Ashley is an award-winning journalist/author/blogger who has written for Playboy, Toronto Star, Movie Entertainment, Sports Illustrated, Maclean's and others. He's interviewed various "leaders" in their fields, including: Oscar winners (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lawrence, Alicia Vikander, Jane Fonda, Mira Sorvino, Geena Davis, Anthony Hopkins); Grammy winners (Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ice Cube, Pete Townshend); MVPs in sports (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Kobe Bryant); and, business leaders (Amazon's Jeff Bezos). He has an upcoming novel, REJEX, coming out on Pulp Hero Press. And he has written several episodic TV shows, appeared on CNN, and blogged for Mademan, Medium, GritDaily and HuffPost.
Tick, Tock? If we are facing the next ugly chapter in humanity’s seemingly Endless War, several things come to mind including: the role of multinational corporations; an evocative song called “War”; and, a mind-blowing speech and scene from the Oscar-winning movie, Network.
Mt. Rainier, 1947, Kenneth Arnold coins phrase “flying saucers” They’re here! Those ominous words were spoken in the thriller Poltergeist (1982). The little girl sensed what was going on, and then things got rolling in the movie. And, now they’re being spoken by UFOlogists like Stephen Zoller. Well, guess what—UPAs are indeed here! Say what? A recent Washington Post headline read: Those UFO videos are real, the Navy says, but please stop saying ‘UFO,’ with UPA standing for Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. But, let’s back track. In May 2017, “60 Minutes” featured Robert Bigelow, who was working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space. Right on the show, he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth. Also, that year, the New York Times ran one story about some unexplained UFO sightings from 2014 and 2015, ‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects. Then, another one was about the Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program. What the Navy pilots saw and photographed Everyone who watched—including the pilots who filmed them—had the same question: What, exactly, are these things? Well, the recent Washington Post story goes on to report that: “The Navy designates the objects contained in these videos as unidentified aerial phenomena,” Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told the Black Vault blog, a massive civilian repository of government documents mostly obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests. Black Vault’s founder, John Greenewald Jr., also told The Washington Post: “The most powerful military doesn’t know what these objects are,” Greenewald said. “That doesn’t mean aliens, or that they don’t have some plausible logical explanation. But … admitting that they see things in the sky and they can’t identify them, that to me is the most amazing part of this.” For people like Greenewald, the truth is still out there, so “we just have to keep asking those questions." I reached out to my UFOlogist pal Stephen Zoller, whom we last spoke to in several recent eye-opening articles, including: “The Reality of UFOs May Be Hiding in Plain Sight”; and, “UFOs & The Great Convergence.” By Dawn’s Early Light… Fire — was one of those pivotal moments in human history being watched over? Zoller, whose contribution to an audio/video presentation called “Isolation” was recently screened at the prestigious Art Gallery of Ontario, was happy to continue the conversation about UFOs, and how they may even be connected to Jesus and the Second Coming (yes, you read right): Q. There’s much to discuss on the UFO front, let’s start with the “swarming” of Area 51? A. The big event that wasn’t. Just a handful of “Burning Man” types looking for drugs and anonymous sex. It illustrates how tone deaf the public has become as we approach the 20-year mark of the 21st century. The San Diego Comic Con (and its Cosplay competition) attracted more than 150,000 comic and sci-fi nerds, young and old, many who had to travel far and wide, and at considerable expense to get there. However, arguably the most momentous news in the history of the human race—that we are being “visited” by a super advanced race on a regular basis—doesn’t register on their radar. Talk about having your cosplay head stuck firmly up your cosplay butt. In this era of lies and conspiracy theories the lines between reality and fantasy are increasingly being blurred. Q. Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. But can you talk about a story that quietly infiltrated the news with that US Navy spokesperson suggesting UFOs or UAPs are for real? A. I don’t for one second believe the disclosure was happenstance. There seems to be a sea change inside the Pentagon, Don’t tell me that the military doesn’t have think tanks discussing exactly what we’ve been discussing in this series of interviews. I think they are fully aware of the confluence of events headed our way. Q. A convergence of catastrophes? A. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Secretary of the U.S.S.R. recently stated that the world is in colossal danger. It would be wise to take notice. A Futurian Residence, sometime in our future Q. Let’s return to a subject we touched upon earlier in the series – the idea that our time traveling descendants—the Futurians—are at the center of this whole thing and may have interacted with humans dating back many millennia. By the way, on sites like “ufocon.blogspot” I received great comments—“I like the use of the epithet ‘Futurians.’ It's a new meme in the making”—calling for us to chew more fat on the subject. A. Then let’s chew away. There is pretty convincing archeological evidence that a super race visited sites like Giza and Petra five to ten thousand years ago. A few cave paintings around the world point even further back to pre-civilization times. Ancient texts such as the Bible contain numerous accounts of encounters with otherworldly beings who bear more than a passing resemblance to space travellers Q. But if meddling with the timeline could eradicate their future, why would the time travelers risk something so catastrophic and for what purpose? A. It does sound counter intuitive. But what if those ancient interactions were made by an early generation of time explorers who had yet to determine the limits of what they could and couldn’t do when traveling back in time? So, putting myself in their shoes, I’d say that bearing witness to key moments in the evolution of our species is central to their ideology. Imagine being able to go back and be a fly on the cave wall when our ancestors discovered how to harness fire or witness the first “burial” some 150,000 years ago. Q. That significance being? A. The burial ritual represents a belief in the hereafter which would eventually lead to the creation of religion(s)—let’s face it, which is the root of much of the madness being on display today. Q. I’m trying to decide which moment I would choose to visit – attend the first and only time England won the FIFA World Cup in 1966 or the Beatles first set at the Cavern Club. A. Good one. But the one that tops my list is the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Q, But you are a card carrying atheist. Why? A. It doesn’t change the fact that Jesus has had great impact on who I am or who I chose not to be. Like it or not, Catholicism rose out of obscurity to became the dominant religion in the West. It shaped our philosophy, ethics and art. Q. On the other hand, there’s a whole slew of people who believe that Jesus never existed, right? A. I grant you that there’s an embarrassing lack of contemporaneous evidence for Jesus’ existence but I tend to agree with the late great atheist Christopher Hitchens who believed there must have been a charismatic rabbi named Joshua roaming Galilee circa 2,000 years ago. Otherwise, why would the Gospel writers have inserted such an obvious made-up story about him being born in Bethlehem—in order to fall in line with a prophecy made a 1000 years earlier that predicted the arrival of a Hebrew messiah born under the House of David (in Bethlehem). If the whole story was made up, why didn’t the writers just avoid Nazareth all together and have him born and raised in Bethlehem—not born in a stinky barn on the way to Nazareth. You were a good altar boy when you were in shorts, right? Wouldn’t you want to go back and witness the crucifixion first hand and see what really went down at Golgotha outside the gates of Jerusalem, oh those many years ago. What if a Futurian scientist/scholar whisked “JC’s” body away Q. I hear you but what does this have to do with UFOs today? A. Is it possible that a religious scholar in the future was/will be given permission to go back in time to witness the crucifixion? Is it possible that this scholar took pity on the poor bastard and stole the body from the crypt, being careful not to deviate from the timeline where Christ was believed to have risen from the dead and gone to live with the Big Guy up in heaven. The resurrection is the foundation that Christianity rests on. What if the Futurians aboard the time-ship then availed themselves of their hyper-advanced bio-tech and resuscitated the “rabbi” then returned back to the future with him? Q, LOL. So, like Elvis, Jesus is alive and well, but teaching ancient carpentry in Tomorrow Land? A. I’m not kidding. With the convergence of upheavals headed our way—and absolutely no leadership from politicians to deal with our problems—what if Joshua/Jesus of the future felt such empathy for the failings of his fellow human beings that he persuaded the “timeline magistrates” to let him board a time-ship and return to Jerusalem c. 33 AD—thus fulfilling the prophecy that was made of his Second Coming. Only he would announce that he is NOT God but if the people of the Earth got their act together there is a paradise waiting for them down the road. Q. So, then the timeline would remain intact? A. Bingo! The world has a “The Day The Earth Stood Still” moment. The message being—be good to each other and to the planet—and you will be invited into “heaven” for real. Here’s a quote from Revelations. I had to look it up but: “When the great disasters come, the Lord shall begin rewarding the good and punishing the wicked, and then He shall come with clouds and appear openly to all peoples. When that time comes, all who resist ‘The Word’ shall be caught in the disasters and there shall be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Q. It’s so stupid it’s brilliant. Science and mysticism meet atop the mountain of knowledge, right? A. It may be crazy but not as bat-shit crazy as the mountains of crap being shoveled our way by so-called leaders like Trump and Putin. Q. Again, if anything, Mr. Zoller, you’ve given us a lot more food for thought. A. I’d say it’s more like a pig-out. And before we go I’d like to invite anyone in the Toronto area who is interested in participating in a one-off UFO event at Workman Arts to contact me through Facebook. All graphics by Stephen Zoller. Author/blogger Ashley Jude Collie’s new sci-fi, dystopian novel, REJEX, is available on Amazon (US) and Amazon (UK), and Amazon worldwide.
We all deal with insecurity, although artists may feel the pangs even more. Putting your art out there to be judged is not quite the same as handing in a quarterly report. And, whether it’s photography, film, writing, music, or a dance project, you need bags of self-esteem to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as Shakespeare put it.
Even while admitting that one can read almost anything into Nostradamus’ verse, the New York Times once wrote a story suggesting “certain lines are said to have predicted Napoleon’s rise, Hitler’s fall, Hiroshima, the arrival of the Kennedy brothers, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and September 11, among hundreds of other events.”
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