Most Lost fans have had cause to wonder, at some time or another, where the current Dharma rations come from. Jack and Kate were in the jungle during the episode Lockdown and spotted the large food stash in the jungle. It had a flashing light on it, and a parachute attached – as though it had been dropped in during the night.
But we know about the Island. We know that aircraft don’t just fly by with ease, unheard and unseen and without incident. So the idea that every so often a Dharma aircraft (from a Dharma Initiative that no longer exists, no less!) passes over the Island and drops food off seems bizarre and, frankly, wrong.
So let me throw out an idea. My theory here is that the food rations were dropped in from the past. Oh, hold up, hold up. You’re rolling your eyes already, I’m sure. More bloody time travel, you’re thinking. As if another Lost theory needs that! But give me a shot at convincing you.
You’re familiar with The Orchid, right? You’re all up-to-date on how Dharma sent items – in particular, white rabbits – into the future? We’re all down with that? They had the technology to send objects from one point in time to a future point in time. Now substitute white rabbits for a large pallet of food and you’re getting the idea.
So that’s step one. Dharma got one large pallet of food and sent it into the future. If you consider the original Orchid Orientation film, when the ‘future rabbit’ appeared, it dropped down in the background. And when Ben turned the ‘donkey wheel’ and went into the future we were given the impression that he ‘dropped’ into the desert. Point is, things arriving from the past into the future drop and land. With that in mind, the parachute strapped to the food pallet makes sense.
I would also note that the rabbit, and Ben, made no sound when they ‘popped up’ in the future. Again, this correlates with the pallet of food appearing in the jungle without making a noise.
Hopefully you’re coming around, but I know you’re bound to be thinking about the number of food drops. That is, we’re given the impression these food drops occur regularly. ‘P.R.D (Periodic Resupply Drop) Every 6-8 months’ states the notation on the Blast Door Map. How else would the likes of Desmond and Inman have stayed alive without regular food provisions? Well, here’s where I introduce multiple time travel drop points into the mix.
Say you’re sending a large pallet of food into the future. You have your time travel machine set at the right “negative shift” so you can approximately gauge when in the future it will travel to. If today is Monday, you can set the food to arrive some time around Thursday. OK? But what if you could set it to arrive at more than one end point?
What if you could set it so that food was delivered every Thursday of every week for the next three years into the future? That same pallet of food would ‘pop up’, every Thursday. It would certainly make good use of resources! That same stock of food could be used over and over, limitlessly.
Now Dharma didn’t have the art of sending things into the future down to an exact science. So what I am positing here is that Dharma set their food drops to constantly ‘pop up’ in the future every 6-8 months. They couldn’t pinpoint the exact day, but they had a rough enough idea. They took one pallet of food and sent it to multiple future times, perhaps indefinitely. This one-time action explains why, after ‘the purge’, Dharma food could still continue to arrive on the Island.
Maybe they did this with numerous different drop points on the Island, which is why The Others also have a large supply of Dharma food. It’s pretty crazy I know, but there’s a simple elegance to it that I rather like, and the recycling idea sits well with the hippy Dharma mentality, don’t you think?
Now let me leave you with one last thought. Take this same idea and replace a pallet of food with a man. Let’s call that man Richard Alpert. What if he stepped into the time travel machine? What if he set it so that he was sent into the future at regular future intervals? What if he even sent himself to the past in the same way? Effectively, he would be the same guy appearing over and over. Ageless.
Sure, he’d have to be careful not to run into himself (getting off the Island and into the real world might be a good idea. . .) and he’d have to leave documentation for his future self to ‘know’ what his previous self had been doing. Probably he’d have to kill himself a lot, too, to make way for the ‘latest’ version of himself. But in principle it could work. A loop-hole circumventing immortality. It’s crazy, I know, but that’s not good enough reason to say it ain’t so. . .