This week, the Pentagon "officially" released three videos of UFO footage captured by US Navy pilots. I put that in quotes because the footage had already been released in The New York Times back in December 2017, thanks to the committed efforts of Tom Delonge, formerly of Blink-182.
That's a weird sentence to type, and it gets weirder the deeper that you dive down into it. And I have spent far too many hours of my life falling down that wormhole. Blink-182's "Dude Ranch" was one of the first albums I bought with my own money, so that band will always have a special place in my heart. Which is why I've been watching with morbid fascination as Delonge appeared to descend into madness, only to emerge (much to everyone's surprise) as a legitimate UFOlogist, who is either working with the US government, or as an unwitting stooge of the US government. I'm not even sure if he knows the answer.
In 2015, the other members of Blink-182 were eager to regroup to write music and tour, but Delonge kept offering vague excuses about his other "commitments." So they kicked him out the band and replaced him with Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio, a fact that tickled me and some high school friends and probably no one else. But in the lead up to the 2016 election, an email exchange between Tom Delonge and John Podesta was included among Hillary Clinton's leaked emails. It turned out, they were actually talking about legitimate UFO stuff. A year later, Delonge a $50 million dollar initial public offering for his new public benefit corporation, To The Stars … Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA), which he founded along with some actual former CIA and Pentagon officials, including Luis Elizondo.
TTSA is essentially an entertainment production company for Delonge creative work — music, sci-fi novels and films, and a History Channel documentary series about UFOs. However, they also have an aerospace research division, which collects and studies rare metal alloys and other bizarre materials that are potentially related to UFO phenomenon. They also have a cooperative research and development agreement with U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, focusing on "inertial mass reduction, mechanical/structural meta materials, electromagnetic meta material wave guides, quantum physics, quantum communications, and beamed energy propulsion."
What this has to do with Delonge's comic book career or his other band, Angels & Airwaves, is unclear. But now that this bizarre arrangement is fully official and public knowledge, he has at least figured out how to talk about it in a way that makes it all sound like a legitimate business venture, such as in this sobering New York Times interview.
But let's jump back to 2016, when Delonge did a meandering 4-hour long interview with George Knapp on Coast to Coast AM. The Drive has a comprehensive breakdown of the many WTF-worthy moments from this interview, as Delonge describes his secret government liaisons with literal shadow figures in sub-sub-sub-basements of Nevada desert Air Force bases that are definitely not Area 51. Here are some gems:
A very, very high-level defense contractor and engineer out at Groom Lake, Area 51 for decades […] gave me a call the next day and called me on a video chat. So he gets on there and he goes, "I made calls about you," and I said, "Really?" And he said, "Yeah, I did." He goes, "You'd better be really effing careful. If someone comes up to you and asks you to get in a car and go for a ride, don't get in that car."
And I laughed it off and I said, "Come on, man," I literally, it sounded like a movie to me, so I kinda of just chuckled, and he goes, "I am being really effing serious with you right now. If someone comes by and asks you to go for a ride, don't get in the car. I am not effing around with you." And he's pointing at me, "I'm being very serious. You're playing with some serious stuff," using a different word.
And at that point my heart was beating really fast and I said, "You're being very serious right now, aren't you?" He said, "Yes, I'm being very, very serious with you." And because of that conversation all the events that transpired after that when I started meeting certain people, I went in very, very respectful and asked for permission on everything that I did and treated it the way that these guys treat it, which is, it is a national and global security issue.
Eventually — in Delonge's 2016 telling of his story — he ends in private meetings with some important government people, just as they had warned him would happen:
I go through machine guns, guys with machine guns, and then I get escorted into a very specific building that's with a bunch of buildings. This is somewhere out in the middle of the desert somewhere. And then I go through two layers of electronic code entry systems. And then then you hear the lock go. They make their sounds and the doors open up. Now I'm in a hallway, and that hallway has speakers lining the ceiling just playing white noise, kinda like TV static, and that's there so you don't hear anybody's conversations. And the hallway also has a series of doors and all the doors have those big rotary locks, like a safe lock on 'em.
