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The sudden and dramatic personality shift of Blink-182's Tom DeLonge is one of the greatest mysteries in modern music, second only to the truth about Kurt Cobain's suicide and the identity of the blind goblin responsible for dressing Miley Cyrus.

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DeLonge went from a goofy rock star famous for catchy songs and juvenile antics to an aloof world musician obsessed with space and global unity in less than a year. Suspiciously, this change came right after DeLonge quit Blink-182 in the middle of a tour and subsequently dropped off the face of the Earth for about 10 months. I submit the only possible explanation is that he was stolen by aliens, and they either expanded his consciousness with celestial technology or replaced him with a stardust clone to try to prepare the world for their arrival, like Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still. I'll go one step further and say that Tom DeLonge is Klaatu, albeit the charming and likeable one from the 1951 original and not the Keanu Reeves corpse-eyed mandroid from the 2008 remake.

Far-fetched, you say? Stand back while I connect these dots and prepare to have your mind blown.

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Tom DeLonge Wrote Songs About Being Abducted by Aliens and Has a Legitimate Belief in Vast UFO Conspiracies

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DeLonge began his career in Blink-182, singing songs about masturbating in trees, getting sodomized by a hillbilly, and trying to fuck a pirate in the ass. The song most directly responsible for the band's huge success is a glossy pop robot with about 50 words, the video for which features Tom DeLonge taking a dump inside a spatial reasoning puzzle while dressed like Nick Lachey's life coach:

Geffen Records

The second most pervasive image of DeLonge at this point in the late '90s was him running naked through the streets of Los Angeles with a cataract blur hovering over his crotch, as if his penis were a suspect on COPS that refused to sign the release form.

Geffen Records

However, when asked about the subject of extraterrestrials, DeLonge would immediately launch into rambling squirrel-eyed diatribes like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, emphatically spitting out his totally non-ironic belief in vast UFO coverups masterminded by the top levels of American government as rapidly as possible, lest the clock should strike midnight and turn his words back into pumpkins before they'd completely escaped his mouth. Here is a clip of him demonstrating his expertise back in 2002, on the Blink-182 DVD The Urethra Chronicles II, because nothing says you're serious about UFO research quite like a joke about dickhole invasion:

Since I am fairly certain none of you are going to sit through five minutes of a 27-year-old man flapping his lips about Martians while wearing two different articles of his own merchandise, I will convert the important points of the video into written words. He spends the majority of the clip making the unique type of vaguely specific points generally reserved for people who either cannot remember the entirety of the story they are trying to tell or are deliberately withholding information to protect the identities of those involved (in DeLonge's case, it seems to be a little of both). He does this by referring constantly to unverifiable information he's received from a vast network of unnamed "friends," one of whom is supposedly so deeply mired in the global UFO conspiracy that he's had a mental conversation with an alien visitor as it sat nonchalantly on top of a desk in a government installation like a psychic bobblehead. DeLonge is also clearly uncomfortable in the video, shifting constantly in his seat and speaking quietly to the floor as if he expects Tommy Lee Jones to burst into the room at any second and erase his memory. And this isn't the only clip -- search "Tom DeLonge aliens" on YouTube and you'll find dozens of videos of him jackjawing about saucer people that span his entire career.

The point is, this motherfucker believes in aliens as hard as he possibly can. He even wrote a song about it called "Aliens Exist," in which he is abducted by dimension-shambling star lords. A few years later, he wrote a song called "Asthenia" about being trapped in space and not wanting to come back to Earth, which in fairness is a situation many musicians find themselves in.

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He was apparently put into orbit by an alien in a bathrobe.

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Then He Mysteriously Disappeared and Returned as a Completely Different Person

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At the height of Blink-182's popularity and marketability, Tom DeLonge abruptly quit the band, dissolved all contact with his bandmates, and vanished from the public eye for the better part of a year. Seriously, he blinked out of existence like Bruce Willis in Looper. The official line from Blink-182's representatives was that the band was on "indefinite hiatus," which is a tactful way of saying, "We don't know what the hell happened to Tom or when he'll be coming back. For real, that dude phased out of here like an angry wizard and changed his phone number." It looked like he was pulling a Joaquin Phoenix and sabotaging his own career for the purposes of a joke that nobody else understood.

However, that wasn't the case. The reason Tom DeLonge made no statements and no public appearances in the 10 months following the breakup of his band was because he wasn't on Earth to make them. You see, this is when the Wardens of the Stellarverse snatched him right out of California and tossed him into space like Lance Guest in The Last Starfighter. Much like Mr. Guest's righteous video game skills in that classic film, DeLonge's years of UFO proselytizing had finally gotten the attention of an extraterrestrial empire. What the rest of the world mistook for rock star big-headedness was actually the beginning of one man's journey beyond the cosmos. Tom DeLonge couldn't be bothered with Blink-182 because he was busy holding court with the princess of the Crab Nebula.

He finally reappeared to the Earth news media sporting a bizarre haircut that is presumably commonplace in some distant star cluster:

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Hereafter referred to as his "space hair."

