Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The two lives of George W. Van Tassel

One of the most well known, first generation American contactees of the 1950s was George W. Van Tassel (1910-1978). He became something of the hub of the contactee movement, very much because of the popular Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions arranged annually between 1954-1977. But also because of his claims of both personal and psychic contacts and co-operation with space people and his building the Integratron on his property at Yucca Valley, California. Messages received from the space people during his meetings at Giant Rock in the early 1950s were printed in his magazine Proceedings and also published in his first book I Rode A Flying Saucer (1952).

George Van Tassel at Giant Rock

George Van Tassel began weekly meditation meetings at Giant Rock in 1949 with a usual attendance of 25 to 45 people. During these first meetings he experienced entering "an area of golden mist" and heard a voice speaking. The words were taken down in shorthand or taped. Van Tassel was never able to find out the source of the voice, "as it seems to come from all directions at once." (Proceedings, vol. 8, no. 7 Oct-Nov-Dec 1968, p. 15). Later several of the messages were printed in Proceedings. Reading these Messages From the Golden Density today reminds me of the writings of the classic Christian mystics, often beautiful and spiritually inspiring, but more like poems than factual information.

Beginning in 1952 a totally new type of voices entered the scene. According to Van Tassel these voices were from space people, using an instrument referred to as Adiphone. They presented themselves with rather odd-sounding names like Hulda, Lata, Singba, Kerrull, Molca och eventually also Ashtar, who later became a popular "space commandant"among channelers all over the world. In May 1952 one of the space people referred to himself as "Clatu, 2nd projection, 4th wave, 3rd sector, realms of Schare". I don´t know if Van Tassel ever noticed that in the classic sci-fi-movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, released in September 1951, the spaceman was named Klaatu? An esoteric interpretation of such messages would be either a mixture of Van Tassels own ideas from his subconscious or merry pranksters from the astral plane impersonating space people.

Although most messages are uninteresting or meaningless there are a few intriguing exceptions. On April 6th 1952, Noma communicated: "Your Pentagon will soon have much to muddle over. We are going to give this globe a buzz. I hope they do not intercept us from in front". (I Rode A Flying Saucer, 2. ed, 1953, p.20). Van Tassel gave this information to Air Force Intelligence Command in a letter answered July 22, 1952. On July 26,27 and 28th 1952 the famous Washington saucer flap occurred. Co-incidence?

The life of George Van Tassel was forever changed on the night of August 24, 1953. While sleeping outdoors he was awakened around 2 a.m. and found a man standing nearby. Beyond the man was a hovering scout ship of the same configuration as in the photographs of George Adamski. The man introduced himself and Van Tassel would later refer to him by the alias Solgonda. Van Tassel was escorted to the craft where he met three other men and was given information on various projects. The visit lasted around twenty minutes and then the craft took off.

George Van Tassel

Before I continue let me present a brief summary of the Esoteric Intervention Theory as related to the experiences of George W. Van Tassel.  I have advanced the theory that some of the physical contactees of the 1950s were involved in a cultural and psychological influence test. An experiment implemented by a group of benevolent alien visitors, earth based or extraterrestrial, a group with access to “vimana” technology. This test was done in co-operation with the Higher Intelligence Agency (HIA), the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom, using a new type of phenomena as attraction as they used spiritualist phenomena in connection with the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875. Involved in this test was a.o. George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, Paul M. Vest, George Van Tassel, Daniel Fry and Howard Menger.

After the contact of August 24, 1952 George Van Tassel was on several occasions visited by "Solgonda" and others belonging to his group. These visits were very physical, like ordinary meetings and conversations with anyone on Earth. But he wrote very little of these experiences, obviously trying to preserve the integrity and secrets of his visitor friends. There are a few references scattered in some issues of Proceedings. The individual Mr. Wheeler, also named Venuto, was one of the visitors belonging to this group:  "I personally talked with "Venuto", who figured in the Los Angeles Time`s case, and who worked for Los Angeles County for several weeks. This Venusian, dubbed "Venuto" by the reporters in the case, visited us here several months after he disappeared from his job in Los Angeles. This visit was in the presence of 23 witnesses." (Proceedings, vol. 4, no.4, July 1956, p. 6).  In another article George Van Tassel also mention that Mr. Wheeler, when visiting Giant Rock, demonstrated a technical device that made him invisible: "The man didn´t dematerialize. He was still there, because the third time he disappeared I had my hand on his shoulder, and he was solid; still there under my hand." (Proceedings, April, May, June 1977, p. 14)

