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Lost Theory – Ben and the Amazing Island Time Machine (minor spoilers)

By Cat,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 22

This is going to sound a little “out there”, but Doc likes the out there theories so I’m going go ahead and post it anyway.

What if the island itself is a giant time machine? What if Ben knows that the island acts like a giant time machine?

Each bearing takes you to different times when exiting the island. We know that going on the wrong bearing is bad, as evidenced from Faraday’s insistence that they head on that certain bearing of 305. Faraday might knows that time is wonky on the island, due to the rocket getting to the island 31 minutes later. He might know that you need a specific bearing, not just to get back to the freighter, but to get to the right time of the freighter. This might be why they arrived a full day later on the freighter when they were flying back in the helicopter. The bearing that Faraday gave them was the bearing they had when they flew into the island, but over a day had passed, so when they flew back, the bearing was incorrect, thus depositing them in the wrong time when they came off the island.

Back to Ben and Michael. When Ben gives Michael and Walt a bearing to get off the island, not only does he know that it will send them back in time, but he knows exactly when they will appear back in the “real world”. What if he sends them back 6 months or so, gets off the island, takes Walt and leaves Michael alone to scream “Waaaaaalt!” for way longer than should be humanly possible.

It’s also possible that Ben, knowing how the island’s time traveling capabilities works, sent Walt way back, like way way back in time to keep him from the Losties.

And just to do a complete mindf*ck, what if Walt is Jacob?

From TVFrenzy:

  • alex

    ahhh sounds REALLY “out there”. i think its too far fetched but thats just me. good job though!

  • lmz27

    I’ll also add that I think the time machine capabilities of the island were caused by the electromagnetic anomaly of the geographical position of the island, and that the button in the hatch was to regulate that electromagnetism and thus the time machine in some way — now without the hatch there may be less control of the time machine than before.

  • BlastMapDoor

    It’s not that far out there – thinking back to the interview with STEPHEN KING and the producers, and discussion of SK’s DARK TOWER series as an inspiration for LOST. The Dark Tower is a central spoke around which all time rotates. Each level of the tower is a different universe. Sounds very plausible that the island is operating on a very similar mechanic.

  • DutchDomage

    This theory actually makes very much sense. First of all, magnetism can be used by mankind to “slow” time. I don’t know how it could be used to send people to other times, past, present or future. But it definitely can slow time. And, we know that there are VERY LARGE magnets on the island. We also know that pregnant women die in the second trimester. If time is being slowed for those ON the island due to electromagnetism, then there is also radiation. Electromagnetic radiation would kill any cells that are rapidly turning over or rapidly growing. Therefore, the white blood cell count in pregnant mothers and their infants may well be lower, exposing them to infection. Ahhh, yes, I almost forgot… Radiation would also kill Rose’s cancer. Damn, I’m good.

    Also, remember that Einstein showed that gravity slows time, and that acceleration produces the same effects as gravity. Clocks at lower altitudes run slower as gravity is stronger. Clocks at higher altitudes enjoy the opposite effect. All mass objects have gravity that slows time to some degree, depending on the mass of the object. The electromagnetic field contributes to the gravity of an object, thus it also affects the rate at which time flows. The magnetic field around a magnet can thus be seen as a curvature of space time.

    Einstein’s theory of relativity also says that there is nothing in Physics to suggest that time travel is not possible. Time is governed by its own force. This force is similar to electromagnetic fields and gravity in that it both moves time forward in a uniform pace (one minute = one minute) and it keeps it carrying the universe with it.

    Anyhow, Autochthonous, I think you’re on to something. If you could control the way Tachyons move forward and backward through time in their cloud orbits with magnetism, you could possibly send people or things on time warps at certain coordinates that match up with the way you’re shooting out those tachyons. Holistic medicine practioners believe that “Tachyon Energy” is inherently perfect and that people can be conductors of Tachyon Energy. Perhaps, if this is true, then all the people standing on that island are conducting a form of this energy, hence their diseases or afflictions go away. Locke can walk. Charlie sure did kick herroine easier than most?

    Good theory. I think it’s probably partly accurate. The magnetic poles on the earth are different from the geographical poles on the earth. So, if you had large electro magnets sitting over the south pole of the earth (presumably somewhere in the S. Pacific), perhaps you would have quite enough magnetism to emit virtual photons and control the direction of Tachyons?

    Can’t wait for the next episode.


  • Tibatonk

    I actually thought of exactly the same thing a few days ago. I guess this theory would mean that the island actually exists outside the time continuum of the ‘real’ world.
    Another nice thing about this theory is that it would actually explain the mystery of Walt’s aging. Let’s say the Walt that appeared to Locke was a projection of real life-off island Walt. Now if the bearing that Ben gave to Michael sent Walt and Michael not just a few months but actually some years back in time, then, by the time Walt appeared to Locke, Walt would actually have aged those years, although to the people on the island only a few weeks would have passed. I hope this makes sense, it’s actually much easier to explain with the help of a timeline.
    This way, if the O6, or some of them, should ever return to the island in the future, an older Walt could even return with them.
    Oh, and maybe this theory could also explain the Richard Alpert non-aging mystery. Alpert leaves the island to the past, reenters the island in the past and talks to young Ben, then leaves the island again, this time to 2004 and reenters the island in the present.

