During the 1980s in La Honda, California, a tree-filled community in the Santa Cruz Mountains, kids would frequently report sightings of The Shaved, monkey-like creatures they'd spotted in the hills. It's possible that The Shaved were indeed monkeys, specifically animals that had been dosed with LSD during the 1960s psychedelic experiments supported by nearby Stanford University with US government funding. It's also not impossible that their descendants could still be swinging in the area. The story goes that decades ago, the psychedelic monkeys resided in the backyard of a La Honda home belonging to one of the researchers on the project, a Bill Marquis (aka "Monkey Bill"). Apparently, Bill was a head himself, keeping company with Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. According to an anonymous source cited by Rae Alexandra for KQED, after the tests were completed the government ordered the monkeys to be put down but Monkey Bill and the Merry Pranksters, tripping, decided to release the animals into the wild. From KQED:
[In a 2006 documentary,] Monkey Bill confirms that he kept the monkeys in his backyard—but that it happened between 1974 and '76. "Eventually I brought the monkeys out here. We had a huge facility for them," he says. "I had, I think, six monkeys and we were giving them various psychedelic drugs at that time, that the government was synthesizing and sending to me. [The monkeys] would get very still on the psychedelic drugs. Higher doses, their eyes would dart back and forth."
In the clip, Monkey Bill doesn't confirm where earlier tests took place, nor does he mention Stanford University. Crucially, he doesn't admit to freeing them either—but who would?
"A Wild Monkey Chase: Do Ken Kesey's LSD-Dosed Apes Still Roam La Honda?" (KQED)
image: transformation of original photo by Carlos Delgado (CC BY-SA 4.0)