"Swan" redirects here. For the character in the Project, see Black Swan.
The Swan, more commonly known as The Hatch by the survivors of Flight 815, was an underground facility on the Island built by the DHARMA Initiative during the late 1970's. It was located somewhere in the southwest region of the Island, about a mile inland from the survivors' camp.
The DHARMA Initiative had originally designed the station to be a laboratory to study and manipulate the "unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the Island," as described by Pierre Chang in the Swan orientation video. However, after the "incident", they enacted a special protocol to prevent a potential global catastrophe. Two individuals manning the station took shifts (entering numbers into a computer) every 108 minutes. These two operators lived and worked at the station, continuing this task for shifts lasting 540 days.
The Swan construction site. ("Some Like It Hoth")
The DHARMA Initiative detected a pocket of anomalous energy beneath grid 334 on the Island, at a strength 30,000 times stronger than that at the Orchid. They planned to study and harness its power, and Stuart Radzinsky began designing the facility in 1971.
Radzinsky carefully building the model of the geodesic dome of the Swan station's computer room. ("Namaste")
By July of 1977, Radzinsky had full blueprints of the station and a survey map, and construction began. He planned to manipulate electromagnetism through experiments at the station, believing that the results would change the world. Pierre Chang called the Swan project "confidential" as the station was located inside Hostile territory. The station's existence needed to be kept secret because The Truce explicitly forbade deep drilling.
During construction, one worker died when electromagnetism pulled a dental filling through his forehead. Soon before main drilling began, workers stamped the station's hatch with serial numbers. ("Some Like It Hoth") ("Namaste") ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2") When Daniel Faraday returned to the Island in 1977, he immediately warned Pierre Chang that continued drilling would lead to a release of a highly unstable energy, causing the Incident.
Despite Faraday's warnings, and an altercation that killed several DHARMA workers, the Incident occurred. Workers penetrated the Swan pocket, and the resulting energy release shook the ground and pulled metal objects into the drilling shaft. Jack dropped the bomb into the site at Faraday's urging, and Juliet detonated it. It is unknown whether the Incident occurred in spite of or due to the execution of Faraday's plan. ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")
Desmond and Kelvin fighting at the cove. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
Following the Incident, the Initiative set up a computer that periodically discharged accumulated energy. They assigned two men to the facility. They had to enter the numbers in the computer every 108 minutes to prevent a catastrophic energy release. ("Orientation")
DHARMA stationed Radzinsky at the Swan, where he was later joined by Kelvin Inman after the Gulf War in 1991. The Purge then brought an end to the DHARMA Initiative. Radzinsky shot himself while Inman was sleeping, leaving Inman the last surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
Kelvin manned the station alone until Desmond's arrival aboard the Elizabeth in 2001. Kelvin and Desmond, as partners, continued pressing the button for three years, until the day of Flight 815's arrival, when Desmond accidentally killed Kelvin at the cove. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
Being away at the cove, Desmond failed to enter the Numbers within 108 minutes, causing a "System Failure" and a huge electromagnetic buildup. Although he eventually reset the system, the electromagnetic force was strong enough to tear Flight 815 apart in mid-air. Desmond would not realize his role in the crash until more than two months later. He continued to live alone for another 44 days before the survivors blasted open the Swan's hatch with dynamite. Shortly afterward, Desmond fled the Swan when the computer temporarily broke, leaving it to the survivors. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2") ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Adrift")
Though a podcast downplayed the Others' knowledge of the Swan, later events prove they knew of it. Richard's words ("I saw them all die") suggest he knew of the Incident's aftermath. Though DHARMA initially hid the station, security was lax, and construction required loud drilling and at least one road. ("Follow the Leader") ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2") Following the Purge, supply drops continued, and a computer under the Others' control accessed the Swan's. ("Dave") ("What Kate Did") The Others eventually took over the Pearl, which monitored the Swan, but which also dismissed the station as a psychological experiment. ("Exposé")
The Hatch was a major mystery in the first season.
