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Is To The Stars Academy Another UFO Community Scam?

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Is To The Stars Academy Another UFO Community Scam?

Ever since the 1970’s, there’s been a group of individuals seeking to financially exploit the UFO community.  Most of these individuals have been identified and even named as members of a strange group known as The Aviary.

Today, there is a relatively new organization called To The Stars Academy (known as TTSA within UFO circles), but it is nothing more than those same people wearing a new mask.

What Is To The Stars Academy?

In 2017, we reported that Tom Delonge, one of the founding members of the rock band  Blink-182, had gotten sucked deep into the dark world of Ufology. He’d gotten sucked in so deep, in fact, that he left Blink-182 in 2015.

Tom Delonge has fallen completely off the deep end. This isn’t a personal attack. It’s a fact supported by evidence. Exhibit A is an Instagram post Delonge made in 2016 where he claimed he had come upon a “sekret meeting” of high-level, powerful people, at a restaurant.

Delonge claimed that this group of individuals were waiting for him to arrive in order to have a secret meeting to discuss UFOs.

He implied that the elderly gentleman with his back to the camera was in fact Bill Clinton.

The problem was that the claim was eventually exposed as an outright lie.

At the time and date marked on the photograph, Bill Clinton was actually preoccupied in Philadelphia in a celebration for his wife’s presidential nomination.

The person with their back to the camera also looks nothing like Bill Clinton. The back hairline is too low, the hairstyle isn’t a match, and the earlobes are far too large.

Once people started realizing that Delonge’s claim was in fact an outright lie, he deleted the photo from Instagram.

The only difference between Tom Delonge and any other person sucked a little too deeply into the unsupported belief that the explanation for UFOs is aliens, is that Delonge happens to have some notoriety thanks to his musical career.

Aviary Members Love Crazy Notoriety

Notoriety usually equates to a very large bank account. And it’s this that specific members of “The Aviary” are interested in. There is no other person who has been so persistent in pursuing well-funded people who’ve fallen off the Ufology deep end, as Harold Puthoff.

Harold “Hal” Puthoff’s one claim to fame is that he was recruited in the 1970’s and 1980’s by the U.S. Government to scientifically explore the phenomenon of human psychic ability.

Hal Puthoff’s “Government Work”

The government “credentials” touted throughout TTSA’s promotional video are mostly over-inflations of the truth, or outright lies.

In the case of Hal, his “government research” amounted to various agencies in the government at the time – the CIA and DoD – staffed by individuals who were convinced human telepathic abilies could be harnessed as a weapon.

I won’t dive deeply here into the entire history behind The Star Gate Project or the Remote viewing research. We’ve previously detailed how and why that government remote viewing work failed miserably. You can see how crazy these individuals were just by watching the movie The Men Who Stare At Goats.

The movie details what was frankly one of the most embarrassing eras of U.S. Government scientific inquiry.

Without naming them specifically, the movie describes the efforts of individuals like John Alexander, Uri Geller, Christopher Green, Ed Dames, and probably the most insane one of them all – Major General Albert Stubblebine.

The movie shows grown men trying (and failing) to walk through walls, perform psychic acts (with varying, flip-of-the-coin success), and literally staring at a goat and trying to kill it.

The real story, as described by John Alexander in a personal essay, was that a Special Forces operator named Nick Rowe had demonstrated to observers how to use a martial arts technique known as the “death touch” to kill something by delivering only a moderate blow. The goat died several hours after receiving the blow. An autopsy revealed a massive chest wound.

The point is, the phrases “Consultant to the US Gov. for National Security Matters” and “Director DOD/CIA/DIA Funded Research Programs” under Puthoff’s image are a laughable stretching of the truth.

Chris Mellon – Yes He’s Legit. Sort Of.

Seeing Chris Mellon on the Scientific Advisory Board is impressive at first glance. He’s not a lightweight. He really was the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and also for Security and Information Operations.

These credentials are enough to make someone sit up and listen. However, you can only listen until you hear something that makes you realize this person’s credential’s don’t directly mean this person holds actual evidence.

In fact, once you’ve worked with people in high-ranking positions inside government and the intelligence community, you realize that these individuals aren’t immune to poor critical-thinking skills and belief in things without enough evidence.

