Miles Straume is a spiritualist and a member of the science team who arrived aboard the freighter Kahana. He is also the son of Pierre and Lara Chang. Miles appears to have the ability to extract information from the dead through what he calls a "feeling". He parachuted onto the Island on the survivors' ninety-first day. Miles claimed his mission on the Island was to capture Benjamin Linus, but later offered to tell his employer that Ben was dead in exchange for $3.2 million (double what Widmore offered him). Miles chose to stay rather than leave on the Zodiac, despite the direness of the circumstances. After the Island moved, he and his fellow castaways shifted through time and space. He is currently stuck in the 1970s and working in the security division of the DHARMA Initiative, which puts him in proximity with his late father.
On the Island (Infancy)
Miles was born on the Island to Pierre Chang and his wife Lara. Lara and Pierre would often take turns with the baby in the mornings, and Chang was known to read to his son at night. Miles was also present during the filming of the Dharma booth video. His crying interrupted filming, and Pierre ordered Lara to take him outside. At one point, Miles and Lara were kicked out by Pierre, and moved off the Island to the United States.
Off the Island
As a spiritualist
Miles stated he was originally from Encino, California. ("This Place Is Death")
Around the time that the supposed wreckage of Flight 815 was recovered, Miles was visiting the house of a woman named Mrs. Gardner in Inglewood, California. Her grandson had been murdered and she wanted his spirit exorcised from her house. Miles agreed to talk to the spirit for a fee, and after he was paid $200 in advance, he entered the boy's former bedroom. There, using a ghostbuster device, he appeared to talk to the spirit, and through it located a stash of money and drugs which the boy had hidden in his room. He took the money and left the drugs. He then went back to Mrs. Gardner, and refunded her $100.
Miles met with Howard Gray, who had hired Miles to contact his son, who died in a car accident, and make sure that the son knew that Gray loved him. Miles was apprehensive when he discovered that the son had been cremated, and asked for a larger sum of money, which Gray readily offered. Miles then appeared to contact the spirit of the son and assured Gray that the son was aware of his love.("Some Like It Hoth")
When Naomi Dorrit and Matthew Abaddon discussed his recruitment, Naomi disparagingly referred to him as a "ghostbuster".("Confirmed Dead") Naomi approached Miles outside Gray's house and recruited him to work for Charles Widmore. After confirming his ability to gather information from a corpse, she told him that his services would be enlisted in locating a man on an island by communicating with the dead people who reside there. Miles was reluctant until Naomi offered him $1.6 million.
Later Miles was abducted off the street by a group of men in a van. Bram offered Miles information on his father's whereabouts in exchange for not working for Widmore. Miles insisted that he was no longer interested in his father and that they would have to pay him double to refuse Widmore's offer, a sum of $3.2 million. Bram refused to pay him, saying, "All the money in the world isn't going to fill that empty hole inside you." Miles was taken aback at this statement, and his abductors tossed him from the van, warning that he was playing on "the wrong team."
Just before leaving for the Kahana, Miles revisited Howard Gray and returned his money. Miles revealed that he had lied to Gray; he had been unable to make contact with Gray's son. The incredulous Gray asked why Miles couldn't have just continued the lie, and Miles responded that it wouldn't have been fair to the son, to whom the father should have professed his love before the son's death.("Some Like It Hoth")
On the freighter
Before the Kahana left port, Miles indicated that he knew Michael was using a false name without having previously met him. He then added that 80% of the people on the Kahana were lying about something. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
Back on the Island
Season 4 (Days 91-100)
As Jack, Kate and Daniel approached him, he pretended to be incapacitated, then threatened Jack with a handgun after Jack attempted to examine him. He then informed Daniel that it was the survivors that killed Naomi, and demanded to be taken to her body. During their journey to Naomi's remains, he held Jack and Kate at gunpoint. When Naomi was found, Miles spoke in quiet tones over her body and afterwards confirmed Kate's story about her death.
He behaved aggressively toward Sayid when he was questioned about who he was and what he did. Upon hearing from Frank that Juliet was a "native" of the Island, he became hostile and demanded to know where "he" was. Showing a photograph, Miles said that the team came to the Island to find Ben Linus. ("Confirmed Dead")
Miles, Sayid and Kate took a journey to The Barracks to retrieve Charlotte Lewis from Locke. Upon arriving, they found Hurley tied up in a closet. Hurley told them Locke was losing it and insisted Miles and the others were there to kill them. Hurley asked him if they were, to which Miles replied, "Not yet."
