If you have experienced your own, or heard about someone else’s, seemingly strange coincidence, please tell me and the readers of this site by entering it below. Thank you!
If you have experienced your own, or heard about someone else’s, seemingly strange coincidence, please tell me and the readers of this site by entering it below. Thank you!
© 2014 David J Hand
In 2012 I was doing some research for a novel. The story would hinge upon an unlikely combination of geopolitical events that might lead to the collapse of civilisation. To get to grips with the subject I bought an excellent academic book called ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond. Diamond is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has made a lifetime study of these things. After I read the book I composed an email to Jared Diamond. I wanted to explain the central conceit of my novel to see if he thought it was realistic enough to be defensible. But he’s a professor in Los Angeles and I’m a writer in England. Could I ever get through to him? I tried to guess his email address, but all my attempts failed. So I gave up and went on holiday. We were off to Indonesia to look for the world’s rarest rhinos. (If you are interested – here is the account: http://notablebrain.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-indonesia-blog-part-one-looking-for.html ) Anyway – in a remote forest in Sumatra we found ourselves staying at a tiny eco-lodge. The search for Sumatran rhinos had been tiring (and unsuccessful). But there were two other tourists at the lodge – bird watchers – so we shared a table at dinner and got to talking about birds and rhinos. One of tourists was an American. And blow me – it was Jared Diamond.
And if you think that’s a coincidence, then figure this one. My novel ‘Coincidence’ was published in the USA the same month as David Hand’s ‘The Improbability Principle.’ It tells the story of a London based professor who is making a study of coincidence (like David). The female protagonist teaches at the same university as David’s own wife. And the professor shares the same birthday as David. And I promise – I had never come across him before.
My husband’s birthday date is the 15th of July. His brother and sister are also born on the 15th of May but different years. Two of my children celebrate their birthday on the 15th.
My parents were born 9 years apart on the 26th of July. After their deaths both their property settlement date I have just been informed of is July 26th, their birthday date. What are the chances of this happening?
Thanks for sending in this story. If your husband has just one brother and one sister, the chance of them also being born on 15th (of some month) are about 1 in 900. The chance that two of your children will also be born on a 15th depends how many children you have. The chance that two married people were born on the same day of the month is likewise about 1 in 900, and the overall chance of that and that their property settlement date also falls on that day is about 1 in 2700. However, the chance that these things happen to someone is almost 1 – there are a lot of people in the world, so it’s not surprising that it happens to someone (it would be surprising if it didn’t). But this sort of thing is great fun when it happens to oneself!
Hi Sir. I have been following your lectures and I find them very interesting. I do have a good grasp of what you said. I have one incident that is actually troubling me.
My dad who runs an Audit firm met a new client. A few days later someone in his dream told him to stop having contacts with this particular client. Afterwards, my dad never heard from this client. A few months later my dad got to know that he was in jail. My dad is very convinced that the dream he had was purely divine. But how does probabily explain this ?
It is possible that something about the client made your dad slightly anxious or uncertain when they met, and this concern manifested itself in the dream. And if the concern was justified, that would explain the jail and not hearing from the client.
In general, people have many dreams and forget most of them. But when something happens afterwards which bring them to mind the remember them.
Two of my school friends husband name is Rajesh and their date of birth also same 13th December. Their initial also same. How such coincidence possible between two close friends. Am surprised and more than that very much shocked
I meant about their husband name, date of birth, initial are same
365 to 1
It depends whether, by ‘what’s the chance of this happening’, Beth is referring simply to the settlement falling on that date, or all the other events falling on the same date as well.
Several years back, my partner, Sharon, and I, were watching an episode of `Play Your Cards Right`.It was a tv game show here in the UK with the late, great Bruce Forsythe. Earlier that day we had had to say goodbye to her cat `Amos` at the local vet by doing the kindest thing and we had him put to sleep as he was quite old and was starting to suffer. It was a very sad day for both of us, particularly Sharon. As the game show came to an end we watched as the cast members names scrolled past the screen. One, of the two female `dealers`, names appeared. Her name was Sharon Amos and she was NOT one of the regular dealers. We never saw her name whenever we have watched the show before or since.
Several months after my mother died i was driving to work very early in the morning on I 695 ( outer loop.) , I was thinking how much I missed my mom and the empty space her being gone created. I was thinking : there must be a word to describe what I feel like…and it hit me ” An orphan! I feel like an orphan.” At that exact time a very large old model vehicle cut in front of me causing me to brake slightly. The vehicle tag read: ORPHAN.
Back in the 1980’s, my wife and I attended the play “Annie” in a Seattle theater. There must have been at least 1000 people in the theater that night. We had a great time, but on the way home I noticed that I had misplaced my wallet, which I carried in the breast pocket of my jacket. I had taken the jacket off to cool down, and my wallet slipped out. Of course I panicked and called the theater to see if anyone had turned it in. Nobody had. I got little sleep that night after cancelling my credit cards, etc.
The next morning, I received a phone call from a co-worker. He had my wallet! While leaving the theater, he happened to look down at the row where my wife and I had been sitting and saw the wallet. He was shocked when he opened the wallet and there was my driver’s license. Neither of us knew that the other was attending the show.
I was watching an episode of The Simpsons one day whilst listening to Motorhead on my iPod. As you do. Homer Simpson was in a casino playing blackjack I think. He turned over the ace of spades playing card at the exact same moment as the lyric ‘The Ace of Spades’ blasted out from my iPod.
My wife dreamt that she bumped her head. When she woke up, she discovered that my son had bumped his head in his sleep (he had a small bruise) in the exact same place that my wife had bumped her head in her dream.
I was walking through a shopping mall when I saw some young white people dressed like rappers. I thought to myself, ‘they think they’re so cool. That one thinks he’s a hip black guy from New York. A moment later, a black man walked round the corner wearing a New York cap. (New York Yankees baseball cap)
A few years ago I had taken my daughter to a movie theater whee we parked on the side and had to walk through a short path between bordering shrubs. She found a $20 bill. More than a year later, we were at the same movie theater (where we had been a few times since). My husband parked in a different spot. I joked to my daughter that she should take the path through the shrubs to see if she finds another $20 bill–and she did. Now, she has to take this path every time we go to this theater. Loved the book and marvel at the improbabilities we encounter.
(Response to Anne Milley) I wonder if the shrub was an agreed-upon spot for a drug/money exchange. Someone was going to pick up the $20 and leave some crack or something for the money-leaver to pick up later, but your daughter found the $20 first, probably resulting in a heated argument between druggie and dealer. I can only imagine their exasperation when it happened a second time…
Random conversation on the phone the other day.,it was aboout “slugs” i was telling him how much i dispise the ugly things Next day on my glass table out of no where sat there looked at the table general glance no reason left the room for a few minits to make a brew.. And went to put it obv on table…,there it was a disgusting slug. Like for real baffeled,was looking for the slime trail there was none. totaly odd.
My daughter, who is now 27 years old, is named Kira Greco. Up to the time that she was four years old, she had never met another girl with the first name of Kira. Then, during the summer of 1991 she attended a day camp at Artpark, in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. Just after her arrival at the day camp, she noticed the name tag of one of the college-aged counselers, which had “KIRA” printed in bold letters. My daughter introduced herself, and found out that this other Kira had also never previously met another girl with this somewhat unusual first name. Then my daughter asked the counseler’s last name. She said, “Greco”. So, not only did my daughter finally meet another Kira, but also, perhaps, the only other Kira Greco in the universe. The origin of the common first name was also the same. Both my wife and the counseler’s parents had read Ayn Rand’s first novel, “We the Living”, and had fallen in love with the main character’s first name, Kira.
I was working front-of-house as usual at the Royal Free Hospital and noticed a dishevelled man limping out of the main door wearing an overcoat over what looked like hospital pyjamas and struggling with a heavy bag. So many strange things happen at the hospital that it didn’t occur to me there might be anything wrong.
However, a few minutes later the man returned, being helped by a lady who was holding his arm and carrying his bag. She came up to me and expressed great concern that the man appeared to be a patient and did not seem at all well enough to be leaving the hospital on his own. She asked for my help in finding out his name and the ward he had evidently been on and she persuaded him to sit down and wait while I gathered some information. It transpired that he was indeed an in-patient but had chosen to discharge himself, had signed the necessary documents and despite the protests of the ward staff who told him he was not well enough to leave, he had insisted on carrying out his right to self-discharge and assume personal responsibility for his actions.
I returned to the man who was quite agitated but was being comforted by the lady. She told me she had just been visiting someone at the hospital but had felt great concern for the man when she saw him and felt the need to bring him back inside.
She then had to leave and I thanked her profusely for her help and her kindness. A nurse then arrived, took over the care of the patient and persuaded him to return to the ward. I visited him shortly afterwards and found him safely tucked up in bed being properly cared for by the medical team.
The following day I was walking down the Finchley Road towards Swiss Cottage thinking about the kind lady and feeling sad that I had never got her name or details and would not be able to tell her that as a result of her actions this man was now receiving the treatment he needed and had been persuaded to remain in the hospital. I stopped for a moment while I was thinking if there was any way I could find out who this lady was……..when she suddenly appeared in front of me. “Hello” she said to me “I had just been thinking about you and wondering what happened to that man at the hospital yesterday. How lovely that I’ve met you”. I stared at her, almost speechless. “But I had just been thinking about you” I said “and hoping so much that I would be able to give you the good news that because of your kindness he is back in safe hands on the ward”. She smiled at me and we chatted for a couple of minutes. “I believe in coincidences she said. I don’t often come here but we were meant to meet like this”. And with that she turned round and disappeared. I stood still for about 5 minutes wondering if I had just dreamt this encounter. I have never seen her since that day.
“Odd coincidences while working at a bicycle shop” (Stanford University)
Mi sono accaduti diversi “fatti” strani durante la mia vita.Ne citerò alcuni,brevemente.
Durante il servizio militare mi trovavo per vacanza a Cannes in Francia;passeggiavo con dei commilitoni in divisa da marinaio quando improvvisamente mi sentii chiamare da un pullman turistico che passava accanto:mi giro,alzo la testa e vidi la sorella di un mio amico d’infanzia !Io sono siciliano.
Sempre durante il servizio militare ,mentre ero in viaggio su un treno che mi avrebbe portato verso la mia nave,incontro una signora che fra le tante cose che mi dirà e che poi puntualmente accadranno (sulla nave) ad un certo punto,dicendomi il suo nome di battaglia mentre sto alzandomi per alzare il finestrino della carrozza,mi passa davanti un TIR con una scritta….il nome di quella donna!
Two years ago my sister and I were walking through a cemetery we had never been to looking for inspiration for our parents grave stone marker. We had been strolling through the cemetery still numb from our parents loss, when suddenly a bird appeared on the ground and kept chirping very lively and intently within a couple feet of my sister and myself. Finally I said well it seems as though this bird is trying to tell us something. So I stopped and looked down at the grave stone beneath my feet and instinctively began plucking away the overgrown grass, which nearly covered the stone. Much to my amazement the stone had my Mother and Father’s last name Pearson spelled correctly across the face. The bird had stopped chirping. My sister and I stood their in disbelief. I further removed grass and the epitaph read ‘ we are in a better place’. I still tear up just thinking about this unexpected connection.
I was walking the dog when a car stopped along the street…
actually screeched to a stop… the window came down and the
person said Well Hi Jim. My, oh my, it was a person I
had known from Nebraska – caddying at the Omaha Country
Club… Bill Storm who was in Sacramento visiting his sister.
