Alexander Shulgin is the
world's foremost "psychonaut." The 82-year-old chemist has not only
created more of the 300 known consciousness-altering (or psychoactive)
compounds than anyone living or dead, he has, by his own account,
sampled somewhere between 200 and 250 of them himself—most of them
cooked up in the musty lab behind his home in the hills east of
Berkeley, Calif., where he has shared many a chemical voyage with his
wife of 26 years, Ann.
"I take them myself because I am interested in their activity in the
human mind. How would you test that in a rat or mouse?" says Shulgin,
known to friends as Sasha.
He has paid the price for his avocation. Some of his creations have
induced uncontrollable vomiting, paralysis and the feeling that his
bones were melting, among other terrors. And though some believe
Shulgin has opened the doors of perception to a new class of
potentially therapeutic mind-altering compounds, others argue that he
bears responsibility for the damage that ongoing abuse of such
now-illicit substances can cause.
As a student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1950s,
Shulgin's gateway drug was mescaline, a naturally occurring psychedelic
found in peyote and other groovy cacti. "It introduced me to new colors
which I had never seen before," Shulgin says. "It allowed me to
interpret whatever I was looking at with an entirely new vocabulary….
And yet, what a simple structure!"
In the 1960s, while working as a biochemist at The Dow Chemical Co. in
San Francisco, he couldn't resist tinkering with the potent mescaline
molecule. He synthesized entirely new compounds that retained similar,
trippy qualities. Some variations were less potent, but others were
even more powerful or imparted their own unique twist.
Shulgin, who left Dow in 1965 to consult for the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) among other pursuits, offered the best of his new
chemical darlings to Ann, his second wife; the most promising of these
were passed along to a close circle of 10 friends until the mid-1990s,
when the DEA, no longer paying for his services, raided his lab and
revoked his license to work with illegal drugs.
His personal favorite, which he describes as "extraordinarily
comfortable and quite erotic," is known simply as 2C-B for its chemical
One by one, Shulgin has seen many of the compounds he invented or
experimented with become illegal in the U.S., including some that have
never been synthesized by anyone and some that he thought might prove
therapeutic, such as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), better
known as ecstasy. "I was very sad to see MDMA achieve the status of a
Schedule 1 drug," a designation that prohibits its manufacture or use
in the U.S., he says. "I felt that it would inhibit research into its
medical value and that's the way it's turned out."
Some researchers agree that the government's response to psychoactive
drugs has deprived them of a unique window into human consciousness.
After all, rodents will happily ingest most intoxicants and narcotics
—from marijuana to heroin—but not the headier psychedelics.
"Peculiarly, not only did we make them illegal, but we backed away from
them scientifically," says neuroscientist Roland Griffiths of Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the researchers who is
restarting basic research into psychedelics. His lab has shown that
psilocybin, the active ingredient in the variety of fungi known as
magic mushrooms, can bring on lasting feelings of well-being. This may
indicate that it could be harnessed to help clinically depressed or
Shulgin, who continues to study cacti for new chemical routes to
altered states, predicts that by the year 2060, the number of different
known psychedelics will have grown from 300 to 2,000. He intends to
discover—and perhaps sample—as many of them as he can. "It is like
opening a door to a hallway," he says, "that has unopened doors for its
entire length, and behind every door is a world with which you are
Source: Scientific America
THE WIDE, WEIRD WORLD OF UFOS DEPARTMENT -
UFOs, Aliens No Strangers
to Grand Valley
Far from being vast, vacant spaces between us bipeds and the stars, the
skies are full of wonders, some closer than you might think. By some
accounts the skies above Earth are busy with activity.
That there are unidentified flying objects is not exactly a revelation
in the 21st century. They’re part of the cultural lexicon: UFOs. But
the skies above western Colorado and the Grand Valley might be a little
different, unusual, even.
It was somewhere above western Colorado, maybe eastern Utah, that a
Kansas man said he found “hard evidence” that UFOs are, as the phrase
frequently goes, “not of this Earth.”
