DHARMA Initiative Station #5
The Pearl is DHARMA Initiative station number 5, initially discovered by Paulo, and subsequently found by Locke and Eko. Its location is about a half day’s journey north of the survivors’ camp, and several hours south of the Barracks. The station is located entirely underground well away from any other DHARMA facilities. This is also the location where the drug smugglers’ plane crashed on the Island, in the tree canopy above the station.
The purpose of the station ostensibly appeared to be the video surveillance of the inhabitants of the Swan station, but it was later implied that station was actually an elaborate psychological experiment being carried out on the Pearl’s own staff. (“?”) (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2”)
Little is known of the history of the Pearl station although it was constructed by the DHARMA Initiative somewhere between 1971 and 1973. A number of DHARMA personnel were assigned here during the station’s early years — although it is not clear what their mission was or if they were subjects of ongoing psychological experiments during that time. Mike, who welcomed Ben and Roger Linus on the Island, was a technician assigned to the Pearl, according to his DHARMA jumpsuit. (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
In later years, after the construction of the Swan, staff stationed at the Pearl were tasked to continually monitor the inhabitants of the Swan, recording their activities in minute detail. The Pearl was also equipped with a computer which would remotely log the Swan Station crew members pushing the button. While believing that they were filing reports on their observations with their superiors, it was implied later that the Pearl staff themselves were the ones being experimented upon.
The Pearl was operated by the DHARMA Initiative until at least the time of the Purge, indicated by Roger Linus telling his son that they needed to transport some supplies out to the station on the same day. (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
Later, in the polar bear cave Locke found a skeleton still shrouded in the remnants of a DHARMA jumpsuit displaying the Pearl’s logo. This individual’s demise likely occurred some point after the Purge. (“Further Instructions”)
Character & Station Symbolism
(The Sanskrit translation for Pearl is “Falling Star” or “Gem of the Moon“)
Nikki and Paulo first stumbled upon the Pearl on Day 24 while searching for their missing luggage. The Beechcraft was still suspended in the trees above the Pearl entrance – which, at the time, was covered by a thin layer of fresh dirt. (“Exposé”)
Later, following clues in one of Locke’s visions, Locke and Boone found the drug smugglers’ plane perched above at the edge of a cliff – unaware of the station’s location nearby. Boone climbed up into the plane, causing it to fall. This accident later led to his death. (“Deus Ex Machina”)
The Pearl was discovered by Locke and Mr. Eko who were searching for the location that corresponded to the question mark at the center of the blast door map. During their search, they happened upon the fallen drug smuggler’s plane. Inspired by a dream, Eko climbed to the top of the cliff. Looking down, he noticed a cleared circle in the vegetation which when combined with the plane looked similar to a question mark. The cleared area of ground had been salted to prevent it from being overgrown by the jungle. The Pearl’s entrance was hidden beneath the crashed plane. (“?”)
A small party consisting of Locke, Desmond, Sayid, Nikki, and Paulo returned the Pearl in an attempt to see if they could learn anything further from the Pearl’s computer which might lead them to Jack, Sawyer, and Kate. They discovered that the monitors could be used to observe other DHARMA stations on the Island — and in fiddling with the feeds, Sayid briefly was able to switch one to gain a live picture from the Flame. A man with an eye patch was briefly seen, who looked right at the camera before reaching up and turning it off. (“The Cost of Living”)
The Pearl station is located entirely underground. A ladder descends from a hatch set into the ground into a short corridor which leads into a large octagonal room. While there is a bathroom, there are no living quarters as the Pearl’s staff only served in eight hours shifts. The station appears to have sustained some damage over the years: there are missing panels in the roof, loose wires hanging from the monitors and signs of neglect.
Associated LOST Themes & DHARMA Stations
Associated LOST Characters
Primary Symbolism: Moon, Sun (Fire) & Sky Deities
Secondary Symbolism: Water (Fertility) Deities
DHARMA STATION (Symbolic Deities Reference)
Decoded LOST Character (Mike)
In Greek mythology, Atlas was the primordial Titan who supported the heavens. Although associated with various places, he became commonly identified with the Atlas Mountains in north-west Africa. Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus and the Oceanid Asia or Klyménē (Κλυμένη):
- “Now Iapetus took to wife the neat-ankled maid Clymene, daughter of Ocean, and went up with her into one bed. And she bare him a stout-hearted son, Atlas: also she bare very glorious Menoetius and clever Prometheus, full of various wiles, and scatter-brained Epimetheus.”
Hyginus emphasises the primordial nature of Atlas by making him the son of Aether and Gaia. In contexts where a Titan and a Titaness are assigned each of the seven planetary powers, Atlas is paired with Phoebe and governs the moon. He had three brothers — Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius.
Decoded LOST Character (Olivia Goodspeed)
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) Ἄρτεμις, (genitive) Ἀρτέμιδος) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.
Artemis later became identified with Selene, a Titaness who was a Greek moon goddess, sometimes depicted with a crescent moon above her head. She was also identified with the Roman goddess Diana, with the Etruscan goddess Artume, and with the Greek or Carian goddess Hecate.
