- This article refers the question mark (?) above the Pearl station. For the episode named for this place, see ? (episode). See also: the Pearl.
Drug smugglers' plane
Nikki and Paulo were actually the first survivors to come across the drug smugglers' plane shortly after the crash. They saw the plane on the edge of a cliff, but Paulo refused to go up and search for a radio because he was sure it would fall. They also discovered the Pearl hatch and opened it, but Nikki did not want them to go inside. ("Exposé")
The drug smugglers' plane was later seen on the Island by Locke in a dream, a vivid vision of the plane crashing, his mother, and Boone covered in blood. Locke then took Boone into the jungle, following his foresight. Upon finding the plane and suspecting there could be a radio inside, Boone climbed into the plane at the behest of Locke, whose legs were not functioning properly at that time. Inside the plane, Boone tried to send a distress call using the cockpit radio. As the plane began to tip from Boone's weight, he heard a return transmission from Bernard. The plane then fell to the ground below, fatally injuring Boone.
Paulo later returned to the Pearl and overheard Ben tell Juliet to have Tom move the plane on top of the Pearl hatch.
When Eko and Charlie found the plane in the jungle, Eko took the cross his brother was wearing, put a statue in his arms, and ceremonially burned the plane, while he and Charlie recited the 23rd Psalm. Eko then told Charlie that he was a priest. Charlie took at least one Virgin Mary statue (with heroin hidden inside each one) with him when he stopped at the plane with Sayid while looking for Rousseau (who had taken Claire's baby Aaron away from her) and would later return to take more and hide them.
Later, the plane, when viewed from the cliff, appeared to be lying next to a large circle on the ground marking the site of the entrance to the Pearl. Due to some overgrowth on the circle, it appeared to Eko to resemble a large question mark. ("?") Locke returned to the site, along with Sayid, Desmond, Paulo, and Nikki, to find Eko and visit the Pearl. Eko investigated the plane, and Yemi had gone, despite large boulders remaining unmoved by the doors. ("The Cost of Living")
The circle was first seen in episode "Lockdown" by John Locke. During a lockdown incident, Locke was trapped under one of the Swan station's blast doors. Moments before the doors rose again, a blacklight switched on for a few seconds, revealing a large handdrawn map. A noticeably large "?" was drawn in the middle of this hidden map. Later it was revealed the map was drawn by Radzinsky and Kelvin Inman. Their motivations are still unknown.
In the Access: Granted on the Blu-ray Disc, the Pearl was confirmed to be the question mark on the blast door map.
Main Article: Locke's map
Locke later tried to recall what he had seen and attempted to draw a small map in episode "S.O.S.". After a few attempts he was able to produce something useful.
Locke's first dream
Main Article: Locke's dream
Main Article: Eko's dream
When Mr. Eko was in the Swan, a vision of his deceased brother (Yemi) told Eko to help Locke and "make him take you to the question mark". The Countdown Timer and the computer keyboard in the dream did not appear as normal and displayed only question marks. This dream inspired Mr. Eko to start a search for the question mark. ("?")
Locke's second dream
Main Article: Locke's Dream
Eko knocked Locke out, and when John awoke, Eko convinced him to show him his map of the blast door. Eko told Locke of his prophetic dream, and was able to convince Locke to start a search for the question mark. The two stumbled upon the drug smugglers' plane and made camp, to "wait for further instructions" according to Eko. Locke then dreamed that he was Mr. Eko and climbed the nearby cliff, following Eko's brother Yemi. After reaching the top, he saw Yemi in his wheelchair and fell off the cliff, waking up as he hit the ground. After hearing of Locke's dream, Eko decided to climb the cliff. After reaching the top, Eko looked down. He saw a large circle on the ground. The ground had been salted to in order to form the circle but some of the grass had grown back by this time. ) ("?")
Main Article: The Pearl
After seeing the circle, Eko climbed down and started inspecting the ground. The ground had been salted to make the mark permanent. "I believe they made a circle -- a target -- so that this place can be seen from up above". Right under the plane he discovered something metallic. Locke and Eko moved the plane and found a hatch covered with sand. They opened the Hatch and discovered yet another DHARMA Initiative station. Their search for the question mark thus led them to the Pearl. ("?")