'Mystery films’ from 1980 to be shown in Norway

The Local Norway
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'Mystery films’ from 1980 to be shown in Norway
The 1980 delivery went unclaimed. Photo: Kjell-Erik Ruud/Instagram

An American man sent a box containing three rolls of film to himself at a hotel in Western Norway in September 1980 but never claimed the package. On Tuesday, the mysterious films will be shown, although no one knows what to expect.


In 1980, an American by the name of David Jon Long from the state of Wisconsin sent a package containing three films to Hotel Jarl in Voss. The shipment was addressed to himself but he never showed up to claim it.
The package was set aside and as the years went by, it remained unclaimed in the hotel’s basement. 
When Hotel Jarl went bankrupt a few years ago, local artist Kjell-Erik Ruud perused the property for furniture and stumbled across the old box containing the three reels of 16mm film. After trying unsuccessfully to track Long down for years, Ruud has now decided to show the films on Tuesday in a public screening – without knowing much of anything about their content. 
“I want to show these films unseen. I don't want to know what's on them, that will ruin the fun,” Ruud told broadcaster NRK. 
Ruud has an idea of what one of the reels might contain because it has the title ‘Spirit of the West’ written on it, but the rest will remain a mystery until he hits play in front of an audience of around 60 people.
“I'm guessing it's about Norwegian nature, skiing or extreme winter sports, which is huge in the Voss area,” Ruud said. 
Ruud posted a photo of the original package – which shows a postmark of September 13, 1980 out of Madison, Wisconsin – on Instagram last week in hopes of getting some leads on the films' contents or David Jon Long’s whereabouts. 
Following the Instagram post and NRK’s coverage of the mysterious package, Ruud has received some tips about the mysterious Long, including that he might now live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 
“I contacted the local newspaper there, but so far I haven’t had a response,” Ruud told TV2 on Sunday. 
After resisting the urge to watch the film reels for the last two years, Ruud will show them on Tuesday at an art gallery in central Voss. What the audience will see is anybody's guess.
“The worst-case scenario is that the footage is pornographic. But I don't find that likely at all,” Ruud told NRK. 
He predicts the mystery will have a much somewhat anticlimactic ending. 
“It could be a private film, for example a family celebrating Christmas. I think most of it is a skiing film,” he told TV2. 



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