Lack of Alien influence in Starfleet ship design...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Tom Hendricks, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is just wishful thinking with virtually no proof but tons of speculations, but -- considering the rather straightforward design of the Phoenix, the rings of XCV Enterprise, and then finally the saucer of the NX-01, i'd like to think that the saucer could be evidence of alien influence. The rings are more famously incorporated into Vulcan ships, and perhaps the saucer likewise came from another race, or at the very least is a hybrid of Earth/Vulcan/whoever else's warp theories.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Interesting thought, but ENT kind of established that Earth hadn't had much contact with other aliens besides Vulcans until NX-01 was launched. They hadn't yet met the Andorians or Tellarites, just a few species like Vulcans, Denobulans, and Draylaxians.
     
  3. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Then maybe the saucer influence comes from the Denobulans?

    I don't really buy it - our own cultures, even without Trek, already have plenty of images of saucer shaped spacecraft, so certainly someone would have played with the idea without (additional? ;) ) alien influence. Then again, maybe one of the founding races of the Federation that we haven't seen ARE the "little green men" that abduct people to put stuff in their butts and turn cows inside out, so that influence is from them, after all. :lol:
     
  4. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh lord. Maybe the Constitution was designed in the 1960s as a big "UP YOURS" to those little green men, which would explain why the neck goes straight up the rear end of a flying saucer. :)

    (Sorry for the mental image, all)
     
  5. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I can remember reading some commentary in exobiology articles about two things:
    1) It's hardly likely that humanoid species exist for if evolution happens on another planet, then it's hardly likely that the same conditions would happen, and in the same order, such that a recognizable humanoid species would emerge.

    That likely would result in very strange looking starships to fit the needs of the species using that ship for interstellar travel, but might include some common components on the spaceship itself regarding life support, engines, shielding, and weapons.

    2) It might be that humanoid species would be the most common because of unknown scientific laws. In other words there was a natural order to evolution such that the apex predator would become a bipedal species with common sense organs and means of procreation, digestion, circulation, respiration, etc.

    In that case, those humanoid species might develop engineered structures for interstellar travel which were very similar.

    From a production standpoint in the old days, having lots of noncorporeal beings was a challenge such that the viewers could identify with such an alien. Communication with such a being could exist from a mathematical method only as the constructs of language rely upon a mouth and tongue. Instead it could be periods of emmitted light.

    Now with CGI, there really aren't those constraints, but it's still very expensive.

    One of the things that most impressed me about the actors of Star Trek was how little they saw of the graphic elements until way after shooting the episode. Imagine staring at a blank surface and trying to convey excitement, fear, awe, etc when there's nothing for your eye to see.

    I liked the geometric shapes of the Borg vessels which skipped any aerodynamic elements because they weren't intended for landing upon planets. That was just an amalgam of all of the assimilated species with precious little in terms of aesthetics because it was strictly utilitarian.

    The aquatic Xindi vessels would have to be enormously strong because of the mass of water carried within the hulls. One noncorporal species had a huge ship, but it wasn't clear how they acquired it, or why they would need it, though it was stated they couldn't live within the vacuum of space. Star Trek Enterprise "The Crossing" was that particular episode.

    A little side note that's relevant to the discussion. The original "saucer" comment by Kenneth Arnold was taken out of context. He was describing the way it skipped like a stone across water, not the shape of the UFO he witnessed. A little known fact is that this image was taken by surveillance craft of an unknown craft about the time of the Roswell Incident in 1947. Looking for the photo for inclusion with this post. If I find it, I'll edit the post.
    EDIT: Here's one of three known photos of a UFO within the same time frame (within days perhaps hours of the Roswell Incident).
    [​IMG]

    EDIT2: Other photos from that time window:
    [​IMG]
    Here's the actual rendering by Arnold which agrees with the real photo and makes the story far more compelling.
    [​IMG]
    EDIT3: The earliest drawing submitted by Arnold which is slighly different than the artist's rendering for his book.
    [​IMG]

    The mentioning of a saucer then influenced countless films in the midst of the contactee boom (a subset of the UFO phenomena different than other more scientifically inclined groups like NICAP). Some of these reports mentioned saucer shaped craft, but also cylindrical, airship-like craft dating back to 1897, the vimana of India from ancient times which were more like modern airplanes, and all manner of shapes included in the Condon Report.

    Here's a similar collection of ship types (but not the actual Condon Report graphic which others may find illuminating for influencing the ships of Star Trek).
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  6. Kaiser

    Kaiser Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  7. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks.

