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No Evidence For Alternate Timeline

By imfromthepast,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 65

It has been postulated that the poor condition of the building that Christian meets Sun and Frank in is evidence of an altered timeline in which the Others never moved into the Barracks.

I disagree.

This idea assumes the following that the building that Christian shows Frank and Sun the photo in is in the Barracks, thus indicating that the Barracks were never inhabited by the Others, demonstrating a change to the timeline.

I believe this assumption is in error, based on the fact that Pierre Chang asked Jack who his Shuttle Driver was. I realise the Recruits are a little groggy from the drugs they took to knock them out for the trip to the Island, but doesn’t it strike you as a little lazy to have a shuttle service from the dock to the Reception building if the distance between the two was the 15 feet that Frank and Sun walked?

The obvious explanation is that the building in which Frank and Sun were shown the photo is not the same as the building where Jack met Pierre Chang.

There is enough circumstantial evidence rather, to assume the following:

The submarine brings new Recruits to a dock. Recruits get off the dock and mosey over to a Reception area, the one seen in TMBTC when young Ben first arrives on the Island. This Reception area has a building with group photos of new Recruits, including the photo from 1977 that Christian shows Frank and Sun. The Recruits are then shuttled to the Barracks, which are some distance inland from the Submarine dock and not on the shore. Upon arriving at the Barracks, the new Recruits go to the building where Jack meets Candle, and they are given their work assignments and change into their uniforms and after taking a picture are treated to hamburgers and punch.

After the purge, the Hostiles move into the Barracks and remove all the DHARMA paraphenellia, but they leave the Reception area to fall into disrepair and it assumes the same old, nasty worn out appearence as the rest of the DHARMA stations that we have seen, such as the Hydra, which retained it’s DHARMA decorations even though the Others used it fairly often.

When Sun and Frank arrive at the dock and meet Christian, this is at the unused Reception area, not the Barracks, which is a shuttle ride away. The building that Christian brings Frank and Sun to is the unsued Reception building that the Others let slide into disrepair.

Before I finish, let me anticipate the possible counter-argument that the building where Jack meets Chang has photos on the wall, as does the building where Christian shows Frank and Sun the 1977 photo. My rebuttal:

So what?

I have photos hanging in my house, does that make my house and the building where Frank and Sun see the phot the same building? No.

There is therefore no evidence of an altered timeline or any other less mundane explanation than presented here.

  • dolce


    • Yes, me too.
      I don’t understand why so many people don’t want to believe the most obvious answer to that question (which is prominently represented by the show itself).

      The O6 become Dharma recruits [1977] 30 years before the 316 crash-landing happens [2007] AND Sun and Lapidus meet Christian [2007]. The only interesting question is: why have the Others never visited and used Dharma’s accomodation center (next to the pontoon) after the purge?

  • J

    If true, how do you explain the other, more important evidence of an alternative timeline–when the plane is crashing, the pilots tune into the numbers. Yet the numbers not only stopped broadcasting when Rousseau crashed onto the island, but were actually turned off three years earlier when the survivors got to the broadcasting tower.

    • horselover

      Damn, you beat me to it. Better explanation than mine anyway though.

      • Charlie’s Ghost

        remember the episode in Season 1, where they pick up an old song on the hand radio that Sayid rigged. He goes on and says that radio waves can travel for long periods of time, etc. when flight 316 went though bubble that surrounds the island, they probably picked up radio waves from other times.

        • dolce


        • If that IS the case I want to see it explained on air!
          Otherwise I doubt that’s what the writers had in mind.

        • professorstotch

          I think this is a good point here. Sayid says they could be coming from any place in the world, and Hurley responds with “Or any time.” It could be possible that this radio broadcast and the numbers were both from different times. Don’t forget, this is Lost. Anything is possible.

          • Crazy Bearded Jack

            I think that line was more a hint toward time travel, not to be taken literally. We know the Island is always moving through space and time. At the time Sayid/Hurley heard the music, my theory is that the Island was moving through time and was somewhere in the 1920s

    • We saw the O6 leave in 2004/5. Shortly after the freighter explosion the left behinders experience constant time shifts into the past on the island. Then we move on to Sawyer & Juliet rescuing Amy and joining the DI. Finally we make a leap in time three years ahead into the future. Similar story off island.

      Tell me, when did we ever see what happened inbetween 2004 and 2007 on island?
      Exactly, we haven’t seen anything yet. So why should it not be possible that the Others restarted the broadcasting in that time period?