  • Nick

    that is an amazing theory, I actually would buy that, i think team darlton would think of something like that, and the off bearing sets them in a middle ground, one that sends them way back, and one that sends them a little ways back, and Desmond was a little more sensitive to said middle ground and reacted to it.

  • Nancy

    To take it one step further…then the Jack flash forward at the end of Season 3 could actually be a flash forward for him and a flash back for his dad both occurring at the same time. Hence Jack could be freaking out from being “home” from the island and his dad could conceivably be working in the hospital, even though this logically doesn’t fit on a pure linear timeline for us, the viewer.

  • Eric

    What about Desmond’s testimony from the Season 2 finale? He attempted to sail his boat away from the Island, but kept coming back. He ended up thinking that the Island was in “a snowglobe.” While time may be influenced by the bearing one takes to get off the Island, I’d like to see more discussions of this problem and its relations to getting on/off the Island.

  • Redneckfox23

    Why do they keep refering to 6 as 06? Is it that its not really 6 but maybe as in the year 06? This has been bugging me since I first saw it. But no one else seem to have picked up on it.

  • Tina

    O6 refers to “The Oceanic Six”

  • Redneckfox23

    I know it refers to the “Oceanic Six” but why always 06 ….and not 6 it strikes me funny

  • AlphaSigChainsaw

    Instead of typing out “Oceanic 6” people type O6. There really is nothing more to it. The O is the letter o, not the number 0. Therefore O=Oceanic and the six being six.

    On a side note. I’ve thought for a while now that different trajectories would result in in different shifts through time. Dan tell Frank and Eko’s stick tells Locke 305, but Ben tells Michael 325. I’m sure this sends him into the past where he meets either Ben, Richard, Tom, Ethan, or someone else and they tell him he must do certain things to keep Walt safe. For instance, he gets sent to the year 2000. He runs into Richard who says, we know you know about the island. Keep your mouth shut and you’ll be ok. In 4 years, when Oceanic 815 goes down, you need to be on the rescue boat. You know all about 815, don’t you Michael? So Michael (and Walt) have another 4 years go by and they age like everyone else, except when they get back to the frieghter/island, they appear to all the island folk as 4 years older. Michael recognizes Sayid for sure AND this explains Walt’s growth. Sorry if this doesn’t make sense, I’m drunk.

  • buffy

    Excellent call, AlphaSigChainsaw.

  • Franka

    Would course correction allow Michael to skip out on the crash?

  • lmz27

    good point. i’m not sure, but maybe… as long as he ends up not creating any paradoxes… course correction is supposed to allow for small changes but always adjusts so the universe is ultimately the same….
    this would mean, for example, that somehow, ana lucia and libby have to die even though michael’s not there to kill them… etc, etc, etc…

  • capegirl

    I think Alpha sig has a point. Michael seemed to “know” that the island was difficult to find. It totally makes sense that Walt comes back older and that he is on the island and Michael is on the freighter.

    I am brewing that Jin and Sun are the Adam and Eve in the caves.

    I think that Jin stayed behind and that Sun goes back for him after she has Ji Yeon. We are definitely not done with those characters(Adam and Eve) and I think it will be revealed who they are by the end of the series.

  • AlphaSigChainsaw

    I don’t think Michael would be skipping the boat, I think he’d be actually time traveling. When we see Michael on the freighter, he’s already experienced the 815 crash and for him, that was a long time ago, longer at least than everyone still on the island. At the point in time when Michael gets sent back, there are 2 Michaels and 2 Walts at that point in time (much like I think that Candle/Wickmund/Halowax are all the same person at the same time, but from different times).

    In Doc’s recent interview w/ Damon and Carlton, they said that you can’t really trust anything they say. The fact that they said there is no physical time travel doesn’t necessarily mean that’s true. Here’s the excerpt:

    UGO: When was the decision to use time travel in the story made?

    DAMON: It’s been in the DNA of the show since the very beginning. Obviously, one thing the flash backs and the flash forwards provide you with is the idea of time travel. You’re bouncing around in time and events from the past are seemingly influencing the present, but it’s not a traditional time travel story until we started talking about what the hatch was there for, and what this electromagnetic energy that the hatch is trying to contain is and what would be the effect of that hatch going away, otherwise known as the purple sky event. And it was sort of those conversations which obviously happened way back in season one when Locke and Boone found the hatch that were the early precursors of time travel. I will say, though, that the first significant event in the show where we were thinking in the back of our minds that this is going to require a story telling element that isn’t traditional narrative, is the discovery of Adam and Eve in the caves.

