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'Jerusalem Syndrome': British Hiker Missing in Israel May Be Suffering from Spiritual Delusion

01-17-2018
Oliver McAfee
Photo Credit: Arad Rescue Team via Facebook
Israeli search teams are continuing to look for a British hiker missing since November.
 
29-year-old Oliver McAfee had been cycling on the Israel National Trail near the Negev city of Mitzpe Ramon when he disappeared.
 
One theory authorities are considering in his disappearance is the 'Jerusalem Syndrome,' a psychotic mental condition triggered by a visit to the city of Jerusalem that can lead to obsessive thoughts and delusions, including the belief that one is a biblical figure.
 
Searchers have found pages torn from the Bible weighed down by rocks, handwritten scripture and references to Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. They also found what they called a "chapel," a clearing flattened by a bicycle tool, according to the London Telegraph.
 
McAfee's phone, passport and sleeping bag have not been found. 
 
Israel Police spokesperson Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld told the BBC Israeli authorities believe MacAfee is still alive.
 
"If he is still alive and we believe he is still alive, he could hopefully be out somewhere camping, drinking and possibly eating from other sources," he said.
 
Friends of Mr. McAfee have launched a Facebook page to try to find him.

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