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Station 5, or The Pearl, is the fifth of six stations built by the DHARMA Initiative on the island. The Pearl is located within one or two hours walk at most from the Swan station. The entrance to this monitoring station was discovered by Nikki Fernandez and Paulo in season one. Paulo ventured inside later in season two, but the station wasn't fully explored until Eko and John Locke found it in "?".
According to the orientation film found inside the Pearl, the Pearl was constructed as a monitoring station where the activities of participants in DHARMA Initiative projects could be observed and recorded. Two individuals are sent to the station in three week rotations in eight hour shifts to observe a psychological experiment that was in progress. The duty of the Pearl's personnel is to observe team members in another station on the island — The Swan — who are not aware that they are under surveillance or that they are subjects of an experiment. Observations were to be recorded in notebooks and, once a notebook was filled, were to be sent via pneumatic tube to an unknown location. At the end of an eight hour shift, the personnel were to take a ferry to a barracks.
However, the terminus of the pneumatic tube was discovered in "Live Together, Die Alone." It simply deposited the message tubes in a small clearing. They were never retrieved or opened, but left untouched for years. It would appear the Pearl is actually the psychological experiment. The fate of the station's occupants is unknown, but skeletal remains of humans were discovered inside a cave used by the island's polar bears as a shelter. One of the remains was draped in fabric bearing the logo of the Pearl.
The Pearl is located in a clearing in the jungle and is entirely underground with only one visible entrance. The entrance is a vertical shaft with a ladder that leads down into the Pearl. The entrance is protected by a set of heavy double doors set into the ground which were covered in dirt. The clearing is located at the foot of the cliff where the Nigerian drug smuggler's plane landed and, after Boone Carlyle caused the plane to fall, it landed near the entrance. Benjamin Linus later ordered Juliet Burke to bring back some more Others to move the plane over the entrance, concealing it. The earth was salted in the clearing in order to create the shape of a circle, but the crash of the smuggler's plane, and its later movement by the Others, created what appeared to be a question mark that is visible from the top of the cliff.
The interior of the Pearl consists of only one main room attached to the shaft entrance. The room contains a bank of monitors, two chairs, a computer terminal and printer, pneumatic tube, and cupboard. The station still has electrical power. One CCTV camera is visible inside the room, apparently to keep surveillance over the team members that were inside. A working bathroom is also present inside the station.
Opposite the entrance to the room is a bank of nine monitors — three rows of three monitors — with each monitor's control panel set into the wall to the right of each monitor. Only one monitor appears to have a video feed being sent to it — real-time video from inside the Swan's main living area. Ben and Juliet used this monitor to take a look at Jack Shephard inside the Swan when Ben was formulating a plan to make Jack perform a surgical procedure on him. Juliet made a brief remark that Tom had also come to the station earlier. Sayid Jarrah was later able to rewire the system to receive a new video feed from another DHARMA Initiative station — The Flame — and a brief glimpse of its inhabitant, Mikhail Bakunin. The middle monitor in the bank is connected to a VCR within the station.
Immediately in front of the bank of monitors are two leather chairs on swivel mounts. Each chair appears to have a desk mounted to the right arm, a large magnifying glass mounted to the left arm (one chair is missing the magnifying glass), and a set of controls are built into the arms including a dial controlling the lighting level. One of the built-in desks has a cigarette on it along with rocks or other debris. On the May 15, 2006 Lost podcast, executive producer Damon Lindelof claimed the cigarette was still burning when Locke and Eko descended into the Pearl.
The Computer Desk
To the right of the monitor bank is a desk with a computer, a printer, message containers, and to the right of the desk is a pneumatic tube. Built-in to the wall over the desk is a lamp to allow ample lighting over the desk. The computer is the same model as the one inside the Swan's geodesic dome. Even though the computer seems to be a permanent fixture, Dr. Wickmund did not provide any explanation for it. The computer's prompt showed only one command asking if the user wanted to print a log or not. Locke made a printout, which Eko took with him when he left the station. Desmond Hume read over the printout and discovered it was a log of the date and time the button was pressed inside the Swan. Upon returning to the station, Sayid and Desmond attempted to rewire the computer system in a bid to communicate with the Others. However, Sayid discovered the computer terminal was wired in such a way as to only receive information and could not be changed to transmit data.
The pneumatic tube is still in operating condition as Locke placed his drawing over the Swan's hidden map inside and it was whisked away. The Pearl's orientation film states that the pneumatic tube is to be used to send notebooks to "them" when they are filled with observations and notations about the psychological experiment. The termination point of the pneumatic tube was discovered in "Live Together, Die Alone." The pneumatic tube terminated in the middle of a small clearing on the island. The message tubes shot out and were never retrieved. They simply piled up in a massive, untouched pile.
To the left of the monitor bank is a cupboard containing stacks of notebooks branded with the logo of the Pearl and a video cassette of an orientation film for the Pearl. These notebooks were to be used by team members to write down observations of other team members within the Swan. Two double doors were on the cupboard, but fell off when Eko opened them.