A strange little tale of a foreign country, a cave, and America’s favorite animator

Here’s a strange little tale, sent to us from a reader on the last day of 2011. He described himself as having served as a Marine in Vietnam. And he told us of a trip he took in the early 70s…..[tiny editorial changes made for clarity]:

I got a little drunk and crazy and wound up in jail in a small town in Oaxaca – cave with iron bars.

I heard about a little mountain village, the home of the Presidente’s bruja, Maria Sabina.  One of my cavemates had some beads from there which he cherished.  Several days later I was fined and released.

I took the 3rd class bus way up in the mountains on a winding road….13 hours to Huatla de Jimenez – only to discover, amazingly, that the Beatles had flown in by helicopter a few weeks earlier and left a lot of paraphernalia behind – banners, tshirts…. it was a psilocybin mushroom town.

Days later I was out exploring and came to a waterfall.  Beautiful.  Walking carefully I went behind the waterfall – which was substantial and the rocks were very slippery.  As I shuffled along I came upon something on a rock face that caught my eye.  I flicked my lighter for a better view and there was a signature I recognized…..

Walt Disney, 1933.

poor old Walt, he wouldn’t recognize the world if he came back today


Of course, many Americans wouldn’t recognize that Walt Disney, even though Fantasia and much of the rest might not have emerged without a little assist in the psychedelic area. (And yes, Disney had indeed traveled to Oaxaca to eat those magic mushrooms.)

Nothing more to this story, but we thought you might enjoy it.



  • Russ Baker

    Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

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