Guest, Brian David Andersen

Guest Name: 
Brian David Andersen
Brian David Andersen
Guest Occupation: 
Self-taught researcher/inventor/scientist/writer and photojournalist
Guest Biography: 

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Stem cell therapy is probably the hottest topic in medical research. The applications of stem cell therapy appear to be virtually endless. Studies have been done with numerous disease states such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke, burns, and spinal cord injury. Stem cell therapy is even being tested to regenerate organs and teeth and to increase longevity.

About Brian David Andersen:

Brian grew up in the “burbs” of Dallas and graduated from Irving High School in 1971. A knee injury during his junior year of high school ended hopes of participating in small college basketball so he focused all of his energies on newspaper and commercial photography. Brian’s mother, Vonnie, worked as an editor for the Irving Daily News and Brian photographed numerous assignments for the paper including covering Dallas Cowboys football games as a sideline photographer.

During Brian’s freshman year of high school, a medical doctor persuaded his father and five other individuals that the cure for their diabetes was the surgical removal of their pituitary glands. Keith Andersen was the last of the five test victims to die. The loss of his father from this controversial medical procedure two weeks after Brian’s high school graduation made him acutely and painfully aware of the shortcomings of traditional western medicine.

After the first semester of his freshman year, Brian transferred from East Texas State University to the University of Missouri at Columbia to pursue his dream of photographing assignments for the National Geographic Magazine. His advisor was Missouri photojournalism instructor Cliff Edom who coined the word photojournalism and had placed over 10 of his students with the National Geographic photo staff over a 40-year teaching career. Unfortunately, Edom was forced into retirement during Brian’s sophomore year and replaced with as award winning newspaper photographer, Angus McDougal.

Due to his very strong portfolio, Brian was one of the youngest staff photographer interns to work for a major metropolitan newspaper during the summers of 1972 and 1973. An odd set of circumstances set the foundation for Brian having a spot news picture he took to be published on the front page the very first day he reported for work at the Dallas Times Herald

Meeting His Mentor

Brian’s freshman year he was given the assignment of photographing the home of the President of the University of Missouri. While breaking down his gear, Brian was approached by a man in his early sixties who asked him what he thought about the luxury residence. Brian proceeded to criticize the inconvenient entryway into the patio area. The man asked Brian if he would communicate his negative pinions to the architect? But before Brian could answer that question, the man extended his hand and said, “Well, your answer does not matter because I am the architect and my name is Hurst John and what is your name?”

Hurst was a self-taught residential and commercial architect. He was also a very radical believer and practitioner of alternative health care and medicine and a devoted health food nut. While Brian completed a photo-essay on Hurst, the eccentric architect became his mentor and Brian traveled the back roads and high society homes of Missouri with his new friend and confidant.

While in his sophomore year, Hurst asked Brian a key question: “Can a person who graduated from college really and truly call himself a free person?” Hurst urged Brian to observe his fellow classmates and teachers for the next year before answering that question. At the end of his junior year and a tumultuous relationship with photojournalism Professor McDougal, Brian concluded he could not consider himself a truly free person if he earned a college degree. He walked away from two scholarships paying his full tuition.

Full Encounter with Western Medicine

Brian went to work as a nursing technician and then a surgical technician at local hospitals in the Columbia, Missouri area. Eighty-five year old Ralph Loomis, an associate of Hurst John, operated a literacy program in Brazil and wanted to tour other humanitarian operations before visiting his facility. Brian accompanied Ralph throughout Central and South America during the summer of 1974.

A landmark event in Brian’s life was observing and photographing the health clinic operated by Carroll Behrhorst, MD in the rural area of Chimaltenango, Guatemala for the poverty-stricken Cakchiquel Indians. Twelve years earlier Dr. Behrhorst moved his family from a successful practice in Kansas to pioneer the field of rural tropical medicine. Brian was impressed and transformed by the attitudes and practices of Dr. Behrhorst that radically differed from the western medicine he was dealing with on a daily basis.

One month after returning from Dr. Behrhorst’s clinic, National Geographic published a fluff story and a very weak photo-essay about Guatemala. During his encounter with the Behrhorst clinic, Brian was given a crash course on how the corporations and the US military were decimating the Guatemala rural countryside for politics and profit. The Guatemala Brian experienced was quite different from the Guatemala depicted in the frivolous National Geographic text and pictures. Brian knew he had the talent to take pictures for any professional magazine. However, after his encounter with the Behrhorst clinic and observing the disappointing magazine article, he realized he would have had conflicts during long-term relationships with the up-side-down direction and purpose of publications such as National Geographic.

Charles Baxter, MD, the next-door neighbor of the Andersen family in Irving, TX and a world-renowned burn expert, arranged for Brian to experience four months hands-on training as a burn technician University of Texas Health Science Center. He then transferred to producing, directing and photographing training films for nurses and doctors specializing in burn therapy. After one year of being totally immersed in western medicine, Brian slowly came to the realization there was more to health than just surgery and drugs and he could no longer be part of traditional medicine.

