Tom Delonge has been speculating about aliens for years. According to Vulture, he quit Blink 182, the band he founded, years ago to "expose the truth about aliens," and he founded To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences "to advance society's understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications" — or, in simpler terms, to research UFOs and extraterrestrial life.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
To be clear, your friend and humble narrator does not wear a tinfoil hat, nor does this reporter believe the U.S. government is competent enough to keep proof of alien life secret from the American public. (Just remember, the same government that conspiracy theorists allege is keeping the truth about UFOs under wraps also runs the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.)
Yet a number of credible media outlets have reported that Navy pilots are increasingly reporting sightings of unidentified aircraft, and the service is taking them seriously for a change. Politico's Bryan Bender reported in April that the Navy was working on new guidelines for reporting such aircraft in the wake of increased sightings in military ranges and airspace.
Helene Cooper of the New York Times recently reported that Navy pilots saw a slew of unidentified aircraft in 2014 and 2015 while flying training missions off the East Coast. In fact, a pilot from Virginia Beach nearly collided with one of the unknown aircraft in late 2014.
The strange aircraft had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, the New York Times reported. They could fly up to 30,000 feet and they were able to loiter in the area of U.S. warships for 12 hours at high speeds.