Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"To The Stars" Shares Its Misinformation with Italian Colleagues


On October 22, Tom DeLonge, founder of To The Stars Academy (TTSA, which has been the absolute center of UFO attention for the past year), posted the following enigmatic message to his Facebook page:
Tom DeLonge  October 22 at 7:17 AM ·

@tothestarsacademy has been invited into private meetings with a particular European Government on UFOs. I am on my way this morning to discuss some very interesting cooperation opportunities with a few International partners. :) #TECHNOLOGY #DATA #DISCLOSURE
Accompanying it was a photo of an airliner taken through the window of an airport terminal. Obviously, DeLonge was flying to Europe, and he wanted it to seem all mysterious. But the "mystery" was solved on the following day when he posted, "#ROME Any Italian fans here today? I’ll be walking around enjoying the amazing history."
Tom DeLonge does Rome.

It turns out that DeLonge's comment "@tothestarsacademy has been invited into private meetings with a particular European Government on UFOs" was quite disingenuous. In fact, TTSA's presentation was sponsored by the Italian UFO group CUN, which has been in existence since 1967. It is a private UFO group much like MUFON, and has no official government connections.

Before TTSA's presentation on October 27, a panel of Italian UFOlogists spoke, talking mostly about UFO history in fairly conventional terms. We hear about Project Blue Book, the UN UFO session, Carl Jung, J. Allen Hynek, Edward Ruppelt, etc. The whole session, almost four hours long, was recorded and posted to YouTube, unedited. (Approximately the first 30 minutes of the video are empty, waiting for the program to start.)
One of the slides of the Italian UFOlogists, offered with the hope of  'not offending anyone'(!). It's about SETI.
The guy standing says "Our latest technological discoveries notwithstanding, we have not yet received any
message. It's useless, there doesn't exist any civilization except us on earth."
Elizondo spoke first, to explain "why we are here." Unfortunately, "technical difficulties" prevented him from showing his slides, so he handed the microphone to DeLonge, to tell the story behind TTSA. DeLonge said,
"To The Stars has created a private company with a perpetual funding mechanism. We work with government partners to achieve the revolutionary change in mankind's destiny...[TTSA has] the first set of major motion pictures and television series in development... [also] a multi-year program plan to launch satellites into space with lasers.. and a robust program plan to achieve the engineering of the space-time metric, and most people people would call that 'anti-gravity'."
DeLonge did not explain exactly how, or when, these engineering miracles would be accomplished.

Elizondo finally got his slides to work, and continued with his version of UFO history. A full transcript of TTSA's comments has been prepared by UFO Joe (thanks, Joe!).

On October 27, UFO researcher Curt Collins posted to the Facebook page for his Blog Blue Blurry Lines that
       Elizondo claimed that this photo was "real."
(from Ray Palmer's magazine).
The Italian UFO group CUN hosted a presentation in Rome by Tom DeLonge on the TTSA, and Luis Elizondo on AATIP. Elizondo discussed the famous 1952 Washington, DC saucer event saying:
.
"In the early 1950s, the United States had another very significant event over our nation’s Capitol. Once again, these objects were identified both with the naked eye and again on radar, and unlike Roswell, many people had cameras and were able to take photographs. And what you see here are real photographs, along with the story - the headline story that came out."


Elizondo's picture is from the YouTube preview image for "UFO Sightings over Washington D.C. and The White House in 1952" by FindingUFO. It's a frame from a CGI-animated version of a picture of lens flares, and an image from an EC comic book found in the files Project Blue Book.

"Photo Fakery: Washington, DC Flying Saucers 1952," goes into detail on the history of this bogus UFO photo.
Other problems with Elizondo's presentation were quickly noted:
  • Elizondo presented a slide promoting the supposed UFO from STS-48, even suggesting that the Space Shuttle crew witnessed it. James Oberg has thoroughly debunked this claim, back in 1992
  • He also cited the supposed UFO from STS-80, which Oberg has also shown to be baseless
  • Elizondo showed a photo of a supposed "foo fighter" allegedly taken during World War II, which he said "was actually taken by a pilot in World War II.". It  is almost certainly a hoax, its provenance is unknown. No authentic photo of a supposed "foo fighter" is known to exist.
  • In Elizondo's overview of UFO history, he said, "later, in the 1940s, we had the Roswell incident. I’m not going to speculate in this room what crashed at Roswell. But those of you who are familiar with the world of intelligence, know that a military response is usually symmetrical to the incident. A crashed weather balloon does not usually merit the response of a colonel, several flat bed, military vehicles and an armed force." These claims are completely unsupported. There is no proof for the claim that "a colonel" was involved, or any military vehicles or guards.
  • In response to a question about alleged "force fields" surrounding supposed UFOs, Elizondo replied: "We can. In some cases if we know what to look for, we can actually see a distortion around these craft, surrounded it. We believe it’s a result of the propulsion that’s being used. In essence, an event horizon is created. Imagine a bubble being created around the vehicle and if you are bending space time in a localized area, one can expect electromagnetic energy to behave differently inside that event horizon than outside." This is preposterous. The so-called "glowing aura" (so named in the headline of the original New York Times story about TTSA) seen in the TicTac and Gimble UFO videos is simply a processing effect of the infrared imaging circuit. This was pointed out long ago, and it is amateurish to claim otherwise.
Elizondo's photo of supposed "foo fighters," almost certainly a hoax.
All along one frustration has been that TTSA has released little, if any, information about the cases they are promoting. But with this unedited two-hour-plus presentation by DeLonge and Luis Elizondo, we start to understand what is happening. Both DeLonge and Elizondo are Babes in the Woods when it comes to UFO claims. (We knew about DeLonge's UFO foolishness for quite some time, but until now we knew relatively little about Elizondo.) Neither of them has any real understanding of the difference between credible and non-credible sources of information concerning UFOs. Neither of them seems to have any "filter" for baseless UFO claims, and neither seems to understand the prevalence of misinformation in UFOology. (Indeed, Elizondo has previously boasted that he had purposely stayed away from reading UFO books, so as not to prejudice himself about it, meaning he knows practically nothing on the subject.)  They seem to believe every UFO claim they hear. The longtime Canadian UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski posted to the Facebook group UFO Updates, "I am more concerned every day that anyone affiliated with the TTSA has limited knowledge about the subject, beyond pop culture and sensational tabloid material." Indeed.