Season One (Days 1–44)
During the first season of Lost, one of the central plot lines was gaining access to the Swan, which they referred to as "the Hatch". Locke and Boone discovered it by accident when Locke dropped his flashlight, which hit metal. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues") The two of them proceeded to excavate the hatch entrance and employ various means of opening it. They eventually succeeded, using dynamite obtained from the Black Rock. ("Exodus, Part 3")
"Henry Gale" in the gun vault. ("Two for the Road")
Season Two (Days 44–67)
The survivors descended into the Hatch and encountered Desmond, its only inhabitant, learning also of the computer "pushing the button". Jack and Locke eventually took over Desmond's task of setting up a rotation of responsibility, wherein everyone would take shifts entering the Numbers, which Locke initially believed to be of great importance. ("Orientation") The survivors used the Swan's food supply, washing machines, bathroom and armory. They eventually used it as a prison, when they came upon Ben Linus. ("Everybody Hates Hugo") ("One of Them")
During Ben's captivity, the blast doors throughout the Swan lowered, trapping Locke. He sent Ben through the air ducts to push the button. Ben evidently complied, as no system failure occurred, but he later told Locke he did nothing. During the lockdown, supplies were dropped by parachute to a location just outside the Swan. ("Lockdown") ("Dave")
The crater resulting from the Hatch implosion. ("Further Instructions")
Locke and Desmond (who had been rediscovered floating in the Elizabeth just off the beach), both frustrated by the station's ambiguity, decided to not enter the Numbers to prove the station was merely a test. They shut Eko from the computer room against his protests and let the countdown timer run down to zero, causing a system failure. The countdown timer flipped to five red hieroglyphs. A huge magnetic force shook the station and yanked and twisted metal objects. Realizing the button served a real purpose, Desmond entered the crawlspace beneath the floor of the Swan and turned the fail-safe key. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
The Swan was completely destroyed, imploding in upon itself and leaving a gaping crater behind. Pieces were also thrown clear of the site, including the hatch door, the ping pong table, and other odds and ends. Locke, Eko, and Desmond all survived, despite being inside the station at the time of the discharge. ("Further Instructions")
Desmond's activation of the failsafe exposed him to a large amount of electromagnetic radiation, which later resulted in fits of uncontrolled time travel and foresight. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes") ("The Constant")
Daniel and Desmond outside the Swan. ("Because You Left")
After the Island moved, Daniel Faraday and the survivors returned to the Swan as a reference to date the island. They first found the Swan crater, but it returned to its original state upon their next time shift (sometime between 2001 and 2004). Although no one initially responded to Sawyer's banging on the Swan's front door, Daniel later proved successful and had a brief encounter with a highly suspicious Desmond. Due to Desmond's previous experiences, Daniel hoped that "the rules" wouldn't apply to Desmond, and left him instructions to find his mother. ("Because You Left")
Later in the season, the time shifting survivors became stuck in the 1970s at the time of the DHARMA Initiative's presence on the Island. At one point in 1977, Pierre Chang brought Miles and Hurley to the site where the Swan was being constructed. The two of them witnessed the stamping of the Numbers into the hatch. ("Some Like It Hoth")
The time-stranded survivors, ironically, may have caused the incident at the site referred to by Dr. Chang. To prevent the station from being built, and thus prevent Flight 815 from crashing on the island, Jack dropped the "Jughead" bomb's core down the drill shaft at the Swan site, where Juliet later tried to detonate it. ("The Incident, Part 2")
Remains of the Swan in 2007. ("LA X, Part 1")
After Juliet hit the core, all on the island from a different time were transported to 2007. The bomb's contribution may have let the station serve as a dam to keep the electromagnetic radiation at bay. Upon awakening, the time-shifting survivors found themselves around the implosion crater of the Swan. In the center of the crater, Kate heard Juliet calling for help from beneath a twisted mass of metal. Using the DHARMA van that was also transported with them from 1977, they shifted the debris, and Sawyer climbed downwards to find a dying Juliet. ("LA X, Part 1")
Scenes from the Orientation film
Inside the Swan the survivors discovered an orientation film produced in 1980 by the Hanso Foundation - describing the origin and purpose of the station for new arrivals. In the film, Dr. Pierre Chang, using the alias Dr. Marvin Candle, gave a brief overview of the founding of the DHARMA Initiative. According to Dr. Candle, the Swan was originally designed to be a laboratory "where scientists could work to understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the Island". However, after an "incident", a protocol was introduced in which two individuals manning the station would take alternating shifts pressing a button (i.e. entering the Numbers into a computer) every 108 minutes for 540 days, at the end of which replacements would arrive.
