LOST Theories - DarkUFO

ALT All Along Has Driven Lost Forward by Andrew

This theory is somewhat of a repost that compiles a collection of thoughts taken from the ongoing WHH v ALT conversations throughout this forum.... I have tried to stick to my own ideas that I've posted but I am also taking this opportunity to include rebuttal arguments that have been received throughout the discourse of the debates here at DarkUFO. Where appropriate, I've updated my original posts so that the ideas take into account the comments left within the forum that have since spawned new avenues and ideas... and revisiting what we covered over the past year is sort of my own little way of gearing up for the premier of season 6. I hope you enjoy the enhanced version of the original post - The Case For ALT All Along.


Desmond, as Daniel Faraday said is "miraculously special".
He is unique because he is unstuck in time.
This uniqueness is due to his self sacrifice in turning the failsafe key, and the hatch imploding.

And so Desmond's uniqueness ultimately stems from the unique properties of the island. This notion of sacrifice is a recurring theme throughout Lost. Further, Desmond seems to be a self contained timeloop in and of himself which is how he can time flash in his consciousness to the past, see glimpses of the future, act on the past and not cause any paradoxes to the rest of the universe... but by effecting the past to suit his needs, he has ensured a different future course of events for himself and the other Losties on the island.

In short, Desmond was able to open the door to an ALT reality through the base law of WHH.


The island allows you to manipulate time (Dr Chang), exactly how or why we dont know but at the same time no paradoxes seem to occur with the variables on the island.

Think of the island like a a giant timeline computer, where the radius of the island is in fact a nexus for all possible time line scenarios... extending the known laws of physics on time travel and perhaps opening the door to other dimensions of time, or possibly even other "worlds" like in the Many Worlds timeline scenario in quantum physics. The Many Worlds scenario may explain via quantum physics how the Losties all survived the plane crash to begin with, for example. If you have no idea what im talking about, go to wikipedia.

But one conclusion that can be drawn as it relates to Desmond is that he is able to manipulate time through his consciousness, and effect the natural course of events due to his uniqueness.

Notable examples include: Saving Charlie's life (drowning / lightening) so he could cut the jamming signal, all the events of the Constant, and the events of Flashes Before Your Eyes.

The implication is that ALT has been happening throughout the discourse of Lost events... and that while exact timeline specifics have been kept completely ambiguous by the writers (ex: The Constant) as opposed to a Biff Tannon scenario where characters are clearly manipulating space-time, what we have seen on the show is a brilliantly conceived storyline that seems to be consistent across all seasons of the show.

In other words, while self-consistency in terms of time travel theories has been evidenced, perceived, explained, and expounded upon... ALT has also been a critical key to the plot of Lost since the beginning. This theory is a collection of case studies that attempts to re-ignite one's curiousness in how ALT has come about in the events of the show, how together ALT and WHH have helped drive the plot of the show forward, and how without the duality of WHH and ALT working together, 100% of the show would not have been possible to explain.

/////////// now ///////////

Case Study #1: Flashes Before Your Eyes

This is an interesting episode that for many WHH people it proves their creed. However if you look at the events of the episode under the microscope of ALT, some details emerge that you might have missed the first time around.

After Desmond turns the failsafe key, his uniqueness is on full display. He is taken back to 1996 and relives a day of his life and we are privy to all the challenges that drove him to the island in the first place. And he also saves Claire and Charles a few times due to glimpses of the future -- thus extending Charlie's life until he convinces Charlie that he needs to sacrifice himself to save the rest of the Losties.

Now, Desmond being able to see the future and avoid certain death for Claire and Charlie should certainly raise your eyebrow -- Desmond's uniqueness isn't just due to a funky memory.... he's manipulating a set fate, trying to change the natural course of events on the island.