As they continued searching the house, they were ambushed by Locke and Sawyer, who had used Hurley to set a trap. The three captives were taken to different areas of the compound, and Locke and Sayid agreed to trade Miles for Charlotte. ("The Economist")
While at the barracks, Miles used Kate to gain access to Ben. He demanded $3.2 million in exchange for telling his employers that Ben is dead. When challenged that Charlotte already knows that Ben is alive, he said that he will take care of Charlotte. Miles explicitly stated that he knows exactly who Ben is, including the fact that Ben has access to a large amount of money. Kate then attempted to take him back to the boathouse, and he revealed he knows what she's done and who she is. Locke took him back to the boathouse. The next day, Locke put a grenade in Miles' mouth and pulled the pin, forcing Miles to keep his jaws clamped down on the trigger. Locke then left him there. ("Eggtown")
After learning who Ben's man on the boat was, Locke called his group together and retrieved Miles from the boathouse. Miles did not protest when Ben claimed that the freighter team's orders are to kill everyone on the island once Ben is captured. Despite his promise that there would be no more secrets, Locke failed to mention Miles' attempted deal with Ben, which Sawyer questions. Miles laughed at Locke's assertion that Ben would not be able to procure $3.2 million and claimed that Ben would always find a way to get what he wanted. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
When the Barracks came under attack by Keamy and his men, Keamy gave Miles a walkie to bring to Ben. Miles rang the bell and was let in. He told Ben that Keamy has his daughter. After Keamy killed Alex, Miles showed a look of shock and sympathy. Later, when being rushed out of the house, he showed another look of horror and amazement as the smoke monster attacked Keamy's people. When Sawyer decided he was going to the beach, Miles tagged along. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
On the way, Miles heard the voices of Danielle and Karl, and subsequently discovered their corpses in shallow graves. He claimed that the mercenaries are "not his buddies" and that he "didn't sign up for this." He was also told by Sawyer to stay away from Claire and Aaron, and that he has a "restraining order." After encountering Frank, he, Sawyer, and Claire hid from Keamy. They then continued on after the mercenaries left. Upon taking rest, he witnessed Claire talking to Christian Shephard, and watched her leave. He did not follow because of his "restraining order," however. He informs Sawyer of Claire's departure the next day, and Sawyer finds Aaron, abandoned, crying in the woods. ("Something Nice Back Home")
Miles, Sawyer and Aaron continued their journey back to the beach. Along the way they chanced upon Kate and Jack who were following the chopper inland. Jack asked Kate to take care of Aaron, and take him back to the beach along with Miles. Jack recommenced his trek inland, along with Sawyer. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
When Faraday started ferrying people off of the Island in the Zodiac raft, Miles stated that he intended to stay on the Island, despite Faraday's warnings. He showed surprise that Charlotte was considering leaving, and then he surprised Charlotte in turn by suggesting that he knew Charlotte had been on the Island before. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
Season 5 (Post-Island move)
When the island traveled back in time, the beach camp around Miles disappeared, leaving him and several other survivors disoriented. Daniel soon arrived back at the beach, proposing the theory of time travel and suggesting they find a local landmark so that they can get an approximate guess as to when they are in time. Miles traveled with the other survivors to The Swan, where they discovered the crater left by the implosion of the station. When Miles questioned what the station was for, Juliet replied that it was inhabited by Desmond, who spent his time pressing a button every 108 minutes to "save the world," to which Miles responded with some disbelief. After another movement in time, they found that they had traveled to a time before the station was discovered by the survivors. Though he initially wanted to get supplies from the station, Sawyer was convinced by Juliet and Daniel to return to the beach, though Miles was at first reluctant. After the others had left, Miles told Daniel and Charlotte that he thought Juliet was attracted to him before following suit and returning to the beach. ("Because You Left")
At the beach, the survivors worried over ways to survive without fire, shelter, and food. Miles, seeing an opportunity to gain trust, volunteered to hunt for food, and walked off into the jungle unarmed. He returned several hours later carrying the corpse of a boar, claiming he had found it and that it had only been dead for three hours. Shortly thereafter the survivors were bombarded with flaming arrows fired by unseen assailants. Miles was caught by surprise, narrowly dodging several arrows himself before reaching the treeline and safety, though Neil and six other survivors were not as lucky. Miles finally reached safety beyond the treeline. ("The Lie")The next morning, Miles with Charlotte, Daniel, and two unnamed survivors of the beach camp attack traveled to a creek with the intent of rejoining the other survivors. Near the creek, the redshirts triggered claymore mines which exploded, killing them both. A group of Others led by Ellie emerged from the jungle and questioned Miles on the identity of his leader. Miles immediately gestured toward Daniel Faraday. As Ellie and her group marched the three through the jungle, Miles began to sense something and told Daniel that they had just walked over the fresh graves of four U.S. soldiers, three of whom had been shot and one who had died of radiation poisoning. Ellie took Miles and his group to the Others' camp and handed them over to Richard Alpert. After a short conversation with Richard, Miles, along with Charlotte and Daniel, were held captive in a tent. They waited there until Richard reentered and questioned Faraday further on the details of The Jughead, a bomb which Daniel claimed to be able to disarm. Miles did not know about the bomb, asking Daniel, "A hydrogen bomb? Seriously?" After Faraday was taken to examine to the bomb, Miles and Charlotte waited for some time until the Island flashed and they were moved somewhere else in time. They rendezvoused with Daniel, who immediately doted on Charlotte whilst ignoring Miles, something Miles did not hesitate to point out. Miles saw Charlotte collapse, her nose bleeding. ("Jughead")
