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The Swan
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Possible Swan References

  • In ABC's Flashforward, the character Alda Hertzog explains the meaning of the "Black Swan" to Mark Benford. The "Black Swan" is a metaphor for a calamatic event of great porportions that is too much for the human mind. This could be the source for the name "Swan".
  • The phrase "swan song" is a reference to an ancient belief that the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is completely mute during its lifetime until the moment just before it dies, when it sings one beautiful song.
  • Swan Song (novel) - is an epic 1987 science fiction novel by American novelist Robert R. McCammon. It is a work of post-apocalyptic fiction describing the aftermath of a nuclear war that provokes an evolution in mankind. One of the characters, Sue Wanda Prescott (or Swan), has an empathic ability with plant life, allowing her to accelerate the growth of or resurrect dead plants through physical contact. Another character, The Man with the Scarlet Eye (or Man of Many Faces), is an incarnation of the devil. There is also mention of a mountain bunker.
  • Swan, the Coptic name for the Egyptian city of Aswan.
  • Swans in Shamanism are associated with traveling to the Otherworld.
  • Medicine Cards,”The Discovery of Power Through The Ways of Animals,” Jamie Sams and David Carson, published by Bear and Co., Santa Fe, New Mexico - "Little swan flew through the Dreamtime, looking for the future. She rested for a moment in the coolness of the pond, looking for a way to find the entry point to the future. This was a moment of confusion for Swan, as she knew she had happened into Dreamtime by accident. This was her first flight alone and she was a bit concerned by the Dreamtime landscape.

As Swan looked high above Sacred Mountain, she saw the biggest swirling black hole she had ever seen. Dragonfly came flying by, and Swan stopped him to ask about the black hole. Dragonfly said, “Swan, that is the doorway to the other planes of imagination. I have been guardian of the illusion for many, many moons. If you want to enter there, you would have to ask permission and earn the right.”

Swan was not so sure that she wanted to enter the black hole. She asked Dragonfly what was necessary for her to earn entry. Dragonfly replied, “You must be willing to accept whatever the future holds as it is presented, without trying to change Great Spirit’s plan.” Swan looked at her ugly little duckling body and then answered, “I will be happy to abide by Great Spirit’s plan. I won’t fight the currents of the black hole. I will surrender to the flow of the spiral and trust what I am shown.” Dragonfly was very happy with Swan’s answer and began to spin the magic to break the pond’s illusion. Suddenly, Swan was engulfed by a whirlpool in the center of the pond.

Swan reappeared many days later, but now she was graceful and white and long-necked.Dragonfly was stunned! “Swan, what happened to you!” he exclaimed. Swan smiled and said, “Dragonfly, I learned to surrender my body to the power of Great Spirit and was taken to where the future lives. I saw many wonders high on Sacred Mountain and because of my faith and my acceptance I have been changed. I have learned to accept a state of grace.” Dragonfly was very happy for Swan.

Swan told Dragonfly many of the wonders beyond the illusion. Through her healing and her acceptance of the state of grace, she was given the right to enter the Dreamtime.

So it is that we learn to surrender to the grace of the rhythm of the universe, and slip from our physical bodies into the Dreamtime. Swan medicine teaches us to be at one with all planes of consciousness, and to trust in the Great Spirit’s protection.”

  • One level of the Ugly Duckling fable illustrates the deceptive nature of first appearances and teaches us that true beauty grows from within. It teaches us that we all have inner grace and beauty.
  • Swans are white (black & white theme)
  • "The Swan" was the name of an Elizabethan theatre in London. [1]
  • Swan is also close to the last name of Elizabeth Swann, in Pirates of the Carribean.
  • SWAN Instruments are instruments that can be used to measure electromagnetic fields.[2]
  • The constellation of Cygnus is also known as "the Swan". [3]
  • Sir Joseph Wilson Swan is an English physicist and chemist. [6]
  • HMAS Swan was an Australian Navy ship launched on 16 December 1967. The ship is now a dive wreck and artificial reef 1.3 nautical miles off Point Picquet, Western Australia. [7]
  • The Swan is a short musical composition for cello and piano from Carmille Saint Saens' "Carnival of the Animals".
  • The Sanskrit word for swan is hamsa or hansa, which sounds similar to Hanso [8] [9]
  • Swans are characterized by their monogamy in mating habits--they are always seen in pairs.
  • Swans are revered in many religions and cultures, especially Hinduism. The Sanskrit word for swan is hamsa or hansa, and a swan is the vehicle of many deities (such as the goddess Saraswati). Swans are mentioned several times in the Vedic literature, and some swans have also been said to have the knowledge of the Supreme Being Brahman. They are said to reside in the summers in the Manasarovar Lake and migrate to Indian lakes for the winter, eat pearls, and separate milk from water in a mixture of both. Hindu iconography typically shows the Mute Swan. It is wrongly supposed by many historians that the word hamsa only means a goose, since today swans are no longer found in India, not even in most zoos. However, ornithological checklists clearly classify several species of swans as vagrant birds in India.
  • The cartoon Jack is forced to watch in captivity features swans swimming.
  • A "Black Swan" is used to refer to an event that is catastrophic, and almost impossible to predict or prepare for. Some used the phrase to refer to 9/11.
  • "The Hatch" is what the Swan was called before we knew what was inside. this could be a possible reference to a Swan "hatch"ing from its egg. Similarly, the Flame exploded in Flames and the Pearl started out small like a grain of sand but will become expansive in season 3.
  • In Greek myth, swans are sacred to the god Apollo, whose name is given to the candy bars featured in the show. Apollo journeys to the land of Hypoborea every winter by riding either on the back of a swan or in a chariot drawn by swans.

