When 3-year-old Casey Hathaway was found by rescuers last week after two nights lost in the freezing cold woods of North Carolina, he had a very simple explanation to give as to how he survived: A bear helped him. As his aunty, Breanna Hathaway, posted to Facebook: “Casey is healthy, smiling, and talking. He said he hung out with a bear for two days God sent him a friend to keep him safe. God is a good God. Miracles do happen.

While obviously extremely cool if true, this seems unlikely. As bear researcher Chris Servheen from the University of Montana unambiguously told The Guardian, “I’ve never known such a thing to happen, bears don’t do that.” We can all agree that it is surely miraculous that little Casey survived, but we must also all agree that it is pretty unlikely that it was the friendship of a bear that allowed him to survive. Luckily, there is a very simple, very plausible explanation for how he managed to survive: Bigfoot.

The canny enthusiasts of the Bigfoot community don’t miss a trick, and very quickly ascertained that this story about a magical bear was actually probably a story about the world’s most famous wood-ape. From the website of paranormal radio show Spaced Out Radio:

Casey said he spent two days hanging out with a bear. A bear! For the record, bears hibernate in the cold months of winter, and there are no reports available of bears coming out of hibernation to tend lost children. However, also on record, are many reports of Bigfoot helping lost children. The compilations of Bigfoot stories include myriad experiences where Bigfoot intervened in a lost child’s plight, and helped him survive.

So did Casey Hathaway spend two days with a bear, or did he spend two days with a Bigfoot? Could this big, furry creature, who many believe is just mythical, have cared for, and kept alive for two days in freezing, inclimate weather, a three year old toddler, who wandered off, and got himself into a perilous situation? Some may doubt such a thing; however, in the light of what we know about bears in winter, and Bigfoot’s documented interaction with other children, I am going with Bigfoot. 

In their most recent episode, the cryptozoological experts at Bigfoot Outlaw Radio made similar speculations that it was more likely that Bigfoot had intervened in this matter:

In the comments, YouTube user gearhead996 agreed:

I live near this area. It was extremely cold those days. He said that a “purple bear” was with him. It’s a very isolated part of eastern NC. Very easy for a “purple bear” to stay hidden. My wife said he probably got lost and was found by a Sasquatch. The Sasquatch had to retreat when the area was heavily searched. The boy was then dropped off near some crossroads that had previously been gone through.

Similarly, Sasquatch news site Squatchable, which records reported Bigfoot sightings, posted a video suggesting that Bigfoot(s) is/are known to rescue children, and this could well be the case this time:

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), which is arguably the biggest player in the Bigfoot scene, has yet to weigh in on this issue.

Image: Discovering Bigfoot