After Charlotte reawakened, the group (Miles, Daniel, Charlotte, Sawyer, Juliet and Locke) decided to head back to the beach and use the Zodiac in order to get to The Orchid faster. Later the same day Miles informed Daniel that he had also suffered a nosebleed, a symptom which Daniel told him relates to the duration of exposure to the Island. This confused Miles, who pointed out that the survivors (who had not shown any symptoms to this point) had been on the Island for months before the freighter arrived. Daniel asked Miles if he was sure he had never been to the island before. Miles, along with Juliet, Sawyer, Charlotte, Daniel, and Locke, found two outriggers at the beach camp. Miles helped the group paddle the outrigger into open water, where the group was chased and shot at by unknown pursuers in the other outrigger. After another time flash, the group successfully came ashore during a rainstorm. ("The Little Prince")Miles traveled with the group into the jungle and they experienced another time flash just before discovering Jin. After everyone greeted Jin, they resumed traveling towards The Orchid Station. After walking for awhile, the group experienced a few flashes in rapid succession. After the fourth flash, Charlotte collapsed, unable to go on. Miles decided to go with Locke, Juliet, Sawyer and Jin to The Orchid, leaving Daniel to look after a dying Charlotte. Although The Orchid disappeared following a time flash, the group discovered a nearby well which, according to Charlotte, would help them. As Locke descended into the well using a rope held by Sawyer, another time flash occurred. Miles told Sawyer he could "let go of the rope now," as they realized that they had moved to a time period in which the well did not exist. ("This Place Is Death") When Juliet commented they were now before the well was built, Miles added "I'd say way before" and pointed out a statue in the distance. ("LaFleur")
With the DHARMA Initiative in the 1970s
Miles, along with Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, and Faraday time traveled to 1974 when Locke moved the frozen wheel. When Sawyer suggested heading back to the beach, Miles disagreed. Juliet then backed Sawyer up and Miles irritatedly stated that going to the Orchid and going to the beach were the "only two plans you people have". After being captured by the DHARMA Initiative, the group pretended to be victims of a shipwreck and they integrated themselves into the Initiative.
Within the first week of joining, Miles realized that he had personal connection with the Initiative when his mother step behind him in the cafeteria lunch line. Realizing that both his parents lived on the Island, Miles ignored them as best he could and continued with the lie set forth by Sawyer.("Some Like It Hoth")
As of 1977, Miles continued to work obediently with. His boss was Sawyer, who had become Head of Security using the alias "LaFleur". When a drunken Horace Goodspeed began blowing up trees with dynamite near the Flame, Miles and Sawyer recovered him and cleaned up the mess. ("LaFleur") Miles reported Sayid's capture to Sawyer. Miles appeared to be shocked by the return of Jack, Kate and Hurley. ("Namaste")
Two days later, Sawyer assigned Miles to guard Jack, Kate and Hurley, after young Ben was shot and nearly killed by Sayid. While guarding them, he and Hurley had a lengthy debate about the effects and paradoxes of time travel. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
Some time later, Sawyer calls Miles and asks him to "accidentally erase" one of the tapes from the fence security cameras. While he is preparing to do this, he is approached by Horace, who tasks him to take something out to Radzinsky in a Hostile-controlled area and receive something in return. It becomes obvious that this "something" is the corpse of a DHARMA worker who had recieved a bullet hole in his head. After Radzinsky and his workers disappear, Miles moves to the corpse in the back of his van and asks him, "What really happened?" ("Some Like It Hoth")
- Miles was the twenty-sixth character to ever have a flashback.
- Miles' episode count so far is 17 (as of "Some Like It Hoth").
- Miles, out of the main cast, has only met Ben, Charlotte, Claire, Daniel, Hurley, Jack, Jin, Juliet, Kate, Locke, Michael, Sawyer and Sayid.
- When Miles is talking to Naomi's body in a hushed tone, he is actually talking in reverse - much like the Whispers. When the audio is reversed he is clearly saying "You've got to see it through".
- In "Some Like It Hoth" Miles is standing only metres away from an infant version of himself, this is the first instance where the time travelling characters have met or seen themselves
- In an interview in EW Magazine:, Damon Lindelof said, "With Miles Straume, we just thought it would be cool if his name sounded like maelstrom."
- "Miles" is a main character in Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, an American ghost story previously referenced on Lost. ("Orientation") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1") In the novel, Miles is a ten-year-old boy whose governess becomes obsessed with the idea that he and his younger sister are going to be (or have already been) corrupted by the ghosts of their deceased former governess and her lover.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Miles Straume/Theories
- Where did the people that he works for get the photo of Ben that he showed to Jack and Juliet? ("Confirmed Dead")
- What is the nature of his spiritual abilities?
- How did he know that Kevin wasn't Michael's real name? ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
- Why did he choose to stay on the Island? ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
- Why is his surname Straume instead of Chang?
- Why is he specifically offered $1.6 Million?