Bow and Arrow
According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, she had golden bow and arrows, as her epithet was Khryselakatos, “of the Golden Shaft”, and Iokheira (Showered by Arrows). The arrows of Artemis could also to bring sudden death and disease to girls and women. Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from The Kyklopes, as the one she asked from her father. The bow of Artemis also became the witness of Callisto’s oath of her virginity. In later cult, the bow became the symbol of waxing moon.
Decoded LOST Character (Jan)
Like most moon deities, Selene plays a fairly large role in her pantheon, which preceded the Olympic pantheon. However, Selene, a Titan, was eventually largely supplanted by Artemis, an Olympian; the Romans similarly deemed Luna predecessor to Diana. In the collection known as the Homeric hymns, there is a Hymn to Selene (xxxii), paired with the hymn to Helios. In it, Selene is addressed as “far-winged”, an epithet ordinarily applied to birds. Selene is mentioned in Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48.581; Pausanias 5.1.4; and Strabo 14.1.6,
The etymology of Selene is uncertain, but if the word is of Greek origin, it is likely connected to the word selas (σέλας), meaning “brightness”. Boreion Selas (Βόρειον Σέλας) is the Greek name for Aurora Borealis, the “northern lights”. In modern times, Selene is the root of selenology, the study of the geology of the Moon, and the chemical element selenium.
DHARMA STATION (Symbolic Function)
In classic mythology, below Uranus, Gaia, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus.
Like other primal entities (such as the earth and time), Tartarus is also a primordial force or deity.
Tartarus in Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Tartarus is both a deity and a place in the underworld even lower than Hades. In ancient Orphic sources and in the mystery schools Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing entity from which the Light and the cosmos are born.
In Hesiod’s Theogony, c. 700 BC, the deity Tartarus was the third force to manifest in the yawning void of Chaos.
As for the place, the Greek poet Hesiod asserts that a bronze anvil falling from heaven would fall 9 days before it reached the Earth. The anvil would take nine more days to fall from Earth to Tartarus. In The Iliad (c. 700), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is “as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth.” It is one of the primordial objects that sprung from Chaos, along with Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Desire).
Gods imprisoned in Tartarus
While, according to Greek mythology, The Realm of Hades is the place of the dead, Tartarus also has a number of inhabitants. When Cronus, the ruling Titan, came to power he imprisoned the Cyclopes in Tartarus and set the monster Campe as guard. Some myths also say he imprisoned the three Hecatonchires (giants with fifty heads and one hundred arms). Zeus killed Campe and released the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires to aid in his conflict with the Titan giants. The gods of Olympus eventually defeated the Titans. Many, but not all of the Titans, were cast into Tartarus. Epimetheus, Metis, and Prometheus are some Titans who were not banished to Tartarus. Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus.
CRONUS (Roger Linus)
APOLLO (Horace Goodspeed)
Other gods could be sentenced to Tartarus, as well. Apollo is a prime example, although Zeus freed him. In Tartarus, the Hecatonchires guarded prisoners.
TYPHON (Benjamin Linus)
Later, when Zeus overcame the monster Typhon, the offspring of Tartarus and Gaia, he threw the monster into the same pit.
‘Notes to Nowhere’ (Observation Notes)
Pearl Station’s Purpose
The exact purpose of the Pearl station is ambiguous. According to the orientation video, the station’s purpose is to monitor the inhabitants of the Swan via a video surveillance system – particularly with an eye towards monitoring their psychological state as they continued to perform their duties. The video also appears to imply that “pushing the button” was of no significance. However, other evidence suggests that the Pearl staff themselves were the ones who were subjects of an experiment, rather than those they were monitoring.
Pearl Orientation video
The Pearl Orientation video was discovered in one of the station’s cupboards. The video is hosted by a man who introduces himself as Dr. Mark Wickmund (who is, in fact, Dr. Pierre Chang). According to the film, the staff of the Pearl would work in teams of two, continuously monitoring activities of DHARMA Initiative projects elsewhere on the Island. While not referred to directly, video feeds from the Swan are visible in the background on some of the Pearl station’s monitors. Dr. Wickmund notes that the subjects seen on the monitors are unaware that they are under observation or that they are subjects in an experiment. Team members would take an eight hour shift, recording their observations carefully in provided notebooks. Each time a notebook was filled, it was to be placed in a pneumatic tube where it would be immediately transported to their superiors. At the conclusion of their shift, the staff would be transported back to the Barracks via the Pala Ferry. The use of the word “projects” by Dr. Wickmund suggests that other stations on the Island may be monitored from the Pearl. (“?”) (“The Cost of Living”)
Pneumatic Tube Dump
In one corner, the Pearl contains a functioning pneumatic tube. Upon completing a notebook of observations, the station’s personnel were instructed to insert their notebooks into one of the plastic capsules and place the capsule inside the tube. The Pearl orientation video then maintained that the capsule would be transported directly to “us”. The terminus of the pneumatic tube, however, was later revealed to be a large garbage dump deep in the jungle where containers of notebooks were simply piling up without anyone checking or collecting them.
Locke took his rough sketch of the blast door map and sent it through the tube where it was later found by Sawyer at the capsule dump. In examining one of the completed log books at the dump, Kate found several references to an “S.R.” It is highly likely this was shorthand for Stuart Radzinsky – indicating the Pearl was to be staffed after Radzinsky took up operation at the Swan. (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2”)