The U.S. Army has confirmed that it has signed a cooperative research deal with former Blink 182 frontman Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, more commonly known as TTSA. Far better known for its activities investigating reports and sightings of UFOs, which are increasingly referred to as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, this new agreement covers research into metamaterials and other high technology fields that border on the realm of science fiction.
On Oct. 17, 2019, TTSA announced the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), which is now part of that service's Futures Command. The public affairs office at CCDC's Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC), situated at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, subsequently confirmed to The War Zone that this CRADA exists and that it will be responsible for executing it.
CRADAs are unlike typical contracts and "no money exchanging hands at all" between the Army and TTSA under this present agreement, a public affairs officer at the GVSC told The War Zone. There is also "no articulated deliverable" and if a product comes out of this process, it will most likely be a written study or another similar type of report.
The ostensible goal is for Army researchers to work directly with individuals from TTSA in exploring various high technology developments, sharing resources, and any results. "TTSA’s technology solutions, which leverage developments in material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage, have the potential to enhance survivability and effectiveness of multiple Army systems," TTSA's own press release says.
TTSA bills itself as a "revolutionary collaboration between academia, industry and pop culture to advance society’s understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications." It also has an Entertainment Division that publishes works of fiction about UFOs and the paranormal, serves as the holder of intellectual property rights related to DeLonge's new band, Angels & Airwaves, and is responsible for merchandising associated with all of these enterprises. The actual origins of the organization are murky, to say the least.
"Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities," Dr. Joseph Cannon, the Deputy Product Manager for Science and Technology in the Vehicle Protection Systems division of GVSC, said in a statement. "At the Army's Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming."
This reference to "novel materials" strongly suggests that at least part of the CRADA is concerned with metamaterials. This term refers to engineered composites that have properties that do not appear in nature. It is the structure of these new materials, more than their composition that gives them these attributes, including the ability to have unique impacts on electromagnetic waves.
"This cooperative research agreement brings additional, critically important expertise that is necessary to advance the state-of-the-art in both our near and long-term technology areas of study," Steve Justice, TTSA's Chief Operating Officer and director of the organization's Aerospace Division, who previously held the same title at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works advanced design bureau, added in his own statement. "While the Army has specific military performance interests in the research, much of the work is expected to have dual-use application in support of TTSA’s path to commercialization and public benefit mission."
Though the Army, as well as the U.S. military as a whole, are certainly interested in advanced and novel materials, including metamaterials, for a wide variety of applications, along with the other technologies mentioned, it is entirely unclear what TTSA has actually offered to share with the service through this CRADA. TTSA, which The War Zone has been following extremely closely, has not publicly said that it has actually developed any advanced technology for any purpose from what we can tell and it is unclear what institutional experience the organization may have with this kind of work.
However, we do know that in 2018, TTSA revealed that it had "entered into two statements of work with EarthTech International, Inc. ('ETI') to prepare plans, perform scientific analysis and advise the company on materials analysis ('SOW-MSSA') and beamed energy propulsion launch systems ('SOW-BELS')," in a semi-annual financial report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). TTSA planned to pay ETI no more than $35,000 and $25,000 for these projects, respectively. The organization notably touted its work in both of these areas in the press release about the Army CRADA.
"We are in the process of evaluating and planning projects in the Aerospace and Science Divisions, in particular regarding materials, an essential precursor to STME [Space Time Metric Engineering], and Beamed Energy Propulsion Launch Systems ('BELS')," the same SEC report claimed. When it comes to novel materials, ETI's job was to "prepare a plan and advise on the collection and scientific evaluation of materials samples the company obtained through reliable reports of advanced aerospace vehicles of unknown origin."
