An Afterlife Interview with Christopher Columbus

An interview with the one and only, none other than, Chris.

For those who are familiar with "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer" they will recognize this format and technique.

I'm not claiming "this is Columbus" answering these questions, but I know it's not Jennifer Shaffer the intrepid medium answering them.  They're being answered by "someone" who claims to be "Columbus."

On the way to our weekly meeting, I looked out the window of my speeding car at the passing ocean, and thought "Gee, I wonder who I should ask to come forward today?" The name "Columbus" popped into my head.  I thought "Really? That guy? Okay, why not?"  In the ever repetetive attempt to demonstrate that "anyone who has ever lived on the planet is still accessible" I asked for our folks on the flipside to "bring him forward."

What follows is his "interview."  (In the upcoming "Backstage Pass to the Flipside Three: "Class is in Session.") There are historical details about Columbus I know - and am asking pointed questions with regard to that knowledge.  Luana Anders, our friend on the flipside, assists with "giving out the backstage pass" and "putting the interviewee in the chair." (As well as helping him/her to "translate" what we want communicated.)

(Note: If someone else asked him these same questions they might get different answeers. When a child asked a parent questions, the parent tailors the answer to the child, when a close friend asks questions, they may kid around and have fun with the answer, when a complete stranger (me) asks questions, the person may reply based on what they think I'm supposed to hear, or what the medium should hear.  However, Jennifer and I have been doing this for so long, we speak in a kind of "short hand" - where I know that the answer could be misinterpreted, or that I'm asking the wrong question based on my prior knowledge of the person involved - but the reason I do this kind of interview is that the overall affect, when one looks at the dozens we've done - there are constants in the material that appear when I interview people on the flipside via other mediums, or when a person is under deep hypnosis and reporting what they recall, or lately, when a person is not under hypnosis at all.)
Image result for columbus
OSU painting
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you - the explorer known as Christopher Columbus.

(Jennifer and I are mid session. We've just spent an hour chatting with someone else who was a historic icon (which will be in the book).  At this point, feeling that I've gotten what I've asked for, I ask:)

Anyone else? Luana? I did invite somebody else.

Did you invite someone on a boat?

Go with it.

Somebody at sea, almost like a cartoon. (Jennifer aside:) Who’s the guy who took all the animals?

Noah. Does he want to come forward? It’s not who I asked for, but Luana; you’re in charge.

No, something else with the sea, this person feels like a captain of the sea. Feels like 500 years ago.

Okay, that’s accurate. I asked for him – he’s a famous guy.


(Ding!) Yes. I want to ask him some specific questions.

(I said his name aloud prior to arrival. Sometimes it takes her a few tries, but in this case, obviously not. We had no plan to "speak to Columbus" ever - and I had not thought about it at all prior to his name popping into my head.)

He said “He had a bad rap.”

(Note: A rather colloquial comment from someone regarding their reputation.  But Jennifer speaks aloud whatever she hears.  We also have to remember, that he’s not dead – he’s been around all this time, has heard colloquial phrases since then and would be aware of them. “Bad rap” fits.)

There was a priest who kept a diary aboard your ship.

He said “They were getting killed.”

Okay, but you killed a lot of natives for gold; is that correct?


Those diaries paint you as a nasty motherf&*er.

“Yes, in the British Virgin Isles.”

Let me ask this; were you Spanish? Italian?

It feels like both.  Both Spanish and Italian. His grandmother was from... (listens.) Genoa. But his father was Spanish.

Were you a pirate? Before you went to Queen Isabella or were you just a sailor?

“I was a survivor.”

Good answer. But were you a merchant sailor from Italy?

He says “I was a pirate.” He had a different name for it.

A black marketeer? Let’s put it this way you were someone who operated outside the law – black market?

(Note: There are reports that Columbus was a black market trader (pirate) who created a different persona to gain access to funds from the Queen of Spain. Documents show that he never wrote in Italian, and had no clear family ties to Italy, outside of the claim he was from Genoa. “In Italian he is known as Cristoforo Colombo, which was long thought to be his birth name, and in Spanish as Cristóbal Colón. ... There is even a theory that he adopted the name from a pirate named Colombo.”