Theories based on the name

  • According to Constellations theory, The Swan is named after the constellation Cygnus.
  • As the station was once used for research into electromagnetism, it was named after SWAN instruments, used to measure electromagnetic fields. [10]
  • The station is named The Swan because of its similar shape to the animal (a large underground bunker with a long tunnel to the surface on one end).
  • Sanskrit words for The Swan are hamsa and hansa, which is similar to Hanso. [11] [12]
  • The Swan was named after Ingo Swann, an artist who helped develop the procedure of remote viewing at the Stanford Research Institute, and has become well known as a remote viewer himself. Swann is commonly accredited with proposing the idea of Coordinate Remote Viewing, a process in which viewers would view a location given nothing but its geographical coordinates. [13]
  • The name bares similitude to the prefix "zono", found in the name "zonohedron". Those geometrical beings are important in topology and architecture. One major user of them was Richard Buckminster Fuller, who created the geode, and the doomsday equation. The computer room is a half-geode, which is the shape of ecological houses names "zom". [14] [15]
  • In the Matrix series, the name of the city of the machines is Zero-One, often cited as "Z-one". Same about Zion, which is a deep underground shelter for mankind. The computer screen is very similar to the famous digital rain. The station acts like a cage, and it's resident is called Desmond. This name is close to "demon" and is a reminder of Lucifer's underworld prison. Neo is the sixth "karmic" version, and number six is the number of rebellion in the Bible. [16]
  • Swan is phoneticaly close to the word zen, which means "to sit".

The Mural

See also: Mural for a symbolic interpretation.

  • The arrow in the center of the mural is pointed in a direction that looks to be N x NW, or approximately 325 degrees -- the same direction that Ben told Michael he'd "find rescue" if he sailed that way. To the left of this arrow, just below the arrow's head, appears to be another smaller arrow in the same direction painted with a yellow outline and the word "OUT" in the middle.
  • the little persons depicted in the top left corner on a yellow background that might be sand, are the same number of main characters in the series.


  • There exists an undiscovered underground passage between The Swan and the Pearl. The blast door map seems to confirm this, as there is a crossed out passage coming from the swan. This could also be the area behind the magnetic wall.
    • On the Blast Door map, all of the stations seemed to have passages that would have connected to the Pearl station in the middle of the map. But all of those, except for the Swan's, were crossed out about halfway. However, these may simply be exits.
    • The passage seems to continue exclusively from the Swan, however the walls are only represented by dotted lines until it comes to a smaller question mark.(see Blast Door Map)
    • This corridor may be blocked by the wall that Jack and Sayid investigated.
    • The remains of The Swan that are seen in "Further Instructions" may back this up as the three corridors visible in the side of the crater do not appear to match the layout of the section occupied by Desmond, the survivors et al. This implies that another room or passage has been uncovered by the implosion.
  • In the episode "Further Instructions" Desmond commented to Hurley on John Locke's "speech" about finding and saving Jack, Kate, and Sawyer before Locke actually gave the speech. After the speech, Hurley noticed Desmond standing on the beach alone, throwing rocks into the water. Hurley saw this action take place twice, one right after another.
  • The Swan Stations Electromagnetic field could be emitting radiation which could be a possible factor to the degeneration of a female islander's reproductive system.
    • This could also explain Rose's remission from Cancer.
  • In The Swan station structure there could've been magnesium or magnesium alloy in use. Recall the metallic wall near the mural, that could've been made of magnesium. During the swan implosion the magnesium could've ignited from a blast in the bunker resulting in the bright light.


