No matter your belief in extra-terrestrials, the Integratron, located an hour's drive north of Palm Springs, is worth a look-see. (photograph by Frank B. Baiamonte, reused with permission)
  • No matter your belief in extra-terrestrials, the Integratron, located an hour's drive north of Palm Springs, is worth a look-see. (photograph by Frank B. Baiamonte, reused with permission)
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I may have had some lunatic notions in my day, but I can assure you that none of them have been implanted or otherwise suggested by extraterrestrials. Not a one.

George Van Tassel, however, can’t claim the same, having been directed by aliens to build the Integratron.

A Lockheed aeronautical engineer and test pilot who had also worked elbow-to-elbow with Howard Hughes, Van Tassel was a recognized authority on UFOs, having reportedly been abducted himself. In 1947, he moved to Landers, north of Yucca Valley, and leased four square miles from the government, including the seven-story-high freestanding boulder called simply “Giant Rock.” There, he and his wife operated the Come on Inn cafe and the Giant Rock Airport.

Van Tassel also led weekly meditation sessions for desert dwellers and city escapees in rooms that had been dug out from beneath the Rock by previous tenants. He believed that the subterranean rooms amplified communication with extra-terrestrials.

He must've been right, because in August of that year, he was invited onto a Venusian flying saucer to receive instructions on how to rejuvenate living cell tissue.

The following year, Van Tassel founded the Ministry of Universal Wisdom, a nonprofit religious and scientific research organization, and began building the Integratron three miles south of the boulder. He said that the dome, which took 18 years to complete, was intended to be a “high-voltage electrostatic generator that would supply a broad range of frequencies to recharge the cell structure."

Over the next 20 years until his death in 1978, Van Tassel wrote books on time travel and hosted annual UFO conventions that drew tens of thousands of visitors. Hughes, not surprisingly, invested heavily in Integratron.

exterior of the Integratron (photograph by Frank B. Baiamonte)

exterior of the Integratron (photograph by Frank B. Baiamonte)

Reportedly an acoustically perfect sound chamber sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex, the dome, now owned by sisters Nancy, Patty and Joanne Karl, is famous for its hour-long Sound Baths.

The “baths,” hotlisted by Rolling Stone, are sonic healing sessions (pictured at top) that utilize quartz crystal singing bowls keyed to resonate with the body’s chakras. Private baths are available by reservation for $80, and every other weekend, $15/person public Anthony Bourdain–inspired "No Reservation" baths are offered. (No public baths are offered in August.)

The Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party on August 11th includes a group bath with live ambient music, as well as live images from deep space. Tickets are $55/12 yrs+. Overnight camping is available for $30 per person, which includes a continental breakfast.

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Comments

gabby67 Aug. 12, 2012 @ 1:12 a.m.

I met George Van Tassel when I was a kid (1957). He used to let us camp on his land near Giant Rock. (We were respectful, "no-trace" campers--that was important to him). His cafe was adorned with pictures of UFOs, as was the room under the Giant Rock. We kids were not allowed in the Integratron, as he said one had to be at least 25 to receive its benifits. Getting to the Integratron is no problem, but you'll need a vehicle with high ground clearance to get to the Giant Rock. (If a first-timer, you may also need a map. Or just keep bearing to the left at any forks--it's not far, but rough and sandy.)

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