Please tell me if they are terrible ideas or have been done before.
Idea 1:(Philosophical zombies) Upon exposure to an object, neurological activity in the brain of people and animals stop (confirmed by EEG), but they are otherwise indistinguishable from alive people by behavior, non-brain cell activity, apparent memory, apparent reaction to memetics, starve/stab them and they "die", they deny they are dead, et cetera. The foundation doesn't know whether they really are brain-dead corpses that just happen to do all the things they would do if alive and their bodies are controlled by the object or the object just stops observation of brain activity. Obviously not my idea.
Idea 2: Upon exposure to an object, people are convinced that some aspect of the world is fiction (i.e. think that reality is a book/game/movie), and people exposed have changed memories to reflect this. Exposed people have hallucinations which support their delusions. I would imply that people who browse and contribute to this website are actually researchers accidentally exposed. Would this be too much like cliché number 6 ("Things what make you go nuts for no apparent reason.")?
Idea 3 (Attrition): A particular area (sphere that intersects with the ground?) seems to be the site of an ongoing WWI trench warfare engagement, which is not limited to that area (unobservable artillery, reinforcements and supplies come in regularly from the "edge" etc.). Soldiers within will interact with people outside of the boundary but think that everyone is also a combatant. Casualties from the battle come back as reinforcements, and can remember their deaths and life but do not remember their life before the battle. People that go into the area will not be able to leave, and will have the same reincarnation as the others in the anomaly (and upon coming back to life will be appropriately equipped).People who go into the area are treated as reinforcements by the soldiers regardless of their fitness for duty or equipment, and languages can be learned by going into the anomalous area. The lines have shifted forward and back over time, new tunnels are dug/collapsed, etc but the technology and tactics are static over the years the foundation has had it.