How to get to and from an island…

It has been a growing peeve of mine that we have not yet seen how people get to and from the island en masse…

I am sure there were many other ways of getting to and from the island aside from the submarine. It is not an efficient way of getting necessary supplies, and especially materials to the island for the massive construction projects being undertaken at the time. Even air drops cannot account for the Dharma vans and possibly cranes that would be needed.

Construction on the barracks makes a certain amount of sense. They are clapboard bungalows. Cheap 1970s construction for the most part. Most of the smaller hardware (even the radio tower and adjoining shack) could have been air shipped or dropped in on palettes in pieces. Same goes for the essential components of the sonic fence.

Take a good look at the Looking Glass Station. Even if the thing could be built in pieces and shipped or towed into place using the submarine, it is hard to imagine the resources and coordination needed to do such a thing.

The Hydra station is a multi-floored complex of several buildings. It has deep foundations and underwater tanks. The only way I can see it being built is with large scale heavy-machinery. I am talking bull dozers and mobile cranes folks! I cannot see a small construction crew assembling something like that. We have yet to see the tool-shop garage or hanger they built to assemble and and house that kind of hardware.

Then there are the underground bunkers. The Pearl with its miles and miles of audio-visual and power cabling, the Swan with its underground geodesic dome, the Orchid with its 3 story elevator and complex teleportation chamber, the flame up on the plateau.

And there is no sign anywhere of a road system !

But the subject was transportation TO and FROM the island. I have written before that I do not think Ben, Richard, Ethan and Tom (whom we have seen off the island in various episodes) use the submarine exclusively. I think the submarine is a front for the real way on and off the island. I do not think the Donkey wheel was the way onb and off the island either. At least not for any practical travel.

I think that somewhere in the temple there is something else. Maybe a portal or gateway. Maybe Ben dislodged the island from TIME by turning the Donkey-wheel. I think that the island has some kind of tether to the rest of the world, possibly through one of the larger pockets of electromagnetism that Ms. Hawking refers to at the Lamp post station. I think the portal has to be large enough to drive a truck through and onto the island.

What do YOU think?

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46 yr. old husband and father of two boys (aged 8 and 10). Lives in Montreal, Canada. Works in theatre, film and television.

26 thoughts on “How to get to and from an island…

  1. There was a road system. It’s been grown over since the DI stopped using it.

    I agree though that there must have been some other way on and off the island. I suppose they could use the Lamp Post to figure out when they could bring a ship into the island’s sphere (or whatever) and bring supplies in that way…

  2. Good point Cap.

    My problem with the freighter idea is that you would need a large solid dock to hoist materials off. The wooden dock we see in ‘The Man Behind The Curtain’ when Ben arrives is too flimsy to support crane-hoist or materials.

    I would love to see the section of Jungle where they clear-cut the trees to supply timber. Also looking foreward to visiting the Saw-Mill Station. 🙂

  3. Highbrow.
    You mention a road system. I do not remember the reference. Do we see a section of this in any episodes? When Ben and his dad are sitting in the van do we see the road? I honestly do not remember.

    I vaguely do remember something about them building a road… When Roger and Horace are arguing about the attack on Roger, maybe?

  4. When Kate and Sawyer were captive at the Hydra, they were building an airstrip… I think Juliet told him. If there had been an airstrip on the island in the 1970’s, it certainly would have been useless by the mid 2000’s… or it may have been purposefully destroyed to make unwanted visitation more difficult.

  5. The airstrip has been used by Frank to land 316. I think that was made very clear visually by showing us the crashed plane at the end of the runway and Locke staring off to the main island from the beach on Alcatraz. So this also clearly establishes that 316 is in 2007 and not in the laye 1970s.

  6. Three things about the LaFleur episode from last night.

    1) The motor pool for servicing vehicles. We see the standard Dharma vans.

    2) The dock with the Submarine. No other boats visible. The medic talks about evacuating Amy to the mainland to have her baby. She is two weeks early. It seems that the submarine is IT. The main conveyance used. No small airplane, no balloon, no helicopter, no speedboats or hovercrafts or freighters. I am disapointed.

    3) The Jeep Sawyer drives to meet Jin. I am very interested in these things because they give a sense of the scope of materials brought to and used on the island.

  7. Andre7, we have no evidence to suggest that the airstrip only existed in 2007, in fact we have absolutely no evidence to suggest that the Others continued to build it after Ben’s departure 3 years earlier. As I said, the original airstrip may have still been there. The concrete alone needed to build the Dharma structures could not have been brought in on that tiny sub.

