First commission of 2019: Patron extraordinnaire Mark Brady wanted a new avatar image. His request: “Make it as something from a Sci-Fi space show that never was.”
The request intrigued me, and so I gradually came up with the idea of incorporating the SSS (Secret Space Program) mythos into the piece. For those of you who don’t know, the SSS is a conspiracy theory promulgated by some researchers involving the (alleged) existence of advanced technologies developed by either back-engineering crashed alien craft, or through other means — recovered knowledge from a previous civilization is also invoked — which has been put to use by our shadowy overlords in order to assemble a space program which is light years away (pun intended) from anything NASA or other players in the ‘public’ space program currently have.
For the record, I don’t really subscribe to the SSS for a variety of reasons, which is not to say there may be some secret or classified aspects about space exploration. I mean, technically speaking there is a secret space program: The (in)famous space plane X-37 spends months in orbit doing God knows what (surveilance? testing of new weapons?) and I also remember a Wired article printed some years ago mentioning a very hush-hush stealth satellite allegedly capable of changing its orbit to avoid detection. What would prevent the NSA from painting one of their ‘birds’ with banta-black in order to prevent it from being spotted on the surface?
And there is also the very cryptic comments made by the former head of Skunkworks, Ben Rich, saying there were secret projects developed by the US government which would make George Lucas envious. “We now have the technology to take ET back home” he once said to an audience of amazed young engineers, but he never clarified what he meant. I do admit that still gives me pause…
But that is a FAR CRY from unquestioningly believing the kind of nonsense promoted as truth by many so-called whistle-blowers who would have their audience believe they were super-soldiers who have been on Mars, or were appointed as human ambassadors by the Galactic Federation or whatever!
Nevertheless, the idea in itself of a secret space program being run unbeknownst to NASA as a Sci-Fi concept is incredibly appealing –probably the reason why Stargate was such a popular TV series– and so I decided to do a bit of research in order to incorporate a few SSS elements into Mark’s commission.
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the end result. I see my current work and compare it with the stuff I was doing a few years ago, and I can see a clear progress, which makes me really happy.
Mark suggested the name ‘Black Knight’ for our imaginary (or imaginal) TV show that never was, and I fully approve. So here’s hoping some people in Hollywood get to see this piece and decide to hire me as art consultant for a future Netflix series involving the never-told adventures of Commander McKinnon (see what I did there??) onboard the USSS Hillenkoeter!