The Black Rock is a sailing vessel found on the island. It has appeared in three episodes to date and has been mentioned in several others. Information about the history of the Black Rock prior to her wreck on the island was uncovered during the Lost Experience but much of that information was shown to be inaccurate when some of the history was revealed in The Constant.
In a flashback scene in The Constant the first mate's log from the ship was bought at auction by Charles Widmore in 1996. During the auction the auctioneer gave a brief description of the history of the ship. The ship was lost at sea on a journey from Portsmouth, England to Siam (modern day Thailand) that began on March 22, 1845. The log was found in 1852 on Île Sainte-Marie, an island off of Madagascar that at the time was a pirate haven. It eventually came to be in the possession of Tovard Hanso whose family were the only ones to have read it when it was sold it at auction.
The ship contains dynamite which wasn't invented until 1866 implying that pirates were in possesion of the ship for several decades before it ended up on the island. Also since the slave trade was outlawed in 1807 and the ship appears to have been carrying slaves it had to be sailing illegally. A strong slave trade based in East Africa (where the mate's log was found) continued well into the 1870's so Locke's hypothesis that the ship sailed from East Africa with slaves to mine the island is a strong possibility. (see Interior)
History (Lost Experience)
- The following comes from the alternate reality game The Lost Experience and is non-canonical.
The Black Rock was a slave-trading vessel that disappeared in 1881, on a return voyage from a gold mining operation in the South Indian Ocean. 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. A copy of the ship's manifest reveals no accurate information about the Black Rock's ownership. It was supposed to return to slip 23 in Portsmouth, Britain, but no shipping company claimed ownership of the vessel. A crew of some 40 men, along with an uncounted number of slaves, was presumably lost at sea.
Magnus Hanso owned the New World Sea Traders which operated at Portsmouth in slips 18 through 27. This would include slip 23 — the Black Rock. In 1882, the New World Sea Traders liquidated the majority of its assets and sold its fleet of fifteen vessels to the East Ocean Trade Group. In the 1950s, the East Ocean Trade Group was purchased by the Hanso Group and renamed to the Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants.
The Black Rock was discovered several miles inland by Danielle Rousseau and her team several weeks after they shipwrecked onto the island. The vessel is located in what Rousseau calls "The Dark Territory". Its resting place is also located near the radio tower that broadcasted the Numbers transmission and which now broadcasts Rousseau’s distress call. Leslie Arzt suggested that a tsunami swept the vessel that far inland. The Black Rock been used by Rousseau and the Oceanic survivors' for the dynamite present within her holds and the ship's brig was used by Locke as a place to hold Anthony Cooper prisoner.
The hidden map on The Swan's blast door contains a reference to the Black Rock: KNOWN FINAL RESTING PLACE OF MAGNUS HANSO/BLACK ROCK. The Black Rock would appear to have been owned by Magnus Hanso, a distant relative of Alvar Hanso, and may very well have been captained by him when it landed on the island. The Black Rock's relationship with The DHARMA Initiative is currently unknown.
The stern of the vessel gives her name as Black Rock and her port of registry as Portsmouth. She has come to a rest on a slight tilt to starboard and is covered in vegetation. The Black Rock appears to have at least two partially intact masts with a third mast that has broken off and is resting against the hull of the vessel. A hole is present in the hull on the port side, well below her waterline, allowing easy access to the interior.
The interior consists of several decks and is littered with equipment, including mining equipment. Several skeletons were discovered chained to the hull. John Locke surmised that they were slaves. From the equipment present inside, he further theorized that the vessel set sail from the eastern coast of Africa — possibly Mozambique — and was en route to a mining colony. Upon returning to the vessel in "The Brig", Locke theorized that the Black Rock was intentionally sailed to the island with the intention of using the slaves to mine the island. Within the hold of the vessel are containers full of dynamite. However, after the number of years the Black Rock has laid undisturbed, the dynamite has sweat nitroglycerin and become extremely dangerous to handle.