THE BLOG
04/20/2013 08:54 am ET | Updated Jun 20, 2013

420 Marijuana Term Waldo Originators Debunk New 420 Claim

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More than a decade ago, a group of fellows called the Waldos from Marin County, California came forward to explain how they created the term "420" as a euphemism for marijuana back in the early 1970's. Multiple pieces of evidence proving their story were examined by legitimate press and reported by credible news organizations such as The Los Angeles Times, Reuters News, High Times Magazine, ABC News, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and, most extensively, here in The Huffington Post.

In October of last year, a web-based marijuana stoners website, 420 Magazine, launched a story about some nebulous and scattered fellows calling themselves the "Bebes," claiming that they (the Bebes) created 420. The 420 Magazine story is based 100 percent on hearsay, with not one shred of evidence or proof to back anything up, and is filled with numerous absolute, outright lies about the Waldos. The Waldos even hold physical evidence, examined by legitimate press, that helps prove that the Bebes are lying.

Anybody anywhere can make anything up at any time, especially about things that happened forty plus years ago. We have seen many other groups around the country try to claim and make up things about 420, but nobody anywhere has any proof with scientifically verifiable evidence except us. Nothing the opposing Bebe group says about the Bebes 420 origination claim can be accurately verified. And when the Bebes suggest that there might be evidence to support their stories, the writer of the 420 Magazine article himself discovers (supported by the Bebes own admissions) and unveils that it was all "lost, stolen, and has mysteriously disappeared." The primary recurring theme throughout the entire 420 Magazine article is that Bebes are notorious pranksters, casting serious doubt on their story and intentions. The vast breadth and depth of detailed, physical-evidence proof supporting the Waldos stories speak for itself as to the true story of origination of the 420 phenomena.

The Waldos have always told the truth about their adventures, and do have multiple pieces (and growing) of objective, verifiable, physical evidence-proof to help back up their story that they were using the term 420 as a weed reference before anybody else in the world. These items are all preserved in a bank vault, have been examined by legitimate respectable journalists, and continue to be available for inspection by official Press.

The Waldos have heard many dozens of theories and stories about 420 from all over America. We have heard stories from our hometown, from people who knew us from way back when, and local residents who did not know us. New stories always emerge, and many of the old ones we have heard continually mutate with the addition of time, drugs, dreams and old-fashioned storytelling. And there is never any evidence or proof to back up these false claims. More recently we have heard of a group up in Minnesota that claimed they started 420 in the late 60's, and of another group in San Jose, Calif., that claims they used to meet at a Round Table Pizza Parlor at 4:20 in 1969. The bottom line is anybody can make up any story about anything and put it at any period of time, especially when it was many decades ago. But you need proof. That's like someone saying, "Hey everybody, I was a golf caddy for England's WWII leader Winston Churchill in the year of 1969!".... "It's true because I just said it!"

The Waldos stand by our true story of 420 origination about meeting at the Louis Pasteur statue at San Rafael High at 4:20 p.m. during the 1971 school year to smoke and go to Pt. Reyes. Every question and doubt that has ever been raised by a Mr. Guy Perry (aka Bone Boy) and Bebes about these experiences has been answered.

For decades, our Waldo story of 420 origination was the only one we ever knew or heard of. All of the Waldos knew the Bebe earlier in 1970 and none of them ever heard the Bebe say or write the phrase 420 then. The Waldos never used the term 420 before the Louis Pasteur statue meetings and weed hunting journeys. Five of us Waldos NEVER heard Bebes, or anyone else, use the number 420 as a marijuana reference before the Waldos started using it. Brad Bann (aka Bebe) never met with the Waldos at the statue of Louis Pasteur at 4:20 in the fall of '71 -- he wasn't on any of the Pt. Reyes weed hunts and did not give the term to the Waldos. As a matter of fact, there is verifiable evidence that Bebe wasn't even living in San Rafael, Calif., and was not going to San Rafael High School during the Fall '71-'72 school year when the Waldos first started using the term 420. His parents got divorced and he went off to live with his father in another city. You won't see Brad Bann's name listed in the San Rafael fall '71-'72 graduating class list/yearbook.

The Waldos met at 4:20 for exactly all of the reasons we have discussed in the past:

The time we got out of school, approximately 3 p.m.

Some had after school sports activities that lasted until after 4 p.m.

There was just enough time to get back to the statue of Louis Pasteur.

To smoke and look for the pot fields drawn in a treasure map.

