Tom DeLonge’s Origin Story For To The Stars Academy Describes A Government UFO Info Operation

DeLonge is either lying and his company can't be trusted or dark areas of the military-industrial complex had a direct hand in its founding.

Tom DeLonge Portrait And Interview Shoot
Photo by Joby Sessions/Total Guitar Magazine via Getty Images

Key players on the To The Stars Academy team—a group with curiously impressive resumes from the military industrial and intelligence complex's highest rungs and darkest corners—are virtually everywhere in the media right now. In what has been one of the most impressive media pushes I have seen in a long time, the group has gone all out in promoting their new show, Unidentified, on the History Channel. At the same time, as if right on cue—which isn't all that surprising—huge UFO-related stories have hit the mainstream media. These have included on the record accounts of Navy fighter pilots recently encountering UFOs and an announcement of the service's own rule charges regarding how personnel report these incidents. We have gone in depth on each of these stories in an attempt to cut through the static and get to the truth, or at least the possibilities surrounding what could end up being the truth. 

Yet one of the most fascinating, but seldom-discussed elements of this whole story is how To The Stars Academy Of Arts And Sciences came to be and who the mysterious people were that had a direct hand in making it a reality. Even by its principal founder's own bizarre, yet highly detailed account, which you will read in full in a moment, it sounds far more akin to the making of a tightly controlled government information and psychological operation than the result of a group of highly-qualified people who were interested in accessing new insights on the subject of UFOs. 

Enter Tom DeLonge, the former Blink 182 frontman-turned UFO impresario who is very much the central figure that brought To The Stars Academy to life even though his role in the quasi-research and entertainment corporation has been subdued publicly in the months leading up to the premiere of Unidentified. This has included the removal of some online videos featuring Tom talking about the strange journey that led to the establishment of the company and its impressive roster of advisors, as well as jump-starting its various highly-ambitious initiatives. 

Tom definitely has one of the most fantastic tales you will ever hear as to how this all came to be. He has told the story numerous times with varying degrees of cohesion, hyperbole, and eyebrow-raising claims mixed in. But we have to stress, the nuts and bolts of his account have remained remarkably consistent over the years and we can now say, in a War Zone exclusive, that the narrative seed that anchors Tom's entire yarn is indeed factual

This surrounds Tom's claim that an employee party at what we found out to be Lockheed's Skunk Works started it all. This chance opportunity evolved into high-level meetings with top officials from the world's premier bleeding-edge aerospace design firm and catapulted him into a purportedly clandestine world that would make any espionage thriller writer blush. This confirmation doesn't come from undisclosed sources, but directly from Skunk Works itself.  

This is the official statement the Skunk Works gave The War Zone regarding Tom's early engagement with the company nearly a half-decade ago and the circumstances surrounding it: 

"Tom DeLonge reached out to Skunk Works with interest in collaborating on a documentary focused on secret machines and advanced development projects. Multiple members of the Skunk Works team met with DeLonge to explore his vision for the documentary, as we would with any individual or organization interested in telling the story of Skunk Works and the technologies we’ve developed. We ultimately decided to not move forward with our participation in the documentary. 

During this exploration period, DeLonge attended a Skunk Works employee event."

This admission is remarkable as it heavily lends truth to the rest of Tom's remarkable story.

After the meetings at the Skunk Works, Tom claims to have met with top officials at NASA, the Air Force, the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and the highest rungs of U.S. politics, all of who worked cooperatively to provide him with a highly qualified team of deeply entrenched government insiders to help direct his efforts and to supply him with what can only be considered amazing information. That information would be doled out piece by tiny piece and the release of it to the public would be tightly controlled under strict terms. 

Tom elaborates on his pitch to the powers that be in which he notes the military industrial complex has been painted in a very bad light over the years, with its image being degraded massively within the public sphere, and especially among millennials. He went on to explain how he and the entity he wanted to create could change these perceptions and even help with plausible deniability as the information he was given slowly trickled forward. Amazingly, DeLonge says that the officials that agreed to help him thought that the timing was just right for this type of very suspicious arrangement.

In all, one can easily, if not undeniably read his own story as the government assembling a novel non-governmental information platform that sits somewhere between credible and questionably credible and that can work to directly mold the public's perception of the UFO phenomena and defense-industrial complex. 

It would be easy to disregard Tom's story due to a number of factors, including an avalanche of fantastical claims regarding paranormal issues, including UFOs, that he has made over the years. One particularly unfortunate interview with Joe Rogan could be enough in of itself for some to walk away from all of Tom's claims. But for the purposes of this piece, we won't get into those statements as the cold hard truth is that the very entity and group of advisors Tom said he was assembling under far-fetched circumstances years ago has indeed materialized to an equally fantastical degree. In fact, many of the people he didn't name directly in interviews dating back to 2015 have now been publicly disclosed or sit directly on his council, and they are impressive folks indeed.

Like a punk rock King Arthur of the UFO community that is supported by a round table of extremely qualified people that have mountains of credibility and professional connections in their quivers, DeLonge, his team, and a group of fresh UFO-obsessed enthusiasts, filmmakers, bloggers, and commentators have turned the long laughed at UFO community on its head. As it sits now, it can't be denied that their collective work has thrust the UFO issue from the laughing stock of fringe science and tin-foil hat culture into the headlines of the mainstream media. But, and this is a very big but, whose narrative are we really hearing? According to Tom's own account, it is one that was dictated by the deepest and darkest power brokers within the defense industrial complex, not independent research and sourcing. And what are these people's true goals if that is indeed the case?

