A mystery man once known as Michael Boatwright, was found unconscious in a Palm Springs, Calif., Motel 6 room in February. When he awoke, nothing was the same… well, at least not for him. Boatwright didn’t recognize his own reflection, he didn’t remember his name and instead of English, he spoke Swedish.
According to Boatwright’s belongings, including identification he was carrying at the time he was discovered, he was born in Florida and served in the Navy during the early 1970s. He also had a duffel bag and several tennis rackets with him.
Now, Boatwright only answers to the name Johan Ek, and he converses with doctors via translator.
A social worker assigned to his case has done enough research to find past dwellings and career information. Registered as Michael Boatwright, the former veteran worked as a 3D graphic designer and had most recently spent 14 years abroad teaching English — ten years in Japan and four years in China. Pictures within his belongings suggest he was married and had a child while teaching abroad, yet attempts to locate any of the individuals he may have known overseas have resulted in a series of disappointing dead ends. When he’s shown the pictures, he can clearly see that he is in them, yet he cannot place any details or recognize others in the photos.
Can I get a WTF!? Something like this has to be total crap, right? At least, you hope it’s total crap, because the thought of it happening to anyone is more that you can wrap your mind around. It’s terrifying.
Sadly, after months of tests, psych evaluations and conversations with a local Swedish-American and expat community in California, it seems Boatwright’s amnesia is quite real — and a source of daily agony. Everyone who is able to converse with him fluently in Swedish has suggested that his conversations are pointed, direct and clear, but he is detached from the reality we know.