1x04 BlackOut

The first Global Blackout (GBO) took place on October 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM, Pacific Daylight Time. Nearly everyone in the world lost consciousness for two minutes and seventeen seconds - 137 seconds - during which most saw a vision - or "flashforward" - of their lives six months into the future: April 29, 2010, at 10:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time. Some, however, merely lost consciousness, experiencing no visions.

Due to CAT scans which were still active during the GBO, it was soon discovered the hippocampus area of the brain had been active throughout the blackout, as if individuals were in a state of consciousness.

In an attempt to determine the cause and reason behind the blackout, an inter-agency taskforce, the Mosaic Investigation, was formed. One of its first actions was to launch an Internet site, the Mosaic Collective, to which people from across the world were urged to report what they had experienced during the blackout. The task force contains agents from the FBI and CIA, and also members of the academic community.

Although it was originally believed that each and every person across the globe had passed out, it was soon discovered that this was not the case; the security footage from a sports stadium in Detroit showed one individual still conscious, leaving his seat within the stadium during the blackout. Later it was discovered that he had been talking on phone with another man.

In "Gimme Some Truth", the CIA noted how countries like China did not feel the full effects of the blackout because at that time most Chinese citizens were asleep. This led to a theory that it was an attack on the United States, supported by the later attack on some of the main characters by Asian men, possibly of Chinese background.

In "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps", in a conversation with Simon, Lloyd Simcoe states that the Global Blackout was caused by their NLAP experiment and that twenty million people were killed in it. Later, Lloyd holds a press conference claiming responsibility for the Global Blackout, due to their plasma wakefield experiment. During a televised debate, it is mentioned that twenty-five million people were killed.

In "Revelation Zero, Part 1", Flosso claims that Lloyd and Simon merely amplified the effects of blackout.


  • Simon Campos was able to remove the ring that prevented him from blacking out with no ill effects even though the global blackout was still occurring. ("Revelation Zero, Part 2") Relatedly, during the blackout in Somalia, Abdi Khalif, who had been out of range from the towers causing the blackout and therefore did not blackout, walks through his village where people were still blacked out, experiencing no effects. ("Better Angels") This would seem to indicate that the cause of the blackouts dissipates very quickly instead of being present for the duration of the blackout.
  • 217 is the room number for a haunted hotel room in Stephen King's novel The Shining. Similarly to what happens in FlashForward, a character in The Shining is given visions of the future which may or may not happen to a future version of himself.

Unanswered Questions Edit

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
  3. Avoid questions that are unlikely to be answered.
Theories for these unanswered questions should go on this article's theory page.
  • What type of flashforward did people experience who were asleep/unconscious/in a coma at 10:00PM PDT on Apr 29th 2010
  • If you were dreaming at 10:00 PM PDT on Apr 29, 2010, how could you tell it was a dream and not a real flashforward?
  • If you got hurt during the blackout - e.g. in a car crash - would you feel the pain of it DURING the blackout?
  • If you got hurt in your flashforward - e.g. by fallingl over - would you feel the pain of it.
  • Is there any significance to 137 seconds, the duration of the blackout?
  • Did astronauts, e.g. those on the International Space Station (ISS), black out?
  • Did people under the ocean, like in submarines miles down, black out?
  • In what way did the NLAP experiment amplify the GBO?
  • Since the device based on the blueprints predicted October 6, 2009, was the date chosen for some specific reason, or did the device predict the date because of the GBO?
Global Blackouts of FlashForward
October 6, 2009April 29, 2010