However, it is beyond dispute what role DeLonge played in moving UFOs into the realm of more serious discussion. When DeLonge started To the Stars Academy five years ago, he began assembling a team of advisors much like the group that Bigelow had brought together two decades ago that had connections in the shady niches of the national security agencies to uncover new information, to prove his theories. In some cases it was exactly the same people.
“From day one I thought I needed round table knights,” DeLonge said. “I needed a whole Camelot of scholars and each of them had a different piece that really helped me. It was the military, it was intelligence, it was technology. It was an executive. “
One of the first people DeLonge recruited as vice president of the Academy of Science and Technology was Puthoff, the former Stanford engineer who conducted experiments for the CIA in the 1970s. After NIDS closed in 2004, Puthoff became a top advisor to Bigelow Aerospace, which over time became the prime contractor for Reid’s secret Pentagon program. On behalf of Bigelow, Puthoff Commissioned 38 technical reports valued at $ 22 millionwith science fiction-like titles like “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 told me recently in a telephone interview from Austin, Texas, where he runs a consulting firm EarthTech International. “On the other hand, we know a lot, even if it’s not public.”
Another of DeLonge’s recruits was Jim Semivan, who retired in 2007 after 25 years in the CIA’s intelligence agency and helped spy on opponents such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Semivan met DeLonge through Alexander, the army officer who helped start NIDS with Bigelow. Semivan says he didn’t play an official role in studying UFOs for the government. “But I’ve come across a lot of things that were very strange.” He also told me that he had a UFO encounter with his wife that he never spoke about publicly.
Semivan wrote the introduction to DeLonge’s book Secret Machines: Chasing Shadows, The first volume in a series that DeLonge released in 2016. “UAPs are real. The phenomenon is real, ”wrote Semivan. “There is no way to deny or refute all of the evidence gathered over the past few decades. But what exactly is the phenomenon? ”
“Nobody knows what the real story is,” said Semivan, vice president of operations for DeLonge’s company. “Everyone is in the dark about it.”
DeLonge also hired Steve Justice, an aerospace engineer who had spent decades overseeing classified development programs at Lockheed Martin’s famous Skunk Works. Over the years colleagues of engineers and other colleagues respected in the monastic world of the Pentagon’s “black” programs shared their experiences with UFO sightings – “some people I would trust my life to see saw something they did couldn’t explain. “But he told me that he remained doubtful:” I was in that category in the Eyeroll category. ”
In the mid-1990s, after the Skunk Works moved to Palmdale from their original 320-acre site in Burbank, Justice took it upon himself to become their unofficial historian. During the move, he recalled, 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 one memo stapled together from the 1950s,” Justice said. “It was titled,” Certain Lockheed personnel sighted an unidentified object. “So I flipped it open. The first page is a memo from Kelly Johnson to someone at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that said,” Some of us saw this and wanted to send it to you if it is of interest. “It was several pages from Kelly Johnson, where he was at his ranch and saw something and sketched it.”
There were other eyewitnesses as well. “What I found really interesting was that there were about three memos written by members of his flight test team [flying] in a constellation and they say the same thing as Kelly, ”said Justice. “Each of them noticed that they were skeptical and they had to go back and think about it a little more because they couldn’t explain what they were seeing.”