It’s very probable that Tom will be involved in UFO research for the rest of his life. Whatever happens with Angels & Airwaves and his other creative outlets, it doesn’t look like his passion for looking to the skies is going anywhere.
“There’s no real endpoint,” he says. “We’re talking about studying nature – it’s not like we’ll ever learn everything and just stop. There’s no endpoint to technological breakthroughs. What I want to do is create a company that’s robust enough, and has the resources, to do what governments usually do.”
A typically immodest aim…
“Look at the internet – the government created it, but then Google came in and now look at them. That’s my goal.”
In any other era, revelations from the Pentagon that UFOs are real enough that there are now rules for what to do when the military encounter them would be the biggest news story in the world. But we live in tumultuous times, overshadowed by day-to-day politics and division. Tom, as much a dreamer as a businessman, sees a potential and necessary end to that division, though. Entities from another world would transcend political borders and force some kind of global unity.
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“It’s imperative that the world comes together over this,” he says. “We might find out one day that our ancient religious stories are connected to this, or that these visitors, whether they’re life-forms or robots or whatever, might be playing with the social engineering of the planet. If there’s been some type of influence on us – even if it’s not bad – then that calls on all countries to ask, ‘Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? How do we get there together?’”
It sounds almost like sci-fi utopia – the whole planet coming together to answer enormous existential questions. Can the world really be united in peace, harmony and intellectual exploration by the guy who ran naked through LA in a pop-punk band?
“This is everywhere,” says Tom. “It’s an international issue. What are we going to do about it? A lot of people ask me, ‘Is it all bad? Is it all scary?’ And no, it isn’t. This is one of those times in the history of the human race where it really can pull us together. There’s no other choice, and that excites me.”
It’s hard not to feel at least slightly stirred by the scope of Tom’s dreams and the scale of his ambition. He and the team he’s put together might end up discovering knowledge that has eluded mankind for millennia. They also might not. There are certainly much worse ways to spend those pop-punk millions.