“He was told that he could.”

You never wrote in Italian; did you speak Italian? Did you know how?

Something he did not like about Italians; I don’t know what it is.

Are you more Spanish than Italian?

"Spanish. Close to France."

Eastern or Western side? Isabella is from the west.

He was from the east.

You were pretending to be Italian to gain favor from the Queen, but you were Spaniards?

"His crew were Spaniards."

Did you pretend to be Italian to get money from Isabella?

“Yes. He was in love with her, it was romantic.”

Were they lovers? Or was it a crush?

There’s something with that...  “Too many clothes,” he said.

(Note: That’s an odd but accurate detail.  Furtive love, or the kind where people are intimate outside of the prying eyes of courts and courtiers – required a lot of clothing in those days.  Took hours to get dressed – not easy to get undressed.  Still, an odd thing to hear.)

Where were you trying to get to?


What were you trying to get? Were you after gold? Silver?

"Silk." He showed me like drapes.

(Note: “A bolt of silk was worth its weight in gold” according to a biography of Henry Hudson, where the author pointed out “Pirates had granted Portuguese vessels safe passage, but not other Europeans. So they began to look for an alternate route to India.” Henry Hudson: New World Voyager by Henry Butts. 2009. Dundurn Publishers. Pg 20.)

When you arrived, did you think you’d arrived in India?

“It didn’t make sense; it was too short of a trip.”

(Note: Interesting observation. We tend to think of two months at sea as a long time, apparently he was assuming it would have been a lot longer.)

How was he dressed on the journey? How does he appear to you?

He was big – a foot taller than most, he was wide, no beard... (Jennifer aside:) Where’d did he come across the Indians?

I think it was Hispaniola. Though that might have been the third trip.

(Note: He landed on San Salvador first, he had four trips to the Caribbean islands, never setting foot on North America. The third was to Hispaniola.)

It’s the third one.. (trip) with the Indians. He showed me an native chief; big, tall  - “Like a foot taller and he had on that huge headdress.”

Did you kidnap him; take him back to Europe or leave him alone?

“Children. He took his children.” (Jennifer aside:) Asshole...

The report I’ve read was that your men cut off people’s hands for their gold – correct me if i’m wrong.

He’s showing me everything was peaceful until they showed up.

You tortured people to find out where they got their gold. Because no one spoke the language.

"He used kids for that."

(Note: In the People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn published a diary of a priest aboard the ships ((Bartolome de las Casas) who reported the wholesale slaughter and torture of these natives and their enslavement. His diary doesn’t include Columbus using natives to hurt other natives; but that’s what is being said.)

When you died who was there to greet you?

“His mother.”

The Italian mom?


Was she from Genoa?

“No, a city on the southeast of Genoa... Genoa.”

What do you miss about being on the planet?

“The seas.”

What do you regret about your journey here? If anything?

He says "He regrets not understanding (their) language."

Or other humans?

(Jennifer nods.) I know.

Image result for columbus
The Mural of Columbus at Notre Dame that they've voted to cover.

Have you had a lifetime since then where you suffered?

(Jennifer listens) “I was a prisoner of war.”

What century was that in?

He showed me as a Japanese prisoner of war.

In World War II? Okay, that must have been difficult. Do you think it’s appropriate they have a holiday after you? Or should it be something else?

“Indigenous people day.”

Duly noted. Well, you’re a man of compassion now; I’d think you’d want the record corrected.


Luana; I said his name, and Jennifer picked him out of the blue, I was looking at the ocean as I drove to your office.

(Jennifer aside:) And I saw a pirate at first.

Well, apparently he was one. Chris, anything you want us to tell people on your behalf?

“To be free.”  He just showed me chains, then Martin Luther King. “To protect the environment and don’t do the dumb stuff like raping and pillaging.”

Okay, raping and pillaging not so good. Do you want people to know you weren’t Italian?

“It doesn’t matter.” (Jennifer aside:)  The thing is I don’t know if his dad was his dad.

Well he does now. Let’s ask him. Your father was Spanish but nobody knew it. You were raised by your Italian mother?

