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Lost Theory – Time and the Island (Spoiler Removed!)

By imfromthepast,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 53

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You all know about the Rocket and the 31 minute time difference, so I won’t waste your time recounting the scene here. Instead I’ll just start my ruminations on what that scene implied.

The rocket was fired from the Freighter by Regina and it flew to the Island, only to arrive later than expected. It is assumed that it landed 31 minutes late, based on the difference of the two clocks, but nowhere is there hard evidence that 31 minutes passed between Regina saying that the rocket should have arrived and it’s actual arrival. It is a safe assumption though.
 
Suffice it to say, an appreciable amount of time passed and the rocket finally arrived late. The presence of a clock as the cargo of the rocket, and Daniel’s first reaction being to compare the two indicates that the difference was expected and that the purpose of the experiment was to measure the actual difference.
 
Later, when Frank, Sayid, and Desmond are preparing to leave, Daniel warns Frank to “follow the exact same bearing we came in on. No matter what.” The exact bearing. In other words the same angle of approach with respects to the Island.
Why does he warn Frank of this?
 
Because the Rocket came in at some random bearing and experienced a time difference of 31 minutes. What if it came in on a different bearing? How long would they have had to wait? 31 hours? 31 days? Now consider the helicopter leaving the Island. What if they deviated from the bearing they approached on? What if Frank flies the helicopter away from the Island on some goofy bearing? Will they also experience a time difference, and if so how big of a difference?
 
Daniel is working with limited information, but he knows that they did not experience a great time difference on their approach so he concludes that if Frank follows the same bearing, then they should be safe.
 
Does all this talk of bearings sound familiar? It should. Ben told Michel that he should follow a bearing of 325 when he left the Island if he wanted to find rescue. Ben was concerned about the angle of approach with respect to the Island as well. Further evidence that the angle of approach is important.
 
The interesting question is, did Ben give Micheal a bearing that would result in no time difference or, more interestingly, a great time difference. Into the past perhaps? What better way to get rid of Micheal and keep him from ratting them out than to have him wind up in the past, years before the plane crashed?
 
Micheal would try to tell people about the plane crash, but no one would believe him because there was no plane crash yet. He and Walt would grow older, perhaps living under an assumed name since there is already a Michael Dawson running around. 
 
Eventually when the plane does crash, People In the Know would put two and two together and realise that Michael came from the Island and that is where the plane must have crashed. Realising that search for the plane might result in the wrong people stumbleing onto the Island, these same People In the Know plant a fake plane in the Sunda Trench and then assemble their crew onto the Freighter. Michael and perhaps Walt are also taken to keep him from renewing his claim to be a survivor of flight 815 now that the plane had actually crashed. If Walt is on the Freighter, and if he and Michael were sent into the past as a result of the bearing given them by Ben, then this would explain his age quite nicely.
 
Depending on how much Naomi knew about those who hired her, this would also explain the seeming non-sequiter of her question of what to do if she ran into the Survivors of Flight 815 on the Island. Why would she ask this of Abaddon? If the wreckage was found in the Sunda Trench and she believed it was the real wreckage, she would have no reason. Yet she asked. She must know about Michael and his claims. She must know about the goal of the mission, its purpose to reclaim Ben and possibly Desmond as well. She would also have put two and two together and realised that Michael came from the Island and was therefore concerned about running into survivors.
 
This is all speculation based soley on the meager evidence of that one scene in The Ecconomist , but I felt it held some merit since it had such far reaching consequences, and suggested answers to some seemingly unrelated mysteries.


 

From TVFrenzy:

  • Eric

    This is a great read, and my mind is slowly being blown. But could you please warn about spoilers? I didn’t know anything about a meeting between Friendly and Michael… Given Doc’s stance on spoilers, I just expect clear indication of posts that contain spoilers. Again, I don’t mean to be a douche, but really… I just didn’t expect that info to be floppin’ around out in the open like that. Nice work, though.

  • nigel

    was the “spoilers warning!” not enough for you?!?

