In 1896 the Sacramento Bee reported that witnesses saw a moving craft hovering above them about 1,000 feet. They heard singing as the craft passed overhead as well as a voice calling to increase elevation in order not to hit the local brewery.
It was at that moment when ufology — the study of reports of unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) — was born. A series of mystery airship sightings followed, sweeping through Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska. Ebbs and flows of UFO sightings continued, peaking during the two world wars.
By the 1950’s, contactees came forward, reporting experiences with aliens. Famous names included George Adamski and George Van Tassel. The sightings prompted the United States government to establish panels to investigate the claims, including Project Sign (1947-1949), Project Grudge (1949), and Project Blue Book (1951-1969).
The CIA got involved too, creating a panel to examine the UFO data. Led by mathematician and physicist Howard Percy Robertson in 1953, they concluded UFO sightings were not a threat to national security. However, they could cause mass hysteria and clog communication channels, so the panel recommended monitoring private UFO groups for subversive activity. The Joint-Army-Navy-Air Force Publication 146 made publication of UFO sightings a crime under the Espionage Act.
Enter George Van Tassel and his Spacecraft Conventions.
Van Tassel was a high-school drop-out who moved from his hometown in Ohio to California. For seventeen years he was an aircraft mechanic and flight inspector who worked for Douglas Airport, Hughes Aircraft, and Lockheed. In 1947, he left the corporate world and moved into a dug out underneath a Giant Rock in the desert. Along with his family, he also built a cafe and a small airstrip.
Van Tassel claimed that while meditating inside the rock, aliens from Venus contacted him. The Venusians told him to build a structure aimed at extending human life. Van Tassel listened and began building the Integretron.
A domed energy machine meant to recharge human cells, for many years he searched for materials, builders, and money until he had created a wood structure that still today has no metal screws or nails. He also held annual Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions that in 1959 attracted about 11,000 people.
While Van Tassel died very suddenly at the age of 68, his Integretron remains. You can still take a sound bath inside; Van Tassel believed the playing of crystal bowls would rejuvenate cells and bring individuals back to their centered vibrations.
Ask the volunteers and they’ll also tell you how to get to Giant Rock. You drive along sandy unpaved road for a mile until you reach the stone. It’s out in alien country and if you walk around the bend, you’ll also find Crystal Hill scattered with crystal rocks.
But watch your cell phones! If you put the crystals into your bag with a cell phone inside, your phone’s SIM card just might fritz and you’ll loose all the memory on the card.
Getting There: 2477 Belfield Boulevard, Landers, CA 92285. Near Palm Springs, check the website and then call to find out when you can take a sound bath.