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'Star Trek' in the White House: Obama and Uhura go Vulcan

Actress Nichelle Nichols of Lt. Uhura fame posts a photo of she and the president flashing the Vulcan salute in the Oval Office.

Nichelle Nichols

Conspiracy theorists focused on President Obama's citizenship may have been on the wrong track. Perhaps he didn't call Kenya or Indonesia home. Perhaps he's not a citizen of Earth at all.

In fact, new photographic evidence leaked to TwitPic suggests the commander in chief may not even be human. The photo -- no doubt intended as a personal memento and not for the eyes of Earthlings -- shows Obama (if that's really his name) flashing the Vulcan salute alongside none other than Admiral (formerly Lt.) Nyota Uhura, who apparently time-traveled from her administrative offices at Starfleet Intelligence for a top secret conference with the president.

Come to think of it, Obama always did strike us as looking a bit Vulcan-like.

Kidding aside, actress Nichelle Nichols posted the shot to TwitPic last night, saying in a tweet that "A photo came to me in the mail that I've kept for myself for over a week, but now it's time to share it with Trekkers everywhere." She's also using the photo as her Twitter thumbnail picture.

The shot was taken back in February, when Nichols visited the White House after presenting the keynote address at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in observance of Black History Month.

An article in the center's "Goddard View" magazine (PDF) stresses the cultural significance of the interracial crew on "Star Trek" and relates an anecdote Nichols told during her speech, in which a surprise face-to-face meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King -- who apparently recognized that significance -- prompted her to alter her plans to leave the show.

Among other things, in 1968 Nichols and William Shatner performed what some claim was the first-ever scripted interracial kiss on U.S. television. And the name Uhura was apparently inspired by the Swahili word for "freedom."

As blog Kotaku points out, it's not the first time President Obama has flashed the Vulcan salute, but the appeal of this photo to "Star Trek" fans and others seems undeniable.