Lost/The Swan

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Station 3 - The Swan

Station 3, or the Swan, is the third of six stations built by the DHARMA Initiative on the island. The Swan is located about half a mile away from the caves used as shelter by the Oceanic survivors. The Swan is usually referred to as "the hatch" by the Oceanic survivors as Locke and Boone found and uncovered a metal hatch buried in the ground that is part of the station. The station was destroyed in a massive implosion after the utilization of a fail-safe device. All that remains of the Swan is a massive hole in the ground.

Contents

Purpose

The orientation film associated with the Swan states the station was originally constructed as a laboratory. Scientists at the Swan could work to better understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations that emanate from that sector of the island. However, soon after the experiments began there was an "incident" and the following protocol has been observed: Every 108 minutes a button within the station must be pressed. A numerical code is entered into a computer terminal in order to press the button and it can only be entered within the last four minutes of the 108 minute time frame. The aforementioned incident occurred due to a leak in the Swan's system, unleashing the electromagnetism being harnessed. The button must be pressed in order to discharge the electromagnetic build-up before it reaches a dangerous level. Two individuals were assigned by the DHARMA Initiative to the Swan for 540 day rotations in order to keep pressing the button.

The orientation film associated with the Pearl states that the team members inhabiting the Swan were part of a psychological experiment. These team members were not aware they are under surveillance nor were they aware that they were part of an experiment. The film does not state what the nature of the experiment was nor what the team members inside the Swan believe they were accomplishing. At least two active CCTV cameras were hidden inside the Swan and linked to the Pearl. However, it would appear the Pearl is the true psychological experiment.

The Station

The Swan's unearthed hatch.
Kate entering the Swan's airlock.
The remnants of the Swan.

The Swan was located underground with at least two entrances/exits. The main entrance was an airlock connected to a stairwell leading to a door above ground that was shrouded in hanging vegetation and thick undergrowth. The second known entrance was a shaft with a broken ladder that leads to a hatch above ground. The hatch was initially buried when it was discovered and consisted of foot thick steel, no handle, and the word "QUARANTINE" was stenciled on the inside of the hatch door. In addition, the text "4 8 15 16 23 42" was engraved on the outside of the hatch.

The interior of the Swan consisted of several living areas, a geodesic dome, and passageways. Electricity was present within the station and was possibly provided by a geothermal generator. Running water was also available and was probably supplied by underground springs. Ventilation ducts ran throughout the station and there was crawlspace underneath.

A dirt road once ran to the Swan, or was in the planning stages of construction, based on a blueprint found in an overturned DHARMA-branded Volkswagen Type 2a. The car also contained the body of a DHARMA worker. The man's jump suit identified him as a work man named Roger and had a Swan logo patch. The cause and time of death is unknown, but Roger's body was badly decomposed, suggesting it was left in the jungle for a very lengthy period.

Desmond was found inside the Swan by the Oceanic survivors. He told the group that he shipwrecked on the island three years ago while on a solo sailing race around the world. A man named Kelvin came out of the jungle, took him to the Swan, and the two pushed the button together. However, Kelvin was accidentally killed the day the Oceanic survivors crashed onto the island, leaving Desmond alone until the hatch was blown open. Kelvin's former partner was a man named Radzinsky, but he killed himself with a shotgun.

In Live Together, Die Alone, Locke destroyed the computer to prevent the numbers from being entered. Desmond had to activate the fail-safe device to save everyone, resulting in a massive discharge of electromagnetism — enough to launch the extremely heavy hatch door into the air and far enough to land on the castaway's beach camp. The fail-safe device ultimately resulted in the implosion of the Swan and its complete destruction. Locke, Eko and Desmond were inside the Swan during the fail-safe activation, but somehow they awoke out in the jungle and relatively unharmed.

Fan-made blueprint of the Swan. Note: the electromagnetic reactor portion of the Swan is from Lost: Via Domus which is not considered canon.
Looking into the Swan's main living area from the living quarters.

Main Living Area

The main living area contained artwork, a foldable ping pong table, the controls to the station's lighting system, a record player with records, numerous books and novels on shelves, a dining booth with table and simulated sunlight, a drug cabinet, a dart board, and furniture. The kitchen consisted of an oven and an island with built-in stovetop and sink, fire extinguisher, pots and pans, cups and dishes, and utensils. A telescope was mounted to the ceiling and could be used to view various parts of the interior of the station in conjunction with electronically-controlled mirrors scattered throughout. Connected to the main living area was a pantry and armory.

