Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Walking coincidence

I was having a really rough time. I was just starting college and already second guessing my major of music as I got into the lowest choir, whereas my boyfriend had gotten into the highest. My dad hadn’t helped much with making some comments, and it had all gotten to me. I picked myself up and went on a walk. I was just walking in my neighborhood by myself. I was talking out loud and complaining that I just felt so incredibly lost. I didn’t know if I had made a mistake, and if I was just going to be miserable as a music major. I felt like nothing was working right, because a lot was going wrong in my life. I just felt lost. I muttered something along the lines of, “If I am supposed to be at this college, studying this dumb major, give me a sign or I’m going to assume this is a mistake and I’m just going to quit.” I was talking to God at that point. Challenging him to give me a sign, which I did not expect he would do. I kept walking, and ended up walking a street I do not normally walk. I was passing a house, and this guy just kinda showed up. I hadn’t noticed him standing in his lawn earlier, or him even coming out of his house, it was just like he was there, 4 feet away from me holding his phone out to me. “Excuse me, sorry. There is this dog that wondered its way into my lawn, and it’s making my cats a little on edge, but do you know if there is anyone who has lost a dog?” I was completely startled. I claimed I didn’t know anyone who had lost a dog, and wished him luck. He apologized again for unnerving me, and said something, along the lines of, “Well, she’s found, and I’m going to help. And thank you for your help.” I walked away and waved. As I walked away, I suddenly remembered how there had been people about a week earlier looking fervently for a dog named Sophie. They had been out in the streets calling for this dog for hours. And this dude had found that dog. I turned back to go tell him, but he wasn’t outside of his house, and his cats were not outside either. And I haven’t seen him since that day. To make the story make sense, my name is Sophie. And as soon as my mind put it all together, I freaked out, and texted my best friend who was like that’s definitely a sign. It was something that has never happened to me before, and definitely was a coincidence.
Total votes: 94
Date submitted:Sun, 30 Aug 2020 14:29:31 +0000Coincidence ID:10523

Three family members dying on same day, different years

Over the course of about 10 years, 3 family members have died on April 26 but in different years. April 26, 2010, my grandfather Thomas Martinez died from blood loss after a tumor removal surgery in CA. April 26, 2010 my cousin Jonathan Martinez died of Lukemia in CA. April 26, 2020 my great-uncle died of COVID-19 in Mexico. We are wondering who else will die on April 26.
Total votes: 100
Date submitted:Sun, 30 Aug 2020 01:13:38 +0000Coincidence ID:10522

North Carolina Natives

I am a native of North Carolina, USA. After my completing my graduate degree, I worked with a congregation in Greenville, South Carolina for fifteen years. During those years, I had the opportunity to take a group of teenagers to a conference in Germany. On that trip, we visited Dachau. Walking up to the entrance, our group meshed with other people walking in the same direction. I found myself walking beside a family and struck up a conversation with the father, who was closest in proximity. I learned the father was the ambassador to Denmark and lived in Copenhagen - and was also a native of North Carolina. He was from Raleigh and I am from Charlotte - major cities in North Carolina and a little over two hours apart. What are the chances I would meet the American Ambassador to Denmark? In Germany? And he would be a native of my home state?
Total votes: 88
Date submitted:Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:53:52 +0000Coincidence ID:10521

Siblings Meeting with Siblings

A new person was attending a meeting in my town in North Carolina. We had 5 minutes to talk. She had moved from Georgia where my brother lives. I told her my brother lived in Augusta. Her sister lived in Augusta too. I clarified that he actually lived in a suburb, Evans. So did her sister. We inquired about church membership and found they were members of the same church. When I got home, I called my brother. He had been at a meeting with one sister in Augusta during the same time I was meeting with the other sister in North Carolina.
Total votes: 90
Date submitted:Sat, 29 Aug 2020 02:58:34 +0000Coincidence ID:10520

Ancestors

I was engaged in genealogical research to support an application to Sons of the American Revolution. The material I gathered traced our line back to the mid-1500s in central England, with our first ancestor to the colonies arriving around 1625. His name was Thomas, and he was listed as one of the "Founders of Hartford, Connecticut." He fought in the Pequot War, and lived "on the road to the cow pasture, now Main Street in Hartford." I met with Kevin, a current SAR member here in Indiana, for him to review the application and advise if anything was missing. As he looked over my application, he invited me to view his website where he'd written short biographies of many of his ancestors. I scrolled to the earliest/oldest one. His own ancestor was noted as "coming to Connecticut around 1625, he was noted as a Founder of Hartford, he fought in the Pequot War, and lived on the road to the cow pasture." Kevin's 8th great-grandfather and mine were neighbors and served in the same colonial militia unit -- and 400 years later and 800 miles away, here we were, sitting across from each other at his kitchen table.
Total votes: 96
Date submitted:Mon, 24 Aug 2020 14:20:02 +0000Coincidence ID:10518

