Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to Find the Island...

In my recap of the Season 4 finale, I suggested that turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel moved the Island forward in time to early 2007, shortly before Jeremy Bentham's "reappearance." Upon further reflection, however, I've concluded it's more likely that the Island jumped ahead a mere ten months to October 2005, when Ben arrived in the Tunisian desert. What's more, knowing where Ben landed will be the key to finding the Island once again...



Let's begin by clarifying what Locke and Co. mean by "moving" the Island. Turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel transforms the Island into a giant time machine straight out of HG Wells. For those on the Island, the trip through time is instantaneous. To outside observers, however, the Island disappears until the rest of the world catches up in time, at which point it miraculously reappears. During the interim, the Island effectively ceases to exist in our world and cannot be accessed by anyone.



Here's the catch. When the Island jumps in time, the rest of the world continues turning, orbiting, etc. through space. The Earth will thus be in a different position relative to the Island when it reappears. If you have trouble visualizing what I mean, consider an analogy inspired by the comments of poster Wayne Allen Sallee. Due to the Earth's motion, the constellations you see from a given location tonight will be different from those you'll see from the same location in six months.



Why is this information useful to someone trying to find the Island? In the Mind of Magnus, I suggested that the Island is located on a wrinkle in spacetime or vile vortex connecting points on opposite sides of the planet (i.e., antipodes). Notice how Ben and the Dharma polar bear both landed in the Tunisian desert. Notice, as well, how the South Pacific is opposite Tunisia on the globe. My suspicion is that using the Frozen Donkey Wheel deposits one at the Island's precise antipodal point.



The polar bear skeleton is located at the antipode of the Island's previous location in the South Pacific. That's why Charlotte was so excited by its discovery. Ben's landing point, which is different from the bear's but in the same general area, is at the antipode of the Island's new location. The difference is due to the aforementioned movement of the Earth relative to the Island. That makes Ben invaluable to anyone looking for the Island. Like the man said, he always has a plan...

18 comments:

Capcom said...

Hmmmm, I like this antipodal idea. :-)

Anonymous said...

BIGMOUTH...dam man every time I think of an idea you beat me to the punch. I thought there might be a correlation to where Ben ends up and where/when the island will be...I guess great minds think alike. I didnt read more that the openning paragraph bc i'm fleshing out my own theory on this but I'm sure it's on point as usual. Keep up the good work we are going to need it for the hiatus.

SPOON

Barry said...

I think you're on the right track, but I'm not sure that's exactly it. Taking a look at a map of Tunisia with my admittedly uneducated eye, I find out the southern half is the semi-arid/desert part, and occupies about 30,000 sq mi. That means if Ben and the bear appeared at even the farthest possible points from each other, they would've been about 200 miles apart from each other. While that seems a lot for us land-locked lubbers, 200 miles is not a ton of difference in the middle of the South Pacific, is it? And that's the maximum distance away. Assuming Widmore keeps survellience in the area for the next years or so waiting for the island to reappear (and surely he understands just what Ben did) he won't have a lot of difficulty narrowing down the location when it will reappear.

I agree that Ben's location is the island's antipodal location, but at the moment he disappears - not what it would be 10 months down the road.

Judging by already established facts regarding where the island has likely been (somewhere else in the world to catch a wayward Kenyan drug plane and the ill-fated Black Rock) I'd say it could be anywhere in the world. Probably somewhere much less tropical, unfortunately for those Left Behind. Hope they have some spare parkas...

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Thanks! Darlton themselves mentioned antipodes in the recent podcast. They actually dinged my TMOM speculation that the Drug Plane accessed the Island via some antipodal wormhole. But they confirmed that antipodes are very important going forward.

Spoon: Thanks LOL! Can't wait to read your theory!

Barry: I think you're probably right that the Island theoretically *could* have ended up elsewhere in the world. That may be why Mr. Widmore didn't just park his people in the South Pacific to wait for its reappearance. Perhaps it's random chance that placed the Island back in the same general vicinity as before. Also, keep in mind that the Island may be invisible for reasons unrelated to the Donkey Wheel.

I think Ben's landing point is the current antipode for a few reasons. First, as a poster named Netprophet notes, the timing of Mr. Widmore's expedition makes sense if the polar bear skeleton revealed the Island previous location. Second, the relative simplicity of having Ben know how to find the Island again makes sense from a storytelling perspective. How else do you see the O6 getting back? Third, the dynamic I describe could even explain the fake wreckage off Bali -- Widmore wanted to fake out others (e.g., Paik?) who know of the antipodal relationship.

