Close Encounters of the Chopstick Kind

by Richard Rossner

I fell in love with my wife, Rahla, when I realized how much we had in common, including the name George Van Tassel, the grandaddy of UFO-ology.

I remembered hearing him interviewed on a radio show about encountering aliens when I was growing up. But Rahla actually met him in the California desert near Twenty-Nine Palms. He showed her an alien landing site, which included a structure he built called The Integratron where aliens rejuvenated after a long interstellar trip; a UFO library and bookstore carved into the earth under the world’s largest freestanding boulder; and a luncheonette. She learned that Van Tassel had been Howard Hughes's partner, and they were going to build a landing strip for Hughes’s giant Spruce Goose fleet -- until the aliens showed up. They named the site Giant Rock Airport in honor of the aforementioned boulder.

Along with our wedding vows in Los Angeles, Rahla and I promised that one day we would visit the Integratron and Giant Rock Airport. 

We moved to Scottsdale after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but were forever driving back to Los Angeles. On one trip, we decided to leave early and fulfill our Van Tassel vow.

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