The radio tower is a structure on the Island built by the DHARMA Initiative ostensibly to relay the results of their experiments to their backers and external supporters. The tower is located well inland and, according to Danielle Rousseau is close to the Black Rock.
Likely constructed some time in the 1970's, the radio tower's purpose, according to the Sri Lanka Video was to broadcast the core numerical values of the the Valenzetti Equation (aka the Numbers). If any of the DHARMA research projects on the Island succeeded in changing one of the values, the broadcast would be changed, signaling their backers in the outside world that "the one true way" had been found to change the Valenzetti Equation. The tower would broadcast continuously on a secret frequency in an encrypted format known only to the backers of the DHARMA Initiative in the outside world. (The Lost Experience)
Per the lack of facilities, it appears the radio tower was likely visited on an as-needed basis by the DHARMA Initiative. The tower does not appear to have its own DHARMA logo.
In 1988, a U.S. Navy listening post in the South Pacific monitoring longwave radio frequencies picked up the signal being transmitted from the Island. The station was manned at the time by Sam Toomey and Leonard Simms. ("Numbers")
Also in 1988, the Island's signal, being broadcast in an unencrypted format, was picked up by a French research ship whose crew included Danielle Rousseau. Changing course to investigate, the ship ran aground on a reef just offshore of the Island. With the help of a time-shifting Jin, the research team landed and began making their way to the radio tower with the intent to make their own broadcast when they were attacked by the Monster. ("This Place Is Death")
Exactly what happened thereafter is not entirely clear. Danielle's later account is confused and somewhat contradictory - and her sanity is somewhat in question after living alone for sixteen years on the Island. It does appear that Danielle and her team eventually located the radio tower. Danielle states that she changed the tower's transmission to a distress call three days before the birth of her daughter Alex. ("Numbers") ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
Picked up later by the survivors of the crash of Oceanic 815, Danielle's recorded transmission states that she is trapped inside the tower and that something or someone had "killed them all" and was outside. She also mentions not having a key, adding that Brennan took them. ("Pilot, Part 1")
The Others assumed control of the radio tower after the Purge in 1992 - and clearly knew of its existence. They do not appear to have tampered with the station upon assuming control - and left all the equipment in a broadcasting state. Why the Others would leave her signal transmitting is unknown. Rousseau later explained to the survivors, without elaboration, that the tower and her signal are now in "their" control. ("Born to Run")
At some point between the crash of Oceanic 815 and the arrival of the freighter, the Others began transmitting a jamming signal from The Looking Glass designed to block all transmissions to and from the Island. Presumably Danielle's broadcast was similarly blocked as well. At about the same time hostilities between the survivors and the Others were reaching a critical stage -- and with Danielle's help, Jack led the survivors en masse to the radio tower in the hopes of getting Naomi a clear signal to call her ship for rescue. On arrival, Danielle finally switched off the transmission which had been playing unanswered for some sixteen years.(3x022)
Three years later in 2007, Ajira Airways Flight 316 lost power and made an emergency landing on Hydra Island. On their descent, they briefly picked up a voice reciting the Numbers over the radio which suggests that the tower may be broadcasting again, back on its original mission. ("Namaste")
LocationIn "The Moth", Sayid tries to triangulate the signal. Just before being knocked out by Locke, the radio was displaying full strength indicating it was close by. However, this may also be due to a high power output from the transmitter.
Much later, Ben drew a route from Pascal Flats to the tower, as well as the direction from which he anticipated the survivors would be coming from to the tower. The map seemed to suggest that the tower is located well inland. (3x022)
According to Rousseau's map, there is a "transmitter" located in the western mountain range.
The facility is composted of the actual red and white mast tower and a small nearby bunker-like structure. The facility appears to be located on high ground in a clearing in the jungle. Outside the entrance a sign is mounted: "CAUTION - High Level Radio Frequency Energy Area" as well as a hazard symbol for dangerous non-ionising radiation which likely suggests the strength of the signal being transmitted.
Inside the bunker is the tower operations room were multiple players inside a small cabinet as well as a recording device nearby which, presumably, Danielle used to record her message. Narrow slit-like windows near the ceiling provide additional illumination.
|Picture||Name||First visit||Last visit||Reason for Visit|
|Jack||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Led the survivors to the radio tower along with Danielle and Naomi.|
|Kate||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Locke||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Threw a knife at Naomi, giving her a nearly-fatal wound, to prevent her from contacting the Kahana. He held Jack at gunpoint, demanding that he destroy the sat phone, but he refused.|
|Claire||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Sun||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Ben||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Encountered Jack prior to his arrival at the radio tower. He wanted Jack to bring him the sat phone, and they would both go their separate ways. Ben staged the deaths of Jin, Sayid, and Bernard in an attempt to make Jack get the sat phone.|
|Rose||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Aaron||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Alex||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with Ben across Pascal Flats and to the radio tower. Alex met her mother for the first time at the tower.|
|Karl||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Danielle||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Led the survivors to the radio tower. She reunited with her daughter Alex for the first time in sixteen years.|
|Naomi||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Went with the survivors to the radio tower. She wanted to contact the freighter so that they could find the Island. She was stabbed by Locke, and Naomi was badly wounded.|
|Craig||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Jerome||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Doug||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
|Blonde casualty||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||"The Beginning of the End"||Traveled with the survivors to the radio tower.|
- According to the Sri Lanka Video, the tower broadcasts to DHARMA's headquarters. The Hanso Foundation headquarters is in Denmark. Based on the assumptions that the DHARMA headquarters is located near the Hanso headquarters , and that the Island is located at the expected crash site in the Pacific, the radio signal would need to have a very long range to be useful. While shortwave broadcasts of only a few watts ("flea power") can sometimes reach that far by reflecting off the ionosphere, longwave broadcasts such as those Sam and Leonard were meant to be monitoring would require extremely large amounts of power to cover that distance—potentially nearing 1 million watts. While such stations do exist, they generally are operated by state-owned or large commercial broadcasters, with masts around 1000 ft (308.4 m) high.
- The signal seems to be broadcast on multiple frequencies. Sayid picked it up with radio equipment and somehow Naomi's phone picked up the distress signal audio as well.
- Radio stations that broadcast a voice reciting streams of numbers, known as Number Stations and Letter Beacons, actually exist. They are thought to be broadcasting coded messages using one-time pads.
- The tape in the deck is labeled Makee Ailana, Melveen Leed. Melveen Leed is a Hawaiian country singer. The song title Makee Ailana refers to a small Hawaiian island off the shore of Kapiolani Park, and the lyrics describe romantic memories of the island.
- The map Ben draws on is shown twice @ approx. 22:53 and approx. 36:28. These two maps are not the same prop. The red lines drawn on the two maps differ slightly.
- There are similar radio towers in DC comics,DC universe "In the Elseworlds graphic novel Superman: The Dark Side (1998) Darkseid raises Kal-El as his own (evil) son and later finds that Krypton had been in possession of the Anti-Life Equation before it was destroyed and Jor-El had sent it with his son so that he could use it to subjugate Earth and create a new Krypton. Naturally Darkseid finds it and builds a series of towers which broadcast "...the ANTI-LIFE EQUATION which obliterates free will and individual identity". The ANTI-LIFE EQUATION appears to be similar to the Valenzetti equation.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Radio tower/Theories
- What happened to Danielle and her team at the tower?
- Why did the Others allow Danielle's transmission to continue?
- Who reactivated the original tower transmission and why?