It is often said that curiosity kills the cat, and for one man, it almost did. He went to unimaginable lengths to get a constant high, drilling a hole in his own skull.
Joe Mellen was on the lookout for something more during the acid revolution of the Swinging Sixties. He was looking for a way to stay in a state of altered consciousness forever.
He turned to an ancient practice called trepanation, in which a hole is drilled in the skull to supposedly increase blood flow and increase consciousness.
Mellen was determined to achieve his goal, despite the daunting risks and discomfort, and he attempted the procedure not once, not twice, but a jaw-dropping three times.
He finally emerged with a newfound sense of enlightenment and a story that would go down in history as one of the most bizarre and daring experiments in the pursuit of consciousness after hitting the nail on the head, literally.
Joe Mellen’s quest for a ceaseless high driven him to investigate the bizarre and old act of trepanation, giving the expression ‘pursuing a high’ an entirely different importance.
Mellen first met Bart Huges in 1965, during the heyday of Ibiza. Huges introduced Mellen to the bizarre idea of drilling a hole in the skull to expand consciousness.
Trepanation, also known as trepanning, is an ancient surgical procedure that involves removing a circular piece of bone from the skull. It is thought to be one of the earliest surgical procedures that have been documented in the history of humankind.
“Well, he must be a nutcase!’ I thought after hearing about this guy who had drilled a hole in his own head,” she said. In 2016, the Brit told Vice.
In his book Bore Opening, Mellen begins the text with the admission: ” This is the tale of how I came to bore an opening in my mind to get for all time high.”
The journey into the realm of trepanation that Joe Mellen undertook was not for the weak-hearted. He describes his experiences with the procedure in graphic detail in his book “Bore Hole,” which he acknowledges can be quite unsettling for some readers.
He believed that he could elevate his consciousness to a higher level and permanently alter his mental state by expanding the space inside his skull.
He says that the “intense” and “mind-blowing” physical and emotional pain he went through was a small price to pay for the enlightenment he wanted.
He revealed: At the point when I previously caught wind of it I thought, ‘This is crazy!’
Furthermore, it was absurd to contemplate that someone would do it to themselves.
“But don’t you eventually get used to ideas?”
Mellen made his first attempt just two years after learning about trepanning in 1967.
He recalled purchasing a hand trepan from a surgical instrument shop because “at that time, I was broke, and I certainly couldn’t afford an electric drill.”
The man depicted the instrument as a piece like a wine tool however with a ring of teeth at the base.
He proceeded: ” It was challenging. It was like attempting to open a wine bottle from the inside.”
Wager you won’t ever unscrew a jug of vino a similar in the future.
Joe Mellen persevered and attempted trepanation two more times despite the failure of the first attempt.
He made sense of the choice: ” The person needs more blood in its cerebrum.
“Also, this isn’t a very high one; It simply returns you to your youthful vitality. This imperativeness that you lose when you hit adulthood.”
After about a year, he tried again and did “remove some skull,” but not enough to be satisfied, as he stated to the outlet: When I took the trepan out, there was a sound like “schlurping” and bubbles.”
Mellen made his third and final attempt at trepanation in 1970. Amazingly, the entire process, including cleanup, took only thirty minutes.
Mellen reviewed: ” After completing it, I noticed that after about an hour, I began to feel lighter, as if a weight had been lifted off of me.
“I did it at night and hit the hay at 11pm feeling far better, and I may as yet feel it when I got up the following morning. Then I thought, “This is it.” It’s finished.
In Mellen’s case, it appears that the adage “third time’s a charm” was correct.