When someone tells you they’ve had an out-of-body experience, it can usually be attributed to one of two things. When I felt my spirit leave its shell, though, I was neither at church nor on acid. I was in the Mojave Desert, inexplicably weeping and questioning my life decisions inside an “electrostatic generator” called the Integratron, the magnum opus of an old man who thought he was an alien mouthpiece.
Allegedly based on “the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials,” the Integratron looks like an alien spaceship, but without the tech. Inside the 38-foot-high white dome, it’s made of nothing but Douglas fir wood. Cushions and quartz crystal bowls are scattered throughout; light gently trickles in from a small, circular sunroof. While the current owners run it as a “sound chamber,” the original builder, George Van Tassel — author, aircraft engineer and “ufologist” — built the structure with the intention of generating electricity to “charge the human body” and extend human life.