The 2016 Isla Nublar incident was a series of events which took place on the Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar (site of the closed-down Jurassic World theme park) at an undisclosed date during June 2016. During the incident, a team of mercenaries hired by Lockwood Foundation financial manager Eli Mills assisted by disgraced geneticist Henry Wu arrived to the island in order to retrieve a DNA sample of the extinct hybrid theropod species Indominus rex and a laptop containing valuable genomic data. The mission was a partial success despite the loss of seven personnel.
The DNA sample retrieved was utilized by Henry Wu to continue research into artificially-created genera, in particular continuing the lineage that began with Scorpios rex. The next step in its evolution, a genus called Indoraptor, was eventually brought to the prototype stage, though a finalized version was never created. This incident is also known for having unintentionally released an adult female Mosasaurus maximus into the Pacific Ocean.
Between 1988 and 2015, International Genetic Technologies operated de-extinction theme parks on Isla Nublar, including the failed Jurassic Park (1988-1993) and the successful Jurassic World (2002-2015). The latter, overseen by InGen’s new parent company Masrani Global Corporation, opened to the public on May 30, 2005 and operated without major incident until December 18, 2015. Over the last seven years of its operation, Jurassic World’s lead geneticist Dr. Henry Wu pioneered research into genetic hybridization as a means for the artificial development of new genera; he had already proven it possible during his earlier work with InGen culminating with the creation of Karacosis wutansis in 1997. During the late 2000s and early 2010s, he moved on to animal trials. The fruit of his labor, the Indominus rex, was designed between 2009 and 2012 and two animals were hatched in 2012. Though only one survived, he considered the result a success. The Indominus was preceded by a less advanced hybrid called Scorpios rex, which was ordered destroyed by Masrani Global’s CEO Simon Masrani due to its violent unpredictability. Wu disregarded this order and kept the specimen, designated E750, in cryonic stasis near his field genetics lab.
InGen’s Head of Security Vic Hoskins, backed by Lockwood Foundation manager Eli Mills, influenced the development of the Indominus with the intent to use it as a military animal. Its physiology was designed for combat environments, a fact which Jurassic World’s Operations Manager Claire Dearing and Masrani Global CEO Simon Masrani were not informed about. This secrecy led to corporate mismanagement and the animal’s escape on December 22, 2015. Dearing and Masrani attempted to recapture the escaped creature, but as its attributes were poorly understood, it evaded capture and caused emergency situations across the island. Multiple staff deaths resulted from the incident, including Hoskins and Masrani. The Indominus was killed late that night in a risky plan orchestrated by Dearing which resulted in the animal being ambushed and drowned by the park’s Mosasaurus, which resided in the Jurassic World Lagoon.
Due to the incident, Jurassic World closed permanently, and Henry Wu’s research was put under investigation by the U.S. government. He was found guilty of bioethical misconduct and stripped of his credentials, his laboratories raided and all Indominus samples confiscated. However, Wu had been evacuated by Hoskins’s Security personnel during the night of December 18 and evaded the authorities with the aid of Eli Mills. Masrani Global Corporation attempted to distance itself from de-extinction to avoid further bad press, leaving Isla Nublar abandoned (though it did remain under government watch until late 2017 or early 2018).
While most of the tourists and all staff were evacuated, six guests were neglected during the evacuation. These were a group of youths intended as a trial run for Jurassic World’s Camp Cretaceous, a vacation camp Masrani and Dearing had been preparing to open the following year. The six campers, along with a juvenile Ankylosaurus called Bumpy which they had adopted, survived on the island until June; shortly before these incidents they became aware of and subsequently killed the Scorpios rex. E750 had been thawed out of stasis and reproduced via parthenogenesis prior to this incident.
