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Ashley’s team spent weeks chopping through dense rain forests in search of the Inca’s Golden Sun Disc. They climbed to the highest peak in the Peruvian Andes and examined one of the most remote astronomical observatories in South America – Inca Wasi. Hiking and riding up the Inca Trail to 14’500 feet above sea level, the team explored remote sacred landscapes which only a handful of people have ever seen.
Travelling in 4×4’s across Mexico’s Yucatan, Ashley consulted a Mayan elder about the whereabouts of the legendary Talking Cross, a sacred Mayan artefact last seen in the 16th century. While filming in Mexico Ashley made several archeological discoveries including a series of red hand prints deep within an unexplored cave. Several clay pots containing bird and animal bones were discovered in the deepest part of the cave he discovered human remains dated to the 12th century. After visiting the stepped pyramids of Yaxuna, he located an unexplored sacred cenote (sink hole) and dived into the Mayan underworld. In the dark poisonous waters he discovered a 13th century cutting tool and a human skull.
Following in the footsteps of FDR, Hitler and Nicholas Roerich, Ashley’s quest for Shamballa and the lost Cintamani stone took him to the crest of the highest mountain in the Philippines and to the depths of the deepest cave on the islands. Ashley and his team were diving in Taal Lake (an active volcanic lake) when the earthquake hit last year. They were forced to surface quickly and flee to high ground with all the locals.
Tel Megiddo in northern Israel Ashley explored an fortified hilltop which is believed to be King Solomon’s northernmost property in Israel. This location is also believed to be the prophesied site of Armageddon where the final battle at the End of Days will be fought. This important location on the road to Jerusalem has recently been excavated and a stash of jewel encrusted artifacts has been discovered. Ashley also explored the very first site of Christian worship, the forerunner to every church and cathedral in the world, which is now located within the walls of a maximum security prison containing some of the worlds most dangerous international terrorists. Here, Ashley examined one of the oldest Christian symbols in existence.
After examining the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land - the Madaba Map - Ashley spent two days exploring the Jordanian deserts on camels and 4×4’s before arriving at the treasury at Petra, which was featured in the first Indiana Jones movie. Climbing the mount Aaron Mount he visits a shrine believed to house Moses’ brother Aaron’s Tomb. Regarded as one of the holiest sites in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, Ashley measured Aaron’s tomb and revealed hitherto unknown lunar alignments within the structures foundations.
Ashley and his team flew over the arid wastes of north Africa in a single propeller plane and landed in Lalibela, Ethiopia where he was granted special permission to interview High Priests at a magnificent group of rock hewn churches. Ashley spent a day beneath the desert in a tunnels painted with images of christian saints and legends which extend for several miles beneath the churches. Ashley befriended several local children and taught them how to make a compass’s using sticks and the sun. The children showed Ashley how to find water in the desert by following cattle and certain plants.
Ashley examined the Byzantine, Arabic and Norman architecture and symbols at the magnificent Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily. Following the trail of England’s King Richard, who fortified parts of Palermo during the crusades, Ashley travelled extensively in the Apulia region of Southern Italy following the pilgrimage route to the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Travelling north his team ventured into unexplored caves beneath Ostuni Cathedral looking for ancient artifacts. He also explored the streets and underground city of Rome, where he interviewed staff at the Vatican. Ashley gained special permission to examine the Vatican from the air and flew over the Vatican’s restricted airspace in a chopper photographing its architecture.
Ashley visited the famous Chartres Cathedral where he examined the famous labyrinth inset into the floor of the cathedral. He was permitted access to the towering heights of the towers and explored the lower crypts where he discovered a tunnel leading beneath the labyrinth. Ashley also explored the woods of Brittany where he examined standing stones and Neolithic burial cairns. He filmed an episode of Legend Quest inside The Church of the Holy Grail, which lies on the edge of the forest of Brocéliande in Brittany, in an area reputed for witchcraft, next to Morgaine-Le-Fey’s Valley of No Return.