In July 2019, TTSA announced that it had acquired unspecified metamaterials as part of its Acquisition and Data Analysis of Materials program, or ADAM. The organization had already previously claimed to have obtained a number of unknown "samples" as part of that effort, which officially began last year. The new items in question, purportedly from "an advanced aerospace vehicle of unknown origin," have been floating around the UFO community for years after the late Art Bell, who had been the host of the paranormal radio program Coast to Coast AM, first claimed he had acquired them from an anonymous source. Bell died on April 13, 2018.
How they got from Bell to TTSA isn't entirely clear. TTSA initially implied it had acquired them from Linda Moulton Howe, who has written extensively about and reported on UFOs and other conspiracy theories, including the various purported activities at the notorious Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, for decades. A 2019 SEC report, however, said that Tom DeLonge, as an individual, had sold them to the organization for $35,000. It doesn't say if DeLonge had gotten them straight from Howe or through someone else.
It is unclear if this $35,000 was related to the funds previously set aside for ETI's work on metamaterials. The 2019 SEC filing had also described the items in question as "Bismuth/Magnesium-Zinc metal" and "Aluminum," raising questions about just what TTSA had actually purchased.
Earlier this month, Luis Elizondo, TTSA's Director of Global Security & Special Programs, went on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and said that the organization was already conducting tests on these objects. Reports in the past have identified Elizondo as the head of the U.S. Military's still-murky Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) program, which explored various UAP sightings, but subsequent information has called his exact relationship to the program into question.
It is also worth noting that the 2018 SEC filing said that TTSA's Aerospace Division Director, Justice, who is now managing the organization's end of the CRADA with the Army, was also supposed to be monitoring ETI's performance on the materials analysis and beamed energy propulsion projects. ETI's founder and current company President is Harold "Hal" Puthoff, Ph.D, who is also TTSA's Vice President Science & Technology.
Puthoff is well known for conducting work into the paranormal under contract to the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, including on remote viewing, during the 1970s and 1980s. He also has connections to the now-defunct National Institute for Discovery Science, or NIDSci, which explored things such as UFO sightings, extraterrestrials, and other fringe topics, including Skinwalker Ranch. Nevada real estate mogul and hotelier Robert Bigelow, also renowned for his interest in UFOs and paranormal phenomena, was NIDSci's founder. Bigelow had also bought Skinwalker Ranch, using it for a time as a sort of paranormal research laboratory, but sold it, at least publicly, to a company called Adamantium Holdings in 2016.
Bigelow Aerospace notably conducted work under contract for AATIP's predecessor, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP). It has since emerged that AAWSAP, via Bigelow Aerospace, had overseen the production of numerous written study reports on advanced technology, including virtually all of the topics mentioned in the TTSA press release regarding the CRADA. ETI received contracts to write reports under the AAWSAP program, with Puthoff and Eric Davis, Ph.D., another company employee, authoring them, something The War Zone has covered in detail in the past. Some of the reports that have emerged publicly so far are little more than literature reviews and at least one was on a topic that a major scientific body advising the U.S. government had already deemed to be junk science.
So, is the Army going to be working with TTSA to investigate the properties of the metamaterials it claims to have acquired over the years, including from purported UFOs, and whether they may have any potential U.S. military applications? It's unfortunately hard to say for sure at this point, though there are certainly indications that this is the case.
It's true that the Army is getting this cooperation for free, but we still don't know the motivations behind it or what the service thinks TTSA actually has to offer. It does come at a time when the U.S. Navy has also been sponsoring seemingly fantastical patent applications for inventions such as compact fusion reactors and room temperature superconductors. DeLonge has his own curious and somewhat unexplained connections to the U.S. government and TTSA is made up of a curious group of decorated insiders from the military-industrial complex and the intelligence services.
In addition, it certainly helps raise the profile of Tom DeLonge's organization, which was also at the center of a major History Channel mini-series called "Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation," earlier this year. For years now, the organization has been trying to raise millions of dollars in investments. In July they circulated an announcement about a new round of stock offers worth up to $30 million in total.
We have already reached out to the Army to hopefully get more information about this cooperative deal with TTSA and just what it is looking to actually get out of it.
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