The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (pictured below) unraveled an elaborate hoax yesterday. Kristoffer Clausen, who'd based a blog, best-selling book, and television documentaries on a one-year bare-bones survival expedition that he launched in 2009 in the forest outside Sognefjorden in central Norway, admitted that, well, he hadn't actually lived in the wild the whole time after all. Instead, he spent much of his time living in a Swedish hotel and visiting his sick father, going on only two short hunting trips to Sweden and staying in a Swedish cabin for a spell. Clausen apologized this week on his blog under the headline, "Sorry, I've Been an Idiot!" Hundreds of comments followed.
Clausen has become one of Norway's most famous survival experts based on his alleged expedition. His book, A Wild Man: 365 Days as Hunter, Fisherman and Gatherer made a lot of money for him and his Norwegian publisher, Cappelen Damm. "Clausen puts out for 365 days in the wilderness without food," a book description on Clausen's site reads."But he has guns and fishing tackle, and he will survive on wild game, fish, berries and mushrooms. Can he do it?"
Clausen also maintained a blog in which he described a reindeer hunt during the winter of 2009 that now appears to have been fabricated. Clausen wrote most of the blog "while in his car, rather than lying prone by his open fire as his blog claimed," Sweden's The Local explains.
Clausen also worked on a documentary about his experience. Here's the English-subtitled trailer from his site showing Clausen killing and eating a deer:
Clausen's website doesn't just hawk his book and DVDs. It's also a clearinghouse from outdoor sporting equipment. He also has a YouTube channel filled with hunting videos.
According to Views and News from Norway, Norwegian news outlets like Dagens Næringsliv have been apologizing to readers for being duped, while TV2, ran Clausen's documentary, expressed surprise. "We haven't exactly been able to run around in the woods to be sure where Clausen was," Alex Iversen of TV2 told Dagbladet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.