Hiker Lost in Wilderness Survived by Eating Bees

He was found after 6 days on Mount St. Helens
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2018 4:20 AM CDT
Lost Mt. St. Helens Hiker Ate Berries, Bees to Survive
Matthew Matheny.   (Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)

Matthew Matheny went for what was supposed to be a brief hike on Mount St. Helens on Thursday last week—and was airlifted to a Vancouver, Wash., hospital Wednesday when search and rescue teams finally found him. The 40-year-old Warren, Ohio, resident, who was in the state visiting friends, had borrowed a buddy's Subaru Outback to go to the trail, but he became lost in the wilderness and could't find his way back to the vehicle, the Oregonian reports. The search began after Matheny was reported missing and authorities discovered the unoccupied Subaru at the entrance to the Blue Lake Trail on the side of the mountain. He was treated overnight for dehydration, but authorities say he doesn't have life-threatening injuries—and he's lucky to be alive at all.

Around 30 searchers took part in the rescue operation, which located Matheny in the general area of the trail, ABC News reports. Authorities zeroed in on a small area Tuesday using cellphone signals and a computer model that tried to predict his movements, the AP reports. His parents, who flew to the state days ago and are ecstatic that he has been found, say he apparently survived by eating berries—and by killing and eating some bees that had been chasing him. "He knew it was a tough situation," mother Linda Matheny tells the Oregonian. "But everyone who has encountered him [has] told us it's remarkable the condition he's in." She adds that she wants to "wring his neck" for his choice of hiking footwear: sandals. (Read more survival stories.)

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