Really, that doesn't matter all that much for the aims of this exposé, because even if all the info provided to DeLonge is true and his council of insiders has honest motives, then we are still talking about To The Stars Academy Of Arts And Sciences being at least partially built by the government and its agents. The company's board of advisors alone underscores this. Some just left the government or the defense industry to join DeLonge, which can be considered highly curious in itself, and a number of these individuals are still working as contractors for the government on highly sensitive matters and hold substantial security clearances. 

So, this is where an inconvenient paradox lies. If we are to believe the word of the founder and kingpin of To The Stars Academy and the products it is creating and the information it is conveying, then we are talking about at least having to deal with the reality that the government and top officials from the government had a direct hand in bringing the entity to life. And, judging by To The Stars Academy's roster alone, it still has at least an indirect influence in its ongoing operations. Regardless of if all this was done for disinformation purposes, or conversely for disclosure purposes, or some other reasons that remain unclear, a simple fact remains unchanged—the narrative we are being fed comes from, or at least came from, Uncle Sam. 

On the other hand, if Tom is not to be believed and his detailed accounts are false, it brings into question the veracity of anything To The Stars Academy does, including its television show that is not an independent documentary, it is their wholly edited narrative alone. 

Photo by Joby Sessions/Total Guitar Magazine via Getty Images

With this being said, we now do know that Tom isn't lying on the basics of how this all started, at least when it comes to meeting with Skunk Works officials. Other independent evidence exists that also supports his claims long after they were initially made. Some of that evidence is noted within Tom's story below. In fact, today one of the Skunk Works' top engineers and executives—Steve Justice, Skunk Works' Aerospace Division Director up until a short time ago—is now a top player and paid employee on Tom's team.

We do have to note that the Skunk Works has made it clear to us that Justice and his projects at To The Stars Academy, which supposedly includes building exotic propulsion systems and flying machines—a highly questionable proposition in itself—have nothing to do with the Skunk Works and the two entities are not partnered in any way.

The only way for you to understand just how explosive Tom's To The Stars Academy origin story is, is to consume it whole yourself. A portion of one interview in particular, by someone I think is among of the best interviewers around, George Knapp, occurred in March of 2016 on Coast To Coast AM. At this critical time, Tom was in the process of building a multi-platform information and entertainment company that focuses on so-called paranormal issues and, in particular, the disclosure of the existence of UFOs—this would become To The Stars Academy Of Arts And Sciences.

During this same period, Tom's fiction book Sekret Machines, was just about to hit the shelves and he was already well on his way to what sounds like one of the world's most surreal business startup adventures. Of all the interviews I have heard with Tom where he recounts this story, this is the clearest and came at a moment when a more sanitized and corporate-influenced narrative wouldn't have been in place. 

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Here is the relevant portion of that interview: 

Geoge Knapp: Well, let's get into it. You've made this decision, and it's risky for you. I remember when you were just making the decision at the announcement, "Alright, look, I'm done with Blink 182." There are people online that practically wanna shoot you. And they were really mad. But it's risky for you financially to do this. The Sekret Machines is a big project. It's gotta be financially viable, or it doesn't make it.

Tom DeLonge: Yeah, it's a real project. I have a company that needs the projects to work. The whole thing is risky in many ways. I think we can even start back a little earlier, there's gonna be a teaser that launches here shortly, that has some clips from the documentary side of things that I'm doing. And in it, there is a person that's silhouetted, that's been a very, very high-level defense contractor and engineer out at Groom Lake, Area 51 for decades.

And he says something in that teaser. But that person long ago, I remember when I was telling him a little bit about what I wanted to do, he 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.

GK: Let us talk about the process of how you sort of pierce the veil, 'cause that's what people are gonna have trouble buying. How is this guy, how is it this rock star guy gains access to this when so many people, senators and researchers and scientists and spooks, who have tried to look for this stuff couldn't find it. How do you get the access? How do you explain that? 

TD: Well, I might as well just tell you the story. So the way, the first... It spells this out a little bit in the forward to the book. But I had an opportunity to go to an event. So the most classified and the most advanced group of engineers and scientists that work within the military industrial complex work under one specific group. And it's a very, very quiet group. But for the very first time they were doing an event where family members can come, and not go in the buildings, but at least celebrate in the parking lot what their loved ones do during the day. And they asked me, "Would you come up?"

And because I knew this one individual that told me to be really careful, he goes, "Hey, look, this is a way for you to come up and see a little bit about what we're doing." And I said, "Oh my God, I would love to." And he said, "Do you wanna come and introduce the head of the company to the crowd?" And I said, "I will if I get to sit with him for five minutes." I don't know why I said that, I just knew that that was an opportunity that guys like me would kill for, because I knew exactly who this group of engineers were, I knew exactly what they do.

So the head guy, are you kidding me? Yeah, let me, lock me in a room with this dude. And so I got that opportunity, I went up and I did the introduction to the crowd and then I got the five minutes to sit down alone and say whatever it is that I wanted to say. So at that time, I didn't say anything about this subject. I just said, "Hey, I have an idea for a project, and this project, I think if it's done correctly, will reverse the cynicism that people have about government and what people have about the, frankly, the military industrial complex. I think that if I do this, places like this and other arms of the government would be happy that it got communicated." But I didn't bring up anything that was...

GK: You didn't mention UFOs.

TD: You don't mention UFOs. Don't even do that, 'cause you'll get kicked right out of the door. So he goes, "Okay, that's great." And I said, "Can I come up in a couple of weeks and tell you more about it?" "Absolutely." So a couple of weeks go by and then I come back up, I go through four layers of security, 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.

