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The Lost Experience considerably expanded the Lost mythology
The Lost Experience revealed a great deal about Lost's mythology and history, including many revelations about DHARMA, the Numbers, the Hanso Foundation, and the people originating these projects. This page offers an overview of everything learned in The Lost Experience, designed for people who did not follow the game to catch-up quickly. For a day by day recap of The Lost Experience, visit The Lost Experience Clues.
Throughout the Lost Experience, the idea of the Lost television show was portrayed as fictional in a "real world" (i.e. the writers of the show Lost use the name of established firm the Hanso Foundation, similar to how Dan Brown uses Opus Dei in The DaVinci Code).
The Lost Experience takes place in the summer of 2006; the show Lost takes place in the fall of 2004. Thus few clues from the game have directly explained things that happened on the Island, although the game has provided some key information about the Island's history.
Alvar Hanso in a 1975 orientation film.
DHARMA has been revealed to be an acronym for Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. It was set up by Alvar Hanso to investigate the Valenzetti equation, a research project suppressed by the United Nation in the 1960s that predicted the end of the human race. According to the Hanso Foundation, Valenzetti's equation is based on a set of core numbers - 4 8 15 16 23 42. By making changes in environmental and human factors, humanity may be saved. This will be indicated by a change in the numerical parameters of the equation. As of July 2006, the numbers had not been changed, and Thomas Mittelwerk had stated they had been in the grip of the tyranny of "those six numbers" for over 30 years.
Consequently, the Initiative utilized the Island, its precise location known only to Alvar Hanso, the DeGroots, and a few high ranking members of his organization. It was stated in the Sri Lanka video that stations were built on the Island where scientists could further investigate factors that could influence the equation. Furthermore, pallet drops are mentioned to be conducted in perpetuity, and a radio tower was constructed to broadcast the Numbers until they were changed, thus broadcasting to the world that doomsday had been averted.
In a television interview on Jimmy Kimmel! Live, Hanso executive Hugh McIntyre also stated that the DHARMA Initiative's funding was cut in 1987.
The Black Rock
The Black Rock was a 19th-century slave ship, likely owned and captained by Magnus Hanso, Alvar's grandfather (the ship set sail from slip 23 at Portsmouth, and it is stated Magnus owned slips 18 to 27 by another source). The ship disappeared in 1881, on a return voyage from a gold mining operation in the South Indian Ocean. Perhaps more interesting than the fact the ship was lost were the circumstances preceding and following its disappearance. According to traders on Papua New Guinea, the ship sailed away from port in an Easterly direction, rather than West to Africa, where it would exchange gold from the mines in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea for more slaves.
The Apollo candy bar which made numerous brief appearances on the show was given its own website and backstory (see Apollo Candy Company). It was revealed that the company is now owned by the Hanso Foundation, explaining why it was stocked on the Island. There is a suggestion that a character, Dr. Hackett, had planned to deploy his psychotropic drugs in the food.
The Hanso Foundation and Alvar Hanso
The Hanso Foundation was set up after World War II, with its founder Alvar Hanso moving from a munitions selling background to philanthropic entrepreneur. It is revealed that the Foundation had strong ties to both the Widmore Corporation and Paik Heavy Industries, both of which have been featured on Lost.
The Sri Lanka video showed how Alvar had backed the DHARMA Initiative for research into the Valenzetti equation. Also, the Norway video showed that Alvar Hanso had been kept prisoner by his successor, Thomas Mittelwerk, and that he was in fact the father of Rachel Blake, the protagonist who had been exposing truths about the company, such as their links to the illegal organ harvesting trade in third world countries. One of the biggest cases of corruption was Mittelwerk's Sri Lanka project, where he chillingly planned to kill 30% of the population in villages with a controlled virus, in order to somehow test or work on the Valenzetti equation.
Other information suggested that Alvar Hanso's life was in jeopardy. Eliza Vasquez wrote to him about abnormalities in his blood. Similarly, Thomas Mittelwerk underwent a full blood transfusion and a number of vaccinations in Italy for unknown reasons before flying to Sri Lanka.
As stated, Rachel Blake is the daughter of Alvar Hanso. As the main protagonist, Rachel began under the guise of hacker name Persephone, exposing truths on the Hanso website about the company's projects, and Board of Directors. She moved on to expose more corruption in the organization, along with other characters, including DJ Dan, Darla Taft (a.k.a. GidgetGirl) and the late Gary Troup, reaching out to the public to present evidence and share information suggesting that Hanso Foundation ethics, human-subjects practices, motives and financial ties to corporations may be inappropriate, immoral and above all illegal.
Rachel appeared at Comic Con 2006 and blasted the Lost writers for promoting the Foundation and using its name on their show.
Mittelwerk speaking about "radical action".]
- The spider protocol was and remains a key mystery from the game, though it seems likely that it is actually the name of Mittelwerk's "radical" operation in Sri Lanka.
- Hanso Foundation representatives have dismissed Bad Twin as a distortion of the Foundation's work and misrepresentation of both Alvar Hanso and Thomas Mittelwerk.
- The Lost Experience clues
- A cliff notes biography of Rachel Blake, providing an alternative overview of the Lost Experience