  • UKlostit

    Regina believed on her screen/radar whatever that the rocket has reached the beacon on the island, clearly it hadn’t so why couldn’t this be affected by distance to travel! The clocks would undoubted be different if ‘Dan the man’ stopped the timer on the beacon when Regina said it had landed. So… the island makes signals portrayed on the island look a certain distance “travelled by the rocket divided by pie or whatever” away from reality. Just a suggestion

  • af412

    i clicked through from bloglines and i wasn’t too happy about the tom/michael spoiler.

  • Eric

    Hi Nigel. Thank you for your sarcasm, but as a matter of fact, there was no such warning when I visited earlier, so you can quite matter of factly shove off.

  • penn

    Eric is rigth I read this before the spoiler warning was on and im sorely pissed.

    doc you have stated many times that you would not post spoilers.what gives.thanks for ruining the episode.

  • Jack B.

    Well, I did see the spoiler warning and foolishly clicked anyway thinking that a MAJOR SPOILER would not be in the Lost Theory section. I was expected something mild. Instead, this spoiler (if true) is quite major and pertains to episode 4.08, which is more than a month away. I visit several of the LOST sites and have avoided any significant spoiler for season four until reading this post. I enjoy the speculation, but it appears that I’m going to have to avoid LOST sites alltogether to avoid being overly spoiled. I’m not complaining or being critical. Just saying that its hard not to get wet if one walks around the edge of a pool of splashing swimmers.

  • Jack B.

    After rereading this post, I notice that the physics/theory part takes a quick turn into discussing specific plot/character points. IF, IF the plot/character points are accurate, then this seems to be an intentional(?) ruiner, and not just a spoiler. LostFan108 returns? Doc, we all like and respect you, so what’s your take on this?

  • Jack B.

    I’m not worried about the Tom/Michael meeting which has been general knowledge for months, but rather the rest of the plot points that were made. If the writer really is just being creative, then she/he should send a resume to Cuse.

  • Eric

    Thanks Penn! At least I don’t look like the sore a-hole now 🙂

    Well, you guys, what’s done is done. I don’t feel like this was an intentional spoiling, and in truth it’s probably a minor plot development.. but this is 2 times I’ve been spoiled here now. The first one was just b/c some numb-nuts posted something about last week’s ep in the comment section of a non-spoiler thread. But, these things are going to happen sometimes. I could try not to read the comments, but I don’t want to have to not read the main articles to make sure I don’t get spoiled… that seems like a little much…

  • DocArzt

    Re the lack of a spoiler warning: oops! No ill intentions for sure and I apologize to everyone there. Even though I didn’t post this, I was with Imfromthefuture when he planning on posting it (virtually, of course, in chat) and for some reason it just never occurred to me to say “HEY, slap a spoiler warning on that.”

    That said, everything around the spoiler is speculation and the spoiler is incomplete with respect to the fact that nobody knows the context, so the mystery continues.

    I think comparing it to a lostfan108 type of thing is quite extreme though, it is a theory and nothing more. So the comments that this somehow ruins the episode are not only a little extreme, but a lot out of line.

  • DocArzt

    Jack/Penn specificallyi: Easy there tigers. This piece explains nothing about what that scene means, when it is happening, or how big or small a part of that episode it is. And by the way Mr. I Avoid Spoilers, how do you know its from episode 8? No need to turn this into a drama club meeting.

  • andrew

    man u all need to calm down. Its not like it was even a big spoiler and like doc said we dont kno the context of it or anything. ALl of you are just being dramaqueens about this.

  • Hey, sorry guys and gals! I wrote this up and posted it right before heading out of the park with the family. I was in a rush and didn’t get to proofread it. If I had, I think I would have realised that some sort of warning would have been appropriate.
    I frequent the spoiler sections and this one was around for so long, I kind of didn’t even think of it like a spoiler.
    Again, I’m really sorry!
    I’ll edit it out as it’s not really a big deal, just another mystery that could be explained by my speculation.
    Oh, and incase I wasn’t clear in the body of the article, as Doc said, this is all 100% speculation, based purely on the scene in The Economist.

