Black Rock/Theories

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Main Article Theories about
Black Rock
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 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
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  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Multiple voyages

The following is based on the premise that the Black Rock sailed more often than is currently reflected in the Lost mythos.

  • First voyage;
    • 1845: Black Rock leaves Portsmouth; it had to have some type of cargo; no captain wants to sail with an empty bottom.
    • 1845 - 1846?: Black Rock sails around Africa past the Cape of Good Hope.
    • 1847?: Black Rock departs Papua New Guinea for England via Cape Horn. Prevailing winds made it easier for sailing ships to sail east to return to England from Australia and the vicinity.
    • 1848?: Black Rock returns to England.
  • Second voyage;
    • 1848?: Black Rock departs England.
    • 1848 - 1849?: Black Rock sails around Africa past the Cape of Good Hope.
    • 1850?: Journal stolen.
    • 1852: Journal found.
Black rock
  • NOTE: While it is possible the Black Rock visited England after 1845, it could not have been in an official capacity as a legit trading ship, as it was reported lost at sea in 1845. Any subsequent voyages would have necessitated it being an unofficial vessel, i.e. a pirate ship, a slaver or engaged in some other illegal or non-commercial activity.
  • Other voyages?
  • Last voyage;
    • 1867?: Black Rock departs England.
    • 1868?: Black Rock is stranded on the Island.
  • Notes;
    • "First" is the first with which we are concerned.
    • 1866: Dynamite invented.
      • While patented in 1867, it's possible the Black Rock did actually begin its final voyage until 1868 in which case it is also possible they could have begun using dynamite by that time.
      • It is possible that the date of invention of dynamite has nothing to do with the question. The dynamite could have arrived on the Island later and been stored in the Black Rock.
    • 1867: Last shipment of convicts for Western Australia departs Portsmouth, England.
    • 1868: Last shipment of convicts arrives in Western Australia.
    • When "Transportation" of convicts to Australia was first authorized, the British government contracted with some shipping firms that had previously been involved in the slave trade. Transportees were not treated much better than slaves had been.
      • It was specifically stated that the ship disappeared after 1845, so they must not've returned to England, or weren't documented doing so.

Black Rock was an Earlier Version of Flight 815


Painting of The Black Rock

The Black Rock originally crashed onto the Island in a similar way as the Flight 815 did many years later. It was simply passing by, en route somewhere else, rather than heading specifically to the Island. On board were people who Jacob had arranged to be there, knowing the course of the ship would pass the Island. The crew, however, did not know anything about the Island before they landed.


  • Jacob and the MIB's discussion on the beach implies the same events happening over and over again, with the MIB claiming that, "you brought them here". The form of transport would change over time, but the process would remain the same.
  • Some of the names on Jacob's list of candidates in the cave are old, and rarely used now, but would be more familiar to those of the Black Rock's crew. e.g. "AMISTAD".
Black Rock
  • Both vessels might have been guided off-track by the island's electromagnetic properties - the Black Rock due to its compass malfunctioning, the planes due to a similar reason (as we know, at least 815 was not where it was supposed to be).
  • Fits with the Black and White theme. An airplane like Oceanic 815 is a light-colored vessel, the Black Rock dark.
  • All the transports that have arrived at the Island have 'imported' weapons and instruments of destruction: Black Rock - dynamite, US Navy vessel - nuclear bomb ("Jughead"), Galaga submarine - weapons for the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project]], Rousseau expedition - rifles, Kahana - rocket launchers, Oceanic 815 - Locke's knives and the U.S. Marshal's pistol and pistol case, Ajira Flight 316 -Ilana's guns, Beechcraft - pistols.(~~~~)


  • The Black Rock was fully intact despite being far inland, whereas Oceanic 815 was ripped apart.

Date and type of ship seen at the beginning of "The Incident"


It's a medieval cog or a 15th Century sailing ship (like Columbus' Santa Maria);

  • For: Shape of bow and noticable upper aft deck (i.e. poop deck)
  • Against: Those ships had only one mast but also an additional 'forecastle' that's missing.

It's a 16th Century (Manila) galleon;

  • For: Shape of bow and poop deck.
  • Against: Characteristic beakhead below the bowsprit is missing.

It's an 18th Century merchant ship;

  • For: Shape of bow.
  • Against: Poop deck is too high and too protruding.

It's a 19th Century sailing ship ("clipper");

  • Against: Shape of bow and poop deck.

"Black Rock" name of the ship seen at the begininng of "The Incident"

4x05 BlackRock

It has been stated by the producers that the name of the ship seen in broad daylight off the island's shore is "Black Rock".

As there are many ships carrying the same name, it is rather possible that the ship we see just happens to carry the same name but is actually of another origin and time, which the visual information of the ship suggests.

For all we know the ship's name may even be in another language, which simply translates "Black Rock" into English.

Significance of the name "Black Rock"

In Ab Aeterno, we see Jacob giving the MIB a white rock and we also see the Black Rock crashing on the Island. The name of the ship may be significant in the balance between good and evil.



Painting of The Black Rock

  • The Black Rock is the ship depicted in the mural of the Swan station.
  • The Black Rock was seeking the Island on a myth quest, or to get someone back to the Island, hence the dynamite and slave chains. They were to build or renovate the wheel chamber.
    • If so, they intended to use the slaves to help in the construction.
  • It is very possible that the ship seen at the beginning of "The Incident" is The Black Rock.
    • The Black Rock came upon the Island during a terrible tsunami. The weather was beautiful with calm seas on the day Jacob and his nemesis viewed the incoming ship.
  • The Black Rock was believed to disappear in 1845, but secretly acted as an illegal slave ship for transporting criminals over the next two decades until its final destruction after 1867.

The ship seen at the start of "The Incident Pt 1" was not the Black Rock

5x16 Black rock

The Ship at the start of "The Incident" was not the Black Rock, due to the way we saw the Black Rock approached the Island in "Ab Aeterno". During "Ab Aeterno", we saw the Black Rock during a storm and smash into the Statue and being marooned on the Island by a huge tidal wave. The ship we saw at the start of "The Incident" was in calm seas.

It is highly unlikely that the weather changed during the day. Plus at the start of "The Incident", the ship is close enough to the Island to see the Statue of Taweret clearly. As the Black Rock approached, one of the slaves screamed to Richard it was the devil. It seems that the passengers of Richard's Black Rock are distressed by the Statue and have not seen it before. However even though they were under deck the slaves including Richard would be able to see the statue from a distance through gaps in the boat. It would have been pointed out to them.

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