After the reunification of the Flight 815 tail section survivors and middle section survivors, Mr. Eko revealed a cut-out piece of the film to Locke, which he had discovered at the Arrow. The two of them were able to splice back in the missing section, and in reviewing it found an additional section where Dr. Candle warned that using the Swan computer for any purpose other than entering the code every 108 minutes was strictly forbidden and could potentially lead to another incident. ("The 23rd Psalm")
The Swan was originally conceived and designed to be a scientific laboratory, but after the incident it became a continually manned post with apparently the sole purpose of pushing the button. Dating from the 1970s, the subterranean station still had the conveniences and technology from that era when the survivors discovered it. Since at least after the purge the station has appeared to have signs of maintainence neglect in multiple areas.
The Swan's door entrance
There were two known entrances to the Swan:
The first entrance discovered by the survivors was a steel hatch, set atop a long vertical shaft some 50 feet deep. A ladder previously led down into the depths, but it was broken and the rest missing a short distance down from the top. The inside of the hatch had the word "QUARANTINE" stenciled on it. The Numbers were also imprinted on the outside of the hatch, apparently the serial number of the Swan station or possibly of the hatch itself. A large spotlight was affixed to the wall at the base allowing illumination of the shaft above. ("Exodus, Part 3") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2") ("Some Like It Hoth")
The main entrance to the Swan was a walk-in set of double doors emblazoned with the Swan logo concealed behind a curtain of vines and roots. Beyond the doors, a ramp led down a short distance to a pneumatic style door opening into an airlock. A second similar door permitted access to the station. The airlock appeared to contain several lockers and several HAZMAT suits. The Swan architect, Stuart Radzinsky, is presumed to be buried somewhere close to the main entrance. ("Everybody Hates Hugo") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
Both entrances provided access to a primary corridor running the length of the station. About halfway along the corridor (across from the entryway to the living area) were two large obvious doors which had been hurriedly sealed with concrete, blocking access to the area of the station where the incident occurred. The area exhibited a high degree of magnetic attraction to metals, such as Jack's key and Eko's cross. Sayid attempted entry briefly and estimated the concrete behind the door was eight to ten feet thick. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Everybody Hates Hugo") ("What Kate Did")
Along the wall between the entrance corridor and the living area was a large mural created by Desmond. (Secrets From the Hatch) Painted in an expressionist style, it contained an assortment of images and writing, including the Numbers 108 and 42, a boat, an arrow, and depictions of a black man and white woman. The mural also contained the phrase: "I am sick." In various areas in the corridor there was maintainence neglect, such as water frequently leaking from the ceiling and rustic pipes.
The computer room
Enclosed in a geodesic dome, apart from the main living area, the computer room was where the occupants of the station would carry out the task of pushing the button. Situated in the middle of the room was the Swan computer, into which The Numbers had to be entered every 108 minutes, according to the protocol set forth in the Orientation film. Around the perimeter of the room were various other machines, including mainframe computer components, reel-to-reel tape drive units, and two oscilloscopes. A countdown timer located on the wall above displayed the remaining time before entry of the Numbers was required. Over the most recent years in the station the glass panels making up the dome appeared to have been damaged and neglected, as seen in Desmond's time of residence in the Swan with Kelvin. The computer room also contained a few tools and a drill press, which Locke used to free Jin from his handcuffs.
The living area
The living space was the largest part of the Swan - where the occupants of the station would spend their time when not working. This area had many conveniences: a bedroom with a set of bunk beds, a bathroom with working shower and hot running water, miscellaneous exercise equipment, a washer and dryer, a dining nook, a central kitchen area equipped with an oven, stove-top, and sink, and a lounge area equipped with a record player, LP collection, lava lamp, well stocked bookshelves, a ping-pong table, and a painting of a tree. A small cabinet contained an injector and a number of vials of a strange DHARMA vaccine. On the ceiling near the armory was a blood stain from Radzinsky's suicide.
Desmond's copy of Our Mutual Friend
The Swan's bookshelves contained a number of titles, including:
- After All These Years
- Dirty Work
- High Hand
- An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
- Our Mutual Friend (brought there by Desmond)
- Rainbow Six
- The Brothers Karamazov
- The Third Policeman
- The Turn of the Screw
The living space also was equipped with a system used for surveillance of the facility. A telescope could be pulled down out of a small opening in the ceiling. A small control panel nearby allowed the manipulation and movement of mirrors throughout the facility. An operator could look through the telescope via the mirrors and observe all parts of the station. A separate mirror was stationed at the foot of the shaft at an angle allowing the operator to observe the hatch opening far above. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")
Why a telescope would be installed instead of some sort of security camera system similar to other stations on the Island is unknown. While the telescope would be unaffected by the station's latent electromagnetism, the control panel operating the mirrors clearly would be affected. The Swan also was equipped with hidden cameras that could be monitored from The Pearl. ("?")