As for the Drug Plane, perhaps there's an entire network of wormholes that shifts only when the donkey wheel is turned. Something has to explain such oddities and others like the Black Rock's Ledger. I just realized, for example, that if you dig a hole through the Earth just outside of Portland, you end up southeast of Madagascar, where the Ledger was supposedly found.

Capcom said...

Wow, my head just exploded....again! Now it puts Charlotte's little expedition in a new light for me, to think that her job there might have been to check that location for Wid, to verify a polar bear there or not, duh. I assumed that she was just there for her own DI hunt before she got hired on, but her purpose/interest there could have been two-fold.

OK, do you think that these shifting wormholes might be moving sort of like a Rubic's cube when the FDW is turned? Or even like in that movie The Cube? This is good stuff, I'm so glad that you posted this idea. :-D

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Thanks for the shout out, Big. In one of my comments after the season premiere, I had suggested that perhaps when the polar bear arrived in Tunisia, the drug plane switched places with it, via the wormhole ripple effect. The same must apply with Portland and Madagascar, great catch. You and Barry both make good points, and yes, 200 miles isn't that far apart unless the Island is gone from sight until October of 2005. Could be Widmore doesn't know of the time jumps, only the disappearing act and supposed movement (whether it be 200 or 2000miles away). Something I'm now thinking, Big. Say Widmore knows about the Tunisia antipode. Did he make the connection--or has he even thought about it as we are just now doing?--with Portland. Could Mittelos be a complete unknown, in relation to the Island, to Widmore? By using the vortice idea, the episode title "Not In Portland" takes on new meaning. But then, why was Naomi's sat phone broadcasting towards Portland? Someone shut me up already, maybe Widmore does know the connection of the wormholes, but does he know Richard Alpert in some way? How much is he truly aware of re: the Island's inhabitants besides Ben and Dharma? OK, I guess that's as close as I'm, going to get TRYING to say what I THINK makes sense...

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, just a kind of ironic thing, I looked up your link to Wiki for antipodes. It lists various cities, and Suva, the main port of Fiji (where the freighter was) is antipodal to Timbuktu. It means nothing, of course, as Fiji logically fits into the scheme of things...

KansasGal said...

I agree with you, as usual... LOL

Could it be that the island itself has not really moved??

This would depend on how the island was hidden originally. Could planes and boats seem to pass right through the island if they did not approach it correctly? Their perspective would be that there was no island. But if one approaches the island correctly, or very close to it, pop... there is the island.

So by changing the bearing one needs to take to the island, it only seemed to make the island vanish.

This would parallel your previous post "purple sky" and making a hole in one.

Only to our perspective, would the island actually "move ahead" in time. Where in reality it is like those cards that the images seem to change as you tilt the card around... you just need to look at it from the correct "bearings" or direction to actually see the island.

I hope that makes sense...don't have time to recheck it... children just came inside covered in MUD!! LOL!!!

Capcom said...

Hey wow, Kansasgal, that is a really great idea about the changing bearing, etc. It kind of also goes with my theory -- if TPTB are using the Moebius band spacetime aspect -- in that maybe only the "flat" area of the band at the twist is the bearing "opening" for getting inside the island space.

Your idea also might link to what Dan said about the light not scattering "quite right", in that since visibility looking toward the island is limited to, and stops at, the "barrier", so light is also deflected and distorted, and has limited entrance. It still all makes me think of the Predator's invisible shielding and the Philly Exper.

Hope that mud cleaned off OK! :-D

Anonymous said...

If the island moves to 2005 - wouldn't that mean that Locke becomes paralyzed again and Rose's cancer comes back etc - given the other theory that their "cures" come about because of the movement back in time?

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: The Rubick's or film Cubes are one way the portals might shift, but that's not quite what I have in mind. Imagine two concentric spheres connected by a series of tunnels. As long as the two spheres rotate at the correct rate, the tunnels will stay in the same place. But let's say you stop the inner sphere and tunnel network while the outer sphere keeps turning. The tunnels will now change location relative to the outer sphere, even though they aren't moving. When the inner sphere starts rotating again, the tunnels will be in a new location. Substitute "Island" for "inner sphere" and the "Earth" for "outer sphere" and you get the dynamic I envision.

Wayne: Actually, I wish I'd stuck with your original analogy of the pole star because precession now strikes me as a better candidate for the relevant motion of the Earth LOL! As several posters have pointed out, my orbital analogy implies the Island can rematerialize in outer space!