  • The Swan was built, and its staff trained, such that those carrying out the mission of the Swan would survive any purge initiated by the poison gas of the Tempest. The Swan was hermetically sealed with its main entrance an airlock and its secondary entrance labeled with the word "quarantine". The station's staff were told that some pathogen existed outside the station and were trained to wear hazmat suits whenever venturing outside of the station and to innoculate themselves regularly. All of these protections were not against "the sickness" but rather against the Tempest; whatever else happened on the Island, the Swan station's staff were the most crucial and its mission the most important of the Island.

Ben/Others Knowledge of the Swan

  • What did Ben and/or the Others know about the location, functionality and operation of the Swan? Presumably, Ben is aware of the Swan station prior to his incarceration there as Henry Gale (based on his being part of the Dharma Initiative and Roger Linus working in the Swan). Additionally, we know that Ben and the Others at some point gained access to the Pearl Station and observed the occupants of the Swan (events of Expose). Thus, why did Ben and/or the Others decide to leave the fate of the Swan in the hands of the remaining D.I. inhabitants (Kelvin and Radzinsky, and later Desmond). If Ben (or the Others, or Jacob) wanted the island to remain hidden from the outside world (i.e. Charles Widmore and/or Dharma/Hanso), why didn't the Others staff the Swan following the Purge?
    • Kelvin was Ben's man in the Swan. Originally both Kelvin and Radzinsky were part of the Dharma Initiative but during the purge Kelvin defected to the Others and killed Radzinsky. A small number of the Others (such a Juliet), are not totally committed to the Island and are prevented from going home by Ben. Kelvin felt the same way and took the opportunity to escape when Desmond was ship wrecked.
    • The Others are aware of all the Dharma Initiative stations and facilities on the Island. After the Purge, useful stations were occupied by the new management (the Others) such as: Mikhail in the Flame - Bonnie and Greta in the Looking Glass. The most hazardous stations left behind from the Dharma Initiative experiments were also manned: Goodwin in the Tempest - Kelvin in the Swan. The remaining stations were abandoned becasue the Others didn't continue with the research being conducted in them: The Arrow. Some stations, having been abandoned are used on the odd occasion when they are needed: Ethan in the Staff - Ben and Juliet in the Pearl - Ben knew where to find the Orchid. The Others as a group have occupied the Hydra - Decoy Village - the Temple - Barracks. You never see the Others surprised that there is a hatch they never heard of before!
    • The Others did know about the Swan, but they didn't kill Kelvin & Radzinsky because they needed someone to push the button. Using their own people would be a waste of manpower, and K & R would be no threat as they would be trapped down there with the button. The same applies to Desmond.
      • The others not knowing about the Swan could just be a plot hole. If Ben knew about the Orchid and every other Dharma station, he probably knew about the Swan. Given how dangerous the Swan is, the odds of his letting 2 men not under his control (Desmond and Kelvin) be responsible for pressing the button is unlikely.
        • It could have originally been a plot hole, but that doesn't mean the writers won't try to plug it. The Others definitely knew about Rousseau's existence, but they didn't kill her either, presumably because she was no threat.
          • In the seson 2 episode "the hunting party" Tom says "Tell me, you go over a man's house for the first time, do you take off your shoes? Do you put your feet up on his coffee table? Do you walk in the kitchen, eat food that doesn't belong to you? Open the door to rooms you got no business opening?" implying that they know the losties have discovered the Swan (probably due to the monitoring in the Pearl).
  • Furthermore, why didn't the suicide of Radzinsky (assuming Kelvin's story to be true) cause the Others to take action to insure the continued input of the Numbers into the Swan computer?
    • The most likely explanation, given season 5, is that they didn't know about the Swan's existence.
      • Alternatives:
        • they knew it existed but had no idea what its purpose might be; and therefore they would not see any reason to input the code. However, this begs the question of why they did not attempt to occupy the station.
        • They wanted the discharge to happen for some unknown reason. However, assuming this was true, it is not clear why they would simply wait for R & K to die.
  • During the events of the Lockdown, did Ben input the numbers or not?
  • In Namaste Radzinski seems most concerned about one of the Hostiles seeing the model of the not-yet-built Swan station. He mentions to Sawyer that the Hostile (really Sayid) might have seen the plans for the station, and where they planned to build it, and believes that this is sufficient reason to kill him. This seems to give some credence to the idea that the Others were unaware of the station, which was apparently built later - and in more secrecy - than the others.
    • Namaste taught us that Radzinsky hates the hostiles, and he was a designer of the Swan station. Therefore, as a longtime resident of the Swan station, it stands to reason that he would defy any Hostile's attempt to enter the Swan. As long as Radzinsky was alive, the Hostiles couldn't enter the Swan. So during that period, at least, the Swan's inner workings were a secret from the Hostiles/Others.

