But there is no doubt about DeLonge’s role in moving UFOs into the realm of more serious discussion. When DeLonge created To the Stars Academy five years ago, he began to assemble a team of consultants much like the group Bigelow had assembled some 20 years ago, who had ties in the dark recesses of agencies. security forces needed to unearth new information to help prove his theories. In some cases, it was exactly the same people.
“From day one, I thought I needed Knights of the Round Table,” DeLonge told me. “I needed a whole Camelot of Scholars and each of them had a different room that really helped me. It was the army, it was intelligence, it was engineering. It was the executive branch.
One of the first people DeLonge recruited as the academy’s vice president for science and technology was Puthoff, the former Stanford engineer who had conducted experiments in the 1970s for the CIA. After the closure of NIDS in 2004, Puthoff became one of Bigelow Aerospace’s top consultants, which over time became the prime contractor for Reid’s secret Pentagon program. On Bigelow’s behalf, Puthoff commissioned 38 technical reports, worth a total of $ 22 million, with sci-fi-style titles such as “Warp Drive, Dark Energy and The Manipulation of Extra Dimensions” and “Traversable Wormholes. , Stargates and Negative Energy “. ”
“There’s a lot we don’t know,” Puthoff recently told me in a phone interview from Austin, Texas, where he runs a consulting firm EarthTech International. “But on the other hand, there is a lot that we do know, even though it’s not public.”
Another of DeLonge’s recruits was Jim Semivan, who retired in 2007 after 25 years in the CIA’s underground service, where he helped spy on adversaries such as Russia, China, North Korea and the ‘Iran. Semivan met DeLonge through Alexander, the army officer who helped found NIDS with Bigelow. Semivan says he had no official role in studying UFOs for the government, “but I encountered a lot of things that were very strange.” He also told me that he had an encounter with his wife with a UFO which he had never discussed publicly.
Semivan wrote the introduction to DeLonge’s book Sekret Machines: Chase Shadows, the first volume in a series published by DeLonge in 2016. “PANs are real. The phenomenon is real, ”Semivan wrote. “There is no way to deny or refute all of the evidence accumulated in the last few decades alone. But what exactly is the Phenomenon?
“Nobody knows what the real story is,” Semivan, who is vice president of operations at DeLonge, told me. “Everyone is in the dark about this. “
DeLonge also enlisted Steve Justice, an aerospace engineer who had spent decades overseeing classified development programs at Lockheed Martin’s famed Skunk Works. Over the years, fellow engineers and other respected colleagues by Justice in the cloistered world of the Pentagon’s “black” programs have shared with him their experiences with UFO sightings – “some people I would trust my life to who saw something they couldn’t explain. ” But he told me he was skeptical: “I was in the eye-roll category on this. ”
Then, in the mid-90s, after Skunk Works moved from its original 320-acre location in Burbank to Palmdale, Justice decided to become its unofficial historian. During the move, he recalls, he came across files from the late Clarence Leonard “Kelly” Johnson, a legendary aeronautical engineer who had helped design the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71 Blackbird.
“There was this memo stapled together, dated to the 1950s,” Justice said. “It was titled something like ‘sighting of unidentified flying object by some Lockheed staff.’ So I opened it. The front page is a memo from Kelly Johnson to someone, I believe, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, saying “Some of us saw this, wanted to send it to you in case you are interested.” It was several pages from Kelly Johnson where he was at his ranch and had saw something and drew sketches of it.
There were also other eyewitnesses. “What I found really interesting was that there were about three memos written by members of his flight test team, which were [flying] in a constellation and they say the same thing Kelly did, ”Justice said. “Each of them kind of noted that he was skeptical about it and had to go back and think about it a little more because he couldn’t explain what he had seen.”