It has been said in a very clever post by Lost Dbutz that Desmond does not change anything per se using his uniqueness, but that he merely delays fate or makes it "Late". While you could argue semantics all day (and we have) concerning the effects of Desmonds uniqueness, one thing that you cannot deny is that Desmond acting on his glimpses allowed Charlie to eventually sacrifice himself to save the Losties, not simply because that was his fate. In fact just because Charlie may have been fated to die on the island, that in and of itself does nothing to unpack further the context in which he did die. He didn't die in a lightening strike on the beach in a freak accident, Charlie sacrificed himself as a hero just after he unlocked the jamming signal so that the communication lines between the island and the outside world were re-opened. This specific series of events eventually gets Desmond and several of the Losties saved from the island, and it would not have been possible u! nless Desmond and his uniqueness intervened.

But more on that later.

The other issue of Flashes that many WHH folks like to hang their hat on is what Eloise Hawking says to Desmond in the ring shop when he starts to veer off the path he is "supposed to" take in 1996. Hawking tells Desmond a few different things about time travel and the universe that seem logically problematic, they are:

1) You cannot change the past. (WHH)

2) But you also SHOULD NOT change the past, because if Desmond does than everyone else is dead.

So my question is this... which reason is it really? Logically, if you cannot change the past, then there IS NO SHOULD NOT. It's simply you can't change the past and WHH.

But thats not the cliff hanger we were given, she ended that scene with "Desmond you should not take the ring" and change the past because the universe would implode if he did. Wait, what? I thought there WAS NO CHANGING THE PAST!? Which is it? And why is Eloise the time guardian in Desmonds face in 1996 telling him he shouldn't change the past, UNLESS HE COULD AND SHES DIDN'T WANT HIM TO.

That is the crux of this scene that gets overlooked with all her other manipulations and reasoning, course correction -- yadda yadda. Desmond had an opportunity to change the past there and she strongarmed Desmond into thinking that he couldn't (and shouldn't).

As soon as he gets back to the island he realizes that perhaps Eloise had manipulated him, and out of desperation pleads to the island to let him have another opportunity to change the past and end up with a different fate, breaking out of the cycle that keeps bringing him back to the island away from Penny. Desmond of course get's his wish in Season 4 in The Constant.


Case Study #2: The Constant (recently voted as the best Lost episode, and has always been my all-time favorite)

In The Constant, Desmond's consciousness from 1996 begins time flashing from '96 to '04 when Lapidus drives the helicopter off the 305 bearing, resulting perhaps in an island side effect. As a result, Desmond is able to bring new information from the future to Daniel Faraday in 1996, and Desmond is able to take new information from 1996 that he never ever had back to 2004 so he could call Penny and get himself and the rest of the Losties saved from the island.

So let's go a bit further here to illustrate what i mean -- and i will explain how ALT has happened due to the actions of Faraday and Desmond, how it benefited both of them in the past and future... and of course it ultimately gets the Losties saved.

"...all the things your heart desires"

Isn't it possible that the automatic 'course correcting' nature of the island allows for the rebooting of consciousness of the people on the island after a change to their timeline has occurred? We have seen that exact rebooting scenario happen with Desmond -- who is himself now a closed timeloop in and of himself due to turning the failsafe key.

But there are two specific scenes in Lost where we see Desmond's consciousness reboot, we clearly see it happen, ABC recaps have documented it, and in a very tangible way it constitutes at the very least an internal instance of ALT for Desmond.

The first example is in the Constant where Desmond got Penny's NEW phone number that he never ever had, and called her with it, and got everyone saved at the end of season 4. We all remember that one because then they had to go back... hence the course correction and time travel to 1977.

But the second example is where Faraday implanted a NEW memory in Desmond at the swan hatch while Faraday, Sawyer and crew were time flashing around on the island... before they ended up in 1977. Remember? Faraday flashed into ~2002 and told Desmond they needed help, that he was the only one that could help, and that he had to find Eloise Hawking... the sky flashed and instantly across time in the very next scene transition, Desmond in 2007 jumped out of bed and took off out of hiding because he got the message.

These are tangible examples of how ALT has manifested itself in the show within a base law of WHH, via Desmond, and has driven the plot of the show forward through it's inclusion.