  • Eric

    @ Andrew: I don’t know for sure, but it seems like the issue is pretty much dead and gone. No harm, no foul. I felt like my post (the first one especially) was very respectful, and I certainly don’t think it was “dramatic” to ask for a spoiler label on an article that indeed contains a spoiler. Doc explained that it was a simple goof, and that’s all that really needed to be said about it. I’m not sure what your comment adds to the conversation, Andrew, “but thanks.”

    @ Doc and Imfromthepast: Thank you for your response. I love this site and the intelligent conversations your articles spark. I spent the good part of the day catching up on the theories here. I read TheTailSection religiously before the BuddyTV takeover, and still browse it for news. I also frequent Dark’s site. But I love the element of fan that your site draws, and it would take a lot more than the occasional spoiler warning gaff this to make me stop coming. I hope that my comment didn’t cause too much unnecessary drama.

  • Eric

    Hi imfromthepast –

    I tried to post a comment a second ago and I’m not sure what happened… Just wanted to say thanks for posting the spoiler warning. I didn’t mean to encite a riot with my comment LOL

  • Jack B.

    My humble and sincere apologies for misunderstanding what was speculation by imfromthepast. I now see what was spoilish; and that spoiler has been around forever and is minor. I normally don’t leap to conclusions, so my mistake. I’m sorry.

    I will say that the speculation is absolutely first rate, which was why it rang so true! Great thinking!

    On another matter about time concerns, did anyone think that when Jack was talking about the Red Sox, he was, of course, referring to the FIRST Red Sox championship, while the choper pilot was perhaps thinking of the SECOND Red Sox championship?

  • Eric

    @JackB: That’s interesting about the Red Sox… it didn’t seem as “shocking” to Frank as it did to Jack.

  • imfromthepast

    No hard feelings guys!
    Thanks for the compliment Jack B., and RE: your Jack and Red Sox comment, I don’t keep up with sports, so I didn’t know there were two Red Sox wins. That is a great idea. When they had that convo, I was hoping something would come of it. Especially when Jack said he couldn’t believe it had been 100 days since he saw a game. I expected Frank to say, “100 days?” and then get distracted by something minor.

    But if the Red Sox did indeen win two championships, and Frank was talking about the second one, and Jack the first, then this could still pan out!

  • DelosWorld

    The time delay is rather bothersome to explain. It’s possible that the time delay is variable depending on which pathway you take to the island, but I’d also guess that the pathways are limited in number. It’s this limitation that keeps the island cloaked and made it impossible for Desmond to leave on the sailboat. He just sailed around in circles which would lead credence to some sort of closed curvature that encloses the island. If there are multiple pathways/entry points it is possible that they could also open to different times but there can’t be to many since we might have expected Desmond to end up in the Jurassic by meeting up with the wrong pathway.

    I’d guess that the island exists in roughly the same time as the real world but in a different bubble of alternate space with some kind of wormhole(s) connecting the two. Hey, we’re talking space-time continuum here which opens up a huge can of worms – just like on Stargate SG1. I mostly think this because when using the satellite phones there was no significant or noticeable delay when talking to the freighter. If there were multiple wormholes connecting the island to different times in the real world you might expect the sat phone to be able to contact the freighter at different times. It would be possible to talk to the freighter on a Tuesday and then during the next call on Monday (the day before). But we have heard what appeared to be an old 1940’s or 1950’s radio station earlier in the series. That would point to being able to connect to different times. Perhaps there is only one pathway at a time and it connects to different places and times for some reason.

    There’s also a connundrum over how sunlight gets to the island in more or less normal form through a pathway. If it’s a small pathway you’d expect a very small amount of light to get to the island. If there were multiple pathways present at one time connecting to different times you might expect sunlight to always be getting to the island from some other times and nights might be shorter, variable, or non-existent. Since daylight hours are apparently normal and the radio transmissions to the freighter are relatively normal I’d expect that electromagnetic waves (including sunlight) are relatively unaffected by the island physics, although Daniel noted a difference in light scattering on the island differently without the benefit of any test instrument that measured polarization or spectral changes. Maybe he has a bionic eye.

