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New details emerge about off-duty pilot who spoke about taking magic mushrooms before trying 'to crash plane'

New details emerge about off-duty pilot who spoke about taking magic mushrooms before trying 'to crash plane'

Joseph Emerson spoke about the psychedelics after he had been arrested in Oregon

An affidavit released following the arrest of an Alaska Airlines pilot claims he told police he had tried magic mushrooms before allegedly trying to shut off the engines of a plane while off-duty.

Joseph D. Emerson, 44, is being held without bail at the Multnomah County Jail in Oregon after the plane he was travelling on was forced to make an emergency landing on Sunday (22 October).

Emerson had been sitting in the cockpit on the flight from Washington state to San Francisco, reportedly making small talk with the pilots in charge before he suddenly said: "I'm not OK."

One of the pilots then allegedly turned to see Emerson attempting to pull the fire extinguisher handles of the plane, cutting fuel to the engines.

A pilot managed to grab Emerson and the pair 'wrestled' for about half a minute, according to the affidavit released after his arrest, before Emerson agreed to leave the cockpit.

The plane made an emergency landing in Oregon, where Emerson was arrested and taken into custody.

While being held by police, Emerson spoke to an officer about becoming depressed about six months ago.

Joseph Emerson told pilots he was 'not okay'.
Facebook/Joseph Emerson

According to the affidavit, which was authored by an FBI agent and included alongside the federal complaint, Emerson denied taking any medications for his mental health, but he did discuss psychedelic mushrooms and indicated he had taken them before the incident unfolded on the flight.

The affidavit explains: “The officer and Emerson talked about the use of psychedelic mushrooms and Emerson said it was his first-time taking mushrooms."

State documents further reveal Emerson had taken magic mushrooms about 48 hours before allegedly attempting to shut down the engines, though the US Attorney’s Office is still investigating whether he was under the influence of mushrooms at the time of the incident.

Magic mushrooms can cause the user to feel giggly, excited, confused, anxious, and/or paranoid. They can also cause hallucinations.

Magic mushrooms can cause hallucinations.
Yamaguchi Haruyoshi/Corbis via Getty Images

The length of time the impacts can last depends on how much of the drug has been taken, and the size of the user.

After leaving the cockpit, Emerson was described as walking 'peacefully' to the back of the plane, where he then told a flight attendant, "you need to cuff me right now or it’s going to be bad.”

The crew cuffed Emerson's wrists, but during the plane's descent he allegedly turned towards an emergency exit door and 'tried to grab the handle'.

He was stopped by a flight attendant, and the plane managed to make it safely to the ground with no injuries reported on board.

Emerson has pleaded not guilty to 83 felony counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft. He has also been charged in federal court with interfering with a flight crew.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Joseph Emerson

Topics: US News, Drugs, Health, Crime