Hi-Desert Star. . . The Woodmans' home is about four miles west of Giant Rock. As a youth he remembers meeting George Van Tassel, who built the Integratron that he claimed would have rejuvenating powers. Woodman does not refute the structure's purported purpose. “Wouldn't it be great to get it going? What if worked?”
Van Tassel was known for sponsoring UFO conventions in the 1950s. Woodman has a specific childhood recollection of a hot dog vendor's stand on the north side of the mammoth boulder.
Standing on the foundation of the restaurant that the Van Tassels operated at Giant Rock, Woodman pointed out where a shuffleboard table once stood just inside the entrance. He said breakfast cost 35 cents at the “Come On Inn.”
“George would talk to you like we're talking right now,” Woodman said of Van Tassel. “He didn't care if you believed him or not.”
Like his position on the Integratron, Woodman believes there may be validity to Van Tassel's claims to contacts with extraterrestrial life. “I do believe there's something else out there,” Woodman said.
The observation about a person so detached from society that he is said to be living under a rock was embodied by Frank Critzer, who dug his dwelling under Giant Rock and lived there until an unfortunate misunderstanding with local law enforcement resulted in his being blown to bits in 1942.
Accusations that the German immigrant was a Nazi spy have been discounted, but he did put an antenna on top of the rock for his short wave radio, and after all, there was a war going on.
The subterranean home is now filled in with sand and trash. A cement slab marks the entrance and Woodman pointed out holes in the rock where an awning was once attached.
Giant Rock is generally believed to be the world's largest freestanding boulder. Roughly a quarter of the rock split off in 2000, possibly because of a bonfire.
Van Tassel wasn't the only historical figure Woodman recalls meeting.. . .
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See Also: Clampers Inaugurate The 'Integratron!'