You've raised a very interesting question regarding Portland and Madagascar. It's possible they're simply portals in the wormhole network descrived above. My guess, however, is that the Donkey Wheel has been turned before. Someone from the Black Rock (the first mate?) turned it, changing the Island's entrance to outside of Portland, which is how the Black Rock ledger ended up in Madagascar. Then the Dharma polar bear turned the Wheel again, changing the Island's entrance to the South Pacific.

kansasgal: I really like the action card analogy! I think you've very possibly described how the Island is cloaked from view even when it's part of the Earth's timeline. Because spacetime around the Island is invisibly warped, it distorts the light to a certain degree, making the the Island hard to see. But I think it's important to distinguish this phenomenon from moving the Island, which I believe is related but distinct. Turning the Donkey Wheel really does jump the Island forward in time. The Island is totally inaccessible until the Earth catches up with it in time.

anonymous: Interesting! Which theory is that? I personally believe that Jacob/the Island healed Locke. My guess is he will remain paralysis free even after the Island jumps ahead in time. Much the same with Rose, though she's a tougher case in that she seems quite certain her cancer will return if she leaves. I don't believe Locke will become paralyzed again even ifhe leaves the Island -- provided it's with Jacob's consent.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I've been out of work and finding little of worth on late night TV (I'll write until about 2 and then watch something until the ice cream carton is empty), and I started watching Season 1 again, an episode every few nights. And it is like reading a book from page one after you've gotten near the end to catch how successful the foreshadowing was. I think Locke will only lose his ability to walk when Jacob expects him to do something for the Island, and Locke is doubtful. He cures Locke soon after the crash--I think right after Jacob/Christian talks to Vincent in the mobisode, maybe he tells Vincent "You know what to do," which I now think means 'cure Locke.' So, for the first few episodes, Jacob, through an unknowing Locke's eyes, watches and cultivates Walt's interest. I bring all this up to address if Jeremy Benthem was paralyzed in the coffin. Could he hang himself from a wheelchair? Possibly. The big question is, what went wrong on the Island that Ben wants them all back (and does this include Walt)? Did Locke piss off Jacob or did something else happen, maybe involving Widmore and Paik? Re: Rose's cancer, I think that's why L. Scott Caldwell has been in quite a few of S4's episodes (I'm keeping my eye on you, Shorty), her ilness will likely be addressed in S5. Any thoughts?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Oh, and Bigmouth, re your mistake about the Island then appearing in space, I encourage anyone needing a laugh to download Lost Rhapsody (Google it, its set to Weird Al Yankovic's cover of Behoemian Rhapsody), and watch Sayid's reaction after Kate shoots him skyward in Locke's trebuchet. (It makes more sense once you see it).

Capcom said...

Yes, that's an awesome video, for sure. "It's nothing but turtle's all the way down!" as the Hawking story goes. :-B

I love the word trebuchet, heheh.

Capcom said...

BTW Big, I hope that you don't mind me referencing this article of yours on my blog, but I found a Google map for finding antipodal positions and I didn't feel like explaining the whole thing like you already have on your blog. So I cheated and linked your blog, heheh. The map finder is neat.

http://perditascientia.blogspot.com

snakes22 said...

I like this idea but i have to say... There's no way we are ever in the same position in the future as we are in the present relative to the rest of the universe... Not only do u have to account for the spinning and revolving of the earth, but also our entire solar system revolves around the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy along with all the other stars. AND our galaxy is floating away at some astronomical high speed within the universe so if one were to remove an object from time/space even for a second, that object wouldn't be anywhere near earth if it was put back in the same time/space place :)

Capcom said...

Heheh, technically you have a point there Snakes. If you could stop or freeze yourself in time, the entire universe might move without you and leave you behind! :-o

Bigmouth said...

Wayne: My suspicion is that Ben's comments about the difficulty of command decisions and the Others following Locke's every order are actually a hint about "very bad things" that happen. Basically, Locke will make some bad decisions, possibly leading the Others into conflict with the survivors of the Freighter. Locke needs Jack, the man of science, to temper his faith.

The Island's problems may also have something to do with Jacob's departure. I believe he left in the form of Aaron, leaving Christian behind as his caretaker. I even wonder if Claire in Kate's dream is actually Jacob -- he doesn't want to go back to the Island.

Capcom: Very cool! BTW, here's a great graphic provided by MikeNY of the Island's possible locations and antipodes. The two paths remind of two waves going in and out of synch. I'm reminded of the phase diagram I included in When Alternate Realities Collide.

snakes22: Agreed -- the orbital analogy is imperfect. Check out my response above to Capcom for an alternative. Imagine two concentric spheres connected by a series of tunnels. As long as the two spheres rotate at the correct rate, the tunnels will stay in the same place. But let's say you stop the inner sphere and tunnel network while the outer sphere keeps turning. The tunnels will now change location relative to the outer sphere, even though they aren't moving. When the inner sphere starts rotating again, the tunnels will be in a new location. Substitute "Island" for "inner sphere" and the "Earth" for "outer sphere" and you get the dynamic I envision.