Mellon Used the Wrong Image

Evidence that this is the case with Chris Mellon came when he made a presentation in 2017 for TTSA on the US Nemitz UFO sighting.

Take close note of the image that’s displaying on the screen behind Chris Mellon as he’s saying the following words.

“Clearly this is not an experimental U.S. aircraft but whose is it. How did it accomplish these feats. This story may sound like a sci fi movie but it is a true story and far from being the only one of its kind. I’ve met with one of the pilots and confirmed the account as have other members of the To the Stars Academy team.”

The good folks at actually did do their own investigation on that alleged image Mellon used in his presentation. As it turned out, the image was not at all related to the Nimitz incident in 2004.

It should be noted that Las Vegas journalist George Knapp used the same image in his report on Nimitz on Las Vegas Now. Knapp’s report was likely meant to promote TTSA’s released video, because Knapp has a record through the years of promoting the work of various members of the financially-exploitive Aviary group, like Puthoff, Kit Green, and others.

What discovered was that the image was in fact a photo captured by a man named Steve Mera in 2005 in Eccles, Manchester UK. It was posted to that same year.

This is the exact photo posted by Steve.

When asked about the photo by in 2018, following the TTSA presentation, Steve said that he had investigated his sighting and learned that it was only that of a “novelty balloon”.

“Truth of the matter is… it was taken in Eccles, Manchester and I investigated the case. Likelihood… it was a novelty balloon, a number ‘one’. Someone manipulated the photo a little by increasing its brightness.”

So how did an image of an already debunked UFO – a novelty balloon – end up in a To The Stars UFO presentation by someone with Chris Mellon’s credentials?

TTSA Riding the Coattails of Pentagon Release

Chris Mellon himself may have provided the explanation for that in his presentation, when he said:

“But the real beauty of this story is that you don’t have to take my word for it or even that of the Navy officer who described these events in an article you can find on the web by searching on Nimitz UFOs 2004.”

It’s likely that this is exactly what Mellon did – quite poorly in fact – while he was preparing for his TTSA presentation. There is an article online written about the story of a Navy pilot aboard the USS Nimitz. The header image of that article is identical to the image used by Mellon in his presentation.

I don’t believe this rushed, poorly thought out presentation was Mellon’s fault. It appears that this video, and the flurry of other media efforts by the TTSA during December and January of 2018 was part of a much larger effort involving Luis Elizondo. It appeared that at this time Elizondo was using Delonge and his TTSA organization to try and release information he’d witnessed or gathered during his alleged time working (in some capacity – as yet unverified) with the Department of Defense.

Who Is Luis Elizondo?

Before we get to Luis, it’s first important that you understand who Leslie Kean is.

We’ve covered the story of Leslie Kean before – back in 2011 when I was writing for I wrote an article describing how Leslie Kean ignored contradictory witness evidence from my own source – CIA Analyst Ron Pandolfi, and CIA contractor Bruce Macabee, both of whom were at the same meeting –  that discredited her FAA witness, John Callahna, who stated that the officials at the meeting were trying to “cover up” the event.

Even in the face of contradictory evidence, Leslie refused to correct her story. Even worse, she refused to have further conversations with these additional sources — instead forging ahead with her narrative that the FAA was trying to cover up the event and the sighting.

Since then, Leslie has gone one to become a mouthpiece for many in the Aviary group working to exploit belief in alien UFOs for financial profit — specificaly in the case of Hal Puthoff, to convert that belief into direct funding for his Institute in Austin, Texas.

What does Leslie have to do with the Pentagon video and TTSA?

Just hold that thought…we’ll get to Leslie again in a moment.

Wired Digs Deeper

The Pentagon video that appears to originate from TTSA, and specifically Luis Elizondo, was originally scooped by The New York Times in an article titled, “On The Trail of a Secret Pentagon U.F.O Program”.

Usually when such a story comes out on conspiracy websites, the mainstream media ignores it. Or at least journalists dig much deeper before repeating the claims. But this was The New York Times. So other media outlets quickly jumped on the story, claiming that the Pentagon had “admitted” to this alleged secret UFO research program and that they’d released this video.

However Wired didn’t jump on the story so quickly before attempting to validate the actual release trail of the video, and the sources for all of these claims. In one of the most thorough articles on the matter, Wired found numerous issues with the original The New York Times story.