We shared some of our stories and he handed me a $20 bill.
I want you to take this and keep it and use it in some fun way.
The gift, he said, was because he sunk a long putt on the l8th
hole to win in the Caddy yearly tournament. He had remember
that moment and had treasured it these 20+ years. That win
had spurred him on to go further into golf – becoming a golf pro
in Lincoln, Nebraska. We shared addresses and e mail adddresses
and he went his way. I have used the money on a special golf
game and know I will enjoy that as well as this +++++ occasion.
In 1962 I was in a gym class in high school. There was an altercation between me another student. Forty years later in 2002 I was attending the funeral of the gym teacher (from 40 years before). The former student that had hit me (in 62) was sitting several rows in front of me. During an informal gathering after the service he walked up to me and apologized for the incident in 1962. I don’t credit coincidence here.
I have experienced three unusual coincidences:
1) Coming to San Francisco in 1990 and taking a taxi from the airport to BerkeIey I managed to get a dinner invitation from my friend professor Armen Der Kiureghian through the taxi window coming up in parallel to Armen’s car in the middle of Bay Bridge. He was, unknowingly about my arrival, driving from his home in SF to some friends in Berkeley.
2) In 1996 the editor of the scientific journal “Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics” professor Pol Spanos from Texas suddenly stood in front of me in Newark Airport while I was sitting actually reading a letter from him. Previously, by coincidence, we also met each other in Milan Airport.
3) When leaving San Francisco in 2003 I was in an airplane with another traveller named Ove Ditlevsen, and when entering the SAS airplane in Seattle we found ourselves in seats next to each other. The Danish name register, Krak, lists only three persons with my name, including me.
1. My address in Dallas for six year was 4321 apartment 1. now living in London, my address is 123 flat 4, completely unintentional.
2. When living in Berkeley, California my girlfriend was Rose Boucher. I move to England and met a girl originally from California that became my girlfriend and her maiden name, Rose Boucher.
3. I am a bassist and have played in a lot of punk bands. In 2005 I was thinking it would be cool to play in an already well established band. A few days later, I get an email from a friend asking if I want to play bass for Blitz, one of the biggest early 80s English punk bands!
4. A friend of mine has 3 different kids from 3 different women, all with the same birthdate. Not the year, but same day and month.
5. I went to Stanstead to take a plane to Germany, a friend bought my ticket, he was going to buy a jacket off me so I could have some money when I got there. I not only showed up on the wrong day but th wrong week! I had no money at all so I walked down the motorway and tried to hitchhike. So police pulled over and told me I couldn’t do that, but they would give me a ride to the end of their jurisdiction. They asked my name, I said Matt, that’s funny because both of our names are Marr!
Ten years or so ago, I was on Froogle, a now defunct Google site, looking for historic images, maps, etc. for Brunswick Georgia. I had moved to this coastal city a few years previous, after several decades living in the Midwest and various states in the south. Brunswick, located about one hour north of Jacksonville, FL, has a rich, interesting history reaching back to at the original town plan of 1771.
That evening, I came across a 1937 Works Progress Administration book on housing stock in Brunswick that had great detail on every residential unit, the occupants, and their professions, along with many fold-out maps.
I emailed a question to the seller, who could have been anywhere in the country, or the world for that matter. I received a reply the next day and as he actually lived in Brunswick, I set a time to go meet him.
I found his small house on a side street, and walking up to the door, noted a “For Sale” sign in the yard. Inside, the house was nothing but books, floor to ceiling, in every room.
We introduce ourselves, he shows me the book, and as we’re talking asks “Aren’t you married to Heather Heath?” I said that yes I was and asked how he knew my wife. He said that they had both gone to Oxford at Emory, and that she was a year ahead of him. They had never met but he knew from the alumni newsletters that they were the only two graduates living in Brunswick/Glynn County. I thought this was an interesting little connection.
I told him I had noticed the “For Sale” sign in his yard and asked if he was planning to move someplace else in Brunswick. He said no, that he had just bought a house up in the mountains where his grandparents had lived. He had spent the summers there growing up and had always loved the area. Now, as an online bookseller, he could live anywhere so had decided to move there.
I asked where in the mountains, thinking North Georgia. He said that it was a very small town in western North Carolina named Murphy. I told him I knew western North Carolina very well, in fact, I used to live just outside of Murphy on Martin’s Creek Road. I had bought a house there in 1985 and had sold it ten years earlier in 1992 when I had moved to Atlanta.
He asked me where the house was on Martin’s Creek Road. I told him. He paused for several seconds and said “That’s the house I just bought.”
A couple of days later he sent me photos and it was indeed my former home.
He also gave me $15.00 off on the book….
I was on a work trip to Germany which involved a morning walk through some lovely fields from the hotel to the research institute I was visiting. During the walk I remarked to a colleague that the setting reminded me of a scene from the Jaques Tati film ‘Traffic’, in which a car runs out of fuel on a country road and the driver takes a jerry can and heads off for petrol, only to run into another stranded driver with a jerry can walking the other way. The two stranded motorists stare at each other in dismay before one panics and runs off into the fields at right angles to the road. My colleague looked blank – understandable, since Tati’s films haven’t really made it into 21st century pop culture – and I thought no more of it.
Back in the hotel that evening, while I was cleaning my teeth before bed, I turned on the television. I flicked past a few German programs and then froze in disbelief as the next channel was showing ‘Traffic’. I went running down the corridor and knocked on my colleague’s door; ignoring his protests I demanded he turn on his television, which he did, just in time to see the scene I’d described to him that morning.
When I was an undergrad I was heavily into the music of Pink Floyd (which I still love) and so it was maybe a case of over-zealous pattern matching when the incoherent outburst of a drunk guy in a bus shelter sounded to my ears something like “pahflud”. But I couldn’t just leave it and, after going a few steps further, turned around and asked him what he’d said. “Pink Floyd” came the now reasonably clear reply and so I asked him why he’d said that. “Great concert” came the unexpected answer. I chatted to him for ten minutes and he kept coming back to the fact that he’d been to their concert in Melbourne a few years’ earlier. I never got to the bottom of how he’d gone from being able to afford expensive concert tickets to living rough in a bus shelter, but “for the price of tea and a slice” I got one of the strangest and most memorable conversations I’ve ever had.
I was in a little “indie” record store on Massachusetts Avenue in Boston when a friend of the owner’s came in and asked if he was interested in some signed Billy Bragg posters. I’m not that interested in Billy Bragg myself, but one of my oldest friends from Australia, by the name of Anna, absolutely loves him, so I piped up and said I’d be interested. The guy told me he’d be happy to give me a poster, but that they were back at his flat, so it would have to be tomorrow; unfortunately, I was flying back to the UK next morning, so there was no chance for a hand over. A pity, although maybe not too tragic as Anna was then living in Switzerland and it wasn’t at all clear that I’d be able to get the poster to her anyway.
So I walked out of the store thinking what might have been and, a few hundred metres along the road, ran into Anna. A good double coincidence already, but the sense of strangeness was increased by the fact neither of us was “supposed” to have been in Boston: I was only in there because I’d accompanied the collaborator I was visiting in the US there as he needed to attend a family funeral; and Anna was only there because her flight had been diverted from another airport.
I had only bought new cars since 1980, either Nissan’s or Toyota’s. In 2006, I had recently been elected to public office in Brunswick Georgia, and as it was a very busy time, I was only making a rather half-hearted attempt to look at new vehicles. A friend who worked at a Ford dealership called and said they had just received a 2006 Toyota with only 6,000 miles as a trade-in. I asked why it was traded and was told that the owner had bought a boat and needed a larger truck so he had gone with an F250.
I told him I really wasn’t interested in a used vehicle, but he insisted on bringing it to my office, dropping it off, telling me “just drive it for a few days. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.” Well, I did and he gave me a great deal, so I bought it.
Several months later, I was helping host our city’s annual Fourth of July event that traditionally draws 6,000-7,000 people down to the waterfront for old time games and fireworks. Two women approached me and asked if I was from Plain City, Ohio. I said that I had indeed grown up there. As it was a small farming community of around 2000 people, located about 800 miles from Brunswick, I asked how they knew about it.
They were sisters, and one said her husband was from Plain City and they had lived there until he fell ill and passed away several years ago. She told me his name and I of course knew him. John and I had gone through school together. He was memorable for being about 6’5”, rail thin and with a remarkably quick temper. I had actually spent a couple of years dodging him as he would occasionally decide to beat me up because he thought I was seeing his girlfriend on the side.
The sisters were in Brunswick to visit their father, who had retired to the area from the Midwest a few years previous. They wanted to introduce me, and we eventually found him in the crowd.
As I was shaking his hand he said “So, how do you like that truck?” I answered “I like it just fine….How do you know about my truck?” He replied “That was my truck. I traded it in for a Ford.”
Once we both speculated on the odds of my buying a used vehicle once owned by the father-in-law of a guy I grew up with 800 miles away, I asked him how he liked his boat. “What boat?” I said the one he needed the bigger truck to pull. “I don’t have a boat. I traded the Toyota because my grandson said I looked like an old man driving it.”
I realized then that the odds of my purchase were not at all unusual if compared to ever getting a straight answer from a car dealer…
I was talking with my sister-in-law last night about my best friend, who I haven’t seen in almost a year. I didn’t think too much about it after the conversation but who do you think sent me a text while I was reading this site? Yep, my best friend!
I had been divorced for some time and wishing to fall in love again and enjoy a long-term relationship. I began thinking specifically about the type of man I’d like to meet. In my previous profession, I’d been a surgical nurse and married to an anesthesiologist, and being comfortable with medical professionals and having shared interests and experiences, I was looking to meet another physician, specifically a surgeon, who was a few years older, who I also wished would be tall, athletic, kind, tolerant, loving, empathetic, among other traits. When I had first been divorced, I’d taken my young son to his friend’s birthday party at a local rock-climbing gym, where I noticed an extremely handsome, tall, tan athletic man smiling at and flirting with me. I felt a strong attraction to him but did not speak with him because I was there with my young son. I much felt a strong urge unlike I’d ever had before to walk up and give him my phone number before I left, but I have never been forward in such a manner, and so I left thinking I hoped I would get to see this man again. A few years later, I was on a plane returning from Vancouver, B.C, and he sat down directly in front of me; however, I did not at that time recognize him from before, only that I noticed I felt quite interested in and attracted to him. We did not speak at that time either. About six months later, I picked up a local paper while having lunch that ran a news story about a local surgeon who did a lot of work with therapy dogs for his patients. I noticed his name and then suddenly remembered I’d read a news story many years before about his riding his bike along the local river, etc., and had felt strangely interested in him. For some reason, I also felt strangely compelled to keep that more recent newspaper, thinking I’d really like to meet this man. About three months after that, I was on vacation, staying in a hotel on the coast and was swimming in the pool when I noticed this man napping by the pool. Not recognizing him out of context as the man I’d seen before, I again felt a strong attraction to him. He eventually woke up and took a swim and then as he left he stared at me intently. I kept thinking he was very attractive and I hoped to see him again. The next morning I was having breakfast in the hotel restaurant and he came in and was seated directly in front of me. He kept looking directly at me, and me being shy of strangers, I kept looking away, even though I thought he was attractive. Then he was joined by friends and I left. About a month later, I was watching the television news, and I never watch TV, let alone the news, and this very attractive physician appeared and spoke with a very sexy voice about his work with therapy dogs. I didn’t recognize him as the man I’d seen before. He got my immediate attention, and I said aloud to myself I wish I could meet a man like that! About a week later, I decided to join an online dating site, and in the second email I received, the man introduced himself as a surgeon, who was a few years older than me, and stated that I was exactly who he was looking for! We met for a coffee date, and I was immediately smitten. It wasn’t until our second date that I put it all together and told him I felt as if I already knew him somehow, and then I later realized he was the same man I had kept having all these coincidental encounters with for the past few years! And then to top it all off, I suddenly remembered that we’d once worked together in surgery about 15 years before when he’d been called in as a specialist for one case! While he confessed he had no memory of any of the previous encounters, we went on to have a very happy, loving, five-year relationship until other, unfortunate circumstances ended it. I have never ceased to wonder how so many coincidences could have occurred that brought us together, it was as if I had wished him into existence out of thin air, and I have also endlessly wondered what it all meant overall, and in spite of the loving relationship ending, nevertheless with love and respect, I have definitely learned something of the significance of coincidence in tandem with wishing.