Henry Wu remained at Benjamin Lockwood‘s estate, without the knowledge of the estate’s owner, with a small group of geneticists who remained invested in his research. He provided remote assistance to the Atacama facility. While Hoskins had intended for military bioengineering to serve the United States Armed Forces, Mills’s interests were solely about profit. With Wu still a wanted man, the United States government would no longer be a viable customer, so Mills intended to sell to other entities. Wu’s research was to continue in the way he and Hoskins had originally intended, with the creation of a smaller and more manageable version of the Indominus. This, of course, presented a problem; Wu no longer possessed any samples of the Indominus genome as the U.S. government had seized them. There was still one possible source left: the remains of the animal which had been dragged into the Jurassic World Lagoon. If the mosasaur had left any scraps behind, a sample could be taken and used to engineer the next step in the lineage. Also on his radar was a laptop he knew to be at the field genetics lab. He had logged extremely confidential E750 data onto it, and could use this as a reference for later attempts.
Mills, using Lockwood’s vast monetary resources, assembled a team of mercenaries. Their names are almost all unknown at this time, but some of their callsigns are known. The retrieval team included a miniature submarine pilot and operator (collectively Marine One), a systems technician (callsign Land One; his first name is believed to be Jack), and a Bell UH-1H-BF Iroquois with a crew of five including the pilot and copilot (collectively Air One). The mosasaur was presumed to have starved to death as it had not been fed in six months, so the team would in theory be safe to enter the Lagoon. Two other Iroquois also came to the island; one carried a pilot and gunman, while the other was piloted by the team leader (a man named Hawkes) with Wu and two other mercenaries accompanying. Presumably these other helicopters were designated Air Two and Air Three, with ground personnel having similar callsigns. All three approached the island by circling around it to come inland from the west. Air One would land on Main Street to perform the retrieval, with Jack opening the Lagoon service gates to allow Marine One inside. The other two helicopters would bring Wu through the central valley to access the field genetics lab where his laptop was stored.
At an unknown date in June 2016, the operation was carried out. The minisub and Iroquois were most likely dispatched from a boat anchored in international waters near Isla Nublar, with call sign November Echo 7-6-5. At the time, a severe storm was affecting the island, making it easier for the operation to avoid government surveillance.
Unknown day, June 2016
- All three Iroquois approach the island by circling around to the west, then flying inland. On the way, they spot a yacht leaving a private dock. The pilot of one of the helicopters orders it to return to the dock and cut its engine; if someone else is on the island, the mission is compromised. This one helicopter lands at the pier while the other two proceed eastward toward Main Street.
- The yacht complies and its passengers disembark. They are six teenagers, the members of the Camp Cretaceous trial run from six months earlier: Darius Bowman, Kenji Kon, Brooklynn, Yasmina Fadoula, Ben Pincus, and Sammy Gutierrez. The pilot is surprised to learn that the intruders are only teenagers, and radios November Echo for instructions; unfortunately the storm has made communication impossible for the moment. The gunman, Hansen, helps the campers onto the helicopter. Sammy, Kenji, and Ben are boarded before they are interrupted by the park’s Tyrannosaurus, which emerges to confront these intruders. She bites onto the helicopter’s landing gear but it manages to pull free; instead she attacks and kills Hansen. The remaining campers flee into the woods, and the tyrannosaur pursues.
- The helicopter carrying the three campers heads toward the rendezvous point.
- Marine One enters the Jurassic World Lagoon via the Lagoon’s outflow canals. The security gate is opened by Land One by means of hacking the park system from a maintenance alley off of Boardwalk West. Air One has landed on the boardwalk directly, waiting for the retrieval.
- Marine One locates the remains of the Indominus. The skull, ribcage, and right arm are still intact; the ribcage is overturned and the parts are detached, but appear otherwise in good condition. A foot-long cutting of the 5th left rib is taken and attached to a lifting bag, which floats it to the surface. The mosasaur, which is alive despite being deprived of food, is disturbed from its sleep by the lifting bag and descends to investigate the minisub.