His re-emergence segued into a bombastic campaign of babbling about the future, making enigmatic declarations about changing the world, and wearing a jacket with the word "love" written across it to sing songs about the end of war and the advocacy of peace and unity. Essentially, he was beamed into the spiral arm of whatever galaxy Sting was born in and came back a few months later as Starman.

Columbia Pictures, Geffen Records/Suretone Records
To be fair, he tried to tell us.

As if that wasn't enough to convince people Tom DeLonge had been taken by alien visitors on a transcendental voyage across the fourth dimension, he called his new band Angels & Airwaves -- "angels" being celestial beings, and "airwaves" being the medium through which mortal Earthlings communicate with them. It's the sort of failed attempt at subtlety that an alien would make, and is perhaps one step away from simply releasing an album called Spacemaster Tom and the Spaceships from Space.

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Every Song He Writes Now Is About Space

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Speaking of failed subtlety, all four albums Tom DeLonge has released with Angels & Airwaves have a picture of space on the cover, replete with lyrics that center on a joyous fascination with human emotions, seemingly written from the point of view of a comet-hopping moonman who is just now discovering the concept. It's like if Data wrote a book of poetry immediately after activating his emotion chip for the first time and then read it aloud over a bunch of mid-career Pink Floyd instrumentals. DeLonge went from writing pop-punk songs about pirate sex and masturbation (see "pooping nudity music videos," above) to penning an entire catalog of sweeping, atmospheric prog-rock songs about the intangible facets of being. In less than a year.

Some of the song titles seem to document DeLonge's Klaatu-esque journey ("The Adventure") to bring a message to the Earth ("The Gift") and save us from mutually assured destruction ("The War," "Behold a Pale Horse") before he is forced to eradicate us for the greater good of the universe with his robot friend Gort ("Start the Machine"). Others reference the beginning of the space age ("The Flight of Apollo") and an otherworldly fascination with confoundingly specific celestial bodies ("The Moon Atomic," "Moon as My Witness"). The bottom line is, Tom DeLonge is now all about space, and he wants you to know that shit.

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Even the "O" in "love" is a moon. Spaaaaaaaaace!

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He Made a Movie About Space to Document His Experience

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DeLonge then went on to make a goddamned movie about space. It's called Love and is about an astronaut trapped inside a space station, watching as the Earth blinks out of existence below him, who winds up transcending existence as we know it. If that sounds familiar, it's because it is the exact subject of the song "Asthenia," which I mentioned earlier. It stars Gunner Wright as the astronaut, which is interesting because Wright also plays the main character in the Dead Space series of video games, who is also an astronaut.

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"I want there to be so much fucking space in this movie, you have to wear a helmet to watch it." -Tom DeLonge

The end of the film is ambiguous, but it seems to indicate that Wright downloads his consciousness into a collective mainframe containing the thoughts and memories of the entire human race. This is what happened to Tom DeLonge -- he was taken to the edge of the universe and absorbed by an ethereal alien collective. Now he's returned to share his experience and try to convince us to lay down our arms and join the United Federation of Planets. It's actually genius -- in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu's biggest conundrum was how to deliver his message to the entire world simultaneously, instead of talking to various government leaders one at a time and letting them disseminate his words to their respective peoples. Tom DeLonge has that problem figured out -- he and his alien handlers are using music and movies to deliver their message, which are two things with immediate worldwide distribution (judging by the Internet, they are also the only two things anybody cares about). He doesn't have to waste time fumbling around with stuffed-shirt presidents and prime ministers when he can instantly beam his galaxian moonlove doctrine to anyone in the world who wants to listen.

One final piece of evidence to silence any doubting Thomases (because my name is Tom, as is the subject of this column, so to doubt any part of it is to both "doubt Thomas" and be a "doubting Thomas." Hold your applause) is an interview DeLonge gave back in December 2012 for the UFO enthusiast Web series Spacing Out:

Now, compare that video to the earlier one taken from the Penishole Chronicles. It's like watching two different people. He's talking about the exact same things, and he even tells one of the same stories, but he's doing so in a charming and mildly self-deprecating manner that totally disarms us, like he's reciting an anecdote about the time he shit his pants at a taco stand instead of casually informing us that flying saucers are currently orbiting the Earth's sun. Whereas 2002 Tom DeLonge was half-mumbling and fidgety, 2012 Tom DeLonge speaks clearly and authoritatively, with more charisma than Jon Hamm in a house of mirrors.

Like Klaatu, he is attempting to deliver a crucial message to our planet by behaving like the most affable guy in the universe. See, DeLonge is trying to brace humanity by calmly assuring us that aliens have always been here, building pyramids and sending telepathic messages to Indiana Jones. So we'd better get with the program and stop being a bunch of nuke-happy assholes or else intergalactic nuclear defense robots are going to zoom in through a wormhole and destroy us.



Tom (Reimann) owns every Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves album, a Tom DeLonge signature Epiphone, and a pair of Tom DeLonge sneakers, which is in no way sad. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter, where you will notice that his username (@starthemachine) is the title of an Angels & Airwaves song.

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