If you were looking for a good time to try acid, a lunar eclipse sounds about as good as any. It’s also especially good if you’re hoping for your head to be ripped off your body and put on the moon itself so you can experience the eclipse firsthand. That’s what one guy experienced 32 years ago this week, anyway.
In the course of researching articles, I sometimes come across wacky scientific papers. Most of them I gloss over, but one I found today, ” A Case Study of Space-Time Distortion During a Total Lunar Eclipse Following Street Use of LSD,” and well, it was worth exploring further for the title alone. Published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2011, it tells the story of a dude who took acid with his friends and then watched a total lunar eclipse on December 30, 1982 in Western Canada.
Kym Dawson, a therapist in Vancouver, wrote that, on that day, L.S., a then-22-year-old man, along with two friends took some acid and a “portable tape-deck playing rock music” to watch the 2 AM eclipse.
Please note that what follows is unverified (although there was a total lunar eclipse in North America on December 30, 1982), and that as far as I know, taking acid does not allow you to astrally project to other parts of the galaxy for short periods of time.
Dawson doesn’t really outright suggest that’s a likelihood, either, but, well, he doesn’t totally rule it out. An email I sent Dawson was bounced back and I can find little to no information about him on the internet.
Anyways, away we go. Here’s what L.S. told Dawson about the experience on two separate occasions—once soon after the event and once 17 years later:
As the eclipse became total, with the sun behind us as we viewed the moon in front of us, only a point of light remained on the moon. Completely without warning, the bright rays of light from this point seemed to attach to my head, lift it off my shoulders, and physically move it (virtually instantaneously) to the edge of the moon where I was given a clear view of the entire Milky Way extending outward from my head. It seemed to flow through my head at the level of my eyes.
I do not really know that this was the Milky Way I was seeing. I had an intense feeling of recognition that I assume was based on the many photographs and planetarium shows I had seen depicting the thin, ovoid shape of our home galaxy.
Upon reflection, the experience of having my head taken from my shoulders was, to say the least, completely unexpected, extremely surprising, and quite frightening. At the time, I felt compelled to exert my will to “come back to Earth” to check that my body and those of my friends were still intact and not suddenly headless. Once back with my friends, I looked, and everything was fine. We grinned and commented to each other about the spectacular experience.
Then, the intensity of the last remaining point of light on the moon seemed to take over again and hurtle my eyes back to the moon. During this instant, I thought I saw a shooting star skim along the opposite edge of the galaxy coincident with my eyes moving in that direction. This was most startling and brought to mind the interesting notion that my physical actions might determine motions of celestial objects or-as more popularly believed-vice-versa.
Trippy, right? But like, maybe not scientifically relevant considering all the weird stuff people have seen while on acid? Not so fast, nonbeliever. Dawson wrote that while it’s “unlikely” L.S. actually traveled elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, we can’t entirely rule it out.
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