This is one of the best theories I’ve ever seen about ABC’s Lost. It’s a long read but well worth it.
here is a quick summarization for the lazy, but i encourage you to read it all:
The Island is the plan for the end of the world and the plane crash never actually happened. Instead the plan was captured by this magnetic field, brought to the island and everyone was cryogenically frozen (cue austin powers) and the crash was staged..
Meet Hans Oersted:
Hans O. discovered electromagnetism in 1820.
In 1999 the ‘Oersted’ satellite was launched with the purpose of charting Earth’s magnetic field. The findings led scientists to believe that there might be a polar reversal imminent, the effects of which could be cataclysmic: if Earth were to lose its magnetosphere, it would be vulnerable to massive radiation from the space/sun. The satellite also revealed an anomaly in the magnetic field under South Africa; it is pointing the opposite direction from the rest of the Earth’s field and has been growing for hundreds of years. Please Google this info. A similar idea was also used in the film ‘The Core’.
Meet Hannes Alfvén:His contribution to science – mainly in the field of electromagnetism – revolutionized how scientists view the universe, winning a Nobel Prize on the way. He spoke English, German, French, Russian, and some Spanish and Chinese; and studied oriental philosophy and religion. He spent time in the Fiji Islands. He was fascinated by the “green flash” – a phenomenon that sometimes occurs at sunset. By no coincidence (Green Lantern and Flash comic):
He also wrote fiction: The Great Computer: A Vision (1968) telling the story of computers taking over the world. Google “Hannes Alfvén”.
Alfvén plus Hans O. equals Alvar Hanso.
The above outlines the reason for – and a means to control – the island…
Scientists, fearing the cataclysmic events of a polar reversal, prepared an environment for the survival of the human race. They either directly or indirectly engineered the kind of people who would make up a community fit for survival and propagation of a new world. In the main, this means characters without father/mother figures; and/or characters with skills for survival: a doctor, an engineer, a survivalist, a mercenary; and characters of sufficiently varied genetic background: african, caucasian, asian, etc. to ensure a healthy gene pool for generations.
Then on an island which already had a massive natural source of electromagnetism, they constructed an artificial magnetosphere, alluded to in Walt’s/Hurley’s comic:
to repel the deadly cosmic rays that Earth’s magnetosphere used to repel. The hope was that the community could thrive, grow and, eventually, repopulate/recover the world.
The Dharma Initiative under Alvar Hanso (if both of these thing exist in the Lost reality – much of the Orientation film is red herrings for the ‘survivors’) used a technology based on remote viewing and electromagnetism to power this magnetosphere and to influence the lives of the future island candidates. As stated in another of my posts: every strange (and a lot of mundane) occurrences in Lost can be attributed to electromagnetism as wielded by the collective consciousness on the island (see “Enlightenment Theory”). When all the candidates were in place, i.e. on the plane, the collective consciousness knocked everyone out, brought it down, cryogenically preserved them, dismantled the plane (placing enough debris in the ocean to ensure an “everybody dead” verdict); years later, some plane debris was placed on the beach with the passengers and the scene was set to give the illusion that they had JUST crashed. Then the collective consciousness woke them up.
The joke/password about the snowmen is an allusion to being cryogenically frozen.
The collective consciousness is that group of scientists that became so totally absorbed into remote viewing and electromagnetism that they now operate on frequencies of electromagnetism (covering everything from light to sound) only. They can read minds as well as manipulate iron and other conductive material. Claire wondered why there was not one comb or hairbrush on the entire plane; the reason: the slight electrostatic charges that hair brushing creates is interference for the collective consciousness.
Much of the Orientation film and what Desmond says is false and purely to ensure that our heroes press those bloody buttons every 108 minutes. The purpose is threefold: to provide a focus for the community – a reason to go on and something ‘meaningful’ that goes beyond rational decision-making; secondly, to protect the hatch/power-supply/scientists behind the concrete; and, thirdly, to download the information from the Oersted satellite as it orbits the Earth every 108 minutes (please Google this) to get the latest on the magnetic poles.
The collective consciousness messed with this bird’s navigation (based on magnetism – birds have magnetite in their beaks).
Sayid tells Jack that either the compass is wrong or North has moved. In fact, North has moved.
Walt seems to become a knife-throwing expert. He isn’t. The metal knife was guided by the collective consciousness in an attempt to bring him closer to Locke, who is the island’s most faithful servant.
The presence of this ship is an indication that this island has always been known as a source of great magnetic power (the word “magnet” comes from “Magnesia” the land where the first black rock with powers of attraction was found). The location of this ship is an indication of the island’s volcanic past – pushing the island higher – the ship is now inland. (Lava cools to form basalt; at the point basalt solidifies it takes on the same magnetic field as the surrounding location, thus providing information of the magnetic field’s past.)