Here is the timeline change broken down for Faraday from The Constant:

In 2004, Faraday from the island gave 'unstuck' Desmond instructions to go see his past self at Oxford back in 1996 with the new settings of 2.342 @11 to make his experiments work at that time... RIGHT HERE, that is what creates a new timeline of events... and that conclusion can be supported in several logical ways:

1) Eloise the rat -- she ran the maze when Faraday unstuck her using the data Desmond told him to use, data he could not have ever known unless it came from future Faraday himself... and the experiment worked.

So what? here's what -- the rat died from temporal displacement about an hour later. so why did the rat die if everything worked? The reason eloise the rat died after she ran the maze is simply this -- Faraday said he was going to teach her to run the maze in about an hour.... but once desmond came into the picture in 1996 he altered that course of events, and Faraday never did teach her to run the maze. when desmond woke up 75 minutes later after passing out (flashing back to 2004) the rat was dead. The simple fact is eloise never completed the timeline of events she was 'supposed to' because Faraday never never DID teach her to run the course and complete that loop... all due to desmond passing out for 75 minutes and daniels been busy on the chalk board fired up by the unexpected working experiment -- so faraday never completed the original event loop so the rat dies from a paradoxical hemorage.

It's not a random effect you see -- the rat was never able to come back to the timeline she departed from due to desmond changing the way events unfolded in 1996 -- and because of that she died. The only way that the rat could have been saved is with a Constant, and now given this perspective one could argue that the role of the constant is it roots you from a changing reality to a new stable one.

The same rationale can extended and used to explain Minkowski's death from temporal displacement -- the present he departed from was not the same as the one he was trying to flash back into because of Desmond making changes to the past at the very same time. And because they were outside the sphere of the island, they were not unique like Desmond, and because the new chain of events was set into motion (evidenced by Penny's phone calls to the frieghter) Minkowski, like the rat, were not able to stop the displacement and it ultimately led to their demise.

That is the importance of The Constant, right?

2) Penny -- Desmond never ever had Penny's new phone number -- so when she moved to get away from Desmond in 1996 after they broke up and make a clean break, Desmond had to track her down and get her new phone number while he was time flashing. Why? Per faraday's instructions, he had to be able to contact someone in both 1996 and 2004 to stop his displacement and save his own life. Think about this -- unless desmond is special and able to change the events of the past and retain that information in the future on the freighter, he doesn't survive the temporal displacement. So by tracking penny down and demanding her number and telling her he will call in 8 years -- he is able to set a course for change to be actualized in the future in 2004 and is able to save his own life with that new information.

But more than his own life it turns out, getting in touch with penny is also what lets her know to come looking for him to attempt a rescue. So not only do the events of The Constant heal Desmond in that it literally saves his life and he finally gets to be with Penny, escaping what he thought was his fate being bound to that island.... but it also gets the oceanic 6 saved and off the island as well.

That is a major change all initiated from Desmond's will and unique consciousness. Remember, the last thing he said before he turned that key was: "I love you Penny"

Desmond was able to break out of the loop that Eloise Hawking said he was bound to afterall, and that above all else constitutes ALT because the time guardian at the end of season 5 tells us "she has no ideas whats going to happen next."

3) Eloise Hawking -- the last time we see her she comments that for the first time in a long time she has no idea what will happen next. I've found this statement means many things to different people, but one possible explanation is that a change to the fated course of events has happened because of Desmond's unique abilities, and now her ability to see the future has been cut short because an ALTernate reality is in play.

It could also mean that she was using Faraday's journal to predict the future all along, although that would not explain how she knew about the man with red shoes dying in Flashes Before Your Eyes (if she wasn't BS'ing of course), or other things of that nature. So barring any further explanation that might expound upon the nature of Hawkings ability to see the future -- we are left to believe that a change has occurred to the timeline and events she is familiar with and Hawking is left scratching her head about what is to come next.

That is ALT baby.

4) Now consider this to be really going out on a limb... for ALT. I want to entertain a notion of how "island magic" works and how people miraculuously get healed when they get inside the radius of the island. We know if you leave the island on a vector that is not specifically the bearing of 305, it opens up the opportunity for some people to mind flash and potentially change your timeline. So how is it that as soon as Faraday comes to the island his memory becomes healed? And further, how does Widmore know the island will heal Faraday's memory?

