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Black Rock: Misc



Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

For references to the notable geological rocks seen in various episodes, see black rocks.
Black Rock
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
Owned by
Abandoned in the jungle

The Black Rock is a British trading ship that was found shipwrecked in the Dark Territory on the Island.


Final voyage

The 1996 Southfield's auction of the Black Rock ledger. ("The Constant") This painting is later seen hanging in Charles Widmore's residence. ("The Shape of Things to Come")

According to an auctioneer selling the ship's first mate's journal, the Black Rock set sail from Portsmouth, England on March 22, 1845, purportedly on a trading mission to the Kingdom of Siam (now known as Thailand). The ship was believed to have been lost at sea. Seven years later, the journal was discovered among the artifacts of pirates on Île Sainte-Marie, an island off the coast of Madagascar. This journal is believed to be the only surviving remnant of the Black Rock's ill-fated final voyage, and was sold at a Southfield's auction to Charles Widmore. The ledger had previously been possessed and read solely by the Hanso family, but was put forward for sale by Tovard Hanso. ("The Constant")

On the Island



A ship that bears a resemblance to the Black Rock was seen in the opening scene of The Incident, in it, Jacob and his Nemesis argue about people coming to the island. Jacob's Nemesis assured that he knew that it was Jacob's action that brought the ship to the island.("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")

The Black Rock somehow not only shipwrecked onto the Island, but also mysteriously came to rest inland in what has been referred to as the Dark Territory, a dangerous area of the jungle where the Monster is highly active. Danielle Rousseau, along with her science expedition team, are the first known to have visited the ship, although the actual stop at the vessel was not depicted. However, it is also possible that Kelvin Inman and/or Radzinsky also visited the wreck, as they mark its location on the blast door map they created of the Island. DHARMA Initiative personnel seem to be unaware of its existence; in "La Fleur" when Sawyer claims to have come from a salvage vessel looking for the Black Rock, Horace states he has never heard of the ship, though he may have been lying.

Rousseau's team

Rousseau and her team discovered the Black Rock after they shipwrecked onto the Island. Rousseau was the one who defined the area including the Black Rock as the "Dark Territory". It is not known how often she and her team visited the ship, but she did say that it was on their way back from the Black Rock, after being on the Island for around two months, that an event relating to the sickness occurred. ("Solitary") She also had some knowledge of the ship's interior, as she would later inform the Flight 815 survivors that the ship contained a supply of dynamite.

Rousseau recorded a distress signal at the radio tower, and briefly mentioned that she would "try to make it to the Black Rock".

Oceanic Flight 815

The ship was first mentioned to the survivors when they heard Rousseau's distress signal, but as Shannon did not translate this portion of the message, the survivors would not have understood the French language ("Pilot, Part 1")  ("Pilot, Part 2") Charlie had also earlier read Claire's diary, mentioning that she had a dream about a "black rock". Moreover, Rousseau mentioned the Black Rock to Sayid when she captured him, though at that time he did not know that she was referring to a ship ("Solitary"). The Black Rock can also be seen marked on the maps of the Island that Sayid stole from Rousseau.

Rousseau finally took a group of Flight 815 survivors (Locke, Hurley, Kate, Jack and Arzt) to the Black Rock on Day 44, in order to retrieve some of the dynamite stored inside. The dynamite was to be used in an attempt to blow up the Swan station's hatch. After Rousseau left them, Locke, Kate and Jack entered the ship through a large hole in the hull. Inside the ship, skeletons were found shackled together, likely remains of slaves. Old mining equipment was also found, including the dynamite. At least two cases of highly-volatile sticks were present inside the ship's hold. According to Locke, the ship "must have been en-route to a mining colony; probably set off from the eastern coast of Africa—Mozambique." The Flight 815 survivors hauled one of the cases of dynamite out of the ship. While handling some of the volatile dynamite, the unfortunate Arzt was blown up. The remaining survivors left the ship with several sticks of dynamite. ("Exodus, Part 2")

Locke and Sawyer outside the Black Rock

A few months later, Locke returned to the Black Rock. He imprisoned Anthony Cooper in the ship's brig using the ship's shackles. Locke then returned to the camp to get Sawyer. Upon learning that Anthony Cooper was the "Mister Sawyer" responsible for his parents' murder/suicide, Sawyer strangled him using the shackles. Moments before, Danielle Rousseau had arrived at the ship to retrieve some dynamite. ("The Brig")

When stuck in 1974, Sawyer claims to be the shipwrecked captain of a salvage vessel searching for The Black Rock. ("LaFleur")


Semi-canon (and often contradictory) explanations of the Black Rock's origins have been given in Lost's alternate reality games.

The Lost Experience

A page from the New World Sea Traders book with information about Magnus Hanso and the company's shipping fleet

The Black Rock was allegedly owned and run by the British trading group the New World Sea Traders. The slave trade had been outlawed in 1807, however slavery itself was not abolished in the British Empire until 1833. The company owned a fleet of fifteen ships, including a frigate, two sloops, and three slave ships. The Black Rock may have been one of these slave ships, though they were sold in 1882, a year after the Black Rock disappeared according to Lost Experience sources, suggesting the company may have had actually sixteen ships pre-1881.

