Richard Jessee says he was riding his ATV with a trailer attached to it to it in Nome last week when he says the bear ‘came out of nowhere’, picked it up like ‘a toy’ and tossed it.
He was on his way to mine for gold in the region, as he does every summer.
He said: ‘The bear came out of nowhere. It rolled my bike and the trailer over like it was a toy car.’
He claims that the ATV sank in the river, taking his cell phone with it, leaving him alone in the wilderness to fight off the bear.
Richard Jessee says he was riding his ATV with a trailer attached to it to it in Nome last week when he says the bear ‘came out of nowhere’, picked it up like ‘a toy’ and tossed it
He fired a shot from his pistol to scare the bear then escaped to his cabin where for four days, he cowered while the bear ‘stalked’ him.
He got the roof to make a plywood SOS sign which, miraculously, the Coast Guard noticed during an atypical pilot mission on July 16.
They took him to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries, then was released.
Coast Guard chpper spotted the man standing near a shack with the words ‘SOS’ and ‘help me’ scrawled on its tin roof.
A Coast Guard crew en route to Nome, Alaska on Friday spotted a man in a remote mining camp 40 miles from the city (pictured) waving both of his arms in a plea for help
‘There was no doubt about it: the bear was trying to get into my cabin. I don’t know why it was so aggressive. Maybe it had cubs nearby,’ he said.
Lieutenant Commander Jared Carbajal was piloting a helicopter for a mission near Nome when he had to take a different route because of the weather.
He said: ‘We were flying near a lot of old mining sites, and my copilot noticed a guy waving at us. He was waving two hands over his head, and that’s usually sign of distress, so we turned to fly over to check it out and make sure he was okay. As we came up, we noticed on top of his roof, he had painted “SOS HELP ME.”
They flew him to a hospital where James West Jr., chief of Nome Emergency Services, was waiting.
In an interview with DailyMail.com on Friday, he said: ‘He was carrying a revolver on his side, and I told him, “You’re going to have to remove your revolver.”
‘And he replied, “No, I’m not.’”
Jesse explained to him that he used that gun to shoot at the bear, after it knocked him off his bike then pounced on him.
‘He had some bruising on his knee, and he was complaining of possible broken ribs, but nothing major.
‘There were no bite marks or anything like that. He was mostly just shaken up. And he said, “Well, yeah, I’m a lucky man, I got a shot off.” He didn’t know if he’d hit the bear or not, but he was able to get away.’
This is the patch of Alaska where he was found – it is in the westernmost part of the state, near Russia
‘I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse. I had one friend of mine get mauled and lose a major portion of his face a few years ago. Any time you have a bear mauling, it’s usually bad. I expect the worst.’
Jesse’s greatest concern was that he’d left his mining gear at the cabin, and was anxious to retrieve them after his hospital stay.
‘He was more worried about his stuff, which he left out in the open. That’s all he had to his name at that point.’
West has known Jesse for years. They’d occasionally see each other at the local Polar Café in Nome, where locals would gather for coffee before heading off to work. Jesse would frequently return to Nome to get supplies for his gold mining activities out in the wilderness.
‘Just out of the blue, he’d pop into the cafe and we’d chit-chat. We’d sit at what we call the ‘bullsh*t table,’ where we’d solve all the world’s problems.’
West described Jesse as ‘rough looking’ guy with a white beard and ponytail, ‘who looked like a Hells Angel.’