A significant experiment was conducted on February 15, 1958 in the high desert off Old Woman Springs Road about 15 miles north of Yucca Valley. An electronics technician, Carol Honey, had installed a light-beam transmitter in his car. This was basically a further development of an invention conceived by Alexander Graham Bell he called a photophone. It acted like a radio, except instead of transmitting modulation over a low-frequency radio wave, it utilized a beam of light and was only effective for line-of-sight communication. This makes it virtually impossible for the signal to be tapped by a remote listener unless he could set-up a receiver in the path of the beam. The spotlight on the car provided the light beam. This project gave me the feeling that we were conducting a citizen's SETI project. About a dozen of us gathered at this remote spot in the desert to conduct the experiment. Some contactees were present. We took turns at the mike saying somewhat silly things like, "Earth calling outer space. Come in outer space." And we waited. After a half-hour of this, I received a mental communication that said essentially, "Look for our bright blue flare in the west." That was strange. We had the receiver on and all we could hear was static. Why didn't they return our communication? Why did someone decide to respond on a telepathic channel? I was hesitant and doubtful, but nevertheless whispered to my trusted friend, John McCoy, that which I heard repeated three times. Within minutes, as if on cue, we all turned to face the west. The last glow of twilight was fading over the distant hills when, out of nowhere, a bright blue bolide appeared and traveled over the horizon. It appeared to be shaped like a dumbbell and left a sparkling trail. Not only could I communicate my wishes to those magnificent men in their flying machines, but they could somehow communicate with me. It was almost unbelievable.
The next day I went to Giant Rock with John McCoy and Rick Williamson to meet with George Van Tassel. Rick and John were embarking for Phoenix on the lecture circuit and it gave me an opportunity, before they left, to converse with the contactees. Van, as his friends called him, was an impressive man with a strong personal presence. I found him exceedingly intelligent with a down-to-earth devil-may-care attitude. Van was born in Jefferson, Ohio in 1910. After leaving high school, he worked 4 years as a flight mechanic for airlines at Chicago and Cleveland. In 1930, he came to California and was employed by Douglas Aircraft at Santa Monica for eight and half years. He left Douglas and went to work with Howard Hughes in 1941. Connected with flight-testing for Mr. Hughes in the desert near Barstow, he acquired a desire for the peace and quiet of the great open spaces. After two and half years with Mr. Hughes, he went to Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank for four and half years flight test work. While there he came to a decision to live in the peace of the desert, after almost 20 years of aircraft experience.
Van leased an abandoned airport at Giant Rock in 1947 and by 1951 had gathered together a small group who had a sincere interest in the greater secrets of life and the desire to understand phenomena that could not be explained by mundane science. Van found that he could go into a trance and contact beings from other life levels. A group of these beings were using a technological means of communication, a Tensor Beam of high frequency that produced audio and visual output in the brain. If this beam were not carefully focused, it would cause a burning sensation in different parts of his body. Van called this method of communication "channeling" as he said it was like tuning in a television channel to decode the electromagnetic signal. This was somewhat unlike what people call channeling today. Entities with names like Ashtar or Deska announced that they were operators of the spacecraft we saw in our skies that we called by the ridiculous appellation "flying saucers."
In 1952, it was beyond belief that someone could actually be communicating with the operators of the flying disks. Witnesses who even reported seeing one were suspect. Even today many would consider Van Tassel a little loony. Van reports that on August 24th, 1953, during the night of a full moon, a scout ship with the same configuration as that photographed by George Adamski came to a halt eight feet off the ground out on the landing strip at around 2 AM while he was sleeping outdoors in a sleeping bag. He awoke in an instant and lit a cigarette. When he sat up, he could see a man standing about six feet away from the foot of his bed. This was not uncommon in the desert as people had car trouble frequently on the dusty desert roads. The glowing scout ship hovered about one hundred yards beyond the man. The man addressed Van Tassel saying, "My name is Solgonda. I would be pleased to show you our craft." Van tried to wake his wife, but the man seemed to have her under some kind of mental control, a situation commonly reported years later by abductees. Solgonda escorted Van to the ship. Van stepped on a glowing spot on the sand and rose slowly into the air through an entry hatch on the bottom of the 36-foot scout craft. Many contactees and abductees have noted this lifting beam. The lighting inside the scout had no source such as a light bulb, yet everything in the cab of the craft was evenly illuminated. Van saw three other men standing by controls and all were about five feet seven inches in height. Solgonda conducted Van on a tour of the small craft. One apparatus had transparent tubes filled with colored liquids that would continuously change levels. Van was also shown the magnetic motor and counter-revolving rotors that produced propulsion for the scout. The scout evidently carried a battery because it had to be charged periodically for its brief mission on Earth. Twenty minutes later, Van was back at his bedside.
