Max Spiers: Conspiracy theorist who died after vomiting dark fluid overdosed on anxiety drugs, inquest finds

Family and friends of 39-year-old had raised concerns his death was suspicious

Tim Wyatt
Tuesday 08 January 2019 00:24 GMT
Extract from Max Spiers' apparently final recorded interview

A conspiracy theorist who died suddenly after vomiting a dark fluid overdosed on anti-anxiety drugs and had pneumonia, an inquest has heard.

Max Spiers, who was well-known online for investigating supposed UFO sightings and alleged cover-ups, died in Poland in the summer of 2016.

The 39-year-old was found dead on a sofa in Warsaw after travelling to the country to speak at a conference.

Mr Spiers’s mother, Vanessa Bates, and some of his friends argued his death was mysterious and should be thoroughly investigated.

Ms Bates claimed after her son’s death he had told her just two days before: “Your boy’s in trouble. If anything happens to me, investigate.”

In a later interview she said Mr Spiers’s efforts to look into UFOs and supposed government cover-ups had made him a target.

He was “incredibly strong, incredibly fit, nothing wrong with him at all” and in “incredibly good spirits” when he left the UK to go to Poland, she also said.

But an inquest in Kent on Monday heard he had died after taking too many tablets of the Turkish version of Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication.

He was also suffering from “widespread pneumonia”, a pathologist found, and had potentially fatal amounts of oxycodone, an opioid drug, in his system.

Mr Spiers originally travelled to Poland to attend the Earth Project conference where he had met a woman called Monika Duvall and begun an “informal relationship”.

He stayed in the country, living in Ms Duvall’s flat, rather than returning home to Britain and also went on holiday with her to Cyprus.

It was there he bought eight to ten boxes of the Turkish Xanax, where it was available without a prescription, the Polish prosecutor’s office told the inquest.

Ms Duvall also arranged to procure medication in Poland for him worth more than £300.

Max Spiers, 39, died after 'vomiting black liquid'

The conspiracy theorist often complained of feeling unwell and “sometimes he felt weak and sometimes he had problems with focus and attention”, Ms Duvall said.

He was also a drug user who had been addicted to heroin and crack cocaine for several years, his GP revealed at the hearing.

On the day he died, Mr Spiers fell asleep on the sofa at Ms Duvall’s flat, she said, after taking some of the Xanax he had bought in Cyprus.

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Several hours later, she noticed he had stopped breathing. While she waited for paramedics to arrive she tried to resuscitate him, which prompted him to begin to vomit.

“I noticed he had something in his mouth, some remnants of food, so I turned him on to one side and saw gastric fluids pouring out of him – brown liquid, like somewhat tea coloured.”

He was later declared dead at the scene. The Polish prosecutor’s office concluded his death was “caused by natural causes” and had ruled out “participation of further persons”, the inquest heard.

Their investigations concluded he had taken about ten tablets of the Xanax, possibly because he thought it was a lower dosage than usual.

A British toxicologist told the inquest Mr Spiers’s body contained twice the normal dose of the drug.

The inquest continues.

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