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Interview with Jan-Ove Sundberg July 22, 2003

by Lois June Wickstrom

Jan-Ove Sundberg and crew on Loch Ness 2001

Diver Dick Oskarsson, Chief Technician Inge Falk, Expedition Leader Jan Sundberg, and Hydrophone Operator Goran Rajala.  2003, GUST

Lois: It's great news that your body is now free of cancer. How did you find the doctors who helped you?

Jan - The same surgical team that removed the first half of my very large tumor, which was the size of two fists held together, had to act again last February, to try and remove the other half, because it started to grow and leaned on the spinal column, which paralyzed me from my waist down.

Lois: You've mentioned 3 surgeries. Was there anything unusual about the surgeries?

Jan - I was nervous this time and even wrote my will, because I thought I was going to die on the operating table. The two surgeons tried to convince me I would survive and told me they were going to use a Swedish method called aggressive surgery. This means they cut harder, deeper and with more precision and that finally helped to remove the entire tumor. I spent another six weeks on the hospital and three weeks after I had been discharged, I met the doctors again and was told that the diagnosis had been wrong from the very beginning! The tumor was not a malign one but a benign one and today Ím expected to be fully recovered.

Lois: Did you do anything else to help your body heal?

Jan - I tried a number of things; kombucha beverage, birch sap; strong magnets; various herbs; teas; etc. and there was also many who prayed for me, mostly Americans but also others around the world and that felt very good even though Ím not that much of a Christian myself.

Lois: Are you in any rehabilitation programs? If so, please describe.

Jan - Not at the moment, no. Last Spring I was in a rehab program at the Motala City Hospital, which helped my balance get better. Today I bike 4 miles a day and walk 3 miles twice a week. The coming Autumn I will train on a gym to get my muscles back and to loose some weight.

Lois: People have been concerned that the White Witch may have cursed you. What really happened?

Jan - Kevin Carlyon was a true nuisance but not much more and the claim that he cursed me is a media hoax. He performed a ritual and threw a stone full of magic scribbling into the water, protecting Nessie from being caught by our sea serpent trap.

Lois: You mentioned that you intend to hunt for Nessie in 2005?

Jan - Yes, we will return in 2005 to see if there really is some unknown animal in the loch, which I personally think there is.

Lois: Will you try to trap a baby nessie again?

Jan - No, the trap will only be used in Norway in the future and modified to standards set by Norwegian biologist́s, who we will co-operate with next.

Lois: What do you plan for your next Nessie adventure?

Jan - In 2005 we intend to search Loch Ness with a passive sonar, to see if we can record a language between the unknown animals believed to dwell there.

Lois: You said you'll be working with a science institute in the USA. How did this collaboration get started?

Jan - They analyzed some of the Selma sounds for us and are now as convinced as we are, that there is a family of unknown creatures in Lake Seljordsvatnet.

Lois: Which scientists will you be working with?

Jan - Their company are called Fauna Communications Research Institute and they are experts on marine mammal communication but also land animals and many of their research results will soon be out on the Discovery Channel.

Lois: What is their cryptozoology experience?

Jan - Not much but their technology and experience with marine mammals will be very valuable to us, especially in Loch Ness.

Lois: Will you be looking for any other creatures in the near future?

Jan - Yes. This year and next we will search a number of Swedish lakes that are not so well known, not even to Swedes but we also have a couple of foreign projects to consider, one in the Arabian countries and one in South America.

Lois: How are you raising funds for these adventures?

Jan - Through sponsoring by kind people, who give us free room and board, boats, etc. and companies who lend us their most advanced technology. What you need to pull that off is a big mouth and a lot of confidence and I was born with both.

Lois: Do you still need funds for your recovery?

Jan - No, but thank you very much for the funds you sent me, you and all the others, many good Americans and others throughout the world. After 100 days at the hospital I had a bill of $1,000 to pay and even though that may not sound much, it was much to me because I had no money to pay with since I hadńt been working for so long. A neighbor convinced me to seek welfare money, which most people are very ashamed to do in the "wealthy" Sweden even though this is everyone's right and could be seen as a tax return, ha, ha. The welfare people were nicer to me than I thought they would be and since the tumor was something I couldńt have foreseen, they ended up paying my bill, which was great.

Lois: Have your attitudes about what you want to do with your life changed because of your long illness?

Jan - Yes. According to my friend and team mate Goran Rajala Ím nicer, more soft spoken, more patient. No one can get me to stress anymore either and at 2 PM every day I take my bike into town to sit down on a cafe and have a Cappuccino and chat with my friends for two to three hours. Ím retired because of my illness but I love every minute of it. I have a lot to do with my two websites, and Ím also writing a novel.

- When my doctor recently said it was a mystery to him that I got the tumor in the first place, I replied that this was not the case for me. It́s a long story and I might write a novel

about that too, but because of my tumor I met a girl that is the loveliest creature on the face of this earth and she has taken care of me ever since. Frida is not the only girl though, to appear in my life after my long and severe illness. After being a bachelor since 1991, when I broke up from living together for 11 years, there now seems to be women around every corner!

- Frida is nursing me in a way which must be every mańs dream. Isabelle is building me a new GUST website, using a magic wand. Lena is teaming up with us as our new chef and will be by my side on every future expedition in Sweden and maybe a few abroad as well. Niina is still taking care of my cat when Ím on expedition, lovelier than ever before. And four other girls are waiting in the Land of the Midnight Sun to get my undivided attention, isńt life fantastic?

Lois: Is there anything else you want to add about your adventures looking for mysterious creatures?

Jan - In the years to come we will concentrate our search to Lake Seljordsvatnet, Norway, where I think we have our best chance to prove a family of unknown creatures. With the right team, the right sponsors and the right agenda it́s now only a matter of time before we can prove that cryptids do exist.