As you've probably heard or read by now, the writers dropped a bomb on us at Comic-Con in the form of a new orientation film, purportedly for Station 6, the Orchid. I say "purportedly" not because I doubt the film's veracity -- it has an outtake's air of authenticity. Rather, my speculation is that the Orchid was actually the precursor for the Swan, and what we saw in the film presages the Incident that Dr. Candle mentions in the Swan Orientation. Take a gander at the video on Lostpedia if you haven't already or your recollection requires refreshment. Then consider some of my whackadoo theories about the thing:
Whackadoo Theory 4: When Swan was in operation, the Island existed a 108 minutes out of phase with our timeline.
Whackadoo Theory 8: Oceanic 815 did indeed crash killing everyone on board. But System Failure opened a wormhole that plucked the plane out of our timeline 108 minutes before it crashed, changing the future so that the plane now crashes on the Island where some survive. The second Oceanic 815 crash was staged ala Capricorn One to prevent a massive course correction.
Whackadoo Theory 15: A poster named Founder speculates that Dr. Candle lost his arm shaking hands with one of his twins. Let's say Wickmund meets Allowax after a wormhole experiment gone awry. They shake hands, resulting in KABOOM! When the dust settles, there is only one person with a whole new name, Dr. Marvin Candle.
Whackadoo Theory 16: Jacob is someone who was erased from the timeline by the Incident.
Whackadoo Theory 23: The Others are timeline twins of certain people who were present during the Incident. Let's say Richard Alpert was originally a member of Dharma. An experiment plucked some version of himself from another point in the timeline like the bunnies in the film. To avoid a temporal rift, they tried to return this twin Richard back to his proper point in the timeline. Unfortunately, they ended up blasting him waaaaaaaaay back in time. Like several centuries. Doesn't explain how Richard has survived this long. But it would explain why such an old soul speaks perfect modern English, even lecturing Ben on the meaning of the word "hostile."
Whackadoo Theory 42: The Island's Casimir Effect creates a kind of static warp bubble modeled on the Alcubierre Drive.