I-Team: Rocker turns UFO expert

LAS VEGAS - Over the years, a long list of rock stars have reportedly seen UFOs, but only one was inspired to become an expert on the topic. Musician Tom Delonge is best known for his work with the band Blink-182, which has sold tens of millions of records. He walked away from that life and founded a multimedia company focused entirely on the saucer mystery.

George Knapp of the I-Team scored the first broadcast interviews with the new star in the UFO galaxy.

Much of what Delonge has done is now public, but behind the scenes, he's gone where no rock star has gone before, or anyone else for that matter. He is now all in on UFOs and has risked everything in the pursuit of truth.

On the main drag of an idyllic California beach town, nestled beside an organic café, sits an unpretentious storefront with an intriguing name: To the Stars. Visitors to the breezy shop often run into the proprietor.

“One of the cool things about this space was being able to have a retail store. We have people that travel across the world and want to immerse themselves in what we do,” Delonge said.

What he is doing these days is reinventing, not only himself, but also the discombobulated world of UFO research. The business face of that effort is an ever-changing lineup of merchandise: space-themed T-shirts, for instance, but also books.

Sekret Machines is the first of six books already in the works, and there are hints of more grandiose ambitions – a full-length animated film, for instance. The overall theme is something akin to rock and roll meets the men in black.

Delonge made a fortune as co-founder and front man for Blink-182, the irreverent punk band that sold millions of records and is still touring, but without Delonge. He left last year to pursue, of all things, UFOs.

“I didn't walk off my last show. There was 100,000 people. I didn't walk off that stage, so I could go chase a monster down a rabbit hole and look like a fool. I'm not an idiot. I'm dealing with something that is much bigger than me and more complex, and is frankly maybe the most important thing I've done in my life, even if it sounds like tinfoil hat, little green men, conspiracy theory,” he said.

Delonge is still writing and producing music with his band Angels and Airwaves, but digital albums are just one part of a multimedia assault that includes films, documentaries and books – all focused on a central theme.

"The theme is there's a lot of flying saucers in this place," he said.

He's invested in state-of-the-art production equipment, hired a string of best-selling authors and has been meeting behind the scenes with the biggest names in Hollywood. Delonge wants his company to become the Disney of UFOs.

“The biggest works of art are when an artist really takes a risk to do something,” he said. “This entire operation is a big gamble. We've never published books before, never made films before.”

“This is a quest, an absolute quest. I haven't made any money off this. Right now, it's so new,” he said.

Parallel to the business venture, he's launched a cloak and dagger effort to pierce the smoke and mirrors surrounding UFOs, using his celebrity status as an entry point to speak directly to the keepers of the secret.

He started with defense contractors who have operated for decades at Nevada's Area 51 military base. Later, he met with high ranking military officials. Delonge says they have opened up about the otherwise off-limits subject of UFOs.

“I think they really want us to know. I really do think they do. I feel at this point it's going to be a tough thing to swallow for people, and I think there are elements about it that people are not ready for,” he said.

Hard as it is to believe, Ddelonge really has been meeting with this group of deep-throat type advisors in sensitive positions. He has given the I-Team sort of a front row seat to the story as it has unfolded, including some of the eye-popping things they have passed along to him for the purpose of disseminating it to the public.


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