Unidentified: Tom DeLonge and Luis Elizondo interview
With the track 'Alien’s Exist', co-founder of Blink 182, Tom DeLonge revealed to the world his belief in UFOs, now he is taking this message to the small screen, in a new HISTORY series.
In fact, Alien’s Exist could be an alternative title for, the new six-part UFO show, Unidentified. The series follows DeLonge and a crack team of UFO researchers in exposing the incredible secrets of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), the American government’s secret UFO programme.
What makes this show so remarkable is the participation of Luis Elizondo, the former head of this secret UFO programme. Between 2007-2012 Elizondo ran AATIP, the $22 million project that was tasked with investigating the threat of UFOs over American skies and around the globe.
In Unidentified, Elizondo reveals details of the US government’s awareness, and cover-up of, extra-terrestrial lifeforms on earth. Added to Elizondo’s credibility is footage recorded from the cockpit of supposed encounters and testimony from pilots whose planes flew by these 'craft' as well as classified reports from foreign governments. Joining DeLonge and Elizondo to investigate AATIP reports of UFO sightings are Christopher Mellon, former United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Intelligence and Hal Puthoff a respected physicist in the field of gravitational physics.
This series is going to change people's perception and it's going to change it quickly.
For Elizondo, a former intelligence official coming clean about his work was a huge challenge, as he explained to HISTORY, ‘I am a creature of the shadows, I spent my entire life in the shadows and it was a matter of survival for me. Anonymity and obscurity were my allies, they kept me safe’. Though he must have had reservations about going on record in The New York Times AATIP exposé and appearing in Unidentified, he sees it for the greater good.‘Being able to have the conversation now with the American people so they can finally know what's really going on, I think it's a great privilege and honour for me.’ he explains. Yet Elizondo is still ex-military intelligence and certain classified subjects are not up for discussion in this interview or on the show:
‘I have to be mindful and cognizant that I have a non-disclosure agreement with the US government. I still can't talk about classified things. It's a little bit of walking a fine line because there are elements out there, looking at every single word I say and going over it with a fine toothcomb to see if I've messed up and I guess we'll know if you see me in an orange jumpsuit at some point. I’m trying to avoid that as much as possible. I don't look good in orange for the record.’
Whereas Elizondo, had no real interest in UFOs before he was assigned to AATIP , admitting, ‘I spent most of my life in national security chasing bad guys. I didn't have any preconceived notions about them’, DeLonge had been thinking about aliens since high-school. ‘I was a skateboarder, I was in Junior High and I had absolutely nothing to do but get in trouble with my brother. I remember thinking long and hard that there had to be more to our life than just getting a 9-5 job and becoming a human-robot so I started looking into the paranormal around the 7th grade. And from there I stumbled onto UFOs and that just became the most fascinating thing I’ve ever heard about or read about.’
After finding fame and fortune with Blink 182, DeLonge has since focused his energy back on his original passion, UFOs, founding To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science whose aims is to advance society’s understanding of UFO phenomena and its technological implications. DeLonge's plan for of TTSAAS is ambitious: ‘I think of the To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science in a similar situation to Google when the internet first started to come out to the public. With the internet, you had something that was poorly understood by the public at large but everyone who felt part of its creation knew that the potential of this thing was completely groundbreaking and would affect our world for the future as far as they could see. I pictured To The Stars in the same situation.'
Despite DeLonge’s cheery optimism, the idea that alien crafts regularly visit earth will fill most people with dread. We’ve all seen Independence Day, War of Worlds, even the Avengers, in fact can you even think of a film or TV show where the arrival of aliens doesn't have disastrous consequences for mankind? The existence of aliens would represent a huge existential crisis for humanity. Though DeLonge doesn't see it that way: ‘It's something that I think is going to push people together when we realise that our planet may not be that unique, that we're definitely volatile and definitely insignificant. So we should probably start treating each other more kindly and start working together to clean this place up. That's what my goal is. My goal is that by one or two generations from now, we've figured out this mess and we stop this tribal warfare that we've been locked in for so long.’
Before world peace can be achieved, DeLonge hopes that Unidentified will help to finally change the conversation about UFOs from being a fringe subject for the tin-foil hat brigade to a legitimate subject for discussion: 'This series is just the tip of an iceberg. My hope for the future is that people are no longer discussing if this is real or not. They're discussing what do we do about it and what does it all mean. I think we'll be getting there very shortly but absolutely, this series is going to change people's perception and it's going to change it quickly.'