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I like coincidences, me. I've read all the well known ones that float about in books and on the web. Does anybody have any good 'uns they want to tell us about?

I'll start off. It's not a very good one but I thought it was quite odd at the time.

When I was a teenager I used to subscibe to the 'Unexplained' partwork. One day I was reading an article on - I think - Tom Lethbridge. At the top of the article was a photograph of Lundy Island in the Bristol channel. At the time I used to share a room with my brother who is a radio amateur. While I was reading he made contact and started a conversation with a group of people who were on Lundy Island on some kind of birdwatching trip. What was weirder was that the lighthouse shown in the picture in my mag was were they were staying.....

Well I thought it was quite good......

I'll be off now then...

At a certain point of saturation in a subject the coincidences will begin: people
will contact you and unprompted bring up the subject or you will
meet someone with knowledge of it and the subject will accidentally
emerge. Incidents like your Island connection but in series.

The rational view is that meaning is ours to give and our attention
is selective. Perhaps all things are nearer at hand than we imagine.

It was central to Charlie Fort's thinking - he was a self declared monadist,
believing like attracts like. Hence witchcraft.

To attract coincidences you do need to be in a fairly charged and active
state of mind. They just don't happen on days of lethargy or gloom, even if we
are nearly as busy. :rolleyes:
I tend to go along with the principle that among an immeasurable amount of insignificant events, some are going to stand out and, of course these seem remarkable if you ignore all of the non events which would 'bring the average down' as it were.

I have never associated coincidence with any supernatural force, and I understand to some degree ( I am a bit dim ) the theories of people like Paul Kammerer; I just find examples hugely entertaining.

All the examples I can think of were matters of detail and look
less impressive on the page than they felt at the time.

For instance I had been looking up a subject which involved a
pair of characters with not all that common surnames.

Giving up on that subject, I moved to my next topic which was
unrelated but I remember it involved the town of Ryde on the
Isle of Wight.

There, at the top of the search-engine results for Ryde, was a
business called X & Y Engineering, X & Y being the surnames I
had previously been trying to link to a quite different theme. I could
probably retrace my steps on this and find out the names, which
I have now forgotten. But it wouldn't prove anything.

My immediate explanation was that somehow part of the older
search-string had been carried into the new search, or that I had
returned to an earlier set of results. It is also quite possible that the
gubbins of the search engine had rendered it more likely to find
names for which there had been previous requests. The Engineering
company had not been fingered earlier as it did not fulfil
the other criteria of the first search.

These sorts of things come thick and fast and I guess they aren't
witchcraft, just pattern finding or linking things any way we can
where the connection is superficial and ultimately meaningless.
Given the amount of redundant data we scan in the average session
of surfing or more directed research, I guess these links are inevitable.

My mind has been on coincidences this week as I was doing some
stuff for an Australian client. Suddenly I was surrounded by references
to Sydney. Radio features, tv, newspaper articles and online resources
all led to Sydney at the height of my involvement. Probably they would
all have been there anyway but I was more inclined to leave the radio
feature on, for instance, because of my new connection with the place.

Like dreams, coincidences seem vivid at the time, fade quickly and
don't impress others much when recounted;)

One case that does occasionally get aired is that of a bloke, a tv
repair man, I think, who was called to a job to an outlying town. His
wife, at home, phoned a friend in a different town but she got the
area code wrong by a digit and her call was sent to a call-box.
Passing a phone ringing in an empty call box, her husband was
curious and lifted up the receiver to find he was talking to his wife.

Sorry I can't find chapter and verse on this, and the details may be a bit
out but the gist is as given. In any case, we would only have the
word of the participants. I think the psi element was played up with
the additonal element that the wife was anxious to contact her husband
at the time. Now if we could just work on this ability, the mobiles could all
be chucked:D
You want a true fortean coincidence? Ok!
I was reading a big thick book called "UneXplained" which had a chapter on Fort in it. I read this chapterand htought "that guy was a mad man!"
Then I went home, at the time I was reading "Dark White" and was some way through it. I opened the book to the bookmarked page and began reading... then I turned the page (for obvious reasons) and ta da! an ENTIRE page on Fort!
Very odd, considering that Fort is only mentioned on that one page in the book.
James, you little psychologist you...

James you are a complete psychologist...stop it, I don't like Psychologists and they don't like me, 'cos I am openminded!
Psychologist, moi?

I'm just recounting all the things I tell myself to explain these
things. But I know how little I know, and no one with a Catholic
background ever banishes the category of the miraculous, try
as they might.;)
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Coincidences do happen.....oh yes !!

Do you remember a film called 'The Car' - about a demonically possessed car, or a car driven by the devil, or some such explanation ? Anyway, in this film, the evil car is stalking a women who, I think has cottoned on to the fact that the car is evil. There is a scene where she is trying to phone someone ( the RAC or the AA ) possibly to warn them about the car. In the distance you can see some head lights coming up a road towards the house. My mother, me and my brother were watching this film in the early eveing, it was just beginning to get dark outside. Anyway, you could see this car coming up the road, but the woman on the phone had her back to the big bay window. It got closer and closer, and the woman turned around, just as the car drove through the window and killed her. Well, at the precise moment that the car hit the window, there was a deafening crash at the front window in my house, right behind where I was sat. We all sat there in a stunned silence, all as white as sheets and needless to say, shaking somewhat. My mother then proceeded to push me out the front door to see what had hit the window.