I was in a vehicle with my grandmother about six years ago. We were discussing past motor accidents I had encountered, especially one where the oncoming truck had hit the driver’s side of my mom’s old explorer. As I began telling her about the scary experience, a white car ran into the driver’s side of my grandmother’s truck.
I was out at a nightclub having a good time, met a friendly woman & ended up she lived a bit far away & needed a place to crash so I offered her the place I was staying.
When we walked into my place my aunt was on the computer working, I introduced her to my aunt & we went to my room were chatting & she asked if I had any siblings, I said yes one brother she said she also had a brother, I told her my brothers name is Nathan, she said no way that’s my brothers name too!
I asked her what her mothers name was she said her name was Marie Lynette but everyone calls her Lyn.. Now I said no way! My aunt downstairs is Marie Lynette but everyone calls her Lyn.
It was a fun meeting & we have remained friends since.
I was on a full airline flight from Tampa to Houston in 2012. I sat in the last row between 2 men whom I didn’t know. Halfway through the 2 hour flight, I pulled out a book my wife had given me on Valentine’s Day just a few weeks before my flight. The book “The Day the World Came to Town”, was authored by Jim DeFede in 2003. You will recall that many transatlantic 747’s en-route to the US from Europe were grounded at airfields across Canada immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack that led to the closure of American airspace. The book is a non-fiction account of how the citizens of Gander, Newfoundland rose to the occasion to provide hospitality for thousands of passengers stranded in that remote town for about 5 days before US airspace reopened. On the plane, I found the bookmark about halfway in and began to read. The stranger to my left spoke to me for the first time and asked if I had reached chapter 6. I told him I thought I had. He elaborated. “Do you remember reading about the Army guy flying home to North Carolina from Germany and how he meets a couple of American girls at the local Gander tavern?” Surprised, I told him I remembered that story. I immediately began thumbing back through the book to chapter 6. I quickly found the anecdote. At the same time, my seatmate had pulled his North Carolina driver’s license from his wallet. The man’s name was the same as the Army dude in the book! For the remainder of the flight, he fleshed out the story and told me more about his life after that. I made sure he autographed my book. I remain gobsmacked at the probability of being on a 737 with about 140 other passengers and randomly sitting next to someone profiled in a 10 year old book I just came to own and start reading.
I have experienced several coincidences in my life. The previous post is perhaps my most amazing. But here is another.
I am retired geologist from a very large oil company with multiple facilities in Houston, Texas. In 1998, I had a short assignment at my company’s research lab. My boss was a geologist whom I did not know from my previous 20 years at the company. One day in a friendly chat, my boss told me he would be taking a vacation back home in Connecticut. I told him I also grew up in that state in the town of Manchester. He said that he too grew up there! Excited, I asked him when he graduated from high school. We had both graduated in 1970. But he went to Manchester High and I attended East Catholic High. Then I asked what middle school he attended. We had both attended Bennett Junior High. He reminded me that students were assigned their home rooms alphabetically at that large school. His last name begins with the letter ‘B’. We must have shared the same home room! But neither of us could place the others face or name. However, one bit of confirmation is we both remembered the most popular girl in the class by the name of Margaret B. The next day, we each brought our high school year book to work. Upon seeing my boss’ picture, 34 years younger, many pounds lighter, and without a mustache, I began to think I could remember him. As we reminisced over those class pictures, we discovered we both took our first job at age 16 at the same McDonald’s, the only one in town. We must have overlapped some, but neither of us remembers the other. So here we were in 1998 in the same profession, 1000 miles from our Junior High, working at the same company. That we couldn’t remember one another is a testament to our lack of social skills in the seventh grade.
My daughter wanted to go Paris for her birthday. She had a lot of places she wanted to see. I know Paris well enough to show her the city and thereby these places, but I had made no special plan. The intention was just to scroll through town and then pick out the particular places as they would „come along“. At some stage Saturday afternoon we arrived at the Eiffel tower, and there we surprisingly meet some Iranian friends from Germany. They had come there with a guest from Iran. Next day we took another course through town and ended up in Montmartre. Again we met our friends—to our repeated surprise—as they had said noting the day before about going to Montmartre.
Of course both places are typically visited by tourists, but on the other hand there are so many people that it is easy to lose sight of somebody even if you knew they were there. Apart from that we had no time schedule, so had we arrived a bit earlier or later we might not have seen them.
I was involved in some cultural heritage survey work in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea when a local took us to a sacred waterfall that fed a beautiful and remote lagoon. Behind the waterfall was a cave that was said to host a female water spirit. The climb down to the lagoon was very steep and arduous and our local guide told us that the water spirit would make it rain once we made it down to her territory. It was a calm and cloudless day but the moment we made it to the lagoon the clouds began to gather and sure enough it began to lightly rain. The drizzle persisted while we completed our survey work and had our lunch by the lagoon, but after we packed up to leave and began our ascent back up the cliff the rain ceased, the clouds cleared and the sunny day resumed.
I recently went to the funeral of one of my husband’s relatives While there I was approached by one of the cousins. She had a puzzled look on her face as she looked at me and she told me that she had been looking at old family pictures and had come across a photo of the deceased wife of my husband’s uncle. The picture had been taken in the mid 1940’s. She said that it was eerie how much I resembled this woman. She sent me the photo and we are amazed by the resemblance. The kicker is my husband is the namesake of his dead uncle who was killed in 1952.11 years before my husband was born. I have a picture of the couple and it could be my husband and me only 65 years ago.
strange you talked about a funeral shortly after my mothers funeral my sister asked a lady if she could make a copy of old photogtraphs on a vcr tape featuring old photos from the 1890’s to the 1940’s i done the task there i noticed a girl looked just like me not a relative with her hands on a beautiful girl there was immediate love chemistry between me and that girl strange one can be touched from beyond the grave and how the girls friend looked exacaly like me i am still haunted by it thank you for your story you are not alone
I’ve had so many coincidences happen in my life that I’m known for it. My husband and friends aren’t even surprised anymore when one happens to me.
I’d say the most unbelievable one, though, happened in a library. I was 20 years old, and ‘d just gotten back from a summer studying in France–where I’d had a romance with a nice gentleman from Morocco, about which I knew practically nothing. I’d allowed him to think I knew all about it, though (he assumed I did), and so as soon as I got back to the States I went to do some reading on it. I went to the main branch of the public library in Philadelphia (where I’m from), which is a massive, massive building. Several stories of high shelves packed to the gills with books, and at the time, the catalogue was not yet computerized. It was still on cards, in little drawers.
I’d been planning to find a few books: One on the geography of Morocco, one on the politics, and one on culture. And having done research at this library before, I knew this might take some time, and require some climbing up to high shelves to reach the books. Which I didn’t really feel like doing. So I procrastinated, with a stop in the music room of the library, which was two floors away from the social sciences section I needed.
The music room was usually a mess, because so many homeless people spent their days there listening to records that the music librarian couldn’t keep up with all the re-shelving of records that this made necessary. But on this day, it had apparently just been cleaned up. Not a hair was out of place–not a book or record, and even all the chairs were pushed in under the tables. I noted this, and headed over to the music card catalogue to see if I could find a recording of a Bach violin concerto I’d been advised to check out.
The card catalogue drawer unit was a big one, as you might expect at a main-branch city library, and the cards I ended up needing to look through were in a top drawer. So since I’m not tall, I had to stand on my toes to look through it, which also gave me a view of the (clean, just-dusted) top of the drawer unit. Where to my surprise, I saw a single book, open, upside-down.
I picked it up, just out of curiosity, and what was it called? “Morocco: A Country Study.” It had four chapters: an introduction, and then a chapter each on the geography, politics and culture of the country.
I was so astounded that I thought I must be either dreaming or insane. Literally. So I put the book down where I found it, and left the library to sit outside and get some fresh air for a few minutes. I physically pinched myself to hopefully wake myself up if I was dreaming, but nothing happened, so I eventually went back inside and back to the music room–and the book was STILL THERE. It was literally the only thing out of place, the only book or record not on its shelf, in the entire, big, room. And it wasn’t even on the right floor of this massive institution, never mind in the right room!
I didn’t know what to make of it, but clearly I was meant to read the book. So I did, cover to cover, right there and then. And I still to the day can’t believe that actually happened.
I will always remember who was valedictorian when I was in 5th grade. She had a long sounding South Asian name, was tall and spoke with an accent. For confidentiality purposes, let’s say her name was Renimintra Baharry. In 8th grade, I was having a conversation with my classmate and she was telling me about her neighbor. Out of nowhere, I asked “was your neighbor’s name Renimintra Baharry?” My classmate was shocked and asked me if I had psychic abilities. Her neighbor was indeed the same individual. My classmate had only mentioned that her neighbor was smart and so I immediately thought of who the valedictorian was when I was in 5th grade. I am not sure why I interrupted my friend to tell her who I thought her neighbor was. That behavior was strange because as a child I rarely interjected my thoughts during conversations. This coincidence still baffles me today because the school I went to in 8th grade was in a separate county from where I attended 5th grade.
One somewhat entertaining coincidence happened to me while reading the book. I was listening to a radio show about dogs where the host talked about research in telepathic apes (yes, true) by one Rupert Sheldrake. When I couldn’t take any more of that, I picked up Hand’s book and literally the next chapter was about… yes, Rupert Sheldrake’s being work being a sham. Can’t be a coincidence. Must be divine intervention!!1
I was 14-15 years old when my parents homeschooled me. I often would go and stay at my moms bestfriends sons house and watch thier young children. I did this almost every night for nearly a year. fast forward to my late teens and the year i turned 20 i had just moved back home to my parents house after being in a rebelious on my own phase for a a year or two. I had invited a highschool freind over and we wnet to a party i met his friend Michael and chris Michael’s brother that night. I had nothing to do yet and no job so i hung out with Micahael and my highschool friend the next day. we went to the park and walked around town. Later driving aroung i realized i really had to use the bathroom so Michael says my house is just around the corner and he drives and i say of my moms freinds son used to live on this road i watched his kids alot , oh it wa sthis way too. WOW! it was this house I used to stay here all the time when i was younger. I go inside and go directly to the bathroom with his family looking at me like michael must have snuck me into the place before something. a few days go by and i started hanging out with michaels brother a whole lot more. we dated, and married and then i Lived in that very house for well over a year until we got our own place. The oddest thing is i had loved that house and for years had dreampt of getting married one day and living in that house and sure enough i did just that.
