"LOST" Newspaper Mystery Solved
MAY 25, 2007: L.A. Times has confirmed in an article yesterday that the newspaper "LOST" character Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) was reading on board of Oceanic Airlines in the opening moments of Wednesday night's season finale was the April 5, 2007 edition of the Los Angeles-based publication. So it's a flash-forward. Or is it?
An article about the death of a man, which of course does not appear in the real-life version of the newspaper, caught Jack's eye, driving him to the brink of suicide. A centrally-positioned article "Residents Speak About a Proposed Coastal Gas Plant" however appears in both versions.
It appears the article that caused Jack distress may have read:
"The body of Jeremy Bentham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue.
Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim’s loft.
Concerned for tenants’ safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room.
According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son.
Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."
Although this evidence confirms what we saw on Wednesday was a flash-forward, it may still be an alternate universe. Jack is flying Oceanic Airlines using his Golden Pass. Although one might argue the airline gave Jack (and possibly other survivors) the pass because of the crash, the carrier is supposed to be out of business at this time.
An ABC-sponsored "official" website of Oceanic Airlines, Oceanic-air.com which is sometimes offline, remains available at this time along with the message from the airline management:
"We regret to announce that Oceanic Airlines has ceased all operations effective immediately.
Michael Orteig, President of Oceanic Airlines, released this statement: 'After 25 years of service, we are forced to close our doors. Due to financial difficulties in the wake of the Flight 815 tragedy, we are no longer able to sustain service. We are deeply sorry that we can no longer serve our loyal customers, and apologize for any inconvenience our decision will cause.'
Passengers of Oceanic Airlines are encouraged to contact their travel agent or one of Oceanic's airline partners to make alternate travel arrangements."
That means the company either miraculously went back into business once the survivors were rescued, or Jack is now living in an alternate universe where Losties never crashed on the island (there may be a different reason why Jack got the Golden Pass) or the carrier website with its news of Oceanic Airlines shutdown is not supposed to be taken into consideration at all.
As always questions have been put:
If this really is the future and not an alternate timeline, why is Jack's beard much darker than on the island?
Why is Jack referring to his father Christian in the present tense, if he is supposed to be dead for almost 3 years?
Why does Kate appear to be no longer on the run - could they be in an alternate timeline after all and she never committed her crime?
If they really are in an alternate timeline, they should have been able to retain knowledge of the events they had experienced (similar to Desmond in "Flashes Before His Eyes").
Ultimately, I find it more than suspicious that Jack tells the doctor "Do you have any idea what I've been through?" just as Desmond said to Charlie in the time-bending episode #8 "You have no idea what I've been through!"
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