There on the grass was a rather stunned pheasant, hobbling around as if it had just flown into a window. Poor thing. I still remember this incident with a smile, even though it put the willies up me back then.

Now that was a coincidence alright.

I've been interested in coincidence for years. A big influence on me was Arthur Koestler's "The Roots of Coincidence", which also covers Jung's ideas on synchronicity.

Another influence was probably the fact that, at Grammar School in the 50s, there was a boy 2 years ahead of me with exactly the same name - first two names and surname. Not only was he no relation, our shared surname is fairly uncommon - where I live now there are only two of us in the local phonebook.

I keep a record of interesting coincidences - I call it my Syn Bin (groan!) - but I won't start giving samples or I'll be here all night...
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As already mentioned, I enjoy coincidences purely as entertaining stories. However, it is interesting to attempt an explanation when possible.

A simple example that I had the opportunity to question was when we bought our house. The couple we bought from had the same surname. After mistakingly assuming that they were married or related it turned out that they had been introduced by friends at some social gathering because they had the same surname. So a small coincidence turned into a slightly better one.

And to think, if one of them had been called 'Snaffenbergerstromenklein' and the other 'Smith' I wouldn't be able to post this and get one step closer to becoming a 'Yeti'.
A Personal Coincidence

Here's one that has cropped up in mine and my wife's life since we first started going out. The number 13 has appeared quite often.

It starts with April 13, the day we officially became a couple :) Our first apartment together was #113. We stayed there until we were married and my wife became pregnant. We then moved into a larger apartment in the same building, the number? 213.

My son was then born August 13.

A year later we moved to a townhouse...the number? 413.

A few years later we moved to another town. We moved to an apartment. The number? 607. I jokingly noted that it wasn't a 13...until I added the numbers up. 13 again.

That was the last one though. We never placed any significance to it, we just find it amusing :)


Reading a thriller today, I came across a character wearing a tiepin with WWJD on it, which turns out to stand for "What would Jesus do?"

Not being a religious type, I'd not heard this phrase before, but this evening I encountered it again, in one of the links on the FT website - where else!

Whatever can it all mean...?
Ref 'WWJD'

I know what you mean...I've had things like that happen before.

I spose once you take notice of a new phrase you tend to notice it more in the future. Similarly, you buy a new car, next thing you know, everyones got the same motor.
I've had similar things happen to me...some fellow gave it the impressive sounding name of "Synchronicity of Information"... The theory goes that if you're gonna need the information at some point in the future, you'll get it in the past (Why this never happened for me more often during exams is beyond me!). *shrug* don't ask me! I never came up with this theory!! You could poke oh so many holes into it... But that's beside the point ;) I used to work at a bookshop, and on SEVERAL occasions, I'd be chatting to a customer on some obscure topic or another, and the topic of a certain book would come up. I'd do the search for the book in our inventory, and voila. We'd go take a look at the book and discuss it etc etc. The funny part is, up until that point I'd never heard of said book, and barely an hour later, several people will come in and ask for that selfsame book. Bear in mind that we're taking obscure books here, not the regular, run-of-the-press popular types. It's enough to give me seconds thoughts about coincidences....
Now here's a wierd one ...

not strictly a coincidence in the same sense ..... but I went to the Maldive Islands a few years ago - pretty far flung from where I live, and happened to meet one of my old Uni classmates there who I hadn't seen (written or spoken to or anything - we had completely lost contact) in nearly five years !!!!!!!!!
Yeh, I've got quite a good 'people' type coincidence. (By the way, we call them co-inkydinks in our house )

When I was at junior school, a girl in my class had an auntie who lived next door to my auntie. The good bit was, my aunt lives in Hampshire, I dunno, probably 100 miles away.

Good eh?
re : Arthur Koestler's "The Roots of Coincidence"

I had an odd co-incidence whilst reading this book. In the book there is a description of an amoeba type thing that lives in the jungle and at certain times [times of food scarcity] the amoeba all band together to form a worm like creature that can then shuffle off to find more food. I was reading about this late at night and had the telly turned on to the Open University and lo and behold a biology program came on describing exactly the creatures I had been reading about in a book on co-incidences !;)

The last strange coincidence I had (well, my mate had it, really) was about a year ago. My mate was going to Kendal to buy a car and I was giving him a lift. On the way down I got stuck behind a brown Mondeo going about 30mph and I said that maybe it was a cop car that'd pull me over if I passed it. We got to talking about car insurance and my mate said he was going to phone for insurance for his new car the day after, on the Monday, so on that particular day he wouldn't be insured. I said 'Better not crash then, or get pulled by the cops.'