I had been thinking about a school friend, Maggie whom I had neither heard of nor seen in years. Was trying to get some information regarding a teacher from a school we’d both attended. I didn’t get the information I was after, but in the course of my research found an “In Memoriam” page. Scrolled through to see if there was anyone I knew, alas there was including Maggie, who had died on July 26th 2014…I was looking at the notice, yesterday, one year to the day of her death Would this be a 365 to 1 shot?
in 2009 I lived in Toronto and was dating a guy who was addicted to some fairly strong drugs. I told his mother what was going on and she sent him to a rehab clinic on the Sunshine Coast in BC and I never heard from him or saw him again.
In 2012 I moved to Vancouver and was waiting for a bus on Broadway to go out for dinner with two friends of mine one of which was waiting for the bus with me. I told her the sad tale of my ex who’s mother I informed of his drug addiction, the very next stop on the bus was Cambie and who walked on the back doors of the 99 B-Line? That ex who I had just told my friend the story about.
Seeing as both of us lived in Toronto when this happened, and 3 years later I am telling that exact story not even 1 minute later he gets on the bus.
The odds oh the odds!
Years ago I was employed as a payroll supervisor in a company with branches across Canada. I also handled a weekly indemnity plan that paid employees who were off work due to prolonged illness.
In each branch there was a plant clerk. I had occasion to speak to them on a weekly basis and was familiar with all of them.
One night I had a dream about sitting at my desk with note size bits of paper falling on me like snow. On each piece were the letters JC.
When I got to work the next morning I received a call from the foreman at one of our western plants.
The clerk had been at a bar the previous night and had been assaulted in the parking lot. He had head injuries and would be off work for some time.
He would be eligible for weekly indemnity pay.
The name of the clerk was John, last name began with C. JC
My famly have had a couple of coincidence stories.
First, my father was in London at the National Theatre lining up for tickets. A young man heard my father speak and asked if he was Canadian. They got chatting and it turned out that I had lived in residence with this fellow at university!
Secondly, my family live in a town of about 100 000 people and my mother was going to visit her sister in a small English village. She got on the train to Toronto and happened upon an acquaintance who was going to Toronto too. It turned out that she too was going to England. After subsequent conversations, they discovered that they were both going to the same village and the woman was meeting her brother!
Two excellent examples of the Improbability Laws at work, I think.
My wife and I have been good friends for many years with a couple who have two children. On one occasion, we were having dinner at their place and playing board games with their (now older) daughters. The subject of our birthdays came up and as we went around the room telling what day we had each been born, we were shocked when we found out the younger daughter’s birthdate (day/month) was the same as my wife’s. It was goose bumps all around when I asked the older daughter what her birthday was…of course, it was identical to mine.
I was watching the 3 musketeers on DVD with friends when we got into a tongue-in-cheek debate about how people in films always manage to catch a sword by it’s hilt when it’s been spinning through the air (unlikely, etc.) – I went into a jokey rant about how in crocodile dundee 2, he turns his knife to throw it by the blade, thus not killing the ‘baddie’ but knocking him out with the hilt instead. My friends were bemused and did not know the film nor how I could remember a silly thing like that. When the DVD finished and turned off, the TV was on a channel that was showing: Crocodile Dundee 2!!! and was at the exact scene I had been talking about, so they could witness it themselves. I had no idea it was due to be on. None of us could believe it had happened.
These things happen to me quite often, but this was the most notable, and the only one others have witnessed.
3 Generations of women in one family die on November 29…but different years.
My great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother. All died on November 29.
All had health issues to some degree…all involving the heart and kidneys.
My story has more significance because of my situation when it happened..I’m not religious but it has really made me think there may be something or someone guiding us after what happened to me
I was in deep deep dispair about my life…at the lowest point in my life
I was referred to a lady who I met in a different city to where I lived
I met her and she was amazingly kind and understanding
During our meeting it became apparent she was from the same city as me albeit she was twenty years younger
She had gone to the same secondary school as me and also the same primary school which was in a different part of the city
She had also lived on the same street!
Although her house number was on opposite side of the street when I drove down it later it was almost directly opposite mine!
I find it amazing that I met her just when I needed help the most!
I love traveling Europe, and from time to time I travel from the Netherlands to the Alps. In the summer of 2015, I had planned to travel to Switzerland and Italy by train. Throughout the years, I had several occasions of minor coincidences, but this one still strikes me.
Somewhere in July, on the morning of departure, it was extremely hot in both the Netherlands and in Germany. I woke up early, packed my backpack with the last things, but realized I couldn’t make it to the train in time. As I had almost 12 hours of travel to Chur ahead of me, I nearly called it a day, to try and catch the same train the next morning. But it happened so that I looked up on internet, and indeed I saw: another, similar connection, was available in exactly one hour. It would land me in Chur just before closing time of my booked hostel. I called the hostel to inform them of my late arrival, and made my way to the train station after all.
I took the train to Dortmund, and there, trouble began. My train was canceled due to airconditioning failure. All passengers had to switch platform, and wait for almost an hour, until an available train was ready to depart for Basel. I didn’t reserve a seat (I learnt this from previous travels) and planned on switching places when I had to give up my seat.
Around noon, we reached Cologne. Someone came to claim my seat. I moved out and chose another seat further up the aisle, where no reservations were due.
In only minutes, a man of my age came up and asked me in English if the seat next to me was taken. I said ‘no’ in German, and we both smiled. I recognized Dutch in his voice, so I asked him whether he was Dutch. He was a Belgian journalist and teacher. As our languages are alike, we could both speak our native language.
He sat down next to me, and asked me where I came from. I named the city where live as I have also studied there. He just smiled and said ‘I was there recently, to visit the university of applied sciences.’ I was amused. He appeared to have visited exactly the department in which I had studied and had graduated in, five years before. He could name all teachers, and especially the ones who had been to the university of applied sciences in northern Finland – where I had done my graduation project. It appeared that he had just been on a short trip to that school, together with the teachers he just named (note that at least a hundred students from that department graduate each year, and only few of them do so at that school in northern Finland.) Our experiences overlapped in bizarre ways. And so we had things to talk about for hours…
…which was a blessing, because the next five hours on the train were pretty tough. The airconditioning failed everywhere. As compartiments became hotter by the hour, we were again and again asked to move further through the train, where cooler compartiments were – even when there were no seats left there. We had to stand, sit on the floor, we got handed free bottles of water. Eventually, halfway through south Germany, the train was taken out of the system as well, and, after again one hour of waiting, replaced by one that still had airco. All the time, the guy and I stayed together, talking, sharing water bottles and snacks.
First: if I hadn’t taken the train one our later than my planning, this would never have happened. Second, that day would have been endless if I hadn’t met the guy and had struck up such a bizarre, coincidental conversation!
I’ve been interested in this girl for a while, and I’ve always felt a connection to her without really knowing why. So we’re factoring and, for no apparent reason, I ask her to think of any card in a deck of cards, as I wrote down Queen of Hearts. Of course, she said queen of hearts, and I showed her. We decided that was just because queen of hearts is common in media, so we decided to try again. This time I wrote down 8 of diamonds. Totally random. Of course, she says 8 of diamonds. We wait a couple minutes, sure that it won’t happen again. And of course, I write down 3 of clubs, and she says three of clubs. Im not religious, but this has me wondering.
Found on the internet
Think Python – How to Think Like a Computer Scientist
Concerning the list of contributors:
“Abel David and Alexis Dinno reminded us that the plural of “matrix” is “matrices”, not “matrixes”. This error was in the book for years, but two readers with the same initials reported iton the same day. Weird”
All three of my husband’s ex girlfriends share my birthday…
I was living in Milwaukee in 1999 and was one day taking a walk with my girlfriend in a park by the Lake. I had been offered a job in San Francisco and we were struggling with the really hard decision of whether to move to the West Coast, even farther from our families back east. Mid conversation, I looked down and saw a little black object within the blades of grass in the middle of this large park. I stopped walking and bent over to pick it up and noticed it was a tiny rubber SF Giants toy baseball hat. The decision was made right then and there.
(I can’t tell if I’m replying to a post or posting my own story, but I’m trying to post my own…)
I was instant messaging a coworker one day at work. We know each other from high school, and we were just bored and carrying on conversation, nothing work-related. I told him that I was trying to eat less sugar, and he responded that he didn’t eat much sugar and also hadn’t drank alcohol in a few days (yeah, yeah, I know, but it’s something because we’re only in our 20s.)
“Geeze, what are you, some kind of saint?” I said.
Lowney said, “Yeah, call me Saint Cha-Cha.”
Not really getting the reference (and assuming there probably wasn’t one in the first place), I responded with, “What’s that, the patron saint of the Boogie Woogie?”
Really long pause, then Lowney asked, “Why did you say that?”
“What do you mean?” I asked..
“How did you know that?” he asked.
“I don’t know what you mean!” I said.
Lowney explained to me that he had been with his niece all weekend, who was a toddler. Because he can be sort of goofy and his niece has trouble with his name, Lowney’s niece instead calls him “Uncle Cha-Cha” or “Boogie Woogie Cha-Cha.” I had never heard of this nickname for him, as we rarely see each other outside of work and I’ve never seen him with his niece. I even had to look up how to spell boogie woogie (thought it might be with a “y”), and can’t remember a specific instance of using it in conversation before.
Having spent 18 months in Antarctica and 12 months in South America and a further two months hitching across the US from Miami to Los Angeles I met a girl on Sunset Beach one evening and asked her for a drink on the following day. She said, “I am sailing to Australia,” I said,”Is there any room,” She said,”Can you navigate,” “Yes’” I said. So 24 hours later I was on a 36ft ketch sailing across the Pacific. But before I left I wrote my father to say that I would be away from the UK for probably another year. So as not to upset my mother I wrote to the school where he was headmaster. One morning a few days later he told my mother that he had dreamed about me and that I had told him that I was going to a strange place with a name that sounded like “pipette” as used in chemistry laboratories but he did not know where that might be. When he got to school he found my letter which said that to contact me at my next port of call Poste Restante, Papeete. My parents told me this story when I returned many months later.
Talking about improbable occurrences… Page 101 of my paperback claims that King Carlos III of Spain was raising funds to finance the Spanish side of the Napoleonic Wars in 1763…
Now, Napoleon seems to have been a military genius, but somehow I find it hard to believe that he waged war even before he was born (15 August 1769).
Well spotted! You are the first to have pointed this out, and you are absolutely right of course. I should have said that “King Carlos III of Spain set up a lottery in 1763 *which was used* to finance the Spanish side of the Napoleonic Wars”.
Just after finishing this book I saw this headline in Aftenposten, one of Norway’s major newspapers.
The article tells the story of two people, born on the same day in 1912 on opposite sides of the world (China and Norway respectively) that died on the exact same day in Lillestrøm, Norway, 101 years later. If that isn’t a coincidence, then what is!
The day after hearing Professor Hand’s lecture at the science museum I went to Selfridges to order a personalised Mister Man iPhone case for my daughter Harriet, who is affectionately known as “Hattie”.
So I place my order:
I choose an iPhone 6 case in white (one of several options)
I choose a Little Miss Princess Character (one of 25 characters)
I choose the name “Little Miss Hattie” – (one of any name in the world, but not exactly a common one).
To everyone’s astonishment, the iPhone 6 case that is on display behind the counter is exactly the product I have ordered.
Amazing or what? BTW The magic tricks were on the next counter.
