... Alpha - Mic Grill Comparison

Summer 2007 - Claims have been ongoing suggesting the found hero communicator we've identified as Alpha is possibly or even likely a clever forgery and not the genuine article as seen on screen; this despite the exhaustive visual analysis showing an incontrovertible correlation between known original comms and between period and current photos.  Most arguments now in the "against" column are so weak as to not merit any discussion.  But one regarding how the mic grill looks is worth investigating.

The vintage photo of Alpha given to William Krewson by Wah Chang in the early 1990s and first loaned to us in June 2007 is our base for comparison.  We previously have not examined this mic grill area in depth because both the excess of other matching details and the limited clarity of the miniscule features there in the vintage pic would most likely not yield conclusive results either way.  Still, let's see what there is to see.

We started with a current photo of the actual prop taken as close to the angle as the vintage.  Nothing in our extensive library was an exact match... either we could pair up the view in the X axis or the Y, but not both.  So we picked one with similar lighting that almost matched in the Y (long-ways) that was taken slightly right of center instead of slightly left as was the vintage:

As we start to focus on the mic grill material, note how it has a unique combination of bumps, valleys and holes.  Like fingerprints, each one is demonstrably different from the others, and it's an element not heavily fussed over in any known forgery.  To add extra weight to our examination, remember that one of our members discovered only in the summer of 2007 that the transistor radio Wah used for the mic grill had an ultra-rare speaker mesh, one with a hole and diamond pattern differing from nearly all others.  All combined, the mic grill features on originals and previously-known candidates (that surfaced before 2007) can be used as effectively as DNA to prove an unequivocal match.

So what do we see when comparing the vintage Wah Chang photo to the modern Alpha:

What's here is a near absolute perfect match, even with the lighting direction (indicated) and height not being precisely aligned in the modern photo (the only hotspot absent in the Modern is one to the right of Vintage's "F").  If that wasn't enough, we also have the ability to do the same exercise with yet another set of pics, both having been in the public arena for years.  The singular result speaks for itself:

Patterns of Force Alpha today


To have created a forgery to this unimaginable level of sophistication, one would have first needed to know in advance that this spot on the comm would be scrutinized under a microscope, then next studied an exceedingly rare vintage photo not yet available, and then cut a patch of exceedingly-rare speaker grill - a fact unknown for 41 years after the originals were built - from the exact right spot to utterly match in reflective intensity at every peak and hole.  Of course this combined detail-obsessive reverse-timeflow scenario is impossible.

There you have it.  So sit back and enjoy the utter assurance that the famous hero communicator has indeed survived to this day to be enjoyed by all.

Star Trek is a Registered and Copyrighted Trademark of Paramount Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.  All subject matters referring to Star Trek are trademarks of Paramount Pictures.

This website has not been produced or endorsed by Paramount Pictures.  Any material belonging to Paramount’s Copyrighted Material that may appear on this site complies with fair and/or acceptable use for the purposes of review, study, criticism, or news reporting.