Tom DeLonge's announcement of the To The Stars Academy Of Arts and Science was met with a mixed bag from the UFO community; supporters of DeLonge were on board and the announced initiative didn't sway any detractors.
After the last post about the initial reaction and what it all meant, some more news has surfaced and many looked a little deeper into TTS/AAS. Many blasted DeLonge for the lack of immediate disclosure, and compared this project to many failed, similar minded ventures from others in the past. This morning, DeLonge posted on Instagram announcing a weekly show that promises "real physical evidence straight from the U.S. government." Is this DeLonge and his camp bowing to the pressure and backlash from Wednesday's announcement that fell coincidentally, possibly strategically three years to the day he played his last show with blink-182, to provide that he actually has something to show? Was this part of the plan all along? We know he has teased being privy to certain classified information and has shot footage for a documentary that has yet to be released.
A criticism of all of this is why would government officials trust a punk rock musician, as knowledgeable as he is about the subject, with this information and then trust him to run his own wing "without restrictions from government priorities." Can they be using him for a slow, public disclosure or using him as a fall guy if this all fails? This is an easy out if the government is granting DeLonge this freedom; if he fails, he fails on his own and government can easily distance themselves. The idea of a slow disclosure that involves weaving fiction with non-fiction isn't a new idea, but it's time to stop pretending we as a public aren't ready yet for the truth. DeLonge should not be drinking the Kool-Aid on this idea.
Now, another thing that is problematic with all of this is the ability to "invest" in the TTS/AAS. The idea from TTS is that you can "invest" and be a part of the change and technological advances to better the world. The problem here is it isn't an investment, it is a donation. With the minimum investment of $200 you see nothing in return or hold any ownership yet, so the idea that it is an investment is misleading. Call it what it is, which is a donation or contribution, and you clear up the muddy waters here.
If DeLonge chose not to work the rest of his life he could likely live comfortably off his blink money, but would his fortune be enough to fund this project entirely by himself? Likely not, but no one knows his finances for a fact.
The offering circular offers some interesting looks into where the money actually goes, and it would be smart to read through it being hitting that invest button. For example, if they were to raise $50 million, $1.75 million of that budget would go to "durable inventory" that would include comic books and records. That is a little excessive. Also, in regards to the entertainment wing of TTA/ AAS, the circular lists Marvel, D.C and Lucas Films as competition, and no offense to "Poet Anderson," "Strange Times" and the fiction part of "Sekret Machines," but TTS isn't even close to sniffing those powerhouses in pop culture, comics and film.
The investment aspect rubs many the wrong way, but on the other side of that, if the money comes directly from the public to fund the research then on paper you have an organization free of government and corporate interests. Now, with all the corporate speak and business buzzwords circling the circular, it would be hard to fully champion this "by the people, for the people" aspect. Also, can Chris Mellon be trusted here or is he part of playing DeLonge and us like a pawn?
It would help if DeLonge spoke directly to the UFO community and not just via social media posts, controlled live streams, and select major press outlets. At some point, he's going to have to delegate a lot of the TTS responsibilities or have to expand the small TTS suburban San Diego operation to make all of his plans and properties work.
This has been a hot topic past few days, and will continue to be based on the high-profile names involved and all the hype perpetuated by DeLonge. The news of this show that promises hard evidence the UFO community is demanding from DeLonge is good, and makes the more questionable, corporate aspects of TTS/AAS a little more digestible at the moment.
We are (still) watching.
-By MIKE DAMANTE