When a woman traveling along a bike path beside the Susquehanna River in Lycoming County on Thursday afternoon saw what she presumed was a corpse floating belly-up in the water, she quickly dialed 911 to report the grisly discover.
Police and forensic workers rushed to the scene. They saw the man, dressed in a life jacket but floating lifelessly in the river, and also believed he was dead.
"He was bobbing up and down in the water and he really looked like he was dead," Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Keissling Jr. told
the Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Authorities prepared to cordon off what they believed could be a drowning or even a crime scene. But just then, the 'corpse' shocked everyone by sitting up, looking around, getting up and walking out of the river.
This was no 'zombie attack.'
It turns out that Joseph DeAngelo was just relaxing by enjoying a brief nap as he floated peacefully-- a little too peacefully, it appears-- down the Susquehanna.
"I was on my back, looking up at the sky," he told the Sun-Gazette
. "It was just like being on a cloud."
"I didn't mean to worry anyone," he added. "It's nice and quiet, very peaceful, especially on a summer day like this, just to float and forget your troubles."
"We were sure he had expired," Keissling said, "but I guess he just fell asleep in the water."
"Let me tell you, it was quite a shock for us. This is the first time I've ever gotten to the scene and the person ended up being alive."
This isn't the most outrageous 'back from the dead' story to make headlines in recent years.
In March, 95-year-old Liu Xiufeng
of Beiliu, China sat up in her coffin after being 'dead' for nearly a week.
But these stories don't always have happy endings. In June, Kelvin Santos
, a two-year-old Brazilian boy, sat up in his coffin during his own funeral, asked his father for a drink of water, and then laid down dead-- permanently this time.