The Integratron is located in Landers, California, 20 miles north of Joshua Tree National Park and sits on of the most powerful geomagnetic vortexes in the Mojave Desert. It was created by George Van Tassel, a former aviation engineer and employee of Howard Hughes. He claimed that at 43 years-old (1953) , he was awakened by a man from outer space that he called a “Venusian”- the captain of a “scout ship” from Venus that had landed on his property. The human-looking spaceman who wore a gray one-piece bodysuit gave Van Tassel a formula to build a remarkable machine that would generate electrostatic energy to suspend laws of gravity, extend human life and facilitate high-speed time travel: the Integraton.
This is a one-of-a-kind dome structure; 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, constructed entirely out of wood and designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel. It is an immaculately preserved artifact of midcentury modernist design with a whitewashed façade that is not merely decorative, it’s adhesive. The Integratron was constructed without nails, screws, flashing or weather stripping, it’s just paint and caulk. With the exception of a one-ton concrete ring that fixes those ribs in place, the whole thing — floor, walls, ceiling — is made of wood, old-growth Douglas fir from Washington State, which, if the lore is to be believed, Van Tassel was given as a gift by his old boss Howard Hughes. The wood lends a quaintly homey quality to the soaring space. You enter the Integratron through a set of double doors on its south side. A small stairway takes you from the ground floor, where there are exhibitions detailing the Integratron’s history, to the main attraction: the gloriously airy upper story. There, 16 rectangular windows offer 360-degree views of the desert, and the building’s wooden ribs, fashioned by shipbuilders, vault to the top of the dome.
But the Integraton is not all about the looks, it also attracts a huge crowd because of its “acoustic perfection”. Its form and materials — its curvilinear dome and reverberating wood — act as natural amplifiers, a surround-sound stereo system in the shape of a building. Visitors can experience a so-called sound bath, reclining on mats while one of the stewards strike and stroke quartz-crystal singing bowls, producing tones that ripple and swirl through the building’s main chamber and throughout the body resulting in “sonic healing: waves of peace, heightened awareness and relaxation of the mind and body.” Lying back beneath the wooden dome, it seems at moments that you’re not listening to sound so much as inhabiting it — that you’re on the inside of a musical instrument.
Van Tassel died before construction was finished but the building remained and was sold for $50,000 to a family who then turned it into a place of healing and meditation. The new owners focused more on the location of the building itself rather than the actual structure and instead, utilized this resource to create a unique experience for their guests. The location of the Integratron is an essential part of its functioning. It was built on an intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces that, when focused by the unique geometry of the building, concentrate and amplify the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetometers read a significant spike in the earth’s magnetic field in the center of the Integratron. With this, the three sisters that currently own the place decided to create an unforgettable sound experience for those who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and introspection. You will be resting comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played by striking gently or rubbing them with the accompanying striker or mallet., each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body.
All sound Baths are 60-minute sonic healing sessions that consist of 25 minutes of crystal bowls played live and the balance of the hour to integrate the sound and relax in the sound chamber to recorded music.
The Integratron is currently privately owned and maintained by three sisters who have been part of the restoration for two and a half decades. Their focus is to restore and preserve the structure while sharing it with people interested in its potential. Since their tenure, the Integratron is open to the public for the first time in its history while its restoration continues. If you are still no interested in the sound bath or the architecture outself, head out and check out the space. The sisters have made their space public for people to come an join them, chill at thei hammock village or have a couple of healthy drinks at their “cantina”.