One of the fun things about having existed in the 1990s is that many of your favorite musicians from the era are now either dead or insane. Kurt Cobain? Dead. Billy Corgan? Insane. Layne Staley? Dead. Tom DeLonge? Insane!
In case you don’t know, Tom DeLonge was the founder and lead singer of the band Blink-182, which played gleefully stupid pop punk. But while their music back then was the lighthearted, teenaged kind of stupid, DeLonge has grown up to be the serious, super next-level kind of stupid that’s not quite as fun.
Last year, DeLonge made headlines by announcing the creation of a new organization called To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science, with the mission to “be a powerful vehicle for change by creating a consortium among science, aerospace and entertainment that will work collectively to allow gifted researchers the freedom to explore exotic science and technologies with the infrastructure and resources to rapidly transition them to products that can change the world.” I’ll just sum it up: he thinks the US government is hiding evidence of space aliens and if he hires a bunch of other people who think that, eventually they will prove that space aliens exist and also they will build a starship that uses electromagnetic energy to travel instantaneously through “space, air, and water.”
Shortly after they launched in October of last year, To the Stars got a lot of publicity by hiring a guy who used to run a government program focused on identifying possible alien threats, who then released declassified Navy videos showing a UFO flying around. That information was reported on by the New York Times, adding some serious legitimacy to an otherwise completely bonkers effort.
So a pretty good start for DeLonge’s “academy,” right? You might be forgiven for thinking that one year later they’re a successful company getting ready to launch their electromagnetic spaceship, but no, in fact as of today they are $37.4 million in debt. Yep. $37 million. I can’t even imagine what $37 million would look like, let alone how I might go about spending it in one year. That’s more than $3 million a month! That’s more than $100,000 a day! I mean I guess if I tried to build an impossible rocket ship, that might do it, but god damn.
Part of the trouble is probably the fact that aliens don’t exist, at least not in the way DeLonge envisions them, abducting people willy nilly and building the pyramids and sinking Atlantis and stuff. That’s the sort of issue that can immediately tank a business plan. I don’t care how good you are with money, your startup based on capturing a Leprechaun is probably not going to be afloat after a year or two.
The other problem was that not even alien abduction enthusiasts wanted to support To the Stars. It turns out that conspiracy theorists are a tough market to corner because the minute your organization gains any legitimacy, they suspect you of secretly being a deep state operative. These suspicions became so widespread that DeLonge’s co-author (of his many books about how aliens are real) Peter Levenda, gave a two-hour long lecture explaining to a UFO conference that Tom DeLonge is definitely not a deep state operative. This lecture apparently only served to turn deep state conspiracy theory “agnostics” into confirmed deep state conspiracy believers because apparently delivering a two-hour long lecture about how you’re not a deep state operative is exactly the sort of thing a deep state operative would do.
So yeah, a few months back To the Stars reported to the SEC that they are $37.4 million in debt and it’s not looking good for their continued existence. But maybe that’s just what they want us to think?