    So now for the rocket. Assuming it travelled at 100 to 200 miles per hour the 31 minutes would have meant that the rocket travelled for an apparent distance of maybe 50 to 100 miles or so extra distance in the wormhole pathway. That’s certainly not enough “distance” to make the radio transmissions experience noticeable delays. Is it possible that the helicopter also flew this extra distance when it came to the island? The pilot attributed the low fuel condition because of flying in the storm but could it really have been from flying for a longer apparent distance? The major thing that bugs me about the rocket is that it was still smoking and burning propellant when it landed. It’s doubtful that such a small rocket would have enough propellant to burn for an additional 31 minutes. And since the clock measured an additional 31 minutes one would expect that the rocket and its engine actually experienced an additional 31 minutes.

    Yeah, overall it’s pretty confusing.

  • Um… Yes, the Sox won their second championship in the past 4 seasons… but in show time it won’t happen for another 45 months. They were definitly talking about the miracle win in ’04. And as for why it didn’t seem as shocking to Frank as to Jack:
    1) As someone still off island when the 04 Sox won it, Frank would have heard about it over 1000 times in that first week (We know he watches the news since we saw him watching the crash footage on the tv last week) so he’s used to seeing/hearing about it. Jack only saw 30 seconds of clip from it. Imagine if you loved Lost and had no one to talk to about it… no message board to read and write and think about it. You’d swoon from every cliff hanger for months and months too.
    2) And this is the big reason why: Because Jack is a Red Sox fan. Not SOME sport, not SOME team, the friggin Red Sox! “Ball rolls to first, this thing is over. Red Sox are gonna win the world…. The ball is through Buckner’s legs! The Ball went through Buckner’s legs!! The Mets are gonna score and win!”
    Last week my buddy called me while I was at work. When I got out and listened to the voicemail, this is what I heard as I dictate it to you now.
    “Man, do you remember? Down to the last strike… not the last out, the last damn strike! And then BANG, Papi goes yard and we list our eyes long enough to say “well, one more game anyway.” And then what happens the next night? Deja vu, last strike! But then Roberts swipes second base and we’ve got heat! And it’s Papi, again, to center. This time just a base hit, but it scores two and we walk off win.
    And the look in their eyes Mo (that’s me)… the Yankees…. they were scared. Biggest payroll in sports, The MVP, the Golden boy, the best closer in history, the homefield advantage, and they were scared! Talk to you later bro. *click*”

    So yeah… that is why Jack is still in shock and why Frank isn’t.

  • Dave

    If you don’t want spoilers in posts that don’t say “Spoilers” on them, then please don’t repeat those spoilers in the comments section in posts that purport to have no spoilers attached. Thanks.

  • ChristianS

    I just thought about something to explain why the communication is not delayed but the rocket is.
    First of all one has to assume that the angle in which you approach the island makes a difference as to what time difference you experience relative to the outside world. Many would so far agree with me I believe. Bearings are so important on a way off the island according to Ben and Daniel because of that fact.
    Now the communications as we know are working in wave form (be it radio waves or whatever), which extend equally strong in all directions.
    So some part of this communication waves would surely hit the exact spot where only a minimal time difference occurs, while others leave the island at a different time through different spots.
    The rocket on the other hand arrives at the island in a certain angle only at one certain spot. Thus it is experiencing a time difference. In the rocket’s case, so in that angle and spot 31
    minutes.

  • ChristianS

    A question that remains is: Why do regina’s instruments show her that the rocket already arrived before it actually did? As to that I like to add the question: How is the tracking it? GPS/Radio Transponder on the rocket? Radar? A guiding laserbeam of some sort along which the rocket is flying? I have no idea about that kind of stuff, but hope somebody eles does, as I believe it might be important to know the way she is tracking it. Different ways of tracking might lead to different result.

