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Itzhak Bentov

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Itzhak Bentov
Emerich Tobiás

August 9, 1923
DiedMay 25, 1979(1979-05-25) (aged 55)
Des Plaines, Illinois, United States
NationalityAmerican, Israeli
Other namesImre Tobiás, Itzhak Emery Bentov
Occupation(s)Scientist, inventor, author
ChildrenSharona Ben-Tov Muir

Itzhak "Ben" Bentov (also Ben-Tov; Hebrew: יצחק בנטוב; August 9, 1923 – May 25, 1979) was an Israeli American scientist, inventor, mystic and author. His many inventions, including the steerable cardiac catheter, helped pioneer the biomedical engineering industry.[1] He was also an early proponent of what has come to be referred to as consciousness studies and authored several books on the subject.

Bentov was killed in the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 shortly after takeoff from Chicago O'Hare Airport in 1979, which remains the worst non-terrorism-related aviation disaster to have taken place on US soil.

Early life


Bentov was born in Humenné, Czechoslovakia (in present-day Slovakia), in 1923. During World War II, his parents, his younger brother and sister were killed in Nazi concentration camps.[2]

He narrowly escaped being sent to the camps and moved to British Palestine, first living on the Shoval kibbutz in the Negev.[3]

Despite not having a university degree,[3] Bentov joined the Israeli Science Corps, which David Ben-Gurion incorporated into the Israeli Defense Forces one month before Israel declared statehood in 1948. The Science Corps became a military branch known by the Hebrew acronym HEMED. Bentov designed Israel's first rocket for the War of Independence. HEMED was forced to make improvised weapons as there was a worldwide embargo on selling weapons to the Jewish state.[3]

Bentov immigrated to the United States in 1954,[4] and settled in Massachusetts. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1962.[5]



Bentov began with a workshop in the basement of a Catholic church in Belmont, Massachusetts in the 1960s.[1] In 1967, he built the steerable heart catheter and attracted the attention of businessman John Abele, with whom Bentov founded the Medi-Tech corporation in 1969.[6]

Abele later recalled Bentov's workshop,

He had the most amazing collection of tools. He had a chemistry lab, he had an electronics lab, he had a miller so he could mill and shape steel or wood or plastic, he had an extruder so he could work with polymers. He would literally make his own polymers or at least mix different polymers in order to get what he wanted. As a result, he was kind of a renaissance person, technologically as well as intellectually.

In 1979, Abele and Peter Nicholas looked to grow the successful business and established Boston Scientific as a holding company to purchase Medi-Tech.[7]

Bentov was the holder of numerous patents. In addition to the steerable cardiac catheter, his inventions included diet spaghetti, automobile brake shoes, EKG electrodes and pacemaker leads.[2]





Bentov was fascinated by consciousness, in particular how it related to physiology. In his 1977 book, Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, he wrote that "consciousness permeates everything".

He was a very inventive person, but also a person who was not the type you would normally think would be an inventor. He was a very spiritual person, he did meditation, he was a very soft-spoken person. He was interested in how the brain worked and actually attached electrodes to his head which were connected to a function generator in which he could change the wave shape and the power and learned about how the brain interprets these different frequencies.[6]

— John Abele

Bentov's invention was a seismographic device to record the heartbeat, in particular the aorta's reverberations. Marc Seifer described the results: "During normal breathing, the reverberations in the aorta are out of phase with the heartbeat and the system is inharmonious. However, during meditation and when the breath is held, the echo off the bifurcation of the aorta (where the aorta forks at the pelvis to go into each leg) is in resonance with the heartbeat and the system becomes synchronized, thus utilizing a minimum amount of energy. This resonant beat is approximately seven cycles per second, which corresponds not only to the alpha rhythm of the brain but also to the low-level magnetic pulsations of the Earth."[8]

Personal life


Bentov had a daughter, Sharona Ben-Tov Muir, with his first wife, whom he would divorce. Later he married Ukrainian-born sculptor and poet Mirtala Serhiivna Pylypenko-Kardinalovska (Kharkiv, 1929), also known as Mirtala Bentov.

Death and legacy


Bentov was killed on May 25, 1979, as a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 191 that crashed shortly after takeoff from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.[9] At the time of his death, he was traveling to California where he had been set to present his ideas on science and mysticism to a group of scientists from Japan.[10] He was 55 years old. His daughter, English professor Sharona Ben-Tov Muir, wrote a memoir about her father, The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father's Lives in 2005. It was not until after his death that she learned about his life in the Israeli Defense Forces and that he had created Israel's first rocket. Searching for answers as to why he never discussed this part of his life, Muir traveled to Israel and researched his years there.[3]

Published works

  • Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, E. P. Dutton, 1977, ISBN 978-0-525-47458-6; Inner Traditions – Bear and Company, 1988, ISBN 0-89281-202-8
  • A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation with Mirtala Bentov, Dutton Books, 1982, ISBN 0-525-47701-2
  • Micromotions of the body as a factor in the development of the nervous system, a centerpiece article published in the anthology Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment by John White, editor, 1998, ISBN 1-55778-303-9
  • A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness: A Cosmic Book on the Mechanics of Creation, Inner Traditions – Bear and Company, 2000, ISBN 0-89281-814-X


  1. ^ a b "Medical devices and disruptive technology: Boston Scientific". MaRS Discovery District. February 8, 2013. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Monagan, David; Williams, MD., David O. (2007). Journey into the Heart: A Tale of Pioneering Doctors and Their Race to Transform Cardiovascular Medicine Hardcover. New York: Penguin Group. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-59240-265-6. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Hollander, Barbara (December 12, 2005). "A 'someone' to love". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "Spiritual Frontiers Hears Itzhak Bentov". The Hour. October 22, 1977. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Index to Petitions and Records of Naturalizations of the U.S. and District Courts for the District of Massachusetts, 1907–1966". M1545. National Archives and Records Administration. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b c "Boston Scientific's beginning, through John Abele's eyes". MedCity News. June 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  7. ^ "About Us: History". Boston Scientific. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  8. ^ Seifer Ph.D., Marc (2008). Transcending the Speed of Light: Consciousness, Quantum Physics, and the Fifth Dimension. Inner Traditions – Bear & Company. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-59477-229-0.
  9. ^ "Jumbo Jet Crashes On Take Off". The Sunday Herald. May 27, 1979 – via UPI.
  10. ^ Rumore, Kori (May 26, 2022). "American Airlines Flight 191: Faces of the victims from the May 25, 1979 plane crash north of O'Hare airport". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 24, 2023.

Further reading