- "Oceanic 815" redirects here. For the orchestral piece, see "Oceanic 815" (composition).
- You may be looking for its counterpart in the flash-sideways timeline.
Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 was a scheduled flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California, United States, on a Boeing 777-200ER. On September 22, 2004 at 4:16 P.M., the airliner, carrying 324 passengers, deviated from its original course and disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. This is the central moment in the series that kicked off its plotline, and marked the chronological beginning of the main characters' adventures on the Island.
Two months after the crash, wreckage was found in the Sunda Trench in the Indian Ocean near Bali. All of the passengers were presumed dead; however, the discovered wreckage was staged by Charles Widmore. In reality, Flight 815's mid-air break-up and crash was due to Desmond Hume failing to enter a code into the Swan station computer in time, causing a large burst of electromagnetic energy powerful enough to draw the plane inwards to the island. The true cause of the plane's off-course deviation and arrival to the Island's airspace was Jacob, the supernatural entity who protected the Island. Jacob brought the plane because many of the flight's passengers were candidates to replace him as protector of the Island.
As a result of this, the plane crashed on an uncharted Island, with more than sixty-nine passengers (including the dog Vincent) and two crew members surviving. The plane crashed into three sections; the front section, which housed the plane's pilot Seth Norris who was killed the night of the crash; the middle section, which had the largest amount of survivors; and the tail section (whose inhabitants are referred to as the Tailies), who landed on another side of the island, causing them to be isolated from the larger group of mid-section survivors for a few weeks.
Three months after the plane's crash, six survivors - Jack Shephard, Sayid Jarrah, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Kate Austen, Sun-Hwa Kwon and Aaron Littleton (who was unborn to his mother at the time of the crash) - made it off the Island and became known as the Oceanic Six. However, all of them, with the exception of Aaron, returned to the island three years later in 2007, on Ajira Flight 316.
By late 2007, nearly every one of the plane's original passengers had been killed, be it due to the Island's treacherous conditions, violent conflicts with the Island's native inhabitants, violent conflicts with a mercenary team led by Widmore, or the efforts of an evil entity perpetually trapped on the island. As of the end of the series, only 12 original passengers are confirmed to still be alive: Kate, Hurley, Aaron, James "Sawyer" Ford, Walt Lloyd, Rose Nadler, Bernard Nadler, Claire Littleton, Emma, Zach, Vincent and Cindy Chandler. Aaron never returned to the island, and Walt Lloyd managed to leave it early. Hurley became the Island's Protector with Island native Ben Linus as his second-in-command, with Cindy, Emma and Zach remaining to live under Hurley's guard. Rose and Bernard also stayed behind to live out the rest of their lives together, having adopted Vincent as a pet. Kate, Sawyer, and Claire boarded a recommissioned Ajira Flight 316 to leave the island.
- 1 Crew and passengers
- 2 The flight
- 3 Electromagnetic buildup
- 4 The crash
- 5 The search
- 6 Purported discovery of the wreckage
- 7 The Oceanic Six
- 8 Flash-sideways
- 9 "Not meant to be"
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Possible inspirations
- 12 External links
Crew and passengers
Passengers getting ready to board Oceanic Flight 815
There were 324 people on the plane, including flight crew. ("One of Us") Frank Lapidus later claimed that he was originally supposed to pilot Oceanic Flight 815 on that day, but overslept and was replaced by Seth Norris. ("Confirmed Dead")("Dr. Linus")
Some of the passengers' seat numbers have been revealed during the show, and many of the main characters' row numbers seem to correspond with the Numbers. Other seat numbers have also been revealed on ABC-sponsored websites such as Oceanic-air.com, although this information is to be considered non-canonical.
