Michael Boatwright forgets everything about himself, only speaks Swedish

Boatwright knows nothing about his past and now only speaks Swedish. Photo: CNN

Imagine falling asleep thinking you were yourself, then waking up the next day and forgetting everything you knew about that person. That's exactly what doctors think happened to an Navy veteran in Southern California.

What makes things even more complicated is that Michael Boatwright now only speaks Swedish.

Four months ago, police say they found Boatwright unconscious inside a Motel 6. He was taken to a Palm Springs-area hospital, where when he came to he had never heard of Michael Boatwright.

Instead, he told doctors that his name was Johan Ek. He had completely forgotten his entire past.

"Walk in my shoes for one day and you'll experience the nightmare of a lifetime," he told the Desert Sun.

Doctors believe that Boatwright is in something called a fugue state, a psychiatric disorder that's characterized by reversible amnesia. Trauma is usually the reason for the rare disorder, which can happen after stressful events, family deaths or major accidents.

It turns out that Boatwright has ties to Sweden after all, though. Doctors say that they discovered he had lived in the Scandinavian country in 1980s while running a consulting company too. He spent time teaching English in China as well.

Authorities believe Boatwright's current occupation was a tennis coach, judging by the five tennis rackets he had in his possession when he was found and his arrival in Southern California at the height of tournament season.