- With the sample having reached the surface, Air One moves out into the Lagoon and retrieves it, storing the rib in a secure container to keep it safe. Air One then returns to Boardwalk West to pick up Land One once the Lagoon gates are closed.
- As Marine One moves to leave the Lagoon, the mosasaur experimentally chews on the minisub to test whether it is edible; this investigation kills both Marine One crew members.
- Land One abruptly loses contact with Marine One. As they need to leave the island quickly to avoid detection (by the authorities or by dangerous animals), Land One opts to close the gate whether Marine One has made it out or not. The sound and lights of their activity draw the tyrannosaur, who had been hunting Darius, Brooklynn, and Yaz in the Sector 3 woodland.
- As the gate closing sequence begins, Air One spots the approaching Tyrannosaurus and attempts to warn Land One. Due to communication difficulties Jack does not recognize the danger until the dinosaur is very close to him. The dinosaur roars in order to scare him into running so that she can chase him down the boardwalk; Air One flees, but drops a ladder to try and rescue their comrade. As Jack flees, he drops his tablet; it is crushed by the tyrannosaur as she chases him and the gate closing sequence stalls at 54%.
- The chase continues to the edge of the Lagoon at the end of Main Street; Jack manages to jump to the ladder at the last second. The tyrannosaur also grabs the ladder in her jaws and engages in a tug-of-war with the Iroquois; as the helicopter is in danger of stalling, Air One almost decides to cut the ladder and sacrifice Jack to make their own escape, but the ladder breaks between Jack and the tyrannosaur before they take action. The team is now free to leave the island unhindered.
- As the Iroquois heads eastward over the Lagoon, the mosasaur spots Jack dangling from the ladder and recalls her training in Jurassic World. She had been trained to leap for food that was dangled out over the water for her, so she performs this same trick and consumes Jack. The force of her bite immediately breaks the ladder, so the Iroquois is not hindered in its escape from the island. Air One, the only surviving division of the team, radios back to base that they have the sample and are headed home.
- Air One leaves Isla Nublar heading west. The mosasaur, having fed but still starving, heads into the outflow canal in search of new food sources. It eventually reaches the Pacific Ocean via the island’s waterways. The helicopter carrying Wu, which is piloted by the mercenaries’ leader Hawkes, passes over Main Street; the storm is still interfering with their communications so they have not heard that the retrieval was successful. The campers, who bore witness to this whole ordeal, mistakenly believe that this helicopter is the one their friends are on and follow it north.
- In the central valley, Wu and Hawkes disembark, accompanied by gunmen Reed and Dawson. If the retrieval has failed, Wu will need his laptop to continue his research at all, and with the storm making air travel hazardous they must proceed on foot. The campers had overheard this discussion and race to get the the field lab first.
- While heading to the rendezvous point in the valley, the helicopter carrying the other three campers draws the ire of a Pteranodon flock. They advise the pilot to cut the lights, since these are what has agitated the pterosaurs and made them aggressive. With the lights out, the pterosaurs lose interest and retreat from the storm instead; however, the helicopter has to suddenly swerve to avoid colliding with a Brachiosaurus and becomes entangled in the canopy of a kapok tree.
- The campers on the ground reach the field lab, but they cannot clear away storm debris in time to get inside before Wu and the mercenaries. Hawkes, Reed, and Dawson clear the debris while Brooklynn leads the campers inside through a cold-air vent which leads into the maintenance tunnels connected to the lab.
- In the jungle, the crashed helicopter is held aloft only by vines and lianas, which are not strong enough to hold it for long. The campers are alive, regaining consciousness, but the helicopter’s pilot had been thrown through the windshield in the crash and is now on the forest floor immediately below the suspended aircraft. As the helicopter slips free, the campers escape using a liana, and the pilot is crushed by the vehicle as it falls. The fuel ignites, causing an explosion.