Deep in the German forests lies Wewelsburg Castle. This dark 16th century castle was rebuilt by the Nazi’s and used as a concentration camp. It became the centre of the Nazi Occult movement where Himmler gathered sacred artifacts from all over the world. Ashley examined the entire castle and concentrated in the central symbol known as the Black Sun. After interviewing the castle’s archivist he explored the lower crypt which was designed to house Hitlers Tomb.
In Vienna, located in the medieval part of the Hofburg Palace, the Schweizerhof, the Treasury houses Habsburg treasures and insignia, among them the Austrian imperial crown, and the crown, insignia and jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. Precious jewels such as the largest cut emerald in the world testify to the Habsburgs’ former power and glory. After interviewing the Treasury curator, Ashley was given special permission to film the famous artifact known as the Spear of Destiny.
Over the years Ashley has spent many months exploring both modern and ancient American Legends. He has spent a lot of time in the Chumash Indian Reservation in California where he has forged friendships with the tribal elders. He has examined 4000 year old swordfish cave paintings and recently worked out the astronomical properties of a 10’000 year old standing stone known as the Star Stone. Upon the face of this sacred stone the constellation Ursa Minor – the little bear – has been carved which Ashley used to help date the stone. He also spent time in North America following the trail of the pilgrims and Americas first freemasons. Having examined the highest obelisks in the nation – the pilgrims monument, the Boston monument and the Washington Monument he visited Capital Hill and the White House and went on to examine the Statue of Liberty in New York.
Having been brought up in the north of Scotland Ashley has spent many years uncovering ancient Neolithic settlements, tools and carved stones. He has written two books about his work on the architecture and carved symbols in Rosslyn Chapel and several newspaper articles about his quests looking for lost Scottish Treasures. Ashley’s most recent quest in Scotland was a Treasure Hunt at Loch Arkaig looking for a lost Jacobite gold stash. He is currently writing a new documentary series based in Scotland in which the hunting, fishing and survival skills of ancient cultures are being explored and recreated.
Ashley recently explored the Hawkstone Caves in Shropshire where legends claim King Arthur addressed his knights before his final battle. Ashley has been involved in several research projects in Southern England and was recently permitted to film in the secure underground vaults beneath the Museum of London where he examined a 6th century sword believed by some to be the legendary Excalibur. Ashley is currently working on several TV projects in London where he is currently researching places and events associated to the ancient Britonic King Lud. Next year he is filming at several cathedrals in England for a web TV project.
Every few years Ashley travels to Iceland to explore The Althingi which is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant. The centre of the gathering was Law Rock, a rocky outcrop upon which the Lawspeaker (lögsögumaður) took his seat at the centre of the ancient assembly on the plains of Þingvellir from about the year 930 AD. The Althing was originally a meeting place of the Icelandic Commonwealth, where the country’s most powerful Leaders (goðar) met to decide on legislation and dispense justice. Over the centuries, all ‘free men’ could attend the assemblies, which drew large crowds of farmers and their families, parties involved in legal disputes, traders, craftsmen, storytellers and travellers. In 2002, Ashley expanded the known history of the Althing by discovering a series of deliberate landscape alignments from the Law Rock to various sacred sites in Iceland.
In 2008 Ashley was commissioned to examine legends about a magic flute which appears repeatedly within Costa Rican legends. Ashley followed a trail of clues and interviewed a witch doctors and several tribal elders about the legend. Unfortunately this quest came to a brutal end. While exploring a series of jungle caves Ashley was poisoned by a rare type of bat shit and he fell seriously ill. He was first treated in make shift hospital tent in a shanty town on the out skirts of San Jose before being flown to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow where he was treated for advanced keto-ascidosis (acid in the blood). Ashley vows to leave legendary magical flutes alone!
Ashley has become fascinated by Phuket’s Big Buddha – one of the island’s most important and revered landmarks. This 45 meter high stone Buddha sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata. This is one of the most peaceful places on earth, the silence broken only by the tinkling of small bells in the wind and soft dharma music. The Buddha’s entire body is layered with white Burmese marble that shines brightly in both sun and moon light, making it a natural symbol of hope.
Ashley photographed the temples surrounding Ankor Wat and joined the people in rural fishing communities learning how they lived on the river. He shared fishing techniques from Scotland with village elders and showed children how to fly fish, with a garden cane.