      • Jangras

        THAT is the question dude: what has happened between 2004 and 2007?
        Adam Clayton of U2 would answer ‘I don’t know’, but we must find an answer.

        Also: imformthepast is right, but wasn’t the little dock blown up by Locke??

    • TheJLNC

      The numbers playing again do not have to be an alternate time line. They are a mystery, but three years have passed since any of the main characters were on the island, and there could be many other explanations as to why the numbers are running again. I am betting on some sort of return of or reforming of the Dharma Initiative on the island.

  • horselover

    I agree that the state of the buildings doesn’t prove anything. There wasn’t even a definitive difference between those buildings and how the barracks might have looked post-freighter attack. But I think the Numbers being heard over the radio as 316 went down is making people think about an alternate timeline.

  • Benny

    Well done and… not that I don’t agree (or don’t disagree) with you, but I would just like to point two weaker points.

    1. We don’t know that Sun and Frank walked 15 feet. It could have been more but cut in production just as well as it could have been 15 ft. But they cross heavy vegetation and uprooted trees.

    2. The docks are used by the Others, when bringing Juliet in for example (same set in ‘One of Us’ and TMBTC). I would assume that they’d have cared for that particular building, or completely destroyed it.

  • Adam

    Also, What about when Locke went directly from the barracks to go blow up the submarine. They probably just shuttle them because they are woozy and don’t want them walking, even though its not a far distance.

    • icyone

      There was probably a span of time between Locke leaving the barracks and reaching the submarine. If you look at the above shot from “A Tale of Two Cities” the Barracks are really far from any potential beach:

      It’s most likely that there is a small settlement near the dock, and a shuttle from the dock to the barracks.

      As for the numbers, I don’t believe our 70’s Losties are going to all die in the Purge, so maybe they make a jump sometime between 2004 and 2007 to reset the numbers?

  • jswindle

    Did someone manage to clean up the wreckage from the blown up sub, too? I’m pretty sure that happened on the dock regardless of where you claim the reception area/barracks to be.

    • imfromthepast

      look again, there is debris all over the dock, even a knocked down lamp post. I think this was the sub dock where Locke blew up the sub

      • It definetely is the same film-set.
        I also tend to believe it’s meant to be the same place where Locke blew up the sub.

  • RandomZombie

    That works for me.

    As for the numbers, it’s possible that someone began to retransmit them in the past three years. Maybe they have a further purpose somewhere down the line.

    • professorstotch

      I think this is more possible than the numbers replaying after Jack stopped Danielle’s broadcast.

  • CousCous

    I think you might be onto something. However, Locke didn’t need to drive a shuttle to the dock when he blew up the submarine in Season 3 either. Is there another dock in Dharma-ville?

  • imfromthepast

    RE: the Numbers being Transmitted

    Easy Explanation: I would submit that in the S3 finale when Jack turned off Danielle’s Distress Signal, perhaps the Radio Tower resumed transmitting the Numbers at that point.

    Furthermore, for the Numbers Broadcast to be evidence of an altered timeline, we would have had to have seen a Danielle-resets-the-transmission altering event before we get the Numbers being transmitted, according to the screwy logic of the Alternate-Timeline Devotees

    • professorstotch

      But Danielle replaced the numbers broadcast with her broadcast. Once hers was knocked out, it allowed a free transmission. If the numbers were broadcasting again, it would’ve resulted in the same blockage as Danielle’s transmission.

      • horselover

        Exactly. They didn’t just change the transmission, they had to turn it off. And Dharma were the ones who built the tower and broadcast the numbers. So who would have re-transmitted them?

        • Hurly

          • horselover

            Between 2004 and 2007? I know people think it’s his voice in ’88, but he would have had to turn them back on post-Through the Looking Glass for 316 to hear it.

          • dolce


          • Not on an alternate timeline

  • rich

    also, if you remember at the beginning of season three, the first clip of the season when we first see new otherton, there is a pan out shot that shows the barracks and it looks like the compound is a good deal inland. i completely agree that the dock and reception area is a different location than the actual barracks. check it out….

    • Lostpedia about the Barracks/New Otherton:
      “The harbor is within a short walking distance of the Barracks, and appears to be in some sort of lagoon.”

      • professorstotch

        To add to the short walking distance…in season three, Locke, Ben, Jack, and others were all able to stroll right over from the Barracks to the dock where the sub was. This is where Locke blew the sub up.