Mr. Perry's (aka Bone Boy) "420 Letter from Bone Boy" and his other writings have always made a big deal that the Waldos were leaving for Pt. Reyes Peninsula at 4:20 p.m., trying to establish some kind of doubt about it. Everything the Waldos did was not implausible, and is a true story. Yes, it was a late hour but there was still enough light to look for the pot for some period of time. Yes, eventually the sunset did interfere with our ability to see. Yes, we were driving home in the dark. Yes, some guys did wait around after school was dismissed to return to the statue to meet the guys who were finishing up sports practice. Yes, the Waldos did have homework and got it done, however, it was a lot less homework in 1971 than teens have these days. Every one of Mr. Perry's feeble attempts to establish a lack of credibility falls flat and can be answered.

When a bunch of teenage Waldo boys are presented with a treasure map of free pot fields to pick grown by U.S. Coast Guard members, it is fully plausible, and was the true reality, that they would want to go and pick it. It is plausible, and was the reality, that it would be witnessed in the moment as special/remarkable and would be remembered.

Now lets look at the Bebes' defining moment of inception. These Bebe kids were smoking out numerous times a day, and there was nothing at all extraordinary or exceptionally unique about the day or time associated with their supposed inception. It was just another time,... 3:20 is the same as 4:20 as is the same as 5:20. There is absolutely no reason to witness it in the moment as a significant event or defining moment of inception. Nothing odd happening; just another time on the clock when someone says only "it's 4:20, let's take another bong." It is highly implausible that the moment would be remembered then or 40 years later.

Let's look even closer at all the lies, falsehoods, and untruths in the Bebes' unbalanced article. The flawed article gives a lot of attention and focus to the naming of the Waldos. Contrary to what the article says, the Bebe did NOT name the Waldos and did NOT ordain the Waldos... those are outright absolute lies. The Waldos were self named because they used to hang out on a "wall" at the San Rafael High School campus. Thus, "Wall-dos." There is physical proof.... the wall still exists today and it has been toured and filmed with journalists who do not just rely totally on phony hearsay.

The article falsely tries to establish that the Bebe created the term Waldo as a euphemism for somebody who is an odd, awkward, goofy and out-of-place person.

Unfortunately for the Bebes, these deceptive statements, and focus, point right to even more existing physical evidence proving that the Bebe's claims are untrue. The term "A Waldo" as an odd person came from Comedian Buddy Hackett who was around long before all of us punks. A few of us can remember Hackett on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (in Buddy's funny voice) saying "You're A Waldo, Shecky." He was telling a story referring to legendary Las Vegas comedian Shecky Green, another old timer of an earlier hipster generation. One of the Waldos wrote a personal letter to comedian Shecky Green living in the Palm Springs area at the time, asking him to elaborate. Shecky wrote back a letter explaining that Buddy would call him "A Waldo," as an odd and goofy person, and that Buddy got that from the cartoon series Mr. Magoo. Mr. Magoo's odd and awkward nephew was Waldo. (Look it up for yourselves!) The personal letter from Shecky is in the Waldo's safe deposit vault and is available for inspection by official Press. The letter is not only signed and postmarked with the proper addresses, the entire letter is written out in Shecky's own personal handwriting. Conversely, the Bebes have absolutely no proof whatsoever of any of their statements and claims. Buddy Hackett and Shecky Green surely did not get the term "A Waldo" from Bebe.

The wider public is familiar with the usage of "Waldo" in the same context in the Where's Waldo books, which denoted an odd and out-of-place person. The object was to find the odd Waldo amongst a sea of normal people.

Furthermore, as the article very falsely suggests, the Waldos were not "uncoordinated" and "non athletic"; hundreds of people who knew them would be able to confirm that. The Waldos were good athletes. They were not the stars or captains of the teams, but they were certainly not the slow ones. Even today, many of the Waldos are extremely fit, running or mountain biking up Marin County's large mountains weekly.

Over and over again, a common theme in the article -- and in the Bebe group's member's very own words -- is that the Bebe was a major "prankster." Students, friends, roommates, co-workers, girlfriends, and neighbors would NOT deny that he is the ultimate bullshitter of all bullshitters. Even a teacher that was interviewed for the Bebes article admitted that Bebe was a prankster-bullshitter causing staff meetings. With any strangers the bull is especially fierce and fast. Most importantly though, nobody can ever know whether anything coming out his mouth is fact or fiction, which is not a trustworthy or reliable circumstance for any credible journalistic interviewer. The credibility trail ends instantly and there is never any sure proof of anything.