In 1976 I drove from my home (then just outside Rochdale in Lancashire England ) with my wife and four year old daughter to the western part of France. It was the first time I had driven in France and the first time my wife and I had decided to go on a camping holiday. We headed for the town of La Rochelle and arrived there after a long and tiring drive. The day after our arrival we drove into La Rochelle (we had found a camp-site a little further down the coast) and I parked my car rear end first into a space in a line of cars parked by the side of one of the main roads in the town centre.
As I got out of the car I looked at the vehicle next to mine. It belonged to a police colleague of mine from the same station. He was a dog handler and I was on traffic patrol, so we never spoke or mixed socially. (Nobody mixed with dog handlers, they are a weird bunch). I left him a rude not on his windscreen and thought no more about it until returning home a couple of weeks later. It turns out he and his wife were camping in the area and had arrived the day before us. Neither of us had spoken before.
In the early 1990’s I was on holiday in the west of Scotland with my then partner. I was driving a red Volvo 740 estate. We were in a very secluded region of Argyll and driving on a narrow road when ahead of me I saw a road junction. At the junction was a red Volvo 740 estate car. It pulled out behind me and drove in the same direction as me for some ten minutes. My partner and I joked about the coincidence. Some time later we were joined in our queue by a third red Volvo 740 estate going our way. This was becoming a bit spooky, but fortunately was stopped when a fourth car came along into the line of us from a side road. This time it was a grey Volvo 740 estate.
The salesmen from any Volvo dealership will tell you that some 80% of all Volvos ever made are still on the road, maybe. The 740 was one of their better sellers, but I still find it hard to find an explanation for this coincidence
In October this year I went to Australia for a month and drove around the states of New South Wales and Victoria, mainly Victoria. At one point I was on a typical quiet country road and had been for several miles without seeing any other traffic when I approached a road junction on my right hand side which I had been keeping an eye out for for some time. I prepared to slow down to turn right into the side road. As I slowed I saw a car coming in the opposite direction towards me, at quite a high speed. I prepared to stop at the junction if necessary to allow him to clear my route and as I came to the actual junction saw another car coming along the side road to the main road on which I was driving. As I came to a halt so did the car in the side road, and at the same time the car coming towards me came between the two of us. What are the laws of probability which state that three strangers in three cars will meet at the same point on a road system at the same point in time? Especially when to all intents and purposes there are no other road users around.
Getting into the car with my boyfriend id been listening to a story hed been telling me to which I replied at the end of it “how bazzar”..as I turned on the car radio a song from the 80s was playing with the lyrics ” how bazzar” we both turned to each other and said”how bazzar” and burst out laughing
In 1978 my parents suddenly decided to take the familyon holiday halfway during autumn term .we flew from nuneaton england to montreal canada. Whilst walking along the city streets I saw a familiar face approaching. …it was a classmate from my school in nuneaton whos parents decided to take a holiday out of the blue aswell as mine…we both stood and screamed at each other
My wife and I came home and checked our answering machine. There was a message from a young lady saying, “Hello Steve, this is Beth from Chili’s, I need you to come in 2 hours early tomorrow”. My wife and I found this funny, because I did not know Beth, nor did I work at Chili’s. I didn’t think anything else about it, I had to work early the next morning, so I went to sleep. The next morning I went to work at Brink’s armored car service in Tampa where I worked as a relief messager. I would fill in where I was needed delievering and picking up money on one of 45 routes in the central Florida area. I started my route and all was normal, until I went to a chili’s restaurant near the university of South Florida. When I arrived I could tell tention was high. Two managers were in the middle of a heated argument. One manager initialed for the money delievery while still arguing with the other. I noticed that his initial looked identical to mine. I mentioned it to him and he asked me what my name was and I told him Steven Woods. To my surprise, that was his name also. Steven the manager asked me if I received a strange message yesterday? This caught me by surprise, I went on to tell him about the message that was left on my answering machine. He called the female manager in the office, her name was Beth. She looked up my number in the phone book and called me, thinking it was her co-worker. Steven the manager never received the message and did not show up early. Steven the manager was arguing, because he never received a message and Beth was arguing because she knew that she left a message on the answering machine of Steven Woods, it just happened to be the wrong Steven Woods. Both were right!
When I was young about 5 – 6 my parents took us to the zoo,
Part of this zoo was a petting zoo and while we were in the petting zoo and goat came over ans started chewing on my dress. There was man standing there with his wife and two sons, and he thought it was funny that I got so upset over such a silly thing. Flash to 10 years later, and I’m having dinner at my boyfriends parents house. (later my in-laws) Anyway we’re eating his father says That they were at the zoo and little girl started crying because a goat was chewing on her dress. I was stunned and said that happened to me. They had pictures they’d taken that day and it turned to be me.
Another time my father was telling me about an experience he’d had while he was an intern. My father and another doctor we’re told there was a child with his head caught between the bars of a metal fence. So they went to where this child was and somehow got his head free. (After that the other doctor had left that hospital and my Dad hadn’t spoken to him in 30 years.) The day my Dad told me that story, he got a letter from the same doctor and a picture from the newspaper with a kid with his head stuck between the bars of a metal fence. The doctor wrote him a short note do you remember when this happened while we were interns.
My Dad was floored!!!
About six years ago I was treasurer for my local beekeeping association. Each month I had to bank monies collected from the raffle that was held at our meetings. I got home and my son was counting all the loose change he had collected in a large sweet jar. I told him he could have banknotes for his coins as I was going to bank the amount I had. Notes would have been more useful to a young man than pocketfuls of coppers. I counted my raffle money and it came to £52.40. My son entered the room and said , “£52.40” I said , “yes I know, but how much change do you have?” He said that he had collected the same amount in loose change.
I WAS PREGGO WITH MY 3RD BABY, WE WERE PLANNING FOR ABOTHER HOMEBIRTH, HOWEVER WITH A NEW MIDWIFE WHO WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME, NAMED MONIQUE. DUE TO SCHEDULIMG CONFLICTS WE HAD YET TO MEET IN PERSON, HOWEVER WE HAD SEVERAL PHONE CONVERSATIONS, AND I WAS COOL WITH IT, BECAUSE I WAS ALSO SEEING MY BACKUP MIDWIVES, SO I WASNT TOO CONCERNED AS I WASNT DUE FOT 6 MONTHS! SPUR OF THE MOMENT ON A WARM SUMMER DAY I DECIDED TO TAKE MY ALMOST 2 YEAR OLD AND MY 4 YEAR OLD TO THE LOCAL KIDDIE POOL. MY HUSBAND WOULD GET THE HOUSE TO HIMSELF, TO READY HIMSELF FOR WORK. AND I GOT THE CAR FOR AND HOUR AND A QUICK DIP. AFTER THE SWIM WE WERE PILING INTO THE VEHICLE, STRAPPING THE KIDS INTO CAR SEATS ETC. I WAS INTERRUPTED BY A GENTLEMEN REQUESTING ME TO ASSIST WITH JUMP STARTING HIS CAR. SO OF COURSE I SAY YES. AS HE IS PLACING THE CABLES I CHAT WITH THE PASSENGER WHOM I AWESOME IS HIS WIFE. I INTRODUCE MY KIDS, SHE INTRODUCES ME TO HER DAUGHTER, THEN WE GET TO OUR INTROS, HER NAME WAS MONIQUE!! I SAID ARE YOU A MIDWIFE? AND STRANGELY ENOUGH SHE WAS MY MIDWIFE TO BE! AFTER MEETING HER THAT WAY I FELT SO CONNECTED. AND MY HUSBAND MET AND LOVED HER TOO(HE HARDLY LIKES ANYONE). WE HAD A WONDERFUL BIRTH WITH HER. I FIND IT SO WIERD ESPECIALLY SINCE WE BOTH WERE IN DIFFERENT TOWNS THAN WHERE WE LIVED, AND WE WERE BOTH AT THE PARK AT THAT TIME COMPLETELY UNPLANNED AND RANDOM. LIKE I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I WOULD GO SWIMMING WHEN I WOKE UP THAT MORNING!
One night an acquaintance told me he has a spider phobia. He said he pulls back the bedsheets every night to check if there is a spider under the sheets. I went home layer on, and before hopping into bed, I thought about what the spider phobic had said and felt compelled to pull back the bedsheets to check if there was a spider in my bed – there, in the middle of the sheet was a large black spider! I checked every now and then for the next few years, and have never since found a spider under the sheets.
My father was an undertaker in South Wales. For his business he owned a 1954 black Austin Princess LWB Limousine (registration no LWO 1) until his death in 1982. I drove the car many times for him and, in fact, it was the car used at my wedding in 1972. Soon after my father died my mother sold the car to a collector in Lincolnshire. In February 2015 I was in an automobile museum in Launceston, Tasmania and to my astonishment in the model car section there was a detailed scale model of a black Austin Princess LWB Limousine with registration no LWO 1. It was the only one in the museum and so I bought it…
The TV station TlC Has several reality shows. It came to.mind that a great percentage of them have the main characters with double letters present in their last names. Examples: 19 kids and counting:The Duggars, The Willis family,The Roloff family, The Gosselins, The Hamill family. It seems very strange to me that such a large percentage of this networks shows have double lettered last names… Strange coincidence or not?
I was on vacation with my now ex boyfriend in Cancun. We were out wondering the shops in Playa del Carmen, just enjoying the sun. I went into a shop looking at shorts for my sons and started talking with a woman about the price of the shorts. I asked her where she was from…she said Canada. I said “me too”. She asked where, I said, well im from BC originally, Kelowna, but my boyfriend is from North Vancouver. She said, oh well my boyfriend is from North Vancouver also. We walked out of the shop and continued talking about the similarities between our boyfriends. It turns out that our boyfriends went to the same highschool, were the same age, graduated together. They knew of each other in school but weren’t close friends. However, her boyfriend did know my boyfriends brother very well and had been good friends with him all through highschool.
Some years ago, I was returning from work by car, and as I turned into my street, a red car stopped at the sign, driven by a young man with red hair and a very square jaw. I was immediately struck by his likeness to a boy who had been at school with me more than 40 years earlier. I tried to remember his name, but couldn’t. I reached my driveway, opened the gates and drove in and put the car away, then went back to shut the gates. The postbox next to the gate contained a hand-written letter, which surprised me (most mail comes by email these days). The letter was from the Head Boy of my final year at High School and in it he explained that he had decided to invite as many of us as he could contact for a reunion. He had run the idea past several of his friends from those days, and he mentioned them by name. One of them was the name of the boy I had been musing about just minutes before. His name is Graham but he was known as Ginger. I might add that I had never been contacted by the Head Boy before, and this coincidence really floored me! Graham must now be about 70 years old if he is still around.
A man told me that when he was young he found an African warrior doll in a river. He took it home and his sister was scared of it so he put it in the shed. A few months later he found it and there was a small hole in its heart that had not been there before. His sister was so scared he had to bury it.
9 years later he went to buy a flat. On the outside of the house was the electricity meter. The landlord opened it and in it was the African doll.
I do not know if this is true but I don’t think he would lie.
