Thursday, April 27, 2006

E.T. true believers to descend on desert 'UFO-ville'

By Benjamin Spillman, USA TODAY

LANDERS, Calif. — "E.T." has been back home for years, and now earthlings claiming contact with space aliens are planning a homecoming of their own Saturday in a section of the Mojave Desert that looks a lot like the moon.
Nearly three decades after a free-thinking Californian named George Van Tassel hosted his final gathering to honor alien visitors, pioneers of the UFO culture are coming back to the site of the nation's earliest extraterrestrial rallies.
They will be coming to see the Integratron, a dome-shaped building said to have been commissioned in 1953 by creatures from outer space; to view the Giant Rock, site of the early rallies; to hear tales by those who say they've had experiences with extraterrestrials; to see demonstrations of "new technologies" by UFO experts; and to enjoy a UFO-themed opera and art exhibits.
"This is where the x-files were talked about before there was The X Files," said Barbara Harris, who is organizing the first formal reunion of alien "contactees" at the site since Van Tassel died in 1978.
"I did not want this history to pass away," she said.
Harris, her husband, Rob, and those helping her want to rekindle the spirit that from 1954 to 1977 attracted thousands annually to this remote desert area about 150 miles east of Los Angeles.
Harris said the philosophy of peace and harmony with aliens fostered during the old rallies is an important counterweight to today's portrayals of extraterrestrials as hostile invaders — E.T., of course, being an exception. Earthling contactees describe "alien people who were here to help humanity," Harris said.
Harris said as many as 500 people — some from as far as British Columbia, Canada, and Montgomery County, Md. — have registered for the reunion, which costs up to $195 and will include a recording studio for early contactees to recount their experiences.
Van Tassel was a test pilot who left Southern California's booming aerospace industry for the desert in 1947. He and his family lived a simple existence in a home a prospector had dug under a seven-story-tall boulder called Giant Rock.
In 1953 Van Tassel claimed to have been visited by aliens who instructed him to build a structure aimed at extending human life to help people take advantage of the wisdom acquired through age. He called it the Integratron, and it became his mission for the next 25 years.
"The Mojave Desert has been UFO-ville since 1947," said Joseph Trainor of Attleboro, Mass.
From 1996 to early 2006, Trainor operated a website about UFO sightings.
Trainor counted the Mojave Desert rallies and sightings among significant postwar developments that still influence UFO culture today. They include alleged UFO sightings in Washington state, Idaho and New Mexico in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
"Giant Rock, I would say, is probably one of the key UFO hot spots in the U.S.A.," Trainor said.
The highlights of the original rallies were speeches by Van Tassel and others who claimed not only to have seen extraterrestrials but to have communicated with them.
Witness accounts and TV documentaries indicate that at their peak, the rallies attracted as many as 10,000 people. Guests trekked to the desert by car or landed airplanes on a small strip called Giant Rock Airport.
There, Van Tassel and other speakers regaled audiences with tales of flying saucer rides and attempts to channel alien messages through their bodies.
"They came from all over. It wasn't just from the United States," said Robert Short of Cornville, Ariz., who attended the early rallies, claims to have been in contact with aliens since the early 1950s, and will be on hand Saturday.
Short, a Christian minister who makes appearances to detail his alien claims, says the gathering Saturday is an important homage to early believers who by speaking publicly risked ridicule from others.
"A lot of them are gone now," Short said. "People are paying tribute to what took place out there."
"It is one of the best things that ever happened as far as an event in my life," Bob Benson, 60, of Wildomar, Calif., said of the reunion, which he plans to attend.
Benson lived near Giant Rock from 1972 until Van Tassel's death. He says he didn't see any UFOs but he believed in the healing power of the Integratron, which he helped build.
The reunion, Benson says, is validation that the work he and Van Tassel did is still relevant.
"You finally realize it is for people," said Benson during a recent visit to the building and Giant Rock. "It is for everybody, it is not just for myself."
The proceeds from the Retro UFO Space Convention will go to a local historical society and to preserving the Integratron, which despite being built without nails, survived a magnitude-7.3 earthquake in 1992.
In addition to raising money, Harris said she expects the reunion will bring new energy to the Integratron by highlighting its UFO past for a new generation of people who still want to learn about the phenomena.
Dan Woodman, 56, of Anaheim, Calif., says he's looking forward to the event.
Woodman, who has had five generations of relatives living full or part time in Landers, remembers Van Tassel and the early rallies.
"I'm seeing the next generation enjoying the story," Woodman said.

1 comment:

Howdy said...

Many people try to achieve goals. Most fail. Some strive, work hard and plan for all the details yet they achieve little or nothing at all. Others strive, work hard, plan and achieve huge success. Yet there are a few individuals who do little else than take small steps and seem to achieve a great deal with what seems like effortlessness. What is the difference between these people and which one would you like to be?
Most members of the human race fall into two categories - those who live in the past and those who live in the future. Most live in the past. Many of these are the people who achieve very little in their lives and are so fearful of the future that they dare not strike out to get anything. They are the under-achievers who hang onto bad episodes in their lives and either relive them time and again or look at new situations as similar potentialities. They say things like "all men are deceivers" or "all women are interested in is money" or "I can't do it. I tried before and it didn't work so why bother!". Due to bad experiences in the past they believe that all future events will turn out the same way if they dare to go after what they want.
The other type of person lives in the future. This type tends to create more of the things they want in life. They have a vision of where they want to go and exactly how they are going to get there. They work diligently at making concrete plans and they pursue those plans with a persistent ferocious appetite for success. These people are the high achievers - The Richard Branson and Bill Gates of the world. These people have much to teach us about setting and achieving goals.
However, there is a third type of person who almost goes unnoticed. They are the person who takes life in its stride and yet achieve most of what they want. I am sure you know of such a person in your life that just seems to saunter through life and yet they always come out on top. Or a person who you hear of that has decided to open a shop. You meet them a few months later and they have three shops all doing well! So what makes these people so successful and if they aren't living in the past and aren't living in the future where are they living?
I suppose you guessed it! Whether they are consciously aware of it or not they are living in the present. It is in the 'living' present that we have our greatest power. Everything happens in the present. You live your entire life there - even if your mind does not!

By becoming more aware of the present and by 'accepting' it as it is we are much more in control of our emotions and focus. When we live in the past we are fearful of making bad choices and/or getting hurt. We do not wish to recreate the past again! When we live in the future we can also be fearful of what might happen. But even if your future vision is full of power and worthy of working towards many people can, and often do, get stuck there. By constantly reaching for bigger and better goals they fail to enjoy what they have in the moment.
If you wish to start living a life that is almost effortless begin first by living in the present. Accept your situation the way it is and then you can enjoy what you have. Your focus changes from a memory of what was or a vision of what might be to a realization of what is. You become much more empowered to then see the beauty of life and also look at where you wish to make changes. But to make changes you must first accept the situation as it is. Trying to escape from your present only increases your focus on your problems by creating resistance to what is. Accept your life as it is now. Make no judgement, just accept it and then you will be free of doubt, worry, pain and fear. For you only experience these things when you live outside the 'moment'. personal development