Where we got our videos from, the ones we put out – well, they had 26. And that was one very small branch of a bigger tree. Some of the videos have UFOs 10 feet away from the F/A-18, tracking them for 20 minutes and it’s all on camera! The UFO’s going 600 miles an hour, the pilot’s freaking out screaming and this thing is just scanning the plane for a whole 20 minutes.
DeLonge claims that he came very close to getting one of these close-up videos declassified, but, wouldn’t you know it, Pentagon brass scuttled the effort.
The trouble with such claims, of course, is that they contradict the UFO report, which did not report such encounters in the public version, and those who saw the classified version did not indicate any discussion of videos greatly more dramatic than those already seen. For DeLonge’s claim to be true, the UFO report has to be either intentionally false or deceived by Pentagon officials in open defiance of Congress, which of course would mean that we couldn’t trust the accuracy of the records DeLonge claims to have seen. It is something of Blink-182 Catch-22.
DeLonge’s highest profile appearance so far occurred in the pages of Esquire magazine, where he speculated wildly about all manner of fringe pseudoscience straight out of the old 1970s paperback books and In Search Of… episodes that he has long cited as the source of his information. He talks about a silly claim that labeling water with “good” or “bad” words would shape the beauty of the crystals that formed on freezing, he claims that happy thoughts can cure cancer, and he speculates about time flowing not in one direction but existing in all possible states of past, present, and future simultaneously so that our minds simply follow a path through time. I’m not sure he’s even aware he’s mixing warmed-over Theosophy with ’70s pseudoscience, but the result sounds a bit like H.P. Lovecraft’s description of Yog-Sothoth: “Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.”
DeLonge told Holmes that UFOs come from other dimensions, possibly from other timelines or time periods, crossing through thin spots in reality—again, like the Old Ones in Lovecraft’s fiction.
But the most telling part of his interview with Esquire’s Dave Holmes occurred early on, when he explains what at first seems like a hodgepodge of unrelated topics of special interest to middle-aged white geeks:
“When you study UFOs, you're looking at consciousness,” he tells me over Zoom from the patio of an Encinitas bar on a gloomy late-summer morning. He is not drinking. “You’re looking at the history of mankind, like archeology, or archeological evidence, or ancient texts, religious texts. You're looking at national security. You're looking at physics, unified field theory. You're looking at kind of the forefront of quantum mechanics and how the universe seems to be built. And what you start to realize is that the evidence of those phenomena is not at all what people think it is.”
While that part is true—throw in World War II, vintage cars, and sci-fi fandom and you have almost the whole aging white nerd package—it is a clear distillation of how a quest for spiritual meaning through the paranormal expresses itself through an attempt to unify the pet topics of special interest to middle-aged, middle-class white people, mostly men, in an appeal to power, to authority, and to nostalgia for their teenage fascinations with 1970s and 1980s paranormal pop culture.
The trouble with DeLonge’s claims has long been that he can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality. He managed to get Dave Holmes thinking he had been “vindicated” by the Pentagon and that he had “learned” things that would horrify most people about the nature of reality. Except, of course, that whenever he speaks about these things, he talks about ’70s ancient astronaut books and Victorian Theosophy and space lasers from Lemuria. Even if he did know something of value—and that’s doubtful—there’s no way to separate the wheat from the chaff. He might call his band “Angels & Airwaves,” but his “science” is still stuck on “signal-to-noise.”
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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