cf

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