      • Kevin JJ

        That’s Lostpedia. Cannot always be trusted. All we can go by is what we have seen, and that is the Barrack’s is in the middle of a valley.

  • professorstotch

    I agree with the basic idea here. One thing though…the first building Ben and Roger go to, is also the building where Roger gets his work assignment…so in order for the idea that they go to one building, get checked in, then go to another to get work assignments doesn’t add up to me.

    • TheJLNC

      If you look closely in the episode when they arrive at the processing center, it looks like there are maybe only three large buildings, which fits with what Sun/Frank see when they meet Christian. The barracks itself is several small buildings that look almost stacked right next to each other, even if you just look at the Cheng welcome video. I think the processing area is not in the barracks area proper, but closer to the dock. It would make sense that if Ben and the Others lived in the barracks they would have no use for the processing center and leave it in disarray.

  • downthehatch

    Or we could be thinking too much (as always) about the way this show is filmed. Not everything looks as close as it really does. When on site, it’s amazing how simple and close everything is and how they can transform one building to look like something else. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a true picture of where everything is in relation to each other. This isn’t to add or take away from the argument, but to give it perspective.

    Oft times what’s happening on LOST is what it seems just as much as it isn’t. My take and humble opinion is that a time line was altered. That someone did something (i.e. Sayid killing young Ben)that stops the purge somehow. It was pretty obvious that they purposefully showed the audience the signs and the logo, when they had not before (in New Otherton). This is what has us up in arms, this Otherton is a little bit different.

  • Desi’s Brother

    I assume this is in part a response to the thread I started on the forums. The main arguement was that the Dharma logos are still on the door. That is significant I feel. I am leaning towards this being an alternate time when Ben has been killed by Sayid as a child. I’m even wondering if this might be the plan all along, since Widmore has said he can’t kill Ben. So could this be a very elaborate plan on the part of Widmore/Hawkings to go about changing time so that Widmore remains with the others. It just might work.

  • imfromthepast

    One of us is going to feel pretty silly when Little Ben survives Sayid, or is killed by Sayid.

  • dolce

    I don’t remember who said it, but they referred to Christian as “the ghost of Christmas future. Maybe that is what Sun and Frank are seeing- a possible and tragic image of the aftermath of a failed course correction. That is not to say they are in an alternate timeline, but more like ” this place and the world have gone to s*** because things did not happen the way they were supposed to, so when the long journey ahead of you is complete, don’t f*** it up. Here’s some tissues in case of nosebleeds, godspeed Sun.” I still agree with the original post, but there is definitly some contradicting evidence. P.S. I’m glad that captcha crap is gone.

    • dolce

      Oh yeah, I forgot to point out that this is not out of the realm of possibilities of Lost ( not that any of us need that pointed out ), after all C.S. does hang out in a creepy cabin in the jungle that relocates from time to time.

    • horselover

      Not to nitpick, but I think the only “ghost of christmas future” reference was Sawyer calling himself that when he was banging on the swan’s back door in the premiere.

  • Neville

    I can’t believe people want LOST to become back to the future. All the pointers the show itself has given us is that everything we’re seeing ALREADY HAPPENED. Nothing can be changed because they wouldn’t have gone back to change it in the first place. If Sayid kills Ben as a child, who turns the Wheel that sends them back in time in the first place? WTF… Drop a stone into a rushing river, the current simply flows around it as if the obstruction wasn’t there…the LOSTIES are pebbles in the timestream..they cannot change anything..and if the writers are writing this show with that “twist” in mind, I’ll simply stop watching.

    • dolce

      I agree, except for the stop watching part.

    • wedestroymyths

      That’s assuming a single time line though. By working alternate time lines, we’re left with branches. In other words, our Losties are in one timeline, and their reality will continue, but if something happens to prevent the purge (be it Ben dying or something else) then a second time line is produced from that point onward. It would be kind of like Borges’s “An Examination of the Works of Herbert Quain,” only there’d have to be a ‘master’ timeline out of which alternatives could go. If I could draw a picture here I would.

      • dolce

        But the whole point is, and I’m going to word it different words here because I’m tired of this season’s most over used quote ( you know the one -w.e.h.,h ), but there is never going to be another timeline because everything we are seeing already happened, we’re just getting to see history played out. Ok, maybe my wording is’nt that different, but the point is what we are seeing is already on the books.

