George Van Tassel
|George Van Tassel|
March 12, 1910|
|Died||February 9, 1978(aged 67)|
Van Tassel was born in Jefferson, Ohio in 1910, and grew up in a fairly prosperous middle-class family. He finished high school in the 10th grade and held a job at a Cleveland airport; he also acquired a pilot's license. At 20, he headed for California, where at first he worked for a garage owned by an uncle.
While working at the garage he met Frank Critzer, an eccentric loner who claimed to be working a mine somewhere near Giant Rock, a 7-story boulder near Landers, California. Frank Critzer was a German immigrant trying to make a living in the desert as a prospector. During World War II, Critzer was under suspicion as a German spy and died during a police siege at the Rock in 1942. Upon receiving news of Critzer's death, Van Tassel applied for a lease of the abandoned airport near Giant Rock from the Bureau of Land Management, who managed the land, and was eventually given a renewable Federal Government contract to develop the airstrip.
Van Tassel became an aircraft mechanic and flight inspector who at various times between 1930 and 1947 worked for Douglas Aircraft, Hughes Aircraft, and Lockheed. While at Hughes Aircraft he was the Top Flight Inspector. He finally left Southern California's booming aerospace industry for the desert in 1947. He and his family at first lived a simple existence in the rooms Frank Critzer had dug out under Giant Rock. Van Tassel eventually built a home, a cafe, a small airstrip, and a dude ranch beside the Rock.
George Van Tassel started hosting group meditation in 1953 in a room underneath Giant Rock excavated by Frank Critzer, a prospector. That year, according to Van Tassel the occupant of a space ship from the planet Venus woke him up, invited him on board his space ship, and both verbally and telepathically gave him a technique for rejuvenating the human body. In 1954, Van Tassel and others began building what they called the "Integratron" to perform the rejuvenation. According to Van Tassel, the Integratron was to be a structure for scientific research into time, anti-gravity and at extending human life, built partially upon the research of Nikola Tesla and Georges Lakhovsky. Van Tassel described the Integratron as being created for scientific and spiritual research with the aim to recharge and rejuvenate people's cells, "a time machine for basic research on rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel". The domed wood structure has a rotating metal apparatus on the outside he called an "electrostatic dirod". Van Tassel claimed it was made of non ferromagnetic; constructed of only wood, concrete, glass and fibreglass lacking even metal screws or nails. The Integratron was never fully completed due to Van Tassel's sudden death a few weeks before the official opening. In recent times some people who visit the unfinished Integratron claim to be rejuvenated by staying there, and experiencing sound baths inside.
Conventions and organizations
Van Tassel was a classic 1950s contactee in the mold of George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Orfeo Angelucci and many others. He hosted "The Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention" annually beside the Rock, from 1953 to 1978, which attracted at its peak in 1959 as many as 10,000 attendees. Guests trekked to the desert by car or landed airplanes on Van Tassel's small airstrip, grandly called Giant Rock Airport.
Every famous contactee appeared personally at these conventions over the years, and many more not-so-famous ones. References often state that the first and most famous contactee, George Adamski, pointedly boycotted these conventions. In fact, however, Adamski attended the third convention, held in 1955, where he gave a 35-minute lecture and was interviewed by Edward J. Ruppelt, once head of the Air Force Project Blue Book. It was the only such convention Adamski attended.
Van Tassel founded a metaphysics research organization called The Ministry of Universal Wisdom, and The College of Universal Wisdom to codify the spiritual revelations he was now regularly receiving via communications with the people from Space.
Van Tassel's book, I Rode A Flying Saucer (1952, 1955), recounts his claims of receiving "cosmic wisdom" "Solgonda" and a large number of other people from space. Among his other works are Into This World and Out Again (1956), The Council of Seven Lights (1958), Religion and Science Merged, and When Stars Look Down.
- George Van Tassel's Amazing Integratron at Giant Rock by Kathy Doore http://www.labyrinthina.com/rock.htm
- "Integratron". Integratron. 1966-11-17. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- Lewis, James R., editor, UFOs and Popular Culture, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2000. ISBN 1-57607-265-7.
- Ronald D. Story, editor, The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, NY, NY: New American Library, 2001. ISBN 0-451-20424-7.
- integratron.com: History of the Integratron – with "A Brief History of Giant Rock Covering the Last 90 Years (1887–1977)" by Van Tassel.
- UFO Evidence.org: a witty reminiscence of George Van Tassel
- "A planned revival of Van Tassel's Spacecraft Conventions". USA Today. April 27, 2006.