- Hawkes finishes clearing the debris and gets inside the lab. Wu finds evidence that his Scorpios rex specimen E750 escaped containment, alerting the mercenaries to the hazard. Brooklynn locates the laptop and the campers hide in the vent. The mercenaries suggest that Eli Mills would pay handsomely for E750, but Wu claims that his early creation was a failure, and that his next step must be an improvement; if he cannot find the laptop he will have to start over from scratch. Failing to find it here, he agrees to search other lab facilities where he might have left it. The campers in the vents now make their escape, but the sound of them moving through the vent alerts Hawkes and he follows them. He manages to capture Brooklynn, but she passes the laptop to Darius and Yaz first.
- Hawkes brings Brooklynn to Wu, who recognizes her from when she and the other campers toured his lab months ago. Hawkes and Reed pursue Darius and Yaz into the forest; Hawkes calls out to them to return the laptop and promises not to chase them any further, but quietly sends Reed after them upon locating them with night vision. Reed, however, closes in on the wrong pair of bodies; he stumbles into the home of two Baryonyx. Taken by surprise, he is killed. Hawkes is angered at this blunder and gives the campers an ultimatum: return the laptop, or they will never see Brooklynn again.
- Kenji, Ben, and Sammy return to the yacht, and are soon joined by Darius and Yaz. The group learns of Brooklynn’s capture and the demand for the laptop. Kenji insists on giving Hawkes and Wu what they want, but Darius is insistent that they not give the laptop to Wu since this would help him continue his dubious line of research. Ben and Yaz are more compromising, understanding that Brooklynn willingly gave herself up to stop Wu but that they must save her as well. Darius and Sammy come up with a plan to copy the laptop’s data onto a flash drive, wipe the hard drive clean, and then return it to Wu in exchange for Brooklynn before Wu learns they have meddled with it. They have less than two hours to get this done, and Kenji is reluctant to go along with the plan.
- Hawkes informs the others that Reed is dead and the campers still have the laptop. He threatens Brooklynn with implications of torture, but she remains confident that her friends will not do anything that would help Wu. Two Monolophosaurus enter the lab; Brooklynn provokes them into attacking to create a diversion and escape. Hawkes, however, leads Wu and Dawson out through the vents and captures Brooklynn before she can get far. They head toward the rendezvous point.
- The campers have begun copying the laptop’s contents onto a flash drive. It is slow going, and Kenji is increasingly doubtful that the ruse will work. Darius schemes a plan to rescue Brooklynn while making the laptop exchange.
- While trekking to the rendezvous point, Wu remains sure that the campers will return the laptop and assures Brooklynn that she will be returned to her friends safely when that happens. Brooklynn is still just as sure that the others will not give Wu the laptop. While crossing a flooded stream on a wet log, Dawson’s heavy pack causes him to slip and fall into the raging water. He is washed downstream. Wu and Brooklynn are aghast that Hawkes is not going to mount a rescue.
- At camp, the laptop is fully copied onto the flash drive. Yaz begins the wipe, which she estimates will take about an hour. Kenji is increasingly agonizing over Brooklynn’s safety, but Ben reassures him that their plan will succeed and goes to rally support from the area’s Ankylosaurus herd. He had previously reared a young ankylosaur named Bumpy, a reject from Wu’s lab, and recently acclimated her into the wild, but knows he can still get her to help him create a diversion.
- After encountering a genetically-modified bioluminescent Parasaurolophus, Wu explains that there is beauty in his creations. While discussing this, Brooklynn reveals the campers’ conflict with the escaped Scorpios rex, including the fact that it had produced parthenogenetic offspring. Hawkes scares off the parasaur with a gunshot and they continue toward the rendezvous point.
- Kenji abandons the plan, unwilling to risk losing Brooklynn. He leaves the flash drive, but takes the laptop to give to Wu. Sammy, Darius, and Yaz discover that Kenji is gone and pursue him, realizing that he has given up on their plan and is going to give Wu the hybrid data.