The short answer is this: because of the new ALT timeline started in 1996 by Desmond. Faraday effectively passed shortcut information to himself across time and space via Desmond. This series of events between Desmond and Faraday initiated a CHANGE in Faradays actual mental state, both in a new past timeline and therefor in a hypothetical future timeline that has been actuated on and from the island.

So, ask yourself how Faraday, after years and years of testing his time flashing device at 20 times a day (as he said in The Constant) with his head unprotected... effectively RUINING his memory over the years... how when he came to the island did he magically regain his ability to think clearly? How exactly was Daniel healed... simply island magic? In a way... but it has to do with ALT more specifically.

I submit that Faraday getting healed by coming to the island is not due to "magic" per se, its that he was able to give himself a shortcut across time from the island... the shortcut was his conclusive research that he sent via Desmond to his past self in 1996. This would create a new hypothetical timeline that would not exist anywhere tangible and not be accessible from anywhere EXCEPT from the island. That change was initiated from Faraday on the island and made possible via Desmond's uniqueness.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because it's an example of a before and after scenario that is as close to a non-continuity error change involving time travel that there is on Lost... it was written into the plot of the show and the devices and quirks of time travel experimentation.

What I'm asking you to do is consider his mind healing a side effect, and consider it evidence that the past has changed due to Desmond acting upon events differently in 1996 while time flashing, changing the way the events originally went down.

This change eliminates the need for Faraday to continue testing Eloise the rat at various WRONG frequencies, searching for the right combination over a long series of experiments that have been since proven to destroy his brain and memory... the shortcut future Fardady gives himself in the past basically saves his brain back in 1996. And as a result a new and improved consciousness has just been created for Faraday due to Desmond's unique abilities.

Instead of searching for the right combination of numbers, doing more and more trials... the NEW information from the future frees Faraday from that old chain of events, fixing his memory in the future on the island where that new timeline has been accessed.

quote: "faraday cant even save himself" (doc - the constant)

Actually he can, although he needed to come to the island and meet Desmond to help him do it... and Widmore knew that somehow, perhaps because he bumped into Desmond in the bathroom while bidding on the Black Rock ledger.

////////// conclusions //////////

Taking all this into consideration should atleast re-ignite your curiosity about the writing of this show, how the power of ALT has been a key ingredient all along carefully disguised in ambiguity, and the plot has been masterfully crafted to cover up any clear answers about whether what we are being presented constitutes as WHH or whether ALT is indeed possible and has been happening all along. I believe the myriad manipulations by people in power on and off the island throughout the plot of Lost indicates a motive for control and being in power to change the outcomes of certain events, and it's all a possibility because the loophole to get around the natural laws of earthly physics resides on and around the island itself.

Desmond's absorption of the island's electromagnetic properties when he turned that fail-safe key did indeed make him 'miraculously special' -- and his uniqueness has been critical to introducing ALT timelines from within a base framework of WHH, time lines that are accessible specifically from the island.... and the fallout of conflicts inherent to course correction is what he have been witnessing ever since.

Due to Desmond's failure to return to the island, it may certainly be possible that the events of 1977 caused a further departure than what was "supposed" to happen with out Losties, and that detonating the bomb really was the only way to change the outcome of events without Desmond. Who know, maybe in the end Hawking will be right and that Desmond must eventually return to the island and help "undo" what he did... in effect sacrificing himself yet again to save everyone else. It may very well end up being that the finale finds Desmond pushing the button every 108 minutes, yet again, preventing the fallout of another sacrifice to the island.


I hope you have enjoyed this post, and no matter what happens or what the truth may be, Lost has been the most profoundly incredible TV show ever to air... I think that much we can all agree on.

PS --- to Dbutz, Phil, March, Ben Potter, Ricky, Joey, future, Cass, Monika, and whoever else I forgot to mention.... shall we keep the debate going by posting in Matt's old 1000+ comment thread that broke the mold? Let me know if you're interested or whether we should start something new with a twitter hashtag that references the debate or something like that. I'd prefer something that has built in RSS but whatever.

Either way, less than a month to go and I hope everyone is getting ramped up for it... cheers!

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
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