  8. I think it’s quite possible. I’ve seen a few abandoned air-strips… and it really doesn’t take long for them to get pretty unusable… especially close to the ocean which tends to quickly destroy concrete structures. As I said, it’s also possible that the Dharma people could have had an airstrip and then destroyed it themselves (or built something on top of it) to keep other people from using it, in order to limit access to the island.

  9. I spoke to a friend of mine (who has more knowledge of these things) about the resources that would be needed to build all the structures on the islands.

    He did not seem to think it would be a problem given the time frame and the seeming size of the Dharma Initiative.

    I still have my doubts.

    Are there any engineers in the group, or construction workers or road workers or architects?

  10. i would have to go with cappaynes answer best.
    i never really thought of all that in this perspective, the logistics is mindboggling cause the freighter is only so big,they would have had to do multiple trips for so much construction. and also getting past the hostiles would have to be an ordeal unless they were escorted by military protection.

  11. Today someone asked how Richard and the Hostiles traveled off the island pre-Dharma purge. Good question. I think it ties in with this discussion.

    We see Richard on island in 1954 then off in 1956. There is a suggestion of his influence off island in the 1960s when Locke is attending high school as well.

  12. And another thing… When does the submarine come into comission? How old is that thing? Can someone (or some corporation) privately own a submarine?

  13. I can’t remember when, but someone indicated at some point that the sub was very old. My guess is that the sub is WWII era and arrived with the people setting up Jughead. The island is nearly impossible for a large ship to navigate closely to because of the reef… which provides protection. Of course, the submarine is too small to carry Jughead or the materials for the structure it’s held-by, but it is large enough to carry a crew to and from a ship, and that crew could have setup an airstrip. The open field we see the others camping in in Jughead looks like as good a place to land an airplane as any.

    As far as private ownership of submaries goes, sure, there are many subs in private ownership and use and there’s quite a bit of old military vehicles in use all over the world today. It is not improbable to imagine a WWII-era diesel powered sub in private ownership and restored or kept in running operation. There are also many submarines in private use through research institutes and exploration and treasure hunting ventures. Jacques Custeau was designing submarines for research use as early as 1953, so by the time of Dharma, there were certainly privately produced submarines in-use around the world.

  14. BTW, submarines have been in constant use by the US military since the Civil War, so this could be a “lost” vessel from pretty much any period in time.

  15. Thanks for the info on submarines pjdkrunkt.

    Doubtful this one dates back all that far, but I had been wondering about a Jacques Cousteau type sub.

    Maybe Bill Murray will pop up in a cameo as the sub captain in 1974-1977! 🙂

  16. Partial answer from Lost writers is contained in the 5 part mockumentary exposé made available on in the past couple of months.

    The narrator talks about the submarine and suggests that it could have been used to ship supplies and materials to a pacific island as submarines did in World War II.

    I have read a fair bit about WWII and aside from landing small groups of commandos, coast watchers and other covert missions, submarines (to my knowledge) were not used to ship large quantities of materials or supplies. Their very design makes such an endeavour laughable. The only openings to the interior are a couple of narrow hathes and some torpedo tubes. The whole thing seems lame and inefficient to me.

    Sorry if I am flogging a dead horse to some of you, but I am still interested in hear a feasible explanation to how Dharma built everything they did within the time frame and using the resources we see on the show.

  17. Construction materials, supplies, food etc. would probably be airdropped just like that one crate of food that was apparently intended for the Swan crew that the Losties intercepted. I can’t remember all of the details of that episode, but someone paid to do an airdrop over the island, and given explicit directions to only follow a specific heading could safely make the trip without much trouble. An air drop is cheap, effective, fast, and doesn’t require any knowledge on the part of the airplane crew to do their job. Vehicles and even temporary structures can be airdropped no problem, the military has been airdropping tanks since WWII. If you can airdrop a tank, you can airdrop a VW Bus!

  18. pjdkrunkt:
    I grant you that the airdrops seem the likeliest solution of what has been presented so far on the show.

    As a side note, I just read a book by Robert Zubrin of the Mars society in which he describes how the us military did them a favor and air dropped vital components for an arctic station to the island of Devon from 1000 feet for them.

    The general in charge told him they always have about 78% success rate. This means nearly one quarter of everything that gets airdropped either gets dropped way off from the target or the chutes do not open.

    That was the case with the supplies they dropped. Of 5 palettes only four reached the ground safely (albeit up to 2 kilometers off target). The fifth palette was a mess.

    Hopefully the DI people are better at their business than the US military! Or they have redundancy built in to their resupply drops.

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