  • According to Pentagon spokesperson Audricia Harris, the Pentagon UFO program “was primarily executed through a contract with Bigelow Aerospace.” (Aviary members have exploited Bigelow’s wealth and his belief in aliens for many years.)
  • Wired couldn’t confirm that Elizondo worked on any such research program, but the Pentagon spokesperson at least confirmed Luis worked for the DoD in some capacity.
  • Wired discovered that all of the Pentagon records related to Bigelow’s UFO program were never actually classified in the first place. This is why the released video does not have classification markings.
  • The video and related materials were released by Luis, “without the typical release process”. This means that The Times claim that the Pentagon itself “admitted” to the program was inaccurate. The Pentagon was never the source of the videos, Elizondo was.
  • Wired’s FOIA request for Elizondo’s “resignation” letter from the Pentagon turned up no results.
  • The To The Stars video was released on the same exact day that The Times article came out, strongly suggesting that those within TTSA were working directly with the authors of The Times article.

And even worse, one of the videos released by The Times has been debunked as a much older video that’s been circulating on the web for years..

“And a copy of one of the much-touted videos has been online since at least 2007. UFO researcher Isaac Koi … established that the second video in the Times story, of an event in 2004, appeared online in 2007… The first appearance he could find was on a website for a company called Vision Unlimited—a film production company. An archived 2007 version of confirms that the footage was hosted there back then. That achival video matches The Times video.”

John Greenwald over at The Black Vault has been conducting a laborous, in-depth investigation into all of the claims made by the To The Stars Academy – frustratingly coming up short of any FOIA evidence to support Elizondo’s various claims.

So given the lack of evidence, how could a legitimate Times journalist overlook such a simple vetting process?

Leslie Kean – Just an Aviary Mouthpiece

That’s when red flags started to go off in my head. I recalled that Leslie Kean formerly wrote for The Times, and the Wired article mentioned that there were three authors of The Times article.

So I went to the original Times article and saw that the author was listed as Ralph Blumenthal. However, Ralph revealed that the catalyst for the entire article was, in fact, none other than Leslie Kean.

“The piece, by the Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper, the author Leslie Kean and myself…The journey began two and a half months ago with a tip to Leslie…”

The involvement of Leslie Kean in this story explains why The Times article failed in many respects to properly vet the information – and the sources – enough.

How Scientists Capitalize on Believers

Leslie, much like Chris Mellon, Robert Bigelow, and so many others, is a believer in aliens being the cause of UFO sightings.

That belief often clouds judgement.

It causes journalists like Kean to believe a source so long as what that source is confirming her belief. It causes that same journalist to ignore witnesses that conflict with those beliefs.

It causes wealthy entrepreneurs like Robert Bigelow to invest significant funding into a “research project” involving scientist Colm Kelleher, a friend of Hal Puthoff’s, to investigate a paranormal ranch in Utah and write a book about it. A book co-authored and promoted by another Aviary media mouthpiece, George Knapp.

It causes a wealthy owner of Church’s Chicken, Bill Church, to invest thousands of dollars into the various pseudo-scientific paranormal research efforts of Hal Puthoff, back in the 70’s and 80’s.

What’s the point of trying to create a media blitz, drawing in thousands upon thousands of believers to visit the To The Stars website in the hopes of seeing confirmation of their belief in aliens?

One visit to the site should reveal the answer to anyone who understands that sometimes, to get to the truth about a matter, you must follow the money.

It appears that the efforts of Leslie Kean and Luis Elizondo have been largely successful. They’ve suckered almost 3,000 individuals into providing TTSA with  at least $200,000, but likely much more.

Regardless whether further vetting eventually debunks the final video doesn’t really matter. Ultimately the media blitz netted a small fortune for this organization and the men behind it.

It’s the sort of investment that believers have been making into the likes of fringe researchers like Hal Puthoff for many, many years — and in all of those years, nothing at all substantial has been produced.

And yet, wealthy believers keep opening their wallets, in the desperate hope that the truth can somehow be bought.

Originally published on


FAA Instructions to Staff on UFO Sightings Debunked Cover-Up Claims

FAA Instructions to Staff on UFO Sightings Debunked Cover-Up Claims   0

Early in 2011, the FAA issued a series of changes to its official Air Traffic Organization Policy. Specifically, this release was related to "air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by [...]

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