And in Paonia lives a woman who says she can explain why it is that
strange lights seem to pulsate with some regularity over the Grand
Hint: It’s not necessarily because of what’s above, but what lies
“Grand Mesa is a huge facility,” said Marcellina Beckwith. “There are
portals and vortexes that open up all over the Grand Mesa.”
Humans can’t see them because they exist in different dimensions than
humans occupy, she said.
Beckwith said she’s in a position to know. She is the reincarnated soul
of the commander of the craft from Zeta Reticuli that crashed in 1947
in Roswell, N.M., Beckwith said.
The author of two books, “Stranded on Earth: The Story of a Roswell
Crash Survivor” and “Zeti Child: Lost Upon a One Star World,” Beckwith
is a regular columnist for the monthly UFO newsletter “Star Beacon,”
writing as Commander Sanni Ceto, her identity at the time of the crash.
The sky above the Grand Valley is a busy place, Beckwith said, because
its inner recesses are filled with creatures who are working with the
American military. The creatures, called reptoids, are not to be
She is here, Beckwith said, because “someday, your earth might need our
help, to save you from a disaster that might be man-made.”
The fact is, said Beckwith and Max Harris, a Grand Junction man who
tracks all things UFO, Earth is something other than a paradise.
Actually, humans and Earth are under quarantine.
Humans, it turns out, aren’t to be trusted and that is why the race is
stuck on a tiny rock swirling in a far corner of the universe. One of
many universes, actually.
There is more. A lot more. But for the moment, it’s enough to know that
the reason humans occasionally see UFOs is because more advanced beings
are checking up on their progeny.
It’s also important to know, Harris said, that it’s no accident that
the Mayan calendar marks the end of days on Dec. 21, 2012. It’s at that
point that Earth’s universe begins a new revolution of 25,625 years,
launching us all into a new, better dimension.
In the meantime, though, Earth remains a cosmic Hells’ Kitchen. Like a
restaurant with a reputation for poisoning the clientele, “We’re on
everybody’s maps” as a place to avoid, Harris said. “We’re angry. We’re
But, like any other malignancy, humans also have to be observed,
presumably from safe vantage points.
LIGHTS OVER REDLANDS
Perhaps that explains the experience of KJCT-TV news director Karla
Shotts, who got a call Jan. 25 from the newsroom about 7 p.m., telling
her the station was getting calls about lights in the sky.
Sure enough, Shotts said, the lights were visible from her
There were three sets of lights, Shotts said, hovering in the night
sky. She thought of them as a clock, with the moon at midnight, one set
of lights at 11, another a 3 and the third in the center, where the
hands would attach.
The light arrays were identical, she said. A larger light that flashed
blue, red and then gold was surrounded by tiny lights that behaved like
“All three stayed exactly in the same place for at least two hours,”
About 9 p.m., it was over.
“The one at 11 disappeared first, then the second to disappear was the
one in the middle and the one at 3 was the last to go,” she said.
“There was no motion, no nothing. They were just gone.”
Shotts checked with military bases in Colorado and was told no one was
doing anything in the skies over Grand Junction. There’s no video of
the event because “power bumps” that night near the station left it
with irregular electrical service, she said.
No, nothing cosmic. More like road work, she said. “We lost a lot of
stuff that week.”
And about the UFO? “It was just really neat,” she said.
But she and other Redlands residents saw something. In that, they are —
yes, but wait for it — not alone.
Robert White, a Kansas man who was passing through the Grand Valley in
1985, was driving west on Interstate 70 out of Grand Junction when he,
too, spotted lights hovering in the darkness.
His view was of two parallel, elongated tubes, glowing blue, in the sky.
“Then I saw a huge ball of light and the thing took off straight in the
air,” he said. He saw something strike a nearby hillside and ran to see
He found a groove in the ground leading to a glowing, hot object, White
said. He retrieved something from the car to help him hold the object,
which had cooled by the time he returned.
The object, shaped like an elongated teardrop with “chads that stick
out,” has been determined to be pure aluminum, he said.
“It does strange things,” such as interfere with electrical devices,
pick up radio signals and mystify viewers, White said.
