... Alpha - Blu-Ray Discs Provide Proof

Spring 2009 - For the last three years, we have written page upon page here detailing the mountains of rock-solid evidence that unequivocally confirms the found Alpha hero communicator to be absolutely authentic, compiled to eliminate all manner of possible doubt for a topic so vital to the hobby.  But technically all we've shown before has been "evidence," and though overwhelming and unambiguous, it nonetheless could leave room, however miniscule and absent of merit, for a habitual cynic to still feel cause to object.

Until now.

Below is the first actual proof... honest-to-goodness courtroom-ready forensic "proof" - as irrefutable as a clear fingerprints on a gun handle.  Paramount has finally released the Season 2 episodes on high definition Blu-Ray*, and with them come screen cap images with a resolution 4.5 times better than previous standard DVDs (mouse-over & click below for the complete shot)...

Full Screen Cap - Blu-Ray HD Full Screen Cap - Standard DVD
a special big "Thanks" goes out to Trek Prop Zone member Deck5 for capturing these HD images and sharing them with us.

Here at last are the details we've been waiting to see in HD of the Alpha comm in its prime, with individual texture marks in the Kydex, the tiny moire and jewel features, and the precise antenna solder marks.  We can compare this image with that taken in the summer of 2007 at Vasquez Rocks, where the recently re-found Alpha was taken to recreate its famous pose:

Let's zoom in on just one inch-long length of shell with texture highlights...

... and see if two match up.

The bright spots of course can only come from high points in the texture.  Observe how each one from the 1967 screen cap, ringed in red, is sized, angled and swerving around the pits when laid upon the 2007 photo.  This level of detail is impossible to forge and was completely unknown until just two month ago.  Since the recent "Alpha revisits Vasquez" photo has been up for more than two years and presumably downloaded to countless hard drives around the world, it serves as a tamperproof snapshot of its current appearance. That such an absolute 100% match could be made of random Kydex texture, even under less than identical lighting conditions, is actual proof these objects are one-in-the-same.  These results could be easily duplicated by any authorizing body associated with a major auction house.  The "debate," such that it ever was, about the authenticity of the prop is over.

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So do the new screen caps show more?  Naturally, yes.  Next is a focused look at the antenna from the same two photos, separated in half for easier comparison.  A more perfect matching of holes, solder, and even the embedded dirt that stuck in the holes after years of banging around could not be imagined.  First the left half:

... and the right half:

Note how decades of oxidation has enhanced the color difference between the silver solder and the brass, making it easier to visually separate the two materials today.  You can see every bend, waiver and cut is right there in both pics along with precise solder blobs.  So unless someone has figured out a way to manipulate the flow and pooling of molten solder to a thousandth of an inch, and do this to match images not yet available for years to come, these shots alone would constitute in and of themselves enough proof for a positive match.

Next we move on to the other excellent close-up of Alpha seen in Season 2, that from Patterns of Force:

Full Screen Cap - Standard DVD Full Screen Cap - Blu-Ray HD

This image is not as sharp and in-focus as that from Friday's Child, with scant mappable Kydex texture or antenna solder.  But it does show one prominent feature that can be compared to the found Alpha of today... the mic grill.  We've previously made exhaustive study of the transistor radio grill Wah Chang used in his communicators and tricorders with a hereto before unknown ultra-rare variety of mesh.  The bright and dark patches from the constantly-changing interaction of holes and diamond peaks/valleys act as their own unique fingerprint suitable for use on any possibly-found original comm presented prior to our radio source discovery in 2007.  This very mic grill was already confirmed by using a modern photo vs. the old "Patterns of Force" standard DVD screencap.  But how does yet another modern pic, this one taken and posted as one of the first batch in December 2006, look up against Blu-Ray HD seen for the first time just two months ago?

Full modern photo

Even better!  Once again an absolutely perfect match, despite having slightly different lighting and viewing angles.

Well, that wraps it up with a pretty bow tie.  Downright proof, with a generous helping of re-corroborated study.  Hope to catch you all the next time another long-lost original communicator steps into the spotlight.

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