So then, so we go through the hallway and then they just twist the knobs on the doors and then you hear the big sound and that door opens up. And now I'm in the center of the building where the top three engineers work with the head of the company. And so I walk in and they're sitting there and they're ready for what it is I wanted to pitch them. So I'm nervously trying to figure out what I'm gonna say. I had no idea that, I had no plan for even bringing up UFOs then either. I was smarter than that.

So we're talking, and one person apparently did a bunch of research on me and knew that I was all into the subject. So halfway through the conversation this person says, "So what about all the conspiracy stuff that you're into?" And so now I'm being eye-balled by three very important people and I'm just totally got caught, and I'm like, "Oh, my God, what am I gonna do right now?" So I tried to talk my way out of it. And then in comes the head of the company, the big, big dude, and kind of saved the moment, but at the same time he got introduced to the conversation right at that point.

So right when he, right... I said, "You come in at a very interesting part of the conversation. This person brought up the whole UFO issue with me. I just want you to know that I don't plan on treating that disrespectfully with this project." And then I got interrupted. And the head guy says, "We cannot be involved with anything that has anything to do with that subject, especially since there has been absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it exists." So, bam, I'm just cut off right there, and now I'm my heart's racing, and I'm like, "What do I do?"

So the only thing that I can think of at the moment, is I said, "Well, Edgar Alan Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the Moon, is out telling all the young people of the world that this is real. So we have a credibility issue that we have to attack, but we don't have to attack it here or now, and we could talk this through. It's just something that young people think, and I want you to know a little bit more about my project." And so I got my way through, I was like, "Oh my God, I'm still here."

So they said, "Okay, continue." So that specific meeting ended and then I just said, "Hell with it." I said, "Sir, can I speak to you for five minutes alone?" This is the Tom that even my old band members know, I'll just go for something. This is the punk rock kid inside of me, right, and he goes, "Sure." And so the other people look at me weird and they're like, "Okay, so we leave?" And I kinda looked at them, so they did, so they stood up and I shut the door, and now I'm in the middle of all these different layers of security, and I'm sitting with this person and I just go for broke, I just go, this is exactly what I said, "I want you to understand something."

And I sit down two feet in front of him, and he's staring at me in the suit. And I go, "I understand the national security implications about what I'm about to say. I am not naive to the topic. And I think if you hear me out, you're gonna see that there's merit in what I'm about to propose." And he goes, "Well, what topic are you talking about?" And I go, "UFOs, sir. Now, this is what I wanna try and do."

And so then I just laid out this entire Sekret Machines project idea and I said, "I'm going to send... " And I said, "But 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."

And then he stops me, and 'cause I said, "Frankly, there's been some bad things that have happened for the past 30 years on this subject." And he stops me and I'm kinda going, "Okay. So now I'm in trouble. I just went right into this stuff. What's gonna happen?" And he looks at me, he takes a breath, and he goes, "What kind of bad things has the government done with the subject?"

Very, very calm, and staring me straight in the eyes. And so I came up with a couple of things that I can't say here. And I said, "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. And I just... " You know what I said at the time, I said, "You gotta picture those little chickens running across the road and someone's guiding them." I'm all, "I'm that little chicken and I'm racing but I don't wanna get hit by a car on the way." [chuckle]

But it was no joke. There was nothing to laugh at during this time, so I said, "I'm going to send you something. I want you to read it. And please, if you find anything about it good... If there's any kind of merit in this at all, just respond any way you can," because I didn't think he could respond in an email or anything. He goes, "Okay. Thank you for that," and then the meeting was done.

[Author's note: As we mentioned in our lead-in, Tom's story about attending an employee event at what turned out to be Lockheed's Skunk Works and later meeting with officials from the elite aerospace engineering outfit about his projects does check out. At this time, we have no way to corroborate what exactly was discussed during these talks or what came out of them. We also know from the leaked Podesta emails that in 2016 Tom openly discussed in correspondence about being in direct contact with Rob Weiss, the head of the Skunk Works. Calendar invites for a virtual meeting from Podesta's emails include participants Tom DeLonge, Rob Weiss, and retired Air Force General William N. McCasland. "The General" will prove to be a central figure in Tom's story later on. Originally, Tom kept the general's identity somewhat hidden, but that has since changed. He was even mentioned directly in the first episode of Unidentified. You can see his service record here. It is a remarkable mix of some of the most high-security positions in the United States Air Force, including commander of the vaunted Air Force Research Lab at Wright Patterson AFB. He is now the Director Of Technology at The Space Enterprise Consortium.]

USAF

Maj. Gen. William N. McCasland.

So what I did was, the non-fiction book that we've been working on right next to the Sekret Machines novel in parallel has, it's a thesis of the UFO phenomenon. So I took the prologue to that thesis and I sent it to him. And I'm sitting there going, "Oh my God. What did I do? What I did I do? I shouldn't have sent it in an email." Obviously, you don't send it in an email. Every email you have with this group, it has all these government stamps all over the email, 'cause it goes through, it goes through DOD servers and all this stuff.

But I had no other way to get it to him, so I did. So I just sat there and I didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks so I was like, "Okay. That relationship is done. I fried that thing." I went in there talking about... I tell people it's like walking in to somebody during World War II, and say, "Hey, about that nuclear bomb you're building in secret, I wanna talk to you about that." That's basically what I did.