BF Skinner’s dubious theories form the basis for the methods used by collective consciousness to socially engineer this ‘utopia’. They are the voices in the trees, they are the visions, they are the black fog (metal in a magnetic field), the monster (mechanical, but designed to embody each survivor’s personal fear). They use every psychological trick in his books to manipulate the survivors into forming a stable long-lasting community ON the island; and their means to this end are extensive.
The two images above are an explicit example of how the influence of the Dharma’s collective consciousness has pervaded in the survivors’ lives: notice the octagonal ceiling in both shots; and the metal balls in the second scene.
The opening shot of most episodes – the eye – establishes that this episodes main character will perceive what the collective consciousness wishes to show them. In this episode, Boone has an epiphanies vision courtesy of the collective consciousness and is later murdered with a falling plane!
Locke can walk now. Locke has no feeling in his legs. Locke’s ability to walk is based on the collective consciousness’ will. It makes him obedient. This level of obedience may be required of all the survivors eventually. His legs move because the collective consciousness allows those tiny electronic impulses from his brain via the spine to get through to muscles in his legs.
To summarize: our heroes never actually crashed; they are the future of mankind – the survivors of a cataclysmic polar event of which they are unaware; they are on the island to survive, procreate and repopulate the Earth. They are unaware of this plan which is sustained by a sophisticated collective consciousness and a group of scientists using electromagnetic power, and psychological techniques of reward and punishment.
Some attempts at answers:
The polar bears are on the island because they think it’s the North Pole. And so does Sayid’s compass. Their appearance in the Orientation film is to throw the ‘survivors’ off the scent – as though the bears have been deliberately placed there and have simply escaped – no. But the collective consciousness can still use them – like it used boars.
Other occurrences of the polar bear – comic, cuddly toy – leads me to: we don’t know yet to what extent the ‘survivors’ have been socially engineered. It is possible that Hurley was so influenced by the scientists that he subconsciously sought out a comic with a polar bear and those other themes in it. Michael could have been told that Walt likes polar bears by his mum – or it could just be a coincidence/writer’s joke.
As for Walt’s knife throwing – yes he could have special powers – we don’t yet know how socially engineered these people are… Desmond does call Jack “brother”! But I don’t think Locke has special powers:
[Locke predicts the weather to a minute]
Neither does he need a compass anymore. These are electromagnetic phenomena – the conductivity of the air increases just before precipitation – you can smell rain. His power is a gift from the island…but can be taken back at any time.
Which leads us to: why did the island kill Boone? After freeing him from love of his step sister and making him loyal, the island murders him – why? Possible answer: because Locke, at that time, is the main prize for the island; in his dream he was shown Boone dead – but he still proceeded with the excursion to the plane! The island was testing him and setting him apart from everyone else. By the time they got to the plane, Locke was unable to walk, thus preventing him from climbing to the plane – thus forcing Boone to do it. This was all the collective consciousness’ plan.
…it was Locke that ultimately convinced the group to press the buttons – even Jack.
We haven’t met all the survivors yet – even in the main group. Maybe if there are any missing genetic groups, they are in there. Naveen Andrews is English! [ALERT: politically dangerous ground mixing nationality with ethnic origin – I’m stopping here!!!]
Did Kate remember the crash? Did Boone see his sister dead? Did Jack see his dead father? These people are like those lotto balls bouncing around – but the order of the numbers has already been determined… (apologies for metaphor).
My guess is that there are two groups of Others: one of scientists still on board with the project (boat), and another of scientists who have gone native (those in rags and no metal or sound). The gone-native group (including Ethan) steals babies; they see the project as insidious and rebel against it; they take babies so that the babies can grow up free – without the collective consciousness in their minds. The other group (boat) took Walt in order to keep people on the island – Michael won’t be building a raft again.
Google: B.F. Skinner’s novel “Walden Two” in which he describes a group of friends visiting a Skinner-type ‘utopian’ community. The friends react in different ways to the community’s ideology; these reactions outline the viewpoints of the two groups of Others.
Some other points which back up Andrew’s theory:
– the significance of the Dharma Initiative shark: according to Wikipedia ‘The shark has the greatest electricity sensitivity known in all animals.’
– one of the early workers on cryopreservation was Sir James Lovelock, who proposed the Gaia theory. Again, quote Wikipedia: Gaia theory is a class of scientific models of the geo-biosphere in which life as a whole fosters and maintains suitable conditions for itself by helping to create an environment on Earth suitable for its continuity. That tallies nicely with your ideas above – also as a nice ‘coincidence’ it was named Gaia theory following a suggestion by his chum William Golding, of ‘Lord of the Flies’ fame!
– I’m guessing the polar bears were brought there for monitoring i.e. to compare this artificially generated pole to their usual habitat