Punk rocker and former front man for the band Blink-182 doesn’t just have a passion for music. He’s keenly interested in UFOs and has even started a business that specializes in books and entertainment media about unexplained phenomenon. Aired on May 6, 2016, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas. First of 2 parts.
On the main drag of an idyllic California beach town, nestled beside an organic cafe, sits an unpretentious storefront with the 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,” Tom DeLonge said. “We have people that travel across the world that want to come and kind of immerse themselves in what we do.”
What Tom DeLonge is doing these days is reinventing not only himself, but also the discombobulated world of UFO research. The business space of that effort is an ever-changing lineup of merchandise, space-themed T-shirts and books including “Sekret Machines,” which is the first of six already in the works.
And there are hints of more grandiose ambitions such as a full-length animated film. The overall theme is something akin to rock ‘n’ 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 UFO.
“But I didn’t walk off my last show. That was 100,000 people,” DeLonge said.
“I didn’t walk off that stage so I can go chase a monster down a rabbit hole and look like a fool. I’m not an idiot. You know, I’m dealing with something that’s much bigger than me. Much more complex. And frankly, it’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life. Even if it sounds like a tin foil hat little green men kind of conspiracy theory.”
DeLonge is still writing and producing music with his band Angels & Airwaves. But digital albums are just one part of a multimedia assault. Films, documentaries and books are all focused on a central theme.
“There is a theme, a lot of flying saucers in this place,” he said.
He invested in state of the art production equipment, hired a string of bestselling authors and has been meeting behind the scenes with the biggest names in Hollywood. DeLonge wants his company to become the Disney of UFOs.
Tom DeLonge: “You know the best works of art are when an artist really takes a risk to do something.”
George Knapp: “You could have continued on that road. You had other businesses in addition to making music that were successful, but you’ve really rolled the dice. I mean, this is a big gamble for you.”
Tom DeLonge: “Yeah, To The Stars. This entire operation is a big gamble. It’s kind of like we’ve never published books before. We never made films before.”
George Knapp: “Is it more of a business or a quest?”
Tom DeLonge: “This is a quest. This is an absolute quest. I mean, I haven’t made any money. Right now. It’s so new, you know, it’s this big grand investment.”
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 secrets. He started with defense contractors who operated for decades at Nevada’s Area 51 military base and later met with high-ranking military officials. DeLonge says they’ve opened up about the otherwise off limits subject.
“I think they really want us to know. I really do think they do,” DeLonge said. “I really do, at this point, feel like it’s going to be a tough thing to swallow for people and I think there’s elements about it, that people are not ready for.”