Well, two weeks later, I get this email and it says, "I want you to be next to the Pentagon, at this date, and this time, you're gonna be meeting somebody from the CIA," basically. It said it in a different way, but I can't say what it said. And so I was like, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God. It's working." So I get on a plane and I fly out to DC. And this is where it gets pretty sketchy, but it was insane. So I go to my meeting. I had to go to a very specific location that was within a rock's throw of the Pentagon. And I go to the back of a room at a certain location, and there's two guys in suits, waiting at a table for me.

So I go and I sit down at the table, and the person I was talking to is one of the persons, and he goes, "I think this would be a good time for you to tell this person what you told me." And I'm sitting there, kinda in my mind I'm going, "Well, what do I say? Do I tell him everything I told you or some of the things? Am I allowed to tell him that I told you these things, or... " I had no idea what to say, so I said, "Okay. I'll just go for it."

So 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. There's Ames Research, JPL and then just NASA, the traditional NASA that everyone knows. I'm at Ames Research Center, and I go through my whole pitch again, and this person stops me and goes, "I just want you to know I'm a skeptic on this stuff."

[Author's Note: We have an ongoing inquiry with NASA to verify what Tom's relationship has been with the agency and if, when, where, and why he was given access to NASA installations and officials. We have yet to hear the NASA public affairs office's findings on the matter.]

And I said, "I understand that, sir, but I knew you would say that, but let me just continue and tell you what I'm trying to do." 20 minutes later, "I just want you to know I'm a skeptic." And I go, "I know. I know you are. You already said that." [chuckle] And I keep talking. By the time I got to kinda concluding what this project would be, he's just staring at me, and then he takes a deep breath and says, "Introduce him to the general." And then I was like, "Well, who's that?" And they're both just staring at me, 'cause there was this guy that was right next to him. A very serious guy. And all of a sudden, on my email, two hours later, I'm talking to somebody that has changed the entire course of this whole project.

So I get on the phone with that person, that same evening, and I go through the same situation. So I'm starting to walk through what I'm trying to do and how I plan to do it. And this person goes, "I want you to know I'm a skeptic on this stuff." And I go, "Sir, I knew you would say that, but let me explain a little bit more." So I walk through it again, and then the person goes, "I just gotta say it, I'm a skeptic." It was verbatim, what I...

GK: They all do it, right? They all do it.

TD: They all do it. They all do it. But on the third time, he goes, "I swore an oath to my country." And I said, "Sir, I know you did, and I'm not asking for you to give me classified information. I don't deserve it. But I think if you understand what I'm about to do with this project, you may think it deserves your attention." And then he goes, "I'm afraid what you might find is a bunch of men in suits standing around an elephant." And I said, "I was afraid you were gonna say that, but can you help me?" And he says, "Fly out and meet me." And that's where, that's...

GK: That's where things get interesting.

TD: This is where things get interesting. So I fly out...

GK: I tell you what, Tom. We're gonna take a break here in a minute. So you're about to get into some really good stuff. We're gonna save it to the other side. I should say that, without giving too much away, you and I had some conversations along the way too and I heard your pitch evolve and it got pretty good. After a while, you got pretty practiced at it. And maybe we'll hear a little bit more about the pitch in the next segment, and then you can tell us about the general. Much more to come here on Coast to Coast AM.

Tom, before the break I mentioned that your pitch you were making to these folks as you move from one source to the next up the food chain, so to speak, your pitch gets better. And what is the basic message, what are you telling them that you can offer that hasn't been offered to them before? 

TD: I think for the first time, somebody coming in that has a pretty serious academic background on the subject of the UFO phenomenon. Somebody that also has a recognizable name and a specific type of voice that speaks to a specific demographic. Also, somebody that comes in with a tremendous amount of respect and modesty when dealing with these guys, I'm not some kind of Hollywood prick. [chuckle] I'm treating the material the way it needs to be treated, at least with my first conversations with these guys. And then lastly, once they gave me a little bit, I executed exactly the way I said I would. And I think that kept building in their minds a great case to work with me.

GK: So they dribbled something out to see how you'd handle it? 

TD: They did, they would dribble it out, and I would say... I would take it, I would incorporate it, I would make sure that I run everything by them, like I said that I would, I would tell them that when... I would say that, "We're doing this piece of non-fiction. Here's the first couple of chapters. Remember I told you I was doing that." Or, "Here's the novel, we talked about the novel, I want you to read the first part of the novel. Sir, is it okay if I do it this way, or this?"

And it just kept going and going and going, and then I... Then what really I think clenched it was... Actually, I should back up here. When I got connected to the general that was a big, big breakthrough. And before I talk a little bit more about how I got, I got more trust from these guys. What happened was, is I was up at NASA Ames, I got connected to a very specific person and that person had me fly out and meet them. So this is where it gets really interesting.

So I go out to a certain city and I land at the airport and I walk through security and I meet this person. The person takes me to a restaurant that's right past security and I go to the back of the restaurant. There's nobody in that area, and we sit at a booth for two hours and while we're sitting there he leans across the table and this is the first, very first words that were said to me. "It was the Cold War, and every single day we lived under the threat of nuclear war, every single day, we believed and really thought in the deepest part of our souls, that nuclear war could happen at any given moment." And then he stops and he goes, "And somewhere in those years," and he looked me in the eye, he goes, "We found a life form. And everything that we did and every decision that we made with that life form was because of the consciousness at that time."

And I said, "Sir, when taking it into account things that this life form has done, for example, turning our nuclear weapons on and readying them for launch." And then he interrupts me, puts a finger in my face and says, "There are heroes in Russia, heroes. And under grave risk to himself and to his country, they did not fire back." And at that moment, I realized it had already started, this new game I was in of working with people in like a dance of words. And information was already coming, he... It was no... [chuckle] There was no small talk, we didn't just sit down and just say, "Hey, let's just have a beer and let's get to know each other."

