When Oisten fooled the world with “sea snake” in Seljord – NRK Vestfold and Telemark – Local news, TV and radio

When Oisten fooled the world with “sea snake” in Seljord – NRK Vestfold and Telemark – Local news, TV and radio

For a long time there was complete silence about what actually happened in June 1983.

For 13 years, no one knew who released the “sea snake” on Celljordsvatnet in Telemark.

In the latest season of the NRK podcast “Mysteries from Norway”, a separate episode has been made about it. earthworm.

New pages of the story emerge there.

Inexplicable waves

For 270 years, a worm-like creature has been seen in Seljordsvatnet.

No answer to the puzzle, easy with the mini submarine and sonar.

Inexplicable phenomena often occurred on hot summer days with still water.

But are there waves, old logs, otters or flocks of ducks?

Or an as yet undiscovered creature?

Former Seljord mayor John Sward was one of those who saw something he couldn’t explain.

– I don’t know what I believe. I lay down and bathed in the sun. Then the incomprehensible waves were moving in one direction. First it disappeared, then something new appeared.

Former Seljord mayor Joan Svardahl was one of those who saw something inexplicable on Seljordsvatnet. He thinks it’s a mystery.

Photo: Stian Wåsjø Simonsen / NRK

The spine was present and curled together

In the summer of 1983, the entire Seljord turned upside down.

A married couple on a picnic with their young son stopped to swim at Seljordsvatnet.

They went out to a headland about 500 meters from the center of Seljord.

Harald Foss walked around the water’s edge where there were sticks and shrimps. A swarm of flies circling furiously.

Suddenly he felt a foul smell.

Because among the trash and debris on the beach there was also yellow. One that is coiled together with the spine.

Meat and ribs stick out.

– Here is a sea serpent, granted, said Harald.

Something close to four meters long and 20 centimeters wide was peeled and dry. Clearly a dead animal absent from Seljord’s fauna.

Pythons were not found in those areas, and it had much larger dimensions than bollworms and vipers.

And had heard many stories about sea snakes on seljordsvatnet.

His wife Mari, who is so afraid of worms that she can’t bear to see pictures of worms even once, panics.

– I was scared. It was disgusting.

In a place known for centuries of sea serpent myths and sightings, what exactly is one to do when one sees something large and serpentine?

They were Halvor J., a local sea snake expert in Seljord. Calling Sandstallen, they set off as fast as they could.

When they got home, there was total chaos. Sandsdalen hid the body in his shed and informed the media.

“Of course it’s a sea snake.”

Journalists and photographers flew into the village.

Media from around the world waited, hoping that the sea serpent had finally been found.

Facsimile of notice of discovery dated 20 June 1983 at Cairns "Sea snake" In Seljord

The lake was full of people. Everyone wanted to see the world’s consciousness, but few were allowed.

Among the lucky ones was a band and a bus with pensioners.

NRK Dagsrevyen chartered seaplanes and had a zoologist with them.

The discovery of what could be a sea serpent on Seljordsvatnet has brought media from around the world to the small village.

The zoologist determined it was a boa constrictor, a rattlesnake. And it is peeled and split professionally.

The wind went out of the world consciousness. The disappointment was total – and Seljort was modest in prime time.

Headlines now: “Sea Serpent Fluff!” “The secret of Seljordsvatnet is as secret as the sea serpent was a strangler”. “Who’s the Mockingbird?”.

– I don’t know if someone sits nearby and stops the animals, it’s very unusual, the zoologist added.

And many more years of keeping his mouth shut.

Accused of stupidity

The focus was now on the married couple – and people were outraged.

Harald was accused of abuse and received a lot of abuse.

– We were accused of fraud and fraud, and it is not pleasant to be with newspapers and TV for a long time in the midst of such a media mess, says Mari.

Discovered by Mia and Harald Fosse "Sea snake"

Marie and Harald Foss will never forget the day they discovered the “Sea Serpent.”

Photo: Stian Wåsjø Simonsen / NRK

Undoubtedly, they ended up in the middle of a stunt that turned out to be much bigger than the prankster could have imagined.

Because the “sea serpent” was discovered by the “wrong” married couple.

But more on that later.

Found in tiger python

We turn back time. Because before Jok could think of a joke, a tiger python was found at the biological institute in Oslo.

The snake, which was almost five meters long, had to be skinned. They’re going to keep the skull, but not necessarily the body.