He picked his car up two hours later. Twenty yards down the road he crashed it - his first crash in 10 years. But the best bit is that he crashed it into a brown Mondeo... which just happened to be owned by a cop.

These things happen, I guess...
Now there's a coincidence

Two people on the same message board from the same part of the country. Mr Bingo and Moggadon. Isn't the world a small and strange space ?

Now I'm scared

Too damn spooky for me mate. Quick, back under the quilt !!!

i have things happen with my mum all the time...we are very close and send text messages at the same time, i have my phone on silent ring in my bag at work but feel th urge to look at it, just as i receive a message from her at exactly the same time.. we phone each other just as the other is thinking about the other one...even have silent coversations - one i was thinking about going to the shop to by a mars bar and as i finished that though mm said " i'll have one too if you're going"...as no, i didn't say it out loud!!!
An interesting coincidence yesterday. The radio and TV news had reports of a superb Roman mosaic floor which has recently been discovered in Somerset, which was interesting but nothing more until I contacted my local library about some overdue books I wanted to renew. The librarian said that one of them, a whodunnit, was already reserved by another reader, so when I got home I pulled that book out and put it on top of my 'to read' pile.

Surprise, surprise. The cover picture was of a Roman mosaic, and when I started reading it I found out why - the 'detective' is a mosaic maker in Roman Britain!

I'd had this book out several weeks but forgotten all about it, so the coincidence is that it was brought into my ken again on the day of the Somerset news story only because someone else had reserved the book.
This thread has just coincided with coincidence.

It reminded me of a story from last year.So I looked it up on Google. What did the first line of the post on the first site I clicked on say? "www.forteantimes.com". Oooo spooky (well, ish).

Here's the story I was looking up:

Cars collide in Twilight Zone
POLICE were astonished after two cars of the same make, colour, age and mileage crashed at a druids' haunt. The two drivers, strangers to each other, shared the same house number.

And the cars' registration plates were an anagram of each other. The head-on smash between the two green H-registered Rover 214 Si's occurred outside a pub called The Wizard in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. The area is said to be a haunt of pagan druids.

The drivers in the accident escaped serious injury.

One police officer said: 'It was like something out of the X-Files. It was just so weird and bizarre. The cars involved must have been next to each other on the assembly line.'

Metro, 28 April 2000
I wonder how much of these coincidences can really be explained by probability, or whether the world really is that weird. Of all the billions of interacting variables which determine where we are, what we do, where we've been, who we meet and when, I wonder if these things are really all that stunning. Probability is, to me at least, extremely counter-intuitive. Interestingly, someone did a study once on luck. They asked a group of people whether they considered themselves unlucky or lucky. The ones who considered themselves unlucky tended to have a poorer grasp of probability than those who felt they were lucky. (This may have been a Richard Wiseman study, I can't remember).
There's of course the cases of heightened awareness of certain things, i.e. buying a particular car which then means pretty much everyone else on the road is driving one too.

Anyway, I still love a good coincidence story. :)
I mentioned this book on another thread, and coincidentally, it applies better here. "The Numerolog Of Dr. Matrix" Don't know the auth, but I'll get it if you want. There is an article there describing so-called coincidences between the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Very interesting stuff. Also, if you care to watch a very Fortean B-grade movie, "Repo Man" has an interesting discussion about coincidences. I personally think coincidences are only what we make of them. Our brains are very good taking things and grouping according to certain standards. When we get a chance to put two occurences in a tight grouping in a small time frame, we think "wow, isn't that weird."
When you start to talk about coincidences and probability, then things get iffy. What are the chances of anything happening? What are the chances of two closely related things happening in a matter of seconds or less? Who knows?
But I must say the car-crash story and the bird hitting the window are both pretty weird.
Strangley enough I was reading this thread and I was also watching tv on my pc .I flicked to UKPlay and Shooting Stars was on.Bob Mortimer said somehting like "-the reason it was called the jurassic era." as I turned it on.PlaYUK repeats its shows evry few hours and a little while ago I swithced onto the PlayUK channel again only to hear "-the reason it was called the jurassic era".Mental!
My coincidences happened about 3 years ago. I'd just started working for Directory Enquiries. On my 1st full day live "on the boards" I received call from my someone in London who said "xxx is that you?".

It was my younger sister. I should say that at the time there were 60 other people on just in my centre and we were not the priority call centre for London. Two calls later I recognised the voice of my neighbour who wished me luck and again we were not the priority centre for my local area. Neither my little sister nor my neighbour normally use Directories.

I had the next day off and mentioned this to my elder sis, who lives nearby. Next day back taking calls Who should I speak to but my elder sister. who had rung once "Just for a laugh" and later the same day, from my mother who was ringing for the 1st time in weeks.

At the times I was on duty there were about 800 other staff on duty about 400 in priority centres for the areas the calls came from. Oh and as a beginner I was taking fewer calls than most.

Calculate the odds on that. :eek!!!!:
Pretty high if your family can't be arsed to use the phone book.:p