From Bargemon to Mill Hill to Eze

I am a painter and author. In 2002 I had an exhibition in Eze on the French Riviera, I had editorial promoting the expo published in an English magazine called New Riviera. The editor suggested I contact someone who was on the same page as me, the gallery owner, Guy Beddington. He lived far from where we were, based in the beautiful village of Bargemon. Unfortunately my work was not suited to his gallery, but as I was leaving he wrote a name on a card. She was a good client of his. I do not want to mention the name, but she lived in a villa in Eze village. Let us call her Mme Smith who lived in Villa Jones. I took the card and months later when I was writing invitations, I looked at this card and thinking it was not a full address, I contacted directory enquiries. There was no Mme Smith at that address. I decided I would send it anyway. Back in London I posted the invitations on a Monday. The following Sunday we went to our friends' daughters' engagement in Mill Hill London. Suddenly there was a scream of surprise from inside the house and someone came out and excitedly took me inside. I was introduced to a French lady . "Hallo" she said "I am the daughter of Mme Jones. We received your invitation on Wednesday." (they had moved form Villa Jones, but Eze being a small village, the postman redirected it)
Total votes: 118
Date submitted:Mon, 24 Aug 2020 11:04:46 +0000Coincidence ID:10517

Similarity in our sons' lives

Two years ago I was in the hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, having knee replacement surgery. The other patient in the room was about my age and having shoulder surgery, We both were sociable people and ended up talking a good deal, telling the head nurse that our stay was turning out to be fun. And as mothers will do, we talked about our children. I told her my youngest son was teaching English in Korea, and she said, "Oh, my son is also teaching English in Asia, but he is in China." That wasn't too surprising as lots of young Canadians teach English for a couple of years in Asia. Then I went on to say he had married a Korean woman and was living there long term. Well, her son also had married a Korean woman; they just happened to currently be working in China. Then I said something about going to visit Ross, and that's when the coincidence became extraordinary because her son was also named Ross. We smiled at the string of coincidences, expecting them to end there, but then one of us thought to ask for the full name of the other's son. They were both Ross Andrew!
Total votes: 101
Date submitted:Thu, 20 Aug 2020 00:24:35 +0000Coincidence ID:10516

Eye Test

I was in my front garden when two elderly gentleman struck up a conversation. One said he was overdue an eye test which he had put off due to Covid etc. That reminded me that I should arrange a routine eye test myself. One hour later a letter arrived from Boots asking me to make contact regarding an eye test.
Total votes: 102
Date submitted:Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:34:40 +0000Coincidence ID:10515

Randomly meeting people

I did an MA in Belgium where I met a French colleague. After the MA I went to Italy for a symposium where I met a Brazilian colleague. When I added the Brazilian on Facebook, she told me she knew the French one because they were flatmates in South Africa. We are all social scientists with an international bent, but from different fields.
Total votes: 76
Date submitted:Tue, 18 Aug 2020 11:33:12 +0000Coincidence ID:10514

Musical Destiny

I belong to a fraternity in NJ, I had heard of a brother of a friend(John)of mine being on his death bed. Fast foward about 4 to 5 weeks, I don't hear anything, so as I left work one Friday, I said I'm going to call a mutual friend (Daryl) and inquire of the health of Johns brother. Within 5 minutes my own brother calls me and I never make the call to Daryl,. I get home, wife is making dinner, as I often do I try to expose her to the music I listened to while growing up. As I sat down a kitchen table, and asked Alexa to play 1st Stepponwolf, and then Ten Years After, at the moment 'I would love to change the world 'plays, I get a call from Daryl (total 20 minutes from my thought to call him) I look at my wife and say, I have to take this, I solomnly answered the call, and Daryl says 'Tell me your sitting at home on a Friday, with nothing to do'. Being thankful it wasn't bad news of Johns brother , I said sure what do you need. He proceeds to tell me he needs help as he brings in a new member. I said ok, I'll be there by 7:30, call ends, I return to dinner and resume the song I was listening to (Ten Years After ) then I get ready, suit and all and drive about an hour. While the event is taking place I hear the president say 'Mr Lee, please state your name.' The candidate then says 'I , Alvin Lee ...."mind blown, though not the same person as the founder of Ten Years After. The coincidences that happened to me in the space if 90 minutes was astounding, Gene
Total votes: 89
Date submitted:Tue, 18 Aug 2020 01:27:28 +0000Coincidence ID:10513

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