Monster Island Journal - Day One: Made the mistake of Naming My Own Price for a flight from the US to Japan. Went too low and Priceline booked me on Oceanic Airlines. Really thought these guys went bankrupt back in 2004 after the whole Flight 815/Oceanic Six debacle, but apparently they're still in business.
Monster Island Journal - Day Two: Should have known I was doomed when I boarded the plane and the Priceline Negotiator was seated in the row ahead of me. Couldn't get any service because the flight attendants spent all their time dealing with his nervous breakdown. Things only got worse when we hit turbulence and the pilot announced that it was always bumpy passing through the Twilight Zone. There was some nervous laughter from the other passengers, but the Negotiator was not amused.
Last thing I remember before waking up on my back in the jungle was him grabbing the air marshal's gun, opening an emergency exit, and blasting away at the gremlin he claimed was on the wing of the plane. I must have been sucked out during the rapid decompression.
As I watched the plane disappear through the gaps in the canopy of trees above me and realized I was now stranded on a desert island, all I could feel was relief. Not because I had survived a free fall from 30,000 feet without a parachute -- you read about that sort of thing all the time -- but that I wouldn't have to listen to any more of the conversation from the row next to me. Frank Costanza, the world's most annoying passenger, was trying to convince Gale Boetticher to open a Capital One account. Gale kept trying to explain that in his line of work he only dealt in cash, but Frank just wasn't getting it. Life as a castaway would have to be better than listening to his spiel again. For all I knew, I'd landed in a tropical paradise.
Right. So, when I finally stopped screaming and running blindly through the jungle in abject terror, I came to grips with the fact that I was marooned on Monster Island, and needed to find shelter before I ended up as something's afternoon snack.
Spent the first night in the wreckage of a ship I discovered deep in the jungle. There were two ships, actually -- the Calico and the HEAT Seeker. Not sure how they got so far inland, but they looked as though had slammed into each other in midair before crashing into the island. I can only imagine what launched them out of the water in the first place.
Monster Island Journal - Day Three: Stumbling around the island, I kept having visions of this kid and his hideous imaginary friend:
It was nightfall when I emerged from the jungle onto the beach. That's when I saw my first hint of civilization: a light in the distance. Just on the other side of that mountain.
|Yeah, the one behind the giant space dragon in the fashionable purple trunks. So that's fine, I'll just go around.|
Further down the beach I found a rusted Sea-Doo and, half-buried in the sand, an old life preserver from a ship called the Argonautica.
Monster Island Journal - Day Four: The next morning I passed a weird three-toed statue. Beginning to think this island raises more questions than it will ever answer.
After hiking forever I finally found the source of the light I'd seen the night before: a hatch buried in the ground. From its condition it appeared that the door had been blasted off long ago by the breath weapon of some monster or other (the island had plenty to choose from). I could hear music coming from down below. Listening for a moment, I recognized it as "The Girl from Ipanema." Hoping to find food or supplies, I descended the ladder.
Turned out it led down to a self-contained scientific research station. There was a sign in the room at the bottom of the ladder that identified it as Kaiju Station, but its sole inhabitant referred to it simply as the Monster Hatch.
Kaiju Station was manned by a guy named Tooch, which I eventually figured out was short for Joey Pantucci. The former first mate of a boat captained by John Finnegan, Tooch washed up on Monster Island back in 1998 after exploring a cruise ship that had been attacked by the kaiju Octalus.
|Life in the Monster Hatch ages a person.|
A giant monster attack separated Tooch and Finnegan just minutes after their arrival on the island. Tooch ran until he stumbled upon Kaiju Station. The guy inside took one look at Tooch, decided he must be his long-overdue replacement, and bailed, taking nothing with him but the Dharma Initiative jumpsuit he was wearing. That was twelve years ago, and Tooch has been here ever since.
|Kaiju Station Orientation Video|
The video opens with a guy named Walter Bishop explaining how the island first came to the attention of the DeGroots back in 1966, when the SSSP discovered anomalous geomagnetism here while on a mission to rescue four missing Japanese meteorologists. The Meteorological Agency had been forced to abandon their observatory on the island two and a half years prior because of major seismic and volcanic activity. The four meteorologists were sent to the island to reopen it, but all communication with them was lost immediately upon their arrival. Sent to investigate a week later, the SSSP discovered that the observatory had been attacked by monsters, and that geomagnetic irregularities were disrupting all transmissions.