  • mandm

    Doc – Love your blog and realize you are against censorship but when I read a post that says spoilers removed I expect to be able to read the comments safely too. Please delete the comments that repeat the original spoiler info for the sake of those that like to watch the episodes completely unspoiled.

  • Yatterman

    Interesting…
    I have another theory though.
    What if the island is in a sort of “time bubble” where time flows slower?
    This would explain:
    – the growing of Walt
    – the light scattering in a strange way that Daniel noticed (different times => different light speed => different scattering)
    – the time difference between the two clocks (and Daniel saying “this is not good” would mean that the difference was expected but not at this ratio)
    – the show starting the day of the crash and probably ending the day when the losties finally leave the island despite only 120 or so days being passed on the island

    and would be a reason for the need of someone to push the button every 108 minutes to keep island time aligned with rest of the world time.

  • Yatterman

    I forgot to mention: my theory of the time bubble resembles what as been seen in the Japanese anime Rahxephon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahxephon

  • Rumli

    ChristianS: Regina was able to receive a real-time signal from the rocket because it too emits radio waves propagating in all directions, including those directions which have the appropriate negative delay to cancel out the positive delay that the rocket was experiencing.

    The theory also explains why there is so much radio interference on the island. The same radio signal arrives at different times and interferes with itself. It also gives a bit of truth to Hurley’s joke that music on the radio could be coming from “any time”.

    The nice thing about the theory is that it allows time to flow at the same rate everywhere, removing the paradoxes that come with off-island communication if time was flowing at a different rate off-island.

    Finally, this could be what the “lost time” Mittelos anagram is referring to.

  • eek

    YOU VANT’T LABEL IT SPOILER REMOVED IF ALL OF THE COMMENTS MENTION THE $#@&* SPOILER!!!

    sheesh!

  • eek

    YOU CAN’T LABEL IT SPOILER REMOVED IF ALL OF THE COMMENTS MENTION THE $#@&* SPOILER!!!

    sheesh!

  • Delosworld

    My guess is that to the freighter it looked like the rocket had arrived at the island because it also appeared that Daniel was at this same spot which was actually the opening of the conduit, or wormhole, to the island universe.

    To get around the problem of sunlight from the real world reaching the island through one or more little wormholes to the island it would be easier to explain what’s going on in a different way. If the island exists in a parallel universe, on a parallel Earth, then perhaps it becomes easier to explain why such a huge humongous island isn’t seen directly in the real world. In the alternate universe Earth may not have evolved in the same manner, there may be no civilization as we know it, and continents and islands could all look different and be in different places. Think about bunny number 8 and parallel universes seem even more likely.

  • nigel

    Eric,

    Lighten up! It was a JOKE, you dense prick!!!

  • Jack B.

    Doc and ImFromThePast: I sent an apology comment earlier but it did not post, so I wanted to try again. First, My sincere and humble apologies. I got confused with regard to what part of the post was speculation; totally my fault for misreading the post. The theory was well thought out. Keep up the good work.

  • ByronBunch

    Arg.

    I’m either missing something huge, or everyone else is missing something huge. I’m not sure which of the two possibilities it is, so I’ll just throw it out there.

    We have two time discrepancies to deal with. To illustrate this, consider the following as different “perspectives” from which the rocket’s journey was experienced.

    1.) Regina, on the boat. According to her countdown, the rocket reaches the island (zero km from the target) after, let’s say, about a minute.

    2.) Daniel. According to his stopwatch, the rocket arrives two hours and forty-five minutes after it was launched.

    3.) The rocket. According to the clock inside of it, the rocket reached the island three hours and sixteen minutes after its launch.

    The discrepancy that everyone has mentioned is the difference between perspective two and three, i.e. the “thirty-one minutes” that Daniel mumbles to himself. But what about the discrepancy between either perspective two or three when compared to point one?

