In the episode Q Who, at the end, Guinan says that the encounter with the Borg happened before it should have. Picard says "they will be coming" in response to Guinan saying that they are now aware of The Federation's (or humanity's) existence implying this was the Borg's first contact with them as well.

However, earlier in the episode, after Q first sends the enterprise light years away, when scanning a Class M Planet Worf comments that the suspected industrialized civilization that had been there there appeared to have been ripped away from the planet identical to what happened to the outposts along the Neutral Zone in the episode The Neutral Zone.

This made me think that in both cases the perpetrators were the Borg and that the Federation and the Romulans have encountered the Borg already.....just that no one's survived to report back.

If that is the case then didn't the Borg already know about the Federation? If Guinan was expecting the Federation to encounter the Borg much later, was she not aware that the encounter had already happened and they are already seen as they are just raw material for the Borg?

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    Out of universe, it was planned to introduce the Borg after the Neutral Zone cliffhanger, at the start of season two; but then the writers went on strike and the Borg had to be postponed. – chirlu Oct 6 '16 at 0:03
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    I'll do a comment as this is largely speculative, Its possible that the Borg thought humans/romulans weren't worth assimilating so decided to ignore them. Until they saw the enterprise escape/fly away from them faster than the Borgs maximum transwarp speed (Thanks to Q but the Borg didn't know that: they would just see 'cool tech - we want it' – Matt Aug 10 '17 at 19:09


Borg encounters were known to Starfleet but the information was not generally known throughout the Federation.

From the Memory Alpha page on the Borg

As of "Q Who" and "The Best of Both Worlds", it appeared that Starfleet had never heard of the Borg. Subsequently, Star Trek: Enterprise's "Regeneration" and Star Trek: Voyager's "Dark Frontier" showed that not only was Starfleet previously aware of the existence of the Borg, Federation scientists actually pursued them – even if they were considered mere rumor. Further, although Guinan indicates in "Q Who" that her people were attacked by the Borg, it is implied that Starfleet was not aware of the threat. However, it was later revealed in Star Trek Generations that Starfleet, in fact, rescued the El-Aurian survivors of the Borg attack including Guinan, and it seems unlikely that Starfleet would not inquire as to the cause of their plight.

  • Wasn't the question were the Borg aware of the Federation? (still yes, they would obviously have to be) – Z. Cochrane Oct 7 '16 at 13:39
  • @zabeus; The exact time line of Borg contact is a little murky, to say the least. The Borg encountered in 2153 (Regeneration) were the result of the time travel almost 100 years earlier (Generations). In both cases the Borg had sent a message to the Delta quadrant. The message in 2153 would take about 200 years to reach the Delta quadrant. The events of "The Neutral Zone" were in 2364 so the Borg were aware of humanity and Earth but maybe not quite aware of the Federation or the extent of the Federation in the Alpha and Beta quadrants. – sfhq_sf Oct 7 '16 at 14:05

If no one has survived to report the encounter then no one in the federation would know about the encounter and Guinan is in the federation.

If I remember correctly though the Borg do not rip planets apart they assimilate so if the Borg had attacked the M class planet they would still be present and assimilating biological and technological matter.

  • They do not rip planets apart but they do scoop up whole cities, leaving craters behind, as observed in The Best of Both Worlds part 1. – J Doe Oct 5 '16 at 23:27

The Borg would have learned about humanity and the Federation when they assimilated Seven of Nine's parents in 2356.

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