Created June 28, 2001. Revised August 3, 2009; May 5, 2013; and April 2, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2017 by John W. Allen.



Amanita muscaria and the Snail. West Lake, Oregon. November 1991.

A section devoted to newspaper clippings, unusual articles and some psilocybian mushroom trivia


Hello and welcome to our News archives. In this section you will find a wide variety of newspaper clippings regarding the visionary mushrooms. I Started to catalogue these clippings back in 1973. All together there are more than 100 pages of news items of incidents involving psilocybian mushrooms. They are arranged alphabetically and chronologically by countries and by dates. This page features news itmes from Australia.

Adelaide, Australia
THE ADVERTISER. August 11, 1972

Many Taking A 'trip' on Hills Mushroom
by Barry Hailstone

A small brown mushroom that grows widely in the Adelaide Hills in July and August is providing drug addicts and thrill seekers with a potent hallucinogenic drug.

The mushroom brown all over and about 1 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches across the head, contains the drug psilocybine, which is covered by the narcotics and psychotropic drugs act.

The mushroom is being passed around Adelaide in fresh and dried forms.

An expert at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute warned yesterday that even small quantities could cause serious poisoning.

The SA [South Australia] Public Health Department's pharmaceutical inspector (Mr. Lloyd Davis) said users and those interested knew what the mushrooms looked like, where they could be found and how to use them.

He doubted weather amateurs experimenting would be poisoned because there was a well organized system of communication among users and would be users.

Three young people who tried the mushroom drug last year were admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and treated for poisoning.

Word of the mushroom's effects spread to SA from Queensland a year or so ago and it was subsequently discovered in the Hills.

The mushroom is a prohibited plant in Queensland.

In SA a chemist has to test the mushrooms found in possession of a suspect to ascertain that they contain the prohibited drug psilocybine.

Nicole has a magic target
Friday, December 17
A Deakin University PhD student has developed a world-first test to identified whether mushrooms are `magic' or not.

Forensic science student Nicole Anastos has found a chemical light reaction which detects traces of psilocin, the hallucinogen in mushrooms.

She is also working on a test to screen for psilocin in the human body.

Ms Anastos started investigating tests for magic mushrooms to improve their detection at crime scenes.

She is working in collaboration with the Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre and Forensic Science South Australia.

"They have a few seizure samples of magic mushrooms every year," she said.

"They basically need a sensitive technology to determine whether there is psilocin."

She perfected the technique using mushrooms from Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

When there were traces of psilocin, a particular reagent would produce a light reaction.

She said the advantage of the new technique was that it was much more sensitive than conventional tests.

``There are small amounts, traces of the chemical, and you can actually detect it and use it quantitatively,'' she said.

Next year she plans to develop a screening method to identify traces of magic mushrooms in urine.

She said traces of magic mushrooms could remain in the human system for several days.

Synthesis and Chemiluminescence Detection of Psilocin and Psilocybin.
Ms Nicole Anastos (Deakin University, Australia)
Email Address:

Prof Neil Barnett (Deakin University, Australia)
Dr Simon Lewis (Deakin University, Australia)
Dr Nicholas Gathergood (Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, Australia)
Prof Peter Scammells (College of Pharmacy, Monash University, Australia)
Mr Noel Sims (Forensic Science South Australia, Australia)

The hallucinogenic indole psilocin is the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’. This species and its precursor psilocybin are similar in structure to serotonin and its derivatives, which have previously been successfully determined by our group using chemiluminescence. A flow analytical study using sequential injection analysis and flow injection analysis with chemiluminescence detection is presented. The limits of detection for psilocin and psilocybin were 9.0 x 10-10 M and 3.5 x 10-10 M respectively. A concise synthetic route for psilocin is also described. The potential for chemiluminescence detection as a post column reaction detection system for liquid chromatographic analyses of psilocin and related compounds will be discussed.

Test for magic mushrooms glows in dark.
Judy Skatssoon

Alkaloids found in magic mushrooms act on the brain to produce changes in perception and hallucinations.

AAP General News (Australia)

June 16, 1999.
WA: Magic mushroom season starts in Balingup.
(Copyright Information).

PERTH, June 16 AAP - The normally quiet West Australian farming town of Balingup would rather be known for its arts, crafts, jams, chutneys and fruit wines.

Instead, it is fast earning a reputation as the magic mushroom capital of Australia as dozens of day-trippers make the 240km journey south of Perth for the annual season.

However, Senior Constable Peter Duncan from Donnybrook Police said the patience of the 300 residents of Balingup is now running out, with farm gates left open, nude romps in the ...