“Everybody that sees it agrees, they’ve never seen anything like it,
ever,” he said.
White has taken polygraph tests, submitted the object to various labs
and been generally frustrated that the object hasn’t generated the
interest it deserves, he said.
“The mainstream media doesn’t want to touch it,” he said.
His Web site calls it “the bullet from the smoking gun” that shows
there is more science than fiction to UFOs. On his Web site,
ufohardevidence.com, White speculates that the artifact might have a
White wasn’t alone when he had his encounter. There was another
witness, he said, but declined to elaborate.
“She’ll never be found,” he said.
‘I DON’T DOUBT’
Robert St. John, a fixture in Grand Junction radio for decades, said
White is “the real deal.”
He’s hefted White’s artifact and talked to White, St. John said. More
to the point, he saw what White saw, 10 years later.
He was running on Colorado National Monument one August morning in 1995
when he saw the same kind of thing described by White hovering over
“Then it drops two pods that shoot into the Bookcliffs,” St. John said.
“There was no sound. They gave out a white light like a welder’s light.
Poof, poof and they were gone.”
The object itself floated in the air, he said. “It shimmered into
existence and it shimmered out of existence.”
That very same day, minutes later, a man in Salida saw exactly the same
thing, St. John said. He got the Salida event on tape and it was shown
on Denver television, St. John said.
Given all that, “I don’t doubt anything anyone says anymore” about
UFOs, he said.
Which brings us back to Beckwith, who said that White’s story about his
artifact “makes sense, as Earth people haven’t perfected the process to
create pure, flawless aluminum.”
White’s theory, though, that his object came from Mars is flawed, she
said, because Mars is mostly iron.
‘I’M A STAR PERSON’
It’s now Beckwith’s job to help humanity find its way through the maze
of growth in the cosmos, she said.
Humans didn’t just happen upon this planet, Beckwith said. The planet
itself is no coincidence. Earth is the result of “terraforming” and
mountains make for great bases as they can be hollowed out, “like
Earth’s denizens are the result of sophisticated genetic work by the
Pleiadians, a race of human-like people who hail from the stars of the
constellation Pleiades, she said.
“I’m a star person,” she said.
She has sewn together representations of her father, Khinyeo, as well
as other grays, and she sells them on the Web. But her real work is the
preparation for the events of 2012, when the fate of humanity will be
decided, she said.
It is then that humans will decide whether they are to be creatures of
love and peace, or of hatred and war, she said.
“I’m here as a teacher and educator” intended to reveal the truth of
humanity’s origins and its potential, Beckwith said.
“I want to see the cover-up ended.”
She is particularly suited for her job because she had a reckless
streak, herself, as Sanni Ceto.
“We were not supposed to be there,” she wrote in “Stranded on Earth.”
“As a matter of fact, we were violating the orders of the Council by
coming to Earth in the first place. Earth was strictly off-limits to
all spacecraft, but my desire to lead a specimen-collecting scientific
expedition there had been just too tempting to let a little thing such
as Federation rules and regulations stop me.”
Her craft crashed because she was momentarily distracted during an
electrical storm, and in her book, Beckwith recounts her treatment by
her human captors and her eventual torture and death as Sanni Ceto.
Beckwith grew up in Ohio and made her way with the help of the Star
Beacon to Paonia, where she said she finally feels at home on Earth.
There are ways, said Harris, to help humanity along its course.
“When somebody does something unselfish,” he said, “they potentialize
themselves.” And in doing so, “You accelerate our own evolution. Every
human being is the beneficiary.”
He hasn’t seen a UFO, Harris said, but he doesn’t need to, either. And
those who have seen them aren’t necessarily ready to concede that
aliens walk among us.
But among many who say they have seen a UFO, there is a bond.
“Once you see, you know,” St. John said. “Once you see, you understand.”
Understanding, though, has its price. Ask Agent K of “Men in Black,”
who dealt daily with the scum, and the cream, of the universes.
“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” K said, scanning heavenward. “The
stars. I never really look at them anymore, but they actually are quite
And now, if you’d be good enough to look right here ...
Source: The Daily Sentinal