|Flight 815 Passenger||Why in Australia?||Why leaving Australia?||Reasons referenced in:|
|Ana Lucia||Came with Christian Shephard as his bodyguard after she murdered Jason McCormick and quit the LAPD.||Urged by her mother to return home and own up to what she did.||"Two for the Road"|
|Arzt||Meeting with his internet "girlfriend"||Returning home after his "girlfriend" ditched him in a restaurant||"Tropical Depression"|
|Bernard||Brought Rose to see Isaac, a faith healer near Uluru (Ayer's Rock), on their honeymoon.||Returning home.||"S.O.S."|
|Boone||Went there to "rescue" Shannon from her boyfriend.||Escorting Shannon home.||"Hearts and Minds"|
|Charlie||He was visiting his brother, Liam, in hopes of reuniting Drive Shaft.||Supposedly to start Drive Shafts' "comeback tour" in Los Angeles.||"The Moth"|
|Christian||He wanted to see Claire one last time.||He died and Jack was bringing him back to LA.||"White Rabbit", "Two for the Road", "Par Avion"|
|Cindy||Likely lives in Australia. She works for Oceanic Airlines.||Flight attendant on Oceanic 815.||"Pilot, Part 1", "The Other 48 Days"|
|Claire||She resides in Sydney.||Traveling to Los Angeles to give birth and supposedly deliver her baby to adoptive parents connected with Richard Malkin.||"Raised by Another"|
|Eko||Was investigating the miracle of Charlotte Malkin as a fake priest.||Had finished investigation, returning with fake passport for criminal dealings Caldwell was going to set him up with.||"?"|
|Edward Mars||Working as a U.S. marshal, looking for fugitive Kate.||Traveling back with Kate under his legal custody.||"Tabula Rasa"|
|Emma and Zack||Unknown.||Traveling to meet their mother in L.A.||"The Other 48 Days"|
|Gary Troup||Promotional tour for Bad Twin; visiting Cindy.||Traveling home with his fiancee, Cindy (flight attendant)||The Lost Experience|
|Hurley||Following information from Leonard Simms, he went looking for Sam Toomey, the man who Lenny heard the Numbers from. Finding Sam dead, he met instead with his widow, Martha.||Returning home for his mother's birthday||"Numbers"|
|Jack||On request from his mother, Margo, was looking for his father, Christian.||Found his father dead, and bringing his body home.||"White Rabbit"|
|Jin||Delivering Mr. Paik's Rolex watch to an associate in Sydney.||Delivering Mr. Paik's Rolex watch to an associate in L.A.||"...In Translation", "Exodus, Part 1"|
|Joanna||Was on vacation with Janelle Granger; mostly to go scuba diving||Returning home after an ear infection.||ABC Diary|
|Kate||Was on the run from the U.S. authorities, and had been working/living for three months on Ray Mullen's farm.||Edward Mars arrested her and was bringing her back to be incarcerated.||"Tabula Rasa", "What Kate Did"|
|Libby||Unknown||Returning home to Newport Beach.||("Live Together, Die Alone")|
|Locke||Was trying to take part in a "Walkabout" in the Outback.||Was refused passage by the agent, due to his disability.||"Walkabout"|
|Michael||On request from Brian Porter, went to pick up Walt, after his mother's death, so he could live with him.||Bringing Walt home.||"Special"|
|Nikki and Paulo||Nikki was, at the time, guest starring on a TV show; conning the director. Paulo was her lover, aiding her in the con.||Fleeing with stolen diamonds.||"Exposé"|
|Rose||Was on her honeymoon with Bernard (who brought her to see Isaac).||Returning home.||"S.O.S."|
|Sawyer||Following information from Hibbs, was looking for the original Sawyer, the man who conned his mother (which in turn led his father to commit the murder-suicide).||Deported by Sydney officials, after getting arrested for a bar fight.||"Exodus, Part 1"|
|Sayid||Was recruited by Alyssa Cole and Robbie Hewitt to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Sydney by finding his old friend, Essam Tasir.||Going to L.A. to search for Nadia; stayed an extra day to bury Essam.||"The Greater Good"|
|Scott||Won a sales prize at work: two week Australian vacation, all expenses paid.||Returning home.||"Homecoming"|
|Shannon||Was living there with her boyfriend.||Returning with Boone after trying to con him.||"Hearts and Minds"|
|Sun||Supposedly transferring from a flight from Korea with Jin, but intending to abandon him at the airport.||Changed her mind and accompanying Jin to L.A.||"House of the Rising Sun" "Exodus, Part 1"|
|Vincent||Was Brian Porter's dog.||Given to Walt; traveling to U.S. to live with him and Michael.||"Special"|
|Walt||Lived there with his mother, Susan Lloyd, and adoptive father, Brian Porter.||His mother passed away, and his biological father, Michael, was bringing him home to live with him.||"Special"|
On September 22, 2004, at 2:15 pm local time, Oceanic Flight 815 left from gate 23, and took off from Sydney, Australia, scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles at 10:42. ("Exodus, Part 2") Sayid Jarrah later commented that the plane traveled in a northeastern direction, typical of commercial airliners on this route. ("Tabula Rasa")