GK: So let's jump back to that, let's jump back to that conversation. It was the Cold War.

TD: Right.

GK: He's given you sort of the setting for how the cover-up, or what we'd call the cover-up, began.

TD: Yeah, so this is very important for people to remember, and this is where I'm so excited to start chopping down all these pathetic conspiracies that I was involved in as well. It was the Cold War. We really... He's saying, that every day, they really thought about the annihilation of all mankind with these weapons that were hundreds or thousands of times bigger than what we dropped on Japan, and we had 20,000 each of those things. And all of a sudden something falls on their laps that's just extraordinary. But even further than that, if you really hear what I'm saying about the nuclear weapons, the UFOs were turning our weapons on, just so Russia could pick up that we're firing our missiles and fire their's first, it was a big chess game. So these guys went into complete secrecy to start coming up with a defense system against this phenomenon.

Now, I try to tell people some analogies on this. Imagine if someone from the CIA came to your house and sat on your couch and says, "Hey, I wanna tell you about that nuclear weapon that they tried to smuggle in through Canada two months ago. And I also wanna tell you about this virus that was almost got released in Los Angeles. And I wanna... " All these... They're not gonna do that, because they're gonna be busy trying to figure out, find the people that did it or to seal off the borders or to come up with a game plan to get better defensive measures across our country, whatever they're doing. That's how this is, that's how big this issue is. They're not worried about if you and I totally understand, because they're too busy trying to understand it and come up with a way to defend against it. And at the same time, they really want people to understand this, to know these things, but they don't want it to mess up their efforts.

The more that I started to find out, I thought it was a pretty heroic tale that these were really good men and women. Do you know that in that first conversation that I had with that general, during the two hours... I didn't even leave the airport, I was in this back booth, and then I'd get led through security, get on a plane and go right back home. It was a crazy meeting. But during that he must have brought up what was "best for the republic, best for the free republic."

He brought that up probably eight different times. It's very, very, very important to these men what is best for the United States as a free country, free-thinking men and the republic that we built. They're not these crazies running around, trying to war... They're not warmongers. Very smart. This person has multiple PhDs, and I wish I could tell you who he is and what... There was nobody above him. There's nobody. Maybe a couple. But when you look at the divisions of how the Department of Defense works, in this specific division, it's just extraordinary that I have this contact. So I started using that as much as I could.

So I said, taking it from that point, we talked for two hours and I said, "Sir, I need an advisory committee," and we walked through what I need and why. And so he went out and got the advisors for me. What got really... What was really interesting about this is that I started getting advisors that were in different areas, people that deal with space, people that deal with intelligence, people that deal with bio warfare, stuff that you wouldn't necessarily think I should need, but I got them.

And now I had the ability to start pulling these people together, and I had this one really interesting contact out in Washington, DC, that was connected to the highest levels of government. That's how I can say it. And so I was able to pull off a coup in regards to what anybody in this field has ever been able to pull off, which was a conversation with not only my advisors, the most important group of the advisors, and somebody representing basically the highest levels of the land. And talking about how do we do something to help the youth understand that this is a reality.

But they're doing really good work and they could use the empowerment, they could use the citizens of the United States and the world understanding why it's been kept secret, and that they're not doing it out of malicious reasons. They're doing it because it's an ongoing task, it's an ongoing issue, and they don't fully understand it yet, but they're trying their hardest and spending lots of money and have the brightest minds that they can find and they're building things and they're having breakthroughs that I think, frankly, we would all be incredibly proud of as a nation of what they've done.

GK: Obviously, it's a spin, they're telling you a version that they want told, but it's a story you wanted to tell. It's part of your pitch to them is, "Look, you guys look bad, especially to young people who think there's been a cover-up on this subject. People are demanding full disclosure, there's a growing movement and a growing call for that. You guys painted yourself into a corner and it's time to look for a way out. And this is one." So, I mean, obviously you're concerned that you're being used, aren't you? 

TD: Well, you know what, people have asked me that, and I'll say no. And let me tell you why. Because I sought these people out and I asked them a very direct question and I get a very direct answer. There is no like, "Hey, why don't you say this? Have you ever thought of this?" And just... I don't get information for no reason at all. It's a very formal approach, the way I do things. I'll say, why has it been kept secret? I'll say, in the book, the craft that our pilot character learns how to fly is a real craft. And so I'll say, "Sir, I need guidance on the science of this," and I will get that answer back. I never get information that I don't specifically ask for. So, this whole project is not meant to sell people on the idea that this shit... Stuff's real. Sorry for the bad word. Hopefully, we got that delay, so...

I am still me, but I don't go in here and I'm not trying to make this project convince people of the reality of the phenomenon. I'm doing a project to tell people the reasons it's been kept secret and what has happened, what they're dealing with, the breakthroughs that we had. And I think the specific things that I've always wanted to know, and if I think everybody learns these things, they're gonna feel a hell of a lot more proud about our country, and about the Department of Defense, and what they're doing.

Because this one subject deals with religion, cosmology, physics, science, secrecy, the way we run our country, the relationships we have with other countries, relationships we have with other countries we're not supposed to have relationships with but we actually kind of still do, because of this issue, and that's just empowering, that's really empowering to know for the whole next generation of people that are gonna grow up and take over all these countries when we're all long gone. I think that this kind of subject can unify in so many areas beyond so many other subjects that are out there.

GK: Did you get the sense that this group had ever met before, had sort of the gathering or the conference call, or was in regular communication? 

