"Something extraordinary is about to be revealed" wrote Leslie Kean in an article today in the Huffington Post. This type of breathless anticipation of a revelation runs through all of conspiracy culture. Chemtrail promoters are constantly saying how the government is at the point of admitting to covert geoengineering. 9/11 Truthers are constant on the verge of finding the definitive whistle blower. And people who think the government is covering up knowledge of encounters with aliens (or alien technology) are constant operating with the sense that "disclosure" is just around the corner.
But nothing ever happens.
Kean starts out strong, with an exciting headline. "Inside Knowledge About Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Could Lead To World-Changing Technology", which is the sort of thing that's literally true - like if we found out how alien spacecraft worked (or just got a good look at one) then it would likely yield useful science. But it a tautology that's basically meaningless if there is no actual data to study.
She then gets to what this is actually about:
Basically DeLonge is a UFO enthusiast, and probably a big reader of science fiction. He believes the government is hiding alien technology and has fallen for the allure of impending "disclosure". Given that he's moderately rich and famous he figures he can spend some of his money and use his celebrity status to push this along. So he set up this company "To The Stars", thinking that it's such a popular topic that he can advance the cause of disclosure while making money by developing warp drives, making documentaries and selling merchandise. So far he's sunk over $600,000 into it, but does not yet seem to have made any significant income. He has been in talks with people like Netflix, Amazon and VICE though, which is likely where the money will be.
He has gathered a following, after all who would not want to be part of a well funded company with aims like this:
"Steve" there is Steve Justice, the Director of the Aerospace Division of DeLonge's TTS. There's a lot of similarly impressively titled corporate officers with similarly impressive goals for the technology that's about to be somehow handed just to them. "Engineering Space-Time" might be about the most impressive though, behind telepathy. Although "consciousness" might be up there, depending on what it means.
It's hard to take this seriously, as it all seems to be on the boundary between fantasy and reality - between science fiction and actual science. Mostly though it all just seems like wishful thinking.
People want to believe. People like me who read science fiction want to have visits from aliens, we want to colonize the planets, we want to develop warp drives, we want flying cars. But it's easy to slip from wanting things to assuming that those things are just around the corner, even being deliberately withheld by the government for some unknown reason.
When enough people make that mental slip it becomes a self-reinforcing phenomena amongst those prone to this type of thinking. The primary source of evidence becomes the sheer number of people who believe it is true. Kean talking to Steve Justice:
Of course we can apply this "so many smart, credible people" to all kinds of topics - 9/11 Truth for example has various organizations of engineers and scientists who think they have evidence that the WTC towers were destroyed by controlled demolition. Lots of "smart credible people" think man-made climate change is a hoax, lots more have seen ghosts, think you can run a car on water, talked to God, and been abducted by aliens. You can find a small percentage of smart people who will back just about any idea - the real challenge is to get actual evidence.
Unfortunately though this fallacy of group authority seems to work. People believe in 9/11 Truth because a small percentage of a huge group is still a lot of people, and a lot of people can seem like everyone believes, if those people are the one you spend most of your time conversing with on the topic.
So why am I writing this the day before the big disclosure? Largely because I don't think it's going to be a big disclosure. It's going to be the announcement of some project that's largely a continuation of their stated goals. Maybe with some new retired guy who wants to share his story about strange lights in the sky he saw in the 1960s. But there's going to be no real meat, no disclosure. More specifically I think that Kean's claim that "Something extraordinary is about to be revealed" is false.
I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong, we'll see tomorrow.
Sci-fi fans are going colonize the solar system, and maybe beyond. But it's not going to be these folk who expect some kind of magical bounty from mythical alien technology for which there is no real evidence. It's going to be more pragmatic folk building upon real science. Tom DeLonge will not take us to the stars, but Elon Musk just might.
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