Approximately six hours into the flight, Flight 815 encountered problems with their radio. Having lost contact with ground control, the pilot decided to alter course and "turn back" towards Fiji. Approximately two hours later, having traveled more than 1000 miles off their planned course, the plane hit turbulence, which eventually resulted in the plane's crash. ("Pilot, Part 1")
Eight hours after take-off would put Oceanic 815 on the Island around 10:15pm Sydney time, later local time since they were flying eastward (Fiji is 2 time zones later, Tahiti is 4). However, it was clearly mid-day when the plane lands, and on the printout from the Pearl found by Locke and Eko, it is clearly shown that the Swan's system failure occurred on September 22, 2004, at 4:16 PM. ("Live Together, Die Alone") This is another indication of the time discrepancy the Island and the outside world. ("The Economist") Similarly, Ajira Flight 316 jumped from night to day after experiencing severe turbulence following a bright yellow-white flash. ("Namaste")
Desmond explains to Locke how he caused the crash. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
On September 22, 2004, Desmond Hume, who had been helping maintain the DHARMA Initiative's electromagnetic station on the Island for the past three years, failed to enter the Numbers into the computer in time after having accidentally killed Kelvin Inman. This resulted in a system failure and an electromagnetic buildup. Although Desmond eventually managed to reset the Swan's countdown, he wasn't fast enough, as the electromagnetic force had been strong enough to pull down the plane and cause it to break apart in mid-air. Desmond didn't come to realize his role in the crash until more than two months later. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
In the Season 3 Blu-ray disc special feature Access: Granted, Lost writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse explained that Desmond's failure to push the button caused electromagnetic forces to build up which interfered with the plane's instrumentation, causing it to crash on the Island.
The crash of Oceanic Flight 815 as seen from the Barracks. "A Tale of Two Cities"
After hitting turbulence, the plane began rapidly to descend and then underwent a mid-air break-up. ("Pilot, Part 2") ("A Tale of Two Cities") The tail section broke off first, and crashed into the ocean. Most of the survivors had to swim to the beach, with the exception of Bernard Nadler, whose seat ended up in a tree in the jungle not too far from the beach. 23 passengers from the tail section initially survived the crash. ("The Other 48 Days")
Moments later, the front/cockpit section and the middle sections crashed on the other side of the Island. The front section crashed in the jungle, and as far as is known, everyone except the pilot was killed upon impact. Meanwhile, the middle section crossed over the island - dropping Jack Shephard in the jungle near the shore - and came to land on the beach, where the majority of the survivors landed. Sayid told Kate that the fuselage first cart-wheeled through the jungle before landing on the beach, which would explain why the middle section was seen lying at a 45 degree angle, with the seats on the ceiling of the plane, as well as facing backwards (the Oceanic logo, which was at the front of the plane, was clearly seen pointing back towards where the plane came from at the crash site). ("Pilot, Part 1") 48 passengers from the main fuselage section survived the crash, although Gary Troup was killed only moments later when he was sucked into an engine and caused it to explode. ("Pilot, Part 1")
Other debris scattered the Island, including the cargo compartment which landed mainly around the caves ("White Rabbit"), and a number of seats which landed in a natural pool in the jungle. ("Whatever the Case May Be")
Ben, Juliet and Mikhail watch news coverage about the disappearance of Oceanic Flight 815 inside the Flame.
Family members of those onboard only found out the plane was missing when they got to the arrival gate. News coverage about the mysterious disappearance of the plane was soon given a lot of airtime on channels such as WN News and even on Greek, Italian and Arab television. Immediately after the plane's crash on the Island, Mikhail Bakunin started monitoring the news coverage from The Flame, and informed Ben Linus and Juliet Burke about the information he had been able to gather thus far once they arrived there. ("One of Us") It is currently still unclear how long the media coverage continued, and whether the search for the plane was still going on by the time of the purported discovery of the wreckage.