TD: The main, who I refer to as "the general", I know has dealings with all these people, most of them, out of the 10, at certain times, some of them know, a few of them I got through different routes. The way I look at it, it's interesting that when you look at the way the government is set up when it goes into subjects like this and you look at the way it's managed, it makes perfect sense. So we all grew up in this topic thinking Majestic 12 and the secret shadow government. It's not really like that.

TD: Now, you have groups within the military that are doing R&D, that are coming up with and analyzing intelligence, so the National Reconnaissance Office will analyze the entire electromagnetic spectrum of space. And they will see things buzzing around and doing stuff, they take that down, then the Air Material Command will look at that stuff and say, "Okay, what do we build to defend against that?" And the research labs will say, "Okay well, this is how we'll build it." And then the CIA will have a bunch of guys that are just analyzing abduction reports or cattle mutilations or other things that are happening in the real world.

And all these divisions are all doing their own stuff and there's probably a very, very, very small group of people that are sitting at the top and putting it all together. I was told that, I said, I asked a very specific question, I was, "Sir," this is exactly... It's funny, 'cause I talk that way, I literally said that, I go, I go, "Sir, is there anybody standing back and looking at the big picture? You have abductions you have cattle mutilations, you have spacecraft zipping through orbits, you have these crashes, you have all these things."

And at one point, it was, "No, it's a grab bag of scientists. Nobody is looking at the big picture," which is really interesting to me, because I wonder if... And I don't know all the answers yet, and I'm still taking my time asking the right questions, but it makes me almost feel like some crazy things happened back in the '20s, '30s and '40s, and we put together a really strong effort to study the stuff, but I think that most of the stuff has been out of reach.

So we don't have some major MJ12 program per se, I think we have many programs that are dealing with different aspects of this when they happen, when a crash may happen. Let me tell you a conversation I had. So I flew out to Colorado Springs, which is where Air Force Space Command is, and also the Air Force Academy, and I was sitting at the desk of a very highly ranked person and then we brought in, this is one of my advisors, and then we brought in another advisor that was... I wish, I'm trying to figure out ways to tell you who these guys are, but of the highest rank again, and they said, "Well, what do you," I said, "I'm gonna be talking about some crashes, the crashes in the '40s." There was a pause, and he says, "Why just the '40s?" Gets you thinking a little bit.

And then he said, "Well, what do you need? And I said, "Well, I think I need someone from the Defense Intelligence Agency." And they say, "Why?" And I say, "Well, I don't wanna make anyone angry, I'm not looking to piss anyone off, I'm not looking to ruffle feathers, break a story. I think if I do my project correctly it'll do good." And they take a pause and they're looking at me and now I'm kinda going, "Well, what did I say wrong?"

And one guy says, "Do you go ask your dad for permission after your mother already gave it to you?" And I said, "No, what do you mean?" And then he says, "You've been given permission, now shut the F up and get to work," and he was very serious, and I had these two guys. Once again, you can count the stars on their shoulders, staring at me that I realize, "Oh my God," that's when I realize that two other people that I met that were working with me, who they really were, not just by their rank but who they really were in context to what the whole UFO subject is. So it's an exciting place to be, but it is a little nerve-racking.

[Author's note: We have inquired with U.S. Space Command if Tom DeLonge had a meeting with the Command's top leadership at the facility, but no records of correspondence or scheduling evidence exist to confirm this. This doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen, but it is the response we have gotten to our basic inquiry at this point in time. On another note, Tom eventually got his advisor with a DIA background in the form of a man with a deep counter-intelligence background who supposedly ran the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (ATTIP) in secret for years within the Pentagon, Luis Elizondo. Elizondo, who is now a paid employee of To The Stars Academy and the star of Unidentified, says he resigned from his position out of respect for the Secretary of Defense and the institution in which he served for nearly two decades. He claims administrative hurdles made it impossible to convey critical info about UFOs to top rungs of Pentagon leadership and beyond, so he decided to pursue the topic outside of the Pentagon. His story does sound somewhat questionable and how he ended up with To The Stars Academy seems almost too convenient, so it is worth seeking further clarification. Some in the press are already aggressively challenging the veracity of his background, but as of now, Elizondo is more or less the face of To The Stars Academy's most public efforts regarding UFO disclosure and he seems very knowledgeable on ATTIP's past efforts.]

History Channel

Luis Elizondo.

 

GK: We mentioned at the beginning about John Podesta. Now, you've interviewed Podesta. That's public information that's publicly known. I don't know if you're saying that he's one of your advisors, but if so, that would be the only name that has been known. But I wanted to point out, as far as political and partisan connections, he would be the only one linked any candidate or office holder in your group, right? 

TD: John Podesta is in my documentary and my docuseries. I think that he's... I think he's somebody that everybody needs to watch, that's all I'm gonna say.

GK: And like I said before, I have in my mind, you said there's no MJ12-type organization, I have in my mind a smoke-filled room, and it is like SPECTRE from the James Bond movie, but there's, there's no meetings. "Hey, everybody, let's get together, you're MJ1, you're MJ2." That doesn't happen, it's compartmentalization, which is pretty much what you'd expect to happen with a topic like this.

TD: Right. And I'm not gonna say that I don't know if there is a group of 12 guys, 10 guys, 20 guys that manage all of it, I haven't asked that specific question yet. I've asked a lot of questions in the docuseries. You're going to start to see all those, I'm gonna start presenting all that stuff and laying it out in chronological order, and people are gonna learn a hell of a lot. But I haven't asked, "Is there a small group that manages this?", other than what I told you a few minutes ago, where I said, "Is anybody standing back and looking at the big picture?" It seems to me that, you gotta look... You gotta think about this UFO phenomenon.