Østein Bernhard Mobråten looked at the creature lying before him on the table.

– It was like something from another world, soft, alien. I couldn’t throw it in a container. That is sacrifice.

Øystein Bernhard Mobråten, Norwegian sculptor, draftsman and taxidermist

Øystein Bernhard Mobråten is a taxidermist, sculptor and artist from Kongsberg. He will never forget the prank gone wrong.

Photo: Anlaug Bergan Johansen

The choked tube weighs more than 42 kg and is slippery. He rolled it up and put it in a sack.

One Friday evening, he threw the big beast in the back of the car and drove to Seljord.

It was dark and tall grass, and he couldn’t see his feet in front of him. He pulled the snake halfway and took it to Seljordsvatnet.

– I clung to this thick corpse, but I could not hold it well. Stop and take care not to catch your breath.

He was allowed to throw it into the water and build stones around the place where the head was.

– I saw this long white creature that caught movements in the water. It was like being alive.

Going on a “love boat trip”.

At Kongsberg, Arnfinn Brekke was ready for action.

Mobraton made a map and gave it to his partner.

The plan is for Brake and his wife to go on a “love boat” in Seljord that weekend and accidentally find a “sea snake”.

Brekke was the manager of Lågendalsmuseet and saw an opportunity for some PR.

But on Monday, Brekke called his friend and said that unfortunately they were prevented from going to Seljord.

Before they could think about trying again, the newscaster came on the radio with more news: a seal earthworm had been found in Seljordsvatnet.

Another pair found a snake.

Not thinking about the consequences

– I’m not laughing. Half paralyzed, but saw the humor in it.

Mobraton found that the zoologist on the radio got it right with the species identification – because a tiger python could not be told from a boa constrictor when the skin and skull were removed.

But suddenly he was worried that the truth might come out. He had two confidants, otherwise no one would know about it.

– I ended up with something I could never have imagined the consequences of.

Mobråten decided to lay low.

Selljordsvatnet

Seljordsvatnet is big and dark and 150 meters deep

Photo: Stian Wåsjø Simonsen / NRK

Pre talk

13 years later, in 1996, just before the opening of the art gallery in Seljord.

Mobraton, who was a draftsman and sculptor, had a sculpture and was working on a drawing that he wanted to include in the exhibition.

Øystein Bernhard Mobråten, Norwegian sculptor, draftsman and taxidermist

Øystein Mobråten in front of “Archaic Landscape” depicting Sadajuvet in Vallara, which flows into Seljordsvatnet. He thinks that maybe every 10 years the sea snake swims up to Vallarai and Sadajuvet to lay an egg.

Photo: Anlaug Bergan Johansen

In another room, two boys arranged a room for sea serpent art.

– Mobraden said you did not take care of the skeleton of a sea snake found 13 years ago in Seljordsvatnet.

They replied that it will go. An analyst said:

Mobraton countered that it was a tiger python.

No, the guys thought he couldn’t know anything about it.

– Yes, because I posted it, he immediately regretted it.

The guys burst in and demanded to be told the story. The exhibition needed advertising.

– You must not show yourself on Seljord

Again, sea snake expert Halvor J. Contacted Sandstallon.

– Do you remember the sea snake found on Seljordsvatnet? People from the SEAL exhibition said it was the man who put in this choke hose.

– You mustn’t show yourself in Seljord now, or you can, but you’ll be shot, Sandstallen is said to have said.

The reporter who was there broadcast everything on the radio in Telemark.

Later that year, the pranksters met the “unfortunate” couple in the studio.

Mobraden kept the skin off the choke hose, and the situation was good.

The iconic sea serpent story “På’n gijn” aired in prime time with Tande-P and Hilde Hummelvoll:

Pranksters Øystein Bernhard Mobråten and Arnfinn Brekke meet the Foss couple who have discovered the choke snake (sea snake).

Fear of worms is cured

Now what – 40 years?

Do the Foss couple believe there is a never-before-discovered sea snake on Seljordsvatnet?

– I think there are a lot of good fish out there, but I don’t know anything. I’m not worried about swimming in Seljordsvatnet and I’m also free from fear. Mari says she is no longer afraid of worms.

Her husband Harald is keeping the option open.

– They’ve noticed a lot over the years that might actually be such a creature. One does not know everything about nature.

And rock maker Østein Mobråten, does he believe in the sea serpent in Seljordsvatnet?

– Yes! I am doing.


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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

"Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru."

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