    Now, most theories seem to consider the time discrepancy to be an indicator that time is passing more slowly on the island than in the outside world. But, really, that doesn’t make much sense. Sure, if the rocket simply had a clock thirty-one minutes faster than the clock on the island, then, yeah, that would be a viable conclusion. But the big question is: what was the rocket doing for the other two hours and forty-five minutes?

    Assuming that the clock on the rocket was started when it was launched (a reasonable assumption), it means that the rocket was in the air for that long. So, sure, it experienced more time than those on the island did, time moves more slowly on the island than it does in the outside world, etc.

    Except that doesn’t explain the discrepancy between Regina’s countdown and the rocket’s arrival.

    Looking at the times given, the rocket actually experienced more time than those on the island AND those on the boat. What regina saw as a relatively instantaneous event took MUCH longer.

    What this means, I’m not really sure, but I think the writers wanted us to say “Why did it take three hours for the rocket to get there?” as well as “31 minutes? What?”

    Consider that Juliet arrives back at the helicopter with Desmond just after the rocket arrives. Just before the launch, Jack asked Juliet how long it’d take to get to the beach and back. Her response? A couple of hours.

    Everything about that scene suggests that something strange is going on with time, but I suspect that the implications are far more complicated than most discussions have been letting on. The rocket arrived too late–but more than just 31 minutes late.

  • ChristianS

    If it were indeed stopwatches they would have to synchronized meaning started at the same time. But we did not see daniel starting his stopwatch while telling regina to launch the rocket. In that case the stopwatches would have to be started together while daniel still was on the boat, the only time when he could have been talking to regina before us witnessing it. So perhaps the watches show the time from daniel leaving the boat until the impact of the rocket on the island. That solves the 3 perspective problems you mentioned.
    Nevertheless I firmly believe it is clocks inside the rocket and with daniel that are showing the actual time of the day, not stopwatches.
    From what we saw it would make no sense to assume daniel waited longer than 31 minutes for the impact of the rocket, surely not 3 hours. So it’s either clocks we are talking about or stopwatches started already a long time before the launch of the rocket, ergo on the freighter.

  • To ChristianS and ByronBunch:

    But what about ByronBunchs statement about Juliet leaving just before the launch and returning just after the rockets arrival? That clearly indicates that the rocket was indeed in the air for 2-3 hours.

    I just watched the scenes again and actually Daniel prssed two buttons when he was setting up the router thingy. Unfortunately twice on the box and not once on the stopwatch. However, after the rocket arrived, he
    – checked the stopwatch inside and compares his to his watch
    – he then compared the rocket watch to the other watch that is sitting next to his apparatus, which he might have started when he pressed the two buttons and the light changed from red to green.
    – in the scene where he compares the two watches you can actually see his watch on his arm – it shows something like 7.15 to me (or 3.35 but then the little hand doesn’t quite sit where it should be) – but definitely a time neither of the stopwatches shows.

    Hmm, in any case it’s a little blooper/scripting mistake I think, either not showing how he started and maybe synchronised the two stopwatches or his watch and the island stopwatch not showing the same time.

    That all doesn’t really help to know what’s the real fact I’m afraid … 🙂

  • Some more thoughts:

    – Assuming the two watches are stopwatches, WHY does he compare the rocket watch to his own watch?? Doesn’t make sense (unless he remembers when he told Regina to launch the rocket and wants first rough guess)
    – WHY is the launching/arrival so close to the scenes where Juliet takes off and comes back from a supposed 2-3 hrs walk (which resembles the time on the watch)? This looks very much like intention which would suggest that we have two stopwatches.