Even though Michael Dawson returned to the USA with his son Walt in December 2004, the two assumed false identities and didn't tell anyone about their whereabouts during the preceding two months, nor did they tell anyone about the Island or the other survivors of Flight 815. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
In the Find 815 alternate reality game, it was revealed that Oceanic executives later expressed profound disappointment that despite conducting the largest search operation in the company’s history, no trace of Flight 815 had yet been found. The abandonment of the search drew protests from relatives of the 324 missing persons, amongst them dozens of Ocenanic employees, like Sam Thomas. According to GMN World News, it was expected that the passengers of Flight 815 would be officially declared deceased. The events from the Find 815 ARG are not considered canonical.
Purported discovery of the wreckage
The staged wreckage of Flight 815. ("Confirmed Dead")
A little more than two months after the crash, purported wreckage of Flight 815 was discovered by remote operated vehicles deployed by a salvage ship, the Christiane I, in the Sunda Trench of the Indian Ocean near the Indonesian island of Bali, about 2800 miles north-west of Sydney, 90 degrees out from the flight's presumed route north-east to Los Angeles. Footage of the bodies of crew members and passengers was released to the media for television broadcast, and an information hotline for their family members was established by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. However, Frank Lapidus, upon watching a news broadcast about the discovery of the wreckage, quickly came to the conclusion that a body claimed to be that of the plane's pilot, Seth Norris, wasn't actually him and knew that the discovery was fake. ("Confirmed Dead")
"Accidental" discovery of the wreckage. ("Confirmed Dead")
On the Island, both Naomi Dorrit and Anthony Cooper independently informed the Flight 815 survivors that the entire plane wreckage and the bodies of all its passengers had been found. ("The Brig") Later, Captain Gault of the freighter ship Kahana, sponsored by Charles Widmore, showed Sayid and Desmond the flight recorder of Flight 815 Widmore had salvaged from the wreckage, and stated that as far as he was concerned, the wreckage found in the Sunda Trench was staged, thereby causing the assumption that Benjamin Linus was responsible.("Ji Yeon") Meanwhile, Tom had provided Michael Dawson with evidence that suggested that Widmore was responsible due to his desire to find the plane on his own terms. ("Meet Kevin Johnson") Miles was contacted by Naomi to "read" a dead man; Miles gathered that the man, Felix, had died while bringing Widmore evidence relating to the faked wreckage. ("Some Like It Hoth") This seemed to be the same evidence Tom showed Michael.
An alternate version of the events leading up to the discovery of the wreckage was depicted in the Find 815 alternate reality game. Here, it was a single ROV operated by Sam Thomas that discovered the wreckage while the Christiane I was searching for the Black Rock, whereas in "Confirmed Dead", two ROVs were used, one of them being operated by a man named Ron and the other by an unnamed fellow member of his crew.
Charles Widmore later admitted to his son Daniel Faraday, when he offered him a job on the freighter, that he set up the fake wreckage of flight 815 to achieve his goal of finding the actual plane .("The Variable")
The Oceanic Six
Six of the survivors of Flight 815 eventually made it off the Island, namely Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, Aaron Littleton, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Sayid Jarrah, and Sun-Hwa Kwon. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1") The "Oceanic Six" told a fabricated story about their time on an uninhabited island near the staged wreckage (but not the Island), claiming that only three other people (Boone, Libby, and Charlie) in addition to them actually survived the crash of the plane, and eventually died on the island before the remaining six were rescued. ("Eggtown") ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
After the detonation of the hydrogen bomb, a flash-sideways timeline was revealed in which Oceanic Flight 815 landed safely at Los Angeles. The safe landing occurred even though some of the events of the original flight still transpired, such as the turbulence that preceded the crash. ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2")
"Not meant to be"
Most - if not all - of the core survivors of Oceanic 815 were not supposed to be on the plane, or could quite have easily avoided it altogether. For most of them, there was a reason why they should not have been on that plane or even out of Australia, adding to the sense of tragedy to the narrative, and connecting to the recurring theme of fate.
