Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
The original version of the plot is an effect devised by myself, David Arthur, and Gene Maze called "Fusion." It originally appeared in CardWorks in 1981.
The Wesley James thing was publisher later.
Though it appeared in print later (first mention of it was in Peter Samelson's book, Theatrical Close-up, which came out in 1984), Wes developed his effect in the late 1960's. He was performing it regularly at the Magic Townehouse in the early 70's, so any magicians around at that time can verify that fact. It wasn't until after he retired that he actually released the effect, and it appeared in his "Stop Fooling Us!" lecture notes, which came out in the mid-late 80's, IIRC.