Last week I was browsing new books in Barnes & Noble’s flagship store in New York City’s Union Square when I found a book that really didn’t seem to fit in with those surrounding it on the “new fiction” shelf near the front doors. It was called Sekret Machines Book 1: Chasing Shadows, by Tom DeLonge and AJ Hartley. I flipped the book to read the back cover text, which revealed that:
For those who know…
that something is going on…
The witnesses are legion, scattered across the world and dotted through history, people who looked up and saw something impossible lighting up the night sky. What those objects were, where they came from, and who—or what—might be inside them is the subject of fierce debate and equally fierce mockery, so that most who glimpsed them came to wish they hadn’t.
Most, but not everyone.
Among those who know what they’ve seen, and—like the toll of a bell that can’t be unrung—are forever changed by it, are a pilot, an heiress, a journalist, and a prisoner of war. From the waning days of the 20th century’s final great war to the fraught fields of Afghanistan to the otherworldly secrets hidden amid Nevada’s dusty neverlands—the truth that is out there will propel each of them into a labyrinth of otherworldly technology and the competing aims of those who might seek to prevent—or harness—these beings of unfathomable power. Because, as it turns out, we are not the only ones who can invent and build…and destroy.
Featuring actual events and other truths drawn from sources within the military and intelligence community, Tom DeLonge and A.J. Hartley offer a tale at once terrifying, fantastical, and perhaps all too real. Though it is, of course, a work of… fiction?
Wait a minute, Tom DeLonge, that’s the guy from Blink 182, isn’t it? Yup,that’s right, and then when I looked up the book’s website it turns out that he’s really more into finding aliens than music these days. Mic got him to talk about it…
Mic: How did you first get interested in this kind of thing — the possibility of aliens and UFOs?
Tom DeLonge: First of all, we don’t really call it “aliens.” In pop culture, that’s a term people throw out there, and rightfully so because the government spends a lot of time and a lot of money throwing that term out there. But it’s much more complex than that.
I first got into it in junior high. I don’t know why. I just had some free time on my hands and I found myself at the school library looking for books on the subject matter. [In] the beginnings of my career with [Blink-182], you have a lot of free time in the van, traveling across the country for 12 months, so I found myself getting a lot of really interesting books that challenged the way I thought about stuff.
Scientists in places like the SETI institute are taking the possibility of alien life seriously. But they have a different way of talking about this stuff.
TD: Yeah, they are, and they have their own way of doing things. I think there’s been a policy to find microbial life far out somewhere else, then start the conversation about life in the universe and how it could form, how far it can advance itself and could they ever come here. Maybe they sent drones here. I’m starting with the idea there’s been something else here all along.
There are two sides to looking for other forms of life. There’s one that’s looking at the interaction with humanity over a very long period of time. But there’s also advancing the idea that there was life or forms of life on Mars, on Europa, and even farther out — on exoplanets that look very much like Earth…
[continues at Mic]