On October 28, DeLonge posted to Facebook,
Thank you to the Italian Government for the security you provided to me and my team all week, and thank you for having your AIR FORCE Generals, UNITED NATIONS Officials, INTELLIGENCE Operatives and VATICAN representatives attend the @tothestarsacademy briefing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and the ADVANCED AERIAL THREAT IDENTIFICATION THREAT PROGRAM here in Rome, Italy. It was my pleasure to represent the United States and start the international conversation here, in such a wonderful country. 
Here DeLonge sounds like a cross between Stephen Greer (claiming to need protection while presenting dramatic UFO revelations) and George Adamski (claiming to meet with VATICAN representatives). Let's hope that, assuming these distinguished persons actually were present, they realize that they've been fed a line of pure, old-fashioned amateurish UFO misinformation. They might as well be listening to Stanton Friedman. In fact, as much as it pains me to say this, I think that Friedman is more credible than DeLonge, however slightly. Friedman wouldn't fall for the Capitol Dome UFO photo, or the unsourced Foo Fighters one.




6 comments:

  1. The more thorough debunking of the STS-48 zig-zagger, an explanation extensively documented and fully endorsed by the flight crew and Mission Control experts [I was in the MCC for that mission, on a different shift] is here: http://www.jamesoberg.com/99purdue-48-speech.pdf

    As for STS-80, crewman Tom Jones discusses this video on his blog and invites anybody seriously interested in discussing it to join in. 'Believers' rarely show up and never stay long.
    https://skywalking1.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/did-ufos-visit-sts-80-columbia/

    Another STS-80 crewman, Story Musgrave [a UFO favorite quotee for believing there's ETI 'out there' but who makes clear he's never seen any indications locally], explains why he's sure the STS-80 dots were small particles shed by the shuttle itself: http://www.jamesoberg.com/musgrave.story_interviews.pdf
    and video transcript http://www.jamesoberg.com/musgrave_ramble.pdf


    [note - seems temp trouble with my website]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grazie Roberto! Eccellente!

    I always look forward to your "A Skeptic at the #### UFO Congress" posts every year.

    Hopefully, that's not something that only American skeptics do. Do you know of any of your Italian counterparts who might have attended and/or commented on last week's event in Rome?

    That would be an interesting perspective to have on TTSA.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elizondo has issued an update and a partial apology for the misinformation. He recently posted to TTSA's Facebook page,

    "Recently I provided a presentation to a small audience. While providing general background, I indicated that one particular slide contained real photographs of UAPs over Washington DC. It did not. The slide was intended to be illustrative but was presented as factual and with the help of a few individuals, I quickly realized the error. I acknowledge the misstatement and sent an immediate "mea culpa" note to my TTS Academy team and would like to share it with you."

    As if that one slide were his only problem. Elizondo claimed that the 1952 Washington, DC event was witnessed and photographed by large numbers of people. Not true, there waere no civilian reports associated with it.

    No to mention all of the other problems in Elizondo's talk, mentioned above.

    https://www.facebook.com/TTSAcademy/?__tn__=kCH-R&eid=ARD-eMqhLx56WQ4A-GPFZp5lWYaLmACLdgmo3-_qyU19DKO4Z3NKSsuDc9-spOxIbGMN_9v2C47LxcA6&hc_ref=ARTEYuI0v69gbZdzCuLJFH9eAx5sb7KYjTNIGxkM206J-5lcD6H66M4KfsIJruBO3So&fref=nf

    ReplyDelete
  4. So in other words, this "project" of his has run out of gullible Americans to dupe so he's taking his chances to try and get some $$ funding from Europe. I suppose France will be next on his scrounge list? Good joke, Tom. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Italy is indeed "such a wonderful country". It produced two famous mathematicians in the 16th century who first solved the cubic and quartic equation. It also produced some magnificent renaissance painters at about that time. Let us also not forget the guy who discovered America. So, despite his various 'terminological inexactitudes' let us give Mr de Longe credit for something he got right.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @cda: I whole-heartedly agree that Italy has given the world some of the greatest art, designs and engineering. However, with all due respect, Tom DeLonge is like a broken clock. Its also correct twice a day.

    ReplyDelete

Keep your comments relevant, and keep them civil! That means no personal attacks will be allowed, by anyone, on anyone. Commenters are welcome to disagree with me, or with other comments, but state your arguments using logic, and with a civil tone. Comments in violation of these rules will be deleted, and offenders banned.

Comments should be in English, although quotes from foreign-language sources are fine as long as they're relevant, and you explain them. Anonymous postings are not permitted. If you don't want to use your real name, then make up a name for yourself, and use it consistently.