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Related newspaper, magazine, and trade journal articles from HighBeam Research

(Including press releases, facts, information, and biographies).

BOOKS: So that's why Santa Claus looks so happy DRUGS Shroom: A cultural history of the magic mushroom By Andy Letcher.

Newspaper article from: The Independent on Sunday ; ...evidence whatsoever for an intentional magic mushroom trip before the 1970s. Although scientists...flowed the scientific discovery of the magic mushroom and the presence of its hallucinogenic...has now established itself around the magic mushroom does its credibility no favours by...


WA: Man dies after breathing vomit after magic mushroom frenzy

Newspaper article from: AAP General News (Australia) ; ...Man dies after breathing vomit after "magic mushroom"
frenzy The West Australian coroner...through self-inflicted wounds after a magic mushroom fuelled rampage at the Troppo Zone...was with Mr SOUTH but drank half a magic mushroom milkshake, said Mr SOUTH became delusional...

Hallucinogens Rory Maclean takes a trip in search of the history of magic mushrooms

Newspaper article from: The Sunday Telegraph London ; Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom BY ANDY LETCHER FABER, pounds 12.99...0870 428 4115 'The history of the magic mushroom is much more than a good old tripper...for Life magazine, where the term 'magic mushroom' was coined, Wasson wrote of partaking...

Mulch beds make magic mattresses for mushrooms

Newspaper article from: The Sunday Herald ; ...including one hallucinogenic variety of "magic" mushroom which is five times more potent natural habitats. This so-called magic mushroom is one of the key species found on...the alkaloids of the more familiar 'magic mushroom' psilocybe semilanceata." Scotland...

Mind games

Magazine article from: The Spectator ; ...know if you know our native species of magic mushroom, Psilocybe semilanceata? I wasn't familiar...assiduous searching to find my first magic mushroom, which, when I chewed it, had something...comfortably thought I was no taller than a "magic mushroom." I looked up once and my pikey ...

This magic mushroom moment.(BOOKS)
Newspaper article from: The Washington Times ; ...s book is for you. In Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom, Mr. Letcher, a British writer and musician with a deep religious roots. In reality, he says, now is the magic mushroom moment, not some vaguely remembered time when a fungus-centered...

Customs to rake in £1m from VAT on magic mushrooms
Newspaper article from: Belfast Telegraph ; Magic mushroom traders are facing a £1m Customs makes it clear that the magic mushroom must be subject to a 17.5 per cent...average person would "consider" the magic mushroom to be a drug. A spokeswoman said the...

Book reviews: Shroom: Hippie's historic trip through the fabulous world of fungi
Newspaper article from: Scotland on Sunday ; ...GBP 12.99 AH, THE humble fungus. So many myths abound: the magic mushroom was the catalyst for building Stonehenge, Plato philosophised...these trippy tales out of the water. Letcher tells us the magic mushroom only entered the western hemisphere's consciousness - and...

Newspaper article from: The Boston Globe ; ...8-bit sound-effects fiddling, and you'd be right. But they're mixed deep in a hurtling, sludgy guitar blast that hits like the rush of a magic mushroom. Smash your head on the bricks. Hear it at planetary tendo-06_06_06.mp3.

For more facts and information see all results


Mushroom eater's death prompts alert for doctors

By Julie Robotham Medical Writer
April 3 2002

One man has died and two others have suffered kidney failure after eating what they thought were magic mushrooms.

The cases, all in Victoria, are the first to be reported in Australia where mushroom poisoning caused kidney failure, prompting a warning that doctors should be aware of such poisoning as a possible cause of kidney failure.

There is concern such cases may become more common because death cap mushrooms - a possible source of the poisoning - are becoming more widespread throughout south-eastern Australia.

"Given that the patients did not experience hallucinations, it is likely that the cases ... are due to species misidentification," Peter Mount, who recognised the mushroom poisoning, wrote in the journal Internal Medicine.

Dr Mount, a Melbourne kidney specialist, wrote: "It may be that those who seek hallucinogenic mushrooms are less discerning and more prone to species misidentification than other foragers."

A 17-year-old died five months after he was admitted to hospital, and a 24-year-old needs dialysis to survive. The condition of a 16-year-old with kidney failure is unknown as he did not attend further hospital appointments.

True magic mushrooms have never been associated with kidney failure, and most cases of severe mushroom poisoning in Australia have led to failure of the liver rather than the kidneys.

A Sydney University toxicologist, David Le Couteur, said less than half of Australia's mushroom species were known and their toxicology documented.

It was likely many cases of poisoning went unrecognised because doctors did not ask the right questions, particularly if the patient was abusing other drugs, Professor Le Couteur said.

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