Allow me to disagree with you. Re: "The Nine Billion Names of God," the
whole purpose of that story had nothing to do with alien contact; it had to
do with gettting all the earthbound names of God into a computer, so they
could create the end of the world. The monks are on B5 in an attempt at
studying the different religions out there for the purpose of better
understanding...or more succinctly, comparitive religious studies, which long
predate Clarke by, oh, about 500 years.
The buried shadow vessel was put there to hide it from destruction. Are you
suggesting that every time someone buries something alien it's 2001?