A hospital ward in Oregon has been quarantined after 5 people fall ill with mysterious hallucinations

An emergency room in Oregon has been quarantined after five people started experiencing hallucinations that appear to have been spread via touch.

The unidentified condition was first reported at around 3am last Wednesday, when a 54-year-old caregiver in North Bend Oregon phoned police complaining about seven or eight people trying to “take the roof off her vehicle”.

Police investigated her house and couldn’t find any evidence of the crime, but when the caregiver called about the incident again a few hours later, two Sheriff’s deputies escorted her to the nearby Bay Area hospital to be examined for symptoms of hallucinations.

The woman was declared healthy and sent home, but pretty soon, one of the deputies who’d helped out with the case started hallucinating himself.

And then the second deputy, a hospital worker, and the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient also began hallucinating, and were admitted to hospital.

All four had been in physical contact with the caregiver.

A Haz Mat team was deployed to both the hospital and the caregiver’s residence, while the emergency room was emptied and quarantined to check for the source of the unidentified illness. Experts have so far been unable to locate a common source of contamination.

Blood tests of the affected patients also haven’t turned up anything unusual.

Initially, police though that the hallucinations could have been caused by narcotic fentanyl patches, which are prescribed for chronic pain, and were worn by the caregiver’s 78-year-old patient.

But they’ve since ruled that explanation out.

“Investigation has found that all those patches and potential medications that may have caused the symptoms have been accounted for,” Coos County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Patrick Downing told KVAL News.

“The vehicles, equipment, and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.”

All patients have now been treated, released home, and have reportedly recovered – although the hospital worker is displaying some flu-like symptoms. The quarantine has also been lifted from the hospital.

But the investigation into the source of the hallucinations is ongoing, with police saying that the only thing they suspect for sure is that the illness was spread by direct contact.

However, it’s not yet been ruled out that this isn’t a case of mass hysteria – where many people in contact with each other all start to think they’re suffering from the same physical condition, symptoms, or threat. It’s possible that all these people who came in contact with the caregiver became so anxious that they also started hallucinating.

This is not the first time a mysterious illness has swept through a group of people, either – last year, dozens of children started fainting during a Remembrance Day ceremony in the UK. In that case, the suspected cause appears to have been a simple been a case of heating and widespread panic about children becoming ill.


Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Benny the mystery philanthropist hides $100 bills. So far, he’s given away more than $55,000.

It happened two summers ago, as Joe Robinson was marking down the prices on the pots he was selling at a fine arts festival in Oregon.

“I pick pots up by the rim, flip them upside down, see if the price looks right, maybe cross it out, put something else,” Robinson told The Washington Post on Friday.

Regular, everyday stuff, you know? On that day in 2014, though, he picked up a pot that had an imprint of a fern on it.

He flipped it over.

And as he did, out dropped a $100 bill, upon which a name was written: “Benny.”

“It was a brand-new, crisp $100 bill that had obviously never been in circulation,” Robinson said. “So that mark was pretty obvious on it.”

Robinson figured it was some kind of mistake. Maybe someone dropped it by accident when they were making a purchase earlier in the day.

Because you don’t just find a hundred bucks, right?

But remember that name on the bill? It indicates the money came from a person known simply as Benny — a mysterious philanthropist who has anonymously hidden hundreds of $100 bills over the past few years.

And the people Robinson spoke with after finding the cash knew all about it.

“Everyone had some kind of a story,” Robinson said. “And so I guess it’s his thing to do crisp, brand-new bills.”

“Benny” hides those $100 bills all over the place in Salem, Ore., and the surrounding area, reports have indicated. They have been discovered in the pockets of clothing, in diapers, in baby wipes and in candy, Capi Lynn, a columnist for the Statesman Journal, said in an email.

“As of today, he has given away more than $55,000, and that’s only what has been reported to me,” Lynn said in an email to The Post. “I have a feeling Benny will be at it until his identity is revealed, or he can no longer do it for some reason.”

Lynn’s newspaper, in Salem, Ore., tracks the Benny finds; she gave him the nickname (Get it? As in Benjamin Franklin?), and first wrote about him in 2013 after some Cub Scouts reported finding folded $100 bills.

