So, I've already speculated that the group that kidnapped Walt is not the same group of 'Others' that has been terrorizing the tail section survivors. First off, 'The Others' is not a linguistically useful identifier; the term is used by groups who have had little to no contact, so they could not have agreed to a common definition.
1) Roussau refers to "The Others" when she talks about the voices in the woods. She says she has never seen them, so we can not be certain that the silent forrest dwelling 'Others' are the same ones she hears.
2) When Mr Echo and Jin see them in the woods they do not hear whispers. They do not even hear footsteps. 'The Others' that they see are barefoot, and convey an inpression of being primitive/primal. But then there is the teddy bear...
3) Ethan Rom spoke, used tools, and carried himself off as a survivor of the crash. He doesn't come off like one of the primal 'others', nor did he seem to enjoy spending tropical afternoons standing just outside the camp whispering... And when he threatened to kill one person each day he did it by breaking their neck, not by shooting them or blowing them up.
4) "The Others" who took Walt had guns, a boat, and they spoke.
5) When Jin asks Mr. Echo if the primal ones are 'Others', Mr Echo nods his head. We can not be sure this is meaningful since Mr Echo has never met Roussau, who is the first person to refer to 'The Others'.
I think that the term 'The Others' is getting used for every unknown group, and that there are several. It is kind of like the 'They' used by conspiricy nuts. This adds tension for the viewers, and it opens up a path for several revelations down the road.
I think that there are at least two groups that are being referred to as "The Others":
1) There are the the primal forest dwellers that have been terrorizing the survivors of the tail section. These may still be posessed people, perhaps even crash survivors; like I speculated previously. Or, they could be the result of a Dharma Initiative experiment. (more below)
2) There is the group on the boat that kidnapped Walt. I do not believe they are associated with the primal forest dwellers. I think these folk are with the Dharma Initiative. Perhaps the DI projects got out of hand, and these are the surviving remnants of the original faculty, and they are tyring to find a way out of this mess. They are more ruthless than you would expect scientists to be, but a few years trapped in Hell can have some pretty harsh effects on people. Just ask me, I got stuck in Florida for a few years...
A friend pointed me in the direction of a bunch of websites created by the folks at ABC/LOST to tempt and to bedazzle. One of those sites is for The Hanso Foundation and its active projects. Several of these got me thinking...
1) The Hanso Life-Extension Project
If there is no disease on the Island, then what was Desmond injecting into his arm each day? What if the disease was a cover to get the people in Station 6 to inject themselves each day with an experimental life extension drug?
2) The Hanso Foundation Elecromagnetic Research Initiative
We know there is a strange magnetic field in Station 6. I think this field, or a greater field surrounding the island that is related to this field, is what brought down flight 815. I also think this field helps keep the island hidden until you are too close to escape.
3) The Hanso Juxtapositional Eugenics Development Institute
A read a speculation elsewhere that this could mean a comparative study of vastly different groups with the purpose of looking for superior, or just differing, traits. Did the Dharma Initiative put the primal group on the island for the purpose of examining their development compared to people from more modern and technalogical cultures? Or, did the Dharma group cause the folks who are now primal to be infected/posessed with a radically different consciousness in order to see how they develop? (I haven't given up on the idea that the DI folks used the strange magnetic field in Station 6 to open a portal to somewhere and let an otherworldly life force through.)
4) The Hanso Accelerated Remote Viewing Training Facility
This project has the most potential for being related to some of the events on the island. What if it is the group running this project that kidnapped Walt for the psychic abilities he has been hinted to posess? What if the whispering in the woods is not 'The Others', but is instead a side effect of that area being 'remote viewed'? What if the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal plays into this, and the remote viewer can not avoid altering that which is being observed? In this case, the act of observing causing some bleed-through of thoughts that are perceived as whispers? Perhaps the reason the tail section survivors have come to associate the whispering with the attacs of the primal ones is because the Remote Viewing groups is monitoring the primal ones, and so the 'whisper effect' is sometimes heard in their general vicinity.
This can be carried a little further into why Shannon sometimes sees Walt. If Walt has been co-opted into the Remote Viewing project, and he is watching his friends, perhaps his 'whisper effect' is stronger and he can sometimes be seen? So far he has only been seen when the dog has been near, and that may play into it as well.
Wow. All I intended to write was one bit about Walt, and I kinda rambled. Sorry. 🙂
Who knows, I haven't seem Episode 7 of Season 2 yet. I could be wrong about everything.