2020 has been a pivotal year for many reasons. COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests and the 2020 election have dominated the American news cycle, but one big story which has gone under the radar (ironically) is the topic of UFOs.

The subject of UFOs (and former blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge’s research of such aerial phenomena) has become increasingly compelling over the years.

DeLonge’s organization, To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, famously published viral UFO videos — Gimbal, Go Fast and FLIR1 — to YouTube in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the U.S. Navy officially acknowledged the videos, categorizing “the phenomena contained/depicted” in all three clips as “unidentified” rather than attempting to classify the objects as drones or weather balloons, etc. More so, the videos were officially published in 2020 by the Navy, who confirmed the clips were “original, unaltered, and not computer generated or artificially fabricated.”

To The Stars scored the government nod as a win, as DeLonge did yesterday (Oct. 12) when former U.S. Sen.Harry Reid went on record to claim the government is covering up crucial UFO evidence.

“Why the federal government all these years has covered up, put brake pads on everything, stopped it, I think it’s very, very bad for our country,” Reid says in a new documentary The Phenomenon. When asked by director James Fox if “some evidence” hasn’t yet seen the light of day, Reid responds, “I’m saying most of it hasn’t seen the light of day.”

This begs the question: Has Tom DeLonge been right this whole time?

To be clear, 'UFO' doesn’t necessarily mean aliens, it simply references the term’s actual definition — Unidentified Flying Object. Scientists have put forth detailed arguments in an attempt to debunk the famous UFO clips, but for DeLonge, his overall argument ventures beyond a few mysterious videos.

In 2019, To The Stars claimed that materials “not from any known existing military or commercial application” existed on Earth. A photo of a cloth-like substance was posted by To The Stars' Twitter with a promise to continue researching the mystery material.

Though many ignored or laughed off the report, a similar subject received national attention in 2020 when astrophysicist Eric Davis spoke about his time investigating UFOs for the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program at the Department of Defense. Davis, who now works for defense contractors Aerospace Corporation, claimed the AATIP retrieved materials from “off-world vehicles not made on this earth,” adding that after personally examining said materials, he concluded humans could not have made them.

In June 2020, a new program called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force was officially detailed during a United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing.

These developments have arguably left us with more questions than answers, but at the tail end of the 2010s, polling company Gallup decided to directly ask Americans about UFOs for the first time in a decade. They found that 60 percent of those polled believed that UFO sightings could be explained by human activity or natural phenomena.

However, 33 percent said they believed UFO sightings could be attributed to visits from extraterrestrial life. In America’s West, the number was as high as 40 percent, balancing out a lesser crop of believers (27 percent) in the Midwest. These numbers are still down from a Gallup poll taken in 1973, when 51 percent of Americans expressed a belief in UFOs.

When Gallup asked Americans if they believed the U.S. government know more about UFOs than they've told us, the number of skeptics actually increased since 1996. 29 percent of those polled in 2019 said “no” outright, while just 19 percent gave that same answer 23 years earlier. Of course, the developments of 2020 may shift the next Gallup poll, whenever that may be.

Tom DeLonge famously wrote “Alien’s Exist” from blink-182’s massive 1999 breakout album, Enema of the State. He sang lines like “What if people knew that these were real” and “I wish someone would tell me what was right” long before dedicating his life to those very premises. Sure, DeLonge used to look for Bigfoot on blink-182 tours and has possibly stretched the truth about recent communication with his former bandmates, but some of his UFO work has proved to be more compelling than most (Loudwire included) gave him credit for.

Whether Tom DeLonge's alien theories are proven correct or every bit of UFO evidence is scientifically debunked, recent developments should earn the pop-punk guitarist one vital bit of respect — his efforts should be taken seriously.

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