- Ben and Bumpy watch the operation from a position above the valley, unaware of Kenji taking matters into his own hands. Wu, Hawkes, and Brooklynn approach the helicopter, and Kenji arrives to make the exchange. Ben assumes that the plan simply changed. While Kenji gives the laptop to Wu, Hawkes reneges on his promise to return Brooklynn and drags her to the helicopter; at the same time, Bumpy causes the ankylosaur herd to charge the valley. Kenji fights Hawkes but is bested by the older and stronger man, but the stampede allows Brooklynn to break free and escape. Sammy, Darius, and Yaz arrive as well; Wu drops the laptop in the chaos while he tries to get in the helicopter, and Sammy obtains it. Hawkes tries to retrieve the laptop, and Sammy throws it to him, but she was actually aiming for the head of one of the ankylosaurs. Hawkes is forced to dive out of the way, and the laptop is destroyed by the dinosaur’s horns. Wu and Hawkes board the helicopter and fly out of the stampede while the campers are led to safety by Darius.
- Wu is angry with Hawkes about losing his years’ worth of research, but then hears from Air One that the retrieval of Indominus DNA was successful; the storm has cleared and communications are back online. Not all is lost, and he is willing to accept the laptop’s loss since the DNA provides essentially the same data. Hawkes, on the other hand, is vengeful, and dives the helicopter at the campers despite Wu’s protests. The campers dodge the helicopter, and Hawkes is forced to pull up. He and Wu leave the island.
- The campers bid farewell to Bumpy.
- Darius tries to ensure things are well between him and Kenji, but Kenji is still angry that Darius was willing to risk Brooklynn’s life to stop Wu. The campers head back to the private pier.
- Now that the storm is over, the yacht can safely leave Isla Nublar. The campers pull away from the island, circling around it to head eastward toward Costa Rica.
This incident chiefly resulted in two major outcomes: the creation of the Indoraptor and the release of the Mosasaurus into the Pacific Ocean. With a sample of Indominus DNA back in his possession, Henry Wu was able to continue his hybridization research; two years later, he would have successfully created an Indoraptor by increasing the proportion of Velociraptor DNA in the Indominus genome. While this genus never made it past the prototype stage, Wu’s intent was to build off of the discoveries made in InGen’s I.B.R.I.S. project to better understand and thus manipulate the Indoraptor‘s behavior. In preparation for this next generation of Indoraptor, Wu requested that Mills also retrieve the most empathic (and only surviving) I.B.R.I.S. Velociraptor, a specimen named Blue, two years after the 2016 incident. This operation in 2018 was a part of a greater dinosaur-extraction project orchestrated by Mills and mercenary leader Ken Wheatley which was intended to fund further Indoraptor development.
The release of the Mosasaurus was an unintended result of this operation, but thus far has had relatively little impact on the wider world. The Lagoon’s gates were stalled at 54% closed when the wireless connection between Land One’s tablet and the Jurassic World controls was lost; this allowed marine life to travel in and out of the Lagoon via the outflow canal system. The mosasaur had not been provided food in six months, so its only food sources would have been animals it was able to catch from the water. As a security fence had been raised up around the edge of Main Street sometime between the fight with the Indominus and the park’s abandonment, the area from which it could hunt was restricted further; it was likely starving by June 2016 and so immediately took advantage of the opportunity to venture forth into the ocean. Since then, the mosasaur has been sighted throughout the Pacific, where it has posed a threat to human and animal life. However, as it is only one animal, there is only so much damage it can do.
Six survivors from the events of 2015, the members of Camp Cretaceous, left Isla Nublar shortly after this incident and headed toward home. However, contrary to official news reports, they did not get to Costa Rica right away, instead making an unintended detour on Mantah Corp Island to the southeast of Isla Nublar. This led to a second, mostly unrelated incident a few days after the events on Isla Nublar.