    So eventualy we have several hints in favour of the stopwatches:
    – walking time resemblence
    – the one he uses on the island looks very much like a stopwatch with two buttons
    – the time mismatch between his own watch and the island stopwatch
    – the time between launch and arrival matches the “couple of hours walk” of Juliets

    On the other hand, in favour of normal watches
    – he compares the watch in the rocket to his own watch
    – we don’t really see him press a start button

    ____________________________

    Okay, lets go through all three possibilites for the watches:

    1. stopwatches, started when the rocket was launched:

    – Off-Island the rocket takes 28s to arrive
    – on island it takes 2:45.4 = 9904s which makes for a time ratio of 1:341 Freighter:Island
    – the actual travel time is 3:16.22 = 11764s
    – The time runs slower on the island than in the outside world
    – The rocket travels with a speed of 2km/s (calculated according to Regina counting down from 40km to zero in 20s)
    – That makes for a distance of 56km from the Freighter to the island
    – The time ratio can be used to introduce a “virtual” velocity of the rocket reflecting the slower time: it travels only with 20/341=0.006km/s on the island
    – the rocket travels a distance x off-island and a distance 56-x on-island
    – NOW HERE’S THE TWIST: the time on the watch carried by the rocket should be SMALLER than th eisland time since the rocket travels x km with high speed before it slows down for the last y km. Whereas the time on the island-watch assumes the slow speed for x+y=56km.
    Does this make sens? Mathematically, this rules out the possibility of the watches being stop watches, assuming the time runs normal for x km and slows then immidiately down to island-time.

    2. Normal watches:

    The watch on Daniels wrist shows 7.15 which doesn’t match the other watch on the island, but it should since both travelled together with Daniel from the freighter to island

    3. Stop watches, started before Daniel left the island:

    Daniel has been off the freighter for how long? Some hrs flight, one night and half or one and a half days? More than 2:45.04hrs and less then 99hrs anyway which should be the maximum time the stop watches are able to show

    ———->>>

    Soooo – unfortunately this discussion can’t be ended because we didn’t get enough information to prove either of the possibilities since all of them seem to be impossible!

    [I hope I didn’t make a mistake … ]

  • ChristianS

    From watching the episode again I get a strong feeling that Daniel sets up the experiment long after Juliet leaves, there so much happening in between. So it must be clocks. Otherwise Juliet would have taken at least 4-5 hours for her walk, if she would call that “a couple” I highly doubt. And I might add: He is doing a scientific experiment. Synchronizing this two stopwatches would be more than just a small unimportant thing for him to do. He expects obviously a smaller time difference so every second would matter. The process of starting the watches at the same time would be all that matters for the outcome of that experiment. So just not showing us this process or Daniel talking to regina about it or even FORGETTING to mention it seems not something TPTB would do.
    And then I want to strongly object to saying Daniels on-island-experiment watch resembled a stopwatch because of the two buttons. I have never seen a stopwatch looking like that. I have however a watch on my nightstand to wake me up in the morning that very, very much looks like Daniel’s. The (seemingly buttonless) rocket watch looks for me even less like a possible stopwatch.
    On top of all that you have the fact that it could well be about 2-3 o’clock on the island. Look at the kind of daylight they’re having. Everything fits. Remeber we’re in season 4. There must be answers. I refuse to believe TPTB want to throw us totally off course now. We got a small hint to specualate. and even that hint should be made worthless? I know quite a couple of average, non-nerd lost viewers. They all seem to assume it’s clocks without giving it much thought. Because it’s the easiest possible explanation. Stopwatches are too far fetched for the normal viewer. It would also all get way too complicated to explain later on as already pointed out before.
    Until now the only real argument against clocks was Daniel’s watch showing (perhaps) a 7. That I would like to clear up first.
    On my copy of the episode I can’t surely make out what Daniel’s wrist watch shows. Can someone post high res a screencap of that? What sense would 7 make anyway? 7 a.m. in the morning?!

  • ChristianS

    I saw the screencap of Dan’s watch now. To let anyone throw me off about something that made pretty good sense I need more than some guess based on a pixelated mini-cap like that. Anyone got the 720p HD version at hand? Also Dan’s reactions make me believe even tronger it’s clocks. He looks at his wrist watch. Can’t believe it at first, thinks his watch might be wrong. Checks the experiment’s watch. Looks longer this time, slowly beginning to believe. It’s really 31 minutes. If his wrist watch would have shown a third dofferent time, he would surely have rechecked his wrist watch again after all that and take anaother confrimung look at all three of them together.

