And we thought they were such prudes: UFO Mystic’s Greg Bishop points out a great find, a 1961 television show which investigated psi effects while under the influence of psilocybin (‘magic’) mushrooms:
From January of 1959 to July of 1961, John Newland directed and hosted a unique television program entitled ‘One Step Beyond’. Newland and his creative crew combed the literature and produced 96 episodes of excellent programming based on real stories of psychic and paranormal phenomena. When the Twilight Zone series was about to go into production, Rod Serling actually met with Newland and assured him that his new program was not going to step on his toes or rip off One Step Beyond.
Newland dramatized actual (or reported actual) events, such as premonitions and other psychic episodes surrounding the Titanic disaster, or Abraham Lincoln’s presentiment of his own assassination. The most interesting show of the entire series has to be “The Sacred Mushroom,” which aired on January 4, 1961. Accompanied by three research scientists, and leaving the cloistered atmosphere of Hollywood sound stages, Newland traveled to a small village in the mountains of central Mexico to investigate the mysterious mushrooms.
If that wasn’t enough, the show also investigated the effects of magic mushrooms on psychic abilities, with enigmatic/shadowy psi scientist Andrija Puharich tagging along. (Puharich had authored a book on the topic even at this early stage – 1959 – titled The Sacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity. See Filip Coppens’ article The Stargate Conundrum for a good rundown of the strange goings-on).