Sealed for 99 years and 363 days - so what was inside the mysterious parcel left to a small town in Norway?

 

For 99 years, 363 days, two World Wars and doubtless more than a couple of moments of temptation - the people of the small town of Otta in Norway have resisted opening a mysterious package bearing the inscription, “Kan aabnes i 2012” - “Can open in 2012.”

Just the simple inscription, the thick paper, a few pieces of string and a red wax seal have kept the contents from prying eyes, but today the people of Otta finally discovered the secrets of a parcel that was delivered more than 100 years ago.

The package was sealed in 1912 by the then municipality’s mayor, Johan Nygaard, and aside from a couple of occasions when it was nearly misplaced the package has remained largely undisturbed.

Until today that is.

In a small ceremony -  held during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Kringen - the package was opened.  And it's fair to say the results were a little disappointing.

It contained some letters from the United States and discussion of finances for a Kringen memorial, along with some newspapers.

Although experts are still analysing what was contained in the parcel it seems safe to say there was nothing to justify the extraordinary hype surrounding the event, which saw it covered by news outlets worldwide.

Testament perhaps to the universal fascination an unopened 100-year-old-parcel can provoke.

Earlier, in a video published by Verdens Gang, a Norwegian news outlet, the mayor of Otta, Dag Erik Pryhn, was appropriately pragmatic about the possible contents: “I don’t sit here with expectations that the world will be turned on its head because of the contents of the package.”

However he also had refused to rule out the possibility of there being “something sensational that will give us a proper "'a-ha' experience.”

Sadly the 'a-ha experience' wasn't to be.

The mysterious package was 28 centimeters wide, 40 centimetres long, and nine centimeters deep and according to reports in the Norwegian press it weighed around 3kg.

Prior to its opening it was suggested that its contents could relate to The Battle of Kringen in 1612. 

The Battle of Kringen was between a Norwegian peasant militia, made up of farmers, and a band of Scottish mercenary soldiers travelling to enlist with the Swedish during a war between them and the Danish-Norwegian army.

Experts thought the fact the package was sealed on the 300th anniversary of the battle suggested it could contain historical documents relating to Norwegian history.

In the end, however, the results were significantly less interesting.

As one commentator on the English language Norwegian news website 'The Local' put it:

"Nobody actually said the words "mortifying disappointment", but they have decided to leave the paper-filled package and switch to the rest of the evening’s entertainment."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...