During the time Van was with Solgonda, Solgonda demonstrated the amazing ability to tune-in to his thoughts and voice replies to his mental questions. Van had a queasy sensation in his stomach after this tour and asked Solgonda if he would be okay. Solgonda replied that he would, then tapped a crystalline device around his neck and promptly vanished. A moment later the craft rose into the air and took off in a northerly direction. Two days later Van checked the spot with a compass where the ship had hovered. When walking into the spot, the compass needle deflected 10 degrees to the east, and when walking out of the spot, it deflected 5 degrees to the west.
Van's son-in-law, Dan Boone, lived on the Giant Rock property. He was awakened at 1:55 AM that same morning by the pulsing hum of a generator, but found that he could not rise from the sleeping bag as some force seemed to prevent him from moving.
Dan Boone had many contacts of his own, but would not tell the public. He confided a few of his experiences to me, but the one I remember the most was the one where he met two men and two women at a Yucca Valley liquor store. They were asking directions to Giant Rock. Dan overheard them and offered to lead them out there. When the four arrived, Van was preparing to start one of his Saturday night meetings in the hollowed-out room under Giant Rock. The leader of the group of four was a tall, dark handsome man who called himself Venudo. Venudo sat on an ottoman near Van and Dan. The others sat on a couch across the room. About thirty others were present sitting around the room. Venudo produced a device that was hanging around his neck and tapped it just as Solgonda had done. He instantly disappeared. There was light pouring through the window from outside powered by a gasoline generator. In a minute Venudo was again visible. Dan asked him to repeat his performance. He did so, but this time Dan reached out with his hand and could feel Venudo's shoulder, but still could not see what he was touching. These witnesses had just seen a demonstration of alien magic!
Van Tassel’s daughter, Saundra Boone, was a down-to-earth person who reported only what she saw when she was a teenager and her father received space visitors at Giant Rock. She told me in a private interview that she had observed two of these visitors up close. One was a tall man and the other was a woman of exquisite beauty. She took five photos of these people with her camera. I was excited at the prospect that she may still have the photos, but this excitement was quenched when I learned that she could no longer find them among her possessions. Though others had showed me intriguing photos of these visitors I was hoping to have at least one more comparison. None of the contactees have ever offered a copy of these photos and very few have ever seen some of these remarkable photos. This sure did not help build a case for the contactees.
During our gathering at Giant Rock, the night after our light-beam communication experiment, I climbed upon one of the large boulders adjacent to the Rock while Rick and John were having some last minute conversation with Van. Suddenly, I noticed a pulsating white light approaching from the direction of the Los Padres Copper Mines to the north. As the light came closer, I could faintly make out that it was a craft similar to the scout ship Van had gone aboard. I was excited by the prospect that it might land as it was traveling low and slow and I yelled for the others to look. Van was calm about it and told me that he could see it and I didn't have to yell. I knew from that time on that Van was used to seeing these craft.
I remember when I first met Rick and John at a lecture in El Monte in 1957 that a brilliant glowing red disk hovered above the lecture hall so that all could see it. Others told me that this frequently happened at Rick's lectures. The UFOs seemed to follow him around, and this one was no exception. It waited around the area until he and John got into the station wagon and drove away. Later, John informed me that it followed them to the outskirts of Phoenix. During one of the meetings in El Monte, I met Harry Mayer in 1959. He said that he had an encounter with a petite blond girl from Venus at Giant Rock. The girl's name was Mary. She wore a chocolate-colored ski-type uniform under a coat. Harry had sighted globes of light hovering over the Giant Rock runway and was chasing these on foot when Mary abruptly stopped him. Mary was only 5-foot 3-inches tall and Harry was 6-foot 4-inches tall, yet she arrested him in his tracks with the strength of many men according to Harry. Harry was a no-nonsense guy who had experienced something strange and was doing his best to persuade me to go to Giant Rock and assist him in contacting Mary once more. I never passed up a chance to visit Giant Rock so I went with him. Needless to say, we never made contact. All these human visitors were described by various contactees, those who had written books, and many who had not. Their descriptions were remarkably similar.