I was working with a friend at his farm in Wiggins Colorado, about an hour east of Denver last Friday. While cleaning up one of his buildings I picked up a pencil off of the floor and put it on a shelf. Later that morning my friend asked for something to mark a cut he had to make and remembering that pencil I went and grabbed it off the shelf and gave it to him. Then he marked the material and put it on the floor. Later I needed to mark something and went to pick up the pencil and noticed that the pencil had my last name on the printing on it. This was the third time I had touched the pencil in the course of a few hours. Upon further inspection I could not even believe my eyes, but the pencil was from my grandparents egg produce business that was started back in the late 1940’s in Ely Minnesota. Which is about 2500 miles from Wiggins, Colorado. I had never even seen one of these pencils in my life until then. But there was no mistake it was from my grandparents business that has been closed since the mid 1970’s. And that’s not even the weirdest part of the story. This all happened about 24 hours before my fathers funeral. My father was the sole employee of the egg produce business along with grandma and grandpa. It’s a million to one long shot that I would even come across this item from my families past, but to have it happen less than 24 hours from my fathers funeral was too much. I still can’t believe it happened, and don’t really know what to make of it, but I think my father was there and kept putting it in front of me until I noticed what it was. For what reason I still don’t know, but I get chills down my neck and goosebumps ever time I think of it.
I walked into a massage school to register for classes. Another woman was registering at the same time. We started talking, and became fast friends, quickly. Her married name was Lorraine M*****. I was named after my cousin, whose maiden name is Lorraine M*****. The Other Lorraine I met is 12 years older than me. My cousin is 12 years older than me. The Other Lorraine has the same birthday as me. The Other Lorraine lived around the block from my future partner. We wrote down our contact information, on paper. OUR HANDWRITING WAS ALMOST IDENTICAL.
It’s nothing really special but lately I’ve been waking up at random times in the morning like one morning it was 3:33 and then another 4:44 and then last night was even more weird when I woke up it was 2:22 and my phone had exactly 22% battery I can’t help but think there’s got to be some weird coincidence.
I was making reservations for 10 people at a comedy club in 1981 in New York City under my name for 8pm. I arrived at about 8 and being told my group was already partially seated, going into the club and meeting “another” Bob Berkman who had made reservations for 10 people at the same club at the same time! (I met “the other Bob” and we were both astonished. I kept his business card in my wallet ever since, then became Facebook friends, and finally met up with him 30+ years later in Buffalo, NY)…
There is a strange “part 2” to this story too, which is another coincidence alltogether–but–coincidentally!-linked to this one…
Part 2: Later that year (or perhaps the next) in New York City, I was interviewed on a morning talk show about a book I had just written on how to find information (this was the years before Google!)…I was on the phone early that morning and the radio host called me from the station.
When I was coming home from work about 5pm from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway, I saw someone on the train who looked familiar to me–then I remembered I had seen him perform at a comedy club some months earlier (that same Comedy Club from above)–I walked over to him (which I never do to people in subways) and asked him if he was a comedian who ever performed at the Comedy Cellar? He said yes…we chatted a bit as the subway car kept heading to Brooklyn..I asked him what he was up to these days..he told me he had moved to LA for awhile, then came back here to NYC to do a radio gig. I asked him which radio station. He said NBC morning radio. I said “really–that’s interesting–I was interviewed by someone this morning on NBC radio”–he said what about? When I told him, he said “are you Bob Berkman?” I said: Yes! He said “My name is Alan B. Colmes and I just interviewed you this morning!” So we were both amazed..and so I now have a coincidence that two of my biggest coincidences are related to the same comedy club too!
My friend and I had just started a band. Although he can play many instruments he decided he wanted to play bass for this project. He owned a bass but wanted to upgrade. At this point in the story I should give you some background on me. I was raised by my mother in Wyoming before I moved to Colorado where I live now. My father was never a part of my life. I just knew he was a native american and a pretty famous musician. I never had anything against him we just had separate lives. He pasted away years ago and I never really thought about him. So one day my friend asks me if I will go with him to check out this bass his moms good friend ” Mary” wants to sell. We go over to Mary’s house and find out that she played many instruments and just didn’t have time for the bass. She opens the case and the instrument shines with it’s own aura. It is agreed we should buy the bass it’s just a matter of price. As this is being discussed I’m looking at the stickers on the case. I nudge my buddy Clinton telling him to check them out. Typical stickers you would see on a Colorado musicians case. One of them said something like ” Your on Native Land”. Clinton laughed and told Mary I was Native American. This seemed to interest her and she asked me what Tribe because she did some work with a couple different ones. I told her Sioux from Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Mary said she worked with that Tribe for years, I told her my father was a musician from there but that he had passed away many years ago. She smiled and asked what his name was. When I told her his name she stared at me for about five seconds and then broke into heavy sobbing. Clinton and I looked at each other and shrugged not really knowing what to do about a total stranger crying uncontrollably in front of us. In between breaths Mary told us she knew my father very well and they had played music on stage several times. She considered him a brother and you could see the pain of his memory. After a few minutes she took a deep breath and told us to take the bass with us and pay her when we could. The bass is worth thousands of dollars so you can imagine our surprise when she not only cut her asking price in half but trusted two strangers to take it with no money down. It was Sunday and we thought we were just gonna take a look at it so we couldn’t get that much cash until the bank opened. This story may not be a coincidence. I’m not sure what you would call it, but when we drove away we were silent until we reached the first stop sign. Once stopped we looked at each other, looked at the bass, looked back at each other, and Clinton asked ” did that really happen? “
I just watched a film called ‘black mass’ starring Johnny Depp. It’s about a gang in Boston and based on a true story. Johnny plays a gang leader called Jimmy ‘whitey’ bulger.
I had never seen the film before or heard of the gang leader in Boston.
I got in bed and forgot about the good film I just watched and remembered a song I heard for the first time earlier in the day. I typed in the name of the band on Google, they are called ‘the lottery winners’, and I looked at the images on Google to see what the band looked like. As you can imagine there were lots of pictures of actual lottery winners. Then a link came up on one of the images I clicked on to a video on YouTube of ‘world’s dumbest lotto winners’ so I watched…
number 5 on the 8 dumbest lotto winners was a guy who won $40,000,000 and the winning ticket he bought was from a liquor store owned by JIMMY ‘WHITEY’ BULGER.
Had to share that with you! Now I can go to sleep!!!
Well one of my friend was in the local bus where 2 other people were conversing among themselves. They were talking about a Boy George ..This got my friends interest as we have a friend name George. He overheard first person asking “Who is George I don’t know him”. so the other one replied, George is the one who has crush on Paula.. That got my friend attention because we have a gang where there are people named Paula and George and George has crush on Paula (1st coincidence)
Then the he asked ” But who is Paula, I don’t know her?”. The other one said ” Paula the one who is Sarah’s friend”
2nd Coincidence because My Name is Sarah Too.
So my this friend thought they are talking about us, so he turned back and asked are you talking about the George, Paula and Sarah who shares Flat on Brooklyn Street. They said no we are talking about someone who stays on Rosevelt street.
In the past six months four of my late son’s closest of friends have all been in minor road accidents.is this just a coincidence or not?.
It may seem very far fetched but, I have a witness. I and my girlfriend were driving on the evening of August 12th and because in the book War Of The Worlds that is the date of the Martians leaving Mars for Earth, I thought it’d be fun to take a drive in the country together and listen to Jeff Wayne’s musical version adaptation. If you know the story, when the Martians launch they’re cylinder it draws a green glow behind it. During the end of the album we were ending back home and I looked at my girlfriend and was going to say “wasn’t that fun?” But before I could say anything I saw this green orb following along said my SUV. She said “what? What is it?” I said “look!” We we’re pretty fascinated but also scared as it was following us. After about what seemed like forever but in reality, maybe 1 minute. It stalled and started to fall and then suddenly shot it the night sky what seemed like light speed. To this day I can’t drive in the country at night.
Looks like This American Life has a whole show of just coincidences https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/489/no-coincidence-no-story
I have two stories (one rather spooky) which I relate in this piece about coincidences – my attempt to make some sense of the phenomenon from scientific and ‘spiritual’ perspectives: https://medium.com/@steveturnbull/it-must-mean-something-933d5d05e8b2#.hgwjql43z
Perhaps a bit different from your normal coincidence story, but one that illustrates the principles in Hand’s wonderful book:
I was a beginning professor of Physics at Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania teaching Statistical Physics. I mentioned to my student just how stupid it was to purchase lottery tickets—”a taxation on idiocy,” as I called it. Well, shortly thereafter I happened to attend a meeting of the American Physical Society in New York City. After the conference I took a taxi to Grand Central Station, to board a train back home. The fare (then) was a modest $3.00, but all I had was a $20 bill, which the taxi driver said was too large for him to change. I had to make change for my $20 bill, so went to a nearby kiosk and had to buy something. “What is the cheapest thing you’ve got?” I asked. “A lottery ticket.” So against my better judgement, I purchased my one and only lottery ticket ever. I paid my $3.00 fare, gave a respectable cash tip AND I gave the taxi driver my lottery ticket, with a hearty, if slightly ironic “good luck.”
Well… three days later, back at my college, I was reading the Metro Section of the New York Times and…
and there was NO ARTICLE WHATSOEVER ABOUT A TAXI DRIVER WINNING THE LOTTERY!
Nobody ever tells THOSE stories, do they?!!
Recently I’ve been noticing so many coincidence’s which I feel are happening much more often. The first real mind blowing thing that caught my attention many years ago around my teens I moved from a small town in IL to the state capital leaving behind all my friends of course so years later still keeping in touch with friends from my old town I find out a friend had moved to Las Vegas with his mother shortly after I had moved so I realized I’d probably never see him again well after I graduated high school I joined the army and was stationed in Maryland for my AIT one day I take the bus to the PX which is basically the Walmart on the military base so im walking through the store many other random soldiers everywhere as I pass a group of soldiers walking the opposite way past me and I happen to glance over at one of them a moment and look away not thinking anything until a split second later my mind recognized the face I turn and immediately yell out Jesse and he turns around and sure enough it’s my old friend from IL that had moved to Vegas some 4 years prior we were both in amazement that we had lost touch from both of us moving then both of us joining the army and eventually running into each other in a completely different state no where near ours.
Another coincidence happening while I was still in the army later stationed at Fort Hood in Tx. I had previously in basic training at Fort Sill Ok, befriended another soldier who was almost just like me we became good friends in basic training and we tried to keep in touch after but was very difficult since cell phones weren’t everywhere like now and we both had to continue our job training in completely different states so we went our separate ways eventually about a year later I was stationed at fort Hood Texas so a couple months goes by and one day I head to the local mall and while walking through the mall I see and recognize my buddy from basic and his family he had just got stationed there 2 weeks prior to us seeing each other and it was completely random we were astonished especially after I told him the previous run in with an old friend in Maryland still hard to believe to this day
Yet another strange coincidence happening while I was in the army. Besides my family having my last name which my last name is absolutely not common at all I never even imagined someone even coming close to it in spelling let alone having the same name. one day I’m on cq which was guard duty at my battalion headquarters which shared a building with another battalion headquarters which was right across from where we were and I go to start guard duty and I have no clue who the other soldiers in this battalion that wasn’t mine never paid much attention to them and one day I hear someone yell out my last name and turns out to be someone else with the exact same last name which he thought as well as I that it was strange considering we weren’t related and he was from a state no where near mine but it was still interesting small coincidence
Just yesterday me my gf and a buddy of mine were having a few drinks just talking about random stuff like how we got talking about thermostats and mercury in thermostats just dumb random talk and I just happen to remember I heard along time ago the character Mad Hatter from Alice in wonderland was actually mad because he had mercury poisoning to which my buddy mentions a few things about the mad Hatter and one thing he asks us what was the thing that was always in his hat and I mentioned i think it’s a playing card but we weren’t for sure so we Google pics of the character to see and in his hat it’s a piece of paper that says, In This Style 10/6 to which my gf says today is 10/6 October 6 we are blown away and on further research we find that October 6 is called Mad Hatter day and none of us had ever heard of it before kinda real weird.