Of the four -- Fujita, Kawada, Matsui, and Sasaki -- Matsui was the only observer to survive. The SSSP helped him bury the bodies of his colleagues before returning him to Japan.
|Matsui and the SSSP in 1966|
In his statement to the SSSP, Mr. Matsui said, “The earthquakes and the volcano turned the island into madness. Two and a half years later, we came back here and we felt like we were in the prehistoric age. Monsters living in a Darwinian jungle.” The SSSP officially classified the island as a Lawless Monster Zone.
|Dr. Harryhausen in 2004|
A year later, in 1967, the United States Army arrived on the island to do atomic testing. After detonating four hydrogen bombs in the surrounding waters, they brought in a scientific team, led by Dr. Harryhausen, to study the effects. When giant ants were discovered on the island, the army napalmed the anthill, and the scientists went into the nest with gas guns to sterilize any survivors. The operation was successful, but the vengeful queen and her remaining soldier ants wiped out the military and most of the scientists, leaving Dr. Harryhausen as the sole survivor. He remained at the abandoned army outpost to continue his experiments until his death in 2004. The official story is that he sacrificed his life to help a group of young people rescue Carmen Electra from the giant ants after they made the mistake of choosing the island for the location to shoot "MTV's Tropical Weekend Getaway."
|Worst of all, the film crew arrived on the island during Kamacuras Mating Season.|
After founding the Dharma Initiative in 1970, the DeGroots sent an expedition to explore the island, and discovered another of its scientific anomalies the hard way. Because of its unique relationship to the space-time continuum, Monster Island rests in the Atlantic Ocean at some times, the Pacific Ocean at others. In order to reach the island, you must first know whether it is currently in the Bermuda Triangle or approximately six hundred miles south of Japan.
They later constructed Kaiju Station on Monster Island to study giant monsters and determine their usefulness in repelling alien invasions, a threat to mankind not covered by the Valenzetti Equation.
|Godzilla strolls past Dharma Village on Monster Island|
Although the Dharma Initiative no longer maintains a scientific research team on the island, the area is still monitored electronically, and interns reside in Kaiju Station year-round to keep an eye on the equipment and to observe and report on monster activity. The goal is to have the station serve as an early warning system and prevent future catastrophes like the recent Cloverfield Incident in New York.
Dharma interns are advised to avoid any contact with a group of island rebels known as the Others, who seek to subvert the Initiative's objectives and may or may not be in league with the mysterious and illusive Harvey Elder, the self-proclaimed ruler of Monster Island. No one has seen Elder, but according to island mythology he lives beneath the surface of Monster Island in a vast series of caverns that lead down to an underground kingdom called Subterranea.
|Known Others include Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, Jack Prescott, and Park Nam-Joo.|
Because the existence of Monster Island and its inhabitants makes the United Nations nervous, Dharma recommends that interns keep in constant contact with the outside world via the internet, blogging and tweeting as an indication that the interns are still alive and all is well. They are encouraged to make use of the station's extensive collection of comics, movies, and other media if they need something to blog and tweet about. Otherwise, should communications from Kaiju Station go dark, the UN Security Council might get twitchy and have the island carpet-bombed just to be safe.
Hmmm... carpet-bombing sounds bad. I guess it's time to start a blog. Maybe I'll watch Konga on Netflix tonight.
Monster Island Journal - Day Six: Found this map of the island taped to the back of a blast door that dropped down and sealed me in the station for a few minutes. Not sure what that was all about, but when I was able to go back outside I found a food drop near the hatch, so it's all good. Yay, generic junk food!
Monster Island Journal - Day Seven: Let's see, I'm stuck in this station with all the comics I can read and all the movies I can watch. Starting to feel like Joel or Mike from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
|Which is also on Netflix.|
All I need now is a robot sidekick!
Monster Island Journal - Day Eight: Apparently the metal egg sitting on the computer desk wasn't decorative after all. I started noticing cracks in it this morning, and by lunchtime it had hatched.
|The birth of MechaGodzilla, Jr. I'm not even going to pretend this makes sense.|
My first robot sidekick! MechaGodzilla, Jr., eh? Hey, that sounds like a good name for a blog!