- Jack - Had he not heatedly argued the point, he would not have been allowed on the plane with his father's coffin. ("White Rabbit")
- Kate and Edward Mars - Had she not helped Ray Mullen, she would have still been on the run in Australia. It is most likely that Mars would still be there too. ("Tabula Rasa")
- Sawyer - Had he not gotten in a fight with an Australian government official in a bar, he would not have been deported. ("Exodus, Part 1")
- Locke - Had he informed the Walkabout Tours organizers of his paralysis, they would have denied his application. Once in Australia, Locke also should not have been let on the plane, as Oceanic didn't have a boarding wheelchair for him. ("Walkabout") ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Sun and Jin - Had Jin not taken out a lotus flower, Sun would have run away from the airport and he would have stayed to look for her. ("House of the Rising Sun")
- Claire - Had Richard Malkin not pressured her into taking the trip, the heavily pregnant Claire would not made a long international flight. Also, had one of her two pens worked, Claire would have signed papers giving custody of Aaron to the Stewarts. ("Raised by Another")
- Sayid - Had he not stayed in Australia to claim his friend Essam's body, Sayid would have been on the flight the day earlier. ("The Greater Good")
- Shannon and Boone - Had Boone trusted his instincts concerning his sister and her earlier cries for help, or had Bryan refused to take Boone's money, they would not have been going back to the U.S. together. ("Hearts and Minds")
- Michael and Walt - Had Michael relented in his quest for custody of Walt, or had Walt's mother Susan Lloyd not died, or had her husband Brian Porter not believed Walt bad luck, Walt would have remained in Australia and Michael in America. ("Special")
- Hurley - Had Hurley not deftly overcome the many impedances and hassles he encountered on his way to Gate 23, which would have deterred any less fanatical traveler, he would not have caught his flight. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Charlie - Had Liam agreed to rejoin Drive Shaft, or had Charlie taken Liam up on his offer of shelter while he got clean from his heroin addiction, Charlie might have stayed in Australia with his brother past the flight date. ("The Moth")
- Ana Lucia - Had she not killed Jason McCormack and agreed to go with Christian Shephard to Australia to protect him, she would never have been on the flight. ("Two for the Road")
- Eko - Had Eko's monsignor not pressured him to investigate the miracle Eko didn't believe in to begin with, or had Eko extended his investigation, he would have left Australia on another flight. ("?")
- Arzt - Had his date not disappeared or had he stayed to see the Sydney bar scene, he wouldn't have purchased a ticket for an earlier flight back to Los Angeles. ("Tropical Depression")
- Nathan - Had he not stayed behind on holiday to sightsee after his company outing, he would have been on an earlier flight. ("The Other 48 Days")
- Joanna - Had she not gotten an ear infection, she would not have had to bump her flight 2 days. ("White Rabbit")
- Seth Norris - Had Frank Lapidus not overslept and reported to duty as the pilot of Oceanic Flight 815, Norris would not have been aboard. ("Confirmed Dead")
- Faith Harrington - Had to book an early flight, due to her boyfriend killing one of her mentors. (Endangered Species)
- Dexter Cross - Stayed behind with girlfriend and her brother, instead of returning on a different flight. (Secret Identity)
Blueprints for a Boeing 777-200 in Oceanic Airlines livery.
The Lockheed L-1011 fuselage prop in its storage location
- The aircraft that was depicted in the crash is in fact an ex-Delta Airlines Lockheed Martin L-1011-1 Tristar.
- The Boeing 777 is one of the safest aircraft used for commercial transport, with only 12 accidents and incidents involving the model since its debut.
- The first hull-loss incident, the crash landing of British Airways Flight 38 on January 17, 2008, was minor, with no deaths resulting from the incident and only 47 injuries.
- The second hull-loss event was a fire in an EgyptAir 777 on July 29, 2011. The incident did not involve any injuries or fatalities.
- The third hull-loss incident was much more notable. On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport before being evacuated on the runway. Out of the 307 people on board the aircraft, three were killed.
- In an event eerily similar to LOST, on March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing over the Indian ocean with no traces of wreckage or distress signals having been found eight months after the crash and the passengers declared dead 16 days after the event. The incident provides a look into what the disappearance of Flight 815 might have been like in the real world, with US news media covering the event of the disappearance nearly exclusively for two weeks. However, even eight months after the disappearance, search efforts continue to find the missing plane.
