Lost colony questions:

Total posts: [12]
I had an idea for a Lost Colony in which a cruiser holding 2,000 people flies to a far away planet, unloads all of its passengers on smaller shuttles, allowing to settle. Then the captain purposefully crashes the cruiser into the ocean of the planet. My idea for the captain and the people was that they were supposed to be isolationist and idealistic people who wanted to start society over again. I haven't quite worked out why the people would want to do this (it's not very important to the main story)

My main story starts over a thousand years after this. I'm tossing it between 1,000 and 6,000. I'm not sure I want the main society to be 6,000 years ahead. Is just 1,000 years enough time for society and cultures to have developed and for the original generation to be almost completely forgotten? I want the inhabitants of this planet to have basically forgotten they ever came from space and to believe that they were actually native to the planet and any tales of being from space to be treated as nothing more than old myths. Is 1,000 years enough time for that to happen?

Lastly, one of the main characters in somebody from the main interstellar community. One of the things I want her to do is discover the original wreckage. Would it be believable that there would be anything left of the original ship after spending over a thousand years in the ocean? Or would it have rusted into nothingness?
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2 TheEarthSheep6th Aug 2011 10:33:46 AM from a Pasture hexagon
Christmas Sheep
If your local authority figures were dedicated enough, they could wipe it out in a hundred years, I should say.
Still Sheepin'
3 Madrugada6th Aug 2011 11:29:26 AM , Relationship Status: In season
Never mind, completely misread the question.sad

edited 6th Aug '11 11:31:03 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
4 RalphCrown7th Aug 2011 09:37:28 AM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
If you want people to forget their origins, look at Earthlings. There are people who think the world was created in 4004 BC, complete with evidence (such as dinosaur bones) to make it look much older. Comfortable lies will usually drive out an uncomfortable truth.

A wreck can survive much longer if it gets covered by muck. Rust comes from iron plus oxygen—no oxygen, no rust. And it seems to me a starship hull would be built of something more exotic than iron.
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5 BlueNinja07th Aug 2011 11:08:58 AM from Lost in a desert oasis , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Chronically Sleep Deprived
Regular people can still find trash and detritus from civilizations hundreds or thousands of years old. So yes, the evidence could still be there.

As for erasing Earth, if they're all 100% in agreement with this, then it could be taken care of in the first generation, just teach all the children, "This is how it always has been and always will be." Any comments about coming from another planet will probably be written off as dreaming/insanity/senility, depending on the person saying it.

The biggest problem with crashing the ship into the ocean is that 1) it would have to be done somewhere well away from their settlement, to avoid damage from tidal waves* , and 2) it sounds like a suicide mission. Would it work better for the story to have the ship crashed into a lake closer by? Either way, a ship designed to travel star systems will probably be robust enough that evidence, if not the entire ship, is still present a thousand years later. It also begs the question of what happened to all the shuttles used to ferry them down to the surface? If the colonists really wanted it destroyed, they should have pointed it at the sun and let it drift on down.
TBH, his ego doesn't need more stroking. Nor does any other part of him. - M84
it would have to be done somewhere well away from their settlement, to avoid damage from tidal waves
it sounds like a suicide mission.
Maybe its artificial intelligence was ordered to do it, and rather than crash into the ocean, it slowly lowered itself into it.

It also begs the question of what happened to all the shuttles used to ferry them down to the surface?
If they weren't dismantled to build things, same as above. Or maybe they were kept after a little modification to make it look like they're just aircraft, not spacecraft?
I hadn't really considered a conspiracy coverup of the past. That could work. 1,000 years is a long time for humans, even longer when the generations/lifespans are cut short due to lack of technology.

As for the shuttles, yeah, they get dismantled for building materials. And I kinda need the cruiser to crash into the ocean. For one, oceans are easy to aim at, tens of thousands of miles of open water. And it's easier to hide the ship that way. If it crashes out into the middle nowhere in the ocean, then it's very hard to spot and can hide for 1,000 years. If it crashes into a relatively small lake, I just can't buy they wouldn't have found it after 1,000 years. Pointing it at the sun would've been a more efficient way to destroy it rather than hiding it in the ocean, but I need my protagonist to be able to find it. I guess I can explain that the captain didn't really care that much about destroying it.

Oh, and the captain survives. I planned for him to basically use the ship's computer to plot a course straight for open water, and then take the last shuttle out before the cruiser enters atmosphere.
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8 BlueNinja08th Aug 2011 06:57:00 AM from Lost in a desert oasis , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Chronically Sleep Deprived
[up] Depends on the meaning of "relatively small." If we're talking about a lake the size of, oh, Lake Mead* , or one of the great lakes, having it stay hidden for a millenia is no problem. Or, if the AI is the one bringing it down, then it just needs to land it on the other side of the continent/planet - if the oceans are big enough, it doesn't even need to be underwater, by the time any of the descendants find it, soil movement due to wind/rain will have turned the damn thing into a hill.

For that matter, if they're dismantling all of the shuttles, they could have left the ship in geosynchronous orbit. No colonist is going to find it then. cool
TBH, his ego doesn't need more stroking. Nor does any other part of him. - M84
Raven Wilder
If there's no deliberate coverup, then even after 6000 years the "we came from space" story is probably still go around. A lot of stuff about it may have gotten altered, and people might dismiss it as myth and legend, but people should still have heard the basic concept.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
Well actually a conspiratorial coverup only lasts for a certain while, either way it's sorta parabolic. Immediately after they land they know they're from space. If you cover it up or don't cover it up, eventually people might forget they were from space. Then as archaeology and technology improves, they'll remember again. So a thousand years is certainly enough for forgetting, especially with a conspiracy, but at 6000 that might actually be too much because then the technology might be too good for them not to know. Then again, it'd always be iffy at 6000 years.
A thousand years is enough time for the English of Beowulf to become the English of the Pottersues writers or M.I.A. A thousand years? Really? There are *no* oral traditions in the English-speaking world that are that old. Few are even a century old, and I do mean oral traditions, not written history taught in schools. Most of what people know *now* about the 1920s is written history. No way there'd be any oral memory after that long. Oral history is much less durable than you are assuming. (As a college history prof, troping on my break, I should know!) http://www.amazon.com/Death-Luigi-Trastulli-Other-Stories/dp/0791404307/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359737153&sr=8-1&keywords=death+of+Luigi+trastulli

This is a good rundown of how oral memory works. Check it out.
Terracotta Soldier Man
You do realize you just necro'ed a conversation that's over a year old, right?
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Total posts: 12