I've been watching Season 5 of LOST. Absolutely love it.
Just came up with a theory. Wanted to see what you think.
In Season 4, the Oceanic Six left the island. Ben turned the wheel and it seemed to disappear. It didn't physically travel through time, it simply did not exist anymore because events in the past have changed without the 6 being there. If they had not left, they would have been incorporated into the mural of time painted by the events they would cause or influence. Maybe John finds out that if they aren't brought back, the Island will not exist for a catastrophic event in the future. The 6 are influencing the outside world's future instead of the island's past. We are witnessing the paradox unfolding, and Ben is the puppet master. They need to go back to prevent the space time continuum from collapsing. Perhaps the island is skipping because it needs its constant.
Ben and Widmore are working against each other. Ben wants to move through time with the 6 so that they can save the island and he will become the leader, instead of Widmore. It was originally Locke that was supposed to turn the wheel and get back the 6 so their destinies could be fulfilled and the events would occur down the correct path. Perhaps the Swan was built to release radiation/electromagnetism from the Hydrogen bomb they buried. Widmore sent Farraday to correct past mistakes, since he was an other at one point. Widmore was probably sent off the island by turning the wheel. He also sent Desmond to push the button so that the world would not end. He's trying to fix the past. Ben is attempting to undo all his progress.
Time on the island is now occurring all at once because people of different times are interacting and crossing paths. Desmond has become a inter-time line microphone. He's unhinged and can receive messages in the form of recollection. This is how Charolette suddenly remembers Daniel as an old man from her past. The memories that are altered are forced into her head, causing a nose bleed. Which is why people die after being unhinged. The update of memory from their interaction with their own past causes a cerebral hemorrhage. They can not survive the change in time. In order to save the world, the 6 must go back and fulfill the given tasks with only Locke, and not Ben.
Any LOST fans on NG? Let me know what you think.