The New World Sea Traders was owned and operated by Magnus Hanso, a former ship's captain who became a business entrepreneur. While no direct ownership has been stated, it is known that the Black Rock sailed out of slip 23 in Portsmouth docks, and Hanso's trading group managed slips 18 to 27. [1]

A different look of the Black Rock, from The Lost Experience

According to articles revealed by Rachel Blake, the Black Rock 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. According to the ship's manifest that was discovered, the Black Rock initially sailed from (and was supposed to return to) slip 23 in Portsmouth, Britain—but no shipping company claimed ownership. A crew of some 40 men, along with an uncounted number of slaves, was presumably lost at sea.[2] Magnus Hanso was known to still have a hands-on passion for the sea and insisted on captaining several voyages every year. It is likely that he was captaining the Black Rock himself when the ship disappeared, based on the note on the blast door map.

The sale of the company in 1882 to the East Ocean Trade Group saw the remainder of the New World Sea Traders slaving and military vessels converted to legitimate trading ships. In the 1950s, the Hanso Group purchased the East Ocean Trade Group, and renamed it to the Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants. (Rachel Blake Copenhagen 02)

Find 815

The page about the Black Rock in Sam's browser

While investigating the disappearance of Flight 815, Sam Thomas received an email from someone who said that he or she knew Sonya. They sent a picture of her. After noticing incongruities in the image, Sam found four messages in it: "Sunda Trench", "Christiane I", "Black Rock" and "Tell no one—Grave Consequences." On Sam's desktop, a website dealing with the Sunda Trench originally also showed a diagram of a slaveship. (Find 815 clues/January 2)

After he got on board the Christiane I, a new website briefly appeared in Sam's web browser giving a brief history of the Black Rock. His contact, Tracey R, also found some facts through research, and contacted Sam via email. Most of the information reiterated clues revealed as part of The Lost Experience, though Tracey made inferences not explicitly stated earlier, such as that Magnus may have been aboard the Black Rock when it vanished. Also, the website in Sam's browser claimed the Black Rock was one of three slave ships owned by the New World Sea Traders, though there appears some discrepancy as the three ships the company had in 1882 were sold off (a year after the Black Rock disappeared). Thus, the article should presumably say "one of four" at least. (Find 815 clues/January 8)

Talbot's project

It was later revealed that the Christiane I's mission was to search for the wreck of the Black Rock. It was not fully explained why the crew wished to find the wreck, but the expedition supervisor Oscar Talbot, assigned to the ship by The Maxwell Group, commented in an interview that the mission was an archaeological survey of the wreck, which they believed sank in the Sunda Trench in 1881. (Find 815 clues/January 11)  (Find 815 clues/January 14)

The Find 815 narrative is not strictly considered canon as it was written by an outside company hired by ABC, meaning Lost executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had little input on the narrative. However, Damon Lindelof did admit in an interview that he considers the Christiane I to be canon as it was mentioned in "Confirmed Dead". He also states that the Christiane I's mission was to find the Black Rock, but implies that it also had an undisclosed deeper mission [3].


  • In The Incident-enhanced the ship approaching the Island was referred to as "an early 1800s wooden sailing ship."(The_Incident,_Parts_1_%26_2-Enhanced_transcript)
  • When the Black Rock was first shown in "Exodus, Part 1", only about 1/4 of it was actually built as a set. The rest was added via CGI. When it was shown again in "The Brig", it was completely CGI.
  • The image from the New World Sea Traders book was originally taken from a woodcut image of the HMS Victory, a First Rate battleship from the Battle of Trafalgar.
  • The image from The Lost Experience is actually of a different ship than the one shown on the show. The Black Rock on the Island is much smaller, if the stern is any gauge. The black and white image from The Lost Experience is not that of a slave ship, but of a man of war, probably a fifth- or fourth-rate frigate. The gun ports are clearly visible, as is the spacious stern gallery. That gallery is nowhere to be seen on the oddly well-preserved stern of the ship found on the Island, nor are the gun ports.
  • The picture at the top of the Black Rock web page on Sam's laptop is actually a famous painting by J.M.W. Turner called "Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)". It is based on a real-life event known as the Zong Massacre which took place in 1781. The Zong is the name of the British slave ship in the picture.
  • Portsmouth, the port the Black Rock sailed out of, is also the birthplace of Charles Dickens and a brand of cigarettes seen in Lost.
  • Alfred Nobel did not invent dynamite until 1866.
  • When Gerardus Mercator, the famous cartographer, produced his map of the world from the North Pole, he sited at the pole itself the Rupes Nigra et Altissima, the "Black Very High Rock," an immense magnetic rock 33 miles in circumference; he did so based on the reports of a supposed polar explorer who, it later turned out, had never left Europe. Mercator described the Black Rock in a letter to his friend and occultist John Dee as "black and glistening" and "high as the clouds."
  • Jim LaFleur told Horace Goodspeed that his group crashed on the Island while on a science expedition to find the Black Rock. His story coincides with Rousseau and her team landing on the Island.
  • Bad Day at Black Rock is a film in which a one-armed man uncovers the murder of an Asian man who dug a successful well.
  • A polished black rock is found along with a white one in the cave with Adam and Eve.

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Black Rock/Theories
  • How did the ship get located in the middle of the jungle?
  • What happened to the crew aboard the Black Rock?
  • Who was on-board the Black Rock?
  • Who has managed to free themselves from the handcuffs as shown in "Exodus, Part 2"?
  • Was Richard Alpert a slave on the Black Rock?
  • How was the ship's log recovered if the ship has been trapped on the island?
  • Why is the ship's log important to Charles Widmore?

External links

This article uses material from the "Black Rock" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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