Welcome to the Integratron, a place of spiritual healing and musical sound baths inside the world’s only all-wood, acoustically perfect sound-chamber.

We were!

We were and we did!

In the wee hours of Aug. 24, 1953, George Van Tassel, a 43-year-old former aviation engineer, was awakened by a man from outer space. Six years earlier, Van Tassel had moved with his family to Landers, Calif., a place of stark beauty and rainbow sunsets in the southeastern corner of the Mojave Desert, 40 desolate miles due north of Palm Springs. Van Tassel had the clean-cut look of a midcentury company man, and a résumé to match: He had worked for Lockheed and Douglas Aircraft, and for Howard Hughes’s aviation concern. But his spiritual leanings were esoteric. He settled in Landers because of its proximity to Giant Rock, an enormous seven-story-high desert boulder in whose shadow he would sit silently for hours at a stretch. He told friends that he went to Giant Rock to commune with the spirits of American Indians, who had regarded the boulder as sacred.

The white wood-domed structure sits four stories high and 55 feet in diameter, just off Twentynine Palms Highway in Landers, California, about an hour north of Palm Springs.

Van Tassel died in 1978; Solganda hasn’t been heard from in decades, presumably having settled, at the ripe age of 750-something, into a comfortable Venusian retirement.

The structure designed by Ufologist and Contactee George Van Tassel. Tassel claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel.

across a scrubby expanse, you will find an even more extraordinary sight: a circular, dome-topped building, 38 feet tall and 55 feet in diameter, constructed by Van Tassel over the course of nearly two decades in accordance with the instructions of his extraterrestrial architectural patron.

The building was constructed by Van Tassel over the course of nearly two decades in accordance with the instructions of his extraterrestrial architectural patron.

In fact, the Integratron is a sort of time machine, or at least a time capsule. It is an immaculately preserved artifact of midcentury modernist design, and a totem of 1950s U.F.O.-ology culture — the mixture of Cold War paranoia and occult spirituality that drew true believers to remote reaches of the Desert Southwest in search of flying saucers and free-floating enlightenment.

It is an immaculately preserved artifact of midcentury modernist design, and a totem of 1950s U.F.O.-ology culture — the mixture of Cold War paranoia and occult spirituality that drew true believers to remote reaches of the Desert Southwest in search of flying saucers and free-floating enlightenment.

Every visitor to the Integratron is on some level a pilgrim: It’s not a place that you just happen by. To reach the building, you wend through a sun-strafed landscape of Joshua trees and bare-rock outcroppings on a series of progressively smaller roads. Finally you spot it: a bright white dome jutting out from the dust that can at first glance appear to be a mirage — a U.F.O. that has touched down on the Mojave moonscape. The building’s brilliant whitewashed facade is not merely decorative, it’s adhesive. The Integratron was constructed without nails, screws, flashing or weather stripping.

It was constructed without nails, screws, flashing or weather stripping.

Inside the building, more engineering marvels await. 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.

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. 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. It feels like the world’s most majestic clubhouse.

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. 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.

But it’s not the way the Integratron looks that draws thousands to Landers each year. It’s how the place sounds

But it’s not the way the Integratron looks that draws thousands to Landers each year. It’s how the place sounds.

“an acoustically perfect” space, a “resonant tabernacle” whose form and materials — its curvilinear dome and reverberating wood — act as natural amplifiers, a surround-sound stereo system in the shape of a building. For fees ranging from $20 to $80, visitors can experience a so-called sound bath, reclining on mats while the sisters strike and stroke quartz-crystal singing bowls, producing tones that ripple and swirl through the building’s main chamber. The result, the Integratron’s website promises, is “sonic healing”: “waves of peace, heightened awareness and relaxation of the mind and body.”

For fees ranging from $20 to $80, visitors can experience a so-called sound bath, reclining on mats while being exposed to harmonic sound frequencies produced by quartz bowls.

 To spend even an hour at the Integratron is to find your mind opening to esoteric possibilities — to feel your doubts melting away beneath the desert sun, skepticism bending toward curiosity.

Relaxing after our bath.

Relaxing after a sound bath.

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