About 10 miles north of where I am staying in Yucca Valley CA is the little town of Landers. About 7 miles northwest of there, out in the desert near the base of a small mountain, is Integratron.
This structure was built in 1959 by a man named George Van Tassel. Among others things he was a Ufologist (think little green men), and claimed to have once been abducted by aliens. Based on what he claimed he learned from these “space visitors” he designed a gizmo called in Integratron in 1957. After raising money at UFO conventions, and convincing billionaire Howard Hughes to invest some of his money, he built this building out in the desert near Landers to house his invention.
Mr. Van Tassel claimed that, among other things, he could time-travel, experience anti-gravity, and experience youthful rejuvenation by using his device. Now I think that’s a bunch of hooey, but he firmly believed in this and had a loyal band of followers and spoke and wrote about it extensively
Mr. Van Tassel died in 1978 and after that the facility changed hands many times and fell into a state of serious disrepair. A family bought it in the early 2000’s, fixed it up, and on April 23 of this year it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The cupola is 38 feet tall and 55 feet in diameter.
The current owners claim the building is acoustically perfect. They now conduct sessions where they perform “sound baths,” where people pay to be in the building for an hour, laying on mats on the floor, meditating to the sounds of quartz bowls generating soothing sounds.
Here is part of the 1230pm “class” entering the building on Saturday. I tried booking a reservation before I left Durham a few weeks ago and could never get their website to function properly. I didn’t think to check it again until about a week ago when I was in Pahrump, Nevada and the month of June was almost completely booked. At almost $1,000 per hour every 90 minutes, many times a day, the current owners are doing quite well!
30 people per group can reserve time to have a “group session” (private sessions are even more expensive). Anthony Bourdain, who died just a few days before I posted this, did an episode of one of his shows on CNN here a few years ago, and was one of their more famous attendees. I admit I was willing to pony up $35 of my own money to try it out, but even with last-minute cancellations, no slots opened up for the 4 days I was in the area.
(Photo credit: Rice Fishey Horiz)
Photo credit: Rice Fishey Horiz)
(Photo credit: angelishere on wordpress.com)
The soothing sounds (harmonic frequencies) are apparently made by rubbing oil around the rims of the quartz bowls, similar to rubbing your wet finger on the rim of a wine glass.