    I studied both the humanities and the sciences in college and grad school. So both aspects of these things interest me within Star Trek.

    Witnesses are notoriously poor in recounting what they saw, largely due to excitement. However those who were trained observers in aeronautics have witnessed all manner of craft. It's likely that 95 percent of these can be explained by lenticular clouds or weapons testing or missile launches, but not all of them.

    Star Trek didn't come about in a vaccuum but rather was a result of public fascination and fear post-1947, plus Cold War existential realities. I think that's most commonly witnessed in President Reagan's address before the UN when he said that an alien threat would unify the peoples of the Earth and make us stop being concerned about other matters.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag44dRO8LEA

    So Star Trek became not just entertainment, but a replacement myth for postmodern people. You have to look at that and how it affected art and diverse subjects like ethics as well as scientific inquiry and psychology.

    Within the study of UFOs, there are serious researchers like Jacques Vallee who is a scientist and who theorizes that UFOs could be interdimensional craft, not stellar craft with warp drives, and perhaps many other species who coexist within this place in space-time but not within our dimension. So such species would be like 3D beings who examine the pages of a 2D representation. Any beings in a 2D world couldn't perceive those 3D beings very well because they exist at right angles to themselves.

    Regardless, such unique ideas as well as the contactee folks who have more of a spiritual bent resulted in the popularity of Star Trek. That all influenced the stories as well as the shapes of spacecraft.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  8. Kaiser

    Kaiser Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Your Welcome :)
     
  9. JES

    JES Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Damn site deleted my comment before I could post it! Again!!:brickwall:
    So I'll just say that I find the subject of these actual starships interesting, and that I suspect that there are separate cases when we are looking at starships, inter-dimensional craft, and even timeships from our future.

    Damn log in/out! If you eat another one of my comments, I should find a way to give you a real good smacking!!:mad:
    You could use a good smacking!!!:klingon:
     
  10. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    When you log-in, click the remember toggle, and the system won't log you out from timing out. That's common on older forum software.

    It's highly likely that whatever UFOs are, that besides things like earthlights from say piezzoelectric effects from fractures in volcanoes, they are far stranger things than interstellar craft. The physics rules for the amount of fuel needed for warp drive rather preclude a starship with warp drive from occurring.

    However, did you know that there are plans for a warp engine in reality? See:
    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...h-prepares-to-create-a-warp-bubble-in-the-lab

    In that article they're talking about ways of warping space right before a craft. More here:
    http://io9.com/5963263/how-nasa-will-build-its-very-first-warp-drive

    This physics problem lead early UFO researcher Jacques Vallee to consider an interdimensional hypothesis. He's the one who assisted J Allen Hynek. Both were trained astronomers, with Valle being a computer scientist as well. He's given lectures at TED Talks.
    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxBrussels-Jacques-Vallee-A-T

    Such a craft that would look very different than starships. One of the weird occurance around UFOs is the habit of some to display to have a morphing attribute. This could partially be explained by being from a different dimension.

    If you read Flatland, in which a 3D creature encounters a 2D creature, the 2D creatures sees a 3D creature pass through 2D space. So they would see 2D slices as they passed through their space. That distortion would result in something like CAT scans of a being, or in morphing of UFOs as they passed through some of our dimensions.

    One explanation here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interdimensional_hypothesis

    EDIT:
    I believe this is one of the photos taken from a military reconissance plane of an UFO and included in one of Vallee's books from the late seventies.
    [​IMG]
    Vallee believed at least some of the UFOs were RPV (remote piloted vehicles) an early name for the then classified drone program of that period.

    To bring this back to the topic, this saucer shape certainly influenced the saucer shape within the Constitution class of the Star Trek universe.

    There are very few good photos of the reported "foo fighters" encountered by Allied pilots during WW2. Here's one of the better ones:
    [​IMG]
    It's possible it's ball lightning, a manmade ball lightning project by Nazi scientists, or a UFO since we cannot identify it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  11. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Well, if we're now talking about if UFO's are real aliens (...seems like that's where this is heading...) I would like to point out that the overwhelming majority of such things are demonstrably hoaxes or military experiments. Check out this pretty good documentary that explains most of such things.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqzbzduT02w

    It's an hour and a half long.

    --Alex
     
  12. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Carl Jung, one of the founders of modern psychiatry, believed that UFOs might be projections of our collective unconsciousness. That would be a very interesting aspect of reality if it's possible.

    Regardless, one source of Art is our inner longings. Vallee looked specifically at alien mthos as it was developing post-1947 in things like the contactee movement, but he also looked at much older myths like the changeling myth in Celtic countries.

