What happened with mystery package in Florida that made one person ill?

Orlando postal worker says mysterious package from Yemen made him ill

A postal worker says a mysterious leaking package from Yemen has left him seriously ill, and while some of his colleagues confirm his account of what happened at an Orlando sorting facility 15 months ago, the U.S. Postal Service denies the package ever existed.

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, in a story printed in Sunday’s Miami Herald and The Ledger of Lakeland, reported that Jeffrey A. Lill suffers from extreme fatigue, tremors, and liver and neurological problems consistent with toxic exposure, problems that he says began after he handled the leaking package on Feb. 4, 2011.

The center tracked down co-workers who say they saw and smelled the package and that Lill, now 44, acted to protect them. The missing package has created a mystery — and finding it, if it existed, could be the key to curing Lill and determining whether it contained a chemical weapon.

USPS denies that Lill was exposed to a potentially toxic package.

Tip: Strange Times

It began with a reports of an odor, one woman who said “I can’t breathe,” then Lill experienced the same.

The USPS denies a spill was reported but the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting obtained a time-stamped email Lill sent to his supervisor, Cynthia Hickman, reporting the exposure to a potentially toxic substance that day. Something is definitely weird here.

While this has some characteristics of a collective behavior response (mass psychogenic response), there is some evidence to suggest something happened. Also, there should be some documentation — Wouldn’t there be a customs receipt? Would a bomb necessarily leak? Why would you not post a more serious alarm other than calling supervisors? What was related upon finding the package does not seem to be a proper response to a perceived bomb.

Regarding his illness – what possible chemicals COULD make him sick if he did receive exposure. Is this some stress response? Many mysteries.

UPDATE: (15-May-2012) The Occupational Safety and Health Admin is opening an investigation which could take weeks to a few months.

  3 comments for “What happened with mystery package in Florida that made one person ill?

  1. Fastmover01
    May 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    As I have some experience working (4 years ago) in Customs here in Orlando, out of the numerous local reports on this I have not read 1 that stated that authorities were ever called to inspect this package for a possible threat. USPS has never ducked any remotely suspicious package that could cause harm. And even if the supervisor had brushed this package off I would often get employees asking me about packages that were reported. So the authorities would have found out one way or another. Also if you are on the floor and you think you are exposed to something why would you send an email, rather than going to someone and asking for help with this. Weird doesn’t begin to describe this.

  2. May 14, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Good points. That does not seem to be proper protocol AT ALL.

  3. Tribeca Mike
    May 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Good points indeed. I happen to be visiting my brother-in-law, who is a retired postal worker, and just mentioned your comment to him. He replied that this story sounds very fishy, even, as he put it, taking into consideration what he knows about the USPS’s “lousy management.”

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