    • DHARMA Agent

      “Drop a stone into a rushing river, the current simply flows around it as if the obstruction wasn’t there…”

      But drop enough or large enough stones, and it can be diverted, or even forked. 😉

      Although, I do think alternate timeliness isn’t what the writers are going for — didn’t they say that they’re avoiding things such as those that can cheapen the overall story by lessening the stakes?

      Originally used by the others or not, the Barracks were blown half to hell by the WidMercs and three or more (or less, lol timetravel) years may have passed.

      As for the still looking DHARMA, well, let’s see. The others lived in the DHARMA housing. Ate DHARMA-branded mac’n’cheese. Worked in DHARMA stations. Puttered around the pacific in a DHARMA sub that they used to bring in new recruits that were knocked out for the trip. It seems reasonable that they left things at the processing center intact simply for the benefit of the new recruits.

      In fact, what we really need to know about the Others is how they lived in the 70’s and 80’s — because it seems like after wiping out DHARMA, they just usurped their equipment and…continued with whatever it was they were doing, more or less (a bit less, as a few stations were abandoned, but Goodwin did find employ at the Tempest).

      My awesome prediction: Since Kelvin’s recruitment and The Purge don’t really jive temporally, we’ll learn that Kelvin is an Other (whether he knows it or not) and, when Radzinsky finds out, either 1) Kelvin pops a round of buckshot into his skull or 2) Radzinsky blows his brains out when he finds out he’s trapped himself down in his self-made tomb with a Hostile.

  • jack

    When Locke went to the camp and blew up the sub the dock wasn’t far away about a 10 minute walk if I remember. I think it was more than just the one building there though there was a sense the whole place docks included had fallen into a state of disrepair.

  • Kümmel

    I totally disagree

    A. The dock of Franks and Suns arrival:
    1. Look at TMBTC how the dock looks like. There is just a little BLUE building with a roof in front with a speaker at its end. This never could be the building with Christian.
    After the short conversation with Goodspeed there is a cut an in the next scene Ben and his father can see the video witch Chang. How much time is cut we don’t know, but is more than possible, that they walked or where driven to the Barracks. There is no evindence that this second scene is in the right next moment.

    2. In the background (viewing from the arrival point over the dock) we can see the mountainline that we also can see at the Frank/Sun-Arrival. Its dark, but it should be the same.

    3. Lock and Alex walk to the dock and they are going through some close plants/trees. How much time they needed we don’t know, but it would not be very long. Would it be a problem if 2 or 3 minutes of walking could be cut?
    The same short time later with Jack. They walk through the plants and meet Lock. We see the same place where Goodspeed meets his new guests. Bench, lamps, .. all the same.

    B. Christians Barrack
    When Frank and Sun arrive at the Barracks, we can see more than one of them. There are at least to roofs in the same picture and one more after the cameraturn to Christian. They have the clearly yellow-white look of the Barracks. These are the Barracks.

    Is it the same Barrack where Jack meets Chang? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. There are little differences, for example the jagged board over the board, that should look like “innoculations”, but it isn’t in Jacks time. But if Christian sees a picture from 78, there could easy be another Dharma-year and the Barracks are left a year later.

    C. The connections between the two times
    Without multiple renovations the Barracks never could turn from Dharmaville into Othersville and back – and who would do that? We saw nothing for a time of three years, but all in Dharmaville as Sun sees it locks like Dharma, the outside-area, Christians Barracks.

    How the closer circumstances are we might see in the next episode but for the moment a seperate timeline is the best and easyest way to explain what we see.

    D. Other questions
    1. Who build the runway in only three years? In season 3 it was never in this condition as Frank used it. Who could have made it? The other not-dead-Others like Richard after Locke disappeard?

    • What’s 2 ????? 😛

  • mustangdru

    Its a paradox. The island travels backwards in time.
    Example. When the O6 left in 2004 three years and they boarded Ajira in 2007.
    But on the island, when Sun and Frank return, it is 2001.

    Think about it. 😉

    • dolce


  • What about Ethan Goodspeed vs. Ethan Rom? Alternate timeline, or name real name unknown?

    • DHARMA Agent

      Or what if its just the writers messing with us and its someone totally different?

  • Michelle

    Daniel Faraday’s statement that “whatever happened, happened”, according to TPTB, has not been proven yet and will be addressed in coming episodes. We will soon know for sure if his theory is the absolute truth. In the mean time, they tell us that some (not all) of our LOSTies will probably try to challenge that theory. We will see what happens as the result of their choices.

