This March 61-year-old Michael Boatwright, a Florida-born Navy veteran, was found unconscious in a Motel 6 in Palm Springs, California. He was carrying a passport, veteran’s medical card, California state ID and a social security card. But he woke up in the hospital speaking only Swedish, under the impression that his name is Johan, and he remembers nothing else about his life.
As this weren’t Bourne enough, it gets weirder: Though he was found in Palm Springs with tennis gear during the weekend of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, his bank account only has $180. He also has several Chinese bank accounts, none of which he can remember how to access—but all of them are empty, except one that has $7.
Weirder still, despite having two ex-wives and a son, no one has turned up to claim him.
As his amnesia persisted his hospital started researching Boatwright to see if they could piece together any information about his past. Though his paperwork shows his birthplace as Florida they were able to find photographs of him as a child in Sweden. Though he was twice married and has a child, the hospital has not been able to locate his next of kin despite “an extensive search.”
According to their search Boatwright has been in China over the last 14 years. “Teaching.”
Sure, Jason Bourne knew all kinds of stuff like how far he could sprint before his hands start shaking at a given altitude and all Boatwright knows is Swedish, but come on—this is as close to a real-life “Bourne Identity” story as we’re going to come across.
His doctors say he has “Transient Global Amnesia, a condition triggered by physical or emotional trauma” that can last for several months. Its symptoms include “sudden and unplanned travel,” and “possible adoption of a new identity“—which actually makes it sound kind of attractive.
Except without any cash Boatwright is running out of time. He can’t stay in the hospital forever. Sooner or later they’re going to have to turn him out on the street. Which is where Act II begins…