RE. Re. aliens
Last I heard, Lietenant Expendable miscalculated the approach and they got a *very* clear shot of the NCC-1701 coming back around the Sun after their slingshot.
Fortunately because of the angle wrt Earth few if any people saw it.
The good news is that not half an hour later he "accidentally" got ejected into space while cleaning the plasma manifolds with a Q-tip (tm)
Either that or they saw the "Gotterdammerung" doing a flight test picking up some solar protons on the way, and harvesting the anti-matter and helium-3.
What was that film called where someone built a flying sphere in their shed using parts from a junkyard and what looked a bit like an Apple-2 ? also recall something about a faster than light drive.