Reason Why Swan Logo is on Everything

The Swan logo is seen many items across the island, mostly on food. Due the high secrecy of the Swan, being in hostile territory and the significance of research, most members of the DI were told it was a storage depot of sorts, as they were told the Orchid was a greenhouse.

  • The reason the Swan logo is on the majority of the food is that it may have been the only station requiring supply drops. Considering that the Swan is the only confirmed station to have a bunking area, and all the other Dharma Initiative members reside in the Barracks, which has its own chefs and cafeteria, the supply drops to the Swan may be to help maintain the Swans independence by removing the need for Swan members to visit the Barracks to eat or sleep. Naturally the food would be branded with the Swan logo to indicate its purpose there. The Flame may have supply drops of its own due to the presence of living space there as well as the Hydra which would make sense to have supply drops since it is off the main island and submarine use seems sporadic. Stations like the Staff, Pearl, Tempest, Arrow, Orchid, and Looking Glass would most likely not have supply drops of their own as it seems so far that the members of those stations are all hubbed to the Barracks which has its own chefs.


  • How would the Swan accomplish the task of eliminating the electromagnetic buildup every 108 minutes? Degaussing [17] is the answer. Degaussing is a feature for old computer monitors when they get distorted from a magnet getting near the screen (magnetic field). Simply push a button and the monitor isn't distorted anymore. Apply this to the swan, only much bigger.
  • Very true...but the real question remains: what was there that required a "degauss" every 108 minutes? To take this analogy fUrther: One degausses something because the EM has caused some kind of appreciable distortion. In the case of a CRT, the picture is distorted and the degauss restores it by removing the excess magnetic interference. If the analogy holds, this implies that the energy field beneath the Swan is doing something abnormal - causing interference - in some natural process, such as the flow of time, or perhaps simply the Island's normal EM properties. This interference was somehow caused by The Incident, probably by some kind of device built at the Swan for experimental purposes. This same device must be the thing triggering the degauss when the button is pushed. This could explain how the DI could have built something to degauss the buildup when it needs to be done so frequently: It was already in place. The other question is why the DI didn't just use the fail-safe in the first place...unless the interference was actually doing something positive as well, like anchoring the Island in one place and/or time.
  • Perhaps the DI built the fail safe key simply as a procaution if the Hostiles took control of the station.
  • if this was the case maby the button pushing (degass) was 108 mins becasue any more time than this, the electromagnetism filed may get to far and set off jughead?
  • But if it is true, then why not making it authomatic? I mean, programming a computer procedure to "degauss" periodically every 108 minutes, by inserting the correct numbers, eliminating the danger of someone "forgetting" to insert the numbers, and overall ensuring safety.
  • Maybe this technology didn't exist back at 1977.
  • Computing routines was possible ever since the 60s, by using magnetical tape rolls (don't remember if the english name is "magnetical reel" or "magnetical spool"), where to store instruction routines. Authomatic procedures exist ever since the concept of "computer" was born (because that's what a computer does: executes procedures stored in its memory, doesn't matter if its memory is a paper card with holes, a magnetical tape, a USB pendrive or a hard-drive).
  • Actually, the producers already answered this question. They said that computers were unreliable. So if DARHMA wanted a full-proof then they had to put this task in the hands of a human, to make sure that there would always be someone in case something go wrong. They even made sure there was a failsafe key ( which Desmond use ). The fact that they assign a human to repeat this task every 108 mins is to make sure the computer doesn't fully control the process. Imagine HAL in charge of doing the degauss. What would happen if he decide to degauss before the right time ?
  • Maybe when the numbers are entered they set up the computer systems to do something after 4 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 15 minutes etc... and once it has finished doing this it needs to be told to do it again. This is why the total of the numbers is 108 the same amount of time before they have to be entered again
  • Don't forget that DHARMA was all about changing the factors affecting humanity, and engaged in a lot of paraphysical research with spiritual overtones to do it. The decision to have a human being manually input the Valenzetti Numbers may have been based on the notion that damming the EM site needed to be a human act. Removing humanity from involvement in the equation would have theoretically defeated Swan Station's metaphysical purpose.

Why The Numbers Input Sequence Isn't Automated

In the Sri Lanka Video the Valenzetti Equation was proven to have predicted the end of the humanity giving the numbers as the months and years we would have left. Giving that the Dharma initiative's objective was to change one of these numbers it is makes sense that the numbers had to be put in manually in case they ever did manage to change the equation results. The mystery is why they used these numbers to keep the electromagnetism at bay and why the numbers representing the Candidates Jacob chose are the same as the Valenzetti Equation

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