  • ChristianS

    But no. He doesn’t recheck. He indeed seems to know what’s going on at once. The only thing bothering him is as he says 31 minutes. Not another second difference. He doesn’t even seem to calculate another one quietly in his head. Only this 31 minutes he calculates and he cares about, this delay, which he expected to be there, but only much smaller.

  • ChristianS

    And sorry but I have one more thing: Somebody mentioned the experiment with the two atomic CLOCKS proving Einstein’s theories right. One CLOCK on a jetplane, one CLOCK one the ground. As far as I know those were indeed CLOCKS, not stopwatches. If you add up the exact time difference of 31 mins and 18 sec… you get 1878 seconds.
    With 1878 being Einstein’s birthyear, this can’t be a coincidence.

  • imfromthepast

    While these are all great points and a credit to their posters, I think we have treated this scene to a level of scrutiny far surpassing what the producers intended, and the scene merits.
    I think the only pieces of information we were meant to take away from this scene were the 31 minute time difference and the importance of Bearing. The reason I list these two is they are the only two things that Daniel makes a big deal about.
    So put away your calculators and save your wikipedia links. Your time is better spent wondering what this means for the show, which is what the point of this article was.

  • Eric

    Is it okay if I take the “dense prick” comment as a complement? 😉

  • Delosworld

    “I think the only pieces of information we were meant to take away from this scene were the 31 minute time difference and the importance of Bearing.”

    Yeah, except that it’s not a time difference, it’s a delay. There is no time difference because the conversations via sat phone or radio waves have no noticeable delay, although there is one but since light and radio waves travel so quickly you don’t notice any delay. But physical objects travelling at some finite speed (much less than the speed of light) appear to take a finite amount of time to get to the island.

    The bigger questions are whether there are multiple paths (at different bearings) to the island, whether these different paths have different transit delays, and/or whether these different paths connect to different dimensions, parallel universes, and/or times.

  • ErasedSlate

    ChristianS, per your request…

    http://www.docarzt.com/s4ep03_miles_watch.jpg

    Looks like 7:15 to me…

    or 3:40…

  • ErasedSlate

    In the next scene, Sayid and Co. enter Ben’s house. A clock on a shelf reads 3:24ish. http://www.docarzt.com/s4ep03_20.jpg

  • dreamingof8a

    For 3.40 the little hand of Daniels watch seems to be in the wrong place but it would make more sense.
    Anyway, I agree that the only conclusion to be drawn from this scene is
    – to point out that there is a difference in the way time passes on th eisland (slower)
    – to suggest that the bearing might be important.
    The numbers themselves (velocity, delay, etc) are more or less meanigless.
    However, the thing with Einsteins birth date is pretty cool and confirms for me that they used clocks.

  • MrSwampy

    Even with the spoiler removed I’ve still been screwed because of the comments revealing the spoiler. Thanks guys.

  • Garnet

    I am not sure what all I am allowed to say here, but this is my theory…I read somewhere on here where a poster mentioned that the island has had no problems since the hatch imploded and that the “entering the numbers” every 108 minutes plotline has just been dropped and forgotten. Well, what if, as a result of that anomoly caused by Locke and Desmond, that time has been thrown off kilter? I may be reaching on that, but it’s just a thought I had…

  • Garnet

    I am not sure what all I am allowed to say here, but this is my theory…I read somewhere on here where a poster mentioned that the island has had no problems since the hatch imploded and that the “entering the numbers” every 108 minutes plotline has just been dropped and forgotten. Well, what if, as a result of that anomoly caused by Locke and Desmond, that time has been thrown off kilter? I may be reaching on that, but it’s just a thought I had…

  • bonzo

    most watches have the “winding dial” on the right side, no?
    makes this watch around 3:40ish.

    but who knows, with artificial light, this could be 3:40 am…

  • Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. (Hellen Keller, American writer)

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    , chills, cold sweats, confusion, dizziness, faintness, or light-headedness when getting up from lying or sitting position). ,