This article originally appeared on VICE US.
In late July, Motherboard reported that former Blink 182 guitarist Tom DeLonge’s UFO research company To the Stars was in possession of exotic metamaterials that, according to the company, were from an unidentified flying object. According to To the Stars’s September filings with the Securities Exchange Commission, it turns out those little bits of metal cost the company a cool $35,000 (£28,378).
The UFO community has, for seven decades, been actively debating the existence of physical debris from unidentified flying objects. In 2017, the New York Times ran an article about a secret Pentagon UFO program known as the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.” The article noted that aerospace billionaire Robert Bigelow, whose interest in UFOs is no secret, modified buildings to house “metal alloys and other materials…that [allegedly] had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena.” DeLonge's To the Stars Academy, a UFO research organization, announced in July that it had acquired some exotic materials, though it's not clear whether they are the same ones referenced in the NY Times article.
On a blog post earlier this week, author and prolific UFO researcher Keith Basterfield posted links to the most recent SEC filings for To the Stars . Dated September 29th, the financial documents include an asset purchase agreement related to the sale of “metal pieces.” To the Stars Academy is listed as the “Buyer” and company CEO Thomas DeLonge is listed as the “Seller.” The price is $35,000. The filings say that a physicist employed by To the Stars named Hal Puthoff is analyzing the metals.
According to the document, the purchased assets are:
“(i) One 1.75” x 1.25” x 0.25” piece of micron-layered Bismuth/Magnesium-Zinc metal; (ii) six pieces of Bismuth/Magnesium-Zinc metal; (iii) one piece of Aluminum that TTSA physicist Hal Puthoff already in his possession that is currently on loan from Seller; and (iv) one round black and silver metal flake that physicist Puthoff already has in his possession currently on loan from Seller (collectively, the “Metal Pieces”).”
In a statement to Motherboard, Dr. Hal Puthoff did confirm that he was in possession of the materials in question, however, he would not comment on the sale itself. To the Stars did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this article’s publication.
The agreement also listed the sale of “one Binder archive containing records, documents, correspondence, analyses, tests and test results relating or referring to the Metal Pieces or evidencing or supporting the ownership and rights of Seller relating thereto (the “Binder Archive and Documentation”).”
“The ownership of these assets, which were previously retained and studied by investigative journalist Linda Moulton Howe and are reported to have come from an advanced aerospace vehicle of unknown origin, allows TTSA to conduct rigorous scientific evaluations to determine its function and possible applications,” stated a July 25th press release from To the Stars Academy.
Howe, a popular lecturer, journalist, and UFO researcher, acquired these metals from the late Coast to Coast AM host Art Bell. Like a story out of a spy thriller, Bell allegedly received these metals from an anonymous source. In 2004, she gave a presentation at the Xcon Conference regarding these materials. In her lecture, a video of which has been on the internet for years, she suggests that the material could become a “lifting body” with the right amount of electromagnetic static and certain RF frequency. These are undoubtedly the same materials mentioned by DeLonge on his Joe Rogan interview where he stated, “if you hit it with enough terahertz, it’ll float.”
It is unknown if Howe sold or donated the materials to Tom DeLonge. Neither DeLonge nor Howe responded to requests for comment at the time of publication. Some are critical of this recent acquisition, especially since no evidence has yet been released to the public supporting the claim that these materials are otherworldly in origin.
“I'd say that the chances of it being important scientifically are extremely slim. On top of that, it may not be much more than a piece of slag from an industrial process, for instance it has been suggested this may be from the Betterton-Kroll process,” Dr. Chris Cogswell, who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and hosts the Mad Scientist Podcast, told Motherboard.
With Bismuth selling at roughly $40 per kilogram and magnesium at $10 per kilogram, the metal pieces would have to be huge in size to be worth the $35k price tag. As the SEC document notes, they are not large. Cogswell suggests that the “monetary value comes from, especially given the risk of it being nothing, faith in the materials’ history.”