NASA Space Drugs
The Millbrook Estate
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Millbrook was Psychedelic Central for the
whole East Coast. Like a magnet, it attracted illustrious visitors from all walks of life.
The doors were always open, and people were constantly coming and going. One day a
NASA scientist named Steve Groff dropped by for a visit. Dr. Groff wanted to observe
how Leary and his clan ran their sessions.
They gave him some acid, and he in turn provided samples of a secret drug known only
as JB-II8, which the military had developed as an incapacitating agent. Similar to the
army's BZ, this potent superhallucinogen simulated a kind of free fall, at the same time
triggering bizarre visions. (NASA reportedly gave hallucinogenic drugs to astronauts in
training as a way of preparing them for the weightlessness of outer space.) A few of the
Millbrook regulars tried the space drug, and
Ralph Metzner described the results. "Objects are seen that are not objectively
there," Metzner reported, "and other obiects that are present, are not perceived. For
example, one subject saw a man sitting on a chair in the middle of the room and talked
with him. When the subject walked close, man and chair disappeared. All of the
subjects reported, and were observed, walking into doors or furniture, which they had
not seen. Sometimes the basis of the hallucinations was clear, e.g., a coat on a bed would
be seen as a small dog. In other instances, no such transformation seemed to underlie
the hallucination. For example, one subject saw a friend of his, the size of a three-story
building, crawling around the garden on his hands and knees, eating the tops of trees."
An excerpt from Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of
LSD: The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond, by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain
Copyright 1985 by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain
The Acid Dreams web site: http://www.levity.com/aciddreams/