- On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, another Boeing 777, was shot down over the Ukraine. Militant factions of Ukrainians and Russians had already been battling over the nearby border for months. Early, supposedly authentic audio of phone conversations between Ukrainian rebels of shooting down an aircraft around the same time and near the same location as MH 17 was released, though insufficient evidence to support blame for any one side means that it is not clear who actually shot down the aircraft. The incident sparked widespread international backlash at both the Ukraine and Russia for their failure to resolve the ongoing conflict.
- The 777 can take heavier turbulence than the human body can withstand. It is also fully automated with all manual backups and multiple backup systems for the transceiver.
- The plane actually used in the 777 is actually a Boeing 767-400ER.
- The show premiered on September 22, 2004, the same day as the crash. The crash date was confirmed narratively when Locke told Desmond the date. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
- September 22, 2004 was the date of the autumnal equinox, the moment the Sun crosses the plane of the equator from the northern hemisphere.
Total number of passengers
- There were 324 total passengers and crew aboard Flight 815, with at least six of those being crew members. This corresponds to the numbers: 108 x 3 = 324. (Numbers)
- According to Boeing, The 777-200ER can seat between 314 and 451 passengers. Which means the Passenger Load Factor(how many seats are filled vs. how many seats there are) is between 103% and 71%.
Unofficial TV station websites
An unofficial flight manifest from the Lost The Untold website.
- A British website, Lost The Untold, which was set up by Channel 4, a TV station that aired the first two seasons of Lost in the UK, offered a flight manifest for Oceanic Flight 815 that is inconsistent with information stated on the show itself, as well as details from the Oceanic-air.com website.
- A German site, 108minuten.de, which was set up by Pro Sieben, a TV station that airs Lost on free TV in Germany, also offers a flight manifest (by entering "oceanic", then "815" and then "manifest") that contains the names of other survivors that were never stated on the show itself. However, some of the names on the flight manifest are taken from the Lost The Untold website, while others appear to have been added by Pro Sieben themselves, without any direct involvement from the Lost producers, since it contains numerous errors (Joanna's name, for example, is incorrectly stated as "Ranting, Joanna", whereas Rose and Bernard's last name is stated as "Bernstein"). So this list has to be considered non-canonical. In addition to the manifest, there's also an "official flight transcript" that indicates that the pilot still had contact with Sydney Airport when the plane crashed, which contradicts his recount of how he lost communication with the ground prior to the crash in "Pilot, Part 1".
In Google Profile settings page, Oceanic 815 is pre-listed as an example of things Google can't find.
- In the second episode of the show Chuck on NBC, Chuck is being "tested" to see what data he knows from the government secrets that he witnessed. In this scene, he is told to say whatever first comes to mind about pictures that he sees. He says, "Oceanic Flight 815 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile...". (While the last part of the phrase isn't totally clear when listening, closed-caption confirms what is said.) Then the scene cuts.
- In the episode Inferno of the 2005/2006 cartoon series Transformers: Cybertron, the pilot of a military jet fighter identifies himself as "Oceanic Flight 815, requesting clearance for landing" right before the Decepticon Thundercracker scans the plane and adopting its form as his new disguise. The plane's ID code was one of many pop-cultural in-jokes explicitly added for the English dub of the show.
- In a preview of the iPhone OS 3.0, Phil Schiller was demonstrating copy and paste into an email for a flight to Hawaii, and Oceanic Flight 815 was one of the flight options.
- When creating a profile using Google's GMail, under the "A little personality" section, Oceanic Flight 815 is used as an example for "Something I can't find using Google."
- In the ending credits of the PC version of X-Men Origins:Wolverine special thanks is given to Flight 815.
- "Oceanic Feeling" - In Chapter I of his book, Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud discusses a letter he received from his friend, the French novelist and mystic Romain Rolland. In this letter, Rolland describes what he calls the "Oceanic" feeling - that is, a feeling of eternity, a deep and innate connection with all things, a "oneness" with the world. Rolland, a "man of faith", sees this "Oceanic" feeling as being the primal source of all religion, but itself independent of any particular religion. Freud, an atheist and avowed "man of science" disagrees. While he admits that many people may experience this "Oceanic" feeling, he locates its source not in some mystical feeling of connection, but in an infantile helplessness experienced when confronted with a hostile world and the subsequent longing for the protection and guidance of the father. For Freud, this "Oceanic" feeling is "sustained by fear of the superior power of Fate."