I've tried it several ways. Of late I've been working on a way to do it quite nicely with slightly bent arms.
I believe that you are correct about 'internal' people making this claim. I have never seen this either. I have seen displays of alignment as I've shown in my video. I've also seen demonstrations of redirecting/dissipating/deflecting (whatever we want to call it). I've also seen a large number of novel tricks that can make it look like this is possible. But I've never seen video, or in person demonstration of someone standing square, not aligning and taking (relatively) large amounts of force. There's a lot of hearsay about such things.
Until I've seen it, I can't and wouldn't try, to explain it. We've got to look at everything on a case by case basis.
This, to my mind, is a good summary of where you come from, Chris. Many would agree.
Ron may have gone a step further in his approach by relating to ki, as a good teaching tool in the way Tohei may have intended.
But it appears to me, that the " hardcore internal" people in aikido apply ki more as a subset of applying intent and other things, so that ki alone isn't sufficient to do or explain the things that happen in the process of effective aiki(do) nor what they have in mind with this internal stuff.
And a simple model for structure and using vectors may even be of lesser use to them.