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It became a topic on social media in 2012 with Damon Lindelof attempting to 'bribe' US Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney with the answer if he discloses his tax return figures. Lindelof even teased us more recently at the Paleyfest LOST 10 Year Reunion in March 2014, refusing to give a specific answer;
“I have to give you some level of satisfaction without answering the question, which is the LOST way. We wrote that scene, it’s on paper, and all the writers, we all looked at it and said, this is a cool answer, but what is much cooler, and we all looked at each other and said, I shit you not, ‘someone is gonna stand up and beg and ask us about this,’ and we will have to say ‘no sir’. We decline, that is the truth. Years from now, probably for some excellent charity, we will auction it off.” - Damon Lindelof
Well, if you're reading this, you won't have to wait till then as the answer is on this page. I've long been a proponent of the notion that most every question on LOST was answered. There are very few truly unanswered questions. It is true that some answers require some research, or extrapolation/interpretation from a number of sources, but the vast majority of answers are there if you look hard enough. This is one such example. So, who was in the other outrigger?
The Lead-up & Conflict
Season 5 episode, "The Little Prince" which featured a number of time shifts ('bloops').
After a time shift, Sawyer's group found themselves in daylight and made their way to the beach. They found that the camp existed at that moment, but seemed dishevelled, with a number of the structures in disrepair and all the supplies either stolen or consumed. The group boarded an outrigger (canoe) they found at the beach and headed out into the water, planning to row closer to the Orchid Station.
During a conversation between Sawyer and Juliet (in which he tells her he'd seen Kate in one of the flashes earlier with Claire as she was giving birth in the jungle), six men are seen briefly in another outrigger when they opened fire. The outrigger crew missed hitting anyone in the canoe, but Sawyer's paddle did suffer some gunshots.
The big question is, of course - who were these people?
The AnswerBlack Rock.
According to supplementary material in the final DVD compilation, six men from the Black Rock were also in the water, having travelled through time after leaving their main ship. Around December 15th, 1867, the Black Rock had become stuck inside the pull of the Island unable to escape. The crew of the ship began showing symptoms of time flashes.Kahana's crew. The sole survivor returned to the main ship. No further parties entered the water. A few days later, however, a storm began, sending the main ship crashing on to the Island. The entire crew died there. ("Ab Aeterno")
This level of detail all comes from a very specific source. It's barely glimpsed in the show, part Black Rock ledger that Charles Widmore buys at the auction ("The Constant"), but a passage in the journal reveals the answer. The document in question is the Black Rock journal entry transcript.
December 18? - An away team of six men was launched at first light in an attempt to get to the island with hopes of determining our location.
Only one returned alive. He seems in a deep shock, muttering about exchanging musket fire with another vessel which promptly disappeared in a flash of heavenly light. He went on to claim that after hours of traversing the island, his five crew mates simply jumped overboard as if lemmings and no degree of coaxing could persuade them back into the boat. They drowned. Every one. There will be no more away teams.
The Re-visit in Season 6 That Never Happened
The producers originally planned to "close the loop" by revisiting the outrigger chase in Season 6. Incorporating the scene proved logistically challenging - according to Damon Lindelof, half the characters they'd originally envisioned as the attackers "had been killed off". Lindelof said that returning to the old mystery also interfered with the season's flow, diverting attention from subjects that mattered to the characters. Several scenes involving outriggers appeared nonetheless. Lindelof acknowledged that fans seeking answers could interpret the scenes as "taunting". He also joked on Twitter that Oprah was in the outrigger (May 25, 2011 from his now deleted Twitter account).
Final WordsCarlton Cuse intentionally pretend that the answer isn't already out there, teasing us with promises to reveal it one day, possibly as part of a charity auction.
Keen observers would also have picked up on the almost fatal flaw in this answer by the producers. There was indeed no bloop just before we saw the other outrigger and based on the state of the beach camp, we know it happens some time shortly after it had been deserted. But as they did not get a chance to re-visit the scene in the final season, they used the explanation that it was time flashes caused by the ship & outrigger being stuck just inside the pull of the Island. An acceptable if slightly far-fetched answer.
Jorge Garcia is also on the record claiming the answer was in the original script (though he's never revealed who it was). It's evident however, that answer had to change when they didn't re-visit it, with the Black Rock crew invented to fill the blank.
One thing we will never know is the specific identities of all six people involved, however it would seem those names would add no value anyway.
So, did you know the answer, or was this a revelation to you? Are there still big questions you feel are still unanswered? Feel free to comment below.