The pantry was opposite the living space's lounge area. The pantry's shelves were well stocked with food and other supplies from the periodic resupply drop, including notable products such as Apollo Bars, DHARMA Ranch Composite, peanut butter, and shampoo. ("Orientation") ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
The gun vault
Adjoining the living space's lounge area was a gun vault. It contained a wide and formidable array of weapons, including pistols, semi-automatic rifles, bolt action rifles, assault weapons, shotguns, and grenades. The door had a combination lock that was changed several times by Locke. ("Three Minutes")
The blast door map
Inside the Swan was a series of blast doors designed to seal off the living space and the computer room during a lockdown incident. A message would sound over the speakers notifying the occupants of the upcoming event, after which the blast doors would descend and the electrical power would be interrupted, causing the lights to flicker. Such a lockdown occurred in "Lockdown". What triggered the incident is unknown, but it was theorized by Charlie that it may have had something to do with the periodic resupply drop that occured outside the station about the same time. ("Lockdown")
It later was revealed that a lockdown incident could be faked by the station personnel by touching two bare wires together from a console in the computer room. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
Blast door map
During "Lockdown", a lockdown incident occurred unexpectedly. Locke was trapped beneath one of the blast doors while Ben crawled through the vents seeking to push the button before the timer expired. The station's normal lighting cut out entirely and a different set of ultraviolet "black-lights" turned on. The new lighting revealed a large hand-drawn map on the blast door entering the living quarters. The map appeared to be of the Island, supplemented with numerous equations and notations written in English and Latin. ("Lockdown") In the video game Lost: Via Domus, there was a second layer of notation that could be seen under different lighting conditions. This "second spectrum" of the map included additional information regarding other island locations including the Barracks, the Hydra, and the Looking Glass. ("Forty-Two")
Ducts and crawlspaces
The Swan also possessed a number of airducts and crawlspaces. Ducts large enough for a person connected the armory, computer room, and pantry via the ceiling. Several floor openings in various parts of the station also allowed entrance to a fairly extensive underfloor crawlspace. Numerous pipes and cabling were seen in this crawlspace area. There appeared, at one time, to be a means of access to the sealed-off area of the station, although this too was found to be blocked with concrete. Sayid guessed that this crawlspace area was part of a geothermal generator providing power for the station. ("Orientation") ("Everybody Hates Hugo")
Also in a small alcove down in the crawlspace area was the station's fail-safe switch. In the event of a system failure (i.e., failure or inability to follow the protocol), by turning a special key the fail-safe would terminate the electromagnetic anomaly. Desmond was forced to activate the fail-safe after Locke destroyed the Swan's computer. The resulting discharge caused the entire station to implode. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
The Incident Room
The reactor behind the concrete wall
In the video game Lost: Via Domus, Elliott Maslow discovered "The Incident Room" on the other side of the door sealed by concrete. The Incident Room was accessed by a tunnel and a large locked door near the exterior of the Swan. ("Hotel Persephone") The Incident Room could be seen on the blast door map and was located a very short distance away from the Swan. ("Lockdown") On one of the blast doors in the Swan, a small map showing the route to the Incident Room's entrance could be seen on the second spectrum. ("Forty-Two")
The room contained a large reactor surrounded by severely damaged equipment. The reactor was tilted to one side, and was discharging arcs of electricity and a watery fluid. The reactor had the appearance of two large electromagnetic coils suspended over an excavation into the Island. Unlike the Swan, the Incident Room's machinery was in a state of disrepair, possibly due to the Incident. The Incident Room also had its own computer. ("Hotel Persephone")
It is unknown if the room was built at the same time as the rest of the station in 1977, or if the Initiative built the room after the Incident to help stabilize the anomaly but there was another "incident" after which the room was subsequently sealed off.
Radzinsky builds a scale model of the geodome on a set of Swan blueprints.
- A number of blueprints of the Swan station's interior design are found on the Season 2 DVD special featurette "Secrets From the Hatch".
- There also appeared to be a blueprint on the DHARMA van road map. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead")
- A floor-plan blueprint appears in "Love Island" of Lost: The Official Magazine in an advertisement for a free poster that comes as a subscription reward.
- The Incident Room appears in the video game Lost: Via Domus. The room's look and design was made to look like what the creator's had envisioned, through never-before-seen blueprints given to the game developers by the Lost set crew.
