As if we needed more proof that we’re living in the strangest of times, Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge, a man who once wrote a (pretty great) song called “Dick Lips,” has proven himself to be a galvanizing force in the realm of extraterrestrial exploration. Sure, we all had a laugh when DeLonge quit the band and started crowdfunding for a spaceship, but then WikiLeaks revealed he was chatting UFOs with high-ranking political consultant John Podesta and a New York Times report not only confirmed some of DeLonge’s previous ramblings on the subject, but also the legitimacy of some of those involved in his To The Stars Academy.
To listen to DeLonge speak on the subject is, to say the least, maddening. He’s articulate in outlining the aims of his academy, and his stories as to how he first came in contact with the government remain remarkably consistent, but, as so happens in this sprawling interview with Joe Rogan, it isn’t long before DeLonge starts spouting off about Greek culture and the lost city of Atlantis and we’re back to rolling our eyes.
If you’re in need of a primer on the whole situation, as well as a breakdown of the ambitious science-cum-entertainment plan of To The Stars, The Fader has published a pretty exhaustive rundown. You’ll also read about the encounter that confirmed DeLonge’s belief in aliens and, surprise, it happened while he was camping near Area 51.
Probably the most revealing part of the piece, however, is the reaction from the greater UFO community, who aren’t surprised at all that DeLonge has been chosen as the effort’s mouthpiece. “It might seem odd to some people that Tom DeLonge has built up this impressive team of scientists and former government insiders, but it doesn’t surprise me,” says Nick Pope, who used to study UFOs for the British government. “People do get starry-eyed, especially if your whole career has been about secrecy and silence. A rockstar is the absolute antithesis of that, and so it’s appealing.”
The International UFO Congress’ Alejandro Rojas agrees. “[DeLonge is] able to get people to open up and talk with him. This is a cool guy you want to hang with and you want to be buddies with.”
You can even see the team’s starry eyes in their own quotes to The Fader. Luis Elizondo, who ran the government’s secret UFO investigation program that was the subject of the aforementioned Times article, says, “Forgive the cliché, but this is really a rockstar team.”