‘Shroom’ Pilot Shares Experience Of Near-Death Flight In First Interview


A commercial airline pilot, Joseph Emerson, who was charged with nearly killing dozens of passengers, has spoken out for the first time about his terrifying hallucinogenic experience that led to the incident. In an interview with The New York Times, Emerson revealed his belief that destroying the plane would have snapped him out of the hallucinations.

Key Takeaway

A commercial airline pilot opens up about the near-death flight that occurred due to his hallucinogenic state. The pilot, Joseph Emerson, reveals his belief that destroying the plane would snap him out of his terrifying hallucinations. He expresses deep remorse for the danger he posed to himself and others.

The Shadow of a Nightmarish Journey

Emerson, currently held in Portland’s Multnomah County Jail, told the reporter that his ordeal began two days prior when he consumed magic mushrooms with friends while reminiscing about a deceased friend. The trauma from the loss and the emotional impact it had on him sent Emerson into a deep depression, seeking therapy to cope.

On October 22nd, Emerson found himself in a state of fear and paranoia, believing his friends were plotting against him. Despite being off-duty at the time, he boarded the flight as a passenger, bound for San Francisco, texting a friend about his panic attack just before takeoff.

A Descent Into Chaos

Once the flight was in the air, Emerson’s mental state deteriorated rapidly. He began screaming and activated the plane’s fire-suppression handles, hoping to take control of the situation. The pilots managed to restrain him, preventing him from cutting off the fuel supply or shutting down the engines.

According to a police report, Emerson pleaded to be restrained, aware of the danger he posed. His actions onboard the flight were erratic, as he demanded confirmation if it was all real. The chaos reached its peak when the plane made an emergency landing, and Emerson was subsequently arrested.

Reflection and Remorse

In his interview with The Times, Emerson expressed deep remorse for the danger he had put himself and others in. He acknowledged the horrifying consequences of his actions and the potential loss of life. Regardless of his hallucinogenic state, he accepts full responsibility for the incident.