An electromagnetic experiment, as shown in the Orientation film
Under normal conditions, the Swan was adjacent to an unusually strong magnetic field. The field was noticeably stronger in the main corridor near the door that was sealed off with concrete. The concrete was estimated by Sayid to be eight to ten feet thick. Even sealed away, the magnetic source behind the concrete was strong enough to attract the key around Jack's neck, making it visibly move towards the wall. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") On several occasions, the field grew to immense strength during "system failures" capable of destroying the station. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
It is not clear exactly what took place when Desmond turned the fail-safe key, although it appears the magnetic source was completely sealed off. The drastic shift in the magnetic field resulted in the discharge, the implosion of the station, and caused Desmond to temporarily shift in time ("Flashes Before Your Eyes").
The function of the Hatch, what it is built for, is because there was this accident here. Basically, if you were to perceive the fact that the Hatch is a structure that is essentially a big thumb, and that thumb is sticking in a dyke. And that dyke is holding back this massive electromagnetic anomaly that is just sort of illustrated on the other side of this wall that makes Jack's key rise. That's what the design is.
- Of the Season 2 main cast, only Claire, Shannon and Walt never appeared in any scenes in the Swan.
- For the first four seasons, the survivors generally referred to The Swan as "the Hatch". Notable exceptions were made by Eko, in looking at Locke's map, Sayid, while being interrogated by Oldham, and later on Jack, along with Hurley and Jin, while driving to the construction site to detonate Jughead. ("?") ("He's Our You") ("The Incident, Part 1")
- In the special feature Access: Granted on the Lost: The Complete Third Season (DVD) Blu-ray edition, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said that it was indeed Walt who communicated with Michael via the Swan computer.
- The skeletal remains of Roger Linus were found wearing a Swan jumpsuit in the DHARMA van, but it is unclear if he was ever an inhabitant of the station. Also found in the van was a road map showing a dirt road leading to the Swan station. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead") ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
- Frequently in the Swan the strange humming of electromagnetic energy could be heard behind the wall. After Ben destroyed "the vault" in the Orchid station, electromagnetism could be heard nearby.
- According to the 'Lost: on location' Season 5 DVD extra for the Incidents part 1 and 2, the filming location for all the Swan exterior scenes and construction site, including the Hatch of the Swan were in He'eia Kea State park. After the area was excavated for filming the incident and LA X part 1 the land was restored back to its original state.
- According to the Lost on location DVD extra for "the Incident part 1 and 2" at the Swan construction site, it frequently rained creating a deep puddle of water through the whole set requiring it to be pumped and flushed out before filming.
Apollo riding a Swan.
- The names of the station seem to be related to the god Apollo from Greek mythology. Swans are sacred to Apollo, and circled around him when he was born.
- According to the Season 2 DVD featurette "Secrets from the Hatch", the Swan interior was originally inspired by Tomorrowland at Disneyworld. The featurette describes Tomorrowland how the future would look as imagined by people in the 1970's.
- The set dressing of the Swan is somewhat different between the opening scene of "Man of Science, Man of Faith" and subsequent appearances. This included things such as the type and placement of lamps, the style of record player and arrangement of records, as well as the relative cleanliness of the living quarters. These discrepancies led some fans to incorrectly conclude that there were two separate time lines. In reality, the producers simply decided to dress the Swan differently between its first and subsequent appearances.
- In the Season 2 DVD featurette "Secrets from the Hatch", production designer Jim Spencer says about the hash marks seen covering the wall in "Adrift": "These may be the days, they may be the weeks. But there's 9,000 hatchmarks here." If these marks represent days, then pressing the button could have begun in early 1980.
- The armory was enlarged when Henry Gale became a prisoner.
- Libby at one point commented that the washer and dryer were newer than the rest of the appliances in the station.
- The Swan's implosion crater appeared somewhat different in "LA X, Part 1" than it did when first seen in "Further Instructions". This is likely dramatic license and the change over three years of soil subsidence and mud settlement from the flowing rain.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Swan/Theories
- Why was the machinery discharging the pocket not automated?
- Why was the failsafe not used from the start?
- What was the purpose of the black lights?
- How did Jughead affect the construction site if it had exploded?
- How did the DHARMA Initiative members such as Radzinsky survive the Incident and the possible blast from Jughead?
- Why did Dr. Candle state any other use of the computer could lead to another Incident?
- Why was the ladder inside the shaft broken?
- How was the lockdown incident triggered?