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Al Hubbard
Photographer Unknown
Al Hubbard
The Stolaroff Collection, 1960
Al Hubbard
Photographer Unknown, circa 1920
Erowid Character Vaults
Captain Al Hubbard
Alfred Matthew Hubbard was known as the Johnny Appleseed of LSD. Born in Kentucky, he had angelic visions as a young boy that reportedly guided him in building a radioactive battery, which he sold for $75,000 in 1919. During Prohibition, he used his skill with electronics to set up a ship-to-shore communications system in the back of the taxi he drove to help smuggle alcohol into the U.S. and Canada. He was caught and served an 18 month prison sentence. However, his skills had not gone unnoticed. A scout from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) recruited Hubbard into the OSS.

Captain Hubbard was put to work of shipping heavy armaments from San Diego to Canada prior to the U.S. officially joining WW II...and eventually faced a congressional investigation. To avoid federal prosecution he moved to Vancouver and became a Canadian citizen. There he founded a charter boat company and became a millionaire in the 1940s. He later received a full presidential pardon (#2676) from President Harry Truman. In 1950, Hubbard experienced another angellic visitation telling him that something important to the future of mankind would soon be coming. When he read about LSD the next year, he knew that was it and immediately sought and acquired LSD, which he tried for himself in 1951. Following his own experience, he started to turn others on. He became well known for his procedure of initially introducing people to carbogen, to see how they reacted to a short-term alteration in consciousness, before he scheduled their LSD sessions.

At various times over the next 20 years, Hubbard reportedly worked for the Canadian Special Services, the U.S. Justice Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and according to rumors, may have been involved with the CIA's MK-ULTRA project. He also worked at the Hollywood Hospital with Ross McLean, with psychiatrists Abram Hoffer and Dr. Humphry Osmond, with Myron Stolaroff at the International Federation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, and with Willis Harman at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) running psychedelic sessions with LSD. How his government positions interacted with his work with LSD is still not known. During those years he introduced more than 6,000 people to LSD--including scientists, politicians, intelligence officials, diplomats, and church figures--and became known as the first "Captain Trips", travelling about with a leather case containing pharmaceutically pure LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin.

"If you don't think it's amazing," said Hubbard, "just go ahead and try it."

Author of (Articles)
  • Report: DMT Experience - by Al Hubbard (1961)
  • Video
  • A Conversation on LSD (circa 1980) Jan