GK: Hold on. Hold on a moment, Tom. That's the foo fighters, that's what people used to call UFOs, before they called them UFOs or UAPs, is foo fighters. Back with more of Tom DeLonge's disclosures here, including some of the big picture stuff. Who are these visitors? Where are they from? What are they up to? Whatever he can tell us, coming up next on Coast to Coast.

Tom, as a guy who's followed this topic for a long time, you know about disinformation. You know the history of the topic, how certain researchers have been led to believe that they're about to get some real solid stuff. I think Linda Howe was promised some video of a landing. Robert Emenegger, his film project years ago, "We're gonna give you the goods, the video of the landing, we're gonna tell you the whole story." You know about the disinformation in New Mexico and a lot of people don't... Think that the MJ12 documents were created as part of a plot to confuse the Russians. How do you know you're not being used or led down a path? 

TD: I think that's a good question. Number one, these guys didn't search me out. I haven't had... In my advisory group, I haven't had anybody that just came out of nowhere and says, "Hey, I really wanna give you something." It didn't work that way. It was through really interesting channels of how I met them. And some of which I have built relationships with... That are very close. And came from very, kind of... In very sanitized ways where I think people wouldn't suspect that... They don't have an interest in lying to me. They're not... If I was working with a big group from... And intel from the CIA, I would be very wary of it. But all of my guys are, the channels that they work in, I should say guys and girls, but the places that they work and the divisions that they work in are more science-based, engineering-based and defense-based, and something else that I can't say. But there are...

GK: So they're not necessarily professional spooks who deal with stirring the pot and misleading people? 

TD: Exactly.

GK: You know they're real, though? You've checked out their credentials. You know that they work in the places.

TD: Oh, yeah, no, no, no. Oh, absolutely, 'cause I've been to the places and I've... I even attempted to read, [chuckle] I attempted to read something that one of these guys did and it was like 20 pages of equations that I've literally... You would think it's a joke. There was somebody, he is a... He is what they did their... When you get your PhD you gotta do your, what do you call it? The dissertation or whatever it's called. I don't know what it's called, but... It's insanity, the level of how these guys operate. But I don't wanna say they're not in intelligence, it's the type of, the intelligence arm that they're in is not counter-intelligence based. It's... I don't wanna say what it is, but it's space intelligence.

GK: And what is the operating agreement? What agreement do you have with them? You don't reveal their names or personal information about them? And do you have to clear the stuff that you release? 

TD: Absolutely, and I ask for permission. I'm not gonna say who they are, I'm not gonna ever put at risk anything that they... And also too, by the way, things they tell me that I have to release a certain way, respectfully, in drips, like I set up a bunch of parameters of how I will put the information into this project and how I will put it out there. So it does a couple of things: It doesn't scare people, and it gets traction with young adults. That's a very important point.

GK: You know what you're up against, though? People will say, "Well, look, this guy's a rock musician. They're not gonna tell this stuff to him, or they're gonna tell him stuff that they have plausible deniability." I mean, part of that is the appeal, right? That if they wanted to, if this goes wrong, they can discredit you or deny it.

TD: Well, they can do that to anybody. I mean, they do that to Presidents. You're talking about levels of power that we can't comprehend as civilians. So I'm not... Frankly, I don't care if anyone doesn't believe me. I just, I'm in the middle of something very important. I just got to do what I said I'll do, and I think if I do it right, it's gonna have some really good effects and hopefully ignite other things that can happen within this discussion. But plausible deniability is something the government has always done and it's the way they operate, especially when they want to put out very serious information.

With this topic, what they've done is they would leak things over the past 60 years and create ridicule for the people that may believe it. That way, everyone kinda hears the stuff. You hear about the Roswell crash but you're not really scared about it 'cause the chances are it might not be real, but maybe it could be real. But at this point...

GK: Like Area 51, flying saucers out at the S4.

TD: Yeah, exactly, it's all that stuff they want you to know. The reason we talk about it, is because they chose for us to hear about it. And the reason we kinda laugh it off is because they, by design, that's how they do it. But they want people to know. They don't like the fact that they have to do all of this without people knowing how, what they're doing and how hard they're working at it. And I was...

What I said to a few of them, I was like, "Do you know what this would do? It would change who we elect in office. It would change the amount of money we appropriate and allocate to these programs." We have the biggest space program that we've ever had, thousands of times bigger than Apollo, and it would be part defense and it would be part exploration, and people would run to be a part of it and help. It'd be like the day after 9/11 where everyone wanted to sign up to the military.

If people knew what the stakes were, if they just knew what these guys are telling me, and once people know this stuff and if it really caught fire and everyone knew that this was real, it would completely... It would change everything, it would just change everything. How we operate as a country, how we operate in partnership with other countries, and what our civilization is doing. Because don't forget that, yes, we have cracked gravity. And yes, we are building machinery that have anti-gravity. And yes, I was told that. It's a big deal.  

As far as why was I given this, I touched on this a little bit earlier in the show, but it's a super important question. Number one, I have access to these people because of what I do for a living, and as long as I don't mention the whole UFO thing, I can pretty much meet whoever, but once I get in there, I'm very respectful, and I'm very passionate and I'm very knowledgeable about the subject.

What you might not have heard earlier is that I presented a thesis that made its way through the DoD, that in turn got me a meeting with someone that was deep in intelligence out in Washington, DC. So it was that thesis and the academic nature of it, that got people interested in talking to me, not only because of who I was, but because I seem to have an elevated knowledge of the subject matter. And then after that, the main reason why they continue to work with me and really gathered around and supported the project is because I executed it in a way on many different things that are frankly pretty hard to do.