    I don’t think this would cause an alternate time-line, but rather a different outcome. There’s a difference in my mind, the other two seeming to run nearly simultaneously.
    Who is to say this outcome is not reversible once they understand the repercussions of even one small choice? Maybe what Sun and Frank see is evidence of that, and her mission is to find them and be the one who warns them that what they’re doing is going to threaten all their existences. It may be the reason she was kept separate from them.

    If they can’t change what they’ve done, they may have to suffer the course correction. Either way, I believe this leaves room for us to STILL see things turn out as they always have, but it leaves room for things being tweaked in the interim.

    I agree that something is hinky. Pierre Chang asked Jack about his shuttle driver. I know the recruits are a little woozy from their juice, but I doubt they would need to be shuttled that short distance from the dock if this is truly where the processing center is located. This place was originally more inland.

    I think Christian can move it, or things aren’t where we think they are. There’s a definite discrepancy here. Plus, the Others would not have left the photos up knowing the LOSTies were rambling around the place. It doesn’t add up.

    Evidence for two docks is the scene in Lafleur where James and Juliet are sitting next to the sub. They were being watched very closely by the DI. They would not have been able to wander down to a place far away from the Barracks on their own.

  • Tivnuts

    I think in the new time line, Ethan is now in the DI but was supposed to be an other…If his mom wasn’t meant to be saved from the others, the Island could course correct it by showing up during his life at some point and convince him to be an other…or something….

    If this isn’t a new time line, wouldn’t Juliet have seen a picture of herself in that DI building at some point during her 3 years on the island?

    I don’t think they were able to finish the runway, I.E. Lipidus says “we’re running out of runway” and the other pilot dies.I don’t think Richard and other Others were able to come finish it.

    • jessea

      Juliet was an Other/Hostile, not a member of the DI. But what I wanna find out is…the photos on the wall in TMBTC … are Hurley, Kate and Jack in them? now that would be cool…

      • No. The photos of them were shot in 2008/9. They had not existed in 2007 when TMBTC was produced. Furthermore, we recently learned that Ben & Roger arrived BEFORE Jack, Kate and Hurley joined the Dharma Initiative.

  • Hill Farmer Blue

    My question is where are Richard and the remaining Others? Once Mr. Locke turns the wheel do they follow the same time rollercoaster as Sawyer,Juliette, etc. ? Or do they remain in 2004? My guess is they don`t jump through time because Richard exists with Widmore in the 50`s and as a hostile in the 70`s. One ageless Richard is enough to handle let alone two!

  • Ahleemah

    What about when Juliet is told “you look just like her”. Juliet must have some interaction with young Ben that is pivotal enough to make him obsessed with her, love her in the future timeline, and just think she looks like the woman he had a junior thing for in the past….

    • Yep. Go listen to Doc’s most recent Podcast (if you haven’t already). They discuss that exact same reason for Ben’s obsession with Juliet.

  • jessea

    a bigger question for me is….
    wouldn’t the dharma hippies have more likely been vegeterians? whats with the burgers?

    • veggie burgers!!! 🙂

  • elainencarolina

    “The submarine brings new Recruits to a dock. Recruits get off the dock and mosey over to a Reception area, the one seen in TMBTC when young Ben first arrives on the Island. This Reception area has a building with group photos of new Recruits, including the photo from 1977 that Christian shows Frank and Sun. The Recruits are then shuttled to the Barracks, which are some distance inland from the Submarine dock and not on the shore. Upon arriving at the Barracks, the new Recruits go to the building where Jack meets Candle, and they are given their work assignments and change into their uniforms and after taking a picture are treated to hamburgers and punch.”

    There’s an issue here.

    When Sun and Ben and Frank are at the three boats on the shore of the little island, Ben points across the water and says, ” There’s a small dock about a 1/2 mile from here. It leads directly to the the place I used to live.”

    In the scene where Jack, Kate, Hurly etc., are at the Processing Center, as the camera pans, you can see the houses in the background along with clothes lines and swing sets.

  • JOhn Burger

    I dont believe there is enough evidence for an alternate timeline but you cant be very observant to plot devices if you think those were different buildings.

    Not only was the interior exact–including where the pictures were hanging—but that very building was shown in the episode. As a writer, those being 2 different building would be so utterly absurd that every other wroter in the room would say this would just confuse the audience. The past building and future building was a plot device to highlight the fate of Dharma. Your saying there is NO reason to feature the past and futre reception buildings in the same episode—sorry..that makes no sense.

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