It was like a half split. He spent his life mostly at sea... half the time on land... the rest of the time at sea. He was like “A son of the sea.”

Okay, very good; we find out that Critoforo Columbo is actually a Columbus..

He might be French. A quarter is what it feels like.

Not Basque?

Feels like half Basque. (Jennifer aside:) What is Basque?

It’s a culture on the border between Spain and France – no longer a country, but the language and people predate Spain.

He wanted to be part of that. I got Portugal in the beginning...

Well it’s close to Portugal. Your were Basque or considered yourself Basque?

“No. I’m a Spaniard.”

Okay, he’s a Spaniard. But his father was not from Spain. Was your father French?

That’s what I’m feeling – there must be something obviously... something with that.

When he presented himself to Queen Isabella, it was as an Italian?

“He lied about that; she wouldn’t have trusted him...”

Did you seduce her to give you a ship or just flirt with her?

“She seduced him.”

So you did have sex with her?

“That’s a little personal.”

Dude, it’s only been 400 years.

(Jennifer nods). I think he did.

Chris either you did or you didn’t – it’s not something that’s an if, and, or but – did you do the nasty with Queen Isabella?

Image result for queen isabella
Unusual portrait for the era. Queen Isabella 

He says “Yes.” And then “That’s enough.”

Okay, thanks everyone, thanks class, thanks Chris and thank you Luana.

An unusual chapter, I know.  Rewriting history.  But if I may observe, at the end of this roller coaster of history, from Joan of Arc, to Michael the Archangel, to Jesus, to Christopher Columbus... the point of this chapter is not to claim “We were talking to dead celebrities!”

Although that’s inherent in the reporting of anything from someone so very famous.  It’s to demonstrate that anyone can ask questions of someone who is no longer on the planet, and get answers.  The idea is to take the answers verbatim, then compare it to history, then to go back and ask more questions.

I would also offer that what people are telling Jennifer (who is telling me, or more specifically, my camera) is based on her abilities to decipher visuals, sounds or sensations.  When I ask the correct question – she often taps her nose as if to say “You got it” or “that’s correct.”  I know Jennifer pretty well, her story, her journey, from a variety or perspectives.

She’s not a historian, doesn’t pretend to be. She offers the first and most cogent information she’s “getting” from my questions, and sometimes I ask questions I’m not aware I’m asking until I transcribe the session.  So prior to this session, I had done some research into Columbus, not specifically for this meeting, but I had read the Howard Zinn “History of the United States.”  

As noted, the information from Christopher Columbus was relative to what I had heard about him from Howard Zinn’s “History” and the priest who recounted the horrors inflicted on the natives.  However, the priest was also recalling his journey through the perspective of a man of peace, and we don’t know that much about Christopher other than what’s been written about it.

To hear that he and Isabella may have had a liasion sounds fanciful – but again, Jennifer is only reporting. It’s not her desire to create something that didn’t occur – and perhaps that’s how Chris remembered it.  If we asked Isabella, she may recall it in a completely different fashion.  People recounting their story from the flipside isn’t that different than asking people about what they did 20 years ago.  They may misremember, conflate, mix up dates and stories – but in general, from their new perspective they’ve had time to go over what happened “back then.”

Jennifer Shaffer Medium/Intuitive
It's also why I asked if he'd suffered in another lifetime as he had made people suffer - and according to this account; he claims he did. (Jennifer's not making up that she saw him as a Japanese prisoner of war.)  Jennifer and I are at a stage in our conversations that she allows a visual to come forward and reports what she sees without judging it. According to previous sessions, people on the flipside can't "lie" or "make up" stories - as they won't come through. However, any medium will admit that they may mistranslate or get a message wrong.  In this case, pretty specific answer to my pointed question.

It’s as mind bending to me typing up this chapter as it is for anyone to read it. I apologize for the bending of minds, but again, I’m just the reporter here.  Perhaps in 20 years, someone will come along with another method of accessing the holographic memories of events, or in 100 years, we’ll be able to access these events without mediums.  We’ll see, won’t we?

(Excerpt from "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Flipside with Jennifer Shaffer "Class is in Session" by Richard Martini. Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved).

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