To the Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences (TTSA)—the UFO research organization founded by former Blink 182 star Tom DeLonge—has struck a research deal with the U.S. Army filled with eye-popping references to exotic technologies.
TTSA, whose membership includes former Lockheed Martin Skunk Works exec Steve Justice and former Department of Defense Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) official Luis Elizondo, played a role in the high-profile release of videos purportedly showing military pilots encountering “unidentified aerial phenomena” in the past few years. It’s also the group that has dropped repeated references to their possession of mysterious “metal alloys” (later described as “meta materials” beyond current engineering technology).
This week, the group announced that it had entered a “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) to advance TTSA’s materiel and technology innovations in order to develop enhanced capabilities for Army ground vehicles.” Officials at the CCDC’s Ground Vehicle System Center subsequently confirmed to the Drive that such an agreement had been struck. The center did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
A CRADA isn’t the same type of contract that, say, Boeing signs when they agree to develop a new kind of anti-aircraft missile. Rather, it’s an agreement in which Army researchers will work alongside the TTSA crew to assess what they have, without any money changing hands. The Army released a copy of the CRADA contract to Black Vault, a site devoted to exposing government secrets, which published a copy here.
The document largely mirrors TTSA’s claims to have made developments in “material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage,” and the Army’s interest in “novel materials,” but it does go into somewhat more detail. Towards the end of the document, the Army clearly states what it gains from conducting tests at “Government facilities” on TTSA’s supposed tech:
If the Government can verify materiel solutions claims by the Collaborator, then significant advancements can be made in the capabilities of Army ground vehicle platforms in terms of security, force protection, and weight reduction.
The contract also states that TTSA’s interest in the CRADA lies in obtaining third party assessments of how its technology performs in “Army ground vehicle environments and benchmark that capability against existing technology capabilities.” It seems pretty clear cut this is an agreement in which the Army intends to vet that TTSA actually has something up its sleeve.
Then it gets really weird. The Army said the government is interested in everything from “inertial mass reduction” technology to “electromagnetic metamaterial wave guides” and “quantum communications”:
Perform assessments, testing, and characterization of Collaborator-provided technologies. The Government is interested in a variety of the Collaborator’s technologies, such as, but not limited to inertial mass reduction, mechanical/structural metamaterials, electromagnetic metamaterial wave guides, quantum physics, quantum communications, and beamed energy propulsion.”
Further down in the document, the government lists “materiel technologies” that TTSA has agreed to provide, hinting that in addition to metamaterials, TTSA claims to have performed research on quantum communications and may possess prototypes of beamed energy propulsion vehicles and “active camouflage and directed photon projection” systems:
a) Metamaterial: Samples of mechanical and EM sensitive metamaterial collected, obtained, or developed as part of its Field Operations
b) Material Analysis: Written data, information, and analysis related to tested materials
c) Quantum Communication:
- Related research to-date on theories, studies, mathematical formulas, and protoypes
- Future developments, prototypes, and hardware associated with the specific quantum product
d) Beamed Energy Propulsion
- Launch vehicles, vehicle prototypes, and systems obtained or possessed
- Data associated with testing, developing, and improving persistence or stability of launch vehicles or launch systems
- Proposed application of these systems
e) Active Camouflage and Directed Photon Projection
- Projection systems
- Technology associated with these systems
- Material projection surfaces
- Proposed application of these systems
The document goes on to state that TTSA will “provide secure shipping of Collaborator technologies to the Government” (estimating the value of all items at $1 million), and that any testing or evaluation results will be shared with both parties.
Interestingly, one section of the CRADA hints that the Secretary of Defense is aware of where the materials come from: “The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) can share historical reports of findings and origin of materiel solutions in the possession of the Collaborator.” That may just be a reference to AATIP, which the Pentagon shut down after it reportedly generated “reams of paperwork” but no particularly useful findings.
So... This is really weird! Quantum communications and beamed energy propulsion are real, if exotic, technologies, though any applications that would be militarily useful are science fiction territory. “Active camouflage and directed photon projection” seems like a reference to bending light around objects to make them appear invisible. This is similarly strange, but Canadian company Hyperstealth (whose claims were previously impossible to verify) recently unveiled video and details on a primitive version using “rows of cylindrical lenses on a flat sheet,” per New Scientist.
Other technologies referenced by the Army, like inertial mass reduction and electromagnetic metamaterial wave guides, have come up in absolutely bizarre U.S. Navy patents that the Drive reported the Navy has strongly advocated for and even in some cases claimed were operable, despite immense skepticism from physicists the site consulted.
As for the meta-materials, Elizondo described them to UFO publication Mufon last year in some detail. He said that the “alloys” interpretation was incorrect, describing them instead as materials so unique and precise they could not occur naturally and cannot be created by 21st-century engineers:
So, let me start by saying the metal alloy discussion was something; it was an honest attempt by someone who needed to take a little bit more complex discussion and distill it down to a more consumable format. So, it was never about unidentified metal alloys. As someone had pointed out, any second-year metallurgist will tell you elements are elements and we can figure it out. What was actually discussed was the potential discovery of certain meta materials in which their isotopic ratios at the molecular level are so unique and so precise that they are not found naturally on this planet, nor, based on the complexity, we don’t currently have the engineering capability to make such materials. So, therefore, it is not unidentified metal alloys; the discussion actually involved meta materials whose isotopic ratios are so unique that the origins of those materials remain unknown.
There’s no need to speculate what these look like: DeLonge has been posting photos of them to Instagram.
As Motherboard reported earlier this month, TTSA’s recent filings with the SEC (first noted by UFO researcher Keith Basterfield) describe these findings as seven pieces of “Bismuth/Magnesium-Zinc metal” (one “micron-layered”) and another piece of aluminum, as well as “one round black and silver metal flake.” Chemical engineering PhD and Mad Scientist Podcast host Chris Cogswell told Vice the materials are unlikely to be scientifically useful and “may not be much more than a piece of slag from an industrial process, for instance it has been suggested this may be from the Betterton-Kroll process.”
Other elements of TTSA’s version of the story have come under serious scrutiny, such as Elizondo’s claims about the nature of AATIP and its findings. As the Drive previously noted, the TTSA scientist studying the supposed meta-materials is Hal Puthoff. Puthoff has conduced work on paranormal topics for the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency such as the debunked remote viewing program, is connected to the defunct, “skinwalker”-investigating National Institute for Discovery Science, and worked on reports for AATIP’s predecessor Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program. At least some of the reports produced for that program were fringe or junk science.
In any case, this is very, very strange stuff, and the Army is apparently interested enough in verifying it to risk looking gullible. Gizmodo has reached out to the U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle System Center and TTSA for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.