The sheer number of stars in our galaxy—let alone the universe at large—is so huge that the idea that we are alone, that this is the only planet among billions of potential planets that experienced the proper conditions to create life over the unknowable vastness of space and time, is one of humanity’s more conceited notions. It’s also goofy as hell that the former guitarist for Blink-182 is obsessed with aliens, and founded his own scientific research group/production company dedicated to documenting the existence of “unidentified aerial phenomena [whose] exotic technologies ... could revolutionize the human experience.” Both of these things can be true at the same time.
And the tension between these two truths should make for a hell of a TV show—at least, that’s what the History Channel is hoping, as the network (proposed motto: “What is History, really?”) sent out a press release earlier today confirming that it’s been doing some YouTube deep dives, and it’s concluded that this DeLonge guy is on to something.
That YouTube part isn’t true, but the sentiment is the same: History is greenlighting a six-part documentary series called Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation™—trademark symbol included. Executive produced by DeLonge, the series reportedly explores the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) and features interviews with ex-military intelligence official Luis Elizondo, who claims to have once been in charge of AATIP, as well as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Intelligence Chris Mellon, both of whom work for DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy.
They’ll be joined by, as the release puts it, “retired Program Director for Advanced Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks and the Aerospace Division Director for To The Stars Academy, Steve Justice, renowned CIA researcher and quantum physicist and Vice President of Science and Technology at To The Stars Academy, Hal Puthoff, and retired senior intelligence service member of the Central Intelligence Agency and Vice President of Operations at To The Stars Academy, Jim Semivan,” keeping the whole thing in-house. They’ll be backing up their arguments with “newly authenticated evidence and footage,” presumably stuff like the clip above.
Now, AATIP was a real military program, whose existence from 2007 to 2012 was formally acknowledged by the Department of Defense in a New York Times article in December of 2017. (Elizondo claims that the program continues to this day, under the auspices of the Navy and CIA.) Backed by then-Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the program mostly existed to funnel funding to Robert Bigelow, the hotel billionaire whose own obsession with UFOs goes back decades. In the ‘90s, Bigelow purchased a remote ranch in rural Utah called Skinwalker Ranch that had been the site of some pretty intense paranormal activity; Bigelow’s National Institute for Discovery Science posted up at the ranch for nearly 10 years, before abandoning the project in 2004. (Last Podcast On The Left just wrapped up a three-part series on Skinwalker Ranch if you need to know more about all that.) He’s now working on an expandable space craft that can be used for private space exploration.
Bigelow is not on the board of To The Stars Academy—maybe he should be, given the organization’s recent money troubles—but he and DeLonge are certainly fellow travelers. In 2017, Bigelow told 60 Minutes he’s “absolutely convinced” that UFOs exist, and DeLonge says of the new show: “With this show, the real conversation can finally begin ... I think everyone that watches the show will walk away with questions answered and a feeling of, “wow, I get it now.”’ What there is to get exactly remains vague, but hey: It’s a way more entertaining, and less harmful, conspiracy theory than QAnon.