George Van Tassel

George Van Tassel

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George Van Tassel

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George Van Tassel (March 12, 1910 - February 9, 1978) was an American contactee, ufologist, and paranormal research leader who commenced building the Integratron in 1958 in Landers, California.


Van Tassel was born in Jefferson, Ohio and grew up in a fairly prosperous middle-class family. He dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and got a job at a Cleveland airport; he also got 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...
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