    UGO: Here’s an issue that arises with regards to that. Fans will speculate about different aspects of the show and will often reference statements that we’re made, like “Oh it can’t be about time travel because Damon and JJ said on the non-linear board at The Fuselage that there is no time travel in the show.” How do you deal with it when, I don’t want to say out and out lie, but if a fan or an interviewer asks a question that is going to really blow the story open; you obviously can’t say “yeah, that’s right.”

    CARLTON: Obviously, we’re very careful about what we say. But, honestly, the assumption that you can figure it all out pre-supposes that you know enough about the world of the show to figure it all out. If I were to ask you towards the end of season one what your theory on what all the revelations of Lost are, you’re going to give a wildly different answer then you would now part way through season 4. What we would say is there are still twists and turns and unexpected surprises to come, so its really hard to figure out where we’re going because the audience doesn’t possess enough information yet. Occasionally people do stumble upon bits and pieces of things that are true and I think that is great, but it has to remain that viewers individual satisfaction because we’re not going to ruin it for everybody else by saying “Yes! That’s exactly what is going to happen.”

    DAMON: The reality is, anything that Carlton and I say, or anyone involved with the show says, that is all part of the politicking that sort of surrounds the show. We like the idea of being answerable to the show, that is to say if we do something the fans don’t like we can come forward and apologize for it and explain what the thought process was for executing that story line. Or, vice versa, if we do something people really like we get to sort of pull that forward and explain, for instance, that we weren’t able to do the flash forward part of the story until they promised us an end to the show, and this is how we were able to end the show, and this is why we are doing three more seasons, and so on. The fans are owed those explanations. But, in a lot of ways it is like J.K. Rowling revealing that Dumbledore was gay. She’s saying this, and it is part of her talking about the books, but all that matters at the end of the day is the books. So, watching the show Lost, you watch it and the data is there for you to form whatever theories you have, and you can’t factor in anything that even the creators or actors are saying about the show outside of the show, because at the end of the day the show will be processed in six DVD box sets. It will be completely irrelevant as to whether we confirmed or denied or speculated. The one thing that Carlton and I are steadfast on saying over and over again, and that we’re not lying about is that the show is not all a dream. It’s happening in the real world, there are real stakes, you’re not going to get to the end and cut to black and suddenly realize that this was all sort of a fantasy. That’s the only thing that we sort of need to get out there in the world, because it does diffuse a lot of wacky theories.

    So I think that anything they’ve said about NO time travel and about NO Christian Shephard can be thrown out the window. My 2 cents.

  • Brian

    I though something very similar regarding the fate of Mike and Walt after the last episode. Just a few more things to add about what I think is going on:

    Mike and Walt basically risk creating some nasty stuff if they see their old selves pre-315 (see Orchid video). Because of that, they do not attempt to try to stop the themselves or other from boarding 315.

    The Swan’s button stabilized the magnetic field (up to a point) and made the island easier to find and less treacherous to travel to (Dharma needed that to bring people and gear to the island regularly). This is why the jamming station that Charlie shut down was so critical to Ben… it kept the island hidden. It is also what Ben encouraged the 315ers to stop pushing the button. He knew that it would make the island very dangerous to travel to and would do pretty much what the jamming station did… keep other people from finding it easily and landing with a serious force on it. Once the Swan imploded, the Ben sent Mikhail to kill the people running it so that his people would not know he was doing the jamming (it was probably used as an excuse to why his people could not leave). He could not let that info get out to the general “others” population or risk losing face and power. The importance of the actual jamming was much lessened once the magnetic field was wild and messing people up who tried to travel to the island.

    Ben is likely using a medical problem that Walt is experiencing to continue to control Mike (this is Ben’s MO). Walt, either because he saw his “old” self or because traveling away from the island when the sky turned purple is sick/possibly comatose. Mike is convinced that Ben is the only one who can cure his son and he is willing to do anything (even die) to protect Walt. That is why he is Ben’s spy on the boat. This, of course, was probably Ben’s plan all along when he sent them back in time when they left the island… use the sickness that he knew Walt would develop to continue to control Mike.

  • lmz27

    Brian, I love your thoughts!!! good call with walt being “sick” somehow — it’s the best Walt theory I’ve heard so far leading up to Thursday night’s epi.

  • Brian

    Thanks lmz27,

    Small addendum…

    Here is how I would write the Walt thing…

    Walt sees his Mom and runs up to her. Nice sub-text laden conversation all heart-felt and touching. He looks down and sees baby Walt and goes comatose and while baby Walt gets his special powers from seeing his older self.

  • matt

    if the theory is correct…

    perhaps when they flew back to the ship and hit the storm they changed bearings for a moment. so when they landed on the ship desmond’s body(or mind) was in both bearings (timelines). the other boys on the chopper were not effected because they have less exposure to elecromagnetism.

    hmm… the lost universe is becoming difficult to explain 😛

  • bthorne47

    Here ia a theory for ya. I think little miss alex may have grown up to be the hottest female in the cast. I mean she has always been a pretty girl, but WOW, she has grown to be absolutely stunning. she may have taken kate’s place as my tv crush…any thoughts?