Though Tom Delonge is best known as the estranged founding member of pop-punk kingpins Blink-182, his name has found its way into headlines in recent months as a result of his unfailing devotion to researching UFO’s. His endeavours were first met with laughter and mockery, which is fair game considering this musician has maintained a potty-mouthed prankster aesthetic well into middle-age. But things began to take a turn when Delonge’s name popped up in the leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, causing naysayers to re-assess the validity of the Tom Delonge To The Stars academy, which he founded to focus on alien-related research. This reached a pinnacle when it was revealed that Delonge was named 2017’s UFO Researcher of the Year, prompting widespread coverage that flipped the script on Tom Delonge’s media characterization as an alien fanatic. But before we take our Delonge-worshipping too far, let us take a frank look at what this situation is really about by answering some fundamental questions.
What exactly is the UFO Researcher of the Year Award?
Numerous media publications got very excited when reports surfaced that Delonge had been named 2017’s UFO researcher of the year. So excited, in fact, that no one seems to have questioned the actual validity of this title. The “UFO Researcher of the Year Award” is given out by an online publication called Open Minds. Their website relays that their team “consists of internationally-recognized journalists, researchers and media specialists who have worked in the UFO arena for decades”, credentials which are as vague as Delonge’s cryptic alien spiel. If this video dating back to the early 2000’s tells us anything, it’s that Delonge himself is a researcher who has worked in the UFO arena for decades. Open Minds are not necessarily an insider authority recognizing Delonge’s insider scoop as much as they are fellow alien-fanatics giving props to their kin. Their basis for highlighting Delonge’s efforts centres around his presence in the Podesta emails on Wikileaks. And while we were all shocked to learn that Delonge had set up meetings with Podesta to discuss UFO-related matters, the aftermath of these meet-ups is unclear. Thus, while the Tom Delonge To the Stars academy’s mingling with the big leagues is headline-worthy fodder, it does not bring us any closer to validating the existence of aliens.
Has Tom Delonge come into contact with aliens?
In an interview with Joe Rogan, Tom Delonge was irritatingly cryptic when probed (pun intended) about his tangible interactions with alien life forms. He did not give any concrete confirmation as to whether he has ever personally come into contact with an extraterrestrial being, insisting that he must maintain confidentiality in order to protect classified information. This vague rhetoric actually echoes the themes expressed in his 1999 song “Aliens Exist”, whose lyrics drop a slew of mysterious yet ultimately meaningless alien-related lines such as “There’s something very wrong” and “There’s something in the backroom”, not far from the tight-lipped, X-Files-indebted non-sequiturs permeating his conversation with Joe Rogan. Delonge’s fascination with alien abduction comes across as of a fantasy rather than a palpable recounting of a traumatic extraterrestrial encounter. After all, if the case of Betty and Barney Hill has taught us anything, it is that those who devoutly claim to have made contact with aliens do not hold back from dishing dirt about it.
Is Tom Delonge working on a piece of technology that can move through time?
While it is tempting to believe that a man who wrote songs about teenage angst while pushing 30 would have access to a time-machine, little is known about the electromagnetic, space-and-time-transcending vehicle that Delonge’s To The Stars Academy is in the process of crowdfunding. While this vague promise of building a souped-up piece of super-aerodynamic technology does evoke the fictional cult from that episode of The Simpsons, the Tom Delonge To The Stars academy’s credibility is on the up and up because of its partnership with Luis Elizondo, a man who was formerly at the helm of the US government’s Advanced Threat Identification Programme (also known as UFO research). That being said, the foundation’s website does seem a bit overly eager to promote funding, with a homepage flaunting the amount of investors before even bothering to describe what it is they are actually investing in. Only time will tell whether the Tom Delonge To The Stars Academy will succeed in molding our concept of time and space, but so far, the only palpable way in which Delonge has toyed with the space-time continuum is by allowing us to relive spring break ‘99 everytime we hear the opening power chords to ‘All the Small Things’.
As you can see, this Tom Delonge To The Stars alien business is ripe with ambiguities. Though some have attempted to formulate entertainingly far-fetched theories to map out Delonge’s involvement in government-wide alien conspiracy, such claims are informed by the same naive kookiness that Delonge himself exhibits. With a transparently money-hungry ‘academy’ to fund and a trilogy of questionable books to promote, my guess is that Delonge is attempting to find a new bread-and-butter now that he has been excommunicated from the Blink 182 camp. Still, the heavy questions remain. Do aliens walk among us? Could the events of the 1997 film Independence Day actually turn out to be a grim prediction of what’s to come for us petty earthlings? Depending on who you ask (Re: Tom Delonge) the answers to both those questions just might be yes. But as far as I am concerned, this conspiracy is getting filed under Things that are not real™.