In the past few years, the newspaper has been able to document all sorts of stories about Benny and his gifts.

There was the girl who found a Benjamin in a pink bank purchased by her mother.

“I shook it, and it popped out of the hole,” the girl said. “My mom thought it was fake, but it was real.”

And the woman who found one with a package of cereal, right when she truly needed it.

“It just made my day,” said the woman, Tammy Tompkins. “I cried happy tears for about an hour and a half.”

The Statesman Journal reported that Tompkins’s husband had been struggling with health issues for some time when she found the money left by Benny.

“I’d just like to tell him — oh, gosh, I’m going to cry — just how much that it touched us, how much we appreciated it,” she told the Statesman Journal. “We’ve been through so much.”

In another instance, Benny’s gift was discovered by an 8-year-old boy who found the cash in a store’s toy bin. The newspaper reported that the boy and a friend who was with him would use the cash to buy toys.

But not for themselves. The plan was to donate the haul to a children’s group. What’s more: Their parents were expected to match Benny’s gift, according to the Statesman Journal.

This is a thing that happens a lot, said Lynn.

Benny, she wrote, has “launched a pay-it-forward spirit in the community.” By her estimation, more than half of those who find his $100 bills end up “paying it forward” — either to a charity of their choice, a cause dear to their heart or just to a person or family needing it.

“The people who need the money are spending it on things like groceries, gas and prescriptions,” Lynn wrote. “Those who pay it forward are spreading the cheer to a variety of local nonprofits and organizations, with food banks, animal-rescue groups and schools the top three pay-it-forward recipients. Benny finders also can be very creative with how they pay it forward. One woman keeps a box of sack lunches in her car to hand out to panhandlers, and she used her Benny to fund her mission for a time.”

Robinson had once hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and remembered one spot in particular, in Oregon.

He thought of what he wanted there during his hike — taco salad, beer, ice cream, cake. So he used the money he found to make that happen for a few lucky people on the trail.

“I just thought it would be cool to do something unexpected that would be super thrilling,” he said.

Robinson hauled slow-cooked pulled pork tacos, sheet cake, ice cream, soda, beer and whiskey out to a campground. “I think I also got some fruits and vegetables,” he said. “Some people actually want healthy food.”

Then, he said, he waited for hikers to happen by.

“It really made a few people’s day,” he said.

About nine hikers came through and benefited from Robinson’s generosity that day. By extension, they benefited from Benny’s, too.

“A lot of agape mouths,” said Robinson, who said the gesture “seemed like a fitting way to make people happy unexpectedly, like Benny did for me.”

When asked about Benny’s anonymity, Robinson said he believes that some people have figured out the mystery. They’ve seen him make the drops, he said — but they’re keeping their mouths shut.

“I think that the people that have found out have probably been touched by his motivations,” Robinson said. “It’s like, ‘Hey, I believe in this, and your secret’s safe with me.’ ”


Rancher lassos bike thief outside Oregon Wal-Mart

A rancher jumped on his horse Friday morning and lassoed a man who was trying to steal a bicycle in the parking lot of an Oregon Wal-Mart, police said.

Robert Borba was at the Eagle Point store loading dog food and a camping tent into his truck when he heard a woman screaming that someone was trying to steal her bike, the Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://goo.gl/L5PTLm).

The 28-year-old said he quickly got his horse, Long John, out of its trailer. He grabbed a rope, rode over to the man who was reportedly struggling with the bike gears and attempting to flee on foot. Borba lassoed the man around the legs and when he dropped, Borba dragged him to one end of the parking lot.

“I seen this fella trying to get up to speed on a bicycle,” Borba told the Tribune. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot. I just don’t run very fast.”

Borba said the man tried to grab a tree and get away, but he kept the rope tight and the man in place.

“I use a rope every day, that’s how I make my living,” Borba said. “If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good.”

Eagle Point police Sgt. Darin May said officers arrived and found the lassoed man and bike on the ground in the parking lot.

“We’ve never had anyone lassoed and held until we got there,” May said. “That’s a first for me.”

Police arrested Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, whom they described as a transient from the Seattle area, on a theft charge.

Arellano-Sanchez is jailed in Jackson County. Staff members at the jail say they don’t think he has an attorney.