Some readers here may not be aware of earlier articles detailing multiple pieces of evidence that the Waldos have to support their stories. This includes multiple pieces of early '70s U.S. postmarked dated mail between the Waldos which refers to "Waldo(s)" and "420" in marijuana context. Some of the mail is international. Nobody on earth can produce any solid proof of any earlier usage of 420, including the Bebes. One letter refers to the Waldo's connection to the Grateful Dead, which was confirmed directly by the Huffington Post with Dead bassist Phil Lesh. The Waldos have a batik tie-die style 420 flag which was produced by a friend Patty in her San Rafael High School arts and crafts class in the '71-'72 school year. There are official 1971-1972 San Rafael High School School Record Transcripts that have been obtained as support for the Waldos which marks the class where she created the 420 flag. The flag can be approximately dated by forensic labs or auction houses. This is in addition to Patty's postmarked early '70s letters with references to the flag. There is even an original 1970's San Rafael High School Red and White School Newspaper with student reference to 420.

What do the Bebes have? Nothing, nothing and more nothing to substantiate anything. Not one shred of proof. In interviews, the Bebes keep referring to reel to reel tapes suggesting that they would prove 420 usage that would predate the Waldos. The 420 Magazine journalist interviewing Bebes states in the writer's own exact words, "When asked if anyone possibly had any of the reel to reel prank calls and/or random audio recordings of the Bebe with 420; Bebe lost all of his, Wild Du's were stolen and Bone Boy's mysteriously disappeared." Anybody today could make a new reel to reel tape and say it was created at any time in the past.

The various interviews with Bebes include some true things about the Bebes and their adventures, but they also include some blatantly false statements about the Waldos. Two of the Dixon brothers said that the "Waldos have admitted that the Bebes coined 420." These statements are 100 percent total and absolute LIES. The Waldos have never ever said any such thing at any time.

In another Bebes interview, Thorgy or Thorgersen claims that "Waldo Steve Capper is an opportunist." That Thorgy statement is certainly another lie with no merit; Capper has not received any money for anything having to do with 420 in over 41 years. Forty-one years speaks for itself. If he were an an opportunist, he would have done so by now. The only reason his name is in the press is because he has an office in the city downtown district where Waldos are able to coordinate with press asking for information or those press asking to view the pieces of evidence proof. Never did Capper seek any individual credit. All of the Waldos have homes and/or are financially stable; there are no pressing or financial-opportunistic needs. They have had physical evidence proof of 420 and contacts with media news organizations for decades and could have taken advantage of it more extensively.

The reverse is more likely -- that some Bebes are in need and that these sudden lies are economically motivated. The news stories about the Waldos have already been in the news for fourteen years and the Bebes have been well aware of them. The Waldos have been researched and covered by credible news organizations with high journalistic standards, such as Los Angeles Times, NY Times, Playboy, Reuters News Service, Esquire, Sacramento Bee, Huffington Post, Wired Magazine, and High Times. That the Bebes are fully aware of it for fourteen years, and just now come out with stories rife with their memories of convenience when it comes to 420 origination, raises red flags about the timing. The Waldos certainly have sympathy and compassion for anybody that might be having hard times or economic difficulty, but telling outright lies about the Waldos is not a spirited or easy way out.

Much of the Bebes article discusses the many other phrases, nicknames and sounds that the Bebe made up. That isn't any proof of 420 inception, or that the Bebes were any more apt to make up 420 than the Waldos. The article never discusses that the Waldos group itself was extremely prolific since the early 70's, and continues to be, with hundreds of original funny and unique catch phrases, nicknames, odd noises, antics, slang terms, etc.. 420 was only the tip of the iceberg of the entire Waldo culture. A few years ago, the Waldos put together an entire Waldo dictionary of the hundreds of these vocal varieties. They already had a Waldo420 website up since the late 1990's with some of these phrases -- fourteen years before the Bebes article.

Lastly, a basic principle of journalistic integrity is missing in the Bebes story; in a hasty rush to print, 420 Magazine printed nothing but total hearsay about the Waldos and never talked with the Waldos themselves. The Waldos can accept that the Bebes article may have been more of a fun attempt at playful sensationalism. The Bebes article mentioned that all the Bebes interviewed told the same story. They failed to mention that they interviewed Bebes, including a fellow Bebe in Southern California named Craig (aka Saundyman), that could not verify or confirm Bebes 420 invention claim or earlier usage than the Waldo's. Craig did NOT tell the exact same story. They conveniently left those interview matters out. Again, the Waldos understand all the fun for 420 Magazine that goes along with being playfully sensationalistic, if not accurate. In good spirit, The Waldos wish Rob Griffin and 420 Magazine nothing but the best of luck and remain open to cordial dialogue.

Unfortunately, as things grow in popularity, sometimes people "crawl out of the woodwork" to claim they were part of it. The Waldos are the only true account, supported by years of scrutiny and historical evidence. This sets the record straight once and for all.