A regular-looking rock with an unbelievable history.
THIS SEVEN-STORY GIANT BOULDER HAS attracted UFO conferences, Hopi spiritualists, and the engineers of a “rejuvenation machine.”
Geologically speaking, Giant Rock—located in California’s Mojave Desert—is roughly seven stories high and covers almost 6,000 square feet. Some say it is the largest freestanding boulder in the world.
While the rock has been a Native American spiritual site for thousands of years, the modern backstory of the boulder begins in the 1930s, when a German immigrant and miner named Frank Critzer met a pilot named George Van Tassel. The pair became fast friends and Van Tassel loaned Critzer 30 dollars to buy mining equipment. Critzer then dug out a 400-square-foot home for himself directly beneath the rock. Some locals thought he was crazy, but since he was known to point a shotgun at those who approached his underground home, no one inquired further. Critzer was also a radio enthusiast and is said to have set up a radio antenna on top of the rock for better reception.
Unfortunately, Critzer’s German origin and radio antenna led to suspicions of his being a spy during World War II, and a police raid was made on his cavern. While the exact cause of Critzer’s death is still unknown, legend holds that when authorities attempted to extricate him by shooting tear gas canisters into his cave, one accidentally ignited a small store of explosives (for mining) and blew the peculiar loner to smithereens. As it turns out, Critzer was not a spy after all, but just what he seemed: an eccentric who wanted to be left alone to live, quite literally, under a rock.
Upon hearing of his friend’s death, Van Tassel—a high school dropout who had become a pilot—went to the boulder and reopened an old airfield at the Giant Rock in the 1950s, naming it Giant Rock Airport. Van Tassel’s war friend Howard Hughes, for whom Van Tassel was a test pilot, is said to have flown there just for a slice of pie baked by Van Tassel’s wife.
In addition to being an aviator, Van Tassel was also a firm believer in alien life. In 1952, Tassel began holding meditation sessions in Critzer’s old home under Giant Rock. Here, Van Tassel believed he was receiving vital information from alien sources directing the construction of a fantastic machine. The body, Van Tassel learned from his alien sources, was an electrical device, and aging was caused by a loss of power. Van Tassel claimed to have even been transported to an alien spaceship, where he met a wise group of aliens known as the “Council of Seven Lights.” Van Tassel said this extraterrestrial meeting, along with ideas from scientists such as Nikola Tesla, inspired the construction of a building/device which was to be a “rejuvenation machine.” It was dubbed “The Integratron.”
Van Tassel held popular UFO conventions known as the “Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions” on his property for over 20 years to help raise money for the Integratron’s construction. The domed structure, built without nails over a period of 34 years, was said to be capable of collecting up to 50,000 volts of static electricity from the air in order to charge the human body. Unfortunately, Van Tassel suffered a heart attack before its “final” completion, giving rise to a host of conspiracy theories. There were once plans to turn the Integratron into a disco, but instead it has been reincarnated as a sound bath meditation retreat.
Long before Van Tassel or Frank Critzer were around, Giant Rock was a spiritual site for thousands of years, used by Native American tribes in ceremonies and prophecy. Hopi shamans have suspected since the 1920s that the future of the 21st century would be foretold at Giant Rock, based on how the rock cracked. In February 2000, a giant chunk of the rock did indeed break off. Spiritual leader Shri Naath Devi interpreted the break in a positive light, saying, “the Mother had opened her arms to us, cracking open her heart for the whole world to see.” It is speculated the break was the result of fires burned under the giant rock in what was once Frank Critzer’s underground home.
Know Before You Go
Giant Rock can be reached by car by traveling south from Lucerne Valley on Hwy 247 to Reche Road in Landers, or traveling north from Yucca Valley on Hwy 247. Take Reche Road to Belfield Blvd, left on Belfield until the pavement ends. To your right will be the Integratron. Go past the property, turn right and then immediately bear left on the well-graded dirt road.
The dirt road will follow the edge of the jumbo rock pile about two miles. Follow around the end of the rock pile until Giant Rock comes into view. Be cautious of broken glass and snakes in the area. Always bring extra drinking water. Cellular service is available at the site.
George Van Tassel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|This article includes a list of general references, but it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (July 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|George Washington Van Tassel|
|Born||March 12, 1910|
|Died||February 9, 1978 (aged 67)|
|Occupation(s)||Inventor, Pilot and Ufologist|
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 small municipal airport near Cleveland; he also acquired a private pilot licence. At age 20, he moved to California, where at first he worked as an automobile mechanic at a garage owned by an uncle.
While pumping gas 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 in the Mojave Desert. Frank Critzer was claimed by others to be a German immigrant During World War II, however, he was born in the US. Critzer was under suspicion as a German spy and killed himself by a dynamite explosion during a police siege at the Rock in 1942. Upon receiving news of Critzer’s death, Van Tassel applied for a lease of the small abandoned airport near Giant Rock from the Bureau of Land Management, and was eventually given a Federal Government contract to develop and maintain 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 their Top Flight Inspector. In 1947, Van Tassel left Southern California‘s booming aerospace industry to live in the desert with his family. At first, he lived a simple existence in the rooms Frank Critzer had dug out under Giant Rock. Van Tassel eventually built a new home, a café, a gas station, a store, a small airstrip, and a guest ranch beside the Rock.
Main article: Integratron
George Van Tassel started hosting group meditation in 1953 in a room underneath Giant Rock, excavated by Frank Critzer. 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 materials: 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, Daniel Fry, 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, called Giant Rock Airport.
Over the years, every famous contactee of the period appeared personally at these conventions, and many more not-so-famous ones. References often state that the first and most famous contactee, George Adamski, pointedly boycotted these conventions; however, Adamski did, in fact attend 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 apparently the only such convention Adamski ever 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.
George Van Tassel died in Santa Ana while printing a publication and visiting friends.
Van Tassel’s book, I Rode A Flying Saucer (1952, 1955), recounts his claims of receiving “cosmic wisdom” from “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.
- ^ “I Rode A Flying Saucer – George Van Tassel”. Scribd.com. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d “When Stars Look Down – by George van Tassel”. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c “Integratron’s George Van Tassel and the Giant Rock Spaceship Conventions with George Hunt Williamson 1950s”. Labyrinthina.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- ^ “Integratron”. Integratron.com. 1966-11-17. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- ^ “George Van Tassel Dies”. The Desert Sun. 14 February 1978. p. A2.
- 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.
- “A Brief History of Giant Rock Covering the Last 90 Years (1887–1977)” Archived 2018-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, integratron.com; accessed 2 July 2017.
- Reminiscence of George Van Tassel, ufoevidence.org; accessed 2 July 2017.
- “A planned revival of Van Tassel’s Spacecraft Conventions”. USA Today. 27 April 2006.
- Theriault, Michelle (August 5, 2005). “Big enough to see from Venus”. Archived from the original on November 7, 2005.