    When the Interupted Jouney tv film was made about Betty and Barney Hill, it was watched by millions. Some skeptics felt that it planted a seed in those folks and helped foster the UFO abduction myths, and then influenced art created by those folks.

    Vallee many years prior points to similar features in Celtic myths in his book Passport to Magonia.

    No matter what, certain structures from history and culture affect art, and art in turn affects history and culture formation.

    In terms of the topic, alien starships are not very diverse usually since the aliens are mostly humanoid. This meant not having to engineer alien looking starships since most species are bipedal and like us in most respects.

    That's why I've tried to stretch the topic a little with discussion on exobiology and how evolution might play out, either for or against a humanoid arising. Likewise I've tried to discuss potential warp engines from a scientific standpoint and the limitation of such things. I think you can see why astonomers like Hynek and Vallee came to disbelieve in an extraterrestrial hypothesis from a pragmatic energy to mass ratio for fuel requirements.

    Whatever UFOs are, 99% may be weather phenomena, adreneline affecting judgement and observation and recall, military operations, etc they are also some very strange ones that can't be explained away like the Alaskan UFO with many hours of radar data that impressed the president, his chief advisors, and the military.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Air_Lines_flight_1628_incident

    This is why I've also included unexplained phenomena from photographic evidence of the time period.

    If you scroll back and read about Kenneth Arnold, and see his rendering, and the photo taken in 1947, then consider the possibility of the Horten Ho 229 fixed wing aircraft. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horten_Ho_229
    [​IMG]
    The actual discovered prototype:
    http://k06.kn3.net/B6597D335.jpg
    It's too large to display here, but go see it.

    Look familiar? While the Nazi's did make a prototype, they obviously were not flying one in 1947. But that doesn't mean Operation Paperclip Nazi scientists were not flying military prototypes for the USA.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip
    Among those scientists were Werner Von Braun. Remember him? You should for he directly helped the budding US Space race.

    Some things can be explained away. Others cannot. There's a mystery and regardless it affected the art of Star Trek's starship design.

    EDIT:
    Here's the TR-3 Manta, a black project that probably is a result of the Aurora project. It is shaped like a black triangle, a common UFO today that's reported, but an uncommon one in history until the 1990s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TR-3_Black_Manta
    [​IMG]
    Look familiar? This isn't to say that all black triangle UFOs from 1990 to present day are TR-3s. Here's one from Germany in the mid 1990s.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  13. Kaiser

    Kaiser Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  14. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    http://www.socialphy.com/posts/imag...-the-Nazi-secret-bomber-Horten-Ho---229.html]
    Lots of pics here

    [​IMG]
    Now look closely at the strange craft seen before the Roswell Incident, the drawing used for Arnold's book, and the Horten HO 229. They're not all identical. The surveillance photo is more compressed and not necessarily this fixed wing Nazi-origin craft.

    But you can see how a plausible case could be made for it. It's better than one theory which was that Roswell was caused by a Fu-go ballon from Japan. That was a program to launch ballons into the US from Japan. Some impacted in the Pacific Northwest and did damage, and this was kept quiet. One skeptic felt that one of these had mysteriously landed and resulted in the debris field. That's not plausible given the amount of material deposited.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_balloon
    [​IMG]

    Something large and leaving a massive amount of debris crashed, and it took a long time with excavation equipment to remove it. They actually sifted through the soil, much as archeologists do when looking for artifacts to ensure removing as much as possible. There's too many witnesses, and too much testimony, though they're all so elderly now.

    So, it could be a top secret program from either the US or the Soviets, a bonafide UFO, or something else that crashed.

    All of that actually was partially responsible for a portion of the science fiction movement within the US and did result in speculation, films being made, art being created, and Star Trek captured a portion of that energy.

    Note that there were several crash stories for years leading up to the late 80s. It wasn't always certain about the timeline to Roswell.

    A little side note: the Horton was intended to be a stealth vessel. It had a mixed composition of charcoal that was intended to absorb the radar wave frequency of the day that was used by the Allies.
    "[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=+1]Engineers at Northrop wanted to find out if the German craft could actually be radar resistant. Northrop tested the non-flying reproduction at its classified radar testing facility in Tejon, California. During the testing the frequencies used by British radar facilities at the end of the war were directed at the reproduction. Tom Dobrenz, a Northrop Grumman stealth expert said about the H.IX, "This design gave them just about a 20 percent reduction in radar range detection over a conventional fighter of the day."
    http://www.paperlessarchives.com/hortenho229.html
    [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014