DOLPHINS RETURN TO THE SEA
The prolonged contact with Joe and Rosie during Project JANUS reinforced John's view that dolphins are not animals to be experimented upon, but rather genuine alien intelligences with which humans can interact in strange and marvelous ways, given the right conditions. John dreamed of human-dolphin interaction centers, where his long-term ambition of learning from and with dolphins and letting the dolphins learn human ways as well, could be pursued. His research center at Dolphin Point in the Virgin Islands had been only a first and, in many ways, an inadequate attempt. The facilities at Marine World had been even less adequate, despite the excellent intentions and better computers.
Project JANUS came to a close in 1985. Among various contributing factors was the fact that Marine World/Africa USA was moving. Toni Lilly's vitality was waning in the final years of her living with cancer. Also, there was the pact that John had made with Joe and Rosie when he first brought them to the dolphin pool; he had pledged to return them to the society of wild dolphins after five years of interacting with humans in captivity. It was a promise he felt they had somehow understood and accepted, one that he was not about to break.
When Project JANUS ended, Toni joined forces with Barbara Clarke (administrator of the foundation and other diverse activities whom John had brought on board in 1980) to raise $30,000 from Meredith and others in order to return Joe and Rosie to Florida. Later, the pair were transferred to the Georgia coast, where Jim Hickman, Gigi Coyle, and environmental consultant John Allen developed a program to prepare Joe and Rosie for their return to the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean. Rick O'Barry, formerly Flipper's trainer, helped to prepare them for their new life, in part by teaching them the art of catching their own fish. Their final release, late in 1987, was televised in a National Geographic/TBS special program early the next year.
Joe and Rosie have since been spotted swimming with a baby dolphin. One can only speculate what information they have been sharing with their child and with other dolphins of the Atlantic after their eight year education among humans.
--from "John Lilly, So Far"