And once again, this either happened and we are taking his word for it, or Roy Hulk-Hoganed his shirt and held a lighter to his nipples for a little bit. Either option is super weird and inexplicable in its own way. But Roy knew that if his final comeback song was going top the charts, he'd need a little more spice. He claimed to have pulled himself back to the truck, where he was met by a hungry black bear, who was interested in the fish still hanging from his line.
Despite being freshly incinerated, Roy asserted that he was able to fight the bear off and make his way to the car with his life -- and fish -- fully intact.
Somewhere along the way in telling this story, Roy also noted that this was the 22nd time he had successfully fought a bear. This is the adult version of a kid finding the limits of exactly how much they can get away with before someone puts an end to their shit. People were giving Roy the platform to spit this nonsense as absolute fact, and he thought, What the hell, I'll throw some killer bear stuff in there too and see if they run with it.
The reality is that we'll never truly know the whole story here. Roy took his record to the grave, and it has yet to be matched. It's been almost unanimously accepted in print and legend, despite the questionable lack of proof and even more incredible idea that someone was struck by lightning seven times and didn't at least tie the record for World's Deadest Man.
I would love to believe you, Roy. Your story is incredible, a wild folk tale come to life. But I cannot. Articles about Roy Sullivan like to point out that the odds of being struck by lightning seven times in your life are 4.15 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Well, I'm putting the odds that Roy was telling the truth at 4.14 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
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