At least two hidden CCTV cameras were active in this area of the Swan. They were by the kitchen and overlooked the main living at two different angles.

The Swan's stocked pantry.

Pantry

The pantry contained five storage shelves and was stocked with DHARMA-branded rations. Some of the rations inside included pork & beans, vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut butter, ketchup, apple sauce, vinegar, peaches, olives, potato chips, pasta, chicken, sausages, hot cocoa mix, and candy. All the containers bore the Swan logo and the text "DI 9FFTR731." Hurley decided to give the food away in Everybody Hates Hugo as the remaining food would only be able to feed one person for another three months. In Lockdown, however, Jack and Kate discovered a recent parachute drop of DHARMA-brand rations near the Swan.

Desmond inside the Swan's armory.

Armory

The armory contained a variety of weapons and ammunition, including handguns, automatic rifles, shotguns, and a scoped rifle. Sawyer and Charlie conspired to steal the weapons cache in The Long Con. With the armory empty, it was eventually used as a jail cell for an Other claiming to be Henry Gale. He was eventually freed and the weapons were returned by Sawyer, but the armory remained empty. The armory door was opened via a combination lock and could only be opened from the outside. Locke bolted shut the ventilation grate inside the armory to prevent anyone from getting in or out.

Looking into the Swan's living quarters from the kitchen area.

Living Quarters

Connected to the main living area was the living quarters. The living quarters contained a bunk bed with personal shelves and simulated sunlight, drawers, exercycle, bench press equipment, front-loading washer and dryer, ironing board, and coat rack. Connected to the living quarters was a bathroom containing a shower, sink, and a mirror.

Jack inside the dome.

Geodesic Dome

Connected to the main living area was the geodesic dome. Some of the dome panels were missing, revealing lighting behind them. Along the wall of the dome was a sofa, a work desk with equipment, oscilloscopes, magnetic tape drives, and some kind of master control unit. In the center of the room was a desk with a desk lamp and the computer terminal. Directly in front of the computer terminal, mounted above a doorway, was the 108 minute timer.

At least one CCTV camera was present inside the geodesic dome. It was not known if it was active during Desmond and the Oceanic survivors' stay. The camera was located on the same side of the geodesic dome as the timer and offered a view of the computer terminal and whoever may have been sitting at it.

The Swan computer terminal.

The Computer

According to the Swan's orientation film, every 108 minutes a button must be pushed. These 108 minutes were displayed via a timer orientated above a doorway in front of the computer terminal. From the moment the alarm sounds, the occupants of the Swan would have four minutes to enter the code into the computer terminal. Nothing could be inputted into the computer terminal until there was four minutes remaining on the timer. The code was: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42, [Execute].

Additional footage from the Swan's orientation video was recovered from the Arrow and spliced together with the existing film in What Kate Did. The recovered footage warned the viewer to only use the computer to input the code as that was its only function. It warned that the isolation associated with the duties for the Swan may tempt the viewer to use the computer to contact the outside world, but it was strictly forbidden. Attempting to use the computer in such a fashion would jeopardize the integrity of the project and possibly lead to another incident.

Pushing the button discharges the electromagnetic build-up that occurred every 108 minutes.

In What Kate Did and The 23rd Psalm, Michael used the computer to apparently talk to Walt despite the fact that Locke was unable to type anything into the computer before 004:00. The blast door map references a "DHARMATEL Intranet", suggesting there is an island-wide computer Intranet.

The Swan's 108 minute timer.

The Timer

The timer was located above one of the two doorways in the geodesic dome and was directly in front of the computer terminal. Between 108:00 and 004:00, the timer only counted down by decrements of one minute. Once the timer reached four minutes remaining, an alarm sounded and the timer counted down by decrements of one second. When the timer reached one minute remaining, a second alarm sounded. At ten seconds remaining, the second alarm quickened its pace. When the numbers were inputted into the computer and the button pressed, the timer reset to 108 minutes. 108 is the sum of the number inputted into the computer.

In One of Them, Locke was unable to input the code into the computer terminal before the timer hit zero. The timer appeared to automatically reset itself, but instead the numbers went into free-spin and changed. Red hieroglyphics on a black background appeared where the minutes used to be and black hieroglyphics on a red background appeared where the seconds were. The hieroglyphics snapped into place one by one while a sound, like machinery powering up, was present in the background. Locke was able to input the rest of the code, push the button, and reset the timer to 108 minutes before the last hieroglyphic appeared.

Hieroglyphics on the timer.

