Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

"Most Wanted" connection

In the 1990s I lived in Arizona. I worked for a grocery chain, and on one occasion I worked an overnight shift at a store across town. (I would occasionally pick up extra shifts at that store). After the overnight shift I learned that the armored car servicing a movie theater in the same shopping plaza had been robbed, and the driver killed. Later that summer I moved to France to do some religious service. This allowed me to move around northern France every few months. I returned home, started classes at Arizona State, and eventually transferred to a school in Utah to finish my degree. One day I got a call from a local FBI agent who wanted to talk to me about the armored car robbery from years earlier. The suspect -- who is still on the Most Wanted list -- shared several eerie connections with me, and law enforcement was convinced I was in contact with him. 1. Working the overnight shift (far from home), I had been in the vicinity of the armed robbery the day it happened. 2. My childhood home was two blocks away from the suspect's childhood home. 3. We at one point attended the same church. 4.

Grand dad's war buddy

Back in High School, about 2005, my younger brother and I had made a friend named Bryan. We all hit it off and would hang out all the time and it didn't take long until I ended up at his place to hang out after school one day. He'd told me about his dad, actually his grandfather, and said I'd probably think he was cool. So he finally gets home from whatever he was doing that day and he's a big Irish guy from Chicago so he's loud and funny and full of smiles and politeness. After a couple minutes he says I looked just like his buddy from back in the day and that he threw the best parties. I asked him what his buddies name was and sure as hell it was my grandfather. They went to school together and joined the marines together and worked together after Korea. We lived about 40 miles from where they grew up and it just blew me away that after 50 years two old war buddies grandkids would meet and become friends when there's millions of people around and our grandparents hadn't lived near each other since the 60's.

Classmate coincidence

I was camping in France when after a day i noticed a familiar person. It was one of my classmates, i come from The Netherlands so that of the hundreds of campings we could’ve chosen we chose the same one at around the same time

Bumping into your neighbor across the world.

My family happened to run into our front-door neighbor while in a train station in Zurich, Switzerland. We are from Florida.

A Perfectly Timed Phone Call

A few years ago as summer break was beginning I took a trip to see extended family in China. I had not informed my friends of the exact dates that I would be away, only that I would be gone for about the first chunk of summer break. Obviously, I would also not have regular cellular phone service due to being halfway around the world. Fast forward to my return home, our plane had landed on the runway not even five minutes before I receive a phone call, right as I regain connection to my local phone service. It is my friend - while hanging out with another friend of mine, he decided on a whim to call me just to see if I happened to be around, completely unaware of my travel schedule and if I was even in the country. Somehow, he managed to phone me at near-precisely the moment I touched the ground, the moment I was capable of receiving his phone call. To make things even weirder, it was his first attempt at calling me since summer break began. We were both freaked out by this coincidence, given that he could have called me at any moment nearly 2 months prior and not have gotten through. But it just so happened that he threaded the telecommunication needle at the perfect time.

First s job, then a house

I moved from Oregon to Washington seven years ago after getting a job doing admin support at a college. The person I replaced had been there her whole career before retiring, and so for the 3 years I was there I was known as "the new Pat". I left that position but stayed in the area, and a few years later purchased my first house. This year I was on the assessor's website looking at various data points for my property. I came across a list of previous owners, and one of the names listed looked very familiar. I did some digging and it turns out, the person listed is Pat's husband. So, not only did I move up here and assumed Pat's old job, but I also bought a house she'd lived in. They were the owners right before the people I'd purchased from.

Finding family friend in a park on the other side of the world.

I’m from a low-income rural village in the Northern USA. Many people from my hometown have never left the state, much less the country. While traveling to Ireland in 2019, my group decided to walk a little hidden garden path. We walked by two people and my husband pointed out that they had similar accents to mine. I stopped them to ask where they were from. Turns out they were from my hometown and had even worked with my dad for over a decade. They had moved away years before for a job opportunity, which is why I didn’t know them. Just proves that if you are from a small town, you can’t go anywhere without the chance of being recognized (and possibly snitched) on by a family friend.

Twin connection

I was watching a movie on Netflix in bed after getting a flu shot when my identical twin sister texted me to say hi and ask what I was up to. I told her and she said she was watching a movie too, and that she had gotten her flu shot the day before. I asked her what she was watching and it was the same movie I was watching! (Called “Carol,” about a pair of women in the 1950s who have an affair). I was 15 minutes ahead of my sister in the story.

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