I would like to enter a theory in regard to the fail safe, being that the Island is an anomalous energy field on the earth (as alluded to by Roses healer) and that The Swan Station is a large capacitor to store the islands energy for experimental uses. In activating the fail safe they would be releasing ALL of the collected energy at once (like a camera flash does with a capacitor)...where as the numbers entered every 108 would discharge small amounts of stored energy, so as not to 'overflow'.

What are the rules on theories?

Namaste, --Jess angell 21:26, 24 May 2006 (PDT)

A theory is exactly that, a theory. As long as it hasn't been debunked, or otherwise obviously not possible in my mind it is fair game. I'll add your theory to the article. Nickvd 21:30, 24 May 2006 (PDT)

Cool Thanks!

Locke and Desmond

Why do I find it hard to believe Locke didn't find the Fail Safe at some point. Earlier in the season Sayid and Jack are crawling around under the Swan. Why did Locke never get down there to check the place out?

Also, wouldnt it have been a good idea for Desmond to have just told Locke about what he experienced on the day the computer went into System Failure? Locke is telling him he thinks the whole thing is a sham, but yet Desmond saw things flying around the hatch. Monnky 08:31, 25 May 2006 (PDT)

Desmond tried, but Locke wouldn't listen... We also saw that Jack and Sayid got at a concrete wall at certain point, maybe it went round the fail safe crawlspace too? -- Bramme 13:45, 25 May 2006 (PDT)
Desmond had to move a computer bank to get to the access hatch that lead to the failsafe. It may be they didn't know that hatch was there.--ChiperSoft 21:37, 28 May 2006 (PDT)

Why didn't he find the key?

That's from the Long Con, when Locke was sorting the books. Of course, Sawyer's gun theft could have disrupted him, but I don't think John would have left it half done. So, why didn't he find the book? Especially one wrapped up in twine, that would have generated a large amount of interest in me. --Rayne 10:32, 26 May 2006 (PDT)

Seems like an unintentional oversight on the part of the writers. Just the same, it doesn't seem obvious enough to be worth noting on the main article. Very interesting observation though. --Ipis dei 02:12 27 May 2006 (GMT +8)

Wasn't the book hidden behind all of the other books? Desmond had to move the other books on the shelf to get to it. Advance 16:59, 27 May 2006 (PDT)

How come Desmond didn't use the fail-safe at the beginning of the series, when the computer was broken, instead of running away?

  • If he had, there would be no mystery about The Swan for us to endlessly debate about. Or, maybe in his panic, he forgot about the key. Either way, Season 2 would've been pretty dull if he'd used the key at the very beginning. :) Shodan1138 21:28, 30 May 2006 (PDT)

Station Destroyed?

Three things make me think that The Swan has not been destroyed.

  1. No shockwave. Even in a nuclear explosion (which the flash would suggest), there is a shockwave.
  2. Charlie didn't seem to think there had been an explosion, and if there had been one you'd think he would have noticed it, even with bad hearing. He was acting a little weird tho, so who knows.
  3. Finally, and probably the most convincing: Just as the time runs out we are shown a brief shot of an opening to the other side of the sealed off portion of The Swan, presumably caused by Eko's explosion. Why establish this shot if they aren't going to return to it.

--ChiperSoft 21:47, 28 May 2006 (PDT)

  • There's supporting evidence for your hypothesis even in the screenshot in the Swan article itself. Look at the ground and foliage surrounding the "crater." A blast powerful enough to gouge that crater would have pulped and nigh on to annihilated the surrounding trees and ground cover. The crater itself is sharp-edged and clean, with almost uniform sides. I'll grant that it's a little "Memoirs of an Invisble Man," but you may be right: the station may not be as badly damaged as it appears. Of course, the only way to test that hypothesis would be to step out into empty space and see if there's ground there or not, but it is nevertheless an interesting line of thought you've found. --ConspiracyofDetails 08:21, 16 May 2007 (PDT)
  • It may be that it wasn't exactly an "explosion" that did this, at least not completely. Perhaps the station was somehow vaporized, which is why the crater looks so relatively clean, as opposed to the debris an explosion would produce? --

"Fail safe" vs "Fail-safe"

IMO, this article should be moved to "Fail-safe" using the hyphenated version. Any objections or facts from the show (screencaps) that prove me wrong?
   Jabberwock    talk    contribs    email   - 21:16, 30 May 2006 (PDT)

  • Mmm... I dunno. They're both probably correct. You could probably flip a coin to decide on one, really - just have "Fail Safe" redirect to "Fail-safe", or the other way around. Personally, I think the article's current name ("Fail Safe") ought to be left as it is, but that's just me. Shodan1138 21:41, 30 May 2006 (PDT)
  • Can't we just put a redirect to one of them, and merge the two? Dnberry 22:41, 30 May 2006 (PDT)

Still a stub?