During the events of Live Together, Die Alone, Locke prevented Desmond from pushing the button. All five hieroglyphics locked into place, creating the Egyptian word "to cause to die," or more specifically, "to kill." If the last hieroglyphic does lock into place on the timer, then "system failure" is repeatedly displayed across the computer screen and the loudspeaker repeats "system failure." It appears the numbers could still be entered when the hieroglyphic symbols locked into place, but not before damage occurs from the built-up electromagnetism.

In Dave, Henry Gale told Locke that he let the timer run down to zero and never pushed the button during the events of Lockdown. He said the timer simply reset to 108 minutes. However, the events shown in Live Together, Die Alone prove that Henry Gale lied to Locke and he did in fact push the button.

The fail-safe device and key.

Fail-safe Device

There was a fail-safe device to the timer located in the crawlspace underneath the geodesic dome. It was accessed through a small hatch located underneath one of the pieces of machinery along the wall of the geodesic dome. It was in the shape of a DHARMA symbol with a hinged lid. The inside of the lid had the text: "CAUTION: SYSTEM TERMINATION". The fail-safe device was operated by the insertion of a DHARMA-branded key. Kelvin likened the use of the fail-safe device to removing your finger from a dam and blowing it up instead. The fail-safe device was used by Desmond in Live Together, Die Alone. Desmond believes the device detonated the electromagnetic anomaly and ultimately resulted in the implosion of the station.

Blast door sliding into place, separating the main living area from the corridor.

Blast Doors

In What Kate Did, Michael pointed out the blast doors to Locke. Locke told him that Desmond never mentioned them and they did not know what they were for. In Lockdown, the blast doors came down. A garbled voice came over the Swan's speaker system and eventually began counting down. Once the countdown for the lockdown reached zero, a chime sounded and at least four blast doors slid into place:

  1. One separating the main living area from the living quarters
  2. One separating the main living area from the geodesic dome
  3. One coming down over the window in the dining booth
  4. One separating the main living area from the corridor leading to the airlock and hatch

Michael pointed out a blast door that would separate the geodesic dome from the corridor leading to the airlock and hatch. It was not shown coming down in Lockdown, but it did come down during a lockdown. The orientation of the blast doors would seem to suggest locking the occupants of the Swan inside, but it was possible to get from the living quarters to the corridor, and thus the airlock, using the crawlspace as seen in Everybody Hates Hugo. However, access through the airlock was not possible during a lockdown as Eko had to climb out through the hatch shaft in Live Together, Die Alone. Just before the lockdown ended, the Swan's internal lighting flickered off and several black lights came on to reveal a hidden map with notations written on the blast door separating the main living area from the corridor. A lockdown could also be manually tripped from within the geodesic dome.

Sayid in front of the barricaded doorway.

Electromagnetism

The Swan's orientation film claimed the station was built as a laboratory to perform experiments and conduct research into the unique electromagnetic fluctuations originating from the sector of the island where the Swan is located. Along the passageway running from the airlock to the hatch shaft, near one of the doorways to the geodesic dome, there was a doorway. The door had been barricaded and concrete poured over it. In Everybody Hates Hugo, Sayid postulated there was more concrete poured on the other side of the door at least 8 to 10 feet thick. Concrete had been poured in a similar fashion in the crawlspace underneath the doorway to bar entry underneath. On the other side of the door was some sort of electromagnetic phenomenon. When Jack approached the door the key around his neck was attracted by the phenomenon and when Desmond walked by the door the fillings in his teeth hurt. It is unknown what exactly was behind the blocked doorway.

Lost: Via Domus

Lost: Via Domus is a video game based on Lost that was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on February 27th 2008 by Ubisoft. One of the in-game locations visited by the character is the Swan along with the unseen area behind the sealed doorways. However, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have stated the game is not canon.

The electromagnetic reactor.

Electromagnetic Reactor

Note: the following is not canon and only exists within the video game.

According to Lost: Via Domus, the sealed doorways inside the Swan lead to a very large geodesic dome similar to the one containing the computer terminal and timer. In the middle of this dome is a large and active electromagnetic reactor. Computer equipment line the walls of the room along with a second computer terminal which controls the functions of the electromagnetic reactor. A portion of the room has collapsed in on itself which presumably contained the doorway which led to the sealed doorways inside the Swan. There is a second entrance which leads out to a lava tunnel which in turn leads to an entrance concealed beneath a waterfall. This second entrance was sealed shut, presumably after the incident and when the two doorways inside the Swan were also sealed.