Ufologist William F. Hamilton, who was a good friend of Van Tassel interviewed some of the witnesses to this event: "About thirty people were present for this session. Venudo took out a crystal device, identical in appearance to the one worn by Solgonda, and proceeded to demonstrate it by tapping it and disappearing from view. Dan asked Venudo to repeat this performance and reached out to touch his shoulder when he disappeared again. Dan found Venudo invisible but tangible. I interviewed Dan and another female witness about three years after the event and when Saturday night sessions were a thing of the past." (William F. Hamilton, Alien Magic, 1989, p. 9). I have never listened to these interviews nor seen any transcripts but I hope they are preserved for future research.

To know who was a genuine contactee or fake Van Tassel was given a secret code by his visitors. Like a covert agent he used this code several times in his meetings with various people in the UFO movement. This was one of the reasons he could say that Howard Menger was genuine. Van Tassel personally investigated the Menger contact claims and interviewed several of the witnesses. His defence of the Menger story was presented in Proceedings, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 4-6: "In my contact with the four men who landed here on August 24th of 1953, they gave me information which they told me to use as a "key" to establish authentic, or phoney, contactees in the future. Howard Menger used the words of this "key" properly and correctly." (p.5). That code words were used was also revealed by Howard Menger´s wife in her book Song of Saturn (1968): Connie Menger mention a meeting Howard had with one of the visitors at the local post office: "He smilingly spoke the code word to Alyn (Howard) which Alyn recognized immediately as one of the means of identification between friends and agents of the visitors from other planets." (p. 109). This was the reason George Van Tassel in an article  Flying Saucer Activity Analysis could state that "...the authentic, publicly known "contactees" can be counted on one hand." Proceedings, vol. 7, no. 1, Feb-March 1961, p. 14).

This hidden or covert co-operation with the visitors George Van Tassel at one time planned to publish in a separate book. But he was adviced by his visitor friends that the information should not be released as it was too sensitive at the present time. In the 1970s Van Tassel and his second wife Dorris Andre Van Tassel published an information sheet on the coming book. It stated: "The tremendously exiting book which is in preparation is the true story of a visitor from Venus. It is called Venuto and has verifiable proof of his unusual abilities from a well-known investigative laboratory in Los Angeles with his photograph included also. It is difficult to write about this book, Venuto because of its startling contents. It is so amazing and astounding that all the words which come to mind hardly does it justice."

William Hamilton mention there were many people who met this group of visitors in the 1950s, but very few became public contactees. One of these was George Van Tassel`s second wife Dorris Van Tassel. She was a sort of booking agent for the genuine contactees from the early 1950s and very much involved in covert co-operation with the visitors. But she almost never mentioned her own contacts with the visitor group around "Mr. Wheeler". One exception was at an Understanding convention in 1976. A short note in Understanding magazine reported: "Two women were a delightful part of the program. Dorris Van Tassel told the story of her contact with space people, a fantastic story it was too. Until you have heard her, you´ve missed something." (Understanding, vol. 21, no. 5, 1976, p. 6.) Dorris Van Tassel also wrote a small childrens book Suzies Sudden Saucer. During her later years she also worked on a book on her experiences with the space people. What happened to this manuscript I have not been able to find out.

The real and behind the scenes full story of the 1950s contactees is waiting to be written. Information from some of my correspondents worldwide indicate that this benevolent, alien group of visitors are still around but working only behind the scenes on various projects. The test made in the 1950s with public contactees was abandoned as so many couldn´t handle the situation. The test put a tremendous psychological strain on the contactees who sometimes acted irrationally and didn´t understand what was happening to them. Some lost their head in the glamour of publicity and embellished their stories with faked encounters and photographs. British ufologist and author Desmond Leslie noticed much of this problem. He had hoped to meet the visitors but in later years was glad this didn´t happen. Noticing how publicity and illusions of grandeur have ruined the lives of several alleged contactees he concluded: "Vanity lurks skin deep in most of us. The eager crowds, the silly adulators, the hungry sheep seeking some new stimulus, the temptation to be "The great I Am" - I might well have become the worst of the lot." (Commentary on George Adamski in the second enlarged and revised edition of Flying Saucers Have Landed).