Around the World

In 1978 Brian received a modest inheritance from his grandfather and the drums of international travel began to beat. He moved to San Diego, took a one-week crash course in SCUBA diving and crossed the Pacific to dive shipwrecks at Truk Lagoon. The photographer in him came out again and Brian headed to Thailand where he did a seven-month photo-essay of Phuket. His pictures depicted the reality of life for the people in the region. With minimal dive experience, he became a dive guide in the wild and wooly beginning days of the now resort vacation destination of Pattaya, Thailand.

From Thailand, Brian traveled to Russia and via East Berlin on to West Germany. While in Berlin, he contracted to be a dive guide for a group of Germans in the Red Sea. They drove a 1947 Mercedes Benz military truck to Venice, Italy and then took a ferry to Greece and then on to Haifa, Israel and then drove the truck on to Ras Mohammed on the very tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

At that time, the Sinai had just been turned back over to Egypt and was still under joint Egyptian/Israeli military control. While out on a hike out by himself Brian became lost. An unmarked F-4 Phantom jet noticed Brian in his French military pants and green outdoors shirt. The jet descended to 25 feet and Brian could see the pilot had opened his gun turret and was ready to fire. As the plane approached, Brian had no choice but to raise his hand and make hitchhiker motion with his thumb. Brian could see the teeth of the pilot as he hysterically laughed when passing over. During a second pass the navigator pointed Brian in the correct direction. Not far from this encounter, Moses had separated the waters of the Red Sea. Moses’ magical staff guided the former slaves of Egypt into the Sinai Desert and the crew of a mysterious F-4 Phantom guided Brian out of the Sinai Desert. However, Brian did not eat any manna bread from heaven but he did munch on numerous bags of organic granola.

Brian then traveled to Tel-Aviv where he was offered a photographic assignment by AP to go to Kenya. When he investigated the situation, he found out that the killing and extreme violence of the regime of Idi Amin in Uganda was spilling over into Kenya. Standing at the airport in Tel-Aviv, Brian bought a ticket back to Dallas.

Breakthrough Underwater Video Technology

Back stateside, Brian moved to San Diego where he worked as a freelance writer and photographer. Brian completed a photo-essay and video documentary on a prison-retraining program that teaches inmates to be commercial divers at the California Institution for Men at Chino. The photo-essay became a book co-authored by his brother Kevon titled Prisoners of the Deep and the video documentary titled Dive To Freedom was broadcast on several local cable stations.

The documentary was released in 1985. The underwater segments were taken by the first and best professional camera housing for the high-end Betacam and Ikegami video cameras of the 1980s. The underwater camera housing was inspired by Brian and co-designed and fully manufactured by his business partner Elwyn Gates.

Brian had Elwyn turn the mounting ring for the large Fuji lens 90 degrees so the width of the housing was under a sleek eight inches. All previous and competing professional underwater housings were big sewer pipes or boxes with difficult controls. The monitor was outside the housing and could be manipulated into various positions.

Due to Brian’s research and insistence, their video housing was the first underwater system to test and use a dome port for the camera lens. Elwyn was very skeptical about the dome port because camera housings using movie cameras could only use flat lens ports. Other underwater camera professionals prejudiced towards movie film cameras laughed at the idea for a dome port but Brian finally managed to persuade Elwyn to use his creative abilities for manifesting the first dome port to be deployed on an underwater video system.

Their dome port, cut from a domed ship compass container, was not only outstanding but also improved color saturation by 200 percent compared to a flat port. The dome port allowed full zoom of Fuji lens and eliminated refraction when the port is half in and half out of the water. With flat ports the upper portions are much smaller than the lower portions that are underwater. Elwyn went on to win an Emmy Award for Technical Achievement.
Brian was hired by the ABC network to video the windsurfing and yachting segments of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The uplifted dagger board of a catamaran swept within a few feet of the dome port while he bobbed in the water with his assistant Mike Pelissier, the co-founder of Ocean Technology Systems. The dynamic clip was used numerous times when transitioning from the various summer competition events to the commercials. It was while filming this segment that Brian sustained an injury to his right knee that would later provide the foundation for a major breakthrough in the history of his subtle energy research that was yet to come.

Brian was also hired by the French Provincial Government to participate in a documentary about the Salmon Run on the Saint Jean River in Eastern Canada that was the most popular television program on the government station in Quebec during 1985. The half out of water and half in water segments made the program.

Frustration set in with slow moving technology and the temperamental nature of Hollywood clients.

Brian exited the underwater television business in early 1987 to pursue a career as an independent researcher, inventor and scientist specializing in alternative health care.

Subtle Energy Research

With his journalism background, Brian entered the fields of chemistry, physics and alternative health care as an investigator seeking the truth rather than a student seeking a passing grade. Brian was free to take any kind of risks and follow all kinds of paths and he did not care what others thought about his theories, directions, methods, or goals.
The starting gun had fired for the marathon that was to become Tri-Vortex Technology.

Brian David Andersen is also featured in Sonia Barrett's latest documentary The Business of Disease www.thebusinessofdisease.com