Klingon invasion of Scotland on way

LEGIONS of Star Trek fans will be lured to the Borders after a mysterious monument in a mountain bike haven was revealed to contain a message from the Final Frontier.

• Glentress 'stane' at the bottom of Spooky Wood bike route

Thousands of visitors have been baffled by a bizarre and incomprehensible inscription on the sculpture unveiled at Glentress - Scotland's foremost mountain biking centre - near Peebles, two years ago.

The language of the inscription has been taken for Gaelic, Welsh and even Maori.

But now Scotland on Sunday can reveal that the text on the Glentress Meteorite stone, which sits in a Tweeddale forest, is actually a warning in Klingon - the language of a race of prominent-foreheaded aliens in the hit TV show.

The message, which was created by artist Gordon Young and funded by the European Union and the Forestry Commission, has been translated for the first time.

The text is written on the rock, which was sculpted to appear as if it landed from outer space. The guttural sounding message translates as: "Due to bad management by its current inhabitants, the Klingon Empire claims the right to take this planet for the benefit of the greater universe. This rock is an official legally binding claim marker. We will be arriving soon, your future is assured."

Young said the inscription was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the popularity of the long-running sci-fi series. "I had heard that Scotland was a stronghold of Trekkiedom and we wanted to reflect that," he said.The award-winning visual artist turned to die-hard fans to assist him with the intergalactic linguistic practicalities of the project.

"There is a Klingon language institute on the net who happily translate English into the Klingon language, though you have to decide whether you want ancient or modern."

Young revealed that the six-ton "meteorite" actually arrived from an Ullapool quarry rather than the outer reaches of the cosmos.

The unorthodox monument is part of the 7stanes project, which saw sculptures erected at the designated 7stanes centres, popular mountain biking and hiking spots throughout the south of Scotland.

Paul Munro, a spokesman for Forestry Commission Scotland, confirmed the meaning behind the engraving had not been revealed until now.

He said: "Gordon convinced us that the meteorite stone would be a bit of fun, generate a bit of mystery and encourage riders to get off their bikes and have a closer look.

"We also got the local foresters to dig a gouge through the trees to suggest its trajectory on 'landing'.

"We'd be delighted if Star Trek fans decided they wanted to come and see the meteorite and its Klingon inscription for themselves."

Admiral Mark Mitchell of Star Trek fan organisation Starfleet Command predicted that this will happen. He said: "I don't doubt that many fans will certainly find an excuse to make their way there.

"Perhaps someone ought to warn hikers and bikers about the possibility of encountering costumed Klingons."

Mitchell, who has been in the association for 20 years, added: "The Klingon fans tend to be some of the most zealous and bold fans. It's far from unusual for a 'Fan-gon', or Klingon fan, to learn the 'native' language. I've even picked up a few words myself over the years".

The Klingons first beamed on to television screens in 1967 as aggressive and war-like foes of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew. They were named after Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, who served alongside Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's creator, in the Los Angeles Police Department.

It was suggested that the Klingons were a Cold War metaphor for the Soviet Union. Originally, the bumpy-foreheaded foes spoke gibberish, but latterly James Doohan, the actor who played the cantankerous Caledonian engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, devised some Klingon dialogue.

Writer Marc Okrand later developed an entire vocabulary and his Klingon Dictionary sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide.The Bible and Hamlet were translated into the mock tongue and in 2006 the Guinness Book of Records confirmed that Klingon had overtaken Esperanto to become the most widely spoken constructed language.

Last May, a Klingon language app was created for the iPhone.

The EU contributed 1.7m towards the establishment of the 7stanes mountain bike trails and sculptures.

Inscription

"Vu'Ha'mo'nganpu'u"a'vaD yuQvam DoQ tlhIngan wo'Mab mub 'oH naghvam'e'Tugh mapaw, Sanna'llj wlwuqta'"

Translation

"Due to bad management by its current inhabitants, the Klingon Empire claims the right to take this planet for the benefit of the greater universe.

This rock is an official legally binding claim marker. We will be arriving soon, your future is assured."