My late mother who had lived in Canada for many years eventually returned to England to spend the latter years of her life with the rest of our family here.
Shortly after she died I was going into town to get one of her pictures framed; it was a highly finished preliminary drawing/painting of a red double decker London transport bus; the scene was set in the rain…but it was interesting because she had produced two but as mirror images of each other; two paintings in effect.I thought it was cheerful and reminded me of the way she viewed things.
As I was just about to leave my house with the paintings the phone rang; it was a long distance call from Vancouver, Canada. and it was a lady who used to know my mum about fifteen years previously. She said that she had found my mums number and wanted to find out how she was, was she well? I told her that my mother had passed away about two weeks previously and she gasped; oh no that it was such a shock to her…she told me how talented my mother was, and how she had one of her paintings hanging up in her kitchen and she was looking at it as we spoke, it was .the finished version of the double decker London bus !… I replied that i was just on my way out to get the preliminary drawings of that very painting framed when I had received her call, again she was amazed and told me how much my mother had loved me…this was helpful for me at that time. We spoke for a while about coincidence and chance, but what was also amazing was that I was also in the kitchen when she called and I was also looking at the same images that were mirrored in the drawings but also mirrored in our separate locations.
When I was a kid we moved to a new house and took with us a snapping turtle that someone had given us ( my brother and I). We put it in the sandbox and played with it and left food and water.
The next day we went to the sandbox and it was gone! Apparently it wandered off that night and we never saw it again.
Years later I met a girl and she told me where she grew up, and it ended up being about a mile from where I grew up. She told me that when she was a kid she and her sister found a snapping turtle wandering through their yard. I have to believe it was the same turtle because there were no ponds or lakes within miles of our locations
For several years now the number 11 has kind of “haunted” me, so to speak, much like the number 23 to Jim Carrey in the movie “The Number 23”. I’ve always chocked it up (and still do) to just the human brain seeing patterns, even if none exist. Anywho, in the year 2011, I learned about the oldest person on record to ever live, a french woman of the name Jeanne Calment.
One day it occurred to me that her day of birth was February 21, 1875, and mine is Feb 10 1986- which means I was born 11 days before her 111th birthday. She then died 11 years(not on the exact date though) later in 1997.
I’m not done yet, though. One day a couple months ago I was thinking about her and was curious about what day she died and decided to look it up online and learned that it was August 4th. What was the date that I learned that? August freakin’ 4th.
Late last year, I had something very strange but lucky happen. It’s a bit personal… one morning I woke up with thrush. I didn’t have much money in my account, but I decided to go to the pharmacist to see if I could get treatment with the little money I had in my account. The treatment was too expensive, so I didn’t get any. On my way out of the pharmacy, I remembered that I had put a request in a few days before for my regular medication (not thrush related) so I asked the pharmacist if my prescription was ready. She pulled out a bag from the box behind the desk and it was my prescription. As I was walking out, I looked in the bag, and it was thrush treatment, not the cheap stuff either. It was the expensive £20 a pop treatment. I went back to the desk and said “this isn’t mine, I ordered propanalol”. She checked the system, she said the thrush treatment definitely is mine and it was ordered 2 weeks prior, but the propanalol was not ready yet., I’ve not been to my GP for thrush treatment in around 3 years… why was it ordered for me when I didn’t ask for it? But it’s a bit strange that this happened at the exact moment I needed it!
For several years now the number 11 has kind of “haunted” me, so to speak, much like the number 23 to Jim Carrey in the movie “The Number 23”. I’ve always chocked it up (and still do) to just the human brain seeing patterns, even if none exist. Anywho, in the year 2011, I learned about the oldest person on record to ever live, a french woman of the name Jeanne Calment.
One day it occurred to me that her day of birth was February 21, 1875, and mine is Feb 10 1986- which means I was born 11 days before her 111th birthday. She then died 11 years(not on the exact date though) later in 1997.
I’m not done yet, though. One day a couple months ago I was thinking about her and was curious about what day she died and decided to look it up online and learned that it was August 4th. What was the date that I learned that? August 4th.
I have recently returned to England after 16 years spent abroad. We have rented a house in a small village near Scarborough in Yorkshire. I commented to my husband that the village was quite like the one where I grew up in Nottinghamshire. One day as we were walking along the high street I was amazed when an old bus passed us by (circa 1970s) still pained in the red livery, and displaying the name of, the Trent Bus Company (a Notinghamshire company that no longer exists). Even more astonishing was the number displayed by the bus – 358 – it was the exact same bus from the route between Nottingham and Ilkeston that was the only one that ran through my childhood village of Awsworth. I was a regular passenger on this route in the 1970s and had in all probability been on this exact bus: a coincidence made all the more remarkable by the fact that the driver may choose to have any three digit number displayed on the bus. What are the chances of this bus crossing my path, bearing this number, forty years after my last trip on it and over one hundred miles away from my childhood village? No need to answer, I prefer it to stay in the realms of the magical!
Once when I was young my parents took us to a petting zoo. there was a goat there and it was chewing on my dress, being a kid I started to cry. The man next to my father laughed and made some remark . Flash forward to 10 years later I was at my boyfriends’ (now husband) house for dinner and my father in law made a comment about how they were at the zoo one day and a little girl was crying because a goat was chewing on her dress. I said that happened to me! Anyway they found a picture they had taken and sure enough the little girl was me. Met my husband when I was six.
Saw this post on Reddit and thought I’d share it. There was a girl who was babysitting and her sister came by to help and hang out with her. They found a box of brownie mix and decided to bake some. While they were waiting for the brownies to get done baking the sister said “I wish I’d known you were going to bake these, I would have picked up some Vanilla Ice cream .” There was a knock at the door and when the baby sitter answered it . I t was Schwabs Ice cream home delivery service and the guy said this is a new route for me so if you ever need ice cream keep my card and here’s a free gallon of Vanilla Ice Cream!!!! The visiting sister screamed and the Schwabs ice cream backed slowly away
When my husband was a teenager he went away on vacation to South Carolina. He met up with 3 girls (they were not related) and their names were, Faith, Hope & Grace
My two favorite coincidence stories. 1) When I was 16, I moved. Back then, you couldn’t transfer phone numbers and I had my number my whole life. I was bummed because it felt like part of my childhood was going. The number I grew up with was 948-5520 (no area codes then). The number I was assigned at my new apartment was 948-6620! It couldn’t have been any more similar! 2) I was at a friend’s new apartment and I noticed that the windows looked like the one in Amityville Horror. In the movie, the windows slam down on the actor’s hands (it is a horror movie). I went over to the window, and without realizing it, put my hands on the sill and said “this looks like the Amityville Horror window.” It slammed down on my fingers. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt. But creepy!
Wife and I plus two couples spent a weekend in a hotel in Park Lane mostly paid for on Tesco club card points for my 40th. Great night around London then back to hotel for late nightcap. We’re sitting in lounge/reading room next to the bar and I’m getting a bit bored/tired and randomly pull a book off the shelf next to me. Architecture of England. No real interest in this but open at a photographic section to be looking at an example of council housing in the 30s. It was my grandparents house in Loddon,Norfolk. Never got my head round it.
I experienced the following coincidences in 2017:
1. The mayor of Hickory, North Carolina, committed suicide on May 11, 2017. Hickory is my hometown.
2. Otto F. Warmbier, an UVA McIntire School of Commerce student and former North Korea prisoner, died on June 19, 2017. I am a graduate of the UVA McIntire School of Commerce.
3. Heather D. Heyer, a bankruptcy paralegal, was killed on August 12, 2017, during the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was once a bankruptcy paralegal, and I once lived in Charlottesville, Virginia, for four years while in college at UVA, including two summers there.
4. A child was killed on August 20, 2017, during a domestic-violence incident in the Baity Hill family housing community at UNC. The Baity Hill family housing community was built after my graduation from UNC law school around the house (Ms. Baity’s old house) where I once lived for two years while in law school.
5. A fatal helicopter crash occurred in Medford, Burlington County, New Jersey, on September 8, 2017. One of the victims in that crash was Troy Gentry, a country musician who lived in the Nashville area (Franklin, Tennessee). A couple of my apartment mates while at UVA once lived in Burlington County (Medford Lakes). I have visited both Franklin and Burlington County. The fatal Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in Perquimans County, North Carolina, also occurred on September 8, 2017. I once was a patient at Duke University Hospital.
6. Brock Long, a native of Catawba County, North Carolina, was nominated and confirmed to be FEMA Administrator in 2017. He led the FEMA response to the hurricanes in 2017. I am also a native of Catawba County, and I once played Brock Long in tennis when we were teenagers. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria occurred in August 2017 and September 2017, and September 2017 was the busiest month of hurricane activity on record.
Here are some “personal” coincidences of mine:
I. [John Doe] Williams, Haley Joel Osment, and the D.C. Sniper Shootings
Haley Joel Osment, the main child actor in the 1999 movie The Sixth Sense, and the late [John Doe] Williams of my hometown share the same birthday with me. Mr. Williams was once a Sunday-school teacher of mine in my hometown. I also remember his congratulating me with a “Nice Game” or something like that after one of my outdoor soccer games when I was in high school. Mr. Williams passed away around the time of the D.C. Sniper shootings, which shootings, among other issues, significantly impacted my life.
II. License Plates
I have been randomly assigned license plates in my past on one occasion with “666” on the plate and on another occasion with “DMB” on the plate. “DMB” is an acronym for the Dave Matthews Band and I believe may also be a registered trademark of that band. I once had season tickets for home University of Virginia (“UVA”) football games with a small group of UVA alumni. One alumnus in that group had worked for the Dave Matthews Band in its early years, and I personally viewed memorabilia she had received from that band through her work experience with it.
III. My Grandmother’s Death
I have contributed two posts to the website dailyspeculations.com. My recollection with a high degree of confidence is the issue as to the source of macroeconomic profits mentioned or discussed in those posts first came to me (that is, “popped into my head”) just as I received a phone call that my maternal grandmother had passed away.
1. A childhood friend of mine from my hometown recently let me know that [John Doe] Bost, also from our hometown and also an University of North Carolina Law School (“UNC Law School”) graduate like myself, had passed away.
2. The late [John Doe] Bost has a cousin. I lived with the cousin of the late Bost one year (1998-99) in a house while I was attending UNC Law School. After I had moved into that house, I first learned from the cousin of the late Bost that he and the (now) late Bost are cousins.
3. [John Doe] Love and I were once summer law clerks together in 1998 in South Carolina. When I later lived with the cousin of the late Bost as a housemate during law school, I first learned from the cousin of the late Bost that [John Doe] Love and the cousin of the late Bost had been roommates (or had some other similar living arrangement) once in college.
4. a. Jennifer Garner from my hometown tragically died in a car accident when she and I were teenagers. Before her death, I had learned through “gossip” that she once had a “crush” on me (I do not recall the exact word or quote) when she and I were small children. She has a brother named Greg. Her parents attend (or previously attended) a Methodist church in my hometown. I assume that Jennifer, like myself, was raised as a Methodist (though at different churches in my hometown).
b. My understanding is the actress Jennifer Garner is a Methodist. She starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt in a television show in 1999, and Ben Affleck, her ex-husband, starred with Courtney Love in a movie in 1999. [John Doe] Love got married in 1999. Further, I was given the nickname “Batman” from a former colleague of mine when I used to work at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (“OGE”). I first began to work at OGE in 1999. Ben Affleck, the ex-husband of Jennifer Garner, has played the role of “Batman” I think in at least a couple movies in recent years. (I am aware that the Jennifer Garner who was and, in some sense, still is in my life is the late Jennifer Garner from my hometown and not the actress Jennifer Garner.) Still further, as mentioned above, I contributed a couple posts to the website dailyspeculations.com. Another contributor on that website is the father of Michelle Williams, the once girlfriend of the late Heath Ledger, who once played the role of the “Joker” in a Batman movie. Related to the name “Williams,” please also see, among other coincidences in my life unmentioned here, “I. [John Doe] Williams, Haley Joel Osment, and the D.C. Sniper Shootings” above.
