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Thanks to the myriad bummers that 2020 keeps bringing us, one of the year's most consistently compelling fields—UAP research—arguably hasn't been able to fully bask in the fittingly stoked reactions its most recent developments have warranted.

For the latest sign that the presence of UAPs—i.e. unidentified aerial phenomena—is indeed being taken quite seriously at the governmental level, CNN has reported that the Pentagon is putting together a new task force aimed at investigating UAPs that "have been observed by U.S. military aircraft." That's the word from a pair of unnamed defense officials, who also said that Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist will "help oversee" the new group, which the report adds should be formally announced to the public within days. 

As you may recall, last month saw the publication of a fascinating New York Times piece from Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean that addressed the assertion that such investigations had not ceased as the Pentagon had previously claimed. Instead, per that report, the program had been given a new name and was "tucked inside" the Office of Naval Intelligence. It's not clear if the new CNN report is referring to the same program and/or a relaunched version of the same effort. Thursday's update, however, makes clear the importance of Norquist's newly announced involvement.

None of this would be feasible without the work of To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science, the company co-founded by Tom DeLonge of blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves. Despite the naysayers, the company has successfully spearheaded a movement to remove the stigma surrounding the UAP conversation.

Thus far, the company's achievements have also included getting the Navy to publicly confirm that UAP footage shared by the company was real, as well as having the Department of Defense formally publish the same footage earlier this year.

In a recent interview, DeLonge's former blink-182 and Box Car Racer collaborator Travis Barker was asked about these developments, noting that he admired DeLonge's longtime tenacity for the issue of UAP research and his continued dedication to it.

"I still talk to him a lot. … Everyone thought he was batshit crazy but he wasn't, you know?" Barker told artist and friend RISK in a socially distanced interview special shared on Instagram this week. "He was just really interested in this and intrigued by it and dedicated a lot of his life to it."

As for leaving blink, Barker compared DeLonge's most recent departure to other musicians throughout history who decided to take a creative detour at a moment when most would choose to hold on to fame.

"It was kinda like the At the Drive-In guys when they stopped At the Drive-In and they were opening for Rage and they had the biggest look and biggest album and they were like 'You know what? We're gonna go do Mars Volta and we're gonna make songs that are 20 minutes long and we don't care if you fucking listen to it. We just wanna do this,'" Barker said. "So yes, there is a lot of respect [for DeLonge]."