His initial interest seems to be in pitching something to do with his sci-fi novel, and a potential documentary series. But eventually, his pitch to these alleged government officials turns into:
And I go, "UFOs, sir. Now, this is what I wanna try and do. […] Over the past 30 years, there's been a program to indoctrinate people to the idea that this might be real, but the problem is, is all the young adults of the world, they use the Internet, they have iPhones, they talk to each other much quicker than people ever have, so this program that everyone's been following from the '50s is far out-dated, it's antiquated, people have surpassed it and now they don't trust you guys, now they don't like you guys. Now they graduate from MIT and they wanna work for Elon Musk and they don't wanna work here. Help me help you guys. […] If you allow me to do this, what I'm trying to do, then I'm gonna ask you for some help. I need advisors, I need people to help guide me, so I don't keep dis-informing people, I will not do that anymore. We need to tell the truth."
Somehow, this conversation opens up new avenues for Delonge, and new meetings with new Shadowy Government Figures:
I went through the exact same pitch. So I talked about 20-some minutes because they were just eye-balling me like hawks. So at this point, I just don't know. I've never been in this situation before, so I didn't know if I was saying the wrong thing or not, but I was just trying to be very respectful and I went through with it. And I finished my speech, and the person is just staring at me. These squinting eyes, the beard, the suit, looks exactly straight out of a movie, an espionage movie. Takes a breath and goes, "Things like this don't happen at the White House. They don't happen at the Hill. They happen in places like this, at tables like this, where a few men get together and decide to push the ball down the field." And then the meeting was done. I mean done, like a movie done.
So the very next day, I got sent over to NASA. And I'm at the highest levels at NASA, and I decided to do the same thing where I ask everyone to leave. So this one person, I did the pitch one more time, and they said, "You need to meet somebody." So that person flies out to San Diego. I go to another meeting. We get on a conference call, and this person is a very important… In the military. I can't say which branch, but the highest level of ranks. But then after they left that particular branch of the military, they did something very, very important for another agency. And that person says, "Come fly and meet me up here in San Francisco. Within the next 48 hours."
So I got on a plane and I go there. And now I'm sitting on a NASA Ames. NASA has three divisions.
Like I said, it's a 4-hour interview. It's a lot. But it is kind of weird that — if we're taking him at his word here — Delonge essentially volunteered his media-savvy service to these Shadowy Government Figures in order to help them control the narrative around UFOs and the existence of extraterrestrial life. And they — for better, or for worse — allegedly entertained this idea.
Of course, after all this happened — and after Delonge's company leaked those UFO videos to the New York Times — the IRL "Men in Black" at the Air Force Office of Investigations took an interest in in how, exactly, those videos got out. And their account (reported by Vice) even contradicts certain Pentagon claims, including the involvement of TTSA co-founded Luis Elizondo in the Pentagon's official UFO program.
Occam's Razor tells me that this is all just a bureaucratic clusterfuck, with different government departments not communicating with each other, and not following through on things, while Tom Delonge excitedly does what he does, maybe accidentally helping out someone's agenda somewhere some time without realizing it, or other times, making more problems (or just putting out new music and sci-fi books). It's such a weird situation overall, and I don't mind embracing my worst tin-foil instincts, because it's either the craziest story I've ever heard, or the absolute dumbest one. And it all goes back to the guy who sang "It would be nice to have a blowjob from your mom."
Here are some more sources, if you want to follow me down the rabbit hole:
Tom DeLonge's Origin Story For To The Stars Academy Describes A Government UFO Info Operation [Tyler Rogoway / The Drive]
How Blink-182's Tom DeLonge Became a U.F.O. Researcher [Derrick Bryson Taylor / The New York Times]
The media loves this UFO expert who says he worked for an obscure Pentagon program. Did he? [Keith Kloor / The Intercept]
This Is the Pentagon's 'Real Men in Black' Investigation of Tom DeLonge's UFO Videos [Tim McMillan / VICE Motherboard]
UFO Researcher Explains Why She Sold 'Exotic' Metal to Tom DeLonge [MJ Banias / VICE Motherboard]
Aliens Exist: Tom DeLonge quit Blink-182 to become one of the world's leading UFO experts. [Kelsey McKinney / The Fader]
Blink-182's Tom DeLonge On UFOs, Government Coverups and Why Aliens are Bigger than Jesus [Michael Tedder / Paper Mag]
Government UFO Revelations [George Knapp / Coast to Coast AM]
Image: A. Savin / Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0) and Public Domain via Needpix