5. a. In 1999, I first became more interested in a Hall of Fame professional tennis player as compared to other tennis players as a result of a coincidence when I was a spectator at one of his matches in a senior tennis event in or around Atlanta, Georgia. While preparing to return serve immediately before the serve, the Hall of Famer turned his head and looked with an extended gaze (maybe for a couple seconds?) in my general direction in the stands just as I was yawning. From my experience playing competitive junior tennis in my youth as well as watching professional tennis on television, my understanding is a player rarely looks away once he or she has taken his or her position to return serve as the Hall of Famer did. I thought then as I do now that the Hall of Famer MAY have caught me yawning during the middle of his tennis match.
b. Soon after I had ordered a t-shirt from his website, the Hall of Famer suffered a fall and received treatment at a hospital in 2012. The Hall of Famer’s business partner contacted me through email to inform me about problems with my order after his fall. If I remember correctly, the business partner said in his email that the Hall of Famer’s website had gotten flooded with internet traffic after his fall and that, as a result, certain information about my order had been lost. The business partner was able to fulfill the order with effective customer service.
Movies and Coach
A. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
1. Hickory, North Carolina, is my hometown. I graduated from Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina. The mascot for this high school is the “Red Tornadoes.” I am not sure what year this high school adopted this mascot though the Wikipedia page for this high school does state that the high school in Hickory, North Carolina, was renamed “Hickory High School” in the 1940s. In the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, a tornado sweeps the character Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, away from Kansas, and “Hickory” is the name of another character in that movie.
2. One of my father’s first cousins once lived in or around Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A news article in the Hickory Daily Record (Ragan Robinson, “Where’s the Granite Falls? What’s the Long View?,” at http://www.hickoryrecord.com (July 18, 2010)) suggests that Hickory, North Carolina, possibly got its name from settlors who moved to the area from Hickory, Pennsylvania, in or around where Lancaster, Pennsylvania, today is located. Again, “Hickory” is the name of a character in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.
3. (My) Uncle Henry, one of my two uncles, graduated from college in Greenville, North Carolina (East Carolina University). A nickname for Greenville, North Carolina, is the “Emerald City.” This uncle lives or has lived in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. “Uncle Henry” is the name of a character in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, and the “Emerald City” is the capital city in The Wizard of Oz.
4. One of my two first cousins lives or once lived in Kirkland, Washington. Kirkland is a suburb of Seattle, Washington. The nickname for Seattle, Washington, is the “Emerald City.” Again, the “Emerald City” is the capital city in The Wizard of Oz.
5. A former co-trainee and co-worker of mine once claimed, though perhaps falsely, to me and others in a group of (now former) co-trainees and co-workers that Margaret Hamilton, the late actress who played “Miss Gulch” and the “Wicked Witch of the West” in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, graduated from the same high school as she.
B. Hoosiers (1986) and Coach Rick Barnes
1. The high school in the 1986 movie Hoosiers was called “Hickory.” The colors of the basketball jerseys in this movie were gold and cardinal red. My understanding is this movie was based on a true story about a basketball team from Milan High School in Indiana. Also, there appear to be three high schools in the United States currently named “Hickory High School.”
2. Coach Rick Barnes is the current head men’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. This basketball team currently (as of January 27, 2019) has the No. 1 ranking in two national polls. Coach Barnes played basketball in high school at Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina. The school colors at Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina, are gold and garnet.
3. Two news articles in the IndyStar (Kyle Neddenriep, “Small Indiana Town Still Proud of Role as Real-Life Hickory,” at http://www.indystar.com (September 15, 2016), and Dana Hunsinger Benbow, “The Fascinating Tale of the ‘Hoosiers’ Hickory Uniforms,” at http://www.indystar.com (November 6, 2015)) suggest that no known connection exists between the 1986 movie Hoosiers and Hickory, North Carolina’s Hickory High School: there is no mention in these news articles of Hickory High School in Hickory, North Carolina (or its school colors).
“Star Wars” Coincidence
I share the same birthday (April 10th) as Daisy Ridley, the actress who plays “Rey” in the Star Wars films, and my mother’s middle name is Raye. While a lot of people have the exact or similar coincidence with having a birthday on April 10th and having a mother or other family member with the name “Raye,” “Rae,” or “Ray,” I will add that certain personal and philosophical concerns and thoughts of mine are consistent with the plain meaning of the dialogue in the films The Force Awakens (Star Wars) and The Last Jedi (Star Wars) involving the character “Rey,” which dialogue I find intriguing.
I’ll give you one David – 3 friends and I sailed in the ‘Round the Island’ race (largest yacht race in the World, 1000’s of boats going round the Isle of Wight) a few years ago, in a rather small and nondescript boat. About year or so later one of those 3 friends was very surprised to receive a birthday card with the picture on the front being of just our boat in the race (sender unaware of this). A photo taken by a random photographer and used by a large UK Charity for a run of cards. Clearly some selection effect – he sails, people more likely to choose a sailing card etc, but also, in isolation, highly unlikely. Though entirely likely in-some-form when considered against the backdrop of events in not just one person’s life but any/every person’s life, as you say.
In 2006, near a Wegmans grocery store in Rochester, New York, United States, I spotted a “BGG666” New York license plate on a winestone-colored Subaru sedan as it passed by me while I was walking. I then followed this car into the parking lot of the Wegmans to examine the car and confirm the letters and digits on its license plates. As far as my coincidence, “BGG” are my initials, and I owned at the time a winestone-colored Subaru whose model and year were identical or nearly identical to those of the sedan with the “BGG666” license plates.
I was at the Disneyland park with my husband and our two daughters, and my husband’s parents. I was standing in line waiting to walk through Minnie Mouses’ house with my mother in- law and my daughters, Emily and Hailey. The line wait was about 30 minutes, and the line layout was one of those zig-zag formations. About half way through the wait my mother in- law and I heard a woman calling out the names Emily and Hailey, we turned around and my mother in law asked the woman if those are her daughters Emily and Hailey, the woman responded with a smile and
a sigh “yes they are”, and odd course I blurted out, “my two daughters are also Emily and Hailey”, it was a neat coincidence, but then my mother in- law,(in a sarcastic/jokingly tone) asked the woman what her name is, the woman answered, “my name is natalie”,,,, and wow, we we blown away because that is my name too. We didn’t get to chat for too long because as the line moved along we went one direction and she went another since she was in the row behind us in that zig-zag style line. I get goosebumps allover every time I tell this story. The odds of being in that same line, not near each other except for that brief minute or two that our positions in line, aligned us and her daughters were at whatever distance from their mom at that exact moment enabling us to hear her calling her daughters names out. I wish I would have exchanged contact info with her to interview each other in search of other coincidences, if any.
In 1955 I photographed a little girl looking in a shop window. A few years ago this photo appeared in a local (Coventry) newspaper. The little girl, now aged around 75, saw it and contacted me via the newspaper. It turned out that she lives in the same street where I was born.
I’m from the United States and was 15 years old when I got to visit Europe as part of a school ambassador program back in 2008. My maternal grandfather had paid for the expensive trip because he believed it would be a good educational opportunity for me.
I got to visit 6 different countries while there: England, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
I’ve always known growing up that many of my ancestors came from Germany. My grandfather would tell us the fairytales that came from there such as the three, little pigs and the big, bad wolf.
It was on July 3 and 4th of 2008 that I got to visit Germany for the very first time. Since I had associated the country of Germany in my mind with my ancestry and my grandfather, I was happily purchasing gifts for him in Germany to bring back when I would come home.
On July 5, we were heading to Switzerland. We were going to a restaurant on the top of a mountain and I had seen something shiny on the ground. I picked it up and saw that it was a skull and crossbones, silver colored chain. I kept it and still have it to this day.
It was on July 12 that I returned home and was shocked to hear from my parents that my grandfather had died on July 4 while I was in Germany. The day I was purchasing gifts for him. It was an even bigger shock remembering the skull and crossbones chain I had found the very next day after his passing. Was this the universal or my grandfather trying to tell me that he had passed my 15 year old self had thought.
One night, a few months later I was awake one night and at the time was interested in ghosts and if they could possibly be real. I said quietly, “Grandpa, if you’re there, give me a sign.” A moment later I felt the urge to turn over my pillow and again to my shock, I noticed the tag on the pillow had the name of a company that made it and in big letters it simply read, “Grandpa”. I believed that this was a sign from him to me.
A few years later when I was turning 18, my mom had taken me to the bank to set up a checking account and I needed my social security card with me. It was at the bank in the waiting area that I was looking at my card and for the first time noticed something that amazed me. Social security cards (at least in the USA have 3 digits, 2 digits then 4 digits.) This is their format. Example: 123-45-6789.
I had noticed that the middle 2 digits happened to be the month and day of his death and that the last 4 digits were the month and day of his birth. This blew my mind. How could this be possible? Was the universe or my grandpa giving me another sign?
These coincidences are the most amazing and surprising things that have ever happened to me in my life. And lastly, to top it off. My grandfather had always told my mom that when he passed to have a celebration and to not be sad that he passed away. The fact that he passed on July 4th just makes it all the more strange.
One Texas summer my family decided to leave Dallas and its searing heat and visit my grandfather in Colorado Springs. This trip was commonplace in July or August and a welcome relief while Dallas bakes at 100 degrees. This summer was no different. However, quite a few of his other children had the same idea, and we were late to the party. Not to be deterred, my father decided to book 2 adjoining rooms at the Broadmoor hotel. Upon arrival, I still have a fleeting memory of my parents becoming highly agitated as the front desk said “Mr. Bush, you have already checked in.”
Ignoring the confusion my father asked if they had two connecting rooms, they did, so we checked in and the vacation as saved. We assumed some mistake had been made and dismissed it. After getting cleaned up we headed to “Popeye’s” house. (My Grandfathers nickname.)
Our grandfather opened the door and seemed relieved that we were OK. He began telling us that he had left a message with the front desk that George W. Bush needs to call his father immediately upon arrival. However, some imposter had called claiming to be his son!
Truth be told, it was the improbability principle at work. The person that called my grandfather was indeed named George W. Bush, the future 43rd president of the United States. Many years later I had the pleasure of meeting him and asked about that incident, curious for his perspective and wanting some confirmation that the hotel hadn’t pulled a fast one. “I remember that! Someone was claiming to be my dad!”
After a good laugh I asked if he was aware of the time the Dallas police thought they had his wife’s dog. This is where things turn absurdly improbable: As strange as it may sound, my sister lived about 4 blocks from the president, and her dachshund had gone on a little adventure. A police officer found the dog, scanned it for a chip, and panicked when “Laura Bush” was listed on the scanning device. He drove with lights flashing and siren screaming to return the pet only to be turned away by the secret service. That dog did not belong to the former First Lady, Laura bush. It belonged to my sister of the same name.