And Finally Artist News

Tom Delonge hits back at article on UFO research agency’s finances

By | Published on Tuesday 16 October 2018

Tom Delonge

Former Blink 182 guitarist Tom Delonge has hit back at an Ars Technica report claiming that his To The Stars Academy Of Arts & Science has a $37.5 million deficit, it having based that claim on little more than an official financial report saying so. An initial version of the article did characterise the deficit as debt, but it has since been amended following Delonge’s complaint to note that almost all of it relates to stock options.

UFO Researcher Of Year 2017 Delonge set up To The Stars last year to investigate the “outer edges of science”. In a new statement, he accused Ars Technica of “trying to hurt an admirable effort to help humanity by using negative attacks and lies”. Responding to the report, he told supporters: “BLATENT LIE – APPARENTLY, THIS WRITER CAN’T READ. BTW, TTSA never even raised $37m!!? So how in the hell did we spend it?! Lord”.

The line in the financial report upon which Ars Technica based its claim reads: “The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realisation of assets and the satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The company has incurred losses from operations and has an accumulated deficit at 30 Jun 2018 of $37,432,000. These factors raise doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

However, almost the entirety of this deficit – $37,093,483 – is accounted for by stock options that have been granted. That being how much owners of those options would earn if they cashed them in today. Conditions associated with those options are not known.

Still, the company is still in deficit, even if you remove the stock options liability, and despite raising over $1 million in funding – largely from crowdfunding. The organisation says that it will overcome the report’s “doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”, by selling more stock.

A letter from To The Stars to Ars Technica calls this error “inexcusable”, and the website has amended its article accordingly. Although its critical tone remains. Ah well.