The James J. Gibson Connection

By Bill Angelos

Chapter 8: The Lost Tape Or Back To The Future

About a month after reconnecting with my friend Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, I called another friend of ours from our school days at The Bronx High School of Science, Jordan Davis. After receiving his Law Degree, Jordan had,like myself, gone into “Show Business”, but from the “Business” end of it. He eventually rose to become an executive in the Business Affairs Departments at Warner Brothers Studios, and the NBC and ABC Television Networks.

Now retired and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I asked him to come up to Wisconsin and see what our classmate had cooked up. Point being we were still looking for the $50,000 Paul would need in order to move off the University of Wisconsin campus and begin a commercial venture. There was a University law prohibiting such a venture, since the University owned the Patent to Paul’s invention. Perhaps Jordan would have some ideas, once he’d seen the device in action.

The videos you are about see, are from Jordan’s visit which took place in February of 2003. For those who’ve been following the change in perspective we’ve been documenting during these last few Chapters, we trust the dichotomy between the assumption that the brain was Center Stage during the changes one experiences using Paul Bach-y-Rita’s BrainPort, and the actual “Stage” of Perception upon which they take place will be underscored, as they were for us, while viewing these video clips.

Video One: Recovery

This 20-Second sequence was at the very beginning of the tape and, like the remaining 20-minutes from which we culled what follows, had gone unnoticed for all these years. In response to Jordan Davis’ question regarding how Paul, an MD, became particularly interested in the brain, Paul briefly explains how it all began, and perhaps more importantly , the reason for the specific direction his life would take; looking into the structure of the brain for answers.

Video Two: The Lost Tape

I had assumed that what appears later on the tape in its own numbered sequence, was all that was on this video tape. A few days ago, I discovered otherwise. This clip includes the actual sequence I had been unsuccessfully looking for. Paul’s and Cheryl’s “dance”—a shot of which you see above. However, it also explains what provoked the dance; a “phenomenon” which would have been impossible just a few months before:

Video Three: Ride with a Wobbler

The excitement that followed the “phenomenon” included this amazing and quite surprising (for all) ride with Cheryl in her car. She had been driving for a few months now, but had never attempted to do so while under the influence of the “phenomenon”. Mitch Tyler, co-inventor of the source of the “phenomenon , takes a couple of shots at explaining how it was possible for Cheryl to be experiencing what she would ultimately describe as “being in the moment”… But, now in retrospect, both Cheryl and I have an entirely different view of what was happening…and continues to happen for Cheryl nine years later, when she uses the device… only more so. More about that later.

Video Four: Jordan Davis’ Statement

On the next day, Jordan Davis got a chance to talk about a very specific problem he’d been having of late. Which led to a discussion about the aging process and using the device to mitigate loss of balance, a common occurrence experienced by older people. For the record, the device can indeed provide assistance for an aging Central Nervous System.

Nonetheless, in retrospect, I can now see that Jordan’s statement was, in a sense, pointing to the real answer to what Mitch Tyler called “The Great Mystery” in the first video clip.

Note: Paul Bach-y-Rita arrives on the scene and adds some additional relevant insights. Their relevance, however, has to do with what Cheryl and I would learn about what the device actually does for the subject, long after Paul Bach-y-Rita had passed. More about that later, too.

(More soon.)

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