Read More: Rolling Stone
For a long time, Tom DeLonge's interest in aliens came out in small ways. In the early years of Blink-182, he would read about abductions and quantum physics for hours as the band drove from gig to gig through the desert. For 1999's Enema of the State, the multi-platinum album that launched the group to TRL megastardom, the singer/guitarist wrote the song "Aliens Exist." And in the years that followed, as DeLonge founded a tech company, continued to play with Blink and started the band Angels and Airwaves, he kept researching what he calls "the phenomenon," the collection of eyewitness accounts that has led generations to believe we're not alone. But since DeLonge parted ways with Blink-182 in 2015, his interest in extraterrestrials has become more than a hobby. "The more I got into it, the more I realized it was all real," he tells Rolling Stone. "Then I was like, 'OK, what am I going to do about it?'" So he started spreading the word. He began creating a multi-part, multi-platform rollout of an entirely new philosophy, one based on the theory that aliens have been visiting Earth for most of our species' existence – and the only way for us to have a prosperous future on the planet is if we take that into account, and soon. The newest addition to this project is the book Sekret Machines: Gods, the first in a non-fiction trilogy he's co-writing with occult historian Peter Levanda. Released in March, the book opens with an extended scene of a primitive tribe in the South Pacific experiencing their first contact with the outside world during World War II – a metaphor for humanity's alien encounters. "These people had never seen anybody outside of their tribe before," explains DeLonge. "They saw the planes drop cargo so they automatically assumed they were gods. They started worshipping these planes, trying to get medicine and food. And their religion still exists to this day." Just as these communities were changed after more advanced civilizations dropped items from the sky, DeLonge and Levanda suggest, so were humans changed by a visit from above. "Religions around the world consistently say that beings from the heavens came down and taught us this or gave us that," says Levanda. "In Gods we go into the nuance of this, from Aztec blood sacrifices to various creation epics that say we were created as servants to some other race of beings." For this volume, they went back and looked at original texts from various civilizations to see what information they could glean. "We don't create myths out of whole cloth," says Levanda. "Something happens and we create a myth around it. We're talking about events that are being described by people using the vocabulary they had."