On the plus side, Ancient Aliens is off this week, and Unidentified has finished its run. According to the Nielsen ratings, Unidentified fell below a million viewers in its final episode, falling to 926,000. Ancient Aliens was down as well, to just 1.03 million viewers. Putting the season (series?) finale of Unidentified on a holiday weekend probably wasn’t the best way of attracting a large crowd.
But over on UFO Joe, there is a transcript of a radio interview that Tom DeLonge of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science and Unidentified did with 91X radio back in May. I was particularly taken with a weird, somewhat depressing, section of the interview in which DeLonge recounts being brought in to meet a general before the founding of To the Stars. The general began by complimenting DeLonge’s Angels and Airwaves band profusely—which is already a bad sign.
And like twenty-minutes into it, I was like, sir I know who you are, so when you sit here and give me all these compliments about my music, I’m kind of thinking, what’s the deal here? You know, I’ve taken it with a grain of salt. And he took a big breath and then leaned back in his chair. And then he just scoots forward, (laughing) and I remember I flinched and then he goes, I need to know who the eff you are. You know a bunch of stuff – using bad words – that you shouldn’t know and I need to know why. You need to tell me why you and I are in this room and how you know what you know. Another line…you know stuff the President doesn’t know and I need to know why. (laughs). I was like, oh my God. That’s when I wanted a diaper. I’m going….oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?
Remember, as DeLonge told Joe Rogan back when To the Stars launched, he didn’t actually have any insider knowledge when he started. He gained his information entirely from UFO books and conspiracy theory websites. If DeLonge is correct in his account, it reinforces the depressing feeling that paranormal investigator (and Robert Bigelow consultant) Jacques Vallée got when he discovered that the military was using his books as reference works for investigating UFOs and the paranormal. As he said, he didn’t know anything for certain, so they must know even less!
DeLonge confirms my interpretation later in the interview when he said that the general had him brought in because he had heard DeLonge blathering about UFOs on Coast to Coast A.M. Just think about that for a moment. DeLonge summarizes 1970s UFO books on the radio, and a general is astonished because his own intelligence—probably unbeknownst to him derived from the same 1970s UFO books, plus 1970s paranormal researcher Hal Puthoff, the driving force before Pentagon paranormal studies for 40 years—seems to be the same as what DeLonge is saying on the radio. And then DeLonge hires the same crew of 1970s ufology buffs who have been orbiting this black hole for four decades. Bizarrely enough, we could construct an entire narrative in which all of this is reducible to a folie à deux between the Pentagon and DeLonge.
Consider, too, DeLonge’s description of his childhood interests, in which science, pseudoscience, science fiction, and the occult merge seamlessly, to the point that he doesn’t actually distinguish between them:
As a kid, when I was like…probably in junior high. I started trying to find books that I…first book I found was like UFOs and Loch Ness monster or something. And I was like, wow, that’s weird. It’s like reading about ghosts or something. And that was the beginnings of my love of science fiction, all things George Lucas and all that kind of stuff. I think I was always a very spiritual person. […] And when you study the UFO stuff, it takes you right down into the heart of all of this stuff. People think you just study about space ships. It has nothing…I mean any UFO book isn’t even about. You can find ones on sightings but no-one really cares about that. You’re usually reading about ancient religious texts. You’re reading about consciousness. You’re reading about esoteric physics.
He means that he is reading about the ancient astronaut theory, which is religion in the guise of pseudoscience. But at least we see that DeLonge’s mission has never been about space aliens. It’s always been a metaphysical flight of fancy to find meaning in a Nietzschean world where God is dead and space aliens are the only divinities remaining.
And don’t you feel dumb for watching his six-part History Channel series about military UFO sightings since “no one really cares about that”!
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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