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Crowdfunding New (Extraterrestrial?) Technologies
Posted On November 21, 2017
Tom DeLonge, famous for his former role in the band Blink-182, just launched a new multimedia production company, To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTS Academy). It aims to “educate and inspire curiosity in scientific possibilities through various media formats like film, television, books, music and art.”

There are at least two unusual things about this production company. First, it is crowdfunded. For a minimum buy-in of $200, investors can own about 40 shares of the company. Find details here, in its Sept. 29 offering circular. TTS Academy is taking advantage of the recent Security and Exchange Commission rules regarding crowdfunding for investors and promoting its organization as a Public Benefit Corporation.

Second, its ultimate aim is to fund the development of advanced technology that DeLonge and his team say have origins with advanced non-terrestrial lifeforms. “We believe … there is sufficient credible evidence of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena that proves exotic technologies exist that could revolutionize the human experience,” the company’s Overview states.

This is a novel model for a new media company, but the claims of alien technology require further analysis. Why should investors believe the team’s claims about the existence of advanced aerial craft, never mind the source of such alleged technologies? Who are the members of the team, and what makes them credible? And given all of the above, there remains still to analyze TTS Academy’s interpretation of these revelations and its predictions for how the release of these advanced technologies might affect the world.

The Team

TTS Academy’s team for the announcement of the company’s launch consisted of DeLonge, Jim Semivan, Hal Puthoff, Steve Justice, Luis Elizondo, and Chris Mellon. Finding out about these men and their credentials would seem to be as easy as believing their bio-blurbs on the TTS Academy marketing materials. But any good information professional would know to look a little more closely.

Jim Semivan is the co-founder of TTS Academy, and the name “James Semivan” does appear in a 1997 Foreign Services document. Hal Puthoff’s name appears in a number of places over the last few decades—including declassified CIA documents detailing experiments with psychic warfare and an array of peer-reviewed research publications (sometimes on “zero-point energy” and on other controversial areas of inquiry). Steve Justice does indeed appear to have been director for advanced systems development at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility. Christopher Mellon was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence.

The team has since grown to include several more prominent businesspeople, government consultants, and academics, such as Adele Gilpin, founder of a biomedical company, and Stanford University’s Garry Nolan.

There are some serious people associated with TTS Academy, and for some reason, they are willing to risk their reputations to be part of it.

The Tech

The technology claims are so far just that—claims without demonstration. TTS Academy intends to “develop exotic aerospace technologies involving forward-thinking physics principles that complement present-day technologies with application from new areas of research.” On The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, DeLonge said that advanced technology had been harnessed from extraterrestrials and was being developed by corporations and governments. He said he has seen advanced materials that appear to behave in ways that are in conflict with what we understand about gravity.

TTS Academy’s Science Division has the goal of developing four emphases around various themes of as-yet-unrealized technology:

  • Human ultra-experience database—Develop a world-wide digital database cataloguing different types of supranormal experiences, with the goal of creating proprietary algorithms to find detailed patterns and correlate them with other academic research.
  • Brain-computer interface technology—Explore new approaches for the use of sophisticated technologies to promote direct brain to computer interfaces.
  • Engineering the space-time metric—Develop next-generation aerospace propulsion technologies, using a concept referred to as metric engineering, which uses advanced math modelling techniques, providing a technology base to the Aerospace Division for future products.
  • Telepathy—Explore the location in the brain where this phenomenon is centered, and develop protocols for its enhancement and use.

TTS Academy’s Aerospace Division, headed by Justice, has detailed plans to use experimental data developed by the Science Division to design and build hardware. As Justice put it in a Nov. 10 Updates post:

The organization is structured to be the central technology and program development arm for TTS Academy. It is composed of three groups:

  1. Concept Definition—harvest technologies and information from the Science Division for maturation efforts (lab demonstrations and prototyping)
  2. Product Realization—transition prototypes to production operational systems
  3. Operations—support for fielded production systems

He continues, “While we evaluate and expand our understanding of breakthrough physics for advanced propulsion, we also expect near-term, demonstrated progress in advancing technology. We are building plans for experiments with exotic materials and beamed energy propulsion systems.”

Justice sounds ready to roll, but the rest of us will have to wait and watch. Scientists will have to scrutinize and criticize and synthesize and reproduce any results in order for them to be taken seriously. The technology end of this endeavor has a lot of work to do to show us that this is not all just an elaborate celebrity stunt.

The Paradigm Shift

DeLonge and his team say that TTS Academy’s revelations will cause numerous positive changes in our society, such as extremely efficient forms of energy production and leaps in transportation technology that will allow us to travel interstellar distances.

Their assertions are interesting, especially considering the experience and gravitas of some of the team members, but we can only evaluate them as opinions until more of the technological secrets that they claim to have access to are revealed to the scientific community for transparent experimentation and peer review. Even then, there is no reliable linear prediction model for the way technology—whether engineered by ancient alien civilizations or by punk kids starting a computer hacker and DIY media organization in West Texas—affects culture.

As William Gibson put it, “The street finds its own uses for things.” Grand plans often get hijacked by real-world circumstances.  

Hey, sister, can you Uber me a starship?

Woody Evans (@quarrywork) is a librarian from Mississippi who now lives in Texas. A longtime contributor to NewsBreaks and Information Today, his work has also appeared in JukedMondo 2000, Boing Boing, Motherboard, American Libraries, and others. He is the author of Building Library 3.0 and Information Dynamics in Virtual Worlds, one of which is aging well. For fun and pain he rows and meditates. 

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