And, over a year and a half, the way I've done that, releasing everything step by step and gathering all these different people from different places in the government and bringing them all together and holding very high-level meetings, very high-level meetings between Washington, DC and the people that I'm working with. I think all these things combined really created just a canvas for something new to happen. But I do understand it. I get that people are like, "Why you? You're like, you play in a band? How did you do this?" Well, it's a long... It's kind of a long story, but that's why the docuseries that will be coming out will be explaining this in more detail.

End interview excerpt. You can listen to the entire interview here.

Tom is clearly a highly creative, passionate, talented, and resourceful guy. It is remarkable what he has accomplished regardless of the circumstances and in so many ways many people who have had a high interest in this topic can't help but root for To The Stars Academy's success. At the same time, considering the incredible subject matter and Tom's own words, we can't be naive as to the other forces potentially at play when it comes to To The Stars Academy and the information and products it distributes. Doing so would be directly in opposition to what everyone's goal should be—finding out the truth, regardless of if it fulfills personal wishes or reinforces long-standing beliefs.

The U.S. government has a history of using the prominence of UFOs in popular culture and the media to their advantage and has even worked to perpetuate narratives about them that support its clandestine goals. This is not a rumor or a takeaway, it is a historical fact that can't be denied. We aren't going to dive deeply into all the potential reasons for the government to want to take a new approach when it comes to this topic, but they range from full-on disclosure and conditioning for that event to pushing misinformation to protect clandestine programs, regardless of their technological origin. 

As I have said many times before, the sky will look very different than it has in the past in the years and decades to come. Swarming drones, advanced unmanned combat air vehicles, hypersonic weapons, new low-observable aircraft designs, directed energy weapons of many types, the rapid militarization of space, and even active camouflage on advanced aircraft are just some of the things that will be present overhead in the not too distant future, if they are not already. In addition, the U.S. military and its contractor partners could have made major breakthroughs in exotic propulsion technologies within the deeply classified realm that would all but require a good cover story, at least for the time being.

Just as during the height of the Cold War, being able to easily discount sightings of exotic flying machines and aerospace capabilities can be quite advantageous, and especially in an age when everyone has a high definition video camera in their pocket. Sadly, we are also now living in a time when great power competition is once again a very real thing. This means a burst in clandestine weapons research and development and the rapid fielding of new military capabilities. Also, just tying up a foreign power's intelligence gathering resources by having them invest heavily into trying to discern if the U.S. has a new exotic weapons capability or if threats the U.S. armed services say exist and are out of its control are indeed real can be a highly advantageous strategic play. 

In other words, the possible reasons behind such a strange arrangement are many fold, and some of those reasons have nothing to do with actual mystery aircraft of an unknown origin gracing our skies. 

It's also hard to imagine that the U.S. government's most sensitive secrets would be turned over to a rock star with a high interest in the paranormal and history of making some pretty wild claims. Some of the most decorated and well resourced journalists on the planet have tried to penetrate the government veil on this issue, almost always ending up empty-handed or with more questions than they started with. At the same time, Tom's story would indicate that brilliant minds from academia who have the most extensive educations possible on a myriad of topics that could be applied to this issue would have been passed over for Tom DeLonge's business plan. In other words, it is really hard to understand how To The Stars Academy would be a better choice for this information than say Lincoln Labs, that is if we are to believe Tom's story and his claims that the shadowy government figures that opened so many doors for him actually had genuine intent and that they more or less chose him for such a reality-changing task after hearing his pitch.

Photo by Brandon Williams/Getty Images

Tom with his book Sekret Machines.

But then again, maybe that's the whole idea. The information may have to live in a grey area of plausibility for a long period of time before people are conditioned to accept it as hard fact. At least that's what many have theorized over the years. Tom even touts this in his own words when it comes to his proposed outfit's ability to offer the government plausible deniability of the information it conveys. Maybe Tom's plan did present a really unique, youthful, and relevant opportunity that aligned with the unspecified goals of those who control what the federal government actually knows about this topic. If such a group really exists, we also don't know what internal dynamics may have been at play that could have prompted such monumental course change. 

Let me put this another way, explanations as to why powerful people with deep roots in the U.S. government's national security apparatus helped Tom fulfill his vision could satisfy the most ardent UFO fanatic, just as they could satisfy the most hardline skeptic. It is literally a choose your own adventure novel in that regard, at least at this point in time. 

So, is Tom DeLonge a so-called 'useful idiot' in espionage parlance? Someone being used unwittingly via catering to their visions of grandeur and Hollywood tropes of cloak and dagger adventure. That would explain why his story of assembling his remarkable team seems to be a bit too convenient. Or is he shepherding in a new era that could end in fantastic realizations that could shake the very nature of our society and possibly even human consciousness? We are not capable of answering that question definitively at this time, but by Tom DeLonge's own repeated admissions, it seems that the government is, or at least was, a key and even managing partner in his now very high-profile endeavor. If this isn't actually the case, and Tom largely lied about how it all came to be, we really shouldn't be buying much of what he or To The Stars Academy are peddling anyway.

UPDATE: 6/12/2019—

NASA has gotten back to us about DeLonge's claims that he met with officials at NASA, and in particular at Ames Research Center. I specifically inquired about the 2016 and prior timeframe. Their response reads in part:

"I've checked with a few centers and none of them have records of issuing a visitor badge to Mr. DeLonge, including Ames."

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com