I'm pretty new to this Wiki thing, but this article seems to be pretty fleshed-out to still be considered a "stub article". I'd remove the tag, and put it into a relevent category, but unfortunately, I'm not sure what category it should actually go into. There's an awful lot of 'em to choose from. Shodan1138 21:41, 30 May 2006 (PDT)


Another possibility about the purpose of the fail-safe is not to actually destroy the hatch, but wipe out the electromagnetic anomaly that makes the hatch so important. This would explain the extremely loud 'whining' during the violet flash, as the machines which kick in at 0, or some other machines, 'depolarise' the electromagnetic anomaly, meaning that it ceases to be magnetic (neither positive nor negative) at least for a time. The violet light might also be a by-product of the depolarisation, showing just how powerful the anomaly was.


Does anyone know the name of the song it plays when desmond turns the key? I have searched itunes but cannot find it on the previews thanks --Bassdude 09:38, 18 December 2006 (PST)

Valenzetti Equation

Could Desmond turning the key be one of the key factors of the Valenzetti Equation? Marvin Candle said that the Swan was a psychological expreriment, perhaps the experiment was to see if someone would turn the key and change the factors of the equation.--Alib999 18:28, 5 March 2007 (PST)

This was Safe?

Consider this: A fail-safe (with or without hyphen) is a system or procedure designed such that if a setup or plan should fail, the failure state will be a safe one. Should a speed regulator fail on a generator turbine, the fail-safe would be the shutdown of the steam supply and stoppage of the turbine, a safe alternative to the turbine going overspeed, overpressure, and damaging itself or exploding and causing injury. The entire purpose behind a fail-safe is to be certain that, if the system itself fails, the failure will be a safe one. Fail-safes are rarely manual, as their design intent is to minimize disaster without human intervention, but manual triggers for otherwise automatic fail-safe systems (often incorporated into equipment as emergency stops or e-stops) are extremely common.

Consider, then, the Swan fail-safe. Its very name implies that the Discharge is actually the safe shutdown of the system. The system failed, yes, but the Discharge - and its associated effects, including the collapse of the entire Swan station - was considered by its designer as being the safe alternative.

What, then, would have happened without the fail-safe in place? The short answer is the as-yet unspecified Incident, most likely. But as we do not know what the Incident entailed, that's a hazardous assumption. The question boils down thusly: What worse event was the system designer saving us from by creating such a damaging fail-safe system? --ConspiracyofDetails 07:08, 14 May 2007 (PDT)

An additional point to add to the consideration is the cryptic Latin notation on the blast door map, "Aegrescit mendendo" - the remedy is worse than the disease. Could this fail-safe actually be a fail-danger? --ConspiracyofDetails 07:14, 14 May 2007 (PDT)

Dialogue table

Anybody else think the dialogue table is unnecessary? The content it provides is already covered in the article, plus it is good style to describe a topic, rather than provide quotations. -- Graft   talk   contributions  01:28, 16 October 2007 (PDT)

Why not do it to begin with?

It didn't appear that any research was going on in the Swan after the "incident" forced the number punching/button pressing to become a requirement. At this point, it seems the only purpose was to keep the anomaly in check. But if they could destroy it, why not just do it then? Perhaps the Pearl wasn't set up to observe the Swan until after the incident, and Dharma decided to use it as an opportunity to study the psychological effects of pushing the button, which had to be done anyway. This could be why they decided to force people to do it instead of simply automating it. Or perhaps they did not want to destroy it because they hoped to somehow regain control of it in the future and resume their previous efforts. KamatariSeta

Reply to 'This Was Safe?'

The assumption is that if the EM energy isn't released every 108 minutes, it will build up and destroy the world. The fail-safe prevented this, as a last resort. Why? How? I propose that the fail-safe created a time loop, within which the events of LOST can be reversed engineered, through time travel, to produce an outcome whereby the EM energy isn't released from the hatch. The time loop is the safe alternative, but it has unintended consequences. In the end, the fail-safe worked. The hydrogen bomb detonation ended the loop, resulting in two time lines. One where the hatch imploded via the fail-safe, and one where the hatch remains sealed, on the island that is now submerged in the ocean. It's possible that in that hatch, someone is pushing the button. --LOSTJack 23:57, April 29, 2010 (UTC)

This is better suited for the theory page. -- Graft   talk   contributions  00:46, April 30, 2010 (UTC)
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